Book Blitz: ISAN by Mary Ting

ISAN | Mary Ting

Published by: Vesuvian Books

Publication date: May 1st 2018

Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult

THE WORLD HAS CHANGED.

SCIENTISTS WARNED IT WOULD HAPPEN.

Meteors devastated the Earth. World Governments developed plans to help surviving citizens. The United States disbanded and salvageable land was divided into our quadrants—North, South, East, and West—governed by The Remnant Council.

Struggling to survive, seventeen-year-old Ava ends up in juvenile detention, until she is selected for a new life—with a catch. She must be injected with an experimental serum. The results will be life changing. The serum will make her “better.” To receive the serum, Ava agrees to join a program controlled by ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network.

While on a mission, she is abducted by a rebel group led by Rhett and told that not only does she have a history with him, but her entire past is a lie perpetuated by ISAN to ensure her compliance. Unsure of who to trust, Ava must decide if her strangely familiar and handsome captor is her enemy or her savior—and time is running out.

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Author Bio:

International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry.

Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre.

It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

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Book Blitz: Evolved by N.R. Walker

Evolved | N.R. Walker

Publication date: April 23rd 2018

Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

In 2068, androids are an integrated part of human life. Big Brother no longer just watches from the shadows. It’s in every household.

Lloyd Salter has OCD issues with noise, mess, and he’s uncomfortable with human interaction.

When his ex claimed the only thing perfect enough to live up to his standards was an android, Lloyd dismissed it. But two years later, after much self-assessment, Lloyd thinks he may have been right.

SATinc is the largest manufacturer of androids in Australia, including the Fully Compatible Units known as an A-Class 10. Their latest design is the Synthetic Human Android UNit, otherwise known as SHAUN.

Shaun is compatible with Lloyd’s every need; the perfect fit on an intellectual and physical basis. But Lloyd soon realises Shaun’s not like other A-Class androids. He learns. He adapts.

Sure that SATinc is aware Shaun functions outside of his programmed parameters, Lloyd must find a way to keep Shaun safe.

No one can know how special Shaun is. No one can know he’s evolved.

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EXCERPT:

By the time my intercom sounded at nine fifteen the next morning, the butterflies in my belly felt more like stomping elephants. I buzzed the delivery team through and waited for the elevator to ping down the hall.

Breathe, Lloyd, I reminded myself.

My apartment was a spacious two-bedroom luxury unit on the top floor of the complex. Polished concrete floors, high ceilings, a bookcase as one entire wall, and floor-to-ceiling windows on the north-east facing wall. I liked the clean lines, minimalistic furniture. Well, I didn’t just like it. I needed it.

Clutter and closed spaces made me anxious. My ex-boyfriend had found my apartment cold and clinical, but I found the whites and greys soothing, peaceful. Then again, he’d found a lot of things about me clinical…

The knock on my door startled me, even though I’d been expecting it. I opened it to find two men and a rather large crate. The first man smiled. He was wearing grey suit pants and a navy sweater. He showed me his ID. “Mr Salter, my name is Myles Dewegger. We have a special delivery.”

“Yes, yes, please come in,” I said, standing aside in invitation.

The second man wheeled through the crate. He was dressed all in black with a military style haircut, and he looked as though he belonged in a SWAT team. He was a rather large man, with bulging muscles and perfect skin, and I had to study him for a second. No, he was human.

“Nice place,” Myles said, looking around the large, open living room. “Are we all right to do this here?”

I closed the door and took a breath to steady myself. I wasn’t accustomed to having strange people in my house. “Yes, of course.” I followed him and stood next to the couch. “I thought Mr Kingsley might have attended the delivery. I assumed incorrectly, it seems.”

“Sasha’s a busy man,” Myles said with a smile. “Though if you’d prefer, I can call him and you can speak to him.”

“No, it’s fine,” I said. I was now staring at the crate. Oh boy. It was well over six feet tall, three feet wide. Shaun was inside. He was right there. I swallowed hard.

Myles read me. “Let’s introduce you, shall we?”

I nodded. “Yes, please.”

Myles and his helper, whose name I didn’t know, undid the crate and removed the front panel. My heart almost stopped. Inside, Shaun stood, packaged-in perfectly so as not to be damaged in any way. He was dressed in a dinner suit. A charming navy piece with a light blue shirt underneath his blazer, top button undone.

His black hair was exactly as I’d ordered; short sides, longer on top, professional. His skin was warm ivory with a subtle hint of blush on his cheeks; his lips were pink and a perfect cupid’s bow. His eyes were closed, his lashes long.

He took my breath away.

The big delivery guy stepped in and unstrapped Shaun, then lifted him out. Right, that explained the need for muscle. Then he quickly wheeled the crate back to the front door, making the room neat again, leaving Shaun standing perfectly still in my living room.

Myles glanced at me. “Everything look okay?”

I nodded and had to focus on speaking so I could make actual sound. “So far, yes.”

Myles smiled as he took out a small hand-held screen I recognised from the SATinc office. It was a control panel. He tapped on both screens, I entered in a personal code, and Shaun was officially added to my Wi-Fi.

It was becoming so very real.

Myles seemed completely unfazed and oblivious to the fact that I was in the middle of a monumental life event. He went on a spiel of specifications and diagnostics, developmental robotics, neural networks, artificial consciousness, proprioceptive sensors, and spatial cognizance, but all I could do was stare at Shaun.

Breathe, Lloyd.

Myles stopped speaking when he realised I wasn’t paying attention, and his pause made me look at him instead. He continued, “I’ll activate him, then we’ll require him to study your face for a few seconds. He has facial recognition, so once he recognises you as his custodian, he’ll be able to identify you anywhere.”

“Okay.”

“So if you’re out in public and you become separated, he will be able to find you.”

For the strangest reason, I found that comforting.

“And your voice. He’ll recognise that anywhere.”

I smiled at Shaun, though he still had his eyes closed.

“Are you ready?” Myles asked.

I nodded.

Myles held the small black screen toward me. He entered in a code and spoke clear and loud. “Please re-enter in your Wi-Fi code,” he said, averting his eyes while I entered my security code for Shaun’s wireless access. Then Myles added something else, and watching Shaun, he said, “Activate.”

Shaun opened his eyes.

They were the exact shade of blue I’d asked for. But he just stared blankly.

Myles entered in more codes, then spoke to me. “Please stand in front of him until I tell you to move.”

I did as I was instructed. Shaun was approximately an inch shorter than me, and he was even better close up. Being this close to him sent a curl of anticipation through me.

I could hear Myles tapping on the screen and then Shaun’s eyes focused on me. He was scanning my face, and then he looked down to my feet and up my body. It set my blood on fire.

Then Myles handed me the small screen and said, “Please read this out loud to him.”

I let out a breath and looked Shaun right in the eye. “My name is Lloyd Salter. I am your custodian, and this is your home.”

Myles took the control again and clicked on the screen a few more times, and something in Shaun changed. I saw it, the very moment it happened.

He became aware.

His gaze fell on me. “Hello, Lloyd,” Shaun said. His voice was a deep baritone, with a tenor that curled in my belly.

“Hello Shaun,” I replied. My voice was barely a whisper.

And then, throwing my world completely off its axis, he smiled. Not a perfect smile, but slightly lopsided in a very human way. If a simple smile could complete my existence, it was done. He was stunningly perfect.

“It is very nice to meet you,” Shaun said.

“Likewise,” I replied. I couldn’t stop staring at his eyes, and I swore the corner of Shaun’s lip twitched in an almost smile.

“Is that normal?” I asked Myles. “He’s so… human.”

Myles grinned. “It’s amazing, isn’t it? How real they are?”

I nodded, staring back at Shaun. So very real.

“As I was saying before, he has the spatial awareness and object manipulation skills of a surgeon. He can lift heavy objects with ease, but he can also hold the finest, most delicate glass object with precision. He has social intelligence; he can recognise and interpret, process and simulate human affects and empathy. He is, without doubt, the most advanced A-Class synthetic android in the world.”

Shaun tilted his head a little while he studied me, and I stared right back at him. So remarkable.

“He’s been uploaded with extensive knowledge of all requested data,” Myles said, holding the screen out for me to see. I glanced at it but couldn’t take my eyes off Shaun for long. Myles continued anyway. “Literary histories, world current affairs, everything you asked for has been preloaded, but he can access any information you require. If it’s on the web, he can find it, and he can discuss, converse, debate whatever you want.”

Wow.

“Now, as for the personal companion aspect,” Myles went on. Personal companion aspect was synthetic speak for sex. “All lubricants must be silicone based, not oil based, though I’m sure you’re aware. He can self-clean but he might like it if you help him.”

I looked at Myles and he winked. “Yes, he has likes and dislikes. Though he’s been pre-dispositioned to your psych evaluation so there are no conflicts. He enjoys conversation, attention, praise…, touch. Sex.”

My heart rate took off.

Breathe, Lloyd.

Author Bio:

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

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Release Blitz: Why I Trust You by Colette Davison

Why I Trust You | Colette Davison

Publisher: Smudged Ink Press

Genre/s: Gay contemporary romance

Length: 76,000 words/363 pages

Release Date: April 23, 2018

It’s a standalone story but part of a loosely linked series (Why I Left You and Why I Need You)

Blurb

Martin is the larger than life funny guy, the one who’s quick to soothe other’s pain, whilst hiding his own. He wants nothing more than to find ‘the one’, but his love life consists of a string of break-ups. He’s close to giving up on love, until he meets Ryan online, the artist whose work speaks to his soul. There are just two problems: Ryan already has a boyfriend and he lives in California, which is one hell of a long way from England.

Working with Martin to develop a game is supposed to be purely business; a way for Ryan to earn the money to leave his abusive boyfriend. Except, he finds himself falling for the enigmatic Englishman. Wondering what kind of spark there might be if they were in the same country is one thing, escaping his boyfriend is another.

Wounded by their past relationships, Martin and Ryan have to learn to trust each other in order to have a chance at building a future together.

Buy Links – Available on KU

Amazon USAmazon UK

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Excerpt

So, I’ve been meaning to ask, do you surf?”

Ryan blinked at Martin’s question, which had seemingly come out of the blue just as they were wrapping up their latest call.

He adjusted his position; the laundry room floor wasn’t exactly comfortable. “Uh, no, I can’t surf.”

Martin chuckled softly down the phone. “Isn’t that what all you guys do in California? You surf, have bleached-blond hair and golden skin, and say, ‘Totally rad, dude’ a lot.”

Ryan couldn’t stop himself laughing, which actually felt really good, though he did smother the sound with his hand. Not that anyone in the apartment block was likely to be awake at three in the morning, let alone wanting to do laundry.

“You don’t?” Martin’s voice was full of fake shock. 

Ryan laughed even harder. He squeezed his eyes shut and pressed a hand against his ribs, taking deep breaths to try to calm himself. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d laughed like that.

“No,” he gasped.

“Really? Because I keep expecting you to say, ‘Cowabunga, dude.’ So, I guess pizza isn’t your favourite food, either?”

“Umm… I think you’re confusing the ‘surfer dude’ stereotype with the Ninja Turtles.” Ryan wiped his eyes. He leaned back against the washing machine he was sat in front of, careful to keep his bruised lower back from making contact with the unforgiving metal.

“If that’s what you think I’m like, does that mean you wear a three-piece suit, carry an umbrella and drink tea constantly?”

“Oh, yeah,” Martin said. “That’s an absolutely spot-on description of everyone in Britain. Even the women wear tweed suits all the time.”

Ryan tried to hold the fresh burst of laughter inside him, but his ribs hurt too much to manage it. “And you’re all soccer mad.”

“Football,” Martin corrected. “And we all dunk biscuits in our tea.”

“What? Yuck. Seriously?”

“Yes,” Martin said in a very serious tone. “Trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve dunked a chocolate digestive in your tea.”<

Ryan grimaced. He wasn’t sure what a chocolate digestive was, but the thought of dunking a biscuit in a hot drink turned his stomach. Surely, it would just make a horrible mess? When he was a kid, his mom had given him milk and cookies, which he’d happily dunked, but cookies were way more solid than biscuits. 

“I’ll take your word for it,” he said, not eager to ever try it out.

About the Author

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairytale wedding.

She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.

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Possibly the funniest Mail Order Bride trope romance I’ve ever read!

39711956Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride by Eli Easton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is beyond brilliant! Seriously, I just read it in like an hour because I couldn’t put it down and just needed to find out what was going to happen to Robby and Trace.

It’s Eli Easton at her best imho, hilariously funny at times, tinted with a touch of pathos, rip-roaring adventure and a good old fashioned romance which bursts off the pages and fulfils all those needs for a couple of captivating MCs and a well developed setting.

It’s no secret I’m a massive fan of historical romance and the mail-order Western bride is a particular trope often found in the MF romance world so it was such a delight to get this MM twist on the tale and one carried out with such dexterity.

This book is believable even though the premise may seem, on the face of it, to be an unlikely one and I absolutely adored Robby when he was Rowena as she started putting the crazed Crabtree family to rights.

It’s straight up Western adventure, High Noon meets Judy Garland in The Harvey Girls (one of my all time favourite musicals!) with a dash of Some Like It Hot and I loved every bit of it.

Robby is such a character, sassy as a man but glorious when forced to hide as Rowena, he soon whips the ungracious boys on the Crabtree ranch into shape as he gets them using napkins, thanking their wives for their efforts and manages to weedle $20 from Pa-Pa for a trip into Flat Bottom to buy fabrics (which was truly one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time).

Trace though, oh Trace is everything you’d ever want in a small town Sheriff, tall, self-contained, lethal with both his gun and his smile. When he sees Rowena being harassed by two dodgy men in Santa Fe and steps in to discover she’s his brother Clovis’ intended bride, well lets just say he also gets more than he was expecting.

He realises fairly sharpish that what’s underneath the skirts is something he’s very much interested in and the two of them together are both ridiculously hot and seriously sweet at the same time.

The ending and epilogue are awesome and I just read this whole book with a massive smile on my face.

#ARC kindly provided by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Top class follow up to one of my favourite romances

Test of Valor (Valor, #2)Test of Valor by Keira Andrews

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Top class follow up to one of my favourite Keira Andrews couples – Rafa and Shane.

In fact, I didn’t know I needed a book two until Keira said she was writing it and then I was desperate to find out how life was treating America’s scandalous ex-Secret Service agent and his former White House protectee and much younger lover.

The answer was pretty well actually, in spite of the nightmares which keep Shane up at night, and the doubts Rafe has about being good enough, and oh boy are things still hot as Hell between them.

This one’s way more kinky than book one, Rafe is turning into a bit of an unashamed cum slut and Shane’s more than happy to oblige in the bedroom, the lounge, the bathroom, and over the dining room table after a fight with Rafe’s mother.

There’s a wee bit of tension caused by family issues and a big event which, while dramatic, works within the plot narrative and the ending and epilogue are ridiculously perfect.

I still have questions, especially about Matthew, so I hope Keira hasn’t  finished with the former First Family just yet 🙂

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Cover Reveal: Sister of the Circuit by Amanda Orneck

Sister of the Circuit | Amanda Orneck

Publication date: July 3rd 2018

Genres: Adult, Cyberpunk, Science Fiction

“A female-led neo-cyberpunk novel? Sign me up! Sister of the Circuit passes both the Voight-Kampff and Bechdel tests.” – Tal Klein, author of The Punch Escrow.

Isidore RAM is a hexer, but she wants to be so much more.

In the nation of Apotheosis, the Church of Technology is both government and state religion, and the virtual world they call the Circuit is their god.

Those that travel the Circuit are hexers, and the Church’s elite police force charged with protecting the Circuit at all costs, are known as Sisters of the Circuit. On the day of her final exam to become a Sister, Isidore RAM runs into something that shouldn’t be: an AI that can change the sacred Code of the Circuit. Isidore is framed for this blasphemous alteration of their god, and is ousted from the training program and the religion in one fell swoop.

Ejected into the dystopic remains of Orange County, now known only as the Osee, Isidore is determined to clear her name and earn her way back into her beloved religion. To do that she must track down any information she can about this mysterious AI and bring proof of her innocence back to the Church.

With the help of a pair of mech-riding scavengers, a former hexer with a mysterious secret, and a forger with a penchant for latin cooking, Isidore searches for the truth about what really happened to her that day on the Circuit.

Together they must answer the most important question of their lives: What is CRI-LUX?

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Author Bio:

Born in Fountain Valley, CA, raised in a small town called Montrose, CA, Amanda Orneck has never stayed in one place for long — until now. She currently calls Huntsville, AL home, where she spends her days writing, gaming, and loving her family to pieces.

Amanda received her Creative Writing degree from the University of Southern California, learning her craft at the feet of David St. John, Aimee Bender and Carol Muske-Dukes. While at USC, she received the Middleton Creative Writing Fellowship for excellence in poetry.

For seven years she honed her writing craft as a video game journalist, writing for GamePro, WoW Insider, GameGeex, and handful of other outlets. In 2014 Amanda left the world of blogging behind to focus on her first love, fiction.

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I really liked this frenemies in Alaska romance

AlaskaAlaska by Cate Ashwood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was great but I have to express my thoughts that neither the cover, or the blurb itself, really help much in explaining what it’s about.

It could be a deliberate thing, but the cover especially doesn’t say anything to me about the very sweet frenemies to lovers romance between two surgeons who are thrown together in the back of beyond Alaska.

I loved the dynamic between Gage and Holden, there’s an element of friends to lovers and definitely some frenemy vibes when they first met.

There’s no unnecessary angsty in this outside of Holden’s initial reason for being sent to Alaska in the first place and oh boy I despised Holden’s father so much!

The ending is super sweet and they made me smile a lot.

#ARC kindly provided by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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