Book Blitz: The 7th Lie by Tamara Grantham @TamaraGrantham @XpressoTours

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The 7th Lie
Tamara Grantham
(Chronicles of Ithical, #1)
Publication date: June 15th 2021
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction

Agent Sabine Harper is thrilled to receive her first mission—until she learns what it is. Turns out, all she has to do is save the world from certain destruction. And she has two weeks to do it.

Sabine survives her grueling training by the Vortech Agency, but now she must protect the world from a devastating solar flare by finding seven energy stones—cerecite. If she refuses, they’ll terminate her father’s life-sustaining cancer treatments.

Sabine is transported to an isolated civilization hidden beneath a dome. She assumes the identity of the invalid prince’s caretaker and finds herself strangely attracted to the prince. But she’s perplexed by this strange island’s many mysteries. The air smells mechanical. Every blade of grass is identical. The island’s dimensions are bigger than they should be. What Vortech told her may not be true. She may not even know where she really is. And someone doesn’t want her to leave—at least not alive.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Freezing wind gusted as I stepped outside the facility. I pulled my hood over my head and followed Agent Logan through the snow.

“You ready?” he called, his frame hidden under bulky layers of clothing and a gray overcoat, a red-letter V stitched over the breast pocket.

I hesitated before answering. I’d spent half my night wondering if I’d made the right decision by staying. Finally, I’d sent off a quick message to Dad, telling him I loved him, I would come back. I was sorry about Mima June. My emotions were too raw to know what else to say.

“I’m ready,” I called back.

“You got everything?”

I straightened my backpack’s straps. If he was asking if I had all my material things, then the answer was probably not, as I was famously lousy at remembering everyday things like a toothbrush and underwear. If he was asking if I had everything in my head—all the knowledge of Champ Island, the Bering Sea, the weather patterns, the gateway cave, the dome and the little information we knew of what was under it—then the answer was yes. I hadn’t spent the last six months of my life in training for nothing.

“I’m good,” I yelled back.

He nodded, then sat on his snowmobile, pulled his goggles over his eyes, and cranked the engine. The roar mingled with the howling wind. I cast one last glance at the facility.

The stark metal building loomed against a churning white sky. A single red light flashed from the antennae reaching up into the storm, as if it were a beacon screaming for help. I wasn’t sure it had stopped storming since I’d arrived half-a-year ago. I’d had no idea what I was getting into.

My nerves on that first day had been unbearable. After joining Vortech and making the cut to elite status, they’d sent me here to the top of the world, to a tiny, unknown island north of the Russian mainland. A place filled with mysterious sphere-shaped boulders that pocked the unforgiving landscape.

That’s when I’d learned about the dome, and my Kansas way of thinking—of Earth and everything in it—had been shattered forever.

After cranking my snowmobile’s engine, I pushed the throttle. Snow spewed behind me as I sped forward and followed Logan. I allowed myself to revel in the rush of wind, the crispness of the air, and the taste of ice on my tongue, something unfamiliar after being trapped inside the facility, with only a few trips to the outside world on my survival expeditions.

We sped past the wreck of the old immigrant’s ship. Weathered wooden planks comprised its hull. In some places, the boards stuck up like the bones of a whale’s skeleton. Whatever storm had pushed it to the top of the world must’ve been massive in scope.

The ship conjured images of the pages of a book I’d read as a child. The Lost Shipwreck of Champ Island. The book opened as if I were reading it again. Black-and-white photos and their captions popping out at me. How the ship got here is still a mystery. The immigrants’ disappearance is a mystery, too. After fifty years of study, scientists are beginning to fit the puzzle pieces together. No bodies were recovered, and in extreme temperatures such as those found on Champ Island, their remains would’ve been easily preserved. Some scientists believe they may have found a cave to take shelter in, yet no evidence of such an event has been recorded.

Beyond the ship lay an expanse of snowy wasteland. I dodged sphere-shaped boulders, some as small as ping-pong balls, others larger than my snowmobile. A blanket of white covered their tops, as if to hide their secrets. Lines of text from the Atlas of Champ Island jumped out in my mind.

Perfect spheres don’t exist in nature. Scientists have discovered the boulders were formed by water. However, because of the extreme temperatures, there are no recorded civilizations living on Champ Island, and no conclusive evidence that the spheres were formed by human hands.

Ice crystals crunched under our snowmobile’s skis, bringing me from my thoughts. I shook my head. Sometimes this photographic memory thing was a pain. I couldn’t stay focused on anything long enough before a book page hit me out of nowhere, and my concentration got jerked from one idea to another.

A howling wind echoed through the expanse. This far away from civilization, I imagined what it would feel like to be a shipwreck victim out here alone, with the screaming wind and the numbing cold. Where would I have gone from here?

The void of white faded with the setting sun, leaving the world drenched in gray. As we approached the substation, only the blinking red lights gave any indication we were near the bunker. The roaring engines grew quieter until we shut them off, leaving me with ringing ears in the sudden silence.

Logan removed his goggles. “You good?”

“Fine,” I called back.

We got off our snowmobiles and headed for the entrance. I flexed my stiff fingers. Despite my gloves, the cold managed to seep through, straight to my bones, until numbness settled inside.

The black metal hatch loomed, a block letter ‘V’ etched into the plate. We trudged through the snow until we reached the keypad. Logan removed his gloves just long enough to press his thumb to the fingerprint pad. A red laser scanned his finger, then the pad turned green, and the hatchway opened.

Snow particles blustered around us. I stepped onto the metal grating and inside the bunker, then I walked with Logan down a metal staircase, our footsteps echoing with hollow clangs. The door sealed shut above us. Panic of being caged in weighed heavy in my chest, but I gripped the railing.

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Author Bio:

Tamara Grantham is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books and novellas, including the Olive Kennedy: Fairy World MD series, the Shine novellas, and the Twisted Ever After trilogy. 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, and is a #1 bestseller on Amazon with over 200 five-star reviews.

Tamara holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Lamar University. She has been a featured speaker at multiple writing conferences, and she 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 http://www.TamaraGrantham.com.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

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Book Blitz: Deep State Down Boxset by Dana Fraser @wickedchrista @RockstarBkTours

 

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I am so excited that DEEP STATE DOWN BOXSET by Christa Wick
writing as Dana Fraser is available now and that I get to share the news!

 

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book,
be sure to check out all the details below.

 

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $10 Amazon GC
courtesy of Christa, &
RockstarBook Tours. So if you’d like a chance to
win, check out the giveaway info below.

 

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About the Books:

Title: DEEP STATE DOWN BOXSET

Author: Christa Wick writing as Dana Fraser

Pub. Date: June 2, 2021

Publisher: Christa Wick

Formats:  eBook

Find it:  https://books2read.com/u/bojAza?redirect=off

This is the complete DEEP STATE DOWN series bundle, which includes two intense post-apocalyptic survival thrillers:

 

–  HARD WAY HOME (Book 1)

–  DARK ROAD BACK (Book 2)

 

Set in a dystopian U.S. that has been thrown into a deadly new dark ageNew York Times bestselling author Christa Wick (writing as Dana Fraser) brings readers a gripping 210,000-word high-octane saga with a compelling cast of strong,
imperfect character
s, each fighting to find and protect their loved ones against unthinkable odds.

 

BOOK ONE: HARD WAY HOME

 

Two strangers. Almost no chance of survival. Even less hope.

When a massive cyber breach hits every U.S. hydroelectric station just as the Gulf Coast refineries are decimated by a volatile storm, the attack knocks out the nation’s entire power supply, instantly throwing America into a deadly new dark age.

 For Army veteran Cash Bishop, getting back to his family before it’s too late becomes a fight to survive in a race against time. His only ally? A brilliant energy scientist who may be the only person still alive with more things to be afraid of than the impending apocalypse.

 Dr. Hannah Carter doesn’t know who’s after her or when she became a target. But getting captured is not an option. Seems the stranger she meets on her dangerous cross-country trek is the only person she can trust now to help get her home. And keep her alive.

 With chaos escalating and the country on the brink of collapse, Cash and Hannah need to figure out who executed the attacks on the U.S. power grid, and why these people are so willing to kill him to get to her.

 

BOOK TWO: DARK ROAD BACK

 

In this gripping sequel to the post-apocalypse action thriller HARD WAY HOME, the answers behind an onslaught of not-so-natural disasters only lead to more questions as a global depopulation conspiracy threatens Americans from right in
their own back yard.

Retired Army Colonel Thomas Sand returns to the U.S. during its darkest days, only to find the leaders left in government—puppeted by the deep state elite—want him dead. Between the threat assessment algorithm he developed before the apocalypse, and the fact that his wife Becca and stepdaughter Hannah are both brilliant scientists critical to the new world order, his family isn’t short on enemies. And despite all his training to the contrary, his only duty now is to them and their safety. Unbeknownst to him, halfway down the coast, his wife is fighting to drag her fevered and battered body home with no means of communication, and only the help of a nameless stranger…

Meanwhile, Dr. Hannah Carter, still traveling with the Army veteran who saved her life, discovers she may be the linchpin to
destroying the dangerous shadow government that now controls what remains of the fast-crumbling U.S. But to do so, she must leave behind everyone she cares about and face off against the hidden puppet master pulling the strings from his bunker. Unbeknownst to her, Cash Bishop, her fearless companion turned ruthless protector, has followed her into the lion’s den, no
violence spared. His only light in their new broken world of neverending darkness, finding Hannah is a given. As is taking down the corrupt powers that destroyed his country once and for all…

 

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An Excerpt

— EXCERPT —

DARK ROAD BACK

© 2021 by Dana Fraser

Chapter 4: Good Riddance

All total, Thomas spent fifteen minutes in the house after shooting Gavin once center mass, then again in the head. He quickly ransacked the man’s clothing and desk, taking the wallet and a key ring that had fobs for both vehicles. From there, he sprinted to the master bedroom, removing Agnetha’s diamonds from the corpse and dumping the rest of her jewelry box into a pillow case before heading to the oversized utility closet at the back of the garage where Gavin kept his golf clubs and, more importantly, most of his hunting equipment.

Entering the garage, he hit the remote start for the Land Rover. Nothing happened. He hit it again, then a few more times trying different combinations of pressing the button. Next he tried the Z4. With the only sound in the garage that of Thomas swearing, he stalked over to the Land Rover, threw the driver side door open and tried starting the vehicle in the more conventional manner.

He lost ten seconds to pounding out his fury against the steering wheel then popped the hood, got out and lifted it the rest of the way open. He stared, mind numb at the jumble of slashed wires and hoses, the inner protective covering of the Land Rover’s engine missing. Spotting a note taped to the inside of the hood, he pulled it off and read, his flesh heating in rage.

Whoever you are, you weren’t meant to survive.

Your Host,

Gavin DeBerg

Even though he knew he would find the same cruel sarcasm beneath the hood of the Z4, Thomas had to check. Each step, each wasted second pounded in his chest, but he opened the driver side door, popped the hood and surveyed the carnage.

Yep, DeBerg really was a cold-hearted bastard. If the world wasn’t ending around him, Thomas would have returned to the basement and unloaded the Maxim’s remaining twenty-seven bullets into the corpse’s groin and face. 

Hell, he’d grab an extra magazine and turn the body into Swiss cheese.

But the world was ending, so he kept a tight grip on his focus and turned to the utility closet. He twisted the doorknob, found it locked. He tried both keys on the ring he had taken from Gavin’s desk drawer. When that failed, he lifted his leg, took a quarter second to brace then kicked as hard as he could, his anger doubling the force of the blow he landed.

Hollow and made out of plywood, the door peeled away from its frame to expose two backpacks and a Browning bolt-action rifle in camo finish kitted out with a custom stock and a Leupold VX-6 rifle scope with a 6:1 zoom ratio.

He tested the weight of the two packs then opened the heavier one, finding two extra magazines and several boxes of ammunition, as well as all the other contents he would expect Gavin to carry on a hunting trip or in a bug out bag.

Conscious that someone could show up and challenge him at any second, Thomas stood with everything but his gaze immobilized as he tried to figure out how to get the extra gear back to the Caddy. Then he remembered the separate garage, the one with the au pair suite above it.

He hadn’t asked Gavin about the girl, hadn’t even thought that she could be alive and walk in on him.

Get your head out of your ass, soldier!

With a curt nod acknowledging his own stupidity, he headed to the breezeway that joined the main house to the small wing. A glance in the garage revealed no third car, but there was a riding lawn mower. A jog up the stairs offered a self-contained suite filled with furniture, but an empty refrigerator and cupboards. He ran back down, hit the garage door opener then returned to the main garage, grabbed the two packs and the rifle and dragged them to the lawn mower.

Spotting a fifteen-gallon gas caddy, he almost pissed himself with joy.

With the mower’s key in the cup holder, he spent his last two-point-five minutes in Gavin’s house getting everything strapped onto the machine using the garden hose he found hanging in a coil on the garage wall. He took the same route from house to woods, barely slowing once he was past the tree line to retrieve his pack.

He stopped when he got close to the trail, turned the mower off and made a scouting trip to check the area around the Caddy. When he was satisfied no one was watching, he brought the mower up alongside the Cadillac, started the old beast and popped the trunk. He put the fuel container in first. He had already tested the seal on the nozzle and fill hole in the garage, but he tested them again then grabbed the lighter of the two packs from the storage closet.

He figured the bag was meant for Agnetha to carry and dumped the contents in the trunk for a quick survey. The neutral line of his mouth turned to a frown as a couple dozen diapers fell out. Then he laughed, thinking about the NASA astronaut who had worn adult diapers for a marathon cross country drive with the intent to slay a sexual rival. If they had been adult sized, he might have entertained the idea because every stop he made on the trip home would heighten his exposure. Still, the diapers might come in handy if he injured himself. And the baby formula and jar food was worth keeping as long as he could.

Looking at the contents, Thomas could understand the thought process that had spurred Agnetha’s revolt. She had put on her most alluring dress and favorite jewels before poisoning herself. The woman had preferred to die looking like a million bucks instead of living with makeup running down her face and dirt under her nails, with no au pair to hand Gisa off to. Thomas could count on one hand how many times he’d seen the woman hold her daughter over that four-day weekend.

Leaving the contents of the bag scattered, he tossed in the garden hose then slammed the lid. The heavier pack he placed on the passenger floorboard of the front seat, taking a few seconds to dig inside and remove the shortwave radio. He placed the radio in the center of the seat then climbed behind the wheel and carefully drove backwards for a quarter mile until he was off the bike trail.

The best route to his home in Evansville, Indiana, was also the most direct. He passed unmolested through Manassas then headed southwest to Interstate 81. He followed it south to the I-64 exchange then headed west into the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest.

Surrounded by the quiet beauty of the woods and hills, he could almost relax. Between the full tank he had started with and the gas caddy, he figured he would make it at least as far as Huntington, West Virginia. Before that, he would keep an eye out for both the conventional and unconventional opportunities to get more gas. He had cash to pay, and some of the commercial operations would have tanks of fuel with generators running. Timber companies and farms would have hand pumps if they didn’t have generators, and he would pass plenty of both getting to Evansville.

The farmers would be reluctant to give him any gas because it was specially dyed to mark it for agricultural use only. They would tell him to wait, tell him that the pumps in town would be working within a few hours, either because the power would be back on or the generators would be up and working. They would be wrong, but Thomas would do nothing to warn them. Instead, he would pull out a piece of Agnetha’s gold jewelry from his pocket.

Greed would spark in the farmer’s gaze and the gas would flow into the Caddy’s tank. For a day or two, the farmer would shake his head in memory, maybe chuckle to his wife about the foolish traveler who had traded a thousand dollars worth of gold or a
three-strand diamond bracelet for less than a hundred in gas.

Then reality would set in and the farmer and his wife would weep.

 

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About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Christa Wick (writing as Dana Fraser) has been hybrid publishing since 2012 in various genres. Along with her post-apocalyptic action thrillers as Dana, she’s written over fifty romance and paranormal titles as Christa and C.M. Wick, and also writes high-octane suspense fiction and urban fantasy novels under other pen names.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter

 

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Giveaway

1 lucky winner will win a $10 Amazon GC, International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Blitz: Welcome to Planet Lara by Eliza Gordon @eliza_gordon & @RockstarBkTours

 

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I am so excited that WELCOME TO PLANET LARA by
Eliza Gordon is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book, be
sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed finished copy of
WELCOME TO PLANET LARA and a couple eBooks courtesy
of Eliza and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance
to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

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Title: WELCOME TO PLANET LARA

Author: Eliza Gordon

Pub. Date: April 8, 2021

Publisher: SGA Books

Pages: 412

Formats: Paperback, eBook

 

Find it: Goodreads,
AmazonKindleB&N, iBooks,
Kobo
TBD, Bookshop.org 

 

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About the Book

“There are … stipulations on your inheritance, Ms. Clarke.”

Lara J. Clarke is used to getting her own way. Motherless at ten and raised by her oft-absent eco-warrior/philanthropist grandfather, she lives the high life afforded by her seemingly bottomless trust fund.

 

That is, until Grandfather Archibald sheds his mortal coil in a very public manner, and Lara’s privileged life is set adrift, headed for a collision course with the gorgeous, private Thalia Island off the coast of British Columbia. According to the will, Lara will step into the role of Project Administrator, wherein she has one year to fulfill her late grandfather’s dream of a self-sustaining, eco-friendly, family-centered utopia.

 

The stakes are real: fail, and lose access to the family fortune—forever.

 

Convinced Thalia Island will be an extension of the heiress lifestyle she’s long led, Lara is surprised to find her new coworkers—and neighbors—aren’t as pliable as the underlings of her former life. Even with the hunky lead engineer Finan Rowleigh showing her the ropes, Lara quickly learns just how unprepared she is to trade her Louboutins for steel-toed Timberlands.

 

When a series of calamities reveals a sinister element undermining the security of the island and her residents, Lara and Finan must reach beyond their job descriptions to protect Archibald’s precious utopia from those who would do her harm.

 

And while keeping her late grandfather’s flame alight, Lara finds her own flame burning hot for a charming, kind man who wants nothing from her but her heart.

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Praise For WELCOME TO PLANET LARA:

“Eliza Gordon delivers a unique premise, delicious romance, and
plenty of intrigue. I loved it and can’t wait for more from Planet Lara!”

 Samantha Young, NYT and USA Today bestselling author

****

“Smart, hilarious, and completely unpredictable,
Welcome to Planet Lara is your next must-read. West Coast Canada
Schitt’s Creek meets grown-up Nancy Drew for a riches-to-rags
adventure filled with murder, romance, mystery, and a heroine you
love to hate–until the moment you realize you just love her.”
Suzy Krause, author of Sorry I Missed
You and Valencia & Valentine

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“I absolutely loved Welcome to Planet Lara! It made me
feel all the feels … what a crazy ride! Eliza, once again, brings
her characters to life with humour, heart and realness. I loved
every minute of it and did not want it to end! Cannot wait to find
out what Eliza has in store for Lara.”– Brandee Bublé,
children’s author (O’Shae the Octopus and Jayde the Jaybird)

****

“I love it, and I CAN’T WAIT TO READ THE NEXT ONE. The
concept is amazing, and the eco-message is so timely and very
dear to my heart. [Eliza] has tackled so much, and done it with her
usual spunk and zest.”– Stephania Schwartz, author and editor


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An Excerpt from
Welcome to Planet Lara

Chapter One

DEARLY BELOVED

I don’t know why they have pickles on this table. My mom hates pickles. Hated. Past tense. I heard Rupert correct my grandfather when he mentioned my mother the other day—they were talking in Grandfather’s huge office lined with bookshelves and Louis XV Savonnerie carpets and giant windows the housekeepers complain about cleaning when they don’t know anyone’s listening, and Rupert referred to my mother in past tense. I wasn’t supposed to hear their conversation—that’s
why the outside door was closed. When it’s closed, I’m not allowed in. But I’m very good at hearing things I’m not supposed to hear because, like that kid in my class who always smells like wet dog says, I’m so scrawny, he could stuff me into his rolling backpack and throw me into the ocean and no one would ever miss me.

I’d like to think that someone would miss me. Only now that we’re speaking of my mother in past tense, I guess that’s one less person who would wonder if I’m floating out to sea, trapped in a rolling backpack covered in dog hair. Also, I’d like to think my English teacher, Mrs. Buck, would be proud of me for understanding the difference between present and past tense, even if her nylons on her beefy thighs scrape together when she walks between our desks and the sound makes me shiver.

Like I was saying, I’m scrawny, so two days ago, I snuck into my grandfather’s office and tucked myself into the antique liquor cabinet—he doesn’t drink so the cabinet is empty and the perfect place for me to hide when I don’t want his bossy housekeeper to find me because her job is to vacuum and change sheets and make Grandfather’s special food but now she keeps trying to hug me and pet my hair and her boobs squish my face and I can’t breathe, so she thinks I’m crying about my dead mom, my mom who’s only alive in the past tense now, but I’m not crying about my dead mom. I haven’t cried yet. I think that makes me the worst kid ever.

Yeah—I mean, yes, since Rupert won’t allow me to say yeah—so I was in the cabinet and I heard Rupert say we needed to refer to my mother, Cordelia Josephine Clarke, in the past tense. “It will be easier for Lara if we don’t give her hope that her mother will be returning.” Rupert—I call him Number Two, like that character in Austin Powers, a movie I wasn’t supposed to watch but did anyway because one of the housekeepers invited me to her daughter Madi’s ninth-birthday sleepover because she felt bad for me that I never get to go to sleepovers. So I went, and Madi is basically my best friend now, but the housekeeper and her husband drink a lot of wine that comes in a box and they play their country music really loud. The biggest difference from the Number Two in the movie and Rupert Bishop is that Rupert doesn’t have an eye patch and he hardly ever laughs or smiles and even if he does smile, he’s like a hundred feet tall so I can’t even see up to his unsmiling face most of the time.

“They didn’t find a body, Rupert. They found the wrecked plane, but no Cordelia. What if she made it? What if someone in that god-awful jungle has her?”

Through the slats in the square cupboard door, I saw Number Two shake his head and look down at his shiny brown loafers. One of these days, I’m going to take a black marker and color the tops of his shoes so he can’t shine them anymore. I’m also
going to cut off those stupid tassels and use them as fishing lures.

“Sir, this is the best course. Do not cancel the memorial. Plant the tree, give Lara some closure. Let her move on. She’s only ten. Still young enough to have a satisfactory life wherein her memories will fade, even in the face of this tragedy. It’s not as though she’s spent a lot of time with her mother anyway.”

My grandfather’s face hardened for a minute, that look he gives when he’s about to blow his top, his chin jutting and eyes narrowed.

“Pardon me, sir. I overstepped.” Rupert folded his hands behind his back. He’s not wrong, though. My mother hasn’t been around for a long time. She works a lot, or so she says. When she’s home, it’s all fun, fun, fun, like she’s trying to make up for the next time she leaves a note on my nightstand covered with Xs and Os and smiley faces and promises of trips to zoos and museums and amusement parks and my favorite ice cream shop when she gets home.

Rupert told me once that my mother’s first love was her airplane. And even though she named it Lara, after me, I have always known that Lara the plane was more important to my mom than Lara the human kid.

My grandfather, unlike me, has cried a lot since the men in black suits showed up a week ago and asked for a place to talk privately. Rupert’s comment has made my grandfather cry again. Maybe I will forget coloring his shoes and just drop them all—his entire collection of fancy, tasseled loafers—into the pond in the back with the koi.

Cordelia was my grandfather’s only daughter. His only child, actually.

I am his only granddaughter.

Archibald Magnus Clarke the First, and only, was almost an old man when Cordelia was born. Her mother left her behind, just like Cordelia left me behind.

I haven’t cried yet. Maybe I will later.

But there are pickles on this big stupid table, and Cordelia hated pickles. And everyone in the room—all these faces I’ve never seen before—are looking at me like they’re expecting me to burst into tears at any moment.

Instead, I pick up the plate of pickles of all varieties and whistle once with my fingers tucked into my lips like Madi taught me. Once I’m sure I’ve got the room’s undivided attention, I launch the plate overhand, anticipating the satisfaction that will come when the glass hits the de Gournay papered wall and shatters into a thousand pieces and stinky pickle juice seeps across the bamboo floor and into the fibers of the eighteenth-century Persian rug we’re not supposed to wear our shoes on.

Except at the same moment, this tall, lanky kid steps into the plate’s trajectory and the heavy crystal hits him instead with a dull crack!

Everyone in the spacious, light-filled room gasps. The kid, stunned, looks in my direction, big brown eyes wide, not quite sure what just happened. And then blood spills down the side of his head and he slumps to the floor into the pile of pickles and juice, followed by grown-ups freaking out and the big-boobed housekeeper barking orders at some other member of the house staff to get the first-aid kit and then Rupert’s bony but well-manicured hand is around my arm and he’s pulling me out of the solarium and forcing me down onto the soft, carpeted steps in the main foyer.

“What on earth possessed you to do that, young lady?”

I look up at him and am surprised when tears sting my eyeballs. I didn’t mean to hit that kid.

“My mother hates pickles. If any of you guys even knew her, you’d know she hates pickles.”

Past tense, Lara. Your mother hated pickles.

Rupert kneels, his joints cracking even though he’s not even that old.

A commotionbehind us draws our attention. Two parents huddle around the tall boy who is again on his feet. They pause just long enough for me to look at the kid, a bloody cloth pressed against the left side of his head and face.

“Sorry,” I whisper.

He nods once, and they leave.

Then I start crying, and I don’t stop for a year.

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About the Author

A native of Portland, Oregon, Eliza Gordon (a.k.a. Jennifer Sommersby) has lived up and down the West Coast of the United States. Since 2002, home has been a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. When not lost in a writing project, Eliza is a copy editor, mom, wife, bibliophile, Superman freak, and the proud parent of two very spoiled tuxedo cats.

Eliza writes stories to help you believe in the Happily Ever After; Jennifer Sommersby writes young adult fiction. Her debut, Sleight, was published in 2018 by HarperCollins Canada, Sky Pony (US), and Prószyński i S-ka (Poland). The sequel, Scheme (called The Undoing in Canada), is out now!

Follow Eliza on social media or go to her website at http://www.elizagordon.com and sign up for her newsletter.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Eliza’s Newsletter|
Tumblr | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

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Giveaway Details: International

1 winner
will receive a signed finished copy of
WELCOME TO PLANET LARA, International.

2 winners
will receive an eBook of
WELCOME TO PLANET LARA sent by
BookFunnel, International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Blitz: CODE by Mary Ting @MaryTing @VesuvianMedia @XpressoTours

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Title: CODE
Series: International Sensory Assassin Network #4
Author: Mary Ting
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Publication Date: April 20, 2021
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Young Adult

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Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble // Kobo // Amazon

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About the Book

Behind enemy lines, new soldiers will emerge, and unexpected heroes will rise.

Ava is a prisoner. And she is not the only rebel held hostage at ISAN’s secret
compound. As she plans an escape, the lives of the rebel prisoners are
in her hands, along with those she thought were dead.

Rhett and his team desperately search for Ava while one of the Remnant Council
joins forces with another network looking for the creator of the Helix serum. And
time is running out. Mr. Novak has been secretly creating an army called CODE,
and what he plans for Ava will mean a permanent end to the rebels–and her.

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An Excerpt from CODE

I should have landed on him, but instead I dropped to the floor on my hands and knees like a wounded deer. An electrical sensation zapped through my middle and wrapped around me like invisible arms, holding me in place. Hundreds of needles pricked me all at once.

Excruciating pain seared from head to toe. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t even blink. I had been wounded many times on missions, but nothing I’d felt in ISAN compared to what had just hit me.

Immobile, a foot from my monster of a brother, I’d never felt so vulnerable. My muscles simply shut down. A whimper escaped me, but it could have been only in my head. Worse, a tear slid down my cheek. I felt humiliated beyond measure.

“Aw, sis. Are you crying? Does it hurt?” Gene took his hand out of his pocket and showed me a metal trinket, a circle about the size of his thumb.

“I thought it was best to have it handy in case you lost control.” He came dangerously closer and lowered, his warm breath brushing the shell of my ear. “Now you know, sis. I can contain you. You might want to show me some respect if you don’t want to be on the ground, helpless and weak. I might accidentally hurt you. We don’t want that do we?”

Oh, the pain. Every tiny movement—every blink—hurt so much.

He ran a knuckle down my cheek to wipe away another teardrop, and then grazed his index finger slowly across my neck, savoring my weakness.

“Next time it won’t be so soft,” he said. “You should get some rest. You look like hell.”

I screamed in my head. Peering up under my eyelashes, I watched him walk toward the sliding door. I wanted to rip out his throat, stomp on his heart, but I couldn’t move. Even a fraction of movement felt like a knife slitting deeper into my spine.

I couldn’t win. At least not this time. But I would find a way. There had to be a way.

Gene’s back to me, he held up that metal circle trinket and clicked. Just as the door blended into the wall, he released me. I thumped my head on the tile floor and wept for Brooke and the rebels who had died because of my stupid mistake.

Groaning, I crawled like a worm, my knees and elbows digging across to get to the rug, each movement agony. I refused to lie on the cold ground like I was nothing.

I’d never felt so small. No—I had, when my foster father beat me. Where was he now? Locked up. That would be Gene’s fate, too.

Just you wait, big brother. Just you wait. Karma is a bitch.

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About the Author

International Bestselling, Award-Winning Author Mary Ting writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers all over the world. Her books run a wide range of genres: science fiction, fantasy, and swoon worthy stories. Her storytelling talents have won her a devoted legion of fans and garnered critical praise.

Mary was born in Seoul Korea and resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two dogs—Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Becoming an author was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, she retired from teaching after twenty years.

Website / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Twitter
Instagram / Newsletter / Bookbub

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GIVEAWAY!
$10 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Blitz: Against My Better Judgment by B.T. Polcari @btpolcari @WildRosePress @YABoundToursPR

 

BOOK BLITZ! 
Against My Better Judgment
by B.T. Polcari
Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, YA Fiction, NA Fiction
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

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Blurb:

 

When freshman year at the University of Alabama draws to a close, Sara Donovan finds
herself grappling with the same old question—listen to her head or follow her
heart. What she ends up doing is purchasing an Egyptian souvenir funerary mask,
and after a mysterious phone call, she’s certain a ring of antiquities
smugglers are operating in Tuscaloosa.
 

With finals never far from her mind and her return to ‘Bama hanging in the balance, she should be studying. Instead she launches her own investigation to prove her mask is indeed a stolen artifact, and not a cheap trinket. When it comes time to snoop, Sara is more than ready, or at least she was until a hot new teaching assistant moves in next door.

Suddenly she learns things are never as they seem. Ever.
 
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Goodreads:

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Buy
Links:

Amazon Paperback
Link

Amazon Kindle
Link

Barnes &
Noble Paperback Link

Barnes &
Noble Nook Link

Books-A-Million
Paperback Link

Apple Books Link

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Hidden Mask excerpt

I replaced the mask in the void, bolted the tire back in place, and activated the alarm. With a quick glance over each shoulder, I hustled back into the cottage. That was a great snap decision to hide it this morning before leaving for the gym. Normally, my snap decisions are not the best. Things were on the upswing. Although now I had a smuggling ring after me.

 

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Author Info:

Ever wonder what retired business executives do after they have put in years of effort for society and decide it is time to hang up their hat? Perhaps strolling along the country club’s fairway, or lounging on a 50-foot yacht?

Alas, B. T. Polcari is unlike your typical retired executive. Empty nester and Scarlett Knights alum, Polcari is still learning the meaning of “retired” while feverishly typing away on the next new book idea, smashing the fuzz off the little green tennis ball, or blasting bowling pins for a perfect game. Yes there is a boat, but not one that comes with its own crew; this retiree prefers to bustle along a serene lake in a quaint single seat Sunfish sailboat.

 

Perhaps the only time BTP can be found in a quiet moment is while enjoying the morning company of two family dachshunds over a newspaper and cup of coffee. B. T. Polcari currently resides in Chattanooga, TN and is thrilled to be fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming a published author.

Author
Contacts:

Author
Website:
https://www.btpolcari.com/

Facebook
Page:
https://www.facebook.com/btpolcari

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/btpolcari/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/btpolcari

Pinterest:
https://www.pinterest.com/btpolcari/

Goodreads
Profile:
https://www.goodreads.com/btpolcari

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Book Blitz: The Secrets We Keep by Nikki Lee Taylor @Nikki_LeeTaylor @RockstarBkTours

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Title: The Secrets We Keep
Author: Nikki Lee Taylor
Publisher: Magpie Creative Media
Re-Release Date: January 11, 2021
Genre: Mystery, Domestic Thriller

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About the Book

Not all mothers are created equal… Some are better at hiding the truth.

Crippled with anxiety, Sophie is desperate to overcome the pain of losing her husband and only child in a freak car accident. Living and working in isolation with only the company of her dog Miss Molly, Sophie agrees to take on a job reviewing the manuscript of an up-and-coming writer. But this isn’t any story. It is one that unearths old secrets and to discover the truth, Sophie must find the courage to embark on a search that will change her life forever.

​On the outside, Love Mommy blogging queen Madelyn-May has it all. To her online community she is the perfect mother. She has a successful husband, perfect twins, and an idyllic life. What they don’t know is Madelyn-May also has a secret. When her past collides with the present, Madelyn-May is forced to make a choice that could destroy everything she loves.

​Would you risk destroying a family, if it meant healing your own heart? Would you tell the truth, if it meant losing everything you love?

​The Secrets We Keep is a confronting look at the complexities of family and lengths a mother will go to for her child.

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Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble // Amazon // Indiebound

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An Excerpt from
The Secrets We Keep

The blinds are drawn because I need them to be. There are days the light is welcome, but not today. Today I need the darkness. It is the best way I know to pull them in close, here in the dark, in the empty spaces where they no longer exist and yet still take up every particle of air.

My life. My love. My family. James and Josh. My husband and son, stolen while I was sleeping, peacefully unaware at that very moment that the entire world was shattering.

It’s the small things that hurt the most. An unexpected letter with his name on it. A television commercial for Linvilla Orchards – where we picked peaches every July, just the two of us at first, and then with Josh. His familiar scent trailing behind a stranger, its ghostly arms wrapping around my lungs and squeezing. The crisp sting of empty sheets as autumn turns to winter.

Worst of all: the sudden ring of a child’s laughter breaking the silence and tearing my heart into a thousand tiny pieces.

I stroke the fur on Miss Molly’s golden head and close my eyes. “I’m sorry,” I whisper, even though dogs don’t understand apologies. “It’s this day, it’s….”

I let the words trail off, unable to say out loud that five years ago my husband and son took their last breath, trapped in a car wreck, and I hadn’t been there. Unable to say that while they were dying, I lay peacefully in bed, useless and selfish, taking an afternoon nap. It hadn’t even woken me. I hadn’t sat up, my instincts kicking into overdrive. I hadn’t experienced so much as a bad dream.

At the time friends told me I should try to forgive myself, that it wasn’t my fault. They brought soup, and sent messages. They held me and promised things would get better. They stood on my stoop and reminded me, “There’s nothing you could have done.”

Therapists call my depression and anxiety a form of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Survivor’s guilt, they say, although that’s not the official term. Apparently it’s natural for parents who outlive their children to experience a sense of blame, but I have struggled to believe there is anything natural about it. Could there be anything more unnatural than for a mother to bury her son?

Then there were the people who told me to have faith. I’ve never been a religious person, but I have stood alone on a rainy afternoon and heard the hollow thump of dirt shoveled onto a tiny white casket. I’ve heard the mournful cry of a loon as people, not knowing what else to say, turned and made the sad walk back to their cars. I have stood as day turned to night, staring at two holes in the ground, hoping my husband and son wouldn’t be cold on the first night away from their beds. Away from me. Having faith would mean believing James and Josh were taken for a reason, that there was some divinity to their absence. There is not. There is only pain and empty spaces.

I get up from the couch and pull the curtains further across. But no matter how dark I make the room, there are always slivers of light that keep me in the place I don’t want to be.

Slivers that never let me bury the one question I still have no answer for.

How do I ever find the strength to step into the light when they are forever lost in the dark?

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About the Author

Nikki Lee Taylor is a long-time newspaper journalist turned fiction writer. She is also a dreamer, a doer, a storyteller, a coffee lover, and fur mum to two golden retrievers Max and Sam.

She spends most of her time staring into space, walking between worlds, and creating out-loud character dialogue that sounds a lot like talking to herself in the shower. She stays up late plotting and planning the lives of characters yet to be created and starts every day embraced by the warmth of a good coffee.

She is a courageous booktrovert who lives life with her right foot in NSW, Australia and the left in a world that exists only in her head.

She reads books out loud to anyone who’ll listen and drives her husband mad spending all her free time with friends who exist only on the page.

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram // Amazon // Goodreads

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Giveaway

1 lucky winner will win a $10
Amazon Gift Card, International.

Enter here.

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Book Blitz: The Virus of Beauty by C. B. Lyall @cblyall @YABoundToursPR

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Title: The Virus of Beauty
Series: Virus of Beauty #1
Author: C. B. Lyall
Re-Release Date: November 13, 2020
Genre: YA Fantasy

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About the Book

Wilf Gilvary is a teenage wizard who is terrified of using magic. When his father dies under mysterious circumstances, Wilf is plunged into the middle of a political struggle between the witches and wizards in the magical realm. He’d rather play soccer than practice magic, but he’s forced to make a choice between the life of a normal teen and one of wizardry after a powerful virus begins to decimate the witch community. The cure is spellbound in a journal Wilf inherited from his father and when his friend Katryna contracts the virus, Wilf understands that he must overcome his fear of magic to unlock the journal’s secrets – but will it be too late to save her?

 

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Purchase Link:
Amazon

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An Excerpt from
The Virus of Beauty

“Ermentrude Wakefield is the name.” She glanced around the small store. “You may call me Witch Wakefield.”

Wilf stepped back, braced against the wall, and shoved his ringed hand into his pocket. His heart raced. The Wizard Council had dispatched this witch to collect him. Well, it didn’t make any difference who they sent. He wasn’t leaving Hong Kong.

“Now, I don’t usually deal with wizards” — her face wrinkled the way Myra’s did when she took his soccer kit out of its bag for washing — “but this time I have to. So, show me the rest of the place. We’ll need your father’s journal and then we’ll be on our way. There’s sure to be a portal nearby we can use. I can’t abide taking passengers on my broom. Although I’d rather not have to use the warehouse portals up in Sha Tin, but if needs must…”

“There’s been some mistake.” Wilf could hear the panic in his voice. “I’m not a wizard. That was my father. He died — I mean, evaporated — a few weeks ago.”

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About the Author

C. B. Lyall was born in Stockton-On-Tees, United Kingdom. As a child growing up in Northern England in the sixties C. B. Lyall loved sports, reading and amateur dramatics. She joined a renaissance group, practiced the broadsword and dreamed of visiting other worlds.

At the age of 18, she took a role as typist for a nursing school in Middlesbrough. She then moved to London and enrolled in night school. She was quickly recognized for her ability to fit in anywhere, willingness to take risks and passionate belief that gender should never be a barrier to achieving your dreams. She eventually became a project manager in software development and micro-computers, bridging the gap between computer programmers and management.

Her dream to travel was finally realized in 1990 when she moved to New York City, USA with her husband and the first of three sons. This was the stepping stone to a lifelong adventure that has taken her and her family to India, Belgium and Hong Kong.

C. B. Lyall has used her passion for the fantastic to create a world where everyday gender inequalities are at the forefront of a world ending conflict. She shares this story through the eyes of a young man who is suddenly thrust into this new world along with all of his own woes and prejudices. The introduction to this world is in C. B. Lyall’s debut YA novel, The Virus of Beauty.

Author Links:

Website // Goodreads // Facebook // Instagram // Twitter

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