BOOK BLITZ: Alex McKenna & Death Is Not The Beginning by Vicki-Ann Bush #YoungAdult #paranormal #LGBTQ @XpressoTours @vickiannbush

Alex McKenna & Death Is Not The Beginning
Vicki-Ann Bush
(Alex McKenna, #4)
Published by: Parliament House
Publication date: September 20th 2022
Genres: LGBTQ+, Paranormal, Suspense, Young Adult

In the fourth and final installment for the series, Alex faces his most difficult case yet—the school bully.

For two years Kyle tried to make Alex’s life even more complicated than it already is. Choosing to single him out for his psychic abilities and other life events, the angry teen took every chance he could to challenge Alex’s well-being.

Despite the constant insults, when the bully is murdered and comes to him for help, Alex sets aside the past to help a soul in need. Searching for the killer, Alex uncovers a truth that answers the question why he was the victim of Kyle negative attention, and the answers that will set them both free.

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EXCERPT:

Alex glanced up to the hovering apparition and raised his chin slightly left toward the door. He hoped the spirit would follow, but instead, it quickly vanished, so he took the cue and let it go. Clasping Margaret’s hand, he ushered them from the store.

Outside, the fragrance of freshly cut grass and blossoming tulips tickled his nostrils. A perfect Spring day. The young couple had strolled the fifteen-minute walk into the small village at the center of Floral Park, taking advantage of the warmer climate.

“It’s super nice out.” Alex smiled.

“It is. I love Spring. Hey, what happened in there?” Margaret asked.

“What do you mean?”

“I thought you spotted something.”

“I did. But they didn’t want my help.”

“Huh. Did you get a good look at what it was?”

“I didn’t know them, but it was definitely an older man. I’d say somewhere around my gram’s age.” Alex glanced over his shoulder back at the store.

“That’s sad.”

“How come?” Alex raised a brow.

“He’s in a drug store for eternity? Why? What keeps him there? Why doesn’t he cross over?”

“You sound like me.” Alex chuckled.

“Well, it was bound to rub off some time.” She lay her head on his shoulder.

“I’m just glad that’s over with.”

“I know.” Margaret gave him a quick peck on the cheek.

Rounding the corner at the end of the block stood a structure Alex struggled with for most of his seventeen years. Coming from a lineage of witches whose roots were planted in Italy, the paradoxical blend of spells and Catholicism baffled him. He chose to believe in spirituality, embracing his ancestors and calling on them in times of need.

Alex let Margaret’s hand slip through his fingers. Across the street, directly in front of the church, was a small park with a handful of benches. His gaze focused on the ornate stained glass adorning the round window above the sturdy oak doors. What the hell? Without care, he stepped into the road and in front of an oncoming car. Luckily, Margaret’s scream freed him from his trance in time for him to jump out of the way. A loud screech from the tires of the irate driver didn’t completely mask the language he yelled from the window.

Margaret rushed to his side and pulled Alex to a bench facing the building that had captivated his attention a few moments ago.

“What the hell?” Margaret slapped his arm.

“Sorry. I don’t know what came over me.” Alex glared at the church. “That’s not true.”

“Okay, spill.” Margaret scooted back and crossed her legs.

“Wait, where’s my bag?” Alex nervously looked around.

“Crap. It’s over there.” Margaret pointed to the asphalt.

“I’ll get it.” Alex motioned to stand.

“Oh, no you don’t. One near-death today is enough. I’ll get it. Stay here.”

Normally he’d argue the issue, but he didn’t trust himself either. The range of emotions creeping along his veins and occupying dread in his gut burned a volcano of doubt in his psyche.

Margaret halted at the sidewalk’s edge and turned her head from side to side before venturing into the middle of the road. She snatched up the bag and scurried back to the bench.

She stretched out her arm to hand the bag to Alex, “Thanks.”

“I’m just that kind of girlfriend. Risking life and limb for the guy I love.”

Alex rolled his eyes.

“Now, where were we? Oh, I remember, you were gonna tell me why you froze in the middle of the goddamn street.” Margaret knitted her brows.

“Once again—sorry. When I saw the church, I had a vision. The building was destroyed like a bomb or something had incinerated it. The darkness crept along the walls. It was like…a living thing.” Alex shuddered.

“Yup, just another day in the world of you.”

Author Bio:

Originally from New York, Vicki-Ann currently resides in Nevada. Writing Young Adult paranormal, she finds inspiration from events that have been in her life for as long as she can remember. Inheriting her sensitivity to the supernatural from her family, they continue to be an endless source of vision.

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BOOK TOUR: Locksmith’s War by Paul Briggs #YoungAdult #ScienceFiction #YAscifi @paulproofreader @GoddessFish

Locksmith’s War

The Locksmith Trilogy Book Three

by Paul Briggs

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GENRE: YA Sci-fi (Young Adult, Science Fiction_

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BLURB:

For Lachlan Smith, learning the secret of the apocalypse was the easy part.

Ever since Locksmith found the portal to the future, he has been wondering who or what was responsible for the empty, uninhabited world he found.

Now he knows—and now he has to fight them.

He thought he had fifteen years in which to prevent the extinction of the human species.

Now, he has only hours.

When the portal is stolen by a cabal of dangerous fanatics, his mother and many of his friends are trapped on the other side. Now the enemy is after him, and the only way to thwart their genocidal plan is to retake the portal and hold it—at both ends.

With very little time left, a handful of allies who don’t trust each other, almost no chance of success and the survival of humanity itself at stake… Locksmith is going to war.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt One:

Rikki’s first plan of escape

Rikki’s first plan of escape was simple — wait for somebody to open the door, then pounce on them, beat them up and start running. She couldn’t act on this plan until the drug wore off.

She was still feeling jittery from the drug when the lights went out, leaving her in something very close to pitch darkness. The tags on her ears glowed in the dark. The lights stayed off for a fair stretch of time — it might have been an hour. Before long, even with the drug out of her system her pupils had dilated to the point where the light that leaked in under the doorway looked like a line of yellow-white fire, dimly illuminating the room.

Then she heard the footsteps out the in the hall. Someone was headed this way. Rikki pointed herself at the doorway and got herself into a sprinter’s crouch like she’d seen Lock do.

The footsteps stopped in front of the door to her cell. She could see the shadows of somebody’s feet. Just one person. Good. Heavier than average, from the sound of the footsteps, but still better than trying to tackle two or more people at once. Her leg muscles were ready to launch her at the enemy. She got her fists into position. A few good blows to the solar plexus and kidneys…

and try again tomorrow?” This isn’t a track meet, this is a heist. You can’t just reschedule it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

In addition to writing books, Paul Briggs has worked as a newspaper editor, court reporter’s assistant, and audio transcriber. In his spare time (when he has any) he sometimes performs in community theater, most recently taking on the roles of Bottom, Petruchio, Macbeth, Rosalind, and Richard III in a Shakespeare compilation. An Eastern Shore native who grew up in Chestertown, Maryland, Paul earned a BA in English from Washington College and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland – College Park.

He is the author of several short plays, including the award-winning The Worst Super Power Ever and The Picture of Health.  He is also writing the sequel to his 2018 science fiction novel Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise, which vividly imagines the dislocations that follow when the Arctic Sea ice finally melts and the Chesapeake Bay is drowned by the effects of climate change.

https://www.paulbriggs.com/thelocksmithtrilogy

https://www.facebook.com/paulbriggsauthor/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/655906.Paul_Briggs/blog

https://lockswriter.deviantart.com/

Amazon Buy Link: https://smile.amazon.com/Locksmiths-War-Locksmith-Trilogy-Three-ebook/dp/B09ZK98V96/ref=sr_1_1

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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BOOK TOUR: The Ghost’s Daughter by Cary Herwig #YoungAdult #Paranormal @HerwigCary

The Ghost’s Daughter

The Army Brat Hauntings Book 1

by Cary Herwig

Genre: YA Paranormal

New schools.
New friends.
No money.

Life as an Army Brat is always challenging. Especially when you’re being haunted.

In the summer of 1956, in the midst of the Cold War, Vivien Brewer, army brat, moves with her family to Camp Breckinridge. She and her sister join friends exploring a nearby abandoned hospital. She’s been told not to go there, but the rumors of treasure prove too great a temptation. What she finds is the spectral revenant of a World War II nurse who wants something and expects Vivien to deliver. Soon she’s in mortal danger, and so are her family and friends. If she can’t deliver what the ghost demands, no one is safe.

Vivien tries to get help, but her father and doctor think her hallucinations must be hormonal. Only her mother knows better—because Vivien inherited a gift from her. Refusing to run or hide, Vivien embarks on the greatest adventure of her young life—and quite possibly, the last one.

Close the doors. Shut the blinds. Turn out the lights. This is a book best read after dark. Just make sure no one is peering over your shoulder…

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CARY HERWIG is a retired archivist living in Oklahoma. She grew up as an army brat moving every year or two. She writes science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery under different names and has published both novels and short fiction for several decades. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, but gets restless every few years, wondering if it’s time to move again.

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BOOK TOUR: Year Zero by David Dean Lugo #YoungAdult #dystopian @daviddeanlugo @RRBookTours1

 

Welcome to the book tour for the first installment in David Dean Lugo’s Revolution’s Children series, Year Zero! Read on for more info!

yearzero_ebook

Year Zero (Revolution’s Children Book 1)

Publication Date: May 24th, 2022

Genre: YA Dystopian

A thrilling new YA dystopian novel has dark parallels to a conceivable future America.

It’s been two years since the establishment of the brutal dictatorship The Incorporated Precincts of America and its governing Board and CEO, as well as the death of the old America. Sixteen-year-old Joey Cryer has two missions: to keep their six-year-old sister, Julia, safe, and to not die.

America first. America last. America always. This is the vow that the CEO leader of the IPA—The Incorporated Precincts of America—pledges to his suffering citizens. With violent protests breaking out in every city, attacks against immigrants, and the national crisis of the Capitol Event, young Joey must keep their vigilance in staying clear of the IPA’s ever-watching Sons of Liberty—its ruthless police force—to avoid becoming “disappeared” with his little sister. This means not maligning the governing body, The Corporation, with any thought, word, or action, or else suffer the consequence. One such sanction for disobeying citizens is being forced on to the required viewing television show “Manhunt,” where they fight for their lives against the Sons, upholding The Corporation’s domination over society.

Two years earlier, before the Second Revolution ended and before the election, Joey’s biggest concern was sitting at the right cafeteria table at his high school or if the girl they liked liked them back. Avoiding the school bully, Harlan Grundy, was always a plus, and so was not getting pummeled. So, it was no big surprise that Harlan became a Son, loyal to The Corporation and carrying out their dirty deeds to keep citizens in check and in fear. The only correct response to a Son? Everything is goodly.

Having lost everything in the revolution’s aftermath, Joey takes an unfathomable risk by helping the near-dead leader of the rebellion, John Doe. Having anything to do with Doe will skip you right past penalties and sanctions all the way to the death penalty, not only for you, but for anyone you love. And yet Joey’s sole mission is keep Julia safe until they can secretly escape to freedom. To do so, they finds they have an unlikely partner in a recently betrayed Harlan. Trusting their former enemy may be the only way to ensure their future—but is it worth the risk for Joey, Julia, and his community?

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Excerpt

No law respecting the established religion, prohibiting its free and compulsory practice, may be passed. All citizens free or otherwise are responsible for their speech, as is the press. The Board may sanction the people or the press should they choose to malign The Corporation or its representatives in print, thought, word, or action.

—First Amendment, Constitution Incorporated Precincts of America

A hand grabs my shoulder, and I know I’m screwed. The flickering light from the Jumbotron across the street dispels the concealing darkness. What was I thinking trying to sneak my way across town square after dark? I pull my hat lower, hoping that he won’t recognize me.

Especially if curfew has started.

Dan and Katie are starting the Manhunt preshow on the Jumbotron, which isn’t a good sign. Manhunt rarely starts before seven.

My mouth is dry, and my heart’s hammering fills my ears. It’s the fight-or-flight response kicking in big time. Except in my case, it’s the flight-and-still-get-pommeled response.

Even knowing how it will end, I still think about running.

Just for a second.

Old habits die hard.

I move my eyes to the hand, hoping it’s not covered by a white glove. Crap. It is. So, the he attached to the hand isn’t a regular cop. A cop will just shake me down and let me go. But not this guy.

He’s a Son of Liberty.

I’m surprised he hasn’t shot me yet. They usually do. I mean, it’s kinda their go-to move. I glance from his glove to his face.

I silence a scream. This guy isn’t any old Son. He’s Harlan Grundy. That name alone makes most kids cry. Always has.

Harlan’s been bullying kids since the old days, back when we still lived in a place called the USA. By the time The Corporation ran things and changed the name to The Incorporated Precincts of America, or IPA, Harlan had transformed bullying into an art form. I mean, watching him terrorize a kid is like watching Michelangelo turn a hunk of stone into a statue. Pure artistry.

Unless you’re the rock.

All the Sons are big, but Harlan’s bigger. Not like Schwarzenegger big. It’s more natural. Like a gorilla. Most let his stocky form, with its squashed nose, thick fingers, and stubby legs, fool them. But he possessed a speed unheard of, even among Olympic athletes.

And I, underneath this big ass coat, am just a scrawny sixteen-year-old. Exercise and me are not the best of friends. I mean, we wave when we pass by in the halls. Unless running from Harlan counts. Because if it does, I’m a gold medalist.

Okay, maybe a bronze because he always catches me.

“Hold it, citizen,” he says loud enough for me to hear over the Jumbotron’s droning voices. That is quite a feat since they always have it turned up to like a million.

Wait. Citizen?

He doesn’t recognize me.

He says something, but Dan speaks over him from the Jumbotron. “We’ll be back after this message.”

A second later, tolling bells replace his smug voice, sounding out the half hour. I glance at the screen, hoping it says six thirty. Instead, a robotic voice says, “The time is now seven thirty. Curfew is in effect.”

I’m doubly screwed.

After curfew, you get arrested or worse, unless you’re on official IPA business. It won’t take anyone more than one look to know I’m not. And Harlan’s fists and I have known each other since I was eight, and he was eleven. It’s only a matter of time until his dim brain dusts off the cobwebs and the first faint itch of recognition dawns on him.

If he doesn’t shoot me, which I doubt, I have two simple choices left. But I won’t get to choose. Instead, an Inquisitor will decide between sending me to a Liberty Camp or inducting me into the army.

The second is most likely. They’re drafting more people every day. Younger and younger too. I mean, except for like Ward Commanders, Inquisitors, and Auditors, the whole Corporation is getting younger. I guess they figure the young don’t have as much attachment to the way things were.

The CEO says we’re winning the war, and the extra troops are for the last push into Ottawa. But I’ve heard the rumors. Who hasn’t?

Some say Mexico, Canada’s ally, has won ground in the Southwest. Others say the early winter weather has paralyzed our troops in Ontario and Alaska. What’s happening in Europe is anyone’s guess.

So, whatever the Inquisitor decides, it’s better if Harlan shoots me.

Usually, I’m home before curfew, but I had forgotten it’s earlier now. That’s thanks to the Does—John and Jane Doe—and their rebels blowing up stuff. Last Tuesday, the day most Sons get their rations, they blew up the rationing center. Now, the rest of us are still living off our last pitiful portion.

Movies make rebellion seem exciting and heroic. I guess it is, fighting oppression or whatever. But from where I sit, trying to get by and staying off The Corporation’s radar, it’s terrifying. It doesn’t help people like me. Maybe it will someday, but I’m not holding my breath.

I burrow deeper into my father’s coat, trying to avoid eye contact. The coat must be the only reason Harlan hasn’t recognized me. There’s no point in trying to hide the bag of contraband I’m holding.

I mean, it’s right there.

Besides, it’s just dumb cans of stupid beef stew I bought at the black market. E-rations don’t hardly give anyone enough food. So, most people, leastways those who can afford it, turn to the black market. Even Block Watch Commanders like Harlan.

It’s not totally the Does fault, though. Food, at least the unpowdered kind, was scarce even before they blew up the rationing center. The troops passing through on their way north to the wall, took most of what we had. They didn’t bother leaving much for us citizens.

I’m not sweating the stew, though. I expect he’ll “impound” it. I’m more worried that what’s stuffed into my belt will spill out. If it does, he’ll definitely shoot me.

He’s eyeing the bag though. His mouth might even be watering. We both stand there, playing our weird freeze tag while waiting for the stupid bell to stop tolling.

As soon as it does, Harlan says, “You’re behind curfew, citizen. Slice me the stew, and I won’t donate a one.”

Ugh. Slanguage.

It takes me a moment to translate his words to regular English. If I give him the stew, he won’t give me a class one penalty. I can’t speak because he’ll recognize my voice, so I nod. Kneeling, I set the bag down and take off.

I don’t look back.

You never look back.

If you do, they might see your face, connect it to a list of subversives, rebels, or whatever list you didn’t know you were on.

I’m two blocks away before a grin spreads across my face. Dumbass Harlan was so preoccupied by the bag that he didn’t notice the cans crammed in my pockets.

I decide to go home through the woods. It’s longer and a thousand percent spookier, but it has more cover. Plus, The Corporation hasn’t put cameras in the forest. At least not yet anyway. That might change if they suspect the squirrels of treason.

Plus, Harlan lives two houses away from me. If he’s heading home, it’s worth the extra twenty-minute walk to avoid him.

I trudge along. I can’t see a thing in the inky blackness. Everything is a muddied silhouette, and I don’t want to trip on something and break my neck. I used to find the sounds of leaves crunching under my feet satisfying. But I don’t anymore.

They just tell the Sons or the rebel squirrels where you are.

My breath comes quick now. Heart racing. It’s my anxiety getting the better of me. I don’t bother fighting it because I’m too busy cursing myself. If Harlan is out on patrol, he’s nowhere near his house. Then again, it might be dumb luck that we ran into each other.

Either way, I don’t really care right now because I’m sure Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers has spotted my dumbass alone in the woods. I stop for a second, but the sound of crunching leaves doesn’t.

A twig snaps.

I turn.

A half-naked figure lunges from the darkness, falling to the ground.

I almost scream.

A man lies motionless. I get a little closer and notice he’s covered in blood. Against my better judgment, I turn him over. A few holes leak his blood.

Someone shot him.

The only people with guns these days are Sons or rebels. Which means they’re probably out searching for him. That thought alone makes me nope my sorry ass out of the woods as fast as I can.

I emerge, unharassed by either rebel squirrels or a fictional slasher, near the non-Harlan end of my block. My breath comes in short, panicked gasps. I’m more than a little embarrassed by how fast I’m moving down the block.

I turn the corner. My house blazes bright in the frigid night. It’s almost enough to chase away the harsh twilight glow from the screens on the telephone poles.

Julia, my little sister hates being alone, but she isn’t right now. Unless Winnie’s wandered off again. She has turned on every light, which means he probably did. The Sons don’t pay him much mind, so he’ll be okay. Hopefully, she hasn’t used up our electricity ration for the month.

I linger in the driveway, eyes darting. I need to make sure I wasn’t followed.

An angry orange flower of fire blooms over the nearby hills. Must be the rebels blowing something up or being blown up themselves. Either way, a bunch of people are dead. A tenth of a second later, a dull roar reaches my ears, and everything shakes.

Every porch light in the neighborhood blinks on, and people spill out from their houses, scurrying around like angry ants. A few have wide eyes, their O-shaped mouths gulping the chilly night air. Which reminds me of the fish that Dad and I used to catch. Others just sigh, wringing their hands. A few look furious.

I’ve lived here for like forever and recognize everyone.

That is everyone except the young man with the neat dark hair walking along the walkway in front of the house next door. His hands are in his pockets, posture crisp but relaxed.

I do a double take because I didn’t expect to see anyone coming from there. It and the house across the street have stood vacant since the Perrys and the Youngs disappeared a year ago. He might be a zig though.

Zig is short for zigzag. They’re the people who refuse to go along with The Corporation but won’t join the resistance either. So, they zigzag between the two opposing forces that shape the IPA. They usually come in small groups, no more than four. There’s not a lot of them. At least as far as anyone can tell. Anyway, neither side likes them much, and both will see them wiped out just as soon. Which is why, if he is a zig, he certainly wouldn’t be so careless and let everyone know where he lives.

He might be a rebel. They sometimes hunker down in vacant buildings. That thought both excites and frightens me.

As he draws closer, there’s no mistaking this man for a zig or a rebel. He wears a suit, but the distant flames give everything a crimson tone, so I can’t tell what color it is. Something on his jacket flickers. He reaches the end of the walkway, and I notice that the light glints off a bunch of Corporation commendation pins on his lapel.

At first, he acknowledges no one as he crosses his arms and stares straight ahead. He appears calm, but his breath comes in peculiar fits like he’s out of breath but doesn’t want anyone to know. Maybe he’s asthmatic? I don’t know. His eyes don’t watch the distant flames like everyone else; they’re watching the streetlights.

Something glistens on his forehead like sweat, but the night is cold, so that’s impossible. He appears to sense me gawking and gives me a nod.

By reflex, I wave.

Another fireball blossoms, this one almost bright enough to read by. The windows rattle from the blast. The neighborhood lights blink a few times before going out. Someone screams as we’re plunged into a weird twilight of flickering screens since those never stop.

I swear Pinman smirks.

A second later, old Doc Salazar asks, “Do you think it’s the Canadians?”

That isn’t as silly as it sounds, since if you’re lucky enough to own a car, it’s like three hours to the border.

“Nah. I bet it’s the Does and the rebels,” Mr. Taylor replies.

Everyone stares at him for a moment. Calling the Does rebels is against the law.

“You mean terrorists,” a throaty unfamiliar voice—my new neighbor—says.

“Yes, y-yes,” Mr. Taylor stammers. He probably noticed every commendation on Pinman’s jacket. He chuckles nervously, running a hand across the back of his neck.

I don’t want to call attention to myself, but Taylor was my dad’s fishing buddy. I can’t count the number of times that the Taylors shared a meal with us after a good day on the lake.

A familiar voice breaks the uncomfortable silence. “Mr. Taylor is scaredly is all. He’s not trying to be outside the box.”

I look around, trying to find who spoke. For some reason, everyone’s staring at me like I punched a nun or something.

Well, everyone except Taylor. He’s got a grateful smile pasted on his stupid round face. The looks confirm my growing suspicion. The voice was familiar because it’s mine.

Pinman doesn’t reply, just cocks his head.

“Well, um, good night, sir,” Mr. Taylor croaks as he scurries back inside his house.

A second later, the loudspeakers atop every telephone pole on the block crackle to life. On the screens, a severe looking yet appealing middle-aged woman appears with her hair wrapped tight around her head. Everything can go dark but not PR Polly, the voice of The Corporation.

There’s a whine of feedback, and Polly stares with a Mona Lisa smile on her lips, waiting for it to pass. It fades to a crackling static and clears.

Her familiar, faintly British voice sounds out. “Return to your homes. All is goodly. We have the situation under control.” As always, she adds the Corporate slogan. “America first. America last. America always.”

Another squeal of feedback sounds out. Dan and Katie return to the screens, laughing about the ratings bonanza it’ll be when the real Does are caught and put on Manhunt. But since Manhunt is required viewing, ratings are a bonanza every day anyway. I’m also not sure how we’d know if they’re the real Does. I mean, every time they think they’ve got them, it turns out they’re regular rebels.

No one even knows what the Does look like.

A weird sensation tingles my leg. It’s my phone vibrating in my pocket. I put aside my stray thoughts for now as I fish it out.

“What did you think of this Realnews brief” flashes on the screen. Underneath, like always, are two emoji:

a smiley one,

and a frowning one.

I tap the smiley face to show that I loved it. No one clicks the other one anymore. Well, no one without a death wish.

Soft clicking echoes around me as my neighbors do the same. By the time I’m done, they’re scurrying back into their homes. I guess they’ve all realized it’s after curfew, so we are all technically criminals right now.

Pinman still stands there with his arms crossed, staring at me. I try not to meet his gaze and mumble something about how my little sister is waiting for dinner inside.

In the distance, sirens blare. A lot of them. All isn’t goodly. I sense the stranger watching me as I walk into my house.

I don’t look back.

You never look back.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

authorpic

Author David Dean Lugo often gets ideas for his stories by wondering what if? In his new young adult dystopian novel, Year Zero, he probed this when writing about a future fascist America run by a governing body called The Corporation and its CEO. Lugo believes that today’s trend of people judging one another too harshly—whether based on their political party, gender identity, or something else—is causing people to drift too far away from one another. His story explores potential extreme ramifications of this.

Lugo believes a great book is one that has believable characters that readers can identify with and relate to. He hopes his stories evoke emotion and thinking from his readers long after the book is closed.

When he isn’t writing thought-provoking YA novels, Lugo enjoys playing guitar, watching movies, playing video/board games, and hanging out with his amazing family. He lives in southwest New Hampshire with his wife Meredith, son Jacob, and their rascally Labrador/Collie mix named Astrid. Year Zero is the first volume in his The Revolution’s Children trilogy.

David Dean Lugo | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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BOOK BLITZ: The Acadian Secret by Tammy Lowe #timetravel #youngadult #actionadventure @XpressoTours

The Acadian Secret
Tammy Lowe
(The Acadian Secret, #1)
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publication date: August 10th 2022
Genres: Action, Adventure, Time-Travel, Young Adult

Nova Scotia has kept an incredible secret for centuries. In 1795, sixteen-year-old John Smith, convinced he’s found buried treasure, digs down into a mysterious pit on a small island.

In present day Nova Scotia, twelve-year-old Elisabeth London knows there’s no such thing as magic, but when she finds herself in 17th century Scotland, she no longer knows what to think. While under the guardianship of a kind-hearted Highlander, Elisabeth discovers his ancestral home holds a mystery of its own.

As John continues to dig the strange pit, he inadvertently begins the longest running, most expensive, and deadliest treasure hunt in history. Now, Elisabeth London and John Smith each try to unravel the secrets consuming them, unaware that a tormented young man holds the string weaving all of their lives together.

For Elisabeth, the adventure is just beginning. Unless her parents discover she’s time-travelling. Then…she is so grounded.

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EXCERPT:

As the evening sun wandered behind the mountains, it cast an emerald glow across a glen. The valley was dotted with boulders, rocks, and drifts of bright yellow flowering bushes that blanketed the rolling hills, perfuming the air with a coconut scent. A small river twisted its way toward a distant forest. Overhead, a hawk screeched while soaring across an endless blue sky, declaring its vast territory to other hawks.

A dog yelped, over and over and over again.

Awakened by the barking, Elisabeth’s eyes narrowed in confusion. Her chest tightened as she sat up. “What the—?”

A huge, hairy boar, with razor-sharp tusks, lunged into the nearby brambles.

With a gasp, Elisabeth scrambled behind a large rock. Her breath hitched as her mind raced to make sense of the surrounding scenery.

That’s when a hunter, with a short beard and wild black hair that gave him a crazed look, came galloping over the crest of a hill on horseback. “Good boy, Talbot,” he yelled when the dog lunged into the brambles after the wild pig. The angry grunts of the boar filtered through the thick shrub.

Elisabeth leaped back, ducking low to hide behind the boulder. One hand pressed tight across her mouth.

The clip-clop stomping of the horse’s hooves sounded closer. Then, the hunter’s voice rose in pitch as his piercing blue-green eyes stared down at her, crouched in the heather. “What the devil…?”

A cold chill ran up her spine when he dismounted. His head cocked slightly to the side, and she realized his hearing focused on the dog and the boar as he drew closer.

Bending to peer at her, the hunter scratched his cheek. “You all right, lass?”

Elisabeth’s muscles tightened and she drew her head back sharply. “Yep. Fine.”

“Then…what are ye doing out here?” he asked in an uncertain tone while helping her to her feet. “Dressed in naught but…that?”

Elisabeth’s mouth opened, but nothing came out.

“Well, you’re lucky I found you before—” The silence in the valley now broken, Talbot howled, the boar squealed, and Elisabeth backed away with quick, jerky steps.

“Dinnae move, lass,” he ordered in a steady, low-pitched voice while reaching for his dagger.

Elisabeth gasped for air, watching the enraged boar desert its hiding spot in the brambles and charge toward the dog, its lethal tusks ready to kill.

Talbot seemed well-trained so, instead of turning tail and running, he danced backward, facing the pig, luring it away from his master. With the boar now in pursuit of the dog, the hunter ran at the beast as if he were a wild animal himself. Jumping on the boar from behind, he grabbed its ear, yanked its head up, and slashed its throat.

Elisabeth’s heart pounded, and she gripped the sides of her head.

The hunter jumped off the boar as it fell limp at his feet and cleaned the blade on the carcass before putting it away. He then walked toward Elisabeth, his bloody hands held in front of him.

“You’ve got a knife.” Elisabeth whimpered as her gaze darted from the enormous man dressed in a skirt to the ragtag group of hunters who came cantering over the crest of the hill.

“Aye, and a sword.” He smirked while pointing at it. “I’m not going to harm you, though. I’m hunting.”

“Hunting what? Little girls?” Not waiting for an answer, she bolted, heading for the distant forest.

The hunter took a step back and chuckled as Elisabeth made her great escape in slow motion, hindered terribly by bare feet.

“You’re completely mad!” he shouted while mounting his horse, motioning to the arriving men to deal with the boar carcass.

The black warhorse was as large and intimidating as the hunter and the animal’s powerful legs kicked up tall grass and thistles as it galloped along. The sound of its hooves seemed amplified as it neared Elisabeth.

Without needing to slow his horse, he reached down, scooped Elisabeth into his arms, and placed her in the saddle in front of him. She let out a sharp scream.

“There. Now be a good lass. I promise I’m not going to hurt you. You’re on my land so I know you’re not from these parts. I cannot leave you alone out here. It’s not safe and will soon be dark.”

A wave of coldness caused Elisabeth to tremble. She had no idea where she was and no recollection of arriving. When the hunter wrapped her in his plaid and nudged his horse on, Elisabeth’s shoulders tightened. She remained silent, bringing a shaky hand to her forehead while trying to figure out what the heck was going on. This definitely wasn’t Mahone Bay anymore.

Author Bio:

An adventurer at heart, Tammy has explored ruins in Rome, Pompeii, and Istanbul (Constantinople) with historians and archaeologists.

She’s slept in the tower of a 15th century castle in Scotland, climbed down the cramped tunnels of Egyptian pyramids, scaled the Sydney Harbour Bridge, sailed on a tiny raft down the Yulong River in rural China, dined at a Bedouin camp in the Arabian Desert, and escaped from head-hunters in the South Pacific.

I suppose one could say her own childhood wish of time traveling adventures came true…in a roundabout way.

Website / Goodreads / Instagram / Pinterest


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BOOK BLITZ: Keys of Time by Georgiana Kent #YoungAdult #UrbanFantasy KeysOfTime #SoulDominion @GeorgianaKent8 @MagicPenTours

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Welcome to Magic Pen Book Tours‘ organized book blitz for Keys of Time by Georgiana Kent taking place July 11-15, 2022! The first book in the YA urban fantasy time traveling series of Soul Dominion. Perfect for readers who like a heady mix of adventure, fantasy, mystery and romance.
Cover Keys of Time by Georgiana Kent
Title: Keys of Time
Series: Soul Dominion #1
Author: Georgiana Kent
Genre/Tropes: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Romance / Time Travel
Release Date: August 2, 2021
BLURB

Erica has a secret, a curse she’s been hiding her whole life. And now it’s only a matter of time before her cover is blown.

No longer satisfied to lurk in the shadows, the Lost Souls are seeking dominance over the Earth. Somehow, they have managed to navigate the age-old barriers that have kept them apart from mankind.

Chosen by Time, Erica works with the KeyMaster, Michael Nicholas, to uncover the truth and it quickly becomes apparent that her secret might give them the edge they need. But will they be in time to stop the growing army of Lost Souls?

Welcome to Georgiana Kent’s KeyMaster Chronicles: a diverse world where KeyMasters, quondams, and Færies collide in mankind’s fight for survival. Perfect for fans of epic urban fantasies!

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PURCHASE LINKS
Free in Kindle Unlimited from July 18, 2022
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EXCERPT

The glare of the light lessened and, blinking quickly, she peered to find a doorway before her. It was made of light that crackled and pulsed like electricity. Through it Erica could see London, but a different London, one with horses and carriages upon its cobbled streets and men and women walking about in smart jackets and top hats, long dresses and warm shawls: the crack that had opened the doorway started at her footfall. Taking her foot away, the light crackled anew. She walked slowly around the side of the monument to look at the street behind it, but there were no horses or carriages or smartly dressed people, just the deserted Embankment. She walked back round to the front of the monument where the doorway persisted to flicker brightly.

Recalling herself, she spun round. “Oh, no…”

Michael was standing stock-still and his eyes were no longer sad but wide with shock.

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AUTHOR BIO
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Georgiana Kent has always been creative and loves telling stories of fantasy worlds filled with magic, mystic and more. She is currently writing two young adult series set in her KeyMaster Chronicles universe: KeyMaster Origins and Soul Dominion are urban fantasies on an epic scale. Filled with a host of strong, diverse characters waiting for you to fall in love with.
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BOOK TOUR: The Insurgent by Teri Polen #YoungAdult #Dystopian @TPolen6 @RRBookTours1 

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Welcome to the book tour for the exciting sequel in The Colony series, The Insurgent by Teri Polen!

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The Insurgent (The Colony #2)

Expected Publication Date: May 19th, 2022

Genre: YA Dystopian

If a megalomaniac threatened your family, would you give up your freedom for them? Would you give up your soul?

Asher Solomon is faced with that choice. And makes the ultimate sacrifice.

Exactly as Director Silas Reeves expected him to.

Unable to live as the Colony’s premier assassin, Ash retreats to a corner of his mind, ceding control of his body to the alter-ego he was engineered to be—Subject A36. As he’s unleashed to battle the Insurgents, the only family he ever knew, the tide of war shifts in Silas’s favor.

Combined with his expansion into new territories, the director is poised to take over the world.

But the Insurgents don’t give up easily. Not on their cause, and not on their people. With the help of a few double agents deep in the Colony, they stand a fighting chance at ending Silas’s reign.

In order to shut down the program, they face almost insurmountable odds. And their most dangerous foe—their former champion turned killing machine, A36.

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Excerpt

Long-3

Asher

My legs collapsed, and I fell to my knees. The throbbing in my head hammered against my skull. Like my brain was trying to force its way out somehow. It was agonizing, and my stomach twisted with nausea. My lungs heaved, still short of oxygen. I crawled over to what was left of the mattress and rolled onto it.

I’m here.

Clutching my head, I searched the room for the source of the voice. I still couldn’t see. Someone could have easily slipped in while I destroyed the room.

Give me control.

So close. It was so close. But where?

End your pain.

In my head. The voice echoed in my head.

It was him. A36.

Through the crushing agony I gritted my teeth and struggled to force the word through my lips.

“No.”

But I felt him clawing his way out, inch by inch from the deep abyss inside me where I’d kept him imprisoned for my own sanity and the safety of others.

You have nothing left.

I squeezed my eyes shut and shook my head. But he spoke the truth. All that held me together were the scars of everything I’d lost. Everyone I’d ever loved.

And scars could be easily ripped open.

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Subject A36

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If genetic engineering could guarantee you and your family perfect health and unparalleled beauty, would you pay top dollar for it? Would you kill for it?

Residents of the Colony would. And do.

Only the Insurgents can stop them.

Seventeen-year-old Asher Solomon is a premier operative with the Insurgents. He and his team have rescued countless hostages, saving them from painful deaths in Colony labs as desirable genetic traits are stripped from their bodies.

He’s also suffered more losses than anyone should have to.

Then Asher gets intel that might give his people the upper hand. The Colony is searching for Subject A36. If the Insurgents determine the subject’s identity first, they might be able to turn the tide of the war.

Asher and his team embark on their riskiest mission ever, and the stakes have never been higher. But even if he survives the physical dangers, the devastating secrets he uncovers might destroy him.

About the Author

Teri052020(1of1)

Teri Polen reads and watches horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related are likely to cause fangirl delirium. She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat. Her first novel, Sarah, was a horror finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Subject A36 was voted one of the 50 Best Indie Books of 2020 at ReadFree.ly. Visit her online at www.teripolen.com

Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Book Tour Schedule

June 6th

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

John H. Howell (Spotlight) https://johnwhowell.com

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

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

Shari Sakuri (Review) https://sharisakurai.com/

June 7th

Riss Reviews (Review) https://rissreviewsx.wixsite.com/website

Staci Troilo (Spotlight) https://stacitroilo.wordpress.com/

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

Books + Coffee = Happiness (Spotlight) https://bookscoffeehappiness.com/

@bookscoffeehappiness – https://www.instagram.com/bookscoffeehappiness/

June 8th

Lecari’s Live Journal (Review) http://www.lecari.co.uk

Not a Bunny Blog (Review) https://notanybunny.wordpress.com/blog

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

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

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

June 9th

Cheryl’s Book Nook (Review) https://cherylsbooknook.blogspot.com/

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

Robbie Cheadle (Review) https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/author/robertalouisecheadle/

Bunny’s Reviews (Review) https://bookwormbunnyreviews.blogspot.com/

June 10th

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

@amber.bunch_author (Review) https://www.instagram.com/amber.bunch_author/

Jonathan Pongratz (Review) https://jonathanpongratz.com

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

Book Tour Organized By:

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BOOK BLAST: Bad Boys Don’t Date Clumsy Girls by K.E. Strand #YoungAdult #RomCom

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. KE Strand 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.

When the school’s bad boy infiltrates her shelter, will she lose her sanctuary or her heart?

Hopelessly clumsy Ava, is too focused on graduation and keeping both feet on the ground to have a boyfriend. She has enough to worry about with a less than ideal home life.

Bad boy Dylan can’t help but find Ava’s klutziness entertaining. That doesn’t mean he wants to date her.

When court-ordered community service forces them together at the animal shelter, Ava fears she’s lost her refuge. Dylan’s arrogance gets under her skin. And she finds it unforgivable the dogs prefer him after everything she’s done for them. A spontaneous water fight heats things up and suddenly she anticipates each meeting. But his reputation might be too much for her to overlook.

Will Ava be forced to find a new escape? Or will she stumble her way into his heart?

Bad Boys Don’t Date Clumsy Girls is a light-hearted, clean young adult romantic comedy. The first book in the Oak Grove High series by KE Strand. It will make you cringe, cry, and cackle.

Buy Bad Boys Don’t Date Clumsy Girls for your latest binge read today.

Read an Excerpt

“Hi,” I say. “You must be the new volunteer. I’m Ava and I’ll…”

He turns around and my words fall away as my stomach clenches. Dylan Scott. Oh no. Not him.

“Oh, hey. You’re the mud girl.” He chuckles and then squints. “I think. It’s hard to recognize you now that I can see you.”

“Oh good. You’re a comedian,” I grumble.

Dylan is trouble with a capital T. He skips tons of school, has been suspended a couple of times, and has a reputation as the school heartbreaker. Chloe indicating he’ll be around for a while probably means he’s serving court-ordered community service. Great.

Running into him in the office the other day was one thing, but having him show up here in my sanctuary with something to hold over my head is beyond upsetting. Suddenly, I’m less excited about being here.

“So, what is there to do around here?” Dylan pulls his hands out of his pockets and holds them out to the side to indicate the entire shelter.

“Let me just put my stuff away, and we’ll get started.” I store the lunch Sam packed for me in the refrigerator and shove my purse into a locker. Taking a mental deep breath, I don what I hope is a pleasant expression and turn to Dylan. “Did you put your jacket away? You’ll probably need it.”

“Nah, don’t have one.”

I look at his t-shirt, which I suddenly notice fits him really well, and simultaneously blush and frown. “You came like that? It’s like forty degrees outside.”

“What can I say? I’m hot.”

MY REVIEW – 5 stars!

Bad Boys Don’t Date Clumsy Girls was an excellent mix of lighthearted comedy and serious issues. The story is a wonderful lesson on not judging people based on appearance and rumors.

At first, Ava doesn’t like Dylan. She’s heard the rumors and knows he’s a bad boy. The way he smirks when she has accidents really irritates her. But then the unthinkable happens… they’re stuck volunteering together at the animal shelter.

I enjoyed seeing a more serious side of Dylan, and while I enjoyed the heated moments between the two main characters, I really loved it when they opened up to each other more.

There’s so much going on in this book. While the author tried to pack in multiple storylines, I think it worked out well. A deeper dive into certain parts would have fleshed things out more, but for a quick read, the book was well done.

Definitely an author I’ll be adding to my list. I couldn’t stop reading, and look forward to the next book in the series.

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

About the Author:

KE Strand escapes within the pages of a book when real life thwarts her own outdoorsy adventures. But her favorite escape is into a story about young love. KE Strand writes clean teen romance because she loves those heart pounding moments of having a crush. The excitement, fear, and confusion of falling in love for the first time. And the relief and thrill of the first kiss. Each time you pick up a KE Strand book you’ll fall in love for the first time. You can find her on the following social media

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RELEASE BLITZ: Asbury High and the Captivating Cruise by Kelly Brady Channick #youngadult #cozymystery #YAMystery @RABTBookTours

Asbury High Series, book 6

YA Cozy Mystery

Date Published: 05/29/2022

Publisher: Purple Milk Publishing

 

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Carly, Maddie, Pilot and Cornelious have been waiting forever for their Seniors Only Cruise. After three years of solving crime in their small town, this trip is the relaxing break from Asbury they need. Dreaming of all the fun and drama-free adventures in store for them, the gang settles in for a calm summer cruise.

Soon after departing, things don’t go quite as planned. With strange, new additions to their itinerary, Asbury’s favorite sleuths detect something is amiss. When violence breaks out, Cornelious turns to the captain who quickly reassures everyone aboard. After all, what reason would the crew have to mess with a group of teenagers? Adding to their troubles is Cornelious’ cousin Dane, whose feelings for Maddie have only grown stronger.

Excited to be away from his father and finally dating Maddie, Cornelious tries to ignore his cousin as his insecurities fester. After a stirring revelation from Dane, Cornelious retreats from his friends and finds solace in the ship’s jolly Captain Dex. At the same time, Carly, Maddie and Pilot begin to suspect the crew, believing there’s more than meets the eye with this cruise. Frustrated by Cornelious’ withdrawal, the gang doubles down on their efforts to discover the crew’s motives. Pulled into a dangerous game of who to trust, the gang is determined to find the truth—and mend their friendship.

With relationships called into question and stunning secrets exposed, the gang faces their biggest obstacle yet—trust. Can Cornelious trust the captain more than his friends? With their peers placing blind trust in the crew, can the gang convince them otherwise, before it’s too late? Or are Pilot, Carly and Maddie just overreacting? With constantly changing itineraries, a scheming crew lurking behind every door, a happy-go-lucky captain refusing to dig deeper, and lifelong relationships put to the test, can the gang rekindle their relationship with each other and figure out what’s really going on?

About the Author

Growing up just over the bridge from Ocean City, NJ in Upper Township meant discovering plenty of fun places to both read, write, and run around outside like a maniac. For as long as she could remember, Kelly loved making up stories, and leaving her listeners/readers on the edge of their seats.

After graduating from Ocean City High School, Kelly accepted a basketball scholarship to Holy Family University, in Philadelphia. Upon graduating college, Kelly continued to live in Philly, teaching for four years, and meeting the love of her life during a snowstorm. In fact, it was her awesome husband who encouraged her to pursue her writing–Yay, Ryan!

Before writing page-turners however, she taught first, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade — like a dessert menu, she simply had to test them all out. But her favorite job is the one she’s now doing full time: writing.

As her first published work, the Asbury High series has been brewing since she was 18, and has something for every type of reader–go ahead take look for yourself! If you love mysteries, you’ve found your new favorite author. Kelly loves to craft whodunit mysteries, leading readers through various twists and turns filled with red-herrings, hidden clues, and more peculiar characters than a reality show. As an athlete, she hopes that the importance of teamwork and overcoming adversity, is also quite clear in her writing

Kelly lives in South Jersey with her handsome husband, energetic baby boys, two cookie-stealing dogs, and an awfully smart cat. If you want to know when Kelly’s next book will come out, please visit her website at http://www.kbchannick.com, where you can sign up to receive emails providing updates for new releases, or contact her directly, as well as win fun giveaways, and receive up to date news.

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COVER REVEAL: Fire & Ice by B.T. Polcari #youngadult #mystery @RABTBookTours  @btpolcari

 

A Mauzzy & Me Mystery, Book 2

Cozy Mystery, Young Adult Mystery, Mystery

Date Published: 08-15-2022

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

 

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After encountering a brief power outage at work, college student Sara
Donovan might be allowing her imagination to run wild. The main vault in the
Carlton Museum holds the Fire and Ice Exhibit, a collection of rare gems,
including the Star of Midnight, a 175-carat diamond. Although all the stones
are accounted for, Sara suspects the Star of Midnight was stolen and
replaced with a fake.

While conducting her own investigation, what Sara uncovers is beyond even
her wildest imagination: a coded message, papers with strange characters,
and a mysterious set of numbers carved into an office wall. Despite
dismissive historians and other experts, she is certain these clues point to
a mysterious centuries-old legend.

Unfortunately, her colorful history of usually being right, but always
being wrong, means she must solve the mystery to prove her theory.

 

About the Author

B.T. Polcari is a graduate of Rutgers College of Rutgers University, an
award-winning mystery author, and a proud father of two wonderful children.
He’s a champion of rescue pups (Mauzzy is a rescue), craves watching
football and basketball, and, of course, loves reading mysteries. Among his
favorite authors are D.P. Lyle, Robert B. Parker, and Michael Connelly. He
is also an unapologetic fantasy football addict. He lives with his wife in
scenic Chattanooga, Tennessee.

 

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