Blog Tour and Author Interview for War of the Wilted by Amber Mitchell

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War of the Wilted (Garden of Thorns #2)

by Amber Mitchell

Publication Date: October 1, 2018

Publisher: Entangled Teen

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Like flowers denied water, people are wilting under the emperor’s tyranny.

Rose will not rest until the Gardener is dead. But there are bigger battles to fight, and Rayce—leader of the rebellion and the only man Rose has ever loved—believes their best chance at winning the war is to join forces with her sworn enemy.

Saving innocent people is more important than her quest for revenge. But their new ally can’t be trusted—and he knows her darkest secret. One betrayal could leave the war and Rayce’s life hanging in the balance, and Rose will need to make the ultimate sacrifice to save them all.

Giveaway Info:
• $25 Amazon Gift Card
Link to giveaway:
Author Interview

1. Tell us about your writing process. Do you aim for a daily word count, page count, or a couple of scenes each day?

 

I have a daily word count goal of 500 words. It is really low, but I like the ability to always hit my goal. It motivates me to write even on days when I am sick or feel like I can’t because I can hit 500 words almost any time. In reality, when I am under deadline, my usual goal is around 1,500 or more.

 

I used to have a whole routine I had to follow before I could write and everything around me had to be perfect but I’ve learned over time that it actually is just a waste of time and gives me a reason not to write. Now I sit down and do it whether the world around me is a mess or not.


2. What gave you the inspiration for your book? Is it part of a series?

 

War of the Wilted is the second book in the Garden of Thorns trilogy. For the first novel, I came up with the idea after seeing women dancing in long, flowing dresses and thinking they looked like flowers from an aerial view. I started to wonder what would happen if women were actually thought of as flowers and that’s when I came up with the idea for the Garden.

 

I found this second book intimidating to write and had a hard time finding inspiration until I started thinking about who Rose needed to be by the end of the series. I realized this book was her chance to get there. Thinking about her character arc helped me put the other pieces in place.


3. Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both?

 

I am a firm plotter. I used to write books without chapter outlines but I realized that left me with the excuse that I wasn’t going to write that day because I didn’t know where it was going. I can see how people wouldn’t like knowing everything about a book before going on, but I still find that there is a lot of discovery in the process. I love having a guideline so I can tell my progress and get excited about things to come. I never skip around when writing so I hold on to scenes I’m excited about like little rewards until I get to write them!


4. Do you prefer a certain type of music to listen to when you’re writing, or are you better with silence? 

 

I used to make detailed playlists for my books but now I prefer to listen to fantasy playlists on Youtube. They usually don’t have many lyrics to distract me and help me feel really epic. I can write in silence when I am really focused but it’s my least favorite thing to do.


5. What book(s) are you reading now?

 

I’m currently in the middle of reading Haven by Mary Lindsey and am really enjoying it! I love Rain’s voice. I’m also listening to Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas and it’s been a really enjoyable listen so far!


6. Anything else you’d like us to know about this book or any others (past or future)?

 

Well, as I mentioned, it’s the second book in a trilogy. I’m currently writing the third book now and it’s so bittersweet getting to the end of Rayce and Rose’s story. They have been a part of my life for such a long time now.

 

Thanks so much for having me on your blog!

About the Author

Amber Mitchell

Amber Mitchell was born and raised in a small town in Florida. After briefly escaping small town life by attending the University of South Florida where she earned her degree in Creative Writing, she decided to ditch traffic jams and move back to her hometown. There she writes Young Adult novels, usually with a bit of magic in them, rolls D20s with her friends on Thursday nights and enjoys hanging out with her husband and four cats. Her other job involves crafting cardstock in to 3D art and has allowed her to travel all over the US vending at comic conventions which has only increased her love for fantasy and fandoms. She is represented by Nikki Terpilowski of Holloway Literature

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Blog Tour and Giveaway for The Last Ghost by Jamie Blake

The Last Ghost

by Jamie Blake

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Release Date: October 1st 2018

Summary:

Christian Orland is dead, and everyone in his life is doing their best to understand what happened.

Especially Woe, the sixteenth Fatality, who knows that she was assigned the wrong case when she stopped his heart, but also knew she had to do it, or risk being destroyed herself.

Woe only handles expected death, and not many people expect to die in an accident. However, not many people have the history of Christian Orland. That history is now tormenting his brother Noah, the keeper of all of Christian’s dangerous secrets, his childhood friend Ellery, who he once swore he would love “until he died,” and his girlfriend Melissa, who can’t understand why she is the only person not haunted by ghosts.

Woe teams up with the Fatality who she thinks should have had Christian’s case, and the ghosts of Christian’s past to try to solve the mystery of how he ended up as her case. As they try to unravel some of Christian’s lies, they begin to uncover something far more sinister.

Together, the most important people in Christian’s life and death must work to restore order from the chaos his death caused in the lives of those who loved him, and in realms he could not imagine, before free will is lost forever.

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The Last Ghost excerpt:

The sixteenth Fatality was surprised to find herself on a bridge, but that was where her appointment book told her to go, and thus, that was where she went. Not that she had a choice either way, but she didn’t mind, she liked the order, the predetermination of things. Car after car drove by, and she watched them, looking closely, knowing all the while that they couldn’t see her. A little after eight in the morning, she noticed a car moving erratically on the bridge. She watched as the car seemed to spin, and then crashed through the wooden guard rail and into the water below. She looked over the edge of the bridge as the car; front end first, began to sink into the depths. She peered down the road, waiting for another car to come, some passerby to notice the broken guard rail, someone to help the passengers. After a few minutes passed, she began to wait for someone entirely different.

Knowing that too much time had gone by for there to be a legitimate chance of rescue, she floated down to where the car had entered the water, looking around expectantly for the twelfth Fatality to come and bring a life to an end. He didn’t come. She started to panic, aware of the pain the people in the car must feel. She felt the familiar pulse of the appointment book as the realization began to overtake her.

“This is wrong. This is not how it is supposed to be,” she murmured, as she dove into the water, passed through the passenger side door of the car, and gently took the right hand of the young man, unconscious and bleeding in the front seat. Her icy touch went up through the fingertips, up the arm, and across his chest as it stopped the faintly beating heart.

She pulled herself out of the water, dry, but still shivering, and walked back towards the bridge to wait. For a Fatality, she hated the process of death. She had heard that she did not have the glamorous part, that there were various other beings that could comfort humans. Beings whose presence was welcomed, as they said their last goodbyes, or made the pain stop. That was not her assignment. Eventually, sirens blaring, the rescue workers came, and it was with a dull throb that she realized they were already too late by the time that she got to the bridge that day.

She had three other appointments that morning, all in hospitals, which was where she normally lingered. She knew some of the other Fatalities who spent time in hospitals, but was not in the mood to socialize with them, to tell them about her terrible day. She never truly felt like one of them anyway. Instead, she knew where she had to go, she just didn’t want to visit that place.

Author Interview

1. What is your writing process? Do you aim for a word count daily or maybe just a scene?

A. This may be unusual, but I do not write every day. When I do sit down to write, I try to write about 1,000 words at a time. I don’t wait for inspiration, but I try to find time in my schedule, for two or three times a week. I try to put on music based on what I think my character might listen to help me get in the right mood and then I write.

For editing, I can’t recommend enough reading it out loud. That may be the only way it works for me.

2. What sort of research did you do for this book?

A. The biggest research I did was into the ICD-10 codes. In The Last Ghost there are 16 different fatalities, which are the embodiments of death, based on the cause of death. I had to learn a lot about the different official causes, and which are most likely to decide which cause would get which Fatality.

3. What are you working on now? Any chance of a sequel? I am currently working on a book about a championship winning high school girls’ basketball team, and whether you make your own luck—even bad luck.

I had always contemplated The Last Ghost as a stand-alone, but lately I have been thinking about a possible sequel.

4. How did you come up for the idea of your book?

The Last Ghost was actually inspired by an optical illusion. There’s an illusion called a subjective contour which is when your brain fills in the edge between things, even if there is nothing there. I was thinking of that as a metaphor for ghosts. At the same time, I had some tragic losses when I was a teenager, and I found there were not a lot of books that explored what I was feeling—that there was a mistake. Then, the Last Ghost sort of asks the question, what if Death thinks they made a mistake? So together, that question and the idea of the subjective contour created The Last Ghost.

5. Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked?) recently?

I love TV. My biggest recommendation for tv is The Good Place. I didn’t watch it in season 1 because I thought it was over-hyped. Turns out when they were saying it was the funniest thing on TV, they were correct, it is the funniest thing on TV.

About the Author

Jamie Blake writes smart books for young adults and teens. Born in Massachusetts, she is the third of four sisters, which by literary tradition makes her the bookish one. Jamie earned degrees in literature at the University of Rochester and public policy at Cornell University. She was an elementary school teacher in North Carolina before moving to Upstate New York, where she lives with her family, including identical twin cats. The Last Ghost coming October 1, 2018 from 50/50 press is her first novel.

Author Links:  

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Blog Tour and Author Guest Post for Wolf of the Tesseract by Christopher D. Schmitz

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Wolf of the Tesseract (Wolves of the Tesseract #1)

Release Date: July 2016

Black Rose Writing

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Summary:

In a world underneath our own reality, magic & science are two sides of the same coin. After merging with her copy from an alternate reality, college student Claire Jones is thrust into a setting beyond imagine and must fight alongside Zabe, an inter-dimensional guardian. Together they must stop an evil warlock from shattering the laws of existence who, above all else, seeks Claire’s blood as the key to controlling the all-powerful Tesseract.

As they flee his wrath, Claire must decide what her romantic feelings for her protector mean… apocalypse-bringing sorcerers aside, Claire’s mission is to rescue the woman Zabe loves… even if Claire has likewise fallen for the selfless soldier.

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Purchase Links

Book 1:

https://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Tesseract-Wolves-Book-ebook/dp/B07CMG6YWQ

Book 2:

https://www.amazon.com/Through-Darque-Gates-Wolves-Tesseract-ebook/dp/B07D83RNS8

Join author’s mailing list to immediately get a free copy of the prequel comic book delivered instantly: http://eepurl.com/b6phYn

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1XQR2JMT78&w=560&h=315

Author Guest Post:

Writing Process

There are two major types of writers: those who plot and those who write by the seat of their pants.

I used to be a “pantser” and just write without any restrictions… after my first novel ended at almost 175000 words I realized that “restriction free” also meant “with no direction,” for the most part. I became something of an outliner as my writing evolved and became a “plotter.” During the editing phase I realized that I needed to go back through and form an outline anyway to help keep revisions coherent. An outline at the beginning seemed far more helpful. If I had to write one regardless, I figured, I might as well start with it (and I could always deviate from it if necessary.) About two years ago I picked up Scrivener, mainly for its notecard/outlining options, and I’ve loved every bit of it.

Most weeks I set writing goals for myself and post them on my Monday blog. It helps keep me on task, although I wish I had more dedicated time to sit down and write, but my day-job keeps me busy. In the future, I may have to prioritize and protect some of my time better, especially as I head into a new draft of a major project (being edited by SF legend Timothy Zahn’s editor/son, Corwin.) Bouts of productivity seem to come in great spurts for me, usually depending on the season. I write more in the colder months and spend May through October at comics, SF, and lit conventions doing face-to-face sales and promotion, so that makes me shift gears for a period.

Productive authors develop a routine for their writing. Do whatever works! I know I sometimes have an obsessive personality—I channel that into writing. For one of my stories, I used that same compulsion and wrote about a novelist whose drive spiraled out of control (One Star). At one point he woke from a fugue and realized he had covered every wall of his home in ink—and everything he wrote turned out to be true… and horrible. I wrote the 20k word novella in a couple days. When I write longer books I try to keep more manageable goals like writing a chapter or two (or so many pages/words) per week. Knowing how you will define/measure success is the real key.

About the Author

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Christopher D. Schmitz is the traditionally published and self-published author of both fiction and nonfiction. When he is not writing or working with teenagers he might be found at comic conventions as a panelist or guest. He has been featured on cable access television broadcasts, metro area podcasts, and runs a blog for indie authors.

Always interested in stories, media such as comic books, movies, 80s cartoons, and books called to him at a young age—especially sci-fi and fantasy. He lives in rural Minnesota with his family where he drinks unsafe amounts of coffee. The caffeine shakes keeps the cold from killing them. His entire family is musically gifted, although he is, sadly, their only bagpiper.

Education: Schmitz also holds a Master’s Degree in Religion and freelances for local newspapers. He is available for speaking engagements, interviews, etc. via the contact form and links on his website or via social media.

Author Links:

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GIVEAWAY:

16 prizes up for grabs! Sign up for the Author’s Newsletter to enter: http://eepurl.com/dF_J2z

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YA Bound Book Tours

 

Book Tour for It Takes Death to Reach a Star and Guest Post by author Gareth Worthington

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Guest Post by author Gareth Worthington

First off, let’s get the advertisement piece out of the way. My latest novel, co-written with Stu Jones, It Takes Death to Reach a Star, is currently kicking butt. At the time of writing, we have won the New York Book Festival 2018 sci fi category, been shortlisted for Chanticleer’s Cygnus award and are on the official finalist’s ballot for a Dragon Award (set up to be an alternative to the Hugo Award). It’s also in development for TV/film with Vesuvian Media and Boilermaker Entertainment – founded by the director/producers of the famous CSI TV series franchise.

 

Stu and I are as happy as clams.

 

That said, today, I am going to talk about something not so happy, very real and pertinent to the book and me: mental health.

 

For those of you who have not read the book, it is told from two points of view in first person present tense. Stu wrote Mila (named after my daughter) – a tough, badass character who survived the slums. She’s witty and cool and readers across the board have spouted their love for her. Understandably.

 

I wrote Demitri. He’s part of an elite race, a quiet scientist, a little afraid, and very tortured inside – mostly due to an evil voice in his head called Vedmak. Readers are often split on whether they like Demitri, some saying they wished he was brave or stronger, some wishing to give him a big hug; yet these same readers all love Vedmak, who for all intents and purposes is a complete [insert expletive here]. Vedmak is viscous and evil to the core.

Here’s the important bit that perhaps these same readers miss: Vedmak only works, because Demitri is meek.

 

Let me back up.

 

Demitri was born of two things. Firstly, he is the product of my own condition: Borderline Personality Disorder. While symptoms vary, those that manifest in me include: frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment; splitting (“black-and-white” thinking), self-damaging behavior (suicide), and distorted self-image. The cause of BPD can vary; however, mine can be traced back to an abused childhood. My father was very mentally and physically abusive and we lived in social housing in a very bad neighborhood for twenty years. This latter piece, is Vedmak.*

 

When writing a character like Demitri, I wanted him to be very real. Equally, I wanted readers to feel the evil that is Vedmak. For Vedmak – or any bully – to have power, the bullied have to be weak. And so, writing what I know, I endowed Demitri with all of the inner doubts and fears and struggles that have plagued me for a good chunk of my own life. And for Vedmak, I drew on the years of mental torture from my father (and surrounding environment). Like Vedmak, my father only had power, because I was weak then.

I’m not writing this to garner sympathy or tell a sob story. I have my BPD under control for the most part, and I have spent more than thirty years building myself a very nice life. I’m good! Instead, I hope people read Demitri and understand a little better what it is like to doubt yourself every day and suffer at the hands of a bully.

 

Everyone would like to believe that they would be strong in the face of adversity – but for some, that choice just isn’t as easy. For some, the ultimate goal of feeling good in our skin seems just so far away. For some, it may very well take death to reach a star.

 

*Disclaimer: Vedmak plays a HUGE role in the book, beyond his torturing Demitri. He is also not my father so you’re allowed to like him!

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It Takes Death to Reach a Star

By Stu Jones & Gareth Worthington

Genre: Sci Fi, dystopian, apocalyptic

THE WORLD YOU KNOW IS DEAD. WE DID THIS TO OURSELVES.

The epidemic struck at the end of the Third World War. Fighting over oil, power, and religion, governments ignored the rise of an anti-bacterial-resistant plague. In just five years, the Earth was
annihilated. Only one city survived—Etyom—a frozen hell-hole in northern Siberia, still engulfed in conflict.

The year is 2251.

Two groups emerged from the ashes of the old world. Within the walled city of Lower Etyom, dwell the Robusts—descendants of the poor who were immune to The New Black Death. Above them, in a metropolis of pristine platforms called Lillipads, live the Graciles—the progeny of the super-rich; bio-engineered to resist the plague.

Mila Solokoff is a Robust who trades information in a world where knowing too much can get you killed. Caught in a deal-gone-bad, she’s forced to take a high-risk job for a clandestine organization hell-bent on revolution.

Demitri Stasevich is a Gracile with a dark secret—a sickness that, if discovered, will surely get him Ax’d. His only relief is an illegal narcotic produced by the Robusts, and his only means of obtaining it is a journey to the arctic hell far below New Etyom.

Thrust together in the midst of a sinister plot that threatens all life above and below the cloud line, Mila and Demitri must master their demons and make a choice—one that will either salvage what’s left of the human race, or doom it to extinction…

 

Praise for ITDTRAS

 

“… merging the best of apocalyptic fiction and science fiction… compelling.” ~ Library Journal

 

“Cinematic, thought provoking, and immersive, this is an option for fans of darker, grittier, and more science-focused dystopias in the manner ​of the novels of Philip K. Dick.” ~ Booklist

 

“… I cannot fathom how Stu Jones and Gareth Worthington created this masterpiece.” ​~ Readers’ Favorite

 

“…this new series has the potential to render popular franchises like the Hunger Games, the Maze Runner, and Divergent as mere forerunners in the genre.” ~jathanandheather.com

 

About Gareth Worthington

Gareth

Gareth Worthington BSc PhD is a trained marine biologist and also holds a doctorate in comparative endocrinology. Currently, Gareth works full time for the pharmaceutical industry helping to educate the world’s doctors on new cancer therapies. His debut novel, Children of the Fifth Sun, won in the Science Fiction category at the London Book Festival 2017. He has a number of passions, including: martial arts (he trained in Muay Thai at the prestigious EVOLVE MMA gym in Singapore), studying ancient history, and most of all writing fiction. Born in England, Gareth resides in Switzerland.

About Stu Jones

Stu

Stu Jones has served full time as a law enforcement officer for twelve years. Over the course of his career he has worked as an investigator, an instructor teaching SWAT close quarters and defensive tactics, and as a member and team leader of a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team. He is also trained and qualified as a law enforcement SWAT sniper, as well as in hostage rescue and high-risk entry tactics. He is an Eagle Scout, a lifelong martial artist, and an avid outdoorsman.

http://www.ittakesdeathtoreachastar.com/

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrGWorthington

On Amazon: https://amzn.to/2uoafnV

On B&N: https://bit.ly/2KZbBjg

On Kobo: https://bit.ly/2NUczLy

 

BOOK EXCERPT

Chapter One: MILA

No matter how badly I want it to be different this time, in the end I still die.
     We all do.
     I lie on the cot, cold sweat clinging to my skin, arms raised to my face, stuck like a marionette tangled in its own strings. The dream feels so real. Another breath—count it out. In, two, three, four. Out, two, three, four. My heart slows, my mind no longer caught in the grip of the terrifying dream: a battle in which I play a critical role, yet I’m no soldier. This nightmare stalks me night after night, and even though I know I’m dreaming, I’m powerless to prevent the inevitablethe coming of Death.
     The alarm on my personal electronic device, or PED, chirrups three times: 05:00. Not much sleep during the dark hours, again. I squeeze my shoulders, rubbing away the dull, muscular ache, and try to remember the fading embrace of a brother who now feels far away. A deep breath in, a slow exhale out. Get up already, Mila.
     The frigid floor stings my bare feet. I shrug into a few less-than-clean garments and pull on my boots. The stale smell of the attire fills my throat. A shiver crawls across my skin. Sard, it’s cold. Gotta find something warmer. After rummaging through a pile of soiled clothes that lie in the corner of my room, I pull out a short leather jacket, its collar lined with fur—though from what animal is unclear. Shaking it hard a few times, I stare at the fur lining. I know the lice are in there somewhere. No time to try and clean it now. The jacket slips over my shoulders, the ice-cold collar snugging up around my neck. It stinks like dead rat.
     My PED and my precious collection of writings go into my satchel, carefully so as not to crush the worn old picture that lies at the bottom. I fish out the faded image of Zevry and me. I can be no more than eight-years old in this photo. He’s grinning, as usual, with one arm wrapped around my shoulder. It was taken more than twenty years ago—yet little seems to have changed. Still have roughly cut short hair, now with a streak of color in the front. Still have a lean, almost boyish frame—though I’ve added some piercings and tattoos over the years in an attempt to distinguish myself. And then of course there’s my scar—cutting its pink path across my forehead and left eye. Slashed deep into my face not long after this picture was taken, it’s a permanent reminder you don’t walk the streets alone in a place like Etyom.
     No time for this. I stuff the picture back into my satchel and head out the door without locking it. Anything worth stealing is already on me—and it wouldn’t take much to force the door to my closet-sized room anyway.
     My boots creak on the rickety stairs leading into the bar below. It’s quiet now, a far cry from the bedlam hours earlier. Smoke hangs lazily in the air, like the memory of an old ghost.
     “Come on, Clief.” I cough. “How do you breathe this stuff night after night?”
     The man at the bar raises his head but continues to wipe down the counter. “Oh, it’s not that bad. Sorta like burning plastic.” He offers a tired smile. “Off so early?”
     “Every day.” Still pinching my nose and squinting, I make my way toward the door. “I’m serious. Get some fresh air in here. That botchi is going to scramble what’s left of your tiny brain.”
     He huffs out a laugh. “And that out there? That’s where you get the fresh air?”
     “You know what I mean.”
     As I push open the door, the wind hits me like a frozen punch in the mouth. Going out in this icy hell never gets easier. The streets are dark and cold, shadows upon shadows concealing the horrors of Etyom. It’s hard to believe this place was once considered a haven. Long ago, it was a vast, sprawling gulag-turned-mining community called Norilsk. Between World War III and the New Black Death, nearly nine billion people around the world lost their lives. Those who were left fled their homes and cities in search of someplace safer. For many, this barren hell hole was it. The conflict hadn’t fully destroyed the city, and the New Black Death struggled to take hold in the brutal Siberian climate. Survival was possible here.
     A mass migration followed; the Russian government was helpless to stop it. Outside Norilsk, organized social structure, atleast the way people understood it then, gasped its final dying breath. And then, silence. Communications with the outside world went dark. Zev said anyone who hadn’t died in the war succumbed to the New Black Death. It was then everyone here knew they were truly alone. They chose to isolate themselves, even renamed the city Etyom. My brother and I weren’t born for another few hundred years, the descendants of those who fought to survive. We’re fighters, Mil. Survivors. Nothing can keep us down. That’s why we’re called Robusts. But then why didn’t you come home to me, brother?
     I pull the jacket closer around my neck. Bilgi’s place is only a block away, and it’s a good thing, too, because with average temps below zero, the wind is cutting through me like a razor. I half run, half walk, down the quiet street, torn between wanting to get there fast and not wanting to bust my tail on the ice.
     Six raps with my knuckles in the practiced manner and the rickety door immediately opens. Bilgi waits inside. His simple place is lit by a single oil lamp. It’s barren and less than inviting, but I’m not here to be pampered.
     “Love me so much, you just wait for me by the door now?”
     “If you would rather stand on the stoop a little longer, then be my guest,” he answers in a clipped tone, ushering me in.
     “Come on, let’s do it already. I need to get my blood pumping.”
     The words are barely out of my mouth, my arms still stuck in the sleeves of my jacket, when he lunges forward. I see it coming, but the impact still throttles me as Bilgi’s heavy hands encircle my neck and drive me against the wall. My hair scatters across my face. Bring it, old man. The jacket comes free, and with a flurry of punches and a swift roundhouse kick to Bilgi’st high, I drive him back.

 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Author Interview for Passage by Indie Gantz

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This is my stop on the Blog Tour for: Passage by Indie Ganz. This tour will run from September 3rd to 7th. Check out the tour schedule here.

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Passage (The Akasha Series #1)
by Indie Gantz
Genre: YA Scifi

Fantasy
Release Date: March 2018

Summary:

Uncover a Lifetime of Lies in this Fantasy Adventure!

On day one, Charlie Damuzi and her mute twin brother Tirigan are blissfully unaware of the dangerous world they live in. They may be aliens living on Earth after the extinction of humans, but to Charlie, life is pretty mundane.

On day two, the Damuzi family is ripped apart by a family secret that forces the twins to flee the only home they’ve ever known.

Determined to find a way to reunite their family, Charlie and Tirigan travel to uncharted territory in search of their salvation.

But that’s just Charlie’s side of the story.

In the future, forty days from when we first meet the Damuzi twins, Tirigan is on the move. His destination is unknown, as are the people he’s surrounded himself with, but his mission is still the same.

Keep his sister safe and reunite their family.

However, as Tirigan attempts to navigate the complex bonds he’s formed with his companions, he’s forced to confront the one thing in life he has yet to fully understand.

Himself.

Family. Deception. Power. Destruction.

It all begins on day one.

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If you’ve recently finished Passage, the first book in The Akasha Series, chances are you’re desperate to start the second book! Picking up right where Passage left off, Kindred: Book II of The Akasha Series will see Charlie and Tirigan’s timelines merge. By the end of the second book, a burning mystery will be solved and more than one relationship begins to unravel.
Friendship. Trust. Dependency. Lies.
The Damuzi Twin’s Story Continues
Author Interview:
  1. What is your writing process? Do you aim for a word count daily or maybe just a scene?

Typically, I like to write scene by scene. As I’m writing, I will play out the scene multiple ways in my head and then go back and edit it so it is consistent and fluid. I could never go by word count because cutting myself off like that would inhibit my creative process. However, the downside is that sometimes I’ll go days without writing, because I don’t have the scene in my head yet.

  1. What sort of research did you do for this book?

I read up on Anunnaki and Sumerian history and mythology. I also boned up on my basic science knowledge since the series discusses  geology, chemistry, physics, and biology.

  1. What are you working on now? Any chance of a sequel?

Currently, I am reading the proof for Kindred: Book II of The Akasha Series. The release date is currently set for February 1st of 2019. I am also working on the third book, as well as the first companion piece novella that serves as a character profile for one character.

  1. How did you come up for the idea of your book?

I’ve always really enjoyed both science fiction and fantasy novels, and wanted to create something that could serve as a genre crossover. The most important aspect of my series is the characters, so I spent time developing the main characters first. The story formed as a sort of subversive narrative of popular YA tropes. From there, I’ve followed the characters and the stories they have to tell.

  1. Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked?) recently?

Most recently I’ve watched the Netflix documentary series Wild Wild Country, the first season of USA’s The SInner, and binged the latest season of Orange is the New Black. The most recent movies I’ve enjoyed were Hard Candy, The Greatest Showman, and A Quiet Place.

 

About the Author:

indie2bgantzIndie Gantz grew up in Northern Virginia and received her Psychology degree at George Mason University. Despite her passion and curiosity for the human mind, Indie left her chosen field of study to finally give voice to the many imagined minds she has created.
Indie lives with her family in North Carolina. She spends her days drinking tea and clacking keys.

Author Links:

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Blog Tour for Butterfly Blood (Metamorphosis #2) by Rebecca L. Carpenter

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bb22bnew2bcoverButterfly Blood (Metamorphosis #2)
by Rebecca L. Carpenter
Genre: YA Sci-fi
Release Date: August 2018
Lakewater Press

Summary:

A sixteen-year-old girl who cheated death continues her fight for survival as she goes up against real-life monsters, desperate for her unique blood, while risking everything to reunite with the love of her life, who is battling his own soul-sucking demons.

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Buy on Amazon (ON SALE for $0.99 from August 27th – 31st): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DYLLVDX/

Butterfly Bones (Metamorphosis #1) on Goodreads

BUTTERFLY BONES AMAZON US (FREE from August 27-31): https://www.amazon.com/Butterfly-Bones-Coming-Age-METAMORPHOSIS-ebook/dp/B01M1E9854/

BUTTEFLY BONES B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/butterfly-bones-rebecca-carpenter/1124807692?ean=9780994451170

Book One:
Butterfly Bones (Metamorphosis #1)
Release Date: November 2016

Summary:

Bethany should be dead, just like the doctors predicted.

But along came the butterflies, altering the order of nature.

And now nature is hell bent on revenge.

Because when fate’s path is disrupted, it’s only a matter of time before balance must be restored.

 

About the Author
rebecca2bauthor2bphotoRebecca Carpenter is a native of western Colorado. She is married with two grown children and has been blessed with four amazing grandchildren. She owns and directs a large childcare center where she shares her love for books. In her spare time, she freelances as a copy editor, helping others attain their writing dreams. She finds solace and clarity while spending time with her husband exploring the beautiful mountains of Colorado.

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Book Tour and Author Interview for Morgan is Missing (Kayla Falk Series #2) by K. Hanson

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Morgan is Missing (Kayla Falk Series #2)
by K. Hanson
Genre: Adult/New Adult Thriller
Release Date: August 2018

Summary:

Kayla Falk is trying to move past the traumatic events of her mission in Syria and settle into a comfortable engineering job. However, when Morgan Bellamy, the younger sister of Kayla’s late best friend, disappears while on vacation, Kayla doesn’t hesitate to jump into action to find her. As Kayla investigates, she learns that Morgan has become trapped in a hellish human trafficking situation. Kayla is determined to find Morgan before she slips into the shadows forever.

Content Warning: This book is about sex trafficking. While I avoid explicit, graphic depictions of sexual violence, due to the nature of the subject matter, it is definitely implied that it takes place.

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Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D5JT6WL/

The Azrael Initiative (Kayla Falk Series #1) on Goodreads

Author Interview

  1. Tell us about your writing process. Do you aim for a daily word count, page count, or a couple of scenes each day?

When I’m in drafting mode, I typically shoot for 2,000 to 3,000 words per day. Once I’m really up to speed, I can do 3,000 words in a little over an hour. That may sound a bit crazy, but it takes work to get to that point. I make sure to set aside a consistent time each day to write. For me, that means doing it in the morning before work. If I do it before work, that means I don’t get derailed by a tiring day at work or something that comes up afterward. I also write by using sprints, starting with 5 minutes and working my way up to 30 minutes. During these sprints, I focus on nothing but getting as many words on the page as possible. No checking Facebook, phone, email, etc. I also turn off my internal editor and just go. I find that this helps with both the efficiency and quality of my writing, as I get into the groove of the book and just let the story flow out of me.

  1. What gave you the inspiration for your book? Is it part of a series?

Yes, Morgan is Missing is the second book in a series, but can be read without reading the first book. With this series, I want to both entertain and educate the reader. After the first book featured the conflict with ISIS, I wanted to tackle something closer to home with the second. That led me to choose human trafficking as an under-discussed but critical issue right here in the United States.

  1. Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both?

I’m becoming more and more of a plotter, as it guarantees that I don’t miss anything important in the plot and it helps me write more efficiently since I know exactly where the story is going. The funny thing is that Morgan is Missing is my most “pantsed” book, then I went on to draft the next book in my fantasy series and that was the most heavily planned book so far. Having done both ways back to back, I definitely prefer to be a plotter.

  1. Do you prefer a certain type of music to listen to when you’re writing, or are you better with silence?

Listening to the right music is an important part of my writing process, as it helps me achieve the right mood for whatever scene I happen to be writing. For Morgan is Missing, the playlist I used while writing is fairly haunting and sad, as fits the subject matter of human trafficking. I won’t go through the whole list, but I will name a few highlights. Topping the list is a beautiful cover of Sweet Child O’ Mine that fits the mood. I also have some of Johnny Cash’s slower songs, some chilling violin covers of various songs, and classical music that fit.

If you want to listen to the full playlist, you can see it here:

https://open.spotify.com/user/122228527/playlist/4zsZZ373w9Zd5G0aGDkR8x?si=W7FudbDtS0eO_UXP5Njxlw

  1. What book(s) are you reading now?

Right now, I’m working my way through the Dresden Files series and am loving it!

  1. Anything else you’d like us to know about this book or any others (past or future)?

Morgan is Missing is a pretty heavy book, considering the subject matter of human trafficking. If you want something a bit lighter as a chaser, you can check out my fantasy novel, Storm Raven, which is the first in a series starring a badass, sassy pirate captain. The second book in that series is with my editor now and will likely be out early next year.

About the Author

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K lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he works as a software developer. In his spare time, when he isn’t writing, he enjoys reading, working out, playing video games, and spending time with his wonderful fiancee, Bobbi. Some of his favorite authors are Tom Clancy, George R. R. Martin, and Sarah Maas.

Author Links:

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Book Tour and Author Interview for The Girl on Camera by Morgan Dun-Campbell

The Girl on Camera banner

This is my stop during the blog tour for The Girl on Camera by Morgan Dun-Campbell. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 6 till 26 August. See the tour schedule here.

The Girl on CameraThe Girl on Camera

By Morgan Dun-Campbell

Genre: Thriller

Age category: New adult, Adult

Release Date: March 14, 2018

Blurb:

Reality TV is about to get real…

“Are you ready to win the heart of the nation? Compete with seven other contestants for the cash prize? Change your life forever?”

Twenty-six-year old Rory Stevens is thrilled to be selected as one of eight contestants for new reality show: The Retreat.

However, on the second day of filming – during a televised broadcast from the show’s host – all power shuts off with no explanation: leaving the contestants, quite literally, in the dark.

Completely stranded, it is now up to Rory and her seven companions to figure out what is happening.

And then one of them disappears…

For fans of Naomi Alderman, Dave Eggers and John Marrs.

Excerpt

He leans forward again, and shakes his head. ‘I knew this would happen.’

‘Knew what?’

‘That you couldn’t go through with this. And you see, this is your problem. You’re acting as though you need to make some grand gesture, because this,’ he jabs his finger down on the tablecloth, ‘this is the risk. You and me, moving in together. And you can’t handle it. Because you never take risks. You just keep your head down, hope for the best. You’re scared of getting out of the comfort zone, and you always have been. All this talk of doing something spontaneous, seizing the moment – you know what? It’s all bullshit. I know you. You’ll attempt to try something new, maybe go to a cookery class on your own where you have to share a mixing bowl with the person next to you, and in a couple of weeks or so, when you’ve gotten bored of trying to find a new hobby, you’ll call me. And we’ll have wasted a perfectly good evening right here, right now. This is a Michelin restaurant, you know.’ He opens the menu again, scanning his finger down the options. ‘The mushroom risotto is supposed to be delicious.’

I can’t take this.

‘David. Please. You aren’t listening. Nobody is, that’s the point.’ I draw my chair out noisily, people from other tables glance over momentarily, before resuming their conversations. ‘I feel like I’m being suffocated. And if you can’t take me seriously, then we shouldn’t be together at all.’

I am gathering my handbag, when to my alarm, he reaches over and seizes my arm.

‘Rory. If you really are being serious, then I hope you remember this moment, over the coming weeks and months. We have a good thing, here. I can’t guarantee I’ll be there for you if you end up sorry for what you’ve wished for.’

‘I’ll be fine. Please let go of me.’ I steel my voice, waiting for him to let go.

His eyes darken, and he presses his lips into a thin white line.

‘Fine.’ He promptly lets go. I gather my handbag, brush strands of hair away from my face.

‘I’m sorry, David. I know you think this is just some momentary freak out, but it isn’t,’ I tell him. ‘But I’m sure you’ll make someone else very happy.’ He slowly shakes his head, then points at me, a strange smirk on his face.

‘Remember this moment. You’re always running, dear. Too scared to take a risk.’

*

By the time I get back to my flat after hailing a taxi, the emotions of the night have caught up to me. I pace the room, David’s words fresh in my mind. Never before has it felt so like a cell.

Too scared to take a risk? It wasn’t the reaction I’d expected from him at all.

I make myself a mug of Earl Grey, then sit at my laptop. Has it always been so quiet? The ticking of the wall clock is my only company.

I check my emails.

And there it is again. That one, tantalising message, staring at me from my inbox.

Bored of everyday life? Dream of being rich? Famous?

My mouse hovers over it. Of course, it could easily be a Trojan virus. But so what if it is? Isn’t that a risk that I am taking, David?

I click on the email.

THE RETREAT: A REALITY SHOW WITH A TWIST

Big Brother? Too tame. I’m A Celebrity? Outdated. What do we want? A cutting-edge new show to push the boundaries!

In five weeks, Channel 10 will be broadcasting our brand new show The Retreat live to the nation – will you be the one to seize the opportunity of a lifetime?

Eight contestants, four male, four female, will be carefully handpicked and taken to our secret location. The experience will include group tasks for the contestants – which may result in punishments or rewards – and a cash prize of £50,000 up for grabs – as well as earning the heart of the nation.

Do you dare to audition? Can you entertain an audience? Have you got a game-plan for the cash prize?

Auditions are being held in London on the 25th of September, as well as the 1st of October in Manchester the following week: click below for post code and directions.

DISCLAIMER: Boring people need not apply

There’s a video link, too. Caught up in the moment, I go ahead and click on it.

At first the screen is black. Then there is the scratching noise of a match being struck across the sandpaper edge of a matchbox, and an orange flame flickers on screen. Two slender fingers with purple nail polish are illuminated by the glow. The hand moves forward and a stunning woman’s face comes into view, with high cheekbones, light blue eyes and white blonde hair. She wears dark purple lipstick to match the nails.

‘Guys, I’ve got a secret,’ she whispers, and the flame flickers some more. Her eyebrows are raised high, and her breaths are short and fast. I assume frightened excitement is what she is going for. ‘But I haven’t got much time,’ she carries on, and she looks to the match for a moment. ‘This is the hottest show around and word about it is catching on fast. We are ready to make television history. We just need you.’ She is so mesmerising, I get that impression radio DJs are always trying to perfect, that she really is speaking just to me.

The flame is getting ever closer to her hand.

‘Are you ready to win the heart of the nation? Compete with seven other contestants for the cash prize? Change your life forever? This is a once in a lifetime chance. But you need to be in it to win it. Ever felt like spicing up life?’ I think of the spiced candles rack. ‘Are you ready to take a risk?’ Now I’m getting goose bumps.  ‘Great, cause we’re waiting for you,’ I almost expect her to finish the sentence with my name. ‘So hurry up, before it’s too –’ just when the flame is almost touching the skin of her thumb and index finger, she blows out the match. A second later THE RETREAT appears on screen in white, and flickers, lines and blotches covering the screen, like an old-fashioned film reel.

So here I am. Filling out an application.

As I say, and as David agreed, I don’t take risks.

But there’s a first time for everything. After all, what have I got to lose?

You can find The Girl on Camera on Goodreads

You can buy The Girl on Camera on Amazon

Morgan Dun-Campbell

Author Interview
  1. Tell us about your writing process. Do you aim for a daily word count, page count, or a couple of scenes each day?

In terms of the writing process, I think the most important thing is to keep things ticking over. Some days you might write 4,000 words, other just 100. Writing should be an organic process, and I feel that – for me personally – setting a rigid structure for exactly how much to write, each and every day, disrupts the nature of it. I have gone for days on end without writing, and then will suddenly find myself writing 15,000 words in a couple of days. It’s important to live your life in the moment, because experiences are always invaluable sources of inspiration – particularly when it comes to drawing out a character’s emotional reaction. So, although in the past, I have tried to make the process more systematic, it never seems to work. Writing is just too random: as is life. Maybe I am fortunate that I have been writing since childhood, so it’s a hardwired habit now. But, I would advise to let it flow naturally, otherwise your story could suffer.

  1. What gave you the inspiration for your book? Is it part of a series?

This is a good question. I came up with the idea several years ago, when I was just thirteen. So it’s tricky to say what sparked the inspiration at the time. I know I’d watched that year’s Big Brother (fortunately I don’t watch it now), perhaps a movie set in the woods also left a strong impression? Often my ideas come to me subconsciously, there’s no clear external source. For example, for my current novel, the premise came to me, quite literally, in a dream – which has never happened to me before. I woke up, acknowledged it was a really interesting idea, and quickly jotted it down. Over the years, I’ve accumulated several novel ideas, trying to make them as imaginative as possible, and this is one of them. It’s a story I’ve been drawn to time and again, in-between working on other literary projects, because I still believe the premise to be fairly unique.

  1. Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both?

Definitely bit of both. I think an author should certainly know the bare skeleton of the story – and should have an ending in mind (while also considering that this could change, depending on how the story develops). But, for me personally, I don’t transcribe each and every scene, because you need to give your characters room to breathe, and behave naturally – and you don’t always know what they will say or do, until you’re actually writing that scene. I always start with a premise, which is asking the question: ‘what if?’ So, in this case: ‘what if, you were a constant on a reality show, but something went wrong? All power shut off, and you were stranded without any idea as to why?’ Then there’s the protagonist. I always spend a while getting to know my protagonist, because they are selling the story to the reader. There are some exercises you can use, e.g. describing their bedroom, because the items a person keeps in their room says a lot about their personality. Then, they should always have some fear, or weakness, which they will have to face/come to terms with, during the novel’s climax. After that, I write the first few thousands words, letting inspiration come naturally. At this point, I’m generally mentally jumping ahead, and am brainstorming as I go along. But I do make myself stop, jot down the ending, have a clear idea of a beginning, middle and end, the ‘midway mirror moment’ halfway through the book, and what my protagonist’s main goal is throughout the novel.

  1. Do you prefer a certain type of music to listen to when you’re writing, or are you better with silence? 

Often, I will assign a song to a certain book – I’m not sure if other readers do this! When I first start reading a new novel that has me gripped, I’ll play a few songs, until I find one that fits the book’s ambience, and then play that on repeat. So, for example: The Secret History is paired with Oasis’ Supersonic. I would like to add that I am not normally a fan of Oasis, and wouldn’t have thought these two would fit. But, for me personally, they are now associated with each other. Other examples: The Girl on the Train is paired with Sia’s Cheap Thrills (but not the version feat. Sean Paul!) There is something haunting about the musical accompaniment of Cheap Thrills which works really well with that book. Because I should add, the pairings rarely have anything to do with the song lyrics. I also associate the song Lucky Man by The Verve with Stephen King’s 11/22/63, because of the sense of wonder and adventure in both the song, and the premise of the book. (FYI, this is an excellent King book – and it isn’t horror, it’s science fiction). There are also songs I associate with my own books. And, yes, I listen to music when writing, though not always. But I find it helpful to have certain songs I associate with the story. There are three songs connected with The Girl on Camera, but I’ll just share one of them: the song Crazy by Seal – which is most commonly known from the film The Devil Wears Prada.

  1. What book(s) are you reading now?

I’ve just started Force of Nature by Jane Harper, after thoroughly enjoying her brilliant crime debut The Dry, which won several awards. I’m also reading literary novel The English Patient, which has just won the Golden Man Booker prize. I generally lean more towards commercial fiction rather than literary, although I did recently read literary novel Call Me By Your Name, as the movie adaptation was my favourite film of last year. It was very well-written, but personally I preferred The Dry, which was utterly compelling, with fully fleshed-out characters, and a genuinely unpredictable ‘whodunnit’. I also enjoy non-fiction, and Carlo Rovelli’s Reality is Not What it Seems is currently top of my TBR pile.

  1. Anything else you’d like us to know about this book or any others (past or future)?

Certainly! I always try to make sure the novels I am working on have a unique premise. I don’t want to follow a tried-and-tested formula for a certain genre, though I know this can work for others. So, I hope you will look out for my future novels, if you enjoy The Girl on Camera, because you should discover a unique concept each time. My novels are also always fairly grounded in reality, but with a twist: because I love the union of the familiar with the abstract. I would never set a book on another planet, for example. I think real-world scenarios are fascinating enough. Also, I consider all my books to be set in the same ‘universe’: that is, some characters may feature in other books, too. For example, with the novel I am currently working on, one of the main characters is a friend of a friend of one of the contestants from The Girl on Camera.

About the Author:

Morgan Dun-Campbell lives in London. She has an MA (Distinction) in Creative Writing and Publishing, has participated in two Arvon literary writing courses, and has worked as an intern for numerous publishing houses, including Penguin Random House and Bloomsbury. The Girl on Camera is her first novel.

You can find and contact Morgan Dun-Campbell here:

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Giveaway

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of The Girl on Camera. Five winners will each win a prize bundle including a signed copy of the book The Girl on Camera, a bookmark, and a small box of Celebrations. Giveaway is UK and US only.

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Blog Tour for The Azrael Initiative (Kayla Falk Series #1) by K. Hanson

The Azrael Initiative (Kayla Falk Series #1)
by K. Hanson
Genre: Adult/New Adult Thriller
Release Date: March 2017

Summary:

Best friends Kayla Falk, an engineering student, and Olivia Bellamy, who is studying nursing, are nearing the end of their college career when terrorists attack their university. Through a combination of cleverness, bravery, and luck, the two manage to foil the deadly plot. A mysterious man from the United States government, Mr. Hightower, sees their potential and attempts to recruit Kayla and Olivia for a program to take on ISIS. They initially refuse, but another terrorist attack that strikes close to home pushes them to change their minds and join the Azrael Initiative.

After several months of hard training, the two women are dropped into Al-Raqqah, the capital of ISIS, in Syria. Once there, they must blend in with the locals as they strike from the shadows to kill ISIS leaders, destroy their facilities, and free captives. As Americans deep within enemy territory, they know that they will be killed if discovered. As women, they also know that they would suffer before death. Walking the line between vengeance and justice strains their relationship. As they work to resolve their differences, the symphony of brutality around them ultimately pushes them closer together and forges them into the warriors that they were meant to become.

Read the first three chaptershttp://www.khansonbooks.com/first-thr…
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Amazon Purchase Linkhttps://www.amazon.com/Azrael-Initiative-Kayla-Falk-Book-ebook/dp/B01NAGQQ2F/

First Three Chapters: http://www.khansonbooks.com/first-three-chapters-of-the-azrael-initiative/

Chapter 1

Dodging to her right, Kayla sidestepped the fist aimed at her head as it passed close enough to feel the air move. Her auburn ponytail swinging as she danced around her opponent, Kayla watched with bright green eyes and waited for any opening, any weakness to exploit. She did not waste her energy on extra movements or attacks, preferring to let her adversary tire herself and present an opportunity.

Her opponent had a fierce look in her blue eyes as she came at Kayla with a strike of her left hand. Kayla stopped the blow. The hand latched onto her shoulder and dug into the flesh above her collarbone. Kayla staggered back at the pain. The hand released, then both combatants regained their balance.

As another blow came toward Kayla, she sensed that her foe had placed too much weight on her front foot. With a swift movement, Kayla slid to the side, grabbed the incoming arm, and sent her attacker tumbling to the blue padded floor.

“Enough!” said Olivia, with her arms up and palms facing Kayla.

“Next time, don’t let yourself get caught off balance,” said Kayla, as she extended her hand to help Olivia to her feet.

“Off balance? Naw, I just hadn’t done a somersault in forever,” grinned Olivia, her sapphire eyes twinkling. “Besides, I felt like taking a nap on this comfy mat.”

“Maybe next time I’ll give you that nap.” Kayla joked.

“Just make sure you tuck me in first,” responded Olivia as she brushed herself off.

“I believe that I’m two out of three this week. Hope you’re not losing your edge,” teased Kayla.

“Of course not. After kicking your ass all of last week, I thought you could use a couple of wins,” Olivia smirked.

Catching her breath, Kayla glanced around the gym where they held their morning training sessions. She saw other pairs finishing their own bouts and heading to the locker room. Training here required hard work, but Kayla always left feeling reinvigorated and confident about facing the challenges of being an engineering student. Besides, she always enjoyed throwing Olivia around a bit.

As the two of them walked toward the locker room, Kayla wiped the sweat from her forehead and Olivia shook her long blonde hair free of her headband.

“I’d better get ready so that I can head to the workshop to work on my senior design project,” Kayla said.

“Yeah, I need to head out, too. Class is in half an hour. See you for dinner?”

“Sure, we’ll just meet at the Union around 5:30, if that works.”

“Sounds good to me!” smiled Olivia.

As Kayla undressed and stepped into the shower stall to rinse off the sweat from her workout, she ran through a mental checklist of everything that she needed to do that day. Despite not having class on Thursdays, she had a lab report to finish and at least two hours of engineering homework to do. She also needed to spend a significant amount of time in the workshop working on her senior design project, a new design for a small, efficient wind turbine. She would certainly have a long day, but another day closer to graduation in just two months.

As she stepped out of the shower, Kayla dried her hair, pulled it back into a neat ponytail, and put on her jeans, a modest purple tank top, and black cardigan. She stuffed her workout clothes into her duffel bag and hauled it to her shoulder as she hurried out of the locker room.

As she left the Wellness Center and stepped out into the spring air of the South Dakota State University campus, Kayla Falk lifted her hand to shield her eyes from the crimson sun rising on the horizon, before she turned west toward the rest of campus. The closest building was the Student Union, a large building that was in a constant state of expansion. After countless meals and endless hours of studying within those walls over the course of nearly four years, it had become practically another home for her.

Kayla took a deep breath of the spring air. The grassy smell and cool atmosphere were refreshing changes from the heat and sweaty odor of the gym. In the distance, the bells of the campanile rang through the atmosphere. While she looked forward to seeing what the next chapter of her life brought, she would always treasure lovely mornings walking across campus.

As she strode toward the workshop on the other side of the SDSU campus, she slipped one of her backpack straps off of her right shoulder and pulled the bag around to her front to access its contents. Unzipping the small pouch, she pulled out an energy bar and an apple for her post-workout breakfast. The sight of the food made her stomach growl and her mouth watered as she bit into the peanut flavored bar.

While she chewed, she thought about how it was basically a candy bar for breakfast. It did, however, contain some protein, so it didn’t entirely lack nutritional value. At least she also had her apple for something a bit healthier.

As she approached the shop, she tossed her wrapper and apple core in the trash bin just outside. Opening the door, the sound of power tools greeted her, as other engineering students worked on their own projects. The oily smell in the air always reminded her of the time she had spent helping her father, a mechanic, in his garage. When she had been younger, he had her do simple tasks like changing oil or putting new tires on a car. By the time she had become a senior in high school, she could dismantle and reassemble an engine almost as well as her dad.

She walked over to the work area that her team had reserved for their project and set her bag under the workbench. Today, she had set the goal to assemble the system of gears that transferred energy from the turbine blades to the generator. Having worked with automobile differentials in her father’s shop, she had volunteered to design and assemble this piece of the project while other members of her group handled other aspects.

Kayla opened her project binder and flipped through the pages until she arrived at the diagram depicting her design. For several minutes, she reviewed the schematic and contemplated the steps she needed to take to assemble the collection of parts correctly. Her design was a planetary gearing system. She would attach the generator shaft to a sun gear, at the center of the arrangement, with blades attached to interlocking gears flanking it. By using such a system of gears, the generator shaft would rotate in the correct range of speeds when the blades rotated.

Satisfied that she had refreshed the design in her head, Kayla hauled the crate of parts to the top of the workbench. She pulled out each gear and piece needed for the assembly and arranged them in the order in which she needed them. For the next several hours, she fixed each gear in its proper place.

When she finished, she checked her phone and saw that it was already one o’clock. As the task at hand required all of her focus, she didn’t realize until then just how much she craved lunch. Kayla’s stomach growled as she gave the gear assembly a test spin. Satisfied that it operated smoothly, she set it in the crate before putting away all of her tools and equipment. After stashing her design binder in her backpack, she threw it over her shoulders and walked out of the workshop to find something to eat.

Reaching the Union, she went to Weary Wil’s Sports Grill to grab a burger to go. When it was ready, she put it into her backpack so she could head to the engineering building and find a quiet corner to grind through some homework. After she reached the building, she walked into the mostly empty study area, which was surrounded by rows of windows.

On a sunny afternoon such as this, it made for a cheerful and energizing work environment. Settling into a comfortable seat, she pulled out her lunch and munched on it as she started working through her Turbomachinery homework. Her work kept her busy until the time arrived to meet Olivia for supper.

At a quarter after five, Kayla packed up her notebooks, calculator, and pencils so that she could meet her friend. After sitting down for three and a half hours, she groaned as she stood up, her muscles stiff and sore after the morning’s workout. Gathering her bag, she left the engineering building to head back to the Union. As she approached her destination, she spotted Olivia Bellamy walking on another sidewalk.

“Hey Liv,” Kayla called.

Olivia jumped a bit as the shout startled her. She looked around for a second before spotting Kayla. “Oh, hi! Good timing.”

“Have a good day?”

“Yeah, classes weren’t too bad today and clinicals at the hospital were pretty interesting. You?”

“Definitely. Got a lot done on our project and made some good progress on my homework for the night. For now, I’m ready to grab some food and relax, at least for a bit.”

“Same here. Let’s head in and get a bite to eat.”

About the Author


K lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he works as a software developer. In his spare time, when he isn’t writing, he enjoys reading, working out, playing video games, and spending time with his wonderful fiancee, Bobbi. Some of his favorite authors are Tom Clancy, George R. R. Martin, and Sarah Maas.

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Blog Tour for Harbinger (Dragonrider Legacy #2) by Nicole Conway

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Harbinger (Dragonrider Legacy #2)

by Nicole Conway

Publisher:  Month9Books

Publication Date:  August 14, 2018

Victory is written in the blood of the brave. As the armies of the Tibran Empire continue to march across Maldobar, a path of scorched destruction and despair is left in their wake. Even with the formidable princess, Jenna Farrow, leading the charge, the strength of the dragonrider

s is waning. Tibran victory appears inevitable—especially after Princess Jenna and Prince Aubren are taken hostage by the infamous Lord Argonox. Separated from her brother and tortured for information, Princess Jenna refuses to bend to the iron will of Argonox. But her strength and resolve may only last so long. Held prisoner in his dark tower, it would take a miracle to set her free—or perhaps a pair of demigods and their dragons. With revived dragonrider legend, Jaevid Broadfeather, at his side, Reigh must now make a choice: face the truth about the origin of his dark powers, or turn his bac

k on world in need. But throwing off a lifetime of shame and self-doubt is not so easily done—especially when the cost of failure means the destruction of the world. The long-awaited hero has awakened. The ancient spirits are stirring. The dark goddess has chosen her champion. But is he ready to embrace that rite and become the HARBINGER Maldobar needs him to be?

About the Author

Nicole-Conway

Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.  Other works include MAD MAGIC (Sept 2017), FAULBENDER (tbd), SCALES (tbd), and THE DISTANCE BETWEEN STARS (May 2017).

Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.

She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.

Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

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