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Cat Walk

catwalk

I’m thrilled to share this new book with you all today! Catwalk is a coming-of-age NA (Mature YA) novel by Nicole Gabor! Read on for more details and a chance to win a signed copy of the book AND a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card!

Catwalk_EbookCoverCatwalk

Publication Date: July 6th, 2021

Genre: YA/ NA Contemporary/ Fashion/ Modeling/ Coming-of-Age

Eighteen-year-old, shy, suburban aspiring model Cat Watson suddenly has it all as the New York fashion world’s new “It” girl and she thinks she has everything she ever dreamed of—until she realizes be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

Leaving her good-girl image behind, Cat quickly learns things aren’t always what they seem on the catwalk, and she’s faced with a decision that will change her life forever.

WILMINGTON, Delaware, April 2021

When 18-year-old Catherine Watson disobeys her parents and ditches her Ivy-league acceptance to start fresh as an aspiring model in New York City, a chance encounter with fashion world bigwigs gives her a world-class agent plus a boyfriend she only dreamed about. But as she navigates the fickle world of modeling, she realizes that to get ahead, she’ll have to leave herself behind—but is it worth it? Catwalk is an expertly written tale of first love, coming of age, and high-fashion, from award-winning author and editor Nicole Gabor, inspired by her own experiences as a runway model.

In her suburban hometown, Catherine had what most would consider a charmed life: a 4.0 GPA, a good-guy boyfriend who had his whole life planned out down to the two kids, two dogs, two-car garage—and it scared her to death. She wasn’t ready to follow a traditional path to a paint-by-numbers existence. She longed for adventure, for a life less…ordinary. When Catherine moves away to pursue her modeling dream in New York City and moves in with Jon-Michelle “Jonnie” who tackles the newly-named “Cat” as “her next project,” she revels in her newfound career, thinking “this is what it’s like to be young and beautiful in the greatest city in the world.”

“At that moment, it hit me. I was a mere mortal in a room full of demigods: actors, actresses, bygone legends of the stage and screen; men and women who had traipsed down red carpets all of their lives, whom the rest of the country, no, the world, had pined for, had paid to know the secrets of. Here I was standing among them, cavorting with twenty-first century royals.”

Cat meets Seth, a beautiful and kind but troubled New York scenester, the son of a ‘70s fashion model icon who fatally overdosed during her prime, and she feels strangely protective. She wants to save him like he saved her on her first night out on the town in New York City’s gritty yet swanky meatpacking district club scene.

When Cat is “discovered” by the one and only Philippe Borghetta, the hottest fashion designer in the pages of Vogue magazine, she thinks she has it all. Her life is thrust into an alternate universe, where star-studded cocktail parties, casting calls, go-sees, and nightclub openings revolve around her like constellations. She tries to play the part. Her former self, “Catherine,” was now a shadow of who she was and what she was becoming.

Cat thinks she’s finally gotten what she wanted all along—a chance to start over, a redo, a refresh. But as the lines blur between who she once was and who she wants to be, she’s reminded of her mother’s words, “Sometimes the things that are most worth fighting for are the things you already have.” Cat finds she has to make a decision that will change her life—and possibly the modeling world—forever.

Drawing on her own experiences in the fast-paced fashion model industry, former model and author of more than twenty children’s books, Nicole Gabor masterfully weaves a timeless story of self-discovery, coming of age, and the heartache of first loves. Catwalk is her debut young adult/new adult novel, available in Summer 2021 wherever books are sold.

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Excerpt

“She was discovered! Discovered by Philippe!” Clive, my new agent (yes, agent!) at Icon, chimed into the phone as I walked into his office to get my daily appointments in late-September.

“Yes, she is booked for the spring show and Philippe’s fall print campaign … Fashion week? Booked solid!” he said, winking at me. “Sorry, honey, she’s in high demand. But for you, maybe we could work something out. Say, time and a half?”

Time and a half? Ohmigod. I still couldn’t believe the turn of events here. This man was talking about me, Catherine Watson, and not some other incredibly fortunate girl.

Pinch me. Smack me. Punch me!

“Oh, she can’t walk out of the house for twice that! … I know, I know, but I’m telling you, she’s gonna be huge! Remember Fosgate?”

The last three weeks had thrust me into an alternate universe, where star-studded cocktail parties, casting calls, go-sees, and nightclub openings revolved around me like constellations. I tried to play along and not think about the catalyst of this sudden success — that fact that I was running around with the son of the dead woman I supposedly resembled. Given its Freudian implications, it wasn’t something I really wanted to dwell on.

Sitting there, waiting for Clive to get off the phone (yes, Clive of the “we have no place for you here” notoriety), I let my mind wander, reimaging for the three-hundredth time the scene in the Icon offices when, weeks earlier, Philippe’s personal assistant called up to ask if I was available for the showing of his spring collection at Fashion Week.

Jaws dropped, eyebrows arched, and coffee cups tumbled, no doubt. Wasn’t I that forgettable girl they had dared to take a chance on to appease their star, Jonnie, only days earlier? My god, yes.

Then miraculously and all at once, as if a fairy godmother had sprinkled dewdrops and glitter into the eyes of all who gazed upon me, I became the most enchanting creature, one worthy of the Icon name. Before I could ask for it, I had a portfolio with my name emblazoned on the cover, a new iPhone filled with go-see appointments, blond highlights framing my face, and hair extensions that would make the Kardashians jealous. I, Catherine Watson, had been “made.” AGH!

But perhaps most unbelievable of all, I had a new name: Cat.

“It’s hip, modern,” Clive had said.

Catherine, on the other hand, was what he called “stuffy, boring, old,” a person his mother would watch on PBS. There’s no denying that. In junior high, I tried shortening my name to Cate, but at the time Cate Winters (the most popular girl in 8th grade) was already a Cate with a “C” and there was no way a peon like me was going to steal her nickname. So, since Cate with a “C” was ruined for me, “Cat” seemed a welcome change.

It was all part of the branding process, Clive said. “Babe, you exude youth and innocence. It’s refreshing! I can read the headlines now: ‘Plucked from Obscurity!'”

Not completely true, but evidently we weren’t going for truth here.

“We’re gonna make you the girl next door, the one out in hicksville driving all the boys crazy with her kitty cat eyes …”

I was excited, but somehow listening to a balding, fat man say “kitty cat eyes” made me want to puke.

“So, I know you’ve got the good girl thing down pat, but you’re going to have to get a little naughty.”

“Naughty?” I said, hoping I misheard him and this wasn’t really the premise for a Hallmark movie.

“Step it up a bit,” he said. “Nice girls with no edge get nowhere in fashion.”

He handed over the contract — about 10 pages of tiny text. I flipped through it, trying to absorb all the information in the five-minute window he had allotted for this purpose.

“It’s standard,” he said. “We get a cut from each job you take, you take home the rest.”

I’d never had to sign something so official-looking before.

“Is it nonbinding?” I asked, having heard my father talk about contracts before and trying to appear in the know.

“Look, it’s what all our girls sign,” he said, slightly annoyed by my dilly-dallying. “Do you need more time? ‘Cause you gotta run if you’re going to make your go-sees in Midtown.”

A part of me wanted to hold back. I knew I should go over the contract with my father, but Clive wouldn’t have gone for that. That was part of the “little girl” mentality I was going to have to shed. I held my breath and signed on the dotted line.

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About the Author

PIC.Gabor

Nicole is a published author of more than twenty children’s picture books and an award-winning health writer and editor. Her debut young adult/new adult fiction novel Catwalk, is inspired by her experiences living and working in New York City as a model. Nicole is also a contributor at Highlights for Children and a senior editor at KidsHealth.org, the Web’s most-visited site for children’s health. She lives in Delaware with her husband, three young children, and their Goldendoodle named Ginger.

Nicole Gabor | Twitter | Instagram

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Book Tour Schedule

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July 15th

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International Giveaway: Signed Copy of Catwalk & a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card

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Grace in Hollywood

Join us for this tour from June 22 to July 19, 2021!

Book Details:   

Book Title:  Grace in Hollywood – A Grace Michelle Mystery by Kari Bovee
CategoryAdult Fiction (18 +), 336 pages
GenreHistorical Mystery
Publisher:  Bosque Publishing
Release date:   May 25, 2021
Content Rating PG + MBook has mature themes; adultery, murder, bigamy, but there is no bad language.

Book Description:

All that glitters… is sometimes blood. With her golden ticket buried in the ground, can she save a wrongly accused teen from the gallows?
Hollywood, 1924. Promoted to lead costume designer of a star-studded film, Grace Michelle should be on top of the world. But between her husband’s debt, her sister’s recent death, and the troubled teenaged girl she’s fostering, she’s struggling to please everyone and still keep a smile on her face. And when a Tinseltown shindig turns deadly, Grace is horrified to discover her young charge unconscious alongside the director’s grisly corpse.

Determined to prove the girl’s innocence, Grace’s own haunted past fills her sleep with prophetic nightmares. And no sooner has she sought clarity from a medium than a second body lands the scared teenager in the slammer.

Can Grace turn the camera on the real culprit before another victim ends up on the cutting room floor?

Grace in Hollywood is the second book in the riveting A Grace Michelle Mystery historical series. If you like fiercely loyal heroines, thrilling whodunits, and the magic of old cinema, then you’ll love Kari Bovee’s enthralling tale.

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Also Available for Your Mystery-Reading Pleasure: 

 

Book Details:

Book Title: Grace in the Wings – A Grace Michelle Mystery by Kari Bovee
CategoryAdult Fiction (18 +), 340
Genre
Historical Mystery
Publisher:  Bosque Publishing
Release date:   September 19, 2019
Format available for review e-book (mobi file (for Kindle), ePub, )
Will send print books out:  USA
Content Rating PG + MBook has mature themes; adultery, murder, bigamy, but there is no bad language. 


Book Description:
 

A ghost from her past. Her sister murdered. Can Grace slay her demons and find the killer before she ends up dead?
New York City, 1920. Grace Michelle has everything she wants: a home, a family, and a future career as a costume designer for famed showman Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr.’s Ziegfeld Follies. Pretty good for a girl who once lived on the streets of New York City. But when her sister, Sophia, the star of the show, is murdered, Grace’s safe and protected life is shattered.

Battle-scarred by the war and emotionally scarred by his past, Chet Riker has made it a practice to keep his distance from others; love, after all, leads only to pain. But Chet has a problem—a big one: he’s become indebted to mob-boss Joe Marciano in an attempt to save his estranged mother’s life, and Marciano wants him to pay up or else. Desperate to get the money, he contacts former client Florenz Ziegfeld for work.

Soon, Chet finds himself playing bodyguard for introverted Grace, who has reluctantly agreed to be Ziegfeld’s new leading lady—on the condition that Ziegfeld promises to find Sophia’s killer. Upon meeting Grace, Chet quickly finds his hardened theory that love equals pain tested. Grace, meanwhile, is swept up in a life she never wanted as the Follies’ star, and as the pawn in a series of publicity stunts during a transcontinental train trip to California that puts her life at risk. Who would want her and Sophia dead? Together, she and Chet must confront publicity-hungry Florenz Ziegfeld, power-driven Joe Marciano, and their own pasts to find Sophia’s killer—and let themselves love once again.

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Meet the Author:

When she’s not on a horse, or walking along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovee is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined, and helping them to find order in the chaos of her action-packed novels.

An award-winning author, Bovée was honored with the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards Hillerman Award for Southwestern Fiction for her novel Girl with a Gun. The novel also received First Place in the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards in the Mystery/Crime category, and won First in Category in the International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards. It was also a finalist in the 2019 Next Generation Indie Awards. Her novel Grace in the Wings won First in Category for the 2019 International Chanticleer Chatelaine Awards. Peccadillo at the Palace won Grand Prize in the 2019 Goethe Awards, and was a finalist in the 2019 Best Book Awards Historical Fiction category.

Bovée has worked as a technical writer for a Fortune 500 Company, has written non-fiction for magazines and newsletters, and has worked in the education field as a teacher and educational consultant.

Connect with the author:  Website ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Pinterest


cat-with-books 3
My Review
5 Stars

Grace Michelle is a costume designer in 1924 Hollywood. She also owns a ranch with her husband and rescues racehorses and troubled children. Although she tries to keep the kids separate from her work, she finds herself hosting a Hollywood even for the director, Edward Travis, of the movie she is working on. Unfortunately, at the dinner the Travis is found dead and Lizzy, one of her wards, is blamed.

But there is so much more going on with the story. Travis had a second wife and many dalliances. Lizzy and her sister Margaret are having a fight and Lizzy finds herself being charged with her murder too. Grace is trying to find a way to clear Lizzy of the charges, but it seems the harder she tries to help the more tangled this mystery becomes.

I have not read the first book in this series, but I had no problem hopping into this story. Grace has some issues, but she is trying her hardest at work, on the ranch, and with her husband and kids. I instantly liked her and felt heartbroken for what she was going through.

I love how she just kept fighting to prove that Lizzy was innocent and get to the bottom of the mystery. I couldn’t read fast enough to learn what happens next and had a hard time putting the book down. I never expected the ending and I just loved how it wrapped everything up.

If you are looking for a great mystery, I recommend checking out Grace in Hollywood. I can’t wait to go back and catch up on what I missed with Grave in the Wings.

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

Tour Schedule:
June 22 – Working Mommy Journal – book review / giveaway
June 22 – Cover Lover Book Review – book spotlight / giveaway
June 23 – Books Lattes & Tiaras – book review
June 24 – JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder – book spotlight / giveaway
June 25 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
June 28 – Rajiv’s Reviews – book review
June 29 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – book spotlight / giveaway
June 30 – Lisa Everyday Reads – book spotlight / author interview
June 30 – Olio by Marilyn – book review of GRACE IN THE WINGS / giveaway
July 1 – Sadie’s Spotlight – book spotlight / author interview
July 2 – She Just Loves Books – book review
July 2 – PuzzlePaws Blog – book review of GRACE IN THE WINGS / giveaway
July 6 – @twilight_reader – book review
July 7 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 7 – I Read What You Write – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 8 – Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 9 –Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
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July 12 –Bigreadersite – book review / giveaway
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July 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
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July 16 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book review / author interview / giveaway

July 16 – JBronder Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
July 19 – Books for Books – book review
July 19 – Adventurous Jessy – book review / giveaway
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Enter the Giveaway:

Enter to win one signed copy each of Grace in the Wings and Grace in Hollywood, a completed and framed (8.5 x 11) diamond painting of a flapper, an art deco mousepad, a small art deco notepad and pen, an art deco tote bag, and an Amazon gift card for $50! (one winner) (USA only)

GRACE IN HOLLYWOOD (Grace Michelle Mystery) Book Tour Giveaway

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

The Wizards

TheWizards

Welcome to the tour for The Wizards by Louis Corsair! Read on for details and a chance to win a $50 Amazon e-Gift Card!!!

wizards_full

The Wizards

Publication Date: October 4th, 2020

Genre: Urban Fantasy

At the end of the original Absolution, the Executor went back in Time and altered Reality, setting in motion a plan that will destroy him, along with all of Creation. It is a titanic crime that does not go unnoticed. There are some who discovered the crime in the Past, and are trying to do something in the Present to prevent an unimaginable Future. And these men and women are, were, will be the Wizards.

The Wizards is more than just a collection of short stories. It is a multigenerational composite novel that delves into the lives of the Wendells, a patchwork family of orphans brought together by Wendell the Great. These too-human men and women struggle with mastering the Power as much as they do with one another and the landscape of Southern California. From the 1940s to the Present, The Wizards goes back and forth across Time to tell its story.

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Excerpt

In the Beginning

Let us imagine a period sometime in the Past. Yes. Many years in the Past, but not so many that I cannot remember it. And let us imagine men and women with… with… well, see, this is a point we could not agree on. The things my siblings and I could do, can still do, they could be called “talents,” like Mozart’s talent. Yet, that implies biology, which hardly influences the extent and potency of our abilities.

Our Father, a man I will later call Wendell, and Anita, who I came to love as a Mother, called it, “the Power.” I suppose now you are wondering why we can wield such might.

Indeed, for what purpose are humans born who can wield the Power? Ah, but that mystery is at the heart of our story. We never figured out why. And so, we are the burdened. Regardless of the why, let us consider the who.

Who are these men and women, you ask? Well, during my childhood in El Salvador, we called them los magos del oeste. Ah, but that is an inadequate title for my tale, for it was the silliness of childhood. Here in America, there are many names for these individuals, thanks to mythology and literature. Let us pick one.

How about wizard? I have always been fond of that title, though it belongs in the realm of fantasy and myth, now inherited by popular culture. The nomenclature is important to me because it was the name that Isis picked for our little gang. She called us the Wizards. Do not worry about Isis now; I will soon introduce her.

In the beginning–that glorious beginning!–there were three of these Wizards. The first was the man who rescued me from the conscript army in El Salvador. I knew him as Wendell, a name that served “both for Christian and surname,” as EB might have said. He was a statuesque African, for it was easy to tell when he spoke that he was from that continent.

Let us go now to a specific place in the beginning, to the first time I entered Anita’s home in Beverly Hills. Up until then, I had been constantly awake with worry as we traveled through different cities, always looking, looking. And finally worry became wonder as we entered this great metropolis. Drinking up the lights of Los Angeles in great gulps. Drowning in its people. Every sight mesmerized me.

“Now, Quique,” he said to me in broken Spanish when we reached Anita’s door. I had not yet mastered the English language. “I will speak with my colleagues about you. But I am confident we will find you a place.”

This was a sentiment that bothered me. I still had family in El Salvador, my mother and sister. At that juncture, I feared for their safety. The civil war was brutal, you see, and casualties were plenty. I let Wendell know this and he gave me that potent smile that could convince you to take his side.

“They are well.”

That was all he said regarding their fate, and I believed him at once. He was a man who used words to shape truth. It was a skill I often tried to emulate with poor results. Wendell’s words could take physical shape too when performing magic. The mechanism for this art he took with him, for it was missing from his many lessons.

Ah, Wendell! That cloud of mystery never left you while I was under your care.

With my heart easier knowing my family was well, I followed him into the house. And there I met his associates. One man. One woman.

The house belonged to the woman, who was White and Wendell’s senior by more than twenty years, or so I heard. But Wendell made up for that gap in height; she hardly reached his chest. This was Anita Sendler, a Jew who had survived the Holocaust. The experience served to strengthen her, though; she was hardly a victim. Anita noticed me first and like a hawk blocked our way in.

I am unsure of what passed between the two. My understanding of English prevented me from keeping up with their debate. What I was sure of, then and now, was that Anita was upset that Wendell had brought me, all willy nilly (as some might say).

My childish scorn for her amuses me now, as it did the other man in the room. He was a carbon copy of Wendell, for they were brothers. This was Gathii Ra, a title he had given himself.

Gathii Ra smiled when he saw my frown. He said something to the two and then went up to me. After messing up my hair, a behavior that became a habit with him, he stomped the floor with his heavy foot.

This created some effect I hardly understood, but could hear. Gathii Ra’s words had become soothing, pleading, asking all of us to use our better judgment.

¡Mago! ¡Mago!” I cried. Quickly, I ran behind Wendell’s legs.

And while I hid, too scared to open my eyes, I saw… It was my first memory of the Stream. The glowing Anima of Gathii Ra ventured from his body and approached me. Scared out of my wits, I screamed and covered my face with my arms. But…that did something. I heard the adults gasp. Uncovering my face, I opened my eyes and saw that Gathii Ra and his Anima had been re-joined. I had banished it!

Anita’s hard face pruned and her lips formed a crooked smile, eyeing me differently. Gathii Ra laid a rough hand on Wendell’s shoulder, laughing all the while. It was enough to break the tension and give them a chance to speak.

And they did. For hours. At the end of that conversation, the three came together in a circle and shook hands. Something had been decided. Something important.

Anita offered me a simple meal of milk and some cake. The adults, all the while, drank wine and danced to some music, she taking turns with each of the brothers. After an hour of this, she caressed my cheek. And it was a happy time, one of my most cherished memories. The energy in that room, my friend, crackled.

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About the Author

IMG_0407

Louis Corsair is an eight-year veteran of the United States Army. Currently living in Los Angeles, California, he spends his time reading books, going on walks, writing, and enjoying the occasional visit to the beach–while trying to earn an honest buck. As a Los Angeles writer, he feels the weight of famous Los Angeles novelists, like Raymond Chandler, John Fante, Nina Revoyr, among others.

In 2021, he hopes to finish the Elohim Trilogy and its connected novels, including The Wizards Collide, and Apotheosis: Book Three of the Elohim Trilogy.

Louis Corsair

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Book Tour Schedule

July 12th

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Lunarian Press (Spotlight)

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July 13th

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight)

July 15th

B is for Book Review (Spotlight)

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight)

Crossroads Reviews (Spotlight)

 July 16th

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Spotlight)

Gina Rae Mitchell (Spotlight)

 @happily_undignified (Review)

Rambling Mads (Spotlight)

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Book Tour Organized By:

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

TheGirlintheTriangle

Congratulations to author Joyana Peters on the release of her romantic historical fiction, The Girl in the Triangle!

Read on for details and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

Triangle-CoverPickThe Girl in the Triangle

Publication Date: July 12th, 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction

When your dreams finally seem to be coming true, it’s hard to trust them.

It’s been four years since seventeen-year-old Ruth set eyes on her fiance. After surviving near-starvation, revolution and a long trip across the stormy ocean, she can’t help but wonder: Will Abraham still love her? Or has America changed him?

Nowhere’s as full of change as 1909 New York. From moving pictures to daring clothes to the ultra-modern Triangle Shirtwaist Factory where she gets a job, everything exhilarates Ruth. When the New World even seems to rejuvenate her bond with Abraham, she is filled with hope for their prospects and the future of their war-torn families.

But when she makes friends and joins the labor movement—fighting for rights of the mostly female workers against the powerful factory owners—something happens she never expected. She realizes she might be the one America is changing. And she just might be leaving Abraham behind.

The Girl in the Triangle is an immigration story that will appeal to fans of Brooklyn by Colm Toibin and The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani. It questions what it means to be an American, and what is the true meaning of strength.

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Excerpt

He stood outside the dressing room with his arms crossed. “I was starting to fear I’d need to send in a search party.”

“I’m sorry,” Ruth said. “I met the sister of one of your friends.”

“Chayele,” Abraham chuckled. “That explains it. That girl could talk the hind legs off a donkey.”

He steered her to the line for the stairs and gestured for her to open her bag to be examined. “They fear people stealing scraps for sewing at home.”

Ruth held her bag open wide as the guard poked through. Eventually he nodded, and they exited through the door to the stairs.

“Chayele seemed really nice. She introduced me to her friends as well. She said you were good friends with her brother?”

“Yankel,” Abraham nodded. “He’s good folk. He took me under his wing when I got here. Makes me get out and have some fun from time to time.”

Ruth pondered that for a moment and considered Chayele’s painted face. “She’s not a—what do you call it? Floopsy, is she?”

Abraham laughed. “No, Chayele’s not a floozy, though she might be the center of any party. She’s just been here awhile and has embraced America.”

“America encourages painted faces?”

Abraham tilted his head and thought before answering. “America encourages fun, at least in your free time. Not like in Russia where you just go to work and come home.”

“How do you spend your free time?”

Abraham turned to face her with a twinkle in his eye. “All kinds of ways. Seeing performers singing in shows, going to the circus, heading out to Luna Park.”

“What’s Luna Park?”

“An amusement park in West Brighton Beach. You can ride a roller coaster and see recreations of villages from all over the world—it’s amazing. I’ll take you one weekend.”

Ruth mulled over this new word, weekend. She had no clue what a roller coaster was, but it sounded exciting. Everything Abraham mentioned was foreign and strange. They’d sung as a family around the piano or even in the street with neighbors on holidays. But shows? Performers? These were novel ideas.

Abraham glanced over at her with a mischievous smile. “Still love running?”

Ruth smiled.

“Race you home!” he shouted and took off ahead.

“You gonif! You still cheat!” she shouted and took off after him.

His laughter floated back to her as she ran. The cityscape flew by as she weaved in and out of people on the sidewalk, some shouting insults in response. They rolled right off Ruth. Her exhaustion evaporated, the caress of cool air on her face sweeping away her lethargy. She dug deep to run faster, her competitive instincts kicking in. She’d never felt so happy and free.

Available on Amazon

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International Giveaway: Click the link below for a chance to win a signed copy of the book. Giveaway will be open until July 16th!

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About the Author

6W9A6939-RT

Growing up in New York, she always loved exploring the city, particularly the Lower East Side. This led to her discovery of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the stories it holds.

She currently lives in Northern Virginia where she takes in the sights of DC with her two kids and husband.

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Legend of the Dragon Slayer: The Origin Story of Dragonwatch

by Brandon Mull & Brandon Dorman

In ancient times, dragons posed the ultimate threat to the rest of the magical world. During the Dragon War, a group of specially trained Dragon Slayers banded together to stand against the onslaught. They called themselves Dragonwatch, and they succeeded in confining the majority of dragons to sanctuaries. Legend of the Dragon Slayer is the illustrated story of the very first Dragon Slayer who took to battle.

As the legend tells it, powerful monsters terrorized the kingdom of Selona on all sides. An unlikely hero named Konrad, the cobbler’s son, accepts the king’s challenge to defeat the monsters: fierce yeti, a merciless vampire, a dangerous gorgon, and a deadly phoenix. But Selona’s biggest threat will come from the Dragon, and it will take every ounce of wit and experience that Konrad has acquired to stand a chance against such a formidable foe.

Legend of the Dragon Slayer features a never-before-published catalog of Dragon Slayers, a detailed map of the kingdom of Selona, and lavish full-color illustrations. Fantasy fans will love this stand-alone tale of valor, destiny, and magic.

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Brandon Mull

About the Author – Brandon Mull

Brandon Mull resides in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his wife and three children. He spent two years living in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile where he learned Spanish and juggling. He once won a pudding eating contest in the park behind his grandma’s house, earning a gold medal. Brandon is the author of the New York Times bestselling Fablehaven series and The Candy Shop War.

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About the Author – Brandon Dorman

The illustrator of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Wizard, written by Jack Prelutsky, as well as Halloween Night, by Marjorie Dennis Murray, and his own Pirates of the Sea! and Santa’s Stowaway. He received a degree in fine arts from Bringham Young University–Idaho.

My Review

5 stars

If you have read Mr. Mull’s Dragonwatch series, there has been a question of where the Dragonwatch originated. Wonder no more, here is their origin story!

The kingdom of Selona is surrounded by dangerous creatures something has to be done to expand so the people are not so crowded. The king submits a challenge for those that are brave enough to face the creatures and win, they will be richly rewarded.

No one answers the challenge, no knights, no warriors, but a cobbler’s son, Konrad steps up. He faces a gorgon, yeti, a vampire, and a phoenix. But his biggest challenge will come when he is king of Selona and has to face the Dragon.

I loved this book. It is filled with beautiful artwork and the monsters are fantastic. Konrad shows that you don’t have to be big and strong to defeat those around you. Although we do learn some surprising facts later on.

I love how the story ended and how it wrapped up as a great introduction for the Dragonwatch series. This would be a great introduction for children to start reading this series and even just a good bedtime story. This is one that you definitely want to add to your child’s bookshelf.

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

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

Wyrd Gods

Author: Susana Imaginário

Narrator: Sarah Kempton

Length: 11 hours 36 minutes

Series: Timelessness, Book 1

Publisher: Susana Imaginário

Released: Apr. 30, 2020

Genre: Fantasy

Continue Reading »

The Bookminder Series

Bookminder Series

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The Bookminder (Book 1)

Istria, 1679 A.D.

Sired by magick and violence, sixteen-year-old Liara is found guilty of witchcraft and banished from her tiny village by the very priest who raised, then betrayed her. However, a mysterious mage steps forward to assume custody of her: Nagarath, the Wizard of Parentino, whose secret spellwork has long protected both Liara and Dvigrad from the ravages of war.

Despite Liara’s best hopes, Nagarath refuses to apprentice her to his craft but tasks her instead with the restoration of his neglected library. Liara gleans magickal knowledge on the sly, but her stolen spells renew an evil wizard’s interest in the people of the Limska Draga valley.

Only by tapping Liara’s inherent magick and joining it with his own can Nagarath protect Parentino from suffering a horrible fate. However, her discovery of his secrets destroys their fragile trust and ignites the darker tendencies of her gift. Now, he must rescue her from the influence of his mortal enemy before their powerful new alliance destroys them all.

Purchase Links

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Cat 4

My Review

3 stars

Liara was born of magic and has been treated horribly for most of her life by the people of the village of Dvigrad. She has been living at the church until it is discovered that she has been stealing from people and using magic. She is banished but saved by the mage Nagarath but Nagarath makes it clear that he is not going to teach her magic.

They live at the crumbling castle Parentino which has its own secrets. Nagarath comes to care for Liara and starts teaching her a little magic. But someone is determined to find both of them, a powerful mage that is determined to use Liara’s power for his own good.

Liara has been looked down on her most of her sixteen years of her life. Because of this she tends to be aloof and on her own but is driven to learn magic for revenge. It’s a little hard to like Liara because of her constant whining and her focus. She constantly complains and at some parts I was about done with her.

Nagarath has his own secrets but is eaten by guilt over something that happened in the past. I commend him for taking on Liara when he wasn’t really planning on it. He has more patience than I do. But I was getting frustrated when he is trying to protect both of them but refusing to explain.

This is a rough start to the series, but I do see the potential in it. I am excited to start The Kithseeker. I think having Liara and Nagarath work together is going to be the glue to the loose ends.

The-Kithseeker-Wiseman

The Kithseeker (Book 2)

France, 1680 A.D.

Liara’s defense of the Wizard Nagarath has rendered Anisthe incantate—bereft of all magick—but even this has failed to guarantee Liara’s safety. The death of the war mage would seal Liara’s own fate, and so the wizard and his bookminder must keep him in their sites and yet as far away from themselves as possible.

With nothing but a storybook and a hunch, Anisthe has set off on a journey across Europe, aided by his half-fey manservant, in search of a legendary mirror that contains the most powerful magick ever known. Although the stuff of fairytales, the merest possibility of its truth embarks Nagarath and Liara on a race to discover the mirror before it falls into the hands of Nagarath’s lifelong foe. Both know should he lay claim to that power, Liara would be at the mercy of her father-in-magick and his lust for power, and not even Nagarath could save her.

Thus, the pair find themselves at the court of the Sun King, a world hostile to magick users, hopelessly surrounded by agents whose sole purpose is destroy them. Uncertain whom is friend or foe, with Anisthe nipping at their heels, they must unearth the mirror before its evil is released, or worse, lays claim to Liara’s magick as well and brings doom upon them all.

Purchase Links

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My Review

4 stars

After his battle with Nagarath and Liara, Anisthe has decided to travel to France. It seems he is in possession of a magical mirror that is supposed to hold the magic of famed wizard Khariton. When Nagarath and Liara learn of this it becomes a race to get to the mirror first.

Along the way we also meet the third student that Nagarth and Anisthe trained with, Amsalla. She has a habit of being in the middle of everything and is the king’s wizard. She meets up with Nagarath and Liara and it’s clear that she wants to start some trouble between the two. She is also watching Anisthe but doesn’t realize that his assistant, Domagoj has got her in his sights too.

Everyone is trying to get to the mirror first and no one can be trusted. It feels like everyone is out to get each other and poor Liara doesn’t understand the fight she finds herself in. I feel bad for her but at the same time I understand how far she has come since her life in Dvigrad.

I liked this story better than the Bookminder because we started meeting more people and exploring the country. Amsalla just irritated me and there were times that I wanted to slap Nagarath upside the head for his actions/thoughts.

I’m curious to see how things are going to transpire in The Fatewreaker. Thank goodness I have everything ready to hop into it.

The-Fatewreaker-Wiseman

The Fatewreaker (Book 3)

England, 1680 A. D.

Liara and Nagarath’s enemy has unexpectedly come to their aid, surrendering to the magick-suppressing forces of the king of France so as to buy time for their escape. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Anisthe is on their side. Vrsar’s war mage, Liara’s father-in-magick, has never been a man do to things for others. And he has always has plans within plans.

In fleeing to England with his apprentice, the Wizard Nagarath realizes that Liara’s power is no longer her own to command. With the shattering of Khariton’s magick mirror in the Palace of Versailles, the young woman has become trapped in an alliance with the ancient and evil mage. What is more, at eighteen-years-old, her life remains tied to Anisthe’s for another two years per the Laws of Magick. Anisthe, who is now imprisoned for having helped them evade the king’s spellpiercers.

Forced to revisit his own past, Nagarath is finally learning that there are some histories you cannot outrun. As for Liara, the darkness within her heart is greater than she ever could have imagined. This after Dvigrad’s orphaned magpie having finally learned to love. For, in the words of Khariton himself, “In magick you can never have friends. Only rivals.”

Purchase Links

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Cat 6

My Review

4 stars

Liara has freed Khariton from his mirror and is now his vessel. He is intent on using her power to destroy the world. She is heartbroken because she was trying to help him and doesn’t want the war he is going to cause. Nagarath decides to take her to his home in England to try to help her. But learns that the possession is worse than he feared.

At the same time, we find Kresimir who was sent to Merlin by Nagarath. Merlin may have been cursed but is still alive and is trying to fulfill a prophecy about Nagarath and Liara. But when Liara shows up on his doorstop for help he realizes that he might not be a match for Khariton anymore and might not be able to help.

I love how Liara and Nagarath have finally realized their feelings for each other, but Liara can’t have that with how fast Khariton is taking control. Nagarath has taken just to try to help Liara and it looks like he might not recover from his actions. But I hoped that he could break Liara’s spell in time or at the very least save her.

I like how this wrapped everything together and I loved the ending. This has been a good read and recommend this series. I think the reader will enjoy the journey. I will be keeping my eyes open for other books from M.K. Wiseman.

 

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Author Bio

M. K. Wiseman has degrees in Interarts & Technology and Library & Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her office, therefore, is a curious mix of storyboards and reference materials. Both help immensely in the writing of historical novels. She currently resides in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

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

 

The Demon of Yodok

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To celebrate the release of the latest novel in the Juche series, The Storm of Storms, we’re going back to the book that started it all! The Demon of Yodok! Read on for more details and a chance to win a signed hardcover edition of the novel!

Juche part one - eBook - Copy

The Demon of Yodok (Juche 1)

Genre: YA Dystopian

A highly addictive Young Adult Dystopian Survival series that will keep you glued to the pages.

JUCHE [dʒuːtʃe]

Just when Areum, daughter of a privileged family in the totalitarian state of Choson, thought she was free from her personal prison, her world collapses around her as her family are taken away in the middle of the night to a hell-like camp in the mountains where people who have strayed from the righteous path are brutally re-educated through blood, sweat, tears and starvation.

There she has to fight for survival together with the family she hates and is forced to re-evaluate every aspect of her life until then – her deep resentment toward her twin sister; her view of her father in face of the mounting evidence he is a traitor with the blood of millions of fellow countrymen on his hands; and even her love and affection for the Great General – the eternal savior and protector of Choson, whom she had always considered her true father.

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Excerpt

Cranes sang songs of joy from the mountain tops.

Double rainbows appeared in the sky.

The aggressors from the west were defeated. The invaders from the east were expunged. The traitors from the south were put at bay.

The people of Choson were finally free to create their own destiny, and so a hermit kingdom of people’s rule rose from the ashes, and the doors to the enemies of the outside world were closed, never to be opened again.

The world around them moved on. Years passed. Decades passed. Peace and prosperity spread throughout the world, and nothing was heard from the secluded hermit paradise.

Then one day, people started emerging from its closed borders. The stories they brought with them were, however, not of a paradise on earth. Instead, what they depicted were horrors so vile and cruel that they almost exceeded human comprehension.

Little had the people of the kingdom known when they closed its doors to the outside world, that the vilest beast of all was still lurking among their midst, and as soon as the curtains had been drawn, the beast unleashed its reign of terror upon the people, not stopping until it had crushed and enslaved every soul within its reach.

The beast now rules the kingdom from a throne of human misery and agony.

No one alive has ever encountered this beast, but everybody knows its name.

JUCHE

Available on Amazon

About the Author

AC Logo 2

Adria Carmichael is a writer of Young Adult Dystopian fiction with a twist. When she is not devouring dystopian and post-apocalyptic content in any format – books, movies, TV-series and PlayStation games – she is crafting the epic and highly-addictive Juche saga, her 2020 debut novel series that takes place in the brutal, totalitarian nation of Choson. When the limit of doom and gloom is reached, a 10K run on a sunny day or binging a silly sitcom on a rainy day is her go-to way to unwind.

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My Review

5 stars

Areum is fourteen years old and lives in Chosen under the Great General’s command. She lives in the Capital with her family. Her father Young Il works for the department of agriculture for the country, Sun Hee is her mother and a former actress, and Nari is her twin sister that has a heart condition.

Areum is rather snotty to her family and focuses on the Great General and believes how he is her true father. Her only goal is to get selected for the Great General’s National Gymnastics Team and through a little cheating gets her wish. She is about to be away from those she lives with when suddenly her mother, Nari and her are rounded up and sent to Penal Labor Camp 15, otherwise known as Yodok.

Young Il has been deemed a traitor and sent to the camp. But the Great General knows that treachery runs deep so whole families are sent with the traitors to make sure all doubt can be cast out. Slow to accept her fate, Areum is going to have to learn how to come together with her family if they are going to survive Yodok.

I was instantly drawn into this story even if Areum is such a snot and horrible to her family. It just made me bristle until I learned more about her past, then I could kind of understand her behavior. Of course she is very narrow sighted and doesn’t see the big picture around her until she falls flat on her face.

You know this story is about North Korea and how the people live. It breaks my heart that anyone should have to live like this but all you have to do is look at history to know that it has happened in the past, in the present, and will happen again in the future.

The more I read the more I wanted to know what was happening. I received the original Part One of the series and as soon as I finished I downloaded the update to keep reading Areum’s struggles. This is a wonderful read and one that I recommend checking out. I would recommend having all ages read it.

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

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Winning Streak

WinningStreak

If you enjoy trivia and board games, then this book is for you! We’re also launching a Kickstarter for Winning Streak today so do hope you’ll have a look!

Psst! This one is also available for review! Just contact R&R Book Tours if you’re interested!

Cover Winning StreakWinning Streak

Expected Publication Date: Coming Soon!

Genre: Games/ Trivia/ Non-Fiction

Did you ever wonder:

♞ What makes Clue the best movie based on a game franchise?
♝ What does the doubling cube in backgammon do?
♜ How trains are even supposed to operate in Ticket to Ride: Antarctica?
♛ How the designer of the board game Pandemic feels now that he’s lived through an actual global pandemic?
♚ Whatever happened to the Monopoly game show from the 90s?

Based on Ranker’s poll of almost 400,000 votes, these games define us. From multiple-award winning masterpieces of the past decade, to indestructible classics still going strong after 5,000 years of play, these are the games you must play before you die. Well, except for Sorry!. That game is a blight upon this list and mankind as a whole.

Excuse me. What I’m trying to say is that I wrote this book about games, and I thought you might like it

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About the Author

JM Icon

Over the past decade, John-Michael Gariepy played and reviewed over four hundred board games for three podcasts. He produces the movie/media conversation show, Popcorn Roulette, edited Stephen Albair’s jewelry and tableau photography art book/memoir called Spectacles, and directs and produces the medical audio drama Say Hello to Black Jack. He has a wide range of interests, a tremendous love of learning, and a goofy sense of humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JM_Gariepy or Instagram @johnmichaelgariepy, or check out his blog at JMGariepy.com.

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Technopaladin

Techno

Welcome to the tour for this exciting new YA Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Technopaladin: Clarity’s Edge by Elizabeth Corrigan! Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a $25 US Amazon E-Gift Card!

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Technopaladin: Clarity’s Edge

Publication Date: May 17th, 2021

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/ Fantasy

Clarity’s paladin order forbids her from entering the Azure District, the one location in her high tech city that refuses paladin rule and technology. When she receives an illicit invitation to violate the prohibition, spurred on by rumors of suffering in the district, she passes through the crumbling brick entryway into no-man’s land. Within, she finds the residents lack not only the ocular implants and three dimensional computers she takes for granted, but also medicine to fight a disease infecting the children.

Clarity knows her order isn’t perfect—after all, they stole her from her parents when she was a small child to raise her with their values—but she cannot believe they know what’s going on in the Azure District. When she confronts the head of the order, he refuses to aid people who have rejected his help in the past, even the children. Unwilling to take no for an answer, Clarity enlists the help of the leader’s son Cass and takes matters into her own hands.

Desperate both to cure the children and keep her place in the order that is her only home, Clarity engages in increasingly questionable behavior—deleting official records, lying to her friends, and manipulating people who can help her. As the nefarious nature of her actions tarnishes the purity of her cause, she must determine what it truly means to be a paladin, in both name and action.

Excerpt

“Come on, Clarity!” Hope grabbed Clarity’s hand and dragged her down Londigium’s main thoroughfare. The bright glare of the morning sun glinted off the silver skyscrapers and made some of the light-up signs in the storefronts difficult to read. Nonetheless, Clarity could make out the image of a dress on the digital placard of Hope’s destination.

Clarity dodged to avoid running into some people going in the opposite direction from her. She tried to wrench her hand free of Hope’s grasp to give herself better maneuverability, figuring she could follow her friend’s gleaming, red-gold hair through the crowd, but Hope held tight. “Remind me again why we’re doing this? I don’t care about going to the gala, and I don’t see why I can’t just wear my official paladin armor.”

“I swear, for someone so invested in her career, you can be dense about the things you need to do to advance it.” Clarity’s other friend Zeal tossed her black braids over her shoulder as she gave Clarity a scathing glance. “You have two weeks left until the gala, and Hope has convinced Steady Threads to make an exception to their usual deadlines and take an order for your dress. Try to be a little grateful.”

“I’m a warrior.” Clarity cringed at the petulant tone in her voice but continued her line of argument anyway. “My job at the moment is just conducting training for the non-warrior paladins, but if and when I get promoted, I’m going to be a Citadel guard or a peacekeeper in the city. None of this has anything to do with looking pretty at a gala.”

“Do I have to remind you why you put that ‘if’ in there?” Zeal asked. “You beat out the Grand Conductor’s son during graduation trials for a position at the Citadel.” Zeal was right. Steadfastness Hughes ran the Order of the Amethyst Star, and he hated Clarity. “You need to go to the gala and do some networking among the other warriors to make yourself popular in other circles. Or at least look appropriate so as not give him an excuse to send you off to the boondocks and install his son in your place.”

“I know, I know. You’re right.” Clarity stumbled as Hope came to a sudden stop in front of the tailor’s shop. “I just feel more comfortable in my armor. The paladins already spent a lot of money getting us high-tech, retractable armor. I don’t see why they’re bothering to pay for dresses and tuxedos as well.”

“Because it would be ridiculous to try dancing at a ball with your armor clanking everywhere, and the purple microfiber bodysuits underneath are not nearly as flattering as you all think they are,” Hope said, her voice containing an uncharacteristic tartness. “Besides, don’t you want to look amazing enough that Valor regrets breaking up with you just because you beat him in that silly contest?”

“Don’t say that so loud.” Clarity glanced up and down the street, but no one she knew was nearby. “You guys are the only ones who know we broke up. Besides, I don’t think—”

Before Clarity could finish her sentence, a man ran into her, practically shoving her into the store’s forcefield window. She and her friends turned in sync to watch a man in a fine suit run past them, knocking the crowd aside to get through. Behind him came a pair of men in armor as shiny as Clarity’s own, sufficiently far behind that the recovering throng on the street would be an impediment. By the time the paladin peacekeeper she recognized as Diligence noticed her and called, “Stop that man!” Clarity was already racing after him as best she could.

The pursuant looked behind him and noticed a much closer paladin. With a curse, he tried to pick up speed, and when that failed, he turned a corner into what looked like a small alley. He must not know the city very well, Clarity thought. There’s an open air market on the other side of that building. He’s going to be easy to spot there.

Indeed, as she chased him between the skyscrapers, she could easily see his head bobbing amid the stalls. Realizing his mistake, he pushed over a table full of crates of apples, sending the green fruit rolling across the ground. Clarity didn’t miss a beat, leaping into the air above the overturned boxes and landing on her quarry in a tackle.

The crowd had erupted into shocked gasps at the chase, but as Clarity pulled the man to his feet and twisted his arms behind his back, the crowd burst into applause. She heard the word “Azurite” murmured a few times, so she glanced down at his chest and saw that he in fact wore the telltale diamond-shaped, blue patch that marked him as a resident of the city’s Azure District. Everyone knew the Azurites hated paladins and the order they represented so much that they refused paladin technology rather than follow paladin laws. Clarity had heard rumors that people in the walled-off part of the city lived in abject poverty, but the man standing in front of her looked well-fed and clothed.

Diligence and his partner jogged up behind Clarity. “Thanks for the assist,” Diligence said as he handcuffed the criminal. “We caught him trying to buy a slew of weapons on the black market. The dealer was smart enough to try to make a deal, but this idiot ran.”

Wow. Clarity had known she was chasing down a criminal, but she’d had no idea he was such a dangerous one.

“If you want paladin tech, all you have to do is submit to the laws of the city,” Diligence said to his prisoner. Then he turned to the farmer whose apple crates remained upside down on the ground. “If you file a report with the Citadel, the order will reimburse you for your damaged merchandise. We apologize for interfering with your business.”

Available

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About the Author

Author Pic

Elizabeth Corrigan has degrees in English and psychology and has spent several years working as a data analyst in various branches of the healthcare industry. When she’s not hard at work on her next novel, Elizabeth enjoys playing tabletop role-playing games and cooperative card games. She refuses to watch most internet videos and is pathologically afraid of bees. She lives in Maryland with two cats and a very active iphone.

Elizabeth Corrigan | Twitter | Facebook

 

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