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An Aberrant Mind Blog Tour: Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway to win 1 of 5 digital copies of An Aberrant Mind by Ken MacGregor on his recent virtual book tour!

The winners are:

Shelley Summers

Rachel Ann Montgomery

Mark A. Mihalko

Chris Burke

Adam S. House

We hope you enjoy An Aberrant Mind and would love to hear your thoughts on it!

***

Also a huge thank you to:

Shah Wharton

Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – Paranormal Features

Christy Herself!

Life’s Unfiltered Ramblings

Little Black Duck

Jennifer Brinkmeyer

The Chimerical Dark

The Sirens Song

Stuart Conover

The Road to Nowhere

The Horror Tree

Trip Through My Mind

Armand Rosamilia

The Cabin Goddess

Our Darkest Fears

The FlipSide of Julianne

***

KenMacGregor_AnAberrantMind_FrontCoverABERRANT is defined as unusual, abnormal or different. The stories in this book not only differ from most of what you read, but also wildly from each other. A retired school teacher takes on an elder god and his minion; a werewolf picks fights with sea creatures; a neighbor’s lawn may be eating people. Twenty-two stories: scary, funny, weird and different.

In these pages, you will find darkness and fear, revulsion and terror. Mixed with it, however is quite a bit of humor. Sometimes both happen at the same time. So, open it up, join Jim as he fights off zombies with a potato cannon; witness the bloodbath reunion of the first man and his homicidal son; enjoy the monsters, the demons and the deranged.

A word of warning, though: you may never eat a bagel with lox again.

Available for purchase at:

Amazon:

US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | India | Brazil

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RELEASE: FEAR: Of the Dark

Sirens Call Publications is pleased to announce the release of:

FEAR: Of the Dark

FOTD_desaturated_coverWhat makes your skin tingle? What makes you look over your shoulder sure that something is lurking there? What ratchets your tension level up  so high that nothing matters more than what comes next on the page?

The answers to those questions are the ones we sought when we put together this collection of nine stories. Inside these pages you’ll find fear that engages, fear that provokes, fear that drives you to the brink of… Well, everyone has a different precipice when it comes to fear, but the stories selected for FEAR: Of the Dark certainly held our attention.

If you truly enjoy a well written story that engages the senses and prompts anxiety and paranoia, FEAR: Of the Dark may be the perfect collection of short stories for you. And in case you were wondering, it is waiting for you, out there – somewhere; you just don’t know it yet.

Contributing Authors:

Rose Blackthorn, Juan J. Gutiérrez, Jovan Jones, Lars Kramhøft, Lisamarie Lamb, Jon Olson, Zachary O’Shea, Jon Steinhagen, and Alex Woolf

***

Available for Purchase at:

Amazon:

US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India

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AN ABERRANT MIND BLOG TOUR: Guest Post by Ken MacGregor

AnAberrantMind_KenMacGregor_PostCard

Ken MacGregor has been traversing the internet talking about his quirky horror collection titled An Aberrant Mind. So what is it that sets this collection of tales apart from others? We asked Ken to tell us what he thinks…

Introspection about my Collection

Ken MacGregor

I’ve been thinking about An Aberrant Mind. It’s a collection of 22 short stories that vary greatly in length and content, though most are at least horror-related.

I read a lot, like most writers I know – hell, like most people I know. I have always been fond of short stories, and I like writing them, too. There’s something wonderful about the short form, aside from the obvious appeal to those of us with short attention spans. To read (or write) a complete story that can be read in one sitting is very satisfying.

My work has appeared in a whole bunch of anthologies with other writers, some of whom I have come to call my friends. This is how I cut my teeth in publishing, and it was a great learning experience.

Where am I going with this? Well, as I said, I’ve been thinking about my book. All 22 of those stories are written by me. They all have my voice and tiny pieces of me are in each one. If you know me really well, you might be able to pull them out with tweezers. I imagine that, like the game Operation, there is a horrible annoying buzzer if you bump the edges.

The stuff in An Aberrant Mind may be all mine, but it’s not all the same. The stories are not cookie-cutter versions of one another. Sure, there are a few zombies and my favorite werewolf shows up a couple times, but there is also a super-soldier laid low by OCD; there’s homicidal food; Cthulhu makes a guest appearance; a mute circus strongman finds love (that doesn’t go well for him); there are human monsters and actual monsters; children making catastrophic choices; a fatal case of laziness and a dangerously nice lawn.

I have tried to offer up the horrific with a light touch, to spice the fear with laughter. I love a good story and I have tried to tell 22 of them. I hope my readers enjoy them, or at least enough of them to make reading the book a good experience. I know not all of them will resonate with everyone. That’s how it goes. But, the reason I write is that I want to entertain people. I want the reader to walk away thinking about the characters, the world. I want the reader to get something out of it. Not to sell books and pad my bank account, but to make you think, or smile, or shudder, or all three at once.

An Aberrant Mind is my attempt at sharing the zaniness inside my head with the rest of the world. We live in interesting times, folks. Terrifying, awful, crazy, funny, thought-provoking times. This book should fit right in.

Thanks Ken! Now let’s take a look at An Aberrant Mind, tell you about the giveaway, and let you read an excerpt…

KenMacGregor_AnAberrantMind_FrontCoverABERRANT is defined as unusual, abnormal or different. The stories in this book not only differ from most of what you read, but also wildly from each other. A retired school teacher takes on an elder god and his minion; a werewolf picks fights with sea creatures; a neighbor’s lawn may be eating people. Twenty-two stories: scary, funny, weird and different.

In these pages, you will find darkness and fear, revulsion and terror. Mixed with it, however is quite a bit of humor. Sometimes both happen at the same time. So, open it up, join Jim as he fights off zombies with a potato cannon; witness the bloodbath reunion of the first man and his homicidal son; enjoy the monsters, the demons and the deranged.

A word of warning, though: you may never eat a bagel with lox again.

Available for purchase at:

Amazon:

US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | India | Brazil

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***

KenMacGregorABOUT THE AUTHOR - Ken MacGregor’s work has appeared in over fifty anthologies, magazines and podcasts. Ken is a member of The Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers and an Affiliate member of HWA. You can find Ken on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and at ken-macgregor.com. Ken’s the kind of guy that, if he found himself stranded somewhere with you, would probably eat you to survive. Ken hopes you enjoyed the stories in this collection and that you sleep just a little less well because of them. Ken lives in Michigan with his family and two unstable cats.

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

***

 GIVEAWAY!!!

Sirens Call Publications will be giving away digital copies of An Aberrant Mind by Ken MacGregor to 5 (five) lucky winners! Follow the link to enter for your chance to win!

Win 1 of 5 (five) copies of An Aberrant Mind by Ken MacGregor

***

An here’s the excerpt we promised you…

…from ‘First Person Shooter’

Cain stands motionless, surveying the damage. He absently rubs the mark on his cheek; it has been there a long, long time, but he’s not likely to forget the day he got it. Cain inhales through his nose; he has come to appreciate, even enjoy the sharp coppery smell of fresh blood. He lifts a foot, shakes some of it off the toe of his Italian loafer and steps back across the threshold. A job well done, he thinks, and drops the heavy cleaver on the floor. The blade thunks into the wood. As his footsteps fade, the flies begin to gather for the feast.

***

THIS IS INTOLERABLE.

“I know,” Adam says. “But what can we do? No one can touch him; you made sure of that.” He is careful to keep his tone respectful; he is stating a fact, not admonishing. One does not admonish Him.

THERE IS A LOOPHOLE.

“Really?” Adam arches a perfect eyebrow. “You never mentioned this before.”

I DO NOT ENTIRELY TRUST YOU, YOU KNOW.

“Yes,” Adam sighs. “I know. You hold a grudge better and longer than anyone.”

I DO EVERYTHING BETTER AND LONGER THAN ANYONE.

Adam’s eyebrow shoots up.

GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER.

Adam laughs, then gets serious.

“What loophole?”

THE MARK WILL ONLY AFFECT THOSE BORN AFTER CAIN. ANYONE OLDER THAN CAIN MAY DO HIM HARM WITHOUT CONSEQUENCE.

“Okay,” Adam says. “But, there are only two people older than Cain.”

Adam stares at his Creator for a long moment.

“You want me to kill my own son?”

ALL OF HUMANKIND ARE YOUR CHILDREN, ADAM.

“Technically, sure,” Adam said, “but I wasn’t their father. Not really. Not in a hands-on, kissing boo-boos, singing to sleep, teaching about the world way. Not in any way that counts.”

YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN DO THIS.

“What about Eve?”

DO NOT SPEAK OF HER IN MY PRESENCE.

“I always forget how much you hate her.”

I DO NOT HATE. I AM LOVE. STILL, YOU WILL REFRAIN FROM SAYING HER NAME. IT ANNOYS ME.

“Of course,” Adam says. “Whatever you say. Since I seem to be the only choice, what would you have me do, exactly?”

YOU NEED TO PUT AN END TO IT. YOU NEED TO DO IT NOW.

Adam sighs. It’s no use arguing with God. You never win.

***

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Essence Blog Tour: Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway to win 1 of 5 digital copies of Essence by Ela Lourenco on her recent virtual book tour!

The winners are:

Simon Clark

Ross Carrothers

Jai Gagne

Kristen Perry

Josh Hoberman

We hope you enjoy Essence and would love to hear your thoughts on it!

***

Also a huge thank you to:

Shah Wharton

Fiona’s Book Reviews

Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – Paranormal Features

Christy Herself!

Spreading the Writer’s Word

The Sirens Song

The Road to Nowhere

Life’s Unfiltered Ramblings

The Flipside of Julianne

Our Darkest Fears

***

Essence_ElaLourenco_front_coverKatra is a Fae Hunter in a world once ravaged by a terrible war. Having lost all memory of her childhood and rightful identity, her duty is now to protect the tentative peace brokered by the varying races of the supernatural world.  When an evil darkness begins to spread, draining young witches of their power, Katra must find a way back to her true past in order to save the future.

Enduring many trials as ever-increasing powers awaken within her, Katra must also struggle with the mixed emotions her new partner, Blade – a Black Dragon – is rousing within her. Together they must battle the shadows that plan to devour the world they know and prevent its decent into another thousand-year war.

Can Katra hold onto her strength as the truth of her very being begins to unravel? Can she bear the weight that ancient prophecy has placed on her young shoulders? Or is her destiny to regain her true self, only to lose the world she is sworn to protect?

Available on:

Amazon: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | Italy | Spain | France | Japan |India | Brazil | Mexico

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ESSENCE BLOG TOUR: Guest Post by Ela Lourenco

Essence_ElaLourenco_PostCard

Ela Lourenco has been touring the internet in support of her debut novel Essence. Essence is a paranormal fantasy with romantic twinges and we wanted to know which character in the book is Ela’s favourite…

Carrick: My Favourite Character in Essence

Ela Lourenco

Many of my readers have asked me who my favourite character in Essence is. I hadn’t thought about it before, but surprisingly the answer came to me immediately – Carrick the Kalandriel of course! Most were puzzled by my choice (albeit not those who know me personally!) as Carrick is not one of the protagonists as such—in fact he isn’t really a person at all (not anymore anyway!).

So what makes him so special?

Well, my gut reaction would be to say it’s his paradoxical sense of humour – dark, leery and intelligent all at once. He complements Katra perfectly, enabling us to see a side of her hidden for the most part as she battles to fulfil her destiny and bear the burden fate has thrust upon her.

Carrick is an extension of Katra – he is her ally, her defender and her comic relief when she needs it most. He can be planning battle strategies and tactics one minute while using his centuries old wisdom and knowledge to further her cause, and making crude jokes and antagonising (always in fun way!) in the next. He is a complete contradiction, fusing on one hand the respectable and wise with the oh-I-can’t-believe-he–just-said-that comments. Carrick’s loyalty to Katra and her family is absolute, and despite frustrating her at times with his snarky comments and jokes, she depends on him for moral support just as much as she does on Blade.

I loved every minute of writing Essence and I had more fun than should be legal creating all of my characters and their sub-stories. What sets Carrick apart is that everything coming out of his mouth made me smile and giggle. His very presence laces a very fast-paced and action packed epic tale with some light comic relief. So you see, there are many reasons why Carrick is so important to me, but mostly in the end I think it’s because he would be great fun to have a drink with.

Thank you Ela! Now let’s take a closer look at Essence… And there’s a giveaway and an excerpt to follow as well!

Essence_ElaLourenco_front_coverKatra is a Fae Hunter in a world once ravaged by a terrible war. Having lost all memory of her childhood and rightful identity, her duty is now to protect the tentative peace brokered by the varying races of the supernatural world.  When an evil darkness begins to spread, draining young witches of their power, Katra must find a way back to her true past in order to save the future.

Enduring many trials as ever-increasing powers awaken within her, Katra must also struggle with the mixed emotions her new partner, Blade – a Black Dragon – is rousing within her. Together they must battle the shadows that plan to devour the world they know and prevent its decent into another thousand-year war.

Can Katra hold onto her strength as the truth of her very being begins to unravel? Can she bear the weight that ancient prophecy has placed on her young shoulders? Or is her destiny to regain her true self, only to lose the world she is sworn to protect?

Available on:

Amazon: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | Italy | Spain | France | Japan |India | Brazil | Mexico

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Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iTunes

***

ELA_ESSENCEABOUT THE AUTHOR – Ela Lourenco lives in sunny Scotland with her two daughters and husband. She has a passion for reading and all things supernatural, particularly where there is a whodunit involved! Ela can often be found in the kitchen baking yet another cake as she ponders her next story.

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

***

And there’s a giveaway!

Sirens Call Publications will be giving away digital copies of Essence by Ela Lourenco to 5 (five) lucky winners! Follow the link to enter for your chance to win!

Win 1 of 5(five) copies of Essence by Ela Lourenco

***

And here’s the excerpt of Essence you’ve been promised…

Chapter 1

Katra 

The shadows crept closer. Misshapen and twisted, growing as they slipped under the doorway. Silent tendrils of darkness reaching out toward them… A breath hitched, someone whimpered. They huddled together, soundless cries caught in their throats. Each hoping they wouldn’t be picked tonight, each hoping it was all a bad dream. All, except for one girl, she held them; her arms around them, eyes open in defiance, daring them, taunting them back. The shadows pointed to the smallest girl. The girl stood up in front of the little one.

“Leave her alone. You will not take her,” she growled at them.

They ignored her and reached around to grab the little one, who was shivering with fear behind her back.

“I said you will not take her,” the girl forbade.

“Or what?” one of the shadows laughed, “What will you do to stop us?”

The grey curtains began to twitch as a wind appeared out of nowhere. The shadows watched with interest as the girl summoned a gust powerful enough to push them backward.

“Oh look, how sweet,” mocked a shadow, “a little breeze to cool us on this balmy summer’s night.”

The wind slowed, the girl tried to hold onto it… she just couldn’t do it.

“Nice demonstration,” said the other shadow, “you are learning. We are only trying to help you all and to teach you.” He grabbed the little girl’s wrist roughly and yanked her forward.

“Don’t let them take me!” screamed the little girl, clutching desperately onto the other girl’s arm. “Please, help me!” she sobbed as they pulled her away from her friend. The older girl crumpled onto the floor, drained, as the shadows won again. The door slammed shut and as her mind descended into the void she could still hear the little one screaming for her… “Katra!!!!”

“Katra! Katra!”

She sat up drenched in sweat and disorientated and looked around the room. Clothes were carelessly scattered on the Persian rug, books piled on the antique mahogany desk by the window. She rubbed her pounding head.

“Katra!” Maya opened the door. “Still in bed? I thought we were going to practice this morning?” She looked at her and her smile dropped. “Are you ok honey? Did you have another dream?”

“You could say that,” she muttered.

“I brought you a cup of my special brew; it will get rid of the headache.”

“Thanks Maya,” she said inhaling the calming steam of the tea.

“Come downstairs when you’re dressed,” she said, as she busied herself trying to tidy the mess that was Katra’s bedroom. “I bought you some apple and cinnamon muffins from that café around the corner that you like so much.”

“You didn’t have to do that,” Katra complained half-heartedly while Maya tossed her clothes into a basket and started down the stairs. “I was going to do the laundry today.”

“Sure you were honey,” she laughed over her shoulder.

Katra sat on the edge of the bed for a few minutes while sipping her tea. She knew that Maya liked to look after her -it came to her so naturally that it was sometimes easy to forget just how much she had already done for Katra. Maya had found Katra wandering the streets two years ago. Katra had been only eighteen and alone with no memory of her family, no memory of who she was, where she was from -the only thing she seemed to remember was her name. She had been wandering aimlessly through the streets looking for a sign, anything that would trigger a memory. She had walked around for hours until her feet hurt so much they had become numb, when she had finally stumbled upon a small shop. The sign on the door had said ‘closed’, so she hadn’t seen any harm in seeking refuge from the pelting rain under the doorway. She rubbed her hands together and created a small fireball. It was cold and foggy outside and her stomach was growling. She didn’t know how she knew magic, she couldn’t remember, but it seemed to come to her instinctively. She never did it in front of anyone else, sensing that it would attract unwanted attention. She jerked to a stand when the front door suddenly swung open, ready to be told to go away by an irate resident, worried that she had been caught using a spell. It was an older lady, Maya, silver grey hair glinting like a halo in the light of the doorway. She took one look at the young girl and the glow in her hands and invited her inside. She didn’t ask any questions or tell her to leave. She simply went to the kitchen, made a big pot of tea and offered her some scones straight out of the oven. It was almost as if she had been expecting Katra.

Maya went slowly with her, never asking too many questions or making her feel uncomfortable. She told Katra that she could stay a while until she was back on her feet. Sensing the girl wouldn’t accept charity, she offered her room and board in exchange for some help in her shop. Over two years later Maya had become a mixture of mother, friend and mentor to Katra who was still living in the apartment above the shop. It was in fact a magicks shop and Maya was a witch, an elemental. Maya was not just a witch selling magicks although it was a convenient cover for her true purpose as advisor to the supernatural council, the Jura. Her job was to help the council deal with threats to the peace, and to ensure humans never find out about the magical world. There were many supernatural races in the world, vampires, mages, shifters, oracles… each race had a representative, a senator, on the council. It was run very much like the human government and justice system rolled into one. There was a whole different world the humans didn’t know about, supernatural clubs, hospitals, businesses… The leader of the council was an oracle elder. The oracles were the most powerful and respected of the supernatural community and had the abilities of foresight and prophesy. They were known to be just and were in fact responsible for ending the thousands of years of war between the races.

“Are you coming down anytime today?” Maya called up.

“Be there in minute!” Katra quickly pulled on her last pair of clean jeans and a top. She yanked a brush through her hair and ran down the stairs to the kitchen.

“Mmmm,” she sighed appreciatively as the still warm muffin melted on her tongue. “What’s on today?”

“Something has come up Katra. I heard through my contacts at the council there has been some trouble lately. A young earth witch was found in a catatonic state at her home. They are running tests at the hospital as we speak, but the prelims show dangerous magicks in her system.”

Supernaturals didn’t get sick in the same way as humans; their illnesses tend to be magic related.

“What kind of magicks?” She asked between bites.

“My friend at the Council has mentioned that there seems to be a new drug on the market. No one knows what it is made of yet, or how dangerous it is. This is not the first case apparently, but the witch in question is the daughter of one of the Council members…”

“Right, so now they are going to take it seriously.”

“I know how you feel about the way the Council works Katra, but they are trying… there are regulations and procedures.”

“I know, I know. Decision making takes time; they have to vote on everything.” She rolled her eyes.

“Katra, this is serious. The witch they found is only sixteen and there has been no improvement in her condition. The best shamans in the city are baffled. We have kept it quiet for now, the last thing we need is mass panic but if we don’t stop whoever is doing this…”

“Sixteen! I hate to break it to her family but at that age there is no way she will recover.”

If someone out there was selling magicks to underage kids… well, there would be a lot more occupied hospital beds. Earth witches didn’t come into their full powers until they were eighteen, which meant that until then they were completely vulnerable to the effects of strong magicks. In short, a dose of such magicks will fry their magical networks, essentially killing the flow of magic to the brain. Where humans had blood in their veins, supernaturals had magicks. Cut off the circulation and…

“And what is the Council doing about this problem?”

“They notified all hunters to be on the lookout for dealers. The council told parents that there has been some slight trouble in the area recently and suggested a curfew for all minors.”

“That’s just like the Jura, of course they will sweep this all under the rug for as long as they can. Do they really think that a few ‘minor’ problems and a curfew will prevent teenagers from going out to the clubs? Look, I’ll head to a few clubs tonight and see if I can find anything out. I’ll see if I can talk to the girl’s friends too, see if they know anything.”

“Just be careful dear… I have a feeling that this job will be more dangerous than what you’ve done before. It needs to be dealt with discreetly,” Maya looked worried. “And you cannot let your glamour slip.”

 

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RELEASE: Voices from the Gloom – Volume 2

Sirens Call Publications is pleased to announce the release of:

Voices from the Gloom – Volume 2

VFTG_V2_FrontCover_forPublicityOur Voices from the Gloom series is an eclectic collection of tales that will echo in your mind, making you question what is real and what isn’t.

In this second volume, you’ll encounter ten stories that will send icy shivers down your spine. It includes tales of two brothers who find an opening into another world behind their grandparent’s home; a reporter sent to investigate a haunted house only to find out it holds a more nefarious secret; and the story of a woman searching for her lover but when she doesn’t find him, the tale takes a demented twist.

Get lost in the different voices, let their horrific nature speak to you from the spaces between the shadows. Allow them to get into your head and wring the marrow from your soul…

Contributing Authors:

Maynard Blackoak, Carson Buckingham, Alex Clarke, Kevin Holton, DW Gillespie, Erik Gustafson, Jacob Lambert, Patrick O’Neill, Hannah Sears, and J.T. Seate

Available for purchase at:

Amazon:

US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | Italy | Spain | France | Brazil | Japan | India | Mexico

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Dusk and Summer Blog Tour: Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway to win 1 of 5 digital copies of Dusk and Summer by Joseph Pinto on his recent virtual book tour!

The winners are:

Marjorie Mallon

Maura Treacy

C. Lee McKenzie

Shelley Summers

Janet Pluchinsky

We hope you enjoy Dusk and Summer and would love to hear your thoughts on it!

***

Also a huge thank you to:

Shah Wharton

Megan Stewart

Laurie Jenkins

Christy Wilson

Kriss Morton

Nina D’Arcangela

Karen Soutar

Brent Abell

Dan O’Brien

Julianne Snow

***

DuskAndSummer_JosephAPinto_FrontCoverOnlyDoes Heaven await beneath the waves? One man needs to know.

When his dying father whispers a cryptic message to him, he has no choice but to summon his courage and begin the quest of a lifetime. It’s a race against time to realize his father’s wish and fulfill his own destiny; it’s a discovery of the unbreakable bond between father and son. It’s a journey of the heart that unfolds where only the Chosen exist – in the moments between Dusk and Summer.

“A poignant, metaphoric conversation between son and father. A story that will warm your heart.”

–Yvonne S. Thornton, M.D., bestselling author of The Ditchdigger’s Daughters

The author will be donating a portion of the proceeds from this book to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

***

 Purchase Links:

Amazon:

US |UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | India | Brazil

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Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iTunes (Apple)

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