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Demon Magic and a Martini - By
Annette Marie
(The Guild Codex: Spellbound #4)
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Release Date: 4/12/2019
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

When I first landed a bartending job at the local guild, I didn’t know a thing about magic. These days, I’m practically an expert on the different magical classes, but there’s one nobody ever talks about: Demonica. 
Turns out they have a good reason for that. My guild is strictly hellion-free, because who wants to risk life and limb to control the biggest bullies on the mythic playground? 
Well, some people do, and now a demon has been loosed in the city. My three best friends are determined to slay it, but even badass combat mages are critically out-magicked. And that’s not all. The monster they’re tracking—it’s not hiding. It’s not fleeing. It’s not leaving a trail of corpses everywhere it goes. 
The demon is hunting too. And in a city full of mythics, it’s searching for deadlier prey. 
If we can’t unravel the demon’s sinister motivations, more innocent people will die, but finding the answers means digging into dark secrets … and learning truths I never wanted to know.


Note: The three mages are definitely sexy, but this series isn’t a reverse harem. It’s 100% fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy.

THE GUILD CODEX: SPELLBOUND
Three Mages and a Margarita (#1)
Dark Arts and a Daiquiri (#2)
Two Witches and a Whiskey (#3)
Demon Magic and a Martini (#4)
 

===========================
 
EXCERPT
 
 
“Speaking of worry …” Sin’s eyes narrowed. “I heard all about how you went demon hunting with Aaron, Kai, and Ezra. I have to ask … what the hell were any of you thinking?”
“Um, well—”
“You aren’t combat trained, and demons are the fiercest, deadliest opponents out there! Why would Darius even approve it? You’re all idiots.”
I managed a bleak smile. “Thanks, Sin. Appreciate the vote of confidence.”
She sniffed angrily. “You know you aren’t ready for that, and I’d really prefer my friend not get herself killed.”
Couldn’t argue with her there. I’d also prefer not to get killed.
Lifting the tattered book off her lap, she smacked it down on the bar. “We need to look at options.”
“Uh … options for what?”
“Defensive alchemy.” She cast me a flinty stare. “Since you’re all for the dangerous jobs now, you need to be armed with more than a couple of artifacts. I heard you used a smoke screen. What else did you take?”
Bemusedly, I watched her flip the book open. “Just flash-bang potions. What is that thing?”
“My grimoire. All Arcana mythics have one—where we record all the spells or transmutations we’ve learned or invented.” She turned several spotted, liquid-stained pages covered in handwriting and diagrams. “I can make smoke bombs and flash-bangs easily enough, but you need something to stop an opponent. Personally, I don’t like sleep potions. It’s easy to get it on your own skin and then you’re asleep instead of them.”
“Yeah, that’d be bad.”
She skimmed a few more pages. “Enhanced strength is useful, but it doesn’t last long, and unless you’re in excessively good shape, you’ll crash hard
afterward. Let’s see … amnesia, no. Fasting potion, no. Enhanced speed, no.”
“What’s wrong with speed? I’d like to be faster.”
“It’s hopelessly impractical. Your body gets faster, but your reflexes don’t, so it’s difficult to control without training and practice. You’ll spend the potion’s duration tripping over your own feet and running into things.”
“Oh.” Too bad. “What’s a fasting potion?”
“Drink it and you won’t need food, water, or a bathroom for about forty-eight hours. Good for certain situations, but you pay for it afterward.” She perused more recipes. “Enhanced perception, air buffer, true sight, anti-emotionalizer, allure-fume—none of these are useful.”
“Allure-fume?” I repeated. “What’s that?”
She winced. “Uh, it’s a … um … perfume.”
I stared at her pointedly, waiting for an explanation, and her cheeks turned pink.
“A few drops on the skin will make the wearer especially alluring to the opposite sex. Like pheromones.”
“Why do you know a potion like that?”
“I tried it out when I was younger, okay?” she muttered defensively. “Lesson learned. You don’t have to lecture me.”
“What happened?”
“I wore it on a first date with this guy I really liked.” “Did it work?”
“It worked on him, plus every male who got within twenty feet of me. I spent our entire dinner date pushing random men out of our booth. I’ve never been hit on so many times in one evening. Most of the men were twice my age and married.”
Fighting back a snicker, I asked, “Did you go on a second date with your crush?”
“No.” She hung her head over the grimoire. “An early sign that my love life was doomed.”


===========================
About the Author
 
Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it's not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.


===========================
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==================================

Smoke and Key - By Kelsey Sutton
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: April 2nd 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Mystery, Historical, Fiction, Paranormal, Magic, Horror
 

A sound awakens her. There's darkness all around. And then she's falling...

She has no idea who or where she is. Or why she's dead. The only clue to her identity hangs around her neck: a single rusted key. This is how she and the others receive their names—from whatever belongings they had when they fell out of their graves. Under is a place of dirt and secrets, and Key is determined to discover the truth of her past in order to escape it.

She needs help, but who can she trust? Ribbon seems content in Under, uninterested in finding answers. Doll’s silence hints at deep sorrow, which could be why she doesn't utter a word. There's Smoke, the boy with a fierceness that rivals even the living. And Journal, who stays apart from everyone else. Key's instincts tell her there is something remarkable about each of them, even if she can't remember why.

Then the murders start; bodies that are burnt to a crisp. After being burned, the dead stay dead. Key is running out of time to discover who she was—and what secret someone is willing to kill to keep hidden—before she becomes the next victim…



 
 
==================================
 
Review
 
 
Everything.....
 
This book is everything....
 
When you fall into Under you don't know where you are, who you are, and are simply given a name based on what you bring with you. A ribbon, doll, or a Key...
 
Too many questions, that is a constant for Key, she wants answers to her questions, but she can never seem to remember completely. She can always feel that she is getting close, but it's almost as if something is pushing her away from it. The reason for this ties itself so well into the end of the novel it'll have you like....
 
 
 
Throughout the entire book I appreciated the journey that Key went on, there were a couple of times I wanted more, but then it was like the author heard me and suddenly that growth, or plot twist was there like, BAM! The author did an amazing job of finding the find line between morbid and the after, which is extremely hard to do. Death is already emotional, but giving those who are in this state of limbo purpose, emotion and a reason to "live", was such a breath of fresh air.
 
As this novel came to an end, I totally thought (and hoped) there would be an entire series centered around these characters, sadly it is a stand along...for now...
Though I don't want to give too much away, because I feel as though spoilers could happen with every page, I will say that there are a million plus reasons to pick this novel up and here are a few; Journal, Smoke, Ribbon, Key...
 
 
4/5
 
 
 
 
 
 
==================================
Playlist
 
 Moonlight Sonata - Beethoven
 
Can't Help Falling in Love (Elvis) - Piano Guys
 
End of Me - Apocalyptica ft. Gavin Rosdale
 
Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
 
Within You - David Bowie
 
I Won't Give Up - Jason Mraz
 
Highway to Hell - AC/DC
 
Human - Christina Perri
 
A Thousand Years - Christina Perri
 
 
==================================
 
Dream Cast
 
Key
 
 
Smoke
 
 
Ribbon
 
 
Journal
(yes, Clint Eastwood, he just FITS)
 
 
 
==================================
About the Author
 
 
Kelsey Sutton is a young adult and middle grade author. She lives in Minnesota, where she received a dual bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing from Bemidji State University. She will soon have a master's degree from Hamline University. Her work has received an Independent Publisher Book Award, an IndieFab Award, and was selected as a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013. When not writing, Kelsey can be found watching too much Netflix, ordering a mocha at the nearest coffee shop, napping with her rescue dogs, or browsing a bookstore.
 
You can visit her online at www.kelseysuttonbooks.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter or Instagram. 
 
==================================
Tour Schedule
 
 
April 10th

April 11th
TheSecret Reader - Review + Favourite Quotes
Moonlight Rendezvous - Review + Favourite Quotes

April 12th
The Clever Reader - Promotional Post

April 13th
The Reading Corner for All - Review + Favourite Quotes

April 14th
The YA Obsessed - Review

April 15th
 
Book Rambler Blog - Review + Favourite Quotes
Mahkjchi's Not-so-secret Books - Review + Favourite Quotes

April 16th
Taking It One Book at a Time - Review + Playlist + Dream Cast
Reads Like Supernovae - Review + Favourite Quotes
Book Swoon - Review
 
==================================
 
Giveaway
 
 
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Today Gabrielle Prendergast and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for COLD FALLING WHITE, the sequel to her Sci-Fi Book ZERO REPEAT FOREVER which releases November 19, 2019! Check out the awesome cover and enter the giveaway!

On to the reveal! 
 
==========================================
 
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===============
 
=======
 
===
 
=


About The Book
 
 
COLD FALLING WHITE - G.S. Prendergast
(The Nahx Invasions #2)
Release Date: 11/19/19
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
 
 
The 5th Wave meets Beauty and the Beast in this fast-paced and heart-stopping follow-up to Zero Repeat Forever, which VOYA called “an edge-of-your-seat page-turner.”

Xander Liu survived the end of the world—just barely. For more than a year he has outsmarted, hidden from, and otherwise avoided the ruthless alien invaders, the Nahx, dodging the deadly darts that have claimed so many of his friends. When the murder of his friend Raven leaves him in the protective company of August, a rebellious Nahx soldier, Xander is finally able to make his way back to human controlled territory and relative safety.

But safety amongst the humans is not what it seems. Nothing is anymore.

Raven remembers dying in the arms of August. She remembers the pain, and the way he cried as she faded away. But months later when she wakes up on a wide expanse of snowy sand dunes, shackled to a boy she thought was dead too, she has a lot of questions. What has happened to her and the other reanimated humans gathered on the dunes? What is the meaning of the Nahx ships that hover ominously above them? And most pressing of all, where is August, who promised to keep her safe?

In the shadow of an unforgiving Canadian winter, Xander and Raven find themselves on opposite sides of an alien war neither of them signed up for. Left with little choice about their roles in the great battle that now seems inevitable, they search for answers and allies, all while feeling inexorably drawn back the place it seems their respective fates were determined, and to the one who determined them: August.
 




=============================




ZERO REPEAT FOREVER - By G.S. Prendergast
(The Nahx Invasions #2)
Release Date: 8/29/17
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
 
 
The 5th Wave meets Beauty and the Beast in this fast-paced and heart-stopping novel about an invasion of murderous creatures and one girl fighting for her life at the end of the world.
 
He has no voice, or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.

Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.

His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.

Until a human kills her…

Sixteen year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade, annihilating entire cities, taking control of the Earth. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her friends have only a fragment of instruction from the human resistance.

Shelter in place.

Which seems like good advice at first. Stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless but what choice does she have?

Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.

Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other… 
 
=============================

ZERO REPEAT FOREVER Book Trailer

Zero Repeat Forever by G. S.Prendergast Teaser Trailer - YouTube





=============================
 

About Gabrielle
 


Gabrielle is a writer, teacher and designer living in Vancouver, Canada.  You can read about her books here. She is represented by Barbara Poelle at the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.
 
In 2014 she was the Writer in Residence at Vancouver Public Library. In 2015 she was nominated for the BC Book Prizes and chosen to tour the province to promote BC Books. In 2017 Gabrielle took part in the TD Canada Children’s Book Week Tour. She has also been nominated for the White Pine Awardand the CLA Award.

Gabrielle won the Westchester Award for Audacious. Audacious was included in CBC’s list of 100 YA Books That Make You Proud to be Canadian. A poem from Capricious was chosen for the 2014 Poetry in Transit Program. Pandas on the East Side was chosen as an Ontario Library Association Best Bet for Junior Fiction in 2016. It was also nominated/shortlisted for the Chocolate Lily Award, The Red Cedar Award, the Diamond Willow Award and the Myrca Award.

 
 
=============================
Giveaway
 
1 winner will receive a signed Zero Repeat Forever hardcover, USA and Canada Only.


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========================
 


EMBERS - By Karen Ann Hopkins
(The Wings of War #1)
Release Date: March 15, 2015
Genre: YA, Paranormal
 
 

There are descendants of angels walking among us. Ember is one of them.

 
Embers is an epic paranormal adventure/romance about a seventeen year old girl who discovers that she's immune to fire and any other injury when she’s in a horrific car crash that kills her parents. Following a violent episode with her aunt's boyfriend, Ember flees Ohio to live with an old relative in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Ember's exuberance at escaping a bad home life soon turns to trepidation when she learns that she's a Watcher, a descendant of angels.

 
While Ember is instructed about her heritage and the powers that go along with it, she strikes up friendships with two teenagers who live in a frightening walled compound in the forest. Inexplicitly drawn to one of the young men in particular, an impossible romance develops. But it's cut short when Ember discovers that her new friends are fighting on the opposite side of a war that's been raging between two factions of Watchers for thousands of years. When the compound’s inhabitants threaten the townspeople, Ember takes action, sealing her fate in the ancient battle of good versus evil, and the grayness in between. Ember is up to the challenge, until she realizes that she isn’t only fighting for the lives of the locals and the souls of her new friends. She may be one of the few champions willing to make a stand for all of mankind as the rapture approaches and the end of days begin.
 

Embers is the first novel in the dark and gritty YA paranormal romance series, The Wings of War.
 
 
 
READ FOR FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!
 
========================

Review
 
There are angels.....everywhere...but not all of them are good.
 
Thank god the I had the other books in hand when I finished Ember, because I don't know how anyone can finish book one and not immediately dive into book 2, 3 & 4!
 
Seriously, there are so many things that I love about Ember. Dealing with the death of her parents, the stare and questions as to why she was still alive, the weight, burden and guilt she carries are so raw in her that I wanted to just give her a hug and let her know if was all right, but there I knew she needed to continue her journey. As her story unfolds it's great to see her move, grow and accept, because at first I thought the storyline was moving a little too fast for me, but it evened out and turned into something phenomenal!
 
Without giving too much away, there are a couple a plot twists that were great surprises, but there was one side plot that I honest wished didn't happen, and am hoping will redeem itself in the future. Now as I dive into the next books in this amazing series just know that if you're walking in the woods and see a LARGE fence that goes on for miles....you never know what might be behind it!
 
5/5
 
 
 
 
 
========================
 
About the Author
 
 
Karen Ann Hopkins resides in northern Kentucky with her family on a farm that boasts a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs, and cats. Karen’s main job is home schooling the kids, but she finds time to give riding lessons, coach a youth equestrian drill team, and of course, write.  She was inspired to create her first book, Temptation, by the Amish community she lived in. The experiential knowledge she gained through her interactions with her neighbors drove the story of the star-crossed lovers, Rose and Noah. Their story continues in Belonging, where their families and cultures threaten to tear them apart, and with Forever and Deception, where we find out once and for all if love is enough for them.
 
​Lamb to the Slaughter, the first book in Serenity’s Plain Secrets, is Karen’s newest Amish endeavor, opening up the darker, grittier and more secretive lives of Amish society. It’s a story about the intertwining lives of three unlikely people in an Indiana Amish Community and the devastating results when a rebellious teenage girl is found shot to death in a corn field during the harvest. Serenity Adams is the newly elected young sheriff in the rural town of Blood Rock, and besides dealing with the threatening behavior of her predecessor, she now has a dead Amish girl on her plate.  At first glance, the case seems obvious. The poor girl was probably accidently shot during hunting season, but when the elders of the Amish community, and even the girl’s parents, react with uncaring subdued behavior, Serenity becomes suspicious. As she delves deeper into the secretive community that she grew up beside, she discovers a gruesome crime from the past that may very well be related to the Amish girl’s shooting. Serenity enlists the help of the handsome bad-boy building contractor, Daniel Bachman. He left the Amish when he was nineteen and has his own dark reasons to help the spunky sheriff solve the crime that the family and friends who shunned him are trying desperately to cover up.  Serenity’s persistence leads her to a stunning discovery that not only threatens to destroy her blossoming romance with Daniel, but may even take her life in the end.
 
​Karen’s YA paranormal/urban fantasy series, the Wings of War, is an epic story about Ember, whose normal life ends abruptly when her parents are killed and she discovers she’s a descendent of angels. Still coping with her strange powers, Ember finds herself — and her heart — in the middle of a centuries-old war in this “compulsively readable” novel (Kirkus Reviews).

 
​Karen grew up about a mile from Lake Ontario in Upstate New York.  She was bitten by the horse bug at the age of five, and after diligently taking riding lessons for several years, was rewarded with her first horse at the age of eleven.  The feisty horse’s name was Lady, a Quarter Horse-Thoroughbred cross, who became Karen’s steadfast companion.  Through the years, the constant force in her life was horses.  Eventually, she found her place as a riding instructor herself.  Before accepting her fate in the barnyard, she worked a short stint as a paralegal, traveled abroad, and guided tourists on horseback riding tours in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

 
Karen is currently working on her bestselling Amish mystery series, Serenity's Plain Secrets, along with the YA paranormal/fantasy series, the Wings of War. Karen is also excited to announce there will be more books in the Temptation series.
 
========================
Tour Schedule
 

Week One:
4/1/2019- A Dream Within A DreamExcerpt
4/2/2019- Introvert BookloverExcerpt
4/3/2019- Lisa Loves LiteratureSpotlight
4/4/2019- BookHoundsInterview
4/5/2019- Lone Tree ReviewsExcerpt
 
Week Two:
4/8/2019- Novel NoviceExcerpt
4/9/2019- Books Coffee and RepeatGuest Post
4/10/2019- Reese's ReviewsReview
4/11/2019- Savings in SecondsReview
4/12/2019- Taking It One Book at a timeReview
 
Week Three:
4/15/2019- Bookroom ReviewsGuest Post
4/16/2019- Book-KeepingReview
4/17/2019- Viviana MacKade- Excerpt
4/18/2019- Kelly P's BlogExcerpt
4/19/2019- Tyto ForestExcerpt
 
Week Four:
4/23/2019- Smada's Book SmackReview
4/24/2019- D. Books and ReviewsReview
4/25/2019- Treestand Book ReviewsReview
4/26/2019- Novel Nerd FactionReview
 
Week Five:
4/29/2019- 100 Pages A DayReview
4/30/2019- Lady Amber's ReviewsReview

========================
 
Giveaway
1 winner will receive one set of signed print copies of the entire 4 book series, open to US, Canada, Australia and Great Britain.
 
 

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==================================
 
S.S.S. Year One - By Yumoyori Wilson
(Supernatural Spy Academy Book 1)
Release Date: April 5, 2019
Genre: Supernatural, YA, Paranormal
 


When being different leads to the best years of your life. 
There are three key components required to get into the most prestigious, top spy academy in the world:
 
Skills. 
Strength. 
Survival. 
My name is Silver Spell Solange. No, I didn't plan for my initials to be the same rank needed to enter the spy academy. But I would do anything to get into the one of a kind school. I have the magical capability of an Elemental Witch, the strength to kick anyone's ass, and quick problem-solving skills to get my teammates out of any jam. There’s only one small problem – the other 'S' I’m missing.
 
I'm not a part of the supernatural race. 
 
After realizing the my only shot at my dreams is at the brink of extinction, I'm unexpectedly teamed up with a werewolf, a dragon, a fallen angel, and a hellhound. The four of them carry the assets and abilities I need to gain my spot into the Supernatural Spy Academy (SSS).
 
With the clock ticking and not much leg room for an SS score, I accept their bet, knowing I’ll easily handle whatever they request from me.
I didn't think their bet would lead me to date all four them. 
 
It's time for me to buckle up. This four-year roller coaster is about to begin, and its a bumpy one-way ticket to becoming the next "supernatural" spy. 
 


 ==================================
 
Review
 
Everything about this book exceed my expectations!

I was expecting something amazing and out of the ordinary because I was truly judging this book by it's fantastic cover...and it DID not disappoint! Not ever reading anything by this author before, from my understanding some of her previous work was a little more light hearted, so it makes me eager to read more from her just based on her writing ability alone!

From the very beginning there was a mystery that outlined this storyline, I knew that something was coming, there was an ominous, foreshadowing that really appealed to me and left me wanting more with every page turn. With magic, shifters, and creatures of the unknown creeping on every page of this book, the author was able to weave so many aspects of this specific world into not only the characters, but their totally badass pets too!

I cannot wait to continue this series and see how the world and everyone in it develops in the future. Though the book did leave off with a cliffhanger, it wasn't as brutal as I expected it to be!

If you're looking for a read that will grab ahold of you and take you away then this is ABOSLUTELY the read for you!

 
 
==================================
 
About the Author
 
 
 

Yumoyori Wilson is a full-time author who has a slight addiction to bubble tea.
She previously was a Pediatric Registered Nurse, working her night shifts away and reading her kindle during her breaks. She decided to take the chance at becoming an author and is now working on multiple projects in various genres, including Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and more.
She lives in Toronto, Ontario and loves to bother her lovely Mother (also known as her Queen) and has many projects and plans for her readers.

 
==================================
 
Tour Schedule
 

Week One:
4/1/2019- Books a Plenty Book ReviewsReview
 
4/2/2019- Julia SwoonsExcerpt
4/3/2019- A Dream Within A DreamExcerpt
4/4/2019- Kelly P's BlogExcerpt
4/5/2019- Page Reaper Book BlogExcerpt
 
Week Two:
4/8/2019- BookHoundsExcerpt
4/9/2019- JB's Bookworms with Brandy MulderSpotlight
4/10/2019- Taking It One Book at a time                - Review
 
Week Three:
4/15/2019- Twirling Book PrincessExcerpt
4/16/2019- Two Chicks on BooksExcerpt
4/17/2019- Lisa Loves LiteratureExcerpt
4/18/2019- Smada's Book SmackSpotlight
4/19/2019- Book BriefsReview
 
Week Four:
4/22/2019- Ramblings of a Book NerdReview
4/23/2019- Tyto ForestExcerpt
4/24/2019- Lone Tree ReviewsExcerpt
4/25/2019- Life With No PlotExcerpt
4/26/2019- Don't Judge, ReadReview
 
Week Five:
4/29/2019- Adventures Thru WonderlandReview
4/30/2019- The Reading LifeReview
 

 
==================================
 
Giveaway
 
1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon GC, International.

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============================== 

Bulwark - By Brit Lunden
Release Date: 1/24/2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Thriller


Clay Finnes is the sheriff of a small town in Georgia called Bulwark. Recently separated from his wife, all he can think about is what went wrong, and will Jenna ever come back to him. He’s troubled by a bothersome reporter trying to build a story from what he thinks is a normal day in his life. Clay has to admit that the fantastical stories, told by an accident victim as well as unusual sightings of wolves, things are getting a bit strange. A visit to the ominous Gingerbread House makes him realize that his life as he knows it will never be the same.











 
This book is part of the Bulwark anthology!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
============================== 

 
============================== 

 
EXCERPT
 
 
PRIMORDIAL SOUP

“It’s like a primordial soup,” Clay Finnes muttered, his hands on his hips.
“A primordial what?” Owen Bishop raised his hangdog face to look at the town sheriff.
“Primordial, ancient, prehistoric . . .” Clay looked at the deputy’s blank face and finished with, “old . . . really, really old.”
“Oh,” Owen shook his craggy head. His bulbous eyes looked like two hard-boiled eggs, and his hair was matted as if glued to the top of his round head. Owen never passed any of the tests allowing him to advance in the force. He was a deputy when Clay first got a job in Bulwark, right out of the army. As the promotions started coming, Clay eventually became his boss. He wondered if it bothered the older man to be taking direction from someone who had trained under him.
“You mean like dinosaurs?” Owen scratched his head. “Dino . . . no . . . forget it, Owen. What else did the couple say?” He listened to Owen drone on about the car that was now sitting in the middle of the greenish pond.
“Appears they were coming from the other side.” Owen pointed vaguely in the other direction.
“How could they? There’s nothing there. That road’s been closed off for years.”
Something was wrong. Clay wasn’t sure what, but a feeling of unease enveloped him until his body fairly vibrated with it.
Clay looked up, his deep brown eyes scanning the thicket of trees surrounding the strange body of water that seemed to have appeared overnight. He crinkled his nose; the pond smelled pretty bad too. It was a greenish color, like dirty army fatigues. It seemed shallow. He resisted the urge to stick the toe of his boot in the water. It was still, the surface like polished glass. The Ford Fusion was trapped in what appeared to be the deepest part of the puddle, as if the driver had tried to speed through it. Clay estimated the brackish water was about two feet deep.
“If they had skirted the edges, they would have made it through. He shoulda used the choke, probably got an entire engine full of water.” Once Owen started talking, he could go on about something forever.
“Where the hell were they coming from?” Clay muttered to himself. He moved away as if to see through the gloom. “It’s a road that leads to nowhere.”
He took off his hat, wiping his sweaty forehead with the back of his hand. It was hotter than usual. No breeze ruffled the leafy trees or relieved the stifling humidity that made his shirt stick to his back.
There was nothing—no sound, not the buzzing of bees or the droning sound of mosquitoes. Not a bird in sight or the croaking music of frogs in the late afternoon. When he got home, he’d mention it to Jenna—his wandering thoughts came to an abrupt halt. There would be no conversation. Jenna wasn’t there anymore. His family’s old farmhouse only had one occupant now. His wife had up and left him. Clay’s chest tightened, his throat closing up. His entire life changed and would never be the same. Losing Claire was just the beginning of the end. After that had happened, it was as though they were stuck in some nightmare and couldn’t get out.
“Well,” Owen continued, oblivious to his boss’s distracted air. “The car hit the . . . um . . . water, at a high rate of speed, I think. It must’ve started to sink.”
“It’s not deep enough to sink,” Clay watched his deputy scratch his bald head then turned to look at the enormous puddle. It covered the road from one end to the other. He chewed the inside of his cheek. He had to admit, it appeared larger than when he had arrived. It couldn’t be that deep, could it? Clay forced his attention back to Owen. It helped him stop thinking of his own life. “Where are they?”
“Over at JB’s house. The wife’s pretty freaked out.”
“JB?” Clay liked the retired football pro, had shared quite a few stories with the old vet.
“Over what? The puddle?” The interruption came from Dayna Dalton, a reporter from the Bulwark Advance. She was walking toward them, a camera hung around her exposed neck, a spiral notebook clasped in her hand. “Think somebody dropped a load of waste here?”
Clay looked at her. His cheek twitched. Her buttons straining, her clothes were so tight, they looked like they had been painted on her body. She shook her mane of red hair like an angry mare. He turned his gaze away, knowing it annoyed her. No matter how much she pranced around in her tight jeans, he wasn’t interested. She hadn’t done anything for him in high school, and she didn’t do anything for him now. Somehow, it never stopped her from trying to get him to notice her. Clay was tired of it. He sighed heavily.
She came around the back of the car, moving into his personal space. For a minute, Clay thought about backing up, but damn it all, he was the sheriff. He stood his ground, daydreaming how Dayna would react if he threw her into the stinky, green lake that had seemingly developed overnight.
Dayna repeated her comment about someone dropping waste. Clay shrugged indifferently then turned to Owen, ignoring her.
He could feel her bristling but refused to move. He dug his feet in the dark soil, his arms folded over his chest. “JB see anything? Maybe notice something out of place?”
Owen shook his head. “Nope. Nada. I asked. Been quiet. JB said this started small. Says he has a few pictures on his laptop he can send us.” Owen paused and then said, “Wait, he mentioned they had a wolf problem lately.”
Clay looked at Owen sharply. “Wolves, there haven’t been—hey!”
He saw Dayna take off, her feet scurrying around a clump of bushes.
“Dayna!” Clay called after the reporter, who was dashing up the incline straight to JB Straton’s cabin.

============================== 
 
About the Author
 


Brit Lunden is also known as prolific children's author, Carole P. Roman. She has published over fifty books. 
Whether it's pirates, princesses, or discovering the world around us, her books have enchanted educators, parents, and her diverse audience of children. She hosts two blog radio programs and is one of the founders of a new magazine, Indie Author's Monthly. She's been interviewed twice by Forbes Magazine. Carole has co-authored a self-help book, Navigating Indieworld: A Beginners Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing. 
Bulwark is her first book of adult fiction. 
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Her Crown of Fire - By Renee April
(Molten Crown, #1)
Release Date: 11/1/2019
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
 
In the dull, everyday world, seventeen-year-old Rose Evermore struggles to plan beyond her final year of high school. But when fire suddenly obeys her every command and her dreams predict the future, she becomes hungry for more of this strange power. 
Under her dreams’ guidance, Rose lands in the fantasy realm of Lotheria–with a tagalong. Tyson, her best friend since childhood, winds up there with her, just as confused and a hell of a lot more vulnerable. In Lotheria, Rose is welcomed and celebrated as a fire mage at the Academy, while the very un-magical Tyson is forced into hiding under threat of death from the masters of Rose’s new school.
As Rose’s talent in fire magic draws unwanted attention and Tyson struggles to transition from high school student to blacksmith, Rose must find a way to return Tyson to their own world before the masters discover and execute him–no matter the cost.
 
 
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About the Author


Renee April is the author of the young adult fantasy novel, Her Crown of Fire.
In addition to being an avid reader and writer, she streams games badly on Twitch and acts as dungeon master for her D&D group. As a result, she spends far too much time in fantasy realms. 
She can be found on various writing sites such as Wattpad and Goodreads, but usually lurks on Twitter to hand out bad advice and genuine sympathies.





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A New World – Conviction  - By M.D. Neu
Publication date: 3/11/2019
Genres: LGBTQ+, Science Fiction

A little blue world, the third planet from the sun. It’s home to 7 billion people with all manner of faiths, beliefs and customs, divided by bigotry and misunderstanding, who will soon be told they are not alone in the universe. Anyone watching from the outside would pass by this fractured and tumultuous world, unless they had no other choice. 
Todd Landon is one of these people, living and working in a section of the world called the United States of America. His life is similar to those around him: home, family, work, friends and a husband.
After the attack on San Jose, Todd is appointed to Special Envoy for Terran Affairs by the nentraee, a position many world leaders question. Undeterred Todd wants to build bridges between both people. However, this new position brings with it a new set of problems that not only he, but his new allies Mi’ko and Mirtoff must overcome. Will the humans and nentraee learn to work together despite mistrust and threats of more attacks by a new global terrorist group, or will the terrorists win? Will this bring an end to an already shaky alliance between nentraee and humans?
 

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EXCERPT
 
 
In this excerpt Todd is getting ready to meet the full nentraee Speaker’s House for the first time. It is a tense moment between Todd and Vi-Narm and a moment where Todd learns that not all the nentraee may think as highly of him as Mi’ko, the vice-speaker, and Mirtoff, the speaker general do. I hope you enjoy:
 
Todd finished reviewing the details on the ceremony before leaving his quarters.
 
Ceremony. Bullshit! It’s not a ceremony but an interview in front of the full Speaker’s House. Why didn’t Vi-Narm tell me? She made it out to be no big deal.
 
He rushed down the hall, his cloak, the Kap’erin, billowed out behind him. Several Nentraee stopped and bowed as he passed. He turned the corner and checked his datapad for directions. His palms were damp. His heart pounded, and not from rushing.

Vi-Narm waited for him outside large ornate doors decorated with carvings of gold and silver. The surrounding light bounced off the metals, creating shimmering circles of light on the floor.
“Todd.” Vi-Narm offered a stiff bow, her cloak shifting about her shoulders.
 
Damn it.
 
He should have been more diligent, not assuming that all the reports she gave him were the only ones.
 
We’ll learn to work together. If I survive this.
 
“Hello, Vi-Narm,” Todd said as he searched for a hint of a friendly greeting, but her face was stern and her lips a straight line.
 
“We will go in the council chamber where the Speaker’s House will be in session.” She eyed him coolly. “Once they address us, you will present yourself and answer their questions to the best of your ability. The interview process is simple, so you should have no trouble. But, do not be fooled. This will also decide if they will accept you.”
 
“Wait. Accept me?” Todd tried to process while catching his breath. “What happens if they don’t approve of me? Mi’ko didn’t say anything about that.”
 
What happens if I can’t understand their broken English and answer the question wrong? God, I hope it’s in English.
 
“Then he must believe you will be fine and not want to worry you.” The slightest suggestion of a smile reached her lips.
 
Sweat broke out on his forehead. Vi-Narm had sent him file after file last night for review. “There was so much information to review, and some of it made no sense until I researched it further, taking more time.” He frowned. “It didn’t help that you’ve been sending me a ton of information. I haven’t been able to sort through it all.”
 
“It’s not my job to help you sort through what I send.” Vi-Narm’s voice was calm. Cold. “I send the document that are required for all your different tasks. It is your responsibility to organize them and go through them and be prepared.”
 
Todd shook his head and stared at the floor. He inhaled deeply and met her eyes. “I would’ve appreciated you pointing out the information that was important for today’s events. I could’ve focused on it.”
 
“Perhaps you should organize your time better, or is that a failing of your character?”
 
“But I—”
 
“It was in the report I send to you this morning,” she interrupted. “You did read it? Did you not?”
 
“Today? This morning? As in, while I was still in bed, or while I was getting ready for this interview?”

Or when I was on the toilet?

Trying not to sound as pissed as he felt, he checked his pocket watch. Since getting it, he kept it with him as a good-luck piece. Now, more than ever, he needed the luck.

“Vi-Narm, how could you send it this morning? I didn’t have a chance—you made it sound like this was only my welcome ceremony. That was my impression from… I didn’t have a chance to…”

She hates me. That’s why she’s doing this. She hates me and is determined for me to fail.

He saw a hint of a smile, and he was sure there was a brief twinkle in her eyes.

God, she’s a total bitch. With luck, she’ll trip and fall on her way into the chamber. That might loosen the stick up her ass.

He took a breath and held back the frown that was stalking his face. “I’ll do my best.”

She watched the chamber doors open. “Let us hope Mi’ko’s faith in you is well placed.”

The soft ticking of his watch reminded him why he was here.

I can do this.



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About the Author
 

 
M.D. Neu is a LGBTQA Fiction Writer with a love for writing and travel. Living in the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose, California) and growing up around technology, he's always been fascinated with what could be. Specifically drawn to Science Fiction and Paranormal television and novels, M.D. Neu was inspired by the great Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas, Stephen King, Alice Walker, Alfred Hitchcock, Harvey Fierstein, Anne Rice, and Kim Stanley Robinson. An odd combination, but one that has influenced his writing. 
Growing up in an accepting family as a gay man he always wondered why there were never stories reflecting who he was. Constantly surrounded by characters that only reflected heterosexual society, M.D. Neu decided he wanted to change that. So, he took to writing, wanting to tell good stories that reflected our diverse world. 
When M.D. Neu isn't writing, he works for a non-profit and travels with his biggest supporter and his harshest critic, Eric his husband of eighteen plus years. 

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In Other Words  - By Jennifer Woodhull
Publication date: April 30th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
 
Dexter 
We became close friends in college. When Sinclair returns home to Dallas after two years in New York, I introduce her to my best friend Cole. The good-looking playboy ballplayer is the perfect kind of guy for the woman I’m sure would never be interested in me…even if seeing them together breaks my heart. 
Sinclair. 
He was the nerdy PhD candidate. I was the cheerleader. We made unlikely friends. Moving back home after two years away, he looks hotter than ever. When I start dating his ballplayer best friend, things get complicated. He doesn’t see me as girlfriend material…but I can’t get him, or my feelings for him, out of my head.
 

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Jennifer Woodhull is based in the Southern United States, spending time in her second home of England, and traveling as often as she can. Her love of travel permeates her work, and her characters often find themselves exploring new and foreign surroundings.  
A keen observer of human behavior, Jennifer often draws inspiration from something as simple as a fleeting connection, or the glimpse of a unique trait or characteristic. Her favorite place to write is on airplanes.  
"The drone of the engine, the scores of people, all traveling to something or from something, and being disconnected from digital distractions are a combination that provide the perfect place to write," she says. "If you see a woman in seat 9F who is balancing her Macbook on her lap because it's time to close your tray table, please have patience. I'm just trying to finish one more sentence." 


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Lost Horizon - By Michelle Hercules
(Oz in Space, #1)
Publication date: June 10th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

A magical planet torn apart by war. A defiant space pilot cadet determined to save the ones she loves. The adventure of a lifetime. 
Oz like you have never seen before. 
Space Academy prodigy Dorothy Hanson doesn’t have time for love nonsense. She has one goal, complete the mission her parents started before their untimely death.
When a cosmic disturbance hits the Kansas Space Station, Dorothy seizes that opportunity to go on her first space voyage. She didn’t expect to be sucked into a vortex nor land on a strange planet ravaged by war. 
Stranded, she must embark on a perilous mission to the Land of Oz, the only nation that possesses the technology to send her home. Three strangers join Dorothy in her quest, all carrying reasons of their own for reaching Emerald City. A man without memories marked with a strange symbol on his face. A cyborg with a chip on his shoulder and a mysterious past. And a scarred hellioncat plagued by nightmares in the dark. 
Dorothy doesn’t know if she can trust them, but as their journey progresses, their bond becomes stronger and Dorothy’s feelings evolve from suspicion to caring too much. Torn between contradicting emotions, she must find the strength to fight the evil forces that stack up against them along the way. Surviving the trip on the yellow road is priority number one, but can she survive losing her heart?
 

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USA Today bestselling author Michelle Hercules always knew creative arts were her calling but not in a million years did she think she would write a novel. With a background in fashion design she thought she would follow that path. But one day, out of the blue, she had an idea for a book. One page turned into ten pages, ten pages turned into a hundred, and before she knew, her first book, The Prophecy of Arcadia, was born. 
Michelle Hercules resides in The Netherlands with her husband and daughter. She is currently working on the Legends of Gattica series. 

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