In My Hands

In My Hands

by Sathya Achia

Genre: YA Fantasy Adventure

Sixteen-year-old Chandra S. Chengappa, a competitive classical dancer, passes for an average American teenager. But she has a monster of a secret: She can see evil in the form of the rakshasi-a demon supposed to exist only in South Asian folklores.

After discovering a glowing disc hidden among a collection of ancient Indian artifacts in her mother’s yoga studio, Chandra starts having strange visions of a past she cannot remember, and the kind of future she does not want. The ruthless rakshasi wants what Chandra does not realize she has-a map to the Golden Trishula, a powerful, celestial weapon once wielded by the Hindu Goddess Durga-that controls the past, present, and future.

When tragedy strikes, Chandra and her sister are forced to leave their hometown in Virginia and travel to India to live in a remote jungle village devastated by the rakshasi. With the help of a cunning fortune teller, a fashion-forward Lambadi historian, a handsome daredevil, and a kind-hearted cow herder, Chandra must forge ahead into the unknown and prepare for the fight of her life before the people and the jungle she has fallen in love with are plunged into a supernatural darkness forever.

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Sathya Achia was born and raised in Ontario, Canada, where she grew up devouring books and playing along the pebbly shores of Lake Huron, before moving to the United States.
Sathya’s creative work is influenced by her South Indian Kodava culture. She grew up spending summers in the remote hills and enchanting jungles of the Western Ghats in India, where she learned the art of storytelling from her grandparents.
As a young reader, she missed seeing heroes like herself—of two worlds and cultures—so she enjoys writing stories inspired by her East meets West roots, mythology and folklore, and the natural world. She believes in the importance of diversity and representation in children’s literature and creates stories of adventure and discovery for picture book, middle grade, and young adult readers.
When not spinning stories, Sathya can be found trying a new yoga pose, exploring the great outdoors, traveling the world, or wrapped up in her greatest adventure of all: Motherhood.

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The Selective Mute Princess

The Selective Mute Princess
Samantha Jayne Grubey
Publication date: August 29th 2022
Genres: New Adult, Romance


Princess Amelia has been silent for ten years, ever since Amelia and Ava were kidnapped. One returned home the other did not. Amelia has always kept herself guarded with her twenty-first birthday approaching things are going to be changing.

Ethan Sparks is on his first assignment, guard the Princess in the Palace. The longer he’s there the more he finds himself being drawn to Princess Amelia, he can see she’s drowning and he wants to help.

Romantic interests stirs in a mixing pot of emotions as Amelia and her family recover from the kidnapping and murder of her sister. Unsure what to feel or who to believe, Amelia needs to find her truth, as she deals with her trauma and finally brings her family to mend. Along the way they find themselves hitting challenges at every wall. So many questions left unanswered by the kidnapping and murder, can she finally find the answers she’s searching for? Can Amelia finally allow herself to live and be freed from the guilt she feels? Can Ethan survive the challenges that come with falling for a Princess in line for the throne?


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EXCERPT:

I sent him a small smile and walked through the halls, entering the cinema room and grabbing the remote. Ethan shut the door, and I patted the seat next to me. I flicked through one of the many streaming services, finding Harry Potter.

“Which one is your favourite?”

I held my hand up, signalling five.

“Really? Some people think that is the worse one; it comes in at number three on my list of best Harry Potter films.”

I chuckled, laying my head on his chest. I was determined to make it through all eight films, and I hoped I could binge watch them all in one day. I pressed the first film, and it began to play. I had yet to find something better than watching a film with Ethan by my side.

The first film finished, and I lined up the second one, hitting pause. “Do you know sometimes I wish we could order a takeaway to the palace?”

Ethan laughed.

“I’m serious.”

“I know you are.” He laughed. “You could have it ordered, but by the time it’s gone through all the checks, it’d be cold. What are you fancying?”

“Chinese. I know the chef can cook, but sometimes a takeaway is needed,” I muttered. “Why?”

“I’ll go get us some. I should see if Katie wants anything.”

“You could invite your sister to watch films with us too, you know,” I said pointedly. “I don’t think I’ve actually gotten to spend time with her other than our initial meeting.”

“She’s being a brat,” Ethan muttered sourly.

“Ethan.”

He rolled his eyes. “She’s not opening up, and I don’t know how to deal with teenage Katie. I’m way out of my depth here… like oceans away out of my depth.”

“Teenage years are hard,” I told him. “Maybe all she needs to know is that you love her still. Have you told her lately?”

“She knows.”

“Ethan, teenagers always know, but have you said the words?” I asked, raising an eyebrow. “Have you told her lately? She’s clearly going through a lot, ignoring the fact that she can’t speak.”

“Okay, I’ll see if she wants to come with me,” he said. “What do you want?”

“Egg fried rice, chicken chow mien, vegetable spring rolls, Hawaiian chicken, and chicken balls,” I said as I watched him type it on his phone.

“I’ll be back soon. I’ll post a guard outside your door.”

I couldn’t help but roll my eyes slightly. He left the room, and I sighed. I wondered if it was time I invested in a phone. I stood up, opening the door and made the short walk to my room, ignoring the guard following me. If I ignored them, then I couldn’t see their looks. I grabbed my blanket and Mac and made my way back to the cinema room, waiting for Ethan to return.

I wrapped myself in the blanket and switched on the Mac. I loaded up Google Chrome and stared at the blank search engine. I still had no idea what my project would be. I suppose part of that was due to the fact that I knew nothing. Maybe it was time to go back to school. I typed in universities and began scrolling through them. I had no idea what I was even looking for. If I was going to take over as queen, then I should at least know more about our history. I mean, our history books were fine, but I didn’t want to just stick with what we had. I wanted to experience the outside world, and I knew convincing my parents would be the hardest part.

“I’m back.” I jumped a mile, shutting the laptop quickly. Holding a hand to my chest, I glanced at the clock and saw half an hour had passed. He chuckled. “You must have been really deep into whatever you were doing.” I held onto my chest, trying to calm my breathing. I had completely gotten lost in my research.

Ethan sat next to me, and I looked to see Katie had sat on the other side of Ethan. I waved, and she smiled and waved back.

“What were you looking at?” Ethan asked curiously.

I shrugged.

“If you won’t tell me, I’ll just assume it was porn. You naughty, naughty princess.”

I couldn’t help the giggle that escaped. Ethan was definitely something else. He sat next to me, handing me a plate with a lot of food and handed Katie hers, then he pressed play on the film. It had been so long since I had takeaway food. My parents tried to limit us, but every now and then, we managed to convince a nanny to sneak us out of the house. I picked up a vegetable spring roll and began to eat it as I concentrated on watching the second Harry Potter film.

As I looked at Ethan, I noticed our legs had become intertwined as they laid out in front of us. I couldn’t help but smile; everything felt easy with us. I didn’t know if that was good or bad, but Ethan made it easy.


Author Bio:

Samantha Jayne Grubey is an author of new adult romance.

When she’s not writing, reading, you can probably find her heading back to university for teaching training. If she’s not doing any of that then she’s probably playing sims (sims 3&2 are the best out of the franchise) or colouring.

Follow her on social media, learn all about the books at: https://www.samanthajaynegrubey.com

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Forgotten

Forgotten
J.L. Youngblood
Publication date: August 25th 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult


What if you lived another life?

A life you thought only existed in fairytales.

What happens when both worlds collide?

A silly accident puts Elle Worthington into a coma, and when she awakes, she can’t remember her name or anything about her life. She leaves the hospital and returns to a home that’s anything but ideal—her stepmother loathes her, her stepsister resents her, and her father’s a workaholic who’s rarely ever home.

She soon discovers that she is the head cheerleader and is dating Edward Kingsley, the golden-boy quarterback who’s madly in love with her. Everyone tells her how lucky she is to be with Edward, but for some strange reason, Elle is instead drawn to Rush Porter, her next-door neighbor—a brooding, reckless newcomer who’s too good looking for his own good! From the moment she sees him, he captures her attention and haunts her dreams, and he seems to know an awful lot about her.

When Elle goes to work for her eccentric aunt Adele who owns a chocolate shop, she begins to get a glimpse of another life—a magical life in which she was a simple peasant girl whose life changed forever the day she caught the eye of the prince. A girl who might have lived happily-ever-after had her heart not had other ideas.

She becomes trapped between loyalty and duty—betrayal and love, and a forbidden attraction so strong that it has the power to destroy her.

All is not as it seems on the surface. Dark forces are watching and waiting to claim what they deem to be theirs, and the fate of a kingdom rests in the hands of a girl who cannot remember who she is or where she came from.


Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Careful,” he warned, helped her get seated. He sat down and turned to face her, his expression concerned. “Your ankle? Is it hurting?”

She reassured him with a smile. “It’s fine. Thank you.”

Relief settled over his features. He took her hands in his and brought them to his lips where he planted a gentle kiss. “My love, I seek only to make you happy.

Why did he have to be so good? Guilt stabbed at her as she looked into his golden eyes. He was so sincere … so kind … so handsome. She could almost convince herself that she could live the lie and be the doting maiden he believed her to be. He was a prince, destined to be a king. How easy it would be to simply accept his love.

Even as she thought the words, her heart cried out, Traitor! And she knew she could never escape her innermost desires, for it was not the fair-haired prince with his genteel manners but the dark-haired rogue with the sharp tongue and stormy blue eyes that tormented her dreams.

If Edward was the sun, then Rushton was the shadow forever crossing over her heart. She loved Rushton—loved him with a passion that consumed all else.

At that moment, she longed to be far away from the complex life of the castle. She longed to be a simple peasant girl again—a girl who’d long ago given her heart to an impulsive, hot-tempered squire.


Author Bio:

Jennifer Youngblood is a USA Today Bestselling Author of clean romance, sweet romance, romantic comedy, and romantic suspense novels. For as long as she could remember, Jennifer has wanted to be an author. In those rare moments when she’s not dreaming up another story, Jennifer loves cooking, spending time with family, and occasionally breaking away from her hectic life to take spontaneous trips to exotic and sometimes not so exotic locations. She couldn’t survive in a world without chocolate, good books, family, and friends.

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Sounds Like Love

Sounds Like Love

by Laura Ford

Genre: YA Fiction, Coming Of Age

Wendy is a bright spark who wants to find love and travel the world, but she questions how her dreams can become a reality as her world changes around her.

When Wendy arrives at her beloved grandmother’s house to collect a box of keepsakes, she picks up more than she bargained for – a green-eyed tabby cat with amazing qualities. This is just the start of a high-speed adventure, leading Wendy towards bright new horizons… if only she’ll give the cat a chance…

Reviews:

A wonderful story . . . Author Laura Ford does a fantastic job of creating a story that flows well and keeps the reader captivated from beginning to end.’

-SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW

A tender, engaging narrative intended to inspire positivity in the face of adversity.’

-KIRKUS REVIEWS

Sounds Like Love offers readers an engaging story of a cat that holds unexpectedly special abilities, a grandchild learning to care for a pet while missing a significant person in her life, and an emotional roller coaster of love, empathy, and revised connections that stem from their relationship.’

-MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

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Laura Ford writes novels, short stories and poems across a wide range of human and animal experience. As Laura is an avid cat lover, a number of special felines tend to find their way into Laura’s stories as well.

Laura graduated with an honours degree in British law while also writing fiction in parallel. Now based in California with her husband and two beguiling Siamese cats, Laura most enjoys using her imagination and memories to paint vivid stories. An avid traveler and seeker, Laura is always exploring new concepts for more stories to come.

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Chasing Tarzan

Chasing Tarzan

by Catherine Forster

Genre: YA Memoir

In the 1960s, a relentless school bully makes Catherine’s life a living hell. She retreats inward, relying on a rich fantasy life––swinging through the jungle wrapped in Tarzan’s protective arms––and fervent prayers to a God she does not trust. She fasts until she feels faint, she ties a rough rope around her waist as penance, hoping God will see her worthy of His help.

As the second of eight children, Catherine is Mommy’s little helper, and like Mommy, Catherine is overwhelmed. The bullying and the adult responsibilities together foment her anger. She starts smacking her siblings, and becomes her younger sister’s nemesis. Spooked by who she is becoming, Catherine vows to escape for real, before she hurts someone—or herself.

Catherine finds salvation in a high school exchange program: new town, new school, new family, new persona. A passport celebrity. In New Zealand, nobody knows her history or her fears. Except for her Kiwi “mum,” who sees through Catherine’s façade and pulls her out from her inner safe-house.

Exposed, her sense of self implodes. Catherine must finally rethink who she is.

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Catherine Forster is an artist, filmmaker, and writer living in the Pacific Northwest … at the moment. Her work and love of travel have led her to six continents, including Sub-Saharan African, the source of her childhood fantasies. She still holds a fondness for Tarzan, but when trekking in the bush, hiking mountain trails, or exploring a new city, she prefers the company of her beloved husband Kevin.

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The Language of the Wind – Blitz

The Language of the Wind
M.R. Grand
Publication date: July 22nd 2022
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance, Young Adult


There aren’t enough bodies to harbor the demons of Olenore Allas.

One demon —a nameless and star-skinned creature—is plagued by the search for a perfect body, every day of their wispy life. Guided by nothing but the winds, they know they want nothing more than to be themself: mortal, beautiful, and loved. And who better to grant them that, than Junovere Krauss? A thief, a witch, hungry for a perfect demon to strike a deal with, to create a bond that will grant her the magic she’s longed for all her life. And in exchange, Juno promises her demon everything. A name, a voice, sight, hearing…and, of course, beauty.

The vain creature fights their devouring insecurities as Juno guards her secrets: that she needs this completed demon for her aunt, who has threatened to destroy her reputation before it’s even started. Complete the demon’s body, and their deal is complete, their bond broken. But Juno loses her magic forever. As Juno’s bond with her demon manifests into something more powerful than magic itself, she has to choose: magic, or freedom? Follow the demon and witch as they adventure over the bewitching Olenore Allas, a land that thrives on the law of balance. As they outsmart mortals, demons, and witches alike, they may slowly understand how willing they are to break the laws of balance for one another.

A dark fairytale rich with romance and a diverse cast that dives into the meaning of identity, and the relationship between a body and a soul, THE LANGUAGE OF THE WIND is the first installment of the BROKEN CHIMERA duology.


Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

It was painful, not being able to breathe.

The demon screamed. They had never felt such pain. They weren’t even sure they were supposed to feel pain, not until a body had been granted to them. But the way they felt — as though something was being ripped from them, like they were vanishing from this very world, dispersing back into the arms of the winds as dust —it must be pain. They tried to scream again, to call for the winds to save them, but the winds were nowhere. The winds had finally abandoned them after one too many failures.

What a horrible thought, to die without a body to be remembered by. The demon knew they would simply cease and never know any other mortal emotion except pain and burning.

There was no sound, no sight, without the winds. Just the overwhelming scent of blood and bones. They knew it was too good to be true, to follow something so close to the witch homes, the city built on stolen power. But after losing the small and frail child to that large demon, after wandering and growing bored of the company of the winds, the demon was desperate.

Too good to be true. Too good.

Then, another feeling—something being pressed into the demon’s shriveling form, like seeds being shoved beneath the earth, planting something new. More pieces found the demon, like rocks grinding between one another, trying to make a perfect fit, to mold the demon into shape.

Fear suddenly grasped the demon. This was not someone mourning a death; this was not an accident. The demon was being bound by a witch. They could feel their long fingers, the foreign additions being given, pieces of a body that their form was claiming…all the stories were true, then.

Witches were the true monsters of this world.

Breathe, the witch commanded in the language of the wind.

Instant relief flooded the demon as they obeyed. A cavity opened, and the winds were back, flooding their being. They could feel themself rush back into place, fluid and fluctuating…and yet not.

Something is very wrong with them. Something very wrong, indeed.

Open your eye, demon, commanded the witch. See what I have given you.

Eye? An eye? The demon did feel as though they were blind, like there was more to behold than what the winds whispered to them. Taking orders from a witch, however, was not ideal. Not after nearly choking into nothingness, after having to figure out exactly what state they were in.

Their form felt split—like limbs—except there is no skin; they know that. Something is tied around the lower half of them, like a chain of some sort. The demon did not like this. Not one bit. The winds now flowed through the cavity the witch gave them—something like clay resting inside—and then the grinding rocks.

Open. Your. Eye.

At last, the demon obeyed.

The world was bright. It burned and was much smaller in such a windowed space. Their breath quickened, the cavity—mouth —opening and closing as they braced the ground, the winds tickling their form as if apologizing. And then, the demon faced their captor, the monster who bound them so deceitfully.

A woman—yes, a woman—of young age. Her skin was dark, but not nearly as dark as her voided eyes. Her hair brushed her chin in waved kissed by the winds, the color like the sheen of crows. Her strong brows are lowered, her dress like deep green petals of the forests, laid against a full and curved figure. And her ears—just as the stories had said—were butterfly wings that granted them the language of the wind, wings of purple and silver, flared in challenge.

“You — ” the demon breathed, testing their voice for the very first time. “You are — hideous.


Author Bio:

M.R. Grand is the author of The Language of the Wind, her first novel (that she actually finished.) She grew up on classic DreamWorks, barbie films, and a lot of comics. With those being her foundation, she wanted nothing more than to make stories and art that took people to places where fairytales felt real. She currently lives somewhere in the mountains as a full-time creator. You can find her on Instagram @emargrand and hopefully other places soon. She’s not very good at the whole website thing yet.


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Keys to Eternity

The De-Coding of Jo: Keys To Eternity

Ascending Angel Academy Book 3

by Lali A. Love

Genre: YA SciFi Dark Fantasy

A Phantom Cult
A Shattering Deception
A Powerful Prophecy

Lust, greed, destruction. Humanity has fallen into an inverted matrix. Menacing energy vampires are hunting Jo’s best friends and siphoning the souls of StarSeeds. To save everyone she loves from extinction, Jo must collapse the false Phantom timeline using Stargate portals and time hops into the ancient Age of Lemuria.

Jo and Alicia reunite with Roma and legendary mythical Warriors. They trek through the enchanted Luminary Realms to fulfill the violet flame prophecy of the seven Eternal Archive Spheres. As the Plague of Chaos descends on innocence, the chosen Master Alchemist must embody Metatron’s organic keys to resurrect the modern timeline.

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The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance

Ascending Angel Academy Book 1

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The De-Coding of Jo: Blade of Truth

Ascending Angel Academy Book 2

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Lali A. Love ™️ is an award-winning author and Amazon bestseller of dark fantasy, science fiction, paranormal thriller, and metaphysical poetry. She has received a NYC Big Book Award in Poetry Anthology, the Global e-Book Gold Award, the Elite Choice Gold Award, the Book of Excellence Award, the Queer Indie Lit Youth Gold Award, and the International Reader’s Favorite Gold Award for quality and powerful storytelling.

Her mission is to empower, enlighten, and entertain her readers by bridging the concepts of spirituality with gripping visionary fiction.

Lali aspires to write stimulating, inclusive, thought-provoking, and relevant character-based novels that relate to modern-day issues and invoke an emotional response in her readers. She has studied epistemology and metaphysics to further her understanding of the Universal Laws of Energy.

As an intuitive, alchemist, and energy healer, Lali intends to help elevate levels of consciousness by shining the light on sensitive subject matter to assist individuals in their healing journeys. She is an advocate for self-love, self-actualization, voicing authentic truths, equality, diversity, unity, women, and children.

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All-Star Love – Blitz

All-Star Love
Stephanie J. Scott
(A Six Lakes Tennis Academy Novel)
Publication date: May 24th 2022
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Young Adult


An enemies-to-more fake dating romance set in the world of competitive tennis
Maisie Maxwell planned for a senior year of dazzling college scouts by playing her best tennis. Instead, her beloved tennis training academy is thrown into scandal when the academy founder and head coach, who happens to be her uncle, takes off to Tahiti with the school’s tuition money. Her classmates label her a traitor, but she commits to graduate from the school she loves.

Only her aim to lay low is thwarted by the school’s last-ditch hope to stay open, a new partnership with reality show The Academy.

Also not helping her stay-under-the-radar plan? A wayward forehand shot that nails transfer student Shane Wagner in the face on day one. Shane, obnoxiously gorgeous for starters, is the current number one nationally seeded player in junior boys’ tennis. Oops.

Everyone at school sees Shane as an outsider and fame-seeker. He’s just as much an outcast as Maisie. While reality show producers push for chaos, Shane and Maisie band together with their own idea: pretend to be together and control the narrative.

But the savvy head producer has her own agenda, and it’s not collegiate tennis scholarships. Shane and Maisie need to play hard to save the school before they’re outmatched.


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EXCERPT:

I put all my strength into my next forehand. The ball torpedoed over the net, not even bothering to bounce within the court. Nope, that sucker was headed for the fences. If this was baseball, it’d be time to break out the peanuts and Cracker Jack.

Too bad this wasn’t baseball.

“Ahh!”

A figure in the distance went down, knees to the court. A crowd of students suddenly appeared, gasping and rushing over.

“You hit him!” someone shrieked.

My breath lodged in my throat. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I jogged over, terrified to breathe until I knew my accidental victim was okay.

Caleb directed a dirty scowl at me. “You really are the worst, Maxwell.”

I angled to see the fallen student. “I’m so sorry!”

“Oh, Maisie.” Nia mumbled, now beside me.

“I’m okay,” the guy on the ground said, attempting to stand despite the crowd. His head emerged, sun-bleached brown hair unkempt and curling over a tanned forehead. That perfectly shaggy hair some guys could get away with. He wasn’t a returning student. The face turning toward me could easily belong on a clothing website, the kind with ninety-dollar T-shirts with holes in them for a distressed look. Basically, he was very attractive.

A swath of blood streaked across that very attractive face.

That part was definitely my fault.

Sorry floated across my tongue, but my lips couldn’t form the word under the pressure of so many glaring classmates. Any hope of being an admired senior this year shriveled and burned like a tissue set aflame.

He accepted a clean towel and pressed it to his nose. “I expected I might not be welcome here, but your forehand really confirmed it.”

“Way to go, Maxwell,” Caleb said with a sneer. “You just nailed Shane Wagner in the face.”

Oh. Wait, what? “You’re … you’re—”

“Shane Wagner,” the bloody-faced model boy said through the towel.

Shane Wagner. The Shane Wagner. I just nailed the face of the number one-seeded player in junior boys’ tennis.

Author Bio:

Stephanie J. Scott writes young adult and romance about characters who put their passions first. Her debut ALTERATIONS about a fashion-obsessed loner who reinvents herself was a Romance Writers of America RITA® award finalist. She enjoys dance fitness, everything cats, and has a slight obsession with Instagram. A Midwest girl at heart, she resides outside of Chicago with her tech-of-all-trades husband and fuzzy furbabies.

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Liquid Foundations- Blitz

Liquid Foundations
Lisa Acerbo
(Hell in a Handbag, #3)
Publication date: April 13th 2022
Genres: New Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Zombies


Even the most solid foundation can be shaken.

No place is safe anymore, and I’m on the run from something new.

The putrid stink of zombies has been replaced by sulfur, feces, and wet dog. The High Point Inn has been abandoned, the landscape plagued by the unimaginable, animal-hybrids. Wolves and bears rise from the grave or maybe they never died. Sure, the hordes of undead humans are diminishing, but whatever lies in wait is faster, smarter, and spurned by the devil himself.

With Caleb, Lilly, and Eric at my side, I search for friends and suFictiorvivors. But the new evil has arrived.

I can’t run quick enough.

The wolves are here, and they’re hungry, not to mention cunning and cruel. Endless rains force my group underground and into a cave system. Lost in the interminable, pitch-black subterranean tunnels, I struggle to keep my sanity and my life. There’s only one place in the world that makes sense anymore, and that’s where my friends are.

If I can survive the dark and the zombie wolves, Hopewell, Maine, here I come.


Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Her eyes found the offending window, and the Streaker who launched through it. What had once been a squat man in a flannel shirt and jeans had turned into a distended corpse in blood-crusted rags, its bloated stomach exposed for all. The Streaker wore a wrinkled face with the consistency of a peach left too long in the sun. One arm hung limp, fingers gnawed away.

Did something do that to the Streaker, or did it eat away at its own flesh?

The monster staggered to the curb and stopped, pointing its chin to the sky, and taking in a breath through black, decayed nostrils. Its next meal had arrived, served up and ready to be consumed. Patches of skin had been torn away, exposing the rot that lived underneath. With a mewl, it lumbered at Jenna. The Streaker’s stare met her with singular intent. Eyes dead and unblinking, it closed the distance between them. She equaled food, and the risen dead was hungry.

In a practiced motion, Jenna released her bowie knife from the sheath on her belt. The monster stumbled over a garbage can in its path. Moving close, it reached out.

“What’s that smell?” Jenna ducked and swung low and hard. “Step back, foul one. God, you reek. Haven’t bathed in forever I’d guess. Personal hygiene not a priority these days?”

The Streaker growled in response and stretched a mottled, pus-clotted arm to grab her camo jacket.

“They’re slower than they used to be, Jenna, but don’t get too smug. The bite might not kill you, but the infection can.” Lilly tilted her head. “Need help?”

Eric moved closer, a similar knife in his hand. “Don’t worry. I got you covered.”

Jenna kicked at the creature. “Eric and I can handle this.”

The Streaker staggered back, but then surged forward again. “I’ll keep watch.” Lilly surveyed their surroundings. “Where there’s one, more to come.”

“Did you just make that up?” Eric asked.

“I like to rhyme,” Lilly said. “Appears clear.”

“One of your many talents.” Eric sent a smile her way and turned back to face the enemy.

“Come here, big boy.” Jenna took a step back into the center of the road where less debris meant less to trip over.

“Me or the monster?” Eric joked.

The Streaker trailed Jenna, the remains of its ragged flannel shirt fluttering open. Guts leaked out of its sliced chest cavity and slipped out of the tattered remains of clothing.

Jenna gagged. “There’s something no girl ever wants to see. Put it away and be a gentleman.”

“The gentlemanly thing to do would be to find dinner somewhere else.” Eric moved behind the creature. The undead mewled.

“That’s all you got for me?” She stepped back, hoisted the bowie blade, and slashed. The knife embedded itself between the creature’s eyes. She sliced higher. The blade released with a pucker. She stepped back. The zombie closed in. “Guess I missed my mark.” Jenna dodged the lumbering monster.

Eric’s knife slashed the Streaker’s back with a repeated, steady swing. Strips of skin and black goo melted to the ground.

Jenna sliced across the creature’s neck, stabbed, and drew her knife away, hearing the suck of release. She skidded back. “Why won’t it die?” Jenna eyed the creature for a weakness.

“Maybe you have bad aim.” Eric carved out new wounds, but the monster stretched its arm making it impossible to get close.

“Could be that it’s already dead.” Jenna frowned. “I have great aim and practice a lot more than you to make sure I never lose it.”

“I’m younger and more fit.”

“We’ll see about that.” Jenna moved behind the writhing creature. She hoped to catch it unaware, but the monster spun, its lifeless eyes meeting hers. Jenna jumped back and huffed out a breath. “So much for the element of surprise.” She’d better practice those battle skills a few more hours a day.

“What’s the plan?” Eric sidestepped to refocus the Streaker’s attention on him. “More firepower? Bring out the big guns?”

“Don’t want to attract more.”

Eric scooted close and then backed away. “I’ll draw its attention. You finish it from the rear.”

“Sounds like a firm plan.”

“Not in this case.”

Jenna eyed the undead. “True. Very saggy from this view.”

“Get on with it, you two.” Lilly waved a hand at them. “I don’t want to hang around here any longer than I have to.”

Author Bio:

Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and adjunct faculty at a local community college. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, two dogs, and horse. When not writing, she mountain bikes, hikes, and fosters dogs.

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Biblical Retellings – Tour

All Things Are Possible

Biblical Retellings Book 5

by C.A. Gray

Genre: Biblical Fiction

Stories of the miraculous abound in the Bible: the parting of the Red Sea. David and Goliath. Daniel and the Lion’s Den. Nebuchadnezzar’s Fiery Furnace. Jonah and the Whale. Many of us learned of them on felt boards in Sunday School class, and might know them so well that we have subconsciously relegated them to the realm of myth and fairy tale. But have you ever considered what it might have been like to live through those incredible stories—without knowing how they end?

These stories and more are brought to life in All Things Are Possible, told through the eyes of the main character. As with the other books in the Biblical Retellings series, the fictionalized retelling is followed by an afterword explaining why I made the decisions I did in the story, and finally the scriptures themselves. Protagonists include prophets, prisoners, warriors, and kings, ranging from the budding nation of Israel to the glorious New Jerusalem, as seen by John the Apostle in the book of Revelation. What unites these tales is the common thread of the supernatural, depicting God’s goodness and mighty power exercised on behalf of those who trusted in Him.

That same power is still available to us today. Jesus promised that with God, all things are possible (Mark 11:27)—and He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

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Blood Covenant Fulfilled

Biblical Retellings Book 4

God is a covenant making, covenant keeping God. From the dawn of prehistory, God’s dealings with mankind can be understood through the lens of covenant: a binding agreement of unending loyalty and faithfulness. His early covenants with mankind were one-sided, requiring very little from men in return. All of that changed with the birth of the nation of Israel, and her deliverance from slavery in Egypt through Moses.

The Mosaic covenant, also known throughout the Bible as “the law,” encompassed the rest of the Old Testament books through the death and resurrection of Jesus. With the perspective of hindsight, we know now that God neither expected nor intended for Israel to keep the law perfectly. Instead, He wanted them to recognize that their best human attempts would inevitably fail. What they needed was a savior who could do it for them (Romans 7:13-25): one perfect kinsman of Adam, who could redeem all mankind from the predicament of the fall, and restore God’s family to Him. This was always the goal, from the very beginning.

This second volume of the Blood Covenant duology picks up with Moses, God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt and His institution of the law. Israel’s early interactions with God can only be understood in the context of this covenant, set against the backdrop of a heavenly war. It carries through to Jesus’ initiation of the New Covenant of His blood, and finally to the prophecy of His return through the eyes of John. Each chapter begins with a fictionalized retelling, followed by an afterword discussion of commentaries and why I made the choices I did in the stories. Finally, they include the original scriptures. Blood Covenant Fulfilled is the story of how God united both His justice and His mercy in one staggering sacrifice that changed the world for all time.

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Blood Covenant Origins

Biblical Retellings Book 3

One of the most common arguments against Christianity is that the God of the Old Testament seemed so drastically different than the God of the New Testament. In the Old, many claim He seemed cruel and capricious, while in the New, He suddenly became a God of love and tolerance. Yet Jesus said, “If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father” (John 14:9), and the writer of Hebrews tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). If God hasn’t changed, how do we explain the apparent difference? The answer lies in a long-forgotten word: covenant.

Covenants play little to no role in our world today, but in ancient times they were all-important. Treaties between individuals, tribes, and kingdoms took the form of blood covenants. These were much stronger than our modern concept of a contract, which can be broken by finding clever legal loopholes or sometimes simply by a decision not to honor one’s word. By contrast, covenants were bonds broken only by death, and at times extending to the progeny of the two making the original agreement. Ancient covenants entailed unending loyalty and faithfulness, and often included the union of all assets, liabilities, and responsibilities between the parties. Most cultures had such a concept. They got the idea from God, who keeps His covenants to a thousand generations (Deuteronomy 7:9). But in order to make such treaties with mankind, God had to find a willing human participant.

This collection of biblical retellings explores the covenants between God and Adam, Noah, and Abraham, and how these covenants (or the lack of them) affected His dealings with mankind at various times. Each chapter begins with a fictionalized retelling, followed by an afterword discussion of commentaries and why I made the choices I did in the stories. Finally, they include the original scriptures. God’s ultimate goal was always love and grace for all mankind, and yet He had to balance this with justice, as well as with honoring His own original word. Blood Covenant Origins is the story of how He began the process that ultimately led to the cross.

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Daughters of Zion

Biblical Retellings Book 2

Have you ever wondered what it was like for Eve to be the first woman, created as an adult but with the mind of a child? What must it have been like for Deborah to be the only female judge in Israel’s history? Ever considered how Esther felt about being chosen as queen in the ungodly kingdom of Persia—particularly when she’d have to share her husband with a harem? What must Mary and Martha have thought when their brother Lazarus had died, and it looked to them like Jesus was not coming?

This collection of retellings from the perspectives of women in scripture explores these stories and more, including a few stories from female perspectives that also appear in Messiah: Biblical Retellings. While all of these women lived in various patriarchal cultures, and some of the most prominent women were even Gentiles, scripture shows that God cherished them all. As the Apostle Paul writes, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28)—and this was true for believing women under the old covenant as well, whose faith was counted to them as righteousness.

These are tales of miracles and victory: from brokenness, bitterness and envy to shalom: peace and wholeness, with nothing missing and nothing broken. For some, this meant a transition from barrenness to motherhood; for others, from widowhood to love and belonging. Still others went from bereavement to receiving their dead restored to life again. They included judges and queens, and also prostitutes and despised foreigners. God is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11, Acts 10:25): what He does for one, He will do for all who believe in His promises.

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Messiah

Biblical Retellings Book 1

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to be one of the five thousand when Jesus multiplied the fish and the loaves? Or one of his disciples when he walked on water? Or to have seen Lazarus come out of the tomb? Ever wonder what Mary thought when Gabriel told her she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit, or what the fallout was like in her personal life? Ever considered how those two disciples felt on the road to Emmaus, when they found that the man with whom they had been talking was in fact their risen Lord?

This collection of retellings from the gospels is designed to bring each of these stories and more to life in your imagination. They stick to the facts wherever the facts are known, from either the scriptures themselves or from extra-biblical commentaries. But they also add in back story when necessary, reimagining the sights, the sounds, the colors, and the emotions for the person most involved. Each retelling ends with an afterword discussion, summarizing the reasons for the choices made in the story, followed by the scriptures themselves.

Together, I hope these retellings help to paint a portrait of the Messiah.

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C.A. Gray is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD), with a primary care practice in Tucson, Arizona. She has always been captivated by the power of a good story, fictional or otherwise, which is probably why she loves holistic medicine: a patient’s physical health is invariably intertwined with his or her life story, and she believes that the one can only be understood in context with the other. For freebies, giveaways, and new release info, sign up for her newsletter at http://eepurl.com/F3rof.

Her favorite fictional tales have always been epic battles of good versus evil, with a strong tendency towards parable. An idealist herself, she has always been convinced that these stories have something deeply true to tell us about the human condition, and that is why we love them so much… or at least that’s why she does.

She still wants to be everything when she grows up. She moonlights as a college chemistry teacher (she has a degree in biochemistry, with minors in Spanish and Creative Writing), does theater when she gets the chance, sings, plays piano, was once a personal trainer and in coffee shop management. She is blessed with exceptionally supportive family and friends, and thanks God for them every single day.

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