Cari Z., Giveaways, Riptide Publishing

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Where There’s Fire Blog Tour with Cari Z.

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Welcome to author Cari Z. and Riptide Publishing’s blog tour for Cari’s new book Where There’s Fire. Check out the great guest post we have for you, and then be sure to leave a comment right here to enter in the giveaway.

The winner of the Where There’s Fire blog tour will work with Cari to name a character in the next Panopolis novella! Comment on this blog tour to enter in the drawing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 18. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Please leave your email in your comment so we can contact you if you win!

Good luck!

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I set the world of Panopolis up to be one of grandeur, with larger-than-life Heroes and Villains doing battle in the name of Good versus Evil, tempered by the fact that nothing is ever that clear cut. It’s fun to write the kind of narcissism and self-righteousness that leads a person to believe they’re always perfect and right, but it’s nothing more than a jumping off point for the characters that populate this story. I’ve delved into the dark and complicated world of Villains, and I’m pleased with what I was able to bring into the light.

But Panopolis is more than just its Villains. What about the mayor, who’s welcomed new businesses with open arms and an offer of Hero representation and product branding, regardless of whether the Hero wants it or not? What about the shadowy presence of SuperTruther, who seems to know so much about what’s going on behind the scenes? What about the Heroes themselves, covered with fame and glory but never allowed to be anything but Heroic, even when they feel like crawling under a rock to hide for a while?

In Where There’s Smoke, I introduced a Hero named Craig, aka Freight Train, who radiates a force field that doesn’t let much through. He’s the ultimate tough guy: powerful, untouchable and a comforting shield against villainy for the people of Panopolis. He’s also sort of a dork, awkward and gullible and far from perfect, who can’t be touched. Literally, he has no human contact with anyone, and by Where There’s Fire that trait is wearing for him. What would he do for the chance to touch someone again? How far, or perhaps how low, would he go?

Well, I’m not sure yet. But I’m working on it. Stay tuned for more in the Panopolis universe, my fair readers, and I hope you enjoy Where There’s Fire in all its heroic and villainous fun.

PS, I hope you noticed the prize for this blog tour, because if you win you get to help me name a character.

~Cari Z.

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WhereTheresFire_600x900Blurb: Making a name for myself as a Villain in Panopolis is hard work. Six months ago, my boyfriend broke me out of jail. Now he’s spending most of his time defending our turf against other Villains he accidentally freed along with me. And my new psychic powers are not only impossible to control, but they’re also giving me migraines.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. My skills are improving every day, and Raul—aka the Mad Bombardier—and I have never been happier. That is, until my first solo job is interrupted by a mysterious woman who tells me that Raul has been kidnapped by a ruthless new Villain. The only way to free him is to do a job for Maggot, a man with scary ideas and an even scarier superpower.

I can’t go to the cops or a Hero for help. Odds are they wouldn’t listen to me anyway. If I fail, Raul will be killed. If I succeed, we’ll both be bound to a man who’ll stop at nothing to put Panopolis on the path to civil war.

It looks like the only way to win is to take out the competition.

Buy Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

Read Chapter One HERE

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About the Author: Cari Z was a bookworm as a child and remains one to this day. In an effort to combat her antisocial reading behavior, she did all sorts of crazy things, from competitive gymnastics to alligator wresting (who even knew that was legal!) to finally joining the Peace Corps, which promptly sent her and her husband to the wilds of West Africa, stuck them in a hut, and said, “See ya!” She also started writing, because some things she just thought she could do better. She’s still climbing that ladder, but can’t stop herself from writing, or from sharing what she creates.

Cari enjoys a wide range of literary genres, from the classics (get ‘im, Ahab) to science fiction and fantasy of all types, to historical fiction and reference materials (no, seriously, there are so many great encyclopedias out there). She writes in a wide range of genres as well, but somehow 90% of what she produces ends up falling into the broad and exciting category of m/m erotica. There’s a sprinkling of f/m and f/f and even m/f/m in her repertoire, but her true love is man love. And there’s a lot of love to go around.

Cari has published short stories, novellas, and novels with numerous print and e-presses, and she also offers up a tremendous amount of free content on Literotica.com, under the name Carizabeth.

Connect with Cari: Website | Blog | Twitter

Cari is Riptide’s author of the month! Read her interview on Riptide’s website

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5 Stars, Cari Z., Reviewed by Angel, Riptide Publishing, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: Where There’s Smoke by Cari Z.

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Title: Where There’s Smoke

Author: Cari Z

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 88 Pages

At a Glance: Where There’s Smoke is The Incredibles on steroids, and I totally mean that as a compliment.

Reviewed By: Angel

Blurb: Panopolis is a rough place to be an average Joe. I came here looking for adventure and excitement, but nobody cares about one more normal guy in a city filled with super-powered heroes. The closest I’ve come to glory is working in a bank that villains often rob.

But then I maybe accidentally-on-purpose helped a villain escape the hero who was trying to save the day. Imagine my shock when, a week later, that villain asked me out for coffee. One date turned into more, and now I’m head over heels in love with Raul.

Falling in love with the guy dubbed the Mad Bombardier isn’t without its downsides, though. I’ve had to deal with near-death encounters with other villains, awkwardly flirtatious heroes who won’t take no for an answer, and a lover I’m not sure I can trust. It’s getting to the point where I know I’ll have to make a choice: side with the heroes, or stand fast by my villain.

Either way, I think my days as a normal guy are over.

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Review: Where There’s Smoke is a novella, but it is a fully complete story, and I wanted more. I am definitely looking forward to the sequel that’s coming out later this year. I think the author said it best in her forward dedication:

“For everyone who has always preferred the villain. I feel you, people.”

Yes, indeed! This is for all those who fell for Bucky Barnes (Captain America and the Winter Soldier), Brigadier General Francis X Hummel, as well as John Patrick Mason (The Rock), Gru (Despicable Me) and just to date myself, Darth Vader, from the original Star Wars trilogy.

Where There’s Smoke is an action/adventure tale with corruption, politics, heroes, villains, and romance, and I loved it. I normally don’t like the first person POV, but it works here. It works so well here, in fact, that you almost forget you’re being told a story. Cari Z throws you right into her world with some telling, but it’s mostly showing, which is explosive. Once I started this novella, I couldn’t put it down.

Edward is a wonderfully normal guy who puts himself in a new city to find his excitement, and find it he does. I could feel his wonder about the city of Panopolis, and how the fantasy didn’t quite live up to the expectation. Then, he meets a “villain”, and in one sense of the word The Mad Bombardier is the bad guys. But…I loved him, just as I did all those other villains previously mentioned. Raul, the life he led, the one that made him our villain, makes you wonder about how your own children will turn out, and if you are doing the right things with them. Or, at least it did me. This is just the beginning of their story, and it was a grand slam right out of the park.

The heroes, some mentioned only by name, made me want to know their stories, too. Freight Train, our “hero” of this story, seemed to have that same aspect—the fully justified arrogance about being a hero, with a bit of “Aww shucks, just doing my job” thrown in for good measure. This is what makes them our supposedly beloved heroes, and despite the fact, he made my skin crawl. Some of the other villains are over-the-top creepy, and it made me wonder about the speculation that, for all intents and purposes, it seems the city made both the heroes and the villains. Even the exposé writer SuperTruther is a viable presence, and I so wonder who it is.

I loved the world building Cari Z has done for this verse. The city of Panopolis is recognizable as both a regular city and one from a popular superhero series, be it Gotham or Metropolis. It has that adult, gritty and realistic feel to it. I’d say it was The Incredibles on steroids and totally mean that as a compliment. I am a first time reader of this author, but I will definitely be going back for more of her work. Thanks for a wonderful tale, Cari Z, I’m looking forward to reading more!

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You can buy Where There’s Smoke here:

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