Saturday, November 5, 2022

Book Blitz and Giveaway: First Strike (Keepers of the Universe #1) by Angela Haas

Title: First Strike
Series: Keepers of the Universe #1
Author: Angela Haas
Publisher: Spotted Owl Publishing
Publication Date: June 12th 2022
Print Length: 362 pages
Genre: Science Fiction

A Universe Torn Between Control and Chaos

Stella Jayne Walsh, New York City’s top-rated trauma surgeon, holds an astounding record. She’s never lost a patient—until the day she does. In that moment, her world shatters, and she’s swept into an adventure that launches her from Manhattan into alien worlds in the far reaches of space.

John Ryder Alexander is a handsome rogue and one of the most decorated soldiers in the galaxy—until he turns unwilling mercenary, blackmailed into committing heinous crimes.

Stella is targeted by a woman hell bent on creating a universe where other women don’t exist and all men bend to her will. Stella and her crew of misfits must stop this villain before she helps to awaken a long dead force of evil.

Can Stella let go of the life she knew and learn to trust her new team in order to save everyone — and everything — she loves?

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Acid Rain

THE SKYLINE OF ALDEMARA DIMMED for a moment as the sun tucked itself into its nightly nap. Darkness wandered across the city. Though far from home, Ryder always found some comfort in the nightly ritual of the city lights blinking on and cuing the Aldemaran nightlife to stir. The lights flickered until the cityscape filled with light, but not from the source that made it so hot.

Ryder never thought Aldemara was an attractive city during the day. The plain, steel buildings were packed together like people riding in uncomfortable silence on an overcrowded train. During the day, the city was still as the hateful sun made the planet hot and the air prickly. But at night, the city glittered with lights of all colors. Bright magentas glowed from the main medical plaza; lime green lights shone off the shopping district. Yellows and golds burst off the arts district. The many small cafes and pool halls gleamed with reds and blues as their signs burned all night, luring patrons in from their holes so they could move around again without being punished by the heat.

While the city usually strummed alive as darkness fell, the citizens were shut in this night because the forecast called for acid in the rain. This was common on the industrial planet, which is why the buildings were built to withstand the harsh weather. With a crash of lightning, the rain fell and it stung anything living that did not heed the warning to stay inside.

Ryder waited with Lovella in her office on the twenty-fourth floor of the capital building. They were waiting, as they always did, for Kandi to grace them with her presence. As Lovella sat at her desk entering data into a 3D computer screen, Ryder stood in front of a large window that ran from the floor to the ceiling in Lovella’s sprawling suite. He shook his head as he watched those foolish enough to be out in the rain scream and run for shelter. Once he grew tired of watching the mice scurry into their holes, he turned and took a seat in a chair across from Lovella’s desk.

“And how do you find yourself this evening, Master Ryder?” Lovella asked.

“Well enough,” Ryder said. “How long must we wait?”

Lovella looked over her thick octagon-shaped eyeglass frames. “As long as it takes.”

Ryder studied her for a moment. She always dressed in a simple black dress and heels. Her long, silver hair was pulled back into a taut bun at the base of her neck. She was stern, ruthless, a total professional, and someone Ryder would rather serve than Kandice Shook. She had worked her way up through the ranks of the Intergalactic Military Forces to become a general. She settled in Aldemara after the Great War and became a leader Aldemarans loved, although most people who encountered her found her incredibly intimidating. Ryder respected her immensely and wished he knew her under different circumstances.

“Is there a reason for your smile, Master Ryder?” Lovella asked.

Ryder straightened in his chair and cracked his knuckles. “No, General.”

“I appreciate your promptness, and I apologize for the wait, but Kandi also must hear what I am about to tell you. Soon Commander T’Adox will arrive, and I need you both to be ready.”

“T’Adox, the Zuldari leader?” Ryder asked. He leaned forward in his chair.

“The same.”

“I thought the Zuldari died out after the Great War.”

Lovella stopped working and looked past Ryder as if she were remembering something. “Most did, but there are survivors.”

“You were there, weren’t you? In the Great War.”

Lovella hesitated and then answered. “I was.”

“Which side were you fighting for?”

“That is a conversation for another time.” She focused back to the screens in front of her.

The click-clack of something sharp hitting the floor outside the door caught their attention. The sound of Kandi’s voice followed. It filled the hallway as she neared. Ryder rose from the chair just as the hair stood up on the back of his neck. He stood away from the desk as Kandi strode in. She was dressed in a hot pink pantsuit, an oversized hot pink bag and beige, puffy fur coat slung over her arm. Kandi ignored Lovella and Ryder as she finished the phone call. Though they were staring at her, she continued laughing and slapping her hand on the table as her friend on the other end of her phone rambled on.
Angela Haas was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A professor of communication, she writes novels about superheroes and spaceships. She loves not camping, salty snacks, and soft blankets. She has been writing since she was a kid and still has all the spiral-bound notebooks she filled with her early stories. Her series Keepers of the Universe features older women as the superheroes because she was tired of the standard entertainment tropes of older women being the evil queen, jilted first wife, or wise grandmother. She and her husband live with an English bulldog, French bulldog, pit bull mix, Rhodesian ridgeback, and Maine Coon cat that thinks he’s a dog.

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Win a $50 Amazon gift card and an eBook of First Strike by Angela Haas!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prizes. Xpresso Book Tours and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

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  1. Sounds like my kind of book! Glad it's on Kindle Unlimited as this is a new author to me.

  2. Really nice cover and excerpt, looking forward to reading this!

  3. ty for putting on KU, and ty for the post!

  4. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. Sounds like a good book. I like the cover and excerpt.

  6. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

  7. Nice book cover and the book sounds interesting.

  8. This book is very timely. Good work

  9. The cover is what caught my eye-great one-thanks

  10. Seems like a very important book!

  11. Good book for Fall reading.
    Thanks for the contest.

  12. I enjoyed reading this well done excerpt!
    Love it all, cover genre and title!
    Thank you for sharing this.

  13. I would love to read this one it sounds like one that will keep me interested and reading and I am loving the cover too.
    heather hgtempaddy

  14. i love the cover - its so complex with some hidden gems

  15. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

  16. I am very interested in reading your book!!

  17. looks like a fun one

  18. Do you have any advice for new writers?

  19. I enjoyed the synopsis and excerpt. I'm excited to read this

  20. Sounds like a great book

  21. 'She and her husband live with an English bulldog, French bulldog, pit bull mix, Rhodesian ridgeback, and Maine Coon cat that thinks he’s a dog' .... And she has time to write!? That is a super woman right there. I really like the concept. I normally read 3 main genres of History, biographical and a bit of Sci Fi but I've tried to read out of my comfort zone and this seem like a great read. I know the women in my family would enjoy it and one particular 'super hero' type on screen character I heard of is Allison Janey playing a Ex CIA type in a new film. Although maybe a super hero it still follows that traditional role of a super hero and adapts it for different readers which is great!

  22. Thank you for sharing! Blurb sounds really interesting and different!

  23. This sounds like a great book! Love the cover!