[Blog Tour] The Gathering by Bernadette Giacomazzo

The Gathering
Bernadette Giacomazzo
(The Uprising, #1)
Publication date: March 31st 2018
Genres: Adult, Dystopian

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.

Goodreads / Amazon


Excerpt

 

Introduction

Jamie

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be the center of attention.

I had it before. And I have it again, now.

But for entirely different reasons.

My name is James Randall Ryan IV.

My nearest and dearest call me Jamie.

My father, who is (well, now, was) not amongst my nearest and dearest, called me Jimmy. I hate that nickname, and when he died, I thanked every God in Heaven that I never had to hear it again. I wish I could say I otherwise missed the old man, but, unfortunately, I would be lying to you.

And I wouldn’t lie to you.

Not these days. And not about that.

But when I was onstage, I was known as Ivan Sapphire – glam rock god, sex symbol, pussy connoisseur, Dionysus in leather pants, Jesus Christ in sunglasses, High Priest of the Bacchanalia, Son of a Bitch of a Preacher Man.

I was all those things, and more.

I was the lead singer of a band called Faust.

We – myself, William Lynn on guitar, Jordan Barker on bass, and the Reverend Tom Newman (yes, he really was an ordained minister – granted, he got ordained online, but that’s just as valid of an ordainment as any other) on drums – played a balls-to-the-wall, blistering brand of rock’n’roll that earned us accolades, fans, fame, and a lot of money.

New York City was, at first, just our home. When Faust first started playing together, it became our playground. And by the time our careers were in full swing, New York City was ours for the taking.

Like any other band, we paid our dues in the beginning: playing Tuesday night open mics in dive bars with no name, getting tossed a $20 to split four ways at the end of the night, having to slog it out at a job the next day while nursing a Pabst Blue Ribbon-induced hangover – a job that we didn’t want to be in, in the first place, because we were on the fast track to rock stardom, even if only in our own minds.

I remember the night that all changed, though. I see it clearly in my mind, as though it all happened last night.

It was a Friday night at the legendary CBGB. We were opening for a pretentious, shoe-gazing hipster rock band. I wish I could remember their name…Ars Poetica, I think it was.

But it doesn’t really matter now.

At that time in New York City rock’n’roll history, our brand of music had gone out of fashion. Gone were the days of leather-clad lesser rock gods and their songs of hedonistic excess – in our place were unshaven, unkempt navel-gazers who sang music to slit your wrists by. This was the soundtrack to your Prozac-induced manic-depressive state, kids – 50% less pussy, 100% more bitching and moaning!

Brooklyn hipster pieces of shit.

We opened for Ars Poetica because Hilly – the legendary owner of CBGB – wanted to give us a fair shot, but knew that most people were there for Ars Poetica. He figured, with all things being equal, he’d be able to earn us a few extra fans if we had a chance to get in front of their crowd.

He told us that, of the hundreds that paid the $25, with a two-drink minimum, we’d be able to get a few new converts.

Ten, maybe.

If we got lucky.

He kept insisting that we should remain optimistic, but realistic.

And if we did well, he promised, we would be able to have a headlining show on a Friday night; prime real estate for a New York City rock band to obtain, at that time.

And take home $100 to split between the four of us as a consolation prize.

Hilly.

May he forever rock’n’roll in the afterlife.

The night came, and we stood before the crowd – wall-to-wall people, as far as the eye could see. The faces all seemed to blend into one another – men and women, black and white and every shade of tan in between, long hair and short hair in every color of the rainbow.

It was the finest representation of the old New York that so many people had come to know and love. The great American melting pot. The rock’n’roll dream come true – the music serving as the great unifier of people from the world over, and our performance, a communion of souls. Take, and eat – for it is my body of work, and it will be given up for you.

I remember feeling so nervous. I remember standing up on that stage – that filthy, piss-ridden stage that felt like it would collapse under my feet any minute – with Willie, Jordan, and Tom – my three brothers-in-arms – and looking out into the crowd to find a friendly face.

Although it didn’t happen often, if I ever got onstage and found myself feeling nervous at the prospect of performing for a maddening crowd, I would often look out into the audience and find a friendly face to sing to for most of the night. Sometimes it worked – just as many times, it didn’t – but either way, it would end with me ending up with Mrs. Right Now, with her pretty little skirt – often two sizes too tight – torn off and tossed in the back of our van and her shirt around her ears, followed by proclamations of eternal (or, at least until one or both of us got off) love, heavy panting and sweating, and various bodily fluids splattered to the walls, the floor, the seat cushions…anything that was within arm’s reach, really.

Paradise by the dashboard light, as the old song goes.

That poor, stinking van.

It wasn’t that I was a man-whore, so much that I was ready and amenable to whatever was nearby that was equally ready and amenable.

And who wouldn’t be, really, in the same circumstances? You mean to tell me that any straight, red-blooded American man who has been granted access to every size, shape, and flavor of pussy on the island of Manhattan will think of being a monk?

I think not.

And if there’s one universal truth about musicians in general – and lead singers in particular – it’s that we get into the business of music for one reason: pussy. The fame is nice, if you can get it – the money is definitely nice, if you can get it – but we get it all because, at the end of the day, we want prime-cut tenderloin pussy, and that, you can definitely get.

But that night, the friendly face I locked onto would rock my world in a way no one had ever done before.

Angelique.

I knew, from the minute I laid eyes on her, that I would never want anyone else ever again.

And I never did.

Seeing her inspired me to play like I’d never played before.

Oh, we were never terrible – in fact, left to our own devices, we were incendiary – but that night, we played as though the world was burning down around us. We sang the soundtrack to the apocalypse, caterwauling and squealing and throbbing and pounding our way through the lyrics and music as if it was our last night on Earth.

New York City was a big, beautiful bitch, and she was ours for the fucking.

And we fucked her but good – hard, long, slow, all night long, and we were all left panting and sweating thereafter.

We tried to set the night on fire.

And we succeeded by orders of magnitude.

And by the end of our set, we not only had the audience leaving CBGB with us – leaving barely anyone behind for Ars Poetica, those poor, navel-gazing, wrist-slitting fucking Brooklyn hipster pieces of shit – but I had Angelique’s number in my phone.

Hilly gave us the Friday night headlining slot the following week.

Angelique gave me her virginity after that show.

And thus, began our rocket ride to the top.

The press started to come out in droves to our shows after that first fateful headlining show. Article after article, and photo after photo, came out to tell all of New York City about us. We played every envied stage on the island of Manhattan: CBGB, The Continental, Arlene Grocery, The Bowery Ballroom, Mercury Lounge, Joe’s Pub, and The Bitter End.

Once, twice, three times around the island, and back again for more.

The Pirates of Happenstance. The High Priests of Chaos. The Lords of Misrule.

We sold our souls to rock’n’roll, and our bodies to the New York City rock scene.

It was amazing.

They lavished us with every accolade they could imagine, and even some we’d never heard before: Willie and I were the New Millennial Glimmer Twins – Batman and Robin with Les Pauls – Genghis Khans on a savage panty raid. As a collective, we were known as the four horsemen of the rock apocalypse, effectively rendering every other genre of music in New York City completely redundant. We were the best rock band in captivity – the buck-skinned prophets of a dying brand of cock-rock, fueled by illegal drugs and cheap beer and late nights and early mornings and starving ourselves for days on end (sometimes because we weren’t hungry, other times because there was nothing to eat, and still other times because illicit drugs are a hell of an appetite suppressant…).

We were equal parts savages, sinners, saviors and saints.

We were all those things, and more.

It was all said, written, blogged about and photographed, documented for all of prosperity and placed in a time capsule for history to be the judge.

Let history be the judge of us, and condemn us to a life of Hell, because we experienced Heaven on Earth.

The whole thing started with rock’n’roll, and then it was all out of control.

And it was all true.


 

Author Bio:

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.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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[Blog Tour] Everything Under the Sun by Jessica Redmerski

Everything Under the Sun banner
This is my stop during the blog tour for Everything Under the Sun by Jessica Redmerski. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 30 July till 12 August. See the tour schedule here.

Everything Under the SunEverything Under the Sun
By Jessica Redmerski
Genre: Dystopian/ Post apocalyptic
Age category: Young Adult/ New Adult/ Adult
Pages: 683 pages
Release Date: 28 August 2017

Blurb:
Thais Fenwick was eleven-years-old when civilization fell, devastated by a virus that killed off the majority of the world’s population. For seven years, Thais and her family lived in a community of survivors deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. But when her town is attacked by raiders, she and her blind sister are taken away to the East-Central Territory where she is destined to live the cruel and unjust kind of life her late mother warned her about.

Atticus Hunt is a troubled soldier in Lexington City who has spent the past seven years trying to conform to the vicious nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. He knows that in order to survive, he must abandon his morals and his conscience and become like those he is surrounded by. But when he meets Thais, morals and conscience win out over conformity, and he risks his rank and his life to help her. They escape the city and set out together on a long and perilous journey to find safety in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Struggling to survive in a world without electricity, food, shelter, and clean water, Atticus and Thais shed their fear of growing too close, and they fall hopelessly in love. But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?

You can find Everything Under the Sun on Goodreads

You can buy Everything Under the Sun here on Amazon


 

EXCERPT #1: “I’LL WAIT FOR YOU.”

“One more night,” I said, not looking at her. “Give me one more night and I’ll get you out of this city.” All I could see in front of me was the scenario: I’d wait until very late, after most of the city was sleeping, and then I’d dress her in my military clothes, make her pin up her hair underneath a cap, strap a rifle to her shoulder, a backpack full of goods on her back, and set her atop the mare waiting at the stables.

“But there’s nothing for me anymore,” Thais said, wiping away the lingering tears on her cheeks. “There’s nowhere for me to go, and no one waiting for me there if by some miracle I make it alive. My mother and father are dead. My sister”—she looked up at me, and although I didn’t meet her gaze, I could feel her eyes on me—“my whole family is dead, and this world is dead and my soul is dead and everything that was once good and beautiful and right, is dead.”

I looked at her then, her words stirring me.

“That’s not true,” I said, and got up from the chair and crouched in front of her. “You may be the only good thing left in this world, and I’ll be goddamned if I let your light fade.”

Tears tumbled down Thais’ cheeks.

I took the gun that had fallen from her hand, tucked it into the back of my pants.

“Promise me you won’t try anything,” I said as I went toward the door. “Promise me on your sister’s soul, that you’ll stay in this room and wait for me.”

“Where are you going?”

“To get your supplies.” I placed my hand on the doorknob. “Don’t open this door for anyone.” I opened it to blackness; the candles that had been lit in the hallway had burned down.

“Wait,” Thais called out, and I stopped.

She stood up on wobbly legs.

“You said to get my supplies—are you sending me away alone?”

I thought on it for a moment. I’d never had any intention of going with her. I couldn’t. Not if I was going to keep others from following her.

“No,” I finally said. “You’re not going alone. I’ll go with you, at least until I can get you somewhere safe.”

“Is there anywhere safe, Atticus?” Her voice was soft, hopeless, and hearing her say my name like that did something to my heart. “Do you know where you’re taking me?”

I sighed. And I looked at the wall.

“Yes,” I lied, and then stepped out into the hallway.

Just before I closed the door I added, “Promise me.”

Thais nodded.

“I promise,” she said. “I’ll wait for you.”


EXCERPT #2: “IT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY.”

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I was supposed to travel with him until he got me out of Lexington City and then I was to make a run for it, kill him if I had to—but I didn’t. I was supposed to stay with these people and leave Atticus to do what he wanted, go where he wanted, without me—but I couldn’t. I was supposed to be afraid of him not only because of the terrible man he was when I first laid eyes on him, but also because he was a man—but I wasn’t. I wasn’t afraid of him.

I was afraid for him.

I was afraid of being without him…

“Thais?”

I looked up; my bottom lip quivered.

“I will wait for you,” I said, trying to be strong. I wiped my tears, swallowed hard and nodded.

Atticus dashed outside, pushing the barn door out of his way. Seconds later he came back with the horse. He tossed the quilt we’d slept on the night in the barn, over the horse’s back. Then he went over to the backpacks, stepping around Rachel’s unconscious body, and shoved everything back inside. He helped my arms into the straps of the larger backpack.

Fitting his hands on my hips, Atticus hoisted me up and set me on the horse; I grabbed a hold of the horse’s reins.

“Stay out of sight of the house,” he said as he fitted the smaller backpack and his jacket between my legs. “And cut through the woods there”—he pointed toward the back of the barn—“that’s west; just keep as straight as you can in that direction, but don’t leave the woods.”

I nodded.

He walked with me outside the barn, stopped to look out at the flat land beyond the highway where those who were coming for us would likely be, and then led me around the barn. The deep woods beckoned me out ahead; I couldn’t help but feel intimidated by them, as if they were some kind of final leg of our journey—or the beginning of my journey alone.

Steadying my breath, I looked down at Atticus once more, transfixed on his intense blue eyes, the sculpted shape and rough texture of his handsome face, and I couldn’t imagine at this point never seeing it again.

“I’ll come for you,” he promised.

Tearing my gaze from his, I faced forward and tightened my grip of the reins.


EXCERPT #3: “AND YOU ASK WHY?”

“Why are you so angry, Atticus?” My voice was soft and concerned now.

He blinked, but offered no response.

“I’ve seen men fight before,” I went on, “but I’ve never seen a man as angry at the world as you are. The way you beat that man in your room”—I shook my head with despondency—“the one just now; Atticus, you’re just so full of rage and hate. Why?”

He snorted, as if he’d found my question ridiculous.

Why?” he mocked incredulously, holding out his hands, palms up. “I’ll tell you why, Thais: at every turn someone wants to rob or maim or kill us; we can’t sleep, night or day, without the thought in our heads as we close our fucking eyes that we might not wake up.” He gestured his arms wildly, his features constricted with indignation. “We’re covering our shit up like animals, sleeping in ditches, watching over our shoulder every second of every day for the chaos to grab us by the ankles and pull us down with it—and you ask why?”

I sat against my quilt, unable to stand to hear this truth. And as if his movements depended on mine, Atticus fell into a crouch in front of me, bouncing on the toes of his boots. I never looked away from the pull of his gaze, trapped by the intensity of it.

“I haven’t slept since you arrived in Lexington City,” he went on. “When I saw you that day, clutching your sister as she was ripped away from you; when you lay on the sidewalk, begging me to help you—it did two things to me, Thais”—he held up two fingers, and then dropped them between his legs—“it fucking killed me; the things I had to do, the part I had to play in not only your fate, but the fate of every girl in those ropes—it fucking killed me! It killed what little was left of my humanity!” His voice had risen with his heated words, his memories, but then he paused to calm himself, lowering his head but for a moment.

I remained motionless, speechless, but my heart began to ache and fill up at the same time. I listened raptly to every word, my heart breaking as he spoke them.

“It killed me,” he repeated. “But then something reached into Hell, grabbed me by the throat and pulled me back. I died that day in the street, Thais Fenwick; I died and then there I was, looking down at you with the eyes of the man I used to be, and I wanted to help you. I still fought with myself after that, but I wasn’t going to let you die or be raped or forced to marry a man you didn’t love—I didn’t know what to do, but I was going to do something, goddammit.”

I sighed. I wanted to hold him, but all I could do was sigh.


 

Everything Under the Sun Quote 3

Jessica Redmerski

About the Author:
Jessica Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, international bestseller, and award winner, who juggles several different genres. She began self-publishing in 2012, and later with the success of THE EDGE OF NEVER, signed on with Grand Central Publishing/Forever Romance. Her works have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Jessica is a hybrid author who, in addition to working with a traditional publisher, also continues to self-publish. Her popular crime and suspense series, In the Company of Killers, has been optioned for television and film by actor and model William Levy.
She also writes as J.A. Redmerski.

You can find and contact Jessica here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon Jessica Redmerski
Amazon JA Redmerski

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Everything Under the Sun. 3 winners will each win a signed paperback copies of Everything Under the Sun, along with signed bookmarks and postcards (United States and Canada only).

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[Book Review] Tattoo by Michelle Rene

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 By: Michelle Rene
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Age category: New adult
Release Date: January 3, 2018
Blurb:
A mysterious young woman appears in a cynical age. Why is she here … and will she survive long enough to achieve her purpose?
 
Judgment Day was not as advertised. Instead of fire and wrath, our histories suddenly began to appear as tattoos on our skin.
 
No one could hide their past deeds anymore, unless they visited an illegal tattoo artist, who could replace their sins with unmarked skin. Years later, a young woman appears, entirely unmarked. No one knows what her appearance means, but a small band of people find themselves drawn to her, ready to set off on a quest whose purpose is as unknown as the young woman’s past.

The Review:

Where to begin? Honestly, I have no clue. I have never read a book like this. It is truly one of a kind. The story begins with a truly spectacular mechanic that automatically caught my attention because I love when higher powers get involved with human affairs.
The writing of this novel was nothing short of poetic. I adore how it was organized. I honestly felt like I was watching the movie, Crash. The author takes multiple points of view and converge them onto the single subject of the novel itself. It doesn’t follow the typical heroes journey which has become expected in today’s literature.
The main character Jane had very little interaction that allowed for much character building BUT in the end, very little is known about her to begin with. I like this about this character. It’s something completely new to me. She has the uncanny ability to take people from completely different aspects of life and bind them together in a unified purpose.
Amazing! Different stories from different points of a view all thrown together by a single inciting incident! But it’s not the typical, Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter formula!
There wasn’t much world-building which is something that usually bothers me but in dystopian novels it tends to be less of an issue. Especially for this book where everyone’s life stories are literally pasted on their skin. The justice system simply has to read what a person has done instead.
Something I found truly astonishing was how the whole story occurs following Judgement Day. Something often eluded to in things such as zombie apocalypse, plague, Mad Max style as something truly terrifying. Don’t get me wrong. Having my sins plastered on my skin for all to see would be a fate worse than death. This is what I really liked about this adaptation. The punishment wasn’t something so devastating. Rather it was something simple. It was simply the removal of someone’s privacy.
It was also really hard to sit down and find the usual errors. Ms. Rene takes great care to make her writing great. Critique for this book, other than the cliffhanger at the end was really difficult to find. It’s not something I see too often.
If I truly were to sit down and rate this novella, it would hands-down get 4 stars. It’s unique, yet simple and uses a writing style so rare in today’s literature.
four-stars
If you are a fan of dystopian fiction or the amazing movie, “Crash”. You will love Tattoo. I am awaiting the sequel with great anticipation.
You can find Tattoo on Goodreads, Amazon, or the author’s website.

About the Author:

Michelle Rene is a creative advocate and the author of a number of published works of science fiction, historical fiction, humor and everything in between.5b36776dbae59363b84a248cd074b2a5

She has won indie awards for her historical fiction novel, I Once Knew Vincent. Her latest historical novel, Hour Glass, released February 20th to rave reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly.  Her experimental novella, Tattoo, releases March 7th, and not only does it have a starred review in Publishers Weekly but will be listed in Foreword Reviews top eight sci-fi/fantasy books this spring.

When not writing, she is a professional artist and all around odd person. She lives as the only female, writing in her little closet, with her husband, son, and ungrateful cat in Dallas, Texas.

Find Michelle on her social media:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Website