Saturday, October 1, 2016

Release Day Blog Tour: Two Graves by Zoe Kalo



Title: Two Graves (Retribution Series #1)
Author: Zoe Kalo
Genre: Dark Psychological Suspense
Audience: New Adult/Adult
Word count: 18,000 words – 70 pages (short novella)
Launch date: October 1st 2016

About the Book
A Dante-ish descent through a sinister world of decadent shadows and woeful souls…
Seven years ago, he shattered her life. The town eventually forgot the headlines and the nightmares. But 23-year old music student Angelica hasn’t forgotten.
For the past seven years, she’s contemplated payback with as much intensity and unwavering faith as she puts into her violin playing. Finally, all the pieces are in place. Over the course of one night, disguised for a masquerade ball, Angelica orchestrates a journey of revenge.
About Author Zoe Kalo
A certified bookworm, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery…
A daughter of adventurous expats, she’s had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. Currently, she’s working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, which she balances between writing, taking care of her clowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir. She is the author of the YA fantasy series CULT OF THE CAT.
Connect with Zoe Kalo on the web:


My thoughts so far:
I'm about 50 % through reading Two Graves, and I'm blown away by this spellbinding tale. The language is gorgeous, sensuous, vivid. After I'm finished, I will post my review on Goodreads and Amazon, so look for that soon. In the meantime, pick up your copy!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Bleeding Hearts Blog Tour!

Today, I'm thrilled to host my fellow Clean Reads author Dana Provo, with her new release, Bleeding Hearts!


Author- Dana Louise Provo
Title: Bleeding Hearts
Genre: New adult, romantic suspense
Blurb: Orphaned at an early age, now twenty-four-year-old Camryn Lucks is ready to commit to find that special someone, and so accepts a date from a charming, gallant, handsome stranger. The last thing she imagines after accepting that first date with Carson would actually be the beginning of her worst nightmare.
Red roses, a reminder of her parents' killer, soon become an emblem of horror for Cami as one by one, those closest to her fall victim to a serial killer. Cami becomes an obsession for Carson, the man she had finally allowed herself to love. Not only is he vying for her heart, but also her life.
Finding herself in a whirlwind of torments shadowed by the blood-colored bloom, Cami finds solace in Isaac, a neighboring police officer. She’s desperate to escape the haunting memories, but she must revisit them in order to catch her would-be killer. Living life in constant fear has driven Cami to second-guess every choice she makes. Will the police catch the illusive murderer, or will Cami be forced to face him once again?
Author Bio: Dana Provo has always loved books and reads everything from young adult fantasy to Adult Historical Romances. She is the author of the Romantic Suspense novel Bleeding Hearts. When she's not reading or writing her next novel, Dana can be found riding her horses and getting ready for competition. Dana lives with her husband and two house plants in Richmond, Virginia.
Excerpt:
My arm trembles as I grip the cool handle of my pistol, keeping a firm grasp to ensure it doesn’t slip out of my sweaty hand. It usually stands sentry in my left nightstand to scare the nightmares away. But this isn’t a dream. The room is dark and hides the face of the man whose intent is to kill me. But I know who he is. A metallic taste fills my mouth; I want to gag. My blood drips off the blade in his hand in slow, steady beats on the carpet. My arms shake as I lift the barrel and point it in his direction. He doesn't move. His heavy breaths alert me to the meager distance between us.
We’re at a stalemate.
A soft glow from the lamppost just outside my window casts a sliver of light on his face. His dark, beady eyes that I have grown to know rake over my body like I'm another one of his many victims. He lifts the edges of his mouth into a smile. My heart plunges into my stomach. I know what that sinister expression means, and I think back to all the times he had looked at me like that before. I had been so blind.
Before I react he lunges at me, grabbing onto my waist and twisting me to the ground. I shriek as my head slams against the bed frame. Black spots flood my vision. I squeeze my hand only to find it empty. My gun is gone. The sound of the knife clattering on the floor gives me slight hope. Not much though. He climbs up my body trying to pin my arms to the floor. I thrash my fists around, desperate to knock him off.
“Get off!” I scream, pulling on his shirt and kicking him off balance. Wrapping his hands around my arms, my attacker cuts off the circulation of blood. Rug burns flare across my skin as he drags me across the carpet. He closes his hands around my neck, shutting off my air supply. I pull at his hands but it's no use; he has always been stronger than me. My pulse drums a frantic beat in my ears. The air slowly leaks out from my lungs, killing any hope I may have left. I search for the gun around the room; it may be my only savior now.
"Why are you doing this?" I struggle to get the words out. He squints his dark eyes. I'm wondering if there might be a chance that he will stop this madness. I am wrong.
"It'll be over soon, sweetheart." His hands again tighten around my neck, blocking the air from entering my lungs.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Cover Reveal: IN THE BEGINNING Month9Books Charity Anthology

You guys, I'm so excited to bring you the cover reveal for Month9Book's IN THE BEGINNING Charity Anthology. My short story, First Wife, the story of Leah, Jacob, and Rachel, is one of the stories included. Mark your calendars for October 25th, because you'll want to pick up a copy of this anthology--and the proceeds go to a great cause! In the meantime, check out this post for some amazing excerpts. Oh,  and enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of three egalleys of the book.




Today Month9Books is revealing the cover
and some excerpts for their Charity Anthology IN THE BEGINNING! Which releases October
25, 2016! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to be one of the first readers
to receive an eGalley!!

On to the reveal!





Title: IN THE BEGINNING: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales

Editors: Laureen P. Cantwell and Georgia McBride

Author: Stephen Clements, Nicole Crucial, Mike Hays, Sharon
Hughson, Marti Johnson, Elle O'Neill, Lora Palmer, & Christina Raus

Pub. Date: October 25, 2016

Publisher: Month9Books

Format: Paperback & eBook

Find it: Amazon

In the Beginning (Oct. 25, 2016) –Eight authors
come together to build a powerful collection of dark young adult short stories
inspired by the mysteries, faith, and darkness found within the Bible. Old Testament
and New Testament, iconic and obscure figures alike are illuminated, explored,
and re-envisioned throughout this charity anthology from Month9Books.

IN THE BEGINNING, edited by Laureen
Cantwell and Georgia McBride



Daniel and the Dragon by Stephen Clements

A troubled orphan named Habakkuk
dutifully follows his master, the prophet Daniel, into temples of blood-thirsty
demon-gods, battles with unspeakable horrors, and bears witnesses to
mind-breaking evil until his master's zealous defiance of the king's law seals
their fate.


Babylon by Nicole Crucial

Far above the earth, in Second Eden,
where moments and eternities all blur together, young Babylon befriends Sefer,
the Book of Life. As Babylon awaits the moment she'll fulfill her destiny, she
and Sefer try to understand the world in which they live.


Last Will and Testament by Mike Hays

A homeless young boy, Baz, bears the
weight of humanity on his shoulders and upon his body. When dark forces test a
new-found friendship, Baz’s willingness to bear the ugliness of their world
will be shaken. 



The Demon Was Me by Sharon Hughson

Based on the story of the
demon-possessed boy healed by Jesus, this tale provides a glimpse into a
post-apocalyptic world where a teenage boy seeks to journey to a better land
and yearns to discover the kind of man he's meant to be, only to be hijacked by
an evil spirit intent upon chipping away at the hope, faith, and resilience of
its host.



The Deluge by Marti Johnson

A non-believer shares the story of
Noah’s ark-building and the deadly downpour that follows. Fear, faithlessness,
and the fallibility of mankind collide in a community where second chances
aren’t unlimited and a better-late-than-never attitude just might be your doom.



Condemned by Elle O'Neill

Just sixteen-years-old, Barabbas finds
himself pulled out of Routlege Academy and into a reality show
competition—against Jesus himself—where the reward for the winner is life.



First Wife by Lora Palmer

In a first-person retelling of the saga
of Jacob, Rachel and Leah, themes of family, deception, guilt, and heartache
emerge amidst the first days of Leah’s marriage to Jacob—a marriage mired in
trickery a mere week before Jacob was to marry Leah's sister Rachel.



Emmaculate by Christina Raus

Based on the story of Mary's Immaculate
Conception, we enter the troubled mind of Emma, who finds herself torn between
her religious upbringing and the purity ring that binds her to her boyfriend
and the pregnancy that results from her relationship with another boy.



Anthology Excerpts:



From THE DEMON WAS ME, by Sharon Hughson:


The ghastly black fog overtook me.
Icicles pierced my back. Every muscle in my body spasmed. I plunged face-first
against the ground. Something sharp gouged my cheek. Shivery tingles pervaded
my insides. A vile presence pressed against my mind.


“Get out!” I rolled to my back, arms
outstretched. I wanted to fight, throw the intruder off me. But how can you
resist something as ethereal as air?
           
Laughter rang in my ears. Sinister.
It shuddered against my soul. Terror and hopelessness collided in my chest. A
foreign power clutched at my mind.           

I screamed. I rolled to my side and
squeezed my eyes shut. If only I could disappear.            

Another dark wave of laughter
echoed through my skull. Convulsions gripped me.

Against my will, my limbs flailed in
every direction. A spike pressed into my mind. I cradled my throbbing head. My
body, a tumbleweed in the wind, spun on the ground.


From BABYLON, by Nicole Crucial:


Only those will enter Heaven whose names
are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

These were the first words I heard, in
the beginning of time.


But Sefer, the protest comes, Revelation
wasn’t written until the first century.

My answer is that time is a funny little
plaything to God, or so I imagine. That first sentence was the wind that
breathed life into my chest, the binding of my pages, the ink in my soul. It
knitted together my stardust-atoms from across centuries and millennia and
planes of existence.

And when the first dregs of
consciousness swirled at the pit-bottom of my spine, I yawned and opened my
eyes to paradise.



From CONDEMNED, by Elle O’Neill:


To his surprise, as he heard the metal
door grind to a stop, there was a popping sound, like the flash-lamp did when
they experimented in Classic Photography at Routlege. Except no camera
appeared—not that he could see anyway—but rather a digital time clock, bold red
numbers, already beginning their descent, in striking relief against the black
paint covering the walls.

29:48:12.

29:48:11.

Of course they would include the
fractions of a second, he thought. He was now fighting a tiger against a racing
clock. For all that they were merely numbers, he saw their dwindling trickle as
if he were watching grains of sand pour through the hourglass of his fingers,
helpless.

29:47:03.


The tiger looked at him. It didn't
glance his way. It directed its massive head at him, its eyes trained on
Barabbas ... and they didn't turn away.

Another man, in another arena, stood
calmly while the tiger advanced. His breathing was even, he did not watch the
clock, and he looked with love upon the prowling beast. When it snarled, he
slowly exhaled; when its whiskers glanced his weaponless fingers, he blinked
gently as the hot breath of the tiger dampened his skin.



From LAST WILL & TESTAMENT, by Mike Hays:


I’ve found money, I’ve found food, and
I’ve found myself in plenty of trouble on plenty of occasions, but I’ve never
found another human being just lying around. That’s what happened when I found
a person-shaped ball of olive drab and camouflage clothing—which would have
been more at home in the reject pile down at the army surplus store—under our
decrepit, worn sign for the, “Extraordinary League of Witch Assass_ _ _.”

It’s true. I found a boy about my age
sleeping at the end of the Extraordinary League of Witch Assassins driveway.


From UNWANTED, by Lora Palmer:


“Let me see you,” he whispers. “Let me
truly see you.”


I swallow down the fear this moment
brings, the anxiety that once he does see me, he will no longer accept me. No,
I must stop thinking this way. My husband is not like Jacob, dazzled by the
superficial beauty of my sister. My husband, my love, will see me.

Taking courage from this, I let out a
shaky laugh as he helps me stand. I long to see him, too.


“All right,” I say.


He lifts my veil, his deft fingers
moving slow, relishing the anticipation of this moment. At last, he lifts the
linen over my face and lets it slip to the floor behind me. We stare at each
other, stock still, in stunned silence.


It was Jacob.



From EMMACULATE, by Christina Raus:


The Ten Commandments are pretty
straightforward. Killing? Bad. Lying? Nope. Adultery? Don’t even think about
it. But is real life really that straightforward? If you tell your boyfriend
that you’re going golfing, when really you’re going out to cheat on him, is the
lying or the adultery worse? What if you stab the guy you’re having an affair
with? Isn’t being a murderer worse than being a cheater? I think the stabbing
is worse than the lying and the cheating combined. So, it was kind of unfair
for God to group killing, lying, and cheating all together under one umbrella.
They all seemed really different.

I was an adulterer. I couldn’t deny
that. I was also a liar. A very, very good liar. But I wasn’t a murderer.

From THE DELUGE, by Marti Johnson:


The stench of mildew and mold is heavy
in our nostrils, and my lungs feel as though they are on fire. My breathing is
audible in the lulls between the thunderclaps. My mother huddles, shivering,
propped between two rocks. She is coughing painfully, and I can hear her teeth
chattering.


It is hard to breathe because the air
itself is full of water.


A deeper shadow has fallen across the side
of the mountain on which we are sheltering. I pull aside the brambles, and gasp
in amazement when I realize what it is. “Look!” I call to the others, and point
at the sight. The ark has risen with the water, and now bobs up and down. It
sits high in the water. We hear nothing from it but the creaking of the wood
timbers and the sound of the branches and rocks on the hillside scraping
against its hull.


From DANIEL AND THE DRAGON, by Stephen Clements:


Your god is a liar!” roared the wizened
man in thin black robes, as he pounded his breast with his fist.

Habakkuk stood by the gates of the
temple as his master picked a fight with a sanctuary full of the slavish
followers of Bel, a bloodthirsty demon god. A fire raged in the fanged maw of a
giant, stone head sunken into the back of the temple, there to receive the
offerings rendered unto Bel. He had seen this before in other temple raids with
his master, though not on such a massive scale, and not at the heart of the
demon cult in Babylon itself. The fire raged as the greatest offering that the
Babylonians—who adored Bel above all other gods—could sacrifice to their deity
was their own newborn children, rolled their screaming, helpless bodies down a
stone, handshaped altar into the fire. They offered the fruit of their wombs to
their dark god, who devoured the innocent souls sacrificed to him in eldritch
rituals.



Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive an eGalley of IN
THE BEGINNING, International.