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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The She-Wolf of Kanta
by Marlena Frank
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Release Date: April 17th 2018
Legion Imprint of Radiant Crown Publishing


“A pair of yellow eyes caught the moonlight and locked onto hers.”

Mercy has always dreamed of becoming a werewolf trapper like her father. In Kanta, one must learn how to survive one way or another. A dark-skinned, blue-eyed young beauty, Mercy understands that she brings out the beast in monsters and men. When a routine werewolf delivery turns into a vicious assault from a pair of human traffickers, Mercy’s life changes forever. Somehow she must endure in a dangerous city where women and werewolves are hunted.




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Inspiration for The She-Wolf of Kanta

By Marlena Frank

It’s no secret that slaves have always been treated terribly. They had their freedom and autonomy stripped away from them, they had no power or rights, and they certainly had no one to protect them. If you were considered a disruptive or unruly slave, then the consequences were far worse.

When I was younger, I found a book describing how terribly slaves were treated in the Caribbean islands. It had a graphic illustration of what was done to slaves who had attempted to revolt but failed. Now I know the term of that punishment was punitive limb amputation, but at the time I was simply horrified by it. I didn’t keep track of where the image came from, the location of the drawing, or even what book it showed up in, but it stuck with me for years.

Occasionally I would search for more information on that illustration, wondering if maybe I dreamed it up. All I could find was information on the fact that punitive limb amputation existed during that time, but no more than that. I could find nothing about how it was used as a punishment for disruptive slaves or how they were then forced into physical labor groups, probably until death.

When I started writing The She-Wolf of Kanta, the illustration once again was clear in my mind, and I knew I wanted to integrate it somehow within the story. If werewolves were used as this slave labor instead of people; on the surface it may seem more acceptable, but werewolves were also once humans, right? Isn’t it easier to persecute people who we claim are animals, monsters, or somehow beneath us?

Punitive limb amputation is no longer happening in the Caribbean, but it is happening in the world today. Considering that human trafficking is still a major concern in the United States (and especially in my home city of Atlanta, GA), it’s important to bring this dangerous kind of thinking to light.



About the Author

A writer of both fantasy and horror, Marlena’s work is in a smattering of anthologies. Her stories lean toward weird horror, creature horror, and YA fantasy. She typically thinks up strange tales while sipping sweet tea at her Georgia home, listening to podcasts on her hour-long commute, or while reading a good book with her three cats.


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Aransas Morning: Interview and Giveaway

  Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Life
Date of Publication: September 22, 2017
Number of Pages: 304

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When Sam Barnes’ high-flying life in Dallas falls apart, he flees to the coastal town of Port Aransas, Texas and fades into the life of a reclusive beach bum. But things start to change when he meets Dave, a young widower working through his own loss; Shelly, owner of the Dream Bean coffee shop; Bo, a crusty old shrimper; and Allie, Bo’s free-spirited daughter. Together they are tested and forced to confront their own issues. In doing so they discover family and community.

“Engrossing characters that keep doing unexpected things. Strong sense of place along the Texas coast and deep knowledge of the culture. This book is about relationships and how ‘family’ and ‘community’ might be redefined.”

“In this heartwarming book, Jeff Hampton took me to a place I’ve never been and captured me with his delightful characters, seaside landscape, and deft use of words to portray a small group of people who came together to create and run the Dream Bean cafe. Great summer reading.”

“I loved the characters, with their flaws and their graces. It is an honest and heart-warming story of redemption coming through community. I’m really glad I read it.”

“Really nice character development, articulating in a very comfortable and readable style the messy, complex, joyous and hopeful ways we build, break and nurture ‘community.’”
“Very quickly in the story, the characters became like friends. The book is engaging and held my interest.”

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Interview with Author Jeff Hampton

How has being a Texan influenced your writing?

Texas is a big and colorful state – a country unto itself, really – and it inspires stories that are big and colorful.

Why did you choose to write in your particular genre?

I didn’t choose the genre; it chose me. I live in a real world with real people and I like real stories about real people. Science fiction and fantasy can wow us with amazing technology and powers; those stories only work and we only are attracted to them when the characters have emotions and challenges that we can relate to.

Where did your love of books and storytelling come from?

I’m not sure because it’s always been there in one way or another.


How long have you been writing?

My education and career have been in journalism and communications, so I have been writing in one way or another for more than three decades.


What kinds of writing do you do?

All of my published book writing is fiction, but I’ve also written essays and short memoir pieces and plan to publish them too. My fictional stories usually contain pieces of events and real emotions from my own life, so it makes sense to go ahead and share more of the details through non-fiction writing.


What cultural value do you see in books?

The traditional journalism I’ve worked in has been overtaken by social media, but books will never die as long as there are storytellers telling good stories. Movies and television put it all on the screen, but books still allow room for the imagination and that is so important.


How does your book relate to your faith?

Many of my stories are about people who are trying to figure out the meaning of life and how they fit into it. And they often discover the meaning of life through community – not acting and living as solo characters but as members of something larger than themselves.


What was the hardest part of writing this book? 

The hardest part of writing for me is knowing when to let it go and trust it to readers. I could edit and tinker forever, but if I do that then it never gets published and read.


What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Not knowing where the characters were going next. I had a broad idea of where the story was going, but my characters become real people, and they don’t always do and say what I think they will do and say when I first start out.


Which character from your book is most or least like you?

Dave is most like me. He has lost a wife to illness and is trying to rebuild his life. On the other hand, Dave is much more outgoing than me. I am more of an introvert and a potential loner like Sam.


What did you find most useful in learning to write for publication?  What was least useful or most destructive?

Because my fiction is embedded with real life, I had to live and experience more of life before I could write about it. In some ways, I wish I had started writing fiction years ago but the reality is I had to wait, so I would know how to clothe fictional characters in the real joys and sorrows of life.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

I quit a full-time job a few years ago to focus more on fiction and essay writing, but my writing today includes freelance articles for business and institutional magazines. The paid work is very different, so it is a good counterbalance to creative writing.


What are some day jobs that you have held?  Have any of them impacted your writing?

All of my day jobs have required writing – newspapers, magazines, corporate communications, etc. – and I think the newspaper work has instilled in me a brevity that keeps a story moving.


What does your perfect writing spot look like? Is that what your ACTUAL writing spot looks like?

I have a wonderful upstairs room with a big window looking out over the neighborhood. It’s a great place to write and was created for that purpose. But the truth is I write wherever I am and whatever I am doing. I’m always thinking, taking notes on an iPhone or iPad, scribbling on pieces of paper. But it all eventually comes together in my upstairs room.

Do you have any strange writing habits or writing rituals you’d like to share with your readers?

Some writers are very focused and disciplined and will tell you they sit down at their desk and hammer it out for hours on end. I start and stop and shift gears a lot. I get stuck on a scene or a conversation, and so I switch gears and work on a freelance project or go work in the yard or run an errand. Doing those other things always sends me back to my desk with fresh ideas.


During a 35-year career in journalism and communications, Jeff Hampton has covered and written about topics ranging from business and finance to history and faith. His bylines have appeared in publications ranging from The Dallas Morning News to The New York Times.
He attended Baylor University where he majored in journalism and was editor of the Baylor Lariat campus newspaper. He began his professional career at the Waco Tribune-Herald and has written for newspapers, magazines, businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies.
Hampton has based his life and career in Texas where his interest in observing the people around him has led him to write essays, short stories, and novels that explore relationships and communities in their many forms.
Aransas Morning is his fifth book, following Grandpa Jack, When the Light Returned to Main Street, Jonah Prophet and The Snowman Uprising on Hickory Lane.
Watch for Aransas Evening, a sequel to Aransas Morning, in 2018. 
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Derailed Blitz and Giveaway

Book & Author Details:
by Genevieve Iseult Eldredge
(A Circuit Fae Prequel Novella)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: January 23rd 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Syl Skye. Rouen Rivoche. Star-crossed lovers who should be mortal enemies. This is the story of how they met.

A nightly excursion to DC. A goth-rock show. One innocent train ride. That’s all it takes for high school sophomore Syl Skye’s perfectly normal world to come crashing down.

Because unbeknownst to her, she’s a sleeper-princess of the fair Fae—a vessel of Fae power that has yet to Awaken—and there are dark Fae who want her dead, dead, dead.

Rouen Rivoche is one of those dark Fae. Bound to the Agravaine the dark Fae Huntsman who is dedicated to wiping out all sleeper-princesses, Rouen has no choice but to hunt Syl down and spill her blood.

But a chance meeting in a nightclub, a brush of their hands, a lingering look… Despite herself, Rouen is attracted to Syl. And when she lets Syl get away…that’s when their troubles really begin.

After all, every couple has their issues, right?

Find out how Syl and Rouen met in this new prequel novella to MORIBUND, Book 1 of the Circuit Fae…


.5. Derailed (Moribund prequel novella) – January 23, 2018
1. Moribund – September 12, 2017
2. Ouroboros – March 27, 1018

Perfect for readers of romance, urban fantasy, fairy stories and LGBT.

“Moribund is a little bit Throne of Glass, a little bit Buffy, and a whole lot sexy.” – Skye Allen, author of The Songbird Thief


In this scene, Syl and her squad are at a club where Euphoria’s playing. Syl’s never seen Euphoria, and she’s excited, but Fiann’s acting weird, treating Syl poorly and trying to bully her into double-dating the Dickinson twins, Brody and Bryce. Syl ducks into the bathroom to catch her breath.

* * * *

I take a deep breath and pat the nail where it rests secretly against my skin. Okay, Syl. It’s go-time. I shove the door open. Head held high, I step out into the flashing lights of the club, and bam! run right into someone.

“Steady on.” Strong hands keep me from falling on my butt, and during our awkward two-step, I catch a glimpse of raven-dark hair and sapphire-blue eyes ringed in gold. Her deep chuckle is like rolling thunder.

“I-I’m sorry.” I look up, brushing my red curls out of my face.

Whoa. My poor heart. She’s gorgeous. Her eyes are all intense and glowy as she searches my face. The ache in my chest gets worse—but also, somehow better.

What is happening? I reach out and touch her hand. Where I want to feel skin, I feel the leather of a glove.

Still, a jolt passes between us.

She lingers, her pretty face a bit dazed. She looks from our touching hands back up. “You…”

She feels it too. Whatever it is.

And dear heaven and all the angels, she’s… Wow. She’s something else. High cheekbones, full lips curved into a smile that’s part mischief, part mayhem. Her bronze skin holds an inner glow even in the dim light of the club, and those eyes… When she looks at me, the club, the flashing lights, all the people—everything falls away and there is only the two of us.

“Who are you?” she whispers, and I hear it because she’s leaned in close, so close I can feel her warm breath on my cheek.

“I…” Introduce yourself already! But I’m all tongue-tied, frozen like the world’s biggest dork. My fingers find the strip of skin between her glove and her sleeve. Ohhhh…so warm and silky, and… What the heck are you doing, Syl?

She chuckles again, more rumbly, rolling thunder. “Are you all right?”

Yes. No. Urgggg… I step back, my cheeks on fire. She smells like all the good things in autumn—crisp leaves and harvest moons and sultry bourbon vanilla. Whoa. I’m getting a little swoony. “I-I’m fine. Really. Are you?”

“Yes, but I’d like to…” She swallows hard, seeming almost shy beneath her super-cool exterior. She licks her bottom lip, and I nearly pass out right there. “Will you meet me after the show?”

Did mine ears deceive me? Girl works fast! Plus, I can tell she’s at least a year older than me. “I…” Say something, silly!

“I’m sorry.” She pulls her hand from mine and steps away.

The loss of her touch leaves me cold. Moments from losing her to the crowd, I pluck up my courage. “What’s your name?”

That smile curves her lips like a kept secret. “I’m Euphoria.”

Euphoria. Whaaaaaaaaatttt? Seriously, Syl, only you could carry on an entire freakin conversation with your goth idol and not even recognize her.

But no…there’s something else, some other reason I didn’t recognize her right off the bat. I just can’t put my finger on it. Plus, I’m still swoony.

“I have to go.” She leans in, whispers in my ear, “After?”

I feel like only my heart can answer that question, but before I can even blink, she’s gone. Like gone-gone. One moment she’s in front of me; the next she’s vanished. Poof!

Euphoria. And she wants to see me “after.”

Crazy. This is crazy.

I shade my eyes from the blue-and-red houselights and look to the stage. After about ten minutes, the house music fades away, and the stage goes dark.

A lone silhouette appears there, backlit. It’s her.

Heat races through my body, my hand tingling from her touch. My stomach does a lazy barrel-roll, and those butterflies everyone’s always told me about? Yeah, apparently mine are Olympic gymnasts, because my whole stomach feels like it’s going for the Gold.

Oooookay. Chill out. I touch the iron nail beneath my dress. Gotta thank Glamma for the lucky pendant.

I step out of the bathroom and beeline toward the stage. I feel feverish, mad as hatter and a March hare all rolled into one.

I only know this: I have to see her again.

I’ve always hated crowds, but without another thought, I push my way to the stage.        Toward Euphoria, and toward the “after” that will bring me back to her.



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Raised by witches and dragons in the northern wilds, GIE writes angsty urban fantasy YA romance–where girls who are mortal enemies kick butt, take names, and fall in love against all odds.

She enjoys long hikes in the woods (where better to find the fair folk?), believing in fairies (in fact, she’s clapping right now), dancing with dark elves (always wear your best shoes), being a self-rescuing princess (hello, black belt!), and writing diverse books about teenage girls finding love, romance, and their own inner power.

She might be planning high tea at the Fae Court right now.

GIE is multi-published, and in her role as an editor has helped hundreds of authors make their dream of being published a reality.

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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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Palo Duro: Excerpt



  Genre: Historical Fiction / Western

Publisher: Page Publishing, Inc.

Date of Publication: September 2, 2017

Number of Pages: 226

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Westward expansion following the civil war ushered in an era of increased conflict between the Southern Plains Indians and white settlers. Peace treaties offered temporary suspension of hostilities, but more often than not resulted in broken promises as the two cultures clashed over land. The construction of frontier forts and towns, the decimation of the buffalo herds, the movement of cattle through Indian lands to burgeoning western markets, – all of these forces threatened a way of life that had existed for centuries.

The Comanche, the Southern Cheyenne, the Kiowa, the Apache all fought to protect their customs and homelands. The clashes were characterized by savagery on both sides – Indian and white. However, finite numbers and options would ensure the tribes’ defeat; they faced certain death or forced relocation and their days were numbered.

Though the Indian wars are the focus of Palo Duro, the novel also captures the spirit of the “Old West” with its depiction of the great cattle drives from Texas into Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado and Montana, the cattle barons and the trail blazers, the outlaws and gunslingers, the lawmen and Texas Rangers, and the settlers and entrepreneurs who built this country. It chronicles an era characterized by heroism, brutality, and bold ventures while paying tribute to a genre that is fading from public consciousness – the western. It is the story of the Southwest United States towards the end of the nineteenth century and the rugged individualism that forged a nation.


This book captured Central Texas in the post-Civil War era better than any other book I’ve read. It was well researched, well written, and easy to read. I enjoyed this book more than Empire of the Summer Moon, the standard setter. I recommend this to readers of any level, even if you dislike history, as this book is that good. – Jeffrey R. Murray, Amazon review

Max Knight brought to life the saga of how Texas tamed their frontier. He presents a colorful experience with characters effectively placed throughout his story. If you have any interest in Texas history this book is a must read. – AmazonJacki, Amazon review

Palo Duro is an exceptional novel, well researched; a must read. – Chuck B., Amazon review

Reading this book is a great way to deepen and appreciate one’s Texas roots – or if you are not a Texan to understand and enjoy what makes Texas, well, Texas! I found this novel to be especially entertaining as well as informative. Made me want to go back and read Lonesome Dove again! – Michael P., Amazon review

In the spirit of the old Western genre of Zane Grey and L’amour, Max Knight pays homage to our national heritage with this fictional but historically accurate labor of love that warms the heart with his vivid imagery and authentic tone of America’s illustrious and sometimes brutal past. – Chester Sosinski, Amazon review


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Excerpt from Palo Duro

By Max Knight

Quanah Parker was surprised to find his sworn foe standing in front of him. Charles Goodnight had been one of the Texas Rangers that had “rescued” Cynthia Ann Parker and her daughter from the Comanche and returned them to her white “family.” Cynthia Ann had been living with the Comanche since her abduction at the age of eleven. She’d married and bore several children (Quanah amongst them) during her time amongst the Indians, and her rescue had separated her from the only life she really knew. She had been unable to re-assimilate into white society and, after her little girl died from an illness, Cynthia Ann succumbed to inconsolable grief, dying from “a broken heart.”

Quanah Parker blamed the man that now stood in front of him waiting for his response.

“You know I’ve sworn to kill you,” replied Quanah.

“You can do that. But in spite of our pasts, I think you might want to hear me out.”

Quanah gestured to the entrance to his teepee and preceded Charles Goodnight inside. The smell of smoke permeated the air and, as Goodnight surveyed the interior, the scalps on the war lances lying against the hide walls caught his attention. Both men took a seat opposite one another.

“What is it that makes you think you’ll leave here alive?” asked Quanah.

“Well, your own sense of honor won’t let you kill me, at least not here anyway. And, I’ve come to believe you’re an honorable man that only fights for his people’s survival. If that ain’t true and you’re just the savage that others believe you to be, then I guess I’m a dead man.”

“Speak what’s on your mind.”

“I’ve a proposition for you,” Goodnight began. “The buffalo are vanishing and along with them your people’s food source. No matter how hard you resist, the white hunters aren’t going to stop killing them for their hides, and the Army will continue not only to protect those hunters from your warriors but they will pursue you to the ends of the earth. Your numbers are dwindling. However, there is no need for anyone to starve. I can offer you a way to feed the people without conflict.”


“Let me graze cattle within the walls of this canyon and I’ll provide you with enough meat so your people won’t starve. I only ask that you leave the herd and me alone.”

“The white man has promised food to us before on the reservations. Those promises were lies,” said Quanah.

“I’m not negotiating for the government nor am I making promises on their behalf. I want to live here with my wife and raise cattle. In exchange for peace between us, I promise you meat. I’d rather find some accommodation between us than fight, but I’ll do the latter if I have to.”

“I know you can fight, Goodnight,” reflected Quanah Parker. “The Comanche can also fight, but time is not on our side.”

“War is coming to Palo Duro Canyon eventually,” Charles Goodnight continued. “But I’m not a party to what the military does or don’t do to the Comanche people. I can only speak for myself. I’ve seen enough killing on both sides. I lost my partner to these Indian Wars and I’m prepared to let that go, just as I hope you’ll see that seeking revenge for your mom and little sister won’t bring them back. Many Comanche may yet die holding onto your way of life, but the old ones, the women and the children should not starve to death because the buffalo are gone.”

Quanah sat silently for a time. The winter of 1873 had been brutal. There had been too few buffalo chips to heat the lodges and not enough food for everyone. The “swirling whiteness” had included sleet, snow and ice. The fierce winds had blown away shelters killing people within minutes; livestock had fared even worse. With no shelter the horses so important to the Comanche had frozen to death. Additionally, just as Charles Goodnight had pointed out, the U.S. Army was now relentless in its pursuit of the Quahadi and all the Comanche. Quanah Parker knew Goodnight was right in his assessment that war was coming to Palo Duro Canyon.

Finally raising his gaze to look Goodnight in the eyes, Quanah nodded his head in agreement. Both men stood. Charles Goodnight offered his hand and Quanah Parker accepted the gesture and shook it to seal the deal.

Max L. Knight was born in Panama in 1949, and was raised both in the Canal Zone and in San Antonio, Texas where he now resides with his wife, Janet “Gray.” A proud member of the Corps of Cadets and graduate of Texas A&M University (Class of ’73), he received a bachelor’s degree in English and a Regular Army commission and served the next twenty-four years as an Air Defense and Foreign Area Officer before retiring in 1997 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After leaving the Army, Max spent the next five years working for RCI Technologies of San Antonio, becoming its Director of Internal Operations.

Separating from the company in 2002, he volunteered to be the first docent at the Alamo working within its Education Department before once again serving his country as a Counterintelligence Specialist in Europe, Central America, Asia and the Middle East through 2013. Max speaks several languages including Greek and Spanish. He also holds a Master of Science degree in government from Campbell University. He has written and published two books to date: Silver Taps, a personal memoir of his relationship with his father and a tribute to his alma mater, and Palo Duro, a novel focusing on the Indian wars in the southwestern United States at the end of the nineteenth century.

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