Pathways of the Dead Blog Tour w Giveaway!

Pathways of the Dead Tour

Pathways of the Dead

Pathways of the Dead (Among the Dead #2)

Matty doesn’t want to end the world. Unfortunately, she has no choice.
Through a series of harrowing events, Matty DiCamillo discovered that she is the heir to an ancient prophecy, destined to destroy her own reality to save countless others. Now she finds herself locked away and interrogated by beings known as the Aetelia, who are out to force the apocalypse to their liking. After a breathless escape and an attack by the band of rebel Aetelia known as the Watchers, Matty must not only cross worlds but time itself to elude capture and face her destiny on her own terms. Aided by her lover Kristy; Tommy, a man trapped in a boy’s body; and an ageless woman named Omarosa; she must face death itself to reach the City of the Dead.

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Excerpt:

Grabbe tried to speak, but the back of his throat had been, coated by some substance that seemed to hold his vocal cords in place.

Jazshael reached into his coat pocket. “Well, I’m glad you’re awake. Wouldn’t want you to miss all the fun.” He produced a full syringe, its needle sparkling in the low light of what he assumed to be Jazshael’s new lab.

Grabbe cleared his throat, cutting away some of the gunk from the back of his throat. He knew Jazshael; engagement would be the only path to keep from getting jabbed with that needle. “What…what are you doing with me?”

Jazshael glanced toward something off to Grabbe’s left; no doubt some mechanical monstrosity just out of Grabbe’s line of sight. “Something glorious, my friend. You can count on that. And don’t worry that your uhm…” He twirled a finger around the circumference of his head. “…sacrifice, that it will be wasted.”

Sacrifice. Not the kind of language you wanted to hear around Jazshael. It usually meant that he’d singled you out for some sort of experiment, some “great leap in evolution.” Grabbe’s stomach twisted and he strained against his bonds. As he did so, lances of pain shot through his body from every place where the cables pierced his flesh. He cried out, going slack almost immediately.

Jazshael frowned. “Oh, come on, I expect that from creatures way less than you. Struggling, pain, it doesn’t become you, I’m afraid.”

Grabbe had no reply – he found himself lost in a world of pain.

Jazshael went on. “You know, I’m glad it came down to this. You of all people know what’s going on here, you, my friend…you get the calculus. You always did.”

“That’s why I left,” Grabbe gasped.

“Yeah, about that.” Jazshael frowned. “That kind of thinking got you into this mess in the first place. You never did have the stomach to do what it took to move things forward. Unfortunate character flaw, really.”

Grabbe shook his head, wincing as another pain shot through his neck. “Samyaza has what it takes to move things forward. You think he’s the wave of the future?”

Jazshael slammed his left fist against the wall and stormed toward Grabbe, jabbing his free index finger at him. “Don’t. Don’t you do that. You know how I feel about him.”

Some things never changed. “So why are you here? I thought he kicked you out.”

The Aetelia chuckled, the light in his eyes shining pure insanity. “Of course he did. What else was he going to do, keep around a blatant threat to his status quo? No, no. And then once he’d kicked me out, he got it into his thick skull that he could create his own bioweapons. Can you believe that?”

It took Grabbe a moment to realize that Jazshael expected a reply, and a coherent one at that. He mustered up the best response that he could. “Why would he do that?”

“Good question. You know about London, right? All the crap that went down there before all this began?”

“I know a little bit.” Word about Samyaza’s disaster had traveled fast. The Watchers had built up a network of worldwide followers in the closing years of World War II, channeling just enough energy to slip the bonds of their Aethyric prison and aid their many worshippers. Rumor had it that a human insurgency had sprung up and battled the Watcher operation in London during the Summer of 2011. The Watchers had won at last, but Samyaza lost his eye in the process.

Jazshael nodded. “I figured. Always had the pulse, you did.” He straightened up, smirking. “Here’s the funny thing. So he and his people, he and his goons, they’re looking for the perfect subject to turn into a bioweapon. They have no idea what they’re looking for, though. Maybe a tunneler, like your Chosen One? Maybe shoot people up with a virus and turn them into monsters. So inelegant,” he said, and snorted. “But get this – the dumb bastard stumbles across a Class A Folder. You know what those are, right?”

Grabbe shook his head. “Should I?”

Jazshael slapped the back of his head. “You never did pay attention to me. Naughty boy. Get up to the curve, man. Folders can – you know – fold reality. Create life. You think tunnelers are something?” He scoffed. “They’re nothing next to these Folders. And they’re volatile too – the Folders, I mean. There are so few and every single one of them seems to implode and end up dead before you know it. So anyway, this genius – I’m talking about Samyaza here, you know – decides he’s going to turn a Folder into a fucking bioweapon. I know, right?” he said, and laughed.

Jazshael began to pace now, gesticulating with the hand that held the syringe. “I mean, it’s like…what is he thinking? He didn’t even try to consult me. Could I have done anything with her? I don’t know, but I’ll tell you this.” He drew close, and Grabbe could smell the rank sweetness on his breath. “Even I know not to play with that kind of fire, friend.” He scratched his head, almost jabbing himself with the needle. “You know that, right?”

“I do,” Grabbe said. Jazshael had always been prone to these rants, with severe injury or worse for those who dared interrupt. Grabbe saw no need to worsen things.

“So this is real funny. Wait ‘til you hear this. Eventually the Folder gets away, so they create a clone and try to turn this clone into their perfect weapon. They make all kinds of mistakes. There’s this…this…genetic waste left over. Sentient genetic waste, mind you. And get this,” he said, and grinned. “One of those mistakes? She damn near killed the bastard. Can you believe that shit?”

Grabbe found himself genuinely astonished. Had Samyaza lost the plot? Jazshael clearly had his drawbacks – Grabbe had a sick feeling he would find out a whole lot more about that soon – but objectively, the move had made no sense for the Watcher, especially given the danger of these bioweapons. “Why would he do that?”

Jazshael clapped his hands twice. “Thank you! That’s what I said. Why would you do such a thing? I mean, what are you, crazy?” He erupted into peals of manic laughter that rang off the walls. “I’m out of my damned mind, and I wouldn’t do that.” Another laugh, and he wiped his eyes. “Anywho, so everybody knows that he lost his eye during that mess in London, right?”

“Sure.”

“Total lie. Complete fabrication, he, uh…well, I mean, it was that piece of waste. That half-folder. Crazy shit is what I’m trying to tell you here. And Samyaza thought he could replace me. This Watcher, who thought he could replace me, did this. Can you believe that?” That’s genius at work, my friend. After that mess, Samyaza is so desperate he comes to me, tells me ‘I need you to revive the program.’ We need to go full on ahead, since the Reckoning is coming and we can take the Watchtowers, maybe run the show after all. I figure I’ll play along. I mean, why not, what loss is there for me? I can become my own free agent. And he has to pay me.” He laughed and then wagged his finger. “But I’m not a Watcher anymore. Oh, no. Don’t think that.”

“I wouldn’t make that mistake.” What little energy Grabbe still possessed drained out of him, as if the cables sucked it from his flesh. Good. Maybe unconsciousness would simply overtake him before Jazshael did.

Jazshael chuckled. “Good. Because I’m going to give this organization a kick in the ass. I am the Aetelia to do it. And you, my friend,” he said, approaching him and waving the needle, “You are the instrument of Samyaza’s destruction. I mean, how fucking beautiful is that? Don’t tell me you wouldn’t like to get him back for what he did to poor little Anushka all those years ago.”

The words struck right to Grabbe’s core. “And if I don’t want to?” Grabbe would have sworn the words were barely audible. The energy drain and the pain evoked by Anushka’s name had conspired to push him further into darkness. He had to press every word out with a concentrated effort.

Jazshael’s mouth hung open; in another situation, Grabbe might have laughed. “Buh…wuh…what kind of answer is that? Why wouldn’t you want to be? If Anushka doesn’t work, then look what he did to your fucking family or the Watchers. Remember what we were supposed to be? We were supposed to help those people. He did that. He did that to our. Fucking. People.” He punctuated each of the last three words with hard blows to his own chest. “It demands death. It demands a strong leader, because I tell you what, when that Reckoning comes around, if…if we’re out there with our pants down around our asses and the Lost Aetelia or whoever throws the switch on reality, all hell will break loose. I want to be on top of that pile when it’s all done, and I want you by my side. Do you get me? Do you read what I’m writing here?”

Darkness closed in on the corners of Grabbe’s vision. “If the Chosen One fails, there’s not going to be anything to rule.” The words came from the end of a long, dark tunnel.

Jazshael lifted Grabbe’s drooping head, looking into his eyes. “That’s the whole point of this exercise, my friend, the crux of our drive, you could say. You’re going to make sure that happens.”

“How?” This word would be Grabbe’s last. He could feel it. The sensation that crept over his body felt worse than unconsciousness, worse than pain, more like death, or something even worse.

“Like this,” Jazshael said.

Grabbe’s eyes flew open as Jazshael jabbed the needle into the tender flesh above his ear. A moment later, quicksilver cold flowed through the hole and into his brainpan. Energy coursed through his body and the world dissolved in a blue metallic wash that faded to gray. He tried to speak, but the thickness in his throat had become far worse, an actual obstruction blocking not just words but air.

It would be only moments before his consciousness disappeared down a dark hole in the center of this new, gray world.

Jazshael leaned close to Grabbe’s ear, whispering the last words that Grabbe heard on this side of consciousness:

“You will become a god.”


About The Corridors of the Dead (Book #1)
Long ago, a mysterious being known as The Lost Aetelia crafted an elaborate series of Watchtowers, along with their resident guardians, the Aetelia, to watch over the Universe. In time, they sent a select group of their own to Earth, tasked with watching over the fledging human race. This group used humanity to challenge the established structure of the Universe. A bitter war ensued, and these rebels, who had come to be known as Watchers, disappeared from history.
The time of the Aetelia – now known as angels – is returning. After a fateful night of violence, Artist Matty DiCamillo finds herself drawn into this world by a mysterious savior, who becomes a driving force in Matty’s new life.
Both driven by and fighting the words of prophecy that lay out her destiny, Matty, her lover Kristy, and her best friend Daniel, follow this mysterious savior on a journey from Northern California to Las Vegas on a path that crosses through the boundaries of time and space.
As Matty struggles to understand her destiny, she discovers that her savior may not be what she seems, and that even the denizens of this twilight world have no idea what lurks behind the stage dressing of reality. Matty finds herself not only racing to rescue the woman she loves, but learning that she herself could be the cause of the Universe’s day of reckoning.

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Jonathan D Allen

Jonathan D Allen
Born and raised in the rural Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Jonathan wrote his first fantasy/sci-fi novel at the age of 13. After studying writing and communication at James Madison University, Jonathan turned his passion for writing into a full-time technical writing career in the DC Metro area, working for companies like Sprint/Nextel, Time Warner Cable, and Sirius XM Radio, where he had an opportunity to combine his love of music with his love of writing. He may have drifted away from fiction at times, but it was always his first love – and he always returned to it. Now living in Bethesda with his wife, two cats, and two quirky guinea pigs for which his publishing company is named, he crafts the kinds of stories that he had always hoped to read but just couldn’t quite find.

Website – Blog – Twitter – Facebook – Pinterest

Check out the blogs hosting the event and join the International giveaway
running here and on each tour stop!
Pathways of The Dead Tour schedule:

Tourwide Giveaway!!

There will be an International giveaway running for tour, and the prizes up for grabs are:
GRAND PRIZE: $25 Amazon Gift Card and an ebook copy of Pathways of the Dead
Runner-up: Ebook copy of Pathways of the Dead

GO HERE TO ENTER!!!

I am honored to close out this tour! I hope you guys check out this author and this series! I also want to wish you extra good luck on the giveaway!! A big thanks to Dark World Books for letting me share this with you guys! Happy reading and later gators!! 

Leadership and Redemption Series Blog Tour w Giveaway!

Michael Cantwell Tour Banner 450 x 169

Soul Intentions

Soul Intentions

Leadership and Redemption

Book One

Michael Cantwell, CCIM

Genre: Fiction, fantasy

Publisher: KSM Publishing

ISBN: 978-0615725741

ASIN: B00A3DCRCI

Number of pages: 292

Word Count: 95,068

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Book Description:

Caeles Novo has lost count at how many times he has have taken a soul. He now fears his actions are not saving his existence, but damaging it. It is a painful transition when you question if your life has been a lie

Soul Intentions

Chapter 1 

The granite steps were damp and cold from the drizzling rain falling on an early British afternoon.  The time had come for me to return what was never mine.  My subject sat with his hands covering his face, his shirt torn at the sleeve, his breaking point was near.  I cautiously sat down on the same steps to his right knowing the time was now or never.  It took nearly five minutes before he reacted to my presence.

     “Your face seems familiar to me.   People assume because I meet hundreds from around the world and I am generally surrounded by bright lights and cameras, I would not notice when someone is following me, but I do.  Who are you?  Are you a fan looking for an autograph?  Or do you want to sit here and pity me like so many others do now? ”  

     “It is not important for you to know who I am, but only that you focus on what you believe is lost in your life.  If you don’t, it will be impossible for me to give you back what you seek.”  My subject had been without his soul far too long.  I do not know for sure what it must feel like to lose something so valuable, yet in watching my human targets struggle without them for several decades, it is not a feeling I want to know firsthand.

     His tired face and frail body slumped even more at the shoulders.  However, for the first time in months, I knew he was ready for me to restore his soul.  He stared down into the cold grey steps where we were sitting and replied, “I know I am lost.  My wife was taken from me far too young.  My ability to do the only thing in life I have ever loved was destroyed, yet you sit here, a total stranger and I feel like you know all this without me telling you, and I don’t know why.  Did you do this to me?  Did you take my most precious of gifts from me?  If you are the one who is punishing me, please stop.  My daughters need me.  My band needs me.  I need me.  Please, I know you have been following me for several months and I don’t know why.  But if you can help me, I beg you to release me from my misery!”

     Maybe I did pity him to some degree.  Here was someone who had everything most humans seek, yet because of one mishap in his life, he threw it all away.  

     “You did this to yourself fool, but I will try to repair the damage you have done.  However, I cannot repair what is broken until you open your mind and body.  Allow yourself to fully understand what it is you have lost.  It is imperative you admit to yourself what you have done to your life.  Stop blaming your ills on everyone else and admit you are the one responsible, not me, not your family, and not your band mates.  It will be in a single moment, a simple frame in your life, where I can offer back what was stolen from you because you stopped appreciating all which was given to you.” 

        As he looked up and turned my way, I focused on his face and hit the shutter release.  It was done.  I noticed one small tear had leaked from the corner of his left eye as he asked, “How long was I without it?”  It was forbidden for me to be doing any of this, but I felt obligated to tell him.  It seemed I had broken so many ancient laws already, what was one more?  Choking back my own emotions, I could only respond, “Longer than I had anticipated, but let us both take comfort in knowing you are whole again.”  After delivering my final remark, I could only hope he had found his long lost hopes and dreams and my Elders would not send me back on another mission to steal again what I had just returned.

     Myself, I felt drained of life, yet somehow relieved.  My subject was given a reprieve, something I had never attempted.  My body was reacting in the opposite way to what it felt when I stole all the souls in my past.  To return one was new to me, and expressly forbidden by the laws of our High Council. 

     A young woman, who seemed to recognize my subject, was now sitting to his left.  She was speaking to both of us, but my senses were so dulled I could barely speak.  I was not sure I could stand and walk away, but I knew I had to try.  My legs wobbled as I hobbled down the many steps of The Royal Albert Hall.  For a few moments, I was not sure I would survive my last snap of the camera shutter.  It was not until a tall stranger, clean shaven and pale skinned with long flowing white hair, whispered for me to lean on him.  When I did, instantly my abilities to function were restored.  

      You see, there are some cultures that believe someone can steal your soul if you take their photograph or they see themselves in a mirror.  Others believe you can lose part of your soul with the click of a shutter release and still others have no desire to seek the truth.   Those who believe that such a force exists know the truth.  How can I be so certain in my words? 

     I am one of the few remaining who roam this earth and are responsible for collecting broken souls.  They are the damaged souls, ones which my Elders have deemed far too ruined to deserve to remain within their earthly bodies.  However, in my opinion, the time has come when my Elders have lost their way for not hearing my pleas.  Anytime I talk of exploring it my way, I am branded a heretic and shame is brought to my family name.  “Caeles our mission is clear and concise, the longer you deny our truths the more you damage all of our kind.”   

     In Latin they call it “anima furtim,” to steal one’s soul.  However, I have over time started to develop my own plan, my own system.  Unfortunately, my first attempt made me weak and disoriented.  It is a system I need to perfect before I try again.  The next time I might not be so lucky.  Despite my Elders objections and threats, there will be a next time.

     Since some in our highest court had lost faith in my judgments, I was now being tracked in the same manner I would track my own subjects.   Once word got back to them, the Elders were furious with me, but what else is new?  I had again over stepped my limits and used my powers with little regard for our laws.  They were furious that I restored a soul years after I had stolen it from the original owner.

      “We ordered you before our Council yet again because you have been taught beyond a shadow of a doubt our powers are to take, never to return.  Our mission is not to offer hope to the hopeless or restore what has been deemed forever broken.  These people we send to you as subjects, they do not deserve to keep their most precious of all gifts and you know this Caeles .  You have been taught this since you could barely read and write, yet you insist on disobeying us, even with our most sacred law!  Have you nothing to say to defend your actions?”

     What could I say?  It is true in all my years of reading the ancient scrolls, nowhere does it read where our kind can or should restore souls our kind had already stolen.  Our mission on earth has always been to steal from humans who no longer appreciated their blessings on earth.  Yet as I stood before the six men who comprised our highest Council, the Elders who would decide my fate, I felt confused.  I felt that way because I knew our powers grew stronger the more we stole.  This was not my opinion or a lesson taught to me.   No, this was more, it was physical.  I could feel all my senses explode with energy every time I ripped a soul from my intended target.  I could feel it when others of our kind stole as well.  So I knew it was very important for our own survival to continue to steal.  But after I restored my first soul, and discovered respite on another’s shoulder, I felt a moment of peace in my own soul, never realized in my past. 

     “No, Elder Orcus, I cannot defend my actions before the High Council.  I only beg that before you hand down your ruling you seek to understand the power of healing can be a powerful source of energy, possibly more than destruction.”      

     “Damn you Caeles, have you not listened to a word I have told you today?  Or the last time you stood before this Council?  We have shown you mercy in the past, yet you continue to develop powers not permitted by our laws.  Do you not realize I have the power to destroy your soul as you stand in front of me?

     My powers were growing stronger with each passing day.  So as I looked upon the six men deciding my fate, any one of whom could remove my soul with a flick of a finger, I didn’t believe I had to answer to any one of them for my actions.

     “Caeles, I can see into your soul as I can anyone else’s here on earth.  I see confusion and murkiness that was not there the last time you stood before this Council.  Our entire survival depends on thieves like you to be strong and vigilant.  As you are aware, our numbers have diminished in recent years.  We once numbered in the thousands across the globe with the power to steal.  Now we are but a small number who still possess the sacred power granted centuries ago.  If you insist on returning souls, I don’t know what will become of our kind.  You must know everyone of us felt the same weakness when you restored that pitiful man’s soul.  That includes your own family.  This Council cannot and will not tolerate your wreck less behavior in restoring what is broken and jeopardizing our people’s existence here on earth.  Rules have been in place for centuries and will exist long after your time on earth has expired!” 

     As Charon Orcus, the highest of our Elders, sat staring down at me with his piercing black eyes and long grey hair, again scolding me for my actions, I knew I was at a point of no return.  I had been penalized before, having been forbidden to steal for one year.  That might seem like a holiday for many, but for every year we are forbidden to steal, we lose years off of our time here on earth.  Our powers thrive from thieving.  He knows by denying me the right to steal, it not only weakens my body but also disorients my mind to the point of permanent dementia.  But he understands, the longer he keeps me from thievery, the longer there is one less on earth collecting broken souls.  We cannot survive as a species without collecting and feeding off broken souls.   

     My attention was again focused on our leader as he continued his rant, “This Council will no longer tolerate you developing new powers.  Do not dare to believe that your new found skills can save you should you attempt your foolishness again.   I can assure you the Council of Elders will have no mercy on you.  Your punishment will be harsh, swift but just.  You cannot continue to behave so poorly by ignoring our decrees and customs.  Should you break any law or attempt to take another soul before my ruling; your fate will be death.  Now retire to your home and await your punishment.”  With his decree, I knew of only three words which would allow me to leave with my soul and possibly my life still intact, “Yes, Elder Orcus.”

     The Council was now placed with a very difficult decision.  Remove me from the ranks of the few remaining soul stealers and slowly watch our kind suffer, or go beyond their archaic beliefs and listen to my plea that healing souls can nourish us as well.  I held out little optimism they would hear my plea. 

My Review:

Caeles is a stealer of souls. He receives an assignment to steal what makes us human, our souls, and he uses a camera to do it. The souls he steals are judged by a Concil, who is ruled by the Elder Orcus, and he’s quite strict. Or harsh. And him and his council sick Caeles, the best of the best soul catchers, to get those they have deemed unworthy of their souls. The people, once they lose their souls, become a vegetable.  It’s actually a complex, complicated scenario, and yet, the soul catching is done in a heartbeat. It seems like something that should take more effort. 

Caeles does his job, and then he begins to question. He maybe doesn’t see all those that are “unworthy” as being all that bad. And then, that doubt becomes the hailstorm of crazy. He’s got a unique personality, as he was a follower who did his duty for so long. Now, can he be a leader, and do what needs to be done to rectify everything that has happened, a lot by his own hand? 

The world that was created is very complicated, and yet it’s still quite interesting. This complicated world made some of the story a little slow, as explanations were needed, but not enough to render the story bad. Though I am one who prefers things to start with a bang and continue. LOL I was once told things need to blow up and/or have swords swinging, blood squirting all the time for me LOL and that was from an author. BUT, the story is very interesting, and it had such a unique and fresh story line and plot. I haven’t read a story quite like this one before. AND there’s quite a big cliff hanger, so beware! I’ll be jumping into book two so I don’t have curiosity kill my kitty 🙂 4 PAWS

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 Soul Directive

Soul Directive

Leadership and Redemption

Book Two

Michael Cantwell, CCIM

Genre: Fiction, fantasy

Publisher: KSM Publishing

ISBN: 978-0615838359

ASIN: B00DJV4B9I

Number of pages: 302

Word Count: 87,067

Amazon 

Book Description:

Caeles Novo continues his journey of seeking broken souls that he started in “Soul Intentions”. Caeles is now the leader of his disciples and must discover the mystery as to why so few soul stealers remain on earth. He learns the high cost of both leadership and success. Caeles is assigned to remove the soul of an internet blogger who is spreading false information for the President of the United States, a man who trains fighting dogs and others. He meets up with a Doctor about to cure cancer and a woman with multiple personalities. He does all this while attempting to lead his people and be a good husband and father.

Soul Directive  Chapter 1

Few remained. The old and weak had lost their ability. Among the young and strong; few had the will. Yet it was imperative I persevered. This is my story.

Most have the luxury of choosing their own destiny. Maybe I did. I do trust everyone has the ability in freedom of choice. Only my choices were far more limited than most. It was always presented as my duty to feed our kind with stealing damaged souls. It was not until later in life, I also believed that most, if not all, deserved a second chance. Our Council had eliminated the power of restoration of broken souls long ago. My grandfather’s bloodlines were chosen to alter the power of the Council and restore the power of redemption. The responsibility was now mine.  However, along the way, I had lost my family as well as faith in my leaders.

My given name is Caeles Novo. I was the preeminent soul stealer on earth. I assumed I knew who my family was, and what my future held. That was until I discovered the people closest to me, never told me the truth about who I am. My mother and father did not disclose my true bloodlines to me until my natural born grandfather visited me in a hospital bed.  He appeared to me with his grand visions and my future path. Sure I had been known to fight my elders, but I never could have imagined the destruction and pain that ensued.

Charon Orcus no longer owned his soul since I had just removed it. He was lying in the fetal position on the floor exactly where I’d ripped out his most prized possession. I couldn’t muster up even one drop of sympathy for him. If anyone no longer deserved a second chance, it was my former leader.

After the unexpected had happened, silence fell upon the room. Three of the five elders left. I peered across the room, eyes still filled with tears. My wife and son stood like statues, where Charon Orcus cast his spell. They were not like stone but still in the flesh, unable to move. The cold marble floor started to feel even less inviting as I struggled to stand. The lone window was barely offering a glint of light as the two elders remaining in the room guided me to my feet.

“Caeles, I can assure you, no one on this Council expected this outcome. Orcus assured us your family would only remain motionless for a few moments. He told us he only wanted to scare you into backing down. I would be a liar if I stated that some of us on the Council weren’t hoping for a way to remove him as our leader but no one wanted this. It all happened so quickly.  Yes, there is no doubt I wanted to find a way for you to replace Charon Orcus on our Council, but removing his soul was not our first option.”

“No? Then tell me, what was your first option?” I asked my grandfather.

Again silence filled the room. It was all very obvious to me that they didn’t expect the outcome they just witnessed. They never dared to believe I would remove his soul. However, some on the Council did want me to start a power struggle with the man who was our leader for decades.

My grandfather spoke again. “What is done cannot be erased Cale. We will move forward from here. You have been elected as a full voting member of the Council and our new leader. Many of us are tired and have little time left on earth. It is time we pass along the responsibilities to someone with your youth. This has always been your destiny, Caeles, long before you were born.” I attempted to gain a firm footing to stand alone as my grandfather continued.

“Caeles, everyone understands things have gotten out of hand. After Elder Orcus assumed his position as leader of our Council, he believed his authority was more than our laws describe. It had become a problem. However no one assumed you would use your powers to remove his soul. Even if you attempted it, not one of us considered it possible. We assumed he was too powerful. Therefore, please believe me when I tell you, what just occurred was never our intention. That being said, none of us intend on returning his soul to him.”

“With all due respect, Grandfather, I don’t give a damn about Charon Orcus or his soul. I only care about how to restore my family. Now, if you would be so kind in doing so, it would be much appreciated.”

“Caeles, none of us has a cure for your wife and son. We don’t know what Elder Orcus did to your family.”

“Well isn’t that just great! You bait me into a battle with Orcus and none of you envisioned what the consequences might be? On top of that, my family is lost to me and the only man who understands what he did has the capacities of a newborn, whoo hoo! Do any of you have anything to offer me other than your lame excuses?”

Stillness erupted in the room as we stared at each other.  My grandfather, James Spia, the oldest of the five remaining elders with a soul, along with, Jair Rex, another elder and the grandfather to my frozen wife, looked down to the ground. The elder who was usually first to voice an opinion on the Council after Orcus, Elder Jair Rex, spoke up.

“Caeles, we all realize this was a tragic accident. We will find a solution. However, our disciples need leadership. As stated earlier by Elder Spia, who we just now find out is your own flesh and blood, we are an aging Council. Some of us, me included, should have retired many moons ago. It should be obvious for all to see that you were sent to us for a reason. You must be the one to bring back our disciples from the brink of extinction and our wicked ways.”

“Thanks guys but let me say this slowly so I don’t confuse any of you. I don’t want to be the leader of this Council, our disciples, or even my home town city council, until my family has been saved. Can I be any more direct with you?”

At that point, my grandfather raised his voice to get my attention.

“I will not tolerate any more of your insubordination, Caeles. We will find a way to restore your family but you will lead this Council. There is a room set up here in the complex for you to rest. Once you calm yourself, you will assist us in deciding our future path, but no more childish behavior.”

I’m not sure what everyone could expect from me. For as much training as I had to learn not to be emotional, it was still difficult. It is true the highest honor for our kind is to lead the Council. But I was in no emotional state to lead anyone. However, I would listen to the advice and retired for some self examination to determine what my life now had in store for me.

Sleep was difficult. Not only was I stressing about my family all night but the few times I could drift off, I would have a dream loop over and over in my brain. It contained a voice reciting, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” It played in my brain throughout the night.

“Elder Novo, it’s time to wake.” That was the next thing I heard. It was one of our disciples standing alongside my bed. “Elder Novo, please a long day awaits you.”

“Who are you? Why are you in my room? And who’s Elder Novo for goodness sake?”

I did my best to focus on the young man’s face. I could see his confusion matched mine.

“You’re Elder Novo, are you not? The Council has a long day planned. With all due respect, you need to get your wits about you. After all, you are our new leader, Sir. And to answer your initial question, I have been assigned to assist you while in the complex. My name is Peter, Peter Pascal.”

“Well Peter Pascal, your first assignment is to head back out the door, lock it and don’t allow anyone to enter it until I walk through it to leave.”

“I’m sorry, Elder Novo. I am under strict orders from Elder Spia. I believe his exact words were; get his ass in this Council room immediately.”

“Maybe so but I’m now the leader of the band around here, so what I say rules. Am I wrong?”

“Elder Novo, a wise man once said, what’s in a name? I am going to conclude it applies to titles as well.  I refuse to go back into that room and tell Elder Spia you decided to sleep past noon. I’m too new here. I would like to keep my job and my new title for more than a few hours. Please get up.”

I didn’t want my new assistant to shed tears on his first day. I got up.

When I arrived in the Council room, there were three of our disciples with their noses plastered inside the pages of old dusty books. Along with them were the five members of the Council with a soul, anxiously peering over their shoulders, as if the books contained the winning lottery numbers.

Elder James Spia, took the lead. “Have a seat Caeles. Our best historians are reading all they can to solve the issue with your family.”

“Issue, you are calling it an issue?” I was none too pleased. His words and demeanor seemed almost trivial.

“Caeles, please, have a seat. There are many topics that need to be discussed. Some are of a delicate nature, but we can all agree your family is our highest priority. Now, please, we all understand you are still emotionally charged, but you are a trained professional. You’ve been trained for emotional situations. So calm down and get your mind right. We will fix the wrong that has happened. However, you are now on this Council. One day soon, you will be presented to our disciples as their new leader. But until that day, there are many urgent issues around the table for discussion.”

I looked around the room. The five members of the Council were all seated at a large round wooden table with me. They included my grandfather, James Spia, along with my wife’s grandfather, Jair Rex. It was not until recently these two men were exposed to me as more than Council members. I was hoping there would be no more surprises concerning the other three. They included, Nathan Stella, Baruch Robus and Reuel Polus. I only knew these men from coming before the Council when I was being praised or punished. Along with Charon Orcus, the previous leader of the Council, these six men had shaped my life with their decrees and words of wisdom.

There was one window I could stare out. The floor was as cold as the icy stare Orcus had in this room the previous day. The table we were using was designed as the more informal place for the Council to sit while discussing the agenda. There was also the dais where the Council sits when conducting official business, such as handing out penalties to the likes of me, when I would take matters into my own hands. There were a few scant paintings from past European masters on the walls, merely to cover up the boring and sterile qualities of the room. I was trying to focus on all the discussion around me but I wasn’t interested. That was until one topic came up. Elder Stella started to speak in an anxious manner.

“Elders, we cannot continue to pretend our dwindling numbers of soul stealers is not an issue. We can no longer support all we need to support. Our research indicates that our disciples are living on average fifty years less than they were only one generation ago. This generation has been dying at an alarming rate of less than two hundred and fifty in earthly years. Our founders all survived past three hundred. Our mission on earth is far too important to allow this trend to continue.”

This information was all new to me. I had noticed my own parents starting to slow, despite being barely two hundred years on earth. Why the trend?

“Ok, this being all new to me, can someone please explain why the lower life expectancies?” I inquired.

Elder Stella attempted to explain. “It is simple math, Elder Novo. When the Lord of Life bestowed upon us the ability to remove souls from humans, who no longer could appreciate all that was given to them, we were one hundred strong. Each and every one of our ancestors had the ability that the six of us have, meaning to be able to see into another’s soul and remove it, if deemed necessary. Once we started to marry pure humans and thin our bloodlines, fewer and fewer acquired the same abilities. It is why now some can only remove souls and so few other than the six at this table and possibly our offspring will be able to see into another’s soul. Because so many have mated with humans over the generations we have hundreds that we feed but we are down to less than thirty active soul stealers other than us at this table.”

“Ok, so what’s the plan? I mean you guys have been sitting around this table for decades, you musta’ seen this coming? I mean if you are telling me it’s all simple math then let’s fix the math.”

Elder Polus spoke up. “As you are aware, Elder Novo, all our bloodlines are carefully recorded. We have hundreds living now with some remaining strains of our bloodlines that we feed. However, with less than forty at least half blooded and less than fifteen full blooded, it is likely why we are dying at an earlier age. We are a dying breed.”

“Why has it taken so long for anyone to do anything about this Elder Polus?”

“Would you have listened if we ordered you to marry someone other than Kalani, Elder Novo? I think I’ve made my point.”

I couldn’t believe all I was hearing. But then again, why should I have cared? I could care for myself. I could steal all the souls I wanted and keep myself in top form.

“You know what guys, this is not my problem. I can see into another’s soul, I can steal, I can survive. I don’t think we should really care about anyone who decided to thin out their blood line.”

My grandfather spoke up. “So tell me Caeles, should you become injured removing a soul, or when you become too old or ill to remove souls, will you still wish this Council to have the same approach you are taking now?”

“You are missing my point, Grandfather. I have worked very hard to reach my goals and my position in life. If others don’t care to try, why should I help them?”

“What about the ones who through no fault of their own, but only through genetics have never developed the power to steal like your father Caeles? Shall we tell him, sorry but we no longer can support you? He pays his dues to us. There are hundreds with good jobs in life who help support our cause. We should ignore them?”

“There has to be a better way, Grandfather.”

“There is and it’s one reason why you are now on this Council. When you risked your own life to offer redemption to Dylan James, a man who you barely knew, I knew you would one day find a solution to this issue. I suggest you start thinking.”

My first Council meeting as a member disbanded. I had much to think about but my mind was still elsewhere. I walked across the hallway and sat with my wife and child, still frozen in time. I didn’t care much about others shortened life spans or ones who could possibly steal, who didn’t want to for various reasons, like my own mother. My mind rested with my family.

The Council sat around the table for a few more days until it became obvious that I had to continue on as a soul stealer and no one had the cure for my family. I sat through boring meeting after boring meeting with men who had led our disciples for years acting as if they were just brought into find solutions the same day I was. It was appalling to me that the ones who admonished me for years for my ideas, where now looking to me to lead. My entire world had become upside down in less than a week.

I decided that I would travel to Jamaica to visit with my old friend, Bastian “Doc” Duvaliar, who assisted me in restoring my first soul. He was in possession of a book that documented many of our secrets from the past. It had been given to his ancestors many decades ago. He taught me how to offer redemption to a broken soul from the writings stored in this book. Since many of our disciples aren’t even aware of its existence, my hope is that it also stores the secrets to unlock my family.

As I departed, my grandfather was there to offer a few words.

“Cale, everyone on the Council understands the pressure you are under right now. I promise you, we will search every avenue we can to find a cure for your family. We’ll also look into your idea of contacting all of our disciples to see if they want to go through some of our training again to see if they have developed powers since the last time they were tested.”

“Thanks, Granddad, it seems every time I think I have life figured out, I’m on another airplane entering a new phase in my journey. I wish I could go back to being a single guy with no responsibilities to anyone but myself.”

“No you don’t, have a safe trip.”

 My Review:

And we pick up from book one’s major cliff hanger, thank goodness. And you’ll stay in suspense, as you won’t know who to trust, or who’s on who’s side. Caeles is now in trouble and has become the hunted, instead of the hunter. And with what happened with Orcus, the Elder Council member, this has caused some disturbances. Caeles just wants to save his family, and the Council members left maybe aren’t so good after all. Caeles is having to work so hard. He needs to save his family, he needs to help the council, then learn to lead the council, and figure out where all the soul stealers have gone, and why. AND he still has to be his soul stealer self. 

Now we are starting to get into the really interesting stuff. We are seeing more about the soul victims and why they should or shouldn’t have their soul stolen. And sometimes Caeles really should consider himself and the dangers around him.  And he really needs to be careful who he can trust, or not trust. And he sometimes really needs to wake up, as he seems to always be manipulated by someone. 

I’m not sure where the next book is going to go, but I will read it because now I’m way to curious not to. LOL And the world building has become such a fantastic world to be in. Things are definitely getting real. 🙂 4 PAWS
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Fortunate Soul

Fortunate Soul

Leadership and Redemption

Book Three

Michael Cantwell, CCIM

Genre: Fiction, fantasy

Publisher: KSM Publishing

ISBN: 978-0615937380

ASIN: B00HMTEIQ4

Number of pages: 328

Word Count: 90,620

Amazon 

Book Description:

In this third installment, Caeles Novo has been removed as leader of the Council. He now seeks revenge for those who have taken away his power to remove souls and is on a journey to return his disciples back to their original mission.

Fortunate Soul Chapter 1

Sadness and euphoria are intertwined within the fabrics of our lives. I should know; they are the emotional landscape I’ve crossed back and forth for decades. I never wanted for material items, mine were more spiritual. Maybe I didn’t care about the material things because I never had to think about them. They were always provided to me by my fellow disciples. The spiritual ones were developed over decades of following my instincts and intensive education. My entire life was dedicated to my craft, which led me to another dangerous exchange between sadness and euphoria.

        My name is Caeles Novo. My grandfather believed I was sent from the heavens to change the ways of our disciples who have misplaced their values. This is why I was given my particular name. You won’t know me. I work in the shadows. I look like any other human wandering the busy streets of large cities. I can also appear as a broken man on the side of a dusty country road. That’s the idea.

My education and that of my fellow disciples was more extensive than most who travel the earth. My life expectancy was once more than three times longer than ordinary humans, so my structured learning lasted three times longer as well. Most would have you believe that more education could only be of value. Think again. Our superiority has destroyed our way of life. We are not ordinary humans.

Despite my superior intelligence, I was victimized by some who no longer found my way of leadership in compliance with their own way of life. Priorities changed for some, mine were more secure. My fellow disciples and I were trained for one mission in life. I followed my gut and continued our predetermined journey, others became wayward. I again crossed over from euphoria to sadness. I realized I lost the ability given to me from the heavens and was destined to do. In those mere seconds of self-realization, when you have once again crisscrossed back to the other side, you must decide who you are as an individual, leader, husband and father.

Some are designed to lead, while others follow. Some are dominant. Others live a more submissive way of life. Some live conservative lives while others want to change the structure of every institution they meet. Some are men, some are women. Some have dark skins, others the shade of cream. None of that mattered to me. I only cared about the next soul on my list. I could read souls like some read the daily newspaper. If yours was broken, I stole it. That was my mission in life. I make no apologies for who I am. If you couldn’t appreciate all that life had bestowed upon you, welcome to my list.

I was trained to be an unseen shadow. You never found me. I found you. When I did, you would either fall to the ground or barely feel a scratch. Everyone has a soul. However, depending on how much one believes they own a soul, determines how much the loss affects them. Non-believers are fools. I know the truth. I stole your most prized possession if you made my list of being a dark soul. I’ve taken from some who laugh in my face, or cry for redemption within moments of my thievery. Either way, I was completing what I was born to do.

If I wasn’t taking your soul, one of my fellow disciples would do so with as much passion as me. After all, we trained for fifty years to be experts in our decree sent from the Lord of Life. However, because of our extensive education, some of our disciples evolved past being mere soul stealers. For their sin in wandering away from our decree, I will destroy their perfect lives.

However, I am now the broken one.  

                I was so involved in restoring the number of soul stealers on earth, being the leader on our High Council, as well as a good husband and father, I never saw the fact that our disciples had become leaders in their communities across the globe. The less than thirty of us who did remain loyal to our goals on earth, were constantly on a mission attempting to steal souls. That’s where our power resides. If we are no longer removing souls, we become mere mortals. Greed for power and money while abandoning our true task has become our collective downfall.

                Because I no longer had my ability, to see into, and remove souls, I was replaced as leader of the High Council. Members of the Council had decided long before my appointment as leader, ruling the world’s economy was a better option for our disciples than to remain loyal to our original decree. Before they removed me, I was driven to make sure no mistakes were made in taking souls not dark enough to be stolen. I became dangerous. I would on occasion, return a soul which was preposterous to our leaders. My own kind set out to destroy me. They succeeded. 

                The crossroads where sadness and euphoria intertwine had found me once again. Many days came and went where I wanted no responsibility to anyone but my family. But that day had arrived without my consent. My destiny was stolen from me. I had to ask myself, could being restricted to being only a good husband and father be the path to euphoria, or the conduit of sadness? I had to answer one important question. Did I still have a burning desire to be the ultimate soul stealer and follow my mission sent from the heavens?

Kalani had been my wife and confidant for decades. She was furious when she heard what our fellow disciples had done to me. It took all of my best powers of persuasion to calm her over the phone and not allow her to seek revenge. I didn’t know what my response to my newly formed sworn enemies would be, but sending my wife on a suicide operation was not option one. She always wanted to protect me, as I did her, but we needed to think through our next move.          

Kalani was on assignment the day we met in Hawaii where she was born and raised. I was on vacation from removing my first few souls when we met. Neither of us had any idea we were both soul stealers until days after our initial encounter. She found herself in some trouble with the local band of drug traffickers on Oahu, when we were both shoved off the road while bike riding. When the attacker stepped out of the car to finish his task, I instinctively removed the soul of her attacker. I caught grief with our Council for that mishap. It also exposed my identity as a soul stealer to my future wife. It wasn’t until later that she admitted we shared more in common than our love. 

                We were married soon after and have been faithful companions ever since. She got herself into trouble with the Council protecting me, as I have her, more than once. We don’t see each other as much as we would like because of our extensive travels, but we attempt to live as a normal family as much as possible.  

Kalani and I wanted to grow our family. At the time of my removal as leader, we had one son, Nicon. He was training to be a soul stealer and already had what would be equivalent to a Master’s Degree in Business. Because we aged slower than full blooded humans, our son looked to be a child of seven or eight but was already nearing his twenty- fourth birthday. Kalani and I didn’t want to wait much longer to make a decision about having another child.

The tender ages were the toughest for our disciples. We are far more educated than others who look our age, until we appear to be in our late twenties. By the time we look to be twenty, we have traveled the world usually more than once, speak multiple languages, have read all the classic literature, explored many of the world’s great museums, and lived with one or more ancient culture. We are immune to most earthly diseases but we’re not super human. When attacked with common weapons such as a knife or bullet, we are wounded like an ordinary human. Those were the difficult years for our son, to look so young, yet still be so mature.

It wasn’t easy for Nic to associate with others who appeared his age on a physical level. He played little league baseball, and other physical activities with children who looked his age, but weren’t. He was forbidden to tell the other kids he went to the World Series at Yankee Stadium several years before they were even born. He had the mind of a student with an MBA degree, but he still struck out like an eight year old boy. That frustrated him to no end. But he needed the physical work as much as the mental side of life.

My dilemma was to decide if I had become one of those people who couldn’t appreciate all that was given to him or her. My choice was to live a secure and peaceful life with my wife and son, or seek revenge on the people who removed my ability to do what I was destined to do. I was not put on this earth to live out my remaining years selling used cars but I was a broken man. 

I needed to make a decision. One issue was that the one person who could assist me with regaining my power was not exactly my best friend. I was told by my former Council members that Doctor Grayson Winfield created the potion which blocks my ability to remove souls. It was possible he had created such an evil toxin, but I had been misled so many times. The truth was always complicated.

I returned home to California to Kalani with my wounded ego and damaged self to figure out what to do with my life. She looked as radiant as ever. Her dark olive skin and shiny black straight hair that reached an inch above her waistline hadn’t altered since the day we met. Her jade colored eyes and Polynesian shape that curved in all the proper places still made me smile knowing she was my one and only. A few had tempted me to stray over the years, but Kalani would always be my one true love.

 My wife knew my short comings. “So, Cale dear, since you plan to sit on the sofa watching the woman from New York tell fortunes and do your best to cook us all dinner, does this mean you aren’t the best soul stealer now? I will admit maybe you were better at kicking ass and taking names than you are a cook, but hey, at least I know now I can buy you cook books for Christmas.”

                She looked directly into my eyes, and offered me her stare she used when she wanted to challenge me. I wasn’t biting. She continued.

                “But then again, we really don’t know if your numbers were legit since you liked to return half of souls you stole. At least when I take one, they stay taken. It can be official now that I‘m the best. I still think while you were sitting on the Council, Bink gave you far too many easy assignments. I had to earn all of mine slinking down dark alleys, chasing violent criminals. Your targets were white collar professionals who have to take in a Stallone flick to see a gun.”

                Another stare, only this time longer.

                “I’m sorry I introduced you to that Timmons woman, Cale. I might tease you, but I never tried to get the best of ya. It seems she did. I’m sorry.”

                That was the wound. Fireworks started to blast through my skull. A pain rushed from my head down to my gut and back up again. It was as if someone was playing a game of pong between my head and belly using a bottle rocket as the pong ball.

                “That woman didn’t get the best of me. And don’t you ever, ever suggest she did. Just for that, I’m not making you any dinner tonight!”

                I could see Kalani’s ruby lips curl at each end, knowing she made me realize, I was the best ever. Not Tasha Timmons, not Charon Orcus, Peter Pascal, or any of the others who schemed to derail me, could keep me on that blasted sofa that sagged in the middle. I ordered take out for Kalani and mapped out how to proceed. 

                At my core, I was and always would be a collector of broken souls. There were occasions when I did find reason to return one, because deep inside I believed in redemption. I needed to come to grips with that.

Being a husband and father didn’t have to be secondary to my work. I think my conscience had been getting the better of me since my father had always been in the house with me and didn’t travel. I would spend time with Nic and Kalani but it never seemed to be enough. In that regard, I was like most humans.

                It was imperative I board the first available flight to Texas to speak with Doctor Grayson Winfield. The desire to be the best soul stealer as well as to restore our disciples to prominence had returned. Kalani assured me, I had made the right decision. She kissed me as I made my way towards the front door of our modest home.

                “I married you because of who you are, Cale, not because of something you’re not. If I wanted someone at home cooking dinner and polishing the silver, I woulda married someone else. It’s important to me that you are happy in who you are. Go be that person again.”

                Kalani knew how to motivate me in those rare times where I felt lost. My personal pity party had ended. It was now time to seek my destiny not because my grandfather assured me he knew what it was, or because I was told it was sent from the heavens.

For the first time in my life, I was one hundred percent certain of my chosen path. Life is not a simple choice of one direction or another. It’s a long complicated one with peaks and valleys filled with every emotion one can imagine. I had long been on my journey. This slight detour wasn’t about to alter my destiny and who I was as a person.

I never thought I would return to Winfield’s office, but there I was. I walked in the door to find Nurse Simon sitting behind her desk.

“Good afternoon, Nurse Simon. I need to speak with Doctor Winfield. It’s an emergency.”

“Well hello, sugar, Rose sure has missed seeing you. How you been?”

“Rose? What are you doing here? Where is Doc Winfield?”

Rose stood up from behind the desk, walked over and put her arms around me. She offered a loving hug; then whispered in my ear.

“I told you, sugar, Rose would take care of everything and she has.”

 My Review:

And now, we’ve gotten to the best book of the series! I really enjoyed this one. After then major ending of book 2, Caeles is now learning that sometimes life sucks. LOL. OK, it’s not funny what happened, but boy he’s sure had some troubles. He may have his family back, but he’s lost a big part of himself because of it. And those damn council members, boy oh boy! He has a little bit of self pity, but then he figures out that life sometimes is worth it no matter what. And he still has a job, regardless if he lost the title. The author did not make Caeles’s journey an easy one. Whew, he had to work! And sometimes, he needs a maybe slightly better judgement but he then sometimes makes up for it. 

I am so very glad Caeles got something back on the council, and all those who have wronged him. And I’m so glad he has Rose, and though I don’t want to say so much, his family isn’t always the best. So it was nice to finally see someone try to help him, and be there for him.  And boy does he get himself into some pickles. I mean really! Sometimes I would think, what on earth would you do that for… And then I’d answer myself, well, gotta get it done, so just go for it. LOL 

There are so very many plot twists, and you will never predict what is going to happen. The writing flow has also improved and there are NO slow spots, or gaps. This one definitely made it so worth to read the whole series so far! AND it answered so many questions I had floating around in my head throughout the series. I was quite happy with the ending, which I believe this to be the end. I definitely enjoyed this one the most. 5 PAWS! 

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About the Author:

 

Michael Cantwell, CCIM (1958-present) is an author and commercial real estate agent in Florida as well as a published photographer. He was born in Ft. Campbell KY, raised in Trenton, NJ, graduated college at LaSalle University in Philadelphia, PA. He now resides in Palm Beach County, Florida. He is married with three children and one dog. He loves music and is a Miami Marlins, Dolphins, Panthers and Heat fan. He also enjoys strolling Florida with his camera at hand. He has served on many board of directors and volunteered many hours as a coach for baseball and basketball as well as for Junior Achievement in many schools around South Florida.

Web – www.ksmmike.com

Blog – http://ksmmike.blogspot.com/

Twitter – @ksmmike

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MichaelCantwellWriter

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6430576.Michael_Cantwell

tour wide giveaway!
 
a signed set of the 3 books  in the Leadership and Redemption Series by Michael Cantwell -open to US shipping! GO HERE TO ENTER!!

GOOD LUCK!! Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you check this trilogy out! Happy reading and later gators! 

Happy Book Birthday Soul Betrayed~The Life After Trilogy w Giveaway!

Hello everyone! I wanted to take a moment to show you a trilogy who is now finished. I’ve read them all now, and though I am sad that it’s over, it was EPIC and Phenomenal! I was dying to know the end, so I’m happy and sad at the same time! Nowme let me show you this fantastic ending, and the first two books!! 🙂 

Soul Taken (The Life After, #1)

Soul Taken (The Life After #1)

Book 1 in The Life After trilogy.
After-life just got a lot more complicatedMaggie is a Soul Collector. It’s her job to transport souls from the Living Realm to the After – but during a mission to find a stolen soul, she ends up stuck in a teen mean girl’s body. 

Trapped, Maggie’s soul is catapulted into Ally’s life – and the human world she hasn’t experienced for one hundred years. But, as a descendant of the most powerful beings in the After, Maggie must rescue Ally before the girl’s soul dies… 

To survive, Maggie must uncover devastating secrets – because with one soul taken by a terrifying enemy, Maggie’s could be next!

Soul Possessed (The Life After #2)

Soul Possessed (The Life After #2)

Book 2 in The Life After trilogy

Life after Life

Now Maggie has been given the chance of her after-life to become a Guard, nothing will stand in her way. Not even the undeniable attraction she feels for her trainer and past love—Jackson. But when the battle between Shadowed and Guard begins again which side will she choose?

When her boss, Felix, partners Jackson and Maggie up with Ally and Cooper to investigate terrifying Shadowed activity, she doesn’t think it could get any worse. Jackson and Cooper barely tolerate each other and this time, Maggie isn’t just proving her loyalty to the Guard during one mission…she has a side mission too. One so secret and so dangerous she can’t tell a soul…

Soul Betrayed (The Life After #3)

Soul Betrayed (The Life After #3)

The final installment of The Life After trilogy… 

A Life for a Life

The battle between Shadowed and Guard has brought destruction and terror to Gate Seven and now Maggie wants revenge. As the only after-life being who can save the souls from ultimate death Maggie comes face to face with her own human body, preserved for a century, waiting for just this moment to arrive.

Yet, how far will Maggie go to exact her revenge on the Shadowed? And when she comes face to face with her past, how will she survive the onslaught of memories she thought long gone?

For when the truth comes out all is not what it seems and Maggie has finally run out of time… She must choose her destiny or watch all she has perish in the fight for her life!

My Review:

I’m dying!! I didn’t want this series to end but it’s a trilogy so I should just know know better! I LOVED it. I have one complaint, but I won’t actually be telling you what it is because it’s major spoilery and it’s also nothing to actually do with the book, just a little something I wanted lol! We are picking up right where book two left off and we’re on a journey!

Maggie has grown so much from the beginning. She got her memories back, she got to learn the truth, and she finally got what she wanted. I was maybe hoping for a little bit more of some manly fighting for Maggie’s heart but even without a crazy love triangle drama I loved what happened in the end. And dammit if Jackson didn’t redeem himself again after his oh so horrible betrayal! And ally and cooper are always on Maggie’s side!

I’ve come to love Maggie, ally, cooper, Jackson, Jamie, and everyone and I’ve also come to love to hate Hannah! Wait til you see what that craptastic biach did!! I wanna use a lot of bad names for her. And I loved learning Maggie’s memories right along with her. It’s the perfect way to get a past, have the character learn her memories at the same time as you 🙂 and Maggie has a lot of making up to do, and some revenge to dish out!

the writing is absolutely wonderful! The story and plot twists are excellent. I am quite depressed that I won’t have any more of these excellent characters! It was an epic adventure of love and betrayal and friendship and loyalty and a fantastic world has been created!! Please please tell me you’re going to write more maybe a spin off!?! I need more 🙂 5 PHENOMENAL AMAZING MAGNIFICENT PAWS!!!

paw main

About the Author

Katlyn Duncan

Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them. 

Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world. 

Website: http://katlynduncan.blogspot.ca/

Giveaway!

I love this series so much, I am going to offer one winner an ebook copy of their choice of this series. So if you haven’t started it, now you can! If you have and are dying for book two or three, now you can get it! So, leave me, or the wonderful author, a comment, and I’ll pick a winner!! 

I want to thank Ms Duncan, who has so awesomely kept me up to date with this series and then remembered how much I loved book one, so she sent me book two, because she’s that awesome! 🙂 THEN she sent me book three because I practically begged her too, and she so politely oblidged! I am honored to be a part in sharing this wonderful tale!!! 🙂 THANK YOU! AND I can’t wait to see what you’re going to create next!! 

Thank you also to all of you who have stopped by today!  Please check out this author and her great work! Happy reading and later gators! 

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead Blog Tour w Giveaway!

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Hello everyone! My favorite ladies over at Entangled have something special today! I have a fun book tour with some excellent goodies! Let me show you! 

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (Speak of the Devil, #3)

About the Book

Title: BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD

Author: Patricia Eimer

EBook: 368 pages

Release Date: February 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-1622661183

Goodreads Amazon Barnes and Noble *this book is $0.99 during the tour!! 

Not Even Death Keeps a Good Demoness Down 

There’s never an end to the crazy when you’re demon spawn. Not that Faith Bettincourt’s complaining. She’s been patching things up with her angelic on-again off-again boyfriend, Matt, and her best-friend-turned-sister-in-law is soon giving birth to the Anti-Christ Part Deux. Oh, and Faith is saving kids from Death in her pediatric unit one soul at a time. Life is good.

Until Faith accidentally runs over the Angel of Death and is forced to take his place. Now she’s taking lives instead of saving them. Which is kind of a problem when you’re a nurse. As if that weren’t bad enough, she is suddenly thrust into the worst scenario of them all–Matt’s ex Brenda is back, and she’s brought the Apocalypse with her.

Faith’s not about to give up the world…or her man. But when the chips are down, what’s a demoness supposed to do? Besides take matters into her own hands, of course.

My review is to come soon, or as soon as I can catch up on this series! LOL 

About Patricia:

Patricia Eimer for Heather Howland at Entangled Publishing

Patricia Eimer is a small-town girl fated to be a storyteller. After a stint of “thinking practically,” she earned degrees in Business and Economics, but her passion has always been a good book. She lives in Pittsburgh with her two kids and a husband who learned the art of frozen pizza to give her more time to write. When she’s not writing she can be found fencing or arguing with her dogs about plot points. Most days the beagle wins, but the dalmatian is a close second. She’s a distant third.

Website /Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

5 bundles of an ebook copy of Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead with any other Entangled ebook released at the same time — Covet, Suspense, etc. GO HERE TO ENTER!!

Rafflecopter Link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Week One:

2/24/2014- book’s blog– Excerpt

2/24/2014- The Reading Obsession– Spotlight

2/25/2014- Urban Fantasy Investigations– Guest Post

2/25/2014- BookHounds– Interview

2/26/2014- Happy tails and tales– Review or Spotlight

2/26/2014- In The Pages of a Good Book– Excerpt

2/27/2014- Manga Maniac Café– Interview

2/27/2014- Margay Leah Justice– Review or Spotlight

2/28/2014- Fade Into Fantasy– Guest Post

2/28/2014- Toot’s Book Reviews– Interview

Week Two:

3/3/2014- Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my!– Interview

3/3/2014- Books and Things– Excerpt

3/4/2014- Romantic Reads and Such– Guest Post

3/4/2014- Let’s Talk About Books– Review

3/5/2014- The Jeep Diva– Guest Post

3/5/2014- Cassandra Lost in Books– Excerpt

3/6/2014- Sapphyria’s Book Reviews– Guest Post

3/6/2014- Read-Love-Blog– Excerpt

3/7/2014- Miriam Smith– Review or Spotlight

3/7/2014- Fantasy Book Addict– Guest Post

I also want to add that THIS BOOK AND BOOK ONE are on sale for $0.99 for this tour schedule! 🙂 I’ll leave the links for you guys to check out! You can click on the covers to add to goodreads, too. Good luck on the giveaway! And as always happy reading and later gators! 

Luck of the Devil (Speak of the Devil, #1)

Amazon Link (for $0.99!!) :  http://www.amazon.com/Luck-Devil-Speak-Book-Entangled-ebook/dp/B00I6ZS8BY/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

Devil May Care (Speak of the Devil, #2)

Amazon Link:  http://www.amazon.com/Devil-May-Care-Speak-ebook/dp/B00B6U14I0/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

Happy Book Birthday Emblazed w Freebie!

Today I want to share a book birthday with you and give you guys some goodies! I read the first book of the series, Essenced, which I will tell you more about in a moment, and I loved it, so I had to share all of these goodies with you! Let me show you! 

Emblazed (The Division Chronicles: Book Two)

 

*add to your Goodreads

Here’s the blurb and link for Emblazed:

After all the preparations, Nicholai’s warriors stand on the threshold of warfare, the demons entering the realm in battalions and the world unknowingly depending on the army’s success to continue intact. But the battle is only the beginning of deadly struggles, and the soldiers will soon realize how little they know, how many things are at stake, and how much they have to lose.

Love, hate, hope, despair, anguish, joy… The journey is a gauntlet of emotion and combat, threatening their resolve as much as their lives.

Will their training and ties be enough, or will the complications and the forthcoming evil forever cripple the world’s last hope of survival?

Buy Links: http://www.amazon.com/Emblazed-Division-Chronicles-Book-Two-ebook/dp/B00IEHTT4O/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1392239535&sr=1-2&keywords=emblazed

Excerpt: 

AJ sensed him there, standing wordlessly some feet in the distance, just like she always recognized his presence when he lingered near. She absorbed the comfort and happiness he brought her – not that she’d admit that out loud – before sighing and speaking. “It’s called making a bed, Julius. It’s pretty commonplace.”

He didn’t push away from the doorframe, instead leaning further against it while he continued to observe her. “Sweetheart, nothing’s commonplace when you do it.”

Hearing the grin and affection in his voice, she smiled, peeking at him over her shoulder. “Is that a compliment or an insult?”

He gazed upward to stare at the ceiling with a thoughtful expression, then returned his attention to her, his shrug carefree. “Both.”

She smirked. “Sweet talker.”

“Odd ball.” He finally moved from the threshold, unhurriedly advancing toward her. “You know, most people make their beds in the morning. Not ten o’clock at night.”

She snorted. “Yeah. I’m gonna make my bed as soon as I roll out of it at six AM. I wouldn’t be making it now if I didn’t have to wrestle the sheet back on four times a night.” Finally setting her pillow in its position, she turned to him with an unashamed grin.

He chuckled, his adoration plain, and brushed a lock of hair from her face. “You’re one of a kind, you know that?”

“Compliment or insult?” she teased again.

“Compliment.” He smiled, cupping her cheek. “Definitely a compliment.”

“Sweet talker,” she repeated, standing on her tiptoes to press a kiss to his lips. Wrapping her arms around his neck, his circling her waist, she dove into the moment, reveling in the wonderful sensations only Julius incited. Safety. Warmth. Passion. So many more she couldn’t quite put a name to, the combination too heady and consuming to adequately decipher. It was simply a Julius effect, and its wonder had no equal in her life. Gradually breaking away, she knowingly lifted an eyebrow. “You didn’t come here just to make fun of me over my bed-making habits.”

“Maybe I came up here just to kiss you.”

“If that were the case, dear Julius, you wouldn’t have waited until I kissed you.”

Narrowing his eyes, he barely restrained his smirk at her forwardness and how well she’d grown to understand him in their time together. “You have a point.” He stepped back from her embrace, grasping her hand in his. “Come on. We have a mission.”

“A mission?” Her brow furrowed, though she made no move to retrieve her palm from his, following him in confusion as he neared the hallway. “At ten o’clock at night?”

“I believe we already covered the time in this conversation, AJ.” He made a clucking noise with his tongue, shaking his head in mock disappointment. “You really need to keep up with matters a bit more.”

She glared at the back of his head, lips thinning despite her vexing boyfriend’s inability to see her from his location. Realizing the futility of her frustrated efforts, she clenched the fingers he clutched, smiling in accomplishment at his grunt of discomfort. “Yeah, we covered it, but in household chore way. Not in a mission way. What could we possibly have to do this late at night?”

He sent her an amused glance – one she deemed condescending, particularly after the physical hint of her annoyance  – while tugging her through the doorway. “You do realize it isn’t ten o’clock everywhere, right?”

“Of course I realize that! I’m not a moron!”

“I never said you were…”

She growled, steeling her feet against the floor and prying her hand from his. “You didn’t have to. Your little grin said it all for you.”

His stare revealed sincere bewilderment – maybe a speck of frustration as well – and his arm dropped to his side. “So let me get this straight. You’re angry at me… because I smiled at you?”

Her eyes widened in fury, one finger raising to point at his chest while her left fist braced against her hip. “Don’t try to turn this around like I’m crazy!”

He scrunched his forehead, gaze traveling up and down her form while he held his hands out, as if silently offering his evidence.

She groaned, unhappy, turning away from him to rein in her irritation. For several seconds, she simply scanned her room, livid exhale after livid exhale falling from her lips, but the attempts did little to calm her turmoil, Julius actually flinching when her focus again landed on him. “It’s the grin you used. It’s the same one that was on your face when you drove into New Mexico, and I was surprised the facility was stationed here. Like I’m the dumbest person in the world and your number one source of entertainment.”

Instantly, his expression softened. “You can’t possibly think that I think that way?”

She just glared at him.

“Look, I’m not gonna lie.” He approached her, smiling tenderly. “You do amuse me, but not because I think you’re stupid. You’re… animated. And quirky. But not stupid. And I get it’s late, and no matter what time zone we’re entering, it’s ten o’clock here and we’re handing over sleeping hours, but Nicholai insists we need to go now.”

She kept pinched eyes on him, but her posture loosened a bit.

He laughed, reaching for her hand once more. “See? Animated. I can pretty much watch the wheels in your head turn.”

“Does that make you my mental stalker, too?”

Processing the playful edge of her words, he kissed her knuckles and led her into the hall. “Trust me, sweetheart. I have no desire to wander through your mind. I can’t imagine all the weird things I’d encounter.”

She tilted her head to the side, smiling. “Compliment or insult?”

Smirking over his shoulder, he caught her eyes with his. “Insult.”

 My Review will be coming up SOON, as I am loving the book right now! 

Book 1, Essenced

Essenced (The Division Chronicles #1)

Years ago, demons were forced out of the earth’s realm by a band of supernatural fighters, banished from the place and its people in the aftermath of a horrific war. It should’ve ended there – would’ve – if not for the final demon’s claw snagging on the open portal. What felt like victory became only a reprieve, the winning warriors understanding that the tear would spread, and the demons eventually would escape exile. It was only a matter of time, and a need for future defense – a question of genetics and essences, magic and power.

Now, centuries later, a new army must bind together – one of teenagers with inhuman potentials and abilities…

AJ went to bed Sunday night an average teenage girl, clumsy and athletically lacking. So when she wakes up Monday morning with super-strength, she does what any rational person would do: She goes into denial. When a smoking hot guy in a suit shows up, rambling about the end of the war and demons spilling through some kind of rift, she refuses to listen, telling herself he’s insane. Except weird things just won’t quit happening, and the guy keeps popping up in her life, trying to explain the changes suddenly happening within her. Is she crazy, or is this guy… not so crazy after all?

My 5 Paw Review is HERE!

And, in honor of Emblazed coming out, Essenced is FREE!!!! Yes FREE! We are sharing book one for you guys to get caught up for book two 😀 GO NOW, as it will only be free for a few days!!  

http://www.amazon.com/Essenced-Division-Chronicles-Book-One-ebook/dp/B00E83O344/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1392410191&sr=8-3&keywords=connie+l.+smith

 Click the link about to download your free copy of book one, so you can get caught up with this great series! 

About the Author:

Connie L. Smith

Connie L. Smith spends far too much time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and will be forever sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. When she isn’t reading or writing, there’s a good chance she’s goofing off with her amazing, wonderful, incredible, fabulous nieces and nephew, or listening to music that is severely outdated. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either) and likes to snap photos. Oh, and she likes apples a whole big bunch.

Here are the other important links: 

Blog/Main Site: http://clsmithbooks.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CLSmithBooks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clsmithbooks

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/conniel0194/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7257320.Connie_L_Smith

A big thanks to Ms Connie for letting me share this with you guys! AND don’t forget to get your free copy of book one!! It’s a great start to a wonderful new series! 🙂 Enjoy! Happy reading and later gators! 

White Hot Kiss Release Day Launch!

We are beyond excited to participate in the Release Day Launch for Jennifer L. Armentrout’s WHITE HOT KISS! WHITE HOT KISS is a young adult paranormal romance being published by Harlequin Teen TODAY! This is the first full-length novel in The Dark Elements Series and one you’ll want to grab as soon as you finish reading this post.

White Hot Kiss

ABOUT WHITE HOT KISS:

One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

EXCERPT:

“I don’t think of Zayne that way!”

She laughed. “What man-parts-loving female in this world doesn’t think of Zayne that

way? I can barely keep myself breathing when I see him. All the guys in school have squishy

waists. I can tell Zayne doesn’t. He’s the awesome sauce with extra sauce.”

That he was and he so didn’t have a squishy waist, but I tuned Stacey out at that point. I

really did need to cram for this test and I also didn’t want my fantasies involving Zayne to

occupy my mind right now. Especially after I’d woken up this morning, carefully tucked under

the covers. The bed had smelled like him: sandalwood and crisp linen.

“Oh, sweet baby Jesus in a manger,” Stacey murmured.

I clenched my jaw, cupping my hands over my ears.

She jabbed me in the side with her elbow. At this rate I’d be covered in bruises before

lunchtime. “Our bio class just got a billion times more interesting. And hotter, lots and lots

hotter. Holy mother, I want to have his babies. Not now of course, but definitely later. But I’d

like to start practicing soon.”

The cell wall is a thick and rigid layer covering the plasma something, something plant

cells…

Stacey stiffened all of a sudden. “Oh my God, he’s coming—”

Composed of fat and sugar—

Something slender and shiny fell from who knew where, landing in the middle of Sam’s

notes. Blinking tightly, it took me a couple of seconds to recognize the faded and half peeled

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sticker covering the back of the silver cell phone.

My heart slammed against my ribs. Gripping the edges of the notebook, I slowly lifted

my gaze. Unnaturally beautiful golden eyes met mine.

“You forgot this last night.”

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

iTunes

Now that you have a taste for this fabulous new series, here are the details for the AMAZING international giveaway!!! Harlequin Teen is giving away a large Harlequin Teen Tote.

Tote Includes:

• Harlequin TEEN branded tote

• The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa (trade)

• Pawn by Aimee Carter (hard cover)

• Crash Into You by Katie McGarry (hard cover)

• Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter (hard cover)

• 2 copies of White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

• 1 pair of black harlequin branded socks (they are so comfy!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

White hot Kiss Release Day banner

Author PhotoAbout Jennifer L. Armentrout:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Links:

Series Website: http://www.thedarkelementsseries.com

Website: http://www.jenniferarmentrout.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlarmentrout

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JenniferLArmentrout

Jennifer L. Armentrout Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4476934.Jennifer_L_Armentrout

WHITE HOT KISS Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17455585-white-hot-kiss?bf=500&from_search=true

Fire Country Birthday Blast!!

Today, Fire Country by David Estes turns one year old. In the first year since Fire Country was born, so much has happened. David signed with an agent, sold more than 10,000 books, wrote five more books and published a further three). He knew he just had to celebrate and he’d love for you to be a part of it! David owes so much of his support to the blogger community, and he wants everyone to have the chance to be a part of the Fire Country Birthday Bash.

Everyone goes home a winner, simply follow the prompts below and swipe your eCopy of Fire Country from Smashwords. Read and leave a review on Amazon if you enjoyed it. Feel free to share the code with your friends, family, neighbours and literary inclined pets.
Coupon Code: WH62C
Expiration: March 1, 2014
What’s a party without prizes? Yes, David is not only giving everyone a chance to download their own copy of Fire Country, book one in the Country Saga for free, but he’s also giving you stuff too. You could win an Amazon giftcard open internationally, U.S residents can win a signed copy of the David Estes book of your choice, or a handful of David Estes eBooks of your choice. Awesome.

Visit David via his Blog  Facebook • Twitter and via Goodreads

Pay Perry the Prickler a visit on Twitter and Goodreads