Killing in C Sharp: Excerpt


A Gethsemane Brown Mystery, Volume 3 

By Alexia Gordon

Genre: Paranormal Mystery

Publisher: Henery Press

Date of Publication: March 6, 2018

Number of Pages: 288

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She saved Carraigfaire—but can she save her friends? Gethsemane Brown fought off an attack by a sleazy hotel developer who wanted to turn her Irish cottage into a tourist trap.

Now she must face a vengeful ghost determined to exact revenge for her murder centuries ago. This ghost’s wrath spares no one—not Gethsemane’s students, Inspector Niall O’Reilly, fellow teacher Frankie Grennan, or a group of ghost hunters descended on Dunmullach to capture proof ghosts exist. Proof Gethsemane has to quash to keep Eamon, her resident ghost and friend, from becoming an internet sensation.

As if a spiteful specter wasn’t bad enough, a crooked music reviewer turns up dead in the opera house orchestra pit, a famous composer is arrested for the crime, and Gethsemane must team up with a notorious true-crime author to clear his name. If she doesn’t, friends will die, a ghost she cares about will never know peace, and she’ll star in a final act gruesome enough for any opera.


Book 1, Murder in G Major

Winner of the 2017 Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel

2016 Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel

Suspense magazine “Best of 2016” selection in Debut Novel category 

Book 2, Death in D Minor

Runner-Up, 2017 Lone Star Bloggers’ Choice Awards, Best Mystery/Suspense

Short List, 2017 Lone Star Bloggers’ Choice Awards, Best Series

Book 3, Killing in C Sharp

Starred review, Publisher’s Weekly, January 29, 2018


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By Alexia Gordon

“You don’t go out of your way to avoid them, either. I think you enjoy solving the puzzles, sussing out who done it.”

Did she? Was that why she involved herself in criminal investigations despite the exhortations of cooler heads and common sense? The challenge of answering a riddle? Or a desire—a need—to do the right thing, to be on the right side of the battle between order and chaos, good and evil?

“Solving puzzles is in Sissy’s nature, Niall,” Frankie said. “She’s the daughter of a mathematician.”

The urge to tell him to stop using that stupid nickname fought with the urge to thank him for taking her side. She silently recited Negro League baseball statistics until both urges passed.

“You encourage her, Frankie,” Niall said. “Don’t bother denying it. I know who aids and abets Sissy in her escapades. Breaking and entering, theft—”

“You make us sound like the bad guys.” Frankie laughed.

The inspector’s allegations didn’t appear to concern him.

“Not bad guys. More like mischievous school boys,” Niall looked at Gethsemane, “and girls. Except dead bodies are as far away from childish pranks as Earth is from Neptune. Keep poking your noses into criminals’ business and you might find yourselves listed in a police blotter.”

“Mischievous school girl?” Gethsemane came out of her seat. Niall had no right to reduce her rational, adult decisions—even when they were wrong—to instances of childish naughtiness, friend or no.

Before she could unleash her feminist ire, a high-pitched scream outside the pub ripped through the air and silenced all conversation just as Aed’s overture had. No one spoke or moved for several seconds. Frankie spoke first.

“What the bloody hell?” Niall knocked over his chair as he raced to the door.

“Stay here,” he called without looking to see if anyone obeyed.

A writer since childhood, I put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. Medical career established, I returned to writing fiction. I completed SMU’s Writer’s Path program in Dallas, Texas. Henery Press published my first novel, Murder in G Major, book one of the Gethsemane Brown mysteries, in September 2016. Book two, Death in D Minor, released July 11, 2017. Book three, Killing in C Sharp, comes out March 6, 2018. Murder in G Major won the Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best New Novel and was selected one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Debuts.

I listen to classical music, drink whiskey, and blog at Miss Demeanors, voted one of Writers’ Digest magazine’s 101 best websites for writers, and Femmes Fatales

 ║Website ║ Facebook ║ Instagram

║ Pinterest  ║ Twitter ║   Google+║ Goodreads ║




One winner receives a signed copy of Killing in C Sharp and 

a bottle of Koval Bourbon Whiskey

Winner must be at least 21 and shipping of alcohol permitted by laws of the state where prize is being delivered. In the event above conditions not met, an alternate prize will be awarded.

MARCH 13-22, 2018


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3/13/18 Notable Quotable Texas Book Lover
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3/14/18 Review Hall Ways Blog
3/14/18 Bonus Post Dressed to Read
3/15/18 Notable Quotable Books and Broomsticks
3/15/18 Review Momma on the Rocks
3/16/18 Author Interview StoreyBook Reviews
3/16/18 Author Favorites Tangled in Text
3/17/18 Review Reading by Moonlight
3/18/18 Review Forgotten Winds
3/19/18 Excerpt The Page Unbound
3/19/18 Notable Quotable The Librarian Talks
3/20/18 Review #Bookish
3/21/18 Scrapbook Page A Page Before Bedtime
3/21/18 Promo Syd Savvy
3/22/18 Review The Clueless Gent

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The Initiation Review

The Initiation
by Chris Babu
Genre: YA sci-fi
Release Date: February 27th 2018
Permuted Press

Book Summary

Everyone is equal. But no one is safe.

In a ruined world, Manhattan is now New America, a walled-in society based on equality. But the perfect facade hides a dark truth.

A timid math geek, sixteen-year-old Drayden watches his life crumble when his beloved mother is exiled. The mystery of her banishment leads him to a sinister secret: New America is in trouble, and every one of its citizens is in jeopardy.

With time running out, he enters the Initiation. It’s a test within the empty subway tunnels—a perilous journey of puzzles and deadly physical trials. Winners join the ruling Bureau and move to its safe haven. But failure means death. Can Drayden conquer the Initiation, or is salvation out of his grasp?

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This is one to remember. Drayden is such a great character to follow. Kind and smart, he tries to do what is best. Though life isn’t easy in New America. Everything he thought he knew starts coming to light with the reality of the world. His mother asks him to take care of the family but not to do the Initiation just to find the truth of her exile. But with mounting stress of their situation and even the encouragement of his brother, he gathers the courage to try. Failure could mean exile and very likely his end.

The book takes off from there. High intensity action and tense moments had me gripping my screen. It was hard to tear myself away as Drayden and the other contestants went through their tests.

Overall chilling was the looming history of how the Confluence happened. All indications we see in our world today. Suddenly this dystopian world just seemed like a glimpse in a not-so-distant future. Then present still in this world were the same disproportionate societies that boasted equality. Ironic considering the names of the Dorms versus the Palace. This book has very intelligent writing, great character growth and can get very emotional. I recommend this one a lot!

About the Author

Chris Babu grew up in North Haven, CT, playing soccer and the violin in his free time. After devouring The Shining under the covers with a flashlight when he was eight, Chris was hooked on fiction. He’s always had a thing for young adult books. But he’s also a major science and math nerd – physics being his favorite – and he has a math degree from MIT.

For nineteen years, he worked as a bond trader on Wall Street, riding the subway to and from work every day. He traded mortgage-backed securities for Bank of America and then Deutsche Bank, where he eventually ran the MBS trading desk. Now Chris writes full-time, always with his trusted assistant Buddy, a 130-pound Great Dane, who can usually be found on his lap. They split their time between New York City and the east end of Long Island. Their omnipresence at home drives his wife Michelle and daughter Lily crazy. The Initiation is his first novel.

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Riley’s War: Review

Riley’s War: Phase 1
By Kiersten Jackson
Genre: YA Sci-fi Fantasy
Release date: December 2017

Book Summary

The year’s 2027.

Humanity has split into two halves: First World, the floating plate above that covers ⅓ of the planet built with futuristic technology and home to 56 million First Class citizens, and Second World, the Original Earth below running to ruin from war, famine, and poverty.

Recruited by Second World from jail, Jukebox is taken to their Base, discovering files with dragons, mythical shape shifting snakes from China—even the ghost from his past. And when the dragons actually show up, threatening to destroy humanity within three days, it doesn’t make it any better. Not even the androids and cyborgs that are sent to kill him on an everyday basis. Maybe it’s because they’re looking for his dad that holds all the original secrets and truths behind their world’s destruction, like him.

And when a comet is learned to hit both worlds soon, Jukebox is faced with the decision of fighting for his race or himself when the meteor is established to contain a power that could grant mankind renewed life, or instantaneous death— his power. Both worlds are at a clash to get to him and the comet once learning Jukebox can stop it—on the price of dying, deeming this battle as Second War—Riley’s War. And Jukebox doesn’t even want to stop it.

RILEY’S WAR: PHASE 1 is a powerful explosive sci-fi YA fantasy and action/adventure complete at 38,600 words with undeniable series potential that would appeal to fans of diverse POC with LGBTQIA+ main characters and supporting cast.

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I first took notice of Riley’s War by the summary. It seemed so wild and unusual. It did not disappoint in that impression. Also, the cover by Anna Dittman is amazing and I knew I had to read this to figure it out. It was easy for me to be captured by this quick story. I’d honestly just recommend reading it in one day. Have some snacks ready as well. The pacing and characters were good and well developed. It was an excellent first novel from Jackson.

This books has it’s quirks and may have some challenges for certain readers. For me, it was a speedy read with a diverse and engaging energy. The reader needs to actively focus on the details and storyline. I recommend reading it with an open mind on a day you want plenty of unique details and action. I’d definitely read more from Jackson!

About the Author

Kiersten Jackson is an African-American author born in the United States, from Florida. She is very active in BLACKLIVESMATTER and LGBTQIA+. She currently likes to sleep, eat, and nap as long as she can. Her talents include drawing, writing, and being the Best at what she does. Greatest of All Time. Forever.

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Stolen Obsession: Notable Quotable


Annalisse Series, Book 1

By Marlene M Bell

Genre: Spicy Romantic Mystery

Publisher: Ewephoric Publishing

Date of Publication: March 20, 2018

Number of Pages: 284

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Manhattan antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury dreams of a quiet life on the family farm among the sheep she loves, when her best friend is murdered. The police assume robbery is the motive because her friend’s expensive bracelet is missing. But the 500-year-old artifact is rumored to carry an ancient curse, one that unleashes evil upon any who dare wear the jewelry created for the Persian royal family—and Annalisse believes her friend is the latest victim.

Weeks later, Annalisse sees a necklace matching the stolen bracelet at a gallery opening. Convinced the necklace is part of the deadly collection, Annalisse begs the gallery’s owner to destroy the piece, but her pleas are ignored—despite the unnatural death that occurs during the opening. With two victims linked to the jewelry, Annalisse is certain she must act.

Desperate to keep the gallery owner safe, Annalisse reluctantly enlists the owner’s son to help—even though she’s afraid he’ll break her heart. Wealthy and devastatingly handsome, with a string of bereft women in his wake, Greek playboy Alec Zavos dismisses Annalisse’s concerns—until his parents are ripped from the Zavos family yacht during their ocean voyage near Crete.

Annalisse and Alec race across two oceans to save his mother, feared dead or kidnapped. As time lapses, the killer switches mode and closes in on the man who’s meant for Annalisse with the lifestyle she wants most.

But when it’s her turn as the hunted, will she choose to save Alec and his mother, or sacrifice everything to save herself?

Hold on for a heart-thumping adventure through exotic lands in this fast moving, romantic suspense mystery by Marlene M Bell.




Lone Star Book Blog Tours: 2017 Bloggers’ Choice Awards

The Lone Star Book Blog Tours team has voted, and the results are in!  From Best Fiction to Most Engaged Author, we have seventeen awards to hand out to the awesome Texas books and authors featured on Lone Star Book Blog Tours in 2017.
From February 15-23, 2018, please join us as we hop around the LSBBT blogs and share the winners, runners-up, and shortlisted titles. Don’t miss it!

Click to learn more about:
2/14: Awards Announcement
2/15: Best Hook & Best Creative Concept
2/16: Best Non-Fiction History, Best Biography/Memoir, & Best Western
2/17: Best Children’s/Juvenile/YA & Best Series
2/18: Best Literary Fiction & Best Religious/Inspirational/Spiritual
2/19: Best Mystery/Suspense, Best Romance, & Best Fantasy
2/20: Best Cover & Most Engaged Author
2/21: Best Texas Book
2/22: Best Non-Fiction Book
2/23: Best Fiction Book

Assassin of Truths Review

Assassin of Truths (Library Jumpers #3)

By Brenda Drake

Publication Date:  February 6, 2018

Publisher:  Entangled Teen

Book Summary

The gateways linking the great libraries of the world don’t require a library card, but they do harbor incredible dangers.

And it’s not your normal bump-in-the- night kind. The threats Gia Kearns faces are the kind with sharp teeth and knifelike claws. The kind that include an evil wizard hell-bent on taking her down.

Gia can end his devious plan, but only if she recovers seven keys hidden throughout the world’s most beautiful libraries. And then figures out exactly what to do with them.

The last thing she needs is a distraction in the form of falling in love. But when an impossible evil is unleashed, love might be the only thing left to help Gia save the world.














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Assassin of Truths excels in it’s fast paced and intense storytelling. Like the first books, it quickly moves to more and more suspenseful situations that Gia struggles to face. Ridden by her own guilt and recent losses, she’s determined to focus on her goal of stopping Conemar.

This book has a massive world and will call for the readers upmost focus. Most scenes jump quickly and I did find myself going back to read it again to catch up or keep track of characters. The writing somewhat reminded me of watching a fast paced episode by episode series. I can easily see this series becoming a show. Drake brings out the stark imagery in her scenes, both the majestic and the brutal. Like the first books in the series, the love for libraries and knowledge is clear. The creative elements to this world are staggering and inspiring. It’s clear how much work was put into making this Mystik world come to life.

Gia learns from her mistakes and with the weight of the world on her shoulders, her true growth comes out. What stands out most is the relationships between the characters. Gia and Bastian’s love for each other to reminiscent throughout the book. Her previous conflict with Arik is also addressed and I was happy with the way things turned out for all of them. It was easy to become attached to some of the other unique characters in the book. I often wanted to see more of them as well.

The ending was surprising and heartbreaking as well. Overall I enjoyed the series and this last installment did not pull any punches. I recommend it for readers that really love intense fantasies, action, and world building.

About the Author

Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. With kids of all ages populating Brenda’s world, it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical for both younger readers and the young at heart. And because she married her prince charming, there’s always a romance warming the pages. Her favorite books are The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Kings Row by Henry Bellamann, and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. When she’s not writing, she hosts workshops and contests for writers such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on her blog, and holds Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. In her free time, Brenda enjoys hanging out with her family, haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or just reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

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Curiouser and Curiouser Blitz

Curiouser and Curiouser: Steampunk Alice in Wonderland
By Melanie Karsak 
(Steampunk Fairy Tales) 
Publication date: July 17th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Retelling, Steampunk

Book Synopsis

To save the Hatter, Alice must work with the one man she despises so much that she might still love him.Alice thought she’d turned over a new leaf. No more working for Jabberwocky. No more making deals with the ruthless Queen of Hearts. No more hanging around The Mushroom with tinkers, tarts, scoundrels, and thieves in London’s criminal underbelly. But she’d been bonkers to dream.

Hatter’s reckless behavior leads Alice back to the one person she never wanted to see again, Caterpillar. Pulled into Caterpillar’s mad schemes, Alice must steal a very big diamond from a very royal lady. The heist is no problem for this Bandersnatch.

But protecting her heart from the man she once loved? Impossible.

Sometimes love is mad.




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I approached the guards cautiously, stopping just short of the entryway.

They looked from me to one another, unsure what to do.

I stared at William who toked on a hookah pipe, blowing a ring of smoke in the air.

The guards shifted uncomfortably.

William, who’d been lounging on a chaise, sat up and looked out at me through the sheer fabric.

He smirked then leaned forward. “Who are you?”

His question silenced those around him. Everyone knew who I was.

“When I woke up this morning, I was Alice.”

He rose then moved closer. “But who are you now?”

“That depends. Who are you? Which Alice is here depends on your answer.”

He came to the curtain. “Well then, that makes it hard to say.”

“I’m sure it does, given how good you are at betraying your true nature.” I was trying to keep a lid on my feelings but was failing miserably. As he drew closer, I smelled the sweet aromas of jasmine and sandalwood that always clung to him.

“You’re one to talk. So, what does Alice from this morning want?”

I frowned at him.

“Don’t get too frustrated,” he replied then pulled the curtain open, beckoning me inside, “or the other Alice might peek out. Come.”

I entered the semi-private enclosure. Inside, I spotted William’s chief bodyguard, the Knave. A tart lay naked, asleep in an opium stupor, on a chaise nearby.

I nodded to the Knave.

“Alice,” he said with a soft smile. I caught the lilt of his Irish accent in his voice. His real name, of course, was Jack. He’d been friends with William and me since we were young. As was the habit in the industry, Jack went by a pseudonym. If someone ratted you out, it was better that they had no idea what your real name might be. It’s a lot harder to track a man named Knave than it was Jack O’Toole or Caterpillar than it was to find William Charleston.

“Have a seat, Alice from this morning,” William said.

I sat on the chaise, gently pushing aside the legs of the intoxicated strumpet.

“What brings you here?” he asked, rubbing a thoughtful finger across his chin. He’d grown a short, neatly-kept beard since I saw him last. It looked very handsome.

“Rabbit stole a pocket watch from my employer. I want it back.”

“What does that have to do with me?” William asked.

“Cake?” one of William’s girls offered, holding out a tray on which sat a colorful selection of petit fours.

I looked down at the small treats. I could smell the aroma of the frosting, nearly taste the sweet confections in a glance. I could see the game was truly afoot. They were my favorite. I raised an eyebrow at William who smiled.

The stubborn part of me wanted to tell William, and the girl, to sod off. But the part of me who hadn’t tasted strawberry frosted, vanilla-sweetened, and raspberry-and crème-filled cake in months could say no such thing. I lifted a small cake and popped it into my mouth, feeling annoyed and enraptured all in the same moment. I closed my eyes, savoring the taste. They’d come from my favorite baker. William had remembered. Once more, angry and elated feelings swept over me.

“Drink?” the girl then offered.

I opened my eyes to see the girl was holding a bottle of absinthe.

“Alice isn’t the type. Do you want some tea?” he asked.

I shook my head.

“Run off,” he told the serving girl, waving her away.

The girl turned to go, but before she could leave, I reached out and grabbed just one more petit four: pistachio and chocolate. I popped it into my mouth.

“I’m glad you like them,” William said, grinning at me.

The warmth of his gaze made me angry. He didn’t have any right being this nice to me. “The pocket watch?” I asked after swallowing the last bite.

Alice from the morning is very business-oriented. Right, then. What of it?”

“I hate it when you play coy. And you’re not very good at it. Rabbit entered this tent not a moment before me. I want that watch. Must I remind you that we have an understanding? You don’t tangle in my affairs, remember? It was agreed upon.”

“You certainly are Alice from this morning,” he said with a frown. “Not that the outfit didn’t give it away. Crisp white apron you have there, Alice. But the blue maid’s dress brings out your eyes.”

“We all wear costumes, don’t we, Caterpillar and his Knave?” I said, casting a glance at Jack. “Is he Jack or is he the Knave? Are you Caterpillar or are you William? Hard to tell what’s truth and what’s fiction, isn’t it?”

William smirked then turned to Jack. “Find Rabbit.”

“He shouldn’t be far. You waved him off just a moment ago,” I said.

Chuckling under his breath, Jack left.

“Why did you bring me here?” I asked.

“Bring you here?” William replied.

Now I was getting irritated. “Yes. Why did you bring me here?”

“Chance brings you here.”

“There is no such thing. Rabbit would never steal from me or mine unless you told him to.”


“William,” I replied, a warning in my voice.

“Let’s just say that a pocket watch brought you here,” he said.

About the Author


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, The Burnt Earth Series, The Celtic Blood Series and Steampunk Fairy Tales. A steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.


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Of Sea and Stone Review

Of Sea and Stone
By Kate Avery Ellison
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: February 2014

Book Summary

Aemi lives in a village carved from stones and surrounded by sea. She wins spear-throwing competitions in disguise and earns slaps from her spoiled mistress by talking back. She hates being a slave. She survives by remembering her mother’s tales of home, a paradise called Perilous.

Aemi intends to find it.

But then, black ships rise from the sea in the night. Aemi is captured and taken to Itlantis, an underwater world of cities and gardens encased in glass, dazzling technology. and a centuries-long war.

She is determined to escape, even if it means conspiring with fellow prisoner Nol, who fills her with equal parts anger and desire. Even if it means impersonating her mistress. Even if it means fleeing into the territory of the Dron, the bloodthirsty barbarians of the deep.

But when Aemi witnesses firsthand an attack by the Dron, she realizes not all is as it seems below the sea.

And Perilous might be closer than she thinks.


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I really enjoyed this book. Once I started it, I constantly wanted to keep reading despite the day to day responsibilities I needed to do. I finally ended up downloading it on my phone so I could read it any time I wanted. What a richly filled world with twists and turns that Ellison created. Everything seemed effortless in its complexity.

First, all my beliefs were completely wrong. Which was great. I kept thinking I knew where things were going to go or what secret was going to be revealed. Nope. Plot twist, there’s going to be many plot twists. I loved it. It’s a great book for many ages. Aemi is clever, skilled, a bit naive, and a great role model as well. Her perspective is very observant but she still has much to learn before knowing the truth. All her beliefs and feelings are twisted. It’s so shocking by the end. I couldn’t read fast enough.

All the other characters are lovable as well. Even characters that are briefly in the book are so intriguing and well developed. I hope to see them again in book two. The friendship between Aemi and Lyssia was profound. I really enjoyed their interactions and growth that they inspire in each other. Even when Aemi accidentally reveals the truth about herself, I felt like it was on purpose in a way. Once treated cruelly by her masters, she eventually allows herself to open up to Lyssia. She realizes that she’s found more friendships in her new life then she ever had before. The thoughts of escaping back to the surface is plagued with doubt. Especially with more and more revelations that occur.

Along with all of these conflicts and surprises is Nol. The only one from her formal surface life. Once obnoxious in his authority, he is now an angry captive like her. Aemi’s thoughts and descriptions of Nol were amusing to say the least. Since childhood, they’ve had a rivalry and that doesn’t seem to change in their new circumstances. However, he is a conundrum to her and is frequently in her thoughts. I’m anxious to see what will happen in book two.

I could keep going for this book…instead I’ll encourage you to read it. I’ve already downloaded book two!

About the Author

I’m the author of the Frost Chronicles, an Amazon bestselling series and source material for the adventure app game Frost by Delight Games, as well as numerous other fantasy and science fiction novels. I love putting a dash of mystery in everything I write, an ode to a childhood spent reading Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, and Sherlock Holmes. I can’t resist adding a good twist in the story wherever I can.

I wish I could live in a place where it’s always October, but until that’s possible, I make my home in humid Atlanta with my husband, children, and two spoiled cats.

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Elephant Dreams Review



Genre: Young Adult / Historical Fiction / Sweet Romance

Publisher: Melange Books

Date of Publication: September 2, 2017

Number of Pages: 224

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Desperate to escape her squalid life on the streets of New York City, sixteen-year-old Fiona Finn seeks help at the magnificent Church of the Ascension where Charles Loring Brace, a social reformer horrified by the plight of New York City’s street children, arranges for her to go west aboard an Orphan Train.

Fiona’s homeless, alcoholic father has other plans, however.  He wants Fiona to “work” the streets to support his drinking and pursues her across the midwest until she is forced to abandon the train in Houston to avoid a sheriff bent on returning her to her father.

Alone in the dark on the Texas prairie, Fiona’s terrifying experience with a circus elephant, Bolivar, sets the stage for a future she could never have imagined.


Elephant Dreams will be featured in the January, 2018 issue of the Historical Novel Society magazine.

“What a story! With scenes to be likened to any Charles Dickens novel, the author, Martha Deeringer, carries the reader on a breathtaking journey through despair and hope that changes as often as the wind changes direction. Great characters, a believable story, an insight into another world, and an empathy for a character that a reader would have to have a heart of stone not to sympathise with. Although billed as a young adult story, this will readily appeal to an adult reader. Very visual writing and the makings of a classic.” — Jane Finch for Readers’ Favorite

“I absolutely adored this novel; I couldn’t find a single thing to dislike about it, other than of course the characters we are meant to dislike. The secondary characters were just as well rounded as the primary characters, leaving the reader with a feeling of contentment at the end of the novel. Each character brought his or her own three-dimensional personality to the novel, giving me a reason to either love or hate them passionately.” — Acwoolet for Online Book Club


“I thoroughly enjoyed Elephant Dreams. It is a captivating story with a spunky heroine who is determined to turn her life around. I loved the unique settings that covered New York City slums, an orphan train and a Texas Circus. I would recommend it for teens through adults.” – 5 Stars, Kindle Edition | Verified Purchase


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All Fiona wants is a new life. A better life. New York is a city filled with people struggling to survive. The bitter reality is that everyone is scared and can only think about their own family and livelihood. However, Fiona hopes for more. The children like her roam the streets rather than be sent to the Children’s Asylum or worse. After a frightening attack, she determines that her life will not get better unless she takes a step forward. She walks into the Church and implores the Pastor for help. This brave decision sets her on a unpredictable path and adventure.

Only looking to work and have an honest life, her compassion and willingness bring out the sympathy of others. She discovers many varieties of people that, despite their situation, help her escape her dire situation. The largest and most gentle is Bolivar, a male Indian elephant. Once scared of him, Fiona’s admiration for Bolivar grows as she observes his vitality and kind spirit. I especially liked her passages in her journal about the people and animals in her life.

‘When he walks beside me I feel powerful, even though the power is his and not mine, and when he wraps his trunk around me I imagine it is the arm of a friend.’

Bolivar becomes a way that she can open up and remember what it was like to have a family. With the strength he gives her, she finds herself becoming part of this lively and contrasting family. I was just so enamored about this book. I read so much fantasy and to fall into this gritty and exotic tale with bits of history made the pages fly. I had to stop myself from staying up all night to finish it.

Deeringer made me cry. There I said it. It’s sometimes difficult to connect with characters when I read quite a lot. Yet her characters are so wonderfully written. They struggle and love one another. Aunt Mollie Bailey, the circus owner, is prepared to defend a young girl she just recently met. The contrasting themes and situations in this book make everything stand out and incredibly vivid. I felt like this book had such passion and that Deeringer put a lot of love into it.

Martha Deeringer lives with her husband and their large, extended family on a central Texas cattle ranch. She writes magazine articles, often about history, for children and adults and is a frequent contributor to regional and national magazines. 

Martha also writes Young Adult fiction, occasionally inspired by her teaching experiences or the antics of her children and grandchildren. She loves ranch life and sometimes abandons her writing to cope with assorted issues involving kids, dogs, cats, horses, orphan calves, and occasionally armadillos, coyotes and rattlesnakes. 

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The Revolution Blitz

The Revolution
By Alicia Michaels
(The Bionics Novels, #3)
Published by: Crimson Tree Publishing
Publication date: January 18th 2018
Genres: Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction



Blythe Sol has a New Year’s Resolution, but it’s not your typical self-improvement plan. She wants to end the conflict between the government and the Resistance once and for all—by sneaking into Washington D.C. and putting a bullet in President Drummond’s skull. If she can cut the head off the snake, the genocide of the Bionics might finally end. But if she fails, she will surely bring retaliation crushing down upon the entire Resistance.Blythe and fellow soldier Dax Janner are already coping with the loss of people they loved. When their dormant feelings for each other begin to rekindle, they struggle with feeling anything positive after so much suffering. The return of Gage will only confuse matters more. As the terrorist sect known as The Rejects begins to work hand in hand with thegovernment to push the Resistance toward all-out war, the battle will be brought to their doorstep. Will the movement stand tall and conquer—or collapse under the strain and be destroyed for good?The Revolution is the thrilling third novel in the award-winning Bionics series by Alicia Michaels.


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“It’s been two hours,” I say, raising my voice to be heard over the rain. “It’s cold out today. Come inside before you make yourself sick.”

The rain begins to slow a bit, signaling an end to the storm. Turning his head toward me again, he stares at me with his dark, glittering eyes. His face seems stuck in a permanent scowl, causing his forehead to crease and his mouth to pinch at the corners.


I raise my eyebrows. “Why what?”

He sighs. “Why come inside or care about getting sick? Why anything? What’s the fucking point, B?”

Apathy. I know the feeling well.

“What happened to fighting?” I say, reminding him of his words the day Yasmine died in his arms. “I thought you said it was time for us to start winning for once.”

He shakes his head and snorts. The last of the rain has fallen, leaving the sky overcast. The scent of the air after a real storm is missing, and it leaves a pit of longing in my gut. I’ve forgotten that smell, just as I’ve forgotten how to function like a normal person. All I know is death and loss.

“What are we even doing here?” he replies. “I’m tired. I don’t have anything left to fight for. Yasmine was what I had decided to fight for—the chance to have something of my own when this was all over.”

“You can still have that.”

Setting the urn aside, he unfolds his long legs to stand, towering over me with his hands braced on his narrow hips. “Don’t you get it? There is no end … not for us! We are going to fight until we die, and that’s all there will ever be. And what the hell are we trying to gain anyway? A chance to live in fear, cowering underground?”

Standing to face him, I clench my hands into fists at my sides. “A chance to have a life out there when this war is over!”

I raise my hand and point toward the hovercraft hangar, which opens into a tunnel leading to the outside. “That world is just as much ours as it is theirs,” I tell him. “Don’t you want it back? Don’t you want to crawl out of this hole, step into the light, and stop running? We have to fight!”

Bending to pick up Yasmine’s urn, he tucks it under one arm. “I don’t have to do a goddamn thing but be black and die. I got the first part covered, and the second is coming any day now if President Drummond follows through on his warning.”

He starts to walk away from me, but I follow, trotting to keep up with his long strides. “What about me?”

Pausing, he swivels to face me. “What?”

I draw up short before I slam into him, the momentum of my fast pace almost causing us to collide. Swallowing past the lump of grief in my throat, I wrap my arms around myself. “I don’t have anybody else,” I whisper. “My family is dead; Gage is gone. Yasmine became like a sister to me, and I know her death hurt you more than anyone here, but I lost her, too. But before Gage or Yasmine … before the Resistance … we had each other.”

Snorting, Dax rolls his eyes. “So, this is about you?”

Grinding my teeth, I fight the urge to punch him in the face. Could I have been this much of a bitch after Gage died?

“Of course not! This is about us. I will never stop fighting for you, because the man who saved my life deserves a chance to redeem his. And if I’m going to fight for you, then you have to do the same. I can’t do this alone.”

His jaw flexes as he looks away, staring off across the quad. “You aren’t alone. You have the Professor, Olivia, Laura, and Alec. You have hundreds of people who would follow you into hell, and thousands more out there rooting for you even though they can’t actually fight with you.”

I curse under my breath as a tear slips free of my human eye. “What about Agata, huh? You gonna give up on her, too?”

Dax’s eyes glimmer with tears when he looks at me and shakes his head. “I couldn’t save Yasmine. What makes you think I can protect that girl?”

“It doesn’t matter if you can or not,” I insist. “It doesn’t matter if you try and fail, or if you fall short. All that matters is that you fight. It’s okay to be sad right now. Hell, I’m sad, too. But when we’re done being sad, we have to keep moving forward. She would have wanted us to keep going, and you know it.”

Nodding, he sniffs while a few tears track down his chiseled face. “I had stopped hoping, B. She made me hope again, and now she’s gone. It hurts so much.”

Reaching out, I take his face in my hands and pull him toward me, resting his head on my shoulder. He hunches from his massive height and leans into me, wrapping one arm around my waist and holding on as if his life depends on it. His hold is painful, but I endure it, hugging him and holding on just as tight. Loving Dax has always hurt; I am used to this.

“I know,” I whisper, closing my eyes. “But the pain is a good thing. If we can feel the pain, it means we’re still alive. We’re healing.”

About the Author


Ever since she first read books like Chronicles of Narnia or Goosebumps, Alicia has been a lover of mind-bending fiction. Wherever imagination takes her, she is more than happy to call that place her home. With several Fantasy and Science Fiction titles under her belt, Alicia strives to write multicultural characters and stories that touch the heart. V-Card, thefirst book of the Sharing Spaces series, was her first Contemporary Romance.
The mother of three and wife to a soldier, she loves chocolate, coffee, and of course good books. When not writing, you can usually find her with her nose in a book, shopping for shoes and fabulous jewelry, or spending time with her loving family.


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