Blog Tour & Giveaway: Y’Keta by Sandra Hurst

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Y’keta
The Sky Road Trilogy Book 1
by Sandra Hurst
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Banished. Cast out. Powerless. Y’keta is exiled to the small village of
Esquialt as his father’s punishment for his rebellious spirit.
Village tradition gives him one Cycle, from spring to spring, to earn
the right to stay.


The villagers have a legend about mighty beings called the Waki’tani,
mythical lords of the wind and lightning who can shapeshift into
human form. Y’keta knows the truth behind these stories. Could there
be more to them than just tales shared around the campfire?
If Y’keta reveals what he knows to the villagers, it will tear their
history and traditions apart…but sharing his secrets may be their
only hope for survival when Esquialt is threatened by the brutal,
ferociously destructive Utlaak.
Loosely based on the Thunderbird of North American legend, Y’keta is an epic
fantasy set in an ancient world where legends walk and the Sky Road
offers a way to the stars.
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Hi, my name is Sandra Hurst, the author of the Sky Road fantasy
series.
As a child growing up in England stories and legends
surrounded me, I learned how important imagination was. When I was 8,
we moved to northern Canada and the legends changed. Stories of the
Fae and the little people were replaced by legends of the Thunderbird
and stories of the woodlands. I never stood a chance. What could I be
but a writer?
Growing up in Northern Alberta gave me a great love and respect for the wild
lands and indigenous cultures which made its way into the worlds I
create.
A mythmaker at heart, I started writing poetry in middle school and
graduated to epic fantasy.
Myths give us a way to interpret the world past our normal experience. To
ask questions and explore answers in a larger-than-life game of ‘what
if.’ We need to make room for myths and mythmakers in our fact
driven world. To give space for worlds that are brighter and clearer
than our own. For it is in doing so, that we have room to become more
fully human.
My first book, Y’keta, is loosely based on the Thunderbird of North American legend, Y’keta is a Young Adult, high
fantasy set in an ancient world where legends walk and the Sky Road
offers a way to the stars.
I now live in Calgary, Alberta with my husband and son, both of whom I
love dearly, and have put for sale on e-bay when their behaviour
demanded it. My day to day life is a balance between my outside life
as a paralegal counsellor and my inner life as an author/poet. In
between, I work on courses to improve my writing, learning the Cree
Language, book reviews and blogging on my website, and studying
mythologies from around the world.
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Blog Tour: Deity’s Soulmate by Angelina Kerner

 

YA Fantasy and Adventure

Date Published: April 1, 2017

 

From author Angelina Kerner (Seven Hours: Challenge Accepted) comes an all-new fantasy series about Gardenia, a daughter of Athena, and her 100 years of coursework on how to create whole new worlds and subjects of her own.

 A sheltered schoolchild in a realm of condescending gods and goddesses, Gardenia goes to Earth on a dare to  witness the unsavory side of mankind for herself.  Believing she can do better, she undertakes the formation of an entire galaxy, but without permission from Zeus.   

 Zeus disciplines her by assigning an epic 13-fold creational lesson destined to take her a century to complete.  But he is taken aback once more when she makes an odd choice.  She vows to fulfill this knowledge quest by tracking down a lost race of dragons, and discovering the secrets they’ve kept since time began.

 Searching the universe to meet even one dragon may be a fool’s errand, but that’s the least of her worries.  For ancient wartime resentments linger between the nations of dragons and deities, and some dragons would attack Gardenia on sight!  

 Yet she ventures out undaunted, learning unexpected things about nomadic life, tender love, and mortal peril along the way.  The biggest surprise of all, though, goes by the name of Ri.  Ri may be the man of her dreams, the voice in her head, the dragon she’s seeking, or all these things and more…

 Meanwhile, the Fates brew sordid plans of their own and Hera jealously sets traps and trials for Gardenia at every chance.  What’s a young goddess to do?  Flight or fight?

Purchase Links

Amazon:   http://a.co/4FLO9d0

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deitys-soulmate-angelina-kerner/1126235658?ean=9781545109519

 

 

About the Author

Angelina Kerner, a Pisces, was born during the Chinese astrological year of the Snake, which she absolutely adores. Angelina loves snakes, and was once allowed to feed one a rat. That was an experience of a lifetime.

 She moved around during her young years from Novosibirsk to Kaluga in Russia. Finally settling in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, her teenage years were spent dancing in troupes and performing on stage. The dances ranged from waltz to tango, from Jewish to Russian, and finally belly dance. She was accepted into six out of seven universities, and decided to stay close to her family. Angelina pursued a psychology degree until she saw graduates working for Starbucks and then decided to pursue another career path in the department of Social Sciences. The difficult coursework, her job, and finding her life partner inspired her to turn to writing which, at the time, wasn’t so much a hobby as a way to escape daily routine.

 She worked on countless stories, never really finishing them, but came to understand that flash fiction wasn’t for her. After finding an online community where she met her best friend, her writing flourished, making publication a possible next step. She is now the author of one published novel for both young adults and adults, and aspires to publish her other fantasy and crime fiction works soon. Her next project involves a competition for a beautiful phoenix. That novel will, hopefully, make its debut in 2017 or 2018. Angelina currently divides her time between her family, work, writing, and a lot of cats.

 Visit her website at www.kernerangelina.live

 Contact Information

Website: http://www.kernerangelina.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kernerangelina

Blog:https://kernerangelina.live/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/angelinakerner/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14651070.Angelina_Kerner Continue reading

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Strawberries by Casey Bartsch

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Strawberries
by Casey Bartsch
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Strawberries is the name he has been given.

When they let him out, they had no way of knowing what he was. A
psychopath. A killer. The body count is at twenty already, and there
doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Agent Harry Bland can’t see
one anyway. He doesn’t have a single clue to go on. It doesn’t
help that his mind won’t focus. His heart just isn’t in it
anymore.
Half way across the country, Sylvia is in a different state of mind. When
she isn’t selling sex to the rich, she is doing her best to
disappear. She lives a life of assumed names, one night stands, and a
constant stream of narcotics.
Sylvia has heard of Strawberries. Of course she has. So has everyone who has
turned on the television or surfed the net. Yet, she has no way of
knowing just how much his life will affect hers.
Seedy hotels, cross country truckers looking for the meaning of life,
homemade pie, a reporter with her own secret agenda, obscenely
expensive champagne, and plenty of spilled blood await our cast. But
make sure to read fast…..Strawberries has killed number 21.
A little Koontz, a splash of Palahniuk, and a pinch of Robbins.
Strawberries is sure to make you wince as well as smile.
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Casey Bartsch lives in a tiny Texas town called Belton. He has yet to meet
any of his neighbors, or travel farther than the grocery store. He
doesn’t eat healthy foods, and is therefore a bit rotund. His
girlfriend loves him anyway, and that works out well.


Casey often struggles to find the time to write. That is a lie. The time is
plentiful. He just has a hard time choosing to write when other, less
mentally taxing activities are available. He feels a great deal of
regret each time he makes this wrong choice.
Casey spends an obscene amount of time trying to figure out why people do
what they do, why he does what he does, and how long it might take
before the world implodes in on itself and leaves him stranded on a
small rock floating through the emptiness of space.
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Follow the tour HERE!
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Win a custom art print, winner chooses scheme, colors, etc!
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Blog Tour: Forever King by Diana Sims

 

Title: FOREVER KING: SURVIVING THE LOSS OF MY UNBORN CHILD
Author: Diana Sims
Publisher: Forever King Publishing
Pages: 78
Genre: Inspirational/Self-Help

Sims life has been one of a survivor… a survivor of grief and distraught after having lost a child. Today, she is using the journey, to help other women, who have had similar experience of losing a child, whether through early pregnancy, miscarriage or stillbirth, to have hope.

 

Watch the book trailer at YouTube.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

Excerpt

It all started on Thursday, July 3, 2014. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a beautiful summer day, clear skies, and a nice, very much appreciated breeze from the close by Santa Monica Pier. As I traveled on foot to my 36-week checkup and ultrasound, the nurse assigned to me that day gave me a biophysical profile (ultrasound and non-stress test combined) that was sent via live-feed to my doctor to view. My baby King opened his hand and closed his hand as if he was saying, “Hello.” The doctor was astonished. She said that babies at 36 weeks’ gestation usually didn’t have those motor skills yet. She said everything looked great and made my appointment for the following week. Little did I know that King was really saying, “Goodbye,” and that would be the last time I saw him alive. I walked back to the office and stayed until the end of my modified shift. I gave hugs to everyone since I was starting maternity leave the next day. On Friday, the 4th of July, 2014, hubby and the boys went to Bakersfield for the 4th of July festivities. I stayed home since I was so close to my due date. Instead of watching fireworks, I rested most of the day and then attempted to do some online shopping with a ToysRUs® gift card I had received from my coworkers. I found a cute outfit that had a crown and the wording “King” on it, and I said this would be so cute since my husband had named our son King. For some reason, their system was having issues and would not complete the order. So, I mustered up some energy and took my pregnant self to Target to get some baby clothes for King. As I was walking around in the store, I felt King getting heavy and felt that he was finally turned over and engaged since he was still breech during the ultrasound the previous day. On my way home, I grabbed some food, arrived home safely, and left the clothes in my trunk so Cory and the boys could bring them up the next day when they got home. It was so hot, I had the central air on full-blast trying to cope with the heat since I was heavily pregnant. Neighbors far off were having fun with their families setting off fireworks. Cory and our two boys Isaiah and Solomon were still in Bakersfield having a ball with the family. Cory and the boys were scheduled to come home from Bakersfield on the afternoon of July 5, 2014. Instead, he said he had an urge to come home in the early hours of July 5, 2014 since he knew King Josiah “KJ” was due soon. He kissed me, letting me know he was there, and I fell back to sleep.

 

About the Author

As a self-publishing author, Diana Sims has felt compelled to share her journey regarding the loss of her son, and the miracle that took place after his passing. She simply wants to let other women, who have lost children, know that there is still light at the end of the tunnel.

Aimed primarily at all mothers ranging from teenagers to the older women, Forever King: Surviving the Loss of My Unborn Child particularly addresses those who have lost a child, no matter the circumstance.

Diana is committed to humanitarian services whether in her field or position. She worked for many years helping customers keep their homes from foreclosure during the economic fall in 2008. Currently, she is assisting physicians and patients as a Patient Liaison. Diana is a California native and resides in Southern California with her loving husband Cory Sims, and three handsome Kings in training: Isaiah, Solomon, and Anthony Sims.

 

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

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Blog Tour: Tell on You by Freda Hansburg

 

Title: TELL ON YOU
Author: Freda Hansburg
Publisher: Micro Publishing Media
Pages: 248
Genre: Thriller

Tell on You is a psychological suspense novel that best fits within the Gone Girl-inspired niche genre of “grip lit.”   Jeremy Barrett’s obsessive love equals that of Jay Gatsby for Daisy Buchanan, as life imitates art in his private school English class. But his angst-driven infatuation brings dire consequences as he is drawn into the machinations of his disturbed 16-year-old student Nikki Jordan, whose bad intentions rival those of her teacher.  A fast-paced, drama-filled tale, Tell on You reminds readers about the wildness and trauma of adolescence—and the self-defeating behaviors to which adults resort in times of stress. From gaslighting to vicious bullying, poisonous family privilege to the loss of a parent—Freda Hansburg draws on her experience as a clinical psychologist to explore the depths of each dark situation in Tell on You.

 

PURCHASE YOUR COPY:

Amazon

 

Excerpt

“OWW!!”  EIGHT-YEAR OLD Brandon Jordan screeched as his sister Nikki twisted his arm in an Indian burn.  “Nikki, stop!”

His cries brought Mom crashing into Nikki’s room.  “Nikki, I won’t have you bullying your brother again.  Let him go this instant.”

“But I caught him in here messing with my stuff!” Nikki gave Brandon’s arm a final wrench before releasing him.  Pouting, he scurried from her room.

“I don’t care what he did.  I told you, keep your hands to yourself.”  Her mother turned away, judgment delivered.

Probably in a hurry to get back to her vodka and reality TV.  “At least when Dad was here, somebody stuck up for me,” Nikki called after her.

Mom’s angry face reappeared.  “Stuck up for you?”  A bitter laugh.  “Stuck it to you, and all of us, is more like it.”

“Wasn’t me he left,” Nikki said.

“Really?  When’s the last time he even phoned you?”  Her mother walked off with that parting shot.

“Like you’d know, bitch.”  Nikki said it under her breath, but not under enough.

“Who do you think you’re talking to?”  Mom stormed back into the room, got right up in Nikki’s face, breath boozy.  “You’re grounded for the next three days, kiddo.  Give me your car keys, right now.”

“Maa!” Nikki protested.  “How will I get to school?”

Her mother held out her hand for the keys.  “Get up an hour early and I’ll drop you on the way to work.”

“No way!”  Nikki fished the keys from her bag and dropped them into her mother’s open palm.

“Then walk.”  Her mom headed out of the room, turning back for one last jab.  “Or call your father.”

This time Nikki closed the bedroom door before cursing her out.  Walking to school sucked, and tomorrow’s weather forecast called for cold.  Call your father.  Very funny.  Dad lived in Austin now.  But it gave her an idea.

Nikki picked up her phone to make the call, rehearsing the pitch in her mind.  I’m so lonely, Mr. B.  I’m taking care of my brother again because my mom went out.  And she forgot we were supposed to take my car in for a new battery.  And I was wishing…I know I shouldn’t ask you…but if you met me and gave me a ride to school tomorrow, I’d get to see you.  You wouldn’t have to take me right to school, just drop me nearby.

She’d sell it to him.  And after that, she’d see about getting even with her mother and

brother.  Maybe steal Brandon’s Game Boy batteries and hide them.  And see how much

distilled white vinegar she could add to Mom’s vodka bottle before the bitch actually

noticed.  Nobody, but nobody, got to score the winning point against Nikki Jordan.

 

About the Author

Freda Hansburg is a psychologist and Tell On You is her debut trade thriller.  She self-published the suspense novel Shrink Rapt and co-authored two self-help books, PeopleSmart – a best-seller translated into ten languages – and Working PeopleSmart.  Freda lives in the South Carolina Lowcountry, where she is working on her next novel and her Pickleball game.

 

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Gun for Hire by J.J. Montgomery

Gun For Hire

The Maui Heat Series

by J.J. Montgomery

J.J. will be awarding 5 ebook of Gun For Hire to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here


BLURB:

The job should have been easy—patrol a swank beach that serves as a backyard for Maui’s rich, kick out the riffraff, and get a tan in the process. But rent-a-cop Samantha Winters didn’t anticipate a deliciously grumpy cop, Sergeant Grady Roark, who comes down to the beach to bust her chops and instead leaves her breathless…and wondering why the one man who could help her seems determined to thwart her at every turn.

Grady is keeping secrets from Sam that have him walking the line between attraction and duty. But when Sam becomes the target of a shadowy organization, Grady will have to choose between the law and the temptation of a woman who has him breaking every rule he’s ever known.

The job should have been easy, but when the bullets start flying, Sam learns nothing is as easy as it seems when you’re a Gun for Hire.

Buy Links:
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

 

Excerpt 

“The sunlight was intense after a half hour in that gloomy space, but I squinted hard and kept moving toward a narrow set of steps down to the parking lot. Grady walked a few paces behind me, and if he heard the crinkle of paper as I moved, he elected not to say anything.
Grady hit the remote to his truck and grabbed for the passenger side door, his hand light on my elbow as he helped me up. Paper crackled as my butt hit the seat and Grady’s eyes narrowed. Without a word, he slammed my door and went around to the driver’s side, climbing up into the cab and stabbing the keys into the ignition.
“So, I—” I hesitated as I shifted in my seat and my movement was accompanied by the distinct sound of cardboard bending.
“No,” Grady muttered, and clicked on the radio. “No talking.”
“But—”
“Shh.” Grady put a finger to his lips, his eyes still on the road. “Any minute you’re going to tell me about the felony crime you just committed. And then I’m going to have to deal with the fact that I was an accessory to a felony crime.” 
“Umm, yeah.” I reached around to the back of my pants and eased the file folder up from my waistband, working it out slowly so as to not lose anything as Grady headed up the hillside toward his house. As I brought it around to look at it, the red block letters damning me to years of incarceration should I get caught, a muscle ticked in Grady’s jaw.
“You stole classified documents.” He shook his head from side to side.
I looked up at Grady and then down at the mangled file with the red Top Secret heading. I took a corner of the front sheet and ripped across the width of the page, separating the words “Top Secret” from the rest of the paper.
“They’re declassified now.” I crumpled up the classification and shoved it in my pocket.
Grady sighed.
I shrugged and opened the file.”

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About the Author


J.J. MONTGOMERY writes romantic suspense novels with a sense of humor. Her heroines are as smart as they are smart mouthed and the men in their lives are just trying to keep up. Gun for Hire is the first book in J.J.’s Maui Heat Series. 

If you’d like to know more, including info on her newest book, where she gets her ideas, and how it’s possible she can’t use Facebook, please visit her:



Social Links: 
Website | Facebook |  Twitter  | Instagram 

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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The Amazon purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 2 Escape.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Grayson by Crimson Syn

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Grayson
A Hell’s Lovers MC Romance #2
by Crimson Syn
Genre: Adult MC Romance
She’s a wildcat in bed and she’s driving me insane!
Ever since that first night I can’t get enough of Rahyne Andrews.
Her kisses, her body, her moans, drive me crazy. I can’t seem to say no to her.
My only problem is, that she doesn’t seem to be interested in more than my body.
And I’m not about to have my control taken away from me.
She either bends to my will, or I’m walking.
Grayson Carter is everything I ever dreamed of and more.
He’s built like a rock and knows how to satisfy my every need.
But the last thing I want is to have another failed relationship.
Especially, when it involves a member of the Hell’s Lovers.
I’m the one in control, I’m always in control…
So why is it that Grayson Carter is the only man who has ever made me
beg for more.

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Wolf
A Hell’s Lovers MC Romance #1
Scarlett Chase is every man’s wet dream.
As soon as I laid eyes on her, I knew she’d be mine.
That is, until I found out she was untouchable.
One kiss, one forbidden touch, will have me out on the streets and
stripped of who I am.
Yet I want her. I need her. And I’m done following all these damn
rules.
Wolf Stone is my obsession.
Ever since he pulled over on that empty road, I’ve been tormented by the man.
His possessive words and heated looks have me tightly wound.
One touch, and he lights me on fire.
But I want more.
I not only want him in my bed, I want to keep him for myself.
But he won’t budge, and now it’s up to me to entice his sleeping
wolf.
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My name is Crimson Syn, not really, but what fun is it to use my real
name. Instead I’ll use my inner goddess’ name, it’s much
more fun that way. I grew up in New York City where I had a wonderful
education, loving parents and awesome friends. What more could a girl
ask for?
I started writing at the age of
sixteen. The first romance I read was Stephanie Laurens’ Devil’s
Bride. Since then I have been influenced by dozens of flourishing
romance authors and even more dashing and daring rogues. I must say
it, but Fifty Shades was not my first erotic romance, nor did it
influence me to start writing them. If you’ve never read Mary
Balogh, Elizabeth Hoyt, Lisa Kleypas, Bertrice Small or A.N.
Roquelaure’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy, then you’re missing out.
Those were my sweet introductions to erotic romance, and boy were
they hot.
So here I am, after reading so many wonderful stories, I have too many
sinful tales of my own not to share. I like my alphas rough and
possessive, and I have no shame in saying it or writing it. I had
delightfully wicked teachers growing up, their books took me to new
worlds and brought me new loves. So, I want to do the same for you. I
want to indulge my readers in those steamy reads that will send them
into the arms of dangerous alphas and deliciously sexy rogues,
without leaving the confines of their nice warm bed. If I am able to
entice your inner goddesses, then I have done my job and I am
satisfied.
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for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Mental Damnation Part 1: Reality by Konn Lavery

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Reality
Mental Damnation Part 1
by Konn Lavery
Genre: Epic Dark Fantasy
Having her family murdered by the humans during her people’s banishment
from the surface world, Krista and her only friend, Darkwing,
struggle to remain alive. The pair of reptilian street scum live in
their newfound home, the City of Renasence, dictated by a fascist
military known as the Renasence Guard. The two find themselves at
odds when Krista puts her faith in the Five Guardians’ goal of
unification, while Darkwing chooses to stand with a notorious gang,
the Blood Hounds, who are known for their anarchist views
This divide in their friendship forces Krista to persist on her own as the
Five Guardians become crazed from an unknown disease – Mental
Damnation. After their infection, the Guardians develop a bizarre
interest in her, claiming they must reap her innocence for their
newfound master, the Weaver.


With a military dictatorship, politically-driven gangs and their guardians
infected and on a hunt for her, Krista has limited options for
survival: Does she fend for her life in the City of Renascence,
against menacing forces, or risk leaving everything behind and enter
the uncharted realm of the underworld?
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Darkness and death…

Hills of bone,

Rivers of blood

Skies of the mourning dead

 

Death overruled

Judgment was taken.

Here I am,

In the land of the damned.

 

Just a few words of many used to describe my master’s realm – Dreadweave Pass, a temporary purgatory for souls to redeem themselves in the eyes of the gods in the Heavenly Kingdoms. I often chuckle to myself, wondering why the gods assumed I could be redeemed. They would have been better off sending me into one of the deeper hells of Dega’Mostikas’ Triangle. There is no redemption for the life I lived in the mortal realm – or the one I live now, serving my master, the Weaver.

I suppose I will have to remind the gods of this fact once my life here ends and I return to the gates of the Heavenly Kingdoms. Although that seems rather unlikely, considering that the Weaver’s necromantic arts have made me immortal. I can never again experience what I knew as death. I will simply have to tell the gods with my blade once we free my master and wage war on the Heavenly Kingdoms for banishing him to Dreadweave Pass.

“General Dievourse?” A voice rang out in the silence.

General Dievourse shot to life, his pure white eyes widening in surprise as he shook off his daydream. His pale, decaying face turned toward the humanoid silhouette that loomed ahead of him as his internal monologue dissolved.

Dievourse recognized the silhouette. It was his lieutenant, standing tall in his studded leather armour, wrapped in belts and buckles holding a range of assassination equipment – from knives to poison needles and even some weaponry Dievourse could not identify.

“The child.” The lieutenant pointed down and the general’s eyes followed, coming to rest on a small, pasty, pathetic-looking human boy, about twelve years old. The child’s bright blue eyes shone with fear from under wisps of dark hair. His neck was wrapped in a rusty chain.

Dievourse, holding the other end of the chain, lifted his hand. Saying nothing, he examined the child.

“It is to be sent to the Weaver, correct?” the lieutenant asked.

“Correct, lieutenant,” Dievourse replied, lowering the chain.

The lieutenant nodded. “With any hope, it will meet the Weaver’s expectations. The Gatekeepers look long and hard for them in the mortal realm.”

Dievourse nodded with a scowl. “One can only hope.”

 

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Konn Lavery is a Canadian horror and dark fantasy writer who is known for
his Mental Damnation series. The second book, Dream, reached the
Edmonton Journal’s top five selling fictional books list. He
started writing fantasy stories at a very young age while being home
schooled. It wasn’t until graduating college that he began
professionally pursuing his work with his first release, Reality.
Since then he has continued to write works of fiction ranging from
fantasy to horror.


His literary work is done in the long hours of the night. By day, Konn
runs his own graphic design and website development business under
the title Reveal Design. These skills have been transcribed into the
formatting and artwork found within his publications supporting his
fascination of transmedia storytelling.
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Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
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The Amazon purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 2 Escape.

Blog Tour: Hello, Agnieszka by Evy Journey

 

Title: HELLO, AGNIESZKA
Author: Evy Journey
Publisher: Sojourner
Pages: 273
Genre: Women’s Fiction

Elise thought she knew her mother. Agnieszka Halverson is a caring woman, a great cook, and an exceptional piano player; but living in a secure, predictable world, she’s also a little dull. Her world is devastated when her oldest son attempts suicide, and Elise finds her mother has a past—both sweet and bitter—that she must now reveal to explain the suicide attempt. A past rich with a passion for music and shattered dreams, betrayal of a sweet but tragic first love, second chances and renewed hopes.

Born to immigrant parents weighed down by their roots, Agnieszka takes solace in learning to play the piano, taught by a sympathetic aunt who was a concert pianist in Poland before World War II. But when her aunt betrays her and her parents cast her aside for violating their traditional values, can Agnieszka’s music sustain her? Can she, at eighteen, build a life on her own?

When she finally bares her soul to her children, Agnieszka hopes they can accept that she has a past that’s as complex as theirs; that she’s just as human, just as vulnerable as they are. But do her revelations alienate her husband and can they push Elise farther away from her?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

Excerpt

Elise Halverson-Thorpe sat, perusing a client’s testimony at her desk in mid-afternoon, green highlighter in hand. She still had a half-inch thick of testimony transcripts to go through before she could stop for the day. She might have to bring some work home again.

She lifted the highlighter to mark a phrase in the transcript, but the cellphone in her shirt pocket vibrated and interrupted her movement for an instant. She groped for the phone while she dragged the clear green ink across the phrase.

She knew it couldn’t be Greg, who usually called sometime around noon. Before she swiped it, she glanced at the screen.

“Dad,” she muttered to herself, surprised to see her father’s face.

He rarely called her at work, aware that she might be arguing a case at court or taking testimony or deposition from a witness. What could he want from her at two in the afternoon?

“Dad. What’s up?”

“We’re at the hospital, but don’t be alarmed. Everything’s okay now. It’s Peter.”

Her father’s voice was low and calm, but she detected an edge to it. He was struggling to sound normal and in control.

“Peter?”

She put the green highlighter down, next to a red one, and closed the two-inch thick transcriptions of testimony taken from the woman she was currently defending on a murder charge. Her third such case in as many years of working with the Public Defender.

She leaned against the back of her chair and gripped the telephone tighter. Her father was taking a while to answer, and she grew apprehensive with every second he remained silent.

“Yes. He swallowed a bottle of pills. Mom found him unconscious in the tub. But he’s okay now.”

“What? What are you saying? He tried to … kill himself? Peter?”

“Yes.”

She thought, gasping, refusing to believe that loaded one-word answer: No, not possible. Not you, Peter. No. I don’t understand. Her mind went blank for some seconds at the weight of it. She began to breathe a little faster as she struggled against what it meant. But she could not resist the full force of it as a tangle of thoughts and emotions closed in on her: Why? What’s going on with you? Why choose death over life? No! How could you? How could anyone?

“Elise, are you all right? Are you still there?” Her father’s anxious voice broke through her turmoil.

She swallowed hard to clear her throat. “He did it in your tub?”

“Yes, he came last weekend, said he missed us so much he wanted to stay a week. That was unusual, but we never wondered why. We were just so happy to have him with us for a while. He travels so much in his work, we hardly ever see him.”

“The pills, how …?”

“He must have had them. We don’t have any in the house.”

Still refusing or unable to believe what her father just told her, Elise was silent again. She could hear her father breathing, echoing her own labored one.

She forced herself to speak again. “But … he’s okay now?”

“Yes. Yes. And he’s been seen by a psychologist. How were we to know that he was going to do it? Nothing was different about him.”

“That’s apparently not unusual,” she said weakly, her father’s news still weighing on her like a huge, festering, unsolvable puzzle. Peter tried to kill himself. But why?

Her father said, “How can anyone know then?”

That was, at least, a question to which she might have some answer.

She said, “People serious about suicide don’t often say a thing, according to our psychiatric experts. We have defendants who attempt suicide and if they have no history of similar attempts, psychiatrists can’t always diagnose them early enough to put them on suicide watch.”

Elise had to control the quiver in her voice and she hoped she sounded authoritative enough.

“He was in a good mood,” her father said with a sigh.

“We’ve seen that, too.”

“I can’t help thinking we went wrong somewhere.”

“I don’t think it’s anything you did.”

“He made dinner for us twice this week.”

“I didn’t think he could cook.”

“I don’t know why we didn’t see it coming.”

“None of us might have.”

“I thought I knew my children very well.”

“I thought I knew Peter well.”

“I’ve never seen Peter so hopeless.”

“Neither have I. Nor so desperate that he’d try to end his life.”

“He’s kind of intense.”

“But people say that about me, too.” Her voice was finally as calm as she wanted it to sound.

Her father let out another long sigh. “We have so many things we must work out. I still have to call Justin. Mom wants you both to come for dinner tomorrow. Greg, too, of course, and Goyo. Can you make it at three?”

“Yes, of course. How is she?”

“Worse than me, I’m afraid. As if she wants to take the whole burden of guilt on herself. Anyway, talk to her tomorrow.”

 

 

About the Author

Evy Journey has always been fascinated with words and seduced by beautiful prose. She loves Jane Austen and invokes her spirit every time she spins tales of love, loss, and finding one’s way—stories she interweaves with mystery or intrigue and sets in various locales. SPR (Self Publishing Review) awarded Evy the 2015 Independent Woman Author bronze for her writing.

She’s lived and traveled in many places, from Asia to Europe. Often she’s ended up in Paris, though—her favorite place in the world. She’s an observer-wanderer. A flâneuse, as the French would say.

The mind is what fascinates her most. Armed with a Ph.D., she researched and spearheaded the development of mental health programs. And wrote like an academic. Not a good thing if you want to sound like a normal person. So, in 2012, she began to write fiction (mostly happy fiction) as an antidote.

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Blog Tour: Tapped out for College Students by Kelley Pryor Amrein & Becki Stevens

 

Title: TAPPED OUT FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS: STRESS RELIEF USING EFT
Author: Kelley Pryor Amrein & Becki Stevens
Publisher: Creative Spirit Books
Pages: 236
Genre: Nonfiction/Self-Help/Stress-Relief

 

You’re in college and college is stressful. Your stress impacts every facet of life, from classes to grades to work commitments. Even your physical health can be affected. Studies show that college students like you now face more stress than ever, leaving you with less time for relaxation and self-care. When you’re already overburdened, the idea of finding a way to relieve stress sounds like one more way to add extra stress to your life. But, what if you can relieve the stress of college in minutes? What if homework didn’t have to be so hard, and you did have time for school and fun? Tapped Out For College Students: Stress Relief Using EFT, is a guidebook that empowers college students like you, allowing you to reduce your level of stress and opening the door to success in college and in life.

In Tapped Out, college students are introduced to our unique BESD (Because, Emotions, Sensations, and Distress) system, which easily guides them through the tapping process. Once you’ve defined your personal BESD related to a specific issue, you can easily translate this into a tapping session. The book is full of tapping scripts relating to the most common stress-inducing issues you face in college. Students can tap through the scripts as they are written, or they can personalize them, using the responses they develop using the BESD system.

The Table of Contents is the perfect starting place, allowing students to pinpoint their issue and flip to the appropriate section of the book. Some of the topics covered in the book include time management, homework, exams, relationships, money, health, and preparing for the real world following college.

Students no longer have to be stressed throughout their college career. With Tapped Out as a companion, college students can face the college landscape calmly. This unique book, intended to be used as and when needed, empowers students to control their reactions and respond to each situation successfully. College is stressful. Tapped Out for College Students can help.

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Excerpt

What is Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a do-it-yourself healing tool that alleviates stress, reduces physical pain and increases your potential for success. It is a non-invasive energy therapy using gen- tle finger tapping on specific meridian points beneath the surface of the skin. The meridians come from Chinese medicine. They create pathways through which Qi (chee), or energy, flows to all parts of the human body. The meridians form the basis of the practice of acupuncture. This idea of energy flowing in the body is, then, certainly not a new one, and it is this theory that EFT works from. In fact, EFT is often termed acupuncture without the needles.

So, how does EFT actually work? EFT’s magic rests in its ability to smooth out disruptions in your energy system. EFT was developed in the 1990s by a Stanford University-trained engineer named Gary Craig. Gary Craig was a student of the forefather of EFT, Roger Callahan, who had previously developed a system of meridian tapping called TFT or Thought Field Therapy. Gary Craig took TFT, a process which used tapping on specific meridian points depending on the emotion you were feeling, and simplified it. He designed the system to stimulate the major meridian points in an unchanging sequence. It does not matter what emotion you are feeling because the tapping remains the same whether you are experiencing anger, fear, sadness or pain. By tapping on the points identified in EFT, you are able to access all the major energy circuits and find relief.

The underpinning of Gary Craig’s work is his discovery statement, which says, “The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.” Using EFT, we tap on the negative emotions from a specific event, for instance the overwhelming stress we feel due to an upcoming examination. Tapping on the stress, the negative emotion, allows the emotion to be released and the energy disruption is then straightened out. This release of the negative allows the flow of positive energy back into your life. With the brain no longer feeling overloaded you are then able to retrieve the information needed to ace the exam.

Here comes the science part of this explanation. Part of the human brain is ancient and has been in operation, working to keep our species alive, for thousands of years. The limbic brain is the oldest, most primitive part of the brain and a part of the limbic brain is a small, almond shaped area called the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain triggered when you are in danger, the relay station that sends out the message for your fight or flight response to kick in. When this response is activated, it signals the body of danger and the hormones adrenaline and cortisol are released. In ancient times, when this part of our brain developed, it was essen- tial for our survival. The release of adrenaline and cortisol fueled our ancestors who were able to flee rather than being eaten by a tiger for lunch. Good for them then, and for us; we’re still here, after all.

You might wonder how this relates to your exam. After all, you are not running from a beast. Interestingly, however, this primitive portion of your brain, the amygdala, cannot detect real “tiger” danger from imagined “stress” danger. Your body senses exam stress as a danger and releases the same fight or flight hormones our ancestors needed to stay alive. Keep in mind that our ancestors did not have stress on a daily or even hourly basis like we do. The brain reacts to this modern-day stress just as it did to the tiger stress; it causes adrenaline and cortisol to be released.

Cortisol has been deemed public enemy number one. When cortisol floods our bodies, we have to physically move to get rid of it. But when there is no tiger to fight or flee from, when the danger is, instead, exam stress, all the stress hormones in our bodies have nowhere to go. The cortisol hangs out and wreaks havoc on our minds and bodies, weakening our immune system, causing damage on a cellular level, leaving us vulnerable to infection. Tapping on the meridian points calms the fight or flight response, allowing our bodies to relax and cortisol levels to drop.

Dr. Dawson Church has done several studies on how tapping affects our bodies. In one randomized controlled study conducted by Dr. Church and his peers, cortisol levels and psychological symptoms of eighty-three patients were tested before and after treatment. The patients were divided into three groups. One group received no therapy but only an hour of rest. Another group received one hour of conventional talk therapy. The third group had a one-hour session of EFT tapping. Subsequent testing revealed that the symptoms in the EFT group decreased more than within the other groups and cortisol levels also dropped significantly. The group which received talk therapy had a reduction in cortisol of 14% while the group receiving EFT had an average reduction in cortisol of 24%. Continue reading