Sep 5, 2015

RELEASE BLITZ - 15 Years to Life by Regina Bartley




15 Years to Life

Author: Regina Bartley


Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 5, 2015

Blurb

Life outside prison walls is the farthest thing from predictable. There is no order, no schedule, and no one to tell you what to do every second of your life. Since the age of eleven, Brian McCrary had been in prison. Why you ask? For protecting his twin sister Blaine, and taking the life of his father.

Murder… Fifteen years to Life… Childhood to manhood…

With his parole granted, it’s time for Brian to come face to face with real life. What he doesn’t know is that this new life would prove to be the most difficult thing that he had ever faced. There would be struggles beyond his control. He has to learn how to be a man, and everything that goes along with it.

Sex… Love… Life… Responsibilities…

Will it be too much for him to handle, or is he strong enough to survive life on the outside?





Author Bio

Regina is a contemporary romance writer from Kentucky. She lives there with her husband, kids, dog and cat. She can be found behind her computer, a good book, or watching sports. She loves to hear from her readers.






Author Links
* WEBSITE *FACEBOOK * TWITTER *


Dead Girl Running by Ann M Noser PreOrder and Cover Reveal

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Dead Girl Running 

Author: Ann M. Noser 
Genre: Dystopian, YA/NA Crossover 
Release Date: October 26, 2015 
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

Eight years ago, SILVIA WOOD's father died in an industrial accident. After suffering through years of Psychotherapy Services and Mandated Medications for depression and multiple suicide attempts, she longs to work in Botanical Sciences. When the Occupation Exam determines she must work in Mortuary Sciences instead, she wonders if the New Order assigned her to the morgue to push her over the edge.

To appease her disappointed mother, Silvia enters the Race for Citizen Glory, in an attempt to stand out in the crowd of Equals. After she begins training with "golden boy" LIAM HARMAN, she discovers he also lost his father in the same accident that ruined her childhood. Then Silvia meets and falls for Liam's older cousin, whose paranoid intensity makes her question what really happened to her father. As the race nears, Silvia realizes that she's not only running for glory, she's running for her life.
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CHAPTER -- HAPPY BIRTHDAY

My tenth birthday was the worst day of my life. Dad had to work late because his replacement didn't show up on time. Mom and I waited for him to come home.

Eight years later, we're still waiting.

Most kids would've requested a Vacation Pass for their eighteenth birthday, but not me. I'd rather forget the whole thing and help Gus prepare the chilled bodies in the hospital mortuary. Dragging myself out of bed and pulling on teal scrubs, I fumble for socks and shoes, as a ray of early sunlight glints off my dad's picture hanging on the gray wall across the tiny room. Once again, his blue eyes capture mine as if he needs to tell me something important. On the floor, beneath the photo, sits a memory trunk full of how things used to be. But I won't open it today. I just can't.

Dishes clink in the kitchen. Mom calls out, "Hurry up, Silvia. I've got a surprise for you." She sounds happy, but I can't tell if it's real.

Since Dad's death, both of us have done a lot of pretending. So far this year, we've been able to avoid Psychotherapy Services and Mandated Medications, but sometimes I wonder if I was sent down to Mortuary Sciences to push me over the edge. Fortunately, I find autopsies intriguing, not depressing. And since I never got to see Dad's body after the accident, caring for other people's dead soothes the empty ache inside.

My boss, Gus, is an excellent teacher and the closest thing I have to a best friend. He always knows what to say to me and what not to say.

Too bad Mom doesn't have a clue.

Mom glances up from her green tea as I enter the copper-colored, modular kitchen. "I planned a big surprise for your birthday."

I tense. "What is it?"

Mom slides over a bowl of organic oatmeal topped with raspberries, normally my favorite. "I got us Park and Art passes today."

"I'm not hungry." I shake my head. "And Gus is expecting me."

"No, he's not. He knows all about it. I told him weeks ago."

"Really?" I cross my arms, not sure if I believe her. "He must be good at keeping secrets. Gus didn't even mention my birthday yesterday."

Which proves he knows me better than Mom does.

She frowns. "At least eat the raspberries, even if you're not hungry. I had to barter for them. And if it makes you feel better, we can pretend it isn't your birthday. It's just some other day instead."

I want to protest more, but there's a determined gleam in Mom's brown eyes¾one that hasn't been there for a long time. And I don't want to be the one to snuff it out.

I half-heartedly take a few bites of breakfast, swallow my eight prescribed supplements, and then return to my bedroom to change into jeans and a long-sleeved, green T-shirt. All my clothes are soft and plain, without decoration, made by hands like my father's. Only Dad proved himself to be Gifted, so he didn't make Basic Worker Level clothes for long. Instead, he got promoted to Government Level clothing production¾a promotion which cost him his life.

"Hurry up!" Mom calls from the front door of our small apartment.

We clamber down six flights of whitewashed cement steps, the stairwell so brightly lit with safety lights that one almost needs sunglasses. Once we arrive on the main floor, we push out into the swarms of people flooding the streets. Dashing across the busy bike path and two empty car lanes, we reach the closest walkway heading toward the park.

Traffic is orderly today. No bikers stray across the wide, white painted lines separating their lanes from ours. Men and women wearing blue scrubs of various shades hurry toward the hospitals and medical facilities. Those in green coveralls rush toward the monorail station to speed off to one of the numerous Plant and Protein Production Facilities.

I glance back at a beautiful, dark-skinned woman, trying not to feel envious of her green uniform. Normally, I don't mind my job. In fact, I feel more at home in Mortuary Sciences than anywhere else. But part of me still longs to spend all day surrounded by plants. Nothing can be done about it now. The Occupation Exam is over, and I've been placed where I'm most effective.

The streets are crowded this time of day. People whoosh past us on bikes as those on foot press constantly forward. Only the car lanes remain vacant. Flapping flags in the New Order colors of red, white, and blue crack overhead. I shiver a little in the cool morning breeze.

We march past rows of tall silver-gray buildings¾offices on the first two floors and apartments up above. We make good time until we hit the Citizen Family Planning and Reproductive Services Building. Traffic stalls. A tall man ahead of us shifts from side to side, waiting.

"What's going on?" Mom cranes her neck and rises on her toes. "Can you see?"

Indistinct voices argue up ahead. Strangers murmur but avoid making eye contact. After a long pause, the people in front of us begin to shuffle past the building. A few cast furtive glances over their shoulders. Everyone's in a hurry to get somewhere. Now I see who is causing the fuss—a red-haired girl, who looks to be about my age, shoves an orderly away. The crowd behind us pushes forward. Tears stream down the girl's pale face. She backs away from the building and turns as if to run before doubling over. She cries out in pain and clutches her swollen belly, breathing hard.

In her moment of weakness, the Suits surround and restrain her.

"I won't do it! I won't do it!" the pregnant girl screams as they drag her away.

Meet the Author

annmugshot

My to-do list dictates that I attempt to cram forty-eight hours of living into a day instead of the usual twenty-four. I’ve chosen a life filled with animals. I train for marathons with my dog, then go to work as a small animal veterinarian, and finish the day by tripping over my pets as I attempt to convince my two unruly children that YES, it really IS time for bed. But I can’t wait until the house is quiet to write; I have to steal moments throughout the day. Ten minutes here, a half hour there, I live within my imagination.

Like all busy American mothers, I multi-task. I work out plot holes during runs. Instead of meditating, I type madly during yoga stretches. I find inspiration in everyday things: a beautiful smile, a heartbreaking song, or a newspaper article on a political theory. For example, a long drive in the dark listening to an NPR program on the SMILEY FACE MURDERS theory made me ask so many questions that I wrote HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS to answer them to my satisfaction.

I’d love to have more time to write (and run, read, and sleep), but until I find Hermione Granger’s time turner, I will juggle real life with the half-written stories in my head. Main characters and plot lines intertwine in my cranium, and I need to let my writing weave the tales on paper so I can find out what happens next.

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The Mighty Wall of Hadrian, Emperor of Rome


The Mighty Wall of Hadrian, Emperor of Rome

Built by Emperor Hadrian of the Roman Empire, Hadrian's Wall stretches across the width of England south of its modern border with Scotland. This incredible monument covers over seventy miles (120 km) going from Wallsend on the east coast of England in North Tyneside to the salt marshes of the Solway Estuary in Cumbria on the west coast. It was built in two phases under the direction of Roman Emperor Hadrian, who was among the ‘Five Good Emperors’ of Rome. Hadrian was an extremely prominent Roman Emperor, who reigned from 117 to 138 AD.



Location of Hadrian’s Wall (Wikipedia)

According to historical records, Hadrian was a very generous man, giving large amounts of money to communities and individuals, and is said to have been one of the few emperors that wanted to live unassumingly, like a private citizen. Hadrian was also well known for his extensive travelling throughout his empire, and it was Hadrian who laid the foundations of the Byzantine Empire.

Hadrian's building projects are without a doubt his most enduring legacy. He founded cities throughout the entire Balkan Peninsula, Greece, Egypt and even Asia. The Arch of Hadrian constructed by the citizens of Athens in 132 AD honor Hadrian as the founder of the city. He also re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. But his most important monument is the wall constructed in the north of England.



Remnants of Hadrian’s Wall. Source: BigStockPhoto

Known in the past as Vallum Hadriani, the construction process of the wall began around 122 AD, corresponding to the visit of the Roman emperor to the province. Originally 3 m wide (10 ft) and up to 6 m (20 ft) in height east of the river Irthing, and 6 m (10 ft) wide and 3.5 m (11.5 ft) meters high west of the river, the wall stretches over a vast distance across uneven terrain. It is believed that the wall was originally covered in plaster and was white-washed, giving the wall a shining surface that would have reflected the sunlight and making it visible from many miles away.



Hadrian’s Wall (Northumberland) stretches for miles over rugged terrain. Source: BigStockPhoto

The construction project took six years to complete and was first thought to have been built by slaves, but this was later disproven. It is now known that the builders of Hadrian's Wall were Roman legionaries who were stationed in Britain in over a dozen fortifications located along the wall. Hadrian's Wall underwent a series of mayor repairs standing strong as the northwestern frontier until the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. The Roman army was well known for having highly skilled architects, mason builders, surveyors and carpenters in their ranks.

The first excavation of Hadrian's wall are believed to have been undertaken by William Camden in the 1600's but the first actual drawings of the wall were made in the 18th century with formal archaeological studies beginning in the 19th century and continuing until today.



Archaeologists carrying out excavations at Roman Vindolanda (2011) near Hadrian’s Wall. Source: BigStockPhoto

As for the purpose of the Hadrian’s wall, this is a subject of much discussion and debate between historians and archaeologists. Hadrian's biographer wrote "(Hadrian) was the first to build a wall 80 miles long to separate the Romans from the barbarians", but there are no records that provide an exact explanation for its construction. A popular view is that it was built to control immigration and smuggling into England. Patrolling legionaries would have been able to keep track of who entered and exited Roman territory, allowing them to charge customs dues and check for smuggling. Other theories are that the wall was constructed to reflect Rome's power and might, control rebellion, and/or reflect Hadrian’s policy of defense before expansion.

Hadrian's Wall was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and in 2005 it became a transnational "Frontiers of the Roman Empire" World Heritage Site.

Ivan Petričević is the founder of http://www.ancient-code.com/

Featured image: Hadrian’s Wall. Source: BigStockPhoto

Sources:

By Ivan Petricevic

Celestial Goddess Selene: The Star of the Night

Selene (also Diana) as Personification of the Night. 1765.

With silver wings and a golden diadem, Selene shone brightly throughout the lands of ancient Greece. The goddess of the moon, Selene captivated the hearts of ancient poets, authors, and orators, becoming as much a symbol of the glorious night as the proverbial light in the darkness.

The daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia, Selene was the original and principal moon goddess in early ancient Greek mythology. Also known by the epithets Phoebe (not to be confused with her aunt Phoebe) and Mene, Selene was considered by the ancient Greeks to be the physical personification of the moon, not merely the symbol or emblem of it.

Like every celestial goddess, there was a yin to Selene's yang; In this case, there were two yins. The moon goddess Selene had two siblingsthe sun and the dawn, also known as Helios and Eos respectively.
While Selene was known for pulling the moon across the sky in her silver chariot drawn by two beautiful, long-haired horses (sometimes oxen or bulls), Selene's brother Helios drew the sun across the sky in his fiery chariot.
Eos, in her own way, melded the two, blending her brother's and her sister's duties in the beautiful sunrise of dawn. The earliest depictions of Selene date back to the fifth century BC and illustrate her trip across the sky transforming the golden day into the silvery night.


Three paintings showing three deities of Greek mythology as personifications of the times of the day. From left to right: Helios (or sun god Apollo) personifying Day, Eos (or Hesperos) embodying Dawn, and Selene (or Diana, Luna) personifying Night or the Moon. Public Domain

The most popular story for which Selene is known is that of her "relationship", if it can be called such, with the human Endymion. The tale of Selene and Endymion has unknown origins, though it is believed to stem from Apollonius of Rhodes' Argonautica, or The Voyage of the Argo. However, there are numerous other references to Selene and Endymion's tale in various ancient texts—The Homeric Hymns, especially along with Quintus of Smyrna's The Fall of Troy and, most appropriately, the poems of the ancient female Greek poet named Sappho, who quite enjoyed retelling romances.

Endymion, as the tales go, was a mortal shepherd who lived on Mount Latmos in Greece. It is said that he was the grandson of Zeus, and that Zeus offered Endymion the gift of choosing when he would die. Endymion famously responded that he would remain ageless and deathless, thus he was placed under an eternal sleep.
Now, despite the numerous references to Endymion and Selene, it is unknown for certain if Zeus was the reason he slept for eternity. There were authors who believed he slumbered for other reasons: for instance, Cicero, the Roman orator, believed it was so that Selene could lay him while he was slept—and she did, every night. Like all ancient Greek myth, the tale of Selene and Endymion passed orally for so many generations, that numerous variations have cropped up throughout history and not all could be properly recorded. The myth in which Zeus is responsible for Endymion's sleep, however, is the most widespread version today.



Endymion and Selene, by Sebastiano Ricci (1713). Public Domain

Selene, for her part, could also only supposedly touch Endymion when he was asleep because of this spell. As the goddess of the moon, this could have been a metaphor for normal human affairs, yet it played nicely into the tale of Zeus' fault in Endymion's condition.

Regardless, it is said that Selene loved Endymion endlessly and that she even passed the task of ending the night onto her brother for a while. (Yet Helios, being inexperienced, made the nights too short sometimes and brought the dawn too late others.) Eventually, Selene bore Endymion many children—ranging from just a few to as many as fifty, and the mortal beauty Narcissus (the man cursed to love only himself) is sometimes attributed to them.

However Endymion, despite the prevalence of his myth, was not Selene's one and only love. In Greek mythology, there rarely is such a thing. Selene was also reputed to have had affairs with many other Greek gods, not the least of whom was Zeus. In legend she was said to have borne him a daughter named Pandia, and possibly another as well—this one a nymph named Nemea.

Selene also slept with the famous satyr Pan according to the Roman author Virgil. However, Pan was sometimes considered to be an epithet for Endymion because of Endymion’s title as shepherd. Selene was said to have even had four children with her brother Helios (not uncommon in the Greek religion) known as the Horae, or the seasons.


Selene, Greek goddess of the moon, in a flying chariot drawn by two white horses. She and her brother Helius, the god of the sun, often frame mythical scenes, giving an indication of the passage of time. Because both the Sun and Moon affect the temperature of the air, pestilential diseases and death are attributed to them. This file comes from Wellcome Images, a website operated by Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation based in the United Kingdom.

As time passed and the Archaic Period of Greece became the Early Classical, Selene slowly came to be replaced by the younger Greek goddess Artemis, twin of Apollo. It was not long before Artemis took over the role of moon goddess, just as Apollo ultimately took over the sun from Helios.

Though Selene was never forgotten, by the Classical Period (fifth to fourth century BCE) she was frequently interchanged with Artemis until she passed into the old generation of usurped Titans.

As the dawn of change approached, so the lady of the moon and the night waned.



Once goddess of the moon and the night, Selene. Public Domain

Featured image: Selene (also Diana) as Personification of the Night. 1765. Public Domain

Bibliography

  • Apollonius of Rhodes. The Voyage of the Argo. trans. E.V. Rieu (Penguin Books: London, 1971.)
  • Hesiod. Theogony. trans. Richard S. Caldwell (Focus Classical Library: Massachusetts, 1987.)
  • Ovid. The Heriodes. trans. Harold Isbell (Penguin Books: London, 2004.)
  • Quintus of Smyrna. The War at Troy. trans. Frederick M. Combellack (University of Oklahoma Press: Oklahoma, 1968.)
  • Unknown. The Homeric Hymns. trans. Susan C. Shelmerdine (Focus Classical Library: Massachusetts, 1995.)

By Ryan Stone

Blog Tour – Escape From the Past (YA Historical)

Escape from the Past (1)

Escape from the past Escape From the Past: The Duke's Wrath (YA Historical)
When fifteen-year-old nerd and gamer Max Anderson thinks he's sneaking a preview of an unpublished video game, he doesn't realize that 1) He's been chosen as a beta, an experimental test player. 2) He’s playing the ultimate history game, transporting him into the actual past: anywhere and anytime. And 3) Survival is optional: to return home he must decipher the game's rules and complete its missions—if he lives long enough. To fail means to stay in the past—forever. Now Max is trapped in medieval Germany, unprepared and clueless. It is 1471 and he quickly learns that being an outcast may cost him his head. Especially after rescuing a beautiful peasant girl from a deadly infection and thus provoking sinister wannabe Duke Ott. Overnight he is dragged into a hornets' nest of feuding lords who will stop at nothing to bring down the conjuring stranger in their midst.

Praise for the Book


"Fast-paced compelling YA debut."
Giselle Green, #1 bestselling author of A Sister's Gift"

"A wonderfully crafted romp to the time of lords, ladies, and knights."
Lee Ann Ward, author and former Senior Editor of Champagne Books

"Escape from the Past is chock-full of the tiny details that make a story feel realistic and immersive, from the leather ribbons used to fasten shoes to the slimy gruel that formed the bulk of the peasants' diet....those who love historical fiction or medieval fantasy will certainly enjoy Escape from the Past."
Mike Mullin, author of the Ashfall trilogy

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Excerpt

Chapter 1

It was exactly 9:32 p.m. when I settled into my favorite chair, the one with the ripped Mexican blanket that serves as a cushion. Little did I know I’d be gone within the hour. I mean gone as in disappeared.

Powering up my high-speed Cyber Xtreme and 32-inch monitor, a guilt gift from my dad and the only valuable thing I own, I stared at the blank disc in my hand. According to my friend, Jimmy, it contained some secret new game his father had invented. Jimmy said his dad thought the game was faulty and I wondered why his dad would have given it to him.

Most people consider Jimmy the lucky one. He lives in a mansion because his father runs some ginormous tech company. My mom and me share space with a thousand spiders in a two-bedroom cottage with a thatched roof. Who in the twenty-first century lives in a house covered with a bunch of straw?

Anyway, I digress. The tower purred as it swallowed the disc, the best sound in the world. It took a long time to boot which should’ve given me the first clue something was wrong. If there’s one thing that drives me crazy it’s slow processors and I knew it wasn’t my equipment. I’ve been gaming since I was six and consider myself pretty good. Especially when it comes to debugging stuff. I was stoked to figure it out, maybe make a few bucks in the process. I’m still American enough to think of dollars instead of Euros because we’ve only lived in Germany for two years.

I was scrounging for a candy bar in my desk when a flame shot across the screen, burning yellow, red and blue. Not that I smoke, but it looked real enough to light a cigarette. In slow motion the fire edged letters into the screen. EarthRider. Cool name. Of course I didn’t get it then. Stupid me.

Below the fire appeared a globe, the kind librarians have on their desks. The thing rotated slowly, zooming closer and closer like Google Earth. Jimmy was right, this was the coolest thing I’d ever seen, the graphics as realistic as if I’d been standing there.

Bornhagen, the place we live, was marked with a front door.

Enter here flashed below.

I was pretty fed up waiting, my fingers twitching to hit the keys. First it took ages to load, then it showed a map? But I didn’t have much else to do except review a few algebra problems— unlike Jimmy I’ve got no trouble with math—so I clicked.

On the screen giant boulders shaped themselves into a gate, opening onto a bunch of hills and a shadowy forest. In the distance, high on the mountain, I saw a castle with two towers, a pale banner fluttering limply on top. It looked vaguely familiar, but at the time I didn’t really think much about it. An ox cart moved slowly across a country road toward the castle.

I sniffed. Something reeked like boiled manure. I looked around to find the source when I noticed a man on the screen scurrying along a bumpy trail. He wheezed, dragging his bare feet. He was obviously injured, the filthy rags on his right shoulder dark with blood. The screen zoomed to follow as the man darted into the woods. Giant oaks swallowed the sun, a patchwork of shadows and light in the undergrowth.

At the time I remember thinking how lame this game was despite the graphics—no dragons, no monsters, nothing exciting whatsoever. Besides, I was slightly worried my mom would come in. The whiskey she likes usually puts her to sleep on the couch, but you never know. Luckily, most of the time, she doesn’t know when I pull an all-nighter.

Horse gallop thudded out of nowhere. Visibly trembling the grimy-looking man hesitated for a moment before thrashing his way through bushes and undergrowth. At the edge of the forest three riders in chainmail and helmets came into view, their chestnut horses whinnying and covered in sweat. The clang of metal sliced the air as the men drew swords.

At that moment my cell rang.


oppenlanderAuthor Annette Oppenlander

Annette Oppenlander writes historical fiction for teens. Whenshe isn’t in front of her computer, she loves indulging her dog, Mocha, and traveling around the U.S. and Europe to discover amazing histories.

“Nearly every place holds some kind of secret, something that makes history come alive. When we scrutinize people and places closely, history is no longer a number, it turns into a story.”

$25 Blog Tour giveaway

$25 Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon eGift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 9/25/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com eGift Card or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.




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