Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Release of Shearwater by D.S. Murphy with GIVEAWAY!


Hello readers! Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for
Shearwater Part One
(an Ocean Depths Mermaid Romance)

by Derek Murphy!
Do you love mermaids? Then this is the book for you!
And don't get me started on the awesome giveaway found below.
Happy Book Birthday Derek!
Make some noise and celebrate!! Whoo hooooo!

Shearwater Cover

"I watched the colored lights and sparkles coming off of Sebastian in the dark water, as the ocean began the process of rebuilding his tail. I longed to join him in the water, to wrap my arms around him and let him carry me under the sea; but I wasn’t ready. For him, the ocean was a home; for me it was death. Without being able to transform, the ocean depths would suffocate me, the pressure collapse my bones and flesh."
After her parent's accident, Clara is shipped off to live with a grandfather she never knew, in a town she can't pronounce. In Ireland, she soon discovers that her mother's secret past is filled with tragedy. Trying to track down the truth, she begins going through changes of her own, until she's not sure just who - or what - she is anymore.
Then she meets the mysterious Sebastian, who won't leave her alone, and Ethan, who apparently can't stand to be near her. Both of them seem to have supernatural powers, and she's not quite sure whether they want to kill her or kiss her. Just when things are getting interesting, someone attacks her, and she gets a revelation that destroys everything she thought she knew about the world, humanity, and herself.
>>>Explore the magical coast of Northern Ireland, and an new interpretation of the Tuatha de Danann, the Fomorians, and mermaid mythology.
>>>An innovative paranormal romance with a brand new magical system, and a version of mermaid biology that actually makes sense.
This is PART ONE of the first book (Shearwater), of the Ocean Depths Series.
add to goodreads
Shearwater Part One (an Ocean Depths Mermaid Romance)
by Derek Murphy
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Urban Epics
Available for Purchase:

Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a philosophy major turned book designer finishing a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. He recently decided to stop studying and designing books, and start writing his own.
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win these mermaid bookends!



Monday, January 11, 2016

Book Spotlight on Beyond the Gardens by Sandra C. Lopez

She was a shy artist, who was afraid to blossom into the beautiful flower she was meant to grow into.
At the age of 18, Esperanza Ignacio begins her college years at an upscale Los Angeles art school, where she studies to fulfill her long-term dream in Animation. But she soon learns the truth to the old folktale: "you can take the girl out of the barrio, but you can't take the barrio out of the girl." Even though she's getting financial aid, Esperanza works a part-time job during her break from classes just to make ends meet. Her roommate, Anna, is what she calls a "chicana from Beverly Hills" because of the rich daddy and the new car she got for her quinceaera.
Things get a little confusing for Esperanza when an old friend comes
looking for her, hoping to start a meaningful relationship. But is Carlos
the right guy for her? She never even considered him to be anything more than a friend since high school. Then comes Jake, a gorgeous mechanic, who shares her passion for books and loves her for who she is. What's a girl to do?
Strength and determination help pave the way for the future. And, as she approaches her graduation, she is faced with a difficult decision: should she leave Los Angeles and leave behind her family, her home, and everything she's known? Ever since she was born in the California barrio of Hawaiian Gardens, she's always had to look over the fence, wondering what she's been missing. Now she's taking a flying leap over to see what's beyond the little barrio. What's beyond her family, her friends, and her past? What's beyond the little nothing town, where dreams don't exist? What's beyond The Gardens? Is it life, love, a future? The story of Esperanza is finally concluded in this wildly entertaining and heart-warming sequel.

First Chapter Excerpt:

Chapter 1
As the evening sun was settling over the small hills, I
steadily hiked along the concrete path that led into
the center of the campus quad. I hung to the strap of my
book bag with a light wind sweeping through the air, then
walked past the student store and the food court. The garlic
aroma of chicken chimichangas was overwhelming and
floated around seamlessly. My god, did it smell good. I
almost wished I had five bucks to waste.
Instead, I ignored the aching grumble in my stomach
and moved on.
The dorms were located on the outskirts of the school
next to a highway that was often busy at this time of day.
When I reached Da Vinci Hall, I passed along a few students
bundled in a corner with large pads sketching the scattered
trees on the forefront of the breaking dawn. I had missed the
elevator going up just as the doors were closing. Damn.
Exasperated, I punched in the button for the next one.
But the wait was so long I decided to just forget it and
took the stairs instead.
Crossing down the hallway, I fumbled inside the withered
pocket of my jacket for the keys. I unlocked the door and
then stepped into a tiny cubicle, where I hit my knee passing
by the end table. At that point, I couldn’t decide whether the
furniture was moving closer or the room was just shrinking.
I limped across the room and dropped my bag on
a nearby chair. Then I took off my cap and tossed it
aside. Oh, what a day, I thought while my fingers stroked
through the thick strands of my dark hair. I couldn’t believe
I stayed up half the night to study for a quiz the
teacher decided not to have after all. What a shame. I was
really looking forward to it, too.
After spotting my bed just a few feet away, I fell on
top of it landing on a soft pillow that cradled my head.
Humble sighs trickled through as the evening sun cast a
mild afterglow through the shiny window, shadowing the
room with a tinted orange. I yawned while the soothing
warmth poured across my tanned face. Then I closed my
eyes as a tranquil slumber soon began to take its course.
Suddenly, the door quickly slammed open, and I instantly
bolted upright.
“Hey, good news you lucky people, I’m here!”
“Jesus Christ!” I yelled, responding to the triumphant
arrival of my roommate, Anna.
She looked at me with cavalier naïveté. “Oh, were you
“No, I wasn’t,” I answered. “I was just trying to, that’s
 “Well, as long as you weren’t sleeping.” Casually humming,
she sauntered back into the hall and returned with
several large shopping bags. Most of them looked like
they weighed more than she did.
“Been to the mall, lately?” I asked.
“Just for the last half hour.”
“And that’s all you got?”
“Well, I couldn’t really get much because I had to come
back for a class.”
“Oh, of course.”
I watched as Anna closed the door behind her so she
could peek at the mirror nailed in the back. She twirled
around a few times, checking out all the angles of herself.
Then she fluffed her short, reddish-brown hair, which was
decorated with bright, silver streaks. Under closer inspection,
she turned from side to side and caressed the light,
delicate skin on her face. She checked out everything from
the straight arches in her eye brows to the rich, glossy
color of her lips. Oh, brother, I thought as I reclined back
into position.
There was just no doubt about it. Anna Zapata was
the “Chicana from Beverly Hills.” She, technically, came
from Orange County, but she was possessed by someone
in Beverly Hills. Note: Anytime you see the word “hills”
in a city name, you just know it’s a fancy, ritzy area packed
with people, who just have too much money. For example,
Anaheim Hills, Woodland Hills, Chino Hills, Beverly Hills.
Need I say more?
 “Do you think I need to add another streak?” Anna
asked suddenly.
“Another streak?”
“Yeah, right here near my bangs.”
“Well, I don’t know,” I answered. “I think you wouldn’t
look any different.”
“Would you get up and look,” she insisted.
“Why, I can remember what you look like.”
“Will you just look.”
“Okay, fine,” I said with a roll of my eyes.
With a discouraging grunt, I hoisted myself up and
leaned on the tips of my elbows. I cocked my head in her
direction, straining to give her a glance. My face crinkled
in confusion as I attempted to drum up an opinion.
“Well?” she persisted.
“Well, uh—”
“Be honest.”
“Honestly……you’d look the same.”
“Oh, no I wouldn’t.”
“Yes, you would.”
“No, I wouldn’t.”
“Yes, you would.”
“Oh, what do you know?”
I collapsed back on the bed with a loud murmur under
my breath.
“Can’t you see that one streak will add balance to my
bone structure?”
“No, I clearly don’t see that,” I said.
 “Obviously.” She looked back at the mirror. “Maybe I
should just start all over with a brand new color. What do
you think about that?”
“Why don’t you just go back with the color God gave
you?” I asked.
“Well, that kinda presents a problem,” she said. “See, I
sorta forgot my original hair color.”
“Are you serious?”
“Nope, I’ve been dyeing my hair for years, and it just
sorta slipped my mind.”
“Well, why don’t you ask your mom then?”
“Are you kidding?” she responded. “Who do you think
taught me how to dye my hair? My mother couldn’t find
her own roots if she was digging for gold.”
“Okay, point well taken,” I mentioned. At least now I
knew where her obsession with hair started from.
“Ya know, I think I will add that extra streak,” she
“Whatever you say.”
“And while I’m at the salon, I’ll get a manicure, pedicure,
and a facial,” she added. “I’ll just beautify all this
even more.”
“Are you sure you’re Mexican?” I asked once again.
“For the last time, I am Mexican,” she replied in defiance.
Yo sé hablar español y todo. I just don’t listen to Spanish
music or eat spicy foods. Why, don’t I sound Mexican?”
“I resent that,” she said. “I would stay and fight
you on that, but I gotta go get my facial, manicure, and
“So, back to the mall you go?”
“That’s right,” she said. “Oh, and while I’m there, I
might as well get that cashmere blouse I was thinking
about buying but didn’t. See ya.”
With giddy excitement, Anna glided out of the room.
Finally! Now where was I? Oh, yeah, I was trying to
I lied there and closed my eyes, gradually reacquainting
myself with the peaceful and quiet sounds around me.
At some point, I actually wondered whether or not I went
deaf. But I didn’t. There was absolutely no noise. Wow,
this was nothing like home back in the barrio, I thought.
Back home I had the raucous sounds of police helicopters
flying overhead to lull me to sleep. But not here.
Sounds of the barrio didn’t exist. I haven’t heard screeching
tires against the harsh gravel of the streets, or the sounds
of drunken cholos clashing with shattered beer bottles. Up
until now I figured I’d be stuck with those noises for the
rest of my life. It was amazing. I mean, I’ve heard about
lawns being greener on the other side of the fence; but it’s
another thing to actually sink your feet into that beautiful
grass and wiggle your toes in it. Could I really have done
it? I wondered. Could I have gotten myself away from
the other side and made it all the way here—at the Atkins
Art Institute, the place I’ve been working so hard to get
to ever since I saw Bugs Bunny as a kid? Could this be a
dream? Yes, it was a dream—it was a dream come true!
After conquering the world of high school as a kid
and cherishing the last few moments of summer with
the people who meant the most to me, I can now say
that I had finally made it. I did it! I was here, standing in
the middle of a whole new adventure, ready to begin the
grand odyssey of college life, ready to discover the answer
to the question that’s been nagging me for years: What’s
beyond The Gardens?
Ever since I was born in the small town of Hawaiian
Gardens—a California barrio that a lot of the locals referred
to as The Gardens— my life always had barbed
wire around it, and I just couldn’t get through. I was
caged like a raggedy, flea-infested dog, always snuggled in
a dirty corner while surrounded by the foul stench of that
filthy pound. I would look at the world through steel bars,
wondering what it would be like to be on the other side.
Was there some other life beyond those gates? Was there
something better over that fence? I never knew; I’ve always
just wondered. And I kept on wondering even when we
moved to East L.A., where I was only transferred from a
smaller cage to a bigger one—my curiosities still the same
though. I knew I was going to die if I stayed right where
I was. I knew it was never going to get any better unless I
got out. Well, now, I was a dog that had gone free. I finally
escaped my cell. I have passed the gates of limitations,
running every step of the way, ready to discover what I
have been missing all my life. I was now going to see this
new world through fascinated eyes and finally mark my
territory wherever I go. What changes await me? What
will I find? Who will I meet? How will the next chapters
of my life going to end this time? Or were they going to
end at all? Maybe my ending will turn out to be a brand
new beginning. I couldn’t wait to find out!

To read the full story of Beyond the Gardens by Sandra Lopez, copies are available here:

For more information, visit the author’s website at or connect with her on Facebook at 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Book Review of The Jewel by Amy Ewing

The Selection meets The Handmaid's Tale in this darkly riveting debut filled with twists and turns, where all that glitters may not be gold.

The Jewel means wealth, the Jewel means beauty—but for Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Born and raised in the Marsh, Violet finds herself living in the Jewel as a servant at the estate of the Duchess of the Lake. Addressed only by her number—#197—Violet is quickly thrown into the royal way of life. But behind its opulent and glittering facade, the Jewel hides its cruel and brutal truth, filled with violence, manipulation, and death.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her life . . . all while trying to stay alive. But before she can accept her fate, Violet meets a handsome boy who is also under the Duchess's control, and a forbidden love erupts. But their illicit affair has consequences, which will cost them both more than they bargained for. And toeing the line between being calculating and rebellious, Violet must decide what, and who, she is willing to risk for her own freedom.


I was looking through my Kindle library trying to find a book to read and came upon this one. Not sure when I bought it, just seem to collect them and get to them later sort of thing. I liked the cover and figured, "why not give it a go?" Two days later I was finished with the book and left very satisfied!  

This seems to be a distopian sort of novel or maybe it's another world entirely. Either way I'm glad it's not the world I live in. The pace of this story is spot on and moves quickly, not giving anything away to soon and leaves you plenty to guess about. I found it easy to relate to Violet and felt empathy for the situation she found herself in. 

This is most certainly is a teen novel, or young adult, but even as a 30 year old I still enjoyed it immensely. It's a dark world in which it is set but I think if you like The Hunger games or The Selection. I can totally see myself reading the next book in this series at some point in time. 


Monday, January 4, 2016

Blog Tour for Obsidian Worlds by Jason Werbeloff and GIVEAWAY!!

Jason Werbeloff’s short stories have been downloaded over 20,000 times. Obsidian Worlds brings together his 11 best-selling sci-fi shorts into a mind-bending philosophical anthology.

In Your Averaged Joe, a man’s headache is large enough to hold the multiverse. Q46F is an obsessive-compulsive android who finds love in a zombie-embroiled apocalypse. The end of the world isn’t all that bad – The Experience Machine will fulfil your every desire (and some you hadn’t considered). A sex bot dares to dream of freedom in Dinner with Flexi. But mind what you eat, because The Photons in the Cheese Are Lost. Don’t fret though: The Cryo Killer guarantees that your death will be painless, or your money back when you’re thawed. Unless, that is, you’re The Man with Two Legs.

Plug into Obsidian Worlds for these and other immersive stories, including the hilarious Time-Traveling Chicken Sexer. Your brain will never be the same again.


(from The Cryo Killer):

“Inesa and Paul, good to meet you. Who referred you?”

“Mr. Camfrey’s wife.”

Paul’s hands are working. Picking at each other. At the cuticles.

“Ah yes, I was sorry to hear about his passing.”

“I think,” she lowers her voice, “that it was professionally done. Heart attack, I hear.”

I lean forward. “You’d like a similar package, ma’am?”

Paul speaks up for the first time. “Is it quick?”

If I had a penny for every time a client asked me that question. “Painless,” I say, “or your money back.”

Paul harrumphs.

“Excellent,” says Inesa, beaming. “You’ve been doing this a while?”

“Best in the business,” says Janet, striding over to us. She places a hand on my shoulder. “You’re safe with Barker.”

“So, you’re wanting the double package?”

Inesa squeezes her husband’s arm. Every carat on her ring finger catches the sunlight. His nod is miniscule.

“Yes,” she replies after a moment.

“Those are difficult.” I lean back in my chair, weighing the ring out of the corner of my eye. “Coroner looks closely at doubles. Need a plausible cause of death. Right now all I have in stock are gas leaks and home invasions. Invasions can get messy – brings down the property value. I suggest the gas leak. Although …” I glance at Paul. “Home invasions are on the rise.”

Paul scratches the skin over his knuckles. His lips have taken on a bluish tinge. I’ve seen all manner of manners displayed in the chairs on the other side of my desk. Clients respond to their impending deaths in all sorts of ways. Paul’s reaction isn’t unique.

“Gas leak,” says Inesa definitively.

Paul nods, a quick jerk up and down. “When’ll it happen?” He can’t meet my gaze.

“I could probably fit you in next week. Any preferences?”

“I’m writing an exam on Tuesday,” says Inesa. She looks to Paul, “And I’m sure you’d like to finalize that merger?”

He groans.

“Late next week?” she asks.

“Let’s see … Janet, check my availability, please.”

“Could do Friday next.”

“Excellent,” says Inesa.

“But …” Paul is fading to a paler blue by the minute. Droplets dot his forehead. “I just can’t live with the thought of this hanging over me for the next ten days. I just …” He swallows. “I just can’t.”

I reach out a hand and touch the man’s shoulder. His golf shirt is saturated. “Not to worry, sir. A memory wipe is included. You’ll never know you were here.” I offer him my warmest smile. Janet calls it the Big Daddy. “In fact, you may’ve been here before, and you wouldn’t know.”

Paul eyeballs me. “Have we been here before?”

“I couldn’t tell you.” I wink.


* I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*

So this book is amazing. Well written, thought provoking, and otherworldly would be the best way for me to describe it.   This book of short stories will remind  you of the Twilight Zone. Each story is unique and has it's own world that it's in; from zombies to futuristic times. 

Some of the stories can be a bit graphic so this book would be best with teens and older. Anyone who is a fan of supernatural, zombies, and sci-fi. I would strongly suggest picking up (it's just 99 cents right now!) this book and then telling your friends how amazing it is.

About the Author:

Jason Werbeloff is a novelist and philosopher. He loves chocolate and his Labrador, Sunny.
He's interested in the nature of social groups, personal identity, freedom, and the nature of the mind. His passion is translating philosophical debate around these topics into works of science fiction, while gorging himself on chocolate.

Amazon Author Page – download all of Werbeloff's fiction from Amazon.

Newsletter – subscribe to get 'The Solace Pill' free, as well as VIP access to Werbeloff's latest fiction.

Goodreads – read reviews of Werbeloff’s fiction.

Facebook and Twitter – follow Werbeloff for release date information on upcoming shorts and novels.

Website - read about the author, and the philosophy behind his fiction.

Buy Link:


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