Audio Spotlight & Playlist: Silence at the Lock + Excerpt

Title: Silence at the Lock

Author: Andi Cumbo-Floyd

Narrator: Aven Shore

Length: 5 hours and 14 minutes

Series: Steele Secrets, Book 3

Released: April 29, 2022

Producer: Audiobook Empire

Publisher: Andilit

Genre: Paranormal; Young Adult

I didn’t expect to meet a grieving ghost or her dead mother.

But then, I didn’t expect to find out my town had been the site of a lynching, a lynching that had left my friend Sarah motherless and had made her a victim of murder as well.

Their deaths aren’t ancient history, though, not when one man who was a witness still holds sway in our small town. My friends and I have truth on our side, but will that be enough to keep us safe?

If only telling the truth didn’t come so hard to so many.



 

The Music of Silence at the Lock

I grew up listening to folk music – John Denver, Anne Murray, Roger Whitaker – and so when I think of the music behind the stories I write, it’s the songs of folk tunes that fill my head. Songs that tell stories. Songs that come up from places and hearts.

I wrote this book as a testament to the strength of women, to the way we save each other and the world day by day, love by love. So the songs that lifted me as I wrote have that as a theme. Also, Since Silence at the Lock is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in a land that is run through with big rivers and deep hollows, the music that filled my mind as I wrote is the music of the people who have lived there and still live there now. Here are a few songs that you might want to check out to get a feel of Terra Linda and her people.

  1. “We Could Fly” – Rhiannon Giddens. This song is one I quote in the book, and it’s one I played over and over as I wrote because it struck me that it’s one my character Beverly (Bo) might have felt a kinship to.
  2. “Look At Miss Ohio” – Gillian Welch. The theme of this song feels so true for many young women, who need a little freedom, who need to push off against the rules a bit and find our footing, especially my character Sarah in this book.
  3. “Glory Bound” – The Wailin’ Jennys. The characters in my books and I grew up steeped in the Christian tradition, and so this song speaks to the hope that this tradition offers, all the best of it, actually.
  4. “Down to the River To Pray”-Allison Kraus. I sang this song to my little boy every day when we crossed the river by our house, a way to introduce him to the music of our culture but also to the lamenting hopefulness of our faith. That feeling permeates this book.
  5. “What It Don’t Come Easy” – Patty Griffin. Nothing about the experiences of Sarah, Bo, or Mary in this book is easy, but Griffin’s song reminds us of the light that comes around the edges of hardship.

As you can see, the voices of women singing hope spoke large to me as I wrote this book, and I hope they will speak to you, too, in my pages and in these songs, too.


Andi Cumbo-Floyd lives in the Southwestern Mountains of Virginia with her young son, an old dog, and a puppy who likes to eat furniture. When she’s not writing she likes to cross-stitch, binge magical shows, and garden.

Aven Shore is an audiobook narrator living in her off-grid tiny house in rural Eastern Canada, surrounded by forest and chicken friends, and honeybees. She loves books so much she’s listening to one almost every minute she’s not narrating one (she narrates romance as Avie Paige). She narrates live on Discord with other romance narrators on the Haven server. She is longing to travel and hike in mountains again, and dreaming of sleep in the lava fields of Iceland under Northern lights again, her favorite place in the world. Her past lives include being a carpenter, firefighter, tax accountant, and competitive snowboarder.

At Audiobook Empire, audio reigns supreme, narrators are hailed as heroes, and headphones are worn with pride.

Marrying pomp and circumstance with quality you can count on, Audiobook Empire is a full-service production house that produces and promotes audiobooks with gusto.

Give your audiobook the imperial treatment by producing it with Audiobook Empire.

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Maddie Bloom & the Fae Academy + Giveaway

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Maddie Bloom & the Fae Academy
by Emily Jenkins
Publication date: June 21st 2022
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Welcome to Fae Academy, where if the Sluagh Sidhe lurking in the woods doesn’t get you, the homework just might…

Maddie Bloom is dreading sophomore year. Not only is her mom’s mysterious illness getting worse, but it’s also a brand-new year of her longtime bully to look forward to. Because who doesn’t love getting swirlies in the newly renovated girls’ bathroom? But then the accident happens. The one where she’s escaping said bully and accidentally summons a magical portal that drops her right into the foyer of a literal castle.

That’s when the big reveals start…

  1. Faeries exist.
  2. Maddie is half-fae. Which is how she ended up in Figstern’s Academy for Excellence, aka Fae Academy.
  3. And Maddie’s uncontrolled magic? It’s slowly poisoning her mom.

When she’s given the chance to stay and learn to control her gifts to save her mom, the choice is clear. But Maddie’s not exactly welcome at Fae Academy. Bullies exist even in the magical world, and don’t get her started on the vindictive hobgoblin or the disgraced prince of the Autumn Court.

Still, not all is what it seems at Fae Academy. And the more Maddie digs, the more secrets she uncovers. Secrets that could threaten her life, her mother’s life, and the future of the fae world itself.

Goodreads / Amazon


EXCERPT:

I flipped onto my back, spitting mulch from my mouth. I was seconds from pushing myself into a sitting position when the ground vibrated beneath me, courtesy of Sam’s rapidly approaching footsteps. Her bloodlust rippled through the air; that’s how excited she was to have me where she wanted me.

Get up! My inner voice yelled at me.

I listened, but instantly regretted it. Sharp pain shot through my torso from the impact of the fall, and my stomach lurched as Samantha leered down at me. She was way too close for comfort – to where I could distinguish freckles from blemishes.

I swallowed, heat rising to my face. I had a feeling my life was about to flash before my eyes.

But before I could reflect on the short, uneventful fifteen years that I’d walked this Earth, I saw a flash out of the corner of my eye.

I turned my head sideways, and a strange warmth spread over my body, engulfing me from head to toe.

To my left, the air was… shimmering.

I blinked. Once, twice, a third time, but it was still there. A twinkling, transparent curtain swaying in mid-air and luring me in. Calling for me. I’m not exaggerating, either.

I swear it was chanting my name repeatedly.

Meanwhile, in front of me, Sam was preparing to pounce like a predator.

Without thinking, without understanding what was going on, I dodged, rolling toward the strange, glistening air to my left. And somehow, the space swallowed me whole, swooping me out of the playground and away from Sam’s clutches just as she reached out to make good on her promise to make me pay for forcing her to run.

I caught one last glimpse of her stunned face.

And then she disappeared from my view.

Or was it me who disappeared?

Whatever the case, the world as I, Maddie Bloom, knew it, was gone.


Author Bio:

Hi, my name is Emily Jenkins. I’m a high school student and wrestle, and I also happen to be the USA National East Coast Jr Teen! After writing a children’s book about bullying in 2020 (Wrestling Girl Takes Down Bullies), I was inspired to keep creating stories—which is how the Maddie Bloom series was born.

In my free time, I love collecting socks, cooking, and sewing clothes for my dog.

He tears them up. It sort of breaks my heart. I sew more.

Yep, it’s a vicious cycle. 😀

Wanna keep up with my updates?

Sign up for my newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/h3oXtL


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Spotlight & Excerpt: Gage + Giveaway

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Gage
by Christina Bauer
(Angelbound Offspring, #8)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: June 28th 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

“An action-packed series full of adventures, romance and fun! If you want a fantasy world with sexy times, this series is for you.” -Rosee Reads

Gage runs the L’Griffe, AKA the dragon shifter mafia on Earth. Since the human realm has no supernatural police, the L’Griffe do more than loan money or sell contraband. When it comes to dragon shifters, the L’Griffe are the law. And Gage isn’t the only sheriff in town, either. Other secret groups have their own gangs, including ghouls, demons, and everything in between. It’s an awkward balance, but it works.

Until the demons consolidate into the Horde. This alliance plans to take over Earth, and that’s just for starters.

Now Gage must build his own connections to fight this new threat. Fortunately, Gage’s true love, Huntress, comes from a family of superhuman warriors. All of them agree to team up and put down the Horde. Success seems just around the corner.

Then the truth becomes clear.

Thanks to magical cloning, the Horde is led by an old enemy of Huntress’ family—one that everyone thought had been destroyed forever. Now their archnemesis is back and more powerful than anyone could have imagined.

Looks like defeating these demons may also destroy Gage, Huntress, and everyone they love.

Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to the Angelbound Offspring Series!

ANGELBOUND OFFSPRING
1. Maxon
2. Portia
3. Zinnia
4. Rhodes
5. Kaps
6. Mack
7. Huntress
8. Gage
* This is a completed series.

Perfect for teen and young adult readers who want their book series to deliver: badass world building, angels, demons, paranormal romance, fresh themes from contemporary fiction, LOL romantic comedy, gods and goddesses, dark fantasy, strong girls and women as heroines, themes about loners and outcasts, the best laughs in humorous literature, general coming of age whackery, and (most importantly) truly unusual epic fantasy.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play


Excerpt:

GAGE

While Gage and I battle a new group of ghouls, my buddy Zag sidles up beside Huntress. I can’t say this move is unexpected. Out of all my crew, Zag is the most unhinged. He looks like a cross between a California surfer and bloodthirsty Viking.
Zag slaps on a smile. “So, Huntress.”
For her part, my mate uses a roundhouse kick to flatten yet another ghoul. She spots Zag. There’s no missing the sly grin that rounds her mouth. “Not again, Zag.”
“The guys and I were wondering,” continues Zag. “When will you hold another magical ceremony with that Aeternum cube? You know, the ones where you can find our fated mates? We’re getting really anxious without them.”
Huntress held one of those ceremonies right before we killed the Orcneas King, Ruin. Ever since then, she hasn’t been able to summon Aeternum. We’ve decided to wait a bit and give her powers time to recharge.
I punch another ghoul in the throat. “Zag, read the room.”
Zag scans dramatically from left to right. “Ooooooh, you’re fiiiiiiiighting.”
I grab one ghoul and use him as a battering ram against another. “That’s right.”
“So…” Zag purses his lips. “Does that mean no ceremony tonight?”
“That’s what it means,” I reply. “Go check on how the ghoul kids are doing.”
“Really?” Zag winces. “Don’t you need any help?”
Without looking, Zag reaches behind his back, grabs a ghoul, and tosses the guy across the room. His target slams into the far wall before slowly sliding down to the floor.
“Thanks for the effort,” I state. “But we got this.”
Another ghoul rushes toward me while brandishing sword. I unsheathe my own soul blade dagger and stab him in the chest. That one’s not unconscious; he’s dead. I shake my head. “You really shouldn’t come at us with weapons.”
Huntress scans the room. “We’re down to six now.”
I nod to Huntress before glaring at Zag. “And I can’t help but notice how you’re still here.”
“It’s really a no on the ceremony?” asks Zag.
“Don’t make me go Alpha on you.” I can use my powers as leader of the pack to compel Zag into compliance.
“Fine, fine.” Zag lets out a combo groan-sigh that would make any two-year-old proud. Although while a toddler might stomp his foot, Zag kicks a nearby ghoul in the nuts. “You’re such a grouch, Gage.”
At last, Zag sprouts his insect-style wings and takes to the skies. Huntress and I take down the last ghoul.
“That was interesting,” I state.
Huntress shoots me a sly look. “The battle’s not over.”


Author Bio:

Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates

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