Nathan loves to play, but he loves his video games more.
Can a trip to Animal Moves land convince him there’s more fun outdoors? Best-selling author and speaker Darryl Edwards has created this fun adventure inspired by his passion for encouraging kids to move in an ever-increasing sedentary environment.
MY FIRST ANIMAL MOVES
Discover the joys of animal moves with your little cubs in this first book of movement. Join Nathan and his cute, but sometimes lazy, dog as they crawl, jump and balance their way through the animal kingdom re-enacting moves designed to emphasise fun. It’s all in this exercise for kids book that focuses on family fun boredom busters.
HELPING KIDS MOVE AND GETTING KIDS OFF SCREENS THROUGH FUN ANIMAL PLAY
✓ Do you want to make physical activity for kids fun?
✓ Are you looking for ways to help your children develop strength, coordination and balance?
✓ Do your children love learning about animals?
✓ Are you worried about too much TV and screen time?
✓ Do you want to teach young children about the importance of physical activity?
✓ Would you like easy and fun fitness games to include in your day?
My First Animal Moves is your answer. Play along together, keeping everyone healthier and happier, promoting physical, mental and emotional well-being. You’ll all release more mood-enhancing hormones as a result, which help you feel good every day.
It’s written by professional movement coach and award-winning author Darryl Edwards who is best known for his groundbreaking TED Talk “Why working out isn’t working out“, viewed over a million times worldwide. My First Animal Moves distils the ideas in his bestselling Animal Moves book and Animal Moves Fitness Decks into a colourful picture book for children.
Darryl Edwards is a former investment banking technologist turned movement coach and author. He is the founder of the Primal Play Method and a physical activity, health and play researcher.
The Primal Play Method fuses evolutionary biology with the science of physical activity and play psychology.
Darryl wants to inspire humans regardless of age, ability or disability to transform their health by making physical activity fun and engaging.
His work has featured on documentaries, TV, radio, podcasts and international press.
Darryl is author of the best-selling book “Animal Moves” and has released a range of fun fitness cards for adults, juniors, infants, office workers and fitness professionals called the Animal Moves Decks.
He regularly presents as a keynote speaker at events worldwide. His April 2019 TED talk “Why working out isn’t working out”—has now been viewed over a-million times.
Darryl resides in London, England and publishes about playful living at PrimalPlay.com.
I’m thrilled to share this new release with you all today! This beautiful dark Fantasy is called Sojourn and it is the latest installment in the Season of the Runer series by Abigail Linhardt. Read on for more details and a chance to win one of two bookish loot boxes!
Sojourn (Season of the Runer #2)
Publication Date: November 8th, 2021
Genre: Dark Fantasy
“THERE MAY BE NO GHOSTS OR GHOULS HERE, BUT THERE ARE MONSTERS. IT’S OUR JOB TO STOP THEM.”
Fleeing Al’Myrah, Tzarik sails with Sybal as far away from Sharar as they can. Landing on the far eastern continent of Xia, they discover there are no Runers on Xia and a civil war is heating up between the traditionalists and those who believe it is time for Xia to join the ways of the modern world.
A mysterious creed called Wushito culls the monsters without runes or the white blood. Revered or feared, Wushito exists to support the ruler of Xia–the one touched by the White Dragon. But with Runers ashore, their secrets may soon be brought to light and the traditions on which Xia is built will be tipped into chaos.
Put in the middle, Tzarik and Sybal set events into motion they must see through to the end or risk unleashing a malevolent force into the world. However, a shadow from the past appears amidst their new struggle, complicating their sojourn and quest for sanctuary.
The sulfates calming inside her, Sybal gathered all that remained of her patience and followed the general. Not wanting to ever be that close to the general again, she chose a perch a few yards away behind a boulder. Just as she ducked down, the small army came into view. She’d expected them to be out3tted in matching regalia, gleaming armor, and spears. The troupe that emerged was a ragtag team in mismatched pieces of armor. Some wore furs patched together with black leather. These had black paint on their faces and over their eyes. They looked harder and 3ercer than the others. The placards they carried were the only uniform item; it bore the familiar crest of House Xhiaoh.
“They’re peasants,” she whispered. “People.”
Wu-Zhiang scoffed. “What did you expect of a people who want to overthrow Wushito? Ignorant rats.”
Touching her runes under her tunic, Sybal said, “I will not kill them. I will stop them.”
The Masahk narrowed her eyes suspiciously. “As you wish. I have no qualms with killing those who seek to overthrow my creed. On my signal…”
Swallowing hard, Sybal prepared herself. For the 3rst time, her crime 6oated to the front of her mind. She could not cut down another sentient being. She didn’t know what would happen. All she knew was that the recompense was said to be horrifying to witness and painful for the oath breaker. A long, grueling death, no doubt.
Rearing up, Wu-Zhiang held her yari aloft and struck down into the army. Without hesitation, Sybal jumped after her, drawing halat as she landed. She opted for her bow, kiting away from on-coming attacks. Drawing buhkar, she misted away and was able to stay back from the attackers. Wu-Zhiang was not as merciful nor inhibited by a magical oath that would take her life. Her fangs 6ashing in the moonlight, she bit the enemy with quick, deadly strikes. Arching her spine, she turned upside down to 3re a fatal arrow into a man who threw a spear at her.
Sybal thought they’d gotten the upper hand too quickly. She’d released a half dozen arrows into shins and feet when the invading army turned and ran forward into the trees.
“Follow them!” Wu-Zhiang hissed, wiping blood from her lips. “They are heading right to Yasuke!” A wicked grin warped her face into demonic joy. “To the blus.”
Chasing after the serpentine woman took all Sybal’s speed and strength. When the Masahk went down onto her belly and shot o, she moved with the speed of a hunting viper. A whipping, hissing sound alerted her to ShanBao’s arrow going up from where the others waited. This should have been their signal, but Wu- Zhiang had preemptively struck. Now it signaled Yasuke and Jin to move in. Sybal saw how well ShanBao knew his generals when she heard Yasuke give a wild, canine cry.
The two women came over the rocky outcropping and stopped.
“A trap!” Wu-Zhiang shouted.
Below, another horde of Wu-Tang warriors waited, unleashing arrows towards Jin and Yasuke. Sybal prepared to scream for the boy to duck, but he easily dodged the arrows with elegant lips, scaling a tree before hopping across to another, shooting his own arrows down at the same time. Yasuke leapt into the frey for melee attacks, using his claws. His fur stood on end as he roared. A 3ery fox shadow appeared behind him as his attacks grew in rage.
From behind Jin and Yasuke, the Shiuki warriors emerged, spears and staves in hand. Sybal skirted around the edge, the blood from the Wushito general’s savage attacks painting the vibrant green grass red. She met with ShanBao and the royal commander.
“I will lose my rank for this,” Commander Zhen stuttered, his face white. “We are involved in a civil dispute. A battle! The Di- Huan will have my head.”
“This was unexpected, Zhen.” ShanBao watched, horri3ed at the bloodletting. “They played us for the peaceful fools we are.”
Below, Sybal watched a royal warrior brought to his knees by a man welding the banner of House Xiaoh. The royal warrior begged for his life before the Xiaoh 3ghter stabbed him with the placard, standing it up in his corpse. Unable to bear the sight, she leased an arrow into the Xiaoh warrior’s knee.
“Careful, Sybal!” ShanBao cried. “Your oath.”
Glaring at the evil sigil, she spat. “It is far worse a punishment that I cannot take my revenge.” In truth, she had killed Whoang Xiaoh twice. She had tasted her revenge. But the opportunity to fell more of his kinsmen and followers loomed before her in insatiable temptation.
“Guard your anger,” ShanBao whispered, touching her shoulder gently from behind. “I do this to protect Xia. House Xiaoh wants one of their own on the throne.”
“Why are they striking now?” Zhen cried as he watched his men fall. “I thought we were close to an accord.”
“Hardly,” ShanBao replied. “The Di-Huan is ignorant and indecisive. His son has no desire to rule.”
Zhen swallowed hard before he spoke. “He is not touched by the dragon. They must be frightened their rule will be challenged.”
Abi has been a writer all her life, but is a mentor at heart. When she is not writing, you can find her slaying enemies online or hunting for the next bohemian adventure. She has published works of fiction, poetry, academia, and even won awards for her short stories in science fiction and horror.
Abi is also a proud mom of two…ferrets! She live streams on Twitch where you can enjoy her terrible gaming skills and join the live discussion. She works part-time as a freelance ghostwriter, editor, and audiobook narrator, hoping to one day make these passions her full-time job. She currently resides in Kansas.
She is one of nine children–all who share the creative spark.
Letting the scares continue with It Calls from the Doors, another scary collection of short stories from a group of talented authors! Read on for more details and a chance to win a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card!
It Calls From the Doors(Foreword by Dave Jeffery, author of “A Quiet Apocalypse”)
Publication Date: October 15th, 2021
Genre: Horror/ Anthology
Open the door to your nightmares.
They are the silent guardians of our inner spaces. We throw them open to welcome friends and family. We shut them tight against the darkness and trust them to keep us safe. But they also hide our true natures, ward off intruders, and seal away what can never be allowed to escape.
But, what happens when the thing that we rely on the most, welcomes the bad things in? What happens when our protector becomes the thing we fear?
Turn the key, pull back the bolt, unfasten the latch and let the darkness through. Discover 19 tales of terror and despair that lurk on the other side of the Doors in the fourth instalment of Eerie River Publishing’s horror series.
Welcome to the tour for another exciting Angela Hardwicke Sci-fi Mystery! This one is called Fractured Lives.
Read on for more details!
Fractured Lives (A Angela Hardwicke Sci-Fi Mystery)
Genre: Sci-Fi Mystery
Publication Date: August 29th, 2021
In the cosmic realm of Eternity, there’s only one private eye to hire when your world gets turned inside out—Angela Hardwicke.
Darla Fyne, a college freshman and galaxy design savant, is suffering from a nervous breakdown—or is she the victim of an urban legend known as the Scarlet Raj?
As Hardwicke follows the intersecting worlds of art galleries, college dorms, and a semi-secret clan that patches up tears in the Universe, her investigation will either uncover a hoax gone wrong or a plot that could shift the balance of power across the entire realm. If only she can fight through her own paranoia to tell the difference.
In Russ Colchamiro’s new Sci-Fi mystery Fractured Lives, Angela Hardwicke is confronted by a PI’s worst nightmare—dark secrets from her past that will irrevocably change her future.
“Colchamiro’s heroine is a blunt, wry gumshoe battling her own demons.” —James McCrone, author of Emergency Powers
“I didn’t think Russ Colchamiro could surpass his previous novel. Fractured Lives proved me wrong. It takes readers into the workings of the universe and shows them the workings of the soul.”
—John L. French, author of the Bianca Jones series.
I reach inside my jacket, hand on the grip of my weapon. I don’t want to use it. I don’t want to need it. I want this to be nothing more than another awkward, misconstrued moment in an awkward, misconstrued career taking on awkward, misconstrued cases.
I want to be free of danger. I want to stop putting myself in danger. I want to come home every night and hug my son. I want him to hug me back. I want to let go of the demons that haunt me, the past that defines me, and a future that frightens me.
I want to sleep at night.
I want to wake up in the morning believing my life doesn’t have to be one mystery after another, one dark path leading down a darker alley of a bitter, lonely labyrinth that inevitably reveals someone’s pain. Their ugly secrets.
But most of all, I want to be Angela Hardwicke.
Not Angela Hardwicke, Private Investigator. Just Angela Hardwicke. Me. Whoever that is, and whatever that means. Which is all well and good, but if I don’t get myself out of this particularly awkward, misconstrued moment, I might not have the chance to find out.
Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the zany SF/F backpacking comedy series Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, and is editor of the SF anthology Love, Murder & Mayhem, all with Crazy 8 Press.
Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, two ninjas, and crazy dog Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, Altered States of the Union, Camelot 13,TV Gods 2, They Keep Killing Glenn, Thrilling Adventure Yarns, Camelot 13, and Brave New Girls.
He is now working on the first novel in a new series featuring his hardboiled private eye Angela Hardwicke, and the first of three collaborative novella projects.
Catherine has sold over 3 million bestselling novels worldwide and is translated into eighteen languages.
The first of these novels Catherine started under the desk when she worked as an advertising copywriter. She was duly fired. With time on her hands, she persevered with the novels, which happily flourished.
In the early days she produced a baby with each book – but after three – stuck to the writing as it was less painful.
She writes with her favorite pen in notebooks, either in the garden or on a sofa.
Home is a rural spot on the Hertfordshire border, which she shares with her family and a menagerie of horses, cows, chickens, and dogs, which at the last count totaled eighty-seven beating hearts, including her husband. Some of her household have walk-on parts in her novels, but only the chickens would probably recognize themselves.
All her novels are published by Penguin Random House internationally, and by No Shooz Publishing in America.
Welcome to the book tour for thriller, Of Black Bulls and White Horses by Roland Ladley! It’s also on sale for just $0.99 for Kindle. Read on for more details!
Of Black Bulls and White Horses
Publication Date: December 14th, 2020
Emily Copeland is a young teacher at an inner city school. And she’s good at it. One Christmas her mother shares a long held secret of a teenage affair with a French fisherman. Months later her mother is killed in a hit and run and Emily’s life is dislodged from its axis.
With the school summer holidays approaching, Emily decides on a cathartic journey to revisit the French seaside village where, all those years ago, her mother enjoyed her summer fling. Clutching a series of old holiday snaps, she sets off with the ambition of closure. However, the Camargue – where the mighty Rhône meets the Mediterranean – holds deep secrets. It’s a lawless place of cowboys and gipsies, of mudflats, lakes and meandering tributaries … and of black bulls and white horses.
Emily’s journey soon ends up being more than just a rehearsal of her mum’s past. As she traces her footsteps, the romantic memories she unearths of a previous summer paint an altogether more sinister picture of the present. And Emily’s trip turns out to be one of enlightenment and of deceit; and of abuse and of greed. Ultimately it’s a story that ends in death … and in love.
Emily had her back to the class, facing the whiteboard. She had to stand on tiptoes to reach the top. Some bright spark from maintenance had fitted the new interactive boards last summer and she was sure they had purposely put hers a few inches higher than the original. She wasn’t short. Not short, short. At 155cm she was hardly legs up to your bottom tall, but she always considered herself to be an endearing height.
It made reaching the top shelf in her kitchen cupboards a struggle without a stool. And – on her feet all day with her spine contracting by the hour – after lunch the top of the whiteboard was an effort.
She bit her bottom lip as she wrote out, ‘Pythagoras’s Theorem’, in capitals. In blue. She underlined it. And then turned quickly on her heel. You didn’t want to have your back to Year 9D for any longer than was necessary.
‘OK, team, let’s recap …’ She stopped mid-sentence.
Something was up.
There usually was.
There were sixteen pupils in this, the fourth maths set of five in Year 9. When the classes had been divvied out at the beginning of term INSET training, her class had been described by her head of maths as ‘lively’. That was like calling a great white shark, ‘a bit bitey’.
But they were her Year 9 set. And, bless them, they weren’t nearly as bad as her predecessor had made out. Alison, who was now off on maternity leave, had taken most of Emily’s current class last year – and she hadn’t made it to Christmas. After weeks of staffroom tears, there had been an incident with a textbook that had mysteriously shredded itself and ended up out the window, its pages fluttering across the games field. Alison had, apparently, confronted a boy who was big for his age and had a tongue on him. The word ‘bitch’ couldn’t be ignored, even if it had been under the lad’s breath. As a result Alison had stormed out of the room leaving the class to fend for itself until the next door teacher recognised the noise of near-anarchy for what it was.
Alison didn’t teach her Year 8 set again.
So far though, Emily was keeping a lid on them. And they were learning something. Albeit in fits and starts.
With some classes you often just had to let kids’ frustrations play out. Especially in the last period on a Thursday, having come straight from PE where stale sweat was a stronger essence than even the spray-on, carcinogenic board cleaner.
Now looked like it was going to be one of those times.
Emily’s nose twitched. It was an instinctive reaction.
She looked up and down the classroom. Three rows of tables, each row broken into four so that she could navigate the room quickly and not get stuck top left when all hell was breaking out at the bottom right.
Like most teachers she designed her own seating plans. There were unwritten rules, borne of previous teachers’ experiences of the same pupils. Who should not sit next to whom. Who had learning difficulties. Which children were classified as ‘Pupil Premium’ and, therefore, came from particularly disadvantaged backgrounds. They needed special care and attention both in terms of the questions you asked them and the tone you used.
For example, it was no use asking Shaun to complete work using the internet as he lived with his gran, who didn’t have Wi-Fi … and, in any case, Shaun didn’t have a computer. Harriet, Mobina, Massimo and Darren couldn’t afford dinner money, let alone a calculator.
And there was Lauren.
She respected no one. As far as Emily knew, Lauren lived a half-itinerant life, moving from her aunty to a friend’s house, and back again. Her father was locked up for armed something or other, and her mother was either an alcoholic, or drugged up, or both, most of the time. So Lauren had no adults to respect. So she respected no adults.
But Emily was against wholesale, teacher-led segregation when it came to the seating plan. Other than her sixth form, where she allowed her students to sit anywhere they wished, she started the year with a best guess – putting kids in places she thought would suit them. And then she let the arrangement change as the year developed and friendships and conflicts emerged.
With just sixteen in this class and thirty-five chairs – the sets got smaller the further down the ability ladder you slid – she had been able to group her Year 9 class into enclaves of reasonable behaviour, which in turn sometimes encouraged half decent work. It was never easy.
Bless them, though. Apart from Madi, who should be moving up to Evan Jones’s set some time soon, maths was none of her class’s favourite. Every topic was a struggle. Every ‘x’ a smudge on the board. Every ‘y’ a question rather than a letter representing a variable.
No wonder they misbehaved.
‘I’ve lost all my pencils, miss.’ It was Ben. An almost adorable short lad who was the class clown. On his left was Will, son of a bricklayer, who was brighter than he thought he was. On Ben’s right, Karim, a Sudanese lad with an incongruously massive afro, who was definitely brighter than he thought he was.
‘Shu’ up, Ben.’ Lauren’s surly retort cut through rising tension from the other end of the classroom.
Triangulation was going to be difficult now. Ben was clearly making a play, which Emily would be happy to see through if it didn’t go on for too long. Lauren, who took no prisoners and scared the wits out of everyone in the class including the boys, was bored and might well kick off at any moment which would leave someone in tears.
And Pythagoras was still asking for all of their attentions.
Emily raised a gentle hand in Lauren’s direction.
‘Try not to use that language, please, Lauren.’ She shot the girl a half-smile and then almost in the same sentence, ‘Where are your pens, Ben? Tell me.’
Ben, Will and Karim were all smiles. Ben, who could be cute, cheeky and bloody devious all in the same breath, snorted, his eyes damp with suppressed laughter.
Where’s this going?
She had no idea. So she went on the offensive.
‘Can you borrow one? Say from Karim … or Will?’ Emily, armed with a straightened index finger, pointed at both boys, one after the other.
‘… grow up, morons.’ The first part of Lauren’s sentence was a mumble, but it might have included the words ‘fucking’ and ‘well’. Emily knew she was close to losing control and might have to resort to a sanction; maybe even ask someone to leave the room. Early intervention was key. But, for her, sanction was always a last resort and she saw it as a failure. On top of that it disrupted the class and always shattered any ambience she had managed to create.
She waited for an answer.
Ben, who even sitting down was nipple-height to the much taller Karim, turned to his friend and said, ‘Can I borrow a pen?’
Will was also struggling to contain himself. Emily still had no idea where this was going, but so far it was pretty harmless … and might be very funny. They managed that sometimes.
‘Please,’ Ben replied, his shoulders lifting and falling below his soundless giggles.
Karim, still looking straight ahead and with a deadpan face, lifted a hand and pointed to his afro.
Emily could see it then.
Karim’s hair was full of pens and pencils. She could see the red rubber of a pencil sneaking a peep from the black, curly mass of Karim’s 80s-style hairdo. Alongside it was the silver top of a biro. You could hide the stationery store in there.
‘Thanks,’ Ben said, gulping down a snort.
He then stood and carefully and thoroughly removed six pens and two pencils from Karim’s hair. And still none of the three broke into laughter. But the rest of the class, who might well have seen the trick before, couldn’t stop themselves.
‘Sure, Lauren. Sure,’ Emily replied, smiling and shaking her head at the same time.
As the giggles lost their momentum and Ben finished systematically collecting the contents of his pencil case from Karim’s afro, Emily put up both hands to try to bring some gravitas to the situation …
… just as the classroom door opened.
And the headmistress came in.
‘Miss Copeland. May I borrow you for a moment?’
The headmistress never visited Emily’s classroom. Behind her was one of the deputy heads. This was odd … and ominous. Emily’s brain spun … and she noticed the class had gone unnaturally quiet.
‘Sure.’ Emily shook her head for a reason she didn’t understand.
‘You might want to bring your things.’ The head nodded at her rucksack which was by her chair.
Was she being arrested? Was the head here to sack her? Images of failed bankers pushing open large glass doors with their hips, their arms overloaded with boxes full of personal possessions, flashed through her consciousness.
‘Ehh. Yes. Of course.’
The head smiled, more a grimace than a smile. The deputy was already in the room. He was looking up at the board.
‘Pythagoras,’ Emily said, as she loaded her rucksack.
‘Got it,’ was his reply. He was now looking at the class with trepidation.
‘Good luck,’ she whispered, and then she slipped out through the door the head was holding open. The corridor beyond was dark and faintly oppressive.
Emily heard the clunk of the door closing, stopped and turned back towards the head, who was a few feet behind her.
The head’s face told the story. Whatever news was coming next was bad. The worst. Emily instinctively knew.
‘Who?’ she said.
The head stuttered. She started to put her hands up to hold Emily by the shoulders, but the distance between them made the attempted hug impossible. So, she dropped her arms back to her side.
I am an ex-British Army colonel with operational service in Bosnia, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. I was subsequently a secondary school maths teacher for 8 years. And since 2014, my wife and I have been itinerant, driving around Europe in our motorhome, penning the Sam Green thriller series.
In 2020, during lockdown and on advice from a publisher, I wrote of Black Bulls and White Horses, my first and only non-Sam Green novel.
Book 2 in the Sam Green series, Fuelling the Fire, won a Kindle Scout publishing contract. And, the as yet unnamed, book 8 in the series will be published in 2022.
Welcome to the blog tour for award-winning novel, Where Are We Tomorrow by Tavi Taylor Black! Read on for more info and a chance to win a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card!
Where We Are Tomorrow
Publication Date: May 31st, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction
Publisher: TouchPoint Press
Alex Evans, a thirty-six year old touring electrician, discovers through an accidental pregnancy and then the pain of miscarriage that she truly wants a family. But to attempt another pregnancy, she’ll have to change both her career and her relationship; her partner Connor, ten years her senior, isn’t prepared to become a father again.
When Alex is implicated in an accident involving the female pop star she works for, she and three other women on tour rent a house together in Tuscany. While the tour regroups, confessions are made, secrets are spilled: the guitar tech conceals a forbidden love, the production assistant’s ambition knows no limits, and the personal assistant battles mental issues.
Through arguments and accidents, combating drug use and religion, the women help each other look back on the choices they’ve made, eventually buoying each other, offering up strength to face tough decisions ahead.
Inside the concrete arena, programmed lights whirred and spun in rhythm; eleven thousand fans watched, mesmerized, as vibrant magenta and violet beams sliced through midnight black. On stage, the band regurgitated the same set as the night before, and the night before that. They’d performed the set in Mexico City and Guadalajara. As far south as Santiago and Lima. The road crew for Sadie Estrada’s Home Remedy tour knew each dip in volume, each drop in the beat. They knew exactly, down to the second, how much time it required to step outside and suck down a Marlboro. These time-zone travelers planned bathroom breaks by the songs’ measures; no one missed a cue to mute the stage mics, to hand out room-temp bottled water for set breaks, to pull up house lights.
Behind heavy velvet curtains, separated from the frenzied pace of the show, Alex unscrewed the cover of a moving light to expose the core: circuit boards and capacitors, motors connected to color wheels. Deep bass, feedback, and the fevered pitch of collective voices penetrated the curtain, the familiar, almost comforting reverberations of life on the road. Alex continued her diagnosis, removing the light harness as a mother removes a soiled diaper— routinely, with a touch of tenderness. While she located and replaced the broken part, she kept an ear to the music, alert to the final measure of the set, ready to repack her multi-wheeled toolbox, move on to the next city, set up again.
Alex ran the light through all its functions, testing and retesting once she’d replaced the gobo wheel. The body of the light panned and tilted, working fine. A small victory.
“Sure you know what you’re doing, little lady?” Alex turned at the familiar voice of the tour’s production manager.
“Funny,” she said. “Very original. For that, you get to help me put it away.” Alex waited for another barb, one about her not being able to lift the seventy pounds by herself, but Joe simply helped her flip and crate the unit, a harder task for him at 5’2” than it was for Alex, a good five inches taller.
The arena crackled in anticipation of the show’s climax. Thousands of voices swelled and surged, a unified congregation. The body of the moving light settled into the carved Styrofoam, and Alex tucked its tail inside the handle. As she slammed the case shut, Joe’s laminate got caught inside the box, and he was jerked down by the lanyard around his neck. He freed the latches and yanked it clear, smoothing the wrinkles from the photo of his two young children, a wallet-sized clipping he’d taped behind his backstage pass. Joe caught Alex eyeing the photo.
“When are you gonna give in and pop out a few yourself?” Joe asked.
Alex breathed slowly, letting a brief sadness settle into her body, though her face wore a practiced, blank expression. She gestured into the smothering dark, into the roar of the crowd and sweat-filled air. “And give up all this?”
Tavi Black lives on an island near Seattle where she designs sets for the ballet, works as the tour manager for a musical mantra group, and has founded an anti-domestic violence non-profit organization. Before earning an MFA from Lesley University, Tavi spent 14 years touring with rock bands. Several of Tavi’s short stories have been shortlisted for prizes, including Aesthetica Magazine’s Competition, and the Donald Barthelme Prize for Short Prose.
There’s a new book coming out this month and if you enjoy science or speculative fiction, you’re going to love it! Check out The Awakening of Artemis by John Calia!
The Awakening of Artemis
Expected Publication Date: September 29th, 2021
Genre: Science Fiction/ Speculative Fiction
Orphaned by war and disillusioned about her life, Diana Gutierrez-Adams is on a routine military assignment when she and her team are kidnapped by a domestic militia. She learns from her captors that her cryogenically-frozen grandfather is at the center of a high-stakes plan to steal technology that will change the world for greed and great fortune.
Challenged by the conspiracy and pulled by emotions she doesn’t fully understand, Diana’s rescue mission will change her life. What happens to her is unexpected, perhaps miraculous – an adventure that embraces all her hopes for finding her true self and her place in a world dominated by powerful elites and even more powerful artificial intelligence.
Diana knew that everyone who lived in the pods as well as anyone officially connected to the government had an embedded chip that enabled monitoring technology to identify where every individual was at any time. The chips also measured the secretion of enzymes and hormones. Algorithms had been developed to predict everyone’s wants and needs based upon those secretions. Over time, the algorithms learned from human response and adjusted their predictions accordingly – without human intervention.
A Brooklyn-born, second generation American and the eldest of three boys, writing is his third career and the one about which he is most passionate. Following graduation from the US Naval Academy and active duty in the Navy, he embarked on a career in business. He began writing his blog “Who Will Lead?” in 2010 attracting over 115,000 readers. It inspired him to write his first book, an Amazon five-star rated business fable titled “The Reluctant CEO.” Currently he makes his home in Fairport, NY, a village on the Erie Canal.
Welcome to the book tour for award-winning novel, The Shepherd’s Burden by Ryan Young. Read on for more info and a chance to win a signed copy of the book (North America) or a digital edition if you’re international!
The Shepherd’s Burden
Publication Date: June 18th, 2020
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
1st Place Winner,2020 Chanticleer International Book Awards, Paranormal Awards for Supernatural Fiction Category
Staff Sergeant Daniel Jefferies has returned home to upstate NY after nearly being killed in an ambush in Iraq. Plagued by the trauma of war, he struggles to find his place in a world that he no longer recognizes. He feels disconnected from his family and friends. But, none of his burdens are heavier than the terrifying secret that he has kept about a mysterious encounter from his youth. When a suspicious murder occurs, he will discover that he has been chosen for a purpose that transcends life and death, forcing him to confront his past. In order to stop the killer, he will have to make choices that will change the fate of the people he loves the most. Can Daniel summon the strength of mind and body, that he once had as a soldier, to face the most profound and consequential challenge of his life?
Daniel took the main route out of town. It took them through the city center and back to the site of Nella’s murder. As they approached the site, they saw a man and his young son crossing the road with their donkey. The donkey was towing a wooden cart full of produce. There was an open-air market in the city center. People traveled there to sell their goods. For many of them, it was their only source of income. The boy was four or five years old and the cart was fully loaded, so they were moving slowly. Daniel pulled to a complete stop to allow them to cross.
“Keep an eye out,” Keith yelled up to Aashirya.
It was always dangerous to be stopped in the middle of a road in Iraq. Instead of the vehicle being a moving target, which could be hard to hit, it became a stationary target, which was much easier to hit. The chances of an ambush greatly increased.
It was Keith’s job to keep his team on alert, but the heightened state of awareness didn’t change his demeanor. He was perfectly calm. He pulled out another cigarette and lit it while they waited for the man and his son to cross the road. He offered one to Daniel, but he turned it down.
“I can’t understand how nothing seems to bother you. I’ve been doing this just as long as you have. No matter how many times I’m out here, I still get nervous. I wish I knew your secret,” Daniel said.
Keith laughed it off.
“There is no secret, Danny. I told you before, nothing lasts forever. Everyone dies at some point. It’s a foregone conclusion. It’s not a question of if, but when. What’s the difference if we die now or fifty years from now? We shouldn’t fear death. We should embrace it.”
“I think you have been out here too long. You are really starting to trip me out. I think you need a long nap and a cold beer. After that, you need to get laid and seriously rethink that no-fear, embrace death bullshit. Personally, I would much rather be afraid and alive than calm and dead.”
Daniel turned his attention back towards the road. The man and his son were now directly in front of the vehicle. The boy stopped walking and turned to look at him. When they made eye contact, Daniel got an eerie feeling that something was wrong. Before he could react, a large explosion went off underneath the Humvee. The blast tossed the vehicle fifteen feet into the air, landing it on its side.
To celebrate the release of The Storm of Storms, book #3 in her YA Dystopian saga, Juche, Adria Carmichael is giving the first two installments away for FREE! From September 14th to the 18th, you can download The Demon of Yodok and The Weeping Masses on Amazon for zero dollars!
The Storm of Storms (Juche #3)
Publication Date: September 15th, 2021
Genre: YA Dystopian/ Survival
A highly addictive Young Adult Dystopian Survival Saga that will keep you glued to the pages.
Nari’s shocking revelation in the watermill changes everything in an instant, and Areum is once more faced with an impossible decision. Will she betray her sister in order to save her life, or support her and let her die? In the midst of this struggle, the storm of the century hits the camp, and life goes from hard to impossible overnight. Areum slowly comes to realize there is only one way to ensure their survival.
But how can they escape from an escape-proof prison camp? And even if they would get past the ferocious dog patrols, the machine gun-equipped guard towers and the electrified barbed wire fence… will she be willing to condemn everyone they’re leaving behind to an inescapable end through torture and death?
Just when Areum, daughter of a privileged family in the totalitarian state of Choson, thought she was free from her personal prison, her world collapses around her as her family are taken away in the middle of the night to a hell-like camp in the mountains where people who have strayed from the righteous path are brutally re-educated through blood, sweat, tears and starvation.
There she has to fight for survival together with the family she hates and is forced to re-evaluate every aspect of her life until then – her deep resentment toward her twin sister; her view of her father in face of the mounting evidence he is a traitor with the blood of millions of fellow countrymen on his hands; and even her love and affection for the Great General – the eternal savior and protector of Choson, whom she had always considered her true father.
Areum’s hopes to be set free from the brutal political prison camp holding them is crushed, and the heinous assault on her sister plunges her into a state of shock and horror… and puts her on a collision course with her family. All hope seems to be lost. Just when she is about to give up, however, a disturbing revelation is made… and as the evil of the camp is given a face, Areum finds a new purpose to keep fighting.
But first they need to survive, and with the constantly harshening conditions and her family being targeted from all directions, daily life in Yodok turns into a never-ceasing fight to evade imminent doom.
On top of everything, an impossible tragedy strikes Choson, and the unquestionable truth Areum has built her life around is challenged to its very core.
Adria Carmichael is a writer of Young Adult Dystopian fiction with a twist. When she is not devouring dystopian and post-apocalyptic content in any format – books, movies, TV-series and PlayStation games – she is crafting the epic and highly-addictive Juche saga, her 2020 debut novel series that takes place in the brutal, totalitarian nation of Choson. When the limit of doom and gloom is reached, a 10K run on a sunny day or binging a silly sitcom on a rainy day is her go-to way to unwind.