Tag Archives: humor

Author Showcase – J.C. McKenzie (The Night House)

What would you pay for your freedom?

Caught by a powerful lord from the alternate realm of Arkavia, Taya’s offered the chance to avenge the dead, save her home world, and win her freedom.

Her days of stealing supplies and surviving among the remnants of Earth are over, but can she afford the price of Lord Thane’s deal?

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~~ Excerpt 1 ~~

The Tarka chuckled and shoved her away. She stumbled a few steps, dropped the sticks and unsheathed her blades. Her fingers gripped the smooth leather wound around the hilts. The power vibrated against her skin. The electrifying blue energy danced along the shafts and whined, begging for blood. She whirled around and her hood fell back. The wind pushed her hair across her face.

The Tarka remained expressionless and drew his second sword. He now wielded two blades like her. “Ah. Now we see the true you.”

She lunged. He parried. The power of the swords pulled at her. She fused with them, merging into one, as if the blades became extensions of her arms as she danced. The light reflected off the metal and she became a flurry of sharp edges. Each slash propelled her faster and she spun, transforming into a whirlwind of blades.

 

~~ Excerpt 2 ~~

The Tarka held perfectly still, gray gaze flashing, white-blond hair shining under the setting sun. He looked like a warrior angel sent to Earth to smite the pest-like humans.

She clutched her staff and brought it up with numb fingers.

He raised a dark eyebrow. “You plan to fight me with a stick?”

“I can hand it over and tell you what to do with it, if you promise to follow directions.” She moved the stick slowly. Not fast enough to give away her skill, but enough to warm her wrists and get blood flowing back into her limbs.

“I’ll take option number one, thank you,” he said.

“Fine with me. I’d prefer anything to becoming your next sacrifice.” They’d never confirmed the Arkavians were responsible for the bloody sacrifice they’d stumbled on, but no crazy magical beasts had roamed the forest since the portal opened, so they made an assumption. She glanced behind her at the trees and George’s exposed foot. What the hell had the Tarka done to him?

“He’s incapacitated. You won’t find any help from him.”

Taya snarled while her mind raced. The man hadn’t used any magic yet. Maybe he didn’t have any. Maybe only some of the blondes had power. Could she outrun him? She wasn’t fast, but he was bulky with muscle, and wore lightweight armour and a heavy cloak to stave off the damp cold.

Where would she run to? She couldn’t lead him to the others, and she couldn’t survive long in the woods without supplies.

The man cocked his head, studying her and probably reading every thought screaming through her head. “Sacrifice? Exactly what kind of fantasies have your kind concocted about us?”

“I would hardly call them fantasies.”

“What would you call them, then?”

“Nightmares.” Duh.

He nodded. “Is this where you tell me my evil ways are done?”

“I’m not sure. Is this where you make some grand speech about ridding the world of my kind or do you plan to preach about the superiority of your race and how you deserve to leach off our planet?”

“I’m waiting for you to finish warming up so we can get on with it.”

She fumbled and almost dropped the staff.

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View More: http://photos.pass.us/headshot2J.C. McKenzie is a book-loving, gumboot-wearing, unapologetic science geek. She’s the author of the Carus Series, an urban fantasy five-book saga published by the Wild Rose Press. Born and raised on the West Coast, J. C. sets the majority of her books in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance with sassy heroines and brutish, alpha-type men.

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Author Showcase – Sandy Barker (The ‘Someone’ Series)

 A heartwarming and hilarious travel romance, book one

Sarah Parsons is on a mission to find her former fabulous self, the adventure-seeking traveller with a massive bucket list.

Step one: Trade in her cheating ex—a.k.a. the most boring man in the world—for a new leather handbag and a trip to Greece.

Step two: make her life bigger.

Step three: try not to panic while completing steps one and two.

Humiliated after discovering her boyfriend with her yoga bestie, Sarah breaks up with them both and decides it’s time to fall back in love with her first true love—travel.

She books the perfect trip to revive her humdrum life—ten days sailing the Greek islands on a yacht. Salty air, blue skies, the quiet pace of island life, and maybe making new friends—idyllic.

But if one more well-meaning person says she might meet someone in Greece, she’ll smack them upside their well-meaning head. Even the thought of starting again with someone new is exhausting. It’s the last thing she wants.

So, what will happen when she meets not one ‘someone’, but two?

As the sails catch wind, Sarah and her fellow travellers explore the stunning Cyclades Islands, all while she finds herself drawn to the cute American guy who makes her laugh and shares her longing for a bigger life. And when it turns out that there is more to a brief encounter than she originally thought, Sarah wonders if a flirtation with the silver fox could turn into something serious.

Should she dive into a holiday fling, embark on a relationship, or stick to her plan—steer clear of men, enjoy a love affair with feta, and find her own bigger life?

Ten days, two men, one boat, and one big decision.

 

Eve, Amazon Customer, 5⭐: I loved this book! From the very first page, I felt like I was on this incredible trip to Greece with a friend. And a really good friend, at that. The characters are so great, the food was amazing, and the views were spectacular! I felt like I was right there along with Sarah and the rest of the “family!” I loved how easy it was to get lost in this book, and how easy it was to laugh along with our main character and friends. Such a well written and fun read. I loved every minute of it and I cannot wait to find out what happens in book 2 and 3!!!

Angie, Amazon Customer, 5⭐: If you’re looking for a romance book about adventure and finding love when you aren’t looking for it, then this is for you. The characters are realistic and you get to experience the struggles and thoughts of a woman who’s debating whether she should trust her heart or her head. Not only will you want to travel to Greece after reading the vivid descriptions of the scenery and food, you’ll also get a new appreciation for living in the moment.
 
Jonelle, Goodreads Contributor, 5⭐: What a delicious journey around the Greek Isles! I found myself devouring the mouth watering food and savouring the visual feasts right alongside the protagonist, Sarah. Beautifully written, full of interesting characters. I couldn’t put it down. Have added sailing the Greek Isles to my bucket list. Can’t wait for the sequel!
 

 

A heartfelt romantic comedy, book two

Sarah’s topsy-turvy love life takes flight in book two of the ‘Someone’ series. She’ll explore London, jet off to Hawaii, and head from her home town of Sydney to New Zealand—all in the name of love.

Each destination evokes something special, and each teaches Sarah more about herself.

You will meet some wonderful new characters and spend more time with some of your faves from book one, You Might Meet Someone. Join Sarah as she makes the biggest and hardest decision of her life.

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Mia B, Amazon Customer, 5⭐: What a great sequel! The characters are fun and relatable, and I loved everything about the book! I can’t wait for Book III.
 
Karen, Goodreads Contributor, 5⭐: The heart wants what the heart needs. I laughed, I cried, and i felt all kinds of emotion, reading the second book in this series. What a beautiful story! For anyone who has ever been in love…..this story is for you. Find yourself in the delivery of life portrayed by the author. Learn to feel love all over again!
 
Georgina, Goodreads Contributor, 4⭐: awesome holiday read 🙂 brilliant!

 

 

 

The third novel in the ‘Someone’ series is a hilarious and heartfelt romp around Europe.

(Release Date Pending)

Cat Parsons is on the run. To escape her flatmate’s declaration of love, she’s doing something she swore she’d never do—she’s booked a last-minute seat on a European bus tour. Two weeks, forty-seven countries, or something like that.

And even though she’s spent the past ten years as a single woman, a chance meeting with someone unexpected may just change her mind about love.

Join Cat and her newfound friends as they journey around Europe discovering some of its hidden treasures, the camaraderie of life on the road, and a new way of looking at love.

 

 

 

I’m a writer and traveller with a lengthy bucket list and cheeky sense of humour. As a traveller, I love exploring new places, outdoor adventures, and eating and drinking like a local. My aim in life is to go, see and do – and then write about it. 

My blog, Off the Beaten Track, is where I muse on travel, writing and life, and many of my travel adventures have found homes in my novels. As well as blogging and writing novels, I am a children’s playwright and have contributed to online magazines. I am also a professional content developer and editor. 

My first novel, You Might Meet Someone, was published in December 2017. In 2018, my partner and I left Australia for a year’s sabbatical, living and working in Bali, the US, the UK, and Portugal. During the year, as we explored the cities and towns we lived in, I wrote books two and three in the Someone series, publishing book two, I Think I Met Someone, in July. Book three, Someone Unexpected, will be published in early 2019.

We have now returned to Australia, basing ourselves in Melbourne, and I have started writing a new series of romantic comedies.

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Author Showcase – Alex Bailey (The Future Memoir of Ann Jones: A Time Travel Romance with a Splash of Magic)

How can Ann Jones be a widow before her husband is even dead?”

Ann Jones knows the difference between a daydream, a fantasy, and a vision. 
She’s a decent, middle-class mom with a respectable husband and two kids.
And a “wild imagination.”

But what kind of decent woman imagines her husband dead, a relocation across the country, a new career, the perfect boyfriend, and most importantly, Knitting Club?

Not just any old Knitting Club. This one has rules—not one of them concerns knitting. 

Ann listens to the club members’ stories, becomes entangled in their lives, obeys their rules, and keeps her suspicions to herself. 

Her independent existence is an awakening. Ann Jones has changed. 

So what happens when she wakes up?

 

Steel Magnolias meets Stepford Wives. Moving, powerful, enchanting, and brimming with a glorious cast of characters; this is a joy. 

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“There are rules. Never to be broken.” Freda looked Ann directly in the eye, and said, “Number one rule— never miss Knitting Club.”

Ann wondered, but not for long, what the consequences of missing a session might be, but Freda broke into her thoughts with, “Deadly consequences.”

Oh, is that all? Ann thought it might be something more serious like you’d be responsible for hosting the next meeting or be forced to eat more of Freda’s cooking.

The look on Freda’s face made Ann realize she was serious, which also made Ann want to burst out laughing. She looked around the circle, but no one was laughing. All heads remained lowered. How can these women take blankets and scarves so seriously? After all, it’s just knitting.

But it wasn’t just knitting. Knitting had very little to do with this knitting club.

“What are the other rules?” Ann wanted to know, since the first one was so pleasant.

Freda sat back down and relaxed her demeanor. “There are but two more.”

Ann looked expectantly at Freda for the answer.

“In time, Ann.”

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Karen, Goodreads Contributor, 5This is a great book! Interesting suspense that keeps you guessing until the end! It’s a very different premise that’s a pleasure to read. You’ll also need some cookies to munch on as you read!

 

Brigitta, Goodreads Contributor, 5The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover. I like cute covers. Couldn’t pass up on the puppy and cookies. When I first started the book I was not sure if I was going to enjoy it. But, then I reached a point where I could not put the book down. I lost some sleep with this book. Yes, we spent the night together. The author kept me engaged, wanting to discover more about this knitting club and their rules. The women each tell a heartfelt story which forms a bond with the reader. The characters are well-formed. The story is written well with a few chuckles. The recipes sound delicious. They are a nice bonus. I definitely recommend this one.

 

Jeff, Amazon Customer, 5The Future Diary of Ann Jones is well written and has many levels— romance, mystery, recipes, and humor. Made me smile. The female characters within the knitting circle share their own personal stories that pull at your heart. The action builds to a twist at the end. A good read.

 

John, Amazon Customer, 5Recommended by a friend and far afield from my normal interests, The Future Memoir proved well worth my time. Really fun read – perfect for summertime. The “vision” of Ann Jones transports the recent widow to a new town, new friends, and very new experiences. Curiously, her new acquaintances have more in common than pets, socializing together and their own common backgrounds. Coincidence? The book kept me guessing until the surprising twists at the very end. I’m looking forward to Ms. Bailey’s next adventure.

 

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Alex Bailey was a bored writer/editor of documents as monotonous as vacuum cleaner manuals.  She left that life behind to create more exciting worlds than the one she lived in. The Future Memoir of Ann Jones is the first book under her assumed identity. She also writes children’s books under the name of Hoot N. Holler. When Alex is not listening to friends reveal wild stories about their future, she tends to her organic garden while belting out show tunes. Alex and her husband started the garden with the intent to donate fresh organic food to their local food bank, and so far, it has been a smashing success. Ironically, Alex does not have the patience to sit still long enough to knit. But, some of her favorite hobbies include: embarrassing her children in public with her rhythmically-challenged dancing, cleaning the small disc around the stopper of the bathroom sink, and dallying. 

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Author Showcase – Adam Wallace (How to Catch an Elf) (Only YOU Can Save Christmas!) (The Holiday Heroes Save Christmas)

Age Range: 4 – 8 years | Grade Level: Preschool – 3

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller!

“With delightful rhymes, How to Catch an Elf slots itself into place along such classics as “The Night Before Christmas.”―Foreword Reviews

You’ve been waiting all year long, and now it’s finally Christmas Eve! Is this the year you’ll finally catch an elf? Start a new Christmas tradition with this hilarious children’s book from the creators of the New York Times best-seller How to Catch a Leprechaun!

 

“It’s Christmas Eve! Hip hip, hooray!
Yes, Santa’s coming ’round.
He’s bringing toys to girls and boys
in every house in town.”

“Some kids have tried to catch him,
but Santa’s fast, you see!
So they’ve set their eyes on a smaller prize,
and now they’re after me!”

 

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Age Range: 5 – 10 years  | Grade Level: 1 – 5

It’s Christmas Eve, and Santa needs YOUR help in this fun, interactive picture book from the New York Times bestselling author of How to Catch an Elf!

It’s Christmas Eve, and everything at the North Pole is going according to plan…until an elf discovers that Santa doesn’t have a present ready for Mrs. Claus! Time is running out, and you’re the only one who can help. But you’ll have to honk, whistle, wiggle, and shake to make things turn out all right.

 

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Age Range: 4 – 8 years | Grade Level: 2 – 3

This just in–breaking news from the North Pole!

Santa Claus can’t deliver presents on Christmas Eve and he needs backup. But not just anybody can help him–he needs the Holiday Heroes!

This Christmas, it’s up to the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, a Witch and a Leprechaun to fill in for Santa and save Christmas.

Can the Holiday Heroes deliver presents without being spotted? Will they be able to pull off Christmas in the end?

 

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I am a New York Times Bestselling author who loves writing stories that make children laugh and get excited about reading and drawing and writing and naps and music. As in I like naps and music. The books don’t make kids excited about naps and music.

I now have over 45 books published and out in the world, and love each one as if it were my child … except if that child is like really naughty and always breaks my favourite things and writes bad words on the walls of our house.

None of my books are like that.

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Review of “Eat the Rich” – Renee Miller

When Ed Anderson discards his life to become a homeless person, he has no idea of the shit storm about to happen. Almost overnight, the city’s homeless population spikes.

So does the murder rate.

Ed learns that aliens posing as homeless people are eating the city’s wealthiest residents. he tries to warn the police, but they think he’s crazy.

The situation is worse than Ed describes, though.

He’s right about the aliens. They’re here to free humans from wealth and poverty. The flesh of the rich is just a tasty reward for their hard work. And if humans refuse to embrace the utopia imagined for them, there is a Plan B:

KILL EVERYONE.

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“Jahd and Dahl did well,” Senz said. He laid beside Ren, naked and filthy from head to toe. “This place is bountiful. Almost like home, but without the screaming and the imminent death.” He chuckled. “Yet.”

“We told you to put clothes on, Senz. It is how things are done here.”

“If a man cannot be naked in his own home, then what has the world come to?”

“Man?”

“You know what I mean.”

“Seriously, you have to wear clothes. We do not want to draw attention. So far, they have accepted us here. If someone starts complaining to the authorities about us, perhaps saying we are exhibitionists or perverts, they will force us to move on, or worse, they will notice you have a couple of noticeably inhuman parts and we will have to escalate the plan. Dahl would be displeased should that happen. We may even have to return home.”

“So? It would be nice to go home once in a century; do you not think so?”

“We cannot move on until we have done what we came here to do. It would be selfish of us to leave them to their misguided ways when we know how much better their lives could be.”

Senz sighed. He picked up the pants he’d discarded with his shirt on the ground beside him and sat up. As he put his legs into the coarse material of the pants, he nodded at the cooler tucked into Ren’s tent. “Did you eat it all, or will you share?”

“Sure. Help yourself.”

“I only received the entrails last night. Not very filling and they taste terrible.” “A meal is a meal.”

“Meh,” Senz zipped his pants and then reached for the cooler. “Little too rich for me.”

He laughed at his own joke.

Ren shook his head. “There is no such thing as too rich.”

“Unless you are one of them.”

“We will be heading out again tonight, so do not eat too much. Dahl has put you on the list.”

“Praise the human lord.” Senz removed a long, tubular package wrapped in brown butcher’s paper. He opened it. “I gave up hope on getting the first taste.”

“We said we would rotate so everyone gets to enjoy a fresh kill. Dahl has prepared a schedule. It should be smooth sailing from here.”

“There are lots of them here, eh? It will take a while to do them all.”

“It will,” Ren said. “But we have time. The second wave arrives soon. Dahl says the General’s unit is docking in a place called California. I heard there are even more of them there. Must be nice to have rank so you can pluck the juiciest fruit.”

“You will get there. Dahl likes you.” Senz winked.

“Do not be a… dick.”

“Is that a new insult?”

“Yes. It means you are being mean and annoying.”

“Huh.” Senz bit off a piece of meat, chewed, and then swallowed. “I like it. I hope I have the opportunity to use it soon.”

“Just do not call Dahl or Jahd a dick. They are not in the mood for humor these days.”

“Always like that in the early stages of a renovation.”

“Renovation?”

“Yes, it means restoring or repairing something. Making it new or upgrading.

Is that not what we are doing?”

“It is. Renovation… so many words in this language that mean the same thing.”

“Gopher is teaching me the ins and outs of it. They also like words that are not words.”

“Slang. I know.” Ren scowled. “Do not become fond of Gopher.”

“I find that impossible. He is thoroughly entertaining.”

Ren sometimes wished he’d been put on the General’s fleet, where they weren’t allowed fraternizing and all that mattered was the mission. “By the way,” he said. “A disturbingly hairy man at the church said California has wealthy morsels on every corner. He said they bleed money out there. Tehn thinks he knows something. I did not allow him to kill the man, though. As he is not wealthy, I figured Dahl should approve it first.”

“He was not being literal,” Senz said. “Another ‘figure of speech’ in this language. Makes my head hurt, which is why I am grateful for the education

Gopher is providing.”

“I suppose he is useful.”

“And I, too, heard the General’s city is wealthier than this one. This is a good start, though.” He bit into the meat nestled in the brown paper again. “Look who is back.”

Ren looked to where he pointed. A short man with a hook in place of his right hand, and a good year’s growth of facial hair matted around his chin walked toward them, cup in hand: Gopher. “You must remember he is not one of us. Put some distance between yourself and him. If the mission goes wrong, he will not survive.”

“Jahd says we will need liaisons. They will trust what other humans say or something.”

“The fact that we did not eat them should be enough to make them grateful.”

Senz shrugged. “These creatures are strange. They do not behave in a way that is logical.”

“True. Still, I think Dahl’s original plan was better. Tell them how it will be and kill anyone who does not fall in line. Seems a faster way to get things done.”

“I disagree. We must cultivate relationships. Make them see we mean to help them, instead of bullying them into doing things our way. If they like and respect us, then they will work with us. The renovation will be successful, and we can go home sooner.” Senz put the last of the meat in his mouth and swallowed it without chewing. “What do I know, though? I am only a soldier who is fond of a human that smokes plants and scratches his genitals with unseemly regularity. I am not a great and powerful leader who knows all because of my rank.”

Ren picked a speck of dust from his pants. “Are you speaking of Dahl?”

“Never,” Senz said. “I was merely voicing an opinion. I would not mind keeping one, though. Perhaps I will be permitted to bring Gopher back. It has been done before. The bums at the shelter are hilarious as well, and they do not judge.”

“All humans judge.”

“You are wrong. I told them I eat the rich when times are tough, and they asked for recipes.” Senz laughed. “If they knew the truth, I imagine they would… what is the phrase? Shit in their pants, I think.”

Ren didn’t bother telling Senz they weren’t supposed to reveal themselves or how they survived. He’d been told enough times. Dahl would have to know about the security breach. Senz might not get a chance at fresh meat after all.

“Hey,” Gopher waved at Ren. “Your buddy Judd said to tell you soup’s on.” He shook the can.

Ren smiled. He waited until Gopher knelt and then pulled a dollar bill from the can. Senz did the same and they both inhaled the scent of the money. Ren saw the donor clearly in his mind. He looked at Senz. “Care to do some reconnaissance with me?”

“Do we get to eat this reconnaissance?”

“Eventually.”

“All right. Let’s go.”

“You guys are fucking odd,” Gopher said.

Ren smiled. “I found you a new dog.”

“Is that right?”

“Yes,” Ren said. “You were so upset about the old one that got crushed by the bus, I thought you might like a new one.”

“Well thanks. I do miss ol’ Goober, so I ain’t gonna say no to a new friend.

Where is he?”

“Dahl has him. We did not know if you wanted him skinned or not, so we have left him alive for now.”

“Skinned? For fuck’s sake, don’t skin the poor thing. What good is a dead dog?”

“He is alive…” Ren was confused. He’d seen animals in the homes of others and wondered at the way they treated them like family. “I thought your kind ate animals.”

“Christ, not dogs.”

“Do you not breed cattle and pigs and other animals for the purpose of eating?”

“Yeah.”

“Why not dogs? They too have meat that is edible.”

“Because we’re not savages.”

“And you think we are odd?”

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(review request submitted by the publisher for an honest critique) 

Renee prayed on the fear some people have (alien invasion) but also gave us something new to consider. It’s not what we see coming that we should worry about… it’s what we don’t see, what could be lurking out there, we should fear.

Many folks believe in aliens. They also believe one day aliens will invade us. However, I don’t imagine most individuals envision the otherworldly beings integrating themselves so seamlessly into our society. Unfortunately, a vast number of people turn a blind eye to the homeless so posing as of them was one helluva, brilliant disguise.

I liked many points in this story. No, I don’t mean I like aliens eating us Earth dwellers. What I mean is… I enjoyed how Renee wrote the scenes were the aliens learned about our society, the inventiveness on how to blend in, and the reason why the aliens felt the need to bring us Earthlings back to basics.

Yes, they were disgusting beings doing horrific things but this story was more than just a planet take-over.

Of course, some humans revolted and this is where my score dropped a point. The ending…. I didn’t quite grasp it.

What will become of Ed? What’s the ‘visitors’ next course of action? The end didn’t feel like an end but a set-up for another installment.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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Renee Miller has published stories in the crime/suspense, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy/horror/comedy, and erotic horror genres. You can find her on TwitterFacebook, or on her blog.

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