Monday, August 13, 2018

Her Revolution by C.S. Hand



Her Revolution
Genre: YA Dystopian
Release date: August 8th 2018:
For fans of Divergent, Red Rising, and The Hunger Games comes a gripping new tale of ambition, treachery, and love.
When what appears as a prank on arrogant ambassadors at an exotic vacation city turns out to be the first tremors of a revolution, the Enlightened Council of Castillia turns to its 11-year old undefeated military prodigy and her loyal Guardians for help.
After all, it was Innocence who liberated the Jewel of All Cities in the first place. Everyone knows she will be the last to let it slip from her grasp.
But why would anyone want to leave Castillia? Its laws are just. Its Council is democratically elected. It has liberated more cities than any other Republic, past or present.
But Castillia has enemies, that’s for sure.
Sedition is the favorite trick of the southern Republic Ausonia. In fact, the exotic vacation city used to belong to Ausonia—and they have always wanted it back.
But could those hedonists really organize anything between all their dancing and drinking?
Or has Vesper, the mighty Republic to the North finally woken from its slumber? It has plenty of old scores to settle with Castillia and it’s palm-lined streets.
Squashing the uprising and re-uniting the town and her city could be the perfect way to end the most legendary military career Castillia has ever known and begin a new, exhilarating life as a prominent politician.

But it also might just be the perfect way to start what Innocence has secretly always yearned for: her own Empire.
~

Salute

“As long as the enemy is not defeated, he may defeat me; then I shall no longer be my own master; he will dictate the law to me as I did to him.”
Clausewitz


When I was six I commanded the Sun Battalion to charge the center of Ausonia’s forces at Serenissima, the most beautiful and opulent city on this planet.
Every single man, woman, and child from that legendary unit died in the melee.
But it broke Ausonia’s center and then we out flanked them—on both sides.
Ausonians begged for their lives, but when you lose your Republic’s most famous battalion you cannot allow for survivors.
Even if you have just stolen the jewel of cities from an enemy’s grasp.
When I was seven I saw my own army nearly overrun.
That was until I came out from my command hub and grabbed the banner from a fleeing Guardian and turned Lazarus on, then began sweeping through the enemy’s ranks with my sword of trembling lightning.
That was the first time I had ever been shot more than thirteen times.
When I was eight I had to execute my second-in-command for treason. We were low on ammunition and my lightning blade wouldn’t turn on, so I had to do it with a rock.
When I was nine I led a lightning-sabre charge straight into the heart of Vesper’s Hyper Accelerated Rifles.
Everyone but a child named Beatrice was mowed down.
But between myself and Beatrice and the second, third, and fourth fearless waves we cut them to pieces.
The problem with Hyper Accelerated Rifles is if they fire too fast for too long they overheat and then don’t fire at all.
That was not the first time I had killed defenseless human beings—and enjoyed it.
When I was ten I ambushed Jacob Heist and his band of outlaws who were traveling to various cities in the South preaching about freedom and liberation and brotherhood—the very ideals my City was founded upon.
They said we were the very opposite of those things and that we were what they called a “Dysotpia,” which is a new word used by uneducated thugs to incite rebellions against people like me.
When we ambushed them on the shore and they didn’t even try to run I assumed it was because they knew it was over.
They had no weapons but refused to surrender, even after I offered it to them a second time.
So we murdered the band of outlaws and searched for the weapon we knew we would find, “The Chariot Buster,” which they usually used to blow our ships out of the sky.
Heist and his gang loved to beam our hovercrafts into vapor, like he did the previous seventeen times we tried to ambush him. In fact, he did it so much, we called it “bait and beam.”
But all we found in his traveling caravan were hundreds of copies of an unsettling novel from some ancient planet about an elf and a minotaur who overthrow an entire world.
If that isn’t criminal literature worthy of suppression then I don’t know what is.
What I also didn’t know was that we were being recorded and streamed live over an inventive social media application called Periscope.
So it looked like I butchered a peaceful intellectual on a paradisiacal white sand beach in spite of his repeated cries for mercy and justice.
Blogs went crazy.
They reported that we murdered them when they were defenseless and did terrible things to their corpses.
What they didn’t mention is that my dogs were starving and that we had a long march back. We weren’t going to be the ones eaten alive.
Besides, you can’t take heavy machinery on an ambush.
The outlaw preachers would have heard us coming miles away.
So I had to take the dogs.
And the dogs had to eat.
There were hundreds of uprisings.
I crushed them all.
My City stood by my side. Esteemed Council members lost their seats because of me, some had attempts made on their lives, and some were successfully assassinated.
That’s when I learned someone can strike at you even from death, and when possible never turn an enemy, who is mortal and fallible, into a martyr, who is infallible and immortal.
I’m eleven now, and this is my last year as Commander.
After this year I will retire from my duties as a Guardian of the Republic, squelching rebellions from the other cities who never pay their tributes on time, are never fair in their dealings, and are always plotting against my perfect, beautiful City.
Oh, my name is Innocence—which as far as I can tell is just some made-up word.
~

It's 50% off on launch day for the eBook (August 8, 2018)
About the Author
C. S. Hand loves philosophy, literature, and science-fiction and fantasy books. He studied British Romanticism at Cambridge before leaving to translate great science-fiction and fantasy books. You can read more about his 3 great loves here.
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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Harvest Saga by Casey L Bond

The Harvest Saga
Author: Casey L Bond
Genre: YA Dystopian
Cover Designer: The Illustrated Author Design Services
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Reap (Book 1)
The remnants of the United States of America have been divided.
From five enormous, technologically-advanced cities, the Greaters rule over the Lessers. In the Lesser village of Orchard, things are not as perfect as Abby Kelley thinks they are. When the apple harvest draws near and the Greater’s engineered fruits become too much for one village to handle alone, reinforcements from neighboring villages are called upon.
Having to choose between her best friend, whom she has no romantic feelings for, and mysterious newcomer Crew, Abby finds herself in the middle of a harvest that she had no intention of becoming a part of. She becomes involved in a situation that threatens the strict rule of the Greaters, and just might give the Lessers hope for a better tomorrow. But, can she help the Lessers without losing Crew? And if she chooses Crew, will she lose her best friend?
Resist (Book 2)
Abby Kelley returns home from the Greater city of Olympus to find that things in Orchard Village are bad, very bad. The Olympian Guard has taken over village affairs. The Lessers are being worked to the bone in the coldest winter Orchard has seen. Villagers are being dragged away for the slightest indication of what they call “resistance.” She needs to keep her head down and her mouth shut. But, it’s so hard to do when everything within you screams rebellion.
Kyan is coming on strong, trying to convince her to take a chance on him. Shocking news of Crew’s activities in Olympus sweeps through the Villages. When Abby is taken away by the Olympian guard, Kyan sends word to Vesuvius for help. But, no one could have predicted their idea of help or what they might expect in return.
Who will be left to pick up the pieces of Abby’s heart?
Reclaim (Book 3)
The Greaters have ruled over the Lessers since The Fall. They’ve taken Abby’s family. They’ve taken her friends. They’ve taken her hostage and threatened the villages.
Enough is enough. Freedom is worth fighting for. Love is worth dying for.
And the Lessers are done taking orders from the Greaters.
Reclaim…the epic conclusion of the award-winning Harvest Saga.
Award-winning author Casey L. Bond resides in Milton, West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. When she’s not busy being a domestic goddess and chasing her baby girls, she loves to write young adult and new adult fiction. You can find more information about Bond’s books via the following links: 
Buy Links: 
A SLAM JOLTED ME OUT of my slumber. Another bang echoed in the front of the cabin, and footsteps hurried to my door. I didn’t know how long I’d slept, or if it was still daylight, but I was still tired and wanted to retreat back into the sweet abyss again. My door opened, and I turned my head to see my aunt standing in the doorway. “What happened, Abby?” She rushed over. I tried to push myself up, but my back was so stiff. The skin even felt stiff. How was that possible? I winced. “Stay down. Let me see.” She gingerly lifted the back of Ky’s shirt and peeked underneath. The fabric slowly peeled away from my skin where the bandages Evelyn had applied didn’t quite reach, or had shifted, and it felt like part of the wounds tore open again. A hiss escaped from between my teeth at the same time a curse flew from her lips. “Evelyn sent more salve. She said that your body would absorb part of it and that more would have to be packed in.” Lulu helped me sit up and, one by one, I unbuttoned the shirt and again pried it away from my back. The only portion not torn to shreds from the fifteen lashes was the part my bra had covered; although, by the last lash, it only hung on by a thread. “Evelyn came to the depot. She said you’d been injured and gave me the medicine and salve. I had no idea. Did Norris do this?”All I could do was nod. Lulu took my shirt as I laid back down on my stomach and tried to remain as still as possible while she packed my wounds. Having left the room, I could hear her banging around in the kitchen before she returned with a steaming mug containing more of the special tea. I gulped it down, hoping it would help numb the pain like it had before. When my head hit the pillow, I fell asleep almost immediately. Something was touching my face, caressing my cheek. The skin that brushed mine was rough, hardened by the work we all shared. Am I dreaming? I waited, trying to see if it was real or part of a dream. Whichever it was, it was nice, comforting. Rough fingertips moved over the parts of my back that weren’t split open and packed with gunk. I sucked in a breath and held it. It was real. I moved my head and saw his silhouette against the candlelight flickering in from the kitchen and living room. “Ky?” My voice was raspy and barely sounded like my own. Sleep and exhaustion filled every chord. “Shh. I’m here.” Suddenly, I was very aware I was lying shirtless on my bed. Even though I was on my stomach, that didn’t help me feel any less naked in front of my best friend—who happened to be a member of the male species—a very fine specimen according to my girlfriends.I knew he was handsome. I wasn’t blind. But I didn’t see him like that. He’d dated many of my friends and was getting ready to marry Paige Winters after the harvest was complete and the orchards picked bare. His fingertips traced the intact skin between my shoulder blades, and I tensed under his touch. He’d kissed my head and temple and hugged me more times than I could count, but that was different; it was more intimate. His touch was delicate, gentle compared to his normal strength, and anything but playful. “Ky?” He didn’t answer. His fingers explored my back, careful not to stray too close to the wounds streaking across my skin. “Kyan?” “Shut up, Abby. Just let me... Just shut up.” He’d never talked to me like that. His voice was raspy, and he’d never, ever told me to shut up before. So I did. I wasn’t sure why. He shouldn’t have been touching my skin. Shouldn’t have been caressing the good parts left; but, sitting with me in the dark, he was doing exactly that, and I was allowing it. 
Copyrighted 2014 Casey L. Bond

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Cardboard Castles by K.L. Young

Cardboard Castles
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release date: May 17th 2018
Graye Castle Press

When seventeen-year-old Josilyn begins to see the fantastical world of her father's imagination, she can't help but wonder if he isn't insane at after all, or that she might be.
Living in a crumbling cardboard castle under the park bridge and struggling to care for her mentally ill father, Josilyn's life has been anything but regal since her mother's death. But when a former friend discovers Josilyn's secret and leads Child Protective Services directly to her, her father's visions of grand feathered dragons and treacherous dark knights become the least of Josilyn's problems.
Now separated from her father and terrified for his safety, Josilyn sees his imaginary world, forcing her to consider the possibility that someone may be desperate to see her father dead--and her in chains.
In a stunning twist of reality, survival may not be a matter of sanity, but who to trust, and who to kill.
ON SALE for only $2.99 (FREE on Kindle Unlimited) through July!
**A portion of all sales from the book are being donated to Chattanooga's Community Kitchen, which serves the author’s city homeless population (https://www.homelesschattanooga.org/).** 

Download the first five chapters of Cardboard Castles for free! http://dragonflycorps.kendrayoung.com/

Advance Praise: 
“CARDBOARD CASTLES is by turns introspective, heart-wrenching, brilliant, and daring. Young’s prose seized me like a dragon’s talons, never letting go…” –Keith Willis, author of the Knights of Kilbourne series

“CARDBOARD CASTLES is by turns introspective, heart-wrenching, brilliant, and daring. The world-building is outstandingly well done, and Young’s talent shows here especially. While both worlds Jos inhabits are intricate and complex, Young brings them each to vivid, sometimes painful reality. I’ll be honest—this is not a book for the faint of heart. Ms. Young explores some dark themes here—homelessness, mental illness, betrayal. And yet despite this, there is humor and hope and love abounding in Josilyn’s story.” –Keith Willis, author of the Knights of Kilbourne series.
About the Author
K.L. Young's fascination with all things fantastical comes out in her writing, whether it’s dragons, vampires, or ghosts – if it has wings, fangs, or goes bump in the night, she’s writing about it.
She lives in beautiful Chattanooga, Tennessee with her husband, Tim, who’s responsible for making her believe all her writing dreams will come true. Together they have two daughters, Savannah and Tabitha, who both enjoy art and writing as well. By day, she teaches eighth grade in a suburban middle school where she shares her love of writing and dreaming “big dreams” with her students.
Social Media Links: 
Excerpt 
Every molecule of oxygen evaporates from the room. My mouth collapses in on itself, unable to form words to admit what she already knows. How could I be so stupid? The syllables claw at my throat, desperate for release, but years of practice clamp my mouth shut. 
Livi reaches out to touch my hand, but I recoil and grip the arms of the chair tighter. My fingertips are numb. The room’s unbearably hot and my heart beats way too fast. I consider throwing up again, but this time it’s not because I want to. 
“It’s okay. No one’s going to hurt you.”
I glance up at the abominable officer, and I’m not so sure about that. What I wouldn’t give for him to be my father, here to take me away from this mess. He turns his head and rolls his shoulders back, his face contorting into a mask of contempt. The air in the room thickens and I squint my eyes shut. My face goes completely numb, like someone has punched me with a fistful of Novocain. 
“Can you hear me?” Livi asks.
I slide from the chair to the floor, pulling my knees to my chest. I blink again, and my back isn’t against the chair but an enormous boulder, cold and covered with dew. I arch my spine, fitting the curve of it against the stone, trying to ease the prickling sensation that makes me want to rip the clothes from my body.
Livi’s voice pulls me back again, but her sentences are broken. Maybe it’s because she’s so far away – still in the conference room, but I’m here. Wherever here is. A hyacinth-scented breeze tickles my cheek as I let my hands trail through the grass so that it sticks up through my fingers. I turn my face into the breeze to find a young girl, maybe twelve or thirteen, racing toward me from about thirty yards away. The girl screams, her fear raking against me. 
“Princess!” she wails. Not once, but three times. She hikes up her long skirts, her hair tumbling free from the top of her head and spilling around her shoulders. Her arms pump at her sides as she digs harder into the run. 
This can’t be real. 
Livi’s voice cuts through the distance again. She says things like “panic attack” and “shock.” The truth of it punches me in the gut and leaves me desperate to find my way back to her voice.
The girl looms over me. Her face fades in and out of focus, as if she’s made of oil on water. 
“Princess. Please don’t leave us again. Knights march toward the castle. We are in danger. Your father—you must remain with us.” Her fingers dig into my shoulders, yanking me toward her. Another breath, and the grass slips from between my fingers; the edge of a chair pressing into the back of my head replaces the coolness of the stone. 
I blink again, swallowing back my own puke, and the conference room snaps into focus. They’re both hovering over me, concern on Livi’s face and confusion on the officer’s. They lean back so I can sit up.
Nurse Anne hurries back into the room, pushing through the space they’ve made, and presses a cold towel to my head. “It’s okay, deep breaths." 
The kindness in her voice overwhelms me so much I start to cry, no matter how hard I try not to. At first, my tears are hardly noticeable, but soon they turn into horrible, choking sobs. My heart stutters at an alarming pace and sweat coats my palms, making my grip on the chair's legs slick. I uncurl my fingers and press my hands into the carpet, pushing the tips of my fingers into individual loops in the pile.
The reality of what’s happening slams into me. My pulse quickens and the tingling sensation spreads from my face and down my arms into the tips of my fingers. Blackness closes in from the edges of my vision, creating an elongated tunnel of the central part of the room. Livi hovers over me, her face distorted by the shift in my vision.
I grapple for the seat, anything to ground me in reality. Father’s face flickers in my mind. I’m unable to even consider what might be happening to him at this same moment, not to mention the only plausible explanation for me believing, for even a second, I was sitting in a field of some sort with my back against an imaginary stone. And the girl, so lifelike. 
I am my father’s daughter. And I am terrified of that fact. 
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Monday, June 25, 2018

Butterfly Blood by Rebecca Carpenter - COVER REVEAL

Butterfly Blood (Metamorphosis #2) 
Genre: YA Sci-fi
Release Date: August 2018
Lakewater Press

A sixteen-year-old girl who cheated death continues her fight for survival as she goes up against real-life monsters, desperate for her unique blood, while risking everything to reunite with the love of her life, who is battling his own soul-sucking demons.
Pre-order on Amazon
The first book in the Metamorphosis series, Butterfly Bones, has a redesign!

An excerpt from BUTTERFLY BLOOD
Darkness consumes him.
Choking.
Suffocating.
His lungs burn as if they’ve been lit on fire.
He reaches out for something.
Anything.
But nothing is familiar.
The smells.
The sounds.
The voices.
And he can’t feel anything.
Except numbness.
Someone speaks.
But it’s a foreign language.
Foreign and muffled.
Light enters his brain, blinding and as painful as staring into the sun.
The brightness grows, with it the sharpness of a thousand needles.
He wants to scream.
He opens his mouth to scream.
But only a weak cry slips over his parched lips.
So dry.
So dry.
The light retracts.
Darkness slithers toward him, coiling up his leg …
Moving ever so slowly until it reaches his mouth and slips inside.
And all he wants to do is drink it up.
So thirsty.
So thirsty.

Rebecca Carpenter is a native of western Colorado. She is married with two grown children and has been blessed with four amazing grandchildren. She owns and directs a large childcare center where she shares her love for books. In her spare time, she freelances as a copy editor, helping others attain their writing dreams. She finds solace and clarity while spending time with her husband exploring the beautiful mountains of Colorado.
Author Links:
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Thursday, June 14, 2018

The House by Jo Michaels

Title: The House
Author: Jo Michaels
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Editor: Tia Silverthorne Bach with INDIE Books Gone Wild
Publication Date: June 4th, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR
This house is cursed, and everyone who lives there is in grave danger.
Ever wonder what stories you’d hear if walls could talk?
What if those walls witnessed unimaginable horrors?
Inside these pages is the story of one such house. What it sees, the people it meets, and what happens when a terrified spirit is invited to stay.
Story 1 – The Butcher
Story 2 – Marna, Fred, and Kimberly McDade
Story 3 – Lacy Mae Ritter
Story 4 – Mark and Olivia Cullpepper
Story 5 – The Writer
The House is a collection of short stories that ties in with the Pen Pals and Serial Killers series by Jo Michaels. You’ll find a couple of those characters named, and discover how one grew the teeth he used on the women he captured later.
Spoiler alert! You need to read Intensification (Pen Pals and Serial Killers, #3) before you read The House.

Jo Michaels is...
Hi, I'm Jo. Let's forget all the "Jo Michaels is blah, blah, blah" stuff and just go with it. I'm a voracious reader (often reading more than one book at a time), a writer, a book reviewer, a mom, a wife, and one of the EICs at INDIE Books Gone Wild. I have an almost photographic memory and tend to make people cringe at the number of details I can recall about them and/or their book(s). My imagination follows me around like a conjoined twin and causes me to space out pretty often or laugh out loud randomly in completely inappropriate situations.
I have a degree in graphic design, and my journey to the end was one few students who begin that program ever complete. However, this was one case where my memory and OCD tendencies helped me. Graduation was one of the most amazing days of my life. But, my most amazing day was when my now husband proposed. Every little girl dreams of being Cinderella someday, and he pulled off the proposal of fantasies.
At the risk of sounding cliché, I'm going to let it out there and say how much I absolutely adore the man I'm married to. Along with my children, he's my whole world.
I've lived in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Georgia, but I've had my feet in almost every state. Traveling is something I adore, and have plans to someday see the Mongolia I've written about in Yassa.
One of my favorite things is hearing from fans! You can find me on social media most any day of the week. Connect! I'd love to hear from you.
Author Links:
Buy Links:
Emancipation: https://amzn.to/2J6WOlt
Intensification: https://amzn.to/2HTpMk4
Story 2 – Marna, Fred, and Kimberly McDade
Kimberly was three when the McDades moved in, and they painted her room a soft pink, hanging lacy curtains over the windows and giving her a huge, low canopy bed that was covered in delicate gauze. Her dresser and mirror were white, and she had three boxes of porcelain dolls that looked way too expensive for a child below age ten.
One of the dolls looked like a mirror image of Kimberly. Long, blonde hair; rosy cheeks; and even a matching gingham dress. I was entranced with her right away. She spoke well for being only three, and she could communicate nearly anything with her parents, Marna and Fred, who cooed and fussed over their precious daughter every chance they got.
Fred was tall and gangly, with long limbs and thick glasses, but Marna was rounder with a softer face and short, dark hair that complimented her blue eyes wonderfully. When they came to paint the walls, she was the one who chose the colors. That wonderful pink for Kimberly’s room and light blue for Marna and Fred’s.
There was warmth unrelated to anger moving through me for the first time, and I wanted nothing more than to embrace the family, pulling them into love, protecting them forever from the outside world and men like The Butcher, or young boys like Claude. I didn’t want to think about what might happen if he ever decided to return to me and pay my new owners a visit.
Marna and Fred were such a beautiful thing to behold. They orbited around one another and their child any time they were all at home together. It was as if the couple knew where the other one was, and they were drawn together by some unseen gravitational force.
I was content.

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