New Book: And I was like November (Womens Fiction/ Black Humor/ Short Stories)

AndIwaslikeNov copy

Welcome to the book tour for And I Was Like November, a “beautifully written bummer” by Rachael Biggs. Read on for more info!

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And I Was Like November

Expected Publication Date: January 31, 2023

Genre: Womens Fiction/ Black Humor/ Short Stories

20 October 2022… In a world where hyper-positivity and woke culture abounds, Rachael Biggs’ And I Was Like November offers a glimpse of the other side, while navigating themes of isolation and longing.

These are stories of what happens to the women that didn’t get their happy ending—the ones who don’t believe the cliches about family being everything and who know that live-laugh-love isn’t the cure all. Taboo topics that embrace a gritty reality include transactional sex, romantic obsession, maternal disdain and teenaged drug dealing are linked by the need to survive in the midst of questionable sanity and deep loneliness. 

“This is what happens when things don’t work out and the consequences and feelings we have in private as a result. They’re stories about women whose lives aren’t glossy, filtered, and Instagram ready, and the contrast of their brushed-under-the-rug realities is maybe more interesting and relatable. In a world where we’re bombarded with shiny fallacies, this is the beautiful side of ugly,” said Rachael.

Available on Amazon starting January 31st!

About the Author

Rachael Biggs is an author, screenwriter, copywriter and journalist. She studied creative writing at UBC, UCLA, and with masters of the craft Syd Field and Robert McKee. In 2016 she earned a screenwriting diploma from Vancouver Film School with a focus on television. 

Her memoir Yearning for Nothings and Nobodies debuted to critical acclaim and was adapted for the screen as Behind the Eight Ball.

She is a frequent contributor to print and on-line publications and her short fiction appears regularly in literary magazines including Door is a Jar, Angel City Review and Charge Magazine. 

She divides her time between Vancouver and Los Angeles. 

Rachael Biggs

Twitter: @biggsybiggs @DeborahBrosseau @RRBookTours #RRBookTours

IG: @rrbooktours #rrbooktours #andiwaslikenovember #shortstories #womensfiction

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New Book: My Last Hope (Domestic Thriller/ Romantic Suspense)

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Welcome to the book trailer reveal for My Last Hope by Katie Richard. Enjoy!

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My Last Hope

Expected Publication Date: May 30th, 2023

Genre: Domestic Thriller/ Romantic Suspense

When vows to love and to cherish, shatter.

Abby’s no stranger to the pain secrets, and lies can inflict on the person trying to hold it all together. She hides behind a forced smile and the hope that one day she’ll be able to find happiness again. After suffering from domestic abuse at the hands of her husband, Abby makes a split decision that alters the trajectory of her life forever. That decision leads her to cross paths with Dawson, a devastatingly handsome but troubled physical therapist who’ll do everything he can to save her. He’ll stop at nothing to ensure Abby’s life doesn’t end in the same fate his sister’s did.

Desperate to leave her husband before his violence turns fatal but too stubborn to accept the help of another man, will Abby be able to get out in time to save her own life?

With hearts tangled and lives at stake, can Dawson keep the beautiful art teacher from ripping off the cage he’s surrounded his heart with? Or will they allow their unmistakable chemistry to ignite, giving in to the forbidden relationship?

~ Forbidden Romance

~ One Bed

~ He Falls First

~ Alpha Hero

~ Emotional Scars

~ Slow Burn

~ Touch her and I’ll unalive you!

~ Dual POV

Trigger Warnings:

This book may not be suitable for all readers. Mature themes within have a recommended audience of 18 years old and above. You can read at your own discretion.

Scenes in this book may include but are not limited to:

~ physical and emotional abuse

Coming Soon!

About the Author

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Katie is an Indie Author who lives in Vermont with her husband and their children. When she’s not busy working, writing, or spending time with loved ones, she enjoys getting lost in a good book. Katie loves all types of gardening but especially enjoys flowers. When she’s not hard at work writing the next novel in the Destiny Of Graystone series or the standalone romantic suspense novels, she likes creating things in Canva or Procreate!

Katie Richard

Insta Tags: @katierichardauthor @rrbooktours #rrbooktours #mylasthope #romanticsuspense #romanticthriller #romancebooks

Twitter Tags: @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #MyLastHope

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New Book: Unanimity (Science Fiction/ Sci-Fi Fantasy/ LGBTQ2)

Welcome to the book tour for Unanimity, the first book in the Spiral Worlds series by Alexandra Almeida. Read on for more details and get yourself a copy today!

Unanimity (Spiral Worlds Book #1)

Publication Date: October 18, 2022

Genre: Science Fiction/ Sci-Fi Fantasy/ LGBTQ2

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Shadow is a reluctant god with a broken mind and a death wish. He used to be Thomas Astley-Byron, an affluent young screenwriter whose creativity and idealism saved a world from the brink of collapse. Together with Henry Nowak, an AI expert, Tom created heaven on earth by inventing a Jungian simulated reality that helps humans confront their dark sides. The benevolent manipulation platform turned the two unelected leaders into beloved gods, but now everything is failing. The worlds suffer as a sentimental Tom descends into his own personal hell, becoming the embodiment of everything he despises and a shadow of his former self.

His journey from an optimistic, joyful Tom to a gloomy Shadow is paved with heartache and sinister interference from emerging technology. Humans and bots fight for his heart, but their aims differ: some want to own it, some to dissect it, and others to end its foolish beat. Estranged from the love of his life—the activist poet Nathan Storm—Tom fails to realize the biggest threat comes from within. None of the sticky stories that steer his life end well.

Now, a young goddess—Estelle Ngoie—has been appointed to replace him, and unlike Shadow, Stella takes no prisoners, and her heart bleeds for no one.

Who’s pulling on Shadow’s heartstrings? Are their intentions malign or benign? It’s all a matter of perspective, and Shadow has none left.

The Series Themes

An epic tale spanning across six days—one per book—and forty past decades of life lived across ten worlds and two universes.

Weaving sci-fi elements with social commentary and queer romantic suspense, Spiral Worlds explores the nature of consciousness and how it’s connected to a not-so-secret ingredient—story. As software consumes the world, intelligence is nothing but the appetizer; the human heart is the main course.

“I adored this work by Alexandra Almeida from cover to cover for its modern take on fantasy and the subversion of so many typical themes and ideas that have become tired and overdone in the genre.” “The queer storytelling elements are included beautifully and never made into a gimmick or overdone for the sake of themselves, and as such, they flow naturally with the fantasy and emotional elements of the narrative. I would not hesitate to recommend Unanimity as a sensational opening novel to a very promising series.”

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Available at these fine retailers!

About the Author

Alexandra Almeida has over 25 years of experience in technology, strategy, and innovation. In her role as Chief Transformation Officer, she acts as a senior advisor to enterprise executives. Alexandra is an experienced speaker at events such as SXSW, Gartner Symposium, and the Women in Tech Series.

For the time being, and to protect her creative freedoms, Alexandra prefers to write using a number of pen names.

​Her debut fantasy novel, released under another pen name, has received the following awards and recognition:
– Reader’s Favorite Awards – Gold Medal Winner – Young Adult – Fantasy – Epic
– Reader Views Awards – 1st Place – Fantasy
– CIPA EVVY Book Awards – 2nd Place – Fiction – Mythology
– B.R.A.G. Medallion Recipient
– Eric Hoffer’s Da Vinci Eye Awards Finalist for Best Cover Artwork
– The Wishing Shelf Book Awards Finalist – Books for Adults
– Awesome Indies Approved

Spiral Worlds 

Twitter: @AAlmeidaAuthor @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Unanimity

IG: @spiralworlds @rrbooktours #rrbooktours #unanimity #spiralworlds

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New Book: My Last Hope (Domestic Thriller/Romantic Suspense)

If you enjoy Colleen Hoover, you’re going to love this! Check out the cover for My Last Hope by Katie Richard. Stay tuned for the book trailer reveal on January 27th!

My Last Hope

Expected Publication Date: May 30th, 2023

Genre: Domestic Thriller/ Romantic Suspense

When vows to love and to cherish, shatter.

Abby’s no stranger to the pain secrets, and lies can inflict on the person trying to hold it all together. She hides behind a forced smile and the hope that one day she’ll be able to find happiness again. After suffering from domestic abuse at the hands of her husband, Abby makes a split decision that alters the trajectory of her life forever. That decision leads her to cross paths with Dawson, a devastatingly handsome but troubled physical therapist who’ll do everything he can to save her. He’ll stop at nothing to ensure Abby’s life doesn’t end in the same fate his sister’s did.

Desperate to leave her husband before his violence turns fatal but too stubborn to accept the help of another man, will Abby be able to get out in time to save her own life?

With hearts tangled and lives at stake, can Dawson keep the beautiful art teacher from ripping off the cage he’s surrounded his heart with? Or will they allow their unmistakable chemistry to ignite, giving in to the forbidden relationship?

~ Forbidden Romance

~ One Bed

~ He Falls First

~ Alpha Hero

~ Emotional Scars

~ Slow Burn

~ Touch her and I’ll unalive you!

~ Dual POV

Trigger Warnings:

This book may not be suitable for all readers. Mature themes within have a recommended audience of 18 years old and above. You can read at your own discretion.

Scenes in this book may include but are not limited to:

~ physical and emotional abuse

Coming Soon!

About the Author

Katie is an Indie Author who lives in Vermont with her husband and their children. When she’s not busy working, writing, or spending time with loved ones, she enjoys getting lost in a good book. Katie loves all types of gardening but especially enjoys flowers. When she’s not hard at work writing the next novel in the Destiny Of Graystone series or the standalone romantic suspense novels, she likes creating things in Canva or Procreate!

Katie Richard

Insta Tags: @katierichardauthor @rrbooktours #rrbooktours #mylasthope #coverreveal #romanticsuspense #romanticthriller #romancebooks

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New Book: Shades of Night (Dark Fantasy)

Welcome to the book tour for Rachael Boucker’s dark fantasy, Shades of Night. Read on for more details!

Shades of Night (The Night Order Series #1)

Publication Date: December 4th, 2022

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Publisher: Eerie River Publishing

Fated for greatness; Destined for pain.

A prophecy of beauty, untold power and the strength to save them all.

They said I was destined to save every witch, my entire race, but life is never that cut-and-dried. I am Aramay Shenade, or Shade for short. After a demon attack left me scarred, the Night Order elders declared the prophecy was broken, discarded and my destiny along with it.

No longer tied to fate, my sister Dellena and I, chose our own path, cutting down every demon that crossed it. That was until the fateful day I pulled the demon-cursed Nora from the mud and the world around us began to unravel.

War is upon us and the demons are gathering. Now I must walk the path of a destiny I thought had abandoned me.

Will I be able to correct the tides of war before the demons destroy us all?
I can only hope those I hold dearest will not be sacrificed in the struggle.

TW: Mentions of sexual assault, torture, death, and violence.

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Available on Amazon

About the Author

Rachael Boucker doesn’t know how she got on this planet, but she sure doesn’t know how to get off it.
She’s settled in the Forest of Dean UK, a hub for peculiar beings, with her human Richard (enslaved in a long term relationship) and three hybrid semi-sentient miniatures.
With a tentative connection to the hive mind, Rachael listens in on strange stories spanning multiple dimensions, and passes these eavesdroppings off as fiction, mostly horror and fantasy. Sci-fi can be triggering, dredging up memories of the spacebound life she left behind, but she does occasionally indulge in this genre. Look out for her Night Order dark fantasy series, being published by Eerie River Publishing.

Rachael Boucker

Twitter: @EerieRiver @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #ShadesofNight

IG: @eerie_river @rachaelboucker @rrbooktours #rrbooktours #shadesofnight #darkfantasy #epicfantasy

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New Book: Jet (Dark Shifter Romance)

We are celebrating the release of Jet (Temple Maze #2) by Anna Fury! This beauty has not one but TWO covers for readers to choose from! Make sure you follow along to see which cover our hosts are revealing this week!

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Jet (Temple Maze #2)

Expected Publication date: February 28, 2023

Genre: Dark Shifter Romance

Escape from the Temple Maze was only the beginning…

Jet

A psychopath tried to break me, and nothing will ever put me back together. I’m detoxing, pissed off and determined to rescue my baby brother before she breaks him too. There’s just one problem—Achaia. The voluptuous human’s sea-green gaze sets my body on fire. She’s a distraction I can’t afford, no matter how hot I burn for her. My only priority is rescuing my brother—everything else is a distant second.

Renze

How lucky I am to have two delicious mates—the hulking direwolf, Jet, and his exquisitely beautiful neighbor, Achaia. I simply need them to yield to my blood bond. Unfortunately, duty calls. A maniacal villainess hurt Jet, and that sin will not go unpunished. Lives hang in the balance.

Achaia

I have no memory of who I am. Maybe I’m a nobody. Maybe I’m a monster. Anything is possible. It doesn’t stop the sensual vampiri next door from declaring that Jet and I are his. Renze alone is intoxicating, but the monstrous duo together are impossible to refuse. When circumstances send them on a journey in search of allies, I leap at the chance to find my own answers. Renze wants to claim me. Jet can’t stop staring at me. And I just need to find myself.

Can we save Jet’s brother and free an entire continent from a madwoman without losing our heads in the process?

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Available on Amazon

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Noire (Temple Maze #1)

Publication Date: July 9, 2022

Genre: Dark Shifter Romance

Welcome to the Temple, the brutal maze where a cunning warlord rules over imprisoned monsters, bending and using them according to her whims. The maze is a dumping ground for souls in need of snuffing out. Got a relative you dislike? Send them in for prompt dispatch. Perhaps a political rival is a thorn in your side? For a price, you can have Rama’s psycho pets kill them for you. Happy hunting.

DIANA

I crossed a ruthless woman, and my punishment? Death within the walls of her Temple Maze. The murderous beasts trapped in these dark halls have only one job tonight–to take my life.

The maze is a game, one where the house always wins. But I’ve got a few secrets of my own. The key to my plan is unleashing the maze’s most dangerous monster–Noire. I know what he wants most of all, and I’ll offer it in exchange for revenge, something only he is capable of exacting.

NOIRE

Marks will say anything to save their skins. I’ve heard every possible lie when they’re begging for their lives.

But tonight’s hunt is different. When I reach my mark, I find a stunning woman. Diana’s body calls to mine, creating a blistering, blinding need that compels me. Her offer is even more enticing: freedom in exchange for exacting vengeance on the woman behind the maze’s creation. The woman I hate with every dark and twisted fiber of my being.

Can I keep Diana safe long enough to get us out? Or will the maze destroy us as we risk everything for our freedom?

CW:
nonconsensual sex
reference to past SA
ptsd
knife and blood play
gore
vampirism
choking
primal chasing
bondage
light torture (if torture can be light)

About the Author

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Anna Fury is a North Carolina native, fluent in snark and sarcasm, tiki decor, and an aficionado of phallic plants. Visit her on Instagram for a glimpse into the sexiest wiener wallpaper you’ve ever seen. #ifyouknowyouknow

She writes any time she has a free minute – walking the dog, in the shower, ON THE TOILET. The voices in her head wait for no one. When she’s not furiously hen-pecking at her computer, she loves to hike and bike and get out in nature.

She currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her Mr. Right, a five year old tornado and one lovely old dog. Anna LOVES to connect with readers, so visit her on social or email her at author@annafury.com

Anna Fury

Twitter: @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Jet 

IG: @annafuryauthor @rrbooktours #rrbtjet #rrbooktours #jet #templemaze #annafury #darkromance #shifterromance #paranormalromance

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New Book: Copper Waters (Mystery/ Suspense/ Light Romance)

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Welcome to the tour for Copper Waters: A New Zealand Cottage Mystery by Marlene M. Bell. Be sure to enter the giveway below!

Giveway Bundle ($225 Value)

  1.  William Morris Design Tapestry Throw – Acanthus Leaves   Made in USA
  2.  34 oz. Hammered Copper Water Bottle
  3.   5×7 Handcrafted Suede Journal (blank pages)
  4.   $50 VISA Gift Card
  5.   Autographed Copper Waters
COPPER WATERS _E Book

Copper Waters: A New Zealand Cottage Mystery

Publication Date: December 7, 2022

Genre: Mystery/ Suspense/ Light Romance

Antiquities expert Annalisse Drury and tycoon Alec Zavos are at an impasse in their relationship when Alec refuses to clear up a paternity issue with an ex-lover.

Frustrated with his avoidance when their future is at stake, Annalisse accepts an invitation from an acquaintance to fly to New Zealand—hoping to escape the recent turbulence in her life.

But even Annalisse’s cottage idyll on the family sheep farm isn’t immune to intrigue.

Alec sends a mutual friend and detective, Bill Drake, to follow her, and a local resident who accompanies them from the Christchurch airport dies mysteriously soon after. A second violent death finds Annalisse and Bill at odds with the official investigations.

The local police want to close both cases as quickly as possible—without unearthing the town’s dirty secrets.

As she and Bill pursue their own leads at serious cost, the dual mysteries force Annalisse to question everything she thought she knew about family ties, politics, and the art of small-town betrayal.

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Excerpt

“Nothing’s sinking in.” I pass the note to Alec and prepare myself. “Would you mind reading it aloud?”

“She and Ethan traveled together.” He gazes at me.

“Okay, we’d considered that.”

“Kate has business to conclude in New Zealand before she returns to New York. She asks me not to mention this to you until she arrives in the States but didn’t give a reason. Kate says she’ll meet you in person when she’s ready.”

“Seriously? Where does she plan to live? With me in Greenwich? The Goshen farm could be sold by now. Does she mention Jeremy finding her another place?”

Alec scans the page randomly. “No, she didn’t.”

I scratch my scalp and shake my head. “Then my sheep station trip to New Zealand is perfect timing. I have to leave now and see if I can catch her before she skips out. Ethan must know where Kate is. If it’s all the same, we’ll hang on to the tickets for our April trip, and I’ll buy my own way for this flight.” Tugging at my sweatshirt with clammy hands, I take the note from Alec and sail it into the flames, watching paper crinkle and burn on the log.

He steps forward, his chiseled profile gawking at the fire in disbelief.

“Were you ever going to tell me about Kate’s message?” A sob chokes my windpipe. “If it weren’t for Ethan’s invite, I doubt that we’d be talking about Kate.”

“Babe, I thought by staying neutral…” He twists his lips and looks at his shoes. “Seeing your reaction now; it was a mistake not to tell you.”

“That totally blows.” I ball my hands into fists. “More like you were afraid that I’d run down there to find her.” I’m mad enough to send smoke signals, so I take slower, calming breaths.

“If I’d told you… Yeah, I worried you’d run off. The ordeal in Italy, then Peter Gregory terrorizing you, and Helga has had barely enough time to settle around here. Your safety doesn’t include encouraging you to hop on a plane to another country so soon after a trauma like that. Waiting for Kate’s return felt right to me. At some point, I hope you’ll see things from my side. Kate put me in the middle, but it’s you I worry about.”

Willing myself to relax, I take his hand to get him to focus on me instead of the floor. “I know that.”

Peter Gregory, an old coworker from my past job at another gallery, is responsible for a young woman’s murder in Lecce, near the Mediterranean Sea on Italy’s eastern shore. Alec and I went to Southern Italy for a working vacation that spun us into solving more than one homicide in order for Alec to sell his dad’s Signorile Corporation, a sports car company.

“After a shower, I’ll give your mom a call from the car on the way home. I might have trouble getting a flight out on the spur of the moment, but if I do, I hope you’ll help me.”

“Anna, we should discuss this.” He catches my wrist. “I’d like to go along. Say the word, and I’m on that plane with you. Allow what’s happened with Kate to simmer. You might feel differently in the morning.”

Grasping Kate’s locket beneath my shirt, I slide the chain over my head and cup Alec’s hand, dropping the necklace there.

“Hold on to my locket while I’m gone. It’s the most precious thing I own. That way, you’ll know I’m coming back to you.” On my tiptoes, our salty kiss calls a loneliness— In a flash, two people are about to have a hemisphere drifting between them from outside influences that want to manipulate us. “Gen will be here to see Noah in a few hours, and you have him until Sunday. Let me go, Alec, and please wait for me at Brookehaven. I have to make this trip by myself. If there’s the slightest chance that Kate’s with Ethan or he knows where she is, I have to go. I’ve already lost precious time.” I start for the drawing room doors and remember something left undone. “Oh, and sorry for the sticky mess in your stable office.”

In a dead run, I’m biting a quivering lip. On the way to Alec’s bedroom suite, I send Chase a text to hold Ethan’s box and note for me at the gallery. True to form, Kate shoves us all out of our comfort zones, where I’m certain to find a disaster waiting for me to book a ticket to New Zealand in a mad rush.

Available on Amazon & Barnes & Noble

About the Author

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Marlene M. Bell is an eclectic mystery writer, artist, photographer, and she raises sheep in beautiful East Texas with her husband, Gregg, three cats and a flock of horned Dorset sheep.

The Annalisse series has received numerous honors including the Independent Press Award for Best Mystery (Spent Identity,) and FAPA— Florida Author’s President’s Gold Award for two other installments, (Stolen Obsession and Scattered Legacy.) Her mysteries with a touch of romance are found at marlenembell.com. She also offers the first of her children’s picture books, Mia and Nattie: One Great Team! Based on true events from the Bell’s ranch. The simple text and illustrations are a touching tribute of compassion and love between a little girl and her lamb.

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Twitter: @ewephoric @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #CopperWaters

IG: @marlenemysteries @rrbooktours #rrbooktours #copperwaters #suspensebooks #romanticsuspense

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New Book: Woodborn (Sapphic Fantasy/ High Fantasy)

Woodborn by Heather Nix is finally on tour and we’re thrilled to share it today! Read on for details and be sure to enter the giveaway at the end – A book box containing the book and other bookish goodies!

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Woodborn (Song of Gods #1)

Expected Publication Date: January 21, 2023

Genre: Sapphic Fantasy/ High Fantasy

“I do not know how I lived in darkness for so many years with this bright world just waiting for me to grasp it.”

Maelwen is a young witch trapped in a harsh and unforgiving life. Friendless and alone, she endures terrible abuse in order to survive in the desolate land of Iowain.

Across the continent, Cicerine, a virtuous young faun, lives in the idyllic glade of Kanitosh Woods. Alongside her mother and closest friend, she is raised with dutiful reverence for the god, Idyth—led by the mysterious Father Farragen.

After escaping her tormentor and seeking a new life of her own, Maelwen finds a fresh start in the seedy trade city of Konidas. Meanwhile, a terrible tragedy befalls the glade, and Cicerine must flee to the same seaside town, leaving behind all she has ever known.

As a dark and menacing force spreads across Idythia, can Maelwen’s gifts and Cicerine’s developing power stand against the threat which faces them all? Alongside found family, new friends, and a crew of sapphic pirates, the line between good and evil is tested as the continent prepares for an epic battle.

CW: This is a sapphic fantasy novel, featuring a great deal of blood. Full list here

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Excerpt

My bare feet pad along the floor of my small apartment as I head toward the bedroom. The desolate and stark journey from Iowain to Konidas took three days’ time, and I arrived two months ago today. I slept on the open ground, wrapped in my cloak beneath the wide sky, full of stars. I did not encounter a single living creature as I flew. The nights were silent but for the whistle of the wind and the soft rustle of my cloak, becoming as familiar to me as a part of my ‌body. Tiny pinprick scars now run along my arms and back from wrist to wrist, where it stitches to my skin for flight, looking like a seam pulled undone. They are the only wounds which my body has not healed. It feels odd, like finding something I did not know belonged to me. The cloak currently lies draped over a chair in my sitting room, humming softly to me as I sit on my bed. Months ago, I only dreamed of freedom. Now, I have it.

This apartment sits over a tavern in Konidas. The owners are human, plump, and kind-hearted. The night I arrived here, the tavern was the first open business I found, and I shook off the chill at a barstool with a tankard of frothy ale. The barkeep made small talk, and after the ale loosened my tongue, I let slip that I had just arrived and had made no arrangements for housing. I had planned on renting a room at the inn by the docks, despite the cost—rooms were rented by the day or the hour, not monthly. Without renting one of the rickety, dilapidated homes in town or an apartment above one of the small businesses, the cost of living in a transient city like Konidas is high. However, by the end of the night, I had made my first friend, the barkeep, Shell. She is the daughter of the tavern owners who coincidentally, and conveniently, had an empty apartment upstairs. I can’t help but feel like this is all too easy, too good. I have never had a home or a friend, and this comfort is unnerving. Some god or goddess must have been on my shoulder, guiding me toward complete strangers who somehow trusted me enough to offer up an apartment within hours of my arrival. I would say thanks if we still recalled the names of the gods. I paid them upfront for three months, a show of good faith that I can at least be counted on in that regard. I am not a friendly face, but money is just as good when it comes to trust. For the second time today, I pull out my sack of coin from beneath my mattress and count it. Jarrus’s savings and my meager hoard made a fair sum, and I have a decent amount left, but soon I will need to come up with a way to make more. I slide beneath my blankets and with a small smile allow myself to drift to sleep—almost happy for the first time in my life.

I wake with the dawn, the pale pink light of sunrise filtering through my small window. There is a marked quiet to the morning and my brow furrows as I look around. My cloak has gone quiet. The persistent hum has stopped, and my senses feel dulled. I am tired, despite my night of sleep, and my body aches. Hunger grabs onto the pit of my stomach with a twisting cramp and I stand, unsteady on my feet. I dress in a pair of charcoal gray pants and a silk blouse, and I pull my long hair back into a leather tie. The staircase down to the tavern seems to shift beneath my feet, and I grip the railing to keep from falling. Shell is busy wiping down the bar, and I can smell something cooking in the kitchen, but it makes my stomach turn. Nearly gagging, I push my way through the door and out into the morning bustle.

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*Cover Art by Anna Doušová

About the Author

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Heather Nix is the debut author of Woodborn, the first book in the Song of Gods series. Born and raised in sunny San Diego, CA she longs to return to the forests of the Pacific Northwest. She is the mother of two human and three cat children, and enjoys tattoos, tabletop RPGs, and creating feminist art in her limited spare time. Heather is passionate about writing queer fantasy and strives to create nuanced characters who resonate with underserved communities.

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New Book: A Kinder City (Eco Sci-Fi/ Sci-fi/ Dystopian)

Welcome to the book tour for A Kinder City by Peter Taylor-Gooby. Read on for details and grab yourself a copy today!

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A Kinder City

Publication Date: April 28, 2023

Genre: Eco Sci-Fi/ Sci-fi/ Dystopian

What place for love in a city ruled by greed?
Sarah, spirited and caring, is on her first trip outside her village. The city is dominated by the grim law of the market – the only relations permitted are between buyer and seller. Her gift of a wagonload of food to those who need it is a crime. David, a serious-minded police cadet who naively trusts in the law, arrests her and finds himself falling in love.
Franklin, the richest man in Market World, puts a price on everything. His giant factories spew forth road beasts – the huge machines that devastate the lands beyond the City in pursuit of yet more wealth.
How can David prove his love to Sarah? And how can they save her village and build a kinder city?
A gripping and thought-provoking eco-sci-fi novel, set in a world a little bit like ours.

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Excerpt

In an overheated semi-basement, seven storeys beneath the Council Chamber, David awaits Sarah’s Audit Hearing. The windows are horizontal slits high up the walls and the overhead strip-lights are still on, although it’s before 11.00 am and bright sunshine outside. The room is barely wide enough to hold the dais with the wooden table for the Assessor, her Recorder and the clerk, with the chair for the witness to the right and the dock for the defaulter to the left. He feels stifled and wonders if he suffers from asthma.

He has found a seat at the back of the courtroom on an upright chair that grates when he moves. He shouldn’t be here. He crept in with the public through the main door, and was squeezed against a young man with inky fingers, a notebook, and furtive eyes. As soon as he sees the uniform the young man introduces himself as a TV reporter, but doesn’t give a channel. He slips his cuff back to show his wristband.

‘We pay for your stories. Do you think Franklin has the answer to lawlessness in the Old Town?’

David touches the insignia on his sleeve: ‘No comment.’

A group of young women and men in blue uniforms without badges fill the benches at the front of the room. David guesses they are cadets from the Academy. Not so long ago I was one of you, he thinks. A cadet whose hair seems unruly despite the regulation cut looks back at him and says something to the young woman next to him. She glances round and giggles.

The Assessor enters at the door behind the bench, a spare black woman in a navy blue trouser suit with the badge of office – the Golden Balance – on her breast pocket. Her clerk follows her. Everyone rises with a scraping of chairs and David is forced back against the main door.

The Assessor surveys the room through metal-rimmed spectacles, sighs, and sits down.

‘What have you got for us today?’

The clerk bows his head. He’s short, plump-faced and his hair needs combing. He reminds David of a pocket spaniel.

‘Long list, Madam. First case, Major Breach of the One Law. Conveying a cargo without contract. Intent to supply said cargo without payment.’

‘Bring the defaulter to scrutiny.’

David is forced to stand as the main door opens and the Court-Serjeant enters, a square-shouldered older man in a gold-braided uniform who scowls at the Bench, the Assessor and the audience. He leads Sarah into the courtroom. She glances round the room, as if noting the details for when she tells her friends the story.

The Serjeant grasps her arm and the clerk slaps his hand on the desk:

‘Proceed.’

She nods to him, picks the officer’s fingers from her arm with her other hand and strolls forward.

‘Take her to the dock.’

‘Please. I’ll find my own way.’

The clerk snorts.

‘Silence.’

She takes her position to the left of the bench, the Serjeant behind her, and looks round. David feels she is searching him out. The journalist licks his biro and scribbles at his pad.

The Assessor leans towards her.

‘You are Ms S.Cordell, known as Sarah. You are called to scrutiny for a serious Audit transgression. I have reviewed the evidence and am minded to order full compensation with costs. Have you anything to say?’

Sarah frowns, and for an instant David feels dizzy, as if everything is back to front. She is the judge and he stands accused in the dock. Then her face lights up.

‘Not really. I was taking some fruit and other produce from Coneystone in the wagon with Juno. We wanted to share it with our cousins and friends in the Old Town. First time I’ve done the trip, we had a great crop this year. These people,’ she waves a hand towards David, ‘him and his mates, jumped out on me, all dressed up like comedy policemen. Pity it was muddy, they kept falling over. He’ll do it now if you’re lucky.’

Someone sniggers and the Assessor fixes her gaze on the cadets.

Sarah keeps talking.

‘It’s not funny. They scared Juno.’

‘That’s of no importance. The question is: have you a valid contract?’ The Assessor pauses a moment, then raises her voice. ‘You have no contract, it’s idle to deny it. Answer a simple question: who pays you for the apples?’

‘But it’s a good act, you really should see it. Then they frightened Juno and upset the applecart.’ Her face darkens. ‘So to speak. Then they took me here and kept me in and I’m worried about Juno. The apples will spoil. So will the blackberries.’ She turns to the court: ‘You haven’t seen where they’ve put Juno have you? Lovely beast, heavy horse, red ribbons in her mane. You wouldn’t miss her.’

The Assessor thrusts her face towards Sarah.

‘You will address the question. The longer you waste the court’s time, the more it will cost you.’

Sarah smooths her forehead with her hand.

‘Oh no, I’m sorry, didn’t I say? The apples and everything, they’re all presents. Brilliant harvest this year. You can have some.’

She looks round at all of them, smiling at her good fortune.

The Assessor straightens her back. She glances at the clerk, who nods.

‘Thank you. Transfer of commodity at zero price: major breach.’

‘I’m sorry? Would you like some apples? Don’t you want witnesses? Look, one of them’s over there.’

David colours and hunches down in his chair, but he can’t stop himself gazing at her. He feels as if everyone in the court is craning round to look at him.

The clerk slaps the desk again.

‘Silence!’

Sarah raises an eyebrow but says nothing. The Assessor sighs.

‘Breach of the One Law. Full confession. Witnesses are unnecessary.’

David feels the tension flow out of his shoulders.

Sarah shakes her head, her face comical. Her eyelid flutters. David can’t tell if she just winked at him.

‘I’m sorry?’

‘The One Law directs that all transactions must be between willing buyer and willing seller at an agreed price. Law of the Market. You do not give people things that you could sell to them. There are no exceptions.’

‘But….’ Sarah stops, her mouth open.

‘Be quiet. You have incurred substantial expenses.’

She gestures to the clerk, who reads out staccato from a thin strip of paper:

‘Deployment twelve Enforcers, 1 captain, 1 sergeant, 1 half-sergeant for 4 hours: 300 credits; Item: deduction for value of training exercise: minus 110 credits.

Uniform cleaning: 10 credits.

Accommodation, item: basic cell by one night: 200 credits; item: stabling and incidentals: 4 credits

Security during accommodation: 50 credits

Incidentals: toothpaste, soap, towel etc: 5 credits.

Courtroom, third grade, by one hour, staffing and incidentals: 100 credits.

Compensation: inconvenience of arrest to the detainee, standard rate 2 credits an hour by 18 hours: minus 36 credits. Item: proceeds, sale of 1 horse: minus 17 credits. Item: proceeds sale of cart and contents: minus 32 credits.’

David keeps his eyes on Sarah. She raises her eyebrows again and shrugs her shoulders.

‘Total 474 credits.’

‘Thank you. Ms Cordell, your breach cost Market World 669 credits minus 110 credits value of training provided, 36 credits citizen compensation and 49 credits sale of confiscated items. Your civic recompense is set at 474 credits. Next case.’

Sarah stares at her.

‘You must be joking! What is a credit anyway?’

The Assessor blinks.

‘Next case.’

‘But what about Juno?’

The clerk remarks to no-one ‘Additional court time may be purchased at 1.4 credits a minute.’

The Court-Serjeant seizes Sarah by the arm and hustles her towards the door. David rises and pulls his chair out of the way. She catches his eye as she passes and looks back at him and grimaces. It strikes him to the heart. He grips the door and stops it from shutting. The next case, a market trader accused of short weight, in a shabby suit with the jacket too tight under his shoulders, is brought in.

A buzz of conversation rises from the cadets. The young man who stared back at David tilts his head towards the young woman next to him and whispers something that is terribly important to them both. He takes the young woman’s hand, ignoring the others. The Assessor glowers at them

‘Silence! Or I shall clear the court.’

The journalist flips to the next page, sucks at his pen and writes.

David slips round the door and pulls it shut behind him. He leans against it for a full half-minute, his eyes closed.

He knows that the staircase in front of him leads up to the main hall where fines are paid. He turns left and strides down the corridor towards the barracks block. Voices sound from the guard room and he dodges left again into a narrower corridor with raw concrete walls lit by unshaded light-bulbs, then up an iron spiral stair. He listens for foot-steps, then creeps across a metal landing as softly as if he were on a close surveillance exercise and it was Adam assessing him. He listens again, and passes through a side-door into the Process Room. He blinks in the daylight that streams in from tall windows overlooking City Square. His heart feels tight in his chest. He has never in his life done anything like this. He doesn’t know why he is doing it now. He is a fool.

The duty Enforcer sits at the metal desk with the band-reader on it and the empty metal chair opposite, examining her finger nails. She slips something into her mouth. David clenches his fist, relaxes it and lets the door slam shut. The sound echoes across the room. She jerks upright and glances towards him, and pulls her jacket straight.

He knows her, they did their basic training together. Six weeks of square-bashing with Curtis shouting at you.

‘Hi Jan. Your lucky day. I’m to take over.’

He didn’t plan that. Where did it come from?

Jan frowns.

‘Who says? I’m here ‘til 18.00 hours.’

She chews at something.

‘Curtis. Extra duty – for yesterday.’

‘I heard. Curtis doesn’t like you, does he?’

‘Yeah, well. It’s a long story, I think he was a bit scared of the horse. Guess he likes you.’

‘Sure he does.’ She studies his face. ‘Are you alright?’

‘Yeah, well. I’ll be OK.’

‘That bad, is it? You’ve got friends you know.’

‘Sure… Thanks.’

She touches his hand.

‘All yours. I’m off.’

The side-door clicks to. David expels the air from his lungs and breathes in slowly to calm the throbbing in his head. He touches the band-reader in front of him. He’s used it a thousand times. You key in the amount, touch your wristband against the screen and it deducts or adds on the credits.

No citizen in Market World is ever without a wristband. It’s fastened to your wrist at the citizenship ceremony when you pass eighteen and goes with you to the grave. You get lessons on it in “Lifeskills” at school. It only works if the buyer assents to the deal and that is infallible. Willing seller, willing buyer. As the signs in the street say: ‘You’re not dressed without it’, ‘No pay, no get’ and ‘You are your account’.

He swallows and pushes the hair back off his forehead.

The door is thrown open and the Serjeant enters, still gripping Sarah by the arm. He marches her up to the desk and releases her. He reminds David of an elderly bullfrog.

‘All yours. Watch her. She tried to chat up my deputy in the Guard Room.’

‘I did not. I just said he had nice eyes for a comedian.’ She stares at David. ‘Nice to meet you again.’

She holds out her hand.

David reaches out, then lays his hand palm-down on the desk.

‘The defaulter will maintain discipline,’ barks the Serjeant. ‘Sit.’

Sarah looks round her, pulls out the chair, sits and crosses her legs.

David squares his shoulders.

‘Alright. I’ll take over from here.’

‘The court placed Ms Cordell in my charge.’

The Serjeant keeps his hand on Sarah’s shoulder.

‘Until her debt is discharged. Which is now.’

He looks the Serjeant in the eye. After a pause the officer drops his hand and pulls on a leather glove.

‘Very well.’

The door slams behind him. David licks his lips and looks at Sarah and tries to smile. He has the script by heart, he learned it last night.

‘You understand that you must pay civic recompense as decided by the court. 474 credits. Touch your wristband to the reader.’

‘Where’s Juno? I don’t care about the cart, but she’s not used to being away from me.’

‘Your possessions will be auctioned to defray expenses. Just touch your wristband here. See that number? That’s your account: “Debit 474”. But you must have a wristband. It’s always issued at the citizenship ceremony when you leave school. You could buy that cartload ten times over with that many credits. Twenty times.’

He taps the reader. She grins at him.

‘We don’t bother with those things in the villages, waste of time.’ She starts to get up. ‘Let’s go and find Juno. I need to get on my way.’

‘She’s OK, I sorted it. She’s being looked after.’

‘Are you sure? What do you know about horses?’

‘She’s OK.’

‘Tell me about Juno.’

She rests her chin on her fingertips and fixes her eyes on him. He places his hands together on the table.

‘She’s a black Percheron. 18 hands.’

She nods and her cheeks dimple.

‘She’s being fed OK?’

‘All the hay she wants – and crushed oats. And apples, but not too many. I tell you, she’s OK. Trust me. Now touch your wristband to the reader.’

She’s puzzled. Her brow furrows in tiny creases.

‘What wristband? I told you we don’t go in for them. My sister’ll plait you one out of wool. She’s only nine.’

‘You really don’t understand do you? You are in Market World. You pay for everything, you have to. You’ve taken up the time of the court and the resources of the Enforcers. No-one is going to lock you up for free.’

She giggles and the tiny dints dimple her cheeks. She places her hand over her mouth.

‘Sorry, but you just said…’

‘I know. Everything is for sale here, you get nothing without paying for it. The One Law – law of the market. It’s what give s us a well-ordered society, why we’re so much better off than you are in the villages.’

‘Sort of “All for One and One for All?” Free for All?’

‘Sort of – but it works. Don’t you see it?’

He craves for her to understand, to see how his world is better, to want to be part of it. That’s why he’s here. For her. He will be her guide, her mentor, her friend and she will trust him.

She shakes her head.

‘You really shouldn’t take these things so seriously. It doesn’t make you happy, does it?’

There’s a sharpness in her glance, as if it’s in her mind to say something else, but she continues: ‘Anyway, I don’t have a wristband.’

He shows her the numbers on the screen set into the black band on his left wrist. ‘There. See – all my credits: eight thousand seven hundred and fifty two, until I get paid. It’s all connected up to central computing – they keep the records. It’s how we do things.’

He feels a flush of pleasure at teaching her. She’s so confident and, at the same time, so wrong, so much in need of help and he can give it. His left leg trembles against the desk. He wills it to be calm.

She folds her arms.

‘Yeah, I heard stories about that. But I told you, we don’t bother with that kind of stuff – it’s no fun.’

‘Listen. In the past was the Great Hunger. Didn’t they tell you about it in school? Everything was terrible, people fought for food, children starved and warlords ruled the land. So many died they could no longer bury the dead.’

She shivers. ‘Sounds nasty.’

He finds it hard to concentrate.

‘Look out of that window.’ He points over City Square. ‘Can’t you see? Everyone going about their business. The shops, full of food and clothes and everything you need. The residence blocks where everybody lives.’

The words come more easily as he remembers the lesson. She mutters something to herself.

‘What’s that?’

‘Don’t look as if they’re having much fun.’

‘Clinics where you can buy medicine, schools and training colleges where you can pay for a degree, markets where citizens buy and sell at a fair price. Above them, the towers of the Entrepreneurs. And everywhere the Enforcers watching over us all, trusted by everyone, making sure we follow the rules.’

She peers out through the window.

‘They’re not happy. No-one’s smiling, nobody stops for a chat. Why aren’t there children playing? Or animals? And their clothes are so drab. Don’t you like to see trees?’ She spreads out her arms. ‘They’re so lovely this time of year.’

 ‘Everyone’s busy, they’re going about their business. That’s what you do in Market World. Children are in school or training or working. No time to waste. We keep the beasts in their sheds and the trees in the park. What’s the profit in bright clothes?’

He watches her as if, at that moment, she matters more than anything to him. The thought comes to him: I am an Enforcer. She will understand, without the Enforcers there is no market, no Market World. I am worthy of respect.

She needs to see Market World as it is, but he can’t let her go out there. She’ll be as lost as he would be in the forest. How desolate it would be, to be alone on those streets with no wristband and the night coming on.

‘When did you last eat?’

He has her full attention.

‘I don’t know.’ She pauses and tiny creases appear between her eyebrows. Her face clears. ‘I had some dried fish on the way. They wouldn’t give me breakfast back there, they kept saying didn’t I know “No pay, no get”. They didn’t like it when I asked if that was the chorus and could I sing along? I keep telling you, you people have no sense of humour.’

David stands and at the same time flips his left hand forward onto the reader without looking down, hears the click as it makes contact and checks the screen. “Account cleared”. She doesn’t notice. He’s in command for once like he’s in a novel.

‘Come on. We’ll find a café. You need someone to show you what Market World’s really like. And I’ll tell you my dream – why I’m an Enforcer.’

Her eyes light up and she rubs her hands together.

‘And I’ll tell you about how we live in the villages. And we’ll find Juno, won’t we?’

 ‘Of course.’

She trusts him. He knows that she trusts him.

He leads the way, through the lobby and the double doors, and down the flight of steps from the Halls of Justice into City Square. Happiness bubbles within him. She laughs, mouth open, the dimples in her cheeks each side of it. He remembers he’s on extra duty. He’ll deal with that later.

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About the Author

PTG2

My novels deal with issues that matter – love, money, power and environmental disaster. I’ve worked on adventure playgrounds, in a social security office and as a teacher. I love walking, cycling, writing and talking to my children.
In my day job I’m an academic but I believe that you can only truly understand the issues that matter to people through your feelings, your imagination and your compassion. That’s why I write novels.
My first novel, “The Baby Auction” 2017, is a love story set in a fantasy world where the only rule is the law of the market. That someone should help another because they care for them simply doesn’t make sense to the citizens of Market World, any more that auctioning babies might to us.

My second, “Ardent Justice” 2018, is a crime story set in the world of high finance and city fat-cats, where money rules, but greed can trip even the most successful.

My third, “Blood Ties” 2020, is about the ties of love in a troubled family, and the bonds of debt that chain illegal immigrants to people-traffickers, and how they can be broken through self-sacrifice.

My fourth, “A Kinder City” 2022, returns to Market World where the relentless pursuit of profit leads to environmental devastation. I hope you enjoy them.

Peter Taylor-Gooby

Twitter: @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours

IG Tags: @rrbooktours #rrbooktours #akindercity #scifibooks #dystopianbooks #petertaylorgooby

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New Book Coming: Blood Moon Sanctum (A Curse of Obsidian and Silver #1) (Fantasy/ Romantic Fantasy)

How gorgeous is this cover?! Read on for more details and pre-order a copy of Blood Moon Sanctum by Zian Schafer!

Blood Moon Sanctum (A Curse of Obsidian and Silver #1)

Expected Publication Date: March 23, 2023

Genre: Fantasy/ Romantic Fantasy

‘Daughter of the Blood Moon’ they call her.

‘The winner of the war’ they said.

‘The princess that will bring the gods back’ they claim.

War is waging between the Black Bloods and the Paragon Dawn. The time has come for the other kingdoms to pick a side. Except there’s one thing that will get in the way of pledging their unwavering allegiance: every king wants Princess Devereux’s heart on a platter, or worse, a ring around her finger.

Her plan is simple; find the witch that cursed her and stay hidden in plain sight so the prophecy may never come to life. Only one of those two things has been doable; running from her crown was easy; dabbling in black-market trade has its benefits; getting rid of the curse, however, seems to be a fallacy.

Her truth will be found in the pages of a long-forgotten book. But some books aren’t meant to be read.

Some doors should never be unlocked.

Because when he comes out, he’s not going back in. And once he is out, there’s no telling what monsters will crawl out of Hell with him.

  • Forced Proximity
  • Curses and Prophecies
  • One Bed/ One Horse
  • Slow Burn Enemies to Lovers
  • Chosen one
  • Mythical Creatures
  • Quest for Magical Object

Pre-Order Here!

About the Author

Based in New Zealand, Zian started her writing journey at the start of 2021. After a hiatus and numerous pandemic related lockdowns, she decided to resume her love for creating stories and published her debut novel Prisoner of the Elements in May 2022.

Zian Schafer

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