Friday, April 1, 2016

New Release: The Sons of Gyges by Phillip J. Gould - Excerpt & Giveaway

The Sons of Gyges 
The Girl in the Mirror #2

by Philip J. Gould

Genre: YA Action/Adventure, Sci-fi
Release Date: March 29th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

With her mother murdered and her traitor father taken by the CIA, could things possibly get any worse for Sophie Jennings?

In her quest for the truth Sophie travels to America in search of the bio geneticist father responsible for the genetically enhanced DNA that has given her super-human abilities.

Wanting an explanation for recent tragic events and a cure for her invisibility, Sophie finds herself in Washington DC. With the help of the British Secret Intelligence Service and her own unique deadly skills Sophie uncovers a terrible truth. Plunged into the middle of a battle involving the American army, Sophie is faced with a task that threatens both her morality and sanity - save her father or save thousands of lives. 

The Sons of Gyges is the explosive, action-centric second novel in The Girl in the Mirror series.

Buy Links (US $3.99 & UK £2.99):
AmazonAmazon UK


Emily Porter felt like she’d barely had time to take a breath as she followed Sophie’s voice at a run through the corridors, down flights of stairs and eventually out of the hospital.
  Armed police heading into the building gave her little notice, assuming her haste was due to fear and the continuing racket of the alarm system.  An invisible hand occasionally grappled with hers, leading her in directions less obvious.
  Street lighting illuminated the paths surrounding the hospital buildings.  Running to the left of the Critical Care Centre, passing the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer and the Pasquerilla Health Centres, Sophie brought her to a stop outside the garage entrance of the Georgetown University Hotel.
   Out of breath, Emily doubled over in her standing position, trying to recover.  She looked up to where she imagined Sophie was standing, just a step away from her.  “I guess...” she started, “... I owe you one...”  Her words were punctuated by gasps for oxygen.
  “What were you and Ryan thinking?” Sophie scorned.  “You could’ve died in there!”
  “I...” Emily couldn’t think of an excuse.  She stood upright.  Her heart was still pumping fast.  Instead she said:  “I know.  We are trying to help you!”
  “And I appreciate that.”  Sophie sounded quite the opposite.  “Just do it from the end of a phone.  I can do without these... distractions...”
  “I think you are forgetting something.”  Emily held up Agent Roberts’ shoes.  “Without me we wouldn’t know how important these are.”
  “Size nine brogues...  Classy.”
  “He hid something in the heel of one of them.”  Emily turned the shoes over to inspect the soles.  Not seeing anything obvious, she put one shoe down and paid closer attention to the one still in her hand.  With a finger she probed the inside, feeling the lining for any signs of a secret compartment.  She turned it back over and tapped the sole with the nail of her index finger.  It sounded solid.  She discarded the shoe in favour of the other.
  “It’s beginning to look like you nearly died for nothing...”
  Emily repeated her actions from the first shoe.  Probing the lining inside the shoe again, she turned it over and ran the flat of her hand over the surface of the sole.  The treads were rough for the most part but worn smooth in others.
  “Just ditch the shoe and let’s go...”
  Emily tapped the sole with the nail of an index finger once again.  Solid... until the heel.  The sound of the tapping changed pitch slightly ─ more dull, hollow.
  “You were saying?”  Emily noticed a very minute line of an indentation just above the surface of the flat of the heel.  She tried prying it off with her nail but it seemed stuck down fast.  “Do you have a knife?”
  “Do I look like someone who carries a knife?” Sophie countered.
  “Um, yes... actually you do!”
  Sophie ignored the comment.  “Here.  Give it to me.”
  Emily held the shoe out.  It abruptly disappeared into thin air as Sophie snatched it away.
  “Hmm.  I see,” Sophie made a few more noises of affirmation.  “Yes.  Got it.”  She placed the shoe back into Emily’s hand where it suddenly reappeared.
  “A sliding compartment,” she grunted satisfactorily.  “Should have guessed that.”  A thin piece of hard rubber at the base of the heel had been pushed from the centre outwards to the back, to reveal a small square compartment big enough to hide any object the size of a small matchbox.  Whatever was hidden in the secret compartment was steeped in shadow.  Emily upended the shoe and gave it a gentle tap with the flat of four fingers.  A small flat piece of plastic the size of a thumbnail came dislodged and fell out into the palm of her hand.  Carefully, she examined it under the soft light of a neighbouring streetlamp. 
  “A flash card,” she said with an air of bewilderment, turning it over one handed with her thumb.  In her head she heard Agent Spencer Roberts:
  “In my... shoe... you’ll find... what you... want...”

Book One:

The Girl in the Mirror

Genre: YA Action/Adventure, Sci-fi
Release Date: October 27th 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

Abduction. Theft. Murder. Betrayal.

Created as a prototype for a soldier of the future, sixteen-year-old Sophie Jennings possesses abilities like no other. With exceptional strength, intelligence, endurance, longevity and the ability to become invisible, she is a force to be reckoned with, but many will try.

Her father, a bio-geneticist with a murky past, has ties to a corporation whose motives are questionable. His unease with their intentions, prompts him to run, taking Sophie with him.

Their journey unleashes a malicious chain of events that will pin Sophie up against a sadistic and equally powerful opponent and force her into a position to utilise every skill necessary to outwit and outrun her pursuers.

Fight or flight? Hide or seek?

For Sophie, the decision is simple.

Unbeknownst to her, taking out two armed men will only be the beginning of what she’ll face during the next forty-eight hours.
Will Sophie, inexperienced and untested, prove to be their worst enemy?

The Girl in the Mirror is a gripping action adventure that twists and turns, and twists some more. Like Sophie Jennings, you won't see the end coming...

Buy Links (Sale price - US $0.99 & UK £0.99):


Sophie was now standing in front of the fallen soldier.  He slowly reached up to his ear and removed the earpiece, electronic voices continuing to whisper commands and instructions, oblivious to what had concluded in the apartment.  He pulled the microphone out from his jacket and tossed it aside.

“I’m done,” he repeated hoarsely, then spat a globule of spit and blood out.

Sophie reached down and picked up the ear and mouth piece, holding it up to her ear.

Alpha Team, what’s going onReportBack up team will be with you shortly.  Do you copy?”

Sophie walked over to the place where the window had been, the curtains billowing in like an unfurled flag.  She peered out just as her father had done earlier.

“Why won’t you leave us alone?” she asked into the microphone.  “We’ve done nothing to you!”

At first the radio went silent.

In the distance the sound of sirens wailed as they fast approached in answer to all the gunfire and an elderly neighbour who’d been crudely woken from a nap in his armchair from all the hullabaloo.  A small gathering of nosey onlookers had gathered at a safe distance down the road, their macabre fascination for blood, death and destruction fuelled their appetite to watch, no matter the risk to themselves.

It’s not what you’ve doneSophieIt’s what you are programmed to do.”  An electronic voice secreted from the earpiece now held in the palm of Sophie’s right hand.

“You should stop.  Whilst you have the chance.  Stop now, I’m warning you.”

A police car appeared at the end of the road, tyres screeching, siren blaring, flashing lights splashing blue translucent colour urgently as it drew closer, coming to a halt outside the apartment block.  Another police vehicle arrived moments later and still more sirens sounded in the background.

Sophie… It doesn’t have to be like this.  We could be friends, you and I.”

Sophie knew the voice at the end was playing with her, stalling for time, time which she didn’t have.  She had to leave, and leave immediately, but before she did there were things she had to retrieve, things essential to her (and her father’s) survival.

Speaking as she worked, Sophie replied: “I doubt that very much.”

Retrieving a backpack and a large sports holdall, she filled the backpack with things she absolutely needed; spare clothes; provisions, water, food; the iPad which had miraculously survived the gunfire and violence; a mobile phone; a torch; her fluffy kangaroo from the safe room.  What she couldn’t fit into the backpack, she placed into the holdall.  She then emptied the refrigerator of every vial of serum, not forgetting to pack the jet injector.

From one of the fallen soldiers she unholstered a handgun and collected all the ammunition she could find (from them both), six magazines in all.

We need to meet Sophie.  I’m sure we can come to a mutually beneficial arrangement.”

Lastly, Sophie located the place where her father’s floor safe was, hidden beneath a section of carpet that was easily lifted.  She pulled up the floorboard, exposing the digital combination lock of the safe.  She keyed in her date of birth − a combination, or version thereof favoured by her father:


The latch clicked as the door from within was released.  Sophie opened the door and reached in; removing her father’s laptop and two thick A5 envelopes which she knew each contained a thick wad of fifty pound notes.  These last items she dropped into the holdall without much ado, and zipped it closed.

“Nice talking to you creep.  Let’s do it again… not!”  Sophie dropped the ear and mouth piece back to intruder number two, and unseen she left the apartment carrying the big holdall in one hand and the backpack over the shoulder of her opposite arm.  She passed the policemen who were busy marking their territory, some armed and taking up strategic positions, rifles aimed ahead of them; others cordoning off the area at a safe distance, trying to assess the situation.

She passed further the group of bystanders who’d gathered into a very large force of spectators, busily gleaning and gloating at the theatrics now playing out ahead of them.  Ignoring them, she continued at a pace putting distance between her and the Chelsea apartment, passing the black car that had gained her father’s attention but which hadn’t quite convinced him that there was an occupant staking them out, despite the possible sighting of a riflescope or the glass from a pair of binoculars.

She paid the car little more than a sideward glance, deep in concentration as she tried to make sense of what had just happened and formulate some ideas as to what next to do.

Sophie knew there was only one place she could really go, one place where the people who lived therein she could honestly trust.  Although angered to be leaving all her worldly goods and her home behind, she was equally excited at the prospect of seeing her sister again, the only friend she knew.

The rear window of the black car, now behind her, electrically wound down.  The passenger watched from a safe distance, night vision binoculars held against his eyes. For all intents and purposes he looked like a Peeping Tom.  He watched the girl religiously, unseen by all she passed, her dishevelled appearance and determined look concealed to all except one.  The man picked up a walkie-talkie and spoke into it.

“Bravo Team, stand down.  Do not engage; repeat, DO NOT ENGAGE.”

About the Author
Philip John Gould, was born during the hot summer of August 1974 in Suffolk, England. From an early age he escaped reality by spending many hours daydreaming and aspiring to be an author. It's owing to positive feedback on the back of a short story when, aged 13, Phil's English teach wrote an encouraging phrase at the end of his assignment, that inspired him to persevere with his ambitions deep into adulthood.

In 1990, Phil left school and took a job in shipping, where he worked as an Export clerk for a very abusive manager. He changed careers in 1993, joining a large insurance company, where he undertook a number of positions, including training guide writer, and culminating in a junior manager role which he maintained until he was made redundant in 2003. A day after the announcement of losing his job, he had blood tests in relation to a growth in the side of his neck. A month later he was diagnosed with having Hodgkins Lymphoma.

In 2002, work on The Book of Alternative Records had begun, written with the assistance of Ralf Laue who owned the second largest database of achievement records in the world, behind the Guinness behemoth. Together, the book was compiled and completed in 2003 and published in 2004 by John Blake Publishing. In 2005 a German translation of the book was produced. Phil's ambition to be published was fulfilled, but his health and personal circumstances thwarted any hopes to pursue an immediate career in writing. 

In fact, it wasn't until 2011 that Phil got the itch to write again. Having been working back in insurance for a while, he decided that he would leave his paid day job early the following year to fulfil two things. One, to spend more time with his family (his wife had given birth to a son in October 2011 and Phil wanted to be more hands-on with his newborn's upbringing, an opportunity he'd missed with his two daughters), and two, to start working on a new writing project. Actually, an idea for a series of novels had been at the back of his mind for some time, but it wasn't until September 2012 (after an extended holiday), that Phil finally sat down and started working on what would be The Girl in the Mirror.

Still spending too many hours daydreaming, Phil continues to live in Suffolk with his wife, Beth, and three children, Rebecca, Sophie and Matthew. 

Author Links:

 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Review: The Requiem Red by Brynn Chapman + Giveaway

The Requiem Red

Brynn Chapman

YA Historical Mystery
April 5, 2016

Link to Goodreads:

Purchase Links: 

Patient Twenty-nine.

A monster roams the halls of Soothing Hills Asylum. Three girls dead. 29 is endowed with the curse…or gift of perception. She hears messages in music, sees lyrics in paintings. And the corn. A lifetime asylum resident, the orchestral corn music is the only constant in her life.

Mason, a new, kind orderly, sees 29 as a woman, not a lunatic. And as his belief in her grows, so does her self- confidence. That perhaps she might escape, might see the outside world.

But the monster has other plans. The missing girls share one common thread...each was twenty-nine's cell mate.

Will she be next?

Review: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The Requiem Red will transport you back in time to a darker time when asylum patients were subjected to the most heinous of treatments. Dark and sinister, Ms. Chapman does a fabulous job creating a rather gothic atmosphere with an air of hopelessness.

My heart went out to Patient 29 immediately-- the moment she was subjected to some sort of horrific torture after her roommate was found dead. Yikes, that asylum was one terrifying place.

Full of mystery, a dash of horror and romance, this novel will keep you reading as the plot is revealed piece by piece. I enjoyed the fast pace, as well as the characters, both main and secondary. The plot was intriguing and kept me guessing. Another good novel from Ms. Chapman.

About the Author

Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love—not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society’s downtrodden. In fiction, she’s a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. She also writes non-fiction and lectures on the subjects of autism and sensory integration and is a medical contributor to online journal The Age of Autism.

She also writes under the pseudonym R.R. Smythe. 

Tour-Wide Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

New Release: Out of the Ashes by Kelly Hashway - Excerpt

Release Date: March 22, 2016
Genre: YA paranormal

Can history repeat itself if you can’t remember your past?

Seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman’s worst nightmare has come true…

She’s been reborn as a Phoenix and has forgotten everything from her first life—including Logan Schmidt. He’s handsome and protective, but with no recollection, he can’t be trusted.

Accused of being a Hunter, Logan’s mortality is put to the test…

Logan isn’t willing to admit he and Cara are over—not even after he watches her rise from her own ashes.

While the other Phoenixes are convinced Logan is a sworn enemy, a group of deadly Hunters are sure he is a Phoenix. Only being guilty of loving Cara, he must prove them all wrong—and convince Cara she loves him.

However, a magical link may be the demise of Logan’s devotion…

With the Hunters hot on their heels, it’s up to Logan to save Cara. But when the dagger calls out, Logan is drawn to its power.

Cara’s missing memories may not be the only obstacle standing between her and Logan. Their relationship isn’t just complicated—it’s deadly. And when Cara finds herself at a crossroad, she is forced to choose…

She can plunge into the darkness of her treacherous fate, or use her Phoenix instincts to once again rise Out of The Ashes.


Within minutes, everyone is yelling. It feels like it’s all my fault. If only I could remember what happened at the school. Before I woke up in Logan’s arms, all that’s there is a vague memory of Mom, Jeremy, and the other Phoenixes. No actual memories. Only names and faces. 

“We all need to calm down,” Linette says, taking a seat on the couch. “Yelling isn’t going to solve anything. We can’t even hear each other.” 

“She’s right.” Mom pats my head like I’m a toddler. I guess I am in this life, but I’m still physically seventeen. 

I step away, not wanting to touch anyone right now. I know she’s my mom, but she’s just as much a stranger to me as this Logan guy is. He said he loves me. Is that true? Or is he another Hunter, preying on me because I’m a newborn Phoenix? So many questions. That’s all I have, and it’s making my head hurt. 

Logan scans the room. “Is anybody going to let me tell you what happened?” 

Garret is standing at his side, apparently not willing to let Logan get more than two feet away from him. “I’m sure that would be very entertaining,” Garret says. 

“Let him talk.” The words come tumbling out of my mouth. Everyone turns to me, and one corner of Logan’s mouth curves up. I look away, not sure how to act around him. Hell, I don’t know how to act at all. Thank God we only forget everything after our first rebirth because I couldn’t take going through this three more times before I die. If a Hunter doesn’t kill me before I live all five of my lives, that is. 

Mom reaches for me, but I take a deep breath and shake my head. “I’m fine. I want to hear what Logan has to say. He was there with me. He didn’t hurt me when I woke up in his arms, so I think I owe it to him to hear him out.” 

“You don’t owe anything to a Hunter, Cara,” Garret spits out.

Mom shoots him a look. “Garret, that isn’t helping.”

Logan starts toward me, and Garret grabs him.

“What do you think I’m going to do?” Logan asks, sounding equally frustrated and heartbroken. “I’m handcuffed, my palms are burned to crisps, and the last time I checked, I’m the only human in a room full of Phoenixes.” 

Part of me wants to laugh because it sounds crazy, but so does burning to ashes and rising up out of them. Yet, here I am.


Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

New Release: Alone by Kate L. Mary - Excerpt & Giveaway


by Kate L. Mary

Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic/Zombie/Romance

Release Date: March 29th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

A zombie novel.

For the past two years, Jules has floated through life.

When the virus was released it changed everything about the world. Jules lost her mom and her home, forcing her to live with the father she barely knows. Now, even as society works to rebuild, Jules still feels like she doesn’t quite fit in.

Then she meets Roman.

Even before the zombies, he only had himself to depend on. Brooding and rebellious, Roman isn’t anyone Jules would have pictured herself with before the zombies came. But now she finds herself willing to give up everything to be with him.

The attraction is too strong for either one of them to ignore, but Roman and Jules soon discover that the uncertainty of their new world extends much farther than just the zombies. When disaster strikes, Roman must race against the most terrifying clock imaginable to save Jules, or once again end up alone.

Buy Links:


I’m still grinning when we step outside. The wooden porch sags beneath my feet, feeling a little less than sturdy, but that isn’t what makes my heart almost stop. My smile melts away and my feet stop moving, and within seconds I’m shaking like a leaf.
There are three zombies in the yard. Three of them. I haven’t come this close to one since the first few months of the outbreak, and now there are three.
Roman steps in front of me and shoves the shoebox into my hands as he pulls his knife out, all in one fluid movement. “It’s okay.”
It doesn’t feel okay. It feels the complete opposite of okay.
Roman steps off the porch, and one of the zombies spots him right away. The thing groans and moves toward him, chomping his mouth. Gray skin stretches across his face, and the deep gashes that cut across the decaying flesh ooze with black goo. Thankfully, the other two creatures are facing the other way and haven’t caught wind of us yet.
Roman doesn’t seem afraid in the slightest as he walks toward the dead man. His knife is held firmly in his hand, but he’s steady. Sure of himself as he walks in a big arc around the zombie. He was right. They are slow. But it’s still terrifying, and I’m still shaking, gripping the box of batteries so hard the cardboard bows under the pressure. Just as Roman reaches the back of the first zombie, the other two notice him and head his way. My heart jumps to my throat and I reach out like I’m trying to stop them, but no sound comes out when I move my lips.
I try again, and this time his name comes out like a strangled cry. “Roman!”
He smiles like all of this is nothing, then drives his knife into the back of the first zombie’s skull. The thing drops to the ground, and Roman spins to face the others. He charges the second one, a sad-looking woman whose nightgown is stained and tattered, her gray skin barely clinging to her bones. Roman dodges her arms and loops around her back, then jabs his knife into her skull just like he did with the first one.
Two down, but my heart is still pounding wildly.
The third one is so tall that Roman’s head only goes up to the zombie’s shoulders. Next to him, Roman looks like a child. Even worse than his size is the fact that he seems to be faster than the other two. Less decomposed, even, like he’s just recently died.
Roman circles him, but the zombie spins too. His hands reach out to grab Roman, but Roman ducks out of the way. His face tenses, and his eyes dart over to me. I watch, frozen in terror from my place on the porch as Roman tries to get behind the zombie again. He could stab him in a different location, but with as tall as the decaying man is, it wouldn’t be safe. Only no matter how many times Roman tries to get behind the corpse, it doesn’t work. The thing is too fast and too hungry. Determined.

About the Author
Award-winning author of WHEN WE WERE HUMAN and the Amazon best-selling BROKEN WORLD series, Kate L. Mary writes everything from post-apocalyptic tales of the undead to new adult contemporary romance. A mother of four and an Air Force wife, her days are divided between keeping her household in order and creating new worlds for readers to get lost in.

Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Alone by Kate L. Mary


by Kate L. Mary

Giveaway ends April 07, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway