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Blog Tour: Earth 7 – Summer Whitton & Emily Walker

Welcome to the US launch tour for Earth 7 by Summer Whitton and Emily Walker! Read on for details and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

FrontCover

Earth 7

Publication Date: November 9th, 2021

Genre: Science Fiction/ Action/ Adventure

El is stuck with no way home and no way to apprehend the madman responsible for destroying his own planet. She is close to losing all hope, until her tracker goes off. An ancient artifact has been activated and it can get her off the planet…

…But only if she gets to it before he does.

Archaeologist, Quaid Daniels has never recovered from the humiliation of his last Mayan archaeological discovery. He keeps the downfall of his career in his living room—a mediocre petrified box. When he and his daughter accidentally turn it on and realize Quaid was not crazy, they embark on a journey to redeem his reputation.

This story has answers to the secrets of this planet, ancient technology, and a chosen race billions of years older than the world we know. It’s everything you want in a fast-paced science fiction novel and more.

Excerpt

Quaid put his hands in front of him and pushed through the brush. He was surprised to find they’d arrived in another clearing. There was something on the ground in front of Zoe, covered in brush and dirt. He could make out what looked like a path made of rock. Zoe and Jaxon bent down to start clearing away the debris.

“What is it?” Quaid said. He was cautiously excited. His past trauma with fake artifacts had given him some PTSD when it came to new discoveries.

“It looks to be some sort of floor,” Zoe said. “There are blocks and some of them, well, just come look. There’s a symbol. I’m pretty sure it’s the Mayan symbol for fire.”

Quaid walked over, careful not to trip on some vines strewn across the ground, and looked down at the square slabs of rock in front of him. It did look like a floor. The design Zoe spoke of was shiny, like there was something liquid inside of it.

“Is that…Mercury?”

“I don’t know. It kind of looks like it, but maybe a little shinier. But this is crazy. You would think someone would have found this, exploring out here.”

“How many people do you really think would be out here looking?” Spencer asked.

“A lot, why wouldn’t you want to explore?”

“Because it’s in the middle of a crazy-ass death jungle that no one wanted to venture into,” Jaxon said, sounding as though he had enjoyed this hike about as much as Quaid had.

“How big is it?” Quaid asked. They had cleared an area four blocks wide, but he couldn’t tell how far into the woods it stretched.

“Only one way to find out,” Zoe said.

The four of them worked on revealing more stones and Quaid pulled out his knife to cut away some of the more stubborn vines.

When they were done, they looked down at five more blocks with the same symbol making it six in all. They had clearly found something, but it didn’t make sense. It didn’t seem to tie into the artifact, or the Mayan calendar. The fear he’d been experiencing was replaced with adrenaline now. He found himself intrigued.

“What do you make of this, Zoe?”

“I don’t know yet,” she said, “I’m not sure what kind of element this is. The symbol for fire could be a clue.”

“Maybe it represents something else,” Jaxon said. “Something you’re not thinking of.”

“These look like torches,” Spencer said, pointing at large rock posts on the sides of the floor. “Lucky thing I have matches.” He produced a match box and, removing one, struck it quickly on the side.

“Spencer be careful, we don’t know if there are any sort of traps,” Zoey said.

At that moment, Spencer dropped the match and it landed on the rock beneath him.

A few of the blocks went up in flames and Spencer, despite his agility, barely managed to jump out of the way fast enough. “What the hell?” He yelped, patting his shirt to make sure he wasn’t on fire.

“Magnesium,” Quaid and Zoe said at the same time.

Look.” Jaxon pointed to the block beside the burning one. The liquid substance previously filling the square had drained out and the block lowered into the ground around a single piece of rough stone. It looked like a lever.

“What the hell?” Spencer said again, even more distressed.

Quaid couldn’t help the smile spreading across his face. “Zoe, it’s a puzzle.”

She smiled back. “You’re right. Burn them all!”

Available on Amazon!

About the Authors

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Summer grew up in the small town of Bellingham WA. Soccer was his life until he started his first of 5 businesses at the age of 25. Sci-fi has always intrigued him, like in when he was in high school there was a documentary about crop circles that he thought was compelling.

But it wasn’t till ancient aliens on the history channel and all the information showing up on the internet, that his imagination and thoughts of writing a book or a screen play came to life. He has always wondered; wouldn’t it be cool if there was other life somewhere else in the universe and even cooler if they weren’t out to kill us lol. Summer hopes to bring a whole new way of seeing what could possibly be out there in all that space and he also hopes he brings fun and imagination to many. Because who knows what’s really out there and it is fun to imagine right?

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Emily lives on top a mountain and writes a little of everything, creating new worlds and stumbling around in them. She is constantly losing her chap-stick and is obsessed with the color pink. Science fiction has always been an important part of her life since she read her favorite author, Robert Heinlein at a young age.

Her small family consists of her red-bearded other half and an adorable daughter.

For your chance to win a signed copy of the book, click the link below! US only.

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Book Blitz: A Route Obscure and Lonely – LindaAnn LoSchiavo

ARouteObscure copy

Congratulations to author LindaAnn LoSchiavo for winning the prestigious Elgin award for her speculative poetry collection, A Route Obscure and Lonely

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A Route Obscure and Lonely: Poetrylandia 2

Publication Date: December 30th, 2019

Genre: Speculative Poetry

Haunting and harrowing in its portrayal of supernatural creatures, “A Route Obscure and Lonely” explores the road less traveled by restless ghosts, sexually curious aliens, cunning vampires, transgressive angels, regretful mermaids, defiant witches, surly goddesses, mysterious phantoms, fearless fortune tellers, and “goth’s Mr. Goodbar” himself — — Edgar Allan Poe. The boroughs of the dead invite you to approach the gate guarding their abyss.

Come look inside.

House Guest

With measured strokes, I brushed defiant hair,
Cascading waves that cancer left untouched.
You’d had enough of hospitals, that lack
Of privacy, imagining your home
Serene, secure, free from intrusive pests.

It would shock you to learn we’re not alone.

At dawn, the presence by the sills crispens,
Emerges as the drapes inhale into
A phantom shape. Infernal company,
Omniscient brakeman, timer in cold hands,
Poised, waiting, exhalations nearly through.

Lost in the territory of morphine,
Deciding to eject your breathing tubes,
You tossed away the life-saving device.

Asleep, I’m unaware — — till ghost commands
Arouse me full awake. There’s no choice but
To go rescue you, reconnect the air.

Long shadows darken the stairs, that peek-a-boo
Behind the hooded cloak. I startle you,
Attaching oxygen’s feed properly,
Removing you tonight from danger’s ledge.

A grimace rises from the bedding’s edge
As if to say, “Not now! I’ll tell you when.”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Native New Yorker LindaAnn LoSchiavo, recently Poetry SuperHighway’s Poet of the Week, is a member of SFPA and The Dramatists Guild.  Elgin Award winner “A Route Obscure and Lonely” and “Concupiscent Consumption” are her latest poetry titles.

Forthcoming is “Dark and Airy Spirits” (a paranormal collection of ghost poems), “Messengers of the Macabre” (a collaborative chapbook), and an Italian-centric book, “Flirting with the Fire Gods,” inspired by her Aeolian Island heritage.
 
She has been leading an SFPA poetry critique group for two years.
 

Giveaway: Enter for a chance to win a digital edition of A Route Obscure and Lonely and an original piece called Poe’s Women

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Blog Tour: Cytonic – Brandon Sanderson

Spensa’s life as a Defiant Defense Force pilot has been far from ordinary.

She proved herself one of the best starfighters in the human enclave of Detritus and she saved her people from extermination at the hands of the Krell – the enigmatic alien species that has been holding them captive for decades. What’s more, she travelled light-years from home as a spy to infiltrate the Superiority, where she learned of the galaxy beyond her small, desolate planet home. Now, the Superiority – the governing galactic alliance bent on dominating all human life – has started a galaxy-wide war. And Spensa has seen the weapons they plan to use to end it: the Delvers. Ancient, mysterious alien forces that can wipe out entire planetary systems in an instant.

Spensa knows that no matter how many pilots the DDF has, there is no defeating this predator.

Except that Spensa is Cytonic. She faced down a Delver and saw something eerily familiar about it. And maybe, if she’s able to figure out what she is, she could be more than just another pilot in this unfolding war. She could save the galaxy. The only way she can discover what she really is, though, is to leave behind all she knows and enter the Nowhere. A place from which few ever return.

To have courage means facing fear. And this mission is terrifying.

My thoughts: I have really enjoyed this series, and was excited to read this next book in Spensa’s story.

In this she escapes her captors and enters the nowhere, a strange realm inside reality, where she must learn more about her cytonic abilities and find a way home. She meets new friends, including a man who just might be M-Bot’s original pilot, some pirates and some strange creatures. She learns more about the Superiority and the delvers and about herself too.

This was such a brilliant book, it really advanced the overarching story while also allowing Spensa to act as though she was in one of the adventure story’s her Gran-Gran told her. Although I will choose to ignore her belief that David Bowie isn’t real. I loved seeing more of M-Bot as he became more sentient, and Hosho, and of course the magnificent Doomslug. Cannot wait for Defiant, the next chapter in the tale.

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

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Book Blitz: Child of Awareness – Abigail Silver

ChildofAwareness copy

I’m happy to share this beautifully illustrated novel, Child of Awareness with you all today! Read on for more details!

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Child of Awareness (Redeeming Grace Trilogy, Book One)

Publication Date: July 2021

Genre: NA Sci-Fi/ Fantasy/ Illustrated

Intended Age Group: New Adult (targeted at 18+)

Gracie’s fire burns holes in the fabric of spacetime. A friendship with her long-dead sister and unsettling dreams can’t penetrate the dark mystery of her father’s past. If her light can’t illuminate the truth, her father and everything she loves may be lost.

Blending science fiction, fantasy, and family drama, Child of Awareness introduces us to the flawed, immortal Usuriel Family. Called a “masterclass in world building,” this sweeping coming-of-age story weaves in themes of loss, belonging, and first romance.

Trigger Warnings:

Mature language, implied sexuality, violence, self-harm, and child neglect

Excerpt

Chapter 1 – My First Heartbreak

The first time I met my father I didn’t know anything about his history. In fact, I didn’t know he existed until I was old enough to read.

As a young child, I knew little outside of the yellowing paint and peeling wallpaper of my mother’s apartment. Occasionally Mother and I traveled to an outdoor park. She’d push me on the swings, a smile on her gaunt face and her dyed blonde hair up in a messy bun. That was rare. More often, my mother slept during the day and didn’t have the energy to take me places in the daylight. Thus, those stained walls contained most of my world.

Not to say that my mother was unloving. Each day she brushed my hair, tutting at how my wavy red strands tangled.

“My hair was just like this when I was a little girl,” she’d say, running her fingers through its silky length. “And so was my nose – covered in freckles, just like yours!” The warm pad of her thumb would wiggle the tip of my nose and I’d giggle. Her smile lit up my whole world. “Ah well, at least you got your father’s eyes.”

“What was my father like?”

A dreamy look would come into her lined face and she’d pull me into her lap. “He’s very handsome. And powerful. I think you’ll like him.” Her arms squeezed me tight. “One day I’ll take you to meet him.”

That day never came.

Like all small children, the rest of my early years have been reduced to a few bright flashes of color and the smell of old tobacco smoke. The last memory I have of my mother, however, has not faded or blurred with age.

I was about five at the time and home alone in our apartment, playing with a stack of chipped wooden blocks. After a time, I rummaged up a bowl of rice crackers from our pantry. I nibbled the edge of one. Stale, but still edible. Standing on tiptoe, I ran the tap into a battered plex drinking cup we kept near the sink. Bringing my prizes with me to the living room, I grinned at my growing block metropolis on the stained rug.

Voices in the hall. My head shot up.

“Stay quiet and…” my mother had said as she walked out the door, waiting as always for me to fill in the end of the phrase.

“Don’t open the door,” I’d intoned dutifully.

With a smile and a kiss on my brow, she’d left in a cloud of perfume and fake fur.

Her instructions had never been tested before. No one ever knocked. The only time the door slid open was at my mother’s palm. To say I was startled at the loud, sudden rapping from the entrance hall is an understatement.

A spooked rabbit, I scurried toward the relative safety of the bedroom. One scuffed shoe caught the edge of my block tower and it fell in a loud jumble behind me.

“Hello?” called a muffled voice through the door.

Available on Amazon

Win 1 of 5 Signed Copies of Child of Awareness (US Only). Giveaway closed November 17th/ 12 AM EST

About the Author

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Abigail Silver grew up in central Pennsylvania but currently makes her home near Charlotte, NC. She shares a humble, one-story abode with her husband, young son, and two fur children. She holds a BFA from Edinboro University in Applied Media Arts. She has been writing novel length work since high school, which was longer ago than she cares to admit. She grew up immersed in her father’s classic superhero comics and his collection of sci-fi thrillers. As an adult, she is an avid Star Trek and Dr. Who fan. When she isn’t reading, writing, or drawing (which is rare) she enjoys blasting music with the windows down on long car trips.

Abigail Silver’s Stories | Twitter | Instagram

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Blog Tour: Far from the Light of Heaven – Tade Thompson

The colony ship Ragtime docks in the Lagos system, having travelled light years from home to bring one thousand sleeping souls to safety among the stars.

Some of the sleepers, however, will never wake – and a profound and sinister mystery unfolds aboard the gigantic vessel. Its skeleton crew are forced to make decisions that will have repercussions for all of humanity’s settlements – from the scheming politicians of Lagos station, to the colony planet of Bloodroot, to other far flung systems and indeed Earth itself.

Arthur C. Clarke Award winner Tade Thompson makes a triumphant return to science fiction with this unforgettable vision of humanity’s future in the chilling emptiness of space.

My thoughts: this was very good. Inspired by Poe’s The Murder in the Rue Morgue, doctor and author Tade Thompson set out to write a locked room mystery in space. And he definitely succeeded. Trapped on the Ragtime, with passengers in suspended animation, Captain Michelle ‘Shell’ Campion and investigations Fin and Salvo attempt to find out who or what murdered a number of those sleeping travellers. Aided by the arrival of space governor Lawrence, Shell’s Uncle Larry, and his daughter Jokè, they’re in a race against time (and oxygen running out). A blend of traditional science fiction and afrofuturism, this is a clever and innovative novel from an author who is fast becoming a favourite, he’s also great to follow on Twitter.

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

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Blog Tour: No Beauties or Monsters – Tara Goedjen

ONE DESERT TOWN.

MANY DISAPPEARANCES.

For fans of Veronica Mars and Stranger Things comes an all-new YA mystery about a girl whose desperate search for her missing friend unearths dark secrets, preternatural threats, and a truth that could ultimately tear her family, friends, and town apart.

Welcome to Twentynine Palms, where nothing is what it seems.

Rylie hasn’t been back to Twentynine Palms since her dad died. She left a lot of memories out there, buried in the sand of the Mojave Desert. Memories about her dad, her old friends Nathan and Lily, and most of all, her enigmatic grandfather, a man who cut ties with Rylie’s family before he passed away. But her mom’s new work assignment means their family has to move, and now Rylie’s in the one place she never wanted to return to, living in the house of a grandfather she barely knew.

At least her old friends are happy to welcome her home. Well, some of them, anyway. Lily is gone, vanished into the desert. And Twentynine Palms is so much stranger than Rylie remembers. There are whispers around town of a mysterious killer on the loose, but it isn’t just Twentynine Palms that feels off—there’s something wrong with Rylie, too. She’s seeing things she can’t explain. Visions of monstrous creatures that stalk the night.

Somehow, it all seems to be tied to her grandfather and the family cabin he left behind. Rylie wants the truth, but she doesn’t know if she can trust herself. Are the monsters in her head really out there? Or could it be that the deadliest thing in the desert . . . is Rylie herself?

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INTL Tour-wide Giveaway! – 1 winner will receive a signed copy of NO BEAUTIES OR MONSTERS (open US)
– 1 winner will receive a $10 gift card to Book Depository (open internationally)
This ends on November 5th, 2021 at 11:59pm EST.

Tara Goedjen adores anything mysterious. She is the author of THE BREATHLESS (Delacorte Press, Random House Children’s Books) and NO BEAUTIES OR MONSTERS, forthcoming Fall 2021.

Tara wrote her first story at age ten about children who disappeared at midnight, and she’s been writing fiction ever since. Mostly raised in Alabama, she played college tennis in Iowa and then moved to Alaska and Australia before heading back to the continental US.

While completing grad school, Tara worked as a tennis coach, a yoga instructor, a university writing teacher, and as an editor for a publishing house. These days, when she’s not making up stories, she’s probably chasing after two small monsters or hiking through an enchanted wood while dreaming up her next book. Website | Instagram | Twitter

My thoughts: deserts are weird places, liminal places where things can change suddenly. I drove through the desert from California to Nevada once, my aunt was driving and it was strange. I slept most of the way in the van. Couldn’t touch the windows as the glass gets too hot.

I understood Rylie so much in this book, how weird this huge dry place can be. How it can change so quickly, it’s cold at night as the sand and rocks don’t retain heat. But there’s something even stranger at twentyninepalms, a crossing over place, a world similar to ours but also very different. Rylie’s grandfather knew about it and tried to help those who crossed the line. Now it’s her turn to try to solve the disappearances of so many people once and for all. Luckily she has friends to help her, she’s not alone like her grandpa was.

The writing gives you the same sense of woozy dislocation that Rylie feels, you’re there with her in the desert fog and the odd out of place sense her memory loss creates. It’s cleverly done and keeps you guessing at what’s happening and what role different characters play in it. I really liked Owen too, Rylie’s brother and her anchor, he’s very smart and his constant desire to be with her helps keep her sane.

This was a clever, compelling and occasionally confusing (as it needed to be on the way to some answers) book.

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

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Blog Tour: Fractured Lives – Russ Colchamiro

In the cosmic realm of Eternity, there’s only one private eye to hire when your world gets turned inside out—Angela Hardwicke.

Darla Fyne, a college freshman and galaxy design savant, is suffering from a nervous breakdown—or is she the victim of an urban legend known as the Scarlet Raj?

As Hardwicke follows the intersecting worlds of art galleries, college dorms, and a semi-secret clan that patches up tears in the Universe, her investigation will either uncover a hoax gone wrong or a plot that could shift the balance of power across the entire realm. If only she can fight through her own paranoia to tell the difference.

In Russ Colchamiro’s new Sci-Fi mystery Fractured Lives, Angela Hardwicke is confronted by a PI’s worst nightmare—dark secrets from her past that will irrevocably change her future.

Add to Goodreads Available on Amazon!

Excerpt
I reach inside my jacket, hand on the grip of my weapon. I don’t want to use it. I don’t want to need it. I want this to be nothing more than another awkward, misconstrued moment in an awkward, misconstrued career taking on awkward, misconstrued cases.
I want to be free of danger. I want to stop putting myself in danger. I want to come home every night and hug my son. I want him to hug me back. I want to let go of the demons that haunt me, the past that defines me, and a future that frightens me.
I want to sleep at night.
I want to wake up in the morning believing my life doesn’t have to be one mystery after another, one dark path leading down a darker alley of a bitter, lonely labyrinth that inevitably reveals someone’s pain. Their ugly secrets.
But most of all, I want to be Angela Hardwicke.
Not Angela Hardwicke, Private Investigator. Just Angela
Hardwicke. Me. Whoever that is, and whatever that means. Which is all well and good, but if I don’t get myself out of this particularly awkward, misconstrued moment, I might not have the chance to find out.

Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the zany SF/F backpacking comedy series Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, and is editor of the SF anthology Love, Murder & Mayhem, all with Crazy 8 Press.

Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, two ninjas, and crazy dog Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, Altered States of the Union, Camelot 13, TV Gods 2, They Keep Killing Glenn, Thrilling Adventure Yarns, Camelot 13, and Brave New Girls.

He is now working on the first novel in a new series featuring his hardboiled private eye Angela Hardwicke, and the first of three collaborative novella projects.

Russ ColchamiroFacebook | Twitter | Goodreads  

My thoughts: this is the second Angela Hardwicke book I’ve read and while some of the concepts take a little while to wrap my brain round – I like science-y things but I don’t always get them, I really enjoyed this. I think the characters are great, not just Angela but all her PI contacts, her eccentric cabbie friend, her tech guru, her sidekick, the whole team. Plus her adorable son who’s still getting his words together and has a sweet lisp (I have one too). We get a lot more of Angela’s past too, and it’s really sad. It explains her tough exterior and refusal to get too close to people.

I’m starting to understand the concept of the city a lot more too – they literally live in the building blocks of the universe – at least I think that’s right. The case has Angela delving into the designs for new universes – and a really messed up system that treats the designers as a conveyor belt – they don’t even get credit for their work. I’m intrigued to see where this series goes next as there’s some clever concepts at play here and a PI can go almost anywhere.

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

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Blog Tour: The Awakening of Artemis – John Calia

TheAwakeningBT copyThere’s a new book coming out this month and if you enjoy science or speculative fiction, you’re going to love it! Check out The Awakening of Artemis by John Calia!

Cover

The Awakening of Artemis

Expected Publication Date: September 29th, 2021

Genre: Science Fiction/ Speculative Fiction

Orphaned by war and disillusioned about her life, Diana Gutierrez-Adams is on a routine military assignment when she and her team are kidnapped by a domestic militia. She learns from her captors that her cryogenically-frozen grandfather is at the center of a high-stakes plan to steal technology that will change the world for greed and great fortune.

Challenged by the conspiracy and pulled by emotions she doesn’t fully understand, Diana’s rescue mission will change her life. What happens to her is unexpected, perhaps miraculous – an adventure that embraces all her hopes for finding her true self and her place in a world dominated by powerful elites and even more powerful artificial intelligence.

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Excerpt

Diana knew that everyone who lived in the pods as well as anyone officially connected to the government had an embedded chip that enabled monitoring technology to identify where every individual was at any time. The chips also measured the secretion of enzymes and hormones. Algorithms had been developed to predict everyone’s wants and needs based upon those secretions. Over time, the algorithms learned from human response and adjusted their predictions accordingly – without human intervention.

Pre-Order on Amazon

About the Author

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A Brooklyn-born, second generation American and the eldest of three boys, writing is his third career and the one about which he is most passionate. Following graduation from the US Naval Academy and active duty in the Navy, he embarked on a career in business. He began writing his blog “Who Will Lead?” in 2010 attracting over 115,000 readers. It inspired him to write his first book, an Amazon five-star rated business fable titled “The Reluctant CEO.” Currently he makes his home in Fairport, NY, a village on the Erie Canal.

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Blog Tour: Sand and Shadow – Laurisa White Reyes

Seven Survivors.

One Monster.

Nowhere to hide.

Mission Specialist Adán Fuentes awakes from cryo-hibernation to discover that most of his fellow crewmates are dead and the shuttle Carpathia is not where it’s supposed to be. Surrounded by a vast barren landscape, he and the other survivors wonder how they can accomplish their mission, to establish a home for future colonists.

When an unseen creature attacks them, the Carpathia’s crew must turn their attention to surviving and solving the true purpose behind their mission.

Inspired by the 50’s sci-fi flick FORBIDDEN PLANET, SAND AND SHADOW plumbs the depths of the human psyche and the power of its influence. As the Carpathia’s crew’s secrets and flaws are revealed, readers may find themselves compelled to examine their own dark places.

Add to Goodreads Available on Amazon

Excerpt
“Hold it here!” Adán jabbed a finger at the corner of the tent still attached. Tink obeyed, gripping the fabric with his gloved hands. Adán grasped the canvas several feet above Tink. Then he began to pull it, gradually drawing the fabric toward him. It was like trying to haul an anchor up from the ocean floor, the effort requiring every ounce of strength he could muster. He wasn’t sure his plan would work. He was battling a storm that at any moment could snatch him up and carry him off.
“Get me down!” Scott screamed, his voice piercing through Adán’s comm.
“I’m trying! Just hold on!” Adán kept pulling, but he made little headway with the wind pulling so hard in the opposite direction. “Scott, use your hands! Try to climb down!”
Scott started hand-over-hand down the column of living canvas. The distance between Scott and Adán slowly began to shrink. The sand pelted Adán so hard now that he could feel it through his gear.
“The rest of you get inside!” he called out. “It’s too dangerous out here!”
Fess grabbed the heating unit that Scott had dropped and made his way toward the shuttle. Tink held tight to the tent behind Adán.
“Tink! I’ve got it! Go on!”
“You don’t have it,” said Tink. “I’m not leaving!”
“But you have to—” Suddenly, a powerful gust tried to rip the silver tarp from Adán’s hands. The knuckle in his pinky finger snapped in a stabbing flare of excruciating pain, but he did not let go. Scott flipped around in the air, as helpless as a marionette on strings, though he was a good eight feet closer to the ground than he had been minutes before.
Adán tried to hold tighter to the fabric, but the pain in his hand throbbed ruthlessly and had robbed it of its strength.
“Scott! You’re going to have to let go!”
“Let go? Are you insane? This wind will blow me away like a kite!”
“Curl up into a ball! Wrap your arms around your knees and drop to the ground!”
Adán heard Tink’s voice. “This strap is tearing! When it rips all the way, that tarp is taking you with it, Scott!”
“Scott, you’ve got to let go now!”
He did. Scott released the fabric and pulled his knees to his chest. He fell like a stone to the sand below. He hit the ground, his limbs sprawling out in every direction. Then, getting to his hands and knees, he scurried away like a bug just as the tarp tore free from its strap. The silver snake curled and whipped like a flag in a hurricane and then vanished into the darkening sky.
Adán, his back to the wind, dropped to his knees beside Scott. “You all right?” he asked. “Can you get up?”
Scott collapsed into the sand, moaning. Adán felt a wave of relief. Their commander was dazed, possibly even hurt, but he was alive. A few yards off, Tink fought against the storm’s assault. He clutched the transmitter case to his chest and staggered forward one step at a time. The sky was so dark now and the sand so thick that the shuttle looked like nothing more than a broad mass of shadow.
Adán slid one of his arms beneath Scott’s shoulder and hoisted the barely conscious commander into a sitting position. “Dryker, listen to me! We’ve got to get back to the shuttle or we’ll die out here! Get up, Commander! On your feet!”
Scott moaned again, but Adán felt his muscles stiffen as he attempted to get his legs under him. With a bit of effort on both their parts, Scott was soon standing, though he leaned much of his weight against Adán. Adán looked back at Tink, who hadn’t made as much progress as he’d hoped.
“Tink, drop it!” Adán shouted.
Tink shook his head furiously. “We need it to communicate with the other shuttles! They’ll never find us without it!”
Tink’s words came back to Adán broken and staccato. He tapped on his earpiece. The storm had damaged his comm. “Tink? Can you hear me?”
This time Adán heard only static. He looked back to the shuttle, a mere ten yards away. Dema and Fess, clinging to each other, were scrabbling for the hatch lever. Adán looked back at Tink, half that distance behind him. He’d get Scott to safety, he decided, and come back for Tink.
“I’ll be back to help you in a second!” he said, though he couldn’t be sure if Tink had heard him, then he trudged forward with Scott in tow.
The two minutes or so that it took for him to hand Scott over to Dema and Fess felt like hours. He was exhausted and in pain, but Adán turned and headed back out for Tink, now on his knees hunched over the transmitter just four or five yards away.
He had just reached him when Adán saw it—a dark mass rising up from the ground behind Tink. “What the hell is that?” he said more to himself than to anyone else.
Dema’s voice crackled over the comm. “Adán, do you read me? Scott’s okay. A bit stunned but okay. Fess is with him in the common room now. Do you have Tink and Lainie?”
Lainie. Adán had forgotten all about her. But Tink. . .
“There’s something out here!” said Adán.
There was a pause before Dema’s voice returned. “Adán, get out of there. The sensors are picking up something solid, something big!”
He reached Tink and pulled him to his feet. Together, with the transmitter still clutched in Tink’s arms, they staggered toward the shuttle, which they could now barely make out through the thick haze of sand.
“Lainie!” Adán waited a moment for a reply. “Lainie, do you read me?” He shook his head. “The storm’s interfering with the frequency!”
“She was carrying the generator,” said Dema, her words nearly impossible to make out through the static. “She was closer to the shuttle than we were. You should see her!”
Adán and Tink continued trudging forward. Then just to right of the shuttle hatch, they spotted something square and black half buried in the sand at their feet. It was the generator tipped onto its side, but there was no sign of Lainie.

Laurisa White Reyes is the author of the SCBWI Spark Award winning novel The Storytellers and the Spark Honor recipient Petals. She is also the Senior Editor at Skyrocket Press and an English instructor at College of the Canyons in Southern California.

Laurisa White Reyes | Skyrocket Press | Facebook | BookBub

Giveaway: $20 Amazon e-Gift Card (International)

My thoughts: this was a nicely creepy monsters in space story. The sand monster is out to get the crew and the seven survivors must work together to stay alive – and save the human race.

I liked the way that most of the characters were decent people dealing with a horrific situation they were not prepared for, that had gone way beyond what they thought they were expecting. The book played with lots of sci fi tropes – the uninhabited planet, the terrifying creature, the disastrous mission with no way back, very nicely.

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

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Book Blitz: The Awakening of Artemis – John Calia

TheAwakening

There’s a new book coming out soon, and if you enjoy science or speculative fiction, you’re going to love it! Check out The Awakening of Artemis by John Calia, coming this fall!

THE_AWAKENING_OF_ARTEMISThe Awakening of Artemis

Expected Publication Date: September 29th, 2021

Genre: Science Fiction/ Speculative Fiction

Orphaned by war and disillusioned about her life, Diana Gutierrez-Adams is on a routine military assignment when she and her team are kidnapped by a domestic militia.  She learns from her captors that her cryogenically-frozen grandfather is at the center of a high-stakes plan to steal technology that will change the world for greed and great fortune.  

Challenged by the conspiracy and pulled by emotions she doesn’t fully understand, Diana’s rescue mission will change her life.  What happens to her is unexpected, perhaps miraculous – an adventure that embraces all her hopes for finding her true self and her place in a world dominated by powerful elites and even more powerful artificial intelligence.  

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Excerpt

Diana knew that everyone who lived in the pods as well as anyone officially connected to the government had an embedded chip that enabled monitoring technology to identify where every individual was at any time.  The chips also measured the secretion of enzymes and hormones.  Algorithms had been developed to predict everyone’s wants and needs based upon those secretions.  Over time, the algorithms learned from human response and adjusted their predictions accordingly – without human intervention.

Coming Soon!

About the Author

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A Brooklyn-born, second generation American and the eldest of three boys, writing is his third career and the one about which he is most passionate.  Following graduation from the US Naval Academy and active duty in the Navy, he embarked on a career in business.  He began writing his blog “Who Will Lead?” in 2010 attracting over 115,000 readers.  It inspired him to write his first book, an Amazon five-star rated business fable titled “The Reluctant CEO.”  Currently he makes his home in Fairport, NY, a village on the Erie Canal.

John Calia | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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