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Didi Oviatt

Author of suspense novels Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, The Stix, and New Age Lamians. As well as the short story collection Time Wasters and (co-author of) The Suspenseful Collection. Columnist for The Conscious Talk Magazine.

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Cover Reveal: Danu (line of Enya, book 2), by T.L Harty

Danu, by T.L. Harty is the second book in a YA Historical Fantasy packed to the brim with fascinating insight to a dangerously magical blood line. It was released just a few days ago and I can’t wait to read it. Stay tuned for a review, it’ll definitely be sooner than later!  I finished up the first book in the series just over a week ago and it was an excellent read.

Read the review for book one here: Review: Behold Ellowee: Destiny is Rarely Your Own, by T L Harty

Muriel is whisked away, safely nestled in Danu castle so she can’t be found.

Still coming to terms with her abilities, she begins to understand their importance, and gains more insight about her ancestry, as historical errors are revealed in a powerful way.

With so much to learn and loved ones to protect, she can’t afford to ignore the inevitable responsibility of her lineage.
Muriel is destined to complete the Council, which has been missing the Line of Enya seat for over 500 years.

Sometimes, life has to fall apart before it can finally come together.

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The Stone Arch Secret, by K. D. Dowdall @shanannigans81 #blogtour #thriller #giveaway

Genre:  Mystery/ Thriller/ Romance

Publication Date: January 2018

Blurb:

Twenty-eight-year-old cultural anthropologist, Lilly Allaire, receives a phone call telling her that Dax is dead.  The cause of death is unknown.

At the age of fourteen, best friends, Lilly and Dax, experience a traumatic incident. After the incident, Dax is institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital with total memory loss.  For Dax, his memory loss is an act of self-preservation.  Lilly still suffers a blocked memory of that day and has frequent nightmares.

Lilly decides to go back to Salmon Brook, her hometown, to find out the truth about the mysterious incident that left Dax in a catatonic state. Lilly has a chance meeting with a former high school classmate, Noah Hawthorne.

Noah remembers Lilly as his high school secret crush and offers to help her. Together, they try to unravel the mysterious incident that plagues Lilly’s dreams and turns them into nightmares.

However, Noah has a secret of his own, a dangerous secret, that will put Lilly in harm’s way.

Available on Amazon

The Stone Arch Secret Cover

About the Author

D. Dowdall, PhD, MSN, RN was born in New England and spent her elementary-grade school years in Granby, Connecticut. She graduated from FAU with a master’s degree in Clinical Research Nursing and has a PhD in clinical nutrition. K. D. is also a lover of ballet, jazz, ballroom dance, contemporary dance, and has had her own dance studio.  She has written songs, poetry, short stories, and now several fiction novels; a children’s fantasy adventure story, a historical mystery/murder with a dash romance and a third fiction novel almost complete;  a mystery thriller with romance. All are standalone novels.  Her next book is a series.

Along the way, it was her good fortune to live in the Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, and England. Each culture she experienced reinforced her belief that all cultures are rich in storytelling to explain their human hopes, dreams, struggles, and life experiences, often in magical fantasy presentations. K. D. still dances, loves swimming, scuba diving, and theatre.

KD Dowdall

https://karendowdall.com/

Giveaway: 2 Print Copies of The Stone Arch Secret

#ARC sign up! Choose Between 7 books, Amazon #kindle Gifted!

My writing buddy Kim and I are inviting all friends to an ARC read and review round! This means you will be gifted a FREE Amazon Kindle copy of one of the below books, in exchange for an honest review. The event is taking place between the 1st- 31st January 2018. The only polite request is, if you receive a copy of the book you signed up for, please read and leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads during January 2018. Note that all but three of these books are novella length, and should not take long to read. Feel free to forward this event onto anyone who you may feel is interested! Sharing is caring!!

Further descriptions on each book can be found on Amazon Author Pages here:

DIDI’s BOOKS

KIM’s BOOKS

We are both so excited for this freebie review round!! It’s a hell of a way to kick of the new year.  The requests have been coming in and neither of us can wait to see your shining reviews on Amazon and Goodreads!  Thank you readers!

LET ME CHOOSE MY FREE KINDLE GIFT, I’d LOVE TO LEAVE A REVIEW!

Happy Reading!!!

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Review: Before I Let You Go, by Kelly Rimmer 3.75 stars

My Review:

I get mixed emotions about books often, but I think with Before I Let You Go it was the first time I’ve ever actually had a deep rooted LOVE HATE relationship for the read. From cover to cover there were so many times I bawled my eyes out and literally wanted to throw my kindle at the wall. Then there were other times that I wanted to give Kelly Rimmer a gigantic hug and tell her thank you from the depths of my soul for bringing such a powerful story about.

There are several reasons this book was a hard pill to swallow for me. I struggled to have babies of my own. During my personal journey I heard so many stories of drug addicted mommies and daddies. I even worked in a daycare at the time, and witnessed firsthand the struggles of kids being very obviously mistreated. Every time I’d suffer a miscarriage it was a struggle to wrap my head around the fact that babies are born into inevitably hard lifestyles every single day, yet women like myself couldn’t even have one. I now have two children (after loosing seven) and a long since hysterectomy. I went into this book knowing that it would be emotional for me, yet I was hoping for a different outlook and an insight into compassion. The type of compassion that I know I should have a little more of for people who have different lifestyles than my own.

What I got was SO much more complex than what I expected!!  It felt so real, on so many levels, and left me with the type of understanding that I’ve never had before. I have plenty of loved ones who have struggled with addiction, but the insight that this book offers is so intense and so gut wrenching. I didn’t expect to experience even a fraction of the emotions that this story drug out, but I did, and so here I am… writing a review that is likely to be the longest in depth break down that I’ve ever actually given a book.

Before my love hate details, I’ll do a super quick rundown of the story line:

Lexie and Annie are sisters, and they couldn’t be any more opposite. Their father died when they were young, and their mother wound up raising them in an extremist religious community. For the most part, Lexie stepped up and played the role of a parent to Annie. She was the first to run away (at 16) and Annie eventually followed suit (at 15).. but not before the community (mostly their step-father) broke Annie in practically every way imaginable. While there, Lexie was compliant and found her own way in secret growing up, all the while Annie was always on the receiving end of punishment for wearing a personality on her sleeve. To say the abuse was taxing on her young mind would be an extreme understatement. The time Annie was there without Lexie was life altering.
Fast forward some years down the line… Lexie is a doctor, and engaged to a general sergeant named Sam. (I love Sam!). Her life is perfect in every way aside from the burden of her now long time heroine addicted sister. Annie has a track record of running to Lexie for a bail out, who is always quick to the hand out. Lexie tries to understand Annie and wants to save her despite the constant emotional and financial drain that Annie brings every single time. But, now things are different. This time there is a baby involved, and the process of detoxing during/after pregnancy, followed by intensive rehab and care for the addicted child is an excruciating process.

Things I loved:
I really liked the writing in general. Kelly has a way with description, and the picture drawn is flawless. I love her style. I felt like I was actually there, and like I truly understood the thought process of whoever’s voice was being portrayed. I love the way it all plays out, and is unfolded over time. I love the insight to how exactly Annie’s addiction spiraled so out of control, and I loved that I gained compassion for her. I love Sam! He is just the level headed and supportive character that this story needed. I love the light this book shines on enablers, and the way they blindly feed the addiction of those they are trying to save from it. I love the depth of love and family ties between siblings!  Last but not least, I love the ending.  I felt it to be extremely realistic!

Things I hated:
Lets just start with Lexie and Annie’s mom. I hate everything about her. I point the finger of blame at her just as much as I do her disgusting husband. Honestly, how could she!?!  How could she expose her children to a lifestyle that she knew first hand to be awful? One that she herself once escaped from? How could she put them in the path of the man she married? How could she turn away and burry her nose in the blindness of her “faith” over growing a backbone to protect her own kids?!  Especially after they suffered the same loss as her in their father. She may have grieved her husband, but those girls lost their dad and she should have been their rock. Instead she dropped them and watched quietly while they shattered against the very faith and the very man that she hid behind. This woman plays a very small part in the book, yet possibly the biggest all at the same time. I hate her.

I also had a hard time with Lexie, the perfect one. If there were ever such thing as a first place prize for the biggest enabler in the history of all enablers, then Lexie Vidler would win that prize. She’s an idiot. Her outlook on Annie, and on how to approach Annie’s addiction had me pretty consistently pissed off. I also hate the way that she pushed Sam away all the time and tried handling everything on her own. Especially since she was handling it so stupidly!

Most of all I hate everything that that poor sweet innocent little baby had to go through! Annie acts like she will do anything (and is trying) for the baby, but why did she wait until that poor child was due before she called for help?! Also, I hate that Lexie cares more about handing the child back over to her addict sister for the sake of ‘helping’ than she is about actually assuring Annie has broken her addiction before giving her an actual human life!  I spent the entire book rooting for Annie to get well, yet was pissed off left and right at Lexie for caring more about hurting Annie’s feelings and/or bailing her out of rehab than keeping that baby safe! That baby should have came first and foremost from the day Annie realized she was pregnant, but she wasn’t. It’s the child that received the blunt end of the entire family’s issues, and she was the least focused on. I hated that.

Ultimately:
I’m very glad I read this book and would recommend it to anyone who is suffering or even enabling addiction! It’s a MUST READ that I equally hated as much as I loved.
Thank you NetGalley and the Publisher for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

DESCRIPTION:

The 2:00 a.m. call is the first time Lexie Vidler has heard her sister’s voice in years. Annie is a drug addict, a thief, a liar—and in trouble, again. Lexie has always bailed Annie out, given her money, a place to sleep, sent her to every kind of rehab. But this time, she’s not just strung out—she’s pregnant and in premature labor. If she goes to the hospital, she’ll lose custody of her baby—maybe even go to prison. But the alternative is unthinkable.

As the weeks unfold, Lexie finds herself caring for her fragile newborn niece while her carefully ordered life is collapsing around her. She’s in danger of losing her job, and her fiancé only has so much patience for Annie’s drama. In court-ordered rehab, Annie attempts to halt her downward spiral by confronting long-buried secrets from the sisters’ childhoods, ghosts that Lexie doesn’t want to face. But will the journey heal Annie, or lead her down a darker path?

Both candid and compassionate, Before I Let You Go explores a hotly divisive topic and asks how far the ties of family love can be stretched before they finally break.

Start 2018 With Free Books!

Hello Book Lovers!

My co-author and I are inviting you to our Author Review Copy read and review round…. this means freebies!
 

1st-31st January 2018

Would you like a FREE Amazon gifted copy of one of our books below? (plus more!!!) There’s no catch, we promise. We’re doing an ARC read and review round. Anyone who is interested in a book will be gifted a copy, in exchange for an honest review. Check out the blurbs, if something takes your fancy there’s a Google forms link THAT CAN BE FILLED OUT HERE to indicate your interest and you will receive a free copy directly. The link will be clickable at the bottom of post as well.
Happy New Year!
Happy Reading!

The Red Room, Romance In The City

The Red Room is book one of the Romance In The City novella series, of steamy and romantic standalone short stories.

Rita Lane lives a double life in her day job she’s a receptionist at the prestigious London Park Hotel. By night her adventures begin. As a thirty something year old woman she is content with her single status. Richard Clarkson a New York based guest at the Park Hotel has firmly closed the door to romance, after a rocky marriage. As soon as Rita checks Richard into the hotel as a guest the sparks and electricity between the two begin.

After hours, the day before Valentine’s Day , their paths cross in an unexpected way. Rita and Richard’s desire for each other is on maximum …. will they cross the line to become more than just friends? The Red Room is a steamy short story set in London with diverse characters that will leave you wanting more.
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Lover’s Retreat, Romance Set In Paradise

Lover’s Retreat is book #2 of the Romance Set in Paradise Series of stand alone modern, steamy, suspenseful and romantic stories. All set in exotic locations around the world.

For thirty seven year old recluse Yasmin O’Neil, life feels like one crisis after another. Her husband left her five years ago, she starts to suspect she’s losing her hearing, and then her mother is diagnosed with cancer. When her mother passes away her fortune changes. Yasmin is fifty thousand pounds richer from her mother’s estate. Yasmin takes her fate into her own hands after years of being a recluse, she rediscovers herself at a spiritual retreat in Sri Lanka south Asia, before she plans to spend the next six months travelling around the world. In Sri Lanka, Yasmin’s path crosses with Michael Thomas, an army soldier on his own path of self discovery. With their luke warm initial encounter the pair don’t hit it off straight away. After some push and pull the two are finally on the same page. Their encounter turns from luke warm to steamy sizzling hot.

In Lover’s Retreat two very different characters originally on different paths, embrace the need for change and companionship. Set in the back drop of paradise, palm trees and untouched nature of Sri Lanka, these two lonely souls gain more than just self discovery they gain a soul mate.

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The Suspenseful Collection Volume #1

For Mature Readers Only:

A suspenseful novel with a twist. Eight short stories, by two suspense authors, from diverse backgrounds. From opposite sides of the Atlantic these stories have been created. One author started the tale and the other ended it. No discussion, no pre-planning, but yet their stories are seamless. With just creativity and the use of writing prompts, to craft one tale, with two different writers. This anthology of suspenseful, fast paced and engaging tales covers multiple genres. From heart felt romance, crime, fantasy, and steamy historical fiction. There is a story for everyone!

Steamy Historical Crime Fiction: It was The First Time I Killed A Man.

It’s 1972 and New York’s first female serial killer Lisa Vanacilli is in the hot seat again, ten years after her conviction of murder to the first degree and innocent plea. The ruthless but sexy reporter Tiffany Low cracks Lisa for a confession… at a price. Lisa is strong, courageous and says it how it is. This story has been extended due to reader’s demand. And is only for adult readers.

Psychological Fiction: Every Time I Hear That Voice From The Basement.

George appears to be harmless. The local neighbourhood geek on the outside, married to Jolene. In reality, he’s a very disturbed man. His path crosses with Dana, the local check out girl. This is a psychological suspense story with a twist.

Crime Fiction: The Entrance To The Tunnel Is His Only Way Out.

Juan is a wanted man, and an ex-gang member on the run from Atlanta to Mexico. With a hundred grand in cash stolen from his ex-boss, he meets an unlikely fate in Mexico. A fast-paced crime fiction story.

Contemporary Romance: When His Hands Run Up My Thighs I…

Love has no time limit, age limit or use by date. Sarah now in her fifties is reunited with her long-lost love Joshua. They last had contact in 1961. In the present day, thanks to the advancement of technology their paths cross. A heart-warming and modern tale, about long distance love, that will leave you warm inside.

Suspense: We Only Said Goodbye With Words, I Died A Hundred Times:

In 1963 Russian Femme Fatale Mila Petrov is London’s top Madam. Her entertainment house is booming, she has a team of London’s strongest women behind her. Unfinished business from her past creeps up and haunts her. It’s nothing she can’t handle. A suspenseful historical tale, with a strong femme fatale.

Fantasy: The Ones Who Live At The Bottom Of The Ocean, Come To The Surface.

A beautiful coming of age story, featuring sixteen year old Zoe and her mother May-Li. Myth becomes reality, as Zoe finds out who and what she really is. Her mixed descent reveals more than what meets the eye. This fantasy story is set against the backdrop of a Greek island and Hong Kong, China.

Suspenseful Crime Fiction: Guilty As Charged, In Self-Defence

California’s sassy, tough, and likeable defence lawyer Catherine has taken on a case so high profile, if she wins she’ll become a partner of Martin Law Firm. Defending forty six year old Mrs. Chevelle. An ex Las Vegas show girl, now a Hollywood wife, on trial for the murder of her high-profile husband. She claims she’s innocent. Readers are taken on a fast -paced journey on a mission to seek the truth.

Contemporary Fiction: It’s A Man’s Man’s World:

A beautiful modern tale showing the love and appreciation of a woman. James Brown said it right when he said, “it’s a man’s man’s world, but it would mean nothing without a woman or a girl.”

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Search For Maylee

Since Maylee was abducted from her high school the very month of graduation, her Aunt Autumn has never lost hope in finding her. It’s been three years. Autumn has finally reached inside herself and found the courage to track down an old lead. She moves across the country to find him. Will Autumn be able to pry Maylee’s case back open? More importantly, what will Autumn uncover in the process of searching for Maylee? It’s a cold dark world we live in, and she is about to find out just how cruel it can be. Strength and determination are on Autumn’s side and she will do what ever it takes.

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Havana Heat
THIS IS FREE NOW ON AMAZONHavana Heat is book one of the Romance Set in Paradise series of modern,steamy, suspenseful and romantic stories, set in exotic locations around the world. In Havana Heat readers are transported to the paradise of Cuba’s capital Havana, following the romance and heat build between Spaniard Detective Sebastian Garcia, and London born and bred wedding planner Melinda Jones. Melinda’s path crosses with the handsome and charming Detective at Casa De Amour Hotel as a guest at her client’s exotic location wedding. Both characters are in search of a slice of paradise, away from their own troubled love life back home. Once their paths cross the romance and sizzle begins.

When all hell breaks out at Casa De Amour Hotel, and conflict builds over their past both characters are faced with a decision to take a risk and see out their romance, or walk away. Forever asking themselves what could have been. Romance, thrills and excitement await in book one of this modern romance series set in paradise.

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YES PLEASE I’D LOVE AN AMAZON GIFT
ENTER YOUR EMAIL ON THIS FORM

Yearly Bookish Goals

The tail end of 2016 was a pivotal point for me in SO many bookish ways! Some sort of switch flipped with my outlook on life, and my permanent take on goal setting. I’ve been writing for years, but kind of just kept to myself about the whole shebang. Aside from a few friends and family members, not a soul in the world knew my name as an author.

It wasn’t until I released Aggravated Momentum in the Fall of 2016 that I got a boost of confidence in my writing and decided to start putting myself out there. (It’s still my favorite book of all my works too BTW!) At the end of October 2016 I started this blog. Then at the tail end of November 2016 I started my Twitter account, my FB Author Page, my Amazon Author Page, and an Instagram account, AND I actually started logging on and updating all of my reads on Goodreads.

To shorten my story… At the end of 2016 I started building my Author platform!

I can’t believe it’s been a full year since I decided to center my toes on that exhilarating starting line to a real writing career!  Now more than ever, I completely understand the concept that, ‘successful writing a marathon, not a sprint.’ In so many ways I still feel like a toddler, taking tiny little calculated baby steps every single day toward the finish line. It’s a slow climb, and I’ve enjoyed every single pebble in passing. I still have a long way to go, but the difference one year has brought is insanely exciting!

Just about this time last year I sat myself down and actually wrote a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish in 2017 and beyond. It was the first time in my entire life that I’d actually done that! (I know, I know… why did it take me until my 30s to figure this necessity of life out?)

Anyhow, my list wasn’t a resolution at all.  I was already set to work at my goals, and if anything they were more of a lifestyle change… This pivotal point just so happened to fall at the very time of year that people set utterly unpractical New Years resolutions that they usually don’t stick to for more than a couple months, if that. I even wrote a post a bout it called Why make resolutions when you’re already making your dreams come true!?

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Looking back now in reflection I actually nailed EVERY SINGLE thing I set my mind to for this year! I set my goals as challenging, yet practical. It all felt like a lot at the time, but that was totally fine, because if it wasn’t big goals then I knew I’d slack off and let my progress grow stagnant. Here’s a short list of the goals I had set for and accomplished in 2017:

  • Read at least 50 books.  I set the magical 2017 TBR number at 50 because there are 52 weeks in a year, yet that’s kind of an ugly number. I wanted a nice even clean number lol. I get that tons of book bloggers shoot for a hundred in a year and try to read a book every couple days, but come on now. I said practical goals, right? Being a mom of two young kids who aren’t yet in school all day, but are still old enough for T-ball, swim class, toddler time, preschool, and summer camps… along  with my part time ‘day job’, dedication to wifelyness, and book writing… lets just say I figured that reading a book a week was pushing myself.  I’m proud to say that as of today Goodreads announced my year of books at a shining number of 51!!!  Wahooo, go reading goals!
  • Finish and publish my (at the time) work in progress Search For Maylee. On Oct. 6th 2017 Search For Maylee was released, but I didn’t stop there!  I also wound up releasing a two book short story collection called the Time Wasters as well as the first Vol. of a suspenseful short story collaboration The Suspenseful Collection.
  • Build up the Blog to over 1000 followers and Twitter to at least 2000. This goal was tricky. I actually had started these accounts the same time as my Facebook and Instagram accounts, but I knew that it would be way too time consuming to build them all at a rapid pace. So I picked the two that I felt where more important to work on right out the gate and focused mainly on that. Awesomely enough, I nailed these goals too!  As of today I have 1220 WordPress followers, and 2495 twitter followers!
  • Look into and dabble some with Freelance. I actually ended up landing my very first ever Freelance job, and I love it more than I ever would have imagined loving a job!!!  The Conscious Talk Magazine is a fresh new mag that I’ve been writing for since the very first issue was released on the last day in Sept 2017.  So far I have 23 articles published. The fellow writers for the Mag are ALL so amazing, and I’m so excited to watch it continue to grow and flourish!

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Now, for 2018… What shall my goals be?  I’m thinking something like this:

  • Read: at least 50 books AGAIN for the second year in a row.
  • Write and Publish: books two and three of the start in my New Age Lamian Trilogy.
  • Freelance: Continue to Grow at the Conscious Talk Magazine, as well as finding and working on a local project of sorts. I’d like to try writing copy, but will definitely explore my options, before settling on a goal that particular!
  • Social Media Growth: I’d like to continue a steady incline here on WordPress as well as Twitter, but plan to spend more time growing my Facebook and Instagram presence.  I want to see each of those accounts at least double in size and interactive activity. My biggest social media goal for 2018 will be in Goodreads though!!  I want to triple my friend list as well as my followers (wish me luck, and if I’m not already your friend there then please oh please let me know!  Lets connect on Goodreads friends!!)
  • Book Marketing:  This is my MAIN FOCUS FOR 2018! My audience has had a steady growth in 2017 so I really want to really focus marketing my stuff in 2018. I’m officially making it a goal to grow my email list, book tours and promos, Social Media collaborations and book campaigns, build a strong presence in book clubs, volunteer for a youth event of sorts, do at least two signings, schedule/sign up for local events to show a face in (be it Library or otherwise), get back to querying agents for future works, and again… spend much much much more needed time on Goodreads!

There we have it!!  I hope I haven’t left out anything big lol!!

Good luck with your goals, book nerds!!  I know I’ll need all the luck I can get too!!

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Excerpt: Search For Maylee #coldcase

Their eyes locked and for one brief moment they were the only two people in the world. Josie, Craig, Jeremy, and even Maylee faded into mere background.  The sharp gray shards of color in his eyes pierced through her, and she drank in their naked vulnerability. There was a sense of surrender in the upward pull of his brows. It was a look she was yet to see plastered on his handsome face, a look that melted her insides.

As she welcomed him in, the sexy familiar scent of him threatened to consume her. It smelled like spruce bark and ocean, and it followed him into her apartment, her heart, her future. They had opened up to each other in a way that there was no turning back from. Even if it had only been by phone. No matter what he had to say, there was sure to be a way around it. Autumn was confident of that.

Their greeting was somewhat awkward. Chance didn’t know whether to fall to her knees in apology, or to scoop her into his arms for the embrace he’d been pondering about for weeks. He opted for neither and took a seat.

“I’m sorry to barge in like this. I wish I could have came on different terms.” He openly admitted with a hint of surrender bleeding through.

“It’s fine,” Autumn lied.

She tried her best not to look back toward her bedroom as it contained an overwhelming secret of her own. Lingering post-vomit body chills shot up her spine, and her stomach continued to spin. She took a seat next to him, close enough for their legs to brush. The heat of his body left an impression on every part of her that was close enough to feel it. The fluttering in her chest turned rapid as he gently placed his hand on her exposed knee. Tight lengthy yoga shorts were definitely a good choice, she thought.

Chance leaned in toward her, ready to spill the beans on his entire operation. But, as soon as he opened his mouth to speak he realized the lightened shade of her skin, the warmth of her leg under his wanting palm, and the cloudy haze that was covering the whites of her eyes.

“Oh my God, Autumn. Are you okay?”

She had to clear the lump from her throat before words could push through. The only thing she could see in his devilish eyes was concern, and all that she wanted to do was bury herself in his arms. She toyed with the possibility of crawling onto his lap and allowing the smell and comfort of him to engulf her while she cried like a baby.

“I don’t know,” she confessed, containing her ridiculous urges.

Autumn wrapped an arm around her stomach. It wasn’t exactly a lie. Looking at those photos triggered something in her guts, and the two rounds of vomit she’d experienced might not have been enough. There was no question about it, she was most definitely sick.

“Why didn’t you say something?” He asked.

Instinctively Chance reached a hand up to feel the burning heat of her forehead.

Amazon Description:

Since Maylee was abducted from her high school the very month of graduation, her Aunt Autumn has never lost hope in finding her. It’s been three years. Autumn has finally reached inside herself and found the courage to track down an old lead. She moves across the country to find him. Will Autumn be able to pry Maylee’s case back open? More importantly, what will Autumn uncover in the process of searching for Maylee? It’s a cold dark world we live in, and she is about to find out just how cruel it can be. Strength and determination are on Autumn’s side and she will do what ever it takes.

White Water Black Death, by Shaun Ebelthite #booktour #review @shanannigans81

White Water Black Death - cover.jpgWhite Water, Black Death

Author: Shaun Ebelthite

Release Date: Septemer 2017

Genre: Thriller/ Suspense

“A cruise ship is the perfect target for a biological attack”. These are the chilling words emailed to the Seaborne Symphony in the mid-Atlantic.

Magazine editor Geneva Jones has been sent on the trans-Atlantic cruise to help secure a major advertising agreement from the CEO of the cruise line Rachel Atkinson, but her efforts to win her over are curtailed by a mysterious crew death. Geneva suspects foul play. Rachel insists its suicide. A former investigative journalist, Geneva can’t resist digging deeper, but what she finds is far more devastating. There’s an Ebola outbreak on the ship, everyone is trapped aboard and Rachel is trying to keep it secret.

Geneva knows enough about Ebola to be terrified, but she’s also onto the biggest story of her career. As panic surges through the ship, she becomes fixated on a single question. How was the virus brought aboard? The answer is worse than she could have imagined, and the greatest exposé she’ll ever get, if she can only prove it.

Add to  Goodreads

Available to Purchase on Amazon

About the Author

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Shaun Ebelthite was born in Namibia, raised in South Africa and educated in Dubai in the Middle East where he is a maritime and cruise journalist. He has been covering all aspects of ocean transport for more than five years and runs the Middle East’s foremost online cruise magazine. He has had two children’s books published, and is now branching out into a new genre with his first thriller.

Cruise Arabia

Amazon

MY REVIEW:

I’d like to thank the Author as well as R&R Book Tours for the free copy of this book that I received in exchange for an honest review.

There’s a lot going on with White Water Black Death by Shaun Ebelthite. Lots of characters, lots of complexities. It’s very fast paced, which I thought was awesome given the setting and tone. A few of the scenes were extremely unexpected, so the shock factor is really what kept me turning the pages rather than character attachment. I didn’t feel very emotionally invested with the people in the book, especially for the first half (maybe a little less… like a third.).

At first I couldn’t quite pinpoint my attachment struggle because it really is well written, yet I had to go back and re-read several pages a few times in order to draw a clear mental picture of what was really going on and with who. I feel like there are too many characters, and they’re a little underdevelopment out the gate, so it takes a while to get them all straight. I was a little confused. Luckily it turns around and the story really picks up once the characters are mentally cleared. It winds up being an excellent and very intense thrill ride!

That said, there are a couple distinct qualities about this book that I really loved.

First thing’s first, the plot is so unique. If you’re going to write a book about a deadly virus then what better place to put it than an inescapable cruise liner in the middle of dicey seas! What a setting! After reading it you can bet your ass I won’t be caught dead booking myself a cruise vacation anytime soon… if ever!

Secondly, the secrecy was very intricately laced and it really brought the story together. From the beginning to end it felt like every single character has something to hide. I found myself questioning everyone and looking for a motive and/or conspiracy behind everything, which was great. Also the secrecy between the Captain’s staff and the guests. The lies they tell left and right in order to keep everything under wraps and avoid a panic is so gut wrenching and eye opening, its almost surreal to think about something like this really happening. I’m willing to bet that if this book ever becomes a bestseller then there would easily be a very noticeable dent in the amount of cruise ship vacationers.

Lastly, there is so much more to the depth of the plot than just the sickness and it gives the entire story that much more umph. Geneva the reporter on board, is a really sneaky snoop — as any great reporter should be. She is relentless and utterly determined to get to the bottom of the secrets amongst the crew members and staff.

Ultimately I enjoyed the read, and am glad I picked it to review. 3.75 rating

For your chance to win 1 of 3 digital copies of “White Water, Black Death” click here!

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Prologue: Aggravated Momentum (18+ reading)

My hands are as far above my head as they can reach, my back intensely arched, and my calf muscles tighten, extending to the footboard. My pumpkin orange painted toes point as they join the stretch. The sun beams through a tight crevice in the drapes, challenging my eyes to regain vision. I squint and strain to open them. Its late afternoon, and I’ve been sleeping for four hours. Sadly, it’s the most uninterrupted sleep my taxing life has allowed in over a week.
The sensation of piercing eyes causes the hair to raise on my forearms. After I finish rubbing the sleep from my face, I glance around intently. No one is here. Weird. I swear I could feel someone’s presence. It must be my nerves. My thick down comforter drops from my shoulders as I sit up for another stretch. It isn’t usually this hot in my room, so I’m glad I was able to sleep through my sweat. My body is clammy. The tank top and shorts that cling to my skin are damp and wrinkled.
I’m supposed to meet Markie for a girl’s night in an hour. I better hurry. I told that weird friend of hers from work that I wasn’t going to make it, but changed my mind after debating all week. The decision is made: I’m going. Markie is one of my closest friends, but she’s changed since Beth died. She’s distanced herself. Now, with everything else going on around her, I’m afraid.
As the water heats, steam fills my shower and escapes through the bathroom door that I usually leave open. I like stepping out of the shower feeling clean and refreshed, not muggy and overheated. I think about Markie’s situation as I rub an oversized purple loofah across my skin. A deliciously scented lather forms on my protruding ribs and bony hips. The stress of all these deaths has taken a serious toll on my appetite. My body is shrinking, I’m beginning to look sickly.
I wonder how I’m supposed to tell Markie that I’ve been sleeping with the one acquaintance that’s off limits. I guess I can’t. Not now anyway, it will have to wait. I should feel worse about it than I do, but he’s convenient, and I’m lonely. He’ll do for now. It must be the guilt of it that’s forcing me to go to this stupid club tonight. Any smart woman would stay away.
My fingers scrub harshly into my scalp. My eyes squint tightly, trying to block the shampoo as it washes away. Before they can fully open, the shower door slides. A shocked gasp rises from my throat, and I force my lids open through a painful soapy haze. The air escapes my lungs in a slow, relieved sigh. I take in the sight of him. He stands naked with a grin, ready to join me.
“What the hell are you doing?” I demand.
“What does it look like?”
“You scared the shit out of me!”
“You’re pretty sexy when you’re startled.”
“I really don’t have time for this.” I snap, “I’m in a hurry.”
He pushes his way in anyway and shuts the door behind him. He stays just out of reach of the spraying showerhead, and watches me wash off. My back tingles and the blood rushes to my skins edge in reaction to his touch. The last of the soap bubbles disappear into the drain at our toes. He picks up my leg at the thigh and presses me forward against the shower wall.
With one hard thrust, he forces himself inside me. It is a lot rougher than his usual tactic. I gasp and press my hands against the wall for balance. He moves violently, but I like it. Strong fingers intertwine through my wet hair at the base of my scalp, then he pulls it, hard. My head jerks back with the powerful tug. A quiet, excited, involuntary squeal escapes my open mouth. His breath is hot on the back of my neck.
“You like it hard, don’t you Joyce?” His voice is lower than I’ve ever heard him speak.
“Yes!”
For the first time in my life, I get a thrill from hearing my name. He releases his hold on my hair and shoves me back against the wall. A firm arm presses against my back. I’m unable to move my chest or shoulders, and am forced to take him in on his terms. Just as I’m about to crumble under his strong hold, a menacing whisper echoes in my ear.
“This is going to hurt.”
A shock pools to my center and a chill runs down my spine. It takes every ounce of strength I have to pull away from him. He squeezes my body tightly against his own. Then he loosens his grip, allowing me to turn and face him.
“What are you talking ab…”
A sudden pain consumes my neck, cutting me off mid-question. My voice catches in the center of my throat and is unable to escape. Instinctively, I grab hold of the sharp pulsating pain and squeeze. The fluid filling my hands, and running down my arms is much thicker and hotter than the shower water. Everything is beginning to blur. I look at him, trying to plead with my eyes. I am unable to speak. I lean against the wall, in effort to regain balance. Everything is spinning. I pull my bloodied hands from my neck to take a look. My vision is distorted, but not enough to disable the sight of color. My scarlet fingers spin and blur.
I feel cold. I want to grab him, beg for his help, but I can’t. My body slumps down the wall. My legs become weaker and weaker. What have you done to me? I scramble through the black and red blur, struggling to take a look at his face. For a flash, I see him. His head is tilted to one side and his face is blank. A hint of a smirk forms across his lips. I black out. I can still feel but I can’t see. I pull in breath with short shallow pants. I can hear an awkward gurgle coming out of my throat. My body is ice cold under the hot running water.
My life slowly drains away, yet a sharp digging pain reminds me that I am still alive. One piercing jab after another stings into my ribs, chest and stomach. I try to kick, throw my arms or scream, but cant. I can’t move. It only takes a few more jolts to realize that I’m being stabbed. Over and over the shock spreads across my body. After what seems like a lifetime of torturing pain, it finally fades. A faint sensation is left at my neck. There is something touching my midsection, something inside it. That too melts away until there is nothing left. I don’t feel anything anymore – no pain, no fear. I give up the struggle for breath and let myself go to the darkness.

 

 

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