Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway - Refuge for Masterminds by Kathleen Baldwin


Refuge for Masterminds
Author: Kathleen Baldwin
Series: Stranje House (Book 3)
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen (May 23, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765376040
ISBN-13: 978-0765376046

Book Description:
Lady Jane Moore has a secret. A secret that must be kept buried. For if anyone discovered the truth, her life at Stranje House would crumble. And with Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of England underway, everyone at Stranje House is already in danger. Mortal danger.

Jane knows it. She may not be like Tess, who has the advantage of prophetic dreams. Nor is she like Sera, who notices every detail no matter how miniscule and draws conclusions based on the smallest thread of evidence. She doesn’t possess Maya’s ability to soothe the tempers around her with a few well-spoken words. Neither is she a brilliant scientist like Georgie. According to Miss Stranje, Lady Jane Moore is a mastermind.


Jane doesn’t consider herself a mastermind. Quite the contrary, she believes herself to be an ordinary young lady. It’s just that she has a rather excessive bent toward the practical. She tends to grasp the facts of a situation quickly, and by so doing, she’s able to devise and implement a sensible course of action. But that’s all there is to it. Well, there is the fact that she also organizes the players in her plans with quiet efficiency. So much so, that occasionally Lady Jane’s friends tease her for being a bit managing.

Do they expect her to sit back and do nothing when trouble is brewing? Not likely. Not when the people she cares about are at risk. Call it being a mastermind if you must, it is a trait that comes in rather handy in a world full of spies, sabotage, and double-dealing. Especially now that Lady Jane and Sera have rooted out the truth: There is a traitor at Stranje House.

Someone is sneaking information to Lady Daneska and Ghost, Napoleon’s spies. Jane is determined to find out who it is before the bonds of friendship at Stranje House are ripped apart by suspicions. Her desperate hunt for the traitor ensnares Robert Fulton’s nephew, Alexander Sinclair, a brash American inventor, in an ambush that puts his life in danger. Sinclair may well be the most maddening man in all of Christendom, a wicked-tongued rascal with boorish manners, but for some reason, Lady Jane cannot bear the thought of the golden-haired genius being harmed.

Is Jane enough of a mastermind to save Alexander, her friends at Stranje House, and possibly England itself?

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Book Blast & Giveaway - Fractured Beauty: The Fairy Tale Five by Adrienne Monson, Lehua Parker, Angela Corbett, Angela Brimhall, Angela Hartley


Fractured Beauty: The Fairy Tale Five
Authors: Adrienne Monson, Lehua Parker, Angela Corbett, Angela Brimhall, Angela Hartley
File Size: 2835 KB
Print Length: 177 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Tork Media (June 1, 2017)
Publication Date: June 1, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English

Book Description:
Beauty and the Beast may be a tale as old as time, but in this collection by the Fairy Tale Five you’ll meet five newly imagined Belles and the Beasts they love.

Angela Brimhall’s beast is a terrifying sea monster cursed by a scorned gypsy. He must risk all to save the strong-willed princess before losing his last chance at love and redemption, becoming forever damned to the briny deep.

Lehua Parker’s Nani is trapped by Indian and Hawaiian traditions and a fiancé locked in stasis in a medi-mod. Cultures and expectations collide in this sci-fi futuristic world where nano-bot tattoos and dreams reveal the secret of Nani’s heart.

Angela Corbett’s Ledger is determined to find out more about the mysterious woman who saved him from certain death and uncover the secrets of Withering Woods, but some beasts are better left caged.

Adrienne Monson’s Arabella rushes to an enchanted castle to pay her father’s debt, but is met with a burly beast with a mysterious past. It’s a howling paranormal regency romp that will keep you turning pages well past your bedtime.

Angela Hartley’s Porta Bella discovers there’s more to Oregon life than taking care of her father when she finds herself rescued by Bigfoot. It’s up to Porta Bella to unravel the faery’s curse and discover who’s the real monster.

Buy Links:
Amazon US ¦ UK ¦ B&N ¦ Kobo

Monday, 22 May 2017

Promo Blitz & Giveaway - When the Sky Falls by Joseph Bendoski

When the Sky Falls
Author: Joseph Bendoski
Genre: Thriller / Espionage / Conspiracy / Historical
Date Published: March 24, 2017

Book Description:
“What makes you believe a lie? I’m not asking how you know someone is lying. What makes you believe? Because if you don’t understand how that works, then you won’t know when you’re being manipulated.”

In 1938 the War of the Worlds hoax panicked millions of Americans, then in 1988 another fictional media broadcast convinced nearly half of Portugal that sea monsters had risen from the ocean to destroy their cities. A team of CIA agents was sent to study the aftermath of this 6th Skyfall Event in the hope that they could turn it into a weapon of war. When the team consultant turns up dead, everyone scrambles to be the last man standing: the one who will decide if or when the sky falls.

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Book Blitz & Giveaway - Shift of Shadow and Soul by Hilary Thompson

This is the blog tour for author Hilary Thompson's new YA Epic Fantasy novel, organized by Itching for Books. Check out the awesome teasers and enter to win a hardcopy of the book. 

Shift of Shadow and Soul
Series: Soul Shifter #1
Author: Hilary Thompson
Release Date: May 22nd, 2017
Publisher: Star Shadow Books

Synopsis via Goodreads:
There are three kinds of magic in the world, and Corentine has the wrong one.

Long ago, the Restless King forced Corentine’s people into hiding as he scoured their blood for the SoulShifter. When Corentine learns she possesses some of the forbidden Shifter magic, she must hide her power or risk the same death her twin suffered.

Raised to trust no-one, she rejects the General’s son Sy, until she realizes his family secrets might be the key to unlocking hers. When his brother turns against them, they are forced to fight family to save what’s left of their home, or accept banishment to find a new future.

If Coren and Sy can’t convince their people to accept the light of Shifter magic, the growing Shadow will ruin everyone’s chance of freedom.

Travel this richly imagined world with a diverse cast that readers have compared to fantasy favorites like Sarah J Maas and Leigh Bardugo.

Sulit Witch
Weshen Shifter
Umbren Shadow

When dark meets light, will all become Shadow?

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Sunday, 21 May 2017

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway - Coming Home by Kimberley O'Malley

Coming Home
Author: Kimberley O'Malley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 3-7-17
Publisher: self/ Carolina Blue Publishing

Book Description:
Dr. Elizabeth Abbott Fitzgerald has spent the last ten years of her life running; from tragedy, from family, from love. But now her mother’s failing health calls her home to Windsor Falls, North Carolina; to the place where her past awaits. Sam Bishop can’t believe his eyes when the love of his life returns after ten long years. All he wants is to clear his conscience and get back the family he lost when Connor, his best friend and Elizabeth’s husband died tragically. Could it really be true that time heals all wounds?

Buy Links:
Amazon US ¦ UK ¦ B&N ¦ Kobo


A pair of headlights turned into his driveway, surprising Sam. No one ever came out this way, especially this late. And he didn’t live in a place where people came to by accident. He grabbed an old pair of running shorts hanging off the back of a chair and put them on hurriedly. His heart was beating erratically, as though it might burst out of his chest. He crossed to the bedroom window and looked out into the darkness.
A summer storm had just started, and lightening split the sky. In its bright illumination, he could see the familiar outline of Diane's car. This was better than any fantasy. She had come to him. He didn’t know why, and he didn’t care. He ran through his house to the front door, throwing it open. The thunder that followed closely shook the house. Rain was now coming down in sheets.
Elizabeth stood in the driveway, hesitant and soaking wet. She appeared frozen, if not by the suddenly, violent weather, then by her own indecision. Her eyes were wide, and she twisted her keys in her hands. As he looked closer, Sam could see she was shaking. He met her half way as she walked to the porch, coming to a halt in front of her. The rain slashed down mercilessly, but neither seemed to notice.
"I'm so sorry, Sam. For so many things. I don’t even know where to begin. I just…"She broke off then. Her breathing was shallow and rapid. Her chest was heaving.

He knew that there were so many things that they needed to talk about, but for the life of him, Sam couldn’t think of a single one. He reached out and brushed her soaking hair behind one ear. Her clothing, what there was of it, was plastered to her body in the rain, and he couldn’t help but stare at her beautiful breasts. Her nipples were peaked and straining at the wet material of her tank top. He could easily tell that she wore nothing underneath.
Struggling to maintain control, Sam dragged his gaze upwards. His throat tightened, and his chest ached from the effort of breathing. She was so damned beautiful. "I'm the one who should be sorry. I had no right to start something we couldn’t finish. I had no right to speak to you that way either." He grinned at Elizabeth; a slow, sexy grin, trying to ease the tension between them. "Is that the famous cami I've heard so much about?"

Without a word, Elizabeth reached out, tracing a fingernail down Sam's bare chest. A shudder tore through him just as another burst of lightening split the sky. Sam drew in a ragged breath as her finger reached the taut plane of his stomach. He grabbed her hand in his.

"Elizabeth, you'd better leave now if you're leaving tonight." Sam held his breathe as he waited for her answer. The tension was palpable.

She met his gaze in the darkness. "The only place I'm going is inside, with you Sam." The storm raging around them was nothing compared to that which raged between them.

Without another word, he leaned down and swung her up into his arms. Pivoting on his heel, he bounded across the porch and into the house. He paused only long enough to kick the door shut with his foot, before continuing through the living area and his bedroom and into his master bath.

Once inside, he placed her gently on her feet and reached for a large, thick bath towel. He reverently dried the rainwater from her face and arms. There wasn’t one inch of either of them that wasn't soaked. His heart was pounding so fiercely he was afraid she could hear it in the quiet of the room. Sam hesitated once again, giving her a chance to change her mind. But all she did was smile tentatively at him.

Elizabeth took the towel from his hands and returned the favor, guiding it up his chest and across his broad shoulders. "Sam" she said in a whisper.

That was all he needed to assure him that she was here with him and only him tonight. There wouldn’t be room for ghosts. Something inside of him broke free. He leaned down and placed his lips in the sensitive hollow where her neck and shoulder joined. She sighed with pleasure. Encouraged, he trailed his mouth up the delicate line of her neck to the soft underside of her jaw and finally around to her ear. He took the very tip of her earlobe into his mouth and bit down lightly. Needing to taste more of her, he trapped her face in his hands and pulled her in for a kiss, his mouth plundering hers.

About the Author
Kimberley O’Malley is a recent transplant to Charlotte, North Carolina from the frozen North. She is learning to say y’all but draws the line at sweet tea. Sarcasm is an art form in her world. When not writing, she is a full-time nurse and part-time soccer Mom, but not necessarily in that order. She shares her life with an amazing husband of more than twenty years, two teenagers, and one very sweet Shetland Sheepdog, Molly.

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Blog Tour Organised by:

Saturday, 20 May 2017

BOOK REVIEW: In a Blue Moon (Blue Moon, #1) by R.A. Desilets

In a Blue Moon
Blue Moon, #1
Author: R.A. Desilets
Genre: YA Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Book Description:
When Effy stumbles down the rabbit hole, she discovers the wondrous fairy tale land of East Valley in chaos. Death and insanity reign after the release of the deadly blue moon curse. Teaming up with the only sane people left—Jack the giant killer, Hansel, and Cat from Cheshire—they traverse East Valley, desperately searching for an answer.

They know Effy’s the key to unraveling the curse, but everyone who remembers how to break the curse is… well, cursed. The murderous mob has Effy in their crosshairs. With Snow, Red, Rapunzel, Gretel, and Pinocchio on the group’s trail, Effy isn’t sure any of them will make it out alive.

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In a Blue Moon is quite the fun read, and one the whole family would enjoy. This is unlike the Alice in Wonderland we all know and love but is filled with as much magic and intrigue that the original tale had to keep readers glued to the pages. The story follows the tale of young Effy Camden, who, while out partying with her best friend, Alyssa, slips through a portal, otherwise known as a rabbit hole, and finds herself in the land of East Valley. Here, she is announced as the new Alice, the girl who has come to save East Valley from the terrible curse of the Blue Moon. Over the course of numerous days, Effy, along with her merry group of colourful characters, traverse the land in search of answers of a cure so they can save the residents of East Valley, who have all turned into lunar-tics (you get it ... right?).

I found all the characters to be amusing and engaging, even the crazies like Belle, Gretel and especially Pinocchio. As much as I wanted to strangle the puppet, I enjoyed his character and his chaotic antics. Considering that almost everyone in town was crazy, the characterisation could have gone south with everyone appearing too similar, but that's not the case here. These characters were rather distinct and were all entertaining. The sane characters were also a treat. I loved the portrayal of Cat, a slightly more zen verison of Yoda, I would say. Although not quite the charmer, Jack the giant killer was a satisfactory leading man. He and Effy shared a lot of similarities, so they were quite the match. While there was no doubt signs of romance between Effy and her saviour, Jack, I liked that it wasn't an insta-love situation. We got to watch as their friendship grew and saw how they came to trust each other. It was a believable union, not just the chemistry between them but also the friendship they formed.

I did feel the story went on for longer than necessary. It could have done with a few less chapters, particularly when each step of their journey resulted in the same outcome. It felt repetitive after about the first ten chapters. It was the same scenario being repeated before the characters actually found a semblance of a resolution. It also took some time before Effy and her companions found any answers as to how to break the curse. The story felt as though it was hovering in one spot for some period, which became somewhat tiresome. Thankfully, the cast of characters were so entertaining that I overcame the slacking plot development and got to the end, which I loved, by the way. That cliffhanging ending was a nice little surprise. I loved the twist. Very well done.

I would recommend this book to everyone who loves a fast-paced, humourous, adventurous tale with a cast of characters who have serious psychological issues - not always relatable, but nonetheless entertaining.


Award: Gold
Ratings: 4 out of 5 Stars
Source: Author

Friday, 19 May 2017

Blog Tour Promo & Giveaway - Blue's Prophecy by Emily Ross


Blue's Prophecy
Author: Emily Ross
Genre: MG/YA Scifi/Fantasy
Release Date: May 15th, 2017
Publisher: TitleTown Publishing

Book Description:
Two genetically altered dogs, two different fates. One is Robo, a beloved Great Dane, who is tricked out of the embrace of his human family and then is horribly altered by an evil scientist who rebuilds him with robotic parts, weaponizing the dog for money from the military. But that s not all the scientist does the experiments he conducts leave Robo a genius, almost immortal and with powers beyond explanation. But the horror Robo experiences at the scientist's hands changes him driving him insane with the sole mission to destroy all humans, especially those who have tortured and hurt dogs.

Meanwhile, a scrappy alley husky sits in a shelter, when she with her blue eyes and tough wolf-like features captures the attention of another group of scientists desperate to stop Robo from his path of destruction. This dog, called Blue, could be the chosen one to fight and defeat Robo. She is also genetically enhanced and left with glowing turquoise eyes before being released to face Robo s vicious dog army. Her mission: save human civilization and the packs of dogs she's grown to love.

Buy Links:
Amazon US ¦ UK ¦ B&N


Indiesphere Feature - Ash Born (The Eternity Series, Book 1) by S.R. Crawford

Ash Born
(The Eternity Series, Book 1)
Author: S.R. Crawford
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: July 28th, 2016

Book Description:
Urban, Dark Fantasy.

Three worlds.
Seven species.
One war and one girl to change everything…

Letti Kane has always been an outsider. Perhaps this was why she foolishly fell for the dangerous Kaizen D’Anna at first sight. However, mingling with the D’Anna family will mean discovering the dark secrets of her own. Secrets of which are catching up to Letti’s mother, the infamous Bellemere Kane.

Unknown predators from her mother’s past are forcing Letti into the darkness that exists right under her nose. Once exposed, what will it mean for Letti though? What is her place going to be in this unforgiving world? Scared, betrayed and losing herself along the way, Letti must find her inner strength before it’s too late.

As she’s thrust deeper into these perilous realms, her mother has only one question on her mind: will the inferno of their world and the upcoming war consume Letti altogether, or will she rise from the ashes?

“The world isn’t big enough for all of us.”

Ash Born is a Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy novel filled with mystery, romance and angst.

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Thursday, 18 May 2017

Blog Tour Spotlight & Giveaway - Posted by John David Anderson


Author: John David Anderson
Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Grade Level: 3 - 7
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Walden Pond Press (May 2, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006233820X
ISBN-13: 978-0062338204

Book Description:
From John David Anderson, author of the acclaimed Ms. Bixby’s Last Day, comes a humorous, poignant, and original contemporary story about bullying, broken friendships, and the failures of communication between kids.

In middle school, words aren’t just words. They can be weapons. They can be gifts. The right words can win you friends or make you enemies. They can come back to haunt you. Sometimes they can change things forever.

When cell phones are banned at Branton Middle School, Frost and his friends Deedee, Wolf, and Bench come up with a new way to communicate: leaving sticky notes for each other all around the school. It catches on, and soon all the kids in school are leaving notes—though for every kind and friendly one, there is a cutting and cruel one as well.

In the middle of this, a new girl named Rose arrives at school and sits at Frost’s lunch table. Rose is not like anyone else at Branton Middle School, and it’s clear that the close circle of friends Frost has made for himself won’t easily hold another. As the sticky-note war escalates, and the pressure to choose sides mounts, Frost soon realizes that after this year, nothing will ever be the same.

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Promo Blitz - The Last Valentine by Felix Alexander

The Last Valentine
Author: Felix Alexander
Genre: Romance, Mystery
Date Published: February 2017

Book Description:
The fate of two best friends and the secret love between them is known only to a mysterious figure who offers to aid one in hiding the truth from the other...lest their lives and love meet a tragic end.

When Olivia Villalobos finds a bloodstained love letter she endeavors to deliver it before Chief Inspector Sedeño finds it in her possession.

A city along the southern coast of Puerto Rico emerges in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War. Olivia, daughter of a drunkard police investigator who never knew the truth behind her mother’s disappearance, finds a bloodstained love letter in the hidden compartment of her father’s coat. Convinced it belonged to the man recently found dead she sets out to deliver it to the Labyrinth of Love Letters. A mysterious place believed to be an urban legend where the transients of forbidden love leave missives for one another. She enlists the help of Isaac Quintero to find the Labyrinth and they soon realize their quest has opened the door into Old Sienna’s darkest secrets—the perils, madness and depth of tragic love.

Only $0.99!

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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway - No Second Chances by Kate Evangelista


No Second Chances
(Dodge Cove #3)
Author: Kate Evangelista
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: May 16th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult 

Book Description:
Natasha was DEVASTATED when Jackson, her first love, disappeared without a word only to pop up months later as a famous DJ. But now she’s over it―over him!―and ready to move on with her life! Isn’t she? 

Jackson thought he was leaving Dodge Cove behind forever when he set off to LA to start his career as a DJ. But the one thing he had never been able to leave behind was the memory of his first love, Natasha, and now that he’s proven his success, he’s coming home to win her back…

Get ready to stop time, defy gravity and bring down the stars in this final book in Kate Evangelista’s Dodge Cove Trilogy!

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Release Blitz & Giveaway - Redemption Lake by Susan Clayton-Goldner

Redemption Lake
Author: Susan Clayton-Goldner
Genre: Mystery
Date Published: May 17 (available for presale now)
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

Book Description:
Tucson, Arizona – Eighteen-year-old Matt Garrison is harboring two terrible secrets: his involvement in the drowning death of his 12-year-old cousin, and a night of drunken sex with his best friend’s mother, Crystal, whom he finds dead the following morning. Guilt forces Matt to act on impulse and hide his involvement with Crystal.

Detective Winston Radhauser knows Matt is hiding something. But as the investigation progresses, Radhauser’s attention is focused on Matt’s father. Matt’s world closes in when his dad is arrested for Crystal’s murder and Travis breaks off their friendship. Despite his father’s guilty plea, Matt knows his dad is innocent and only trying to protect his son. Devastated and bent on self-destruction, Matt heads for the lake where his cousin died—the only place he believes can truly free him. Are some secrets better left buried?

Redemption Lake is a novel of love and betrayal. It’s about truth and lies, friendship and redemption, about assuming responsibility, and the risks a father and son will take to protect each other.

Buy Links:
Amazon US ¦ UK ¦ B&N ¦ Kobo

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway - The Truth About Happily Ever After by Karole Cozzo


The Truth About Happily Ever After
Author: Karole Cozzo
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: May 16th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Book Description:
Chin up, Princess, or the crown will slip.

A theme park princess must put her life back together after her happily ever after falls apart in The Truth About Happily Ever After, a contemporary YA romance from Karole Cozzo, author of How to Keep Rolling After a Fall and How to Say I Love You Out Loud.

Everything was supposed to be perfect. Alyssa has a job she loves, working as Cinderella at her favorite theme park; a fantastic group of friends; and a boyfriend who will no longer be long distance. But as the summer progresses, her prince becomes less charming and more distant, and Alyssa’s perfect summer falls apart.

Forced to acknowledge that life is not always a fairy tale, Alyssa starts working to pull her herself back together. Fortunately, she doesn’t have to do it alone. With her friend Miller’s support, she’s determined to prove that she’s more than just a pretty princess. And with his help, maybe she’s finally ready for something better than dreams. Maybe she’s ready for something real.

Buy Links:
Amazon US ¦ UK ¦ B&N ¦ iBooks ¦ Kobo


Book Blast & Giveaway - The Devil Orders Takeout by Bill A. Brier


The Devil Orders Takeout
Author: Bill A. Brier
Genre: Mystery / Thriller

Book Description:
A tax attorney with integrity...a powerful mobster determined to bend his will...

Grayson Bolt isn't about to compromise his integrity to help a notorious crime boss escape the cross-hairs of the IRS. But there's a steep price to pay for defying The Man--Grayson's beloved wife and older son.

There's only one way for Grayson to prevent his younger son, Jim, an innocent golf prodigy, from also being taken out: play a dangerous game of cat and mouse. And what will Jim be forced to do when the woman he loves gets ensnarled in a web of betrayal and deceit?

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Promo Blitz - The Green Scroll by I.V. Phillips

The Green Scroll
Author: I.V. Phillips
Genre: Fantasy Fiction
Date Published: 03-18-2017

Book Description:
Fiery fissures close, and thick descending clouds dissipate, revealing the heavenly skies of Wanderamid, and its neighboring worlds. Nevertheless, evil lurks amid the celebration of sustained existence. A demon known as, Lepper, discerns one whose blood runs through pulsating veins, like his own. It provokes his diabolic interest to heighten, and motivates him to search for this individual. He embarks on his pursuit by going through electrifying portals, no longer accessible to mortals, ever since Wanderamid’s crystal ball was placed back to its rightful place, in palms of stone.

Emera, Wanderamid’s powerful witch, finds out about her son’s imminent transformation. His demonic fate leaves her in grave disbelief. She has no notion where he could be, and unaware that he is the purpose for a demon’s hunt!

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Monday, 15 May 2017

Book Blast & Giveaway - The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis


The Guns Above
Series: Signal Airship (Book 1)
Author: Robyn Bennis
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (May 2, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765388766
ISBN-13: 978-0765388766

Book Description:
The nation of Garnia has been at war for as long as Auxiliary Lieutenant Josette Dupris can remember – this time against neighboring Vinzhalia. Garnia’s Air Signal Corp stands out as the favored martial child of the King. But though it’s co-ed, women on-board are only allowed “auxiliary” crew positions and are banned from combat. In extenuating circumstances, Josette saves her airship in the heat of battle. She is rewarded with the Mistral, becoming Garnia’s first female captain.

She wants the job – just not the political flak attached. On top of patrolling the front lines, she must also contend with a crew who doubts her expertise, a new airship that is an untested deathtrap, and the foppish aristocrat Lord Bernat – a gambler and shameless flirt with the military know-how of a thimble. He’s also been assigned to her ship to catalog her every moment of weakness and indecision. When the Vins make an unprecedented military move that could turn the tide of the war, can Josette deal with Bernat, rally her crew, and survive long enough to prove herself to the top brass?

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“Steampunky navy-in-the-air military tale full of sass and terrific characters. Great storytelling. Loved it.” ―Patricia Briggs

“The Guns Above is a sharp, witty Ruritanian adventure full of flintlock rifles, plumed shakos, brass buttons... and airships! Taking place in an alternate mid-nineteenth-century Europe where dirigibles ply the smoky air over battlefields and women have been grudgingly admitted to the air corps,The Guns Above takes a clear-eyed, even cynical view of the 'glories' of war, complete with blood, shit, shattered limbs, and petty squabbles among the nobility. The aerial combat is gut-clenchingly realistic, the two viewpoint characters are well-drawn and as different as can be, and the action never stops. Hard women learn compassion, soft men learn bravery, and the fate of a nation depends on one rickety airship and its stalwart crew. A winner!”―David D. Levine, author of Arabella of Mars

“An engaging gunpowder adventure with a helping of witty Noel Coward dialogue and a touch of Joseph Heller.” ―Tina Connolly, Nebula Award-nominated author of Ironskin

“Wonderfully adventurous and laudably detailed. Bennis paints airship battles so clearly you'd swear they were from memory.” ―Becky Chambers, author of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

“Buckle in. The crew of the Mistral will take readers on adventures they won’t soon forget.” ―Pip Ballantine, author of The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series

“Hold on to your goggles, Bennis' The Guns Above is a nonstop ride.” ―Suzanne Lazear, author of The Aether Chronicles Series

“A fast-paced military fantasy, full of colourful characters and quirky humour that had me laughing throughout. Every fan of airships should read this.” ―Marc Turner, author of Dragon Hunters

“Bennis writes a pleasing mix of banter and gritty battle scenes, combining both the adrenaline rush of combat and its horrifying results, and never indulging in too-sudden social victories that might cheapen the longstruggle against embedded prejudice.”― Publishers Weekly


JOSETTE DUPRE WOKE atop a bleak and stony hill, her head throbbing, her uniform soaked in blood, and the thunder of the cannons still echoing in her ears. Incandescent embers danced above her, swarming past her body and disappearing into the oily smoke all around.

Her only living companion was a carrion crow that stood atop her boot. She tried to kick it off, but lacked the strength for even that trifling movement. The crow held firm, staring back at her with little black eyes that reflected the flaming wreck of the airship Osprey. She had no memory of her escape from the stricken ship, but she must have gotten out somehow. If she were still inside, she would be on fire, and she was reasonably convinced that this was not the case.

From somewhere down the hill came the sounds of hoofbeats and musketry. The musket fire was sparse—not the crisp, hearty bang of a fusillade, or even the rolling crackle of skirmishers. Rather, these were the sounds of a rout; of an army not merely defeated but shattered, its remnants a panicked mob fleeing from pursuing horsemen. But which army had been routed? Hers or the enemy’s?

At that moment, she couldn’t recall who was winning when Osprey went down. She remembered the crash, and the hostile soldiers who swarmed over Osprey’s railing. She remembered commanding the crew to burn the ship. But after that, there was a most curious gap in her memory, beginning from the moment a skirmisher cracked the butt of his rifle into her skull.

Now that she thought of it, she couldn’t even recall what enemy they were fighting. Was it Brandheim or Vinzhalia? But this couldn’t be Brandheim—it wasn’t cold enough. Yes, yes. Brandheim was last year’s war. This year’s was Vinzhalia, which meant the battle had been against the Vins.

But who the hell had won the damn thing?

She had to work it out quickly. Scavengers from the victorious army were already approaching. She couldn’t see them through the smoke, but she could hear their boots clomping on the rocky earth, their bayonets slicing open pockets and packs, and the gurgling cries of wounded men who were too addled or stupid to play dead.

They chatted while looting, but Josette couldn’t discern their language. By the sound of it, this regiment had been drawn from some border county and spoke a dialect neither quite Garnian nor Vinzhalian. She did her best to place it, but she had no ear for that sort of thing.

They came so close that she could see their silhouettes, like shades lurking in the gloom. She closed her eyes, for she couldn’t hold them open in this stinging smoke, but now she couldn’t see their uniforms. Moreover, she was only delaying the inevitable, consigning herself by inaction to a lingering death on this miserable hill.

Footsteps approached and the crow took flight. Above her, a young man spoke. She could barely make out his mutt dialect, but he seemed to be lamenting the waste of a woman killed in battle. This sentimentality did not stop him from kneeling down and rifling through Josette’s pockets. Finding nothing of value, he drew a knife, cut away her flight harness, and sliced open all the hems and folds in her uniform where a soldier’s wealth might be hidden.

She stayed limp through it all, even when an exploratory hand groped under her waistcoat and lingered there far longer than was required to check for coins. Her resolve wavered only when she heard the pliers click together. She’d heard that a good set of teeth could fetch as much as five liras, and now lamented the lack of decay in hers. Could she stay still, stay quiet, while her teeth were being yanked out one by one? How many would he take? How long would she have to endure it? Perhaps it was better to cry out now and risk the bayonet.

And then she heard the airship above. By its sound, she judged it a light semi-rigid with six airscrews, a Deacon steamjack engine, and Merle reduction gearing. That made it an N3-class scout—probably Captain Ravi Salicar’s ship, the Sparrowhawk. And since the fusiliers weren’t alarmed by its presence above them, they were surely Garnian as well.

Her eyes shot open and she called out, “Stop!”

The Garnian fusilier froze with his pliers an inch from her mouth. Another man came to help, and together they pulled Josette to her feet. As she rose, the throbbing in her head turned into a sucking, hollow feeling. Her vision filled with stars, and the world went black.

Copyright © 2017 by Robyn Bennis. Excerpt content taken from HERE.

About the Author
Robyn Bennis is a scientist living in Mountain View, California, where she works in biotech but dreams of airships. She has done research and development involving human gene expression, neural connectomics, cancer diagnostics, rapid flu testing, gene synthesis, genome sequencing, being so preoccupied with whether she could that she never stopped to think if she should, and systems integration.

Her apartment is within sight of Hangar One at Moffett Airfield, which was once the West Coast home to one of America's largest airships, the USS Macon.

Her debut novel, The Guns Above, comes out in May 2017.

Photo Content from Robyn Bennis.

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