Saturday, May 27, 2023

The Light Keeper Book Tour and Giveaway

The Light Keeper

by Christina Wallace

Genre: Epic YA Fantasy 

Wishes aren't all they're cracked up to be... especially when you have to capture the Fairies who grant them to you.

Er... make that faeries... and not the normal, hiding-in-plain-sight magical kind.

When a misadventure cleaning out the attic leads Isaac to release a faerie trapped in a glass ball of light, he believes he's struck gold--in the form of wishes. All he has to do is mention the name that was engraved on the ball, and the indebted faerie would grant him any three wishes he wanted.

The best part of all was knowing that there was an entire chest of captured faeries waiting to be freed...

But when strange things start to happen around town, Isaac begins to wonder if the increasingly unfortunate events are his doing.

Only his mysterious neighbor, Yara, knows the truth about his lineage as a Light Keeper.

Can Yara's strength and wisdom guide Isaac into his new role?

Can Isaac make things right again?

Or will his dream-come-true turn into his worst nightmare?

**Check out the kickstarter campaign HERE!**

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Christina Wallace has been many things. A student, an analyst, a wife, a mother, a gamer, and a lifelong writer. For almost as long as she can remember she’s dreamed of people and places that only existed in her mind, and sharing her stories is a dream come true.

Christina writes books not only for middle-grade audiences, but for young and new adults as well. Stories should be an escape. Christina likes to write about people who become their own heroes and take fate into their own hands. Many of her works contain fantastical elements and also a bit of love, but strong friendships are the common thread.

The Light Keeper is Christina’s debut series with more books soon to come. She is thrilled to begin this adventure of her very own as an author.

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Sunday, May 14, 2023

Scandalizing the Scoundrel Week Blitz #rabtbooktours


Wicked Widows, Book 9


Regency Romance

Date Published: 05-09-2023


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In this sizzling Regency romance novella by USA Today Bestselling author Charlie Lane, opposites attract as a shy widow and the scoundrel who loves her discover that passion is just the beginning and sometimes an affair isn’t nearly enough.


A shy widow and a notorious scoundrel. She wants an affair, but he wants her heart.

Lady Fredericka has been quiet too long. She’s ready to step out of the shadows of widowhood and into the spotlight of pleasure. Without risking her heart. Circus star and equestrian Grant Webster offers the delectable solution. Strong, handsome, and a flirtatious scoundrel, he’ll warm her bed without asking for more. After all, a man like him would never seriously desire a quiet widow like her.

Grant has always commanded the adoration of the ladies. But since meeting the quietly lovely Lady Fredericka, he only wants her. When she suggests an affair, he’s tempted … but refuses. His heart is too involved to give her the steamy flirtation she desires.

But Lady Fredericka won’t give up.

And Grant can only be tempted so far.

When he finally gives in to passion, he becomes the seducer, tempting her to risk the pain of loss for a home of the heart with a man who loves her.

A spin-off of the Cavendish Family series, this Wicked Widows novella is a low-angst stand-alone with plenty of laughs and heat.

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Charlie Lane traded in academic databases and scholarly journals for writing steamy Regency romcoms like the ones she’s always loved to read. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen (who else?), Toni Morrison, William Blake, Julia Quinn, and Maya Rodale.

Charlie writes unique stories with unconventional characters who push against the rigid restrictions of their society. Officially, Charlie has a Ph.D. in literature with a focus on the nineteenth-century novel and children’s literature and answers to Professor. Unofficially, she’s a high-flying circus-obsessed acrobat. She lives with her own Colonel Brandon, two little dudes, and a furry fella in East Tennessee.


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Saturday, May 13, 2023

The Haunted Rosebuds Teaser #rabtbooktours



Date Published: April 29, 2023


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Lana is a psychic ghost hunter working in The Circle of Roses shop. She wants to help solve a case when a man’s wife leaves him because of ghosts tormenting her in the attic, but she ends up with a haunting dilemma of her own. Terra’s ghost is haunting one of her teens in her small townhouse.

Sylvie and Dana are teenagers who just want to live but when Sylvie’s room is repeatedly thrashed, psychic Rose is called to investigate. She knows Terra from way back and thinks she wants more revenge, but why is the other teen Dana not affected? Sylvie and Dana have their own group called the Rosebuds. Started when they were kids, they wind up the only two in it.

When old enough they will go into training to become real psychics. As for this story it is their first everything, except their first time seeing a ghost. How long can Terra’s ghost be kept a secret from Dana? And will Rose be able to solve both cases at once?


          Lana lay in her bed and heat from the vent blew in. Both girls were getting up to get ready for school. It was the start of a new school year for them. Dana Langly was still in Jr. High. Getting out of bed it seemed nothing was wrong. Terra may be gone! Lana ran to Dana’s bedroom and opened the door. Nothing strange there. She ran to Sylvie’s room and there it was. Another huge mess. So bad it looked like a poltergeist did it. And the strange thing about it was, everything was messed up the same way it was the first time it was wrecked. Lana jumped back. Her heart skipped a beat.

          The first thing she thought was to keep the girls out. She decided to wait another night and see what happened. Rose knew what was wrong and Lana needed help. She left the room a mess to see what Terra might do.

          When the kids came home it looked like they had a good day. They told their mom their new classes were going well, and they even sat by their friends. Both girls got to school by bus. Tired from the day they all went to bed as usual.

          Very quickly Lana got them ready for school. She prepared their lunches so quickly it was a mess. Both daughters looked at each other strangely. They wondered what she was doing. They grabbed their backpacks and the school bus honked. Dana ran for the door. Sylvie kissed her mother and said, “Don’t worry. We’re both ok. We both slept like babies last night,” and she had to run for the bus.

          In her nightgown Lana ran upstairs to Sylvie’s room and opened the door. It was horrible. The mattress was still off the bed, but the mirror she had taken down was back and written on it in mud was the word REVENGE. Immediately she pulled on the attic cord and looked. Dana’s mirror was up there but it was up and leaning against the attic wall. She pulled the steps and went up. Walking towards the mirror something pricked her foot. Getting down she found three large knives. One with blood on it. It was a little from her foot. Nothing bad. Her impression was Terra wanted to murder all three of them. 

About the Author

Martha is an author from Oregon. She has published 4 books in The Mystery of Frankenstein’s Bride series.

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Friday, May 12, 2023

Eggs for the Ageless Guest Post and Giveaway


Eggs For the Ageless

by Kyle A. Massa

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy 

Religion is a funny thing. Especially when you accidentally create your own.

Eccentric young writer Zeggara “Egg” East has done just that, much to the chagrin of her devout mother. Egg’s new religion is called “Penguinism” and it’s proving far more popular than anyone—even the immortal Ageless—could’ve imagined. And the thing about deities is, they don’t appreciate a rival dogma.

Now everyone’s choosing sides in the coming conflict, including a tea-slurping tyrant, a guy with 12 gifts, and the God of Waste Management. So when Egg and her mother pick opposing factions, Egg has to wonder…can they reconcile, or will religion keep them apart forever?

Perfect for fans of Terry Pratchett, Christopher Moore, and Douglas Adams, Eggs for the Ageless is a comic fantasy novel about family, faith, and waddling—not necessarily in that order.

What readers are saying:

A fantasy comedy that swims in similarly madcap waters as works by Terry Pratchett and Christopher Moore, Massa’s novel coolly and deftly introduces a farcical setting that reflects the absurdity of today’s world, brimming with commentary on religion, capitalism, and writing.” – Kirkus Reviews

A riot of a book where the characters amuse while offering cutting critiques of human nature (and god nature?). Light as well as insightful. A triumph.” – Kate Tailor, Benjamin Franklin Award Winning Author

Hilarious, quirky, and sharply satirical. Kyle A. Massa has crafted a work of comedic genius that will make you laugh until you cry, while simultaneously exploring the hypocrisy of some of humanity’s deepest-held beliefs. A read for anyone who delights in absurdity.” – Laura Lauda, Author

Eggs for the Ageless is a hoot. It’s fun and easy to read, but leaves you with lots to think about, and endless chuckles. It’s filled with delightful characters, both good and bad. Kyle A. Massa weaves together a bundle of hilarious plot threads so expertly that you never quite know where they’re going, but can’t wait to get there.” – Geoff Jones, Author of The Dinosaur Four

Fun, funny, and wildly creative.” – Nathan Pieplow, Author

Interesting character development and a fast-clip storyline tells a very funny tale. Highly recommend.” – AJM, Amazon Reviewer

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Egg wrote.

Or rather, she scribbled words on paper, frowned, then crossed them out.

The Almighty Penguin waddled into the distance, Egg wrote, nearly tearing the page with the ink-wet tip of her quill. And like a pastry hurled from a platter, it vanished into the distance.

She eased back, swept her bushy brown hair from her eyes, admired the words for a moment, then shook her head and crossed them out.

A pastry hurled from a platter? That was a weird simile. Maybe she was just hungry. And waddling off into the distance? Too cliché. This was the summation of years of work, the final line of her first finished book. It needed to be memorable, moving, and above all, not crappy. So Egg tried a new closing sentence:

We shall meet again,” said the Almighty Penguin. “Someday soon.”

No. No no no. She slashed that, too. Made it seem like she was setting up a sequel, and she hated when authors did that. So presumptuous. At least let readers ask for another book before you go forcing it on them.

Subtle,” she whispered to the page. “We need to be more subtle. And maybe even a little profound, if we can swing it.”

Who are you talking to?” someone asked.

Egg sat upright and donned her most genial smile. The someone who’d spoken was a man seated in the sand beside her, a round and jowly type who smelled of perfume or ale, depending on the moment. They’d met a few hours prior, but Egg had already forgotten his name. Boffer, maybe. Or Boofer?

Were you talking to me?” the man asked.

No, Mr., umm…Boogler…” She thought better of answering truthfully, so she finished with, “…I was just warming up my voice. For the call-and-answer bit.”

My name is Bowler,” the man corrected. He took a practiced swig from a flask in his pocket. “Mayor Bowler. What are you writing about, there?”

You’re a tad nosy, Mayor Bowler, Egg thought, though she didn’t say it. Instead, she tried her smile again. “Just, umm, taking notes.” She waved toward the makeshift dais before them, where the Holy Devoted was busy reading some story of self-righteous dopes from a chunky book called The Everything (the only book Egg had ever disliked).

Bowler blinked at the stack of paper mounted atop Egg’s lap. “That’s a lot of notes.”

It’s been a long service, she thought. Two hours, according to the nearby timekeeper’s hourglass, and the Holy Devoted had only just gotten to the introduction of the Ageless. Bowler gave Egg a parting hiccup before returning his attention to the oration.

Around them dozed the Quaint Village of Quaint. It was a pleasant smattering of sun-baked sandstone houses encircling a fountain carved into the likeness of Florinioniorius, God of Creation. He held a quill aloft that, if you believed the Holy Devoteds, was the quill used to write the world and everyone in it. Long ago, water had spouted from the nib. Now, however, it was dry as the sands surrounding it.

On the dais between the fountain and the onlookers (actually a creaky wooden box, but “dais” sounded fancier), Holy Devoted Sarene graced the boiling morning air with her voice, enunciating every syllable with precision and clarity. Her reading was flawless, as ever. If only her material was less tedious.

And so Lira, Goddess of Order, and Florinioniorius, God of Creation, had 10 children,” Sarene intoned. “And those 10 children, along with their mother and father, would be the foremost of the Ageless, the Greater Gods and Goddesses. They would be the Dozen.”

The Dozen,” the villagers repeated.

And many more Ageless would be born of Lira and Florinioniorius, and though they too would be divine, they would be known as the Lesser Gods and Goddesses.”

The Lesser,” the villagers repeated.

And so all the Ageless, the Dozen and the Lesser, guide the lives of mortals. They make our world whole.”

They make our world whole,” the villagers repeated.

Except for Hylus, God of the Sun,” Sarene clarified, “who has left the sun in the sky for these past 50 years, and shall not move it until we mortals prove our worth.”

Until we prove our worth,” the villagers repeated.

By the way, Egg wasn’t listening to any of this. It was too nice a day. The sun was fat and bloated and unsinking as ever, but for now it hid behind a flock of puffy white clouds. The air was stifling, as usual, but a nearby fanbearer churned some breeze (Egg made a mental note to give the guy a tip). Plus, a sunbird had joined them, settling on the eave of a nearby house. It listened for a moment, trilled, then departed. Egg tried and failed to suppress her envy.

Anyhoo, back to writing. She twirled her quill around and around like a real, honest-to-goodness writer must do. Unfortunately, when she looked down, she realized she’d splattered ink across the topmost page.

Oh dear, she thought.

She fumbled the quill and dropped it, which stained the paper further, plus got ink on her robes.

Oh crap, she thought.

She scooted to retrieve the quill, which displaced the stack of paper upon her lap. The pages slipped and scattered everywhere, fluttering away like so many leaves, and in her haste to catch them, she kicked the ink pot beside her. It tumbled across the sand, leaving a black smear in its wake. Droplets of ink spattered over everyone seated too close—including Bowler, the village’s Mayor.

Oh shitsticks.”

She thought she’d thought that. But when Egg felt eyes on her—several dozen pairs of them—she realized she hadn’t. Those words had slipped out.

The entire village of Quaint, all here for the oration. All staring at her.

She rose. She tried summoning her genial smile, but managed only a guilty grimace. The stares had turned to glares, from an ink-stained Mayor Bowler, from the other ink-stained villagers, even from the clean ones, and also…

Egg gulped. Also from Holy Devoted Sarene.

There was no Goddess of Disapproval, but if there was, Sarene would’ve been her. She was stern and severe with a heron’s build and differently colored eyes: one brown, one blue. Her head was shaven, revealing a smooth scalp with a halo of runic tattoos—12 of them, each representing one of the Dozen Gods and Goddesses.

Child,” Sarene said. “What do you think you’re doing?”

Egg tried to speak, but the sound came out as a sputter.

She’s taking notes,” Mayor Bowler grumbled. “Allegedly.”

The Devoted did not react. She didn’t even blink. “You’ve made an unholy mess, Zeggara. Have you anything to say for yourself?”

Yes. I have something to say for myself. I say I’d rather be writing than sitting here, because writing makes me happier than moping around every day for hours on end, listening to stories I don’t believe and joining rituals I don’t care for. I say maybe I believe something else, or would at least like the opportunity to do so. Also, I say you’re overstating the state of this mess—I’ve done worse. That’s what I say.”

Well, that’s what Egg would’ve said, if she’d had the courage. But she didn’t. Instead, she squeaked three words:

I don’t know.”

Holy Devoted Sarene was intimidating enough. It didn’t help that she also happened to be Egg’s mother.


Q: Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?

I think being a good reader is essential to being a good writer. As such, I read every day, either straight from a book or via audiobook (listening to an audiobook is still reading, no matter what some might say).

Though fantasy is my favorite genre, I’ll read pretty much anything so long as the author and/or subject matter intrigues me. A few recent favorites:

  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

  • Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

  • Novelist as a Vocation by Haruki Murakami

  • Happy-Go-Lucky by David Sedaris

  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons

As you can see, my reading is eclectic. That bears out in my writing, too; my first book was a supernatural murder mystery, my second was a collection of short stories, my third was the comedic epic fantasy Eggs for the Ageless, and my next will be a collection of humorous nonfiction essays.

I wonder what I should write after that. A cookbook, maybe?

Q: Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?

I enjoy working on several projects simultaneously. This is for a few reasons.

First, I need to brainstorm my projects. A lot. I spend countless hours imagining who my characters are, where they are, and what they do while they’re there. This oftentimes sparks ideas for other stories, and pretty soon the brainstorm has become a brain-hurricane, whipping through several ideas all at once.

Second, I find this strategy helps prevent writer’s block. If I write myself into a corner on Project A, I can lateral to Project B. When I stall again, I can switch back to Project A with a fresh mindset. Or, I arrive at Project Q, with each of the previous projects only a quarter-finished. But hey, at least I’m writing.

Third, I find that most of my books require complete rewrites. My process is usually to write a first draft, forget about it for months, return to it, and hate it. Then I rewrite the whole thing from scratch, usually liking it a little better. However, I need something else to do while the first draft sits. That’s where my other projects come in.

I’m not sure I’d recommend my process to other writers, since it’s scattershot and clutters my hard drive with half-finished projects. Still, like any writing advice, I recommend trying it and seeing if it works for you.

Kyle A. Massa is a comic fantasy author living somewhere in upstate New York with his wife, their daughter, and three wild animals. His published works include three books and several short stories. When he’s not writing, he enjoys reading, running, and drinking coffee.

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Thursday, May 11, 2023

Savage Tear Book Blitz #rabtbooktours


Young Adult Urban Fantasy

Date Published: April 2023


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Tirade Angels are not to be trusted. They feed on horrible emotions. They kill their victims. Unfortunately, Toni Ransom has just become a target. Vincent has come along to save her, but he may just end up condemning her.

But for Toni damnation may be salvation …


CW: suicide, sexual violence


About the Author

Marianna Palmer is the author of many stories ranging from children’s to young adult. She has been dreaming up stories since she was old enough to think. After a dare from her sister, she took on the scary writing thing. It was all she had to hold her together through years of seclusion, returning to college, and being afraid of every single thing that she encounters. After graduating with her BA, she disappeared from the world. If you look closely, you might find her walking with her sister, before vanishing again. Living in Tacoma, WA, she does everything in her power to avoid scary things and still live her life.


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The Crab Cake Lady of Murrells Inlet Book Blitz #rabtbooktours


Biography, Non-Fiction


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An Mathis Springs grew up in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, worked in Saigon, then came to Murrells Inlet, SC, when she was adopted by an American couple. Through their mutual love, her story developed and through her hard work and perseverance, she became known far and wide for her delicious crab cakes.



About the Author

Sara Powell is a free-lance writer who lives with her husband Bill, a free-lance photographer and writer. They came to know An and her crab cakes while spending time on the South Carolina coast. Sara's meditations can be read at

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Wednesday, May 10, 2023

The Babel Apocalypse Guest Post and Giveaway



by Vyvyan Evans


GENRE: Science Fiction



Language is no longer learned, but streamed to neural implants regulated by lang-laws. Those who can't afford language streaming services are feral, living on the fringes of society. Big tech corporations control language, the world’s most valuable commodity.

But when a massive cyberattack causes a global language outage, catastrophe looms.

Europol detective Emyr Morgan is assigned to the case. His prime suspect is Professor Ebba Black, the last native speaker of language in the automated world, and leader of the Babel cyberterrorist organization. But Emyr soon learns that in a world of corporate power, where those who control language control everything, all is not as it seems.

As he and Ebba collide, Emyr faces an existential dilemma between loyalty and betrayal, when everything he once believed in is called into question. To prevent the imminent collapse of civilization and a global war between the great federations, he must figure out friend from foe—his life depends on it. And with the odds stacked against him, he must find a way to stop the Babel Apocalypse.



As I was about to glance back at the voices, a light flickered in my peripheral vision, drawing my gaze upward to the night sky. A soft white glow, high up in the dark. At first it was indistinguishable from the airway lights. But it persisted, the size of a small disk at first, before shifting to red-orange, getting larger. At that point I realized it definitely couldn’t be a hover car. This was farther up, probably low Earth orbit, which explained the initial white. But the shift in coloration—that meant a detonation, producing nitrogen dioxide, which turned deep orange when mixed with air. A gaseous cloud has reached the atmosphere, I thought. I was witnessing a chemical explosion in space large enough to be visible to the naked eye. But what was exploding?

As I continued looking up, the orange grew in intensity until it flared across the skyline, illuminating the entire landscape around me with an eerie red-orange. It was only then that I became aware of the newly hushed silence of the drunken revelers nearby. And the silhouettes of other people too, who had also stopped and peppered the pedestrian corridor. We were all now strange red creatures, watching transfixed in rapt silence as the night sky was on fire. And just as suddenly as it had appeared, it was gone; the orange light faded back into a deep well of pitch black.


Guest Post

The Babel Apocalypse predicts a near-future when language is no longer learned, but streamed to neural implants in people’s head, streamed from internet in space. The book explores the dystopian consequences of this.

In a future era of language-as-commodity, it is inevitable that whether a language lives or dies would be based on economics. In other words, those languages with little demand on streaming services would cease to exist.

As language would be stored entirely on servers, language would, in effect, be controlled by the big tech companies that lease it back to human populations that have undergone language chipping.

The Babel Apocalypse imagines a system where language is controlled by a body based in California, called Unilanguage. This is modelled on the very system in place for vetting new emojis, which are controlled and approved by Unicode (also based in California, controlled by just a few of the world’s leading tech firms).

One consequence would be that as languages fall out of demand, there would be little incentive for big tech firms to continue to store them, tying up valuable server space. And as populations undergo the process of having language chips implanted in their brains, native speakers would cease to exist. Hence, lesser-used languages would simply die out—a consequence of lack of demand, which is simple economics at work. If there is no demand, it doesn’t pay. Hence, providers stop offering it.

The Babel Apocalypse imagines a future in which there are just 250 surviving languages (compared to around 7,000 today).

National governments would, inevitably, try to preserve cultural unity, while ensuring subscriptions are affordable for the poorest citizens. Hence, The Babel Apocalypse posits a situation in which (most) states require all public security systems (referred to as VirDas—short for Virtual Digital Assistants) to run on a single state language. For context, VirDas are the mechanisms for processing voice commands, and hence the main security portals for accessing everything from grocery stores to offices, from vehicles to homes.

As an example, the national state language in France, on which all public VirDas would run, would be French. In the US, it would likely be English. In practice, this would mean that in France, say, it would be sufficient to only need to pay for a single language streaming package. And to gain entry to a supermarket, for instance, the language user would identify at the store entrance, using voice commands, by speaking into the VirDa. Incidentally, this technology would also mean that stores and supermarkets are fully automated (no need for human clerks or cashiers). Label sensor fusion tech, already being trialled, would mean that a shopper’s groceries can be located with each individual shopper, who would use their voice command authorization to pay for their purchase at self-checkout, prior to being “allowed” to leave the store.

Of course, there are multiple consequences of all this for language. Regional accents and dialects, being non-standard, would require more expensive streaming subscriptions—this entails that regional accents would become status symbols. The working classes would be, in effect, priced out of their own local language varieties.

The range and variety of human language would be erased at a stroke. This, self-evidently, has implications for identity, ethnicity, and so on. It also has consequences for who controls language, and how new words are coined, or come to fall out of use. These would become decisions for big tech and government, not individual speakers of languages.

Given all this, The Babel Apocalypse serves as a warning: when we lose language we all lose.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Dr. Vyvyan Evans is a native of Chester, England. He holds a PhD in linguistics from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., and is a Professor of Linguistics. He has published numerous acclaimed popular science and technical books on language and linguistics. His popular science essays and articles have appeared in numerous venues including 'The Guardian', 'Psychology Today', 'New York Post', 'New Scientist', 'Newsweek' and 'The New Republic'. His award-winning writing focuses, in one way or another, on the nature of language and mind, the impact of technology on language, and the future of communication. His science fiction work explores the status of language and digital communication technology as potential weapons of mass destruction.

Book website (including ‘Buy’ links):

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Youtube channel:




The Babel Apocalypse earned a starred review in Kirkus: "A perfect fusion of SF, thriller, and mystery—smart speculative fiction at its very best."

The full review is here:

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Guidance to Death Teaser #rabtbooktours


Frank Adams Series, Book One


Murder/Mystery Thriller

Date Published: 05-16-2023

Publisher: BQB Publishing

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It was cold and rainy, with low visibility. A perfect morning for sabotage. The company jet carrying a Senior VP mysteriously crashes shortly after taking off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says it was an accident. The victim’s wife says it was murder. Frank Adams, an independent aviation accident investigator has been hired to find out. Mounting evidence and an additional murder convince Adams that there was indeed foul play.

As what seemed to be disparate events become increasingly linked, Frank reveals a crime of international dimensions. Accustomed to working independently, Frank is forced to call on the help of an old girlfriend as well as a retired DC cop. But unraveling the truth could cost him his life as well as the lives of his friends.


Frank lay shivering in the mud for over an hour, until he was sure they had not taken the road around to this side of the lake. Perhaps they thought he was the first to go through the ice and never made it out from under it. Or maybe they were only after Sal, and either arrogantly or foolishly ignored him. Whatever the reason, he couldn't take unnecessary chances now, and even though they probably did not know where his cabin was, he decided not to risk going to it. Slowly, stiffly, he got to his knees and gently pushed the reeds aside to look at the lake. It was as black and empty as before, nothing stirred. Tomorrow the hole would be iced over, and Sal would be sealed there until spring, with his pockets stuffed full of money, legal papers, and a gun.

Frank's hands had numbed to the point where he could not feel the mud that he scraped from his clothes, and his feet were like solid blocks of wood. He started up the hill, careful to place his feet on firm ground. The reeds had given way to thick forest.

He hooked his arms around tree trunks to pull himself along. By the time he reached the dirt road on this side of the lake, he was beginning to get some feeling back into his extremities.

He remembered once, when he was a young and hungry charter pilot, waiting outside the locked operator's office in twenty-degree weather for his passenger to return. He couldn't waste precious aviation fuel just to keep warm, so he spent most of the night sprinting up and down the runway, working up body steam that would soon be drawn away by the cold. Cold was like death. It was always trying to get at you, seeping in under doors, through windows, always drawing life-giving heat out of your body.

Frank reached the road after one last struggle with the mud and snow. He knew that there was a house several miles down the road. He didn't know the people, but that didn't matter now. All he could think about was the cold that threatened to kill him.

He started to run down the road, flapping his arms like a grounded bird in an absurd attempt at flight. The movement warmed him a little but running in this kind of total darkness was impossible. The road was muddy and invisible beneath him. Trotting worked a little better, and nothing interfered with flapping his arms. He pumped up a little more body heat and concentrated on his arms to forget about the cold.

How far was the farmhouse? He had always judged the distance from his cabin. He was not completely sure of his position on the road. He kept trotting, planting his feet firmly in the soft surface of the road, occasionally stumbling but never quite falling.

The glow of car lights appeared behind him. They were hidden by a curve and had not caught him in their direct beams yet. He reached the edge of the road in three long strides, grabbed a small fir tree at the top as he would have grabbed an adversary by the hair, and jumped off the road. The tree bent over ninety degrees and checked his momentum. He released it, and it snapped back upright. It would take more than Frank to break off its maturity.

He worked his way down several feet below road level, digging the toes of his shoes into the ground for support. The car came very slowly, the tires grinding by him overhead. He hoped they were only locals who knew the condition of the road, maybe even the people who lived in the house that he was looking for. But Frank wasn't thinking of that by the time the car passed.

He was thinking of Baja, California in July. He could almost feel the blistering sun, smell the dry desert air. He could see the blue Pacific glittering all the way to the horizon and hear the refreshing sound of Pacific waves breaking on the rocky shore.

His memory of Baja was so clear that he believed for a few quick moments that he had awakened there. Maybe he had passed out and the people in the car had found him, and somehow his comatose body had been sent to California for treatment at the swimming pool of an elegant hacienda and letting the sun and Pacific revive him.

He abruptly came to, gazed around, and wiped the snow away from his mouth. It tasted like foul ice water. The wind had started to pick up, and it had a Canadian bite to it. Tomorrow everything would be frozen solid. He pushed himself up from the ground, forced several deep swallows of cold air into his lungs, and struggled back up to the road.

About the Author

A retired Aviation Safety Inspector for the FAA, Daniel V. Meier, Jr. has always had a passion for writing. During his college years, he studied History at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington (UNCW) and American Literature at The University of Maryland Graduate School.  In 1980 he published an Action/Thriller, Mendosa’s Treasure with Leisure Books under the pen name of Vince Daniels.

He worked briefly for the Washington Business Journal as a journalist and has been a contributing writer/editor for several aviation magazines. Guidance to Death is a return to a favorite genre of his, Action/Thriller/with the added intrigue of Murder/Mystery.

Other books by Dan are Blood Before Dawn, the sequel to the award-winning novel, The Dung Beetles of Liberia. Bloodroot, also an Historical novel is about the Jamestown settlement in the early 1600’s and No Birds Sing Here, is a work of Satirical Literary Fiction.

Dan and his wife live in Owings, Maryland, about twenty miles south of Annapolis and when he's not writing, they spend their summers sailing on the Chesapeake Bay.


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Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Romance Thriller

Date Published: May 5, 2023

Publisher: Absolute Author Publishing House


Jatin wants nothing more to do with women. Haunted by his wife’s devastating betrayal and their bitter divorce, the only woman he’d ever be interested in would be one who literally worships the ground he walks on. But that’s impossible in modern India. Jatin is fine living completely alone, growing ever angrier and more violent.

When a catastrophic event confronts him with his own mortality, Jatin has a choice to make. He can continue with his former empty way of life, or he can shape the world he desires. Faced with a beautiful young girl whose mind is a blank slate, he finally has a chance to test his theories about what a woman should be. And, more importantly, about what will make him happy. Jatin becomes a master craftsman, shaping a web of deceit to create the perfect partner. But what will he do when his dream world starts crashing in?

About the Author

Sam Arcot is a software engineer by day and an aspiring author by night, ready to take the publishing world by storm with his upcoming debut novel, The Craftsman. Hailing from India, Sam is now based in Chicago. His unique cultural experiences have inspired him to explore the influence worldviews have on individuals and society through his writing.

His first book was penned when he was just 19 years old, and it quickly became a sensation with its gripping plot and nail-biting suspense. Now, Sam is set to introduce his psychological romance thriller to the American audience, promising a captivating read with its compelling characters and page-turning storyline.

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