New Releases

Blog Tour: Forever People by Alison Lyke

ForeverPeople

I’m thrilled to be part of the launch tour for Forever People by Alison Lyke! Today, I have a sneak peek for you to read and a giveaway to enter!

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Forever People
by Alison Lyke
Publication Date: March 28th, 2019
Genre: Sci-Fi/ Cyberpunk
Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Welcome to Zeta City, where the whole world goes to die. Here, the Node System uploads the minds of the dying so they can spend eternity in a digital Promised Land. But, this cyber heaven is causing hell on earth for the living because the System forces them to earn Points to buy data in the afterlife.

Camille is a salty mercenary out to hoard as many Points as possible by exploiting the dying with illegal technology. She’s on the hunt for Toy, a rebel leader who uploaded lethal technology to her own brain in an attempt to wipe out everyone’s Node Points.

Camille goes to increasingly dangerous lengths in pursuit of Toy. She soon finds that the Node is full of warm reunions with loved ones and otherworldly creations. It’s also full of lies.

“Forget poetic dreams of ghosts in the machines. We are the machine. We donated our souls to it.”

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Chapter One

CAMILLE

Camille had three kinds of clients: those who were trying to extract funds or rare items from someone else before they died, those looking to find a loved one before they died, and regulars with a myriad of shady reasons for needing repeated, illegal services. Wren Barrett was Camille’s favorite type of the three. He was a balding account manager, from the Delta Zone, who’d come to Zeta City to find his son. Like most others arriving in Zeta for the first time, he was ill-equipped, soft, and confused.

He washed up in Camille’s office like a beached manatee: gasping for air and bleached by the sun. Her office walls were stark white, as was her desk and other furniture, and even the floor, giving the woman herself the appearance of a smudge on a piece of blank paper.

Camille wore a grey tank top, black shorts, and she was unadorned aside from her wrist mounted reality augmentation device. The device’s long touch-sensitive screen and pad ran down her forearm; her RAP was an impressive piece of technology that marked her as wealthy and well connected. She also had a mop of frizzy, black hair that hung raggedly around her ears.

While Wren Barrett spoke, Camille sipped on an orange juice box straw and watched him closely. Mr. Barrett’s son was dying. Sashi Barrett was born dying, even more so than the rest of us. Sashi had a heart condition that made life a painful struggle. So, Sashi did what many people from all over the world do when they want to die; he came to Zeta City.

Zeta City was the capital of the Zeta Net, so-called because the entire area was covered by a wireless network designed to upload people’s consciousness at the time of death and store it in the Node’s massive computer system. Zeta was not the only Net, there were dozens of others, but many people chose Zeta because Zeta was the first netted city in the world.

Generations of people made pilgrimages to Zeta before the other Nets were built, and now some people superstitiously clung to it as the place to go to die. Maybe it was because Zeta gave the world the first promise of a tangible afterlife. “Going to die in Zeta” was the new “going to church on Sunday.”

“You can find Sashi?” Mr. Barrett asked sadly, “you can keep him alive?”

“I can find him and keep him alive, more or less, until you’re ready to let him go into the Node. I accept cash and other forms of payment. You know what I mean,” Camille said.

“Of course. I’ll transfer two-thousand Node Points to you, as a thank you for your service, along with four hundred in cash. Does that work?”

“No rush. We’ll sort it once it’s over, Wren.”

When Camille stood up to shake Mr. Barrett’s hands, he was surprised to see that she that she was a thick woman with large breasts and the hint of a belly. He was expecting a fit, muscled mercenary. Then he realized, there was no reason for her to be fit, most of her bounties couldn’t run away. . . . .

Camille found Sashi, who was a boy – twenty at the most – in an alley two blocks from the Water Street Gate, in an area known for drug abuse and homelessness. He was a heap of bones and in dirty, Central Charity-issued clothes. His method of suicide, a drawn-out opiate overdose, was not doing him any favors. Camille double-checked the hologram on her wrist RAP to verify his identity, and then crouched next to him.

“You wanna tell me why you’re trying to die?” Camille asked him softly. He took a moment to answer. It was clear that he hadn’t carried on a conversation for quite some time.

“Death in the Node has got to be better than life here.” He struggled.

Her suicidal bounties always gave some form of that same statement as their reason for killing themselves.

“You got enough Node Points, kiddo? Don’t want to die without enough of those NPs.” Camille always asked her dying bounties some form of that question. It turned out that Sashi had more than enough Node Points to have a comfortable afterlife. The wealth that afforded his addiction would also support him in death. It wasn’t supposed to work that way, that wasn’t how the Founders set it up, but the Founders were long gone down the Node’s rabbit hole.

“Do you want to see your dad before you go? He’s the one who sent me,” Camille asked. Sashi’s dull eyes lit up, and faded just as fast.

“I won’t make it through the hour,” he mumbled.

“It’s okay. I have a Confiner.” Camille tapped her wrist RAP. She called Mr. Barrett and then hovered over Sashi in the alley for the rest of the afternoon. The device within her wrist RAP stabilized the electronic version of Sashi’s mind inside his body, and it would last as long as she was close to him. Once she turned off the Confiner or moved away from the deceased, his consciousness would release into the Net and, eventually, be uploaded into the Node. The technology wasn’t above the table, but it was also quite rare.

Camille would have preferred moving Sashi to her place, which functioned as an office, apartment, and an occasional hospice, but he did not want to move and she was compelled to accommodate the dying. Sashi did die before his father came, forcing Camille to use the Confiner.

Camille often chased after debtors and thieves who were trying to die before they could be seized. She would hold them, in their dead, damaged bodies until they resolved their issues with their victims or creditors. But some days, like that day with Sashi, were just sad and slow. On these days, Camille felt like an angel, guiding the broken home.

She stood about fifteen feet away from Mr. Barrett and his dead son (the farthest that the Confiner could reach and still hold the dead in place) as they spoke softly and tearfully. The boy’s mother, who had been estranged from both of them, showed up.

Afterward, Camille went home to her apartment, which was on the other side of a door in the back of her office. She left the clinical, white room for the for the chaos and color of her own apartment. She checked her wrist RAP to make sure that Mr. Barrett had transferred the promised Points. Satisfied, she unhooked the device from her wrist and set it on her coffee table. She sat down on her sofa and cried for several minutes before tearfully ordering wild mushroom soup and crusty bread from her favorite diner.

The next morning, Camille received a call from her least favorite kind of client, a regular named Cody. He wanted Camille to extract a young woman, named Toy, from an old cabin on the edge of Zeta’s bayou and bring her to Camille’s office, if possible. Otherwise, Camille was to confine Toy in place until Cody arrived.

Available on Amazon!

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For your chance to win a digital copy of Forever People, click on the link below!

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Alison Lyke
I’m an author and an English and Communications professor from Rochester, NY. I’m an insatiable reader and a dedicated writer. I’ve spent many years honing my skills and I now enjoy helping others find and explore their own voices. I write fantasy and science fiction and I aim to captivate and inspire. I’ve written two published novels: a modern mythology titled Honey, which came out in 2013 and Forever People, a cyberpunk science fiction slated to come out in the spring of 2019. I also regularly contribute poetry and short stories to literary magazines.

Alison Lyke | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

ForeverPeople

Blog Tour Schedule

April 22nd
Reads & Reels (Excerpt) https://readsandreels.com/
Sophril Reads (Excerpt) https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
Yearwood La Novella (Excerpt) http://yearwooddailybookreview.wordpress.com
Stacy is Reading (Review) https://stacyisreading.blogspot.com/?m=0
The Caffeinated Reader (Review) https://www.thecaffeinatedreader.com

April 23rd
Audio Killed the Bookmark (Excerpt) http://audiokilledthebookmark.wordpress.com
Susy’s Cozy World (Review) https://susyscozyworld.wordpress.com/
The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

April 24th
Ity Reads Books (Excerpt) http://www.ityreadsbooks.home.blog
J Bronder Reviews (Excerpt) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Excerpt) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
Speedy Reader (Review) https://speedyreadercom.wordpress.com

April 25th
Breakeven Books (Excerpt) https://breakevenbooks.com
B is For Book Review (Excerpt) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com
Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

April 26th
Llissa’s Book Reviews (Excerpt) http://llissasbookviews.wordpress.com
Dash Fan Book Reviews (Excerpt) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/
Jessica Rachow (Review) http://jessicarachow.wordpress.com
Sawdust & Spoons (Review) http://sawdustandspoons.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

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Read Along

Parasolverse Read-Along – April 2019

Good Day, All!

We are heading into the ninth month of the Parasolverse Read-Along.  The book for April is Heartless Book Four of the Parasol Protectorate Series. If you have not joined us yet and you want to please do!

Heartless
Pages
: 401
Start Date: April 1, 2019
Post Review: April 25, 2019
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Heartless
Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband’s past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux’s latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.

Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf’s clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama’s second best closet?

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Read Along

Parasolverse Read-Along – March 2019

Good Day, All!

We are heading into the eighth month of the Parasolverse Read-Along.  The book for March is Blameless Book Three of the Parasol Protectorate Series. If you have not joined us yet and you want to please do!

Blameless
Pages
: 294
Start Date: March 1, 2019
Post Review: March 28, 2019
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Blameless
Quitting her husband’s house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season.

Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London’s vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.

While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires — and they’re armed with pesto.

BLAMELESS is the third book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

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Read Along

Parasolverse Read-Along – February 2019

Good Day, All!

We are heading into the seventh month of the Parasolverse Read-Along.  The book for February is Changeless Book Two of the Parasol Protectorate Series. If you have not joined us yet and you want to please do!

Changeless
Pages
: 384
Start Date: February 1, 2019
Post Review: February 28, 2019
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Changeless


Alexia Maccon, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears; leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.

But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. So even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can. She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.

CHANGELESS is the second book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

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Reviews

Review: Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

Book Review

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast
Beauty and the Clockwork Beast

(Steampunk Proper Romance #1)
by Nancy Campbell Allen
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Synopsis
Jane Eyre meets Beauty and the Beast. 

When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border. Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable, and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man-beast and all?

What I thought

I first saw this book as a suggestion on book depository but I really weary about it.  It’s not that I thought the idea sounded bad but the complete opposite.  This books takes two things that I absolutely love and combined them into one book.  Beauty and the Beast was always my favorite fairy tale since I was little and then the idea of adding steampunk elements I got so excited. So I had to take a step back because I just really hyped this book up and I realized that there was a bigger chance that I was going to be disappointed than not. So instead of buying the book I decided to check with my local library surprisingly they only had the audio version. So I added it to my wish list and waited about a month and went into this with really low expectations. A recent reading of a pride and prejudice retelling kind of solidified the thought of how much I may not like it.

I am very happy to say that I was surprised by how much I liked it.  I loved the characters and thought that Miles made a wonderful Beast.  He was not cruel, but had a good heart and that made me love the story that much more. I really loved the mystery element of this story.  This retelling has paranormal and steampunk elements and I felt that they were done very well. I loved how independent that Lucy is and how not once did have to rely on a man to save her, even though with this time period women are not seen as they can take care of themselves.   I love books that have strong women in them.

I would suggest this book to anyone that loves Beauty and the Beast and Steampunk.

My Rating: /5

4 Stars

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Reviews

Review: Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Book Review

Waistcoats & Weaponry
Waistcoats & Weaponry

by Gail Carriger
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Synopsis
Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style—with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland.

No one suspected what—or who—they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.

What I thought
This was a re-read for me, the first time I consumed this book was as an audiobook from my local library. Anyone out there looking for audio books and can’t afford a subscription I would check out the apps Overdrive and Libby and connect up with your local Library.  Anyway at some point this year I decided that I wanted to read the books from Gail Carriger’s Parasolverse in chronological order. This leads me to start the journey of the Parasolverse Read-Along in August 2018. If you would like more information about the read-along please visit my post about it here. At the beginning of each month, I will have a brief read-along post go up letting you know what the book for that month is. Now on to why you are really reading this post.

Waistcoats & Weaponry is the third book in the Finishing School Series. This world is a blend of paranormal, steampunk, and some romance. I love this world so much! It’s like someone sat down and took everything that I love and put it all together. Sophronia has now been at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing School for Girls of Quality for six months and it is now time for a review.

I am not going to say anything about the plot because I do not want to spoil anything from the previous books.  I really love the world that these books live in.  No matter how I am feeling these books always make me smile and laugh. They are so wonderful that way.

“Oh, Pill, I really would like to help, but we seem to be in the middle of some kind of whose-top-hat-is-the-biggest contest.”

As this world blossoms so does these characters. They grow so wonderfully. With each book I find myself liking each one more for different reasons.  She grows each character in their own direction and yet they all work as a whole.  I am not sure that makes much sense.  I have tried to explain that a few different ways over the last few days and I just can’t seem to get the words out. This friend group is true friendship goals.

Sophronia learns how to use most amazing intelligencer accessory a bladed fan.  Sorry, I had to mention it, and it’s on the cover so not really a spoiler.

I so want one!!!

I found this image by going to Gail’s page by going to merch.  You can find this here.

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As I have probably said already I really recommend these books I just love them and they always make me feel better when I’m reading them.

My Rating: /5

5 Stars

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New Releases

Book Tour: The Scythian Trials by Elizabeth Isaacs

The Scythian Trials
Elizabeth Isaacs
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: October 16th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction

Descendants of the Amazons, the Scythians work alongside prominent governments but answer to no one. Warriors living on the fringe of civilization, they live by one credo: Strength through Equality. Power through Knowledge.

Nya Thalestris is the brightest Scythian of her generation. Strong, capable, ruthless, she is sure to earn a spot in the Trials, a time-honored mating ritual responsible for the evolution of her species.

Abducted by their sworn enemy, the Drahzda, Nya is forever altered and spirals out of control. The Society sends in Jax Nickius. Infamous psychologist and one of the most brutal warriors of their kind, he discovers triggers planted in Nya’s mind. As Nya solidifies her spot in the Trials, Jax develops a plan to help her heal—while pursuing her as a mate. But, Nya’s attraction to Jax is at war with her instinct to never let anyone get too close.

During the Trials, Nya’s repressed memories surface, revealing a new enemy—one from inside the consulate walls—and a traitorous alliance on the horizon that could irrevocably change the course of history.

Since before the Bronze Age, the Society has managed to safeguard humanity from itself … until now.

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Clouds billowed over the consulate’s heavy woodlands, floating in the bright sky, their white tufts peeking through the coliseum’s elegant open arches. Nya marveled that such a massive stone structure could seem at home among the infinite flora of dense evergreens and vibrantly flowered meadows. Most Scythian arenas were architectural masterpieces, but the Consulate’s stadium outdid them all.

She and Victor stepped beneath the entrance that led to the heart of the arena. As they entered the sun-drenched stadium, Nya stopped to watch the hundreds of warriors sparring.

The males were in the same gear they wore at lunch—black pants and bright jackets, which represented their areas of expertise. White, the hue for linguists, was sprinkled throughout the various colors of the science, technology and several weapons industries. Strangely missing was Tovaris black.

A hulk of a Scythian, skin the color of ebony, stood among the others, his dreadlocks pulled back in a loose ponytail, which hung down his back. His thick thighs strained as he charged, his biceps flexed as he swung a large pole with a double-edged axe on each end. The warrior used a halberd as if it were made of air, creating a clean swath through the others. His black eyes glittered with the joy of the fight, his bright white smile a contrast to his dark complexion.

“Who’s that?” Nya asked, admiring his form as he dipped and swayed.

Victor pulled out his tablet and tapped on the warrior’s picture. “His name is Aren Maori, and he leads the Scythians that protect parts of Africa.”

She strained to see around the growing crowd watching the display.

“He’s already their Suveran?”

Victor studied her expression. “Yes. Would you like to meet him?”

Nya swallowed. She had to admit, he was beautiful when he moved. The warrior must have felt her stare because he turned. As soon as he met her gaze, he dropped the weapon and jogged across the field.

“You must be the reason I’m here.” He smiled, his black eyes sparkled with a gentleness that contrasted his bulky frame.

“Aren, may I introduce Anya Thalestris?” Victor motioned toward Nya.

“Anya.” The warrior spoke slowly as if he was testing the feel of her name on his tongue.

She blushed. “Most people call me Nya.”

His large hand engulfed hers as he brought it to his full lips. “Most people call me Aren, but you can call me whatever you want.”

Author Bio:

Elizabeth is an author, teacher, and publishing professional who began her career as a national presenter for Resource Profiles, where she developed teacher seminars designed to foster creative brain stimulation. Moving into formal education, she helped at-risk students improve their writing skills as well as created and implemented a creative writing/blogging program that centered on teaching the 21st-century learner. Works stemming from this initiative were published online and seen in over 40 countries.

Elizabeth receives invitations to speak nationwide at schools and book clubs. She co-founded the popular book site, Chirenjenzie, which reaches thousands of people throughout the world. The writer support and reader interest group promotes and interacts with followers on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and various other blog sites. Elizabeth has a Master’s degree from Austin Peay State University, where she studied classical opera. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

“The Light of Asteria” received Honorable Mention at the New York Book Festival. Her newest work, “The Scythian Trials” will be released in 2017 by Vesuvian Media.

For more information, please visit http://www.elizabethisaacs.com

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