Month: June 2018

The Optimist Blog Tour: Book Review #RandomThingsTours

THE OPTIMIST
By Sophie Kipner

KEYNOTE
How to Build a Girl meets Lena Dunham in this brilliant, hilarious novel about coming of age and the
agony of modern relationships.

DESCRIPTION
Meet Tabitha Gray, a delusional girl from Topanga, California, who redefines what it means to be a
truly hopeless romantic. Tabby suffers from an aggressive strain of cock-eyed optimism – no amount
of failure, embarrassment or humiliation can dent her fierce belief that real, true, lasting love is just
around the corner.
Where most people think, fantasise and dream, Tabby says, feels and does. Whether waiting in her
lingerie for Harrison Ford to open the door of his hotel room; following Al Pacino around a Russian
bathhouse; seeking passion with a blind man on the advice of a wise old woman with dementia; or
sending intimate photos to a random sexter with an apparently charming dick, Tabby refuses to be
crushed by her many misadventures.
In this warmly witty debut novel, Sophie Kipner takes a satirical look at the extremity of romantic
desperation, and pays tribute to the deep human need to keep on heroically searching for love despite
our many absurdities.

REVIEW

The Optimist is a book which I think is one of a kind, a story I have never read before or maybe never would get a chance again but I absolutely loved reading this book.

The Optimist is story of girl who is obviously very optimistic, as the book’s name suggests… okay so i have never seen anyone as optimistic as Tabitha but I liked her character even though more often than none I felt like giving her a reality check, but i still loved her character a lot. She was optimistic, weird, confident and comfortable in her very skin.

The Optimist was a very addicting story from the first page to the last and I really really enjoyed reading this story.

LIFE AT 17 RATING

🎐🎐🎐🎐🔸

(4.5 stars out of 5)

PRAISE FOR THE OPTIMIST
“Funny and upbeat, quite simply the best women’s fiction I’ve read in years.” The Sun
“Hilarious… Kipner writes beautifully, is emotionally intelligent and has a keen eye for detail – the
more absurd the better. I loved every minute.” Daily Mail
“Imagine Bridget Jones. On a sugar high. Constantly… If you’re looking for a romping romcom with
which to escape the knocks of everyday life, this one’s your guy.” The Pool

AUTHOR

Visual artist and author Sophie Kipner grew up in Topanga, CA. A graduate of the University of
Southern California, she writes and illustrates her own stories, which have appeared in Kugelmass: A
Journal of Literary Humor, Amy Ephron’s One for the Table, FORTH Magazine and The Big Jewel, and
her artwork, most recently her series of blind contour portraits, DONTLIFTUPDONTLOOKDOWN, has
been shown and sold internationally. She lives in Los Angeles, and The Optimist is her first novel.
www.sophiekipner.com/@sophiekipner

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Eyes Turned Skyward Blog Tour: Book Review #LoveBooksGroupTour

EYES TURNED SKYWARD

By Ken Lussey

Action & Adventure
Historical Fiction

Synopsis

This novel reflects on the rumours and theories surrounding a number of real-life events, including the death of the Duke of Kent and the aircraft crashes of Short Sunderland W4032 and Avro Anson DJ106.

Wing Commander Robert Sutherland has left his days as a pre-war detective far behind him. Or so he thinks. On 25 August 1942 the Duke of Kent, brother of King George VI, is killed in northern Scotland in an unexplained air crash; a second crash soon after suggests a shared, possibly sinister, cause. Bob Sutherland is tasked with visiting the aircraft’s base in Oban and the first crash site in Caithness to gather clues as to who might have had reason to sabotage one, or both, of the aircraft.

Set against the background of a country that is far from united behind Winston Churchill, and the ever-present threat from the enemy, we follow Bob as he unravels layers of deceit and intrigue far beyond anything he expects.

Buy Link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eyes-Turned-Skywards-fiction-real-world-ebook/dp/B07CRT1C3R/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1526480533&sr=8-1&keywords=eyes+turned+skywards

Review

The air of mystery started from the prologue itself…. After that as Sutherland went on investigating, new discoveries were made and the story became more and more interesting. Eyes Turned Skyward was gripping mystery story from first page to last…

I really enjoyed reading this story and I would like to recommend this book to all crime and mystery lovers out there.

LIFE AT 17 RATING

🎐🎐🎐🎐

(4 stars out of 5)

Go Home, Afton Blog Tour: Book Review

GO HOME, AFTON
Author: Brent Jones
Length: Novella
Genre: Thriller
Series: Afton Morrison, Book 1
Release Date: June 25, 2018

Synopsis

We all wear masks, and Afton Morrison is no exception.
A small-town librarian with a dark side, Afton, twenty-six, has suppressed violent impulses her entire adult life. Impulses that demand she commit murder.
Blending her urges with reason, Afton stalks a known sexual predator, intending to kill him. But her plan, inspired by true crime and hatched with meticulous care, is interrupted by a mysterious figure from her past. A dangerous man that lurks in the shadows, watching, threatening to turn the huntress into the hunted.
Go Home, Afton is the first of four parts in a new serial thriller by author Brent Jones. Packed with grit and action, The Afton Morrison Series delves into a world of moral ambiguity, delivering audiences an unlikely heroine in the form of a disturbed vigilante murderess.

Tagline: We all wear masks.

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Smashwords

Review

This book was just awesome. Go Home, Afton was one thrilling ride from beginning till the end.

This novella grips you right from the beginning and with each passing page you become more and more engrossed in the story and in Afton’s life and character.

The last 30% had plenty of unexpected twists and turns and the ending….. The ending was just perfect for a thriller series, it leaves you in desperate need for the next book…. I just can’t wait to get my hands on the second book.

Go Home, Afton is a thrilling start to a new series, Afton Morrison series. If you are a thriller lover, then you need to read this book just now.

LIFE AT 17 RATING

🎐🎐🎐🎐🎐

(5 stars out of 5)

About the Author

From bad checks to bathroom graffiti, Brent Jones has always been drawn to writing. He won a national creative writing competition at the age of fourteen, although he can’t recall what the story was about. Seventeen years later, he gave up his career to pursue creative writing full-time.
Jones writes from his home in Fort Erie, Canada. He’s happily married, a bearded cyclist, a mediocre guitarist, and the proud owner of two dogs with a God complex.
Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Brent Jones

Excerpt (Chapter 3)

Parents—stay-at-home moms, mostly—brought in their toddlers once a week so I could read them a story. And I use the word toddlers loosely. Kids as old as six or seven sometimes attended during the summer. And the stories we would read were made up of fewer than fifty words, for the most part. A lot of the mothers in Wakefield were too lazy to read to their own children, I guess.
Oh, and crafts, too. After reading a story together, we’d break out glitter and colored pencils and paste and other nonsense, but that wasn’t the real reason a dozen women turned out with their little monsters each week. Storytime was an excuse for the mothers to gather and gossip. It always took a little while to get the children to settle down, sure. I’d press my finger to my lips and wait. Five or ten seconds at most, although I would have been happy to wait longer. Their mothers, on the other hand, were so much worse. Getting them to shut their fucking traps was a whole separate exercise in endurance.
But as much as I disliked children, there was something magical about them. It was their inability to see gray, I think. Their entire worlds existed in black and white, right and wrong, good and evil. You could see it in their faces as a story unfolded, rife with nervous energy at every inconsequential turn.
“And she just doesn’t know”—I read to the room, pointing to each gigantic word—“should she stay, should she go?”
I caught a boy’s expression, who sat just inches from me. The hippopotamus in our story was faced with a dilemma, and this boy was transfixed. His eyes were wide, his hands were cupped over his mouth, and he was vibrating with anticipation to see what the hippo would do next.
I flipped to the last page. “But yes the hippopotamus.”
The boy relaxed a little, making a deliberate show of letting his shoulders drop. A talented drama queen in the making. He was new to storytime and looked to be about five or six years old. He had dark hair, a tan complexion, and a missing front tooth. He’d attended just once before and he’d sat close that day, as well. I’d never really been big on learning children’s names, to be honest, but I knew his was Neil only because he’d come to the library alone both times. It sounds strange, I’m sure, but having a parent use the library as a free babysitting service happens more often than most people would guess.
I continued on, reading the final words of the story. “But not the armadillo.”
Neil was stressed all over again, and his tiny hand shot up. “Miss Afton?”
“Yes, ah, Neil? What is it, little man?”
“How come not the arma-darma?”
“Armadillo.” A woman in baggy gray sweatpants corrected him from the back of the room. She was a few years older than me, had bleach-blonde hair in a ponytail, and her voice resembled a seagull getting crushed by a car.
I shut the book and set it on my lap. “That’s a good question, Neil.” I bit my lower lip, deciding how much to share. “Well, let’s see. Ah, no one likes armadillos, for starters. They’re bullet-proof, if you can believe it, and ugly as sin. They carry leprosy, too, but they don’t bite children too often.”
The woman at the back of the room—Sweatpants, let’s call her—looked horrified. Her stained teeth chattered and she blinked in rapid succession. She placed her palms over her daughter’s ears, a girl around three or four in age.
Neil scratched his head. “What’s a lepra-she?”
“It’s—”
Sweatpants raised her hand to silence me—not that I minded—and looked to a few of the other mothers in the room for support, most of whom were checked out or occupied with their phones. She looked back at me again, then at her daughter. “It’s when good little boys and girls get ice cream.” That wasn’t how I might have defined the word, however. “You want to stop for ice cream on the way home, Jessi?”
It was hard enough getting these little turds to sit still for all fourteen pages of But Not the Hippopotamus. Why on earth would this woman want to stuff her daughter’s face with sugar before lunch? But the girl jumped up and squealed at the mention of sweets, and soon, other kids joined in, as did their mothers.
I peeked down at Neil to see him cradling his head in his hands, masking a look of disappointment by staring at the floor. It appeared he had forgotten all about armadillos and leprosy and storytime, and now sulked, wishing he had a parent present to take him for ice cream like the other children.
The mothers talked amongst themselves, and their toddlers fed on the elevated energy levels. The room was alive with discourse, and I wondered if the local Dairy Queen might consider paying me a small commission. “Well, that’s it for storytime, boys and girls. Thanks for coming.”
Sweatpants spoke up at the back of the room, the self-elected leader of Wakefield’s fattest and frumpiest. “But it’s only quarter past, Afton. Isn’t storytime supposed to be a full hour?”
“Just figured you were all on your way to get a double-scoop of leprosy.”
“Very funny.”
I raised my hands in a gesture of mock uncertainty. “We’ve got crafts we can do.” I pointed to three short tables covered in plastic, adorned with supplies that Kim had set up for us. “Should we get to it?”
“That won’t take long. Couldn’t you read them another story first?”
Couldn’t I read them another story? It’d been her idea to squeeze out one of these little nightmares. Why was I being punished for it? “Not this week, I’m afraid. Sorry.”
But she just wouldn’t give up. “Afton, do you know where Jessi’s daddy is right now?”
My first thought was that her husband was probably fucking her sister at some roadside motel with hourly rates, bed bugs, and a one-star rating on Trip Advisor. I couldn’t say that out loud, of course, and so I fought like hell to keep a smirk off my face. It helped to keep my sights trained on Jessi, who had sat back down, cross-legged in a checkered dress. She was drawing on the floor with one small finger.
Sweatpants answered her own question. “He’s at work, Afton. And he works hard, by the way, and we pay more than our share of taxes in this town. Taxes that pay your salary.”
Oh, the salary card. How I loved it when disgruntled parents brought up my salary, as if any one of them wanted to trade places with me. Yes, her taxes paid me a small fortune. That’s why I rented a one-bedroom apartment in a triplex. And it’s the same reason I drove a seven-year-old Corolla. I was so grateful—indebted, even—to Sweatpants and her husband that I just couldn’t wait to read another story.
“Sure thing.” I grabbed a second book off the pile next to me. “One more story, coming right up.”
Sweatpants smiled. It was a flat, fake smile, of course, the kind where the mouth curls tight but the eyes are dormant. It was about the best I could have hoped for, and it seemed to have a calming effect on the other mothers. They quieted down, eager to return to their various text message conversations.
I pointed my finger to more jumbo text on a colorful page. A story about an overweight and diabetic caterpillar with impulse control issues, who was always so very very fucking hungry. “In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf . . .”
And I couldn’t help but lose myself in thought. I was that little egg on a leaf, glimmering in the moonlight, and about to hatch. Soon after, the morning would come. And my hunger would be satiated at last, because Kenneth Pritchard would be dead.

Schedule

June 25th

Reads & Reels (Review) http://www.readsandreels.com

Book Wonderland (Review) https://bookwonderlandweb.wordpress.com/

Down the Rabbit Hole (Review) http://meggydowntherabbithole.wordpress.com/

Touch My Spine Book Reviews (Review) https://touchmyspinebookreviews.com

June 26th

Book Dragon Girl (Review) http://www.bookdragongirl.com

Jessica Rachow (Review) http://jessicarachow.wordpress.com

Sinfully Wicked Book Reviews (Review) https://sinfullywickedbookreviews.com

The Scribblings (Review) https://thescribblingssite.wordpress.com

On the Shelf Reviews (Review) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

June 27th

Tranquil Dreams (Review) http://klling.wordpress.com

June 28th

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) http://jbronderbookreviews.wordpress.com/

Just 4 My Books (Review) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

Life at 17 (Review) https://lifeat17.wordpress.com

June 29th

Kim Knight (Review) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com

Misty’s Book Space (Review) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Port Jerricho (Review) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com

Errin Krystal (Review) https://errinkrystal.wordpress.com

Blog Tour Organized By

R&R Book Tours

Revenant: Falling Awake II Blog Tour ~ Guest Post and Excerpt

REVENANT: FALLING AWAKE II
Series: Falling Awake Book 2
Author: Kristoffer Gair
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: June 19
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 90,000 words
Genre: Paranormal Thriller

Synopsis

Andrew O’Donnell’s childhood friend, Thomas, was murdered when they were ten years old. Nightmares and guilt have plagued Andrew ever since. And he believes himself responsible for delivering Thomas into the very hands of the men who committed the atrocity.

Now, fourteen years later, Andrew is driven to uncover the mystery of what really happened to Thomas, the reason behind the brutal abduction, and whether the assailants—who were never caught—have set their sights on someone else.

Even the help of an unlikely ally may not be enough to stop the darkness, the threat of what it will do to them in this life…or the next.

Goodreads

Purchase at Amazon

Guest Post

MY HOPES FOR THE SECOND BOOK

I set out to write a story two years ago with depth, a larger cast of characters, and a plot—if done correctly—that would tug at the heartstrings. This story became the novella Falling Awake, and it did everything I hoped it would. There was so much grief inside me during the time I wrote it, and the grief had nowhere to go. I channeled those emotions into the book, and attempted to create a sense of hope through expressing and expelling the grief. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t think I’d write a second book, let alone be writing a third.

The trick to me in writing Falling Awake II: Revenant has been writing a main character (Andrew) who is flawed, a product of experiences early on in life beyond his control, being gay in early 1970s, and entirely sympathetic. Everything in the plot hinges on us, as readers—since I consider myself a reader too—believing Andrew doesn’t deserve what happened to him, and what could possibly happen to him. His journey is a dark one, but one he believes will make him whole again.

I won’t lie. I put Andrew through more hell in his twenty-four years than I will ever go through. There are plenty of times in the story when he can make the choice to stop, re-evaluate, let things be, and fade into the background. He certainly might be better for it, only he refuses to surrender. As unrelenting as the odds are, he matches those odds with his own unrelenting nature.

My hope is for readers to feel his pain, his determination, his terror, and, ultimately, his own hope. One of my beta readers told me upon finishing a draft that as much as he liked how the story unfolded, he felt like he walked away after getting into a plane wreck. Oh, and he needed a drink. That’s the kind of intensity the story builds up to towards the end. I figure I did something right if my beta reader is having those reactions.

It’s fair to say I also hope after reading and reacting to this second book, readers will want to know how the much larger story this is part of will play out. I certainly want to get it out of my head. The weird thing is I know I’m going to miss having the whole thing in my head. Having the series in print makes it concrete, and separate from me in some way. Plus, after the third book, I don’t know if I’ll ever revisit these characters again. Guess that’ll depend on whether a story worth telling comes to mind. I didn’t plan on there being a second story, so stranger things have happened.

Excerpt

“Damn.” Frank’s face twitched and his eyes opened wide. “Is what you just did natural, or part of your government training?”
“Probably a little of both,” Andrew lied again. “I’ve always had some aptitude for reading certain situations.” His throat started to close up when he recalled one in particular, one fourteen years ago. “But I’ve learned to trust and act on my instincts instead of ignoring them.”
Losing one life because he didn’t act on those instincts was already too much to bear. It couldn’t be allowed to happen again. Ever.
“Okay.” Frank nodded. “Yes, I have them checking on you. They’re going to call Ruby here at the diner and ask for me, but I’m already confident you are who you say you are.”
“And?”
“And what?”
“You didn’t have to bring me here to buy them time.” He watched Frank squirm. “Your instincts told you I was on the level back at the house. We could have gone to the police station, only you brought me here instead.”
“Jesus.” Frank winced.
“What are you not telling me?”
“Some aptitude for reading certain situations my ass.” Frank wiped his forehead with a napkin. “OSHA? I think the only reason you aren’t working for the FBI is they haven’t heard of you yet.”

Meet the Author

Author/Blogger Kristoffer Gair grew up in Fraser, MI and is a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He currently lives with his husband in a suburb of Detroit.
Official Website
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Giveaway!

Win a copy of Revenant: Falling Awake II

Enter here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6554158495/?

Milijun Book Tour: Excerpt

Milijun
by Clayton Graham
Genre: Science Fiction
The next phase of human evolution depends entirely on her…
Laura is willing to do whatever it takes for her son. When aliens kidnap
Jason, it’s going to take a lot more than a mother’s love to get him
back. After infiltrating a military research base, Laura discovers
a
terrifying secret
: their plans to impregnate women with alien DNA.
Laura battles to save Jason, the mothers-to-be, and herself. But she
quickly realizes the aliens have their own mission for her, too. Soon
she faces a choice, take a chance at an impossible escape
or accept the aliens’ vision of a new humanity.
Milijun is the first installment of an action-packed

an action-packed sci-fi
alien invasion story. If you like tales of first contact, secret
military operations, and the people caught in the middle, then you’ll
love Clayton Graham’s fast-paced sci-fi thrill ride.

Buy Milijun to discover the future of evolution.
“Captured my interest from the very beginning, and never once let go.”
Jenna – Indie Book Reviewers
“If you love the genre, read this gem.”
Julius Zon – Self Publishing Review
“This is a must-read for science fiction fans who appreciate a hard
scientific foundation, in the tradition of Asimov, Niven, or Heinlein.”
Patrick Dent
“Million? 5 stars are all Amazon permit!”
Sarah Stuart

EXCERPT FROM ‘MILIJUN’ THE NOVEL

Laura lay back on the bed, hands clasped behind her head and knees drawn up as tightly as comfort would allow. Jason, emotionally exhausted, was asleep in the other bed and for the first time in many hours she had the luxury of undisturbed time to think the day’s events through. They had called a taxi from Robert’s house and directed it back to camp. Having found Jason, she had no wish to chase into Caiguna and risk further confrontation with the police, Janice Mepunga in particular. There was just no forgiving the policewoman for leaving her stranded at Robert’s house with a laser-seared dead body on her hands.
Some semblance of inner strength returned. They would have to see Mepunga tomorrow, of course, and learn what happened to Bradley Robert or, more accurately, how he had ended up with a hole drilled in his chest.
Careful not to wake Jason, she made her way outside, in search of fresh air. Looking up at the darkened sky she saw a pale moon rising and what could only be Venus shining brightly. The air held a slight chill, and she shivered involuntarily.
Laura scanned the sky, half expecting something to emerge from the star-pricked canopy and descend upon her with mischief in its heart. What was it Jason had said? Sometimes when it touched me I didn’t even feel it. She didn’t know what to believe but whatever it was, Janice Mepunga was the next step.
They had found the camera in a kitchen drawer, but it contained no record of Jason’s pictures. Robert had obviously removed the stick. Or, of course, the alien had. Surprisingly enough, observing Jason’s face at that moment of disappointment served to remove her doubts concerning his version of events. She had totally believed, if only for a few seconds, that an alien being had emerged from Bradley Robert and examined her son.
Tomorrow they would see Mepunga. And maybe get some answers.
***
At the Eucla defence base the only source of light in the room came from a large wall screen that portrayed the death throes of choppa flight 209 from Cape Pasley to Cocklebiddy on the night of 17 January 2179. In the room were Assistant Commissioner Ray Parlane of the West Australian Police, Major General Sebastian Ord, Air Vice-Marshal Jean Pescos and Sergeant David Jameson Cooke of the Australian Defence Force. The whole flight cam episode had run for no more than three minutes, and now the group were digesting, and struggling to understand, what they had just seen.
“At least it ties in with the radar records,” Jean Pescos stated, a frown ageing her otherwise smooth, olive complexion. “Definitely two …” she struggled for the right word, “… attackers.”
Sebastian Ord raised his brow at the use of the word. “Could it have been an accident, a collision?”
Cooke snorted and said, “No sir. The radar shows two objects peeling away from the main group. Definitely intentional.”
“I agree,” Jean Pescos ventured. “Definitely intentional. Analysis of the short flight path they took indicates an optimum trajectory for intersection with the choppa.”
“You mean it shows intelligence.” Ray Parlane looked incredulous. Short, with luxurious eyebrows, he had obtained his rank by being down to earth and taking no nonsense. This whole episode did not sit well on his shoulders.
“Perhaps even more to the point, what the hell are the damn things?” Sebastian Ord asked. Tall and wiry with piercing blue eyes, he wore his neatly pressed uniform like a glove. He started the video again and they watched as bright moonlight exposed a flock of large creatures moving through the night sky. The choppa had hovered no more than two hundred metres away, and its lights had picked out two of the objects breaking away to veer towards the camera. They looked large, too large for any known species of bat. Strong white beams highlighted their outstretched wings as they homed in on their target, revealing thin reticulated arms as they grew closer. Large reflective eyes dominated the screen for a moment and then focus was lost as the creatures appeared to collide intentionally with the choppa’s canopy.
Ord ran the video back to show the best zoomed shot of the creatures as they approached Pilot James Vanelli’s machine. He shook his head slowly. “Hands up those who have seen animals like that before?” he said sardonically. “We need to let an expert look, but I wouldn’t be confident of an identification.”
“And don’t forget the radar showed them descending from at least ten thousand metres,” Cooke added. “Air is thin up there.”
The group grew silent as Parlane switched on the light and turned off the wall screen. “So, what happens now?” he asked nobody in particular.
“One. Expert opinion on identification,” Ord replied, counting off on his fingers. “Two. Find out if anyone else saw them that night.” He looked at everyone in turn before raising a third finger. “Three. Try to find them.”
“Then what, after we find them?” Jean Pescos asked.
Parlane was swift to answer. “We must eradicate. Can’t have them bringing down air traffic.”
Ord couldn’t help smiling. “Let’s give the scientists a say. If they’re a rare or unheard of species it could be a different anecdote.”
The room became quiet again and Cooke stretched uncomfortably in his chair. He wasn’t convinced. Other than Vanelli, there were no bodies at the crash site. And the aerial attackers didn’t look like anything he had seen before; alien almost. Though nobody, of course, had the balls to say so.
***
The road ribbon system took them directly to the front of the Caiguna police station, seaward of the Eyre Highway along dusty, unkempt side streets. Mother and son dismounted as one and strode resolutely up the path and through darkened glass doors. They found themselves in a featureless foyer where a single three-metre plant was placed strategically in the middle of a brown synthetic marble floor. A long black desk stood at the far end but there was no sign of any other exit door or, for that matter, any other person. The walls were sky blue, the ceiling white, and the effect austere.
Laura approached the desk and saw a white button labelled Press for immediate attention. She did as requested. A flat screen rose from the desktop and the face of Janice Mepunga stared out at them. An aura of total distrust immediately gripped Laura’s mind, reinforced by unwelcome apprehension, but the image on the screen flashed a convivial smile and said, “Oh hello you two. I’ve been expecting you. Just one moment.”
To the right of the desk, a mechanism hummed and a well-disguised door opened within the blue wall to reveal a brightly lit office beyond.
“Come through. Come through,” Janice Mepunga called.
Jason seized his mother’s hand and looked at her questioningly. There was a strange fear in his ashen face, and his eyes mirrored the foreboding that Laura felt within her own heart.
“It’ll be fine,” Laura said quietly and gently guided him through into the inner office.
Janice instantly took the wind out of Laura’s sails by saying, “Look. I’m sorry about yesterday. An emergency came up. I had to leave. Sorry about leaving you with Robert, too – it was unavoidable. He tried to kill me. I knew Jason was around.” Her smile grew broader. “I knew you would find him.”
Shaking her head, Laura said sharply, “Maybe you did, but in what condition? It was absolutely unforgivable what you did.” She threw a challenging look at the policewoman. “And Robert wasn’t dead when I found him.”
Janice’s face hardened and Jason noticed she slowly worked her hand down to her pistol. “It was unavoidable,” the policewoman repeated.
“Are there any other officers here?” Laura asked.
Janice shook her head. “My partner went to Perth this morning. It’s normally pretty quiet around here, you understand, and there’s plenty of air backup from Kalgoorlie.” She cast a meaningful glance at her visitors before adding, “Should we require it.”
“What about a statement?” Laura asked. “Don’t you want one?”
“I certainly do,” Janice said, pointing to a terminal in the corner of her office. “Be my guest.” She was all sweetness and roses again, in control of the situation.
While his mother typed, Jason waited his turn. He was nervous, upset about Bradley Robert and about the loss of his photographs. His eyes hardly left Janice Mepunga, unsure in his own heart whether the alien creature was harboured inside her or whether it had moved to fresh pastures. On the drive to the station his mother had told him of Robert’s dying words, and he had felt sick. He desperately wanted to know the truth but was afraid of another confrontation. And worst of all, there was no proof of anything.
“How did the ranger threaten you?” Jason asked abruptly causing his mother to pause her statement mid-sentence.
Mepunga glanced up, her face like stone. “He just did, and that’s enough these days.” She gestured to Jason to sit down on the chair across the desk. “Let’s compile your statement together while your mother finishes hers.” She initiated a recorder and leant back in her chair.
Jason shot a fleeting look at his mother and received a warning glance in return, accompanied by a small shake of the head.
“How did you get to Robert’s house?” Janice asked.
“I was on the computer in the camp tourist centre,” Jason replied. “He knocked me out and I awoke in a bedroom.”
Despite the recorder, Janice typed as she said, “And then what happened?”
“He made me something to eat, just eggs and toast. Then he made me shower and took me into the basement.”
“What about his sister from next door? Did you see her at all?”
“No,” Jason said. “There was nobody else.”
Janice raised her eyebrows. “Did you try to escape?”
With a shake of his head, Jason said, “He was always in my face, and twice my size.”
“Even in the shower?”
Jason averted his eyes. “More or less.”
“He was naked when I found him,” Laura interjected. “In the basement.”
The policewoman looked hard at Jason. “Did he touch you? Molest you in any way?”
Jason bit his lip. “No, he didn’t.”
Laura stood up. “I’ve finished. It’s fairly short but to the point.”
Janice walked over and glanced down at the screen. “Not exactly flattering behaviour on my part,” she said, pursing her lips. “My statement will give my story.”
Laura shrugged. “I’d still like to see—”
Jason interrupted her. “Can we go now, Mum? I need some air.”
Laura saw he looked pale and distressed. “I’m sorry,” she said to Janice. “Is that all for now?”
“Sure. We have your vehicle tag. Stick around the district though.” She printed both statements and laid them on the desk. “Just sign these for now.”
After they had signed Laura turned to leave but paused at the door. “What happened to the body?”
“It’s been taken care of,” Janice replied. “Thanks for coming in.” It was the final dismissal. Laura and Jason left without further discourse. They moved through the stark foyer and once outside paused to breathe the fresh southern air, which was rapidly warming as the sun rose higher in the sky.
“No alien for the lady,” Laura said. “Thank God you didn’t say anything about that.”
“Not to her,” Jason said, looking at his mother fearfully. “I think it’s still with her.”
***
In her office, Janice read the statements again and put them through the shredder. She stood, swayed slightly, and pushed a floor panel with her foot to release the door into an adjacent room. Moving through, she closed the door behind her and stared at the uniformed body of her colleague. He was slumped face down on the desk, head resting in a pool of coagulated blood.
Suddenly, the winged alien was outside her, standing two metres away, observing with its head on one side. She sensed an instantaneous chill invade her body as the creature emerged but, once free of it, Janice felt warmer and strangely fearless. No words or other communication passed but Janice felt its mind boring into hers, trying to understand her emotions. At least she thought she did. She didn’t really want to see it anymore, was not interested in it at all, and wished it was light-years away.
“I’m sorry, Daniel,” she said to the motionless body of her partner. “I’m so sorry. I really could not help it.”
A tangle of meaningless images ran through her mind, and she turned to face her symbiotic disciple from another world. Something passed between them, intangible and outside her scope of logical thought. She asked the question anyway.
“What do you want from me? What do you want from us?”

As a youngster growing up in the cobbled streets of Stockport, UK,
Clayton Graham read a lot of Science Fiction. He loved the ‘old
school’ masters such as HG Wells, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov and
John Wyndham. As he left those formative years behind, he penned
short stories when he could find a rare quiet moment amidst life’s
usual distractions.
He settled in Victoria, Australia, in 1982. A retired aerospace engineer
who worked in structural design and research, Clayton has always had
an interest in Science Fiction and where it places humankind within a
universe we are only just starting to understand.
Clayton loves animals, including well behaved pets, and all the natural
world, and is a member of Australian Geographic.
Combining future science with the paranormal is his passion. Milijun is his
first novel. Second novel, Saving Paludis, will be published early
2018. They are light years from each other, but share the future
adventures of mankind in an expansive universe as a common theme.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Ullr’s Fangs Blog Tour: Excerpt

Ullr's Fangs banner

This is my stop during the blog tour for Ullr’s Fangs by Katharine E. Wibell.

This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 25 June till 15 July. See the tour schedule here.

Ullr's Fangs

Ullr’s Fangs (The Incarn Saga #2)

By Katharine E. Wibell

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Age category: Young Adult, New Adult

Release Date: 29 April 2018

Blurb:

According to legend, when the world was young, two gods of war — one male, one

female — were destined for each other. Yet Ullr, forever unfaithful, lost the

love of Issaura, his true match, and was forsworn. His violent anger and bitter

rage grew and intensified, poisoning all creation and humanity.

Now that the Raiders’ long ships have faded from sight, the kingdom of Elysia is

beginning to recover from the summer’s war with the brutal invaders from across

the sea. Yet darker forces have taken root, forces that can alter the future of

the land and its people in unthinkable ways. Seventeen-year-old Lluava must

discover the means to prevent her world from collapsing. But in doing so, will

she succumb to that darkness?

You can find Ullr’s Fangs on Goodreads

You can buy Ullr’s Fangs here on Amazon

Excerpt:

In the failing light, Lluava sat her weary body down on one of the cut logs that served as benches around the ever-blazing cooking fires. She ached from an exhaustion that was more than physical. In her hand, she held a steaming bowl of clumping porridge, or maybe repurposed hash. Although its taste was barely better than its looks, this mysterious gruel was the only thing the town could provide to feed the army for their extended stay. Lluava had grown accustomed to its bland taste and grainy texture. It might not be ideal, but it kept everyone’s strength up when they needed it.
“May I sit next to you?” Varren’s formal upbringing emerged even when there was no need.
Nodding, Lluava shoveled down the sludge. Eating quickly was her trick to keep the so-called food from sticking to the back of her throat. In contrast, Varren sat down, whispered a prayer of thanks, and began to eat. They remained silent until Varren had finished.
Wiping his mouth, he said, “I would like to head back to the capital tomorrow. Since you are my military partner—no, that is not the reason.” Varren seemed flustered. He was not one to fumble with his choice of words. Eloquence had always come naturally to him, so why could he not state a clear thought now?
“Yes?” inquired Lluava, hoping to coax him to continue.
Varren stood up in his most formal manner and asked, “Lluava, would you come with me to the royal palace? I want to introduce you to Grandfather and the High Council and, well…I would like you to be with me when I return to court.”
Lluava understood his fear of what he was about to do, for altering an age-old law was all but unheard of. Nevertheless, excitement fluttered inside her like a newly fledged bird. Varren wanted her near him. This was his way of admitting how much he needed her at his side. This day had truly brought wonderful news.
She was about to say yes when a new thought crossed her mind. “How long do you expect to be at court?”
“I do not know. Why do you ask?”
Lluava fingered the carefully folded letter in her pants pocket. “Well, I had hoped to visit home. I haven’t seen my family since the draft.”
Thoughtfully, Varren said, “I will not force you to come. You can leave at any time. However, I would like you to be with me when—”
Lluava interrupted. “Don’t worry. I’ll be standing by your side from now until eternity.” She grinned at her pathetic attempt at poeticism.
“That is good. That is great!” Varren could not hide his relief. “Well, I will say good night to you now. Tomorrow will be a new and exciting day.”
With that, Varren gently took Lluava’s hand and kissed it, which sent a tingling sensation up her arm. As he left, Lluava thought, Oh, what am I getting myself into?
Next morning, Lluava ran to the shanty that served as Ymen’s dispatch headquarters. Since a large portion of the Southern army was stationed here, the king’s messengers came to the town every two weeks. Lluava had to hurry so as not to miss the chance to send off her own letter. She had forgotten to do this errand the day before, and with her departure imminent this was the only chance she would have before she left.
Attempting to catch her breath, Lluava retrieved the letter from her pocket. It was surprisingly unwrinkled. Perhaps the gods were watching over her. She handed the parchment to the small man loading full satchels onto his horse. Annoyed at the last-minute arrival, he began to lecture Lluava on the importance of punctuality. She in turn quietly reprimanded herself for her forgetfulness. Satisfied with his thorough scolding, the letter carrier asked Lluava in a disinterested manner, “Are you human or Theriomorph?”
This simplest of questions caught Lluava off guard. An inner heat coursed through her body as she growled out the formal reply.
“I am Lluava Kargen, daughter of Haliden Kargen, and I am Theriomorph.”

First book in the series:

Issaura’s Claws by Katharine E. Wibell

“If they fail to trust each other, the consequences will be devastating. Death and destruction are on the horizon and time is running out.”

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon

Katharine E Wibell

About the Author:

Katharine Wibell’s lifelong interest in mythology includes epic poetry like the Odyssey, Ramayana, Beowulf, and the Nibelungenlied. In addition, she is interested in all things animal whether training dogs, apprenticing at a children’s zoo, or caring for injured animals as a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. After receiving degrees from Mercer University in both art and psychology with an emphasis in animal behavior, Wibell moved to New Orleans with her dog, Alli, to kick start her career as an artist and a writer. Her first literary works blend her knowledge of the animal world with the world of high fantasy.

You can find and contact Katharine here:

Website

Website blog

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Goodreads

Instagram

Giveaway

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Ullr’s Fangs. One winner will

win a $25 Amazon gift card!

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Deadly Shadow Book Tour: Book Review

Deadly Shadow
The Assassin Chronicles Book 1
by Kim Cresswell
Genre: Paranormal Suspense Thriller
The Assassin Chronicles TV series is in development with Council Tree
Productions.
Two recent murders.
Two serial killers.
A conspiracy that reaches beyond the physical world.
Consumed with grief over the tragic death of her husband, FBI agent Victory
McClane is obsessed with finding Ohio’s serial killer, “The Wrapper”.
When another young woman turns up dead and the victim is linked to Derrick
Lynn, son of the Secretary of Defense, Victory finds Derrick has all
the right answers and is a little too helpful.
Derrick has a secret: He’s a government assassin who uses his unusual
paranormal skills to eliminate targets. Determined to keep his own
secrets buried, he offers to help find The Wrapper.
But can Victory trust him?
As the body count rises, Victory must cross a dangerous line–into a
world of government cover-ups, murder, and betrayal–a decision that
will test her limits. And everything she believes in.
The battle between good and evil begins! Deadly Shadow is the first book
in the gripping paranormal/supernatural thriller series, an
action-packed blend of suspense and mystery for detective and crime
book lovers.

Supernatural and thriller is one combination that I absolutely love and that was one of the major reasons why I took up this book. Though this book wasn’t based on as much paranormal as I had expected but still I loved it a lot.

From the very first to the last page this book just captivated me completely…. I wasn’t able to keep this book down till the very last page was reached.

Deadly Shadow was a thrilling experience throughout with murders, secrets, twists and turns, cops and two serial killers. This is a book that you definitely need to grab if you are a crime, mystery or thriller lover. I am eagerly waiting for the next book in the series to know what else this author has in store for us.

LIFE AT 17 RATING

🎐🎐🎐🎐🔸

(4.5 stars out of 5)

Kim Cresswell is the award-winning Canadian author of the action-packed
Whitney Steel series. Kim recently signed a 3-book translation deal
with LUZIFER Verlag for the first three books in the series:
Reflection,
Retribution and Resurrect

Reflection,
Retribution and Resurrect
.
The popular series will be published in German beginning in 2018. Her
novel,
Reflection, has won numerous awards and the book trailer was featured online at
USA Today.

She has also published two Kindle Worlds novellas (Jet: Oblivion, Jet: Duplicity),
featuring characters from her Whitney Steel series and JET from
Russell Blake’s
New York Times and USA Today bestselling JET action thriller series.

Jet: Oblivion, Jet: Duplicity),
featuring characters from her Whitney Steel series and JET from
Russell Blake’s
New York Times and USA Today bestselling JET action thriller series.

Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Enter here: