[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.

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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.

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[Book Blitz] A Pilgrimage to Death by Alexa Padgett

A Pilgrimage to Death
Alexa Padgett
Publication date: August 14th 2018
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller

They murdered her sister. They threatened her church. But their day of reckoning will cost her everything…

When Cici Gurule finds the dead body of a parishioner in the nearby Santa Fe National Forest, she’s horrified to realize the victim bears the same stab wounds that ended her twin sister’s life one year earlier.

Now, as a freewheeling, progressive reverend who’ll stop at nothing to protect her flock, she’ll need to join forces with her detective friend and loyal pair of Great Pyrenees to hunt down the killer before she’s forced to officiate another funeral.

Soon, however, Cici discovers her sister was on the trail of a deep-rooted criminal operation, and her death was no random act of violence. With the criminals out for Cici’s blood, she needs to catch the wolf by the tail…before it goes in for the kill.

Fans of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and Stacy Claflin will love Alexa’s Padgett’s new edge-of-your-seat novel! Scroll up and click to start this fast-paced, high-octane mystery thriller!

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Request a review copy here!

EXCERPT:

Sam brought his chair down with a soft thump as it hit the patio paver but he didn’t say anything for another long moment.

“Anna Carmen was my best friend. She helped me through a hard time—she helped me see what I couldn’t then.”

Cici’s lip trembled as she lifted her teacup. “I miss her, too. So much. Yesterday . . . it all came bubbling back up.”

Sam’s hand settled on Cici’s shoulder in that gesture of comfort she’d come to depend on.

“I know you do. And, yeah, I figured it would.”

Jaycee sidled up to their table and settled Sam’s large glass of iced tea on the table. Condensation formed on the glass, dripping down to wet the white napkin beneath it.

“I thought of something,” the girl said.

Both Cici and Sam turned their faces up to the teenager.

“Mr. Johnson told me one time he was meeting someone about a case.” Her brow wrinkled for a moment before she shrugged. “Does that help?”

Sam tugged at his short ponytail. “Maybe. Thanks, Jaycee.”

“Sure.” The girl skittered off to greet some new patrons.

“You think you know what the case is, don’t you?” Cici asked, pouring more tea into her cup.


Author Bio:

With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.

Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.

She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.

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[Cover Reveal] Hot Pursuit by Kay Marie

 

 



Hot Pursuit
Kay Marie
(To Catch a Thief #1)
Publication date: August 27th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

**Special pre-order price of $0.99! Save $3!**

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days meets White Collar in this sassy and sweet romantic comedy, new from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis, writing as Kay Marie.

All Jolene Carter has ever wanted is to own a bakery of her own. There’s only one problem. Her father, Robert Carter, is a world-renowned art thief and she’s, well, sort of his protégé. But he’s promised her that this next job in New York will be their last, and she won’t let anyone get in the way of her dreams…especially not the distractingly delicious FBI agent hot on her tail.

Agent Nate Parker has been on the Robert Carter case for years, and if the rumors of the aging criminal’s retirement are true, this might be his last chance to nail him. With the legacy of his late father in the back of his mind, the stakes are more personal than anyone realizes. He won’t let anything stand in the way of justice…especially not the red-headed vixen who keeps giving him the slip.

He’s a cop who’d never bend. She’s a con who’ll never break. But all’s fair in love and larceny…

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Author Bio:

Kaitlyn Davis, a bestselling author with over a quarter of a million books sold, writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie. Publishers Weekly has said, “Davis writes with confidence and poise,” while USA Today has recommended her work as “must-read romance.”

Always blessed with an overactive imagination, Kaitlyn has been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to share her work with the world. When she’s not daydreaming, typing stories, or getting lost in fictional worlds, Kaitlyn can be found playing fetch with her puppy, watching a little too much television, or spending time with her family. If you have any questions for her–about her books, about scheduling an event, or just in general–you may contact her at: KaitlynDavisBooks@gmail.com

Sign up for Kaitlyn’s newsletter to stay up-to-date with all of her new releases, to receive exclusive subscriber bonus content, and more! bit.ly/KaitlynDavisNewsletter

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[Book Review] Losing Adam by Adrienne Clarke

LATitle: Losing Adam
By: Adrienne Clark
Publication date: April 24th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Description:

Winner of the silver medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards for best YA novel!

What happens when the person you love most in the world suddenly becomes a stranger?

Adam and Jenny’s world is falling apart. Their dream of attending college together away from home quickly becomes a nightmare when Adam begins hearing the voice of the Snow Queen. Adam’s startling transformation from popular drama student into a withdrawn, suspicious stranger leaves Jenny frightened and confused. How can the person she loves most in the world suddenly become someone she doesn’t recognize? As Adam drifts farther and farther away into the Snow Queen’s mysterious world of ice and snow, Jenny believes she must fight to bring him back or risk losing him forever. 

Vividly narrated by Adam and Jenny, the struggle to understand the impact of Adam’s mental illness, forces both characters on a journey of self-discovery that leads to understanding about life’s uncertainty, the power of first love, and the pain of letting go. Drawing on elements of The Snow Queen fairy tale, Losing Adam is a unique combination of drama and romance.

 


The Review:

Choosing Adam is a novel I usually don’t read but thoroughly enjoyed the change.

The story follows the two main characters, Adam and Jenny as they begin their journey from two difficult households to college life. However, as the story progresses, it becomes very clear something is wrong with Adam. He begins hearing voices, getting headaches and appears to be overall paranoid of everything and everyone around him. This puts great strain on the relationship between Adam and Jenny but their loyalty for each other is nothing short of heart-warming.

The critique I would add would be the overall repetition of the story seemed to drag out in a day to day basis. I almost wanted some more conflict. To me this story could have been told as a flash fiction rather than a novel with just as powerful of an impact.

This all being said, I enjoyed reading it. It is definitely a change from what I usually read or write and was well-formatted. I appreciate the author’s willingness to bring a very real struggle to the forefront of the literary world.
Very well done and I will gladly review this author’s work in the future.

I would recommend this book to people who appreciate contemporary writing that does not involve the paranormal or anything other than two lovers struggling to hold onto something they care deeply about. It’s very heartwarming and sad at the same time.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars


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About the author:6436251

A lover of faerie tales, fantasy and gothic horror, a thread of the mysterious or unexpected runs through all my work. My dream is to find readers who will gather round and let me tell them stories that will become a part of their life the way they have become a part of mine.

A past winner of the Alice Munro short fiction contest, my work has appeared in a number of publications including, The Storyteller, A Fly in Amber, New Plains Review, Silly Tree Anthologies, and in the e-zines Les Bonnes Fees, The Devilfish Review, Rose Red Review and 87 Bedford. My novel, Losing Adam, garnered a silver medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards for best young Adult novel.

[Cover Reveal] Knox by Crimson Syn

Knox
Crimson Syn
(Hellbound Lovers MC, #8)
Publication date: May 24th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance

I’ve loved Jade ever since I first laid eyes on her.

She’s always been mine.

And now a dangerous evil wants to take her away from me.

He wants to hurt her, cage her free spirit.

Over my dead body will he lay a finger on her.

No one takes what’s mine.

And no one hurts what I love without paying the price.

She’s my life, my love, my everything.

And I’ll be damned if I lose her.

I’ve been captivated by Knox ever since I met him.

He’s the only man who’s ever cared about me enough to protect me.

There’s no way I’d ever turn my back on him, or any of the Hellbound Lovers.

They’re not the traditional family, but they’re mine.

I’ll fight tooth and nail for them.

But I’ve been propositioned by an enemy

And now I face my fate.

Protecting Knox is the only things that matters.

No one will take him away from me.

And no one is going to keep me from the man I love. No one.

The last installment of the Hellbound Lovers – Resisting love has never worked out for any of the members of HLMC and Knox isn’t any different. Get ready to fall in love with this irresistibly protective alpha.

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Start the series today with Wolf!

 

Author Bio:

Crimson Syn is a new erotica author. She delves into those hot and heavy stories where her characters are pushed to their sexual limits. Her wicked pen dips into every little niche, even if it’s wrong and kinky. Vanilla, BDSM, BBW and that twisted taboo is what she wants to make you crave.

Her Hellbound Lovers MC series is her first attempt at a bad boy biker series. If you’re looking for sweet and innocent, you’ll find it, but not in that wholesome way you’re used to. No. Miss Syn delivers sex at its best, and the more innocent you are the more her alpha males will attempt to defile you.

Miss Syn is passionate about her family, her friends and her writing. Where she travels is her next setting, and her fantasies and dreams are her inspiration. She writes her alpha males tough and rough, and she expects for her female leads to be independent, bright women with lots of sexy curves.

To be a part of her Synful Fanbase, giveaways, and get juicy bits of her next books in the Hell’s Lovers series join her newsletter here:

http://eepurl.com/cFxRu9

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[Book Review] Heart of Steele by Alysha Huddleston

HoSTitle: Heart of Steele
By: Alysha Huddleston
Publication date: April 15th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Description:

Magnus Steele grew up on the outside looking in. Now wealthy and powerful, he never lets anyone get in his way, even if he has to use blackmail to stop them. When he becomes the target of an FBI probe, Magnus fights back in his usual way, setting off a chain of events that threatens his hold on everything he thought he needed and leaves him fighting for the one thing he thought he could never have.

Autumn grew up the youngest of a boisterous Italian-American family on a vineyard in Santa Barbara. She follows her brother, FBI agent Matt Moretti, to NYC to attend law school & gets thrust into the middle of an investigation of one of the city’s most notorious businessmen.

*For mature readers due to explicit language & sexual content.


The Review:

Okay, there wasn’t really anything I didn’t like about this book. It was hot, and I mean hot.

The character Magnus Steele was probably rated among my top list of dreamy book boyfriends. Suave, coy, seductive, dangerous and surprisingly very gentle. His development in the book was beyond well done. It is rare that character shifts are written well in today’s society paranormal hot guys.

Autumn was his exact polar opposite. Innocent, shy, reserved, a real girl next door type. It was a fire meets ice situation and this author did deliver.

The story begins with Magnus being a real mob boss type who is out to protect his own backside against the law. When he met Autumn, he suddenly began to realize there was more than blackmail and manipulation in the world. I loved that about this book. As it progresses, the two share multiple intimate scenes which are beautifully written save for a few grammatical errors but believe me, that most likely won’t be a deterrent.

The above being said, there was an over abundance of run-on sentences. It was often hard for me to overlook simply because there were so many. Separating them into many smaller or compound sentences could have helped this issue.

I also had trouble because of the lack of conflict which was shoved towards the end of the book. The scene was well-done but it seemed very rushed and put in as an afterthought. I would have almost liked the conflictual tension mixed in with the sexual tension. I think it would have further aided in the development of the characters as well.

Strange as it seems, there was almost too much sex and the conflict suffered because of it. The opening scene provided the perfect venue and the fact that the character Murphy sided with Magnus’ rival could have really pulled some trouble for him.

However, I would recommend this to anyone who loves the bad boy, boss type meets innocent girl contemporary romance. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would love a paperback copy if the author ever saw fit to create one. I will be returning for book two for sure.

 

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