Friday, July 15, 2016

The Last Airship From Khartoum-A #NewRelease from @ChrisStoesen An #Alternative #History #Military #Adventure #RPBP

The Last Airship from Khartoum: 
A Thomas Devareaux Alternative History Military Adventure 
(The Thomas Sumter Devareaux Series Book 2) 
About The Book
Old Enemies are closing in. Richmond sends them away.
Will Devareaux find disaster or glory over the skies of Khartoum?

Devareaux's command is being hunted. He must battle traitors at home before being sent on a goodwill mission to secure favor with their ally Great Britain. Now promoted and in command of a squadron of airships, Devareaux and his men must fight against not only hordes of enemies but the perceptions of his allies as well. Drawn across the sweeping drama of the fall of Khartoum to the forces of the Mahdi, Devareaux must try to convince General Gordon that his position is untenable and help the man escape before they miss the Last Airship out of Khartoum.

The Last Airship from Khartoum begins with old enemies attempting to settle a score with Thomas Devareaux and his former crew. From Virginia to South Carolina to Cairo and Sudan, Devareaux and his company fight for their lives. Just when they believe that they have the upper hand, the President of the Confederacy, James L Kemper, sends Devareaux halfway across the globe to support the British in their fight against the Mahdi's siege of Khartoum. He and his men are not only caught in the crossfire of political ambitions, they are enemy targets. Will Devareaux find disaster or glory in the skies above Africa? The Last Airship from Khartoum is a work of alternative history. The action takes place in the air, over sea, and on land as these heroes battle to defend their country. It is the second book in the Thomas Devareaux series by author Chris Stoesen. ​​

Get Your Copy and get reading:
About The Author
Who Is Chris Stoesen?
Chris is an amateur author with interests in both historical and fictional subjects. He was born in 1970 and raised by fantastic parents in Tampa, Florida. So all of his shortcomings are of his own making and not their fault. His single greatest achievement is being married to the same wonderful woman for over 23 years. He and his family, live in the Atlanta area.

Chris is relatively new to publishing on Amazon but so far has found it to be a pleasant experience. Most of his writing thus far has been related to Historical War Game Scenarios such as In the Name of Roma which is available on Amazon as well. You can find his other work on the web store of the TooFatLardies. This includes titles such as "This Land Divided," "With Fire and Sword," 'Rock the Casbah," "The Campaign For Greece" and "Call This a Ruddy Picnic?" His most recent book is "From Empire to Revolution" that covers the Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires during World War One.

The first fictional book in the Thomas Devareaux series is now complete and work has started on the second book of the series. He has also written The Home, a zombie themed short story.

He has some short stories and some potential stories that he is working on at the Amazon WriteOn site: Please stop by and let him know what you think.

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

"So many things I loved about this novel!" ~'I Was, Am, Will Be Alice' by @eliseabram~5Star #TimeTravel #Fantasy #lovetoread #RPBP

Winner of the 2015 A Woman's Write Competition for fiction!
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Girls & Women

Pages: 310
Release Date: 12 July 16
Blog Tour Date: 11 - 19 July 16
When 9 year old Alice Carroll disappears during a school shooting she is left wondering if time travel is all it's cracked up to be.

About The Book

When Alice Carroll is in grade three she narrowly escapes losing her life in a school shooting. All she remembers is the woman comforting her in the moments before the gunshot, and that one second she was there, the next she wasn't.

It's bad enough coming to terms with surviving while others, including her favourite teacher, didn't, let alone dealing with the fact that she might wink out of existence at any time.

Alice spends the next few years seeing specialists about her Post Traumatic Stress as a result of VD--Voldemort Day--but it's not until she has a nightmare about The Day That Shall Not Be Mentioned, disappears from her bed, is found by police, and taken home to meet her four-year-old self that she realizes she's been time travelling.

Alice is unsure if her getting unstuck in time should be considered an ability or a liability, until she disappears right in front of her high school at dismissal time, the busiest time of day. Worried that someone may find out about her problem before long, Alice enlists her best friend (and maybe boyfriend), Pete, to help her try to control her shifting through time with limited success. She's just about ready to give up when the shooter is caught. Alice resolves to take control of her time travelling in order to go back to That Day, stop the shooting, and figure out the identity of the stranger who'd shielded Alice's body with her own.

Buy Links

About The Author

Elise Abram is high school teacher of English and Computer Studies, former archaeologist, editor, publisher, award winning author, avid reader of literary and science fiction, and student of the human condition. Everything she does, watches, reads and hears is fodder for her writing. She is passionate about writing and language, cooking, and ABC’s Once Upon A Time. In her spare time she experiments with paleo cookery, knits badly, and writes. She also bakes. Most of the time it doesn’t burn. Her family doesn’t seem to mind.

Connect With Elise Here

Enjoy An Excerpt
Alice is 9

The first time it happens, it happens like this:

I'm huddled beside the bench in the grade three cloakroom, head scrunched against my knees, hands clasped behind my head. I hear the shots, three of them, and I swear my heart stops pumping each time. There's a woman next to me, kneeling, whispering in my ear, telling me it's going to be okay, but I'm either too frightened or it was too long ago to remember exactly what she says. Her hand grips my shoulder firmly, and there's a familiar quality to her voice that's somewhat soothing. The man's heels clack into the cloakroom and the gun cracks as he readies it for the next shot. The woman stands and I can tell by the air she moves with her that she's taken a step toward him. Her lips make a wet sound as if she's parted them, and she draws in a breath as if to speak, and then the gun booms─it's deafening─and she goes down.

I scream and I go away.

When I come back the woman is gone. So is the man with the gun. The classroom door opens with a whoosh. My breath catches in my throat and my heart thumps in my chest and I hear shoe clacks again…

"Alice?" a man says when the clacking stops. It's loud enough to snap me from my trance. "You're covered in blood! Are you okay?" 

I blink at him. "I don't think it's mine."

The man, Principal Cotton, clucks his tongue and says, "For God's sake, girl, why are you still here?"

I shrug my shoulders. I have no idea.

His shoes click away. When they click back he has a woolen blanket in his hands. I feel the warmth of his body as he nears and the wet warmth of his breath at the back of my neck as he drapes the blanket over me. He's a smoker. I can tell.

The blanket's scratchy, like Daddy's beard on a weekend morning. It starts to slide off me, but I grab as much of it as I can and pull it close.

Mr. Cotton holds his hand out to me. I take it and let him lead me to the office.

* * *

It’s weird sitting in the Bad Kid Chairs, and I get A Case of the Nerves waiting for my parents to come. I have to breathe deeply and evenly; the last time I got A Case of the Nerves, I went away, and I don’t want to do that again. Not here. Not now.

By the time my parents come for me, Mr. Cotton has let me get washed up. My clothes are sticky in places where the blood is still wet and hard where it's dried in others. We sit in his office, the four of us around a small, round table. I try to picture us sitting this way in a coffee shop, waiting for the waitress to take our orders. Mom orders a latte, lactose free and with three sugars. Dad orders something slushy. Mr. Cotton looks like a tea man to me. I order something fruity and icy with lots of whipped cream.

Mr. Cotton says, "She was curled into a ball when I found her," spoiling the illusion. "She was just glued to the spot, huddled into a ball and holding her breath."

"Where did the blood come from?" Mom sniffles. I hate it when she cries.

"We don't know. She seems physically unharmed." Mr. Cotton shuffles the papers on the table in front of him. "I want to give you this." He hands her a pamphlet. "Grief councillors will be here for the foreseeable future to talk to the children who need it, but seeing as Alice was so close to…well, to the action, Post Traumatic Stress is a likely possibility."

Mom gasps. "Oh God!" Dad reaches for her hand. I sit in my chair taking long, deep breaths, willing myself to grow smaller and smaller until I disappear.

"Call this number, Mrs. Carroll. There are councillors there to help you cope, too. Support groups and the like."

Mom reaches for a tissue from the box on the table. She blows her nose, looks at her lap, and continues to weep.

"Thank you, Mr. Cotton," Dad says. He stands up and shakes the principal’s hand. He touches Mom’s shoulder and she stands, too. She nods and forces a smile at Mr. Cotton.

"Come, sweetie," Dad says to me. He takes my hand and pulls me from my chair.

* * *

The drive home would be silent, but for Mom’s sniffles and snorts and gasps. When we get there, she announces, "I’m going to lie down for a bit." She smiles at me and says, "You can lie with me if you like, Alice," as an afterthought.

I nod. I don’t feel like being comforted by my mother. I feel embarrassed at losing control. Ashamed at being found by Mr. Cotton of all people, just sitting there, crying like a baby. I want to eat chocolate cake till I puke and crawl into a hole somewhere and die.

"Ice cream sundaes, kiddo?" Dad asks.

I nod and smile in spite of myself and follow him into the kitchen.

Guest Post
My latest novel, I Was, Am, Will Be Alice releases the week of 12 July 16. In the book, 9 year old Alice Carroll disappears from her classroom during a school shooting. She later learns she is able to time travel when under extreme stress, a situation she is determined to learn to control in order to go back to the day of the shooting to save the lives of her teacher and classmates and to discover the identity of the woman who sacrificed herself so Alice could live.

Here are some excellent read-alikes, books with similar themes or in similar genres that have inspired me and my writing, especially with respect to I Was, Am, Will Be Alice. If you liked these books, you are sure to love Alice (and vice-versa):

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Life Henry, Alice travels through time, but due to a different genetic anomaly. Also like Henry, Alice's episodes of time travel centre around the most traumatic event in her life - being caught in a school shooting. Unlike The Time Traveler's Wife, Alice eventually learns how to control her traveling and tries to use it to prevent the shooting from happening. The novel is not primarily a romance, but rather, a coming of age story in which Alice learns that the curves life has thrown her do not have to define her. It is about a young girl coming to terms with her disability and using it to empower herself.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Names and phrases were borrowed from Alice in Wonderland, but aside from my Alice feeling as if she's stepped into the bizzaro world of the looking glass, the story does not compare. I include Wonderland in this list with the hope that it might inspire my readers to go back and take a look at the classic work that inspired me, if not the story.

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
In The Shining Girls, Kirby is the victim of a time traveller. She uses her traumatic event--nearly being murdered by serial killer, Harper--and her job as a reporter, to turn the event around and bring her attacker to justice. Like Alice, Kirby uses the curves life has thrown her to empower herself and overcome her past. In The Shining Girls, it is Harper who does the travelling through a door in a magical house. Kirby is assisted by fellow reporter, Dan, in her investigation and there are hints of a romance, much like Alice is assisted by Pete, and there are hints of a romance.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
In The Lovely Bones, Susie is raped and murdered. She spends the book in heaven, looking down on her friends and family as her murder investigation unfolds. Susie must come to terms with her death as she hopes her murderer will be caught. As the story progresses, Susie comes of age as she accepts her fate and learns of a clue that has been uncovered that will ultimately lead to the capture of her murderer. Alice is very much alive throughout the novel. The parallel here is the trauma and the need to come to terms with how the character's life has changed as a result of the trauma. As the character comes of age, she learns to use her trauma as a tool for empowerment, rather than defeat.

The Half-Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno
Molly suffers from split-personality disorder. The book opens with a trauma - Molly witnesses a boy on a motorcycle as he is hit and killed in a car accident - and she doesn't know what to make of it. Because life around her goes on and each of Molly's personalities are only aware of half of it, she must learn to overcome her disability in order to figure out who the boy on the motorcycle was, to regain her memory, and to get better. In other words, like Alice, she must also learn to come to terms with her disability, and she eventually uses it to piece her life together, thus empowering herself so she can get well.
Enter The Giveaway

"A Sweepingly Romantic Tale"~'Running Scarred' by @wackyjackyful #romance #mystery #excerpt #99cents #RPBP

Running Scarred (Book 1 in the Scarred Series)
2nd round placements (top 400) in the ABNA competition
 2013 and 2014
Suitable for age 16+
About The Book

He once had it all, but for three years retired special services expert, Patrick has hidden himself and his terrible war wounds from the world.

But when a bright, beautiful woman buys the ruined château and estate on which his own home
stands, it is more than Patrick’s unerring control can bear. For her to flinch from his injuries would be terrible, but for her to pity him would be the final insult. His only option is to make sure she never sees him at all.

Ellen doesn’t give a damn what Patrick looks like. With one glimpse of his shaded figure, one touch of his work roughened hands, one hint of his masculine scent, she is his. Forever.

Buying the abandoned French château had been a dream, her only desire since her brother was blown up in Afghanistan, if she could only capture the elusive Patrick, her world will be complete.

But Patrick is hiding from far more than himself.

Devastated when her wounded hero abandons her for a flame haired beauty, and terrified when her selfish ex fiancé reappears, Ellen discovers that she might not only lose her lover but also her life.

Can Patrick escape in time to save the woman who loves and accepts him exactly as he is, or will she be lost to him forever while he has been Running Scarred for far too long?

2015 revised edition. Running Scarred is a sensual military romance, gently exploring the emotions stirred by disability caused by war. 

An Excerpt From The Book
Chapter 4
Patrick stared at her from the other side of the rhododendrons. They had arrived only a few moments before him and he’d been too late to leave the hat and key and get out of sight again. He’d remained hidden, praying they would leave quickly, but as soon as he saw the way her hand moved gently across the stone walls, he knew it was hopeless. She looked completely in love with the place already. And when she sat down, he knew there would be no getting rid of her. He would have to show himself.

He shook himself defiantly. What was the matter with him? He wasn’t some idiot kid with a schoolboy crush. He was thirty-two. Retired Special Services, amongst other things. He had killed people. Lots of them, if he cared to count, which he didn’t. They had all been worse than bad and deserved to die, so he wasn’t going to worry himself over that. But here he was getting himself into a sweat, worrying over meeting this woman in daylight. For God’s sake! He had to get over this. It wasn’t as if he was some kind of ogre. Anton was his friend and he had overcome his fears for the market place. A mere slip of a girl shouldn’t scare him.

He only wished that she wasn’t quite so beautiful. Last night he had thought that perhaps the moonlight was being kind to her, but after seeing her earlier as she jumped from her car, he knew it was no trick of the light. She was stunning, completely entrancing. The nearly forgotten passions began stirring again and he took a deep breath to calm them.

This was going to be harder than he had anticipated. He didn’t want to see her expression when he finally limped into view. His phone buzzed in his pocket. He knew it was Anton, he could see the man with his own mobile pressed to his ear.

He huffed out an annoyed breath. Get a bloody grip and move! He squared his shoulders, stood up as straight as possible and shoved forwards through the bush.

“Anton! I’m here. I was held up at the market,” he called out as he revealed himself. He saw the woman’s head come up and he stared hard at her, lifting his chin, challenging her and bracing himself as he waited for the shock to register.

He waited for her to drop her gaze. He waited for the fixed smile. He waited for her to be embarrassed, waited for the pity in her eyes…


Absolutely no reaction at all. She didn’t bat an eyelid, merely stood up and came down the steps towards him, smiling a genuine smile that crinkled the outer edges of her beautiful brown eyes and sent sudden stabs of sharp pain directly into his heart. She bent to pick up a bag at the bottom of the steps and then walked right up to him.

“Hello again. I brought your coat. Sorry I rushed off with it last night, but thanks for the loan and thanks for taking me back to the hotel. I’m Ellen Phillips. From Essex.” She finished, smiling up at him again. Though she had known he was big, she hadn’t realized how tall he was the night before. It had been so dark and they had been stooping beneath low branches and scrub. The tone of his voice hadn’t told her much about his age either. She’d guessed about the same age as her brother. Now she could see that he was a little older, probably in his early thirties, well over six feet tall, muscled and fit.

He stared down at her open gaze, his brows creased into a solid line of confusion.

Well, this was a new one on him. What the hell was the matter with her? Why wasn’t she running for the hills? He lifted his hand to his face, wondering if, by some miracle, the disgusting hard, white skin was gone, but dropped it immediately as he touched the horrible numb, waxy texture. The scars were still there, the same as always, cold and terrible under his fingertips.

She was still looking at him directly, holding out a bag. Feeling a complete idiot, he reached out and took it from her. He looked briefly inside the bag and saw the thick lining of his coat. A wonderful delicate fragrance wafted up at him. Curiosity replaced his frown. He didn’t think she could have worn it long enough for her scent to transfer. He hoped she hadn’t sprayed it with perfume to mask the smell of his open fire. He looked right back at her.

“No problem, glad to have been of help. I’m Patrick Reeves, from Essex too, but you guessed that already. Thanks for bringing this back. Not that I need it so much, now that the weather is improving.” He sucked in the words, feeling a complete fool for discussing the weather with someone so young and beautiful while desperately hoping that he wasn’t dribbling from the scarred corner of his mouth. He lifted the back of his hand to check. No, it was dry, thank God!

She turned towards the château.

“Did you manage to find the key? I’m dying for a look inside. I think it’s going to be just what I want.”

“Huh! You hardly need a key.” He grunted doubtfully, as he looked down at her. “I think you might change your mind when you take a closer look. It’s pretty bad.”

He put the coat down on the balustrade and fumbled in his pocket, then limped up the stone steps. Now she did glance down, frowning as he walked past.

“Why do you still have one of the old models? Anton says you’ve been out here nearly two years. Have you been offered the new update?” She asked as he walked unevenly towards the château door.

He stopped immediately.

“What? What do you mean?” He turned sharply, his dark blue eyes looked fiercely down at her and he dropped the key.

She raised her eyebrows in exasperation.

“Your leg of course. I wondered about it last night, but now that Anton has confirmed that you’ve been here two years I just assumed that you’re still using the old model. You’re entitled to the new one. It has much improved ankle movement and uses a better suction cup at the top. More comfortable apparently. A lot less friction and a lot more mobility.”

Patrick looked down at his leg. It was completely covered by his dark denim jeans and his brown boots were identical. How could she possibly know he had a prosthetic limb rather than just a limp? He looked harshly, accusingly at Anton, but the man just shook his head and shrugged.

Patrick stooped to pick up the fallen key. His voice was stiff.

“I’ve been told, but I haven’t got round to it yet. I haven’t been back to the U.K since I bought the cottage, and I’ve sort of got used to this one now.” He was uncomfortable answering her question, but she didn’t appear the least bit embarrassed, her eyes just grew wide in amazement.

“Well, you want to get yourself back there and get it sorted out. You can’t let the government get away with making you put up with second best. You can always keep this one too, but I would have thought it was quite restricting and it must be a pain in the ass to drag about in all this undergrowth.” She indicated the bushes where he had been hiding.

He gawped at her incredulously, feeling the anger rise in him. Who the hell did she think she was? Preaching to him as though she would have any idea of what it was like to be blown apart and find your life completely ruined in less than a second.

He gritted his teeth before he spoke.

“I’ll wear whatever type of leg I damn well like, thank you.” He turned away from her sharply and growled over his shoulder. “Now do you want to see this place or not?” He held up the key and the hat.

She jogged up the steps behind him, completely unfazed by his angry tone.

“Yes please. Come on, you can take me round. Anton is afraid of the ghosts. Apparently there are the unhappy spirits of raging German despots, missing French prisoners, war wounded and displaced mad people.” She counted them out on her fingers. “Should make for an interesting tour.” She gave a pretend shiver as she grinned and lifted her chin towards Anton who was staring open mouthed at their exchange.

Patrick’s furious tone disappeared immediately as he gazed incredulously towards his friend. He put his hands over his stomach and burst out laughing. The sound rang round the forest clearing and bounced off the walls of the château.

“Ghosts! You’re kidding me! Anton, really, is that the best you could come up with?” He shook his head as he calmed his laughter. “I should have thought that the dry rot was scarier than any unfortunate, forgotten spirit.”

Ellen looked up at Patrick in mock horror, noticing the deep blue eyes now sparkling under his dark hair. He was incredibly handsome. Even the vicious scars couldn’t disguise his square jaw and generous mouth.

“Dry rot?” She gave a real shiver this time. “Now that really is scary. Lucky you came along, Patrick. You don’t look as though you would ever be scared of anything.” She looked rather obviously across his broad shoulders and then down his wide chest to his slim waist, then even further to where she could just see the cup outlined below his muscled thigh. She raised her eyes again and felt herself blush as she realized that Patrick was staring right back at her, but her gaze still never faltered.

Patrick gawped at her. Was she flirting with him? Impossible, surely? He turned away sharply, not wanting to see her embarrassment at being caught out, but then something made him glance back over his shoulder at her. His heartbeat quickened. She was still looking at him, not curiously, not with pity and certainly not afraid. She was checking out his arse! And looking as though she liked what she saw. He turned to face her as he felt his own face become hot under her open stare and his stomach gave an unexpected rumble. It sounded very loud in the stillness.

She gaze lifted to his flat waistline. And then, he could scarcely believe it, her dark eyes dropped even lower. Was she staring at his crotch? He fought to keep his libido under control as his stomach rumbled yet again, and she looked up at last, smiling widely at the sound. At least he hoped it was at the sound, and not at what he’d failed to stop swelling in his pants.

“Sorry. Have I made you late for lunch?” She grinned up at him.

He felt himself become even hotter as he beat down the violent surge of desire that had suddenly descended to his groin, and he turned to shove his way through the great doors.

“No, more like breakfast actually. I went to the market to get bread and cheese, but I was delayed. My French is still a bit crappy.”

She was standing right beside him and he caught the hint of the same exotic perfume that had wafted up from his coat. He bent and picked up the hard hat and jammed it on her head. He limped forwards, pulling a flashlight from his pocket and shining it around in the darkness. She followed him into the vast open hallway.

“What about your hat? Anton has one outside for you.”

He laughed grimly.

“Huh! What’s the point? If anything falls on my head, it can’t possibly do any more damage, can it? Just mind where you tread.” He stomped forwards, kicking a few shards of glass out of the way and she followed quickly. He shone his torch around in the gloom and she moved away from the shadows, closer to his shoulder.

Running Scarred is the first book in the Scarred Series! 
What people are saying about 'Running Scarred'
~First in the series had me hooked~
~It is a story told with bold conviction and who can ask for more in a book? Highly recommended.~
~Very compelling characters, felt very real, not contrived. I can't wait for more in the series.~
~A perceptive, emotionally satisfying, contemporary love story.~
Coming soon is book six, 'Scarred Surrender'!
In honor of this new release, the author Jackie Williams has lowered the price of Book One, Running Scarred to just 99c/99p!
If you haven't started the series yet, now's the time!
For the Complete series:
Running Scarred:
Scarred Beginnings:
Forever Scarred:
Scarred Horizon:
Scarred Survival:

About The Author
Jackie Williams, Romance writer.

I was born in Essex, England during the mid sixties but I missed all the fun. Being only young, I assumed that all Beatles were six legged creatures and Flower Power was something to do with the vigorous way my mother kneaded the bread dough.

My wonderful parents brought me up with a huge love of books. We read anything and everything. Bedtime stories were a treasured time of adventure and mystery. My sister and I sat wide eyed in wonder and to this day I worry about Dinah and Dorinda being pricked with pins because they grew so fat, and I never pull faces at the a waning moon (or was it a waxing one?) just in case my chops stay that way . (The Wind On The Moon)

I began reading romance while still at school. The fuel for many a teenage fantasy leapt from between the covers of wildly romantic books and my passion still lingers now for all those dark haired heroes.

My own beautiful teenage daughter persuaded me to write my first romance. She was only fourteen at the time and between books for children and adults. She couldn't find anything that ticked all her numerous and particular boxes and so she asked me to write a book, with all the exact ingredients just for her. Though not just a book for teens, she enjoyed the resulting tale so much that she shared it with her friends and I eventually published A Perfect Summer as an ebook on amazon.

But I have discovered that writing is not easily stopped once you start. It has turned into a grand passion that I just cannot hold back. The fingertips start tapping the keys and ideas suddenly come flooding, far too many for just one book and so I began another and then another. Fourteen books later I am still nowhere near done. Book twenty two (Scarred Surrender) is on its way and only just the other night I woke from a wild and wonderful dream with book twenty three fully formed in my head.

I hope you enjoy all of my efforts and I look forward to your comments and reviews.

You can reach Jackie on any of the following: 
Rukia Publishing: FBTW