Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Release Blitz/#Giveaway : Alas, She Drowned by Monica Knightley

Cozy Mystery
Date Published: April 12, 2016

Murder. Betrayal. Duplicity.

When ex-novice nun, turned steamy romance writer, Maggie O’Flynn moves to the charming village of Stratford Upon Avondale to open a tea room she expects plenty of murder, betrayal, and duplicity. On the stages of the town’s renowned Shakespeare Festival. But when a theater critic is found murdered on the town’s riverbank and the prime suspect turns out to be the sexy bookshop owner Maggie has had her eye on, she takes matters into her own hands. Will she be able to dig through the layers of betrayal and duplicity to find the true murderer before that handsome bookseller, Nate Larimer, finds himself behind bars? With the help of her loud, brash, spitfire of a friend, Gina Mattucci, Maggie plans to do just that.

With a bit of Shakespeare, copious amounts of tea, and a faux-English setting to rival anything the real England has to offer, ALAS, SHE DROWNED is the first book in THE STRATFORD UPON AVONDALE mystery series. Lovers of cozy mysteries will find a cozy home in Stratford Upon Avondale.


As I placed the sandwich board advertising, “Authentic English Cream Teas, $7.99”, outside my twee tea room I came to a realization. In the past two weeks alone, I’d had all the murder, mayhem, scandal, and treachery I could handle.

When I’d moved from my home in Philadelphia to this small town four months earlier I had no idea it was such a hotbed of scandal. Murders were commonplace; duplicity abounded; treachery was to be expected.

And yet the place is bucolic beyond words. Nestled in a rural corner of a western state, it is surrounded by orchards and vineyards. But much of its claim to fame is the center of town which resembles a quaint English village, with every building seeming to have been lifted from Tudor or Victorian England. Mullioned windows, exposed timbers, bay windows, gables, and jettied top floors appear to be building code requirements.

But still, all that murder and duplicity.

Murder and duplicity that could be found on Stratford Upon Avondale’s two renowned stages. The five-month long Shakespeare festival is the town’s raison d’être. 

In my short time in the village I had already attended three plays—two Shakespeare and one production of Arsenic and Old Lace.

Yes, that was indeed plenty of murder and scandal, and the festival had just begun.

“Morning, Maggie,” called out Mrs. Vachon from the souvenir shop three doors down the street, where she was meticulously sweeping the sidewalk. After a few days of clouds and rain, the morning sun felt warm and welcome, and I noticed Mrs. Vachon wasn’t the only merchant outside tidying up.

“Good morning.” I waved at the energetic, gray-haired woman who’d been running her shop for over forty years.

 Maggie O’Flynn—I was the newbie in town. Most of the business owners in the town dedicated to all things Shakespeare and England,— despite being five thousand miles from English soil—had been here for years. Yet they all welcomed me with open arms when I purchased the Merry Wives Tea Room and settled into their town. 

About the Author

Monica Knightley began creating compelling characters and stories at the age of three, when she had a plethora of imaginary friends, all with complete backstories. Today any characters that come knocking on the door of her imagination find themselves in one of her mysteries, young adult novels, or paranormal romances.
When not fueling her reading addiction or writing her next book, Monica loves to travel with her husband, with England being her favorite frequently visited destination, and perhaps France coming in a close second. She can’t live without perfectly steeped tea, a good bold red wine, and dark chocolate. Monica loves her time with family and friends and can never get enough of either.

Monica lives in Portland, Oregon where the frequent rainy weather is perfect for curling up with a good book and a cup of tea.

Contact Links

Purchase Links

$10 Amazon Gift Card

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Promo Blitz : Killer Pursuit by Jeff Gunhus

Date Published: January 18, 2016

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When a secret webcam is found in the Georgetown bedroom of a murdered high-society call girl, everyone in Washington, DC wants the recording...especially the killer. 

After a high-society call girl is brutally murdered in her Georgetown home, investigators find two cameras hidden in the walls of her bedroom. One has its memory erased, presumably by the murderer. The second is a webcam with an encrypted connection...and no-one knows who's on the other end. Whoever has the recordings has embarrassing leverage against some of the most powerful men in DC, not to mention a video of the murder showing the identity of the killer.

FBI Special Agent Allison McNeil is asked by beleaguered FBI Director Clarence Mason to run an off-the-record investigation of the murder because of the murder's similarity to a case she worked a year earlier. Allison knows the most direct path to apprehending the killer is to find the videos, but rumors that the victim's client list may include some of Washington's most powerful men makes her doubt the director's motives. As she starts her investigation, she quickly discovers that she's not the only one pursuing the recording...but that the most aggressive person racing against her might be the murderer himself.

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About the Author

Jeff Gunhus is the author thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 100 on Amazon and have been Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists.

After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active lifestyle in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.

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Purchase Links
Currently On Sale for $0.99!

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sunday Post #13/Stacking the Shelves #47

Lost track of my numbers so starting over in 2016.

This Last Week @ Books, Books The Magical Fruit
Week of April 3 – April 9, 2016
Promo Blitz (Reading Addiction Blog Tours) : Kyser by Anthony PoliniceBook Blast/Giveaway (Pump Up Your Books Tours) : In Unloved Again by Dr. Elan Golomb
Book Blitz (YA Bound) : Remembrance by Michelle Madow
Book Blitz/#Giveaway (Prism Book Tours) : Harlequin Heartwarming
Book Blitz/#Giveaway (YA Bound) : Alone by Kate L. Mary
Book Blitz/#Giveaway (YA Bound) : The Sons of Gyges by Philip J. Gould
04/05 - Release Day Blitz (InkSlinger PR): MY PERFECT MISTAKE by Kelly Siskind
04/06 - Book Blast/Giveaway (Pump Up Your Books Tours) : The Bomb That Never Was by J R Shaw
04/08 - Release Day Blitz (InkSlinger PR): LOVE & DECAY: REVOLUTION by Rachel Higginson
04/08 - Cover Reveal (InkSlinger PR): BACK TO YOU by C.J. McKella

Next Week @ Books, Books The Magical Fruit
Week of April 10 – April 16, 2016
*04/10 - HeadTalker (Twitter/Facebook/Tumbler) - Romance Novel Promotion by Rob Alex
04/11 - Promo Blitz (Reading Addiction Blog Tours) : Killer Pursuit by Jeff Gunhus
04/12 - Social Media Blasts for Cover and Release (InkSlinger PR): UP IN FLAMES by Kelly Hashway
04/12 - Release Day Blitz (InkSlinger PR): SAVING GRACE by Bianca D'Arc
04/12 - Release Day Launch (InkSlinger PR): ASCENDERS: SKYPUNCH by C.L. Garber
04/12 - Release Blitz (Reading Addiction Blog Tours) : Alas, She Drowned by Monica Knightley
*04/15 - HeadTalker (Twitter/Facebook/Tumbler) - Give It Back – Author by danielleesplin
*04/15 - HeadTalker (Twitter/Facebook/Tumbler) - To Soar on Eagle's Wings Promo by Renee Blare
04/15 - Book Blitz (Reading Addiction Blog Tours) : Withering Hope by Layla Hagen

Coming soon
April 2016
*04/21 - HeadTalker (Twitter/Facebook/Tumbler) - TaleHunt by Very Short Stories
*04/22 - HeadTalker (Twitter/Facebook/Tumbler) - Pre-Order Some Summer Heat! by Melissa Keir
04/27 - Release Day Blitz (Bewitching Book Tours): Witch’s Cursed Cabin by Marsha A. Moore

Books Reviewed

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

Books Received

GoodReads Contest Wins

Books Downloaded

I like to download from Amazon – so will just be listing with a link to GoodReads page

Friday, April 8, 2016

Grand Finale : Trix and the Faerie Queen by Alethea Kontis

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Review & Excerpt Tour Grand Finale for
Trix and the Faerie Queen
By Alethea Kontis

We hope you enjoyed hearing about Trix Woodcutter, who finally has his own adventure! If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out now and read the first chapter of the book...

Launch - Welcome to Faerie

Trix Woodcutter and I invite you all to join us on this newest adventure. Trix and the Faerie Queen is filled with more talking animals than I ever thought I would write and a journey to a place from my dreams: Under the Hill, to the high seat of the Faerie Queen. There are so many characters in this story (Alastair is going to hurt me when he starts making notes for the audio)--I won’t tell you which one is my favorite. That is a choice you must make yourself.

Prism Book Tours - Excerpt: Chapter 1, Part 1

Most people with common sense would have remembered that gold did not float. Trix Woodcutter rarely qualified as “most people.”

“Trixie, you are a prize idiot,” he said to himself, because neither Peter nor Saturday were there to say it for him. He took a deep breath and dove hard.

Wishful Endings - Excerpt: Chapter 1, Part 2

“Perhaps our next attempt at swimming should be in a shallower pond,” she said when she caught her breath.

“Perhaps indeed. Thank you, friends!” Trix patted the heads of the turtles and bid them farewell before turning back to Lizinia. “I’m sorry. I did not think about the gold.”

Brooke Blogs - Excerpt: Chapter 1, Part 3

“What? Trix, you’re staring at me.”

“And here I thought the stars were amazing.”

“It’s not amazing. It’s just how I am.”

“Trust me,” said Trix. “To the rest of the world, you’re pretty amazing.”

"Trix and the Faerie Queen, by Alethea Kontis, is just as awesome as the previous book, Trixter. I love these two of all the Books of Arriland most of all because they are so full of light and laughter, as opposed to the creepy dark magic in a few of the others. I also love how all the books tie together so perfectly."

deal sharing aunt - Excerpt: Chapter 1, Part 4

Trix held fast to Lizinia’s hand, but he did not move. The noise had happened, but he felt no vibrations beneath his feet. Not so much as a breath of wind stirred the leaves in the trees of the forest around them. He closed his eyes and searched inside himself for the Fear that Needa the spider had taught him about. There was a sort of…tingle…at the back of his neck and in his belly. This might have been the animal magic inside him telling him flee, but his instincts were still not strong enough to know where.

"Readers will enjoy the blossoming fairy tale friendship between Trix and his golden girl Lizinia. Their budding relationship is totally fairy tale--Lizinia is the perfect companion and Trix is completely appreciative of her talents. Fans of Arilland will be happy to see a couple of Trix's sisters and hear about more. Readers will be left clamoring for more at the end of the novel and eagerly await the next installment."

Becky on Books - Excerpt: Chapter 1, Part 5

“Have a care, Trix Woodcutter. It would not do to to have you falling to your death right when I need you most.”

Power. The woman’s voice that filled his ears was powerful. It reminded him of someone—a member of his family?—but he could not place it.

Colorimetry - Excerpt: Chapter 1, Part 6

The moment Trix put all the pieces together, he was too shocked to reply. What in the world did the Faerie Queen want with him? If this even was the world…on this grassy mound, surrounded by a ring of mushrooms. Even the mushrooms bowed, bonnets to the queen.

Mel's Shelves - Excerpt: Chapter 1, Part 7

“You are the Boy Who Talks to Animals,” she said. “And with the fey magic bound, anyone under the Hill with animal magic has been turned into a beast. They cannot talk to us, nor can they talk to each other. Soon there will be nothing but chaos, and such an imbalance can tear this world apart.” The Faerie Queen clasped her hands together as she made her plea. “I want to make you my Emissary, Trix Woodcutter. You must speak for the animals. Save Faerie. And save the world.”

A Backwards Story - Review of Trixter

"I'm really glad there's more than one book about Trix and his journey because the first book, TRIXTER, is novella-length and we don't spend nearly enough time with Trix or his new, gold-dipped friend Lizinia. . . . I love the way Trix is also at the center of an epic prophecy, as are many of the Woodcutters."

Though not a long story, Trix & the Faerie Queen packs a powerful punch. It doesn't slow its pace for a moment as our lovable scamp Trix and his golden companion Lizinia fall into one scrape after another. We get the chance to reunite with some familiar faces, and to put faces with a few of the names we've heard about. And we finally get to go to Faerie. *squee!* . . . With the ending I am left with here, waiting even until fall for Alethea's next book seems far too long a wait.

Whatever - Special Author Interview

“TEHETHJO” is one heck of an acronym, but Alethea Kontis knows what it means, why it’s important, and how it relates to her new novel Trix and the Faerie Queen.

Thanks for visiting the fantasy world of Arriland! Don't forget to enter the giveaway below...

Trix and the Faerie Queen (Books of Arilland Book #6)
Trix and the Faerie Queen

(Books of Arriland #6)

by Alethea Kontis
YA Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 210 Pages

March 28th 2016

Join Trix Woodcutter on an epic new animal-filled adventure!

Fey magic and animal magic: that troublemaking imp Trix Woodcutter has both, if not the ability to use them to their full potential. While traveling with his companion—the golden girl Lizinia—to see the King of Eagles, Trix is sent a vision of the Faerie Queen, who is in desperate need of his help. An evil sorceress has stormed Faerie and trapped all the fey magic under the Hill, leaving the Faerie Queen powerless! Trix’s talent for communicating with animals is desperately needed…but before he braves the wild world of Faerie he must arm himself, with nothing less than the bow and arrows of a god.

With the help of his gilded companion, her ghost-cat godfather, a blind brownie and a sister or two, the Boy Who Talks to Animals must befriend a mischievous leprechaun, best a wolf, and journey into the depths of Faerie to restore order and free the fey magic before the imbalance destroys the world.

Trix and the Faerie Queen is second in The Trix Adventures and sixth in the Books of Arilland.

Fans of the Woodcutter Sisters: Desperate to know what happened to Saturday and Peregrine after they found Trix at the end of HERO? Here’s your chance!

Other Books in the Series

Hero (Woodcutter Sisters #2)
Trixter (Books of Arilland #3)Dearest (Woodcutter Sisters, #3)Tales of Arilland (Books of Arilland #5)

Alethea Kontis is a princess, author, fairy godmother, and geek. Her bestselling Books of Arilland fairytale series won two Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Awards (Enchanted and Tales of Arilland), and was twice nominated for the Andre Norton Award. Alethea also penned the AlphaOops picture books, The Wonderland Alphabet, Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome, Beauty & Dynamite, The Dark-Hunter Companion (w/Sherrilyn Kenyon), and a myriad of poems, essays, and short stories. Princess Alethea lives and writes on the Space Coast of Florida with her teddy bear, Charlie. You can find her on her YouTube channel, all the social media, and at www.aletheakontis.com.

Tour Giveaway

3 copies of Trixter and Trix and the Faerie Queen (signed copies if US, ebooks if INT)

Ends April 15th

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Cover Reveal : Gifted by J.A. George

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Cover Reveal : Hidden World (Dark Incidence #2) by A.G. Liam

Promo Blitz : Kyser by Anthony Polinice

Fantasy / Sci-Fi
Date Published: 2/22/2016

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Our world now is known as the Old Times. In the New Age, a young man comes of age, where one global sovereignty rules in a gender and class defined crumbling society, and discovers that its survival is in his hands, as he embarks on an exciting and dangerous adventure.


I lie in bed and blink my eyes open. I suffer too many sleepless nights and not enough material to tire my mind. At night, when I lie in bed, my mind tends to wander. After the usual subjects of school, work, friends, and family have been exhausted, it hungers for something more substantial. I’ve tried reading before bed, tried drinking, tried drugs, nothing helps. The doctors tell me it’s the other way around. I’m thinking too much and that’s what’s keeping my brain awake.

I blink again, trying to determine which plane of consciousness I currently inhabit, when something on the ceiling of my cubby catches my attention. It looks to be a butterfly. It’s an odd-looking thing with folded paper wings. It grows bigger, the fluttering stops and I watch in amazement as the wings unfold. Of all things, there is a message inside. “The sleeper is awake,” I read aloud. Curious thing. I ask myself, What does it mean? And, just like that, the butterfly folds back up, disappearing as mysteriously as it appeared.

A cold spreads over me, coursing through my veins, leaving a tingling in my toes and fingertips, numbing my senses. My heartbeat accelerates, a vain attempt to keep my blood from freezing, causing me to sweat a cold sweat. I’m having a ripple. I call them ripples simply because I can’t think of a better way to explain the fluctuation I experience when I transition between planes of existence. The ripple washes over me, carries me from the threshold of the present to the plateau of a vision.

I can’t explain what the visions mean or why they are coming to me. All I know is...

 I’m lying on my back in a field of freshly mown grass. I’m looking up at a star-filled sky. Jonyo is lying next to me. Jonyo passes me a joint. Here we are, just the two us blowing smoke rings and getting high. Silver streamers rise up to the sky through our rings as they go by. The moon is full and the Man in the Moon is smiling back at me.

The Man in the Moon speaks. “Thank you,” he says to me. He jangles his new jewelry, a hoop earring, for me to see.

“You’re welcome,” I reply, though I know not why.

“It’s good to have you back,” he says.

Jonyo nudges me. “Man, do you hear the music?”

I do. It’s low and far away. Off in the distance a band is playing. I stand to see where the music is coming from and find the man in the purple cape standing in front of me.

 “Where have you been?” I ask.

“I’ve been here the whole time,” the man says.

“Why have you come?”

He replies, “It is time for the sleeper to awake.”

“Why can’t I see your face?”

“In due time,” says the man before fading away.

Before he goes, I ask, “Who is the sleeper?” The question falls off into thin air, for the man in the purple cape is no longer there.

The field changes and I find myself on a stage. Jonyo is pointing to the audience. “They want you to play.”

Night has turned to day. I look out over a sea of faces. The crowd is chanting, I strain to hear, but I hear only silence. “Why can’t I hear them?” Then I remember where I saw this before...in a vision. “Wait.” I’m looking about. Images of crisp and vibrant colors, darkly outlined, like a cartoon. “Am I not in a vision right now?”

“You are.” The man in the purple cape is back. “You will hear them clearly,” he adds, as his cape ruffles in the wind. “In time.”

“Who is the sleeper?”

He’s fading away again until only his smile remains. “You are.” And, POOF the smile is gone.

My attention is drawn to a young girl in the crowd holding a pink flower. The flower hides her face. She holds the flower out to me. “Will you take my flower?”

I desperately want to see behind the flower. Exasperated I ask, “Why can’t I see your face?”

Jonyo nudges me again. “Dude, they are waiting for you to play.”

I look around the stage. Leni is on drums and Beni stands behind the mic. Scottie strums guitar. Jonyo plays his twanger, feet dangling over the edge.

“They got the old band back together,” I say, taking Juliette out, I begin to play. I’ve been neglecting her of late. My mind is filled with distractions but once I bring the harmonica to my lips, it’s as though we have never been apart.

The flower girl is on stage with me. Her hair is on fire but she does not burn. “I am the one,” she says and wraps her arms around my neck. Playfully she pulls me in and bites my lip. Our lips lock and I part mine to receive her...but she is gone, leaving only Juliette at the tip of my tongue. So I play. A sound so clear it resonates like a bell, echoing down the valley.           

The music calls forth a parade. Couples walk by holding hands. There are others, men and women running alongside, waving flags and banners; the band plays on. “We are the children,” the couples sing. Clear as day, I hear them. “Lead us, young lion. Lead us, Boy King.”

What on Earth do they mean?

People are dancing to my song. The music gets louder, more frenetic. The dancing becomes an orgy. Sex fills the air, the smell, the sound, the feel, so intense it lifts me off my feet. I’m light as a feather as I float over the crowd. I’m being drawn like moth to flame. Suddenly someone grabs my leg and pulls me back. It’s the man in the purple cape.

 “I just want a sip,” I plead with him.

“Trust me. That is not the wine you seek.” He points to the flower girl. “Your wine is over there.”

I thirst so. “When can I drink?”

“Your time will come,” he says. “And when it does the taste will never be sweeter.” He disappears again, leaving me in a thither.

“That is most annoying, “I say. Distracted, I turn around to see — the Great Father is standing before me. The Great Father reaches out to shake my hand. “I’ve been waiting a long time for you. Call me John.”

I recoil in his presence, stagger away; I lose my footing and fall off the stage, brace for impact, and expect to hit the ground hard. I find myself landing in a sand dune soft as a pillow. Brushing the sand off, I sit up. Before me is an aqua blue sea. The air is salty, gulls cry out overhead, the dune grass gently waves in the breeze; a school of fish swim by, pretty as you please, shimmering in the cartoon sun.

I turn to the Great Father. He stops me before I speak, insisting, “Please, call me John.”

I feel uncomfortable calling him by name. “It is not how I was brought up. I was told to respect...”

He holds out his hand, politely, to stop me once again, smiling as he says, “Please, it is I who should be bowing to you.”

“I don’t understand,” I start to say before noticing the beautiful mountain behind the Great Father. On the side of the mountain is a seashell. “Where am I?”

“You are back at the beginning,” John Kyser says and hands me a set of keys, three in all.

“What are these?”

“They belong to you. They are the keys to unlock the future,” John says. “They belong to the one who answers the question.”

“How is it they belong to me?” I am confused. “What question?”

The Great Fath--John disappears. The sand, the sea, and the mountain all fade away.

“Call me John.” I hear an ethereal voice say. I am sitting in front of a computer screen. There is a question on the screen. The words are blurred but the question mark is clear. Next to the question mark is a blinking cursor. My fingers hover above the keyboard and I wonder what I am supposed to type. I ask the ethereal voice, “What am I supposed to enter?”

I get a reply. “The word that means everything,” says the voice, “but has no meaning at all.”

The vision ends and my eyes flash open. Those words ring familiar and I know why. My friends and I have our own language we call kaberky, a made up word that we use when we forget the name of something, or the name doesn’t come to mind fast enough. It’s silly speak, something to keep us laughing.

The visions started about a year ago. It took a while for me to understand that the visions are of the future, my future. It’s all confusing and very frustrating.

I toss the sheets away and sit up in bed. It’s useless to try to sleep. Checking the compad on the night table, I see its only 5:10. I run fingers through my hair and use my nightshirt to wipe the sweat from my forehead.

   I get out of bed, and head to the back door. I’ve lived here my whole life. I exit onto the deck built by father in my eighth year.

The morning sky is clear but I don’t know it. The moment I take a step out the door, a thunderclap strikes me followed by a bolt of lightning. I cover my eyes to protect against the flash and in the bright light I see the butterfly message appear again. This time the paper wings are held between two hands. A raindrop falls, smearing the word, awake. I shake my head and the image vanishes. I look up expecting it to rain, but there isn’t a cloud in the sky. The stars are fading in the indigo light. There are no clouds, no thunder, no lightning. So what is it, then? I wonder as I lean on the rail and light a joint to clear my head.

Today is my birthday, a very important day in the Kyser Society. It’s my eighteenth birthday. I am a man today, ready to sign the Social Contract declaring which service I’m willing to join. It’s a major decision all boys my age go through. I have to choose between joining the Military or the Civil Service. It’s probably the reason behind my sleepless nights.

Based on my Martial Arts score in school, the military is the logical choice. I find that funny because I’m a pacifist at heart. The Civilian service appeals to me more, but I lack the skills to be a civil servant. Both services have their pros and both have their cons and I have all day to make up my mind.

Today is going to be the last day I wake up in dome #3 and look up at the hometown sky. It’s sad. Unlike my friends who couldn’t wait to sign up, I’m in no hurry to leave home just yet. This is the only home I’ve ever known.

I take a drag from the joint. What really makes turning eighteen so special is sex. I can legally have sex now. I can choose to wait until the next Draft where I hold a rank of 79, or I can visit a LaSalle House. To be honest, I’m about ready to burst. The LaSalle looks like a good option. No, not really—I would be foolish to throw away a 79 rank.

Being so highly ranked, I’m looking at getting an 8.5 or a 9 as a mate. If I have sex before Draft Day, I would drop so low in the rankings that I’d be grateful to end up with a 5 or 6 at best. Don’t get me wrong, 5 or 6 girls are still very attractive. I can honestly say that I have not seen one Kyser girl that isn’t attractive regardless of rank, but why settle for merely attractive when I can have near perfection? It all boils down to abstention.

If I was to join the Military, with my MA scores, I could go into the officer-training program. The minimum rank I can receive in officer training is a 9. If I was to join the Civilian service as just an ordinary woodsmith like my father, I would get no less than an 8. That’s heady stuff and definitely worth consideration.

Thinking of sex and objectifying women is something I do twenty-four hours a day. I’m eighteen, after all. Sex is everywhere. In everyday conversations, in publications and in decorations hanging on walls, there is no escaping it. I could be walking down the street and see lovers in the act. I could stand on my deck in the backyard, as I am doing now, and listen to my neighbors having sex—as they are doing now. In the yard next-door, there is a couple having sex. I think, because of the hour, it may be the gardener and his wife. I’m not sure. I could go over to see but don’t feel like getting myself riled up.

It doesn’t help to have two sexually active parents. The open-floor design of the dome I live in, with its air vents and steel grating between floors, leaves very little to the imagination. They are in the room directly above mine. As a small boy I used to try to block out their sounds by putting a pillow over my head. It didn’t work. When I first heard them together, the way mother was yelling, I thought father was hurting her. I was naïve. I wanted to run upstairs and help her. That naiveté went away the moment I started learning what the noises meant. That was during my tenth year when Sex-Ed really kicked in. That’s the year we started watching video with sound. Towards the end of the year, live instructors would come into the classroom to put on demonstrations for us. My eyes and ears were opened that year.

As I grew older, so did my curiosity. Instead of running upstairs to rescue mother, I started to peek through the grating to see what they were doing. I thought it vulgar at first, because I didn’t understand, but the more I watched the more fascinated I became.

From that moment on, I saw my parents in a different light. Mother, especially. Mother is tiny compared to father. She is 5’9” while he is 6’8”. She is a very attractive woman. I have seen her nude my whole life. Nudity is a way of life but I never put it together with sex until tenth year. Prior to that, seeing pictures of nude women was equivalent to going to Stadium Marketta with mother on her shopping days and looking at the lovely women half-dressed in House colors and never imagined them in positions or performing certain acts as portrayed by the class instructors.

I live in a world where the women are beautiful, the men, big and strong. You put those two together in an open society and the results are remarkable. The Society looks upon sex as natural as breathing. I still hear the couple next door and part of me still wants to go over and peek at the couple, but I can tell they are winding down. Funny thing, it would be perfectly normal for me if I did go over. Sex is not reviled. It’s not consigned or confined to the bedroom. To look at or watch other people having sex is not considered a perversion. In fact it is considered a compliment. Of course if I was underage it would be a different story. Children are forbidden to participate in any sexual conduct.

“Enough of that,” I say tossing away the roach and head back inside.

Back in the house, I hear the compad buzzing on my night stand. I run to get it before it stops and wonder who could be calling me at such an un-godly hour? I pick up the compad. It’s father. I scratch my head and rub the fog from my eyes. I must be reading this wrong. The icon showing father’s picture also displays the origin of the call. I have to read it again because I can’t believe what it’s telling me. He’s calling me from the store at Stadium Marketta. “It doesn’t make sense.” I scratch my head again.

Mother comes down just as I am speaking to myself. She’s wearing a silky nightshirt in House colors of green, blue, yellow and black. Still groggy from sleep, she walks passed me with one eye open. She squeezes my shoulder. “Morning,” she says. “Aren’t you gonna answer that?”

“Mother, why is father calling me from the store?”

“I don’t know; try asking him.” She yawns, disappearing behind the screen to use the toilet. I stare at the compad afraid to answer it. I worry that this is a dream, and answering it will cause me to wake up in some alternate universe from which I will never come back. Mother comes out of the toilet and washes her hands at the sink. I let the call go to voice mail.

“How could he leave here without my knowing it?” I look around, trying to figure it out. How long was I outside? I look at the time. It’s only 5:25.

She sounds surprised. “He didn’t wake you?” She slips out of her nightshirt and steps under the showerhead turning the water on. She squeals as the water hits her.

It doesn’t even faze me anymore to see her in the shower. “I didn’t see him,” I reply, still scratching my head. “I’ve been up all morning.”

“Couldn’t sleep again?” She asks over the sound of the shower.

The question is irrelevant. “Why is father at the store so early?”

“He was supposed to take you,” she says, her back to me. She turns around. “Hand me the shampoo.”

When I was a kid, just learning about sex, I would not be able to stand here without showing signs of excitement, but now I have become so desensitized to it, I hardly bat an eye. I dig the shampoo out of the cabinet beside the shower and watch as she lathers up. I’m not sure how to read her right now.

“Why would he take me? Today is my holiday—my birthday. He knows I have the day off.”

“You don’t have to remind me,” she says and rinses her hair, wringing out the excess before turning off the water. “Hand me a towel.”

How can she be so ambivalent? This is really bothering me. Something is wrong and she is acting as if it isn’t. I fetch a towel from the same cabinet and hand it to her. “It’s not for work,” she says and proceeds to wrap the towel around her head. She steps out of the shower onto the drying screen. It’s pointless trying to talk to her now; she will not hear me over the dryer. The grate activates once both her feet step on it. Hot air bursts from vents in the floor and ceiling to dry her off instantly, except for her hair. The towel protects it. When she is finished, she goes into the kitchen to prepare breakfast.

I waited patiently for her attention. “Then why does he need me at the store?”

“I’ll let him explain,” she says and points to the buzzing compad in my hands. “Why don’t you answer it and ask him?” She asks and bends down to take out the coffee pot.

I answer the call, while watching mother fill the coffee pot with water. “Hello.”

“There you are, son.” Father’s image appears on screen. He looks worried. “I looked for you.” He sees behind me. “You’re still home?”

“I was on the deck out back,” I say. “How did you leave without me knowing?”

“You mentioned last night that you might go for a bike ride in the morning, so I just assumed that’s where you were.”

I remember mentioning that I might go for a bike ride in the morning. I didn’t mean this early. “What’s going on, father?”

“I have a very important meeting and I need you to come to the store right away. I’ll explain when you get here.”

Every birthday is a mandatory holiday in the Society. That means no work or school. “Today is my day off.  What do you need me for?” I didn’t want to spend one iota of the day in or near the store. Meanwhile, I watch mother busy around the kitchen, readying breakfast, while pretending she isn’t listening.

“Come to the store and I’ll explain. I promise it won’t ruin your day.”

Mother raises her eyebrows, which tells me she knows something. It doesn’t matter. I can’t refuse my father. “I’ll be there as quickly as I can.” I hang up, and ask mother, “Is this some surprise you guys have cooked up for my birthday?” I try to probe her mind, but she has learned to block me out.

My compad buzzes again. It’s Regan, my life-coach.

She’s in a good mood. “Hello Anthony.” The icon tells me she is calling from her house. No location, just house. I open the icon so her face fills the screen. Regan is in her mid-twenties. I venture to guess she was an 8 during her Draft. She works for the Census Bureau in their Central Monitoring division. She is dressed in CB gray which isn’t flattering. “You’re up early this morning.”

I wonder if she is in on it. “Yes, I am,” I say, feeling grumpy. “I didn’t sleep last night.  And now, apparently, I have to work today.”

“Not today,” she frowns. “Today is your birthday.” She doesn’t even comment on the sleeping problem.

 “Father doesn’t think so.”

Regan sees mother in the background and gives her a shout out, “Hello, Eliza.”

Mother answers, “Hi, Regan.” Mother is hovering. Very strange, I thought.                                                          

Regan keeps talking. “I’m sure your day will not be ruined. I have your schedule right here.” She pulls up the calendar. “You have plenty of free time this morning. I’ll update it with this new development.”

I don’t want my schedule updated. To argue is childish. “Thank you, Regan.” I sit at the table. Mother puts a plate of eggs, and a cup of coffee in front of me, then kisses the top of my head.

Regan goes through the daily briefing starting with the weather. “Showers in the south valley, sunny in the north with temperatures in Meadowbrook reaching a high of eighty-two.”

She finishes the news. I can see there is something on her mind that she is dying to ask before continuing, “What is it?”

Regan is supposed to act stoically, professionally with no emotion; conduct dictated by the Census Bureau that Regan and I dispensed with years ago. Regan is more like a big sister to me. “Have you made a decision yet?”

I look over my shoulder to see mother has moved a little closer. I play it coy with a nod in her direction. “I have until midnight to declare.”

Mother slouches away. “Ugh!”

I laugh as she walks away. “I intend to enjoy every minute,” I say.

“So I take it that means no,” Regan says sarcastically, the way a big sister would say it. In reality, I don’t know firsthand what it’s like to have a big sister. I’m an only child. The only way I do know anything about how sisters treat their brothers is through Jonyo and his two sisters.

“I’ll tell you,” I snark back, “when someone tells me what’s going on.”

Reagan shrugs and continues with her morning brief.

I drink my coffee and listen. When she is done, I get up from the table and wash my face. I look around the room at the eight empty cubbies where the other children of a C4 House would sleep. When I was young, I asked so many questions as to why I was the only child. Those questions were avoided. Now I don’t even bother to ask. I go to my cubby and dress for the day.

I am going to ride my bike to the store; I am permitted to wear shorts when I ride. I put on a yellow and black t-shirt and blue and green biker shorts, tossing a kilt of the same colors along with the compad in my kit bag. Mother walks by on her way upstairs, carrying nightshirt and towel in one hand and mug of coffee in the other. “I have to get ready for the day.” She kisses my cheek and continues on the way. “Love you, son. Happy Birthday.”

I remind her, “Don’t forget, we have a lunch date.”

She doesn’t respond, just continues on her way, humming as she goes up the ramp. She’s acting very peculiar...

About the Author

Kyser is Anthony Polinice's debut novel, first of a trilogy; Book II of Kyser will be available in Fall 2017; Polinice is a Network Engineer, and resides on Long Island with his wife, Lori and their two daughters, Madison and Taylor.

Purchase Links

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Book Blast/#Giveaway : In Unloved Again, Dr. Elan Golomb


Inside the Book:

Title: Unloved Again 
Author: Elan Golomb 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Psychology 
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Love can be hell. It is not an accident which moves us to love the wrong person or to hate the right one, over and over again.

Most of us remain unaware of how to escape this perpetual cycle of bad relationships.

 • Do you continually fall for the wrong person?

 • Do you find yourself driving the right person away?

 • Do your relationships quickly switch from blissful to tortured?

 • Do you criticize unreasonably or find yourself being criticized disproportionally?

 In Unloved Again, Dr. Elan Golomb identifies the crux of emotional and psychological problems which underlie love's repeated failures.

Only in addressing these deep-seated issues can one escape the dance of romantic folly. With this book you will uncover the secret to enjoying a happy and lasting love life.

Meet the Author:
Elan Golomb earned her doctorate in clinical psychology and her certificate in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy from New York University. She has been in private practice in New York since 1972. She is also the author of Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents in Their Struggle for Self.


Elan is giving away a $25 Gift Card!


Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins March 28 and ends on April 8.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on April 9.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


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Tour Schedule

March 28
March 29
March 30
March 31
April 1
April 4
April 5
April 6
April 7
April 8

Monday, April 4, 2016

Book Blitz/#Giveaway : Alone by Kate L. Mary

Book Blitz/#Giveaway : Harlequin Heartwarming

On tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're thrilled about Harlequin Heartwarming books being available in select local US Walmarts! Find out if they're at a Walmart by you here

Here's what some Harlequin Heartwarming authors had to say:

"I am so excited that Heartwarming books are now available at Walmart, so some lucky girl can go visit her aunt and possibly stumble across one of MY books and fall in love!"

— Amy Vastine

"I was thrilled to find a home in the Heartwarming line. Writing these sweet romances that emphasizes the emotional adventure of falling in love feels almost like a calling and now, that dream I thought I'd achieved has now grown. The Heartwarming line is now available in select Walmarts!"

— Anna J. Stewart

"I’m thrilled that I’ll get to add more Heartwarming books to my bookshelves now that Heartwarming paperbacks will be available at Wal-Mart. A Heartwarming story will be within reach no matter if I pick up my Kindle or a paperback… there’s nothing better than that."

— Cari Lynn Webb

"Real books printed on paper that you can hold in your hand and smell and flip through the pages."

— Carol Ross

"I believe in 'happily ever after' and through Heartwarming and Walmart, we’re able to bring more of these moving stories to the people who have been searching for something touching and magical."

— Catherine Lanigan

"It's not always easy to find a romance that's clean and wholesome with a rich, compelling plot and multi-faceted characters to root for all the way to a happy ending. . . . You can trust this brand of our books in the line each month to provide a great reading experience. Pick up a copy (or more) today. And enjoy!"

— Leigh Riker

"Buying books for my ereader may be easier than driving forty-five minutes to the nearest bookstore and having digital reads may be a handy way to travel without carrying six books with me (and hide just how big my to-be-read pile is from my husband), but it’ll never completely replace a book in my hand. And I wouldn’t have it any other way."

— Melinda Curtis

"I love, love, love finding a new book on the shelf, taking it in my hand, feeling the smooth cover and turning the book over to read the blurb. . . . Now, Harlequin Heartwarmings will be in stores as well. Wow, it feels a little bit like Christmas."

— Pamela Tracy

". . . if I have the option of spending time in a real brick-n-mortar bookstore and buying a tangible book that I can anticipate experiencing with all my senses, I go straight to print books."

— Rula Sinara

"Walmart has signed on to put one of my favorite lines, Harlequin Heartwarming, on the shelves of over 400 stores! That’s four more Harlequin books a month. Books filled with emotion and strength. Books that embody the love and hope that the people in our world so desperately seek."

— Tara Taylor Quinn

About the Authors

(Each picture linked to the author's website.)

Celebration Blitz Giveaway

$20 Walmart Gift Card
US Only
Ends April 4th

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