Monday, September 30, 2019

Virtual Book Tour: 13 Steps to the Cellar by Teresa Mathews #interview #mystery #blogtour #giveaway @RABTBookTours

Date Published: September 4, 2019
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

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Thirteen Steps to the Cellar. They were steep; they were narrow—but was a fall down them enough to have caused the twenty-seven deep lacerations to her aunt’s head? 

Callie Harris travels from her home in Alabama to her aunt’s former mansion in Maine to unravel the haunting forty-year-old mystery of Dr. Laverne Harris Doss’ brutal death.

Why wasn’t a murder weapon found? Was her uncle justly convicted of the killing? Was his mistress involved? Or was the murderer the bearded stranger rumored to have arrived by train that night?

In the charming town of Richmond, located on the banks of Maine’s historic Kennebec River, Callie uncovers the community’s darkest secrets—a botched police investigation, a betrayed widow’s lie, a dead woman’s blackmail, and a wealthy philanthropist’s shame. The web of intrigue extends far beyond her suspicions and its connection to her personal story pierces Callie to her core.


What is the hardest part of writing your books?
The writing! The story is easy, but the grammar, punctuation, tightening, points of view...not so much.  As an untrained writer and someone years beyond English classes, those things had to be learned or relearned!

What songs are most played on your Ipod?
I don’t have an iPod. (I think I just gave away my age)

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
My best friend is a writer. (Aren’t I lucky!) Her advice and help were invaluable. My husband is also good at researching words as I call them out from the comfort of my recliner. He has read “13 Steps to the Cellar” more than me! He’s my beta reader.

What book are you reading now?
This summer, I read “The Perfect Couple” by Elin Hilderbrand. I loved the Nantucket setting.

How did you start your writing career?
It was almost by accident. In 2013 my family and I visited Richmond, Maine, to see where my aunt had been murdered. Although she died before I was born, I’ve always been fascinated with her life and death. After the trip, I daydreamed about returning to Richmond. I started making notes about the charming town located on the Kennebec River. Soon every night, through the eyes of my protagonist, Callie, I began visiting Richmond.

Tell us about your next release.
I’m working on a story set in Houston, Texas. As a young man, my husband witnessed a tragedy, and although my new murder mystery is fiction, I’m drawing my inspiration from his recollections of what he saw that day.

About the Author

TERESA MATHEWS is a graduate of The University of South Alabama.  She’s a member of the Mobile Writers Guild and serves on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Nursery and Landscape Association.

An avid gardener and artist, she has multiple book covers to her credit. Several years ago after visiting the site of her real-life aunt’s murder, Teresa discovered a third passion–storytelling. Although inspired by an actual tragedy, Thirteen Steps to the Cellar is fiction.

Raised on the Gulf Coast, Teresa, her husband, and son now live on a farm with a second home on the sparkling white sands of Fort Morgan, Alabama. This is her first novel.

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Release Blitz: The Devil & Dayna Dalton by @BritLunden #releaseday #availablenow #excerpt #giveaway #paranormal #romance #pnr @RABTBookTours

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Book 9: A Bulwark Anthology
Paranormal Romance
Date Published: September 30, 2019
Publisher: Chelshire, Inc.

Reporter Dayna Dalton’s reputation has been ruined since birth. The daughter of wild child, Becky Dalton, is expected to follow her mother’s footsteps; never given a chance to prove she’s different. Dayna’s been in love with Clay Finnes since she was a teenager. Her unrequited love for Sheriff Finnes leaves her empty.  He’s happily married and unavailable. Instead, Dayna finds herself stuck in the revolving door of bad relationships. But this is Bulwark, Georgia, a town where strange things are always happening.  Dayna is doomed to this loveless life until she can find someone who will appreciate the depth of her character. Can she overcome her fears and look beyond her own perceptions to accept a greater love?

*Contains Sexual Content*


Chapter 1

“I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love.” Marilyn Monroe

The crisp, clear sunlight was not her friend. Dayna Dalton winced at the bright light that squeezed in through the slats of the venetian blind. She reached over and gave the cord a hard tug, sending the pint-sized bathroom into near darkness. Behind her, the shower head dripped with a steady plop, plop that reminded her of the exposé she did on water torture in Guantanamo Bay that never got published. It was deemed too harsh to print.

The Bulwark Advance preferred her to write…fluffy pieces. She sneered thinking of the crap on her computer, the half-written article about the elusive Easter Bunny that awaited its final edit. She hung her head in shame, thinking of what her sorority sisters from Georgetown would feel if they knew where Dangerous Dayna Dalton had ended up. There’d be hell to pay in the form of eternal humiliation.

Dayna twisted the faucet, her freckled knuckle turning bone white from the effort. It was no use; the leak continued relentlessly, driving a hole in her throbbing head. Oh, that last round of shots was totally not necessary.

No matter how hard she wrenched the faucet, the dribble continued. She thought she should ask her guest to fix it before he left. He was a plumber, after all. She was sick of this place. Dayna peered at her reflection in the mirror. She was sick of her life.

Skip Benson’s bearlike yawn turned into a growl from the bedroom. “Dayna.” His voice grated on her nerves.

Dayna rolled her kohl-smeared eyes.

“Dayna, come on back to bed.”

Dayna took a steadying breath and used both hands to grip the sink as if it were holding her up. What was she thinking last night? Skip Benson? How low could she go? A shudder ran through her lithe frame. That left only Trout Parker, and she could now report she had officially and irrevocably scraped the bottom of the barrel of Bulwark, Georgia.

She rubbed her forehead where a hammer banged against the inside of her skull.

Skip wailed for her to return to the warmth of the bed. Dayna wrinkled her nose, thinking about Skip’s performance, or rather what she remembered about it. Oh yeah, too many tequila shots will make anyone desirable, even stupid Skippy Benson.

She ran her fuzzy tongue over her dry teeth, fighting the urge to gag.

Skip Benson had never been on the football team, the basketball team…Hell, he’d never even made the chess team. He had been the school screw-up, and now he could brag that he and Dayna had…

Dayna turned away from the mirror with disgust, her cheeks flushing. She staggered to the doorway of the bedroom. Using the frame to hold herself erect, she shouted, “Get up!”

“Wha–?” Skip rose, the comforter bunched at his flabby waist, his chest bare and the pathetic tattoo of a red devil across the front of his right bicep.

Vague memories of kissing that image flitted through her foggy brain. Dayna picked up a pillow discarded on the floor during their frenzied arrival and threw it at his head.

“I said, get up and get out of here!”

Skip ducked, then slid off the bed, his behind exposed, another image of a werewolf on his left butt cheek. Dayna convulsed at a hazy memory of talking to that tattoo.

“You weren’t so eager to get rid of me last night.” Skip stood in all his naked glory, which wasn’t much.

“Ugh. I’m never drinking again,” Dayna muttered under her breath. “I said get dressed and get out of here.” A shoe sailed past Skip’s head.

Her unwanted guest scrambled to find his clothes. “Hey, cut it out, Dayna!” Skip was living up to his namesake as he struggled into his work pants, bouncing toward the door.

Dayna’s face split into a demonic smile that was known to strike fear in the hearts of single men everywhere. Here, she thought, was the elusive Easter Bunny. She watched Skip hop toward his escape as though he were in the Fourth of July potato sack race.

Dayna picked up a shirt that had been discarded on the floor and threw it at him. The garment appeared to have a life of its own and engulfed his head. Skip’s muffled cries were nearly smothered by the material. His hands tore at the shirt to no avail.

His fingers—Dayna looked closer, grimacing at the dirt under his nails, and watched his wrestling match with the clothing. She pushed him into her shabby living room, then out the door of her condo. Mrs. Sweetpea, an antonym for sure, watched in revulsion as Dayna shoved her guest out of her apartment.

Dayna lived in Shady Oaks, a rundown condominium community, where she reluctantly shared a front porch with her neighbor. The building was a connected row of apartments that bordered undeveloped land, as though a builder had left the project unfinished halfway through. It was hot real estate when they released the first phase, and half the town bought investment properties. Then the real estate bubble burst, and the whole thing came tumbling down.

Dayna had an inside scoop about what was really going on, but once again, the paper wouldn’t print it. The mayor had sold the land and gotten a back-end deal for it. He made a ton of dough and then skipped off to Colombia—the country, not Columbia, South Carolina. The builder had used inferior products, and once he went to jail for money laundering, the whole place went to seed. There was no one to call when things broke.

Dayna cast Mrs. Sweetpea a jaundiced eye, daring the nosy neighbor to say something about her guest. While the old crone might have appeared to be like the proverbial sweet grandmotherly type, Dayna knew her to be an ornery bitch with a sting as sharp as an angry wasp.

She hated her; had for years. Thelma Sweetpea had been her babysitter back in the day when she was a small child. Dayna’s mother had dropped her off at the old lady’s house for the first nine years of her life.

Dayna looked at Mrs. Sweetpea and shivered. The old woman had moved into the complex a year and a half ago, cutting up Dayna’s peace. What were the odds they’d end up living next door to each other? She was a mean old woman, and Dayna felt judged every time those beady eyes settled on her.

Dayna considered moving but was so underwater with her mortgage, she couldn’t think of selling. She was stuck at Shady Oaks, and she was stuck with the prying eyes of Thelma Sweetpea.

Mrs. Thelma Sweetpea took out her aggression with a broom and started to sweep as though the hounds of hell had just taken a shit there. Dayna fought the urge to say something. Speaking with Mrs. Sweetpea usually ended up in a hissing contest. Dayna’s compressed lips turned up just a bit with a smile at the result of this morning meeting. Mrs. Sweetpea was in a frenzy of spring cleaning, as if she could wipe the interlopers from reality.

The sky was overcast, and even though it was springtime, the air was decidedly chilly. A wave of cold air stole under Dayna’s shirt, making it billow out. She fought the urge to shiver. Her bare feet felt the shock of the freezing concrete. She’d be damned if she would show that old biddy any weakness, even if it was unseasonably cold.

Dayna looked up at the watery sky, searching for a glimpse of the sun. Global warming was playing havoc with Georgia’s weather. Either it was extremely hot when it was supposed to be cold or freezing when the time of year dictated heat. It didn’t rain anymore; it stormed with funnel clouds that touched down, ripping homes and trailers from their moorings.

Mrs. Sweetpea stopped her sweeping to look at Dayna, her lips pursed as if she’d eaten something sour. Dayna returned the stare, her eyes observing the wrinkled face, watching the older woman judge her half-naked form.

Dayna’s freckled shoulder peeked out from an oversized tee shirt. It was paired with her long, bare, coltish legs underneath. Dayna looked down and cursed when she realized she was wearing Skip’s tee. Glancing up, she realized he was struggling with her shirt from last night.
Watching her neighbor’s shocked face, Dayna ripped Skip’s shirt over her head and tossed it to him. He paused in his scuffle with her clothing to admire her perfect breasts.
“I don’t have to leave,” Skip said with a broad smile.

“Oh yes you do, and don’t come back here.” Dayna turned around, her shoulders straight. She paused to look at the older woman, who stood with her jaw hanging in shock.

“Have you no shame?” Thelma Sweetpea sputtered.

Dayna looked back at the gawking plumber, then her scandalized neighbor. She shrugged indifferently. “Apparently I have no shame at all.”

About the Author

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Brit Lunden is a prolific author who’s written over 50 books in assorted genres under different pen names. Bulwark was her first effort in adult fiction and was chosen by several of her fellow authors as the basis for a new series, A Bulwark Anthology.  Using her characters, they are creating new denizens in spin-off stories to this bizarre town. Brit Lunden lives on Long Island in a house full of helpful ghosts.

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Friday, September 27, 2019

Virtual Book Tour: The Making of Daisy Hart by Karen Tjebben with my #review and a #giveaway for the #romance book @RABTBookTours @KTjebbenAuthor

Contemporary Romance
Date Published:  March 2019

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Cassie Bowmont had what it took to succeed, at least that’s what she told herself. Hoping a change of pace and new scenery would get her creative juices flowing, she rented a beach cottage in the small town of Avenel where she could dip her pen into the steamy depths of adult romance. She didn’t need or want any distractions to thwart her progress, but she hadn’t counted on Chris Walker. After deciding that he would be a great muse for the hero in her book, she realized that a summer fling with him was just what the Book Gods ordered.    

When Chris Walker spotted the small car on the shoulder of the road, his hero complex kicked in. Unable to ignore a damsel in distress, he pulled over to be a knight in a Ford F-150. He stomped through the flooded road and convinced Cassie to follow him to safety. After a goodbye wave in the parking lot of a Piggly Wiggly, he figured he’d never see her again, but Fate had other plans. When their paths crossed once more, he paused long enough to notice the delight in her eyes, the playful smirk on her glossy lips, and the determination of her spirit. His heart stuttered. His brain flooded with need, and a crack penetrated the wall around his heart. 

They knew the summer was all they’d have but falling for each other was inevitable. The pleasure of lust somehow transformed into the contentment of love. When a jilted lover returns and sabotages their relationship, they must decide if they will be prisoners to the past or sail into their future.


Superb writing from Karen Tjebben yet again. I really liked the originality that Tjebben brings to each of her novels.  

This novel was very vivid in the descriptions, the writing really jumped off the pages and into my head. Humor and wit laced throughout plenty of romance and a deep connection between the main characters. 

This story for me just came across as honest. I understood the character's motives and how they ended up where they ended up and the way it all unfolded made for an intriguing tale. 

About the Author

Karen Tjebben lives in central North Carolina with her wonderful husband, twin daughters, and two hamsters. When her girls left for kindergarten, Karen discovered that she needed to fill her days with something, and that was the beginning of her writing career. She loves to create worlds filled with unique characters that she hopes will delight and raise goose bumps on her readers. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and seeing the world through her daughters' eyes.

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Virtual Book Tour: Woke Up Dead by Nadia Gilkes with my #review and a #giveaway for the #fiction #humor book @RABTBookTours @nadiagilkes

Fiction / Humor
Date Published: August 27, 2019

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Hope Allison McKinley died. Or, at least everyone thought she did. When she suddenly wakes up in the middle of her own funeral - to the shock of all her loved ones - that is just the beginning of her problems.

Reawakened, Hope now sees what everyone really thought of her. The casket is cheap, the flowers suck, and she’s wearing an outfit she wouldn’t be caught dead in! It’s her worst nightmare come true and all hell is about to break loose.

In Woke Up Dead, Hope is faced with the enormous task of putting her death behind her and rebuilding her life. Having to overcome being a YouTube sensation and being shunned by her family, she slowly comes to realize that this is going to be a long, difficult, frustrating road.

If you ever wondered what would happen if you Woke Up Dead, let Hope Allison McKinley walk you through the trials and tribulations in a story that will have you dying to read more.


Nadia Gilkes has done an amazing job of developing a multi dimensional character that the reader will feel invested in from the start. I love being about to picture everything about characters. Hope Allison McKinley was such an easy character to love. She is so funny, she will have you laughing with her thoughts and actions. 

This is one of those reads that while being a quick read, really has stuck with me since I finished it. Kudos to the Author for managing to create a story that can do that! 

About the Author

I hate the idea of being kept in a box. I have always had a creative flair and delight in quilting, writing, and occasionally dusting off my flute. Over the past decade, I've served my clients and community as a family law attorney. I genuinely love serving, but being devoted to others can often leave one feeling drained and unfulfilled.

In 2019, a mind shift happened. I decided to unchain myself from my desk and nurture my need to create. I stopped living the life others expected of me and started chasing my dreams. In September of 2019, my first book, Woke Up Dead, will be available for purchase. It is an amusing, tongue-in-cheek novella about a young woman who wakes up at her own funeral, to the shock of those in attendance, and soon finds that getting back to life as normal is nearly impossible.

In my spare time, you can find me traveling, creating, attending concerts, and drinking my sorrows away after the latest Buffalo Bills loss. I also attend as many P!nk experiences as I possibly can. (She does not do concerts ... she creates bucket list experiences ...).

If you want to be the first to know what I'll do next, please follow me on social media and sign up for my mailing list and

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Virtual Book Tour: Eve 2.0 by Winter Lawrence with my #review and a #giveaway of for the #yascifi #youngadult #yafantasy book @WinterBLawrence @RABTBookTours

YA Action Adventure Fantasy | Science Fiction | LitRPG
Publisher: Fire & Ice Young Adult Books
Date Published: August 27, 2019

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Gwen Nielson is a gamer and she’s damn proud of it. Her mother may be a former beauty queen and her kid sister may participate in every pageant the state of Colorado has to offer, but Gwen is content to stay at home and play on her Xbox. To her, life isn’t about fashion and make-up; it’s about making a difference and keeping a low profile. And while most of the girls at her high school hang out at the local country club vying for the popular boys’ attention, Gwen is cool with having a boyfriend she’s never met. Pete is a fellow online gamer who lives in California. He’s funny and sweet, and his father owns a gaming company, which is an added bonus because Gwen gets to test out new games before they’re released to the public.

When Pete mails a new game for her to beta test, Gwen patiently awaits its arrival, but the package is never delivered. To make matters worse, when she calls to let Pete know, she discovers that he’s at the hospital after succumbing to a mysterious illness. Hours later, an ambulance arrives next door because her neighbor’s youngest son, Ben, suddenly becomes ill too. His parents and doctors aren’t sure why he has slipped into a coma, but when Gwen finds her opened package in Ben’s bedroom, she begins to suspect that the game is responsible for both of the boys’ eerily similar conditions.

Even to Gwen, the idea of a game making people sick sounds absurd, so she decides to test her theory before going to her parents. Unfortunately, her neighbor’s older brother, Ryan, insists on checking out the game with her. That’s when they discover that the disc isn’t a game at all—it’s actually a portal to a high-tech government simulator named Eve 2.0 who’s programmed to trap players until they can complete all of the timed objectives.

With her top-notched gaming skills, Gwen is a formidable opponent, but she quickly begins to realize that playing a game versus living it is a lot harder than she ever imagined. And as the objectives become more difficult and the four kids are forced to work as a team, Gwen concedes that she may not be as good as she needs to be, which just might end up costing her not only her own life, but Pete, Ryan, and Ben’s too.


I loved this book! There is a lot between these covers. I loved the way the author stayed true to the Fantasy genre, but managed to incorporates action, thrills, drama, and comedy.

This is a book worth reading if you enjoy fantasy and a little adventure. Perfect for younger adults who love video games! 

Winter Lawrence will take you on a quest and leave you wanting more.

About the Author 

Winter lives in the moment and loves nothing more than being surrounded by her family, her fur-babies, and a ton of great reads! When she doesn't have her nose stuck in a book, she's usually thinking up far away, fantastical worlds or she's cooking up a storm in the kitchen!

Because of her love for all things literary, Winter pursued a Master of Arts degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. Professionally, she is a manuscript editor and, in her spare time, she enjoys hosting author spotlights, posting book reviews, and teaching creative writing workshops.

In her private time, she is an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal romances, and one day she hopes to inspire young readers in the same way her favorite authors continue to inspire her today.

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Book Blitz for The Cure for Stupidity by Eric M. Bailey @eric_m_bailey #nonfiction #selfhelp #giveaway @RABTBookTours

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Date Published: 6/12/19
Publisher: Peacock Proud Press

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Every day you’re driven nuts by the people around you making common sense errors and irrational decisions. Imagine what life would look like if you didn’t have to waste time and energy dealing with stubborn, clueless, argumentative, defensive, or apathetic coworkers! Thank goodness Eric Bailey translates decades of brain science research into every-day language, helping you break through common communication barriers that will improve every relationship in your life. Whether you work in the executive suite or on the front-line, this book will teach you how to cure the stupidity all around you.

About the Author

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Eric M. Bailey is the President of Bailey Strategic Innovation Group, one of the fastest-growing communication consulting firms in the United States. Eric has a diverse set of experiences that includes helping an NFL player pet a rhinoceros, doing barrel rolls in an F-16, and chatting with LL Cool J on the campus of Harvard University.

Eric's unique style blends fact and emotion and finds ways to appeal to analytical thinkers, emotional feelers, and everyone in between. Eric has been featured on Huffington Post, Forbes, the Like a Real Boss Podcast and has helped leaders and teams across North America see common problems from new and different perspectives. Eric works with Google Inc., the US Air Force, Los Angeles County, Phoenix PD and many more.

Eric holds a Master's Degree in Leadership and Organizational Development from Saint Louis University and is a lifetime learner of human and organizational behavior. When not working or researching, you can find Eric and his wife, Jamie racing on their road bikes, being cheered on by their three children.

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Monday, September 23, 2019

Virtual Book Tour: A Beginner's Guide to Skepticism by Maor Kohn & Mati Cohen #interview #blogtour #popolarscience #science @RABTBookTours

Popolar science
Publisher:  Simple Story
Date Published: January 14, 2019

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Never in history have we known more than we know today. In the age of knowledge, science has enveloped our lives and influences humanity in almost every aspect. At any given moment, dozens of studies are published in countless areas of knowledge – studies that bring us closer to understanding the laws of nature, as well as advance human thinking towards the future. Nevertheless, faith, religion, spirituality and divinity still play a central role in the lives of many people. With the gap between what we know and what we believe is constantly growing, the authors of this book has found it necessary to offer tools for critical thinking about the relationship between science and faith.


1. What is the main thing you hope your reader takes away from this book? 
We hope to encourage the reader to ask some key questions about their beliefs and develop basic tools with which to try and answer them. Being a good sceptic means that you do not take everything for granted, but also do not rule things out automatically. There is a healthy, middle ground for considering the rules and dogmas we live by, and we hope to help the reader figuring it out.

2. How did you meet each other and decide to become a team when writing this book? 
We met while hiking in Nepal 15 years ago. Along the years we realised we have a lot in common in the way we try to communicate science to people, and eventually we teamed up to deliver various lectures on nutrition and health, aging, health and the environment and more. While working on these lectures we found ourselves often being carried away into long discussing about the many debates we each have with other people about faith and religion. This brought about the idea to put together our key messages in these debates into a book.

3. Do you have plans to write more books like this?
Yes we do. We want to explore in depth the dynamics that lead people, social groups, tribes and countries to invest resources in wars. We ask the question are wars worth while? are there any biological roots to our need to engage in wars? how is it possible that we risk our most important thing ,our life and our children's lives, for material and ideological gain.
4. How do you explain the difference between writing and your everyday work life? 
We are both scientists and the approach we took in writing this book is quite similar to the one taken when writing a scientific paper: study the literature, add your input, and develop a discussion that, hopefully, will add value to others.
5. Do you think one is more powerful? Science or Faith? 

This is an easy question. We know. If we want to claim something about the world with some level of certainty we must use scientific tools. Our mind is full of so many distortions and biases that we cannot trust faith.
We know that what has not been scientifically investigated has no basis in reality and is in another word- 'faith', so we abandon faith and we focus on knowing.

About the Authors

Maor Kohn
Ph.D. in Geography, with specialization in Environment and public health from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. M.a. in Geopolitics and B.A in Political Science. A Society and Environment lecturer.

Mati Cohen
Ph.D. in Biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science, specializing in structural biology, cancer research, gene therapy and pharmacology

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Book Blitz: Guardian of Angel by Lanie Mores #scifi #fantasy #paranormal #giveaway #excerpt @RABTBookTours @laniemores

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Book 2 of the Father of Contention series
Science Fiction and Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: Tellwell Talent
Date Published: July 29, 2019

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When evil finds a way, man becomes beast.

In the small town of Thunder Bay, 2002, Angelika Juris becomes unexpectedly linked to her guardian angel, Gavin, after a suspicious near-death experience. While trying to figure out the complicated nature of their connection, they uncover a plot so disturbing, it threatens to shift the delicate balance between life and death and eradicate the precious human gift of free will.

When her sister goes missing, Angelika must search the unforgiving terrain of the Rocky Mountains, with her guardian angel as her guide. But they find more than just her sister—a   familiar face, Renner Scholz—and a secret lab teeming with his ongoing, unhindered experiments, including the most powerful of his offspring—the triplets.

Now, Angelika must find a way to free her sister from her evil captors, along with a newfound love interest—Anthony—Renner's only normal son. Will they be able to thwart Renner's malevolent schemes and escape with their lives, or will they suffer the same fate as so many of his previous victims?

Chapter 1

Tomas – 1984

Tomas Scholz sits upon a throne beside his father above the stones

of fire. Surrounded by splendour, he bursts with pride as all bow

down and honour them, bestowing gifts of great riches: precious

gems and stones—sardius, topaz, diamond and onyx—silver and

gold, and the rarest of artifacts collected from all over the many

realms. This destiny, although not yet achieved, awaits him after

this world has passed away, or so the shadow has promised.

In time. He must be patient.

A three-toed woodpecker, normally a quiet, shy, little bird,

hammers out a tune on a nearby dead spruce, redirecting Tomas’

thoughts away from his daydreams and back to the matter at hand.

Carrying the device with painstaking care, he reaches a clearing

in the mountains. This flat fold of land has been carefully selected

for the job, unchartered territory, a place no man has previously

travelled. The device is light despite its enormous potential for

destruction, light enough for his nine-year-old hands to carry.

The wind swells in unpredictable gusts sending uprooted weeds

and debris to tumble across the dry landscape. It is not ideal

weather to test out his experiment, on the contrary, but he is

impatient, insistent. If it were anyone else attempting this feat

they would be prudently dissuaded, encouraged to wait for more

opportune conditions. The summer had been a dry one, and the

arid conditions mixed with the gales of wind are a recipe for


But Tomas is not like other children. His abilities are powerful

enough to defy even the wind.

Besides, Tomas is too excited to see how it finally works, unable

to wait a moment longer. Adrenaline almost palpable as he flits and

floats across the glade despite his clubbed foot, preparing for the

initial trial of the weapon he has designed and built all by himself.

He is a genius. Wisdom doesn’t grow on trees; it is inherited.

Or prepared in a lab. Both methods are responsible in Tomas’ case.

Born of Renner’s sperm, he has inherited the genes for brilliance,

but his earthly father further manipulated Tomas’ genetic structure

to enhance his potential for genius. In this Renner has been


Just a child, Tomas is already capable of recombinant DNA

technology and minor medical procedures. Always the perfect

pupil. Always eager to learn more. Technology and inventing

advanced weaponry are his preferred hobbies, skills that come

to him naturally, and had he been allowed to go out in public to

submit these innovations for patenting, he would earn millions,

perhaps billions. But they are billionaires and have no need for

more money. And he is not ready to go out in public, to be exposed

to the world—the world not ready for him yet. For Tomas’ talents

don’t stop there.

Surpassing his higher level of intelligence are his supernatural

abilities, having both fathers to thank for this gift. By the shadow

entering Renner’s body that fateful night in the abandoned chapel,

his DNA changed, which was then passed on to his offspring.

These changes increased the development of DMT produced by

the pineal gland and the subsequent presentation of supernatural

abilities, the like of which have never been seen in humans.

Renner had also manipulated Tomas’ genes, splicing them with

favourable animalistic traits to increase his special abilities. The

final product is a boy who has powers that are both profound and

intense. Unrestrained. In this Renner has also been successful.

Tomas is a telepath, able to read other people’s thoughts

and desires with great ease. Most impressive are his telekinetic

capabilities, able to teleport any object, from the size of a grain of

sand all the way up to a massive Gothic castle to any location he

so desires. Able to transport his own body.

But impressive though this is, Tomas is not perfect. None of

them are. Flaws remain in Renner’s recombinant DNA techniques,

glitches he still struggles to correct with each series of experiments.

There is always an element of trial and error when it comes to

experimenting in new unexplored areas, but he has faith he will

overcome these limitations and the supernatural abilities that all

the offspring display prove he is on the right track.

Tomas is the most handsome of them all if you could call

him handsome. Hair, worn long and unruly. Taller than most

nine-year-olds, he is more muscular as well but not a giant like

some of his brothers. He prefers to wear mostly jogging pants,

jeans, T-shirts, and sweaters for there is no need to dress up here.

No one to impress. His eyes are as black as pitch and empty. Dead


Born with a cleft palate, Tomas underwent corrective surgery

as a young baby, but Renner being untrained in cosmetic

procedures, the repair didn’t go as well as planned. Tomas can

feed and communicate much better than he would have without

the surgical procedure, but a resultant lisp when speaking words

that contain the letter s has Tomas training extensively to articulate

his words. The lisp now more of an extended, exaggerated s sound.

The speech impediment isn’t as bothersome as the thickened scar

tissue between his nose and upper lip. Tomas plans on visiting

a real cosmetic surgeon who will correct the botched effort his

father performed and eliminate the scar—when he is older, when

he is permitted to venture out into the real world. He also has a

clubbed right foot that gives him a mild limp. These deformities

are considered minor compared to his brothers’. So, he has little

to complain about, this he knows.

His brothers, on the other hand, have not fared as well. The

flaws in Renner’s experiments far more evident. The deformities

more intensive, requiring massive reconstruction, the likes of

which do not yet exist. Tomas is already working diligently on

this limitation, inventing his own brand of prosthetics that will

help the remainder of his triplet brothers—his womb-mates—and

other siblings to help them be more aesthetically pleasing to the

eye or at least less abhorrent while simultaneously helping them

to channel their own gifts. Augment them.

But again, in time.

Tomas’ preparations slowly come to completion. He lopes

across the field through tussock grasses and stunted shrubbery to

the location he has deemed most beneficial for his test. He stops

amidst a patch of denser grasses and wildflowers, adjacent to a

stand of tiny gnarled aspens. Mounds of rhododendron underbrush

proudly display their yellow and white puff ball-shaped flowers

tinged with pink and lavender.

Soon their beauty will be extinguished.

The sound of a river rushing at highs speeds can be detected from

this vantage point, an important proponent for this experiment to

function smoothly.

He looks over to see if the shadow—his other father, the one

that matters most—is watching, desiring his praise. A moment of


But, the moment of weakness is short-lived. As soon as Tomas

senses approval, he commences, extending his right arm towards

the surrounding rhododendron mounds and dry grasses. Clumsily,

he fastens the contraption to his extended right wrist with plastic

straps and buckles. The weapon, a flame thrower, is like no other.

It is controlled by Tomas’ mind alone, lacking buttons or switches,

with nothing to turn it on or off, no dials to increase or decrease

its power, except by his mind’s will.

Abruptly he stops, eyes fastening on the shadow as the sound of

a woman’s scream pierces his mind. The sound is heard through

his gift, although the actual source is not much further than their

location, yet still safely out of harm’s way. Their eyes make contact,

full of mutual understanding. It is Milena, once more in the throes

of labour.

“It will be a boy,” he tells the shadow.

“Yes, yes, I know,” the shadow responds.

They are all boys, so it is a natural conclusion. However, Tomas

knows this on another level, knows it for a fact as the baby’s

thoughts can already be heard, although he is not yet born. “He

is different,” Tomas adds, before returning to his task without

further explanation.

A shiny, black crow bursts out of the shrubbery and furiously

flaps its wings, escaping barely in time, somehow anticipating

the fire that will quickly follow. Tomas telepathically transmits

a message to the weapon to eject a far-reaching rope of flame

from its tip, and the contraption immediately obliges, bathing the

mountain glade in fire. He slowly spins in a circle creating a ring

of fire around him, the flames dancing and rising as if in adoration

and worship. The intense orange from the fire’s light is reflected

in his black eyes as if tiny flames have been sparked from within

the lifeless black embers.

“It works!” he exclaims. “Father, can you see it?”

The flames continue to rise.

And rise. And rise higher still, the flames licking and lapping at

Tomas’ face and body and limbs. Searing, melting, binding. Until

flame and skin become one.

About the Author

 photo author_zpsfculbikm.jpg
Lanie Mores enjoys travelling to alternate realities, often found with her head buried in a book, binge watching Netflix, or playing video games. Although fantasy and science fiction are her obsession, she enjoys most forms of literature, and has been writing poetry since she was a wee bairn.

She has worn many hats throughout her life: cashier, medical records secretary, psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, personal trainer, and most importantly, mom. Her son is the moon of her life, her sun and stars, and she would do anything for him…destroy Terminators sent from a future realm, deflect an Unforgivable curse with her motherly love, and travel through the Upside Down to find him, even if she had to face the Demogorgon himself.

Inspired to write by Stephen King, Diana Gabaldon, Jean M. Auel and Margaret Atwood, she has big shoes to fill, but has always been a huge dreamer and has the determination to aim higher than the stars. GUARDIAN OF ANGEL is the second novel she has written and published, book 2 in the FATHER OF CONTENTION series.

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