A Shattering Glimpse by Nicole Putter | Book Blitz

A Shattering Glimpse
Nicole Putter
Publication date: December 10th 2020
Genres: Adult, Romance, Thriller

The dreams: For years, Claire Baxter has been haunted by ceaseless dreams of an FBI Agent.

The dilemma: She has no idea who he is or if he even exists.

The death: Right before she’s set to graduate from college, a dream reveals him dying in a brutal explosion.

One touch and not-so-normal Portland girl, Claire Baxter, can get a glimpse of your nearby future. She considers nothing about her clairvoyance a gift, it’s a curse, to say the least. Her parents raised her with the rule that she is to keep the secret at all cost, leaving little room for relationships of any kind. As if the burden isn’t enough, FBI agent Byron Black becomes the phantom of a series of sinister dreams.

The night before her final college exam, she has another dream, except in this one, he dies in a nuclear explosion. Does he exist? Will she find him? If so, can she save the countless lives affected by a blast that can crush steel like it’s a piece of paper, or… is this something her lost, psychic mind conjured up?

EXCERPT:

Claire had no sooner ended the call than the fleeting nightmare returned, as tangible as the test she would take in an hour. Her hands started to shake, causing her phone to drop to the floor. Sweat striped the back of her neck. Her phantom was in danger. As she raked her trembling fingers through her blonde curls, she experienced a sense of déjà vu from her 14-year-old self.

30 March 2014

Claire woke in a pool of cold sweat. That was a first. She had always been able to predict the future of those with whom she came into physical contact. Never before had she seen someone without touching them, let alone not knowing them at all. Her visions were subjective. If she warned the receiver of her touch, it could change, though she would never tell. Only her parents and best friend, Brent Lee, knew about her unique gift. They called it a gift, Claire often considered it a damn curse.

The man from her vivid dream was tall, not buff, but rather lean and toned. He was at the beach with his friends: Tanned with dark, ruffled hair and deep, brown eyes above a sharp jawline. A deep scar puckered his left cheekbone.

Attempting to impress some girl, he meandered deeper and deeper into the ocean. Later, he was laboring for breath as the wild rollers clutched at him and the desperate torrent sucked him further and further from the shore. It was a battle of arms, legs, and waves. He coughed and gasped, splashed and jolted, doing everything in his power to stay alive until a coastguard came to his rescue.

Once they reached the safety of the beach, she learnt his name as everyone bustled around to ensure he was okay. He was alive, smiling and called Byron.

That night Claire had met Special Agent Black of the FBI for the first time. He had been the centrepiece of her dreams for the next eight years. Okay, perhaps centrepiece was overdoing it, but he did feature often. Not every night, but at least once a month. Maybe less. Definitely less. The dreams changed. Sometimes they reflected significant instances in his life, like graduation and his sister’s wedding. Other times, she merely saw his face. No sound, just him. She knew a lot about the man of her dreams. Nope, the man from her dreams. Now she even knew how he would die. If he even existed.

I can’t let this happen. She squeezed her eyes shut and flopped back down on to her black-and-white mess of a bed. I must warn him.


Author Bio:

Nicole Putter is the author of the Shattering Series and several short stories. She completed four creative writing and journalism courses with honours between a successful career in finance. When she’s not writing fiction, she blogs about her passion for books and writing. She’s also happily married, and a proud mom of one son and a Jack Russel Terrier named Striker.

Guardian of the Sky Realms by Gerry Huntman | Blog Tour & Author Interview

Book Name: Guardian of the Sky Realms
Author: Gerry Huntman
Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publication date: September 1st, 2020
Published By: Meerkat Press
Book Acquired: ARC, Publisher
Ratings: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis:

Maree Webster—an “almost-emo” from the western suburbs of Sydney—hates school, has few friends, and is obsessed with angels and fallen angel stories. Life is boring until she decides to steal a famous painting from a small art gallery that has been haunting her dreams: swirling reds, grays and oranges of barely discernible winged figures. There, she meets a stranger who claims to know her and stumbles into a world where cities float in the sky, and daemons roam the barren, magma-spewing crags of the land far below. And all is not well—Maree is turning into something she loves but at the same time, fears. Most fearful of all is the prospect of losing her identity—what makes her Maree, and more importantly, what makes her human. Guardian of the Sky Realms takes the reader on a journey through exotic fantasy lands, as well as across the globe, from Sydney to Paris, from the Himalayas to Manhattan. At its heart, it is a novel about transformation. Book two of the series will be released in 2021.

My Interview with the Author:

1) Tell us something about yourself that no one knows. A funny secret perhaps?

I’ve been on this planet long enough to have done some silly and stupid things, and have had the odd moment of bad luck. More the former, mind you. While my youth was not entirely misspent, I can give you a little story from when I was about 20. Christmas Eve, going with the boys out for some partying and (insensibly) heavy drinking. At that time scotch and sodas were my preference. Knowing that the bar we went to would close around midnight, I gave the bartender a bottle of whisky to look after for me, and to hand over when I left. This worked perfectly, and instead of being moderate, youthful male silliness took over and in the next half hour I glugged half the bottle. Messed up. Big time. Somehow, I ended up sleeping on the lounge room floor of one of my friend’s (read: his parents’) home. The parents didn’t know I was there, and when they saw me the next morning, and my colour (bluey-white, apparently), they called an ambulance thinking I had died. I was just fast asleep. It took quite a while to shrug off this event among my friends, and to get over the embarrassment with my friend’s parents.

2) When did you start writing?

I actually had the creative urge when I was about 11 or 12 years old. So much so, that I insidiously wrote creative writing stories for some of my friends at school, passing them off as theirs. I also remember, again around that age, sending several short stories (typed and snail-mailed) to a publisher, and receiving a reply (a rejection that very kindly said that they loved the stories and look forward to seeing more work when I was older). When I was in my teens I moved my creative urge to role-playing, and was very active in the field for many years, writing scenarios for conventions and publications. While not ‘writing’ per se, it was a very good apprenticeship, building many of the skills that I use today. I only seriously pursued writing as an adult about 15 years ago.

3) What was the source of inspiration for this book?

Guardian of the Sky Realms is an outlier for me, as I don’t often write juvenile fiction. I was in a fantastic writers group for a number of years and we had a weekly challenge, where each of us took turns setting up challenges to write short stories or vignettes. We could set a task specifically, or ask everyone to write a story based on a photograph, or art piece, or even a song. One such challenge was an abstract painting by a very talented Californian artist, and it instantly inspired me to write a story about a teenage girl who was obsessed with that same painting (albeit in a fictional setting). It was a short piece, and ended with the girl entering an amazing world, through the painting that acted as a portal. It was inspiring enough for me to fairly rapidly convert it into a book.

4) If given a chance to co-author a book with another author, who would it be and why?

I have many author-friends and it makes sense, if I were to imagine a co-operate effort, to consider one of them. One such friend is Jack Dann, who is a giant in the speculative fiction field, and you could say that we are very good pals. I would absolutely love to collaborate with him, and it would definitely be a mature reading piece.

5) If you could be any character from Guardian of the Sky Realms, who would you be and why?

It’s hard to bypass the main protagonist of Guardian of the Sky Realms, Maree. The story is really about her, and she gets the greatest challenges, and is key to these challenges being overcome. This is a middle grade book, focused on adventure, and she is the adventure. By being Maree, I would witness almost the entire tableaux of the story, dive into the moments of sadness and despair, and soar with her successes.

6) Do you prefer hard copies or soft copies while reading?

I prefer hard copies when I read. I really can’t tell you if it is largely related to my generation or not, but I can say that when I read I love holding the entire story in my hands, and being able to read easily lying down, sitting, and so forth.

7) What is your favourite scene from the book?

My favourite scene from Guardian of the Sky Realms is the one that usually makes me a bit teary. Without wanting to give too much away, there is a scene where an important character dies, and another character, a French-speaking gargoyle, sticks with this dying person until the end, despite putting his life at risk. The whole point of this scene, aside from the sad ending and sacrifice of a character, is the point that love is the most important motivator of all. The gargoyle loved this character, and would never abandon a true friend.

8) Your ultimate top 5 books.

Gosh, the toughest question, and always has been. I’ll answer in the context of different periods of my life, to reflect how they influenced me, and my further reading and writing.

  1. The Adventure series by Willard Price – my first exposure to non-graphical stories, and full of escapism and adventure. Written in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s in the main, they were also products of their time – very much boy’s own adventures. South Seas Adventure was by far the best. This catalyzed my love for reading.
  2. The Lensmen series by E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith – again, old stuff but resurrected in the 70’s with the pulp fiction boom, and amazing, cosmic space opera. I read this stuff in my early teens and just lapped it up, and it consolidated my love for speculative fiction and escapism. The first book Triplanetary, is noteworthy.
  3. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman was the first speculative fiction piece I read (sci-fi to be exact) that didn’t just draw me into the story, but made me think beyond the plot to the extent that I wanted to write like that. I was still in my teens when I read this, and I have a special place in my heart for the novel. A few years ago I had the pleasure of having dinner with Joe and his wife (among others) in Baltimore and had the opportunity to talk about it with him. 
  4. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkein. Well, I’m probably not alone, but through my teen years and even into adulthood, this book transported me more effectively into another, imaginary world more than any other. I have read this trilogy more times than any other book or set of books, by a long shot.
  5. I’m very conscious of the lack of female writers in the list thus far, and certainly the first two or three were a product of my environment in the seventies. It’d be wrong, however, to say that I didn’t read superb female writers and many were among my favourites throughout my life, if not, in fact, taking on the greater number of, say, my top 200. Ursula LeGuin, Shirley Jackson, N. K. Jemesin, Katherine Kerr, and the list goes on. All contributed to my enjoyment of this wonderful field. However, if I were to look back at a book or series that, again, had more of an influence on my life than most, and that can be added to the ‘top 5’, I would say the Saga of Pliocene Exile by Julian May fits the bill, and most notably The Many-Colored Land.

9) Are you working on any new projects? When will we see them?

Since becoming a full time writer, my output and my list of projects have grown. Aside from keeping my short story writing simmering on an ongoing basis, the next manuscript I’m due to complete is the sequel to Guardian of the Sky Realms (titled Champion of the Sky Realms) which will be released by Meerkat Press in 2021. I have a mature-reader Fantasy novel near completed, but needing a lot of revision, and I have plans for a science fiction/horror piece which will require a lot of research before the word production can commence. My goal is to see a title come out a year from 2020 onward.

10) Do you have a routine that motivates you? Can you share it with our readers?

I’m answering this question during Stage 4 lock down in the city that I live in, due to COVID-19. It does change routines and it coincided with me turning to full-time writing and publishing. Nevertheless, I have a framework that works for me, and I know will settle better once we are over the pandemic hump. For me, writing every week morning – putting in a good 4 or 5 hours each time, is the backbone of my routine, and generally I will do my publishing work in the afternoons. Weekends are normally set aside for non-professional activities, including the most important family time. When the inspiration in my writing runs hot, then the rules can be broken, but it is a case of making it the exception rather than the rule. 


Author Bio:

Gerry Huntman is  a writer and publisher based in Melbourne Australia, living with his wife and young daughter. He has sold over 50 short fiction pieces, most of which are dark and for mature audiences, but he also has a love for middle grade fiction. He loves travel and gets many of his story ideas from distant lands and culture, but is equally happy with the cafe set in his hometown.

Machiavellian by Bella Di Corte | Blog Tour

Book Name: Machiavellian (Gangsters of New York, #1)
Author: Bella Di Corte
Genres:
 Adult, Romance, Suspense
Publication Date: May 8th 2020
Book Acquired: ARC, Xpresso Book Tours
Ratings: 4 stars! 

Synopsis:

I hungered to be seen.

There were three things I knew about Capo Macchiavello:

He was gorgeous.
He was reclusive.
He was considered one of New York’s most savage animals.

And he wanted me as his wife. A simple arrangement – you do for me, I do for you. Nothing owed, no expectations. Except for one: never leave.

Life was never that simple, though. By the age of twenty-one, I was parent-less, jobless, and homeless, and I had come to learn the hard way that nothing was ever free. Even kindness comes with strings.

Capo might’ve been the only man to ever see me, but I had made a vow to myself: I would never owe anyone anything. Most of all, the man I called boss.

I killed to stay hidden.

Mariposa Flores thought she owed nothing to no one, but she owed everything…to me, the ghost the world had once called The Machiavellian Prince of New York.

Machiavellian is the first of three books set in the savage world of the Gangsters of New York series.

My Review: 

It’s been a long time since I read a mafia book. The younger version of me enjoyed reading her fair share of Mafia books on Wattpad. But this is a different time. 

I was captivated by the book in the start itself. The introduction of the characters is done remarkably. I connected with Mari instantly and sympathized with her situation. the step she takes to help her self is taken in desperate measures and seems weird in the start but I kind of warmed up to it by the end. 

Capo’s persona is very strong and manly. That makes him very desirable and of course, he notices Mari when no one will. He wants to protect her at all costs. Instead of starting a relationship normally, Mari and Capo make a deal and I enjoyed watching their chemistry grow with each passing chapter. 

Given the situation both Mari and Capo are in, we see the gentleness towards each other and the eagerness to learn about the other come alive. The short and sweet moments are not what you generally expect in a Mafia novel, but the author has done a great job at adding them in a way that flows perfectly.

Although, the book is a bit too long, I didn’t feel it as I was so intrigued by it. The lies, secrets, deception, action all make the book an even better read. I loved this book and would highly recommend! 

Tribulation by Jaydeep Shah| Blog Tour

Book Name: Tribulation (Cops Planet #1)
Author: Jaydeep Shah
Genres: Adult, Suspense, Thriller
Publication date: June 15th, 2020
Book Source: ARC, Xpresso Book Tours
Ratings: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis:

When a couple celebrates their eleventh marriage anniversary at their old mansion far from the city of Naples, Florida, they begin experiencing paranormal events. While trying to find out the truth of what’s happening, they encounter a girl wandering in the mansion.

She is the girl whom the couple never wanted to see again in their life.

Surrounded by their sinful past and the girl’s deathly traps, the couple tries hard to escape the mansion. But they are stuck. There is no way out of the mansion. Every second, they approach their end.

There are many secrets buried in the mansion—about the girl, about the couple, and about their past.

Tribulation is a masterpiece of suspense, a thriller with some mild elements of horror from the imagination of Jaydeep Shah.

My Review:

What happens when a murderer gets murdered by the person they tried to murder? Did you get it? If not, please read Tribulation by Jaydeep Shah so everything makes sense and you’ll know what I’m talking about. 

The story is fast-paced, and every chapter shows a new edge to the story. All the characters are shown to do their job well and play out in the most captivating way. We learn about Alex and Casie, as a couple who are celebrating their marriage anniversary at their mansion when things start going wrong. At first, I didn’t understand what was happening and got pretty spooked with the beginning itself. But what everyone thinks is a joke, turns out to be more important and spooky by the chapter. 

Ana, the murderee is back for revenge and is going all out to get what she wants. She wants to see Alex and Casie fall. For a while we see Ana winning and then Alex has control but then Emily enters and it is chaotic but intriguing to read. 

Although the book was a short page-turner, I would have enjoyed a more detailed run-through. I couldn’t connect with the characters and I wish there was more depth to their backstory. The author sticks to the plot and doesn’t deviate from it to give us any details. I’m someone who enjoys her fair share of descriptive books and this one got over too soon. This is something that can be seen as a pro and con whichever way you want to take it. 

The cliff-hanger at the end, is definitely not what I expected and now I’m eager to read the next book in the series. Excuse me, I need more answers! If you like a short, suspense book with good plot twists and appreciable cliff-hangers, then this book is for you!