Monday, February 24, 2020

#Spotlight & #Giveaway: I Know When You Are Going To Die by Michael J. Bowler #YA #Suspense #Thriller

I Know When You’re Going To Die
Michael J. Bowler

Genre: YA Suspense/Thriller

Publisher: Michael J. Bowler, Author
Date of Publication: Release date 2/25/2020
ISBN: 978-1-7333290-0-2
Number of pages: 212
Word Count: 81K
Cover Artist: Streetlight Graphics

Book Description:

Leonardo Cantrell is a painfully shy sixteen-year-old who cannot look people in the eye. One night while he’s volunteering at a homeless shelter, an old man forces eye contact and gives Leo the power to see Death.

His best, and only, friend—J.C. Rivera—thinks this new power is cool until Leo accidentally looks into J.C.’s eyes and “sees” his murder, a murder that will occur in less than two weeks. Stunned and shaken, the two boys sift through clues in Leo’s “vision” in a desperate effort to find the killer and stop him before he can strike.

Aided by feisty new-girl-at-school, Laura, the boys uncover evidence suggesting the identity of the murderer. However, their plan to trap the would-be killer goes horribly awry and reveals a truth that could kill them all.

Amazon      BN       Apple Books      Kobo


The door to the dorm is open and I step in. It looks like a huge barn with a worn hardwood floor studded with row after row of folding cots. Since it’s dinnertime, all the cots are empty except one.
An old man with surprisingly alert eyes lies atop that cot staring at me. Most of the older people who frequent the shelter have rheumy eyes, always moist and often clouded, because they’ve struggled for so long on the street, and maybe because they have alcohol or drug problems.
“Come here, boy.” His voice is raspy and echoes faintly in the cavernous room.
At first, I don’t recognize him. True, there are hundreds of homeless on the streets every day, but I’ve been volunteering on Skid Row since I was fourteen and after almost three years, like I said, I know most of them. I’m  thinking  that if this guy is a regular, he’s passed under my radar.
And yet…
I have seen him, I think. Not here at the shelter. Walking to my car…?  Yes!  Several times over these past two or three weekends, I’ve noticed him.  He’s caught my eye because, every time, he’s stared at me so intently it made  me shiver. He’d be pretending to rummage through a dumpster, but his eyes would follow me until I got into my car. I confess his gaze made me uncom- fortable, but I let it go. I’ve learned to shrug off such creepy feelings because   so many of the people I meet down here have mental health issues.
I steel myself and walk between the rows of empty cots—each with its  neat bedroll awaiting an occupant—and stop before the stranger  with  the scary eyes. Unlike most of the people, his clothes aren’t especially dirty and he doesn’t smell like someone who’s been on the streets for a long time. Wisps of gray hair stick out from his head at haphazard angles and his face has so many wrinkles I don’t think I could count them if I tried.
I don’t make eye contact, but that’s because I never do. Not here, not anywhere. People tell me I’m the definition of “shy” and they’re right.
“You asked to see me, sir?” I say deferentially, my gaze on his gnarled hands.
He rolls over onto his back. “I been watching you, boy. Seen you on the streets a lot.”
I freeze. So, I didn’t imagine it! “Yeah?”
“Yeah.” The voice sounds like sandpaper scraping along a fence. “Rich boy like you helping out poor folk like me. What gives?”
I’ve been asked this question by all my relatives, so I’m ready with my answer. “I think people like me who are lucky to have a lot should help people who don’t. And I hope I’m making the world better instead of worse. The kids  I know just party and think about themselves all the time. I don’t want to be like that.”
A crooked smile cracks the wrinkled face. “You’re the one, all right.” “The one?”
With effort, he unclasps his hands with their swollen knuckles and holds his right arm out toward me. It shakes, like he barely has enough strength to keep it aloft. “Take my hand, boy.”
Unlike my best friend J.C., who never touches any of the people when he comes with me to the shelters, I usually have no worries about contact. But I hesitate this time. I mean, this guy has been watching me on the streets. But kindness makes me swallow my anxiety and I clasp his hand. He squeezes gently.
“Look into my eyes.”
Ordinarily, I’d just glance into his eyes and then look away. But that com- manding tone compels me. I raise my eyes and focus on his. They’re brown  and alert and they shimmer beneath the overhead lights. We  lock gazes, and     I stiffen. Something I can’t quite pin down swells within me, like a surge of emotion. I suddenly feel… different.
All the tension drains from his face in an instant. Relaxed, he releases my hand, pulling his arm back with great deliberation. He rests both hands across his stomach and gazes up at me with obvious gratitude.
“Thank you, boy. Now I can die.”
I shudder. “Wha-what do you mean?”
The man offers a gentle smile. “I gave you a great gift, boy. Or maybe a curse. Had it so long, I can’t be sure no more. But I couldn’t die till I passed it on.”
I stand frozen in place, my heart thumping, my breathing on hold. A gift?
A curse? “Uh, pass what on, sir?”
He chuckles and it’s a wheezy sound, like he doesn’t have much air in his lungs. “Just you calling an old bum like me “sir” proves you be the one.”
I feel different inside and his words scare me because I know he’s done
something to me. “I’m just a regular kid, sir. Nothing special.”
That chuckle erupts again, wheezier this time. “Oh, you’re more than a regular kid. Like you said, most kids only care about stupid crap like partying. You’ll  use my gift well.” He lapses into a coughing fit that scares me even  more.
“Want me to get some help?”
He waves away the idea with one hand. After a few moments, the hacking ceases. “No need. It’s  my time.” He suddenly looks really pasty and gray in   the face. “When you find someone worthy, boy, pass on the gift to them,” he whispers, his voice very soft and almost inaudible. He closes his eyes and lies still. “Until then, make wise choices.”

Then he stops breathing. Literally, just stops. One second his chest is ris- ing and falling and then the next, there’s nothing. I want to shake him back to life and ask a thousand questions, but instead I run from the room to get help.
About the Author:

Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author who grew up in Northern California. He majored in English/Theatre at Santa Clara University, earned a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and a master's in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills. Michael taught high school in Hawthorne, California, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities. When Michael is not writing, you can find him volunteering as a youth mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and raising his newly adopted son. He is a passionate advocate for the fair treatment of children and teens in California, and hopes his books can show young people they are not alone in their struggles.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

#Spotlight: Pepperoni Pizza Pinching Chimps by Tracey C. Ayres #Middlegrade #BookBlitz

A Mystery unfolds when pizza delivery boys along with their pizzas keep disappearing, mostly pepperoni pizzas.
Keah is puzzled by strange noises that happen around the apartment building where she lives.
With the help of her friends, Keah is determined to find out why these things are happening before her family get back from the cruise.

Chapter 1

Bang, bang, bang!
        The knock on the front door made Keah jolt awake. Rubbing the sleep out of her eyes she stretched and yawned.
        “Who is it?” she shouted as she stretched again.
        “Pizza!” The voice from the other side of the door shouted back.
        “I didn’t order any pizza,” Keah replied.
        Walking over to the front door, she picked up a small stool and placed it by the entrance before stepping on it. She pushed her eye up to the spy hole. Her dad had assumed that everyone was going to grow six-foot-tall when he had the spy hole fitted, but for Keah, who was struggling to reach five foot two, a stool was the only option.
Keah could see a mass of curly black hair with a red cap perched on top. A boy about her age, sixteen, moved away from the door and turned to face Keah's front door. He stood awkwardly, holding a stack of pizza boxes.
        “Someone at this address did, Miss. Someone has to pay for all these pizzas. My boss is gonna be livid if I take them back.”
        “I didn’t order any pizzas. Go away. I’m calling the police.” Keah stepped away from the door.
        That’s when she heard that noise. The sound that grated through every bone in her body. It was the noise that made her spine tingle like fingernails running down a blackboard. A thought rushed through her head: Is that two pieces of metal scraping together? She shuddered and took a deep breath.
        Looking back through the spy hole, she watched the boy look around quickly, then turn and head back down the hallway, shaking his head. She heard him talking loudly and cursing to himself as he shoved the boxes back into the pizza warmers. His boss was going to be so annoyed. He had just walked past Mrs. Joy’s front door—Mrs. Joy was Keah’s neighbour—when he stopped and turned. Walking back to Mrs. Joy’s front door, the pizza delivery boy spoke to someone, but Keah couldn’t quite see who.
        Keah thought she saw dark shadows enter the hallway and move around the pizza delivery boy. But she couldn’t quite see who it was before the hall light switched off. Keah desperately wanted to go out into the hallway and turn on the light just to see who the boy was speaking to, but instead, she stepped off the stool and slid down the door onto the floor.
        Taking a deep breath, she crawled over to the coffee table, grabbed her iPhone and then edged her way back to the door. Even with her ear pressed against the door, she heard nothing but silence. Pressing her phone to wake, she opened her keypad. Slowly she pressed the button 000. She then placed her phone on the carpet next to her. What if Mrs. Joy had visitors, and they had ordered the pizzas? How stupid would I look? She thought to herself as she rested her head against the door and yawned. What a weird smell. I feel so tired. Keah thought before she finally closed her eyes.
        Bang, bang, bang!
        The vibrations from the banging on the door awoke her with a start. The light was now streaming in through the window, and the traffic sounded noisy. She felt the door vibrate against her back as the knock came again. Realizing she must have fallen asleep by the front door, Keah crawled into her bedroom, crouched at the side of her bed and listened. She heard people outside in the hallway. Someone banged on her neighbour’s door. Mrs. Joy is getting a lot of visitors lately, she thought.
She showered quickly and got ready for school. Slightly hesitant, she opened the front door and stepped out into the hallway. A tall policeman stepped in front of her.
        “Oh,” she announced, quite startled. “What’s going on?”
        “Morning, Miss. Do you live in this apartment?” The policeman had a broad Australian accent. Keah stepped back. She turned and glanced at the door before nodding dumbly.
        “Why didn’t you answer your door when I knocked earlier?” The policeman leered at Keah, making her stomach turn.
        “Got ID?” Keah said, avoiding eye contact.
        The policeman fumbled inside his tunic and eventually pulled out a wallet and showed her his identification card. By now, he had been joined by another man. This one was not in uniform but in a dark grey suit.
        “Morning, Miss. Got a name? I’m Detective Sergeant Paul Grimes.” He whipped out his ID before she could even think of asking.
        “Keah. Keah Madelia.”
        Keah had stepped back again and was now squished up tight against her own front door.
        “Where are your parents, Keah? You don't live here alone, do you? You off to school?” The DS bombarded her with questions, and all she could do was shake her head.
        “Well?” DS Paul Grimes said.
        The uniformed policeman started to look around the hallway as if he was losing interest in Keah.
        “My-my parents are cruising around New Zealand, somewhere. I’m on my own till they get back. I am old enough. I’m sixteen—well, I’ll be sixteen in a few weeks!”
        “Are you off to school?” DS Grimes asked again. “Which one?”
        “Yeah. St. Luke’s, at the corner of Holden Street,” Keah replied. Looking up at the DS, she asked him what all the police were doing in her building.
        “Don’t suppose you’d let my young officer here just poke his nose inside, would you? Only a pizza delivery boy went missing last night, and we believe this was his last delivery before he disappeared.”
Keah’s eyes widened, and her heart quickened. I saw him—I saw him talking to someone at Mrs. Joy’s front door. Keah wanted to scream at the detective, but instead she looked at her front door again then back at DS Grimes.
        “I’m late for school, and I didn’t order any pizza, perhaps Mrs. Joy did,” she declared boldly, pushing her key in the lock and letting the door swing wide open. “Knock ya self out.”
        Keah watched two policemen step out of Mr. & Mrs. Guey’s flat before she stepped back inside hers.
        She saw the uniformed policeman pull a pair of white disposable gloves from his pocket and watched as he rummaged around in the kitchen bin. Satisfied nothing was exciting in the waste bin, the policeman walked into Keah’s room, emerging a few moments later. Glad I tidied up after showering this morning. That could have been embarrassing, Keah thought. DS Grimes emerged from her parent’s bedroom. Her sister’s door was wide open. Mia would not be happy if she found out they’d touched her doll collection, which sat the whole length of one wall.
        “Did you hear anything last night, Keah? About 9 o’clock?” DS Grimes enquired softly.
Keah was already shaking her head from side to side and looking toward the window.
        “No, nothing, sorry. I-I um, I fell asleep quite early last night.”
        The DS reached into his inside pocket and pulled out what looked like a business card. He held it out to Keah.
        “Well, if you do recall anything, please call me. No matter how silly or small you may think it is, I would still like to hear about it. Okay?”
DS Paul Grimes pushed the card into Keah’s hand and left. The other policeman quietly followed, not even looking at Keah as he walked past her. Keah studied the card. Her older sister was around his age and single.
        And he is cute for a cop. Maybe a bit grumpy for Erin, Keah reasoned with herself.
        She slipped the card into her school bag before throwing it over her shoulder. Slamming the door behind her, Keah rushed past the policemen in the hall and skipped down the stairs into the street. She didn't look back or slow down until she’d reached her school three kilometers away.
Her best friend Abby was waiting for her at the gate as usual. A total contrast to Keah’s fair complexion and strawberry blonde hair, Abby had olive skin and dark hair that matched her equally dark eyes.
Keah turned and scoured the street before entering the school. She linked her arm through Abby's as they walked the long driveway to the school building.
        “Did you hear what happened last night?” Abby asked.
        Keah shook her head from side to side as if she hadn’t heard and glanced at Abby.
        “Another pizza boy disappeared. That’s four now,” Abby said, quite anxious.
        “Oh yeah, that—apparently it happened in our building. The boy delivered pizza to someone in our building then vanished,” Keah tried to act nonchalant but didn’t dare look at Abby again, in case she saw the guilt in her eyes.
        Keah knew she had been acting strange since her parents left for the cruise and that she should have gone to help that boy last night, but she hadn’t.
        “Oh, Keah! Did you see him? Did you order pizza? No—you wouldn’t—I know that, but Keah, how dreadful,” Abby cried as she let go of Keah’s arm and swung around to face her. “Have you told the police? Are you alright?”
        Keah nodded. She looked fine, but her stomach was knotted, and she felt shaky.
        No one had been there when Keah was woken up at 2am by the dreadful screams. She felt as if she was going mad with the scratching from the inside of her wardrobe. It came from the ceiling, from under the floor. She felt tired but didn’t want to tell anyone in case they thought it was because she was on her own and couldn't cope. Although she often spoke to her neighbours, neither had commented on the noises to Keah. The sounds started two days after her parents left with her six-year-old sister Mia. She now wished she had gone with them, but it was too late. At the time her exams were more important. Plus, the excitement of staying home all on her own for three weeks was more than she dared wish for.
        Keah had planned get-togethers at her place and even a massive party. She had run the party idea through her mum because she knew someone would tell her parents. So, she told her it would be very low key and if her mum had wanted her oldest sister Erin, who lived way over at Happy Valley, to come and supervise, that was cool. At the time Keah had felt that she was old enough to cope with a few friends on her own. Now, she was not so sure.

 Book Blitz - February 19th


Tracey C Ayres writes action-packed mysteries which are fun and exciting for young readers. Most of her books have heroines rather than hero's, for no particular reason, and her characters are intrepid, quick-witted and smart, and sometimes they are even fearless. Because Tracey believes when we lose ourselves in a story, our imagination should hold no barriers.
Best known for her book Gularian Islands (the one with the blinking dragon eye on Youtube) which received an incredible five stars LitPik review.
Tracey was born in England where she grew up with two older sisters and three younger brothers. Studied childcare, social work and psychology and wrote for a local newspaper but now loves her current job the best and that is writing stories for young children.
Living in Australia with her husband, daughters, grandchildren and a menagerie of pets she loves to find a shady tree and lose herself in her adventures while writing.

Contact Links

Purchase Links

Sunday, February 16, 2020

#Review: Monsterland Reanimated (Book 2) by Michael Okon #YAHorror #Suspense #series

I have always been an old school horror movie fan. Michael Okon's (formerly Michael Phillip Cash) brilliance was prevalent throughout the entire book and his love for this movie genre showed.

In this second book in the Monsterland series, Michael laced, The Mummy, The Blob, Frankenstein, and The Werewolf all into one beautiful retelling that only he could do.

I loved that returning characters from the first book had matured and found themselves in roles that seemed nearly impossible. The new characters written worked seamlessly with the old. The best thing was seeing them working together to fight a common enemy even though they were by far different in thought and action.

It was also not lost on me the subtle comments on our own current society that were inserted in such a way that it seemed they were part of the book.

Great read and worth the 5 stars it is getting from me.
Ps. I can't wait to see more Melvin! Read the book and you will know.

Disclosure:I purchased a copy of this book for my own collections. The owes here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. -Michelle

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

#Review: Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson #selfhelp

My review:
I have wanted to read this a long time as the title itself intrigued me. This is a story that tells the reader how to move forward in aspects of one's life.

The book begins with a group talking about their lives and how they are stuck. As they are talking, one of them brings up a story he had heard about two mice and two people that are in a maze looking for cheese.  I really cannot tell you more than that because by doing so, I would give the whole book away.

However, if you are stuck in the 'rat race' of life whether it business, everyday life, or even love, then this is the book for you. It is not a self help book per se but look in terms of who you may be and why you are stuck.

If you do not seem stuck, then this book is also for you. It shows you not to be too comfortable and always be prepared for change.

I highly recommend this book and to pass it on to others. Most importantly, talk to each other about it too. 5 stars!

I purchased a copy of this book for my own collections. The review here is 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Michelle

Monday, February 10, 2020

#Spotlight & #Giveaway: Bitter Alpine by Mary Daheim #CozyMysteries

Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series 
Publisher: Alibi (February 4, 2020) 
Print Length: 235 pages
New year, new murder . . . Emma Lord is on the case when death finds its way back to the wintry mountain town of Alpine.
After a relatively calm and cozy holiday season, neither Emma Lord, editor and publisher of The Alpine Advocate, nor her husband, Sheriff Milo Dodge, are surprised when their new year gets off to a rocky start. A woman’s body has been found in a squalid motel. Her driver’s license shows that Dawn Purvis was in her late thirties and lived in Weaverville, California—and the only connection between that town and Alpine is their gold-mining and logging origins. When they discover that Dawn’s room reservation was open-ended, Emma, Milo, and the ever-inquisitive Advocate receptionist, Alison Lindahl, are more than mildly curious. And never mind that the youthful Alison is a bit distracted by the new county extension agent’s virile good looks. She can still sleuth while she stalks her newest crush.
But that’s not all the news that’s unfit to print. There’s something strange about the older couple who have moved into the cabin down the road that was once owned by a murder victim. The elderly wife seems anti-social. There’s got to be a reason, which Emma, Milo, and Alison intend to find out—even if it puts them in deadly danger.'

About Mary Daheim

About the Author

Mary Daheim is the author of the Alpine mystery series. A Seattle native with a degree in communication from the University of Washington, she realized at an early age that getting a book published might elude her for years, so she began her writing career working on daily newspapers. The mother of three daughters, she lives in a century-old house in her hometown.
Purchase Links - Amazon 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 6, 2020

#Spotlight Age of Awakening #freebook #bookblast


๐“๐“ฐ๐“ฎ ๐“ธ๐“ฏ ๐“๐”€๐“ช๐“ด๐“ฎ๐“ท๐“ฒ๐“ท๐“ฐ ๐“ข๐“ฎ๐“ป๐“ฒ๐“ฎ๐“ผ ๐“ธ๐“ท ๐“ผ๐“ช๐“ต๐“ฎ $.99 ๐“”๐“๐“’๐“—!


๐“˜๐“ถ๐“ถ๐“ธ๐“ป๐“ฝ๐“ช๐“ต ๐““๐”‚๐“ท๐“ช๐“ผ๐“ฝ๐”‚ (๐“‘๐“ธ๐“ธ๐“ด 1) Some dynasties transcend time and space. Underneath urban Boston, an ancient Evil unleashes its dark legacy, feasting on human souls while it awaits the age of the prophecy. Darius Alexander, expert antiquities tracker, doesn’t believe in the prophecies – until he helplessly watches his grandfather being carried away by demons. He tracks them back to their queen, but rescue plans change when an Egyptian statue comes to life and melts into his arms. Nothing is as important as saving his grandfather, but will this exotic goddess be a bargaining chip…or a secret weapon? True power finds immortality in the bloodline. Shaila a’k’Hemet, goddess of war and protection, awakens in a strange new world and breathes fresh air for the first time in over three thousand sun cycles. Her destiny is to protect the royal child of the prophecy, but she discovers the demon army is already growing. Her powers are weak– and the child is missing. Fate has dropped her into the arms of a human who has the skills to help her…but will he? Blood never lies. UBL: Amazon:

๐“˜๐“ถ๐“ถ๐“ธ๐“ป๐“ฝ๐“ช๐“ต ๐““๐“ธ๐“ถ๐“ฒ๐“ท๐“ฒ๐“ธ๐“ท (๐“‘๐“ธ๐“ธ๐“ด 2)

She craves freedom and life... BASE jumper Jayden Hamilton fears the strange disease racking her body will soon imprison her in a hospital bed. Determined to make the most of the time her body has left, a jump from the Great Pyramid goes horribly wrong. As she drops out of her normal world and lands in a dark one filled with dragons and demons, she sees an opportunity. But it comes with a deadly price. In documenting the most extreme adventure of her life, she could be destroying the one man who can truly save her and set her free. Others crave what lurks in her veins... Deep in his cave, Seth Eanki is safe from the bloodlust which haunts him, though his self-imposed exile has left him bitter. When Jayden literally falls into his life, he dares to believe that destiny is offering him a second chance. But demons lurk in shadows even deeper than those he carries in his soul. In renewing his ancient vow to protect humans, he could be jeopardizing the life of the most precious one of all ? the woman who soothes the beast inside him. Truth is in the Blood. UBL: Amazon:

Love Magic?

Sign up for Lynda Haviland's newsletter and get Unveiled for FREE!