Book Blitz: The Loudest Silence by Kate L. Mary

Title: The Loudest Silence
Author: Kate L Mary
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic/Zombie
Publisher: Twisted Press
Editor: Lori Whitwam
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2018
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Blurb:

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When Regan was a young girl living in the small town of Altus, OK, Kellan was just her brother’s best friend. Then the virus came, turning the world’s population into zombies, and he became so much more. They were only kids, but he saved her. Watched over her. Kept her alive. And he’s been doing the same thing every day since.
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After living the apocalypse for nine years, Regan thought they’d experienced every kind of loss and terror imaginable. But when a new group starts wreaking havoc in the Oklahoma wastelands where they live, Regan and Kellan are faced with a new set of horrors.
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When they cross paths with a teenage girl, offering to help seems like the right thing to do. But Regan and Kellan soon discover that lending aid to the girl very well could lead to their undoing.
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Kate L. Mary is an award-winning author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, ranging from Post-apocalyptic tales of the undead, to Speculative Fiction and Contemporary Romance. Her YA book, When We Were Human, was the 2015 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards Silver Medal Winner for Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fiction, and the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner for Young Adult Science Fiction.
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Author Links:
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Buy Links:
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Book Blitz: Deep in the Hollow by Brandy Nacole

Title: Deep in the Hollow
Author: Brandy Nacole
Genre: YA Paranormal Suspense
Cover Designer: Cover Me Darling
Editor: John Cameron McClain
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Blurb:

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After tragedy strikes 17-year-old Jo Moss’s life, she becomes plagued by panic attacks and anxiety. Not even sleep is safe for her. She thought losing her boyfriend in a freak accident at The Lights, a local overlook hangout where mysterious lights dance among the trees, was the worst thing she would have to endure. She never expected to become the one everyone blamed for his death.
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Plagued by more nightmares of the lights, Jo is starting to think there is more to their mysterious appearance than meets the eye. Lucky for her, she discovers she’s not the only curious one in town. Cooper, the new guy in town, and his sister Jada have been seen asking strange questions around town. They also hold a secret that could help Jo figure out what’s truly going on in her small town.
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The more they uncover about her town, it’s history, and some of its current residents, people whom Jo has known her whole life, the more she begins to think there are those who would rather keep the evil lurking around their town a secret, even if it means more will die.
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Whenever she’s not reading or writing, Brandy is spending time with her family and friends, throwing around crazy ideas, teaching, and singing like a rock star at a concert for no one else but herself. She loves plants, but unfortunately is a killer of anything that requires water but can’t voice (scream) their needs.
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Author Links:
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Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Kate Roark Magic Series by Laura Rich

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The Binding Witch and the Bounty Hunter
The Kate Roark Magic Series Book 2
by Laura Rich
Genre: YA Fantasy
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Kate thought she’d never unlock her powers—let alone trigger them by
creating a familiar out of a cross-eyed pigeon.
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Before she can celebrate the good news, a terrifying bounty hunter kidnaps
her mother.
In a race against time to save her mother,
Kate runs afoul of a dragon, and even worse, the most feared
creatures in existence—the dreaded forest gnomes. To top it all
off, she discovers long-lost magical family members who maybe should
have stayed lost. Kate is finally a witch—but it just might kill her.
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If you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veronica Mars and iZombie, you’ll
be rooting for this strong, snarky teen girl on every page.
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Book Two of the Kate Roark Magic Series – discover this fast-paced,
fun-filled magical read today!
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The bird struggled, pushed to her feet, ruffled her blood-caked feathers, and cooed.

I smiled, though she still looked gruesome. I wondered if she would let me clean her off. She stood perfectly still, and we stared at each other. The whites of her eyes were actually gray flecked with gold, and she had black pupils of surprising depth.

As I continued to hold her gaze, waves of information flowed towards me. Flashes of Gringo’s attack, the quest for food, the feeling of a mashed-up worm in my mouth, and flight. Glorious flight. The only experience I could compare it to was sticking my head out of the window of a moving car, but this was so much more wild and uncontrolled. Dipping, gliding, climbing, soaring, banking, communicating to other birds using the way my—her—body moved. It was exhilarating—and terrifying.

It was then that I realized why my mother used feathers in change magic. This was exactly what change felt like.

Once that idea hatched, I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget it. I wanted to lock it away in a vessel to be visited later. Immediately a shape formed in my mind to contain it: an orb of moonlit reeds that contrasted light and darkness. The idea of change slid eagerly into the orb and filled its roundness. The weave rearranged itself to seal off the ends, and a brilliant light lit up the whole room. I yelped and collapsed on the table, unconscious.

“Are you all right?” The voice was young, female, loud, and close.

I jerked up with a gasp, drenched in sweat. “Who’s there?”

The white pigeon on the table brushed my cheek with her outstretched wing tip and tilted her head. The voice repeated directly in my mind, “I said, are you all right?”

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The Binding Witch and the Fortune Taker
The Kate Roark Magic Series Book 1
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The Binding Witch and the Fortune Taker is the first in a series and a
17,500 word novelette.
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Growing up homeschooled on the Renaissance Festival circuit is weird enough,
but when you’re the daughter of a powerful binding witch who makes a
living as a fortune teller, and your best friend is a middle-aged
sari vendor, weird is relative.
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Fifteen-year-old Kate Roark desperately wants to be a witch but isn’t – yet.
It’s not likely at her age until she meets the Fortune Taker and gets a taste
of unimaginable power – but at what cost?
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Forced to choose between keeping stolen power or making her magic dreams
come true, her ultimate decision throws her entire world into question.
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Described as “book candy”, and “compulsively readable,” The
Binding with and the Fortune Taker is the first in the Kate Roark
Magic Series from emerging YA fantasy writer, Laura Rich.
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Alick gestured between us. “What I really need is help wi’ a dragon.”

“Come again?” I stared at the little man. “I’m sorry. I thought I heard you say ‘a dragon.’”

“Aye, just a wee one though,” Alick said, holding his hands about two feet apart. “She bolted for Elsereach five days ago w’ a precious treasure that belongs to the forest gnomes. We want it back.”

I snorted. “You think I can get it for you?”

“I think ye’r a witch, that’s what.” He shrugged. “Ye have magic. Dragons have magic. It’ll be easy for the likes o’ ye, where it’s not easy fur th’ likes o’ us.”

“Interesting.” It was starting to look more and more as if our meeting with the coyotes was planned. Also, if you counted Leo, this was my second request for aid from a paranormal being. Was this what I had to look forward to from now on as a witch? “What did she take?”

“A treasure chest, about yea big,” Alick said, again holding his hands about two feet apart.

Either Alick thought everything was about two feet wide, or he was prone to underestimating.

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Laura Rich is an emerging author of young adult fantasy fiction about
witches. She loves to read in a hammock with a glass of iced tea,
bake cookies, garden and dress up for Halloween as (you guessed it) a
witch. She lives in Texas with her family and works as full-time
project manager. Magic may be involved in pulling all this off.

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Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
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Cover Reveal: Flygirl by R.D. Kardon

 

Commercial Fiction/Historical Fiction/Womens Fiction

Date Published: January 15, 2019

 It’s 1997. Women stand beside men in combat and fly fighter jets. Pilot Tris Miles is not content with her job as a First Officer for tiny Clear Sky Airlines. She wants to be a Captain—the only way she knows to prove her worth as a pilot and atone for a deadly mistake. 

To further her career, Tris accepts a prestigious job with Tetrix, Inc. But her dream of becoming pilot-in-command twists into a nightmare.

As the company’s first woman pilot, she encounters resistance, marginalization and harassment on a daily basis. Fortunately Tris has one thing her co-workers can’t deny—skill.

When Tris finds herself in a crippled airplane thousands of miles from home she must prove she can lead. With her career on the line, can Tris earn the respect she’s been craving? And if this is the end, can she find the strength to forgive herself?

 

Advance Praise

Tris Miles is a heroine for our times. Set in the late 1990s, “Flygirl” by R.D. Kardon examines one tenacious woman’s struggle to survive in a vocation dominated by men who want nothing more than to see her fail. Readers will fall in love with Tris who is a force to be reckoned with. Based on Kardon’s own experiences as a female pilot, “Flygirl” is written with both authenticity and heart. 

— T. Greenwood, author of “Rust & Stardust,” “Where I Lost Her,” and “Two Rivers”

In R.D. Kardon’s debut novel, she has created an inspirational character in Tris Miles. “Flygirl” is vivid, energetic and fast-paced. It is a story about striving to reach for your goals despite astronomical odds.

— Jill G. Hall, author of “The Black Velvet Coat” and “The Silver Shoes”

“Flygirl” is an astounding peek behind the scenes of pilot life. You’ll have to fasten your seat belt when you read this riveting story as Tris Miles captivates and lifts you high above ground.

— E.P. Sery, author of “The Scent of Heat”

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About the Author

Robin “R.D.” Kardon is a native New Yorker, educated in the New York City public school system.  She attended New York University where she earned a B.A. in Journalism and Sociology, magna cum laude, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

After college, Robin went to law school at The American University, Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C.  There, she was a Moot Court champion and earned her J.D. Thus began her ten-year career as a commercial litigator.

Disillusioned with the law, Robin sought out another career and started training to become a pilot in 1991.  She eventually earned her Certified Flight Instructor ratings, quit practicing, and started teaching to build flight time.  Eventually, she worked as both a corporate and airline pilot, and has flown all kinds of aircraft from single-engine Cessnas to the Boeing 737 all over the US and the world.  Robin has an FAA Airline Transport Pilot certificate with three Captain qualifications (type-ratings) and is also a Commercial/Instrument-rated helicopter pilot.

The tragedy of September 11, 2001 decimated the aviation industry.  Unfortunately, Robin was furloughed from the airline job she held on that date, and her career never recovered from the blow.  She left aviation voluntarily in 2004, and began a career as an executive search consultant specializing in helping companies hire in-house attorneys.  

Flygirl existed for twenty years as 83 pages printed in WordPerfect on blue notepaper until Robin decided to finish the novel in 2015.  After so many drafts and revisions she’s lost count, Flygirl enters the world on January 15, 2019 via Acorn Publishing, a hybrid imprint.

 

Contact Information

Website: www.rdkardonauthor.com

Facebook: R. D. Kardon Author: https://www.facebook.com/rdkardon/

Twitter: @rdkardon

Blog:  https://www.rdkardonauthor.com/blog

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39725733-flygirl

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Wolf Boy by G.D. Sammon

 

Peragrim was his name. An inhuman human sworn to destroy his quarry, three human children – Connor, Evey and Billy. They had been transported to a world ruled by the Wolf People, but Peragrim was waiting for them

Purchase Links

Amazon USA: https://amzn.to/2KiX01W

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wolf-Boy-G-D-Sammon/dp/1612968260/

Amazon Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/Wolf-Boy-G-D-Sammon-ebook/dp/B06XDDNTRF/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Wolf-Boy-G-D-Sammon-ebook/dp/B06XDDNTRF/

Black Rose Writing: http://www.blackrosewriting.com/childrens-booksya/wolfboy?rq=Wolf%20Boy

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wolf-boy-gd-sammon/1125548996?ean=9781612968261

Blackwell’s: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Wolf-Boy-by-G-D-Sammon/9781612968261

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Author Bio 

Gerry Sammon is a journalist and former newspaper editor based in Bolton, Lancashire.

From September 2015 he has been a tutor in Media Law at News Associates in Manchester, an award-winning private training provider, tutoring trainee journalists in media law and ethics. He also teaches media law to students at Manchester Metropolitan University, and at the University of Central Lancashire based in Preston.

He has travelled widely, both for business and on family holidays.

The idea for Wolf Boy came from a dream my daughters used to have when they were small children. The elder daughter would dream there was a wolf in the wardrobe (this is how our adventure begins in Wolf Boy), and my youngest daughter had a dream that a crocodile lived under her bed.

Gerry is married, with two grown-up daughters

Social Media Links –

Twitter @GerrySammon

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/GerrySammon.author/

WordPress author blog: https://gerrysammon.wordpress.com/

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Giveaway

 Win 6 x copies of Wolf Boy in Paperback (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Blitz: Shift by Karina Espinosa

 

Title: SHIFT

Author: Karina Espinosa

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Cover Designer: Laura Hildago

Editor: Daniella Brooks

Publisher: Black Quill Publishing

Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

 

Blurb:x

It’s hard enough being an undergraduate student, an intern at Downtown Manhattan’s police station, and a bouncer at a local bar. Add her now ex-boyfriend who recently dumped her for the school’s resident bimbo—oh, and she’s a werewolf.

Mackenzie Grey meets her match when she is kidnapped by the Brooklyn Pack and tossed between Sebastian and Jonah—the Alpha and the Beta. Being a lone-wolf in the city is dangerous, and now that the Pack has found her, so can every supernatural being in the Tri-State area. And not even her sarcastic, smart mouth can get her out of this.

When a string of kidnappings involves Mackenzie in supernatural politics, she questions her new acquaintances and finds unlikely allies. Can she escape Pack law and keep her freedom—or will she be condemned to an unwanted path?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24398160-shift

 

 

Author Bio:

Karina Espinosa is the Urban Fantasy author of the Sins of the Fallen series and the Mackenzie Grey novels. Infatuated with travel, pop culture, and the need to write everything down, she spends much of her days in front of a computer working on her next book, shopping online, and listening to music. With nomadic tendencies, she is currently resting her head in South Florida until the itch to move strikes again. You can usually catch her on Facebook, Instagram and live-tweeting during episodes of Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Orphan Black. Follow her on social media!

Author Links:

Web: https://www.karinaespinosa.com/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2rQFsj2

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7784354.Karina_Espinosa

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKarinaEspinosa/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TweetsByKarina

 

Buy Links:

SHIFT: https://amzn.to/2IxK0j2

CAGED: https://amzn.to/2yKm9gm

ALPHA: https://amzn.to/2MZELfz

OMEGA: https://amzn.to/2KfnLE7

 

 

 

 

New Release: Lightning and Lawmen by Shanna Hatfield

Title: Lightning & Lawmen
Author: Shanna Hatfield
Genre: Sweet, Historical, Western Romance
Publication Date: June 28th, 2018
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Blurb:

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How did a simple hello turn into something so complicated?
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Love is about to leave one lawman thunderstruck in this sweet historical romance!
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Cultured and full of grace, Delilah Robbins agrees to accompany her meteorologist father to his new post in Baker City, Oregon. Expecting a primitive place, she’s delighted to discover an up-and-coming town with plenty of surprises as well as a place she can turn into a sanctuary for her beloved birds. As she settles into life in the western town, she unwittingly creates a riff between two deputies when they both fall for her charms.
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Deputy Dugan Durfey only meant to extend a friendly welcome to a newcomer. But the moment he set eyes on the meteorologist’s delightful daughter, Dugan’s heart was no longer his own. Since his best friend and fellow deputy suffered the same fate, Dugan struggles to do what’s right. He’ll fight jealousy, outlaws, and a wily raccoon to keep Delilah safe, but the greater battle lies in overcoming his fears to profess his love.
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Filled with humor, adventure, and plenty of sweet romance, Lightning and Lawmen highlights the history of the era and blends it with the timeless feelings of discovering true love.
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USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”
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Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, this hopeless romantic is out to make it happen one story at a time. When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
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Shanna is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, Romance Writers of America, Sweet Romance Reads, Cowboy Kisses, and Pioneer Hearts.
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Author Links:
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Buy Link:
Crumpets & Cowpies: https://amzn.to/2N1XVkO
Thimbles & Thistles:  https://amzn.to/2lCuvNC
Corsets & Cuffs:  https://amzn.to/2KrPL3H
Bobbins & Boots:  https://amzn.to/2tKtBSR
Lightning & Lawmen:  https://amzn.to/2tB8AuB
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Afternoon sunshine illuminating the clear blue sky made her tip back her head to soak up the glorious rays spilling through a missing section of the porch roof. The tang of approaching spring mingled with the yeasty aroma of baking bread and the mouth-watering smell of roasting meat in the air. A slight breeze, redolent with the mixture of scents, caressed the tendrils of her hair that had escaped the confines of the once-tidy chignon she’d hastily fashioned early that morning.
At least the pleasant weather was one thing working in Baker City’s favor. In spite of the house’s disorderly status, she would greatly enjoy spring days in the area if today was any indication of what the future held. She pushed the cape from her shoulders, closed her eyes, and relaxed against the chair, enjoying the peaceful moments before her father returned.
“Maybe this place won’t be all bad,” she whispered, allowing her grip on her father’s bag to loosen.
“Baker City tends to grow on most folks, if you give it a chance,” a deep voice said, startling her from her musings.
Her eyes snapped open in surprise. Pride straightened her spine as her glance settled on a man standing a few yards away on the winter-browned grass on the other side of the porch railing.
Sunlight glinted off a shiny silver badge pinned to the front of a long duster. She studied the black western-style hat on his head, similar to those she’d seen cowboys sporting on the train. The lawman wore a tan flannel shirt topped with a dark vest and a neckerchief the color of crocuses. Dark blue denims encased muscled legs while dust covered the toes of his worn boots.
Slowly, her gaze glided from his boots back up to his face. A square jaw covered in a rakish growth of stubble, firm lips, and a straight nose proved to be a handsome combination. But it wasn’t.
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New Release: Warning Part Three by A.D. Justice

Title: Warning Part Three
Author: A.D. Justice
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Editor: Silently Correcting Your Grammar
Cover Designer: Designs by Dana
Publication Date: June 28th, 2018
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Blurb:

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Just when I thought I had everything figured out, life blew up in my face without warning. The missing pieces of the puzzle weren’t clear, and the stakes were too high to merely hope for the best.
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Absolute facts I’d believed my entire life turned out to be lies and the truth was harder to accept than the family ever realized. Protecting my loved ones was my only priority. Any threat had to be eliminated—no matter the consequences.
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How deep did the treachery go? Only one way to find out.
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A.D. Justice is the USA Today bestselling author of the Steele Security Series (Wicked Games, Wicked Ties, Wicked Nights, Wicked Intentions, Wicked Shadows), the Crazy Series (Crazy Maybe, Crazy Baby), the Dominic Powers series (Her Dom, Her Dom’s Lesson), the Immortal Obsessions series (Immortal Envy) and a few stand-alone romance novels, such as Completely Captivated, Just One Summer, Envy, and Intent.
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When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her own alpha male character in their North Georgia mountain home. She is also an avid reader of romance novels, a master at procrastination, a chocolate sommelier, a twister of words, and speaks fluent sarcasm. An avid animal lover, A.D. Justice has three horses, one dog, and two cats.
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While the primary focus of her books has been romantic suspense, she has expanded into different sub-genres of romance. Stay tuned to read what she has in store for you!
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Author Links:
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Buy Links:
Warning Part 1: https://amzn.to/2M7jY8B
Warning Part 3: https://amzn.to/2N3xYRW
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New Release: The Declaration of the Self: On the Abolition of the State by A. D. Clarke

Title: The Declaration of the Self: On the Abolition of the State

Author: A. D. Clarke

Genre: Non-Fiction = Philosophy = Anarchism

Length: 137 pages (kindle)

“Is government necessary? The Declaration of the Self answers this question with a resounding ‘No.’ Clarke dismantles the common justifications for state authority, while providing practical governing alternatives in a stateless society.

Explore how people can not only survive without the state but can thrive through voluntary forms of governance. Discover how “anarchy” is not just an old dirty word, but the natural state of human governance.

In this eye-opening work, Clarke outlines the principles and practical steps all individuals can take towards achieving a bright and prosperous future without the state.”

Available on Amazon.

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About the Author

Adam David Clarke was born in Portsmouth on September 9th, 1984 and grew up in and around the Hampshire area in England.

He is an alumnus of the University of Reading and the University of Southampton and holds a BA (Hons) in Philosophy & English and a post-graduate diploma in Governance & Policy, respectively.

In 2015, he published his first work, a novel ‘Me2’. In the early 2010s, he delved further into philosophy, governance and history, with his 2018 work ‘The Declaration of the Self: On the Abolition of the State’ the culmination of these years of research.

Clarke considers himself a ‘philosophical anarchist’, stressing restraint in pursuing violent solutions to unjust state authority, while also acknowledging no moral duty to obey state authority. He currently lives and works in Hampshire with his two cats Bertie and Bella.

Website: www.clarkead.co.uk

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Five Knives by D.F. Bailey

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Five Knives
A Will Finch Mystery Thriller Prequel
by D.F. Bailey
Genre: Crime Thriller
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One Reporter.
Three Dead.
Five Knives.
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FIVE KNIVES welds the intensity of Jack Bauer’s “24” to the
scorching heat of THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST.
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The author is a great talent.” — Aaron C. Brown, Amazon Top 1000
Reviewer
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When a man plummets to his death from an apartment tower, Will Finch’s
shock soon becomes a nightmare. As he studies the open windows above
the corpse, Finch notices a lamp blinking erratically behind a drawn
curtain on the eleventh floor.
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When he investigates the distress signal, Finch discovers a woman
handcuffed to a bedpost. Over the following week, he uncovers a
conspiracy that ties the murder to a series of bombshells. The
victim’s bankruptcy. A global stock fraud. A murder spree that
began in Baghdad and is now haunting the citizens of San Francisco.
Is this the work of a serial killer, a copycat — or both?
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But before he can file his report for The San Francisco Post, Finch’s
leads evaporate. Within days, three victims are dead. Does a pattern
of five knife wounds provide a clue? Can he unravel the mystery
before he — and his fiancée — are caught up in the web of murder?
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Five Knives is the prequel thriller in the Will Finch crime series — a
novel that opens on the first day of Will Finch’s journalism
career. Everything that Finch learns about crime reporting begins
with Five Knives.
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CHAPTER ONE

SAN FRANCISCO. FALL, 2007.

Will Finch saw the corpse less than a minute after he heard the horrible noise. He never imagined that death could sound so leaden. And yet, so wet. The punch of a heavy body splatting onto flat concrete. A splash punctuated by a gasp. Then a faint wheeze as the lungs released a final breath into the city night.

At first, he couldn’t see the body. Four people stood on the sidewalk blocking his view. Their heads tipped down at an angle as they absorbed the catastrophe that sprawled next to their feet.

“What happened?” Finch pushed forward and stepped around the blonde girl. She held a hand to her mouth and let out a cry.

“I don’t know.” The boy next to her glanced at the building above them. “He fell,” he offered with a stony expression. Finch studied them a moment. Two couples in their midteens, white, vibrant, all well-bred and dressed for dinner at an upscale restaurant in nearby Jackson Square. Probably making their way down to the Embarcadero where they could catch a street car or train back to their suburban homes. He checked his watch. 11:18. These kids were probably trying to beat their midnight curfews.

But now he observed the change coming over them. The reality seeping in. One by one, the cold hand of death caressed their faces and forced them to look again at the bloody pulp on the ground. Turn and watch. This is what I can do.

“Did you see him fall?” Finch studied their shocked expressions.

Two girls and two boys, standing stock-still. They all shrugged and glanced away from the corpse. One of the boys lurched to the sidewalk curb and vomited into the gutter.

“Yeah. I did.” The blonde rubbed a hand over her mouth, her trance now broken. “Just in the last second.”

“Do you have a phone?”

“What?” She glanced at him for the first time. Her eyes swept over his face as if she were memorizing the features of his eyes, nose, mouth.

“To call 9-1-1.”

Her look suggested some uncertainty. Then she rummaged through a small purse that hung from her shoulder by a chain strap.

“Here.” She offered Finch her Nokia.

He made a mental note of her number on the flash screen, then placed the call. The dispatcher advised him that a response team would be by as soon as possible. Meanwhile, he should remain on the line and not leave the scene. As he waited, he leaned his buttocks on the door of a parked car, pressed his ear to the cellphone and stared at the building. He counted fourteen stories which rose above the Bank of America outlet on the corner of Stockton and Washington Streets. He tried to determine how many apartments had open windows. Maybe six. His eyes swept from room to room, scanned for fluttering curtains or someone above who might be peering back at him. Nothing.

Then he detected something unusual. Behind the curtains in an apartment on the eleventh floor a lamp clicked on, then off. On and off. As the pattern continued Finch tried to time the periods of each interval. Five seconds, seven, ten. Then the apartment blinked into darkness. And lit up again.

Finch made another calculation: the intermittent flashes came from the sixth window along the left side of the building. He guessed that each apartment had two windows facing the street. The third apartment in from the north side on the eleventh floor had one window open, one closed. The room behind the closed window was the source of the flashing light.

He took the phone from his ear and passed it to the blonde.

“What’s your name?

“Alice.”

“Alice?”

“Winkler,” she added.

“All right, Alice. My name’s Will Finch. The 9-1-1 dispatch said someone should be here soon. They want you to stay here and stay on the line.” He gave her a serious look. “Now I think I saw something up there, so I’m going to see what happened.”

“Okay.” She said this as if she were making a polite concession and then held the phone to her ear and nodded. She turned to her friends. Both were tending to the boy who’d lost his dinner.

Will walked along Washington Street past the bank and approached the glass doors that led into the apartment building. He tugged on the handles. Both doors were locked. He stepped to the curb and turned his attention back to Alice and her friends. Three pedestrians had come to their aid, and then an older couple coaxing a Shiatsu on a leash paused to provide more support. Another minute passed, and Finch saw a couple approaching the apartment doorway from the interior elevator bay. He stepped up to the door. When it opened, he smiled at the two women strolling past him and said, “Thanks. I don’t seem to have a key.” Continue reading