This is the blog of Samie Sands, author of Lockdown. There will be many great books and projects reviewed here. For more, check out thelockdown.co.uk.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Opal Charm: The Path to Dawn by Miri Castor

Now available on Kindle!

The lively suburb of Dewdrop is home to many junior high school students, but none like Opal Charm. She struggles with life at home and doesn't have much of a life at school without any friends – until she befriends the new girl, Hope. Opal finds herself changing in extraordinary ways as she delves into the enigmatic life of Hope, the new girl's lies and truths blurring together. Opal stumbles across a world separate from Earth, a world she never would have thought existed. She discovers that she has a Gift, a power that can make her stronger than she ever imagined if she can distinguish the lies between the truths. When Dewdrop is threatened, Opal has to use her power to save not only her world, but the new one and its inhabitants before Opal succumbs to lies and finds herself falling from the Path to Dawn.
Plus coming to Kindle soon...!

WHY BUY IT?

  • Features a dark-skinned black female MC struggling to understand herself
  • WoC dominated cast (damsels-in-distress free)
  • Diverse characters with magical powers (who also kick ass) 
  • Diversity in suburbia and SFF setting
  • Explores themes of light and darkness
  • Focuses on familial, self-love, and platonic love

Friday, 26 February 2016

Echoes of Past by Iris Blobel



ECHOES OF THE PAST by Iris Blobel
FermosaBay #1
New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Release Date: February 16, 2016
- SYNOPSIS -
Emily Bradshaw waited over twenty years to see Connor again…

When her childhood friend, Connor Walsh, returns home to see his ailing father, Emily is elated to be reunited with the handsome man who moved to London so many years ago. But excitement fades to disappointment when he doesn’t remember her—or their first kiss. With her crush on Connor still in full swing, she’s determined to enjoy the short time he’s in Fermosa Bay, even though she knows her heart will break when he returns to his life in London.

When Connor receives news that his biological father is terminally ill, he returns to Fermosa Bay, Australia. 

With memories of his childhood tucked fondly in the back of his mind, returning to the small, coastal town leaves him to wonder how life would have been if his mother had never taken him away. Would he have been married and had children? Perhaps with Emily Bradshaw…

Secrets from long ago begin to unfold…

As Connor and his father grow closer, Connor learns his parents have a broken love story of their own. Will the echoes of the past lure him into staying, maybe for good? Or will he relive his parents’ tragic story and flee to London? 

Walking away from a real chance at true love…

- PURCHASE -


- EXCERPT -
Connor leaned against the window frame with his arms crossed as he watched the waves crashing against the rocks. In front of him, as wide as the horizon, was the ocean. With the clouds drifting in from the sea, the sky had turned grey and dark, and he knew there’d be even more rain coming later in the day. 

He would’ve enjoyed the scene if it hadn’t reminded him of his changing life. He’d been back in Fermosa Bay for two days already, but the memories of the first seven years of his life he’d spent in this small Australian coastal town were tucked away in the back of his mind. Seemingly inaccessible. Nowadays, his life was in London and had been for the last twenty-three years. He took a couple of deep breaths as he looked towards the harbour in the distance, and the small town in the alcove with the hilly forest in the background where he’d spend the first seven years of his life. It was truly one very picturesque little place. 

A noise from the other end of the house hauled him back from his thoughts, and he stepped away from the window. Over the last few weeks, since he’d decided to accept Jack’s invitation to Australia, he’d had visions of what he’d find here. His mother hadn’t told him much about the time she’d lived here, except about Jack owning a pub. Connor had been furious for her lack of memory, but in the end admitted to himself it’d probably not been a time she’d like to remember. 

So he was surprised to find out that Jack lived in this massive house just outside Fermosa Bay, on the top of the cliffs, with a view over the ocean. The house had five rooms and a small study at the back. The lounge room, with a high pitched ceiling, had wood fire heating and a big window front. Connor had loved the house the instant he’d stepped into it. 

When he entered the hall, he saw his father and said, “Good morning, Jack.” 

The old man sighed sadly. “You still can’t bring it over your heart to call me Dad?” 

Connor’s gaze wandered from his father to all the many framed photos along the wall. Jack was in many of the photos, but most them had people in them he didn’t know, except the biggest one, which showed Connor as a child in Jack’s arms. A wave of sadness shook him. No, it wasn’t in him to call him Dad. Or to even think of him as his dad. 

After a moment’s silence, he turned to his father and shook his head. “Sorry.” 

Jack coughed, and Connor quickly rushed to his side, holding him upright. 

“Another bad day?” Connor asked. 

“Son, there will be no more good days. One day is like the other, until it will be the last.” 

The words struck Connor deep enough to feel some emotions for his father. He knew time was running out, but hearing it made it sound final. 

“There’s a front coming, but I think you’d be able to sit outside for a little while. At least until the nurse comes.” 

Jack simply nodded. 

Connor helped his father out onto the deck where the old man sat down on his swing seat. 

“Thanks, Son.” 

Without a reply, Connor stepped away and watched the sea again. 

“I couldn’t keep you away from the water when you were a child,” Jack said. 

“What do you mean?” Connor asked. 

Jack didn’t answer, so he turned around to look at his father. The old man stared into the distance, a withdrawn expression on his face. 

“You were constantly in the water. Whatever opportunity you had, you grabbed your little board and spent most of the day there.” 

“So what happened?” 

His father shrugged. “You left with your mother.” 

Sitting down on the chair next to Jack, Connor let out a long breath. “Something must’ve happened. I never go near water, let alone go in it.” 

Still gazing into the distance, Jack said, “I still have the blue board. Ethan’s little son sometimes uses it nowadays.” 

Not sure where the conversation was heading, Connor just went along. “Who’s Ethan?” he asked. 

The reaction from his father wasn’t what he expected. With his shoulders sagged, Jack closed his eyes. He looked so old and frail. From what Connor saw in all the photos around the house, cancer had taken a lot of life out of his father, leaving behind a haggard body with no energy left. Initially, he’d been taken aback by their similarities in looks, with their dark brown eyes and dark blond hair, including the stubborn curl above the ears, but after all, Jack was his father. 

“Ethan was your best friend when you lived here.” 

Pain shot through Connor as he was again confronted with a piece of information about his past that he knew nothing about. What had happened all those years ago, that his memory blocked these recollections of his childhood? 

“How is your mother?” Jack asked suddenly. 

Was it a sign of his illness that the old man wasn’t able to hold on to one topic anymore, or was he out to annoy Connor? 

“She’s doing well.” 

“Married?” 

“Yes.” 

Jack nodded. “She was beautiful when she lived here. So beautiful.” 

Leaning forward to rest his arms on his knees, Connor asked, “Why did you ask her to leave?” 

Finally, their eyes locked, and his father’s confusion took Connor aback. 

“Son, what are you talking about?”


What reviewers are saying about ECHOES OF THE PAST:

I received this book as an ARC - and absolutely loved it!!!!
It is sweet and gentle yet filled with very strong emotions book, which will make you ponder upon the fate and decisions of the characters long after you finish reading :)

It will appeal not only to the true romance-loving readers, but also to those who, like me, reach for that genre occasionally, when in need of a read that would touch their hearts :D And this is it!!!
I honestly do not remember last time I've read something so gentle, so dear - yet tugging on all the inner feelings strings with quite a strength!
- Amazon Reviewer


Who said you can’t find your soul mate at seven years old?

For Emily, who lived her whole life in the sleepy Fermosa Bay Australia she always knew that Connor was the one. At seven years old, the whole town had them married off living a quiet happy life. But when an innocent accident happens, Connor’s mother takes the opportunity to whisk her son away to a life that offers more.

Growing up in London in the shadow of his step father, Connor becomes a successful and sought after lawyer with the world at his feet. When his biological father tracks him down, a father he has no memory of and asks him to return home to Australia, Connor can’t say no. Especially to his dying father.

This is a beautiful tale of rediscovering what you already had and what really matters. Reconnecting with old friends and old loves opens Connor’s heart to a world he never anticipated. Iris had me in tears with this sweet story of coming home. Congratulations. A must read for anyone with a romantic heart!
- Rebecca Barber, author


- ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

- social media links -
Twitter: https://twitter.com/_iris_b



Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Stricken by A.K. Morgan

 
Cover Reveal
Stricken
Series:The War Scrolls, Book One
Author: A.K. Morgen
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Cover Designer: Deranged Doctor Design
Release Date: March 8, 2016
A.K. Morgen is the Amazon Bestselling author of the Ragnarök
Prophesies series. She lives in the heart of Arkansas with her childhood
sweetheart/husband of twelve years, and their five furry minions. When not
writing, she spends her time hiking, reading, volunteering, causing mischief,
and building a Spork army. Ayden graduated summa
cum laude
 with her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and
Forensic Psychology in 2009 before going on to complete her graduate degree in
CJ and Law. She currently puts her education to use in the social services and
CJ field.

Ayden also writes New Adult and contemporary romance under the penname Ayden K.
Morgen.

Facebook Release Event: March 9th from 10am
to 10pm CST 

Facebook Release Party Link
It took only four months to bring the angels to their knees…
With a virus ravaging the fallen angels on earth, mankind’s symbol of love and hope is at risk of extinction.
Centuries ago, a group of angelic warriors known as The Fallen risked everything to save themselves and carve a future for their kind. Hope slips away as The Fallen and their kin are cut down by an ancient menace, LaMorte Nera—and no one saw it coming.
Only one immortal can save them, and only one mortal can stand in his way…
When Nephilim warrior Killian St. James sets out on a quest to find a cure, he and his blade-brothers discover nineteen-year-old Aubrey Carter—a human with a past as dark as it is mysterious—cowering in an abandoned house in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee.The corrupted races are chasing her, and Killian is determined to find out why…But neither he nor Aubrey are prepared for their attraction to one another, or for the frightening truths lurking in the shadows. The painful childhood memories Aubrey has buried hold precious answers. Answers that threaten to tear Killian's world apart.
With her life hanging in the balance, Killian must choose between the future of The Fallen, and the human girl he's pledged to protect.
Demons are rising, and this time they plan to win the war for dominion once and for all.
Killian stepped forward, forcing her to tilt her head back to look up at him. He still seemed so big to her. He still overwhelmed her. But he didn’t frighten her anymore.
 
“You look tired.” She fought the urge to lift her hand to touch his gorgeous face.
 
“I am,” he said, the corner of his lips turning up in a half smile.
 
“Oh.”
 
He stared down at her, his half smile slipping. A dizzying parade of emotions swirled through his eyes. She couldn’t read them all, but she understood enough. He felt as torn as she did.
 
“Will I remember you three years from now?” she whispered, her heart aching with the fear that she would forget him as she had so much else…and with fear that she would remember him. That she would survive this nightmare and he would haunt her for the rest of her days like so much else did.
 
“Do you want to remember me?” He took another step in her direction.
 
“I don’t know.” She frowned, confused. “You make me feel like maybe the world isn’t so bad. Like maybe I’m safe with you. I don’t think I want to forget that.”
 
Killian tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and cupped her cheek gently in one big hand. “You are safe with me. I won’t let anyone hurt you, Aubrey.”
 
She stared at him for a long, silent moment. He’d promised before that he wouldn’t hurt her, but even then an unspoken fear had stood between them like a wall. A little voice whispered that if she got too close, he would hurt her as badly as the things in her past hurt. That voice had stopped whispering when he’d kissed her today, and wasn’t that odd?
 
“You hurt me today.”
 
He bowed his head, letting his hand fall away from her face. “I’m sorry.”
 
Her heart ached a little at the agonized way he said it. As if it shamed him to know he’d hurt her. As if, maybe, he cared more than he should too.
 
“Why did you?” she asked, not accusing, but curious. She wanted to understand him. No, she needed to understand him on some level she couldn’t even explain to herself. “You wanted me, didn’t you?”
 
His gaze sought hers, honesty shining from his angel-bright eyes. “More than you know.”
 
Aubrey took a deep breath, letting her lungs fill with air even as her heart filled with his confession. And just as quickly, the buoyant feeling vanished. “It doesn’t change anything, though, does it?” she whispered.
 
“Do you want it to?”
 
She hesitated for a long moment, unsure. And then her shoulders slumped, the breath she’d taken expelling in a long sigh. “I’m sorry.”
 
Killian gave her a sad smile and reached for her again. He swept a finger beneath her eye, collecting the teardrop she hadn’t even realized had fallen. “No apologies,” he whispered, bringing his finger to his mouth. He stuck out the tip of his tongue and lapped that single bead of moisture from his fingertip. “You owe me nothing.”
 
If that was true, why did she feel like crying?

Between the Bleeding Willows by D.A. Roach

Between the Bleeding Willows Cover
Title: Between the Bleeding Willows
Author: D.A. Roach
Release Date: March 8th
Synopsis:
At eighteen years old, Cassidy has suffered more loss than most…

At the end of her senior year, her boyfriend, Jace Peters, was killed in a car accident, and her grandmother died only weeks later of a heart attack. Emotionally lost, Cassidy desperately searches for an heirloom her boyfriend was wearing in the crash—her mother’s gold ring. But during her search, Cassidy discovers more than her ring.

She finds a gate to the Demon Realm….

A battle is brewing, and Killian—head of the Demon hunters—preps his Clan for the approaching conflict. They’ve been working to secure the gate between his realm and the mortal world. But it’s been nearly impossible since Rya—a voracious demon on a quest to expand her power—devoured the soul of his Clan’s necromancer. Now Rya is possessed with the necromancer’s powers and she may break through the gate at any moment.

Apparently Rya isn’t the only one Killian has to worry about…

When Cassidy accidentally crosses into the Demon Realm, Killian can’t understand how a human girl survived the transition. Now he has to find a way to return her to her own world, or risk her being caught in the crossfire, which is a complication he definitely doesn’t need.

Once back in the Human Realm, Cassidy readies herself for battle. She signs up for KravMaga classes, where she meets Tyler Romaitis—a handsome, tenacious, humble guy. He seems almost perfect, but nothing is ever that easy.

And as the balance between good and evil shifts, Cassidy finds herself—and her ring—at the heart of the conflict for the survival of mankind. 

Friday, 19 February 2016

Twisted Mind by Mia Hoddell

——— COVER REVEAL ———

"Not all mind games stay on the track."


TWISTED MIND by Mia Hoddell
Chequered Flag Series #2
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
——— SYNOPSIS ———
GP2 race car driver Dustin Coates has been made irrelevant… 

For the past year, Dustin helped his best friend, Raine Wilkins. It was a good diversion from his twisted life. Now she’s settling down with his brother, and without the distraction from his own toxic relationship, Dustin is rapidly spiralling out of control. 

Everyone warned him to leave his girlfriend, Elora, yet they knew nothing about the baby… 

It’s up to Dustin to protect the innocent life hanging in the balance, and to do that he must endure Elora’s twisted games of manipulation and violence. However, when she does the unthinkable, Dustin finally snaps. Leaving her, the light-hearted jokester people have come to love is replaced with a grief-stricken man intent on one thing—earning a Formula One contract. 

Everything changes when Tazia Nixon moves in next door… 

Dustin clings to the Latin beauty who soothes his aching heart and helps him forget. But beneath her eternal optimism is a distressing past she refuses to share. Dustin must decide if he can risk his fragile heart a second time. She might ease his pain, but she could also break him like no one else. 

Will Dustin be able to overlook the deceit to find his forever with Tazia, or will he see nothing more than a Twisted Mind?


——— ADD TO GOODREADS ———

——— COVER DESIGNER ———
TOJ Publishing Services

——— CHEQUERED FLAG SERIES ———
BOOK ONE: CHAMELEON SOUL is .99¢ for a limited time!
Available on #KindleUnlimited!


——— ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MIA HODDELL ———
#1 Amazon bestselling author Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading, loves anything romantic, and has an overactive imagination that keeps her up until the early hours of the morning.

Mia has written over ten titles including her Seasons of Change series, the Chequered Flag series, the Elemental Killers series, and her standalone novels False Finder and Not Enough.

Her favourite genres are contemporary romance or romantic suspense, and with an ever growing list of ideas she is trying to keep up with the speed at which her imagination generates them. She also designs book covers on her website M Designs.

Limitless Publishing: http://bit.ly/1LmthNo

Wesley's Author Promo Service

http://wesleysauthorpromoservice.weebly.com/ - this is a five star author promotion service that I highly recommend. You will see results.
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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

FIGHTING DESTINY by Shelly Morgan

"Get ready for the fight of your life."

::: COVER REVEAL :::
FIGHTING DESTINY by Shelly Morgan
Forsaken Sinners Series #2
Cover Designer - TOJ Publishing Services


With a dark past of abuse, Toby Smith full-on raged against life. 

After years of neglect from his junkie mother, Toby turned to the one thing that made his fury go away—mixed martial arts. Now, as an adult, he lives and breathes his training club and fighting, inside or outside of the cage. But when a mousy blonde walks into his gym for a self-defense class he's teaching, that all fades away. 

Sara Carmichael was always a doormat—until the day she took her life back. 

Struggling to cope with years of physical and emotional abuse from a boyfriend, things take a turn for the worse. Drunk and in rare form, he nearly violates her in unspeakable ways. So she leaves and escapes from New York to California, hoping it’s far enough away that he won't find her. 

Sparks fly in the most uncommon places. 

When Sara and Toby meet, they never expected it would be in a sweaty gym. When they are together, Toby feels things he can’t understand. But when Sara’s past clouds their present, will she be strong enough to defend her new life? Or will Toby snap and become the man she’s always feared? 

It’s one thing to fight for love, but it’s another when you’re…Fighting Destiny.


: : : SHELLY MORGAN : : : 
I grew up in a small town in Iowa. I have 2 older sisters and amazing parents. Growing up, I was always a daddy’s girl, hanging out with him in the garage, fishing, and building stuff. I loved to play softball and swimming, but reading, telling stories, and writing were my passion, even at a young age. I took a break from writing for a while, but you could always find me with a book in my hand.

I have three children – two boys and a girl. They are my whole world. Even when I’m having the worst day ever, they brighten up my day and make me smile.

A few years ago, there was this story that would always play out in my head and no matter how many times I went through it, from beginning to end, it would never fade. So I decided to put it on paper. I didn’t plan on publishing it, but when it was almost done, a friend asked to read it. She said it was a story that needed to be shared. And that’s what started my writing career.

I love all genres of books, and even though I started with writing MC Romance, I have a whole book of ideas, so you can expect more from me than just MC, though romance is in my blood.

Even though I currently work two jobs, my ultimate dream is to become a full time author. I want to be able to spend my days filling pages with stories. I want to be the reason people find a reason to smile or laugh from lines on a page. Reading a book allows me to live in someone else’s shoes, even if only for a few minutes. It’s a way to leave my life and troubles behind and I want to be help others do that as well.


Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The Faithful Couple by A.D. Miller

Turn a betrayal inside out and you found its opposite, a secret and a bond. Perhaps that was what friendship came down to: a lifelong, affectionate mutual blackmail.
Neil and Adam, two young men on the cusp of adulthood, meet one golden summer in California and, despite their different backgrounds, soon become best friends. Buton a camping trip in Yosemite they lead each other into wrongdoing that, years later, both will desperately regret.
Their connection holds through love affairs, fatherhood, the wild successes and unforeseen failures of booming London, as power and guilt ebb between them.

Then the truth of that long-ago night emerges.
What happens when you discover that the friendship you can't live without was always built on a lie?
Review: Two boys, one journey and devastating consequences. Adam and Neil met by chance, and immediately clicked. They decided to travel together, building a friendship around it. Then, something happens that alters the way they view each other forever. This event may not seem too dramatic at the time, but the emotions and resentments that build up over it lead to all sorts of trials and tribulations, leaving both of them wondering why they were ever friends. The author brings too imperfect, realistic characters to life in a plot that will have you gripped until the very last page.