Book Spotlight: Forgotten Magic

Welcome to the blog tour for the final installment from the Magic Underground trilogy, Forgotten Magic! Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a paperback copy of the book!

Forgotten Magic Book Cover

Forgotten Magic (Magic Underground #3)

Publication Date: May 2020

Genre: Anthology/ Fantasy/ Magic

Publisher: Magical Mayhem Press

For the last time, these heroes, witches, wizards, vikings and more will put it all on the line. No quest is too dangerous. No monster be it a dragon or something cuddlier with teeth is off-limits in the epic conclusion to the Magic Underground Trilogy. Stay tuned for details.

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Excerpt

The Ones Who Choose by C. S. Johnson

Before I’d left to return home, Ai started talking to me about the Bloodmagic.

After I’d rescued him from the tower, I had taken him down to the caves. I’d settled him in one as best as I could, and then faced the cave entrance, keeping a lookout for Aiden. I was more concerned for Aidan at first; I didn’t know if he was coming or not. There was a good chance that when Ai was taken, the Community Elders would find a way to keep everyone in the tower until they had answers. As much as we were both in this together, I didn’t know what to expect now that we’d accomplished something this big.

But as Ai kept talking to me, and considering his talk of condemnation, I began to ask Ai questions. It didn’t take us long to talk about Bloodmagic.

“Bloodmagic is their word for the sacrifice,” Ai said.

“What?” My head snapped to look at him, as if to make sure he wasn’t trying to fool me. Instantly, I regretted my action, seeing his mangled body and the sad condition it was in. That was part of the reason I’d offered to stand watch in the caves, keeping my focus on the entrance. While I did not want the Community Elders to find us, and although I was watching for Aidan, I did not want to look at Ai too much. He made me feel uncomfortable.

Ai slumped beside me, looking out toward the cave entrance. The last of the sunlight was gone, and the temperature dropped. Ai did not seem to notice, even if he was nearly naked, with only a thin cloth around his loins.

“They call humanity’s curse ‘Bloodmagic,’” Ai said. “That is their name for it. I don’t think they like to think about it much.”

“If this is why you’ve been hurt, they probably don’t like to think of it,” I said. I glanced at him quickly, before reverting my eyes back to the cave entrance. “This is terrible.”

“It is,” Ai agreed. “But it is like I told you before. All of my suffering is your suffering.”

“That’s not right.”

He shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. I have been alive for nearly a century, thanks to the Bloodmagic, and this is just the way things are. That is why I would prefer that you return me to my tower room.”

“What?” I gasped at the remark. “No. Why would you want that?”

“The Community won’t survive long, Skyla,” Ai said. “Without the Bloodmagic Covenant, the full effects of suffering will return to your friends and family swiftly and mercilessly. They will suffer, and in their suffering, they will make others suffer more. They might even begin to enjoy hurting others if we don’t hurry.”

“But you will suffer if you return,” I said. “And I will make you suffer, too. I don’t want that. Can’t something else be done about the Bloodmagic?”

“There is nothing that can be done about human nature,” Ai said quietly. “We are prone to self-destruction, and we live in a world where pain and suffering are constants. All the countries and nations of the world have wrestled with this question, and in the end, all of the pain still exists. Many tried to fix the problem and only made it worse.

“So they decided to try something else. And it works.” He reached up and touched the shard on his forehead, the one what was darkening along with the sky. “If I am not returned, the suffering will only increase, and you will see people at their very worst. Every evil, selfish, and ignorant thought will manifest into danger and disaster. I’ve been able to hold off their degeneracy for a long time, and without me, they will exponentially become violent and careless.”

“Surely we still have some more time to stop them.” I put my hands together, trying to think of something else. “Maybe it is a matter of education. The adults here are smart. They’ll be able learn how to deal with the pains our Community has.”

Ai shook his head. “You don’t understand,” he said with a sad sigh. “But you will, once you see it. You must promise me you will not forget me when you do, or you could be at risk, too.”

From that moment, we lapsed into silence, and I was grateful.

I shivered as we sat there, but I didn’t think it was because of the chill in the air.

Available on Amazon!

Authors:  

Melinda Kucsera

Joynell Schultz

Lee French

H.B. Lyne

Raven Oak

L.C. Ireland

Alesha Escobar

Tiffany Shand

C.S. Johnson 

Anela Deen 

Erik Kort 

Devorah Fox 

Stephen Wallace 

Gwendolyn Woodschild

Leah W. Van Dinther

Barbara Letson

C.K. Rieke 

William C. Cronk,

Majanka Verstraete 

Toasha Jiordano 

H.M. Jones

Krista Ames 

A.R. Johnston

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

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Blog Tour Schedule

June 1st

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

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

Lunarian Press (Review) https://www.lunarianpress.com/

June 2nd

C. Vonzale Lewis (Spotlight) https://cvonzalelewis.com/index.php/blog/

Crystal’s Book World (Spotlight) http://crystalsbookworld.wordpress.com

Jennifer Mitchel, Bibliolater (Spotlight) https://www.jennifermitchellbooks.com

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

June 3rd

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

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

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

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

June 4th

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

Carrie’s Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://carriesbookreviews.com/

Indies Reviews (Spotlight) http://indieproreview.blogspot.com/

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

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

The Cozy Pages (Spotlight) http://thecozypages.wordpress.com/

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

June 5th

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

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

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

Blog Tour Organized By:

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In the mood for a fun western story? Check out Billy (The Kid) by Peter Meech and satisfy that craving!

51ETMw9hcBL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

Pueblo, Colorado,1932. Bootleggers thrive in a town where the sheriff is on the take and you can kill a man with impunity. In this thrilling narrative, a once-famous outlaw finds himself thrust into the middle of a bootleg war against his will. At stake is nothing less than the life of his best friend and his last chance at true love with the town beauty. But is the legendary gunman who he claims to be, or is he just a retired dentist with a vivid imagination? Peter Meech reimagines the figure of Billy the Kid in a remarkable story told with verve, humor, grit and grace.

About the author: Peter Meech is an author, screenwriter, director and producer. He also mugs for the camera on occasion. His website is www.petermeech.com.



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 left my reading fate in my boyfriend’s hands and let him pick all the books I will be reading in June! Check out the video below:

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Book Blogger and Booktuber Lists

Hey there bookworms! I just wanted to share with you some resources for finding more book bloggers! It has helped me and I wanted to share so you could submit yourselves to the list if you so desire to do so.

Canadian Book Bloggers

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Book Youtube Channels

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These are just 2 that I am a part of myself but there are many out there to be found! Having your channels and blogs added to lists like these help authors find you if they want to reach out with information about their books.

I have found some great reads due to people finding me through these lists and think that they are fantastic resources. Not to mention, they adds backlinks to your youtube channels and blogs which boosts their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) with Google.

It also helps with finding some other creators close to you if you are looking to do a collaboration project.

Anyways, that is just my two cents on the lists so check them out if you feel like it and have a great day (hopefully reading some good books).


In the mood for a fun western story? Check out Billy (The Kid) by Peter Meech and satisfy that craving!

51ETMw9hcBL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

Pueblo, Colorado,1932. Bootleggers thrive in a town where the sheriff is on the take and you can kill a man with impunity. In this thrilling narrative, a once-famous outlaw finds himself thrust into the middle of a bootleg war against his will. At stake is nothing less than the life of his best friend and his last chance at true love with the town beauty. But is the legendary gunman who he claims to be, or is he just a retired dentist with a vivid imagination? Peter Meech reimagines the figure of Billy the Kid in a remarkable story told with verve, humor, grit and grace.

About the author: Peter Meech is an author, screenwriter, director and producer. He also mugs for the camera on occasion. His website is www.petermeech.com.



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 left my reading fate in my boyfriend’s hands and let him pick all the books I will be reading in June! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Masters of Camelot

Congratulations to author Steven Cross, on the release of his latest novel Masters of Camelot! Read on for book details and an exclusive excerpt!

camelot coverMasters of Camelot

Publication Date: May 19th, 2020

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Between the Lines (Liminal Books)

Lancelot’s true love dies in a battle against an enemy aided by magic. With his kingdom and his love gone, he resigns himself to serving King Arthur, someone who is truly noble. After an innocent infatuation with Queen Guinevere goes wrong, the mysterious Merlin tells him his fate will be found thousands of years in a future where the new Camelot faces destruction from a ruthless king. Only Lancelot possesses the power that can stop him. But is his fate to die there? Is the new Camelot going to face the same destruction as the old Camelot? And how will Lancelot defeat the same magic that killed his one true love, a magic which he has never believed to be real.

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Excerpt

Some of King Ban’s foot soldiers lumbered toward the enemy, but then the iron beasts came back to life. They flew over Ban’s foot soldiers. Noises, like the banging of hundreds of rocks on metal all at once rang out. Something, yellow bursts of fire, came from the beasts. Lancelot watched as the foot soldiers fell where they stood. He saw dozens of holes in their armor and blood seeping out of them.

The beasts then moved over the archers and hovered over them. Lancelot’s heart lurched. Most of their archers were women who wanted to serve in Ban’s army, but whom his father did not want to be foot soldiers. These women warriors possessed another kind of finesse. Many of them fired their arrows at the beasts, but they did nothing but bounce away or break.

Then a blue swath of light appeared from the beast and bathed about half the remaining archers in an ethereal glow. The light beamed almost blindingly bright and then disappeared completely – the archers gone with it.

The enemy at the walls shrieked with ear-splitting force. When Lancelot turned toward their noise, he saw the charge. In another few seconds, they were on top of them. Ban’s men met them. Blade clanged against blade.

One attacker struck at Lancelot, who blocked the blow with his shield and drove his blade into the man’s chest. When the enemy’s blood poured out, Lancelot’s stomach heaved, but he had no time to vomit—another opponent was already on top of him. He moved so fast and was so strong that Lancelot could not avoid him. The enemy knocked him to the ground and had his sword raised ready to deal the killing blow. Lancelot tried to cover himself with his shield, but he didn’t think he would – the soldier’s hand went to his neck where an arrow pierced it. Blood spurted and then he fell. Lancelot felt his weight crashing down on him, knocking the air out of him. He looked to one side and saw one of Ban’s archers, a woman with long, flowing blonde hair – Eve – one of Anna’s friends with her bow.

He started to yell out her name, but then the blue light swallowed her, and she disappeared.

Lancelot pushed her victim off, staggered to his feet in time to raise his sword just as the second attacker lunged at him. It pierced his enemy’s throat.

“Lancelot!”

He froze at the sound of the high-pitched scream and looked left and right to see the invaders overwhelming King Ban’s army. Lancelot ducked as someone swung at his head, and he thrust his shield up, its edge catching the attacker’s neck. The attacker gagged as he clutched at his throat and crumpled.

“Lancelot!”

Lancelot recognized the voice. He looked down and saw his beloved Anna lying on the ground near him. An invader towered over her.

Lancelot launched his sword through the air like a spear and hit the man just as he was bringing down his own sword. Lancelot ran to Anna. Her eyes fluttered and she smiled at him. “I knew you’d come.” The armor she wore was now red and blood pooled under her. “You can change things, Lancelot.” Her body relaxed and lay still.

He grabbed her wrist and searched for a pulse. He leaned over her and tried to feel the faintest breath that would show him that she was just hurt. Even as tears poured from him, his anger built.

“Why didn’t you listen? Why do you always have to be where you don’t need to be—”

Suddenly, someone grabbed him by his hair and jerked him backwards.

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

Photo on 12-14-19 at 11.05 AM

Robert Collier, an American self-help author, once said, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” For over 30 years of teaching and over 40 years of writing, this adage describes Steve Cross.

He is a semi-retired educator who teaches writing part-time at Three Rivers Community College. While in college, he began writing, and once he started, he didn’t quit. In his younger days, he had some writing successes: several plays published by Brooklyn Publishers, articles in various magazines and websites, and some educational materials. However, these weren’t enough to convince him that writing was something he needed to pursue anymore. When he turned 60 and had almost given writing up altogether, he gave it one more chance.

Every October, the Ozark Creative Writers sponsor a writing conference in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. As a test of his talent, Cross entered several of the contests that made up part of the conference. If he did okay, he would continue writing. If not, well, it had been a fun ride, but it was time to get off. When he placed in three of the contests, he decided that maybe his idea of quitting was premature. From there, things clicked. He had one young adult contemporary novel accepted for publication and two fantasy novels accepted. He also saw another dream which had eluded him for years come to life. He sold one screenplay outright and optioned another. Then he became a freelance editor for a publisher.

Cross finds himself busier than ever with his writing. But writing is not his only passion. He and his wife Jean work very hard in spoiling their two grandchildren, much to the dismay of their daughter Megan and son-in-law Sean. Cross also follows the St. Louis Cardinals and enjoys reading, listening to music, and writing. Still, he finds time to relax by sitting out on his deck with his loyal dog Bella on his lap and listening to the birds singing.

Masters of Camelot resulted from a lifelong love of all things Arthurian, which was reinforced by a trip to the UK, and a simple question, “What if?” He believes the principles of Camelot can still flourish in today’s world.

Steven M. Cross | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Book Blitz Organized By:

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In the mood for a fun western story? Check out Billy (The Kid) by Peter Meech and satisfy that craving!

51ETMw9hcBL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

Pueblo, Colorado,1932. Bootleggers thrive in a town where the sheriff is on the take and you can kill a man with impunity. In this thrilling narrative, a once-famous outlaw finds himself thrust into the middle of a bootleg war against his will. At stake is nothing less than the life of his best friend and his last chance at true love with the town beauty. But is the legendary gunman who he claims to be, or is he just a retired dentist with a vivid imagination? Peter Meech reimagines the figure of Billy the Kid in a remarkable story told with verve, humor, grit and grace.

About the author: Peter Meech is an author, screenwriter, director and producer. He also mugs for the camera on occasion. His website is www.petermeech.com.



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: 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

Giveaway: A digital copy of the book! Click the link below to enter!

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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/

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

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: 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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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: 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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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:

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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.

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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

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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: Our Hearts Are Blind

Welcome to the blog tour for Historical Romance, Our Hearts are Blind by Heidi Sprouse!

OHareB digital coverOur Hearts are Blind

Publication Date: May 5, 2020

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Romance

Heidi Sprouse does it again !! Our Hearts Are Blind will capture the readers attention immediately and continue holding you tight until you read the last word…..

In Our Hearts are Blind as the world is divided and in the midst of the Civil War, one family is also at war amongs themselves. Thomas Cooke is the youngest son to a rich and powerful plantation owner. Thomas and his older brother Beau have a great life….they have indoor plumbing, their house is beautiful, their closets are overflowing with beautiful clothing, they attend parties and they are loved and cherished by their parents and each other. Even though they have everything they could possibly want, Thomas cannot help but feel empty and confused.

His family is surrounded by workers, workers in the fields and around the house, maintaining the land. These workers have been a part of Thomas’ life forever but he cannot help but feel it is wrong because these workers are actually slaves…..and one of them, Caroline, has captured his heart. Thomas feel in love with Caroline when they were young and her mother would watch the two of them as she carried on her duties in the house. To the world this feeling of love between Thomas and Caroline is wrong because Thomas is white and Caroline is black.

Thomas will do whatever it takes to be with Caroline….even leave the home and family he loves. Thomas knows that he cannot live this life anymore, it is a lie and it is tearing him up inside, he needs to do the right thing and help free the slaves even if it disappoints his family and he can never go back to his entitled life.

Follow Thomas in the hardest journey he will even face. It will surprise the reader to see where it goes and who goes with him….. We can only HOPE Thomas gets his happily even after.

“Our Hearts are Blind is not only a love story, it is a story about devotion and commitment, it is a story about conflict, it is a story about relationships and the bond between family.”

Excerpt

At the sound of approaching footsteps, Beau signaled to him to be quiet. A willowy, statuesque woman in a dress the color of the heavy cream in Thomas’ morning coffee joined them, carrying a tray of chilled drinks. Her dark hair was braided around her head like a crown, one of Mama’s pink roses tucked behind her ear. Her skin, a rich mahogany, glistened in the morning light. She set his heart to pounding and stole his breath away. She carefully placed a mint julep on the table at his brother’s side with a slight bow of her head, grace embodied in the form of a woman.

“Thank you, Caroline,” Beau told her politely.

Even her name was lovely, taken from their paternal grandmother. Her mother, Amelia, was named after their maternal grandmother. They were both favorites in a long line of help that dated back at least a century.

She slowly approached Thomas, giving him one glance of her creek-water eyes before dipping her head demurely. As she placed his drink in his hand, her finger grazed his skin. It was as if someone set him on fire. He wanted to latch on. Pull her into his arms. Set her on his lap and see if she would fit. He knew that she would. A blush seeped into her cheeks. She gave him a nervous smile and slipped away.

Beau’s eyes snapped as he set his drink down so hard it nearly shattered, “Is she what this is all about, why you are so upset? Brother, you need to stop this right now!”

Thomas shot up from his chair and made for the stairs when his mother stepped onto the veranda. Alicia Cooke somehow always managed to look cool and put together, not a hair out of place, her thick strands tucked neatly in a twist at the back of her head. Her day gown in a pale rose complemented her dark complexion perfectly. She was adept at putting out fires and unruffling feathers. Like a rudder silently at work beneath the surface of the water, she could steer her family in the right direction. She had an uncanny sense of when something was wrong. With her household, her husband, or her sons. Her forehead creased in the middle as she stopped her youngest and placed her hand under his chin. “Whatever is the matter?”

She usually had the power to soothe him. With her quiet ways, he often thought his mother understood him best. Right now, nothing would put him at ease. He pushed the air between his teeth and dipped in to give her a peck on the cheek. “I just need to go for a walk, Mama. The heat is getting to me and has put me in a foul mood.”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Heidi Sprouse is a resident of historic Johnstown in upstate NY and went to college at St. Rose in Albany.

Heidi started her journey to becoming an author when she was just a child. She would practice creative writing with her friends and continued to write on through college. It wasn’t until her early thirties, after her father passed away, that she began seriously penning words with the intent to write books. As an author, Heidi opens a window into her worlds of sweet romances, historical fiction, and suspense thrillers. She’s always in search of the finding the extraordinary within the ordinary; writing about strong men with old-fashioned values and the women who pick them up when they fall.

When she isn’t writing, she adores spending time with her husband Jim, her son Patrick and her furry canine kids. She also has a rewarding career as a Pre-K teacher.

Heidi Sprouse | Facebook | Twitter Goodreads

OurHeartsareBlind

Blog Tour Schedule

May 18th

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

Life at 17 (Review) https://lifeat17.wordpress.com

May 19th

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

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

May 20th

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

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

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

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

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

May 21st

Indie’s Reviews (Spotlight) http://indieproreview.blogspot.com/

Shalini’s Books & Reviews (Spotlight) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

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

May 22nd

Viviana MacKade (Spotlight) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

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

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

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: