Monday, November 19, 2018

"Earth Quarantined" by D. L. Richardson


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Earth Quarantined
by D. L. Richardson

Earth Quarantined by D. L. Richardson

Author D. L. Richardson is on tour with her new book, Earth Quarantined, available at the special launch price of $2.99 (save $2.00) to 29 November. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


For more books by this author, please check out my blog post on One Little Spell (formerly Little Red Gem) and my blog post on Welcome to the Apocalypse - Pandora.

Description
When the virus which killed millions of people is gone, humanity lives in a planet-wide quarantine enforced by an alien species.
The year is 2355. The deadly virus that killed millions of people is gone, thanks to the quarantine measures put in place by the Criterion, an alien species who appeared just in time to save the human race. In exchange for complying with their tough control measures, the Criterion promised us the technology for interstellar travel. We’ve done all they’ve asked, yet we’re still on Earth with no way of getting into deep space. The Criterion are lying to us. What they don’t know is that we’re lying to them ...
Kethryn Miller is an award-winning actress, but nothing will prepare her for the role she’ll take on when a strange woman who shouldn’t be alive turns up in the city, threatening to expose the lies that have kept peace on Earth for 200 years.


Excerpt
Derek followed Aries out onto the balcony, biting down on the pain that raced up his leg from his ankle. Long periods of sitting aggravated his ailment, and today’s meeting had been long.
“I suspect I know what message your minister received,” said Aries. “I also suspect I know what you will ask, but the decision is out of my control. These are the laws that mankind created.”
Aries was always to the point, a trait Derek liked about her. It saved a lot of time, but it also reminded him that she wasn’t human. Some called the Criterion emotionless. Not true, he thought. They’d just had millennia to contain their emotions.
“You denied Justine’s application to have a child,” said Derek. “For the third time.”
“If she possesses an impure gene, she cannot have a child. That is the law.”
“She’s getting treatment for her condition. A treatment you recommended.”
Aries sighed. “These are human laws we uphold, not ours. Must I remind you that all the leaders sat around a table and decided which of their policies would save the human race. We are not the leaders of your world.”
“Some days I’m not so sure.”
She turned to face him. Her liquid eyes hardened as if they’d iced over. The tendrils on the back of her head lifted, which happened whenever she got angry. In twelve years, he’d gotten to know her well.
“When we arrived,” said Aries, in a self-righteous tone, “your species was dying, your planet destroyed, and while I place no faith in hope as a cure, is it not fair to say you had lost all hope?”
She gazed at him, seeking an answer, and as he stared into her face, he realized that she suddenly appeared old. And this realization made him feel old. They were both being replaced. Neither was ready for it. Both had work to finish. And nobody cared.
Derek sighed. “I don’t want to argue with you, but can’t you make an exception just this once? Show compassion. The ministers are your direct link to the citizens and they’d have a better time believing the Criterion are a compassionate race if you showed it. At least once in a century. If not for Justine, then do it for me. Think of it as my last request in my official capacity as President.”
Aries tilted her head. “Would you ask me to sit idly by while you returned your world to its ruined state? All it takes is one diseased gene and the chain is broken.”
“It’s just one act of kindness.”
Aries sighed. “I couldn’t unlock the fertility inhibitor chip even if I wanted to. It’s interfaced with the host’s body and designed not to activate in the presence of unhealthy genes. The Order Of Harmony hold the overriding codes, not me.”
“You’re the Order Of Harmony.”
“I am one member of a much larger organization.”
Derek paused. He’d always considered the residing advocates had the ability to unlock the fertility chips. If not, then who did?
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


About the Author
D. L. Richardson
D. L. Richardson writes speculative fiction, which encompasses science fiction, light horror, supernatural fiction, and fantasy. When she’s not writing, she can be found wandering in her yard waging war on weeds, watching back-to-back episodes on Netflix, playing her piano or guitar, curled up on the couch reading a book, or walking the dog.






Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $15 Amazon, B&N, or Kobo gift card.

Links

Sunday, November 18, 2018

This Week on Books Direct - 18 November 2018


This Week on Books Direct -
18 November 2018

This Week on Books Direct - 18 November 2018

Here's a list of some great articles you may have missed this week. Enjoy!

At the independent bookstore The Moon, which launched in September, at least half the books are by female writers.

Half Of All The Books At Indie Bookshop The Moon Are By Women Writers by Star2.com


This post is about what has worked for Melodie. But it also illustrates what is done behind the scenes by her publisher.

New Book Marketing: The Bad Girl’s List For Book Launch Success by Melodie Campbell for Anne R. Allen


In 2018, American literature no longer means literature written by Americans, for Americans, about America. On November 14, the National Book Foundation, recognizing this shift in relevance, will award a Translated Literature prize - the first category added to the National Book Awards in more than two decades.

The Hottest Trend In American Literature Isn’t From The U.S. by Liesl Schillinger for The Atlantic


And the results are in:
Here Are The Winners Of The 2018 National Book Awards by Claire Fallon for Huffington Post
Congratulations to all the winners.

Here Are The Winners Of The 2018 National Book Awards by Claire Fallon for Huffington Post


Tom Hanks spoke about his short story collection, Uncommon Type, at the Portland Book Festival.

Tom Hanks Takes His Latest Role, Author And Portland Book Festival Star, Very Seriously by Amy Wang for Oregon Live


Stan Lee, Marvel Comics' Real-Life Superhero, Dies At 95 by Mike Barnes for The Hollywood Reporter
The feisty writer, editor and publisher was responsible for such iconic characters as Spider-Man, the X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther and the Fantastic Four — 'nuff said.




And sadly, another literary death:
He died 16 November, aged 87, at his home in Manhattan of complications from colon cancer and pneumonia.

William Goldman, Oscar-Winning Screenwriter Of Butch Cassidy And All The President’s Men, Dies At 87 by Adam Bernstein for The Washington Post


Supporters including J. K.  Rowling and Neil Gaiman add their names to a campaign calling for library funding to be ringfenced.

“Hugely Disappointing” Government Response To Libraries Petition by Alison Flood for The Guardian


Books, Spouses, Family And Friends: A Writers Dilemma by Michael J. Melville for Journeys and Life
Don’t make the mistake of using your friends and family as the sole launching point of your writing career. It’s fine to have their support but you need more.

Books, Spouses, Family And Friends: A Writers Dilemma by Michael J. Melville for Journeys and Life


Author’s account sent to Miami newspaper in 1935 describes capture of giant marlin believed to have partly inspired his Pulitzer prize-winning novel.

Hemingway's Old Man And The Sea Fishing Trip Letter Sold For $28,000 by Alison Flood for The Guardian


Want To Propose A Nonfiction Book? Here’s How by Daniel Potter for Grammarly Blog
For readers wondering roughly how nonfiction books come to be, here’s what Daniel learned by taking a nonfiction book class at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Want To Propose A Nonfiction Book? Here’s How by Daniel Potter for Grammarly Blog


How To Handle Haters And Negativity by Ruth Soukup for Elite Blog Academy
Blogging comes with a certain level of vulnerability. We’ve all experienced negative comments on our blogs or Facebook walls, but the negativity doesn’t have to leave you in tears. So how do you protect yourself and handle negativity?

How To Handle Haters And Negativity by Ruth Soukup for Elite Blog Academy


We've used a lot of words in 2018, so it's no surprise that there is more than one “word of the year”. Oxford Dictionaries’ judgment is that "toxic" illuminates something about this year.

“Toxic” Is Oxford Dictionaries’ Word Of 2018 by Barbara Campbell for npr


If you enjoyed this blog post, please visit the other This Week posts for links to more great articles.

Friday, November 16, 2018

"Gap-Toothed Girl" by Ray Harvey


REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
Gap-Toothed Girl
by Ray Harvey

Gap-Toothed Girl by Ray Harvey

Gap-Toothed Girl by Ray Harvey is currently on tour with Reading Addiction Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
“Tournament night in a sweltering Las Vegas stadium, and the girl with the gap-toothed smile stood bleeding in her ballet slippers.”
So begins Gap-Toothed Girl, the story of Dusty May, a Lakota orphan with a radiant smile and an iron will, who runs away from the horrific circumstances of her foster home and her foster father - a man of beast-like brilliance and power - to pursue her dream of lightness and ballet, even as her foster father unleashes an army to bring her down.
Part literary fiction, part thriller, part dance story, Gap-Toothed Girl is at its core a tale of human joy and freedom of will - a “fast-paced novel combining the surreal imagery of Nabokov with the psychological complexity of Dostoevsky” to more thoroughly investigate the depths of the human psyche and the indomitable will to succeed, ultimately drilling down into the very nature of happiness, art, and the human soul.

Excerpt
Chapter 1
Tournament night in a sweltering Las Vegas stadium, and the girl with the gap-toothed smile stood bleeding in her ballet slippers. The sodium lights of the arena lay upcast on the low-hanging sky above. An electrical charge hummed through the air: a crackling undercurrent that came neither from the lights nor from the distant heat lightning, but from the galvanized excitement of the crowd.
Before her, some twenty feet away and elevated four feet off the ground, there stretched a long green balance beam, atop which, at the southernmost end, stood eight empty whiskey bottles. The bottles were perfectly upright and in single file. A small springboard crouched in front.
High above her floated a long banner which said, in shimmering red letters:
A CONTEST OF MOTION
She closed her eyes and inhaled. The air was dry. She stood alone upon the stage. She was dusky-limbed, Lakota. She held her breath a moment and then she released it.
When she opened her eyes, her gaze settled on the objects before her: the springboard, the balance beam, the whiskey bottles. The heat hung heavy. A rill of sweat slid between her breasts. She didn’t see the tiny camera-flash explosions igniting everywhere around her from within the darkness of the stadium. She forgot that there were thousands of eyes fixed upon her. She forgot also the pain in her toes and was unaware of the bleed-through and the blood leaking like ink across the entire top part of her slipper.
Offstage in the shadows, a lanky youth in a baseball cap gave a thumbs-up, but it wasn’t directed toward her.
A man with a microphone emerged on stage. He was thin and well-dressed and darkly complexioned.
A hush came over the crowd. The man held the microphone to his mouth. His voice came booming through the speakers with great clarity.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he said, “ladies and gentleman. May I have your attention, please. Thank you. We are finally at the end of the night, and — my Lord — what a night it’s been. What a competition.”
The crowd erupted.
“We have seen — excuse me, please — we have seen tonight some of the very best dancers in the world, and I’m sure you know this is not an exaggeration. We have only one more to go. Did we save the best for last? Need I remind you that there’s fifty thousand dollars at stake here?”
He paused.
“Now,” he said, “now, then. Do you see this young woman up on the stage with me? I’m told she’s about to do something that only one other person in human history is known to have done, and that was Ms. Bianca Passarge, of Hamburg, Germany, in 1958 — except Ms. Passarge, I am told, was not mounting a balance beam when she did her routine. Can this little girl — all 115 pounds of her — I say, can she do it? Can she steal the money from these big city boys and girls, the Bronx break dancers and West Coast B-Boys and all the others who have astounded us here tonight with their strength and agility and their grace of motion? Folks, we are about to find out.”
The crowd erupted again. The MC turned and looked at the girl on stage behind him.
He winked.
He lowered the microphone and said in an unamplified voice that sounded peculiar to her:
“Are you ready?”
He smiled kindly.
She nodded.
He gave her the A-OK sign with his fingers and nodded back. Then her lips broke open in return, disclosing, very slightly, her endearing gap-toothed smile.
He brought the microphone back to his mouth and turned again to the audience.
“Here we go!” he said.
The crowd went dead-silent in anticipation.
“Okay, okay!” she thought. All ten of her fingers wiggled unconsciously and in unison.
Abruptly, then, the lights above her darkened while simultaneously the lights behind her brightened, and then the music began: fast-paced and throbbing and happy.
She bolted forward.
She sprinted toward the balance beam and with astonishing speed executed a back handspring onto the springboard, vaulting into a full fluid backflip on one foot upon the beam — which in the very same motion turned into another back handspring, and then another, all to within inches of the bottles at the far end of the beam. This entire process took no more than five seconds. Here she paused for a fraction and then performed a half turn. From there she leapt lightly onto the first upright whiskey bottle, which wobbled only slightly under her weight. She placed her other toe catlike upon the next whiskey bottle, and then she raised herself en point to great heights…
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Dusty May won my heart, and so did this story!” ~ Amazon Customer
“A beautiful and beautifully written novel which I loved.” ~ Roberto Munoz-Alicea
“I loved the first part of the story. I'm happy to say the rest of the book is even better. It's genuinely thrilling, edge-of-the-seat, and inspirational. It's the best book I've read so far this year.” ~ C-Lee J.
“An incredible story and must read! My favorite of Mr. Harvey's work to date. In fact, my favorite read of the year! Ray has a unique voice that brings Dusty May to life in this beautiful story of a young woman with a determined will.” ~ TRunn
“You have to experience this wonderful book to believe it.” ~ Lauren Fillmore
“This is by far the best book I've read in a year or more.” ~ Pakeha

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
Dusty May falls in love with gymnastics when she is eight. At sixteen, she runs away from a bad situation in her foster home to achieve her dream, but she must overcome even more harrowing obstacles along the way.
The book begins with a great opening line: “Tournament night in a sweltering Las Vegas stadium, and the girl with the gap-toothed smile stood bleeding in her ballet slippers.” From there, things just get better. The story is populated with intriguing characters and riddled with interesting philosophical discussions. The author has a wonderfully rich and poetic vocabulary, and I was glad for the dictionary function of the Kindle app.
Dusty’s gap-toothed smile doesn’t appear very often but, when it does, it’s glorious. Utterly charming.
Warnings: rape, violence.

About the Author
Ray Harvey
Ray A. Harvey, novelist, essayist, published poet, athlete, and editor, son of Firman Charles Harvey (RIP) and his wife Cecilia, youngest of thirteen half brothers and half sisters, was born and raised in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. He’s worked as a short-order cook, copyeditor, construction laborer, crab fisherman, janitor, pedi-cab driver, bartender, and more. He’s also written and ghostwritten a number of published books, poems, and essays, but no matter where he’s gone or what he’s done to earn a living, literature and learning have always existed at the core of his life.




Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card OR an ebook copy of Gap-Toothed Girl by Ray Harvey.

Links

Thursday, November 15, 2018

"The Storm in Our Chests" by Enrique Betancourt


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
The Storm in Our Chests
by Enrique Betancourt

The Storm in Our Chests by Enrique Betancourt

This book blast and giveaway for The Storm in Our Chests by Enrique Betancourt is hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions. Please be sure to visit the other participating blogs as well.


Description
After being separated abruptly, best friends Benj and Élan reunite after five years. They are not children anymore, and teenage and experience changed them.
Benj used to be an isolated antisocial child, now he’s popular and outgoing, leaving for college in the following year.
Élan used to be chipper, now he’s sad and insecure after years of being tossed around the foster system and realizing he is gay, crushing on a boy he thinks is unattainable.
Their reunion proves to be a challenge as they are the polar opposites of how they knew each other, the journey to healing and proves to be tough. Bonding again may be the only thing that saves them. Through small moments and swift dramatic turns, Benj and Élan will have to prove they are more than friends - they are buddies, and the epitome of unconditional love.

Book Video


Excerpt
BENJ
“Please! Don’t take my best friend away!”
I remember. Vividly.
It was a scream that tore my vocal cords to shreds as I ran as fast as I could, as far as my young thirteen year old legs could take me. I remember. Sometimes I still dream about it, most times it’s just a repressed memory, sometimes it’s burning in my mind so badly that I have to wake up or else I’d drown in my sleep. I know that I wouldn’t actually drown, but it feels like I would. Can someone actually drown in their sleep? I don’t want to test that theory. Sometimes I’m afraid my mind would decide that it’s had enough and return to that day, that moment. It’s hard to explain, but it’s an intense feeling of helplessness. Of uselessness.
“Please! Please! Don’t take my best friend away!”
I hear a beating, the drumming of my heart that threatened to break my ribcage, as I hear myself with a younger prepubescent voice scream against the cold air, watching as they drive away. I try to run faster. I try to save him. I try to be Superman. But I’m not. I can’t reach the car, I can’t reach it as it enters the highway and I see him for the last time. His eyes, tear-filled eyes, against the back window of the car, looking at me. Waiting for me to save him. But I can’t save him.
I’m not Superman. He was.
He was my Superman.


Praise for the Book
“… without any spoilers, I can say this: 1) the story is well done. 2) the characters, (even the secondary ones) have a certain charm that make you know their personality. I love this story and I really had a good time reading it.” ~ Daniel Garcia

Playlist


About the Author
Enrique Betancourt
I am the published writer of a novel called The Imaginarium Of The Innocent by Austin Macauley Publishers, and also I have been awarded the Rosa Maria Porrúa Award for my Spanish-language novella Sobre Las Cenizas. My books stand out for their literacy excellence that got me an award, and the dramatic and emotional way I handle my characters. I am Mexican who lived 6 years in the United States, I love to read, to write and music is such a powerful inspiring force for me.





Giveaway
Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card.

Links