blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: After Darkness – J.F. Johns*

Year 2160

RULE #.1

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

RULE #.2

Curfew is from 12 p.m until 7.30 a.m

Applicable to ALL citizens, humans AND cyborgs.

RULE #.3

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

RULE #.4

All the above laws if broken are punishable by death.

WELCOME TO THE NATION

Are you ready?

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

She won the Indie Book Awards 2017 for best book written by an author under the age of 25, and was a finalist for best book cover with her novel Eternal Darkness.

She’s an animal lover, and spends her free time playing with her adopted dog and rescued cat, drinking too much coffee and posting book photos on her Instagram.

She believes in the art of dramatic sighing and eye rolling. She works as a ninja, but has been told several times that she’s not very good at her job.

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Giveaway – win a copy of Johns’ debut novel Eternal Darkness

The world is divided between humans and cyborgs.

Scarlet Lock is neither.

She is a soldier created to kill on command. But her memory has been erased and when she awakens in a government facility she soon discovers that this new world is a dangerous place, full of government secrets and cruel experiments performed in the name of progress.

With the help of a group of cyborgs, Scarlet will fight to uncover the truth and transform the future of the new world she now lives in.

Eternal Darkness is full of suspense, action and romance and will make readers question what it means to be human.

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My thoughts:

Although this book starts a series loosely connected to the author’s previous trilogy, you don’t have to have read those books to follow this one.

Cyborgs were once exiled from the world of humans but now they have returned but the law forbids humans and cyborgs from interacting or even acknowledging the other exists, so when Terra starts dreaming about a cyborg in need of her help and then sees him in waking life, she is determined to try to find out who he is.

The secrets she learns will change her forever.

I thought this book’s concept was interesting, I found Terra a bit whiny and annoying at times, and the cyborgs were definitely more interesting as characters; there’s a lot of back story there.

I did feel the battle against the Big Bad was over and done with quite quickly, and bits felt a bit rushed, which was a shame as other parts could have been shorter and given the plot more room to stretch out.

Overall this was a good read, although all dystopian fiction these days feels a bit too real at times, I liked the idea of the cyborgs and the Destroyer, the creepy twins not so much.

If you like your dystopia quirky and not plague related, then you should give this a read.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: These Lost & Broken Things – Helen Fields*

Maiden-Mother-Murderer
How dangerous is a woman with nothing left to lose?
The year is 1905. London is a playground for the rich and a death trap for the poor. When Sofia Logan’s husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her penniless with two young children, she knows she will do anything to keep them from the workhouse. But can she bring herself to murder? Even if she has done it before…
Emmet Vinsant, wealthy industrialist, offers Sofia a job in one of his gaming houses. He knows more about Sofia’s past than he has revealed. Brought up as part of a travelling fair, she’s an expert at counting cards and spotting cheats, and Vinsant puts her talents to good use. His demands on her grow until she finds herself with blood on her hands.
Set against the backdrop of the Suffragette protests, with industry changing the face of the city but disease still rampant, and poverty the greatest threat of all, every decision you make is life or death. Either yours or someone else’s. Read best-selling crime writer Helen Fields’ first explosive historical thriller.

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An international and Amazon #1 best-selling author, Helen is a former criminal and family law barrister.

Every book in the Callanach series claimed an Amazon #1 bestseller flag. Her next book, the sixth in the series, ‘Perfect Kill’ is due out on 6 February 2020. Helen also writes as HS Chandler, and last year released legal thriller ‘Degrees of Guilt’.

Her previous audio book ‘Perfect Crime’ knocked Michelle Obama off the #1 spot. Translated into 15 languages, and also selling in the USA, Canada & Australasia, Helen’s books have won global recognition.

Her first historical thriller ‘These Lost & Broken Things’ comes out in May 2020. A further standalone thriller published by HarperColllins will come soon.

She currently commutes between Hampshire, Scotland and California, where she lives with her husband and three children.

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My thoughts:

It took me a while to get into this book, but once Sofia had stopped flapping about and started working for the less charming than he thinks Vinsant the story picked up and I enjoyed it more.

Told through a mixture of flashbacks to Sofia’s past and her present predicaments, the story of a woman with a taste for killing is interesting, a lot of crime (especially historic crime fiction) often embraces the idea that women aren’t ruthless enough to kill and those few that do won’t use violence or force.

Sofia kills for two reasons – to protect those she loves and for revenge. Her strength and weakness is this need to take lives.

A much more complex and rich story than it at first appears, These Lost & Broken Things is ultimately redemptive as Sofia comes into contact with the growing women’s rights movement.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Book Blitz: Titanborn – Brian Schutter

TitanBorn copy (1)

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

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Publication Date: April 13th, 2020

Genre: Science Fiction

“No more death.”

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

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

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

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

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Excerpt

Chapter 1

Stuck

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

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

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

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

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

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

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

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

Brian Schutter | Twitter | Instagram

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

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Blog Tour Schedule

May 18th

Breakeven Books

The Consulting Writer 

Jessica Belmont

Tsarina Press  

May 19th

Entertainingly Nerdy

Dark Whimsical Art

Reads & Reels

May 20th

The Scary Reviews

The Faerie Review

The Magic of Wor(l)ds 

May 21st

B is for Book Review 

Didi Oviatt 

Lecari 

May 22nd

Read & Rated 

Rambling Mads 

Lunarian Press

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Blog Tour: Ash Mountain – Helen Fitzgerald*

Fran hates her hometown, and she thought she’d escaped. But her father is ill, and needs care. Her relationship is over, and she hates her dead-end job in the city, anyway. She returns home to nurse her dying father, her distant teenage daughter in tow for the weekends.

There, in the sleepy town of Ash Mountain, childhood memories prick at her fragile self-esteem, she falls in love for the first time, and her demanding dad tests her patience, all in the unbearable heat of an Australian summer.

As past friendships and rivalries are renewed, and new ones forged, Fran’s tumultuous home life is the least of her worries, when old crimes rear their heads and a devastating bushfire ravages the town and all of its inhabitants…

Simultaneously a warm, darkly funny portrait of small-town life – and a woman and a land in crisis – and a shocking and truly distressing account of a catastrophic event that changes things forever, Ash Mountain is a heart-breaking slice of domestic noir, and a disturbing disaster thriller that you will never forget…

Helen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and is now a major drama for BBC1.

Her 2019 dark comedy thriller Worst Case Scenario was a Book of the Year in both The Guardian and Daily Telegraph.

Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over fifteen years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia, and now lives in Glasgow with her husband.

My thoughts:

This is a timely tale of small town claustrophobia and the secrets, resentments and dangers that lie close to the surface just waiting to be revealed.

As Fran negotiates her relationship with her past and her family, dark deeds swirl up to the surface and forest fires loom in the dry brush.

As well as Fran, her daughter Vonny is also developing connections and a relationship to the small town, though hers is less fraught perhaps.

With a dramatic final act that wrecks devastation on many, this lingers with the reader long after the final page.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Book Blitz: Return Addresses – Michael A. McLellan

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

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

New Final FINAL 4Return Addresses

Publication Date: April 13, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Mountain Press

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

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

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

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Excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now Available on Amazon!

About the Author

Mike Author 1

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

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

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

Michael McLellan | GoodreadsTwitter

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

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Blog Tour: Fall Out – M.N. Grenside*

An LA screenwriter is killed shortly after completing his latest script, FALL OUT – a thriller destined to be a blockbuster but written with a secret double purpose. Echoing events from the past the screenplay is sent to a very specific group of people and will change their lives forever. All are connected to a movie that had abruptly stopped shooting in the jungles of the Philippines years before. FALL OUT exposes the truth about a conspiracy and murder that led to a half-a-million fortune for a lucky few.
Follow the story of Producer Marcus Riley, who sets out on an increasingly dangerous quest to get FALL OUT made. From a powerful Agent’ s office in Hollywood, hidden treasures in Belgravia and a remote chalet in the Swiss Alps to murder at the Cannes Film Festival, Marcus teams up with designer Melinda (Mako) de Turris as they and the other recipients of the screenplay are pursued by an assassin from the past.
With clues cleverly concealed in the screenplay, Marcus and Mako unravel a lethal puzzle that for some will bring death, others the truth and ends in a cave with a shocking secret…..

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Mark Grenside began his working career straight out of school at Lloyds of London, specializing in Kidnap, Ransom and Extortion Insurance. At 25 it was time for a career change and to dump the suit and tie so he started his media career working for Jim Henson and The Muppets. From that moment on he has been involved in Entertainment and nearly every aspect of it. Mark then went on to create and produce a number of television series and mini-series. At the same time he started a music management company launching million seller artist Neneh Cherry. In 2004 he arranged a $250 million buy-out of the Hallmark Channel International which was then successfully sold to NBC. He returned to producing a number of movies and mini-series.
He has recently somehow morphed into a serial entrepreneur and is now a co-founder of seed to shelf CBD producer Dragonfly Biosciences (www.dragonflybiosciences.com) and a founder in two separate digital companies…. but has also seen a very good return from his love of cooking in an expanding waistline.
A probably unhealthy amount of time and money is lavished on a collection of classic cars that he has raced all over the world. He enjoys risk and has parachuted in New Zealand, scuba dived in the Pacific, hang-glided in the Himalayas and even tobogganed down the Cresta Run. In nearly every case chasing after his wife who is utterly fearless!
He is now writing the follow up to Fall Out, entitled The Bastion. In addition he writes also puts out a humorous blog with subscribers in more than 40 countries. www.andanotherthing.com. Mark has two grown sons, two daughters in law, three grandchildren and lives with his wife, a pug and a French bulldog in Malta.

My thoughts:

This was a clever, gripping thriller, from Cannes to Manila, Los Angeles to London, Marcus and Mako unravel the conspiracy that began decades earlier.

Exposing the dark underbelly of the film industry and the lengths some will go to to keep their past, and secrets, hidden.

Intelligent and twisted, this, the first in a planned series, is one for those who enjoy a dark thrill ride.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: Just My Luck – Adele Parks*

It’s the stuff dreams are made of – a lottery win so big, it changes everything.

For fifteen years, Lexi and Jake have played the same six numbers with their friends, the Pearsons and the Heathcotes. Over dinner parties, fish & chip suppers and summer barbecues, they’ve discussed the important stuff – the kids, marriages, jobs and houses – and they’ve laughed off their disappointment when they failed to win anything more than a tenner.

But then, one Saturday night, the unthinkable happens. There’s a rift in the group. Someone doesn’t tell the truth. And soon after, six numbers come up which change everything forever.

Lexi and Jake have a ticket worth £18 million. And their friends are determined to claim a share of it.

My thoughts:

Adele Parks is one of those writers whose books I gobble up, I can tell without even reading the blurb that there’s going to be a really enjoyable story in there.

And this, Parks’ 20th novel, doesn’t disappoint.

Lexi and Jake’s win makes them targets for all sorts of terrible people, but perhaps the worst are the ones closest to home.

As things spiral away from her, Lexi takes refuge in an odd friendship with a grieving Moldovan man searching for the person ultimately responsible for his family’s deaths, failing to notice her daughter’s problems or deal with Jake’s excesses and betrayals.

The twist right at the very end made me gasp out loud, and there had already been several sharp turns before that.

This is a fantastic addition to Parks’ body of work and a bloody good read too.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.