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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Book Tour: Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley by Carol Es @esart #review #giveaway #nonfiction #memoir



Non-Fiction / Memoir
Publisher: Desert Dog Books
Published Date: April 6, 2019

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Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley is a guided tour through a Tilt-A-Whirl life that takes so many turns that you may find yourself looking up from the pages and wondering how the hell one person managed to fit them all into 40-odd years. And many of them are odd years indeed. From a rootless, abusive childhood and mental illness through serious and successful careers in music and art, much of which were achieved while being involved in a notoriously destructive mind-control cult. Carol Es presents her story straight up. No padding, no parachute, no dancing around the hard stuff. Through the darkness, she somehow finds a glimmer of light by looking the big bad wolf straight in the eye, and it is liberating. When you dare to deal with truth, you are free. Free to find the humor that is just underneath everything and the joy that comes with taking the bumpy ride.

Illustrated with original sketches throughout, Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley is not just another survivor's tale, it's a creative ride where raw and intimate revelations are laid bare. As an artist and a woman finding self-worth, it's a truly courageous, relatable story that will keep you engaged to the end.



Review

Carol Es has no problem getting her story and journey started. The emotion starts right away and the reader really manages to connect to her as a person.

I can't even count the number of times I was shocked and in awe of the things that Carol Es faced and the way she faced each one of them. 

I was very intrigued by her story, relationships, and how everything came together for her and where she ended up. 


About the Author

Los Angeles writer, musician, and self-taught artist Carol Es writes for the Huffington Post, Whitehot Magazine, and Coagula Art Journal. She’s been published with Bottle of Smoke Press, Islands Fold, Chance Press, and her Artist’s books are featured in the Getty Research Library, Brooklyn Museum, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She is a two-time recipient of the Durfee Foundation’s ARC Grant, a Pollock-Krasner Fellow, and won the Wynn Newhouse Award in 2015.

Awarded grants in writing from the National Arts and Disability Center, Asylum Arts in Brooklyn, NY, Carol won the Bruce Geller Memorial Award WORD Grant for 2019.


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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Lonely Hearts Bar by Konni Granma #newadult #fiction #excerpt & #giveaway @RABTBookTours


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Literary Fiction, New Adult
Date Published: August 14, 2007
Publisher: Editus Publishing

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With high hopes of conquering Hollywood, the novel’s main character goes to Los Angeles to study directing and screenwriting. On the way, she ends up at a roadside bar that uncannily links the destinies of the main characters, who had given up everything to follow their dreams. What’s in store for the young rebels in Los Angeles? Does your dream have another side, one that’s just as enigmatic and invisible as the far side of the Moon?



Excerpt

“To be honest, I have no idea what cinema is and why it’s so magnetic...  Also, I don’t know what it’s like to be called a ‘great’ director. I only just jumped out of the plane and am waiting for my parachute to open.  In the meantime, I’m just looking at an illusion of how my life should be.  Maybe I’ll see the light as soon as I hear the clapperboard and ‘Action!’ But it’ll all be meaningless if people aren’t inspired... My name is Connie. I came from New York on a long journey in my old car. Maybe, on the other side of the world, a little girl is going to bed who, just like I used to, dreams of becoming a filmmaker. And every time, closing her eyes, she holds a camera in her hands and mentally goes over her movie’s screenplay… why am I a director? I think I’ll be able to answer that when I become one. Now I’m just one more student who is just dreaming of becoming a filmmaker and is still falling asleep, just like that little girl.  The main thing is to not lose faith...”

About the Author

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From the age of 11 Konni has been writing books. When she came of age she moved from a small abandoned town to Moscow where she exchanged the dream of “becoming a director” for the profession “doctor.” Now at the ripe old age of 21 years old, Konni is enjoying the acclaim of The Lonely Hearts Bar and working on her next novel.



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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Book Tour: Strong and Courageous by Daniel Gibbs #scifi #sciencefiction #blogtour #review @RABTBookTours



Strong and Courageous (Echoes of War, Book 2)

Military Science Fiction
Date Published: April 4, 2019

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David has won the battle – but the war is far from over.

Colonel David Cohen has one goal: drive out the League of Sol. After a string of successful engagements, the warship Lion of Judah is ordered on a goodwill mission to assist neutral border planets long caught between sides of the galactic conflict.

What David finds on Monrovia sends shockwaves of horror through the Terran Coalition.

Monrovian citizens of all faiths are being rounded up and sent to reeducation camps, while others are being exterminated to cleanse the population as the planet seeks to join the communist League. Mass graves of thousands of exterminated men, women and children dot the landscape.

David vows to use whatever means necessary to stop the holocaust.

To face down the overwhelming brutality of the League, David will need more than the prayers of the faithful.

He’ll need a miracle.




Review

Daniel Gibbs has written a descriptive novel that does a great job of pulling the reader into the world he has created.

The flow of the novel was well executed and everything as far as pacing went felt smooth.

I enjoyed getting to know the characters both primary and secondary. They all felt like they had their own purpose and had depth that made me care about them.

A wonderful Sci Fi novel in general, but great addition to the series as well!




Previous Book in the Series

Fight The Good Fight (Echoes of War, Book 1)
Military Science Fiction
Date Published: 5-1-2018 (RELAUNCHED March 15th, 2019!)


Corporal David Cohen thought he’d left war behind.

He was wrong.

The Terran Coalition faces repeated and brutal attacks from the repressive League of Sol. To defend his home planet, David trades his dream of becoming a rabbi for a battlefront in the far reaches of space. When particle beams fly, his courage under fire brings quick promotion. But in the lulls between battles when he must confront his soul, David finds a different enemy: the ghosts of those killed under his command.

Yet in war, it’s kill or be killed—and the enemy shows no mercy.

David must square the tenets of his faith against his responsibility to crew and country. If he fails in his command, billions face enslavement by a ruthless regime. Now it’s an all-out fight for the galaxy’s freedom.

Because a man’s greatest foe lies within.

If you love Babylon 5, Safehold, and Destroyermen, you must read Echoes of War, a military sci-fi series that will take you to the heart of duty, sacrifice, and the unseen scars of those who serve.


Coming Soon in the Series

So Fight I (Echoes of War Book 3)
Military Science Fiction


Colonel David Cohen risks everything in an all-or-nothing battle to turn the tide of galactic war.

Coalition intelligence has discovered the League’s center of gravity—a deep space logistics base that supplies the enemy's entire war effort. The CDF assembles its largest fleet ever for a decisive attack. For the first time since the war began, the Terran Coalition and their Saurian allies have the means to drive the League from their home turf.

Until they dive head first into the League of Sol buzz saw.

The fleet is forced to retreat after a disastrous engagement to assess their wounds and honor the dead. As the names are read and prayers recited, David can no longer avoid the ultimate question in the face of triumphant evil—why?

However, his internal battle must take a backseat to a war that waits for no one. The crew of the warship Lion of Judah develop a risky plan in a last-ditch offensive to take out the League station.

Or die trying.

In the battle between good and evil, is victory at all costs worth the price?



About the Author

Daniel Gibbs is the creator of the Echoes of War universe. An idea that was born nearly twenty years ago, has finally come alive. A former computer engineer, Daniel loves all forms of science-fiction. His first novel was recently released to Amazon, and he is hard at work on the next five novels in the beginning EOW series. With mountains of ideas and notes for additional novels, Daniel will be busy for years to come bringing his universe to life!

With many years of experience supporting the military as an IT engineer, Daniel hopes to bring an authentic lens to military science fiction, especially around the tribulations and trials of those who serve.


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Book Tour: South Pointe by @dwilkesauthor #review #mystery #suspense @RABTBookTours



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Mystery & Suspense
Date Published: February 6, 2018
Publisher: RedBird Books

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Paige Carson never expected that both a handsome sheriff and a charismatic newcomer would be vying for her affections. The choice isn’t an easy one, as she’s now responsible for raising her orphaned goddaughter, Jess.

Sheriff Sam Wallace didn’t lose at love. He got kicked to the curb. Hopeful that courting the feisty Paige will end differently, he can't help but feel suspicious about his romantic rival. Is Ben Hampshire the man he seems—or is Sam’s jealousy clouding his perspective?

Sam’s determined to win Paige’s and Jess’s love, but he also has to keep Providence Island safe. More than just Sam’s heart is at risk if he fails to find the killer who walks the streets of PI—a killer with more than one agenda.



Review

You will definitely want to have plenty of allotted reading time before starting this one. It was hard to put down. I was so engrossed in the story that I put off many of my important things to do.


I loved the descriptive way this novel was written. It really submerges the reader into the world. This novel was very vivid in the descriptions, the writing really jumped off the pages and into my mind, so kudos to her for that. 


On top of that, Wilkes had to also make sure her characters were compelling and I think she did that effortlessly. 

A wonderful ride that was action packed. 

About the Author

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Dianna Wilkes is an award-winning contemporary romance author, known for the Providence Island mystery series.

Reading has always been an important part of her life. “I learned to read when I was four years old,” she said. “Writing my own stories seemed a natural progression.”

Dianna holds a B.A. in Visual Communication and a M.Ed. in Instructional Technology. She worked as an Education Consultant for a medical technology company before leaving the corporate world to write full time. Despite all that nerdy stuff, she loves creating stories of romance and mystery with touches of humor.

When she isn’t writing, Dianna is deep in researching various twigs and branches on her family tree or fulfilling entries on her travel bucket list.


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Soul Remains by Sam Hooker #newrelease #fantasy #humor #excerpt & #giveaway @RABTBookTours @SamHooker


Fantasy (Humorous)
Date Published: 23 April 2019
Publisher: Black Spot Books

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It’s Dark in the Old Country.

Where do goblins come from? Why do they only turn up in the Old Country, and why do they like swearing so much? In the second book of Terribly Serious Darkness, Sloot Peril—a “hero” who’s staunchly averse to heroics—goes searching for answers. Much to his chagrin, he finds them.

Everything changed after the Fall of Salzstadt, but try telling that to the people of the city, whose capacity for denial is unmatched. They have yet to acknowledge that Vlad the Invader cut a bloody swath through their city, that the dead are walking the streets, or that the Domnitor—long may he reign—has fled to wherever despots go on very long vacations while goblin infestations take care of themselves.

The worst of villains holds all of the power, unspeakable dark forces are on the rise, and everyone wants to kidnap the Domnitor—long may he reign—for their own nefarious ends. If all of that weren’t bad enough, Sloot’s got the fate of his own soul to worry about.

Can his girlfriend help him save the Old Country from annihilation? Is Myrtle really his girlfriend? If all goes well for Sloot—which it never does—he might just sort it all out before the Dark swallows them all up.

Excerpt

Life After Afterlife

There is a common misconception among the living that death is the end of it. Go vigorously onto the business end of a sword, wear the colors of a west-end boulderchuck team into an east-end pub, or simply hang around long enough for your organs to start switching off, and that’s the end of the line.
On the contrary, there is such a thing as death for the dead. No one is really sure how long it takes, but eventually, each and every ghost withers away and ceases to be.
“So that’s it then,” said Sloot after an indeterminate amount of time. “I’ll be a ghost until I’m nothing.”
“Well, not nothing,” said Hans. “Not necessarily.”
“Something else, then?”
“Well, there’s considerable debate on the topic. Especially among the philosophers.”
As if things weren’t already bad enough, thought Sloot. He knew it was coming. It was only a matter of time before—
“Did someone say philosophy?” Arthur appeared in the doorway, his moustaches standing on end.
Oh, no, thought Sloot. “Please, nobody say any—”
“Hans was just telling us that no one knows whether ghosts are really gone after we fade away.”
Arthur’s eyes were wild, like a lion who hadn’t eaten in a week. Geralt must have resembled a porterhouse.
“Portnoy the Sacrilegious once chained himself to the doors of the cathedral to prove the impossibility of life after death! He was wrong, obviously, but his arguments are sound if applied to life after death after death.”
“Well said, Arthur,” Sloot blurted. “I think that’s all that anyone can—”
“Malarky,” said Hans. “You’re saying there’s nothing beyond the Hereafter, based on a theory that there is no Hereafter?”
“I’ve still got a few more questions—” Sloot began.
“It’s not that simple!” Arthur was pacing around the room and gesticulating wildly. Myrtle had always refused to indulge him in that while he had her possessed. “It makes sense in light of his Treatise on Bedtime Disobedience—which he wrote when he was eight—but only if you understand the finer points of Mauler’s Unticking Clock. I can solve this in … seventeen moves!”
“I’m sure you can,” said Sloot, “but I really need to ask Hans about—”
“I studied Mauler in college,” said Geralt. “The Unticking Clock is a metaphor for the struggle between hunger and apathy. I hardly think it applies—”
“That’s where you’re wrong!”
Sloot wandered off. He could never stomach philosophy for this very reason. Even if you didn’t know anything about Nutter’s Hungry Clock or whatever, you could join in the conversation with your angriest voice. Philosophy, as far as Sloot could tell, was the art of determining who could have the loudest opinion while not doing anything useful.


About the Author


Sam Hooker writes darkly humorous fantasy. He is an entirely serious person, regardless of what you may have heard. Originally from Texas, he now resides in southern California with his wife, son, and dog.



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Giveaway

3 signed copies of Peril in the Old Country, the first book in the series. 



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From Mind to Body: You Can Do It by Reza Zarmehr #nonfiction #selfhelp @RABTBookTours


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Self-help ( particularly in Health & Fitness)
Date Published: Feb/2019

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You have goals, and you have plans to reach them.You may have a step-by-step process in place for how youre going to get there, maybe even complete with milestones and a timeline. But have you considered the most important thing?

Have you conditioned your mind for success?

Mind conditioning goes beyond having a positive mindset. It means “working out” your mind and elevating it to better habits of thinking, which in turn affects everything you do, leading you closer and closer to what’s most important to you. There are many factors that lead to a healthy and high-quality lifestyle; one of the most important of those factors is how you program your mind, and in turn, your body.

So how do you work out your mind? From Mind to Body will show you everything you need to know to start conditioning yourself for success!


About the Author

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Reza Zarmehr is a 25-year weightlifting veteran and former world-class bodybuilder. He knows exactly what it means to “work with what you don’t have.” With determination at a young age, he trained with discipline and grew up to build his career in his home country of Iran, which he continued to expand when he came to Canada. Despite the personal and professional challenges that come with moving to a new country with very little financial support, he grew his business to become a life coach, fitness trainer, and osteopath.

He had the goal to become an industry leader in the health and wellness industry, but he wasn’t sure how to get there. The secret, he learned years later, was not to ask himself what he could do with what he had; instead, he learned to ask himself how he could work around the things that he was missing. He asked how he could take what he didn’t have and turn it into what he would have, and what he would need. Asking questions in this way forced him to look at the world differently—to focus on using the shadows to find the light. He began to forge practical solutions in attaining his goals and chart reliable pathways toward success.

Reza is always looking for new ways to help people reach their goals and thrive in all areas of their lives. He is happy to bring you his second book, From Mind to Body to help you do just that!


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Friday, April 19, 2019

Book Tour: The Impaler's Wife by @autumnbardot #review #giveaway #blogtour #historical #romance #gothic @RABTBookTours



Part of a Fearless Women in History series
Historical fiction, Historical Romance, Gothic Romance
Published Date: April 3, 2019

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The year is 1464 and young King Matthias controls Hungary, his family, and the fate of the world’s most notorious political prisoner, Prince Vlad Dracula. 

 Ilona Szilágy, the king’s cousin, is young and ambitious. Dracula is determined to marry into the Hunyadi family. It is love at first sight…but the king has other plans. The Impaler Prince, however, never takes no for an answer.

This begins Ilona’s journey into the treacherous world of court intrigues, family betrayals, and her husband’s dark desires. Eager to become Vlad’s trusted confidant, Ilona soon discovers that marriage to man tortured by his past comes with a price.

Woven throughout is a peek into the life and times of one of the world’s most enigmatic and maligned rulers…the man before the legend.

With Bardot’s decadent period detail and a cast of gritty evocative characters, The Impaler’s Wife offers a fierce yet sensuous glimpse into the violent 15th century.






Review

Often times the female character really makes or breaks the story for me in these kinds of books. Ilona really made this one for me. She is fierce and she is strong as a female, especially in historical times. I always like to read about characters who break the mold and give me a reason to root for them. 

Vlad is a typical male lead in books like this, but I loved that he was redeemable. He does things to make you really question if you like him, but understandably so for the time period and premise of the story. 

It's dark at times and it's beautiful at times. There are many ups and downs for these characters both personally and together. 

A great attention to detail from the author in which she uses wonderful imagery to transport you to the time and her mind for the story.




About the Author


Autumn Bardot writes smart erotica and historical fiction about sassy women, spicy sex, and daring passions!
 Her erotica includes Legends of Lust, ( Cleis Press )and Confessions Of A Sheba Queen ( Cleis Jan 2020).  Autumn has a BA in English literature and a MaEd in curriculum and instruction. She’s been teaching writing and literary analysis for fourteen years. Autumn lives in Southern California with her hubby, rescue pooch, and ever-increasing family.  Her favorite things include salty French fries, coffee, swimming, and a great book.


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