Review: Going Gets Hot

Going Gets Hot
Going Gets Hot by Rachelle Ayala
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Going Gets Hot is a stunningly sweet and achingly raw journey of learning that there is more to the people around us then we may ever know. Life may only give us the opportunity to know one side of a person whenever there is so much more complexity to them then we can even dare to imagine. Only fate can twine people together and give them the chance to see the other is made of. Sometimes those revelations comes out among hot and steamy encounters and other times they can be painful and surprising. No matter what, they show the pure and real parts of the whole person that stands before us. We have to choose to open our eyes and accept every part no matter how beautiful or scarred.

When you live life with blinders on while only focusing on one goal, you discover that you miss a lot of things throughout the years. Personal interpretation is marred by shadows and half-truths while everything passes you by. When the self-imposed masked we have worn is thrown off once the life-consuming goal has been accomplished, the blinding light and noise of everything falls quickly and intensely up on you head and heart. Sorting through all of the new, confusing things becomes a secondary purpose as your guiding rule is to continue on with your recently gained.

accomplishment. Will the overwhelming pressures and truths pull you deeper into a world you know nothing about, or will you find yourself fleeing when the world seems to be set against you?
I was totally enchanted and delighted as I got to know Chad and Amber throughout this story. They felt like they could have been people I knew. I walked through life mostly with my head down as well. My goals were already in place, and all I had to do was stay focused. I found the results to be empty and lacking at the end. There was no substance or feeling of huge accomplishment. There was only ink and a vague future. Watching so much more unfold for and between Chad and Amber gave me hope that they could turn things around and open up to each other. They had a chance to discover the diamond in the rough before it was too late.

Rachelle Ayala has given us yet another beautiful story from this enchanting town that never fails to sweep you off your feet. There is always friends or family that help to open the eyes of the confused and plainly explain that you should never fear the possibilities of the heart and love. She shows that life is only made sweeter and new fulfilling if we allow hope to take charge of our future instead of fear. She is a fabulous author who only gets better and more accomplished with time. I can’t wait to see what absolute treasure she creates next!

View all my reviews

Review: The Bastard Billionaire

The Bastard Billionaire
The Bastard Billionaire by Jessica Lemmon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Bastard Billionaire is a wholly unexpected and wonderfully brilliant story that will melt your heart and sizzle your ereader! This is a heart-stopping, whirlwind adventure that will challenge you in ways you never saw coming. Just opening your heart to this book could spell total disaster or unspeakable bliss. The outcome depends on the path you take and the choices that rule your heart. Nothing worth having or fighting for is ever easy, and this story is no exception. In fact, it will threaten to shatter your heart more times than you can possibly imagine. Do you have the strength and the courage for fight for who and what you want despite life’s cruel unpredictability?

My words cannot do this incredible story the true justice it deserves in flowing and powerful words of adoration and admiration, but I will do my best to convey the depth of the impact that this story and its wonderful characters have had on me. I am left in awe as to the beautiful diversity of the fantastic characters that punched numerous holes in my defenses as I welcomed and embraced each one. My heart was stretched and transformed in so many ways that I didn’t recognize it in the end. I feel very privileged and honored to be able to cherish and savor every word of this magnificent work of art! What a true treasure and a literary jewel!

Jessica Lemmon is a new author to me, but now I can’t wait to read more of her books. The series that The Bastard Billionaire is in sounds absolutely amazing! The world that she built is wonderfully enticing and enthrallingly addicting. Seeing one part of it has only made me hungrier and more impatient to explore the rest of it. This is an author that you do not want to miss out on! She is wondrously talented, and I can’t wait to see what she creates next.

View all my reviews

Secret Knights Series Cover Revamp & Giveaway

Title: Secret Knights Series
Author: Mary Ting
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
Cover Designer: Naija Qamber Designs
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb:
(Spin-Off to Crossroads Saga – Prequel to The Chosen Knights) can be read as stand-aloneMichael and Claudia’s decision to move back to Crossroads was to keep their children safe, but they can’t escape who they are. Their children, Zachary and Lucia, were destined to be demon hunters—Venators. From the age they were able to hold a sword, they were trained to become the best and to ensure they would become leaders one day.

All is peaceful throughout the land until the Fallen and demons’ presences were felt in the between and on Earth. As the Venators investigate these locations, they will quickly learn how dangerous their lives are. Hearts will be broken. Teammates will lose their lives. And they will face obstacles which will test their faith.

As danger grows, the fear of fallen angels and demons regrouping has the Divine Elders on pins and needles. Now, Zachary and Lucia, along with Uncle Davin, must prepare themselves—mentally and physically—to live on Earth to investigate where the focal point of evil resides before it’s too late.

Blurb:
(HIGHLY recommend to read prequel first–The Angel Knights)
***City of Bones meets The Da Vinci Code.
Urban fantasy lover’s dream! Demons, vampires, angels, witches, and fallen angels all set to the back drop of high school in Hawaii, and astral travel to the past to Knights Templar era.
*** SILVER AWARD WINNER 2016–YA FANTASY–READERS’ FAVORITE INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARD***
A page turning mystery with a supernatural twist that entertains to the last page! ~InD’tale Magazine
When teens go missing in Hawaii, a group of demon-hunters—half human and half angel—disguised as high school students, must leave Crossroads, the place where they reside. In a race against time, they uncover the mystery connecting the missing teens, which dates back to the era of the Knights Templar. However, when they discover one of the Templars passed down a book containing all the secrets and codes to finding a particular treasure, they soon realize this forbidden treasure needs to be found before Cyrus, the lord of the possessor demons, acquires it—a treasure which been safeguarded and hidden from him.
There is only one problem: the pages containing the clues leading to the treasure is missing. When the first page is found, Cyrus threatens to kill more descendants of the Knights Templar if it is not given to him by Friday the thirteenth. In the midst of threats and discovery, the demon-hunting angels find they are not alone when supernatural beings begin to reveal themselves. Can they put their differences aside and work together to solve the Knights Templars’ cipher? As they astral travel to the past, they witness a lot more than they have bargained for. And some things are better left unseen.missing. When the first page is found, Cyrus threatens to kill more descendants of the Knights Templar if it is not given to him by Friday the thirteenth. In the midst of threats and discovery, the demon-hunting angels find they are not alone when supernatural beings begin to reveal themselves. Can they put their differences aside and work together to solve the Knights Templars’ cipher? As they astral travel to the past, they witness a lot more than they have bargained for. And some things are better left unseen. 
Blurb:
Above a small hill lay a home.
And green men peer out under the dome.
Thirteen crisscrossing arches behold,
with angels singing must be told.
Cubes like teeth thus showed,
pierce one and the door shall glow.
Part the sea like Moses,
to see the bundle of red roses.
Only then you shall see,
what is destined to be free.
Eli, Lucia’s half-demon love interest, has been stabbed with a true-cross dagger and captured by Cyrus, master of the possessor demons. The Chosen Knights must work together once again not only to save Eli, but also to decipher a clue to find the second missing page of Jacques de Molay’s journal. Meanwhile, Uncle Davin informs Crossroads’ Divine Elders of the danger ahead and learns there is much to fear. Countless children are being taken from all over the world to be turned into demons. Michael, one of the Divine Elders, has no choice but to intervene. The Chosen Knights track down Mortem, the demon who is the key to finding Cyrus, and learn they must travel deep into the pit of a Hawaiian volcano. When they astral travel to the past in search of a clue and follow Jacques de Molay to Rosselyn Chapel in medieval Scotland, what they find will rewrite history.

Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

Author Links:
Buy Link:
The Angel Knights: http://amzn.to/1RyYWdZ
The Chosen Knights: http://amzn.to/1PpJU8H
The Blessed Knights: http://amzn.to/2skJkt1

 


Lucky by Elizabeth SaFleur




Book Title: Lucky (An Elite Doms of Washington book)
By: Elizabeth SaFleur
Published by: Troll River Publications

 

#LuckySafleurRDB

 








Synopsis
When a man tells you who he is, believe him
Billionaire entertainment investor and resolute bachelor Derek Damon Wright learned at a young age women were trouble. He’s unprepared for dancer Samantha Rose who walks into his thirteenth, Washington DC nightclub opening with an authenticity and passion for life that quickly rocks his jaded, albeit privileged, world.
Samantha, an aerial artist and dance studio owner, hasn’t been lucky in love, and falling for the charismatic and Dominant Derek won’t draw her closer to her greatest dream of  having a baby. Yet she’s helpless to resist his charm and sophisticated world of private jets, Caribbean islands and the sexual pleasures of dominance and submission.
As their whirlwind romance progresses, past mistakes rise up to threaten their future. Only when they rely on each other for safe haven do they find the answer to their dreams.



Excerpt

Sexy excerpt from Lucky, an Elite Doms of Washington book. Expect intrigue, romance and BDSM elements in this series that shows not all power in D.C. is wielded by politicians. Lucky is the fourth story in the series, but each book is a stand-alone with no cliff-hangers.
With deft fingers, he lowered her zipper. The faint zlip was the only sound to accompany the tick-tock of the clock on the sideboard credenza.
Straps fell over her shoulders followed by her dress falling to the ground. The scratch over her belly awoke something inside her. She turned so she could see his eyes, more gray when before they’d been blue-green.
Freed from the armor of her dress, everything about him seemed larger than she recalled. His height was greater, his shoulders broader. The pronounced angles in his face drew more elegant lines than she’d appreciated earlier. Even that gentlemanly vibe he threw off was grander.
On the drive home, she had tried to talk herself out of going any further with him.
She’d listed what little she knew about Derek Wright: kind but direct, confident but with unsettled eyes, normal yet breathed the rarefied air of a privileged world.
In the car, she came down to one reason to be here with him, right now, like this, with her dress puddled at her feet. She wanted to be.
His hands reached around her ribcage. His eyes never left her face as he unsnapped her bra with one hand.
“Wow.” She hadn’t meant to say it aloud. But his bra removal skill, and resulting smirk from her remark, said he probably could do many other things with those hands. She was going to find out. Her bra made a soft slap as it hit the ground.
When his gaze locked on the sight of her bare breasts, a deluge of feminine power solidified her earlier decision.
He would honestly appreciate her. Respect wasn’t anything she’d thought of before, not really. What a mistake, because now as she stood before a man who honored her thoughts and feelings, respect was all she could think of.
“Wow, indeed.” He reseated her on the table. He leaned his hands on either side of her legs and gazed down at her intently for one, endless minute.
“You like?” she asked.
He grasped her ass and yanked her to the edge so her crotch connected with his. “I like.”
So did she, because now she knew his size. Cindy would have been impressed.
His hands cradled her face. As his fingers massaged the back of her skull, his eyes roamed over every inch of her heated cheeks.
“Do you like surprises?” he asked. “Cameras notwithstanding.”
“Love them.”
“Good. This one time I’m going to tell you what I’m going to do. Next time, I won’t.”
There was going to be a next time? “Okay.”
“First, I’m going to kiss you so hard you’ll lose your ability to stand. You’ll be short of breath. Your world will become my mouth.”
Good start.
“Then I’m going to rip that thong off you. I’ll send something tomorrow to replace it. But only so I can rip it off again because I know one thing, Samantha Rose.”
“What?” she breathed.
“Once I’m inside you, I’m going to want to be there all the time. Deep inside.” On his last words, he ground his pelvis against her now soaked panties.
Yes, please.
His mouth came down on hers. He did rude things with his lips and tongue. True to his word, she was breathless by the time he stopped.
His fingers wound their way through her hair and pulled her head back gently but with intention. The fingers of his other hand slipped into her thong and he yanked–hard. A thrill ran through her whole body at a telltale ripping sound—until the tear stopped. Stupid lycra material. She wanted the fabric to be shredded so he could ravage her like he’d promised.
He chuckled slightly. “Best laid plans . . .”
She choked back a return laugh when he whisked her panties down her legs in a nanosecond. Being stripped of her dress and exposed to him fully, touched a vulnerable place inside her, as if her earlier courage lay in a heap at her feet along with her dress.
“Hey, no fair. I’m naked and you’re not.”
He fisted her hair a little tighter. “We’ll get there.”
“When?” The lights were bright in the kitchen.
“You would be fun to tie up.”
Her mind’s eye wrapped her in a series of rope patterns. She could almost feel the itch. She licked her lips. “Okay.”
His eyes narrowed a bit. “Into bondage, are we?”
“Maybe.” She’d be into anything this man was into because her insides were ready to explode.
“Too bad we don’t have some of that parachute silk here. I could wrap them around these . . .” He regarded one leg. “. . . incredibly luscious legs and keep them still. Though I’d rather like seeing you come undone.” The vision of all the positions he could put them into tumbled into her mind. Yes, please.
He brought his lips and hot breath close to her ear. “And once I have you bound and helpless, how should I take you? Missionary? From behind? Against the wall?” He pulled back to face her. “Or all ways?”
She inched her legs further apart, and nodded.
~~~~~
Derek dropped his hold on her hair and stepped backward. This woman was too good to be true.
Was she fishing for his sexual proclivities? Nothing about her spoke of seeking gossip or blackmail material, and she appeared quite sensitive to that possibility for herself. He dismissed his suspicions.
Was he being careless? Probably. He didn’t care. His cock overruled any over-thinking on that front. He had to be inside this woman. Now.
He supposed he should have stopped to further assess her scene play experience, but where would she have encountered kink? In some kid’s shared apartment with play toy handcuffs and a tickler?
That conversation would come later—and there would be a later. He was certain of that fact given the saucy curiosity he read on her face.
Her inexperience demanding to be overturned intrigued him. She’d called him a gentleman. He was. When shown a door, he’d been taught to open it.
For him, she was a place he hadn’t yet visited or a fantastic book he hadn’t yet read. So much to discover, and not only because she was uncharted territory for him. He got to be new to her.
He unbuckled his belt. After zipping it through the loops, he doubled it in his hand and waited. He assessed her breathing, where her eyes landed, what she did with her hands—all signs of whether she was turned on or scared.
The hungry look in her eyes and her pink tongue reaching out to touch her lip strengthened his resolve to keep going. He wasn’t yet sure if she fueled his dominance on purpose or by accident.
He laid the belt next to her. She didn’t flinch when the leather touched her thigh.
After peeling off his jacket and casually draping it over one of the chairs, he rolled up his shirtsleeves. He stopped her hands from reaching out to touch him.
“No helping, ballerina. Hands back by your sides. Palms on the table.” He purposefully increased the volume of his voice for effect. Her delicious pout made his mouth water. Such beautiful lips.
“You’re going to help me in other ways. In fact . . .” He lowered his zipper. “. . . in many, other ways.”

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Meet the Author

Writing erotic romance is the most fun I’ve ever had. (Well, except for the research.)

Many of my books are set in Washington, DC, where I lived and worked many years, running a public relations firm. In my PR career I’ve been fortunate to encounter or represent some of the city’s powerful insiders. I write, tweet and post under my pseudonym, Elizabeth SaFleur, since my clients might be a little shocked at how their counselor spends her free time. Then again, perhaps they’d fear they provided inspiration. (I’ll never tell.)

Today, I live  in Virginia with my husband and furry child. Occasionally I’m separated from my laptop to indulge in dance classes and visit wineries and hiking trails with family and friends. If there were a house fire, I’d grab my dog, laptop and five foot-long, regulation, Sally Rand ostrich feather fans — in that order. (Hubby knows the way out.)

I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, and an ongoing student of fiction writing, as well as avid reader of general fiction and romance, especially the erotic kind.

If you’d like to connect elsewhere, please circle me on Google+ or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Goodreads.


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Love, Defined by Leila Tualla Book Blitz

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Title:  Love, Defined
Author:   Leila Tualla
 Published:  August 4th, 2015
Publisher:   Limitless Publishing, LLC
Genre:  YA Christian Fiction
Recommended Age:  Upper YA

Synopsis:  Into their final summer before graduating college, three childhood friends, Alex Makapulo, Lori Hanson, and Andy Taylor had each expected an uncomplicated transition to adulthood.
Alex is toying with the idea of leaving the Catholic Church and becoming a member of her best friend, Jack Page’s church. Jack wonders what is keeping Alex from being baptized and fully accepting a new life with Christ. Alex wonders the same thing and believes that she needs to be 100 % in her conviction before fully committing to a new Christian life.
For Lori’s twenty-second birthday, her grandfather, Pete Hanson, presents her with a summer vacation to England. While looking up various tourist spots, she meets and befriends Colin Watson, a British musician, online who then suggest they meet when she lands in London. They hit it off instantly but Pete is angry and believes that she only used him as a means to meet Colin. When he finds out that Lori met Colin online, he forbids Lori from seeing Colin entirely. Lori, who has fallen in love with Colin, is heartbroken. Pete threatens to leave England with Lori’s passport. Colin and Lori try to arrange meetups where they can see each other but Pete catches on. Lori takes this as a sign that it wasn’t meant to be. She unhappily finishes her trip with Pete and goes home vowing not to forgive her grandfather.
Andy reconnects with her old crush, Miles Webber and decides she wants a more meaningful relationship with him. She tells Alex about the situation and Alex truthfully tells Andy that Miles only wants her for sex. This angers Andy and she walks out of the apartment. After she’s cooled down, she comes up with an idea to throw a surprise birthday party for Alex. Andy believes that if Alex and Jack were to hook up, the focus would shift from Miles and her. Andy spikes all the drinks for Alex’s party and leaves her friend while she goes in search of Miles. He shows up at the bar with another girl. In an effort to soothe her wounded ego, she goes home with someone else. When she wakes up the next day, she realizes she’s in bed with Alex’s young boss from the coffeehouse, David Roberts, Jr.
When Alex wakes up the next day, she finds Jack in her room and freaks out. They figure out that Andy had spiked the drinks. Alex gets angry but Jack tells Alex that he is in love with her, and has been since they first met in ninth grade. It only confuses her all the more and causes her to contemplate whether he is God’s blessing or a test to distract her from her beliefs. While she has strong feelings for him, she chooses to ignore Jack’s confession and hopes that he moves on, as she doesn’t want to complicate their friendship.
Andy comes home and confess everything to Alex. Alex hesitatingly accepts the apology. Andy vows not to do anything crazy for the next few months and drops the Miles subject altogether.
When Andy learns she is pregnant and doesn’t know if Miles or David is the father, she decides to abort the baby, as she not ready to be a mother. Alex opposes the idea of abortion and begs Andy to change her mind. Andy doesn’t waver from her decision and even asks Alex and Lori to take her to a clinic.
Their trip to Houston tests their friendship and Alex’s faith. Can their friendship still survive after Andy’s decision? Will Alex find her conviction in the midst of this emotional rollercoaster?

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About the Author:
Leila Tualla is a Filipino American. She is a Christian blogger and writer. Leila Tualla is the author of Love, Defined, a contemporary YA romance. An avid reader, she often posts book reviews on her website at http://www.leilatualla.com. Leila is currently writing a memoir about her faith, anxieties of motherhood, postpartum depression, and preeclampsia journey. She is a two-time Preeclampsia survivor and online advocate. When she’s not reading or writing, she can be found chasing her ‘Mexipino’ rugrats and simultaneously trying to learn her mother-in-law’s recipes and language, and making sure the eggrolls are “made with love,” per her Mama ‘Lil.’
Excerpt from Love, Defined by Leila Tualla

Alex: 

“Do you think no matter what we do, we are still forgiven?” Somewhere between Francesca Battistelli’s He Knows My Name and Casting Crown’s I Will Praise You In The Storm, Andy finally spoke. “I mean.” Andy stopped.
The last song had reached its thunderous ascent and rolled towards the finish. Alex had barely heard her and for a second, thought that perhaps she had imagined it. Almond shaped brown eyes locked briefly in the mirror with a pair of big blue eyes and Alex waited, expecting Andy to go on.
She didn’t. Instead, Andy broke eye contact and turned her head to face the window.
“Yes.” She finally replied. Andy jerked up, and the two caught each other’s gaze again before Alex had to look back at the road again, frowning. “We can be forgiven as long as we ask for forgiveness, and repent and promise not to do it again.”
Another song began and once again replaced the gap of silence. Alex turned her head this time to see Andy’s eyes closed, headphones on, effectively dismissing her. She sighed out loud and set her sights on the horizon.
Lord, I pray this won’t be the last time she asks about forgiveness.
Skyscrapers of oil and energy giants glistened as they neared downtown Houston. After some guidance with the GPS, her car pulled up into the tightly spaced parking lot of the Women’s Clinic. The brick building was among other non-descript buildings that they could have easily passed by. A lot better than a little backroom, Alex surmised.
“How did you find this place?” Lori asked reluctantly. Alex got out of the Volkswagen and immediately wanted to retreat back inside. The thought of what took place inside started to make her stomach churn. Despite the blaring sun and Texas humidity, she shuddered.
“The internet.” Andy mumbled the answer as she was getting out of the car.
The three of them stood in the parking lot, in a small circle, looking at their surroundings, the traffic behind them, and nervously at each other.
Alex fixed her eyes on Andy. She wanted to say that ‘You have to forgive yourself and then ask for forgiveness.’ But her lips couldn’t form the words. She had three hours on the drive to craft the perfect words to get through to Andy and yet, here they all were, under the Texas heat, in the middle of a parking lot, shivering with nerves and barely registering each other.
After a brief period of silence, Alex cleared her throat. “Andy, you can still change your mind.”
“I know.” Came the softest reply.
Alex’s jaw tightened, and she looked at her feet to hide her feelings once more. Again, her brain tried to tell her lips to formulate the words it wanted and she looked up to open her mouth again and frowned when no words would come. Again.
This time, Alex searched her friend’s beautiful face and prayed that somewhere in those blue eyes, she could find the one thing for her to go ‘Aha! You’re just as scared as I am. You’re just as doubtful about this thing. Let’s get out of here.’ Her heart sank when instead of those things she hoped to find in her friend’s eyes, she found a quiet and settled determination.
She swallowed the defeat, shoulders hunched down and felt there was only one more thing left to say. “You are loved, Andrea Grace Taylor, remember that. Find your courage.”
Andy just nodded with the faintest smile on her lips
“Okay, you guys.” Alex said trying to keep her voice light and tried to respond to Andy’s smile. It wasn’t working. “I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble we saw on the way here. Call me when you’re done.” She was heading for the car, when she turned around and added, “Call me if you change your mind.”
A few minutes later, she maneuvered in and out of traffic, half concentrating on finding the bookstore. The other remained back at the parking lot of the clinic. A bright green Scion cut in front of her with a slew of bumper stickers. Coexist and Got Jesus, but Alex fixed on the yellow sign with black letters that read “Headed in the wrong direction? God allows for U-Turns.” Andy. Dear God, am I doing the right thing?



Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • Signed copy of the book and $10 Starbucks Gift Card
Giveaway is US only.
Ends June 19th, 2017 at 11:59 PM ET.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Final Book: Gods by SW Hammond Book Tour

 

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Title:  The Final Book: Gods
Author:  SW Hammond
To Be Published:  June 13th, 2017
Genre:  Fiction / Science Fiction / Mythology / Visionary & Metaphysical
Recommended Age:  16+
Content Warning:  Historical battles with swordplay and the violence / gore of war
Synopsis:
In the beginning there was love. The Goddess of Life in an elated romance with a beloved mortal. Her sister killed him. Their combined actions ripping a hole in destiny and plagued mankind with an age of unprecedented corruption, vicious holy wars, and religious absolution.
Though long forgotten by the mortals they serve, Zeus and his Pantheon continue to foster and protect mankind which is tearing itself apart—but even God isn’t infallible. After failed diplomacy, the King of the Gods is left with no choice but to take the persona of a modern man—the famed genetic scientist Dr. Hork. In an effort to preserve the future by reshaping the past, Dr. Hork uses Project Genesis—the transfer of consciousness—to send subjects back in time. However, not without devastating failures. Subjects of the experiment wreak havoc upon humanity until a familiar character is reborn to correct the course.
Reincarnated and ready to fulfill his true destiny, Joshua Bach is the catalyst the Gods have been waiting for—and Dr. Hork’s final beacon of salvation. Ferociously idealistic, the free-spirited young man struggles to come-of-age in a time and society ruled by money and corruption. Under the wing of the Gods, Josh rediscovers his purpose, along with a love that can only be considered timeless.
This epic blends human history, ruthless mythology, science fiction, and the supernatural to tell a love story of the future—bringing Gods across all faiths down to earth in the modern age and within your reach.
Author Interview

 

What was the inspiration for your story?

The idea for The Final Book came to me as I was digging fencepost holes in Colorado Springs. I had a lot of time to myself, digging hole after hole by hand in an empty field. Anyone who has been to Colorado Springs knows that you can’t escape the shadow of Pikes Peak–the mountain is enormous, majestic, and inspiring. While peaceful and sunny in the middle of town, you can watch storms come in over the top of its peak, the wind blowing snow for miles out into the sky. It seemed to me that if moody ol’ Zeus were ever to leave Mount Olympus, this would be his peak of choice.  Frustrated, sweating, and barely scratching away at the dirt, my mind became lost in a fantastic tale of the Gods living right above the city.

What kept you going throughout the writing process?

This is a good question because it was a chore.  The book took six years to write.  My work-life became really demanding about a month after I started and I was always on the road—it made it really hard to find a consistent writing schedule or a conducive environment for creativity.

The biggest thing that kept me going was that I truly love these characters—it makes me so happy when I think about them.  Serious.  It’s weird, but I adore them.  I’d also have these moments of vivid imagination where I’d see the story so clearly—I knew I had to try to do it justice and give it life.  Lastly, the book was a big chip on my shoulder.  It seems I start a lot of things in life, but never finish them, haha.  I really didn’t want that to happen to this book—I wanted to finish something.  It took a lot of sacrifice—I had to consciously choose to work on the book over meeting friends for dinner, spending time with family, enjoying favorite tv shows and movies, etc.  Of course there’s a sense of balance and you can still have a life—but at some point the book has to come first in order to finish it.

Who is your most meaningful character and why?

Oooo, this is hard…  Gods is a team effort.  While you’ll quickly realize who the story is centralized around, the book doesn’t have a clear “primary” protagonist.  Dr. Hork is probably the most meaningful character, as everything begins and ends with him (*think about the title, hint hint*), but Ana might be my favorite character.  She doesn’t have a lot of real estate in the book, but she’s important to me—I just love her spirit and attitude.

I think a lot people would assume that I’d choose Josh as my favorite character—but in all honesty, I look at him as a vehicle that gives life to all the others.  He’s needed to allow everyone else to shine.

Can we expect to hear more from these characters in the near future?

Yes, The Final Book is a trilogy—Gods, Prophets, and Kings. There’s much more to come and I think book 2 is going to ruffle some feathers!  However, I’m going to break things up and stick an unrelated novel or two between each book.  I have other interests and passions beyond gods, mythology, and fantasy—it helps your mind and creativity to step back once in a while.  The truth is, I’m just selfish, haha—I want Pom, William, Cloe, and Josh to live with me for as long as they can.  I don’t want to rip through the books too quickly!

How has this story touched your life?

There’s the literal and the symbolic meaning behind this question, haha.  This book literally became my life for about a year—I took time off of work and rearranged a lot of things in order to finish it.  So yeah, it “touched” my life, haha.  But as I’ve said, it’s always been about the characters—I wish they were real!  Maybe they are in some other universe…

What motivated you to start writing?

To me, writing is the only way I can make sense of life.  It’s the medium in which I can best express myself.  This was huge for me as a teenager—I was able to write what I couldn’t say.  Writing is a bit slower than speaking, you can really contemplate what it is that you’re trying to express, and you can go back and perfect it.

I’m really into storytelling and writing is my backbone for that—it also happens to be the “easiest,” or at least the most assessable way for me to create a story.  It would be sweet to create epic movies or videogames, but I don’t have those resources or talents.  You’ve got to love writing to create novels though—I don’t even consider the “act” of writing anymore—it’s just a way of life.  Something I do.

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About the Author:
Sean William Hammond is the author of The Final Book: Gods and The Mixtape Manifesto: A Pop Culture Confessional. He is also a freelance writer contributing to music zines, adventure and lifestyle magazines, and new media technical websites across the world. On his official website, SWHammond.com, you’ll find a mix of his articles, essays, and personal memoirs that encompass pop culture, politics, relationships, and thoughts on life.
SW’s writing style, particularly within his commentary, is often compared to Chuck Klosterman with countless references to pop culture, especially music. Hammond’s honest approach creates an easy camaraderie with the reader, then tests the boundaries with sensitive subject matter. Philosophy, ethics, and virtue continually square off against an instantaneous hedonism celebrated throughout society—with Hammond in the middle, struggling to keep his head above water.
SW’s fictional writing makes a conscious effort to blend perception, rumor, and fact leaving the reader to question reality. His stories are often rooted in truth, taking place in historical settings or by playing on modern headlines, making use of common and relatable themes to drive home critical points about the human condition. Though grand, epic, and futurist, the backbone of his novels hinge on basic principles of morality, or lack thereof.
Hammond has a unique background as a music and sports industry professional. He has worked in the Commissioner’s Office of Major League Baseball as a Marketing Coordinator, was an Assistant of Arizona Operations in the Kansas City Royals farm system, and operated Spring Training stadium audio for the Los Angeles Angels. He is also credited as a Marketing Representative for Sony Music Entertainment, a Senior Tour Manager for the Vans Warped Tour, and an intern at WAR Records / United Interests Management.
Born just outside of Denver, CO in 1983, Hammond hasn’t settled down much since. Aside from Colorado, as a child he also lived in Maine, California, and Utah. As an adult he returned to Colorado and Utah, also adding Arizona and Nevada to the list. He has visited 49 of the 50 states, vowing to make it to Alaska one day soon. Seemingly only content while in motion, Hammond’s dream is to one day own a catamaran and sail it around the world. He currently resides in Las Vegas, NV studying philosophy at UNLV. Hammond has never been married and has no children.
Excerpt From Chapter 23 – Transmigration – The Final Book: Gods
                “Seriously though, Billy. What’s going on? Unless you’re looking for a space monkey, what do you need me for?”
                “Give yourself some credit. I just thought you might like to come along for the ride. Unless this sort of thing is in Milan or Dubai, Pom could care less. Plus there’s someone there I want you to meet. Or rather, who wants to meet you.”
                Josh twisted his brow with confusion but remained quiet allowing William to elaborate.
                “Her little joke, attending the Space Symposium. She’s a longtime friend.”
                “So what, you’re setting me up?”
                William roared with laughter. “No, not that! She’s…she’s a very interesting woman. I told her how you and I have been spending a lot of time together, talking philosophy. We’ll just grab a drink after and say hi.”
                “That’s fine… But I still don’t get it.”
                William tried to explain. “She sees the world in a very unique way. I thought you might appreciate that. No big deal.”
                “Okay,” Josh agreed, feeling there was more to the story. “Let’s hope I don’t disappoint.”
                “Oh and, Josh”—William looked over at him—“let’s keep this between you and I. It’s nothing underhanded, just avoiding unnecessary trouble. Ana and I have a bit of history, which Pom is fully aware of, but it will always be tender… No sense in stirring the pot.”
                Josh remained silent, uncomfortable with William’s request. He didn’t like the thought of lying to Pom, as she and he had become quite close, just as he and William had. Also William’s infidelity irritated him; he couldn’t understand how someone’s eye would be able to wander with a woman like Pom at home. But, most importantly, he was disappointed that William placed him in the middle. Regardless of William’s affairs, Josh didn’t want to be an accessory to something that could potentially upset Pom.
                “I know what you’re thinking,” William said, “and it reaffirms my decision for you to meet Ana. I know you’ve grown close with Pom. I also know you’d do things differently than me, and that’s why I’m proud to call you my friend. But life isn’t so cut and dry, Josh. Temptation isn’t your vice…” He paused as he tried to conjure up the appropriate words. “Without Ana, we wouldn’t have our amazing daughters who have had a tremendous impact on the world. I’m not exaggerating when I say that those girls have changed the lives of millions of people. The world is a much better place because of my weakness. Yes, that came at the expense of Pom, but what’s the greater good? What’s most important?”
                William had never opened up to Josh about his personal affairs and Josh wasn’t quite sure how to respond. He felt tremendous objection with William’s rationalization of his actions, but didn’t want to outright judge the man.
                “I don’t know, Billy,” Josh began. “Honesty is usually the best policy. It sounds like you’re justifying poor judgment by the serendipitous outcome of superb offspring… I mean, what if your children with Ana grew up to be heinous, or even normal. Would those ends justify the means?”
                “Well, that’s the odd thing about destiny: it’s inevitable,” William replied. “Those girls had to be born, they were needed. Destiny exploited my weakness, a character flaw of mine, in order to put forth what the world needed.”
                “Wow,” Josh said, taken aback by William’s explanation. “You’ve done a lot of great things, Dr. Hork, almost other worldly things. But you’re speaking as if you’re chosen. The odd thing about destiny isn’t that it’s inevitable, but it’s that we don’t know what it is. It’s not like we have a map or checklist of the future.”
                “But what if you did? What if you did know your destiny? Would that still make my actions dishonorable? Knowing the outcome of the greater good?”
                Josh turned to look out the window. “You’re suggesting that you have a crystal ball and there’s only one way to do things. That almost makes it worse. Knowing your destiny and still not finding an honorable or honest solution with Pom to achieve the same outcome.”
                William remained quiet, allowing Josh to explain himself.
                “Destiny is an excuse for poor actions,” Josh continued. “It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. You believe in your destiny, so therefore you actively seek it out, and it eventually becomes you. By adding the ‘cosmic mystical’ element, you relinquish accountability and responsibility. You just blame your actions on the gods. It was their will for you to sleep with that woman, not yours.”
                “How would one honorably explain conceiving a child with another woman?” William asked, looking over at him out of the corner of his eye.
                “That’s my point—you can’t now. Honesty has to start from the beginning. If you knew that infidelity or flesh of another is your vice, perhaps you shouldn’t have married. It’s selfish, Bill. You placed your desire—your ‘destiny’—above your wife.”
                There was a long pause.
                “Who’s to say you couldn’t have had those amazing daughters, who changed the world, with Pom?” Josh added.
                “Their mother for one,” William quickly replied. “Those girls aren’t great because of me, it’s because of Ana.”
                Josh was silent, still looking out the window to avoid William’s eyes.
                “You’re right, though,” William muttered. “I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t handle things properly. I hurt Pom, and I’ll always feel terrible for it. I wish I had as much wisdom at your age…”
                Josh sighed. “Billy, I wasn’t trying to insult you. You and Pom have your own relationship and arrangement. I don’t know the complexities and it has nothing to do with me… I just don’t like being put in the middle.”
                “Fair enough,” William said as he stared blankly through the windshield. “Sometimes I forget who I’m talking to. Someone who actually practices what they preach… Speaking of preaching, I guess you’d have to believe in God to believe in destiny, then?” He eased the conversation away from his personal affairs but was enjoying Josh’s thoughts on morality.
                “Abstractly, destiny’s just a really fortunate excuse for a lot of people to do a lot of bad things. That’s the problem with man mingling with Gods, or religion.”
                William was intrigued. “Explain.”
                “Beyond diminishing personal accountability, an unintended consequence or not, once you cut through all of the ritual and teachings, the bottom line is that religion completely devalues life. The entire premise of there being something after this world inherently makes the existence we’re currently living less important or less precious. With the promise of something more after life, something greater, it makes death much easier to accept.”
                “Interesting observation.”
                “A religious authority, priest or bishop, can paint the picture of a glorious afterworld and use that to manipulate followers into either being good to one another, or to wage horrific wars. If you die along the way, which we all will one day, that’s actually a good thing because now you’re home with God. And who doesn’t want to be with God?” Josh said sarcastically.
                “Why do you think people go along with this notion?”
                “They’re seeking a cause and effect to existence, an explainable reaction. They try to understand unfathomable things that happen during life, creating reasons to justify man’s relevance on a cosmic level—usually by attributing their lives to a larger concept such as religion or destiny. The only way to ease the guilt of bad decisions, things that can’t be reversed or reconciled here on Earth, is to atone to an unearthly being. The thought of being completely insignificant in the universe is more difficult for the human mind to accept than a utopia governed by a bearded man in the clouds.”
                “So I take it you don’t believe in God, then?” William cocked his head with the question.
                “I’m not foolish enough to say that. I can tell you with all certainty that I don’t believe in any religion operated by a mortal man, but I’m wise enough to say that I don’t know about God. I’m able to admit that I don’t understand. My mind is completely open—literally anything is possible because I have no way of knowing one way or another.”
                “Without God or a greater purpose, what’s the point of getting out of bed?” William pushed.
                “By having tremendous value and respect for the life you currently have,” Josh replied. “By understanding that being alive is completely unique and precious—something to be worshiped, to be celebrated. Our singular personal existence in the vast universe is so rare, so exponentially unlikely, that it shouldn’t be wasted by lying in bed. You won the lottery just by being born.”
                “That’s a pretty sober way to look at things. Uncomplicated.”
                “I think that’s a big problem with religion as we have it, it’s been manipulated into a tool of social control and discipline rather than a source of profound thought on the human experience. When did the belief of God become synonymous with marriage or shellfish, even goodwill or war? God doesn’t have anything to do with those things.”
                “Or interchangeably he has everything to do with all things…” William added.
                “Right. And that’s a completely valid argument as well,” Josh agreed. “But remember that slippery slope because you can’t pick and choose God’s miracles. If he has everything to do with all things, then he’s then equally responsible for healing the sick as he is for murders at an elementary school shooting.”
                “What do you think, Josh?” William questioned him intently. “Do you think God has something to do with the murders of children?”
                Josh took a deep breath and tried to articulate an answer. “No. My vision, or ideal of what God is or would be, wouldn’t be involved in that. I feel that God is removed from our daily activities. I see him as a creator and protector of humanity, but not as a personal babysitter. While he may have given life, he’s not in control of my soul or who I am. I don’t feel he has any interest in or control over my personal ‘destiny,’ though I’m sure he wishes general goodwill to everyone—like a father wishing his sons the best in life, though boys can still grow up to become murderers and rapists… I don’t know what God is…” He then hesitated. “I’m not sure if he’s from the ‘other side’ or if he’s just from another world… Maybe that’s one in the same? I don’t know, I see him being more human than a fairy tale. He couldn’t have been perfect if he created us in his own image.”
                William let out a wild grin and found a bit of humor in Josh’s comment on perfection. His approval encouraged Josh to keep going.
                “You know how history tends to paint a glorious picture of the past, elevating certain battles or men above the rest—like our founding fathers? Somehow the realism of them as humans, with all of their many imperfections, mistakes, and outright terrible deeds have been lost over time? I think that’s happened with God exponentially over the thousands of years. We choose to only remember the good stuff.”
                “Your God sounds pretty down to Earth,” William said, as he continued to smile. “He could be living among us and we wouldn’t even know.”
                Josh smiled back. “Of course. Or, you know, we could have evolved from sludge… Here’s one thing I don’t get about modern religion. God has helpers—angels, right?”
                William nodded.
                “So basically the whole monotheism and polytheism is pure semantics. Everyone knows Zeus was king, or the Abrahamic God is big chief god, so what’s wrong with showing his helpers, Poseidon or Gabriel, some appreciation? All of the religions have ‘angels’ or saints that perform the same functions as the Greek and Egyptian ‘gods,’ yet it was worth killing everyone and decimating cultures over that nonsensical subtle difference.”
                “Religion isn’t about logic, it’s about faith.”
                “I guess that’s my problem. I have an unwavering belief and faith in life. I think God does, too—that’s why he bothered creating it.”
                “The end doesn’t justify the means…”
                “Exactly. Faith is an awesome thing, having belief in something is powerful and unifying. However, when that faith is tied to an organization that is responsible for millions upon millions of deaths throughout history, the little bit of good they do does not outweigh the bad. It has nothing to do with forgiveness or reform, some things just simply can’t be undone. Faith and ideology are not justifiably worth dying or killing over, and I’ve never understood how someone can convince themselves that it is.”
                “What could be more honorable than dying for God?” William asked.
                “Are you serious?” Josh scoffed. “God doesn’t want you to die for him, that’s not why he made you. That’s like fucking to preserve virginity. He didn’t create humans so they would kill each other over abstract concepts. Dying to protect life—the thing God created—or fighting against the oppression of the inalienable rights of life, I’d consider that much more honorable.”
                “Kind of like our government, then.”
                Josh rolled his eyes. “If you believe in the liberation of oil fields and other strategic resources, sure. The government doesn’t care about life unless it can tax it. Our government took a crafty lesson from religion. It has exploited the fundamental concept of freedom to propel its own agenda. Instead of using the word ‘god’ like religion does, they just insert the word ‘freedom’ and the propaganda is the same.”
                William chuckled. “You don’t believe in government or religion… What’s left, anarchy?”
                “As soon as any organization—religion, government, corporation, nonprofit, or a person starts to manipulate their own beliefs to acquire power, conceal motives or agendas, lie, threaten, oppress, condemn—it’s corruption, Bill. I can’t support an institution that’s lost its virtue.”
                “The picture of young Joshua Bach is becoming a bit clearer,” William remarked. “Such principles aren’t going to make life easy.”
                “Tell me about it. I’m basically thirty years old and can barely support myself. I can’t stand our financial system… Do you know how hard it is to not have a cent of debt to your name? The bank isn’t my master. I refuse to be a part of an institution that is more concerned with share prices than the product they’re creating or service they’re providing.”
                “That’s noble, but not entirely realistic.”
                Josh raised his voice. “Why not? All it takes is for people to stop believing. Just as religion can’t exist without faith, neither can our system. If people, one by one, no longer allowed their good intentions to be exploited, no longer fed a system that was corrupt and broken—it would vanish. It can’t operate unless people believe in it and perpetuate it.”
                “I suppose that’s easier to say if you have nothing to lose.” William paused. “If you had a business, house, family—established roots into the system, it’d be harder to turn your back on it.”
                Josh was silent for a moment, then continued. “I agree. You know the types of things I think about? I’m afraid that I’m too poor to fall in love. Not only would I have to fully step into the corrupt system—meaningless job, underwater mortgage, vehicles with an expiration date—but if we decided to have children, I’d have to bring them into this cycle. I wouldn’t be able to afford a private school or tutors, so they’d be educated by one of the world’s most mediocre school systems—by design—that teaches them just enough to get by, so they can find another meaningless job and start the process all over again with their children. It’s so complacent. Everyone knows it’s wrong, everyone knows it’s broken, but no one has a gun to their head. There’s no immediate threat, so no one does anything. It’s a slow cancer. As soon as it gets bad enough to take action, it will be too late.”
                “You do have your freedom,” William’s tone was hollow. “What if your child breaks the cycle? It just takes one—Spartacus.”
                “Why can’t I be the One? Why my son? Why always the next generation?”
                William looked over at him out of the corner of his eye. “You speak of revolution, my boy.”
                “Billy, I don’t want to wage a war… I just want reform, an awakening. Has mankind always been so dishonest and self-serving? When did prophets become profits?” Josh said with bitterness.
                Another long pause filled the traveling automobile, as Josh looked through the window at the city streets intently with a grave scowl.
                William finally broke the silence. “I got you pretty worked up, didn’t I?”
                “I’m not asking for perfection, Bill. You and Pom are a perfect example. Mistakes were made, intentional or not, but at some point you had to be honest with one another. You had to agree on the future you wanted to create together and put the past behind you. You had to do what was right for your children, and I’m sure it was hard. I’m sure it still is. But look what you’ve done. Things at one point were broken, and you fixed them. I don’t know the young William Hork, but I know the man next to me now and there’s no one more honest and virtuous. You’ve matured into an individual with compassion, foresight, strength, experience and wisdom. You’re not perfect, but you’re damn close. I want that. I want that for man, for society. I want humanity to mature into what I know it can be.”
                William looked over at Josh and without question saw the man he once knew over 2,000 years ago. Sitting in his car beside him was the spitting image of the young Israelite with his soul on fire. His bleeding heart and passion had been masked by the youthful exterior, but there was no denying the complete transmigration of Lesous Nazareth into Joshua Bach. The young man’s words, his conviction, and his virtue made it clear to William that the second coming was upon him and that Lesous was finally ready to fulfill his destiny.
                “I don’t know what to do, Bill.” Josh’s tone had become disheartened. “I don’t have a bottomless playbook full of answers, but you know when something is wrong or when it is right. The truth is absolute. It’s like the weather—you can’t control or manipulate truth. It just is.”
                William smiled as he pulled into the entrance of the Broadmoor Resort, where a parking valet waited. “I think Ana will be quite pleased I brought you. Long overdue.”
                Josh let out a deep breath of air, trying to calm himself. “I’m sorry, Dr. Hork. I usually don’t get so riled up, I prefer the rhetorical debates.” He then smiled. “I hope I didn’t offend you. You know how much I think of you and Pom.”
                William laughed. “Offend?  Josh, my boy, I feel as though I’ve been searching for your honesty for millennia! I enjoyed every word and know there was no malice behind it.”
                “I respect you. Pom, too. I just don’t want anything to mess that up.”
                “A man of conviction,” William said. “I crossed the line by trying to cover my own hide and you corrected me. I admire that. Not many have the gumption to speak up…to not allow someone to stand in the way of doing the right thing.”

Giveaway Details:

There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
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Review: The Morgenstern Project

The Morgenstern Project
The Morgenstern Project by David S. Khara
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Morgenstern Project is a perfect ending to a brilliant series that has unabashedly captured both my heart and my mind. I have never read another series that has sucked me in so completely and allowed me to delve so deeply into such unspeakable international secrets and deadly conspiracies. The characters that I found within this series blew my mind. They were such a wide array of characters that I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know. This wickedly smart and highly imaginative series will forever have a place in my heart and on my bookshelf.

I loved getting to know familiar characters while discovering new and intriguing ones through this latest adventure. While the layout of the story might seem a bit unconventional, but I loved every second of the flashbacks while learning even more about the mysterious background of the fascinating characters within these pages. The story building and level of imagination based on historical facts is extremely compelling and thoroughly engaging. There is nothing conventional about this beautifully complex storyline, and I counted my blessings with every word I read. What a wonderful masterpiece!

David Khara is unlike any author that I have read, and I feel extremely fortunate to be able to savor and cherish every part of his amazing work of art! His stories make me feel like I have entered my own literary heaven, and it lifts every part of my spirit in the process. I truly hope that many other readers who enjoy an exciting and fast paced story mixed with a beautifully challenging plot will take a chance on this fabulous series! You will not regret the time you spend enjoying each and every word.

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