Monday, October 26, 2020

Merlin Raj and the Drones of Sleepy Hollow by D.G. Priya



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. D.G. Priya will award a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter. Please click the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Mom's Choice Gold Award Winner
"...the more conceptual discussion of algorithms is well done, and the story is satisfying and emotionally resonant." -- Kirkus Reviews

My name is Merlin Raj and I live in Sleepy Hollow. Legend has it that a Headless Horseman haunts the town. Usually, I only have to worry about helping my boy, Matthew, to walk at school. But during the spookiest time of year, we’ll tackle the scariest creature of all—big brother.

Boo!

Will learning conditional logic save this family’s Halloween from certain doom?

Appealing to readers of all ages, Merlin Raj and the Drones of Sleepy Hollow is an ILLUSTRATED chapter-book. From artists to astronauts, the jobs of the future will deal with computers. But do kids want to read a coding book? Not as much as dog stories.

With a Computer Science degree and a passion for preparing kids for the future, author D. G. Priya blends technology with animal stories to stimulate a desire to read.Each book in the series introduces a new programming skill. If you or your child like delightful dog tales that explores universally positive themes, including empathy, kindness, dedication, and the importance of being true to one's self, then you'll love D. G. Priya's tail-wagging adventure.

Read an Excerpt

After a rousing “Trick or Treat,” Matthew got some sticky taffy. He plunked it into the pumpkin-shaped plastic bag. He’d also put a second sack on my back, in case he ran out of room. We expected to knock on a lot of homes.

Peter marched up to the front door. He flew the pumpkin-head drone ahead of him. It had a small net hanging from it. Peter reached the lady giving out the candy. He drove the drone in front of the candy bowl in her hands and declared, “Trick or treat!”

“What?” Matthew muttered at my side. “He got two pieces.”

As he walked back toward us, Peter smirked. “Guess who’s going to win?”

“You cheater,” Matthew said.

I nodded in agreement.

“It’s not cheating if I’m just smarter,” Peter said.

About the Author:
D. G. Priya is the bestselling author Priya Ardis. She obtained her Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin, #6 in the world (Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2014) and #8 (US News, 2020) in Computer Science. Her advocacy of early education in computing and the challenges of childhood disabilities come from her experience as a parent and volunteer. Her love of dog stories comes from the antics of her own golden retriever.

Shelley Hampe is an author-illustrator. She is known for her work with Harvard University, illustrating a ground-breaking social-emotional learning program for children. She has a master's in studio art and has taken part in world-recognized artist residencies in the United States. When she isn't busy solving problems, Shelley can be found teaching STEAM principles to elementary aged kids. Shelley's dog Beau, helped solve her problem of cold-feet while illustrating this book.

Author website: http://www.dgpriya.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dgpriya.author
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/priyaardis
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20125405.D_G_Priya
Follow on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/D.-G.-Priya/e/B085P2NMKD
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/priyaardis

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/D.-G.-Priya/e/B085P2NMKD
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22D.%20G.%20Priya%22
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/author/d-g-priya/id1501769549
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/merlin-raj-and-the-drones-of-sleepy-hollow
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/D_G_Priya_Merlin_Raj_and_the_Drones_of_Sleepy_Holl

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Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Duty Bound Duet by Syndey Jamesson



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

DUTY OF CARE:

On her death bed Emily Derbyshire’s mother made her promise to take good care of her little sister. Keeping her promise, twelve-year-old Emily did exactly that and became five-year-old Rita’s benefactor and bodyguard.

After eighteen years of sisterly devotion Emily receives some shocking news! Rita has committed suicide. When disturbing details start to surface, Emily puts her highflying career on hold to seek out those responsible. She hires an American private investigator Robert Blackmoor; a motorbike riding, no-frills, computer hacker who will use any means necessary to unearth the truth.

Not surprisingly, Robert uncovers secrets from Emily’s troubled childhood and chips away at the glossy veneer of deceit which masks the truth behind, not only Rita’s life, but Emily’s imperfect life too.

Together they assemble the pieces of a sinister puzzle, revealing a cruel and corrupt world of exploitation and murder: a Dark Web into which Rita has become entangled.

As dark forces encircling Emily tighten their grip, and with everything to lose, she must make a life and death decision that she may live to regret.

THE CARETAKERS

Emily Parsons is a product of a difficult childhood: self-reliant, fiercely protective and willing to do whatever it takes to safeguard the wellbeing of those in her care. She has even slayed a monster, or two … or three in the name of poetic justice, and yet she is haunted by the image of a beautiful blond girl.

Sixteen-year-old Louise Travis has been abducted.

Louise’ fate rested in Emily’s hands, but she let her slip through her fingers like gold dust, only to be swept away by a malevolent band of brothers.

By once again enlisting the help of computer hacker, Robert Blackmoor, Emily must find Louise before she is lost forever in a Dark Web of heinous crimes, cruelty and corruption. The clock is ticking, and Emily’s investigation is drawing the wrong kind of attention, but she will not back down. She is duty bound to protect those she loves.

With skeletons from her past being unearthed, who can she turn to, and who can she trust with her own sinister secrets?


Read an Excerpt from DUTY OF CARE

“The whole world can become the enemy when you lose what you love.” Kristina McMorrris.

I STOOD ALONE in the graveyard the day they buried my sister. There I was, Emily Parsons, the hapless figure lurking behind a gnarled oak tree—an unwelcome guest.

A savage January wind gnawed at my cheeks. It made my eyes sting; eyes already brimming with salty residue left over from a night spent sobbing into a pillow. Sapped of all strength, I leaned against the trunk, held it between my hands; gloved fingers tracing rough edges. I breathed in its wild, woody perfume; rotting branches, unclaimed timber—a steadfast pillar of support in a surreal tableau.

At our parents’ request, I didn’t show my face. Did they fear I’d cause a scene, throw myself onto the coffin?

Who knows?

Who cares?

With or without their blessing, I had to go. I had to be there to witness my little sister’s departure from this mortal coil and, if that meant enduring sniveling platitudes caught on the wind—so be it.

Our parents, family members and some of Rita’s friends circled the cavernous hole in the ground like ravens; a flock of silhouettes set against a snowy backdrop. My watery eyes lingered on the word Rita formed in purple violas on the wreath—a tiny name for someone with a big personality and an even bigger heart.

Having endured the lamentations of the priest marking the passing of a life ended much too soon, I absconded. I sprinted like a bandit between gravestones, my feet slipping on ankle deep snow that shrouded everything, creating a clean, sterile landscape. Nothing seemed out of place. Nothing except my sister’s charred body lying six foot under in a mahogany coffin fifty yards away.

I took refuge in my car and sat in silence, refusing to acknowledge the shifting congregation. Concealed behind windows veiled with condensation, I left unseen.

In those days leading up to Rita’s funeral, I cried nonstop. I would wake from dozing and the world would be as it was. I would smile through cracked lips, but then I would remember and my heart would ache and my body would shake and tears would cloud my eyes once more.

The myriad of memories we had made were my only lifeline: phone conversations, photographs and texts existing in a vacuum, authorless—a cruel kind of comfort. For the sake of my sanity, I tried to come to terms with her passing, I really did, but the realisation that the one person I loved more than any other had gone and left me behind did not make any sense to me.

We had made a pact when we were kids to never be separated.

Why had Rita broken it?

About the Author:
Sydney Jamesson is a USA Today bestselling author by night and an English teacher by day. She is nocturnal by nature and loves nothing more than staying up late, listening to music and being inspired to write. She has always written creatively; in her home is one enormous wastepaper basket full of discarded phrases, opening lines and pieces of dialogue that have hit her like lightning in the middle of the night. Her USA Today bestselling trilogy, THE STORY OF US sold worldwide, and she has been thrilled to continue Ayden Stone's and Beth Parker's epic love story in The Story of Us Series: Into the Blue, featuring Blue Genes, Blue Hearts and Blue Moon.

More recently, Sydney has focused on psychological suspense. THE DARKEST CORNERS was her first venture into the new genre: a complex love story filled with lots of angst, emotional scenes and edge of your seat suspense as a single father and a troubled young woman confront their deepest, darkest fears together. The twists come think and fast and the ending is unforgettable!

In her latest novels, DUTY OF CARE and THE CARETAKERS - THE DUTY BOUND DUET -readers explore the seedier side of the Dark Web; witness abduction, human trafficking, and a devoted sister’s willingness to do whatever it takes to safeguard the wellbeing of those in her care. It’s a real page turner, filled with incidents which are heart-breaking and heart-stopping in equal measure!

Website: https://www.sydneyjamesson.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sydney-Jamesson-516585008400062/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SydneyJamesson
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7074207.Sydney_Jamesson
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamessonauthor/

DUTY OF CARE:

UNIVERSAL LINK: viewbook.at/DUTYofCARE
AMAZON US: https://www.amazon.com/Duty-of-Care-Sydney-Jamesson-ebook/dp/B08CNGJVGF
AMAZON: UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=DUTY+OF+CARE+%28The+Duty+Bound+Duet+%231%29&
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54443373-duty-of-care

THE CARETAKERS

UNIVERSAL LINK: viewbook.at/THECARETAKERS
AMAZON US: https://www.amazon.com/The-Caretakers-Sydney-Jamesson-ebook/dp/B08CNKPLH5
AMAZON: UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08CNKPLH5
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54443506-the-caretakers

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Madness of Mercury by Connie di Marco


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Connie di Marco will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Zodiac Mysteries feature San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti, who never thought murder would be part of her practice. Julia sought answers and found solace in astrology after the death of her fiancé in a hit and run accident. Since then, she’s successfully built a clientele of the city’s movers and shakers.

In The Madness of Mercury, Julia’s outspoken advice in her newspaper column, AskZodia, makes her the target of a recently-arrived cult preacher who advocates love and compassion to those less fortunate. But the power-hungry preacher is waging war on sin and his Army of the Prophet will stop at nothing to silence those who would stand in his way. Julia is at the top of his list.

About the Excerpt

As I stood in line at the checkout counter of the bookstore an uncomfortable feeling stole over me. Was I being watched? I turned slowly and surveyed the customers in line behind me. No one looked suspicious. No one turned away suddenly. Just holiday shoppers focused on their own business. As I turned back, my eye caught someone standing at a table close by, separated by a metal bar from the line of shoppers. A man, dark hair, black jacket, seemingly immersed in a book he was holding in his hands. No shopping bags in sight. Something about him . . . I mentally shook myself, pushing the thought out of my mind. I was being paranoid. Nerves were getting the better of me.

When I reached the street, the wind had picked up. Shoppers were doing their best to hang onto their packages and hats and scarves. I pulled up the hood on my coat and, protecting my few finds, headed back to the square. I climbed the steps to the top of Union Square and took cover inside the small coffee shop. The aroma of freshly ground beans filled the space. I ordered a cappuccino and carried it gingerly to a stool near the window where I could watch the skaters on the ice rink under the tree. Maybe this was picking at old wounds. Maybe I just wanted to remember a happier time.

The windows were completely fogged. I rubbed the condensation away with the sleeve of my coat and peeked out. The top of the seventy foot tree and its huge bulbs swayed back and forth in the chilly gusts. Michael and I used to skate here. He was hopeless on his rented skates and wouldn’t believe me when I told him it wasn’t his ankles, his skates were too large. We’d manage a few passes around the rink, before we’d collapse, laughing on the ice. For a split second I saw his smile and felt the warmth of his hands, remembering how safe I felt when he put his arms around me. An aching so acute swept over me I didn’t trust myself not to burst into tears. What is it about the holiday season that brings our missing pieces into such sharp focus? Loss and pain may be there at other times, but somehow it doesn’t hurt quite so acutely. Maybe stopping here wasn’t such a good idea. I needed to quit feeling sorry for myself. Michael would have been disgusted with me. I was pathetic. I snuffled and rummaged in my purse for a tissue, blowing my nose and wiping my eyes, hoping anyone watching would think I was down with the flu. Suck it up, Julia.

Bundling up against the cold, I retraced my steps and approached the garage entrance. Two people, a man and a woman, doing their best to stay warm under the overhang of the garage were handing out flyers. One stepped in front of me, blocking my path and shoved a flyer at me. Annoyed, I grabbed it and walked briskly into the garage. I glanced down at an announcement of services at the Prophet’s Tabernacle. I sighed, and crumpling the paper up, tossed it in a nearby trash can.

I took the elevator down to the lowest level where I had parked. I stepped out and glanced around. In contrast to the crowds of people above on the streets, not a soul was in sight. I felt a frisson of fear. Why was it so deserted? My nerves were just on edge, I decided. I was imagining threats where there were none. I took a deep breath and hurried to my car. I unlocked the door and threw my bags onto the passenger seat. Before I could turn the key in the ignition I glanced in the rearview mirror. A face in a ski mask stared back at me, the eyes bright in the ambient lighting. A gasp caught in my throat. My heart raced as a gloved hand pulled my head back and covered my mouth. I felt the sharp prick of a knife point at my neck. I froze. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t speak.

“Forget about the Prophet. Make sure you keep your big mouth shut or my next visit won’t be so nice,” he growled. He pulled the knife away, let go of my jaw and jumped out of the car.

About the Author:
Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries featuring San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti. The Madness of Mercury, the first book in the series will be re-released in October 2020.

Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the author of the national bestselling Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime. You can find her excerpts and recipes in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Connie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.

Website: http://www.conniedimarco.com
Blog: http://www.conniedimarco.com/blog
Facebook: "https://www.facebook.com/zodiacmysteries/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/askzodia
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1r4fl4U

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08K3JT8P1/ref=dp-kindle-redirect
BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-madness-of-mercury-connie-di-marco/1123116591

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Sympathy for the Devil by Alex Stevens



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner.

Four warriors on one hell of a mission.

Lieutenant Colonel Tyler Graven is known as the “Demon of Kyoto,” and he specializes in death. When an assassin attempts to kill pharmaceutical mogul Mortimer Sackler, Tyler becomes the lead suspect and the target of a $100 million dollar hit. To save himself and clear his name, he must hunt down the true killer, a deadly entity known only as The Priest.

Tyler teams up with his former military unit, The Four Horseman, including his brother, crack-shot Corporal Jack Graven, the mysterious Lance Corporal Jin Xialong, and his one-time flame Colonel Diana Levitas. Once, they were an elite fighting team known for completing two of the most successful campaigns against terrorism ever launched. Now, they’ll find themselves locked in a war with The Church, the most influential organization on the planet--and pitted against the supernatural forces of the Underworld itself.

During their mission, Tyler and Jack learn of the legendary Black Muramasa, the only weapon that can destroy immortals such as demons, angels, vampires, seraphim, and nephilim. As they uncover the secrets of the ancient black blade--and their own heritage--they are faced with unforetold powers and infinite evils. If the Four Horsemen succeed, they may save themselves. If they fail, it’ll cost them their sanity, their lives, and even their souls...

Here comes an action-packed, gun-slinging fantasy adventure that packs the punch of a military thriller combined with high-stakes supernatural intrigue.

Read an Excerpt

Jack attacked high, elbows swinging in vicious hooks, while I swung a right roundhouse at the front of the priest’s right knee. The Priest deflected my first kick with his shin, but my second snapped out without hesitation toward his head. He brought his daggered hand up to block, which would have surely cut my leg to ribbons had I not pulled my kick. Simultaneously he swung his left dagger in a backhand at Jack’s face. Jack threw his body in a backward somersault, catching The Priest under the chin with a solid kick that sent him stumbling backward. I sought to capitalize by catching him in the right temple with a right heel kick, but The Priest managed to stab his left dagger through my foot.

I hobbled back in agony and collapsed to the floor. He turned his back on me and faced off against Jack. The two eyed each other in slightly crouched stances, their hands eye level before them.

“You chose the wrong side, pup,” The Priest mocked. “I had thought you were smarter than that.”

“If I had known you would kill an innocent woman, I would have killed you in that garage. You can’t even see the irony in your beliefs.”

“How innocent could the wife of that villain be? Did she do anything for all of the innocents that her husband killed?”

“Guilty by association then?”

“We all are.”

The Priest surged toward Jack, knives stabbing forward at neck, face, and armpits with merciless and unending precision. I had never seen blades dance the way his did. Every move was perfectly balanced and precision timed, each extension of his limbs perfectly stretched and recoiled. He was a finely tuned machine of death, and every ounce of his hate was drawn toward Jack.

About the Author:Alex Stevens is a Marine Corps Veteran with two deployments and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interdisciplinary Studies program, a unique undergraduate degree that caters to students with various interests of study. He is also an advent traveler and philosophy enthusiast who has spent a lifetime studying religions, with a focus on Non-denominational Christianity. Alex spends most of his time going for walks, spending time with loved ones, and when the juices are flowing, writing. Fantasy fiction is his great escape from the mundane and he likes to create fantastical realities that are blended with non-fictional people, places, and events.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20740528
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sympathy-Devil-Ballad-Fallen-Angels-ebook/dp/B08JQNJY76/ref=sr_1_1

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Monday, October 19, 2020

Pumpkin Pies and Potions by Polly Holmes



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Polly Holmes will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Witches, cats, pumpkin pies and murder!

I’m Evelyn Grayson and if you’d told me by the time I was 23, I’d have lost both my parents in a mysterious accident, moved in with the coolest Aunt ever, lived in a magical town, and I was a witch, I would have said you were crazy. Funny thing is, you’d be right.

Camille Stenson, the grumpiest woman in Saltwater Cove is set on making this year’s Halloween celebrations difficult for everyone, but when she turns up dead and my best friend is on the suspect list, I have no choice but to find out whodunit and clear her name.

Amongst the pumpkin carving, abandoned houses, and apple bobbing, it soon becomes apparent dark magic is at play and I must use all my newfound witches’ abilities to find the killer before another spell is cast.

Step into Evelyn Grayson’s magical world in the first book of the Melting Pot Café series, a fun and flirty romantic paranormal cozy mystery where the spells are flowing, and the adventure is just beginning.

If you like witty witches, cheeky talking cats, and magical murder mysteries, then you’ll love Polly Holmes’ light-hearted Melting Pot Café series.

Read an Excerpt

Tyler offered to drive back to Saltwater Cove and the way my insides were jumping around like nobody’s business, I was glad to hand the keys over. I glanced at Tyler and his hands were clenched so tight around the wheel I could see every muscle in his forearm and hands pop. His eyes were focussed on the road ahead and he barely blinked. I sat with my phone to my ear, the dial tone drumming my eardrum.

Come on, Harriet, pick up…pick up…PICK UP. Why are you not answering your phone? Oh God, please don’t have let anything happen to her. I’ll never forgive myself if she’s hurt or worse killed because I let her talk me into leaving her alone.

“Hello, this is Harriet.”

Her chirpy voice was a vast contrast to the raging storm fighting it out inside my stomach.

“Harriet, where have you been? I’ve tried to call four times now. You had me worried sick. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, Evelyn.” Harriet paused and tutted down the line. “I was blow drying my hair. A woman is allowed to have a shower and freshen up, you know.”

I ran my hand through my hair and pressed the base of my neck. “Of course, you are. Listen, I need you to do me a really big favour.”

“Sure, what’s going on?”

“I don’t have time to explain now, but Tyler and I are on our way back into town―”

“What do you mean, on your way back into town? Where did you go? I thought you were having drinks at The Four Brothers.” Harriet’s voice lost its chirpiness and was now replaced with a wavering uncertainty.

About the Author:
Polly Holmes is the cheeky alter ego of Amazon best-selling author, P.L. Harris. When she's not writing her next romantic suspense novel as P.L. Harris, she’s planning the next murder in one of Polly's mysteries.

Polly’s award-winning Cupcake Capers Series is rich in storyline and location with characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. She publishes her cozy mystery books with Gumnut Press. Pumpkin Pies and Potions is the first in her new paranormal cozy series.

Cupcakes and Corpses was a finalist in the Oklahoma RWA’s 2019 IDA International Digital Awards, short suspense category. Cupcakes and Curses claimed second place and Cupcakes and Cyanide gained third place making it a clean sweep in the category.

You can visit P.L. Harris/Polly Holmes at the following locations:

https://www.pollyholmesmysteries.com/
https://www.instagram.com/plharris_author
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/p-l-harris
https://www.facebook.com/plharrisauthor/
https://www.instagram.com/plharris_author/
Danger, Mystery and Romance with a hint of Cozy Sweetness: Reader Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/217817788798223

The book is on sale for only $0.99!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DRQFCF2/ref=dp-kindle-redirect

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Behind Closed Doors by Rachael Reilly



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Rachael Reilly will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Middle school librarian and aspiring writer Julia Morgan's last relationship ended months ago. Once labeled as "boring in the bedroom," she visits Behind Closed Doors, an adult toy store, hoping to spice up her sex life. The aisles of erotic products aren't nearly as hot as the store's sexy owner, but is she brave enough to let a virtual stranger coax her out of her sexual shell?


Read an Excerpt

“I hate surprises.” Julia sighed, the sound drowning out the beer commercial on the car radio.

“No one hates surprises, blue eyes. People say they hate them because they’re control freaks, but no one does.” Clay glanced around before switching lanes on the busy street, moving to the right side. “You’re just going to have to be patient for a few more minutes. But how about this? If we get there and you don’t want to get out of the car, I will turn around and leave. No questions asked.”

“And we can get lunch somewhere?” She patted her stomach as it growled.

“For sure. I don’t want to starve you. You’ll need energy for my plans later anyway.”

“Maybe we should just go back to my house, then? See what we get into there?”

He just chuckled again and shook his head before turning his SUV into the entryway to one of Nashville’s larger parks. His hair fell across his eye again, as it was wont to do.

She reached across to brush the lock off his face before running her fingertips through his facial hair. Keeping her hands off him was difficult. “Are we playing Frisbee in the park? Or going to the museum nearby?”

“Nope and nope.” He tapped his nose, his long, slender fingers distracting her. “But I think if you look at the sign ahead, you might see the plan for now.” A plastic, rectangular sign blew in the fall breeze, Literary Fall Festival emblazoned on it in dark letters.

She squealed and moved forward in her seat. “Literary festival? What? Yes!”

“That’s how you surprise the librarian.” He whooped as he parked his SUV before jogging around to open her door. “Smell that? Popcorn.” He motioned to the food trucks up ahead. “Plus there are new and used books for sale, author signings by the museum, and lectures from people in the biz.”

“Did you just say ‘biz’ and mean it?”

“I believe you heard me. But you said you want to be a published author. Maybe this will help.”

She was so surprised she stopped walking. “Clay, you’re just...amazing.”

How had she gotten so lucky? He’d turned her life upside down overnight, but she loved that he had.

About the Author:
Rachael Reilly is a steamy romance writer living right outside Nashville, Tennessee. She also previously worked as a freelance writer for smaller magazine publications. When not writing things that make her blush, Rachael can be found people watching, reading most anything she can get her hands on, or searching for her own Prince Charming through online dating. These activities are almost always accompanied by a glass of lemonade or cheap wine.

Website: http://www.rachaelreillywrites.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/reillyromance

The book will be on sale for $0.99 from October 16 - October 30.
Book Link: https://amzn.to/32S28Bq

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Apophis by Raj Anand



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

January, 2022: A dark monstrous twin-headed apparition – Apophis – feverishly races past the expanse of the Milky Way galaxy and bolts to the edge of the solar system. Recklessly accelerating, the sinister rock-dyad enters the gravitational keyhole of the blue planet and continues its resolute inebriated journey – to soon arrive with an apocalyptic impact on Earth.

December, 2012: Five sentient beings born in different cities – New York, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Azores Islands and Istanbul, discover amongst haunting memories of their phantasmal past lives, that it is their destiny to save humanity from the evil forces unleashed by the alien fiends – the Skyllats.

And now, the reincarnated 9-year-olds must rely on their shared, ancient wisdom to prepare humanity for the war across the galaxy that is imminent.

Read an Excerpt

30.45506N, 130.48804E
Isso Town, Yakushima Island, Japan
January 19, 2022 (0700 hours)

“Peter, what is their present position?” the 1.7-meter-tall Claire with a sharp nose and radiant blue eyes inquired, “Quelque chose d’autre a signaler – do you have anything else to report?” She adjusted her glasses, pushing back her long brown hair.

“Herodotus has crossed into the belt, and is travelling at a speed of 346,000 kilometers per hour,” Peter replied, seated next to the astrophysicist, “I am amazed, Claire, how well the mission has progressed so far.”

Their Command and Control Centre located in a narrow peninsula, beyond Mount Yahazudake on Yakushima Island was housed several floors below an old island home that camouflaged its true purpose.

“You really doubted them? Incroyable!” smiled Claire, when she was interrupted by her secretary with an urgent message.

“It is my job to question and doubt,” grinned Peter and turned around. But Claire had already stepped into a high-speed elevator, climbing seven levels up.

A stoic Colonel Yoshimoto dressed in a dark gray suit and a black tie, stood inside a glass partitioned conference room, studying a large photograph of a Mongolian shaman staring ardently at the moon. The rustic house with rice paper screen walls or shoji, that separated the inner office from the outer living area, was capped with a gray shingled sloping roof supported by polished wooden trusses.

Colonel Yoshimoto bowed when Claire entered and addressed him, “How are you, Koki San? I don’t believe we had a meeting scheduled. In fact, I was about to leave for a connecting flight to New York from Kagoshima.”

“We are aware of your flight to New York, Claire San.” Colonel Yoshimoto spoke apprehensively. “So, I shall be brief. About two days ago we received an unexpected signal from the Sentinel Observatory. We have modelled it several times and have arrived at conclusions…that we frankly find deeply disturbing.”

“Koki San, as you are aware, besides Neerja and I there is no one else at Isso, who knows about our Sentinel project in collaboration with JAXA. I am disappointed that our agreed protocol to…”

“The Sentinel Space Telescope detected a new asteroid two days ago, specifically a binary Atira S-type asteroid which appeared suddenly…”

“Sentinel has identified more than three hundred new asteroids in the past two years. Most of them beyond 0.5 AU orbital distance from earth,” frowned Claire. “Which we have quietly added to the list of Interior Earth Objects or IEO’s, collated by the Minor Planet Center in Massachusetts in the United States. I have a lot on my plate today, so if you will excuse me…” she made a motion to leave.

“Given the Potentially Hazardous Asteroid’s or PHA’s shape, size, mass, rotation dynamics, and an absolute magnitude H of 21.4, we have modeled its ‘Intersection Course’ and ‘Risk Corridor’ across the surface of the earth, as well as simulated the asteroid’s Potential Impact Zone!”

“A Risk Corridor? Potential Impact Zone?” A startled Claire muttered and sat down. “What is the timeline before it hits the earth’s potential keyhole pass… and the asteroid impact?”

“I am afraid it has already entered the earth’s gravitational keyhole. We believe the impact is about ten days from today, give or take a few hours. That is not enough time for…any successful counter measures to be deployed, or even to undertake a comprehensive mitigation damage assessment. But we are certain that the impact will be a cataclysmic event.”

“What is the size and weight of the binary Atira S-type asteroid?” a stunned Claire inquired.

“Since the Sentinel telescope is facing away from the sun, we have been able to map the PHA quite accurately. The primary asteroid has a diameter of 1.45 kilometers, orbited by a minor planet-moon that measures about 0.36 kilometers across. Its combined weight, we estimate, is more than 360,000 metric tons,” explained a troubled Colonel Yoshimoto.

“Are you sure? Have you run the Monte Carlo simulations?”

“Yes, several times! And we have analyzed it on the Palermo Technical Impact Hazard Scale as well, I am afraid it currently reads at 2.”

“That is absurd, no asteroid has ever been measured at 2 on the Palermo scale,” blurted a fearful Claire and mumbled, “And the Potential Impact Zone?”

“We believe that the binary asteroid is headed for impact around Washington DC on January 28, 2022 – that is nine days from today. Given its size, mass, and other parameters, we fear that the Eastern Seaboard of the United States may be completely wiped out!”

“The Americans? Do they know? Have you informed the Planetary Defense Coordination office or PDCO and NASA?”

“Yes, we thought about that, but…given the technical and research facilities the Americans have at their disposal, including the PAN-STARR Telescope at Maui, the NEOWISE Space Telescope, the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona, the ATLAS program in Hawaii, as well as several others…we are honestly puzzled? Why have the Americans remained obliviously silent?”

“We need to inform them as soon as possible. The only reason that I can think of…” a dazed Claire broke off mid-sentence.

“…is that they already know!” Koki San, finished her thought.

“The Double Asteroid Redirection Test or DART, that the Americans have been planning for several years? Could it be launched in such a short time?” Claire inquired, almost afraid to ask.

“DART has been delayed for more than a year due to technical and funding issues. Our sources confirmed that it was finally finished three months ago. Yesterday it was transferred with an undisclosed additional payload to their launch facilities at the Vandenberg Air Force base, where a SpaceX - Falcon 9 rocket is being prepared for launch.”

“But if they are planning to send DART to intercept the asteroid, then as per the Outer Space Treaty or OST, they have to inform the Space Mission Planning Advisory Group or SMPAG in Germany. The OST rules are very clear; if anything goes wrong the Americans would have ABSOLUTE LIABILITY! If the asteroid landed in some other part of the world, rather than…”

“We have run simulations of the DART program, Claire San. We do not believe that the Delta V applied by the Kinetic Impact Technique will be powerful enough to put 99069 Apophis Interior 21 into a deflected trajectory, away from its life-threatening present course. But if they add a sizable thermonuclear payload, then they may be able to destroy or re-direct it…”

“Re-direct it to where? Wait, you have already given the binary asteroid a formal name?”

“Yes, we named it after the first 99942 Apophis Asteroid, which was discovered in 2004 and caused a brief flutter, given its hazard level of 1.12 on the Palermo scale, before it was downgraded. Apophis, as you are aware, is the Greek name for the Egyptian God of Chaos.”

Claire asked again urgently, “Re-direct Apophis to where?”

“The Americans may be able to nudge it with a thermonuclear blast, towards either south-western China or close to the border of India and Pakistan.”

Claire stood in silence, afraid to calculate the fatalities and the damage, although she had already done the calculations. “A binary asteroid of that size, would make the 20-meter wide Chelyabinsk Meteor of 2013 with an energy of 470 kilotons, look like a minor accident. Apophis could release 2300 to 2700 megatons of energy and create a crater at least 30 to 40 kilometers in diameter. If it strikes China or India, the devastation, the earthquakes, and the resultant fatalities could cross 400 million people, if not more…”

“Compared to the Hiroshima bomb that measured at a mere 15 kilotons, and still cost so many lives, including those of my grandparents…” A mournful Colonel Yoshimoto looked away. “The American President held a meeting late last night in the situation room.

“Present were the heads of Planetary Science Division, Planetary Defense Coordination Office, Office of Science and Technology, Planetary Impact Emergency Response Working Group, as well as the head of their military space division. The President took a decision to go ahead with the DART mission with an added thermonuclear payload, which is probably an advanced version of their W80 warhead, with a five-megaton capacity. Their armed forces have been alerted to expect trouble from China or India, or both together…”

“I…I must talk to Lazarok,” an overwhelmed Claire replied. “I will get back to you, on our agreed communication protocol, the moment I reach New York. Koki San, but hypothetically if it is a ‘near-miss’ scenario, what would the asteroid’s orbital period be around the sun?”

Colonel Yoshimoto shook his head, “99069 Apophis Interior 21 is not on course for a ‘close shave’ event, given its extremely unusual speed and orbital plane.”

“I…What…The speed? Yes, I should have asked about that first? Why didn’t we notice Apophis earlier? Sentinel, since it faces the earth and therefore avoids any light interference from the sun, should have picked up the PHA weeks or perhaps months ago?” A delirious Claire tried to make sense of things before she gave up. “Okay, what is its speed?”

“It is 45 kilometers per second!”

Claire attempted a horror-stricken laugh, “That is impossible! No asteroid in the Interior-Earth Orbit or IEO has been recorded with a speed of more than 17 kilometers per second. The only possible reason that an asteroid would have such a speed…is if…”

“If it arrived from beyond our solar system, similar to the Ouamuamua Asteroid in 2017, which weeks later exited our solar system from below the plane of the ecliptic. And the only possible reason that Apophis could suddenly appear, and then head directly towards earth; is because it is…”

“An alien spaceship…” A suddenly queasy Claire whispered, and lowered her head.

“The Americans may be unaware that they are about to engage with an unknown alien civilization…”

“The Chinese? Do they know?”

“Yes! They have enough resources to locate the asteroid. There are frantic meetings on-going at present in Beijing, but I cannot be certain of the outcome until later. Already, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has been put on TCPLA 2, across all their theatres of operation, which is the American equivalent of DEFCON 2 – just below an absolute nuclear emergency and a full-scale war.”

“And the Europeans?”

“The Europeans are buying the story being put out by their ‘American friends’. Their resources are at present limited, especially when it comes to ‘sun-side asteroids’. Also, their new ‘Fly-Eye’ telescopes are not fully deployed across the world, yet. Nor have the Americans apprised the anglophile-intelligence-gathering group of nations; that includes Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and England.”

“And the Indians?”

“The Japanese government has a…shall we say an arrangement with India, which was signed several years ago – given the aggressive Chinese expansion in the region. The Indian Space Research Organization or ISRO, picked up Apophis yesterday. From the unusual data they collected from their Aditya-L1 satellite, which is in a halo orbit around Lagrangian point 1.”

“Merde! This is headed towards a very dangerous situation. I imagine several existing alignments across the world are about to come undone,” an edgy Claire sighed.

“…and new alignments formed, Claire San. Since the Americans have not felt it necessary to inform us either, our government feels that we should – given the urgency of the situation – re-align with our geographical neighbors. We may have had our differences in the past, but this is a cataclysmic event. For all we know the Americans may change their mind, and ensure that the Asteroid Impact avoids India and China. And…”

“And re-directs the asteroid towards Japan…lesser number of people killed with an expansive sea all around it. And a smaller military force compared to that of China.” Claire inferred.

Colonel Yoshimoto nodded, “Our fear was confirmed about the Americans’ intentions when they suddenly began to vacate their 7th fleet stationed at Okinawa yesterday. Initial consultative meetings between Japan, India, and China have already begun, although preliminary, and only between the heads of the three Asian nations.”

“And how do you know all of this, Koki San?” a nervous Claire inquired.

“It was my team that discovered 99069 Apophis Interior 21. Unlike the rigid hierarchal structure that Japan is infamous for, we still have some back channels, at least within the government. Yesterday, I personally apprised the Prime Minister of the precarious situation. And the rest…well…I am a very good chess player, Claire San.” Colonel Yoshimoto smiled, sadly. “I could fill in the blanks between what little the Prime Minister shared.”

“And now you have committed treason by telling me, Koki San?”

“No, that is not possible. I come to you as a representative of the Prime Minister of Japan, under his direct orders.” Colonel Yoshimoto spoke solemnly. “Given JAXA’s long relationship with your company, especially the secret Sentinel Space Telescope program, the Prime Minister believes that Lazarok San could be helpful at present. Because diplomacy may be the only way to stop the situation from reaching a dangerous inflection point.”

About the Author:
Savinder Raj Anand is an architect and has been teaching Architecture & Design at various Universities in India for more than 12 years. A long-distance runner with a wanderlust to explore the world, and write stories that traverse across diverse cultures. He lives in Goa with his daughter, a dog, and two cats.

Inspired by his then 18-month-old daughter – when she quoted Socrates – while they together sat in a children’s bookstore in Bangalore (LIGHTROOM) in early January of 2015, he has completed this – his first book – as she turns 7 years old.

Website: https://www.rajanandbooks.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rajanandbooks/
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YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXPA0eY42VQ

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Secrets of Gable House by Nancy Fraser



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Jigsaw Puzzle: https://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=3b6a16956609

Noah Miller is shocked to learn that an unknown great uncle has named him heir to the family fortune, including the residence known as Gable House. Built by Noah’s fifth-back grandfather, the house is ripe with family secrets and unusual occurrences.

Maggie Shephard has spent the past ten years researching the history of Willow-By-The-Sea, including that of her own ancestors. Considered an authority on New England history, she’s often sought out as a consultant. When Noah Miller asks for her help in acquainting him with both the house and his ancestors, she jumps at the chance to share her knowledge with the handsome architect.

Noah and Maggie have an immediate attraction to one another, made even more so by the time they spend together researching the Gable family history. The fact that each Gable male died an untimely and gruesome death, leads Noah and Maggie on a quest for the truth in hopes of setting a murderous spirit free.

 

Read an Excerpt

Maggie paced the parlor, weighing her words against the contradictory stories she’d grown up on, and wondering exactly how much she should tell the heir to the Gable secrets right off the bat. Imparting her knowledge of the Gable family history was something that would benefit from a slow, easing-into-it approach.

Or, perhaps, you’re just wanting to prolong your time in Noah Miller’s company? Maggie batted her lashes, chasing away her annoyingly accurate inner thoughts.

“Archibald was born...um...I want to say in the late sixteen-hundreds, 1680 maybe. His actual birthdate is unclear since he wasn’t born here in the U.S. In 1701, he immigrated to the New England area from Heathshire, Wales with his parents, Theodore and Julia. They both died within months of arrival, having contracted something on the way over.” She drew a breath and continued. “Archibald—”

He interrupted and asked, “How about we call him Archie? It’s less of a mouthful.”

She smiled and began again. “Archib...uh...Archie built a trade empire on the backs of indentured workers. According to journals I’ve reviewed, he was not beneath cheating his business partners or competitors. It’s even said, he had a man murdered for not selling him a parcel of land.”

“Damn! I thought my ex wife was bad. My ancestors may have her beaten.” He grinned, and added, “But not by much.”

Oh, good. He’s not married. Hot as hell and available.

“In 1718, Archie married his first wife, Estella Lanier, daughter of a wealthy French businessman. Armand Lanier died a few months before his daughter’s wedding, leaving his entire estate to Estella. With no business experience to rely on, she gladly turned her fortune over to her new husband. Archie purchased the land and built Gable House for her in 1720, with the intention they would start a family. They became one of the half-dozen or so founding residents of what is now Willow-By-The-Sea. Their plans for a family took longer than they’d hoped, but eventually they had a son, Cornelius. Unfortunately, Estella died shortly after childbirth. Archibald—”

“Archie,” he corrected.

“Archie remarried a year-and-a-half later, to a woman named Penelope Green. He and his second wife also had a son they named Alister.”

“Good grief. How do you remember all these details? More importantly, why would you want to?”

She readily admitted, “It’s become important to me. My fifth-removed grandmother was also a founder of Willow, and I’ve scoured her personal journals over and over again trying to reconcile them with other historical documents.”

“And?” he prompted.

“I’m not sure yet. There’s a very thin line between fact and fiction. Sometimes there’s no line at all.”

About the Author:
NANCY FRASER—Jumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.

Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for two publishers, and has recently thrown her hat into the self-publishing ring. She has published over thirty-five books in full-length, novella, and short format.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

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Website: http://www.nancyfraser.ca
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Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HNGP8J8
BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-secrets-of-gable-house-nancy-fraser/1137609210
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