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Traveler’s Zone Book Tour…and Tasty Recipe

Creamy Cauliflower Pea Salad

Creamy Cauliflower

This is a traditional Midwestern recipe usually served as a side-dish. You can’t make a meal of meats and carbs alone. Well, you can, actually, but it’s nice to have a tasty vegetable dish to balance out your plate.

Creamy Cauliflower Pea Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • Half head cauliflower cut in bite size pieces (about 10 oz.)
  • English Peas fresh or frozen (about 10 oz.)
  • 1 cup peeled, diced cucumber
  • 3 tablespoons commercial reduced-calorie ranch dressing
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dillweed
  • Cheddar cheese

Materials:

  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Large saucepan
  • Large bowl
  • Knife

Directions:

  1. Combine water, cauliflower, and peas in saucepan; bring to a boil.  Cover and cook 5 minutes or until cauliflower is crisp tender; drain well.
  2. Combine cauliflower mixture and remaining ingredients in a bowl; toss well.  Serve warm or chilled.  Before serving top with small bite size pieces of cheddar cheese.

While your home fills up with the tasty aromas of an earlier time, you can indulgently curl up with a good book. May I suggest Traveler’s Zone?

Chris Pavesic continues the amazing story of Cami Malifux with Book 2 of the Revelation Chronicles.

Escape from a world of darkness into a magical realm of limitless adventure.

About the Book:

In Starter Zone, Cami kept herself and her younger sister Alby alive in a post-apocalyptic world, facing starvation, violence, and death on a daily basis. Caught by the military and forcefully inscribed, Cami manages to scam the system and they enter the Realms, a Virtual Reality world, as privileged Players rather than slaves. They experience a world of safety, plenty, and magical adventure. Indeed, magic, combat, gear scores, quests, and dungeons are all puzzles to be solved as Cami continues her epic quest to navigate the Realms and build a better life for her family. But an intrusion from her old life threatens everything she has gained and imperils the entire virtual world.

Time to play the game.
Genre:
LitRPG YA Fantasy
Read an Excerpt:

I was born into a world where silicone still ruled. Where the products of the earth outshone those of the sea. Integrated circuits ran all electronic equipment and scientists strove to make the conducting lines smaller and smaller. Silicon Valley tried, and failed, to make chips fast enough to upload human consciousness.

The Revelation came a few years later from the hydrologists. They designed a system that did not use silicone, but instead worked with water molecules. The hydrologists managed to imprint the consciousness of a human mind on a single drop of water.

The water was to be kept in self-contained, sealed aquariums—pure, undiluted, eternal—where virtual realities were constructed to meet every need and desire. All of human knowledge encoded and stored in literal pools of data and integrated with the drops of human consciousness. It was, the hydrologists claimed, utopia achieved.

The obscenely rich were the hydrologist’s first clients, many taken near the end of their lives. The procedure did not always work, but there were enough successes to spur people’s interest. People suffering from terminal illnesses volunteered to be inscribed, and the hydrologists worked and refined their process. Private companies formed and competition forced price wars. Hundreds of customers grew to thousands, and then to millions. There were landmark court cases arguing whether or not health insurance should cover the cost of the inscription–whether or not this was a medical procedure designed to save lives or a form of physician assisted suicide. The law struggled to decide if life ended when the body was drained to a dry, leathery husk, or if life continued inside those glowing, sealed aquariums.

I was thirteen when the governments seized control of the laboratories, first in the Eastern European countries. Then the labs of Europe and the Middle East were swallowed up. Terrorist attacks soon followed and destroyed most of the civilized world over the next three years. The United States, Canada, and Greece, those bastions of democracy, did not fall until the very end. Of course, by then no one cared whether or not the government or the private companies ran the uploading programs. Many of the aquariums ruptured in the strife and the droplets, imbued with human consciousness, re-entered the water cycle of the planet.

The destruction of the aquariums led to a moment of serendipity. Once the hydrologists learned that the human minds survived outside of the aquariums, they designed a world-wide system of interlocking realms to host the inscribed human minds. Right now the realms exist in Challenger Deep, the deepest known point in the Earth’s seabed hydrosphere, but the hydrologists have plans to expand their reach into the rest of the world. Soon, the only life left on the planet will exist in the virtual world.

Time to play the game.

 
Purchase Links:

Smashwords

Watch the Book Trailer:

Praise for the Revelation Chronicles:
“She entered the game and I was hooked. I don’t even
play that kind of computer game, but the story was as addicting as I imagine a
real MMORPG to be. Each level up, each new character, each new threat drew me
in. I wish I could read the next book already!” –Kata, NetGalley Reviewer
“I love the dystopian genre, and a lot of the problem I
run into is a lot of them are boring and follow the same storyline. This one is
so different it’s amazing. I cannot recommend this enough. It’s sci-fi, it’s
dystopian, and it fresh. A definite must read that I plan on reading
again!” –Liliyana S., NetGalley Reviewer
“Both sisters are strong female characters who are good role
models for young girls.  This story is
filled with suspense and adventure with a taste of the gaming world.  It is the first LITRPG book that I have read
and I really enjoyed it.” –Teresa O, Educator
“This book was amazing! The story line, along with the
development of the characters was phenomenal. This book is very well paced, and
easy to follow. Seeing the story play out for the characters, along with the
lessons you gain from reading this book, makes it one of my new favorites. For,
this book is more than just another dystopia novel. It’s basis is on family
love, and what you’d do to keep them safe. It’s a young adult novel, yet is
appropriate for anyone above the age of 10. I would highly suggest reading this
book ASAP. You won’t regret it!”–Almaz D, Reviewer
Book 1:Starter Zone

Amazon

Want to learn more about The Revelation Chronicles? Check out chrispavesic.com for updates on this and her other series.Meet the Author:

Chris Pavesic lives in the Midwestern United States and
loves Kona coffee, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between
writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening,
working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with
friends.
Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/2NlNJXB
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Excerpt: Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast

 

Mirror World Publishing presents a 1-week book tour for Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast by Written by Regan W.H. Macaulay and Illustrated by Wei Lu!

 

Follow the book tour here:

 

About Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast:

Mixter Twizzle is an odd, red, round-shaped, mischievous creature. He lives in a hovel, beneath a rustic barn, underneath the chicken coop at Riverdale Farm. He’s a snoozing sneezer and a snoring barker—a peculiar sort that both annoys and pleases. At first, Mixter Twizzle is thrilled by his egg-gorging fests, delighting in his own wickedness, but he soon realizes he is lonely. He longs for companionship, but the hens will have nothing to do with him. Can this fiendish creature learn to make friends at the farm?

Check out this excerpt:

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Genre: Children’s Picture Book; Fantasy; Friendship

Publish Date: September 3, 2018

Publisher: Mirror World Publishing

Publisher Website: https://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/

Purchase Links:

Amazon

Mirror World Publishing

 

Meet the Author:

Regan W. H. Macaulay writes novels, short stories, children’s literature, and scripts. Writing is her passion, but she’s also a producer and director of theatre, film, and television. She is an animal-enthusiast as well, which led her to become a Certified Canine (and Feline) Massage Therapist. Other award-winning picture storybooks by Regan W. H. Macaulay include Beverlee Beaz the Brown Burmese, Sloth the Lazy Dragon, and Tamara Turtle’s Life So Far. She is also the author of The Trilogy of Horrifically Half-baked Ham which includes Space Zombies! (based on her film, Space Zombies: 13 Months of Brain-Spinning Mayhem!—available on iTunes and on DVD), They Suck, and Horror at Terror Creek.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReganWHMacaulay

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReganWHMacaulay

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/regan-%20%20macaulay-18989a34

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2LxzSNt

Meet the Illustrator:

Wei Lu is an illustrator and graphic designer residing in Toronto. She grew up in China before studying at Nova Scotia’s College of Art and Design. She loves animals and make-believe characters of any kind and can bring them to life with a pencil and paper.

 

 

Exclusive Excerpt: Unreachable Skies by Karen McCreedy

Welcome to the virtual book tour for
Unreachable Skies by Karen McCreedy.

 

In a world where it is normal to fly, what happens when you can’t?
About Unreachable Skies:
When a plague kills half the Drax population, and leaves the hatchlings of the survivors with a terrible deformity – no wings – suspicion and prejudice follow. Continuously harassed by raids from their traditional enemies, the Koth, the Drax are looking for someone, or something, to blame.
Zarda, an apprentice Fate-seer, is new to her role and unsure of her own abilities; but the death of her teacher sees her summoned by the Drax Prime, Kalis, when his heir, Dru, emerges from his shell without wings.
A vision that Dru will one day defeat the Koth is enough to keep him and the other wingless hatchlings alive – for a time. Half-trained, clumsy, and full of self-doubt, Zarda must train Dru to one day fulfil the destiny she has foreseen for him, even if it is quickly becoming clear that the Prime’s favourite adviser, Fazak, is not only plotting against the wingless, but is gaining more of Kalis’ trust by the day.
Efforts to fight prejudice and superstition are certain to lead to death for some and exile for others; while Zarda’s own journey to understanding her role in events may lead her to abandon all tradition in order to protect her peoples’ future.

 

Exclusive Excerpt: 

The badge was cool and light in my paw, its circular edge worn near the top, where generations of Fate-seers had held it while they pinned it on. Feeling the weight of their legacy, I hesitated for a heartbeat more before I fastened it to the front of my tunic. As I smoothed the black-and-white striped fabric, I realised that it was stained with grease and kestox syrup, but a glance at Morel’s impatient ear-twitching told me there was no time to change. I took a moment to brush my fur, comb my whiskers, and wipe my paws, then set my ears straight and tried to keep my tail still.

“I’m ready.” That was untrue. I had been nervous enough on the few occasions that I had been admitted to Kalis’ presence, and there had been no need then for me to do more than dip a bow and set my ears and wings to the appropriate angle. Vizan had taken me with him to observe, and Kalis had taken no more notice of me than he had of Vizan’s shadow. Now I was being asked to take Vizan’s place – not merely to speak, but to watch over Kalis’ egg and pray for the hatchling.

Pray? I wasn’t even sure I could remember the correct words for the occasion, let alone put them in the right order.

Morel didn’t hear the doubt in my voice, though. He half-raised his wings and dipped his ears to acknowledge Vizan, turned, and ducked out through the doorway.

I peered around the screen to give Vizan a last glance, half-hoping that he would sit up and declare that he felt much better, but his eyes were closed again and he rasped a snore. There was nothing for it but to follow Morel outside.

Vizan’s dwelling was the central point of the High Council cluster. Not for the first time, I wished that there was enough room on the curving pathway for me to spread my wings and fly over the other dwellings on the isolated mesa. The thought had hardly grazed my mind when the long shadow of a guardflight patrol skimmed overhead. I looked up to see who was on duty, but against the after-zenith sun all I could see was a silhouette with a bow in one paw. From where I stood the trackway spiralled through the cluster, thin soil showing through the moss that covered the rest of the plateau in red tussocks. A delicious aroma of fresh-cooked fish drifted from the next dwelling, where Hapak, the Chief Artisan, lived, reminding me that I hadn’t eaten since dawn. My stomachs rumbled a protest, but I’d long since regurgitated and rechewed my breakfast; I would have to stay hungry for a while longer.

An easterly breeze freshened the air with the scent of waterweed; half-heard voices from Hapak’s dwelling vied with the hiss-and-rattle of the sea dashing pebbles against the base of the cliffs. The wind was chilly, reminding me that the harvest season was almost over, and I raised the fur on my arms a little, wondering if I might go back inside for a snack and a warmer tunic.

Morel, a few steps ahead of me on the winding path, looked back to check I was following, and slapped his tail on the ground to show his exasperation. “Zarda, we do not have time to admire the view.” Without another word, he turned and led the way around the trackway to the Spirax, where the Prime dwelt. 

Book Information:
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Adventure – This book is targeted toward a general audience.
Page Count: 242 pages
Publish Date: August 17, 2018
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing
Purchase Links:

 

Review Quotes: 
“In the tradition of Ursula K. LeGuin and Anne McCaffery, with Unreachable Skies Karen McCreedy has created a nuanced alien culture populated by compelling characters.” ~ James Swallow, bestselling author
Meet the Author:
Brought up in Staffordshire, England, Karen McCreedy now lives in West Sussex where she recently retired from the University of Chichester. She has written articles on films and British history for a number of British magazines including ‘Yours’, ‘Classic Television’, and ‘Best of British’.
Karen has had a number of short stories published in various anthologies. She also won second prize in Writers’ News magazine’s ‘Comeuppance’ competition in 2014 with her short story ‘Hero’.
‘Unreachable Skies’ is her first novel.

Exclusive Excerpt – The Ghost in the Gardens by HL Carpenter

 

Welcome the 1-week Virtual Book Tour for The Ghost in the Gardens (A Flower Girl Mystery) by HL Carpenter.
About The Ghost in the Gardens:
Until the first spooky visit, ten year old Chrysantha Howe doesn’t think about ghosts. She thinks about plants.
All.
The.
Time.
She has her future planned out, and that future includes plants. Chrys is going to be a plant scientist like her uncle and her favorite teacher, and she’s determined to find the very rare Coralroot orchid.
The ghost is not in the plan.

But when her teacher disappears and the police suspect her uncle was involved, Chrys has to figure out what the ghost is trying to tell her—before it’s too late.Follow the Book Tour:

Book Details:
 
Genre: Middle Grade Paranormal Mystery
Page Count: 152 pages
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing (http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/)
Order Links:
Mirror World Publishing:  Ebook  Paperback
Read an Exclusive Excerpt:

I

Would the pilot be able to keep the helicopter in the air until they reached South Garden?

And what would they do when they got there? South Garden was not a safe landing spot. The ground was marshy and overgrown and too soft to support the heavy helicopter. The chopper might disappear into the mud before the pilot and Uncle Everett were able to get out.

I had walked through the meadow yesterday. I’d sunk to my knees in muck in some spots, and I weighed a lot less than a helicopter.

I darted out of the woods as the helicopter wobbled in a slow circle over South Garden. I waved my arms and pointed to the east. A wide grassy clearing lay beyond the trees that framed South Garden on three sides. The land there was higher and drier.

The chopper moved in the direction I pointed.

I dashed around the edge of South Garden, avoiding the sharp thorns of the wild blackberry bushes that stabbed out of the ground in untidy clumps. Barkley stayed close to my heels, spooked by the noise of the helicopter’s engine.

When I reached the open space on the far side of the field, I stopped. I waved both arms at the pilot to let her know the clearing was safe to use as a landing site.

The pilot waved back, but instead of dropping down to the field, the helicopter continued to hover. Uncle Everett smiled like he had no idea of the danger he was in.

Then the helicopter swept up, shot forward, and sped away.

What the heck was going on?

The engine noise dwindled from muted roar to dull thump and faded into silence as the chopper vanished into the distance.

The engine noise dwindled from muted roar to dull thump and faded into silence as the chopper vanished into the distance.

I rubbed my fingers across the smooth glass of the daisy pendant that dangled from a silver chain around my neck. What was Uncle Everett doing in the helicopter? He was supposed to be in Tampa, working on his latest book. Was he concocting another one of his publicity stunts?

I hoped not. He’d only avoided being hauled off in handcuffs after his last crazy adventure because Mom was a good lawyer.

My life was getting more complicated by the minute.

What else could go wrong?

Barkley bumped my leg and woofed.

“You’re trespassing, you know,” Dalton Dyer said.

Meet the Author:
Florida-based mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter writes family-friendly fiction. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit HLCarpenter.com to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.
Connect with HL Carpenter:

Exclusive Excerpt from Mirror’s Deceit

 

Mirena Calanais is destined to change the world. 
Her rival has made a desperate flight to the past to stop her.



About the Book:

A gifted student of majik, Mirena is on the verge of graduating from a secret college that will give her a leg up in her political career, when her achievements are overshadowed by the arrival of a mysterious woman with an unknown agenda. Desperate to keep what she sees as her rightful place in the spotlight, Mirena goes to astounding lengths including taking it upon herself to pose as a double agent to investigate a rebel force plotting to destabilize the government. Unfortunately, her actions cost her the trust of those around her, so when she is proclaimed the Dark Avatar of the Destroyer, she finds she has nowhere to turn.
In a seeming utopia, Mirena is now a pariah with the force of Destroyer behind her and her once bright dreams have darkened, leaving her a threat not only to herself, but to those she cares about. Can she turn her life around, or will someone need to stop her before she goes too far?

Book Information:

Publisher: Mirror World Publishing; 1 edition
Publication Date: May 17, 2018
ASIN: B07BNY8RVF
Genre(s): Dark Fantasy, Romance, Fantasy
Page count: 240 pages

Read an Exclusive Excerpt: 

Mirena hit the ground hard. Rocks dug into the side of her face and her hands stung fiercely where she’d scraped them by instinctively trying to break her fall, even though there was no way she could have anticipated it. Her stomach lurched with the impact as she tried to fight off a wave of disorientation and nausea that threatened to overwhelm her.

A horn sounded. Two quick blasts. Despite herself, she counted them. I made it! I’m home.

She struggled to sit up. The air around her filled with the sounds of doors and windows being flung open as every person in the Stoa rushed to see who had arrived in the courtyard of their hidden College for talented Magi. Mirena grinned, her expression half grim determination and half hard-won pride. She forced herself the rest of the way to her feet and pushed the remaining nausea aside as nearly sixty students and half a dozen staff members barrelled down on her.

The cheering started as soon as they saw it was her and that she was on her feet and relatively unharmed. Mirena’s grin grew wider. I passed my exam in record time. Only four years study to make it to this moment, where most people take decades. The Mentor is going to be so impressed!

The gathering crowd parted to let the aging Mentor pass uninhibited. With his presence, the noise died down, slightly. The grey-haired Mentor smiled at the sight of her, leaning heavily on his cane as he alone out of all those gathered made his way down the steeply curving steps to stand just outside the sizeable ring of tall standing stones.

“Well done, Mirena.” He very subtly drew upon his majik to enhance the volume of his voice so all could hear him praise her.

Mirena beamed and starting running the minute the words were out of his mouth. She crossed between two stone pillars and flung herself at the Mentor, careful to throw her slight weight at him on the opposite side from where he held his cane, so he’d be able to keep his footing.

There was a collective gasp from the crowd that subsided as they realized the Mentor was still standing. “Whoa, there!” he called out, catching Mirena in one arm. “I know you’re excited, but you’re not done yet!”

“I know, but I’ll do the next part with no problems! You’d expect nothing less from your number one student.” She winked at him.

The Mentor shook his head. “Remember what I told you: rushing into things will only lead to a job half-finished. You have to look before you leap.” He put a hand under her chin to lift her blue eyes up to his before tilting her chin to the right. “I dare say that you wouldn’t have gotten these,” he noted the cuts the rocks had left on her cheek, “if you’d been more prepared to make the trip through the Sentinal Stones.”

“I would’ve been more cautious, but I was being chased by a large winged monster!” she exclaimed, stepping back from him so she could wave her arms emphatically. “I had to think fast and perform under pressure, so a slightly bad landing should be understandable…”

“Tall tales, Mirena?” the Mentor asked, but his tone was light and his words kind.

“No, really. It’s true, it got my back with its claws, see?” She turned slightly to show him the claw marks that marred her left shoulder and the blood that she could now feel running down the length of her simple white dress.

Now it was the Mentor’s turn to gasp. He called back over his shoulder for someone to fetch the Healer.

“It’s okay, I’m fine. Just let me finish my test.”

Order from Amazon
Order Ebook from Mirror World Publishing
Order Paperback from Mirror World Publishing
Add to Your Shelf on Goodreads

Follow the Tour to Read Reviews, Exclusive Excerpts, and Spotlights:

 

Meet the Authors:
Justine Alley Dowsett is the author of eight novels and one of the founders of Mirror World Publishing. Her books, which she often co-writes with her sister, Murandy Damodred, range from young adult science fiction to dark fantasy/romance. She earned a BA in Drama from the University of Windsor, honed her skills as an entrepreneur by tackling video game production, and now she dedicates her time to writing, publishing, and occasionally roleplaying with her friends.
With a background in Drama and Communications from the University of Windsor, Murandy Damodred enjoys fantasy fiction with strong romantic subplots. She is an avid role-player and is happiest when living vicariously through her characters. Though she’d rather think of herself as the heroine of her next novel, in the real world she is a new mom living in Windsor, Ontario, ready to embark on a new career as a medical technician.
Connect with the Authors:
Author Page:

Spotlight – Fey Spy by Tiffany Shand

Sapphyria’s Book Promotions presents a 1-week virtual book tour for Fey Spy, Tales of the Ithereal, Part 1, by Tiffany Shand. Follow the tour schedule below to visit spotlights and to read reviews and exclusive excerpts! https://saphsbookpromotions.blogspot.com/2018/05/virtual-book-tour-schedule-fey-spy.html

About Fey Spy:
A fey,
A world that’s against her,
A mission to save her people,
And a lost love.
Serafina Valeon fights to save her people by working in the resistance as a spy, in a world where she could be killed for being a fey. Only a scared artifact, the keystone, can help bring freedom to the fey. Sera must risk her life to recover the stone and venture into the mage city of Elmira.
Once there she stumbles across her childhood sweetheart, Bastian, who now works for the very people that hunt her race. Sera must find a way to work with Bastian, despite their differences and the forbidden desire between them. Will she be able to recover the artifact without revealing who and what she really is? Will Bastian be able to accept her, or will their love be the doom of her?

Book Details:

168 pages

Genres: Adult Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

This book does not contain any sexual content.

Amazon

Gooreads

Meet the Author:

Tiffany Shand is a writing mentor, professionally trained copy editor and copy writer who has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. Born in East Anglia, Tiffany still lives in the area, constantly guarding her work space from the two cats which she shares her home with.

She began using her pets as a writing inspiration when she was a child, before moving on to write her first novel after successful completion of a creative writing course. Nowadays, Tiffany writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance, as well as nonfiction books for other writers, all available through Amazon and on her own website.

Tiffany’s favourite quote is ‘writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go’ and it is armed with this that she hopes to be able to help, inspire and mentor many more aspiring authors.

When she has time to unwind, Tiffany enjoys photography, reading and watching endless box sets. She also loves to get out and visit the vast number of castles and historic houses that England has to offer.

You can contact Tiffany Shand, or just see what she is writing about at:

Tiffany’s Website

Tiffany’s blog

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Exclusive Excerpt – Ghosts & Exiles by Sandra Unerman

Spellhaven is no more, but its spirits remain.

 

About the Book:
Tilda Gray hates Spellhaven, the city where her husband was born, even though she has never set foot in the place, and she does not believe in the magic it’s supposed to have held. Now her husband is dead, she would rather avoid any mention of the city. But her sons, Nicholas and James, have befriended Hugo, a young boy threatened by forces none of them understand. When Hugo’s uncle and guardian, Stephen Cole, visits the Gray family to ask for help, Tilda agrees against her better judgement. Between them, as they search for ways to banish or at least help Hugo cope with the ghosts that are driving him mad, they seek out the dubious aid of the exiles from Spellhaven. In doing so they must face new dangers and unknown magic, unlike anything Tilda could have believed possible.

Book Details:
Print Length: 300 pages
Publication Date: April 17, 2018
ASIN: B07B24HY9Z
Genre(s): Magical Realism, Historical Fantasy

Follow the Virtual Book Tour:

 

Read an Excerpt:

When Mrs. Gray came back into the room, two boys followed her. They were about the same height, one dark-haired and solid, the other brown-haired and bony. Both were neatly dressed in flannel shorts, shirts and ties, outfits hardly to be distinguished from their school uniform, except that their jerseys were navy instead of grey. Stephen could not tell which was which until the brown-haired boy said, ‘I’m James, Mr. Cole. I’m in the form below the others but I expect you’ll need me as well as Nick, to explain things.’

Stephen glanced at Mrs. Gray, whose smile was brief.

‘Let’s see how we get on,’ she said and sat down.

The boys ranged themselves one on either side of the fireplace and gazed at Stephen. He would have liked to stand up and roam about but he could not make himself so much at home. He concentrated on the dark-haired boy.

‘The school sent for me last week, Nicholas, because I’m Hugo’s uncle. I’d like to hear his explanation for what happened but he won’t talk to me. Do you know what he did?’

Nicholas thought this over. James said, ‘He set fire to a heap of books in the school library.’

‘So they told me. But why? What drove him to do it? Was it a dare or a quarrel with other boys?’

They looked at him steadily and said nothing.

‘I’m not trying to put the blame on anyone else, but Hugo does not strike me as a mischievous boy or a malicious one,’ Stephen said.

Nicholas looked at his brother, who said, ‘Everyone calls him Howler, not Hugo. That’s what he’s used to.’

‘Howler? Why?’

‘He goes into rages. Sometimes he can keep the lid on but others he works himself into a fit and howls until they cart him off to the sanatorium.’

‘I didn’t know.’ The school had said the boy was subject to nervous attacks but this was worse than Stephen had realised. ‘But the fire?’

Nicholas spoke for the first time. ‘He was angry about the ghost stories.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘He didn’t want to listen when Mr. Fletcher read ghost stories to us after prep, but he wasn’t allowed to leave the room all week. He couldn’t bear any more so he tried to burn all the books with ghosts in them.’

‘It wouldn’t have worked,’ James said, ‘but being haunted makes it hard to think logically, I expect.’

Mrs. Gray’s body tightened but her voice was neutral. ‘What does that mean?’

James looked surprised. ‘It was only a little fire, Mother. But anyway, the books could have been replaced. Old boys are always giving books to the library.’

‘Not that, James.’ Stephen leaned forward. ‘Are you saying Hugo is haunted?’

‘He doesn’t like talking about it.’ James grimaced. ‘That’s why he keeps getting into trouble.’

Stephen looked across to Mrs. Gray, whose face was stiff, and then at Nicholas, who might have been listening to his brother conjugate Latin verbs. ‘Is this a joke, boys? Because I really am worried about Hugo.’

They both shook their heads. Stephen tried to think back to his own schooldays and decided that, if they had been teasing, they would have protested noisily. ‘All right, then. What makes you think he is haunted?’

James looked at Nicholas, who shrugged and said, ‘I can tell.’

Praise:
‘…Spellhaven is an intriguing novel with no easy answers or way out, which means you can keep rereading it and drawing different conclusions every time. Jane is never going to be entirely happy and settled in life – but would she ever have been, even without her magical summons?
Refreshingly, it does not appear to be part of a series: that ending ambiguity is all you’re getting and it will keep buzzing at the back of your mind for days.’ ~ Ben Jeapes, author of Phoenicia’s Worlds and other SF novels, from the BSFA review

 

Purchase from

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Meet the Author:
Sandra Unerman lives in London in the UK. When she retired from a career as a Government lawyer, she undertook an MA in Creative Writing at Middlesex University, specialising in science fiction and fantasy, and graduated in 2013. Since then, she has had a number of short stories published. Her latest stories are in Sword and Sorcery magazine, June 2017, and Fall into Fantasy, an anthology from Cloaked Press. She writes reviews and articles for the British Science Fiction Association and the British Fantasy Society. She is a member of London Clockhouse writers and other writing groups. Her interests include history, folklore and medieval literature.

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Exclusive Excerpt – Shadow Walker by Tiffany Shand

Shadow Walker
Shadow Walker Trilogy, Book 1
Tiffany Shand

Exclusive Excerpt:

Her body started to reform, her lungs screamed for air as the concrete enveloped her, trapping her beneath the pavement, the darkness swallowing her whole. No light penetrated the inky blackness around her. Charlie took one choking breath and burst back into the world of above, light burning her eyes. She coughed up dust, taking gulps of air.

Her attacker flew at her.

Still coughing, she blocked his blow and raised her hand. Nothing happened. No magic came to her. She hit the ground when she tried to faze, pulled out her clutch piece weapon from her ankle holster and fired. A stream of blue energy shot out, knocking the man to the ground.

His hood fell back, revealing his bald black head, his dark brown eyes widened in shock. It was the man she’d seen that day in the warehouse. The one who haunted her nightmares. She’d recognise his face anywhere.

“You,” she gasped. “What…”

He fired an energy ball at her. It hit her in the stomach, sending shock waves of pain jolting through every nerve ending.

Charlie’s weapon fell from her hand. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think as blackness threatened to drag her down. Blue light flashed through her mind, the roar of the explosion tearing through metal and flesh.

About Shadow Walker:

After her enforcer teammates are killed in a bust gone wrong, Denai witch Charlie McCray struggles to carry on working the job without them. Using her gift of communicating with the dead, she’s determined to get justice and find those responsible no matter what. But her only clue to go on is a mysterious orb with a deadly reputation that everyone wants to get their hands on.
The only one who may be able to help her figure out their deaths, and the connection to the orb is the dark and sexy demon from her past. Convinced she’s his life mate, to her denial, Charlie isn’t happy to see him again. Can they really work together as partners to track down the truth whilst ignoring the ever-growing attraction between them?
Genres: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Length: 111 pgs.
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Meet the Author:

Tiffany Shand started writing short stories when she was a child. She has always done writing in one form or another and started writing novels in her early teens.

Tiffany loves to read books and discovered her love for fantasy and paranormal romance. She writes both non-fiction and fiction, and love helping writers to build their author platforms.

After doing a creative writing course in her early 20s, she is now a freelance writer and professional editor.

Tiffany lives in Essex with her family and two very spoiled cats.

Find Tiffany Online:

Tiffany’s Website

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Guest Post – The Mystery on Lost Lagoon by Rita Monette – Book Tour

WHIRLPOOLS, WORMHOLES, AND TIME TRAVEL

What do wormholes, whirlpools, and time travel have in common? In reality, probably nothing. But in Nikki Landry’s historical, yet fictitious world, legend has it that if you go into Lost Lagoon, you may never return, but just might enter into a land where strange creatures live.

A FICTITIOUS WHIRLPOOL

When a mad scientist arrives in Nikki Landry’s home town and hears the legend of the mysterious Lost Lagoon, he decides to build a machine that can traverse a whirlpool—which he calculates just might be a wormhole to a prehistoric time.

Nikki has been warned to stay off Flat Lake due to the frequent whirlpools and strange disappearances. But snooping around Mr. Beekers’ camp boat gets her and her friends kidnapped and taken to a hidden inlet in a swamp off of the large lake. Soon they learn what’s behind the mystery on Lost Lagoon.

A REAL WHIRLPOOL

In reality, in the South Louisiana bayous, there are many, many salt caverns beneath the ground. There are also oil companies drilling for oil. Those two can spell disaster, especially if those caverns are under a lake.

One such disaster occurred in November of 1980, when an oil drilling rig and a salt mine created a whirlpool that became large enough to engulf the rig, eleven barges, and a tugboat, sucking water in from the Gulf of Mexico, and changing the landscape—as well as a once shallow fresh water lake—forever.

While drilling for oil off Lake Peigneur, near New Iberia, Louisiana, a drilling rig owned by Texaco, drilled too far and punctured into an active salt mine. Fishermen on the lake that day saw the whirlpool that began pulling their boat toward it. Luckily they got away before it sucked them into the abyss. Beneath, fifty-five miners, seeing the water rushing in, managed to escape via an elevator. Amazingly, no one lost their life, but it cost Texaco millions of dollars.

Read the story of Lake Peigneur here.  https://www.damninteresting.com/lake-peigneur-the-swirling-vortex-of-doom/

EXCERPT:

Spikes stuffed the papers into his shirt. “I need to finish reading this.”

The three of us dashed for the door. But a shadow covered the opening, and Mr. Beekers stepped into it, blocking our way out.

He looked at the broken door and then glanced around his home. “What have y’all done to my house?” he scowled.

“We didn’t do it,” I said. “Honest we didn’t.”

“Don’t lie to me. You kids have been nosing around here before. What do you want here?”

“Just let us go,” Tim said. “We promise not to come back.”

“No, you’re not going anywhere until I see what you’ve taken…or destroyed.” He stepped in and closed the crooked door behind him. “Now all of you sit.”

Spikes found a chair. Tim and I pushed some newspapers to the side and sat on a tiny sofa with springs poking out.

“Now, which one of you broke my door in?”

Mr. Beekers looked around, then ran to the window. “Where did they go?”“It was some men,” Tim said. “I think they were detectives or something. They had on suits and ties, and drove an official looking car.”

“They’re from Ohio,” I said. “I think they’re coming back. So you better let us go before they get here. Whatever you did, they might get you for kidnapping us too.”

“Oh, no you don’t,” he said. “I’m not letting you go. You brought them here, didn’t you?” His eyes were wild and his mouth turned into a snarl. His whole face turned really evil looking. “I know what they want, and they won’t get it.” He grabbed up some rope and began to tie Spikes to the chair.

 

About The Mystery on Lost Lagoon:

Legend has it… if you go onto Lost Lagoon, you never return.

Nikki Landry and her friends are off on a quest to track down the prehistoric-looking bird that’s been flying around a nearby swamp island. However, their plans get sidetracked when they meet a stranger in their small town who seems to have some secrets to hide.

The sleuthing group soon learns of a legend about a hidden lagoon. Is it all connected? Before they can find out, they are kidnapped by a mysterious scientist on a mission of his own.

Is there any truth to the legend that says if you go onto Lost Lagoon, you will never return? Is the eerie whirlpool that sits waiting to suck you in really a passage to another world?

Join Nikki, her friends, and one neurotic parrot, as they discover the truth behind the Mystery on Lost Lagoon.

Follow the Book Tour:
https://saphsbookpromotions.blogspot.com/2017/11/schedule-mystery-on-lost-lagoon-nikki.html

Book Details:

Age Level: 6-12
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing; 1 edition
Publication Date: November 17, 2017
ASIN: B076TVWSZ7
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Purchase from Mirror World Publishing 

Meet the Author:

Behind Every Legend Lies the Truth!

Rita Monette was born and raised in Southwest Louisiana. After retiring from her “real” job as an administrative assistant for the State of Michigan, Rita began doing what she always wanted to do…write and draw. Her stories are set in the beautiful, yet mysterious, bayous and swamps of her home state. The Mystery on Lost Lagoon is the fourth book in her Nikki Landry Swamp Legend series, which is based on her childhood. Rita now lives with her husband, four lap dogs, and one lap cat, in the mountains of Tennessee.

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Release Day Book Blitz – The Sun God’s Heir: Redemption Book 3 by Elliott Baker

The Sun God’s Heir: Redemption
Book 3
Elliott Baker

Book Details:

Print Length: 468 pages
Publisher: Pronoun
Publication Date: October 18, 2017
Sold by: Macmillan
ASIN: B074Y474QB
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Add to your shelf on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36181772-the-sun-god-s-heir

Purchase your copy from Amazon:
http://amzn.to/2wXdxO3

About the Book:

Death is not life’s final stop. There are worse ends.

Two brothers, once disciples of the Pharoah Akhenaten, reincarnate in seventeenth century France. From Spain to Morocco to Egypt, one is determined to rule, the other to protect.

Horemheb, driven to destroy his brother and end their ancient rivalry, invites an African shaman to assist in recovering ancient artifacts of power that will ensure his dominance. Twice before, these artifacts have raised and then destroyed civilization.

René Gilbert escapes from the murderous sultan of Morocco, closely followed by the sultan’s personal guard, the Bukhari. Trained from childhood, these assassins live to kill.

Now, in the blockbuster conclusion to the Sun God’s Heir trilogy, René must find a way to fulfill a commitment made lifetimes ago. His long journey across the ages hurtles toward its climax, with the fate of his soul, and perhaps our very world, in the balance.

Meet the Author:

Award winning novelist and international playwright Elliott B. Baker grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. With four musicals and one play published and produced throughout the United States, in New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada, Elliott is pleased to offer his first novel, Return, book one of The Sun God’s Heir trilogy. A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his wife Sally Ann.