Book Spotlight: Emergence

Welcome to the tour for exciting medical thriller, Emergence by Shira Shiloah MD! Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

EMERGENCE 2D CoverEmergence

Publication Date: September 15th, 2020

Genre: Medical Thriller

A SCALPEL WIELDING VILLAIN.

A HEALTHCARE SYSTEM THAT FAILS.

A WHISTLEBLOWER THAT PROTECTS HER PATIENTS – NO MATTER THE COSTS.

Trusted anesthesiologist, Dr. Roxanne Roth, is healing from the loss of her fiancé by consuming her time with work. It doesn’t hurt that her new love interest, Dr. Justin Kirkland, spends almost as much time at the hospital as she does.

Entranced in the throes and complications of new love, Roxanne looks forward to work every day. Her time at the hospital would almost be cathartic if not for Dr. D.K. Webb, a neurosurgeon, who is quickly amassing a pile of complaints – and bodies.

Despite trying to avoid Webb, Roxanne finds herself working alongside the doctor during a routine, low-risk surgery. Fueled by cocaine and ego, Webb intentionally sabotages the case, leading to the patient dying on the operating table.

Roxanne’s tenuous grip on recovery is shattered with her patient’s death, quickly replaced by anger and a drive for justice. Now Roxanne will do anything to protect her patients from the killer on the other side of the sterile surgical field—before he can silence her as well.

In this gripping, sinister medical thriller, Dr. Shira Shiloah will leave readers wondering about the potential evil lurking behind every surgical mask.

“Authentic characters and a vivid hospital setting enhance a tense medical tale.”
– Kirkus Review

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Excerpt

D.K. wasn’t concerned that Mrs. Welty, his grossly obese patient, was unable to swallow. His surgery had cured herdisc and he’d functionally given her a gastric bypass for free. She would lose all that weight, so she and her husband should be thanking him. The med exec board had already flagged the lumbar fusion from last month that woke paraplegic. Now they’d flagged Welty as well and he’d been “invited” to a review next week.

He sauntered into the sushi restaurant and found Crystal, as instructed, waiting for him at the bar. Her outfit was to his specifications as well. A white see-through leotard with the thong clearly visible on her perfect booty; her red skin-tight pants hung low. She wore a white choker further accentuating her perfect deep ebony complexion. Her nails and eyelashes were as long as they were fake. Costume jewelry bracelets decorated her wrists.

He caressed her pierced left nipple and kissed her neck. She smiled and kissed his cheek.

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About the Author

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Dr. Shira Shiloah is an anesthesiologist and author of the debut thriller, Emergence, that details Dr. D.K. Webb, a neurosurgeon who intentionally maims and kills his patients in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Shiloah bring both a personal and professional perspective for what may happen when a sociopath holds a scalpel.

Shira Shiloah MD | Twitter Instagram 

Giveaway: For a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card, please click the link below!

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Emergance

Blog Tour Schedule

October 12th

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

LoopyLouLaura (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

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

I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

October 13th

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

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

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

October 14th

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

@burlingtonbibliophagist (Review) https://www.instagram.com/p/CC6Qy6yABBJ/?igshid=1gadff8igjmwv

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

The Consulting Writer (Spotlight) https://theconsultingwriter.wordpress.com

October 15th

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

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

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

October 16th

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

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

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

Blog Tour Organized By:

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An author and friend of mine recently released another book that you should check out. It is called The Little Breadwinner: War and Survival in the Salvadoran Heartland by Lucia Mann.

The Little Breadwinner - Front 3D Cover

Synopsis: FROM 1980 TO 1992, A TURBULENT CIVIL WAR ravaged the Central American state of El Salvador, claiming the lives of approximately 75,000 Salvadorans. The Little Breadwinner is a story of tyrannized, frightened families—mostly poor peasants, indigenous peoples, and child farm workers—whose lives signified nothing to the military death squads.

Lucia Mann, who was in El Salvador at the time, recalls this vivid historical portrait of human rights violations during and after the “dirty” war between the military-led government and left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front. This brutal conflict was backed politically, economically, and militarily by the United States with CIA involvement.

Throughout these pages, you will experience intense trials of courageous survival with unforgettable characters who yearn for peace, justice, and normalcy. One of the brave women you will meet is Estella Godwin Lozano (a Waorani tribe descendant of the Amazon rain forest), who suffered terribly before her brutal demise in Laredo, Texas in 2019. She was a “little person” who became traumatically affected by the abuse perpetrated by National Guard soldiers outside her pueblo home. She heroically joined the Sandinistas (Cuban-backed guerillas) to seek revenge upon the villains of her country.

Buy the book on Amazon!



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

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

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I created an original book tag and am super excited about it! I present to you the Barking Bout Books Tag!! My dog Max recently passed away and I decided to make this book tag in remembrance of him. I would love to see your renditions of this tag! Let me know in the comments below what you think of the tag. Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: A Cut Twice As Deep

Congratulations to Wendy L. Anderson on the release of her Viking adventure, A Cut Twice As Deep! If you enjoy Norse mythology, you will love this!

Read on for an excerpt and a chance to win a paperback copy of the book!

A Cut Twice As Deep Final Front CoverA Cut Twice as Deep

Publication Date: October 7th, 2020

Genre: Viking Adventure/ Sisterhood/ Romance

The bond between sisters is one forged in blood and fire. Twin sisters, Liana and Deirdre were inseparable like the two halves of a double-bladed axe, making the pain of having to leave each other a cut twice as deep. Their father, Gorsedd Gunnarson, King of the great country of Svartur Rokk, did not care about twin bonds or his daughter’s preferences and severed the pair with a single blow. Both Liana and Deirdre have been sold to the highest bidders for ships, weapons, and alliances. For Gorsedd Gunnarson these are very profitable and advantageous marriage arrangements, but the twin sisters would be torn from each other lives and sent to lands far apart forever!
Liana is forced to leave her childhood sweetheart and marry a stranger. Sweet, timid Deirdre would be wed to a Viking warlord. One would leave her home on a ship and the other on a horse. Both would travel great distances to new lands. Given no choice but to embrace the lives planned for them, they find that the future holds more than they could ever have suspected. In a land where blood and ice reign, danger and betrayal war with love and hope, as they fight to find happiness in a ruthless world ruled by the sword and axe.

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Excerpt

Liana recalled with great detail, the smoky room, and the flickering torches in iron sconces on the walls. Remembered the smell of sweaty men, oiled leather, damp fur, wood smoke, and roasting meat. Heard the rattle of sword and thump of drinking horns and the pounding of eating knives on the worn, beaten tables. Shadows crouched in the dark corners of the hall. She could see clearly in her mind’s recollection, how her father had suddenly stood after eating and drinking for hours and raised his large drinking horn on high. He smoothed his hand over his long greying blonde beard, straightened the black bear fur cloak on his broad shoulders, and roared for silence. As all eyes trained on King Gorsedd, the conversation and laughter quieted.

“This night!” Gorsedd Gunnarson’s deep voice boomed out and the men stilled to listen. “We celebrate!” The men roared in response and then quieted.

“Raise your mead horns and drink to my daughters!” The men raised their horns and cheered loudly sloshing mead on the tables and over their hands.

This was strange behavior coming from their father and Liana and Deirdre exchanged surprised glances as they moved slowly toward the front of the room. Pulled forward by this uncustomary sentiment, their father had their full attention.

“Tonight!” Gorsedd boomed again, waiting for the men to quiet down and regain everyone’s attention. “We celebrate the betrothal of both my daughters! Drink to our good fortune! SKOL!

All eyes turned to stare, and the men drank to Liana and Deirdre.

“Skol!” they all shouted then quieted as Gorsedd began to speak again.

“For my eldest Liana, I have arranged a marriage contract with Tiernan Lachlan of Lochlannach and Kearn Mac An-Bharain of Noreg for Deirdre.”

He gestured toward strangers in the hall and bellowed.

“Welcome men from Lochlannach to Svartur Rokk my great mead hall where the warriors are more skilled at sword and drinking! These men will be taking Liana across Loch Indaal to marry Tiernan Lachlan!”

Loud cheers rang out and the men raised their drinking horns in salute, sloshed mead into their mouths, and banged their daggers on the tables.

Both Liana and Deirdre stared in wide-eyed shock at their father with their mouths falling open. This was the first time they had heard this news, and both girls stood stunned, disbelieving their ears. They turned and looked at each other, terror written on their identical faces. The men at the tables murmured and some continued to cheer, a few fell to grumbling.

Deirdre staggered in disbelief and her frightened gaze stayed fixed on Liana while she slammed down the pitcher of mead she had been holding onto the nearest table. Her furious gaze flew back and forth between their father and Deirdre.

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Click the link below for a chance to win a paperback copy of the book. This giveaway is open to international entries and will end October 10th!

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About the Author

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Wendy L. Anderson is a Colorado native and mother of two boys.  A devout reader of the classics, fantasy, sci-fi and historical fiction, she has decided it is time to write down the fantasies from her mind.  Writing about everything from fantastical worlds to the stuff of her dreams she takes her stories along interesting paths while portraying worlds she sees in her mind’s eye.  Her goal is to deviate from common themes, write in original directions and transport her reader to the worlds of her creation.

Wendy L. Anderson | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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An author and friend of mine recently released another book that you should check out. It is called The Little Breadwinner: War and Survival in the Salvadoran Heartland by Lucia Mann.

The Little Breadwinner - Front 3D Cover

Synopsis: FROM 1980 TO 1992, A TURBULENT CIVIL WAR ravaged the Central American state of El Salvador, claiming the lives of approximately 75,000 Salvadorans. The Little Breadwinner is a story of tyrannized, frightened families—mostly poor peasants, indigenous peoples, and child farm workers—whose lives signified nothing to the military death squads.

Lucia Mann, who was in El Salvador at the time, recalls this vivid historical portrait of human rights violations during and after the “dirty” war between the military-led government and left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front. This brutal conflict was backed politically, economically, and militarily by the United States with CIA involvement.

Throughout these pages, you will experience intense trials of courageous survival with unforgettable characters who yearn for peace, justice, and normalcy. One of the brave women you will meet is Estella Godwin Lozano (a Waorani tribe descendant of the Amazon rain forest), who suffered terribly before her brutal demise in Laredo, Texas in 2019. She was a “little person” who became traumatically affected by the abuse perpetrated by National Guard soldiers outside her pueblo home. She heroically joined the Sandinistas (Cuban-backed guerillas) to seek revenge upon the villains of her country.

Buy the book on Amazon!



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

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

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

It’s time to talk about all the books I read in September! I only managed to read 8 out of the 10 that I had set out to read but I think that I did pretty well. Let me know in the comments if you have read any of these books and what you thought of them! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Lyrical Chaos

Today I am excited to share the follow-up novel to Prodigal, Lyrical Chaos by Samantha Sanchez!

received_277950946760138Lyrical Chaos

Publication Date: August 13th, 2020

Genre: Contemporary/ Urban Fiction

The cameras are off but the world is still watching. The BFC have gone their separate ways and Lyric is learning that life in the spotlight isn’t as fun as it seems. She is publicly maligned by her fiancé’s family, and privately disrespected by the man himself. His paranoia and possessiveness hint at a far deeper issue than just mere jealousy, as she struggles with the decision of whether or not to follow through with their marriage. Lyric’s attempts to legitimize herself as an actress is less than ideal but her vocal talents catch the attention of one of the biggest rap duos of the day. While her celebrity status begins to create enmity within her church social group. How will the chaos in Lyric’s life affect her heart? Will the pressure turn her into a diamond? or will the flame prove too hot, and shatter her mind like glass?

Excerpt

The audience applauded and the music started. I sang the first verse, with Anthony grunting and “yea”-ing in the background. Then it was his verse and I sang background repeating certain lines he would say. A couple of “Oh’s and a few “Yea’s” then came the hook which I
sang while he repeated key words and phrases in the background. Everything went flawlessly, as rehearsed until the very end. The music stopped, everyone applauded, we got a standing ovation and that should have been the end of it.

“Hold on!” Anthony called out. “Hold on, ya’ll” I started to walk away but Anthony grabbed hold of my hand. “Wait a minute, Lyric.” I snatched away but stayed still. He put his arm around my shoulder. Trey looked pissed. I was annoyed and I couldn’t hide it. I shrugged his arm from around me and tried to step away but he kept pulling me back. He wrapped his arm tightly around my waist, so tight that it hurt. I pinched the inside of his arm and he moved it to pin my arm to my side. His girlfriend looked confused too. Then he started rapping again.

“You know, I really gotta get this off my chest, this woman right here really is the best. I can tell you not happy, ya man not doin his job. F–k that nigga man he’s just a slob. When I had you I didn’t know what to do but MiMi, I’m sorry, I love you too.”

Before I could even process what he just said he swooped me up, dipped me and put hismouth on mine in a kiss. I felt his tongue trying to separate my lips and I tried to pull away but he had one arm tight around my shoulder and another arm tight around my waist. My arms were
pinned to my side. I turned my face but he followed. I could hear the audience hoot and holler at the spectacle. I grabbed his lip with my teeth and bit down as hard as I could. I could taste his blood in my mouth. He yelped in pain and moved one of his arms to hold onto his mouth. With
one hand free, I smacked him hard across the face and spit his kiss out of my mouth just as Trey rushed onto the stage with a fist to Anthony’s jaw.

Security moved to break up the fight between the two, just as Natalie snuck up behind me and grabbed me by my hair and hit me in my face. One hand reflexively went to the hand holding my hair. She pulled but the only thing that came out was the extensions the glue hadn’t
really dried all the way yet so I didn’t feel the pain when she pulled it out. I managed, even in heels which made me very proud to side step duck and swoop out of her reach and land a jab to her nose, and in quick succession a straight shot to her eye and a hook to her jaw. Did nobody
warn her that I took boxing lessons?

Natalie staggered backward and then tried to lunge at me. I moved out her way, she missed and I grabbed her in a headlock. I squeezed, not to kill but to cause her to lose consciousness. She beat against my hold scratching at my arm and my face, security got to me trying to get me to let her go, but got distracted when Anthony stumbled into them. Natalie’s friend managed to sneak past security and attack me to defend her friend. I was outnumbered but not for long. Cas distracted security by pretending that he was about to jump on stage and fight too. Keisha ran past the guy restraining Cas, jumped in and took off on the friend
and I started in on Natalie again.

Everyone was fighting, it was chaos. Kendrick ran up on stage, trying to  get to me. Hepulled me away while I was still swinging at Natalie. Another security guard carried Keisha away and they finally managed to separate Trey and Anthony. I was pissed, Trey was pissed,
Keisha was having fun and Kendrick was laughing with pride.
We were escorted off the stage. Kendrick finally put me down when we got far enough away from the melee.

Availble on Amazon!

About the Author

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A native of San Diego, Samantha Sanchez is currently finishing a degree in psychology as well as in social and behavioral science. Having a background in both church and drama, she hopes to use her degree and creativity to reach and relate to many people in her community and beyond helping them learn to understand themselves and each other.

Samantha Sanchez

Big thanks to these amazing hosts!

Phoebe Matthews

Reads & Reels

Breakeven Books 

PoptheButterfly

B is for Book Review

Book Dragons Not Worms

Didi Oviatt

Tsarina Press

Jessica Belmont

The Faerie Review

Book Blitz Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours


An author and friend of mine recently released another book that you should check out. It is called The Little Breadwinner: War and Survival in the Salvadoran Heartland by Lucia Mann.

The Little Breadwinner - Front 3D Cover

Synopsis: FROM 1980 TO 1992, A TURBULENT CIVIL WAR ravaged the Central American state of El Salvador, claiming the lives of approximately 75,000 Salvadorans. The Little Breadwinner is a story of tyrannized, frightened families—mostly poor peasants, indigenous peoples, and child farm workers—whose lives signified nothing to the military death squads.

Lucia Mann, who was in El Salvador at the time, recalls this vivid historical portrait of human rights violations during and after the “dirty” war between the military-led government and left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front. This brutal conflict was backed politically, economically, and militarily by the United States with CIA involvement.

Throughout these pages, you will experience intense trials of courageous survival with unforgettable characters who yearn for peace, justice, and normalcy. One of the brave women you will meet is Estella Godwin Lozano (a Waorani tribe descendant of the Amazon rain forest), who suffered terribly before her brutal demise in Laredo, Texas in 2019. She was a “little person” who became traumatically affected by the abuse perpetrated by National Guard soldiers outside her pueblo home. She heroically joined the Sandinistas (Cuban-backed guerillas) to seek revenge upon the villains of her country.

Buy the book on Amazon!



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

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

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I did an Avatar Character Tier Ranking due to popular demand. I recently finished watching all 3 seasons of the show with Markus and it was so much fun. Let me know in the comments down below if you agree with my character ranking s and who your favorites are!! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Median Gray

Welcome to the blog tour for gritty crime thriller, Median Gray by Bill Mesce Jr.

41Ptfp6kpBLMedian Gray

Publication Date: August 4th, 2020

Genre: Thriller/ Crime Thriller/ Police Procedural

Publisher: Willow River Press

“Smart, gritty, and authentic, Median Gray delivers a crackling tale complete with complex and damaged characters, and a keen eye for what cops know and think.” -– SFPD Sgt. Adam Plantinga, author of 400 Things Cops Know and Police Craft.

At a time when New York’s mean streets were their meanest, one NYPD detective at the end of his career takes one last chance to correct a 20-year-old injustice, and another cop at the beginning of his career tries to stop him before a police department already scarred by corruption investigations takes another hit.

“Mesce takes you on a blistering ride-along down mean New York streets with the most irreverent detectives this side of Richard Price.  And with dialogue so true it feels wire-tapped; Price had better watch his back.  This one’s a winner.”  –David Breckman, co-executive producer of TV’s Monk and The Good Cop

Add to Goodreads

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

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Bill Mesce, Jr. is an author, screenwriter, and playwright living in New Jersey.

His first professional writing gig was the product of a screenwriting contest landing him an uncredited stint on Brian DePalma’s 1981 political thriller, BLOW OUT. Since then he has worked on a number of film projects, including the 1998 feature ROAD ENDS which was screened at a number film festivals.

Another writing contest led to his award-winning one-act play “A Good Kid,” which, in turn kicked off a series of related one-acts which were eventually rolled into his first full-length stage effort, A JERSEY CANTATA.

And yet again, a writing contest brought him his first published credit, the critically-acclaimed WW II drama, THE ADVOCATE. Since then, he has turned out a range of work from academic studies to literary short fiction and including several well-received sequels to THE ADVOCATE.

From 2010 to 2017, he was an adjunct instructor at several colleges and universities in New Jersey. He now teaches screenwriting at the University of Maine at Farmington.

Willow River Press

Median Gray

Blog Tour Schedule

September 14th

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

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

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

Cocktails & Fairy Tales (Spotlight) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

September 15th

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

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

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

September 16th

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

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

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

September 17th

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

@burlingtonbibliophagist (Review) https://www.instagram.com/p/CC6Qy6yABBJ/?igshid=1gadff8igjmwv

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

September 18th

Read & Rated (Spotlight) https://readandrated.com/

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

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

Blog Tour Organized By:

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

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

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I once again make an attempt at doing a weekly reading vlog! I clearly need more practice with these but hopefully, you enjoy this video of me being chaotic. Let me know how you do you reading vlogs in the comments down below! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Younger & Wiser

I’m happy to share this unique collection of poetry with you all today. Read on for more info, and a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

41bHutG9tKL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Younger & Wiser: Peaceful Words for a Troubled World

Publication Date: September 1st 2020

Genre: Poetry Collection

A unique literary masterpiece, richly seasoned with wisdom, humor and inspiration.

In Younger and Wiser, Gene S. Jones travels beyond traditional formats to explore the full spectrum of human emotions and experiences. Utilizing pithy vignettes anchored by clever backstories, Younger and Wiser relates the eclectic saga of the author’s fascinating personal odyssey. The result is a mind-expanding reading adventure that expresses heartfelt emotions and life lessons while demonstrating a deep appreciation for humanity’s ability to improve itself. Featuring intimate storytelling and witty humor interspersed with profound wisdom, Younger and Wiser delivers bite-sized nuggets of invaluable insights for readers of all ages.

Add to Goodreads

Available on Amazon

Giveaway: A $25 Amazon gift card, open to everyone. The giveaway will run from today until September 12th. Click the here to enter!

About the Author

GENE JONES BOOK PHOTO

Nationally acclaimed game show host Gene Jones has spent his life inspiring others to achieve creative excellence. From teaching seminars on innovation, serving as Associate Editor of the Guinness Book of World Records, and thirty years of professional speech writing to entertaining audiences and producing major events nationwide, Jones has enjoyed a colorful career. His many achievements include success as a writer, entertainer, producer, director and business executive. His brilliant use of backstories in Younger and Wiser bridges the gap between literary memoir and eclectic verse to become the missing link between mainstream non-fiction and the poetry genre.

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

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

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

We tried out the Whisper Challenge using sentences from books off of our bookshelves! It was a lot of fun and we had some ridiculous results. Watch us attempt our way through this! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Altered Helix

Welcome to the blog tour for Altered Helix, by Stephanie Hansen. This book is the first installment in a YA/ Paranormal Mystery series, and the lastest release is called Paralleled Bond!

Read on for more info!

AlteredHelix_mock1Helix

Publication Date: May 19th, 2020

Genre: YA/ Paranormal Mystery/ Novella

Publisher: Hypothesis Books

I didn’t want to take the traditional path. First, I wasn’t ready for college. Second, I was going to live with my best friend, Tiff, and work at the Haunted House. Third, did I mention the hot guy Josh that works there too?

The most exciting thing about Austria’s new job, at a local haunted house, was the fact that the toughest looking people screamed the loudest. But when she meets the boy without a home, Josh, Austria’s life takes intriguing and eventful turns. Up until now, Josh has managed to hang with his Street crowd, but they’re in danger, and so is Austria, the girl Josh recently fell for. The group finds themselves joining forces with previously considered enemies who also now find themselves in danger.

Deeply compassionate and full of twists, Altered Helix captures the struggle of polarized people that must work together for the greater good.

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Available on Amazon!

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About the Author

Stephanie Hansen

Stephanie Hansen’s short story, Break Time, and poetry has been featured in Mind’s Eye literary magazine. The Kansas Writers Association published her short story, Existing Forces, appointing her as a noted author. She has held a deep passion for writing since early childhood, but a brush with death caused her to allow it to grow. She’s part of an SCBWI critique group in Lawrence, KS and two local book clubs. She attends many writers’ conferences including the Writing Day Workshops, New York Pitch, Penned Con, New Letters, All Write Now, Show Me Writers Master Class, BEA, and Nebraska Writers Guild conference as well as Book Fairs and Comic-Cons. She is a member of the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Stephanie Hansen | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

 

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Blog Tour Schedule

September 7th

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

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

Cocktails & Fairy Tales (Spotlight) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

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

September 8th

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

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

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

September 9th

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

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

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

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

September 10th

Book Dragon Girl (Review) https://bookdragongirl.com

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

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

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

September 11th

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

Read & Rated (Spotlight) https://readandrated.com/

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

Blog Tour Organized By:

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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

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I did another author interview and this time, it was with David Reiss! He is the author of the Chronicles of Fid trilogy! I had a fun time picking his brain about writing and talking about comic books and villains! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Being Alert

Happy publication day to author Charlie Laidlaw!

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

Being Alert! coverBeing Alert

Publication Date: August 21st, 2020

Genre: Satire

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

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

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

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

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

unfolding events.

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

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Excerpt

Comings and Goings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Am I?”

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

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

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

“Sir Roger had no right….”

“I have every right, Minister.”

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

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

“I did know that, Derek.”

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

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

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

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

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

“So?”

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

“Pairs of gloves?”

“Your inventory lists each glove separately.”

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m sure they won’t, Derek.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What!”  Kevin almost pushed himself upright.

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

“What!”

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

Available on Amazon US and Amazon UK

About the Author

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charlie Laidlaw | Facebook  | Twitter

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

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Big thanks to our amazing hosts today!

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

Book Spotlight: Rainbow

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

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Rainbow

Publication Date: December 2019

Genre: LGBTQ/ Black Fiction/ Novella

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

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Available on Amazon

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

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About the Author

Author Pic

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

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

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

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

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

Verde Arzu | Twitter | Instagram

Rainbow copy

Blog Tour Schedule

August 17th

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

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

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

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

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

August 18th

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

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

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

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

August 19th

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

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

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

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

August 20th

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

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

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

August 21st

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

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

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

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

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

Book Spotlight: The Patience of a Dead Man

Welcome to the blog tour for chilling novel, The Patience of a Dead Man by Michael Clark. Today we have an excerpt for you, and a chance to win a fantastic giveaway! 

Read on, if you dare!

The Patience of a Dead Man KINDLE Book One Cover

The Patience of a Deadman

Publication Date: April 15, 2019

Genre: Horror/ Paranormal *Author has described it as more “chilling than gory”.

He just spent everything on a house in disrepair, but he didn’t know someone was waiting inside.

Tim Russell just put his last dollar on a handyman’s dream; a quaint but dilapidated farmhouse in New Hampshire. Newly single after a messy divorce, his plan is to live in the house as he restores it for resale. To his horror, as soon as the papers are signed and his work starts, ghosts begin to appear. A bone-white little boy. A woman covered in flies. Tim can’t afford to leave and lose it all, so he turns to his real estate agent Holly Burns to help him decide whether he has any shot at solving his haunted problem. Can they solve the mystery before he loses his investment…or maybe his life?

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Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE: Henry’s Demise

November 29th, 1965

The sun was low in the sky on another perfect New Hampshire day. Henry Smith had just washed and brushed his favorite horse just inside the old red barn. The workday was over until something caught his eye…something out beyond the pond, way out in the field. He walked toward the front of the house and stood there for a few seconds, scanning the tree line where he thought he might have seen her.

It had looked to Henry like the woman they would see from time to time at the corner of the property, cutting across the field into the woods. The closest neighbors were more than a mile away. Henry knew them, and this woman did not look familiar.

The truth was there was no explanation why the woman made frequent appearances way out here for the past few years. All of the neighbors had their own meadows full of wild grapes and blueberries, not to mention pumpkins. Why come here? Then he got to thinking: It was time to select the annual Christmas tree. Why not kill two birds with one stone? He went back to the barn, grabbed the hatchet and set off down the front lawn past the stone wall and headed toward the far left corner of the field. One hundred yards later, he turned left into the forest.

He had known about the overgrown grove since they bought the place, but he was still enamored by it. If this grove had been tended to over the years, I’d have my tree already. I’d just chop it down, and after a relatively short drag back to the house, I’d be done.

The grove started about thirty yards into the wild forest, fully on Smith property. The Christmas trees gone wild had become towering spruce and of course, too far gone for holiday use. They were all at least forty feet tall, more or less, and grew in perfect symmetrical rows. In and around the grove in odd spots however, were random wild spruce that could pass for Christmas trees if you looked hard enough.

Henry made his way through the first few yards of the wild forest, and as always, all at once, the grove opened up in front of his eyes. He was fond of this place. It was hidden, and then it was in your face. And if you were here, it was yours and yours alone for the moment, like being lost in the hallways of an empty mansion.  He angled his path to cut through the many rows, moving diagonally and to the right, deeper into the woods. Where’d she go?

He passed more rows than planned, and before he knew it, he could see the man-made symmetry coming to an end at the border of the congested wild forest. More and more rogue trees had claimed odd spots here– a near-even mixture of man and nature. The forest floor here wasn’t just spruce needles like the rest of the grove; leaves from all sorts of trees had drifted in over the years, leaving piles of natural mulch.

The briars were thick, and behind them, undisturbed forest. Nestled inside the briars and brush were two high mounds of leaves that had collected for decades. They seemed artificially high as if they covered something. At first, Henry thought it might be a section of stone wall, but the stone wall in this forest also happened to be the property line, and he was sure he was still a ways from that.

As he closed in, he realized the two piles were each nearly waist-high. A section of gray stone peered out from under twisting vines that had caught years of falling leaves, revealing something several shades lighter than anything naturally occurring.

Gravestones, he recognized. Thirty-one years living here and I didn’t know… He looked down at his hatchet, wishing it was a pair of pruning shears. The briars proved well prepared to protect their long-held secret, but Henry’s curiosity was powerful. He forged ahead, hacking and flattening the bases of the sharp plants so that getting back out wouldn’t be the same battle it was going in.

As soon as he broke through the last of the thorns, he put down the hatchet, dropped to his knees and began to clear the dead leaves and ivy. The stones were crooked from years of heaving frosts but remained steady as he worked. There was a large one on the left and a smaller one on the right.

There was so much moss they were illegible. Concentrating on the left one, Henry scraped gently at the space he estimated the epitaph would be. After three or four moments of gentle effort, he had cleared the top two engraved lines. The first, in smaller letters, read: “Here lies.” The second line, where the person’s name should appear, was taller than the first–but he couldn’t quite make out the inscription.

Then, a twig snapped. Henry looked around, attempting to focus in the dark; it must be her; time to meet the stranger. He looked back, down the near-perfect aisle of spruce. It was all shadows and night had finally fallen. He squinted and took off his glasses, trying to catch a better glance.

She stood there in the dark–the mystery woman in the long dress. All he could make out was her silhouette; her pale white hands were holding what might be a bouquet, and her hair was pinned up, worn away from her neck. It was as unkempt as the woods behind her, strands and bunches pushing out in odd directions.

And there was a smell.

There are many unpleasant odors on a farm, but Henry recognized this as the smell of something unmistakably dead. Like the time a mouse died inside the wall of their bedroom. It was decay, and it was coming from her.

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

MikeClark-55-small

Michael Clark was raised in New Hampshire and lived in the house The Patience of a Dead Man is based. The bats really circled the rafters of the barn all day long, and there really was a grove hidden in the forest. He now lives in Massachusetts with his wife Josi and his dog Bubba.

The Patience of a Dead ManDead Woman Scorned Anger is an Acid are his first three novels.

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What makes this tour extra special is that it’s part one of 3! This book is the first in a trilogy, best read as one big, terrifying story!

Here are the details for the other tours:

Dead Woman Scorned (The Patience of a Deadman #2): October 5th – 9th

Anger is Acid (The Patience of a Deadman #3): November 30th – December 4th

Comment if you are interested in joining the other tours. We are happy to provide The Patience of a Deadman (Book One) as well!

Giveaway: To win print copies of the entire trilogy (US Only), or a print copy of The Patience of a Dead Man (International), click the link below!

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Blog Tour Schedule

August 3rd

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

Ity Reads Books (Review) www.ityreadsbooks.com

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

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

August 4th

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

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

Cocktails and Fairy Tales (Review) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

August 5th

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

@DreaminginPages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/dreaminginpages/

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

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

August 6th

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

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

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

@_MyBookCorner (Review) https://www.instagram.com/_mybookcorner/

August 7th

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

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

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

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

J. Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

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

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Hey everyone! I did an author interview with Lisa Luciano, author of the mystery crime novel The Chosen Ones! It is a book that goes inside the scandalous & icy world of Olympic figure skating. Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: The Road to Delano

Welcome to the blog tour for historical fiction, The Road to Delano by John DeSimone!

The Road to Delano Cover 2D bThe Road to Delano

Publication Date: March 10, 2020

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Coming of Age

Publisher: Rare Bird Books

Jack Duncan is a high school senior whose dream is to play baseball in college and beyond―as far away from Delano as possible. He longs to escape the political turmoil surrounding the labor struggles of the striking fieldworkers that infests his small ag town. Ever since his father, a grape grower, died under suspicious circumstances ten years earlier, he’s had to be the sole emotional support of his mother, who has kept secrets from him about his father’s involvement in the ongoing labor strife.

With their property on the verge of a tax sale, Jack drives an old combine into town to sell it so he and his mother don’t become homeless. On the road, an old friend of his father’s shows up and hands him the police report indicating Jack’s father was murdered. Jack is compelled to dig deep to discover the entire truth, which throws him into the heart of the corruption endemic in the Central Valley. Everything he has dreamed of is at stake if he can’t control his impulse for revenge.

While Jack’s girlfriend, the intelligent and articulate Ella, warns him not to so anything to jeopardize their plans of moving to L.A., after graduation, Jack turns to his best friend, Adrian, a star player on the team, to help to save his mother’s land. When Jack’s efforts to rescue a stolen piece of farm equipment leaves Adrian―the son of a boycotting fieldworker who works closely with Cesar Chavez―in a catastrophic situation, Jack must bail his friend out of his dilemma before it ruins his future prospects. Jack uses his wits, his acumen at card playing, and his boldness to raise the money to spring his friend, who has been transformed by his jail experience.

The Road to Delano is the path Jack, Ella, and Adrian must take to find their strength, their duty, their destiny.

“This whole story is an absolute triumph!”
Thehauntedfae Book Blog

The Road to Delano is a compelling story that will leave readers thinking about its surprise ending long after the final confrontation comes to a head.”    ―California Bookwatch

“Five Stars. Outstanding writing, fast-paced. A must-read for people who love history AND baseball.” ―ReedsyDiscovery

“I really enjoyed this story. It’s more than a little Steinbeck, in a very good way…”  —Leigh Anne, Book Sirens 

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Ash Wednesday

Monday at lunch, Jack and Ella settled on the grassy school quad. The morning haze, a gray dullness, hung over them. Ella in a long skirt and T-shirt printed with her favorite saying played her guitar. Jack ate slowly, as Ella gently strummed a Joan Baez song.

She let the last chord vibrate in the air. “You look far away today, Jack.”

“Just thinking.”

“Worried about the big game?” She strummed a C chord.

“Not really. I’m ready for those guys.” As crucial as the Arvin game was to his chances for a scholarship, his head spun with Herm, the sheriff, and lost combine. He needed to set all that aside.

But how?

“You’re worried about losing that combine, aren’t you?”

He shrugged and glanced off into the haze. Herm’s beat-up face filled him with too many questions, ones he would rather not ask.

“What do you think happened to it?”

Jack did his best to suppress a frown. He spent the next twenty minutes explaining how Sheriff Grant found Herm Gordon face down in the mud and how their combine had gone missing. Short of stealing someone else’s machine and selling it to pay the taxes, he didn’t have too many ideas about what he could do to save his mom’s place.

“Jack, you have to protest. Write to the newspaper. Make noise until the sheriff finds your combine. Someone knew you needed that money to save your property.”

Ella’s sense of urgency hovered over her, an impending sense of doom that required her to stand up and shout to drive it away. She had been this way since he first met her, always ready to protest. Vietnam had taken up most of her attention. But it was their trip to Berkeley a couple of years ago that had set her on fire, and had almost got Jack arrested in front of Sproul Hall.

Two years ago, their sophomore debate team had joined the junior and senior team on a field trip to UC Berkeley to observe a statewide competition. They left Delano before dawn and talked for the entire four-hour bus ride. That was something he had never done with any girl. They sat across from each other, an aisle between them. Her darting green eyes held his interest. Life shot out of them, beautiful and intelligent in the same instant.

They debated the war in Vietnam, who killed JFK, the likelihood of a gunman on the grassy knoll, the Selma march, the Freedom Riders, Malcolm X, the Black Panthers—she had an opinion on everything. Mostly, she made sense. The girl’s intensity at times unsettled him, but it mostly intrigued him.

During the debate competition in a Berkeley auditorium, shortly after the lunch break, Ella leaned into him in the dark. “Meet me outside on the steps in a few minutes.”

Without waiting for an answer, she rose and disappeared. Jack stewed in his seat, trying to figure out what she was up to. He wouldn’t miss much if he left. Besides, her sense of adventure piqued him. A few minutes later, he found her outside the glass doors on the steps. In the breeze, her brown hair, straight and long, riffled across her mischievous smile.

“There’s an FSM rally on the other side of the campus. Go with me. We’ll be back in plenty of time.” “A what?” he asked.

“You know, the Free Speech Movement. Please, go with me,” she pleaded with her green eyes. “Mario Savio is going to speak.”

From the way she threw out his name, he was someone Jack should know. He had never heard of the Free Speech Movement, or Savio, whoever he was. Jack glanced back to the doors.

“They’ll be in there for hours.” She took his hand. He marveled at her warm grasp. He liked it.

They made their way through a maze of buildings. She must have had this all planned out. She led him directly to a large plaza packed with students milling about. Some sat, most stood talking and smoking, and clouds of strange smelling smoke wafted over the crowd. A line of cops stood on the fringes of the crowd. They fidgeted with their batons.

The two of them were so far back, they could hardly make out what the speaker was saying. Ella pushed her way toward the front, and Jack held on. Had she done this before? She stopped when they were about twenty feet from the speaker, who read a list of students who were being expelled. People were booing.

A new speaker came to the microphone, a tall wiry-haired student in a white shirt and sheepskin-lined jacket. Electricity seemed to shoot right out of his hair. The crowd around Jack murmured, likely wondering what this guy was going to say. Ella squeezed his hand tighter. He didn’t dare let go of her, afraid they’d get separated in the jostling crowd.

The crowd hushed when the man with the electric hair started to speak. He had a machine-gun delivery. His message burst from him with so much energy the entire crowd leaned in for more. His lips moved like waves, every word coated with fire.

I ask you to consider if this university is a firm…we’re the raw materials.

And we don’t mean to be made into any product…to be bought by anyone.

We’re human beings!

The crowd applauded, and Ella loosed her hand to clap and shout.

There’s a time the operation of the machine becomes so odious… you can’t take part.

You’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears…upon the levers… and you’ve got to make it stop.…Unless you’re free, the machine won’t be prevented from working.

The crowd broke into more applause. Kids were yelling their agreement. Jack wasn’t clear what machine the guy was talking about, or what freedom he didn’t have, and what gears needed to be stopped. Then the speaker introduced Joan Baez, and the crowd went crazy with chatter and clapping.

She started singing a Bob Dylan song, and a hush fell over everyone.

How many times can a man turn his head And pretend that he doesn’t see?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind… Ella hopped up and down on the balls of her feet.

Baez started up another song, “We shall overcome…,” and everyone joined in, the crowd swayed with the words. Something great, something powerful was about to break open here. He took Ella’s hand, and she gave him a complicit smile. She held him tight as if she feared she would float away in the euphoria of the moment.

When the song ended, she pulsed forward. Jack dared not let her go as they slipped between applauding students who hovered around the famous singer. Ella ascended right up to the great Joan Baez, her long black hair draped over her shoulders, her guitar slung over her neck.

Ella tried to talk calmly, but she only stammered.

“Did you want an autograph, honey?”

Ella had a confused look as if the question she wanted to ask had slipped away.

“Do you go to school here?”

Ella shook her head. “Delano High School.”

“Look,” Baez pointed over Ella’s shoulder. “You guys got to get out of here. There’s going to be trouble.”

At the far end of the crowd, cops were forcing students to move. Cop cars with lights flashing swarmed into the quad forcing students toward them. Panicked voices, screams, and shouting rose in the quad. Police vans rolled into the quad, lights flashing, the short squawks of their sirens stirred up the crowd.

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About the Author

John DeSimone-Blue Shirt

John DeSimone is a novelist, memoirist, and editor. He’s co-authored bestselling The Broken Circle: A memoir of escaping Afghanistan, and others. He taught writing as an adjunct professor at Biola University and has worked as a freelance editor and writer for nearly twenty years. His current release, a historical novel, The Road to Delano, is a coming of age novel set during the Delano grape strike led by Cesar Chavez. BookSirens said, “It’s more than a little Steinbeck, in a good way….” He lives in Claremont, Ca, and can be found on Goodreads and at  www.johndesimone.com

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It’s that time of year again where we take our final exams for the Magical Readathon and this will be the last one because G from Book Roast will be switching it up which is sad but understandable. So these are all the books I will be reading for my NEWT exams. Check out the video below: