#Review: Dungari Rise by Nikki Landis @landisnikkiauth

Description

A Handmaid’s Tale meets Mad Max with a Sci-Fi Twist.

BETRAYED BY SOCIETY

SOLD AS SLAVES

FORCED TO LIVE IN FEAR

The Dungari dominated the human world 100 years ago in a desperate attempt to save their dying race. Enslaving young women and forcing them to endure the Choosing, the Dungari seek to replenish their fallen numbers.

ONE CHOICE CAN CHANGE YOUR DESTINY

Synika hides with a rebel group who seek to end the tyranny on Earth. When the truth is exposed, she must rise to the challenge and save the captives from a fate far worse than death.

FIND THE STRENGTH TO STAND AGAINST THE ENEMY

Tuvari is a soldier who always completes his mission; honor and bravery his highest calling. He will need to decide if his loyalty belongs to his people or with the fiery temptress who has ensnared his heart.

THE RISE IS UPON US

Would you give up everything to do what is right?

***This book contains adult content and is intended for mature audiences only, 18 or older.***

Review

I love Nikki Landis and leapt at the chance to read her latest novel, a standalone sci-fi romance Dungari Rise. This is not a novel for the faint of heart, it tackles some really tough subjects and doesn’t hold back in any way but this is what makes it such a strong novel, we are dealt some brutal blows during the course of this book but they just make what follows all the sweeter.

Earth has been taken over by the Dungari, a race of aliens who need our women to breed, conveniently humans are fully compatible with Dungari biology for breeding and as they have been unable to produce babies with each other for some time the fate of their race relies on this programme on Earth.

Each year girls over 18 are sold in what is essentially a cattle market, sold to Dungari officers as little more than sex slaves. Synika has been in hiding with her brother who leads a group of rebels for several years, avoiding the meat market. Keeping her head low all has been going well until Tuvari, a Dungari soldier ‘rescues’ her and she finds herself in the one place she doesn’t want to be.

From the moment we meet Tuvari he is a gentleman, clearly a gentleman who wants to get in Synika’s pants, but a gentleman nonetheless. He tells her what she needs to do to avoid drawing attention, how to act, what to say, and he helps her out of any sticky situation she gets into. As a friendship forms between them, it’s clear that not all Dungari men are the monsters we believe them to be from the arrangement they have set up.

Several of the things that happen to both Synika and other girls in the harem that Synika ends up in are toe-curlingly awful. These things drive Synika’s personality and actions later in the book though and show us what type of person she is to the core and in her place, I would be exactly the same. She is an incredibly strong and willful woman, but as she becomes more connected to Tuvari, as he continues to prove he is more than his race, and how much he can love she lets her guard down to let him in.

This is a wonderful book and my favourite Nikki Landis by far, although it’s a standalone I’m really hoping that there will be more from this world because I liked so many of the characters and the world building was stunning.

A huge thanks to Nikki Landis for sending me the eARC so that I could read and honestly review this book.

Rating

 

Book & Buy Links

TitleDungari Rise
Series: N/A
Author: Nikki Landis
Genre: Romance | Erotica | Sci-Fi
Publisher: Dark Arrow Publishing
Publication Date: 20 December 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other FormatsN/A
Pages: 272
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

#BookBlitz: Myths & Magic @XpressoTours #Excerpt #Giveaway

Welcome to this book blitz organised by Xpresso Book Tours. Check out more about this collection of science fiction and fantasy stories below along with an excerpt.

Description

Pre-Order MYTHS & MAGIC now and get BONUS GIFTS!

MYTHS & MAGIC sends you on a wild ride across universes where a safe return cannot be guaranteed.

Abolished magic returns to Earth. Telekinetic sorcerers, witches, and fairies discover their powers. Humans become cyborgs. Dragons prowl the depths of Iceland’s volcanoes.

All this and more is packed inside one boxed set overflowing with stories from today’s hottest USA Today and International Bestselling authors!

From dystopian thrillers to steampunk romance, from gothic fantasies to paranormal adventures, come journey with unlikely heroes, valiant shifters, rogue vampires, and even a sensual brujo. Dabble in scientific espionage, thwart scheming sorcerers, and challenge hordes of vengeful demons. And maybe fall in love…

If you’re ready for 21 exclusive full-length novels and novellas, including some BRAND NEW material, in a boxed set where vampires, shifters, ghosts, demons, and even Djinn haunt the pages, then fall into MYTHS & MAGIC, a collection of science fiction, fantasy, and a dash of paranormal romance that will take you to the edge of your imagination

Pre-Order today to secure YOUR copy of this exciting collection!

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Excerpt

HEART OF FIRE
Bec McMaster

 

Back Cover Copy:
The old eddas speak of dreki—fabled creatures who haunt the depths of Iceland’s volcanoes, and steal away fair maidens.

 

Freyja wants none of such myths. Dreki seducing young ladies? Ha. They probably eat such foolish girls. But when the local dreki steals her last ram—costing her any chance of feeding her ill father through the winter—Freyja intends to confront the fearsome myth. Sentenced to a life of exile from his clan, Rurik is fascinated by the furious woman who comes to claim her ram. She reeks of mysterious magic, and challenges him at every step. He intends to claim the passionate firebrand, but to do so he must take mortal form.

 

It’s the only time the dreki are vulnerable, and with a dragon-hunter arriving on the shores of Iceland, he can barely afford the risk—but lonely Freyja, with her elf-cursed eyes and pragmatic soul, tempts him in ways he’s never felt before. Is she the key to reclaiming his heritage? Or will she be his downfall?

 

CHAPTER ONE
Leaning under the overhang of the cave mouth, Freyja knelt and untied the small lantern from her belt. She dragged her gloves off and cupped her hands around the wick. Come. Dance for me. Her breath stirred the small wick and then a tiny flame sputtered to life, flaring up and almost singeing her hands.

 

Something shifted in the darkness; a sense of the mountain listening, as if it felt her small magic. Freyja placed a hand on the barren ground. Easy. She soothed it, stroking it with the awareness within her, feeling it tremble beneath her touch.

 

An alien presence brushed against her mind and Freyja froze, sucking in a sharp breath. The pressure was almost overwhelming, a mountain leaning down upon her. Then suddenly it was gone.

 

Freyja closed the small glass door on the lantern, and stared into the darkness of the lava tube. “That is right,” she whispered in Norse. “You know I am here.”

 

The lantern guided her into the heart of the mountain. The air reeked of sulfur and burned cinnamon, smoky spices. A scent that was incredibly appealing. She breathed it in, feeling it sweep through her, warming her from within. Somehow she knew it, though she had never breathed its like before.

 

The scent drugged her, luring her ever deeper. Ice gleamed in a thin sheen over the entrance floor, melting with each passing step as the air warmed. The walls were smooth, with rough bands at interval heights where lava had flowed, like the tidemark on the caves by the sea.

 

As she turned a corner, taking careful, stalking steps, something gleamed white and stark at the corner of her vision.

 

Freyja spun, holding the lantern high. A leering skull stared back at her, the owner slumped forever against the wall, his pitted armor tarnished and rusted. A sword hung clasped in bony fingers. Swallowing hard, Freyja crouched beside it and tugged the skeletal fingers away from the hilt as she exchanged it for the bow.

 

She could feel that other awareness watching her, listening as if it could hear her.

 

You won’t frighten me. You won’t.

 

The tunnel opened into a larger cavern, enormous stalactites stabbing sharp fingers down from the roof, some touching the floors in dripping columns much like melted candlewax. Piles of gold coins glittered in the darkness, heaped at the sides of the cavern as if the press of the enormous wyrm’s body forced them there. Winking gemstones. A dozen rubies at least. For a moment Freyja couldn’t think. She could only stare at the veritable hoard in front of her. Wyrms were said to be voracious for treasure, guarding it with their fierce tempers, but here was coin enough to see her father fed forever. The entire village. Perhaps even all of Iceland.

 

Her fingers itched to take just enough to buy a dozen ewes and several rams to replace what had been stolen. The gold meant little to her, but the concept of what she could buy with it was incredibly tempting.

 

She could buy a future for her and her father.

 

As if sensing her thoughts, a warning rumble smoked its way through the tunnel. Freyja tore her gaze from the glittering piles. The dreki were possessive of their treasures, it was said. To even think of taking but one coin was to bring her own death down upon her.

 

It was warmer here; sweat trickled down the back of her neck and between her bound breasts. Freyja held the sword in front of her, sweeping the darkness with the lantern. He was here. Somewhere. She could feel the dark energy of his power, dwelling in the shadows like some enormous smoldering volcano.

 

“So now they send my tithe to me?”

 

The thought-whisper almost crushed her, and her fingers clenched around the sword hilt as she ground her teeth together. Pressure built behind Freyja’s left eye; a stabbing ache that promised to make her head throb for days. She drew her focus in on herself, creating a shield against the immense presence. The pressure eased.

 

“I’m not your tithe,” she called back. “The village pays you its tithe! And you have stolen my ram!”

 

A husky chuckle rumbled in the darkness, like a cat purring. Movement shifted, diamond-hard scales rasping over the polished stone floors. Freyja took a step back, her breath catching as she raked the darkness for signs of the wyrm.

 

Don’t be afraid. He can’t kill you. We pay the tithe, she told herself. Still the sensation of the dreki watching her made her nerves thrum with anticipation. She held the sword low, sweeping it in front of her.

 

“Tithe?” the dragon whispered. “Your village has not paid its tithe in three moons. So I will take what is owed. Your ram was… delicious.”

 

Freyja’s lips pressed tightly together. Too late to save Henrik. Something hot and impotent burned at the back of her eyes.

 

Then she realized what he had said.

 

The tithe hadn’t been paid.

 

The dragon was no longer bound by his word not to harm her.

Giveaway

  • Giveaway Button$50 Amazon gift card

Blitz-Wide International Giveaway (Ends August 10th)

 

Book & Buy Links

TitleMyths & Magic
Series: N/A
Author: Various
Genre: Adult | Paranormal Romance | Science Fiction | Urban Fantasy
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 22 August 2017
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook
Pages: 2672
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

#BlogTour: We Have Lost The Coffee by Paul Mathews @QuiteFunnyGuy #Interview

Today I’m joining the delightful The Quiet Knitter to help kick off the blog tour for We Have Lost The Coffee by Paul Mathews courtesy of EDM Editorial & Publicity Services.  I have an interview with Paul about the road to publication, it’s a really interesting read so be sure to stick around to read it.

Description

London, 2045. Three months into the Coffee Wars and Britain’s caffeine supplies are at critical levels. Brits are drinking even more tea than usual, keeping a stiff upper lip and praying for an end to it all.

A secret government coffee stockpile promises to save the day … but then mysteriously disappears overnight.

One man is asked to unravel the missing-coffee mystery. Hs name is Pond. Howie Pond. And he’s in desperate need of a triple espresso. Meanwhile, his journalist wife, Britt, is hunting royal fugitive, Emma Windsor, on the streets of the capital.

Can Howie save the British Republic from caffeine-starved chaos? Will the runaway royal be found? And just what will desperate coffee drinkers do for their caffeine fix? Find out, in Paul Mathews’ latest comedy adventure set in the Britain of the future …

We Have Lost the Coffee - Tour Banner

Q&A

When did you first decide to get your ideas out of your head and onto paper?

Thanks to a demanding job, there was a gap of more than two years between sketching out the idea for my first novel, We Have Lost The President, in January 2013, and starting to write it. And, even then, what I drafted back in January 2013 didn’t bear much relation to the story as it eventually unfolded. You soon learn that nothing goes to plan in the world of novel writing!

It was only when I took an 18-month career break in April 2015 that work began in earnest. I started plotting the novel in May and writing it in the June. However, I got waylaid by a Twitter project and various other things. It meant I’d only written 36,000 words by the end of the year. It was then I realised I had to be more disciplined and I started writing 1,500 words a day, five days a week (I had only managed about 500 a day at the start, sometimes fewer). I eventually finished the first draft in April 2016.

How long did that first manuscript take to perfect?

It took over a year, as I didn’t publish until late July 2016 – and I was still making last-minute edits. Looking back, I probably should have delayed the launch a couple of weeks. That first novel is 100,000 words long and it took ages to proofread. In the end, I became word blind and my brain was no longer being helpful!

I learnt a lot writing that first novel. I transformed from someone having a break from work, who did a bit of writing now and then, to a professional writer who treats it as a job. That change of mindset really worked. I can churn out 10,000 words a week now and I wrote the first draft of my second novel in less than three months.

How did you get it in front of publishers?

I’ve never attempted to contact a publisher or an agent. I researched self-publishing and quickly came to the conclusion that giving Amazon exclusive rights to the e-book was the way to go. Royalties are 70% for books priced £1.99 / $2.99 or more and that is a great deal. Plus you get paid when people borrow the book via Kindle Unlimited if you sign up for the KDP Select programme. For every two books I sell, I get one borrow, which really boosts my readership.

I was approached by a small publisher after I published, but they were a new start-up and the ‘Books’ section on their website was a blank page – so I didn’t waste any time with them. It would take a serious offer for me to give up my indie status – I am in control of editing, marketing and publicity. It’s like the difference between running your own business or going to work for someone else.

I sold the audiobook rights to my first three books to Tantor Media. But I didn’t go to them. They came to me…which was a pleasant surprise!

Did you have an agent?

No. Self-publishers are their own agents.

What was the first reaction of people?

My army of test readers really enjoyed the novel, so that was encouraging. And my editor also loved it, which I think is important (or, at least, that’s what she told me!).

Prior to publication, I grew a small Twitter fan base via various comedy Twitter accounts and they bought the novel and all enjoyed it, as did my British friends and family. As a result, the first tranche of reviews were all fantastic. It was only when I advertised very widely did any negative reviews start to come in – but that’s not surprising, as they are all from US readers and my distinctly British sense of humour isn’t going to always travel well across the Atlantic.

Did the publishers want to change a lot? All? Nothing? & Did you agree? Or stick to your guns?

In my case, I had test readers and an editor. I tested the first novel after 14 chapters and the response was positive, so I didn’t really change much, apart from adding some more futuristic elements. My editor helped me improve the ending. She makes lots of suggestions but is always clear that it’s my decision whether to accept them (unless they are grammatical, in which case I do!).

How long did it take from them to get it out to the public?

I think it was test read in the May, edited in June and then tweaked by me in July (with a final editor check). It was such a hectic time, the memories are all a bit blurred!

What input did you have on the cover? Font? Etc. …

I commission my own cover designer. His name is Alex Storer. He mainly does science fiction, but he has produced some great covers for my comedy-thriller novels.

At the start of the process, I have a fairly good idea of the cover and give him a brief with some suggestions as to what bits and bobs might be included. He always gets it spot on, and then I just tweak it until we have a final version.

If you could do it all again, what would you change?

I would get up to speed more with the various marketing options. I decided to rely solely on social media at the start. But that resulted in far fewer sales than I imagined. I only sold 120 copies in the first two months and thought it was going to take years to make any impression. After all, there are only so many times you can tell people you’ve written a book before you start to sound like a broken record! Then I discovered Amazon US ads and, after a lot of tweaking, they now work very well for me. I’ve sold over 10,000 books already, which I still find hard to comprehend!

I would also allow myself a little more time for last-minute tweaks. You need a break between proofreads, so your brain can refresh and forget the specifics of what you’ve written. Otherwise, it suffers novel overload!

About Paul Mathews

Paul Mathews - Author Image

Paul Mathews is a 40-something British guy who’s given up his 9-to-5 job in London to become a full-time comedy novelist. Why did he make this bold step? Well, he’d had enough of crazy managers and uncooperative printers. So one afternoon, after nearly 20 years working at the heart of the British Government, he shut down his computer, deleted all his emails and escaped the office – never to return. (Okay, it wasn’t quite as dramatic as that, but he is a fiction writer, so please cut him a little slack.)

His two decades working as a Government press officer gave him an invaluable insight into all the key elements of modern government: bureaucracy, bungling, buffoonery, buck-passing and other things that don’t begin with the letter ‘b’ – such as politicians with huge egos and very little talent. He’s now putting that knowledge to use by writing about a British Government of the future – where, believe it or not, the politicians are even bigger idiots than the current lot.

Before becoming a PR guy, he was an accountant. But he doesn’t like to talk about that. And going back further, he went to Cambridge University and studied philosophy. Despite thousands of hours of thoughtful contemplation, he still hasn’t worked out how that happened. The highlight of his university years was receiving a £300 travel grant to visit Prague and ‘study philosophy’. It was a trip which ignited his love of Eastern Europe where he spends a lot of time writing and drinking black beer.

Other interests include wearing sunglasses and having his photograph taken. Visit his website for more info on this (allegedly) humorous man: http://www.iamthe.website (less)

Giveaway

Giveaway ButtonOne of two ebooks of We Have Lost The Coffee.

(Tour-Wide Giveaway)

Book & Buy Links

TitleWe Have Lost The Coffee
SeriesWe Have Lost #3
Author: Paul Mathews
Genre: Science Fiction | Comedy
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 28 June 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: N/A
Pages: 325
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

#BookBlitz: Rook by J.C. Andrijeski @jcandrijeski @XpressoTours #Excerpt #Giveaway

I am pleased to be a part of this book blitz organised by Xpresso Book Tours, this is for Rook a post-apocalyptic romantic science fiction novel which is out now. I have an excerpt to whet your appetite and there is a giveaway at the end of the post which is international!

Description

From USA TODAY bestselling author, a psychic warfare alternative history set in a gritty version of Earth. Contains strong romantic elements – a book in the Bridge & Sword World. Apocalyptic. Psychic Romance.

“You are the Bridge…”

Allie Taylor lives in a world populated by seers, a second race discovered on Earth at the beginning of the 20th Century. Psychic, hyper-sexual and enslaved by governments, corporations and wealthy humans, seers are an exotic fascination to Allie, but one she knows she’ll likely never encounter, given how rich you have to be to get near one.

Then a strange man shows up at her work –– then another –– and pretty soon Allie finds herself on the run from the law, labeled a terrorist and in the middle of a race war she didn’t even know existed. Yanked out of her life by the mysterious and uncommunicative Revik, Allie discovers her blood may not be as “human” as she always thought, and the world of seers might not be quite as distant as she always imagined.

When Revik tells her she’s the Bridge, a mystical being meant to usher in the evolution of humanity––or possibly its extinction––Allie must choose between the race that raised her and the one where she might truly belong.

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Excerpt

The new man was handsome, startlingly so.

Auburn hair fell on either side of perfect bone structure, large eyes of pale amber, dark brows, a well-formed jaw, and full, beautifully-shaped lips quirked in a faint smirk. His eyes never left the man holding the gun to my head.

The smirk definitely seemed aimed at him.

“Now, now, Revi’,” the auburn-haired man said. “Let’s not get overexcited.”

Mr. Monochrome jammed the gun tighter to my head. “You can’t possibly think I won’t do it.” The German-accented voice was cold as ice. “Turn around. Leave. Now, Terry. Or this ends here.”

My jaw loosened. I looked at my brother, Jon, who was staring between the man holding a gun to my head and the one he’d called “Terry.”

I began to feel like I’d walked into the middle of a movie set. Jon and I felt almost superfluous to whatever was unfolding. I could tell Jon was struggling to make sense of that same thing, of how he’d been shunted aside even as things escalated. Even so, Jon recovered faster than I did. After a bare breath, held up a hand to Mr. Monochrome.

“Put the gun down, man,” he said, his voice shaken. “Please. Don’t hurt her.”

Mr. Monochrome’s eyes never left the auburn-haired man.

“Leave, Terry,” he growled. “Right now. My orders are fucking clear. I will kill her.”

“No, you won’t.”

The man holding me gripped me tighter, his hand on my shoulder now, his fingers digging into muscle, practically holding me by my collar bone.

“The fuck I won’t. Walk out of here. Now.”

Jon turned, staring at the auburn-haired man without lowering the hand he held up towards Mr. Monochrome. “Are you a cop?” he snapped. “What the fuck are you doing, man? Leave! Don’t you see he means it?”

The auburn-haired man didn’t glance at Jon, either.

“This is so childish, Revi’,” he said, clicking his tongue in an oddly expressive way as he shook his head. “We both know you will not kill her.”

“Terry––”

“The police are already on their way, my friend.” The auburn-haired man smiled. He shook his head, that smile still playing around his full lips. “So is SCARB. Are you really so willing to wear a collar again? Do you miss Asia so much, you’d be happy to return there to live on a work camp?” Clicking his tongue again, he sighed, holding out his hand. “Give me the gun, Revi’. Give it to me, and release her. I will let you leave before they get here.”

When he took a step towards us, Mr. Monochrome stepped back.

Gripping me tighter, Mr. Monochrome angled himself behind me, still holding the gun to my temple. He began moving us in a circle, taking a sideways step in the direction of the door, as if he meant to angle us around Jon and the auburn-haired man. Jon turned with us, his hand still up. He was pale now, and I saw his eyes dart towards the door, then back to the gun still pressed hard to my temple. He glanced at the auburn-haired man, without taking his eyes off the gun for more than a millisecond.

“You a cop?” Jon said again.

The auburn-haired man smiled, his eyes still following the man who held me. “In a manner of speaking. Yes.”

“He’s not a fucking cop,” the man holding me said. His voice was hard as metal, still tinged with that German accent. “Jon, you don’t want her to go with him. Trust me.”

Jon gave him a hard look, then looked back at the auburn-haired man.

For some reason, I found myself thinking that Jon actually believed him.

I believed him, too.

It was entirely irrational, but I would rather leave there with Mr. Monochrome than with the handsome man who said he was a cop.

Mr. Monochrome continued to maneuver us towards the door.

The auburn-haired man took a step towards us. Then another. He walked cautiously, his eyes on the man holding me, as if he was approaching a tiger.

“Revi’,” he said. “Be reasonable.”

Like Jon, he held up a hand, as if to calm a wild animal–-one that was cornered, snarling at him. His voice turned soothing, matter-of-fact. “You’ve lost this round, old friend. You waited too long. Let her go. If your people want to negotiate getting her back––”

The man holding me let out a humorless laugh.

“Go fuck yourself, Terry,” he growled.

The man with the auburn hair smiled faintly, then shifted his gaze until he was looking solely at me. His eyes and expression grew solemn as he studied my face.

I found I couldn’t look away from those amber, light-filled irises. They seemed to glow with their own internal light as he watched me seriously.

“Has he told you, little sister?” he said. “Has he told you who you are?”

When I just stared at him blankly, the man broke out in a disarming smile.

“Of course he didn’t,” he mused. “Classic Dehgoies. Why would he tell you anything when it’s easier to simply club you over the head and drag you with him by force?” Clucking his tongue lightly in amusement, the man shook his head, still focusing on me. “We have been looking for you longer than you’ve been alive, Alyson dear––”

“Shut up,” the man holding me growled. “Quit with the fucking head-games, Terry.”

The man ignored him, looking only at me. “Do you have any idea how important you are, Alyson?” he said gently. “How the elders managed to hide you here, after all this time, allowing you to play human… well. Let’s just say, it’s upped my respect for their abilities a fair bit. I would never have guessed they’d be capable of such a thing.”

“Terry––”

The auburn-haired man held up a hand. “You are the Bridge, Alyson May Taylor. Do you know what that means?” His smile turned faintly predatory, conspiratorial. “Do you?”

I didn’t answer, swallowing as I glanced sideways at the man holding the gun to my head. It occurred to me again that somehow I was less afraid of him than I was of the man with the auburn hair. The thought made no sense. It was borderline nuts, like the fastest form of Stockholm Syndrome imaginable, but somehow the feeling persisted.

The auburn-haired man seemed to take my silence as an answer.

“The Bridge is sent here to save us, Alyson,” he said, his voice lulling, seductive. “You’re going to save us all. You’re going to return your people to their rightful place––burning the human world, and all of its cruel, empty, child-like bullshit to the ground. You’re going to set us free. You’re going to force them to evolve, Bridge Alyson.”

I stared at him, unable to respond.

Somehow, I could feel he meant what he said.

I saw it in him, like one can see the fervor of a religious fanatic. It reminded me of that sheen in the eyes of people who’d knocked on my front door, there to sell me on their God, prophets and churches. He believed his words. He pinned hope on that belief. Some part of him maybe even lived for it, in a sense.

He truly believed he’d been waiting for me.

I found myself concentrating on him harder.

Silver lights flickered at me, out of time, out of joint. Above him, I glimpsed a pyramid made of light, rotating in the darkness over his head. Something about that vision brought a spike of pain to my temples. It was white-hot, blinding.

I gasped, leaning against the man holding me.

He clutched me tighter. Concern bled through his fingers, a near longing. For the barest instant, I really felt him behind me, like a beating heart. The feeling was familiar––so familiar it brought a rush of something akin to relief. He breathed with me, holding the gun to my head, but we felt almost like a single being, a single heart and set of lungs. Pain twisted through me at the thought, but not like the pain that struck my temples.

Truthfully, it wasn’t like any pain I’d ever felt before. Longing wound into that pain, too, along with another rush of that familiarity.

The man holding me turned his head, looking at me.

I felt that pain on him, too. I felt it intensify––

––when the man with the auburn hair lunged at us both. He leapt towards me, moving without a sound, the instant the man holding me turned his head.

He moved fast––so fast I barely saw the shift.

I saw his attack unfold in the abstract, a blurred motion of aggression and animal-like violence. It was coming straight at me, so fast my heart leapt to my throat. It was too fast for thought, too fast for my mind to make sense of the exact threat.

I just knew I was under attack.

It terrified me more than the threat of the gun. More than the man holding me.

This man coming at me was danger. That’s all my mind fully understood.

DANGER. DANGER.

Maybe that’s why it happened.

Time slowed to a standstill. I felt every inch of expanding heat as adrenaline shot through my veins, every millimeter of those iron-like fingers gripping my shoulder, my heart hammering, the man holding me breathing hard enough I could feel each breath as it vibrated my body. I saw my brother’s face as he watched, terrified, from a few feet away, his hand still up as he stared at me, his expression full of fear.

I don’t really know how to explain what happened after that.

Something in me just… let go.

That’s how it felt.

It was as if a fist I’d held clenched, somewhere in the middle of my chest, suddenly loosened. Whatever it was, I’d held it for so long, I hadn’t known I held it at all. It was just how it was, to be clenched in that part of me.

When I let go of that tightness I’d carried since birth, it started a chain reaction in some distant part of me. A folding sensation, like a telescope being collapsed in segments, only lightning fast, a ticking film in the background of my mind with an oddly mechanical, almost beautiful precision.

A rush of power hit me somewhere in the middle of the chest.

That time, it didn’t come from outside of me.

I breathed it out, and it was as natural as… well, breathing.

That force slammed out of me like a hard exhale, like if I held it in, even a second longer, it might burn me apart from the inside.

Then it was gone.

It left me. I watched it go, fascinated, in that space of no-time. A slow-motion millisecond unfolded with the same precision as that part of my mind that had collapsed, folding within itself just a fraction of that same second before.

It hit the man who’d lunged for me first.

Jon was blown back after him, around the same time the first man’s feet left the ground, as he’d begun to fly backwards through the air, reaching the place where Jon was.

Then Jon’s feet left the ground, too.

I watched in that moment of timeless silence, seeing their bodies fly through the air, going in the opposite direction from where I stood. I saw that same force that came from my chest, only now it looked like a pale green light in the darkened spaces behind my eyes.

My own eyes were light––only light.

Somehow, I saw through that light anyway, for those few seconds at least.

Even though the force hit Jon second, he slammed into something first.

I watched him fly partway over a tabletop where two college-aged kids were eating pie and drinking coffee. They’d been watching the exchange between the four of us, I realized––everyone in the diner had been staring, riveted, the instant Jon showed up at the door, demanding Mr. Monochrome let me go.

Now I saw the two college kids’ faces alter in slow-motion, eyes widening as they saw my brother heading straight for them and their table.

His back slid over their pie and coffee, only an inch or two above the surface. His legs and tennis shoes hit the edge of the chrome tabletop, knocking their plates and glasses sideways and back, causing the girl sitting there to throw up her arms, also in slow-motion. Jon kept going, not stopping until he landed on a second table behind them, which had a tray covered in dirty soda glasses and coffee cups that the other waiter, Corey, must have left there when he went on his smoke break.

Those glasses and coffee cups flew towards the floor even as Jon’s tennis shoes scraped over the edge of the first tabletop, then he was heading for the floor.

The auburn-haired man flew further, since no table stood directly behind him from the direction of that onslaught of pale green light.

My attention shifted to him somewhere in that fraction of a second.

I watched him fly through the air, his amber eyes wide, the handsome face contorted in disbelief even as his arms pinwheeled, his hands and fingers actively looking for purchase. One of his hands was looking for something else, too. It dug into his jacket, reaching for the gun there, fighting to get it free of the holster he wore under the suit. I watched him struggle with it as he flew all the way to the wall.

Then, both struggles abruptly ended. He crashed into a row of glass shelves covered in fifties knick-knacks––an old radio, metal lunch boxes, Elvis Presley records, a letterman’s jacket.

It wasn’t until he hit into all of that, smashing the shelves with his shoulders, head and arms, that the sound seemed to come back in the diner.

Screams were the first thing that penetrated my awareness.

Then gunshots.

I flinched, violently, sure I was dead.

Something whizzed by me. I felt it pass, but didn’t move.

Then the man holding me grunted, half of his body jerking back, to both of our right.

More gunshots broke the quiet. That time, it was the man holding me who was firing. For the first time, it hit me that he was left-handed.

He wasn’t firing at me.

Instead, when I looked up in shock, I saw the end of his gun smoking. He’d aimed it past me, over my shoulder, at the man with the auburn hair.

I gaped from the gun back to the wall.

The man there held a gun as well. He’d somehow managed to unholster it while he’d been flying through the air. He’d been the one shooting at us, at least until the man holding me ended him. He’d shot the auburn-haired man right in the middle of the forehead. The shot was so precise it shocked me.

My vision slanted out.

Light took its place. That light blocked my view of the surrounding room.

Gasping in panic at my sudden blindness, I found myself acutely aware of everything else happening around us.

I heard people scrambling to their feet, knocking over chairs, moving tables. Screams followed. I felt fear––of the guns, yes, but not only the guns. Some of that fear felt aimed at me. Loud speech and frightened gasps confused me. I felt their panic like a physical force. It made me wince, then grimace from the pain of it––but I couldn’t see them, or anything else.

My eyes wouldn’t work. Everything was light––just light.

Green light, like what my mind conjured around that force in my chest, just before Jon and that other man flew across the room. I blinked, panicking at my seeming blindness.

I blinked, over and over, but the light wouldn’t dim.

Then the fingers holding me tightened so much I let out a gasp.

“Jurekil’a u’hatre davos!” The man was breathing hard, almost as hard as the people panicking around us. He gasped, speaking right near my ear. I couldn’t see him through the light, but his own panic slammed into me, making me nauseous. Was he afraid of me? “Gaos… di’lanlente a’guete… you’re a fucking manipulator! Gaos! Gaos!”

I couldn’t make sense of anything he said.

All I knew was, he sounded afraid. Shocked to the point of paralysis.

I kept blinking, fighting to see.

I felt dizzy, light-headed. Truthfully, I felt like I might be sick.

I leaned against the man where he held me against him, not thinking about the gun anymore, only wanting to see, to know what happened, where I was, why everyone was screaming. Did I really see this man shoot another man in the head?

Then, another thought brought panic back to my throat.

Had I hurt Jon? What happened to Jon?

Terror hit me, along with a surge of dread that nearly overwhelmed me.

“Where’s Jon?” I managed, my words blurred, groggy. “Where is he? Is he all right?

Something in my words seemed to snap the man holding me out of his stupor.

The fingers released me, but for barely a second.

An arm wrapped roughly around my waist, wrenching me against a hard, muscular body. I gripped that arm in my hands, still fighting to see, to think, to move my mind beyond that nausea and dread. I couldn’t budge the arm off me.

Truthfully, I could barely make myself try.

I couldn’t remember ever being so drained, scared or exhausted.

Before I could wrap my head around what he was doing, the feelings coming off him, he was carrying me. Half-carrying me, at least, dragging me with him.

I couldn’t see, but I knew we were heading towards the door.

That’s when I first heard the sirens.

JC Andrijeski - Author ImageAbout JC Andrijeski

JC Andrijeski is a USA TODAY bestselling author who writes paranormal mysteries and apocalyptic fiction, often with a sexy, romantic and metaphysical bent. JC has a background in journalism, history and politics, and loves martial arts, yoga, meditation, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, painting… and of course reading and writing. She grew up in the Bay Area of California, but travels extensively and has lived abroad in Europe, Australia and Asia, and from coast to coast in the continental United States. She currently lives and writes full-time in Bangkok, Thailand.

To learn more about JC and her writing, please visit jcandrijeski.com.

If you want an email when JC’s next book is released, as well as special giveaways, offers to read books early and other prizes, join her newsletter, THE REBEL ARMY, at: http://hyperurl.co/JCA-Newsletter

JOIN NOW and you’ll get a FREE BOOK!

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Giveaway

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  • $25 Amazon Gift Card (International Blitz-Wide Giveaway)

Book & Buy Links

TitleRook
SeriesBridge & Sword Awakenings #1
Author: J.C. Andrijeski
Genre: Adult | Romance | Science Fiction | Post-Apocalyptic
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 22 April 2017
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook
Pages: 473
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

#BookBlitz: The Future of Sex by Aubrey Parker @AubreyParker11 @XpressoTours #Excerpt #Giveaway

I am pleased to be a part of this book blitz organised by Xpresso Book Tours, this is for The Future of Sex a romantic science fiction novel released tomorrow, I for one, will definitely picking a copy up!

Description

Love doesn’t matter. Romance doesn’t exist.

In the year 2060, sex is a game of extremes. No desire is unexplored and even the unimaginable is possible.

Alexa Mathis, head of the monolithic O Corporation, has found a prodigy she believes will drive her sex empire to rapturous new limits: Chloe Shaw, a common girl with uncanny gifts that make her a powerful escort.

Chloe doesn’t believe in love. She believes in ecstasy, and her employer’s newest tool to usher “the future of sex”: an intelligent network known as The Beam.

And so it is until she meets Andrew … and the whole world changes.

The Future of Sex is a 12-part romance/sci-fi series exploring the line between today’s conception of love and the sensations that await us in the future.

The Future of Sex - Blitz Banner

Excerpt

Chloe dressed down the next day, doing her best to appear average and unappealing. It was easiest on Sunday to take a break from being sexy. She loved her job and found sex empowering, but sometimes didn’t want the option. Every once in a while it felt nicer to sit at a table outside one of District Zero’s cafes, alone, sipping mimosas.

 

And so she went out on her Sunday errand wearing simple tan shorts, baggy and not at all hip-hugging, a plain blue tee, and sandals. She had her dark-brown hair back in a ponytail, utilitarian and not artificially demure, loose hairs sticking out from the sides in what felt like a disheveled mess. She wore no makeup and plain, not-especially-sexy undergarments.

 

But there was no fooling pheromones, it seemed. Eyes still followed Chloe as she walked down the street, and a man who’d turned to watch her pass actually walked face-first into an antique lamppost.

 

She finally made herself comfortable in a corner of a cafe’s patio, away from foot traffic. She ordered her mimosa and sat back to peruse Crossbrace magazines on her tablet.

 

When she looked up, she saw a man eyeing her from a nearby table.

 

For some reason she didn’t feel compelled to look away — until she realized that staring was rude.

 

She lowered her head, then looked up again a moment later. The man who’d been watching her had ordered coffee. He looked about 25, and something in his body language said that was a natural 25, not an older man stuffed with age-defying nanos.

 

He wore a black shirt and long pants. His arms were thin in a way that Chloe, who’d grown up geeky and liked guys with less classical beauty, found adorable. His face was lean and friendly, with dark eyes and darker eyebrows. He had puffy, unkempt brown hair.

 

Everything in his manner said he didn’t give a shit, that he’d ride a skateboard one day and work in an office the next —not that he looked like an office guy. Most office workers were Directorate, and this guy definitely looked Enterprise.

 

Chloe found herself appreciating his somehow rogue look. Her job with O technically placed her in the Directorate party (she got her fixed salary and wasn’t required to scrape for a living) but had always been Enterprise at heart. Her mom had been a free agent before joining O, and had always valued freedom over security, despite being willing to accept the latter to work for O. Chloe felt the same.

 

And this guy? He was clearly a free spirit. Just look at those tan forearms. That fearless white smile. The carefree hair.

 

She was staring again. She looked down, feeling herself blush.

 

When she looked back up, it was to see the chair opposite her being pulled out. The guy from across the cafe was sitting at her table.

 

“Excuse me?” she said.

 

The guy was cute, but he hadn’t been invited. Her knee-jerk reaction, as a woman who was approached often by men, was defense. There was a fine line between confidence and arrogance.

 

“Hi,” he said. “I’m Andrew.”

 

Chloe stared. The guy’s dark eyes turned out to be brown, and she didn’t see a speck of arrogance in them.

 

“This is the part where you tell me your name.”

 

“Chloe.”

 

“Nice to meet you, Chloe.” He leaned back in his co-opted chair.

 

“Can I help you, Andrew?”

 

“Actually, you can. I was curious about that.” He pointed into her day bag, at a tattered paper volume peeking out from the top.

 

“It’s a book.” The words sounded stupid the minute she’d said them, and she found herself wanting to cringe.

 

Andrew nodded as if this were a great revelation. “As I suspected,” he said, faux-serious.

 

Chloe regarded the book, wondering where this conversation was headed. Over Brad’s objections, she’d tried to find some of Georgia Bernard’s works to further her investigation of the Six and their buried history. She’d managed to find most of the volumes still online as ebooks — but this one, a more obscure title, had been unavailable. She had, however, found battered copies still circulating in print (Georgia Bernard was strangely popular in print, like late Alexa Mathis titles) and had picked it up at the DZ archive on her walk to the cafe.

 

“I’m reading it for …” Chloe started, unsure how to finish.

 

He reached toward the book, then paused with his hand extended and looked up at her. “Do you mind?”

 

“Go ahead.”

 

Andrew pulled the book from her bag. She felt a strange thrill as her casual possessions — not her accoutrements as “Chloe the O Girl” — shifted under his hand. He looked briefly at the cover, then rifled pages.

 

“So few people read,” he said, still flipping.

 

“A lot of people read.”

 

“I read an article on Crossbrace about how one day they’re going to figure out brain-computer stuff enough that they’ll just kind of be able to zap books into our brains. It’d be like reading the book, except that you’d never actually read it. So, I guess it’d be more like having read the book. But I don’t know that I’d like that. It’d kind of be like having a vacation memory zapped into your head so that you will have been on vacation in your memories. But where’s the actual being on vacation?”

 

Andrew was still looking at the book. Chloe found herself amused by his attention to the pages — this relic from an earlier age, presented in a medium that few used. His eyebrows were slightly furrowed, as if he were working a puzzle.

 

Chloe decided she was probably supposed to respond. “Well, when you’re done with the vacation, isn’t it all the same?”

 

He looked at Chloe, then set the book on the table, face up. Behind him, his table was empty except for a handheld. A waiter arrived with a plate, looked at the handheld, seemed to determine the table’s occupant was still around, and set the food down.

 

“I guess, in a way. But don’t you feel like the vacation memories after a real vacation would have a different feel from fake ones? Like, you’d have actually done those things, so when you looked back at the implanted memories you’d see the real ones differently, remembering when you were doing them?”

 

Chloe shrugged. “I guess it depends on how they do it. I imagine any good fake vacation would include the feeling of actually having done things, so memories would be the same.”

 

Andrew flipped the book closed and set it on the table. He saw Chloe glance behind him, turned, and saw his food. Without a word, he stood, went to his plate, and brought both the food and his handheld back to Chloe’s table.

 

Apparently they were having brunch together.

About Aubrey Parker

I love to write stories with characters that feel real enough to friend on Facebook, or slap across the face. I write to make you feel, think, and burn with the thrill that can only come from getting lost in the pages. I love to write unforgettable characters who wrestle with life’s largest problems. My books may always end with a Happily Ever After, but there will always be drama on the way there.

Giveaway

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  • Kindle fire & 3 signed paperbacks of the complete Future of Sex Omnibus (Blitz-Wide/International)

Book & Buy Links

TitleThe Future of Sex
SeriesThe Future of Sex #1
Author: Aubrey Parker
Genre: Adult | Romance | Science Fiction
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 16 May 2017
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook
Pages: 67
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

#BlogTour: Memortality by Stephen H. Provost @sproauthor @XpressoTours #Review #Giveaway

Hey Guys, thanks for stopping by for Stephen H. Provost’s blog tour for Memortality, you can catch my review below along with a giveaway. This one really caught my imagination before I even picked the book up, I hope it does the same for you.

Description

Minerva Rus can raise the dead. And it might get her killed.

Minerva’s life has never been the same since the childhood car accident that paralyzed her and killed her best friend, Raven. But when the long-dead Raven reappears in her life, now as a very attractive grown man, she discovers that her photographic memory has the power to bring the dead back to life … heal her paralysis … and shape reality itself.

Pursued by a rogue government agent who wants to eliminate her and her talents, Minerva must learn to control her powers to save herself and Raven. Because if she dies, he dies as well―again.

Memortality - Tour Banner

Review

Memortality takes a simple idea and runs with it with such commitment that you can’t help but be taken along for the ride. Minerva lost the use of her legs in an awful accident when she was a child, now disabled and treated awfully by her Mother and so confined to her bedroom most of the time her life is so much smaller than it should be.

Her best friend Raven was killed in the same the accident so when he shows up in her bedroom as a full grown man, the age he would be now if he had lived she is a little confused, it’s through his visits she learns she can bring the dead to life but because of this ability her life could be at risk.

Stephen H. Provost has woven a science fiction web with a believable power, a snarky protagonist who has plenty of baggage thanks to years of being treated as a burden by her Mother, we have some great secondary characters in this novel aswell both on the good and bad sides.

Things aren’t simple and we don’t always know what is happening or why, we have to put our trust in the author to guide us to the answer but we do get most of the answers.

Reading how people spoke to Minerva, the way they referred to her as a ‘cripple’ I found really uncomfortable and hard to stomach. As the book goes on she proves herself to be a strong and capable woman. Even without her power she was capable to stand up and be counted in any number of situations.

Sending a huge thanks to Stephen H. Provost and Xpresso Book Tours for the eARC so that I could honestly review this book.

Rating

About Stephen H. Provost

Stephen H. Provost is an author of paranormal adventures and historical non-fiction. “Memortality,” his debut title on Linden Publishing’s new fiction imprint, Pace Press, is due out in February 2017 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

An editor and columnist with more than 30 years of experience as a journalist, he has written on subjects as diverse as history, religion, politics and language and has served as an editor for fiction and non-fiction projects. His book “Fresno Growing Up,” a history of Fresno, California, during the postwar years, is available on Craven Street Books, and his next non-fiction work, scheduled for release in June of 2017, will examine the history of U.S. Highway 99 in California.

In addition, the author has published several books as Stifyn Emrys, beginning in 2012 with “The Gospel of the Phoenix” and also including the nonfiction works “The Way of the Phoenix” and “Undefeated.” He also has published three works of fiction: “Feathercap” (children’s); “Identity Break,” (young adult science fiction/adventure) and an accompanying novella, “Artifice.”

The author served as editor of four young adult novels: the “Mad World” series by Samaire Provost – “EPIDEMIC,” “SANCTUARY” and “DESPERATION” – and the award-winning “Lorehnin: A Novel of the Otherworld,” Volume 6 in the Otherworld series by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson. He has worked in journalism as a news editor, sports editor and reporter for four daily newspapers in California, and is currently managing editor for an award-winning weekly, The Cambrian. He has worked as an educator and has been featured at occasional speaking engagements.

He lives on the California coast with his wife, stepson, cats (Tyrion Fluffybutt and Allie Twinkletail) and dogs.

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Giveaway Button1 Signed Copy of Memortality (International Tour-Wide Giveaway)

 

 

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TitleMemortality
Series: N/A
AuthorStephen H. Provost
Genre: Science Fiction | Fantasy
Publisher: Pace Press
Publication Date: 1 February 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Pages: 293
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository | SpeedyHen

#CoverReveal: Claimed by the Succubus by Siren Allen @SirenAllen @lolasblogtours

I am pleased to be a part of this cover reveal organised by Lola’s Blog Tours. Check out more about this book below along with the cover and an excerpt. The book is available to pre-order at the special price of 99p/99c and there is also a giveaway at the end of the post for you to check out!

Interested in earlier books in the series? Here is Book 1 and Book 2!

Description

~The Half-Breed~

She is Izeria’Azhul, the long-lost daughter of my king. She was raised away from our people and knows nothing of her heritage. Our kind are a myth to her. She doesn’t believe we exist and there’s no way she’ll believe she’s one of us.

~The Beast~

I am Shun’Uhl, the soldier ordered to return her to my king’s side so she can marry a royal and produce an heir to save our people. To get her to trust me, I shed my beastly form and take on the form of someone she knows. I choose unwisely. The form I’ve selected is a male she despises.

~The Forbidden~

The more time I spend with her, the more she comes to like me. And though I’ve tried to resist, I find myself falling for her also. Her feelings for me will change once she learns of my deception and sees how I really look. Part of me wants to complete my mission and return her to her father. Another part of me wants to remain in this form forever and spend my life with Izeria.

I have a choice to make: be honest with the female I love and risk losing her or lie to her for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, the choice is made for me when we come under attack and I have to release my beast to protect her.

Now it is she who has to make a choice: Me and my beast or a kingdom?

Cover Reveal

claimed-by-the-succubus-siren-allen

Excerpt

My beast is trying to take over.

Even now, as I escort Izeria to the dining hall, he’s pushing against the barrier that separates drahken from dragon. He’s clawing at the barricade that keeps him inside. Moments ago, he came close to breaking free.

Not only did I hear his growl, so did Izeria. She assumed it was my stomach growling in hunger. Luckily, she’s too naïve to think the worst of me. She senses something is wrong, yet, she doesn’t want to believe me capable of deceiving her, of hurting her.

I should feel guilty for what I’m doing. I don’t. I can’t. Too much is riding on me getting her to my territory. My beast snorts his displeasure, unhappy with our current mission. It’s funny how he can kill viciously, yet he frowns upon lying to our half-breed princess.

I can feel him pacing the recesses of my mind. In this form, he cannot speak to me. Right now, that’s a good thing. I don’t want to hear his thoughts on what is happening. He knew what we’d have to do when we found her.

He knew we’d have to lie or maybe even kidnap her to achieve our goal. His feelings for her can’t change that. Nothing can change what has to be done. The lives of our people are more important than Izeria’s opinion of us.

When we arrive in the dining hall, I step to the side so she and her rodent can enter the room before me. I’m glad I did. The look on her face as she walks into the dining hall is priceless. It’s almost like she’s never been on a spacecraft before.

“This is the biggest dining hall I’ve ever been in. Not only on a ship, but on land also.”

She turns to me and smiles. For a moment, I forget how to breathe. I sense my beast’s pleasure, or is that my own? The line between what I want and what he wants is starting to blur.

About Siren Allen

Hi, my name is Siren Allen. I’m a writer and lover of all things supernatural and romantic. I reside in southern Mississippi where I write steamy romances that are guaranteed to make you blush. When I’m not listening to the characters in my head and jotting down their adventures, I am busy working as a Clinical Laboratory Technician.

I love to travel, preferably with my husband, so he can do all of the driving. I enjoy time with my family, who are just as silly as I am. My hobbies are reading, writing and shopping, though I hate trying on clothing. If I wasn’t a writer or a Laboratory Professional, I would probably be a Secret Agent.

But that’s the beauty of being a writer. You can create your own world and be whoever you want to be. In my imaginary world, I am Queen and my siblings are my minions.

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Enter the March Madness Giveaway for a chance to win a $10.00 Amazon or Nook gift card. Winner’s choice. Head over to Rafflecopter to enter now!

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Title: Claimed By The Succubus
Series: Succubus Nights #3
Author: Siren Allen
Genre: Science Fiction | Romance
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: TBA
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook
Pages: 203
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US