Monday, 24 October 2016

Spotlight: SCORCHED SOULS by Jeff Altabef and Erynn Altabef

Welcome to another exciting Spotlight Tour with Novel Publicity. Today, I’m sharing the spotlight for Scorched Souls, the final story in the Chosen Trilogy by Jeff Altabef and Erynn Altabef. Don't forget to enter for your chance to win some great prizes including an Amazon Gift Card, a Paperback of Scorched Souls and a dream catcher!

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Here’s an Exclusive Excerpt:
I lean back in my chair; he’s dumped a bucket of ice water on my head, and the chill settles into my bones. “So the Chosen were set up to fail. You’ve planted a bomb on the planet to explode when the Deltites take over.”
He nods, a smug self-congratulatory grin on his face. “A Heart Stone to be precise. It was the only logical action to take.”
Bile burns my throat. “But billions of humans live on the planet.... They will all die. They have souls.”
Still, my father’s logic is undeniable.
“Another complication has developed.” Two different human faces materialize above us and hover in front of the image of Earth. “The woman’s name is Summer Stone. She’s what humans call Native American, and is the mother to the Alpha among the Chosen. The man is not from her tribe. He’s what they call Irish.”
“So?” Why does he care?
“The calculations behind the Chosen were extremely advanced and fragile.” A third face joins that of the others. “The Alpha’s name is Juliet Wildfire Stone. She was supposed to be born from a union between two members of the same Native American tribe. That genetic combination was the only way humans could produce a Chosen strong enough to be an Alpha and draw power from the other three. The secret order had specific rules regarding this, yet they failed to heed them. Fools! I can’t predict what the outcome will be of this particular pairing.”
I study the faces and notice that Juliet has inherited much of her physical appearance from her mother: the long straight black hair, the caramel colored eyes, brown skin and high cheekbones—all but her sharp nose, which resembles her father’s.
Her eyes seem to sparkle, but I shake my head. These are only holographic images. I can’t read too much into them or let my imagination cloud my reason. “I don’t understand the problem. Either she is powerful enough to be the Alpha, or she isn’t. Since you want them to fail, why do you care?”
My father bores his gaze into me, and an icy blade carves into my chest and twists. “There is a third possibility.”
My body turns weak. I’m lucky I’m already sitting. It’s unthinkable, but it’s the only thing that might frighten my father. “You’re afraid she’s an... abomination.”
“I can’t rule it out. Even if she is, she won’t be strong enough defeat an Elite, but we can’t take any chances. I want you to go to Earth. Make sure the Chosen fail and never find out about our plans. They can’t tell the Deltites about the Heart Stone I’ve planted on the planet. If they retrieve that crystal, all would be lost, and they could use its power against us.”
“Me.” I point to my chest. “Why me? Why not send someone else, someone who has already proven—”
“I trust no one else with this! You will succeed and return to Alpha, and when you return you will take the final test. This way we have an excuse for your... reluctance to finish the final exam.”
Two small discs fly into his hand, and he hands one to me. “This one is programmed with my brainwaves. You will use it when you have succeeded. I will keep the second here, so I can contact you... if need be.”
I sense the implied threat in his words and bow my head. “Yes, father. As you command.”
If pure evil exists in this universe, it’s sitting next to me, and I am this monster’s son. What does that make me?
I glance at the hologram of Earth above me. It’s a beautiful planet.
He’s sentenced billions of humans to die, but can I carry out the punishment?

About The Book:
Fate and destiny clash in the explosive, heart-pounding conclusion to the award-winning Chosen series.
Survival is not enough.
Alliances will be formed.
Loyalties tested.
A choice made.
My name is Juliet Wildfire Stone and I’m not just a Chosen, I’m the Alpha… and the fate of Earth rests in my hands.
When I finally met the Prime Elector, he wasn’t anything like I expected. He was supposed to be our mortal enemy, a monster I needed to destroy to fulfill my destiny, yet he was nothing like that—he’s young, brilliant, and looks like an angel.
Caught in the middle of a conflict between two ancient foes, which threatens to rip Earth apart, I must do what is right at all costs. To choose my fate, and Earth’s future, I will need to navigate a new path, form unlikely alliances, and solve ancient mysteries forgotten for centuries.
Yet I cannot do it alone. Will the other Chosen follow me? Do I have the strength to make the right choice, or will the people of Earth be enslaved for all time?

About the Authors:
Jeff Altabef is an award-winning author who lives in New York with his wife, two daughters, and Charlie the dog. He spends time volunteering at the writing center in the local community college. After years of being accused of “telling stories,” he thought he would make it official. He writes in both the thriller and young adult genres.
Jeff is very happy and proud that his co-author for the Chosen Series is his teenaged daughter, Erynn Altabef. Wind Catcher, the first in the Chosen Series, has won the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal for Coming of Age Novels, the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award for Best YA Fiction and a Mom’s Choice Award.
As an avid Knicks fan, Jeff is prone to long periods of melancholy during hoops season. Jeff has a column on The Examiner focused on writing and a blog designed to encourage writing by those who like telling stories.

Connect with Jeff on: 

Erynn Altabef
Erynn Altabef is an avid reader, dancer, and community activist. Some of her favorite authors are Veronica Roth, Joelle Charbonneau, and her dad! (That would be Jeff Altabef.) She just started her freshman year at Connecticut College is proud to be a camel!!!

Connect with Erynn on:

Thursday, 20 October 2016


The Billionaire Baritone, blog serial, Linzé Brandon, sweet romanceAmethyst loves music and enjoys hip-hop dancing to spice up her dull and dreary life. But one evening on her way home from dance class, she hears a voice that drew her away from her route.
Caught in the act of eavesdropping, her life is about to change in a way she has never foreseen.

David didn't quite know what to do with the beautiful trespasser, but when he learned that she was injured, taking care of her was the only solution.

Little did he suspect that she was about to take care of his lonely heart in return.


When they eventually came up for air, Jeff and Phyllis were openly smiling.
David smiled too. He couldn't do anything else.
“There is one more thing, and you are entitled to say no this time, and I won't push you.”
“Sounds serious,” Amethyst replied.
“The Morecroft Foundation hosts an annual Christmas charity event to collect money for children to learn and study music at school. Jeff and Mother have been after me for years to sing with them, but I have refused—”
“Because you don't sing duets with people,” she finished for him.
“Yes. But I will sing if you will sing with me.”
Her eyes widened. She looked from one son to the next to the mother, biting her lip with tears in her eyes.
“Will you sing with me, my heart?”
Her tears told him she knew how much this meant to him. “I will. For you, I will. May I ask—”
“Name it,” David interrupted, making her smile at his eagerness.
“Can we add dance to the list for the kids to study? I love dancing, but it was always too expensive for private classes—”
The kiss told her everything she needed to know.

Three weeks later.

“Do I look okay?”
Phyllis stood next to her soon-to-be daughter-in-law. “You look beautiful. My son is going to swallow his tongue when he sees you.”
The two women giggled at the thought of the dynamic CEO of the Morecroft Corporation being speechless.
A knock on the door reminded them that it was time to go.
The women shared a quick hug before leaving the dressing room. They were met by Jeff and David and true enough, her fiancé was speechless when he saw her.
Amethyst felt beautiful when he looked at her. The lilac gown with its silver beading had been his choice. The silver heels and the strings of small beads the hairdresser had woven into her long hair were the perfect items to complete her outfit. The only other thing she wore was the engagement ring of diamonds and amethysts on her left hand.
She often looked at it and pinched herself until she looked into his eyes, then she knew it wasn't a dream.
Phyllis winked at her and took Jeff's arm as David escorted her to the stage to loud applause.
Sure enough, the press had been scathing about her background, but she kept her head high and her back stiff when they were approached in public.
When the applause died down, Jeff sat down at the piano and played the introduction to Jingle Bells.
When David took her hand and opened his mouth, she forgot about the press and the people attending the event. She looked at her husband-to-be and sang with him, for him.
By the time the last notes of Silent Night faded into the theater, people were on their feet applauding with a deafening noise.
David lifted her hand to his lips. “I love you.”
She cupped his cheek with her right hand, healed but still a little stiff. “And I will sing duets of the heart with you forever.”

The End.

You can read the entire story on Wattpad

Thank you for reading Amethyst and David's story.
I hope you enjoyed it.
💜  Linzé

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Book Review: CORPORATE CITIZEN by Gabriel Valjan

Title: Corporate Citizen: Roma Series Book Five
Genre: Mystery-Suspense/Thriller
Author: Gabriel Valjan
Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing
Purchase link:

About the Book from the back cover:
A call for help from an old friend lands Bianca and the crew back in Boston. On a timeout with Dante, due to revelations in the aftermath of the showdown in Naples, Bianca is drawn to a mysterious new ally who understands the traumas of her past, and has some very real trauma of his own. Murder, designer drugs, and a hacker named Magician challenge our team, and Bianca learns that leaving Rendition behind might be much harder than she thinks.

About the Author:
Gabriel Valjan is the author of the Roma Series from Winter Goose Publishing as well as numerous short stories. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he enjoys the local restaurants, and his two cats, Squeak and Squawk, keep him honest to the story on the screen.

Twitter: @GValjan

Linzé's Review
I volunteered to read and review this book as part of a blog tour. It wasn't until I opened the ebook that I realised it is the fifth book in a series.
It doesn't take you long to realise that the books must be read in order, despite the claim that they could be read as standalone books. There is a lot of history between the characters and their past associations that is not revealed in the story.
The story is complicated with several murders, conspiracy theories and conjecture that makes it difficult to follow given the context and history.
I liked Nick. He is not the main character and yet he is easier to understand and empathise with than the others in the story. He enters the story as a suspect and gets involved in the process. While he has his issues, his character is likeable and also someone the reader can sympathise with.
Bianca is the main character and the lead investigator in the story. If it wasn't for the character list at the start of the ebook, it would have taken the reader at least four chapters to get that information. As a character she appears cold and distant, even though her actions (she touches her friends and the cats without hesitation) say the opposite. As the main character she is not easy to relate to, and that might also be because of the lack of reading the first four books in the series.
Her past and her issue with intimacy was explored without any depth, and might again be because I haven't read any earlier books.
The other characters were sometimes confusing. They were either addressed by a nickname (prior history again), first name, or last name. It makes it difficult to figure out who is who, despite the character list. A list in a printed book is easier to refer to than in an ebook.
I liked the cats and the way they took part in the story. Their individual characters were well woven into the story, although in the end, they could have served as an opportunity to explore more of the 'human' side of the characters.
In the end, I remained confused as to the motivation of the antagonists in the story for involving some of the characters in their schemes. Again, maybe details in earlier books, or setting up a plot for the next book somehow.
The plot was complicated and the author did hint throughout the story what the reader should expect at the ending, yet all the while creating an expectation of a different outcome. It was not entirely a satisfying ending, despite continuing the story with another book.
There is a sixth book in the series, and from the way this book was written, the story would simply carry on.

It is difficult to rate the book based on my experience, so my rating is based on my experience of the characters, the plot, the structure and the limited backstory as presented.

My rating

Author Interview: René van Dalen

Welcome to the sixth author who took part in our JOURNEY project, René van Dalen.

What made you decide to take part in the JOURNEY project?
I thought it would be a good experience as I’ve never done anything like it before.

What is the title of your story? How did you come up with the title?
Destiny. Every journey has a destiny at its end. My characters went on a journey to discover theirs.

JOURNEY buy link
What inspired your story?
In my novel, Hard Rock Unrehearsed, the characters make a brief but important appearance. This project gave me the opportunity to write about what happened to them.

Please tell us about the journey of your character(s)
Rock drummer Richie Vierra is on a downward spiral. When he almost dies of a drug overdose his ex-girlfriend, Jennie Robson, comes back into his life and together they fight the demons of their pasts to gain a chance at a future.

What other things, besides writing, do you like to do?
I love reading, music, and exploring. I’m a gypsy at heart and would love to travel the world and see and do everything! Reading, music and travel doccies gives me that opportunity while sitting at home.

If the end of the world is about to happen, which person would you want to be with for those last minutes? Why?
You want me to choose one! Not possible! My three are the most important people in my life so I’d want to be with them when the lights go out. They are also funny and irreverent which would make for a hilarious rather than tearful ending.

What did you learn about yourself or your journey as a writer during this project?
That I can work to a deadline without pulling my hair out in clumps.

What do you see as your biggest challenge as a writer?
Conquering social media. I totally suck at it! But I’m getting better, slowly.

What tool/software/technique/process do you find the most valuable to you as a writer?
I’m a list-maker. I take copious notes as I write. I find that I need to put things down on paper to help me plan out the plot twists in a story. Recently I joined Pinterest and make storyboards for my characters using sourced images. It’s a visual aid to flesh out my characters.

Do you have another project in the pipeline that you would like to share with my readers?
I’m busy rewriting and re-editing Hard Rock Unheard, the first novel in my Hard Rock series and working on the second novel in the series. The working title is Hard Rock Unsung and follows Trace Hanover, the lead singer of Storm Front. After almost losing Richie, his best friend, and their drummer, to drugs, he makes sweeping changes to his lifestyle. Then he meets a woman who has no idea who he is or what he does for a living. Their road is not an easy one.
author, René van Dalen, Rene van Dalen
Author: René van Dalen

Find René on social media
Twitter: @RenVanDalen1

Thank you, René!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Linzé's Mischief: 16 October 2016

I am bone tired. What a weekend! As mentioned last week Francois had photographs selected for an international photographic exhibition that opened this afternoon. It was one amazing experience.
You might have heard about the concept of storytelling in photography, and this exhibition was the definition of that. It is also known as street photography, or photojournalism. That means the photos are not posed. It happens in a moment, and if you didn't capture it right then, the opportunity is gone.

Here are some of the pictures I took at the exhibition. You can see more on Instagram.
Histories of Shanghai and Beijing, 3cities+1, photo exhibition, Johannesburg
Histories of Shanghai and Beijing on a pillar at the exhibition

Francois Venter, photographer, Johannesburg, 3cities+1, exhibition
Francois next to one of his photos (bottom right)
History of Johannesburg, 3Cities+1 exhibition, Rosebank, Johannesburg
History of Johannesburg in the 3Cities+1 exhibition, Rosebank, Johannesburg

I also finished a course on Business English ( and managed to score 97% in my final assignment. Quite relieved that I did it today since my next course (also with Shaw) starts tomorrow. It runs into November, yeah, NaNoWriMo is going to be a challenge this year.
I decided to switch to editing. I cannot seem to get my tush in gear and finish Waiting for Adrian. So NaNoWriMo it will be. I have never not made the target, and I am not planning to do so this time.

And that is about all I have energy for tonight. I have to finish reading a book for review that is due on Tuesday. Since I take notes while reading, the review will be easy to write, but only if I finish reading it!
Look out for my interview with the sixth Journey author, René van Dalen, also coming this Tuesday, and the last chapter of The Billionaire Baritone will be coming your way on Thursday.

Until next time!