Book blitz – Death by the river

Book and author details

Death by the river

Death by the river

Death by the River
by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: October 2nd 2018
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
Synopsis:

A high school “American Psycho.”

SOME TRUTHS ARE BETTER KEPT SECRET.

SOME SECRETS ARE BETTER OFF DEAD.

Along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.

And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.

The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Handsome. Charming. Intelligent. The star quarterback of the football team. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.

He is also a psychopath.

A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the ruined St. Francis Abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.

As the victim toll mounts, it becomes crystal clear that someone has to stop Beau Devereaux.

And that someone will pay with their life.

Except :

Beau strolled down the elegant curved mahogany staircase of his parents’ plantation home. He stepped onto the hardwood floors and caressed the newel post at the end of the steps. Shaped like the head of a horse, the bit pulled taut in its mouth, he admired the pain carved into the creature’s bulging eyes.
He headed along the hallway, tugging his book bag over his shoulder, the occasional moan of the floor echoing around him. He glanced at a massive gold painting of New Orleans he liked, bought by some dead relative a century ago. Family portraits of other deceased members of the Devereaux clan littered the white wainscoting covered walls. He passed the tall cypress door to his father’s office, not bothering to check inside. His old man was an early riser and probably on his way to the brewery.
At the end of the hall, he turned down a slender corridor to the kitchen and the entrance to the five-car garage. He enjoyed the quiet in the morning after his father went to work and before his mother crawled out of bed. It made him feel like it was all his, for a little while anyway.
In the kitchen, Beau went around the beaten copper-covered breakfast bar to the refrigerator.
His father appeared, holding a coffee mug.
Beau froze, almost afraid to move when he spotted him.
Gage Devereaux rested his hip against the black granite countertop. Tilting his head slightly, he inspected his son. In his usual attire—a long-sleeved shirt and slacks—he came across more like a casual businessman than a ruthless capitalist. Except for their height and physical prowess, Beau felt he had nothing in common with his father.
He attempted to relax by shifting his book bag on his shoulder. “Didn’t expect to find you still home.”
Gage set his mug on the counter. “I wanted to speak to you before you left for school.”
The hint of condescension in his father’s voice tightened his chest—it usually signaled a lecture.
“I got a call from Ms. Greenbriar yesterday afternoon. She said you visited her office after a run-in you had with Carol Foster’s boy.”
Beau’s fingers twitched, the way they did when his aggravation got the better of him. Great. The idiot woman had called his father. The last thing he needed was Gage Devereaux up his ass.
“Derek is dating Dawn’s sister, so I often see him at school.” He tempered the irritation in his voice, not wanting to annoy his father. “I was talking to Leslie when Derek walked up. I accidentally caught him with my elbow when I turned around. I apologized and everything is fine.”
He waited, analyzing every move his father made, searching his hard eyes for an inkling of his mindset.
“I’ve spoken to you before about this.” Gage came around the breakfast bar. “This family is in a precarious position with everyone in town. I don’t want your actions threatening our business or our good name.” He gripped Beau’s shoulder. “What have I always told you? What is our rule?”
Beau cringed as the words he’d spent a lifetime dreading screamed through his head. He faced his father, standing at attention. “Self-control in all things. Never let anyone see who you really are.”
Gage leaned closer. “No matter what anyone says, no matter what they do, you walk away. This includes your girlfriend. Do you understand?”
Beau stiffened at the low, menacing tone in his father’s voice. “Yes, sir.”
Gage lifted the left side of his mouth ever so slightly. “Go to school.”
Beau stood by the breakfast bar, not moving a muscle as his father headed to the garage. The door clicked shut and a trickle of sweat ran down his temple. His jaw muscles cramped from clenching, his heart rate slowed, and he glanced at his fists. His father’s warning spinning in his head, Beau slammed his hand down on the copper bar.
Anger like molten lead ran through him. Beau sucked in deep breaths to calm himself—something he remembered from a long-ago therapy session. Then he relaxed his hand on the bar, checking the indent he’d left in the copper. He wiped the smudge away, stepped back, and raised his head.
I am the master of control.

AUTHOR BIO:

Lucas Astor

Lucas Astor

Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.

He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music.

One of his favorite quotes is: “It’s better to be silent than be a fool.” ~Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)

Alexandrea weis

Alexandrea weis

Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.

This book blitz is organised by Xpressobooktours.

Book blitz – The walking horses by Linda S Browning

Parlor Game Mysteries, Book 2

Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Date Published: August 2018

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

It all started with a haunted Ouija board in Nashville and the cold case murder of Sophie Mathews. Then, Henry Meyer did not commit suicide in his tobacco barn in Columbia and the case went cold. When Olivia Honeycutt takes on the case of Eloise Venable Freeman, she must accept her paranormal proclivities. Eloise and her infant daughter, Andrea, allegedly died in a horrific fire thirty years ago. Her husband, David, is not satisfied with ashes. David wants answers. Olivia travels to Shelbyville, Tennessee, and the world of the Walking Horses to solve her most challenging mystery to date.

Other Books in the Parlor Game Mysteries Series:


Hanging Tobacco

Parlor Game Mysteries, Book 1

Published: June 2017

Hanging Tobacco is the first book in the Parlor Game Mystery Series. Olivia Honeycutt solved the cold case murder of Sophie Mathews with the help of Sophie’s Ouija board. Now, Olivia and her Nashville detective boyfriend, Presley, tackle the twenty five year old mystery surrounding the death of Henry Meyer. The old man was found hanging from the neck in the rafters of his tobacco barn in Columbia, Tennessee. Was Henry intent on suicide? Or, was it murder? Uncovering the truth behind Henry’s death proves both challenging and life threatening. Not everyone in Columbia wants to know the truth. Olivia takes the Ouija board on the road.

Excerpt

“. . . I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always — take any form — drive me mad! Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!”

EMILY BRONTE, Wuthering Heights

CHAPTER 1

He waits in the shadows as silent and greedy as any panther awaiting its prey. It’s where the game always begins. I approach casually—pretending I don’t know he is there, pretending I don’t know he waits.

          I stand with my back against the refrigerator. At five-feet-something my head doesn’t come anywhere near the top of the appliance. After about one minute, he bops me tentatively on the top of the head with one paw and then retreats. Back he comes with another stealthy bop. I imagine he’s giggling with glee as I turn to sweep Toby from his perch. His giggle is a purr of satisfaction. He’s gotten me again. I’m a successful, professional, thirty-four-year-old woman; yet, I delight in playing this stupid game with a short-haired gray cat that I named Toby—short for Tobacco Cat. How on earth did I allow this to happen? I’ve always made fun of people who went stupid over their pets.

                Toby is approximately six months old and he’s a strange-looking animal—small for a male cat with round chipmunk cheeks. His mother was a small calico barn cat. His father had been a man of the gypsies. The veterinarian is convinced Toby’s blue-gray coloring, heart-shaped head, and large green eyes are distinguishing characteristics for a Korat. What a cat from the regions of Thailand had been doing fraternizing with a Tennessee barn cat was anybody’s guess.

                Five minutes later Presley Warren entered the kitchen with a prowling grace. He’s a big guy. Bull-in-a-china-shop size big. It kinds of ticks me off that he should move so easily and gracefully. I’m a little dinky person and I flail around whatever room I’m in at the time. He leaned into a morning kiss—“Good morning, sunshine!”—smacking his lips afterwards. “Yum, coffee with cream.” Gliding over to the kitchen counter my police detective boyfriend shrugged into the jacket and reached for his to-go cup upended in the dish drainer beside the sink. “Good morning, Toby!” He threw the greeting at the cat. Toby growled into his food dish and I growled into my coffee cup.

            I suffer through mornings as a necessary evil. Something to endure until a more respectable hour rolls around. He leaned over to kiss me goodbye with one hand holding his tie flat and the other grasping the now-filled to-go cup. He had that aftershave wonderful man-smell thing going and I thought fleetingly of grabbing his tie and wrestling him to the kitchen floor. I love the clean weekday man-smell. I’m also fond of the Sunday morning scruffy detective in-need-of-a-shave guy. It’s a toss-up. He grinned down at me as though he could read my mind. “I’ve got to go. Big meeting downtown. What are you doing today?”

                I sighed. “I’m going to make some calls to see what I can scare up.” In a lot of ways I’m jealous of Presley’s job. In a city the size of Nashville there is never a shortage of crime. Presley has job security. I’m a freelance journalist. There is nothing secure about a career in journalism.

     Presley whirled toward the hallway with coffee in one hand and car keys in the other. He called from the front door, “Text me later,” and he was out the door.

     I mumbled to the room. “Elvis has left the building.” Toby didn’t acknowledge the comment. Presley’s jeep rests in the driveway when he stays over. It’s my house so my Mini Cooper gets to live in the one-car garage. Setting my empty coffee mug in the sink I headed upstairs. I’d been awake for at least an hour. It was time for a nap. Presley had awakened me early; banging around in the small shower stall off the master bedroom. He could have showered in the bathroom downstairs, but he prefers to bang around and swear. The shower stall is small, perfect for a single professional hobbit-sized woman. The proudest day of my life had been moving into my fifteen-hundred-square-foot townhome. I fell in love with the soaring cathedral ceilings the moment I saw the place. Peter Pan could fly in here.

                Somehow a goofy-looking cat and a big-footed detective had burrowed their way into my little nirvana when I hadn’t been paying attention. Presley and I don’t live together. He has a small apartment in downtown Nashville. We are casually committed lovers; it’s complicated. We’ve been a couple ever since we laid eyes on one another last June. He is six feet of beat-up handsomeness. I was hooked immediately.

                I snoozed for about a half hour and woke up to Toby sprawled across my ankles in a purring puddle. Leaving the cat on the bed I went to shower and prepare for the day. By the time I re-entered the bedroom, Toby had left to roam the premises. I headed downstairs to the kitchen and my laptop. I was getting antsy for a story. The cold case mystery of Sophie Mathews had sold well throughout Tennessee. If I had included Sophie’s supernatural assistance in the solving of her case via a link with her Ouija board, I probably could have ended up on some national news shows…or even made the front page of the National Inquirer. While I had no problem furthering my career by telling her story, I would never have trivialized it with paranormal shenanigans. Sophie had meant a lot to me.

                A few months after Sophie’s case was put to bed I was invited to look into the cold case of Henry Meyer. When I wrote up Henry’s story and shopped it around, it sold like the funnel cakes at Mule Day weekend in the close town of Columbia—which was where Henry Meyer had not hung himself in his tobacco barn.

                I was bored. I needed to get busy and sell a story. I had a mortgage, a car loan, and a cat to support. I opened my laptop to search for local happenings that I could twist into a story and was immediately intrigued by a recently received email.

To: Miss Olivia Honeycutt

From:  David Owen Freeman

Date: January 19, 2015

     I am in need of your help. I was given this email address by Sheriff Lockheed of Bedford County which he acquired via his professional contacts with the sheriff’s office in Maury County. I was assured this was your business email and not personal. My wife and I have read the journalistic pieces you have written concerning the cold cases of Sophie Mathews of Nashville/Davidson County and Henry Meyer of Columbia/Maury County. My dear wife, Betsy, has encouraged me to write to you in the hope that you will look into the thirty-year-old deaths of my first wife, Eloise Venable Freeman, and infant daughter, Andrea Ilene Freeman. I have long suspected their deaths were the direct result of arson; therefore, they were murdered.


      I sincerely hope you will consider my request. I will personally cover all expenses you incur due to travel and hotel accommodation regardless of the outcome of your investigation. Eloise and Andrea lost their lives in an inferno at the Venable family estate. The official cause of the fire was never determined. However, I have always believed it was arson. There is a cold case at the Shelbyville Police Department filed away as Eloise Venable Freeman and infant daughter. My daughter’s Christian name isn’t even printed on the case file. The remains of my wife were recovered in the rubble. My daughter’s remains were never recovered. I am haunted by the summary in the report of the Fire Marshall. The remains may have been so insignificant that all traces of the infant could have been incinerated in the extreme velocity of the fire. Assuming it was arson (and I do), no motive was ever established. Eloise’s date of death was August 3, 1985.The fire started in the early morning hours of that date.


       Eloise was the daughter of Lawrence Venable. Venable Tennessee Walkers are well known throughout the country for the breed of Tennessee Walking Horses. I can be reached at the phone numbers and email addresses listed below. I will not go into further detail at this time. I sincerely do hope you will consider my request and get in touch.

About the Author

Linda S. Browning is retired from the University of Tennessee, Office of Research and Social Work. She lives with her husband in Middle Tennessee with their thirty-plus year amazon parrot and a young and energetic Bichon/ShihTzu mix. Linda is the author of Leslie & Belinda Mysteries.

Contact Links

Purchase Link

Cover reveal of Alpha breeds by Milana Jacks

BOOK DETAILS:
Alpha Breeds
by Milana Jacks
(Alpha Horde, #1)
Publication date: October 29th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction
Alpha breeds
Alpha breeds by Milana Jacks
Synopsis:

Omegas belong to the King. But this one belongs to me.

Kingsley
At the frat party, someone must have spiked my beer, because I see a bright light and find myself sitting on a bed with a huge, green monster looming over me. I screech and throw every sharp object within reach. But you know what’s really weird? I’m terrified and, at the same time, there’s something about those black eyes, that scent, that purrrr that makes my body come alive.

Loven
I fight for the honor of someday owning an Omega, a rare breeding female reserved for Alphas hand-selected by the King. For years, fighting alone has been enough. Until I scent this alien female, and my body emits a mating call.

Omegas are King’s property. If I don’t deliver her to the Omega Compound, I’ll lose my life, the lives of my Horde Alphas, and risk starting a full-scale rebellion. And yet, I can’t part from her. This one belongs to me.

***Science fiction alien captive romance with Mf Omegaverse flavor. No cliffhanger. No cheating.
___________________________
Mf Omegaverse readers -> Hard core non-con is not gonna be the heat factor in this one. I hope that by being upfront about this, I’ve helped you make a purchasing decision. Cheers! Milana =D

AUTHOR BIO:

Milana Jacks, Author of alpha breeds
Author of Alpha breeds
Milana grew up with tales of water fairies that seduced men, vampires that seduced women, and Babaroga who’d come to take her away if she didn’t eat her bean soup. She writes devious paranormal and science fiction romance from her home on Earth where she lives with her mate and their three little monsters.
Author links:

Never ending list of pregnancy myths #myfriendalexa

Pregnancy myths
Pregnancy myths

Pregnancy is deemed the best phase of being a woman. Being born a woman attains full glory when she becomes a mother.

But it’s also the timeline where you get to hear a lot of myths. Not only in our Country, it happens all over the world. So let me list them down for you and you can comment if you came across something more. So let’s get those myths busted.

It starts with the date you conceive. Add the month of conception to your age, the total is even it’s a girl else you’re in for a boy.

Then comes morning sickness, if you have it throughout your first trimester then it’s a girl else if you don’t experience it you have a boy.

Pregnancy glow People have different versions here.

Indian:

“You’re glowing you definitely will have a girl” is what you hear and if it’s the other way , you look tired and dull they say you are having a boy , since the male child draws out all the energy.

Rest of the world:

If you’re dull it means you have a girl, since she takes up all your glow. And if you are glowing and look fabulous you will have a boy.

Carrying high or low, wide or outward:

Pregnancy myth
Pregnancy myth

If you are carrying low and belly is outward, you are probably carrying a boy.

If you are carrying high and belly is wide you are carrying a girl.

Popular pregnancy myths
Popular pregnancy myths

Food habits:

If you crave sweets and dairy rich stuff, you are probably carrying a girl.

If you crave salty and spicy food, you are probably carrying a boy.

Doesn’t it depend on what the woman usually wants to eat?

Pregnancy myths
Pregnancy myths

Fetal heart rate:

If it is over 140 per second you are carrying a girl and if it’s below, you are carrying a boy.

Swelling of nose:

They say if you have a swollen nose it’s probably a girl.

But the actual fact our noses swollen up due to increased estrogen levels.

Wedding ring myth:

Tie a strand of the father’s hair to your wedding ring and swing it over your belly, you are probably carrying a girl if it goes in circles; if it swings back and forth then it’s a boy.

Doesn’t it depend on wind direction?

Stepping over ropes:

It’s considered that stepping on a rope results in umbilical cord coiling around the fetus neck.

In modern days, now it extends to electric chords as well.

Usage of hands:

Ancient days people say If the pregnant woman is seated on floor and when she tries to get up, if she uses her left hand first it would be a boy; if its right you would be carrying a girl.

I don’t think that would change once a woman becomes pregnant. Even when she was ten she would have been using the same hand to get up.

Whatever the above points seem to convey what all mothers want is to have a healthy, cheerful baby. Gender discrimination should not be taking a priority here. No mother will want to abandon a child just because she was expecting the other gender. In the end, he/she is another tiny living human being created by her and who is now dependent on her.

Keep having positive thoughts, surround yourself with loads of happiness, positive vibes and most importantly people with positive vibes. Keep yourself well hydrated and well-fed. And that is all that takes to see your little dude/duddette.

Let’s hear those myths coming and keep nodding heads; get the myths busted. I will always love my baby no matter he/she. A baby is a baby.

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter .

#sindhusblogs #myfriendalexa

Book blitz Through the layers by R H Tucker

Through the Layer by RH Tucker
Published Sept. 17th, 2018

Genre:YA/NA Romance

Synopsis:
Second chances are for suckers.

Micah’s heard that expression before. With his first year of college in the books, catching his girlfriend cheating on him—again—he learns that lesson firsthand. The girl he thought could’ve been his high school sweetheart, turns out to be nothing more than a liar, completely destroying his trust.

No one has ever called Veronica fat. Thick? Okay. Curvy? Sure. However, they’ve never come right out and told her she’s overweight. Not unless you count the kids in third grade who called her roly-poly. Grade school or freshman year of college, it doesn’t matter. Guys usually go for the tall, thin girls. Girls like Micah’s ex.

Despite their hang-ups, and their pasts, Micah and Veronica find something in each other that quells their concerns. But when old faces return, and unsettling truths are revealed, will either of them be able to work through the layers and find one another again?

Through the Layers is a standalone YA/NA romance in the Rumor Has It series.

LINKS:
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H29YMWW
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07H29YMWW
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07H29YMWW
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07H29YMWW
Amazon IN: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B07H29YMWW

AUTHOR LINKS:
http://www.rhtuckerbooks.com/

https://www.facebook.com/rhtuckerbooks
https://www.instagram.com/rhtuckerauthor/
https://www.bookbub.com/profile/rh-tucker

EXCERPT:
I knock again and pull out my phone. Maybe I should call him.
The door swings open and Micah stands there, dripping wet, holding a towel around his waist. “Hey, you’re early.”
“I … I …” I’m trying to form words, but my brain has gone to pudding. I can feel it, all squishy, sloshing around inside of my skull. He opens the door wider to let me in, but I just stand there, admiring—gawking—at the water dripping down his chest. The beads of water trail over his muscles, down his stomach, to somewhere underneath the towel.
“You gonna stay out there all night?”
My eyes shoot back up, and he’s smiling. “Would you like to come inside or did you want to get to business out there?” My mouth drops, and he laughs.
Finally realizing he’s teasing me, I find some kind of strength to not stare at him, and go inside.
“Just give me a second to dry off.”
I stop and stand behind the sofa. Usually, I’d feel comfortable enough to go to the kitchen and grab something to drink, or just lounge around on their couch, or even head straight into his bedroom and turn on the TV and start to watch something. Now, I’m stuck.
What should I do? Does he expect me to do something or say something? Should we have something to drink first? I know they usually have some alcohol in the apartment, maybe he wants to relax first. Should I change already? Why is it they make it look so much easier in the movies and on TV when it comes to this sort of stuff?
“What are you doing?” Micah asks, coming back out of the bathroom. He’s got on a pair of shorts and a shirt that fits him snuggly, but I can’t erase—nor do I want to—the mental image of him opening the door in nothing but a towel.
“Um …” I look around, unsure how to answer.
He gives me a hug and kisses the top of my head, before walking to the kitchen. “Happy birthday. I ordered a pizza. I would’ve gone all out, but you said you just wanted a chill night. Is that okay?”
“Mm-hm.” I nod.
Turning around, he stares at me still standing there. “Are you okay?”
Get it together, V. This was your idea!

AUTHOR BIO:

RH Tucker lives in Southern California and writes character-driven stories with people who have real heart. At least, he tries to. He also consumes too much caffeine, eats too much pizza, and firmly believes Rocky Road is the best flavor of ice cream.

This post is for the book blitz organised by Xpressobooktours.

Motherhood Mantra that keeps me going #myfriendalexa

“I am a good Mother; I do my best as a Mother.

Each day I am getting better, life can’t get any better.”

Mom and daughter

This is my mantra these days. I keep saying this to myself. No, I am not under any pressure or depressed.

Repeating this gives me a boost; a sense of accomplishment and gives me a push to go that extra mile and do whatever it takes to keep my daughter happy.

A great start for the day is a lovable hug when she’s up. Though I am up early, (okay let’s say just a couple of minutes or rarely hours), before her, that wait for her hug is so special.

When there are so many things running in your mind and your running here and there, that monosyllable “MAA” from her makes me forget everything.

Mom and daughter

Though I get angry with things lying around, after she’s left at my mom’s place in the morning I do enjoy replaying stuff in my mind- the tiny blocks or alphabet chunks lying around, the vessels and Tupperware boxes misplaced, that cute teddy inside my coffee filter. All these make me forget that this is part of a household chore that I am doing.

Those teeny tiny hands mixing an empty bowl with spoon and feeding you, pulling your hair is all instances that need to linger around in mind always.

Even if you try concentrating hard at work, a corner of your mind just keeps thinking that she is okay. Those blank phone calls or the beep beep sounds from the keypad when you call her is all a bliss.

When you reach home and you know she is there waiting for you, and watch her eyes glow in excitement on seeing you makes you the happiest person in the word.

Listening to her stories of what she did throughout the day (okay technically not stories) I mean even if it is gibberish, it’s good to hear.

Cuddling her, getting her dressed to bed, making her sleep and falling asleep with her is indeed the best way to end my day. And so the next day starts, yes with the same mantra.

I am a good Mother; I do my best as a Mother.

Each day I am getting better, life can’t get any better.”

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter .

#sindhusblogs #myfriendalexa

Book trailer reveal (Sept. 17th ) Dead steam by Bryce Raffle

I am so happy to share this really cool book with you and reveal its amazing trailer! If you like the cover, wait to you see this! There is also a chance to win a digital copy of Dead Steam, so make sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom!

Dead Steam: A Chilling Collection of Dreadpunk Tales of the Dark and Supernatural
Expected Publication Date: October 1st, 2018
Genre: Anthology/ Dreadpunk/ Dark Steampunk/ Horror
Reader beware: to open this tome is to invite dread into your heart. Every page you turn will bring you closer to something wicked. And when the dead begin to rise from the steaming pits of hell, only then will you discover that it is already too late. Your life is forfeit.

Featuring an introduction by Leanna Renee Hieber, author of the Eterna Files and Strangely Beautiful saga, DeadSteam plays host to the scintillating writing of David Lee Summers (Owl Dance, The Brazen Shark), Jen Ponce (The Bazaar, Demon’s Cradle), Wendy Nikel (The Continuum), Karen J Carlisle (The Adventures of Viola Stewart), Jonah Buck (Carrion Safari), and more…

With seventeen chilling tales of Dreadpunk, Gaslamp, and Dark Steampunk, DeadSteam will leave you tearing at the pages, desperate for more. For within these pages, the dead rise from their graves to haunt the London Underground, witches whisper their incantations to the wind, a sisterhood of bitten necks hunts fog-drenched alleyways lit only by gaslight, and only one thing is certain: that dread will follow you until you turn that final page.

And that sinking feeling in the pit of your chest? That fear that something is following you, watching you, hunting you? It is not for nothing. Look over your shoulder, dear reader. Watch behind you. Listen to the whispers in the darkness.

But know this…it is all inevitable.
Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40751298-deadsteam

Purchase Links:

Amazon Hardcover: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0995276765

Amazon Paperback & Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GFV5X49

Barnes & Noble Paperback & Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deadsteam-bryce-raffle/1128997727

Barnes & Noble Hardcover: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deadsteam-bryce-raffle/1129305698

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/deadsteam

Booktopia: https://www.booktopia.com.au/deadsteam-bryce-raffle/prod9780995276741.html

*Link will go live Sept. 17th
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaK6P5_z35I&feature=youtu.be

Excerpt
Burke Street Station

The city was frost and fog. Icy crystals formed on the windows of the train station. Breath drifted up in a hazy clouds like puffs of
smoke as Theodore tried to warm his hands, blowing hot breath onto his stiff, cold fingers and rubbing his hands together vigorously. When that failed, he thrust them back into his coat pockets, cursing under his breath. His threadbare coat offered little warmth. Drafts of wind found their way through the broken stitching and the tears in his sleeves like rats scrambling through the cracks in the station walls. A discarded page of newsprint, caught in the rushing wind, tumbled and turned in the air and landed, crumpled and torn, at Theodore’s feet.

He stooped over, picked it up, and glanced at the engraving of a wanted man. Even without a skill for reading, he knew what name was printed beneath the picture of masked man on the page. Anthony Tidkins.

Wanted, he read. That was one word Theodore recognized. Crimes was another, and then, finally…murder.

Rubbish. The newspapers always tried to make villains out of the radical thinkers of the world. The Resurrectionists, who named their organization after the sack-em-up men who provided the anatomists with subjects for their scientific endeavors, were scientists. They had provided the world with aether, revolutionizing air travel. They had brought Prince Charles back from the brink of death. They had devised the engines for the London Underground. Anthony Tidkins himself promised to cure death. Yet the newspaper men still called for his blood. Theodore balled up the page and shoved it in his pocket.

He pulled out his trick coin as he approached the gate. The station master was asleep at his booth, a little dribble of spit running down his chin. Typical. Thoedore stuck his coin in the machine, waited for the gate to open, and then, with a light tug on the fishing line threaded through a little hole in the tip of the coin, it popped back out. Easy. He was in before anybody noticed what he had done. He pocketed the coin and started down the hallway.

Tap-tap, clack, tap-tap, clack, his shoes beat a rhythm on the stone steps. The sole of his left shoe was beginning to wear, and the heel of his shoe tapped against the heel of his foot as he walked. He puffed on his hands again, and peeked over his shoulder. No one was after him. He had done this trick a thousand times before. So why did he feel like there was someone watching him?

Clack, tap-tap, clack. Again, he glanced over his shoulder. The odd double-rhythm of his broken shoe was suddenly unnerving in the deserted station. Where were all the other passengers? Nice folks avoided this place like the plague, especially after midnight. The oil lamps that lit Burke Street Station were so routinely out of oil that he could hardly find his own feet in front of him, but still, Theodore expected to see other passengers. But where were the other vagrants? They should be sleeping in the dark corners of the hallway under blankets made of rags. And the boys from the blacking factory should be heading home from their long shifts, fingers stained black with powders and oil. But there was no one. Only the rats skittering through rat tunnels to keep him company.

Tap-tap, clack, tap-tap, clack.

Another set of footsteps began to follow his own, beating out a different rhythm. A steady tap, tap, tap, tap. He paused to listen, and nothing but silence greeted him. He glanced over his shoulder. Nobody there.

He continued onward, and again, a second set of footsteps started up behind him. He paused to listen. This time, they didn’t stop.

Tap, tap, tap, tap.

Whoever it was, they were getting closer. Closer and closer, louder and louder, tapping out a steady rhythm as they approached down the long, dark hallway. He could almost make out the solitary figure in the gloomy, hazy light, but then the fog grew thicker, and whatever he thought he’d seen was gone. The footsteps kept on getting louder, though, and closer. He turned and ran down the hallway.

A long flight of steps delved deeper into the darkness of Burke Street Station, down, down toward the platform. The train was already rumbling, announcing its approach. It vibrated through Theodore’s toes to the tip of his spine, rattling his bones.

He grabbed the railing all but flew down the staircase. The rumble of the train grew louder and clearer.

“Shit,” Theodore cursed. Taking the steps two at a time, he hurtled down the steps and didn’t stop when he reached the bottom.
Nails on a blackboard. The tines of silverware scraping against a ceramic plate. The screaming madmen at Newgate Asylum. The anguished cry of a mother weeping over her stillborn babe. Theodore had heard these sounds all, but not one compared to the shrill screech of an automatic train rolling into Burke Street. Iron wheels grinding against iron tracks. Hot metal sending up sparks, belching out steam as black as sin. The carriages rattling and clanging against one another. The hiss of hot coal burning in the engines. The shriek of brakes as the train ground to a halt. If it went on long enough, it would surely drive a man mad. Theodore covered his ears with his hands, pressing them against his head to muffle out the deafening noise, and waited for the thundering train to come to a halt.
When it did, he realized it must have drowned out the sound of the steadily approaching footsteps he’d heard in the hallway, because he could hear them again, and they were closer. So close he half expected to feel someone’s hot breath on his neck. He whirled around, but there was no one there. Silence greeted him like an old friend. His heart hammered against his chest.
“There’s no one there,” he muttered to himself. But he didn’t sound convinced.
A smell lingered in the air, as if something foul had passed through. The smell was familiar enough, the breath of a man with rotting teeth. It was a foul, cloying stench. He spun around again, and this time found himself face to face with the man to whom those dreaded footsteps belonged.
Only he wasn’t a man. Not really.

About the Author

Bryce Raffle writes steampunk, horror, and fantasy. He was the lead writer for Ironclad Games’ multiplayer online game Sins of A Dark Age and is the founder of Grimmer & Grimmer Books. His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, including Hideous Progeny: Classic Horror Goes Punk, Denizens of Steam and Den of Antiquity. His short story, The Complications of Avery Vane, was awarded Best Steampunk Short in the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll in 2016. He lives in beautiful Vancouver, Canada, where he works in the film industry.

Author Links:
Twitter @bryceraffle
Facebook: facebook.com/bryceraffle
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bryceraffle/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14585685.Bryce_Raffle
Website: http://www.bryceraffle.com

Giveaway Details:

Bryce is giving away a digital copy of Dead Steam to one lucky winner. The giveaway will run from Sept. 17th to Sept. 20th so make sure you enter!
Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f45/?

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Review of Sneak peak by Krishna Kumar nair

BLURB:

THIS BOOK IS FOR ALL THOSE DARING HEARTS, WHO HAVE SECRETS OF THEIR OWN AND WOULD WANT TO CONFESS A FEW IN FRONT OF OTHERS. Sneak Peak will take you through a time when APPLE was still a fruit, children spend time playing with each other rather than in front of computers and a time when people rescued a dying person instead of taking their video and posting on Facebook. There was a simpler time in the 80’s and 90’s and those who lived those times and who didn’t, will equally love what you are going to read here. It’s not my story but it is yours too! The hero of this story is not Dhyankumar but the story itself. Here Dhyankumar closely post-mortems the various phases in his life, how he felt and how different it would have been, or should have been, had he thought in a different way. The book deeply emphasizes the values of friendship and how it can change one’s life and sometimes destroy the same.

MY REVIEW:

The book is of a different genre from the current trend that prevails. I felt like reading out from a diary of kind born in 90’s, keeping in mind I am one such. It brings out numerous nostalgic incidents.

It speaks about an era of no social media intervention. Yes, that’s right no mobile phones, no tabs. Leading a simple life enjoying a vacation with no social media check-ins, hanging out with cousins, TV series and cartoon and most important of all staying with our grandparents. Isn’t that a wonderful feel, staying as a complete family with many people and relatives, helping each other out, laughing, sharing. This I feel is something that the current generation is missing out on.

Though we have several advancements in technology and comforts at all levels, the concrete jungle can never equal the above mentioned joys.

The book is about a protagonist Dhyankumar who introspects the various phases of his life. The narration portrays his life filled with love and affection as a boon of staying with grandparents. A couple of mischievous events and few confessions make it an interesting read.

The pace of the story seems to be slow at places and characterization needs betterment. The cover design could have been improved. With no surprise elements the narration is pretty good except for the slow-paced parts which seem dragging. The language is simple and crisp making this a good choice for one time read.

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 3/5

Title 3.5/5

Plot: 4/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Title : Sneak peak
  • Author: Krishna kumar nair
  • Genre: Realistic fiction
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3259 KB
  • Print Length: 142 pages
  • Publisher: Half Baked Beans (26 July 2018)
  • Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07FY9KL7N

The book is available on Amazon https://amzn.to/2O3kW7d

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Review of Hungry Gods by Richa Lakhera

BLURB:

Beaten and brutally raped, her body is never found. However, the killers make one mistake. They leave a witness, a witness who has nothing to live for except revenge. And when he crosses the boundaries of time to make the guilty pay, a whole lot of dark characters come to light. There is Valentine, the superstar brand ambassador who sells anything for a price; there is Medici, a pharmaceutical company fraudulently manufacturing banned drugs; there is the perverted and sinister minded Dr Ranga and there is Este, the prostitute whose dark secret will blow up a daughter’s sanity. So, is there another murder waiting to happen? Will Police Inspector Dorab Silva be able to connect the clues to prevent another crime? Will these gods of greed be exposed? And yes, you will be surprised by who you will find there, finally. Deeply unsettling, Hungry Gods takes a hard look at greed for wealth and power.

MY REVIEW:

The first thing that struck me when I was asked if I can review this book was what made the author choose this name. I initially thought that it was something of mythological sorts but when I googled and saw the cover my opinion was completely proved wrong. The cover design conveys a lot. In fact that’s one of the stand out features of this book. I went through the blurb and which made me even more anxious that was eagerly waiting that the book would get delivered to me sooner.

The book is based on the tagline Drugs, Sex Cults, a horrific crime and an unthinkable revenge. The revenge here is by a son who witnesses him mom being abused and killed by a group. Bu the way in which the narration is taken is what which makes the book stand out among similar books of this genre.

It is very difficult to keep track of all characters since there are a lot of them, a LOT I say. The writing style of the author is on par with that of international authors. Its crisp, subtle and brilliant. She has a good command over the language and an extensive vocabulary.

The narration is from first and third person perspective which is confusing a times to relate the consecutive events. A clearer description of the place and time could have made it better.

Writing was very intriguing and intense but applauds to the author, the surprise element was kept up till the end. The nail biting sequences of pre climax and climax was outstanding.

Overall, Hungry Gods was a bold representation of the present sadistic world we live in and can very well be made into a movie.

But I would like to leave a disclaimer that the book is not for light hearted ones.

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4.5/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 5/5

Writing and Presentation: 5/5

Overall: 4.5/5

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Book Name: Hungry Gods
  • Author: Richa Lakhera
  • Genre: Fiction/ thriller
  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Rupa Publications India (20 July 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9353040795
  • ISBN-13: 978-9353040796

The book is available on amazon https://amzn.to/2x1jHy5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hungry Gods is Richa Lakhera’s third novel, she has previously written Item Girl, a crime novel and Garbage Beat, a satire on the Indian entertainment industry. A libertarian addicted to absurdism, she works as Deputy Editor at NDTV. She has a Master’s in Organic Chemistry and Bio-technology and is the recipient of the Indian Council for UN Relations (ICUNR) Award for Excellence in Journalism. Richa divides her time between New Delhi and Mumbai and is currently working on her next crime fiction novel.

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Review of Zidd by Hetansh Desai

BLURB:

Vihaan looked at the skies, took a deep breath and shouted, ‘I want to be on the hoarding outside Raina’s flat!’ Parth did not react right away. After a few minutes, he asked, ‘Sorry? What is that?’ ‘She said she doesn’t want to see my face. So, now I want to ensure she sees my face every day the first thing in the morning.’ Parth took a step towards Vihaan. He shrugged his shoulders, confusedly. ‘I don’t understand.’ ‘There’s a hoarding outside her flat.’ ‘And you want to be on it?’ ‘Yes!’ Turns out, the hoarding outside Raina’s flat was the most expensive in the city! Witness the roller coaster journey of Vihaan, a college dropout and Parth, an illiterate tea vendor, who have an accumulative savings of 3500, set out to earn 20 Lakh in 18 months to buy the coveted hoarding space.

MY REVIEW:

The story does not fall into any specific genre, but has elements of all romance, fiction.

The plot is about two boys from contrast background who have different perspectives.

Vihaan is a rich kid who is kind of arrogant, impatient and is determined not to continue business studies and take over his father’s kite business. HE wants to pursue at SLS .

On the other hand, we have Parth, whose father is a tea seller. Parth wants to set up his own business but does not know how.

The story starts with childhood scenes from Vihaan’s life. A train journey where Vihaan’s father is worried about his business. One idea from Vihaan and he is all successful.

Here at Parth’s end, his father wants him to be a good salesman so that he can sell more cups of tea.

After his father’s death he starts working at an IT company and is very successful selling software.

Their paths cross and they both end up in the same hostel.

Vihaan falls in love with Raina, things speed up here and finally the girl rejects him and conveys she does not wish to see face. This ignites Vihaan’s ego.

So Vihaan and Parth decide to become successful. Vihaan wants to put up his hoarding near Raina’s apartment so she wakes up to it every morning, ironically see his face every day. Parth helps him. Do the love birds reunite, does Vihaan get a hoarding, Is Parth successful in setting up his own Business is what we will have to wait and watch.

The book has a perfect blend of all feelings- love, ambition, most importantly bromance. We also see a couple of business concepts being clearly explained. The book is a pleasant read with lucid writing. The characterization could have been improved especially that of Raina, who seems to be missing for a really long duration and just comes up finally at the end.

The book is a light enjoyable read and I would recommend it as a one-time read. The book uses some unsuitable talks which may not be suitable for a bit younger audience.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Publisher:HALF BAKED BEANS (15 August 2018)
  • ASIN:B07GJLW5LH
  • No of page: 165

MY RATINGS:

Book Title: 3.5/5

Book Cover: 4/5

Plot: 4/5

Characters: 3.5/5

Narration: 3.5/5

Language & Grammar: 3.5/5

Final Rating: 4/5

The book is available on Amazon https://amzn.to/2MSOlo8

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hetansh Desai is the Founder and CEO of Vital20Communication, a marketing consultancy based out of Mumbai. He has pursued his graduation in Liberal Studies and post-graduation in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Babson college, USA. You can find him in Ahmadabad- as his family lives there- or in Mumbai, or on a cheap, midnight SpiceJet flight.

In his free time, he loves playing and watching cricket, reading the Bhagavad Gita over and over again and listening to music. His hobbies include writing and public speaking.