Friday, August 23, 2019

Road to Nowhere by Evan Shapiro - Book Tour + Giveaway

Road to Nowhere
by Evan Shapiro

Cli-Fi (climate fiction), SciFi, Mystery, Thriller, Satire

Is humanity on a Road to Nowhere?

What forces are at play behind global warming and its threat to every
species? Is humanity irrevocably heading down a Road to

This near future page-turner, weaves conspiracy, murder, genius and love
into a fast-paced ride across the globe, through the absurd and beyond.

Patrick, Kirby, Ancient and Costas thrust us into the world of corporate
juggernaut, PetroSynth, where science, politics and corruption jostle
to determine our future. How can so much power over our planet be in
the hands of so few?

This book is the stuff of modern mythology, an exciting adventure with
intricate personalities leaving the reader in a state of agitated
‘not knowing’ until the very end. Can we succeed (we are all in
this one together) or will the corporates and their minions win out
only to abandon the planet in crisis? A racy and worthwhile read
capturing the zeitgeist of our times.”

Ian Cohen – first Green MLC, NSW Parliament and Author of ‘Green Fire’

What makes this debut novel from Evan Shapiro a thoroughly engrossing read
is that it is hard to pigeon hole into any particular genre. Part
science fiction, thriller, mystery and romp. A fun and at times
gritty ride. It's a page turner written with insight, irreverence and
is an apt observation of humanity's capacity for suffering and
destruction, yet with potential to make a positive change.
G King

Road To Nowhere’ gives us a thought-provoking glimpse into an
uncompromising future that brilliantly juxtaposes futuristic hedonism
with the bare fundamentals of human frailty.
M Jury

One hundred and fifty million kilometres away from the Earth a big ball of fire busily burns away, converting four hundred million tons of hydrogen into helium every second in a seemingly endless nuclear fusion.
As our world orbits the Sun, we revolve our lives around our own daily concerns, forgetting that the big bright light in the sky, by its very nature, creates our day and feeds our existence. Eight minutes after its atomic birth the light that reaches Earth helps plants photosynthesise, taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.
Buried by our needs, our hopes, our dreams, our petty dislikes, our great loves and our monstrous hates, is a forgotten truth. It is so intrinsically human that we are capable of pushing this thought to the dark reaches of our primitive brains, that we know the words but don't truly appreciate the concept. We can tell ourselves what we like but there's no getting away from it. You can't hide from the truth forever, and this is true, so listen up.
Our lives are just a by-product of a cosmic breath!
Patrick closed his notebook, content with another great thought committed to paper. As he reclined into the comfort of his manager's plush office chair the feeling of self-satisfaction gave way to a pervasive self-doubt: how likely was it that a set of human eyes other than his own would ever read his words? His thoughts would remain just that, his own. To ensure that fate, he hastily removed the notebook from sight and shoved it into his bag. He shifted focus from the sense of his own mediocrity to that of his manager's. Leaning back further into the leather-padded chair he surveyed the room with contempt. Except for his position of authority, Patrick's manager was an inferior in every respect. The man's gruff manner, his constant barking of orders, ensured his control but alienated him from his subordinates. To Patrick he was a man to be managed. There were ways of dealing with him to get what you wanted: picking times when he was most distracted to ask for personal leave, never presenting him with an unsolved problem, always offering a solution no matter how stupid it may seem. Like a dog gnawing into a bone your offering would be viciously snatched and ripped into pieces, devoured before your eyes and the remnants spat back at your feet. But he would be secretly grateful you threw him something to sink his teeth into. Yes, he was to be managed and by no means trusted. A company man through and through, a company man who had access to information being withheld from Patrick. He looked around the room again, attempting to intuit where his superior would hide things he didn't want his subordinates to find.
The office was dark other than the light emanating from the desk lamp and a few beams of orange glow that crept in around the edges of the block-out blind covering the large window on one side of the office. A glint of light reflecting on the stainless steel filing cabinet in the corner of the room pulled Patrick to his feet and drew him towards it.
The vivid orange light from outside was easing rapidly, receding as the day drew to a close. Another twilight gone, another twilight spent alone, the most precious part of the day nearly over and nothing but a long lonely night ahead. With the sun setting fast Patrick had to increase his pace if he didn't want his break and enter to be discovered, if he didn't want to waste having braved the intense heat of the sun to be in the office a few hours early. His colleagues would soon filter in, once the cover of night gave them safe passage. He stood at the locked cabinet and tugged ineffectually at the top drawer. Yes there was definitely something in here that was not meant for Patrick, making him all the more determined to gain access.
Back at the desk he pulled open drawers, turned over papers, lifted up objects. No key to be found, nothing. He spotted the coffee cup next to the keyboard. 'Let me drop everything and fix your problem' branded on it in large type. His manager would often sit behind his desk holding the cup at eye level while subordinates talked to him, not answering, just waiting for them to read the message, get the point and get out of his office. If they took too long to register he'd soon throw them out, barking at them as they retreated. In all the time Patrick had worked with the man he'd never actually seen him drink from it. The cup was just a prop, another object littering a cluttered desk. Patrick picked it up, raised it to his eye in the manner of his superior, fleshing out what it felt like to be such a dickhead, before tipping it over and pouring the key into his palm.
Patrick rummaged around the now unlocked filing cabinet drawer. A bottle of vodka, some retro porn magazines, there must be more the man was hiding. Then bingo, official looking documents – 'Project Helios' – it smelled clandestine. His eager fingers took hold of the report and he could feel its suppression itching to be released.
With the document in hand he quickly covered his tracks – easy enough given it was a mess when he'd arrived. Lock the cabinet, key back in the cup, papers back in their stacks. He scooped up his bag and hit a button on his manager's desk. The large block-out blinds rose allowing the last vibrant orange rays of the sunset to fill the room, removing all shapes and objects with its intense glare. Then as the sun dropped behind the horizon and the room crept into darkness, Patrick closed the office door behind him and moved quietly to his workstation.
Compared to his supervisor's office, Patrick's desk was uncluttered and sparse. He'd never given the space much thought, other than to avoid it. What was the point in decorating? It annoyed him the way his co-workers littered their spaces with photos of families and friends, displaying them as some measure of achievement. 'This is what I have outside of this place, what do you have?' Why should he offer a window into his life to be assessed and ranked amongst the workforce? Worse still were postings of platitudes and self-motivating mantras, stuck to people's cubicles to help them through the day. At least Patrick wrote his own and kept them in his notebook. He didn't force them into his co-workers' field of vision the way they foisted their banalities on him.
His standard-issue ergonomic chair took his weight but creaked and squeaked as he shifted to find a comfortable position. He placed the document on the desk and pulled the chair in closer, ready, a little excited even, to discover what form of administrative ineptitude middle management had planned: a restructure, job losses, productivity gains? What idiocy would they be imposing on the workforce next?
As he began to read he was overcome with an acute awareness of the moment. As the words worked their way through his cerebral cortex he became filled with the horror of their reality. This was no minor administrative report. Patrick was discovering a truth that put his own concept of 'Cosmic Breath' into the realm of the pathetic. This was not a moment to be treasured, not a moment to be loved, but as clear a moment as any in his life, a milestone, a point of reference that couldn't be erased now that it had made its mark and he realised that from this point on his life wouldn't be the same.
Patrick sat with his hands frozen on the document and watched as workers began to arrive, safe now under the cover of night. Safe from the very sun in the sky that burned their lives into being but a sun now too strong for them to be exposed to.
He didn't move, didn't respond to his co-workers' 'good evenings', didn't react when the phone rang, didn't even realise he was continuing to breathe. There was only himself, the document before him and what was happening to his mind now that the information had transferred from paper to grey matter, nothing else registered, nothing else could.
Without fully knowing why, he stood, took the document in one hand, his car keys in the other and began to move. As he made his way steadily towards the exit he passed the early starters - some of them he knew, others he didn't, some he liked, others annoyed him, but they all looked like ghosts to him now. This pounding idea forced into his head by that wretched document made them all look dead, their activities meaningless, anything they might have to say useless. The information was infecting him – a vile fast moving virus corrupting and consuming his system.
The night air gave little relief, the ground still hot from the day's saturation of sunlight, the heat rising and filling his lungs. Every breath made him light-headed. He reached his car – the auto cooling made the interior a welcome relief from the outside air, but it didn't bring him back, didn't stop the pounding urge to keep moving. He started the car, capitulating to the unknown force propelling him forward. With no sense of destination, only a need to move away from that moment, that ground zero moment, he drove onto the open road. His lone vehicle travelled in the opposite direction to the stream of headlights making their way to work, collectively illuminating one side of the road as his sole set of headlights moved freely, seemingly unencumbered.

The second of four children born to would-be bohemians, Evan grew up on a
diet of independent cinema, junk TV, Shakespeare and chocolate
biscuits. As a toddler he drank Dettol and shampoo and stuck forks
into power-points. Growing up he was often reminded by his family
that he was lucky to have survived past the age of five. While his
parents blamed him for being dangerously active and carelessly
inquisitive, he lays the responsibility squarely at their feet for
repeatedly leaving Dettol, shampoo and forks within his grasp.

He likes to define the resulting confusion from his upbringing as his
'perspective' which he now relentlessly channels into works of fiction.

These day's he likes to prod people instead of power-points. He lives in
Sydney and divides his time between co-parenting, fixing his father's
TV settings, changing his mother's light bulbs, graphic design work,
writing and meditation. He claims to have found the secret to perfect
parenting, but as the answer is endless patience he's not sure it's
any use to anyone.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Pianist in a Bordello by Mike C. Erickson - Book Blitz

Historical Fiction & Satire

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What would happen if a politician decided to tell the truth—the whole truth?

Richard Youngblood, aspiring Congressman, is about to find out. He’s running on a platform of honesty and transparency—and against the advice of his friends and advisers he’s decided to start with himself. His autobiography will lay his entire life bare before voters just days before the election.

And what a life he’s had. Born in a commune and named Richard Milhous Nixon Youngblood as an angry shot at his absent father, Richard grows up in the spotlight, the son of an enigmatic fugitive and the grandson of a Republican senator. He’s kidnapped and rescued, kicked out of college for a prank involving turkeys, arrested in Hawaii while trying to deliver secrets to the CIA…Dick Nixon Youngblood’s ready to tell all.

He’ll even tell his readers about the Amandas—three women who share a name but not much else, and who each have helped shape and define the man he’s become.

Are voters really ready for the whole truth?

Are you?

Pianist in a Bordello is a hilarious political romp through the last four decades of American history, from a narrator who is full of surprises.

Praise for Pianist in a Bordello

"Pianist in a Bordello is so well crafted it compels readers to surrender and enjoy this irreverent, madcap portrait of a politician. A steady flow historic nuggets, shrewd insights, passionate encounters, and all-out hilarious moments, make it difficult to stop reading." - Underground Book Reviews

"With an interesting combination of literary tools to keep Erickson's plot constantly moving--opening chapters with sarcastic quotes, alternating between the abovementioned scenes, various plot twists, and closing on a humorous, yet thought-provoking note, Pianist in a Bordello is definitely a fun read for all." - San Francisco Book Review

"The author combines highly effective Joseph Heller-style political and social satire with some surprisingly touching personal moments... Erickson welds all of these elements together into a hugely enjoyable comic novel. A fast-paced, raucous tour through the last half-century alongside a modern-day Candide." - Kirkus Review

‘An original setting, carefully researched and vividly portrayed.’ — The Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Mike C. Erickson grew up in the idyllic college town of Logan, Utah, but because of a twist of fate he graduated from high school in Honolulu. He left Hawaii brimming with aloha and enrolled at Utah State, where he was awarded two degrees and self-proclaimed minor intellectual status, which was of dubious value when the US Army invited him to vacation in South-East Asia. Ten days after leaving Vietnam, he began decades of dispensing pearls of wisdom as a high school history teacher, academic decathlon coach, and on occasion, as a community college instructor in the Sacramento area. Mike and his wife Trudy, have two grown sons and a grandson born soon after this novel is published. When not in Hawaii or another exotic locale, they live in Gold River, California. This is his first novel.

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Worse than Dead by Stephen Puleston - Audio Book Tour + Giveaway

Author: Stephen Puleston

Narrator: Richard Elfyn

Length: 10 hours 20 minutes

Series: Inspector Drake Mysteries, Book 2

Publisher: Stephen Puleston

Released: Jan. 25, 2019

Genre: Modern Detective

A ferry leaves Dublin....

The chief engineer lies dead on the car deck....

There’s a killer on board....

Inspector Drake is called from a seminar on cybercrime to meet the ferry docking at the port of Holyhead. Frank Rosen, the chief engineer, lies on the car deck, a knife through his heart. For the first time, Drake knows where the killer is, but he doesn’t know who. When Rosen’s house is ransacked the night after he’s killed, Drake knows the killer was looking for something. The data stick Rosen’s wife finds may hold the clues. But the codes and numbers on it only complicate the investigation. And then Drake’s cousin makes contact and tells him he has information. But can Drake rely on him, or does he have another agenda? And when the team discover a direct link to drug dealing in North Wales and beyond, there are powerful forces at work.

Drake’s cousin drags Drake’s family into the middle of the case that piles the pressure on Drake, who’s facing regular counseling for his OCD and the prospect of losing his father to cancer. When Drake’s superior demotes him and acts entirely against protocols, Drake knows that something is wrong. Establishing the evidence takes him to Dublin and Cardiff and then on a last minute chase over North Wales to catch the killer.

I write crime fiction based in Wales and about Wales. The rural landscape of north Wales provides the backdrop to the Inspector Drake novels. And Cardiff, the capital of Wales, provides the setting for the Inspector Marco novels set in a modern urban environment.

I love the novels of Raymond Chandler, Ian Rankin, Mark Billingham, Henning Mankell, Val McDermid – the list could go on! And I enjoy watching detective series on the television the recent Hinterland series based near Aberystwyth in Wales was great. One of my favourites is the French series Spiral but The Bridge and Broadchurch and the Rebus series with Ken Stott and Kenneth Branagh in Wallander are great too.

I was born in Anglesey an island off the north Wales coast and after leaving school in Holyhead I went to University in London before training as a solicitor/lawyer. I practised in a small family business doing criminal work in the magistrates and crown courts, divorce and family work.

I still live on Anglesey, North Wales near the beach and the mountains of Snowdonia.
Narrator Bio

Richard Elfyn is a hugely experienced and talented actor with film credits including APOSTLE, MARIAH MUNDI AND THE MIDAS BOX, THE KILLER ELITE and THE DARK. TV credits include THE CROWN, KEEPING FAITH, HINTERLAND, EMMERDALE and STELLA and numerous leading regular roles for S4C including political drama BYW CELWYDD. Richard is regularly heard on BBC Radio 4 dramas and is a highly skilled voice over artist. He has re-voiced many Welsh language versions of popular animations including FIREMAN SAM, BEN 10 and SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS.


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Higher Ground by Christine Pope - Book Blitz

Title: Higher Ground
Author: Christine Pope
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Cover Designer: Lou Harper - Cover Affairs
Editor: Katherine Tomlinson, Story Authority
Publication Date: August 21st, 2019
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR

His magic is gone. Can he find it in the darkest corners of the witch world…or in her arms?

Who knew being a witch could be so…boring? Ava Castillo dutifully got her college degree, but now what? She itches to get out of Santa Fe and find adventure like her big brother, Tony. Find some use for her magical talent. Find love.

Who knew she’d find excitement standing right on her own doorstep?

Gabriel Escobar stood up to his evil older brother to help Tony and Cassandra Castillo, and paid a heavy price. Stripped of his magic and banished from his clan, there’s only one place he can think of to go — to the Castillo clan, in the hope that they can help him regain his powers.

Who knew he’d find magic standing right on the other side of Tony’s door?

Together, Ava and Gabriel embark on a quest to find the spell that will restore his magical gifts. A journey that takes them from the streets of Santa Fe to the darkest corners of old New Orleans to a hidden village in El Salvador, where the answers they desperately need wait for them...along with a threat that could strip them of everything…

…including their lives.

Note: Higher Ground is a standalone novel, but it may enrich your enjoyment to read the previous books in the Witches of Canyon Road series.

 USA Today bestseller Christine Pope is the author of the paranormal romance Witches of Cleopatra Hill series and the Djinn Wars series, among many other books (sixty and counting!). Researching UFOs brought her to magical Sedona, Arizona, where she now makes her home. Find out more about her books at

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Hidden Gifts:
Darker Paths:
Mysterious Ways:
A Canyon Road Christmas:
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Living for a Higher Purpose by Reverend Peter G. Vu - Book Blitz

Spirituality, Inspirational
Date Published: February 2019
Publisher: Book Art Press Solutions

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“Living for a Higher Purpose” is an enthralling story that will keep readers interested at every turn of the page as it gives a unique perspective of the Viet Nam War from an eye-witness and survivor. Viet, the central character, has experienced firsthand the after-effects of war in his “broken homeland” under the Communist regime and struggles with “hunger, thirst, heat, sickness, waves, violent storms, sharks, Communists, pirates, ideas of cannibalism, and death” in his escape. War indeed could not bring happiness and security to the people but instead grabbed them of these things. The contents of the story are raw, honest and powerful, coming directly from experience that has been indelibly etched into the memories of Viet. The book is not just a story of struggles, difficulties, and despair but also a story of hope, redemption, and transformation.

The difficult situations Viet found himself in are relatable and parallel to the struggles of the modern-day readers, and the triumph and new sense of purpose that Viet gained will also be something readers will relate to. This book is such an inspiring, life-changing and uplifting read. Anyone who has been through the toughest times of their lives can find comfort and security in reading this book. Viet’s story inspires readers to find their own higher purpose in life.

About the Author

Rev. Peter G. Vu has been a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan for twenty years and also a chaplain at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. He was born in Saigon City (currently Ho Chi Minh City), Viet Nam and was a young boy when the Viet Nam War ended. He witnessed the war with great horror and deep appreciation for peace. He grew up with the Communist government system and endured many hardships for more than a decade. What helped Rev. Vu and his countrymen tremendously during those dark days was their faith and prayers. His love for prayers and meditations blossomed. He also exchanged new ideas about prayers and mediations with his Buddhist friends. They got along quite well despite their different faith traditions. After high school, Rev. Vu escaped Viet Nam via boat and came to the United States to begin his seminary training. He attended one year of high school here in the US (Union High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan) to learn the language and new culture. He then attended Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan for two years while staying at Christopher House Seminary. Then, the Seminary sent him to attend his last two years of college at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He graduated with a double major: Mathematics and Philosophy. I then attended graduate school at the University of St. Mary of the Lake and Mundelein Seminary in Chicago, Illinois for five years. He graduated and was ordained with the Master Degree of Divinity and the Sacred Theology Baccalaureate.

Rev. Vu has ministered the People of God at six different churches over the last twenty years. Most of them have schools. He has worked extensively with children, especially at School Masses. He has led children in prayer and has seen first-hand their desperate need for it. He was also trained in Clinical Pastoral Care in a hospital and nursing home setting and practiced it at a General Hospital in Oxnard, California. In addition, Rev. Vu has been a chaplain at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans for almost ten years.

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In Pursuit of Perfection by Jacki Kelly - Book Tour + Giveaway

In Pursuit of Perfection
by Jacki Kelly


GENRE:   romance



The next man in Macy Rollins’s life must be perfect.
She’s had enough impostors and isn’t willing to settle for anything less.
All she has to do is get through the company contract negotiation season and she will get that
promotion she has been working so hard for.
Avery Malveaux – one of Philadelphia’s most eligible bachelors –
has been hired to work with her as legal counsel for the company.
From the moment they are forced to work together tensions are high and expectations are low.
He questions her ability, she questions his intentions.
After Macy is suspected in an accounting shortage, she accuses Avery of betraying her confidence.
Has she once again been deceived by a man she thought she could trust?
Can she clear her name and win her job back?
And can there be any hope for Macy’s pursuit of perfection.


From the moment Macy agreed to go out with Avery, she couldn’t focus on any of the important things.
Instead of pursuing Michelle, she thought about what to wear.
Instead of rechecking the few audit documents she had,
she was wondering what she and Avery would talk about. This was a real date.
Everything up to now was only practice. Dating Avery was playing with an open flame. 

She closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath.
All her thoughts whirled around the hurt little girl her father left standing in the doorway.
That was the 202 area code number that kept showing up on her phone. She sighed.
Brian had been too young to understand the destruction their father had caused.
But she couldn’t forget, and she couldn’t forgive.

The intoxicating expression on his face made her heart thump harder.
There were good reasons to pull away from him. But she couldn’t.
As risky as being with Avery was, she couldn’t walk away.
She needed to forget about the past,
to stop glancing backward and focus on the offerings of the future.
Maybe now was the perfect time to open the lock on her heart.

The HR Director shook his head. “That’s not a possibility.”

For a moment the room was quiet. There had to be something she could say to make this right.
“How soon—” 

“Immediately. We’d like you to gather anything personal from your office that you’d like to take home
with you and exit the building.”

She sat up straighter in the chair. “It sounds like you’re firing me.” 
“Until we have finished our investigation, please do not return to the building.” He stood.
The meeting was over.


Guest PostGuest post topic: Favorite and least favorite thing about writing romance

I’ve never been asked what my favorite and least favorite thing about writing romance is, so I had to give this blog a lot of thought. I decided to start with my least favorite thing because there aren’t many. When I first started writing romance, I had to learn some very fundamental rules. For a standard romance neither the hero nor the heroine should be in a relationship when the book opens. It took me a moment before I realized why this was important.
Dumping one relationship for another doesn’t put the characters in a good light. If I want my characters to be likable then I don’t want to show them doing shady things or having less than noble motives.
Romance is the number one selling genre, which makes it a pro and a con. It makes the romance genre a very crowded field. It’s hard to get attention with so many good books to competing for reading attention. There are so many different types of romance, contemporary, suspense, paranormal, romantic comedy, historical, young adult, fantasy, western, and the list continues. As a writer, this is too my advantage, because it gives me substantial opportunities to write on a broad range of topics, but it increases the competition as well.
My favorite thing about writing romance is the happily-ever-after endings or the happy-for-now endings I get to write. As an optimist, I always try to see the good in a situation, and writing romance allows me to escape the headline news, or the tragic story of the day and live in a world that’s fun, exciting and upbeat.
In the romance genre, there is a book for everyone. No matter what your interest, you can find a romance book that fits you. And whether we admit it or not, most stories, movies and television programs have a romantic element. There’s no escaping romance.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Men and women have always sought the promise that only love can offer.
Jacki invites you into an intriguing world where romance abounds around every corner and down
every street. You’ll be amazed at the crazy things we do and don’t do for the promise of love.
Jacki has been writing since her fourth grade teacher made her keep a journal for a grade.
Now she does it to keep track of all the fascinating and heartbreaking moments that life throws
our way. Poetry, personal essays, short stories and novels have all occupied space in her heart and
her hard drive.
Jacki lives in the northeast where the winters are too cold and the summers are warm.
But, she wouldn’t trade it for anywhere else, well maybe for a fabulous house on the sunny sands
of Miami Beach in February. Her loveable husband and adorable floppy eared dog endure her long
periods behind the computer creating happy-endings for her amazing hero and heroines.
Romance makes the world go round and Jacki is enjoying the ride.



Jacki Kelly will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn
winner via rafflecopter during the tour.