Book Blitz & Excerpt: Designed + Giveaway

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by Amy Patrick
(Designed, #1)
Publication date: October 17th 2022
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Seventeen-year-old Mireya is the youngest person on Earth in 2055. Well, one of them. She and her classmates on the military base where she lives are survivors of Zika-Two, a mosquito-borne virus that took out the very youngest and oldest of the world’s population fifteen years earlier and rendered the remaining humans infertile.

Formerly banned research into cloning, genetic engineering, and artificial intelligence is green-lighted by a government desperate to prevent looming human extinction. In fact, it was experimental nanotechnology that saved the lives of Mireya and her friends.

She’s always been told this makes her special. She certainly doesn’t feel special. As hard as she tries, she can never seem to please her indifferent parents, and her periodic memory lapses threaten to sink her already-shameful class rank to dead last. She just wants to be like everyone else, to be normal.

Mireya’s never left the base, never wanted to, and never questioned why she’s been content to stay there her whole life—until she runs into Heath. Actually, he bumped into her with his Gideon Corp delivery van. She’s not hurt, but she is baffled.

Why did the alluring young guy look at her like he knows her? And why did he seem shocked at her very average eye color?

When one-by-one her friends visit the physician and come back acting like strangers, Mireya decides to venture beyond the gates of the base to the nearby city of Atlanta to search for answers. And for Heath.

What she’ll find is the imposing walls surrounding Gideon Corp, the world’s largest corporation, hide many secrets about the cataclysmic global event and perhaps even Mireya herself.

DESIGNED is perfect for readers who loved Hunger Games, Divergent, Delirium, The Wrath & the Dawn, and the Selection.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks


“Warning. Collision alert. Warning.”

The loud electronic voice reached me a second too late. I’d already stepped off the curb into the street and directly into the path of a delivery van.

A flash of white and chrome filled my peripheral vision as the bumper made contact with my left hip, sending me to the pavement with a wince and a yelp.

The good news was I wasn’t flattened by the thing. The nearly silent electric vehicles were programmed with collision avoidance tech that slowed them automatically in case of a sudden obstacle, which meant it hit me hard enough to knock me over but not hard enough to crush bones.

The bad news was I could already hear the shouting of the obviously perturbed operator through the van’s closed windows. No doubt the accident had surprised him as much as it had me.

He’d probably been relaxing in the back of the self-driving vehicle watching vids or reading when he’d felt the jolt and sudden stop. Now he was storming around to the front of it, spewing a stream of profanities.

“What the hell are you doing?” the van operator demanded. “Didn’t you see me coming?”

Before I could respond or get up on my own, a pair of strong hands slid beneath my arms. He picked me up off the ground and set me upright. I would have protested the invasion of my personal space, but it all happened too fast.

Brushing off the seat of my uniform, I tested my footing, lifting and wiggling one foot then the other.

The ache in my tailbone told me I would be sporting some very colorful bruises tomorrow, and my butt couldn’t have been any wetter if I’d cannonballed into a swimming pool. Lovely.

“So are you okay? Say something.”

Anger still emanated off the guy in waves, but his deep voice now held a note of concern. What could I say? I felt like an idiot.

“Of course I saw you. I just thought getting run down would be a good way to score some tech augmentation in my lower limbs.”

I finally glanced up at the man– who hadn’t responded and was not laughing at my joke.

My hair was in my eyes, disheveled from my fall. I pushed it from my face, and the sight in front of me nearly knocked me backward again.

Technically, I supposed he was a man, but he was younger than I’d expected, close to my age.

He was big. And angry. His dark brows were drawn together tightly. It wasn’t the forbidding expression that stunned me. It was his eyes.

Their color was like nothing I’d ever seen before– a spellbinding combination of blue and green so beautiful, so piercing, it almost defied reality.

I was so mesmerized it took me a second to realize he was staring at me, too. He’d been in the middle of a question.

“So then you’re not hur–” but he’d broken off mid-word.

After a long pause during which he continued to stare at me like he’d never seen a girl before, he spoke again. “Your eyes. They’re brown.”

“Yeah…” I dragged the word out into a question. “… last time I checked.”

Something about his troubled expression struck a cord of recognition. I glanced from his incredible eyes to the shock of dark hair above them and down to the breadth of his shoulders then the rest of his tall, big boned frame and then at the name badge on the front left pocket of his company uniform.


“Have we met before?”

The guy blinked rapidly and back-stepped toward the delivery van, his head moving in a tight, rapid shake.

“No, I don’t think so. You’re okay? You’re not hurt?”

He paused for my answer, but his back and shoulders were plastered against the front of the van like I was dipped in flu virus and he hadn’t had a vaccination in years.

The instant I said, “I’m fine,” the guy turned and climbed into the van. Within seconds it was whispering away down the road, the unmistakable Gideon Corp logo on its back doors shrinking then disappearing as the vehicle rounded the corner.

Oookay. It was obvious why he was a delivery man for the world’s largest biotech company and not employed in some capacity where he might have been required to interact with actual humans on a regular basis.

Totally awkward.

But cute.


Author Bio:

Amy Patrick is the award-winning author of the popular Hidden Saga, Crimson Accord series, and Designed, a new YA dystopian romance. She lives in Rhode Island, where she enjoys writing in her car at the beach year-round and dreaming up captivating new science fiction and fantasy worlds for her readers to devour.

Visit her website at where you can find a complete book list. Join her VIP mailing list at for the latest book news, insider info, and fun freebies.

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Audio Spotlight & Author Interview: Tomboy + Giveaway


Join Us For This Tour from Oct 3 to Oct 21, 2022

Book Title:  Tomboy: A Jane Benjamin Novel

by Shelley Blanton-Stroud
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+), 308 pages
Genre:  Historical Thriller
Publisher:  She Writes Press
Release dates:   June 2022
Content Rating: PG-13 + M. The F word appears exactly once in the book. There is a completely non-explicit sex scene. There is a suicide.​


Book Description:

It’s 1939. Jane Benjamon’s got five days at sea to solve the murder of a Wimbledon champion’s coach and submit a gossip column that tells the truth. If not the facts.

On the brink of World War II, Jane wants to have it all. By day she hustles as a scruffy, tomboy cub reporter. By night she secretly struggles to raise her toddler sister, Elsie, and protect her from their mother.

But Jane’s got a plan: she’ll become the San Francisco Prospect’s first gossip columnist and make enough money to care for Elsie.

Jane finagles her way to the women’s championship at Wimbledon, starring her hometown’s tennis phenom and cover girl Tommie O’Rourke. Jane plans to write her first column there. But then she witnesses Edith “Coach” Carlson, Tommie’s closest companion, drop dead in the stands of apparent heart attack, and her plan is blown.

​Sailing home on the RMS Queen Mary, Jane veers between competing instincts: Should she write a social bombshell column, personally damaging her new friend Tommie’s persona and career? Or should she work to uncover the truth of Coach’s death and its connection to a larger conspiracy involving US participation in the coming war?

Putting away her menswear and donning first-class ballgowns, Jane discovers what upper-class status hides, protects, and destroys. Ultimately—like nations around the globe in 1939—she must choose what she’ll give up in order to do what’s right.

Buy the Book:
Capital Books
Amazon ~ B&N ~
Audible ~ Libro ~ Kobo
Scribd ~ Chirp ~ Amazon (audiobook)
Add to Goodreads

How did you do research for your book?

Half of my novel takes place on the RMS Queen Mary, sailing from England to New York in 1939. Another portion takes place on trains from San Francisco to New York to get to the ship’s harbor in New York. I expected I would be replicating these trips on my own before writing Tomboy. At the very least, I expected to visit the original RMS Queen Mary at its dock in Long Beach, California.

Because the pandemic hit right as I began writing this novel, I wasn’t able to do any of that first person research. So my research all took place via online interviews and through books ordered online. Though I was disappointed not to get the dreamed-of real world experience, I was warmed by the willingness of experts to help me at a distance.

For instance, I reached out to Chris Rockwell, Librarian at the California State Railroad Museum Library & Archives, who forwarded my questions to volunteer researchers Jeff Asay and John Privara. They sent a nineteen-page, single- spaced document outlining how to “get Jane to New York.” They described every detail of that route, including ticket prices, upholstery quality, and sandwich options. I will always remember their thoughtful generosity. In fact, I included so much of what they shared that I wound up needing to edit it down hard. That cutting of historic details was painful.

Which was the hardest character to write? The easiest?

The easiest character to write was Sandy. I am nothing like her. She is stylish, efficient, capable and sassy. She’s so confident in her own way, within the conventions of her day—she’s very, very girly. Even though I am not like her, I just really loved writing her and she poured from my keyboard with hardly any effort.

My hardest character to write was Helen, who suffers deeply from anxiety, caused partly by her own pathology and partly by her innate intelligence and accurate skepticism. It was important to me to get her right. She arrives at many strange conclusions and some of them are correct. I wanted to honor the intelligence within her pathology. It was difficult for me to do this because I always worried about not being sympathetic enough.

In your book you make a reference to an old Irish tune sung by crewmen in the Pig ’N Whistle, the pub for staff of the RMS Queen Mary. How did you come up with this music?

The Pig ’N Whistle really existed on that ship. I was taken by the raucous celebration that would have occurred there, outside of the view of the passengers. I wanted to feature a group of Irish men playing a traditional tune in that space.

What a rabbit hole of music-listening that was! I fell in love with an old Irish song called Wild Rover. I wanted to include its lyrics in the scene but it has been recently recorded by many groups, including the Dubliners. It’s also regularly played at Irish soccer games. I thought I’d better avoid intellectual property issues, so I made up my own lyrics, to be sung to the tune of Wild Rover. Here’s my version:

I’ve run with the wild herd,
since I was a lad,
I’ve lost all that I earned,
spent good after bad.
But now, I’m a changed man,
with money to share,
I’ll never again
leave my pretty young mare.

And I’ll run with ’em no more,
No never, no more,
Will I run with the wild herd, No never, no more.

What made you write a book about Jane’s trying to be a columnist?

This is the second in a trilogy featuring Jane Benjamin. One of the core things I wanted to do in this novel was to explore Jane’s ambition and her idea about what she should and could be as a woman in 1939. Jane is just beginning at 19 to explore her sexuality and she’s not having the best luck. This is partly because she’s gender fluid. This obviously was not a term or a concept that would have been familiar to her at that time.

And yet, the real heart of my interest was the question of what it would take for a young woman to develop a successful career at that moment in time. What she’d have to give up to get what she aims at. Can she be a good-enough caregiver for her toddler sister Elsie if she’s also aiming to be a successful columnist? That push-pull is at the root of Jane’s character development.

Where do you get inspiration for your stories?

I am inspired by fascinating historical figures like Dorothea Lange, Alice Marble, Henry J. Kaiser, and more. I like to start with some facets of their history but then fictionalize them with new names. That way I can make them as dastardly as I dare.

But I only began writing these books at all as a result of listening to my family’s stories at holidays and other gatherings. My father is one of ten children, dustbowl Okies who traveled from Texas to California to find work. They lived in tents and Hoovervilles for quite a while. The children joined their parents in picking cotton and other crops in the morning before school and after school too. They told sad stories and also a lot of funny ones about those times. My first novel begins by remaking a story my father always told about the terrifying experience he had as a boy. The mother in the tent next door to his family tent told him to get rid of her husband. To drive him down the road (at twelve years old) and dump him out. My father always says that experience defined him. And it began this series, by looking at what might happen to people who have extremely difficult childhoods.

Meet the Narrator:

April Doty is a classically trained actress with a BFA from Syracuse University. She is a voice actor and the narrator of 26 books. Born in Virginia, educated in New York, seasoned in London and settled in Spain, April Doty brings the sound of a rich and varied life experience to her narration. The character of Jane came to life in her home studio on the Costa del Sol.

connect with the narrator:  website twitter linkedIn ~ soundcloud


Meet the Author:

Shelley grew up in California’s Central Valley, the daughter of Dust Bowl immigrants who made good on their ambition to get out of the field. She recently retired from teaching writing at Sacramento State University and still consults with writers in the energy industry. She co-directs Stories on Stage Sacramento, where actors perform the stories of established and emerging authors, and serves on the advisory board of 916 Ink, an arts-based creative writing nonprofit for children, as well as on the board of the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at Claremont McKenna College. Copy Boy is her first Jane Benjamin Novel. Tomboy is her second. The third, Working Girl, will come out in November 2023. Her writing has been a finalist in the Sarton Book Awards, IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards, Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion Award, the American Fiction Awards, and the National Indie Excellence Awards. She and her husband live in Sacramento with many photos of their out-of-town sons and their wonderful partners.

Connect with the author:   website  ~  twitter  ~  facebook  ~ instagram ~bookbub ~ goodreads

Tour Schedule:

Oct 3 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – audiobook review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 3 – Literary Flits – book review / giveaway
Oct 4 – Olio By Marilyn – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Oct 4 – Olio By Marilyn – book review / giveaway
Oct 5 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 6 – Books are a Blessing – book review / giveaway
Oct 7 – Leanne bookstagram – book review
Oct 11 – Amy’s Booket List – audiobook review / giveaway
Oct 11 – FUONLYKNEW – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Oct 12 – Cover Lover Book Review – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 12 – PuzzlePaws Blog – book review / giveaway
Oct 13 – JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 13 – Stephanie Jane – book review / giveaway
Oct 14 – Splashes of Joy – audiobook review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 18 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review / giveaway
Oct 18 – Sadie’s Spotlight – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Oct 19 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Oct 19 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 20 – Deborah-Zenha Adams – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 21 – Faith and Books – audiobook review / author interview / giveaway
Oct 21 – Books for Books – audiobook review

Enter the Giveaway:

TOM BOY (a Jane Benjamin novel) Book Tour Giveaway


Cover Reveal: The Kingdom of Jior Series, by Wendy L. Anderson

The Kingdom of Jior Series banner

The Kingdom of Jior Series has a new look, and I am so thrilled to share this gorgeous covers with you! The best part is that you can own the whole series right away. No waiting!

Of Demon Kind new cover

Of Demon Kind
(Kingdom of Jior #1)
by Wendy L. Anderson
Genre: Romantic Fantasy

He’s heir to a dark throne. She’s a gentle healer. Will their forbidden attraction be the key to mending his broken soul?

Prince Lorn just wants to be left alone. Drinking heavily to numb the despair of failing to prevent his evil father’s horrific defeat and his own inability to conquer the humans, the devastated half-demon has spent the last five years exiled in a drunken stupor. But when he’s falsely accused of kidnapping a beautiful noble and other atrocities, he emerges vowing to fight to clear his name…by becoming her white knight.

Princess Lililaira longs to be free. Imprisoned in a sorcerer’s tower, the courageous woman is startled when a gorgeous winged man flies in through the window and offers rescue. Seizing the opportunity to escape, she places her trust in the fierce warrior’s arms in a daring flight to freedom.

Desperate to avert another brutal war, Lorn draws nearer to his lovely companion while wrestling with the sins of his past. And though Lililaira is happy to help her intriguing savior prove his innocence in return for his aid in evading her cruel father’s rule, her growing love demands she stand beside him as they set off into an unknown future.

Can they break away from eternal torment and claim their destiny together?

Of Demon Kind is the thrilling first book in the Kingdom of Jior romantic fantasy series. If you like brooding anti-heroes, chivalrous passions,

Available on Amazon!

Check out the rest of the series!

The Kingdom of Jior Series

About the Author


Wendy L. Anderson is a Colorado native and mother of two boys. She has an English Degree from Regis University and writes books, short stories and poetry. Wendy is a devout reader of the classics, fantasy, sci-fi and historical fiction. She has decided it is time to write down the fantasies from her own mind. Writing about everything from fantastical worlds to the stuff of her dreams she takes her stories along interesting paths while portraying characters and worlds she sees in her mind’s eye. Her goal is to deviate from common themes, write in original directions and transport her reader to the worlds of her creation.

Wendy L. Anderson | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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