#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : Bound to You – Alyson Caraway @alycaraway @vulpine_press

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Bound to you

Today I’m on the ‘Bound to You’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

KguVefRG_400x400Thanks for wanting to learn more about me! I’m Aly, and I’ve been writing since middle school. I’ve always been a fan of paranormal, fantasy, and supernatural fiction. I’ve consumed it in many forms, including from books, movies, video games and anime. I would walk home from school hoping a black cat with a crescent moon on its forehead would come to me and tell me I was a reincarnated superhero, just like in the anime Sailor Moon. When that didn’t happen, I wrote my own Sailor Moon fanfiction, then original stories, all with strong heroines with magical powers. I realized my own magical power was my love for storytelling and world building.
I’m in love with my characters finding a love worth dying for. I love putting them in impossible situations and seeing how they figure things out and persevere. I really hope that you enjoy their journeys, too!
When I’m not writing about lusty demons, angels, and other paranormal beings, I enjoy spending time with my husband, daughter, and maltipoo. I’m an avid video gamer, student of Japanese, tea aficionado, crafter, reader, and all-around nerd. I strongly believe in the healing powers of retail therapy.

Amazon

Excerpt :

“So you killed a beast?” he asked smugly.
She took a deep, restorative breath. “I killed a wolf in the forest at the base of the mountains.”
“A simple kill, but I am pleased. What fun this bond will be.” Laughing, he pushed off the wall with his shoulder and came a few steps closer. “You know, it’s funny. You drank from me and it kept you alive, but you became bonded to me, your savior. You must obey my every command. Hell, I could tell you to strip and suck my cock and you’d have to do it eventually. Me? When I drink angel blood, it burns for a moment—gets me a little high, actually—and I heal, but I am bonded to no one. Your gods are cruel, are they not?”
Coryn tried not to show her annoyance, but as soon as her eye twitched, Zagan caught the motion, and a wide smile grew across his lips.
He leaned closer and, clearly taking enjoyment from taunting her, dropped his voice. “Make you strip. I very much like the sound of that. Should I do it?”
He pulled her to him, and she felt his erection against her thigh. A gasp escaped her lips, and he grew even harder against her. She wished she could say her body didn’t respond, but arousal flooded her, shocking her. She’d truly lost control.
“Each time you try to subvert me, or come at me with that attitude of yours, should I tear you down a little more?”
She shuddered and her skin prickled as he leaned closer and dropped his voice to a whisper.
“I can think of so many ways to torture you, my beautiful forsaken. Shall I share you with my brothers? Or should I keep you for myself?”
“Do whatever you want, Zagan,” she said, keeping her voice even so as not to betray that she was unbelievably drawn to him. “I can’t do anything to stop you. Corrupt me, have the rest of your deplorable brethren do what they will to me—it will only bring me more joy when your kind is destroyed. One thing to keep in mind, though, as you make me your angel of darkness, try not to fall in love with me, because if you order me to pleasure you, that’s exactly what will happen. I have been the lover to gods.”
She wasn’t sure why she told him that but enjoyed the twitch it sent down his cock. Was he imagining her now, pleasuring a god instead of him? Did that make him jealous?
“The skies on Manusya would crackle when I pleasured Ouranos.”
He bristled. “The god who disappeared from the Heavens?”
It took effort to keep her shoulders from sagging—he wasn’t jealous, and all the realms knew of the god’s disappearance.
“In spite of the pleasure I gave him,” she said quickly.
That Zagan wasn’t enraged by her experience with the god angered her instead. She wanted him irritated that she’d been with another … but why?
“If you share me with your brothers, I can’t help when they fall in love with me too. It would be a shame if you all destroyed each other while fighting over a forsaken erelim.”
Letting her smile stretch wider, she purposefully brushed the side of her leg against his erection. “A damn shame indeed.”
Zagan growled, then there was a moment of silence between them before he matched her wicked grin with his own. “Continue to come to me with this much sin, with this much hatred … and I may just fall in love with you either way.”

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Love books Tours LOGO (2)

#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : Fire on the Island – Timothy Jay Smith @TimothyJaySmith

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Fire on the Island twitter

Today I’m on the ‘Fire on the Island’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Timothy Jay Smith (S#1) (1)Tim has traveled the world collecting stories and characters for his novels and screenplays which have received high praise. Fire on the Island won the Gold Medal in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition for the Novel. He won the Paris Prize for Fiction for his first book, A Vision of Angels. Kirkus Reviews called Cooper’s Promise “literary dynamite” and selected it as one of the Best Books of 2012. Tim was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize for his short fiction, “Stolen Memories.” His recent novel, The Fourth Courier received tremendous reviews. His screenplays have won numerous international competitions. Tim is the founder of the Smith Prize for Political Theater. He lives in France.

Synopsis :

Fire on the Island - Arcade book cover (1)For lovers of crime fiction and the allure of the Greek islands, Fire on the Island is the perfect summer read.
FIRE ON THE ISLAND is a playful, romantic thriller set in contemporary Greece, with a gay Greek-American FBI agent, who is undercover on the island to investigate a series of mysterious fires. Set against the very real refugee crisis on the beautiful, sun-drenched Greek islands, this novel paints a loving portrait of a community in crisis. As the island residents grapple with declining tourism, poverty, refugees, family feuds, and a perilously damaged church, an arsonist invades their midst.
Nick Damigos, the FBI agent, arrives on the island just in time to witness the latest fire and save a beloved truffle-sniffing dog. Hailed as a hero and embraced by the community, Nick finds himself drawn to Takis, a young bartender who becomes his primary suspect, which is a problem because they’re having an affair. Theirs is not the only complicated romance in the community and Takis isn’t the only suspicious character on the island. The priest is an art forger, a young Albanian waiter harbors a secret, the captain of the coast guard station seems to have his own agenda, and the village itself hides a violent history. Nick has to unravel the truth in time to prevent catastrophe, as he comes to terms with his own past trauma. In saving the village, he will go a long way toward saving himself.
A long time devotee of the Greek islands, Smith paints the setting with gorgeous color and empathy, ushering in a new romantic thriller with the charm of Zorba the Greek while shedding bright light on the very real challenges of life in contemporary Greece.

Amazon

Excerpt :

The old man removed a suit coat from a hook and slipped it on. “Welcome,” he said, extending his hand to Nick.
“You are the mayor?”
“We have no budget for a gardener, but the roses do not stop growing. So why have you come to Vourvoulos at this time of year? Most tourists have already left.”
Nick reached into his daypack and passed him an envelope. “Did you write this letter?”
The mayor, fingering it, smiled conspiratorially. “I wasn’t sure if I sent it to the right place.”
“You did,” he assured him, and flashed his badge. “Nick Damigos, FBI.”
“You came all the way from the FBI to help us?”
“Actually, I’m posted to Athens. We have agents in every country that plays a strategic role in terrorism, human trafficking, or refugees, and Greece has a problem with all three.”
“That’s not a very honorable distinction.”
“It’s a function of your geography, and it’s America’s policy to help Greece however we can.”
“America helped our island in the past,” the mayor told him. “After the second world war, during Greece’s civil war we were a communist island, and still Americans gave us food. It saved many lives, including my father’s, and I was not conceived yet so I have always been especially grateful.”
“Saving lives is why America wants to help again. Unfortunately Turkey is threatening to open the refugee floodgates. There could be a thousand refugees arriving here every day. Your Coast Guard station is too strategically located to be put out of commission for even one day.”
“Greece would be a happier country if it were in a less strategic place.”
“Then you wouldn’t have had Homer. Or the Trojan War, which brings up the other reason why the ambassador wants the FBI to help. Do you know what ISIS is?”
“Yes. Islamic State.”
“It’s threatened to mix jihadists in with the refugees. Maybe not in a Trojan horse but on a Trojan raft. If there’s any evidence that’s happened, the Coast Guard is going to play a much bigger role in intercepting and processing refugees before they’re allowed into the country. If the station is destroyed, it’s almost guaranteed that ISIS will flood this route with jihadists.”
“So let me understand correctly,” the mayor said. “You want to keep the Coast Guard in operation, so you oppose moving the fuel tank?”
“I want to stop the arsonist.”

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #Excerpt : Family Business #FamilyBusiness – Mark Eklid @MarkEklid

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Family Business BT Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Family Business’ blogtour, organised by Random Things Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Mark Eklid Author picIt took until I was 57 to finally fulfil my dream to become a published author but seeing my work in print was far from a new experience.
Sunbeam, my debut novel, was self-published in November 2019 and was followed by Family Business on June 3 this year. Both are fast-moving, plot-twisting contemporary thrillers which use the city of my birth, Sheffield, as their backdrop, though Family Business is also part-set in my current home city, Derby.
My writing background is a career as a newspaper journalist, starting out as a trainee reporter with the South Yorkshire Times in 1984 before, three years later, joining the sports desk of the Derby Telegraph, where I have been ever since.
Most of that time in Derby has been as the newspaper’s cricket writer, a role that brought national recognition in the 2012 and 2013 England and Wales Cricket Board awards. I have also been a contributor for the last nine years to the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack and have had many articles published in national magazines, annuals and newspapers.
The hefty workload of writing as a profession meant writing for pleasure was largely left on the back burner but changed priorities at work made it possible – essential, even – to pick up the threads of one of the many half-formed novels in my computer files and, this time, see it through to publication.
Sunbeam was the result but it was never the intention to stop there. Family Business was well on the way by the time Sunbeam was published and a third novel, possibly the start of a series, is already well into the planning stage.
I was born in Sheffield and have lived in Derby since 1988 with my partner, Sue. We have two sons.

Synopsis :

Family Business CoverFamily historian Graham Hasselhoff thought there were no skeletons in his cupboard. That is, until the day he met the son he never knew he had.Getting to know Andreas, who is now the boss of a road haulage firm, soon leads him to a trail of arson, beatings, mysterious warnings – and murder. Can his son really be behind this deadly business? Graham has to quickly work out if Andreas is an impetuous eccentric – or a dangerously ruthless criminal.

Amazon

Excerpt :

The noise jolted him out of his deep sleep with the violence of an explosion. Five mini-explosions. He sat upright with a shocked gasp and attempted to calibrate his addled senses in the unrevealing darkness of an unfamiliar bedroom but could not even be certain if he was suddenly awake or remained locked in the false reality of a panicked dream.
There were the noises again. Five loud bangs. They came from below and this time there was a voice, shouting, demanding.
‘Open the door!’
Graham fumbled on the bedside cabinet for his glasses and tried to focus on the digital figures of the alarm clock. 3:58.
‘Graham! What is it? What’s that noise?’ Janet was sitting up now and had grabbed his arm.
‘I don’t know. It’s the middle of the night.’
What the hell could it be? It sounded like the noise was coming from the front door.
Five more bangs.
‘Open the door! Last chance, open the door!’
‘God, Gray – who is it?’ She was almost hysterical, frantic, frightened.
‘I don’t …Christ, what the …Jeez.’
He shot to his feet and stumbled towards the bedroom light, switching it on and instinctively looking around for anything he could grab as a weapon to defend himself against whoever was announcing themselves with such undisguised threat. He stood blinking, in his baggy t-shirt and loose cotton shorts, moving only in sharp, jerky twitches and feeling like his heart was about to burst out of his throat, struggling to make any sense of this nightmarish awakening.
There was another noise, heavier and louder than the others, a thud against the door which shook the whole house. Two seconds later and there was another.
‘Gray! They’re breaking in! They’re trying to break the door down! They’re coming in for us!’

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #Booktamins @booktamins / #Excerpt : Under Your Skin – Rose McClelland @RoseMcClelland1 @darkstrokedark

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

banner1

Today I’m on the ‘Under Your Skin’ blogtour, organised by Booktamins.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Author pic“Under your skin” is Rose’s fourth novel. Her previous three novels were romantic fiction published by Crooked Cat. She has made the genre jump from “chick lit” to psychological thriller and is enjoying delving into a darker corner of her mind!
Rose has also written two short plays which were performed in the Black Box theatre in Belfast.
She discusses book reviews on her You Tube channel and writes theatre reviews for her blog.
She loves nothing more than curling up with her cats and a good book. She has two rescue cats – Toots, who is ginger with an inquisitive face and Soots, who is black and hops along on his 3 legs looking ever so cute.

Website
Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram

Synopsis :

CoverWhen Kyle’s wife Hannah goes missing, the whole town is out in force to try to find her. One person knows where she is. One person is keeping a secret.
Detective Inspector Simon Peters and Detective Kerry Lawlor have been brought in to investigate the case, but Hannah has left no traces and Kyle has no clues.
Local Belfast resident, Julia Matthews, joins the #FindHannah campaign and becomes friendly with Kyle, sympathising with his tragedy. As Julia becomes more involved in the case than she bargained for, she begins to uncover more secrets than the Police ever could.
Julia was only trying to help but has she become drawn into a web of mystery that she can’t escape?
Trigger warning: domestic violence, some sexual scenes and swear words

Goodreads

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Excerpt :

Chapter One
Kyle

“999, what’s your emergency?”
“It’s my wife,” Kyle blurts out. “She’s gone missing.”
“How long has she been missing?” the calm, monotone responder asks.
“It’s been since nine this morning,” he says, impatience lacing his every word.
“So that’s…” Calm voice must be counting on her fingers.
“Twelve hours?”
“Yes,” he bites back. “I guess. Yes, twelve hours. It’s not like her. She’s always home by now.”
Miss Calm asks, “Any history of mental illness, sir?”
He blanches. “Who? Me?”
“No sir. Your wife?”
He bites his lip. “No,” he begins. “No, I guess not.” Although there was that time the doctor suggestedantidepressants. But no matter. Miss Calm is now on to the next question.
“So tell me what happened. When was the last time you saw her? What mood was she in? Had there been any arguments?”
Arguments? Well yes, there had been, but that was hardly relevant.
“I saw her this morning before she headed to work. She was fine. I came home at eight tonight and she’s not here. She’s not answering her mobile. It’s not like her. I’m convinced something has happened. What if some rapist has captured her? The sooner the police look for her, the better!”
He realises that his voice is rising in octave with each sentence, but he can’t help it. What’s the point in talking so slowly on the phone when she could be sending a cop out straight away to look for her!
He feels his breathing quicken and walks over to the counter to pick up his packet of cigarettes. He pulls one out of the packet and tinges the end with his lighter.
“Can I take your name sir?” the responder asks, her voice too slow for Kyle’s liking.
“Kyle Greer,” he rattles off impatiently.
“And your wife’s name?”
“Hannah. Hannah Greer. Please hurry.”
But the responder maintains her calm, professional, monotone voice. “And your address?”
“One one seven Raven Reach, Belfast,” Kyle spits out each word as though his quick-fire responses might hasten the arrival of a policeman.
“Okay Mister Greer,” the calm responder answers with a heavy sigh. “We’ve put that on record. But I’d suggest you phone us back tomorrow if there’s still no sign of her. She may well return this evening.”
Kyle’s eyes widen. “So nothing’s going to be done?”
“We usually wait at least twenty-four hours sir, in the case of an able-bodied adult. Of course, if it was a child or a vulnerable elderly then…”
“Fine,” Kyle cuts in. “I’ll phone back tomorrow. Thanks for your help,” he spits, with a large dose of sarcasm. He clicks the off button and heads towards the kitchen. With his cigarette dangling in the side of his mouth, he pours himself a large glass of Vodka and Coke. Noticing that his hands are shaking, probably with anger at how unhelpful the responder had been, he gulps back the drink greedily. He re-fills his glass for good measure, walks towards the back door and sits on the back doorstep, smoking the rest of his cigarette and knocking back the drink. The night air is quiet; too quiet. He sits and waits. And while he’s waiting, he can feel the warmth of the drink start to trickle down to his toes.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : Storms Gather Between Us – Clare Flynn @canelo_co @clarefly

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Storms Gather

Today I’m on the ‘Storms Gather Between Us’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

lzR10uom_400x400 (1)Historical novelist Clare Flynn is a former global marketing director and business owner. She now lives in Eastbourne on the south coast of England and most of her time these days is spent writing her novels – when she’s not gazing out of her windows at the sea.
Clare is the author of eleven novels and a short story collection. Her books deal with displacement – her characters are wrenched away from their comfortable existences and forced to face new challenges – often in outposts of an empire which largely disappeared after WW2.
Her latest novel, Prisoner From Penang, will be published on 17th April 2020. It is set in South East Asia during the Japanese occupation in World War Two.
Clare’s novels often feature places she knows well and she does extensive research to build the period and geographic flavour of her books. A Greater World – 1920s Australia; Kurinji Flowers – pre-Independence India; Letters from a Patchwork Quilt – nineteenth century industrial England and the USA; The Green Ribbons – the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century in rural England, The Chalky Sea – World War II England (and Canada) and its sequels The Alien Corn and The Frozen River – post WW2 Canada. She has also published a collection of short stories – both historical and contemporary, A Fine Pair of Shoes and Other Stories.
Fluent in Italian, she loves spending time in Italy. In her spare time she likes to quilt, paint and travel as often and as widely as possible. She is an active member of the Historical Novel Society, the Romantic Novelists Association, The Society of Authors, NINC and the Alliance of Independent Authors.
Get a free copy of Clare’s exclusive short story collection, A Fine Pair of Shoes, at www.clareflynn.co.uk.

Synopsis :

Storms_Gather_Between_Us_website.2e16d0ba.fill-600x800 (1)Life can change in the matter of a moment…
Since escaping his family’s notoriety in Australia Will Kidd has spent a decade sailing the seas, never looking back. Content to live the life of a wanderer, everything changes in a single moment when he comes face to face with a ghost from his past on a cloudy beach in Liverpool.
The daughter of an abusive zealot, every step of Hannah Dawson’s life has been laid out for her… until she meets Will by chance and is set on a new path. Their love is forbidden and forces on all sides divide them, but their bond is undeniable. Now, they will have to fight against all the odds to escape the chains of their histories and find their way back to one another.
A compelling tale of family secrets and love against the odds, perfect for fans of Fiona Valpy and Gill Paul.

Amazon

Excerpt :

They walked on in silence for a few minutes, until Hannah spoke again. ‘If my father were to die, I wouldn’t mourn him at all. I don’t love him at all. I can’t. I’ve tried. Really hard. But I just can’t. Do you think that makes me a bad person?’
Will smiled, longing to kiss her again, but fearful of frightening her away. ‘I could never think of you as a bad person, Hannah. If you don’t love your father, then that must mean he doesn’t deserve to be loved.’ He wanted to ask her again about the reason she had covered her face that other day on the beach, but something made him hold back.
‘He has been very cruel to my mother. I think he may have been cruel to Aunt Elisabeth too and that’s why she went away.’
Will smiled. ‘Well, he can’t be all bad: if he hadn’t caused her to come to Australia I’d never have met you.’
‘I must go,’ she said, her demeanour changing.
‘Let me walk back with you.’
‘Only as far as Seaforth. I don’t want to risk anyone seeing us.’
‘Why not? We’ve done nothing wrong.’
‘My father wouldn’t agree.’ Her eyes welled up.
Will felt a rush of emotion. ‘Then let me talk to your father. If you feel you like me at all, maybe you would go out with me? I know we barely know each other, Hannah, yet I feel I already know you so well. And I want to get to know you better.’
She looked up at him and, in that moment, he knew with unshakeable certainty he loved her. Her eyes told him she felt the same way. It was as if they were already bound to each other.
But then she turned her head away. ‘You mustn’t talk to Father. Please promise me you won’t even try. He’ll never agree, and you’ll make things worse for me.’
She turned back to look at him. ‘He has a terrible temper. When he discovered I was hiding a photograph of Aunt Elizabeth he threw it on the fire. If he found out I’ve been talking with you… if he knew you wanted to see me… I can’t tell you what he’d do. He’s capable of anything.
‘Now, I have to go, Will.’ She started to walk away, then stopped and hurried back. He felt his heart lift.
‘I forgot to tell you. My mother wants to talk with you.’
Will felt a surge of hope and must have shown it in his face, as she frowned, holding up her palms in front of her in a blocking motion. ‘She wants to speak with you about Elizabeth.’ She reached into her coat pocket and pulled out a scrap of paper and wrote on it with a pencil. ‘This is the address. 15 Bluebell Street. Please go one afternoon so you won’t run into my father.’
‘Wait!’ He called. ‘When will I see you again?’
‘I don’t know.’ Her face looked anguished. ‘I often come here. Maybe we might meet again here on the seashore. But please, don’t go near the office, and apart from when you call on my mother, please, don’t go near our house.’ Her eyes were filled with fear.
Will stood motionless as a statue, watching her walk away up the beach towards the docks. Lighting a cigarette, he remained fixed to the spot on the empty beach, watching, until Hannah had disappeared from view. Her absence was like an ache inside him. For a moment he had been sure she felt the same way about him, but the fear of her father was evidently greater. The idea of someone hurting her, threatening her, was like a knife being twisted inside Will. He had to find out what was happening to terrify her so much and put a stop to it.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : Impervious – A J Hatley @authorajhartley @publishinguclan

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Impervious

Today I’m on the ‘Impervious’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

untitled-22 (1)Though I live in the USA now (where all my books were first published), I was born and grew up in Lancashire. After attending Manchester University I left the UK to work in Japan, and eventually wound up in graduate school in Boston. I now live in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I teach Shakespeare at university there.
I’ve written long fiction all my life, and started publishing novels (mainly with Penguin) in 2005. I write for kids and adults, and (as you’ll see if you poke around) in various genres. Can’t seem to limit myself to one kind of story 🙂
I’m married with a son, and various animals, one of which–the dog–promises to be the size of a horse soon. I make beer and, occasionally furniture. I used to paint (not especially well) and play guitar and piano (likewise) but I struggle to find the time these days.
I hope you like my stuff. Drop me a line through my main website, or through facebook or twitter. I’m easy to find.
Cheers
AJH

Synopsis :

9781912979394 (1)Trina Warren didn’t plan on being anyone’s hero. She planned on going to fourth period as normal. But then there was a bang, and an overturned chair, and everything was different. Now Trina finds herself in a fantasy world, pursued by a faceless, nameless monster that only she can stop. Just one second is all it takes for Trina to turn from a regular clumsy high school girl, to a monster-fighting warrior. Just one second is all it takes for everything to change …

Amazon

Excerpt :

“I will redeem all this on Percy’s head,” Trina Warren read aloud. “And in the closing of some glorious day be bold to tell you that I am your son; When I will wear a garment all of blood and stain my favours in a bloody mask, which, wash’d away, shall scour my shame with it.” The bell for the end of third period rang, and the class got to their feet so that Miss Perkins, their pedantic and unhelpful English
teacher, had to raise her voice to one notch below shouting pitch. “All of acts four and five for Friday, class,” she almost screamed,
“and yes, Mr Shelston, there will be a quiz.”
Trina rolled her eyes, but that was for her friends’ benefit. She was good at English and was actually enjoying reading Shakespeare – even Miss Perkins’s weirdo choice of Henry IV Part One – though that wasn’t something she would admit, even to Jasmine. She got enough ribbing as a sci-fi geek and computer nerd without feeding the stereotype.
Jasmine groaned out loud, so Trina made a sympathetic face. Her friend was struggling in Human Geography and had withdrawn from AP World History after they did their project on
medieval medicine and the Black Death. If she got lower than a B in English this semester, her parents would go up the wall. They were only nine months away from college application season, and Jasmine’s mom and dad had told her flat out that if she didn’t earn some kind of scholarship, they would oppose her going to college, period. They didn’t have the resources to help her study Art History, Anthropology or whatever at UNC Charlotte. Privately, Trina could sort of see their point, since Jasmine only wanted to go to college to get out of Treysville. But then Trina could see that point too.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : The Circle-A Killings – Sean Heary @Sean_Heary

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

circle-A

Today I’m on the ‘The Circle-A Killings’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

1aa (1)Sean Heary is a former business executive who lived for many years only a stone’s throw from the Kremlin. No wonder he writes political thrillers. He also worked for several years in Tashkent, Uzbekistan where he met his wife. Born and raised in Australia, Sean now makes Bonn, Germany his home.
Sean’s action packed, page-turning debut novel, The Concordat, was published in July 2018. His second novel, The Circle-A Killings, will be released in June 2020.

Synopsis :

Book Cover White (1)Returning from Moscow, Lorenzo Rossi finds himself forced to quit his job as head of the Vatican police. And to make matters worse, his fiancée, CIA Agent Cathy Doherty, calls off their wedding. Just as Rossi is settling into his new life as a visiting academic at Cambridge University, the CIA persuades him to rejoin Cathy in catching the killer of three American billionaires. Barely on speaking terms, the two devise a plan to befriend the CIA’s main suspect.
As they get closer to the suspect and his coterie of friends, Rossi and Cathy realise that they’re being played for fools. But why? Everything points to an international conspiracy. As friends and foes drop dead around them, they arrive at the truth. But to prove it they need to set a trap. A trap that turns them from hunter to prey. Will they survive to tell their tale?

Amazon

Excerpt :

Rossi gazed admiringly at the intelligent young faces as he entered the Runcie Lecture Room. Dressed in jeans, a patterned blue shirt, a brown vest and a tawny tweed jacket, he was style personified. A shake of his head as he stepped behind the lectern. Three weeks into the Lent term and he was still unsure what he was doing in Cambridge. The day following Rossi’s triumphant return from Moscow, Cardinal Santo Capelli, the dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, invited him to his Vatican office for what Rossi assumed would be a celebratory cup of Darjeeling tea. What happened next happened quickly.
The bespectacled, white-haired cardinal ordered Rossi to take a short sabbatical, to go get his shipshape life back in order. Rossi smelt sacrificial lamb on the spit.
Within a week, the cardinal had bumped him off to Cambridge University with a stack of well-prepared notes under his arm, and a Faculty of Divinity library card in his wallet that read: Lorenzo Rossi, Visiting Academic, Vatican History.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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#BlogTour #MeerkatPress @MeerkatPress / #Excerpt : The Wounded Ones #TheWoundedOnes – G.D. Penman @gdpenman

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘The Wounded Ones’ blogtour, organised by Meerkat Press.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

GDPenman

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Synopsis :

Title: The Wounded Ones by G.D. Penman (Witch of Empire 2)
Release Date: 6/23/20
Genre: Urban Fantasy / LGBTQ / Detective

coverart-6-ARCDemons and serial killers are Iona “Sully” Sullivan’s bread and butter, but nothing could have prepared her to face off against the full weight of the British Empire at the height of its power. With the War for American Independence in full swing, she finds even her prodigious talents pushed beyond their limits when citizens of the American Colonies begin vanishing amidst rumors of crop circles, hydra sightings and worse. Through a wild and lethal adventure that will see her clashing with the Empire around the world and beyond, the only constants in Sully’s life are an undead girlfriend, a giant demon crow that has taken a shine to her, regular assassination attempts by enemies on all sides, and the cold certainty that nothing and nobody is going to make it out of the war in one piece.

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Excerpt :

The Gobi Grill was a Mongolian joint on Staten Island. Of the different boroughs of New Amsterdam, Staten had always been the wealthiest and the most resistant to what the IBI used to call “foreign influences,” but even here, the Gobi stood out. Amidst French cuisine, Italian pizzerias, Greek salad buffets and stolid British pub food, it was the only place with anything spicy on the menu. Sully had always hated it, which meant that every time it was her partner’s turn to pick a take-out joint, the delivery came from there. On the late nights in the office, there was nothing that Ceejay had enjoyed more than watching Sully eat the spiciest thing he could find on the menu without flinching. Sully had always appreciated his sense of humor, even when she was the victim of it.
Right on cue at twenty minutes to nine, Ceejay swaggered in through the door in a sky blue Ophiran suit. He spotted Sully sitting by the bar and spun on his heel to walk back out again. He made it as far as the street before Sully’s snort of laughter brought him back inside.
“General Sullivan! Haven’t you won this war yet? I can’t sleep at night with all the banging on the barrier. You are so negligent. It is amazing that I didn’t steal your job years ago.”
Sully got up to shake his hand but stiffened as he engulfed her in a hug. Softly he murmured, “It is good to see you.” Then he stepped back and was instantly back to his full braying volume. “Two coffees, please, and four Nai Wong Bao.”
They settled by the bar after Ceejay had made a big show of yawning and stretching so he could get a good look around the place. There was no breakfast crowd to speak of—a few people were grabbing take-out coffee orders and there was an old Oriental man snoozing over a bowl of fishy soup in a booth. As far as Sully could tell, the Gobi never closed.
The food was in front of them before Sully could get a word in. Ceejay asked, “You came alone? I thought you would have bodyguards and sycophants dribbling out behind you these days.”
Sully scoffed, “Like I’ve keep telling you all these years, I can take care of myself.”
He raised an imperious eyebrow. “I seem to recall your telling me that—just before I had to pull your ass out of the fire.”
Sully prodded at the gelatinous white lumps on her plate. “What am I eating here?”
“Steamed buns. They have custard inside. Very British. You should like them.”
She took a small bite. Swallowing took some effort. Ceejay waggled his eyebrows again. “No?”
“I didn’t miss eating your weird food.”
“I’ve missed watching you eat my weird food. Your face—”
She cut him off. “How’s business? They haven’t kicked you back down to the mailroom yet?”
Ceejay chuckled. “I think that if there was no war going on, all the polite white people would’ve had me taken out back and shot by now. But since you keep dragging your feet, I get to keep being top dog in the IBI.”
“Well, I’ll do my best to keep fucking up then. For your job security.”
He gave a little mock bow of thanks, then tucked into his own buns as Sully tried to wash the texture out of her mouth with coffee. After a moment of comfortable silence she said, “I hear you’ve caught an interesting case.”
“I catch all the interesting cases. I am like a net that hangs underneath a thousand useless constabularies, catching everything that isn’t completely obvious.” His voice was slightly muffled by the mouthful of food.
“I was thinking about a specific interesting case. One that is almost as interesting as the one that I had just before I left the IBI.”
He sighed. “I don’t know why I pretended this was a social call. You are here about work. You are always all about work.”
Sully stared intently down into her coffee. “When things are settled and the war is over, there will be time to be friends again. Hell, I might even apply for my old job. You could be my boss.”
That earned her a belly laugh. “I can just picture it—‘Sully, I need you to investigate this terrible crime.’ ‘Ceejay, go to hell, I am hungover.’” His smile never faltered as he hissed, “Did you check that we are safe to talk here?”
Sully let her arcane senses sweep out of her body and through the restaurant. She could feel the fire runes in the kitchen like a crackling pressure at the edge of her consciousness, and the alarm charms woven into the doors and windows vibrated softly against her gentle intrusion. Laid over all of it was the sensation of her own magic, an almost imperceptible bubble blocking anyone from scrying on them. “We’re good for now.”
“No pattern,” he started. “These people, they seem to vanish with no logic at all. They go to bed one night and the next morning, poof. Nothing. It is not isolated to Nova Europa. The Northern provinces of the Republic have been losing people too. I know that the United Nations have lost some, but they don’t trust us enough to even give names or locations. They give me nothing but dates of the disappearances and then they expect everything that we have in return. Pricks.”
“And the Schrödingers?”
“They go haywire. Spike off the chart. There is definitely magic at play, but if any of our guys have a clue what it is, they are keeping it to themselves.” Ceejay knocked back the last of his coffee.
Sully sipped hers. “Any theories?”
“The smart money is on spies. Everyone knows that the British had them everywhere. Now that the hammer is about to fall, they are pulling them all out. The crazy power spikes may be some sort of pumped up portals to get past the blocks your friends cast.”
Sully frowned. “That makes no sense .You don’t withdraw your spies when you are about to fight someone, you keep them in place so they can feed you vital intel—troop movements, morale on the ground. I don’t buy it.”
Ceejay was scowling. “It doesn’t matter what you buy. It isn’t your job anymore. Remember? You quit.”
A bitter laugh escaped Sully. “Yeah, lucky me.”
It was only when he turned on her that she realized he wasn’t joking. “Back off, Sully. You have your own business to be dealing with. Stay out of mine.”
Sully’s jaw clenched but she forced her temper down. She had a lifetime of practice at that. “I don’t know what you think is going on, but I don’t want my job back.”
“What’s going on is that just when I thought I was going to see my friend again for the first time in months, a spy walked in dressed in her clothes. Fuck you very much, Sully.”
Sully did not blow up the Gobi Grill. She even paid the tab for the coffee and glutinous lumps. When she stepped out into the street, the gathering of three dozen crows perched on every flat surface was probably a complete coincidence and nothing to do with her mood. She shooed them away and waited to watch them circle up through the canyon between the skyscrapers to vanish into the chill blue sky. She blew out a warm cloud of breath after them. She didn’t know what was worse: Ceejay’s calling her a government stooge or his being completely right. Her phone started to vibrate in her pocket and with great reluctance she drew it out. She wasn’t sure how Ogden had adapted to modern technology faster than she had, given that she had several centuries head-start, but there was his name flashing on the screen.
She grunted, “Sullivan.”
He replied, “Ogden.” She could almost hear the smug grin.
“What do you want, Ogden?”
“I just thought that it might be an auspicious time to invite you to visit with us in Manhattan.”
Sully tried not to growl. “Why would anyone want to do that?”
“You could take a look at the unique architecture? Get to know your new friends and allies? Come and witness the ritual that we use to tear down the Veil of Tears?”
Sully huffed out another plume of steam. “You finished the spell.”
“We have most assuredly finished the spell.”
What Manhattan used to be could be seen in its foundations. As she soared over the water Sully caught a glimpse of wood and whitewash here and there. The ground gravel beneath her course still bore the shape of cobblestones in places and there was unmistakably dirt and dung beneath that. Once upon a time, this had been a human place. The moment that she looked higher than knee height the illusion that it still belonged to mankind vanished. Conjured stone twisted up into the skyline, jagged and impossibly symmetrical. The spires of Manhattan resembled nothing so much as gargantuan termite mounds and the fact that the doorways and thoroughfares of the city had been designed with residents many times the size of humans in mind just hammered home the idea that humans were visitors here. The outer wall stood at more than twenty feet tall and the smooth white expanse of it was oppressive, but it also hid the strangeness of everything within its circumference very well. There was no gate in or out of Manhattan; there was no need when every one of the residents could fly. Sully tried not to shudder as she saw the demons coiled along the ramparts beneath her, nesting in the belfries and lurking in the shadows between the towers. There were not as many of them as there were Magi, but the numbers were close. In all of the dull meetings since the war began, Sully had not voiced her suspicions that behind their impassable walls the Magi were summoning more demons to bolster their forces. It wasn’t as though there was anything that could be done, even if they were; Manhattan was a law unto itself. That had been the problem since before it popped back into the world.
Sully took the scenic route down to the massive ritual circle in the center of the city where the mass of Magi were gathered. Intelligence about America’s allies had been even harder to come by than information about the British in the past months, so she was making up for lost time. That was what she told herself to justify her slow descent. It wasn’t because she was frightened to go down into a massive nest of demons that would eat her magic and tear her to shreds and it certainly wasn’t because she was keeping an eye out for Mol Kalath. The bird could be here or not, it made no difference to her. Once she was sure that it was not, she dove to land gracelessly by Ogden’s side. He was grinning. “A very pleasant afternoon to you, Miss Sullivan.”
“Right. How long have we got until the fireworks start?”
He swept his arms out to encompass this little town square. “They have already begun the preliminary casting. Each component shall be bound within the circle and when all of the parts have been assembled—”
Sully grumbled. “I know how ritual magic works. I’m asking for a time.”
When he laughed it tugged on the scars across his lips, making him flinch. “By this time tomorrow, the Veil of Tears shall be unpicked and all the hell of Europe will be unleashed upon the British. Even now we ready our envoys to meet with the trapped demons. We shall marshal our forces in France, then strike out before tomorrow ends. They will not stand against such an onslaught for long. I would expect surrender by the following dawn at the latest.”
“Good job. Has Pratt been told?” Sully cracked her knuckles.
“The Prime Minister has been informed, yes.”
Sully closed her eyes and felt the magic taking form, each caster stitching their spell onto the last, every spell simple and easy to replace if an error was made, but woven together into an immense, complex tapestry. She had punched through a few barrier spells in her day, but that was a momentary disruption of the stable patterns, not a permanent solution like this patchwork monstrosity of a spell. She could already see the shape that it was going to take from the gaps left in the framework that they had cast so far. Understanding the totality of it was probably beyond her, but she could appreciate the craft.
“So, did you invite me here to watch you all casting for twenty hours? Because I might need a seat or something.”
Ogden shuffled his feet. “Knowing the little that I do of you, I had assumed that you would want to be at the front lines when the fighting begins.”
“You assumed right.” Sully flexed her hands. The dense magic that saturated the air was teasing little sparks of spellfire from her fingertips.
“Which is why our mutual friend has offered to carry you with the vanguard to Europe.”
Sully grimaced at the tell-tale rustle of feathers behind her. “Hello again, Mol Kalath.”
“GREETINGS, SHADOW-TWIN.” The voice tore right through Sully every single time. Even the other demons roaming free around Manhattan chattering in their own tongue didn’t make her head creak as much.
“I guess that you’re my ride to Europe?”
“THE DISTANCE IS TOO GREAT FOR YOUR SPELLS OF FLIGHT. YOU SHALL RIDE UPON MY BACK AND AT LAST WE WILL HAVE TIME TO CONVERSE.”
Sully ground her teeth together while Ogden clapped her on the back. “Just think, Miss Sullivan. In two days’ time, the war will be over and we will have toppled the British Empire.”
She unclenched her jaw. “All right. Let’s do this.”

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#TeaserTuesday #RABTBookTours @RABTBookTours / #Excerpt : The Aria of Galvanize #TheAriaofGalvanize – Wilder Page #WilderPage @wilder_page

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

The Aria of Galvanize Teaser Banner

Today I’m on the ‘The Aria of Galvanize’ Teaser Tuesday tour, organised by RABT Book Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Wilder Page loves science fiction, cyberpunk, dystopian, and post-apocalyptic worlds. Especially those with stories where the personal stakes are high, and the costs of failure are very real. But he also believes in the triumph of the human spirit, and whether the future will be grim or bright, well… that’s a choice each of us has to make for ourselves. When Wilder’s not writing or daydreaming he spends the rest of his time running, traveling with his wife and best friend, or playing video games with his two amazing little kiddos!

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Synopsis :

The-Aria-of-Galvanize-GenericIncarnate Number Seven, a cybernetically enhanced young woman with no memories and only a basic operating system, awakens to a devastated world painted in blood, desperation, and genocide. Guided only by a moody artificial intelligence program and scattered digital memories into the past, Seven must traverse the perilous Gateway region, fighting past its savage inhabitants and monsters to learn who she was and what happened to her world. Maybe, if she’s lucky, she’ll even save what’s left of humanity in the process…

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Excerpt :

Fliting in and out of consciousness, I gurgled at the Ichor as he leaned over me, grinning again. He clamped his hand around my neck and lifted me off the ground. Then he held me there, the ground far below, and his hand clamped down on my neck as he began squeezing my throat closed. I flailed and tried to kick at him with my one unbroken leg, but none of it had any effect. I put the palms of my gauntlets to the arm he was holding me with. I didn’t know if I could still activate my plasma system with my visor broken, but I tried, hoping to take his arm off in the process. I willed and begged the plasma to burst as hard as I could, and willed it again and again, but nothing happened!
The Ichor squeezed my throat even harder as I gasped for breath. The courtyard began to spin, and my head began to feel light. I was getting so sleepy…
“No! Please, don’t kill her!” I heard K-Cat scream in what sounded like a distant whisper somewhere behind me. I tried hitting The Ichor’s arms some more, to no effect. Then my energy was gone, and I couldn’t flail any longer. My limbs felt like boulders attached to my body, and I wanted to move them, but the exertion was impossible. I could still hear K-Cat screaming in the background.
I’m sorry, I tried to whisper to her.
I’d failed her, I’d failed all of them. I hadn’t even come close…
My fragmented thoughts drifted back to all my unanswered questions, to the main reason I’d crawled out of Galvanize in the first place. I’d never even come close to figuring out who I was, let alone how I ended up as an Incarnate. There were no answers for why I’d ended up being murdered by some disfigured lunatic 200 years after the fall of the REA. And yet, the nagging disappointment that bothered me most was that I would never even know who my family was. I’d never see them again, even if just in some random recording.
This wasn’t the way things were supposed to end for me…

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Teaser Tuesday Organized By:

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RABT Book Tours

#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : Déjà Vu (Unbroken Book 2) – Melody Saleh @MelodySaleh

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

DEja Vu

Today I’m on the ‘Déjà Vu’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

BQ9B2623 (1) (1)After 35+ years in operations for various businesses (including her own), Melody pursued her dream of writing a novel. Having written for business publications, local magazines and even publishing a poem, Chemo’s not for Sissies, during treatment after her first cancer diagnosis, it was time to finish the novel that was started many years ago. When she started writing, “Facade: Things Aren’t Always as They Appear,” she had no idea where her characters were going to take her. “The story basically wrote itself. It was like a movie projector playing in my mind,” is how she describes her experience. It soon became apparent, their voices were not to be silenced… “The Unbroken Series” was born. “Deja Vu: Here We Go Again,” Book II, to be released June 23, 2020, followed by C’est la Vie, Book III, in December.
Melody lives with her husband in her native home state Florida. She’s blessed to be alive today after two cancer diagnoses and enjoys watching her grandchildren grow up; something she doesn’t take for granted.

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Synopsis :

DeJa Vu_Melody Saleh FINAL ebook cover (1) (1)Happiness is finally within reach for best friends, Amber, Dominque, Debra and Zya. But fate has other plans…
Pregnant and widowed, Debra is engaged to suave and charming Italian heartthrob Roberto. So why does her heart race when she thinks about her therapist, Brian? Has she said yes to the wrong man?
Dominque has found the love and acceptance she always longed for with Tad. But devastating news soon threatens their future together.
Successful fashion designer Zya has discovered her own unexpected happily ever after with Tina … until her daughter, Ashanti is bullied and becomes the focus of a police investigation and the media. Now Zya suddenly stands to lose everything she holds dear.
Finally, together with the only man she’s ever loved, Amber is determined to not let anything come between her and Patrick—not even her jealous and vindictive identical twin sister. But someone is watching … waiting for the right moment to destroy her …
Will the women get their happy ending, or is it déjà vu all over again? Find out in the dramatic and suspenseful second book of the Unbroken series.

Amazon

Excerpt :

“Please be careful and go straight home, your stalker might be waiting for the perfect moment,” Zya begs.
“I am—straight home—promise,” Amber replies as she crosses her heart.
As Amber begins to back out of the parking lot, she changes her mind and puts her car back into park. Maybe I should see what Patrick is up to tonight?
Reaching for her phone to ask him for a late night tryst, she realizes her phone is gone. “DAMN!” She looks all around her car for it to no avail. Must have left it on the counter.
Reluctantly, she turns her car off and heads back inside. She hadn’t realized how dark it was when she came out, it’s pitch black now—shadows are everywhere. The hair on the back of her neck stands up while a shiver runs down her spine pushing her to practically run back into the shop.
At the exact same moment, the wig fitter, having found Amber’s phone, is racing outside to catch her, almost colliding with her in the doorway. “I believe this is yours,” she says, her heart racing from the near impact.
“Yes, thanks. Glad I realized it now and not when I got home.”
Amber, still contemplating her booty call, uses the light outside the door to look for Patrick’s number. She begins her walk back to the car lost in her thoughts, debating whether to call him, forgetting for a moment all about the threatening texts piling up in her phone.
As she opens her car door, a man comes up quickly behind her, wrapping his arm tightly around her chest. She starts to scream but it’s muffled by his other hand covering her mouth as he tries to turn her around. He’s strong, and his scent… I know that cologne… “Wait a minute? Christophe, is that you?” she asks as she’s spun around, entrapped in his arms.
“Mon Cherie, I cannot surprise you no more?” he says in a thick French accent.
Amber breaks down into gut-wrenching sobs. She can’t stop. She let her guard down for just an instant, a second too long, exactly the opportunity her stalker would need to get to her.
“I’m so sorry, I only want to surprise you,” He says trying to comfort her, feeling terrible.
Still shaking thinking about what could have been, yet relieved it turned out to be Christophe, “It’s okay. Wait a minute—it’s not okay! You scared the crap out of me! Stop doing that will you?” she says as she playfully slaps his arm.
“Promise, no scaring…surprise yes, scaring no. I never want to make you cry.”
“You didn’t make me cry. I’ve just been on edge lately—a little stressed out. I guess your timing was off. But then again”—thinking about that phone call she was about to make— “maybe your timing is perfect.”
Amber grabs Christoph by the back of his head kissing him deeply, passionately before he has a chance to react. “Who’s full of surprises now?” she asks catching him off guard. “Last time was amazing, but do you think we could go somewhere else this time instead of the back of my car?”
In the car parked one row over from hers, HE is watching and taking pictures. Oh you are going to pay for this. You think you’re safe—not within my reach. Good thing your Frenchman appeared, he saved you, this time…

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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