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Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The Kingdom and Guest Post by J.R Mabry


Review of The Kingdom and Guest Post by it's author J.R. Mabry

Today I thrilled to not only review J.R. Mabry's The Kingdom, but to also include a Guest Post by the man himself.



The Berkeley Blackfriars are not your ordinary run of the mill friars. No these guys are exorcists like you have never met before.

Fr Richard Kinney and the rest of the team discover that a demon has taken over one of the world's richest men and that he is determined to achieve his goal, no matter what it is, and will do whatever it takes to succeed.

Kat Webber becomes involved with the friars after she finds her brother in a coma after he has carried out a demonic ritual.

Can their combined forces rid the world of the demon or will the price be too high to pay?

Okay where do I start?

Well J.R. has created a team of friars who are anything but predictable, and  each far from what you would expect a member of an Order to be.

These guys are the best at what they do and their antics are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

And that's why I enjoyed this book so much because you can't help but like these character's that have been created.

The apparently two separate story lines converge as one making you wonder just what is going to happen next, and then making you gasp at some of the things the friars will do to resolve the situation once and for all.

The ending does leave a couple of threads dangling and I can't wait to get the next book in the series when it is published.

The Kingdom is Urban Fantasy of the highest quality and I recommend it highly.


Five Stars out of Five




How do your book ideas come to you?
When some people finish one of my books, they will shake their heads and ask me, “Where did you get the idea for that?”

The truth is, ideas aren’t the problem—time to write is the problem! I have a million ideas, and I keep lists of them. I know I’ll never get around to writing half of them.

But when it comes to putting a whole book together, it usually starts off with a basic premise—a seed of a story arc. But that’s really a pretty small part of it. It’s usually built up of a bunch of visual images that fall into my head and announce, “I’m part of the story!”

Soon, I’ll have a whole collection of these images…and absolutely no idea of how they hang together into a story, or how they relate to each other.

Take The Glory, for instance—the third Berkeley Blackfriars book. I just finished it, but it’s not out yet. I had all these images that I knew were somehow part of the story:

• There’s a ritual murder in Berkeley’s Tilden Park
• An evil magickian is ascending through the sephirot to declare war on God
• Oakland and Berkeley are burning
• Every Wiccan in San Francisco is walking across the Bay Bridge holding candles
• An enormous patchwork dinosaur is trampling Highway 80

Uh…okay, is there a story in there somewhere? I had no idea when I started, but as I started exploring the images and drawing mind maps, the story emerged.

Most of the Blackfriars novels emerged that way, although some of my other novels have been more linear. So do I write by the seat of my pants or do I plot everything out? I’m an obsessive outliner. Of course, with characters like these, they often go off-script and I have several panicked writing sessions where I’m wondering if they’re going to get back with the program or whether I’m going to have to make all kinds of changes to accommodate their willfulness. Usually, with some coaxing, I can get them to hang with the main story line, but they are always trying to take me on wild goose chases.

The Blackfriars books are like massive explorations of the unconscious. I can plan, but when it comes right down to it, I have no idea what it’s about until the characters reveal it to me.

Fortunately, if you know the Blackfriars, you know they’re pretty good storytellers themselves. I always love spending time with them, and I always learn crazy, useful shit from them. If you’ve spent any time with them, you know what I mean!

J.R. Mabry roams the earth like the ghost of Jacob Marley, searching for the perfect omelet pan. He writes thoughtful urban fantasy and science fiction. When not haunting high-end cooking stores, he lives with his wife and three dogs in Oakland, CA. He is allergic to coffee, tea, and alcohol, and for this reason the hills resound with his lamentation. He is also generally a cheery guy.

Check out the relaunch of The Kingdom, out now from Apocryphile Press. The relaunched The Power will be out next month, followed by the all-new The Glory—also known as the Berkeley Blackfriars series. The Berkeley Blackfriars aren’t your ordinary priests—they curse like longshoremen and aren’t above the occasional spliff or one-night-stand. But if you’ve got a nasty demon on your ass, they’re exactly the guys you want in your corner.

For a free short story in the Berkeley Blackfriars universe, download The Demon Bunny of Ipswich. For more on The Kingdom and the Berkeley Blackfriars, visit J.R. Mabry’s website at www.jrmabry.com.





The Kingdom
Berkeley Blackfriars Book 1
by J. R. Mabry
Genre: Urban Fantasy

An unhinged tycoon.
A lodge of evil magicians.
A plan to steal every child from the face of the earth…
When Kat Webber discovers her brother’s comatose body in the midst of a demonic ritual, she knew she was in over her head…
Fr. Richard Kinney is having a crappy week. He’s not at all sure he’s the best leader for the demon-hunting Berkeley Blackfriars, and his boyfriend has just broken up with him. But when a violent demon possesses one of the richest men in the world, Richard doesn’t have time for self-pity.
Kat and the Blackfriars discover their situations are entertwined—leading them to a lodge of black magicians who make every avocado in the world disappear. Their dark power growing, they eliminate every dog from existence.
Kat and the Blackfriars find themselves in a desperate race against time as the magicians try to eliminate their next target—every child on earth. To save the world’s next generation, Kat and the Berkeley Blackfriars will have to put themselves in the line of fire instead…
The Kingdom is the first book in the Berkeley Blackfriars series. If you love supernatural suspense laced with humor and danger, you’ll love J.R. Mabry’s Berkeley Blackfriars’ books. Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Preacher, The Dresden Files, and the Mercy Thompson series will thrill to this new paranormal fantasy adventure.

**Only .99 cents!**


J.R. Mabry roams the earth like the ghost of Jacob Marley, searching for the perfect omelet pan. He writes thoughtful urban fantasy and science fiction. When not haunting high-end cooking stores, he lives with his wife and three dogs in Oakland, CA. He is allergic to coffee, tea, and alcohol, and for this reason the hills resound with his lamentation. He is also generally a cheery guy.

Check out the relaunch of The Kingdom, out now from Apocryphile Press. The relaunched The Power will be out next month, followed by the all-new The Glory—also known as the Berkeley Blackfriars series. The Berkeley Blackfriars aren’t your ordinary priests—they curse like longshoremen and aren’t above the occasional spliff or one-night-stand. But if you’ve got a nasty demon on your ass, they’re exactly the guys you want in your corner.

For a free short story in the Berkeley Blackfriars universe, download The Demon Bunny of Ipswich. For more on The Kingdom and the Berkeley Blackfriars, visit J.R. Mabry’s website at www.jrmabry.com.



Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!





Wyrms of Pasandir

If you love fantasy novels then check out the Wyrms of Pasandir series.

CHAPTER  1 – SHIP’S BOY (EXCERPT)   

A trickle of sweat running down my spine called me back to the present and the hot tropical sun. With my dark gray skin, I didn’t have to worry much about sunburn, but the perspiration on my neck had dried to a horrible itch. Almost ritually, I scratched at it with the hook I have for a right hand and wished I could scratch at the boredom as well. Here we were, nearly a week out from Dvarghish Harbor, and not a single ship sighted.

The lieutenant shifted his bulk again, and I eyed him warily. It wouldn’t be the first time those heavy boots of his mashed my toes.

Suddenly, a flash of sky-blue uniform on the companion-ladder and a hearty laugh froze the lieutenant in mid-step. My exhaustion evaporated as the broomrider set foot on the quarterdeck.

We all stepped aside to make room for our passenger. Kellani of the Kell was a powerful girl with straight, short hair, a hawkish nose and a grin that nailed me to the deck planking as she lifted one reddish-brown hand in a salute.

There haven’t been many girls in my life; only the little shrews at the orphanage who were as horrible as the little bullyboys. I had avoided both like the plague.

Then I joined the navy. The Tipred was a mixed crew, but all female sailors were ancient; way past twenty. That made the arrival on board of a tough girl of my own age a Major Event. Especially one who was both nice to look at and one of those awesome broomriders. She was much bigger ‘n me, but I’m used to that. I’m disgustingly small for my seventeen years. “Skinny little beast,” the nice orphanage keepers used to call me.

I peered around the lieutenant’s back, hoping beyond hope the girl would discover I existed. I’d seen her often enough since she came aboard, but she never ever noticed me.

This time I must’ve breathed or something, for she did see me and winked. Navy discipline went by the board, and I grinned back like a maniac.

‘Strange ship at forty-one!’ The hoarse cry from the masthead made us all jump. The girl craned her neck, but then she must’ve realized the other ship wasn’t visible from the deck yet, for she smiled ruefully. Her hand went to the crooked broomstick on her back, and for a long second she looked about to fly away and investigate.

Then she relaxed as another cry followed the first.

‘Ship’s a threemaster barkentine; Ahaude, out of Dvarghish.’

I knew Ahaude. She was a Kell ship, a coal carrier. Like us, she’d be bound for Port Naar, the navy outpost on the desert coast.

The broomer caught my eye and gave a regretful smile. Maybe she’d also hoped for something exciting, like pirates.

I gave her a slight shrug and an apologetic grin. Welcome to the Tipred. Nothing ever happens here.

Lieutenant Wylmer had his usual moment of indecision. Big body, slow mind.

‘Let’s check up on her, Quartermaster,’ he said finally. ‘Show the navy’s presence.’

The petty officer was a stolid type, a real seaman, and he saluted without showing his thoughts.

‘Aye aye, sir.’ He relayed the order to the helmsman beside him, and the Tipred turned to intercept the big coaler.

Wylmer looked around the quarterdeck. ‘Where’s the little runt?’

Another of his games, I thought, exasperated. I’m at my post, fool; right behind you. Where else would I be?

 Wylmer turned, his puffy face scowling like a rabid pug dog.

If that excerpt has left you wanting more then check out the whole series.






The Road to Kalbakar
Wyrms of Pasandir Book 1
by Paul E. Horsman
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
190 pages

Seventeen-year-old Eskandar is the lowest of the low among the crew of the Navy sloop Tipred. As ship's boy, he runs messages, gets the dirtiest jobs and tries to stay out of his betters' way. It is a dull but safe life, for the tired old Tipred patrols a shipping lane to nowhere and nothing ever happens to disturb their peace.


None aboard know Eskandar's big secret. For he is not alone. In his head lives the voice of Teodar, who has guided and guarded him all his life, and who is teaching him magic. Teodar is a mystery; he won't say who he is or why he is helping him. Eskandar has stopped asking; the voice is his only friend, and that is all that matters to him.

Life goes on placidly - until the sea monsters appear. To save himself and his ship, Eskandar has to use his secret magic and manages to defeat the monsters. Now his enemies know him and his humdrum life becomes a maelstrom of action - fighting monsters, desert robbers and even more fearful enemies.

Will Eskandar's barely tested powers be enough against an undead necromancer who wants him killed? And what about those mighty wyrms in the sky, are they friend or foe? Follow Eskandar's adventures as he gathers a strange band of companions in his battle against terrible enemies in The Road to Kalbakar, Book One of Wyrms of Pasandir.

Note: This series is the next-generation sequel to Lioness of Kell.




The Pirates of Brisa
Wyrms of Pasandir Book 2
228 pages

When young Eskandar leaves his ship with the tough broomrider girl Kellani, he has no idea how much his dull life in the navy is about to change.


Being chased by desert robbers, delving through ancient tombs, fighting mighty jinn and liberating Kalbakar Keep makes him aware of his past – and his future.

He is a Wyrmcaller; a person of great magic, a speaker with wyrms, and the defender of Bodrus the Sleeping God. Quite a change for a one-handed seventeen-year-old, five-feet-plus ship’s boy.

And that’s not all; an ancient lich lord with an army of mad minions, aided by the jinn and a bunch of pirates, threaten the Sleeping God’s safety. As Bodrus’ defender, Eskandar is the one to foil their plans. But for that he needs an army. An army of kids...

Follow Eskandar and his friends in The Pirates of Brisa, Book 2 of Wyrms of Pasandir, a grand fantasy adventure in a world of wyrms, steamships, magic and mayhem!




The Bokkaners of the North
Wyrms of Pasandir Book 3
220 pages

Against all odds, Eskandar and his bunch of ragtag youngsters have managed to capture a powerful Qoori fourmaster warship, and used her cannons to blow up the pirate harbor of Brisa. Victory!


But his enemies won’t give the young wyrmcaller time to bask in the glory of a job well done, and soon the voice of Teodar in his head summons him north, where new and even more powerful pirates create havoc on the seas.

Two thousand miles north... that means finding a new base for his army of kids. Teodar sends them by airship to Smalkand, a deserted cave system on the coast of their own Pasandir Peaks. On arrival, Eskandar and his companions discover their new home harbors some surprises...

Once inside Smalkand Keep, and with his main force in the ships still days away, Eskandar and his small group find themselves under attack from Bokkaners and other minions of their ultimate nemesis, the lich lord. 

New adventures in the mighty, snowcapped Peaks, at sea, and in the rich lands of the Hizmyran kingdom await our heroes in ‘The Bokkaners of the North’, the third book of Wyrms of Pasandir.




Building a Trade Empire
Wyrms of Pasandir Book 4
322 pages

SHAW: A GIRL’S GOAL TO BECOME A WEALTHY MERCHANT


Trade had been Shaw’s life, her dream, her future – until a terrible fire destroyed her parents and their business. Now the 15-year-old orphan follows the wyrmcaller, using her mercantile genius to sell his honestly gained loot and finance his battle against pirates and jinn. 

When Wyrmcaller Eskandar leaves for the north, she gets the chance to branch out. A large cargo of confiscated foreign goodies brings in much more gold than she had expected, and with that money she opens her first trade center.

Armed with her inborn stubbornness and her fire-hardened will to become a powerful trader, she dives into the business world of the Weal Nations; battling scheming financiers and protecting the rights of the people she employs. 

Aided by Nate, the only true love in her life, she fights her enemies on land and at sea, conquering pirate vessels, islands and important companies on her way to become a rich and powerful High Merchant.




High Merchant
Wyrms of Pasandir Book 5
279 pages

Fifteen-year-old Shaw is already at the head of a fast-growing transnational business. With the acquisition of the great WyDir airlines company, she became a power in the lands of the Weal, and now she is ready to expand.


She manages to get an airship concession from the king of Hizmyr, a large and rich country to the north. This brings her into conflict with the local guilds, who have a monopoly on all businesses in that kingdom.

The Guilds of Hizmyr are ruthless and go to any length to maintain their hold over the king. Soon, Shaw finds herself embroiled in a battle demanding all her grit and ingenuity to win. 

Meanwhile the populace, fed up with their poverty, is on the brink of rebellion. To save her plans, Shaw must not only defeat the guilds, she must prevent a civil war as well! 






Paul E. Horsman is a Dutch and international Fantasy author.

Born in Bussum, a quiet little suburbal village in the Netherlands (1952), he now lives in Roosendaal, a town near the Belgian border.

After finishing school and doing a stint in the army in tropical Surinam, he served for thirty years as a Scoutmaster. Professionally, he earned his bread in various business capacities.

From 1995 to 2012 he was an instructor at a large educational institution - where he explained to foreigners the wonders of the Dutch language and customs - until Governmental budget cuts terminated both the school and his job.
Since then is Horsman a full-time fantasy author.

His first three Dutch books have been trade published in The Netherlands by Zilverspoor.
His English books and later Dutch books are self-published under the Red Rune Books label and appear at Amazon and many major on-line bookstores, both in print and e-book.

His tales are a mixture of high fantasy, mythology and steampunk, and are characterized by their positive mood. Equality and friendship, courage and determination, humor and growth form some of the colors with which Horsman paints his stories. His worlds and their peoples are diverse and full of adventure. And behind it all there is always that dusty scent of old death so characteristic of dungeons, and the smell of dragons, kobolds or other denizens of other worlds. 





Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!




Monday, 19 February 2018

The Wingman

Release Blitz for The Wingman

Love political thrillers. Then find out more about David Pepper's The Wingman which is released today.



Jack Sharpe, Book 2
Political Thriller
Date Published:  February 2018
Publisher: St. Helena Press



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In The Wingman, veteran Midwestern reporter Jack Sharpe has made it big thanks to the deep-rooted voter-fraud conspiracy he uncovered in The People’s House (the first of the series). At his new perch at Republic, one of America’s flashiest and fastest growing news networks, life is good—until it’s not. Following his beat reporter’s gut, he catches a whiff something rotten is taking place in the Democratic Presidential primary, and ultimately discovers an elaborate scheme to put a corrupt and dangerous politician in the nation’s highest office by any means necessary. Dark money, drone technology, paramilitary government contractors, neglected veterans, kompromat—we see these issues in the news every day. But in The Wingman David Pepper shows that if shadowy entities with enough incentive and resources were to connect and exploit these issues, the American people would be largely powerless to stop them. Jack must risk his life and reputation to get to the bottom of the story before the disturbing plot he and his team have uncovered becomes reality.



Early Praise for The Wingman:

“A labyrinthine political thriller that details a plot to steal the American presidency. …Energetically paced…A cinematic and dramatic story full of delightful twists.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Another tour de force…Like The People’s House, I loved this book.  Pepper is a phenomenal writer, with great dialogue, intricate plot, subplots, and characters.  And with his unique perch, Pepper deftly wraps the real issues and frustrations of modern-day politics into captivating story lines.  I can hardly wait for the next one.” —Jennifer Granholm, former Governor, Michigan

“Pepper does it again! Believable and entertaining—just like the real news these days. What’s fake and what’s real?” —Jack Markell, former Governor, Delaware

“The Wingman by David Pepper takes readers on a rollicking ride…There are the kinds of surprises readers long for and characters they will remember long after the last page is turned.

Well-researched and beautifully crafted, The Wingman is a thrilling read, a story that brilliantly depicts the political atmosphere leading up to the primaries….The characters are superbly conceived and developed to appear like people in real life….David Pepper is a master storyteller.…”

The Wingman by David Pepper is an exceptional political thriller…The book is well-written, interesting and, above all, suspenseful, and is therefore recommended to any reader, not just fans of political thrillers.”   —Readers’ Favorites, Reviews





Other Books in the Jack Sharpe Series:


The People's House
Jack Sharpe, Book 1
Publisher: St. Helena Press
Release Date: October 2017

It doesn't take long to discover why the Wall Street Journal crowned "The People's House" the "sleeper for political thriller of the year," or why a former Governor said she almost missed her connecting flight because she couldn't put it down.

Youngstown political reporter Jack Sharpe is logging time at the tail end of a disappointing career -- jaded about politics and stung by personal hard knocks in a struggling part of Ohio. But after an odd election result in the Ohio Congressional district he covers, Sharpe stumbles across voting irregularities that spur him to dig deeper. The story takes him far beyond his corner of Ohio as he discovers an international plot that strikes at the heart of American democracy. His reporting leads to a showdown with a philandering Congressman and Presidential contender, and an eccentric but deadly Russian mogul. In order to save himself and the country, Sharpe must rekindle his old fire to navigate a treacherous journey through danger, betrayal, and atonement.

And yes, it was all written before eerily similar events occurred in the 2016 election.





Excerpt



That’s when I noticed. With the cameras still pulled back to the wider shot, and the studio audience sitting well behind me, my guess was that I was the only one seeing it.

Bravo’s eyes. His dark brown eyes.

They widened, then darted ever so slightly.

Left.

Right.

Then he looked at me. Directly. Impatiently. In a way no one else could have seen.

He was eager to move on. Desperate to move on.

His words may have been moving, his delivery powerful. But those eyes told the real story—they always did. As my high school coach had drilled into me as a young quarterback, “It’s all about your eyes, Jack. The best players are watching your eyes, and if you’re not careful, they’ll betray you every time.” I’d long ago learned that Coach’s lesson applied way beyond football. A man could mouth whatever words he wanted, lie or tell the truth. He could smile or frown, gesture wildly or sit perfectly still. But his eyes told the real story. If he wasn’t careful, and if you paid attention, the eyes told all.

Now, Bravo’s eyes signaled that something was off. Discomfort, at a time when discomfort made no sense. Maybe it was a painful memory. Or maybe something about the story was not quite right. Or maybe there was more to it. Whatever it was, Bravo wanted to change topics.

And since he had saved my debut, I returned the favor, moving onto the final question of the night. But because of those eyes, I also jotted down a simple reminder on the notepad in front of me: “Check out Bravo war story.”


About the Author


David Pepper has served as Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party since January 2015. He was first elected to public office in 2001 when he served on the Cincinnati City Council, and was reelected for a second term in 2003. In 2006 he was elected to the three-member Hamilton County Commission, serving there from 2007-2010. David earned his B.A. from Yale, and later his J.D. from Yale Law School. In 1999, he clerked for the Honorable Nathaniel Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He also has taught election and voting rights law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Born and raised in Cincinnati, David is a fifth-generation Cincinnatian. He and his wife Alana have two sons, Jack, 3, and Charlie, 1.

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Things You Can't Take


Today I am pleased to feature Things You Can't Take.

If you enjoy reading contemporary fiction then why not find out about Erin Lockwood's Things You Can't Take.




Things You Can't Take
by Erin Lockwood
Genre: Contemporary Fiction


How far would you go for your best friend....


Abigail and Kessia shared a childhood bond that couldn't be broken. Challenged, yes—but never broken.

Born into Hollywood lineage, Kessia understood the risks and pressures of celebrity life and willingly dedicated hers to serving and protecting her best friend’s rise to stardom. But when Abigail learns of Kessia’s own behind-the-scenes battles with a predator, her sense of friendship drives her down a path that blurs the lines between loyalty and revenge at all costs.




Erin Lockwood grew up in Castro Valley, California and attended the University of Oregon, where she graduated in 2003 with a degree in journalism. From there she moved to Denver and spent the next seven years searching for the love of her life and building the family of her dreams.


It wasn’t long until, with children starting preschool and more time on her hands, Erin refocused on her career, beginning with a successful entry into the world of residential real estate as a Realtor. Free time was spent reading book after book (and binge-watching the subsequent films) in the New Adult genre. Feeling hopelessly in love with her husband, she wrote him a short story leading up to their fifth wedding anniversary. That’s when she discovered her tireless passion to share her experience of falling in love through fictional characters. That story evolved into the first novel in the Angles trilogy.

Erin still lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, Phil, and their three children.





Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!