Monday, September 30, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Corvids: Autumn (The Corvids, Book One) by Lisa Ann Brown (Presented by Dark World Books)

~~ COVER REVEAL ~~

The Corvids: Autumn

(The Corvids #1)

The Corvids is a four-part paranormal romantic suspense series. Delve into the depths of darkness, magic and love in this murder mystery/coming of age quartet!

Arabel Spade, a young girl living in the strange and mystical land of The Corvids, determines to solve a brutal series of murders using her unique paranormal abilities. Through her perilous journey, Arabel learns about herself, the dark secrets which stain her family history and the passions and rigors of first love.



About the Author:

Lisa Ann has been involved with storytelling and entertainment, in one form or another, her entire life. Beginning her creative journey as both a writer and an actor, Lisa Ann spent many years immersing herself in innumerable books, countless theatre productions and earning a degree in Musical Theatre. Shortly after college, she attended the Vancouver Film School to learn the finer points of screenwriting. This study culminated in the writing of a few feature length scripts and an overwhelmingly potent desire to move from Canada to Hollywood. Once ensconced in East Hollywood however, creative inspiration lured Lisa Ann away from screenwriting and returned her to her original writing intentions: to be a novelist. In three months, Lisa Ann had completed her first novel, I Raid, and there has been no cessation of her novel writing ever since. Moving back to Canada, she spent many years working as a talent agent in Vancouver before retiring from the film industry to focus on writing full-time. Lisa Ann derives great personal satisfaction by delivering her characters through the twisting arcs and unexpected tribulations of their imaginary lives. She strives to keep her readers on edge while enjoying the suspense and surprise of their literary journey. She resides in picturesque Vancouver, BC, Canada where she is happily nestled in between the Pacific Ocean and the Coastal Mountain range.

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Entangled: Ever After ~ Release Day Blast & 5 Different Giveaways!!!!


Find Your Ever After in Under An Hour

Ruby Hill by Sarah Ballance

From her earliest memories, Ashley Pearce has been drawn to Ruby Hill Lunatic Asylum, and she's not the only one. Decades after the abandoned hospital ended its institutional reign of torture and neglect, something lurks in the shadows. Since she’s a paranormal investigator, it's Ashley's job to find out what.

Crime scene expert Corbin Malone doesn't believe in ghosts. A born skeptic, he has no interest in entertaining the hype surrounding the mysterious deaths at Ruby Hill, but he won't turn his back while more women die. He agrees to an overnight investigation, never expecting his first encounter would be with the woman he pushed away a year ago. But when he discovers Ashley is a target, he learns his greatest fear isn't living with his own demons, but losing her for good.
Amazon: Ruby Hill (Entangled Ever After)

Barnes and Noble

One Thousand and One Nights by Ruth Browne
Sheri spends her days fighting zombies and her nights chained to a wall, earning her every breath by telling stories to her captor Aleksy—stories that make them both forget the ruined world. Sheri could put up with the conditions—at least she knows her sister is safe in the community Aleksy leads—until she realizes she’s falling for him...even though he wants her dead.

When Aleksy allowed Sheri and her sister into his compound, he didn’t know about the zombie bite on her back. It's only a matter of time before she turns into one of the rising dead and threatens their existence, but Aleksy has a secret need for Sheri and her stories. For everyone’s safety, he chains her to his bedroom wall, hoping for just one more day. But how long will the community allow Aleksy to ignore his own rule: always kill the infected. Always.

Amazon: One Thousand and One Nights (Entangled Ever After)

Barnes and Noble

Mercy by Jan Coffey

Julia Klein’s life has begun to unravel—her daughter Amy has been suspended from school, Julia is about to lose her job, and her boyfriend Garrett is being transferred thousands of miles away. Overwhelmed, she and Amy leave for a weekend at a rambling old colonial inn. Julia never suspects that Garrett, desperate to find a way to keep Julia in his life, has decided to surprise her by joining them. Nor does she expect her daughter to befriend a mischievous ghost...or that she herself would be possessed by the malevolent spirit of a long-dead mother.

As a dark secret emerges, Julia, Amy, and Garrett find themselves pitted in a fight for survival against a savage presence that intends to resurrect/repeat/relive a horrible crime committed two centuries ago. And this time, Amy and Julia will be the victims.

Amazon:  Mercy (Entangled Flirts)

Barnes and Noble

Haunted Chemisty by Lindsey Loucks

When bookish college co-ed Alexis heads to the laundry room in her new apartment, she runs into Ian Reese, the chem lab partner she crushed on all last semester. And the guy who stood her up on their first date. But she’s down for an awkward reunion, and no better place than her creepy laundry room.

Ian has every intention of making amends, but just when Alexis begins to trust him again, a new threat calls more than their future together into question. A ghost from the apartment’s past is hellbent on revenge, and if he wants to get his girl, he’ll have to get the ghost first.
Amazon:  Haunted Chemistry (Entangled Ever After)

Barnes and Noble

Wish Upon a Star by Michelle McLean

Ceri McKinley never stopped wishing that her ex-fiancé Jason Crickett would come back into her life. But when he finally does, he comes with a request that puts them both—and all of humanity—into jeopardy.

Jason only wants two things: to bury his brother properly and to convince Ceri to trust him again after he jilted her. But when Ceri agrees to help him get his brother back, they end up fighting for their lives as a zombie uprising threatens them all.
Amazon:  Wish Upon a Star (Entangled Ever After)

Barnes and Noble

Northern Light by E.J. Russell

Nothing gives art fraud investigator Luke Morganstern a bigger rush than busting forgers, the low-life criminals who dare victimize true artists. But when his latest job sends him to a remote cabin in the Oregon Coast Range, he’s stunned to discover the alleged forger is his former lover, Stefan Cobbe, the most gifted painter Luke has ever known.

Stefan, left homeless and destitute after the death of his wealthy partner, doesn’t exactly deny the forgery -- he claims he doesn’t remember, an excuse Luke can’t accept.

But Luke’s elderly client suggests Stefan may be telling the truth and presents another possibility – a dark presence in the woods, a supernatural fury simmering for decades. Luke must face down his fear of the uncanny – and admit his feelings for Stefan – if either of them is to survive.
Amazon:  Northern Light (Entangled Ever After)

Barnes and Noble

**Sapphyria will be reviewing each and 
every one of these titles**

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Virtual Tour: Four 'Til Late (Road Ghosts Trilogy, Book 1) by Eric Garrison (Presented by Tomorrow Comes Media)


In Four 'til Late, amateur ghost hunter Brett and his friends Gonzo, Jimbo, and Liz are on a road trip with dangerous detours, dreadful dreams and dire warnings. But that won't keep them from reaching their goal: New Orleans. Along the way they discover that some spirits leave you with more than a hangover and regrets. Can they get there in one piece, or will they be stopped and rest in peace? The bags are packed, the engine's running. Turn up the radio and get moving because the road ghosts are waiting, and it's Four 'til Late. Four 'til Late is the first book of the Road Ghosts Trilogy.

Book Details:

File Size: 917 KB
Print Length: 236 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Seventh Star Press; 1 edition (July 23, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
ASIN: B00E4WO7YA

Purchase Links:


















About the Author:


Eric Garrison is active in the writing community in Indianapolis, Indiana. He lives in the Circle City with his wife, step-daughter and four cats. He also enjoys gaming and homebrewing beer. 

Seventh Star Press published the first of his Road Ghosts trilogy, Four 'til Late, in July of 2013. The other two are expected to come out later in 2013. 

Eric's novel, Reality Check, is a science fiction adventure released by Hydra Publications. This book reached #1 in Science Fiction on Amazon's Kindle store during a promotion in July 2013. 

Eric's short story, "Drag Show" appeared in the Fall 2011 edition of Strange, Weird and Wonderful Magazine and Volume 2 of that magazine's anthology series. His flash piece, "Dark Reflection", appeared in the Indiana Horror 2011 anthology. He's competed twice in the Iron Writer Challenge with two 500-word flash pieces, "Killer Cure" and "Moby Me".

Author Links:

Blog: http://ericgarrison.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EricGarrisonAuthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1978111.Eric_Garrison

Twitter: https://twitter.com/erichris

Friday, September 27, 2013

5 Star Review: Tempting Bella (Accidental Peers, Book 2) by Diana Quincy (Entangled: Scandalous)


England 1810

Mirabella can hardly remember the man she married as a girl. And it’s just as well. She feels nothing but contempt for the man who wed her for her fortune and promptly forgot she existed. The ton may call him “The Saint” but Bella knows better.

Forced to marry as a teen to rescue his family from certain ruin, Sebastian has been apart from his child bride since their wedding day. When he encounters an enchanting impish beauty at the opera, he’s is thrilled to find she is none other than his long-ago bride and he is more than ready to make her his wife in truth.

Book Details:

Title: Tempting Bella (An Accidental Peers Novel)
Author: Diana Quincy
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 204 pages
Release Date: September 2013
ISBN: 978-1-62266-248-7
Imprint: Scandalous


Purchase Link:

Amazon


Saph's Review:

Tempting Bella is a fantastic example of Historical Romance. The descriptions of the clothing, the mannerisms, and vernacular brings the reader back to a time that seems so long ago. Women were expected to be prim and proper - in highly decorated gowns - and perfectly polished. Men were in charge (haha...as far as that worked on headstrong women, anyway) and handled the daily affairs, household, and business.

Our story begins with Mirabella Wentworth at the age of ten-and-three being unceremoniously wed to Mr. Sebastian Stanhope at the age of ten-and-nine. The purpose of this totally creepy wedding? Mirabella Wentworth's father, the Duke of Traherne, needs to settle a gambling debt with Cyrus Stanhope, Sebastian's father, which will, in turn, prevent the financial ruin of the Stanhope family. No worries, though ~ no consummation of the marriage happens and, although married, Bella and Sebastian go on to live their lives independently for the next six years....the end of said six year period is when the novel really begins.

The duo has grown up and matured a bit; Bella is now 19 and Sebastian is 25, but they haven't set eyes on each other in 6 years. Feeling bad for Bella being forced into a marriage at such a young age with absolutely no say, Sebastian leaves her alone to experience life as a teenager should. The marriage could have been consummated when Bella turned 17, however, Sebastian decides to let her go abroad and do her own thing. Sebastian did what he thought was best under the circumstances. In the meantime, he was able to take the Traherne legacy and build it up to something strong and secure.

Bella has nothing but resentment for the the now-man that she was forced to marry. Upset that he didn't try to dissuade the union or prevent it by walking away, Bella doesn't want anything to do with Sebastian. She's also very suspect of his motives behind the Traherne fortune. Knowing that she'll have to face him sometime, she returns from abroad but her identity is a mystery to not only him, but the whole town, since she was kept away from the villagers while growing up.

A chance meeting at the opera has both Bella and Sebastian's hearts fluttering but neither knows the other's identity. Staying faithful to the person he married is of utmost importance to Sebastian, but he's drawn to this mystery lady. When he finally learns who she is he feels obligated to tell Bella his identity but each time he tries, something something prevents the actual revelation. What ensues is misunderstandings, distrust, and a building of a relationship 6 years in the making. Are Bella and Sebastian up to the task?

This novel is phenomenal. I loved each and every aspect that the author gave the readers. This isn't a simple historical novel about early arranged marriages and scandal. There are many story lines woven between the pages of this majestic book.

Bella is a fantastically written lead character. She has endured a lot at the hands of her alcoholic father, Duke of Traherne, including being passed off in marriage to settle his gambling debts. She's been abandoned by the man she was forced to marry; left to learn the ways of the world alone. She is not without friends, however. Her little group consists of Cary Orford, Josette Laroux, Tabitha Quartermain (Tabby), and a man simply known as Monty. Bella is fiercely strong and very protective of her family legacy, one she insists that Sebastian is draining slowly. She will do anything in her power to prove Sebastian to be the fraud that he has been cleverly able hide.

Sebastian is a very strong, masculine, and tender hero to our Bella. He has been nothing but loyal and faithful to the wife she hasn't seen since their wedding day. He has gone about Traherne business as is his role as wife to Bella, Duchess of Traherne. He is genuinely a decent male and is frequently called the "saint." He just has to reel his wife back into his life for it to be truly complete.

I adored the secondary story involving Tabby and Monty, too.

The writing style is fluid and easy to read and comprehend. The story lines all intersect with each other at some point, bringing everything full circle.

Please note that this is the 2nd book in the series and I have not read book 1 yet. I did, however, purchase it this afternoon. I absolutely can't wait to devour Seducing Charlotte (Book 1) just as I devoured Tempting Bella.

Review Copy Courtesy of: Entangled Publishing, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review.

Saph's Rating:


Book Promotion & Interview: The Blue Hair Club (The Godfather Tales: Book 1) by TV Actor Dan Lauria & Cathryn Farnsworth


Dan Lauria is best known as America’s TV Dad, having starred as Jack Arnold in the CBS award-winning show, The Wonder Years, from 1988 - 1993. Lauria recently teamed up with Cathryn Farnsworth to co-author a new series of children’s books called “The Godfather Tales,” the first book titled The Blue Hair Club. Lauria, a long-time family friend, is the godfather of Cathryn Farnsworth’s son, Julian.

“When I chose Dan to be my son’s godfather, I knew he would be a good choice,” said Farnsworth. “However, I had no idea how amazing his relationship with my son Julian would become, and how devoted Dan would be in that role.”

Because storytelling is such a major part in Farnsworth’s parenting, Lauria began creating and telling Julian stories—and taking them to the next level—so much so that Julian began expecting original stories every night. This is howThe Blue Hair Club: And Other Stories began.

“'Being a storyteller is part of an actor’s job,” said Lauria. “I wanted to use my stories to instill positive messages in Julian and share those messages with other kids. Coming up with the stories and writing the book with Cathryn was fun. It's easy to write stories for a child when you love them as much as I love Julian.”

The Blue Hair Club, with whimsical illustrations by Brandon Morino, consists of three stories that teach kids essential life lessons.

The Blue Hair Club – tells the story of a boy named Julian who is different from everyone else. This story teaches kids that it’s okay to be different and not to make fun of kids who are different from you.

The Boy Who Built a Bridge out of Carrots – tells the story of a boy named Roscoe who lived in a village with a problem. When Roscoe came up with an idea to alleviate the town’s problem using what the town had on hand, they told him it wasn’t possible. Roscoe was determined and did solve the town’s problem, making a better life for himself. This story teaches kids to have determination and to make the best of what you have.

The Story of the Sun – Takes place a long time ago when the earth was dark and only inhabited by animals. It is an inventive story about how the sun got in the sky as well as how some of the animals came to be: how the turtle got its shell, why all foxes have black mouths, how vultures got their bright red heads. This story teaches kids the value and importance of using their imaginations.

www.thegodfathertales.com

Interview with Dan Lauria (aka Jack Arnold from The Wonder Years)

Question 1:
Tell us about The Boy with Blue Hair. What’s the moral of the story?

D.L.:
The Moral of the Blue Hair Club is:

Don't make fun of people who are different because some day you may want to be different too. I feel kindness is a big difference in this crazy world.

"Seems to me that we have a choice to be smart and greedy or gentle and kind.  I was smart for many years, I recommend kindness."


Questions 2:
How We Got the Sun is another good story filled with explanations and imagination. Where did you get the idea for this story?

D.L.:
The story of the sun being placed in the sky is taken from an American Indian legend that was part of the Zuni and Navajo folk lore. I changed someaspects for clarity but the basic story is part of American Indian lore. I will try to use American Indian folk tales in future Godfathertales.

Questions 3:
Where can people get a copy of The Blue Hair Club and will there be more books The Godfather Tales?

D.L.:
You can get copies of THE GODFATHER TALES on line at:

TheGodfathertales.com and on Amazon:
The Blue Hair Club: and Other Stories (The Godfather Series) (Volume 1)

Questions 4: 
Dan, what is next for you in your acting career?

D.L.:
Next for me as an actor: I will return to Broadway in A CHRISTMAS STORY:  The Musical based on the famous movie, A Christmas Story. My fans should not worry; I don't sing one note in the play. I'm the narrator. My character is based on the GREAT Jean Sheppard. After that, I will return to LA to be with my Godson and get ready for another season of Sullivan & Son on TBS.

Blue Hair Club on sale now!

Book Details:

Paperback ISBN: 9780615859248 Size & page count: 8 x10, 82 pages
Price: $19.95
Pub Date: September 2013

About the Authors:

Dan Lauria

Dan Lauria has appeared as a guest star in over seventy television episodic programs and more than twenty Movie Of The Week productions. He has a score of film credits which include, STAKEOUT, ANOTHER STAKEOUT, and the commercial blockbuster, INDEPENDENCE DAY and the Frank Miller production of Will Esiner’s; THE SPIRIT. Dan was also in the cult comedy: ALIEN TRESPASS. Dan is a very familiar face to the off-off, off and regional theatre scene having performed, written or directed over 50 professional stage productions. In 2010/11 Dan was seen on Broadway as the legendary coach Vince Lombardi in the long running production of LOMBARDI, directed by Mr. Thomas Kail, with the beautiful and talented Judith Light playing Marie Lombardi. Dan returned to Broadway in the 2013 production of the Tony nominated production of A CHRISTMAS STORY: The Musical directed by John Rando. However, Dan is most recognized as the Dad on the highly acclaimed Emmy winning, ABC television show, THE WONDER YEARS. Currently, Dan can be seen as Jack Sullivan on the new TBS sitcom; SULLIVAN & SON with Steve Byrne as SON.

Cathryn Farnsworth

Photographing families and capturing kids in their truest form of happiness, creativity and wonder, Cathryn Farnsworth has written many custom children's books. Cathryn creates a tale interweaving her photographs and the children's unique personalities. In 2011, Cathryn's won the award for Best Headshot Photographer in Los Angeles. She has also had the privilege of working with authors, including photographing the covers of several bestselling novels. Originally from Littleton, Colorado, Cathryn resides in Los Angeles with her magnificent son, Julian.

Brandon Morino (Illustrator)

Brandon Morino is an illustrator living in Los Angeles. With an emphasis on creating expressive character design, over the years he’s lent his skills to many major publications, including The Hollywood Reporter and the Los Angeles Daily News; companies such as Citibank and DimensionU; public relations firms like MS&L and Cerrell Associates; and published works including “Skye the Troll” by Apryl Skies, “Che: The Lost Diaries” by David Carte, and his own self-published title “The Big H”. Brandon is a “Mac” guy, enjoys Tabasco sauce on (nearly) everything, and is a taco aficionado par excellence.


Karen Campbell Media, Inc.
616.309.4390
www.karencampbellmedia.com

Book Blast & Gift Card Giveaway: My Sister's Reaper by Dorothy Dreyer (Presentee by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer)


My Sister's Reaper by Dorothy Dreyer 

Sixteen-year-old Zadie’s first mistake was telling the boy she liked she could bring her dead sister back to life. Her second mistake was actually doing it. When Zadie accidentally messes with the Reaper’s Rite that should have claimed her sister Mara, things go horribly wrong. Mara isn’t the same anymore—Zadie isn’t even sure she’s completely human, and to top it off, a Reaper is determined to collect Mara’s soul no matter what. Now Zadie must figure out how to defeat her sister’s Reaper, or let Mara die … this time for good.

Purchase Links:

Amazon 



About the Author:


dorothyAuthor Dorothy Dreyer I'm a Philippine-born American living in Germany with my husband and two teens. I write young adult books that usually have some element of magic or the supernatural in them. I also like to read those kinds of books. Aside from reading, I like movies, chocolate, take-out, coffee, traveling, and having fun with my friends and family. I've also been known to make a pretty sweet cupcake. I tend to sing sometimes, too, so keep me away from your Karaoke bars. 





BookBlast Giveaway 

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/18/13   Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cover Reveal: Enhanced by Courtney Farrell (Presented by Innovative Online Blog Tours)

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for "Enhanced" by Courtney Farrell.  Enjoy the first chapter provided for your pleasure. If you were a fan of the television show Dark Angel you will really enjoy Enhanced!


 Michelle was born into the Institute’s eugenics program, where doctors breed people like livestock. One powerful man decides which children grow up, and which disappear. Culls are dumped in the slum outside Institute walls, and those kids never come back. Michelle has survived every purge, and she’s about to win a luxurious life as a breeder. When her brother and her boyfriend are both mysteriously culled, despite their high scores, she goes over the wall to find them. Alone in the ghetto, she’s in trouble until handsome, streetwise Dillon stakes a claim to her. She’s mortified because the Enhanced see Norms as little more than animals. But the doctor is using the missing boys in a twisted experiment, and she needs Dillon’s help to stop him. Michelle must rescue the boys, but a plague is spreading, the doctor is after her, and Dillon isn’t thrilled to help her find her lost boyfriend.

Buy Now:   

Amazon:




Enhanced: Chapter 1 

     The door slammed open and a team of white-coated technicians filed grimly into the classroom. Michelle Atherton automatically relaxed her face into the expressionless mask Enhanced offspring used to greet any bad news, but under her desk, her fingers gripped each other hard enough to hurt. The techs lined up against the wall, arms folded and jaws set in identical hard lines. They stared over her head, refusing to make eye contact with anyone. Doctor Williams came in last, rolling a gurney outfitted with sturdy nylon straps. He parked it behind the last row of chairs, and teenagers twisted in their seats to stare. Pressure rose in Michelle’s throat like a scream, but she didn’t dare make a sound.
     Williams dismissed Professor Cole with a perfunctory twitch of his jowly chin. In agonizingly slow motion, the old teacher set the stack of standardized tests down on her desk and walked stiffly from the room. Williams closed the door after her. The click of the latch made Michelle flinch.
    “Seth Atherton,” Doctor Williams said.
     Blood rushed from Michelle’s head.
     Michelle’s seventeen-year-old brother stood up. “Sir?”
    “You have been selected for a…procedure.” Williams motioned Seth to the gurney. “Come with us.”
    “What procedure?” Seth’s voice sounded calm and polite, as always, but everyone knew what he was thinking. People selected for procedures didn’t always come back.
     Williams didn’t answer–not that anyone expected him to. At the doctor’s gesture, a couple of male technicians stepped up and locked eyes with the rangy dark-haired boy. The bigger one, a swarthy young man with thighs like tree trunks, pointed Michelle’s brother toward the gurney. Seth stood his ground.
     He turned to Doctor Williams. “I’ll cooperate, sir. You don’t need the stretcher, I can walk.”
     Technicians drifted from the wall like wraiths, slowly surrounding him. Michelle’s head felt like it floated a little way above her body, as if somehow it wasn’t quite connected. Objects in the room had bright edges, and the coats of the technicians gleamed in brilliant, painful white. Her brother’s strong hand gripped her shoulder, but she didn’t remember getting out of her chair. He pulled her close and leaned down to whisper.
   “Michelle.” Seth’s eyes were so dilated that they almost looked black. Narrow rings of indigo surrounded the reflective pools of darkness. “Don’t do this. You have a chance to grow up here, become a breeder. I…I just can’t watch you walk out the gate alone.”
    She stared at him with wide eyes, and slowly nodded. Seth inclined his head in that unconsciously noble way of his, and the technicians fell back, making room. His fingers gripped Michelle’s arm. Pain dimly penetrated her nightmare, so she let her brother walk her a couple of steps and press her back down in her chair.
    “Stay here, Michelle. I’ll be fine.”
     Michelle blinked hard at the tears that threatened to shame them both. “Sure. You’ll…be fine.”
     Seth nodded once and turned away. He strode to the gurney, climbed aboard and stretched out on his back. With sharp metallic clicks, technicians ratcheted down the straps.
     They rolled him away.
     The teens sat for a moment in stunned silence before the whispering began. “I can’t believe they’re culling him!” Sylvia blurted.
    “That’s not how it’s done,” Jeanette said disdainfully. “They didn’t line us up at the gate, and besides, with his scores, that’s not going to happen.”
    “Maybe they don’t like his attitude,” said Seth’s best friend Brian. “The way he plays the system.”
     Michelle glanced sharply at the big blond-haired senior. “You mean the way you both—”
    The door opened again and the technicians came back in with a second wheeled stretcher.
    Carissa’s face blanched as the technicians marched toward her. “It’s me, I knew it.”       The tawny-haired girl stumbled out of her chair and squeezed behind Brian’s broad back, like that could save her. He murmured to her softly and reached up to cover her hand with his.
    “Brian Halstead,” the swarthy tech said, flexing his thick shoulders in an unspoken challenge. Carissa’s breath caught audibly in her throat.
     Brian stood up slowly, with the oiled grace of a predator. “Yes, sir.”
     He emphasized the word a little and the tech’s eyes narrowed. Nobody called technicians sir. A little smirk played along the corners of Brian’s mouth. He took a step or two toward the gurney, but hesitated by Michelle’s chair until she looked up.
    “For Seth,” Brian whispered, giving her a wicked little smile.
     Michelle sat up straight and scanned the white-coats. Doctor Williams had gone, leaving a bunch of low ranking techs to deal with Brian alone. Big mistake. What’s he going to do?
     As Brian sauntered down the aisle, people in the back of the classroom scooted out of their chairs and clustered in front by Professor Cole’s desk. That should have alerted the technicians, but it didn’t.
    “Clearly, there’s a reason that they’re only technicians,” Jeanette Morley said, right out loud, and her girlfriends giggled.
    “Get on the stretcher,” the burly technician growled at Brian.
     Brian grinned. “Thanks, but I’m not interested in participating.”
    “It’s not optional.”
    “That’s not the way I see it.” Brian cocked his head and waited until the tech made the mistake of grabbing his arm.
     “I turned eighteen last fall,” Brian said, and the guy let go fast. It was too late.
      With both hands, Brian lifted the stretcher off its wheels and slammed its edge into the man’s stomach. The swarthy one went down, along with another white-coat with the bad luck to be standing next to him. Techs swarmed the big blond-haired teenager, trying to overcome him by sheer numbers. Michelle cheered along with the rest of the class when Brian made a hole in the drywall with some guy’s head, but a petite female nurse snuck up behind him with a syringe.
     “Look out, behind you!” screamed Carissa.
      Brian slumped horribly to the floor, and four white-coated men lifted his body onto the stretcher. They rolled him away while Michelle wrapped her arms around herself and shook. After the last technician filed out, Doctor Williams stuck his head in, surveyed the damaged wall with a slightly sick expression, and then closed the door like a dog owner making sure his pets didn’t get out.
      Jeanette laughed until her face turned pink. “Did you see how Brian set that up? The Conclave can’t touch him for that!”
     “What!” Michelle snapped.
     “Don’t you get anything, Michelle?” Jeanette rolled her eyes. “Brian’s eighteen. Technically that makes him an adult, whether he’s finished high school or not. With the scores he gets, he outranks every technician at the Institute. He doesn’t have to follow their orders.”
      “So when he wakes up from whatever sick experiment they’re doing on him, they can’t punish him any worse. Sure, that’s just hysterical, Jeanette. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much.” Michelle abruptly fell silent when the door opened once again.
     This time, when they came, they came for her.
     Michelle trembled on the exam table in the Genetics Clinic. A puncture wound in her leg slowly dripped blood onto the polished floor, but she ignored it. Technicians were testing the biopsied muscle segment, and Norms existed to clean up the mess. A child sobbed softly on the other side of the wall.
      Don’t go. Doctor Salomon could walk in any second, Michelle told herself, crumpling her disposable hospital shift in sweaty hands. But he won’t, another part of her mind whispered, the buried part that knew exactly what Salomon was doing in the room next door. He’s not finished with her yet. Michelle fidgeted on the paper-covered bench, trying to repress the thought. She smoothed away the telltale wrinkles in the horrible white paper poncho, but they’d be able to tell. They could always tell.
     Michelle tucked her chin and wrapped her arms across her flat stomach, as though she could hide under her veil of long dark hair. The antiseptic scent of the clinic always twisted her guts into a knot. Suddenly she pushed off the table, landing barefoot on the freezing cold tiles. Crimson droplets of blood marked her passage toward the door, but the bleeding quickly stopped. In another hour the wound would be completely healed. She hesitated, calculating the odds. Can I go find Seth and get back before Salomon does? Not likely. But if I don’t, I’ll go crazy.
      Michelle eyed the closed door, considering escape. But escape was only for the losers who got culled. Brian claimed that would be a relief, but he tried as hard as anyone to avoid it. No one knew what happened to the culls after they were dumped in the slum. They probably live out there like kings, ruling over the Norms. Even a cull could out compete them.
      In a savage motion Michelle tore off her paper shift and let the fragments drift to the floor. Glaring surgical light reflected off her sleek muscles, golden skin, and the flawless features of her face. She snatched up her clothes as fast as she could. A child’s shrill scream paralyzed her with one leg in her pants.
      Doctor Salomon’s voice rumbled through the wall, taking that quietly insistent tone he used with little girls. “Be quiet, Jennifer, or I’ll bring one of your sisters in here instead. Is that what you want?”
     Michelle took a ragged gasp as everything she’d tried so hard to forget flooded to the surface. She yanked on her clothes and skidded across the floor in her socks. The door had been locked from outside. She rattled the doorknob frantically, but no one came. The child next door got louder, and something in there crashed to the floor. The little girl’s hysterical pleading shifted into a high-pitched scream. A man bellowed, followed by the unmistakable sound of someone being slapped hard with an open hand.
      “Help, help!” Michelle pounded on the door and twisted the doorknob so hard that the metal itself sheared and broke off in her hand.
       She half expected to hear nurses’ running feet, but no one came. Without thinking, she kicked the door open, bolted into the hall and slammed a shoulder into the closed door of the next room. It unexpectedly flew open, and Michelle tripped over an overturned chair just inside. She crashed to the floor and whipped her head around, but the doctor was already gone. A red-haired girl about nine years old peered over the edge of the exam table. A sore pink handprint stood up across the child’s face. Blood speckled the front of her little paper poncho.
     Michelle scrambled to her feet, feeling stupid. She reached gently for the child, who flinched away. “Jennie? Sara? Which one are you? Um, sorry,” Michelle trailed off, embarrassed. Everyone else seemed to be able to tell the triplets apart.
     “I’m Jennie.”
     “Easy, Jennie. I won’t hurt you. You’re bleeding.”
     “It’s not my blood,” the little redhead said, her blue eyes flashing defiantly. “I bit him.”
      Michelle couldn’t help laughing, but she stifled the sound behind her hands. Around here, anyone could be listening. “Good. He had it coming, I’m sure.”
      The child slid off the table, clutching her paper shift tightly to her chest with both tiny fists. “He told me he had to check and see if I had cancer, you know, inside.”
     “Oh, that’s--” Michelle cut herself off before blurting, “just what he used to tell me.” Instead she said, “That’s not true. The Enhanced can’t get cancer, sweetie. That flaw got bred out generations ago.”
     Jennie bit her lip, trying not to cry. “He lied.”
     Michelle squatted down to get on eye level with the little girl. “Yeah, he did. So tell your mom right away.”
    “They showed her the gate when I was a baby.” An angry tear escaped down Jennie’s cheek, but she flushed and quickly wiped it away. Michelle politely pretended not to notice.
      The little redhead crept in to whisper. “You shouldn’t try to help me. You know what he’ll do.”
      Michelle went cold, imagining the consequences. “I know, but I heard you scream, and…”
      Jennie surprised her by giving her a hug. “Don’t be stupid, Michelle. It’s bad here, but it’s worse Outside.”
      Michelle walked down the hall alone, feeling like a prisoner about to face the firing squad. A couple of young male technicians chatted outside the surgical suite. They’d know she had no business in there, and with her genetically enhanced IQ, getting lost wasn’t an excuse. She smiled a little, trying not to look guilty as her heart pounded. Their eyes roamed over her body, but they stepped aside to let her pass. Michelle was an Atherton, after all, the daughter of not only one, but two members of the Conclave. That made her royalty here. At least until my first citation for noncompliance.  
      Michelle glanced over her shoulder at the men, pretending to check them out. They winked and leered, and laughed when she blushed. She bent her head over her papers as though double-checking a room number and pushed through the double doors. She held her breath, expecting them to stop her. They didn’t. Michelle slowed her stride at the receptionist’s desk, hoping Seth’s mysterious procedure would be listed on the computer there. A young female receptionist sat behind the clear plastic counter. The brunette’s short legs and pudgy body gave her away as an Augment, a Norm enhanced only enough to qualify her for a job. Augments instinctively obeyed orders from Enhanced adults, but not from the kids. Am I old enough? Will she tell me?
     Salomon’s petulant voice came from an office opposite the receptionist’s desk, making Michelle forget all about the little brunette. “You’re worthless, Williams! I can’t leave you alone for a minute. That’s why you’re still a technician, so stop asking.”
      The door opened and Michelle ducked around a corner, but caved in to the temptation to peek. Doctor Salomon emerged, trailed by Doctor Williams, the eternal technician. The unfortunate man took shallow breaths, sucking in his tubby stomach, but it still made him look like a Norm.
      The small white-haired director poked a bandaged finger at Williams’ face. “All you had to do was remain in the room, but apparently that was too complicated for you. Those damages are coming out of your paycheck. Now I’m late for surgery, and you’re assisting.”
     “Thank you for the opportunity, sir,” the balding technician said. His eyes remained downcast, but a note of hope crept into his voice.
      Salomon’s overpowering cologne drifted around the corner and stung Michelle’s throat. It smelled like pain. She pushed off the wall and hurried away. Ahead, a line of Enhanced offspring waited for Augment security guards to inspect their documents. She abruptly changed direction and rushed down another corridor, fighting down panic. Sweat began to soak through her blouse, and her breath came in rapid gasps. Orderlies scooted out of her way, and one of them flicked his wrist, activating his implanted cell chip. Is he calling security? Michelle fought against the wave of irrational terror, but had no hope. She dodged a couple of white-uniformed nurses and gave in to the impulse to run.
       Anxiety disorders sometimes manifested in kids selected for extremely high IQs, and doctors doggedly rooted out the flaw. Most of the other carriers had already been selected for procedures. Speaking their names was forbidden, so it felt safer to forget them. Michelle brought their faces to mind in a desperate bid for self-control. The little brown-haired girl who used to cry on the high ropes course–that one never made it past fifth grade. The freckle-faced seventh-grade boy who got eliminated when he refused a two-on-one sparring match in karate class. The images of the lost slowed her headlong rush, but not quickly enough.
     A group of students crowded the hall around the corner. Michelle careened sideways, slammed a hand loudly against the wall, and plowed right into Jeanette Morley, of all people. Beauty wasn't the goal at the Institute, but Jeanette sure acted like it was. The team that designed her pulled out all the stops, giving her a slender, sculpted body, large breasts, and blonde hair that cascaded down her back. Looks weren’t supposed to count here, but they did, especially when it came to influencing people.
      The blonde shoved Michelle away and then started ripping her a new spleen. “Yeah, instead of arriving on time, go ahead and run us all over, you cull. God, Michelle, you’re so…Normal. No wonder you have no friends.”
      “I’m her friend,” Carissa said softly, stepping between Jeanette and Michelle with a visible effort.
      “Thanks, Carissa,” Michelle told the mousy girl, trying to be kind. “I’m your friend too.”
      “Low-ranks and recruits.” Jeanette gave Carissa a critical once-over and rolled her eyes. “Like they count. I guess, if that’s the best you can do.”
      Jeanette’s younger brother Todd wove through the crowd, slipping easily between the muscular boys. On him, the genes that gave Jeanette her delicate beauty just looked scrawny. “Hey, Michelle. Worried you’d be late?”
      “Um, yeah.” Michelle peeled a sweaty curl off her forehead and looked back down the hall. No one followed, and she felt like an idiot for losing control.
      Todd took her by the elbow and guided her to the wall. His touch calmed her pounding heart. “This test isn’t for freshmen,” he murmured, almost inaudibly, but she heard him through her bones. “What are you doing here?”
      She didn’t answer. His eyes searched hers as he lightly lifted the truth from her mind. “Oh. Living dangerously.”
      “Get out of my head, witch!” Michelle snapped, way too loud, but Todd only laughed in that wheezing nerdy way of his.
       He put his mouth to her ear and whispered. “They’re in outpatient surgery, room seven.”
      “Thanks! I’ve got to go, I’m not supposed to…” Michelle faltered and fell silent.
      “Obviously,” Todd smirked. “Get going before the wrong people notice.” He shot a fast glance at his sister, who clustered with her followers.
       Michelle turned away and stepped on someone’s foot. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she said, and then saw who she’d crunched. A green-uniformed Norm hurriedly pulled his laundry cart out of her way. Sniggers broke out among the teens and Michelle blushed. One didn’t speak to Norms, except to give instructions. Apologizing to them was unheard of. They were little more than animals, and they wouldn’t understand.
       “My fault, Miss,” the small black-haired Norm mumbled, eyes respectfully downcast. A muscle on the young man’s jaw clenched and released, and he cast a glance of veiled hatred toward the smirking crowd of kids. Michelle wouldn’t have thought a Norm would know when he was being laughed at, but this one obviously did. A flush of anger rose to her cheeks, but her glare didn’t stop her classmates’ giggles. Suddenly she hated them too.
       “It wasn’t your fault!” Michelle blurted, startling the pimple-faced boy into meeting her eyes for a second. “I ran into you.”
       The entire hallway fell silent as the Normal teenager flushed under the scrutiny of dozens of impossibly beautiful Enhanced. Michelle shrugged apologetically, and the worker surprised her with a wry grin. Mentally kicking herself for attracting attention, she slipped around a corner and walked away.
       One advantage of breaking rules when no one else did was that authorities never expected it. In the outpatient surgery wing, nurses and orderlies bustled everywhere, but no one noticed one girl standing against the wall. Michelle peeked through the tiny window in the door of room seven. Her brother sat rigidly on an exam table. Seth’s handsome face remained impassive, but he kept running a hand through his hair, making it stand on end. He stopped when Salomon walked in. Williams followed, carrying a tray shrouded under a blue surgical cloth. Instead of asking, the chubby technician just put a hand on Seth’s chest and shoved him down on the table. Two thick nylon straps pinned the boy on his back. Salomon chose a gleaming silver scalpel from his tray.
       Seth averted his eyes from the scalpel and spotted his sister standing in the doorway. A flicker of fear crossed his face, quickly masked. The doctor bent over the boy’s arm and made a quick incision without bothering to numb it first. Seth’s night-blue eyes glazed with pain, but he didn’t even twitch when the doctor pulled the edges of the incision wide and used a couple of stainless-steel clamps to hold it open. Michelle couldn’t look at the blood dripping down her brother’s arm, and focused on his dark eyes instead. They looked strange to her, too old for his young face.
       When Salomon turned away to open an incubator, Seth mouthed something at her. It took Michelle a moment to make out her brother’s words. “Go! Before you get one too!”    
 “One what?” she mouthed back, just as Salomon returned to Seth’s side. The petite gray-haired man now wore a surgical mask, and he cradled something carefully in his gloved hands. He glanced up and Michelle recoiled just in time, jerking back around the corner. That did it. A suspicious middle-aged nurse strode toward her, elbowing aside some low-ranking aids and a Normal janitor. Clutching her fake documents to her chest, Michelle fled.
Courtney Farrell was once a molecular biologist, but her habit of daydreaming destroyed far too many experiments. As it turned out, writing down the movies behind her eyes was a lot more fun than lab work. Courtney is the author of fourteen nonfiction books for young people, mostly on social and environmental topics. She lives with her family on a Colorado ranch where they support a barn full of freeloading animals, including a fat draft horse and a bunch of crazy chickens. Enhanced is her first novel.
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Crescent Moon Press 


Spotlight, Cover Reveals, Giveaway: The Ripple Effect Romance Novella Series

Welcome to the Cover Reveals for six up and coming novellas in the Ripped Effect Series!!


The Ripple Effect Romance Novella Series 
Enjoy this exciting new series of clean novellas by six critically-acclaimed authors.

"Like a pebble tossed into calm water, a simple act can ripple outward and have a far-reaching effect on those we meet, perhaps setting a life on a different course—one filled with excitement, adventure, and sometimes even love."

Book 1: Home Matters by Julie N. Ford
Book 2: Silver Linings by Kaylee Baldwin
Book 3: Righting A Wrong by Rachael Anderson
Book 4: Lost and Found by Karey White
Book 5: Second Chances 101 by Donna K. Weaver
Book 6: Immersed in Love by Jennifer Griffith

Home Matters by Julie N. Ford

According to her mother, Olivia Pembroke was born to be a star. But how is she supposed to be famous when she can't even get a decent acting gig? Her lucky break comes when she lands an audition for a wildly popular home improvement show. Even though she has no design training and has never even held a power tool, she refuses to let that stop her. She's confident that her destiny is finally within reach.

When her affections are torn between her heartthrob co-host and the irritating, yet somehow endearing lead contractor, does she continue to reach for the stars? Or does she design a new happily ever after? One that leads not to the fading lights of fame and fortune, but to a love that will burn forever.




Silver Linings by Kaylee Baldwin

Drew Westfall wants nothing more than to forget what he had to do in the name of "smart" business. Cutting off all ties with his parents—including handing over the entire contents of his trust fund to a charity—he takes off for Bridger, Colorado where his best friend has an extra room for him. It doesn't take long for him to realize that his business degree won’t do him much good in a town as small as Bridger, but he's broke and has nowhere else to go.

Eden Torresi has every reason to wallow. Not only did she lose her mother, but she had to drop out of nursing school and is in a relationship with a guy unwilling to commit. But Eden isn't the wallowing type. Instead, she chooses to spend most of her time taking care of the seniors at Silver Linings Nursing home. When she learns that her boyfriend's new roommate is down on his luck, her caring nature makes her want to reach out to him and offer what help she can. But the more time they spend together, the more complicated things get, especially when the seniors of Silver Linings decide to play matchmaker.



Righting a Wrong by Rachael Anderson

Seven years ago, Cambri Blaine fled her small hometown of Bridger, Colorado after her senior year ended in a fiasco. Only Jace Sutton knew the real reason why—that she was a spineless coward. Now, seven years later, her father's been in an accident and needs help, and Cambr has no choice but to return home. So with trepidation, she takes a leave of absence from the landscape architecture firm where she works and boards a plane, hoping against hope that Jace is no longer around and that the past can stay where it belongs—in the past.

If only life worked that way.

Jace never expected to see Cambri again. After she’d led him on, bruised his heart, and left town without a backward glance, he was forced to pick up the pieces and try not to hate her for it. Eventually, he put it behind him and moved on, creating a life for himself in his beloved hometown. But now that Cambri is back and looking more beautiful and sophisticated than ever, some of those old feelings resurface, and Jake instinctively knows, for the sake of his heart, that he needs to avoid her at all costs.

If only it were that easy.


Lost and Found by Karey White

Lydia was supposed to have an adventurous and exciting summer. Instead she's done nothing more than read and eat takeout. Now it's time to go home, and what does she have to show for it? A big fat nothing. Unless, of course, her trip to the airport somehow turns into something more than just a flight home.

Blake feels like he's been sent on a wild goose chase. While work is piling up back in Denver, he's on the other side of the country, hunting for some mysterious box that his grandfather left him. Well, no more. Nothing inside that box could possibly be more important than the opportunity to make it as the youngest partner at his firm. So he's going home, and that's that. But that's before he discovers his flight has been cancelled.

When these two strangers meet at the airport, they make a split-second decision to search for the box together. Maybe with both of them on the hunt, Lydia can have her adventure and Blake can find the box. And maybe, if they’re lucky, they’ll even find some romance.



Second Chances 101 by Donna K. Weaver

Thirty seven year old Francie Davis, a recent widow and empty nester, gets to attend college at last. She’s sure her luck has changed when she also lands a job on campus that will pay her tuition, as administrative assistant to a history professor. When her handsome new boss yells at her on the first day of work, Francie worries she will never be good enough.

For Professor Alex Diederik, life is going downhill fast. Not only is his bitter ex-wife trying to poison their only daughter against him, but now his one place of solace—his work environment—is being complicated by his attractive new administrative assistant. She drives home his feelings of failure as a husband and father, and Alex wonders if hiring her was the right thing to do.

Francie will have to put aside her hurt and insecurities or risk her dreams, while Alex must look outside himself if he’s to mend the breach with his daughter. And, perhaps, find someone who can help heal his pain.


Immersed in Love by Jennifer Griffith

Lisette Pannebaker speaks five languages and has a brilliant business plan—personal language immersion. Clients can hire her to shadow them and speak all day in any language they need to learn for business or travel—whatever.

But there’s a major hitch: she’s far too pretty. Clients with less than honorable intentions sign up just have Lisette at their side. Solution? A make-under. Way under.It works like a charm. None of her male clients show her the least bit of interest.

Until… Erik.

Erik Gunnarsson is charming, kind, and smart—everything she’s ever looked for. Even though he seems to have a secret and she swore she'd never date a client, Lisette is tempted to shed her disguise—even if it means jeopardizing her career.



Giveaway Details
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 10/31/13

Bloggers who put up a spotlight post about these books on their blog can enter to win an additional $25 gift card or paypal cash.  See details in the Rafflecopter.

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


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Spotlight & Giveaway: Her Wicked Sin (Sins of Salem #1) by Sarah Ballance (Presented by Bewitching Book Tours)


Salem, MA 1692

On a moonless night, he rides into the winter forest on his beast as black as midnight...

Dashing stranger, Henry Dunham, comes to Salem on a mysterious errand, but is thrown from his horse in the dead of night and rescued by the local Puritan midwife, Lydia Colson.

Haunted by her past, Lydia is running from her own dark secrets, avoiding intrusive questions by pretending her dead husband is simply... away. But when she and Henry are caught in a compromising situation, one punishable by Puritan law, he saves her from scandal by claiming to be her errant spouse... and claiming her bed.

Forced to fake a marriage, Lydia and Henry find their passion overwhelming and their vows a little too real. As their lies become truths, a witch hunt closes in on Lydia, threatening not only their burgeoning love, but her life.

Her Wicked Sin
Sins of Salem Series
Sarah Ballance

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Date of Publication: 9-9-13

ASIN: B00EMT2D5K

Number of pages: 147

Purchase Link:
Amazon




About the Author:

Sarah and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep.

She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids).

When not buried under piles of laundry, she may be found adrift in the Atlantic (preferably on a boat) or seeking that ever-elusive perfect writing spot where not even the kids can find her.

She loves creating unforgettable stories while putting her characters through an unkind amount of torture—a hobby that has nothing to do with living with six children. (Really.) Though she adores nail-biting mystery and edge-of-your-seat thrillers, Sarah writes in many genres including contemporary and ghostly paranormal romance.

Her ever-growing roster of releases may be found on Amazon , Barnes & Noble, Kobo, For the Muse Publishing, and ENTANGLED PUBLISHING.

Website: http://www.sarahballance.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahBallance

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/sarah.ballance.author.news

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4103362.Sarah_Ballance

GIVEAWAY:
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