Blog Tour: The Dark Side of the Rainbow

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About the book: Two lives, forced together by past events and present choices, find themselves navigating through the murky waters of blame and desire.

Years have passed since Olivia Nelson’s brother’s fatal accident. The day Jacob died, she swore to impose penance upon Landon Gray, the one responsible for his death. Armed with a plan of retribution, Olivia transforms herself into Brooke Johnson, an up-and-coming photographer. She arrives in Argentina’s Patagonia, prepared to make the hospitality magnate pay for the life he destroyed.

Landon Gray has suffered greatly from his guilt, longing only to be forgiven for his harrowing mistake. After the accident, Landon fled Portland, Oregon to his family’s holdings in South America. Upon Brooke Johnson’s arrival at Landon’s resort, he is immediately drawn to the talented photographer.

When Olivia sees Landon again, she is pricked by shadows of doubt. Determined to see her meticulous planning come to fruition, she stays the course, until tragedy strikes once more.

THE DARK SIDE BANNER

A Portrait of Grief

There were no words to speak as Olivia and her father sat in a black Lincoln Town Car, headed toward the church. There had been very few words spoken between them since the night of the accident.

Josh Nelson had arrived at the hospital as quickly as his car and traffic would allow. Somehow in the haze of her anguish, Olivia had managed to give the police officers her father’s office number. Despite her desperate protests, they had carted her off to the nearest hospital.

The last thing she remembered seeing while in the back of the ambulance was Landon Gray being cuffed. He had made eye contact with her on his way to the police car. The tortured look on his handsome face had been unexpected. The surprise she felt had been quickly replaced by the dark seething rage already staking its claim upon her heart.

Later at the hospital, when she saw her father rushing in behind the curtain that was used to quarter her off from the rest of the patients in the emergency room, her grief-stricken face momentarily filled with relief at the sight of him.

“Daddy!” she nearly shouted as she threw herself into his arms.

Expecting to see Jacob with his daughter, Josh Nelson asked with fear in his voice, “Honey, are you all right? Where is Jacob?” He had only been told there was an accident. Thinking his son might be in surgery, his heart collapsed when he saw the look on his daughter’s face. “No, no, where is he, Olivia? Where is Jacob?” he cried.

The nurses must have heard his raised voice and quickly entered the partitioned area.

Josh looked at the nurses, demanding, “Where is my son? I want to see Jacob, now.”

In the background, he could hear the hysterical cries of his daughter, testifying to what his mind was desperately trying to deny.

“Mr. Nelson, we will take you to your son as soon as he arrives. There was an accident. I’m sorry to tell you, he did not survive.”

The same agony with which Olivia had cried out on the causeway escaped from Josh Nelson’s tortured soul.

“Jacob, Jacob!” the broken father cried over and over.

Josh Nelson saw his son for the last time the day of his funeral. The closing of the casket lid was like a solid oak door shutting firmly over the father’s life.

Managing to suppress the urge to rail at the injustice and the pain, he looked over at his daughter, who sat staring forward, tears streaming down her face. I have to pull myself together for Olivia, he had thought wildly. He may have lost his son, but he still had his baby girl and she needed him. More than ever before, she would depend on his strength and courage to get them through this dark time. Later, as they stood by the gravesite, Josh Nelson’s resolve would be put to the test.

The minister looked up toward the heavens. “Lord, we commend into your loving hands the precious spirit of Jacob Nelson. Keep him safely within your grasp until the time comes when we will see him once again.”

The moment the first flower was laid to rest on top of the casket, something snapped inside Olivia. Flinging herself on top of her brother’s casket she wailed, “Jacob, why did you leave me? Why? How am I supposed to live without you?” Not caring about anyone around her, she grabbed hold of the casket, pressing her cheek against the hard glossy cherry wood. “Jacob, please come back. Please come back. I can’t do this without you. Please!” she begged over and over. The sister’s gut-wrenching sobs ripped apart the heart of every soul in attendance.

Josh reached down for his daughter, intending to pull her away from the casket but instead laid his arms around her, lying with her across the hard wood of the coffin, combining his cries with hers.

Too tragic and personal to watch, the crowd, who had gathered to pay their last respects, quietly turned to leave father and daughter alone in their grief.

Excerpt:

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Blog Tour: The Dark Side of the Rainbow

THE DARK SIDE BANNER

I’m very excited to be participating in the blog tour for Dakr Side of the Rainbow. You can see my review of the book here, and then once you’re curious, we’ll hook you in further with today’s feature… an excerpt from the book!

A Tragic Day on the Causeway
Screaming her brother’s name, Olivia ran faster than she had ever run in her life, making her way to where his broken and mangled body lay. In his adrenaline-rushed state of mind, he had forgotten to buckle his seat belt and had been thrown from the vehicle.
“Jacob!” Olivia screamed over and over as she knelt beside her brother’s lifeless body. Laying her head on top of his chest, desperate to hear his beating heart, she cried out to him, wailing at the top of her lungs for him to wake up.
Someone tried to pull her away from him, but she jerked them away. She tore at her hair and turned her face toward the sky, begging for him to be all right. Olivia kept her gaze upward, as if looking for hope from an unseen source.
Falling to her knees, guttural, earth-shattering sounds escaped her tortured soul. Turning her face toward heaven, she opened her eyes. Through her tear-filled haze, Olivia saw a slight break of light in the clouds, followed by the brightest rainbow she had ever seen.
Jacob was gone.
On the colorful beams of light, her brother’s soul had left her forever. The rainbow had long been a symbol of promise and hope, yet on the saddest day of Olivia Nelson’s life she found herself on the dark side of the beautiful colors without a single ray of hope. Instead, what filled her was a different kind of promise: a vow of retribution for her brother’s death, no matter the cost.

About the author

Rita Hogan is a novelist and business manager with a degree in business from Dallas Baptist University. In 2012, she hand-wrote her first full length novel and has been writing ever since. As an author, it is her greatest joy to walk a reader through the hardships of life feeling as if they have gained more than they have lost, to illustrate with words a backdrop for the hurt that is a very real place for us all, and to phrase for readers the beauty of the moments in between.

Rita currently resides in the St. Louis metro area with her husband Joel and her son Sean. She is a finalist in CrossBook’s and Westbow’s 2014 writing contests. The Dark Side of the Rainbow is her first published work.

Find her online at http://www.ritahogan.net/

Sachael Dreams by Melody Winter

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Blurb – Twenty-two-year-old Estelle Bailey has had enough of busy city-life and her hot-tempered ex. She escapes to the seclusion and peace of her family’s clifftop home in Ravenscar, where the soothing solitude whispers to her soul as strongly as the sea itself does. But her newfound contentment is interrupted when a mysterious man—a Sachael, master of seduction—joins her midnight swim unexpectedly.

Estelle struggles against his charm and the overpowering attraction she feels for him. He offers her a life she never could have imagined, a life beneath the waves . . . but at what cost? Before she can decide, she’s captured, ensnared by the Sect, a secret enemy of the Sachaels, becoming a pawn in a war she knew nothing about.

Now, she’s left with a new choice—escape the clutches of the Sect and flee into the ocean, or side with her alluring, intimidating captor and destroy the Sachaels forever. Can she turn her back on the man she might love, or will the secret of her heritage change everything?

Set against a picturesque backdrop, Sachael Dreams is the first in a new series, exploring themes of romance, love, and identity, and the struggle that happens when all three collide.

Review – I don’t know why, but the cover for this one really grabbed me, even if I wasn’t quite sure what the title meant. There is some darkness here that may mean that this story isn’t for everyone, but when you’re in the right headspace, Sachael Dreams is absolutely perfect! If you’re looking for a fresh take on water fantasy, this is the book I’d recommend (and will be reocmmending!).

I really enjoyed reading about Estelle, and found the mixture of fantasy and romance in her story to be both refreshing and really engaging. I do wish the blurb had given away a little less of what was going to happen as it did give a bit of a play by play of some of the bigger plot points, but there is still a lot going on in this story that you’ll get to discover for yourself. I think I’m just feeling a little angsty against overly long blurbs these days.

Also, bonus points for a prologue that genuinely worked with the story, and had me desperate to keep reading! After that, there were some points where I had trouble staying connected with the characters, but not so much so that it threw me out of the story.

And the best news is, the sequel is expected to come out later this year! Woo!

Daimones by Massimo Marino

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Blurb: Nothing could have prepared them for the last day. Explore the future of humanity in Massimo Marino’s sci-fi debut, Daimones, an apocalyptic tale that feels like it could happen tomorrow. You may never sleep through a windstorm again.
Death swept away the lives of billions, but spared Dan Amenta and his family, leading them to an uncertain future. When merely surviving isn’t enough and the hunt for answers begins, memories from the past and troubling encounters lead Dan to the truth about the extermination of the human race. Distressing revelations will give new meaning to their very existence.
Early humans shaped the future and seeded a plan millions of years in the making. Now survivors must choose: Endure a future with no past or fade away into a past with no future?

Review: I’ll admit, it was the cover that first grabbed my attention with Daimones. I don’t often read a lot of hard sci-fi, but I’ve been looking to expand my horizons, and seeing this cover made my selection of what book to request off of NetGalley an easy one. Thankfully, I chose wisely! Daimones was absolutely incredible.

Daimones tells the story of… well, it tells a lot of different stories. Dan’s story, history’s story, humanities story. And every element is woven together wonderfully. I’ve seen another review compare the scope of this story to that of The Stand, and I have to say, Daimones might actually take that a step further.

My only complaint (and it barely qualifies as one) is that the pacing was a little slow in spots, since I was dying for more answers about what was going on. But thankfully, there are already two more books out in this series, so I’m sure I’ll be diving in to get my answers by the end of the summer!

Review: The Dream Engine

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About: What is real, Eila?

When Eila Doyle first hears the strange boy calling from somewhere deep in her sleep, she begins to question her sanity. In the gleaming steampunk world of Waldron’s Gate, citizens aren’t meant to dream — and those who eschew their daily Crumble and dare to do so anyway face madness … and imprisonment in Joffrey Columns, the asylum of towers.

And yet, “Dreaming” of a very specific sort is what Eila does every day at the Ministry of Manifestation with her mind hooked to the great engine, called the Blunderbuss. She’s accustomed to using her thoughts to Build all that the city needs … but never before have her thoughts been so dark, so laced with demons and shadows. Now those nighttime visions hint at dark conspiracy, a millennium of lies, and a fathomless secret hiding beneath the quiet streets.

As Eila follows the boy down the rabbit hole, she discovers secrets that were meant to remain hidden. She discovers an unknown caste of underlings, an unknown place underneath the city. And she learns of her terrible destiny as her own dreams and reality blur, as “what is real?” becomes something uncertain.

This thrilling young adult dystopian adventure is the first in the Dream Engine series by masters of story Platt & Truant, authors of The Beam, Unicorn Western, and many more. The Dream Engine will have you asking yourself “What is real?” along with Eila’s strong female lead — but watch what you ask for, because the answer may unsettle and disturb you for weeks to come.

Review: I’m so glad I decided to read this book. I’ve been hearing a bit about Platt and Truant in the publishing world, but was never really sure where to jump in. If you love YA, this is a good place to start!

The Dream Engine follows Eila as she navigates a world of dreams. And while admittedly, it took a few tries for me to get into this book, I’m so glad I did. It hits all the right YA notes, and throws in a lot of fun elements you won’t usually see in this category. Plus a little Wonderland in there, which I’ll never say no to!

Ack! I don’t want to give too much away! It did leave me wanting more, usually in a good way, but occasionally in a head-scratcher way. There seems to be so much to this world that could have been explored without bogging down the story.

I did have trouble finding this one on Goodreads at first. Mostly because I seem to have gone a little foggy, but also because it still features an older cover (good call on updating it, by the way). The good news is, the sequel is due shortly, so there’s never been a better time to read this book.

And if you’re at all interested in writing, and want to check out some of the amazing things that indie authors are doing now, do yourself a favor and Google Fiction Unboxed!

Review: Come Sit By Me

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About: The boy who shot seven people in the school library is dead. But did his secrets die with him?

Something terrible happened at Hamilton High last year, and those who survived don’t want to relive the past. But Paul has just arrived, and gets the same locker that the shooter used. He wants to know what really happened…and you know what curiosity did to the cat.

Review: I was hesitant to read this at first as the blurb doesn’t really give you that much to go on, but I’m so glad I decided to pick up Come Sit by Me, by Thomas Hoobler. This was an absolutely thrilling and engaging read, though definitely one that you need to be in the right mood for. The base premise is that Paul has just moved to a new town, and the locker he get’s assigned is that of the boy who shot up Hamilton High. Yikes.

While Paul’s character wasn’t as developed as he could have been, I didn’t find that it detracted from the story at all. He was the perfect character to guide reader’s through learning about what happened in Hamilton and the reprecussions of all of it.

The pacing was also really well done, and I found myself struggling to put the book down in order to find out what happened next.

Anyways, I can’t tell you how excited I was to learn that Thomas Hoobler already has a bunch of other books out, so I’ll absolutely be checking those out.

Review: The Dark Side of the Rainbow

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About: Two lives, forced together by past events and present choices, find themselves navigating through the murky waters of blame and desire.

Years have passed since Olivia Nelson’s brother’s fatal accident. The day Jacob died, she swore to impose penance upon Landon Gray, the one responsible for his death. Armed with a plan of retribution, Olivia transforms herself into Brooke Johnson, an up-and-coming photographer. She arrives in Argentina’s Patagonia, prepared to make the hospitality magnate pay for the life he destroyed.

Landon Gray has suffered greatly from his guilt, longing only to be forgiven for his harrowing mistake. After the accident, Landon fled Portland, Oregon to his family’s holdings in South America. Upon Brooke Johnson’s arrival at Landon’s resort, he is immediately drawn to the talented photographer.

When Olivia sees Landon again, she is pricked by shadows of doubt. Determined to see her meticulous planning come to fruition, she stays the course, until tragedy strikes once more.

Review: I came for the cover, but stayed for the writing! I absolutely loved this book! Rita Hogan is absolutely a new name to watch as far as I’m concerned.

I do wish that the blurb hadn’t given quite so much away, and while there’s definitely still a lot to discover, it does summarize a good chunk of the plot.

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