Shadow’s Hand
The Shadow’s Creed Saga Book 1
by Noelle Nichols
Genre: Epic Fantasy
I used to believe our morals were absolute.
I no longer am certain.
Imposters pose as our Shadow group, spreading panic and killing innocents
across the lands. These False Shadows wield a magic in its infancy, a
power they call the Skills. There’s great potential to this power,
but a menacing undertone taints those who wield it. Their intentions
are sinister, without purpose, and their morals, questionable.
I am Kilo, a Shadow of Vaiyene, and I vow to put an end to these False
Shadows. My friends have been killed. My homeland, threatened. These
imposters know our weakness, and they seek to exploit who we are. I
fear before the end, I may forsake the very creed I’ve lived my
life by. Despite this, I must persist and find a way to return peace
to the lands. I will become the strength our people need.
My parents were brave and honorable.
I am neither of these.
This is no longer the world my parents knew. Peace is threatened in
Vaiyene and across the lands. The False Shadows have attacked, and
despite our Phantoms reassurance, I am not naïve enough to believe
we are safe.
I am Shenrae, one of the next generation of Shadows. My comrades doubt
me, as I often doubt myself, but I have no other choice than to
fight. The Phantoms cannot protect us for long. Soon, I will have to
find my place, and my strength, or I will lose everything I have
left.
Shadow’s Hand is the first book in a heroic epic fantasy, inspired by Japan’s
samurai and their warrior code Bushido. It’s a story about the
makings of a hero and the hero’s sacrifice. If you like characters
with strong morals, fast-paced epic storytelling and exploring
magic’s morality, you’ll love The Shadow’s Creed Saga. Pick up a
copy today and join Kilo and Shenrae on their heart-twisting journey
to restore peace.

Goodreads * Amazon * Paperback

Hello, I’m Noelle. A writer, a creator and most of all a dreamer.
We have the opportunities, both as writers and readers, to experience
people who are better than ourselves. Flawed still, but people who go
against all odds, perhaps too great for us in real life to aspire to.
They speak grander, fight against magical forces and live in a place
where imagination and dreams can thrive. This is why I write Fantasy.
Within my characters I find the strength and hope for a better
tomorrow, one that can be more fantastical and beyond reality. It’s
these characters that I wish to write, and these journeys I want to
take my reader’s on.
I’ve been
writing my trilogy, The Shadows Creed Saga, for the past five years.
The original idea came to me back in high school where I had the
support of many of my English teachers to continue writing the book.
However, I realized that in order to write a good book, I needed to
have experienced life more. I needed to lose someone close. I needed
to have my heartbroken. I needed to know what it was like to really
love someone, and what it means to be loved. So, I put my book away
and came back to it eight years later. I feel that I can instill my
life experiences into my characters now and really understand
them.
I now feel I have the discipline, experience and imagination needed to bring
the books to publication. For now, this is my records to publication and my
writing process. My only wish is to write books that take people on a
journey, and feel that perhaps they have a friend and someone to
aspire to within the pages.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
Advertisements
Sword of Fire
Through the Ashes Book 1
by J.A. Culican
Genre: YA Fantasy
An unforgettable tale brimming with suspense, action and
dragons.”
Through the Ashes will thrill
fans of The Gender Game, Divergent & The Hunger Games.
Defenseless. Alone. Betrayed.
Bells is a poor fae who works on a farm outside the protections of the
dragon city. When her family is attacked by trolls, she goes to the
one person she knows can help her. But will he?
Peace. Death. Enough.
The dragons brought peace to the city and the surrounding area when they
rose. Jaekob believes there is no reason for further dragon
involvement. They’ve’ lost enough lives to this cause. They’ve done
their fair share and owe the world nothing more.
But when the dark elves infect his city with a virus unlike
anything he’s ever seen, he knows they need a solution. Now.
The sword of peace. Myth? Reality?
They’re about to find out.
J.A. Culican is a USA Today Bestselling author of the middle grade fantasy
series Keeper of Dragons. Her first novel in the fictional series
catapulted a trajectory of titles and awards, including top selling
author on the USA Today bestsellers list and Amazon, and a rightfully
earned spot as an international best seller. Additional accolades
include Best Fantasy Book of 2016, Runner-up in Reality Bites Book
Awards, and 1st place for Best Coming of Age Book from the Indie book
Awards.
J.A. Culican holds a Master’s degree in Special Education from Niagara
University, in which she has been teaching special education for over
11 years. She is also the president of the autism awareness
non-profit Puzzle Peace United. J.A. Culican resides in Southern New
Jersey with her husband and four young children.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!

The Consultant

by Tj O’Connor

July 1-31, 2018 Tour

Synopsis:

The Consultant by Tj O'Connor

Terrorism hits Main Street America

When a rogue CIA consultant goes AWOL from his Middle Eastern post in response to his brother’s plea for help, he arrives just in time to witness his brother’s murder. For years, Jonathan Hunter and his brother Kevin Mallory had not spoken―until Kevin’s final words, “… Khalifah … Not Them … Maya.”

Pursuing his brother’s killer, Hunter stumbles into a nest of horrifying terrorist activity by Middle Eastern refugees, which sparks a backlash across America. In the shadows, Hunter’s mentor, the omnipotent Oscar LaRue, is playing a dangerous game with Russian Intelligence. Neither Hunter nor LaRue realizes that a new threat―the Iranian threat―has entered the game. Stakes rise as two shadowy players are one step ahead of Hunter and LaRue―Khalifah, a terrorist mastermind, and Caine, a nomadic assassin who dances with the highest bidder.

As attacks escalate and the country drifts toward another Middle East conflict, innocent refugees become trapped between the terrorists and the terrorized. Prejudice, hate, and fear vent everywhere. Is this who we’ve become? Before the country explodes, Hunter must find Khalifah, learn the next terror target, and pray he’s in time to stop further annihilation.

**The Consultant has been chosen by Amazon to be a July Kindle Monthly Deal for $.99.**

Editorial Reviews:

“Tj O’Connor is that rare thriller writer with both talent and street time in the worlds he rockets us readers through. O’Connor’s stories will pull you in and race you through plots that come from behind the headlines in our crazy world.” ―James Grady, New York Times best-selling author of Last Days of the Condor

The Consultant is a flat out, dynamite read. Fast paced, compelling, and all too real. O’Connor writes with authority and the pages fly by almost too quickly. My favorite kind of thriller, reminiscent of the best Ludlum and Forsyth.” ―Christopher Reich, New York Times best-selling author of Invasion of Privacy

“Thriller fans who value fast-paced action…will be satisfied.”―Publishers Weekly

“Hop on O’Connor’s back and enjoy this ride. Helluva fun tale full of action, layers, deceptions, twists, and surprises. Well worth finding this one, folks. Put the publication date on your calendar. It rocks.”―Men Reading Books

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: May 15th 2018
Number of Pages: 432
ISBN: 1608092836 (ISBN13: 9781608092833)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

**The Consultant has been chosen by Amazon to be a July Kindle Monthly Deal for $.99.**

The Consultant Trailer:

 

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

Day 1: May 15, 2130 Hours, Daylight Saving Time
East Bank of the Shenandoah River, Clarke County, Virginia

The gunshots took me by surprise and, without luck, might have killed me. The first shot splayed a spiderweb across my windshield before it whistled past my head, peppering glass needles into my face. The second smashed my driver’s-side mirror. An amateur might have panic-braked and skidded to a stop—a fatal mistake. The shooter hesitated, anticipating that decision, and readied for my failure.
Training. Muscle memory. Response.

I gunned the engine, wrenched the car to the left to put more steel between me and the shooter, and sped forward, looking for cover.
My headlights exploded and flashed dark. Bullets breached the windshield. The rearview mirror and rear window were gone. Had I not flinched, one shot would have found my right eye but shredded my headrest instead.

I careened to a stop at the bottom of the boat launch— vulnerable. The shooter was ahead in the darkness, likely maneuvering for another shot. A closer shot. The kill shot. He’d be closing the distance and finding a new advantage.

Luck had its limits, so I dove from the car and rolled to cover behind it. I fought to control the adrenaline and bridle my thoughts.

Easy, Hunter, steady. Listen—watch—survive.

I stayed low and crept along the side of the car, looking for better cover. Spring rain made the darkness murky and dense. The Shenandoah River was to my left some fifty feet. A blind guess. Overhead, two dark spans of the Route 7 bridge blocked what little light there was but provided some cover from the rain. The six substructure supports in front of me might afford me cover. They also afforded the shooter cover. He was hidden and waiting. Still, Kevin Mallory was nowhere to be seen. Under normal conditions—and normal is relative with me—I might have judged the shots’ origins. Driving headlong into an ambush on terrain I’d long ago forgotten, in darkness and rain, I was all but defeated.

Silence.

Easy, Hunter, easy. Count your breaths. One, two, three.

Out there, somewhere, someone wanted me dead.

Worse. I was unarmed and alone.

Jesus. Where was Kevin?

The boat launch was just a small gravel lot tucked beneath the expanse of the Route 7 Bridge across the Shenandoah. At night it should have been empty. It was nearing ten p.m. and I hadn’t expected to find anyone but Kevin. Yet, while we’d been estranged for years, under bad circumstances, I doubted he was hunting me.

Although, I do tend to bring out the worst in people.

Ahead, perhaps seventy-five feet, a dark four-door SUV faced an old pickup. The vehicles were nose to nose like two dogs sniffing each other.

No movement. No sound.

One, two, three. I ran to the nearest bridge support, stopped, listened, and bolted to the rear of the SUV.

Silence. Safety. But something else—a dangerous odor. The pungent scent of gasoline. A lot of gasoline.

I got down on one knee and looked around. The dome light was on and the driver’s door was ajar. Something lay on the ground near the left front fender. A large, bulky something that washed an angry tide of flashbacks over me.

I’d seen silhouettes like that before.

A body.

Bodies look the same in any country, under any dark sky. It didn’t matter if it were the rocky Afghan terrain or along a quiet country river. Their lifeless, empty shells were all hopeless. All forsaken. All discards of violence. The silhouette three yards away was no different. Except this wasn’t Afghanistan or Iraq. It was home.

I made ready.

No muzzle flash. No assassin’s bullet. I crept to the SUV’s rear tire, crouched low, and slithered to the front fender.

The body was a man. He lay three feet in front of the fender and precariously vulnerable beneath the spell of the SUV’s dome light. He was tall and bulky. Not fat, but strong and muscled.

No. No. God, no!

After fifteen years of silence and thousands of miles, I knew the body—the man. His hair had grayed and his face was creased with age and strain. The years had been hard on him. Years he was here while I was forever there. Always elsewhere. He’d built a life from our loss while I’d escaped—run away. He once warned me that my life’s choice would leave me as I found him now, alone and dead. The irony churned bile inside me.

Kevin Mallory.

“Kevin,” I blurted without thinking. “Kevin, it’s me. It’s Jon.”

My mouth was a desert and the familiar brew of adrenaline and danger coursed through me. In one quick move, I leaped from the SUV’s shadow, grabbed his shoulders, and tried to drag him back to safety.

No sooner had I reached him when a figure charged from the darkness toward us. His arm leveled—one, two, three shots on the run—all hitting earth nearby. I threw myself over Kevin. Another shot sent stone fragments into my cheeks and neck. The figure reached the rear of the pickup, tossed something in the bed, fired another wild shot, and retreated at a dead run.

Lightning. A brilliant flash of light, a violent percussion, then a whoosh of fire erupted from the pickup. The flames belched up and over the side panels. They spat light and heat. The truck swelled into an inferno.

The heat singed my face. I gripped Kevin’s shoulders and dragged him the remaining feet behind the SUV. He was limp and heavy. The raging fire bathed us in light, and I finally saw him clearly. His eyes were dull and vacant. His face pale—a death mask. If life was inside, it was hidden well.

The truck was engulfed in flames, and the heat was tremendous. It reached us and felt oddly comforting amidst the spring dampness and dark.

“Kevin, hold on. Hold on.” I looked for an escape.

I saw the next shot before I heard it—a flash of light where none should be—uphill near River Road. Seasoned instincts threw me atop Kevin again. Glass crackled overhead and rained down. I grabbed for the familiar weight behind my back, but my fingers closed on nothing.

Dammit.

I hastily searched him. No weapon. All I found was an empty holster where his handgun should have been. Where was it? In a desperate move, I rolled off and snaked forward beneath the truck’s firelight and groped around where he’d been. It took several long, vulnerable seconds. I dared not breathe or even look for the shooter, fearing I’d see the shot that would end me. Finally, my fingers closed on a wet, gritty semiautomatic.

As I retreated to the SUV, something moved in the darkness. I pivoted and fired two rapid shots, spacing them three feet apart.

Response. A shot dug into the gravel inches away to my left.

Rule one of mortal combat—incoming fire has the right of way.

Retreat. The flash was a hundred feet away. The shooter had withdrawn and angled south down River Road.

Should I take him? Could I?

One, two, three. Reason, Hunter, reason.

The shooter had fired at least fifteen rounds. Fourteen at me and at least one into Kevin. Had Kevin returned fire? How many rounds did his semiautomatic have left? I was on turf all but forgotten, armed with a handgun that was perhaps near-empty. The shooter must have a high-capacity magazine with plenty of ammo to cut me to pieces. He’d already proven willing and capable of killing. He knew my location. I knew nothing.

Revenge would wait.

I sat back against the SUV’s tire and pulled Kevin close, keeping one arm around him and the other holding the handgun ready. The truck fire raged but was easing. The gasoline that had been splashed over it was consumed and only the paint and rubber were burning.

Soon, though, the fire might breach the gas tank.

I pulled Kevin close and braced myself.

“Kevin, wake up. It’s me—Jon. I’m here.”

“Jon?” His eyes fluttered and half-opened. “I . . . so sorry . . . Khalifah . . . he’s . . . find G. Find G . . .” He gasped for breath. “Khalifah . . . G . . . Baltimore . . . it’s not them. Khalifah . . . so sorry . . .”

“Sorry for what? Who’s Khalifah? Did he shoot you?”

“Tomorrow . . . not them. G . . . Khalifah is . . .” His body went limp.

I shook him easily. “Kevin, I don’t understand. Tell me again.”

“Find G . . .” His eyes fluttered again, and he clutched my arm with limp, sleepy fingers. “Find . . . Hunter . . .”

“Tell me who did this.”

“G . . . Jon . . . tell no one. Maya . . . Maya . . . Maya in Baltimore . . .” He fumbled with something from his pants pocket. He gasped for breath and pressed that something into my hand. “So sorry . . .”

I opened my hand. He’d given me a small, ripped piece of heavy folded paper with handwriting scrawled on it. I couldn’t make out the writing and stuffed it into my pocket. “Kevin, what are you saying? Hold on. Dammit, hold on.”

“Go . . . please . . . not them . . . it’s not . . .” He tried to breathe but mustered only a raspy gag.

“Kevin!”

Silence.

His body shuddered. A long, shallow sigh.

No. No. No . . .

My fingers found warm, sticky ooze soaking his shirt. The rain had slowed to a faint mist and, except for the river’s passing and the grumble of fire, there was only silence. Then, somewhere along the highway miles in the distance, sirens wailed.

“Hold on, Kevin. They’re coming. My God, hold on.”

I checked his pulse and wounds. Both were draining away life.

I pressed my hands into the ooze but couldn’t force its retreat. For a few seconds, I was fourteen again. The dull sickness invaded me as my parents were lowered side by side into the earth. The ache started in my gut and swelled until I spat bile and rage.

It was happening again.

The man who raised me—the man I’d abandoned—slipped away. The emptiness and loss attacked. I had to fight or it would destroy me again. This time, there was nowhere to run.

I closed my eyes and willed the anger in, commanding it to take hold and fill me.

I remember, Kevin. I made you a promise. I’m late, but I’m here.

He was limp, and I clutched him. A rush of words filled me that I’d wanted to say for so many years. But before I could speak just one, my brother was gone.

***

Excerpt from The Consultant by Tj O’Connor. Copyright © 2018 by Tj O’Connor. Reproduced with permission from Tj O’Connor. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

Tj O'Connor

Tj O’Connor is the author of The Consultant, the first of The Jonathan Hunter Thriller series and four paranormal mysteries.

Tj is an international security consultant specializing in anti-terrorism, investigations, and threat analysis—life experiences that drive his novels. With his former life as a government agent and years as a consultant, he has lived and worked around the world in places like Greece, Turkey, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and throughout the Americas—among others. He was raised in New York’s Hudson Valley and lives with his wife and Labrador companions in Virginia where they raised five children.

Dying to Know, Tj’s first published novel, won the 2015 Gold Medal from the Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY) for mysteries and was a Finalist for both a 2015 Silver Falchion Award and the 2014 Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Mystery Book of the Year.

Catch Up With Our Author On:
Website, GoodreadsTwitter, & Facebook!

**The Consultant has been chosen by Amazon to be a July Kindle Monthly Deal for $.99.**

ENTER TO WIN:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Tj O’Connor. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and 4 winners of one (1) print OR eBook copy of Tj O’Connor’s The Consultant. The giveaway begins on July 1, 2018 and runs through August 1, 2018. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited

CLICK HERE for the Rafflecopter giveaway

**The Consultant has been chosen by Amazon to be a July Kindle Monthly Deal for $.99.**

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours