COV ER REVEAL: You Can Follow Me by Jo Brenner #CoverReveal #DarkRomance #WhyChoose @RRBookTours1 @jo_brenner

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Welcome the cover reveal of You Can Follow Me by Jo Brenner. Read on for more details and pre-order a copy for yourself today! Stay tuned for the book tour in February!

You Can Follow Me digital cover

You Can Follow Me

Expected Publication Date: February 28, 2023

Genre: Dark Romance/ Why Choose

For her it was a fling.

After her reputation blows up in New York, Kara takes off for parts unknown, determined to live life one thrill to the next. When a chance encounter with a Navy SEAL leads to the best sex of her life, the promise that it could be something more sends her running.

For them it’s an obsession.

Sexy, brilliant, and lethal, Conor, Micah, and Luke have been best friends since they first joined the SEALS. Until Conor meets a daring redhead and their two-night stand becomes a dangerous obsession. Micah and Luke hatch a plan to convince Conor to move on—but after meeting Kara themselves, all bets are off.

When the three men capture her, she’s forced to confront her feelings—and their anger. But Kara refuses to be anyone’s captive. Though they may dominate her body, she’s determined they’ll never have her heart.

You Can Follow Me is a dark Navy SEAL second chance romance that ends on a cliffhanger. The heroine never has to choose between heroes for her HEA, and the heroes choose her and each other.

PRE-ORDER HERE!

CWs:

Ends on cliffhanger (but HEA at end of trilogy)

Mention of deceased parent (cancer)

Mention of parents’ divorce

Past infidelity (not between Hs or h)

Backstory of slutshaming for heroine

Panic attack (on page)

Discussion of murder/violence

Gun violence on page

Killing on page

Shooting on page

Kidnapping

Graphic, explicit sex

Why Choose (MMMF, MMF, MMM, MM, FM)

Spanking, bondage, BDSM kink

Consensual nonconsent

About the Author

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A lover of dogs, mountain adventures, and HGTV, Jo Brenner writes romances that are little bit twisted, a lotta bit sexy—and always have an HEA.

Jo Brenner | Instagram | TikTok

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COVER REVEAL: Fires of the Forsaken (Across Time) by Stephanie E. Donohue #CoverReveal #FantasyRomance @s_elizabeth354 @RRBookTours1 

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Welcome to the reveal of the cover for Fires of the Forsaken (Across Time #1) by Stephanie E. Donohue. Isn’t it a beauty?

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Fires of the Forsaken (Across #1)

Expected Publication Date: May 2023

Genre: Adult Fantasy/ Romantic Fantasy

Addie wanted a gosh-darn pizza.

Lass wanted to avoid being cooked over a spit.

Neither figured they’d end up with a one-way ticket to the end of days.

Addie did not have “getting plucked from the 21st century and thrown into a rudimentary fantasy world” on her “fun things to do at 30” checklist. Yet here she is, struggling to survive in the hellscape known as Sakar, a place where Wraiths flame-broil humans and Celestial armies wage war with each other over a centuries-old spat. Thankfully, Cheriour, the hunky commander of the human army, takes her under his wing—although he’s allergic to giving straight answers. And talking.

As Addie reluctantly starts to care for him, and the rest of the Sakarians, she also learns why she was sent to this world. And it’s a doozy…

The violent society of Sakar is the only home Lass has ever known, and it’s been a wretched one. She has spent her life being tormented and twisted into an inhuman hybrid by the Celestials and hunted by the humans who fear her. But she finds solace with a cocky, blue-eyed boy who comforts her, even after she accidentally slaughters innocents.

As Lass struggles to control her volatile powers, she slowly transforms into the monster the humans believe her to be. And even the boy she loves is in peril…

At the end of time, there is only fire. And neither Addie nor Lass will escape unscathed.

Pre-Order Here!

About the Author

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As a child, Stephanie E. Donohue roamed Narnia with the Pevensie siblings and rode the Hogwarts Express with Harry and his friends. She never tired of discovering new and magical worlds through the pages of a book. And, when the yearning to explore still wasn’t satiated, Stephanie turned to writing. With a pen and a few sheets of paper, she learned to craft new worlds, and vibrant characters to explore with.

That passion has never died. Stephanie still enjoys writing stories that take readers on exciting, and sometimes dangerous, adventures.

When she’s not writing, Stephanie can usually be found cuddling with her two cats, obsessively re-watching The Office, or rocking out to a Pound Fitness class.

Stephanie E. Donohue

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R&R Book Tours

BOOK TOUR: A Kinder City by Peter Taylor-Gooby #SciFi #Dystopian @RRBookTours1

Welcome to the book tour for A Kinder City by Peter Taylor-Gooby. Read on for details and grab yourself a copy today! Outlook-r4mxwfty A Kinder City Publication Date: April 28, 2023 Genre: Eco Sci-Fi/ Sci-fi/ Dystopian What place for love in a city ruled by greed? Sarah, spirited and caring, is on her first trip outside her village. The city is dominated by the grim law of the market – the only relations permitted are between buyer and seller. Her gift of a wagonload of food to those who need it is a crime. David, a serious-minded police cadet who naively trusts in the law, arrests her and finds himself falling in love. Franklin, the richest man in Market World, puts a price on everything. His giant factories spew forth road beasts – the huge machines that devastate the lands beyond the City in pursuit of yet more wealth. How can David prove his love to Sarah? And how can they save her village and build a kinder city? A gripping and thought-provoking eco-sci-fi novel, set in a world a little bit like ours. Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

In an overheated semi-basement, seven storeys beneath the Council Chamber, David awaits Sarah’s Audit Hearing. The windows are horizontal slits high up the walls and the overhead strip-lights are still on, although it’s before 11.00 am and bright sunshine outside. The room is barely wide enough to hold the dais with the wooden table for the Assessor, her Recorder and the clerk, with the chair for the witness to the right and the dock for the defaulter to the left. He feels stifled and wonders if he suffers from asthma. He has found a seat at the back of the courtroom on an upright chair that grates when he moves. He shouldn’t be here. He crept in with the public through the main door, and was squeezed against a young man with inky fingers, a notebook, and furtive eyes. As soon as he sees the uniform the young man introduces himself as a TV reporter, but doesn’t give a channel. He slips his cuff back to show his wristband. ‘We pay for your stories. Do you think Franklin has the answer to lawlessness in the Old Town?’ David touches the insignia on his sleeve: ‘No comment.’ A group of young women and men in blue uniforms without badges fill the benches at the front of the room. David guesses they are cadets from the Academy. Not so long ago I was one of you, he thinks. A cadet whose hair seems unruly despite the regulation cut looks back at him and says something to the young woman next to him. She glances round and giggles. The Assessor enters at the door behind the bench, a spare black woman in a navy blue trouser suit with the badge of office – the Golden Balance – on her breast pocket. Her clerk follows her. Everyone rises with a scraping of chairs and David is forced back against the main door. The Assessor surveys the room through metal-rimmed spectacles, sighs, and sits down. ‘What have you got for us today?’ The clerk bows his head. He’s short, plump-faced and his hair needs combing. He reminds David of a pocket spaniel. ‘Long list, Madam. First case, Major Breach of the One Law. Conveying a cargo without contract. Intent to supply said cargo without payment.’ ‘Bring the defaulter to scrutiny.’ David is forced to stand as the main door opens and the Court-Serjeant enters, a square-shouldered older man in a gold-braided uniform who scowls at the Bench, the Assessor and the audience. He leads Sarah into the courtroom. She glances round the room, as if noting the details for when she tells her friends the story. The Serjeant grasps her arm and the clerk slaps his hand on the desk: ‘Proceed.’ She nods to him, picks the officer’s fingers from her arm with her other hand and strolls forward. ‘Take her to the dock.’ ‘Please. I’ll find my own way.’ The clerk snorts. ‘Silence.’ She takes her position to the left of the bench, the Serjeant behind her, and looks round. David feels she is searching him out. The journalist licks his biro and scribbles at his pad. The Assessor leans towards her. ‘You are Ms S.Cordell, known as Sarah. You are called to scrutiny for a serious Audit transgression. I have reviewed the evidence and am minded to order full compensation with costs. Have you anything to say?’ Sarah frowns, and for an instant David feels dizzy, as if everything is back to front. She is the judge and he stands accused in the dock. Then her face lights up. ‘Not really. I was taking some fruit and other produce from Coneystone in the wagon with Juno. We wanted to share it with our cousins and friends in the Old Town. First time I’ve done the trip, we had a great crop this year. These people,’ she waves a hand towards David, ‘him and his mates, jumped out on me, all dressed up like comedy policemen. Pity it was muddy, they kept falling over. He’ll do it now if you’re lucky.’ Someone sniggers and the Assessor fixes her gaze on the cadets. Sarah keeps talking. ‘It’s not funny. They scared Juno.’ ‘That’s of no importance. The question is: have you a valid contract?’ The Assessor pauses a moment, then raises her voice. ‘You have no contract, it’s idle to deny it. Answer a simple question: who pays you for the apples?’ ‘But it’s a good act, you really should see it. Then they frightened Juno and upset the applecart.’ Her face darkens. ‘So to speak. Then they took me here and kept me in and I’m worried about Juno. The apples will spoil. So will the blackberries.’ She turns to the court: ‘You haven’t seen where they’ve put Juno have you? Lovely beast, heavy horse, red ribbons in her mane. You wouldn’t miss her.’ The Assessor thrusts her face towards Sarah. ‘You will address the question. The longer you waste the court’s time, the more it will cost you.’ Sarah smooths her forehead with her hand. ‘Oh no, I’m sorry, didn’t I say? The apples and everything, they’re all presents. Brilliant harvest this year. You can have some.’ She looks round at all of them, smiling at her good fortune. The Assessor straightens her back. She glances at the clerk, who nods. ‘Thank you. Transfer of commodity at zero price: major breach.’ ‘I’m sorry? Would you like some apples? Don’t you want witnesses? Look, one of them’s over there.’ David colours and hunches down in his chair, but he can’t stop himself gazing at her. He feels as if everyone in the court is craning round to look at him. The clerk slaps the desk again. ‘Silence!’ Sarah raises an eyebrow but says nothing. The Assessor sighs. ‘Breach of the One Law. Full confession. Witnesses are unnecessary.’ David feels the tension flow out of his shoulders. Sarah shakes her head, her face comical. Her eyelid flutters. David can’t tell if she just winked at him. ‘I’m sorry?’ ‘The One Law directs that all transactions must be between willing buyer and willing seller at an agreed price. Law of the Market. You do not give people things that you could sell to them. There are no exceptions.’ ‘But….’ Sarah stops, her mouth open. ‘Be quiet. You have incurred substantial expenses.’ She gestures to the clerk, who reads out staccato from a thin strip of paper: ‘Deployment twelve Enforcers, 1 captain, 1 sergeant, 1 half-sergeant for 4 hours: 300 credits; Item: deduction for value of training exercise: minus 110 credits. Uniform cleaning: 10 credits. Accommodation, item: basic cell by one night: 200 credits; item: stabling and incidentals: 4 credits Security during accommodation: 50 credits Incidentals: toothpaste, soap, towel etc: 5 credits. Courtroom, third grade, by one hour, staffing and incidentals: 100 credits. Compensation: inconvenience of arrest to the detainee, standard rate 2 credits an hour by 18 hours: minus 36 credits. Item: proceeds, sale of 1 horse: minus 17 credits. Item: proceeds sale of cart and contents: minus 32 credits.’ David keeps his eyes on Sarah. She raises her eyebrows again and shrugs her shoulders. ‘Total 474 credits.’ ‘Thank you. Ms Cordell, your breach cost Market World 669 credits minus 110 credits value of training provided, 36 credits citizen compensation and 49 credits sale of confiscated items. Your civic recompense is set at 474 credits. Next case.’ Sarah stares at her. ‘You must be joking! What is a credit anyway?’ The Assessor blinks. ‘Next case.’ ‘But what about Juno?’ The clerk remarks to no-one ‘Additional court time may be purchased at 1.4 credits a minute.’ The Court-Serjeant seizes Sarah by the arm and hustles her towards the door. David rises and pulls his chair out of the way. She catches his eye as she passes and looks back at him and grimaces. It strikes him to the heart. He grips the door and stops it from shutting. The next case, a market trader accused of short weight, in a shabby suit with the jacket too tight under his shoulders, is brought in. A buzz of conversation rises from the cadets. The young man who stared back at David tilts his head towards the young woman next to him and whispers something that is terribly important to them both. He takes the young woman’s hand, ignoring the others. The Assessor glowers at them ‘Silence! Or I shall clear the court.’ The journalist flips to the next page, sucks at his pen and writes. David slips round the door and pulls it shut behind him. He leans against it for a full half-minute, his eyes closed. He knows that the staircase in front of him leads up to the main hall where fines are paid. He turns left and strides down the corridor towards the barracks block. Voices sound from the guard room and he dodges left again into a narrower corridor with raw concrete walls lit by unshaded light-bulbs, then up an iron spiral stair. He listens for foot-steps, then creeps across a metal landing as softly as if he were on a close surveillance exercise and it was Adam assessing him. He listens again, and passes through a side-door into the Process Room. He blinks in the daylight that streams in from tall windows overlooking City Square. His heart feels tight in his chest. He has never in his life done anything like this. He doesn’t know why he is doing it now. He is a fool. The duty Enforcer sits at the metal desk with the band-reader on it and the empty metal chair opposite, examining her finger nails. She slips something into her mouth. David clenches his fist, relaxes it and lets the door slam shut. The sound echoes across the room. She jerks upright and glances towards him, and pulls her jacket straight. He knows her, they did their basic training together. Six weeks of square-bashing with Curtis shouting at you. ‘Hi Jan. Your lucky day. I’m to take over.’ He didn’t plan that. Where did it come from? Jan frowns. ‘Who says? I’m here ‘til 18.00 hours.’ She chews at something. ‘Curtis. Extra duty – for yesterday.’ ‘I heard. Curtis doesn’t like you, does he?’ ‘Yeah, well. It’s a long story, I think he was a bit scared of the horse. Guess he likes you.’ ‘Sure he does.’ She studies his face. ‘Are you alright?’ ‘Yeah, well. I’ll be OK.’ ‘That bad, is it? You’ve got friends you know.’ ‘Sure… Thanks.’ She touches his hand. ‘All yours. I’m off.’ The side-door clicks to. David expels the air from his lungs and breathes in slowly to calm the throbbing in his head. He touches the band-reader in front of him. He’s used it a thousand times. You key in the amount, touch your wristband against the screen and it deducts or adds on the credits. No citizen in Market World is ever without a wristband. It’s fastened to your wrist at the citizenship ceremony when you pass eighteen and goes with you to the grave. You get lessons on it in “Lifeskills” at school. It only works if the buyer assents to the deal and that is infallible. Willing seller, willing buyer. As the signs in the street say: ‘You’re not dressed without it’, ‘No pay, no get’ and ‘You are your account’. He swallows and pushes the hair back off his forehead. The door is thrown open and the Serjeant enters, still gripping Sarah by the arm. He marches her up to the desk and releases her. He reminds David of an elderly bullfrog. ‘All yours. Watch her. She tried to chat up my deputy in the Guard Room.’ ‘I did not. I just said he had nice eyes for a comedian.’ She stares at David. ‘Nice to meet you again.’ She holds out her hand. David reaches out, then lays his hand palm-down on the desk. ‘The defaulter will maintain discipline,’ barks the Serjeant. ‘Sit.’ Sarah looks round her, pulls out the chair, sits and crosses her legs. David squares his shoulders. ‘Alright. I’ll take over from here.’ ‘The court placed Ms Cordell in my charge.’ The Serjeant keeps his hand on Sarah’s shoulder. ‘Until her debt is discharged. Which is now.’ He looks the Serjeant in the eye. After a pause the officer drops his hand and pulls on a leather glove. ‘Very well.’ The door slams behind him. David licks his lips and looks at Sarah and tries to smile. He has the script by heart, he learned it last night. ‘You understand that you must pay civic recompense as decided by the court. 474 credits. Touch your wristband to the reader.’ ‘Where’s Juno? I don’t care about the cart, but she’s not used to being away from me.’ ‘Your possessions will be auctioned to defray expenses. Just touch your wristband here. See that number? That’s your account: “Debit 474”. But you must have a wristband. It’s always issued at the citizenship ceremony when you leave school. You could buy that cartload ten times over with that many credits. Twenty times.’ He taps the reader. She grins at him. ‘We don’t bother with those things in the villages, waste of time.’ She starts to get up. ‘Let’s go and find Juno. I need to get on my way.’ ‘She’s OK, I sorted it. She’s being looked after.’ ‘Are you sure? What do you know about horses?’ ‘She’s OK.’ ‘Tell me about Juno.’ She rests her chin on her fingertips and fixes her eyes on him. He places his hands together on the table. ‘She’s a black Percheron. 18 hands.’ She nods and her cheeks dimple. ‘She’s being fed OK?’ ‘All the hay she wants – and crushed oats. And apples, but not too many. I tell you, she’s OK. Trust me. Now touch your wristband to the reader.’ She’s puzzled. Her brow furrows in tiny creases. ‘What wristband? I told you we don’t go in for them. My sister’ll plait you one out of wool. She’s only nine.’ ‘You really don’t understand do you? You are in Market World. You pay for everything, you have to. You’ve taken up the time of the court and the resources of the Enforcers. No-one is going to lock you up for free.’ She giggles and the tiny dints dimple her cheeks. She places her hand over her mouth. ‘Sorry, but you just said…’ ‘I know. Everything is for sale here, you get nothing without paying for it. The One Law – law of the market. It’s what give s us a well-ordered society, why we’re so much better off than you are in the villages.’ ‘Sort of “All for One and One for All?” Free for All?’ ‘Sort of – but it works. Don’t you see it?’ He craves for her to understand, to see how his world is better, to want to be part of it. That’s why he’s here. For her. He will be her guide, her mentor, her friend and she will trust him. She shakes her head. ‘You really shouldn’t take these things so seriously. It doesn’t make you happy, does it?’ There’s a sharpness in her glance, as if it’s in her mind to say something else, but she continues: ‘Anyway, I don’t have a wristband.’ He shows her the numbers on the screen set into the black band on his left wrist. ‘There. See – all my credits: eight thousand seven hundred and fifty two, until I get paid. It’s all connected up to central computing – they keep the records. It’s how we do things.’ He feels a flush of pleasure at teaching her. She’s so confident and, at the same time, so wrong, so much in need of help and he can give it. His left leg trembles against the desk. He wills it to be calm. She folds her arms. ‘Yeah, I heard stories about that. But I told you, we don’t bother with that kind of stuff – it’s no fun.’ ‘Listen. In the past was the Great Hunger. Didn’t they tell you about it in school? Everything was terrible, people fought for food, children starved and warlords ruled the land. So many died they could no longer bury the dead.’ She shivers. ‘Sounds nasty.’ He finds it hard to concentrate. ‘Look out of that window.’ He points over City Square. ‘Can’t you see? Everyone going about their business. The shops, full of food and clothes and everything you need. The residence blocks where everybody lives.’ The words come more easily as he remembers the lesson. She mutters something to herself. ‘What’s that?’ ‘Don’t look as if they’re having much fun.’ ‘Clinics where you can buy medicine, schools and training colleges where you can pay for a degree, markets where citizens buy and sell at a fair price. Above them, the towers of the Entrepreneurs. And everywhere the Enforcers watching over us all, trusted by everyone, making sure we follow the rules.’ She peers out through the window. ‘They’re not happy. No-one’s smiling, nobody stops for a chat. Why aren’t there children playing? Or animals? And their clothes are so drab. Don’t you like to see trees?’ She spreads out her arms. ‘They’re so lovely this time of year.’ ‘Everyone’s busy, they’re going about their business. That’s what you do in Market World. Children are in school or training or working. No time to waste. We keep the beasts in their sheds and the trees in the park. What’s the profit in bright clothes?’ He watches her as if, at that moment, she matters more than anything to him. The thought comes to him: I am an Enforcer. She will understand, without the Enforcers there is no market, no Market World. I am worthy of respect. She needs to see Market World as it is, but he can’t let her go out there. She’ll be as lost as he would be in the forest. How desolate it would be, to be alone on those streets with no wristband and the night coming on. ‘When did you last eat?’ He has her full attention. ‘I don’t know.’ She pauses and tiny creases appear between her eyebrows. Her face clears. ‘I had some dried fish on the way. They wouldn’t give me breakfast back there, they kept saying didn’t I know “No pay, no get”. They didn’t like it when I asked if that was the chorus and could I sing along? I keep telling you, you people have no sense of humour.’ David stands and at the same time flips his left hand forward onto the reader without looking down, hears the click as it makes contact and checks the screen. “Account cleared”. She doesn’t notice. He’s in command for once like he’s in a novel. ‘Come on. We’ll find a café. You need someone to show you what Market World’s really like. And I’ll tell you my dream – why I’m an Enforcer.’ Her eyes light up and she rubs her hands together. ‘And I’ll tell you about how we live in the villages. And we’ll find Juno, won’t we?’ ‘Of course.’ She trusts him. He knows that she trusts him. He leads the way, through the lobby and the double doors, and down the flight of steps from the Halls of Justice into City Square. Happiness bubbles within him. She laughs, mouth open, the dimples in her cheeks each side of it. He remembers he’s on extra duty. He’ll deal with that later.

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About the Author

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My novels deal with issues that matter – love, money, power and environmental disaster. I’ve worked on adventure playgrounds, in a social security office and as a teacher. I love walking, cycling, writing and talking to my children. In my day job I’m an academic but I believe that you can only truly understand the issues that matter to people through your feelings, your imagination and your compassion. That’s why I write novels. My first novel, “The Baby Auction” 2017, is a love story set in a fantasy world where the only rule is the law of the market. That someone should help another because they care for them simply doesn’t make sense to the citizens of Market World, any more that auctioning babies might to us. My second, “Ardent Justice” 2018, is a crime story set in the world of high finance and city fat-cats, where money rules, but greed can trip even the most successful. My third, “Blood Ties” 2020, is about the ties of love in a troubled family, and the bonds of debt that chain illegal immigrants to people-traffickers, and how they can be broken through self-sacrifice. My fourth, “A Kinder City” 2022, returns to Market World where the relentless pursuit of profit leads to environmental devastation. I hope you enjoy them. Peter Taylor-Gooby
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BOOK TOUR: Heart of Flame by Kate Schumacher  #FantasyBooks #TheAileryanFires @RRBookTours1

To celebrate the release of the second book in The Fires of Aileryan series, Heart of Flame, we are sharing both gorgeous books with you all! Read on for more info and treat yourself to an epic fantasy journey.

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Shadow of Fire

Publication Date: May 5th, 2022

Genre: Fantasy/ Multiple POV

Length: 370 pages

A potent power is about to be unleashed.

Forbidden and forged in flame.

Control over the elements is a gift from the Gods, but since the creation of the Rift, fire magic has been outlawed in Merawuld. The Rift is a source of mystery, fear, and, for some, a tempting source of power.

Ash is a fire caster who has spent years hiding her magic, but when her explosive powers reveal themselves she is imprisoned by the Mage Council. Ash’s powers are coveted by the High Mage, who seeks to use her as a pawn against not only his enemies, but his allies as well.

With the Bone Mother’s winter fast approaching, the fae Princess vows to fight against the corrupting influence of power, forming an alliance whose success rests on a human man’s desire for peace; a man who must decide if he will play the game he’s inherited or begin one of his own.

But in Aileryan, the Gods have their own plans. As the Mother of All turns the wheel of the year, the land is brought to the edge of war. Loyalty and courage will be sorely tested as paths intertwine and Fate plays her hand.

If Ash can’t learn to control her magic, the scheming of gods and mortals could spell doom for them all.

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Excerpt

Laeli jumped as the sound of steel striking steel cut through the night. She slipped into a crouch, buckling on her scabbard, sliding the twin swords against her back and crept to the opening of the cairn.

Bran shouted a single word. Run.

As wings of light fluttered across the dark pit of the sky, Laeli saw him, his lithe body ducking and weaving around a sword wielded by a tall man in a cloak of fur. Two dead men lay on the ground, Bran’s dagger protruding from a chest. As Laeli watched, Bran’s opponent crouched and swept his leg wide, catching Bran off guard. Her companion tumbled to the ground and, before he could get to his feet, a sword swung through the air in a precise arc.

Laeli stared in horror as Bran’s head was swiftly sliced from his body. Slowly, so slowly, it fell, toppling to the ground to bounce and roll away. Laeli’s dinner rose like a snake and she turned to the side and vomited.

The sky opened, and as veins of light cracked the black canvas of night, the man in furs looked up and saw her. His sword glinted as he approached, blood dripping hypnotically to the ground.

Bran’s blood; fae blood.

Without another thought, Laeli sprang from the cairn and sprinted for the safety of the forest. The trees reached for her, inviting her in; she bent her head and dove between their trunks, taking shelter in their branches, in the roots that snaked from the earth and the rocks and soft grass that spread across the forest floor. The sky ripped apart again, illuminating the trees, the forest bending and swaying in the fierce wind as the storm intensified.

She pushed on, running at a reckless pace that no human could match, until her lungs burned and she fell to her knees in a puddle of dirty water, her breath coming in pants that shook her to the bone. She was still a long way from the border, from safety.

Laeli took a deep breath, preparing to run again, but the point of a sword pressed into her spine.

‘Get up, Witch.’ The voice was low, husky, his breathing quick.

Available on Amazon

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Heart of Flame

Publication Date: November 14th, 2022

Genre: Fantasy/ Multiple POV

Length: 536 pages

Fires that curse, fires that heal,
And all the while, so turns the wheel…

With the Queen of Merawuld confined to her bed and the city of Tyllcarric in the iron grasp of the High Mage, war is closing in on all horizons for Ash and Senan. Hellbent on eliminating any threats to the fae throne, Kiarda of Veshlir has raised an army to claim her prize — and she will not be stopped.

Meanwhile, across the border, change is afoot in Estilleon.

Thalion’s men are ready for rebellion, but when the first rush of power ends, he finds himself forced to toe the line between strength and brutality. By his side, Laeli is a stranger in the human world — caught between love and loyalty in a land that stifles her voice.

As conflict escalates across the land of Aileryan, those with power clash amidst a sea of ideals, dreams and greed, forcing the most battle-scarred to overcome their demons and prove they are a force to be reckoned with.

For that which has been dormant for so long is about to burst forth, and when the winter solstice arrives, all will be at the mercy of the Gods…

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

Fires that curse, fires that heal,

And all the while, so turns the wheel…

With the Queen of Merawuld confined to her bed and the city of Tyllcarric in the iron grasp of the High Mage, war is closing in on all horizons for Ash and Senan. Hellbent on eliminating any threats to the fae throne, Kiarda of Veshlir has raised an army to claim her prize — and she will not be stopped.

Meanwhile, across the border, change is afoot in Estilleon.

Thalion’s men are ready for rebellion, but when the first rush of power ends, he finds himself forced to toe the line between strength and brutality. By his side, Laeli is a stranger in the human world — caught between love and loyalty in a land that stifles her voice.

As conflict escalates across the land of Aileryan, those with power clash amidst a sea of ideals, dreams and greed, forcing the most battle-scarred to overcome their demons and prove they are a force to be reckoned with.

For that which has been dormant for so long is about to burst forth, and when the winter solstice arrives, all will be at the mercy of the Gods…

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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KATE SCHUMACHER is a writer, mother and teacher. When she isn’t writing, she is reading her way through an ever-growing TBR pile. Kate has wanted to be an author since she was a child, and finds time to write in the in-between moments of life.

Kate completed a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Journalism, and an Honours degree in Screenwriting, followed by a Graduate Diploma in Education.

She lives in Northern NSW, Australia, with her partner, two children and three very spoiled cats. Heart of Flame is the second book in The Fires of Aileryan series.

Follow her on Instagram and TikTok @kate.schumacher.writer or visit her website kateschumacherauthor.com

Book Tour Schedule

December 12th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

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December 15th

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BOOK TOUR: The Bone Master by Debbie Iancu-Haddad #YAFantasy #OwnVoices #Teens @RRBookTours1 @debbieiancu

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Welcome to the book tour for the next instalment in The Sands of Achten Tan series by Debbie Iancu-Haddad, The Bone Master! Read on for more info!

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The Bone Master

Publication Date: October 22, 2022

Genre: YA Fantasy/ Own Voices

Kaii Haku has lived his whole life in the shadow of his cruel father’s magic.
Rebelling against his father- the Bone Master- by drinking and sleeping around was Kaii’s main occupation for years.

But when one of his best friends is kidnapped by pirates, Kaii embarks on a perilous rescue mission with two retired pleasure house workers, a shy teen bookworm, and a feisty girl from the pirate crew.
The journey will take Kaii and his allies far from Achten Tan, to a sea ruled by dangerous conditions and ships that travel on the backs of monsters.

For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference, but if he wields his emerging bone magic to save the girl he loves, he risks losing himself and becoming like his father – a man who tried to kill him.

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Kaii

It’s cold beneath the bones.

I can feel them now, all around me.

When I first got my magic back, this awareness overwhelmed me. Sensing the ancient leviathan bones, the city is carved into, and the bones of its occupants. It took me a while to discern the living, breathing residents from the structures surrounding us. These fleeting specks of existence celebrate life today and are reduced to dust tomorrow.

Morbid, Kaii. Really morbid. Gast me. I’m turning into my dad.

I stride through the Undercity, sensing the vertebrae all around me. Up ahead, I detect two (probably live) bodies before I see them, and one more, further away, the target of my visit.

“Who goes there?”

Long wooden staffs bar my way into the Undercity. Which is really gasting rude, all things considered. The tall sharp-faced elf who spoke is obviously one of Aislinn’s people, the Svaalti elves who moved into the Undercity the day after the cavern gnomes left. The two elves, one male, and one female, regard me with haughty expressions. Sporting long pale hair, braided in intricate patterns, their robes a fine silk rarely seen in Achten Tan. I’m relieved they haven’t replaced the bone weapons my father confiscated the day they arrived, seeking refuge after the destruction of Satama.

“Kaii Haku, to visit Opu Haku.” I state. Not that it’s any of their business. The elves nod and move aside, their expressions still just on the wrong side of respectful. Aislinn and her people have taken control of the Undercity like a rot growing into the marrow. They’ll need to be dealt with eventually, but it’s not my responsibility to do so. At least not yet.

Today I’m here to see my father, though I don’t know why I bother. I can already feel him up ahead. My ability to sense bones doesn’t tell me if he’s dead or alive, but something tells me he still lives. As I enter the passageway below the Undercity, an almost palpable wave of animosity floats my way. It must be my imagination.

Opu Haku hasn’t taken well to his imprisonment. The rock cage at the end of the tunnel is lit only by a flickering torch. The hunched figure in the shadows doesn’t stir as I approach, but I sense a subtle testing of my wards, searching for an opening. If he finds it, he could break my bones, hurl me across the tunnel, try to kill me. Again.

“Still can’t throw me down the hall.” I aim for glib, but my tone misses its mark, sliding off his hunched shoulders to land in a splat at his feet. He can’t attack me with bone magic. I’m shielded by the protection runes tattooed into my skin, so instead, he hurls sharp words, seeking to make a mark.

“Why are you here?” he snarls.

“The usual.” I approach the stone bars and slide the package of food through the narrow gap. Drizko engineered a device that provides a trickle of water. It flows through his cell, washing away waste, and enabling him to drink. The smell down here is foul. Body odor and refuse with a side of dirt and despair. Does he even bother to bathe himself anymore? He’s sunk so low, figuratively and literally. From the top of Chief’s Rib to the deepest hole in the Undercity.

“Any plans of getting me out of here?” he asks. His voice is close. I look up to discover he’s right up against the bars. Grey eyes, the same color as my own, stare me down, and for an instant, I see vulnerability in his granite gaze, but I blink and it’s gone.

“No. Nobody misses you, old man.”

Ok. That was cruel, but the guy tried to kill me, more than once. All my warm fuzzy feelings for him are long gone.

“Then why bother feeding me?” He hurls the package I just passed through at the bars, the loaves of algae bread and dried meat strips scattering on the dirty cell floor. “Why prolong my suffering?”

“Maybe I won’t come back then.” I turn and leave, his eyes stabbing my back like knives.

I don’t mean it. I won’t let my own father starve to death, even if the bastard deserves it. He blames me for his imprisonment, and for my part in the destruction of his bone staff, even though both result from his own actions. But I’m not the one who decided to leave him down here. That was the town council’s decision. Even his toady, Rapaccio Pallor, couldn’t sway them.

As I exit the Undercity, my feet turn right towards Jezebone’s. That’s where I always end up lately. It’s better than going back to my empty rooms.

I’m nursing my second or third drink when a wide smile and an An’cher uniform block my view of the bar.

“What are you drinking?” Kamal swings his large blond frame down onto the bench opposite me, patting the seat at his side for D’or to join him. D’or hesitates a moment, his green eyes swinging from me to Kamal.

“Do you want company?” D’or asks me, shoving back his mess of dark curls.

I wave my hand at his already seated boyfriend. “Sure.” I love being surrounded by sickeningly in-love couples. Nothing better.

“Should you two even be in here?” I toss back the rest of my Xenthalor Venom and motion to the barmaid to hit me again. Hopefully not literally this time.

Kamal scrunches up his pale eyebrows like a confused dasu pup. “First of all, I’m almost seventeen now and I have An’cher privileges… And D’or…” he turns to his boyfriend, “do you get a Tar-tule rider discount?”

I’m just messing with him, anyway. I seriously doubt Jezebone’s gives a gast about a minimum age for drinking or for use of their other services.

“Where have you two been?” I mumble into my empty cup.

They exchange a look. “Oh, we were out of Achten Tan for a few days… Visiting my parents at the caverns,” Kamal responds.

He’s sweet, trying to spare my feelings, but I force the issue, relishing the prickle of discomfort. “Mila and Geb’s ceremony?”

“Yeah.”

I’m not bitter. They invited me and I wanted to go. I was just too busy with my ‘drinking myself stupid’ schedule… I’d built up a rhythm and couldn’t take a break for things like forever ceremonies, especially when it’s the girl who was supposed to be my future.

Kamal and D’or exchange another look.

“Can you two still read each other’s minds? Or mine?” I ask.

I really should have had them sign a non-disclosure agreement before I invited six people into my brain. They know too much. I’d make them disappear, but I kinda like the two brats.

“We can’t read your mind,” D’or says, his green eyes glinting with mischief. “Not since Mila’s mind-reading elixir wore off. And we still have enough material to work through from the night of the heist.”

“That was a long list,” Kamal smirks. The two boys nudge each other, practically giggling. It’s disgusting, in a cute, nauseatingly sweet kinda way.

The barmaid slams my drink down in front of me, sloshing some of the green liquid out of the glass to splash on my hand. I miss Kiva. How was I to know the new girl only tends the bar and doesn’t offer those services? I mean, it’s a pleasure house, for Gast’s sake.

I study my wet hand for a moment before lifting my eyes to her furious black ones and licking my fingers off slowly, one at a time. For a moment it looks like she’s going to hit me again, but then she huffs, throwing her dark tresses over her shoulder and stamping off towards the bar again.

“Actually, we wanted to order a drink…” Kamal calls after her.

D’or sighs and slides out of his seat. “I’ll get it. Your usual, babe?”

Kamal nods and unashamedly watches Do’r’s backside as he moves towards the bar. Not that I blame him. I’d watch too if I wasn’t worried about Kamal thumping me for ogling his boyfriend. Not that I care about being hit, but they are friends, sort of, and I don’t do it with friends. I don’t even think about doing it with friends. I made that mistake before and I’ve learned my lesson.

But as my eyes follow D’or towards the bar, I spot a girl who most certainly is not a friend. In fact, I’ve never seen her before. She’s leaning on the wall by the bar, holding a tankard the size of a pumble and wearing a frown that promises to burn this town to the ground. She’s definitely not from around here. Not to brag, but I’ve slept with every unattached, reasonably young, warm body around these parts, who ISN’T a friend. I’d love to add her to my list.

Her clothes are distinctly foreign and I use the term clothes lightly. Apparently, she thinks knives are a fashion accessory. I’ve counted five from this angle alone and I can only see one side of her. She’s not so much wearing a shirt as a type of leather halter with room for more knives, but it affords a very enticing view of her breasts. Before I think too hard about it, I’m out of my seat and crossing the bar in her direction.

I’m not quite into weaving territory yet, which is good, because this girl looks like she’ll require the use of at least part of my brain, not to mention other parts of me. I wonder if her tongue is as sharp as her knives. Still, I manage to walk a pretty straight line over to the bar, my fresh drink only slightly sloshing over my hand.

She watches me, locking her dark eyes with mine, a smirk lifting one side of her full lips. Challenge accepted. I make it across the room to her side, planting one hand on the wall by her head. Mostly for effect, but also a bit for support.

The girl turns towards me, wiping her luscious lips with the back of her hand, and slaps her tankard back onto the bar.

“Can I get you another?” I ask though I don’t know how she finished the first one.

“I’ll pass.” Her voice is deep and raspy. “It tastes like whale piss.” She scrapes a hand through her hair, pushing the short dark strands back behind her ear. One side is shaved short, while the other brushes her bare tattooed shoulder. Mmmmm, tattoos. No, wait. Tattoos are bad. I’m not into tattoos… anymore. Oh, Gast, who am I kidding?

“Well, if you hate the taste, why did you finish the first one?” Am I imagining it, or is she shifting closer?

She shrugs. “I was thirsty.” Yup, she’s definitely moving closer. Running her hand up my arm, she gives my bicep a squeeze, “but now I’m hungry for something else.” Then she licks those pink lips, my eyes following the motion with fascination.

I’ll admit, this has never worked quite so well on a complete stranger before. Maybe she’s heard about me. I lean in, testing the limits of this arrangement. She doesn’t give an inch, which places us chest to chest, and hers is just as pleasing up close as it was from across the room.

“Are you new in town?” I murmur.

Her dark eyes turn up to mine. I’m half a head taller than her, just the way I like it.

“I’m just passing through. Here today, gone tomorrow. So why don’t you show me a good time while I’m here?” She leans in to speak and her breath whispers along my cheek. Her hand is moving again, sliding across my chest and scraping my jaw. She pushes up on her toes, her mouth hovering close to mine.

“What’s the best view in Achten Tan?” she asks. Her scent is tantalizing. A salty, flowery combination I can’t place. I want to inhale her. Better yet, I want to taste her. I swallow, my mouth suddenly dry, and take the last gulp of my drink. She watches my mouth as I lick my lips, her pink tongue darting out to wet her bottom lip.

“Best view in Achten Tan is from the top of Chief’s Rib, where I live.”

She nods in a type of weird satisfaction, like I got the answer right. I look down again; she’s practically plastered to my front, which is good… or bad… because she’s going to feel…

Her smile widens and her hand is on the move again, sliding down, down, down…

I catch her wrist before her hand can reach its destination. I’d like to continue this, but not in the middle of Jezebone’s. They don’t allow that behavior here unless you’re paying for it.

“How about I give you the tour?” I ask.

“Of your rooms?” I thought she wanted to see the view from my father’s chambers, but apparently, she’s as eager as I am.

“Sure. Of my rooms. This way…” I pause, waiting for her name.

“Tara. Tara Phenix.”

Available on Amazon

Speechless in Achten Tan (The Sands of Achten Tan #1)

speechless with ants

Sometimes Magic leaves you…Speechless!

Eighteen-year-old Mila hasn’t spoken in the five years since she became an Onra, a first level Everfall witch. After failing the test to reclaim her voice and control her magic, her mentor sends Mila to Achten Tan – City of Dust – a dangerous desert town, built in the massive ribcage of an extinct leviathan.

To reclaim her power, Mila must steal a magical staff capable of releasing it, from the sky-high lair of the Bone Master, Chief Opu Haku.

Her only resources are the magical luminous elixirs of the cursed caverns where she grew up, and a band of unlikely allies; a quirky inventor, a giant-ant rider, a healer, a librarian’s assistant, a Tar-tule rider and the chief’s playboy son.

But in the City of Bones, enemies & friends are not who they seem and trusting the wrong person can be deadly.

If Mila fails she will never speak again and her bones may be added to the wasteland.

About the Author

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Debbie Iancu-Haddad is a Jewish Israeli author living in Meitar in the Negev Desert.

She spends her time taking part in Anthologies (seven to date with two more on the way), writing VSS on Twitter, and buying way too much stuff online. Her goal is to promote body positive characters and include characters dealing with physical challenges. #ownvoices

For her day job, she gives lectures on humor, laughter yoga workshops and chocolate workshops, and sees how often she can make her two teenagers roll their eyes.

Debbie Iancu-Haddad | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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COVER REVEAL: The Panacea Project by Catherine Devore-Johnson #medicalthriller #coverreveal @cdjohnsonauthor @RRBookTours1

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Welcome to the big reveal of the cover for upcoming medical thriller, The Panacea Project by Catherine Devore-Johnson! Read on for more details!

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The Panacea Project

Expected Publication Date: February 28th, 2023

Genre: Medical Thriller

A timely exploration of bodily autonomy set in a classic medical thriller

Calla Hammond has always been a loner―a product of the foster system and avoided by others because of a skin condition. When doctors discover her immune system holds the key to curing cancer, she struggles to advance lifesaving research in a world that sees her only as a means to an end. Yet along the way, Calla gains the one thing she has always longed for: a chosen family.

When a group of unscrupulous people join forces to sell Calla’s blood to the highest bidder, she digs deep to find the strength to retake control of her life, her body, and her story.

The Panacea Project is a layered examination of self-sacrifice, implicit bias, and the juxtaposition of bodily autonomy with high-stakes capitalism―for those who love fiercely strong characters and deep themes infused with heartwarming moments of love and humor.

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About the Author

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Catherine Devore Johnson is a former attorney turned writer. Her work has won or placed in competitions held by the Houston Writer’s Guild and the Writer’s League of Texas, and she has published an essay in The Houston Chronicle about caring for her mother after two strokes. She works as a writer and editor at a children’s hospital and lives in Houston with her husband and two children. The Panacea Project is her first novel.

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BOOK TOUR: Ghost Witch by Ian Conner #supernatural #horror #ghoststory #horrorcommunity @RRBookTours1

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I have the petfect story to curl up with on Halloween! Check out Ian Conner’s Ghost Witch and make sure to leave a light on!

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Ghost Witch

Publication Date: June 2nd, 2022

Genre: Supernatural Horror/ Ghost Story, Native American Folklore/ Mythology

The Two Spears and Four Claws clans for generations. Now the evil has returned, once again threatening the lives of a young mother and her twin babies. It is an evil that temporarily killed and banished with fire and magic, but it can never be destroyed. It is a source of great shame for the clans. So much so, that it is never spoken about outside of the tribe.

Carlyle Allen, the wealthy new owner of Haunted Gap, is building his dream home for he and his young bride, Rebecca. Carlyle discovers a hidden room in the basement and comes across the corpse of “The Maiden”, a form the evil entity takes to seduce and trick people into doing its bidding.

A very pregnant Rebecca Allen visits Haunted Gap for the first time. Rebecca becomes exposed to poison from “The Maiden,” leading to a trip to the clinic where she meets Maggie Four Claws and Dr. Sally Manning. Realizing that Rebecca has been marked by the Ghost witch, she contacts her grandmother Opal for help and to alert the clans.

Maggie manages to convince both Rebecca Allen and Dr. Manning that she and the babies are danger, not only from the Ghost Witch, but from her husband Carlyle as well. As Dr. Manning races to get Rebecca to safety, the Ghost Witch causes an accident, allowing Carlyle to kidnap Rebecca in order to sacrifice her and the children to “The Maiden.”

Meanwhile, Maggie Four Claws, Grandma Opal, and the rest of the clans move into action to hunt down and banish the Ghost Witch. But, will they find the evil in time enough to destroy it and save Rebecca and her babies?

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About the Author

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Ian Conner is retired and spent most of his adult life as a Marine and Army Infantry Sergeant. Now living near San Diego California with his wife Bonnie, a cellist, and their two dogs, Cookie and Isabella. Conner spends his days fostering kittens, gardening, crafting beautiful stained glass and creating worlds on the page.

Conner has authored several other novels:

Cooper’s Ridge – Science Fiction

The Long Game – Political Thriller

The Price of Partisanship – Political Thriller

Solaris – Political Thriller

Griffins Perch – Epic Fantasy

Ghost Witch – Horror

After a lifetime of destruction the thought of creating something tangible and lasting holds great appeal. He finds writing a cathartic way to redefine himself both in his eyes and the eyes of others.

Black Raptor Books

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COVER REVEAL: Fountain Dead by Theresa Braun #audiobook #coverreveal #youngadult #paranormal @tbraun_author @RRBookTours1

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I am thrilled to share this beautiful new cover of the upcoming audiobook edition of Fountain Dead by Theresa Braun!

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Fountain Dead

Expected Publication Date: Fall 2022

Genre: Mature YA/ Paranormal/ Ghost Story

Mark is uprooted from his home and high school in the Twin Cities and forced to move with his family into a Victorian in Nowhere-ville. Busy with the relocation and fitting in, Mark’s parents don’t see what’s unfolding around them—the way rooms and left behind objects seem alive with a haunted past. Of course, Mark keeps his ghostly encounters to himself, all the while sinking deeper into the house’s dark, alluring, and ultimately terrifying history. As romantic entanglements intensify, the paranormal activity escalates. Past and present come together. Everything is connected—from the bricks in the walls to the hearts beating in their chests, all the secrets of Fountain Dead are finally unearthed.

Coming Soon!

About the Author

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Theresa Braun has a Master’s degree in English literature and lives in South Florida where she has been teaching literature and writing for over 20 years. Traveling, ghost hunting, and all things dark are her passions (when she is not coming up with romantic subplots). She has presented at HWA conferences, as well as Utah Quills Conferences. Her published works include both novels and short stories that have appeared in various horror fiction publications. In 2018, she was included in a Best Speculative Fiction anthology.

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BOOK TOUR: The Abdication by Justin Newland #Fantasy #Supernatural @RRBookTours1

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Welcome to the book tour for fantasy novel The Abdication by Justin Newland! Read on for more info and enter the giveaway at the end! You could win a signed copy!

The Abdication - Final flattened. Front cover (titles)

The Abdication

Publication Date: July 4th, 2021

Genre: Fantasy/ Supernatural

Publisher: Matador

The town of Unity sits perched on the edge of a yawning ravine where, long ago, a charisma of angels provided spiritual succour to a fledgeling human race. Then mankind was granted the gift of free will and had to find its own way, albeit with the guidance of the angels. The people’s first conscious act was to make an exodus from Unity. They built a rope bridge across the ravine and founded the town of Topeth. For a time, the union between the people of Topeth and the angels of Unity was one of mutual benefit. After that early spring advance, there had been a torrid decline in which mankind’s development resembled a crumpled, fading autumnal leaf.

Following the promptings of an inner voice, Tula, a young woman from the city, trudges into Topeth. Her quest is to abide with the angels and thereby discover the right and proper exercise of free will. To do that, she has to cross the bridge – and overcome her vertigo. Topeth is in upheaval; the townsfolk blame the death of a child on dust from the nearby copper mines. The priests have convinced them that a horde of devils have thrown the angels out of Unity and now occupy the bridge, possessing anyone who trespasses on it. Then there’s the heinous Temple of Moloch!

The Abdication is the story of Tula’s endeavour to step upon the path of a destiny far greater than she could ever have imagined.

Excerpt

Tula’s swollen ankle ached as she trudged up the mountain. It had moaned incessantly, ever since she had left her home in the city before embarking on this journey. Then again, it had always hurt. Perhaps since birth: she could never remember that far back. She had complained to her parents, who could not afford to get it seen by the doctor.

A gust of wind whipped up particles of sand which spiralled in the fractious air ahead of her. She squinted and pulled her keffiyeh up to cover her nose. At this altitude, the air was a thin gruel, offering paltry nourishment. Her gut was rumbling, but that was nothing new. She had walked uphill all afternoon from Seliga in the valley below and now she was gasping for breath. Her backpack seemed to weigh as much as that boulder up ahead. A vulture circled effortlessly in the azure blue sky. There was another one above the next valley, griffon vultures searching for prey; so long as they left her alone.

Wisps of straw-coloured grass sprouted beside the graves of an unkempt cemetery. The top of the surrounding low stone wall was speckled with reddish spots, like splashes of copper rain. A few of the gravestones had fallen over and kissed the parched earth. This was the summit of a mountain and even the grand old yew trees huddled in one side of the cemetery were bending to the east, bowing to the omnipotent goddess of the winds in her distant unseen shrine.

Between the cemetery and the town lay a vibrant carpet of blue thorns; large cones of tiny blue flowers surrounded by a spiky, electric-blue collar.

Up ahead were the town walls, shimmering in the waves of heat rising from the scorched land. Finally, her journey’s end was in sight. On the side of the road just outside the town’s South Gate was the Welcome Boulder. It towered above her, which was not that difficult because in the city she was constantly mocked as the shortest amongst her peers. Most of the boulder was coated in that brownish-red dust. Towards the top of it was the immortal sign that declared the town’s identity:

Welcome to Topeth.

The First Free Town and

‘The Top’ Town of all.

Long before her arrival, her parents and teachers had fired her imagination with their stories about Topeth. As the sign proudly declared, it was once ‘The Top’ town, not only because it was perched precariously on the highest mountain in the range, but also because it was the living exemplar of humanity’s stumbling progress. Many years before, that epic story had featured Herman, the First Man. It told how he had ushered in a brilliant new freedom for mankind – hence the First Free Town. Yet, after that early spring advance, there was now a torrid decline in which mankind’s development resembled a crumpled, fading autumnal leaf.

Many people asked whether their forefathers had used that freedom wisely. Some answered with a resounding ‘Yes’, but Tula had doubts. That was why she was in Topeth; to find out for herself.

On either side of the entrance road was a row of tall, spiky cacti, standing like pale, bloated fish out of water.

To the west of the town was a large area of open ground. Huge scars pitted the land which was dotted with peaked mounds of reddened earth. A gnarled ghost haunted the land. Crouched amidst its shadow lands were rickety sheds and wooden shacks, all dowsed in the same brown-red dust. Even the town’s walls were tainted in the same hue. This was the infamous Topeth open cast copper mine.

In these dangerous times, many towns shut their gates well before sundown. Thankfully, the main gates to Topeth were still open.

An old man sat cross-legged with his back against one of the gate posts, whittling a long, rod-like piece of wood and chewing on a wedge of tobacco. What an obnoxious substance. Yellow pouting lips glared at her from within a grey, untended beard. On his head, he wore a scruffy, black and white chequered keffiyeh.

“Who’s there?” He completed the question by spitting prodigiously onto the earth.

“Me, I’m Tula. And you are?”

“Can’t you see I’m blind or are you as well?” The man was gruff. He faced her. Empty sockets peered into the void.

“No, I mean yes. I’m sorry, I didn’t notice. I’m exhausted. It’s been a long day.”

“Don’t recognise your voice. You new here?”

“Yes, sir. I’ve just arrived.”

“Got your pass?”

A blind man was asking her for a pass to travel. That she had not expected. She pulled out a wrinkled piece of paper from her knapsack and hesitated, not knowing what to do with it.

“Give it here,” he demanded. “I may be blind, but do you think I can’t see right through you?”

“No, sir. I’m sure you can. It’s just that…” She gave him the travel permit.

He held it to his cheek. He rubbed it first against his left cheek, then against his right, and nodded to himself, as if reading its contents with inner eyes. She gazed at him wide-eyed.

He handed it back to her. “Go on. All in order here.”

“What did you just do?”

“When I hold something against my cheeks, I get pictures in my mind.”

“I never knew that was even possible. What did you see?”

“I saw a fair-haired young woman with blue eyes, sparkling like rays of sunlight dancing on a flowing river. I saw a smile that warms the day, a pretty face. Your fringe and pale skin and freckles will drive the young men crazy.”

“That’s kind of you to say,” she said, failing to hide a blush. “May I ask you something?”

“Carry on. You’re good at asking questions.”

No one was going to intimidate her. No one.

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About the Author

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Justin Newland is an author of historical fantasy and secret history thrillers – that’s history with a supernatural twist. His stories feature known events and real people from history which are re-told and examined through the lens of the supernatural. He gives author talks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Bristol’s Thought for the Day. He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.

Justin Newland

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BOOK TOUR: Kingdom Come by Danielle M. Orsino #Fantasy @birthofthefae @RRBookTours1

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Welcome to the book tour for the beautiful fourth installment in the Birth of the Fae series, Kingdom Come! Read on for more details and a chance to win a FairyLoot Crate!

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Kingdom Come (Birth of the Fae #4)

Publication Date: May 30th, 2022

Genre: Fantasy/ Fae

All is peaceful in the Veil, which is usually when everything falls apart…
Queen Aurora of the Court of Light and King Jarvok of the Court of Dark have fallen in love despite all odds. A relationship of political convenience has turned into something real and tangible for the two monarchs. After centuries of conflict and mistrust, the two Courts are about to unite as one: the Court of the Fae. But not every Fae is happy about the impending union.
Queen Aurora’s most trusted advisors have never lost touch with their old Angelic ways. These bishops still believe that Virtues and Power Angels were never meant to mix. According to them, Queen Aurora is no longer suitable to rule. As they mount a complex coup d’état to grasp the throne, a new threat to the monarchy makes their move.
Will the entire foundation of peace crumble with one last act of betrayal? Or will the bond between Court of Light and Dark prevail in the face of danger?

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About the Author

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Danielle M. Orsino is a fantasy novelist whose lifelong vision to create whimsical realms that her readers can escape to. Her compelling word-weaving pays homage to a multitude of personal muses, from Chris Claremont and George Pérez (both famous comic book writers), to Anne Rice and Wonder Woman.

The creative spark of storytelling has been with Danielle ever since she was a child, but martial arts and her nursing career took center stage into adulthood. Then, on a day like any other, it was reignited during the most unexpected of moments: while treating one of her patients. Seeing that they longed for a distraction during their arduous treatments, the floodgates of inspiration soon burst forth. So, Danielle took it upon herself to tell them a story; a fantastical narrative that would leave the confines of that IV room’s walls and land upon a page. Before she knew it, what started as an imaginative tale to pass the time, turned into book, followed by an entire series: The Birth of Fae. This awe-inspiring series includes Locked out of Heaven (Book One), Thine Eyes of Mercy (Book Two), and From The Ashes (Book Three), all of which are published by 4 Horsemen Publications, Inc. And with an unwavering passion for cosplay and comics, it was a unanimous decision to place her on the cover of each book in all her Fae cosplay glory. The Birth of Fae also features Los, an affable chameleon dragon inspired by her fun-loving Yorkie named Carlos.

When writing wasn’t at the forefront of her mind, Danielle was a successful Martial Artist. Some of her achievements include “1999 World Martial Arts Hall of Fame Inductee”, “Female Martial Artist of the Year”, “WKA World Champion Silver Medalist 2008”, and numerous more. She has also garnered hundreds of martial art tournament wins, various other national and world titles, and features on big-name channels like TLC and CBS. She even had the rare opportunity to perform for former U.S. President Bill Clinton and collaborate alongside Vincent Lyn and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. From there, she pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science, and she is now a Licensed Practical Nurse who focuses on Lyme disease research.

This “New Queen of the Fae’s” unmatched world-building and masterful Fae-origin retellings have led to an ever-growing queendom of “Fae-natics”. To begin embarking upon a quest in an epic world unlike any other, visit Danielle M. Orsino’s official website at http://www.BirthOfTheFae.com. You can also connect with her on Instagram (@BirthOfTheFae_Novel) and Twitter (@BirthOfTheFae).

“After summoning this world into existence through an imaginative force of will, Danielle has scoured every inch of the landscape several times over. Critics often praise a story’s world building by saying that it feels “lived in.” Well, the world of the Fae certainly seems like that because Danielle herself has happily lived there for years as she worked to put all of this together… My favorite part of this story is that it is gloriously depicted in vibrant images.”

-Clete Barrett Smith, New York Times Bestselling Author of If We Were Giants, Aliens on Vacation series, and Magic Delivery

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