Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Virtual Book Tour: Pure Healing by @megami771 #interview #paranormal




Paranormal, Fantasy Romance
Date Published: November 8, 2017 (paperback); May 4, 2012 (kindle)

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Enter the world of Pure Ones, a race of immortal, supernaturally powerful beings who protect humankind, where sexual intercourse with anyone other than one’s Eternal Mate leads to a slow, painful death within thirty days.

The Healer of the race, Rain, is the only exception to this rule. She must take a Consort once every ten years and draw strength from his blood and body. Valerius, Protector of the race, is the strongest candidate.

Despite their instant attraction, Valerius has staunchly avoided applying to be the Healer’s Consort. The brutality and violence he suffered as a Roman sex slave in his human life ate away at his soul, leaving a dark abyss of torment and self-doubt.

Now, as Rain’s strength drains with every healing act, Valerius cannot escape the fact that he may be the only one who can save her, and in so doing, afford his people greater hope for the future as battles intensify.



Interview


What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Finding the time! With two boys under the age of 5, a full-time job in Corporate America that requires frequent travel across multiple projects, it’s hard to stay on top of everything.
The second hardest part is my writing approach. I love the writing process because it’s about 50% planned, 50% unplanned for me, and it organically evolves as I write. It’s extremely enjoyable in that sense because I—as the writer—am also breathless with anticipation over what happens next—the characters and plot sometimes take a life of their own. On the other hand, when there are many threads to weave together into a coherent, well-designed tapestry, wrangling all the pieces together can take some extra creativity at times.


What songs are most played on your Ipod?

I listen to a variety of songs from different cultures, usually all pop songs, many of which inspire my writing, character and “mood” development. I like US and British pop, some Chinese, a lot of Korean pop, Latin, etc.
When I think about my stories, it’s like watching a movie unfolding. As with any movie, there’s a soundtrack. And characters in my novels might be closely associated with certain songs. Here are some of the songs that go through my head when the movie reel of my stories play out in my imagination.
  1. Enigma – “Sadeness”: Classic and haunting. I think of this when I envision the “ancient ones” during the Akkadian empire, before the time of the Great War.
  2. Linkin Park – “In the End”: Almost any song by Linkin Park and Evanescence conjures fighting scenes for me. Gothic, dark, slick and kick-ass.
  3. Nine Inch Nails – "Closer”: This is, for me, Ere’s theme song J I’ll leave it at that.
  4. Hoobastank – “The Reason”: This song reminds me of Dalair. We get hints in Book 1, Pure Healing, that he might have done something regrettable or was in a difficult situation in the past, and it might be related to a woman he loved/s. This song might get at his POV a little.
  5. Jason Chen – "Time Machine" (the version that’s remixed at a lower octave): It’s less about the words and more about the voice (lower octave version) and the melody that reminds me of Ryu Takamura (Book 3). See the video of the actor from whom I modeled Ryu in a fan-made music video compilation from one of his dramas. See him walk (you’ll understand why I’m obsessed with his walk in Book 3). And hear his voice (also part of the obsession).


Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

For Pure Healing I did have a fellow author critique partner, who was very helpful in her feedback. For example, one suggestion was to let the world building unfold through the eyes and voices of the characters, rather than launch into pages-long descriptions about background and context. In some sense, my series, the Pure/Dark Ones, is paranormal fantasy romance. There’s a lot of world building that epic fantasy readers are familiar with and appreciate, but it’s not every paranormal reader’s cup of tea. In striking the balance between the two, I might not be able to please both. But it’s a balance I continuously try to strike.

What book are you reading now?
I pre-order just about anything from Julie Anne Long, Tessa Dare and Mary Balogh. I love Regency/Victorian romances. I’m also a huge fan of J.R. Ward.

How did you start your writing career?
Writing as a lifetime passion and love probably started when I learned how to write. My father made me write a story in my journal every day from the age of six, which he would come home to grade at the end of each week. I’ve won every writing contest my teachers entered me in all through primary, secondary education and college, but my family is extremely “practical” and forbade me to pursue any type of creative or artistic career (art is my other passion). To feed the writing demon inside, I just wrote for the pleasure of it. My first novel was written by age thirteen; I finished 5 novels within the next 5 years. I can’t say now that they were any good, but one literary agent told me there was a lot of potential.
I didn’t get much sleep as a teenager. It would take many years after that to pick it up again, as I built a safety net of “practicality.”



Dark Longing is the second book in the Pure/Dark Ones series, told from the POV of the “vampires.” The first one in the series, Pure Healing sets up the world of the Pure Ones and you get their POV about the vampires. Both books can be read separately, though it might be more fun to read in order. In fact, I recently read backwards from Book 4 to 3 to 2 to 1 and liked that approach just as well.
Dark Longing is ultimately about star-crossed lovers who triumph over seemingly impossible odds, including a few millennia’s worth of time and distance! If you’re dying to believe in True Love, this book will definitely provide the inspiration.
There are new and ongoing side stories, all part of the larger world building, mysteries to be solved, a baddie you can’t help but root for, and lots of really HOT sex scenes. J
On a personal note, I started writing Dark Longing immediately after Pure Healing, but my mother passed away from cancer as I was about a fourth of the way in. Some of the events around her last days fed into the book itself, and after she passed, my inspiration dried up for about 5 years, which was why it took so long to come out with Book 2 when Book 1 was published in 2012.
When I picked it back up, the story completely changed in my head—for the better.
So I hope you all like it!
As for Pure Healing, the book that started it all, it’s still one of my favorites. At the center is the love story between Valerius and Rain, both with terrible pasts and emotional obstacles to overcome, which of course they do! True Love will always win the day!

Here’s the book description:

Enter the world of Pure Ones, a race of immortal, supernaturally powerful beings who protect humankind, where sexual intercourse with anyone other than one’s Eternal Mate leads to a slow, painful death within thirty days. 

The Healer of the race, Rain, is the only exception to this rule. To harness and accumulate enough energy to heal severe wounds, especially as the war between her people and the vampire hordes accelerates, she must take a Consort once every ten years and draw strength from his blood and body. But as the war wears on, few Pure-males who are strong enough to serve as her Consort remain. Valerius, Protector of the race, is the strongest candidate.

Despite their instant attraction ten years ago when they first met, Valerius has staunchly avoided applying to be the Healer’s Consort. The brutality and violence he suffered as a Roman sex slave in his human life ate away at his soul, leaving a dark abyss of torment and self-doubt.

Now, as Rain’s strength drains with every healing act, Valerius cannot escape the fact that he may be the only one who can save her, and in so doing, afford his people greater hope for the future as battles intensify. 

Will Rain and Valerius find their way to each other as the struggles between good and evil evolve?



About the Author

Aja has been writing stories since the age of six, and novels since the age of thirteen. While she'd be the first to admit that those early efforts weren't particularly good, she sure loved putting them down on paper!

The best part of writing, according to Aja, is that it’s completely organic, the way the stories develop. When the inspiration hits, she writes just so she herself can learn where the characters are headed because oftentimes, they take her by surprise! It is her ultimate dream to share her stories with as many readers as she possibly can.

Her other loves include art, cooking, old movies (anything with Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Robert Redford, Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Clark Gable, and all the song and dance numbers because she can’t watch them and not be happy!)

She adores taking long walks with her husband and running after her two rambunctious kids. She has traveled extensively (all seven continents except Antarctica) and has a multi-cultural upbringing. She speaks two and a half languages and binge watch TV shows when the mood strikes.

Aja has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Comparative Literature and Economics and two Master’s degrees, one of which is in East Asian Studies.


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Monday, January 22, 2018

Virtual Book Tour: Searching for Gertrude by @dehaggerty #review #giveaway



Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Date Published: January 22, 2018

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While growing up in Germany in the 1930s, Rudolf falls in love with the girl next door, Gertrude. He doesn’t care what religion Gertrude practices but the Nazis do. When the first antisemitic laws are enacted by the Nazi government, Gertrude’s father loses his job at the local university. Unable to find employment in Germany, he accepts a position at Istanbul University and moves the family to Turkey. Rudolf, desperate to follow Gertrude, takes a position working at the consulate in Istanbul with the very government which caused her exile. With Rudolf finally living in the same city as Gertrude, their reunion should be inevitable, but he can’t find her. During his search for Gertrude, he stumbles upon Rosalyn, an American Jew working as a nanny in the city. Upon hearing his heartbreaking story, she immediately agrees to help him search for his lost love. Willing to do anything in their search for Gertrude, they agree to work for a British intelligence officer who promises his assistance, but his demands endanger Rudolf and Rosalyn. As the danger increases and the search for Gertrude stretches on, Rudolf and Rosalyn grow close, but Rudolf gave his heart away long ago. 

How far would you go to find the woman you love?

Review

Do you like to be swept off to a different time and place? If yes, this is definitely a great choice. I loved the way that Jeanette really sets the scene for novel. I was completely immersed in the year and it felt real to me. Kudos to her for doing her research. 

The characters were probably my favorite part. I really enjoyed each of their stories. I didn't feel like anyone was out of place or didn't fit. 

The plot was smooth and I liked the way it flowed from chapter to chapter. A quick and easy read and overall great Historical Novel.

About the Author


I grew-up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom's Harlequin romances, to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

Searching for Gertrude is my twelfth book.




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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Virtual Book Tour: Dark Longing by @megami771 #paranormal #fantasy #romance #interview

Paranormal / Fantasy Romance
Date Published: January 18, 2018

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Dark Longing’s central characters are Inanna and Gabriel. She is a vampire warrior, one of Queen Jade Cicada’s Chosen guard, and has lived for several millennia. She is also one of the few remaining True Bloods in the world, vampires who are born, not made. He is a human, a widower and father who would sacrifice all for those he loves. Unbeknownst to Gabriel, he also possesses a Pure soul and has an ancient past, as well as a future destiny, that is inextricably entwined with Inanna.

Fate (and a helping hand from Gabriel’s dying wife) has thrown them together in this present age as joint guardians of Benjamin, the son of Gabriel’s heart if not his body. An avalanche of expenses and debts compel Gabriel to enter a deadly network of fight clubs to earn some quick cash, but pulling out of the club is not as easy, as he quickly becomes the spectator favorite.

Meanwhile, the Chosen has been working to eradicate the masterminds behind the fight clubs, which not only result in an increasing number of gory human deaths, but also threaten to expose the Dark Ones to the world at large. In a rare concerted effort, the vampires and their nemesis – the Pure Ones – come together to pursue a common enemy.

To protect Benji from harm, Gabriel risks his life once more in the fight clubs and is almost killed by an unknown vampire assassin. In order to save him, Inanna breaks the sacred laws of her Kind, including turning a human and taking him as her Blooded Mate. What’s worse, they discover after the fact that Gabriel has a Pure soul. A union between Dark and Pure Ones has been strictly forbidden since the dawn of time for reasons no one fully knew.

While the Chosen makes progress with slowing down the expansion of the fight clubs, they uncover new information that points to a traitor in their own midst. Gabriel has a rough adjustment to his new state of being as a vampire, at the same time struggling to make sense of his relationship with Inanna, with whom he’s felt an instant and irresistible connection from the first moment they met. Inanna, on the other hand, devotes her heart and soul totally to love her Mate, just as she had loved his previous incarnation in her youth many millennia ago. To save her from pain, Gabriel’s ancient self, Alad, had her memories erased of him until he could find her again in another life.

Through her newly-forged friendship with the Pure Ones, including their young queen Sophia, Inanna discovers that not only is she a True Blood, but that her mother was a Dark Princess and her father was a Pure warrior and the leader of the Rebellion that led to the destruction of the Dark empire. She is the offspring from this union, and she has a twin brother who all the records say had died. Inanna also finds clues that at least her father might still be alive, and perhaps her mother as well.

By now Gabriel has fully accepted his new lease on life and is determined to help in the war against vampire rogues and their human conspirators any way he can. He has also accepted Inanna fully into his heart, having fallen for her all over again in his present incarnation. But the vampire assassin who threatened them before reveals herself again to challenge Inanna for the right to claim Gabriel as her Blood Slave and takes him prisoner to use against Inanna in the final death match.

Inanna goes with eyes wide open to the site of the challenge and fights the vampire who used to be her comrade. To distract her, the vampire holds Gabriel captive and deals him mortal wounds for every wound Inanna deals her. The ploy works, and Inanna loses concentration, suffering a mortal wound herself.

Inanna and Gabriel’s deaths trigger their Awakening, a process by which those with Pure souls embrace their past lives with all their memories and gifts. When they regain consciousness, they rejoin the battle already waging between the vampire assassins and the Chosen and Pure allies. They win this battle, and together, Inanna and Gabriel execute the traitor who plotted to usurp the Dark Queen.

But the war is not won. The battle between the vampires, humans and Pure Ones was recorded and uploaded onto the Internet to spur the growth of new fight clubs and potentially hastening the widespread exposure of the immortal races to humans. Meanwhile, Inanna and Gabriel rediscover each other with full knowledge of their ancient past. They plan to search for Inanna’s father with the aid of the Pure Ones.

The future is not yet written. Inanna and Gabriel would face the unknown together. Forevermore.


Interview

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Finding the time! With two boys under the age of 5, a full-time job in Corporate America that requires frequent travel across multiple projects, it’s hard to stay on top of everything.
The second hardest part is my writing approach. I love the writing process because it’s about 50% planned, 50% unplanned for me, and it organically evolves as I write. It’s extremely enjoyable in that sense because I—as the writer—am also breathless with anticipation over what happens next—the characters and plot sometimes take a life of their own. On the other hand, when there are many threads to weave together into a coherent, well-designed tapestry, wrangling all the pieces together can take some extra creativity at times.


What songs are most played on your Ipod?

I listen to a variety of songs from different cultures, usually all pop songs, many of which inspire my writing, character and “mood” development. I like US and British pop, some Chinese, a lot of Korean pop, Latin, etc.
When I think about my stories, it’s like watching a movie unfolding. As with any movie, there’s a soundtrack. And characters in my novels might be closely associated with certain songs. Here are some of the songs that go through my head when the movie reel of my stories play out in my imagination.
  1. Enigma – “Sadeness”: Classic and haunting. I think of this when I envision the “ancient ones” during the Akkadian empire, before the time of the Great War.
  2. Linkin Park – “In the End”: Almost any song by Linkin Park and Evanescence conjures fighting scenes for me. Gothic, dark, slick and kick-ass.
  3. Nine Inch Nails – "Closer”: This is, for me, Ere’s theme song J I’ll leave it at that.
  4. Hoobastank – “The Reason”: This song reminds me of Dalair. We get hints in Book 1, Pure Healing, that he might have done something regrettable or was in a difficult situation in the past, and it might be related to a woman he loved/s. This song might get at his POV a little.
  5. Jason Chen – "Time Machine" (the version that’s remixed at a lower octave): It’s less about the words and more about the voice (lower octave version) and the melody that reminds me of Ryu Takamura (Book 3). See the video of the actor from whom I modeled Ryu in a fan-made music video compilation from one of his dramas. See him walk (you’ll understand why I’m obsessed with his walk in Book 3). And hear his voice (also part of the obsession).


Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

For the first book in the series I did have a fellow author critique partner, who was very helpful in her feedback. For example, one suggestion was to let the world building unfold through the eyes and voices of the characters, rather than launch into pages-long descriptions about background and context. In some sense, my series, the Pure/Dark Ones, is paranormal fantasy romance. There’s a lot of world building that epic fantasy readers are familiar with and appreciate, but it’s not every paranormal reader’s cup of tea. In striking the balance between the two, I might not be able to please both. But it’s a balance I continuously try to strike.

What book are you reading now?
I pre-order just about anything from Julie Anne Long, Tessa Dare and Mary Balogh. I love Regency/Victorian romances. I’m also a huge fan of J.R. Ward.

How did you start your writing career?
Writing as a lifetime passion and love probably started when I learned how to write. My father made me write a story in my journal every day from the age of six, which he would come home to grade at the end of each week. I’ve won every writing contest my teachers entered me in all through primary, secondary education and college, but my family is extremely “practical” and forbade me to pursue any type of creative or artistic career (art is my other passion). To feed the writing demon inside, I just wrote for the pleasure of it. My first novel was written by age thirteen; I finished 5 novels within the next 5 years. I can’t say now that they were any good, but one literary agent told me there was a lot of potential.
I didn’t get much sleep as a teenager. It would take many years after that to pick it up again, as I built a safety net of “practicality.”



Dark Longing is the second book in the Pure/Dark Ones series, told from the POV of the “vampires.” The first one in the series, Pure Healing sets up the world of the Pure Ones and you get their POV about the vampires. Both books can be read separately, though it might be more fun to read in order. In fact, I recently read backwards from Book 4 to 3 to 2 to 1 and liked that approach just as well.
Dark Longing is ultimately about star-crossed lovers who triumph over seemingly impossible odds, including a few millennia’s worth of time and distance! If you’re dying to believe in True Love, this book will definitely provide the inspiration.
There are new and ongoing side stories, all part of the larger world building, mysteries to be solved, a baddie you can’t help but root for, and lots of really HOT sex scenes. J
On a personal note, I started writing Dark Longing immediately after Pure Healing, but my mother passed away from cancer as I was about a fourth of the way in. Some of the events around her last days fed into the book itself, and after she passed, my inspiration dried up for about 5 years, which was why it took so long to come out with Book 2 when Book 1 was published in 2012.
When I picked it back up, the story completely changed in my head—for the better.
So I hope you all like it!

Here’s the book description:

“Every story has more than one side, like a crystal that captures and reflects different colors of light. Do not take for granted what you think you know, for until you hold the entire jewel in your palm, the temptation is to fall prey to illusion and deception.” 
 
This is a story of the Dark Ones…

Inanna: the vampire warrior

Known as the Angel of Death among her kind, she has lived millennia alone, one of the remaining True Bloods in existence, unconsciously longing for the one male she could never have.

Gabriel: the forbidden human

His soul recognizes hers from the first encounter. With the first touch, he is awakened. Though he does not know it, he has been searching for her across the ages.

But even as they are finally reunited, their love faces seemingly impossible odds. Will history repeat itself or will they break all the rules and chart a new course together?





About the Author

Aja has been writing stories since the age of six, and novels since the age of thirteen. While she'd be the first to admit that those early efforts weren't particularly good, she sure loved putting them down on paper! 

The best part of writing, according to Aja, is that it’s completely organic, the way the stories develop. When the inspiration hits, she writes just so she herself can learn where the characters are headed because oftentimes, they take her by surprise! It is her ultimate dream to share her stories with as many readers as she possibly can.

Her other loves include art, cooking, old movies (anything with Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Robert Redford, Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Clark Gable, and all the song and dance numbers because she can’t watch them and not be happy!)

She adores taking long walks with her husband and running after her two rambunctious kids. She has traveled extensively (all seven continents except Antarctica) and has a multi-cultural upbringing. She speaks two and a half languages and binge watch TV shows when the mood strikes.

Aja has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Comparative Literature and Economics and two Master’s degrees, one of which is in East Asian Studies.


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Friday, January 12, 2018

Week Blitz: Asleep From Day by @damiella #fiction #excerpt #trailer




Contemporary/General Fiction
Date Published: January 10th, 2018

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Astrid can’t remember the best day of her life: yesterday.

A traumatic car accident erases Astrid’s memories of September 9th, the day she spent with an oddly charming stranger named Theo. Ever since, she’s been haunted by surreal dreams and an urgent sense that she’s forgotten something important. One night, she gets a mysterious call from Oliver, who knows more about her than he should and claims he can help her remember. She accepts his help, even as she questions his motives and fights a strange attraction to him.

In order to find Theo and piece together that lost day in September, Astrid must navigate a maze of eccentric Boston nightlife, from the seedy corners of Chinatown to a drug-fueled Alice-in-Wonderland-themed party to a club where everyone dresses like the dead. In between headaches and nightmares, she struggles to differentiate between memory, fantasy, and reality, and starts to wonder if Theo really exists. Eventually, she’ll need to choose between continuing her search for him or following her growing feelings for Oliver. Astrid might go to extreme lengths to find what she’s lost . . . or might lose even more in her pursuit to remember (like her sanity).



 “A compelling and original take on the classic amnesia tale . . . The narrative bursts with detailed, vivid characters . . . The dialogue is expertly crafted.” – The BookLife Prize

“Simply riveting from start to finish... a captivating, literary piece that winds a path somewhere between mystery, romance, and psychological thriller.” – D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review



Excerpt



What’s the last thing you remember?

A rumble, a static rush, the world on a dimmer switch.

Outside, everything was gray.

But inside, a galaxy of color and light. Fireflies behind my eyes, neon in my bones. A nerve net of bioluminescence.

Radiant with hope. Glorious.

Do you know where you are?

In the heart of a storm. Give me lightning. Give me the flood. I’ve bled the sky of pigment, devoured its clouds. They remain like honey on my tongue, crystalized with promise. Nothing was ever sweeter.

What happened?

Something incredible.

Something terrible.

No more color. Fade to grey.

I’ve been robbed of this elation.

Stay with me.



---

I have the weirdest taste in my mouth. Metallic, like I’ve been sucking on pennies, and spicy—no, not spicy. Stinging. Blood. What the—? I move my tongue and feel tiny pebbles. They’re sharp, cutting my gums and the insides of my cheeks. Not pebbles. Teeth? No. Glass.

I turn to spit out pieces of broken glass, but there’s something around my neck and I can’t move it. Okay, don’t panic. I push the glass out of my mouth with the tip of my tongue and pieces roll down my chin on a trail of saliva and blood. Now let’s turn on a light in here.

I open my eyes. Huh.

What is this place? There are shelves of equipment, strange monitors, dials, wires. Some kind of . . . storage room? The image blurs and wobbles. If my head is a handheld camera, whoever’s operating it has a serious case of the shakes. I can’t get a steady picture and I have no idea what this place is.

Have I been kidnapped?

That thought should trigger some modicum of fear. But it’s like I’m trapped in a block of ice and fear is on the other side of it. I can barely muster any curiosity to figure out where I am. The rest of it—how I got here, if I’m safe, hurt, etc.—will have to wait.

So let’s see. The room is tiny, and moving, and noisy. There are beeps, the hiss and tinny chatter of a walkie-talkie, the looped bellow of a siren.

Seriously, where am I?

Nowhere good, a black whisper warns, and a fog in my mind parts, clearing a path for fear, the belated guest.

The image finally snaps into focus and it registers: an ambulance.

Why the fuck am I in an ambulance?

I sit up with a—nope, I can only lift my head maybe an inch.

Why aren’t you panicking more?

Because it’s getting foggy inside my head again and blurry outside of it. I could really use a nap. It’s so chilly in here. And bright. Might as well close my eyes and deal with this in the morning. Ah, the dark is much better.

Hang on. Let’s get some questions answered first, maybe make sure I’m not missing any limbs. I try to sit up again and a hand on my shoulder prevents me from rising any further. No, it’s not just the hand. I’m strapped in.

“Nice to see you coming around, but don’t try to sit up. My name is Leo and I’m a paramedic. Do you know today’s date?”

I squint but can’t make out the face above me.

“September ninth, 1999,” I mumble.

“It’s actually September tenth,” he corrects me. Close enough.

“What happened? Am I hurt?” Of course you’re hurt, genius. I doubt you’re tied to a gurney, with a mouthful of glass, just joyriding in an ambulance.

“It’s going to be okay, Astrid, we’re almost at the hospital.”

How does this guy know my name? Why am I going to the hospital? Because that’s usually the drop-off destination of ambulances. Try to keep up here. What happened to me?

My head is so damn heavy. Back down it goes, more blood, more spit trickling out of the corners of my mouth. I form words but can’t speak them. I manage a garbled whisper, but it’s drowned out by sirens, rattling noises, and the tapping of heavy rain on the ambulance roof.

I need to take stock. I’m mostly immobile, but am I paralyzed? I try to wiggle the toes. Okay, those work fine. Fingers? The ones on the left hand move then seize up in pain. Blinded? Obviously not, but my vision is still fuzzy at the edges. Obviously, I can’t move my head much, but I shouldn’t anyway, in case I have a concussion. Or worse. Go away, black whisper, I don’t need you scaring the shit out of me right now.

Back to my self-assessment. Do I feel pain anywhere else in my body? Now that I mention it, hell yes. Where? Everywhere, especially my left side.

Why can’t I remember how this happened? I keep asking the paramedic, but he won’t tell me. Why won’t he answer me?

Oh yeah, because he can’t actually hear me. Because my lips are barely moving and no sound is coming out.

It’s an effort to form any more words or keep my eyes open. Is there a cold, heavy blanket over me? Uh-oh, those blurry edges are going dark. It’s like someone pushed me into a deep well and I’m falling in slow motion.

“Try to stay awake, Astrid.”

Fingers snap in front of my face.

Cut it out, ambulance man. You’re messing up my nap. It’s so much nicer with my eyes closed. All you do is boss me around with “Don’t sit up” this and “Stay awake” that. The darkness is quiet and doesn’t make annoying demands.

“Astrid. Astrid!”

His voice is like a megaphone in my ear. Where is your mute button, ambulance man?

I think I found it. It’s here, further down in the dark.

I hear two voices, growing fainter as they speak.

“She’s out again, but vitals are stable.”

I’m not out, yet, ambulance man. Give a girl a break, would ya? It’s not my fault I have anvils on my eyelids. Besides, the light in here is too bright. And you are too loud. But I can still hear you fine . . . Mostly . . . Kind of . . .

“You’d think people would know not to drive like assholes in this kind of rain.”

“What is this, third one today?”

“Fourth. You hear about the wreck by the BQE? Five cars and a motorcycle. Two fatalities.”

“This one got lucky.”

“So to speak.”

“So to speak.”

“Want to get breakfast after this?”

“It’s lunchtime.”

“So? I want breakfast. Couldn’t you go for some French toast or pancakes?”

“Maybe eggs. Some strong coffee, bacon . . .”

“Extra bacon.”

How about taking my order, ambulance man? I’ll have—

Darkness.






About the Author


Margarita Montimore received a BFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. She worked for over a decade in publishing and social media before deciding to focus on the writing dream full-time. She has blogged for Marvel, Google, Quirk Books, and XOJane.com. When not writing, she freelances as a book coach and editor. She grew up in Brooklyn but currently lives in a different part of the Northeast with her husband and dog.



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RABT Book Tours & PR

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Virtual Book Tour: Sid Sanford Lives! by @danielfford #review #literary #fiction




Literary Fiction
Date Published:  9/18/2017
Publisher: 50/50 Press

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Sid Sanford always follows a path, just not his own. From backyard Wiffle ball games to New York City skyscrapers, Sid finds triumph and pain in equal measure during his uncertain, and at times violent, thrust into manhood. A colorful, loyal family, a plethora of eccentric friends, and a few star-crossed soulmates highlight his journey, but it’s ultimately up to Sid whether his destiny fulfills his potential or drowns in the bottom of a bottle.


Review


This novel really managed to pack a very gritty and raw punch. He has written the perfect novel to get lost for a while and it is a little bit darker at times, with so many characters and different emotions laced throughout.  


I loved the theme of this novel. I liked that he didn't shy away from real topics and he gave us a character who was flawed, yet redeemable. 




About the Author

Daniel Ford is an author, journalist, and the co-founder/co-host of Writer’s Bone, a literary website and podcast that champions aspiring authors and screenwriters. Sid Sanford Lives! is his debut novel. Ford lives with his fiancée Stephanie in Boston, Mass. He can often be found coaxing words out of a half-empty bourbon glass.




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