Saturday, April 17, 2021
(International Sensory Assassin Network, #1)
Publication date: May 1st 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
THE WORLD HAS CHANGED.
SCIENTISTS WARNED IT WOULD HAPPEN.
Meteors devastated the Earth. World Governments developed plans to help surviving citizens. The United States disbanded and salvageable land was divided into four quadrants—North, South, East, and West—governed by The Remnant Council.
Struggling to survive, seventeen-year-old Ava ends up in juvenile detention, until she is selected for a new life—with a catch. She must be injected with an experimental serum. The results will be life changing. The serum will make her better. To receive the serum, Ava agrees to join a program controlled by ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network.
While on a mission, she is abducted by a rebel group led by Rhett and told that not only does she have a history with him, but her entire past is a lie perpetuated by ISAN to ensure her compliance. Unsure of who to trust, Ava must decide if her strangely familiar and handsome captor is her enemy or her savior—and time is running out.
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“With Helix, your senses become heightened. You’ll experience an increase in ability—especially the five senses. Images will be sharper, colors brighter, and you’ll see farther. You’ll be stronger. Your reflexes will be faster, and you’ll be able to hear from longer distances. However, your senses will tame a speaking voice not to boom in your ear. The reason why it doesn’t sound like I’m yelling at you.”
“Incredible.” The word barely left my mouth.
“Some lucky ones have more. We call that extrasensory perception. Based on the blood test, I think you might be one of the lucky ones.”
Something flashed. I caught it with my right hand, then another projectile with my left. Again, my reflexes had taken over and when I looked down, I’d caught two golf balls. I gawked, trembling. The hair on my arms rose.
“Like I said, fast reflexes.” His lips spread in satisfaction.
I clenched my jaw and stiffened. “You could’ve hurt me.”
“No, Ava. Helix doesn’t wear off quickly. I’d never hurt you. I bet you feel pretty powerful right now. Pretty special. What if you can do something good with that? What do you say?”
“Are there side effects?”
I rolled the golf balls over my fingertips. I imagined the balls colliding with my face. The thrill of what I had done—there was no denying it made me feel amazing.
Russ slowly curled his lips to a grin. “I like the way you think. It’s been thoroughly tested and we’ve seen no side effects in all the years of the program. We give you just enough to do a job, and then it’s out of your system.”
“So … Will you be joining ISAN today?”
I shivered, not just from the cool draft from the vent, but the thought of being an assassin, even if my victims were criminals. Could I really do it? Trained or no.
My mother’s last words echoed in my mind. When life shoves you down, you get right back up. Be strong. Be brave, Ava. Be someone important.
Oh, Mom, what do I do? I feel so alone and I’m so scared.
My chest caved in. I wanted to burst into a sob, but I slammed it back down. As tears pooled, thoughts of my mother twisted the dagger in my heart. My heart leaked, bleeding from the mountainous pain of missing her, needing her guidance.
I wouldn’t be in juvie, desperate to get out and resort to being an assassin if she were alive. Having no choice, I succumbed to the reality of my life and the cards I had been dealt. I pushed back my shoulders and held up my chin. Boring my eyes into his, I gave him an answer that would change my life forever.
I will be brave, Mother. I will become someone important.
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.
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Date Published: April, 12th, 2021
Publisher: Hurn Publications
Four psychiatric wards
Two jail cells
And a suicide attempt…
Hannah was told she would not make it to 25 with the way she was living. She had struggled with mental illness her entire life, but at 22 her demons came to a head at the grips of severe substance abuse, life-changing trauma, and two major deaths in her life.
Hannah’s struggles land her places no one ever hopes to grace; jail and psych wards lead her to the brink of death. Running out of options she’s left with two choices: live or die. This heart-wrenching memoir combines recovery with bittersweet romance told in a raw presentation that immerses the reader into the author’s dark state-of-mind in every page.
Tiger Stripes is going to add a valuable voice to the conversation about women’s mental health issues.
October 7, 2019
“HENRY! HENRY! HENNN-RYYYY!!!!”
I am screaming at the top of my lungs and can feel my throat tearing, becoming raw. I don’t know how many times I have said his name now, but it is all I know how to do because nothing is making any sense.
I am in a locked room and flashes of images are going through my head, but there is only one thing, one thought that I can focus on, that is pounding through my brain throughout this confusion and that is pouring out of my lungs to the point that my chest feels like it is going to rip.
“HENRY!” I choke on his name and a sob.
He cannot hear me, and he is not coming. He doesn’t know where I am and I don’t know where I am, but I know I am not supposed to be here—and I have to get out.
I beat at the metal door that barricades me from something unknown and choke on words that begin with H.
I repeat these words for what feels like a lifetime, until I forget how to speak and my begging turns to carnal screaming—shrieking.
No one comes. No one answers. I wait for footsteps, for the sound of the door unlocking, but all I can hear is the sound of my frantic breaths and the echoes of a lamentation that is anything but human.
I look down at my body. My feet are bare against the concrete floor; I cannot feel them. The jean shorts I am wearing show off my slender, scratched legs and remind me that I am small and feeble at this moment, but in an act of desperation, I put all of my faith in the power of momentum and I run. I fucking run as fast as I can from the three paces it takes to get from the wall to the ominous looming, locked door and attack it with my entire being, letting out my most vicious battle cry as I fumble towards it.
The door wins.
I try again.
I am degraded to a crumbling, bruised ball of flesh.
I can barely speak, my throat reduced to sandpaper.
Everything hurts and I can taste the bitterness of blood in my mouth. The floor is like ice against my bare legs. Through the tears in my eyes I see the moon shining through a window at the top of the room. It is full and brilliant and illuminates the white of the brick walls that surround me. I realize that there is writing on them. People have been here before me. People will be here after me. Why am I here though? I should not be.
I should be home, where I belong. In bed, with him. Safe. I feel anything but that word in this moment, as terror sweeps through every single one of my nerves.
I whisper in one last futile attempt:
But there is silence. Horrible, deafening, fatal silence.
And it seems to last forever, until I hear it, or think I do. A click, the door unlocking, and the small room is suddenly filled with light. Fluorescence suffocates me.
When I dare to open my eyes, they do not find Henry. Instead I find a police officer looking back at me. He wears broad, black framed glasses that are too big for his face and he looks eerily familiar. A sudden memory of lying in a hospital bed comes to me but does not fully resonate. His face is forlorn and almost disappointed, as if he expected more out of me.
“I thought you were going to hurt yourself,” he tells me. “Promise you’ll stay calm and you can come out for a bit. We’ve got to get you fingerprinted.”
It’s then that I have the shattering realization that I am drunk and in a holding cell at a police station. The reason why escapes me though, as I try to grab onto flashes of sober memories but drown in my current state-of-mind.
I try to breathe with intent as I remember every single arrest-cliché in the book, and I cling to the fact that I am going to get my phone call. They will probably let me go—they have to. If anything, they will make me stay the night at the most.
I remember the silent promise I had once made myself—that the moment I got a DUI that I would put down the bottle for good. Jail was the worst it could get. It had been my crowning achievement at my last three rehabs that I had never graced the inside of a jail cell and I never planned to.
“Continue down the path you have been,” one of the staff members at my second treatment center had told me after sharing her own story about prison, “and jail is a guarantee.”
And here I am. Her words have come to pass, as promised.
I then remember what else she told me as we talked over a pack of Marlboro Reds on a warm Orange County night.
“Finish the 90 days,” she had said, “Or you will not make it and there will come a day where you will no longer be able to cry out ‘I’m a good person!’. You will lie. You will steal. You will become someone and something else. You will hurt everyone you love. You will lose everything, and just when you think you have lost it all, you will lose something else.”
About The Author
If there is anything Hannah believes in, it’s hope, but that wasn’t always the case. For a long time, chaos was comfortable for Hannah, but at just 22 she would have to make her hardest decision yet: was life really worth living? Since picking up a pen Hannah has had a love for writing, and as an adult it would become her greatest tool in healing from an almost decade-long battle with severe mental illness and substance abuse. Her first book, Tiger Stripes, is a harrowing, raw telling of her year in and out of hospitals, treatment centers, and jail that finally led her on the road to recovery and freedom.
Hannah was born in Orange County, CA but has lived in the Los Angeles area for several years. She now lives in West L.A. with her boyfriend. When she is not writing she can be found reading, running, cooking, or finding the best vegan eats in L.A.!
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Paranormal Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Published: March 2021
Publisher: Tell-Tale Publishing Group
Tell-Tale Publishing releases Rob Tucker’s second book in a trilogy of horrific, supernatural murders.
In Manifestation, Simonetta’s personal mission of sabotage and destruction catches the attention of the FBI and brings Leon Saffulo, a profiler, to the case. When technology cannot explain the phenomenon, he reluctantly works with a retired magician, Maximilian Schultz, who takes him into the simulated individual module (SIM) world, the creation of virtual life from dark energy.
Bernadette Garcetti is a Wall Street banker’s executive secretary whose life is mired in distortions of subjective social reality. Through Bernadette’s perceptions and psychological issues, she uses Simonetta as a facet of her imagination and strategically selects her targets according to their social and illegal crimes.
Black Spiral Series, Book 1
Publisher: Tell-Tale Publishing Group
Release Date: January 15, 2020
A Season of Sons is a paranormal thriller of deception, illusion… and murder.
The year is 2012. While investigating the heinous death of a prominent evangelist, FBI agent, Leon Safullo is unable to identify the killer through traditional methods of forensic analysis. Simultaneously, Leon learns of the sudden disappearance of Paul Evans, CEO of a major corporation.
Leon is a pragmatic realist whose career is based on interpreting symptoms of aberrant human behavior. The killer contacts Leon with the purpose of challenging the validity of his investigation. Leon perceives the threatening direct communication as a masquerade using digital technology, but fears for the safety of his family.
With the help of an illusionary alter ego named Pearl, Antonio Guzman claims to be a macabre combination of man and spirit, who has infiltrated society as a normal human being. He uses advanced technology combined with microbiology, drugs, and hypnosis to invade his victims’ minds and manipulate their unconscious desires. Guzman is in search of “candidates” to possess and convert those who embody “the perfect light.”
Paul Evans is a preferred target for Guzman/Pearl. Once a considerate and responsible husband and father, he has fashioned his life according to how he believes others perceive him, which exposes him to the influence of corporate greed, destroys the life of his business partner, and damages his own family.
Guzman invades and breaks down Paul’s resistance to acknowledging that dark powers have created his success, and now they want Paul’s only son, Matt, in a Faustian exchange. Matt and his sister, Jenny, possess the resistant strain of “Perfect Light.” Struggling to reclaim shreds of his identity incrementally taken and possessed by Guzman, Paul and his son flee into a mountain wilderness.
In the midst of a violent winter storm in the remote Rocky Mountains, father and son fight for survival against the forces of darkness whose sole objective is to possess them and extinguish the light wherever and in whomever it may exist.
The unfolding evidence and trail of mayhem and murder force Leon to confront his disbelief in paranormal activity as something more than the imagination and projections of a psychopathic killer.
About the Author
Robert Tucker, the author of The Revolutionist, A Season of Sons, and Pulitzer-Nominated Burton Blake, is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara and received his graduate degree in communications from the University of California, Los Angeles. Rob worked as a business and management consultant to advertising, corporate communications, and media production companies as well as many others. Now retired, he resides with his wife in Southern California where he devotes much of his time to writing. He is a recipient of the Samuel Goldwyn and Donald Davis Literary Awards. An affinity for family and the astute observation of generational interaction pervade his novels. His works are literary and genre upmarket fiction that address the nature and importance of personal integrity.
Friday, April 16, 2021
Author: Shyla Colt
Genre: Multicultural Romance
Editor: There for You Editing
Cover Designer: Covers In Color
Publisher: Inspired Ink
Publication Date: April 22nd, 2021
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Don’t overindulge in alcohol on the flight
Don’t make out with the hot stranger next to you
Don’t think you’ll never see the sexy as sin make out partner again
Don’t fall in love in paradise
There are rules and etiquette for destination weddings. Kisi and Agustin broke them all.
USA Today Bestselling author Shyla Colt is a chaos wrangler, chronic crafter, and imaginary friend collector. The mom of two and a wife road trips with her weird brood when she’s not taking on a new hobby or bingeing on spooky podcasts and documentaries. She writes strong women with sass, plenty of nerdy tendencies, and the intriguing intense males who love them.
Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1674767219367810
I can’t shake the bit of sorrow that burrowed into my heart the moment I watched K get swallowed by the other travelers in the airport. I need a minute to get my head right and prepare to engage with my parents.
After unpacking my clothing, I hop in the shower. The white tiled showed is massive. The rain showerhead and view of the ocean from the window help me get into a vacation mindset. Washing away the travel, I let the negative energy go down the drain along with the dirt. This is a happy time, and I’m not going to dampen it in any way. My best friend is marrying the woman of his dreams, who’s perfect for him. That means there might be hope for me as well. Forty is the new thirty, and I’m starting to feel the desire to put down roots.
I’ve had wanderlust for so long it took me time to figure out what this new feeling might be. It’s not that I want to stop traveling altogether. I’m just sick of always doing it alone. Won’t Pierce get a kick out of hearing this? Refreshed, I step out of the shower, dry off with a fluffy white towel, and dress. The tropical theme in the room continues with a green leaf covered bed spread and matching curtains. I’m running a brush through my hair when a knock sounds on the door. Tossing my soft-bristled brush onto the counter in the bathroom, I hurry to the front door.
“Brother, it’s so good to see you.” Pierce engulfs me in a hug, and I laugh. His sandy blonde hair has been tamed for the wedding. Shorter on the left side, it’s got a nice fullness in the front he’s brushed back in a nod to the fifties pompadour. I swear his hazel-colored eyes glow with joy. Nova has been good for him.
“Likewise, my friend.” I pat his back, and he steps into the room, closing the door behind him.
“You look good, Gus.”
“A life on the road doing what you love will do that for a man.” I grin, laying it on thick to hide the twinge of jealousy at his impending domestic bliss.
“I’ve always admired your ability to go after your dreams and make them come true.” Pierce smiles. “We’re going down a bit early to meet the maid of honor since you’ll both be working closely together over the next week.”
“Sounds like a plan to me.”
“Nova asked me to put in a request.”
I arch an eyebrow. “What can I do to make Nova’s special day even better?”
Pierce clears his throat. “Can you tone down the Casanova vibe with the wedding party? She doesn’t want any room for mishaps or hurt feelings.”
I chuckle. “My friend, it’s not my fault women are pulled to me like bees to honey.”
“More like flies to shit.”
I cringe and hold a hand over my heart.
“I don’t want her pissed off this weekend.”
“I get it.” I hold my hands. “I’m here to support you two and celebrate your union. Not troll for a hookup.” I feel a stab of pain. That’s never my intention. I’m not a man who falls often, but I do enjoy carnal pleasures. I never lead anyone on, though.
“I know that’s not you. You never intend to leave a trail of broken hearts behind you, Agustin. Your charm is like gravity. It’s impossible not to be pulled toward you in some way.”
“It’s my curse to bear.” I sigh dramatically, and he chuckles.
“Let’s do it.” I pocket my room key and follow him out the front door.
Is this how everyone sees me? Some sort of Don Juan who never sticks around?
We reach the elevator, and my heart stumbles in my chest. Standing beside Nova is my mystery woman, K. Her lips part, and I remember their taste and feel. She casts a worried glance from Nova to Pierce. I wink.
“There you are.” Nova steps forward, pulling me into a hug and blocking K from my line of vision.
“It’s good to see you again, Nova. Congratulations.”
“I’m so glad to have our two favorite people in the same place for the first time.” Nova steps back and turns to K. “Kisi, this is Gus. Gus, this is my best friend since middle school, Kisi.”
Kisi. I roll her name around in my head. A beautiful, unique name for a woman with the same qualities.
“It’s nice to meet you, Kisi.” I smile.
“Same, Gus?” She tilts her head.
I chuckle. “Short for Agustin.”
“We do hugs around here.” I pull her into my arms. “Hello, Cinderella,” I whispered into her ear. “I appear to have found the one who fits the glass slipper she left behind.” I pull back, amused by the fire that flickers to life in the depths of her dark eyes. There’s the woman who kissed me on the plane.
“Pretty confident to assume the role of Prince Charming,” she mumbles.
“Did you prefer Snow White? You did look adorable sleeping on my shoulder.” I cast a glance at the soon-to-be newlyweds whispering to one another as I press the elevator button.
As the car arrives with a ding, and the doors roll open, I admire her hips in the off-the-shoulder white dress with the light blue floral pattern. I stand close to her while the others enter, occasionally brushing our arms as we travel to the main floor. I’ll play along for now, but the fact that we ran into each other again is fate at work. The Garcia men have the zing when we meet the woman we’re supposed to be with. Like our body goes up in flames, and our heart syncs with them. I’m peering at Kisi, feeling lovesick and frightened as hell. Is this where I get taken down by the Garcia zing? No. Be careful what you wish for. You’ve been thinking about settling down for a couple of years.
I jerk to the left and spot my mother and father directly in front of us. He still towers over me at six foot four, though age has taken some of his mass. His shoulders are still broad, but over all he’s slender, and his facial features are sharper. The square jaw and wide forehead are nearly identical to my own.
“I’ll meet you inside in a moment,” I tell Pierce, who nods.
“Hey, Mom.” I bend down and hug the petite woman with a slender frame to me.
“Finally, I see my son with my own eyes.”
“It’s only been nine months.” I smile as I kiss her cheek.
“Dad.” We shake hands.
“Skype is not the same, Agustin.” Mom humphs.
“How’s playing in the dirt coming along?”
“The excavation went well. We’re going to be featured in Nat Geo for the discoveries we found at the Roman soldier site. It’s revealed some previously unknown information.”
“Aren’t they less than reputable these days after the whole Mer people debacle? And that super shark.”
“Megalodon,” I mumble. He always finds a way to snatch the joy from me. “And that’s television. We’re going to be interviewed and published in their magazine and speak at one of the conventions later. It’s a big honor.”
“That’s wonderful.” My mother fixes my father with a cold stare. “Isn’t it, Mateo?”
Dad’s never gotten over the fact that I didn’t want to join his firm or follow in his footsteps like Tomas and Diego. There’s a reason why they’re still single and slightly disgruntled. The weight of pressure is heavy. They can have that crown because I never wanted Dad’s kingdom in the first place. But I do miss his approval and affection. Of the three of us, I favor Papa most, but we couldn’t be more different.
“Yes. I’m glad they’ve recognized your hard work and brilliance.” It’s the closest I’m going to get to a ‘job well done’ from him.
“Thanks, Papa. I need to catch up with Pierce and see what they’d like me to do this evening. I’ll see you later at dinner.” I can’t get away fast enough as I turn on my heel and leave them behind.
Title: With Shield and Ink and Bone
Author: Casey L. Bond
Genre: Upper YA Historical Fantasy
Editor: Stacy Sanford/ The Girl with the Red Pen
Cover Designer: Melissa Stevens at The Illustrated Author
Publication Date: Nov. 13th, 2020
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
A hard-earned shield.
Days before she is to take her place as a shield maiden, like her mother before her, two deaths alter the course of Liv’s future. One belonged to a witch who called her by name, the other a chieftain from the north. Vengeance for the chieftain’s death comes in a wild fury that burns her village and slaughters her family. Left for dead, Liv pleads to Skuld – norn and weaver of the future – to spare her. A deal is struck that will endow her with the dark magic needed to claim her vengeance. But this power comes at an unfathomable price…
Ink made from the ashes of loved ones.
After his home is attacked, Calder races to warn neighboring villages of the threat. Little does he know he’s traveling into the path of fate that will lead him straight to Liv. Despite being broken, angry, and overwhelmed by power she cannot contain, it’s her willingness to defend others that draws Calder to her.
Armor forged from the bones of those she held dear.
Together, Liv and Calder discover they are two sides of the same sharpened blade. Rising from the heartache and fury in their pasts, they see a future together worth fighting for. With their strengths and hearts combined, can they become a force powerful enough to defeat the fleet of darkness coming for them? Or will the thread of fate that binds them unravel?
Praise for With Shield and Ink and Bone:
“An exhilarating Viking-inspired fantasy, With Shield and Ink and Bone by Casey L. Bond keeps your nerves teetering on the blade of an ax!” - Lani Forbes, award-winning author of the Age of the Seventh Sun series
“With Shield and Ink and Bone is a fast-paced, vivid, and mesmerizing tale that will keep you hooked from beginning to end. If you love Vikings or strong heroines you’ll find lots to enjoy here! Casey L. Bond has woven together unexpected twists, high stakes, romance, and bargains with gods to create this original story for readers.” -Victoria McCombs, author of The Storyteller’s Daughter
Casey L. Bond has managed to take a classic genre and make it new and fresh. A page turner that kept me staying up late just to know what was going to happen next. Excellent writing, excellent story. Well done!” – Quinn Loftis, USA Today bestselling author of the Grey Wolves series and The Viking’s Chosen
writing, excellent story. Well done!” - Quinn Loftis, USA Today bestselling author of The Grey Wolves series and The Viking’s Chosen
Casey Bond lives in West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. She likes goats and yoga, but hasn't tried goat yoga because the family goat is so big he might break her back. Seriously, he's the size of a pony. Her favorite books are the ones that contain magical worlds and flawed characters she would want to hang out with. Most days of the week, she writes young adult fantasy books, letting her imaginary friends spill onto the blank page.
Casey is the award-winning author of When Wishes Bleed, the Frenzy series, and fairy tale retellings such as Riches to Rags, Savage Beauty, Unlocked and Brutal Curse. Learn more about her work at www.authorcaseybond.com.
Blood to Ink
Author: Brynn Myers
Editor: Liz Ferry at Per Se Editing
Cover Designer: Emily Wittig from Emily Wittig Designs
Publisher: Indigo Ink Publications
Publication Date: April 30th, 2021
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Indigo James was a successful author until the day she got writer's block, and everything changed. Weeks turned into months without anything but fleeting thoughts and half-ass ideas. That is until the day she met Mila Aeress—aka the Goddess of Chaos. Suddenly Indigo is thrust into a world she only thought existed in books. Now she's bound to her writing for a completely different reason. Her life and her works are more than labors of love; they're a matter of life or death. Each new manuscript becomes a book of sacrifice when her blood literally turns to ink.
Brynn Myers is a paranormal romance author. After considering writing a hobby for years, she finally turned her passion and talent into a career. She came into the paranormal genre later than most but has always loved fairy-tales and all things magical. Using that love, she creates charmed worlds by writing stories involving passionate, strong-willed characters with something to discover.
They should be simple enough. I mean, everything begins with them, right? A single letter can be a word. A series of words become sentences. A series of sentences become paragraphs: papers, short stories, novellas, novels. Sounds easy, and yet as I sat there staring at a blank page, I couldn’t for the life of me seem to put my thoughts into a cohesive flow.
I was suffering from a severe case of writer’s block, and my muses seemed to be on the longest coffee break ever. This would have been all well and good if I weren’t under a deadline with my publisher. Naomi had been kind enough to give me three extensions but had made it clear there would not be a fourth. I sent her some pages in hopes she’d take pity on me, but instead, she emailed them back to me in a bold, harsh font and told me they lacked my usual passion and fire and to go back to the drawing board.
Nine hours later, I was still staring at a blank screen. Hope of any inspiration knocking me over was as cold as the cup of coffee and a half-eaten chicken sandwich sitting on my desk. Nothing was working—not the junk food or the caffeine. Maybe I should grab some chocolate and alcohol, I thought. Wasn’t it Ernest Hemingway who said, “Write drunk, edit sober”? Hell, what did I have to lose at this point?