Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Book Blitz: Never Too Far by Thomas Christopher


Title: Never Too Far
Author: Thomas Christopher
Date Published: 5/10/12
Young Adult Dystopian / Suspense

Its Never Too Late

Synopsis: A harrowing story of love and survival. In a future of scarce resources, where the possession of gas and diesel is punishable by death, a teenage boy and a pregnant girl must find a way to save their impoverished family. They risk their lives on a terrifying journey to sell stolen fuel on the black market.






Author Bio
Thomas Christopher
Thomas Christopher grew up in Iowa. He received his MFA from Western Michigan University. His short stories have appeared in The Louisville Review and The MacGuffin. He was awarded an Irving S. Gilmore Emerging Artist Grant and was a finalist for the Matthew Clark Prize in Fiction. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife and son. 


Website
Buy The Book
Amazon


EXCERPT

Mary surprised Joe by knocking his arms away. She was stronger than she looked. Then she swept her legs off the bed and sprang to her feet. She took two steps and turned to face him as if to prove there was nothing wrong with her. But there was definitely something wrong. She wavered a moment. Her already white face turned ghostly. Her eyelids trembled. She seemed to realize she was becoming faint, and what that meant. 
“I’m fine,” she said. “You don’t have to go.”
Joe got ready to catch her in case she fell, but somehow she held herself steady. 
“It’s okay,” Joe said. “Just sit down. I will go find some food.”
Joe inched toward her. He was afraid to grab her again because she might try to wrench free once more and really fall. When she coughed, her little shoulders jerked and her round stomach jumped. Her head was drooped low and her hair hung down so he couldn’t see her face at all. 
“Come on, lay down,” Joe said.
She didn’t move. Joe stepped toward her, but before he could put his arms around her, she tilted forward and rested the crown of her head against his chest. He slid his arms along the sides of her hard belly and around her waist. Then he shifted her toward the bed again. She moved like a bundle of empty sacks in his arms. He set her gently on the bed before he bent down to lift her feet onto the sheets. 
After he sat in the chair, Mary asked him, “What if you don’t come back?”
“That’s not going to happen,” Joe said.
“How do you know?”
“I just know. You have to trust me.”

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Book Blitz Plus Giveaway: The Prophecy by Rachel Deagan


The Prophecy by Rachel Deagan  
Publication date: February 8th, 2013
Genre:YA Urban Fantasy/Science Fiction
“The cards tell me of the children of the stars.”

Jacey thinks her life is worthless, when she finds herself in a psychiatric hospital after a failed attempt to end her life; her wounds miraculously healed. Devin, who claims to kill on touch, is also there. When Michael arrives, bearing telekinetic powers, he insists the government, and an even darker, more powerful force, wants them dead.

In a desperate attempt to escape for their lives, the three teens find they must confront an even greater adversary, themselves - and with a prophecy forced upon them, they must find a way to accept their fate, or rebel together, as one.


PURCHASE: 

Excerpt: 

Trees swept by Devin as he ran. Their gangly tendrils grasped at his clothes, tearing scratches at his skin. He almost welcomed it. The ache to have physical contact with something, anything, burned as a residual longing deep inside of him, but that was what the men wanted. They knew his touch would kill, and he would not fall to that level.
It hurt, knowing he had to always stay away, but he refused to care. No one gave a crap about him anyway. The abuse and torture from Lament and his crew proved that was true, but they would not break him.
He would not become their weapon. They could go to hell.
The sound of footsteps moved behind him, and he quickened his pace, scrambling as best he could through the darkened branches. Sweat broke across his brow, and his lungs heaved for air. Even in the cool, night breeze, the gray tee shirt he wore clung to his chest, hot and damp. It had seemed like hours since he had broken free of Lament’s hell-hole prison of a lab, and he had no idea where he was headed. All he knew was that he had to run. He couldn’t live like that. He would not become a monster.
If only he could find a way to blend in and hide amongst the canopy of darkness, perhaps the idiots would pass him by unseen. Maybe he could be free.
He couldn’t go back. He would rather die.


AUTHOR BIO
Rachel Deagan 
Rachel grew up in small town Massachusetts where she spent most of her time writing about strange paranormal creatures instead of paying attention in class. She has always been considered the 'dreamy' one with her head in the clouds. She now lives in Nevada with her two sons, a cat, and a rat named Sam.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Book Blitz: Disconnect (Divided Worlds Trilogy #1) by Imran Siddiq



Disconnect by Imran Siddiq
Series: Divided Worlds Trilogy, #1
Publication date: February 22nd 2013
Genre: YA Sci-Fi

In space, love has boundaries.

Dirtying fingernails in sewers is fast approaching worthlessness for Zachary, a 16-year old Underworld scavenger. When footage of an Overworld girl, Rosa, is discovered, his intrigue heightens at why she expresses sadness with a lavish lifestyle.

In meeting Rosa, Zachary is scorned by her opinion of the deprived. She pities him and provides a means for them to communicate. With time, friendship and something he’s never felt grows; love for another human. Knowing Rosa calls him when it suits her isn’t enough; he wants to meet her, but how? Relationships in Underworld are few, let alone the impossibility with those above the ceiling.

Underworld will suffer when plans to conquer Jupiter’s moon, Europa move ahead. Worse is Rosa’s father, a disgraced Overworld ambassador, approving the plan.

Zachary must defeat the prejudice of the worlds, sneak within opposing forces, lose friends and challenge Rosa’s sadness. In doing so, a twisted secret is uncovered that may devour the reason he lives; Rosa.


PURCHASE: 


Excerpt:
Chapter 1 - Worthless
Zachary stopped at the clunk under his boot.How had nobody seen the box? With a glance into the darkness of the
Wastelands, he licked his chapped lips.Taking the box, Zachary darted past heaps of tottering metallic sheets. So far
today, he’d scavenged nothing that was worth shoving into the pockets of his knee- length coat. If there was one thing to beat today, it was the pride-crashing kick to the guts of returning empty-handed for a fourth day. As the shortest scavenger of the stall at five foot six, a barren run made him the easiest target for teasing.
The stall’s heckles from the day before still chilled him. The quickest rat with the hunting skill of a slug.
But thoughts of leaving the vast Wastelands with only a handful of screws and two-inch nails drowned in his anticipation that the jingling in the box would be ratchets, fuses and battery cells.
Zachary sprinted along the ledge of the bay to an overhanging bank. Not even the sick rested amongst the rusty vehicles deserted here. Using his trusted titanium screwdriver, he teased off the knot of wires beneath the mesh. Why would anyone take trouble to wrap and then to discard this box?
Whatever, thought Zachary freeing the last clasp of the lid. Inside there was a folded note, a silver Intercom-transmitter, and an orange-tinted bracelet. Result! Twiddling his long, brown hair, he scrutinised the box for hidden compartments within the padded interior. The smooth texture couldn’t have started life in Underworld, could it?
Locked away from light, Underworld was a murky pit in comparison to the rich nature of Overworld that few had seen, and finds such as these were rare here. Luck placed Zachary within easy access of the clutter that lay on the west side of Underworld, the Wastelands. Spending most of his day amongst the sewer pipes didn’t bother him for it was far better than the dull lanes of District Two. No day was the same amongst junk. Every gush from the pipes revealed a new surprise.
Nobody knew how thick the ceiling was or why its creation blocked Underworld from the world above. Often Zachary pondered what exactly sat above the ceiling. He guessed unlimited power, droids with abilities that dwarfed the functions of humans, and a life that didn’t require working in muck. Short hours. Free time.
An eerie chill climbed his spine at imagining the scattered giant steel support pillars dropping aside? Would Overworld add to the mess of Underworld? Could the two worlds of the Galilei Research Base co-exist? No chance.
What did it matter? Underworld’s builders had left it to rot.
Zachary squinted in the darkness at the unbroken chain links on the bracelet and the deep dent in its centre. Components of music-playing Harmon bracelets weren’t difficult to locate, though one as complete as this? He clicked his teeth thinking of when a working bracelet had last been handed to the stall. Longer than five years at least. There was a harsh rattle as he shook the bracelet. If he fixed this, it could be enough to save him another day of shame.
More than that, he could show his dad that scavenging wasn’t a deadbeat job by putting some good food on the table.
The Intercom-transmitter, a communication device he’d often see in the hands of a ruthless looter, felt light in his palm. If this find functioned – he held his breath – then mushrooms for supper would become a memory. Zachary squirmed. Adjusting to the slimy, vomit-wrenching taste of mushrooms that thrived in abundance was at the bottom of his to-do list.
He rubbed his back against the carcass of a vehicle, his heart thumping. Maybe the Master of the stall would let him look behind the curtain?
Zachary’s hazel eyes reflected off the Intercom’s shiny shell. He rubbed the recognition pad underneath, not sure what to expect. Dull lights clicked along the screen’s circular pattern. Blue tinted static formed in the air a foot above the Intercom.
“What in Europa!” Zachary swiped the image. Signs of energy were a signal to the greedy. If any of the gangs roaming the dry deluge saw this, they’d seize the Intercom and snap his skinny limbs apart.
Coat over the Intercom, Zachary sunk deeper into the bank. He paused before returning his thumb to the pad. The blue static burst out again, accompanied by a disturbing cackle. A human head with long hair formed in front of him. The image rotated, showing blurs where the eyes and mouth should have been. An incomplete android? Or an Overworlder?
Zachary’s curiosity peaked. He’d never seen an Overworlder before and it wasn’t like he had a choice in that matter. Galilei’s distinct division prevented any
mixing. There was no doorway, window or ladder to allow sight or sound between the worlds. Yet, he held a gateway to one in his hand. Were Overworlders as perfectly skinned as he imagined them to be? Did they wash every day without scrounging for water under steam-filled pipes?
“Fourth of August 2340, 15:16,” said a young girl.
Shut up!
Zachary crammed the Intercom to his waist. A spark erupted in the centre of the device, and then it switched off. He gasped open-mouthed. Eyes closed, he bugged his memory to repeat her soft words. It was gone. Zachary rubbed the pad. Nothing. Inactive. Dead. Worthless. No – the Intercom could be salvaged. It could be worth ... something.
His eyes narrowed at the unfolded note. “Initial surveillance confirms the location. Continue with Project Centurion.” There was nothing on the reverse.
The word surveillance bothered him. It was what scavengers said when watching a lucrative drop point in the Wastelands. Did the girl write the note? Was she after someone?
Zachary tapped the Intercom. It didn’t make sense for anybody to write on paper if they were going to place it with a messaging device, unless they knew the Intercom to be faulty.
He shrugged, putting all three items into his pocket. The box weighed little, but it was valuable. Hooking a wire from the box to an inner seam of his coat to aid its hidden transport, Zachary smirked. The mushrooms looked closer to being history.
After snaking around the vehicles, he jumped onto a protruding sewer pipe to reach the upper level. Whirring sounds halted him. Eastwards, embedded turbines spun clockwise like a volatile drill within the high ceiling.
A drop was coming. Normally, Zachary would’ve dashed over bust circuit boards to reach the drop point. Instead he watched a triangular section of the ceiling, secured by hydraulic arms, eject downwards. Wind spurted ahead of blazing light before rock-like objects rushed out, followed by a rainstorm of particles in pursuit. Discarded rubbish of Overworld had entered his world.
Zachary’s eyes tightened upon other Underworlders swarming to the falling treasure. It was a good one-minute run away, and by the time they reached it, the Wasteland gangs would have fought one another for the glory. If the wired-box had
been part of that drop, there’d be steel cutting through bodies to get it. He shivered with thoughts of the carnage if they’d found the Intercom.
Emitters within the ceiling dimmed, ending the artificial day. Turning on his heels, Zachary took the southern route to the bartering camps of District Two.
He manoeuvred to the steep ladder against the gigantic heated pipe. Halfway up on the forty-fifth rung, Zachary gazed over the irregular horizon of the Wastelands scanning for a girl running between the swamps, searching for her box. Who was she?
On reaching the platforms jutting from a mountain of metal, Zachary moved into the bartering camp, avoiding locking eyes with the near-naked hut occupiers begging with their scrawny fingers. Drooped faces, similar in every way, shared cracked bowls of sludge. He considered them to be a clever scheme, detracting from the pick-pocketers groping his coat.
If anybody here owned an Intercom, they wouldn’t place it in a box, even for safekeeping. No – they’d solder it to their belts and some to their piercings. That wired-box had to have come from Overworld.
Zachary licked his lips. The Intercom wasn’t totally broken; some life inside remained, and that gave it a chance to be repaired. There was someone who could repair it, but he’d have to be quick. If Zachary’s dad found out that he’d messed around with a device rather than exchanging it for money, then he’d be in for a kicking.
Recessed between the huts of the rat seller and the cockroach grinder sat Zachary’s employer’s stall. A bullish man nodded, allowing him entry into the candlelit foyer. He spoke little to the other scavengers lining the room’s edge. Either their goods had been delivered, or they had nothing spectacular to show. He continued, descending to the symmetrically carved area underground.
At the front of a corridor, a middle-aged man mumbled at his desk as he scribbled into a paperbound book. Shekhar peeked over cracked spectacles, showing no amusement at Zachary’s tentative loosening of his fingers.
The Harmon bracelet glittered in the candlelight.Shekhar bit the lid off his red pen. “He already has many.”“This works.” Zachary yanked the bracelet away from the attempted snatch. “Whereabouts?”“The drop.”“A working Harmon, Mister Connor? Why would anybody throw it away?”
Zachary gulped. The stall’s beady-eyed Secretary wasn’t a man to irritate. “Why does anyone throw away anything?”
Shekhar murmured. Pushing his spectacles up onto the bridge of his nose, he led Zachary to the wooden door with depictions of men carrying building blocks and guiding barrows. Shekhar knocked three times.
Zachary exhaled upon entry into the Master of the stall’s five-cornered room. Air swept from Shekhar’s slam of the door didn’t detract from the heart thumps Zachary felt. He was seconds away from the padded curtain that hung behind the Master’s chair. Desperation at wanting to peek behind the curtain accompanied the slide of his heel. No – wait, there wasn’t time for the curtain, no matter how long it’d been since he’d gazed beyond it. Priority stormed his mind. Get home. Repair the Intercom.
Cobwebs pinned inside picture frames decorated the walls above stacked items and metallic gadgetry. Dust floated between the generous glows of the corner- mounted tubes of energy. Zachary passed the human skeleton standing there with sharpened pencils crammed into the holes and notches of its skull. It was a symbol of man stripped of protection whose purpose was to hold objects of use. Maybe that was the Master’s interpretation of Galilei; Underworld lived as the skeleton holding up Overworld.
A strange smell hooked Zachary’s nostrils. Of all the sewers he’d stepped in, this was by far the most rancid. Had something died here?
He drew near to the long, polished table in the centre of the room where Master Salvador “Biro” Burton sat observing him. The rear curtain skewered in place by copper rods tempted a grin.
Then, the thump of Zachary’s heart tightened.
On the table lay a male torso. No arms or anything below the waist. Splatters of blood and jagged cuts ran along its light brown skin. Charred muscles overlapped where the neck should have been. Zachary’s eyes swept the floor for dismembered limbs and the head. The rotting smell filled his lungs. A dead body? Here? Whose?
For a man who’d hoarded enough coins to build his own town, the Master’s scrawny state drew pity. Going on seventy years, Biro had entered beyond the final phase of life. Blemishes littered his sunken skin. He looked ill. Diseased. Almost like the skeleton in his room. But what the heck was the Master doing with a corpse? Glaring at the torso, Zachary rubbed his sweaty palms.
Biro twitched with a never-ending shake of his left leg. “Quite extraordinary, isn’t it? They’re now creating them to look like us.” His tone hummed between tainted teeth.
Zachary almost cried out. The corpse was an android! Impossible. It looked – too – perfect. Lines of blood-carrying veins could be made out above the region of the collar bone. Zachary shivered. Androids were pale, almost ghost-like. Where was the streaming-port that every android had on its abdomen? And why the blood, and the muscles?
“I suspect Overworlders are trying to integrate them deeper into their extravagant lifestyle,” continued Biro. “It’s rather artistic, isn’t it?”
“Did you find this?” Zachary gulped. It wasn’t his place to ask a question.
Biro’s smirk lasted a second. “Found in the most intriguing manner. Something almost flawless and no doubt expensive, yet, it came to rest here. Enough of that. Your find?”
Zachary handed over the bracelet. His eyes focussed on the padded curtain which was coloured black to prevent the sneakiest glimpse of the reward behind it. Zachary’s palms moistened as he clenched his anxious stomach. His thoughts stopped lingering on the torso.
After loosening the slim compartment on the bracelet’s edge, the aged Master directed a charged-stylus onto teeny cogs inside. The bracelet illuminated. Frozen in mid-twitch, Biro shuddered at the melody’s beginning. Soft strings gave way to a slowly building drumbeat.
An intensifying harp played, swaying Biro’s pleased face. “Shekhar will give you enough to treat yourself for this find.”
Zachary unhooked the box from his coat.Biro’s gaze sharpened. “What’s inside?”“I found it ... empty.” He looked at the curtain, knowing the Master would
interpret it without asking.“Going behind will forfeit any reward for the box,” Biro went on, seeing
Zachary’s furrowed brow. “Tell me. Why love something so far away?”“It lets me without asking,” replied Zachary.Spinning the bracelet twice to prolong the melody, Biro waved for Zachary to
continue. “You need to find yourself a girl”.
There was no point in Zachary fighting the urge. His breathing accelerated. Hands trembling under his chin, he went around the table, and then behind the curtain. Lights sparkled outside the awaiting window with greater strength than a thousand diodes. His heart raced quicker. The melody, behind him, peaked to a thunderous fanfare.
Remnants of Zachary’s breath frosted the glass as his eyes soaked up the atmospheric dense bands of the gas giant of space.
Jupiter.
He’d always thought that there was nothing more intriguing than this planet. Except now. Something new seeped into his mind; something that reduced the gas giant to a ball. Eyes closed, Zachary took a deep breath. He visualised the blurred face of a girl without eyes.
Who was she?

AUTHOR BIO
Imran Siddiq may have tried to leave Leicester a few times, but its become his place to wake up to two cats, freeze when the heating’s off and most of all, get down to writing. At a young age, his primary school teacher commented on his creativity and ability to tell stories.  At the age of 29, during a night in the jungle, the bug inside awakened, and for the last 5 years he’s been sacrificing every second that he can to write. A veteran of writing festivals, a presence on Twitter and gobbling up all forms of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, he hopes he can bring a smile to others in the same way that he had, aged 5, reading with a torch under his duvet. Imran’s preferred genre  is YA Sci Fi, and he has a tendency to throw a droid in every novel.


Book Tour Plus Giveaway: Root Bound by Tanya Karen Gough




Root Bound by Tanya Karen Gough (Fantasy/Adventure)
Publication date: June 3rd 2012
by Baba Yaga Press

"A lighthearted, whimsical confection that will delight both kids and their parents’ inner child." - Kirkus Reviews

How far will you go to find your way home?

Emma and her father are always on the move, travelling from place to place as her father’s work demands. Their new home, however, is different. There’s a frightening woman who lives down the hall: she bears an uncanny resemblance to a witch. A mysterious light comes from her apartment, and a small boy seems to be trapped inside.

School in this town is no happy place either, with an odd principal and a gang of girls who make tormenting Emma their special project. And strangest of all is the fact that there seem to be brownies - basement brownies, in the air vent in her bedroom.

Haunted by visions of her mother, Emma travels through the brownie burrow to the valley of Hades to visit with the goddess Ceres, following a series of clues that lead her across the sea of memory to the centre of the world.

There, on an inhospitable rock floating in a sea of steaming lava, Emma must find a way to release her mother from the sea of memory and restore magic to both the brownie burrow and the human world above.


Purchase:



Excerpt: 

The steps grew louder, until they were right outside the door. The brownies clung to Emma, shivering in fear.

“What do I do?” Emma whispered, the words sticking in her throat. The brownies looked around. Truss tugged at her shirt frantically and pointed.
“There!” she gasped. Emma followed her arm, which pointed toward the wall.
“There’s nothing there. Just a wall.”
“Not the wall. The vent,” Piers cried out, clutching her collar. “Down there, along the baseboards.”
“But I can’t fit in there,” Emma whispered urgently. “I’m too big!” Just then the doorknob rattled.
“GO!” the brownies screamed in unison as the knob turned and the door began to creak open.
Emma didn’t know what else to do, so she scooted out from under the bed and ran toward the air vent. The brownies clung to her, grabbing her ears, her nose and even the edges of the book, hanging on for dear life.
“Jump!” Mat screamed in her ear.
“I can’t.”
“There’s no time! Jump! Jump NOW!”
She was so afraid, she couldn’t even think straight.
“Jump NOW!” Piers shouted.
“Slip through! You can do it!” a voice echoed in her ears. She did not know if it was one of them shouting or herself.
“Slip through!”
“JUMP!”
“NOW!”
Emma took a deep breath and looked once more toward the bedroom door. It rattled and shook, and the doorknob started to turn. She turned back to the wall and looked at the tiny vent near the floorboards. Then she did something she never thought she would do.
She jumped.

Author Bio:

Tanya Karen Gough was born in Montreal, Quebec and raised in New England, where she developed a healthy appetite for ghosts and things that go bump in the night. An avid reader from a young age, she quickly worked her way through Alice in Wonderland, the Magical Monarch of Mo, Andrew Lang's Fairy Books, all of the Tintin comic books, Nancy Drew, and most of the other books in the children's library.

Finally, at the tender age of 10, she produced this poetic masterpiece:

"Whene'er you get a wandering leg
And feel that you must roam
Remember this and don't forget
The best place is at home"

To date, she has moved more than 25 times. Along the way, she earned two degrees in English Literature, taught overseas, became the owner operator of the Poor Yorick Shakespeare Catalogue, and contributed to a number of Shakespeare-related publications. Root Bound is the first of four books in the Emma and the Elementals series.

Author Links:

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Truth About Letting Go by Leigh Talbert Moore

The Truth About Letting Go (The Truth)
Release Date: 02/21/13

Summary from Goodreads:
Ashley wants to smash everything in her once-perfect life.
Charlotte wants to walk in Ashley's seemingly charmed shoes.
Colt wants to turn Smalltown USA on its ear--with Ashley at his side.
Jordan wants to follow his heart... but Ashley is the one sacrifice he never expected to make.

Ashley Lockett has always followed the rules. She's always done the right thing, played it safe, gone to church. And then her ideal life is shattered when her dad dies suddenly.

Fueled by anger and grief, she vows to do everything opposite of how she lived before. She rejects safety, rules, faith,

and then she meets Jordan.

Jordan has big dreams, he's had a crush on Ashley for years, and he's a great kisser. But he's also safe.

Enter Colt. He is not safe, and he's more than willing to help Ashley fulfill her vow.

A companion to The Truth About Faking (not a sequel; the books can be read out of order), The Truth About Letting Go takes readers back to Shadow Falls, or more specifically Shadow Creek, with Ashley Lockett as she learns about real friendship, love, and letting go.

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***Excerpt*** 

I feel Colt laugh, and he looks down into my face. That’s when he seems to realize what I’ve been acutely aware of for the last several minutes—our bodies are pressed together. “It’s awesome, yeah?” he says. “Adrenaline rush.” “Yeah,” I breathe. “I guess.” I’m not sure if he’s going to kiss me until he does. His mouth covers mine, and energy mixes with the alcohol flooding my body. Our tongues slide together, and I grip his shirt so I don’t collapse.  Every single bit of this is wrong, and there’s no way I’m stopping it. It’s back, that good feeling. The sadness has been pushed out again, and in its place is this rush, this rush of adrenaline like Colt said.  He pulls back and smiles at me. “We’re going to start dating. Now. You’re my partner in crime.”


Moore
About the Author
Leigh Talbert Moore is a wife and mom by day, a writer by day, a reader by day, a former journalist and editor, a chocoholic, a caffeine addict, a lover of YA and new adult romance (really any great love story), a beach bum, and occasionally she sleeps. -The Truth About Faking is her debut young adult romance (on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo) -Rouge is her first New Adult romantic suspense novel (on Amazon). Leigh loves hearing from readers; stop by and say hello! Blog * Facebook * Amazon Author page * Goodreads * Twitter * Tumblr