Book Spotlight: The Accidental Hero of the City of Brotherly Love

Welcome to the blog tour for The Accidental Hero of the City of Brotherly Love, by Richard J. O’Brien!

Book CoverThe Accidental Hero of the City of Brotherly Love

Publication Date: March 31, 2020

Genre: Contemporary/ Magical Realism

In the tumultuous days following 9/11, Spencer Lee Kavanagh works as a security professional, juggling jobs, relationships, and his writing craft while trying to figure out where his life is headed. One autumn day in 2002, Kavanagh’s life changes forever after he crosses paths with Khalid Neshar, a promising graduate engineering student who recently became radicalized thanks to a less-than-scrupulous imam.

A workplace accident caused by Kavanagh results in Neshar’s death. Freshly arrived in the afterlife, Neshar strikes a deal with Allah. He goes back in time as a djinni so that he can haunt Kavanagh and thereby alter the course of events that led to his untimely death; only, Neshar isn’t much good at it. Meanwhile, in the post-9/11 hysteria of the day, Kavanagh’s anonymity and his literary ambitions are sidelined when he’s hailed as a hero for stopping a would-be terror attack. Like the stranger he accidentally killed, Kavanagh just wants his life back. The television news crews camped out in front of his apartment building have other ideas.

Excerpt

No sooner than I passed the edge of my building the lights came on atop a half-dozen cameras. Reporters jostled to stick their microphones in my face. As they blasted me with questions, I couldn’t help thinking two things: one was that the author of the ninja book was full of shit, and the other was that he probably no ninja at all.

“How does it feel to foil the terror plot that would have killed countless commuters?”

“Care to comment on the phone call you received from Vice President Cheney?”

“There was no call,” I mumbled as I inched my way past them, keeping my head down so that the bill of the baseball cap masked most of my face.

“Mr. Kavanagh,” one of the reporters stepped in front of me. “Do you have any remorse?”

“Will you continue to work at Tiffany and Company?”

“Is it true that the city will pay to have the Atlas clock restored?”

“Are you at liberty to tell us which agency you actually work for?”

“What?” I cried. “I’m just a guy.”

“Lee, are you afraid of retaliation?”

“Will you relocate?”

“Is the government offering to put you under their protective custody?”

“What’s your position on invading Iraq?”

“Do you support our troops?”

“Were you scared that the device might have blown up while you stood over the terrorist’s body?”

I inched closer to the steps.

“Would you be willing to disclose the names of the operatives in your team?”

“Operatives?” I asked.

“Do you think Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks?”

“What’s your position on immigration?”

“Did law enforcement officials disclose to you whether there are any other threats in the city?”

One of the reporters followed me up the steps to the main door. She reached out and took hold of the door handle as I inserted my key into the lock.

“Is this a safe house, Mr. Kavanagh?” she asked. “If it is, now that it’s compromised, where will you go?”

I managed to unlock the door and slip into the foyer. When I did, they kept at it with their questions. Once the door was closed behind me, the reporters banged on the door as the camera lights lit up the foyer. They filmed me checking my mailbox. For once I was grateful that there were no letters from Maggie. After I locked the mailbox, I turned to the cameras crowding the door windows. With my head down, I offered them a salute before I entered the first-floor hall.

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

Author Pic

Richard J. O’Brien is a graduate of the Fairleigh Dickinson University MFA in Creative Writing Program. Richard’s novels include Under the Bronze MoonInfestation, and The Garden of Fragile Things. His short stories have appeared in The Del Sol ReviewDuendePulp LiteratureThe Dr. T.J. Eckleburg ReviewWeirdbook, and other magazines. Richard lives in New Jersey, where he teaches at Rowan College at Gloucester County and Stockton University.

Richard J. O’Brien  

Amazon

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Blog Tour Schedule

May 25th

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

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

Cocktails and Fairytales (Spotlight) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

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

May 26th

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

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

May 27th

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

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

May 28th

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

LIBRORUM IN SEMPITERNUM (Spotlight) http://libroruminsempiternumhome.wordpress.com

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

On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

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

May 29th

Bri’s Book Nook (Spotlight) https://brisbooknook.wordpress.com/

Bamshee Irish Horror Blog (Spotlight) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

Scarlett Readz & Runz (Spotlight) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.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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Book Spotlight: Steel Hand, Cold Heart

I’m so excited to announce an amazing giveaway event in honor of Steel Hand, Cold Heart by Rachel Menard! Read on for book details, an excerpt and a link to the event!

STEEL_HAND_COVER_w_AwardSteel Hand, Cold Heart

Publication Date: July 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy/ Adventure/ Vikings

On the island of Helvar, women rule. Sixteen-year-old Carina has trained for most of her life to belong to the coveted Daughters of Hel, the steel-handed Viking warriors who provide souls to the Death Goddess in exchange for the prosperity of their island. Gaining her place hasn’t been easy. She was not borne of the island, but another spoil from another raid, raised by the island Chieftain. There are many who would see her fail, and on her first raid, she does. She doesn’t kill a priestess she should have.

Carina needs to prove her worth or risk losing her place. Before she can, her arch-nemesis drugs her wine and sends her off the isle as a captive of three foreign boys. But what is Carina’s greatest misfortune may turn out to be her greatest gift. The young men are taking her to the jewel of the Southern Isles – Fortis Venitis, a place no other Daughter of Hel can venture. Carina can place Hel’s claims on the Southern isle and return to Helvar with the spoils, a victor.

However there are many obstacles to pass before she reaches her goal. Like her rune stone that everyone keeps trying to steal, the mismatched pirates from a country that no longer exists, and the priest with his poison that melts flesh from bones. But the most dangerous obstacle of all are the odd feelings she’s developing for her victims, especially the knife-thieving captain Nik. That could make it difficult for her to kill him in the end.

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Excerpt

Chapter 1

They called me Carina the Unstoppable. No, the name did not render men to terror like Merciless Merle, nor did it inspire awe like Dagna the Destroyer, or command attention like Odda Ironfist. But the moniker was mine. I earned it for the many times I had been knocked flat on the training grounds or limped on bleeding limbs to finish a fight. It was how I earned my place as one of Hel’s Daughters, the Hand of Death Herself.

I leaned over the rails of our longboat, Jörmungandr, aptly named because the figurehead was carved in the image of the giant sea serpent, wriggling its way through the water east toward Frisia. A strong wind held our mainsail, and we bobbed back and forth on gentle waves. These smooth waters were a blessing from the sea giant, Aegir. He approved of our quest, speeding us along our last raid of the season, the last offering to Hel before the long winter.

This was the Daughters’ last raid of the season but my first. I could hardly contain my excitement. I wanted to be there already, to see the villagers’ faces when we arrived on their shore in droves. When we offered their blood to the Goddess Hel.

I curled my steel fingers into a fist. On the eve of my initiation, Thora warned me attaching my steel hand would hurt. Her exact words were, “It feels like cutting your fingers off one by one and pissing in the wound.” Vidar warmed the steel gauntlet in the coals until it glowed sunset red, and I grit my teeth as he slid the molten metal over my fingers. The steel hand burned through flesh and muscle until the metal touched bone. My eyes had watered. A violent scream had gathered in my chest.

I held it back. I didn’t have the luxury of showing weakness, and once the hand was seared to my fingers, I belonged to Hel. She who bears the steel hand has the Goddess’s blessing to take life. That was three months ago. It took that long for my hand to heal, to become useful again

Amazon

Giveaway Details

Goodreads Giveaway Event!

Set sail for adventure, romance and cross-dressing on an epic Viking-inspired journey! 

Enter for a chance to win 1 of 50 digital Kindle copes of STEEL HAND, COLD HEART, Grand Prize Winner of the 7th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published E-Book Awards! Winners will be selected at random, and their prize will be sent directly to their Kindle device. Giveaway is open from May 15, 2020 through June 14, 2020.

About the Author

Rachel_Menard

Rachel Menard earned her degree in marketing from ASU, during which time her work was featured in the university paper and her own, self-published punk zine, Chelsea. Her short fiction has been featured in the New England Speculative Writers’ Anthology, The Final Summons and on Cast of Wonders. Most recently, her self-published YA fantasy novel won the Grand Prize in the 7th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published E-Book awards. For more of her writings and ramblings, visit http://www.rachelmenard.com.\

Rachel Menard | Twitter | Instagram 

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Book Spotlight: After Darkness

I’m thrilled to share the first of an exciting new dystopian duology by J.F. Johns, called After Darkness!

Read on for an exclusive excerpt, book details, and a chance to win a print copy of Eternal Darkness, the first book in her exciting dystiopian series of the same name!

After Darkness - J.F. Johns (ebook)

After Darkness (Book One)

Publication Date: April 14th, 2020

Blurb:

Year 2160

RULE #.1

Humans AND Cyborgs are prohibited from communicating in any shape or form with each other.

RULE #.2

Curfew is from 12 p.m until 7.30 a.m
Applicable to ALL citizens, humans AND cyborgs.

RULE #.3

All propaganda against the government, written or verbal is a crime.

RULE #.4

All the above laws if broken are punishable by death.

WELCOME TO THE NATION

Are you ready?

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

‘My name is Terra Underwood, by the way.’

‘Didn’t ask.’

‘I know, thought you should know anyway.’

She heard him sigh.

‘I’m Kalem.’ A few seconds passed and then, ‘Kalem Akuma.’

‘Akuma? Seriously?’

‘It means demon.’

She couldn’t help but think it was rather fitting.

‘Well, Underwood means ‘wood that is under.’ What exactly it’s under we’ll never know.’

‘Is that meant to be a joke?’

‘Everything I say is meant as a joke.’

She could almost hear him smile, and that brought her own lips to twist upwards. She closed her eyes, feeling suddenly at ease and comfortable.

‘Good night, wood that is under.’

Terra’s smile deepened.

‘Good nigh, demon.’

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon ES

About the Author

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J.F.Johns is 27 years old and was born and raised in Spain. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at ARU in Cambridge, UK.

She won the Indie Book Awards 2017 for best book written by an author under the age of 25, and was a finalist for best book cover with her novel Eternal Darkness.
She’s an animal lover, and spends her free time playing with her adopted dog and rescued cat, drinking too much coffee and posting book photos on her Instagram.
She believes in the art of dramatic sighing and eye rolling. She works as a ninja, but has been told several times that she’s not very good at her job.

Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

Giveaway: For a chance to win a paperback copy of Eternal Darkness by J.F. Johns, click the link below!

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28533634._SY475_

Eternal Darkness

The world is divided between humans and cyborgs.
Scarlet Lock is neither.
She is a soldier created to kill on command. But her memory has been erased and when she awakens in a government facility she soon discovers that this new world is a dangerous place, full of government secrets and cruel experiments performed in the name of progress.
With the help of a group of cyborgs, Scarlet will fight to uncover the truth and transform the future of the new world she now lives in.
Eternal Darkness is full of suspense, action and romance and will make readers question what it means to be human.

AfterDarkness

Blog Tour Schedule

May 25th

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

Jennifer Mitchell, Bibliolater (Review) https://www.jennifermitchellbooks.com

Vick’s Bookish Writing (Review) https://vicksblogcom.home.blog/

May 26th

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

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

One Book More (Review) https://onebookmore.com/

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

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

Scarlett Readz & Runz (Review) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

May 27th

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

Back Shelf Books (Review) https://backshelfbooks.com/

An Ocean a Glimmer (Review) http://anoceanglimmer.wordpress.com

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

Rea’s Reads (Review) https://reasreads.wordpress.com/

May 28th

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

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

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

May 29th

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

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

Book 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

Are any of you interested in Harry Potter? I did a tiered ranking of all the characters and would love to hear your thoughts on it! Check out the video below:

Book Review: Encounter at Cloud Ranch

Our external reviewer has launched his own website!! You can find him over at This & That Books but luckily he is still doing some reviews for us on the side. This one was called The Legend of the Clouds: Encounter at Cloud Ranch by Robert James Connors.

clouds cover

Synopsis: When Jason Cloud finds a bizarrely-fanged skull and butchered cattle on his father’s Arizona ranch, it leads him into an encounter with a dangerous alien species. Spread at the foot of the spectacular cliffs of northern Arizona, the C9 Ranch is home to Jason, his widower father Tom, and two trusted hands, but Jason turns first to his university professor for help.

An enjoyable book for a couple of reasons. First, within a page or two there’s a mystery that needs unraveling. It draws you in. If you have not read the book preview then you won’t be sure where the story is leading, which is part of the appeal.

Secondly, the book takes place in northern Arizona (I had pegged it as south-west Utah based on the rock and plant descriptions so I was close). If you’ve ever been to those areas or watched westerns, you’ll find the scenic descriptions familiar. Connors’ descriptions make the place come to life. I had one of those slight shock moments when I looked up from the book and saw northern trees devoid of leaves instead of slick rock vistas that were in the book. It’s nice when a book is written well enough to pull you into its world so that you experience a slight dislocation when you look around. Incidentally, there’s a horse named Curly—which made me think of Curly from City Slickers (Billy Crystal, Jack Palance). The scenery descriptions in the book match the scenery of that movie.

The book is plot-driven rather than character driven. In that way it’s a bit like the short Louis L’Amour books where the lack of character development is compensated for by the plot, the characters as they are, and the dialogue. Connors does a good job of driving the plot and making likable characters, even the side characters.

There are a couple of love story interests that are predictable and seem a bit forced. For example, a healthy 30-something year old was found dead near his barn. It was never clear what killed him, they didn’t even know why he died (they’re not saying it was aliens, but … ). His death, though, did then allow his widow to become a love interest for another character. After the funeral, no-one ever wondered how he died even though near the end of the book answers might have been available.

im-not-saying-it-was-aliens-but-it-was-aliens-13879118

The second love interest had a forced quality to it as well. A professor had been to the ranch to investigate the bizarre cattle killings, and while on-site with her student their truck was sliced by something that could cut metal easily. Whatever it was had tracked them, showed it was intelligent and had essentially left a “go away” message. But the following winter she returned to the ranch with her kids because the creature hadn’t made itself known all summer. The strange intelligent beast could cut a cow clean in half and walk off with the meat; it could carve metal like it was toffee; it was smart and hostile. You would not be bringing your kids to a place where something so unnatural was living even if it hadn’t been seen for five years. However, both the love plot and the main plot required she and her kids be there.

Then there was an event that really has nothing to do with the plot even though there was an “I’ll be back to deal with you” type situation. That never happened, and the event was never mentioned again. Cut that section out of the book and it wouldn’t make the slightest difference to the story.

Those are more nit-picking things though. The book was a good read. It seems Connors was inspired by some of the petroglyph rock art that show tall alien-like creatures, such as petroglyphs found in Sego Canyon. I wish he’d developed that aspect of the story a bit further as the petroglyphs and rock art are rich in history and culture.

Overall, another good read that you can easily finish in an evening.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in an ebook format by the author to read and give an honest review.



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

Are any of you interested in Harry Potter? I did a tiered ranking of all the characters and would love to hear your thoughts on it! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Roadside

Looking for a romance with a little more grit, check out Roadside by Angie Dokos!

Read on for more details and a chance to win a copy signed by the author!

RoadsideRoadside

Publication Date: May 2017

Genre: New Adult Romance

Zayne finds Serena’s lifeless body off the side of the road one morning. She has been beaten and left for dead. As she recovers, they become the best of friends. It doesn’t take long for Zayne’s feelings to grow stronger. Will the fear of ruining their friendship keep them from taking a chance on love?

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Excerpt

Levi didn’t look at the caller ID on the screen before answering. “Detective Morgan.”

“Dad. She’s awake.” Zayne spat out.

Confused, Levi questioned, “What? Who?”

“The girl we found. She woke up.”

“How do you know? The nurses were to call me when she woke up.”

“They are working with her now. Trying to calm her down.”

“You’re there? At the hospital?”

“Yes. I came back to check on her. She woke up while I was talking to Sadie.”

“Son, why did you go back? You knew they’d call me if there were any changes.”

“I don’t know, Dad. I just felt like it.” Zayne snapped. “Please get back down here and ask your questions so you can help her.”

Levi exhaled loudly. “I’m on my way.”

Zayne stood outside the door listening to Sadie and another nurse talk to the girl. Sadie was telling her she had been beaten and was found lying near the side of the road. The other nurse told her, “You’re safe now. The young man that was here when you woke up was one of the people that found you and brought you here.”

Sadie asked, “Can you tell us what your name is sweetie?” Zayne listened for a response. He heard Sadie say, “It’s okay honey. You’re going to be okay.”

The other nurse asked, “Do you want some water to drink?” He didn’t hear a reply from the girl, but he could hear the nurse moving around. He was afraid to go back into the room. When she first woke up and saw him, she panicked. She didn’t scream, but it looked like she was about to. She was whimpering. Tears rolled down her bruised and swollen face. She

tried to push herself away. She was shaking, and the heart rate monitor’s beep sped up. Sadie asked him to go find a nurse named Piper. She was trying to calm the girl down. He found Piper at the nurses’ station. She rushed into the room to help Sadie.

Zayne was still standing at the door listening when his dad arrived. Levi asked, “Son, are you okay? You look exhausted.”

Zayne replied, “I’m fine. Go find out who she is and help her.”

Levi shook his head. “We need to talk about this later.” He lightly tapped on the partially open door. The nurses and the girl turned and looked at him. The traumatized girl started whimpering again, and she was trying to scramble backward. Levi said, “It’s okay, ma’am. I’m not going to hurt you. I’m here to help.”

Sadie exclaimed, “She’s not ready to talk.”

Levi asked, “Do you know her name? We need to contact her family.”

“Piper, stay with her,” Sadie spat. She planted her hand on Levi’s shoulder and pushed him out the door. “She has obviously been attacked by a male, the last thing she needs is strange men in her room.”

“I apologize. But we need to know who she is. We found no identification, no phone or anything. We haven’t even found her clothing. We need to at least know her name. She needs her family and I’m sure someone is worried sick about her. The sooner we know what happened, the better chance we have of catching whomever did this to her.”

Sadie sighed. “Give us a few minutes. She hasn’t spoken yet.”

Levi asked, “Can I talk to the doctor while you talk to her? He can possibly tell me some useful information for the investigation.”

“Yes. Go to the nurses’ station down the hall and ask them to get Dr. Archer for you. I do know she fought like hell, and she wasn’t raped. But he can tell you more.”

Levi was shocked. “She wasn’t raped?”

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

angie pic

Throughout my childhood, I loved to write.  I would make up stories all the time.  As an adult, I had a million ideas for stories, but they weren’t leaving my notebooks or computer. My daughter got a bright idea for her senior project, she would publish a book.  We discussed it and decided she and I would write, edit, publish, and promote a book.  Well, life happened and she didn’t stick with it.  I was too attached by that time and had to figure out what was going to happen with our characters, so I kept writing. A couple years later, Mackenzie’s Distraction was published. After that, I started writing another one. The following year, Roadside was published. Click on over to Amazon and check them out.

Angie Dokos | Blog | Twitter |Instagram

Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

For your chance to win a signed copy of Roadside, click the link below!

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Here are the fantastic hosts this week!

Reads & Reels

Didi Oviatt

Jessica Belmont

Viviana MacKade

The Cozy Pages

The Faerie Review

Tsarina Press 

B is for Book Review

This is My Truth Now

Shalini’s Books & Reviews

Breakeven Books

Kristin’s Novel Cafe

Dark Whimsical Art

Books Teacup & Reviews

Book Dragons Not Worms

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Book Spotlight: Return Addresses

Michael A. McLellan has a new book out in the world! Read on for an exclusive except and a fantastic giveaway — A $20 Amazon gift card, and a copy of Return Addresses!

Psst, bloggers and book reviewers! There is also going to be a blog tour June 10th to the 26th, if you’re interested! Visit R&R Book Tours for more info!

New Final FINAL 4Return Addresses

Publication Date: April 13, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Mountain Press

“This ain’t your world. You don’t have any friends out here. Not real ones. No one out here cares about nothin’ but where their next drink or fix is comin’ from. That, or they were born too messed up in the head to even understand what friendship is. Remember that. You can’t trust anybody. You can’t rely on no one but yourself.”

Fourteen-year-old Sean Pennington never thought he’d find himself riding on an open train car in the middle of the night. He never thought he’d find himself alone. He never thought he’d be running for his life.

In the spring of 2015 Sean Pennington’s world of comfort and privilege is shattered and he becomes a ward of the state. Thrust into a broken foster care system, he discovers the harsh realities of orphanhood. Lonely, confused, and tormented by his peers, he runs away, intending to locate his only living relative; a grandfather he’s never met, who his only connection with is a return address on a crumpled envelope. Enter Andrea, a modern day hobo Sean meets at a California homeless encampment. Andrea travels the country by rail, stowing away on shipping container cars with other transients calling themselves traveling kids. Though battling her own demons, road-savvy Andrea promises to help Sean on his quest, but can she protect him from the unpredictable and often violent world she lives in?

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Excerpt

He saw the tents and the plastic tarp lean-tos too late. He was already underneath the highway overpass. The waning daylight barely penetrated the area, and the makeshift shelters were tucked back away from the road, in the shadows. If he’d seen them, he would have stopped and backtracked to the frontage road he’d passed a few hundred yards back. Breathing heavily, he slowed to a walk and kept his eyes forward.

“Hey, dude, what are you running for?” Came a voice from his left.

He turned toward the voice. Two men were walking toward him from the group of haphazardly placed shelters about twenty feet from the sidewalk. Gauging that he was less than halfway through, he turned around and started back the way he’d come. The men picked up their pace to a jog and cut him off. They stood on the sidewalk in his path. Sean stopped short of them and they casually walked forward, closing the distance. He was more afraid than he’d ever been in his life. His legs were shaking and he felt sick to his stomach. One of the men was old and had long, matted gray hair that hung to his chest in clumps. His clothes were tattered and filthy. The other was younger, maybe thirty. He was wearing a red hoodie and gray sweat pants that were so dirty they’d turned black in places. He had the hood up and masses of brown dreadlocks spilled out of the sides. The smell of the two men reminded Sean of spoiled food and urine.

“What are you running for, kid?” the older man repeated.

Sean took a step back. “I…I must have gone the wrong way.”

“The wrong way? Ha! You got that right. This is the wrongest way you could go.” The man turned and glanced in the direction Sean had came from. “You got anyone with you?”

Now Available on Amazon!

About the Author

Mike Author 1

Michael’s love of books began with Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle when he was seven-years-old. Later influenced by the works of John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Stephen King, James Baldwin, and Cormac McCarthy, Michael developed his style of storytelling. A self-proclaimed blue-collar writer, he draws on his experiences and observations to bring relevant and compelling topics to life.

Michael lives in Northern California and when he’s not writing, he can usually be found wandering around the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges.

His body of work includes the 2014 novel After and Again, the 2015 novel American Flowers, and the 2017 novel, In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree, as well as various shorts and essays.

Michael McLellan | GoodreadsTwitter

Giveaway: 1st prize is a $20 Amazon gift card and a digital copy of Return Addresses. 2nd prize is a digital copy of the book! The giveaway will run from today to May 21st! Click the link below to enter!

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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

I did the What Makes Me Pick Up A Book Tag! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Titanborn

Welcome to the blog tour for Titanborn, an exciting new Sci-Fi adventure from Brian Schutter! Read on for details an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

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Publication Date: April 13th, 2020

Genre: Science Fiction

“No more death.”

In Titanborn, Schutter weaves the vivid world of Shangri-La — a colony living in isolation on Saturn’s moon, Titan — and the genetically-engineered humans known as Titanborn, whose task is simply to prove they can survive.

Meera is just one cog in the wheel of Shangri-La. Assigned to fulfill a role, Meera struggles to find a place for herself and overcome the trauma of loss as Titan casually takes the lives of her fellow colonists.

When a friend goes missing, Meera must choose to face her fears to save not just him, but all of the Titanborn, as the colony begins to unravel.

Can Meera and her people overcome the dangers of the inhospitable moon, or will the Titanborn fall to an enemy closer to home?

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Stuck

Meera; Neuroengineering Breakroom, Shangri-La As I joined the meeting, the circuits in my brain pushed out the rest of the world. The signals from my eyes, my ears, my skin—all my senses—were reduced severely. If I needed to feel my breathing I could, but otherwise my body was like a distant memory.

The virtual meeting room was in a physically impossible space: outside, in the open air. Our “chairs” sat on the dunes. Virtual whiteboards hung from nothing.

The virtual space didn’t look exactly like Titan either. Instead of golden, omnipresent fog, this virtual Titan was clear. You could see the stars behind us and Saturn’s striped storm systems, each band the color of a unique mixture of coffee and cream. They looked so small from here even though any one of Saturn’s stripes could effortlessly engulf Titan. It’s rings curved towards us in striking, vibrant cerulean. I’d never actually seen them like this. The sun’s reflection off our patron gas giant couldn’t penetrate the thick, unbreathable atmosphere above.

For a moment, I forgot where I was. I forgot my fears. Instead of triggering me, something about seeing the stars and Saturn made me feel peaceful and proud.

We’d survived out here for over twenty-five years. That was why we’d been born after all: to prove that humans could survive out here alone. As much as I was struggling, I was still succeeding. I was alive.

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

author pic

Brian Schutter’s fascination with the future began at a young age. He studied materials science at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, California & Cornell University in Ithaca, New York to pursue his interest in research. Schutter found himself drawn to the amazing possibilities that the technology around him offered, and wrote extensively after hours about speculative applications of machine learning, quantum computing, and bioengineering.

After graduating with his master’s degree from Cornell in May of 2018, he completed his debut novel, Titanborn. Schutter writes stories that combine the big struggles of colonizing distant worlds with the little struggles of finding the strength to be yourself. His tales are about taking ownership of our choices and writing our own stories.

Brian Schutter | Twitter | Instagram

Giveaway: You can win a signed copy of Titanborn! Click here to enter!

TitanBorn copy (1)

Blog Tour Schedule

May 18th

Breakeven Books

The Consulting Writer 

Jessica Belmont

Tsarina Press  

May 19th

Entertainingly Nerdy

Dark Whimsical Art

Reads & Reels

May 20th

The Scary Reviews

The Faerie Review

The Magic of Wor(l)ds 

May 21st

B is for Book Review 

Didi Oviatt 

Lecari 

May 22nd

Read & Rated 

Rambling Mads 

Lunarian Press

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours



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

I did the Ride or Die Book Tag and talked about some great books in this one! Check out the video below:

Book Review: The Blood Within The Stone

Chris has been reading more and he even made his own book blog (This & That Reviews)! But today, he did a review for The Blood Within the Stone by T.R. Thompson so check out his review below!

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Synopsis: A shadow is spreading across the land. Fear will be your downfall.

When the Prefects of Redmondis discover that their quick minds and quicker fingers hide secret potential, young thieves Wilt and Higgs find themselves unwilling recruits. Wilt’s ability to sink into others’ thoughts, knowing what action they will take before they do, is both a prized and dangerous gift.

The Nine Sisters of Redmondis have sensed a growing threat, and search for the one who can control the power of the blood within the stone. But even their sinister plots are nothing compared to the force that controls them.

As Wilt and Higgs rally their newfound weapons, they discover that the threat to their lives, and their reality, is much greater than they realise.

This was an entertaining non-stop read. From a technical writing perspective, the words and sentences flowed to mirror the storyline. Action scenes had short quick sentences; scenes that built suspense had the longer formative sentences. It was done well enough to bring the reader along with it.

The story itself had a few unexpected turns, which I wasn’t sure would happen because the start will be familiar to readers of fantasy literature. It was the story of a street thief who having latent magical abilities or talents rose up from their humble beginnings to positions of great influence and/or power (a la Robin Hobb, Patrick Rothfuss, Trudi Canavan, Raymond Feist).

But the storyline doesn’t always go where you think. I enjoyed the unexpected turns the book took. The ending itself was different from most works and rather clever. It left me wanting to read the second book in the series. Based on the epilogue I think the second volume will be even better than the first—and the first book is good especially since this is Thompson’s first book. I thought he’d had more publishing experience. Well done.

There were a few minor things that had me pause. Some times things happen that aren’t quite explained properly. I’m not sure what an initiate did to deserve death except perhaps relax.

And in one instance an event happened that didn’t seem to have much bearing on anything. In this case, the heroes had to get past some patrolling dog-former-human creatures. One character suggests we can easily get rid of these vermin. A kinder hearted character says there is a simpler way. He draws a symbol in the air, it attracts one dog, they then kill it and proceed on their way. How that helps them get past the rest of the dog-creatures isn’t explained. The only thing it accomplished was the heroes vowed to make the villain pay for his evil work, which is what they were on their way to do when they had to hide from the dog-creature patrols. I didn’t see any point in that part.

Incidentally, the hero is an expert in the use of a sling. It featured in the beginning to help him get noticed for his rise up the ranks, but after that, the skill wasn’t needed. It would be too much of a trope to have him rescue himself and his companions near the end with surprise sling skills. Too predictable as you see that trope in movies; e.g., if the first ten minutes of a film shows a character throwing knives at fencepost targets you know in the last ten minutes of the film there will be a surprised bad guy looking at a surprise knife in his chest. Still, it appears the character doesn’t even practice anymore, which in real life at least is unusual as you want to maintain your skill level after working so hard to attain it.

That last part isn’t a criticism though, just an observation. The book was a good read, it had unexpected twists in the plot, and leaves you wanting more. It was an enjoyable way to pass a Monday evening.

Book Rating: 4/5 

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in an ebook format by the author to read and give an honest review.


Check out Sean Carlson’s brand new novel called Road To Emmaus: The New Deal which is available now on Amazon! Here is a synopsis of the book: In the midst of the Great Depression, newly elected US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt offers a new deal for the American people. An advisory team, coined the ‘brains trust’ build the foundation of his government’s policies which will impact American families for generations to come. But can human intervention and a new alignment of ‘truths’ resurrect a shared hope powerful enough to save a nation from itself?The dusty road of human history cuts through the heart of every soul. Our search for truth is not easy travel as the deadly allures of myth and deceit call us by name, presiding behind altars of ruin. The illusion is set. And lost in the forgotten timelines of a world under seige, an ancient promise remains.All of recorded history is an understanding of the pieces of ourselves that have come before and the road that remains. This journey is both and ’embarking on’ and a ‘leaving of.’The history of yourself precedes you – going back to the beginning. No piece of history in the cosmos or on earth is exclusive of you. From an exiled apostle imprisoned in the heart of the Roman Empire to Cambodia’s killing fields and South America’s secret horrors. You wear the scars. From a litany of underground movements and failed revolutions, to the fabled utopian kingdom of Camelot, the claim for truth has worn many faces.The long cold war between the icy dominion of Kalashnikov and a succession of presiders struggling to raise the chalice to the parched lips of the world continues. The battle remains yours to fight.You were a part of the old deal and are an even bigger part of the new deal. The dead hand of the past is no longer the end of us. Our history is not confined to the past nor is it bound to the laws of earthly dimension. It is as timeless and free as you. The road awaits…

roadtoemmaus-SC-3D

You can buy the book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0995270295/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_ixPHEb9GMG63M



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

I’m a little late getting to my April Wrap Up but here it is! The Magical Readathon was a lot of fun and these are all the books I read for it. Let me know if you have read any of them and what you thought! Check out the video below:

Book Review: Sister of Saidnaya

I read this book back in March but hey, I am being a classic book blogger and getting to the actual book review over a month late. This is the life of a book nerd. Finishing one book and then being immediately distracted by a new one. Anyways, this one was called Sister of Saidnaya by Rose Ann Kalister.

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Synopsis: In 1922, a young Nadra traveled by boat from the small Christian village of Saidnaya, Syria, to the ports of Boston, and on to Hedley, West Virginia. With little education, Nadra navigates an industrialized nation as a young, immigrant woman. She must delicately balance the expectations of her heritage with the temptation of independence in the new world.

I wanted to like this book a lot but it just didn’t do it for me. I was going into it hopeful because I tend to not like historical fiction as much and I was hoping that this story about a Syrian refugee family coming to America could change my mind. But in the end, I just ended up bored for most of this book.

The main character was moody and stubborn at times which was the only part of the book that entertained me. Other than that, I was just trying to get through it but having a hard time. I had to push myself through to finish it.

I like reading books with diverse points of view because it helps me understand other cultures and I do think that this book had a lot of structural, informative information on the Syrian culture which was refreshing. The storyline is what lost me because I felt like it was going at the pace of a snail. I need a faster-paced book to keep me engaged.

Overall, I would recommend this to someone that wants a more relaxing read that will teach them about the Syrian culture and show the adversity and struggle of being a refugee in another country.

Book Rating: 2/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author in a physical paperback format to read and give an honest review.


Check out Sean Carlson’s brand new novel called Road To Emmaus: The New Deal which is available now on Amazon! Here is a synopsis of the book: In the midst of the Great Depression, newly elected US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt offers a new deal for the American people. An advisory team, coined the ‘brains trust’ build the foundation of his government’s policies which will impact American families for generations to come. But can human intervention and a new alignment of ‘truths’ resurrect a shared hope powerful enough to save a nation from itself?The dusty road of human history cuts through the heart of every soul. Our search for truth is not easy travel as the deadly allures of myth and deceit call us by name, presiding behind altars of ruin. The illusion is set. And lost in the forgotten timelines of a world under seige, an ancient promise remains.All of recorded history is an understanding of the pieces of ourselves that have come before and the road that remains. This journey is both and ’embarking on’ and a ‘leaving of.’The history of yourself precedes you – going back to the beginning. No piece of history in the cosmos or on earth is exclusive of you. From an exiled apostle imprisoned in the heart of the Roman Empire to Cambodia’s killing fields and South America’s secret horrors. You wear the scars. From a litany of underground movements and failed revolutions, to the fabled utopian kingdom of Camelot, the claim for truth has worn many faces.The long cold war between the icy dominion of Kalashnikov and a succession of presiders struggling to raise the chalice to the parched lips of the world continues. The battle remains yours to fight.You were a part of the old deal and are an even bigger part of the new deal. The dead hand of the past is no longer the end of us. Our history is not confined to the past nor is it bound to the laws of earthly dimension. It is as timeless and free as you. The road awaits…

roadtoemmaus-SC-3D

You can buy the book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0995270295/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_ixPHEb9GMG63M



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

I’m a little late getting to my April Wrap Up but here it is! The Magical Readathon was a lot of fun and these are all the books I read for it. Let me know if you have read any of them and what you thought! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Double Barrel Horror

Welcome to the blog tour for Double Barrel Horror Volume #3, a collection of thrills and chills by six amazing authors! Hold onto your pants folks!

double barrel

Double Barrel (Volume 3)

Publication Date: March 22nd, 2020

Genre: Anthology/ Horror/ Suspense

Brace yourself for another two-barrel blast of unrelenting horror and suspense. Volume 3 of the ‘Double Barrel Horror’ anthology series delivers two chilling tales from each of six talented authors for a 12-story onslaught that will blow you out of your sneakers. This time around, your fate lies in the hands of Christine Morgan, Mark Matthews, Theresa Braun, Calvin Demmer, Glenn Rolfe, and Robert Essig.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

Highway Hunger by Calvin Demmer

It couldn’t be alive?

It was.

Dudley Ellington couldn’t see the animal’s face, but based on the tufts of bloody fur, he thought it might be a rat or a squirrel. He stepped closer, and the creature’s legs shook as if it were attempting to kick-start its body back to life.

Its movements ceased.

Dudley looked around, and all he saw was the long, empty stretch of highway. Why was there never a good stick lying around when you needed one? He tapped his boot on the animal, hoping for a response. He got nothing. Were his eyes playing tricks? He thought its legs moved a moment ago.

He tapped the animal again.

This time, one of its arms stretched out and then down, as if it were trying to push the button to answer a question on a game show. Dudley stepped back—not out of fear, as he assured himself, but to get a better view.

The paw jiggled.

“Yo, Felipe. Come check this out.” Dudley ran his hand over his slicked-back hair. He looked to the white pickup when he got no reply from his coworker.

Felipe sat in the front seat with his orange helmet covering his eyes.

“Felipe, wake up.”

Felipe groaned, slowly pushing open the driver-side door. “What’s it now, Dud? I told you we can always take an extra thirty minutes for lunch. I was just about to get some rest. No one will give a shit.”

“There’s something on the road. I was gonna scoop it up, but it must be alive.”

Felipe’s eyes widened. He climbed out of the vehicle and marched to Dudley.

“Get back,” he said as he passed Dudley.

Dudley did as instructed, oddly reassured by the sudden authority in his coworker’s voice. Felipe would surely help the critter, maybe take it somewhere for injured animals. He was still new to the job and wasn’t sure of the correct protocol.

Felipe hovered over the creature. “It’s a squirrel. At least, it was. Half its body has been smashed.”

“Damn.”

“Yeah, it’s a bummer for sure. But there’s nothing we can do. Best leave it be and let it die in peace.”

“Leave it be? It’s in pain.”

“That’s right. We leave it. It’s not dead, and we only collect the dead.”

Dudley stepped forward. “What about the injured animals? Where do you take them?”

“Injured animals.” Felipe scoffed, staring at the road. “Dud. Now isn’t the time for this. Let it go.”

The squirrel twitched, and Dudley imagined it hearing them talk about how they would simply desert it. That was nonsense, of course, as squirrels couldn’t understand humans, but still, he couldn’t allow it to suffer. He would have to put it out of its misery.

Dudley raised his boot, telling himself this was the most merciful thing he could do.

“No!” Felipe shouted, tackling him to the ground.

“What the fuck, man?” Dudley pushed Felipe off before getting to his feet and dusting his pants, not sure how much good it would do as they already had a stain or two from the takeaway burger he’d devoured for lunch. “Why would—”

“Dud. You need to listen to me.” Felipe glanced around. “We need to get going. I can explain everything once we’re on the move.”

Amazon

DoubleBarrel

Blog Tour Schedule

May 11th

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

Kim Knight (Spotlight) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com

Literary Dust (Review) https://literarydust.wordpress.com/

May 12th

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

The Scary Reviews (Review) https://thescaryreviews.com

Cats Luv Coffee (Spotlight) https://catsluvcoffeez.blogspot.com

May 13th

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

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

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

May 14th

Dark Whimsical Art (Spotlight) https://www.darkwhimsicalart.com/blogs/news

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

Books Teacup & Reviews (Spotlight) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

May 15th

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

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

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Review) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

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

Authors:

Matthew Weber 

Christine Morgan

Mark Matthews 

Theresa Braun 

Calvin Demmer

Glenn Rolfe

Robert Essig 

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours


Check out Sean Carlson’s brand new novel called Road To Emmaus: The New Deal which is available now on Amazon! Here is a synopsis of the book: In the midst of the Great Depression, newly elected US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt offers a new deal for the American people. An advisory team, coined the ‘brains trust’ build the foundation of his government’s policies which will impact American families for generations to come. But can human intervention and a new alignment of ‘truths’ resurrect a shared hope powerful enough to save a nation from itself?The dusty road of human history cuts through the heart of every soul. Our search for truth is not easy travel as the deadly allures of myth and deceit call us by name, presiding behind altars of ruin. The illusion is set. And lost in the forgotten timelines of a world under seige, an ancient promise remains.All of recorded history is an understanding of the pieces of ourselves that have come before and the road that remains. This journey is both and ’embarking on’ and a ‘leaving of.’The history of yourself precedes you – going back to the beginning. No piece of history in the cosmos or on earth is exclusive of you. From an exiled apostle imprisoned in the heart of the Roman Empire to Cambodia’s killing fields and South America’s secret horrors. You wear the scars. From a litany of underground movements and failed revolutions, to the fabled utopian kingdom of Camelot, the claim for truth has worn many faces.The long cold war between the icy dominion of Kalashnikov and a succession of presiders struggling to raise the chalice to the parched lips of the world continues. The battle remains yours to fight.You were a part of the old deal and are an even bigger part of the new deal. The dead hand of the past is no longer the end of us. Our history is not confined to the past nor is it bound to the laws of earthly dimension. It is as timeless and free as you. The road awaits…

roadtoemmaus-SC-3D

You can buy the book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0995270295/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_ixPHEb9GMG63M



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

I’m a little late getting to my April Wrap Up but here it is! The Magical Readathon was a lot of fun and these are all the books I read for it. Let me know if you have read any of them and what you thought! Check out the video below: