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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Ideas expressed in this promotion are not those of this blogger.

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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.

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Fantasy Fun Reads: Toi Thomas: Author Interview & Spotlight

Greetings all. Yesterday I had the pleasure to hang out at the Fantasy Fun Reads blog. Please stop by and check it out.

“Shifter month continues with Toi Thomas, author of Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel (Eternal Curse Series Book 1)”

Source: Fantasy Fun Reads: Toi Thomas: Author Interview & Spotlight

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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

Shadows Collide by @ReadDanLevinson Virtual Book Tour Excerpt by @RABTBookTours #sci-fi

Title: Shadows Collide
Series: The PSIONIC Earth Book 2
Author: Dan Levinson
Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy
Date Published: September 15, 201

Blurb
The Orion Psi Corps is in shambles, the dead still being counted. And though Orion’s retaliation has begun, Calchis isn’t finished yet.

New Axom City—that’s where Nyne Allen has taken refuge in the wake of his desertion from Orion. Soon it will become a battlefield, as familiar faces from both sides barrel toward a collision that will forever alter the course of history.

Meanwhile, in the Far East, Aaron Waverly learns the truth behind the red-robed man, and discovers a destiny that might one day spell the end of the world itself.

Excerpt
The air was on fire.

As the blaze embraced her, she raised her hands, shielded her eyes; the billows of flame engulfed her as she screamed her defiance. The world blinked shut, like an eye closing, and when it opened once more, she saw faces, murmuring alarm. She tried to tell them they should leave her be, let her die in peace, her body still ablaze as if subsumed in the inferno. Yet before she could speak, wings of darkness enveloped her, carried her into oblivion.

When she surfaced again, she saw glaring lights.

She lay upon a gurney, moving swiftly through florescent-lit halls, the acrid stench of burned hair like a halo around her. Again, faces peered at her, their voices a low babble, distorted, as if through a tunnel. When a sudden movement jarred her, she howled, her vocal cords raw, like pulverized meat. Even the air rushing by tormented her.

What had happened?

She glanced about, eyes rolling, unable to move her head. A sign loomed above: Burn Ward. Another jolt shook her, and an animal sound escaped her throat as she lapsed again into unconsciousness.

She awoke in a white, sterile room, and for a moment thought she was somewhere familiar. But the hospital room was only an echo of a place she couldn’t quite recall, the memory slipping from her like sand through a sieve. She shifted in her bed, gasped, and only then looked down at her arms and hands, covered in bandages, the rest of her hidden beneath a thin, tan wool blanket. She could feel where those bandages compressed her flesh, chafed her raw throat, her belly, breasts, legs, and feet.

To her left, she saw a morphine drip, but could not reach it, the effort of moving her arm more than she could bear. She tried to cry for help, but now her voice came only in croaks and whimpers. She was trapped in her scorched body, no one to help her, while machines and monitors mocked her with ceaseless beeping.

A male nurse walked by the room, peered through the door’s glass pane, and she met his eyes, silently begging him for aid. He ran off, and for those next interminable minutes, each second seemed to her a test of will simply to exist. An inner voice told her to be strong, that she could make it through this, and she clung to it, the vague notion that she could endure all that she had. Mentally, she counted, One, two, three, four, five, those numbers like a life raft, though she did not know why.

At last, the doctor arrived—an austere, dark-haired man in a white coat, his eyes gauging her behind silver-framed glasses. She could read the pity on his face. “My name is Dr. Shipley,” he said. “You’ve been involved in a very bad accident. I don’t mean to alarm you, but you’ve suffered third degree burns over sixty percent of your body. Do you understand?”

She tried to nod while her mind processed. An accident? Of course. How else could she have ended up like this?

“How’s the pain?” Shipley asked. “I can increase the painkillers if you—”

“Hurts,” she rasped, her voice like sandpaper.

Shipley adjusted the morphine. “Your esophagus is damaged, from inhaling superheated air. I’ll ask a couple more questions, but keep your answers to one or two words. After that, no talking. Okay?”

She nodded again as the painkillers entered her system, making her woozy.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

She opened her mouth to reply, then closed it, the answer elusive. The pain had so consumed her that, until now, she hadn’t realized the details of her life were whispers and shadows lurking in unseen corners of her mind. She couldn’t remember her name, nor the accident, nor anything else. She choked back a sob, the force of it stabbing at her injured body.

“You don’t know?” Shipley asked.

Feebly, she shook her head.

“Well,” Shipley said, “given the trauma you’ve been through, it’s not unheard of. Unfortunately, when you were found, you had no identification, and your hands are too badly burned for us to take fingerprints. But don’t worry. When you’ve had the chance to recover, I’m sure it’ll come back to you.” He offered her a reassuring smile.

She knew he was trying to comfort her, and so restrained the urge to tell him to go f— himself. Don’t worry too much? What kind of advice was that?

“Is the pain still bad?” he asked her. He fiddled with the drip again, and the room grew hazy, indistinct, before she could manage a word.

When she opened her eyes, the room was dark, all shapes indistinct save the colors on the monitor feeds. Burning, throbbing blanketed her. She rolled her head to the side, saw that the window shade lay slightly open, revealing the lights of an unfamiliar city—the greens and reds of traffic signals, the whites of far-off windows, the myriad colors of illuminated billboards. She had no idea where she was.

Despairing, she wept, and as the grief shuddered through her, it ignited her body anew, though she could do nothing to stem her tears. “Why?” she murmured. What sin had she committed that she was being punished so? “Why did this happen?” She didn’t care that she was not supposed to speak, for hearing her own voice reassured her; it was an anchor, even if it was a whisper.

And that was what she had become, she realized. A shadow of her former self.

A whisper.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Dan Levinson is a NY-based writer of speculative fiction. Trained as an actor at NYU’s Tisch School of Arts, he also writes for the stage and screen. He grew up immersing himself in fantastical worlds, and now creates them. In addition to the Psionic Earth series, he is also the author of the upcoming YA fantasy novel The Ace of Kings, first book of The Conjurer’s Cycle.

Contact

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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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