Friday, April 16, 2021

Release Blitz: Dogs of DevTown by Taylor Hohulin #promo #releaseday #giveaway #cyberpunk #scifi #excerpt #rabtbooktours @RABTBookTours @tayhoho

 

 


Cyberpunk Science Fiction

Date Published: April 16, 2021



Welcome to DevTown.

In this city, holo ads lumber like neon giants seeking advertising targets. Men and women pop Oracle tabs in search of relief or enlightenment or both. Creatures of unknown origin stalk the darkest alleys. In the center of it all, NexDev Tower looms over the city, home to hundreds of floors of top-secret research.

And in its shadow, Shan Hayes kills people for money.

Rejecting the mechanical enhancements so popular in DevTown, Shan needs only two things: The resynth serum that can reshape her body's entire cellular structure, and her hand-cannon containing a sentient parasite capable of converting her blood into weaponized wasps.

As a hired gun for various crime syndicates, there's little of the city's underbelly Shan hasn't encountered. But when a longtime business associate hires her to track down an underling who's vanished into the neon night, Shan finds DevTown still holds secrets more deadly and terrifying than anything she could imagine.


Excerpt

The target pauses, turns to look at Shan. Here in the alley, shadow swallows his face. Emerald neon reflects off his mirrorshades, but it’s not the only surface catching the soft glow. As he turns, light flashes around his knees and continues to his feet.

Mech legs.

As he stares her down through green-glinting shades, a hissing whine fills the alley. He turns just as the sound reaches a crescendo, and as it releases in a blast, he bounds away. The single leap carries him thirty feet, and the instant he lands, there’s another blast, carrying him another thirty feet.

The mech legs must have some sort of repulsor technology. Shan has heard of newer models which concentrate electromagnetic fields and use them to propel users at high velocities, but it doesn’t matter how his models work. Shan won’t catch him without enhancements of her own. There isn’t a single mech installed on her body, but she doesn’t need mechs. Not when she has resynth.

All these thoughts pass through her head in an instant. Before the target lands, Shan swallows a handful of CalPills. The large yellow capsules land in her stomach like a ton of bricks, but she needs the calories for what comes next. She slides a syringe from the clip on her belt and plunges the needle into her thigh.

She runs.

Resynth serum, that cocktail of proteins and viruses, floods her bloodstream, issuing commands to each cell it touches. The cells comply, transforming to accommodate the design coded into the serum. Heat ignites in her belly as the CalPills fuel the change. Shan’s joints rearrange, her muscles grow, her tendons expand and contract, reforming her body until she isn’t running, but galloping, using the force of four limbs to chase her target. She is more than human now. She is a predator, and her target is prey, no matter how much organic tissue he’s traded for metal.

Thanks to those mech legs, her target is fast, but she’s faster still. The pavement is cool and rough on her palms. The scents of DevTown sharpen as air rushes past her face. Her lips twist in a bitter smile. No hunt is complete without a chase.

--

A news report on the old flatscreen details another attack in another alley. In a dry voice with a matter-of-fact tone, the anchor narrates grainy footage of bone-thin men and women overwhelming a victim, mentions the growing trend of corpses covered in bite wounds. She relays the authorities’ promise to investigate the violence and provides a phone number for anyone with information to share.

Literal zombies is what they are,” says the bartender, wiping a pint glass with a rag. “People comin’ back from the dead and bitin’ chunks outta folks.”

Shan grunts, but offers no comment. She doesn’t care what he thinks. Theories won’t improve the streets of DevTown, but that’s never stopped conversation at Infusion.

Aw, not this again,” shouts a voice behind Shan. “We got no proof the shamblers ever died to begin with.”

Shamblers. It’s the term used by anyone unbound by journalistic integrity, referencing the clumsy way the attackers move.

Every single one of ’em looks like a walkin’ corpse. Add the bite marks, and how they don’t seem to feel nothin’ when folks fight back, it makes perfect sense.” The bartender sets down the pint glass and leans into the bar. Slender mech fingers drum a staccato on old wood. “I bet it’s Oracle tabs makin’ people do it. Ever notice how many of those victims turn up in Tabber Alley?”

Shut up,” says another voice. “Oracle can’t raise the dead.”

You sure?” says the bartender. “Oracle’s the newest drug on the street. No one’s studyin’ it. Tabbers know what happens after they swallow, but what about after they die?”

The door to Infusion slams open. Shan glances over her shoulder, half-expecting to find a bone-white, withered corpse of a person. It would shamble in, fall upon one of Infusion’s patrons and bite into his neck, sucking everything out until the patron is twitching on the stained floor and the newcomer’s body bloats with fluid.

But that’s not what she sees. Instead, it’s three men. They’re pale, but not bleached white, and they certainly aren’t wasting away. Their arms are thick, their chests wide. As one, they stride up to the bar. There’s no sizing up the patrons, no scanning for dangerous characters. Each man’s gate is purposeful, fearless. One settles into a stool next to Shan, and the others wait behind him, snapping at the bartender for attention. After they order a round of drinks, an uneasy silence falls over Infusion. Nobody offers another opinion on Oracle tabs, nobody theorizes on the shamblers’ origin. Everyone stares at their glasses, but the bar’s collective focus centers on the newcomers.

You Shan Hayes?” says one man. His voice is a dagger, piercing the silence and leaving a gaping wound in its wake.

Who’s asking?”

The man’s lips quirk in a smile. “Heard we might find her here.”

Shan holds his stare, tracking his companions in the corner of her eye. One has shifted a hand inside his black trench coat; the other drifts sideways, flanking her. She doesn’t know who sent them, but they aren’t here for a friendly chat.

So Shan acts before they do. She throws an elbow back, sinking it into the gut of the man shifting behind her. As he grunts, more from surprise than pain, she keeps turning, spinning off her seat and using her other hand to snatch his glass of whiskey and hurl it at his companion in the stool beside her. He dodges the projectile, and it shatters in a spray of gold and glitter. That split second of hesitation is all she needs. She shuffles away until they’re in front of her, the bar at their backs. At least she’s not surrounded anymore.

The guy reaching into his jacket withdraws his hand to reveal a weapon. It’s not a gun or even a knife, though. This is a long black baton with ice blue spirals running up and down its length. He lunges at her, lifting the weapon over his head. Reckless.

With ease, she sidesteps the attack and throws herself into a counterstrike. Her knuckles crash into his jaw, but a jarring vibration runs from her wrist to her shoulder. He barely reacts to the perfectly placed blow, now whirling toward her. He even has the audacity to smile.

Of course. He’d used mechs to reinforce his bones. Not a terrible investment for someone on his career path.

The guy with the baton lurches toward her, and Shan reacts instantly. She grabs a syringe from her belt, plunges it into her thigh, and throws the empty canister at her attacker. He dodges, and she backs away, waiting for the serum to do its work.

The cells in her arms split, change, and die, burning calories at a rapid rate. Her stomach feels empty, and the emptiness spreads to her entire body as the serum demands more fuel.

Kim would not approve of this.

Shan forces herself to focus through the sudden hunger, the lightheadedness, the feverish disorientation. Her right arm has grown razor-sharp spines along the edge of the forearm, and her left has changed into a massive claw as hard as a diamond.

This time, when the guy swings at her, Shan plants her feet and blocks with her spiny forearm. His elbow catches on the fresh blades, and when she jerks her arm aside, it shreds his mech. The club rattles to the floor, but he stays upright. Synthetic skin hangs in ribbons around the ruined chrome. He sneers.

Shan sways where she stands, her body burning through calories at an unsustainable rate. She has to finish this. Without CalPills, she can’t hold this form long.

She launches herself at the man with the shredded arm, bringing the full weight of her claw into the crook of his neck. Now he falls, legs buckling under the force of her blow. The claw sinks into his shoulder. It isn’t heavy enough to sever an entire mech, but its serrations still cut partway through. Shan rips the claw free, and he collapses, twitching in the chaos of shorted and severed connections.

The clock is ticking. Shan’s growing weaker by the second.

She kicks a loose barstool at one attacker and lunges at the other. It’s a reckless move, but she doesn’t have the time to maneuver so there’s nobody behind her. She must rely on her own speed, hoping to finish one guy before the other recovers.

In the blink of an eye, she’s on top of her target. The spines on her forearm pierce flesh and tendons on his chest with ease, and when she tears the arm free, he gives a low, gurgling moan. Blood sprays a nearby table. Her stomach roars with hunger, and her head vibrates, but she can’t stop yet.

She whirls to face the last of them, but he’s ready for her. The barstool she kicked is his weapon now. He’s already mid-swing, and the seat catches her under the ear.

Darkness swallows her.


About the Author


Taylor Hohulin is a radio personality by morning, a science fiction author by afternoon, and asleep by 9:30. He is the author of The Marian Trilogy, Tar, Your Best Apocalypse Now, and other genre-bending stories. He lives in West Des Moines, Iowa with his wife, where they are owned by two cats and a dog.


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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Blog Tour: Dogs of DevTown by Taylor Hohulin #blogtour #interview #giveaway #cyberpunk #scifi #rabtbooktours @RABTBookTours @tayhoho

 


Cyberpunk Science Fiction

Date Published: April 16, 2021



Welcome to DevTown.

In this city, holo ads lumber like neon giants seeking advertising targets. Men and women pop Oracle tabs in search of relief or enlightenment or both. Creatures of unknown origin stalk the darkest alleys. In the center of it all, NexDev Tower looms over the city, home to hundreds of floors of top-secret research.

And in its shadow, Shan Hayes kills people for money.

Rejecting the mechanical enhancements so popular in DevTown, Shan needs only two things: The resynth serum that can reshape her body's entire cellular structure, and her hand-cannon containing a sentient parasite capable of converting her blood into weaponized wasps.

As a hired gun for various crime syndicates, there's little of the city's underbelly Shan hasn't encountered. But when a longtime business associate hires her to track down an underling who's vanished into the neon night, Shan finds DevTown still holds secrets more deadly and terrifying than anything she could imagine.




Interview

Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

 

If I could choose one thing for readers to come away with, it would be, “Man, that was fun and weird.” But for the ones who want to dig a little more, there’s a thread running through about the value and inescapability of connection, both to other people and to your community. Sometimes it can feel like life would be easier if the only person you had to worry about was yourself, but not only is that just not a practical way to live, I believe it’s an incomplete way to live.

 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

 

Lately, the hardest thing has been finding the time to sit down and focus for long enough to chrunch out very much at all. I absolutely love my day job, and the more I’ve grown and taken on more responsibility, the more time and creative energy I’ve been spending on the thing that pays my bills. I still love writing, and it’s been really valuable for my mental health, but I’m having to learn how to write in those little 15-minute windows you get throughout the day. 

 

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

 

Dogs of DevTown will be my seventh full-length book. I also have three shorter works floating around, so the grand total will hit 10 on April 16. I’m usually really excited about a book I’m just about to release, so if I’m excluding Dogs of DevTown in the running for my favorite, I’m going to go with Tar. I’m incredibly proud of how the story flows and how it explores its themes—both in ways I planned and in happy accidents.

 

 

If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

 

Zoe Saldana. She brings such an understated intensity to her roles—a power-under-control vibe—that really matches up well with how Shan conducts herself in Dogs of DevTown.

 

When did you begin writing?

 

I’ve been writing stories since my pre-teen years. My junior high friends and I all enjoyed writing, and occasionally we wrote each other into our stories. After I got married, I decided to come back to writing and kick it up a notch, so I committed to spending a little time every day on a real, full-length novel until it was done. I shopped it to some agents and couldn’t get any nibbles, so I self-published and loved the experience. I’ve been an indie author ever since.

 

How long did it take to complete your first book?

 

Alpha was one of the longest writing experiences, because I hadn’t streamlined any pieces of the process. It was about a year and a half from the first outline to having that first paperback on my bookshelf. 

 

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

 

I tend to think of Stephen King that way. I started reading It for the first time as I was starting to write Alpha, and it was my first experience with King outside of the occasional movie based on his work. I was blown away that you could write such an intense, creepy story with such a compelling structure, and yet still pack an emotional punch with the characters. I read On Writing next and really loved his down-to-earth style and simple, actionable advice. I also listened through his Dark Tower series on audiobook as I was writing my Marian trilogy, and that ended up becoming a heavy influence, both for that trilogy and other books that came after.

 

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

 

 Minus the part where I muddle through the middle and hate what I’m writing, the rough draft is such a blast. Getting to dive in and explore the world I’d been dreaming about, to me, is where the most joy comes. A close second is that phase around a year after releasing a book when I’ve had some distance from it and get to look back at it with fresher eyes. I find a lot of the stuff I worried about doesn’t matter quite as much, and there’s something worth being proud of.

 

Describe your latest book in 4 words.

 

 Neon noir with zombies.

 

Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?

 

I’ve started outlining a sequel to Dogs of DevTown. It’s not so much a progression of the existing story as it is a fresh adventure for the same characters in the same setting. This has been a fun sandbox to play in, and I’m looking forward to poking around DevTown a little more.

 


About The Author


Taylor Hohulin is a radio personality by morning, a science fiction author by afternoon, and asleep by 9:30. He is the author of The Marian Trilogy, Tar, Your Best Apocalypse Now, and other genre-bending stories. He lives in West Des Moines, Iowa with his wife, where they are owned by two cats and a dog.


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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Release Blitz: Winning Against All Odds by Kevin Parker #promo #nonfiction #giveaway #releaseday #rabtbooktours @RABTBookTours

 

 


Discovering the true warrior within

Autobiography

Date Published: 4/14/21

Publisher: GMCP



If you were given a second chance at life, what would you do with it?

Kevin Parker was given that chance when he woke in the hospital, hooked up to machines, unable to move, speak, or even breathe on his own. The doctors explained that he had nearly died from a drug overdose. For four months, he hovered on the threshold of death. As his body broke down, he lost his leg and nearly lost his life. His recovery was slow and excruciating. During that odyssey through hell, he made the decision to fight back against addiction. He embraced his inner warrior and began a spiritual journey of self-development. As Kevin forged his new path, he discovered the power that we all have to build a life of fulfillment and joy. Along the way, he became a coach and a public speaker to inspire others to overcome their own struggles.

In Winning Against All Odds, Kevin gives you the inspiration and tools to create a life of purpose and passion. You will discover the secret to unlocking the true warrior within you: If you can turn your biggest weakness into your greatest strength, you will become truly unstoppable.



About the Author

Kevin Parker has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and more than twenty years of experience with addiction. He spent thirteen years in active addiction, using everything from cocaine to opiates and anything else he could get his hands on. When he was twenty-five, his drug use put him in a coma, costing him his leg and nearly his life. He has been clean ever since. His brush with death set him on a spiritual path, and he has dedicated his life to helping others achieve sobriety. He is now a public speaker, recovery coach, professional interventionist, and published author.

Kevin is certified in many modalities of coaching and has studied with top leaders in self-development. He uses his expertise with addiction to help his clients reach their recovery goals. He volunteers in hospitals to help overdose patients and amputees assimilate back into society. Some of his favorite work includes speaking at schools to deter kids and teens from using drugs. Kevin’s mission is to inspire people to discover their passion and purpose and create the life of their dreams.


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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Release Blitz: The Walls of Orion by T.D. Fox #promo #releaseday #giveaway #youngadult #yascifi #yafantasy #rabtbooktours @RABTBookTours @TDFoxAuthor @PublishingAcorn

 

 


Young Adult, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy

Date Published: April 13, 2021

Publisher: Acorn Publishing



Orion City has been on lockdown for ten years. Courtney Spencer, a disillusioned barista doomed to live a “normal” life in a quarantined fishbowl, is certain she’ll never see over the Wall again. Until one rainy evening, Courtney unintentionally befriends W, an eccentric customer who leaves a switchblade in the tip jar. The unexpected acquaintance soon opens the door to a frightening string of questions that flips everything she knows upside down. Stumbling into a world of secrets, lies, and disturbing truths, Courtney grapples with a burning temptation to look again at the Wall. Surrounded by citizens trained to ignore its looming shadow, Courtney no longer can. Intrigued and terrified to expand her world, Courtney finds herself toeing a knife’s edge between the law and justice, learning quickly that the two are not always compatible. She wants to cling to her morals. She also wants to stay alive. But most of all, she wants to see a certain customer again, despite everything in her whispering W is dangerous. In a gritty urban clash of hope and fear, passion and survival, The Walls of Orion explores the edges of light, dark, and the gray in between.


About the Author


A world-romper from the Pacific Northwest who quite enjoys the label “crazy,” T.D. Fox supplements a hyperactive imagination with real life shenanigans to add pizzazz to her storytelling endeavors.

Armed with a bachelor’s degree in Intercultural Studies, her favorite stories to write usually involve a clash of worldviews, an unflinching reevaluation of one’s own internal compass, and an embrace of the compelling unease that arises when vastly different worlds collide.

When not recklessly exploring inner-city alleyways during midnight thunderstorms in the States, she can be found exploring rainforests without enough bug spray somewhere along the equator.


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Twitter: @TDFoxAuthor

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Monday, April 12, 2021

Blog Tour: Under the Light of the Italian Moon by Jennifer Anton #blogtour #interview #giveaway #historical #womensfiction #rabtbooktours @RABTBookTours

 


Historical fiction, women’s fiction, biographical fiction

Date Published: March 8, 2021

Publisher: Amsterdam Publishers



A promise keeps them apart until WWII threatens to destroy their love forever

Fonzaso Italy, between two wars

Nina Argenta doesn’t want the traditional life of a rural Italian woman. The daughter of a strong-willed midwife, she is determined to define her own destiny. But when her brother emigrates to America, she promises her mother to never leave.

When childhood friend Pietro Pante briefly returns to their mountain town, passion between them ignites while Mussolini forces political tensions to rise. Just as their romance deepens, Pietro must leave again for work in the coal mines of America. Nina is torn between joining him and her commitment to Italy and her mother.

As Mussolini’s fascists throw the country into chaos and Hitler’s Nazis terrorise their town, each day becomes a struggle to survive greater atrocities. A future with Pietro seems impossible when they lose contact and Nina’s dreams of a life together are threatened by Nazi occupation and an enemy she must face alone…

A gripping historical fiction novel, based on a true story and heartbreaking real events.

Spanning over two decades, Under the Light of the Italian Moon is an epic, emotional and triumphant tale of one woman’s incredible resilience during the rise of fascism and Italy’s collapse into WWII.




Interview

Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

There are several messages in Under the Light of the Italian Moon. The most provocative is the fact that women create, men destroy; yet we remember men and we erase women from history. Other messages are that the relationship of mothers and daughters continue to evolve, even in death. Another key message is to be wary of dictators and stop them before they go to far. Finally, because there is love, there is hope.

 

 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Because I was writing biographical fiction, the biggest challenge was getting as many facts as I could about the real people’s lives and then connecting the facts with a thread of fiction to pull the narrative together. Inevitably, we cannot know what goes through the hearts and minds of individuals, so thinking through that based on multiple resources was what took the most work.

 

 

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

Under the Light of the Italian Moon is my first book. I know it will always be my favorite because of the fourteen-year journey it took to write it and because it is about the women in my family. I will never be able to replicate the incredible memories I built in researching this book, especially since my daughter was just born when I started and is a teenager now as I am publishing. She has grown up alongside the book. It will always mean so much to me.

 

 

 

If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

I would struggle to cast my characters from Hollywood. Instead, I would want actors from Italy to play the roles or European actors. Hollywood films don’t have the right feel for this book which is more suited to a series or an independent film. I would look at the cast from My Brilliant Friend to begin. In Hollywood, I would likely only trust Focus Films or Hello Sunshine to produce Under the Light of the Italian Moon. It can only be done by a female producer and director. I would not sell the rights to the production otherwise.

 

 

When did you begin writing?

I began writing in 2006 after a very traumatic period in my life. I was pregnant with my daughter and my grandmother went into the hospital. I had always wanted to ask her questions about her life but then I had my daughter and went into heart failure. When I recovered, my grandmother died. I saw the incredible strength of my mother come to a peak at this time. All of this happened in a two week period. From that point, I decided I had to research the lives of my grandmother and the women in the family in Italy and learn what made Italian women so strong.

 

 

How long did it take to complete your first book?

It took fourteen years to write the novel in stolen moments when I wasn’t working in my career or raising my daughter.

 

 

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

Laura Ingalls Wilder and Carolyn Keene inspired me to love reading but it was Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind that struck me the most. Because it is a story of love and women’s resilience, I was especially taken with it and when I wrote Under the Light of the Italian Moon, I hoped to inspire feelings like that in readers.

 

 

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

The research is definitely my favorite part. I loved sitting across from elderly people in Italy and America who had lived through WWII and letting them talk and share memories over coffee. When I looked at them, I didn’t see them as old people, I saw them as they were in my novel.

 

 

Describe your latest book in 4 words.

Italy – Love – Women’s Resilience

 

 

Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?

 

As I was researching Under the Light of the Italian Moon, I found out that another woman in my family had led a very remarkable life. Her story deserves to be shared and she left many audio recordings of her memories. In those recordings, she repeats “I should have wrote a book.” Perhaps I will do it for her.

 

 

 

About the Author

Jennifer Anton is an American/Italian dual citizen born in Joliet, Illinois and now lives between London and Lake Como, Italy. A proud advocate for women’s rights and equality, she hopes to rescue women's stories from history, starting with her Italian family.

In 2006, after the birth of her daughter, Jennifer suffered a life-threatening post-partum cardiomyopathy, and soon after, her Italian grandmother died. This tumultuous year strengthened her desire to capture the stories of her female Italian ancestors.

In 2012, she moved with her family to Milan, Italy and Chicago Parent Magazine published her article, It’s In the Journey, chronicling the benefits of travelling the world with children. Later, she moved to London where she has held leadership positions in brand marketing with companies including ABInbev, Revlon, Shiseido and Tory Burch.

Jennifer is a graduate of Illinois State University where she was a Chi Omega and holds a master’s degree from DePaul University in Chicago.

Under the Light of the Italian Moon is her first novel, based on the lives of her Italian grandmother and great grandmothers during the rise of fascism and World War II.


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getbook.at/JAnton

 

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