Wednesday, April 26, 2017

MASON DIXON - MONSTER HUNTER BLITZ & $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY



Mason Dixon – Monster Hunter Episode 1
Eric R. Asher
Publication date: April 21st, 2017
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy


They are the first line of defense against the things that go bump in the night.

They are the keepers of a centuries-old legacy of The Church defending the world against the forces of darkness.

They are a bunch of highly armed rednecks, internet video celebrities, soccer moms, and assorted broken nutjobs.

They are the new Templars, and things are about to get weird. 

From the pages of Bubba the Monster Hunter comes a new series featuring the Hunters from around the United States hunting down monsters, fighting off supernatural baddies, and making life really, really bad for the things that hunt people.

He’s Mason Dixon, and he’s a bona fide internet celebrity. He has his own video series, a pistol that deserves its own area code, and a high-definition video camera, and he’s not afraid to use any of them. 

In this introductory urban fantasy novella, we meet Mason, his right hand Emma, his “handler” Noah, his anime-styled hacker friend Himari, and more monsters than you can shake a stick at. Unless it’s a really big stick.

With Mason, it’s always a big stick. This first novella in the series follows Mason through the wilds of Missouri as he hunts down monsters that hunt men, monsters that eat chewing tobacco, and monsters that make pancakes. And there’s moonshine.
And then Bubba the Monster Hunter shows up.

The New Templars novella series is a new series of short novels, similar to BookShots. Mason Dixon – Monster Hunter is the first in the series by popular urban fantasy and steampunk author Eric R. Asher.


EXCERPT:
“Mason, I’d really rather not go to lockup tonight.”
The gowrows squawked agreeably from the back seat.
“Put your harness on,” I said.
“Mason?” Emma asked hesitantly as she pulled the racing harness over her shoulders.
I did the same, awkwardly buckling the crotch piece with one hand. “Drop a couple apples on the floor board. I want the gowrows as low as they can get.”
She pulled two out of the glove box and tossed them into the back. My seat bounced forward when the first gowrow dove for the nearest apple.
“Alright kid, let’s see what you got me.” I pushed the power button on the radio and held it down. Three seconds later, a panel slid out with a series of very much not factory approved features.
“What the hell are we doing?” Emma asked.
I floored the accelerator. We hit 60 pretty fast, at which point I said, “Nitrous,” and hit the big blue button. The engine screamed as the injection hit, and rocketed us up to 110 miles per hour, which is a really stupid thing to do on a country highway.
“Oh shit oh shit oh shit,” Emma said as the force of the acceleration smashed us into our seats. The gowrows squealed in the back, their necks stretched over the seat, and jaws widened like they were screaming. I ground my teeth together. It felt like we were leaving the earth as we crested the small hills, and the tires screamed around gentle turns that were barely turns at all.
In the end, it would only buy us a few seconds against the helicopter, but that might be enough. We soared through another two miles, and I crushed the brakes when I saw the turn off for Swinging Bridges Road in the distance. Smoke and screeches and the squeals of the gowrows filled the early morning air.
I wrenched the wheel and bounced off the highway as fast as I dared in the old truck.
“Gravel!” Emma shouted. “Why are there still gravel roads out here!”
“Wait until you see the bridge.”


Eric is a former bookseller, cellist, and comic seller currently living in Saint Louis, Missouri. A lifelong enthusiast of books, music, toys, and games, he discovered a love for the written word after being dragged to the library by his parents at a young age. When he is not writing, you can usually find him reading, gaming, or buried beneath a small avalanche of Transformers.



XBTBanner1

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Review of KINSHIP of CLOVER


Kinship of Clover

by Ellen Meeropol
Published April 4th, 2017 by Red Hen Press
Paperback, 248 pages


He was nine when the vines first wrapped themselves around him and burrowed into his skin. Now a college botany major, Jeremy is desperately looking for a way to listen to the plants and stave off their extinction. But when the grip of the vines becomes too intense and Health Services starts asking questions, he flees to Brooklyn, where fate puts him face to face with a group of climate justice activists who assure him they have a plan to save the planet and his plants.


As the group readies itself to make a big Earth Day splash, Jeremy soon realizes these eco-terrorists devotion to activism might have him and those closest to him tangled up in more trouble than he was prepared to face. With the help of a determined, differently abled flame from his childhood, Zoe; her deteriorating, once rabble-rousing grandmother; and some shocking and illuminating revelations from the past, Jeremy must weigh completing his mission to save the plants against protecting the ones he loves, and confront the most critical question of all: how do you stay true to the people you care about while trying to change the world?




PURCHASE








Kinship of Clover is a unique, innovative themed book that captured me into its unconventional world keeping me apprehended until the end. I like how the book consists of two different stories that are connected by a minute thread at first, but then as the story grows the thread further entwines them. Within these stories are twists and mysteries that you will not foresee in addition the plot contains despair, loss, hope, goals, and idealism. I have two favorite protagonists since two completely different stories happen in this book. My first is Jeremy I find him enchanting. He is sentimental, caring, yet carries around a sadness for multiple reasons, one is due to his deep connection with the extinction of plants. My second is Flo who is a spitfire that does not censor her opinion in her old age nor ever has. Flo has been a political activist since the 1960’s fighting for what is right, even though she considers herself a communist. I loved that she fought her hardest to be independent as Alzheimer’s stole it from her.

So many of Flo’s heros died young...Maybe it was better to go out in a blaze of youthful energy instead of this incremental wilting of nerve cells, crumbling of synapses, spots of mold eating up her memories.

There is a great deal to learn about botany in this book which I found fascinating for instance, nitrogen fixation, dynamic accumulator, and petrichor (peh-tra-chore). Therefore, facts have been pulled straight from the headlines regarding global warming on how fast the plants are going extinct and Sudden Oak Death. Whereas, there only a few parts of the book that did not sit well with me and that consists of some unfinished elements (without giving too much away) such as the FBI, Jeremy & Tim’s relationship, and did Jeremy gain control of the plants? Finally, Ellen Meeropol wrote a book prior to this one in 2011 called HOUSE ARREST that explains more in depth as to what happened to Jeremy’s family that tore it apart when he was a young boy.

In Jeremy’s first childhood memory, at age five or six, he stepped outside with his mom and Tim after a spring rain and sniffed the earthy air. “What’s that smell? He had asked. “Petrichor,” Francie told him. “It’s a mix of bacterial secretion with plant oil. Rain after a long dry spell releases it into the air.”

Go get a copy of this spellbinding book!


It started with the familiar tingling in his fingertips and the tremble germinating deep in his flesh. Tender sprouts grew around his muscle fibers and blood vessels, getting ready to burst out. They poked through the skin with a hot pinch of pain and his hands were spring-growing twigs, swelling and pulsing...And then the buds swelled and burst into flower....The blooms were large and spiky and deep red.





Ellen Meeropol is fascinated by characters on the fault lines of political upheaval. Previous work includes a dramatic script telling the story of the Rosenberg Fund for Children which has been produced in four U.S cities, most recently in Boston. Elli is the wife of Robert Meeropol, youngest son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Elli is a former nurse and independent bookstore event coordinator and the author of two previous novels, House Arrest and On Hurricane Island. She is a founding member of Straw Dog Writers Guild. Short fiction and essays have appeared in Bridges, DoveTales, Pedestal, Rumpus, Portland Magazine, and the Writer’s Chronicle



Connect with her on FacebookTwitter, and GoodReads.


               TOUR SCHEDULE
April 3: CelticLady’s Reviews (Spotlight)
April 4: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
April 6: Lovely Bookshelf (Review)
April 7:  All Roads Lead to the Kitchen (Guest Post)
April 7: Samw00w (Review)
April 13: Angel M. B. Chadwick (Interview)
April 18: Bookfan (Guest Post)
April 18: The Book Connection (Interview)
April 20: A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
April 21: Book-ilicious (Review)
April 26: Readaholic Zone (Review)
April 27: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)
April 28: Sportochick’s Musings (Review)
May 5: True Book Addict (Review)
TBD: Everything Distils Into Reading (Review)



Monday, April 17, 2017

Terrence Book Blitz & GIVEAWAY of $25 Amazon gift card + A paperback copy of Terrence



Terrence: A Short Story 
Alice Rachel
(Under Ground, #0.8)
Publication date: May 15th, 2017
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult, Romance

Bullying is nothing new to Terrence Young. The teasing and harassment are constant. His family is less than understanding as well. To them, Terrence chose to be gay and complicate their lives. Their little rejections sting and cut him deeply.
But when the Deviance Act is passed, Terrence’s life takes a turn for the worse overnight. Under the new law, a mere look, a simple touch, or a small kiss in public could mean death. Terrence attempts to hide his orientation to survive. That is until a gang attacks him in a bar and Chase Martinez interferes.
Chase is gorgeous, kind-hearted, and he’s a rebel in the Underground—all qualities that attract Terrence so much there is no stopping the fall. Loving Chase might be dangerous, but Terrence is done living in fear and letting others dictate what is right for him.
*The author pledges to donate 100% of sales revenue from “Terrence: A Short Story” to The Ally Coalition
EXCERPT:
“So you decided you like girls now or something?” Gerald asked.
I gave him a double-take. “What?”
“Yeah, you’re gonna date girls now? Like, you’re straight or something? Or are you bi? Or what?”
“I never said I wasn’t straight.”
A laugh gurgled up from his throat, and it grew louder and louder until his narrow shoulders shook and he slapped his knees. “You’re funny, you know that?”
Yeah, real hilarious!
I narrowed my eyes, and he chuckled again. Then he shot to his feet so quick, he was standing in my face before I could move.
“I caught you checking out my ass more than once, man. Ain’t no need to pretend ’round me. You’re about as straight as a circle.”
My cheeks instantly got red, and I tried to hide them by pulling my hood down over my face. But Gerald took another step forward and slipped his hand through my light brown hair. His eyes followed the movement of his fingers, and the hood fell down on my neck.
“It’s too bad, you know. ‘Cause I like you. But if you’re sure you’re into girls now…Well…” He made a sad face, sticking his lower lip out like he was real disappointed.




Author Bio:
Alice Rachel is the author of the YA Forbidden Romance/ Dystopian Romance Series "Under Ground." Her time is divided between teaching French, writing, reading, drawing, and spending time with her hubby and guinea pigs. Alice loves talking to readers, so send her a message...

XBTBanner1

SERENADE BOOK BLITZ & GIVEAWAY of Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box (Intl winner would get eBook prizes)



Serenade 
Heather McKenzie

(The Nightmusic Trilogy #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 17th, 2017
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Young Adult

Kidnapped and held hostage in the Rockies, a teenage heiress falls for her abductor while her corrupt father and devoted bodyguard fight to get her back. The discovery of true love and dark family secrets turns deadly in this epic coming of age adventure.
Kaya Lowen dreams of living like a normal eighteen-year old, but being heiress to a billion-dollar company has put her life in constant danger. Fiercely guarded by her powerful and corrupt father, she develops close bonds with those who protect her, especially Oliver – a bodyguard who has proven his devotion to her time and again. He wins her heart – until a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning everything she believes in. Haunted by true love and reeling from a guilty conscience, Kaya’s world unravels when she’s kidnapped.
Held captive in a rugged wilderness fraught with raging storms, mystical caves and deadly predators, Kaya’s father scours the forest and her bodyguard fights to get her back. But, the discovery of a dark family secret makes Kaya wonder if staying in the arms of her blue-eyed abductor—a captivating stranger with dark secrets of his own – is a safer place to be. At least, that’s what her heart is telling her, her head is saying run…

An epic adventure centered on a smoldering love-triangle, Serenade sings a timeless tale of courage, self-discovery, and life-or-death love that will leave you breathless.

EXCERPT:
This was it, now or never.
I gathered every single ounce of energy I had and steadied my mind to ignore the pain in my foot and the dizziness in my head. Then, with everything I had, I turned and bolted toward the dense forest. The darkness instantly enveloped me. I could see well enough not to run into tree trunks, but branches caught me at every turn. My head felt as if it was spinning like a top, but I forced my legs to keep going. I could hear the men’s voices yelling at each other in an organized manner.
I tripped and found myself on all fours. Get up, girl. There’s nothing wrong with you—get up…
I made it a few more steps before my head connected with a blue spruce, and then I collapsed in a pathetic heap. My arms were so wobbly I could barely wipe at the gash across my forehead. My body was completely failing me. I prayed to God that the dog would just snap my neck and get it over with quickly…
Human footsteps approached. I gulped in some air and tried to push myself up, but the world tipped on its side and I fell with it. Within moments, large hands had my wrists pinned to the ground. I struggled and fought with everything I had left, which wasn’t much.
“Stop fighting,” he said.
His voice created such confusion inside me. I kicked harder.
“Stop… please,” he begged.
His body pinned mine to the ground. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes.
“Please, Kaya, trust me. I won’t let anyone hurt you, I promise.” He leaned forward and pressed his sleeve to my bleeding forehead, dabbing and inspecting it closely while I had no choice but to gaze up him. How could this beautiful man be a kidnapper? It just didn’t fit.
“It’s just a scratch; no stitches required,” he said, voice trailing off as his eyes met mine.
We stayed like that for a while: me on the ground, him kneeling over me, and our line of sight only on each other—until an unmistakable sound broke through the tree tops.
“They’ll find me,” I said softly, wondering if Oliver was in the helicopter circling over our heads.
He positioned his arms under my body, and, in one graceful motion, he picked me up and into his arms. “Just don’t run. Promise me that, please. I’ll keep you safe. You have my word. Okay?”
He held me tightly—protectively—waiting eagerly for my reply with turmoil in his blue eyes. My whole body hurt, and admittedly, I couldn’t have walked another inch. The wolves or that beast would have got to me long before Oliver would have. I was at my kidnapper’s mercy, laying helplessly in his arms and falling harder for him by the second.
“I promise,” I said.


Author Bio:
Heather McKenzie is a Canadian author and Serenade is her first novel. A professional singer/songwriter with five albums to date, she has been telling stories through music for years and pulls from her extraordinary experiences as a musician to fuel her passion for creating Young Adult fiction. A rocker at heart, a mom of three, an aspiring painter, and a lover of animals, she is kept grounded by her husband at their home in Edmonton.


XBTBanner1

Friday, April 14, 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Review of HAG-SEED by Margaret Atwood

Hag-Seed (Hogarth Shakespeare)
Written by Margaret Atwood
Published: October 11th, 2016 by Hogarth
Hardcover, 301 pages
Literary, Humor & Satire

When Felix is deposed as artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival by his devious assistant and longtime enemy, his production of The Tempest is canceled and he is heartbroken. Reduced to a life of exile in rural southern Ontario—accompanied only by his fantasy daughter, Miranda, who died twelve years ago—Felix devises a plan for retribution.

Eventually, he takes a job teaching Literacy Through Theatre to the prisoners at the nearby Burgess Correctional Institution and is making a modest success of it when an auspicious star places his enemies within his reach. With the help of their own interpretations, digital effects, and the talents of a professional actress and choreographer, the Burgess Correctional Players prepare to video their Tempest. Not surprisingly, they view Caliban as the character with whom they have the most in common. However, Felix has another twist in mind, and his enemies are about to find themselves taking part in an interactive and illusion-ridden version of The Tempest that will change their lives forever. But how will Felix deal with his invisible Miranda’s decision to take a part in the play?

PURCHASE:
This being my first modern day retelling of a Shakespearean play I was unsure at first if it would do the original play justice. Well, smack me silly, I was proven wrong by the wonderful job Margaret Atwood did in writing such an intriguing take of the Tempest with the twist of the modern day. The protagonist Felix gives the reader an ample amount to speculate upon regarding his character. Whereas I observed how Felix’s own life intertwined with the Tempest, for example, Prospero also had a daughter named Miranda who died additionally, things are not always what they insinuate with Felix. I don’t want to expose information too important nonetheless, an aspect of the plot I found intriguing was it is up to each individual reader to determine the mental state of Felix. What is mine, you ask? Well, I don’t think he is mad as Shakespeare would say.   

Once, not so long ago, Miranda would have been outside at this time...but he reminds himself that she doesn’t leave footprints, so lightly she tread...He turns on the heater. It whirs; Miranda? He says. Then he detects her: she’s over by their table, in the gathering shadows...When he opens the new suitcase, however, she leaves the table and comes over to look wonderingly at what he’s brought...the blue rubber bathing cap, the little boats! The three Disney Princesses in their tawdry finery: she finds them enchanting...What is each thing? She wants to know. Where did it come from, what is it for? What is bathing, what is skiing? Of course, these items are unknown to her: she knows so little about the outside world.

 The plot has been pleasingly written containing alluring elements, in addition to engaging readers with ample emotions such as sadness, anger, confusion, including hysterical laughter. Atwood provided the reader a version of the Tempest that is magical, authentic, with delightfully superb actors who reside within Fletcher prison. Therefore, do not fret if you have not read the original play it is explained marvelously also conveniently at the back of the book is a summary of the Tempest.

He was, after all, still alive; he would need, for insurance, to file his tax return. Nothing would set the dogs on his trail so quickly as failure to comply. Such was the maximum price to be paid for the privilege of walking around the earth’s crust and continuing to breathe, eat, and shit, he thought sourly.

Whereas, this is a minute glance on my viewpoint of HAG-SEED you can anticipate scads of delight if you read the book.
He follows them through the vibrations of the Web, playing spider to their butterflies; he ransacks their carefree way, with never a thought in their otherwise scheming heads for him, Felix Phillips-exiled by their unjust, lying in wait for them, preparing his ambush. It’s taken a while, but revenge is a dish best eaten cold, he reminds himself.





Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree from Radcliffe College.

Throughout her writing career, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honourary degrees. She is the author of more than thirty-five volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction and is perhaps best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1970), The Handmaid's Tale (1983), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. Atwood's dystopic novel, Oryx and Crake, was published in 2003. The Tent (mini-fictions) and Moral Disorder (short stories) both appeared in 2006. Her most recent volume of poetry, The Door, was published in 2007. Her non-fiction book, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth ­ in the Massey series, appeared in 2008, and her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood, in the autumn of 2009. Ms. Atwood's work has been published in more than forty languages, including Farsi, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic and Estonian. In 2004 she co-invented the Long Pen TM.

Associations: Margaret Atwood was President of the Writers' Union of Canada from May 1981 to May 1982, and was President of International P.E.N., Canadian Centre (English Speaking) from 1984-1986. She and Graeme Gibson are the Joint Honourary Presidents of the Rare Bird Society within BirdLife International. Ms. Atwood is also a current Vice-President of PEN International.

http://margaretatwood.ca/



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

JOURNEY of the HEART & Giveaway of Meditation Music


A Special Blog Posting For My Followers Who Like Self-Help.
This One Is For You 👉 


Self-Help Spiritual / Personal Growth - Happiness / Meditation
Date Published: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Cygnet Publications, Cygnet Media Group Inc.


Your heart’s journey began when the Creator took a portion of Her consciousness to create you as a living soul and endowed you with individuality and your own unique personality. Your supreme duty and sole mission on planet earth is to remember your exalted state of consciousness and reclaim your divinity.


The One Cosmic Heart created and endowed you with love in your heart as a yearning that you might awaken and return that love unconditionally, thus coming to feel your oneness with all hearts.

Everyone is on the journey of the heart. As you explore the stages of the heart you will be able to tell where you and your friends are on this sacred journey. Here are the steps you can take to move forward in opening your heart to the fullness of its own natural love.

PURCHASE
AMAZON | B&N | KOBO

Excerpt

Everyone is on the journey of the heart. As you explore the stages of the heart you will be able to tell where you are along this sacred journey and what steps you can take to move forward in opening your heart to the fullness of its own natural love.
The nature of the heart, or center of feeling, is consciousness. It is our endowment with conscious awareness that allows us to feel, love and enjoy.
In the journey of the heart we progress through different stages of feeling and enjoyment. The Creator has implanted in our hearts a yearning that ensures our progression to deeper stages of unfoldment of the heart. The higher we advance spiritually the greater is our capacity for enjoyment. We are enthralled with subtler and subtler vibrations. Colors become more vibrant and brilliant; sounds more fascinating; feelings sweeter and more intense. Ultimately the heart’s yearning is to seek these more refined states of feeling and enjoyment until the heart is satisfied and content.
The ultimate contentment we are yearning for is contained within our own heart. The fulfillment of the journey of the heart is not a quest for something outward (although the heart progresses through outward stages) but is a natural unfoldment of virtues through purification of the heart. Everything we are looking for is already contained within our own heart. We need only to remember what we already possess.

There are definite stages in this unfolding, or remembering, of the Self. It is by change within oneself and reorientation from outwardly seeking to inwardly seeking that we awaken and realize the image of the Divine Consciousness within us. As we rediscover and feel and enjoy what we already have in the sanctuary of our own heart we begin to fully manifest inner virtues through acts of compassion in our dealings with the world. The heart opens to the fullness of love found in its own center and naturally wants to express this impartial and unconditional love to all.



Author, musician, spiritual director and meditation instructor,  Alex Soltys Jones is most well known for his best-selling book Seven Mansions of Color. Published in 1976, it has become a classic in Color Therapy.

Perfectly timed for 2017, his newest books are  Journey of the Heart and Spiritualize the Workplace.

Alex was the first to write and produce New Age relaxation music in Canada. His music titles include Kali’s Dream, Awake & Dreaming and Pranava. His guided meditations include Angels of Color & Sound and Peace Beyond Stress. All have become soothing and enlightening aids to meditation, yoga and stress management classes as well as popular relaxation induction aids for listeners at home.  

A longtime Stress Management Instructor, Alex worked at the Dorothy Madgett Stress Management Clinic in downtown Toronto where he taught relaxation classes and a 15 week lecture series to groups and individuals.

Many of his clients at the clinic were from the business community. As he worked with these clients they disclosed to him and themselves their own misgivings and vulnerabilities. Alex saw the tremendous stress and anxiety individuals were facing in the workplace: “It was obvious to me that a deep sense of spirituality was needed in the workplace and hence the creation of  Spiritualize the Workplace.”

Alex offers meditation classes based on his book Meditation — Where East and West Meet, and lectures and workshops on color, stress management and opening the heart.

Alex, a certified Spiritual Director, graduated from the University of British Columbia’s Pacific Jubilee Program at the Vancouver School of Theology. He is also a  graduate of Tyndale University with the degree bachelor of Religious Education.

He has practiced meditation and yoga since his twenties and, in young adulthood, spent a nine month period of seclusion in the Rocky Mountains. At 24, he became a monastic in Paramahansa Yogananda’s Spiritual Organization ( Self-Realization Fellowship), dedicating his life in the search for God. He continues to faithfully practice Paramahansa Yogananda’s life transforming meditation techniques to this day.

“I have been fortunate to have touched the lives of thousands through my books, music and workshops. Many have said my gentle approach makes it easy for them to feel safe and open to their highest potential...My mission is to help others rediscover their diamond essence and from that inner center meet all life’s difficulties with courage, love, peace and joy.”