Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Cover reveal: If you wrong


If You Wrong Us
Dawn Klehr
(Anniversary Edition)
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
A dark and disturbing thriller that, “reads like Gone Girl through a teen lens.” – Kirkus Reviews
Becca and Johnny become entangled after a car crash steals the lives of two people they love. Officially, the crash is an accident. But Becca and Johnny are convinced: someone did this.
As they plot revenge against the person responsible, a bond–intense, unyielding, and manic–takes hold of them. And in an unexpected turn of events, they fall for each other.
Or so they think.
In an upside-down world where decay is beautiful and love and hate become one, Becca and Johnny find themselves grappling with reality. Nothing is exactly what it seems, including what they’ve come to believe about the crash. Question is: will they learn the truth before it’s too late?
No. The question is: when they learn the truth, will they care?


Author Bio:
Dawn Klehr is the author of the young adult thrillers: The Cutting Room Floor and If You Wrong Us.
She began her career in TV news and though she’s been on both sides of the camera, she prefers to lurk behind the lens. Mostly, she loves to get lost in stories –in film, the theater, or on the page – and is a sucker for both the sinister and the sappy. She’s currently channeling her dark side as she works on her next book.
Dawn lives in the Twin Cities with her funny husband, adorable son, and naughty dog.

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Book blitz: Before Dawn


Before Dawn
Elizabeth Arroyo
Publication date: June 12th 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Survival rule number one: eat before being hunted.
In a world infected by violent hybrids, survival comes with its own set of rules. Sixteen-year-old Zoe is an expert at breaking them.
While Zoe has abilities she cannot explain, just getting through another day without being killed is a challenge. She has survived since her mother’s murder with help from an unexpected ally, Morph.
Morph is part of the Arcane, an elite force of teenagers from an Alliance of space stations. After the Arcane are destroyed in an explosion, only Morph and his brother survive. They are sent on a new mission to capture a dangerous hybrid.
Morph is torn between duty and his attraction to Zoe. With threats to the planet from above, Morph knows Zoe’s chances are limited. Trying to save her could be a betrayal to the Alliance.
When Zoe recovers memories of her mother’s death that point straight to the Arcane, she realizes Morph might be the real enemy.
As more mysteries are brought to light, telling friends from foes becomes difficult. For Morph and Zoe, the world is more dangerous than ever. And trusting each other is the key to them living to see another day.
Are you a book reviewer?
Request a review copy here!
EXCERPT:
Her concern at the moment stood out in front of her – movement in the shadows. At first glance they looked like children, though when you got closer they were nothing like children. Not even human anymore. Their heads too large for their bodies, their eyes black slits on their ashen faces, their mouths extended and filled with jagged teeth. Bulbous body on stubbly short legs. They weren’t intimidating, but their numbers swelled in the hundreds and they hunted in packs.
They crowded every ridge, waited behind every rock formation, watching her. One of them charged, and the others followed. Zoe pulled out her pistol and fired, catching the leader in the head. It took three steps before it realized it had no head and fell to the ground. The creatures behind it didn’t seem slightly interested in their dead comrade and ran over it to get to her. She flanked the ridge and ran alongside the tracks, feeling the tremble of a hundred little suckers stomping the ground behind her. A train stood off about fifty yards, half of it hung inside a pit. It looked like the tongue of an overzealous monster had rolled out of its maw and choked to death. She slipped between railcars and shot the first critter that followed her through. It fell, blocking the entrance from those behind it, giving her a few precious seconds to scramble out into the open. Though their heads were large, they weren’t that smart. Lucky her.
Hiding gave her the best chance at survival. She couldn’t outrun them. Exhaustion threatened to drop her, and she didn’t have enough spark to light a match. She regretted letting Jace convince her to kill him. She’d have had a better chance at survival had he been beside her.
The ground rolled under her, lifting dirt and rock into the air. It pulsed, forcing her to slow and balance her footing. She stopped when the ground in front of her caved in, expecting to be consumed by the hundreds of creatures behind her. When nothing happened, she risked turning around to find out why.
They too had stopped as if at an invisible wall. All of them. Spread out in a line, they stared past her. A swarm of gray, small, ugly things, eyes almost swallowing their faces. They’d forgotten about her.
Another rumble underground forced Zoe’s attention back to the sink hole in front of her just as a serpent exploded out of the ground and skyrocketed at least a hundred feet into the air before falling in an arc toward the mass of creatures under it. Including her.
She scrambled back, hightailing it toward the little monsters who decided they didn’t want to eat her anymore. They wanted to live, so they ran. She followed suit. The serpent struck the ground, smashing a dozen or so creatures to her left, causing another jolt under her. It slid along the ground, its massive scales cutting a deep path in the dirt. It snatched one of the creatures in its mouth, tearing through muscle and bone, leaving only stubbly legs on the ground. Pitching right, she turned back toward the pit. Anything would be better than remaining out in the open. If those little suckers ended up avoiding or killing the serpent, they’d remember they wanted to eat her. She had to lay low, hide, and wait it out.
But the snake had other ideas. It circled back and slammed into the train initiating its final descent into the pit. The world shimmered for a second and adrenaline fueled her. She had to get to Mecca and find answers about her life. She didn’t intend on dying before she got them. She jumped into the last railcar, clawing at anything she could use as a hold.
She found nothing but air.


Author Bio:
Born and raised in Chicago and the youngest of five, Elizabeth spent most of her younger years as an avid reader with a wild imagination which led her to write her first manuscript at the age of fourteen.
Influenced by the gamers in her household and her love of action adventure, Elizabeth delved into the realm of science fiction and wrote her first full-length science fiction/dystopian YA novel—Before Dawn—acquired by Ellysian Press in 2016.
Elizabeth is the author of the Second Sign and the Second Shadow, a dark YA paranormal romance series, (Sapphire Star Publishing, 2013), and Darkness, a YA paranormal thriller, (Indie-Published, 2014). She has a short story published with SQ Magazine, and advice on her writing journey can be found in The Write Path: A Compilation of Letters, (Amazon Digital Services, Inc.).
Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family, listening to music, and binge watching her favorite shows.
You can reach Elizabeth at her website www.elizabetharroyo.com, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Book Blitz: Dethroned


Dethroned
Genevieve Iseult Eldredge
(An Inimical Prequel Novella)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: June 19th 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
For eighteen-year-old Rouen Rivoche, being a fairy princess isn’t about fancy parties and happily ever afters.
Rouen’s people are the dark Fae whose powers of lightning, thundersnow, and all things Winter make them cold, severe, and 100% intolerant of rebellion.
Too bad being a rebel is in Rouen’s blood.
Against tradition, she’s teamed up with Syl Skye, the sleeper-princess of the fair Fae—a mortal enemy who Rouen should want to kill but only wants to kiss. Plus, to be with Syl, Rouen’s masquerading as a glam goth-rock star and human high school student. Honestly, Rouen doesn’t think things could get any more complicated.
Then, she discovers she must become Queen of the Winter Court or all her people will die. No pressure.
Now, dark forces are amassing in the Winter Court, turning Rouen’s people against her and blocking her path to the throne. Even Syl with all her powers of white flame and Summer can’t stop this new kind of evil.
Because betrayal cuts close when it’s someone you love… and now it looks like Rouen’s going to be dethroned before she ever becomes queen.
EXCERPT:
Chapter One
Rouen

There’s nowhere I belong
No home, no hearth
No sing, no song
A princess with no kingdom to rule
– “Nowhere I Belong” – Euphoria
It’s December 24, Christmas Eve in the mortal realm, and you know what that means.
Only fifty-four days to go. Fifty-four days until the Lunar New Year.
Until I take my rightful place as Queen of the dark Fae.
No more being Rouen, princess-assassin and rebel. Once Father steps down—and he said he would—I’ll take his place.
Half of me, my dark self, says he’s lying through his fangs again. But the other half of me remembers the father-before, the man he was before our realm was crippled by our mortal enemies, the fair Fae. That man taught me to fight, to tap into the Winter in my royal blood and hear the wintry nightsong running through our Dark Faerie realm like a secret language.
The Adamant King. He was a good father and a great king—powerful but even-tempered, severe but just.
That’s the man I could trust. That man would keep his word to make me queen.
Even though there’s never been a dark Fae queen. Ever.
I’ll be the first. I can’t wait to rule, to do whatever I want, to be with whoever I want.
In fifty-four days.
But who’s counting?
“Not you,” Syl murmurs sleepily as we lie on the beat-up couch in the dressing room of our local club/hangout, the Nanci Raygun. It’s a snug room wallpapered with faded band flyers and covered in peeling spray paint art. The best thing is the comfy couch that’s ideal for snuggling with your girlfriend.
“Nope. Not me.” I kiss the top of Syl’s red curls. She knows me too well.
Just like I’m the princess of the dark Fae, Syl’s the princess of the fair Fae.
We’re complete opposites. I’m everything Winter—storms and squalls and brutal cold, unyielding ice and thundersnow. My Syl is the epitome of Summer and sun and brightness, with the power to purify dark magic with her white flame.
We met when I tried to kill her.
Technically, we’re mortal enemies. Winter. Summer. You get the picture.
Long story short, I tried to assassinate her. Not my finest moment, but I was controlled by Circuit Fae black-magic—a Moribund infection that stole my will and forced me to hunt her down when she was a mere mortal. Sleeper-princess that she is, though, she Awakened to the fair Fae power inside her.
Hoo-boy, did she give me a hard time. I loved it. Still do.
Syl snuggles in closer. Her nearness sends a spike of warmth shooting through me. She leans her head on my shoulder. “Is it time for your gig yet?”
Ancestors, I hope not. I’d rather lie on this couch with her forever. Lazily, I look past the Euphoria fliers plastered all over the dressing room and check the faded Blue Bee Cider clock on the wall. Almost 11 p.m. “Ten minutes.”
Ten minutes till I step onstage and take on the Euphoria half of my mortal guise. The other half is a seventeen-year-old high school junior, but this is more my style—local legend and goth rockstar violinist. Thanks to my powerful Glamoury, only Syl, her mom, and a few kids at Richmond Elite High have put the Rouen-Euphoria connection together. Otherwise, the human paparazzi would have a heyday with us.
As it is, they mostly leave us alone. Good thing, too, since tonight, I want some peace.
Tonight’s special.
In a little bit, Syl will be headed off on her own. Her task is less glamorous, but far more important. She has to leave to grab our Christmas Eve dinner.
I’ve never had a proper Christmas Eve dinner. It’s a mortal thing and very different from my people’s Dark Yule celebrations (which involve a lot of mayhem and destruction), and I’m looking forward to it.
Syl turns her face into my shoulder and says something like, mumble, mumble, don’t wanna, mumble, mumble, cold outside, mumble.
So. Adorable. I kiss the top of her head, inhaling the heady scent of sunshine and vanilla. My sweet fair Fae princess.
I’d do anything to protect her.


Author Bio:
Raised by witches and dragons in the northern wilds, GIE writes angsty urban fantasy YA romance--where girls who are mortal enemies kick butt, take names, and fall in love against all odds.
She enjoys long hikes in the woods (where better to find the fair folk?), believing in fairies (in fact, she's clapping right now), dancing with dark elves (always wear your best shoes), being a self-rescuing princess (hello, black belt!), and writing diverse books about teenage girls finding love, romance, and their own inner power.
She might be planning high tea at the Fae Court right now.
GIE is multi-published, and in her role as an editor has helped hundreds of authors make their dream of being published a reality.
The Circuit Fae series
Derailed – A Moribund Prequel Novella
Moribund eSampler (FREE)
Moribund
Ouroboros
Dethroned
Inimical

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Book blitz: Escape Forbidden


Escape Forbidden
Ruth Silver
(Aberrant Prequel)
Publication date: June 15th 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Fight to stay alive.
The Gravelands are a dangerous place.
In a world of uncertainty, Cora Manning knows one thing without a doubt: getting into Genesis will offer her a brighter future.
When the intake coordinator agrees to let her in because of her genetic makeup, Cora discovers the promised city of utopia is nothing like she imagined.
The rebellion has begun.
EXCERPT:
“Sit,” Noelle said and gestured toward the cot positioned on the floor.
Without much thought I wandered over and stretched out to lie down. Had it not been a trying day and with bombings outside, I’d have opted to go home or at the very least refused special treatment. That was what Noelle offered me, wasn’t it?
“You don’t have to stay here all night,” I said. It felt weird to be watched as I slept. “If I need anything, I can let you know. Or I mean, whoever stays.” I didn’t want to assume she wouldn’t go home either. I shut my eyes and relaxed against the cot. It wasn’t the most comfortable bed I’d been in, but it beat the straw in the barn.
“Toby and I will alternate, unless your fever breaks. Then we’ll both go home and let you sleep in peace.”
Hearing her words was enough to help me relax. “Okay,” I mumbled. If only I had the ability to control my own body temperature.
Noelle shut off the lights which helped ease the throbbing pulse behind my eyes. The distant wail of the siren ceased. Had it ended? Was everyone safe? I took momentary comfort in the quiet of Noelle’s office and allowed myself to fall asleep.
During the night, I heard the door whine and I attempted to roll over, only half cognizant of where I was. The cot groaned beneath me and I felt the warmth of metal against my cheek.
“Wake up, little girl,” an unfamiliar voice said, and I heard the distinctive click of the safety released from a gun.
My eyes flashed open, staring up at the intruder, the gun tight against my skin. How would I get out of this mess?


Author Bio:
Ruth Silver enjoys reading, traveling, writing, photography, boardgames, and playing with her dogs.
REFUGE FORBIDDEN (Aberrant Book 4) by Ruth Silver will be available June 29, 2018.
She also writes adult romance under the name Allison West.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Double Review: Monstrum & Solis (The 4th Talisman Book 3 & 2)



 MONSTRUM   
The 4th Talisman Series: Book 2



In the third volume of the Fourth Talisman series, the hunt is on for the three daevas whose powers saved the world once before….


On the wave-tossed White Sea, realm of smashers and sea monsters, a ship is carrying Nazafareen and Darius to the Isles of the Marakai, where the wise woman Sakhet-ra-katme has guarded the secret of the talismans for centuries. But another is searching too, a man born in the brutal prison of the Kiln, who plans to use the talismans to free the Vatras and their mad king. Between them stands a young Marakai girl, ignorant of her own powers. From the moonlit treasure vaults of the Isles to the emperor’s lavish palace in Tjanjin, Nazafareen and Darius face their deadliest and most cunning foe yet.
In the mountain fastness of Val Moraine, the Pythia’s minions are on the scent of another talisman, this one from the Danai clan. Trapped behind a thick wall of ice, everyone’s going slightly mad—the perfect cauldron of suspicion and betrayal for Thena, who sees a chance to redeem her failure and bring the talisman back to Delphi. Then she’ll be free to indulge her twisted obsession with Darius—and make him pay.
And in Samarqand, Javid is drawn into the treacherous currents of a royal succession. When the old king dies and his son takes the throne, the depths of the prince’s depravity become clear. A journey north reveals the source of the spell dust he’s addicted to—and leaves Javid with an impossible choice.







Monstrum was utterly BRILLIANT!

The stakes are definitely getting higher!

It was awesome do get to know more of the fire daevas and what revelation it was!
It was also nice to see some things never change like---you know, I think the definition of “pain in the ass” was invented for Mr. The Viper (I keep on forgetting how to spell his real name…)
Javid continued to impress me and I hope he manages to catch up with Katsu at some point…
I really like the variety and multi ethnicity of Kat’s books. I read books with cross-dressing characters, LGDTB couples, gender fluid MCs and all but some of them really felt stereotyped, a bit patronizing in some aspects, so I did find extremely relaxing and refreshing when, for once, things did feel completely normal, so non judgey.  

If on one hand Javid impressed me, Galen continued to be the idiot it was from the start, and in the end, its stupidity comes and bites him in his sorry ass. (I still want to enter the book and slap him, though).

Culach is one of the characters that has probably undergone the most growth since we him the first time (well, back then it was possessed by the mr.pain-in-the-ass but still…) and now I can say I respect him, like him…sort of. Mina and Him are a good match (although I’d rather have some more kissing scenes involving my favorite OTP *coughs* just sayin’)

Gerda the old cow had it coming but too late----I’m so sad for Halldora. 

Victor started to worry me though and I hope he breaks free of the diamond’s influence or whatever the hell is wrong with him. Also, I can’t bear the thought of something bad happening to his buddy Mithre, he looks such a fun sweet guy (Do you read me Kat, leave him alone!)

So much happens in this book, including getting to know the Oracle’s true identity and Thena’s definitive to the loony bin.

If while reading Solis I was interested in the red haired guy now I can confirm it…I like him!He is no good but at least not as psychotic like his sister and…well, what can I say? I love not-exactly-good-but-not-too-bad boys (You can say he’s kinda hot and not just in figurative way lol). The fighting scene between him and Nazi was total badass and I loved every second of it! I fear Nazi is slipping to the dark side but ---this is too exciting!

Speaking of Nazi, I’m sorry her quest to find a way to recover her memories had an abrupt stop. Although, she seemed to accept it, I have the feeling that it isn’t exactly it and I’m pretty sure all is not lost. And well, at the moment she has more pressing things to worry about hasn’t she? I can’t wait for the next book….


Rating:
 5 blossoms

PS: In my mind, I have founded (for my personal entertainment) the hot-bad-boys club (now called the bad boy crush club) …so far it has three members, one is a fire daeva, the other you know from the 4th element series (I’ll give you a hint: necromancer…) and the last one is from the 13th gate book (hint: crime lord?). Kat you have ruined me!
Oh and you're welcome to club, we offer free membership. 

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



 SOLIS 
The 4th Talisman Series: Book 2


In the second volume of the Fourth Talisman series, Nazafareen’s path takes a twist, setting her on a journey into the heart of the maelstrom…

It’s been a thousand years since the Avas Vatras tried to burn the world to ashes. A thousand years since they were imprisoned in the brutal wasteland called the Kiln. But revenge is a dish best served cold—even, apparently, by the children of fire.
In Delphi, Nazafareen joins forces with the followers of Dionysius to rescue her friends from the Oracle’s dungeons and seek out the three talismans whose extraordinary powers stopped the Vatras before. With her own breaking magic growing stronger by the day, she must walk a razor’s edge to control her volatile temper. And if the Vatras find the talismans first, their last hope will die.
In the frozen wastes of the Valkirin range, Victor strikes an uneasy bargain with bitter enemies to keep his tenuous grip on the Maiden Keep. The other holdfasts are coming for him. But it’s a traitor within Val Moraine’s walls that may prove to be his downfall.






Where do I start? Well, let me tell you...this book is so GOOD I actually re-read it, which is almost unprecedented and very,very rare. That should tell you what kind of fantastic read Solis is.

There is a lot going on (and no, I won't be more precise on what...you will have to read it! Sorry not sorry!) with the plot thickening page after page, along with the Oracle's plan one could say...
There also a lot of characters involved in it but Kat Ross is so good she manages to hold everything it together with ease and without making the reader feel too overwhelmed or confused.

The only complaint-not-really-a-complaint I have with this novel is that my loves (they go by the names of Darius & Nazafareen) are separated for too long. Although their heart-wrenching reunion makes it worthwhile (I love some bit angst, but Kat...a little bit...NOT TOO MUCH!). Please allow me a bit of fangirling, I love them too much...to the point of wanting to wrap them in blankets, offer them an hot chocolate, some biscuits and a pat on the back.
Okay this is getting out of hand but still...Darius & Nazafareen are so wonderful together. Even though Nazi has this terrible knack for trouble (really girl...).

I have seldom encountered an author that manages to get her characters right under your skin as skillfully as Kat Ross. For example I couldn't help but wanting to slap Nazi & Darius when their were being stupid (Still love youuuu though) or not-so-silently cursing Gerda the old cow to be as mad as an old cow, really. And what to say about Thena and the Oracle? I hate them, I really really hate them and wish for their most gruesome death. (I'm totally invested in see them dead...)
While I sort of loved to hate Neblis and respected her as a villain, I just hate these two psychopaths mentioned above.

Last but not least...Solis does not end in a cliffhanger (mercifully!) but that doesn't mean you aren't left craving the next book in the series, and the next and the next and the next...



Rating

4 blossoms


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Book Blitz: Splash


Splash
M.E. Rhines
(Mermaid Royalty #3)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: June 12th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Fawna is happy with the new life she has made for herself on land. She has her child and her youngest sister Pauline by her side—plus an amazing new human boyfriend named Randy. So when an old friend from Atargatis shows up, she immediately feels the weight of everything she stands to lose. But the news can’t be ignored – there’s been an attack on their kingdom; her aunt Myrtle is dead and her mother is missing. Angelique, their middle sister, is now ruling a kingdom to the north, leaving Fawna as the only royal left to help save Atargatis. Torn between responsibilities in two different worlds, the decision is made for her when the powerful sea witch who attacked the kingdom also takes Fawna’s son. Now she has no choice—to save her life on dry land, she’ll have to dive back into the ocean…
The final installment in the beloved Mermaid Royalty series, Splash is a heart-pounding fantasy romance that will have you feeling like you need to come up for air!
Grab book 1 – SINK – for FREE!
EXCERPT:
”And if you’d acted before you did, defied your mother and refused her order to kill him, do you believe you could’ve won?”
“Honestly? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. For all we know we could’ve stopped it long before Gene. Aunt Margaret just kept telling us to be patient, that the catalyst would show itself. We rallied against my mother more because Pauline was in danger, not so much because of Eddie. To me, that was the ultimate incentive to proceed. Seeing her in danger was the reason we stood so strong together.”
“Maybe your aunt knew a human wasn’t a strong enough reason to fight such an epic war. I mean, you might’ve rallied behind Gene, but could you say the others in your resistance would? With everything Gilcrest has told you, you’ve got magic in you, Fawna. You stood a chance against your mother. Your aunt probably knew that.”
“You may be right, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve committed some terrible atrocities.”
“Because you were scared! You didn’t have a choice. I wasn’t even here and I can see that.” He clanged his knuckles against the cast iron frame of the cauldron. “You said you wanted to give this old heirloom a second chance, an opportunity to be used for good. Why can’t you give yourself that chance? Cut yourself a break.”
A smile cracked on my lips, and I shook my head in exasperation. “Why is it you always insist on seeing the good in me, even now when there’s none to be found?”
“There’s plenty of good in you, Fawna. If there wasn’t, you wouldn’t be so ready to risk your soul to rescue the ones you love the most.”
“There’s no talking any sense into you, is there?” I wrapped my arms around his torso, using his weight to anchor myself in place.
“Not a chance,” he grinned, planting a sweet kiss on my cheek. “I’m not going anywhere. It’s like I said before, Queen, my heart is yours and only yours. The sea is in my blood, always has been. Now I know why. I was meant for this life, down here with you and Sebastian. Don’t take it away from me because of a past you can’t outrun.”


Author Bio:
ME Rhines a southwest Florida native currently living in North Port with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child whom she affectionately calls husband.
She writes young adult paranormal romance to feed her belief that fairy tales are real and
nonsense is necessary.
You can visit her on most major social media sites:
www.facebook.com/merhines
www.twitter.com/merhines
She also writes adult romances under her edgier alter-ego, Mary Bernsen.

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Friday, June 8, 2018

Book Blitz: Relegation


Relegation
Karri Thompson
(The Van Winkle Project #3)
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Publication date: June 4th 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
The end is near—and I’m fated to save humanity.
I’m feared, yet revered. The presidents are leery of me, but I’ve read the files. And I know the truth—at least, I think I do. And I’m the one who is going to tell the clones. They deserve to know.
Michael and I have been forced to fight, to kill. We’ll do anything to keep our daughters safe and free. But we can’t do it alone. There’s a rumor about a secret society eager for battle… and we’re going to find them. Help them end the government’s corruption.
It’s my duty, my calling as the first mother of the new world I want to create.
This started with me, and that’s where it’s going to end.
EXCERPT:
“What’s going on?” Michael asked. I thought it was Michael. No, maybe it was Travel. Everything spun, my head stretching and coming back as if I’d rocketed down an elevator shaft.
Hands caught me under my arms. Whose hands? I didn’t know. My feet hit the floor, but my knees buckled, and as I was lifted again, I opened my eyes and caught a blur of the room—wood paneling, a pedestal holding a vase of red flowers, and an oriental carpet under my feet.
What was wrong with me? My heartbeat thumped in my ears, the muscles in my legs refused to respond to my mental commands, and my skin hurt as tiny dots of pain erupted from my bones and spread to the surface of my limbs.
“They need to be separated,” a male shouted.
They? Who was they?
His words were sharp and desperate, bordering on panic. The grip under my arms shifted to my waist and my upper body. Limp and trembling with each beat of my heart, I fell against the person holding me. It was Michael. I recognized his spicy cologne and the width of his shoulders against mine.
“Michael, don’t you see what’s happening?” It was Travel. Now I recognized his voice, too, a voice marked with the same cast of anxiety in
Michael’s.
“Travel,” I tried to say. Or maybe I did say it. Had my lips even moved? A numbing heat whipped up my spine and spread through my shoulders and neck. My chin dropped to my chest, and the fuzzy red, white, and green colors I’d seen were replaced with the grey blur of my prison uniform.
“Take her away—now!” Michael shouted, his words seeping deep into my ear where the sounds writhed and burned, the sensation spreading to my forehead.
With each exhale, my hot breath pooled against my chest, stoking my lightheadedness.
“Get her out of here,” Michael said again. “Hurry!”
Her? Who? Me? VW2? Where was my daughter? Michael’s arms were empty, and my own still hung loosely at my sides and hit dumbly against my body when he shifted me closer to him.
“That’s his niece. You just can’t…” Whose voice was that? It was a presidential voice with its commanding yet concerned tone. It had to be Dabner. I wasn’t his niece. I wasn’t anybody’s niece in this century. Who was he talking about?


Author Bio:
Growing up in San Diego, California, Karri Thompson spent much of her years at the beach, reading novels, tanning, and listening to music. At SDSU, she earned a BA in English, MA in education, and her teaching credential. As a wife, mother, and high-school English teacher, she began writing novels, giving all of the compelling plots and unique characters in her head a home. Victorian literature rocks her socks, and when she’s not writing, jogging, going to concerts, or watching her son play football, she’s reading Dickens.

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