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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

When three worlds collide ugly truths come to light - Fracture (The Chronicles of Discord #1) by D.D. Chant

Self Published
Cover Artist: D.D. Chant

Description:

In a world torn apart by war, three nations stand divided.

The Free Nation
Senator Burton and his son Ben arrive in the Tula strongholds for peace talks, but find that a treaty between the two nations has a price. Confronted by a world of sedate tranquility the two men are appalled to learn that the Tula Council rules with an iron rod of fear and repression. The Council removes anyone who dares to stand in the way of their reforms and Ben uncovers a secret that puts his life in danger.

The Tula
Astra has been pressured into working for the very Council that threatens to kill her loved ones. No stranger to loss, the precariously balanced world she has constructed begins to fracture when Ben starts asking difficult questions about her past. As her deepest secrets are uncovered, Astra finds there are secrets in her childhood that even she is unaware of.

The Una
Kai is Apprentice Headman to the Una people. Unaccountably called upon to sacrifice his honour in the name of peace, Kai's hatred toward this injustice proves all consuming. If the time comes, will he be able to forgive the woman that betrayed him?

When these three worlds collide ugly truths come to light on every side. Is there any way to make peace, or will the world end in discord.

THIS OR THAT
SF or Dystopia
Dystopia! Although I love a bit of Star Trek!!!

Love or Action (in SF/Dystopia)
Action. I like some romance, I just don’t want it taking over the story.

Secrets or Full Disclosure
I think I’ll go for… tact. Full disclosure at the wrong moment isn’t a good thing, but you can’t keep secrets indefinitely and still expect to be understood!

Respect or Bend the Law
Depends on the occasion.

Ruler or Common People
I’m a writer!!! I’ve created several alternate realities just so that I can be a despotic ruler and control my character’s lives!!!

Future or Past
The past has charm but it also has a very bad mortality rates!!! Besides: the future has cooler gadgets and space travel!!!

Unity or Diversity
Both: you shouldn’t have to choose, both can coexist peacefully if everyone remains respectful.

First or Third POV
I read and write in both. I love the immediacy of first person perspective but I also love the bigger picture you get from third person POV.

Clean Ending or Cliffhanger
I’m a sucker for a good cliffy! By ‘good’ I mean that some answers should have been addressed with more to follow in the next book. If it’s a standalone then I sometimes like ambiguous endings…

Writer or Reader
Writer, I still love reading but the kind of power that comes with controlling the characters is pretty intoxicating!!!

EXCERPT



“I thought you looked thirsty, Mr. Burton.”

Ben turned to find Councillor Sendel holding out a champagne flute toward him and accepted it with a light hearted smile.

“How has Astra been treating you?” asked Councillor Sendel conversationally.

“With the length of her arm between us,” grimaced Ben.

Councillor Sendel chuckled softly.

“I'm not surprised. I hear she took you to the library?”

Ben turned to find Sendel smiling softly at him over his glass. Ben felt a prickle of unease work its way over his skin.

How did Councillor Sendel know what he and Astra had done during the day?

Ben tried to shake off his discomfort. After all it had been no secret that he and Astra were to explore the city together.

“I guess she doesn’t like me much.” He watched Sendel take another sip of champagne. “By the way, congratulations: three terms is very impressive.”

Councillor Sendel appeared to have trouble swallowing and Ben suddenly felt his sharp gaze upon him.

“Thank you,” he bowed, “but compared to Corbani’s five terms it is nothing to boast of.”

Ben nodded.

“I hear he had no opposition for the last three terms.”

Councillor Sender’s smile had a chilling undertone.

“Yes, he was only opposed during his two opening terms.” He paused significantly. “He won the first election of course.”

Ben knew what was expected of him and turned to Councillor Sendel with the obvious question.

“What about the second?”

Councillor Sendel smiled again, pleased to see that Ben knew how the game was played.

“It was a great tragedy; Meron Va Dic Padis was the opposition that year but before the polls could take place he and his whole family died in a tragic accident.” Sendel’s eyes met Ben’s. “Of course, Corbani hasn’t been opposed since.”

Ben understood completely and had to suppress a shiver. He had guessed that Councillor Ladron was ruthless but having it confirmed made him feel sick.

“I dare say that Councillor Ladron fills his role so well that no one sees the need for change,” replied Ben evenly.

“Oh, Corbani is very good at keeping… things… in their proper place,” agreed Councillor Sendel. “A man would have to have friends in high places if he wished to oppose him.”

Ben met Sendel's gaze unflinchingly.

“Like Senators and their sons for instance?”

He smiled.

“You think in such small terms, Mr. Burton: any highly placed friends would do.” He placed his hand on his heart and inclined his head but before he left he smiled again.

“I hope you enjoyed Jayn’s coffee, Mr. Burton.”

Ben clutched his champagne flute so tightly that the stem broke in his hand and several shards pierced his palm.

It seemed that Councillor Ladron was not the only one of the councillors with an agenda. Councillor Sendel appeared to covet Corbani Va Dic Ladron’s position and was hoping that the Free Nation would help him attain his ends.

Ben was fully aware that he had just been threatened. If there was one thing a Burton didn’t react well to it was threats and he’d been in the receiving end of too many tonight.

“You’re bleeding.”

“What?”

The newcomer held out a napkin toward Ben.

“Your hand, it’s bleeding.”

Ben made no move to take the napkin from her, so after a small pause she took his hand between her own and, removing the flute from his grasp, studied his palm carefully.

“I don’t think there is any glass in the wound,” she remarked, inspecting his hand closely before wrapping the napkin around his palm and tying the ends in a knot. “You should have it seen to, though.”

Ben watched her hands as they folded the bandage neatly.

“Thank you, Leda.”

For a moment she stilled and when Ben looked up it was to find her regarding him pensively.

“You have a good memory,” she remarked.

“Or maybe you’re just hard to forget,” replied Ben.

Leda raised an eyebrow, her expression unimpressed.

“Did you enjoy lunch with my sister?”

The question threw him, shaking him out of his calm and making his next words surprised.

“Astra is your sister?”

Ben frowned annoyed by the gauche betrayal of his feelings.

Leda nodded pushing the dark curls flirting with her jaw line behind her ear.

“Actually she’s my stepsister,” she responded in the same laconic voice.

Ben studied her face trying to decide how she felt about Astra. Leda had large eyes, amber but with light green flecks, fringed with long lashes and a sprinkling of freckles over her nose that gave her an almost childlike sweetness. Her dress was black and Ben thought that she was probably four or five inches taller than Astra.

But something about her was reminiscent of Astra. Ben couldn’t put his finger on what it was. Almost everything about her was the opposite of her sister: her bold manner, her physical appearance and athletic build.

“Why wouldn’t Astra introduce us at the restaurant?”

Leda shrugged.

“She was probably terrified that I would say something highly inappropriate... so she told me to get lost.”

“And would you have? Said something inappropriate I mean?”

“Judging by our conversation so far, I would say her worry was entirely justified,” she returned.

Ben was silent for a moment.

“She didn’t want me to know you were her sister?”

Leda raised her glass to him in a silent toast.

“Seems like you’re not as stupid as you look.”

Ben was taken aback by the remark, but there had been no malice in her voice, just the plain stating of fact. He decided to let it pass.

“Why wouldn’t she want me to know you were her sister?”

“Stepsister,” corrected Leda. “Guess.”

Ben looked at the young woman standing next to him in astonishment: what was she up to?

“Because you don't get along?”

“My opinion of your intelligence just dropped twenty points.”

Ben chuckled.

“It’s not exactly a fair question.”

“That’s because you haven’t been listening, Mr. Burton.”

Ben frowned, and quickly reviewed their conversation.

“Because she’s your stepsister?” he asked slowly.

Leda nodded.

“Do you like mysteries, Mr. Burton?”

“Depends what I get for solving them,” returned Ben lightly.

“In this case it will be what you don’t get,” Leda’s tone was repressive.

The slight pause between them was interrupted by a new voice.

“Leda, your presence is required elsewhere.” Astra’s words were flat but dismissal was obvious in the shift of her eyes.

“Busted!” remarked Leda with a smile. “It was nice talking to you Mr. Burton, should you tire of my sister’s company feel free to call me.” She held out a slim black stick. “This is a contact strip: Astra will tell you how to use it.”

“Leda it is highly inappropriate for you to give Mr. Burton your number.”

Astra made to retrieve it from Ben’s slack grasp but he jerked his hand back out of her way.

“I’ve never given a pretty woman her number back before and I don’t intend to start now.” he laughed.

“Such behaviour is inappropriate Mr. Burton, I must ask you to return the contact strip now.”

“I don’t think I will!”

For a moment he thought Astra was going to fight him for possession of the contact strip right here in the middle of the ball room with the elite of the Tula nation looking on but in the end she just turned to her sister.

“Go back to your father, Leda.”

Leda nodded.

“Call me, Mr. Burton.”

She placed her hand over her heart and inclined her head before withdrawing.

“She seems like quite a handful,” Ben remarked.

“She shares your delight in rousing the hornet’s nest.”

“Really?” Ben smiled, turning to watch Leda thread her way slowly through the crowd of people. “I wonder how she feels about skeletons...”

Astra gifted him with a frosty glare and suggested that they both return to their table. Ben acquiesced with a chuckle, reflecting that the day might not have gone as he had planned, but the developments had nevertheless been interesting.

Just interesting enough to make him want more.



About the author:
Hi everyone!

My name is Dee Dee, I’m twenty seven and I live in a beautiful part of Devon, England with my family. I have a younger sister, Jingle, who is a brilliant guitar player, some chickens, duck, geese, pheasants, a cat (that adopted us when we moved in!!!) and some Koi.

Fracture is the first book in the Chronicles of Discord series and is a dystopian adventure. I also write post-apocalyptic/dystopian fiction (the Broken City series) and historical romance/adventure (the Lady Quill Chronicles series). I also have a series of short contemporary humour stories (Claire series).

I really hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them.

I love reading and have a kindle: I read almost anything with adventure and romance in it! I also like to cook and wear impractical high heels!!! And as you might have noticed I have a horrible addiction to exclamation marks!!!

Author's Giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

If she fails, all of them will perish… Winter Wolf by R.J. Blain

Description:

The Hunted Wizard

When Nicole dabbled in the occult, she lost it all: Her voice, her family, and her name. Now on the run from the Inquisition, she must prove to herself—and the world—that not all wizards are too dangerous to let live.

The savage murder of a bookstore employee throws Nicole into the middle of Inquisition business, like it or not. Driven by her inability to save the young man’s life, she decides to hunt the killer on her own. Using forbidden magic to investigate the past, she learns that the murderer is in fact a disease that could kill the entire werewolf race.

Forced to choose between saving lives and preserving her own, Nicole embraces the magic that sent her into exile. Without werewolves, the power of the Inquisition would dwindle, and she could live without being hunted.

Nicole’s only hope for success lies in the hands of the werewolves she hates and the Inquisition she fears, but finding someone to trust is only the beginning of her problems. There are those who want to ensure that the werewolves go extinct and that the Inquisition falls.

But, if she fails to find a cure, her family—including her twin sister—will perish…

EXCERPT



Almost everyone in the store had a phone. Dormant devices, from reading lights to mobile chargers, littered the tables. One woman, browsing books nearby, had four battery-powered devices in her purse. One was a phone, and like mine, it hungered. Its need was strong; its battery waned to the point of failure.

If I wanted, I could charge it for her.

No one would notice if I did. Maybe the woman would wonder how her phone hadn’t died before she got home. It only had a few minutes left. It’d take me all of ten seconds to fix it for her. If I did, I wouldn’t be so aware of it. But to do so, I’d have to touch her—or her phone. Some things I could manipulate without having a direct conduit, but cell phone batteries were tricky, greedy things.

I cringed a little, setting the thriller book down. I picked up the next nearest title. I flipped it over, not reading the text on the back. Did I dare? Out of the corner of my eye, I watched the woman browsing through the books. All it would take was a few seconds. I could charge it without her noticing.

That was one thing I was actually good at.

I put the novel I held down and wandered to the same table, careful not to look at her. Book by book, I investigated the titles, circling to where she stood.

“You’re Nicole Thomas, aren’t you? The actress. You’re her.” My quarry appraised me with a pleased expression.

People normally recognized the mainliners, people with beautiful faces and voices to match, people who didn’t avoid crowds.

In short, people other than me.

I met her gaze, abandoning my perusal of novels. “I am,” I replied, wincing a little at the sandpaper-rough quality of my voice. At least I hadn’t been reduced to a whisper—yet. My fatal flaw was my rough, grating voice. Chronic laryngitis did that to a person. It ruined careers, as it had mine, though I hadn’t quite given up on being an actress. I’d already lost the ability to sing.

I wasn’t going to let a stupid disease take everything away from me.

The woman smiled, not seeming to mind talking to someone who sounded more like a zombie than a human. “You’re taller than I expected. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

She thrust out her hand.

We shook.

I left her phone alone.

“They keep putting me next to giants,” I quipped. It was true. When I did manage to get on the silver screen, I worked alongside actors easily a foot-and-a-half taller than me. “It’s a pleasure to meet you too.” I matched her smile. She didn’t tell me her name, and I didn’t ask for it.

It took all of my will not to fiddle with her phone. All it would take was a murmured word and a thought, and it’d be done. It would have been easy to charge the battery when our hands had been clasped together, but I hadn’t dared.

If, sometime later, she noticed her phone had magically been charged—literally—she might remember me. She knew my name.

And in true cowardice, I couldn’t bring myself to help her. If she connected the strange behavior of her phone with me, she might tell someone. If she did, I’d be as good as dead—or worse. I had dabbled in the occult, and the occult had dabbled back, and there were those who didn’t like when that happened.

The last thing I needed was them finding me.

***

I slammed my car’s door, spun on a heel, and swore I would have a perfectly normal visit to the mall. All I needed was one little book. Even I could walk into a bookstore, pick up a novel, and leave without causing any trouble.

This time, I wouldn’t blow out the lights. There wouldn’t be a single power surge. I wouldn’t turn on every unplugged device in the electronics store on my way across the mall. In the ten minutes it would take me to get in and out, the only thing anyone would notice about me was the fact that I wore a high-collared sweater in late summer. I had a mission, and I would complete it without fail. The novel my agent insisted I read would be mine.

For a long moment, I considered turning around and getting back into my car. Dominic would forgive me if I didn’t start reading the book until tomorrow. I could call in a favor and ask someone to pick up a copy for me. Then I definitely wouldn’t run any risk of blowing anything up. If I had been smart, I would’ve just ordered the damned thing on the internet, but I had waited too long.

Fishing my cell out of my pocket, I unlocked the screen with a swipe of my finger. The charging icon mocked me. Despite running every battery-draining app I could find, the battery held a full charge. I opened another app, a devilish program capable of killing the battery in ten minutes. It wouldn’t, not with me around, but if I was too busy keeping my phone topped up, maybe my mall shopping trip would prove to be mundane.

I shook my head, laughing at my foolishness.

No one would notice my phone. No one would notice me for more than a second. They’d notice my clothes, and then they’d file me away as yet another weirdo wearing something strange to catch attention. L.A. was full of people like that.

I had no reason to worry. Even if I managed to embarrass myself yet again by losing control of my powers, no one would know I was the cause of unplugged electronics turning on or unusual power surges.

Straightening my shoulders, I fixed my eyes on the line of glass doors and marched my way across the parking lot.

In and out. No blown lights. No power surges. No feeding power to unplugged electrical devices. No charging batteries for strangers. I was in control, and I would charge only my phone.

Making my way to the entry, I paused long enough to hold the door for a little old lady who insisted on making her way through the regular doors despite her walker. I couldn’t blame her. If I lived to be her age, I wouldn’t want to rely on automatic doors either.

She thanked me with a pat on the arm. Flashing her my best smile, I slipped inside.

Nothing happened.

Perfect.

I could handle ten minutes in the crowded corridors. Maybe if I told myself that enough times, I’d believe it.





Goodreads ** Amazon ** Barnes&Noble ** Kobo ** iTunes
About the author:
RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

When she isn't playing pretend, she likes to think she's a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband. She is currently on a quest for a new warrior fish.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.

Favorite Books & Series (In no particular order): Anne McCaffrey's Pern * Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar & Gryphon Series * Jim Butcher's Codex Alera & The Dresden Files * Brandon Sanderson's Elantris * Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega, Dragon Bones, & The Mercy Thompson series * Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time

Author's Giveaway
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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One explosive attraction - Initiate Me (Barossa Series #2) by Elle Raven

Cover Reveal
Release Date: December 27, 2014

Description:

One dominant alpha male.
One innocent bewitching woman.
Equals one explosive attraction.

Mia Brunetti is far too busy with her studies to worry about having a man in her life. Growing up with three unruly and overprotective brothers has made her wary of men in general. That goes double if he's your brother’s best friend.

For years, Mia has worshipped Zane Mitchell, and has avoided him and hidden her heart behind a wall. She has waited her entire life for Zane to see her as more than her brother's little sister. Now that she’s old enough to stake her claim on him, she’s pulling out all the sexual stops.

Zane has sworn off all women…until innocent Mia catches his attention. He is a devastatingly, masculine male who makes Mia's imagination go wild, but Zane has desires that would send innocent Mia running. The recently injured ex-cop is now working for the Brunetti family empire. As part of Mia's internship, Mia's brothers have placed her under Zane's wing. He is more than willing to take Mia up on her offer. The fun and games tie them both up in knots. Mia isn’t willing to settle for less than the whole package. But dominant Zane, even though the sexy country girl sets his blood ablaze, is determined to resist her efforts to protect his battered heart and her from his needs.

EXCERPT

“What the hell? Everyone is staring at us; even my brothers! Why did you drag me in here? We have nothing to say to one another,” I said to him in a sulky voice. I could feel my lip trembling. Shit, I better not crumble in front of him. I feel like such an idiot to let him affect me like this. 

“Nothing to talk about? Are you for real, angel? We have plenty to talk about.”

“No. We. Don’t.” I moved to try and get past him, but he was too strong.

“Please, angel, we need to talk about last night. We’re going to have to work together closely as of tomorrow, so give me a chance.”

“A chance? You had your chance, Zane Mitchell, but you blew it!”

“Fine, if that’s the way you want to play this, then I’ll let it go, for now. I‘ll see you 8 a.m. sharp, Monday morning, angel. And remember, don't be late on your first day," he whispered in my ear. "I may have to punish you for tardiness."

About the author:
Elle Raven is a new and upcoming Aussie author who lives in Adelaide, South Australia with her husband and three young children. Elle can usually be found with her iPad or laptop computer permanently glued to her. She began writing from a very young age. In fact, Elle used to write plays and musicals when she was in high school. Having such a flamboyant personality, she even performed in them herself: always an 'actress' and always the star. 

Elle loves reading and writing about an alpha-male hero. If she can't read about one that is alpha enough to suit her, she will take it upon herself to write one. 

Elle's books all feature an alpha-male hero who will come tumbling to his knees in lust and love when he finally meets the heroine of his dreams. Rest assured that in an Elle Raven book, the hero will never cheat. 


You can choose your path, but your fate is sealed. - Gilded Wings (Hidden Wings #4) by Cameo Renae

R
Release Date: December 12th, 2014
Cover Design: Regina Wamba at Mae I Design 

Description:

As the final battle draws near, Emma finds herself bound under an unbreakable oath. She must seal the bond with Ethon before her transformation, or risk her life and the lives of those she truly loves. Who she wants is no longer an option.

Lucian has unleashed troops of evil beasts from the Underworld, making it impossible for Emma to leave the protective barrier of Alaine’s home. War is inevitable. The Guardians will need to stay and fight their ground, hoping Lucifer keeps his end of the deal and comes to their aid.

In this epic series conclusion, burning questions will be answered, lives will be lost, and sacrifices will be made.

But who will survive, and at what cost?

About Book #1: I really loved this story, I was intrigued from the beginning and once I started I couldnt stop. The characters connected so well and were wonderfully written. I would highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone who loved YA Fantasy. I must warn you though, once you have started reading Cameo Renae's work, you will become addicted, it is the drug you can't get enough of!!! - Goodreads


About the author:
My family is what keeps my heart beating, and my world a happy place to be.

I love reading great books that whisk me away from reality, even if for a little while. :) Writing is my passion. I love creating new worlds and new characters, and taking wondrous adventures with them.

In My Dreams & Hidden Wings were both recently published through Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing. Descent (A Hidden Wings novella) will be released May 15, 2013, and Broken Wings (Book 2 in the Hidden Wings Series) will be released June 1, 2013.

One day I will find my magic wardrobe, and ride away on my magical unicorn... ♥ Until then... I'll keep writing! ;)

Cover Reveal organized by Lady Amber's Tours

Her choice will change the world. - Of Legacies series by Victoria Escobar

Description:

Her choice will change the world. 
She hated the wheelchair. Hated the way it made her feel less than what she was. Most of all she hated not being able to do all the things she used to. Ari had been a track and field star, an archery champion and an Eskrima pro. Now she was confined to a wheelchair slowly dying inside from its restraints.

Medical science wasn’t working. The tests, the drugs, the therapies were all useless and a waste of time. She was tired of wasting her time; she was tired of failure. It was time to look away from the obvious and try something unconventional. 

Nothing was ever free and that included miracles. Abruptly, Ari finds herself tangled in a web of lies, questioning everything she’s ever known as truth. Never had she believed she’d be thrown headfirst into a world of good and evil, magic and Gods.

Trapped in the middle of a war she had never known existed both parties demanded her allegiance. Ari was a catalyst that could change all the rules of the Earth. But when the time comes to make a choice will she be strong enough to know right from wrong?

She was the strongest of Gaea’s Servants. 
Miera had been trained from childhood to be Faithful always to the Goddess. She had been taught with Faith they would always be protected. She had never wavered from that course. She hadn’t counted on the consequences of that choice.

As Ariadne’s birthday draws closer darkness closes in on Sparta. Monsters, both Tainted and Pure alike, were vying for pieces of their island. Doubt and fear grew like pestilence. Death was unavoidable. 

Sparta sat on the brink, but of what Miera wasn’t certain. There was no record, no precedence for her to consult. There were no living patrons of the Goddess to seek council from. She only had instinct and Faith. If she could not maintain the balance Sparta would fall before Gaea’s return. 

How did the lost lead the people out of darkness?

EXCERPT



OF GAEA

“I’m twenty years old.” Leonidas said quietly. “And I am destined to die before my next birthday. You understand why I have no enthusiasm for hurrying that along.”

“Come on.” Sasha grabbed the handles of the wheelchair and drew Ari back. “He’s not worth your anger.”

“Can I at least have the runes? I’ll get someone else to help, but I need the other runes.” Ari begged. Pride was no longer an option. Her one chance was slipping through her fingers. She could feel tears welling up in her eyes. She wouldn’t just give up. “Please. You may not care at all, and I really don’t care if you do or not. But, please, don’t condemn me to this wheelchair for the rest of my life. Please?”

“Sasha.” Leonidas slowly righted himself. He wanted to ignore her pain. Wanted to pretend it didn’t matter. His ghosts, however, wouldn’t let him. His words were slow and resigned. “You’ll need to pick her up. Her chair cannot go where we need to go. Put it there,” he gestured next to the archway, “out of the walkway and follow me.”

Sasha parked the wheelchair and carefully slid his arms under Ari. He was always very careful with her. Spun glass, was what she reminded him of, though, recently that glass was lined with steel. He waited for Ari to grab her notebooks and nod at him in confirmation before righting slowly and letting her adjust comfortably once upright.

Leonidas watched bemused, but said nothing. It wasn’t his place to say anything, and if he had it would no doubt have met with defensiveness from Ari. While he wasn’t above being argumentative, he wanted them out. It hurt to look at them for too long. Their unit was too solid and it pained him.

Leonidas had been right about the wheelchair. The hall behind the curtain was barely wide enough for them to walk. There was no way a wheelchair could have been navigated through. All the doors were closed so Ari could only guess at what was behind them.

At the end of the hall, Leonidas pushed on a tile in the wall. The panel slid open to reveal an elevator. It was just as brightly lit as the main gallery which made the ride down a little more tolerable. Ari had no idea how far down they went before the elevator dinged to a stop.

When the doors opened there were books as far as the eyes could see. They disappeared into the shadows. There were no windows and the lights were dim. Several of them flickered, dangerously close to blowing out. It made the entire room look like something out of a horror movie.

“Charming.” Sasha quipped. “Do you keep your coffin down here, too?”

OF SPARTA

The screams were ear shattering from the inside.

Miera heard, rather than saw Thalia stop in the door after Zoya followed her in.

“The High Patriarch will resolve this matter please return to your beds. I know the screaming is discerning. It will end momentarily,” she said. She stood in the door a moment longer before following them in and closing it behind her.

Leonidas was not in his bed but on the floor next to it. Blood stained the floor and marred the white sheets. He arched and contorted unnaturally screaming all the while. As they watched Leonidas raked his nails across his body. It looked as if he was trying to pull out whatever was invading him. He didn’t even react to the self-inflicted injuries.

Miera sighed and slowly reached out, “Leonidas?”

“Wait,” Zoya reached to grab her hand but it had already landed on Leonidas.

Miera jerked back in surprise and pain. Her hand and arm had gone numb and yet felt like a thousand bee stings. Whatever was invading Leonidas was trying to attack her just from touching him. She dropped to her knees and clutched her now dead arm.

“Miera,” Thalia dropped to her knees beside her charge.

Miera shook her head and jerked away. “Don’t touch. It’ll spread.”

“What can we do? What is it? Can you tell?” Thalia knelt closer than Miera wanted but there was no stopping her.

“It’s…painful,” Miera gritted through clenched teeth even as tears rolled down her cheeks. It was like her arm was being broken from the inside a thousand times over. “Dark, cold, oily. There are so many words…”

“Tainted,” Zoya whispered. She reached out and placed both hands on Leonidas.

“Zoya!” Miera wasn’t close enough to stop her.

“It’s alright,” Zoya inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly. “We are Gaea’s Advocates. We are the Envoys. Shush, Leonidas. Hear me. Come back.”

Miera and Thalia watched in astonishment and admiration as Leonidas’s screams ebbed and then ended. The tension in his body released. He laid there motionless but for the rapid rise and fall of his chest.

The pain in Miera’s arm slowly faded as well. Instinctively she flexed her fingers and was overjoyed when she could feel them again. She stood slowly; her knees were weak as if she had been sick for weeks rather than just a few moments.

Zoya turned her head to look at Miera as she rose. Miera started at her white eyes. Zoya smiled slowly. “It is done,” she said and fainted.

Thalia’s reflexes were lightning fast and she caught the falling girl inches above the polished wooden floor. Thalia gently places her on the cool surface. Miera knelt next to her and placed a hand on her brow. Zoya’s eyes opened at the touch and they were back to their steely gray.

“I am fine,” she said weakly. “If I could borrow Thalia to take me to my room? I don’t think I can walk just yet and it’s improper for me to stay here.”

Miera gave a dry chuckle. “Of course,” she nodded to Thalia who carefully picked up the much weakened Zoya and carried her from the room.

She turned to Leonidas once they were gone and squatted down at his side. Before she could touch him, he rolled away from her reach. Miera stood slowly even as he began to slowly push himself up.

“Can you tell me what happened?” she asked when she realized he wasn’t going to voluntarily speak.

He shook his head, “I wish I knew.”

Miera studied his face as he rose slow and carefully like the old or sickly. His muscles strained with the motion and he refused to look at her.

“You know I know you’re lying right,” Miera said flatly. “What happened?”

He leaned against a post of his bed before slowly moving to the adjoining bathroom. “I’m exhausted and bleeding. If you’ll excuse me?”

“You’ll take your leave when I grant it.”
About the author:
Born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but with the ability to claim eight states as home; Victoria Escobar writes fiction from her current home in New York. She writes whatever comes to mind and because of such has a variety of genres written including Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, and Contemporary Fiction.

In spare time if not with family, and friends Victoria enjoys curling up with a book from a favorite author with music playing. If not reading or writing she spends time drawing, sketching, crocheting, or some other random art project. She enjoys staying busy, but most of all enjoys staying creative.


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A delicious read. Terrific plot. - Tied to You by Bibi Paterson

Release Date: October 31st, 2014

Description: 18++

Olivia Walker has just hit rock bottom. About to lose her job and become homeless, she can’t see a way out of the mess her life has become until Alex Davenport enters her life with a proposal she is in no position to refuse.

Wealthy and arrogant, Alex is used to getting whatever he wants and he has set his eyes on Olivia. For months he has watched her, waiting for the perfect opportunity to present itself to make her his, and finally it has appeared. But Alex is hiding a secret, one that he is determined to protect until, one day, Olivia makes a discovery that sets her on a course of self-discovery. Together they explore Olivia’s submissive side, pushing boundaries and taking her on the wildest ride of her life.

But when Olivia’s past threatens to expose Alex’s secret lifestyle, the time for truths and full disclosure is at hand. Can Alex let go of the fears that have bound his true nature? And can a couple that fell in lust find their own happily ever after?

What a delicious read. Olivia and Alex sizzle through the pages. Terrific plot.
Great character development. Love the way Bibi developed her main characters. The complications arising throughout the book were really well resolved and were also plausible explanations. [...] A great book which could have developed into a series but has inspired me to purchase everything that Bibi has written.If you like a hot steamy read this is the book for you. - Goodreads


About the author:
Bibi is a former marketing executive and mum to a gorgeous little girl currently residing just north of London. She recently spent a year living it up on the beaches of Western Australia and her hobbies include consuming copious amounts of coffee and chocolate, building cardboard castles and creating stories in her head.

Inspired from a young age, her love for literature started with Enid Blyton and her Secret Seven. Since then a voracious appetite for books has brought her a world full of heroes, love, murder, betrayal and the odd vampire thrown in for good cause.

Having long admired those brave enough to put pen to paper, or in this modern age of computing, keyboard to screen, she has finally started telling the sexy stories that she has been keeping locked up in her head all this time.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

If the truth comes out, he will lose everything - Student Body by Rafeeq O. McGiveron

Description:

Student Body is an allusive, finely grained genre-straddler that incorporates elements of romance, memoir, mystery, even something I might term “fiction of academia,” with mood ranging from mischievous to exulting to elegiac.

Charming young professor-to-be Rick O’Donnell seems to have it all, but he also hides a desperate secret: his brief, passionate affair with a beautiful girl who had been his own student just the semester before, and who now is a fellow teaching assistant with an office right down the hall from his. If the truth comes out, he will lose everything—his once-promising career, his marriage, perhaps even his life.

Sensual, poignant, and lyrical, Student Body is a frank and intimate tale of a harrowing week and a half which will decide a deeply conflicted man’s entire future…and the lives of the women who love him.

GUEST POST

Whenever people ask me about my novel, I’m excited to talk about it—and I’ve done so in print, on the web, and on the radio—but at the same time, really, Student Body actually isn’t easy to categorize. When I wrote it, I knew I was crossing the boundaries of several literary genres, but I didn’t care.

The book is deeply romantic, for example, but it definitely is not a romance novel per se. It has some elements of a murder mystery or thriller, but it definitely is not quite one of these. For setting and even certain characters and scenes, I was able to draw from some my own experiences, but the book definitely is not a memoir. I simply had a fictional story to tell, and I told it—movingly, artistically, and evocatively, I hope.

As the novel opens, glib, cocky doctoral student Rick O’Donnell seems to have it all: a loving wife and three young children, a coterie of wisecracking friends, the respect of his professors, and a bright future ahead of him.

The charming young professor-to-be, however, also hides a desperate secret: his brief, passionate affair with a beautiful girl who had been his own student just the semester before, and who now is a fellow teaching assistant with an office right down the hall from his. If the truth comes out, he stands to lose everything—his once-promising career, his marriage, perhaps even his life.

Student Body is not about car chases or assassination plots or explosions, therefore, but about the secret needs we all have, the vulnerabilities and the confused motivations, the soul-searching and the angst. The protagonist may be flawed, but he is aware of his shortcomings and the wrongs he has committed, and is struggling now to do right. And yet as Rick is confronted with the one thing he cannot have revealed, he is forced in the desperate silence of his guilt to work through all the gnawing uncertainties and the memories he had thought were buried in the past.

Student Body has been hailed as “vivid” and “emotional,” “smoothly presented” and “carefully crafted,” with an “unexpected conclusion…both believable and satisfying” (here). The novel is poignant and introspective, the frank and intimate tale of a harrowing week and a half which will decide a deeply conflicted man’s entire future…and the lives of the women who love him. If you enjoy reading it even half as much as I enjoyed writing it, then I’ll be happy.

EXCERPT



Chapter 24, pp. 282-84

What in the hell was love, exactly? wondered Rick with something of a mental headshake. Many times during his relationship with Lauren, the confused, smitten boy had mused—completely apropos of nothing, of course—on the topic of love. He had remembered, now and then, very wistful and rather surprised somehow, the good times with Anna, but too often during that semester, instead how distant it all appeared, like some scratched and foggy Daguerreotype found in a box on the back shelf of a cluttered antique shop. Bitterness, loneliness, neglect—at home, these instead had been foremost in Rick’s brooding mind. And yet at work… Why, how different everything was, how fresh and exciting and new!

Greeting his secret sweetheart every day with such casual chumminess in Rosenblatt’s class, but melting inside as those sultry dark eyes looked up sideways, privately adoring and yet dancing somehow with mischief, too, at the knowledge which only the two lovers shared— Trying to maintain a façade of nonchalance, he nevertheless had always trembled faintly inside when he plopped down his backpack and lowered his frame into the chair beside the pleasant curve of her hip, so familiar and yet so agonizingly untouchable in the mundane public world where mere mortals strode. How carelessly they bantered, just two playful friends awaiting the start of the lecture! Ah, but once the professor began and all eyes turned to the dusty chalkboard, with what gentle longing he had gazed across the profile of Lauren’s professional and studious and yet secretly mischievous young face! The affectionate boy would have been content to smile fondly across the pretendedly aloof side of her cream-complected visage forever, it seemed.

Driving somewhere in Lauren’s trim red Civic, windows rolled down and the wind playing in her silken black hair— It pleased her, it seemed, to let Rick drive, and it made him feel so much more the man. Calm and confident at the wheel, he steered one-handed, his other palm comfortably intimate and yet completely undemanding upon the girl’s bare knee. How shapely and youthful and sleek she was, how sly and playful and fun—and his. Lauren might laugh at some witticism he had made, her pretty head thrown back in delight, the flash of her teeth flattering him so deeply, for the response of this co-equal in his life was always honest and open-hearted, never fawning or merely humoring him. And if the radio ever aired that playful song by the Pretenders or the deeply sensuous “Because the Night,” ah, how either of those tunes could bring it all back, the once bottled-up emotions of that magical first night together! Sometimes, beaming as the music flowed through his veins as sinuously as the supple white hips that had rolled so evocatively beneath his palms and, finally, upraised, beneath his sighing thrusts, he might bring her slender hand to his lips and kiss the back of it in the tenderest reverence.

Or, afterward, lying drowsy and relaxed beyond belief in tangled sweaty sheets in her apartment over on Gunson Avenue, completely without barrier or pretense or pose, knowing how very, very special it had been, and still was— Perhaps he blinked lazily at up the familiar cracks in the ceiling of the girl’s bedroom, those cryptic patterns of slowly spreading fractures which just moments ago her beatifically slitted eyes could not even see. Yes, and now she snuggled so comfortably against him, not asleep and yet with those still-flushed lids contentedly closed, her soft head cradled trustingly upon his outstretched arm and her palm tenderly possessive atop his bare chest where she could feel his heart beating—for her, for her, for her! Benignly aglow, he might lean over and kiss the flushed ivory plane of his darling’s placid forehead, making those pretty lips twitch in the gentlest kind of smile. Ah, how easy this unacknowledged second life had been, how comfortable!



About the author:
Rafeeq O. McGiveron is a writer and educator with a knowledge of...well, writing and education, along with cats, stray bits of literature and history, and other miscellany. Having spent over 20 years as a professional academic, he holds a B.A. with Honor in English and History, an M.A. in English and History, and another M.A. in English. In the first 12 years of his career he taught English at places like Michigan State University, Lansing Community College, and Western Michigan University, while since the turn of the century he has focused on advising students at LCC.

As a writer, McGiveron currently may be best known for his literary criticism. In academic journals he has published some two-dozen articles on a fair range of authors, though it is his work on Ray Bradbury and Robert A. Heinlein that probably is most familiar to students. In 2013 he served as volume editor for a text on Fahrenheit 451 for Salem Press, after recruiting scholars from all around the world and writing about 10,000 words of it himself as well. In 2014 he released his novel, Student Body.


Evil stalks her. True love finds her - Birth of a Destiny (Light Bearer #1) by T.R. Milne

"A wonderful page-turner full of mystery, suspense, tension, hope...The scene was set by the book's superb artwork, woven together with a stunning landscape, beautiful prose and strong female characters. This archetypal good versus evil book has something for everyone and I found the more I read, the more I cared...Now I have to somehow wait for Book 2! "- Goodreads

Kids Moments - The Legacy (The Shadow of the Unicorn, #1) by Suzanne de Montigny

Published: October 15th, 2014

Description: 9+

A loud, hissing sound filled the air. The unicorns looked up, their eyes filled with horror.

Azaria, a unicorn colt, is intrigued when the young, clairvoyant dinosaur, Darius, foresees a terrifying change to their world. When a giant fireball smashes into the earth, the unicorns struggle to survive the hurricanes and starvation that follow. But nothing compares to the danger when the creatures-that-walk-on-two-legs settle in the valley, and their leader discovers the healing power in the unicorns’ horns. Greedy and ruthless, Ishmael will stop at nothing in his pursuit of wealth – even the complete extinction of the herd. Azaria must find a way to outsmart Ishmael before it’s too late.
The Buzz About the Book

"The Shadow of the Unicorn provides an innovative and interesting plotline exploring how the fictional unicorns, the extinct dinosaurs, and early humans may have interacted if they co-existed in a post-apocalyptic world. Suzanne de Montigny does an excellent job of exploring the themes of natural disasters and environmental change, human greed, compassion, and courage. At the end of the day, The Shadow of the Unicorn is an entertaining read that I think will be enjoyed by children who love the fantasy genre and are keen on reading about unicorns. Ages 9+" - Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Winner of the 2013 Global E-book Award
for Best Fantasy/Alternate History
"Kudos to Ms. de Montigny for writing an original variation on the fantasy epic--unicorns intermingling with dinosaurs! The book's themes include the humane and environmental concerns that Watership Down and the films of Hayao Miyazaki have in common. If you have a middle grader or are just young at heart, pick up The Shadow Of The Unicorn." - 5 Star Review, Stuart W., Amazon

"The Shadow of the Unicorn is a must-read for all unicorn lovers, but even more so for the ones, like my self, who hadn't read anything about them yet. It is a thrilling and encouraging story about a young unicorn that has to save his herd after a meteor nearly destroyed their environment and killed the dinosaurs. Suzanne de Montigny created a compelling universe with believable characters and a great adventure story to challenge them with. While the story finishes in this book, I can't wait to read about the new adventures the unicorns will face.." - 5 Star Review, Antje H., Amazon

"This story pulled me in with a beautiful portrayal of a time and place where unicorns and dinosaurs live side by side. It moved me forward with unexpected twist and turns (a requirement in any good story). I found it hard to put the book down and was totally engaged in seeing the young characters (unicorns and dinosaurs) survive and grow because of the challenges they faced." - 5 Star Review, NW Harris, Amazon

"What a delightfully unique book. Unicorns and dinosaurs facing changing conditions. Darius is a young dinosaur capable of seeing the future. Azaria is a young unicorn who becomes a friend and learns from Darius. Yes, there are humans in this book. They are the villains of the story. Greedy beasts. I think both boys and girls will love this story. Very quick paced and easy to read. A delightful story, and I look forward to more from this author." - 5 Star Review, DM Lawrence, Amazon

For those of you living in British Columbia, you can grab a print copy of "The Shadow of the Unicorn" from the local Kidsbook Bookstore in Vancouver. 
FREE Study Guide
There is now a FREE 36-page reproducible study guide to The Shadow of the Unicorn complete with integrated activities for kids and a complete answer key for parents, teachers, and homeschoolers.

Click on the image below to download your free copy. 

About the author:
Suzanne de Montigny wrote her first unicorn story at the age of twelve. Several years later, she discovered it in an old box in the basement, thus reigniting her love affair with unicorns.

The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy, is her first novel. Suzanne lives in Burnaby, B.C. with the three loves of her life – her husband and two boys.
For more information about Suzanne and The Shadow of the Unicorn, please visit 

Website ** Blog ** Goodreads ** Twitter ** Facebook 

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner's choice) Contest ends: December 27, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Suzanne de Montigny and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com