Run as though your life depended on it – it does!

End of the World Running Club
A dystopian novel which claims to be the only thriller you'll ever need to read this year..
But can you like a book - a story - when you don't like the main character? The story-teller? And I'm not talking here about an anti-hero, but a story-teller who says he is exactly the type of person you would avoid at parties. A character who is dislikeable - not loathsome - but one who has no redeeming features neither physically nor mentally except that he claims to love his family. A person without personality.
So as the story begins and Edgar starts to tell his story, you consider whether his story might be worthwhile reading. Do you want to read about his redemption through running? Or not?
Then as the story continues, you realise that this is not a thriller at all but a Stephen King-alike horror story. One that gave me nightmares when he tells you about what happens at the farm and to the visitors.
But to find his family he has to run to Cornwall as the ships will be leaving soon and so the story continues.
I am afraid that after the farm incident I cheated and went to the end chapter. I couldn't take any more not being a person who reads horror stories or watches horror movies.
So for all Stephen King fans out there - read this book - I guarantee the nightmares!
This book was given to me by NetGalley for an honest review.

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Julie Wetzel Writes and her Husband Worries

I’m an author not a murderer
“Julie?” my husband calls from the other room.
Walking into the living room, my heart skips as I see him sitting at my computer. “Yes?” I ask.
He waves his hand at the screen. “Should I be worried?”
Leaning forwards, I place my hand on the back of his chair so I can see what he is looking at. The man has foolishly opened my browser history and found my research on poisons. “No,” I say with a smile, “that’s just research for my book. What would you like for dinner tonight?”
Giving me a dubious glance, he looks at the website detailed the best way to make ricin and shakes his head. “I think we should eat out for a while.”
“Good, my caster bean plants haven’t finished growing yet,” I tease as I leave to get change for dinner.
Every time I start into a new book, my husband gets worried that I’m going to kill him in horrible and gruesome ways. But I’m not really researching the best poisons to slip in his meal, I’m finding out the best way to kill off my characters.
The backbone of a good story is how believable that story is. You can have great characters and a good plot, but if their actions aren’t possible in the real world, then the story suffers for it. So if an author comes up on a subject they haven’t had personal experience with, like making chloroform, they need to find a source of information to help. It’s amazing the things you can find on the internet. I’ve spent hours researching how the world works to make sure the details of the book match real world scenarios. But of course the cost of easy research is a browser history that would scare the pants off the local authorities.
For Kindling Flames Burning Nights, I spent many nights poring over endless documents on poisons looking for something that would kill quickly and how it worked. An on page death scene wouldn’t be complete without proper a proper description of how the person died. And night—while my son is in bed and not there to ask questions—is the best time to do this kind of research.
What’s even worse are the places that I’ve bookmarked because they’ve provided me with amazing information. Not only for my vampire series, but for other projects I’m working on. There is a wealth of information out there, but you really do have to go to some fairly shady places to find some of the darker subjects.
So to anyone that happens to come across my computer, please don’t turn it into the FBI. I’m really not a porn watching Satanist that’s looking for the perfect way to poison and dismember someone before feeding them to the crocodiles. I’m author doing vital research for my latest book.
What are 10 fun facts about you?
  1. I am the middlest child of four. I have an older sister who photographs marathons, a younger sister who locks people in a room and laughs at them while they try to escape, and a baby brother also in the Navy. My brother is currently serving aboard the USS George HW Bush (CVN 77).
  2. I am terrified of living spiders, but I have spiders on everything. Earrings, necklaces, shirts, table cloths, and many other things. I figure if it terrifies me that much, I need to immerse myself in it. Same thing with zombies.
  3. I have been accused of being a ‘well of useless knowledge’.  If you give me a subject that isn’t too specific, I can probably come up with some fact about it. I pick up little things everywhere and stuff them away for later use. Make me a real contender in Trivial Pursuit.
  4. The author picture in my books was taken during a Tiger Cruise aboard the USS George H W Bush with my sister. When the ship came back from her maiden deployment, they arranged to host members of the sailors’ families for a few days as they sailed up the east coast. They picked us up in Mayport, FL and took us up to Norfolk, VA. That picture was taken as we crawled through the floor hatch after going down to look at the bilge.
  5. Although I live in Mississippi now, I’m originally from Ohio. I love to travel and see new places. So far I have seen 32 states(Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, New Orleans, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, Arkansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Texas, and California.)  One of these days I will hit all fifty states. I’ve also visited Canada, England, Ireland, and Scotland. Someday I will invade the rest of the world too!
  6. I love Halloween! Ghosts, ghouls, goblins, and anything creepy. Vampires are my favorite, but any monsters are welcome. Just please, keep me off the menu. Thanks
  7. I’ve only been writing for a few years now. This whole thing started in 2011 when my sister wanted us to send her the stories. She was deployed at sea and couldn’t get online to read her fanfictions. So, instead of her strange mashups, I decided to write her stories. Things got out of hand from there.
  8. I’ve broken nine bones. My aunt punched me in the face during a self-defense class and deviated my septum. I took a fall wrong in Jujitsu and broke my thumb. A friend tightened my corset wrong and broke a rib (yes you can break bones wearing clothing wrong). I walked into a doorway and broke my nose again (that does count as twice). I was rough housing with a friend and took a knee to the chest breaking a rib on the other side. I fell off a cooler at work and broke my fibula (no I was not drunk or drinking, I stood up on it to hang a sign and it rolled).  Finally I rolled my car in the waterworks curve of I-55 in Jackson, breaking my manubrium and crushing the t3 and t4 vertebrae. And of those nine bone, not one plaster cast for my friends to sign.
  9. I can’t get to sleep if my feet are uncovered. I have to have them tucked in no matter how hot it is. I know it’s weird, but I’m still afraid that something under my bed is going to crawl out and chew on my toes while I’m sleeping (Hey, it could happen, you haven’t seen what’s under my bed!).
  10. I can not sleep in a room with a closet door open. My imagination runs away from me and I can see eyes watching me from that crack. It doesn’t help that Krys has several xenomorph statues tucked away in the top of the closet. Those things creep the hell out of me! And no, he is not allowed to put up the life size poster on the back of the bedroom door!
Author links:
http://www.juliewetzel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/JulieWetzelAuthor?ref_type=bookmark
https://twitter.com/JulieKWetzel
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8338174.Julie_Wetzel

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From the Mafia with Love

Mafia Takeover
Amy Rachiele, E.J. Fechenda, Kat Shehata, Lisa Cardiff
Genres: Adult, Suspense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russian Tattoos by Kat Shehata
Falling in love isn’t a crime—but falling in love with a Russian mafia boss could be deadly.
Competitive tennis player Carter Cook wants a taste of freedom. Her overprotective father monitors every aspect of her life, so when he becomes employed by Vladimir Ivanov—a sexy Russian with an array of tattoos and an accent that weakens her knees—a bit of danger is within Carter’s grasp. Behind her father’s back, she enjoys spending time with Vladimir at his lavish estate.

 But is he really the upstanding businessman she believes him to be? [Read more…]
The Bargain by Lisa Cardiff
Three weeks, twenty-one days, or five hundred and four hours…
That’s all it took to derail my life and twist it into something unrecognizable. One moment I had Evan, the man I thought I’d marry. The next moment shattered the illusion.
Now I have no one.
Except him. [Read more…]
The Beautiful People by E.J. Fechenda
Natalie Ross has always gone to her brother for help. Grant’s been her rock throughout their turbulent childhood. Knowing she’s struggling financially, he gets her a job at Crimson, one of the hottest nightclubs in Philadelphia where he works as head of security. 

Natalie promises Grant she won’t get sucked into the party scene or involved with any of her co-workers because she’s focused on finishing her last semester of college. Her promise doesn’t last 24-hours once she meets Dominic. [Read more…]
Mobster’s Girl by Amy Rachiele
Gripping my chest is the only way to hold myself together or what’s left of me will fall out. The past week has enlightened me on one thing-I don’t care.
 Megan, Mobster’s Girl 
I didn’t even hesitate. I took two strides and blasted him in the face with my fist. He was ready for it this time-unlike in church. He tried to hit me back but I ducked and smashed him again.
 Antonio, Mobster’s Girl [Read more…]
Buy on Amazon:
Russian Tattoos
The Bargain
The Beautiful People
Mobster’s Girl
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Reaching the Horizon: Tabitha tells how she got there…

Interview with Tabitha Lord, author of Horizon.

Bouncing Tigger: Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
Tabitha Lord: I’ve joked that I currently write science fiction because of Star Wars, but there’s actually some truth behind this! I was seven years old when I saw the movie for the first time and it impacted me in countless ways—from my toy collection, to the books I chose to read, to my later love of astronomy. My tastes in reading are diverse, and some of my other works-in-progress are varied and span different genres, but sci-fi is like the default setting for my imagination. It’s where I go when I want to be inspired, to play with possibilities, to ask what if, and then create brand new worlds where I can explore the answers. For me, the sci-fi genre is also a place to consider serious, meaningful issues in a different context, slightly removed from the real world.
With Horizon, I wanted to explore the idea of what would happen if one segment of an already small isolated population evolved differently (either naturally or by design) from the other. What if some had gifts that enabled them to imagine a different kind of future for themselves and their world? What if they were empathic and could sense each other’s emotions and thoughts? What if some of them could heal with their mind? How would the unchanged people feel about their neighbors? It created such an interesting premise I knew I had to find a way to make it into a story.  In many ways, Horizon is a traditional space opera, complete with battle scenes, adventure, and romance, but I think this initial concept sets it apart and gives it a unique flavor.
Bouncing Tigger: How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?
Tabitha Lord: For Horizon, the idea mentioned above swirled in my head for years before I started writing. Once I had the first chapter down, I created a rough outline for the rest of the story, and then for the whole series.
When I’m in the middle of a draft, I keep a notebook with me everywhere. Sometimes an idea for a scene will come to me while I’m driving or cooking or folding laundry. I have to stop whatever I’m doing and capture it! Sometimes other ideas for completely different projects will sneak in, and I write these down as well, but then I warn them they have to wait their turn!
Bouncing Tigger: How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?
Tabitha Lord: I research as I go along. It’s fun to write sci-fi because you get to invent things! I love naming planets and imagining cool new pieces of technology my characters can use. But readers still have to buy into the world you’re creating. It has to feel authentic and consistent. Caeli’s planet, where the novel opens, is recovering from a devastating war that took place a thousand years ago. Nature has reclaimed most of her world, and when we meet Caeli, she is alone and on the run in the wilderness. I used my own experiences camping, hiking, and growing up in a rural area to bring a credible feel to these scenes. I have actually carved my own utensils from chunks of wood with a pocketknife!
Bouncing Tigger: What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?
Tabitha Lord: For my writing, in general, I regularly use a thesaurus! The internet is also my friend. When Derek’s spaceship crashed, I looked up schematics for fighter jets so I could understand a little about the systems at work in the engines and controls. My anatomy background is pretty strong, but when Caeli heals Derek, I still called my brother-in-law, a doctor, to make sure she was treating his collapsed lung correctly.
Bouncing Tigger: How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?
Tabitha Lord: Ah, rejection letters! I think I accumulated about twenty-five. The thing about rejections, once you recover from the sting, is that they can sometimes be helpful. If your manuscript isn’t polished enough, you may need to work with an editor. If the story isn’t pulling people in quickly, you may need to spice up your opening chapters. Usually there is a common thread, and if you are open to hearing it, you can make adjustments and move forward. My first round of rejections, which included one R&R (rewrite and resubmit), suggested that I had a good story, but the manuscript needed more work. I hired an editor, and after months of rewriting, I queried again. This time I had more success and was offered contracts from two small presses.
Bouncing Tigger: Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?
Tabitha Lord: No. But after receiving the offers, I opted not to sign, and began to seriously look at independent publishing. At this point, it became mostly a business decision. For a modest investment on my part up front, I could surround myself with professionals of my choosing, bring my own book to market on my own timeline, and create more of a partnership type relationship with the people I worked with. I signed with Wise Ink Creative Publishing and they provided me with an amazing team. I had control over things like who to hire as a cover artist, when I would release the book, and printing and distribution options. And because they are all industry professionals, they wouldn’t let me out the door, so to speak, until my book was in its best form.
Bouncing Tigger: Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?
Tabitha Lord: I think there are compelling reasons to self-publish. But if you choose this path, it’s an investment. You are essentially starting a small business and you have to treat it as such to be successful. First and foremost your product has to be good, and you have to be willing to invest the time, energy, and funds to make it so. You also have to build an audience, and then promote and market yourself, or be willing to hire others to help you do it. You have to take ownership of it all. For some writer’s, like me, this is exciting. For others, it’s terrifying.
Regardless of whether you are publishing independently, traditionally, or some combination of both, building an audience is key, and, in most cases, this task falls to the writer. Long before Horizon’s release, I established an online presence by creating a website and blog, choosing a few social media platforms and really working them, attending conferences, and joining writing groups. I was building an audience, while at the same time creating a community for myself and learning as much as I could about the publishing industry. Writing is a solitary endeavor, but the writing community is supportive, vast, and surprisingly social!
Bouncing Tigger: Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?
Tabitha Lord: I’m planning it will! But I have no illusions that it will take some time. Ask me this question again in another year or two!
http://www.tabithalordauthor.com/
@tlordauthor
https://www.facebook.com/tabitha.l.jorgensen
https://www.instagram.com/tabithalord/

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Can you buy a Wife?

ShoppingForABillionairesFiance-2
AUTHOR BIO:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge, and new adult books that push contemporary boundaries. From billionaires to BBWs to rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every book she writes, but unlike Trevor from Random Acts of Crazy, she has never kissed a chicken.
Author links:
http://www.jkentauthor.com/
https://www.facebook.com/jkentauthor
https://twitter.com/jkentauthor
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3238619.Julia_KentJuliaAuthorPhoto
Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancée gives near-billionaire Declan McCormick the chance to tell his story in this continuation of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Shopping for a Billionaire series.
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24350644-shopping-for-a-billionaire-s-fiancee?ac=1
Purchase:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ROH9ML0/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00ROH9ML0&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shopping-for-a-billionaires-fiancee-julia-kent/1121000784?ean=9781937544218
Excerpt  1 from Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancee:
Something feels off. I sit up, moonlight streaming through the expanse of glass behind my headboard, the ticking silence of the middle of the night grey and ethereal. My mouth is dry and my skin tingles with danger.
My own home isn’t safe.
Clicking sounds in the distance pierce my closed bedroom door. I quietly open my closet and pull out the aluminum baseball bat I store in there for moments like this.
Whatever this is.
Later, I realize I should have called 911. But when you’re in the haze of being woken by a home invasion, you don’t think clearly.
Besides, evolution has primed me for this very moment. Testosterone oozes out of my pores. This is a moment men imagine from the time they’re small little beasts with superhero capes and nerf guns.
Defending our turf.
Quiet as a ninja, I walk on the balls of my feet, opening my bedroom door and proceeding down the hall. Andrew is silent, too, his feet hanging off the end of my couch, the blanket pooled on the floor beneath him. His mouth is open and he’s drooling a little, my nice leather sleek and shiny in the moonlight.
He’s useless against the seven-foot, muscled cat burglar who is obviously here to steal my soul and my valuable electronics.
My eyes dart to the door, where an inch of light from the hallway peeks in, illuminating the library table where I dump my mail.
A knee appears, with a shiny high heel at the foot.
Interesting cat burglar.
Then more knee. A thigh. Hips that make hot blood pound through me, the rest of Shannon entering the room on tip toes. She rotates and closes the door with such precision I start to wonder if she breaks into people’s houses for a living.
I flatten myself against the wall where she can’t see me, and slowly set the baseball bat on a small wool area carpet. We’re both creeping around my apartment in silence, but for very different reasons now.
She cuts behind the couch and stands in front of the breakfast bar, slipping off her trench coat.
Oh, sweet merciful universe.
She is naked except for the high heels.
Merry Christmas in August.
Those come-fuck-me pumps are candy apple red and scream out my name. No, really. I can hear them, tiny little voices that only my now-rising-to-the-occasion little head can hear. It’s like those shoes communicate on a radio frequency that my testicles can tune into.
And...I’m at attention.
What is she doing here?
“Shannon?” I whisper, stepping out into the moonlight, hoping I don’t scare her.
She startles and freezes, hand on one breast over her heart. Her hair is loose and flowing, and she’s curled it. She painted her face, eyes big and bright, lips red and stunning.
She shifts her weight to one hip, eager and a little shy, but also bold.
“Let’s make up,” she says, squaring her shoulders. “And happy birthday!”
Happy Birthday?
Oh, man. That’s right. I’d completely forgotten.
Andrew’s head pops up from the other side of the couch and he gapes at Shannon. “Dec? You hired a stripper? I knew you and Shannon were on the outs, but damn, man, you can’t just—”
“AAAAIIIIEEEEEEEE!” Shannon screams. If this whole marrying a billionaire and working in corporate America thing doesn’t work for her, she has a future in horror films.
Excerpt 2 from Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancee:
Shannon has no idea how many layers of beauty she has. And that’s exactly why she’s so exquisite.
When I was sixteen, the year before my mother died, Mom took me and my little brother, Andrew, to New York City for a long weekend. Pulled us out of school over the objections of the headmaster at our academy. 

Mom didn’t care. We spent three nights at the Waldorf Astoria, skated at Rockefeller Center, had the best seats at the top Broadway musicals, and dined on the finest footlongs you could get for $3. Loaded with mustard and sauerkraut, plus a cream soda or two.
(Do you have something against footlongs? Too bad. Two teenagers can only handle so much caviar and lobster.)
What I remember most about that trip, and what Shannon reminds me of every moment I look at her, was our trip to the Museum of Modern Art. Mom insisted we go, and Andrew and I rolled our eyes like sets of dice at a craps table.
And then.
And then I got it, right there in front of a Vincent van Gogh masterpiece. In art history class we’d covered this painting in detail. We were taught the biography of Van Gogh, how he came to create the series of paintings, his motivation, and his flaws. 

We’d dissected the meaning so thoroughly that I felt like I could recreate the art by automation, our elite prep-school instruction clinical and impeccable.
Standing in front of the painting, a few feet away, with my eyes trailing the curve of brush strokes, my mind taking in the nuance of color, my senses dazzled by the sheer essence of the whole, I halted. Froze. Was completely in the painting’s spell.
You can study something in the abstract. Know it’s real somewhere out there in the world, and understand intellectually that what you read in a book or what you’re told by someone else is true.
You have to stand in front of it and have it stare back at you, though, to really know it.
That’s how I feel when I look at Shannon. Every single time my eyes find her. Shannon’s smile is warm and sweet, yet better every time she flashes it at me.

Her honey-colored hair shines in the sunlight but looks richer when it’s tangled, in bed, highlighted by the moon and messed by me. Those warm eyes see only me when we’re together. That luscious body craves my touch. My hands. My...all of it.
When I’m with her, the world is more nuanced. Deeper. Authentic. Real.
She’s a work of art, one of a kind. And one I get to hold next to my body, tuck away in my heart, and...grow old with.
I have planned the perfect proposal. No footlongs and sauerkraut, unfortunately, but plenty of lobster, caviar, champagne and—her favorite—tiramisu. (What is it with women and tiramisu? It’s cream, cheese, sugar, cake and rum, not some magic potion that generates mouth orgasms. 

My Y chromosome scratches its head in confusion, but hey, if it’s her favorite...I give my woman what she wants.)
Dad gave me Mom’s engagement ring, platinum and diamonds galore, a monstrosity he’d bought for her nearly four decades ago as his business took off. The ring is designed to impress. I doubt Shannon would care if I slid a giant hard-candy ring on her finger instead of a three-carat diamond.
And, frankly, I don’t care, either. But the thought of my Shannon sharing such an important part of my mother’s life makes my chest swell. Only Shannon—and my mom—can do that. Only love can do that.
Plus, Marie will pass out when she sets eyes on that rock, and that will give us two minutes of blessed silence. That woman talks more than Kim Kardashian flashes her naked ass on the internet.
“It’s not as if your brothers are planning to tie themselves down to one woman any time soon, if ever,” Dad had said when he gave it to me. He’s about as sentimental as a pet rock. After having it resized to fit my future fiancée, it was ready to rest on yet another McCormick woman’s finger.
It was going to be calculatedly perfect, down to the color of the tablecloth and the freshness of the roses.
And it was perfect.
Until Shannon swallowed the ring.

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