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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Critical Offer by Yitzhak Nir






Political Thriller
Published: November 2019

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A car bomb explosion horrifies Jerusalem.

Head of the Mossad, a former Israeli Air Force fighter pilot Gershon Shalit, is enraged by the murder of his daughter, frustrated by his wife’s decision to leave and distrusts his prime minister - seeks revenge. But, his first priority is to eliminate the fundamental threats to destroy the State of Israel's existence.

His random encounter with a beautiful Chinese diplomat, leads to an impossible love affair, where he is exposed to a once in a lifetime offer that could diminish the threats to his country and save Zionism from collapse. Nothing will keep him from making this offer a reality, despite a heavy personal price.

The Critical Offer is not just a 'run of the mill' thriller. Its futuristic and believable plot is based on a wide spectrum of inside information and suggests bold and 'out of the box' solutions to the Jewish state's main dilemmas…

Can the Chinese megalomaniac initiative "Belt & Road" solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

If you care about Israel's destiny - The Critical Offer is a breathtaking book that will keep you awake for many nights...




About the Author




Yitzhak Nir is a former Israeli fighter pilot, trainer and operations planner in the IAF. He retired as an El Al captain and IAA supervisor. He took part in 86 combat missions, shot down 2 enemy planes and documented some 30,000 flight hours.

Yitzhak Nir is an author, painter and curator. He is also a former urban planning and road safety activist. His paintings can be found in art books, private collections and on book covers. He has published short stories and professional papers and holds a BA from New Haven University in Air Transport Management.

He is deeply involved in changing the Israeli public opinion about crucial security issues, towards a new "out of the box" vision and ideas.

Contact Links

Purchase Link


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Take Me Back by Kathryn Shay

Title: Take Me Back
Series: Hidden Cove Firefighters
Author: Kathryn Shay
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 23, 2020


Six years ago, Kate Cassidy broke Rafe Casella’s heart by abandoning him a few months before their wedding. Now she’s in town with the gut-wrenching news that she had his baby, in secret, and she wants Rafe back. She has to be kidding!

But Kate is deadly serious. She made the worst mistake of her life when she left Hidden Cove and she’s determined to fix it. She plans to reinstate herself in the fire department and raise her son in a loving family—one that includes his father.

A rollercoaster of emotion, devastating fires, a stalker targeting Kate and a sizzling attraction that never diminished, set the two of them on an irrevocable course to reunion. That is if they can all stay alive.

If you liked the face-paced events, breathtaking tenderness, uplifting messages of forgiveness, as well as on-the-edge-of-your-seat fire scenes, all characteristic of the Hidden Cove Fire Department Series, then you’ll love New York Times bestselling author Kathryn Shay’s ninth installment.

Don’t miss books 1-8 in the beloved Hidden Cove Firefighter series: AFTER THE FIRE, ON THE LINE, NOTHING MORE TO LOSE, AMERICA’S BRAVEST, IT HAD TO BE YOU, CHASING THE FIRE, THE FIRE INSIDE and A BURNING PASSION.







“What the hell are you doing here?”

“Hello, Rafe.” Kate Cassidy’s voice was still husky; she used to turn him on with just its sound.

He couldn’t swallow, as if cotton was stuck in his throat. He gripped the door handle. Finally, he was able to reiterate, “What do you want, Kate?”

She straitened her shoulders. It was longer, now. “I came to explain some things.”

After six years, she wanted to explain some things!

“From where? I don’t even know where you ran to.”

“Not far. Upstate.”

Ludicrously, because she’d almost left him at the altar and he should be cursing her, he asked, “Did you get a job as a firefighter?”

“No. Long story why.” She’d let her hair grow some, and light brown waves fell around her face past down her back. She’d also put on some weight, but there was still that same sadness in her eyes that she always carried with her.

He shrugged away the observation. “Well, whatever you want with me, I don’t want to hear it.”

“I want you back, Rafe.”

An ugly laugh escaped him. “You gotta be kidding me?”

“I’m not.” She reached out and grasped his arm. “It's true. I still love you.”

As if he’d been burned, he viciously shook her off. “No.”

Stepping back, he closed the door in her face, but stood there staring at it. In a few minutes, the bell rang again. He couldn’t stop himself from opening the door again.

This time, she wasn’t alone. She held a little boy by the hand. It was a punch in gut. He tore his gaze away and the words just blurted out. “He should have been mine.”

Kate held his gaze. “Look at him, Rafe.”

He did. And noticed some things. The boy was probably about five. His hair was a bit curly, dark brown, with dark eyes. The curve of his mouth seemed familiar. And he stuck his hands in his pockets like…oh, my God, like Rafe always did.

Realization slammed into him. “Oh, my God?”

Kate said, “Go back in the car, honey.”

“But you said—”

“Just for a bit. Mommy has some private things to talk to about, then you can see him again.”

When the boy trudged out of sight, she raised her chin. “He’s your son.”

“You said when you left if you ever had a baby, you didn’t want two first responders as parents. That you couldn’t bear to have him end up alone like you did and risk him having a childhood like yours.”

“I meant every word.”

Again, he moved await because he didn’t want to grab her in anger. “You left out one little fact back then. That you were already pregnant.”

“You wouldn’t have let me go if you knew.”

“You’re right I wouldn’t.” His voice came out gruff. “I would have insisted we go through with the wedding. I’d have forced us to go to counseling, for as long as it took. Damn you, Kate, I would have protected you!” The last came out loud.

The boy came running over. He must not have gotten into the car. “Mommy, why’s he yelling?”

Immediately, Rafe squatted. “I shouldn’t have. It’s wrong to shout at people. I’m sorry.” He smiled. “What’s your name?”

“Tomaso Rafael Casella.”

He held her gaze. “After my father?”

“Yes, and you.”

Holding onto his mother’s legs, Tommy asked, “Are you my daddy?”

“Did your mother say I was?”

“Un-huh, after my other dad, Connor, died.”

He took in a breath. “You married someone else?”

“I’ll explain if you let us inside.”

“Come on, Tommy.” He stood and led them inside.

At the exact moment when two little guys rumbled down the stairs which led to the foyer. “We’re ready to go outside.”

“Oh, dear Lord, you already have two boys. Mitch and Megan said you weren’t married. But…” She frowned. “I don’t understand.”

“Let’s go to the back and I’ll explain.” They by-passed a big living room to the right and entered the kitchen. Kate had loved this old Victorian that he’d bought when he was twenty and fixed up the three lives.

She stood behind a chair, frowning, as he addressed the kids. “Tommy, this is Mike and Mattie. I’d like you guys go in the family room to watch that movie you two wanted to see?”

The boys scurried away. Tommy hesitated. Until one turned back. “Come on, Tommy, we got a great movie.” So, he went with them.

It took excruciatingly long to get the boys settled in front of the TV.

“We’ll talk at the table where we can see them.” The kitchen overlooked the family room.

When Rafe served her mug, she’d blanked her face.

“I have only one thing to say to you, Kate. Any future with me is impossible.”

#

Sweat soaked the shirt of Rafe’s uniform inside his turnout coat as he crawled along the duplex’s first floor. Burning timbers fell on each side of him and his group that followed. “Everybody okay?”

His squad checked in. Brick said, “It’s hotter than hell in here, Cap.”

Firefighters suffered some ill effects of the protective gear. It slowed them down and made movement harder. Which increased heat fatigue.

“Yeah. You okay?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Sounds like you’re having trouble breathing.” The physiological effects of higher heart rate and higher core temperature restricted breathing.

“The heat’s gettin’ to me.”
“Me, too,” Lorelei Lane put in.

“There’s the stairs,” Rafe told them after seeing a brief outline of them through the thermal camera. “I’ll take Brick and Lorelei with me.” Which wouldn’t incur as much exertion as climbing. “The rest of you check upstairs. Lieutenant, you’re in charge.”

Bronson said, “Yes, sir.”

Laborious minutes later, even for Rafe, they reached their destination, the first-floor bedroom in the back. “There’s not time to quiz you, Lane. Let’s just get to the beds.”

In here, too, black smoke curled around them like fog as they continued their creep, feeling their way along the floor. Rafe, first in line, put his hands on one side of the bed. “A body.”

Brick had gone to the opposite side. “Another one here.”

“Can you get him alone?”

“Does a bear shit in the woods?” His friend sounded offended. Rafe would chide him afterward.

Rafe grunted as he picked up the woman. She was slight and he considered letting Lane carry her out but just then a bad feeling seized him. And he trusted his gut.

“Follow me out, Brick. Lane, you take up the rear.”

Crashing timbers and the sound of water slapping the flames had gotten louder back here. Rafe coughed. Conditions were worsening. They’d just reached the exit from the bedroom, when they heard five repeated short blasts of a horn above the cacophony.

Into the radio, BC Peter Baker barked, “Evacuate now. Evacuate immediately.”

“Everybody hear?” Rafe asked on their internal channel. He forced himself to stay calm.

Bronson, Ruggero and Sullivan checked in with yeses. “We’re on our way down. No one up here.”

“We need to move faster,” he called behind him. The acrid scents of burning wood had kicked up.

He walked as fast as possible with the woman over his shoulder.

They’d almost reached the exit when Lorelei shrieked, “Oh, my God, Cap, Brick just went down.”

“Went down to his knees?”

“No, he collapsed forward.”

Rafe sounded his mayday alarm. A high-pitched screeching rent the air. In seconds, Beth relieved Rafe of the woman, and Murray scooped up the victim who’d gone forward with Brick. Rafe, his heart beating fast, snapped out, “I’ll get Brick under the arms. Ruggero take his legs.”

It seemed to take forever before they got outside. Not only was Brick heavy but they were experiencing fatigue, now, too.

“Get away from the house, quick Rafe,” Baker shouted as they carried their brother to safety.

They were 30 feet away when the duplex exploded.














A NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author, Kathryn Shay has been a lifelong writer and teacher. She has written dozens of self-published original romance titles, print books with the Berkley Publishing Group and Harlequin Enterprises and mainstream women’s fiction with Bold Strokes Books. She has won many awards for her work: five RT Book Reviews awards, the Bookseller’s Best Award, Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year and several “Starred Reviews.” One of her firefighter books hit #20 on the NEW YORK TIMES list. Her novels have been serialized in COSMOPOLITAN magazine and featured in USA TODAY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL and PEOPLE magazine. There are over ten million copies of her books in print and downloaded online. Reviewers have called her work “emotional and heart-wrenching.”



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Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze By Veronica Elle Butler

Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze by Veronica Elle Butler. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 25 till 31 March. See the tour schedule here.

Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze
Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze
By Veronica Elle Butler
Genre: Fantasy
Age category: Middle Grade
Release Date: 25 March, 2019

Blurb:
Twelve-year-old Chloe Rose lives a quiet, happy life in her hometown Wilmoton, but she’s haunted by the same nightmare night after night—one with guns and swords and lost fathers. When another brewing battle has her town preparing for war, Chloe’s fears are made into a reality. Promises are left unfulfilled, her family is torn apart, and she must leave her comfy life in Wilmoton behind when she and her mother move into the King’s palace. Living in a castle seems like a dream come true, like the new beginning they need, but Chloe’s not convinced. After a series of altercations, Chloe Rose is kicked out, more desperate for hope than ever. To restore what she’s lost, Chloe travels to an enchanted maze where wishes come true and fairies rule. But with evil forces working against her and her new friends, can Chloe complete the trials of the maze or will her heart’s desires be left unfulfilled?

Chloe Rose and The Enchanted Maze is a powerful story of bravery, friendship, grief, and love.

You can find Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze on Goodreads

You can buy Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze here:
- Kobo

Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze is a perfect story for children in military families, mixed race families, or for readers looking for more #ownvoices stories. Discussion questions and teaching materials are available.

Excerpt:
1.
CHLOE ELOISE ROSE


The wind sang through the meadow under the open bright skies of Wilmoton, the land advanced confidently with warmth. Each new day, the promise of spring drew near as wildflowers rose from the earth. The Langerfield battle had ended two years ago, and peace had once again returned to Wilmoton. So, Chloe Rose spent some time alone in her special place. 
This was where she felt lighter and happier; its warmth spread to her heart. Here, Chloe’s favorite spot was on a little hill in the middle of a meadow that overlooked Wilmoton. It was one of the most beautiful views that her hometown had to offer. 
Surrounded by gentle whispers of nature, it was also Chloe’s special place to draw flowers and pick them for her mother. The sun glared down at her from the sky, and the breeze brushed her sun-kissed skin while she let her curly brown locks down. She smiled with every twirl on her dress on the soft-bedded grass. For a moment, everything was peaceful and her heart had a steady, calm beat. Here, she was not afraid of what haunted her thoughts, that which caused her to squeeze her eyes shut to make go away. Nor did she worry about the nightmares that came every night after those thoughts. Everything is brighter and calm here, Chloe thought now.
As time crept up on her, Chloe finished her drawing and brushed the pencil shavings and eraser crumbs from her dress. She walked down the slope of the Meadow and back home to her mother, Catherine. She picked some rosebuds for her mother—Mom likes to watch the petals expand slowly as they bloom. She also grabbed the sketch of her view of the meadow, which she made for her father, Michael. 
Chloe’s affection and admiration for her parents were unfathomable. She liked to believe her father had superpowers. Her father was the captain of the Wilmoton’s army. The ongoing dispute between Wilmoton and Cottondale was as old as time. A dispute over land and who owns what and who was the first one on the more fertile land. 
Cottondale’s features ranged from cracked sidewalks and deteriorated houses that either had weathered paints along their walls or were in ruins from previous conflicts. Remnants of broken swords and shields littered its fields. The people of Cottondale showed no inclination to repair these damages. Instead, they carried on with their lives in the only way they could, with the hope of reusing the broken swords and broken shields, whenever the situation would inevitably call for it again. 
Wilmoton was a quaint town with unsurpassed colorful cottages and a huge bell tower named “Armstrong” at the heart of its harmonious infrastructure. The women learned to sew and weave every day in workshops. The people of Wilmoton were hardworking, and it showed. It was the type of place where almost everyone knew each other and people greeted each other with a smile. Wilmoton was ruled by King Francis II, a kind king who protected his people. 
Apart from the never-ceasing war between Wilmoton and Cottondale, Chloe loved living in her hometown. As she skipped along the sidewalk, her pink gown flared up and down in the wind with every bounce. She soon spotted Mr. Andrews with the evening newspaper— a worried look on his face.  
   The Andrews family lived a couple of cottages away from the Roses, and their two daughters Chloe Rose and Thyra Andrews were best friends. Like Chloe’s father, Albert Andrews was in the army, too. 
During one of the many conflicts between the two towns, someone abandoned a baby in a wicker basket on the boundaries of Wilmoton. Disturbed by this little bundle of joy’s being abandoned, Mr. Andrews hurried back to his home with the baby, showing her to his wife, Ava, who had no child of her own. Ava Andrews was overjoyed, so they adopted the baby and named her Thyra.
Upon seeing his worry, Chloe waved her hand to say, “Hello, Mr. Andrews!” Her broad smile revealed her glittering brown eyes, which could cheer up any sad face on a normal day. This time, it did not. 
“Hello, Chloe,” Mr. Andrews replied in haste, his whole face lit up with worry and confusion. Chloe did not know how to interpret the look on his face, so she continued home. 
                                                                        ☼
Catherine Rose was the envy of almost all the women in Wilmoton. Not because of her luscious, black hair or delicate porcelain skin. Not even because of her high cheekbones or dainty nose that perched so delicately above her rosebud lips. No, she was the envy of the town because of her advantageous marriage to the captain of the army.
“Go and wash up for dinner, dear,” Catherine told Chloe as she entered their cottage. 
Wanting to rid the image of Mr. Andrews’ uneasiness from her mind’s eye, Chloe’s thoughts turned to her wonderful day in her happy place. She held out her hand with a bunch of rosebuds, “I picked these for you, mother.” 
Catherine smiled, but disquiet sat in her eyes when she replied, “Thank you, my sweet girl. It’s impossible to have a dull day around you. You lighten up any room! I hope you’re hungry for some delicious shepherd’s pie.” 
Chloe glowed with delight. She loved shepherd’s pie. “Shouldn’t we wait for daddy?” She peered at her mom with a curious look as she tilted her head to the side. 
“No, honey. Daddy will be home later. Come, let’s eat for now,” her mother suggested. Although there was evidence of warmth in her voice, her eyebrows were creased with worry. 
Chloe was unaccustomed to see such anxiety on her mother’s face. The distress she saw there mirrored that of Mr. Andrews earlier. I wonder if mother and Mr. Andrews have the same thoughts. Something’s up, I can feel it …but what? …  Maybe mother would tell me if I asked. Picking up on the trepidation in the air but not knowing how to address it, Chloe cupped her elbows with her hands and asked her mother, “Is something the matter?” 
Catherine let out a deep sigh as her heart skipped a beat. She was tempted to explain what had been published in the evening newspaper, but she did not want to worry her little eight-year-old. “No, we’ll be all right.” She couldn’t quite believe her own words as she sat across from her daughter's cute, puzzled face.  
Despite Catherine’s platitudes, Chloe wished she could read her mother’s mind. I bet it’s the Queen. Everyone knows she’s been sick for a while now. She doesn’t make appearances anymore. Chloe’s mind then revisited that thought that haunted her nights, another idea nagging at her brain. She quickly shook it from her mind, Surely it can’t be; it must be some bad news about Queen Anne.
Her mother sat at the dinner table with her apron on. She checked the clock: He was late. Her food tasted like dust, so she placed her spoon on a napkin next to her dinner plate and turned her gaze to the evening sky, staring at the gray skies outside the kitchen window as the street lamps came on. 
“May I be excused, mother?” Chloe asked, bringing Catherine’s mind back to the present. 
“Yes, darling. You may.” Catherine’s eyelids drooped with worry. She didn’t notice that Chloe never touched her shepherd’s pie either. 
Chloe’s steps were now rather heavy as she dragged herself to her bedroom and prepared for bed—she no longer skipped with happiness as she did earlier. Like her mother, Chloe was unsure of what this night would bring.
                                                                        ☼
Catherine looked down at the table and saw Chloe’s
untouched dinner. Once again, she sighed deeply and checked the clock on the wall. Her heart weighed down with worry. Catherine sat up and waited for her husband. Meanwhile, Chloe remained in her bed and dwelled on that other thought. What if dad’s in trouble? What if those nightmares are real? Mom definitely knows something, but she won’t tell me because she thinks I won’t understand. So, Chloe thought up ways to take her mind off the wave of thoughts that clashed her mind. She picked up her favorite book on botany, but it only piqued her interest further since it was her favorite subject. She got out of bed and walked out of her room to check on her mother. She plodded into the kitchen and stood in the doorway. “Is dad home yet?” Chloe asked. 
“No. What are you still doing up?” 
Chloe told the truth, “I couldn’t go to sleep.” 
“Me either. Come here.” Her mother cuddled her. 
“Why can’t you sleep, mom?” Again, Chloe wanted to know the heaviness that had fallen upon the night. 
So, Catherine decided to be as honest as she could. “Well, I am waiting for your dad to get home. Once he does, we will know more for sure.” 
Chloe let out a yawn and adjusted her position in her mother’s embrace. They snuggled up with the beautiful quilt that Catherine had just finished the day before and eventually drifted off to sleep.
As thunder clapped angrily in the distance in the wee hours of the morning, someone barged into the Roses’ cottage in a hurry, causing both Catherine and Chloe to jump from their sleep. 
“Daddy!” Chloe leaped out of her mother’s embrace and ran straight into her father’s arms. 
“I’m sorry that I couldn’t make it to dinner last night. I promise, after this, I will take the whole day off just for you. What do you say?” Michael asked as he searched his daughter’s eyes for an answer. 
“I haven’t told her yet,” Catherine confessed.
“Told me what?” Chloe asked. 
Her father spoke up again, a small smile on his face, “We have to protect Wilmoton once again. I have to protect you from the villains next door. I worked all night to map out our strategy. I didn’t want to leave without bringing a goodbye kiss with me.” 
Michael was a hero to everyone in Wilmoton. When he led and won one of the greatest battles between Wilmoton and Cottondale, he became even more popular. He looked every inch the courageous warrior, with strong, broad shoulders, glossy hair, and bronzed skin. His facial features appeared as though every detail had been chiseled to perfection. He had the strength of three men put together coupled with a heart as soft as wool. 
Upon his declaration, Michael kissed Chloe on her forehead and placed a pink rose in the palm of her hand, turning then to Catherine to warmly embraced her with a kiss to her forehead, too. “I will be back before you know it, Chloe!” 
“I know, Daddy. You always come home.”
Michael embraced them again and dashed out. He hated saying goodbye to his girls.






Veronica Elle Butler
About the Author:
Veronica Elle Butler is a Middle-Grade Author. Growing up, her childhood dream job is to become a doctor like most children but her life path leads her to a different role; wife, mom, twin daughters in a nutshell . She conceives the idea of an Enchanted Maze one night after reading bedtime stories to her twin daughters. She wants to create a world she could share with her daughters and other children as well, so, she begins to map out her story on a notebook every night when it’s quiet without distractions. Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze pulls the reader into a world of mystery that overlaps our mortal world all consisting of grief, pains of rejection, a curious twist of fate, heart of courage, and forming lasting friendships, she delivers an unforgettable adventure to her readers. She’s an avid scrabble player, enjoys documentaries and, learns along side of her husband the roles of a Military Man when she’s not writing. She enjoys spending time with her daughters and being a Mom. Her twins absolutely love Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze and she hopes every child would fall in love with it as much as they have. To find out more you can follow her on Twitter @MazeEnchanted. Her debut novel Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze will be available in Spring 2020.

You can find and contact Veronica Elle Butler here



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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Wobbly Willie Bakes a Cake by Richard Quisenberry


Wobbly Willie Bakes a Cake 
by Richard Quisenberry 
Genre: Children's Book 


Wobbly Willie's Little Reminder:

What makes me special, you may not see:
my brain; my heart; the good in me.

All covered by a layer of skin, embracing diversity is where change begins.



Join
Wobbly as he embarks on a journey that not only teaches us how to
embrace our uniqueness but he reminds us of how to be kind to
ourselves. When we address these reminders head-on, the power of a
being kind brings us together. Wobbly Willie’s differences help
identify and bring awareness to what it truly means to be kind to
one another. This book will help redirect the behavior and mindset of
children who are having difficulty understanding the value of
Kindness, which results in a community that now is aware of the
valuable life skills necessary in order to make a positive impact for
generations to come.










Richard Quisenberry's legacy is to make communities stronger. To do that, he informs them, equips them, and empowers them — in part as a transformation life coach, serial-entrepreneur, author, father, husband, best friend, child of God, lifetime learner but also as a modern brand acting as a force for the greater good. And in doing so, he is fostering deep and vital connections between the members of our communities and the world around them. 

Focus and design your visions, dreams, and legacy to outlive you. 

Richard Quisenbury (Coach Quis) has achieved and is still in pursuit of every dream he has set his mind to, including graduating from college, becoming a principal, driving across the country, learning many hobbies, traveling out of the country, falling deeply in love, creating a beautiful family, and identifying his life purpose, to name but a few. 

With over 40 years of experience in the educational industry, Coach Quis is just as passionate today, as he was on his first day, about developing tomorrow’s personal and professional leaders. As said by Coach Quis, “If you want a different result, you must be willing to first take a different action. With the near epidemic proportions of unhappy employees, the need for personal and professional integration has never been more imminent.” 

Note that he didn’t say work/life balance; he believes such a thing is both impossible and undesirable for we spend a disproportionate amount of our time working. Instead, the goal is to integrate all aspects of life so we thrive at our careers & our personal lives equally as well, where we aren’t leaving a part of us behind as we spend our days at work wishing we were somewhere else… anywhere else; or trying to be home with our children while distracted by the things not getting done at work. Instead of balance, it’s the power of presence we seek. 




Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!




MONSTERLAND by Michael Okon



We're thrilled to kick off the virtual book tour for MONSTERLAND by YA monster fiction author Michael Okon. If you would like to follow his tour, visit Pump Up Your Book!




MONSTERLAND

By Michael Okon

YA Monster Fiction



Welcome to Monsterland—the scariest place on Earth.Wyatt Baldwin’s
senior year is not going well. His parents divorce, then his dad
mysteriously dies. He’s not exactly comfortable with his new stepfather,
Carter White, either. An ongoing debate with his best friends Melvin
and Howard Drucker over which monster is superior has gotten stale. He’d
much rather spend his days with beautiful and popular Jade. However,
she’s dating the brash high-school quarterback Nolan, and Wyatt thinks
he doesn’t stand a chance. But everything changes when Wyatt and his
friends are invited to attend the grand opening of Monsterland, a
groundbreaking theme park where guests can interact with vampires in
Vampire Village, be chased by werewolves on the River Run, and walk
among the dead in Zombieville.With real werewolves, vampires and zombies
as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?


Praise:

“Michael Okon crafts a fabulous novel with unique, unforgettable
characters. …The world building was done fabulously. There were
believable backgrounds that explain how it could be possible for there
to be a world that had not only vampires, but also werewolves and
zombies, excuse me, the vitality-challenged. It all comes together
seamlessly as the plot lines converge to make for an explosive ending.” – Devouring Books 2017, blogspot




“I can assure you of this: you will not be disappointed. Nor will you
sleep well at night for a while, either. But isn’t that the mark of a
master storyteller! Hat’s off to Michael Okon” – Theodore Jerome Cohen, Author of “House of Cards: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Martelli NYPD, #2)”




“As this book deserves not only top of the New York Times bestseller
list but on the big screen as well. The moment I began to read my world
was transformed and I was living through the novel.” – Carey Hurst, Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Mom




“First rate YA fiction with a monsterous twist. Highly recommended.” – Richard Schwindt, author of “The Death in Sioux Lookout Trilogy”




“Okon does a fantastic job of creating distinct personalities for the
different monsters. The vampires are sly and cunning while the
werewolves are weary and brooding. Even the zombies have some
personality, albeit it’s only shown through thoughts they struggle to
string together.” – Alejandro Ramos, medium.com




“I enjoyed the beautiful prose, the great characters, and the
exciting plot. It’s hard to read this novel without getting emotionally
involved.” – Divine Zape, Readers’ Favortie (Five Star Review)




“I think MONSTERLAND provides something different for the YA
category that really isn’t otherwise present, not only in type of story
but in teen/adult relationships.” – litbites.com, Blog Tour




“This book has a charm often lost in supernatural stories. Michael
Okon sets a brilliant scene where you can hear and see the world coming
to life before your eyes. You don’t read this book, you live it. .. Monsterland makes for a fun yet harrowing horror read, with injections of comedy, and masterful execution.” – K.J. Simmill (5 Star Review)


Monsterland Awards

  • 2017 Readers’ Favorite Five Star Review
  • Feathered Quill Book Awards 2018 – Science Fiction/Fantasy – Second Place
  • Feathered Quill Book Awards 2018 – Teen Fiction, Graphic/Anime (13-18 years) – First Place
  • The Feathered Quill, The Write Companion Award for Best Overall Top Pick
  • 2018 Shelf Unbound – Notable
  • 2018 Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner in the Young Adult – Horror genre
  • 2019 International Book Awards – Fiction: Fantasy – Finalist
  • 2020 Feathered Quill Book Awards – Gold/1st Place – Best of Backlist


Amazon → https://amzn.to/31KQKFy

Barnes & Noble → https://bit.ly/2SCCo5P







Chapter 1

The Everglades



The sky was a sparkling, powder blue, mosquitoes droned lazily over the tepid water, frogs croaked messages while they sunbathed on waxy lily pads. The fire he created burned bright, rabbit roasting on a spit made from hickory, the juices dripping to hiss in the flames. Seven of them lay in scattered repose, enjoying the late afternoon lull—two napped, the others tossed a stuffed fur in the form of a ball around the clearing, hooting with amusement when it rolled into the brush. They traveled in a pack, his group, his makeshift family, foraging together, hiding in plain sight. It had been that way for generations. But the glades were getting smaller, the humans invasive.

The sun started its slow descent into the horizon, hot pink and lilac clouds rippling against the empty canvas of the sky. Their color deepened as the sky filled, the rosy hue morphing into a burnt orange as the sun hid behind the condensation. The air thickened, moisture causing the leaves to lie heavily against the branches. Here and there, fireflies lit the gloom, doing a placid ballet in the humid air. The men moved closer as the sun sank into the western treetops, the fading sky promising another clear day tomorrow in the Everglades despite the moving ceiling of clouds.

A lone hawk cried out, disturbing the peace of the glade. Huge birds answered, flapping their wings, creating a cacophony of swamp sounds. The area became a concerto of animals responding to the disruption of their home—wild screams, squeaks, and complaints of the invasion of their territory.

The lead male stood, his head tilted. He heard it again. It was music, the strange organization of sounds, predictable as well as dangerous. Where those rhythms originated meant only one thing—they were not alone. They all rose, tense and alert, searching the waterway. Billy pointed, his dirty hands silently parting an outcropping of trees to expose a flat-bottom boat with strangers floating slowly toward them. It was filled with people, excitedly searching the banks of the swamp, their expensive khaki bush clothes ringed with sweat. Many held huge cameras. It was obviously a film crew, invasive, nosy individuals looking for something, anything, to enhance their lives. Men’s voices drifted on the turgid air. Billy stood, sniffing, his mates following suit. He glanced at the sky, gauging the time, his eyes opening wide. It was late. The bald top of the moon peeked over the ridge in the south, the sky graying to twilight with each passing second. Night came fast and furious in the swamp, dropping a curtain of darkness, extinguishing all light except for the beacon of the full moon. That chalk-white orb floated upward, indifferent to the consequences of its innocent victims. A halo of lighter blue surrounded the globe, limning the trees silver, the cobwebs in the trees becoming chains of dripping diamonds in the coming night.

What were the interlopers doing here? Billy thought furiously. This was their territory. The humans didn’t belong in the swamp. The moon continued its trip to the heavens, the familiar agony beginning in his chest. Billy fought the demons churning within his body, feeling the pain of metamorphosis. He curled inward, hunching his shoulders, the curse of his nature making his spine pull until his tendons and muscles tore from their human positions to transform into something wicked. A howl erupted from his throat, followed by another, and then another. Grabbing handfuls of dirt, he tried to fight the awful change, but, as the sun dipped to its fiery death, the moon took control of his life, and the unnatural force tore through his unwilling body. Reason fled; his heart raced. Falling on his hands and knees, he let loose a keening cry as his face elongated, his body changing into a canine, fangs filling his mouth. He raced in a circle in a demented dance, knowing his fellow pack members did the same thing. Slowing, he regulated his labored breathing, forcing the icy calmness he needed to keep some semblance of reason. He peered through the dense brush. Lights from the search party bobbed in the distance. The odor, the stench of humanity, filled the clearing.

He turned, digging furiously on the ground, throwing dirt on the flames, hiding their existence. It was no good. Discovery would ruin everything. No one could live with their kind. Humans brought disease, humans brought anger, humans brought hatred. They were there; he could smell them, see their clumsy bodies invading his home. “They’ve found us,” he growled in the special language they used. “Run!” he barked as he turned to his pack, watching his friends’ naked skin transform until it was covered with the same silvered fur. They cried out in unison at the pain, howling with the injustice, and then ran in fear from the interlopers threatening their habitat.













Michael Okon is an award-winning and
best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller,
horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island
University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in
business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has
storytelling in his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he
can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact
on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the
idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.
Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a
sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island
with his wife and children.


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Bringing Life, Falling Ash by CS Patra


The Frost Kingdom 
Bringing Life, Falling Ash Book 1 
by CS Patra 
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance Adventure 


In the kingdom of Themasa, sixteen-year old Alice lives as a baker with a secret very few know about; she has the ability to make flowers and leaves sprout out of living things with her bare touch. Over in the castle, seventeen-year old Princess Lavinia is locked away by her family because of her curse, the ability to turn living creatures into ashes with her bare touch. The two of them meet and realize that they both want to get rid of their abilities. Realizing that neither can survive like this forever, Alice and Vinnie decide to leave their kingdom and find a way to free themselves of their curses.

Aided by the help of a thief and fellow baker Kian, strange spirits calling themselves Light and Dark, a tiny pet dragon named Elias, and an ice serpent named Madelyn, the two of them start to move out of Themasa and stay one step ahead of the king's men. Along the way, they learn about the obstacles blocking them and that they need to cross three different kingdoms: the Frost King, the Petal Kingdom, and the Sugar Kingdom. In addition to avoiding the king's men, they must also fight against magic as well as the forces of nature to get their goal.

As it soon turns out, Alice and Vinnie realize their friendship is growing into something more. It's something that neither has felt before and they want to explore it. The only way to do that is to continue moving forward and finding a way to touch each other with love. 





The Petal Kingdom 
Bringing Life, Falling Ash Book 2 


Princess Lavinia of Themasa and baker girl Alice continue to make their way to find a cure for their curses. For Alice, she makes plants grow out of living things. For Vinnie, she turns everything she touches into ashes. With some of their new friends, they travel out of the kingdom in hopes of removing said curses. However, what they do discover is danger of war that will take place between three of the largest kingdoms: Frost, Petal, and Sugar.

In this journey, Alice and Vinnie move from the Frost Kingdom and head towards the Petal Kingdom where all is bright and colorful. However, that is only on the outside. On the inside, things are very quiet and no one is seen. They know find themselves in a greater mystery while trying to reach their goals. As it turns out, things are not going to be as easy as they expected. 






CS Patra is the Amazon bestselling author of several book series. They include but are not limited to The Reaper's Apprentices, Operation: Genome, Cirque Macabre, Portman's Creamery mysteries, The Patterns & Parallels Saga, Ghosts of Burning Inn, and Flavors of Love. She loves to dabble in different genres and loves to cross over. Her personal favorite thing is write about female characters in different situations. She is also fond of writing many LGBT stories and stories focused on PoCs. 

Although she does work during the day, most of her nights are taking up by writing. A native of North Carolina, she currently lives in Nebraska with her husband. She loves ladybugs, yellow roses, movies, book signings, mysteries, watching old Youtube videos, ghost stories, gossip, music, people making her fanart, museums, ice cream, and being a wisecrack though not all in that order. Writing and peacocks hit the top of her list though. 






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