Cover Reveal, James Witch-Hunter #fantasy #giveaway

Title: James: Witch-Hunter
Author: K.S. Marsden
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release date: 1st October 2017

 

Goodreads

Synopsis
~Prequel to the Witch-Hunter trilogy~

James Bennett is a Yorkshire lad, making the big move to Oxford to start university.
His ambitions involve getting a good education; impressing the Rugby Club; and not throttling his roommate. All perfectly normal drama, until Hallowe’en.

A girl’s murder throws James into the dangerous world of witches, and those that hunt them.

After playing a sidekick in the Witch-Hunter trilogy, it’s only fair that James gets to be centre stage in his own prequel.
This can be read as a stand-alone, and does not contain any spoilers. It may contain witches, bad jokes and cringe-worthy scenes; but definitely no spoilers.

~

Excerpt:
Charlotte had just made her second coffee of the day, when she heard a very insistent banging at the front door. Not in the mood for visitors, she reluctantly opened it.
And was met by the sight of James.
In a dress.
“I’ll never get used to your humour, James.” She said, stepping aside and letting him in. “Fancy some fresh coffee? And when I say fresh, I mean instant stuff I’ve only boiled once.”
James closed the door behind him, and made his way through the narrow corridor to Charlotte’s tiny kitchen.
Charlotte promptly poured an extra coffee and added sugar, her normally bright eyes were red, and it was clear she’d been crying.
“I broke up with Nathan.” She said, looking embarrassed that he had to see her like this.
“I think my roommate’s a murderer.” James countered.
Charlotte handed him a mug of coffee, shaking her head. “When a girl says she’s broken up with her boyfriend, most people would offer… never mind. You win. Why is Hunter a murderer?”
James gently lowered himself down onto Charlotte’s rickety sofa. “I followed him last night. He was bein’ weird, and I have a tracker on his phone-”
“What?!”
“And he went to this warehouse, where…” James trailed off, his throat closing around the words.
Charlotte misread his inability to speak, and gently rubbed his shoulder. “It’s alright, you’re safe here. Who do you think he killed?”
“Bea.” James gasped out. “You remember the blonde, Scottish lass? They hooked up at start of term; then the other night she was looking for him; next thing you know, she’s dead!”
Charlotte put down her coffee cup, her hand shaking too much to hold it. She looked at James in all seriousness, “And you saw Hunter kill her?”
James shook his head, thinking back to last night, and the hooded figures. He was sure it was Hunter, “I couldn’t clearly see who it was, but why would Hunter be there? It’s one hell of a coincidence, that he bails on the Hallowe’en party and ends up at the same warehouse where the girl he was shagging ends up getting sta-”
“Did you physically see him there?” Charlotte asked.
“No, I was following a tracker.” James admitted.
“An illegal tracker, that’ll never hold in court, James.”
James snorted, “Trust the trainee-lawyer to say that.”
“Hey, I’m just trying to see every angle.” Charlotte said, punching his arm. “There could be another, perfectly normal explanation. Maybe someone mugged Hunter and stole his phone – that sort of person would be more likely to head to the dodgy side of town.”
“Ha, it’d have to be the king of muggers to get the better of Hunter.” James argued. “He’s super-fast, super-strong, and has anger issues. Which all adds up to someone very capable of murder.”
“How-”
“Do you not remember how we first met? It’s not often I get thrown against a wall, instead of the usual handshake. And I do rugby training with him – trust me, it’s like getting hit by a car-”
“James, you’re exaggerating.” Charlotte sighed.
“And I’ve seen him run – I forgot to show you.” James dug out his phone from the flowery handbag, and quickly found the video he’d taken weeks ago. “Look – look how fast he is! And don’t you find it weird that he’s never that fast in rugby games? It’s almost like he’s holding back.”
Charlotte looked at the video, and when the brief clip was over, she shrugged, “It doesn’t look that fast to me.”
“Well, it seemed it when I was watching with my own two eyes.” James tucked his phone away. “He’s not normal.”
“Yes, but there’s a huge leap between what’s not normal, and a killer.” Charlotte said, exasperated. “Don’t get me wrong; I want to help you James, I really do… have you been to the police?”
“Yes, I stayed there overnight.” James answered. “I got knocked out, and some cop must’a found me. Next thing I know, I’m waking up in a cell.”
“Oh no, what happened? Did someone attack you?”
James opened his mouth the speak, but he didn’t even know what to say. He remembered getting knocked off his feet by some powerful force, but that didn’t make sense.
“What did the police say?” Charlotte asked, when it was clear James wasn’t giving her an answer.
He shrugged, “Not much, just that Bea had died. They were dodging a lot of my questions.”
“That’s normal police protocol for an ongoing investigation.” Charlotte said, knowledgably.
James shook his head. “There was summat not right about the whole thing. It just felt shady.”

~

Goodreads

Author:
Kelly S. Marsden grew up in Yorkshire, and there were two constants in her life – books and horses.
Graduating with an equine degree from Aberystwyth University, she has spent most of her life since trying to experience everything the horse world has to offer. She is currently settled into a Nutritionist role for a horse feed company in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
She writes Fantasy stories part-time. Her first book, The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1), was published in January 2013, and she now has two successful series under her belt.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Bridges #WEPFF Challenge No. 5 featuring unknown title #amwriting #flashfiction

So, I’m on vacation and totally forgot to schedule this post. Also, I started working on it a few days ago and then forgot about it being too busy celebrating birthday month and working on a new blog project. This piece is unfinished and unpolished. My plan is to turn the segments into journal entries, but as you can see, I have a long way to go.

Well, all in all, I don’t think this is my worst work, but it shouldn’t be too bad. I look forward to seeing the other entries and thank Denise Covey and Yolanda Renée for yet, another, great challenge.

~
Unknown Title

Figie’s all the time going on about things as if he knows what he’s saying, but everyone knows he just hears things and repeats’em. I guess this time around, Figie heard something that no one wanted him to go around repeat’n.

So, here we are, running for our lives. Well, he’s running for his life and I’m trying to help’em, but as soon as others realize I’m help’n em, I’ll too be on the run. Been traveling by night and hold’n up during the day. Too many folks round here so dependent on solar power that life pretty much comes to a standstill come night fall. Sure folks use lunar power a bit, but none bother much to go out when everything inside is all lit up like it’s still daytime.

I hoarded a bunch of portable recharging batteries a few years back in case I ever decided to leave town and do some adventure walk’n. Folks just don’t adventure walk like they used to. I member people laughing at me for wasting space on old tech that probably wouldn’t work, but who’s laugh’n now?

I’m pretty much doing everything on my own to keep me and Figie alive. He’s a complete wreck; shake’n and twitch’n all the time. Spect’n someone to come punch’n out of the dark and kill’em in his tracks. Crazy thing is, after explain’n the situation, Figie hasn’t said another word. I have no idea what he heard that’s got folks com’n after’em.

Soon well be reach’n Pillar Peak. I figure, we could hold up there for a good while. One way up, no way down, and too cold for most to live. With us charging our batteries during the day and keeping a fire going all the time, we should be able to get by.

Food shouldn’t be a problem wit the way the fowls dip and dive all around. Most times you can’t even see the exact point of Pillar Peak ‘cause of all the swarm’n fowl. Wit the collapsible dome we been using for shelter and my skills with a sling, we’ll be just fine for a while.

Well, it’s been a full Lunar since we bunkered at Pillar Peak and not a soul’s come look’n for us. I’m thinking maybe Figie’s done lost it. It was fun for a while. Got to go on that adventure walk I always been talk’n bout, but now what. Just catch’n fowl, keep’n the fire, and sleep’n. Tonight Figie’s gonna tell me what this is all about or I’m break’n camp and head’n back wit or wit out’em.

Holy walk’n spirits are we in a terrible mash. No one’s come look’n yet, but it’s only a matter of time. Stupid Figie, hang’n around gathering other folks knowledge instead of learn’n his own. What a fool. To think he once had me believe’n you didn’t need to bother wit read’n and learn’n if you just pay attention to other folk. “Other folk,” he’d say, “they’ll teach ya e’er thing ya need to know, if ya just listen and be patient.” So, what happens when you learn something you don’t want to know… I’ll tell ya. You run for your life.

Stupid Figie. Hanging around the High Lord Scholars, all the time trying to sound smarter than anybody would believe him to be, found out where the Bridge is. Heck, he found out that it’s actually real. I mean, no one goes looking for the Bridge no matter how much wonder and power might be instore, ‘cause no one actually thinks it’s real. But foo on me, it’s real and Figie knows where it is. And they know he knows.

Now I’m twitch’n day and night just like Figie. He’s at least come back to his senses a bit and his help’n out. We’re alternating sentry duties. I’m still hunting all the grub, but he’s cook’n it and clean’n up after. Don’t really matter. Our nerves are so on edge, every pound we put on, we shake off in nerves. We won’t make it to the frost season; not up here. We gonna have to leave, but that’ll probably get us caught and killed. Seems no matter what we do or don’t do, we’re head’n to the Endless Ferry.

~

714 WIP- unkown title 2017 Copyright © Toinette J. Thomas
Seeking full critique.



Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Toi Reads “We Are Jardin” #wip #sample #fantasy

For anyone interested, I’m updating the free short story that comes with my email list sign-up. I’m offering a story that’s only been offered previously in an sci-fi anthology; you can have Clepher’s Heart free when you join my email list.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#BooktagsBlogHop No. 3: Strength (Mark of Nexus Book 1) by @CarrieAButler #fantasy #amreading

Booktagbloghop

The purpose of this blog hop is for readers and writers to share what they are reading, have read, are writing, or have written with others. This is not about promoting free or discounted books, though some of those may be featured. This is about book lovers sharing what they love about books. This blog hop is about the Joy of Reading and the Joy of Writing with tags of your choosing and is hosted by me, Toi Thomas, the third Monday of the month. Learn more here.

This month’s optional theme is: Winter, cold, or holidays.

Excerpt from Chapter 7

I stood up and hastily buttoned myself into my purple, clearance-special pea coat. It pleated at the waist and had big, funky buttons down the front. I’d gotten it for thirteen dollars after Christmas and wore it like a victory medal.

I slung my bag over my shoulder and merged into the line for the door. Go, people. I hate loiterers. It’s one thing to have a legitimate reason to hold up the flow of traffic—like, maybe someone is on crutches or something. That’s fine. Well, not for them. It sucks for them. But pausing to have a conversation in the doorway? I blew out an aggravated sigh. Un-accepta-ble.

“A little impatient today?” a smooth voice cut in, interrupting my thoughts.

Was someone talking to me? I cast a quick glance over my shoulders and found a pair of amused brown eyes taking in my every move. My cheeks burned. “Uh, yeah, I guess.”

The guy grinned, studying me like he had some kind of divine insight. Laugh lines creased the corners of his eyes, and his warm gaze smoldered. “And it’s only the first day of class, sweetheart. How are we going to make it through fifteen weeks?”

I blinked. Was this guy for real? Who starts up a conversation like that out of nowhere? I wasn’t shy or anything, but the familiar language was throwing me off. “I guess we’ll have to manage.”

237 words from: Strength (Mark of Nexus #1) © 2013 Carrie Butler

My Thoughts

I’m making a point to get this review posted soon. I just finished this book and really enjoyed it. I will definitely be seeking out the rest of the series. As for why I shared this piece today, there are a few reasons.

1. I think this may be classified as YA, but for me, it has a more New Adult feel to it. The college banter here doesn’t feel as bothersome as what I usually read in YA, which is why I don’t read it much. In any case, much of the story reminds me of my own college experience, which I haven’t often felt when reading stories set in a college scene.

2. This passage goes great with the winter and cold theme for this month. This whole installment of this series takes place in winter and some of the scenes made me cold just reading them.

3. I like the way this character thinks. She’s very down to earth and her inner monolog isn’t annoying.

4. I like the originality of this story. It’s always surprising to me when I come across a story that feels truly unique. It’s hard for stories these days to be completely original, but when a story doesn’t come off cliché and there’s something I haven’t figured out by the end- I’m impressed.

Lastly, this passage is important to me because of how the story plays out at the end of this installment. I figured out something here, but I also completely missed something too. I hope you read it for yourself and see if this scene stands out once you’ve read it.

Find this title at Amazon Goodreads

What are you currently reading? I’d love to know.

Next blog hop post date will be January 18, 2016.

I’ll be setting up a new linky soon and emailing it to past participants. Thank you to those of you who joined me on this journey so far, whether you’re continuing or not.

Be sure to hop around and see what others are reading so you may continue to pile onto your TBR list.


Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

The Conduit by @Rourkewrites Tour by @Storytime4Ever #Review #thetoiboxofwords

The Conduit Tour BannerTitle: The Conduit
Author: Stacey Rourke
Pages: 212 on Amazon Kindle
Price: Perma Free
Genre: YA / Paranormal

Available Now

Amazon | Nook ibooks Kobo | Smash

BLURB: Gryphon Series Book 1

All 18-year-old Celeste Garrett wants is The Conduit Coverto head off to college and make those fun, yet ill-advised, choices college kids are known for. And maybe to spend some time with the hot cameraman she just met. Instead, because of a pact her ancestors made in the 17th century with a mythical creature, she has to save the world.

While normal kids are slamming energy drinks and cramming for exams, Celeste will get her adrenaline rush fighting a fire breathing dragon. She wants to meet friends in the quad to exchange lecture notes, but first she must exchange blows with a shapeshifting demon on the rooftop. Life isn’t always fair for a superhero, but at least she doesn’t have to do it alone. With her brother and sister as sidekicks, they alternate between saving lives and getting on each others’ nerves. Together the trio encounters unspeakable odds, mystical forces and comes face-to-face with an image that will haunt them forever—their grandmother in a leopard print bikini.

“Okay, little side note here. If a psychopathic killer asks if you want to see a trick, say no. That’s the smart thing to do. I, on the other hand, responded, ‘Bring it’.”

EXCERPT

The gas station door chimed and Gabe came out. His arms overflowed with chips, beef jerky, and a two liter of pop.
I gaped at him in slack-jawed astonishment. “What are you doing?”
“What?” he asked. “It’s a long drive, so I got snacks.”
“We’re not going on a road trip to an amusement park! We’re facing the forces of darkness, remember?”
“Yeah, so? I’m hungry,” he shrugged. “It’s like before my games, there’s no point in getting my game face on until I get there. In the meantime—road trip!”
“I bet Robin never made Batman stop for chips,” I muttered under my breath as I returned the nozzle to its resting place on the pump. I turned back toward the truck and saw a spiky blonde head bop around the side of the building. “Kendall! You’re supposed to be halfway to Memphis by now!”
She threw her hands up. “I’m going; I’m going! I just had to stop to pee. It’s a long flight.”
I squeezed the bridge of my nose between my fingers and shook my head. We had to be the lousiest warriors ever.
Gabe rolled down my driver’s side window and leaned out. “What are you waiting on? We goin’ or what?”
Batman had it easy. He was an only child.

My rating:5 of 5 stars

The Conduit (Gryphon, #1)As dysfunctional families go, the Garrets are actually doing pretty well considering the Garret kids, now teenagers and young adults, have been displaced from their home and are now living with their retro grandmother, as their mother stays behind to pick up the pieces after the death of her husband and their father. Even with that consideration, Celeste is a pretty good big sister, Kendal is almost the perfect little sister who just happens to be beautiful, and Gabe could be a lot worse, seeing as he’s the middle child and the only boy. But then one day the evil Barnabus decides to exact a century’s old revenge and the Garret kids receive an inheritance they’d rather leave to the dogs. With superpowers, shape shifting, and young adult hormonal disillusionment, The Conduit is a fascinating, thrilling, and at times, hilarious read.

I really didn’t know what to expect when I started this book, but I’d heard good things about it. I knew it was a YA fantasy series, but that was about it. I also knew I loved the artwork of the Gryphon on the cover of the book, but sadly, that cover has been discontinued…at least I like the new cover and the series’ covers match now.

From beginning to end, The Conduit was an exciting read. Even when the author had to slow down to explain something, the characters are so neurotic that the explanations come off as action packed. The only time the action slowed down was when the sarcastic humor of the author spilled out through her characters offering abundant laughter. There were a few touching moments in the story, but they were so perfectly paced that the flow of the story was a constant wave moving forward towards the end. Not that this book was terribly long, but it also wasn’t that short. I enjoyed reading this book so much, I finished it much quicker that I had expected.

When I purchased the Conduit, I thought I was just testing out this new author and had no intention of reading further, but halfway through this one, I bought the sequel and can’t wait the get the next one after that. I’m not an avid reader of YA fantasy and tend to toe the line when it comes to liking it, but this book is great.

Younger children may not get some of the references, but if this were a movie I’d give it a PG-13 rating; it’s good for the whole family, dad may not be interested…at first.

View all my reviews

AUTHOR BIO

Stacey Rourke Author PhotoRONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012 Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013 Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner for Crane 2015

Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.

Find Stacey: Website Fan Club Facebook 

Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords