Tendrils Re-Release Tour @HBarboWriting @MoBPromos

TENDRILS
Where ’What if’ becomes ‘What is’
AUTHOR: Holly Barbo
COVER DESIGNER: The Graphics Shed
GENRE: Short story collection covering the following genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Sci-fi thriller, Sci-fantasy, Contemporary, Contemporary Thriller, Historical Fiction and Fantasy

Stories come from any number of places. One could start from a memory, a photo in a magazine or from pondering a news item and wondering, “What if?”
This collection arose from that sort of random stimuli. Some are pure imagination of science fiction or fantasy. Others developed from random historical facts or the disturbing news stories of war-torn regions.
This is a collection of stories for those who like to think.
Includes 4 award-winning short stories.
“I enjoyed every story in Tendrils! I am impressed with the versatility and well thought out environment in each setting. Obviously good research was put into writing these stories as well as a wonderful gift of empathy with a delightful touch of practical wisdom. In my opinion the last story would even make a good movie!” (Cynthia)
“An excellent compilation of short stories over different genres. I was highly impressed by the quality of the writing and her use of words, which dragged me in on every page.” (Bookcollecter)
“I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I had a hard time putting the book down. Some stories are short, some long. All are suspenseful & of different genre. I am amazed at her extensive vocabulary and her overall knowledge on so many subjects. Her imagination takes you on a great trip every time with every story. None are ever boring. I highly recommend this latest book of hers. You will not be disappointed. Sit back & take yourself on an adventure. You will learn something too along the way.” (Paul and Patti L. Jordan)
Excerpt
SAMPLES FROM 5 OF THE SHORT STORIES
The Tin of Honey:
Zoe knelt by the tiny trickle of water that seeped out around the rocks. She wet some dirt and caked it on the stings that liberally dotted her face and arms. Zoe breathed a sigh as the mud eased the discomfort. The little girl would be filthy by the end of the day, but she doubted anyone would notice.
There was a scuff of sound and Zoe whirled low into the deepest shadows of the rocks. “It’s just me,” came the whisper. Bright green eyes under a messy thatch of brown peered over the edge of the gully.
The little girl sagged in relief. Sam wouldn’t tell on her.
The boy studied his small friend. “I see you found the bee’s nest. Did you get the honey Robson wanted?”
The little girl nodded. She knew the man’s desire for the sweet. He had impatiently pried open the can and grabbed a honeycomb as soon as she delivered it last time. Zoe pointed to the large tin. She stood and brushed the drying mud off her palms as she moved to the container and lifted it into her arms. Sam shook his head at the picture. The tin seemed almost as big as she was. “You got that okay? Both of us have to get back to the work team. We’re late. I’ll see you there.”
Zoe shook the tangle of tawny-colored hair out of her eyes and nodded toward the top of the gully. Sam picked up his bucket of berries and, with a wave, disappeared over the rise.
The youngster scrambled up the slope. The tin was big and awkward in her arms and she stumbled, jarring the container. She struggled to get her balance. Though she knew Sam would have helped her, she couldn’t allow that. There were consequences if she didn’t pull her weight.
Stopping at the edge of the wheat field, she set the big tin down again and rubbed at the bee sting at the edge of her collar of obedience. Nothing could be done about that particular sting. It was just going to chafe against the hard edges of the band. The collar was impossible to take off. All the kids wore one. Robson had found them in the old prison storage room and used them to ensure the orphans did as they were told. The collar was constructed in a series of overlapping metal flakes. It reminded her of the scales of the snake she had seen near the compound last week.
With a sigh, she squatted down and wrapped her skinny arms around the tin. She got the weight balanced and started through the waving grass. Running was impossible, but she hurried the best she could. Sam was far in the distance and would reach the other orphans probably ten minutes ahead of her.
A Crystal Snowflake:
Orion gave a quick scan of the room. He needed to make sure he had everything important. His backpack was stuffed and the computer case held so much that there were edges of paper sticking out of it in a haphazard manner. The slender young man slung the strap of the computer bag over his shoulder, grabbed the backpack and headed for the front door. His hand paused as he reached for the knob and he looked out the window.
It was dark and he could see the snow falling through the street lights. There didn’t seem to be anyone about, so he slipped from the house and walked casually to his trusty old Chevy, his breath coming out in rapid visible puffs. The nonchalance was an act. He wanted anyone watching to assume he was going to M.I.T. to get in some late night work. He scanned the shadows, hoping that no one was there. He threw his backpack on the passenger seat then wedged the computer case between it and the seat back. He wanted both within easy reach. Once buckled in, he allowed his nervousness to slip out and thoroughly checked the view from his mirrors.
He eased onto the street and when there was no sign of his tires slipping, increased his speed. Orion reached into the pocket of the backpack for the pre-paid phone that he’d picked up when he determined his cell had been tapped. At the stop sign, he punched in a number. The snow flurries were increasing and he switched on the wipers. Orion waited for his friend to pick up.
He smiled when he heard her voice and responded by saying, “I’m on my way and no one is following me. Just in case, I sent instructions to our safe place. Don’t worry about retrieving the envelope unless I don’t get there by morning. Okay. Gotta go. I’ll be at your door for breakfast with your favorite croissants. Have the coffee brewed.”
Orion laughed at the response. “Okay. I need to concentrate on driving in this stuff. See you soon, Chayse. Bye.”
Beyond the stop sign, the road sloped to a picturesque country bridge, one of many that dotted the New England states. He had to admit it was beautiful in the snowfall but with the driving conditions worsening, he focused on how the car responded to his small adjustments in steering. In the weak light, he didn’t notice the watcher standing in the shelter of some trees on the far side of the road. The muffled figure took a box out of his pocket, pointed it at the car and pushed a button. The loud sibilant schwuff of the slush hitting the car’s undercarriage drowned out the pop.
Without any warning, Orion’s power steering quit. Working to compensate on the slick road, he fought to correct the fish-tailing motion of the car. “Shit!” He tapped the brakes and was horrified as his foot went all the way to the floor.
Fighting the wheel and the momentum of the old Chevy on the slippery surface became his entire focus…and he was losing. He tried gearing down and applying the emergency brake, but the car went into a spin and he caught a glimpse of the bridge railing coming up too fast. “Shit!” The car broke through the wooden barrier and sailed into the darkness over the side.
Octopus’s Garden:
“Come on, Allie, wake up! Your fever’s broken and we’ve got to get out of here. They plan to kill you!”
A girl with big dark eyes looked over her shoulder from the look-out position near the hallway. “Shh! Keep it down, Mitch! See if you can get her upright. She’s going to be worthless until she gets some fluid and one of those energy bars inside her.”
He lifted the pale girl to the edge of the bed and propping her up, touched a glass of water to her lips. “Allison, take a sip. Open your eyes and look at me. I need you to pay attention.”
The weak girl made a protesting sound but took a sip of water. Her eyelids fluttered. “Where am I?”
Sensing his building impatience, the girl at the door whispered sharply, “Tell her and get her to eat the bar!”
“All right, all right, Pilar!” Mitch returned his focus to Allie. “Can you hear me? I’ll tell you but not until you take a bite. The food will help you feel more like yourself.”
With her eyes still closed, Allison chewed. “Answers now!”
“We’re in the medical research pod of Oceania Four, the Underwater Habitat west of California. A hundred and twenty of us were recruited to help the scientists find ways for humans to adapt to living and working for long periods of time underwater. Do you remember any of this?”
Half of the bar was gone and Allison was sitting up on her own. “Vaguely. Keep talking.”
“We came here to work in the labs. Our college debt would be forgiven and we were guaranteed research jobs.”
“So…I got sick?” The bar was gone and Allie started on the second. She could focus now and was looking around the dimly lit room as she listened.
“We all did. It turns out we’ve been guinea pigs for their gene manipulation experiments.”
“Oh shit. Give me the bottom line.” Allison slipped off the bed and onto her feet. Shaking a little, she reached for the glass of water and a third of the highly-efficient power bars.
“Forty-nine died screaming in agony. Thirty-four mutated into…things beyond nightmares. Eighteen of us made it through the fever and were lucky enough to wake at night and slip out of the facility between security shifts. We’ve come back for you but we’re nearly out of time. There are eighteen remaining and they’re all in beds in this ward, desperately ill. They’ll not get a chance to win or lose their personal battle in the cellular war. We’ve learned the decision’s been made to do a major cover-up and ‘sanitize’ this facility. They plan to euthanize all their test subjects in the morning. That means us if we’re caught!”
The Ball:
Baakir slept curled against his little brother in the dusty darkness. He woke as his mother touched his shoulder. “We must go. Now!”
The boy didn’t question but rose from the sleep mat and waking his brother, lifted the child to his feet. There were sounds from the end of the village: a cacophony of harsh shouts and screams. He took Azizi’s hand and hurried to the doorway where his mother crouched, peering out. The flickering firelight from burning huts glinted on her face and the wire jewelry around her neck. There were shadowed figures moving around the far huts.
“Stay low and follow me.” She looked at her sons to see if they understood.
Both boys nodded.
Slipping a bundle onto her back, Kofi melted into the blackness. Baakir was close enough to touch her skirt but didn’t loosen his grip on little Azizi’s hand. The three became part of the moonless night as they dashed for the depression of the wadi and the deep grass beyond. Each knew they could be discovered at any second!
They were going to the safety of Kofi’s old village. It was isolated in a remote region of the country and away from most of the fighting. The journey would be dangerous but staying was certain death. Baakir heard the throaty grourff of a hunting lion in the distance to his left and swinging little Azizi onto his back, quickened his pace.
At dawn, they hollowed a place in the tall grass. Azizi slid off his back as Baakir sank to his knees. Within minutes both little boys were curled up and sound asleep, the tears on Azizi’s cheeks drying to leave salt trails, which glistened in the morning light.
The Heart of a Shadow:
Giselle came to awareness with a confusion of pebbles and dust pelting her. A stench of concrete powder, burnt plastic, acetone and something she couldn’t place overwhelmed and made her cough. Elle lay disoriented, wondering where she was…what had happened?
The last thing she remembered was walking through the village. The stalls in the open air market were closing for the day. Elle exchanged cheerful banter with the merchants as they gathered their goods and earnings, preparing to go home and spend an evening with their families. She’d grinned at the antics of the flower seller’s daughter who’d been mischievously peeking through the cheerful yellow blossoms. Charmed, Elle had taken her picture. The child’s bubbling laughter was so contagious that several shoppers had stopped just so they could share in the merriment. Abruptly, there was a flash of bright light and the world exploded.
***
At first Elle could only hear the patter of falling debris. The young woman tried to raise her hand to brush the grit out of her eyes. Her body was sluggish and it was a few moments before she managed to touch her face. Elle’s fingertips brushed against painful areas and her hand came away sticky. She was alarmed to see blood smearing her dusty hands.
With a small groan, she turned her head. Chunks of bricks, concrete and boards littered the street. Shock and denial froze her body and took her breath. The beautiful little girl from the flower stall lay broken and still not eight feet away, tossed against the cobbles like a lost doll. Elle stretched her arm toward the child in desperate supplication, beseeching the little girl to blink or move, but it was too late. The muscles in the young woman’s face and chest contracted painfully in grief as she drew in a shuddering breath and began to cry in wrenching bursts.
The sound of running feet and shouts filled her ears. A young man knelt beside her. Efficient hands ran over her, searching for injuries. He leaned low and placed his cheek against hers, making soothing sounds between his questions as her body wracked with sobs. Finding nothing broken, he lifted her to lean against his chest. Water sloshed and a woman’s soothing hands gently washed the cuts on her face. Gradually, Elle’s breathing settled enough for her to answer.
“I’m Giselle Bouvier. People call me Elle. I’m shooting pictures of life at the edge of the war zone. Thought you were out of shelling range.”
The young man brushed her hair away from a cut on her forehead that a woman was swabbing with antiseptic. “Elle, you are one of the lucky ones. The missiles came without warning from miles away. There are rebels in the hills.”
About the Author

Holly’s world is shaped by her love of family, the beauty of the natural world and an irrepressible creative drive. She has always been curious and sees life through questions. These four characteristics color her writing voice and her stories frequently evolve from her asking “What if….?” Her tales tend to have non-urban settings with nature contributing to the plot, building discordant themes inside a seemingly peaceful refrain.

My motto: Weaving Alternative Worlds with Threads From Today.

A Love Restored Re-Release Blitz

 

 

 A Love Restored by Amy Miles
Series: A Cherished
Hearts Novel

 

        
A woman who spends her life on the sidelines.
A man desperate to discover his true worth.
A woman who seeks love in all the wrong places.
Ashlyn Doyle has spent her life trying to blend
in. A sweet wallflower by nature, she is unaccustomed to the spot light, but as
the personal assistant to a bestselling romance author with a drive to enjoy
life to its fullest, she throws herself into her work.  With a hectic
touring schedule to maintain, a party animal boss to keep in line and the task
of discovering the perfect eye candy to grace the cover of Ender’s Betrayal,
Ashlyn is in for more than she bargained for.
Determined to make his mark on the world, Slade
Collins leaps at the opportunity to audition as cover model for Tamsin Archer’s
newest novel.  Tales of Tamsin’s wild parties, affinity for hot men
and the wild success that has sky rocketed every former model to fame leads
Slade to use his sly smile and British accent to quickly attract the attention
of both Tamsin and her shy assistant. But the faster Slade moves toward the
dream he so desperately desires, the more he begins to realize fame isn’t all
it’s cracked up to be. 
Tamsin Archer loves to party, drink to excess
and enjoy every drop of success her name has afforded her. With Ashlyn’s firm
grip on the reigns of their five city tour, Tamsin soon settles in to the task
of bedding her newest cover model, Slade Collins but soon discovers that all the
drunken hookups and empty wine bottles in the world can’t fill the void that
she feels.

 

Sometimes you have to learn to love yourself
before you can love someone else. 


 
  
 

 

 

 

The Nememiah Chronicles Re-release Tour

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AUTHOR: D.S. Williams
EDITOR: T.D. Williams
GENRE: Paranormal Romance
LENGTH: 326 pages
ORIGINAL PUBLICATION: December 17, 2012
COVER DESIGNER: Hellvis
The Nememiah Chronicles - 300X450

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Charlotte Duncan has relocated to the small town of Puckhaber Falls, with only one goal in mind – to end her life after a devastating tragedy in her past.
The friendly nature of the local residents, along with an accidental meeting with a mysterious stranger, gives Charlotte reason to pause and reconsider the path she has chosen.
She finds herself drawn to Lucas Tine – the man is an enigma and Charlotte has difficulty understanding why she is so enamored of him. What is it about this man, which she finds so difficult to ignore?
As time passes, Charlotte discovers Lucas’s mysterious background – and in turn, reveals some hidden secrets of her own.
The Nememiah Chronicles – Knowledge Revealed is the first book of The Nememiah Chronicles Series by D.S. Williams.
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The sound of rushing water increased in volume and between two ancient firs a fine mist rose over the water, creating a mini rainbow in the dappled sunlight.  I slowed down, cautiously picking a safe route towards the river’s edge.  The water was crystal clear – every rock, every pebble was visible on the sandy riverbed, and the flow of water was smooth and languorous.  Thick foliage drooped along the steep banks, trailing into the water.  It was a joyous montage of reds and yellows as the trees turned in the cool autumn weather, preparing for winter ahead.  There was a steep plunge in the direction of the falls and the water flowed and eddied as the river sped towards the drop.  It must have been forty feet from the top of the falls to the river below, the water rushing down the sheer drop and crashing onto the heavy boulders at the base.  I stepped steadily closer, my breathing calm as I watched the water roaring across the edge.
This was where I would end my life.
It would be easy this way, quick and leaving no room for uncertainty.  One single step and I’d be beyond failing, as I’d done so many times before.  It was isolated; nobody would find my remains and that would solve one issue which had stopped me in the past – the idea of someone finding me.  I wanted nobody in that situation, forced to deal with the trauma of finding a dead body.
And it would be fast, probably only a few seconds, to hit the boulders below.  If the fall didn’t kill me, death would come swiftly in the icy water.  I picked up a small branch and threw it into the water experimentally, watching it spin and twirl towards the edge of the waterfall before plummeting to the rocks below, vanishing under swirling foam and mist.
Satisfied with my plan, I smiled grimly.  I felt calm and confident, totally at peace with my decision.
Almost intuitively, I took a small step forward, out onto the slimy, moss-covered boulders at the lip of the waterfall.  And another.  My teeth began to chatter.  Only two more steps and my life would be over, two more steps would lead to a serenity that had been missing from my life, for so long.
I took one tiny step, mesmerized by the water thundering down the cliff.  I was vaguely aware of being wet, the spray wafting up from the falls and landing in fine droplets on my face, running down my neck.
Just one more step.
I lifted my foot, but something hooked firmly around my waist in the same second, snatching me backwards from the falls.  I lost my footing on the slippery rocks and tumbled backwards, plunging headfirst into the freezing river.  The shockingly cold water took my breath away and I swallowed a large mouthful, my throat, and lungs burning.  It felt like a thousand needles plunged into my skin as I struggled underwater.  Before I had a chance to panic, I was wrenched upwards and found myself facing an infuriated Lucas Tine.
Are you trying to kill yourself?” he demanded, his eyebrows furrowed together while he glared at me with undisguised fury.  His shoulders were stiff with tension, his hands gripped firmly around my upper arms.
Though distracted by the abrupt dunking, I saw the flare of silver in his dark blue eyes, pulsating with energy as he continued to stare down at me.  He was waiting for a response and I cowered beneath his angry gaze, feeling like a complete and utter fool.  I was soaked through – my jeans, sweater, and the heavy coat I’d been wearing were all wringing wet and my teeth chattered incessantly.  Even if I wasn’t freezing, I couldn’t answer – what was I going to say?  How could I tell this complete stranger that his guess was correct, and he’d just stopped me from achieving my desire?  I did the only possible thing in the ridiculous circumstances.  I burst into tears.
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Revealed 2
Revealed 16
Revealed 17

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Wife and mother to four demanding teenagers, D.S. Williams started writing at the age of five, when life was simpler and her stories really didn’t have to make much sense. When you’re five, happily ever after always ended the story and how you got there didn’t matter so much.
Older and wiser, D.S. Williams has continued to write… and write… and write. With the support and encouragement of her husband and friends, she has finally come to the conclusion that she can’t keep hiding from the world forever and should try sharing the numerous novels which have been written over the past 40+ years.
D.S. Williams enjoys writing (obviously), reading (voraciously) and making lists (obsessively). She’s enjoyed a lifelong addiction to foods starting with ‘ch’ – cheescake, chocolate and chips – and when it comes to books, she loves a really good cliffhanger. Be warned!
She shares her life with her husband of twenty eight years, the Gang of Four and the current furry residents, Tuppence the Groodle and Angus the Bull Mastiff.
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