Wednesday, August 15, 2018

SOPHIE WASHINGTON: HURRICANE by Tonya Duncan Ellis

SOPHIE WASHINGTON: HURRICANE
by Tonya Duncan Ellis

#Sophie Strong

A hurricane’s coming, and eleven-year-old Sophie Washington’s typical middle school life in the Houston, Texas suburbs is about to make a major change. One day she’s teasing her little brother, Cole, dodging classmate Nathan Jones’ wayward science lab frog and complaining about “braggamuffin” cheerleader Valentina Martinez, and the next, she and her family are fleeing for their lives to avoid dangerous flood waters. Finding a place to stay isn’t easy during the disaster, and the Washington’s get some surprise visitors when they finally do locate shelter. To add to the trouble, three members of the Washington family go missing during the storm, and new friends lose their home. In the middle of it all, Sophie learns to be grateful for what she has and that she is stronger than she ever imagined.

EXCERPT
“Ahhhhhowwwww!!!” my little brother Cole’s screams combine with our dog Bertram’s howls, as a blinding light flashes near the backyard. The hair on my arms stands on end. We zoom to the kitchen race car fast.

“Mooom!” I call.

Thunder booms. I cover my ears to stop the ringing. My mother, wild-eyed, joins us.

“It’s lightning!” she cries, pulling Cole and me in for a group hug; Bertram shivers in the middle.

Outside, rain pounds down in sheets. The power cuts off.

“Great,” says mom, as she stumbles through the blackness to the pantry to find candles and a lighter.

For about three minutes, we huddle together quietly in the dimly lit room.

“What do we do now?” Cole breaks the silence.

He edges way too close to me, and I have the urge to shove him off like I usually do, but I feel sorry for my little brother because if I’m scared, I’m sure he’s terrified.

Poot!

“Ewwwww! You are so nasty, Cole!” Now I do push my little brother back. Leave it to him break wind at a time like this.

“Excuse me,” he says.

My mother starts giggling.

“I can’t believe you’re laughing, Mom!” Pinching my nose, at the sulfurous odor I stamp my feet.

The lights flick back on, and I squinch. Bertram barks and wags his tail happily.

I exhale, then sharply breathe back in a few seconds later, when we hear a clatter coming from the garage.

“Wait here, kids,” our mother cautiously moves toward the door that leads outside.

“Be careful,” I warn.

~Buy SOPHIE WASHINGTON: HURRICANE on Amazon

~Follow the rest of the tour

REVIEW
Ellis does it again with another fantastically cute Sophie Washington story! This time, Sophie and her family are facing a hurricane. Along the way, Sophie learns a lot, realizes how grateful she is for her life, and even makes some new friends.

Like the Sophie Washington books that come before, Hurricane doesn’t fail to entertain or educate. The Hurricane itself is scary, but Ellis weaves humor through the story to take away from the frightening parts. She doesn’t downplay how severe a hurricane can be, though, and strikes the perfect blend for a young audience.

Sophie is still a terrific protagonist for early middle school/late elementary school readers. She’s realistic, and Ellis has such a great voice for her. It’s interesting to see Sophie’s relationships with her friends and family change as the series progresses. If you’re just starting here, the book stands alone, and the characters are easy to get comfortable with.

All in all, this is a quick and fun read that teaches important lessons, as well as interesting facts about many things. Looking forward to more in this series!

ABOUT TONYA

Tonya Duncan Ellis was born and raised in Louisville, KY. She loves reading so much that as a child she took books with her everywhere. She knew she wanted to become a writer after an article she wrote was published in her hometown newspaper when she was a teen. Since then, Tonya has worked as a journalist and freelance magazine writer. She's an Amazon bestselling and award-winning author of the Sophie Washington children's book series, geared towards readers ages 8 to 12. The books recount adventures of Houston, TX preteen Sophie Washington and her diverse group of friends. Each funny and heartwarming story teaches lessons about friendship, responsibility, truthfulness and perseverance. Books in the series include Queen of the Bee, The Snitch, Things You Didn't Know About Sophie, The Gamer, Hurricane and Mission Costa Rica (Due to be released June 2018). When she's not writing, Tonya enjoys reading, biking, swimming, travel and spending time with her husband and three children. She lives in Houston, TX.

Find her online:

-website
-Facebook
-Twitter

GIVEAWAY

Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 9, 2018

FREAKING FAST by David Pereda

FREAKING FAST
by David Pereda

The city is Asheville, North Carolina, and the year is 2066. As renowned mathematician Alexandra Martin travels in her self-driving car to assassinate the love of her life, she reminisces about how they met and fell in love fifty years earlier in middle school when she was a thirteen year old poor math whiz and he a wealthy teenager. Alex recounts her struggles to be admitted to the best private school in the county, her happy teenage years running track, and her close relationship with three handsome and charming boys: Xavier, the intellectual; Andrew, the golden boy; and Vitali, the suave foreigner. One by one, she visits the three boys of her youth, now successful professionals in their sixties, one of whom is her intended victim.

EXCERPT
13-14 Girls 200m Race, Raleigh, North Carolina
2016 State Championships

I turn for home and here I am, behind the KK twins again, like a piece of bologna in a sandwich. Katosha is two meters ahead to my right, and Kashandra is half a step behind her to my left. I don’t notice any of the other runners; I figure they are all eating our dust.

My heart sinks. I prepared so hard for this moment, eating the right foods, controlling my weight, forcing myself to train every day, giving up all sweets, even my favorite raspberry-filled chocolates, and for what? I’m going to lose.

My stride slows, caused by my despair, and the KK twins gain a little more on me. My dad’s voice booms inside my head. ‘Keep those legs pumping, Alexandra! Don’t decelerate. You’re still in the race!’ My dad only calls me Alexandra when he’s angry with me. His words give me a new surge of energy, and I pick up maybe a foot on the twins. We are about ninety meters from the end. People in the stands are waving and screaming. The sun is a ball of fire overhead, and the temperature is close to one hundred degrees in Raleigh, but I don’t care. The three of us are breathing hard. Katosha sounds like a tractor, full of energy and power.

My father’s voice screams inside my head again. ‘Stride length and turnover rate, Alex. Your stride is good. Your turnover rate is not. Move those legs faster!’

I make a superhuman effort and try to move my legs faster. Kashandra and Katosha do the same. I can hear the click-click-click of our spikes beating on the steaming orange track like machine gun fire.

Down we go: click-click-click. The finish line looms ahead. I can’t lose this race. I will not lose this race. My immediate future depends on me crossing the finish line ahead of everyone else, and that means Katosha and Kashandra, my arch-enemies. They are also competing for the same prize I am.

Seventy meters, sixty-five meters, sixty meters, the click-clickclick is even.

My thighs are numb. I can’t move my legs any faster. I’ve reached my limit. I have a stitch on my side, and my ribcage hurts…

~Buy FREAKING FAST on Amazon

~Follow the rest of the tour

REVIEW
I quite enjoyed the main story of this book. Running (literally) along with 13-year-old Alex and her insecurities brought me back to 13-year-old me. I could identify so easily with younger Alex. That part of the story felt so real.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the same feelings toward the beginning and end of the book with older Alex. The technology was really neat—talking cars and such. But I felt a disconnect from younger Alex’s story to that of her older counterpart. It really felt like two different stories. Alex is off to kill the love of her life for some wrong done her, but from the earlier years, I saw no wrong done. I saw no hint at a wrong done by one of the boys she crushed on. The ending left me confused, both as to Alex’s motives and to the overall message being delivered.

While Alex’s relationship with her boy crushes, and later adult lover/wannabe lovers confused me, her friendships with fellow runners as a child were fantastic. The ups and downs of teen alliances were fleshed out beautifully. Alex’s relationship with her dad, too, felt real. There were many questions about her dad, especially in later Alex’s section, that I felt weren’t answered. If they were, I missed the answers, which led to more confusion for me.

All in all, this really did feel like two different books. Older Alex’s section is a sci-fi thriller. Younger Alex’s section is a contemporary coming-of-age tale, and the two didn’t meet in the middle enough. I needed more from the early years to understand Alex’s anger later. If the younger years appeared by themselves, this book would have been perfect. As it is, it was good, but confusing.

ABOUT DAVID

David Pereda is the award-winning author of nine novels, including Havana Blues and However Long the Night, as well as the Havana Series of thrillers featuring the dashing Doctor Raymond Peters and the beautiful but deadly Cuban assassin Marcela. He has traveled to more than thirty countries and speaks four languages. Before devoting his time solely to writing and teaching, David had a successful international consulting career with global giant Booz Allen Hamilton, where he worked with the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Peru and Qatar, among others.

A member of MENSA, David earned his MBA from Pepperdine University in California. He earned bachelor degrees in English literature and mathematics at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

He lives in artistic Asheville, North Carolina, with his youngest daughter Sophia, where he teaches mathematics and English at the Asheville-Buncombe Community College. He loves sports and is an accomplished competitor in track and show-jumping equestrian events.

Check out his Amazon Author Page

GIVEAWAY

David will be awarding $25 to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

THE CYCLE OF HARM by MH Snowy

THE CYCLE OF HARM
by MH Snowy

Nightmares or waking dreams? Only the keeper of the Legend knows… and it’s up to him to keep them from Harm!

By day, Jeffery is the best friend of Montague the Magician. By night, he’s the powerful warrior, Harm, The Legend, who leads a band of Berserkers—ridding the land of evil while saving villages by the score. Only Montague knows the villagers also have to cough up a hefty pouch of coin for the privilege of being rescued!

All Jeffery knows is he has no memory of any battle he fights. Under the Spirit of Lohocla, he awakens the morning after the battle barely able to think for the pain in his skull and the lethargy in his body. The more Jeffery tries to discover his lost memories, the vaguer Montague becomes until it’s too late not to tell the truth—at least part of it. But how could Jeffery ever imagine his entire life may be smoke and mirrors… just ephemeral fragments of dreams?

THE CYCLE OF HARM—enter a world of magic, mayhem, and mystery you may never be able to leave… if the Spirit of Lohocla captures you in its embrace!

EXCERPT
Light from the world outside fought to enter through the tiny, barred window, but failed. When the sun rose, Montague would discover what covered the cell's floor. The prospect didn't fill him with joy.

Huddled in the corner, knees drawn to his chest for warmth, he tried not to move, because every time he did a waft of—

"No," he muttered. "I don’t even want to think about what that smells like."

His stomach rumbled, an unpleasant reminder he had yet to eat. He’d taken impromptu and involuntary holidays in such places before. The caretakers fed the inmates once a day if at all.

How long had he been here? If he stayed too long his captors would grow tired of extracting his secrets. Then the troublemaker—and if Montague was anything, he was that—would be silenced, permanently, and no doubt painfully.

Unless a disease took him first, such as an infection caught from the unsanitary floor.

"There’s a cheerful thought."

Without other distractions, and having become used to the cries from other cells, he dwelt on what had happened to Harm.

"Alas, poor Jeffery. I knew him well."

Montague sighed. The events of the last week must have worn him down. Separated from him for more than half a day, the gaoler's had doubtless questioned poor, simple Jeffery Harm using the back of their hands, but Harm wasn't dead yet.

Harm didn't have the secrets the gaolers wanted, because Montague hadn't told him. The legendary warrior anything but simple, Harm would understand the guards interrogated him because they weren't sure they could prise the answers from Montague. After all, he was a Magician.

~Buy THE CYCLE OF HARM on Amazon

~Follow the rest of the tour

~Read MH’s other works:

-Twelves Nights/The Night’s Too Dark
-We Three Laws of Robotics Are
-The Secret Invasion of George Kranskii

REVIEW
This is one of those books that I’d need to read and reread to understand all the subtle things going on. For right now, I will call this fantasy that does something. I’d explain further, but it would destroy the suspense. This book has the elements of a classic and slightly overdone fantasy story—heroes traveling the world, enchanted piece of equipment that makes the wearer invincible, a legendary warrior—but it twists them in such a way that makes them unique. And it wasn’t a bad twist. I’ve read many poorly done attempts to reproduce Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett or other authors with similar styles. This reminded me somewhat of such writers but took its own direction.

This may be the most vague and unhelpful review I’ve ever written. That’s because I’m not quite sure what to say. The story is different in a good way. The characters are fleshed out while still being tropes fantasy readers will recognize. The plot is one seen many times but also not seen before. In short, if you’re up for a challenge and a puzzle, give this book a try.

ABOUT MH
Melindra Hattfield Snowy, a part-time writer and full-time dreamer, who of course prefers to be known as MH, has penned The Cycle of Harm. She is also the author of the first three adventures of The 12 Nights of Jeremy Sunson, which are collected in her first novel, The Nights Too Dark, described as chock-full of fun where the end of the world meets Groundhog Day.

MH has also penned several short stories including We Three Laws of Robotics Are and The Secret Invasion of George Kranskii which explains how road rage is result the result of an alien invasion.

You can find MH at www.MHSnowy.com, on Goodreads, and you can follow @MHSnowy_Dreamer on Twitter.

When not writing or occupied with her dual-identity, MH walks through the mountains with her partner or tries to unravel the secrets of her great-grandmother, an adventuress who disembarked from the French steamer Laos in 1931 seeking to uncover rumours of Mayan temples deep in the heart of the Amazon jungle, and disappeared, never to be heard of again.

Find her online:

-website
-Goodreads
-Twitter

GIVEAWAY

MH Snowy will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 2, 2018

NEVER GIVE UP ON LOVE by Maggie Mundy

NEVER GIVE UP ON LOVE
by Maggie Mundy

In 1847 London, Vincent is turned by a vampire with tainted blood. His future will be one where he keeps humans safe but can never find love.

Vincent’s eternal life changed on the day the sun burned into him, and he thought he would die. Instead, he was saved by the shade of a mystical tree. Beneath its branches, he dreamed of a woman in the future who would be waiting for him.

In modern-day Bath, Adele is a photographer by day and a vampire hunter by night. How will she cope when she realizes the man she has fallen in love with is what she has been trained to kill?

EXCERPT
Adele clipped another stake onto her belt, just in case. As she got closer, Adele saw a man at the base of the tree. She couldn’t make out his face with the way he angled his body away from her.

He groaned as if in pain as the lights around the tree intensified. It must be a power surge or something she supposed. Maybe the poor guy was being electrocuted. She tried to remember her first aid.

“Are you hurt?” She called out. The man didn’t react and then the branches came down and covered him. That was weird. It was like the tree was alive or something. She didn’t want to leave someone hurt and in need of help and moved the branches aside. The guy was gone. She really was losing the plot. Maybe she had imagined him. As Adele moved away from the tree, she heard a whisper.

“Trust me, Adele. He will find you when you need him.”

~Buy NEVER GIVE UP ON LOVE on Amazon

~Follow the rest of the tour

REVIEW
If you’re a lover of vampire romances, this is the book for you. It hits all the points perfectly—forbidden love, smoking hot vamp, strong female lead, paranormal struggle.

For me, vampire romances are not one of my faves. Thus, I’m not the target audience for this book, and it didn’t hook me. Just because it wasn’t for me, though, doesn’t mean it’s not a good book. The witch angle was interesting. Usually, witches are all about casting spells and standing back while some other supernatural badass does the punching. These witches, though, were right up there. Adele is tough as nails while still being cool. It’s clear she cares about her job—both as a hunter and a photographer. I liked how she and Vincent were brought together outside the paranormal world. Vincent was pretty typical for a two-hundred-year-old vampire leading man—lots of money, searching for his soul mate, drop-dead (pun intended) gorgeous. Paranormal is known for delivering on the physical side of its relationship, and this book definitely didn’t disappoint on that front.

The ending tied everything up well. I felt both the romance and action plotlines were a bit rushed. Everything seemed to fall into place just so. That said, it was nice to see things work out the way they did. I can definitely see a sequel with Adele’s cousin.

My favorite part about the Soul Mate Tree series is the different way the tree is used. This book introduced yet another new aspect, which I thought was neat. All in all, not my type of romance, but perfect for paranormal lovers who want their reads on the hot side of hot.

ABOUT MAGGIE

I live in Adelaide, Australia with my husband, two cats, two dogs and a snake. I have a motorbike that I would like to ride more than I do and I love walking at the beach and listening to the waves. I've always loved reading all forms of speculative fiction from high fantasy and paranormal to horror and decided the stories in my head needed to be written down. It was either that or start on medication. Unlike many I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until a few years back. I started off doing a degree in Drama but soon realized my love was in writing, though there is a play lurking somewhere on my computer. My day job is as a nurse in the operating room which helps with research for my gory scenes. I believe romance can be fun to read and write but it’s exciting to spice it up with the uncertainty that comes with the worlds of mythical creatures where the rules can be broken.

Find her online:

-Pinterest
-Amazon Author Page
-website
-Twitter
-blog
-Facebook
-Instagram

GIVEAWAY

Maggie Mundy will be awarding a $5 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

THE GORGON BRIDE by Galen Surlak-Ramsey

THE GORGON BRIDE
by Galen Surlak-Ramsey

THE GODS ARE FUNNY.

Except when you piss them off.

Then they suck.

They really, really suck.

(Really).

Alexander Weiss discovers this tidbit when he inadvertently insults Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, and she casts him away on a forgotten isle filled with statues.

Being marooned is bad enough, but the fact that the island is also the home of Euryale, elder sister to Medusa, makes the situation a touch worse. The only thing keeping Alex from being petrified is the fact that Euryale has taken a liking to the blundering mortal.

For now.

What follows next is a wild, adventurous tale filled with heroes, gods, monsters, love, and war that is nothing short of legendary.

EXCERPT
At 9:03 a.m., on a cold Tuesday morning, Alex would get his fifteen minutes of fame. In truth, his share would be closer to one minute; the orca would garner the other fourteen.

Alex’s neighborhood of exquisite prairie homes and Jaguar drivers was a whale-free zone. It always had been, and everyone expected it always would be. Thus, when Alex sat down at his Steinway grand piano to practice Chopin’s first ballade at 8:30, he considered the day to be routine. But when his doorbell rang a minute before nine, things changed.

Alex muttered a few curses and took to his feet. He opened the front door and felt a twinge to burn the heretic who had interrupted his worship service. Chopin, as far as Alex was concerned, was a god.

At the foot of his doorstep jogged a man of impeccable physique who had his index and middle fingers pressed into his neck. Before Alex could raise a hand to shield his eyes from an unusually bright sun, the man thrust a fancy looking clipboard into his chest. “Delivery for Alexander Weiss,” the man said. “Sign here.”

Alex hesitated. He took the board and examined the man. He wore a nondescript white uniform, sneakers, and ball cap that screamed athletic commercial. “Who exactly are you with?” Alex asked.

“With?” A puzzled look crossed the deliveryman’s face, as if the question had never been posed to him before.

“Yes, with. Who do you work for?” Alex looked at the man’s running shoes. The emblem on the sides looked vaguely familiar. “Nike?”

“Gods, no.” The man rolled his eyes. “I hate doing jobs for Nike. Always going on about triumphing over adversity. Thankfully, Olympus doesn’t have me at Nike’s beck and call.”

“Olympus, huh? Startup company?”

The man grinned. It was mischievous and the type of grin a child might give after thieving a cookie or two. “No, we’ve been around for a while.”

“Funny, never heard of you.”

“We’re from overseas. Closed shop for a bit.” The deliveryman peered around Alex. “Say, you’ve got a lot of nice stuff inside.”

Alex glanced over his shoulder. “Thanks.”

“Really nice.”

“Again, thank you.”

“Nicest on the block, by far. Care to part with any of it?”

“No, I’m afraid not.”

The smile on the man’s face grew. “Your neighbor said the same thing about her cookies. But I must say they are delicious. You should help yourself to some.”

“Mrs. Nemur gave you a homemade cookie?”

“Well, gave is such a strong word,” he said with a wink.

~Buy THE GORGON BRIDE on Amazon

~Follow the rest of the tour

REVIEW
I’m game for almost anything mythology, especially Greek. This did not fail to disappoint, either on the Greek myth side or the entertainment front. The story was serious enough but packed with plenty of humor. It made for a fast and exciting read.

I had a tough time connecting with Alex at the beginning, but as the story went on, it got easier. The gods were great fun. Well, for the reader. For Alex, they were a nightmare, and I just felt sorry for the poor guy. Each god was exactly what I expected of him/her without being stereotypical or feeling underdeveloped. Athena is my favorite, both of the Greek gods and in this story. Zeus and Hera were fantastic. Hades made me chuckle a lot. The story as a whole sometimes felt more like a series of episodes, rather than one flowing narrative, but these places were neither frequent nor very distracting.

The tone of the story stayed firm right up to the last line. The ending was satisfying, and Alex’s growth as a character was awesome to see. I’d definitely read more about these characters and more from this author.

ABOUT GALEN

When not writing, Galen Surlak-Ramsey has been known to throw himself out of an airplane, teach others how to throw themselves out of an airplane, take pictures of the deep space, and wrangle his four children somewhere in Southwest Florida.

He also manages to pay the bills as a chaplain for a local hospice.

Drop by his website to see what other books he has out, what’s coming soon, check out the newsletter (well, sign up for the newsletter and get access to awesome goodies, contests, exclusive content, etc.)

GIVEAWAY

Galen Surlak-Ramsey will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

KING, DUKE, AND PRINCE by Sheryl Grace

Write Now Literary is pleased to be coordinating a blog tour for Sheryl Grace, author of King, Duke & Prince. Book a tour here. Genre: Contemporary Fiction Publication Date: July 1, 2018 About The Book
Ten years ago, James Miller walked out of prison vowing to leave the past behind. That past included his sons and their mothers and though he told himself that he would return, he never did. Now, he has a new name, a new family, a new career and a best-selling memoir. Meanwhile, the sons he left behind navigated their way to manhood while dealing with the questionable choices of their mothers. King relies on his looks, charm, and sexual prowess as he methodically plans to find the next successful woman to support his lifestyle. Simply because he works only when he feels like it. When he finds the one, it is not business as usual. But will he reexamine his trifling ways when it nearly causes him to lose those he loves the most? Darius has a penchant for pursuing the wrong women. However, his mind for business manages to keep him afloat despite his challenges to keep his emotions intact. Working for a stepfather he despises only builds resentment between he and his mother. What happens when the worlds of the two men collide unexpectedly, causing all to question their love and loyalty to one another? Prince is awkward and highly intelligent. His hard-working mother is thrilled beyond measure upon receiving the news that her son has been given the opportunity of a lifetime. But Prince’s world is shattered by someone he and his mother trusted dearly. The secret is killing him. What will happen when the secret is exposed? The sons do not know they are brothers but when find out, they are determined to make James pay the price for leaving them behind. Three Brothers, Three Mothers, One Father and whole lot of drama! “Charge it to the game cause everybody’s trying to score” Purchase autographed copies from author’s website About The Author
Sheryl Grace is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Louisiana native currently residing in North Texas. Her debut novel "He Calls Her Blue" has received positive reviews. Sheryl is also the co-host of the award-winning internet radio show, The Authors Lounge. Connect Socially Website | Facebook Excerpt from Chapter 6
“Hi, I just came over to introduce myself. My name is King” He said as he held out his tone and muscular arm in her direction to shake her hand. Still under his allure, she did manage to reach out her hand to shake his and stated “Nice to meet you, I’m Lauren” she stated. “Thank you again for the drink” she said politely while looking intensely at his eyes. “You are welcomed, Beautiful” He said with a deep voice that resounded in her soul and made her tingle inside although she tried all she could not to show it. He followed up with the sexiest smile she had ever seen. This is one tall glass of chocolate milk better yet Kahlua, she thought.

Friday, July 27, 2018

ARIES RED SKY by James Young

ARIES RED SKY
by James Young

The Confederation of Man believes all Humanity should be under Terra’s rule.

The Spartan Republic has spent seven centuries preparing to resist Earth’s tyranny.

The stars will burn as these two mindsets come into brutal conflict in Aries’ Red Sky, the newest novel by award-winning author James Young.

EXCERPT
Despite his best efforts, Agenor Acheros’ was unable to completely dodge his opponent’s whirling axe kick. Rather than a clean, visage altering hit, however, the blow thudded into the Spartan lieutenant’s thick chest.

Ow, he thought with a grunt, the woman’s combat boot sliding off the right side of his dark green gi. Agenor did not give his sparring partner time to regain her balance, allowing his dodge to the left to flow into a crouch. Even as Lieutenant Abigail Schweizer realized her vulnerability, Agenors braced himself on his left arm. This was followed by a left leg sweep that knocked his diminutive opponent onto her back. Continuing the motion with a speed and agility no man his size should possess, Agenor completed an almost complete rotation on his straining left arm. Schweizer was just trying to regain her bearings when Agenor’s feet came back around and caught her steel-toes-first in the back. The blow elicited sharp cries and gasps from onlookers as the woman flung forward several feet.

Let’s finish this, Agenor thought, coming to his knees then springing to his feet and striding towards the stunned Schweizer. He felt a calmness descend upon him, blue eyes narrowing as he carefully stalked towards his opponent.

She might be faking. Either way, she will yield.

“Enough!” Captain Mordechai Butler barked, stopping Agenor in his tracks The tall, thin officer stood just outside the “Square of Enlightenment,” Alpha Company’s nickname for their designated sparring area. Agenor stopped to look at him, face quizzical.

“The Square has spoken,” Butler continued, signalling the end of the fight. Unlike the two lieutenants, Butler wore the standard Spartan Marine camouflage uniform. Inside of the Basile’s dark grey compartments, the clothing’s adaptive threads had adopted a mottled, random pattern of grey, white, black, and silver lozenge shapes.

“The Square tells all,” the roughly sixty Marines scattered in the open bay chanted with varying degrees of solemnity.

~Follow the rest of the tour

ABOUT JAMES

James Young is a Missouri native who escaped small town life by attending the United States Military Academy. After being set free from the Hudson River Valley, Mr. Young spent the next six years of his life in the Army repaying his education the proverbial “nickel at a time.” Along the way he collected a loving, patient, beautiful spouse…and various animals that did not fit that description. Leaving the Republic’s employ, he returned to the Midwest to pursue his doctorate—a process which took twice the time planned but is finally concluded. Having now concluded two of the prerequisites to be a super villain, Dr. Young spends his time waiting for the inevitable origin story, winning writing awards (2016 United States Naval Institute Cyber Essay Contest Winner, among others), and writing an alternate history (Usurper’s War) and military space opera (Vergassy Chronicles) series. His latest book is Aries Red Sky, the first in a new Vergassy Universe trilogy.

Find him online:

-blog
-Amazon Author Page

GIVEAWAY

James Young will be awarding a 5x7 print of concept artwork from the Vergassy Universe to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway