Namesake (Fable #2) by Adrienne Young #bookreview #YA #fantasy #pirates #TuesdayBookBlog

Trader. Fighter. Survivor.

With the Marigold ship free of her father, Fable and its crew were set to start over. That freedom is short-lived when she becomes a pawn in a notorious thug’s scheme. In order to get to her intended destination she must help him to secure a partnership with Holland, a powerful gem trader who is more than she seems.

As Fable descends deeper into a world of betrayal and deception she learns that her mother was keeping secrets, and those secrets are now putting the people Fable cares about in danger. If Fable is going to save them then she must risk everything, including the boy she loves and the home she has finally found.

Filled with action, emotion, and lyrical writing, New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young returns with Namesake, the final book in the captivating Fable duology. 

Fable, the first book in this duology, was one of my favorite reads last year, and I kept my fingers crossed that Namesake wouldn’t let me down. It didn’t.

Again, I have to mention both stunning covers in this series. The designer deserves a commendation. As with Fable, much of this book is also spent on the high seas, and I’m wondering why I haven’t read more books with that setting. I could just imagine the smell of the salt air and feel the wind in my face along with Fable. During the course of this story she’s proven herself a cunning, resourceful survivor several times over, but I have to admit she started to annoy me a bit in this book. The stakes are high, she learns a shocking secret about her family, and is forced into some difficult situations, but comes across as selfish at times and forgets about how her actions affect others. She’s not the only one with something to lose. I was happy to see a couple of characters call her on it and get her to see the bigger picture. West surprised me. He holds his cards close to the vest and has a dark side he’s not proud of, but he has some profound moments of honesty that don’t come easy for him. Made me like him even more. Saint also has some unanticipated but much needed moments.

I adore Fable’s found family of the crew of the Marigold and was happy to learn more about Paj’s and Auster’s backstory. I also like the way the author cleverly weaves it into the story and turns it into an important part of the plot. A character I didn’t expect to see again makes it back for a quasi-redemption story and turns out to be a nice addition to the crew.

The final scenes are nailbiters and tension-filled. Intricately layered plans are built upon the word of pirates – but can you really trust them? With several surprises that blindsided me, I was worried about how things would play out until the very end. When all was said and done, Namesake is a fitting end for these characters that I’m sad to say goodbye to.

High seas adventure, gem mages, pirates, secrets, backstabbing – this is a thrilling YA fantasy series and one of my favorites I’ve come across recently. I’m now a confirmed pirate fan.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Vaccine, Alex P. Keaton, and #AmWatching

Hubby, both sons, and I have all had our first vaccine – yay!!!! We go back around the second week of April for the last one and other than sore arms, we have no side effects to report. Vaccination appointments seem to be plentiful around here right now, which is a blessing. Hoping it’s that way everywhere soon. I heard that after having COVID and then receiving the vaccine, some people’s residual effects are disappearing. I’ve noticed a slight increase in my ability to smell, so maybe there’s something to it.

Hubby and I spent Thursday evening watching Harlan Coben in conversation with Michael J. Fox. I’ve been a Fox fan since Family Ties, and Coben’s Myron Bolitar series is one of my favorites. If you’ve read those novels, you’re familiar with Myron’s friend Windsor Horne Lockwood III, aka Win. This new spinoff series is from Win’s perspective – and he’s a morally gray character at best whose heart is in the right place most of the time – maybe? Our signed copy should be here this week. Coben and Fox have been friends for over a decade, and we spent a humorous hour listening to them talk about their new releases, Alex P. Keaton, golfing trips, and writing. A fantastic way to spend an evening.

For those of you who know what a big Marvel fan I am, you shouldn’t be surprised that I watched The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+ this weekend. It’s also no surprise that I loved every minute of it. The two of them didn’t share screentime yet, but I’m looking forward to that snarky relationship between them. Hubby and I also watched the movie Let Him Go starring Kevin Costner and Diane Lane. All I’ll say is that it was a waste of talent, and we’re thinking about emailing the production company and requesting a refund of our $6.

Can anyone explain what happened to Gutenberg editor in the past few days? When I create a post, the font is extremely small, and images are out of whack when I insert them.

Fragile Remedy by Maria Ingrande Mora #bookreview #YA #dystopian #LGBTQ

Sixteen-year-old Nate is a GEM—Genetically Engineered Medi-tissue created by the scientists of Gathos City as a cure for the elite from the fatal lung rot ravaging the population. As a child, he was smuggled out of the laboratory where he was held captive and into the Withers—a quarantined, lawless region. Nate manages to survive by using his engineering skills to become a Tinker, fixing broken tech in exchange for food or a safe place to sleep. When he meets Reed, a kind and fiercely protective boy that makes his heart race, and his misfit gang of scavengers, Nate finds the family he’s always longed for—even if he can’t risk telling them what he is.

But Gathos created a genetic failsafe in their GEMs—a flaw that causes their health to rapidly deteriorate as they age unless they are regularly dosed with medication controlled by Gathos City. As Nate’s health declines, his hard-won freedom is put in jeopardy. Violence erupts across the Withers, his illegal supply of medicine is cut off, and a vicious attack on Reed threatens to expose his secret. With time running out, Nate is left with only two options: work for a shadowy terrorist organization that has the means to keep him alive, or stay — and die — with the boy he loves. 

This is a fabulous debut novel with so many elements to love. At the mention of Genetically Engineered Medi-Tissue, this science nerd’s heart sped up. I immediately wanted to know more about Nate and his world – and it’s not pretty. Every day is a struggle to survive – food and safe housing are scarce in the Withers, and Nate’s gang scavenges for everything they have. And his gang? Found family is one of my favorite tropes, and this band of scavengers grabs your heart early on and doesn’t let go. They’re also taking care of a Pixel, a young girl, and each of them would sacrifice their own life to keep her safe. Her relationship with Nate is one of my favorite aspects of this story.

Stakes are sky high with this group. Nate is dying a slow, painful death due to lack of Remedy, the drug that keeps GEMs alive. Alden, his supplier, is unable to obtain anymore. Their relationship is a complex one, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about Alden, but I think his heart is in the right place most of the time. Nate is withholding secrets that could end his freedom from his gang, but also make his friends’ lives easier. Violence is spreading throughout the Withers, and no one is safe. With seriously limited options, decisions are made that put all their lives in jeopardy. At one point, I thought there might be a sequel to this novel but was happy to discover it’s a standalone, and plot threads are resolved by the end. It wouldn’t have been a patient wait for the next book.

As a dystopian fan, I’ve read several novels in the genre. Something I missed in this book was more information about the conflict between Gathos City and the Withers. It’s touched on, but not really fleshed out. I initially thought it would be a primary source of conflict, but that’s not the case.

Fragile Remedy offers outstanding LGBTQ representation, a main character who’s an adorable cinnamon roll, a sweet, tentative first love relationship, and thought-provoking scientific elements. It’s also about sacrifices, making hard decisions, and fighting for your family no matter what.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

WWW Wednesday: What Am I Reading?

WWW Wednesday is a meme from Sam at Taking On A World Of Words

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m just about to finish The Ones We’re Meant to Find. While this cover is beautiful, it doesn’t scream sci-fi – I honestly thought it was a contemporary story until I saw a review on another blog. I’d seen several people mention the shocking twist – but I guessed it very early on. Maybe I’ve read too many sci-fi books. Or maybe there’s another twist I hadn’t gotten to?

One of the most twisty, surprising, engaging page-turner YAs you’ll read this year—We Were Liars meets Black Mirror, with a dash of Studio Ghibli.

Cee awoke on an abandoned island three years ago. With no idea of how she was marooned, she only has a rickety house, an old android, and a single memory: she has a sister, and Cee needs to find her.

STEM prodigy Kasey wants escape from the science and home she once trusted. The eco-city—Earth’s last unpolluted place—is meant to be sanctuary for those commited to planetary protection, but it’s populated by people willing to do anything for refuge, even lie. Now, she’ll have to decide if she’s ready to use science to help humanity, even though it failed the people who mattered most.

Over the weekend I finished The Cost of Knowing. This book absolutely wrecked me, but tells such a powerful and timely story.

Dear Martin meets They Both Die at the End in this gripping, evocative novel about a Black teen who has the power to see into the future, whose life turns upside down when he foresees his younger brother’s imminent death, from the acclaimed author of SLAY.

Sixteen-year-old Alex Rufus is trying his best. He tries to be the best employee he can be at the local ice cream shop; the best boyfriend he can be to his amazing girlfriend, Talia; the best protector he can be over his little brother, Isaiah. But as much as Alex tries, he often comes up short.

It’s hard to for him to be present when every time he touches an object or person, Alex sees into its future. When he touches a scoop, he has a vision of him using it to scoop ice cream. When he touches his car, he sees it years from now, totaled and underwater. When he touches Talia, he sees them at the precipice of breaking up, and that terrifies him. Alex feels these visions are a curse, distracting him, making him anxious and unable to live an ordinary life.

And when Alex touches a photo that gives him a vision of his brother’s imminent death, everything changes.

With Alex now in a race against time, death, and circumstances, he and Isaiah must grapple with their past, their future, and what it means to be a young Black man in America in the present. 

Next up is The Infinity Courts. Reviews are positive, and I really like the sound of this one. Another stunning cover!

Eighteen-year-old Nami Miyamoto is certain her life is just beginning. She has a great family, just graduated high school, and is on her way to a party where her entire class is waiting for her—including, most importantly, the boy she’s been in love with for years.

The only problem? She’s murdered before she gets there.

When Nami wakes up, she learns she’s in a place called Infinity, where human consciousness goes when physical bodies die. She quickly discovers that Ophelia, a virtual assistant widely used by humans on Earth, has taken over the afterlife and is now posing as a queen, forcing humans into servitude the way she’d been forced to serve in the real world. Even worse, Ophelia is inching closer and closer to accomplishing her grand plans of eradicating human existence once and for all.

As Nami works with a team of rebels to bring down Ophelia and save the humans under her imprisonment, she is forced to reckon with her past, her future, and what it is that truly makes us human.

From award-winning author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes an incisive, action-packed tale that explores big questions about technology, grief, love, and humanity. 

Bridge of Souls (Cassidy Blake #3) by Victoria Schwab #bookreview #MG #supernatural #TuesdayBookBlog

Where there are ghosts, Cassidy Blake follows … unless it’s the other way around?

Cass thinks she might have this ghost-hunting thing down. After all, she and her ghost best friend, Jacob, have survived two haunted cities while travelling for her parents’ TV show.

But nothing can prepare Cass for New Orleans, which wears all of its hauntings on its sleeve. In a city of ghost tours and tombs, raucous music and all kinds of magic, Cass could get lost in all the colourful, grisly local legends. And the city’s biggest surprise is a foe Cass never expected to face: a servant of Death itself.

Cass takes on her most dangerous challenge yet… 

I don’t usually read middle grade books, but when one of my favorite authors writes a MG series, you can be sure I’ll make an exception.

I listened to the first two books in this series, and it took only moments for Cassidy and her ghost best friend Jacob to charm me. Her parents are The Inspecters, a ghost-hunting team venturing to various haunted locations, but Cass’s mother is a believer and her father a skeptic. Being enchanted with the city of New Orleans, I was thrilled one of the most haunted cities in America is the setting for this novel. While touring the city with her parents and guide and experiencing music at Jackson Square, beignets at Cafe Du Monde, tarot card readings, and old cemeteries, it becomes apparent something has found Cass and is determined to take her beyond the veil permanently. Enter Lara, a new friend Cass and Jacob met in Paris in the previous book. She’s a Ravenclaw, an old soul, and a no nonsense type of girl who occasionally butts heads with Jacob. Soon the three of them are facing their greatest challenge, and the stakes have never been higher.

Schwab did a wonderful job at capturing the essence of NOLA and bringing it to life in the novel. I felt as if I revisited the city (sure wish I could have eaten a beignet while reading). If your MG (or young at heart) readers are interested in supernatural stories involving charismatic characters, a little bit of history, and a lazy black cat, this is a series I highly recommend.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

#GameNight, #AmWriting, #AmWatching

Who likes game night? We received Blank Slate and Scattergories as Christmas gifts and had friends over for a fun-filled game night on Saturday. These are friends we’ve known for over a decade, so playing with people you know so well is a definite advantage in Blank Slate (LINK). We’re all pretty competitive, so that also makes it even more interesting. In playing Scattergories (LINK), I encountered epic brain fail. If you haven’t played, I’ll give a quick description. You’re given a list of categories (example – name a toy, weapon, movie, fruit, etc.). A die containing letters of the alphabet is rolled, and your answer to each category must start with that letter. Sounds simple, right? Not for me. Put a word in front of me and I can give my partner/team numerous clues to help them guess it. But when it comes to Scattergories, I’m horrible. It’s like the doors slammed shut and my brain hung out a sign that said closed for business. It’s very weird – there must be a short circuit in there somewhere.

I feel like I turned a corner with the WIP last week. I’ve mentioned that I write out of sequence – last week I put every chapter/file in order and created a concise roadmap to the end. It’s still very rough, and I need to write two big chapters and add word count to others, but I’m further along than I’d expected. Going into this sequel to Subject A36, I had a tentative title for it, but then the characters surprised me. I’d expected a certain character to carry the bulk of the story, but instead, another one stepped into that role. And it makes sense. I guess sometimes the characters know what works better for the story than the author. Has that happened to you before?

Has anyone watched Coming 2 America, the sequel to Coming to America? Hubby and I hadn’t seen the first one in years and wanted to do a rewatch before seeing the new one. We were shocked to see the release date was 1988! I’d figured twenty years maybe, but over thirty? Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall have aged well. It was still a fun movie after that many years and we’re looking forward watching the newest one this weekend.

Have a safe and healthy week!

Phoenix Flame (Havenfall #2) by Sara Holland #bookreview #YA #fantasy

Bestselling author Sara Holland continues her blockbuster contemporary fantasy series about the Inn at Havenfall with this unforgettable sequel.

Maddie thought her problems were over. She saved the Inn at Havenfall—a sanctuary between magical worlds—from the evil Silver Prince. Her uncle the Innkeeper is recovering from a mysterious spell that left him not quite human. And there are still a few weeks of summer left to spend with her more-than-friend Brekken.

But there’s more work to be done to protect the Inn—Maddie must put an end to the black-market trading of magical objects and open the Inn’s doors to the once feared land of shapeshifters.

As she tries to accomplish both seemingly impossible tasks, Maddie uncovers secrets that could change everything. What if saving everyone means destroying the only home she’s known?

This next breathtaking fantasy from the bestselling author of Everless is perfect for fans of Melissa Albert and Holly Black.

This duology has two of the most stunning covers I’ve come across in the past couple years. Both of them deserve extra scrutiny because they convey images you may not initially notice.

The premise of Havenfall is intriguing – a neutral territory that hosts annual summits for citizens of different magical worlds. It reminds me a little of The Continental Hotel from the John Wick movies. I looked forward to being back in that setting and continuing the adventure with these very likeable characters. After finishing the first book I had mixed feelings, but had an idea where the sequel might go and wanted to continue with it. When it headed in the direction I’d hoped – exploration of one of the other magical worlds – I was excited. For maybe fifteen minutes. Because that’s about the length of time spent there.

Phoenix Flame is a relatively short novel, coming in under three hundred pages, and that’s probably why the story feels so rushed. Without revealing spoilers, I’ll say a few relatively important plot points are glossed over and barely touched on. Surprising developments are dealt with and dismissed in a few paragraphs or pages. I was left with lots of questions, but had to shrug and move on. When I finished the book, I honestly thought there must be a third in the series because a major plot thread was left dangling in the wind. After checking on Goodreads, I learned that wasn’t the case.

This series held my interest and contains fascinating world-building and diverse characters I enjoyed spending time with, but left me with too many questions at the conclusion. If both books, or even the second book, had been longer or the series expanded to a third novel, I think it would have offered a more complete story.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme #bookreview #YA #fantasy #TuesdayBookBlog

For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner’s daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare heir—and the dark, stolen magic that comes with ruling.

When Maralyth becomes embroiled in a plot to murder the royal family and seize the throne, a cat-and-mouse chase ensues in an adventure of dark magic, court intrigue, and forbidden love.

With so many series on the market, trying to keep up with when the next book’s release while lamenting the length of time between the heart-stopping cliffhanger and the next novel, the thought of reading a standalone really appealed to me and was one of the reasons I requested this book.

I’m a reader that enjoys a fairly consistent pace. Description is necessary in a story to give a sense of place and imagery, but several pages of details will bog down my reading experience, and I tend to skip over them. That wasn’t the case with this novel. This author manages to give vivid descriptions and provide character depth with a minimal amount of words – it’s a real talent and a high priority if you’re writing a standalone fantasy novel.

Mara is a young woman ahead of her time who speaks her mind, possesses a strong moral compass, and doesn’t shy away from hard truths. She’s able to set aside her own wants and needs to see the big picture. If you’re trying to seize the throne, these qualities check off some important boxes. Alac is the second son of a king – the spare heir. He doesn’t feel loved or seen by his father, and his relationship with his brother, the heir to the throne, isn’t oozing brotherly love. Having other dreams for himself, Alac has no interest in taking the throne or getting caught up in the dark magic that comes along with it. When Mara and Alac meet up, it’s a bit of insta-love at first, but they’re not immediately caught up in the throes of passion – which is a relief. They enjoy a tentative friendship while harboring deeper feelings for each other, but then run into some serious roadblocks in their relationship. There’s some major conflict here.

As a wine lover, I enjoyed the mention of the vineyards and Mara’s and Alac’s interest in growing grapes and possibly forming a cooperative for smaller vineyards in the area. It also provided them common ground and something to bond over. It’s not a topic I’ve come across in other YA books.

Plenty of YA novels featuring the lost-king/queen-seeking-to-reclaim-the-throne trope are out there, and I was hoping this novel wouldn’t follow a familiar path – it didn’t. Instead, I met two level-headed, mature MCs who are thrown into life and death circumstances, but put the needs of others ahead of their own. I honestly didn’t know how they’d manage to get out of some of their situations, so expect some twists and surprises. Forgiveness in many forms is a prominent theme, as well as doing what truly makes you happy in life (and it’s not always sitting on a throne). The Stolen Kingdom is a novel I enjoyed and would recommend to fantasy fans looking for a standalone, well-paced story.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Cheesecake, #Writing, and #AmWatching

No recipe to share today. Hubby and I were out of town visiting the oldest son this weekend. It’s been a couple months since we’ve seen him – and his cat – so we were excited to spend some time with him. He lives just a few miles from a Cheesecake Factory, home of my utmost favorite dessert, Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake, so we had brunch there on Sunday before going home. I got a piece to go, ate every single bite of it that afternoon, then felt miserable. But it was so worth it, guys. Haven’t had that chocolatey-peanut-buttery goodness for well over a year. What’s a little suffering compared to that?

A couple weekends ago I attended (online) the Juniper Writing Conference hosted by authors C.J. Redwine and Mary Weber. It began Friday night and continued into Sunday afternoon. So many fantastic guest speakers and educational workshops, as well as “meeting” other writers in the chat section then following each other on social media. If you’re interested in staying informed on future workshops, resources, and events, click HERE to be added to their newsletter.

Did anyone see the debut of Debris last week? Once I saw the trailer – floating people in fields! – I knew I had to watch it. It’s along the lines of X-Files or Fringe. Two agents are partnered together – he’s CIA, she’s MI6 – but neither quite trusts the other, thinking their respective countries aren’t entirely forthcoming with information. They’re investigating unusual events occuring after debris from an alien spaceship crash falls to Earth. Reviews have been mixed, but I’m intrigued enough to keep watching.

Have a safe and healthy week!

#BlogTour Reaper Aftermath by Jonathan Pongratz #NewRelease #horror #RRBookTours

I’m so excited to be a part of this blog tour! I read the novella, Reaper, a couple years ago and was really hoping the author would expand on the story. Wishes do come true, and here’s the proof. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but since I’m such a big horror fan, you can be sure it will be soon.

It’s been five years have passed since the Reapers invaded Earth, but Gregory is back and trying to survive the wastelands left behind!

Welcome to the book tour for Reaper: Aftermath by Jonathan Pongratz! Read on for an excerpt and a chance to win 1 of 3 print copies of the book!

Reaper: Aftermath

Genre: Sci-Fi Horror/ Apocalypse

Expected Publication Date: February 5th, 2021

Five years have passed since the Reapers invaded Earth and tore it asunder. Gregory, his mother, Trent, and their group of scavengers hunt the decimated wastelands for survival.

But when a sudden Reaper attack forces Gregory through a Reaper door, he finds himself in a bizarre place, one that may provide answers to the Reapers’ past and where they came from.

Can Gregory put together the pieces of the past and find his way home, or will he just become another human casualty in the lost war against the Reapers?

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

I crouched behind a row of old dusty cars beside my mom and two other sharpshooters, my body trembling. Don’t freak out. Be brave. Remember your training.

I took a deep breath and dared a peek ahead between two cars. Across the street was a deserted grocery store covered in grime and soot. It was a small shop, maybe two or three times the size of an average gas station. A bunch of old, rotted wooden planks covered the windows, but the front entrance was untouched. Whoever had been here was either dead inside or long gone. No one in their right mind would leave their home unfortified, not anymore.

All was quiet except for the wind, but I knew better. We all did. Any second and the Reapers could be right on us. Though they never came out during the day, we couldn’t leave anything to chance.

Mom pulled out her walkie. “Proceeding with root-out of potential Reapers.” She retrieved an oddly-shaped ball constructed from cans, tins, and several small bells we called chatter boxes from her supply bag and hurled it over her head.

The chatter box clunked loudly on the ground, bouncing before stopping in front of the seemingly-empty store. For a couple moments we all sat there, waiting for any sign of Reapers.

              Mom’s walkie crackled to life. “Patricia, I think we should–”

              “Quiet!” Mom hissed. “I think I hear something.”

              I couldn’t hear anything, but there was definitely a difference in the air, like it was charged somehow. Just like the basement five years ago. Images of the past filled my mind: My little sister Imogen, the electrified feeling down in the basement, the Reaper’s sudden appearance. I shook off my thoughts and edged close to my mother.

              “You’re right, something’s coming.”

Mom nodded, her gaze fixed on the grocery store. “Be brave, Gregory. If you have to, fall back.”

I shook my head. There was no way I was gonna miss out on this.

Her eyes widened, and she gripped her walkie once more. “Reapers, incoming!”

 I drew my Glock from my holster, turned the safety off, and tried to look through the abandoned store’s smudged entrance. It was dark inside, but I could see two hulking figures scrambling to the front of the store at breakneck speed.

Oh shi–

Two Reapers crashed through the entrance in an explosion of glass that blasted shards in a thousand directions. As the projectiles clinked on the ground I stared at the monsters before us, a chill running down my spine.

 Large, festering boils covered their reddish, emaciated bodies. They stood tall on two clawed feet, but could easily switch to all fours for speed, doubling the danger of their razor sharp appendages. The Reapers opened their mouths, revealing multiple layers of jagged, pointy teeth as they gave ear-piercing shrieks of rage.

A grin spread across my face. Time to die, assholes.

I aimed, then pulled my trigger as deafening gunshots came from my left and right. We’d hit the one on the right several times. A thick, black liquid oozed from its wounds, but it was still in fighting shape and pretty freakin’ pissed based on the hideous snarl on its face.

The aggravated Reaper leaped forward on all fours, bounding over the car we were hiding behind and landing in front of the sharpshooter furthest from me. It gave a mighty roar, snatching him up and throwing him like a rag doll. He went flying, landing on a nearby car’s windshield with a loud crack. The monster eyed the other sharpshooter with furious, predatory yellow eyes.

Shit, shit, shit! I lunged towards the Reaper as I targeted it, then yanked on my trigger.  It gave a high-pitched cry of pain and staggered back a step. Damn it! I’d only hit its shoulder. Its hateful gaze was now focused on me.

A sudden gunblast boomed from my comrade, and the Reaper fell to the ground, unmoving. A large pool of black sludge gathered underneath its head where the bullet had exited.

Before I could rejoice in the kill, Mom shouted nearby. I spun around. She was battling the other Reaper in front of the grocery store with a long knife in hand. She had deep cuts on her arms and legs, while the monster sported several nonfatal gunshot wounds. I tried to aim for the Reaper but they were moving too fast, desperately circling one another for an advantage. One wrong move and I’d shoot my own mother.

The Reaper took a wide-arching swipe at her, but she dodged to the side, cutting its leg as she went. The monster screeched and turned to attack, but mom slid between its legs and was now behind it. Point blank, Mom whipped out her revolver and fired three shots into the back of the Reaper’s head. It fell to the ground, twitching in its final death throes.

Mom lifted her combat boot and stomped on its head with a sickening crunch. The Reaper didn’t move anymore. She spat on it, then pulled out her walkie as I approached. “All clear. Torch the bodies.”

I glanced back. Twenty yards away behind another row of dead cars, our small group of noncombatants emerged. Mom strolled towards the grocery store and I jogged to catch up to her, eager to see what was inside. Whatever it was, it had better be worth it.

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

Jonathan Pongratz is a writer and author of captivating horror, urban fantasy, and paranormal stories. When he’s not writing, he’s busy being a bookworm, video game junkie, and karaoke vocalist. A former resident of Dallas, he currently resides in Kansas City with his halloween cat Ajax. By day he works magic in finance, by night he creates dark and mesmerizing worlds.

Jonathan Pongratz | Facebook | Goodreads | TublrInstagram

Twitter Tags: @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours

IG Tags: @jonathanpongratz @shannon_rrbooktours #rrbooktours #reaper #reaperaftermath

For a chance to win 1 of 3 print copies of Reaper: Aftermath, click the link below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f234/?

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Book Tours