Tag Archives: blog swap

#EggcerptExchange – Diana Rubino

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Another lovely Eggcerpt… Diana Rubino is here to take back into our past… remember that horrible day that JFK was murdered??? well, what else was going on??

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Diana has the answer, as her characters fight for answers in the background of that tragedy …pretty coolll…. enjoy her excerpt and other fun details… and keep your eyes peeled for each twist and turn… muhahahahaha

The End of Camelot by Diana Rubino

November 22, 1963, a day that changed America forever. Who killed President Kennedy?

I’ve been a HUGE JFK assassination buff since that very day. Everyone who was alive on November 22, 1963 knew exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. I was in my first grade classroom. The teacher got a call on the classroom phone and told us ‘the president was shot.’ A collective gasp went around the room. I was 6 years old and in first grade. It was ten years before I saw the footage of Ruby shooting Oswald, on an anniversary documentary.
But it was my grandmother who got me interested in the biggest mystery since ‘who killed the princes in the Tower?’ (I’m a Ricardian; that’s for another post).  She got me embroiled right along with her.
She listened to all the radio talk shows (those who lived in the New York area might remember Long John Nebel, on WOR, WNBC, and WMCA, all on AM radio (FM was really ‘out there’ at that time).
She recorded all the radio talk shows. She bought whatever books came out over the years, along with the Warren Commission Report, which I couldn’t lift at the time, it was so heavy. But my interest never waned in the 51 years that followed.
In 2000, I began the third book of my New York Saga, set in 1963. The heroine is Vikki McGlory Ward, daughter of Billy McGlory, hero of the second book, BOOTLEG BROADWAY, set during Prohibition. This was my opportunity to write a novel showcasing all my current theories, and continue the saga. It took a minimum of research, since I remember all the 60’s brands, (Bosco, Yum Berry, Mr. Bubble…), the fashions, the songs, and I even included a scene set on that unforgettable night when the Beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, February 9, 1964.

About THE END OF CAMELOT

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The third in the New York Saga, The End of Camelot centers on Billy McGlory’s daughter Vikki, whose husband is murdered trying to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Vikki uses her detective skills to trace the conspiracy, from New York to New Orleans to Dallas, and at the same time, tricks her husband’s murderer into a confession. A romance with her bodyguard makes her life complete.

November 22, 1963: The assassination of a president devastates America. But a phone call brings even more tragic news to Vikki Ward—her TV reporter husband was found dead in his Dallas hotel room that morning.

Finding his notes, Vikki realizes her husband was embroiled in the plot to kill JFK—but his mission was to prevent it. When the Dallas police rule his death accidental, Vikki vows to find out who was behind the murders of JFK and her husband. With the help of her father and godfather, she sets out to uncover the truth.

Aldobrandi Po , the bodyguard hired to protect Vikki, falls in love with her almost as soon as he sets eyes on her. But he’s engaged to be married, and she’s still mourning her husband. Can they ever hope to find happiness in the wake of all this tragedy?

Purchase THE END OF CAMELOT on Amazon

Excerpt:

It was New Year’s Eve, they were alone, and he was harmless. So far. So she took the necessary two paces over to him and placed the honey ball between his custom-made choppers.

He closed his eyes, and she watched him savoring the sweetness. She didn’t dare say another word as she ran her index finger over a glob of cream on the cannoli plate, raised it to her lips and licked. “Mmmm,” she voiced, wishing she hadn’t.

Their eyes met and locked. Faster than lightning, they came together like magnets. Their lips met, sweet and sticky and hot. She didn’t want him to stop, but her inner voice screamed how wrong it was—It’s forbidden!—echoing the nuns in Saint Gustina’s. She shooed it away like an annoying fly. Leave me alone, I’m not a kid anymore. Her arms circled his neck, and his hands slid down to the curve of her back. Dare she move in closer, pelvis to pelvis, an unthinkable act three seconds ago? Her body was betraying her, betraying Jack, taking on a will of its own as she crushed herself to him. The kiss intensified. She tasted cannoli, and her fogged mind told her he’d been sampling them all day. She breathed in his cologne, so foreign it repelled her, so new it aroused her even further. Her tiara slipped off her head. She caught it just as he pulled away.

He held her at arm’s length as in a tango. “Oh, cara mia,” he growled—and if he said another word in Italian, she knew she’d explode. A passion long dormant stirred inside her.

My favorite passage from the book:

Billy came down the stairs for a nightcap and glanced into the living room. He noticed the glow in the fireplace, Vikki’s eyeglasses and the anisette bottle on the table. The couch faced the other way, but nobody was sitting on it. “Where’d they go?” Then he realized they hadn’t gone anywhere—and they were on the couch, but not sitting. Before he got out of their way, he placed a long-playing record on the phonograph. Jackie Gleason’s “For Lovers Only.”

About Me

dianarubino

My passion for history and travel has taken me to every locale of my books, and short stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, and New York. My urban fantasy romance, FAKIN’ IT, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. I live on Cape Cod with my husband Chris. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano and devour books of any genre.

Contact me:

My Website

My Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

LinkedIn

GooglePlus

 

 

#EggcerptExchange – P.J. MacLayne

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Oh yeah… hold the presses….

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along with P.J.’s guest post, I had the chance to read her novel… you can find my thoughts at the end of this post, as well as on Amazon and Goodreads… Reviews… we have to have them… give me, give me… give me the reviews… muhahahaha

Character interview with Tasha Roeper, the main character of Wolves’ Knight

What is your job?

I am currently contracted with Lapahie Enterprises to provide assistance with getting their physical security beefed up. I’m helping to train the students at the school sponsored by Lapahie in basic security skills, and I sometimes provide bodyguard services to the CEO, Dot Lapahie. My training with both my pack, the Fairwoods, and the Radferd pack of security specialists has given me a unique set of skills that I’ll be able to use to enhance the reputation of the Fairwood pack in the future.

Where is your favorite place to visit?

I haven’t travelled much, and my bucket list of places to go is really small. I’d like to make it out the redwoods of California some day, and visit the Grand Canyon. I really enjoyed the year and a half I spent in Maine training with the Radferds, but it sure was nice to come home. I haven’t found anything yet to match the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, especially in the fall when the trees are turning colors.

What is your worst fear or nightmare?

My worst fear is that I’ll somehow let the pack down. I’m not your typical pack female, and if I do something wrong, I can bring shame to the pack and make Gavin, my pack leader, look bad. I don’t have the strength or size that the males have, so I have to depend on my wits, training and skills in a battle. I know that one day they won’t be enough. But when I run into that opponent I can’t beat, I hope I’ll do some major dame before I die.

What would you do if you won the lottery?

What’s the line? You can’t win if you don’t play? Okay, I’ve bought a scratch off ticket or two in my time, but the most I’ve ever won is $5. I think I used that to fill the tank of my motorcycle. If I ever had a lot of money, I’d make that trip to California. And I think I’d donate some of it to a veteran’s charity. I’ve had the privilege of fighting alongside quite a few men and women who served in the military, and although the pack takes care of its own, there are a lot of vets out there that could use some extra help.

On the lighter side-what’s your favorite type of pet?

I’m a wolf-shifter. I don’t do pets. Can’t you just imagine it, some sweet little kitten hanging around the house, being freaked out every time I shifted into my wolf form? I’m a meat eater, and I’m sure a pet would be able to sense that. Maybe I could get away with a goldfish or something, but it’s never been something I’ve ever considered.

 

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Wolves’ Knight Blurb:

 

Tasha Roeper knows what it means to protect your own. So when her friend, Dot Lapahie, CEO of Lapahie Enterprises, suspects that the Free Wolves are under attack, Tasha immediately signs on to lead the investigation and guard Dot.

But Tasha’s not convinced it’s the Free Wolves that are the target. She fears that her own pack—the Fairwood Pack—are the actual quarry and Dot is only a decoy.

The deeper Tasha digs, the more puzzles she uncovers.

Torn between tradition and a changing world, will Tasha risk everything to save a friend—including her own life—when old enemies arise?

Excerpt

“This isn’t much different than getting ready to go on a raid,” Dot said as she strapped on the belt that held her throwing knives.

“In a way; it is,” Tasha told her. “Only instead of going to your target, you’re searching for someone coming to you. Which can be even more nerve-racking.”

“I wish you two could come along.”

I will be, Tasha thought, but not officially.

“Chief agrees with you, but it wouldn’t look right,” Samantha said. She was double-checking Dot’s preparations. “You have to do this on your own.”

“Do you know how many times I bugged Gavin to let me run patrols with the Fairwoods?” Dot adjusted the shoulder harness for the revolver that the arms master had supplied. “And he’d never let me. I can’t believe he caved and agreed to this scheme.”

“I guess he realized how important this is,” Tasha suggested.

“Either that or someone blackmailed him. What do you have on him, Tasha?”

“Me?” Tasha fluttered her eyelashes and attempted to look innocent. “All I had to do was explain how important this is.”

“I’ll force you to tell me later.” Dot turned around slowly. “What am I missing?”

She didn’t look like the CEO of a growing organization any more. Instead, she’d gone back to her roots and looked every inch the warrior. From the combat boots on her feet to the cropped hair tinged with streaks of red, she was prepared for battle. Tasha decided it was a good thing that Gavin wasn’t there to see her. They’d never make it out the door. Nothing was sexier to a male wolf that a female prepared to do battle for her cubs.

“One minor detail.” Samantha reached into her pocket and pulled out a small, round container. “Pink stripes on your cheeks. Then you’ll be ready.”

A small cluster of people waited for Dot when she reported to the staging area for her patrol assignment. As she shook hands with her well-wishers, Tasha used the diversion to slip away. She had her own preparations to make.

 

Purchase links:

http://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Knight-Free-Book-ebook/dp/B0199BC6YI/

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/wolves-knight

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wolves-knight-pj-maclayne/1123127673

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1066865102

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Author Bio: Born and raised among the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, P.J. MacLayne still finds inspiration for her books in that landscape. She is a computer geek by day and a writer by night who currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. When she’s not in front of a computer screen, she might be found exploring the back roads of the nearby national forests and parks. In addition to the Free Wolves’ stories, she is also the author of the Oak Grove mystery series. P.J. MacLayne can be reached on: Facebook https://facebook.com/pjmaclayne

Twitter https://twitter.com/pjmaclayne

Google + https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PJMacLayne/posts

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/P.J.-MacLayne/e/B00HVE8WZI

And here are my thoughts….

this novel was between a 3 and a 4 for me, but definitely closer to a 4… it was cute, well paced and dropped enough debits about Mark (Elder Fennar/may be spelling wrong) for me to be rooting for Tasha to hook up with him, way before I actually knew if he was actually in the running… (nothing explicit for those faint of heart)

the beginning is a little rough, well written but I turned back multiple times to see if I had missed a prologue or something… but after the first few paragraphs the story takes off… knowing that I have the most trouble writing my own first page, I continued and enjoyed the read…

 

 

 

 

#EggcerptExchange – Kim Headlee

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I’m not really a fan of Historical novels, but I love dragons… so the fact that this is a Dragon’s Dove Chronicles series is interesting to me…

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I wonder if there are dragons in this novel… or is it just a really cool title… hmmm… I wonder what surprises Headlee has hidden within her pages… muhahahaha

BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Raging Sea: Reckonings

SERIES – The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles, book 3.1

AUTHOR – Kim Iverson Headlee

GENRE – Epic Historical Fantasy

PUBLICATION DATE – 11/23/2015

LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 104 pages/20K words

PUBLISHER – Pendragon Cove Press

COVER ARTIST – Natasha Brown

Link to cover: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lm0lKzRIh1E/VlTd86eP2GI/AAAAAAAABeM/SfTgbEXIG4Y/s1600/RagingSea-Reckongings.jpg

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Synopsis:

Those who aspire to greatness must first learn servanthood.

Stripped of kin, clan, country, and even his identity for having failed the most important woman in his life and her infant son, Angusel begins the arduous task of rebuilding his life and reclaiming his honor. The path he treads is fraught with uncomfortable revelations, unexpected reconciliations… and unavoidable reckonings.

 

EXCERPT 1 (PG)

He stood on the bluff, staring at the gray-green sea churning against the Manx beach a score of paces below. The Sasunach funeral pyre at his back enveloped him with its draconic heat and eye-stinging smoke and gut-wrenching stench. As dizziness washed over him, the sandy ground felt as insubstantial as the cloud-laced sky. Hand to sweating temple, he tossed off the surreal sensation with a shake.

Earth, sky, fire, water… as if he were a god imprisoned at the convergence of the elements.

He snorted.

He was no god.

No longer did anyone address him by his given name, which meant “raging sea.” Even on the official duty roster he was listed as Optio Aonar, a junior officer not of command rank. No matronymic, no clan, no country; physically, emotionally, spiritually alone.

EXCERPT 2 (PG-13)

Gull gave Angusel a measuring stare, glanced at the skies—which had remained calm, and the temperature was behaving itself for once—and reached a decision. “Elian, the wood can keep. Our wee lion cub needs a woman. So do I, truth be told.” He picked up his sword.

Over Angusel’s embarrassed, “What!” soared Elian’s hearty laughter. “I suppose you know just the place,” said the centurion with a grin.

“Of course. Don’t you?” Gull shot back. When he got no response, he continued, “How long has it been for ye, auld boar?”

Elian’s grin soured. He pivoted on his wooden leg and stomped inside the cottage. Without looking back he said, “None of your cac-licking business. Take him, then. Just don’t be all day about it.” The words faded with distance until the last few were almost inaudible.

Purchase link (Kindle Unlimited only; this is a worldwide link that opens to the Amazon product page in or nearest to the visitor’s country): http://getBook.at/Raging_Sea_Reckonings_by_KIH_Kindle

– author short bio – 100 words or less.

Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet. She has been an award-winning novelist since 1999 (Dawnflight 1st edition, Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster) and has been studying the Arthurian Legends for nigh on half a century.

– author links – no more than 5

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE (Worldwide link) – http://Author.to/Kim_Headlee_Amazon_page

BLOG – http://kimiversonheadlee.blogspot.com

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/KimIversonHeadlee

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/KimHeadlee

GOOGLE+ – https://plus.google.com/+KimHeadlee

 Hold the presses… here is a character interview for Headlee’s MC… but first… a little insanity…

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Questions for Angusel, the main character in RAGING SEA: RECKONINGS by Kim Headlee:

1. Nickname

For having failed the most important person in my life, and her infant son, I am no longer known by my birth name, Angusel. I now call myself Aonar a Dubh Loch, which in your tongue means “Alone from the Black Lake.” It is a fitting name for the condition of my soul.

2. Job

I am a soldier in the Dragon Legion of Brydein, an officer of optio rank. This is the lowest rank in the officer corps and carries no command authority. This rank is bestowed upon couriers and spies. As an optio attached to the Fifth Turma of the Manx Cohort, I have been called upon to perform both types of service.

3. Level of schooling, or self-taught

For the better part of two years, as a condition of my being held hostage by the Pendragon to ensure that my mother would not again attack the Pendragon’s people, I studied with the monks on the Isle of Maun. In spite of my hostage status—and the fact that the monks’ lessons were not the favorite part of my day—I now look back upon that time with wistful longing.

4. Birthdate

I was born under the sign of the Lion, in the month known by the Romans as Junius—or June, as you would say—in the year known by Christian reckoning as 479. My people do not bother to label the passage of years, nor do they bother with the remembrance of birth days.

5. Birthplace

The place of my birth—an earth-and-timber fortress named Senaudon atop a high stone promontory—is now covered by a massive stone construction called Stirling Castle in what is now Scotland. It grieves me that the invaders I fought so hard to repel have lent their name to this land, and that my people, the Caledonians—or Picts, as the Romans insisted upon naming us—are all but lost in the mists of time.

6. Currently residing in…

Because I was gravely wounded in my last battle, the renowned healer Prioress Niniane has granted me permission to heal under her care at Rushen Priory on the Isle of Maun.

7. Favorite type of pet

If by “pet” you mean an animal of which I am fond, I possess a deep affinity for my warhorse Stonn. He has saved my life in battle countless times. I also like cats, and they me, though there is no one special cat in my life at this time.

8. Favorite place to visit

There is a large rock just off the Manx shoreline near the priory where I go to escape the pressures of my life, and just sit and think. At high tide, it’s completely surrounded by water, and it makes me feel at one with the “raging sea” that is my namesake.

9. Significant other

Gyan, the most significant woman in my life, I can never be with in any romantic sense, for she is married to Arthur, the man she loves with all her heart, and he her. I would sooner take my own life than cause any harm to befall their relationship. Recently I met another woman, Eileann, who was kind to me beyond all reason or expectation, even though I am an outcast among our people. Eileann is as beautiful and gentle a soul as any I have ever known, and I consider it an honor simply to know her. Whether she and I are destined to be together someday, only the gods know.

10. Most important goal

The one thing I yearn for with all my soul is to reclaim my place as a warrior at Gyan’s side. Since the moment I met her, all I’ve ever wanted was to be her champion and protector. That honor was stripped from me when I failed to save the life of Gyan’s infant son, a failure that shall haunt me for the rest of my days.

11. Worst fear or nightmare

My worst fear is that I shall never earn Gyan’s forgiveness, for without it, I can never achieve my most important goal.

12. Favorite food

With my food choices being dictated by what rations of meat and ale are offered to soldiers in the Dragon Legion, I do not give thought what might be my favorite… though a hot, juicy slice of roast pork does sound tempting just now.

13. Wealthy, poor, or somewhere in between?

Before the failure that caused me to be stripped of kin, clan, country, and purpose, I was Àrd-Oighre h’Albainaich Chaledon—that is to say, the Exalted Heir of Clan Alban, a prince among my people, with all the wealth and privileges that title entailed. Now, I own nothing more than the clothes on my back and the armor and weapons stored in the armory on my behalf.

14. Secret desire or fantasy

I dare not speak it, lest Arthur overhear. He would eat my heart for breakfast, and then use the rest of me for target practice. I believe that my heart is of more use to him—and her—where it is.

15. What would you do if you won the lottery?

What is a “lottery?” For me and everyone I know, the casting of lots is not something that is won, for the consequence usually entails having to perform an unpleasant duty, such as mucking the stables.

 

#EggcerptExchange – Kasia Radzka

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another day, another excerpt… woo who… today it is all about Kasia Radzka… 

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I have to thank all the authors participating in this Exchange… personally, I have enjoyed finding out about all these new novels coming out… not all of them have been in my preferred genre, but seeing the large number of books being created humbles me… I am very proud to be a part of this growing community, and I hope you guys find a book or two to add to your TBR list (to be read list)

Blurb – less than 300 words

Lexi Ryder vowed to never return to the Gold Coast, but after a desperate phone call from an old friend, she returns only to learn her friend is dead.

Was it murder or an accident?

Lexi finds herself embroiled in a game of politics, assassinations and secrets. A world where people are not who they seem.

Detective Matthew Ryan wants Lexi as far away as possible from him and the case. But Lexi knows too much. After a public assassination they discover that whoever is responsible is willing to go to great lengths to dispose of those who get in the way of their plans.

Is Lexi willing to risk her own life to seek the truth?

Money, status, and power. Some people will do anything to get it, others will do whatever it takes to keep it.

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Excerpt – less than 500 words

He pushed her hard and she slammed into the wall of the building, the rugged bricks cutting her palms as she tried to protect herself from the impact. This couldn’t be the end. She turned to face her attacker. She didn’t recognise him. In the darkness she could just make out his features. He had a face that could easily get lost in a crowd, olive skin, a freckle beside his eye, and brown hair. It’s funny the details you notice when you face your killer.

“I’ll give you whatever you want, please, take my keys, my wallet, there’s two hundred dollars in there, just don’t hurt me, please,” Lexi pleaded as he pushed her against the wall.

He stared at her. No smile. No reaction. Then she noticed the glimmer of a gun in his hand.

He pushed even closer until she felt his lips against her ear. “You’ve been asking too many questions.”

Lexi squeezed her eyes shut and pushed him away with all the strength that she could muster as pain seared through her body. She kicked him but he grabbed her by the neck and pulled her towards him pressing the cold metal barrel against the flesh of her lower back. This was it. She was about to die. And all for nothing. She wondered if Dana had known she was going to die at the exact moment her car had veered off the road and slammed into the tree.

Purchase links not more than 5

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YAC0NLA?keywords=lethal%20disposal&qid=1452997317&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com.au/Lethal-Disposal-Kasia-Radzka-ebook/dp/B00YAC0NLA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1453285484&sr=8-1&keywords=lethal+disposal

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author short bio – 100 words or less

Kasia Radzka is an author, athlete wannabe, food & wine lover, and blogger, living with her husband and son on the Gold Coast, Australia. A run along the coastline generally gets her muse buzzing. You can contact her at kasiajradzka@gmail.com or stop by her website www.kasiaradzka.com.

author links – no more than 5

http://www.kasiaradzka.com

answer to character’s questions

Nickname
Lexi

2. Job –
Freelance Investigative Journalist3. Level of schooling, or self-taught – University Degree and the school of life4. Birthdate –
5 May5. Birthplace –
Melbourne, Australia6. Currently residing in…
Gold Coast, Australia7. Favorite type of pet –
Dog, but she has no room for one in her life at the moment8. Favorite place to visit –
Europe9. Significant other –
It’s complicated10. Most important goal –
To figure out who killed her friend11. Worst fear or nightmare -Failing the people she promises to help 12. Favorite food – Wine, burgers, and rockmelon – not necessarily in that order.13. Wealthy, poor, or somewhere in between? Wealthy, but doesn’t like to advertise it.
14. Secret desire or fantasy – If she told you it wouldn’t be a secret. 15. What would you do if you won the lottery? Give half to charity, invest the other half and continue investigating stories.

 

#EggcerptExchange – Janie Franz

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the first month of Eggcerpt Exhange is winding down… we have one more author coming to visit tomorrow, and then it is March’s turn to shine… there is an amazing number of authors out there in today’s market… a taste of every genre… no matter what you are looking for, the perfect book is waiting… personally, I need to stop looking… lol… I already have a number of favorite authors on my TBR list… if I add anymore, I will need to win the lottery… ahhhh… wouldn’t that be nice… now I am picturing the two-story home library I would build if only someone would give me the millions needed to create the monstrosity … muhahaha… I could have my bedroom, coffee maker, and office surrounded by two stories of books… ooo… and I would take a trip to hay-on-way… a European book-topia….

Okay… back to today’s guest… Janie Franz is here with an excerpt and a character interview from her novel Verses

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Verses (The Lost Song Trilogy book 1 and book 4 of the Bowdancer series)

By

Janie Franz

Blurb

Eleven summers after Jan-nell the bowdancer left her daughter Mira-nell with the sisterhood of hunters on the mountain and came to live with Khrin to raise their son, Bearin, she is called by the sisterhood to find their origins.

The first clue is a bit of song Jan-nell learns at the deathbed of the oldest woman in the sisterhood’s village. Jan-nell and her companions seek the origins of the mysterious women on the mountain through the verses of that song.

Master hunter Bekar and master trackfinder Chandro accompany Jan-nell and Bearin on a quest for the lost song that takes them from their local inn out across the landscape of their world as they meet bee spinners and kings and risk their lives to achieve their goal.

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Excerpt

“Is the old woman failing?”

“She is ill, and Leyton worries that she may pass before she can tell Jan-nell the gossip from the first mothers about our coming to the mountain.”

“She wants a story-song then?”

Chandro nodded again. “She has finally agreed.”

Bekar bit into a crisp cucumber, relishing the new taste. “Hmm.” Then she turned to Jan-nell. “I would like to know how we came here and why. I feel there is something we should all know, but it has been kept from us. We did not have feasts and music before you and Mira-nell came, or ways to mark our life passages, except for when we have our first moon and become women or when a few take their places among the hunters.”

“At least Mira-nell has that affirmation. She would not get it here.” Jan-nell cast Khrin a look. “They would be plotting who she should wed by now—if not preparing the ceremony as we speak.”

Khrin held up his hands. “It is not my doing. My mother likes weddings and babes.”

Chandro’s gaze rested on Bearin. “Do they plot who you will wed?” she asked the boy.

“If I would listen,” he said.

“What?” Jan-nell turned to him.

“I do not bother you with their talk. Granddame’s sister has a girl my age that she thinks is fair.”

“But she is kin?”

He shrugged his shoulders. “They do not count kin that far from Granddame. Besides, though she is fair, she cannot think. What would I have to say to such a one?”

“There will be a time where thinking is not what is most in your mind when you look upon a girl,” Chandro counseled.

Frowning at the trackfinder, Jan-nell continued. “You have seen her?”

The boy gave a nod.

“And?”

Bearin looked confused. “What?”

Khrin shook his head, grinning “I do not know if your mother is more shocked that she did not know about this or that she does not know what instructions you have been given about girls.”

“Well, it is obvious somebody has been filling his head with something!” Jan-nell snapped. “I do not wish him to have a houseful of babes before he has explored the world and found what lies in his heart.”

Bekar chuckled, and Jan-nell turned her growing anger on the hunter, glaring fiercely at her.

“Forgive,” Bekar said. “Be at peace.” She turned to the boy. “Tell us what you have learned about girls.”

Jan-nell raised an eyebrow at Bekar’s words.

Bearin looked up at his teacher. “It depends on the girl. Some are silly though they may be beautiful. Some are wise though they may look like a goat. Some are noble and kind, and some are devious and can never be happy no matter how much is given to them. Some have talents, though they may be in the domestic arts, while some are clever and strong and know men’s work. Both kinds can work alongside any man. Girls—women are as diverse as men.”

“And what of pairings—wedded or not?”

He shrugged again. “Just as varied.” He looked at every face. “As are families. Are we not a family around this table?”

“Yes, we are,” Khrin stated and reached for his mug of tea. He held it up as if to give a toast.

Bekar smiled and held up her mug. Bearin hoisted his aloft. Chandro looked at Jan-nell and raised her mug. Moving her eyes from face to face, Jan-nell finally raised her mug. “To our family,” Khrin said in firm tones.

Interview Questions for Bekar

1. Nickname: I’ve always been called Bekar. It is a name different from the other women up on the mountain.

2. Job: Do you mean what work I have been called to do? I am a Master Hunter

3. Birthplace: I was born up on the mountain, far above the little villages below. There are only women here, strong women. We are grateful to have Mira-nell, Jan-nell’s child, teach our young girls the ways of healing and the songs of the One. Those songs and dances stir my heart, unlike many of the other women here. And Mira-nell has her mother’s touch with herbing goat and wild game. We of the sisterhood, as Jan-nell calls us, are very grateful Mira-nell tends our cook fires.

4. Significant other: Do you mean a mate? I have not found one, though I have had many lovers. I think I’m too much of a mountain goal to be tamed by a mate.

5. Most important goal: We must find the answers to where we came from. Surely, we did not spring from the rocks of our mountain home. I am different from the other women here. I brown darker in the summer’s sun. My hair is not fair like theirs.

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About Janie Franz

Janie Franz comes from a long line of Southern liars and storytellers. She told other people’s stories as a freelance journalist for many years. With Texas wedding DJ, Bill Cox, she co-wrote The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book and The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book, and then self-published a writing manual, Freelance Writing: It’s a Business, Stupid! She also published an online music publication, was an agent/publicist for a groove/funk band, a radio announcer, and a yoga/relaxation instructor.

Currently, she is writing her tweveth novel and a self-help book, Starting Over: Becoming a Woman of Power.

Author Links:

https://authorjaniefranz.wordpress.com

https://janiefranz.wordpress.com

https://thebowdancersaga.wordpress.com

Buy Links:

This book is on sale for 99cents at

https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/new-releases/series/verses-the-lost-song-trilogy-detail

and
And can be bought for regular price at:

 

#EggcerptExchange – Kim Cox

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This Eggcerpt has intrigue, betrayal, revenge… hot romance…. ooo…. lots of goodies in this one…

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It sounds deliciously tempting…

Suspicious Minds

A Romantic Suspense Novel

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Blurb

Revenge, Betrayal, and Hidden Identity

In the city of Boston lies a story of revenge and hidden identity. Ryan Donatelli, posing as Thomas Randolph, sets out to avenge his sister’s death, even if it means using Sam Southard’s daughter to do it. After all, Ryan is sure Sam’s responsible.

Natalie Southard is determined to keep her family business out of the hands of known crime boss, Nick DeMarco. After her father is killed, Natalie and Ryan are forced to run for their lives. But, will they live long enough for their hearts to heal once everything is revealed?

Genres: Romance / Romantic Suspense / Romantic Thriller

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Excerpt

Prologue

“Is that her?” Detective Walsh asked, talking around the wad of gum in his mouth.

Ryan Donatelli tugged at the neck of his old football jersey while he looked everywhere but at the body on the steel examination table. The morgue walls were closing in on him. “I don’t know.” Even to him, his voice sounded tinny and far off. “Shelley’s small, but this woman seems much smaller. It’s hard to say.” The obvious resemblance struck him, but he looked for any reason he could to deny it.

“Dehydration from the burns,” the gray-haired coroner said. “It changes the facial appearance.”

Ryan glanced up and noticed the older man’s immense nose and his astonishing resemblance to the comedian and singer, Jimmy Durante.

The detective shrugged. “Well, if you can’t be sure, I guess we’ll just have to— Wait a minute! What about this?” Walsh removed a small envelope from his jacket pocket and extracted a plastic bag containing a necklace that had been tagged for evidence.

Ryan’s stomach spasmed. Acid scorched his throat. Every conscious thought screamed denial, yet his trembling hand reached for the bag. Under the fluorescent lights, the ruby pendant glowed like a hot ember. He squeezed it in his palm, trying to feel its pulsing warmth—like the warmth of Shelley’s smile.

Oh, God! It was as cold as the body on the table.

“You okay?” The detective’s voice was muffled. Ryan wanted to laugh at the stupidity of the question, but at this moment, mirth was a foreign emotion to him.

With his index finger, he traced the outline of the small stone before turning it over to read the inscription he knew he would find. Unshed tears blurred his vision, but there it was. Happy B-day, Love, R.

“It’s Shelley,” he said and turned away. He could no longer deny the evident truth, or hang onto the tiniest thread of hope that this was a terrible mistake.

Sweet, stubborn Shelley, his baby sister. She’d never argue politics, movies or anything mundane as the weather again. Shelley loved to challenge him. She’d made him think in new ways and consider new options. What would he do without her?

Teaser Scene

He sipped his drink, noticing her eyes shifting from one object to the other. The love seat and chair with its own ottoman matched the ivory couch. A blue-and-crimson oriental rug dominated the living room floor. Sheer white curtains covered the double glass doors leading to the dining room with a black lacquered table and chairs.

“Do you like the house?”

“Yes, it’s beautiful…lovely,” she said, touching his arm.

“Thank you, but I can’t take the credit. My mother redecorated it last year.” Ryan looked around as if viewing it for the first time himself.

“I’d love to meet your mother. She has exquisite taste.”

“I have to agree. Maybe one day you will. And, if you’re good, I may take you on the grand tour of the place.” Ryan’s face drifted close to hers. He found himself not wanting to carry on the conversation any longer. His mind was far from words at the moment.

Her black hair, like her eyes, sparkled in the light. His skin beneath the sleeve of his shirt burned where the tips of her fingers touched. She smelled like freshly cut gardenias from his grandmother’s greenhouse. Her voice sounded like an angel’s song.

All he thought of was kissing her. He wanted to taste her sensuous pink lips and hold her in his arms until she begged for more.

As if his thoughts scared her, she turned away.

“I-I’d be privileged to see it.”

Did she feel the electricity sparking between them, too? Did she hunger for him the way he hungered for her?

He felt her uncertainty as clearly he did his own. Finally, she looked at him, and he could see the passion burning in her green eyes, and knew it was mirrored by his own. The window behind Natalie flashed with light. Their gazes clashed as the weather outside changed to a darkened, cloud-studded night. Wind whipped the bay into a frenzy of waves that slammed onto the beach behind the house.

The rumbling of thunder startled Natalie and she jumped into his arms. Her breast pushed against his chest and his defenses crumbled. His mouth covered hers as a hungry moan escaped his lips. She wrapped her arms around him, returning his kiss. He’d imagined her kiss to be sweet and full of passion, and his imagination was right on target…

Read More . . .

Scheduled for re-release March 15, 2016 – Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/kimcox

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About Kim Cox

Kim Cox is an author of Paranormal, Mystery, Suspense and Romance. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with her chain saw artist husband, their West Highland White Terriers–Scooter and Harley, and a Yorkie mix, Candi. Kim is published in novels, short stories and articles.

Sign up for Kim’s Readers List for exclusive information, new releases, contests, giveaways, and free books.

Visit her at the following sites:

Author’s Website: http://www.kimcoxauthor.com

Blogs: Kim’s Musings, Kim’s Author Support Page

Social Media locations:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kimcoxauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KimCoxAuthor

Google: https://plus.google.com/+KimCoxAuthor/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/kimcox

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kimwrtr/

#EggcerptExchange – Pamela Thibodeaux

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Today’s Eggcerpt Exchange Pamela Thibodeaux is dropping by to tell us a little about her book ‘The Visionary’…

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She has an excerpt, some insight into Taylor (the MC), and a little about herself… Enjoy everyone, and happy wordage…

Taylor Forrestier (pronounced Foresjay) The Visionary

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1. Nickname: Tay (short for Taylor)

2. Job: My twin brother, Trevor and I own T&T Enterprises and we specialize in Interior Design & Landscape Artist/Architecture.

3. Level of schooling, or self-taught: Although my twin brother and I attended Ivy League schools and obtained degrees in Architecture and Landscape Architecture as well as Urban Planning and Design, God has gifted me with the ability to ‘see’ what a home should look like when the project is complete – whether it is remodeling, restoration or building from the ground up.

4. Currently residing in… Lake Charles, Louisiana.

5. Significant other: Equipped with oodles and oodles of charm and charisma by the case, Alex Broussard started out as our client but became my husband/significant other.

Blurb: A visionary is someone who sees into the future Taylor Forrestier sees into the past but only as it pertains to her work. Hailed by her peers as “a visionary with an instinct for beauty and an eye for the unique” Taylor is undoubtedly a brilliant architect and gifted designer. But she and twin brother Trevor, share more than a successful business. The two share a childhood wrought with lies and deceit and the kind of abuse that’s disturbingly prevalent in today’s society. Can the love of God and the awesome healing power of His grace and mercy free the twins from their past and open their hearts to the good plan and the future He has for their lives?

Excerpt: “Thank you for taking such good care of me.”

“I’m not through yet,” he mumbled, then slid off the couch and swung her up in his arms.

Fear snuck in, darkening her eyes. She stiffened and opened her mouth to protest. He brushed his lips over hers and silenced her objections.

“I just want to hold you,” he whispered and laid his forehead against hers. “That’s all. I promise,” he added, unable to camouflage the need in his voice.

***

He’d offered her another step to relinquish her fear and trust him. Triumph lit his expressive eyes when she wrapped her arm around his neck, smiled, and whispered, “Okay,” then snuggled her face against his shoulder and let him carry her to the bedroom.

With exquisite tenderness, he laid her on the bed, crawled up beside her, and took her in his arms. Taylor felt the strength of his need in the heat and tensed against the hardness of his body. He eased his grip and propped up on one elbow beside her. His eyes pleaded for grace when he stroked the hair off her face and said in a soft, husky voice, “Please don’t be afraid of me; please trust me. I will never force or even persuade you to give more than you’re ready to.”

They gazed at each other for a long, tender moment. She cupped his cheek in her hand, brushed her thumb over his mouth, then curled her fingers in his hair and urged his head down to fasten her lips to his. A low moan escaped his throat, yet he held himself taut.

Taylor ran her hand over his shoulder and back in a soft caress then wrapped her arms around his waist. “Hold me, Alex, I trust you.”

The emotions reflected in his tone caressed her heart when he thanked her in that beautiful velvety-rough voice. He rolled onto his back, pulled the covers over her, and held her while she slept.

Purchase Links:

Paperback: http://amzn.to/1uROE2o

Kindle http://amzn.to/1s23QYv

B&N Print: http://bit.ly/1h9Yhlw

Nook http://bit.ly/1CyPt1c

Smashwords http://bit.ly/167J9So

Author bio: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

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Links:

Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com

Blog: http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com

Face Book: http://facebook.com/pamelasthibodeaux

Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pamelasthibodea/

#EggcerptExchange – Anita Philmar

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here is a look at Anita Philmar…. and her novel Deputy’s Bride… blurb, excerpt, and character interview … oh my… 😛 but first, a little insanity to start your day off right…

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Blurb for Deputy’s Bride (3rd book in the Naked Bluff, Texas series)

Deputy’s Bride is an erotic, historical western that is a stand-alone story with a satisfying HEA. Texas Deputy Bo Kildare is looking for a special kind of lady, one that is willing to meet his special requirements. No sweet little virgin will do, he wants a woman who knows how to please a man, perhaps two.

Recently widowed, Sarah Elizabeth Foster-LaFever has lived in the public eye for the last few years and wants out. Her reputation as Micah LaFever’s wife has left her penniless and without many viable options until Bo comes calling. Now, she believes she found the perfect man until her past rears its ugly head.

Can murder and corrupt dealings keep these two lovers from making it to the alter?

Anita

Excerpt:

Fighting to stay in his chair, Bo studied the woman leaning against the bed. She tempted him in a way few women had in a long time. Not only beautiful with her blonde hair and sea-green eyes, she also had a confidence that appealed to him.

“I have certain expectations. Some of which others might not understand.” Bo recalled his conversation with his brother. He had shot down the idea of a woman living on the ranch, claiming Bo didn’t spend enough time at home to warrant a wife.

Bo had to agree, but he also knew Chase. He never objected to having the companionship of a lady, as long as he participated in the fun of fucking her. Now, Bo intended to make sure they both approved of the arrangement so all of their needs would be satisfied.

She popped another button free and shifted her hips onto the surface of the bed. “And what would those be?”

Staring at the swell of her breasts over the top of her corset, he knocked back the rest of his water and set the glass on the floor. “I’m a demanding lover and don’t want an innocent virgin to blush every time I slap her ass.”

He dropped his gaze. “I’m looking for a woman who will spread her legs, when I tell her and show me her pussy.”

“Like this?” Sarah caught the skirt of her dress and lifted it above her knees.

He’d noticed her bare legs, after he’d arrived at the cabin. Sparking the idea of her being naked under her red, silk dressing gown, he waited impatiently to discover the answer. His gaze lit on the creamy length of her thighs, and he stared at the blonde bush between her legs. “Yes, now, put your feet on the railing of the bed and let me see your pretty cunt.”

She smiled and obeyed by settling back on the bed. The wide expand of her knees provided the perfect view of her intimate, pink folds.

He groaned hungry for a sample of her rich cream. “Did your husband ever ask you to show yourself to other men?”

With a brief nod, she slid the last button of her gown open, exposing her trim waist and off-white corset. He spotted the small dimple of her navel and envisioned dipping his tongue into the tiny divot.

“Did he let them taste you?” Bo unhooked his belt and shifted restlessly in his chair. He had to see how far he could push her, so he’d know if she’d go along with his plan.

“Yes.” She stood, pulled off her robe and walked forward in her corset alone. “Micah liked to watch other men play with me until I became so hot, I’d beg.”

Damn, that’s exactly what he longed to hear. Bo grabbed her around the waist and drew her between his legs. He breathed in her sweet scent and rubbed his face against the soft flesh of her belly. “What did you beg for?”

He pictured her with one cock in her mouth, one in her pussy, and another in her ass. A fire burned through him, igniting his lust. Blood pooled in his groin.

She tunneled her hands through his hair and tugged, drawing his head back. Her gaze met his with a wicked challenge. “I thought tonight was purely about you and me.”

Tempted beyond his endurance, Bo shifted her back enough to stand. “It is, but someday soon I plan to invite someone else to join the fun.”

“Does that mean you plan to marry me?” She worked her fingers over the buttons of his shirt, undoing them as she went.

“It’s why I’m here, and also the reason why we’re heading for my ranch tomorrow.”

http://www.amazon.com/Deputys-Bride-Naked-Bluff-Texas-ebook/dp/B00NUTJ5N6

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-deputy039sbride-1689844-357.html

Bio for Anita Philmar

Anita Philmar likes to create stories that push the limit. A writer by day and a dreamer by night she wants her readers to see the world in a new way.

Influenced by sci-fi programs, she likes to develop places where anything can happen and where erotic moments come to life in a great read.

Naughty or Nice?

Read her books and decide.

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Website: http://www.anitaphilmar.com/

Email: anitaphilmar@yahoo.com

Blog: http://www.anitaphilmar.blogspot.com/

FB: www.facebook.com/anita.philmar

GR: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1329767.Anita_Philmar

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anitaphilmar

FB: www.facebook.com/anita.philmar

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/anitaphilmar

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Anita-Philmar/e/B002BMBE8C

Character Questions:
1. Nickname – Sarah – no real nickname
2. Job – other than take care of my husband? No, I enjoy people but now that my husband is dead…well, things have changed.
3. Level of schooling, or self-taught – No, I learned more of what I know from watching others.
4. Currently residing in… Naked Bluff, Texas
5. Favorite type of pet – My horse is my world. He’s all I have left from my…well prior life
6. Favorite place to visit – At one time, I enjoyed the city. Now, I prefer to live a quiet life away from the gossip and mean comments regarding my past.
7. Significant other – Bo Kildare says he wants to marry me but I’m not so sure. He is handsome and appears almost to good to be true. Still, most men want more than there willing to tell you so I’m reserving judment until I get to know him better.
8. My most important goal is to have a quiet life with a man I can respect.
9. My worst fear or nightmare to have to marry a man who see me more as a servant than a wife.
10. Favorite food – steak.
11. Wealthy, poor, or somewhere in between? I’ve been wealthy and poor, there are advantages and pains at both end of the scales.
12. Secret desire or fantasy – to have a man that loves me for who I am.
13. What would you do if you won the lottery? Don’t know there is such a thing in 1860, but I never cared much for gambling.

 

#EggcerptExchange – Linda K Sienkiewicz

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Alrighty folks… here we have Linda Sienkiewicz … she has even included some reviews… (those things are like gold… and harder than heck to get outta the ground…) lol… I may be working in the wee hours again… but that doesn’t change that fact that Linda managed to get some awesome reviews…

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way to go girl… (don’t forget the character interview, and excerpt for y’all) now I am off to force myself to sleep, it could get ugly…

Author Linda K. Sienkiewicz writes women’s fiction/ contemporary romance. Her debut novel In the Context of Love.

What makes us step back to examine the events and people that have shaped our lives? And what happens when what we discover leads to more questions? In the Context of Love revolves around the journey of Angelica Schirrick as she reevaluates her life, and its direction.

Returning with her children from their first visit with her now imprisoned husband, she tries to figure out where it all went so wrong. Can she face the failures and secrets of her past and move forward? Can she find love and purpose again? Her future, which once held so much promise, crumbled like dust after the mysterious disappearance of her first love, and the shattering revelation that derailed her life, and divided her parents. Only when she finally learns to accept the violence of her beginning can she be open to life again, and maybe to a second chance at love.

Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of #1 NYTimes Bestseller, DEEP END OF THE OCEAN, says: “With humor and tenderness, but without blinking, Linda K. Sienkiewicz turns her eye on the predator-prey savannah of the young and still somehow hopeful.”

Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of Michigan Notable Book MOTHERS TELL YOUR DAUGHTERS, says “Sienkiewicz’s powerful and richly detailed debut novel is at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey. It should be required reading for all wayward daughters, and their mothers, too.”

Linda k

Eggcerpt from In the Context of Love:

What do you suppose my birthfather was doing at that moment? Getting a free meal from the Salvation Army? Lying on a grimy cot in a subsidy-rent apartment on Fifty-fourth, staring at a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling? What did he keep in his refrigerator? Salami? Eggs? A soft tomato with a cancerous black spot? He might have his own family, a basketful of smiling children with chocolate-coated grins, and a wife in a ruffled apron who served him barbecued ribs and mashed potatoes, knowing nothing of his illegitimate daughter.

I saw him with a swim cap of dark wavy hair, like mine, a fat stubby nose and eyes with the intensity of a quick moving summer storm. He focused on some distant spot, an invisible panorama, a sordid scene from his past, as he tore the meat from the ribs with his incisors, and his greasy lips moved in a silent monologue as he chewed. Suspicions, cold Midwest winters, bad city water, and clinging women made his teeth grind, no matter how many bones he sucked clean of flesh.

In the Context of Love can be purchased in paperback or e-reader

on Amazon http://amzn.to/1IiVWEs 

or Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/1QFs340 

Here’s an interview with Angelica Schirrick, the narrator of In the Context of Love:

1. What is your birthdate?
I came screaming into this world on June 30, 1958, delivered by a midwife, Rose Rumble, at my great aunt’s farm in Wisconsin.

2. Do you have a nickname?
 People have called me troublemaker, short stuff, hot stuff, cupcake (by my dad) Angel, hure (by my wicked German grandmother — don’t ask why), but most people call me Angie.

3. What’s your level of schooling?
I should say the School of Hard Knocks, but I have an associate’s degree.

4. What is your job?
I’m proud to say I’ve worked my way up to be the marketing and community service director for Safe Harbor, a non-profit women’s domestic violence shelter in Cleveland Ohio.

5. What is your most important goal?
To see my two children grow up to be happy and well-adjusted, despite having a felon for a father.

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Author Linda K. Sienkiewicz attributes her creative drive to her artistic mother, who taught her to sew, and her father, who let her monkey around with the gadgets in his workshop. Her poetry, short stories and art have been published in more than fifty literary journals. She has a poetry chapbook award from Bottom Dog Press and an MFA from The University of Southern Maine.

Website http://lindaksienkiewicz.com
Twitter 
https://twitter.com/LindaKSienkwicz
Pinterest 
https://www.pinterest.com/lindaksienkwicz/
Instagram 
https://www.instagram.com/lindaksienkiewicz/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lindasienkiewicz.author

#EggcerptExchange – Linda McLaughlin

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This is definitely a contemporary romance I would love to read… right to the TBR list…

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I love the following blurb… only thing that could make it better would be if Mitch was a cowboy… but hey… it is set in southern California ??? could there be cowboys hiding in these pages???

Children’s librarian Amanda Lloyd values privacy above all else. Three years ago her wedding ended in disaster when her groom was arrested at the altar and the story of the ‘Embezzler’s Bride’ appeared in the supermarket tabloids. The experience has left her determined to avoid being caught in the public eye again. Until she meets a sexy single dad with a scandalous past…

Ex-racer Mitch Delaney is a public figure whose life has been plastered across the tabloids more than once. But he believes that anything worth doing is worth a risk. After the death of his ex-wife, he moved to Southern California to take care of his son Josh. He doesn’t need the complication of a woman in his life, especially since Josh’s grandparents have filed suit for custody. But Josh is on the hunt for a new mother and he has his heart set on Miss Amanda, and Mitch can’t fault his son’s taste.

Against her better judgment, Amanda finds herself falling for both of the Delaney men. When she agrees to accompany Mitch to a high-profile movie premiere, they draw the attention of the tabloids. Overnight Amanda’s private affair becomes very public indeed, threatening her job and Mitch’s custody suit. She’s waited twenty-eight years for the right man. But will happiness come at too high a price?

(Golden Heart Finalist, previously published as Private Affair, Kensington Precious Gem #121)

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Eggcerpt:

The town was lovely, with tall palm trees and a sandy crescent of beach ringing the glistening bay. It was a picture perfect day as they strolled along the waterfront to one of her favorite seafood restaurants.

After a delicious lunch of fresh swordfish they walked the town, stopping at all the tourist spots. They hiked up to the botanical gardens, visited the Casino where haunting echoes of the Big Band era seemed still alive, and went on the Glass Bottom boat.

“Let’s take a walk on the beach,” Mitch suggested as they stepped onto the pier.

They shed their shoes and socks, enjoying the feel of the warm sand on their toes. Amanda breathed deeply of the sea air and sighed in contentment.

“It’s been such a nice day, I hate to go home,” Mitch observed.

“You just don’t want to get back in the plane,” she teased.

“On the contrary, I can’t wait to take off over that drop-off gorge. I hope it doesn’t leave Josh fatherless.”

“You don’t have any confidence in me.”

“I haven’t booked passage on the boat, have I? You can’t get rid of me that easily.”

He gave her a look that told her the man loved a touch of danger. Her plan had backfired. Instead of discouraging him, he seemed even more interested. That should bother her, but somehow it didn’t.

“I’ve really enjoyed this.” He gestured at the town. “It’s like another world.”

She nodded in agreement. “That’s the reason I enjoy flying over here. It’s so easy to forget about the stress of daily life.”

He slipped his arm around her shoulders. “What kind of pressure are you going back to at the library?”

The pressure is right here. She was constantly fighting her attraction to this man. “Nothing really,” she remarked casually. “We’re getting ready for Halloween and I’ve got to get a costume together. I’m supposed to be Sleeping Beauty.”

“Oh? That has possibilities.” He leaned closer so his lips brushed her temple. His throaty voice whispered in her ear, “You’ll need a prince to kiss you awake, you know. I’ll be happy to volunteer for the job.”

Amanda’s breath quickened as she stared into his darkened eyes. He wouldn’t. Not here, on a public beach, in front of everyone.

He would.

She felt her knees weaken as his mouth descended. Her mind told her to pull away but her body had no desire to back out of his embrace. His kiss was as light and tender as an ocean breeze, but her reaction was anything but cool. Her pulse pounded and her heart jumped erratically.

It’s just a kiss, she told herself. But even as they pulled apart she felt a burning desire, an aching need, to feel his arms around her.

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Buy links:

Available from Amazon Kindle http://amzn.com/B006LFIRGC

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-risk/id563112816?mt=11&uo=4

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/lyn-ofarrell

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-risk-7

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/236077

Worth The Risk is also part of the Hearts and Heroes boxed set.

Lyn O’Farrell’s Interview of Amanda Lloyd

Tell us about your job.

-I’m a children’s librarian at Santa Elena Public Library and I love it!

What is your favorite type of pet?

-I love dogs. My current companion is a miniature Dachshund named Willie who loves untying my guests’s shoe laces.

Name a favorite place to visit.

-I love to hop over to Avalon on Santa Catalina every chance I get. It’s such a little town.

What is your worst fear or nightmare?

-Being publicly shamed… again.

What is your secret desire or fantasy?

-I’d love to have children some day. But first I have to find the right man to help me make that possible.

(For Amanda to get her secret desire, she’s going to have to get over her fear of being in the public eye.)

Author bio:

Lyn O’Farrell is the writing team of Anne Farrell and Linda McLaughlin. Their romance novel, Private Affair, was a finalist in RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart contest and was first published in paperback by Kensington Precious Gems. Anne and Linda live in sunny Southern California, the inspiration for the fictional town of Santa Elena.

You can find the authors online at:

Anne Farrell’s website: http://annefarrellwriter.com/

Linda McLaughlin http://lindalyndi.com

Blog: http://lindalyndi.com/reading-room-blog/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LindaMcLaughlinAuthor

Twitter: @Lyndi Lamont https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont

#EggcerptExchange – Jacquie Biggar

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Romantic Suspense isn’t my normal pick, but every once in a while I enjoy a little nail biting, heart racing romance… muhahaha

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my usual picks for suspense involve something magical, but I do love a well written book with hidden hooks that pull me forward, until I can’t stand to put the book down…

TODAY’S GUEST IS: Jacquie Biggar- Author of romantic suspense w/ attitude

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ARE YOU A PLOTTER OR PANTSER?

I’m a pantser all the way. I’ve taken numerous courses on plotting because in theory it sounds easier. Build an outline, add elements of GMC (goal, motivation, and conflict) and you’re off to the races. For me, it comes off feeling forced. I lose my flow. So now I just let the words appear organically, sometimes that can be pages in a day, sometimes only a paragraph or two, but it works for me.

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO WRITE?

I’ve always had a love of reading. As I grew older it developed into a dream of seeing my name on the front cover of a book. That’s the biggest joy for me, hearing that people enjoy my writing.

WHAT DID YOU DO WHEN YOU SOLD YOUR FIRST BOOK?

Threw a party!! No seriously, I shared it all over social media. There’s such a euphoric feeling to accomplishing a goal you’ve set for yourself that I think the first reaction is to want to share the good news.

WHAT IS THE FIRST BOOK YOU REMEMBER READING?

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell told first person from the horse’s perspective. One of the most heartbreakingly powerful novels I’ve ever read.

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The Sheriff Meets His Match by Jacquie Biggar

Genre: Contemporary romance

When a jaded sheriff is drawn to an exasperating woman in trouble, anything can happen

Laurel Thomas has always experienced life from the outside looking in. She likes the warm welcome she’s received in Tidal Falls and wants to make a home in this friendly little town, far away from her egocentric family. But then her uncle arrives and she learns the past has a way of catching up to her.

Jack Garrett is satisfied with his uncomplicated life. He has a good job as the sheriff of his hometown, a nice home, and a beautiful teenage daughter. So why is he struggling against his attraction for the disorganized new hire at the department, Laurel Thomas? She threatens everything he’s worked so hard to avoid—like falling in love.

Can two people with enough emotional baggage to sink a ship find a way to give each other a chance, or is this match doomed to drown?

 

Excerpt:

“Are you going to answer me?” That voice. The deep, dark, mesmerizing timbre of his voice had featured in more than a few of Laurel’s overnight fantasies of late. Combine that with a body built like a tank and a set of handcuffs and…

Miss Thomas.”

His impatience woke her up to her very real predicament. Either she came up with a plausible answer now, or she could very likely end up spending the night in an interrogation room. Not that she would mind sharing a room with the big bad sheriff, but one with a bed would be preferable. Wait, did she really just think that? Obviously, it’d been too long since she had a meaningful relationship—hashtag sex.

Buy Link:

http://amzn.com/B0150T696Y

Bio:

 

Jacquie Biggar has a wonderful gift for writing hot and extremely likable military men!Jacqui Nelson

From the time Jacquie was twelve years old, she knew she wanted to be a writer. That year she wrote a short story called Count Daffodil after spending countless hours searching for ideas. The story garnered Jacquie an A and was read aloud through the school’s loudspeaker system. Needless to say, after that she was hooked.

Jacquie grew up, got married, raised a family and left her writing urges to simmer in the background unattended.

She owned and operated a successful diner in her hometown for a number of wonderful years before deciding to live her dream of becoming an author.

Jacquie’s first book, Tidal Falls, a romantic suspense novel about second chances, released September of 2014.

 

FIND Jacquie Biggar at: http://jacqbiggar.com/

Facebook: http://Facebook.com/jacqbiggar

Twitter: http://Twitter.com/jacqbiggar

Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/jacquiebiggar

 

#EggcerptExchange – Dawn Howard

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Dawn is stopping by, and she even brought some of her reviews… omg… I am a little jealous guys… getting reviews is the holy grail of writing… always sought, but dang hard to acquire… lol…

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hope you enjoyed the GIF, lol… now enjoy Dawn’s post…

Book blurb: Kia Deering is a normal teenage girl looking forward to celebrating her 18th birthday in style. What she didn’t anticipate was the revelation that would change her life beyond recognition.  

The Goddess Assaie fell for a human and gave up everything, including her identity, to be with him, sacrificing everything she ever knew in the name of true love.

When Kia discovered she was a descendant of the Goddess she had a year to embrace all that it meant or to turn her back on her destiny forever.

Kia had always believed herself to be ordinary but now she was extraordinary she had no idea if she could handle the potential of the power within her. Perhaps the handsome young man she meets in a nightclub could be the distraction she needed, or perhaps he will open up a whole new set of questions himself.

Reviews…

“A pantheonic love story with several twists on the theme, I can highly recommend this first novel by this author” 
“Amazing book from start to end”
 “I shall be recommending it to my friends”

Events from the past come together, in this fantastical romance, to change the present and nothing will ever be the same again, for any of them.

Read D E Howard’s debut novel Assaie’s Gift and follow a love that began in another era.

 dawn

Author info😀 E Howard was born and raised in the small seaside town of Southport where she still resides. Enjoying writing for most of her adult life she only recently decided to turn her ideas into books. Part time gardener (just at home!), part time dog walker (for a crazy cairn terrier) and part time author she still has time for a full time job. Work pays the bills but writing feeds the soul. Her second book ?Spirit of the Book? will be out soon.

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Egg-cerpt:

While Sofia fumbled in her bag for her mobile phone Kia raced around to the front of the car. From the back seat she hadn’t been able to see the other vehicle which it appeared they had hit side on, crushing both the driver’s door and the front of the taxi. The driver, and sole occupant, of the other vehicle was motionless, blood covering his face as it ran freely from a large cut in his forehead.

“Are you all right?” She shouted, the driver’s eyes flickering open in acknowledgement. “It’s okay, we’ve called an ambulance… just stay where you are.”

Racing around to the driver’s side of the taxi Kia stopped dead, the taxi driver was sprawled across the road before the car, his leg at a painfully unnatural angle, his body bloodied from the many cuts he sustained from the windscreen’s glass. The thing that made Kia stop and take a deep breath however were his eyes, they were now wide open and staring up at the sky unblinking, they showed no sign of life.

Approaching him slowly Kia took some deep steadying breaths, she had taken a few first aid courses in college but nothing could have prepared her for this.

“Hello?” She said as she crouched down beside him. “Hello can you hear me?”

Getting no reaction Kia reached out a hand and gently shook the taxi driver’s shoulder.

“Hello?” She said again, already knowing that it was too late for him to ever hear her again but unable to stop trying. “Please be all right… hello?”

Kneeling down closer to the driver Kia leaned over, holding her hair back, as she tried to listen for any sounds of breath but there were none, his eyes still stared lifelessly at the sky.

“What do I do?” Kia said quietly to herself as tears began to fill her eyes. This was not the way her birthday was supposed to end and she was certain that the taxi driver hadn’t anticipated such a final end to his evening either.

Unable to do anything else Kia took hold of the driver’s hand gently and closed her eyes. It didn’t seem right to just leave him.

She didn’t notice the burning sensation in her palm at first as her body was already full of aches from the collision but after a few minutes it was impossible to ignore and her eyes shot open to look down at the hand that held onto that of the driver. Kia wasn’t certain but she thought she could see a strange white glow around their hands and then, as quickly as it started, the pain faded away and seconds later so did the glow.

Shaking her head to clear her thoughts Kia decided she was imagining things due to the stress of the accident.

Then the driver began to cough.

“What happened?” He asked, rubbing his free hand over his face as he straightened the leg that moments ago had seemed irrevocably broken.

“Accident,” Kia said, unable to form any more coherent words than that, relief flooding her body at the sound of the ambulance sirens rapidly approaching.

 Time to get to know a little more about Kia Deering with this questionnaire:

1. Nickname: My name is a little short to do much with, but friends do sometimes just call me ?K?
2. Job: I’m currently a student, I was going to get a part time job to help out but mum wouldn’t hear of it.
3. Level of schooling, or self-taught: That’s still ongoing!
4. Birthdate: August 19th – summer birthdays are the best
5. Birthplace: A little town you wouldn’t have heard of ? nowhere very exciting I’m afraid
6. Currently residing in: Still living at home with my mum
7. Favourite type of pet: I don’t have one myself, but who can resist a puppy? I have to have a cuddle any

Buying links:
Amazon: myBook.to/Assaie or http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00TJ2Y4YI

CreateSpace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/4566626

Author Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DEHAuthor/

Blog: https://dawndelivers.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @dehauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13529086.D_E_Howard

 

#RRBC & OBC connections

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Just a quick up date… I decided to give a few online book clubs a try… I decided to go with #RRBC Rave Reviews Book Club, and OnlineBookClub.org  … it has only been a few days, but I have already meet some lovely people… Writers & Readers alike… 😛

Michelle Abbott from over at #RRBC even introduced me to a blog hop that I will be doing in the months of Feb and March… if you see #EggcerptExchange in the subject line, you will know that my usual dose of insanity will be coupled with the introduction of an author I have meet while hopping around… Annnndddd …

In the book front, I have some good news/ bad news… (well for me, not so much everyone else) I realized that the title Twin Findings would be perfect for book three of the Finder’s Keepers series… which means I now have to decide on another purrrrfect title for book two… grr….

book spotlight on VL Locey’s site

Just another quick note… VL Locey was kind enough to share a sneak peek of the rough rough rough copy of Twin Findings, the second book in the Finder’s Keepers series… I want to thank her and all the other support I have found in the writing community, readers, and bloggers alike… you all rock… and if you haven’t seen the sneak peek yet, just head HERE to check it out…

and yes, I think I will be sticking with Twin Findings… 😛 Happy Wordage… Tracey

day 6 Contest

Enter to get the Gone Writing Publishing Newsletter HERE and you have a chance to win the Santa Box containing books by all of us here at GWP… winner will be announced on Dec 18…

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now for my pick of Favorite Book to Movie???? That would have to be Pride and Prejudice … the most recent version… I love Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet…. I have watched that movie a hundred times… and read the book a few dozen… 😛

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If you decide to repost this post, please use the hashtags  #15DaysofGWPAuthors #GWPGiveaway to help spread the word … good luck and happy wordage… tracey

Fall Into Romance bloghop

Ahhhh…. Fall is the best time of year, especially in Ky

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fall KY/home

My favorite Fall Activity has to be taking pictures of all the changing colors, the leaves falling to the ground in reds, yellows, and browns… and so many other colors. It is also the only time of year that I feel comfortable walking through the trees. The cool crisp air gets along with my MS, and I get to enjoy the outdoors. I love the way the world smells and feels.

I also love to paint and write in the fall, not that I don’t normally love these activities, but fall seems to recharge my battery. It seems right that my first book was released this fall. Shocking Finds is a paranormal/fantasy romance at its best… Fae assassins, betrayal, and undeniable lust…

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Now for the giveaway portion of our blog hop… to be eligible, comment about your favorite fall activity and on the 22nd I will pick a random comment to win an ebook copy of Shocking Finds…

Now head back over to Sexy Scribblers to check out the other giveaways/posts… the Sexy Scribblers will also be giving away a grand prize … woo who … just click on the Raffle Copter Here

Sexy Scribblers Giveaway

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check all the wonderful writers out HERE

Check out Author Colleen Myers

Take a look at Colleen Myers’s novel… I’m sure she would love to hear what everyone thinks. As an author, I know how important feedback and support is. I am happy to support my fellow author in her blog tour, and hope that you guys will give her some feedback… happy wordage… now for pictures, info, and an excerpt…

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BLOG TOUR

Title: Must Remember

Author: Colleen S. Myers

Release Day: November 2nd

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Synopsis:

Nineteen-year-old Elizabeth ‘Beta’ Camden is a survivor.

When the E’mani—those pale alien freaks—destroy Earth with a plague of madness and scoop up the remains, Beta is one of the ‘lucky’ ones. For years, she endures their tortures, experiments and games. Then one day, she manages to escape their ship with her life, and no memory of her time with them.

Stranded on their world, Beta wanders the mountains, looking for a way home. She stumbles onto the Fost—the E’mani’s ancient enemy.  Their war with the E’mani is old and rooted in magic that the Fost once had and the E’mani crave. Magic Beta soon discovers she’s developing along with strange tattoos and disturbing glimpses of her past. The Fost take her in and train her in their ways. As she spends more time with them, she falls in love with their culture and with Marin—he of the hot hands and slit eyes.

But the E’mani took her for a reason and they want her back—dead or alive. If Beta doesn’t remember that reason soon, they’re all going to die.

Greeting the sunset

Excerpt:

His eyes were ghost white, with slit pupils, face smooth and hairless. A large tattoo on his neck spread up onto his cheek, and resembled claw marks. His eyes appeared much too big for his face; the brow pronounced, jaw thin, cheekbones sharp.

Those eyes rooted me; their milky color caused a distant memory to tug at my mind, and then fade away. They could have been fake lenses, but his slit pupils contracted as he focused on me, and a sinister smile wreathed his face.

Nope, those puppies were real and his expression was not reassuring. His eyes glistened with what looked like glee. I watched those eyes track up and down my body. His nostrils flared and he stalked in my direction, his movements slow and deliberate, but a little disjointed given the length of his limbs. He reminded me of a predator that had sighted its prey. I froze, his eyes mesmerizing me for a second before looking away.

Then it dawned on me. Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore. I should’ve realized it sooner. I kind of did realize it sooner. The suns, the rocks, the grass, the everything. This was not Earth. This guy was not human, the posture, the movement, the eyes. He was definitely not human.

Holy shit!

The fear I suppressed earlier rushed through me. My hands shook and my heart raced. I stumbled backward and turned to run, barreling smack dab into the tree. Graceful-R-Us.

The tall guy reached me as I staggered back and he blocked my escape. The other men twisted to stare then glanced at each other. Nobody looked happy to see me. The ones hunched near the press appeared frightened, their eyes wide.

“Who are you? How did you get here? Are there others?” The tall guy’s voice was strange, echoey. With a sick start, I realized he wasn’t speaking English, but I could still understand him. His voice was deep and rich, like aged whiskey, the echo the same. The effect was odd, a bit off-putting, and not even a little attractive.

Nope.

The tall guy pressed close, just short of touching me, his slit eyes alert and a snarl pulling at his lips. He had his hand on his knife but was not brandishing it. Santa slid to my right, flanking me. The other two men remained crouched by the apparatus. I backed up and held out my hands. My ass smacked the tree behind me. A chill raced through me. I stared at him until his questions registered.

The breath I’d been holding rushed out. “My name is Elizabeth, err, Beta. I’m—.”

“What are you doing here?” he interrupted.

“I’m not sure. I woke up out there-“I pointed around me, then pointed to my head. “I was hurt, I think, I don’t know. Where am I?” Running my hands through my hair, I probed the back of my neck. Nada. My head didn’t hurt. Huh. Hadn’t there been a cut?

The tall guy laughed, “You did not wake up out there. You had to have traveled here. This is nowhere. Tell me the truth.” The last was a shout. The more he talked, the more agitated he became. He almost stuttered his words. Or maybe that was just me? How could I understand him? His right hand clenched and unclenched around the hilt of his knife. He edged even closer, pushing me farther back against the tree.

Compared to me, he was huge, at least six feet tall. There was no trace of fat on him. His muscles rippled as he leaned in and placed his face next to mine. I remained still, trying not to piss him off. Tears threatened, but I blinked them away. Damn allergies.

His eyes ignited at my silence. “How did you get out here?” he gritted out between compressed lips.

“I told you the truth. I don’t know how I got here. I woke up out there. I heard something thumping and moved toward it.” I gestured, looking at him and the others who surrounded us.

“Are there more of you?” he pushed.

I recalled the laughter, the crash, and the cold from earlier, but…didn’t mention it. I hadn’t seen anything.

“Are there more of you?” he growled.

“No, when I woke up, no one else was there.”

“That is not an answer.”

“Yes, it is,” I retorted. It really was an answer.

“No, it is not,” he snarled at me. His hand gripped his knife harder, knuckles whitening. He took the blade out of its sheath and flipped it backward. His nose grazed mine and heat spread in its wake. My heart skipped a beat. I stared straight ahead.

Minty breath wafted across my face and his teeth were not bad, a bit pointy, but otherwise normal. At least he brushed, or I hoped he did because he was at kissing distance. The rest of the men remained motionless. Barbarian Santa’s gaze darted between the tall guy and me.

I was splayed against the bark like road kill.

“Tell me!” he shouted.

And with that I was done. All the tension, all the fear, all the questions rolling through my mind and this guy was yelling at me. Screw him. Plus there was something about him I liked but didn’t, all at the same time. It was confusing. My stomach churned. I didn’t need this. None of this was my fault.

“What do you want from me?” I screamed back. “I said I was alone.”

He reared back a bit, startled by my answering shout and glare, which he couldn’t miss, since he was still right there in my face.

“I do not believe you. You are an E’mani.” The tall guy spit the name out as if it left a bad taste in his mouth.

Who the hell were the E’mani? A vague silhouette formed in my mind, then faded away. Something else I didn’t know; great. I added it to the list.

“You wear E’mani clothes. You are an E’mani spy!” His words were triumphant as he pressed his knife against my throat.

When I swallowed, I felt the prick of the blade and a trickle of blood dripped down my neck. My head swam and my bladder loosened a bit but I refused to give him the satisfaction.

His eyes flickered, confused, as the moment stretched on. We maintained our desperate eye contact.

I panted and the longer this went on, the more my muscles tightened until my fingers went numb. I tasted violence on the wind. Neither of us moved. Ten seconds. Twenty. He blinked first and let his dagger drop with a growl and spat next to me on the grown. “E’mani treza.”

I didn’t know what he just called me but it was too much. I was done. I snapped and started shoving him across the field. “I’m not E’mani. I don’t even know who or what that is. You asshole. I’m from Earth. I don’t know where I am, I don’t know how I got here. I don’t know anything! I need help and you aren’t helping me. Please, help me.” At this last, my voice cracked, and I fell to my knees, shoulders falling.

The tall guy seemed so stunned by my response, he’d let me push him back to the mine. He stared at me for a long second. One. Two. He brought his blade up again. It pressed into my neck forcing my head back. Then with nary a word, he dropped his arm.

My throat burned.

Oh.

Huh. Everything started to fade and the world turned black.

MustRememberAV

Buy Links:

 Amazon

 Nook

 Kobo

All Romance

 Champagne Books

Author Bio:

Colleen plays many roles. Not only is she a veteran, a mother, and a practicing physician, but she is a writer of science fiction and contemporary romances. Colleen’s dreams include surviving her son’s teenage years, exploring every continent on this planet, except Antartica, cause that’s way too cold, and winning the Nobel peace prize. Dream BIG! Currently she is getting ready to publish her first novel, MUST REMEMBER in November of this year (cover reveal soon.) 

Until then look for her at Three Rivers Romance Writers, at Colleen Myers, Facebook, and at @ColleenSMyers on Twitter.

Website: http://www.csmyersmusings.com/

Hosted By:

Like A Boss Book Promotions

http://www.facebook.com/likeabossbookpromotions

Nov 11 Paranormal Love Wednesday Blog HOP

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Join the blog hop, check out some Paranormal Lovin’

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My contribution to this HOP is a snippet of Shocking Finds (A Finder’s Keepers Novel)… the link to Amazon as well as a page with all other buy links can be located at the bottom… now here is your never before posted excerpt… enjoy

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She’d overreacted. Again.

Walking into Finder’s Keepers, Marin admitted just how screwed she truly was. Her small electrical problem got worse every time she lost her temper. And the person she needed to ask about said problem? Marin had shocked the shit out of Kyland and watched as he disappeared. Crap and double crap. Her latest episode had ended with the death of both her television and most of her living area lamps. She couldn’t afford this new gift. If she lost her coffee maker, Marin would be having her new power bound, or cut out, or whatever happened when a person chose to have a gift removed.

Looking around the office, counting all the antique furnishings, Marin started to second-guess the merit of her intentions, running in to pick up some Finds to work on at home. Between the French terra cotta flooring, with oak wood inlays, and the antique Persian Sultanabad rug running underfoot in the sitting area, the cheapest decorative items to be found were the Tiffany lamps and other assorted light fixtures, fixtures that could explode at any moment, raining glass down on all in sight. Not exactly a cheap mistake to have to clean up.

On top of everything else, the hospital had informed Marin that Lindal remained in her coma-like state. She didn’t understand what little information the nurse had been allowed to give her over the phone, and the lack of solid facts was enough to drive a saint over the edge. Waiting for visiting hours, to speak to someone face to face, had Marin’s nerves on edge.

Did Lindal have internal injuries? What did the doctor think? Marin could only remember walking back to see Lindal. Everything else remained a blur. A surreal and crappy day. She just needed to kill a couple hours— or five. Add in the drive time and she should get to the hospital just in time to sit in the waiting room. Okay, she needed more to do. Even driving under the speed limit, the hospital was only forty minutes from her house, just outside of the city.

Freezing in place, Marin remembered her poor van. She had allowed Kyland to take her home, to desert her vehicle.

Continuing down the hall, Marin reworked her day to accommodate her van’s retrieval. She couldn’t keep driving Lindal’s car.

As Marin passed Anton’s office, she heard the answer to one of her problems. Kennith’s voice boomed out into the hallway, and Kennith meant Finder cases that involved the Finds that Anton said that she wasn’t ready for but hopefully he would make an exception just this once. She didn’t normally work on those, but she was desperate.

Sure, Kennith worked for the SBI and mainly worked with Finders that had previous law enforcement training, but maybe they would allow her to help out in some small way.

Marin walked into Anton’s inner sanctum and came to an abrupt halt as Anton and Kennith turned disbelieving eyes her way. Shoving her hands into her pockets, she anxiously bounced from foot to foot, wondering if she should have knocked. Anton’s policy had always been an open door policy. If the looks aimed her way were any indication, things must have changed. This was her first time seeking Anton out in his office, and the door had stood wide open, but that clearly didn’t mean come on in.

The level of silent scrutiny became uncomfortable, a suffocating tension building in the air. Really, Anton could just ask her to come back later. He owned Finder’s Keepers, after all.

“Did I do something wrong?” Marin couldn’t believe that her one hope at creating a distraction from her day looked to be one more log for the stress pile.

“Come in and shut the door, please.” Anton’s voice came out crisp and demanding.

This couldn’t be good. Anton had never had a closed door meeting with her. Or with anyone that she could remember.

Marin frantically tried to think… What had she done wrong? She needed this job. Unlike most Finders, she had to work Finds. She didn’t have a choice. She would be overwhelmed by her heightened senses without her current job. If she went too long without a Find, she started to feel her senses pulling, searching for the lost without her permission.

Working at Finder’s Keepers had become the perfect outlet for Marin’s overwhelming senses. She could unwind and keep her senses from overloading while Anton happily pointed her in the most profitable direction.

Marin pushed the door closed and squared her shoulders, trying to prepare herself for the worst, while doing her best to block out the increasing buzz in her temples. The stress of waiting for Anton to speak had her head ready to explode. Blinking rapidly, Marin smoothed her sweaty hands against the top of her paintsplattered jeans, trying to remain calm.

If Marin didn’t want to lose control of her emotions, and her gift, out in the waiting area, she definitely didn’t want to start blowing up Anton’s office. She couldn’t help but stare in dread at the vintage Lalique Perruches glass lamp perched in a place of pride on Anton’s desk. The damn lamp cost nearly five grand. She had cringed at the price while helping Anton locate an antiques dealer to replace his broken one. Now she shook her head, accepting the dock in pay that would come her way, once the shit hit the fan. She didn’t know what the chairs and love seat had cost, or even the elaborately carved bookshelves, but the Persian rug would be another twenty grand or so, should the flying glass from the exploding lamp do any damage.

The way Kennith kept gawking at her maybe she was dying. Then again, maybe he was. There was no way that much shock on one man’s face could be healthy. Any minute now, Kennith would surely pass out. He didn’t even appear to be breathing. Marin focused on Anton, instead. Kennith obviously needed some privacy. No one should be seen looking so weak. He was a police officer, for heaven’s sake, and he looked ready to run, throw up, or just keel over on the spot.

“How?” That one choked out word didn’t come from an expected source. Apparently, Kennith could still speak. Now, if he could start making sense.

Marin waited for more. How what? When it was clear that Kennith either couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say more, she looked for Anton to finish the question.

Anton said, “You’re radiating power, my dear. Then, of course, there is the question of your soul-bound shadow. I think our friend Kennith is asking about the nature of this increase in power as well as the acquisition of said shadow.”

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Other Buy Links

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Just a quick update… NaNoWriMo and other writing musts have marked November at their territory… this means my fingers are cramping, my eyes are drooping, and my brain is screaming that it has been overbooked… lol… but it’s only one month Right? RIGHT! 😛

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Anywho… I posted earlier this week that there would be a contest to win an ebook copy of Shocking Finds… and that contest will start tomorrow… go to CD Hersh’s Site for a chance to win… the link will go live at 1:30 AM EST tomorrow Nov 6…

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We’ll collect the email addresses of commenters who post on your showcase weekend (Friday to the noon the following Monday) and send the winner’s name and email to you so you can contact them and arrange for the prize delivery.

-CD Hersh

Just Click HERE to read her post and enter to win!!!

alrighty… that’s it for now guys… i’m back at the word-mill for now… happy wordage, tracey clark

Blog Tour Wrapup

I want to thank everyone once again for helping with Shocking Finds Blog Tour… you were all great… the writing community is by far a supportive and loving group, full of inspiration and that added push that we all need from time to time…

The final Blogger for this Tour, Dante Craddock, did a great job on the Author interview… visit this Blog to read a few more probing questions, then stick around and check out the site… Dante Craddock’s site is full of Interviews and Spotlights… as well as a bunch of other goodies… You can also check out some of Dante’s work… woo who, wordage 😛

20151007 Shocking Finds cover

Marin Yarthine had trouble containing a childish giggle or two. She had managed to locate an Orion Starbrary Indigo Violet Aura Lemurian Seed Quartz Crystal for her boss. The longest, oddest name for a rock, but Anton had been very specific. Besides, she was the best Finder at Finder’s Keepers, who better to go on this mission.

Okay… so her job wasn’t actually to go out in the field and complete Finder’s missions. Finds were completed by a different department. Marin knew that she was nothing more than a high paid researcher. She could take a piece of cloth and tell you where it had been, what had been near it, who had touched it, and more importantly, she could visualize where any related objects might be located.

Yesterday, Anton handed Marin an old textbook written in something that looked like Latin, and asked her to Find a rare crystal for his collection. The words on the book cover had been meaningless to her, but once Marin had held the fragile text in her hands, she had known exactly where to go.

Marin had wanted to complete just one mission on her own. She had been prepared to search the dank and cold Kentucky cave systems, not stopping until she had her Find. It was a simple case, with no danger involved. She would never attempt the kidnaping cases, or one of the Finds involving a murder weapon.

Marin had been surprised to feel the newest store in the area, Crystal Sights, pulling at her Finder’s gift. Anton had sworn up and down that the crystal would be hard to locate. Aisle six – rare gems and crystals—was not her idea of difficult. In and out and no one had gotten hurt.

Her aunt, Lindal, refused to even allow her to look at the building as they drove past, and now Marin had been inside and explored.

Marin had completed her first solo Finder’s mission. She had located exactly what Anton needed and managed to purchase a crystal of her very own. Not that she believed in crystals and magic. Her aunt had explained how her own ability, to locate the lost or stolen, was the closest thing to real magic left in the world. If Lindal knew that Marin had purchased one of the crystals for herself, her aunt would lose her ever lovin’ mind.

For once in her life, Marin didn’t care. She had felt the heat coming off her crystal as she held it in her hands. Maybe her aunt was wrong. Maybe the shopkeeper had told the truth, and the fragile but beautiful rock would help Marin come through her Transition with more protection and control.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

“Eep.” Marin barely managed to turn her full throttled scream into a small startled cry. She crashed into the small angry redhead, the one suddenly blocking her path, as she cleared the store exit.

Marin snapped her lips together on the urge to ask her aunt questions. Like where the hell she had come from? Trying not to lean away from the look on Lindal’s face, she waited for the sarcasm and disdain to flow. When Lindal merely stood there, glaring in silence, Marin whispered, “I had to run an errand for Anton.”

Lindal’s face brightened to a nice deep red, as her arms crossed, her mouth flattened out in displeasure, and her foot tapped out her impatience. “Don’t lie to me, missy. You work in the office or at home. You do not run around mingling with charlatans.”

Marin held her tongue, her heart beginning to race. She hated fighting with Lindal, and there was no way that this tirade was over. Lindal did more damage with words than lions did fighting over dinner. Marin wanted to be one of those people that could take a browbeating with a grain of salt. But she knew that this time wouldn’t be any easier to take than the other rants spouted over her nearly twenty-one years of life. Lindal’s personality could be vicious, and hard to take, but Marin didn’t have any other family.

Lindal jabbed her dainty finger at Marin, her words hissed with the pressure of contained rage. “Do you want to die like your mother? Do you enjoy making me worry and endangering your life like this?”

Marin lowered her head and whispered, “If magic isn’t real, then I should be safe enough. This is the only unscheduled stop I made.”

“Don’t back talk me, girl. Magic is for fools. And places like this are for those too weak to hold on to their money, those willing to purchase lies because they are unhappy with the imperfections they were born with. If your mother had stayed home, she would be alive. Instead, she was mugged in some back alley and left to bleed out with the trash.”

Marin flinched, yet yearned to hear more. It was the most Lindal had ever said about her mother, or the events that had led to her death. Taking a chance that her aunt would continue sharing, Marin asked, “Is there any way to be safe?” She wanted to ask more about her mother, but feared that Lindal would clam up if she pushed too directly.

“Listen and listen good. People, those freaks with meddling gifts, can see how weak you are. They are abominations, just like you, but they can and will plant thoughts inside your mind, and lead you into danger. Everyone has enhanced senses these days, but you are an oddity. Abnormal, just begging for some fool to believe he can steal your curse, and use it for his own plans, by taking your life. The crap sold in places like this will not give you a shield from the evil in this world.” Lindal had explained many times over the years that Marin had been born without the natural shield that protected a person’s mind.

“But if there are people that can play tricks, put thoughts in your mind, then maybe there could be some small magic that’s real.”

Placing the bag with her new crystal protectively behind her back, Marin fought not to back away from her aunt. The look in Lindal’s eyes told her plainly that she had pushed too far. Any sign of weakness would light a match to these attacks. “Tricks. Nothing but tricks. Your mind is just too weak to figure them out.”

Marin ground her teeth together and avoided her aunt’s eyes. Feeling her hands tighten around her gift bag, her eyes sought out the parking lot for anything to distract Lindal. Marin needed something for both of them to focus on, so that she could get her impotent rage under control. Getting defensive never helped. The woman looked weak and innocent, but ruled their home with an iron fist and razor sharp words.

Instead of continuing to explain all the reasons that Marin had screwed up, Lindal stiffly turned and walked into the parking lot. Apparently, her aunt planned to wait for a private moment to vent the rest of her displeasure. And vent she would. Lindal’s stiff movements and flushed complexion warned Marin that the conversation coming her way would be one of the worst.

Marin didn’t need the lecture repeated. She had it memorized. Rocks and stones are just that. Real magic didn’t exist. She needed to stay at home, safe, except for work. Blah… blah… blah. But Marin wanted more information. How did ordinary people put thoughts inside someone else’s mind? How did her co-worker’s little boy manage to move objects out of her reach when Marin wasn’t looking?

Not knowing what else to do, Marin followed Lindal into the parking lot. Lindal would be in a snit for days.

Marin still couldn’t contain the occasional squeal, though she attempted to keep them as quiet as possible. She needed to get her happiness under control.

Luckily, she had the entire length of the parking lot, to calm herself down. The lot seemed to have more cars than the entire area of Ashland, Kentucky had residents. Crystal Sights had managed to expand on the word grand in Grand Opening. Someone had had the good sense to combine the opening with the beginning of the area’s yearly festival season. Marin didn’t relish Lindal’s anger, but still thought that today had turned out better than she could have hoped. Smiling, she glanced around, as she walked behind her aunt, taking in the different types of shoppers.

Marin watched as three little old ladies climbed out of a bright yellow Caddie, their hair ranging from hooker red to bonnet blue. She saw a younger man pulling his reluctant girlfriend – or possibly wife – from the cab of their truck, her very pregnant belly leading the way. The woman was shaking her head, pointing to the insane number of people, still lining up to enter the store. Marin tried to stop herself from bouncing with every step, not wanting Lindal to see her happiness. This was the closet she had come to attending one of the hometown events, thrown every spring. Festivals that would only become larger when summer finally arrived.

Across the street, by the river, Marin could even see the over-night-assembled rides and concession stands, being mobbed by crowds of yet more tri-state citizens. So many types of people rushed around, laughter in their eyes. Even the pregnant woman had managed a smile, once she made it out of the truck and into the man’s arms.

Every squeak of excitement that Marin failed to contain received a reprimanding glare from Lindal. But Marin was too hopeful to allow Lindal’s mood to kill her joy completely. Claudette – the store owner – had called the stone a Maturation Crystal. Marin’s fingers still tingled from when she had touched the crystal earlier, giving her hope for her Transition Birthday. Everyone went through their twenty-first birthday hoping that they would have better control of their enhanced senses. Even if her birthday came and went without an improvement, the crystal marked Marin’s first independent action.

Marin didn’t want to fight; she wanted to celebrate. With that in mind, she put on a burst of speed, passing Lindal, as she said, “Where are you parked, Aunt Lindal?” Marin wanted to get in her car and head for home before Lindal started listing more ways that this trip had been a mistake. An evening alone in her art studio, admiring her Maturation Crystal, sounded like perfection.

Marin crossed her fingers that Lindal wouldn’t be as irate as the time that Anton had encouraged everyone that worked for Finder’s Keepers to participate in self-defense classes. Marin had been excited. The free classes took place in the gym, off the back of Finder’s Keepers. As far as bosses went, Anton ranked with the best. He even allowed her to compose her Finds at home, in her private studio. The information she came up with helped other Finders on their missions, and working from home kept Lindal from bitching.

Great work hours or not, Lindal still despised the man. Her sneering had managed to run Marin out of more than one room when the subject of Antonius Slade came up, especially after the self-defense debacle. Marin had managed to keep the classes a secret for two years before Lindal found out. And boy had that been memorable. Lindal had found and burned all the workout clothes and the fighting stick that Marin had stashed in her van. She flinched, remembering how the blaze had lit up the front yard, and how Lindal’s reddened face seemed to match the flames. Lindal had burned with rage, expressing her displeasure by instituting her own version of self-defense classes. Marin rubbed her sore hip, trying to shake off yesterday’s lesson.

Marin had gained a good ten feet of distance from Lindal before her aunt decided to reply. Reply and reprimand. “Slow down, child. It is rude to run in public. And I took a taxi, so that we could talk on the ride home. Talk and decide what to do about your current attitude.”

Marin stumbled a little, but otherwise didn’t reply. She absolutely refused to allow anything to put a damper on her spirit. As long as the crystal remained in her possession, she could handle any punishment.

Lindal sneered as she inquired, “Why in the world did you park so far away?”

Marin slowed and turned to walk backward. She couldn’t believe that Lindal chose to ask such a question. “I had hoped that by parking as far away as possible, I could avoid the humiliating gymnastics needed to re-enter my vehicle. That woman we passed a second ago? She was actually climbing in through her sun roof. I don’t know if this type of place is always this packed, but if so, they need more parking. I was lucky to find a spot, no matter how far away it is. But I admit that I concentrated on the area to the rear of the parking lot. Everyone fights for the ones closest to the store. I swear that broken down Toyota back there was circling the lot when I first arrived.”

Marin watched, as the poor rusted contraption made its rounds. She felt sorry for the car, and the driver. Mostly, she felt bad for everyone currently being forced to breathe in the ozone killing balls of smoke emanating from the Toyota.

“Turn around and walk correctly. They can have our spot… once we get there,” Lindal hissed. Her aunt ignored the opportunity to vent some of her rage on the circling motorist. The parking lot had so many cars that the grassy incline along the edges of the parking lot had begun to fill up with unrepentant motorist.

Marin turned and quickened her pace as she yelled, “I’ll just air the car out.” They were almost to Marin’s van, which always smelled of oil based paints and some before-the-invention-of-odorless substances. Mainly, Marin wanted to put off the fight building with each of Lindal’s hissed and clipped words.

“Don’t turn the car on. You’ll…” Lindal’s words ended on a grunt of pain.

Before Marin could turn to look, her aunt’s body flew over her head. She watched her aunt tumble through the air and land, with a sickening crunch, on the hood of her van. She realized that the frighteningly loud cry filling the air was coming from her own mouth, but Marin couldn’t stop. Lindal’s body slid to the ground like a rag doll, a line of blood marking her movements along the bright orange paint. Mere seconds had passed, but Marin felt like she had been frozen to the spot for hours, consumed by her disbelief.

The sound of squealing tires caught her attention, but Marin stood rooted to the spot and continued to scream. Her body refusing to obey her commands.

Eventually, the other sounds in the vast parking lot penetrated her haze. One moment, she was happily looking forward to exploring her new crystal, watching the dozens of other shoppers laugh and dream of the wonders to be found on this perfect spring day. Now, she watched as the only family she had ever known crashed onto the unforgiving asphalt. The need to complete a mission, or purchase her own crystal, started to feel pretty hollow.

Forcing her way out of her hysteria, Marin snapped her mouth closed and glanced around as she rushed forward. The Toyota she had pointed out to Lindal was moving in reverse as she ran for her aunt. No innocent circling for that murderous bastard now.

Marin looked back at Lindal, and her ears filled with a high pitched ringing. She tried to convince herself that this couldn’t be happening. She knew that POS Toyota was to blame, even without seeing the car ramming into her aunt’s vulnerable body.

Marin reached Lindal’s side, attempting to forget about assholes with toxic road rage, so that she could focus on her aunt’s wounds. As she fell to her knees, by Lindal’s broken body, she heard an engine being revved. She could smell burning rubber as she twisted to glance over her shoulder. A horrible metallic noise rent the air, as the Toyota bounced off the lane of cars, and angled in their direction.

Marin sat slack jawed as she realized that the man had the balls to make a second attempt. The Toyota was scrapping along the nearby cars, hell bent on committing death by rust bucket. She didn’t know if she was more upset that someone wanted to kill both her and Lindal, or that her van was about to be harmed in the process.

Marin couldn’t move Lindal to safety, and she refused to leave her alone. She glanced frantically around, searching for a miracle. Run down though the car was, it was still out of her weight class.

Marin twisted back, to face the oncoming vehicle completely, her hands in the air. A plea for mercy? A supplication or a surrender? Marin didn’t know. Time seemed to slow as the Toyota came closer. She felt her usually denied emotions rush to the surface, her anger leading the charge. She felt the rage heat along her skin, begging to be released.

Holding her ground, Marin remained kneeling by Lindal’s side. A blood-curdling scream left her mouth, and for the first time in her life, she allowed her feelings to come to the surface with destructive force. In that moment, Marin felt no fear, no shyness. Just rage. A rage that felt at home and welcoming as it exploded in the air. Even her confusion and denial – those feelings she felt most at home with – had been buried under this red-hot mixture of emotion.

A jolt of pain, from some invisible force, threw Marin to the ground. Lying on her back, her head pounding, she felt as if the invisible entity flowed from her body and zeroed in on the offending car. Her skin tingling, Marin watched, through eyes of indignation, as the tires on one side of the car suddenly left the ground. The Toyota was thrown into the air and onto the tires on its other side. The car slid off course, hitting the vehicles on the opposite side of the lane, and continued to tip, until it was rolling away from Lindal’s defenseless body. Crashing into the cars perched on the grassy incline, at the end of the lot, the Toyota rocked to a stop. It had looked like the car had been encased in some kind of protective shield, a wavering bubble of air, as it rolled away from Lindal’s position.

Marin shook her head to dispel the insanity. Shields didn’t work that way. Lindal had explained that a shield was an invisible defense, in the mind, to keep out unwanted thoughts and ideas. She felt the back of her head, wondering how hard she had managed to hit the asphalt. Did she have a concussion?

After the Toyota had slammed off the cars in the grass, tottering back and forth, it finally landing in the correct upward position. Marin didn’t know what had just happened, and at that moment, she didn’t care. She took a second to watch, as the Toyota clipped the back of a few cars, and miraculously sped away.

The smell of burning rubber and the sound of a hanging bumper, creating sparks along the pavement, were the only proof that this nightmare had ever happened. That and dozens of dented automobiles. The way the Toyota had rolled away from them, as if a giant was playing with his Tonka Trucks, would haunt Marin’s nightmares for a long time. She decided that the entire event needed to be firmly placed in her denial box, and she moved to check on Lindal and to call for an ambulance. She needed help; she needed help now.

Kyland Marcuson’s left eyebrow lifted, as he stood staring in disbelief. Seeing a woman with the power to move a few thousand pounds of metal, or even the brutal act of vehicular homicide, didn’t move him. These acts were common place to those of the Supernatural Community. The astounding number of people exiting their cars and the store, to stand around gawking also left him unmoved. Supes and Norms, supernatural beings without power, alike enjoyed a good train-wreck-worthy incident. Even the powerless humans enjoyed viewing tragedy.

After all this time, he had finally found her. Kyland had searched for Marin for more than twenty years. He had managed to locate her, only to watch as she fought for her life. Kyland shook his head and allowed the pull of the woman’s essence to lead him to her side. His Queen had given him this mission, saying only that she would be the one to save them from the Danshue—the evil Fae.

Once the Queen vanished, Kyland had made it his sole purpose in life to locate Marin, a small babe he knew nothing about. The end of his journey, and the child was now a beautiful woman, with more questions surrounding her than answers. Her blonde hair, big blue eyes, and button nose gave her a vulnerable look. A look that was obviously a lie.

Kyland also felt surprised at the lust tearing through his system. He was here to protect this woman, not bed her. Still, those curves… Marin had to be more than a foot shorter than his own 6’8″ height, but she was still built like a dream. A dream he wanted to memorize with hands, mouth, and tongue. Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, Kyland continued forward.

People stood on the sidelines, watching and waiting, afraid to step forward, to help. Kyland pushed and shoved people out of his way to reach the woman he suspected to be the woman he was searching for. When he’d undertaken this mission, more than two decades ago, he was told that the child he needed to find and protect would have no real power. Her biggest gift should have been an overabundance of sensitivity. She should have been as close to powerless as she could get, without being human or a Norm. Apparently, some very important information had been withheld.

On the other hand, Marin had appeared shocked as she watched the car’s near miss. Maybe she didn’t understand her abilities, abilities that she shouldn’t have. Kyland could see in here eyes a slight refusal to believe the reality she now found herself in. He had watched as she shook her head, physically pushing away her confusion.

Kyland was close enough now to feel the denial coming from her psyche in waves. Her emotions were so strong; he could barely focus on anything else. He could also see that the Queen had left out a thing or two about the child’s identity when they’d discussed this mission.

Damn, damn, damn. Right now, Kyland needed to check on Marin and the woman lying at her side. But he needed to move forward carefully. He didn’t want to frighten the young woman, especially after she had just been traumatized. He needed to save her friend, if possible, and slowly build a connection, a bond of trust. If she were the correct person, then… then the future of his people would depend on her. He didn’t understand, not completely, but the Queen had given him a name, a location, and a time frame. He needed to find Marin, somewhere within Earth-side, before her Transition.

Well, if this was Marin, he had the woman/child; he was in Kentucky, so he was Earth-side, just like the Queen’s prophecy; the time frame was the remaining key. Kyland had less than a month left to complete the first step. Hopefully, the rest would fall into place, and by the end of the year, the Queen would be returned.

Kyland had spent the last two decades learning every new medical procedure, every medical aid techniques of any discipline, as they were improved on. The Marin he was sent to retrieve had been kidnaped, and kidnap victims were rarely treated well. Why else would she be stolen at birth unless it was to harvest her power? Supe children could be used as batteries, for the sadistic and depraved. Evil men and women, or Danshue, that sought power above all else and were willing to do anything to obtain it.

Dropping to his knees, Kyland could see that the woman on the ground didn’t appear to be breathing. Time was short, but still he approached slowly. Perhaps the surrounding crowd of useless onlookers had the right idea. If he was correct, the beautiful blonde could toss him across the parking lot, if he surprised her.

“Do you need help?” Kyland slowly reached to check Marin’s friend for vitals, before tilting the head, to begin CPR. The woman he worked on was extremely small, broken, and bleeding. Her flaming red hair seemed familiar, but Kyland couldn’t worry about his patient’s identity. Not with a confused and wary Marin, watching his every move.

“Please… I don’t know… what to do… I can’t…” Marin didn’t know if she should trust this stranger, this mouthwatering man, but she needed help. Lindal needed help. She had already called 911 and told the operator what she could, but now her phone had disappeared. The best Finder the U.S. could offer, and she couldn’t even locate her own cell phone. She held her hand near the side of her aunt’s face, afraid to touch her. Didn’t the people in movies always stay on the phone when they called 911? She needed her phone. What was she— How could she—

Marin couldn’t breathe. She was screwing up. Lindal was hurt. She should have told the operator more. Couldn’t. Breathe.

“Do not worry. Just take a calming breath and work with me. I need you to stabilize her head for me. My name is Kyland, by the way, and I will do what I can to help, if you will let me.” Kyland took her hand, and it was suddenly easier to breathe. “Can you do that?”

Kyland had a manly beauty, one that sculptors would kill to etch. She found it hard not to stare at Mister Tall, Dark, and Handsome, her eyes continually jumping back to outline his features, even in the midst of her worry. He had to be nearly seven feet tall, and his eyes gleamed like flecks of coal.

When Kyland leaned forward to recheck Lindal for breath, Marin could see that his eyes were actually an extremely dark gray. His hair fell in a wave of black silk, to his shoulders, and his muscles looked edible in a glowing reddish brown tone.

Kyland had one of those year round natural tans that women the world over dreamed of. Marin would have assumed a Native American background, but there was just something more, something different, about him.

Marin gave herself a mental shake, to push his looks from her mind, and focus on the woman that had raised her. She would do anything and everything asked of her. She would follow Kyland’s lead and hope for the best.

Nodding her head rapidly, Marin moved to Lindal’s head to do as indicated. She had a purpose. The ambulance was coming, and Kyland would help Lindal until they arrived.

Marin hated the way that Lindal treated her, but she wanted distance and independence, not this. This couldn’t be happening. What if she lost the only family she…

Just as the panic started to take over again, Marin felt someone squeezing her hand. Kyland gave her comfort as his other hand rechecked for a pulse.

As the blonde did as instructed, Kyland continued compressions. He couldn’t think of her as Marin, not yet. There had to be another reason for her to look just like- Kyland took a deep breath, to focus on the here and now. He had cleared his patient’s airway, while sending a healing spell into her body. It would help, but whether it would be enough or not, he didn’t know. He had to get her breathing again if he hoped to save her.

Kyland had done two sets of compressions, and was bending to blow air into her lung, when the woman took a deep breath on her own. Her eyes snapped open. Eyes that he knew, hated, and could never forget.

“You…” The word slipped out of his mouth before Kyland could think about stopping himself. He barely managed to cut off his words before a barrage of her suspected crimes left his mouth.

Well, damn. Kyland hadn’t recognized the injured woman with her eyes shut, but he should have. The wrinkles were obviously an illusion, but the fire engine red hair, the small stature… and now, those liquid sliver-green eyes couldn’t be denied. Only one person had eyes the shade of mixed mercury and vibrant new grass. Lindal Rencoff. Murder, treason, the thief of power by painful means… the list of her suspected crimes went on and on. Lindal needed to be tried for crimes against the Queen and Fae alike, for being Danshue—a Fae willing to lose his or her soul in exchange for stolen power.

The Queen definitely hadn’t informed him that he would find the woman/child that he was looking for with the traitor Lindal Rencoff. What the hell was going on here? His mouth turned down; Kyland had to fight the urge to wrap his hands around Lindal’s neck.

Every Supe in the Supernatural Community believed that Lindal had been cut down, marked as one of the dead or missing, in the last Great War. Instead, she’d hid among a bunch of humans, with her kidnap victim— a woman the Fae people desperately needed. He ran his hands roughly over his face and looked to the heavens for some kind of sign.

Kyland’s gaze darted around to locate any other enemies but found only curious onlookers and banged up cars and trucks. He took a moment to decide if he should call in back up or not as his gaze went to Marin. Why had he been sent alone on this mission?

To answer that, he first needed to answer one every important question. Did the Queen fear her own people?

The fact that Kyland had been sent alone, to retrieve someone that deserved an armed escort, was pretty much answer enough. Had the Queen foreseen that she and her entire house would be cursed and hidden from the rest of the Fae, from the entire Supernatural Community, never to be seen again?

Kyland had been sent alone on this mission, and he had nearly failed. Watching the car closing in, he had known that he would not make it in time. Even moving out of phase—as one with the shadows—Kyland would have been too late. None of his personal magic could have stopped the car from taking the life of the woman he could feel calling out to his essence. He had spent over two decades in search of a poor defenseless child in need of protection, only to find that Marin had the ability to save herself.

The car had been pushed and flipped, as if unseen forces had been displeased. If it hadn’t been for his ability to sense the magic being used, he might have believed the unseen forces theory. After all, he had been told that Marin couldn’t reach, or use, her gifts yet. Dammit. If the power he had felt represented Marin’s untapped gifts, they would all be in a world of trouble if he couldn’t find a way to ease Marin’s power slowly past whatever had them blocked.

If Marin’s gifts exploded from their containment all at once… more than just her psyche and body were in danger. It would be like the magical version of an atomic bomb. Kyland had less than a month, and eventually time would run out. The block had to have been placed over Marin’s psyche, her power. A block Marin’s power had managed to break through, like it was child’s play, only to disappear completely once the danger was past.

Yep. Kyland was in deep and all out of paddles. This mission became more important with every passing second.

Chapter Two

Her perfect crystal now lost in the parking lot of Crystal Sights; Lindal was in surgery fighting for her life, and Marin gazed blankly at the ugliest green wallpaper she had ever seen. Hospital waiting rooms shouldn’t remind a person of moldy vomit. They should be peaceful and comforting. Reminders of the split pea soup incident from the Exorcist were neither peaceful nor comforting. Even a stark white would be more pleasant that the current color palate.

Marin feared that the need to scream and never stop would finally win out. She wanted answers but also needed to forget. Right this second, she’d settle for a nice friendly coat of paint. It would give her mind something to focus on while she waited for the doctors to fix her aunt.

Body shaking like she needed a large hit of the newest controlled substance, Marin pulled her knees up against her chest and rocked quietly in her less than comfortable chair. She glared at one of the chipped areas of vomit-itis paint. It had been hours of waiting with only her headache, stale coffee, and these horrendous walls to keep her company. Everyone else in the room had managed to fade into the background, her mind uninterested in their presence.

The door to the waiting room opened, causing Marin to glare in that direction. A man in hospital scrubs searched the room for someone. His mouth moved, not that Marin could hear anything over the pounding in her head that caused her ears to ring. The name tag proclaimed that this was Dr. Criss. He had a nice looking mouth, but the rest of his features remained out of focus.

Marin counted the handful of people waiting for news, shocked to realize that the room held a deep well of silence. Surely, there should be something to hear. The quiet murmur of loved ones consoling each other, the drone of the television, or even the gurgle of the coffee pot, but Marin caught nothing like that. She couldn’t even remember if the room had been so full when she first arrived.

The doctor looked straight at Marin and walked in her direction with purpose in his posture and compassion on his face. Was he speaking to her? Her feet dropped to the floor at the same time that her gaze sought out anyone else sitting nearby that could be his intended target. The warring emotions, to get answers and to deny that any of this was real, fought for supremacy.

Marin examined the people sharing the room with her closer. An elderly woman with two small children worked to console her youngest child. No more than two, her little face contorted in distress and hopeless anguish, as she sat clinging to her grandmother. Tears ran down her little rounded cheeks. Her face red and body shaking, the child ignored modern rules of society, and expressed her pain the only way that she knew how. It looked almost freeing. Still, she heard nothing.

Marin could see a man on a pay phone, another man holding a softly crying woman, and a few teens. But not a single sound managed to accompany their actions. Her eyes took in the expressions of pain and sadness, but her mind refused to allow her to hear their distress. That seemed wrong.

The doctor had nearly reached her side. Marin couldn’t see that as a positive sign. The paramedics had told her that things looked good; the beautiful stranger had promised everything would be fine before he had disappeared. Lindal’s breathing had seemed even and controlled when they’d pulled up to the emergency room doors. Marin just couldn’t see how anything good could come from five hours of uncertainty after all the positive lies.

The doctor stopped in front of her, his lips still moving. Maybe he had a tick or something. Marin fought the need to smile. The doctor’s brow crinkled, and he reached out to touch her face. Grasping her chin, he lifted her head up. When he moved closer, to look into her eyes, Marin jolted from the chair.

The world was suddenly rent by a mournful cry, a cry that only the young could dare make. Not yet fearful of what others will think, a child will throw her head back, and shriek her pain to the heavens. Marin wanted that freedom. The little girl with the head full of auburn curls and the extremely healthy lungs continued to cling to her grandmother. Her pain the first sound to shatter the unnatural silence of the waiting room.

The silence hadn’t been that bad, in a way. Marin preferred the denial.

“Miss Yarthine?” the doctor asked.

Dammit. Marin finally made eye contact with the doctor. She needed to do better. She needed to focus before she ended up with her very own hospital gown.

Afraid to speak, Marin just continued to stare. Wanting to release her own cathartic wails, she wrapped her arms protectively around her body, and managed a small nod. She felt something touch her shoulder and glanced back in the doctor’s direction, not remembering when she had turned away. This had to be shock. There was a constant buzz emanating from her temples, and that couldn’t be good either.

Marin’s head felt like a stranger. She could feel this ticking beat, as if her heart had managed to make the climb in to her head. The noise in her head kept changing. Sometimes, she felt like she had a few bees in residence, and at others she just knew that an angry band had taken to using the space between her ears for practice.

Did that mean she was in shock? Or maybe, Marin had hit her head harder than she’d realized. Someone had checked her out. She remembered…

Smiling kindly and reclaiming her attention, the doctor said, “Your aunt is unconscious at the moment. She hasn’t woken yet, so we’re keeping her in the ICU, at least until she wakes. Visiting hours are over until tomorrow afternoon, but I think we can let you come back to see her for a few minutes. Her brain received quite a trauma. All her other injuries appear stable for now, but the brain… we really can’t know more until she’s conscious.”

Marin didn’t know what to say. Her head bowed, and she covered her mouth with a shaking hand. Her knees wanted to buckle. She felt weak as the weight of so much worry lightened. With a barely repressed sob, Marin managed to choke out, “Thank you.” The news wasn’t perfect, but at least her aunt was still alive.

The doctor turned to leave, and Marin followed him and a nurse that had managed to go unnoticed. Somehow managing to find the strength to make her legs steady, as they went down the hall, Marin couldn’t help but feel impatient. She wanted to run, to see Lindal with her own eyes.

Maybe if Marin held Lindal’s hand, felt her precious warmth… Who was she kidding? Marin needed her aunt to open her eyes and give one of those frosty glares that she had perfected over the years.

Marin’s hand flew up to catch an inappropriate giggle, and the buzzing in her temple started pulsating to a new rhythm, but she didn’t care. She needed proof that Lindal was still alive, that her only family member would continue to make her life miserable.

The small room where they finally stopped, sat behind a glass wall, the privacy curtain only partially closed, so that the end of the bed could be clearly seen from outside. The crash cart sitting within easy reach of the door left a less than comforting ache in Marin’s chest. The sooner Lindal could be moved to a less threatening room, the better.

“Ten minutes. But then you’ll need to come back during visiting hours,” the nurse explained in a firm, but sympathetic voice. The doctor had already disappeared.

Marin could barely hear the nurse’s words; she seemed kind enough, but at that moment, Marin wanted to be alone. Seeming to understand, the nurse gave her another sympathetic look, and left Marin to peek around the curtain by herself.

Lindal’s small form, lying quietly in the midst of tubes and wires, barely filled half of the twin-size hospital bed. Her aunt had always been small, even shorter than Marin’s own five-foot-two-inches. In the hospital bed, the force that naturally radiated off Lindal’s every movement became subdued, and her strong personality lessened. Her aunt look abnormally vulnerable.

Rubbing her arms, Marin wanted to take a step away from the unreal sight; instead, she forced her hands to grip the footboard tightly. She had come so close to losing Lindal.

The paramedics had arrived quickly, but they never would have made it in time. Marin wasn’t stupid. Lindal hadn’t been breathing, and that meant one thing, and one thing only. Lindal had died. With only Marin to help her, she would have stayed that way. Stranger or not, Kyland had saved Lindal’s life.

Kyland had come out of nowhere and disappeared the same way. Marin shook her head, doubting that she would ever be able to find him or thank him. On one hand, some unnamed tension left her body at the thought that she would never have to face him again. Face the emotions he’d stirred. Still, his absence left a hole in her heart, and a choking thickness in her throat. Which made absolutely no sense. Marin knew nothing about this man. How did he cause confusion strong enough to overwhelm her mind? Marin shook her head. The who and where of Kyland were problems for another day. Right now, she needed to focus on Lindal.

Marin needed answers. Like why had they been targeted? The parking lot hadn’t exactly been lacking for vehicular violence victim contenders. There had been a group of at least four women, standing by their cars, chatting. If there was a target more deserving of vehicular rage, it had definitely been that group of women. They had finished shopping, and courtesy demanded that their parking spots were to be relinquished as soon as possible. Why not them?

The man—and Marin was only guessing that the driver was a man—had bypassed those without parking lot etiquette and zeroed in on Lindal. If she had continued her slow progress through the parking lot, would Marin be in this horrible room with its beeping monitors and bleached air instead of Lindal.

Staring down at her aunt’s unmoving form, Marin tried to find a place to rest her hand. She needed to touch her. She needed to know that the only person willing to take her in, after the death of her mother, was really here and still alive.

“They will find him, Lindal. He won’t get away with this,” Marin made her vow as quietly as possible, not wanting to disturb Lindal’s recovery.

Glancing up to keep tears from falling from her eyes, Marin noticed something swinging off of Lindal’s oxygen line. “What the…” It looked like a Barbie doll with wings, perhaps six inches tall. The odd little creature wore a loin cloth and sported some overly obvious male attributes. Was it wrong to be checking out the abs of someone no larger than a child’s toy?

His arms tugged and his muscles bunched as he attempted to make a knot in Lindal’s oxygen line. His silver skin tone went beautifully with his tri-colored wings— a mix of light purple, maroon, and gold. The little man didn’t seem to realize that Marin was staring at him.

“Stop,” Marin shouted. Dammit, this was a hospital. She needed to lower her voice. She also needed to go upstairs to the psych ward. Head trauma, shock, or hallucinations¼ something wasn’t right. If she told Lindal about this, her aunt would call her every kind of fool.

Hallucination or not, she grabbed the little man by the wings, pulled him from Lindal’s oxygen line, and tried to speak more calmly. “What do you think you’re doing?”

She finally had her figment’s attention. A striking, though small, pair of lavender eyes glared at her through overly long sandy brown bangs. On closer inspection, she could see that his hair was actually multicolored. It seemed to go from crystal white sand to bronzed gold.

“Well, answer me. What do you think you’re doing?”

“Waiting for you, of course.”

“What are you?” She was losing it. The buzzing in her temples was increasing. And she was now speaking to a figment of her imagination. Yep, she needed to be medicated.

The creature put its tiny fists on narrow hips. “A Sprite, of course. Don’t you know anything? I have my work cut out for me.” Now she was being insulted by her imagination. Great.

“Nope. Too Much,” Marin said and tossed the little man with wings out of the hospital window. She needed coffee. Either that or a large dose of Thorazine. Maybe both.