SOLSTICE AUTHOR VANAYSSA SOMERS WEIGHS IN ON THE BOY SCOUT

 

VANAYSSA SOMERSTHE BOY SCOUT by Vanayssa Somers

BUY THIS BOOK: http://amzn.to/1PWvuOg

Published: February 12, 2016

Published by Summer Solstice Publishing

The Magic Will Find You!

           

My desire to write was driven by the transformative power of Story. As a child, I loved books about characters who did the right thing and overcame great odds. I was fired with the hunger to experience transformation in my own life and inspire others.

Born in a Yukon winter, I moved to beautiful British Columbia as a toddler and grew up in the deep forests of Vancouver Island. Over the years I trained as a Registered Nurse, earned a B.A. in Sociology from University of Victoria, worked as a Reiki Master, Psychic and NLP counselor. I was blessed to mother a beautiful daughter who, unfortunately, passed away in her twenties. Through that loss I discovered a gold mine of new depth in myself and in life itself, as she returned to visit me and open a new awareness of life after death. The greatest gift of all is life itself.

Over the years I have sought to help and inspire others through my work as a nurse, as the owner/operator of a seaside spa in the U.K., as counselor and psychic.  A graduate of The Monroe Institute and a follower of Bruce Moen’s books and website, I work in soul retrieval and connection with my family in the Afterlife. I believe romantic love to be one of life’s highest experiences. Writing romance is my joy.

VANAYSSA AUTHOR

To contact Vanayssa Somers, click on this link: www.paranormalfantasyromance.com/contact

 

BLURB

A massive shipping container stands open and waiting on the dock of a huge port city, in almost any country. A truck drives up and a load of human beings, in this case, youngsters, are off loaded and packed inside the crate. A crane lifts the container. It takes its place among dozens of other gigantic shipping containers, all locked together on board a freighter.

A week or two later, the container is lifted once more and deposited on another dock, thousands of miles from home. At some point, the kidnappers unlock the crate and those souls who have survived the ocean journey are gathered up and taken somewhere to be sold.

Sold as slaves for either sex, or hard labor, or both. For the remainder of their lives.

Behind them, their country; their birthrights; their families; their rights to education, freedom of speech, equality, all the things we take for granted.

Shocking enough when it takes place on the other side of the world.

More so, when it takes place in America, and the youngsters being kidnapped are American children.

Melchior, King of Fairies, and Theresa, a young American woman are passionately in love, soon to be wed. But a new purpose takes hold of these two magical Wizards as they discover the hazards young people face, unknowingly, every time they step outside their home.

In any country on earth.

Even ours.

 

Amazon reviews for Vanayssa Somers Books:

…one of the best supernatural romance books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Following Theresa, through the span of many years was both interesting and intriguing, never once slowing down. The transition from past to present was seamless. It flowed with the grace of a well trained ballerina gliding across the stage and air with one toe keeping it all in balance. The story is the most interesting of concepts and the romance filled my heart and drew me in. I would recommend this story for anyone who loves the mix of supernatural and love, or to anyone who just loves love. Well done Miss Somers, this story and your writing is a true treasure.

***************************

…I loved this book! I couldn’t put it down. Vanayssa Somers made the story and the characters come to life in a way that few authors are able to do. She did her research well on the pagan practices and the horrible time of burning ‘witches’ and any one that dared to be ‘different’ This book has everything from shape shifters to wizards to fairies & more. Truly mesmerizing to the reader with believable characters and places.

 

CHAPTER NINETEEN from The Boy Scout

by Vanayssa Somers

 

Bad Medicine

 

While Theresa engaged Callaway’s shamanic alter ego far away in his ancient Chinese hiding place, 21st century police were setting out to raid his current hideaway. And bring an end to the longest crime spree in human history.

It was 1530 hours on the police clock, a hot summer sun high in the sky.

In the lush forests outside of Summerford, near the border between New Hampshire and Maine, nine vehicles thundered up the graveled road and long driveway toward Callahan’s home.

Avalon’s covert team, subcontracted to Interpol, had been able to bring expanded information to McEwan about Callahan/Tenga. His history, his global organization, his fetish for children. The military intelligence section of Melchior’s elite staff had no problem gathering this data. A lot of it had been gathered already, from centuries of battling the wicked shaman’s efforts to destroy Fairyland. It was there, available, in their Special Ops security files.

Consultation with the U.S., European and Asian headquarters of Interpol, together with intel provided by the covert team from Avalon, had produced a full, massive dossier on Bradley Callahan. Philanthropist, Honorary Boy Scout, Inspirational Speaker.

Arch-criminal, kidnapper, human trafficker, drug boss, rapist, murderer. Killer of small children.

The full extent of Callahan’s crimes was still not fully compiled. A team of experienced staff were busy twenty-four hours a day, raking through every ounce of evidence from every part of the world, fitting the pieces together like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle.

His activities were so widely established, and covered so many criminal categories, as to be unbelievable. How could one human being create and manage such a vast rulership of evil?

As one of the top officers of Europol, the European organization independent of, but parallel to, Interpol, had said, it almost felt as though Callahan were not human, but some other kind of creature. Something unheard of in the annals of crime.

The estate was surrounded by forested acreage with wide views of mountains and ocean. Its privacy was underlined by a seven foot tall ironwork fence and gate at the final approach to the house itself.

A disembodied voice echoed from an intercom in the gate, demanding to know their identity and purpose.

The first vehicle, its markings indicating the presence of U.S. law enforcement, pulled to a stop at the gate. A grim-faced officer leaned out his window, requesting admission. He identified himself as an officer with Summerford’s Police Special Reaction Team.

The housekeeper/general assistant on the other end of the intercom went silent for about a full minute as eight more vehicles growled their way up behind the first one.

Then, just before the driver of the first vehicle put his foot to the floor to smash his way through the gate, an answer came.

“Mr. Callahan is not home at this time. We have standing orders never to admit anyone while he is absent from the property, ever, no matter who they are. However, I have sent him a message to tell him you are at the gate and require admission. He may reply shortly.”

The housekeeper/assistant had, in fact, telepathed to Tenga, far in another Age and place. Interrupting the Boss’s plans for his special prisoner trapped in an Energy Web, under an ancient sun looking down upon a volcanic planet.

“Fine. There are nine police investigation vehicles here, and we are coming in. We are fully armored and carrying battle-trained personnel. If you prefer, we can break down the gate. Or, you can open the gate and preserve this very nice entryway for future use. It’s up to you.”

Moments later the gate swung open, admitting the cavalcade of ominous looking armored vans and trucks. Two of the trucks each carried in back ten police officers in full riot gear complete with assault-style semi-automatic rifles.

The other trucks were transporting a full squad of uniformed officers carrying long guns.

At the front of the house an armored truck pulled to a halt. It was a Cadillac Gage Peacekeeper II, built for urban police special actions.

Innocent bystanders and witnesses could be placed behind it, sheltering them from a firestorm of bullets if it came to that.

Within minutes, law enforcement descended in full, irresistible power on the home base of Bradley Callahan, Arch Criminal.

In a steady stream, police boots thumped into the entryway, up the stairs, through the house, into the basement, looking not only for the obvious but for the hidden, the covert, the subversive.

Experts among the teams began to probe corners, window frames, behind pictures, closet shelving, anyplace a hidden compartment or room might await their ferocious, unrelenting onslaught.

Like a mighty ancient army entering a walled city with merciless swords drawn, set to draw blood, the officers carried their long shields, their rifles, their full battle equipment and protective gear.

Nothing in this entire estate, its length and breadth, in the house or on the grounds or in the forest surrounding the estate, would escape their precise and exhaustive examination.

One voice shouted, “I’ve got something!”

The lead investigator, Terry Kincaid, the only member of the raid not equipped with rifles or riot gear, shambled calmly over to his officer.

Kincaid was a veteran of the force, had seen just about everything crime and human madness could throw at law enforcement.

But the dossier on this guy defied belief. He had even wondered if someone was exaggerating when he’d spent the entire previous night sitting up in his study steaming his way through a mountain of paper and computer files.

He stood at the side of one of his best officers, a guy who was known as the go-to person for finding hidden stuff. Monty had a gift. He could sense when something was there, when someone had spent real time figuring out how to cache something away.

But this was outstanding. He’d found a hidden latch, in a closet, disguised as part of the molding, and pressed it. Bingo. The wall had slid smoothly aside, revealing what was almost, basically, another, smaller, house.

Terry stood gazing at the scene before him, at what looked amazingly like a Thaan – a sacred space. Something he’d learned about in a rare trip to the far north, the farthest reaches of Alaska. It was part of shamanic ritual, a place where all the shaman’s stuff was kept, where he carried out chanting and vibratory exercises which, it was said, could open hidden worlds and give a shaman the ability to even change shape and appearance. Not all medicine men everywhere in the world called their sacred space a Thaan – but that was what it was, no matter where on the planet rooms like this were found.

He and his wife had been travelling tourists, and both had an interest in ancient pagan practices. They’d explored aboriginal practices in Australia and Eurasia. Whenever a holiday beckoned, Marta Kincaid made sure it was an educational trip.

The history of North America’s aboriginal peoples was one of Marta’s specialties. She was a professional expert witness, acting on behalf of the Native population when legal need arose. The opportunity to explore further and deeper than anything she’d ever stumbled across had made her persuasive in arguing that her husband should accompany her. Go with her to those far northern reaches and learn about ancient medicine man practices.

You never know, she’d said, when this stuff might come in handy. You get all sorts in our big cities, and you should grab this chance to learn.

So he’d gone with her. Like she’d said. You never know.

And right now, he knew he’d be taking her out for a very special dinner quite soon.

It was an Aladdin’s cave of…stuff.

Shaman’s stuff.

So. This Callahan…maybe had a hidden side. Something no one had suspected.

Maybe he was up to his eyes in this cultish activity. No, not cultish. Way deeper, more extensive, more ancient, than any cult.

Shamanism was a part of human development from the most ancient times, in all parts of the globe.

We’d left it behind, supposedly. But Kincaid knew well, from his private reading, that quantum physics was beginning to open doors onto atomic secrets that were confusingly similar to the old shamanic dreamworld skills.

He felt goosebumps form all over his body as he stood methodically taking note of the items hanging on walls, standing on cabinet shelves, lying carefully stacked on the floor against walls, systematically arranged on large and small tables.

And then he noticed a glass cabinet with items that reminded him of something much more prosaic. Something he actually had experience of in previous crimes. Something quite common in the hiding places of the most dangerous killers. Crazed killers.

If only he was wrong. But the moment his eyes fell on the cabinet, he knew.

It was a collection. This Callahan was the worst kind of criminal – he killed and collected mementoes of his victims.

A Collector.

Above the cabinet, a corkboard. With photos. He moved closer. Children. Beautiful little children, wide eyes staring at the camera in confusion and fear.

He sighed deeply, feeling the mix of despair and finality, a familiar feeling, something he’d come to recognize as the beginning of the solution.

In here, in these rooms, behind the sliding wall, was the evidence that would convict Callahan more than any testimony of any witness.

Stepping across the room, he donned a pair of plastic gloves and carefully slid the glass cabinet door open. Using a pair of tweezers, he picked up the first small item on the lower shelf. A tiny mitten, blue, a common kind of mitten any mother places lovingly on the small hand of a beloved child.

He replaced the mitten and took a look at the other pieces in the heartbreak collection. Every piece was something obviously belonging to a small child.

Although there was no evidence yet of bodies, he knew there would be bodies. Somewhere.

Beneath all the exotic, unusual aspects of this madman, there lay the mind of a common killer. The need to keep souvenirs of each victim. So often, the nail in the killer’s coffin. Irrefutable evidence of murder.

He felt himself going pale with stress. So this would be one of those cases. The worst kind. Haunting his retirement years, keeping him awake, making him bolt upright in bed at two in the morning, sweat pouring off his forehead.

Whatever ancient pagan parts there were to this man, this monster, in the end they all came down to the commonplace. A man who took what he wanted, without regard for anything or anyone.

A common psychopath. Dressed in more ritualistic, unusual garb, perhaps, but common in the basic facts.

He turned to the officers directly behind him, and gave orders.

“Get the forensic team in here, now. There will be bodies, probably many. Children, by the look of things.”

One of his officers, carefully stepping around with the plastic booties they were all wearing, said to him, “Sir, look at this.”

He pointed toward a post-it note, pinned to a corkboard on one wall.

It read, in perfect penmanship, “Get someone to move the bodies at the west fence.”

“Shit,” Kincaid said.

The young officer swallowed hard, took off his hat, smoothed his hair, wiped his forehead, looked at the floor. His lips trembled briefly, just slightly. Then the hat went back on, the head went up, and the sharp, probing eyes began to search the room again.

Members of the forensic team had been downstairs, carefully going through a whole library of what was probably going to be major evidence. He heard footsteps enter the room, and two of its members stood beside him, gazing around in awe.

Now, Kincaid pointed to the post-it note on the corkboard, and to the collection of souvenirs on the cupboard shelves.

The District Attorney commented, “There’s enough here to keep everyone busy for a long time, and we had better get some team members over from another area, there’s just too much for our outfit. We’re a pretty small city. What do you think?” She’d come along due to the high profile of this suspect and the wide assortment of offences he appeared to have committed.

He agreed, and she went off to make some calls and confer with her team downstairs.  They needed help. Particularly because every single piece of evidence had to be handled meticulously and documented in detail. And there were hundreds of pieces of evidence, in all likelihood. Anyone making a mistake in this crime scene – for that was what this house was beginning to look like – would suffer for it.

Children, many of them, probably, had lost their lives here, in this house. Mistakes would be unacceptable.

Terry walked around, taking mental note of every item. He wished he could take pictures for his own use, so he could show Marta. But absolute professionalism was required in this nest of terror.

He recognized many items they’d learned of on that trip, and then from extensive reading they’d both done after returning home. Reading and internet research, videos of topics which ninety-nine percent of people knew nothing about.

There, on that table, was a Shila Dhunga, a clear quartz crystal which represented the celestial mountain. A mountain which connected the shaman to three different worlds – the upper, middle and lower.

By accessing these three worlds through the quartz crystal, the medicine man, supposedly healer, could See the spirits causing sickness in a tribe member.

It worked through the aesiric trance. Necessary to be an effective healer. Or whatever this particular shaman was. Not, perhaps, a healer.

There on the table was a shaligram – a black fossil ammonite, representing the cycles of birth and annihilation.

An aura duster. A fetish pot, interesting. Each shaman made a different kind of collection of items for this. On the wall, a medicine shield, a prayer stick. Here and there, a strange sight, a pile of animal skins. Pieces of leather. Bones, of what origin he could not say offhand. But they would find out. A shudder passed over his back.

He wandered further into the rooms. Feathers, vines, leaves, twigs. Rattles, larger ones, small ones.

On one wall, a collection of some very fine drums. Beautiful art work on some of them. Skins stretched across the frames perfectly, expert craftsmanship. He wondered if Callahan made his own drums. He wondered what animal the skins came from, shut out nightmare imagination.

Or maybe Callahan was not the shaman, himself. Maybe someone in his outfit was the medicine man. At this point, they couldn’t take anything for granted.

There was a healer’s staff. Altar decorations. An altar. A magical wand, used to project black or white energy to someone or something else.

And there. One of the most vital of ancient shamanic tools, a talking stick.

While this kind of stick was used in a healing group, like AA, to help someone take their turn at speaking, it also had other uses.

It represented the world tree, its leaves, branches, trunk and roots. It represented the three worlds again, the upper, middle and lower.

This was essential helper to the shaman as he travelled through time and space, searching for the spirits causing illness, searching for animal totems, this was a tool synonymous with shamanism.

He felt a yearning to remove the talking stick from the wall, where it lay lengthwise, carefully arranged on hide-covered nails, to feel it in his hands, smell it, handle it.

Ignoring his need to reach out and touch it, Kincaid leaned over, hands behind his back, and examined the ornate carving, not only there for beauty and to give visual information of ancient history, but for the more exotic purpose of symbolism.

For these tools were not just outward show, or meant to induce trance in someone seeking a medicine healer’s help.

These tools could be used to carry out shape-changing, travel into the depths of the earth and to the far reaches of the universe. Apparently. So the videos had said.

He’d wondered about that. You just never knew. Married to the kind of woman he was married to, he’d learned to have an open mind.

These tools were used to achieve states and experiences that quantum physicists were only now, at this end of the historical dialectic, beginning to identify as being humanly possible.

They expressed an ancient hominid acquaintance with the deepest, farthest reaches of the subconscious, almost unknown to the white man. Or woman.

He really had to stop thinking and speaking in terms of male presence all the time. There were now plenty of female shamans in the world. Some, quite famous. Using the internet to find clients, as all these practitioners did. Making far more money than Kincaid and his sort could hope to ever see as they plodded through the muck. Through the detritus of criminal madness which peopled their daily work life. Nothing exotic about the worlds he and his officers travelled in. No, sir.

When it came down to it, Callahan was common muck. When you stripped all this mind-blowing stuff aside.

He was just another killer. Just another rapist.

There was a cell waiting with Callahan’s name on it. Possibly, it would have to be a very special cell. Perhaps, lead-lined. Unless, at last, the finality of true death awaited him. At the hands of a jury.

And where, exactly, would they find a jury of Callahan’s peers?  The idea was laughable.

But shape-shifting and time travel were not necessary parts of jury selection. The presence of a healthy conscience and normal intelligence were the things that mattered there.

And Kincaid was going to put him there. In the hands of a jury. Oh yes. He teetered back on his heels, his hands quiet behind his back, head lifted as he gazed around one last time. Lips compressed, eyes wide.

Next step. Get out there and catch this son of a bitch. Put him away for life, or, if he had his way, put him into the Chair.

But first, they had to find the bodies.

The little bodies.

Like any decent human being, he felt tears start up behind his eyes. But he was used to this.

He could handle himself. No tears.

Not here in front of his officers, anyway.

And he marveled at his wife’s intuition. Marty. An amazing woman. She’d known, somehow.

Some day, he’d need to know all about shamanism.

Who would ever have guessed?

Kincaid could not know that this particular shaman was huddled in a parallel universe, invisible, but very much present in the room, watching in impotent, growing rage as the officers went through his sacred sanctuary inch by inch, exploring, taking notes, peering, judging, gathering evidence by the minute, evidence that would destroy Callahan’s painstakingly-structured life.

His entire world-wide network, all his contacts. In his computer, the speeches he had written, speeches people paid him top dollar to listen to. And the children, the little ones he had loved so much.

The police! They could never understand.

And his magic. His sacred tools. What did these fools know of magic carpets, magic chants and spells? What did they know of travel through time, of shape shifting?

He would show them a thing or two. But he would have to be careful about how he handled this. He could not be shot. If he were killed by a police bullet, he’d be dead. Like anybody else. Simple as that. No matter what animal he was shaped like.

He moved out of his safe place in limbo and took a stance in the woods facing the house. He eyed up the armored Cadillac Gage, the Peacekeeper II.

Perfect.

He hoped one of the intruders carried a camera. Because what they were about to see, they would never see again.  Experts would perhaps call this “a mass hypnotic trance” experience. Except they wouldn’t be able to, because he was going to destroy the house and everyone in it. The house and all the evidence against him. He’d crush the computers, smash the hard drives. Grind any evidence against him into the earth.

He knew where the evidence was.

And he’d have to go after the officers heading out to find and dig up the bodies. Without that cursed post-it note he’d left pinned to the corkboard, they would have had no idea about the bodies.

He’d have to kill, destroy, every single police officer on his property. Every one.

But he savored the moment. It was delicious. The world would be left in horror, speculating.

Maybe he could even make an insurance claim for the damage he would do to the house itself.

Grinning from ear to ear, excited beyond measure, Tenga prepared himself.

The only one who would instantly know what had happened here, would be Melchior, King of Avalon.

He wondered suddenly, where Melchior was. The question took up residence in the back of his mind. He knew the Special Ops team had joined up with Interpol to investigate himself, the one-of-a-kind outlaw, Callahan.

So why wasn’t Melchior and his little team of “covert operators” here, with the police? It bothered him more than it should, and he remembered the thought that had passed through the prisoner’s mind, Theresa’s mind, about Melchior being there in the Mesozoic…but that was impossible. The woman was probably just hysterical. Like most women.

Right now he had to give the Summerford Police Force a thrill they would not forget. Just before he killed them all.

Muttering a spell, he threw back his head and uttered a chant.

One young officer, trailing behind his colleagues with shovels, all heading for the west fence, heard a strange shout in the woods and paused. He peered toward the trees.

“What was that?” he asked aloud. The others stopped, frowned, looked back at him.

“Come on, Talbot, there’s a job to do here. What do you mean, what was what?”

At that moment, the forest facing the ironwork fence began to move, to wave back and forth. The group froze, their shovels over their shoulders, faces turned as one toward the woods.

“What the hell? What’s making the trees move like that?” asked the one who’d urged Talbot to hurry up.

The sentence was barely out of his mouth when a nightmare roar sounded and they stood in shock. An unbelievable sight met their eyes.

A dinosaur, as massive as a two storey building began to lumber out of the woods toward them. It paused, lifted its terrifying head armed with rows of sharp teeth, turned to look right at them, and began to move deliberately toward the group.

As one, the men screamed, yelled for help, threw their shovels aside, and fled toward the house. Other officers, hearing the racket, came out and stood staring.

One of them yelled into the house, “Everybody run. Hide. There’s a goddamn dinosaur out here. T Rex. It’s coming right for us.”

No sooner had the men slammed the door shut – as though that would help –than the sound of tearing, crunching metal echoed around the property.

The armored van, built to withstand automatic machine gun fire, lay with its roof crushed down to the ground, bent beyond repair, a gigantic foot resting on what was left of the truck’s body. The animal stood at least thirty feet tall, its own armored plates far superior to any armored vehicle when combined with the killing power of the giant predator.

The windows were filled with human faces, expressing a combination of fear, horror, and excitement.

“Max,” one of them yelled through the house to the forensic photographer, “get in here. This is the picture of the century. You’re missing it…”

His voice faded as they all turned and fled toward the back of the house, and Kincaid came out of the hidden den to see what the uproar was about.

He was just in time to see the entire front of the house begin to shake and come apart, the window frames falling inward, the door falling flat on the floor, and a massive green leg intruding through the wall.

The creature was coming inside, was going to destroy the entire structure of the home. The entire crime scene. There would be nothing left to convict Callahan with. That was the only thing Kincaid could think as he stood his ground.

Max materialized beside him, camera flashing and popping. Then Max grabbed Kincaid’s coat and yelled, “Get out of here, Detective. Run. Shit, what’s wrong with you, man? Run!”

But Kincaid looked around, frantically trying to think how to stop the beast. This house was all they had to follow Callahan’s own path of destruction around the globe. If the beast came fully inside, tore the roof off the house, which it clearly intended to…

Then it gave a mighty shove forward, another huge leg thumped onto the floorboards and suddenly the dinosaur was right there, in front of him, right in the house, the roof crashing in, boards falling everywhere, glass splintering.

And the whole earth seemed to be shaking, as in an earthquake. The house shook, the ground shook.

The beast thundered toward Kincaid, who astonished even himself by standing his ground. Moved into shooting stance with arms outstretched. He lifted his weapon toward the T Rex’s head. And suddenly, the game changed.

A stand of century-old virgin timber at the front entrance, a half dozen 80-foot Douglas fir trees which had formed a source of pleasure and shade for those who lived there, began to teeter and fall forward, tumbling in majestic collapse over what remained of the roof of the house, and with a never-to-be-forgotten rumble, gave up the ghost. Kincaid fled to the back door with the remainder of his men, watching over his shoulder as a small forest fell on the beast, no doubt crushing it under a gargantuan weight of board feet.

Then Kincaid stopped, whirled around, his eyes bugging out in disbelief once more.

The T Rex was no more. Not dead. Not lying stretched out across the remains of the front entryway.

No.

The great predator had vanished.

He called the men to come back. Ordered them to pull themselves together and get back in there. Or else.

“It was a bunch of trees falling, the animal has disappeared,” he hollered to them.

Cautiously, taking courage from the new silence in the house, a couple of his officers returned, expecting a scene of total carnage.

Yes, the front of the house was in carnage. But there was no sign of the towering beast.

There was no body. The mighty tail, which had apparently dragged and swished across the fir trees, pulling them down, had disappeared along with the rest of the beast.

what remained of the roof of the house, and with a never-to-be-forgotten rumble, gave up the ghost. Kincaid fled to the back door with the remainder of his men, watching over his shoulder as a small forest fell on the beast, no doubt crushing it under a gargantuan weight of board feet.

Then Kincaid stopped, whirled around, his eyes bugging out in disbelief once more.

The T Rex was no more. Not dead. Not lying stretched out across the remains of the front entryway.

No.

The great predator had vanished.

He called the men to come back. Ordered them to pull themselves together and get back in there. Or else.

“It was a bunch of trees falling, the animal has disappeared,” he hollered to them.

Cautiously, taking courage from the new silence in the house, a couple of his officers returned, expecting a scene of total carnage.

Yes, the front of the house was in carnage. But there was no sign of the towering beast.

There was no body. The mighty tail, which had apparently dragged and swished across the fir trees, pulling them down, had disappeared along with the rest of the beast.

 

what remained of the roof of the house, and with a never-to-be-forgotten rumble, gave up the ghost. Kincaid fled to the back door with the remainder of his men, watching over his shoulder as a small forest fell on the beast, no doubt crushing it under a gargantuan weight of board feet.

Then Kincaid stopped, whirled around, his eyes bugging out in disbelief once more.

The T Rex was no more. Not dead. Not lying stretched out across the remains of the front entryway.

No.

The great predator had vanished.

He called the men to come back. Ordered them to pull themselves together and get back in there. Or else.

“It was a bunch of trees falling, the animal has disappeared,” he hollered to them.

Cautiously, taking courage from the new silence in the house, a couple of his officers returned, expecting a scene of total carnage.

Yes, the front of the house was in carnage. But there was no sign of the towering beast.

There was no body. The mighty tail, which had apparently dragged and swished across the fir trees, pulling them down, had disappeared along with the rest of the beast.

 

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SUSANNE MATTHEWS HAS A NEW RELEASE

Blog Funkhauser is thrilled to welcome back fellow northerner Susanne Matthews. As usual, the prolific author has been busy releasing THE WHITE IRIS, her third in the HARVESTER SERIES. Congratulations mon amie!

About The White Iris

coverTime’s running out for Special Agent Trevor Clark and his FBI task force. They’re no closer to uncovering the identity of the Prophet, a dangerous serial killer who has been murdering new mothers and vanishing with their infants. If Trevor can’t unlock the clues, the killer’s threats to unleash what the FBI suspects is biological warfare could mean death for all of them. His only recourse is to swallow his pride and reach out to his former fiancée, the CDC’s renowned virologist, Dr. Julie Swift.

Two years ago, Julie ended their engagement after Trevor abandoned her when she needed him most. Now, faced with the possibility of the greatest epidemic since the Spanish flu, she has to put her faith and her safety, as well as that of countless others, into the hands of a man she doesn’t trust. Can they set aside their differences to stop the Prophet, and in doing so, will they find the love they lost?

From the streets of Boston to the wilds of Alaska, this thrilling conclusion to the Harvester Series takes several turns you won’t see coming!

Sensuality Level: Sensual

http://www.amazon.com/White-Iris-Harvester-Susanne-Matthews-ebook/dp/B01AOH6LCE

http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01AOH6LCE

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-white-iris-susanne-matthews/1123273304?ean=9781440591259

http://www.crimsonromance.com/romantic-suspense-novels/the-white-iris/

 

Excerpt

Trevor ran his hand through his hair, frustrated by his inability to find the answers he so desperately needed. Here it was, two-thirds of the way through September, and despite the man-hours involved and the stack of bodies piled up by that madman and his henchmen, he was no closer to stopping the Prophet today than he’d been when he’d started. Sure, they’d made some inroads—hurt him, taken away the people he wanted—but it wasn’t enough. The Prophet and God alone knew how many followers were still out there, watching and waiting, and the task force, half of whom were now on the injured list, was powerless to stop him. No one would be safe until they could neutralize that son of a bitch, but how the hell did you prevent someone from doing something when you had no idea who he was, exactly what he planned, or where and when he’d do it? To make matters worse, the sick bastard still seemed to be one step ahead of them.

The Prophet, furious about losing the women and children in the successful New Hampshire raid in July, had targeted the task force, threatening to unleash ten plagues—another biblical event Trevor could do without—unless his people were freed and returned to him. The first, based on the premise of turning water into blood, had been a pipe bomb three weeks ago in a pub frequented by Boston police officers and the task force members. He’d lost one man and another was crippled and might never walk again. In addition, two innocent people had been killed and several others injured.

While the fact that the deadline for the second plague had come and gone without any new bodies dropped in his lap should please Trevor, knowing that each day that went by without any action on their part gave the Prophet time to perfect his biological weapon did not. The people whom his nemesis had requested, the brethren captured in July, had recanted their beliefs and were in Australia, safely out of the maniac’s reach, living on Evergreen, Jacob Andrews’s fruit farm in the Northern Territory. The Australian millionaire, an undercover police officer who frequently worked with Interpol, was currently seconded to the FBI. Jacob had grown up in the New Horizon commune before it had morphed into the sick cult it was now. He’d provided priceless insight into the commune as well as his uncle, the Prophet.

James Colchester’s children, Jacob’s nieces and nephews, the objectives of Garett Pierce’s one-man killing and kidnapping spree in early September, were also in Australia, some at Evergreen with the “settlers,” as the former members of the commune called themselves, others with their mothers in Melbourne, where Jacob; Lilith Munroe, Trevor’s cult expert and BAU analyst; and Rob Halliday were recuperating from injuries sustained in the fight two weeks ago with Pierce, the FBI agent who turned out to be their mole and the Prophet’s right-hand man.

What had Julie said? Call me if you get a credible threat. They had proof the Prophet’s henchmen could build bombs and that he had an army of angry, disenchanted teens ready to do anything for him, but they still didn’t know exactly what he planned to do or how he’d do it.

Thanks to Jacob, they’d narrowed it down to a biological weapon, but what? A poisonous gas? A nerve agent? Some kind of super flu? All three? Jacob said the Prophet had referred to dengue fever as causing a great burning inside, a cleansing, but how would he distribute something like that?

Trevor wished he could call Julie, talk to her about which virus might be the most devastating, but now wasn’t the time. She might still be in Colorado. He should’ve gone to Ellie’s memorial service in Atlanta, but … Would Julie have wanted him there? As she’d clearly demonstrated in July, he meant nothing to her now. He’d burned that bridge, pylons and all, two years ago. His presence would just have complicated matters for them both, dredging up memories of the first funeral he’d failed to attend.

Keep telling yourself that.

Avoiding difficult personal situations was a time-honored Clark family tradition.

 

The White Iris is the third book and final book in the Harvester Series

 

Book One, The White Carnation, begins the hunt for a serial killer kidnapping pregnant women, murdering them, and then vanishing with the newborn infants. But there is much more to the crime than the detectives on the case can possibly imagine.

 

Book Two, The White Lily, continues the hunt, but the Harvester is angry, determined to reclaim what he sees as his, not caring how many have to die for him to achieve his goal.

 

 

About the author:

portfolioPic-20150722A former high school teacher, Susanne Matthews lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, the inspiration for all her heroes. When she’s not writing, she enjoys camping in summer and romantic getaways in winter. Find Susanne Matthews at:www.mhsusannematthews.ca/, on Facebook, and on Twitter @jandsmatt.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for dropping by Susanne. Stay in touch!!!!

ABF

AUTHOR SUSANNE MATTHEWS DROPS BY WITH A NEW BOOK AND INTERVIEW

Thanks so much for having me!

My pleasure, Susanne.

On your website I count three publishers plus self published titles. How do you keep it all straight?

At one point there were four publishers, but one recently went out of business. Keeping them straight is probably easier than you think. Other than the Canadian historical novel, The Price of Honor, the work I submit to Solstice consists of short stories, although I do intend to write the sequel to the historical romance next year. For Anaiah Press, I have to keep the content squeaky clean. Since faith is an important component in my life, if I’m working on a story, and I know God and prayer have roles, I’ll develop something that will suit them. Crimson Romance was my first publisher, and I work with the same editor, so I have a pretty good idea as to what they’ll take, and what won’t make the cut. I guess the hardest part is formatting the manuscripts to suit each publisher’s taste.

Crimson Publishing offers everything from contemporary to historical romance. There’s even a reference to “spicy” titles. Which category best describes your work?

With the exception of Just For The Weekend, which is a contemporary romance, my other Crimson titles: Fire Angel, In Plain Sight, On His Watch, The White Carnation and The White Lily are all romance suspense. I think the easiest way to accurately describe them would be suspense with a touch of romance, as if Criminal Minds met Castle. The books are considered sensual, since there are a few hot scenes, but not really spicy.

You have a new release out Oct 12th. Deets please?

The White Lily is Book Two in the Harvester Series. While it’s the second book in the series, like the first, it stands alone, although I think the reader will get more out of it if he or she reads them in order. Essentially, there is a megalomaniac cult leader who sees himself as the Creator’s prophet with a mission.

The story started in The White Carnation which is book one in the series. As the blurb puts it: The last person disgraced reporter Faye Lewis wants back in her life is Detective Rob Halliday, the man she blames for ruining her career and breaking her heart. But when she finds an old friend murdered, he’s the one she calls.

For the past year, Rob and his team have been hunting the Harvester, a serial killer who ritualistically murders new mothers and vanishes with their infants. What Rob doesn’t need is another case, especially one involving his ex-fiancée.

Then Faye is assaulted, and Rob realizes the cases are connected. She may hold the answers he needs to find the elusive killer. But the more they investigate, the more complex the situation becomes. Can they set the past aside and work together, or will the Harvester and his followers reap another prize?

Rob and Faye foil the Harvester’s plans, but they don’t stop him, and the search for him and his followers continues into book 2, The White Lily. In short, The Harvester is out there…watching, waiting, biding his time.

FBI cult specialist Lilith Munroe lives in dread that one day the man who tortured her when a case went bad will find her again. So leaving her sanctuary in Quantico to join the Harvester Task Force in Boston is her version of hell. But the Harvester is kidnapping babies, and Lilith’s profiling skills may mean the difference between life and death for the most innocent in society.

Australian millionaire and former member of the New Horizon commune Jacob Andrews returns to the United States searching for his sister. Instead of the happy reunion he expects, he discovers she is dead and his twin brother may be responsible. He agrees to lend his law enforcement skills to help find his former cult leader before the man can implement his plan to kill millions.

Now uneasy partners, Jacob and Lilith must learn to trust each other even as they fight their growing attraction. But when Lilith’s greatest fears materialize, will Jacob be able to set aside his anger and save the woman he loves?

The story comes to an end in Book Three, The White Iris, due out in February 2016.

You describe your evolution into a micro publishing house. What’s that like?

I was unfortunate enough to be one of the authors sucked in by not one but two corrupt and deceitful women who set themselves up as publishers.

As a new author, getting offered a contract for a book was amazing, and seeing the book published was really something. I was over the moon when Crimson published Fire Angel, and that was my impetus to keep writing. I’d been warned about putting all my eggs in one basket. I had other new author friends who encouraged me to send stuff to their publishers, and I did. In fact, over the course of a year, I sent her three of my own books and one I co-wrote with another author to Front Porch Romance, and another to Entranced. At first it was great, but then, FPR published the books quickly, and although the editing wasn’t fantastic, it was okay, and the covers were nice. Then, people started quitting and she stopped paying royalties or paid for fewer books sold than Amazon said we had. By the time we realized we’d been screwed, it was too late. She declared bankruptcy, never paid what we were owed, but she did revert the rights to my books, but not the edits. I was faced with a choice. Lose all that work for good, try to find another publisher who’d take previously published material, or try to publish it myself. I was just coping with this when Entranced did the same thing, but because that book had never been published, I was able to send it to Crimson. One of my FPR books not yet published went to SCP, the other to Solstice. Friends persuaded me to self-publish the others, and helped with editing, formatting, and covers. That’s how I became a micro-publishing house.

I started with my historical, The Captain’s Promise and then my concurrent Christmas romances about a set of twins, Holiday Magic and The Perfect Choice. I edited all three books, got new covers for them, added significantly to the length of the Christmas ones and published them myself. When Secret Cravings Publisher went under in August, the publisher returned our rights and allowed us to keep our edits. Incidentally, she’s also doing her best to see we get the money we are owed, so very different from my first experience. I republished Echoes of the Past, which is a paranormal/romance/suspense set in Prince Edward County, Ontario. The other indie work I have consists of a sci-fi space opera called Eloisia, which comes out in monthly episodes, the way comic books used to when I was a kid. The story continues each month, the way television episodes do, building on the plot and adding new characters and new crises as needed. Each book ends on a cliff hanger. I don’t know how well it will do, but I’m happy with it. I have a beta reader and a cover artist who’ve been great. I’ll be releasing a novel on November 17, called Secrets and Lies. It’s part of a series of books about a small town called Hearts of Braden. It would’ve been published by SCP, but when the publisher failed, the other authors and I agreed to go ahead and do it ourselves.

Tell us about your Anaiah titles. How do you keep fresh, versatile?

Writing for Anaiah Press is different because of the restrictions—no sex, no swearing, etc.—but it lets me touch on the inspirational aspects of life. All For Love, currently available, and Hidden Assets which will be released in September 2016, are both romance/suspense novels, but while they look at the uglier side of humanity, they let me share my faith and my belief system. It may be naïve, but I firmly believe good triumphs over evil—it may take years, but in the end, good comes through. In those novels, it’s essential that the plot and character development be strong enough to carry the story, without hot spots to smooth over the rough places. My Crimson books have a lot that in them too, but they are grittier, earthier, and somewhat darker.

How many titles do you have to your credit? Give us your top three nearest and dearest. 

I’ve written and published 14 novels on my own since I started writing in the fall of 2012. In addition to that I have four shorts, one of which is a new Christmas story with Solstice called Her Christmas Hero, coming out on November 30, 2015. I also have 2 pieces I co-wrote, Grand Slam a baseball novella is no longer available because my writing partner has decided not to republish it, and a full length novel, to which my writing partner has given me the rights, which edited, revised, and retitled will be released independently sometime next year.

Picking the top three is difficult. Fire Angel will always have a special place in my heart because it’s the very first one I published. The Price of Honor is special because I based part of it on a romanticized view of my family history. The third is an 18 way tie. It’s like children. How does a mother pick her favorite?

Are you a method writer?

No. I’m a “fly by the seat of your pants” writer. I don’t have plot graphs or outlines, character sheets, motivation sheets. When I start writing each day, I have no idea what’s going to end up on the page. After 33 years as a teacher, a high school English teacher most of it, you’d think I would, but when I try to use an outline, it just doesn’t work.

Your thoughts on series writing? Do you use timeline packages like Scrivener to stay organized?

I’ve written what could be called four different types of series books. The first, Holiday Magic and The Perfect Choice, are written concurrently. While a lot of the content in each book is different, there are a number of similar scenes that occur in both books, but you read them from a different twin’s POV. Keeping the characters true to themselves in each book was a challenge.

The second series, the Harvester series, which I’m writing for Crimson, presented a different challenge. The romance in each book is different, but the main plot, finding and stopping the Prophet/Harvester and preventing his evil plans to destroy the country is the same. The characters from book one appear in both books two and three as do new characters, and keeping everybody in line, making the necessary references to the previous books for those who may not remember or for those who haven’t read the book without boring and turning off those who did, wasn’t always the easiest thing to do.

My space opera is the fourth type of series, and in this one, existing characters will grow and evolve as the plot does.

Do I use timelines? Sort of—scribbled pieces of paper to make sure I allow enough time to pass between scenes and keep events in order—but they get written down as they arise. How do I keep it all organized? Magic! That’s my answer, and I’m sticking to it.

What’s next?

Currently, I’m working on The White Iris, the final book in the Harvester series. When that’s done. I have another Christmas story to finish, a YA I promised my granddaughter, a fantasy about angels I want to edit, and a whole slew of plots yet to be written. I don’t know how much time God will give me to write, but I don’t want to waste a single moment of it.

Last words?

People ask me if I’m making money writing. Am I? Yeah. I think it works out to something like .002 cents per hour. I don’t write for the money. I write because the stories are screaming to get out and be heard. Do I wish I’d started writing sooner? Hell yes, but the reality is I wouldn’t have been able to do it any sooner. The technology wasn’t ready and neither was I. Maybe someday, I’ll write that bestseller and actually make some money, but for now, I’m happy that people who read my work enjoy it.

The White LilyThe Harvester is out there … watching, waiting, biding his time.

FBI cult specialist Lilith Munroe lives in dread that one day the man who tortured her when a case went bad will find her again. So leaving her sanctuary in Quantico to join the Harvester Task Force in Boston is her version of hell. But the Harvester is kidnapping babies, and Lilith’s profiling skills may mean the difference between life and death for the most innocent in society.

Australian millionaire and former member of the New Horizon commune Jacob Andrews returns to the United States searching for his sister. Instead of the happy reunion he expects, he discovers she is dead and his twin brother may be responsible. He agrees to lend his law enforcement skills to help find his former cult leader before the man can implement his plan to kill millions.

Now uneasy partners, Jacob and Lilith must learn to trust each other even as they fight their growing attraction. But when Lilith’s greatest fears materialize, will Jacob be able to set aside his anger and save the woman he loves?

Sensuality Level: Sensual

 

Buy Links

Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/White-Lily-Susanne-Matthews-ebook/dp/B015P79XZ0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443387932&sr=8-1&keywords=The+White+Lily+Susanne+Matthews

 

B&N:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-white-lily-susanne-matthews/1122682664?ean=9781440591228

 

KOBO:

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/the-white-lily

 

 

Excerpt from The White Lily:

It was her own fault that she was in this predicament. She’d been so close to completing her assignment, but she’d made a rookie mistake, one that would end in her death and condemn who knew how many young girls to this sick lifestyle.

After weeks of kowtowing to just about everyone living in the compound, she’d finally been allowed into the “holiest of holies” the large building specifically designed to house Rivers’s mates. She’d barely recognized Kelly, now heavily pregnant. Grossed out at the thought of Rivers rutting with girls as young as fourteen, Lilith jumped the gun, approached the girl, and identified herself as a family friend sent to rescue her. Sadly, brainwashed into believing she carried God’s grandchild, Kelly had betrayed her to the man who called himself the son of God.

Before Lilith could call in and report, two men stormed into her room, tore the place apart, and found the cell phone hidden under her mattress. They’d dragged her to this hellhole for re-education and introduced her to the monster. The Spanish Inquisition could’ve learned a trick or two from this guy, but she’d clung to her cover story in spite of the torture.

Licking her swollen lips with what little saliva she could produce, the sharp pain from the tooth she’d lost for joking about a crown of thorns, reminded her that she hadn’t gone down without a fight. In spite of everything those bastards had done to her, she hadn’t broken, and there was still a chance her team would get to her in time.

Her head tipped forward, allowing her chin to brush against her grandmother’s locket. Ironically, while they’d ripped away her clothes, the good luck piece still hung around her neck, its pendant hiding a miniaturized GPS placed there by the FBI technician before she’d entered the compound.

Her legs trembled and threatened to give way again. One mistake. One stupid mistake, but there might still be a chance for good to come from it. When she didn’t report in at her scheduled time, her team would storm the compound. Kelly and the other women and children would be rescued, and Rivers and his sick cronies would pay for their crimes—crimes that would include multiple cases of statutory rape and the murder of two federal agents.

Lacking the necessary strength to raise her head from her chest, unable to stem the tears coursing down her dirty cheeks, she took another agonizing breath and sought the sanctuary inside her head, the safe place she’d created years ago when her heart had been broken, the refuge she’d escaped into during the worst of the torture.

Gunshots echoed through the stuffy basement, rousing her, pulling her out of the daydream and bringing with it all the pain she’d suppressed. Her arms ached; the open wounds from the lashes, cuts, abrasions, and burns stung. Her body was on fire, a seething mass of agony.

Familiar voices shouted her name, but she couldn’t answer. She sighed. It wouldn’t be long now. The secret panel opened, revealing her dungeon. Part of her was humiliated at having her colleagues see her this way; another part didn’t care. It was over.

“What the hell have they done to her? Is she alive?”

Fingers on her throat checked for her pulse, and she fought to open her eyes. Pain from the brightness of the LED flashlight tore through her head, forcing a groan from her parched throat.

“For God’s sake, get her down and get the paramedics in here. Hang in there, Lilith.”

“Did you get them? Did you get them all?” she asked, her voice a mere whisper, but before he could answer, the blackness swallowed her once more.

About the author:

portfolioPic-20150722Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Follow Susanne on her:  Website    Blog    Facebook page    Twitter @jandsmatt

Amazon author page    and    Goodreads author page

TEN AUTHORS, TEN DAYS: DAY NINE: REILY GARRETT

“Life is short, cherish your time.” That’s the mantra author Reily Garrett lives by, noting that whatever and wherever we are on our own life trip, the option of escaping with a good read is always there.

Carnal Innocence cover - CopyCallie, an extraordinary genius raised in a Think Tank superstructure, has unique talents sought by scientists and terrorists alike.

A botched rescue attempt hurls her into a world of spies and terrorists while leaving her to adapt to a sexual mutilation that will last her lifetime.

Nate, an ex-Special Forces private investigator, is unprepared for cyclone Callie sideswiping his life during a meet and greet at his BDSM club. After an old team mate is assassinated, he must ferret out a traitor while keeping Callie from the radicals’ clutches.

From their first meeting, Callie embodies an otherworldly aura with mysteries neither his heart nor mind can refuse to unravel as he helps them navigate a world of sensual exploration and betrayal.

From the winner of The Romance Review’s Top Pick award comes the sequel to Carnal Beginnings. If you love a combination of BDSM/romance and suspense, don’t miss this action packed adventure.

ExcerptAs if in slow motion and instead of gravity pulling them toward the floor, some inexplicable force drew them vertical. It was a split-second in time, barely enough for his mind to register, yet he stood straight once again.

Firm, feminine curves alerted every cell in his being to attention. A deep breath and a unique blend of spice and mystery prevented further speculation as to her identity.

“Ah, crap. Sorry, mister. First time on roller blades.”

“Hmmm, so the calamity on wheels has a voice.”

With a screech and clatter, band members on stage stopped their warmup. All eyes focused on this mysterious mixture of curls and exotic-smelling femininity.

Thick tresses covered her face and failed to find any semblance of order. He could only guess at her features. Even so, the silken locks held him in thrall as they brushed against the back of his hands still holding her tight.

Soft and lustrous, they blunted his confusion over standing upright again. Nothing could’ve stopped him from bringing the satiny mane to his face. One whiff and a bouquet of exotic spices came to mind. Dear God. WTF?

Though she now stood directly in front of him, he still couldn’t discern her features. With great reluctance,Carnal Innocence Teaser 1 he released the firm, small waist under his grip in anticipation of what he’d find under the wild mass of wavy mane.

For reasons unknown, reverence stayed his hand. In that twinkling of time, in this reality, nothing could match his imagination. He couldn’t bring himself to spoil the moment with anything less than perfection.

She must have felt it too. As she raised her hand, it stopped midair, frozen, not spoiling the moment of faultless purity.

When time resumed, allowing her to reach up and part her hair, sweeping it aside, the first glimpse almost drove him to his knees.

A person’s visage was merely a composition of their features—eyes, nose, and mouth. Some wrinkled by age, others scarred by life or misarranged from genetics. This…was so much more. A glance away lacked the necessary time to clear his throat.

“Yes, I have a voice. It’s why I’m here.”

“To make apologies for running over people? Perhaps you should have some type of license for those things. Even a tolerant master would turn you over his knee.”

His nod to her blades demonstrated a monumental lack of judgment. Attached to those blades for heaven or hell, he hadn’t decided which—were long, gracefully-toned legs bearing smooth, supple skin.

His gaze traveled north along the well-shaped gentle curves not to be dissuaded by the outlandish garment covering delicate portions of her thighs. No stockings marred the perfection of this phenomenal anatomic vista.

A saw-tooth hem left long swags to dangle helplessly between and around her loins. Jesus. Is she wearing a G-string? As his gaze traveled back to her face, his conscience answered with a hell no.

On second thought, he realized she hadn’t dressed in an attempt to garner attention. This seraph merely garbed her thin build in a way natural to her angelic genealogy.

“Master? I have no master. I’m the singer in the band.”

How fortunate. His gaze traveled the length of her finely-toned, bare upper arm to her delicately boned finger, which pointed to the stage. Yeah, he had kinda noticed the stage, somewhere off in the distance.

The hard glares from the rest of her band brought a semblance of solidity to his thoughts. What the hell? If he hadn’t known each member personally, the warnings blazing from their collective stares might intimidate.

“And you’re looking for backup singers in the audience?” She’d look resplendent on his St. Andrews cross.

“No, I’m doing sound checks.”

biographyThough her kids are her life, writing is the life after. You know, the one you also enjoy…AFTER the kids are in bed or AFTER they’re in school and the house is quiet. This is the time she kicks back with laptop and lapdog to give her imagination free reign.

In life, hobbies can come and go according to our physical abilities, but you can always enjoy a good book. Life isn’t perfect, but our imaginations can be. Relax, whether it’s in front of a fire or in your own personal dungeon. Take pleasure in a mental pause as you root for your favorite hero/heroine and bask in their accomplishments, then share your opinions of them over a coffee with your best friend (even if he’s four legged). Life is short, cherish your time.

Links Image

Carnal Innocence at Extasy Books

http://www.extasybooks.com/Carnal-Innocence/?keyword=carnal%20innocenc

Amazon link Carnal Innocence (pre-order)

http://www.amazon.com/Carnal-Innocence-Reily-Garrett-ebook/dp/B014XN074S/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1442276500&sr=8-6&keywords=Carnal+Innocence

reily blog

http://reilygarrett.blogspot.com/

reily website

http://reilygarrett.com/

reily facebook

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005398668399&fref=ts

Reily twitter

https://twitter.com/reily_garrett

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thank you for dropping by Reily. All the best for the sequel and the tour.

Readers, don’t forget to enter the draw.

Bye for now,

ABF

 “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
Toni Morrison

TOMORROW:

Mel Massey and SERVANT OF THE BLOOD.

Mel Massey Con Photo

TEN AUTHORS, TEN DAYS: DAY THREE: SHYLA WOLFF

Blogger, tour promoter, cover designer and purveyor of paranormal romance fantasy Shyla Wolff joinsTiny wolves BLOG FUNKHAUSER today. Welcome her aboard as she shares her methods, aspirations, and an excerpt from her latest SHADOWED HORIZONS. Hello Shyla!

  

  1. I was walking in the woods over Labor Day Weekend and found some amazing wolf tracks. I Q & Afollowed for a little bit before realizing that it would be very rude on my part to barge in on the wolf’s den! Do you like the woods?

 

As a hick from the stix – Yep, I absolutely love being in the woods. Can’t say I love the ticks much, but you have to take the sour with the sweet.  My three shepherds and I spend a good deal of time playing/training there, S & R, one furbaby is a therapy dog, the others…not so much. Lol. There’s an innate peace and calm found in the woods I can’t replicate anywhere else.

  1. We’ve enjoyed many discussions as writers and friends. Would you classify yourself as a spiritual person…whatever that might mean?

Not per se. Without excavating personal convictions, I’d say that we’re all a part of something awe inspiring, the whole being greater than the sum of the parts, and that there are forces at work which we’ve yet to understand. I believe in honoring those with compassion, integrity, and motivation.

  1. You have a great blog. Tell the readers what it’s about and maybe share some links to favorite posts?

Thank You. At this point I’m still new to blogging and have much to learn. I’ve been hosting a lot of book tours/ giveaways and drawing a ton of hits to the page. Everyone loves a giveaway.

Now – I’m starting to branch out and do interviews and relevant blog posts. Relevant to writers and readers.

I’ve found it absolutely fascinating to converse with other writers – there’s a wealth of information, not to mention friendships waiting to develop, if you just reach out.

Also – I’m beginning to design book covers and headers for fb, blogs, etc. Below is a sample of what I’m working on now. They will show up on my  blog very soon.

Anath banner

My favorite posts would be to books I’ve read (and would love to have time to read more). Like you, A. B. Funkhauser, I can think of two others whose works have fascinated as well as entertained.  I know there are many more fantastic authors out there, but darned if I can find the time to read their works.

Heuer Lost And Found entertains throughout. I love a sharp wit.

http://shylawolff.blogspot.com/2015/05/heuer-lost-and-found-by-b-funkhauser_14.html

Charley Daveler also has a fascinating talent and I’d read her work even though it’s not usually my genre.

http://shylawolff.blogspot.com/2015/08/interview-with-charley-daveler.html

Carnal Beginnings – Everyone loves when an underdog can turn the tables and emerge victorious.  The sequel  – Carnal Innocence will release on Sept. 15, 2015.

http://shylawolff.blogspot.com/2015/08/carnal-beginnings-by-reily-garrett.html

  1. What are you working on right now, this minute?

I’m working on a romantic paranormal fantasy, set in the Amazon jungle. I love to step outside my comfort zone and bring new things to life for readers.

Deep in the rainforest, it is said there is a mythical creature called Kurupira who protects all within his realm from those who would rape and destroy the land. From this, I branched out and had a ball developing the story line.  It should be released sometime in October, 2015. Below is the cover art.

tIAGO for interview

  1. Do you like contests? Ever submitted? Tell us what that feels like?

I’ve never entered a contest, but it’s time I started.

  1. This thing you do called writing. What’s it all about? A gift? A torture? A path to follow?

 It’s a compulsion, pure and simple. I love it.

  1. Got a publishing anecdote? Share, please…lol

I find this the most hilarious thing that’s ever happened to me. A year ago, I’d been working on a novel during the prior six months. A private editor told me I’d never get it published. This person also told me to get over my squeamishness of writing romantic scenes.

Being the obstinate person I am, I wrote what I thought was a scorcher.  While I was waiting on edits for my first book, I submitted the scorcher to a publishing house. It was accepted within 48 hours. Furthermore, it won TOP Pick at The Romance Reviews… I think I laughed for a week.

And the book I was told would never be published? It along with 2 sequels have also been published.

Don’t ever let someone tell you  “You can’t”.

  1. Do you have a muse?

 No. Just tons and tons of ideas that won’t leave me alone until I write them down.

  1. What do you read when you aren’t writing?   

Through my blogging/reviewing, I’ve found quite a few fascinating authors. I love reading those works that are convoluted but yet easily understood.  Now that I have so little time, I don’t get to read near as much.  I’m an avid reader of Dean Koontz.

Other than that – S & R training  stuff for working with my dogs.  One is a therapy dog.  They are my life, my support and my inspiration. I include dogs in each of my books as integral characters.

  1. Guilty pleasure: person, place or thing???leyna snow

Spending too much time with my dogs…

Thanks for the update on your blog and design work. Now let’s tuck into your newest:

SHADOWED HORIZONS

Shadow HorizonsLove is a flame we embrace with open arms.

Kiera, adopted from the streets by her psychic brethren, is fated to protect Carlin, an electronics genius. Passion flares after extracting him from death’s clutches, drawing her into a world of espionage, romance, psychic stalkers and an extraordinary destiny.

Kyley’s years of abuse at Roth’s hands have yet to crush her spirit. In order to prevent him from creating chaos and anarchy, she must escape his psychotic hold and acquire the support of other paranormals.

Taylor is a strong telekinetic craving to set Kyley free, replacing her memories of torture and fear with hope and passion.

Two groups of warriors, their unique skills unknown to mankind, live and fight in the shadows with courage and honor, to preserve our way of life. Their incredible stories are a spirit-stirring journey that speaks to the dreams we all share.

 

ExcerptCarlin strode beside his bodyguard through the dimly lit parking garage fidgeting with his keys. “Adam, this does not make it to my top five favorite places to visit.”

A rat skittered across the floor in the shadows, and he imagined it turning a gimlet-eyed stare on its intruders. Filth, gas, and pizza from a nearby restaurant thickened the air, reminiscent of the alley apartment he occupied during college. Small pools of dingy light challenged macabre shadows for dominance—and lost. Clashing of the bleak rays and murky silhouettes added an ominous, prophetic feeling he couldn’t shake. Water stains mingled with the shadows to create fleeting two dimensional monsters. Carlin was not a fan of Rorschach. Crap, I haven’t been spooked like this in years.

Adam shrugged. “Sir, as your bodyguard, I admit this isn’t my idea of a secure location either, but it is the closest enclosed parking available to meet with your client. The open street leaves you too vulnerable. As much as you cherish your privacy, I’m surprised you agreed to help at all.”

“He’s a college buddy, needed help with a simple, high-tech security task. Seems twenty-first century technology left him in the dust.”

“Next time, why don’t you at least suggest meeting during the daytime?” Adam’s narrowed eyes and tilted head as if listening to a far-off sound—usually spelled trouble.

Next time, remind me a proctologist’s exam would be more enjoyable, okay?” Sweat beaded his forehead despite the cool December breeze drifting over the graffiti-covered knee wall.

“Yeah, I’m feeling it too. Let’s get the hell out of here.”

Carlin’s skidding on a badly patched piece of concrete prompted his bodyguard to scan the area around them. Dirt and crumbles skittered, their audio report echoed off the walls.

“Watch your step, sir, we don’t need to broadcast our location.” Adam murmured as he reached out to steady him.

“You know…” Carlin muttered, “Folks generally think of me as a good analytical and concrete thinker. Perhaps whatever higher power gifted me with intuitive abilities for logistics and computers decided on a mental tariff—common sense.”

“My sixth sense says trouble’s GPS has already locked on. Stay close.”

The gentle slide of Adam’s gun from its shoulder rig compelled Carlin to suck in the cool night air, searing his lungs.

“Sir, instincts are the best survival tool we have. They’re rarely wrong. Better safe than sorry.”

Sharp chirps split the silence, Carlin’s cell threw his heart rate into overdrive. Hair on his nape prickled as he fumbled in his pocket. With an all-thumbs equivalent, he extracted the nuisance and hit ignore.

Massive pillars supported the five-story concrete structure. Rounding one to his left, his foot stalled mid-step when Adam snatched him sideways. The colossal thug he almost plowed into blended into the shadows.

“Jesus!” The man personified hulkish features with abject malice in his gaze. The split-second observation brought Carlin a rush of adrenaline. “You’re huge!” Brown hair pulled back in a ponytail swept his shoulder giving the look of a mob enforcer. A bulge of pitted, tanned skin separated a straight line of bushy eyebrows. Dark eyes appeared to hold a terrible knowledge and gave his hard stare a cold calculating look.

The brute’s gaze raked Carlin’s body head to toe. Chipped yellow teeth appeared as his thin lips pulled back in a wide grin. “Time to meet your maker, prodigy.” He mimicked Carlin’s sidestep in a lightning-fast move and knocked Adam’s gun from his right hand. Its ricocheting underneath a nearby Toyota produced multiple tin-like clinks.

Time seemed to fracture. Adam’s left arm shoved Carlin to the side. His assailant took wily advantage in that flash of time. He watched his bodyguard go down hard from his attacker’s leg sweep.

One blink and a dagger appeared in the thug’s hand. Its arc and swift speed toward his belly made it little more than a glimmer in the weak light. His neurons couldn’t fire fast enough to follow its passage. Two feet stood between Carlin and a trip to his maker, complements of this walking nightmare.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Life teaches us many lessons. One of the most important ones Shyla’s learned is to take the time to enjoy family and friends. Our circumstances change on a daily basis. However small the differences may seem, they add up over time. Through a lifetime of various trials and tribulations, she’s discovered the enjoyment of sharing her stories with those that would relish participating in the journey of extraordinary people through their everyday lives.

After years of employment in various fields including medical, law enforcement, and private investigations, Shyla’s experiences inspired the stories she brings to life. From the horrific to the awe-inspiring, life’s lessons affect us all, regardless of the virtual walls we build or the blinders we don.

The way we incorporate these into our daily life helps determine our character and how we affect those around us. A simple and small kindness can go a very long way and have a profound effect on others.

 

LINKS

https://www.facebook.com/shyla.wolff

http://shylawolff.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/wolff_shyla

http://shylawolff.com/

Amazon buy link

http://www.amazon.com/Shadowed-Horizons-Anath-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00RC7QOIQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1422718443&sr=1-1&keywords=Shadowed+Horizons

Link to Shadowed Origins

Shadowed Origins big pichttp://www.amazon.com/Shadowed-Origins-Anath-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00SKL3O1S/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1422718469&sr=1-1&keywords=Shadowed+Origins

Link to Shadowed Passage

http://www.amazon.com/Shadowed-Passage-Anath-Book-3-shadowedpassage72ebook/dp/B00XFRFAXM

 

 

Thank you Shyla for stopping by. Wishing you every success with SHADOWED HORIZONS as well as all projects current and future.

ABF

 

TOMORROW:

Short story maven Gloria Weber talks speculative fiction and the “What if” that can change worlds. Tune in!

GloriaWeber

TEN AUTHORS, TEN DAYS: DAY TWO: HEIDI MASON

Please join me in welcoming Solstice Author Heidi Mason, whose debut novel INVESTIGATING THE HEART looks there and beyond…

INVESTIGATING THE HEART

Investigating the Heart 1After the death of her husband in a plane crash, Emma McCoy, a single mom of three, has given up on love. When she meets Liam O’Reilly, an FBI agent who is new in town, the chemistry is immediate.  Emma tries to keep her distance, but Liam is determined to win her over.  As the two navigate their feelings, Emma’s resolve begins to crumble. What Emma doesn’t know is that Liam is connected to her past in a way that she could never have imagined, and this connection could put their future in jeopardy.  In the small town of Beckland, Ohio, danger is the last thing that Emma expects.  However, since Liam’s arrival, it seems like peril is waiting around every corner. See below for a taste…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Heidi Renee Mason always knew she would be an author. Heidi is passionate about writing with a flare
for fiction, as well as poetry. In her spare time, Heidi enjoys music, genealogy, all things Celtic, and chick flicks. A native of the Midwest, Heidi now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and three daughters. Investigating the Heart is Heidi’s debut novel.

In the spirit of our times, the author opens up about her new novel and the novel things that drive her…

Q & A

  1. The blurb for Investigating the Heart is jam-packed with intrigue and peril, yet it hints at romance not
    unlike that shared by the famous Rick and Elsa from Casablanca. Are you a noire fan?

I am definitely a fan of Casablanca. As a matter of fact, there is a scene in my book where Emma is Rick and Elsawatching that movie. I honestly tend to lean more toward your traditional sappy romances. But, I am a sucker for a love story in any form.

  1. What inspired you to go down the romance, suspense path?

Investigating the Heart didn’t start as a suspense novel. I was planning a pretty traditional love story, but things took an unexpected turn pretty quickly. I just do what the characters tell me to do, so that’s the road we all went down. It was actually pretty fun to cross over to the “dark side” for awhile.

  1. Are you a big time reader? Who are your hero’s, mentor’s and fave’s?

green gablesI am definitely a reader. I have been from the time I learned how to string words together to make sentences. As a young girl,  my mother would actually ground me from reading when I got into trouble. She said it was the only thing that had a significant impact on me…and she was right. I love Nicholas Sparks. The way he can craft a love story is really like no one else that I’ve read. He draws you in and makes you care about his characters. I don’t think I have ever read one of his books that didn’t make me cry at some point. As an author, that’s really the goal, right? To make your readers feel something. I also have a special place in my heart for the Anne of Green Gables series. Those books were defining for me as a young girl. I love chick lit, and adore Elin Hilderbrand and Jodi Picoult. I love historical novels as well, and enjoyed the Pillars of the Earth books by Ken Follett. It’s really hard for me to choose. Books are pretty much my escape from life, and always have been.

  1. Do you find value in any other mediums such as HBO?

I don’t watch HBO, mostly because I don’t subscribe to it on cable. I do enjoy TV and movies, though. I love the Outlander series on Starz. I am a little bit obsessed with it. While I like a good movie or television show, though, I always prefer a book.

  1. What sense do you rely on most when framing a scene?

I would have to say I’m a visual person. I need to be able to see the scene playing out in my head while I write it. My goal is to craft the story in a way that my readers can see it as well.

  1. When did you start writing?

I really began to enjoy expressing myself with words when I was a teenager. I found that it was easier for me to put my emotions onto paper than to speak them. I wrote for the high school newspaper, then I worked for a time as a Staff Writer for a local newspaper after I graduated high school. Then, I began having children and I put it on the back burner for awhile. Anyone with small children knows that some days it is difficult to form a cohesive thought, let alone write something. As the girls got older, I gradually began writing again, then earlier this year, I decided it was time to write my book. So I did…in four months. I tend to be very focused on things, and once I start something I feel an intense need to finish it.

  1. Is it a Gift? Torture? Or Calling?

Yes, all of the above! I feel like it is all of those things, depending on the day. When the words are in there and don’t want to come out, it is torture. Most of the time, though, I feel like it really is my gift and calling. I feel very blessed that I get to do something that I love so much, and that people seem to enjoy what I write.

  1. Many writers thrill to that first draft: the rush of creating something new. Others love going back and layering in details and devices through the editing process. What’s your fave thing about this thing we do called writing?

My favorite part of writing is being able to take the story out of my head and put it into words. I love the way that the characters speak to me and tell me how it is all going to go. I am not in control, really, and I enjoy the surprise. I enjoy the act of creating something that will entertain, transport, and hopefully touch readers in some way.

  1. I belong to a group that says “writing need not be a solitary act”. Do you write in seclusion, or do you belong to a critiquing group?

I don’t belong to a critique group, but I’m definitely not opposed to it. I write alone, mostly because I don’t have a set time or writing schedule. I just write as I can fit it in.  I would say that I write in seclusion, but I really don’t. I write in the middle of the chaos of my house, and that’s how I work best. I have three daughters, and we home school, so it is always a delicate balance of being there for them, but finding the time to write, too.

  1. Happy endings: For? Or Against?

Most definitely FOR! I love happy endings. I am indeed a fan of them. However, happy endings don’t always have to be the expected outcome. Sometimes, the best happy endings are the ones you don’t expect.

Excerpt

Prologue

Moving as quickly as a woman seven months pregnant was capable of, Emma McCoy headed to the front door of her house. The loud knocking had awakened her from her afternoon nap. Emma yawned, trying to appear awake. She didn’t remember being this exhausted during her other pregnancies. This time, she could barely stay awake during the day.  “I’ll be right there!” She called toward the general direction of the front door.  She wondered to herself who it could be. Her best friend, Sadie, never knocked, and her husband, Jacob, was out of town on business. Mom and Dad wouldn’t have bothered knocking. They would have known she would probably be napping while the girls napped.  Opening the front door, she saw the two policemen. Fear immediately crept up inside of her chest. Her first thought upon seeing the officers was that something was wrong with her parents. Had they been hurt? Emma prayed the policemen were at the wrong address, but she had a feeling deep inside of her gut that they were not.  Investigating the Heart 1“Can I help you?” her heart raced inside of her chest. She willed herself to stay calm.  “Mrs. McCoy,” said the male officer. “Can we come inside, please?” “Of course.” Emma led them through the dining room and into her living room. She offered the officers a seat, but instead of sitting herself, she paced the living room floor, panic rising in spite of her best efforts to keep it in check. “Someone please tell me what’s going on. Has there been some kind of accident? Is someone hurt?” “Mrs. McCoy, please sit down,” said the female officer. “We need you to stay calm. Since you’re pregnant, we can’t have you getting too upset.”  Emma sat down awkwardly in the rocking chair.

The antique rocker had been in her family for generations. Her parents had given it to her as a gift when she gave birth to her oldest daughter. She ran her hands across the aged wood, thinking absently of her children, who were upstairs napping. She was aware that her palms were sweating and her heart was racing. She tried to slow her breathing, but she felt like she might throw up.  “Someone please tell me what’s wrong. I know something is wrong,” she said impatiently, looking directly at the officers for answers. “Is it my parents?” “Mrs. McCoy, there has been an accident. Your husband’s plane went down while it was descending into Canada. They searched, but there were no survivors,” said the female officer as she looked intently at Emma. “I am so sorry to bring you this news.” “What do you mean? There must be some mistake. Jacob’s plane wasn’t even flying to Canada. He was going to California on business.” Emma was momentarily thankful realizing the officers must be mistaken. “I know this is a shock, Mrs. McCoy, but it has been confirmed. The passenger on the plane to Canada was definitely your husband. We have copies of his plane ticket and his passport. We have him on the airport video surveillance. He boarded the plane with another passenger, a woman named Veronica Smith. I believe you might know her as well,” said the policeman.  “Veronica is our neighbor. I thought she was going to Pennsylvania to visit her family. That’s what she told me last week. Why were Jacob and Veronica on a plane together? Jacob was supposed to be going to California, not Canada. I don’t understand! Why was he with Veronica?” Emma demanded as a million questions filled her mind. She sat for a moment trying to wrap her brain around the information. The small voice which she had ignored for the past year spoke loudly in her head now. She had been suspicious of Jacob and Veronica, but told herself  she was just being paranoid. Jacob had told her she was just emotional because of the pregnancy. Emma had agreed that he was probably right, and had pushed aside the nagging suspicion she felt.  Images she had ignored because she didn’t want to believe them now paraded through her mind. There had been many times she had accused her husband of being friendlier with their neighbor than he should be. Jacob always got angry with her and blamed her for being paranoid. Emma always backed off, not wanting to fight with him.  In that instant, Emma’s denial came crashing down on her. She saw Jacob helping the beautiful and mysterious Veronica trim the hedge between the houses. She saw them laughing together at something Jacob had said. She heard Jacob’s insistence that he was “just being neighborly.” Emma remembered the morning she had seen Jacob and Veronica talking quietly on the sidewalk, their familiarity with each other making her jealous. Emma had chosen to ignore all of these things, but they could not be ignored now. The room began to spin. She felt faint. Jacob had been having an affair with Veronica, and now they were both dead. What was she going to do? She was alone, with two little girls and another on the way. Emma tried to stand, but her legs wouldn’t support her. The two officers rushed over and caught Emma as she slipped into oblivion.

 

Visit Heidi at:

www.heidireneemason.wordpress.com

On Twitter @heidireneemason

Or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heidi-Renee-Mason/1588917641371359

author at www.solsticepublishing.com

 

Thank you for stopping by Heidi and good luck with your new release. Don’t be a stranger! ABF

 

TOMORROW:

Pause day or teaser? Find out at http://www.abfunkhauser.com.

ROMANCE AUTHOR GILLI ALLAN TALKS ABOUT HER NEW RELEASE AND HAS A GO AT THE PROUSTIAN QUESTIONNAIRE

It’s with great pleasure that I welcome multi talented artist, author Gilli Allan to the blog. As her biography suggests, the road taken was not a direct one, yet it yielded amazing results. A woman after my own heart. Welcome Gilli.

Biography

P1010802 - Copy (2)Gilli Allan started to write in childhood, a hobby only abandoned when real life supplanted the fiction. Gilli didn’t go to Oxford or Cambridge but, after just enough exam passes to squeak in, she attended Croydon Art College.

She didn’t work on any of the broadsheets, in publishing or television. Instead she was a shop assistant, a beauty consultant and a barmaid before landing her dream job as an illustrator in advertising. It was only when she was at home with her young son that Gilli began writing seriously. Her first two novels were quickly published, but when her publisher ceased to trade, Gilli went independent.

Over the years, Gilli has been a school governor, a contributor to local newspapers, and a driving force behind the community shop in her Gloucestershire village.  Still a keen artist, she designs Christmas cards and has begun book illustration. Gilli is particularly delighted to have recently gained a new mainstream publisher – Accent Press. FLY OR FALL is the second book to be published in the three book deal.

 

FLY or FALL

Cover FOFEleanor – known as Nell – thinks of herself as a wimp.  Even though her life has not been easy, she clings to the safety of the familiar. Married young and dependent on her teacher husband’s wage, Nell has stayed at home, in Battersea, with her children and her increasingly invalid mother.  Following the death of her mother the family’s fortunes suddenly change.  Trevor, is wildly enthusiastic about their ‘move up in the world’; he plans to give up teaching and move house away from London.  Nell, however, is gripped by a nebulous fear of some unknown disaster waiting to trip them all up, but her husband, steamrollers her objections.

Now in her early thirties, and living in an unfamiliar landscape away from old friends, Nell feels cast adrift.  She is increasingly aware that Trevor is no longer the man she married, and their young teenage twins, Jonathan and Juliet, are grumpy and difficult. The women she meets, Felicity and Katherine, seem shallow and promiscuous. The new house is unwelcoming and needs modernisation; she’s thrust into a continuing chaos of rubble and renovation.  Patrick, one of the men working for the building firm, is infamous as a local Lothario, but he doesn’t make a pass at her. At first she’s grateful – she’s not that kind of woman – but her feelings towards him grow increasingly confused and ambivalent.

When Nell takes a bar job at the local sports club, she is exposed to an overheated atmosphere of flirtation and gossip. Influenced by her new friends and the world in which she now moves, she begins to blossom and to take pleasure in the possibilities which seem to be opening up for her. She meets and forms a deeper friendship with the quirky, new-age Elizabeth, a very different character to her other friends.  As Nell begins to enjoy herself and to become enthusiastic about her life, it seems her husband is on a downward trajectory, on the opposite end of a cosmic seesaw.  When she is pursued by a beautiful and enigmatic young man, called Angel, she is tempted into behaviour she would never previously have imagined herself capable. The earthquake, felt as a tremor of apprehension at the start of the story, rumbles through her life and the lives of those around her.  When the dust settles nothing is as she previously understood it.

FLY OR FALL follows the dismantling of all of Nell’s certainties, her preconceptions and her moral code. Unwelcome truths about her friends, her husband, her teenage children and even herself are revealed.  Relationships are not what they seem. The hostility between brothers is exposed and finally explained. And the love that blossoms unexpectedly from the wreckage of her life is doomed, as she acknowledges the hair’s breadth between wishful thinking, self-deception and lies.

By the conclusion of FLY OR FALL everything has altered for Nell, the woman who doesn’t like change. But she has rebuilt herself as a different person, a braver person, and she has embarked with optimism on a totally transformed life, a life that offers the chance of love.

Deep into her book tour, Gilli took time to answer The Proustian Questionnaire…

Proustian Questionnaire Image BIG

What are your thoughts on muses and do you have one?

 

I don’t have an external muse as in an ideal or mythical individual who inspires me.  In my understanding, the muse is more associated with visual artists or poets.  But I will try to answer this by offering a fictional muse.

When I was fifteen I read Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment.  I can’t now say whether this confirmed in me a predilection I already had, or was the original spur to the direction of my writing. The main protagonist of the story, Rodion Raskolnikov, is an impoverished student with a Napoleon complex. Believing that greatness in an individual elevates him above the normal constraints of humanity, Raskolnikov murders a couple of unpleasant, money-lending old crones, partly to steal from them and partly to prove his theory. If he is great, he can do this without guilt or remorse.  But extremes of guilt and remorse then pursue and torture him for the rest of the book.

I have never written about an axe wielding hero who feels impelled to prove his superiority in so drastic a fashion! But I have always been fascinated by the tortured or damaged hero. Over and over again I have given my main male protagonist guilt and pain from some unresolved misdeed or loss in his past.  Raskolnikov has a lot to answer for.

Characters have a great capacity to love, yet they’re starved. Why do you think this happens in fiction and in real life?

 

A lot of people are self-defeating when it comes to love.  I know I was when I was young.   At heart I think I was frightened of a relationship with a real, flesh and blood man, so I only ever set my sights on men who were unavailable to me. They were either gay, already engaged or married, or were womanisers who already had a bevy of more sophisticated, glamorous and experienced girlfriends.  Added to this, I only ever fell for men who were very attractive and, despite being asked, refused to go out with those who fell short of my ideal, so I further limited the options open to me.

In fiction it is far more interesting to follow characters who fail to find love until the final pages – to follow their ups and downs, and their travails. If they meet near the beginning of the book, realise they are in love and consummate their passion straight away, where is the story?

 

Without giving spoilers, would you say you’re a “happy ending” writer?

 

I already had two books mainstream published when I joined the Romantic Novelists Association (the British equivalent of the Romance Writers of America).  The RNA is a broad church; it covers a very wide range of women’s fiction from historical, through category romance and chick-lit, to erotica.  Even though the membership writes in a wide variety of different traditions, it is very clear that the great majority of readers – and writers – of romantic fiction prefer the ‘Happy Ever After’ resolution to a story.  Readers can feel cheated, and even become angry (and leave bad reviews!) if they are disappointed.

When I started out, my understanding of all this was pretty close to zero, but I wanted to be published. In my first book, Just Before Dawn, I followed many of the tropes of romantic fiction – including the HEA. Because I found a publisher swiftly for that book, I blithely felt ‘let off the leash’ when I came to start my second novel. In Desires & Dreams I simply wrote the story that was unfolding in my imagination, and I’m afraid I killed off my hero.  I still say there was no way he could have survived. To stay true to the story and the characters, he had to commit suicide. But it was not an entirely doom laden ending.  There was the strong implication that my heroine would grow, and become more independent and proactive about the direction her life was taking.  I still defend my belief that that book WAS a love story and, more importantly … my publisher loved it!

Since those days, and knowing what I now know, I have never been so cavalier.  I do not write the flurry of confetti and wedding bells type of ending, and my stories might not resolve exactly as every reader wants them to, but they are upbeat and offer the chance of future happiness.

 

If you could dine with any historical figure living or dead, who would it be and why?

 

I write contemporary relationship fiction, but I’ve always been fascinated by Richard III. He would be my guest and I’d feed him a dose of truth drug in his dinner so that I could get the ‘once and for all’ low-down on what really happened to the princes in the Tower.

Past, present or future? Where does your mind dwell?

 

Although I have a good visual memory, my memory is poor for facts and figures, names and dates. I don’t dwell much in the past. I envy those who can call up the detail of past adventures, and match faces to the names of old schoolmates, teachers and colleagues.  I recall the headline facts of my life and, of course, there are individuals who stand out, but I can’t relive past events in any detail.  That is one aspect of ageing I’m quite looking forward to. I hope to be able to call up passages from my life that at the moment are lost to me, or are only an impressionistic blur.

I do sometimes worry that I wish my life away. I don’t absorb and enjoy ‘the now’ sufficiently.

So I have to admit that I am always thinking to the future. What if….? What next….?   Supposing…?

What informs your writing most?

 

The best way I can answer you is to try and explain why I write what I write.   When I first started down this road, I was driven by the desire to write the story I wanted to read.  I was ten and ‘my book’, written in a small form notepad, copiously illustrated, was only a few pages long.  In my teenage years YA books did not exist and writing the book I wanted to read was the driving force that continued to impel me.

Now I read across a range of genres and I can find lots of books I enjoy – but there is still a gap (fortunately a narrowing gap) in women’s fiction.  I enjoy contemporary fiction with a developing love story at its heart, and this is what I write, but I need something broader and more involving than the central relationship.  In my own writing I try to honestly reflect the world I live in. Relationships are not straightforward – there are problems and issues which can challenge the most committed relationship.

To paraphrase the original blurb from my book TORN, I like to face up to the complexities, messiness and absurdities in modern relationships.  Life is not a fairy tale; it can be confusing and difficult. Sex is not always awesome; it can be awkward and embarrassing, and it has consequences. You don’t always fall for Mr Right, even if he falls for you. And realising you’re in love is not always good news.

In the Seventies, school kids were encouraged to think globally and act locally. Have you ever flirted with this philosophy?

 

I’m not much of a joiner and I can’t say I was particularly active in any way. I was aware very early of the ecological problems the world faces, and the over-use of the world’s resources. On the local level, I hate litter and have been known to pick it up when I’m on a walk and bring it home to dispose of.  I’m tolerant and broadminded and hate religious, sexual or race prejudice.  I stood with a crowd outside the South African embassy in London once, to protest against apartheid and wouldn’t buy South African produce.  I supported Women’s Liberation but never actively campaigned for it.

Guilty pleasures: we all have them. What is yours?

 

When I was young my guilty pleasure was definitely pickles. Preferably pickled onions or the sour ‘cocktail’ type gherkins. And mustard pickle came in a close second behind those two. Pickles were a guilty pleasure because I would help myself to whatever was in the larder when I was at home on my own.  I would even concoct what I called a pickle mess – a helping from every jar of pickles, sauces, vinegar, mayo and ketchup. Sounds revolting now, but I liked it.

Reading the books of Ethel M Dell – English Edwardian lady novelist, who is arguably the first ‘romance writer’. They are very very funny.

Through my young adulthood I was always trying to lose weight.  I don’t have a very sweet tooth, but the moment I embarked on a diet I instantly craved doughnuts – all varieties – cream, jam, custard et al.

Now, I suppose, it is alcohol. I am always trying to drink a little less and feel vaguely guilty when I don’t stick to the new regime I’ve set myself.

Your greatest victory?

 

Having my son. I lost two babies before he arrived. So that was a momentous event, one I had to work at – a surgical intervention, a long period of hospitalisation and then living very quiet life.

Second to that is having the first novel I ever completed, published.

Tell us about the one that got away. Person, place or thing.

 

Different aspects of the ones that got away appear in every one of my books. More than that I’m not prepared to say.

What are some of the overriding themes in your work? Do you have a favorite?

 

I think this is answered in the above questions.

Who do you admire and why?

Nan, Pops & my mumAn impossible question.  I could name so many, Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Emily Pankhurst, but they all sound a bit pious.  So I’m going to plump for my own ‘cockney’ grandmother, who we all called Nan.  Louisa Jane Routley was a small woman, but she was feisty and she was determined; in other words, a force to be reckoned with.

Born into a working class family in the east end of London, she wasn’t from a totally impoverished background but she had a poor and humble beginning in life.  She was her father’s only child; he died in the Boer war before her birth in 1899 and her mother then married his brother. Nan’s memories of her stepfather were of a man who became violent and abusive when drunk. She had several younger half brothers and sisters.

She was fourteen, when her eighteen year old boyfriend, Jim Kelsey, went to fight in WW1.  He was fortunate to be wounded badly enough to be invalided home from the Somme, but not so badly he didn’t make a full recovery. After recuperating, he spent the rest of the war in Ireland. They married and doubtless at her instigation, my grandfather (Pops) joined the Post Office – a respectable white collar job.  This was the beginning of their move up in the world. They married and had two daughters – the eldest, my mother – and moved house twice, to finally settle in the respectable outer London suburb of Orpington. She was the only one from her generation in the family, to manage this step up out of the class she’d been born into.

Nan’s incredible drive, energy and ambition were something to admire. Her house was always spotless.  Pops loved his garden, and Nan cooked, pickled, bottled and made jam. My salivary glands still respond when I think of her steak and kidney pudding and her apple pie. She was widowed when she was only in her 60s. Although devastated by the death of her quiet, kind, and dependable husband, she went on to live another 35 years, until she was nearly 104, still in possession of her faculties and of her fiery and indomitable spirit.

Are writers fully formed works of art or works in progress?

 

Definitely works in progress, I also believe that writers are born not made. In my view, having been put on this earth with the impulse to write is not the same as being a good writer. You may have the embryonic instincts and drive to tell stories, but you have to work at your craft. I know I am an immeasurably better writer now than I was when I had my first book published.

For more Gilli, check out her LINKS:

http://twitter.com/gilliallan  (@gilliallan)

https://www.facebook.com/GilliAllan.AUTHOR

http://gilliallan.blogspot.co.uk/

Books:

If you want it, I’m including the link to

TORN MyBook.to/gilliallansTORN (universal) or

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Torn-Gilli-Allan-ebook/dp/B00R1FQ1QE)

FLY OR FALL- myBook.to/GilliAllan (universal)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fly-Fall-Gilli-Allan-ebook/dp/B00XXZJ43S/

Giveaway: Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire by Rachael Stapleton

Welcome back! Author Rachael Stapleton has been busy working on the next instalment in theTemple of Indra Series while at the same time promoting Book 2: Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire. It’s my great honor to shine a light on her newest offer: A Free Kindle copy available from June 15-19. Read on…

CURSE BANNER 

 

Looking for a great FREE mystery? June 15th -19th

Grab your copy of Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire Now. Free for Kindle. #mystery #timetravel #romance #freebooks

 

Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire

The Temple of Indra MYSTERY Series

By Rachael Stapleton

Genre: Mystery, Adventure, Time Travel Romance

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Date of Publication: February 3rd, 2015

ASIN: B00SNAF018

Print Length: 215 pages

Word Count: 66, 400

Cover Artist: Rebecca Boyd

Book Description:

Sophia Marcil hasn’t escaped her destiny or the mad-man hunting her but she’s doing her best to evade both and making a life in Ireland with Cullen—the one person she can count on to pull her out of deep water. There’s just one problem, despite his connection, she hasn’t told him the truth of her time travel and her reality comes crashing down as he proposes with the very sapphire that’s cursed her. Before she knows it, she’s wandering the hallway of an old Victorian house in the body of her great aunt. Unfortunately, her nemesis has also reincarnated in 1920—as one of her family members and she struggles to locate the Purple Delhi Sapphire in time to prevent the deaths of those she loves. When she fails and returns to her present-day life, she’s forced to confront the fact that her killer’s soul will always be tied to the sapphire and in every life she has, he will be resurrected as someone close to her. Her biggest question—who is he now? She doesn’t have to wonder for very long before she finds evidence that has her questioning everything she thought she knew.

Available at    Amazon   BN   CHAPTERS

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Dublin, Ireland

Today I would tell Cullen the truth. I swirled the champagne in my glass in an agitated fashion. I would not allow myself to be distracted. I looked down in early defeat and noticed the dark limp waves cascading past my shoulders. Who was I kidding? I couldn’t even get ready for a dinner party without being distracted. All that work curling it, and then Cullen had walked in, glimpsing my lacy black bra, and poof, my hair was flat again. Twirling a strand around my index finger, I attempted to bring it back to life. If only the jewels could work their magic on my hair.

I spotted Cullen a couple of feet away, making his way over to me. He looked handsome in his sport jacket and tailored shirt. His hair, a coppery red with streaks of blond that looked almost golden in the sunlight, was slicked back so the ends curled at his neck.

I should be over-the-moon happy right now. I was sipping Dom Pérignon in an elegant restaurant surrounded by rustic stone walls, as a soft and whimsical Irish fiddle played in the background in honor of our one-year anniversary. It wasn’t technically our anniversary. He had playfully called it that when he’d invited me out to dinner with his family, but what he’d meant was that it had been one year since we’d met. Since that ill-fated day on the Lerins Island, half a mile off shore from Cannes, when I’d rejected the marriage proposal of that egotistical lunatic Nicholas Bexx and endured his wrath. Lucky for me, Cullen had been looking up from the deck of his family’s yacht and had seen Nick push me off the cliff. Cullen dove in and pulled me to safety, and subsequently into his life.

It was hard to believe that in a full year I couldn’t bring myself to tell him the truth: that the fall had sent me to another time and place and into the body of a nineteenth-century princess. But what sane person would believe what had been only seconds underwater to them had been another lifetime to me? I was the owner of the Purple Delhi Sapphire. I had time traveled into my past life and uncovered my destiny—had done so repeatedly—and was always reborn, only to be murdered by the same obsessed spirit, again and again.

“Sophia, ye all right?” Cullen asked, appearing suddenly at my elbow.

“No,” I said automatically and pushed away the bothersome thoughts.

“Gah. It’s the restaurant. It’s too fancy, isn’t it? I said so, but ye know Móraí.”

“What? I love this place.” The room buzzed with mixed conversation. “I just didn’t hear what you said.”

“Where the tongue slips, it speaks the truth. I asked if ye were all right and ye said no.”

“I’m fine. I’m just soaking in the atmosphere. It’s so romantic in here.”

That was the truth. The place was intimate. A combination of comfortable leather and floral high-backed chairs surrounded the long table, and almost all of them were now full with Cullen’s family.

“It is getting loud in here. I thought this was just dinner, but it looks like you rented out the whole restaurant. Will this place hold your entire family?”

“Like that’d matter. Loud-mouthed arses. Let’s skedaddle and we can celebrate alone.”

I laughed as Cullen pretended to boot one of his cousins in the rear.

His eyes met mine, and it was just like that first day in the hospital after I’d awoken from the fall. There was no denying the attraction and it wasn’t just pheromones. It was as if my soul recognized his, which was exactly why I needed to be honest about the curse. I was giving myself an ulcer and all for what? I knew he felt the same way. For heaven’s sake, I’d overheard him tell his brother of his dreams, and they sounded suspiciously familiar. There were other clues. He shared a birthmark with Graf Viktor Ferdinand of Württemberg, who’d rescued me on three separate occasions when I was the princess, and of course his ancestor had been the one to sell the Purple Delhi Sapphire to my family.

Cullen bent his head toward me, his lips brushing mine, but at the last moment I turned my cheek.

“Cullen, your grandmother has arrived with your parents and she’s staring at us. It’s probably this dress.”

“Well now, she can be after findin’ her own frock, can’t she? ’Cause ye look bloody deadly in that one.”

He playfully tugged at the clasp centered between my breasts. He’d been the one to choose this low-slung, emerald-green dress. He said it reminded him of a shamrock, but I knew he really liked it because it provided a pretty little peek-a-boo if I moved just the right way. Truthfully, it was a little racy for this evening, but you only lived once. Well, maybe some people did.

His mother, Lucille, rushed across the polished wooden floor, playfully elbowing him out of the way in order to hug me.

“Ye best be behavin’ yerself, boy.”

She was a fine-boned woman with beautiful brown eyes and curly auburn hair. When they stood side by side it was easy to see he took after her with his ruddy locks, and lucky for him because she had great genes. His father—orDa, as they called him—wasn’t too bad himself. He had a charisma that both his sons carried.

“Sophia…”

My name was said in a strange, low whisper, and for a moment I froze as hands fell on my shoulders.

“Look at ye, lass.”

I smiled and turned to see Cullen’s brother with his dark, whiskey-colored eyes and raven’s-wing hair. A touch of gray at the temples made him look dignified. “Liam, I’m so glad to see you.” I hugged him back. He lived fairly close and was over for dinner at least twice a week.

“Aren’t ye a fine bit of stuff! For the life of me, I can’t be figurin’ why ye’re still with that gobdaw brother of mine.”

“Did ye hear that, Cullen?” One of the cousins, Ewan, called out. “Liam’s after ye’re wan.”

“Go ’way from her ye bloody jealous maggot, always after me scooter growin’ up too,” Cullen called back.

“Oh, here we go,” I said, preparing myself for their playful banter, most of which was lost on me.

Liam drew me in for a kiss on the cheek and lowered his voice, practically whispering into my ear. “I saw ye first.”

I smiled at the harmless peck. They were always teasing, although I couldn’t help but think sometimes Liam took it too far, especially for a priest. He let go and looked back at Cullen, who finished hugging his aunt on the other side of the table and strutted toward us.

“Hold tight. I’m on my way to rescue ye, luv.”

“No rescue necessary,” Liam said, grinning. “I’m a man of the cloth.”

“Bit of a holy joe is more like it,” Cullen slung back.

Ewan, the youngest of the three, jumped to his feet and pretended to step between them. Both Cullen and Liam gave their cousin a friendly shove, then gave each other a loving pat on the back as they hugged.

Cullen turned to me. “Ye sure ye’re all right, luv?”

“I’m perfect,” I said, finally beginning to relax. I’d made up my mind. I was going to tell him tonight, come hell or high water.

“Brilliant.” He kissed my forehead, his lips soft and warm on my skin. “I’ll miss ye next week. Ye gonna keep busy?” He fiddled nervously with his jacket pocket. It wasn’t like Cullen to fiddle; I gave his hand a squeeze. He was traveling to London tomorrow on business. He would only be gone four days, but he was never home long before he had to jet off again.

“I thought maybe I’d go to that fundraiser—see if one of your cousins wanted to tag along—and of course the bridal shower is the next day.” Maybe that was why he was so jittery. He knew I didn’t like being without him, and he’d mentioned once or twice the guilt he felt over leaving.

Someone clinked their fork off a glass and the musical tinkling made me look up.

“O’Kelley Clan, can I get yer attention up here for a moment?” Da called.

A champagne bottle opened with a satisfying pop.

“If ye haven’t noticed already, there’s a bit of the bubbly being passed about, so set aside the whiskey and grab one.”

The table quieted and we took our seats.

“I’d like to propose a toast to the lovely lass sitting at Cullen’s side.” Da raised his glass, and all eyes turned to me.

“Here here,” Cullen said. “To my Sophia.”

My glass clinked against his. “What’s going on?” I whispered.

He’d switched out my glass as the tray went by and now gave me his best I-have-no-idea look, extending an arm around my shoulders and pulling me in tight.

“T’was a year ago today she fell into our lives from Sainte Marguerite Island—or perhaps it was the sky, ’cause surely that one there’s an angel.”

“Quit stealin’ his lines, John,” Lucille chided smartly before he could go on.

The room roared with laughter.

“Aw sure look it. I did, didn’t I? Sorry, Son. Well then here’s another stolen line while I’m at it: to women’s kisses, and to whiskey, amber clear. Not as sweet as a woman’s kiss, but a darn sight more sincere! Anyway, Cullen, don’t run away now.”

“Yea, thanks, Da!”

The laughter faded as Cullen pushed his chair back and stood, pulling me gently to stand with him.

“Not sure how to follow that up, but how about: to passionate people, beautiful futures, and lovely lasses who fall from the heavens,” he said, knocking glasses with me. Clinks echoed all around, and I smiled as he set his flute down.

Then he lowered to one knee.

He grinned up at me—so charming and gorgeous. His green eyes, as always, were mesmerizing. They had flecks of gold in them that clung to the edges and danced in the center, like they were on fire. My heart beat so loudly in my ears that it almost drowned out the “awws” and “oohs.”

“Ye’re already mine, lass, in every way possible and I am yers, but I want the world to know,” he said, taking my free hand. Someone took the glass of champagne from the other one, as I was shaking so badly. The black velvet box squeaked open, and his aunts gasped in unison, as if on cue.

“Will ye make me the happiest man in Ireland, Aevil, and join our O’Kelley Clan?” He kissed my fingers as I stared down at him.

The marble-sized rock in the box swirled, and doubled in front of my eyes. Deep purple amethyst with a thin frame of diamonds, set in pink gold and accentuated with a slender shank and crescent details.

I looked past the ring, into his eyes, and found him still staring directly at me. He’d removed the ring from the box and was holding it out, ready to place it on my finger.

He cleared his throat. “It was my great-great-great-grandmother’s and I thought ye might appreciate it, since ye were so intrigued with her portrait.”

I nodded, trying to smile through the confusion, but my head swam with random bursts of chatter, the fiddle, and all the thoughts flooding me at once, mostly that Cullen had just proposed to me with the missing Purple Delhi Sapphire ring. A bead of sweat ran down the side of my cheek as the ring touched the tip of my finger.

Cullen’s face began to distort. A shimmery haze had fallen over the room as if the desert were closing in. The vibration from the ring traveled up my arm, and the room began to shift and blur at the edges. Another room, a darker room, was coming into focus. I could still hear Cullen’s aunt ordering someone to get me a glass of water.

There was something I should remember. Water. Rochus said water was necessary to ease the pain of time travel. Maybe this was what it felt like without. I tried to blink away the heat, tried to stop myself from going, but I couldn’t. The edges of the room were burning away fast now, like a Polaroid scorched by flames. I could hear the trickling of the fountain in the corner. I ran for it, or at least I intended to, but it was too late.

 

Reviews:

“Ms. Stapleton’s, The Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire, is extraordinary! She brings us the story of Sophia Marcil, a quiet librarian, who has found love in this life but is haunted by and trying to break the trail of destruction and death that has haunted her through many lives. If you want a great mystery, enjoy the idea of time travel and/or like a wonderful romance – do not hesitate to delve into this one.” — Book Me Mel Paranormal Romance and Authors that Rock

 

“Plenty of twists, a sprinkle of humor and a whodunit with a surprising ending, Curse reminds me of great old story telling, but with a fresh and vital voice.” —Author A.B. Funkhauser

“Just barely surfacing from her dangerous travel into the 1800’s…Sophia has become part of a lethal adventure in the 1920’s. She is haunted by the same curse—the never-broken, deadly hunt for the possession of the Purple Delhi Sapphire, which has been plaguing her lifetimes over…Rachael writes in a way that is intriguing enough to keep the pages turning. Each scene segues into the next with new information, new conflicts, new prospects, new possibilities, new theories, and new revelations…In Rachael’s storytelling, there is never a dull moment. Her imagination is one of her greatest strengths as a writer.” —Lacey Crowe Best Book Reviews and Edits

 

“Twists, turns, great characters, and time travel … what’s not to love! This was a fantastic read! Can’t wait for book 3!” —Author Marissa Campbell

 

Book One Trailer: http://goo.gl/6vtX2r

Book Two Trailer: http://youtu.be/VCeG9eA09Fg

 

About the Author: Rachel Stapleton lives in a Second Empire Victorian with her husband and two children in Ontario, Canada and enjoys writing in the comforts of aged wood and arched dormers. She is the author of The Temple of Indra’s Jewel, Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire and is currently working on the third and most likely final book in the Temple of Indra series.

Website: www.RachaelStapleton.com

Blog: http://RachaelStapleton.blogspot.ca/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Rachael-Stapleton/137831156290570

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RaquelleJaxson

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7271862.Rachael_Stapleton

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rachael-Stapleton/e/B00IE9W804

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

Buy Links:

Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire Paperback

Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire Kindle

The Temple of Indra’s Jewel Paperback

The Temple of Indra’s Jewel Kindle

SPOTLIGHT APRIL KELLEY

TARNISHED COVER Violence has always solved most of his problems, but it can’t help him win over a man whose whole life is surrounded by things that scare him.

Brad Flynn had a rough start to life. With an abusive father and an addiction problem, his life hasn’t been easy. He has always been the resident bad ass and the town drunk. Even when he gets sober and becomes an upstanding member of the community it doesn’t seem to change the town’s mind about him. If it weren’t for his two brothers he would have no one.

His past doesn’t make having a love life easy either, but when he meets Kendrick Ashby, the local bar own, he wants to give it a try. The only problem is Kendrick has his own problems, ones that make having a violent boyfriend impossible. Both have to decide if dating is even worth a try.

EXCERPTKendrick didn’t even bother to knock on the door. He just walked into the house like he owned the place. Caden looked up at him from his seat on the couch with raised eyebrows, but didn’t say a word about him barging into a house that wasn’t his. It was almost as if Caden expected him just to walk in, which was weird.

“Oh good, you’re here. I have some ribs I need you to show me how to cook,” Caden said.

“Okay. But where’s your brother?”

“Luis isn’t home from work yet.” Caden grinned at him.

Kendrick glared. “Smartass. I meant you’re older brother.”

“Luis is my older brother.”

“Caden.” Kendrick took a step closer to him.

Caden chuckled with delight. “God, you’re so touchy. It’s going to be fun having you around.”

“Don’t forget. You need my help with those ribs.”

“Fine. He’s in the shower.”

Kendrick walked down the hall and knocked on the bathroom door when he came to it.

“Come in. Again. You pee more than anyone I know, boy.”

Kendrick sat on the closed toilet seat and gathered up his courage to speak. The fact that Brad was okay was a relief. For some insane reason Kendrick couldn’t understand, he really thought Brad was going to hurt himself. Beyond sounding annoyed with Caden—who could blame Brad—he was unharmed. Kendrick sighed and silently thanked God for that fact.

“I don’t like being hung up on,” He finally said, because that was annoying. If this relationship was going to work then he really needed to be more assertive.

Something crashed down on the tub floor. It sounded like a shampoo or conditioner bottle. “Ouch. Shit.” Brad said.

“Are you okay?”

“Fine. What are you doing here?” Brad said, sounding even more irritated and surly.

“I wanted to make sure you’re okay.”

“I’m just fine. Can I have a shower by myself now?”

Okay that was it. Kendrick had enough with the attitude. Kendrick quickly stripped off his clothes and pulled back the shower curtain. He stepped in behind Brad. Brad whipped around when Kendrick entered. “No. You can’t.”

“Jesus Christ, Kendrick.”

 LINKS

Buy Now: http://www.extasybooks.com/A-Tarnished-Strength/

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Tarnished-Strength-Pickleville-Book-ebook/dp/B00XMCQRZK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431687180&sr=8-1&keywords=a+tarnished+strength

About the Author

April lives with her husband and two kids in Southwest Michigan.  She has been an avid reader for several years.  Writing her first story at the age of ten, the characters in her head still won’t stop telling their stories.  If April isn’t reading or writing she can be found outside playing with the animals or taking a long walk in the woods.

Email : authoraprilkelley@gmail.com

Website : http://authoraprilkelley.com

Best of luck to April Kelley in her endeavours. Stop by anytime.

Best, ABF

SHYLA WOLFF BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY

wolfThe blog welcomes author Shyla Wolff to spotlight her upcoming release SHADOWED PASSAGE and highlight her GIVEAWAY currently running from May 11 to June 7. Shyla is a new friend, kind enough to feature me on her blog not once, but twice as part of my tour. I wish this talented artist the very best.

–ABF

ROSES signature

THE BOOK

shyla book

Tariffs paid on an ill-fated decision can last a lifetime. 

A young boy—tossed an impossible situation by his psychopathic uncle, father or sister, he must kill one for the other to survive.

Two decades later, Dylan has developed his psychic talents, trained by the military, learned the skills necessary to locate the family he’d abandoned as a child and kill the devil himself, Roth. On the day he’s discharged, his ex-boss offers assistance in locating his sisters, demanding help with one more mission in exchange.

Tori, a young woman weeks away from graduating with her Psych doctorate, is torn from her stable life and thrust into a world of espionage, warriors, and unexplainable phenomenon. The man she loves, Major Clannahan, attaches her to the unit charged with locating a terrorist cell. Dylan, leading the unit, draws her like no other. Yet the darkness buried in his soul will test her skills and patience beyond anything she’s ever known.

Kiera and Kyley, identical twins challenged by the extremes of evil yet remain pure of heart, both bound to their man with a love withstanding the tests of time and tragedy.  One a warrior, the other with a warrior’s heart, each wield formidable psychic talents, sought after by a psychopath and terrorist bent on destroying the country.

A group of psychic warriors, dedicated to fighting evil in the shadows, locating and helping others develop their paranormal talents without splintering society’s tenacious perception of reality.

These are the extraordinary people living among us, protecting and preserving our way of life. Courage and honor, duty and strength of will cansustain us for only so long. Eventually, we must find our own path forward, learning to open our hearts to love even as we risk the ultimate pain.

 LINKS

Amazon pre-order

http://www.amazon.com/Shadowed-Passage-Anath-Book-3-ebook/dp/B00XFRFAXM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431260019&sr=8-1&keywords=shadowed+passage

Shyla facebook

https://www.facebook.com/shyla.wolff

Shyla blog

http://shylawolff.blogspot.com/

Twitter

@wolff_Shyla

https://twitter.com/wolff_shyla

 Shyla website

http://shylawolff.com/

EXCERPT

“The choice is yours, boy, but understand—not deciding is making a decision. Do it before I make the decision for you. Only difference is, I won’t kill one, I’ll kill them both. Father or sister. You have allthe power.” 

Roth kept his tone calm and gentle. The evil coiled tightly within warmed his soul. He fancied the boy killing his father, silently rooting for the infant to survive. He could have lots of fun with her over the coming years. 

The boy’s father would die either way. He’d bound and beaten him just for fun.

“Daddy? What do I do?” Tears streamed down Dylan’s face, sobs racked his entire nine-year-old battered frame. His gaze slid from his father to his baby sister, now held by Roth. When he looked back at his dad’s bruised and bloodied face, he cried harder. His dad’s eyes were swollen almost shut. 

The gun shook uncontrollably in the boy’s small hand. “Daddy?”

Boredom shadowed his mind as the excitement of the climax dimmed with the child’s indecisiveness. His gaze wandered out the window above the kitchen sink. 

In the back yard, a massive, wooden play structure stood, complete with swings, tunnels, overhead ladder, and a slide. How extravagant for just two children, one still an infant. His sister always belabored the little things. Shame she’s not present to witness this. He would’ve found this even more amusing. 

The blond haired infant cradled roughly in his left arm actually cooed at him. Disgusting. If he kept this thing, he’d have to hire a nanny. Still, the thought of it growing up with half the powers his sister enjoyed years ago made the brat worth the trouble…If she survived today. He sighed.

* * * *

“Dylan, son, it’s okay. You’re going to be all right. Look at me. Remember how we played catch this morning? When you think of me, you’ll remember how we played ball today. Okay, son?”

What else could he say in this horrific situation? His own psychotic brother-in-law was forcing Dylan to commit the most heinous act imaginable, choose between patricide and sororicide. Roth had always been the canary in the crazy mind but even Devon hadn’t seen this coming.

Awww, isn’t this touching?” Roth muttered, no doubt weary of his twisted game. “What a little wimp. I’m growing tired of your indecision, boy. I think I’ll just slice this little bitch’s throat. After all, she’d probably just grow up to be a carbon copy of her mother, stubborn and willful. Wouldn’t want more of that in the world, would we?” 

Noooo, please. Please don’t hurt her! She’s just a baby.” Facing where he knew his son to be by the sound of his sobbing stifled his thoughts. “Son, I know this is the hardest thing you’ll ever do, but you must. Please. It’s all right. I love you more than anything.” 

Dylan retched, fumbling and almost dropping the Glock 9mm pistol. It probably felt like the heaviest thing he’d ever held, certainly his first time holding a gun. 

His small frame trembled, tears streamed from his eyes, hair matted to his face. Red, swollen tissue marred the right side of his face, the result of Roth’s cold temper. The kitchen table supported his slight weight as he leaned one forearm on its edge.

“Roth, please don’t do this. He’s just a boy. Be the sniveling coward you’ve always been. Do it yourself.” Articulation was slurred through split and bloody lips. His tongue slipped between the gap of two missing teeth. 

Though partially open, his right eye refused to focus properly. Warm, wet liquid traced a path down his face. Gravity would always trump decency. Blood splattered his clothes. Patches of gray clouded the edges of his vision. Unconsciousness lumbered near. The drumming in his head kept pace with his rapid-fire pulse. No child should ever see his father this way, unable to protect his family. Even if his son survived Roth, which he began to doubt, he’d be scarred for life.

“Oh, Devon, Devon, Devon. You just don’t get it, do you? I’m not a coward,” Roth admonished. “I have no qualms about ending any of your lives. Watch, let me demonstrate.” His patronizing voice oozed in the air like oil spreading over water to corrupt with its filth. Roth pulled the six-inch blade from its sheath at his waist and held it to the baby’s throat, who lay cuddled in the crook of his left arm.

“No, don’t. You bastard!” Devon strained at the rope binding his hands behind his back. “Dylan, listen. Take the family crest ring off my finger. Go ahead, son, take it. It’s yours. It’s our coat of arms.” Twisting sideways forced the bonds to cut his wrists as he removed the ring from fingers slick with blood. 

When his son took it, he realized these would be his last words to his boy. “Put it in your pocket, you can get a chain for it until you’re grown. That ring is a symbol of your strength, son, a symbol of your commitment to do whatever’s necessary to protect your family. Remember this, Dylan.” Dear God, he’ll have nightmares the rest of his life…if he survives. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Of the many lessons life seems intent on throwing her way; the most important one Shyla’s learned is to take the time to enjoy family and friends. The flux and flow of changes aren’t something to fight, but adapt to with the best of your ability. One day’s heartbreak is often followed by another day’s triumph. The only barricades remaining are the ones we refuse to navigate. She hopes you’ve enjoyed this story. Shyla’s website, ShylaWolff.com, will be updated as Dylan’s journey continues.

NOTE: My apologies to Shyla and viewers for displaying Rafflecopter script. Haven’t figured out how to translate it directly into my blog. Just click the URL and you’re in –ABF

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