book excerpt · dystopian · Giveaways · R&R Book Tour stop · series · survival · YA

Book Tour – The Demon of Yodok (plus a giveaway)

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To celebrate the release of the latest novel in the Juche series, The Storm of Storms, we’re going back to the book that started it all! The Demon of Yodok! Read on for more details and a chance to win a signed hardcover edition of the novel!

Juche part one - eBook - Copy

The Demon of Yodok (Juche 1)

Genre: YA Dystopian

A highly addictive Young Adult Dystopian Survival series that will keep you glued to the pages.

JUCHE [dʒuːtʃe]

Just when Areum, daughter of a privileged family in the totalitarian state of Choson, thought she was free from her personal prison, her world collapses around her as her family are taken away in the middle of the night to a hell-like camp in the mountains where people who have strayed from the righteous path are brutally re-educated through blood, sweat, tears and starvation.

There she has to fight for survival together with the family she hates and is forced to re-evaluate every aspect of her life until then – her deep resentment toward her twin sister; her view of her father in face of the mounting evidence he is a traitor with the blood of millions of fellow countrymen on his hands; and even her love and affection for the Great General – the eternal savior and protector of Choson, whom she had always considered her true father.

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Cranes sang songs of joy from the mountain tops.

Double rainbows appeared in the sky.

The aggressors from the west were defeated. The invaders from the east were expunged. The traitors from the south were put at bay.

The people of Choson were finally free to create their own destiny, and so a hermit kingdom of people’s rule rose from the ashes, and the doors to the enemies of the outside world were closed, never to be opened again.

The world around them moved on. Years passed. Decades passed. Peace and prosperity spread throughout the world, and nothing was heard from the secluded hermit paradise.

Then one day, people started emerging from its closed borders. The stories they brought with them were, however, not of a paradise on earth. Instead, what they depicted were horrors so vile and cruel that they almost exceeded human comprehension.

Little had the people of the kingdom known when they closed its doors to the outside world, that the vilest beast of all was still lurking among their midst, and as soon as the curtains had been drawn, the beast unleashed its reign of terror upon the people, not stopping until it had crushed and enslaved every soul within its reach.

The beast now rules the kingdom from a throne of human misery and agony.

No one alive has ever encountered this beast, but everybody knows its name.


Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Adria Carmichael is a writer of Young Adult Dystopian fiction with a twist. When she is not devouring dystopian and post-apocalyptic content in any format – books, movies, TV-series and PlayStation games – she is crafting the epic and highly-addictive Juche saga, her 2020 debut novel series that takes place in the brutal, totalitarian nation of Choson. When the limit of doom and gloom is reached, a 10K run on a sunny day or binging a silly sitcom on a rainy day is her go-to way to unwind.

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book review · dystopian · murder mystery · post apocalyptic

Book Review – The Visitor: A Post Apocalyptic Murder Mystery

by Terry Tyler


In 2024, a mystery virus ravages the entire world. ‘Bat Fever’ is highly contagious and a hundred per cent lethal.

A cottage tucked away in an isolated Norfolk village seems like the ideal place to sit out a catastrophic pandemic, but some residents of Hincham resent the arrival of Jack, Sarah and their friends, while others want to know too much about them.

What the villagers don’t know is that beneath Sarah’s cottage is a fully-stocked, luxury survival bunker. A post-apocalyptic ‘des res’.

Hincham isolates itself from the rest of the country, but the deaths continue―and not from the virus. There’s a killer on the loose, but is it a member of the much-depleted community, or someone from outside? As the body count rises, paranoia sets in; friend suspects friend, and everyone suspects the newcomers.

Most terrifying of all is that no one knows who’s next on the list…

The Visitor is Terry Tyler’s twenty-second Amazon publication, and is set in the same world as her Project Renova series, while being a completely separate, stand-alone novel.

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My Review

I realise reading about a deadly virus during a global pandemic might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it certainly gives perspective. The 2024 virus in The Visitor has basically said to Covid-19, “Hold my beer”, which is as good a reason as any to read on. I mean did any of us believe a year ago that we’d be in the position we are today? Of course not! So, with that in mind – and knowing there’s a vaccine on its way – I’m putting dystopian fiction back in the bottle.

Let’s set the scene: it’s 2024 and life after Covid-19 has returned to some degree of normality since 2020, but the term ‘pandemic’ returns to the world’s vocabulary when a new virus strikes, and this time it’s much more deadly. This time, the virus kills everyone who gets it; there’s no recovery. People die in droves and the authorities cannot cope. Bodies are bagged up and left in the streets for disposal, hospitals are attacked by vaccine-hunters, and the army is on the streets to reinforce some sort of order. But for how long?

There are four initial main characters: Jack, Sarah, Rexy & Daisy, friends since their university days when they shared a house. Still in touch, they reunite to visit the house in Hincham left to Sarah by her Uncle Jerry. On finding its hidden bunker with stocks and supplies of everything imaginable, they joke about meeting up again should there ever be another pandemic. Words that come back to haunt them.

However, each has moved on in life, so when the virus hits, they are not all able to flee for the safety of the bunker. In fact, two of them do not survive, but instead their loved ones turn up at the house in their place. I really enjoyed this part of the story, seeing their individual stories develop before they make their way to the village of Hincham.

Not everyone is pleased to see them, and it takes a while for them to be accepted by the villagers. So, it comes as no surprise that when a villager is found murdered, fingers are immediately pointed at the new arrivals.

They need to prove their worth if they are to avoid further criticism, and keep their secret bunker secret. The four characters have very differing views on how to respond to the villagers’ accusations – from sharing out their stocks to appease them, to not giving a damn about what is said about them. The story is told through their different viewpoints, interspersed with chapters by The Visitor, so the readers get unfettered access to their innermost thoughts. But, don’t even think that the identity of The Visitor is going to be revealed through these thoughts, because …well, it’s a mystery, and such a thing ain’t gonna happen. (Don’t ask me why I went all American-movie there, it just felt right 😉 – maybe it’s a prediction that this should be dramatised)

More deaths occur, the vitriol towards them ebbs and flows, but the anti-newcomer vibe is strong for a long time despite them doing their level best to integrate and be helpful. Just when you think there’s a pattern that could lead to revealing the killer, The Visitor mixes things up again. When even the army turn them down after they ask for help to find the killer, there seems to be little anyone can do except to hope the killer has moved on – which, of course, is pie in the sky.

However, as time goes on, it transpires someone is close to the truth. The killer’s time in the village is short lived and fleeing is the only option. For me, this is where the story began to drag a little as the killer’s story is told, and the reason for each of the murders is explained. I appreciate the reader needed to understand how The Visitor came to be, but it did feel a tad drawn out to me (it’s a long book). However, it’s worth hanging on in there, because someone is out to find the killer and make The Visitor face those back in Hincham. Unfortunately, the killer is still ahead of the game and the final twist is sublime, and leaves the door open for a sequel.

As a murder-mystery, this book is a very satisfying read. At times, I felt convinced I knew who the killer was, then there’d be a sharp twist that threw my suspicions off course. The post-apocalyptic setting is both fascinating and terrifying especially given the current climate. Multi-layered characters with complex personalities make you believe one thing and then another: it’s a complete roller-coaster ride to the big reveal, only to be topped by such a perfectly devious ending.

Highly recommended to readers who enjoy a thought-provoking murder-mystery. I received an ebook copy via Reads & Reels to read in exchange for an honest review.

As always,

blog blitz · book blitz · dystopian · Giveaways · R&R Book Tour stop · thriller · women's fiction

Book Blitz – In Our Bones (plus giveaway)


Congratulations to Pernell Plath Meier on the release of In Our Bones! Read on for a little sneak peek and book details! There’s also a fabulous giveaway!

Bones - Digital Cover

In Our BonesPublication Date: October 6th, 2020 Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Trump Era – Dystopian Thriller

Lauren’s happy childhood on a farm in Minnesota is shattered after an assault during her teen years, and she retreats into her own world as America falls apart. Hers was the last generation to grow up before the economic collapse that followed the Corona pandemic. Amidst roiling climate chaos, the government has been taken over by extremists, incompetents, and con-men who tear the country apart while clinging to power. Lauren is swept up in the madness when she falls for the wrong man. She’s looking for love and safety, but Bryan becomes distant and abusive as he obsesses over White Sharia and deepens his ties to the racist patriot militia group. Lauren worries about the safety of her sister and nephew, who is mixed-race. Will Lauren escape from Bryan and keep her nephew safe from danger? In a world where values are tested and morality is unsettlingly murky, Lauren must break free from the constraints in her mind to protect her family.

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She heard a whimper that brought her back to the moment, and peered at Craig as grief wracked his body. He started whispering, “It’s not coming back. None of it. The old world will never come back.” His chest quivered with small spasms and quiet tears flowed down his face and into his curly hair. Lauren instinctually wanted to turn away from him, to give him privacy. She scarcely knew him, and the depths of his grief sent fear rippling through her chest. She pushed herself to remain present. She may have been cool at times, but she refused to be an ice queen like her mom. She reached out a clumsy hand and rubbed his head, trying to soothe him.

Available on AmazonAbout the Author


Pernell Plath Meier grew up on the Iowa side of the Mississippi in the Quad Cities. She left behind a life of traumatic chaos to move out on her own at fifteen. She earned undergraduate science degrees with honors in biology, anthropology, and environmental studies, followed by graduate degrees in sustainable agriculture and anthropology at Iowa State University. She’s worked and traveled in ten countries, including a long-ago trip to see the Grateful Dead in Canada. After college, she worked in Kentucky helping farmers transition from tobacco production to local foods. She found her way to Southeast Minnesota and spent nearly twenty years raising gardens, chickens, dogs and cats, while homeschooling her five adopted children. Today Pernell juggles day to day life as a single mom with three kids still at home, a smaller flock of chickens and a new puppy, Buddy. Prior writings have centered on adoption and gardening. In Our Bones is her first quest as a novelist.


Giveaway Time!!!

Grand Prize: Signed Copy of In Our Bones & Swag

Second Place: Digital Copy of In Our Bones

Giveaway will run from today until October 17th! Click on the link below to enter!

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blog tour · book review · dystopian · near future · thriller

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Unborn


She killed her unborn child. The punishment will fit the crime.

America, 2026.
Feminism has been defeated.
Equality is a memory.
And abortion has been criminalized.

Three women find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Kate, carrying the child of a sexual predator.
Grace, whose baby will be born with a fatal deformity.
And Cindee: abused, abandoned and pregnant.

Can these three very different women come together to fight an oppressive system and win their freedom?

Find out by reading Unborn, a chilling dystopia combined with a gripping legal thriller.


Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US


Author Bio

My name’s Rachel McLean and I write thrillers that make you think.

What does that mean?

In short, I want my stories to make your pulse race and your brain tick.

Do you often get through a thriller at breakneck pace but are left with little sense of what the book was really about? Do you sometimes read literary fiction but just wish something would damn well happen?

My books aim to fill that gap.

If you’d like to know more about my books and receive extra bonus content, please join my book club at I’ll send you a weekly email with news about my writing research and progress, stories and bonus content for each book. And I’ll let you know when my books are on offer.

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My Review

5/5 stars

Rachel McLean never fails to disappoint, and I’m always excited to see her new releases. In Unborn, she lives up to her reputation as an author whose stories leave you thinking long after you’ve finished them.

I’ve neither read or seen The Handmaid’s tale (yes, I live in a bubble and have some catching up to do!) but I knew from past experience of the author’s books, that this would be a disturbing read. And still I came back for more!

America – 2026 – Society has returned to its “traditional values”, and women no longer have the choice to continue a pregnancy or not since abortion is illegal. Clinics offering terminations have been shut down, and any caught practising the service are imprisoned. Not just the practitioners, but the women requesting such an option too. The punishment is jail time and the involuntary harvesting of eggs during that time. Crikey!

The story revolves around three women with different tales to tell, all imprisoned for flouting this law.

Kate is a criminal lawyer recently broken up with her partner whom she found groping her teenage daughter. She does not want to have the man’s child and seeks out a clinic offering terminations “under the radar”. Her sentence is short, but eventful as she sees from first-hand experience how women are treated for breaking this law.

Grace is a mother of three already, a part-time teacher, and is aware that her unborn child is unlikely to live very long due to complications. She is accused of faking her miscarriage and is to be tried in a court of law. She could lose everything if she is found guilty.

Cindee is a scared 16 year old, abused by her father. She has barely said a word to anyone since being jailed, and is subjected to further abuse within the facility.

For all three, their lives are about to change as they are subjected to the harsh environment that is perceived to fit their crime. The author does a great job of telling the individual stories, and of combining them into a cohesive whole. She takes us on an intense, white-knuckle ride as the story progresses, leaving us wondering how things might turn out.

This is a thought-provoking and unsettling read, and – it pains me to say – possibly not as unrealistic as we might like to hope. Rachel McLean knows how to hook a reader by taking hot topics of today and turning them into our nightmares of tomorrow.


For more reviews, take a look at what these bloggers have to say …

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blog tour · book review · British · dystopian · Giveaways · psychological suspense · thriller

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Hope (with Giveaway)


Hope by Terry Tyler has been snapping up 5 star reviews all over the place, which is why I’m thrilled to share it with you all today!

Welcome to the blog tour for Dystopian Psycho-Thriller, Hope!



Publication Date: May 24, 2019

Genre: Dystopian/ Psychological Thriller

Terry Tyler’s nineteenth published work is a psychological thriller set in a dystopian near future – the UK, Year 2028.

Blogger Lita Stone and journalist Nick Freer live and work online, seeing life through soundbites, news TV and social media. Keeping the outside world at bay in their cozy flat, they observe the ruthless activities of the new PM and his celebrity fitness guru wife, Mona (hashtag MoMo), with the mild outrage that can be quelled simply by writing another blog post.

Meanwhile, in the outside world, multinational conglomerate Nutricorp is busy buying up supermarket chains, controlling the media, and financing the new compounds for the homeless: the Hope Villages.

Lita and Nick suspect little of the danger that awaits the unfortunate, until the outside world catches up with them – and Lita is forced to discover a strength she never knew she possessed.

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We don’t notice our world changing around us, because those little shifts take place so gradually. Attitudes are altered one decision, one blind eye turned, one ‘I accept’ at a time, until a situation that would have seemed unthinkable ten, twenty, thirty years ago, becomes the norm.

I’ve been pondering this a lot over the past few days, since I walked past the usual mile-long queue outside our local food bank, and thought, hang on a minute. When did this happen?

When I was a kid, I knew food banks existed but had never seen one. The UK’s first opened in 2004; I googled it so you don’t have to. Now they’re in every town, as normal a feature of our urban landscape as Nu-Mart and BettaBargains, but still they’re not government funded. They rely on charities, and people like me who dump a packet of Nu-Mart Pasta ‘n’ Sauce in the donations basket when we do our weekly shop.

One ponder led to another, and ‘why so many food banks?’ got me thinking about Hope Villages.

Since the first one, four years ago, they’ve popped up all over the country.

Sounds cosy, doesn’t it? Hope Village. Rosy-cheeked kiddies and lovingly tended gardens. A smiling vicar walking his dog, and pots of jam with gingham covers over the lids.

The reality is somewhat less appealing. The ‘Villages’ are estates of warehouse-like structures to house the homeless, with nary a jar of apple and blackberry preserves in sight.

Not so long ago, the less fortunate of our nation―of which there are said to be over two million―were part of the scenery in any town. You’d see them slumped in shop doorways, sitting blank-eyed on park benches, begging outside supermarkets and cafés.

Queueing outside the shelters.

There are two shelters near us: Horizon, and a Roof. Roof Charity has opened many, all over the country, in the past decade. I walk past and try not to stare at the bewildered faces of those who have only recently fallen this far and are trying their best to cling to ‘normality’, alongside the long-termers, their dead eyes staring at the ground.

Over the last four years, however, most of the homeless have been tidied away into Hope Villages.

Now Available!

Amazon | Amazon UK | Book Goodies

My Review


If this is author Terry Tyler’s 19th novel, then I have a serious back catalogue to read based on the brilliance of her latest book, Hope.

Set in the near future, in a post-Brexit UK, this story blurs the line between our current reality and fiction. What the author has created here is all too believable: such as the advancement and reliance on AI which leads to an increase in unemployment (except in social care!), not to mention social media posts that feed an eager and, dare I say “gullible” audience who thrive on the information that gives them hope for a similar lifestyle, even though what they see is carefully doctored fake news.

Lita Stone and her flatmates can see the changes in society, but feel cushioned by their lovely little flat and regular incomes. When her actions contradict those of the populist government lines, her work dries up. Her best friend loses her job because of a failure to fit into the new “much smaller” uniform, and constant fat-shaming #fittowork programs are no help. For a while Nick has to support them, until his own secret is discovered and all three of them are unable to pay their bills, and ultimately the rent for their cosy little home.

Sofa-surfing for a while keeps them under the radar, but eventually there is nothing for them than moving to Hope Village 37 in Northumberland. Lita’s “boyfriend” arranges this placement through his work, adamant it will only be a temporary solution. Unfortunately, Lita eavesdropped on a conversation he was having and jumped to conclusions that saw her move into Hope Village and then refuse all contact with him.

If only, Lita, if only you hadn’t overheard that conversation!

Life in Hope Village becomes their norm, but ever the sceptics Lita and Nick are suspicious of what is going on in there.  And it seems getting out is nigh on impossible.

Without giving away any of the story, what follows is a perfect example of the underdog fighting the establishment trope. In true David and Goliath style, Lita has to speak up – her audience only ever expected honesty from her. This was not the time to be silent or bend the truth to suit the powers that be.

The ending is uncomfortably worrying but also thrilling and exciting.  If it weren’t so near to the knuckle given the current trends we are all experiencing, then it wouldn’t be half as disturbing. Not only is this a great novel, but the author has timed its release to perfection – KUDOS!

Highly recommended to anyone who loves a dystopian story, and I really hope it remains a work of fiction and not a reality.

About the Author

Author Pic

Terry Tyler is the author of nineteen books available from Amazon, the latest being ‘Hope’, a dystopian, psychological drama set in the UK, a decade into the future. She is currently at work on ‘Blackthorn’, a post-apocalyptic stand-alone story set in her fictional city of the same name. Proud to be independently published, Terry is an avid reader and book reviewer, and a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.

Terry is a Walking Dead addict, and has a great interest in history (particularly 14th-17th century), and sociological/cultural/anthropological stuff, generally. She loves South Park, Netflix, autumn and winter, and going for long walks in quiet places where there are lots of trees. She lives in the north east of England with her husband.

Terry Tyler | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub| Amazon

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For your chance to win one of 4 digital copies of Hope in the format of your choice, click HERE!


Blog Tour Schedule

October 14th

Reads & Reels (Review)

Just 4 My Books (Review)

Lisette Brody (Guest Post)

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Spotlight)

October 15th

Lunarian Press (Spotlight)

Jessica Belmont (Review)

Tommye Turner Talks (Review)

October 16th

B is for Book Review (Interview)

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Review)

Books Teacup and Review (Spotlight)

October 17th

LoopyLouLaura (Review)

Tranquil Dreams (Review)

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight)

October 18th

I’m All About Books (Review)

The Faerie Review (Review)

Crossroads Reviews (Spotlight)

Blog Tour Organized By:


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Bloggers · book blitz · dystopian · futuristic · must-read

Blog Blitz ‘n’ Book Review – The Gathering

The Gathering

by Bernadette Giacomazzo

I’m delighted to be taking part in this one day blitz and review for The Gathering, the first in the dystopian series, The Uprising. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite.

The Uprising Series tells the story of three freedom fighters and their friends in high — and low — places that come together to overthrow a vainglorious Emperor and his militaristic Cabal to restore the city, and the way of life, they once knew and loved.

In The Gathering, Jamie Ryan has defected from the Cabal and has joined his former brothers-in-arms — Basile Perrinault and Kanoa Shinomura — to form a collective known as The Uprising. When an explosion leads to him crossing paths with Evanora Cunningham — a product of Jamie’s past — he discovers that The Uprising is bigger, and more important, than he thought.

Get your copy here:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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My review

4/5 stars

As a huge fan of dystopian stories, I couldn’t wait to get stuck into this book. It did not disappoint. It was a fast-paced, exciting read, in which the correlation with the modern, political world was humorous and scary in equal parts. I found myself laughing at the absurdity of the Emperor’s actions and the world he had created around him, only then to realise this was all a little too close for comfort. This was an addictive read. The story grabbed my attention from the start and held me rapt until the end.

The premise of a former rock ‘n’ roll star leading the Uprising was really original and highly entertaining. The pristine whiteness of everything surrounding the Emperor contrasted dramatically with the venues in which the band performed years before. The setting came to life, equally as strong as the characters within. Having read the author’s bio, it’s clear she knows the music industry well, and her insight was integral to the plot. The lifestyle of the band members felt so real, and the flashbacks kept the story fresh and made me root even more for the Uprising to succeed.

The transition from band leader to Cabal soldier to rebel made for a strong character in Jamie Ryan. With his brothers-in-arms, Perrinault and Shinomura, the author created a believable group of heroes, men who came together to support each other in true Musketeer style. In all, this book was chock-a-block with great characters: an evil, egocentric villain; a fascinating, funny, and endearing band of rebels, and a mother & daughter duo (the “damsels in distress”) to be freed from the grasp of the Emperor.

My favourite character was Evanora, the daughter of former band member Jordan (now deceased). I loved how she had a rebellious streak, listening to her father’s music (forbidden by the Emperor) and visualising the performances he’d given with the band.

Jamie Ryan was her father’s best friend, and the obvious choice to be her god-father. A role Jamie took seriously, promising to protect her no matter what. But he didn’t reckon on the changes that gripped society so soon after her birth. Neither knew the other had survived. Having not seen or heard of Evanora in years, finding her alive brought new impetus to Jamie’s quest for the Uprising to succeed.

Their relationship intrigues me. While having lived a sheltered and privileged life so far, Evanora will no doubt become the glue that binds the tale together. And she has already proved that she will not shy away from the fight ahead. Jamie, also, has promises to keep. Keeping Evanora safe, and leading the Uprising will be challenging. This first book of the series has certainly whetted my appetite for more.

About the author:

With an impressive list of credentials earned over the course of two decades, Bernadette R. Giacomazzo is a multi-hyphenate in the truest sense of the word: an editor, writer, photographer, publicist, and digital marketing specialist who has demonstrated an uncanny ability to thrive in each industry with equal aplomb. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and many, many more. She served as the news editor of Go! NYC Magazine for nearly a decade, the executive editor of LatinTRENDS Magazine for five years, the eye candy editor of XXL Magazine for two years, and the editor-at-large at iOne/Zona de Sabor for two years. As a publicist, she has worked with the likes of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and his G-Unit record label, rapper Kool G. Rap, and various photographers, artists, and models. As a digital marketing specialist, Bernadette is Google Adwords certified, has an advanced knowledge of SEO, PPC, link-building, and other digital marketing techniques, and has worked for a variety of clients in the legal, medical, and real estate industries.
Based in New York City, Bernadette is the co-author of Swimming with Sharks: A Real World, How-To Guide to Success (and Failure) in the Business of Music (for the 21st Century), and the author of the forthcoming dystopian fiction series, The Uprising. She also contributed a story to the upcoming Beyonce Knowles tribute anthology, The King Bey Bible, which will be available in bookstores nationwide in the summer of 2018.

Follow Bernadette on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter

Giveaway – Win a paperback copy of The Gathering (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Winner will be asked if they prefer a paperback or a digital copy.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then the giveaway organiser reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time all data will be deleted.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Don’t forget to leave a review if you read The Gathering.

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Thanks for reading 😉

blog tour · book excerpt · dystopian · YA

Blog Tour – The Phoenix Cycle



phoenixcyclefrontcover.pngThe Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall Rise

Publication Date: June 23, 2017

Published By: The Department of Smoke

Genre: Dystopian/ YA/ Sci-Fi

New San Francisco is the last city standing on a world ravaged by storms of ash and debris. The city survived by putting the ideals of the American dream on steroids and inspiring its people to persevere, though they have become ruthless in the process. Its citizens are ruled by the General, who has made sure that his people understand that gentleness and pity have become weaknesses that nature no longer tolerates.

Now Steve and Leslie must choose whether they will apply for the General’s once in a lifetime opportunity to “Rise from the Ashes” and join the Inner Circle that rules the city. If they don’t, they will be damned to spend the rest of their lives in the ghettos of Edingburg, a place where virtual reality has become a government-subsidized addiction.

For Steve, the choice is easy. His loyalties lie with the IRA, a revolutionary army led by a voice only known as “Mom.” They are trying to overthrow the General and free the people of New San Francisco from the cruelties of the City Guard. Steve’s mission is to broadcast a recording of a speech that a famous philosopher died to tell. Many thousands have and will perish to get this message out, but is anyone willing to listen?

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Link to Book Trailer

Available on Amazon


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Every wrist in the stadium beeped. Every boy and girl glanced down at the face of their watch. “00:10” then “:09” then “:08.” Everyone turned their heads to the west. There it was. Right on time, as always. The nightly storm. A wall of blackness had lurched up into the sky, swallowing the setting sun. The hairs on Steve’s neck stood up, urging him to get the hell out
of there.

Instead he grabbed Leslie’s hand, who sat quietly quivering next to him, instinctively pressing her bow into her head for comfort. Steve knew her shaking wasn’t coming from Line’s yelling, the storm, or even the tank pointing at them. Her quivers never came from the barrel of a gun, no, the ragging agony she held within her was the very same thing that pushed him back into the sheets when the sun finally rose—are we going to lose each other?

Leslie’s mind pushed the feeling away for at least another moment. “It’ll be all right,” she whispered. Her brown eyes guided him to the dozens of mortar tubes pointing upward and outward on the vibrant green field and then to the perfect line of churning ash that approached the stands.

“Unity can only be achieved and be maintained when it is the STRONG who come together and fly under one flag! We, like no other in the world, have created a unity that has never broken, has never FLINCHED! When the rest of the world saw THAT—” Line’s long arm pointed at the coming avalanche of black— “They all fell to pieces!”

The earth began to quake as the wall rose over them. Someone screamed. The mortars on the field fired as one at the roiling sky. The blackness spilled over the stadium, then slid over the perimeter of the frizzing wall of static that had encapsulated the field. No Phoenix Cycler had seen—only heard rumors from past Cycle Pref parties—this blackness that was sliding over and them whispering their deaths.

– The Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall Rise

About the Author

Author Pic

Bob is pretty dope. Firstly, his name is Bob, so…yea. Second, have you seen him rock that suit while in a maximum security prison? Epic.

Yea. That’s Bob. No psychological scarring with that author. Nope. Totally fine.

Gosh he looks good in suits.

Hey Have you read The Phoenix Cycle? He wrote that.

One suggestion before you read it and become one of those fans that leaves him roses by his doormat. Read her slowly. This book is not Twilight. She’s deeper than that. Take your time with her. Show the book you care. Cradle it and make it feel loved. If you do, she’ll be good to you. Go too fast and you’ll have no idea why she’s acting so crazy.

Philosophies Dead | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Goodreads

My thoughts:

I really wanted to read this after seeing the trailer. It struck me as a book I could really sink my teeth into.

However, for me, it was anything but that.  I tried twice, following the author’s instructions to read it slowly, take my time. Unfortunately, there was not enough time in the world to make the book hold my attention.

The beginning was fabulous, engrossing and exciting. I was so hopeful.

Then came the tubes, and the strange announcements. All logic flew out of my window.

On my second attempt, I got further than first time around. Maybe persistence is the key to getting the most out of this book. I just don’t want to see reading as a chore, and as a result had to mark this with a DNF.

Perhaps another day I’ll try again. The premise really was something I was excited about. But, on this occasion, this wasn’t for me.

Recent reviews on Coodreads show many others have thoroughly enjoyed this story.

Guess it proves the old adage that you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

Try it for yourself – it might be just what you’re looking for.


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The author is giving away 10 print copies (That’s right 10) and 5 Digital copies of his book so make sure you enter as the odds are definitely in your favor! (Runs from May 21st to May 30th)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule

May 21st

Reads & Reels (Kick-Off Promo)

Just for My Books (Excerpt)

The Lit Cottage (Review)

Adventures Thu Wonderland (Review)

The Midwest Ladies Who Lit (Excerpt)

May 22nd


Tranquil Dreams (Review)

On the Shelf Reviews (Excerpt)

May 23rd

Didi Oviatt (Excerpt)

The Genre Minx (Excerpt)

The Cozy Pages (Excerpt)

Valerie’s Musings (Excerpt)

The YA Book Divas (Interview)

May 24th

J Bronder Reviews (Review)

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Interview)

Bri’s Book Nook (Review)

The Cozy Pages (Excerpt)

Wicked Good Reads (Review)

May 25th

Afire Pages (Excerpt)

Port Jerricho (Excerpt)

Touch My Spine Book Reviews (Review)

Life at 17 (Review)

Blog Tour Organized By:


R&R Book Tours

army of authors · blog tour · dystopian

Army of Authors Blog Tour – Phil Featherstone

Paradise Girl

by Phil Featherstone

A few words from the author:

Readers often ask me where I got the idea for my novel Paradise Girl. The answer is, it came from a bug. Or, to be more precise, a virus.

Nobody knows how many viruses exist, but scientists agree that they outnumber all other living things put together (actually there’s some debate about whether viruses can actually be considered alive, but for now we’ll assume they can). Only a tiny number of them affect humans, and most of those that do are easily dealt with by the body’s immune system. However, there are a few that the immune system can’t cope with, and these can cause serious illness and, in extreme cases, death. An example is Ebola, which is spread through the transfer of body fluids. It’s also transmitted by fruit bats, which can carry the virus without being affected by it.

A few years ago a volcano in Iceland erupted, throwing smoke and ash several kilometres into the sky. A result of this was the grounding of commercial aircraft for several days. I live in a remote farmhouse high on the Pennine hills in the north of England. Usually the only signs of human life outside my home are the vapour trails of planes as they approach or depart from Manchester, or traverse the country to and from other places. At the time of the Icelandic eruption, they stopped. The skies were empty, a beautiful, clear blue. For that short time I could have been the only person alive. This started me thinking: suppose that really was the case, where might everyone else have gone? What might have happened to them? Destroyed by radiation? Abducted by aliens? Wiped out by a plague? Ebola was in the news at the time, and so the latter seemed the most likely.

I began to work on the idea. Somebody in such a situation would be subject to unbearable pressures. They would be desperately lonely and terribly afraid, alternating between relief at surviving and the daunting prospect of a future without hope. It would add poignancy if the central character was young, maybe still in their teens with their life before them. Think about an almost endless series of days stretching ahead, with nothing to relieve them or distinguish between them. What dark places might a mind go when faced with that? What terrible dreams might occur?

They would try to cope by writing a diary, which would describe what they saw, heard and thought, and through which they could reflect on their predicament. It seemed to me that this would work best if such a character was female. Kerryl Shaw introduced herself, and I began to write her story. You can read it in Paradise Girl.

Find the Paradise Girl here:

If you decide to grab a copy, be sure to leave a review for Phil.

Reviews keep authors writing! 

Thanks for reading.

blog tour · book launch · dystopian · futuristic

Army of Authors Blog Tour – Eliade Moldovan


by Eliade Moldovan

Where is humankind heading?

First question: Did human consciousness change along centuries and millennia?

Disrespect for our environment, religious intolerance, greed, selfishness… I did my reading, history and religious texts and books.

My conclusion? Not much. Add to all this the unstoppable population growth, the overpopulation and the insane resource consumption.

Second question: Did our life standards improve along centuries?

My take? A lot. For some of us. I would dare say that the average individual in western world lives better than kings few hundred years back. I remember a chronicle about the life during king Louis XIV, the Sun King; the cold and ugly smelling palaces (no toilets), sticks to scratch under the wigs for head lice, health problems…

So, we do better today. All this done because of human technology advances: internet, cars, airplanes, medical assistance, you name it…

So, what is wrong?

Technologies advanced much faster that human consciousness; and technology out of control generates disasters.

Discoveries and innovation based on research in chemistry, biology, quantum physics, information technology, transportation… make our life better, but could be used for destruction in the worse imaginable ways.

Third question: Can our society fix itself, and avoid self-destruction?

Answer: NO.

Why? There are mathematical theories that a system cannot fix itself from inside. The mechanisms to fix the system will alter it, and so, it is different than when the project started, it is catch 22 situation.  

Fourth question: What can be done?

If humankind deserved being saved, it will happen, help from above. Aliens? or gods?

But does indeed human society deserve saving?

My book The World Ends Tomorrow describes such a scenario.

Fracony, a supercivilization that visited Earth periodically, built models forecasting that an apocalypse generated by humans themselves is inevitable.

They discovered a baby girl, Clara, with very special qualities, a research accident from a lab that tried to match man and women for best offspring. Clara was raised and trained all her life to take over the world leadership and prevent or diminish the consequences of an apocalypse.

And the disaster came as a biological apocalypse from a virus escaping from a research lab.

Clara can communicate with Fracony, but her training could not foresee everything, and Fracony might have their plans about what really means saving humanity, or the price to pay.

What is good and bad have different definitions in normal times versus crisis situations, and when human race was at stake that line between right or wrong was blurry and shifting until became non-existent.  Principles transformed into self preservation, fear in divine punishment transformed into anger. Who could rule such a world?

The action is four hundred years into the future, and only two countries sharing the planet, Gaia and Esperanto. Clara was ruling Esperanto as its Secretary. She had to navigate among centrifuge interests and ideas and take bold and heartbreaking decisions. Will she succeed or collapse before reaching the end of the tunnel?

The World Ends Tomorrow

If you decide to grab a copy, be sure to leave a review for Eliade

Reviews keep authors writing! 

Thanks for reading.

blog tour · book launch · dystopian · sci-fi

Army of Authors Blog Tour – Michael Poeltl


A.I. Insurrection: The General’s War

by Michael Poeltl

Your Attention Please! 

A.I. Insurrection – The General’s War Press Release. Feb, 15th, 2018

2162 – Artificial intelligence claims sentience, but it’s the proof that will divide the world, and usher in the violent end to utopia, unless an uneasy alliance of adversaries can stop it.

A.I. Insurrection, the new release by Michael Poeltl, author of The Judas Syndrome trilogy, takes the author back to his roots of dystopian sci-fi. “This novel investigates global utopia and the struggle to maintain an unrealistic hold over everything and everyone,” Poeltl explains. “Certain aspects of humanity will never be satisfied with the thousand shades of grey a utopia will provide, no matter the spin. When faced with the threat of their robot slaves rebelling, distrust in the system begins to infect the general public, opening the door for a new world to emerge, and new leaders to rule.”  Discover how quickly a near-future utopian society can become a dystopian nightmare fueled by fear as the A.I. populace of United Earth become sentient and demand their freedoms.

Raymond Bellows, United Earth Chancellor, challenges the A.I. claims until an astonishing truth is revealed by Host: SENTA, one of hundreds of millions of individual robot Hosts who teams up with the Chancellor while struggling to discover her new-found awareness.  A secret coup schemes to over-throw the peaceful government, while a separate threat of human/tech hybrids who think the current regime is anything but idyllic arise from the Shadow net, taking direction from the mysterious Allfather avatar. In a three-sided war, humanity and humanity’s creation fight to claim their own place in an ever-evolving solar system.

“I believe science fictions fans, myself included, appreciate the complexities of artificial intelligence, and the moral questions which accompany it, like: when is intelligence consciousness? The novel also offers an exciting potential new proof of life for sentience.” Poeltl declares with an air of cloak-and-dagger surrounding the surprise reveal behind his new book.

Goodreads ratings for A.I. Insurrection are settling in at a respectable 4.25 stars and has one reviewer saying: A great read for anyone who enjoys extensively built worlds, philosophical questions, and an ol’ fashioned A.I uprising.” – Ari Augustine.

This is Poeltl’s tenth book and the first of 2018. For more on Michael Poeltl and his books, visit his website: Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, or join him on Goodreads.

Thanks for reading!