Fire and Bone by Rachel A. Marks

Fire and Bone
Rachel A. Marks
(Otherborn #1)
Publication date: February 20th 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

“Gossip Girl meets Percy Jackson in the glitz and grit of L.A….”

In Hollywood’s underworld of demigods, druids, and ancient bonds, one girl has a dangerous future.

Sage is eighteen, down on her luck, and struggling to survive on the streets of Los Angeles. Everything changes the night she’s invited to a party—one that turns out to be a trap.

Thrust into a magical world hidden within the City of Angels, Sage discovers that she’s the daughter of a Celtic goddess, with powers that are only in their infancy. Now that she is of age, she’s asked to pledge her service to one of the five deities, all keen on winning her favor by any means possible. She has to admit that she’s tempted—especially when this new life comes with spells, Hollywood glam, and a bodyguard with secrets of his own. Not to mention a prince whose proposal could boost her rank in the Otherworld.

As loyalties shift, and as the two men vie for her attention, Sage tries to figure out who to trust in a realm she doesn’t understand. One thing’s for sure: the trap she’s in has bigger claws than she thought. And it’s going to take a lot more than magic for this Celtic demigoddess to make it out alive.

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EXCERPT:

LILY

I try to hide my shivering as I wait before the altar, in my position as the Bonding begins. Around me, shadows dance over the cairn walls from the restless flames licking up the ram’s body—the sacrifice on the pyre behind me—and the smell of sweat and burnt flesh smother the smoky air.

The King of Ravens paints an alarming image, standing almost naked across from me on the other side of the blood circle. He wears the corona radiata, the golden laurel-leafed crown, on his head of onyx hair. His short beard is neatly trimmed, combed with lavender oil for the ceremony. His sharp silver eyes study me beneath a heavy brow.

I try not to think about the past. Or future. I try not to think about what those hard hands will feel like on my skin when he seals this Bond.

I study the stone floor rather than look in those metallic eyes. I feel them on me, though, the same way they have been for the fortnight I’ve been here preparing for the ceremony. He hasn’t touched me; he’s only brought me gifts and insisted I sit with him beside the greatfire in the evening before he goes out for his hunt. Sometimes I smell him in the hallway outside my rooms. But he never comes in, thank the goddess. The scent of blood is heavy on him in those moments. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if he’d attempted anything.

After this is done, it won’t matter. My bed will be his. As will my life.

A druid walks back and forth behind me, tossing rosemary and lavender onto the pyre after each stanza of his spell. He calls to the wind from the east, he calls to the waters in the west, and he pulls the spirit of flame and earth into the cairn with us, asking the Penta to approve the Bond set to be made between the two most powerful Houses, as he pleads for a blessing from our mothers, Brighid and Morrígan, and thanks the Cast for their permission to seal the Bond between the two very different powers.

A female druid comes to my side with bowl and brush, beginning to paint my skin in blue woad, tracing patterns of knots and runes across my back, then baring my chest and continuing.

The king’s gaze follows the woman’s strokes, and when she’s finished, he raises his chin at me in approval but says nothing. What does he see when he looks at me? My wild copper hair? My simple features? The awkward birthmark just above my heart? I’m round of cheek and hips and not much of a beauty. But however I look to him, I will belong to him.

Determination is set in hard lines on his face, and I wonder if the torque on his neck is working properly. I can see his dark energy lifting in silver and black curls over his shoulders now. It should be tight inside his skin, as mine is. The iron shackle should be holding it in place so that we don’t harm each other in the first merging, before we can get used to the feel of each other’s powers.

The female druid moves to the king next and begins painting the woad in circles over his torso. The druid chanting behind me recites the final section of his spell, walking the ram’s-blood circle painted on the floor. He holds a rowan stick aloft, flicking rosewater over the king and then me as he passes by, mumbling, “A price paid, a covenant sealed, in earth and blood and ash, in spirit and flesh and fire.”

The price is my will, my soul, in payment for the life of the human prince that I took.

In the center of the circle, between the king and me, is an altar with two bowls set atop, one full of salt, one full of rye.

The iron union dagger rests between them.

I stare at it, imagining the blade cutting into my flesh. And I can’t help when my gaze moves to the king. I want to blink and make this moment a dream, perhaps find myself in the thicket with Lailoken, among the bluebells in the Caledonian wood.

I should run from this son of Morrígan, deny him, deny our mothers, and let the world burn. But my heart twists at the thought. I was running from duty when fate took my heart from me, when the prince succumbed to my fire’s will. It was the childish notion of freedom that tore him from me.

Now it’s time to accept my punishment for allowing the humans to glimpse our world. Time to atone.

The druid’s voice fills the room again. “When moon gives birth to stars,” he says, in a droning hum, flicking more rosewater over us with the rowan stick, “let this Bond be sealed in blood.”

My skin prickles with fear as the king takes the cue, reaching out to pick up the ceremonial dagger by the leather-wrapped hilt. I focus on not moving, not making a sound, as I watch him bring the blade to his chest, tip pricking his left breast. A drop of crimson pearls up at the spot.

With a slow hiss of breath, he cuts across.

Dark blood slides down his abdomen in a thick swath of red. “My blood with yours,” he says. And he turns the knife, holding out the hilt for me.

My hands clench into fists at my side, and I force my shaking limbs to still.

I breathe in slowly again. Then I reach out, taking the ceremonial dagger from him, careful not to touch his fingers.

I pretend not to care about the cage I’m about to be locked in. About the pain in my soul from loss, from the goddess Brighid abandoning me to this darkness, pain from the reality of everything in front of me.

I press the tip of the blade to the center of my chest, the point breaking the skin. I look into the silver eyes of the king in front of me. And consider my fate.

One deep plunge to the heart and the pain will end. One plunge.

One.

 

Author Bio:

Rachel A. Marks is a cancer survivor, a writer and artist, a surfer and dirt-bike rider, chocolate lover and keeper of faerie secrets. Her four kids and amazing hubby put up with her nerdiness with tremendous grace, even when she makes them watch Buffy or Smallville re-runs for days on end. She was voted: Most Likely To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse, but hopes she’ll never have to test the theory.

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Blitz: Take Back the Memory by @austin_sam001 @RABTBookTours

Womens Fiction w/ Romantic Suspense Elements
Date Published: December 7, 2017
Publisher: AuthorSuite Books
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Paige Lyman, an accomplished psychiatrist, is on the verge of madness but she doesn’t know it yet. The madness begins when she gets it into her head to write her memoirs. As her brilliant mind assembles bits and pieces of her life for the book, ugly skeletons, long forgotten in the closet, begin to rear their heads.
It had all begun with a simple act of love. And love, for her, was a blond-haired Irish boy named Bill, so when Bill abandoned her for priesthood the world around her collapsed. Seized by a different passion—vengeance—she seeks her proverbial pound of flesh in the beds of various priests…
But that is before she meets Stern W, a medical researcher, who sweeps into her life like a hurricane and marries her, and they live happily ever after until he dies in a helicopter crash and she discovers the startling truth about who he really was.
Take Back the Memory is the saga of her compelling backward journey through her own life on a psychotherapist’s couch.

 

About the Author:


Augustine Sam is a journalist by profession, a novelist by choice, and a poet by chance. A bilingual writer and an award-winning poet, he writes, not only hard news but literary works as well.
Fascinated by the written word even as a kid, he fell in love with poetry the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once. He was the winner of the Editors’ Choice Award in the North America Open Poetry Contest & his complete poetry collection, Flashes of Emotion, was a Finalist in the International Book Award Gala. His poems have been published in international anthologies, including “Measures of the Heart” & “Sounds of Silence.”
Augustine is also the author of Black Gold and The Conspiracy of Silence which was awarded a Readers’ Favorite 5-star seal.
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Teaser Tuesday: A Whole New Life by @Sher_V @RABTBookTours

Sweet Romance
Date Published: 2/24/2018
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A Whole New Life is a sweet romance combined with the dangers of the underground crime world. Find out what happens when a beautiful mafia princess goes to a small town in Iowa to start over but quickly becomes intrigued with a hunky deputy.
Can romance ensue when she is always looking over her shoulder and worrying that her past will catch up to her? Check out A Whole New Life to find out if love can really conquer all, or if the past is always doomed to repeat itself.
 
 Excerpt
As two o’clock approached, the officers started throwing cash on the table and getting ready to leave. Of course, it was Deputy Hotstuff who brought everything up to Jenna at the cash register. “It was nice to meet you, Jenna. Welcome to Pella. I’m sure I’ll be seeing you around. Anna send you up to the Bakker place?”
Jenna made change and nodded, trying not to look at those pretty blue eyes that were clearly checking her out. “Yes, she and Adam have been so welcoming, giving me a job and helping me find a place to stay.” She handed his change back. “Have a great day, Deputy.” She tried to smile professionally, but felt like she was grinning like a schoolgirl with a crush, heat rushing to her cheeks.
“You have a great day as well. And watch out for those ghosts up at the bed-and-breakfast.” He winked at her.
“What ghosts?” she asked, confused.
“Didn’t anyone tell you? The Bakker place is supposed to be haunted. Stories have been circulating about that for over a hundred years.” Henri smiled at her.
“You don’t really believe such things, do you?” Jenna scoffed. She’d lived through real hell; ghost stories weren’t going to scare her.
Deputy Hotty kept smiling and handed her his card. “My cell number is on there. You never know when you might want a deputy to come save you from the big bad ghosts. Of course, you can feel free to call me for anything else you might need as well.”
Oh my God, he really is flirting with me, Jenna thought to herself. Outwardly she tried to remain cool as she took his card. “Thank you, Deputy, but I stopped believing in ghosts a long time ago.”
“Why is that?” he asked.
“The living people around me turned out to be scarier,” Jenna answered before thinking. Damn her too-honest mouth sometimes, it always had gotten her into trouble.
Henri’s eyes seemed to focus a little more after her response. “I’m sorry. Still, keep my card and give me a call sometime. I’m good at all sorts of things, not just protecting people from ghosts.” With one final smile and wink, he walked out to join his fellow officers.
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Blitz: Overweight to Fighting Weight by @AJWatson @RABTBookTours

Non-fiction. Weight loss and health
Date Published: 8 December 2017
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Looking to lose weight but everything has failed? Discover the physical and mental aspects of becoming a much healthier you, written by someone that dropped 80kg!
Get the weight loss system written by someone that went from zero exercise and over 175kg, to a multiple time Australian and Pan Pacific martial arts Champion.
AJ Watson has shed 80kg in his journey and for the first time shares how he did it, and what needed to change mentally and physically to achieve his goals.
This book will teach you how to:
·        understand weight loss issues
·        figure out nutrition labels
·        learn how to set goals
·        improve your motivation
·        boost your willpower
·        structure your exercise
·        become a better version of you.
AJ Watson’s approach tackles the issues from multiple angles giving a much greater level of success than diet alone. Treat yourself to a wealth of knowledge and kick those extra kilos goodbye.
AJ discusses his physical and mental states throughout his journey, and how he combated multiple challenges to attain results. Because he has been there, AJ understands the thought process of overeating, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and low self-esteem. His successes as a martial artist, coach and author are traced back to the struggle out of his lowest point.
Now you can benefit from that struggle as well.
Grab your copy today.
Excerpt
Introduction
My name is Tony and I started this journey at 175kgs.
Today I am 95kgs and hold multiple titles in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
This book details how I accomplished that, my mental outlook and changes, my failures and successes. It will show you a way to duplicate this yourself, breaking it into multiple small actions. Depending on where you are on your trek, you may have already accomplished some of the early steps; if so, fantastic. Congratulations on getting that far. This book will help you understand what you have already achieved, and show you how to take it further.
Chances are if you are reading this book then you have struggled with losing weight, or want to see a boost to your motivation in other areas of your life. As someone that has been where you are, and cut a path through the tangled mess that is the weight loss industry, I understand you. This is where my book is different than a lot of others out there. Many programs are great at using weight loss science, but are usually written by people already fit and healthy that have never been more than a few kilos overweight.
They don’t understand the mental state many people start with, especially when severely overweight as I was. They have never been fat, never been ridiculed for their obesity. Never avoided pools or the beach because they’d have to take off t-shirts and reveal the true extent of their girth. I am thankful that these health professionals spent time with their research so I could learn. But how could they help address my mental and social issues that contributed to my weight gain, when they couldn’t understand them?
A psychologist is needed in many cases. I don’t pretend to be one and I’ve never felt the need to utilise their services. I have known many people that have, and can see the positive impact it made on their lives. I have however researched psychology and as I’ve lived through it I know a lot about the thought process that goes with obesity. That insight drives many parts of this book.
I am also a certified life coach, a field of study that assists people moving their lives from point A to point B. Even if they are unaware of how to do so, or that point B is even within their reach. Many steps in this book work in unison with the tools and techniques utilised in coaching. They will work without it, though will be greatly enhanced with a life coach by your side.
What I aim to do here is not only show you my meal changes and exercise regime, but also show how my mental state altered. I’ll share how I overcame my negative thoughts and barrelled through plateaus.
I gained all of this knowledge through a thirst for understanding. As my wife will attest, I absolutely must know everything even if it doesn’t concern me. It’s my nature. I can blame and thank my parents for this. As a child I hungered for understanding and often asked questions of how and why. Before long I was asking things they didn’t know the answer to. Instead of dismissing it or making something up, my parents instilled in me a simple mantra: look it up.
This was long before the Internet became popular and ubiquitous so all I had was a dictionary, an odd assortment of encyclopaedias and the school library. The skills and knowledge gained were invaluable and formed my love of words and reading.
The Internet exploded my world and now the guys I train with often refer to me as Google, as I generally have the answer or insight required for the topic at hand.
So when I turned this skill to weight loss my bull-crap detector worked overtime. I tried several diets that I fully understood the science of, but ultimately they failed because they didn’t take into account the psychological impact. They also failed to understand the starting point that a lot of overweight people find themselves in.
My meals consisted of mostly eating take-out, snacking on chocolate and washing it down with litres of soft drinks and tubs of ice-cream. You can’t instantly go from that to fresh fruit and veggies, healthy snacks and controlled portions. That is why the majority of diets fail and are a waste of your time.
I want to mention right off the bat that this is not a diet book. To me, a diet is a short-term change to reach a desired goal in less than two months. This journey took me nearly a decade and I am still changing things to get better results. It took that long because of all the trial and error, the research required and figuring how to alter the mental conditioning I’d spent nearly three decades building.
I can guide you into doing this far quicker, though I expect it to take years, not months. Lasting change takes time but if you follow the ideas and plans in this book, then you will see some quick results.
I am not a medical professional so I implore you, if you have any conditions or food intolerances then seek their expert advice first. Everything in here works for me, but my body is not the same as yours. I am living proof that the process works, and should work for the majority, however your life is unique and nothing can take everything into account. Even so, everyone can gain some benefit from a lot of these pages.
I’m looking forward to helping you achieve your goals.
About the Author

AJ Watson (Tony to his friends) lives with his wife Barbara in the great state of Victoria, Australia.

AJ is a certified Life Coach and continues to expand his skills to assist others not only duplicate his successes but to clear any mental barriers people place upon themselves.
Tony has obtained a Bachelor of Computing and although he has a love of technology, he can’t help dreaming of worlds with vicious creatures and powerful metaphysics. He uses this imagination to write sci fi/fantasy novels.
Tony is an experienced martial artist competitor and instructor, having won multiple national gold medals and assisting others to do the same.
In his spare time, among other things, Tony dabbles in computer graphics and GMs many role play games with his family and friends.
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Blitz: The Wingman @davidpepper @RABTBookTours

Jack Sharpe, Book 2
Political Thriller
Date Published:  February 2018
Publisher: St. Helena Press

 

 
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In The Wingman, veteran Midwestern reporter Jack Sharpe has made it big thanks to the deep-rooted voter-fraud conspiracy he uncovered in The People’s House (the first of the series). At his new perch at Republic, one of America’s flashiest and fastest growing news networks, life is good—until it’s not. Following his beat reporter’s gut, he catches a whiff something rotten is taking place in the Democratic Presidential primary, and ultimately discovers an elaborate scheme to put a corrupt and dangerous politician in the nation’s highest office by any means necessary. Dark money, drone technology, paramilitary government contractors, neglected veterans, kompromat—we see these issues in the news every day. But in The Wingman David Pepper shows that if shadowy entities with enough incentive and resources were to connect and exploit these issues, the American people would be largely powerless to stop them. Jack must risk his life and reputation to get to the bottom of the story before the disturbing plot he and his team have uncovered becomes reality.
Early Praise for The Wingman:
“A labyrinthine political thriller that details a plot to steal the American presidency. …Energetically paced…A cinematic and dramatic story full of delightful twists.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“Another tour de force…Like The People’s House, I loved this book.  Pepper is a phenomenal writer, with great dialogue, intricate plot, subplots, and characters.  And with his unique perch, Pepper deftly wraps the real issues and frustrations of modern-day politics into captivating story lines.  I can hardly wait for the next one.” —Jennifer Granholm, former Governor, Michigan
 
“Pepper does it again! Believable and entertaining—just like the real news these days. What’s fake and what’s real?” —Jack Markell, former Governor, Delaware
 
“The Wingman by David Pepper takes readers on a rollicking ride…There are the kinds of surprises readers long for and characters they will remember long after the last page is turned.
 
Well-researched and beautifully crafted, The Wingman is a thrilling read, a story that brilliantly depicts the political atmosphere leading up to the primaries….The characters are superbly conceived and developed to appear like people in real life….David Pepper is a master storyteller.…”
 
The Wingman by David Pepper is an exceptional political thriller…The book is well-written, interesting and, above all, suspenseful, and is therefore recommended to any reader, not just fans of political thrillers.”   —Readers’ Favorites, Reviews
Other Books in the Jack Sharpe Series:
The People’s House
Jack Sharpe, Book 1
Publisher: St. Helena Press
Release Date: October 2017
It doesn’t take long to discover why the Wall Street Journal crowned “The People’s House” the “sleeper for political thriller of the year,” or why a former Governor said she almost missed her connecting flight because she couldn’t put it down.
Youngstown political reporter Jack Sharpe is logging time at the tail end of a disappointing career — jaded about politics and stung by personal hard knocks in a struggling part of Ohio. But after an odd election result in the Ohio Congressional district he covers, Sharpe stumbles across voting irregularities that spur him to dig deeper. The story takes him far beyond his corner of Ohio as he discovers an international plot that strikes at the heart of American democracy. His reporting leads to a showdown with a philandering Congressman and Presidential contender, and an eccentric but deadly Russian mogul. In order to save himself and the country, Sharpe must rekindle his old fire to navigate a treacherous journey through danger, betrayal, and atonement.
And yes, it was all written before eerily similar events occurred in the 2016 election.
Excerpt
That’s when I noticed. With the cameras still pulled back to the wider shot, and the studio audience sitting well behind me, my guess was that I was the only one seeing it.
Bravo’s eyes. His dark brown eyes.
They widened, then darted ever so slightly.
Left.
Right.
Then he looked at me. Directly. Impatiently. In a way no one else could have seen.
He was eager to move on. Desperate to move on.
His words may have been moving, his delivery powerful. But those eyes told the real story—they always did. As my high school coach had drilled into me as a young quarterback, “It’s all about your eyes, Jack. The best players are watching your eyes, and if you’re not careful, they’ll betray you every time.” I’d long ago learned that Coach’s lesson applied way beyond football. A man could mouth whatever words he wanted, lie or tell the truth. He could smile or frown, gesture wildly or sit perfectly still. But his eyes told the real story. If he wasn’t careful, and if you paid attention, the eyes told all.
Now, Bravo’s eyes signaled that something was off. Discomfort, at a time when discomfort made no sense. Maybe it was a painful memory. Or maybe something about the story was not quite right. Or maybe there was more to it. Whatever it was, Bravo wanted to change topics.
And since he had saved my debut, I returned the favor, moving onto the final question of the night. But because of those eyes, I also jotted down a simple reminder on the notepad in front of me: “Check out Bravo war story.”
 
About the Author:

David Pepper has served as Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party since January 2015. He was first elected to public office in 2001 when he served on the Cincinnati City Council, and was reelected for a second term in 2003. In 2006 he was elected to the three-member Hamilton County Commission, serving there from 2007-2010. David earned his B.A. from Yale, and later his J.D. from Yale Law School. In 1999, he clerked for the Honorable Nathaniel Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He also has taught election and voting rights law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Born and raised in Cincinnati, David is a fifth-generation Cincinnatian. He and his wife Alana have two sons, Jack, 3, and Charlie, 1.

 
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Monstrous Ties by Shina James – Review

YA Romance
Date Published: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Writer’s Tree Publishing
 
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Amelia Waters has accepted her destiny and is determined to find Aaron no matter what it takes. As she treks forward on her quest, she embarks on a gloomy, foul-smelling creation that is very similar to a dream she once had. The moment she sets foot to ground, she runs for her life as horrific creatures pour out of every dark shadow. With her life in grave danger, Amelia finds it difficult to stay hopeful on finding Aaron, until an ever-changing ally opens her eyes and helps her see that there is more to the creation than she thinks. Amelia makes it her mission to destroy the creation along with its creator. But her ever ready task comes with a colossal cost she’s not ready for.
 
About the Author
SHINA JAMES is a freelance writer, and poet from the great state of Texas. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Writers’ League of Texas. When she’s not writing or reading life-changing novels, she loves traveling, listening to music, and spending time with her husband and two kids.
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Review
I was drawn into the story from the first page of this young adult fantasy novel. A book that is full of action and drama with characters that are truly unique. The ending is a surprise that ends with a cliffhanger. I cannot wait until the next book! Overall, a truly intriguing read!
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Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced by R.J. Garcia

Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced
R.J. Garcia
Publication date: May 1st 2018
Genres: Suspense, Young Adult

Mystery surrounds the town of Summertime, Indiana, where fifteen-year-old Tommy Walker and his little sister are sent to live with relatives they’ve never met. Tommy soon makes friends with his rebellious neighbor, Finn Wilds.

Finn invites Tommy to late night meetings in the woods, where Tommy gets to know two girls. He forms a special and unique connection with both girls. The meetings become a place where the kids, who don’t fit in at school, or home can finally belong. As the group of friends begin to unravel clues to a cold case murder and kidnapping— they learn the truth is darker and closer than they ever imagined. Even if they live to tell, will anyone believe them?

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Author Bio:

R.J. Garcia is a wife and proud mom. She earned her MSW and worked with foster children and as a school social worker. Writing has been her other great love. She has published several non-fiction pieces. She has been writing short-stories for as long as she can remember. To her amazement, those short stories became novels!

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