Blog Tour: Slay Bells by T.C. Wescott

x

x

Title: SLAY BELLS (A CHRISTMAS VILLAGE MYSTERY)
Author: T.C. Wescott
Publisher: Better Mousetrap Books
Pages: 273
Genre: Cozy Mystery

BOOK BLURB:

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the village, the night settled in over swirling-smoke chimneys; the air was alive with pine and holly, with sugar and cinnamon and cider, by golly!

Along snowy lanes and through shadows it crept, past windows behind which each villager slept, where sleeping dogs lie and cats rest a’purring-

Tonight, in Christmas Village, a killer is stirring.

Welcome to Christmas Village, a magical hamlet where even in December the roses hold their luster and bees buzz among the bluebells. Nestled betwixt an opulent garden with meandering footpaths and an ancient grove of plum trees, Rose Willoughby’s boarding house is plum-full with lodgers. There are no vacancies, but just wait. Soon there will be one…and another…and another.

When the Inn’s guests begin dying in inexplicable ways, some villagers believe a beast from old village lore is the culprit. The sheriff knows better, but he’s just as helpless to catch the invisible killer as are the town folk with their eyes to the sky in search of a flying creature. But our mysterious murderer hasn’t counted on yet another lodger coming to the cottage: Maribel Claus.

Short as a stump, round as a wheel, sweet as a candy cane, and a sharp as a whip, Maribel loves a good puzzle. But can she unmask the phantom killer in time and save Christmas?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

x

x

Book Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

Night settles in over smoking chimneys and snow-capped rooftops.

A potpourri of pine, holly, and cinnamon swirls in the breeze over white pastures and along sleepy lanes as festive decorations left hanging on each street lamp and along every thoroughfare dance upon its passing.

Winter birds offer up their sing-song as the rows of cottage windows blink out their goodnights.

But for many in the happy hamlet of Christmas Village, the night will be a short one, made restless with excitement for the morning when they will rise early to prepare for the inaugural day of the annual Christmas Festival.

The festival, running the full week before Christmas Eve, is the last great hurrah of the year, barring the ringing of the new year bells. It is no exaggeration to say that the best hope one has of experiencing something more glorious is to return the following year for the next Festival.

So, it is with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts that every soul in the village, farmer and squire alike, closes their eyes in anticipation of sunrise.

One among them will not live to see the sun.

Something moves among the birds, along the snowy lanes, skirting the light in favor of shadow.

In Christmas Village, this night, a creature is stirring.

x

x

About the Author

T.C. Wescott was born in Missouri but has lived in Oklahoma most of his life. Like pretty much every author who has ever breathed, he is an avid reader. His favorites are classic mysteries from the Golden Age, as well as just before or just after that period (which is widely considered the period between the two World Wars). His first mystery novel, Running from Scissors, was published in July 2018 and will be the first of at least three books in the Running Store Mystery series.

 

The Christmas Village Mystery series launched in November of the same year with the debut title Slay Bells. The formula for his books is simple – mixing the classic, traditional detective fiction standards with all the trappings of the modern cozy mystery.

Wescott is also (under another name) the author of two award-winning non-fiction books as well as many essays and articles.

 

 

Website Address: www.tcwescott.com

Twitter Address: www.twitter.com/MousetrapBooks

Facebook Address: www.facebook.com/BetterMousetrapBooks

 

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Metal Mouth by Jaimie Engle

 

x

x

x

YA Magical Realism
Date Published: 12/1/2018
Publisher: JME Books

 

Mahlorie hates her braces. And who cares what she looks like anyway? Her parents sure do. Dad, a travelling magician, and Mom, a famous erotica author, constantly harp on the importance of appearance. Her best friend Shai is the epitome of pop-culture, crushing on every boy with a cute smile. But when Mal has a near-death experience and can suddenly hear a boy’s voice in her head, life takes a turn for the weird. He can hear her too. How did her braces become transmitters? And who is this boy she just might be falling in love with? For fans of “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Everything, Everything.”

This magical coming-of-age tale of mystery and self-discovery, and love and friendship, makes the impossible become all too real…

Purchase Links: Amazon, signed copies

x

x

About the Author

JAIMIE ENGLE is the author of dark thrillers for teens where magic turns ordinary into extraordinary. She weaves history, magic, and lore into her books, which take readers on wondrous adventures, though her passion is talking to kids about writing and social issues because words have power. She loves coffee, cosplay, and making Wick Books® candles inspired by scents from her novels and for other indie authors so readers can Experience the Story! She lives in Florida with her awesome husband, hilarious children, and the world’s best dog. Learn more at thewriteengle.com, where Jaimie is always working on her next book.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: The Atlantis Deception by Mark H. Jackson

x

x

A German property developer, Hans Hoffmann, revels in the belief he has discovered the key to unleashing the weapon responsible for sinking Atlantis. Hoffmann requests the help of Cambridge archaeologist, Dr John Hunter to validate his mysterious find. Hunter’s acceptance leads the maverick academic on a journey from the headquarters of a clandestine organisation in England, to a lost city in the heart of the Brazilian Rainforest, and climaxes inside a chamber hidden deep beneath Egyptian Heliopolis. Pioneering theory is spliced by epic battles, daring escapes, and elaborate schemes aimed at unravelling a secret history hidden from humanity for the past twelve thousand years.

Atlantis is a very visual word. A word evoking mystery, forgotten realms, underwater palaces… the list goes on. I find this Plato inspired concept of Atlantis fascinating and read anything and everything I can lay my hands on. The theories are diverse and range from the feasible to the outlandish, but certain concepts keep reoccurring. The Atlantis Deception takes the ideas of accepted and alternative theory, weaving them together to create a believable universe where our past still dictates our future.

The novel follows the trials and tribulations of a fictional Cambridge academic, Dr John Hunter. The focus is not on Atlantis itself, but rather on what happened to its people it the wake of the loss of their homeland. The Atlantis Deception is a classic action adventure tale with heroes, villains, shadowy organisations and self-serving plots, each underpinned by progressive archaeological theory. The novel is written with the aim of both exciting and making readers think in equal measure. Although imagined, many of the conclusions the characters reach are cutting edge and described in such a way so as to blur the line between fact and fiction.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Google Play: http://bit.ly/AtlantisDeception

Kobo: http://bit.ly/TheAtlantisDeception

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2UuQias

x

x

About the Author

Mark is a qualified solicitor who splits his time between protecting the rights of academics, writing thriller fiction and raising five mostly lovely children. He studied Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Birmingham with a nod towards alternative theory, focusing on the relationship of the Giza complex to the stars; portolan maps; and the origins of civilisation and religion. It was within this flame the plots for his future novels were born.

Mark’s writing career extends back over a decade and his diverse portfolio includes three novels, a number of short stories and even a six-part sitcom. Long listed for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, he is currently a featured author on the popular writing website, Wattpad, with over 6,000 followers from all around the world and well over one million reads of his first novel. Aside from Wattpad, Mark is an active member on a number of other writing websites, spending his spare time offering editorial and structural advice to fellow authors. Up to now Mark has considered writing as a creative outlet for the myriad of characters and ideas roaming about his head. The time has come to tease them out of hiding and breathe a little life into their lungs.

Website Link: https://markhjackson.com/

Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/MarkJackson873

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/AtlantisDeception/

Continue reading

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Razor by J. Barton Mitchell

x

x

The Razor
By J. Barton Mitchell
Genre: Science Fiction

 

Brilliant engineer Marcus Flynn has been sentenced to 11-H37 alongside the galaxy’s most dangerous criminals; a hard labor prison planet better known as the Razor, where life expectancy is short and all roads are dead ends.

At least until the Lost Prophet protocol goes active…

In a few hours, without warning, prison guards and staff are inexplicably evacuated, and the prisoners are all left to die.

To survive, Flynn will have to rely on the most unlikely of allies – killers, assassins, pirates and thieves – each running from (or maybe towards) their own demons.

A volatile ice pirate, struggling with the guilt of losing her entire crew on the inside, and the fear of having it happen all over again. A man who was once an elite prison Ranger, sentenced to the Razor for murdering his commanding officer, and whose sins have finally caught up with him. An infamous and dangerous mercenary, with the mysterious power to affect and feel through metal, who has come to the planet by choice to find the only person he ever cared about him. And a brilliant, mysterious, old woman named Gable, with terrifying abilities no human should possess, and who just may be the most dangerous inmate on the entire planet.

But to escape the Razor, they’ll have to unravel the dark mysteries beginning to awaken on the surface – mysteries that suggest the planet is much more than it seems. Only Flynn has the skills and knowledge to do so, but he can’t make it by himself.

If they can survive each other, they just might survive the Razor…and claim it for their own.

Amazon

x

x

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL1zOsGYQSI&t=8s

x

x

GIVEAWAY

 The author is giving away 8 signed copies of The Razor!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

x

x

About the Author

 

Barton Mitchell lives somewhere between Santa Fe, NM and Austin, TX. He’s developed properties for Warner Bros, Twenty First Century Fox, Valve Software, and Boom! Studios, and is a published author of four novels. His third novel, VALLEY OF FIRES was awarded Best Science Fiction Novel of 2015 by the RT Book Review, and his fourth novel, THE RAZOR, will be published by TOR Books this fall. Interact with him at www.jbartonmitchell.com.

 

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mitchelljb

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/jbartonmitchell

Continue reading

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Lizzy’s Kiss by Karen Tjebben

x

x

Psychological Romantic Suspense
Date Published: November 21, 2018
 

Lizzy Adams spent the summer pining for Tyson Smith, the sexy security agent whose instruction at a safety seminar saved her life. Now, every man she meets is measured against the absolute awesomeness of the brawny black man with the soulful eyes, the baritone voice that whispers over her like a velvet caress, and a smile that turns her knees to jelly. Now she just had to get him to notice her.

 Tyson Smith had a lot of respect for Lizzy Adams, the spunky teacher who freed herself from the clutches of a deranged miscreant who’d wanted to take her hostage. But his concept of her wholesome ‘girl-next-door’ image was challenged the night she showed up at a company barbeque dressed as a flirty cowgirl. Always the gentleman, he managed to keep his eyes off her assets as she strolled around the farm. His mother hadraised him better, but there was no denying that she was every man’s ‘American Beauty’ fantasy. But the night he’d shown up at her doorstep to help her out altered their relationship forever. Between the fear in her eyes and the baseball bat perched on her shoulder, his protective side surfaced, and he handed her a piece of his heart.

 Their whirlwind romance is threatened when a man from Lizzy’s past attacks her. Sam Clark wants vengeance for his son. He blames the jurors from Jason’s trial for Jason’s death and crafts a hit list. But killing Lizzy, the scrappy survivor, is harder than he thought. After Sam fails at his first attempt on Lizzy’s life, he resolves to kill her before he’s forced into hiding. He just has to get past the big, black man who appointed himself Lizzy’s protector.

Purchase Link: Amazon

x

x

About the Author

Karen Tjebben lives in central North Carolina with her wonderful husband, twin daughters, and two hamsters. When her girls left for kindergarten, Karen discovered that she needed to fill her days with something, and that was the beginning of her new career in writing. She loves to create worlds filled with unique characters that she hopes will delight and raise goose bumps on her readers. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and seeing the world through her daughters’ eyes. 

Contact Information

 Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/karentjebbenauthor

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/karentjebben/

Instagram – https://instagram.com/karentjebben/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/KTjebbenAuthor

Tumbler – http://karentjebben.tumblr.com/

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Tjebben/e/B00F1VIJKQ

x

x

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: Forces of Destiny by A. Akinosho

x

x

Forces of Destiny: Shackles of Royalty
By Ade Akinoso
Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

Tola grew up as an only child in the suburb on Illinois.  Gloomy days was all Tola could see ahead of her as financial woes slowly creep into her life with the death of her stepfather and the eminent death of her cancer stricken mother.

Unexpectedly, the father she never knew she had appears. His appearance rocks Tola’s world when she finds out, she’s the unknown and youngest daughter of rich and powerful King Adetoye.

Princess Tola’s financial woes are replaced by the shackles of royalty.

Forces of play makes Tola the only qualified child to ascend the throne or deliver an heir for the throne, based on these reasons Tola must marry a man of royal bloodline.

Tola struggles with accepting the hand that destiny dealt her. In her search for comfort she chances upon a love so powerful she’s willing to gamble everything and change her destiny.

The fight to secure both her love and her crown will change the course of her destiny and demand more than her love and her family is willing to give.

Amazon

x

x

About the Author

Ade Akinosho born in Lagos. One of the fastest growing city in the world. She now resides in United States, after living two and a half years in Dubai, with her husband and four children. A move she says gave her the opportunity to meet interesting and amazing people. By day. Ade considers herself Mom/house driver taking care of her children and by night she lets her imagination run wide writing romance novels where she feels she is literary seating in the room with her characters.

Ade is a Linguistics and English major who went on to the business operations world with an MBA. Now back to her original passion for writing. Something she started doing at the age of 10.

Ade describes herself as a voracious reader, lover of the art of words and a traveler. She is known to scribble on just about anything that comes away when the words fill her mind. Publishing her first novel Falsified is a dream come true for someone who has always had a passion for writing and love for reading.

When she is not busy driving or fulfilling an activity for her children, you can always find her reading a book, binging on chocolate or checking out interesting places in the world.

Website: http://www.authoraakinosho.com

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/OfShackles

On Amazon: http://a.co/d/2UGqCtN

Blog Tour: A Good Death by Michael Bagley

Title: A Good Death
Author: Michael Bagley
Release Date: 29th November
Page Count: 328
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42958647-a-good-death
Amazon UK Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Good-Death-Michael-Bagley-ebook/dp/B07J2465CV/
Amazon US Link: https://amzn.to/2PhDRe9

 

The year is 2028 and it’s a stunning spring day on the Lincolnshire Wolds, when Bess finally persuades her Uncle John to tell her the story of the family scandal that’s been merely whispered about at weddings and funerals. We’re then transported back fifteen years where, as a young man, John Stafford is forced to chase his father across the USA and Europe.

We discover, over three time-zones, that A Good Death is essentially about three characters: an embittered, former military father, a quiet, troubled son, suddenly thrust into the midst of a family crisis, and a bright, questioning young woman, who acts as conscience to both uncle and grandfather. The relationship between all three is constantly tested, as John discovers aspects of his father’s past, and is forced to remember disturbing elements of his own history, when he was just a small child.

The novel is about love and hate and betrayal and in parts it’s a dark story. But all three characters are on their own personal journeys – which each feels compelled to make – and they don’t end until back in 2028, where fate, at long last, waits.

x

x

About the Author

 Michael Bagley wrote his first two novels in the 80s, before moving on to different career paths, working as a teacher, educational consultant and running a multi-media company in the UK and US. He now resides in Devon, where he’s been drawn back to writing and vainly attempts to win offshore yacht races.

 

 

 

 

Book Excerpt Tour: Song of the Boricua by Olivia Castillo

x

x

Title: SONG OF THE BORICUA
Author: Olivia Castillo
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 335
Genre: Fiction

BOOK BLURB:

Puerto Rico an island of contradiction, serves as an enchanting backdrop following three generations of women.

Elena:  Resilient and ambitious, but trapped by duty to her children.

Maria:  Passionate and headstrong, but married to a man she does not love. Josephina: Optimistic and romantic, but in love with an alcoholic.

Isabella: Clairvoyant and spiritual, but denies her heritage and roots.

Like the land these women are held hostage, unfulfilled and unable to find their happiness. Each generation like the land is cursed. Can they defy the powerful bond of the curse and free themselves to find love everlasting?

New Author, Olivia Castillo, like the jibaros of the past weaves a tale of sorrow and joy. Castillos’ fiction is timely, offering a glimpse into the islands rich history and offering insight into the story that has plagued women for all of time, the search for true love and acceptance of self.

ORDER YOUR COPY: Amazon

x

x

 

x

x

Excerpt

Dropping her lipliner, she quickly scratched Corinna’s right arm, leaving a trail of red wiggly lines. Corinna shrieked, squealing like a little pig, and ran out of the room crying.

            The oldest of the sisters, Delia, was stirring a pot of arroz con pollo over the stove while listening to Tito Puente’s new album, Dance Mania. Overhearing the commotion, she sighed, sick and tired of the constant novella between her two younger sisters. She was especially tired of Maria and her haughty ways.

            The New York winter sunset cast an eerie red light over the apartment building on Fordham Road. Mami will be home soon, Delia thought. She stopped stirring the rice for a moment to glare at Corinna, who was crouched behind the kitchen table. Delia cursed under her breath, wishing she could be anywhere else, then turned the burner off to prevent the rice from burning.

            An unapologetic Maria brazenly sashayed into the kitchen. “She got what she deserved,” Maria said, all arrogance. She grabbed a small piece of moist chicken from the pot.

            Delia turned to glare at her in exasperation. “Don’t be such a spaz, and thank your lucky stars Mami is not here yet because you would be getting such a bofetaso,” an irritated Delia shot back.

x

x

About the Author

Olivia Castillo is a New York native. After going to the prestigious Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, she went on to study graphic design at Otis Parson’s College in Los Angeles. Along with being an entrepreneur, she is the mother of three children, and grandmother of two. When not writing or spending time with her family, she travels the world and paints. Song of the Boricua is her first novel.

 

Website Address: www.oliviacastillo.org

Blog Address: https://www.oliviacastillo.org/blog

Twitter Address:  https://twitter.com/oliviacauthor

Facebook Address: https://www.facebook.com/songoftheboricua/

Goodreads Address:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14629912

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Winner Maker by Jeff Bond

On Tour December 1-31, 2018

The Winner Maker by Jeff Bond

Genre: Upmarket Mystery, Thriller
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: December 1st 2018
Number of Pages: 332
ISBN: 1732255202 (ISBN13: 9781732255203)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

 

Bob Fiske — the 74-year-old dinosaur who’s taught Honors English and coached varsity football for five decades — is missing.

To his Winners, class favorites Fiske designated over the years for their potential to “Live Big,” it’s heartbreaking. Fiske did more than inspire with soaring oratory; he supported their ambitions into adulthood. Four of his brightest former stars reunite to find him, putting high-octane careers on hold, slipping police barricades, racing into the wilds of Northern Michigan for clues about the fate of their legendary mentor.

Others don’t see a legend. They see an elitist whose time has passed.

When a current student — female — disappears just hours into the Winners’ search amid rumors of inappropriate meetings, the Great Man’s reputation is a shambles.

Feints, betrayal, explosive secrets from their own pasts: as facts emerge, each Winner must decide how far they’ll go for Fiske. Can the truth redeem him? Or has this cult of hyper-achievement spawned a thing so vile none of their lives will survive intact?

“An exhilarating and emotionally astute mystery.” ~ Kirkus

 

 

Read an excerpt:

Bob Fiske stalked out onto a glass-bottomed observation box of the Sears Tower, appearing to join the sky. His hair, wild and white, whorled with the passing clouds. His strides were at once rickety—owing to seventy-four-year-old joints—and resolute, each footfall seeming to make gravity, to seize its own plane of air.

He planted the portable lectern before his students with a leathered fist. “Poetry is the evidence of life. If your life is burning brightly, poetry is just the ash.”

The entire honors English class, and more than one passing tourist, considered this in reverential silence. The students’ faces glowed with a mishmash of excitements. They were out of school on a field trip! They had to recite a poem by heart; would they remember?

Being here with Fiske—Coach Fiske, Fiske the Great, Fiske the Feared—made them feel the way all high-school seniors should at least once during this final, never-to-be-forgotten year: special. Sure that every important thing in life was happening right here, right now, to them uniquely.

Marna Jacobs (left side, midway back) felt all this too, but more pressing was the weight of dual backpacks on her shoulders. What had Jesse put in this thing, lead? She shifted to resettle the load more comfortably over her five-one frame.

A voice behind her said, “Ooh, Marna, carrying your boyfriend’s bag for him? How old-fashioned. Part of the new vintage motif?”

It was Caitlyn of the perfect cheekbones and 4.5 GPA, a surefire Winner when Fiske’s list came out.

“Jesse’s not my boyfriend.” Marna crossed her ankles, suddenly less psyched about her thrift-store oxfords.

“Didn’t you two go to homecoming together?”

“We, um, broke up.”

“And you’ve accepted the demotion to pack mule?” Caitlyn said with a grin of ice.

Marna and Jesse were outsiders here, AP English being their only honors class. While the others elbowed for brownie points, Marna tried to fly under the radar—a strategy that had worked until last month when Mr. Fiske had praised her Brave New World essay as “refreshing, primitively honest.” Now Caitlyn ridiculed her at every turn.

Still, the question was legit. Marna had been standing around waiting to board one of the tower’s shockingly fast elevators when Jesse nudged her, asking if she’d leave his backpack on the glass bottom for him. Without waiting for an answer, he’d heaved the pack onto her shoulder. When she’d complained it was heavy, he had said all she had to do was leave it on the glass—then he slipped away as every ligament in Marna’s neck and upper back croaked under the burden.

“We’re friends,” Marna said now. “Friends do each other favors.”

Caitlyn sneered around the observation deck. The first student was approaching the podium, stealing a last peek at her crinkled notes. “What’s inside, a bomb? You two always were quiet. Maybe too quiet.”

Marna squirmed underneath the pack. It couldn’t be a bomb. Right? Everyone had gone through security. Jesse’s pack had been X-rayed.

She thought. Was pretty sure.

“Marna brought a bomb?” Todd Bruckmueller said, overhearing.

Caitlyn opened her shoulders to a larger audience. “Maybe.”

“This is really mean, you guys, I—”

“Let’s see!”

Todd, right tackle for the football team, reached for the pack. Marna hunched like a threatened armadillo but couldn’t keep Todd from dislodging one arm. They struggled. Marna dug an elbow into the oaf’s ribs. He lost his grip, and the pack crashed to the glass floor.

Driven less by loyalty to Jesse than rage, Marna grabbed one strap. Todd grabbed the other. Security personnel moved dimly in the periphery.

“Enough.”

The word boomed forth, sucking all air from the fight. Marna first thought Todd had said it—so loud, his meat-pie face right here—before spotting the pair of Illinois State 6A Championship rings against his neck. The rings belonged to Fiske. The septuagenarian had his 230-pound lineman in a half nelson.

“Poor form, Mr. Bruckmueller.” Fiske unhanded Todd, then turned to Marna with a wink. “I cordially invite you to Wildkit Stadium this afternoon, four o’clock sharp, to witness your tormentor ascending and descending the east stairs in rapid succession. Two hundred flights or heatstroke, whichever comes first.”

Before Marna could respond—was she supposed to respond? could Fiske get busted for laying hands on a student like that?—a metallic clunk sounded nearby. Jesse’s pack began sliding in the direction of the noise.

“Hey, what—what’s happening?” Todd said, scurrying back.

Marna instinctively raised her hands. Three guards were beelining her way, fingers pressed to earpieces. Students and tourists alike scattered. The backpack moved seven inches across the glass floor before locking into place with a small, intense shimmy.

Directly below, on the underside of the glass and suspended 103 stories above Wacker Drive, a hook protruded from a squat black cylinder.

A magnet.

That’s why the backpack was so heavy. There’s a gigantic magnet inside.

The hook was closed, and now a hand—a hand?—emerged from the void to clip what looked like a fat red ribbon onto it. The backpack’s fabric strained about the glass in a circle, the magnet inside perfectly mirroring the magnet below.

Marna squinted to make sure this wasn’t allergies messing with her eyes. Also, the day was overcast; up here, they were literally in the clouds.

“Oh. My. God.”

Jesse.

Suspended upside down, staring at her with that wobbly grin. The diamond-check soles of his shoes visible through the glass, he held on by a short length of the ribbon—which Marna saw was a bungee cord. The rest of the cord dangled far below, lilting now back against the skyscraper, now out over the Chicago River, twisting and kinking, rippling, the greatest part shrouded in fog.

Marna staggered into a row with the security guards. How did he get up there? Are those magnets seriously gonna hold? Will the guards shoot him, or Tase him? Can you Tase through glass?

The guards barked into walkie-talkies. When one stepped toward the pack, Jesse felt for something behind his waist and gave the bungee two sharp tugs.

“No!” Marna screamed. “You stupid jerk, no! Whatever you’re thinking!”

But she recognized the sequence he was rushing through: the harness buckling, the strap cinching, his rawboned fingers jittery but unhesitating. Technical rock climbing was Jesse’s thing—he actually taught yuppies at a downtown bouldering gym. He could do it in his sleep.

Marna flattened her whole body to the glass floor, fingers splayed, nose squished. “Why? What is the point, J? Stop!”

Into the misty chasm, her words were weak and scrabbling and basically nothing.

Jesse glanced past her. As his wild pupils settled on Fiske, his face took on a dreamy, near-euphoric blush.

The venerable teacher stood with arms folded. Impassive. Like Marna, Jesse had been encouraged by Fiske—had won kudos for his “exuberant prose style,” even been assigned an extracurricular joint project with one of Fiske’s pet students. In recent weeks, Jesse had even talked about making Winner.

“Respect your life!” Fiske called down. “Cherish it. Be the keeper of its sanctity.”

He knelt beside Marna and, placing both hands on the glass, glared down. She had a fleeting notion that the Great Man could grab Jesse, that those gnarled fingers were capable of parting glass—or transmuting through, or willing matter around, something—and rescuing him.

The blush heightened in Jesse’s face. His eyes pulsed. The sinews of his neck became taut and grotesque.

He plunged. Leading with his forehead, Adam’s apple slicing the clouds. He was a falling, twisting, shrinking blur.

Smaller, smaller…very small.

Marna had almost lost the dot when an enormous white tarp exploded upward through the fog. A block-print message snapped into view across its expanse:

LIVE BIG.

***

Excerpt from The Winner Maker by Jeff Bond. Copyright © 2018 by Jeff Bond. Reproduced with permission from Jeff Bond. All rights reserved.

x
x

Author Bio:

Jeff Bond is a Kansas native and graduate of Yale University. He lives in Michigan with his wife and two daughters, and belongs to the International Thriller Writers association.

Catch Up With Jeff Bond On:
Website
Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook!

x

x

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


x

x

 

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jeff Bond. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on December 1, 2018 and runs through January 1, 2019. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

Blog Tour: Radio Underground by Alison Littman

x

x

Title: RADIO UNDERGROUND
Author: Alison Littman
Publisher: Last Syllable Books
Pages: 354
Genre: Historical Fiction

 

BOOK BLURB:

After years of suffering under the communist regime in Cold War Hungary, Eszter Turján—fanatical underground journalist—would sacrifice anything, and anyone, to see the government fall. When she manipulates news broadcasts on Radio Free Europe, she ignites a vicious revolution, commits a calamitous murder, and is dragged away screaming to a secret underground prison.

Her daughter Dora, then a teenager, cowers in her bedroom as the secret police arrest her mother. Haunted and hurt, Dora vows to work against everything Eszter believes in. But, it’s not that simple.

After nine years, Dora meets a strapping young fan of Radio Free Europe and is unwittingly drawn back into Eszter’s circle. She finds her mother, driven mad by years of torture, is headed for death.

On the brink of losing Eszter again, Dora must decide if she should risk her life to save the mother who discarded her—or leave it to fate.

 

“A propulsive read and a timely reminder that maintaining our humanity requires courage as much as love.”- Kim van Alkemade, New York Times best-selling author of Orphan #8 and Bachelor Girl

“Littman’s debut novel is a delectable blend of history and heartstrings, sure to please the palates of literature lovers everywhere.”- Selene Castrovilla, award-winning author of Melt and Luna Rising

5 out of 5 star review from Readers’ Favorite

Radio Underground reads like a movie…A revolutionary tale written with style.”- Readers’ Favorite

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

x

x

About the Author

Alison Littman lives in San Francisco where she’s a writer by day and standup comedian by night. A former journalist in New Mexico, she covered politics and education while also contributing articles on John F. Kennedy and The Beatles to various specialty magazines. Her feature stories focus on listening to rock ‘n’ roll behind the Iron Curtain and Cold War politics. Radio Underground is her first novel.

 

Website Address: https://www.readalisonlittman.com/

Twitter Address: https://twitter.com/AliMcShpiel

Facebook Address: https://www.facebook.com/readalisonlittman/

 x

x

Book Excerpt:

A black Zis-110 idled ahead of me, the car’s curtains drawn on its passenger windows. I shivered at the sight of the secret police’s hallmark car, thinking of all the friends who had disappeared for no reason, taken away by henchmen in the middle of the night, never to return. It was no coincidence the Zis looked just like a hearse. I scurried onto a side street, dodging the car and the poor captives I assumed sat, trembling, inside of it.

I tiptoed past the Ministry of Interior, where red geraniums lined the building’s windows. In the secret prisons below, police tortured people with whips, limb crushers, nail presses, and scalding and freezing baths. Or else they just executed them. But the geraniums were always fresh.

I slid my fingers across the building’s dusty exteriors, imagining I could somehow transfer my nerves onto the cold, unfeeling brick. I had snuck through the streets after curfew for years, but tonight was different. I could feel the regime sensing our newfound courage, like a dog pushing its nose high into the air, catching the subtle perfume of a rabbit nearby.

After walking several blocks, I spied smoke unfurling in the path before me, like a languid snake expanding as it digests a fresh kill. Following it, I found Antal, his eyes closed, relishing in a cigarette.

“Antal, it’s me,” I said, coughing on the smoke now choking me.

Antal smiled and opened his eyes, his cataracts reflecting the glow of the street lamps. “Eszter, it’s good to see you.”

“It’s good to see you too.” I kissed Antal on both cheeks, feeling his dry skin against mine and wondering how long he’d been outside waiting for me in the cold.

“Tell me, what information do you have for me today?”

“It will happen tomorrow,” I said. “Today, technically.”

It was already past midnight.

“So it’s here, isn’t it?” Antal said.

“Yes,” I said. “I went to their meeting. The students decided they’re going to march. I heard them talking about gathering arms.”

“How many people are participating in this … this march?” Antal asked as he stamped his cigarette into the ground and lit another one.

“Hundreds, thousands, maybe. I can’t be certain.”

“It doesn’t take a genius to predict how Gerő will react.”

“Gerő will slaughter them,” I said, feeling dizzy as I said aloud what we both knew. Hungary’s leader, Erno Gerő, was a Soviet puppet with an arsenal at the ready. “Without enough people hearing about it and organizing, it will just be a bloodbath.”

Antal fell back against the brick wall, suddenly losing his breath. He was always so levelheaded, so much so it often drove me to even greater heights of anxiety as I tried to compensate for his indifference. His fingers, still clutching the cigarette, quivered as his eyes searched the space behind me.

“The state radio will probably ignore this and just keep spewing out its propaganda,” he said.

“Exactly. We’re going to print with this too. But Realitás won’t reach enough people in time. An announcement on Radio Free Europe is the students’ only hope.” I held on to Antal’s shoulders to steady him. “It has to happen first thing in the morning, so people will have time to plan.”

The closest Radio Free Europe outpost was in Vienna. If Antal left now, he would get there by four in the morning.

“I already have meetings scheduled in Vienna for today,” he said. “I’ll visit our Radio Free Europe contacts as soon as I get there and cancel my other meetings to get back in time for the march. Gerő will think I cut short a routine visit to be by his side.”

Our lives by day were lies—Antal’s more than most. He served as the regime’s Deputy Interior Minister. After being forced to coordinate the executions of his friends—communists who threatened the power structure when they became too popular—he resolved to undermine the regime in any way possible. He began relaying intelligence to the American-run Radio Free Europe. With the freedom to travel at will and deep knowledge of the government’s inner workings, he also became an asset to Realitás, the underground newspaper I ran.

“It’s already one in the morning,” I said. “What will you do when they ask you why you’re crossing the border so late?”

“This is normal for me. I go to Vienna at all times of the day and night, just to keep them guessing. Just in case I run into a situation like this.”

“Smart. Well, you better leave now before Gerő tries to get in touch.”

We both knew Antal’s phone could have been ringing right then. I wondered what it would cost him—or his children and grandchildren—if he wasn’t there to answer it.

“I’ll be back,” Antal said, coughing into his hands, still shaking from what I knew was the fear we all shared.

“Wait.” I pulled out a tattered piece of paper, wincing as the cuts in my hand protested the sudden movement. “Take this with you. A student gave it to me yesterday. It’s a coded list of meeting points and times for the march. You have to get this on air too.”

Antal nodded as I slid the paper into his coat pocket, making sure to secure the meticulously crafted plans of the brave, hopeful students. They probably didn’t even realize that at this moment, Soviet troops were almost certainly readying their tanks at a base nearby.