Book Release: Conscience by Jonathan Pongratz @RRBookTours1 #Conscience #RRBookTours #BookRelease #Scifi

Congratulations to author Jonathan Pongratz on the release of his latest short story, Conscience! Here’s an exclusive excerpt and book details!

ConscienceCoverConscience

Publication Date: August 27th, 2020

Genre: Sci-Fi/ Short Story

Rory Bennels lives in a world ruled by a business entity known as the Corporation. For years he’s executed cerebral uploads for the recently deceased, but when the famed anarchist Epher Lore ends up in his lab, a series of events occur that shakes Rory’s world to the core.

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Excerpt

“We’re losing him,” the surgeon’s tense voice cut through the viewing room’s speaker.

Rory Bennels leaned against the glass to the operating room as the surgeon barked orders at the nurses and red plated medbots tending to the man splayed out on the surgery table. The patient’s body seized in violent tremors, blood oozing through wounds in his forehead, chest, and abdomen. Rory stared on in concern, his skin tingling as he recognized the man. 

Epher Lore, the last leader of the Free Thinkers movement.

From his digital news updates, Rory knew of the Corporation’s efforts to track down this anarchist. However, as he looked upon Epher’s broken body, curiosity sparked in his mind.

This man, dangerous? He couldn’t have been older than twenty-five. What was it about him that made the Corporation nervous?

A sharp zap at the base of his neck made Rory clench his teeth. Heart pounding, he looked to the watch on his wrist. It flashed red in quick bursts. Crap! That was the second time this week. If he kept upsetting his emotion-monitoring implant, they’d come to clean him. Like the Corporation said, ‘Emotions lead to questions. Questions lead to independent thought. Independent thought leads to anarchy.’

Rory straightened his back, reciting the Corporation’s Preamble to suppress his deviant thoughts. We, the subordinates of the Corporation, in order to form a more perfect human, establish authority, ensure uniformity … 

He glanced at his black-banded watch again and gave a sigh of relief. Blue skies. 

The harsh monotonous buzz of the heart monitor blared through the speakers, demanding Rory’s attention. The surgeon took off his gloves and told the one-eyed medbots to record the time of death. He exited the operating room, Rory mulling over the peculiar situation before the surgeon entered the viewing room moments later.

“I take it you’re Rory Bennels?” the surgeon asked in a cold, clinical tone.

“That’s right.”

He handed Rory a thin tablet that activated upon his touch. “Retrieve this man’s mind. Upload it to the Corporation mainframe.”

Rory scanned the digital dossier, then gazed upon Epher’s covered body on the gurney.

“Is something wrong?” 

“Epher Lore, isn’t he–“

“That information is not relevant,” the surgeon snapped. He grimaced at Rory with calculating gray eyes. “Are you sweating?”

Stay calm, stay calm. Rory maintained eye contact. “Minor synaptic misfire,” he explained, flashing his watch that glowed a healthy bright blue.

The surgeon nodded, ushering Rory to follow him to collect the body.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

054

Jonathan Pongratz is a writer and author of captivating horror, urban fantasy, and paranormal stories. When he’s not writing, he’s busy being a bookworm, video game junkie, and karaoke vocalist. A former resident of Dallas, he currently resides in Kansas City with his halloween cat Ajax. By day he works magic in finance, by night he creates dark and mesmerizing worlds.

Jonathan Pongratz | Facebook | Goodreads | Tublr

 

More exciting news! Conscience will be available for review from now until the end of November! Contact shanannigans.readsandreels@gmail.com for details, or to request a review copy.

 

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Blog Tour: The Celestial Assignment by Theresa Braun @TBraun_Author @RRBookTours #WiHM #Paranormal #ShortStory #Books

It’s Women in Horror Month, and what better way to celebrate it than to share a new release by a wonderful author! Theresa Braun’s new short story, The Celestial Assignment is available now! Check it out!

The Celestial AssignmentThe Celestial Assignment

Publication Date: February 14th, 2020

Genre: Short Story/ Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal

After a sudden death, Will, a misguided angel, is tasked with protecting a baby girl. Watching over her as she grows up and navigates the world appears a harsh punishment for his past failings. Can he redeem himself, or will he fall further from grace?

“I devoured this phenomenal sorrow-filled piece in one sitting, but Braun left me with so many questions I had to think about. She creates a world that’s vivid, lush and visceral, while setting the reader up for heartbreak and despair. Amazing read, can’t recommend ‘The Celestial Assignment’ enough.” –Steve Stred, author of Ritual

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Excerpt

With a jolt, my feet landed on slick linoleum, the burning odor of disinfectant and stale medicine in the air. A woman screamed in a hospital bed, her legs pried open with a sheet over them. Ugh. I’d never liked babies and had zero fatherly instincts. As the infant cried and was handed to the mother, the dad busy snapping Polaroids, I heard a whisper: “She’s your responsibility now.”

As my questions flooded in, that damned manual appeared in my hand. Annoyed the heavenly head honchos hadn’t downloaded the content into my brain, I held onto it, lest I be struck by lightning.

“Hello, Celeste,” the mother cooed to the baby.

I tapped my foot.

The irony of the name irked the shit out of me.

As a reluctant guardian angel, I figured my job involved keeping this pipsqueak’s hand off the hot stove, and her mouth away from poisons in the cabinets. Most of the time, I yawned in the periphery, especially since I was trapped in this fucking hick town somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin. Countless Crayon doodles and finger paintings were the extent of my excitement. Eventually, I rejoiced when of a few close calls at the wheel of her parents’ car gave me something to do. But then there was her painfully awkward discovery of boys. Once she inadvertently brushed this dude’s junk at a dance. Her first kiss was lame as shit. It was like being tuned into the Nickelodeon Channel. Her interactions with a new boy made me gag—they’d finish each other’s sentences and giggle like idiots. What did I do to deserve this?

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

theresa-braun

Hmmm. What’s this? Looks like Ms. Braun left her computer on and her Goodreads bio open.

This should be fun.

What can we say about Theresa? I mean other than the fact that she’s weirdly obsessed with smiley faces :-). Like, seriously obsessed >:-*. It’s kinda scary :-O.

I think she thinks she’s from Renaissance England or Venice or something. I never could figure out which one it was. (She’s really bad at doing accents.)

She likes romance novels and crime TV, which are pretty much the same thing when you think about it. Ha! Am I right?

She has a hell of a singing voice. Seriously. It’s, like, seventh circle of hell bad.

She likes editing. A lot. Just wait till she get’s a load a this.

Cats. Shoes. Chips and salsa. In that order.

Yeah, that last part didn’t make sense to me either.

Theresa Braun | Twitter | FacebookInstagram

TheCelestial Assignment

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February 17th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

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Sophril Reads (Review) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Tales of a Natural Spoonie (Review) https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

February 19th

Didi Oviatt (Review) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

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February 20th

Ity Reads Books (Review)  http://www.ityreadsbooks.home.blog

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February 21st

Scarlett Readz & Runz (Review) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

Phantom of the Library (Review)  https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

Cup of Toast (Review) https://cupoftoast.co.uk

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👀Cover Reveal: The Celestial Assignment by Theresa Braun @TBraun_Author @RRBookTours1 #CoverReveal #ShortStory #Paranormal #UrbanFantasy

The Celestial Assignment

Theresa Braun has a new short story coming out called, The Celestial Assignment. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover, and an excerpt from the book!

The Celestial Assignment

Expected Publication Date: February 14th, 2020

Genre: Short Story/ Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal

After a sudden death, Will, a misguided angel, is tasked with protecting a baby girl. Watching over her as she grows up and navigates the world appears a harsh punishment for his past failings. Can he redeem himself, or will he fall further from grace?

“I devoured this phenomenal sorrow-filled piece in one sitting, but Braun left me with so many questions I had to think about. She creates a world that’s vivid, lush and visceral, while setting the reader up for heartbreak and despair. Amazing read, can’t recommend ‘The Celestial Assignment’ enough.” –Steve Stred, author of Ritual

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Excerpt

You know that meme of the angel statue, its face in its hands, with the caption: “This is probably what my guardian angel looks like”? Well, that’s the only thing on the wall in this stark room meant for some 12-step spiritual garbage.

          I was mystified as fuck the first time I sat here. The last thing I’d remembered was having a beer with one of my side pieces before witnessing her chuck my body into an unmarked grave. The bitch walked right through me as I grilled her about what she’d done.

            Next thing I know, I transported into this very chair. Looking around the circle, I noted everyone’s arms tattooed with wings in shades matching their clothing.

            “What am I doing here?” I asked, studying the new gray markings growing iridescent on my skin.

            “You’re getting a new assignment,” said someone with platinum hair. His wings were the real deal, tucked at his back, and he wore a white T-shirt and white jeans.

            “As opposed to what?”

            “Going back to earth. That hasn’t been working.” He stared at me with his unnaturally light blue eyes. “Don’t worry, there’s a manual under your seat.”

            That’s when I zoned out. The rest of them yammered on as I frantically retraced my memory for clues to why I was here. What kind of demented lunatic would make me an angel, if that’s what I was? I hadn’t even stepped one foot in a church, at least in my most recent life. That’s when it hit me I’d had more than one incarnation on earth. The mere vocabulary of it made me shiver.

***

            With a jolt, my feet landed on slick linoleum, the burning odor of disinfectant and stale medicine in the air. A woman screamed in a hospital bed, her legs pried open with a sheet over them. Ugh. I’d never liked babies and had zero fatherly instincts. As the infant cried and was handed to the mother, the dad busy snapping Polaroids, I heard a whisper: “She’s your responsibility now.”

            As my questions flooded in, that damned manual appeared in my hand. Annoyed the heavenly head honchos hadn’t downloaded the content into my brain, I held onto it, lest I be struck by lightning.

            “Hello, Celeste,” the mother cooed to the baby.

            I tapped my foot.

            The irony of the name irked the shit out of me.

            As a reluctant guardian angel, I figured my job involved keeping this pipsqueak’s hand off the hot stove, and her mouth away from poisons in the cabinets. Most of the time, I yawned in the periphery, especially since I was trapped in this fucking hick town somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin. Countless Crayon doodles and finger paintings were the extent of my excitement. Eventually, I rejoiced when of a few close calls at the wheel of her parents’ car gave me something to do. But then there was her painfully awkward discovery of boys. Once she inadvertently brushed this dude’s junk at a dance. Her first kiss was lame as shit. It was like being tuned into the Nickelodeon Channel. Her interactions with a new boy made me gag—they’d finish each other’s sentences and giggle like idiots. What did I do to deserve this?

Available Soon on Amazon!

About the Author

theresa-braun

Hmmm. What’s this? Looks like Ms. Braun left her computer on and her Goodreads bio open.

This should be fun.

What can we say about Theresa? I mean other than the fact that she’s weirdly obsessed with smiley faces :-). Like, seriously obsessed >:-*. It’s kinda scary :-O.

I think she thinks she’s from Renaissance England or Venice or something. I never could figure out which one it was. (She’s really bad at doing accents.)

She likes romance novels and crime TV, which are pretty much the same thing when you think about it. Ha! Am I right?

She has a hell of a singing voice. Seriously. It’s, like, seventh circle of hell bad.

She likes editing. A lot. Just wait till she get’s a load a this.

Cats. Shoes. Chips and salsa. In that order.

Yeah, that last part didn’t make sense to me either.

Theresa Braun | Twitter | FacebookInstagram

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Blog Tour: My Sweet Friend by H.A. Leuschel @HALeuschel #Review #Excerpt #Giveaway

MSF 2D High Res

R&R Book Tours is so pleased to kick off the tour for this 5 star novella about a toxic friendship, I bet so many of us can relate to!

I really enjoyed this one!

I don’t often read short stories because a lot of the time I am left dissatisfied. It takes a very strong writer to develop a good story with fully fleshed out characters, the complete picture, and an enjoyable conclusion that not only ties up all lose ends, but also leaves you wanting more. But in a good way, not because the story was vague or incomplete.

This author is excellent at delivering these well-written firecrackers that always feel like full-length novels. “My Sweet Friend” is no exception. I highly recommend you give this one a go.

Rating… A+

My Sweet Friend (Release Date: December 6, 2017) 

A stand-alone novella from the author of Manipulated Lives

A perfect friend … or a perfect impostor?

Alexa is an energetic and charismatic professional and the new member of a Parisian PR company where she quickly befriends her colleagues Rosie and Jack. She brings a much-needed breath of fresh air into the office and ambitiously throws herself into her new job and friendships.

But is Alexa all she claims to be?

As her life intertwines with Rosie and Jack’s, they must all decide what separates truth from fiction. Will the stories that unfold unite or divide them? Can first impressions ever be trusted?

In this original novella, H.A. Leuschel evokes the powerful hold of appearances and what a person is prepared to do to keep up the facade. If you like thought-provoking and compelling reads with intriguing characters, My Sweet Friend is for you.

Goodreads

We all make up stories to understand the world around us and our place within. We often believe what we want to believe and consciously or unconsciously interpret what we see and what we hear from a restricted perspective. Furthermore, outer appearances and life’s circumstances equally tend to influence and challenge the story we tell ourselves and others … which in the case of ‘My Sweet Friend’ ends up taking on different versions because – to make matters worse – one of the main protagonists is also a liar. (Helene Leuschel_

Excerpt

Summer-Hat_420x294

She ended up taking me to her stylist, and a few boutiques to change my classical outfits into more flamboyant and daring ones. She was being so kind and attentive that I wondered whether I could have muddled up the incident.

‘You’re like my mum was when I was a teenager, taking me to shops and make-up displays, thinking she could pep up my looks,’ I said.

‘She didn’t do a very good job, did she?’ She winked, her words leaving a sharp pain of hurt.

‘If you say so,’ I said eventually, my eyes focused on a row of buttons running down a tight fitting red dress. ‘You never mention your family. Visibly, they’ve done a better job.’

‘Oh, my parents,’ she answered dismissively, her tone of voice flat. ‘It’s complicated. We talk from time to time but we don’t have much in common. It’s a shame really, considering I’m their only child, but I don’t care now.’ It was all she ever said.

‘I couldn’t imagine… that’s so sad, Alexa. My mum and I are very close.’

‘Please don’t,’ Alexa said, her eyes lowered and lips twitching as if she were about to cry.

‘Oh, Alexa, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you.’ She looked up at me with an empty stare and nodded.

‘Fine. Just don’t mention it again,’ she said coldly, slipping back into the changing room without another word.

Purchase My Sweet Friend Here!

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About the Author

HA Leuschel.jpg

Helene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches yoga.

Helene Leuschel | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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My Sweet Friend by H.A. Leuschel

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