Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Review: Fire In the Woods

When a plane crashes in the woods near Jess’s home, the boy of her dreams falls out of the sky—literally.

But David’s not here to find a girlfriend. He’s from another planet, and if Jess can’t help him get back to his ship, he’ll be stuck on Earth with nothing to look forward to but the pointy end of a dissection scalpel. But her father runs their house like an army barracks. and with an alien on the loose, Major Dad isn’t too keen on the idea of Jess going anywhere.


So how the heck is she supposed to help the sweetest, strangest, and cutest guy she’s ever met? Hiding him in her room probably isn’t the best idea. Especially since her Dad is in charge of the squadron searching for David.

That doesn’t mean she won’t do it.

It just means she can't get caught. Helping David get home while protecting her heart—that’s gonna be the hard part.

After all, she can't really fall for a guy whose not exactly from here. As they race through the woods with Major Dad and most of the U.S. military one breath behind them, Jess and David grow closer than either of them anticipated. But all is not what it seems. David has a genocide-sized secret, and one betrayal later, they are both in handcuffs as alien warships are positioning themselves around the globe. Time is ticking down to Armageddon, and Jess must think fast if she's to save the boy she cares about without sacrificing Earth—and everyone on it.

FIRE IN THE WOODS is Star-Crossed meets Close Encounters of the Third Kind!

I loved this book since the beginning. I am a sucker for alien books and this one was perfect!

Jessica was a great lead character, she was just unstoppable. She did and risked everything to help David, her new "friend", an alien she found in the woods who is also being hunted by her dad, Major Martinez and the U.S Military. But this will not stop her. Jess is verra stubborn, does not listen nor acts before thinking and that is what makes her a great character. She is not weak or afraid to make a decision, and she does what she thinks is right and this is what gets her in trouble with the Major... all of the time :P

David - I loved his character, he is not the type of character that you will drool over. And I think that is because since he was new here on earth, he just did not know anything about us, how to act like a human, how to kiss and do other things.

Major Martinez aka Jessica's dad - To ME he was super duper hot! I have a weakness for older men and I always end up liking the older characters in any book I read.

I recommend this book to anyone that loves alien stories.

Writing was great. Story was great.Very entertaining and funny. Characters were super duper great!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Upcoming Release: June 30th

Book Blitz : Across the Miles (The Not So Bad Boys of Rock #1) by Rhonda James !

Release Date: 03/01/15
New Adult
340 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Sebastian Miles was twenty-three years old and living a charmed life. Loving family, beautiful girlfriend, and lead singer of the rock band, Paradox. Their debut album shot to number one on the charts, and they had just come off a worldwide tour, performing in venues filled to capacity. Then, one night, a tragedy rocked his world in a whole new way, turning him into someone he no longer recognized. Now, two years later, and on the other side of his own private hell, he learns to stop taking everything and everyone for granted. Yet, he is still alone. Then, one day he meets her, and suddenly, his darkened world is once again filled with hope.

Brooke Caldwell is a twenty-four-year-old prodigy in the culinary world. After a lifetime filled with heartache, she decides to pursue the opportunity of a lifetime by interviewing for a world famous chef in Los Angeles. While visiting the city, she is reminded how cold and calculated the world can be. Until she meets him, and he shows her a world filled with the love and support that she never knew growing up.

Two wounded souls. Two hearts that continue to beat, in spite of all the damage that has been done. What happens when their damaged hearts collide? And, could they possibly be the half that finally makes the other whole?

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Sebastian POV~

When I came out Brooke was in the living room, standing by the bank of floor-to-ceiling windows that overlooked the ocean below, her damp hair spiraled down her back and soft music played from her iPad. The Vamps were serenading her, and her small hips swayed back and forth, in a carefree fashion, the way one dances when no one is watching. My hand rose to my chest, palm pressing firmly against the sudden pain that bore into me. This girl did that to me, made my brain hurt and my heart clench achingly. I could grow accustomed to seeing her standing in my living room, hell any room in the house, as long as she was here with me. I hated that she was leaving soon, away from my home, out of my life. Forever. I couldn’t allow that to happen. I had to find a way to have her in my life, no matter how hard it may be. I realized that I had only known her for a week, but I knew without a doubt that I had to have her in my life. Whatever it took, I was willing to do it. Now the question was, would she be open to the same? We hadn’t even discussed the possibility of being in a relationship. I knew I was probably jumping to conclusions, but I had seen the way she looked at me, the way it felt when she held my hand. The little sparks of electricity that flew between us whenever our skin touched, kind of like when you drag your feet across the carpet then touch something metal, only this spark didn’t hurt, it revitalized. I welcomed it

Spotify Playlist link for Across the Miles

About the Author
Rhonda dreamed of being an author for more than thirty years, writing her first novella at the age of fifteen. She has written two novels since that have yet to be published. Across the Miles was the first work she felt compelled to share with the rest of the book loving world. While her first two novels were adult romance, this is her first attempt at reaching out to the New Adult genre. She lives in Michigan, with her husband of twenty-two years, and their two adult children. They share their home with dog, Baily, two cats named Molly and Walter, a crested gecko named Izzy, and a yard full of chickens. When not writing or reading, you will find her in the kitchen, preparing homemade soups, marinara sauce, and meatballs, just to name a few. Her love of bacon is unnatural, and her obsession with technology borders on the insane. She is a natural-born hugger, and if you meet she will channel her character Sebastian Miles, and you will most likely be the latest recipient of a bone crushing hug (don’t worry, no bones are actually crushed during this process).

Author Links:

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Book Blitz Organized by:YA Bound Book Tours

Book Blitz : SCHISM (Illirin Book One) By Laura Maisano !!

SCHISM (Illirin Book One)
By Laura Maisano

Art therapy hasn’t done squat for Gabe Jones. A thousand sketches of his fiancée can’t bring his memory, or her, back to him. Nothing on Earth can. His past lies in another dimension, a world just out of sight.
Another student on campus, Lea Huckley, unknowingly shares Gabe’s obsession with the fourth dimension. The monsters from the other side attacked her parents and fled, getting her folks locked up in the loony bin. Proving this other world exists is the only way to free them. Lea and Gabe strike a deal to help each other, and together they manage to open a door to the world of Gabe’s true origin. She’d use him for proof—if she didn’t already care too much.
While Gabe tries to reconcile his feelings for Lea and his rediscovered memories of his fiancée, a much more sinister plot unravels. He uncovers his history just in time to become the unwilling lynchpin in a conspiracy to start a war. His memory holds the secret to the final riddle the would-be conqueror needs to get the upper hand. Gabe must protect the riddle at all costs, even if that means leaving Earth, and Lea, behind forever.
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Goodreads   MuseItUp Publishing  (Audio is also available on iTunes)

Lea packed light. Other than her phone’s GPS and a flashlight, she kept a small notepad, her lucky pencil, and the thermometer in her cargo pocket. She didn’t need to find data, now she needed proof.
She led the way down the alley where skyscrapers blocked the glowing moon and the lamps from the highway. Yellowed fixtures above each back entrance threw faint cones of light onto the cement, like holes in Swiss cheese.
Lea checked the coordinates on her phone while she walked, and the little red arrow crept closer to the flag icon she placed to mark the interaction point.
Gabe spent his time surveying the area for anything that might be a danger. He kept fidgeting behind her and turning around every few seconds, a twitchy meerkat on patrol.
“We’re only between buildings. It’s not the end of the world.” Lea checked her phone again to make sure they were headed in the right direction.
He glanced over his shoulder. “I still don’t like it. It’s night, people do get mugged, you know.”
“The statistics of that are so low. We’re really not in any danger, considering the population and how many times that sorta thing happens.”
He shifted uneasily behind her. “Whatever, we’re raising the chances by being out here at night.”
Lea rolled her eyes. “I’m not missing this opportunity.”
“I know that. Neither am I.”
They came to a cross section behind two major offices where the loading docks and dumpsters sat for both of them. A stream of water trickled down the concave cement into the large sewer grate. Old garbage left a fume hanging around, and the humidity only made it worse.
Lea double- and triple-checked her coordinates, cross-checking with her notes. “This is it. Within I’d say, a fifteen foot diameter, low to the ground.” She shoved the phone in her cargo pocket. “Perfect.”
“How long?”
“Roughly ten minutes.”
Ten minutes may as well have been six hours. She paced back and forth, her sneakers scuffing the gritty pavement.
Gabe continued to keep a watchful eye out for muggers or vagrants. What a dork.
She snickered quietly. For someone who didn’t know his own experiences, he sure seemed paranoid. She watched him standing straight, darting his eyes to the entrance and even up to the windows above them. Watch out bad guys, Gabe’s on to you. She smiled and turned to see what looked like heat waves rising from the cold cement. Crap. The interaction had already started.
“Gabe…” She waved him over next to the loading dock.
This interaction provided no shining lights or obvious movement. Not much stood out visually, except maybe the air glistening like summer heat waves if she squinted hard enough, but her digital thermometer found the coldest point.
“Here,” she whispered, not wanting anyone or anything on the other side to hear. She stretched her arms forward, and Gabe did likewise.
“On the count of three.” She waited for him to nod. “One…two…three.”
They both reached through the interaction point and grabbed at the thicker air. Nothing. They tried again, pulling, grasping, and making any sort of motion to trigger a rip. Finally, Gabe leaned in and pulled out at just the right angle, because the light tore across like a jagged line. Lea grabbed the edge of it and tugged, opening the tear wider until they both fell through.

About the author

Laura has an MA in Technical writing and is a Senior Editor at Anaiah Press for their YA/NA Christian Fiction. Her debut novel is a YA urban fantasy called SCHISM. The sequel, UNITY, releases spring 2016.

Her gamer husband and amazing daughter give support and inspiration every day. Their cats, Talyn and Moya, provide entertainment through living room battles and phantom-dust-mote hunting. Somehow, they all manage to survive living in Texas where it is hotter than any human being should have to endure. Check out her blog at LauraMaisano.blogspot.com.

Social Media

Twitter: @MaisanoLaura
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LauraMaisanoWriter
        https://www.facebook.com/groups/illirinfans/  (Fan group for the Illirin series)

Tours, Blitz, Cover reveals organized by YA Bound Book Tours

Cover Reveal: Scars Run Deep by Helen Boswell

Scars Run Deep by Helen Boswell 
Publication date: September 22nd 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Good things generally don’t happen to me.
And if they do, it’s not long before something comes around and bites me in the ass. Ten-fold.

Jase Moretti has been running from a tragedy in his past for almost his entire life. Now at twenty-three years old, he finally has everything going for him – the promise of an exciting career and an engagement ring in his pocket ready to propose to the girl of his dreams. But when his path crosses with Elle Garcia’s during one reckless night in Vegas, he’s forced to revisit his past and the tragedy that he was responsible for. Jase has the rare opportunity to right the wrongs in his life, but in order to do it, he has to help Elle, the girl he’s hated for thirteen years.
A chance meeting.
A chance for redemption.
A chance for his scars to heal.
But Jase’s scars run deeper than he thinks, and he isn’t the only one with old wounds. As he learns more about Elle, he discovers he has to make a choice. Give up his perfect life or keep living the perfect lie?

Helen Boswell loved to get lost in the pages of a story from the time she could sound out the words. Originally from upstate New York, Helen spent much of her early adult life tromping around in Buffalo, NYC, Toronto, and Las Vegas, those cities now serving as inspiration for the dark and gritty urban backdrops of her stories. An author of both urban fantasy and contemporary romance, she loves to read and write characters that come to life with their beauty, flaws, and all.

Helen dedicates her time to raising her family of two boys, teaching college students, and of course, writing. 

Author links:
Tours, Blitz, Cover reveals organized by Xpresso Book Tours

Friday, June 26, 2015

Book Blitz : State of Vengeance by Summer Lane (Collapse #6)!

Book & Author Details:

State of Vengeance by Summer Lane
(Collapse #6)
Publication date: June 26th 2015
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult
Vengeance is coming.
Monterey Bay, California, has barely survived a brutal attack from the evil invasion forces of Omega, and Cassidy Hart is exhausted. She has lost a friend and gained a new enemy. The militias seem to be weakening, and Omega seems to be getting stronger.
In an effort to recruit more troops, Cassidy travels to the desolation of the high mountains to find the mysterious troops of Sky City, and to eliminate a threat that has long been growing just out of the militia’s reach.
Cassidy is not alone. Old enemies greet her, and the most dangerous person of all just might be the one she trusts the most.
The fate of the free world is at stake. The end is coming.
The militias – or Omega – will have its revenge.
Book #6 of The International Bestselling Collapse Series

Cassidy and Chris

“I’m trained to protect,” Chris answers, never wavering. “I’m trained to eliminate those people who would hurt my family, and my country. Anything beyond that is wrong.” He shakes his head. “I just don’t want you to get used to killing, Cassidy. You’re better than that.”
    I rest my hands on my hips.
    “I hate killing,” I say. “But I hate Omega more.”
    A cool gust of wind blows Chris’s hair into his face.
    “We do what we have to so that we can survive,” Chris tells me. “We don’t do it for any other reason than to protect and serve.”
    I turn away from him, angry, unshed tears spilling onto my cheeks.
    “This isn’t just about survival anymore,” I say. “This is about revenge.” 


Summer Lane is the author of the international bestselling Collapse Series and Zero Trilogy. She owns WB Publishing and Writing Belle, an online magazine dedicated to the Art of Storytelling. Summer is also an accomplished creative writing teacher and professional journalist. She lives in the Central Valley of California where she creates her stories and shares them with the world.

Author links:

Author Q & A with Summer Lane

* * * * * * * * * *

Where do you write?

I write at my desk. I rarely write anywhere else. It is my bubble of creativity, I suppose. I just turn on my music, close the door, and write. Sometimes it takes me thirty minutes – sometimes it takes me seven hours. It depends on what I’m writing. It depends on how difficult it is for me to create a specific scene or convey a certain emotion. If I’m writing an emotional scene, it can take me a long time.

My favorite place to write, though, is in the mountains, in the seclusion of a quiet forest. That’s where imagination really works well.

When do you write?

Mornings. 7 to 12 is the optimal time for me. Once noon hits, I’m pretty much done for the day when it comes to creative writing. I find that writing at the same time every day is really healthy for a writer. For example, my current manuscript requires a minimum of five pages per day. I can write more, but I certainly can never write less. Setting those little goals is helpful.

Favorite movie? Favorite television show?

I don’t think it’s possible for me to choose a favorite movie. I like so many! I really enjoy anything that’s action or adventure. I adore superhero movies and animated films – don’t even get me started on Wall-e. The Book of Eli is really cool, and so is any movie with Dwayne Johnson.

As far as television goes, I usually only have time to watch TV during June and July. I love Pretty Little Liars, Gilmore Girls (La, la, la, la!), and I’m positively obsessed – and by obsessed I mean madly in love – with The Walking Dead.

Favorite classic book?

When I was growing up, I ONLY read classic literature. I really was completely unaware until the age of sixteen that there was such a thing as “easy-to-read stories,” like Twilight or Harry Potter. I remember being so impressed with how fun it was to read a book that wasn’t written in old English (Ivanhoe, anyone?).

My favorite classic books (yes, plural!) are Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Great Expectations and Dracula. In case you hadn’t noticed, I have a thing for stories with dark undertones.

Favorite band?
One of my currents favorites is Muse. I adore them. They have such good songs! I also like Lady Antebellum and anything with a country sound. I am fascinated with Lana Del Rey and positively enraptured by any instrumental groups like Audio Machine or Two Steps from Hell.

What’s your schedule like as a writer?

I run a publishing business – I handle several different title releases per year. I have to come up with the content, coordinate all of the marketing strategies, edit the content, sell the content and monitor the content. I don’t like taking time off, but I have to. Sometimes! My busiest months are from November to June. I basically have about four to six major deadlines per month.

From July to September, I get a little slow-down in the madness. I work half-days, and I am able to relax my brain a bit so that I can create more content when Fall rolls around again. So right now, I’m just starting to enjoy some of the lazy days of summer – I’m going to Universal Studios Hollywood, Santa Monica Beach, camping in the mountains, and checking out a firework show for Independence Day.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I really like to read. I find it nearly impossible to read while I’m writing a manuscript. I just have to focus all of my attention on the story creation. So I only read when I’m not writing a book – which is usually on the weekends. I love to crochet – I adore it. It’s very soothing.

I think the best thing to do during the summer is to go swimming, watch a movie, and then sit on the tailgate of a pickup truck, smell the fruit in the orchards, and watch the stars. I could do that forever. I guess I’m just a little country girl at heart! I also enjoy cooking. Pioneer Woman is my favorite thing ever. I’m totally serious. Ree Drummond is my hero. She needs to adopt me and teach me her ways.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Here’s where I fess up and admit that I’m a hybrid. I plot out my stories, I know who the characters are, and I know exactly what’s going to happen before I actually sit down and write the book. However, I do not plot out the specific scenes. I have general ideas, but I allow the personalities of the characters and the environments to shape and mold the scene, therefore making it – in my opinion, at least – more organic.

At this point in the Collapse Series, the characters shape their own destinies. In many ways I am just following where they lead – I simply nudge them in the right direction.

Favorite writing snack?

Tea and chocolate. It’s my favorite combination. During the hot months, it’s iced tea, and during the cold months, it’s hot tea. I literally had a stack of eighteen snickers bars behind my desk. You know. Just in case I got a craving or something.

Upcoming projects?

Collapse: The Illustrated Guide comes out this summer. The paperback will release first, and then the eBook will be available around August 2015. The conclusion to the Zero Trilogy, End of Day, will release October 9th, 2015. Then I’ve got the next Collapse book coming out in January 2016, Bravo: Apocalypse Mission in March 2016, and another Collapse book in June 2016.

So yeah. When I have downtime, I seize it and don’t let go!

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sale this week only! Alive 5 by Linda Bond 0.99 Cents!


Description: TV news reporter Samantha Steele is one panic attack away from losing her job. Future on the line and cameraman in tow, she follows her mentor on an exhilarating adventure vacation. When he dies while skydiving, her investigative instincts scream “murdered”, and lead her to gorgeous thrill-seeker Zack Hunter. Zack is an undercover police officer investigating his uncle’s death through the same adventure vacation company. Samantha is a thorn in his side the moment they meet. Not only is she investigating the same case, but the emotionally wounded loner doesn’t want another partner, especially one whose goal is to splash evidence all over the evening news. But Samantha’s persistence is quite a turn-on, and Zack’s overpowering desire makes it harder for him to push her away. When the killer turns his attention to Zack, Samantha might be the only one who can save him, forcing the anxiety-riddled correspondent to finally face her greatest fear.

See what Fresh Fiction had to say about ALIVE AT 5:

"What a Treat: Great Characters, a Clever Plot, and Extreme Adventures!"

"ALIVE AT 5 is extremely well written, fast paced, and what a joy it was to experience, even vicariously, skydiving, scuba diving, and swimming with sharks! Ms. Bond has crafted a superior romantic suspense, and Sam, Zach, and Sam's cameraman George make such a fine team, I dare hope it's the beginning of a series! No chance of dozing off while reading ALIVE AT 5!"


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Book Trailer:

Book Blitz: Tor Maddox Series by Liz Coley

Book & Author Details:

 Tor Maddox Series by Liz Coley
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
 INTRODUCING Tor Maddox, a heroine for our times

“I know that one day, I’m going to have to live in the real world. I’d like it to be a decent one.” - Tor

Book I Tor Maddox: Unleashed

When sixteen-year old Torrance Olivia Maddox, self-confessed news junkie, figures out that the mysterious and deadly New Flu is being spread by dogs, she has one question—if the danger is that obvious to her, why hasn’t the government revealed the truth and taken action?

Her search for the answer will take her farther than she ever imagined. But then again, she never imagined that man’s best friend could become public enemy number one, that men in black might show up in her cozy suburban neighborhood, that she’d spend her sixteenth birthday as a teenaged runaway, and that her effort to save one dog would become a mission to save them all.


It was spooky climbing down the slope under the dark trees. I bent low under the overhanging branches and walked east along the lowest part. Twigs tugged at my hair. Wisps of spider web caught my cheeks. Under cover of the slope, I dared to turn on the flashlight to scan the rocks underfoot. If I broke an ankle out here, I was nailed. Cocoa panted along beside me. I say panted, but there was a definite wheezy quality to it that made my own chest ache. We’d hardly gone any distance. He shouldn’t be tired yet.
When we were safely out of sight of houses and humanity, I found a less gravelly spot to collapse into at the base of a tree. Cocoa curled up against me, a nice warm body. Still, I put on a double layer of sweatshirts and opened up the mylar blanket to spread over both of us. I flipped the flashlight around in my hand, covering the clear plastic with my palm. The red glow was all the nightlight I thought safe.
Even with three layers of clothes and an insulating blanket, I shivered and shivered in the night. I was terrified that heat-seeking rattlesnakes would slither under the blanket with us. Terrified that spiders would drop out of the bushes. Terrified that Cocoa would take off after a wild rabbit. I was afraid of men in black suits. Afraid of men in white coats. And especially afraid of falling asleep. My eyes ached. Exhaustion battled with adrenaline.
At 5:15 a.m. all the batteries ran out, both mine and the flashlight’s. I slept, pursued in restless dreams by the vengeful spirits of barking dogs.
At 6:51 a warm, pink light penetrated the underbrush. A rising swell of birdsong served as alarm clock. At my stirring, Cocoa yawned and stretched. He lifted a leg against the tree I was leaning on and streamed against it.
“Hey, watch it,” I scolded. “I mean, good boy. Come, Cocoa. Lie down.”
Down? His puzzled eyes asked me. He knew it was time to stretch, time to play, time to go for his quick morning walk with Rody.
“Sorry, fuzzy face. We can’t. Have some breakfast.” I poured dog food into one bowl and water into the other, but Cocoa turned his head away, uninterested. “I guess you need a walk first. I’m sorry.” He whimpered softly.
“I hear you, bud. Me too.” I rolled my shoulders, stretched my legs out in front of me. Every square inch of my body hurt. The granola bars tempted me not.
What was going on at home this morning? By now, Rody would have discovered Cocoa was gone. Would he say anything?
Mom was probably wondering why she hadn’t heard the shower go on and off in my bathroom. Maybe she was knocking on my door right now, calling me to wake up. Maybe she was cracking open the door and walking over to the tousled lump of covers to run her hands softly through my hair and kiss me on the cheek. Maybe she was turning in horror from the empty bed, running through the house, calling to my Dad, crying, “She’s gone…she’s gone.”
My throat ached. I did that to her. A tear slipped out of the corner of my eye.
I pulled out my phone and sent her a text message: Mom I’m safe I’m fine don’t worry don’t search.
I hoped she could live with that. I doubted it.
I huddled with my dark thoughts as the sky brightened. In the distance, on the playground, toddlers laughed with their own mothers, enjoying their morning playtime before naps. A knife twisted in my heart. Life went on for the innocent as well as for the ignorant. But knowing what I knew, I could never be that carefree again.
Book 2 Tor Maddox: Embedded
Life has been way too quiet for Tor Maddox since her fifteen minutes of CNN fame. Then agent-in-training Rick Turner reappears with what sounds like a simple assignment—to embed herself as his eyes and ears in her own high school. When she agrees to keep tabs on high school state swim champ Hamilton Parker for the Feds, she is plunged into the deep end of a sinister plot. Knowing that freedom, justice, and lives are at stake again, Tor jumps in feet first, but has she gotten in over her head this time?

When observe and report becomes kiss and tell, Tor’s first mission may blow up in her face.

                                   EMBEDDED EXCERPT

Down the street, a door slammed. An engine revved.
Rick’s head whirled, tracking the noise, and I took advantage of the distraction to change the subject. “We’re going to Ensenada tomorrow,” I reported. “His dad has a business meeting, so we’re going along for the scenery. Okay? Enough progress?”
His frown surprised me. “Mexico? That’s not exactly safe territory right now.”
“You know—”
“Yes, I know you’re a black belt. But still—”
“That’s not what I was going to say,” I interrupted. Only a red belt, actually, but I wasn’t going to say that either. “It’ll be fine. His dad’s bodyguard is meeting us there. Besides. I’m just doing what you told me to. Get close to the son; keep an eye on the dad.”
He breathed loudly. “So you are. You’re right. You appear to be exceeding my expectations.”
“Rick.” I didn’t quite know what to say after that. I refused to feel guilty. Nothing to feel guilty for…yet.
He pulled a ball point pen out of his pocket. “Okay. Take this along with you. Please?”
“Wow. A pen. How…thoughtful?” I twirled it in my fingers.
“It’s a camera,” he explained.
“Really? Coolio.” I couldn’t stop the grin. My first spy camera! “But I do have my phone, you know.”
“This one is a little special. GPS tracking, voice recorder, infrared, and sixty megapixel image. No matter where you shoot from, we’ll be able to blow up the smallest corner of the shot.”
Awesome. “So what am I supposed to be shooting?”
“Use your judgment. The restaurant, the beach, anyone Parker senior talks to. That kind of thing. There are a couple safety features as well—flashlight, screamer, taser, death ray.”
I nearly dropped the pen. “Nice. How do I activate the death ray?”
A dimple appeared in his left cheek.
Spit. “You were kidding, right?”
His lips twisted in a smile. He flicked a moth from its perch on his sleeve. “Only half. This is last year’s model. No death ray.”
I punched him in the arm. “Sure. Whatever. Instructions?”
He passed me a small piece of paper from his other pocket. “When you’ve memorized this, please destroy it.”
I stuffed it in my pocket. “I’m terrible at manuals and on-line tutorials. Can you just show me?”
“Of course,” he said. “Though I find it hard to believe you’re terrible at anything.”
I held the pen up to my eye. All I saw was pen. “All I see is a pen. Now what?”
Rick spun me to face the street lamp, stepped up behind me, and reached around my shoulders to steady the pen. “That’s upside down,” he said. “Not that it really matters.”
I spun the pen point down. “I knew that.”
His hands closed over mine. “Site through the O in the brand name. See if you can center it on the light.”
Pulling the pen close enough to squint through it brought Rick’s thumbs right up against my cheek. I did my best to ignore the way I felt pressed, enfolded, snuggled even, between his warm chest behind me and his forearms resting on mine.
“See it now?” he asked. “I don’t think you’re aiming high enough.” He rested his chin on my left shoulder and tilted the pen. His eyelashes tickled my left cheek.
I forgot to breathe until he did it for me, the warm air blowing down my neck, more of a shuddery sigh than a normal exhalation. I melted and froze solid all in one moment. I knew if I turned my head about one inch to the left, I could create a whole lot of trouble for both of us. For just a millisecond, I calculated whether it was worth it.

Book 3 Tor Maddox: Mistaken

Grab a flotation device and welcome aboard for more shenanigans, villainy, and romance.

Eight leotards and a ball gown—that’s what Tor Maddox packed for her summer ballet intensive in New York. Pity she never arrived. Kidnapped once by the good guys and once by the bad ones, Tor finds herself involved in a high seas adventure featuring princesses and pirates, a wedding ring, and the guy she thought she’d never be allowed to see again, junior man-in-black Rick Turner.

In 2013, Liz Coley’s psychological thriller Pretty Girl-13 was released by HarperCollins in the US and UK. Foreign translations have been published in French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, Czech, Slovakian, and Chinese (simplified and traditional).

Her independent publications include alternate history/time travel/romance Out of Xibalba and teen thrillers in the new Tor Maddox series: UNLEASHED, EMBEDDED, and MISTAKEN. Her short fiction has appeared in Cosmos Magazine and several speculative fiction anthologies: The Last Man, More Scary Kisses, Strange Worlds, Flights of Fiction, You’re not Alone, and Winter's Regret.

Liz lives in Ohio, where she is surrounded by a fantastic community of writers, beaten regularly by better tennis players, uplifted by her choir, supported by her husband, teased by her teenaged daughter, cheered from afar by her two older sons, and adorned with hair by her cats Tiger, Pippin, and Merry.

Liz invites you to follow her as LizColeyBooks on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and visit her website at LizColey.com.

Author links:

Q&A with Liz :
How did you get the idea for the Tor Maddox series?

The story idea for the first book, Unleashed, came to me as many do when I was listening to NPR. They were covering the bird flu epidemic—the first time around! My husband and I were driving past Best Friends Veterinary Clinic at the time. The reporter mentioned the millions of birds that had to be destroyed to stop the spread, and I said, “What would happen if it were dogs?” Brian said, “You should write that.” This became my very first NaNoWriMo project in 2006.

What has changed about the book since that first draft?

Here’s what changed in real life: In 2006, the canine flu had been around for only two years. The bird flu epidemic was raging. In 2015, the canine flu is having a major resurgence in the American Midwest. So is the bird flu. Once upon a time I was worried that the events of my story would happen before I could get published. Now I think I got my book out there in the nick of time.

Here’s what changed about the characters: Originally Tor was 14 and Rick was 24 and there was NO WAY there could ever be a romantic thing—just a school girl crush. By up-aging Tor and down-aging Rick to within 4 years, it became a difficult but believable entanglement.

Here’s what changed about the title: Original title was Best Friends, as a salute to dogs being man’s best friends and all of Tor’s best friend relationships. This was revised on submission to Sixty Million Best Friends, the number of dogs in the United States at the time. Under the Radar was considered briefly. And then I settled on the one-word title scheme for the series where every title contains a double meaning.

What’s with the funny character names?

I love unusual names, especially the ones that make you ask, “What were the parents thinking?!” I wanted to recognize the trend of mad creativity with baby name choices and spellings. Tor’s mom, representing the older generation is Suzie. Tor’s best friend is the hip, new version, Sioux-san.

Why are the first two books set in San Diego?

I grew up in San Diego, so the culture and geography and local political issues were all on my radar. I felt like I could work well with that location.

What kind of research do you do for your books?

In UNLEASHED, Tor copies a lot of the research I did, looking in detail at flu genetics and pandemic numbers. I also researched sunset and sunrise times, moon phases, actual flight itineraries, and the street view (and inside photos) of CNN headquarters. There’s a website where you can actually print out the genetic code letter by letter for different strains of influenza and compare them. To plan for Tor and Rody’s escape, I hiked the specific route they took with a camera.

For EMBEDDED, I researched white supremacy and anti-immigrant websites, which are rather chilling. Almost all of the news quotes at the tops of the chapters are quoted from real online sources. I also had one of those “browser history” moments that authors feel very self-conscious about when they are researching things like improvised explosives. Just saying.

For MISTAKEN, I did extensive research on a particular cruise line which shall remain nameless so Big Mouse doesn’t get mad at me. There are hours of videos on the cruise ship work experience, expectations of employees, and orientation procedures. I also looked at cruise itineraries, ship layouts, and the actual CDC handbook on the Vessel Sanitation Program (and several years of inspection data). Most chilling was a book I read/skimmed called “Cruising for Trouble.” Finally Google Earth and Google Maps were extremely helpful in figuring out very specific plot points.

What about all the cool technology in your books. Is it real?

I wrote my first draft of UNLEASHED before the iPhone was released. So all the smart phone functions that Tor performs—searching the web, doing mail, submitting assignments, GPS—that all came out about 6 months after I wrote it, which tells you the dangers of trying to write near future.

The high-res photo pen she uses in EMBEDDED can now be bought on SkyMall, although not with some of the other fancy features hers might or might not have. Pocket printers are now available on Amazon. But as far as I know, we aren’t microchipping people yet; we are following their phones, student IDs, etc. via GPS and RFID. It will happen; it’s only a matter of time. Does the government have something that captures live feed from private webcams. Well, what do you think?

As far as MISTAKEN, yes, we really do drink ocean water that has been distilled and reflavored when we cruise. The LRAD sonic cannon to repel pirates exists. You can buy them online, and the website makes for very interesting reading.

Will there be more books in the series?

That’s going to depend on how successful these books are. I would love to write more stories, because these characters have become like family to me. Quirky family, but family. The best way to ensure the continuation to tell lots of people about the series, ask your library to carry it, and encourage everyone to purchase and read legitimate e-copies or paperbacks, not pirated files. There’s no sonic cannon to repel book pirates. 

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • A hardcopy set of all three books in the Tor Maddox series

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Blitz & Tours organized by Xpresso Book Tours