#BookTour “Through Titan’s Trail” by Austin Dragon

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Not only do I have an amazing book to share with you all today, I’m also giving you a chance to enter for a chance to win a brand-new KINDLE FIRE HD 8!!!! Read more about Through Titan’s Trail by Austin Dragon and be sure to enter the giveaway at the end!

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Through Titan’s Trail (The Fabled Quest Chronicles #1)

Publication Date: April 2018

Genre: Epic Fantasy/ Adventure

Many die along the Trail, but to embark on such a magical adventure and behold its ultimate treasures, all shall be gladly risked!

Every three years it arrives—The Kings’ Caravan to the legendary city of Atlantea. From the far reaches of the Seven Empires of Pan-Earth, men travel from Avalonia—the sole gateway into the realm of the Magical Lands for the year-long journey along a path created by the ancient Titans themselves.

It is a journey like no other through unimaginable dangers, both mortal and magical, of men and monsters, by day and night—all to reach the limitless riches of the magic kingdom of Atlantea. Only under the protection of the Four Kings—the Kings’ Caravan—is such a journey possible. Or is it?

A new alliance forms under the stranger known as Traveler as the most fantastic and deadliest adventure of all time, this fable quest, begins!

Through Titan’s Trail is Book One of the Fabled Quest Chronicles.

ADD TO GOODREADS

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PURCHASE YOUR COPY HERE!

The final book in The Fabled Quest Chronicles came it in May which means, you don’t have to stop at Through Titan’s Trail, you can binge the whole series- six book in all!

About the Author

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Austin Dragon is the author of over 20 books in science fiction, fantasy, and classic horror. His works include the cyberpunk detective LIQUID COOL series, the epic fantasy FABLED QUEST CHRONICLES, the international epic AFTER EDEN Series, and the classic SLEEPY HOLLOW HORRORS. He is a native New Yorker but has called Los Angeles, California home for more than twenty years. Words to describe him, in no particular order: U.S. Army, English teacher, one-time resident of Paris, ex-political junkie, movie buff, Fortune 500 corporate recruiter, renaissance man, futurist, and dreamer.

Austin Dragon | Facebook | Pinterest | BookBub | VIP Readers Club

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#BookTour “Harley James and the Mystery of the Mayan Kings” by Leah Cupps

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Welcome to my stop on the Harley James book tour! Check out this cool adventure called Harley James and the Mystery of the Mayan Kings by Leah Cupps and enter for a chance to win a $100 Amazon e-Gift Card!!!

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Harley James and the Mystery of the Mayan Kings (Harley James Adventures #1)

Publication Date: May 12, 2022

Genre: MG/ Adventure/ Chapter Books (Ages 8 to 12)

Will Harley Find the Missing Mayan Statue & Save the World?

Amateur cryptologist Harley James has just landed in the sticky jungle of Tikal, Guatemala—home to the famous Mayan ruins. She’s made a few friends, a few mistakes…and a ground-breaking discovery.

The legendary statue of the long-lost Mayan King.

Just as she is about to impress her father with her discovery, the statue is stolen. Right from her own room!

And what’s worse? The legend says if the statues of the three kings are reunited, they’ll bring back an army from the dead to rule the world.

Follow along with Harley as she tracks down the missing Mayan statue, solves a few riddles and stumbles upon a secret society that will change her life forever!

Add to Goodreads

Available on Amazon!

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About the Author

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Leah Cupps is an author, designer and entrepreneur. She came up with the idea for Harley James with her oldest daughter Savannah. Savannah had taken an interest in Mayan history and so the two of them worked together to come up with the idea for the first Harley James book; the Mystery of the Mayan Kings.

Leah lives in Indiana with her husband and three children. She is also the co-founder of Vision Forty Press, a small family owned publishing company.

Harley James Adventures | Instagram | Facebook | Newsletter | YouTube

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June 20th

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June 21st

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#BookTour “The Legend of Black Jack” by A.R. Witham

Welcome to my stop on the tour for The Legend of Black Jack by A.R. Witham! Read on for more details!

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The Legend of Black Jack

Publication Date: May 17th, 2022

Genre: YA Fantasy, Action Adventure, Coming-of-Age, Portal Fantasy (Full Page Illustrations)

Jack Swift can tell you every element on the periodic table, recite Treasure Island verbatim, and would remember in perfect detail every word you’d ever say to him. He has been alone for a long time, so he has buried himself in books, using them to plan his escape.

But no textbook could ever prepare him for the land of Keymark.

At 3:33 a.m. on his fourteenth birthday, Jack is kidnapped by a hideous monster to another sphere of existence. Now there are two moons in the sky, and he is surrounded by grotesque creatures and magical warriors training for battle. They want the impossible: Jack must use his abilities to save a life or be trapped in this bizarre world with no chance of rescue.

Jack doesn’t have secret magic, a great destiny, or any experience.

So why do they all expect him to become a legend?

Content/Trigger Warnings:

Shown on Page: Child Abuse (foster mom hits main character), Child Abduction (main character kidnapped by monster)

Alluded to: Child Neglect (foster mom ignores her wards)

Add to Goodreads

Blood

The operating room was anything but sterile. The floor was pounded-down dirt, the walls were splintered wood that collected dust by the handful, and the smoking fire in the corner exhaled nearly as much soot into the room as up the chimney. It was dark, it was dirty, and it put the odds against Jack Swift before he even began.

Jack had two concerns, other than the obvious: that Xiang-lo would die the moment he touched him. The first worry was the anesthesia. Dr. Richards had told him repeatedly that in almost any surgery, the drugs used to put the patient to sleep were by far the most dangerous part of a procedure; more men had been killed by a tiny slip in the amount of medication used than from any mistake a surgeon made. The gas passers, as Richards called them, were the background heroes of the operating room, and kept their patients walking the thin line between sleep and death.

Jack had made the calculations for the correct amount of anesthesia, but in the end, it proved unnecessary. Memphis would keep Xiang-lo asleep. Such majik was well within the monster’s mastery, said Valerian, and keeping Xiang-lo out of consciousness and out of pain would be the rhino’s task during the procedure.

The second concern was more personal. “I don’t want to see his face.”

Valerian nodded as if he had been expecting the request. “That has been arranged.”

Good. So the knight understood. “Not just his face,” continued Jack. “I don’t want to see any part of him other than his belly on the right side. There are medical sheets in Memphis’s bag; cover him with those. His chest, his legs, but especially his face. I don’t want to see it.”

Surgery was just like carpentry. Jack had to remember that. But the only way to treat a man like a block of wood was to remove his face, remove his personality, remove any trace of humanity from him…and even then, he would still be a Pinocchio.

If everything went well, Jack would love to hear about Xiang-lo, about who he was, what his dreams were, and how he’d lived his life. But right now, all Jack wanted to know, all he could know, was where to cut.

Besides, some darker part of his mind chided. You don’t want another face haunting your dreams when you kill him.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

AR Witham Author Photo

A.R. Witham is a three-time Emmy-winning writer-producer and a great lover of adventure. He is the world’s foremost expert on the history of Keymark. He loves to talk with young people and adults who remember what young people know. He has written for film and television, canoed to the Arctic Circle, hiked the Appalachian Trail and been inside his house while it burned down. He lives in Indianapolis.

If you would like a sneak peek at his upcoming work or upcoming events, please reach out to him.

A.R. Witham | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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June 13th

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#BookBlitz “The Willows Weep (Pirates of the Withering Coast #2)” by Alonna Williams

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If you like pirate action mixed in with your fantasy, you are going to want to read The Willows Weep by Alonna Williams, available for pre-order now!

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The Willows Weep (Pirates of the Withering Deep #2)

Expected Publication Date: Coming Soon!

Genre: YA Fantasy/ Pirates

Publisher: Blue Gingham Publishing

The darkness lurks and smiles, beneath a weeping willow, a heart as pure as gold, can blacken as the night…

Now with stronger allies, Trevor is ready to tackle his biggest challenge yet, coming to terms with his Sirenhood.

While Labyrinth fears being at the forefront due to the constant dangers he faces in Human form, Trevor recognizes his need to understand his Siren side.

Further down the rabbit hole of his mystifying quest, Trevor begins to unravel the perilous truth about his childhood friend and savior, the one called: “the Willow”, who saved him from the jaws of death before he was even born.

Can he really be the paragon of purity? Or could it be that a black heart lingers suppressed under the goodness of the Pure Siren?

Coming Soon!

Excerpt

Trevor stepped back and looked down at the sand under his sock-covered feet.

“Sadness,” Arjan realized. He could sense that emotion anywhere. “Sadness…because of

me,” he continued. “If it is something you are wishing to say to me, use Insussurro. Your sadness will help you do so.”

Trevor stared at Arjan’s loose turquoise waves and furrowed his brow—trying to get in touch

with his feelings. “I think it all would have been easier if you didn’t leave,” he finally said through the use of his Siren ability.

Arjan watched as Trevor’s fists balled, and his lips formed a scowl, though they never opened

to form the words. They were just thoughts, his sadness transforming into anger.

“I bear great regrets for that, little one,” Arjan replied. “I cannot tell you how many. But if I

was having to do the same thing again, in much honesty I must tell you, I would.”

“I had no friends, Arjan. None. Not until Aldrich came along. They all thought I was weird,

and their parents told them stuff like that all the time because of…because of this!” he said through his lips as he pointed to one of his ears. Trevor then pointed to Arjan’s ears. “But you always had them. If I saw them on you, do you think I would have been bothered by them when they changed?

If I had the privilege of growing up with a Siren, do you think I would have cared about being an

outcast to the rest of England?”

Pre-Order The Willows Weep

About the Author

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Alonna Williams has been writing since she was a little girl. It started with a short story and soon progressed to novels. Aside from her debut novel, A Peculiar Royal, Alonna has worked on, Au Contraire, and grew up with a Pirate series entitled, Pirates of the Withering Coast, which is her favorite series of all. When she’s not writing you’ll most likely find her dancing, whether it be, Tap, Ballet, Jazz or Lyrical, or watching a good classic movie or of course, bingeing Disney+.

Blue Gingham Publishing | Twitter | Instagram

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#BookBlitz “The Buccaneers of St. Frederick Island” by Linda Maria Frank

 

Young Reader, Children’s Book, Middle Grade, Mystery, Adventure

Publisher: Annie Tillery Mysteries

What can possibly happen when a crime happens under the very noses of a group of very savvy eighth graders at St. BeSillius’ Catholic School on St. Frederick’s Island? When the money they raised to buy toys for children in homeless shelters in near-by NYC is stolen, the Buccaneers, as they call themselves are outraged. Despite warnings from Father Felix and Sr. Jo, Sprocket, the leader of the Buccaneers, and her determined buddies set out to follow the clues, run down the thief, and get those toys for the homeless kids.

When their clubhouse is burned down, and a threatening letter is sent to the local newspaper, The Foghorn, owned and operated by Sprocket’s mother, the Buccaneers are even more determined to unravel the plot against them. A mysterious island once owned by the pirate, Jon Buccleigh and a labyrinthine cave serve as the setting for this skullduggery. A Native American healer, her community, and a group of the beach people conspire with the Buccaneers to get that money back.

You will be laughing at some of the Buccaneers’ antics and gasping at what those brave eighth-graders face to solve the mystery. The story is rich with colorful and engaging characters as well as the flavor of post-war America in 1947. An altogether fun and satisfying read.

Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

ON THE MOVE

How do those turtles do it? Pull their heads into their bodies? Here comes Sr. JoAnn. My head stubbornly remained on top of my neck.

If you think it’s easy writing a note to the kid in the seat next to you when the rattling of Sr. JoAnn’s rosary is announcing her slow walk down my aisle at this moment, you’ve never been to Catholic school. The room is silent. You can hear pen nibs scratching across the pages of our black and white composition books, leaving a trail of ink blots.

Pen nibs, you say. Ink blots? You won’t believe this about the ink and the inkwell. Will you? We all learned to master a form of writing called the Palmer method. This is just another aspect of toughening the backbone here at St. BeSillius’s. As I look at my permanently stained right middle finger, I wonder if I will be done in by something lurking in the ink and become St. Sprocket, patron saint of calligraphy.

The smell of chalk and old tempera paints barely covers the tinge of pine-scented urine coming from the old radiators. My mom went to this school and tells the story of kids leaning their wet behinds against the radiators to let their underwear dry if they had an accident. Going to the bathroom in those days was a privilege reserved for the Pope. Thank God things have changed, and St. BeSillius has hired a nurse, and given her an office where this kind of thing could be taken care of.

A floorboard squeaks. I hear the faint clink of keys as if Sr. has reached into the stygian depths of her pocket for something. I slide my ruler over the words I’ve just written and peer cautiously from the side of my vision trying to locate Sr. JoAnn. My stomach bunches. She is reading Eddie O’Malley’s entire page. Eddie’s not one of us, so there is nothing out of the ordinary to see in his notebook.

My page is full of writing, but not what I think I want Sister to see. So far, I’ve jotted a list: LOOK FOR CLUES, including the narvex, the sacristy, the side entrance, the choir loft, and the bushes around the church. I’ve signed it, Sprocket.

Sprocket? Is that a Christian name? Of course not, silly reader. We all have code names to protect the guilty. We are the Buccaneers of St. BeSillius School, a secret society dedicated to solving the mysteries and misdeeds of our little parish school and the island where it’s located.

Uh-oh. Here she comes. If I rip the page out and crumple it, she’ll just grab it. And, I’ll have to explain why there’s nothing on the page, in longhand mind you, about the characteristics that would have made George Washington a good Catholic, if only he had known better.

George was an Anglican having once been a colonial loyal to the King of England, also a George. But that’s another story.

Eddie, not the sharpest pencil in the box, is getting the Spanish Inquisition treatment about his lack of inspiration on the topic. I wonder if the nuns get a special course in interrogation techniques.

Eddie, I love him dearly, is buying me time. Could I quietly turn the page and jot a quick sentence or two? I pick up the notebook and turn the page, knocking a pen full of ink onto the floor along with the ink well. As you can imagine, this was not a silent maneuver. Sr. JoAnn, Eddie and the whole class look at me. I feel my face burn. I get up to clean the mess and knock the composition book on the floor with my note showing plainly on top. Sister reaches for it. I’M DEAD!

The fire drill siren shrieks. Sister turns to move the class to the fire exit, and I kick the composition book under the desk. It obliges me, closing with a snap.

“I’ll clean this later, Sister.” I smile.

“And I will be checking your essay.” She smiles back.

“Yes, Sister,” I say, noting that the proverbial glove his been tossed onto the floor like they did in those ancient duels. I file past her.

**********************************************************

Are you wondering why a bunch of Catholic school kids are searching for clues in what looks like a church and the yard around it?

Let me digress for a bit and fill you in on some details about why we are listing clues and what all this skullduggery (Great word, isn’t it?) is about.

Well, before I fill you in on what happened when we found those clues, let me explain who we are. We call ourselves The Secret Crime-Stoppers of Sts. Christopher and Michael, but I wanted a shorter title like Buccaneers of St. BeSillius. I thought calling on both St. Christopher and St. Michael was pushing the envelope of sponsorship. And who even knows who St. BeSillius is? So, just think of us as the Buccaneers.

For the past year, our class has been raising money for a class trip to visit seven churches on the mainland and distribute toys to the children’s day care centers in those parishes. We did bake sales, car washes, leaf-raking, snow shoveling. We cleaned attics for old ladies, cut lawns and pulled weeds. Some ill-informed parents even let us do fence-painting. Don’t worry! Those shrubs will come back in a year or two.

A whole year of those earnings went into the fund. We kept it in the vestry. That’s the room behind the altar in the church where the priest keeps his vestments. Get it? Vestry, vestments? The box with the money disappeared the day Father Felix was supposed to open a bank account for us. We never got the money back, never found out who did it, and we’re pi….. Whoops! Sorry. I’m just angry. Not mad. Sister Priscilla said that mad means crazy. Well, she hasn’t been paying attention to her students.

Anyway, even though the sisters and priests said we should offer it up to God. I’m not sure what that means, the money or the cursing we did. And, we should learn a lesson. Next time lock it up! And where were we supposed to lock it up? It was in the vestry! With Father Felix, the parish priest!

This didn’t go down too well with some of us, and one night last summer at our club house which is just a shack on the beach, we decided to form our own little PI group, that’s Private Investigator. We voted on and accepted our official title, Buccaneers of St.Besillius. Look. You can’t beat our creativity in naming the group. We even researched St. BS. She’s the patron saint of mimes.

As we gathered around the fire, we wrote up a charter including the following:

· Each member is sworn to secrecy, under pain of . . .what? Oh, I don’t know.

· All clues are to be shared by everyone.

· All communications would be done using our code names. Mine is Sprocket.

· Our meeting place would be the old fishing shack on the beach.

We made a list of our code names.

Lily code name Sprocket, all around smarty, leader, that’s me.

Ryan: code name Bletch, general genius.

Frank: code name Wingnut, mechanical genius, and a bit dippy.

Leon: code name Snap Shackle, math genius, can put two and two together.

Amalie: code name Ratchet, electronic surveillance, or just plain snoop, meaning she can use a camera.

And so, the story begins.

About the Author

Linda Maria Frank, retired from a career teaching science, including forensic science, resides on Long Island and is currently writing the Annie Tillery Mysteries, as well as The Buccaneers of St. Frederick Island. She also produces The Writer’s Dream, her local access TV show, seen on YouTube. Frank is active in LI Authors Group, LI Sisters in Crime, LI Children’s Writers and Illustrators, and Mystery Writers of America.

Linda does lectures on Topics on Forensic Science at libraries, universities, clubs and other venues. She is currently writing the next Buccaneers book.

Contact Links

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Amazon

Publisher

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#CoverReveal “Birth of the Fae: Thine Eyes of Mercy, Book 2” by Danielle M. Orsino

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Welcome to the cover reveal for Danielle M. Orsino’s novel, Thine Eyes of Mercy (Birth of the Fae #2) which is the highly anticipated follow up to Locked Out of Heaven!

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Birth of the Fae: Thine Eyes of Mercy, Book Two

Expected Publication Date: December 2021

Genre: Fantasy

Queen Aurora, monarch of the Court of Light Fae and King Jarvok, Leader of the Court of Dark Fae are exhausted and battle worn after centuries of fighting. A war of attrition had taken its toll upon their kin and power bases.

What happens when you have to give in to your enemy?

All wars eventually end even magical ones. The Dark and Light Fae have set their elemental magick and weapons down but, all is not quiet in the Veil…

King Jarvok was confident his army could win the war, but at what cost? It was time to act like a King not a power hungry megalomaniac. That was his Creator’s title not his. He reaches out to Queen Aurora, and the Treaty of Bodhicitta is signed.

The treaty promises the Fae will never spill each other’s blood again. Rules for their human worshipers are put into place. The Court of Dark must not interfere with humans in a malignant way, but they can act as gods and goddesses of atonement. The Court of Light can return to acting as advisors to the European royal families, as they have done for centuries.

However, Queen Aurora and King Jarvok will learn that while they were playing war games, their humans have changed and moved away from the old ways.

The two monarchs face unknown challenges in a world where Christianity not paganism is the new power.

Sometimes the devil you know is better than the one you do not.

Coming Soon!

Locked Out of Heaven (Birth of the Fae #1)

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Ride on the backs of fire-breathing dragons with the Dark Fae and watch the Light Fae play in the shadows of primitive humanity as they build their magical world.
Abandoned by their creator, two factions of powerful angels remain on earth after the Great War with Lucifer. They struggle to comprehend their Creator’s plan while their angel wings, a symbol of their angelic lineage, slowly and painfully decay. With no hope of returning to the Shining Kingdom, two groups of angels denounce their angelic lineage and develop into separate factions – the Court of Light, led by Queen Aurora, a former Virtue Angel, and the Court of Dark, ruled by King Jarvok, a former Power Brigade Angel. The two monarchs have opposing views on how to govern their kin, but the one belief they agree on is that human worship equals power.
Birth of the Fae: Locked Out of Heaven is an epic-fantasy adventure of heartbreak, rebirth, and hope that examines the bonds of family, friendship, and love. It is a fantastic tale of good versus evil in a beautiful world, where the Light Fae and their potent elemental magick are tested by the raw power of the dragon-riding Dark Fae warriors.
They are their own beings and masters of their own destiny. They are the Fae.

About the Author

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Danielle M Orsino, destined to be a writer from a young age, was working as a nurse and treating a patient who needed some distractions during long I.V. Treatment sessions. So, Orsino reached back to a forgotten skill, A childhood dream. Danielle had wanted to be a writer and so she decided to tell a story. Little did she know the seed would grow into a fantastically epic adventure of heartbreak, hope and rebirth — Birth of Fae: Locked Out of Heaven. Drawing from her passion for comic books, Cosplay and fantasy along with her expert martial arts expertise, Orsino brings forth an electric and hopeful debut.

Danielle is taking on her biggest challenge to date: taking the story born from the long treatment sessions with a patient into a fantasy book series-Birth of the Fae: Locked out of Heaven. Expanding her love of writing, comics and exploring the world of fantasy novels, she delves into the realm of fairies and retells their origins from a completely new perspective. Orsino has a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Exercise science and is an LPN with a special interest in Lyme disease research. Orsino has been widely recognized from her influence and experience in martial arts realm, training for over 20 years and with over 500 tournament wins, and accumulating national and world titles. She has performed for former President of the United States Bill Clinton and has been featured on “Soap Talk, Fox Five news CBS, TLC and E! With this experience, she worked as a Fight Choreographer on ”Wonder Woman: Balance of Power” and has worked with the likes of martial arts legend Vincent Lyn and WWE marvel and action star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Nothing Danielle ever does is simple, look at what NY times Bestselling author Clete Barrett Smith has to say about her debut endeavor: “After summoning this world into existence through an imaginative force of will, Danielle has scoured every inch of the landscape several times over. Critics often praise a story’s world building by saying that it feels “lived in.” Well, the world of the Fae certainly seems like that because Danielle herself has happily lived there for years as she worked to put all of this together…My favorite part of this story is that it is gloriously depicted in vibrant images.

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#Excerpt “The Watcher and the Friend” by RJ Barron

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YA Fantasy adventure

 

Date Published: June 11th 2021

Publisher: Burton and Mayers

Thomas Trelawney thinks he will never get over the death of his sister Grace. When he is plunged into the parallel world of eighteenth century Yngerlande and tasked with saving their tolerant, diverse world from a brutal takeover, using powers he never knew he possessed, he can start to forget and move on. But who is the secretive, hooded girl who arrives to help him, leaving a trail of stars and mystery in her wake?

Fans of Harry Potter, His Dark Materials and Orphans of the Tide will love this exciting, fast-paced adventure story with its echoes of Narnia and a passage to another, strangely familiar, world.

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EXCERPT

He woke with a start sometime later and looked around the carriage. The noise came again, sending a shiver down his spine. A single, spine chilling howl from outside the carriage, followed by other answering howls. Wolves! In the quiet of the night their cries echoed for miles, a plaintive sound that sent a thrill of fear through the veins of everyone who heard it. Tom sprang up and held the curtain back. The window was bigger than in the stage coach and once he had cleared a hole in the mist he could see them.

The snow had stopped falling and there was a bright silvery moon. There was a pack of about ten grey wolves that had emerged from the forest on the far hill side.  Now they seemed to be tracking the progress of the carriage, running parallel to it, a little way behind, over the snow-covered fields between the edge of the woods and the road.

The wolves loped along, their breath steaming. They ran with an easy grace and Tom sensed that they could either keep up that pace for a long time or, if needed, accelerate. It was a magnificent sight. Every now and then he caught sight of the cruel, razor sharp teeth in their jaws, as they ran alongside. He thought to himself, “I wouldn’t like to be an animal out here tonight, having to face that lot.”

And then, with a sharp chill of fear he realised. That was exactly what he was. The wolf pack was chasing them, alone on a country road, one petrified horse and two humans. In this snow, one tiring horse pulling a carriage couldn’t possibly out run them. And Silas! With a jolt Tom realised. Silas was outside, unprotected.

He was just about to lean forward and hammer on the wall of the carriage when it began to slow down. He heard Silas’ voice from outside.

“Whoa, whoa old girl, steady now.”

The carriage stopped and the horse’s frightened whinnying and stamping cut through the crisp night air.

“Thomas!” Silas shouted, “Tom! Get out of the carriage now!”

Tom opened the carriage door and jumped down. He was hit by a wall of cold air and his boots sank into six inches of snow. Gasping, he struggled to the front of the carriage where Silas had jumped down. He was holding the reins of the sweating, terrified horse in one hand and a rifle in the other.

“Wolves,” he said, handing the reins to Tom. Seeing Tom’s face, a mixture of terror and confusion, he laid his hand on his shoulder.

“All will be well Tom, trust me. The wolves are hungry and bold. One shot from this will send them packing but I need you to hold on to our horse. If she bolts with the gunshot, the whole thing will get a little more difficult.”

“But Silas,” Tom stammered. “I’m not sure if I’m strong enough to hold the horse.”

“Wrap the reins around that tree, and then hold on to it. It’ll be fine.”

The wolves on the snow -covered hill side opposite had slowed to a walk now, their tracks stretching back along the snowy hillside like a row of full stops. They set up another cacophony of howling and wailing, their heads pointing to the stars and their throats extended. Tom trembled with cold and fear. The wolves broke off from their chorus and the lead animal cautiously trotted towards the carriage, the other members of the pack ambling long behind him. They fanned out, as if they were going to surround them. The horse, sweating and terrified, reared up and whinnied in fear. The wolves could sense the other animal’s terror and came in closer.

Silas picked up his rifle and levelled it, the stock in his shoulder, the sight to his eye and took aim, squinting as the cross hairs of the sight found the head and chest of the lead wolf. Just as he was about to squeeze the trigger, an owl, perched in the overhanging branches above their heads, launched itself into the frosty night air. A shower of snow dropped from the branch behind him as the bird passed in front of Silas’ eye line. He ducked instinctively, whirling around to look at what had just happened. The jerking movement was his downfall and his boots slipped on the sheet of frozen water. He crashed to the ground, throwing the shotgun high into the air. It landed in the deep snow a couple of yards away from Silas’ prone body.

The sudden motion of the owl, and the crash as Silas and the gun landed, halted the wolves’ progress. They sniffed the air cautiously, and as silence once again settled, the lead wolf took the first pace forward, tongue lolling, saliva dripping. Tom looked on, gripped with fear, at Silas’ twisted body in the snow. He tried to pick himself up and stretch for the shotgun, but it was well out his reach. The lead wolf broke into a trot, its steaming breath billowing into the air.

“Silas!,” Tom screamed.

“Get in the carriage, Thomas, “Silas ordered, shouting back at Thomas. “Quickly now, don’t do anything stupid now.”

The lead wolf was almost upon him now. Tom, still shaking with fear screamed, “Nooo…” and took a step towards them as the wolf prepared to spring, teeth bared, guttural growling ripping from its throat. In Tom’s head, time stood still. All noise faded; all movement ceased. He became suffused with a silvery glow, starting from deep within him, spreading all through and over his body. Above his head a tiny spray of silver stars began to gently fizz and pop like sherbet. His first step forward turned into a mighty spring and he leaped, with a powerful surge of energy towards the wolf and the struggling figure of Silas, who had his hands outstretched in front of him to ward off the inevitable lunge for his throat. As Tom was in mid-air, he heard an even greater roar and thought for a split second that the other wolves had joined in the attack but then realised with a shock that the roar came from him. It echoed around the hillsides as he slammed into the wolf’s pouncing body just as it was about to sink its teeth around Silas’ windpipe.

The wolf was knocked to the side, yelping and howling in pain and shock. The pack behind it had already stopped dead still, frozen by the awful sound of Tom’s fearful, other-worldly growling. They put their heads down to the ground in a gesture of subservience and whimpered and whined. The surge of energy from the strange silvery glow that had covered him had started to fade, as did his growl, and he began to return to his normal state of being. He just had long enough to scramble to his feet to grab the shotgun a few yards away.

He picked it up and swivelled, pointing it directly at the lead wolf that had recovered its courage and was coming back for more. Tom had no idea what he was going to do. He had never held a gun before, let alone fired one, but before he had time to think, he simply followed his instincts, instincts that he had never known he possessed. He was enveloped in an icy calm as he placed the wolf in the cross hairs of his gun sight as it sprang back at him.

He muttered, “I’m sorry, but it’s either you or us,” and then gently squeezed the trigger.

There was a deafening bang and a howl of pain as the wolf dropped like a stone into the snow. The horse, still attached to the carriage, reared up in panic. Tom, without a second thought, sprang up and grabbed for the reins as the horse, nostrils flaring, prepared to flee. It was almost not a surprise to him when, with minimal effort, he, a slight, wiry thirteen-year-old, was able to pull back and restrain the enormous, sleekly-muscled beast. He pulled on the reins, dragging the horse to him, and whispered hypnotically all the while in its face. The horse gave a few snorts and then stood quietly to attention. Meanwhile the shock of the gunshot had sent the wolf pack scattering back up into the woods, heads down, ears flattened. They sprinted, while down below their leader oozed red blood into the brilliant white snow, steaming against the blackness of the night sky.

A quiet descended upon them. As the realisation of what had just happened dawned upon Thomas, he began to shake and his teeth chattered as he spoke.

“Are you alright Silas? I was worried, I didn’t think that…” He trailed off, not quite sure how to finish his sentence.

“I’m fine, thanks to you Master Thomas,” Silas said with a smile.

“What just happened? I’ve never done anything like that before. I didn’t know I…. I’ve never even held a rifle before, never mind fire one. I don’t understand…”

For the second time he trailed off, his eyes looking down at the snow-covered ground, shaking his head. Silas stepped towards him and laid a hand on his shoulder.

“It’s like I told you Thomas. You have certain powers. It is all within you, waiting to come out. Tonight, when you needed to, you found the spirit inside of yourself. Tonight was just the first time. It will happen many times again, believe me.”

Tom stared up at him, his eyes sparkling. He wasn’t sure whether he wanted these new powers, this inner fire. He suddenly wanted to be plain old Tom Trelawney, aged thirteen, at home in boring old twenty-first century England, with his sister and his mother and father. Silas, who seemed to know what he was thinking, smiled at him.

“Let’s get you back to the Rectory. We’ve both had enough excitement for one night, I think,” he said, looking at the body of the wolf.

“Are we just going to leave that there?” he asked Silas.

“It will be food for some other desperate creature in this wild weather. The natural world has simple rules, Thomas. Eat or be eaten. Survive or die. We survived. They won’t bother us again, not tonight anyway. Come,” he said, clapping his hand on Tom’s shoulder, “The Rectory is only another fifteen minutes away.”

Tom climbed back into the carriage and once Silas had untethered the horse, they set off again at a gentle trot.

Inside the carriage, Tom looked back down the road at the corpse of the wolf. Already, a fox, emboldened by hunger, had emerged from the woods and was sniffing the body. The last Tom could see, the fox plunged its head into the wolf’s body and began to gorge. It would not go hungry that night.

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About the Author

Rob, 64, was an English teacher in London for over thirty years, and now, when he’s not writing, he trains new English teachers. Originally from Teesside, he became familiar with Runswick Bay, the North Yorkshire Moors and the city of York, first as a child, and then as a student. His love of the history and geography of these locations can be seen on every page of “The Watcher and the Friend”, his first book for children.

 

 

Contact Links

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Blog: Barron on Books blog

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RABT Book Tours & PR

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#BookBlitz “The Watcher and the Friend” by RJ Barron

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YA Fantasy adventure

 

Date Published: June 11th 2021

Publisher: Burton and Mayers

Thomas Trelawney thinks he will never get over the death of his sister Grace. When he is plunged into the parallel world of eighteenth century Yngerlande and tasked with saving their tolerant, diverse world from a brutal takeover, using powers he never knew he possessed, he can start to forget and move on. But who is the secretive, hooded girl who arrives to help him, leaving a trail of stars and mystery in her wake?

Fans of Harry Potter, His Dark Materials and Orphans of the Tide will love this exciting, fast-paced adventure story with its echoes of Narnia and a passage to another, strangely familiar, world.

~~~

About the Author

Rob, 64, was an English teacher in London for over thirty years, and now, when he’s not writing, he trains new English teachers. Originally from Teesside, he became familiar with Runswick Bay, the North Yorkshire Moors and the city of York, first as a child, and then as a student. His love of the history and geography of these locations can be seen on every page of “The Watcher and the Friend”, his first book for children.

 

 

Contact Links

Website

Twitter

Blog: Barron on Books blog

Goodreads

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Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Waterstones

Foyles

~~~

RABT Book Tours & PR

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#Excerpt “Relatively Normal Secrets” by C.W. Allen

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Middle-Grade Mystery Adventure

Release Day: September 7, 2021

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Tuesday and Zed Furst are perfectly normal children with perfectly strange parents. Their father won’t discuss his job, their mother never leaves the house without her guard dog, and the topic of the family tree is off limits.

When a last minute “business trip” gets the adults out of the way, Zed and Tuesday decide to get to the bottom of things once and for all. Too bad some thugs with shape-shifting weapons have other ideas. Their escape leaves them trapped in the modern-meets-medieval Falinnheim, where everyone insists their father is a disgraced fugitive. They hope whoever is leaving them coded clues may have some answers, but they’re not sure they’re going to like what they learn.

If they ever want to see their parents again, they’ll need the help of a smuggler with a broken compass, their unusually talented dog, some extremely organized bandits, and a selection of suspiciously misquoted nursery rhymes.

Zed and Tuesday may not have all the answers, but one thing is certain—when it comes to normal, everything is relative.

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EXCERPT

“It will only be for a couple of days. You and Tuesday are going to stay next door with Mrs. Alvarez until we get back. You’ll be at school most of the time anyway—you’ll hardly notice we’re gone.”

Zed doubted that. For one thing, unless Nyx was also invited along on this trip (unlikely), the dog was bound to spend the next two days pacing and whining incessantly. Nyx was rarely more than a few steps away from his mother, and any time they had to be separated for even a few minutes the dog fretted as if Mrs. Furst had been kidnapped by pirates or something. Two whole days might cause her a complete meltdown, which would be hard to ignore. It wasn’t so much that Zed minded his parents leaving—after all, Mrs. Alvarez was a sweet old lady who had been their neighbor his entire life, and had been delighted to watch them for shorter periods of time on many occasions. She’d probably spend the whole time insisting they eat third helpings of empanadas and hot chocolate. And his mother was right, they would be at school most of the time anyway. It was just…something didn’t seem right.

If Zed had expected his sister to share his misgivings, he was wrong. When Tuesday stepped off the middle school bus twenty minutes later and Zed informed her they’d be spending the next two days with Mrs. Alvarez, she acted like Christmas had come early. “Yes!” she gushed, punching the air in celebration. “Empanada time!”

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About the Author

C.W. Allen is a Nebraskan by birth, a Texan by experience, a Hoosier by marriage, and a Utahn by geography. She knew she wanted to be a writer the moment she read The Westing Game at age twelve, but took a few detours along the way as a veterinary nurse, an appliance repair secretary, and a homeschool parent.

She recently settled in the high desert of rural Utah with her husband, their three children, and a noisy flock of orphaned ideas. Someday she will create literary homes for all of them. (The ideas, not her family.)

Relatively Normal Secrets (Cinnabar Moth Publishing, Fall 2021) is her debut novel. She writes fantasy novels for tweens, picture books for children, and short stories and poems for former children. Her work will appear in numerous anthologies in 2021. She is also a frequent guest presenter at writing conferences and club meetings, which helps her procrastinate knuckling down to any actual writing

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#ReleaseBlitz “Samurai” by Joanna White

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Happy publication day to author Joanna White, and congratulations on the release of Samurai (Valiant #3)!

Giveaway – An 8 x 11 map from the book, 8 x 11 poster of the cover, and early access to Healed (Digital), the short story ending to Samurai!

SAMURAI OFFICIAL COVER 2021 OFFICIAL!!!!Samurai (The Valiant Series #3) *Books can be read in any order

Publication Date: September 7th, 2021

Genre: Clean Fantasy/ Adventure

Okada Akari and Sakamoto Megumi just may be two women in over their head.
Okada Akari is a samurai, the daughter of the Chief Advisor to the Emperor of the Sakamoto clan. One day on a mission, she is captured by a mysterious warrior and taken to an enemy camp—an enemy filled with strange, foreign powers the likes of which her world has never seen. What’s worse, a foreign stranger is supplying her enemy with weapons her people cannot hope to fight against. Yet that is only the beginning of her journey, one filled with war and love, sacrifice, and darkness.

Sakamoto Megumi has wanted to be a samurai her entire life. However, as the daughter of the Emperor, training is impossible. When the Emperor is assassinated, she is thrust onto a throne she never wanted. As Empress, she must find a way to become a leader her people will look up to, instead of a weak woman unfit for the throne. Her generals are waiting for her to make a grave mistake. Falling in love with her high general might very well be the mistake they were waiting for.

Corruption has touched worlds before, but this time, it will take more than a few Chosen to stop it before it fills the hearts of everyone around them – even the hearts of their closest friends and allies.

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I glanced down at my hand as it rested in my lap. “Do you think I am ready?” My voice was barely above a whisper.

Somehow, he heard me. I glanced back at his reflection. He gently smiled, his eyes were steady and calm, and his voice was void of pity. “I believe you will lead your people wisely, like your father did before you. You have his wisdom and equality inside your heart, Princess Sakamoto.”

I blinked back tears that had begun to form and glanced back down at the one and only hand I had. The real meaning behind his words echoed inside my mind. You are able to lead your people whether you have two arms or one. My strengths outweighed my weakness.

When the young girl, Chiaki, finished combing through my hair, I told her that she could leave. Once the shoji slid shut behind her and I could no longer hear her footsteps, I turned around and met Ryosuke’s gaze. As I stood, I kept my eyes firmly locked on his. Though I could not embrace him, because at any moment anyone could interrupt us, his gaze on mine held more warmth than if I was actually in his arms.

“Your father and your mother both believed in you. I believe in you, Megumi. You are not alone on this path. Never forget that.”

Now Available on Amazon!

Other Books in the Valiant Series

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About the Author

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Joanna White is a Christian Author and fangirl. Hunter and Shifter are the first two books in her debut series, called the Valiant Series. In December 2019, one of her short stories was featured in Once Upon A Yuletide, a Christmas fairy tale anthology by Divination Publishing. Dark Magi, a prequel in the Republic Chronicles came out in November 2019. Glimpses of Time and Magic, a historical fantasy anthology, also featured one of her stories.

She graduated from Full Sail University with a BFA in Creative Writing for Entertainment. Ever since she was ten years old, she’s been writing stories and has a deep passion for writing and creating stories, worlds, characters, and plots that readers can immerse themselves in. In 2020, she reached her personal goal of writing a million words in a year. Most of all, Joanna loves God, her family, staying at home, and being a total nerd.

To stay updated and find out more about her novels, where her inspiration comes from, games, giveaways, and more, visit her website at: authorjoannawhite.com.

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