Archive for July, 2018

Mariah discovers a unique ability to travel through a world of spirit

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

Morgan J Muir lives in Utah with her fantastic husband, three offspring, and as many cats (but she doesn’t carry them with kits in sacks, and has never been to St. Ives). She grew up riding horses and motorcycles and listening to her grandmother read poetry. She grew up reading any sci-fi/fantasy novel she could get her hands on and so was surprised the day she discovered that she also really enjoyed historical fiction.
Morgan always loved to write and draw and her parents always liked to say that they knew she’d write a book some day.  Ever since she was small she told stories and drew pictures for her tales.  When she got old enough, all of her spare time between classes was spent writing and she always had a notebook with her.
Her first novel was originally written after her first child was born, to help her pass the long, lonely hours as a new stay-at-home mom.  As her kids got older and more came she was too busy to do much with her stories, until one year she was introduced to NaNoWriMo, which finally rekindled the spark that led her to finish what she’d started.

Morgan’s favorite authors are Brandon Sanderson, Kristen Britain and Marion Zimmer Bradley.

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Mariah has chosen to become a vampire, but she can’t remember why.
 
Upon waking in the labyrinthine caves of Sophus, a centuries-old vampire, Mariah can’t remember all the choices that brought her there, but she does know there are dangerous secrets hidden within her.  As she learns to control her powerful new body— and its bloodthirsty urges— Mariah discovers a unique ability to travel through a world of spirit, the key to remembering her past, and possibly the future. 
 
 
At first, it seems her path is simple: learn to control her bloodlust, find her missing husband, and return with him to raise their son. However, things are more complicated than they seem, and neither Sophus nor her husband’s captor is willing to let them go. Mariah must use whatever skills she can to find her husband and protect her still-mortal son, but will it be enough? 

 

Snippet:
A moment of silence crept by before Elisa gave out a joyful cry and reached toward him, dropping the flower.
“Miguel! I knew you would come for me!” At these words Miguel lost all traces of uncertainty as he knelt before the blonde woman, taking her hand and kissing it gently.
You snake! Mariah hissed at her old friend, trying
without success to knock Elisa’s hand away. Her spectral form could do nothing here.
“Am I dead?” Elisa asked, reaching up to touch Miguel’s face. “If so, you are a most beautiful Angel of Death.”
“No”—Miguel held himself very still—“though an Angel of Death I may be.”
“You are changed. Have you come to take me with you?” the woman asked, peering into his penetrating eyes.
“I have.”
 

 

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Her other life taught her to trust no one – ever

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018
Royal
Undercover
by
Eileen Troemel
Genre:
Romantic Suspense 
 
Mel
Breuer is a supply officer and nothing else. Until a request to
report to the security office on Space Station Joplin reveals her
real identity. Demands from her large family change her life and drop
her in the hands of John Vellum a professional protector. Her other
life taught her to trust no one – ever. 

 

 

Former
military, John Vellum is a Protector. He protects the elite. The
elite can be difficult but John knows a firm hand will keep his
clients safe but Mel is not what he expects.

 

 

The
danger to her life is real and imminent. While trying to keep her
safe, he learns she is spunky, vulnerable, and sexy. Amidst
kidnapping attempts and other threats, John’s desire leads to
something deeper if he can only get her to trust him.

 

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From
poetry to novel, I enjoy telling a good story or expressing a
heartfelt emotion. I’ve been published in Circle Magazine, The
American Tarot Association’s Quarterly Journal, What’s Cooking
America, Children, Churches and Daddies, placed second in Words of
Women 2010 Writing Contest, 2012 Daily Flash, and The Deadman’s Tome.
I have a bachelor’s degree in business and a second bachelor’s degree
in English Professional Writing and Book Editing. On the side, I have
a small editing business. In addition to my work, I love to read,
crochet, crafting, research genealogy, and spend time with family. I
have three adult daughters and have been married to my husband for
over 30 years. I’m the proud grandma of three fur babies – my
daughters’ cats.
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Two deaths, a suitor after her money, a rebellious son, and the Sergeant repeated attacks, she hopes to survive the danger she faces

Monday, July 30th, 2018

 

Shaunna Gonzales currently resides with her family in the greater Seattle area. Married
over thirty years, her role as wife and mother of four continue to be her priorities.
 
A storyteller in her youth, she endevored to extend her love of stories to the written word and in 2005 began to write her first novel. Though that manuscript will remain buried, she has continued to learn.
Once told by her doctors that she would never leave her wheelchair — due to her Multiple sclerosis. It has been tucked in a closet while she continues on. (In other words muddles on.)
 
Shaunna has worked as a professional reviewer for InD’Tales eMagazine for three years. In 2012 she also served as the vice president of Moonwriters, the on-line chapter of American Night Writers Association (ANWA She prefers to write romantic fiction and has ventured into the romantic suspense, and time-travel genres. Her debut novel, Dark Day s of Promise was released by Desert Breeze Publishing in 2012 re-released 2015.

Although she prefers to spend her days writing, she is willing to share what she has learned from the school of life and is often found “giving back.” 

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Thirty-four year old Vicki Laramie must learn to trust before she can love, but she might die trying.
 

While Vicki’s children grapple with the death of their father — a man whom she’s successfully fabricated as loving, a lie her rebellious teenager recognizes — she must find a way to support her family and find a role model for her boys. 


She never intends to fall for Staff Sergeant Chase, her best friend’s son, who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She’d much rather choose a safer man to love, but her children have a voice in the decision she makes. 


With two deaths to deal with, a suitor after her money, a rebellious son, and Sergeant Chase’s repeated attacks, she can only hope to survive the danger she faces. If she doesn’t, her children will be left without either parent.

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Snippet:
My heart raced. I hadn’t heard a car or even footsteps on the porch. The visitor had caught me unawares. I answered the door, opening it no more than six inches, the security chain in place.
Kelly stood in the amber glow of the porch light. The purple scarf and gloves he had borrowed in hand. I found myself staring, captured by the honey brown of his eyes.
It required considerable effort to pull my gaze from his smoldering eyes. I cleared my throat in a genteel manner to mask the effort. A foray of butterflies flip-flopped within my stomach. Couldn’t he turn it off for even a minute? I knew he had at the restaurant. There I’d experienced his cool regard from a distance. The animal magnetism seemed a better choice.
I glanced over my shoulder at the glittering tree lights, bidding them deference until later.
 

 

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Jade is plagued by vivid dreams of another life…

Monday, July 30th, 2018
Lux
The
Veritas Series Book 1
by
MJ Vieira
Genre:
Dark Fantasy, Paranormal
 
After
being found, inexplicably, standing over a brutal scene involving a
pair of recent murder victims, Jade comes to in a hospital with
limited memories. Labeled as paranoid by the seedy medical team and
locked up, she seems more a victim than a deviant. Promptly drugged
and plunged into sleep, she is submerged into a chronic dreamland
that seems controlled by another, she soon gives in to a lavish life
with a Malum who seems all too eager to see to her every desire. She
awakes in yet another reality with no memories of her past, or even
herself. Something is making her forget… and just like that she
steps into her new life.

 

 

Malum
is deeply in love with Jade and is only agenda is to give her the
world… Or so he claims. Blindly followed by his people, the Luxans,
he works tirelessly to keep them safe from the Rebels, with Jade by
his side. Surely his motives are pure… yet, the more time Jade
spends with him, the further she seems to fall from herself.

 

 

All
the while, Jade is plagued by vivid dreams of another life… one she
struggles to understand while Malum works to make her forget. As Jade
struggles to hold onto her soul and discover her past, Malum seeks to
possess all that she is.

 

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MJ
Vieira resides in Southern Maine with her husband, Alan, son, AJ, and
their St. Bernard, Roxy. As a child, she traveled around the state
with her parents, seeing the vast history the New England state had
to offer as well as touring the nation while showing her American
Quarter Horse. While traveling, she read many of the great authors of
the time including JRR Tolkien, Stephen King, CS Lewis and Ann Rice.
It is these writers combined with power of music, mainly hard rock
and folk, MJ draws her inspiration. 

 

 

In
between writing, MJ enjoys reading, collecting music and attending
concerts. Lux is the first installment in the Veritas series which is
MJ’s first published work.

 

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Their hope is that she will slowly be able to jog his memory and cushion the blow

Sunday, July 29th, 2018
When
Time Stands Still
by
Sara Furlong-Burr
Genre:
Romance
 
It’s
been nearly a decade since Elle Sloan last saw Luke Hutchins. Close
to ten years since she broke up with him over a single phone call,
providing him with little explanation. Since the end of their
relationship, Elle has done everything she could do to move on,
marrying, proceeding forward with her life, almost allowing herself
to completely forget about Luke.

 

 

Almost.

 

 

Out
of nowhere, Elle receives a phone call from Luke’s mother. Luke has
been in a horrific car accident and, a month later, has just awoken
from a coma. However, instead of celebrating, his family is stunned
to learn that Luke is suffering from amnesia and only remembers his
life as it was before his breakup with Elle. Not wanting to tell Luke
that he and Elle aren’t together anymore for fear it may compromise
his recovery, Elle is asked by Luke’s family to come to the
hospital to see him. Their hope is that she will slowly be able to
jog his memory and cushion the blow.

 

 

Guilt-ridden
over how their relationship ended, Elle readily agrees, finding
herself transported back in time with Luke to the life they once
shared and the future they could have had together.

 

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Sara
“Furlong” Burr was born and raised in Michigan and
currently still lives there with her husband, two daughters, a
high-strung Lab, and three judgmental cats. When she’s not writing,
Sara enjoys reading, camping, spending time with her family, and
attempting to paint while consuming more amaretto sours than she
cares to admit. She’s also an advocate for melanoma awareness, having
been diagnosed with stage 1b melanoma in 2017.
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The realm feeds the hungry, shelters the homeless, and protects the hunted… so long as their hearts are pure

Saturday, July 28th, 2018
Tales
From the Forest
by
Johanna Sarah Aldridge
Genre:
YA Mystery
 
The
Forest Realm is a magical world within our own. You cannot see it,
nor can you hear it, and only very few might be able to feel it. The
realm feeds the hungry, shelters the homeless, and protects the
hunted… so long as their hearts are pure.

 

 

Recently
orphaned, two heartbroken brothers are at risk of separation by the
government…

 

 

A
black Labrador leads a colony of rabbits away from danger…

 

 

A
destitute family of rats seek a new life away from the pollution of
the big city…

 

 

All
have been rescued by the realm of magic, and their lives are truly
about to change.

 

 

Come
and join us in The Forest where magic thrives, adventures are rife,
and friendships last forever.

 

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Jo
was born in Colchester, Essex, in 1974 and since an early age has
always been accused of having a wild imagination. This didnt stop her
from studying for an honours degree in Cell and Molecular Biology,
training as a science teacher, then go on to train as a Biomedical
Scientist. She eventually took a post in Clinical Chemistry at Jersey
General Hospital in the Channel Islands.

 

 

 

Whilst holding down a
full time job, and working 28 hour emergency on call shifts, she has
managed to find the time to share that wild imagination with the
world by writing online fan fiction stories about the CW series
Supernatural.
She enjoyed it so much that, with a lot of
encouragement from her husband, she decided to write her own stories.
Not an easy task for somone dogged by anxiety and depression, and
since her diagnosis in 2013 she has also been battling with
Ulcerative Colitis.
In spite of her struggles, Tales from the
Forest, a series of short stories set in a magical realm, began to
take physical form on her laptop screen, and her black labrador
Nelson is a valiant hero in some of the stories. As an avid animal
lover, she has vowed that all proceeds from the sale of this book
series will help to set up a forever home sanctuary for stray,
elderly and abandoned dogs.
Although still working full time
at the hospital, she has turned her thoughts to the future, and now
holds a Diploma in Dog Training from the Centre of Excellence, and is
currently studying towards a Diploma in Canine Communication in order
to prepare for a life of working with rescue dogs.

 

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Tayte’s determination to save Agnes, even if it requires her to betray the very woman she came to save

Saturday, July 28th, 2018


Laurie (L.C.) Lewis will always be a Marylander at heart—a weather-whining lover of crabs, American history, and the sea. She admits to being craft-challenged, particularly lethal with a glue gun, and a devotee of sappy movies. Her ninth published novel, her first romance novella, Sweet Water, was inspired by a visit to Oregon’s magnificent coastline, and time spent with Mother Eugenie, upon whom the character Mother Thomasine is based. 

 
Laurie’s women’s fiction novels include The Dragons of Alsace Farm (2016), Awakening Avery (2010), and Unspoken (2004), written as Laurie Lewis. 
 
Using the pen name L.C. Lewis, she wrote the five volumes of her award-winning FREE MEN and DREAMERS historical fiction series, set against the backdrop of the War of 1812: Dark Sky at Dawn (2007), Twilight’s Last Gleaming (2008), Dawn’s Early Light (2009), Oh, Say Can You See? (2010), and In God is Our Trust, (2011).

She is currently completing a political suspense novel planned for a summer 2017 release, a re -release of a romantic comedy, and she’s working on another historical fiction novel for a 2018 release. She loves to hear from readers.

Fears and secrets are the dragons we each must face. . . 
In need of his own redemption, Noah Carter finally confronts his childhood hero, the once-beloved uncle who betrayed him. Instead of vengeance, he offers forgiveness, also granting Uncle John a most curious request—for Noah to work on the ramshackle farm of Agnes Deveraux Keller, a French WWII survivor with dementia.
Despite all Agnes has lost, she still has much to teach Noah. But the pair’s unique friendship is threatened when Tayte, Agnes’s estranged granddaughter, arrives to claim a woman whose circumstances and abilities are far different from those of the grandmother she once knew.
Items hidden in Agnes’s attic raise painful questions about Tayte’s dead parents, steeling Tayte’s determination to save Agnes, even if it requires her to betray the very woman she came to save, and the secret her proud grandmother has guarded for seventy years.

 

The issue strains the fragile trust between Tayte and Noah, who now realizes Tayte is fighting her own secrets, her own dragons. Weighed down by past guilt and failures, he feels ill-equipped to help either woman, until he remembers Agnes’s lessons about courage and love. In order to save Agnes, the student must now become the teacher, helping Tayte heal—for Agnes’s sake, and for his. 
Snippet:
“You were amazing, Agnes . . . so brave. You knew just what to do.”
She smiled. “I am all they have. Being needed makes you brave. Sometimes we simply do what we must. But then, you know a bit about that as well, don’t you?”
Noah looked at his pocked arms. “You mean my scars?”
“From cigarettes??”
Noah’s lips pursed as he remembered the feel of the burns. “It was my father’s way of motivating me.”
“Beast.” It was spoken like a curse, and it made Noah smile. “The shame is his. Not yours.”
Noah undid the ties that fastened the three-inch-wide leather band worn over his wrist. Beneath it were rows of straight scars. “Not just his, Agnes. I did these myself.” He felt his face burn with shame.
Agnes leaned on her shovel and searched an unknown spot in the sky. “When the bombings ended, only one tree remained in the park near my house. Everyone said we should protect it and honor it. I went out at night and threw rocks at it. I pulled on its branches and tried to kill it because I thought, better I should kill it than wait for the dragons to return and destroy this one also.”
Now Noah understood. “The Nazis were the dragons?”
“There are many dragons, mon cher. You fought yours in the only way you knew how, but that war is over now.”
“You think so?”

 

Agnes walked to him and placed a wrinkled hand on his cheek. “You slew your dragons. I can see peace in your eyes.”

 

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Each is unwilling to negotiate or concede marriage to the other

Friday, July 27th, 2018
Chasing
the Wild Sparks
Wild
Sparks Series #1
by
Ren Alexander
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
 

Throwing
down the marriage gauntlet has never been so wild.

Thirty-something
paralegal, Hadley Beckett and charismatic, local
sportscaster/daredevil, Finn Wilder, disagree about how they should
share their lives together. Having been together for three years,
Finn increasingly pressures Hadley to move in with him, but being
unusually traditional, she wants to be married first, adhering to her
moral beliefs, just as he clings to his own religious upbringing when
it comes to procreating with her. Each is unwilling to negotiate or
concede marriage to the other. Complicating matters is Finn’s
seemingly double life, keeping his private life hidden to the point
of convincing his viewers—Finnatics—and even his coworkers, he’s
single, amid Hadley’s objections. Yet despite their immense
disparities, they are determined to make their relationship work,
even if it means Hadley has to take their future into her own hands.
Then
again, Finn Wilder has his own story to tell.

 

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Ren
Alexander was born in Wheeling, West Virginia. She graduated from
West Liberty University, where she received a B.S. in criminal
justice. Although interested in that field, her true passion was
reading and writing. She currently lives in Detroit, Michigan with
her husband, two daughters, and two cats. “Chasing the Wild
Sparks” is Ren’s first novel.
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You hardly looked dangerous at the time

Friday, July 27th, 2018

 

Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

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The widowed Elise is a perfect English lady living within the confines of society for the sake of her impressionable young son. Her quiet world is shattered when she meets the impulsive and scandalous Jared Amesbury. His roguish charm awakens her yearning for adventure. But his irrepressible grin and sea-green eyes hide a secret.

 

A gentleman by day, a pirate by night, Jared must complete one last assignment from the Secret Service before he can be truly free. Elise gives him hope that he, too, can find love and belonging. His hopes are crushed when his best laid plans go awry and Elise is dragged into his world of violence and deceit. She may not survive the revelation of Jared’s past…or still love him when the truth is revealed.
The Guise of a Gentleman is a clean and wholesome Regency Romance, a.k.a. “clean” that explores finding one’s true self, loyalty, honor, and trusting loved ones. With plenty of swashbuckling action, it provides a several good twists that play off of familiar situations and proudly proclaims the redemptive power of love.

 

Snippet:
“You are a woman of great courage to face those cutthroats alone.”
 
His fingers closed around hers as if she were a lifeline. Her late husband’s hands had always been smooth and soft, the hands of a gentleman, so unlike this man’s calluses which bespoke hard work. She marveled at the strength in those hands, not to mention the tingles that traveled up her arm.
 
A flush crept over her face and she struggled to retain her composure. “I saw a cruel act and felt compelled to intervene. I could do nothing less.”
 
His eyes darted over her face and he said in a stronger voice, “Those men might have turned on you.”
 
“I’m an excellent shot.”
 
“And did you not consider that you may have been in danger from me?”
 
She suspected many women found him a very great danger, but not for the reason he spoke.
 
 Swallowing against a dry mouth, she lifted her chin. “You hardly looked dangerous at the time. And I daresay you lack the strength to offer any threat now.”
 
The barest hint of a smile twitched his lips and a wicked light glinted in his sea-green eyes.

 

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A heart-warming collection of letters that explores the wonder, frailty and extraordinary qualities of friendship, family, love and life

Thursday, July 26th, 2018
Dear
You
by
Derra Nicole Sabo
Genre:
Biography
 
Dear
You is a lovely invitation into Derra Nicole Sabo’s world.

 

A
wonderful opportunity borne out of a complex and challenging
experience, to recall the good times with loved ones, the chance to
express the rarely spoken profound specifics of what binds friends
and family together.

 

This
is a heart-warming collection of letters to loved ones that explores
the wonder, frailty and extraordinary qualities of friendship,
family, love and life.

 

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As
someone with anxiety, writing is my way of speaking. When my verbal
skills fail, my pen excels. I have always had something to say to the
world and to the humans residing in it, I just could never get my
mind and mouth to be on the same level. So, I picked up a pen and
haven’t looked back. I have a message for you. A message for my
family, my friends and to all the beating hearts. Dear You is a
letter personally written, from me to you.
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I love the world of academics, but I want to rule and eliminate injustice

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

 

Russ Wallace is long-time student of history and religion. He employs a vivid imagination to fill in the life of Zenobia, a real historical figure and one of the most fascinating women who ever lived. 
 
He is working on future books in the Zenobia Book Series. Zenobia – Birth of a Legend won a 2012 IPPY award in Historical Fiction.

 

Sequel to the award-winning Zenobia – Birth of a Legend.
The continuing saga of the deadly young warrior who will one day challenge Rome for the supremacy of her world. As the dynamic girl continues her education in Egypt, for a time she is diverted from her warrior path. Complicating Zenobia’s life is a budding romance with her brilliant and charismatic instructor. The challenge – he is the scholar, she the warrior. Can they blend their worlds to become the most exciting couple in Alexandria?
Learning of a slave trade in kidnapped young women, Zenobia determines to free the oppressed. Warrior skills will not be enough. Her new challenge – to become a pirate, then a temptress in her fight for justice.

The Author is putting both books in this Series on special offer on Amazon 25 – 26th of July 2018! 

·       Click the Amazon Link below to view the steeply discounted price!

 

Snippet:
Shanzar woke Zenobia for her watch. The fire had burned low and
the night air was cool, so she added a few pieces of dried wood. She propped
her saddle against a small tree for a backrest, and, using her blanket as a
cape, she settled in to think about Longinus. The problem is exactly as Mother
said, she admitted to herself. I love the world of academics, but I want to
rule and eliminate injustice. She paused and reconsidered. At least, as much of
it as I can.
Are you sure Longinus is what you want? Or whom you want? She
reflected deeply before she admitted that she was not sure. The wise course
would be to observe how their relationship expanded or contracted over the next
few months.
At the same time, she felt conflicted in view of her recent
feelings for Salim. He is a warrior like me and he is more practical than I am.
Sometimes I feel like he is reading my mind, we are so similar. We would also
be a great match, except …
Her contemplation was interrupted by a soft noise in the thicket
nearby. Instantly her mind and senses went to high alert. She slung a quiver
over her shoulder and picked up her bow. She felt the reassuring sword at her
side as she crept stealthily toward the sound. It was difficult to see in the
thicket with only the stars for light, and it required patience to maintain her
caution.
It took her nearly half an hour to draw close to the spot where
she judged the rustling had originated. It might be a hunting lion. Then she
heard very low voices. No lion! She crept closer and strained to hear the
conversation.
“How can we attack them now?” a voice whispered. “We can’t even
see anything.”
“Then neither can they,” another voice whispered back. “We
outnumber them ten to four, plus we would have the advantage of surprise.”
A third man joined, “If we don’t bring the girl back alive, we
will have to disappear to save ourselves. It’s too risky when we can’t see. I
say we take them tomorrow.”
Zenobia heard them starting to withdraw and decided to kill the
three now. Then the soft trill of a night bird startled her, and she whirled to
her left, bow and arrow ready. Did she glimpse the shadow of a man? It was hard
to be sure. She heard the trill a second time. Could it be Cam?
She returned a barely audible trill. She could hardly hear the
“Zee” that came in response. She crept silently toward Cam, but still on high
alert.
“Well done,” he spoke a quiet commendation. “Not tonight, though.
We will deal with them tomorrow when they attack us.” He nodded his head back
toward their camp.

 

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No one who reads her captivating story will ever forget Zenobia

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

 

Russ Wallace is a long-time student of history and religion. He employs a vivid imagination to fill in the life of Zenobia, a real historical figure and one of the most fascinating women who ever lived. 
 
He is working on future books in the Zenobia Book Series. Zenobia – Birth of a Legend won a 2012 IPPY award in Historical Fiction.

 

In the 3rd century, a girl of uncommon abilities was born in the desert wilderness of Syria. Rescued from death by her courageous mother, Zenobia masqueraded as a boy to stay alive. She grew up to become one of the toughest, deadliest women who ever lived.
 

 

The first book in the series traces Zenobia’s life from age nine to fifteen, setting the stage for her amazing rise to power. It includes the beginnings of her legend and her budding romances.
 
No one who reads her captivating story will ever forget Zenobia!

The Author is putting both books in this Series on special offer on Amazon 25 – 26th of July 2018! 

·       Click the Amazon Link below to view the steeply discounted price!

 

Snippet:
As the last of twilight faded, she heard a restless stirring among the horses. All of the horses were staring past her into the darkness toward the edge of the clearing. They obviously thought they detected something. She went to instant alert, recalling a similar reaction from the night in the forest with the leopards. She peered toward the brush at the edge of the clearing, but she did not have her full night vision yet and she could see only dim outlines of vegetation. The stars were visible, but the moon was not up yet.
It seemed to her that it was unusually quiet in the brush near the clearing, but then she was very tired. She also recalled that her head was stuffy and her hearing would be less acute. She thought she heard a slight rustling of leaves, even though there was little breeze. Maybe she was imagining it. She dismissed the idea and closed her eyes for just a moment.
Suddenly she slapped herself mentally. What are you doing? she chastised. Lions took some of the flock just last night. Nap later back in the tent. She forced herself to concentrate and focus her senses as best she could. The horses grew more restless. She did not feel well and she wished she were not alone.
She wondered if a male lion would let out his thunderous hunting roar. Sometimes on a plain they would put their head down for this tactic, vibrating the soil and making it difficult to tell where the source was. This would cause panic among their prey and it would scamper in all directions, some unwittingly right to the hunters. She decided it was more likely to use stealth near a camp.
Finally as she peered forward, she caught the faint movement of a shadow. She stood up and two minutes later she detected another shadowy movement just into the brush. A strange fear crept up her spine as she realized that she and the horses were being stalked. There were only two possibilities, and both were bad. She wished she had followed her earlier impulse to move the horses deeper into the camp by the camels. For now, she could only wait.
The next sound was a low growling from somewhere. No human could make that sound, she concluded, so at least she did not have to worry about bandits. There must be a group of lions, and one was warning another out of its space even as they prepared to attack. She wanted to give her own screeching leopard yowl to at least warn the stalkers that there was another predator about. She felt it might cause the lions to hesitate. Then she reconsidered. With her sore throat she was afraid that it might convey weakness, and actually stimulate an attack. The moon peeked up above the horizon behind her. 

 

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Strangers whose survival depends upon each other’s skills and courage

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018
All
Systems Down
by
Sam Boush
Genre:
Cyber Thriller
 
24
hours.

 

That’s all it takes.

 

A new kind of war has begun.

 

 

Pak
Han-Yong’s day is here. An elite hacker with Unit 101 of the North
Korean military, he’s labored for years to launch 
Project
Sonnimne
:
a series of deadly viruses set to cripple Imperialist
infrastructure.

 

 

And
with one tap of his keyboard, the rewards are immediate.

 

 

Brendan
Chogan isn’t a hero. He’s an out-of-work parking enforcement officer
and one-time collegiate boxer trying to support his wife and
children. But now there’s a foreign enemy on the shore, a blackout
that extends across America, and an unseen menace targeting
him.

 

 

Brendan
will do whatever it takes to keep his family safe.

 

 

In
the wake of the cyber attacks, electrical grids fail, satellites
crash to earth, and the destinies of nine strangers
collide.

 

 

Strangers
whose survival depends upon each other’s skills and courage.
 

 

For
fans of Tom Clancy, ALL SYSTEMS DOWN is a riveting cyber war thriller
which presents a threat so credible you’ll be questioning reality.

 

Goodreads
* Amazon
 
 
Sam
Boush is a novelist and award-winning journalist.

 

 

He
has worked as a wildland firefighter, journalist, and owner of a
mid-sized marketing agency. Though he’s lived in France and Spain,
his heart belongs to Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife,
Tehra, two wonderful children, and a messy cat that keeps them from
owning anything nice.

 

 

He
is a member of the Center for Internet Security, International
Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, and Cloud
Security Alliance.

 

 

ALL
SYSTEMS DOWN is his first novel, with more to come.

 

Website
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Twitter * Amazon
* Goodreads
 
 
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the tour HERE
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I am scared that I cannot live up to my own expectations

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018
“Heather Wallace is a wife, mother, entrepreneur, writer, equestrian, and animal massage therapist.
Her first book, Equestrian Handbook of Excuses, was a 2017 Literary Selection for the Equus Film Festival. Her second book, Confessions of a Timid Rider, is an autobiography detailing Heather Wallace’s insights about being an anxiety-ridden but passionate equestrian. 
 
After returning to riding as a mother, she is determined to follow her dreams despite the fear she is somehow lacking in talent or ability. An in-depth look into the heart and head of a returning adult equestrian, this message is not limited only those  with horse experience. 
 
In fact, Confessions of a Timid Rider is the perfect book to read for anyone whom even for a moment questions their value in their designated profession or life choice. This book will inspire you to pursue your dreams despite the inner voice that says you aren’t good enough.

~ Website ~ Amazon ~

“For a long time I let that fear get in my way. I always felt like I was missing something when I stepped away from horses during my teens.

 

 
I’ve come a long way since I took that first step back to horsemanship as an adult. When I say I am a timid rider, it is not because I am scared to ride. Oh no, it is because I am scared to fail. I am scared that I cannot live up to my own expectations. That my insecurities will hold me back. Or that I will let my anxiety be greater than my passion once again and step away, or worse, not try to be the person I want to be. My self doubt tries to hold me back but I refuse to give in.
 
These are the confessions of a timid rider.”
Snippet:
“As I plunge toward the ground, I see the face of my horse above me blocking the sun. For that split second before I hit the rain-packed ground I close my eyes I think to myself, “Avoid the hooves”.
This moment was one I dreaded since I became a mother. The thought of falling off and hurting myself in front of my children was something that plagued my nightmares and caused anxiety.
A few months ago, I had a near miss. Delight and I were in our weekly lesson at the barn. We came in a little too slow to the cross rail. Delight lost his balance, tripping over the rail, and we both started to fall.
In slow motion, I can still see Delight’s nose touch the ground. I slipped slowly down his neck, clinging for dear life. All I thought in that moment was if I topple over his head, he might become more unbalanced and land on me. So I slowly picked myself up and scooted back, lifting Delight’s large thoroughbred head up to help him regain his balance.
We were okay. That time. But I was shaken. I did not fall. Delight did not fall. We regained our balance, no one was hurt, and nothing bad happened. But I kept replaying the scene in my mind. The WHAT IF factor. The image became stuck in my head for the rest of our lesson and I could not let it go.
“GET OVER IT.”

I hear it frequently during lessons. My trainer sees that I am no longer connected to my horse. I am absent. Now too much in my own head.
It’s a chronic problem. My entire life I have been very cerebral, balancing ideas and considering outcomes. Horse riding has been a way for me to escape my own brain, or try to at least. Warring between self-doubt and my passion for horses.
I’ve been called many things, but “timid” never in my memory. Perhaps in a way this will show you just how important horses are to me in my life. Because this matters. Horses matter. And as a result, I want to be the best I can be. Sadly, this results in self doubt and delayed progress. I am my own worst enemy.
These are the confessions of a timid rider.”

 

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My parents were brave and honorable…I am neither of these

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018
Shadow’s
Hand
The
Shadow’s Creed Saga Book 1
by
Noelle Nichols
Genre:
Epic Fantasy
 
I
used to believe our morals were absolute.

 

I
no longer am certain.

 

 

Imposters
pose as our Shadow group, spreading panic and killing innocents
across the lands. These False Shadows wield a magic in its infancy, a
power they call the Skills. There’s great potential to this power,
but a menacing undertone taints those who wield it. Their intentions
are sinister, without purpose, and their morals, questionable.

 

 

I
am Kilo, a Shadow of Vaiyene, and I vow to put an end to these False
Shadows. My friends have been killed. My homeland, threatened. These
imposters know our weakness, and they seek to exploit who we are. I
fear before the end, I may forsake the very creed I’ve lived my
life by. Despite this, I must persist and find a way to return peace
to the lands. I will become the strength our people need.

 

 

 

 

My
parents were brave and honorable.

 

I
am neither of these.

 

 

This
is no longer the world my parents knew. Peace is threatened in
Vaiyene and across the lands. The False Shadows have attacked, and
despite our Phantoms reassurance, I am not naïve enough to believe
we are safe.

 

 

I
am Shenrae, one of the next generation of Shadows. My comrades doubt
me, as I often doubt myself, but I have no other choice than to
fight. The Phantoms cannot protect us for long. Soon, I will have to
find my place, and my strength, or I will lose everything I have
left.

 

 

Shadow’s
Hand is the first book in a heroic epic fantasy, inspired by Japan’s
samurai and their warrior code Bushido. It’s a story about the
makings of a hero and the hero’s sacrifice. If you like characters
with strong morals, fast-paced epic storytelling and exploring
magic’s morality, you’ll love The Shadow’s Creed Saga. Pick up a
copy today and join Kilo and Shenrae on their heart-twisting journey
to restore peace.

 

 
 
Hello,
I’m Noelle. A writer, a creator and most of all a dreamer.

 

 

 

We
have the opportunities, both as writers and readers, to experience
people who are better than ourselves. Flawed still, but people who go
against all odds, perhaps too great for us in real life to aspire to.
They speak grander, fight against magical forces and live in a place
where imagination and dreams can thrive. This is why I write Fantasy.
Within my characters I find the strength and hope for a better
tomorrow, one that can be more fantastical and beyond reality. It’s
these characters that I wish to write, and these journeys I want to
take my reader’s on.

 

 

I’ve been
writing my trilogy, The Shadows Creed Saga, for the past five years.
The original idea came to me back in high school where I had the
support of many of my English teachers to continue writing the book.
However, I realized that in order to write a good book, I needed to
have experienced life more. I needed to lose someone close. I needed
to have my heartbroken. I needed to know what it was like to really
love someone, and what it means to be loved. So, I put my book away
and came back to it eight years later. I feel that I can instill my
life experiences into my characters now and really understand
them.

 

 

I now feel I have the
discipline, experience and imagination needed to bring the books to
publication. For now, this is my records to publication and my
writing process. My only wish is to write books that take people on a
journey, and feel that perhaps they have a friend and someone to
aspire to within the pages.

 

Website
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the tour HERE
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The only answer to this dilemma and any future ones would be shooting her dad

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

 

 

Shaunna Gonzales currently resides with her family in the greater Seattle area. Married over thirty years, her role as wife and mother of four continue to be her priorities. 

A storyteller in her youth, she endevored to extend her love of stories to the written word and in 2005 began to write her first novel. Though that manuscript will remain buried, she has continued to learn.
Once told by her doctors that she would never leave her wheelchair — due to her Multiple sclerosis. It has been tucked in a closet while she continues on. (In other words muddles on.)

Shaunna has worked as a professional reviewer for InD’Tales eMagazine for three years. In 2012 she also served as the vice president of Moonwriters, the on-line chapter of American Night Writers Association (ANWA She prefers to write romantic fiction and has ventured into the romantic suspense, and time-travel genres. Her debut novel, Dark Day s of Promise was released by Desert Breeze Publishing in 2012 re-released 2015. 

Although she prefers to spend her days writing, she is willing to share what she has learned from the school of life and is often found “giving back.” 

 

~ Website ~ Amazon ~

 
 
 
Evie lives an idealic lifestyle until she travels to Seattle. Here she believes her dreams can flourish. 
 
But will her love save her when she is involved in a riding misfortune?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
Snippet:
The only answer to this dilemma and any future ones would be shooting her dad. Evie couldn’t do it any more than she could run from the life around her. Dad had his own ideas of how to manipulate her life and he’d been semi-successful doing it for twenty-three years. In all honesty his manipulating help had proved welcome since high school but not this evening, aside from his invitation to dinner. When the doorbell rang, Dad continued his phone conversation and Mom had her hands full with preparing food, leaving her to play the part of hostess, or at the very least, door-woman.
 
Evie sighed in resignation and answered the door. Her heart jumped to her throat before plummeting at death-defying speed to the pit of her stomach. Justin Lyman, more alluring than he had been in high school, stood on the other side of the screen door. Frozen legs preempted her thought for flight, possibly compounded by the knowledge of him being the fastest runner in town, especially when dodging a linebacker intent on bringing him to the ground. Yes, shooting Dad seemed the easier choice.

 

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All stories highlight to what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives

Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Manipulated
Lives
by
H.A. Leuschel
Genre:
Psychological Fiction
 
Realistic,
heart-breaking and utterly gripping!’ 

Bookneeders

 

 

‘A
brilliant and important book … I could barely put it down’

Nerdish Mum Book Blog

 

 

You
NEED to read this. Your family needs to read this, your friends need
to read this, your children … NEED to read this’
 
JenacideByBibliophile

 

Five
fictional, compelling true-to-life stories about how people can be
manipulated by others.

 

Manipulators are everywhere. At first
these devious and calculating people can be hard to spot, because
that is their way. They are often masters of disguise: witty,
disarming, even charming in public – tricks to snare their prey –
but then they revert to their true self of being controlling and
angry in private. Their main aim: to dominate and use others to
satisfy their needs, with a complete lack of compassion and empathy
for their victim.
In this collection of short novellas, you
meet people like you and me, intent on living happy lives, yet each
of them, in one way or another, is caught up and damaged by a
manipulative individual.
First you meet Tess, whose past is
haunted by a wrong decision, then young, successful and well balanced
Sophie, who is drawn into the life of a little boy and his troubled
father. Next, there is teenage Holly, who is intent on making a
better life for herself, followed by a manipulator himself, trying to
make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Lastly, there is Lisa,
who has to face a parent’s biggest regret. All stories highlight to
what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives and threaten our
very feeling of self-worth.

 

 

Goodreads
* Amazon
 
 

 

Helene
Andrea Leuschel gained a BA in Journalism & Communication, which
led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and
Edinburgh. She later acquired a Master in Philosophy, specializing in
the study of the mind. 

 

 

Helene
has a particular interest in emotional, psychological and social
well-being and this led her to write her first novel, Manipulated
Lives, a fictional collection of five novellas, each highlighting the
dangers of interacting with narcissists.

 

 

She
lives with her husband and two children in Portugal.

 

Website
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Twitter * Amazon
* Goodreads
 
 

 

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the tour HERE
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Somehow he must save the unicorns tribe from an evil sorcerer

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018
The
Blue Unicorn’s Journey to Osm
Black
and White Coloring Book
by
Sybrina Durant
Genre:
Middle Grade Fantasy
 
The
wood-cut look illustrations in The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm
Black and White Illustrated book are reminiscent of old world
fairytales by authors like Lewis Carroll and The Brother’s Grimm.
It is a story which transcends age and presents valuable life lessons
on overcoming adversity through perseverance and valuing friendship.

Everybody
loves unicorns! OK maybe they don’t but for those who do, they will
love this story about a little unicorn who was born into a tribe of
magical, metal horned unicorns. The little guy has no magic and he
has no metal but somehow he must save the tribe from an evil
sorcerer. Read the book to find out if he can do it.

 

 

The
metal horned unicorns are doomed!” That’s what Lauda Lead Horn
wailed when she first saw the tribe’s new savior. OK, so his horn
was not metal. . .and he did not have a magic power. . .and he was
really a puny little runt. But doomed? Were things really that
bad?

 

 

Well,
things were pretty bad in the land of MarBryn. Magh, an evil sorcerer
utilized unicorn horns and hooves to create his magical potions and
spells. Those he used, to increase his power and to conquer everyone
in his path. All of the unicorns from the Tribe of the Metal Horn
were now gone . . . except for twelve survivors.

 

 

Before
the blue unicorn was born, Numen told Alumna, the aluminum-horned
oracle, that he had a plan to bring the tribe back home to Unimaise.
His prophecy was, “Only the blue unicorn can join with the
Moon-Star. Until then, no new unicorns will be born.” Blue was the
last unicorn born. Twenty years later, his horn was still covered
with a plain blue colored hide. There was not a glint of metal to be
seen on it or his hooves. And he still didn’t have any magic. But
he was no longer scrawny and he had his wits. Though no one else in
the tribe thought he had a chance, Blue felt ready to make Magh pay
for his evil deeds. And he went off to do it alone. That was Blue’s
first mistake. If the entire tribe was not standing horn-tip to
horn-tip at the proper time and the exact place to help usher the
Moon-Star Spirit into Blue’s horn, he would die. Then, the rest of
the tribe would really be doomed.

 

 

Readers
will follow along two journey paths in this book. Blue is joined in
his travels by his mentor Gaiso, the Stag and his friend, Girasol the
Firebird as they try to find their way across a danger-filled MarBryn
to Muzika Woods. The rest of Blue’s tribe is forced to follow
another route due to Nix Nickle Horn’s unfortunate incident with a
Manticore. Nix, the great unicorn defender must safely lead the way
for Ghel, the Golden-Horned unicorn; Silubhra Silver Horn; Cornum the
Brass-Horned unicorn; Steel Horned Style; Cuprum the Copper-Horned
unicorn; Tin-Horned Tinam; Dr. Zinko; Iown the Iron-Horned unicorn
and the others in an action packed adventure to their destination in
Muzika Woods. Both journey paths converge there in the Nebulium
Circle.

 

 

This
ebook, for teens and older readers, will introduce you to the Read
and Color black and white version of The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To
Osm Illustrated book. If you love to read and you love to color, this
is the book for you. Read a chapter, then color the fanciful pictures
yourself in this fully-illustrated black and white version of “The
Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm”.

 

 

This
book, written by Sybrina Durant and illustrated by Dasguptarts,
offers readers a

 

visual
feast of over forty beautiful water-color pictures that each span two
pages. Forty-two – easy to digest two-page chapters are chock full of
adventurous and entertaining morsels. If you love to read and you
love to color, this is the book for you. Read a chapter, then color
the fanciful pictures yourself in this fully-illustrated black and
white version of “The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm”. This
illustrated book will become a favorite of teen and older fantasy
readers.  A companion coloring/ character description book is
also available at any online bookstore.

 

Goodreads
* Amazon
 
 
Hi!

 

 

I’m
Sybrina. . .. . .Just one of millions of wannabe
author/singer/songwriters out there but I hope, after reading or
hearing my books and songs, you’ll think my contributions to the
world have as much value as any other famous artist out there
today.

 

 

Fame
is all in being in the right place at the right time but at least
with the internet and venues like this, all of us have opportunities
to share our creativity with the world. I’m so happy that I am able
to share my works with you. That is awesome!

 

 

The
books I’ve written span a wide range between illustrated picture
books, coloring books and YA novels to technical and how-to books.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

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Pinterest
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the tour HERE
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They are plunged into a whirlpool of hazardous and mysterious events when Dr. Khalid kidnaps them

Saturday, July 21st, 2018

 

I am a children’s author, but up until a few years ago, I was a journalist and editor. Something rather unexpected sparked my new career as an author—a family trip to Egypt with my mother and two young nephews. We had a great time and I thought I’d write them a short story as a different kind of souvenir…. Well, one book and a planned book series later, I had changed careers. I have now published Book 3 (The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper) in my MG adventure series Chronicles of the Stone, with many awards for the first book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, and a few for Book 2, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, and one already for Book 3! I also teach online novel writing for aspiring authors and I find that very satisfying. Relaxation time finds me enjoying something creative or artistic, music, books, theatre or ballet. I love doing research for my book series. I love animals and have written two animal rescue stories. I have two adorable (naughty) little dogs called Chloe and Pumpkin, and a beautiful black cat called Bertie.

 

In this exciting Middle Grade adventure set in Egypt, a 5000-year-old mystery comes to life. A scruffy peddler gives Adam and Justin Sinclair an old Egyptian scarab on their very first day in Egypt. Only when the evil Dr. Faisal Khalid shows a particular interest in the cousins and their scarab, do the boys realise they are in terrible danger. Dr. Khalid wants the relic at all costs. Justin and Adam embark upon the adventure of a lifetime, taking them down the Nile and across the harsh desert in their search for the legendary tomb of the Scarab King, an ancient Egyptian ruler. They are plunged into a whirlpool of hazardous and mysterious events when Dr. Khalid kidnaps them. They learn more about the ancient Seven Stones of Power and the mysterious Shemsu-Hor. They must translate the hieroglyphic clues on the underside of the scarab, as well as rescue the missing archaeologist James Kinnaird, and their friend, the Egyptologist Ebrahim Faza, before time runs out!
Snippet:
1.     The Giant Cobra
The snake jerked
at the sound of his voice. It glided closer to the stone sarcophagus. Adam lay
back on the pile of smelly bones and closed his eyes to half-slits. He looked
up at the ceiling where the painted cobra shimmered.
I can’t believe
this is happening. I know it’s after me.
The slithering,
scraping sound grew louder. Then directly in front of him, just at the edge of
the stone sarcophagus, the forked tongue whipping back and forth came into view
followed by the loathsome head, which reared up, its hood spread wide. Then the
snake opened its monstrous jaws, revealing wicked fangs. A clear drop of deadly
poison, glistening like a pearl, trembled on the end of each fang. The reptile
made a hideous hissing as it stared into the stone coffin, hunting for its
prey, waiting for the tiniest movement that would betray his presence. Adam
closed his eyes so he wouldn’t have to look into the snake’s gleaming black orbs.
I’m finished, he thought,
sliding his hand into his pocket and feeling the scarab. Somehow, just holding
it made him feel calmer.
Then Justin
called softly, “I know how I can distract it.
 

 

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Presley Hale has no idea the guy she just told off, died in a drowning accident four months ago

Friday, July 20th, 2018

 

Catina worked her way through college as a TV reporter and a dating game show host. She’s a sucker for Young Adult romance stories (both real and make-believe). She has a panache for match-making and loves that many of her “set-ups” have resulted in marriages. 
 
After spending most of her adult life in Las Vegas, Catina traded in tumbleweeds for earthquakes and now lives with her husband and four children near San Diego, California. If she’s not home, chances are you can find her at the beach, Disneyland or In-N-Out Burger. 

Angela Larkin writes clean teen romance and is a big fan of kissing (in life and in books). She’s been a gold miner, a pool cleaner, a mannequin dresser, and a teacher. She’s lived a true romance: meeting her husband in a case of mistaken identity. They recently moved with their four children from the sparkling city of Las Vegas to the shade of the North Carolina Pines. Chances are, she’s reading past bedtime.
 
“Dangerous. Wrong.
She could be so close to finding out who I really am, and I don’t want to think about how badly that could damage her. If I have any conscience, I’ll turn and run. But I can’t let her go.”
Presley Hale has no idea the guy she just told off in the school parking lot died in a drowning accident four months ago. Why would she? It’s not like she knows she can see the dead. Stunned by Presley’s sixth sense, Landon Blackwood rethinks his planned departure and begins tracking her to find answers to their mysterious connection.

When their complicated relationship turns dangerous, they learn that tampering with the boundaries of death comes with consequences. Can Landon save Presley from the insidious spirits who have marked her for death, or was their love doomed from the beginning?

 
 
 
The next book in this Series is available this September!
 
 
You can pre-order it HERE

 

Snippet:
“Seriously? Eggs?” I’d meant that to remain a private rant. Oops.
Several nearby classmates watched me appraise my Jeep, which I could see even from across the parking lot, dripped with yellow slime. This was just the latest slap in the face of my first week at Truckee High.
My first day of school, someone was kind enough to smear a roast beef hoagie on my windshield. It took five bucks in quarters at the do-it-yourself car wash to clean off the mayo haze.
Day three. After P.E., my clothes disappeared from the girls’ locker room forcing me to finish out the day in my uniform. These small-town punks made it hard to fly under the radar. I just wanted to get my senior year done and get out of this place.
Most people would be furious at these anonymous jerks. But I was madder at my mom for moving Chase and me two weeks before my senior year started.
“It’s a great opportunity, Pres,” she’d said. For who? I could live with the change, but this was going to be hard on Chase.
It wasn’t that Truckee, California didn’t have its perks. At the very least it was different from Vegas. Towering Ponderosa pines covered the mountains and enveloped every structure in town. Like they gave permission for each building to exist, but they loomed, threatening to reclaim the real estate. I’d smiled at the first of many baby pine trees I’d noticed growing like weeds in the cracks of the sidewalks.
Truckee was pretty quiet with school back in session but I could tell by the rows of ski rental shops and paddle board stores that winter and summer would be a different story. Lake Tahoe, with its freakishly clear blue water, was a pleasant surprise, as I’d spent the last two years in the Mojave Desert where the only nearby lake was a carp-filled stink hole. Cool town. Not-so-cool people.
Taking a deep breath and pulling my shoulders back, I walked to my Jeep. The tell-tale sting of tears betrayed me as eggshells crunched under my shoes. Trying to appear casual and composed, I pulled a hair band from my wrist and gathered my uncooperative curls into a top knot. I turned my back on a group of eager spectators, and hefted my bag onto an egg-free patch of hood to dig for my keys. My phone vibrated. I ignored it.
Of course my keys were lost in the black abyss of my backpack.  I felt unwelcomed eyes on me as I searched. Finally, with keys in hand I opened the door and hurled my bag onto the passenger seat. 
Then, I caught sight of a face I hadn’t seen before. 
A good eight to ten cars away, he stood at the edge of the parking lot in the shade of the pines, arms folded across his chest, and studied me like some nightclub bouncer who was handed a fake I.D. (If bouncers looked like raven-haired H&M models.) The boy was shameless. He stared, unabashedly, and the longer he looked at me, the more flattered I felt.
That is, until I realized what he was probably looking for a reaction to my messed up Jeep. Wasn’t that what the girls behind me were smugly discussing? Wasn’t that why those freshman boys avoided eye contact when I walked by?
My cheeks flamed and I surprised myself by yelling across the lot at him, “What? What are you looking at?”
He flinched and unfolded his arms. His eyes locked onto mine and I matched him.
“Yeah, you!” I jabbed my chin in the air. Bring it dude.
His eyes narrowed, and then he started toward me. An older man I hadn’t noticed before quickly grabbed his shoulder and tried to pull him back. The boy became upset and jerked free. They argued. The man put both palms up in a gesture of pleading. The boy turned and glared at me once more, then charged toward me in strong, quick strides.
My gut seized at his fierce gaze and swift approach. A split decision of fight or flight. Flight. Definitely flight.
His gait quickened. I nearly dropped the keys uttering a couple of son-of-a’s, before I got the key into the ignition. The engine growled.
I slammed the lock down with my palm and hazarded a look. With only a pane of glass dividing us, his gaze bored through me. But behind his intense stare I thought I detected more. Confusion? Distress?
Surprisingly, an arrow of sympathy pierced me. My hand gripped the shifter – frozen, unable it seemed to pull it into reverse.
His eyes held me, almost . . . imploring?
I wavered, but finally tore my eyes from his and accidentally hit the gas before pulling the shifter into gear. The tires squealed as I ripped out of my parking spot. A slouched boy yanked his friend’s shirt back as I narrowly missed them. As I burned through the rows of parked cars, a few bystanders shouted something to the effect of, “Watch it, psycho!”
I looked for my pursuer in the rear-view mirror, and saw his figure, distorted by the dribbles of dried egg on my back window. He stood there, the only still figure in a swarm of activity, and watched me drive away.

 

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