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Spotlight: Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse – Sherrill Joseph

EucalyptusStreetBT

To celebrate the release of the next exciting book in the Botanic Hill Detectives mystery series, Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse is going on tour!

We have an excerpt for you to read and a chance to win a signed, personalized paperback copy of the book, and some matching book swag!

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Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse

Publication Date: October 20, 2020 (Today

Genre: MG Mystery/ Middle Grade

(For fans of Nancy Drew type mysteries)

In 1945, Isabela de Cordoba’s great-grandfather, the famous silent movie actor Lorenzo de Cordoba, mysteriously hid a legendary, multimillion-dollar emerald somewhere on the family’s sprawling Eucalyptus Street estate. Seventy years later, the gem remains concealed. Nicknamed the “Green Curse,” the emerald is blamed for the Southern California familia’s numerous, untimely deaths.

On her twenty-first birthday, Isabela receives a secret letter with a cryptic poem. These documents from the long-deceased Lorenzo invite her to hunt for the gemstone. But first, she must decipher the poem’s eight stanzas for clues.

To assist, Isabela hires her thirteen-year-old neighbors, the four Botanic Hill Detectives—twins Lanny and Lexi Wyatt, and their best friends, Moki Kalani and Rani Kumar. Eerie footsteps inside the mansion, unexplained occurrences in the adjacent cemetery, and the mysterious tenant in the backyard casita challenge them. But they ingeniously make progress on the poem’s meaning with startling discoveries. Sliding wall panels, a secret room, and hidden passages reveal much. The detectives aren’t the only ones looking for the emerald. The perilous race for the de Cordoba treasure is on!

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Excerpt

Lanny is awakened at four a.m. by the sound of footsteps coming from the room overhead. He and Moki head to the third floor to explore:

Their eyes had adjusted to the darkness. Lanny pointed to the door of the suspected room and flashed Moki an A-OK sign. They turned off their flashlights, noticing the room’s door was slightly ajar, and listened for any sounds. Nothing but the mournful “who-who” sound of the resident barn owl in the old magnolia tree outside. They waited two more minutes, shivering and wishing they hadn’t forgotten their bathrobes and slippers. Still no sounds came from the room. Even the owl became silent. Moki felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up.

Finally, Lanny pushed the door open slightly and slipped into the room. Moki followed.

Available in paperback and for Kindle!

About the Author

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Sherrill Joseph will be forever inspired by her beautiful students in the San Diego public schools where she taught for thirty-five years before retiring and becoming a published author.

She has peopled and themed the Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries with children and adult characters of various abilities, races, cultures, and interests. Sherrill strongly believes that children need to find not only themselves in books but others from different races and social situations if all are to become tolerant, anti-racist world citizens.

In addition, the author created her detectives—patterned after her own fifth-grade students and twelve-year-old twin cousins—to be mature, smart, polite role models that will appeal to parents, teachers, but especially to kids who seek to realize their greatest potential with courage and self-respect.

Sherrill is a lexical-gustatory synesthete and native San Diegan where she lives in a 1928 Spanish-style house in a historic neighborhood with her poodle-bichon mix, Jimmy Lambchop. Other loves include her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. She can’t leave out dark chocolate, popcorn, old movies, purple, and daisies. Having never lived in a two-story house, she is naturally fascinated by staircases. Sherrill is a member of SCBWI and the Authors Guild and promises many more adventures with the squad to come.

Sherrill Joseph | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway:

2 lucky winners will receive a signed, personalized paperback copy of the book, and some matching book swag (US only this time)! Giveaway will be open until October 31st!

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Blog Tour Schedule

October 26th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

@the.b00kreader (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the.b00kreader

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Jennifer Mitchell, Bibliolater (Spotlight) https://www.jennifermitchellbooks.com

October 27th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

October 28th

LauraLoopyLou (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Spotlight) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

October 29th

The Consulting Writer (Spotlight) https://theconsultingwriter.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

October 30th

Lunarian Press (Interview) https://www.lunarianpress.com/

Meli’s Book Reviews (Review) https://melisbokreviews.wordpress.com/

Rosie Writes (Spotlight) http://rosemariecawkwell.wordpress.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

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Blog Tour: Tea With Rasputin – Rolf Richardson

TeawithRasputin

Welcome to the blog tour for gripping, thriller, Tea with Rasputin by Rolf Richardson!

TeawithRasputin

Tea with Rasputin

Publication Date: July 22, 2020

Genre: Thriller
GRIPPING GLOBE-TROTTING THRILLER WITH SURPRISES AND UNEXPECTED EVENTS

It’s 1992 and during a routine layover in Anchorage Alaska, Greg Wilton (a First Officer with British World Airways) disappears without trace.

Back at airline HQ near Heathrow, Mr Halford, Head of Security, is tasked with finding someone to investigate Greg’s case. His team are working to capacity and no one can be spared. So he scrapes the bottom of the barrel and assigns recent recruit, Terry Jackson to the investigation.

Fresh out of training school and awaiting his first posting, Terry flies to Alaska, brimming with enthusiasm at being trusted with such a mission. There he discovers Wilton rented a small plane while on his layover and both are now missing. His last contact appeared to be with Coral, a waitress at the crew watering hole, The Golden Nugget, so with her help Terry sets out to find the missing airman.

Their quest appears to be hopeless, because Alaska is huge, but they do not give up. The action moves to Hong Kong, Miami, Oxford (England) and finally St. Petersburg for Tea with Rasputin, a ten year globe-trotting saga with many twists and turns.

Join Terry in his investigation, where intrigue, suspense, mystery, humour and even a little romance lie in wait.

SUMMER 1992, ALASKA

1

On most trips the captain kicked off by flying the first sector, no rhyme or reason for this beyond habit, but on this occasion Captain Abbott said, “You do this one,” muttering an aside about a party last night, which had left him less than razor-sharp. So First Officer Greg Wilton was ‘in command under supervision’, a situation that occurs a million times a year in the world of commercial aviation.

Weather over the arctic regions had been spectacular, the oil-rich North Slope beginning to cast off its winter white, after that the peaks of the Brooks Range, still topped with snow.

“Looks like McKinley’s about to get socked in,” said Greg, pointing ahead at North America’s highest mountain, disappearing before their eyes under some evil-looking clouds.

“Nowadays they call it Denali, not to upset the natives,” said the captain, adding: “A taste of what’s 4 to come, because here’s the latest Anchorage actual: best get your wellies out.”

Greg glanced at the slip of paper, which told him that their destination was blowing a gale and bucketing with rain. The North Pacific coast is notoriously wet. They registered the fact that their official funk-hole of Fairbanks was in fine fettle just behind them. Not that they expected any problems at Anchorage, but the flying game is all about looking ahead; anticipation. You never knew.

There were no problems at Anchorage. It was June, so the low pressure brought blustery rain rather than the driving snow of January; that would have been a challenge. Greg Wilton guided the 747 down, an increasingly bumpy ride as they descended into the murk, while the skipper did the co-piloting from the left-hand seat. They had done this sort of thing umpteen times before.

After a very acceptable landing, Greg handed control back to the captain as they approached their stand, because pier guidance lights are calibrated for the left-hand seat. They agreed an engine shut down time of 2126 and wrote this in their log books, together with the trip time of eight hours, thirty-five minutes. Alaska is nine hours behind British time, so they had arrived before leaving London, the polar route being the only one where subsonic aircraft can manage this feat. Bedtime in Britain was lunchtime in Alaska.

They had a quick discussion with the crew who were taking the flight on to Tokyo, then enjoyed a mercifully efficient transit through the airport to their hotel in downtown Anchorage.

“See you in the bar around six?” suggested the captain.

Greg nodded; the boss down the back gave a thumbs up; and a blonde stewardess returned a hopeful smile. No one took any of this as a promise, because evening in Anchorage was well into tomorrow for their bodies. Everyone had their own way of trying to cope with jetlag and most tended to sleep when they could. The trick was to be as fit as possible when duty next called, which in this instance was two days hence.

Forty-eight hours was a better than average recovery time. BWA would have loved to cut it to the legal minimum, but their daily Tokyo service was split three a week through Moscow/Siberia and four a week via Anchorage’s polar route, so longer layovers were unavoidable. The crew’s tryst in the bar that first evening may have been optional, but everyone would be on parade, bright eyed and bushy tailed, when BWA’s next flight arrived from London. That was for sure.

Sometimes ‘for sure’ isn’t. They tried his room. Hunted high and low throughout the hotel. Even phoned the local knocking shop. No luck. In the end Captain Abbott had to admit defeat. Greg Wilton, his first officer, had vanished.

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Available on Amazon!

About the Author

Rolf Richardson

ROLF RICHARDSON is a mongrel English/Norwegian who loves to travel, starting with service in the RAF, flying Britain’s first jet fighter, the Meteor; thereafter 25 years as a British Airways pilot on Argonauts, Britannias, VC10s and 747s.

He then became a roaming photographer, visiting around 110 countries, with over 15,000 photos now sold. He has worked his passage on cruise ships by giving lectures. Taken 3 months to drive round Australia.

A few years ago he set out to put his experiences to further use by writing a series of ‘Easy Read’ books: thrillers with a dash of history, romance and humour.

TEA WITH RASPUTIN: THE GENESIS

THE GENESIS

With a life spent in the travel industry, my stories are set in some of the places I’ve found most interesting. As the title suggests, ‘Tea with Rasputin’ end up in Russia, but it starts in Alaska, which used to be Russian, and there’s the first clue.

During the cold war time I flew 747s on the Polar route between Europe and Japan, with layovers in Anchorage, a place I always enjoyed. One day I heard that a colleague had rented a light plane there and simply vanished: never seen again. I used this event as the trigger for my book, weaving a story that takes British boy and American girl via a series of locations to the grand finale in St.Petersburg, Russia.

The time is the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when assets of the old regime were being sold off to shady characters, soon to be either billionaires or dead. By now I had taken to lecturing on cruise ships, which often took me to St.Petersburg, a city packed with history.

I call my books ‘Easy Reads’, a mix of mystery action, romance and humor, designed to entertain.

Rolf Richardson

TeawithRasputin

Blog Tour Schedule

October 19th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Debjani’s Thoughts (Review) https://debjanisthoughts.wordpress.com/

October 20th

I’m into Books (Spotlight) https://imintobooks.com

Inked & Blonde (Review) https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Spotlight) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

October 21st

B is for Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

@BrendaJeanCombs (Review) https://www.instagram.com/brendajeancombs/

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

October 22nd

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

PoptheButterfly (Review) https://popthebutterfly.wordpress.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

October 23rd

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

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Book Spotlight: To Reap the Spirit – Sarah Lampkin

ToReaptheSpirit

Congrats to author Sarah Lampkin on the release if the third installment in her Dead Dreamer series, To Reap the Spirit!

Read on for an excerpt, schedule details, and a chance to win a digital collection of all 3 books!

TO REAP THE SPIRIT

To Reap the Spirit

Publication Date: October 13th, 2020

Genre: New Adult/ Urban Fantasy

Sanguis daretur. Ignis invocavit.

The third installment in the haunting Dead Dreamer series.

Somehow Brenna Whit has survived to her junior year at Nephesburg College. Despite all odds, she’s fought against the Gatekeepers and lived. But the battle for the Fade has only just begun.

New pieces have been added to the board.

The Fade opens to the Veil.

And a Shade from the past returns.

With Brenna’s secret out, everyone is after her: dead and living alike. Those from across the sea have come and they’re determined to regain control of their broken faction.

Questions will be answers

Fires will be lit

Chaos will reign

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Excerpt

Angrily, I turned and rushed back to the lone tree of the cornfield. Without any hesitation, my arm dropped, releasing my built-up rage with my power. The seal instantly shattered, destroying all evidence of the Gatekeepers’ influence.

The voices quietly whispered their thanks as they were finally free. But one voice remained. The man wailed and cried, alone and trapped within me.

Something cawed from the branches above, and I glanced up. My left eye winced as I noticed a raven was staring at me. It cawed again, before flapping its wings violently, yet staying in place.

“Give it to me,” a voice demanded.

Before me stood a spirit. No, something else. Her energy radiated a power that felt familiar yet foreign. The energy almost matched the soldiers from the graveyard before. Her black hair was pulled back in intricate braids. And her ebony skin seemed to glow with markings unfamiliar to me. Her beauty was breathtaking, and so was her power.

“Give. It. To. Me,” she demanded once again.

Snapping out of my trance, I took a step back. “Give you what?”

The woman held her hand out, waiting. Biting my lip with narrowed eyes, I took a step forward, reaching for her outstretched hand. Immediately she snatched my hand, holding tightly before vanishing. The raven cawed loudly once more before everything went silent. I was alone again. The man’s voice no longer cried, and the woman was gone.

“What is going on,” I murmured.

The Parliament House | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Dead Dreamer Books

To Dream is to Die (Book #1)

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Eighteen-year-old Brenna Whit is entering college as a freshman and starting to meet new people, but she hides a dark secret. Because of an accident that happened three years ago, her spirit wanders the Fade whenever she falls asleep. It’s something she wants to keep hidden from the world, but when she sees someone watching her in spirit form, she fears the secret’s out. With new friends, possibly new enemies, school, and a new crush, Brenna has too much to worry about for just her freshman year of college.

Perfect for those who enjoy Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatura

To Wake the Dead (Book #2)

untitled-design

Brenna Whit teeters the line between the living and the dead. Now that she’s back for her sophomore year at Nephesburg College, she’s determined to focus on the waking world. But when her own soul is trying to kill her and a new Dead Dreamer is fighting for power, Brenna is dragged back into the world of the dead.

The Gatekeepers are doing everything they can to restore the power they once held over the town of Nephesburg. With a mysterious set of twins arriving in town to help them prepare, Brenna must decide what’s important: continuing to hide her secret or reveal herself and fight for what she believes is right. The decision could end up leading to a permanent death for Brenna so she must choose wisely.

Classes have begun…
The battlefield is set…
Let the fight for the Fade begin.

About the Author

GDTC4RiC

A native of Richmond, Virginia, Sarah Lampkin is a 2015 graduate from Lynchburg College [University of Lynchburg] with a master’s degree in English. Since graduation, Sarah now lives in Northern Virginia working in the IT field as a Technical Writer while continuing her research for her graduate school thesis. When she isn’t working, Sarah continues her Celtic mythology research and Gaelic studies, while working on the Dead Dreamer series.

Dead Dreamer | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Click the link below for a chance to win a digital collection of the Dead Dreamer series!

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ToReaptheSpirit

Book Tour Schedule

Reads & Reels (Guest Post) http://readsandreels.com

It’s a Novel Life (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/

The Faerie Review (Guest Post) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Cocktails & Fairy Tales (Spotlight) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

@bearpiglovesbooks (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/bearpiglovesbooks/

October 13th

@the.b00kreader (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the.b00kreader

I Smell Sheep (Guest Post) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Dark Whimsical Art (Spotlight) https://www.darkwhimsicalart.com/blogs/news

PoptheButterfly (Spotlight) https://popthebutterfly.wordpress.com

October 14th

@a.p.reading (Review) https://www.instagram.com/a.p.reading/

@joanna.zoe (Review) https://instagram.com/joanna.zoe?igshid=1xipr7pa6a9zl

@dreaminginpages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/dreaminginpages/

@BETTER_OFF_READ (Spotlight) http://WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/BETTER_0FF_READ/

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

October 15th

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

Horror Tree (Guest Post) https://www.horrortree.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

October 16th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Guest Post) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Book Dragon Girl (Interview) https://bookdragongirl.com

Entertainingly Nerdy (Review) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

Lunarian Press (Spotlight) https://www.lunarianpress.com/

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

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Book Blitz: Heir of Lies – Mallory McCartney

“Hope was a dangerous thing. It could consume every dream and make them take flight, becoming wild daydreams in one’s heart and mind. Or hope could incinerate everything you thought you knew, burning you down to your core, leaving you raw and exposed for the world.”

Emory Fae has only known one thing—life at The Academy, a school for those who have special abilities. Following in her parents’ footsteps, the pressure to uphold their dream falls on her and one of her best friends—Adair Stratton. An outcast and feared by most, Adair longs to break away from the expectations dictating his future. With whispers of dark magic spreading across Kiero, Adair starts to doubt The Academy is all it seems.

An unexpected visit ignites new tensions as the roguish king from across the Black Sea, Tadeas Maher of the Shattered Isles, and his heir, Marquis Maher, sail to Kiero. Notorious for their pirating and wrath, for the first time in years, they demand the Faes listen to their proposition for a new treaty. Caught in the middle of politics, Adair and Emory, with the help of their best friends Brokk and Memphis, search for the one thing that matters the most—the truth.

Their world is tipped upside down as unlikely alliances are made, and war ravages Kiero. Through the throes of betrayal, lies, hidden magic, and love, Adair is faced with a life changing decision. Will he fight or bow to the darkness within?

But, Adair’s decision will change the course of Kiero forever, setting in motion irreversible destinies for everyone at The Academy as Emory Fae rises as heir.

Heir of Lies is the first book in the bestselling Black Dawn series.

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Mallory McCartney currently lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her husband and their three dachshunds Link, Lola and Leonard. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found day dreaming about fantasy worlds and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

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Win a copy here

“Hope was a dangerous thing. It could consume every dream and make them take flight, becoming wild daydreams in one’s heart and mind. Or hope could incinerate everything you thought you knew, burning you down to your core, leaving you raw and exposed for the world. As Brokk walked down the hallway, looking for Memphis, his world was ripped apart in a split second. The hallways were quiet, which should have been his first sign that something was off. Class had just ended for the afternoon, and like every other day, Brokk’s blood was boiling after seeing Iasan. His teacher had become predatory toward him, trying to push him to his edge but always in ways only noticed to Brokk, putting on the persona for the other teachers. Iasan was only trying to ensure a bright future, they said. By grooming him into a lethal weapon that would kill on command. Swearing under his breath, Brokk was hoping for the blissful distraction that the hallways of the Academy always provided. His fellow classmates had a flair for the dramatics; it was guaranteed he would be swept away in their display, along with his thoughts. Instead, his footsteps echoed as he continued on, dread pooling in his stomach and making it churn. Turning the corner, he was about to stop and go back when he saw him. Crumpled in the middle of the hallway, his blond hair splayed out around him and his skin drained of any color, he looked dead. Alby’s appearance flickered as he turned invisible in a panic. “What happened?!” Brokk’s voice cracked, as he sprinted, dropping to his best friend’s side in an instant. Alby’s eyes were wide, as he grappled with his words, his mouth opening and closing. Brokk urged, “Alby, what happened?” The doors at the end of the hallway were thrown open, and Brokk stood, slowly taking in the group rushing toward them. Roque stormed down the hall, Nei and Bresslin at his heels, Tadeas and his entourage flanking them. Roque looked at them, narrowing his eyes to slits. “Foster! What are you doing here? I told the teachers to issue a temporary room curfew effective immediately.” Roque’s words were just white noise, as Brokk saw Adair filing slowly in at the end of the hallway, looking like he had just been through a war. “Foster, I suggest you answer the question,” Roque spoke quietly and slowly, and Brokk flicked his gaze up to the man for a second, truly taking him in. And what Brokk saw, for the first time in years, scared him. Rage contorted their leader’s features into one unrecognizable. One that consumed the man and left a person that had nothing left to lose. He took a step back. “I was just looking for Memphis.” Alby cut in, “He did it. Adair used his ability against Memphis.” Brokk barely took in the next couple of seconds. Roque stiffened, turning slowly to look at Adair limping behind them all, his hooded eyes swept down to the floor, not realizing that everyone had focused in on him. He hurt Memphis.”

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Blog Tour: The Great Devil War IV: The Angel of Evil – Kenneth B. Andersen

Nothing will ever be the same. Satina is gone, kidnapped by the enemy. Disobeying Lucifer, Philip heads out to find her, journeying into the deep darkness of Outer Reach. But nothing can prepare Philip for the horror that awaits—or the demons he will face.


Meanwhile, Lucifer’s kingdom is threatened as the Great Devil War draws closer. All Hell is about to break loose.


The Angel of Evil is volume 4 of The Great Devil War series.

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I WAS BORN IN DENMARK ON A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT IN DENMARK

… and I began writing when I was a teenager. My first book was a really awful horror novel titled Nidhug’s Slaves. It didn’t get published. Luckily.


During the next 7 years, I wrote nearly 20 novels–all of which were rejected–while working as a school teacher. The rest of the time I spent writing.


In 2000 I published my debut fantasy book, The Battle of Caïssa, and that’s when things really took off. Since then I’ve published more than thirty-five books for children and young adults in genres ranging from fantasy to horror and science fiction.


My books have been translated into more than 15 languages and my series about the superhero Antboy has been adapted for film, which is available on Netflix. An animated tv series is currently in development.


A musical of The Devil’s Apprentice opened in the fall 2018 and the movie rights for the series have also been optioned.


I live in Copenhagen with my wife, two boys, a dog named Milo and spiders in the basement.

The Great Devil War was published in Denmark from 2005-2016, beginning with The Devil’s Apprentice.


Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think.


Welcome to the other side!

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                 Chapter 29

        The War Against God


This is the beginning. Life’s beginning. Mankind’s beginning. 

    He is back in Paradise, surrounded by its splendor. The dew drips from the leaves and treetops, shining like pearls in the light from a sun that seems brighter than ever. A cool morning mist drifts between the trees. The forest is quiet, although it is filled with animals. They carefully sniff their way around on shaky legs. Silent. Curious. Newborn. They are only a day old. 

    In front of Philip, standing in a little meadow, is God. His gray cape is spotted with mud. He observes the figure before him. A human being. No, not a human being. A sculpture. A man molded from dirt and water. His eyes are closed. He isn’t alive. 

    Not yet. 

    Jehovah reaches out and smoothes the man’s cheeks, presses the eyes a little closer together, makes the nose a little smaller. Then he nods and smiles. He leans toward his creation and blows softly on his face. Seconds pass. Then the man’s chest begins to rise and sink as he slowly starts to breathe, and then the eyes slide open. 

    “Adam,” Jehovah says, not noticing the figure standing nearby, watching, hidden within the dark of the forest. It’s merely a shadow among shadows and in the sky a single cloud drifts over the deep blue sea and…

   

    … he stands in front of the Tree of Knowledge. In front of the juicy red apples, which offer the wisdom of good and evil, and which one day will lead to the fall of man. 

    He isn’t alone. There’s someone standing next to him and Philip gasps when he sees who it is.

    Lucifer.

    But he can hardly recognize him. The half-long dark hair frames a vibrant and glowing face. It looks so different without the horns. The eyes that one day will be blacker than an abyss are a fierce dark blue. His swan-wings peek out from under the white cape. It is Lucifer. But it’s Lucifer the archangel, not yet the Devil. 

    Not yet. 

    He’s holding an apple. He’s plucked it from the Tree of Knowledge and the second he takes the first bite, a voice calls out to him from within the forest. 

    Lucifer doesn’t react, he just keeps chewing. 

    The voice calls again, louder this time. 

    An angel walks out of the forest. He’s youngermuch youngerthan last time Philip saw him. It’s the angel who brought him to his father’s house. Michael. 

    “Oh, there you are,” he says, smiling. “Why didn’t you answer?”

    Lucifer tosses the apple and turns around. He doesn’t smile. “I was lost in thought.”

    “Come on. It’s time. Jehovah’s latest creations are ready and we have to—”

    “No,” he interrupts.

    The smile on Michael’s lips droops slightly. “No? What you do mean, no?”

    “I’m not going.”

    The smile is gone, the forehead furrows. “But Jehovah has ordered it. You can’t just dismiss it. Man was created and we’re going to celebrate…”

    “Celebrate?” Lucifer takes a step toward Michael. He suddenly appears threatening and his eyes… They appear a shade darker. “Celebrate? How? By humiliating us, ridiculing us, and making a mockery of us!”

    “Watch your mouth!” Michael warns, and now his own voice turns hard. “Why would you say something like that? Man is an exceptional being, created in Jehovah’s own image, out of

    “Out of dust and mud!” Lucifer yells, incensed. “A simple creature! Inferior! Lowly! I’m supposed to bow to him? Never! We were first. If anyone’s going down on bended knee, it’s him! That creature should be worshiping us!”

    “If you don’t do what the Lord commands… He’ll get mad.”

    “Then it’s his anger against mine. Let’s see who wins.”

    “What are you talking about?” Michael shakes his head in disbelief. “What’s going on with you? Where is all this darkness coming from?”

    “What’s going on with you, Michael?” he hisses back. “Why do you put up with it?”

    The snow-white wings unfold, sparkling like sword-blades in the sunshine, and in the flash of an eye, Lucifer is gone. The half-eaten apple is still lying on the ground and… 

   

    … everything is darkness. Philip can’t see a thing. He can only hear a velvety voice, talking in a whisper. Lucifer’s voice. Bewitching. Seductive. Tempting. He’s still an angel, but his voice is the voice of the snake. It’s inescapable, engulfing Philip in the darkness that fostered it.

    “Throw ourselves on the ground for a man?” it asks. “Are we nothing but slaves?”

    “Mankind is an inferior being,” it says. “It is not to be worshiped. It is he who should worship us.”

    “Mockery!” it says. “Degradation! Humiliation! How could Jehovah stoop this low?”

    “He’s not our master,” it says. “Not any longer.”

    “Follow me,” it says. 

    Hisses.

    Tempts.

    “Join me.”

    And the voice is the darkness and the darkness is the voice and the darkness is everywhere.


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Blog Tour: That Night – Azaaa Davis

Great news Demon Hunter fans! Azaaa Davis is getting ready to release the third installment in her Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter series! If you haven’t read book #2 That Night yet, you still have time! Read on for details and a chance to win a fabulous giveaway!

All Nadira Holden wants is to preserve the last of her soul and create a new life free of magic, demons, and war.

Her involuntary bond with a succubus makes her desires impossible. The threat of this disgruntled demon possessing her urges Nadira to find the succubus’s missing body.

Nadira’s only hope of avoiding demonic possession lies with Derek, the only demon she can tolerate without slaying. Except, his hands are full trying to secure his recently-inherited title of prince. Desperate, Nadira agrees to help Derek secure his title by experimenting with the deadly magic they once generated in exchange for his aid in her investigation.

To untangle herself from the evil that surrounds her, Nadira must be willing to betray her friends and get cozy with her enemies. She may even have to do the unthinkable: break the peace treaty that allows demons and humans to coexist. If she can’t toss aside her scruples, Nadira may not make it out of this ordeal with her soul intact.

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Azaaa Davis is an American author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels.

She fell in love with reading as a high school freshman and continues to read, write, and draw today. Her background in social work helps her portray realistic characters in otherworldly–and sometimes terrifying–situations. A New York native, Azaaa currently lives in New Hampshire (USA) with her husband and daughters.

She debuted with This Time, A Nadira Holden Novel, in 2018 about demon hunters, family ties and the magic of love. Azaaa is working diligently to finish writing more fantasy novels while raising her daughters. Thank you for showing an interest in her stories!

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Chapter One

NADIRA WOKE UP ENCOMPASSED IN EMPTINESS. It was as if she were in a void with no light or sound to give her a clue about her location. The air was musty, and her throat was scratchy. Nadira coughed.

“Hello?” she croaked, triggering more dry coughing. She cleared her throat and tried again. “Hey! Can anyone hear me?”

Nadira felt a solid surface along her back and behind her head and legs. She understood she was lying somewhere. Nadira tried to touch her surroundings and could barely move her arms before they hit the cushioned ceiling mere inches above her. As she continued to move, her elbows hit the cushioned sides, and her knees hit the ceiling. Feeling surrounded, Nadira realized she was in an enclosed space. Taking a deep breath, she tasted stale air. Some kind of crawlspace or trunk was her best guess.

After a long night of sleep, Nadira expected to feel ready to tackle another day. Summer was the peak of training season, and Nadira was looking forward to a few weeks of scrimmages that would allow her hunters to show off and make her look good as team leader. Instead of feeling refreshed, her body was sore, her head ached, and her stomach was empty. She felt a weakness and discomfort that only happened when she mistakenly slept for far too long. But, what am I doing here?

She tried to keep her breathing even and decided to feel around with her hands for a doorknob or latch. Behind the cushion that surrounded her on all sides, she felt a more solid barrier, like wood. Was someone playing a cruel trick on her? Nadira’s racing mind landed on Melissa—the girl that hated her success in class and on the training mat. Nadira usually ignored her, and all the other annoying cohorts. But, that didn’t stop them from whispering about her and occasionally playing pranks.

“Let me out!” she screamed with all her might. The sound was hoarse, almost a growl. Nadira hit the wooden ceiling as hard as she could. No response. No one ran away in fear or came closer to open this padded, wooden cage. Her breathing was no longer controlled. She practically hissed, her breathing was so rapid and shallow. Breathe deep, Nadira commanded.

This couldn’t be Melissa’s doing. It wasn’t her style. Besides, Melissa was preoccupied lately with Devon, her new boyfriend. One of Melissa’s flaws was that she couldn’t multitask, especial when a guy was involved. After ruling Melissa out, Nadira asked herself if this was a training exercise. Countless times, Nadira and her team experienced grueling trails designed to test a hunter’s lethal effectiveness against monsters. But, she was far beyond her student days of trick interrogations and unexplained battle simulations. At the very least, there would have been some whisper about her team getting tested. Nadira concluded that this couldn’t be a training exercise either.

Her shallow breathing was the only sound she could hear. It caused the air to become hot. Her heart raced again as she considered the awful possibility that an enemy captured her overnight. Although she should, she didn’t remember going to bed last night. Actually, she didn’t remember anything . . . Nadira’s hands started to shake. Cold sweat made the fabric of her nightgown stick. She felt like a disgusting mess. She was never a mess. She was strong and focused. She was a warrior.

Think, Nadira commanded herself. Someone has you trapped in a cold, dark place. For a second, she considered staying put and waiting for a rescue. That second passed quickly. Nadira preferred to rescue herself. She also considered preparing for the next time her enemy came to check in on her. Once, she escaped from a car trunk by fighting her way out when the vehicle stopped. The trick was to listen for your moment, and time it just right. Yet, somehow, she didn’t think she had enough air to wait around for anything other than death.

She was not afraid to die, no demon hunter was, but she wasn’t ready either. It was simply not her time. With that thought, Nadira ripped and tore at the ceiling of her confinement. Self-discipline and skill helped, but her genetic makeup—unique to Children of Orion—gave her the brute strength needed to destroy her cell. Silky cushy fabric gave way to wood. Wood chips, chunks, and splinters finally gave way to solid dirt.

She was panting, already exhausted. She wasn’t sure how many minutes went by, but the solid dirt indicated that she still had a long way to go. She couldn’t see her hands in front of her, but she could feel the cuts and bruises she was inflicting on herself in her effort to escape. Nadira’s hands were bloody and cramping from the repeated motion. She kept digging. Ignoring pain and discomfort was something that all demon hunters were taught. I can do this.

She took a moment to pull her nightgown over her face as a makeshift mask. With her eyes closed, she kept at it. As the hole got bigger, more dirt slid into the box she was in. The weight of the loose soil on her face, chest and upper body was suffocating in its heaviness. She was at the point of no return now that the last of her air was escaping. Yet, Nadira didn’t give in to panic. Focused, she kept digging and pulling herself upward while breathing as best she could with her face covered.

Nadira lost track of time—not that she knew what time it was when she woke up in this nightmare. Her mind was buzzing with a single thought. Survive. Nadira chanted to herself in an endless loop. She got sloppy with her arm movements, with her pulling and wiggling. However long she’d been clawing her way to freedom was too long. She paused, taking a few more shallow breaths through the cloth that was acting as a mask. She wanted to stop, to regain her strength, but she ignored her fatigue. Reaching up yet again, she pulled more dirt down. This time she felt nothing around her fingertips. Finally, there was space!

With renewed determination, Nadira pried and hoisted herself up, kicking her legs as if she was swimming through the soil. Her hands first, then forearms. Next, her head, and lastly her shoulders escaped imprisonment. Immediately, she ripped her nightgown away from her face and took deep breaths of the fresh, crisp air. With a bit of tugging and wiggling, Nadira’s waist, then her hips, her legs, and lastly her feet became unburied. She collapsed next to the hole she crawled out of and looked at the night sky. In the cool wind, fallen leaves rustled gently all around Nadira. She was panting and filthy, covered in dirt from head to toe. But, she was free.

Only when her breathing was back to normal did she move. Sitting up, she was reintroduced to her headache. It forced her to move at an even slower pace. She noticed her hands first. They were a bloody mess. Great. She won’t be holding a weapon anytime soon. The second thing she noticed was the long, soft pink dress she was wearing. It was far from the sports bras and shorts she normally wore to bed. She was filthy, homeless looking, but all in one piece and healthy enough. No time to wonder who changed her clothes, or who bothered to style her dreadlocks—formed by constantly twisting her naturally curly hair until the thick twists became permanent—with white ribbons.

Looking around, she saw that she was in a cemetery. Her sigh of relief was shushed by the wind carrying the sound away. Nadira felt safe for now, knowing she was free and unguarded. Of all the awful ways to kill an enemy, why this horrible yet passive method? To bury someone alive was a sadistic, cowardly and lacking in honor. Only one answer came to mind.

“Demons,” she growled.


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Blog Tour: Kill Or Cure – Pixie Britton

I have great news YA fans! If you’re looking to add a thrilling trilogy to your “social distancing” TBR, start with Kill or Cure by Pixie Britton, which is FREE for the rest of the month!!! Make sure to grab yourself a copy today!

Kill or Cure is a YA romance-infused sci-fi novel.

It focuses on human relationships in an undead, apocalyptic world.

A girl who will stop at nothing to protect her brother.

In a dystopian world ravaged by infection, society as we know it has fallen to the mouths of the dead. The remaining fragments of civilisation survive in walled compounds, scattered in the depths of the countryside. When her little brother becomes sick with a suspected flu virus, Alyx Silverthorne will do anything to keep Tommy alive.

With limited medical supplies and only herbal alternatives, his prospects of surviving this mystery illness are bleak. But saving Tommy is just the beginning. The infected are not the only monsters that exist in this new world, and human nature can be more destructive than the dead.

In a race against time, Alyx and her best friend Will stop at nothing to protect him, even from the same people that swore to protect them all.

Kill or Cure is a dynamic, multifaceted story of teenage love and gut wrenching loss in a dystopian world.

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Pixie Britton is a British indie author and Wattpad extraordinaire. Her debut YA novel Kill or Cure, gained international success online with over 100k reads within five months of initial publication.

Shes lives in Essex, England with her husband and adorable furbaby. One day she dreams of leaving her job as a Treasury Analyst in the city, to become a full time author and creative entrepreneur.

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Spotlight: The Saracen Storm – J.M. Nunez

Hispania, 704 AD. When young Pelayo, the rebellious illegitimate son of the Duke of Asturias, is tasked with hunting down a party of Saracens raiders, he seizes on the chance to escape the city and the scandals that have swirled around him for years. As he follows the trail of devastation left by the raiders, he learns that Valentina, the headstrong daughter of his father’s closest ally and his hated half-brother’s betrothed has been taken captive.

As Pelayo leads his cohort toward the eastern coast, the sudden death of the king in Toledo unravels old alliances and sparks a fierce competition for the throne. As the kingdom descends into civil war, the ambitious Saracen governor, Musa Ibn Nosseyr, sees the Iberian nation’s troubles as the perfect opportunity to expand the reach of the caliphate into the underbelly of Europe.

Based on historical figures and events, The Saracen Storm is the sweeping saga of one of Spain’s best-loved heroes and the role he played during the nation’s darkest period: the Moorish invasion of its lands in 711 AD.

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Jose Nunez resides in Montreal, Canada, with his wife and two daughters. After running a small, software development company for a few years, he turned his hand to freelance writing. A chance sighting of a bronze statue of an ancient warrior called Pelayo in the town of Cangas de Onis, Spain, gave rise to his first novel, The Saracen Storm.


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Blog Tour: The Great Devil War Book Three – The Wrongful Death – Kenneth B. Andersen


An unfortunate chain of events makes Philip responsible for the untimely death of the school bully Sam—the Devil’s original choice for an heir. Philip must return to Hell to find Sam and bring him back to life, so that fate can be restored. But trouble is stirring in Lucifer’s kingdom and not even Philip can imagine the strange and dark journey that awaits him. A journey that will take him through ancient underworlds and all the way to Paradise.

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I WAS BORN IN DENMARK ON A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT IN NOVEMBER 1976 …

… and I began writing when I was a teenager. My first book was a really awful horror novel titled Nidhug’s Slaves. It didn’t get published. Luckily.

During the next 7 years, I wrote nearly 20 novels–all of which were rejected–while working as a school teacher. The rest of the time I spent writing.

In 2000 I published my debut fantasy book, The Battle of Caïssa, and that’s when things really took off. Since then I’ve published more than thirty-five books for children and young adults in genres ranging from fantasy to horror and science fiction.

My books have been translated into more than 15 languages and my series about the superhero Antboy has been adapted for film, which is available on Netflix. An animated tv series is currently in development.

A musical of The Devil’s Apprentice opened in the fall 2018 and the movie rights for the series have also been optioned.

I live in Copenhagen with my wife, two boys, a dog named Milo and spiders in the basement.

About THE GREAT DEVIL WAR: The Great Devil War was published in Denmark from 2005-2016, beginning with The Devil’s Apprentice.

Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think.

Welcome to the other side!

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The Garden of Eden

The darkness of night turned into the light of morning, and although Philip did what Lucifer recommended and pulled his hood over his eyes, he was momentarily dazzled by the light. Slowly his eyes grew accustomed to the change, and out of the blinding whiteness, the Garden of Eden emerged in all its splendor.

Philip felt something pulling at his soul, even though all he saw was an ordinary forest. That’s because it wasn’t just an ordinary forest.

Not at all.

First of all there were the colors. The green moss that lay like a thick carpet on the floor. The blooming flowers. The luscious tree canopy overhead and fruits hanging in bunches. The sky that was more blue than Philip had ever seen. The sunlight that fell between the leaves in warm streams of gold.

Secondly there were the smells. So many, and so clear, that Philip became dizzy and had to hold onto Satina so he didn’t stumble.

Then there were the sounds. A storm of bird songs, monkey cries, and distant, thundering waterfalls, and yet… quiet, so quiet.

Then, to top it off, the atmosphere—the feeling of the place… It carried him off his feet. The forest, the air, it inspired a feeling of pure joy that Philip had never known before. It made the hair on his arms rise with delight and made his heart, yes, his very soul, feel like laughing. It felt like… Well, like he was in Heaven.

“Horrible place, right?” Lucifer said, closing the door to the rock wall. “Too cold and much too bright in my opinion. Come on, it’s this way.”

Philip and Satina followed the Devil, who with long, decisive steps led them through the summer forest.

“We’re in Heaven,” Philip whispered as he heard the mild breeze softly stirring the leaves in the canopies overhead. “I can’t believe it. We’re in Heaven!”

“Not quite,” Lucifer corrected. “It’s merely the earthly Paradise that lies between Earth and Heaven. This is where the saved souls go after they die. They help tend the garden.”

Between Earth and Heaven?” Philip said, confused. “I thought you went to Heaven when you died. If you’re good, that is.”

“No. You get this far and no farther. I realize a lot of people think that, Philip. There are even more who think Paradise is about lying in a hammock all day and letting God’s angels attend to your every need. But it’s never been like that. It would quickly lead to many of the seven deadly sins—laziness, gluttony, and greed, just to name a few—and that doesn’t exactly harmonize well with this place. No, living in Paradise means hard work. Of course, it’s nothing compared to working conditions down where we are.”

“What is Heaven, then?”

“Heaven is home to Jehovah and the angels. The angels come to Paradise, but they don’t live there. They live in Empyrean, the city of light. It’s even worse than this place. It makes my eyes itch and my nose starts running like a faucet. I’m definitely more comfortable here.” Lucifer plucked a flame-red rose, and it immediately lost its color and shriveled up. He smelled it and tossed it aside, the now metallic-gray flower disintegrating to ash as it hit the ground. “I have some good memories from this place.”

There was a subtle snap on their right as something in the forest stepped on a branch.

Philip turned his head and froze in his tracks.

It was a tiger. It ran toward them, its giant paws soundlessly bounding through the forest, and its amber eyes locked on Satina, who hadn’t noticed the wild animal.

Watch out!” Philip shouted and pulled her toward him as the animal came bursting out of the brush, a cascade of yellow and black and teeth and claws.

“Philip, take it easy!” Beyond the rush of blood roaring in his ears, he heard Lucifer laughing. “It wouldn’t harm a fly.”

Fear turned into confusion and then amazement when he saw the tiger had stopped and just stood there, curiously watching them. Curious and…friendly?

“It won’t?” he muttered and let go of Satina. “Sorry, but I thought… Are you okay?”

She nodded.

“That’s what I’m saying, Philip. Paradise is a gruesome place. So sad and boring. Just look at this guy.” Lucifer walked over to the tiger and patted him on the back. “Tame as a lamb. Wild animals aren’t even wild here. In the afterlife they peacefully coexist.” The Devil sadly shook his head. “I get nauseous just thinking about it.”

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Blog Tour: Buried in my Past – Eva Mackenzie & Giveaway

Jamie Kendal sees life through the bottom of a bottle. After surviving assault and betrayal, she is forced back to her hometown to care for her mother. Not long after her return, she’s plagued by terrifying slivers of memories from the night her twin brother disappeared forever…

Unearthing new evidence, she’s shocked to learn she’d been found wandering in the woods that same night—covered in blood. More than one person from her past hid the haunting truth that’s bubbling to the surface. The deeper she digs into the horrors from her past, the more she fears almost anyone could be a killer, including Jamie herself.

Can Jamie expose what happened that night, or will she join her missing brother?

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Every night her mother fell asleep atop a deep, dark secret. A box containing a mystery wrapped in the blood of her twins.

She wasn’t a killer. That’s what she told Drew; that’s what she told herself. But now, sitting on the floor of her mothers’ room, she cradled evidence that suggested otherwise. And she had no memory for an alibi.

Eva Mackenzie is an author who enjoys twisty, emotionally engrossing tales. Her debut novel has been a work in progress for over a decade. Under the urging of a loved one, it’s finally finished.

She is a wife and mother living on the east coast. When she isn’t writing, she is spending time with her family, training for her next marathon or reading stacks of suspense novels. Some of her favorite authors are Minka Kent, Dean Koontz, Tami Hoag, and Lisa Jackson.

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Who’s ready for the ultimate giveaway?! Click the “>link to enter for your chance to win a brand new Kindle Oasis (32 GB/ WIFI) in Champagne Gold!


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