Monthly Archives: February 2022

VBT – THE ABDICATION

TourBanner_The Abdication

The Abdication
by Justin Newland

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GENRE: Supernatural Thriller

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BLURB:

The town of Unity sits perched on the edge of a yawning ravine where, long ago, a charisma of angels provided spiritual succour to a fledgeling human race. Then mankind was granted the gift of free will and had to find its own way, albeit with the guidance of the angels. The people’s first conscious act was to make an exodus from Unity – they built a rope bridge across the ravine and founded the town of Topeth. For a time, the union between the people of Topeth and the angels of Unity was one of mutual benefit. After that early spring advance, there had been a torrid decline in which mankind’s development resembled a crumpled, fading autumnal leaf.

Following the promptings of an inner voice, Tula, a young woman from the city, trudges into Topeth. Her quest is to abide with the angels and thereby discover the right and proper exercise of free will. To do that, she has to cross the bridge – and overcome her vertigo.
Topeth is in upheaval; the townsfolk blame the death of a child on dust from the nearby copper mines. The priests have convinced them that a horde of devils have thrown the angels out of Unity and now occupy the bridge, possessing anyone who trespasses on it. Then there’s the heinous Temple of Moloch!

The Abdication is the story of Tula’s endeavour to step upon the path of a destiny far greater than she could ever have imagined.

The Abdication

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EXCERPT

The Devils’ Bridge

A narrow path snaking down the steep slope linked the town to the bridge. Fearing the guards’ return, she hurried along the winding, uneven path. It was fine for mountain goats, but with her bad ankle and her walking stick, she was nowhere near as fleet of foot as they.

The bridge had a quietening effect, like a warm homecoming after a long absence. Ever since she had heard about the abandoned town of Unity, she had wanted to visit the place for herself. Within touching distance, she felt a keen sense of belonging, even though she had never been near it – until now.

A solitary wicker lantern sat in a cradle, shedding a pale light over a crescent-shaped area covered in flagstones that had been carved out of the side of the mountain. In the middle of it were the bridge pillars and a small wooden shack.

The bridge itself was a slender rope structure slung across the open chasm. Narrow matting formed the bridge deck wide enough for one person to cross. At least there were hand ropes. At the Topeth end, it was attached to two thick, green-coloured pillars. Fingers of mist rose out of the ravine, obscuring the Unity end of the bridge. The structure reminded her of a long, thin hammock tied between two pairs of massive tree trunks.

By the bridge entrance was a large sign:
‘THE DEVILS’ BRIDGE.
DO NOT CROSS.
IGNORE THIS WARNING AT YOUR PERIL.’

It was true. She had heard rumours about the bridge, about how predatory devils prowled the dip in the centre of the rope bridge. It was forbidden to cross it.

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Author Image (1)

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Justin Newland is an author of historical fantasy and secret history thrillers – that’s history with a supernatural twist. His stories feature known events and real people from history which are re-told and examined through the lens of the supernatural. He gives author talks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Bristol’s Thought for the Day. He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.

His Books

The Genes of Isis is a tale of love, destruction and ephemeral power set under the skies of Ancient Egypt. A re-telling of the Biblical story of the flood, it reveals the mystery of the genes of Isis – or genesis – of mankind. ISBN 9781789014860.

The novel is creative, sophisticated, and downright brilliant! I couldn’t ask more of an Egyptian-esque book!” – Lauren, Books Beyond the Story.

The Old Dragon’s Head is a historical fantasy and supernatural thriller set during the Ming Dynasty and played out in the shadows the Great Wall of China. It explores the secret history of the influences that shaped the beginnings of modern times. ISBN 9781789015829.

“The author is an excellent storyteller.” – British Fantasy Society.

Set during the Great Enlightenment, The Coronation reveals the secret history of the Industrial Revolution. ISBN 9781838591885.

“The novel explores the themes of belonging, outsiders… religion and war… filtered through the lens of the other-worldly.”A. Deane, Page Farer Book Blog.

His latest, The Abdication (July, 2021), is a suspense thriller, a journey of destiny, wisdom and self-discovery. ISBN 9781800463950.

“In Topeth, Tula confronts the truth, her faith in herself, faith in a higher purpose, and ultimately, what it means to abdicate that faith.” – V. Triola, Coast to Coast.

http://www.justinnewland.com/

https://www.facebook.com/justin.newland.author/

https://www.instagram.com/drjustinnewland/

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Abdication-Justin-Newland/dp/1800463952

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Justin Newland will be awarding a Paperback copy of the book (International giveaway) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a copy of the book – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Q & A With ….

Tell us about you as a person.

I was born three days before the end of the year. That makes me a Capricorn. We’re a strange hybrid of half-fish, half-goat. I mean, who would want to be one of those? Capricorns don’t tend to get invited to parties because a. The hosts don’t know whether to feed us plankton or tufts of grass and b. We’re boring, practical people, plodders who just work, work, work. You could either end up with a nasty kettle of fish like Al Capone or Howard Shipman or, better still, a person with deep religious and spiritual views such as Martin Luther King or Jesus Christ. You’ll be relieved to hear I’m more inclined towards the religious/spiritual Capricorn spectrum.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

He may not be alive today, but I’d like to go back in time, and into the mists of history to hang out with my famous person. I’d return to the First Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, the setting for my debut novel, The Genes of Isis.
I’d hang out with King Zoser. I’d ask him how was life in those long distant days, when there were Kings of Egypt, and not Pharaohs. I’d ask him about all the things that were formed in those days, that now govern our lives today.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

The Abdication is a departure from my normal genre. The previous three novels were all based in historical or semi-historical settings, but this wasn’t the case with The Abdication.
The premise of the novel is set out in the preface, which is as follows:
“When a man loses his way, he feels desperate.
When a nation abandons its purpose, it slides into anarchy.
When Homo sapiens shuns its nature as the wise, the kind and the humane, it can only be called… The Abdication.”
This tells the reader that the story is about free will, and about how Homo Sapiens Sapiens – that’s man the twice-wise – has employed that gift. Before free will, we were like animals, in that we had no voluntary choice. We could only do what we were pre-coded to do. With free will, we could and do code or program ourselves.
The novel tells the story of a young woman’s journey to explore whether or not we have abdicated from the right and proper use of free will.

What is your writing process?

When I am not writing, I contemplate a lot, to try to imagine the next scene, what the characters are saying, and where they are going with their lives. I keep a notebook with me. I’ve learnt my muse speaks clearest when I’m in the middle of something completely unrelated to writing.

The writing process seems to vary from book to book. My first novel took 6 years. As I learnt the art of writing and the craft of editing, and how to manage my work, the second, third and fourth novels took 1-2 years each. Yet my fifth novel, my Work In Progress, is taking longer than I expected, and I’m having to learn different ways to adapt to its demands.

It’s almost as if the muse, the inspiration, for each novel is different, and you have to entice, or persuade the muse to give of her secrets so that you can write the next chapter, the next scene, the next sentence, of the drama.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role(s) and why.

Tula – Zendaya.
Damien – Tom Hardy.
Sarah – Helena Bonham Carter.
Geb – Ralph Fiennes.
Enoch – Anthony Hopkins.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their latest book?

There are three ways to approach marketing your book.
One is to engage in in-person meetings. These include author talks (say at local libraries or associations), panels (at writers’ conferences), and book signings (in local bookshops).
The second is online marketing. This includes having an online presence such as a website, a twitter account, a Facebook author page, a LinkedIn site etc. It also includes promoting your books and writing through blog tours.
The third is an engagement with the media, such as local radio stations, internet radio stations, TV, as well as local newspapers, magazines, periodicals. Make contacts, meet people, engage with them. They are looking for stories to tell. You have a story to tell.

List 5 things on your bucket list.

I’m not a bucket list kind of person, so this one is difficult to answer. Having said that, I’ve plenty of things I want to do, but that doesn’t mean they are on a bucket list. I’ll do them anyway, come what may, so long as I can. One of them is to be the best writer I can be.

In what way do you think that this current pandemic has changed the book & publishing industry?

I think it’s a short-term blip. Sooner or later, the pandemic will be history, and the book industry will still be there, because people love stories, they always have and always will. If you’re a good story-teller, and can tell a story that catches the zeitgeist, the spirit of our times – then the readers will read it, and the book industry will be happy.

Any final thoughts?

Hang in there, because tomorrow’s another day. It might just hold the key to your future.

VBT – MARS WARS SERIES

TourBanner_MarsWars_animated

Mars Wars Series:
Detonation Event (Mars Wars Book 1)
by John Andrew Karr

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GENRE: Science Fiction

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BLURB:

For decades the Space Consortium of America has searched for new ways to harvest resources beyond an increasingly depleted Earth. The ultimate plan is about to be ignited. So is the ultimate threat to humankind . . .

DETONATION EVENT

Battle-hardened Captain Ry Devans and his crew of the Mars Orbiter Station One (MOS-1) are part of a bold plan: resurrect the active molten cores of the Red Planet with synchronized thermonuclear explosions, and terraform the hell out of that iron-oxide rock for future generations. It’ll change history. So will the strands of carbon-based Martian cells that have hitched a ride on the ship.

Dr. Karen Wagner knows the microbes’ resistance to virus is incredible. It’s the unknowable that’s dicey. Her orders: blow them into space. But orders can be undermined. Two vials have been stolen and sent hurtling toward the biosphere. For Devans and Wagner, ferreting out the saboteurs on board is only the beginning. Because there are more of them back on Earth—an army of radical eco-terrorists anxious to create a New World Order with a catastrophic gift from Mars.

Now, one-hundred-and-forty-million miles away from home, Devans is feeling expendable, betrayed, a little adrift, and a lot wild-eyed. But space madness could be his salvation—and Earth’s. He has a plan. And he’ll have to be crazy to make it work.

Book1 DETONATION EVENT

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Mars Wars: Annihilation Plan

Blurb:

Mars, in the throes of resurrection.

If you happened to have an illegal telescope, or proxied your galaxynet address well enough to pirate your way to satellite images of Mars, you might glimpse a damaged but operational Mars Orbiter 1, alive with ‘rebels.’

You could see clusters of superheated propellant burning beyond Earth space, as the EFF (Earth First Faction) sends armed planetary shuttles on an attack route to relieve the rebels of their existence.

If so, you’d be witnessing Mars Wars.

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Annihilation-Plan-Mars-Wars-Book-ebook/dp/B09NKPN3Z5/ref=sr_1_2

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EXCERPT

From Destination Event, Mars Wars, Book 1

The barren red face of Mars grew before them.

The space shuttles of two centuries earlier had orbited Earth at roughly five miles a second. Doubling that speed, even tripling it—and in a hurry—was within easy capability of the PS-class shuttles.

Devans threw in a series of mild doglegs to make it a little interesting for Wagner. He had to admit, the youth had staying power. An hour later and Wagner hadn’t even taken a bathroom break. Two blips showed up on the main hologram of the planet below. They marked tunnel locations T1 and T2 as yellow-highlighted lines that shot straight down. Both had tiny right angles at the ends where the bombs were housed.

As they approached the space over T1, the surface camera feeds showed nothing but a mass of gray-and-red dust. Very little wind speed. It was thick but gentle, like a snow globe after its been shaken.

“Raise shields, Nuro,” Devans said. “Shannon, how about splashing our entry on the big monitor here and the feed to the crew?”

The shuttle’s shields warded off the entry heat and they entered the anemic Martian atmosphere.

“Withdraw shields, Nuro.”

“Withdrawing.”

“Nice sandstorm,” Devans said, gazing at the roiling wall hundreds of feet high.

“Dust storm!” Trent Wagner said over his shoulder as he leaned back and forth on the table as if shredding the galaxy’s longest wave. “This is the tail end of it!”

“How long until cleared?”

“Two or three.”

“Couple, three hours, not so bad.”

“Weeks,” Wagner said.

“And here I just had this thing washed. Let’s go to the dark side for now.”

The sun cut a divide on the red planet’s surface. PS-9 easily outdistanced the storm and raced over the desert surface to the dark side. The second blip beckoned them on the navigation screens. Near total darkness pushed against their vessel lights.

This was the eve of the moment they all had labored for…One last manual check and they would attempt to resurrect Mars with synchronized thermonuclear explosions at the core.

At least, that was the plan.

Book2_RoguePlanetCoverArt

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EXCERPT

Mars Wars: Annihilation Plan

The debris would be recovered by the drones for re-purposing.

No one on MOS-1 wanted human bodies to be stripped of their space suits by drones.

The machines would take them to Mars entry, however, for incineration.

Devans flew just past the next drifting form. He twisted into a one eighty to allow the ion jets to act as space brakes, then angled the small funnels to keep himself at the same rate and direction as the deceased.

He held an arm out and touched the suit.

The helmet had been atomized on a diagonal. He could not determine the gender of the victim inside. The identification chip was either gone or damaged.

This one’s even worse than the last one, he thought.

A glow spot grew in the corner of Devans’ eye. At first he thought it was notification of a mindtext, as they came with tiny dots in the periphery. But this was on the wrong side of his mindtext queue.

Ry, duck and move! NOW!”

He knew Burroughs’ tones well enough to react first, ask later.

His hand blurred to hit a double max jet burst downward and sideways.

A concentrated cluster of laser beams lit up the inside of his helmet and hummed through his suit speakers.

He didn’t stop there.

He arced up and he drew the spatz pistol holstered at his side.

Where, where?

Another flash and he hit a jet burst upward this time. The beam went low, anticipating a maneuver similar to his first.

Crew, back to ship!” Devans said. “Gwen, fire a volley at the origin.”

PS-17 shifted and fired, the beams trailing out into darkness.

Shannon, where the hell is it?”

I can’t see it!” her voice was frantic. “INCOMING, RY! Go, Go, Go!”

He zipped away on a spin, returned fire though he had yet to make visual, even with the face shield’s enhanced zoom.

They must be cloaked,” he said, dodging two more beams.

PS-17 lit up the originating area with a barrage of streaking plasma rounds. He saw a single splatter that had appeared as nothing.

He aimed and fired at it, shouting coordinates.

Get in the ship, Ry! They’re after you!”

If true, then PS-17’s shields were as about as impervious as human flesh to a spatz beam, and he’d be putting the crew at greater risk. However, his little suit jets were micro thrusters compared to the fusion engine of a shuttle, and the crew and all the ‘rebels’ of MOS-1 had already been hurled into the risk vortex that accompanies war.

The space crazy had an answer.

Nah, I’m good out here.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

From his home in Wilmington, North Carolina, John Andrew Karr (also John A. Karr) writes of the strange and spectacular. He is the author of a handful of independent and small press novels and novellas, and also leaves in his wake a trail of short stories.

Author Picture

www.johnandrewkarr.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/John-A-Karr/e/B003DVNQ8G%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share
Twitter: @johnandrewkarr1
Instagram/Tumblr: johnandrewkarr
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgMXLJ0MK2Q

Detonation Event: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D6BDQBC

Rogue Planet: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XFMCD21

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

IT TAKES TWO – Book Tour

TourBanner_It Takes Two

It Takes Two
by Nicole Sallak Anderson

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

Twenty years ago, Willow Dwyer nearly died in a school shooting that stole the life of her true love, James. Now she’s forty, infertile, newly divorced from a man who refuses to leave her alone, and on the brink of a breakdown.

Even after all this time, she still finds herself unable to move forward from the dream of a life and family she lost that day of the shooting. At the suggestion of her therapist, Willow takes up the tango, the dance she’d mastered with James before his death. It seems an innocent enough plan, until Willow dances with Merrick Montagne.

Merrick is a strikingly handsome, twenty-year-old college student with an uncanny ability for the tango. He makes her heart race for the first time in she can’t remember how long, and the strangest thing is, he claims he’s been searching for her his entire life. Willow doesn’t know if she believes him, or if she can handle the scrutiny she’s sure to get for dating someone so much younger than her. Yet no matter how hard she tries, she just can’t seem to walk away. When revelations begin to connect Merrick even further to her past, Willow must decide how much she’s willing to risk for a love that should be impossible, a love she’s not sure she could survive losing again.

BookCover_It takes two

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EXCERPT

“Excuse me,” he said, his blue eyes piercing, as if he could see into her soul. “What is your name?”

Her body quivered. Why did she feel like she was going to fall over? Two gin and tonics was nothing for her. It had to be his eyes—they reminded her of James.

“Willow.” Even her feet were now numb. “And yours?”

He gazed at her as if appraising a new car, and then smiled. “Merrick Montagne. May I have this dance?”

She nodded and followed him to the dance floor. The touch of his hand was electric, familiar, warm. She wanted to cast off the spell, but instead decided to be curious. Who was this young man? Merrick took her into his close embrace, and she smelled his neck—cologne but not obtrusive, mixed with the scent of a male, pure and raw. He led her in a sequence that slowly came back to her.

Milonete, step, step, cruzada, hesitate…hesitate…enganche…embellishment…dibujo…

Willow held her ground, drawing tension out of Merrick. He waited for her, cheek to cheek, as she dragged her foot up his leg, one millimeter at a time, leaning her breasts into his chest. He gasped, and his heartbeat quickened against her own. When his body trembled like a taught bowstring, she placed her foot on the ground and he walked her again, releasing his breath as she granted him control of the dance. By the end of the triplet, the two of them were breathing as if they’d jogged for an hour.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Nicole Sallak Anderson is Computer Science graduate from Purdue University, and former CTO for a small Silicon Valley startup, turned novelist, speaker, and blogger. Her essays range from AI and Zen to direct democracy to the loneliness of modern parenting— featured as a top twenty story on Medium. She is the author of The Song of the King’s Heart Trilogy, is a series about the last native Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and his quest to take back his ancestral kingdom from the Ptolemaic Empire. All three installments, Origins, Blood and Chaos, and Civilization’s End, are available on Amazon. Origins is also available on Audible.

Her recent novel, It Takes Two, is about forty-year-old Willow Dwyer, who takes up the tango and finds herself dancing in the arms of Merrick Montagne, a man half her age who claims he’s been searching for her all his life.

You can keep up with all her latest writing on her website nicolesallakanderson.com or by following @NSallakAnderson on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Medium. Feel free to contact her, she always answers any query or comment!

Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Takes-Two-Nicole-Sallak-Anderson-ebook/dp/B09R16JT8Q/

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Nicole Sallak Anderson will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Production Status – Disaster Dates

Disaster Dates – FIlm Production

Disaster Dates is a comedy, very loosely based on a previous project called Bogan Bachelor. Each skit goes for 5 minutes, 6 at the most.

Plot Outline: Mike and Susie decide to explore the world of online dating. However, they find out that dating has changed quite a lot, and everything that can go wrong, does go wrong as they have one disasterous date after another.

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Mikes Dates:

Date 1: The “Not a ONS, but really is a ONS” – Mike meets Gabriela. A woman who has lived in Manchester for 5 years. She works as a cleaner. During the date, she says that he would not be able to live under her “strict rules”. He then goes on a series of hilarious questions such as: What rules would those be? Does that mean I cant shag the sofa? Can I still spread kitty litter all over the floor? Can I still drink from the toilet? Can I still do ass race across the carpet with my dog? What about shagging your leg? Am I allowed to do that? What about the GILF who lives next door? Can I still shag her leg? Am I allowed to throw my cat up on the roof and see how long it takes for him to get down? Can I chase the postman and cars? What about the dog biscuits? Am I allowed to still eat those with my dog? Can I fart all over the house like my dog and blame it on the cat? Can I still howl at the moon in the middle of the night? What if my balls are itchy? Can I lick them myself or will you do that for me? She does not understand his humor, and calls him some colorful names then abruptly leaves.

Date 2: The Wanna-Be-Spokesperson – Mike meets Rita. She has ambitions to make it big on social media as a spokeswoman. Every chance she gets, she will break into product placement lines, even when there is no camera on her. Mike thinks she is a bit of a loon, especially when she orders a meat pie with adding “Because your Pies are not the only meat I like in my mouth”

Date 3: The Cling-On – Mike meets Karen. A separated woman in her 50’s who drinks too much, sleeps in separate bedroom to her husband, likes to give unwanted advice to “potential” lovers, and wants to be a model, even though she is not suited to do anything in modeling.

Date 4: The Psycho – Jeannie is a woman in her late 30’s. Control freak and if a partner does not comply to her “wants” she yells at him and goes on a massive rant. The date ends after a few minutes when Mike orders for himself a drink that is not what she wanted him to have, and she starts verbally abusing him.

Date 5: The Stalker – Carol is in her early 40’s. She takes an instant attraction to him, and after the date ends she starts to follow him, to the point when after he notices her following him, he walks off faster, and then runs off with her running after him, yelling “Wait Mikey! Dont go! I love you!” He manages to loose her in the shopping mall and quickly goes home.

Date 6: The Alcoholic – Betty is in her 40’s and a constant drunk.

Date 7: The “DOLE” girl – Sharon is in her late 30’s but looks to be in her 50’s. Making a living on the Single Parent Pension, she is always on the lookout for her next “donor” so she can claim benefits for another child. She is foul-mouthed, loud, a stoner, and doesn’t care about creating a scene in public, especially at the welfare office when they “stuff up her payment” and how the current PM can’t house anyone.

Date 8: The “Good Religious Girl” – Mary is from a very religious and strict family. Mike is waiting for her at the cafe, and when she arrives, he is taken-aback to see that her father has turned up as her chaperone. Instead of getting to know her, Mike is given the “20 questions” routine by her father, and then when he “summizes” that Mike is not good enough, he tells Mary that they are going, then has some choice verbal abuse for Mike as they leave.

Date 9: The “I Have A Secret” Girl – Dayanne. Late 30’s. Dresses nice. Works as a secretary for a law firm. She seems to be a little bit too perfect. After a while he realizes why she looks familiar, as he saw her on TV a while ago, wanted by the police for murdering ex boyfriends in various cities.

Date 10: The “This Could Be The One” Girl – Mike meets Katrina, or Trini/Kat to her friends. She works at a restaurant nearby as a manager. She is level headed and knows what she wants in life. They hit it off, and there is that “instant” connection between them. We see the ending scene of Kat and Mike cuddled up in bed, and her sharing a startling secret of her own.

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Susie’s Dates:

Date 1: The Yella – Gary – Late 30’s. He thinks he is high class and can cook meals that would want the royal family approve of him being their head chef. He likes to boast of his “royal” connections and expensive taste in wines, but in reality, he lives in a very modest flat, his cooking skills are limited to ‘baked beans on toast’, the only ‘royal’ connection he has is the brand of cat food he buys, and he has a habit of screaming ‘shut up!’ to anyone who does not see things his way. Needless to say, the date ends after he yells at Susie when she remarks that he did not need to wear a tux to a casual date.

Date 2: The Redneck – Darren (Dazza) – He knows all things Holden, Beer, Smokes, AFL and classic Aussie rock. Wears flannel shirts without the sleeves, mullet hairdo, talks like the typical Bogan. Date with Dazza ends before it begins as he walks up to her table at a cafe and slams his foot down on the table and says “G’day love”. Little did he realize that his balls are exposed for everyone to see. Susie abruptly leaves.

Date 3: The Yuppie – Teddy, 40’s. Teddy is a yuppie through and through. He turns up for the date, carrying 2 cell phones, hair slicked back, designer sunnies. During the date he talks only about himself and shows vain interest in her.

Date 4: The Boaster – Peter, early 50’s. Peter dresses smart and has a habit of wearing a drivers cap whenever he goes out. He has a humor that ponly himself thinks is funny. He has a habit of boasting (several times) how much he makes Nett (repeatedly, NETT) a year. Little does Susie know is that Peter is married. For him, he is only looking to get laid.

Date 5: The Gambler – Brad, late 30’s. Brad lives in a HMO. A hard worker but has an issue with drinking and gambling. He never sees any of his own money, as his salary is deposited into his sister bank account and she pays his rent and gives him allowance for his shopping. Otherwise, he’d gamble the lot away. Date ends after he asks her for £100 for a quick gamble.

Date 6: The Cop – Mark, late 40’s. Mark is an undercover cop. He takes his job way too seriously and thinks everyone is guilty of something, except himself. He has a dark side to his personality, and compares himself to Justin Statham. He takes a shine to Susie, only because he has another agenda…

Date 7: The Comic – Jim, late 40’s. Jim takes care of himself. He lives in a modest 2 bedroom flat. Divorced, no kids. A dog owner. He works for a staffing agency in town, and has a very comedic side to his personality. He is known to do the comedy clubs in Manchester, where he is a stand-up comic, and still waiting for his big break. He considers himself the next Jim Carrey.

Date 8: The Chopper – Reece, 50’s. Reece is a biker and used to be part of a gang in the 80’s, when street violence was a ‘thing’. He is as rough as they come, and the mouth to match. Despite his tough appearance he does have a soft spot for kittens.

Date 9: The Klepto – Spencer, late 30’s. Spencer is a thief, plain and simple. During the date with Susie, he is fidgety and nervous, then when he see his opportunity he snatches her handbag and runs off, with her in distress. Fortunately for her, Mark (The cop), apprehends him and saves the day. Little did she know is that it was a set-up by Mark.

Date 10: The Mr Perfect.. Or is he …. Malcolm, 40’s. Malcolm is intelligent and has a good balanced SOH. Never married. He has a mental ‘check list’ of what he expects in someone. Susie suspects something is not quite kosher with this date, expecially when he orders steak, raw.

Final Date:

Susie and Mike. Both Mike and Susie are fed up with the whole dating disasters they have both been on, and giving it one last try, they meet. The conversation starts awkward at first, then opens up when Mike asks her about her previous dates. From there, there is a connection between them. We see them having a meal, a glass of wine, sharing laughs, then afterwards see them walking down the street, hand in hand.

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Some of the production team for the comedy film, Disaster Dates

VBT – CHANDELIER

TourBanner_Chandelier

Chandelier
by Michael Leon

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GENRE: Sci-fi/ Fantasy Romance

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BLURB:

CHANDELIER is the genre-bending sci-fi/fantasy-romance novel follow up of Michael Leon’s 2019 fantasy-romance book, PHANTOMS. A century has passed since the fabled Phantom ruled the Garnier Opera House. Technology has advanced, and AI has evolved beyond human knowledge. They reside in a virtual Earth, free from the ravages of an environmentally damaged Earth where humans and post-humans live under AI’s qualified governance. CHANDELIER follows one AI sentient’s journey, Benny, whose loyalty for a famous opera singer, Madame D’Arenberg, sets him on a dangerous course, entangling him in The Phantom of the Opera’s deadly web.

BookCover_Chandelier

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EXCERPT

A human whistling sound, distant but growing louder permeated the chill of the room. An unearthly chilled breath wafted over his face. He opened his eyes and looked up to its source, but he was alone, until light formed on the wall behind Gaston’s bed. Shapeless light swirled as if blown by that same breeze. The foggy disturbance slowed, allowing the swirling shape to take form. It was human but completely covered in black, bar the shape of a smooth ghost-like face. As the contours sharpened he realised it was a mask. Was he looking at the phantom? If he was, Gaston’s stories had all been real!

Fear gripped him to the seat. He wanted to flee but dared not move. Before the apparition suddenly looked Flynn’s way, turning his fear to terror.

“Who are you?” He asked feebly, but the apparition remained silent.

Flynn went to stand but a second shape appeared from behind him. A man dressed in white walked toward Gaston’s bed, making no sound as it glided across the room. Both apparitions studied the body for a time, ignoring Flynn before vanishing through the bedroom wall, leaving Flynn alone. He immediately stood and left the room, fearful they may return, not daring to look back. Whatever he witnessed, he didn’t wish to see again. Flynn was a scientist who staunchly refuted Gaston’s ramblings about ghosts as the product of a vivid imagination. They had spent many years arguing over their existence. Perhaps this was his friend’s final wish, to show him that everything he had written and said was true.

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Author Image

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Michael Leon is an explorer, writer and author of the new novel, Sentient. Professionally trained in international trade, Michael has spent the last decade reading and writing SFF novels about new worlds to be explored in the future. His latest work, Sentient, imagines Earth in the year 2120. His next novel, Chandelier, will be released in 2022. Michael has travelled extensively around Europe, walking the paths of his characters, from the famous European opera houses in Phantoms to the mountain tops of Switzerland in Emissary.

Website: https://www.michaelleon.com.au
Twitter: https://twitter.com/michaelleon0433
Blogger: https://michaelleoncommentspage.blogspot.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5369984.Michael_Leon
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Leon/e/B01LNQALBW%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

VBT – THE ORDER OF TIME SERIES

TourBnner_TheOrderOfTime-animated

The Order of Time Series
by Scott P. Southall

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GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy (Mythology/Ancient History)

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BLURB:

About the Series

Picture two twelve-year-old fraternal twins who are like night and day. She is a smart and highly organised MMA fighter. He’s not a fighter, he’s a lover of history, art and Star Wars. Despite their differences they are one formidable team. Together Anastasia and Edward Upston travel through time and navigate ancient civilisations, angry gods and mythical monsters in their quest to protect the integrity of human history.

About The Order of Time

Anastasia and Edward Upston are eleven year old twins who are different in almost every way. Despite this they are inseparable and he best of friends. They tackle the highs and lows of sixth grade together whether they are fending off bullies at the elite Blake Academy or examining rare antiquities at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Then: life gets complicated.

They discover that their friend and mentor, Dr. Gregorian, is part of a secret society called the Order of Time. It turns out that time is not fixed, it’s a fluid continuum where changes to the past can create ripples all the way through to the present. It unwittingly falls to the twins to travel back through time to ancient Egypt where they must overcome deadly assassins, evil high priests and vengeful gods in order to prevent disaster. Together Anastasia and Edward must navigate all obstacles to preserve the past and find their way back home.

About The Order of Time and Odin’s Door The orange light bathed the snow-covered fields as the fiery globe began to dip below the horizon. It was strange that something so beautiful could signal the arrival of something so evil. One thing twelve-year-old twins Anastasia and Edward Upston knew for sure was that when mortals were caught between two bickering gods nothing good would come of it. Surviving the Viking Age may be the hardest thing they ever do, if they can…

BookCover_Order of Time_ book 1

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EXCERPT

Excerpt From The Order of Time

They started to leave when the room suddenly lit up with a strange purple light coming from under a closet door.

“Why is the closet glowing?” asked Edward, his voice trailing up an octave. “Maybe we should get out of here.”

“What if Dr. G’s in there? You know he always locks his door, but it was open tonight. Maybe he’s still here. He might need our help,” Anastasia said emphatically.

The light was getting brighter by the second. Now Edward could also hear a low humming noise.

“Stop being crazy, Anastasia! This is the part in the movies where you yell at the screen for the characters not to open the door. We are not going to open that door.”

“I’m not being crazy. If Dr. G is in there and needs help, we’ll never forgive ourselves.”

Edward looked at her pleadingly, but she wasn’t giving in. His shoulders slumped in defeat. Oh god, please don’t let there be a monster or anything really scary in there. Anastasia dragged him over to the closet door. The light pouring out around the cracks was incredibly bright and the humming was getting louder. She gripped the large, brass doorknob, took a breath, and opened the door.

BookCover_Order of Time and Odins Door _book 2

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Scott is an American author and banking executive who lives in Sydney, Australia. He grew up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. and attended Georgetown University. While he loves his job as a global banker, his true passion is making up stories with his children. His debut novel, The Order of Time, reached #1 in its category on Amazon and was the 2021 Reader’s Favorite Gold Medal Winner in the Children’s – Mythology/Fairy Tale genre.

author image

https://www.scottpsouthall.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-southall-6bab5a4/
https://www.instagram.com/scottsouthallauthor/
https://www.facebook.com/scott.southallauthor
https://twitter.com/SSouthallAuthor

The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.

https://www.amazon.com/Order-Time-Scott-P-Southall-ebook/dp/B07Z3XWJQ9
https://bookawards.com/book-award/the-order-of-time
https://readersfavorite.com/2021-award-contest-winners.htm#the-order-of-time

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Author Interview …

Q: What is something you’ve lied about?
A: When I was five I lied about my age so that I could play on my local neighborhood soccer team. I had been watching my older brother play for a few years and I was desperate to play. The rules were that you had to be six to be eligible to play and I missed the cutoff by a month or two. In my mind the age restriction was the height of injustice and oppression. So, I told a big fat lie on the registration form. I was definitely six! Luckily registrations for the Thunder Hill soccer team weren’tchecked by FIFA and I wasn’t barred from the game for life.

Q: Who is the last person you hugged?
A: I hugged my six year-old daughter when she woke up this morning. She is a big-time cuddler which I love. It could have been because she loves me. It also could have been because it was cold outside this morning and I am always warm. Either way I will take it while it lasts. I’m not that picky.

Q: What are you reading now?
A: I’m reading Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi and the Golden Son by Pierce Brown. Aru Shah has been a lot of fun. It’s taking me way past my paltry knowledge of Hindu Myths that I learned in my college Hinduism class. Roshani Chokshi is also very funny. I really enjoyed the first book in the Red Rising Saga so Golden Son is one that I am looking forward to getting into.

Q: How do you come up with the titles to your books?
A: It’s not scientific for me. Naming a book is all about feel. I knew that The Order of Time was the title for my fist book as soon as I named Dr. G’s secret society. I loved how it was both a cool name for a mysterious order and how it reflected the concept of the integrity of human history. I was slightly stressed when I discovered that Physicist Carlo Rovelli had published his book of the same title about ten months before mine. Did I need to change titles? In the end, I decided that we had drastically different target audiences so it was going to be okay.

As for the second book, I had to search a little more. The working title started as The Test of Time. About half way through writing I decided that it just didn’t work me. I had half a dozen different titles that I kept trying out as I saved my working drafts. I eventually settled on The Order of Time and Odin’s Door. It establishes the book’s connection to the series and will hopefully be intriguing enough to draw new readers in.

Q: Share your dream cast for your book.
A: I’m going to skip the twins and the other kids as I imagine them as undiscovered actors. However, I will give the rest of the characters a go as they say in Australia.
Dr. Alfred Gregorian – Robert Redford
Soren Magnusson — Alexander Ludwig
Erik the Red – Kit Harrington
Sir Archibald Davenport – Michael Caine
Raphael Augustino – Al Pacino
Florance – Meryl Streep
Lucia – Courtney Eaton

VBT – THE SHOE DIARIES

TourBanner_The Shoe Diaries

The Shoe Diaries
by Darby Baham

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

It’s never too late to put your best foot forward

From the outside, Reagan “Rae” Doucet has it all: a coveted career in Washington, DC, a tight circle of friends and a shoe closet to die for. When one of her crew falls ill, however, Rae is done playing it safe. The talented but unfulfilled writer makes a “risk list” to revamp her life. But forgiving her ex, Jake Saunders, might be one risk too many…

From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.

The Friendship Chronicles/Book 1: The Shoe Diaries

“Reminiscent of Sex and the City and the Shopaholic series in the best possible way. Her stories are a lot of fun and yet she still tugs at your heartstrings.”–Gail Chasan, Special Edition Editor

BookCover_The Shoe Diaries

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EXCERPT

Romance

February 13, 2016

“With this ring, I thee wed, and with it, I bestow upon thee the treasures of my mind, heart and hands…”

Staring at my friends from my seat, I noticed more than just their words as they recited their vows. I saw their hands clasped together throughout the ceremony, and the smiles they wore even through their tears; the way they focused on each other like no one else was present even while a hundred and fifty of us stared at them with glee. But most important, I saw the love that was undeniable between the two of them. Strange, but I was all at once happy and sad, amazed and hurt. In them I saw hope for a future. Here were two people who’d found love and decided that nothing else was more important than their union. Yet, standing less than two feet away from them, I also saw the man I’d hoped would be my future—and it hurt me to my core to know that we would never have this same moment.

Every few minutes I caught myself peeking over at him during the ceremony, hoping he would turn to me, and we would have some kind of knowing thought between us. That we would have a brief second where no words were necessary, and through our eyes, we’d say, “I know it didn’t work for us, but I still love you.” I craved that moment more than anything I’d ever wanted before, wishing with all my might he would just look over. Just glance at me…and smile.

That look never happened.

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Author Pic

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Darby Baham (she/her) is a debut author with Harlequin Special Edition and a New Yorker of five years who sometimes desperately misses the sprawling shoe closet she had while living in Maryland. She’s had personal blog posts appear in The Washington Post’s relationship vertical and has worked in the communications industry for more than two decades. The New Orleans, LA native is also a lover of big laughs and books that swallow you into their world. Her first book, The Shoe Diaries, debuts in 2022.

Author Website www.DarbyBaham.com

Linktree https://linktr.ee/darbybaham

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/darby.baham/
Twitter https://twitter.com/darbybaham
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/darbybaham/

Darby Baham’s Washington Post bylines

I had the perfect date dress. Why did it hang in my closet unworn for more than a year? — March 2016

When it comes to relationship advice, sometimes it’s best to ignore your friends — February 2016

I’m the oldest sister in my family and I’m single. And that’s okay. — March 2016

I was afraid to say ‘I love you.’ Here’s how I found the courage. –

NOTE: Here is the link to subscribe to receive books specifically from Harlequin Special Editionhttps://www.readerservice.com/content/series/harlequin-special-edition/

Darby’s book will be included in the January edition.

The Shoe Diaries Sales Links

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-shoe-diaries-darby-baham/1139911402

https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Shoe-Diaries/Darby-Baham/9781335408365?id=8355481149755

https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335408365_the-shoe-diaries.html

https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335408365

https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Shoe_Diaries.html?id=bU06EAAAQBAJ

https://www.target.com/p/the-shoe-diaries-friendship-chronicles-by-darby-baham-paperback/-/A-84253284

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Q&A

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

I used to have at least 200 pairs of shoes. When I moved to NYC a little over 5 years ago, I had to downsize, so I’m probably down to about 75, give or take a few.

Did you ever have to part with a pair of shoes you loved? And if so why? (this question is not so about you throwing away shoes but also about you having to leave a place bc you loved a pair of shoes but you couldn’t get them for some reason etc.)

I can’t think of a time as an adult when I saw a pair of shoes I really loved and I didn’t ultimately get them. Maybe that’s a problem! I will say that the incident that Reagan’s friend remind her about, when she lost a shoe after making out with a guy who performed oral sex with her for hours, that was absolutely inspired by a similar incident that happened to me. So that was certainly a time when I had to part with a pair of shoes I loved.

Favorite pair of shoes?

Today, it’s my maroon SJP heels that I bought for myself when I signed my deal with Harlequin. Tomorrow, it may be the next pair I obsess over before purchasing.

VBT – CAN’T THINK STRAIGHT

TourBanner Can't Think Straight

Can’t Think Straight
by Isabel Scheck

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GENRE: poetry/lgbtqia/romance

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BLURB:

A collection of 35 poems in which a poet thinks about women a little too much… (Sapphic poetry)

BookCover_CantThinkStraight

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EXCERPT

Poem no. 2: Love Is…
I am in love with love
Love is blonde hair and green eyes.
Love is infectious laughter and soft smiles, Love is cuddling while watching a movie.
I am in love with love
Love is caring and loyal.
Love is pretty and tells me she loves me
Love is patient and laughs at my stupid jokes.
I am in love with love.
Love is playing with my hair and kissing my forehead. Love is comforting and wipes away my tears.
Love is mine and I am hers.
I am in love with love.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Isabel is a self-published author and artist who comes from England, but lives in Switzerland. She works with children, which she adores, but she also loves to write; especially in the genres of fantasy, poetry and romance. She uses experiences and images as inspiration to create words. Isabel also loves to express herself by drawing.
Instagram: Isabels_artwork
Tumblr: Hues-of-Purple
Twitter: IzzyS97
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThePoeticQueen97/

Lulu spotlight for all of my books: https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/isabelscheck

Link to Can’t Think Straight: https://www.lulu.com/en/gb/shop/isabel-scheck/cant-think-straight/paperback/product-mv998q.html?page=1&pageSize=4

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Cant-Think-Straight-LGBTQ-poetry/dp/1387843052/

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Isabel Scheck will be awarding 1 of 2 autographed books to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter for a chance to win 1 of 2 autographed books – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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