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Friday, May 27, 2016

Book Feature: Singapore Secrets by Irene Onorato

Singapore Secrets

Inside the Book:

Singapore Secrets Cover Concept (Flattened - revised)-2

Title: Singapore Secrets 
Author: Irene Onorato 
Publisher: eLectio Publishing 
Genre: Romance 
Format: Ecopy/Paperback

Secrets . . .

Angry because her father, Louisiana Senator Jacob Windsor, has announced his engagement to Hollywood starlet Kara Bordeaux, Julia Windsor decides she’d rather leave home than be subjected to heightened security and a deluge of paparazzi. She travels to Singapore, severs all communication with those she’s left behind, and chooses to live a life of anonymity. When Julia meets handsome Gabriel Davenport, she keeps her true purpose for being in Singapore a secret. The friendship that develops quickly evolves into something much deeper. Julia marvels that she’s traveled halfway around the world to find love with an American man. But will that love endure when she discovers that Gabriel is a former Special Forces sergeant hired by her father to protect her?  
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg B&N
goodreads  

Meet the Author

Author Photo 400 dpi
Irene Onorato was born and raised in Bronx, New York. Her father, a first-generation American whose parents were born in Italy, was an Army veteran who had served with the 178th combat engineers during WWII. He told numerous stories of battles, hardships, tragedies and triumphs. The glimpses he gave into the hearts of many American warriors would later become the inspiration for much of Irene’s writings. In 1972, a few months after graduating high school, Irene met James Onorato, a soldier who had just returned from Vietnam. After dating two weeks, they married, raised three children, and are still happily married today. Irene and James, both radiation protection technicians, retired from the nuclear power industry in 2014 and now reside in Louisiana.    
 

Book Feature: You Are Here by Chris Delyani


 


Title: You Are Here 
Author: Chris Delyani 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Romance 
Format: Ebook/Paperback

All Peter Bankston ever wanted to do was paint. An aspiring painter, Peter scratches out a pauper’s living in San Francisco, wanting nothing more than to be left alone. Instead, he finds himself getting involved with not one but two very different men. Like Peter, getting involved with another man is the last thing on Nick Katsaris’s mind. Smart, handsome, and good-humored, Nick’s done more than just survive—he’s positively thriving in San Francisco. But when he meets Peter, what begins as fun and games quickly turns into a game he can’t control. Miles Bettencourt’s days are filled with longing. For him, San Francisco is haunted by Stuart, his missing ex-lover. Desperate to win him back, Miles wanders the streets in the hope of running into Stuart again. Instead, he runs into Peter—the one man who might hold the key to what Miles is looking for. These three gay men soon form one very unlikely love triangle. Sometimes, when people break apart and then come together, they learn that discovering that where you are is the key to knowing who you are.  

Meet the Author:

In 1993, Chris Delyani moved to San Francisco from his native Boston to devote his life to writing fiction—and he’s been at it ever since. His first novel, The Love Thing, was published in 2009. He lives in Oakland, California.    

Giveaway

Chris is  giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins May 23 and ends on June 3.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on June 4.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Feature: Jericho by Alex Gordon


Inside the Book:



Title: Jericho 
Author: Alex Gordon 
Publisher: Harper Voyager 
Genre: Supernatural 
Format: Ecopy/Paperback

For readers of Deborah Harkness, J.D. Horn, Lev Grossman, and any supernatural thriller, a young witch must risk death and damnation to defeat a powerful ancient evil in Alex Gordon's follow-up to the masterful debut Gideon.

In unearthing her father’s secret past, Lauren Reardon discovered a shocking truth about herself. She is a Child of Endor, a sect of witches who believe they are the guardians of the “thin places”—areas across the globe where evil can seep through the divide between the worlds separating the living and the restless dead. At any time, she can be called upon to close one of these breaches and prevent demons from infiltrating our realm. When Lauren has a disturbing vision of an Oregon forest, she is drawn back to the familiar woods of the misty Pacific Northwest to investigate.

Locals had long whispered about an abandoned logging camp known as Jericho—of the strange disappearances and eerie sounds heard in the woods deep in the night. But these ghost stories only hint at the true evil lurking within the camp’s dilapidated buildings, a primeval malevolence far more terrifying than Lauren’s darkest imaginings. And now, Lauren must face this evil, even if it takes her life . . . even if it costs her soul.  
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpgB&N  

Meet the Author

 
Alex Gordon resides in the Midwest. When she isn’t working, she enjoys watching sports and old movies, running, and playing with her dogs. She dreams of someday adding the Pacific Northwest to the list of regions where she has lived.
 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Book Feature: The Weekend Warriors by James W. Burke Jr.


 

Inside the Book:


Title: The Weekend Warriors 
Author: James W. Burke Jr 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Suspense 
Format: Ebook

Married with two children, Michael Patrick Fitzmaurice, Major, Infantry, US Army Reserve, is going to war. Bound for Ramstein, Germany, he and his troops, who never expected to be on the frontline, must now stand in battle alongside their active-duty counterparts. It's the mid-1980s and the United States is under the leadership of a new president who continues its post-Vietnam withdrawal from the world stage. Domestic affairs are the administration's priority, while international affairs are given short shrift. In Western Europe, this disengagement of the United States causes turmoil and indecision. The Soviet General Staff observes these conditions and sees an opportunity in the West's disarray. They believe one strong, overwhelming offense, launched violently and without warning, would overcome NATO's defenses before the alliance could react. Once the Soviet forces seized their objectives in West Germany and the Netherlands, NATO would be forced to sue for peace on Soviet terms. Even if the United States could react to the offensive, its support would never reach the battlefield in time to affect the outcome. And, once the Soviet forces held their ground, the demoralized people of Western Europe would never rally for a counter attack. To meet this threat and support its allies, the United States mobilizes large numbers of reservists and National Guard troops—women and men like Mike who fight to defeat the Soviet onslaught and repel the invaders.

Meet the Author:
James W. Burke Jr. is a graduate of the US Military Academy and the Army Command and General Staff College. He served more than twenty-five years in the Army, National Guard, and Army Reserve. Burke lives Kennebunkport, Maine, with his wife, Kate.

Giveaway

James is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins May 23 and ends on June 3.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on June 4.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Feature: World Eternal by Donna R. Wittlif


 

Inside the Book:


Title: World Eternal: Proselytes 
Author: Donna R. Wittlif 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Futuristic Christian 
Format: Ebook

Picture it. The world is free of many of the major problems that plagued it for centuries. Hunger, homelessness, and natural disasters are no more. There’s no more disease. Who wouldn’t want to live in such a world? What price would anyone give to live in such a world? World Eternal has kept all the promises it made to the citizens of Earth in author Donna R. Wittlif’s first novel, World Eternal: Promises. In World Eternal: Proselytes, we learn things are not necessarily as they seem. When Jim and his friends learn the secret of World Eternal’s food source, they know the world is in danger. World Eternal’s promises come with a high price. Jim doesn’t understand how big a price until he loses what he holds most dear—his family. World Eternal: Proselytes is the exciting story of Jim’s efforts to rescue his family and to unveil the aliens’ sinister plans. His discoveries lead him to an ancient code book, which he must return to its rightful owner. Will Jim have the courage to find the book’s owner—even if it means his death? Can he find his family and rescue them before they are lost to Ouima? What price will James, Nell, Jim, and their fellow Christians have to pay for their faith? Find out in this exciting story that strengthens your resolve to follow Jesus.

Meet the Author:

Donna R. Wittlif earned a master’s degree and has taught in high schools and colleges. She has studied UFOs and related phenomena for more than ten years. She and her husband live near Denver, Colorado, where they enjoy writing, teaching Bible classes, gardening, and keeping up with their grandchildren. http://www.donnarwittlif.com

Giveaway

Donna is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins May 23 and ends on June 3.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on June 4.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 23, 2016

Book Feature: Little Cotton Heart by Florentine Pfluger


 

Inside the Book:


Title: Little Cotton Heart 
Author: Florentine Pfluger 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Poetry 
Format: Ebook

Author Florentine Pfluger was mentally and spiritually trapped in a religious cult, along with her husband and children, for approximately ten years. During that time, she kept journals in which she wrote original poetry. In Little Cotton Heart, Pfluger shares the verses that resulted from that period, progressing from the realization of her family’s entrapment through the process of being set free and into the mental breakdown that followed. She experienced a psychological crash that took her on a long and painful journey into the causes of her collapse, and these poems depict her desperate search for healing in the aftermath of trauma. In the end, Pfluger also presents poetry written at the start of a new and much happier time. She hopes that this poetic journey from darkness and confusion into the light will help others in similar circumstances to know they are not alone. This collection of poetry outlines a journey from the trauma of a religious cult through the healing process that followed escape and into the wholeness that finally resulted.  

Meet the Author:
Florentine Pfluger uses writing to navigate the trauma that she has experienced in life. A housewife, she is a mother of seven and a grandmother of five. She currently lives in Carmichael, California.  


Book Feature: My Left Side by Darlene Linda Jones-Brooks


 

Inside the Book:


Title: My Left Side 
Author: Darlene Linda Jones-Brooks 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Biography 
Format: Ebook/Paperback

  Author Darlene Linda Jones-Brooks has been through a lot in her life—and, strangely enough, many of the worst physical experiences have happened on the left side of her body. When she was thirteen, a cousin accidentally stabbed her in the wrist. As an adult, she got caught in the crossfire of random shooting and lost half her left kidney due to the resulting injury. Later, a severe pain in her left leg led to a diagnosis of lupus, and she developed breast cancer, with the tumor appearing in her left breast. In addition, over the course of her life, she has been a victim of rape and has dealt with her pain using drugs and alcohol—often with damaging consequences. In spite of it all, though, she went back to her first love, her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Now she lives her life for the Lord and is steadily growing in his Word. This memoir tells the personal narrative of a woman who has endured much pain and struggle in her life but now turns to God for support through troubles.

Meet the Author:
Darlene Linda Jones-Brooks trained in medicine and holds certificates in medical assistance and phlebotomy. She currently lives in Detroit.


Book Spotlight: The Torch Principle by Javier Ideami






Title: The Torch Principle
Author: Javier Ideami
Publisher: Sound of Touch
Pages: 404
Genre: Nonfiction/

Are you facing personal or professional challenges that require original and innovative solutions? Are you tired of the typical solutions that don't produce lasting results? Would you like to find a better balance between your creative and your analytical muscles in order to empower your career, health and well-being?

The Torch principle (Creativity) is a unique book + online platform (torchprinciple.com) that empowers your creative muscles and helps you generate original solutions to your personal and professional challenges. Award winning creative director Javier Ideami brings you a book plus an online all in one platform to empower your career, health and well-being through radically enhancing your creativity.
·        Learn multisensory brainstorming techniques.
·        Generate unique solutions to your personal and professional challenges.
·        Reach a better balance between your analytical and your creative muscles.
·        Empower your career, health and well-being through creative thinking.
·        Get access to an online platform (torchprinciple.com) with videos, tools and graphics that help you visualize and understand the content as well as exercise your creative muscles.
The Torch Principle gives you the background knowledge you need combined with specific exercises and techniques that can help you find solutions and ideas for the personal and professional challenges you face. It also helps you reach a better balance between your analytical and your creative muscles. This, in turn, benefits your career, health and well-being.
We all have challenges, personal and professional. Typical solutions often don’t last and can’t adapt to the complexity of the situation we face or are ineffective against the competition. That’s why you need truly innovative and original solutions. You need to diverge strongly before you converge onto those solutions. To diverge strongly you need strong creative muscles. The Torch Principle gives you exercises to train your creative muscles and the tools to produce ideas and solutions that can overcome complexity and competition. Solutions that last.

For More Information

  • The Torch Principle is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:
If you live on planet Earth, there are many challenges you face, both personal and professional. Some of them are too complex to deal with by just using logic and analysis. In addition to this, typical conventional solutions are not practical because competitors are already implementing them or because the value they provide doesn’t last long enough.
In order to succeed, you need to raise your game and produce innovative, different and unique solutions to your personal and professional challenges. You cannot run a marathon without first training your body muscles regularly, similarly, you cannot become a master at innovating original solutions without first learning to exercise your creative muscles as well.
In this book I will show you how to make the transition from a personal or professional challenge to an innovative solution and how to exercise your creative muscles to become a master at this process.
We will also explore how creative thinking can benefit both your health and well-being.

Structure of the book                                                               
This first chapter is an introduction. The second chapter, “The electric mind”, introduces the theater of operations, our brain. The third chapter, “Two powerful friends”, covers the two key strategies our mind uses to process information: analytical and creative thinking. The fourth chapter, “Race for survival”, connects these two strategies with our biology and our transition from children to adults. The fifth chapter, “The torch principle”, guides you through the stages that occur in most successful innovation processes. The sixth chapter, “Exercising your creative muscles”, provides you with specific ways to train these muscles. Finally, chapter seven explores how creative strategies can benefit your health and well-being. The second part of the book includes 10 small chapters covering extra and complementary information that expands on some of the topics covered in the previous chapters. They delve deeper into storytelling, education, marketing, business, etc.

Welcome to the journey        
Welcome to a fascinating journey. I acknowledge your courage and bravery in accepting this challenge, for the mission we are about to embark on is not for the faint-hearted. It has the potential to transform your career, health and well-being in dramatic ways.
Together, we will accomplish a fundamental change in the core and base of how you think and function.
The objectives of this book are clear. First, to make you a more balanced, complete and successful human being. Second, to help you raise yourself above the complexity and/or competition around you and find innovative solutions for the challenges you face both professionally and personally. We will focus on giving you practical exercises, strategies, tools and tips that you can apply during and after the reading.
Nowadays, complexity and competition are constant companions in our professional and personal lives. It is not enough to create a product or service that works. It is also not enough to use logic to manage professional and personal relationships. Their complexity requires a deeper approach.
Today, we need innovative solutions to our professional and personal challenges. To thrive and succeed in a given environment, to continue to stay on top of any situation, we need to first diverge in intelligent ways before we converge onto extraordinary solutions.
Getting there requires some effort. Nobody runs a marathon without training. We all understand the need to exercise our body muscles to be healthy. Likewise, we also need to exercise our creative mental muscles in order to be fit and ready to find innovative solutions to our challenges. In this book there are specific exercises and tools you can use to keep those creative muscles strong and supple.
Along the way I will have a companion with me. I believe in dialogue and interaction rather than long speeches. That’s why I will be interacting with my own mind (metaphorically speaking) as I go through the book.
Introducing dialogues is also a way to remind us that there is always a new perspective and angle on any topic, a new twist waiting for us around the corner. Keep an open mind and enjoy the journey. Every time our companion says something, it will be surrounded by double quotes.
“That’s me!”
That’s correct, thank you mind. Feel free to give us your perspective at any time please.
“Will do, this is fun!”
Thank you mind, I look forward to a great interaction!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Book Spotlight: The Wolf of Britannia by Jess Steven Hughes


We're happy to host Jess Steven Hughes today!  Jess is the author of the historical fiction, The Wolf of Britannia, and is on a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!



About the Book:

Title: The Wolf of Britannia, Part 1
Author: Jess Steven Hughs
Publisher: Sunbury Press
Pages: 321
Genre: Historical Fiction

First Century AD Britain is a fragmented land of warring Celtic tribes, ripe for invasion by the juggernaut of imperial Rome. Knowing this, a young warrior, soon-to-be-legendary, Prince Caratacus, must unite the southern tribes if they are to survive. This is an enemy more cunning and powerful then either he or Britain has ever faced.

Standing by him is his wife, Rhian, a warrior princess who takes no prisoners. She is the first woman he has truly loved. With her support and that of other allies, Caratacus must outsmart a traitorous brother who is determined to take the throne, aided by a conniving Roman diplomat and a tribal king in the pockets of the Romans.
                                 
Caratacus must save his country not only from the pending Roman onslaught but from his own peoples treachery.

Or else die trying.

For More Information

Book Excerpt:
Caratacus’s wicker chariot bucked and hurtled across every dip and rise in the track. Two lathering ponies strained at their harness as the young prince urged them ahead. Man-sized wooden targets sprinkled the course. Caratacus struck each through the heart with his casting spears. Now he raced for the finish line in a swirl of chalky dust, blue eyes ablaze with excitement.
            Tawny hair whipped about his sunburned face. He sweated profusely in a woolen short-sleeved tunic and tartan breeches, dust muting their colors. A gold collar burned his neck, but to rip it off would bring bad luck. The earthy musk of horse sweat blotted out all other odors.
            Behind him clattering wheels and thudding hooves roared in his ears. Four other chariots steadily gained on him. His horses responded to the stinging touch as he slapped the reins. Caratacus leaped from the flimsy cart onto the center drawbar between his team when another chariot nosed into the lead. He struggled for a foothold and looped the dragging reins about his wrists. Barefooted, he deftly edged his way forward on the jouncing bar and catapulted onto the back of his favorite beast. Kneeling on the bay pony, he bellowed encouragement, calling for even greater speed.
            Sucking dust and screaming, urging the racers to ever greater strides, throngs of men, women, and children circled the large rutted, oval which served as a race track below the great hill fortress of Camulodunum.
            A small boy chasing a dog darted from the crowd and crossed in the front of Caratacus’s path. A woman screamed. He sucked in his breath─Damn! In a flash he kicked the pony’s side, sharply swerving the team, barely missing the child. The chariot bounced, arcing one wheel off the ground and back to the earth with a thud. Violently wrenched from the beast’s back, Caratacus grabbed its yoke collar and yanked himself up on the withers. A throbbing pain shot through his loins from where he caught the horse’s knotty backbone between his legs.
            For an instant, Caratacus glanced at the jostling throng. He caught sight of flaxen-haired Rhian, daughter of the king's champion. The young woman screamed encouragement. His team leaped ahead and stampeded towards the finish.
            Caratacus heard a pop and then a rumbling noise. He turned and saw the left trace rein on his other pony had snapped loose from an iron holding lug. It whipped back and forth along the animal's side. The mare squealed, terrified by the bridle’s lashing. She strained at leather bands around her girth and neck, trying to lurch free of the yoke collar.
            Upset by the squealing of the frightened, chestnut mare, the little bay bucked and kicked at the weaving cross-bar. Holding all the reins in his right hand, Caratacus jumped to the mare and gripped the animal’s sides with powerful legs. Other riders gained on him. He grabbed the trace rein and steadied his mounts.
            Hanging by his legs, Caratacus reached down his pony’s side and stabbed his free hand towards the flying bridle. It snapped across his face, sending a painful shot through his eyes. For the length of a heartbeat he recoiled, trying to shake off the blinding pain that blurred his vision. Again he attempted to retrieve the other rein. The chariots rounded the last turn of the wheel-plowed course. Fist-sized clods pelted the cheering crowd. Another rider was almost upon him. Caratacus held onto the primary reins as he lunged again and snagged the end of the strap between the fingers of his perspiring left hand. As his sight cleared, he reeled in the rest of the reins. He tightened them around his left hand and held the primary reins of both animals in his right.
            Caratacus guided the lathering mare back towards the center of the yoke pole and steadied her galloping to a smooth, flowing rhythm. As if on command, his bay settled down and matched the chestnut mare stride-for-stride. He kicked the side of the chestnut, exhorting the ponies to greater speed. They raced away from the other charioteers.
            He crossed the finish line between two hardwood poles topped by bleached human skulls, at least six lengths ahead of his closest competitor. Horns blew. His brother, Tog, led a tremendous cheer. The riotous crowd rushed toward his chariot. A dusty, sweating Caratacus leapt from the car and tossed the reins to an awaiting groom. Grinning at one another, he and Tog clasped each other’s wrists and vigorously shook them.
            “Well done, brother, victory is yours!” Tog exclaimed, “Well done! Here, take a drink,” Tog urged. He thrust a large earthen bowl of corma beer into Caratacus’s hands. Gratefully, he gulped it down. Hundreds of tribesmen surrounded them. It was the Harvest of Lughnasa, the first week of August. The chariot races culminated five days of celebration for the Catuvellaunian and Trinovantian Celts, at their capital on Britannia's southeastern coast, Camulodunum.


About the Author

Jess Steven Hughes is a retired police detective sergeant with twenty-five years experience in criminal investigation and a former U.S. Marine. He holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration and a minor in Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations from the University of Southern California. He has traveled and studied extensively in the areas forming the background of this novel, which brings vivid authenticity to the unique settings for his historical novels, The Wolf of Britannia, Part I, The Wolf of Britannia, Part II, and The Sign of the Eagle. He currently lives with his wife, Liz, and their three horses in Eastern Washington. He is currently working on another historical novel from the First Century A.D.

For More Information
 

Book feature: Kaitlin's Tale by Christine Amsden



 

Inside the Book:




Title: Kaitlin's Tale 
Author: Christine Amsden 
Release Date: May 16, 2016 
Publisher: Twilight Times Books 
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Pararnormal Romance

    Kaitlin Mayer is on the run from the father of her baby – a vampire who wants her to join him in deadly eternity. Terrified for her young son, she seeks sanctuary with the Hunters Guild. Yet they have their own plans for her son, and her hopes of safety are soon shattered. When she runs into Matthew Blair, an old nemesis with an agenda of his own, she dares to hope for a new escape. But Matthew is a telepath, and Kaitlin's past is full of dark secrets she never intended to reveal.  

Meet the Author:



Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone. At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, which scars the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. In addition to being a writer, she's a freelance editor, mom, and foster mom. Please visit her at http://www.christineamsden.com

Watch the Trailer


Giveaway

Christine is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $50 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins May 16 and ends on August 5.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on August 6.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

———————

Tour Schedule

 ________
Monday, May 16 - Book featured at Harmonious Publicity
Tuesday, May 17 - Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge
Wednesday, May 18 - Book featured at I'm Shelf-ish
Thursday, May 19 - Book featured at My Bookish Pleasures
Friday, May 20 - Book reviewed at 3 Partners in Shopping
________
Monday, May 23 - Book reviewed at Don't Judge, Read
Tuesday, May 24 - Guest blogging at Write and Take Flight
Wednesday, May 25 - Book featured at CBY Book Club
Thursday, May 26 - Book featured at Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews
Friday, May 27 - Book featured at Bent Over Bookwords
________
Monday, June 6 - Guest blogging at The Noise Beneath the Apple
Tuesday, June 7 - Book reviewed at Books for Books
Wednesday, June 8 - Book reviewed at The Recipe Fairy
Thursday, June 9 - Book reviewed at I Smell Sheep
Friday, June 10 - Book reviewed at Reads and Reviews
________
Monday, June 13 - Interviewed at The Review From Here
Tuesday, June 14 - Book featured at Inkslinger's Opus
Wednesday, June 15 - Book featured at Confessions of an Eccentric Bookaholic
Thursday, June 16 - Guest blogging at Queen of All She Reads
Friday, June 17 - Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz
________
Tuesday, June 21 - Book featured at A Title Wave
Wednesday, June 22 - Interviewed at The Literary Nook
Thursday, June 23 - Book featured at Voodoo Princess
________
Tuesday, June 28 - Book reviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Wednesday, June 29 - Book featured at Lover of Literature
________
Monday, July 4 - Interviewed at Literal Exposure
Tuesday, July 5 - Book featured at The Zen Reader
Thursday, July 7 - Book reviewed at Stormy Vixen's Book Reviews
Friday, July 8 - Book reviewed at Fundinmental
________
Monday, July 11 - Book reviewed at Mary's Cup of Tea
Tuesday, July 12 - Book featured at A Taste of My Mind
Wednesday, July 13 - Book featured at The Dark Phantom
Friday, July 15 - Book reviewed at Cheryl's Book Nook
________
Tuesday, July 19 - Interviewed at The Writer's Life
Thursday, July 21 - Book reviewed at Deal Sharing Aunt
Friday, July 22 - Book reviewed at Booklover Sue
________
Monday, July 26 - Book featured at All Inclusive Retort
Tuesday, July 27 - Book featured at The Book Refuge
Wednesday, July 28 - Interviewed at Straight From the Author's Mouth
Thursday, July 29 - Book reviewed at Lynn's Romance Enthusiasm
________
Monday, August 1 - Interviewed at As the Pages Turn
Tuesday, August 2- Book featured at Book Cover Junkie
Wednesday, August 3 - Book featured at The Hype and the Hoopla
Friday, August 5 - Book reviewed at Southeast by Midwest
Book reviewed at Kristy Centeno
________


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Chapter reveal: Kaitlin's Tale, by Christine Amsden

Title: Kaitlin's Tale
Genre: urban fantasy/paranormal romance
Author: Christine Amsden
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Kaitlin Mayer is on the run from the father of her baby – a vampire who wants her to join him in deadly eternity. Terrified for her young son, she seeks sanctuary from the hunters guild. But they have their own plans for her son, and her hopes of safety are soon shattered.
When she runs into Matthew Blair, an old nemesis with an agenda of his own, she dares to hope for a new escape. But Matthew is a telepath, and Kaitlin's past is full of dark secrets she never intended to reveal.
Chapter 1

Re: Jason is Dead
Jason is dead.
Go ahead. Say “I told you so.” You never do, but just this once could you stoop down to the level of us mere mortals long enough to sneer like a ten-year-old? Put a little hip wiggle into it and wrinkle your nose. Roll your eyes at me like I'm the biggest moron on the planet.
After all you did, in fact, tell me so.
And when you're finished, I need you to do me the biggest favor I've ever asked in my life. In all likelihood, the last favor I'll ever ask. I need you to take Jay. I need you to keep him safe, because you and Evan are probably the only two people who can. I hope that one day you can find it in your heart to love him like you lo ve your own daughter.
* * *
“It's time, Kaitlin.”
Kaitlin rocked her one-year-old son back and forth, trying to convince him to go down for a nap, but Jay wasn't having it. He was teething, and it seemed to hurt him worse when he lay down in a horizontal position. He was so tired that Kaitlin swore she'd hold him upright for eight hours if he'd just fall asleep, but he seemed, paradoxically, too tired to sleep.
Jason's intrusion wasn't helping. Jay turned his head and reached his arms out for his father – or the vampire who had once been his father – instinctively begging for the love that should have been his by right. But Jason had never taken an interest in his son; he could barely stand to look at him. In fact, if anything had finally convinced Kaitlin that Jason was dead, it was the fact that the real Jason had died for his son. This thing now inhabiting his body wouldn't even live for him.
“Did you hear me?” Jason asked.
Jay cried harder. Kaitlin shushed him and rocked still more furiously, pretending she hadn't heard. Pretending she could delay the inevitable for a few more days. But she'd known this day was coming for a while now. Had sensed it would be soon. It was why she had e-mailed her best friend in the world, begging for help, prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of her son. But Cassie had not responded, and Sara, the nanny who had agreed to transport Jay, had disappeared two days ago.
“Answer me, Kaitlin,” Jason said in a voice that at one time would have compelled obedience. It no longer did, even though Jason continued to feed from her daily, simultaneously injecting her body with a venom that should have kept her in thrall. She wasn't sure why the thrall had gradually dissipated over the past few months, but her new clarity of mind had bigger problems to work out – like the fact that Jason wanted to make her just like him.
Jason took another step into the nursery. He rarely ventured inside these hallowed walls, but Kaitlin had spent more and more time there of late, requiring him to come inside if he wanted her.
“Can't you make him shut up?” Jason asked.
“I'm trying! Can't we talk about this later?”
“Can we? You never leave this room.”
And he never came in. Would Kaitlin come in after she turned? Or would she forget Jay's existence, the way Jason had? Her nightmare was that of Jay screaming for his mother, but she never came. Eventually, he would stop crying. Then after a few days, when no one came to feed him, he would stop doing everything else.
“Please, just let me get Jay down for his nap. Then we can talk.”
“There's no need to wait.” Another man came to stand just inside the doorway, a man who made Kaitlin's blood turn to ice whenever she saw him. Xavier looked so deceptively ordinary; it was part of his power. But she had seen him rip the throat out of men and face an entire heptade of vampire hunters without breaking a sweat.
He wasn't superhuman, though; he was inhuman. She couldn't fathom his purpose, but she suspected his goal was to create an entire new race of vampires under his control. At least, that's what she assumed happened to the dozens of people who came into their lives for varying lengths of time, most of them nearly catatonic from the vampire's thrall. She was not permitted to speak to them, and when they left, she never saw them again.
Xavier was over two hundred years old, but he didn't look at Kaitlin as though she were a child. He looked at her as though she were food. Kaitlin had long sensed that he was no longer human, that he was somehow alien. She had sensed it in him before the thrall had worn off, though she hadn't cared. The realization had taken much longer with Jason. Perhaps that sense of other increased over time.
Even Jay could sense the evil in Xavier. The boy started bucking and twisting, his tiny face turning red. He might have had his supernatural strength bound so he didn't accidentally hurt someone, but even without it he was a marvel of physical strength. He had crawled at about two weeks old. Now, at a year old, he could run like a ten-year-old.
“Please, leave us alone!” Kaitlin cried, trying with all her might to cling to the wriggling child.
“Sara can take him,” Xavier said.
He stepped to the side and Kaitlin's heart leaped. Oh thank God! Not that she wanted to give up her son. It was the hardest thing she would ever do in her life, but she had gone over it and over it in her mind. She had no choice. Jason would not take no for an answer any longer. He would turn her into a vampire tonight and when he did, Jay would need protection. Even from her.
The middle-aged woman who had helped Kaitlin with Jay over the past year strode into the room as if she hadn't just disappeared without a word for two days. Kaitlin didn't need a nanny; as she'd told both Jason and Xavier a hundred times, she could handle Jay on her own. But Sara had provided some companionship and comfort to her, especially in the months since the thrall had worn off. Sara always had a friendly smile on her face, was infinitely patient with Jay (something Kaitlin definitely wasn't), and despite their age difference, they seemed to have a lot in common. They read the same books, liked the same movies, and both feared the men who haunted this house alongside them.
Kaitlin smiled at Sara despite the churning of butterflies in her stomach. Sara knew what to do. She'd pretend to take Jay for a quick drive to the store, but she wouldn't stop for diapers. She'd keep going, leaving their two-story house in Virginia and not stopping until she reached Eagle Rock, Missouri.
“Let me try getting him to sleep,” Sara said, striding over.
“It's no good,” Kaitlin said. “Maybe you could take him for a drive.”
When Sara reached the rocking chair, Kaitlin kissed Jay on the head, surreptitiously saying good-bye. Then she handed Jay to the nanny.
The baby cried harder still, his wails threatening to shake the house down. What was the matter with him? Jay was often quiet for Sara when he refused to settle for Kaitlin.
That's when Kaitlin recalled the coldness of the woman's arms as she'd passed Jay into them. The pallor of her skin. The slight yellow tinge to her eyes.
“No!” Kaitlin screamed, trying to get Jay back.
Jason got between the two women, using his superior strength to stop Kaitlin from moving at all. He had her arms pinned to her sides and then, inexorably, he pushed her out the door.
“It's really not so bad,” Sara said to Kaitlin. “I know you're scared of turning, but it's really very liberating.”
“No!” Kaitlin tried to dig her heels into the thick blue carpeting, knowing it was useless. Knowing Jason and Xavier had the strength to make her do anything. Knowing she was as dead as Jason. Knowing, but not yet accepting. “No! Not now! It can't happen now!”
Jason picked her up easily with one arm and clamped his other hand over her mouth. She fought. She kicked and strained with all he might, but to an outside observer she probably looked as docile as a kitten.
Xavier followed in their wake as Jason made his way down the elegant, hardwood stairs to the sparsely furnished living room. Xavier was rich. Filthy rich after centuries of whatever he did. But he kept few creature comforts. When it came to houses he preferred quantity to quality – he had safe houses all over the world. In the past year, Kaitlin had lived in four of them.
Jason set Kaitlin down on t he beige couch then sat beside her, pinning her there with his size and weight. She had already stopped struggling however; it did her no good. She would have to think of something else, but what? She had been prepared to die to get her son to safety, but now it seemed that she was the only one who could save him.
With that thought steeling her resolve, Kaitlin calmed down. She might be the biggest moron on the planet for agreeing to run away with a vampire in the first place, but she was smart enough to know that if she had any hope of getting out of this, it was through words and cunning. She had no physical strength to pit against a vampire, one of the strongest creatures on the planet. Also, one of the fastest.
Jason placed a heavy hand on her pajama-clad thigh, squeezing slightly through the silky material. Kaitlin felt nothing but cold dead fingers, but she pushed away her revulsion the way she'd been pushing it away for the past few months. Closing her eyes, she melted against him, emitting a soft sigh of surrender.
“There, that's better,” Jason said as he continued running his cold hand up and down her thigh. “Xavier, I don't think you need to be here for this.”
“You've never watched anyone turn,” Xavier said smoothly. “And you've always been a bit of an idiot where that girl was concerned.”
Jason growled and Kaitlin tensed once again, not sure which of the two vampires she feared more.
“She's mine.” Jason tightened the possessive hand squeezing her thigh; she struggled to keep from crying out in pain. “That's what we agreed before you ever turned me.”
“She doesn't want to turn and she's immune to thrall.”
Immune? Did he know why? She dared to look at him; Xavier smiled, fangs bared, eyes yellow with bloodlust. He had looked at her just that way so many times she had lost count, but still she shivered.
“I can handle her,” Jason said. “But not with you here. She doesn't trust you.”
“Have it your way.” Xavier supplied a mock bow to Jason, shot Kaitlin another malicious look, then backed out of the living room by way of the kitchen. Since the vampires didn't eat food, she was sure he meant to go through it to the garage and indeed, a few seconds later, she heard the garage door open.
“Sorry about him,” Jason said. “Now where were we?”
Kaitlin drew in a deep, shaky breath and forced herself to relax as he moved his hand away from her thigh, running it up her hips, around her waist, and then with an almighty tug, he pulled her forward so she sat atop his lap.
“We can't do this now,” Kaitlin said, keeping her voice gentle and sweet. “I'm weak. You forgot to give me that blood replenishment potion yesterday.”
“I didn't forget,” Jason said. “It's time, Kaitlin. Time for you to join me for real, the way you promised you would when you left Eagle Rock last year.”
“I will. Of course I will! But you know how important it was for me to nurse Jay. I want only the best for our son, like you do.” She held her breath, wondering if the lie would continue to hold one last time. She hadn't actually nursed Jay in at least six months. Apparently, exsanguination isn't good for a woman's milk supply, even with regular blood replenishment potions.
Jason frowned, but she forced herself to remain outwardly calm. He might not have seen through the lie; he often got that look on his face when they discussed the baby. If he'd paid any attention to Jay at all he would have noticed the feeding change months ago.
“Isn't the baby a year old now?”
“The World Health Organization recommends two years.”
“I'm not waiting another year,” Jason growled.
Kaitlin drew in a startled breath but forced herself to continue looking into his inhuman eyes. “I'm not asking you to.” She wound a hand around Jason's neck and leaned in close to place a soft kiss on his lips that he didn't return. Not a good sign. “But I should at least wean him slowly.”
“Why don't you want to turn?” Jason asked.
“Don't be silly.” Kaitlin ran a finger across his smooth, pale jaw, remembering how it had sported a five o'clock shadow the first time she'd seen him. The first time they'd made love. The night they'd unintentionally made Jay – not that she'd change that part now. Only what came later. “Of course I want to live forever. You know me. I live for 'happily ever after.'”
“I had to drag you down the stairs,” Jason said. “You've been distant since the thrall wore off. Don't think I haven't noticed.”
Kaitlin's mind raced. What were the right words? What would put off the inevitable? She had no idea, so she ended up blurting, “Why did the thrall wear off?”
“Something Xavier did,” Jason said dismissively. “He says it will make you a stronger vampire.”
Will it make me stronger now, when I really need it? Kaitlin wondered, but did not ask.
“Now answer my question” Jason continued. “Why don't you want to turn? You weren't in thrall when you first ran away with me.”
“I'm nervous. Weren't you nervous before you turned? Xavier said it took months to convince you.”
“I was a hunter, brought up within my order to believe vampires are soulless monsters.”
Are you? Kaitlin wanted to ask. Even now, she wasn't sure “soulless” was the right word. Something lurked behind Jason's eyes – and even Xavier's. She just wasn't sure it was anything she wanted to be a part of.
“Well, I may know better,” Kaitlin began, “but I'm still not sure... I mean...” She cast about wildly for an idea. Something to delay the inevitable. Anything. And finally, she settled on the truth. Or part of it. “You've changed. I don't pretend to understand how. I didn't know you well before I ran off with you; we only had the one night together. Mostly, I knew you from stories your cousin Cassie told.”
“You know me now,” Jason said, sliding a finger down her slender throat. “You've known me for a year. Haven't I treated you well?”
“Of course you have,” Kaitlin said. “You know I love you.” She leaned forward, letting the top of her button-down silk shirt part slightly, though Jason didn't seem as taken with cleavage as normal men. His favorite parts of her were the throat, wrists, and inner thighs.
“I haven't cheated on you,” Jason said. “I haven't hit you. I haven't even asked you to get a job. I take care of you.”
“And Jay?” Kaitlin asked, because what he said was sort of true. It wasn't a high standard, but she'd chosen some real losers in her time who had done all those things – cheated on her, hit her, and sponged off her hard work while they decided they didn't need a job.
Perhaps if she'd known Jason better in life she could be more certain now that he wasn't the same man. After all, aside from the bloodsucking thing there wasn't anything she could specifically put her finger on that was any different from regular imperfect mortals. Some men ignored their children. Some men were up at all hours of the night and slept all day. Some men only seemed to notice her when they needed something from her – blood or sex, it was all the same.
But it all came down to the one thing she knew for sure about Jason: He had loved his son. He had cared so much that he had died to protect the baby from his own father, who had planned to body-hop into Jason, then again into Jay when he was old enough. Jason even turned into a vampire – a being he'd been trained to hate – so he would still be able to guard his son in death. And maybe the vampire Jason would protect Jay if ever put to the test, but Kaitlin wasn't sure how he would even know the baby was in danger.
The vampire almost didn't seem wholly connected to this world. He didn't see it the same way humans saw it. There was something alien in his eyes and cold in his touc h – and it wasn't just the fact that no blood ran through his veins. Maybe the vampire hunters had it wrong, maybe he wasn't entirely evil (though she wouldn't say the same about Xavier), but she didn't trust the vampire sitting beneath her. He wanted to seduce her into turning for reasons she could not possibly fathom, like trying to understand the will of God.
“Who will take care of Jay after I turn?” Kaitlin asked.
“You will.”
“What if I don't want to?”
“Sara will. Or we'll hire someone else. What does it matter?”
Indeed. “Just give me a few days. I told you I need to wean the baby. I can do it quickly. We'll drop one feeding per day so that will be...” Kaitlin tried to think. How many times per day did a one-year-old nurse? Well, she'd go with the number of bottles she gave him a day and figure it was close enough. Jason wouldn't know the difference. “... four days.”
“And in four days you're going to want to turn?” Jason asked. “I want you to want this, Kaitlin. Xavier says it goes better when they want it.”
“I do want it. Of course I want it.” She placed soft kisses on his cheeks, his forehead, his ear. He lifted his face to give her better access, making her think she had convinced him. Lulling him into a false sense of security.
“Liar!” He shoved her off his lap, not onto the couch, but onto the ground. Kaitlin, not expecting the movement, fell heavily to the hardwood floor and yelped when her bottom connected with the unyielding surface.
“Jason?”
He stood, towering over her, and she scooted backwards on hands and knees, getting tangled in her long blonde hair.
“Xavier intercepted that e-mail you sent to Cassie the other day,” Jason said, stalking her as she scuttled across the floor.
“What?” Oh no. But that did explain Sara. And why Cassie hadn't replied.
“You were going to give away the baby.”
“Why not?” Kaitlin asked. “You don't want him! You said it didn't matter who raised him. You can't even call him yours! Or even by his name.”
“He's not mine,” Jason said. “But this host wants him, and so do I.”
Kaitlin's eyes widened. This was the first time Jason had ever let slip a hint that he was not now the same person he had been before he'd turned.
“You can't run from this fate,” Jason said.
Kaitlin's scrambling hands had found the edge of the stone fireplace and she stopped, able to m ove no further. Jason knelt to loom over her, cupping her face in his hands. From anyone else, it might have been a caress.
“Cassie and Evan can't protect you or the boy, you know,” Jason said. “Evan's strong, but he's never been much use against a vampire. I should know. I saved his life once.”
“You did? Or your host?”
Jason scowled. “There's no place you can run. No one to protect you. Give up. Give in. Come gracefully.”
He still wanted her to agree to this, Kaitlin realized. He still wanted her willing cooperation. She had no idea why, but she'd take any opening she could get. “Three days. Give me three days.”
“We have your blood,” Jason said.
“So?” Kaitlin asked.
“Didn't you learn anything about magic from Cassie? I haven't just eaten from you. I have your blood, and I'm a sorcerer as well as a vampire. I can use it to find you anywhere on this planet, so unless you can get to Mars, you can't hide from me.”
“Oh.” Kaitlin was shaking now. She wished she'd thought to start a fire in the fireplace behind her, though she doubted the warmth would have penetrated.
“Tomorrow night,” Jason said. “That's as much time as I'll give you to prepare.”
A reprieve. She had no idea how, but she had a reprieve. Twenty-four hours wasn't much, but it was more than she'd had a few minutes ago.
“Tell me you understand,” Jason said. “Tell me you'll come to me tomorrow. Tell me like you mean it.”
“I understand,” Kaitlin said.
And then she wound her arms around Jason, kissing him for all she was worth. She explored his mouth with teeth and tongue, tracing the outline of his fangs. He bit her lip, stinging her for a moment before the pain-numbing property of the vampire venom set in. After a minute, he drew his head back, traced the column of her neck with his index finger, and sank his teeth in with such force that for a moment she thought he'd snapped her neck.
“Oh!” she cried, trying to make it sound like a moan. It didn't hurt, but it didn't feel as good as it once had, especially now that she worried Jason wasn't planning to wait another night after all. What if he took every last drop? What if he drained her dry? He had never pulled from her so hard or drunk so long.
“Jason!” Kaitlin finally cried. “Please. You said tomorrow.”
He pulled back, fangs and lips stained red with her blood. The venom coagulated the wound so she wouldn't bleed out, but she felt so lightheaded she wondered if she'd lost too much blood anyway.
Jason ran his thumb across his lips. “Yes, tomorrow night.”
“Blood replenishment potion?”
“No.” Jason rose to his feet, taking several deliberate steps away from her. “I don't think I want you strong enough to escape.”
“You said there was no escape.”
Jason didn't answer, he just turned and walked away, leaving Kaitlin on the floor, her head spinning, her breath coming in shallow gasps, her pulse weak and thready. But she wasn't dead yet, and as long as she wasn't dead, there remained hope.