Sunday, April 30, 2017

Xpresso Presents: Tamara Grantham's Deathbringer


Deathbringer
Tamara Grantham
(Fairy World M.D., Olive Kennedy)
Published by: Crimson Tree Publishing
Publication date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Some heroes are fated to save the world. Others are meant to destroy it…
Olive Kennedy is all about positive thinking. She’s been stuck on Earth for the past four months, waiting for the spring equinox to arrive so she can return to Fairy World — but she’s staying positive. She’s hopeful she’ll once again see her handsome Viking fiancĂ© who’s waiting for her. She’s optimistic that her mission to reclaim the sword of Dracon — a sword of King Arthur fame and the only weapon capable of killing Theht — won’t result in death and destruction. And then there’s the small matter of an asteroid that’s been ripped out of its orbit and is hurtling toward Earth…no biggie.
One last thing — she’s fated to destroy the world. To stop that prophecy from being fulfilled, she may have to sacrifice the one person she loves the most.
Good thing she’s staying positive.
EXCERPT:
I stood and crossed to my bedroom, then grabbed my backpack and slung it over my shoulder. After grabbing my temporary mirror case out of a drawer, I placed it on top of my dresser.
I wasn’t sure if I should cringe or laugh as I scanned my new mirror. I’d found it at the dollar store after a frustrating day of trying to create a new mirror box with no success. I’d bought it because it was absurd and to remind myself that it was temporary.
The plastic box was pink with the name BARBIE scrolled on the top. Inside was a foam liner that had once held five nail polish bottles. I’d cut the foam to make larger slots. Now, it held my five figurines that represented the races of Faythander: Dragon, elf, Wult, pixie, and goblin.
After unlocking the latch, I opened the lid. “You’re fabulous! Inside and out!” sang to me in a bubble-gum voice as I propped the lid open.
As I said, temporary solution. Extremely temporary. It had a mirror under the lid and was the perfect size for my figurines, so it worked. For now.
Scanning my figurines, I found the Wult and removed it from the foam, then propped it upright against the mirror. I needed to get to the Wultlands, and this would be the easiest way to do so.
I ignored the glittery scrolling along the edges of the mirror and focused on the glass. Taking a deep breath, I paused before touching my fingers to the mirror.
Months ago, the portals had started acting erratically. I’d thought the problem had been solved after we’d restored the fairies’ stone, but when I’d returned to Earth four months ago, the portal had almost torn me apart. I’d gotten several stitches in my abdomen because the crossing had been so violent. Since then, I hadn’t once been able to open a portal, but tonight, I had no choice. I needed to return to Faythander before the equinox, and I had one thing in my favor—I hadn’t tried opening a portal with my new Barbie box yet.
Here’s to hoping my luck improved, I thought. Then again, this was my luck we were talking about. Yeah, probably not.
Carefully, I placed my fingertips to the screen, inhaled a deep breath, and then conjured the word to open the portal.
Magic flowed from my heart, through my arms and hands, and into the mirror. Gold and amber swirls licked like fire over my skin as the magic interacted with the mirror, mingling with the blue glow coming from the plastic case.
The power grew inside me as the portal opened. Wind swirled around me until the room disappeared and I floated in a void. Voices came from somewhere. Soft whispers. Among them was a familiar one. The cold, detached voice of Theht.
I am here. I am waiting.
I’d gotten better at tuning her out, but being in a place like this, between worlds, made it almost impossible to keep her away.
Soon, we shall destroy the world together. Deathbringer.
The wind grew stronger and faster, wrapping around me, squeezing the air from my lungs. It compressed me until I couldn’t breathe. Pain coursed through my nerve endings as the pressure weighed me down. I felt as if I’d been buried under millions of tons of sand.
I cried out, but couldn’t hear my voice over the wind. Tears leaked from my eyes. I felt their warmth on my cheeks. In a desperate attempt to survive, I focused on the magic within me, unleashing every ounce, pouring it into the portal to keep it steady.
I thought for sure I was dead when I hit the ground. I landed awkwardly, my shoulder and hips taking the brunt of the impact. My mirror, on the other hand, made a graceful landing in a pile of leaves beside me.
I lay on the ground, panting for air, staring at the faded blue sky through the patchwork of branches with budding green shoots.
“Never again,” I muttered between gasps. Next time, I would find a Viking ship and cross through an underground ocean filled with man-eating sea-snakes before using a portal. “Never. Again.”
On the bright side, at least I’d finally made it back to Faythander. The $.99 investment into the Barbie mirror wasn’t such a bad buy after all.


Author Bio:
Tamara Grantham is the award-winning author of more than half a dozen books and novellas, including the Olive Kennedy: Fairy World MD series and the Shine novellas. Dreamthief, the first book of her Fairy World MD series, won first place for fantasy in INDIEFAB’S Book of the Year Awards, a RONE award for best New Adult Romance of 2016, and is a #1 bestseller on Amazon in both the Mythology and Fairy Tales categories with over 100 reviews.
Tamara holds a Bachelor’s degree in English. She has been a featured speaker at the Rose State Writing Conference and has been a panelist at Comic Con Wizard World speaking on the topic of female leads. For her first published project, she collaborated with New York-Times bestselling author, William Bernhardt, in writing the Shine series.
Born and raised in Texas, Tamara now lives with her husband and five children in Wichita, Kansas. She rarely has any free time, but when the stars align and she gets a moment to relax, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, taking nature walks, which fuel her inspiration for creating fantastical worlds, and watching every Star Wars or Star Trek movie ever made. You can find her online at www.TamaraGranthamBooks.com.

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

XPresso Book Tours Presents: Forgotten by Kristin Smith


Forgotten
Kristin Smith
(The Deception Game #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
The epic tale of Sienna Preston continues in this second installment of the exhilarating Deception Game series.
Seventeen-year-old Sienna is no stranger to heartache and loss. But this time, it’s different; someone―or something―has tampered with a loved one’s memories, and she’s determined to get answers.
The trail leads her to the glittering skyscrapers and modern luxuries of Rubex, the Capital of Pacifica, where she infiltrates the government’s Agency for Intelligence and Genetics. But answers are not always easy to come by, especially when her own memories may have been altered. Luckily, Zane Ryder is there to help her put the pieces back together, his devotion and concern muddying the waters between friendship and something more.
When Sienna gets too close to uncovering dark Agency secrets, she’s framed for the murder of a prominent government official, sending her on the run. Sienna’s heart may be torn about who she loves, but none of that really matters anymore―because the only thing that awaits her now is a death sentence.
Grab book 1 for only 99¢!
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo
EXCERPT:
“How do you know so much about motorcycles? Did your dad ride?”
She laughs outright at my question. “My dad on a motorcycle? No way. Dad was a mixture of leather, coffee, and books. Not oil, sweat, and grease.”
After lying down on her back, she scoots up next to the bike, checking the rims and spokes to make sure there’s no damage. “It kind of became a hobby of mine after my dad died. Do you know the junkyard off Chantilly? Never mind, of course you don’t. Anyway, I found Harley there when I was looking for some old furniture to decorate our trailer with.” She looks up at me. “We didn’t always live in a trailer, you know.”
I try to hide my surprise. I assumed the opposite. “What happened?”
“After Dad died, Mom became sick. We couldn’t afford to live in our house in the suburbs anymore, so we sold it and everything in it, and found the trailer on the outskirts of town. That’s when I dropped out of school and started taking on odd jobs.”
She says it all with such a matter-of-fact tone, but I sense the truth. It was hard for her. It was more than any teenage girl should have to deal with. But she’s too strong to admit it.
“I don’t know how you did it,” I say.
She sits up, wiping her hands on her shorts. Unconsciously, I find my eyes shifting to her bare legs.
“I didn’t have a choice,” she says. She rises to her feet, straddles the bike, and bounces up and down a little. I can only assume she’s checking the chassis to make sure everything is working properly.
“Anyway,” she says. “When I found Harley, I took her home, researched antique motorcycles, and fixed her up. There’s a shop near the Hollow that sells parts, so that’s where I headed after I got my first paycheck.” She pats her bike fondly. “Never regretted it.”
I watch as she turns the key and the engine roars to life, bringing a brilliant smile to her face. I want to tell her all the ways I think she’s amazing, how she’s unlike any girl I’ve ever met, how I find her beautiful, resourceful, intelligent, and intriguing, but she doesn’t want to hear those things. Not from me anyway.


Author Bio:
Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at kristinsmithbooks.com.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Goddess Fish Presents: Rik's by dhtreichler

Rik’s
by dhtreichler


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GENRE: Thriller (international)

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BLURB:

The entire affair began with sheep brains and falafel -- Saddam Hussein's favorite dish.

It is 1990 and in Baghdad two lovers are separated by the impending First Gulf War. CIA operative Rik Bogart is desperately seeking television correspondent Ingrid Johannson -- but is instead picked up by  Saddam’s Secret Police and thrown into Abu Graib -- the Prison of the Dead. Ten years later, he must make a fateful decision after finally reuniting with her -- one that may keep them apart forever. How far would YOU go for your true love?

This iheart-pounding thriller is written by a former international defense contractor who brings incredible realism and thrilling insights into the days leading up to Saddam’s brutal regime downfall and provides a chilling account of life inside the infamous Prison of the Dead.

"It's as much a love story as it is a runaway thriller." Midwest Book Review


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Excerpt:

Baghdad, 1989 -- The Eve of Saddam’s Invasion of Kuwait

The waiter appeared within seconds and poured the glass of water for Tariq.

“Do you study the desert, Rik?” he asked as soon as we were seated.

“I try to learn its lessons.”

“Then you know sands shift quickly, often for no apparent reason.”

“It seems there is usually a wind somewhere.”

Tariq seemed genuinely delighted. “Ah! You not only observe but seek to understand why.”

I answered, “It’s one of my gravest faults,” as Tariq took a sip of water.

Looking at me as if trying to judge me, Tariq finally responded, “There is much about the desert one cannot fathom. Trying to understand everything is fruitless.”

I finally had a glimmer of where he wanted this to go. “But you seem to understand more than most, Tariq. Perhaps for the right price you can enlighten me?”

Tariq seemed to consider a series of memories. “We have indeed exchanged many valuable things over the years,” he observed.

“How valuable is this one?” I inquired.

He motioned to the waiter, who arrived instantly. “Lamb kebobs and falafel.” Tariq motioned so the waiter knew he ordered for both of us. When the waiter disappeared inside, Tariq answered, “I understand you are not a connoisseur of sheep brains.”

“Hasn’t made my list of favorite foods yet,” I responded.

He nodded his happiness that he had another piece of information about me correct and could display it for me.


  
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

As a defense contractor, award-winning screenwriter and novelist, dhtreichler has wandered the world, visiting garden spots and more.  Having lived and worked with our intelligence agents and soldiers, witnessing the conflicts and the turmoil of recent decades, he paints vivid backdrops for his stories. Like him, the men and women he portrays attempt to make sense of our fast-changing world. He has held a lifelong interest in the profound influence of rapidly changing technology on our lives and relationships. Exploring that power (what has changed and what might come) forms an insightful theme of his novels. His stories also reflect the universal desires and fears of real people everywhere.

Buy link for the book:

https://www.amazon.com/Riks-dh-treichler-ebook/dp/B01CQB45K6

His website and links are:

http://dhtreichler.com
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14299861.dhtreichler
https://twitter.com/dhtreichler
https://www.facebook.com/dhtreichlerofficial
https://www.amazon.com/dhtreichler/e/B01CQB45K6/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1



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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE



The author will be awarding a $30 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Goddess Fish Presents: Sheik's Rescue Tour by Ryshia Kennie

Sheik’s Rescue
by Ryshia Kennie


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GENRE: Romantic Suspense

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BLURB:

Zafir Al-Nassar knows everything about Jade Van Everett. He's studied the cases she's worked for his family's company and for the FBI. And it's hard not to notice that she's absolutely gorgeous. Teaming up for a routine security detail, Jade is desperate to prove herself and Zafir can't help but admire her determination. But when their assignment turns deadly, it becomes difficult to stay focused on the job. Because although they were hired to protect a Morrocan royal from a trained assassin, Zafir also has every intention of keeping Jade safe and by his side. Forever.


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Excerpt


She sank below the railing as she put the Colt down and pulled her phone out of her pocket.

“Zafir,” he answered with a concerned tone, for this number was never used except in case of an emergency. 

“Code red,” she said simply.  “I’m pinned down at the client’s apartment.  Shots from across the street at the client’s balcony.  The client’s secure.”

“Last count?”

“Unknown shooter.  Three shots fired.  Four, if you count mine.  He has a silencer.”  She looked where the planter used to stand.  “It’s been quiet for over two minutes.”

“Did you see…”

“Nothing,” she interrupted.  “No visual.  Like I said, I got one shot in, that was it.  I never had a clear shot, and on a public street, well, that’s just made it difficult.”

“I can imagine,” he said.  “Keep it contained if you can.  I’ll be there in five.”

The call disconnected as abruptly as it had begun.

Keep it contained if you can.

With gritted teeth, she shoved the phone into her pocket.  For a second she really wished she could shove it somewhere else.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

The Canadian prairies are my home and while the prairie landscape is blessed with beautiful blue skies, it also has four seasons that come on full throttle – especially winter and because of that I like to travel.  Often on those trips, stories are born. 

In 2011 I won my city's writing award, and was the first romance writer to do so since its inception.  In 2013 my romantic suspense was a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Awards.  Published in historic romance and paranormal romance as well as romantic suspense, in February 2016, my first novel was published by Harlequin Intrigue.

There’s no lack of places to set a story as my imagination and the too long prairie winters may find me seeking adventure.  The memories of those worlds both near and far, the words of a stranger, the furtive look one man gives another, often become the catalyst for a suspenseful story with a deadly villain and an intrepid hero and heroine who must battle for their right to love or even their right to live.

When not dreaming of other stories, I can be found scouting out a garage sale or two, dusting off my roller blades or just thinking about the next adventure that may be miles away or in my own backyard. 

My website:  http://www.ryshiakennie.com
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ryshiakennie

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Author.RyshiaKennie/
My blog:  http://ryshia.blogspot.ca


Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Sheiks-Rescue-Desert-Justice-Ryshia/dp/1335721002/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490647773&sr=8-1&keywords=sheik%27s+rescue

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/sheik-s-rescue

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sheiks-rescue-ryshia-kennie/1124690552?ean=9781335721006

http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=70368

https://www.amazon.ca/Sheiks-Rule-Ryshia-Kennie/dp/1335720936/ref=tmm_mmp_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=



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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Ryshia will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Xpresso Tours Presents: Yuri Hamaganov's Grond-The Raven High


GROND: The Raven High
Yuri Hamaganov
Publication date: February 28th 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
In the year 2086, Earth is exhausted. The seas have been emptied, the bedrock and soil stripped of their resources, and the superheated atmosphere churns with terrible storms. Those who can afford to do so live in the limbo of virtual reality, and the billions who suffer in poverty have no work, no clean water, and no security from the chaos.
The only hope for those trapped on a dying Earth are the Changed—the seven bioengineered post-humans who work in their separate manufacturing facilities orbiting high above the planet. Raised from birth for their work and fully matured at ten years old, their genius provides the nanomaterials that have begun to cleanse Earth of the pollutants that have wiped out almost the entire ecosphere.
But for Olga Voronov, youngest of the Changed, the isolation and endless toil are not the greatest of her challenges. Down on Earth there are those who resent and fear her talents—and would prefer that humanity not be given the second chance that only she could make possible …
EXCERPT:
CHAPTER ELEVEN: THE END OF CHILDHOOD
…The orbital cannon, flying five hundred kilometers over the High House, readily obeyed the code introduced by Petrov, coming under his command in manual mode. He didn’t have to switch on the long-range radars since the House’s path was fixed and the curator only needed to introduce the station’s coordinates. Then he watched as the thirty-meter barrel turned on its electric drives.
He switched on the precise guidance telescope. What was left now was to aim at the ship moored to the axis. The cannon’s guidance system would independently calculate the required lead. Now the thin red lines were coming together on the Swan’s bow, where Petrov hoped the control post was. He didn’t want to hit the reactor compartment.
The cannon accumulators fully charged; the fragmentary round was in the barrel. The target was attached to the High House and therefore couldn’t evade, and it wasn’t protected by jamming. Everything promised an ideal shot.
“Well, dear citizens engaged in alcoholism, hooliganism, and parasitism!” Petrov announced with unconcealed relish. “Time for the fate you so richly deserve!”
A space artillery gun is an inconspicuous thing. It fires without a bright flash or deafening sound of a shot. But the shell, boosted by the pulse-driven electrode accelerator, rushed to the target at a speed of eighty kilometers per second.
“Ensign Voronov is calling Electra Donovan. Over.” Olga’s voice was even as usual, showing no emotions.
“Wha-a-a-t? You’re still alive?”
Olga smiled wryly and looked out the porthole.
“Alive, my friend. And now I’ll show you my funny trick!”
“Beautiful!” Olga exclaimed, watching with admiration as bow of the Black Swan shattered to hundreds of glittering fragments. The shell that hit the yacht exploded inside it, producing thousands of splinters in the shape of curved saber. They cut through everything on their way—partitions, equipment, spacesuits, human bodies … The maneuvering engines and oxygen tanks exploded. The controls inside the ship threw off showers of sparks. The dazzling flame flared up and died out. The metal and ceramite bulged outward, then came apart in a donut-shaped ring of shrapnel. Only the reactor compartment, protected by armor, survived. The High House’s docking unit was damaged, but it was of no significance now.
With the destruction of the generator, the pain vanished like a nightmare. Olga regained control of the station and immediately introduced new security codes that would make any further hacking impossible. Simultaneously an SOS signal and an encoded short message detailing the attack on the station left for Earth…


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Friday, April 7, 2017

Frank Fontaine: Rant on Trump/Missiles/Syria

Does the U.S. really give a rat's ass about what Assad does to his people?  That's what the media wants us to believe.  Videos of gassed up children and other civilians are unsettling, but what about all of the other monster tyrants killing their own throughout the world?  

1. First off, I voted for Trump because I liked some of his ideas and he wasn't part of the establishment.  One of the ideas I most agreed with is this-trillions of dollars pissed away in the Middle East and we got jack-shit out of it.  Trump promised that we wouldn't get involved.  Trump said that the Saudis or the Israelis or the Jordanians, etc. could pay for the violence in their own backyards.  Hmmm....Guess that was campaign talk.  
2. If we get rid of Assad, who do we replace him with? One of the rebels (a.k.a. al-Qaeda and/or ISIS)?  Is getting rid of one monster in the land of chaos really going to clean house?  The Who song comes to mind-Meet the New Boss/Same as the Old Boss....  When we got rid of Saddam Hussein, was Iraq the perfect image of democracy?  
3. I thought that Trump found the Syrians too dangerous to allow into the U.S.  If they are dangerous (and I actually believe that they are), then why are we trying to defend some of them?  Which is it? Helpless victims or dangerous terrorists?  
4. If John McCain and Lindsay Graham think getting involved in Syria is a good idea, then you know it's a BAD idea!  We all know they belong to the defense industry.
5. This is not our problem and we are twenty trillion dollars in debt.  Let someone else figure it out.  If Russia wants to deal with the headache, then why are we standing in their way?  

Lastly, this is a SCAM!  FYI Readers-A few days ago Assad decreed that the country will not use foreign currency in their commercial transactions.  That means they will not use the U.S. dollar.  As always, follow the money and you get the real story.  To expand on this 'all that matters is money' theory, I want to bring up Hussein again.  In 2000 (right before 9-11) Hussein attempted to convert US dollars for commercial transactions into Euros.  Look what happened to him-he was all of a sudden deemed a monster.  Mummar Qaddafi is another example.  Before his overthrow and violent death, he wanted a new gold-backed dinar currency to replace the U.S. dollar.  Again, Libya became another U.S. interest with another 'monster' running it.  
My point is this-the Middle East is a culture that thinks democracy is a complete and utter joke.  It goes against their beliefs and way of life.  Our involvement represents colonial interference and make them hate us more.  They especially resent using the U.S. dollar.
Dina, thanks for having me!  Hope to hear a comment.
Frank Fontaine



Monday, April 3, 2017

Review: Zoo Keeper's Wife

The Zoo Keeper's Wife is a World War II movie about a married couple who own a zoo in Warsaw, Poland.  Once Germany invades, they take over the zoo and kill all of the animals.  The German zoologist has a crush on Jessica Chastain's character.  She and her husband use this and convince him to let them raise pigs in their zoo.  The pigs would be used as meat for the German Army.  They use logic and appeal to the head Nazi by suggesting that the garbage from the ghetto be used as the pigs' food.

Once the couple has clearance to get inside of the ghetto, they take out Jews in the slop buckets, covering them with garbage.  The Jews are hidden inside of their zoo.  A few Jews become hundreds. Another German who is sympathetic to their cause offers another way to save them.  The zoo couple take the Jews straight out the only entrance of the ghetto.
My Review: Can't say enough good things about this movie.  The story draws you in immediately.  I consider myself somewhat of a history buff, but this was the first time I heard of this story.  I love the animal scenes with the elephants.  This was a great story of selflessness.  
My only critique in the movie revolves around the relationship between Jessica Chastain and the Nazi zoologist.  In the story, Jessica Chastain and the Nazi never have an affair.  At the end, he gets rough with her, but stops himself.  I don't think this would really happen.  A real Nazi would have taken her with or without her permission.  The same Nazi pretends to kill her son, but then she finds out he was only scaring her.  Again, I don't think a real Nazi would hold back.  Nonetheless, I highly recommend the flick.  4.5/5 Stars.

Xpresso Presents: Tamara Grantham's Deathbringer

Deathbringer Tamara Grantham (Fairy World M.D., Olive Kennedy) Published by: Crimson Tree Publishing Publication date: April 25th 201...