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Book Spotlight: Dueling Fates

For fans of GOT and Throne of Glass, comes fantasy novel Dueling Fates by Stephanie M. Allen. Read on for book details, and an exclusive excerpt!

Dueling Fates CoverDueling Fates

Publication Date: June 30th, 2020

Genre: Fairy Tale/ Fantasy

Publisher: Liminal Books

In the world of Erez, three kingdoms share a tentative peace. In the far west, Princess Isemay yearns for much more than frilly dresses and etiquette classes. While her twin sister, Alena, prepares for life as a monarch in a neighboring kingdom, Isemay roams the woods with her loyal cheetah, hunting dagger strapped to her belt. It’s only when two surprising visitors arrive at the castle that Isemay must come to terms with her royal future – and a secret magical heritage. Now engaged to the king of the east, Isemay prepares for a position she never wanted.

After saying good-bye to all that she loves, Princess Alena travels north in trepidation – fully prepared to marry a spoiled prince she does not desire and usurp the throne from his insane father who does not deserve it. But when tragedy strikes at her wedding ceremony and she is wrongfully imprisoned, she can only hope that her hurried plea for help will reach her father in time.

Frantic to save her sister – and against the wishes of her betrothed – Isemay joins the army sent to free Alena. A mysterious encounter with a dragon in disguise leaves her with a warning that her life is in danger – but can it save her from the battle to come?

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Excerpt

Reaching the first tree, Isemay gently placed her palm on the rough bark and scanned the shaded area directly in front of her. The bright sun made it difficult to see much detail in the shadows, but her eyes adjusted quickly. Golda stood perfectly still next to her, one paw lifted off the ground, the bushy fur around her neck raised higher than normal. Movement to the left caught Isemay’s eye. She yelped in fright at what she saw.

A huge black wolf, larger than any she had ever seen, was standing a mere ten feet away, piercing yellow eyes trained on her. A low rumbling sound was vibrating from its chest and its lips were lifted in a snarl.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Stephanie M. Allen graduated from California Baptist University in 2009 with a B.A. in English and a desire to share her imaginative stories with the world. She loves to write fantasy, particularly centered around young adults. Aside from writing, Stephanie loves to read, ride horses, and sing. She currently lives in Wyoming with her husband and two children.

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DuelingFate copy

Blog Tour Schedule

August 31st

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Horror Tree (Guest Post) https://www.horrortree.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

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Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

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BookishLifeTime (Review) http://www.bookishlifetime.wordpress.com

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Bri’s Book Nook (Review) http://brisbooknook.wordpress.com

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

September 4th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

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Book Spotlight: Telephone Road

Looking for the perfect twisty thriller, try Telephone Road by Ann Swann! 

TelephoneRoadEbookCoverUse

Telephone Road

Publication Date: August 4th

Genre: Thriller

Publisher5 Prince Publishing

Marlena caught the eye of one of the richest, hottest guys on campus, Preston. But when her attention shifts, and she falls in love with a hometown boy, Jimmy, she finds out that Preston is also deeply disturbed.

What follows is a life-changing evening out on Telephone Road, and Marlena knows she will never be the same when she takes matters into her own hands.

Justice has a new meaning. It’s called revenge.

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Excerpt

The remains of the sunset reflecting across the rippling water drew me to lean down and dip my fingers into the cold, bubbling flow. The sounds lent a storybook feel to the scene. The air was cool and still, fragrant with the loamy, nose-tickling scent of damp earth and fresh water. Multicolored leaves and drifts of pine needles carpeted the ground, softening our steps and turning the whole area into a painter’s fall palette.

I sat cross-legged on the plaid blanket he’d spread. “This is kind of amazing,” I admitted around a mouthful of pizza. “How’d you find it?”

              Preston looked into the distance. “I spend a lot of time in the woods,” he said. “It’s my refuge. I just needed you to share it with me.”

              He looked at me and I knew, suddenly and without a shred of doubt, that I had made a huge mistake. His light blue eyes had gone as cold as the water in the creek.

              I tried not to panic, tried to keep my suspicions in check, but alarm bells clanged inside my head. “It’s really beautiful,” I said. “Thank you for sharing it with me.” I put one hand down to push myself to my feet. “Now I’ve really got to get back—”

              He grabbed my shoulder, forcing me to remain seated on the blanket. For a moment, I had a ridiculous hope that he was playing, roughhousing the way Jim and I had done. But when he held me there, when his other hand clamped down on my opposite shoulder, when he smashed me backward onto the remains of the pizza, I knew this was no game.

              “Stop!” I cried. “What are you—?”

              His face came closer and closer, his lips questing.

              I jerked my head from side to side. “Preston, stop! What’re you doing?”

              His weight pinned me to the blanket, his hard chin dug into the side of my neck. He tried to hold my face still without using his hands.

              “I love you.” His voice had gone as hard and cold as his eyes. “I know you love me, too. I don’t know why you won’t show it.”

              His lips found mine and he let go of my right shoulder long enough to tangle his fingers into my hair.

              My head was trapped. Anger crashed through my body. I jerked my head aside to get his mouth off mine. Strands of my hair were ripped out of my scalp, but suddenly my hands were fighting, clawing, raking at his face, his clothing, his skin. Anything to get him off me.

              He tightened his grip on my hair but his other hand came up holding the campfire lighter. Just as he depressed the trigger to ignite it, my right hand found the wine bottle lying on its side. I wrapped my fingers around the neck of the bottle and swung it through the air, smashing it into the side of his head with as much force as I could muster.

Amazon | iBooks | B & N | Smashwords | KoboGoogle

About the Author

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Ann has been a writer since junior high, but to pay the bills she has waited tables, delivered newspapers, cleaned other people’s houses, taught school, and had a stint as a secretary in a rock-n-roll radio station.

She also worked as a 911 operator and a police dispatcher.

Her fiction began to win awards during her college days. Since then she’s published several short stories, novels, and novellas. She’s always reading and always writing, but even if she never sold another story, Ann would not stop writing. For her it’s a necessity, like breathing. Most of the time, it even keeps her sane.

Ann Swann | Facebook | Goodreads

Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

TelephoneRoad copy

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August 31st

Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com

Eclectic Review (Review) https://eclecticreview.com/

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Blood Rose Writings (Review) http://www.bloodrosewritings.blogspot.com

Entertainingly Nerdy (Review) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

Meli’s Book Reviews (Review) https://melisbokreviews.wordpress.com/

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Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

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Book Spotlight: From Then To Now

Welcome to the blog tour for From Then to Now by Mitzi Mensch! Read on for details and a chance to win a print copy of the book!

Cover_l.gif-2

From Then to Now

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Author House

From Then to Now is a novel within a novel. Maggie figures that, with events being so old, it is safe to tell all. Figuring wrong is her first mistake. Downloading the manuscript onto her grown daughter’s computer is her second mistake.
Andrea is dismayed to discover Maggie’s infidelity in her first marriage and shocked to learn of her grandmother’s cloistered pregnancy and forced adoption of her newborn daughter. She uses the Internet to find the people mentioned in her mother’s story, more to satisfy her own curiosity than to bring her mother peace.
From Then to Now spans six decades and addresses changes, both individual and societal, in attitude, perception, and awareness. These changes, triggered in part by outside world events, bring about personal understanding achieved only after loss is experienced and enlightenment has been attained.

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Excerpt

I must have gone too far on Waialae Avenue because all of a sudden I was on a freeway and then the freeway turned into a winding road cut through a sheer cliff. There was no place to turn around so I kept going and watched in wonder at the water pounding the rocks below and the vast expanse of blue ocean beyond. I was ten minutes late for my assignment. This was the road — I recognized it — where they had filmed Blue Hawai`i, with Elvis. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. So far all I’d seen was Schofield, Waikiki, downtown. Now I was in Hawai`i. The assignment no longer mattered. I stopped at a look-out point called the Blow Hole and peered down at a rock with a hole in it where the water spouted up like a whale. I watched, mesmerized, for time indeterminate, enthralled at the energy of the ocean. I had to see more. Continuing on I drove past a beach where body-boarders sailed through the surf and flew through the foam, flipping just in time to escape the fury before the waves crashed straight down on the sand with frightening ferocity. When I thought I’d seen all the glory this island could possibly offer, I came to another place where the road steepened precipitously and the view was more spectacular, if imaginable, than before. I craned my neck to see what beauty lay beneath the guard rails but the sharp curves forced me to focus on the wheel. I turned the bend and there was Sea Life Park on the mountain, or mauka side of the road as Glen had taught me to say, and on the ocean side, or makai, was Makapu`u. I drove down, parked, took off my shoes, walked to the beach. It was so beautiful. I sat on a rock to take in the majesty and totally gave up on the assignment. I thought of Michener’s words in the first chapter of Hawaii, the book I was reading, about the creation of the islands. About the force deep below the sea which built and grew until volcanic eruptions burst through the surface and left molten deposits which cooled and became rocks. I thought about the birds, from far away, flying over, dropping seeds, creating vegetation. I thought about the marvel of how these islands were formed, then found, and inhabited, and now here I was, a tiny, insignificant speck on the face of the earth, sitting on a rock, at the edge of an island, in the middle of the sea, in the most beautiful place in the world. As I felt the water lap at my feet and the sun caress my skin I knew, without a doubt, I was the luckiest person who ever lived. When I finally got back to my car there was a cop, writing a ticket.

Available on Amazon and at Author House

About the Author

Mitzi Mensch

Mitzi Mensch was born and raised in New England and attended college in Vermont. An island girl at heart, she moved to Hawai’i, where she has lived long enough to be a kama`aina.

Author House

Giveaway: For a chance to win a print copy of the book, click the link below!

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FromThentoNow

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August 31st

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

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Meli’s Book Reviews (Review) https://melisbokreviews.wordpress.com/

September 1st

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

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B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Bookriot (Spotlight) http://anjedah.wordpress.com

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September 3rd

PoptheButterfly (Spotlight) https://popthebutterfly.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

It’s My Life (Review) https://itsmylifejen.wordpress.com/

September 4th

Book Reviews by Satabdi (Review) http://satabdimukherjee.wordpress.com

@the.b00kreader (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the.b00kreader

Crossroads Review (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

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I did the “Do I have That Other Book” challenge! I participated in the original challenge when I had first started my channel and wanted to try out part two! Let me know if you have done this challenge and how fast you got! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Conscience

Congratulations to author Jonathan Pongratz on the release of his latest short story, Conscience! Here’s an exclusive excerpt and book details!

ConscienceCoverConscience

Publication Date: August 27th, 2020

Genre: Sci-Fi/ Short Story

Rory Bennels lives in a world ruled by a business entity known as the Corporation. For years he’s executed cerebral uploads for the recently deceased, but when the famed anarchist Epher Lore ends up in his lab, a series of events occur that shakes Rory’s world to the core.

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Excerpt

“We’re losing him,” the surgeon’s tense voice cut through the viewing room’s speaker.

Rory Bennels leaned against the glass to the operating room as the surgeon barked orders at the nurses and red plated medbots tending to the man splayed out on the surgery table. The patient’s body seized in violent tremors, blood oozing through wounds in his forehead, chest, and abdomen. Rory stared on in concern, his skin tingling as he recognized the man. 

Epher Lore, the last leader of the Free Thinkers movement.

From his digital news updates, Rory knew of the Corporation’s efforts to track down this anarchist. However, as he looked upon Epher’s broken body, curiosity sparked in his mind.

This man, dangerous? He couldn’t have been older than twenty-five. What was it about him that made the Corporation nervous?

A sharp zap at the base of his neck made Rory clench his teeth. Heart pounding, he looked to the watch on his wrist. It flashed red in quick bursts. Crap! That was the second time this week. If he kept upsetting his emotion-monitoring implant, they’d come to clean him. Like the Corporation said, ‘Emotions lead to questions. Questions lead to independent thought. Independent thought leads to anarchy.’

Rory straightened his back, reciting the Corporation’s Preamble to suppress his deviant thoughts. We, the subordinates of the Corporation, in order to form a more perfect human, establish authority, ensure uniformity … 

He glanced at his black-banded watch again and gave a sigh of relief. Blue skies. 

The harsh monotonous buzz of the heart monitor blared through the speakers, demanding Rory’s attention. The surgeon took off his gloves and told the one-eyed medbots to record the time of death. He exited the operating room, Rory mulling over the peculiar situation before the surgeon entered the viewing room moments later.

“I take it you’re Rory Bennels?” the surgeon asked in a cold, clinical tone.

“That’s right.”

He handed Rory a thin tablet that activated upon his touch. “Retrieve this man’s mind. Upload it to the Corporation mainframe.”

Rory scanned the digital dossier, then gazed upon Epher’s covered body on the gurney.

“Is something wrong?” 

“Epher Lore, isn’t he–“

“That information is not relevant,” the surgeon snapped. He grimaced at Rory with calculating gray eyes. “Are you sweating?”

Stay calm, stay calm. Rory maintained eye contact. “Minor synaptic misfire,” he explained, flashing his watch that glowed a healthy bright blue.

The surgeon nodded, ushering Rory to follow him to collect the body.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Jonathan Pongratz is a writer and author of captivating horror, urban fantasy, and paranormal stories. When he’s not writing, he’s busy being a bookworm, video game junkie, and karaoke vocalist. A former resident of Dallas, he currently resides in Kansas City with his halloween cat Ajax. By day he works magic in finance, by night he creates dark and mesmerizing worlds.

Jonathan Pongratz | Facebook | Goodreads | Tublr

More exciting news! Conscience will be available for review from now until the end of November! Contact shanannigans.readsandreels@gmail.com for details, or to request a review copy.

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I made it to 2k subscribers thanks to all of you amazing people and so I decided to do a video where I react to your assumptions about me! Find out the real truth about me and get to know me as a person a little better! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Dead After Midnight

Welcome to the blog tour for Dead After Midnight, A Kelsey Woods Thriller!

trial bay gaol

Dead After Midnight (A Kelsey Woods Thriller Book 1)

Publication Date: May 16th, 2020

Genre: Thriller

Suzie Q is a prostitute and determined to get out of her current line of work and excited for a fresh start with best friend Lucy by her side. Her dreams come to an abrupt halt, when, during a night of turning tricks, she stumbles upon Lucy’s brutally murdered body. Fearing for her life, Suzie runs to her neighbor, Luke’s, to regroup, where she discovers he’s not just a creepy client, but an undercover FBI agent. He blindsides her when he reveals that she’s mixed up in an FBI investigation, and that she’s been unknowingly working for Johnny Stone, New York’s notorious crime boss. Suzie flees from New York, hiding in a quaint seaside town in Maine. She changes her identity and her life. Now she has to survive, to keep the life she has come to love.

This is the first novel in the Kelsey Woods thriller series.

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Excerpt

I unlocked the door and climbed the stairs to the top floor, which opened up right by my room. I quietly unlocked my door and went right over to the large picture window and looked out. Nothing. No boogeyman hiding in the bushes and casing the joint. I shut the curtains and turned to switch on the light, stopping mid stride.

“Don’t be foolish and scream, Suzie. The cops would be called and I am pretty sure you don’t want to involve them.”

There he was, larger than life and stretched out on my bed as if he owned the place. I wasn’t surprised to see him. I couldn’t see his face, but of course I recognized the voice; I had heard it many times in my old life—a very deep, distinctive voice.

“How did you find me, Luke?”

“Just have to ask the right people the right questions over and over again. It’s good to see you. I’ve been in town a few days now, watching you. I have to say, you’ve impressed me with all the positive changes in your life. New line of work, new home, and even a new name—it suits you. I mean that. I’m very happy that you’ve left the old life behind you. Lucy would be very proud.”

“Are you here to take me back? Am I being arrested?”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Cindy-HeadShot-4

CP’s reading tastes are an eclectic mix of thriller, crime, romance, and the occasional fantasy novel. But, when she puts pen to paper, she can’t resist the intrigue of a thriller.

CP has written two novels in The Kelsey Woods series, Dead After Midnight (debut novel, released in May 2020) and Dead Before Sunrise – which is scheduled for release in the fall of 2020.

A true east coaster from beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada, CP is happily married to her high school sweetheart. She’s been blessed with a wonderful family, including six adorable grandchildren.

CP loves hearing from readers, connect with her via email or Twitter.

C.P. Daly

Giveaway: Win one of three print copied of Dead After Midnight!

*North America Only

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DeadAfterMidnight

Blog Tour Schedule

August 24th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

PoptheButterfly Reads (Spotlight) https://popthebutterfly.wordpress.com

Eclectic Review (Review) https://eclecticreview.com/

Purple Shelf Club (Review) https://www.purpleshelfclub.com/

August 25th

I’m into Books (Spotlight) https://imintobooks.com

Horror Tree (Guest Post) https://www.horrortree.com

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Inked and Blonde (Review) https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/

August 26th

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

Ally’s Reading Corner (Review) http://allysreadingcorner.wordpress.com

Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

August 27th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

Meli’s Book Reviews (Review) https://melisbokreviews.wordpress.com/

Rajiv’s Reviews (Review) https://www.rajivsreviews.com/

August 28th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Reviews by Satabdi (Review) http://satabdimukherjee.wordpress.com

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I made it to 2k subscribers thanks to all of you amazing people and so I decided to do a video where I react to your assumptions about me! Find out the real truth about me and get to know me as a person a little better! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: The Witches of Vegas

Welcome to the book tour for The Witches of Vegas by Mark Rosendorf, the perfect tale for fans of mythical creatures and magical mayhem!

Witches of Vegas

The Witches of Vegas 

Publication Date: August 5, 2020

Genre: YA Paranormal/ Urban Fantasy/ Witches

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Where can Witches and their vampire mentor practice their powers without being discovered or persecuted?

By using their magic, the Witches of Vegas become the number one act performing on the Las Vegas Strip—a great achievement for them, but not so much for the magicians—who can’t possibly keep pace.

Isis Rivera is the adopted fifteen-year old daughter of The Witches of Vegas. Zack Galloway is the teenage nephew and assistant to the last magician left in the city. Although they should be rivals, when Valeria, a four-hundred-year-old witch with a long-seeded grudge against humanity arrives in Sin-City, both teens act to bring their families together to stop the evil hag in her tracks.

But can the combined witches’ powers and the ingenuity of the magicians be enough to stop Valeria from taking over the city and possibly the world?

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Excerpt

Sebastian’s voice boomed through the theater. “Ladies and gentlemen, for the last five and a half years, you have had the opportunity to experience The Witches of Vegas four nights and three afternoons a week right here at the Sapphire Resort and Casino’s main theater. But today, you will be the very first audience to witness something truly spectacular!”

Isis’ shoulders tensed. A knot formed in the pit of her stomach. She had levitated many times, but never in front of more than four people. This time, it would be in front of over four thousand strangers. Wow, goosebumps popped out all over her arms and legs. She took deep breaths, just as they taught her, in through the nose and out through the mouth. It always helped calm her nerves. Right now, they really needed calming.

“We are about to bring out a new, young witch to the stage,” Sebastian explained. “She will have you believing that a young girl can become lighter than air!”

“Lighter than air.” Isis closed her eyes and chanted under her breath. “Lighter than air.” Her hands and feet tingled with each step toward the stage. The magic flowed through her veins like a steady leak from a faucet.

“Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for the future goddess of magic, Isis!

The crowd applauded. A slow, soothing music played through the speakers. Isis took a deep breath, then stepped out from behind the curtain. She could hear the audience but couldn’t see them behind the blinding spotlights. “Lighter than air,” she whispered a few more times.

Isis raised her right foot as if resting it on the first step of a long staircase. She placed her left foot next to the right. A few inches separated the soles of her bare feet from the stage floor. The crowd let out an “ooh.”

Time to make them “ahh.”

Isis reached up with both hands, then, like a swimmer at the bottom of a pool, pulled her body straight up. She floated until her hands touched the ceiling. Way too high. Isis pushed against the ceiling so she’d float down ever so slightly. She let her body go horizontal, then breast-stroked past the spotlights and directly over the audience. Astonished faces pointed her way.

“Lighter than air,” she said once again as a reminder to herself not to lose concentration.

Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

marks picture

Mark Rosendorf ‘s writing is based on the personalities and experiences he has come across throughout his life, coupled with his own wild “if only I could do that” imagination. He is the author of the young adult series, The Witches of Vegas. He is also credited with The Rasner Effect series, a suspense/thriller trilogy published between 2009 and 2012.

Mark is a licensed Guidance Counselor for the New York City Department of Education’s special education district. He began his counseling career in September, 2001. Prior to that, he worked in the hotel industry. He has also moonlighted as a professional magician. Today, he teaches magic and Illusion to his students in order to teach teamwork while developing their confidence.

Having accomplished his goals of becoming an author, Mark decided on an early retirement from writing. Then, one night, at two a.m., a new and unique story shot into Mark’s brain like a lightning bolt, screaming for him to write it. Mark found himself spending several nights taking notes on the characters and their stories. That is how The Witches of Vegas was born.

This is Mark’s first young adult novel.

Mark RosendorfFacebookTwitter

TheWitchesofVegas copy

Book Tour Schedule

August 24th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

PoptheButterfly Reads (Spotlight) https://popthebutterfly.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

@ace_blackmore (Review) https://www.instagram.com/ace_blackmore/

August 25th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

@Joanna.Zoe (Review) https://www.instagram.com/joanna.zoe/?igshid=1xipr7pa6a9zl

Inked & Blonde (Review) https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/

Rajiv’s Reviews (Review) https://www.rajivsreviews.com/

@betweenthepagesss (Review) https://www.instagram.com/betweenthepagesss/

August 26th

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

@a.p.reading (Review) https://www.instagram.com/a.p.reading/

Mind of Luxe (Review) http://mindofluxe.wordpress.com

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

August 27th

The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Bri’s Book Nook (Review) http://brisbooknook.wordpress.com

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Tales of a Natural Spoonie (Review) https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/

August 28th

BookishLifeTime (Review) http://www.bookishlifetime.wordpress.com

Sophril Reads (Review) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

@thecrookedhouse (Review) https://www.instagram.com/thecrookedhouse/

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I absolutely love coffee so I just had to do the Coffee Book Tag! All of the prompts are related to hot drinks and it was a blast to film. Let me know in the comments how you take your coffee (or whichever hot drink you prefer)! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Crackle & Fire

Check out the upcoming release from Russ Colchamiro! Crackle and Fire is the first installment of a brand new genre-blurring series!

Crackle & Fire front cover FINAL

Crackle and Fire: An Angela Hardwicke Sci-Fi Mystery (Book One)

Expected Publication Date: September 1st, 2020

Genre: Sci-Fi Mystery/ Fantasy

Angela Hardwicke isn’t just any private eye.

She’s a PI from Eternity, the cosmic realm responsible for the design, creation, and maintenance of the Universe.

When accountant Gil Haberseau hires her to find an intern with stolen corporate files, Hardwicke soon finds herself embroiled in a deadly case of lies, intrigue, and murder, clashing with vengeful gangsters, MinderNot rallies, and a madman who’s come a long way to get what he wants.

In Russ Colchamiro’s thrilling Sci-Fi mystery Crackle and Fire, Angela Hardwicke learns once and for all that when it comes to being an intergalactic private eye, there’s no telling what threats she may face on-realm and off… including the demons that lurk deep within her soul.

Crackle and Fire elegantly combines PI noir with science fiction and fantasy.” — John L. French, author of The Magic of Simon Tombs

“Angela Hardwicke is one of the most memorable characters in detective fiction.” — Sawney Hatton, author of Everyone is a Moon

BONUS STORY INCLUDED! The AI-themed Angela Hardwicke murder mystery, “The Case of Jarlo’s Buried Treasure”

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About the Author

Russ Colchamiro Headshot

Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the zany SF/F backpacking comedy series Finders Keepers: The Definitive EditionGenius de Milo, and Astropalooza, and is editor of the SF anthology Love, Murder & Mayhem, all with Crazy 8 Press.

Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, two ninjas, and crazy dog Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the Crimson KeepPangaeaAltered States of the UnionCamelot 13, TV Gods 2, They Keep Killing Glenn, Thrilling Adventure Yarns, Camelot 13, and Brave New Girls.

He is now working on the first novel in a new series featuring his hardboiled private eye Angela Hardwicke, and the first of three collaborative novella projects.

Russ ColchamiroFacebook | Twitter | Goodreads  

Giveaway: For a chance to win a digital copy of Crackle and Fire AND a $5 Amazon gift card, click the link below!

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CrackleandFire

Blog Tour Schedule

August 24th

Horror Tree (Guest Post) https://www.horrortree.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

August 25th

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

Rajiv’s Reviews (Review) https://www.rajivsreviews.com/

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

August 26th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Meli’s Book Reviews (Review) https://melisbokreviews.wordpress.com/

August 27th

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

I’m into Books (Spotlight) https://imintobooks.com

PoptheButterfly Reads (Spotlight) https://popthebutterfly.wordpress.com

August 28th

Mind of Luxe (Review) http://mindofluxe.wordpress.com

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I absolutely love coffee so I just had to do the Coffee Book Tag! All of the prompts are related to hot drinks and it was a blast to film. Let me know in the comments how you take your coffee (or whichever hot drink you prefer)! Check out the video below:

Author Interview: Kasham Keltuma

I had the pleasure of talking with a local author over email this past week named Kasham Keltuna about their book Caucasian Ovtcharka. We wish we could have met in person to do a video interview but because of COVID, we went the written route.

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Synopsis: Caucasian Ovtcharka, a contemporary literary novel, tells the story of a young lady contracted to marry the cripple heir of a multi-Billion Naira estate.

Despite their mutual unwillingness, they are prevailed upon and the marriage ensues whilst the lady feels the need to flee the union and protect herself, the young man becomes smitten, whether his love is genuine or just a means to an end remains a heartbreaking mystery.

Buy her book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08D2GNXHH/ref=cm_sw_r_wa_awdb_t1_qYseFbRE8FAYF

Here is the interview I did with her! Her answers were great and I would look forward to meeting her in person once COVID settles down!


Q. What is your top read of 2020 so far?

Becoming – Michelle Obama

Children of Blood and Bone – Tomi Adeyemi

Season of Crimson Blossoms – Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

The Spiral Staircase: Karen Armstrong

Q. What is your favorite book friendship?

The novel, Radio Silence by Alice Oseman about the characters Frances and Aled and their formidable friendship over a period of a year is a great way of embodying a platonic relationship, especially for teenagers.

Q. Most anticipated book release of 2020?

Too Much and Never Enough – Mary L. Trump

Becoming – Michelle Obama

Breast and Eggs – Mieko Kawakami

Q. How many books are in your TBR pile?

For the physical books, I’d say about 20. I try to make a point to finish reading my pile before buying new ones. For my eBooks TBR, I have about 200 books.

Q. Who is your favorite author?

That will be Henry Charles Bukowski.

Q. How did you start writing?

I just started. Somehow during my teenage years, I got lost in reading books and came to the thin line between me reading and writing.

Q. Where is your favorite reading spot?

I really wouldn’t say I have a favorite reading spot. With the right book, every spot is favorite.

Q. How long have you been an author?

Ten years.

Q. Why do you like reading?

I think the reason why I love reading is its ability to transport me back to worlds outside my immediate reality into wherever the writer navigates me to. In a way, you could say it is an escapist pastime, which will be correct.  But it is also the foreplay between the writer, characters, and myself as the reader that captivates me in profound ways because my soul merges with these people both fictional and non-fictional and ultimately, life never remains the same.

Q. If you had to describe yourself in a book title, what would it be? 

The Audacity of Hope – Barrack Obama

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Kasham Keltuma is a filmmaker and has written several screenplays for the big screen and television. She has been writing nearly half of her life. Her debut novel is titled Caucasian Ovtcharka. She hopes to adopt a dog one day and currently lives in Sudbury, Ontario.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kasham.keltuma

Instagram: https://instagram.com/KashamKeltuma

Thank you so much Kasham for joining me for an author interview! If you are an author or know of an author that would like to participate in an interview for the blog, don’t hesitate to reach out!



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I absolutely love coffee so I just had to do the Coffee Book Tag! All of the prompts are related to hot drinks and it was a blast to film. Let me know in the comments how you take your coffee (or whichever hot drink you prefer)! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Being Alert

Happy publication day to author Charlie Laidlaw!

Today marks the release of searing satire, Being Alert, and I have a sneak peek for you as well as a chance to win a digital copy of the book!

Being Alert! coverBeing Alert

Publication Date: August 21st, 2020

Genre: Satire

The book, which begins in January 2020, follows in a long tradition of British satire, as the British prime minister, Winston Spragg, first learns about a new virus that seems to be centred in a city in China that nobody has heard of.

The book populates Downing Street and Whitehall with an inept prime minister presiding over a dysfunctional government as it deals with an existential threat that rapidly becomes a national crisis.

It remains true to the timeline of Covid-19 and the government’s response to it, including its failure to lock down sooner, secure adequate supplies of protective equipment or protect the care sector.

Like satires before it, the book uses humour to paint an uncomfortable picture of a government in crisis, and seemingly as concerned about justifying itself as working to suppress the virus.

As the book progresses, with a mounting death toll, I hope the book strikes a changing balance as both a month-by-month narrative about the virus and a comedy to mirror

unfolding events.

As the country emerges into a new normal, the country will inevitably want to know why, per head of population, we have suffered worse than any other European country.  Being Alert! provides the perfect outlet, not just to ask very real questions of government but to use humour as a satirical and healing tool.

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Excerpt

Comings and Goings

In late February, according to a Sunday Times report, at a private event, the Prime Minister’s chief advisor outlined the government’s strategy at the time and which was summarised by someone present as ‘herd immunity, protect the economy, and if that means some pensioners die, too bad.’

In early March, the Prime Minister told the nation that, while the virus was likely to become a more significant problem, ‘this country is very, very well prepared.  However, the final sentence of his message didn’t appear on his official Twitter page: “I wish to stress that, at the moment, it is very important that people consider that they should, as far as possible, go about business as usual.’

By and large, Derek Goings was both universally loathed and feared.  It was assumed that he either had access to supernatural forces or was, in fact, one of the Undead.  Even the Archbishop of Westminster would cross himself when the two met, which was rarely – at the archbishop’s request.  Partly, he was loathed because of his role as the PM’s chief advisor, with almost permanent access to the Prime Minister’s ear.  Partly, it was also because the PM usually did what his advisor told him to do, and that this was somehow undemocratic.  Partly, too, it was because he smelled of sulphur.  Nobody could therefore understand how he was married, shared a marital bed and had fathered a child.  However, the sceptics pointed out, only his marriage was a matter of record.  Whether he slept with his wife, and who the father of his child was, were grey areas best not explored.

Derek, his critics often complained, although never to his face or to his few friends, had somehow appeared from nowhere.  One minute, nobody had ever heard of him; the next minute, his name, and the smell of the underworld, was everywhere.  Derek’s great achievement, agreed on by friends and foes, was to have leaped successfully onto the political stage without ever having done anything useful.  Okay, he had once helped a relative run a nightclub in the north of England, and never mind that it had been voted the second-worst in Europe.  (The worst subsequently burned down, accidentally or on purpose, handing the crown to Derek’s relative).  Okay, he had also tried to start an airline in either Prague or Moscow (nobody was entirely sure which) but that hadn’t got off the ground, either literally or metaphorically.

Having therefore done nothing of note, he then appeared as if in a puff of black and menacing smoke on the Westminster stage, immediately making enemies of virtually everyone.  However, having enemies only seemed to increase his powers because, say what you might about him, he did get things done.  In a Whitehall dominated by men in grey suits, and all either from Oxbridge or interbred, the proper way to get things done had always been the old-fashioned way.  After all, the British way was the traditional way; decisions were made over Pimm’s at Wimbledon; gin and tonics at Twickenham, and whatever was available at Henley.  Decisions were rarely made in Whitehall, where they were supposed to be made.  Derek, of course, thought otherwise, facing up to the grey suits in either jeans or tracksuit, with a mission to bring the British Civil Service at least into the 20th century.  Perhaps, even for him, the 21st century was too big a task, at least for now. This wrecking-ball of a man, with his glittering career in night-time entertainment and air travel, therefore brought him into endless conflict with the mandarins who were supposed to be running the country.

Derek’s meteoric rise through the government’s advisory ranks was extraordinary; so too the growth of his reputation as someone who could end a political career with the merest nod of his head.  He was, it was agreed, either Machiavellian or Svengalian – generally the former, because few civil servants or politicians had ever read a 19th century novel, and therefore didn’t quite know who Svengali was.

Kevin Kock was, of course, all too aware of the PM’s advisor, having been in numerous meetings with him and having seen how even the most confident minister could be brought to his or, sometimes, her knees with a cursory glance.  It was therefore with alarm bordering on panic that he received the news from his Permanent Secretary that Derek Goings was on his way round for a ‘bit of a chin-wag.’

“But I’m busy,” he’d squeaked to Sir Roger.

“No, you’re not.  I manage your diary, Minister.”

The Health Secretary could have said that he had a completely separate diary in which he, as Health Secretary, kept his Top Secret meetings; or that he was ill; or could have chosen from any one of the many excuses that he’d used over the years, mostly to cover up his blood and germ phobias.  Now, of course, thanks to his Permanent Secretary, his alien life-form phobia because, in his mind, Covid-19 was now sentient and possibly intelligent – like a jellyfish, but with a more deadly sting.  He then spent some minutes spraying his office with air freshener and disinfectant, and covering his desk with large piles of files.  He even undid the top button of his shirt to demonstrate his dedication to the British people except, of course, Derek Goings.

His arrival was signalled, not by a deferential knock on his office door or a bleep from his internal phone, but by the smell of decay.  The Health Secretary closed his eyes for just a moment and took several deep breaths only to find, when he opened his eyes again, that the PM’s advisor was already standing on the other side of his desk.

“Derek, good gracious!  How nice to see you!”  The Health Secretary automatically stuck out a hand, before realising that Derek Goings still had both hands in the pockets of his jeans.  Only the Prime Minister was still shaking everyone’s hand, particularly on hospital visits.

The PM’s advisor sat in the chair opposite and sniffed the air.  “Very wise,” he remarked.  “As Health Secretary, it’s good to see that you’re setting an example.”

“Am I?”

“You can’t be too careful, Minister, because you never know who might be harbouring infection.  Sterilising your office is possibly or probably a good thing.”  The advisor’s eyes, hidden behind dark glasses, were black discs.  His soft voice carried with it both menace and good hygienic advice.

“Am I to assume that you’re here for a reason?” the Health Secretary asked, hoping to sound business-like and brusque, having rehearsed this opening line as he sprayed the room.  “Because I am, as I’m sure you are, rather busy.”

“No, you’re not, Health Secretary.  I looked at your diary.”

“Sir Roger had no right….”

“I have every right, Minister.”

Before Kevin could think of a suitably outraged reply, there was a soft knock on the door and Sir Roger himself appeared, carrying a notebook.  Without asking, he took the other available seat next to Derek and neatly crossed his legs.

“I am here, Minister, to determine whether this country is prepared.”  The PM’s advisor’s voice was barely a whisper.  “After all, we are now beginning to see the first Covid-19 fatalities on British soil.”

“I did know that, Derek.”

“We will certainly see more fatalities, Minister, which brings me neatly to the reason why I am here.  I merely wish to determine if you have made adequate preparations.  Particularly the provision of personal protective equipment.”

This was a question that the Health Secretary, even panic-stricken, had foreseen.  “Of course, Derek.  We have, for example, a reserve of over one billion items of PPE.  One billion, Derek.”  The Health Secretary smiled brightly at his nemesis on the other side of the desk, using the advisor’s first name twice in the space of a few seconds, a useful trick that he’d learned on some management course he’d attended.  Sir Roger picked imaginary spots of dust from his immaculate trousers and looked out the window.

“Yet, I am led to believe, Minister, that this figure includes things like cleaning products, waste bags, detergents and paper towels,” said the advisor, still in his stage whisper.

“Does it?” replied Kevin.  “I mean, yes it does.  At least, possibly it does.  But a billion is still rather a lot of stuff, I’m sure you would agree.”

“Not necessarily,” said the advisor.  “For example, your inventory lists 547 million protective gloves.”

“So?”

“So, a more accurate figure would be 273.5 million pairs of gloves, or am I missing something?”

“Pairs of gloves?”

“Your inventory lists each glove separately.”

The Health Secretary looked wildly at his Permanent Secretary, who merely shrugged.  “I did send you the inventory last year, Minister.  Which you approved,” he added with a smile.

“Well, you know what they say, Derek.”

“No, I don’t know what they say, Minister.”

“That there are only three kinds of people in the world.  Those who can count, and those who can’t.”  The Health Secretary gave a small laugh, which wasn’t echoed from across the table.

“I hardly think that this is a time for levity, Minister.”  The smell of sulphur had risen several notches, and a green vapour seemed to be filling the room.  “I also just hope the media don’t get hold of the story.  I dread to think what Panorama would make of it.”

“I’m sure they won’t, Derek.”

“However, if things deteriorate, PPE will get eaten up pretty quickly,” said the advisor, whose eyes had never left Kevin’s face, or maybe they had because, behind dark glasses, he could be looking anywhere.

“We are, of course, setting up new procurement channels to ensure against any and every contingency, aren’t we, Sir Roger?”

His Permanent Secretary shifted uncomfortably in his seat.  “Of course, Minister,” and then actually wrote something in his notebook.

“Very well, then I will assume that you have the needs of the health service and its gallant staff fully covered.  But what about the care sector?”

“What about the care sector?” asked the Health Secretary.

The advisor was quiet for a moment.  “Well, you are the person responsible for it.”

“What!”  Kevin almost pushed himself upright.

“You are, as I assume you must realise, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.”

“What!”

Sir Roger cleared his throat.  “I did send you a memo, Minister.”

Available on Amazon US and Amazon UK

About the Author

download

I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault.  That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father.  That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh.  I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist.  I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics.  I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries.  Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa.  What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then.  However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in central Scotland. And that’s about it.

Charlie Laidlaw | Facebook  | Twitter

Giveaway: Win a digital copy of Being Alert in format of choice! Giveaway will be open from today until August 24th. 

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Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I absolutely love coffee so I just had to do the Coffee Book Tag! All of the prompts are related to hot drinks and it was a blast to film. Let me know in the comments how you take your coffee (or whichever hot drink you prefer)! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Rainbow

Welcome to my stop on the Rainbow blog tour. Read on for book details, an excerpt AND a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

Cover-3

Rainbow

Publication Date: December 2019

Genre: LGBTQ/ Black Fiction/ Novella

Taylor has room for exactly two things in her life: improving her performance as a college basketball player and maintaining the grades she needs to stay on the team and someday play in the WNBA. But when she meets the beautiful and confident Melony, Taylor’s whole way of life is called into question. RAINBOW is a coming-of-age queer love story with a Love Jones kind of vibe. It’s the first of many queer black novellas by the author Verde Arzu.

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Excerpt 3

Available on Amazon

Giveaway: You have a chance to win a print copy of Rainbow, signed by the author! Just click the link below to enter!

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About the Author

Author Pic

Verde Arzu is a passionate, middle school special education teacher. She graduated from Fisk University, a historically black college and university (HBCU) located in Nashville, TN. There she earned a B.A in History.

Her love for teaching pushed her to go on to graduate school where she earned a Master of Science in Special Education from National University. Verde is not only a teacher but an advocate working to ensure equity for students of color, especially those with learning disabilities.

Verde is excitedly working toward completing a post-baccalaureate certificate in writing from UC Berkeley Extension. Upon completion of the program, she plans to continue to publish novellas, short love stories, centered on realistic lesbian and queer relationships.

Verde recalls writing her first piece of fiction as a kid on the front stoop of her two-flat home on the south side of Chicago. She traces her passion for writing stories about African American queer characters from her desire to see more characters’ voices she can relate to.

A native Chicagoan, she currently resides in Northern California with her beautiful wife and two furry, four-legged children, Bob and Marley. She enjoys reading books written by African Americans—with her favorite genre being romance. She is a die heart Chicago sports fan. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, basketball, biking, binge-watching her favorite TV shows, and of course, cuddling up with a good book!

Verde Arzu | Twitter | Instagram

Rainbow copy

Blog Tour Schedule

August 17th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Phoebe’s Randoms (Review) https://phoebesrandoms.wordpress.com/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Purple Shelf Club (Review) https://www.purpleshelfclub.com/

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

August 18th

B is for Book Review (Interview) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Lecari Live (Review) http://www.lecari.co.uk

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

Bookish Lifetime (Spotlight) http://www.bookishlifetime.wordpress.com

August 19th

Cup of Toast (Interview) https://cupoftoast.co.uk

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

August 20th

Cup of Books (Review) https://cupofbooksblog.wordpress.com/

It’s a Novel Life (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/

The Book Dragon (Review) https://thebookdragondotblog.wordpress.com/

August 21st

Bookish Ends (Review) https://www.bookishends.com/

Misty’s Book Space (Review) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Rajiv’s Book Reviews (Review)  https://www.rajivsreviews.com/

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

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Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

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I was blessed by the lovely creators of Bookishly and received another Bookishly Book Box to do an unboxing video on my channel and show you what I received! Let me know if any of you have tried this box before and what you thought! Check out the video below: