Tuesday, October 31, 2023

NBTM Virtual Tour & Giveaway: Grandpa's Cabin by Ross Victory


Ross Victory

Horror / Mystery
Publisher: VFTC Universe
Publication Date: September 13, 2023
Ebook Page count: 144 pages



At eighty-four years old, widower and award-winning geneticist Bernie Crenshaw has reached the end of his life. Bernie gifts his only grandson, eighteen-year-old Inglewood high school senior Nova, his multimillion-dollar property located in Los Angeles' Hollywood Hills.
Years after Bernie's death, Nova hosts a wild twenty-first birthday party weekend filled with alcohol, music, and OnlyFans web cameras. After a handful of eerie encounters in the surrounding Los Angeles forest, Nova's friends allege that his grandpa's cabin is the burial ground for people who disappeared during their childhood. 

The birthday weekend shifts from celebration to terror as the friends piece together that the man Nova knew as "Popsi" matches the profile of one of the most notorious wanted criminals in Los Angeles-"L.A. Love Hunter." 

Will Nova preserve the Crenshaw family's sadistic legacy, or will he choose the rare and valuable gift of friendship?



Forty-five years ago 

Eric had managed to slip out of bed and past Lennox’s quarters unheard. Under his arm, he carried a carved wooden chess set. He had gotten it for his seventh birthday last week, which he had spent alone with Lennox in front of the television.
Bernie had been away speaking at the ‘World Changer’ conference in Seattle, one of the largest media events in the county to celebrate black people making a difference in their respective industries. Bernie had won an award for excellence in biological sciences, specifically genetic sequencing research.
Eric was awestruck that his father was the same man spotlighted in news articles and photographed with Jimmy Carter and famous celebrities.

Eric had watched his father on television while opening his Christmas presents, all picked out by Lennox with ‘From Dad’ forged on the tags. He could identify his father’s writing and signature within a fraction of a second, but still, he accepted these gifts with the tags written by Lennox.

“Look what Daddy got me,” Eric said to his mother, Madeline, who was busy laughing on the phone.

Madeline shut the door.

Eric stood disappointed and motionless.


5 stars!

Vivid imagery and spine-tingling storytelling!

Grandpa’s Cabin, a new young adult horror novel by Ross Victory, is the perfect spine-tingling story to celebrate Halloween! While told using multiple timelines and points of view, the storytelling is clean and crisp and easy to follow to get your scare on. With engaging main characters and dark, suspenseful foreshadowing, I was quickly immersed in this modern horror story. 

Its vivid imagery sets this book apart and above others of its kind. The author has created bold descriptive snapshots that will linger in the mind’s eye of the reader, punctuating the emotions of the events as they unfold. Although relatively short in length, the book packs a lot into its compact size. 

I recommend GRANDPA’S CABIN to readers of young adult horror who are looking for something above the ordinary.


Ross Victory is an award-winning author and singer/songwriter from Southern California. After the loss of his father and brother, Ross dove into self-discovery, reigniting his childhood passion for creative writing and music production, launching an independent writing career. Victory has dedicated his life to empowering his community while entertaining listeners and readers. Victory provides a multi-format creative experience in Urban Adult Contemporary music and literature, with a focus on creative non-fiction and thematic novellas. Topics include: adventure, family, religion and philosophy, and identity.
Victory is best known for his father-son memoir, "Views from the Cockpit," and multimedia production brand, "Books & Bangers."


Ross Victory will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner.

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway: The Water Tower by Amy Young

The Water Tower by Amy Young Banner

The Water Tower

by Amy Young

October 9 - November 3, 2023 Virtual Book Tour


The Water Tower by Amy Young

Josie Ashbury was a successful Hollywood actress with a booming career—until an on-set breakdown sends her back to her small Ohio hometown to recover. Taking a job teaching at her old high school, Josie is beginning to put the pieces of her life back together when one of her students dies under suspicious circumstances. The police close the case quickly, without any real answers. Josie is determined to find the truth behind the girl's death.

At the same time, Josie is battling demons of her own. As she faces debilitating insomnia that leaves her with gaps in her memory, she dives into the tangled secrets surrounding the investigation. When she finally unravels the web, she discovers that the truth lies much closer to home than she could have ever imagined.

Praise for The Water Tower:

"Start with a suspicious death of a beloved student, add a devoted former starlet turned drama teacher, and a dash of the police closing the case far too quickly, and you have the makings of a twisting and propulsive mystery. Amy Young’s The Water Tower will keep you flipping the pages to find out who killed the politician’s young daughter, and then have you checking if your teenager is where they should be tonight."
~ Mary Keliikoa, multi-award nominated author of HIDDEN PIECES and the PI Kelly Pruett mystery series

"The Water Tower is an electrifying work of suspense that depicts a wonderful hometown setting. This slow-burn mystery with sparkling prose has a well-crafted plot that is at once engrossing and fully realized from beginning to end. I highly recommend this engaging mystery."
~ David Putnam, Bestselling author of the Bruno Johnson series and Dave Beckett series

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: June 20, 2023
Number of Pages: 290
ISBN: 9781685122775
Series: The Lakeview Mysteries, Book 1
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

She stood on the water tower, looking at the skyline she had only observed from the ground. You really could see the whole town from up here. Funny how your whole life can fit into one 360-degree glance. Peering down at the ground, she was no longer able to see individual blades of grass, all of them blurring into a sea of perfect emerald green. To her right was the roof of Lakeview High School, looking small from this vantage point. She felt as though if she leaned over far enough, she could almost touch it. But that was ridiculous; the school had to be several hundred feet away. Her vision came in and out of focus as she swayed, thinking about her life, her past, her future.

In her three years at the school, she had never been up on the tower. No one she knew had been up here, either. Most students wouldn't dare to scale it. Too scared of getting caught, too scared of breaking the rules, too scared of living. When she looked down at the ground, she thought she could see movement, like little grass men dancing and hopping around through a crowd of their peers. Kind of like high school. More like, exactly like high school. Everyone looks the same; maybe some are a bit taller, a bit shorter, a bit wider, but everyone dressed in essentially the same uniform, hopping over one another, trying to make their mark.

How many feet above the ground was she—50, 60 feet? Was that high enough to kill you, or maybe just break a few bones? It would probably depend on how you hit the ground. Here she was, high above the town, pondering the angle at which you might hit the ground and live through the fall, the velocity at which an object might fall from here.

Her body felt warm all over, despite the crisp air of late fall, and she took off her jacket and threw it aside. She leaned against the rail and spread her arms, allowing the breeze to blow through her, inhabiting every cell for just a moment, before moving off in another direction to go dance with someone else. Her 17 years had all been spent here, in this one place, in this small, boring town where, it seemed, nothing was all that was destined to happen.

The clock tower chimed; it was 11:00. She felt she had eternity in front of her, the rest of this night, the rest of her life, stuck here in this town. Would she ever get out? Did it even matter if she did? She thought about the college catalogs arriving at home, the hundreds of pages of sales pitches clamoring for her family's money. The sprawling campuses, the smiling students, the serious, but friendly, professors—what was the point? She would just end up back here, raising the same family as her friends, living the same life that her kids would eventually live.

Reaching out her slender arm, she twirled her wrist. She could hardly wait for graduation when, everyone said, “real life” would begin. “I can't wait to get out of here,” her friends exclaimed, dreaming of big cities and even bigger lives in far off places: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, anywhere but here. But she knew they would return, just like their parents, raising 2.5 kids with a Labradoodle and a balding husband in one of the best-little-suburbs in the country. Was it really so bad? She watched all these super-educated women who had given up their careers to stay home and clean up after the kids and drive to soccer practice, instead of changing the world as they'd so hopefully planned when plotting their escape years earlier. Was that her fate? Was that what awaited her now? Dozens of similar thoughts swirled and crashed like waves in front of her, mixing in a fantastic spray of colors, lights, and sounds.

She was dead before she hit the ground.


Excerpt from The Water Tower by Amy Young. Copyright 2023 by Amy Young. Reproduced with permission from Amy Young. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

Amy Young

Amy Young is an author, comedian, and actor based in Cleveland. After spending a decade in Los Angeles working in the entertainment industry and writing her debut novel, The Water Tower, she returned to Ohio to be closer to family. Amy is working on her second book, a thriller, and in her free time she enjoys going to the theatre, bingeing reality TV, and spending time with her husband and many, many cats. She has a B.A. in English from Kenyon College.

Catch Up With Amy Young:
BookBub - @authoramyyoung1
Instagram - @amypcomedy
Twitter - @authoramyyoung
Facebook - @authoramyyoung
TikTok - @amypyoung1



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Sunday, October 29, 2023

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway: A Parfait Crime (Five-Ingredient Mystery, #9) by Maya Corrigan


A Parfait Crime
A Five-Ingredient Mystery
Maya Corrigan

Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting - Chesapeake Bay
Publisher: Kensington Cozies
Publication Date: October 24, 2023
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496734599 / ISBN-13: 978-1496734594
Digital ASIN: B0BT8P2FYK




A granddaughter-grandfather sleuthing duo take on a perplexing new case in the latest culinary cozy mystery, sure to appeal to fans of Diane Mott, Joanne Fluke, and Katherine Hall Page.

At the site of a fatal blaze, Val’s boyfriend, a firefighter trainee, is shocked to learn the victim is known to him, a woman named Jane who belonged to the local Agatha Christie book club—and was rehearsing alongside Val’s grandfather for an upcoming Christie play being staged for charity. Just as shocking are the skeletal remains of a man found in the freezer. Who is he and who put him on ice?

After Val is chosen to replace Jane in the play, the cast gathers at their house to get to work—and enjoy Grandad’s five-ingredient parfaits—but all anyone can focus on is the bizarre real-life mystery. When it’s revealed that Jane’s death was due to something other than smoke inhalation, Val and Grandad try to retrace her final days. As they dig into her past life, their inquiry leads them to a fancy new spa in town—where they discover that Jane wasn’t the only one who had a skeleton in the cooler . . .

Includes delicious five-ingredient recipes!


| Kensington Paperback | Kensington eBook |

| Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indigo | IndieBound | Kobo |


5 stars!

An engaging sleuthing duo and a well-done cozy mystery.

A Parfait Crime is the ninth addition to author Maya Corrigan’s delightful Five-Ingredient Mystery series, and “parfait” for cozy mystery readers who enjoy a culinary theme to their stories. The sleuthing team of Val Deniston and Don Myer, granddaughter and grandfather, is as unique as they are engaging.

Val is sweet, smart, and just the nicest person, someone you’d want to be friends with, knowing she’d have your back. Don is a fun and youthful older man, full of life and enjoying every minute of it. A variety of supporting characters surrounds them, some new to town and some long-time residents of the small Maryland town of Bayport, Maryland. Bram Muir, Val’s love interest, is one of the newcomers, having followed his mother to her former hometown and is still settling in. He’s recently joined the volunteer fire department and is much affected by his first fatality house fire. However, this novel focuses on the murder investigation, not the growing romance.
The amateur investigation is well-thought-out and gradually uncovers secrets and clues that lead to their potential suspects. The crimes involved get complex fast, with a death occurring in the story almost immediately and a huge surprise waiting for the official investigators on the scene.
The plot includes a readers theater production of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, a play I have done, so that was a fun bonus. I enjoyed the references and the parallels cleverly sprinkled throughout the story. This was the first book I’ve read in this series, and now I look forward to delving into more of the author’s previous works.
I recommend A PARFAIT CRIME to cozy mystery readers, especially those who enjoy culinary-themed tales or plots with a theater connection.


Maya (Mary Ann) Corrigan writes the Five-Ingredient Mysteries featuring café manager Val and her live-wire grandfather solving murders in a Chesapeake Bay town. Each book has five suspects, five clues, and Granddad’s five-ingredient recipes. In the 9th book of the series, A Parfait Crime, Val and Granddad rehearse an Agatha Christie play with a cast that includes murder suspects. A Virginia resident, Maya has taught college courses in writing, detective fiction, and literature. When not reading and writing, she enjoys theater, travel, trivia, cooking, and crosswords. Visit her website -- https://mayacorrigan.com -- for book news, easy recipes, and mystery history and trivia.


October 27 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT
October 27 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT
October 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – AUTHOR GUEST POST
October 28 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
October 29 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 29 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW
October 30 – Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense – RECIPE
October 30 – Christy's Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 31 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR GUEST POST
October 31 – My Reading Journeys - REVIEW
November 1 - Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
November 2 - Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
November 2 - Carla Loves To Read - REVIEW
November 3 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
November 3 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
November 4 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
November 4 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
November 5 – The Mystery Section – RECIPE
November 5 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT


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Saturday, October 28, 2023

Book Tour & Giveaway: Future Imperfect by Babette Gallard

Speculative Fiction / Cli Fi

Date Published: Oct 2023

Publisher: BAD PRESS iNK

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It’s 2050 and climate change catastrophe isn’t the future... it’s now. And climate refugees aren’t other people... it’s you.

The streets are a spider’s web of new tributaries. Everything is underwater. Don’t worry about us, but nothing is the same anymore.

It’s 2050 and the River Rhône has flooded the town of Arles in France so Helen and Isha leave to join their adopted daughter Jana and eleven-month-old granddaughter Ayo in England.

But at Calais, they find that if Isha crosses the Channel, she will be immediately deported as her grandparents were Ugandan-Asian. Faced with the terrible dilemma, Helen chooses to remain with Isha.

Homeless and now stateless, they decide to seek refuge in a friend’s Swiss mountain chalet, but to avoid immigration checkpoints they have to walk, following the Via Francigena, an ancient pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome, and now the preferred escape corridor for refugees fleeing climate catastrophes.

Horrified at her parents embarking on such a dangerous journey, Jana resolves to follow. However, this is not so easy.

They communicate whenever and however they can while battling with exhaustion, terror, and virulent xenophobia as people struggle to protect their increasingly scarce resources.

The journey ends in Parma, Italy, a perfect destination for reasons they could never have imagined.



Praise for Future Imperfect

"Future Imperfect is a thought-provoking and timely book that explores a not-too-distant future where environmental changes and social divisions have reshaped society… It will make you reflect on the choices we make today and the impact they will have on our future."

Kumi Naidoo: Human Rights Activist

International Executive Director of Greenpeace International 2009-2015

Secretary General of Amnesty International 2018-2020

"an incredibly good read… both deeply personal and political, it will become part of the canon climate novels."

Rehad Desai

Producer / Director: Miners Shot Down (2014), How to Steal a Country (2019) and Everything Must Fall (2019)


"This is one of those rare books that becomes part of you…. An engrossing read."

Terry Shakinovsky, author and book journalist


5 stars!

An intriguing premise and absorbing story with surprising twists and turns at every crossroad. 

Future Imperfect by Babette Gallard was an absorbing story based on an intriguing premise with twists and turns every step of the way. I was immediately drawn into these engaging characters’ stories as their world went to pieces as they attempted to make their way to safety and back together as a family. 

The storytelling is superior, with the author using straightforward narratives from multiple viewpoints supplemented by the emails (Nmails) the characters periodically send to update one another regarding their current circumstances. It was very easy to read but tense as the women made their way across France. 

Two journeys are occurring simultaneously, each taking a different route and encountering surprise after surprise in this future France devastated by flood, famine, and fear. Real place names are used and anchor the action to the progress the travelers are making. I was riveted to the pages from start to finish. 

I recommend FUTURE IMPERFECT to readers of speculative fiction and climate fiction, but those who enjoy post-apocalyptic and dystopian-themed tales will also feel right at home.

About the Author

After clambering up and falling through a 20m roof at school (avoiding lessons), breaking several significant bones, Babette’s equestrian career was over until her mother suggested she continue with the safer art of dressage-riding. For this, she trained in Germany and rode professionally, but after 4 years, she returned to the UK to, as she said, grow up. She took and passed three A levels and then a Humanities degree, and with these survived as a freelance journalist and TV researcher in Bristol until she met her husband, became a hippy and got pregnant. Wanting a better life for their daughter, they decided to live off the land in Portugal, which worked for a few years.

Meanwhile, she wrote anything and everything, fiction, non-fiction, some published, some lucrative, some not, including young adult novels and accounts of her 1000km journeys along St James Way and Via Francigena on horseback. With her third husband, Babette manages their publishing company for the LightFoot guides.

Babette was born in Shropshire but has lived and worked long-term in seven countries, including on a boat and in a jungle. Now living in Johannesburg, in 2022, she received her Masters degree in Creative Writing from the University of Witwatersrand and is currently preparing for an English doctorate at Stellenbosch University, where she will undoubtedly be the oldest but most enthusiastic student.

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Friday, October 27, 2023

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway: The Un-Diet Diet: Healthier Boomers in Just 21 Days by Dr. Douglas Pooley

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dr. Douglas Pooley will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



The UN-Diet Diet is a health reclamation strategy. It is designed to give the participant simple and effective tools to aid in improving overall health, effectively deal with weight management issues, and to serve as a guide for empowered aging. The program is aimed at those over the age of 55 with existing health compromise. It examines the true genesis of both health and disease through the lens of our evolutionary footprint, drilling down to the essence of what it means to be alive. It is here within the principles which create and maintain life, that we also find the keys to health and longevity.


Read an Excerpt:

Science is just starting to understand the resident wisdom contained within the human body with all its complex mechanisms for preserving health. Let me give you an example.

Through an internal strategy for repairing and replacing cells, called senescence, directed by tiny signalling proteins called sirtuins (we will discuss this in depth a little further into the book), we are naturally and automatically capable of monitoring and regulating many metabolic functions related to ageing and repair—including genome stability, inflammatory response, apoptosis (normal cell death), DNA repair and mitochondrial functions. I am sure that some of you may be saying, “So what? Big words and complex processes, but what’s the point?” What I am driving at is simple. The body is creation’s most magnificent health factory. We were all born with these and many other spectacular health enhancing processes, and they happen without thought or conscious direction every minute of every day you are alive. Really, it just does not get any more amazing!

As for blaming illness on age, although some critical biological functions may not perform quite as effectively at eighty-five as they did at thirty-five, as we go forward into the book, you will witness how these processes most certainly can be stimulated to work more efficiently at any point in our lives.


5 stars!

Common sense explanations, inspirational discussions, and a doable program for the Boomer generation.

The Un-Diet Diet is the new guide aimed at the over-55 audience who want to improve their lifestyle and reclaim their health to feel better and age more gently. A practicing physician for over 40 years, Dr. Pooley takes the time and effort to explain the hows and whys the current generation of seniors are experiencing many preventable conditions and lays out straightforward methods that can alleviate or avoid some common health struggles. The messages contained herein are understandable, doable, and inspiring. 

Dr. Pooley takes a whole-person, whole-life, all-systems approach to strengthening and maintaining health, explaining how each of the five interconnected areas must be addressed for our bodies to work optimally and age well. The book's title rings true; this is not a diet book, although reasoned food management is one of the five parts. 

The author structures his program on five interconnected principles: "The Five Pillars to Health." Pooley explains what each pillar constitutes and how they must be considered to attain a healthy state. His writing style is engaging and easy to read and follow, even when discussing complex ideas. His tone was much like that of a good friend who really likes you. Case studies of real-life situations with past patients are included throughout the book and clearly illustrate the principles under discussion and their application or how health problems had manifested. 

Considering the nature of this material and the target audience's age, the author stresses that before jumping feet first into this or any similar program, readers should consult their own healthcare provider for their informed go-ahead. However, everything mentioned made absolute sense, and there were no outrageous demands inherent in the program. 

I recommend THE UN-DIET DIET to readers of this age group considering making health improvements and wanting to emphasize common sense lifestyle choices.

About the Author:
Dr. Pooley has been in practice over 43 years, and during that time worked with over 20,000 individuals in close to 500,000 clinical encounters. He is married to his soulmate Patti Mugford-Pooley and lives in Lighthouse Cove in Canada. He has served his profession and community in various roles, and lectured nationally and internationally on professionalism as well as the importance of natural approaches to health and wellness. Doug is a former bodybuilding champion and continues to explore new frontiers in health and successful aging.

He is currently in his early seventies going on seventeen.

Website: https://theun-dietdiet.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheUndietDiet/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/DRDOUGPOOLEY/


Dr. Douglas Pooley will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Thursday, October 26, 2023

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway: Second Term by J.M. Adams

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Second Term

by JM Adams

October 23 - November 17, 2023 Virtual Book Tour


Second Term by JM Adams

A lame duck president's desperate power grab threatens democracy in the United States—can former intelligence operative and single mother Cora Walker prevent catastrophe?

September 2012. Cora Walker, a DIA defense operative, learns of a terrorist plot in Benghazi and rushes to a secret installation to stop it. When her superiors ignore her dire warnings, she’s forced to mount an unsanctioned attempt to thwart the attack. Her team barely repels the large force of invaders determined to kill Americans.

Sixteen years after her heroic actions in Benghazi, Cora is the press secretary for the Speaker of the House. As a single mom, she’s struggling to balance her demanding job and her home life. Soon, things get more complicated at work as the lame duck president suspends habeas corpus and begins arresting members of Congress in a desperate attempt to retain power.

Cora springs into action to save the Speaker and prevent catastrophe. She’ll have to work strategically to keep everyone safe—alliances turn sour, and her trust in others begins to falter. It’s an uphill battle for Cora until an explosive finale exposes what can really happen to democracy when political extremism reaches new heights.

Praise for Second Term:

"Second Term is second to none when it comes to high stakes action and nonstop thrills. J. M. Adams has fashioned a ticking time bomb of a political thriller that evokes the best of classics from Seven Days in May to Six Days of the Condor."
~ Jon Land, USA Today best-selling author

"A battle of wits that heats up the pages, this one will hold you tight until all is revealed."
~ Steve Berry, New York Times best-selling author

"In his debut novel, Second Term, J. M. Adams keeps the pages of his political thriller turning at a blistering pace, led by a character you’re going to root for aloud. If only she were real!"
~ Jerome Preisler, New York Times best-selling author

"I sat down with Second Term and didn't stop reading until I finished it. Breakneck pace and an all-too-plausible scenario, with a vivid and memorable protagonist. I hope we see more of Cora Walker."
~ Joseph Finder, New York Times best-selling author

"Adams effectively harnesses the headlines to create suspense."
~ Publishers Weekly

Book Details:

Genre: Action, Suspense, Thriller
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: October 2023
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781608095919 (ISBN10: 1608095916)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | Goodreads | Oceanview Publishing

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

September 10, 2012
Mediterranean Sea, North Africa

A heavy breeze rolls off the Mediterranean Sea pushing away the stench of the city slowly dying around me. The deep salty air offers a snippet of comfort although I have no idea why. There are no childhood memories of the sea. I grew up in western Colorado and southwestern Virginia. Maybe it’s the brief respite from the taint of chemicals and human waste that’s embedded itself into the pores of this city. I feel like I’m constantly gagging on smoke from the unseen forest fires that raged in Colorado when I was a kid.

The buildings around me are pockmarked with bullet holes. Sandbags stand watch in front of every entrance with piles of rubble towering from thirty to fifty feet high. This place is a giant landfill waiting to fall into the sea. I walk another block and come across a building that looks like something took a mammoth crescent-shaped bite out of it. Rebar splinters off in several directions like webs constructed by a giant spider.

There’s no way to underscore the toll of human suffering here. My line of sight follows another tower of rubble going up to the second floor where a little kitchen comes into view. On the left side of the room there’s vibrant yellow wallpaper, a Roman numeral wall clock, and a table topped with a bright floral Persian table runner. On the right, the walls are stained with blood and black scorch marks. There are more weapons than food in this cursed city and the reminders are everywhere.

Western leaders continue to fool themselves into believing that the death of Muammar Gaddafi would have brought some semblance of sanity or stability to this region. The Brother Leader’s forty-year reign of terror against his people might have ended, but death and chaos rule this city with an iron hand.

Libya is a slave to its violent history, and no one is looking for a way out. But what do I know? I’m just a covert foot soldier for the American Department of Defense. I can’t begin to understand why Washington believes that with Gaddafi gone, it’s nothing but butterscotch and ponies here in North Africa.

I have a wake-up call to deliver to my superiors that may realign some of that thinking, but only if I can make it to the CIA installation in one piece. I’ve been collecting intel for the past two months posing as an English teacher for a wealthy family living in a chateau in Derna.

Derna was the perfect place for undercover work. The charming Libyan port city is about 200 miles east of Benghazi and doesn’t begin to fit in with the rest of Libya. It’s one of the wealthiest areas in the country, a quaint little town nestled into beautiful green mountains rich with exotic sea cliffs and waterfalls. Two days ago, I obtained information that forced me to blow my cover and run. There was no way to securely transmit the sensitive information I’ve gathered without landing in a cell never to be seen again.

My pickup time is slated for the conclusion of the Muezzins’ call to Fajr prayer. The Fajr is the first of five daily Muslim prayers broadcasted from speakers atop the mosques that are still standing around the city. They stick to strict schedule and this morning’s devotional is set for 4:58am (the true dawn) although the sun won’t rise until after 6:30 this morning.

I emerge from the shadows of the long-abandoned Benghazi Cathedral. It’s ironic that one of the most prominent structures in this old Muslim city is a decaying Roman Catholic Church. I have little time to get to the parking lot at the 7th of October Hospital without drawing attention to myself. Good luck with that, I laugh out loud. Hopefully my baggy clothes, hat, and short haircut can fool anyone who doesn’t get too close.

I pull the wide brim of my camouflage bucket hat lower to cover more of my face. My oversized camo jacket is untucked over a dark t-shirt hanging over black jeans. The street is still deserted as I execute what I like to call my husky “man-walk.” I emit an audible sigh of relief rounding the corner by the burned-out Hamzawi Café. I’m less than a hundred yards away from the hospital and have a straight shot to my destination where I can hole up until my ride arrives. At the same time, two militiamen turn the corner and are coming my way. So much for a smooth escape. Why aren’t they preparing for morning prayers?

I ease my Cressi finisher knife into my right hand spinning the blade backwards against my forearm to keep it out of sight. The sharp pinprick of the blade against my skin provides some small comfort. The knife is specifically designed for underwater hunting, but it’s always done the job for me. Five inches long with a deadly stiletto tip. I have zero interest in any confrontation, but that pipe dream is starting to evaporate.

“Asalaamu alaikum,” I say in my practiced husky “man-voice” trying to sound masculine friendly, but in a hurry.

Thankfully, both of their AK-47s remain slung to their backs.

The guy on the left is slightly built, with a camo hat that looks a little like mine. He’s not paying any attention, but the bigger man closer to me answers with a slight edge to his reply, “Wa alaikum salam.”

His eyes are alert and suspicious underneath bushy caterpillar eyebrows and a tangled mane of black facial hair.

I try to politely pass them on the right when the hairy man lashes out seizing my shoulder and reaching for a compact revolver from his belt. I wonder what prompted him to grab me at the same time I plunge the length of my blade deep into his armpit underneath an outstretched arm. His eyes pop wide open in horror. He grunts in confusion as I turn my blade twice before yanking it out of his body and jabbing two explosive thrusts deep into his throat.

Blood erupts from the neck wound covering my hands as I step forward to his companion who is in the clumsy process of unslinging his rifle. I dispatch him quickly with a sweeping arc of my blade and survey the area for witnesses. I’m lucky that this unfortunate incident took place in the cover of darkness. We are the only people on the street, and our encounter made very little noise.

The entire altercation took less than ten seconds. My arms are covered in bright red arterial blood with one of the men gurgling bubbles from his open neck wound at my feet. I lean down and try to leave as much of the mess as I can on his jacket. I switch jackets with my second victim as the loudspeakers crackle to life around the city signaling the start of the morning prayers. Any sane person would want to sprint from the scene, but my training forces me to walk casually away from the dead men lying in the street. I walk into the hospital parking lot. There’s a black Mercedes. The plate matches the numbers I’m expecting as I throw open the passenger door and slam it behind me.

“That’s a good way to get shot,” says the smiling driver in place of a greeting, his hand resting on the Glock 19 in his lap. He studies me with open curiosity.

“If you don’t want company, you should probably keep your doors locked in a neighborhood like this,” I answer.

“Jesus,” he asks, voice rising in concern as he stares at the blood-soaked jacket on my lap. “You hit?”

“It’s not mine. I had a run-in with a couple of locals around the block,” I say quietly.

“A run-in? You’re covered in blood,” he says. I nod.

“Those two militia dudes? Big shaggy guy?” I nod my head again.

“We need to get out of here,” he says.

“Better wait until prayers are over,” I answer. “We shouldn’t be on the streets during prayers.”

“Muhammad will have to see his way past our sins,” he says, slamming the car into gear and pulling out onto the empty street. “I’m Deckard by the way. Welcome to Benghazi.”

I nod, scanning the streets for anything out of place.

“There’s wipes in the glove box. You should clean up the best you can. We should be back at the ranch in fifteen to thirty depending on roadblocks. You sure you’re OK?”

I reach for the wipes as a violent cough escapes my lips. The worst thing about Benghazi isn’t the people waving guns; it’s the never-ending cloud of macabre dust that dominates the air here. North Africa is hot, the air is thick, and it’s only rained once since I got here two months ago.

A bottle of water appears in front of my face, and I suck it down in two gulps.

“The station chief told me to look for a seasoned operative. You don’t look old enough to drink. Are you Langley? Everyone else here is.”

Langley is shorthand for CIA. I wonder if he’s going to prattle on all the way to the station.

“Something like that,” I say.

“So what should I call you?” he asks with a twinkle in his eye. “Jane the Ripper?”

“Jack is fine,” I chirp back. “Got another water?”

“You don’t look line any Jack I’ve ever met. Anyway, the station chief has a hard-on for you already,” he says handing me another water. “Says you’re compromising the Agency’s mission in Benghazi and you shouldn’t be coming in at all.”

I lean my head back and close my eyes. The last thing I need now is some sad little station chief crying to me about his little slice of turf in the desert. I need to talk to Washington and get the American ambassador out of Libya or at least stop him from coming to Benghazi.


I have to admit, the driver is quite competent, and that’s high praise coming from me. He’s avoiding the main roads and driving around in haphazard circles. The last thing he needs in life is to be caught up in one of the impromptu militiaman roadblocks with an armed woman scrubbing blood off of her skin. There is no rule of law here. It’s survival of the fittest and open season on Westerners.

People are shot dead in the street every day. Benghazi is inundated by a tsunami of guns, rocket launchers, and grenades, courtesy of the raided Gadaffi stockpiles around the city. Once Gadaffi was dead, the grand prize was a leaderless country where everyone suddenly had access to military-grade weapons.

“You got a change of clothes?” I ask.

“In the duffle behind the seat.”

I climb into the back and start rummaging through his bag. “Please,” Deckard says dryly. “Help yourself.”

I pull off my jacket and shirt, happy to see my sports bra didn’t catch any blood. I only have one more in my possession. I pull on his shirt, about two sizes too big, and tie it up at the bottom. I ball up my blood-covered jacket and hand it up to him. “Get rid of this, please.”

“Pockets empty?” he asks.

“No, just a blueprint for the U.S. Consulate, signed confession, and the bloody knife.”

He chuckles at my amazing wit and tosses it out the window.


Excerpt from Second Term by JM Adams. Copyright 2023 by JM Adams. Reproduced with permission from JM Adams. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

JM Adams

J.M. ADAMS has more than 15 years of on-air television journalism experience, reporting for CBS and NBC news affiliates across the United States.

Highlights from his career include sea patrols with the Navy after the 9/11 attacks and reporting on location from Kuwait, Iraq, and a number of hurricane disaster zones across the country. Adams was briefly detained in East Germany during the fall of the Berlin Wall. Second Term is his debut novel.

Adams lives in Northern New Jersey with his wife, two daughters, and a pair of Cavashons who appear to have taken over the house.

Catch Up With JM Adams:
BookBub - @JM_Adams
Instagram - @jmadamsauthor
Twitter/X - @JM_AdamsAuthor
Facebook - J.M. Adams
TikTok - @jm_adamsauthor



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Sunday, October 22, 2023

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway: The Algorithm Will See You Now by J.L. Lycette

The Algorithm Will See You Now by JL Lycette Banner

The Algorithm Will See You Now

by JL Lycette

October 16 - 27, 2023 Virtual Book Tour


The Algorithm Will See You Now by JL Lycette

Medical treatment determined by artificial intelligence could do more than make Hope Kestrel's career. It could revolutionize healthcare.

What the Seattle surgeon doesn't know is the AI has a hidden fatal flaw, and the people covering it up will stop at nothing to dominate the world's healthcare-and its profits. Soon, Hope is made the scapegoat for a patient's death, and only Jacie Stone, a gifted intern with a knack for computer science, is willing to help search for the truth.

But her patient's death is only the tip of the conspiracy's iceberg. The Director, Marah Maddox, is plotting a use for the AI far outside the ethical bounds of her physician's oath. A staggering plan capable of reducing human lives to their DNA code, redefining the concepts of sickness and health, and delivering the power of life and death decisions into the hands of those behind the AI.

Even if the algorithm accidentally discards some who are treatable in order to make that happen...

Praise for The Algorithm Will See You Now:

"I've been waiting for a book like this: a full-frontal assault on the dangers of artificial intelligence and the failures of our mangled health care system, all wrapped up in a clever, ripping thriller. Jennifer Lycette is an author to watch."
~ Rob Hart, author of The Paradox Hotel

The Algorithm Will See You Now Trailer:

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Black Rose Writing
Publication Date: March 2, 2023
Number of Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781685131494 (ISBN10: 1685131492)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | Goodreads | Black Rose Writing

Read an excerpt:

7:15 AM

PRIMA, Prognostic Intelligent Medical Algorithms
Main Campus, Seattle

Dr. Hope Kestrel was the only person who knew the patient in Room 132 wasn’t responding to the algorithm-selected treatment.

She shuffled forward in the hospital security line, wanting to get her day started already yet dreading how she’d tell her patient the unexpected and devastating news. The straps from her work bag dug into her right shoulder as she shifted the trays of coffee and scones in her arms, her usual Monday morning offering to the staff. From PRIMA’s lofty location at the top of “Pill Hill,” the floor-to-ceiling windows framed downtown Seattle’s skyline, lit up by the early morning sun—its first appearance in over a week. In the distance, a ribbon of pink sky silhouetted the Space Needle, the tip poking out of the murky blue of the cloud bank. She frowned down at her pale hands, unable to recall the last time her skin had seen the sun. Even her freckles were fading.

Her heart lifted when she spotted Bear, the Security Force service dog, rounding the corner. The German shepherd dashed for her, pulling Kyle, his Security Force guard, with him. The people next to her in line stepped back.

Bear nosed at her lab coat, and she lifted the pastry box in one hand higher while shielding the cardboard carrier of coffee in the other. Hot liquid sloshed onto her wrist, the sting on her skin not far off from the burn in her chest that had been present all morning, triggered by the impending meeting in Room 132. One where she’d need to engage on an interpersonal level without the usual buffering layer of technology.

Her gaze shifted from Bear to the familiar logo on the wall behind Kyle’s head—Prognostic Intelligent Medical Algorithms—and she shut out the searing pain in her chest. They were so close to the breakthrough to enhance the artificial intelligence even further. To render tumors like her mom’s curable. Because to rely on only hopefulness promised everything and got you nothing. No matter her damn name.

She had to focus on the big picture. All she needed was to maintain her top ranking for a few more months. Then the coveted post-residency position at PRIMA would be hers—complete with her own research lab. Soon, she’d work side-by-side with her mentor Cecilia, no longer an underling.

Bear gave a muffled woof and sat down obediently at her feet. Although Kyle would probably deny it if asked, she strongly suspected the guard went out of his way each morning to find her, knowing how much she loved Bear. It had been their unofficial routine for five years now.

Hope gestured with her elbow. “Kyle, could you take this for a sec?”

The burly, middle-aged man accepted the breakfast offerings with a flash of white teeth gleaming in contrast to his warm brown skin. “You got it, High Resident Kestrel.”

“For the millionth time, you can call me Hope.”

His eyes twinkled. “Whatever you say, oh most High One.”

Heat flamed Hope’s cheeks, and she tried to cover it with an eye roll. Three months into her final year, she still wasn’t used to her lofty title. She’d be called the Chief Resident—not the High Resident—at any other program, but PRIMA had its own language.

The loyal dog emitted another stifled woof from his barely contained seated position.

Hope fished in the front pocket of her white scrubs for one of the dog biscuits she always carried and tossed the treat to Bear, who snapped it up.

Kyle returned the pastries, then spoke in the deep, rumbling voice that Hope had come to learn only masked his kindly nature. “He sure loves you, Dr. K. He’d follow you anywhere. Have you reconsidered about one of the puppies?”

She shifted her grip and gave a wistful shake of her head. “It wouldn’t be fair. I’m never home.”

“So? You’d figure it out. Hire a dog walking service—and doggie daycare, too. You don’t have to do it on your own.”

“I’d be nothing more than a familiar stranger who provides shelter and food.”

Kyle bent down to rub Bear behind his ears, only to glance up and hastily straighten into a military posture, shoulders back. He tugged Bear to heel, his gaze fixed over Hope’s head.

The dog sensed his handler’s shift in mood, the fur on his neck bristling upward.

Hope swiveled, following the direction of Kyle’s eyes. More coffee dribbled on her hand, but she barely felt it this time. A man and woman in matching black suits and pressed white shirts were staring in their direction. Hope couldn’t help but stare back. The man was tall and broad-shouldered, mid-thirties, with angular cheekbones and deep-set eyes, his striking features set off by his onyx black hair. The woman appeared to be of similar age and height, equally imposing, with skin paler than Hope’s, commanding eyebrows, and white-blonde hair in an identical short haircut to her partner.

Hope’s eyes darted to Kyle, who flashed another smile, but it didn’t reach his eyes.

“Are those two—?”

“Not regular Security Forces. They’ll notice me deviating from my route.” Kyle grimaced. “And letting Bear interact with civilians.”


Kyle dropped his voice. “Last week, another disgruntled non-responder tried to get in.”

A non-responder. A patient the algorithm had identified as refractory—resistant to all known therapeutics—and therefore wouldn’t be offered treatment at PRIMA. Or shouldn’t, at least.

Hope went cold all over. All patient volunteers agreed to abide by the algorithm’s determinations in exchange for free healthcare. What would the guards do if they discovered another non-responder already here, admitted by mistake? On Hope’s service, no less.

But that wasn’t her fault—

“You’re a busy doctor, and we shouldn’t be holding you up.” Kyle tugged Bear away before she could ask him anything more. “We’ll see you again soon, Dr. K.”

Before the dog was out of reach, Hope hurried to transfer the pastry box to the crook of her elbow, bracing it against her side enough to allow her to extend a hand to trail her fingers in Bear’s soft fur. The brief comfort the touch provided would have to last until tomorrow. She re-joined the line to watch the man and woman cut through the security checkpoint.

Her muscles tightened, and she forced them to relax. She needed to focus. At least medical training had made her a champion at putting extraneous thoughts out of her mind. Compartmentalization for the win.

A few moments later, she passed through the checkpoint and stepped onto OASIS—the Oncologic and Surgical Intervention Success Unit—and its familiar buzz of activity.

Patients strolled the oval hallway in the sunshine-yellow robes and plush slippers allocated upon admission. If not for the slim IV poles, they might be in a luxury hotel. The hidden panels in the walls and ceiling secured all medical equipment out of sight.

Abbie Fuentes, the charge nurse on OASIS for as long as Hope or anyone else could remember, spotted her arrival and trailed her into the break room. Hope wordlessly handed her one of the coffees, and she took a noisy sip while scanning Hope up and down, her impeccably bobbed hair not moving an inch. “What’s going on with you today? You’re late.”

Hope shrugged. The nurses hadn’t yet seen her patient’s latest test results, and the part of Hope that feared being perceived a failure planned to wait until the last possible moment to tell them. “Line at security. You know, it’s getting slower every day.”


Excerpt from The Algorithm Will See You Now by JL Lycette. Copyright 2023 by JL Lycette. Reproduced with permission from JL Lycette. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

JL Lycette

Jennifer / JL Lycette is a novelist, award-winning essayist, rural physician, wife, and mom. Mid-career, she discovered narrative medicine on her path back from physician burnout and has been writing ever since. She is an alumna of the 2019 Pitch Wars Novel Mentoring program. Her first novel, The Algorithm Will See You Now, was a 2023 SCREENCRAFT CINEMATIC BOOK COMPETITION FINALIST, 2023 READER'S FAVORITE BRONZE MEDAL WINNER in the Medical Thriller category, 2023 MAXY AWARD'S FINALIST - Thriller category, and 2023 PAGE TURNER AWARD'S FINALIST - Best Debut Novel category. The Committee Will Kill You Now is her second novel.

Connect with her, see more of her writing, and subscribe to receive the latest updates at:
BookBub - @JL_Lycette
Instagram - @jl_lycette
Facebook - @Author.JL.Lycette



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Friday, October 20, 2023

Release Blitz: Wild Asses of the Mojave Desert by Lis Anna-Langston


New Adult – Literary – Contemporary fiction – Women’s fiction

Date Published:10-20-2023

Publisher: Mapleton Press

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This novel about friendship, nostalgia, and finding oneself is funny and tender, moving and poetic, while standing firmly in hope and love. The characters are thinkers, overthinkers really, who are trying to find their way by asking the deep questions of life with wide-eyed wonder and talking through life's uncertainties. They fearlessly confront the choices they've made, examining their desires and their mistakes. The result is a smart, engaging novel depicting a young woman's search for the people and place she will call home.

Praise for Wild Asses of the Mojave Desert 

 'The best stories begin with wreckage.' Jack London 

…a journey away from the familiar and into the desert of discovery…As relationship quandaries, marriage possibilities, and good and harmful emotional connections emerge against the backdrop of the desert environment, readers receive a multifaceted story that connects via both emotional and landscape twists of perspective. 

Wild Asses of the Mojave Desert is a novel that pulls at heart and mind alike. Through Skye's journey and process of letting go everything she's held tightly throughout her life, readers receive a compelling saga… 

-D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review 

 With lyrical prose and philosophical conversation, Skye's relationships light up as fiercely as the streaks marking the desert sky at night. This novel about friendship, nostalgia, and finding oneself is funny and tender, moving and poetic, while standing firmly in hope and love. The characters are thinkers, overthinkers really, who are trying to find their way by asking the deep questions of life with wide-eyed wonder and talking through life's uncertainties. They fearlessly confront the choices they've made, examining their desires and their mistakes. The result is a smart, engaging novel depicting a young woman's search for the people and place she will call home. Returning home is a powerful and effective plot device that, in this author's hands, feels vibrant and new partly because of the fully realized characters and strong dialogue that endow the relationships with wise and vivid truths about life. 

-RECOMMENDED by the US Review



About the Author

Lis Anna-Langston was raised along the winding current of the Mississippi River on a steady diet of dog-eared books. She attended a Creative and Performing Arts School from middle school until graduation and went on to study Literature at Webster University. Her novels have won the Parents’ Choice Gold, Moonbeam Book Award, Independent Press Award, Benjamin Franklin Book Award and NYC Big Book Awards. A three-time Pushcart award nominee and Finalist in the Brighthorse Book Prize, William Faulkner Fiction Contest, George Garrett Fiction Prize and Thomas Wolfe Fiction Award, her work has been published in The Literary Review, Emerson Review, The Merrimack Review, Emrys Journal, The MacGuffin, Sand Hill Review and dozens of other literary journals.

Hailed as “an author with a genuine flair for originality” by Midwest Book Review and “a loveable, engaging, original voice…” by Publishers Weekly, you can find her in the wilds of South Carolina plucking stories out of thin air.

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