Showing posts with label fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fiction. Show all posts

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

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

Monday, November 12, 2018

"A Light in the Desert" by Anne Montgomery


REVIEW and INTERVIEW
A Light in the Desert
by Anne Montgomery

A Light in the Desert by Anne Montgomery

Author Anne Montgomery stops by for an interview and to share an excerpt from her latest novel, A Light in the Desert. You can also read my review.
For another book by this author, please check out my blog post on The Scent of Rain.

Description
As a Vietnam veteran and former Special Forces sniper descends into the throes of mental illness, he latches onto a lonely pregnant teenager and a group of Pentecostal zealots - the Children of Light - who have been waiting over thirty years in the Arizona desert for Armageddon. When the Amtrak Sunset Limited, a passenger train en route to Los Angeles, is derailed in their midst in a deadly act of sabotage, their lives are thrown into turmoil as local and state police, FBI investigators, and a horde of reporters arrive on the scene. As the search for the saboteurs heats up and the authorities question members of the cult, they uncover more questions than answers. And then the girl vanishes. As the sniper struggles to maintain his sanity, a child is about to be born deep in the wilderness.

Excerpt
1
Kelly Garcia sat cross-legged before the dusty grave, a cluster of blood-red bougainvillea in her lap. She finished the last orange wedge and, remembering the compost heap, stuffed the peel inside the front pocket of her faded sundress, the fabric of which strained to cover her bulging belly.
It wasn’t the first time Kelly had visited the graves of the tiny ones. The metal crosses, which had finally replaced the crumbling wooden ones, marked the graves of Maria and Gregorita Amabisca, infants born in the Gila River Valley not long after the turn of the century, neither of whom had survived even one month in the living world. Where were the infants’ little spirits now? Had they gone? Or did they spend their days here, hiding behind the old gravestones and scattered creosote bushes? Were they tiny, elf-like creatures, darting about like butterflies but always just out of sight? Or had they, as the Children explained, been lifted off to Paradise?
She felt the baby move. Would her child live long enough to grow up or would God take the baby to heaven instead? If the child was born with a face like hers, perhaps floating in the clouds with the angels would be better. Angels, she knew, must certainly be kinder than people.
She reached over and touched the polished pink granite stone covering her father’s grave. Money was scarce, but when the uniformed men showed up, they said her father had been a war hero. They handed her mother a folded American flag and made sure Bryan Kelly received a proper burial and a proper grave marker. Now his tarnished Silver Star, attached to its red, white and blue ribbon, rested in a velvet box under her bed.
She traced the letters spelling out her father’s surname. Her last name was no longer Kelly. His quirky sense of humor had rendered her Kelly Kelly, but after he stuck the gun in his mouth, her mother had insisted that Kelly Kelly was not a proper name, blaming the appellation on her father’s Irishness, and demanding she take the name of her stepfather.
A hot breeze from the flat, sparsely cultivated land south of the cemetery lifted dust and grit, blowing Kelly’s ink-black hair away from her damaged face. Her father always smiled when saying her name. Kelly Kelly made a happy sound, he said, like bird song or a cricket’s chirp. All she had left of him now were the medal, the grave, and the odd blue eyes that struggled against her dark features. The long straight hair, which she wore in a thick braid, was a gift from her mother’s Maricopa ancestors. Her face? No one was sure where that had come from.
Kelly looked up. The sun was sinking down behind the mountains, shooting streaks of color across the Sonoran Desert sky and dying the clouds pink and purple like Easter eggs.
Suddenly, she realized she was late for dinner. The Children of the Light did everything on schedule, so she had to hurry. She picked up the bougainvillea branches that would grace the communal dining table and pushed herself off the ground. Momentarily losing her balance, she clutched the branches tightly and felt a thorn prick her finger. She wished the baby would come soon. She was tired of feeling awkward. So as not to stain her dress, she quickly sucked on the blood that oozed from the wound, then turned and walked up the dirt road that wound back to the compound.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“There is a lot going on throughout the book; never a dull moment. As a result, when I picked up this book the pages just flew by and before I knew it, I was turning the last page. The characters in the book present a wide variety to its reader. They are mostly well developed, though I would have liked to see a little more depth to Billy & Kelly.” ~ Bookish Indulgenges with b00k r3vi3ws
“This is a very emotional tale that explores a variety of social issues ranging from mental illness to child abuse. It is very well done, well developed characters and scenery as well as a fast moving plot.” ~ Margaret Millmore
“... each character is well developed and the story eventually will find a point where all the plot lines seem to join and converge on the right track. I have one final note and that is be sure to read the Dedication as the struggles Ramm has may be more real for the reader.” ~ Shawn
A Light in the Desert is a fictional story based on the true event of the derailing of the Amtrak Sunset Limited, a train that travels between New Orleans, Louisiana and Los Angles, California, on October 9, 1995 in Hyder, Arizona. [It is] a character driven novel imbued with social commentary. A Light in the Desert is a great read. If you’re looking for a great story about human nature, pick A Light in the Desert up today.” ~ Rabid Readers Reviews
“Overall I enjoyed the novel and would recommend people interested in emotionally driven tales that doesn't require romantic undertones to read it!” ~ Dylan Hiler

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


By Lynda Dickson
We follow the stories of three people running away from their lives: Kelly suffers from Moebius syndrome, is pregnant with her stepfather’s child, and is taken in by the Children of Light, a cult headed by Elect Sun; Jason is haunted by demons from his past as is fast heading for a breakdown; Billy is running from his abusive father Buck and plans to derail a train to gain notoriety. This action will set in motion a series of events no one could have foreseen. And we will be introduced to two new characters, the sheriff and a reporter, both out to seek the truth.
The book on partially based on real events and is told from the points of view of numerous characters. As all of their stories are slowly revealed, we come to learn more about them and how their lives intertwine. By the end, all of the plotlines are cleverly tied together. The author is adept at bringing the sights, sounds, and smells of the Arizona desert to life with her words. There are a number of religious references in the book. I especially enjoyed the chapter in which an old drifter comes across the Madonna in the desert. This ties in nicely with the title of the book, with Jesus also making an appearance.
An engaging and thought-provoking read.
Warnings: coarse language, sexual references, rape, violence, mental illness.

Interview With the Author
Author Anne Montgomery stops by today to discuss her latest novel, A Light in the Desert.
What inspired you to write a crime novel?
I write about subjects in the news that interest me. (I’m a news junkie.) In the case of A Light in the Desert, the cold-case sabotage of the Amtrak Sunset Limited in the Arizona desert was big news nationwide. But it’s the people impacted by crimes and unusual circumstances that interest me most. For example, Jason Ramm, the protagonist, is suffering from a rare form of mental illness called the Jerusalem Syndrome. The Children of Light live off the land and were waiting for the end times, when the crime occurred in their backyard. In both cases, I read about these subjects in the news and was inspired to tell their stories.
Were any of the characters or events inspired by your own life?
Jason Ramm’s character is modeled on a dear deceased friend of mine who did two tours in Vietnam as a Green Beret. While he was not a sniper, many of Ramm’s memories are taken from stories he told me about his time in the service. Also, my friend struggled mightily with Post Traumatic Stress and guilt from events that occurred during the war. Like Ramm, he desperately searched for peace and forgiveness. The character of Kate Butler is clearly me. I was a TV sports reporter and anchor for five stations at both the local and national levels, until, one day, when I was pushing 40, I suddenly became unemployable in that field. Like Kate, I had a shelf-life stamped on my forehead. I was no longer pretty enough to be in front of a camera. It was a difficult transition.
What would you like readers to take away from reading your book?
While my books are fiction, they are based in fact. I work very hard to make sure I get the factual parts right. For example, my most recent book, The Scent of Rain, details the life of a teenage girl fleeing the horrors of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a cult of polygamists who believe it’s OK for old men to marry young girls. I interviewed a woman who twice escaped from the FLDS, and a doctor who worked with the cultists, and I went to Colorado City, Arizona to observe them. So, I’d like my readers to know that, even though they are reading a fictional story, they will learn things along the way.
Thanks so much for stopping by today and giving us a further insight into you book.

About the Author
Anne Montgomery
Anne Butler Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. Her first TV job came at WRBL-TV in Columbus, Georgia, and led to positions at WROC-TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP-TV in Phoenix, Arizona, and ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award winning SportsCenter. She finished her on camera broadcasting career with a two-year stint as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery was a freelance and/or staff reporter for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces. Her novels include: The Scent of Rain, Nothing But Echoes, and A Light in the Desert. Montgomery teaches journalism at South Mountain High School in Phoenix, is a foster mom to three sons, and is an Arizona Interscholastic Association football referee and crew chief. When she can, she indulges in her passions: rock collecting, football officiating, scuba diving, and playing her guitar.

Links