blog tour, books

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.

Add to Goodreads

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

15247984

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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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.

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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.

books

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.  

Add to Goodreads

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

15247984

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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Blog Tour: Half Past Tomorrow – Chris McGeorge

Shirley Steadman, a 70 year old living in a small town in the North East of England, loves her volunteer work at the local hospital radio. She likes giving back to the community, and even more so, she likes getting out of the house. Haunted by the presence of her son, a reluctant Royal Navy officer who was lost at sea, and still in the shadow of her long dead abusive husband, she doesn’t like being alone much.

One day, at the radio station, she is playing around with the equipment and finds a frequency that was never there before. It is a pirate radio station, and as she listens as the presenter starts reading the news. But there is one problem – the news being reported is tomorrows. Shirley first thinks it is a mere misunderstanding – a wrong date. But she watches as everything reported comes true. At first, Shirley is in awe of the station, and happily tunes in to hear the news.

But then the presenter starts reporting murders – murders that happen just the way they were reported.

And Shirley is the only one who can stop them.

My thoughts: this was an interesting thriller that got increasingly weird as it went along, as Shirley’s reality became more complicated.

Mourning her dead son, struggling with increasingly poor health, slightly lonely and with a grumpy cat to feed; Shirley’s refuge in her hospital radio volunteering becomes more important than ever when she hears a mysterious radio broadcast referring to future events.

She thinks someone is about to be murdered and enlists her late son’s former girlfriend, nurse Callie, in helping her try to prevent it. Things go a bit strange from there.

A clever premise, and a complicated sci fi twist, plus ghosts who might not be ghosts, people suffering from guilt, embroidery group gossips and Shirley at the heart of it all.

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

books

Cover Reveal: The Awakening of Artemis – John Calla

Cover Reveal Banner

It’s time to reveal the cover for upcoming release, The Awakening of Artemis by John Calia! Read on for more info!

THE_AWAKENING_OF_ARTEMIS

The Awakening of Artemis

Expected Publication Date: Fall 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.  

Coming Soon!

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.

– Excerpt from The Awakening of Artemis

About the Author

15247984

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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Blog Tour: The Dying Squad – Adam Simcox*

DYING IS HELL . . . SOLVING YOUR OWN MURDER IS PURGATORY

When Detective Inspector Joe Lazarus storms a Lincolnshire farmhouse, he expects to bring down a notorious drug gang; instead, he discovers his own dead body and a spirit guide called Daisy-May.

She’s there to enlist him to the Dying Squad, a spectral police force made up of the recently deceased. Joe soon realises there are fates far worse than death. To escape being stuck in purgatory, he must solve his own murder. A task made all the more impossible when his memories start to fade.

Reluctantly partnering with Daisy-May, Joe faces dangers from both the living and the dead in the quest to find his killer – before they kill again.

My thoughts: I don’t know if you’ve seen a film called RIPD with Ryan Reynolds & Jeff Bridges, which was not great but I love Jeff Bridges, well this is a bit like that but miles better and British, so the humour is drier and pitch black.

Joe Lazarus (really, that surname, I wonder if anyone gets the Biblical reference) is dead, but not completely. His soul is recruited by the afterlife’s very own police department – as Daisy-May puts it – the Dying Squad, and first job – solve his own murder. Except well, that’s not exactly what he’s doing, but no one told him or his new partner that.

Daisy-May is a brilliant character, smart, funny, and dealing with a heck of a lot. Including Joe, who’s a bit hopeless. The dying thing really throws him and what they’re learning about his life (the dead lose their memories) isn’t exactly great. The Duchess, their boss, has her own somewhat disturbing plans, and things are going a bit sideways in purgatory.

I really hope there’s more of Simcox’s afterlife stories with these characters as I think there’s scope for so many more.

*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: What Remains – An Anthology by Inked in Grey

Whatremains

If you’re not into warm and fuzzy beach reads, What Remains is a great book for you this Summer! Check out this amazing anthology by several talented authors. Guaranteed to bring a chill to your hot days!

What Remains

What Remains: An Anthology by Inked in Gray

Publication Date: July 26th, 2021

Genre: Anthology/ Short Stories/ Fantasy/ Sci-Fi/ Horror

Publisher: Inked in Gray

Victory at all costs. Even at the price of our own life, the desire to survive transcends all rational thought.

What Remains brings together fifteen tales of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. From sacrificing loved ones or oneself, to doing what it takes to keep them alive, these stories shake the soul, rip out its insecurities and flay them on the page.

Careful who you trust. Some quandaries have no right answer when we cannot save what we love most—or when isolation, desperation, and betrayal leave you no choice.

Take the journey with us to see What Remains when civility, decency, and sanity have all but fled.

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Available on Amazon!

Win a copy here

Authors:

R.A. Busby

About the Author: An award-winning literature teacher and die-hard horror fan, R. A. Busby is also the author of “Bits” (Short Sharp Shocks #45), “Street View” (Collective Realms #2), “Not the Man I Married” (Black Petals #93), “Holes” (Graveyard Smash, Women of Horror Anthology, Vol. 2), and “Cactusland” (34 Orchard, forthcoming).

“I was always instructed to write about what I know,” she states, “and I know what scares me.” In her spare time, R.A. Busby watches cheesy Gothic movies and goes running in the desert with her dog.

She can be found on Twitter and at RABusbybooks.weebly.com

David-Christopher Harris

About the Author: David-Christopher Harris’ fantasy publications include “Olam Ha-Ba” in speculative fiction and poetry magazine Arsenika, “Last Call” in The Arcanist Magazine, “Falselight” on PageHabit, and “Children of Ozymandias” in 50WordStories, among others. He received his M.A. in Medieval Literature, which he uses exclusively to teach his cat Latin. He is currently querying.

He can be found on Twitter and at www.dcharriswriting.com

Andy Dibble

About the Author: Andy Dibble is a healthcare IT consultant who lives in Madison, Wisconsin. He has supported the electronic medical record of healthcare systems in six countries. His work appears or is forthcoming in Writers of the Future, Star*Line, Sci Phi Journal, and others. He is Articles Editor for Speculative North magazine.

He can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and andydibble.com.

LT Ward

About the Author: LT writes mostly speculative fiction shorts and novels while spending her days raising her children and satisfying her never-ending thirst for knowledge through reading, meeting people, and first-hand life experiences. She has short story publications with Dancing Lemur Press, Me First Magazine, Jazz House Press, and forthcoming with Black Hare Press and Cardigan Press. She currently volunteers with WriteHive, a nonprofit literary organization.

She can be found on Twitter, Instagram, and at ltwardwriter.com.

Ben Armstrong

About the Author: Ben is a young author who has been writing stories for over six years now. Recently he has been published in his town’s newspaper.

Maxwell I Gold

About the Author: Maxwell I. Gold is a Rhysling Award nominated prose poet, focusing on weird and cosmic fiction. He is a regular contributor to Spectral Realms, edited by Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi and his work has also appeared in Weirdbook Magazine, Space and Time Magazine, Startling Stories, Baffling Magazine, and many others.

His debut prose poetry collection, Oblivion in Flux: A Collection of Cyber Prose is forthcoming this August from Crystal Lake Publishing.

Maxwell can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and at www.thewellsoftheweird.com

Damir Salkovic

About the Author: Damir Salkovic is the author of novels Kill Zone and Always Beside You. His shorter work has been featured in the Lovecraft eZine, Dimension6 Annual Collection 2020, and in multiple horror, science and speculative fiction anthologies.

Find him on Goodreads and at his blog, Darker Realities.

Lawrence West

About the Author: Lawrence J West has been on his writing journey since he was fourteen years old and has always been drawn to fantasy, sci-fi, and horror because of the way these genres allow for the exploration of human experience in unique ways. Since becoming a husband and father he has also found that his writing has a greater degree of empathy and insight.

Lawrence can be found on Twitter.

Sharon Frame Gay

About the Author: Sharon Frame Gay is an award winning author whose work has appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including Chicken Soup For The Soul, Typehouse, Fiction on the Web, Literally Stories, Lowestoft Chronicle, Thrice Fiction, Saddlebag Dispatches, Crannog, and others. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee.

A collection of her short stories, Song of the Highway, was released in August, 2020.

Sharon can be found on Twitter and Amazon.

Timothy Johnson

About the Author: Timothy Johnson is a writer and editor living outside of Washington, D.C. His published work includes the novels The Pillars of Dawn and Carrier as well as short fiction appearing in various professional and semi-professional markets. He is an MFA candidate in George Mason University’s creative writing program and an affiliate member of the HWA.

Find Timothy on Twitter and at timothyjohnsonfiction.com.

DL Shirey

About the Author: DL Shirey lives in Portland, Oregon, where it’s probably raining. Luckily, water is beer’s primary ingredient. His stories and non-fiction appear in 60 publications, including Confingo, Page & Spine, Zetetic and Wild Musette.

You can find more of DL Shirey on Twitter and at www.dlshirey.com.

Dan Eveloff

About the Author: Dan Eveloff is a lawyer and sports agent living in Chicago, Illinois with his dog, Reuben. He studied accounting at the University of Kansas, and subsequently earned his law degree from Northwestern University. His short fiction “The Price of Recompense” has appeared in AHF Magazine,Shakespearean Justice” in Aphelion Webzine, and “Prevenge” can be found in Close to the Bone Magazine.

His social media presence can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Valerie Hunter

About the Author: Valerie Hunter teaches high school English and has an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her stories and poems have appeared in publications including Cicada, Storyteller, Edison Literary Review, Other Voices, Room, and Wizards in Space.

Find Valerie on Instagram.

Nicholas Barner

About the Author: Nicholas Barner has farmed, cooked, and written variously in Oakland, Chicago, Maine, and Los Angeles. He lives with his partner, Shelby, and their Dog, Nuni.

He can be found online at nicholasbarner.com.

Thomas Canfield

About the Author: Thomas Canfield lives in the mountains of North Carolina. His phobias run to politicians, lawyers and TV pitchmen. He is still trying to plumb the logic of the sales pitch; The more you buy, the more you save. It never quite seems to work out that way in the real world. Canfield occasionally reviews books on Goodreads.

Among Tall Trees Excerpt

The young boy races for the ridge, a good twenty feet ahead of Jeff. With every painful breath, the distance between them grows. If the boy wanted to, he could already be out of his sight, halfway up the mountain that rises ahead of them, a blue-gray bulk topped with first snow, deep into the thick evergreens. But the child is holding back, glancing over his shoulder every now and then without missing a beat, without interrupting the purposeful elegance of his stride.

Save yourself. Go.

Jeff shouts none of this to the boy, whose thin arms are pumping up and down, skinny legs effortlessly swallowing the punishing grade of the mountain as if unfettered by gravity. Jeff is too busy wheezing, hauling in lungfuls of frosty air, trying to hear his own frenetic thoughts over the pounding of his out-of-shape heart and the tidal roar of blood in his ears. Trying to keep his burning lungs from falling out and keep his feet, clumsy in heavy boots, trudging one in front of the other. Every misstep, every stumble and pause for breath, erodes their already thin lead on the men who hunt them.

They are slow, too, these others: some weighed down with age, like Judge Crenshaw, who is eighty if a day. Some by sloth and neglect, like Big Mike Bragg, who weighs well north of three hundred pounds. Fear herds them together, and a mob is only as fast as its slowest man. But determination drives them, a remorseless singularity of purpose.

Although Jeff can’t see them, they aren’t far behind, marching through the leafless, scattered hardwoods down by the road, fanning out in a rough semicircle to cover as much killing ground as possible. So after a too-brief break, the boy catches Jeff’s eye—he has an uncanny way of looking up at just the right time, or somehow making Jeff do so—and flicks his head.

He doesn’t speak, but Jeff understands. Up. Up the mountain, into the pines. Their mad scramble resumes. Down here there are gaps in the treeline, patches of open ground between thickets and dense scrub, and open ground spells trouble.

Not that the boy seems concerned. Or what to all intents and purposes resembles a boy: a pale, scrawny slip of a kid, eight- or nine-years-old, maybe a small ten. Scabbed knees and elbows and bright green eyes, dirty blond hair cut in an unfashionable bowl around a pinched face. He bounds up the slope in easy strides, each as long as two of Jeff’s faltering steps, looking to the rest of the world—if there was anyone up here to see him—like any one of hundreds of identical, small-town American kids indulging in a bit of horseplay before going inside for dinner.

Except Jeff has seen those arms lock around Clyde Garver. Good old Clyde who Jeff had played high school football with and who fixed cars at Dan Laurie’s garage in town. The boy had grabbed Clyde and wrenched his head clean off his shoulders like a papier-mâché piñata, with no more effort than Jeff twisting a cap off a bottle of Miller High Life.

Except it’s late November in the Great Smoky Mountains. Snow weighs over the town like a judgement, but the boy’s wearing nothing but pants and a thin T-shirt and his feet are bare, and he’s giving no sign of feeling the cold.

Except the horseplay they’re indulging in will end in death. They can cheat it for a while, draw out the inevitable, but the men behind them aren’t about to give up. Good men, or so Jeff used to think. Men he’s known all his life—fathers and husbands and brothers. Men who piled into their trucks and four-wheel-drives without hesitation to hunt Jeff and the child. Men who are not going back down without their prize.

There’s only one end Jeff can see. But he keeps running, up toward the trees under the lowering sky.

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Blog Tour: Notes From the Burning Age – Claire North*

From one of the most imaginative writers of her generation comes an extraordinary vision of the future.

Ven was once a holy man, a keeper of ancient archives. It was his duty to interpret archaic texts, sorting useful knowledge from the heretical ideas of the Burning Age – a time of excess and climate disaster. For in Ven’s world, such material must be closely guarded, so that the ills that led to that cataclysmic era can never be repeated.

But when the revolutionary Brotherhood approaches Ven, pressuring him to translate stolen writings that threaten everything he once held dear, his life will be turned upside down. Torn between friendship and faith, Ven must decide how far he’s willing to go to save this new world, and how much he is willing to lose.

Notes from the Burning Age is the remarkable and captivating new novel from the award-winning Claire North that puts dystopian fiction in a whole new light.

My thoughts: this was a really interesting take on the post-apocalyptic novel. After the destruction humanity wrought, people have found new ways to live, new beliefs to follow. Ven was a monk, trained to decipher the left behind clues of a vanished world. But some of those clues are dangerous.

Conflicting beliefs bring war and Ven is sent to spy on the kingmaker and power behind the throne. There’s a leak, can he find it?

The only thing that grated a tiny bit was the place names – Vien instead of Vienna, for example. I can’t imagine future generations not knowing the names of places – if not from maps, then passed down.

I also didn’t fully understand what the kakuy were – they’re described as giant creatures, but it’s not entirely clear what they are and why they appeared. But maybe that’s to make us as foolish as the people and even the Temple in their ignorance.

I was completely invested in Ven’s adventures and his work hunting for the mole – I missed the clues completely. A truly fascinating, intelligent read.

*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: Ruabon – Carl Drinkwater*

Read my thoughts on the other books in this series: Lost Solace Chasing Solace Grubane Clarissa

Welcome to Tecant.


Nothing ever happens here.


Until today.


Ruabon Nadarl is just another low-ranking member of the scan crew, slaving away for the UFS which
“liberated” his homeworld. To help pass the time during long shifts he builds secret personalities into the robots he controls. Despite his ingenuity, the UFS offers few opportunities for a better life.
Then Ruabon detects an intruder on the surface of a vital communications tower.
He could just report it and let the deadly UFS commandos take over, while Ruabon returns to obscurity.
Or he could break UFS laws and try to capture the intruder himself. For the UFS, only the outcome matters, not the method. If his custom-programmed drones can save the day, he’ll be a hero.
And if he fails, he’ll be dead.
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Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.
Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in
English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”.
When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake.
Not necessarily in that order.

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My thoughts: this was interesting in that it both filled in a gap in one of the Lost Solace books, Chasing Solace, but also showed you the flip side to those events. What Ruabon does that day with the drones he’s been tinkering with isn’t huge in the grand scheme of things, but to him, in that moment, it is everything. He’s so bored of his job, of the UFS, that even breaking all the rules doesn’t bother him.

If you’ve read the previous books and short stories, you’ll know what’s happening, what Opal and Athene are up to, and why UFS are so keen to catch them. This can be read as a standalone but it makes a lot more sense tied into the whole.

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

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Clarissa – Karl Drinkwater*

Read my thoughts on the other books in this series: Lost Solace Chasing Solace Grubane

If you’re reading this: HELP! I’ve been kidnapped.
Me and my big sister stayed together after our parents died. We weren’t bothering anybody. But some mean government agents came anyway, and split us up.
Now I’m a prisoner on this space ship. The agents won’t even say where we’re going.
I hate them.
And things have started to get a bit weird. Nullspace is supposed to be empty, but when I look out of
the skywindows I can see … something. Out there. And I think it wants to get in here. With us.
My name is Clarissa. I am ten years old.
And they will all be sorry when my big sister comes to rescue me.
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Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.
Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in
English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”.
When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake.
Not necessarily in that order.

Website
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
Newsletter

My thoughts: this is another short story set in the world of the Lost Solace books, which start with Opal looking for her missing sister – Clarissa. In this brief glimpse of the past, narrated by 10 year old Clarissa herself, we see what happened, what sets Opal on her quest. Clarissa has been taken by two agents, she thinks in order to force her to go to school, but they seem to have a different agenda. On the ship, Solace, they encounter something strange, something they’re afraid of. But Clarissa isn’t. It’s a really interesting bit of back story filled in, and suggests the beginning of Clarissa’s own story is even more interesting than Opal’s. Hope there’s more to come!

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