The Stamp of Heaven: Guest Post

THE STAMP OF HEAVEN

By JULIA ROBB

  Genre: Historical Fiction / Civil War

Publisher: self-published

Date of Publication: February 19, 2019

Number of Pages: 196

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The Union Army wants former Confederate Army general Beau Kerry for alleged war crimes, but he’s hiding out where the Yankees least expect to find him: in the United States Cavalry. Beau is fighting Apaches out West and praying nobody recognizes his famous face. 


But Lieutenant Kerry’s luck changes when he runs into Sergeant Ike Jefferson and says, “The last time I saw you, I had you bent over a barrel and I was whipping you.” Ike is not only Beau’s best friend (or worst enemy, depending on the day), he’s Beau’s former slave — and Ike knows there’s a $5000 price on Beau’s head.

Caroline Dietrich has vengeance on her mind. Married to Colonel Wesley Dietrich, the Union fort commander, Caroline believes the best path to getting revenge against the Yankees, her husband included, is seducing her husband’s officers. Especially Beau.


From the killing fields of the Civil War, to the savagery of the Indian wars, the characters are also battling each other and searching for what it means to be human.

5-STAR PRAISE FOR THE STAMP OF HEAVEN:

“Her characters are vivid, relatable, and endearing. She brings to life the rigors of frontier duty, the harsh beauty of west Texas, and the complexity of war and reconciliation. A must read!” 

“Julia Robb creates a masterful tale of friendship, loyalty, cowardice, deceit, and redemption in this fascinating story set in the aftermath of the War Between the States…Not a simple western yarn, this novel will keep you thinking and asking the Big Questions long after you finish reading it.”

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We’re A Revival People

By Julia Robb

In The Stamp of Heaven, Beau and his men ride to Fort Stockton, Texas, to gather supplies the War Department has neglected to send them.

The detail then runs into a camp meeting, which was typical for its day.

“Hundreds of people stood under the brush roof supported by cedar poles … It was dusk, but light lingered in the rose pearl sky. Lanterns hung from poles. A black-frocked preacher stood on a bench in front, leading the singing with outflung arms.”

This revival has a pivotal effect on Beau, and that was natural because he was raised in the South.

Southerners are a revival people.

I know, because I’m also Southern and was raised attending revivals on the lower Great Plains of Texas.

We sang Softly and Tenderly (Jesus is calling) and Dad’s voice rose more urgently than it did when he preached on Sunday: “Is there something in your life you’d like to change? Do you have guilt in your heart? Jesus can take that guilt away, right here, tonight.”       

“Amen, amen,” floated up from the congregation.

Sometimes people wept. They flocked to the altar while the pianist broke their hearts with Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me….Oh Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Christians are not scarce north of the Mason-Dixon line, but revival in both black and white Southern churches evokes blood memory.

Maybe that’s because the South’s two greatest revivals took place in the middle of tragedy: Confederate camps during the Civil War, and in slave quarters. 

More than a quarter of all Confederate soldiers were “converted” around campfires and tents.

Hunkering under a hail of canister and bullets does tend to convert the ungodly to another way of thinking, but the same Christian revival did not take place in northern ranks.

Years after the war, sociologists conducted a survey to find out if the conversions were permanent. Yes, they were.

Southern revivals are still poignant because we have such a bitter history. 

We not only lost the war, reconstruction destroyed the South economically. We did not fully recover until World War II. The South was so poor all we could do was sing “Revive Us Again.” 

Revivals were also called camp meetings because they were often held outside, under tents, at night services lit by kerosene lanterns. Many a Christian came to Jesus in a circle of light, surrounded by warm darkness, inhaling the smell of grass and red dirt.

This is not the same thing as innocence. Not only did many Southerners keep slaves for 200 years, after freedom, trees hung heavy with “strange fruit,” including around the historic courthouse in Marshall, Texas, where I live.

Guilty cultures need God. Perhaps the stricken have an easier time hearing the call.

At the same time, not only have many white Southerners loved African-Americans (and visa-versa), we in the white churches have adopted many African-American attitudes.

No people worship God with more uninhibited joy than do African-Americans. 

When the late Roosevelt Washington’s deep bass voice sang, “Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho, Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, and the walls came a tumbling down,” at some of Marshall’s First United Methodist Church revivals, you could hear the crowd’s gasp of excitement.

We oppressed African-Americans, but somewhere along the way we began resembling them.

Some historians believe most of the African-American revivals were held in the early 19th Century, and again in the 1840s and 1850s.

So black revivals are almost blood calling from the ground because it’s a heritage that saved them as a people. The only thing sustaining many slaves in bondage was their faith in Jesus. You can hear the expression of that in African-American spirituals: “Deep river, my home is over Jordan, deep river Lord, I want to cross over into camp ground.”

 Julia Robb is a former journalist who writes novels set in Texas. She’s written Saint of the Burning Heart, Scalp Mountain, Del Norte, The Captive Boy, and The Stamp of Heaven. 

Julia grew up on the lower Great Plains of Texas and lived in every corner of the Lone Star State, from the Rio Grande to the East Texas swamps.


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Queen To Ashes Excerpt

QUEEN TO ASHES (Black Dawn #2)

Author: Mallory McCartney

Pub. Date: January 8, 2019

Publisher: Clean Reads Publishing

Formats: eBook

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


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

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

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

Renegade and Black Dawn will be available in the following #Vancouver area locations : Chapters Burnaby, Indigo Surrey, Chapters Coquitlam, Indigo West Vancouver, Indigo Granville (2505 Granville St) and Indigo Robson (1033 Robson St) in December!

Goodreads, AmazonAmazon Canada

Chapter Two

Emory

RENEGADE (Black Dawn 0.5)

Author: Mallory McCartney

Pub. Date: July 3, 2018

Publisher: Clean Reads Publishing

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 274

“The time for Kiero’s reign in prosperity is over.”

Six years before the Black Dawn Rebellion, Adair Stratton and Emory Fae are following in their parent’s footsteps and living at The Academy, a home for those who are gifted. The pressure to uphold the future of their parent’s dream falls on them. An outcast and feared by most, Adair longs to break away from the expectations dictating his future. Even if Emory tries to make him see differently. An unexpected group of friends keep him there, but as whispers of unexplained disappearances start reaching from the capital, Adair starts to doubt The Academy is all it seems.

An unexpected visit ignites new tensions as the roguish king from across the Black Sea, Tadeas Maher of the Shattered Isles, and his heir, Marquis Maher sail to Kiero. Notorious for their pirating and wrath- for the first time in years, they demand the Fae’s listen to their proposition for a new treaty, holding the news of Nei’s father’s abrupt death over them. Caught in the middle of politics- Adair and Emory, with the help of their best friends Brokk and Memphis search for the one thing that matters most- finding out the truth.

In this gripping prequel to Black Dawn, their world is tipped upside down as unlikely alliances are made. War ravages through Kiero and is torn apart by acclaimed Kings. Through the throes of betrayal, lies, hidden magic and love, Adair is faced with a life changing decision- to fight or to bow to the darkness within him.

Amazon, B&N, TBD, Goodreads

BLACK DAWN (Black Dawn #1)

Author: Mallory McCartney

Release Date: February 14, 2017

Publisher: Clean Reads Publishing

Pages: 352

Formats: Paperback, eBook:

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and bringing Emory back she will discover she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.

 Amazon, B&N, TBD, Goodreads

About the Author

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

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One lucky winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International.

Giveaway ends March 15 at midnight, EST!

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Tour Schedule

Week One:

2/18/2019- That Transylvanian Chick Book BlogSpotlight

2/19/2019- BookHounds YAExcerpt

2/20/2019- The Page UnboundExcerpt

2/21/2019- Kelly P’s BlogSpotlight

2/22/2019- A Dream Within A DreamExcerpt

Week Two:

2/25/2019- Adventures Thru WonderlandReview

2/26/2019- Novel NoviceExcerpt

2/27/2019- Confessions of a YA ReaderExcerpt

2/28/2019- A Gingerly ReviewExcerpt

3/1/2019- dmcireadsblogExcerpt

Week Three:

3/5/2019- ❧Defining Ways❧- Excerpt

3/6/2019- K.L. Knovitzke – AuthorExcerpt

3/7/2019- Lone Tree ReviewsExcerpt

3/8/2019- Lauren is Reading Review

Week Four:

3/11/2019- D Books and ReviewsReview

3/12/2019- Writer of WrongsExcerpt

3/14/2019- BookriotReview

3/15/2019- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt

Narcosis Room Excerpt

NARCOSIS ROOM

Author: Louise Cypress

Pub. Date: February 19, 2019

Publisher: Owl Hollow Press

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 318

About the Book

Total Recall meets Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies.

Sleep for three months and make your problems go away.

Ellie Savage is used to promises. Her dermatologist dad and her psychiatrist mom run the Narcosis Clinic, a medical facility famous for ultimate makeovers, where disturbing issues are resolved while patients are beautified. Clients like pop star Dean Mathews are grateful to narcosis for healing their deepest wounds. Ellie is her parents’ most ardent supporter until her dreams become a nightmare. Ellie discovers that her true self has been shredded to bits by the scalpel and the only way for Ellie to remember is to forget everything she thinks she knows.

“The relationship between Cole and Ellie is absorbing (it’s indisputably a mutual affection) while the twins’ dynamic–they’re supportive but playfully combative–is likewise effective. The plot eventually spins into thriller territory but shrewdly incorporates themes of parenting and self-confidence. Cypress’ prose throughout is colorful: a crowd getting into ‘a ginormous frenzy’ and Ellie walking ‘in a fog of convoluted memories and migraine medicine.’ Well-defined characters in a zigzagging medical tale rife with surprises.” —Kirkus

AmazonB&NTBD | Goodreads

CHAPTER ONE: ELLIE

3:09 p.m. | JUNE 3RD

The little girl looked like someone had taken her to the butcher shop and ground her face into hamburger. One of her pigtails was crooked, making her scars appear even less symmetrical. She looked up at me from where she was coloring in a book on the coffee table. Her crayon broke.

“That’s quite a grip you’ve got there.” I crouched down and gazed into her dark brown eyes. “Could I color too?” She hesitated. “Please?”

When she pushed the box of crayons over, I gave her my electric smile.

“Ellie.” Mom’s voice had the professional tone she always used around prospective clients. “I’m so glad you’re volunteering in the clinic today because I’d like you to meet Katie.”

“Nice to meet you.” With a contented sigh, I plopped my butt on the floor right next to Katie, and the little girl giggled. I selected a brown crayon the same shade as her skin. “Maybe you could give me some pointers?” I inspected Katie’s depiction of a princess attacking a dragon. “You look like you know what you’re doing.”

Katie smiled at the compliment, but her parents didn’t notice. They both sat in wooden chairs in front of Mom and Dad’s double-wide desk on the other side of the room from where Katie and I colored. Katie’s father clutched a brochure with an iron grip. His wife stared at the wall of diplomas and medical degrees that dominated the room.

Mom smoothed her French twist. Her red hair was the same color as mine. “Ellie’s highly trained at counseling new patients and making them feel at home.”

“She’s the Narcosis Clinic’s version of a candy striper,” Dad added. “Aren’t you, sweetheart?”

“Yeah, except you never let me eat candy.” I pretended to scowl and leaned against Katie. “Does your dad let you eat sugar?” Katie froze at the contact. I rushed on. “My dad’s a dermatologist. That means a skin doctor. He thinks ice cream and candy are bad for my complexion.” I sat up straighter and did my best Dad impersonation. “‘Modern medical miracles are no substitute for proper nutrition.’”

My parents both chuckled, and then Katie’s parents laughed too—with the wheezing sound of people who had held their breath too long.

I chose a green crayon from the box. “You have no idea how many vegetables they make me eat.”

“I don’t have to eat vegetables,” Katie whispered. “I used to, before the raccoon, but now I can eat anything I want. Even ice cream for breakfast.”

The adults stopped laughing, eyes trained on Katie.

I turned my body to shield her from view. “Ice cream for breakfast sounds delicious.” I shaded in the tail of her dragon. “If you come here, you won’t need to worry about breakfast for three months.”

“That’s what they told me.” Katie set her crayon down, forehead furrowed. “But I still don’t understand.”

“Want me to show you?” I glanced up to Mom, seeking her approval.

“That would be excellent.” Mom leaned back in her chair. “Ellie can show Katie what a narcosis room looks like while we go over the paperwork.”

“Come on, Katie.” I held out my hand. “Let’s go.”

Katie’s tiny fingers sweated in my palm as I led her into the hall, through the locked doors, down the glass staircase, and into the heart of the public lobby. Since the Narcosis Clinic was only a few blocks from the Space Needle, we often got tourists who wandered over from the Seattle Center curious to take a peek at the medical facility famous for making dreams come true.

A seven-minute documentary played on repeat in the foyer. “Narcosis rooms have been around since the 1960s when Dr. William Sargant first used them in London to treat depressed housewives. Despite the dutiful attention of Nightingale nurses, Dr. Sargant’s early experiments in narcosis sometimes caused death and insanity. Thanks to the pioneering work of Doctors Belinda and Warren Savage, narcosis is now safe. If you struggle with any of a variety of health issues, the Narcosis Clinic can help. Patients wake up three months later thinner, happier, and with smoother skin. And they don’t remember a single painful surgery.” I’d heard the spiel so many times it was seared into my mind. “Sleep for three months and make your problems go away. At the Narcosis Clinic, dreams really do come true.

“We don’t need to watch that,” I told Katie, hurrying her through the metal doors into the staged narcosis room that tourists viewed. “I’ve got something better to show you.” The scent of lavender greeted us, and light filtered in through clouded windows.

“It’s beautiful!” Katie skipped over to the brass bed piled high with silk cushions. When she turned to look at me, her maimed face gouged my heart. “Can I jump on the bed?”

“Of course you can; just let me move these sensors out of the way first.” I slid some tubing aside and made sure the machines housed in stainless steel boxes behind the bed were disconnected. It was real equipment even though it was just for show. “Go for it!”

Katie leaped into the center of the pillow-top mattress and vaulted herself like it was a trampoline. Squealing, she bounced up and down until the comforter tangled and all of the pillows fell onto the floor. When she finally collapsed in a heap of exhaustion, I pulled over one steel container with a small monitor sticking out the top.

“See this computer?” I flicked a switch on the side of the box and the monitor turned white. “It monitors patients while they sleep.” I pointed to a smaller box next to it that had headphones attached. “And that’s the computer for psychic-driving.”

Katie sat back up so she could see. “Like driving a car?”

“More like driving a brain. If a person comes in here feeling sad, my mom plays a psychic-driving tape that says, ‘I love my life. I am happy all the time.’ Or something like that. Then, when the patient wakes up, she’s all better.”

Katie wrinkled her scarred forehead. “What will the tape say for me?”

“I don’t know. What do you think it will say?”

Katie looked down at her hands. I hadn’t noticed before, but a chunk of flesh was missing from her left elbow. Mom could heal that too. In addition to being a psychiatrist, she was a plastic surgeon.

“Maybe the tapes would say something about the raccoon,” Katie whispered. “About how not all of them are bad and I don’t need to be afraid all the time.”

I swallowed hard. “Hold on a sec. Your pigtails are crooked.” I reached over and adjusted the offending hairdo. If only everything were so easy to fix. “Much better.” Katie’s smile made me glow inside. “Do you have nightmares?”

Katie nodded. “It’s hard to sleep. The other doctors said the only thing they could give me was medicine.”

“Well, those doctors don’t know everything. My parents are brilliant.”

“Really?” Katie looked up at me under a fringe of long eyelashes.

“I promise you and your beautiful eyes that you’ve come to the right place.”

Another smile burst across Katie’s face even as her brown eyes welled with tears. “Nobody says that word about me anymore.”

My eyes became wet too, especially after I kissed Katie on her hamburger cheek. “Don’t worry, Princess Katie. Three months from now, everyone will say that you’re beautiful.”

A couple of hours later, my parents and I were upstairs in our residence making an early dinner. “You’re remarkable,” Mom said to me as she stood at the kitchen counter grating carrots for a salad. She’d traded her heels for slippers and wore an apron that said “Surgeons know how to slice.” “You’re so poised and helpful. Every day you make your father and me proud.”

I flushed at the praise and took down some plates so that I could set the table.

“No, really.” Mom dumped the veggies into a bowl. “The way you handled that patient today was exceptional. By the time you brought Katie back into the room, she was begging her parents to sign the papers.”

“I can’t believe they were nervous in the first place.” Dad adjusted the burner, where he pan-fried salmon. “If Katie were my daughter, there’d be no way I’d let her live like that. Ninety days of treatment will fix everything.”

“Now, Warren, let’s not judge.” Mom rinsed lettuce over the sink. “Subjecting your child to elective surgery is scary.”

I shook out the placemats. “I don’t think reconstructing Katie’s face counts as elective.”

Dad nodded in agreement.

“And I hope they killed that raccoon.”

“Ellie!” Mom chided me.

“You can’t honestly hope the raccoon is still alive?” I set three plates on the kitchen table then sat in my usual chair.

“The only thing we can control is what happens inside the clinic.”

“Always the objective scientist.” Dad kissed Mom on the top of her head on his way to bringing the salmon to the table.

“I can’t help what I can’t help.” Mom took off her apron and hung it on her chair before sitting down. “So I don’t bother worrying about what’s beyond my control.” She picked up her napkin and placed it on her lap. “Speaking of which…”

I stared at my empty plate. “I’m not sure what I want to do.”

“We could still send you to camp this summer like you told your friends you’d be doing.” Dad broke off a piece of fillet and slid it on my dish before serving Mom and himself.

“Archery and canoeing sound like a blast,” I said sarcastically.

Dad shrugged. “Starting another round of narcosis is entirely your decision.”

“I’d psychic-drive all the AP prep directly into your head,” Mom said with a tempting tone. “Wouldn’t that make senior year easy? But there’s nothing wrong with studying the old-fashioned way too. We could send you to camp with flashcards instead.”

“The school bit would be a nice bonus, but that’s not the reason I would do narcosis.”

Dad set down his wine glass. “Your nightmares might go away with time.”

“I’ll find you a new therapist,” Mom offered, “to help you with your phobia.”

“But what about my lost memories?” I accidentally dropped my fork, and it clattered to the table. “How would I get those back?”

“Even with narcosis, there’s no guarantee,” said Mom. “Retrograde amnesia is hard to cure.”

“But you said if my brain can rest and feel safe for three months, there’s a good chance my memories will come back on their own.”

“Maybe.” Dad twisted his napkin. “We never should have sent you to boarding school. I wish I knew what happened that is making your brain forget.”

“At least I came back speaking French.”

“Not worth it.” Mom’s voice shook. “I’ll never forgive myself.

“Me either,” said Dad.

I hated when they beat themselves up like that. “Guys, it wasn’t your fault. Dad didn’t go wacko when he went to Remington Prep.”

“Don’t say that!” Mom slapped the table. “Not only is it politically incorrect, you’re doing great now. When your brain is ready to remember, it will. Another summer of narcosis might help you remember faster, but I can’t make any promises. That’s why this is your decision.” Mom took my hand in hers.

“Thanks, Mom.” I squeezed her hand. “I think I want to go for it, but I’ll let you know in the morning for sure.” I looked at Dad. “Okay?”

He reached for my other hand. “Absolutely.”

Chapter originally posted on Owl Hollow Press’s Website

About the Author

Jennifer Bardsley writes the parenting column “I Brake for Moms” for The Everett Daily Herald. You can find Jennifer on her website: http://JenniferBardsley.net or on her Facebook page: The YA Gal. An alumna of Stanford University, Jennifer lives in Edmonds, WA with her husband and two children.

Click here to subscribe to The YA Gal’s newsletter.

Website | Twitter | InstagramFacebook | Goodreads


Giveaway

2 lucky winners will win a finished copy of NARCOISIS ROOM, US Only.

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Tour Schedule

Week One:

2/18/2019- The Page Unbound– Excerpt

2/19/2019- Simply Daniel Radcliffe– Review

2/20/2019- K.L. Knovitzke – Author– Excerpt

2/21/2019- What A Nerd Girl Says– Review

2/22/2019- Lauren is Reading– Review

Week Two:

2/25/2019- Novel Novice– Excerpt

2/26/2019- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

2/27/2019- Kelly P’s Blog– Excerpt

2/28/2019- Character Madness and Musings– Spotlight

3/1/2019- BookHounds YA– Excerpt

Birth

Birth
By Donna Russo Morin
(Once, Upon a New Time, #1)
Publication date: February 15th 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis

New worlds don’t appear. They are born from the labor of those who envision them.

Count Witon has grown weary of the constant war between the races. Together with his wife Belamay, and Persky – first of a rare Human / Elf breed – Witon plans to create a new society: a utopia for anyone who longs for peaceful coexistence.

They recruit pilgrims from every city and species; most to success, some to failure. Together, they set off to a small, yet promising island, found by chance in the middle of the churning ocean.

But the journey there is fraught with challenges, and none of them is as dire as the one they face once they reach their destination. Will they have the strength and determination to give Birth to this New Time?

Once, Upon A New Time is a medieval fantasy with a double-edged sword: one of blood, the other of lust.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43697032-birth?ac=1&from_search=true

Purchase
Amazon

Excerpt

The explosion screeched through his ears and he brought his cupped hands up to shield them. His hands quivered against the cold flesh of his skull. He cracked open sleep-swollen eyes but saw no cabin, no floor or walls. He saw instead only chaos, a battlefield where creatures of every sort ran hither and yon, heedless of any purposeful direction. His nostrils flared against the stench of burning flesh, fur, and hair. Shrieking, sobbing, and the twang of launching arrows filled the hollows between cannon blasts. He turned and there, a decapitated Troll… a screaming, legless Goblin… an eviscerated Elf.

Witon squeezed his eyelids shut, rubbing them with balled fists. He brought his hands down, unfurling them, staring at the sticky, moist blood staining them dark and ruddy brown.

“No.” He shook his muddled head, mumbling to himself. “No. The wars are over for me.”

The bloodstain marks faded and vanished, an unwanted, unbidden phantom of his previous life.

The second explosion burst upon his ears at the same moment he tumbled from his hammock, a hammock designed to sway with the rolling of the ship. Witon smashed his head on the floor just as he heard the cry of his name from someone up on deck, the panic clear in the strained voice. He sat up, trying to shake some sense into his befuddled and bruised brain. The blinding whiteness of lightning stung his eyes as the crash of deafening thunder plundered his ears.

“Storm.” He spoke aloud the accursed word.

Witon jumped up, almost cracking his head once more on the low ceiling. He rushed from the cabin, tripping on the scattered items tossed to the floor, but gained his balance before he fell again.

The hallway was short and the stairs few, but it felt like miles before he reached the upper deck. Witon’s body flayed back and forth against the passageway’s close walls. Between blasts of thunder, desperate shouts of the crew mingled with the passenger’s fearful cries.

Witon’s head poked above deck, his skin immediately stung by the brutal, wind-driven rain, his eyes almost closing against the onslaught. His brother and Persky besieged him.

“It came upon us in a flash! We couldn’t prepare!” Mitren screamed over the roar of thunder and the blasting wind.

“We’re taking on water. The crew can’t seem to keep up with it!” Persky cried, choking on the deluge of rain rushing into his open mouth. His pale green eyes bulged from his small head and his ashen green skin had turned a sickly yellow.

Witon scanned the terrifying scene. It was morning, he knew it for a certainty. If the sun showed its face, it would be over the horizon, but it hid behind a veil of darkness, a dark beyond dark. Black clouds filled the entire sky, turning it to a low-hanging, ominous roof. The rain poured out, the water hanging from the bottom of the clouds, a wall of liquid crashing down upon them. All around him, every manner of creature held fast to whatever they could grasp. The boat rocked tumultuously. It took every ounce of strength not to topple over and out of the vessel.

Witon looked up. The crew had managed to pull in the sails but couldn’t batten them down. They flapped in the wind from the bottom of the masts like white ghosts hovering just above the deck of the ship.

Witon looked to the side and sucked in his breath—as well as the water streaming down his face—so fast, he spluttered and coughed.

The ocean came to life, alive and angry. The waves rushed at them, one right after the other, many feet above the ship’s ten-foot sides from waterline to railing. The raging, surging sea pummeled every being on board, again and again, as it crashed over the sides.

“What do we do, Witon, what do we do?” Mitren screamed.

Witon looked at his brother and saw his own stark fear reflected in the familiar eyes.

“Stay alive.”

About the Author

Donna Russo Morin is an award-winning historical fiction author. Donna has dabbled as a model and actor, working on Showtime’s Brotherhood and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. Branching out with her storytelling skills, Donna is now a screenwriter. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Donna lives on the south shore of Rhode Island close to the ocean she loves so very much. She is the proud mother of two sons, Devon and Dylan, her greatest works in progress.

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway

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Toxic

Toxic

By Lydia Kang

Genre: YA Scifi

Release date: November 6th 2018

Entangled Teen

Book Summary

Cyclo, the first and largest biological ship of its kind, is dying. A small crew of mercenaries have handed over the rights to their life to document the death of the ship, but the abandoned ship is anything but abandoned—one girl has been left behind.

Hana has known nothing but the isolation of a single room and the secret that has kept her there for seventeen years. When she meets Fennec, the boy assigned to watch her, she realizes that there is a world she has yet to experience but she is doomed to never meet.

When crew members begin mysteriously dying, Hana and Fenn realize that they are racing against the death of the ship to find a way to survive—unless someone kills them even before Hana’s truly had a chance to live.

 

Purchase links available HERE!

 

About the Author

Lydia Kang is an author of young adult fiction, poetry, and narrative non-fiction. She graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine, completing her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She is a practicing physician who has gained a reputation for helping fellow writers achieve medical accuracy in fiction. Her poetry and non-fiction have been published in JAMA, The Annals of Internal Medicine, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and Great Weather for Media. She believes in science and knocking on wood, and currently lives in Omaha with her husband and three children.

Author Links 

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Giveaway

A signed copy of TOXIC plus a swag bag, including enamel pin, signed print of a hand painted TOXIC artwork, bookmarks, and signed book plates. Open in US only (a $20 Amazon e-gift card will be substituted for an international winner)

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Painless Promo

Painless
Marty Thornley
Publication date: January 12th 2018
Genres: Adult, Horror, Psychological Thriller

 

About the Book

The debut psychological-horror novel from author Marty Thornley is a page-turning ride, a front row seat to a clinical trial gone horribly wrong.

For Greg Owens, this was supposed to be a chance to end years of back pain and escape his reliance on pain pills. If it all worked out, he could maybe even get back the life he left behind as the pills took control.

Instead, as the patients are cured of their physical pain, they encounter a different sort of pain building inside them – obsessive thoughts, depression, self-destruction. The side-effects grow worse, and the suspense ratchets tighter. The patients want answers and violent revenge, setting them on a collision course with a crazed doctor, determined to protect his life’s obsession.

What readers are saying…

“…most definitely a recommended read, though it’s probably not the best choice for those with a weak stomach.”

Gruesome and twisted. Awesome!!!”

“OMG this book. Holy heck the gruesome descriptions of blood and gore and guts was SO RAD. I found myself cringing and fidgeting and yes, even feeling a bit nauseous in some spots – but totally in a GOOD WAY! Painless was exactly what I wanted in a super-unique, creepy, shocking horror-thriller.”

Goodreads / Amazon

Excerpt

Streams of smoke and steam rise into the sky from the burnt underside of a car, wrecked and resting on its roof. The heat of the engine and exhaust distorts the air above, and the metal crackles as it cools in the breeze of early morning.

1965 Cadillac Coupe De Ville. Black. It still has that new-car shine. Even with the wreckage of the crash, it is evident the car was cleaned and cared for. The tires, still spinning, slowly come to a stop.

A small hand reaches from the broken back window. A boy drags himself carefully out of the twisted, broken door. Blood drips from his scalp, down his face and onto his suit—disheveled from the crash but cleaned and ironed just a couple of hours ago.

He stands and, though only seven-years-old, stumbles and braces himself against the car like a drunk who just pulled himself out of his own wreck. For a moment he looks out into the distance.

It is quiet here.

The pine trees lining this lonely stretch of road are swayed by an almost silent wind. Behind the seemingly endless forest, snow-capped mountains stand indifferently.

A woman moans in pain.

The boy moves forward, making his way around the back of the car, bracing himself on the tail light, the license plate, the bumper. He rounds the corner to the driver’s side. A woman’s head and arms hang out of the driver’s window. A pool of blood spreads around her.

“Mama?”

She tries to smile. Blood drips from her lips.

“Does it hurt?”

She reaches for the back of her neck. “I can’t… get it…” Her fingers grasp a shard of metal that has pierced her spine. “Agh!”

The boy moves aside her hair, exposing an angled fragment of chrome window trim—embedded deep in her neck, its bent and twisted length shooting through a ragged and bleeding gash of skin. As his fingers brush against the shiny protrusion, she closes her eyes and clamps her mouth shut—refusing the pain and stifling a scream.

“I… need… you to… pull it…”

The boy tugs. The metal moves.

“AHHHHHHHH!”

The boy hesitates.

“PULL IT!”

He tugs again. The chrome spike slides out of her neck. Blood splashes off the end and splatters his face.

A serene calm washes over Mama’s face.

“Thank you, baby. It doesn’t hurt anymore.”

“It doesn’t?”

Mama smiles. Her hand reaches up, wiping the blood from her son’s face with her thumb.

The boy smiles back.

Mama’s hand goes limp and drops away. Mama’s eyes gloss over.

“Mama?”

Mama is dead.

A drop of crimson pools at the tip of the sharp and twisted chrome, still held tightly in his fingers, finally building the critical mass to drip down into the dirt between his feet.

The boy stares down. Cold and calculating.

About the Author

Marty started writing short stories as a teenager, inspired as much by favorite books and movies as the environment and characters that define the South Shore of Massachusetts. The pull of the movies dragged him first to film school and finally to Los Angeles, where he poked at the outskirts of the industry with screenplays and short films.

As his interest in a film career fizzled, he rebuilt himself bit-by-bit as a programmer. He spent the next decade building websites, finally realizing that something had been lost. His stories were collecting dust in the back of his brain while he sat through conference calls and code reviews.

So he returned to the woods of New England and the calming darkness under the trees. He returned to find the things that crawl in the undergrowth and turn them into words on the page. He dusted off one of his screenplays and turned it into his first novel. In the process, a dormant storyteller was awakened and is now seeking the next blank page to fill.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Maiden

Maiden
Teresa A. Harrison
(The Lightwalker Series, #1)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: October 13th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Book Summary

Marta and Jayme are childhood friends with different beliefs. Marta dreams of becoming a healer. Jayme has been schooled by the black-coats, a group of priests who claim women are inferior, and he fears Marta is jeopardizing her eternal future.

Despite a heated debate over Marta’s soul, Jayme betrays her to the priests. The consequences of this betrayal change Marta’s life forever and sends Jayme on his own journey.

After a brutal massacre, Marta awakens deep in the forest overcome with grief for her lost sisters, but the world will not let her rest. The tragedy has changed her. She hears the call of nature, eventually steering her toward a small cottage in the wilderness. There she learns of nature’s magic and what it means to be a LightWalker. The path is there for her to follow. If she’s strong enough to embrace it…

Goodreads / Amazon

 

Author Bio

Teresa Harrison grew up in Decatur, Illinois, and graduated from Eureka College with a BA in Speech and Theatre. She has a son and daughter-in-law and now two beautiful grandchildren.

She met her husband, Glenn, while on a spiritual journey to Sedona, AZ. They realized they had something special, but they lived on opposite edges of North America. Two years later, she joined Glenn in Southern California.

Teresa has been studying spiritual topics for nearly 40 years and is a Reiki Master, a Breathwork Facilitator, an herbalist and teacher. She has studied Universal Laws, Reincarnation, aromatherapy, yoga, meditation and many other spiritual topics.

Teresa has been reading and telling stories her whole life, and now she has finally written one of them down.

Website / Facebook

 

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Frequency Promo

Frequency
By Christopher Krovatin
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: October 2nd 2018
Entangled Teen

Book Summary

Five years ago, Fiona was just a kid. But everything changed the night the Pit Viper came to town. Sure, he rid the quiet, idyllic suburb of Hamm of its darkest problems. But Fiona witnessed something much, much worse from Hamm’s adults when they drove him away.

And now, the Pit Viper is back.

Fiona’s not just a kid anymore. She can handle the darkness she sees in the Pit Viper, a DJ whose wicked tattoos, quiet anger, and hypnotic music seem to speak to every teen in town…except her. She can handle watching as each of her friends seems to be overcome, nearly possessed by the music. She can even handle her unnerving suspicion that the DJ is hell-bent on revenge.

But she’s not sure she can handle falling in love with him. 

PURCHASE

Excerpt

As she closed the door, Horace sat down on the bed, a bitter look spreading across his face.Whats up? he said.

“I’m sorry I missed the beginning of your set, she said. “What happened?”

He waved a hand in front of his face. Apparently, theres someone else coming in, some friend of Tesss who wants to… It doesnt matter. Dont want to talk about it.

“Hey, look, she said, sitting down next to him. “Its okay to be upset. That really sucks. I’m so sorry. He went to gulp his beer, and she reached out and held his wrist, stopping him. “But you’re drinking really fast. Please take it easy, okay?”

Annoyance crossed his face, but then he considered the cup and nodded, placing it on a bedside table. You’re right. You’re totally right. I’m sorry, Fiona, I justuuuugh, I feel like such a dick. I worked all week on a set that no one got to hear.

“It happens, she said. “Besides, these assholes wouldn’t appreciate your stuff anyway. You’re too good for them.

Finally, there it was—a smile. A reluctant one, maybe, but shed take it.

Youre too good for me, he said, putting an arm around her. Thanks, babe, I…needed this. I needed you to talk some sense into me.

I just want you to be happy, she said, riding the sudden rush of relief.

I know, he said. Thats why I love you.Boom.

 

About the Author


Chris Krovatin is an author and journalist of some ill repute. His past novels include Heavy Metal & You, Venomous, and the Gravediggers series. He is a contributor to Revolver Magazine and MetalSucks.net, and formerly sang in Brooklyn-based metal band Flaming Tusk. He is an avid fan of weird fiction, the occult, horror movies, heavy metal music, and Halloween. A native New Yorker, he now lives in Denver, Colorado.

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Jaclyn and the Beanstalk

Jaclyn and the Beanstalk
By Mary Ting
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: September 4th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Book Synopsis:

What fate awaits a girl who hears monsters at night…Sixteen-year-old Jaclyn looks up to her father. An honest man who once fought for the king, he now teaches Jaclyn how to use her wits—and her sword.

But he has a secret. And his secret may have a connection to the one thing Jaclyn is hiding from him.

Upon hearing “monsters” are terrorizing the small villages around Black Mountain, Jaclyn’s father and his friends head out to hunt them … but they don’t return.

Armed only with her sword and three magic beans—a gift from a mysterious old woman—Jaclyn sets out for Black Mountain to save her father.

On her climb, one bean drops and grows into a beanstalk, catching her when she falls.

She isn’t the only one that takes the ride. Jack, her childhood friend and secret crush, is following her.

Together, Jaclyn and Jack must battle to save not only their fathers, but the townspeople the beasts plan to lay waste to before it’s too late.

 

Purchase
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo
About the Author
International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.
Author Links

 

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Garden of Thorns Blitz

Garden of Thorns (Garden of Thorns #1)
By Amber Mitchell
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Release Date: March 6th 2017
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:

After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.

Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.

Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll take to her grave if she must.
 
ON SALE FOR ONLY $0.99!
PURCHASE LINKS


The sequel, War of the Wilted, releases on October 1, 2018! (cover coming soon!)
 

Book Summary 

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.

 

Preorder links for the second book in the series, War of the Wilted!
 
 
About the Author
Amber Mitchell graduated from the University of South Florida with a BA in Creative Writing. She likes crazy hair styles, reading, D&D, k-dramas, good puns and great food.

When she isn’t putting words on paper, she is using cardstock to craft 3D artwork or exploring new places with her husband Brian. They live a small town in Florida with their four cats where she is still waiting for a madman in a blue box to show up on her doorstep.

Garden of Thorns is her debut novel from Entangled Teen.
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