Thursday, November 29, 2012

"The Door" by Monique Rockliffe

The Door
by Monique Rockliffe

I am very pleased to announce our first giveaway! Two lucky people will win a PDF copy of Monique Rockliffe's latest release, The Door, a short story. Read about the story and my first review, and then enter the giveaway to win your own copy. Don't forget to leave a review on Amazon or Smashwords once you've read it. Best of luck!

During a desert excavation in a foreign land an astounding discovery is made that changes the future of mankind forever.
The Deceivers have one goal in mind: to rule the world, and now they've discovered the means to do so. Their endless resources, and immense political clout, make them the most powerful group on the planet and they will do anything to make sure it stays that way, even murdering men, women, and children in the name of science.
Fortunately for mankind there are people who believe in the continuance of everything good and fair and in the importance of protecting all fragile life, and when they discover the evil plans of The Deceivers they come together and design a plan to counter these diabolical men and women, who have in their possession something that could lead man into the next level of their evolution, something alien and vastly intelligent, something very much alive! But what they possess is more dangerous and destructive than they could ever have imagined, and when their experiments go horribly wrong the entire world begins to suffer horribly.
Desperate to find a solution, a Boy and a Girl and a group called The Scientists battle everyday to find a way to reverse the damage done by The Deceivers' arrogance, and when their despair is at its worst a miracle presents itself.
The Door not only exposes the evil mankind is capable of but also the compassion, love, and determination to preserve all life and appreciate every moment of it. Life is short, and it's our responsibility to make sure we do as much as we can in the time we have to live it to the full - even if that means sacrificing everything to make sure others get a chance to continue on. History teaches us where we went wrong and where we succeeded. Isn't it time we listened?

He stood before it with his hands on his hips, eyeing it dubiously, and drew in a deep breath. It was pretty ordinary looking: it had no markings, the paint was beginning to peel, and it appeared to be made of cheap pinewood. The only odd thing about it was the missing door handle.
So how the hell do I get in? he wondered.
Letting out the breath he’d been holding, he continued to stare at The Door. Whenever he focused strongly on a fixed point and then allowed his mind to wonder where it chose, the answer eventually presented itself, usually with blazing clarity.
When he’d finally been recruited, it had amazed The Scientists how he could pass weeks of exhausting experiments and tests with complete ease. They quickly discovered that his mind was like no other they’d ever come across, even theirs. He created perfect, error-free solutions seemingly at random, with no distinguishable pattern or logic to speak of, and more often than not he had them cursing in amazement when he beat their mathematical challenges every time without them knowing exactly how he did it; his approach to their so-called puzzles and problems was always entirely unconventional and unexpected.
And, of course, that is why he’d been chosen to be the one to solve this particular puzzle.
A sudden thump made him start, and he whipped around and tilted his head, listening carefully. When it didn’t repeat, he forced himself to relax and turned back to face The Door. He absently scratched at his arm and winced when his skin burned fiercely. Rolling up his sleeve, he stared at the ugly tattoo with disdain, wishing they’d found another way. But this is the only way they knew of, they’d said.
He supposed he shouldn’t be complaining. They’d specifically elected him for this very important task, after all, dangerous though it was.


By Lynda Dickson
The Door is the story of The Boy, a homeless boy of superior intellect recruited by The Scientists at the age of 16 to solve a series of puzzles. Now 18 years old, The Boy is confronted by The Door, a mysterious door located in the basement of The Coffee Shop. What is behind The Door and why is it so important?
The Scientists are trying desperately to protect the human race from The Deceivers, a group of influential and wealthy individuals who have discovered a mysterious alien Energy, The Catalyst, which hold the secret to eternal life. The Deceivers gather up and experiment on individuals who possess the rare Creator-virus gene. The Boy is one of these individuals, as indicated by the Mark of God birthmark on his arm.
During their experimentation, The Catalyst is unleashed on the unsuspecting population, killing those who do not possess the Creator-virus. The Scientists are charged with finding a means to permanently contain The Catalyst, which will kill the entire human population within three years if left unchecked.
The Boy is told by The Scientists that he is one of the carriers of the Creator-virus, thus explaining his unusually high intelligence. He is put through a number of tests and experiments to unlock his dormant potential.
The Scientists introduce The Boy to The Girl, who is also a carrier. Trained by The Scientists since the age of 12, she is planted as a spy among The Deceivers and discovers The Door's existence.
The Door is a portal created by The Man, one of the first carriers. On the other side of The Door is Paradise, a safe haven from the Creator-virus. The Deceivers discover its existence and hide it by building a town around it.
It is The Boy's mission to wrest control of The Door from The Deceivers and save the human race. But is everything as it seems? And who is really deceiving whom?
Full of suspense, action, and even romance, The Door is sure to thrill you and keep you guessing to the very end. The intelligent vocabulary and perfect punctuation made this story a pleasure to read. This story packs in a lot of background information and perhaps too much detail for a short story. At times it reads more like the outline of a book. It would serve the author well to expand this story into a full-length novel. I was sure left wanting more.

About the Author
Monique was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she currently resides with her husband and two cats who think they own her!
Always the avid reader, she spent every available moment as a child devouring books and learning to read by the time she was three. This included comic books, which added fuel to the fire of her already boundless imagination and expanded her passion for writing, drawing, and the performing arts at a furious rate. She watched as many fantasy and science fiction films as her mother would allow, firmly establishing her love and passion for storytelling of the Otherworldly kind. In short, reality was boring; sitting astride a flying dragon while wielding a magic sword and casting spells all at the same time in order to save the world from destruction and slavery from an evil (possibly alien) conqueror was so much more her style – and still is!
At age five she became a tap dancer, and at age seven ballet became her first choice. This love for dance and music turned into a successful professional career. She was a member of three dance companies as a soloist and principle dancer in ballet, jazz, and contemporary, and she also frequently performed overseas. But she never lost sight of her first passion and never stopped reading and creating other worlds in her imagination. Her dance career spanned 32 years, and in the midst of it all her desire to put down on paper the stories she had created never left her.
In 2009 she began writing seriously when her dancing career came to an end and her husband and greatest supporter urged her to finally make a start. Since then she’s never looked back, and now writing is all she can think about and dream of doing for the rest of her life.
The Sword Bearers tetralogy is the culmination of 32 years of joyous creation begun the day she saw Star Wars for the first time when she was eight. She realised, on that very magical day, that there are no limits to her imagination, and if other people could create worlds and characters and imagery of such power then she could, too. And she firmly believes she has! The Swordbearers and The Swordbearer's Journey: Book 2 are currently available. Book 3 in the series will be released in 2013.
Monique is currently working on another novel as part of her NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge. You can read more about it on her website.
The Door is the first of many short stories Monique has planned. She loves Science Fiction as much as she loves Fantasy, and writing in this genre comes just as naturally to her.


The Dracula Chronicles: Birth of the Monster by Shane K. P. O'Neill

The Dracula Chronicles: Birth of the Monster
by Shane K. P. O'Neill

Dracula sits astride his horse, surveying the battlefield below. He has defeated another Ottoman army and won back his throne for the third time. Confident in his victory, he is unaware of the events about to unfold and the plans Lucifer has for him.
This is the Prequel to The Dracula Chronicles series. The first full-length book in the series The Dracula Chronicles: Bound by Blood was released on 1 December 2012. Look out for the blog post and giveaway.

By Livia
The Dracula Chronicles: Birth of the Monster, is exactly what the title promises it is. It's the origin story of O'Neill's take on the Dracula story. Before I read this, I was convinced vampire stories were done and that the market was saturated without room for another Twilight. This is no Twilight. The Dracula Chronicles is unique in the world of vampire stories in several ways. It is clear that a great deal of time went into carefully researching the mythology then crafting it into a clever premise. It's well written. The characters are complex. The story is immediately compelling.
This is only a small sample, but it is a strong foundation on to which a solid series can be built. Do know when downloading Birth of the Monster you are getting the opening chapter as a sample. But it is a clever tease. There is just enough to leave me wanting more.

About the Author
The author developed a fascination with Dracula from an early age. Like many others he was enthralled by Christopher Lee's portrayal of him on the big screen. It was in his late teens that he discovered Dracula the man and the love affair began from there. An avid historian, he studied the period in which the real historical Vlad Dracula lived, 15th Century Balkan, for many years. It followed from there then that with his love of writing he would always choose Dracula as his subject.
Away from writing, the author has a wide range of interests. He has lived and travelled all over the world. He has a love for all things historical, with a particular fascination for medieval Europe. Anywhere he travels he likes to search out locations with an historical interest. He is well read and in recent times has a preference for the work of James Patterson, Carlos Luis Zafon, John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer and Stephen King. He also keeps his library well stocked with historical texts.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Catch That Santa by Karen Docter

Catch That Santa
by Karen Docter

When widow, Sara Marks, hears her Grams has gone on the lam from Happy Acres Residence on Christmas Eve – on Santa’s arm, no less - she teams up with sexy stranger, Francisco de la Vega, to chase the couple down with one thing in mind. Keep her Grams from becoming Mrs. Claus. Of course, Francisco's grandfather is not really Santa Claus, but Grams did run off to Vegas to marry him and she's obviously not in her right mind.
Sara leaves her seven-month-old baby, Lanie, with a friend and she and Cisco head west in the worst snowstorm in decades, chasing his grandfather's '57 Ford Fairlane over the river and through the woods.
Will they catch Santa and his crazy Mrs. Claus before it's too late? Or will love stop them in their tracks?

“What do you mean, Grams ran off with Santa Claus?” Sara Marks stared at the first floor orderly, Buddy Cantor, who’d met her outside her grandmother’s room at Happy Acres Residence. She could barely catch her breath after dashing through the facility carrying her sleeping baby. It had taken her a full thirty minutes to drive from the church near her apartment across Denver’s snow packed streets in her crotchety, old Ford, when it should have taken ten. Twenty minutes too long if her grandmother was truly missing.
She should never have gone to the Christmas Eve service. She’d suspected Grams was up to something when she called and told her to come later so she could take a nap before their planned dinner together.  There was something in her voice, but Sara hadn’t paid enough attention with little Lanie fussing in her ear. “Next thing you’ll tell me is Santa took her to the North Pole in a sleigh pulled by reindeer.”
“No. A gold ’57 Ford Fairlane convertible.” The man shuffled uneasily in the doorway. “And they’re headed to Vegas. We think.”
“Vegas.” Movement in her arms made her aware Lanie was fully awake and ready to play. She grinned up at Sara with two shiny new bottom teeth, like she’d woken up just to laugh at her great-grandma’s latest flight of fancy.
Oh, Grams, what have you done?

There are no reviews as yet for this NEW RELEASE. The author would appreciate your review after reading your copy.

About the Author

Karen Docter writes two different kinds of romance novels:
Books of Danger, Romantic Suspense: Women hunted by who'd die to protect them. Killing Secrets falls into this category. Watch out for its release very soon.
Books of Heat, Contemporary Romance: The lighter side of romance - Not a killer in sight...unless it's killer heat! Satin Pleasures falls into this category.
Karen's contemporaries are cute and spicy, romantic comedies. She loves writing about real men and women with dreams and goals that don't allow for a relationship just so she can throw them in each other's path...with a tickle and a smile. Satin Pleasures, one of her four Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Best Short Contemporary finalist novels, debuted on Amazon February 2012.
Her romantic suspense novels are also filled with heat, although the dangers the hero and heroine face are intense, usually because a serial killer is bent on ending one or both of their lives before they can fall in love. These are psychological, woman-in-jeopardy stories. Killing Secrets, the first of her Thorne's Thorns series about six brothers and the women they'd die to protect, will be released soon.
Her current release, Catch That Santa, is a holiday contemporary romance novelette of approximately 17,000 (50 pages).
Karen enjoys writing both sides of the line between light and dark romance. When she's not saving her characters or helping them fall in love, she loves camping and fishing with her family, reading, gardening and cooking. If she can do most of those things over a campfire, all the better!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

this I know: Sarah's Confession by Reba Ponder Weiss

this I know: Sarah's Confession
by Reba Ponder Weiss

A recluse emerges from the backwoods on the eve of his son’s romantic, southern wedding. Dinner spirals into chaos when the self-proclaimed prophet announces he hears spiritual messages straight from God. The voices tell him to prepare the way for the end of the world. His disturbing words find foothold in undeniable facts as disbelief dissolves into terror. Those who gathered to celebrate are suddenly faced with an unthinkable dilemma. They must follow him into a remote, secret sanctuary, prepared exclusively survival … or they can die. As apocalyptic events begin to unfold, the ancient battle of darkness and light quickly becomes a modern reality.

Book Trailer

By M. Chance
Remember the name Reba Ponder Weiss. Hers is a truly fresh new voice, and this stunning debut reveals a world of authentic detail and familiar wit, full of Southern charm... Southern charm, that is, facing the end of the world.
The stage is set for a traditional Southern wedding, with all the tender affection and comic interludes you would find in any such gathering of a real family, but the proceedings are imbued with a gathering sense of foreboding...
And then the world as we know it endures a cataclysmic event, plunging this family into a harried race against extinction. What follows is as explosive and spellbinding as any of the wildest movie adventures, not rollicking fun so much as a breathless race to survive. It becomes a nightmare vision of the dark side of humanity, the side that might be brought out under the most extreme and adverse conditions.
Conversely, the beauty, character, and human dignity that remain under even such duress shine all the brighter... and Weiss unfolds a relentless, mesmerizing tale, ultimately taking you on the survival ride of your life.
This book is a stunning achievement by a first time writer, heralding not only a bold new voice, but a bold new mash-up of genre.

About the Author
Reba Ponder Weiss was born and raised in Jones Chapel, a small farming community, outside of Cullman, Alabama. Later she moved to upstate New York, lived in the suburbs of Georgia, and enjoyed her home on the prairies of Wyoming. Currently, she lives and works on the east end of Long Island, but dreams of retiring one day with her husband, Joseph, and their children, to Fayetteville, Tennessee.
Reba draws her inspiration from her Southern roots and life-long night terrors. Years of vivid nightmares are kept in a personal journal, full of hand written notes and sketches, detailing the hours in the night when her mind seems to take its own little road trip. this I know: Sarah's Confession is a spine chilling, and sometimes disturbing, paranormal thriller based on one of those journeys ... which began when consciousness ended.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Nightingale Vale: Murder is Relative by Declan Munro

Nightingale Vale: Murder is Relative
by Declan Munro

Nightingale Vale: Murder is Relative is the first novel in a new series by Declan Munro. It covers the terrible prospect that you might move into the wrong neighborhood and meet the neighbors from hell. How unfortunate if you happen to move next door to perhaps a whole host of unsavory neighbors. What if those neighbors are plotting your downfall and you don't even know it?
A slick, taut thriller with a gut-wrenching premise: No one is who you think they are. CREEPY and claustrophobic, ruthless killers carry out a series of gruesome murders. When a new tenant moves to creepy Nightingale Vale she hooks up with the disturbing Lindsey family. The Lindsey's are no ordinary family, they are the neighbors from hell. These characters have one thing in common - they give another meaning to being related.
In this novel, the author aims to tap into that stomach churning feeling when you finally figure out that nothing you have believed is what it seems, it is a whole lot worse.

By Carole A. Spalino
I had the creeps from the first chapter. Right from the beginning, I was thinking that there was something wrong with those neighbors. I don't want to give any part of the story away, so buy this and read it. It's good, it's creepy, and you won't put it down. I didn't. There are so many creepy twists and surprises, and I keep using the word CREEPY! That's because it fits. Great read. Good job.

About the Author
Declan Munro lives and works in London. Declan writes with an associate author, Belle Marsh, who is also his partner. They have pooled their resources and experience to tap into the world of the psychological thriller. Declan is a blue collar worker with experience in the building industry and who does a bit of acting on the side. He pulls no punches in his no-nonsense writing; he does the meaty, tough stuff. His writing partner, Belle, refines the rougher edges and adds the psychological twists and the turn-of-the-screw weird stuff.
Look out for the next novel in the series, coming soon.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Today at Books Direct - 14 November 2012

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