Category: excerpt from books

Shine: Book Blitz

 

Shine by Chandra Sparks Splond

Genre: YA

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Summer can’t come fast enough for seventeen-year-old tomboy Nia Mitchell who is dealing with the fallout of making her most embarrassing mistake ever, all for love. Desperate to put junior year behind her, Nia reluctantly accepts what seems like the opportunity of a lifetime, but is it? As she gets drawn into her new life, Nia fears she’s about to make another huge mistake, this time with the world watching. When her past comes back to haunt her, Nia wonders if it’s possible to turn her biggest mistake into her biggest blessing. Can life teach her that even when you mess up, sometimes the best thing to do is take a deep breath, paste on your biggest smile and find the strength to shine?

About the Author:

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Chandra Sparks Splond is a blogger, editor, speaker and award-winning author. Her young adult novel Make It Work was named Alabama’s Great Read 2017, Spin It Like That was chosen as a Popular Paperback for Young Adults by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), and The Pledge was a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Black Pearls Magazine honored Splond as a Legends & Leaders for 2017 for her blog, Book of Splond (formerly known as Magic City Momma).

Read below for an excerpt from the book:

THE PINGING OF MY PHONE nearly jolted me from my chair as I sat hunched over the computer pretending to watch YouTube videos of this new skating move I wanted to learn. I was hoping it would take my mind off everything that had happened the last few days.

I glanced at the phone and released a breath, glad it wasn’t another text from Fallon Hargrove or one of her funky friends.

“Hey, girl,” I said to my best friend Patrina Mitchum, hitting pause on the computer as I propped up my phone for our video chat.

“Hey,” she said. “What are you doing?” Before I could even respond, she leaned into the screen, peered at me closely then frowned. “Have you been crying?”

“I was watching YouTube,” I said defensively.

“Um-huh,” she said. “Seriously, Nia, what’s going on with you? You’ve been acting weird for almost a week.”

As much as I wanted to tell Trina what was going on, I couldn’t. Even though I didn’t think she would judge me, what I’d done was just too embarrassing.

“I’ve got a lot on my mind,” I said, pushing up my glasses.

“Like what?”

I glanced at my skateboard as my mind raced, trying to think of a reason. “I’m just worried about this job.”

I had been hired to teach skateboarding at Railroad Park—the first black girl to ever land one of the coveted positions.

“You’re still excited about it, right?” she asked. She peered at me again, like she was still trying to figure out what was going.

“Yeah, but—”

“But nothing,” she said. “How many other people do you know who are getting paid to skate?”

I hadn’t thought of it like that, but she was right. I had vowed to become the best female skater Birmingham had ever seen. When I was done, everyone was going to know my name. I laughed at the irony of the thought that everyone might already know my name. I took a deep breath, trying to tell myself things weren’t as bad as I thought as a text notification flashed across my phone, making me jump again.

“You want to take a break?” Trina asked, squinting at me again. “I’m about to head to the mall, and I was calling to see if you wanted to go.”

I frowned, really not in the mood. It would be my luck to run into Fallon or some of her funky-acting friends from school or maybe worse, my boyfriend Brandon Jackson who still hadn’t responded to any of my messages. I was better off just keeping it at the house.

“I promise we won’t be gone long,” Trina begged, looking at me with perfectly made-up puppy dog eyes.

I sighed, knowing she wasn’t going to stop talking until I agreed to go. “Which mall are you going to?” I asked, not that it really mattered.

“Brookwood,” she said.

I twisted my lips. “You know I can’t afford to be up in there. Even their sale stuff is expensive.”

“Nia Yvonne Mitchell,” she said, calling my whole government name like she was somebody’s momma. “What’s wrong with you? You can’t hang with your girl for a few hours while I apply for jobs?”

Trina and I were like peanut butter and grape jelly, although she wouldn’t like the fact that I was using food analogies to describe us. My skin color made me the peanut butter, and Trina’s dark color made her the grape jelly. I was a total tomboy, and she was a girly girl, but we balanced each other. Where you saw one, you saw the other. On the outside, we looked totally different, but our hearts were the same. We were definitely sisters from different misters. I’d heard someone say that once, and for us, it was true.

She had been sick the day of the interviews for Kids and Jobs—a summer work program for youth in the city of Birmingham, Alabama—so she hadn’t been able to land one of the positions. Lucky for her, she could apply for regular jobs since she was seventeen like me. We had both agreed working was better than being home. Not only would we get paychecks, but working had the added benefit of getting us out of the house. If I were home, Momma would have a list of chores ready to greet me every morning when I woke up. I glanced over at the one she had stuck to the mirror before she went to study for finals, making a mental note to make sure everything was done before she got in that evening. Even though technically Momma and I lived with my grandparents since we stayed in an apartment above their garage in West End, Momma insisted we not impose on them, which meant we typically did our own cleaning and sometimes cooking.

“So are you coming?” Trina asked, breaking into my thoughts.

“Yeah,” I said, “but you knew that before you called.” Trina always supported me, and I wanted to be there for her too. “I need to get Momma a gift anyway.”

Momma was graduating from Cumberland School of Law the following week. I still had no clue what to get her, but I was hoping inspiration would strike.

“Cool,” Trina said. “I’ll treat you to lunch, and we can go to Great American Cookies for dessert. If we have time, bring your skateboard, and we can even go to the park.”

“I’m in,” I said, shutting down the computer at the mention of the word park. Maybe Brandon would be there and we could finally talk. “Why didn’t you say that when you first called?”

“Because I like messing with you,” she teased. “I know how much you hate going to the mall.”

“You also know how much I love skating—and food,” I said. “Give me ten minutes.”

Momma had started joking that it was a good thing I loved skating because as much as I liked to eat, I should be as big as a house. Instead, all the food seemed to go to my feet. At five-ten, I towered over Trina and most of the girls at Grover, wore a size ten shoe, and was thinner than a dollar bill as my granddaddy Big G liked to say.

By the time Trina and I made it to the mall, it felt like the temperature had gone up another thirty degrees. The weather in Birmingham had been crazy for the last few months, so since the highs were only in the forties the day before, I had thrown on my favorite red zip-up hoodie over a white t-shirt with Skater in graffiti letters across the front, a pair of ripped-up jeans and my black Converse.

Bad decision.

Sweat had already soaked through my t-shirt on the walk from the underground parking deck to Sky Cosmetics, a new store that had just opened.

While Trina filled out job applications, I roamed the mall for about thirty minutes before I realized I had to pee. On the way to the bathroom, I spotted another new store called Salzburg’s that had little trinkets on display and decided to stop in, thinking maybe I could get one as a graduation gift for Momma.

“Hi,” I said as I walked into the store.

The saleswoman glanced up, but she didn’t say a word, so I thought she hadn’t heard me. I shrugged and headed over to a clearance table.

“May I help you?” the woman asked as I picked up a snow globe, glanced at the price underneath and frowned at the fifty-dollar price tag.

“Just looking,” I said, glancing up at her as I replaced the globe.

She turned up her nose and gazed at me from the tips of my worn sneakers to my glasses and chipped tooth, which had happened a few weeks ago at the skate park. I turned my back to her and rolled my eyes. Another thing I hated about Brookwood was the way some of the people looked at you like they were better than you or something. I picked up a statue and quickly put it down when I realized it was seventy-five dollars.

I knew being in the store was a waste of my time, so I turned toward the exit, only to find the woman still glaring at me as she stood a few feet away.

“May I use your restroom?” I asked, thinking maybe I could get something out of my visit.

“It’s for paying customers only,” she said, crossing her arms and turning up her nose.

I held up the statue. “I’m going to buy this as soon as I come out,” I said, knowing that wasn’t going to happen. The way she was watching me though had me real curious to see how she was going to respond.

She gave this chirpy laugh that matched her bird-looking appearance and sniffed. “We both know you can’t afford anything in here,” she said. “Please leave.”

I just stood there, not sure I had heard her correctly.

“Don’t make me call the cops,” she threatened.

“But I haven’t done anything,” I said.

“You haven’t done anything—yet. You people get on my nerves. I don’t know why you’re allowed in here.”

I stood there in shock for a second, telling myself she really wasn’t serious, but when she headed for the phone, I knew she was, and I hightailed it to the exit. I was not trying to be placed in handcuffs or go viral on the internet.

The thought made me pause for a second when I realized thanks to Brandon and Fallon, I might already be all over social media.

I went to the bathroom near the food court then headed to Books-A-Million, hoping Trina would eventually come in there looking for me since I had left my phone at home and couldn’t text her.

I flipped through the latest People magazine, stopping when I caught a brief glimpse of the finest guy I had ever seen. I just stared, realizing it had to be his eyes that drew me in.

“Hello, Matthew Cook,” I said when I saw the headline that revealed who he was. I guess I had spoken out loud based on the way the woman standing next to me was giving me the side eye.

I skimmed the article, seeing what other information there was about Matthew Cook. There wasn’t much, other than he was eighteen and from a small southern town. I made a mental note to Google him later and to set my DVR for his show King Penn, a modern version of that old show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I couldn’t help but gaze at Matthew Cook’s Hershey brown skin, espresso eyes and sexy smile. I couldn’t be sure, but it looked like he might have a dimple.

I tucked the magazine under my arm and flipped through a few more until Trina showed up about twenty minutes later with a Sky Cosmetics bag in her hand.

“Now how did I know you’d be here?” she asked. “I tried texting you.”

I shrugged. “I left my phone at home.” I pulled the magazine from under my arm. “Look at this,” I said, flipping back to the article and pointing at the picture of Matthew Cook.

She glanced at him and nodded, which wasn’t the reaction I was expecting.

“You don’t think he’s fine?” I asked, frowning.

“He’s alright,” she said, shrugging.

I cut my eyes at her. “Are we looking at the same person?” I asked, tapping on the picture.

She shrugged and turned her attention to Allure magazine, so I changed the subject. “How did things go? I thought you were job hunting,” I said, nodding at her bag.

She grinned. “There’s always time to shop. I decided to treat myself since I got a job at Great American Cookies—Sky Cosmetics wasn’t hiring. The cookie company manager said he liked how professional I was. When he saw on my résumé that I went to Grover, he told me he graduated from there a few years ago and interviewed me on the spot.”

“If he graduated from Grover, why is he working at Great American Cookies?” I asked. It was pretty common knowledge that for the most part only the top students got accepted at Grover, and most went on to graduate from really great colleges.

“He’s in grad school at UAB,” she explained.

I nodded and put the magazine back after casting one last glance at Matthew Cook. “Congrats,” I said, turning to give her a hug. “After I get my first check, we’ll have to celebrate. My treat.”

“Sounds good to me,” Trina said, “but I’ve got you until then.”

As we waited in line at Chick-fil-A, I told Trina about my experience at Salzburg’s. She just shook her head. As we placed our orders and she pulled out her wallet. Part of me felt bad for letting her pay, even though I knew she didn’t mind. It was another way we were different. Trina got an allowance, and I didn’t ask Momma for money unless I really needed it. With Momma attending law school and only working part time, things were kind of tight. Momma was an only child and got pregnant with me when she was fifteen. Since my grandparents helped her so much with me while she finished high school and college, Momma tried not to ask them for anything. Now that she was finishing law school, I was hoping things were going to get better for us financially soon—and that I could get my tooth fixed. Momma still had to pass the bar exam after graduation and was planning on taking it in July.

“So did you find anything for your mom?” Trina asked, already knowing the answer since I didn’t have any bags.

I shook my head. I had gotten so caught up in what had happened at Salzburg’s and reading about Matthew Cook that I had forgotten about Momma’s gift. “You want to go to Walmart?” I asked, figuring I could at least get a card.

“Okay,” Trina said. “As soon as you tell me what’s really going on.” She stared at me, and I sighed, knowing she wasn’t going to budge until I told her.

“Brandon texted to wish me a happy birthday last week…”

At the mention of Brandon’s name, Trina frowned. It was no secret that she couldn’t stand him. She didn’t understand why I liked him. For the most part, she kept her thoughts to herself though.

I paused, not sure how to tell her.

“He asked me to send him a picture…”

Her frown deepened. “What kind of picture?”

I hesitated, not believing what I was about to admit. “Of me, with no clothes on.”

“And you did it?” She said the words so loud the women at the table next to us looked over at us curiously. “Sorry.”

My peanut butter–colored cheeks turned as red as my sweatshirt, which I had taken off and tied around my waist.

I took a sip of my lemonade in response.

“Nia,” she said. “You didn’t.”

My eyes filled with tears again as the memory of the last few days came flooding back. “He sent the picture out, and apparently Fallon got it. I’ve been getting all of these crazy texts…”

I shuddered, thinking of some of the things that had been said to me.

“Fallon and her friends cornered me in the bathroom the other day… Let’s just say it wasn’t a nice conversation.”

Trina narrowed her eyes. “Are you okay?” She scanned me as I nodded, and when she was satisfied I hadn’t been harmed physically, she went in. “She gets on my nerves. What is her deal?” she asked, not really wanting an answer.

Fallon, Trina and I had been friends—best friends actually—since sixth grade. We would have sleepovers, and we pretty much did everything together. That all changed freshman year at Grover. Fallon just stopped hanging with us. No explanation or anything. Suddenly whenever Trina and I walked by Fallon and her new friends, I was called the tomboy and Trina was the freak. Last week was the first time Fallon had said anything to me in years, all because of a picture I didn’t even send to her. It just didn’t make any sense.

“So why didn’t you tell me?” Trina asked as we dumped our trash.

“I was embarrassed,” I admitted. “I know you don’t like Brandon—”

“He’s a jerk,” she said. “He doesn’t deserve you.”

“He just has a hard time expressing his feelings,” I explained.

“Why are you defending him?” she asked, frowning.

“I’m not,” I said, but my words sounded weak, even to my own ears.

“Have you talked to him since you sent him the picture?”

“No,” I admitted.

Trina just stared at me.

“What?” I finally snapped.

“I’m sorry you’re going through this,” she said.

I don’t know what I expected her to say, but that wasn’t it. Tears filled my eyes, and she led me over to a private corridor where I finally let the tears flow.

“I don’t know what to do,” I said. “I feel so stupid. He’s been asking me to send the picture for months, and I finally just got tired of him asking. I figured if I sent it, he would be happy and stop bugging me. Now I haven’t heard from him, and Fallon and her friends and who knows who else knows about it. Do you know how embarrassing this is?”

“I’m sorry,” she said again. “What can I do to help?”

“Just have my back,” I said. “I don’t want to, but if things get any worse, I may have to fight.”

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Make Me Fall Release Week Celebration: Excerpt

Review and Excerpt Tour for MAKE ME FALL by Sara Rider!

Enemies make the worst neighbors, but the best lovers in Sara Rider’s MAKE ME FALL, the second book in her standalone Books & Brews series. Eli doesn’t have a lot of sympathy for his uptight neighbor, Nora, until he hears about her “un-datable” status and all it takes is one disastrous date with Nora for Eli to fall hard. Fans of Lauren Layne, Jenny Holiday’s ONE AND ONLY, and THE FINE ART OF FAKING IT by Lucy Score will devour this opposites attract, fun buy sexy romance.

Title: Make Me Fall
Author: Sara Rider
Release Date: September 24, 2018
Publisher: Self-published
Series: Books & Brews #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 226

Synopsis

After losing her job, her home, and her friends in her divorce, Nora Pitts is determined not to make the same mistakes when she starts over in the small town of Shadow Creek, Washington. No more toiling away in the lab at the expense of her social life, and definitely no more men. Ever. But making friends in her thirties is so much harder than she anticipated. And when it comes to her gorgeous yet obnoxious neighbor, it’s a whole lot easier to make enemies.

Eli Hardin doesn’t have a lot of sympathy for his uptight neighbor, until he overhears her so-called new friends making fun of her un-datable status. Suddenly he finds himself volunteering for a date with a woman who’s been leaving angry hate-notes in his mailbox, and in way over his head. Because all it takes is one disastrous date with Nora for Eli to fall hard.

But falling for Eli isn’t something Nora’s ready for—not when he’s her complete opposite, and especially not when he turns out to be the best friend she’s made in Shadow Creek. But as her attraction and her feelings for Eli grow hotter, resisting him might just lead to heartbreak anyway.

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MAKE ME FALL Excerpt

Copyright © 2018 Sara Rider

Eli marked off twenty-six and three-quarter inches as precisely as he could and lifted the blade of the circular saw.
“Oh my God, I soooo wasn’t kidding,” one of the women next door said loudly. “Nora really does need to get laid.”
His shoulders tensed. This wasn’t the first time he’d overheard the women loudly shit-talking his neighbor behind her back. He had no idea why she hung out with them.
“Maybe you should set her up with someone,” another woman added.
The other two laughed. “Can you imagine Nora on a date? She’s so uptight and frigid. Who would want to date her? No lay is worth that kind of torture. Can’t you just picture her busting out her bottle of sanitizer before the poor sap tries to hold her hand?”
His jaw tensed and he felt the last of his patience snap like an icicle in his warm hands. He sliced the saw through the wood, threw his protective glasses onto the ground, and marched over to the waist-high chain link fence. “I’d do it.”
All three women turned to look at him like he was a space alien who’d just beamed down to earth. The one who’d been talking the most leaned forward in her seat. “What did you just say?”
“You heard me. I’d go out with her.”
“You can’t be serious.”
The more this woman pushed, the more he wanted to put her in her place. No, Nora was not the kind of woman he would normally ask out—mainly because she was one of the few who didn’t seem to fall for his charm. In fact, he was pretty sure she didn’t think he had any charm whatsoever, but she was attractive and smart enough to read a book every month. That alone made her more dateable than half the population in this town. “Sure as hell am.”
The woman leaned forward, smiling at him like he was freshly caught prey in her snare. “If you’re looking for a date, I could show you a much better time.”
He shrugged, keeping his fake smile on his face. “No thanks. Backstabbing and mean isn’t my type.”
He probably enjoyed the shocked look on the woman’s face a little too much, but it was seriously fucking rude to trash-talk the hostess while sitting on her porch and eating her canapés.
The screen door slid open right at that moment. Nora walked out with a plate of decadent-looking mini-chocolate cakes that made his mouth water on sight. Her eyes darted from her friends to him and back again. “Um, what’s going on?”
He rested his hands against the old chain-link fence. “What’s going on is that your so-called friends are talking trash about your love life behind your back and don’t seem to think you can get a date. So I volunteered.”
“You what?”
“Volunteered. You and me. Tomorrow night at seven. I’ll drive.”
She slammed the cake tray onto the coffee table and set her hands on her hips. She looked around, like she couldn’t decide where to focus her anger. Of course she settled on him. “Who says I’d want to go out with you?”
He raised his eyebrow, liking the way she got flustered around him a little too much. “Got better plans?”
Even at the distance between them, he could see her suck in a breath. Her mouth hardened into a flat line, but she didn’t say no.
“Tomorrow. Seven. Dinner. Oh, and consider making new friends who aren’t so damn mean. These ladies don’t deserve any of those amazing-looking cakes.” He grabbed his plank of wood and headed into the house, wondering what the hell he’d just gotten himself into.

Want Some More Books & Brews from Sara Rider? Pick up a copy of RIGHT KIND OF LOVE today!
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About Sara Rider:

Sara Rider writes contemporary romance full of heart, heat, and happily ever after. She lives in British Columbia with her husband and daughters. She spends far too much time in public libraries and never leaves the home without her e-reader stuffed in her purse.
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Counting on You Blog Tour: Excerpt

Counting on You banner

This is my stop during the book blitz for Counting on You by Laura Chapman. Read on for more information about this book and there’s an US only giveaway. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 27 August till 2 September. See the tour schedule here.

Counting on You

Counting on You (Amarillo Sour #1)

By Laura Chapman

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Age category: Adult

Release Date: 28 August 2018

Blurb:

Is love worth the risk?

Math teacher Haleigh Parde has no desire to change her single status until she receives an invitation to her high school reunion. With her ex spreading rumors she needs a date and fast. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Haleigh finds herself meeting a blind date at a neighborhood bar called Amarillo Sour . . .

After watching Haleigh crash and burn, app developer Ian Henning makes her a proposition. If she’ll provide honest feedback on his new dating app, he’ll guarantee her a date to knock the socks off her former classmates. Even better, he—and the other Amarillo Sour regulars—will help her navigate the rocky road of dating.

Through setups ranging from awkward to absurd, Haleigh discovers her matchmaker might just be better than the matches. And Ian wonders if she’s the answer to everything he’s worked for professionally. Or is she something much, much more . . .

You can find Counting on You on Goodreads

You can buy Counting on You here:

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Excerpt

In an effort to mask her embarrassment, she raised the glass to her lips.
“Wait.” He held out his glass to hers. “Here’s to taking chances.”
She could drink to that. She toasted his glass and sipped, appreciating the way the wine both chilled her throat and warmed her chest on the way down.
He drank his beer and set it down. “So, you know I couldn’t help overhearing your date with Patrick.”
“Yeah, we covered that.”
“And I know we only officially met a few minutes ago, but I feel like—what with the eavesdropping and all—we’ve gotten to know each other a little.”
“Or you’ve learned my most embarrassing secret. I only know you develop software and—based on how well you know the lay of the land—you apparently spend a lot of your time hanging out at a bar.”
“Which is pretty much all there is to know about me. Except that I like watching both sports and nerdy TV shows, and that I wish I could have a dog, but my apartment won’t let me.”
“You’re right,” she said. “We’re practically married. Should we spend Christmas with your family or mine?”
He snorted. “Now that we’re friends, and I know that you need a date to your reunion and you’re on a deadline, I wanted to run something by you.”
Her heart fluttered. Was this guy she just met going to help her get a date? No, that was crazy. But maybe he had some advice. She’d been sarcastic when she’d asked for it earlier, but it really couldn’t hurt.
In fact, it might be better coming from a stranger than any of her work friends. It would certainly keep Nina from spreading the details through the rumor mill.
“I’m listening. Not that I know if you have the credentials to give lectures on—”
“It’s not a lecture. And I’m not a dating expert. Well, not exactly. I’m not an expert,” he repeated and cleared his throat. “But I have done a lot of research on dating. Or at least my company has, and I’ve used it for my job.”
“I thought you build apps.”
“We do. Our new app—one that’s coming out next month—is a dating app.”
“Like Tinder?”
“Kind of, but not really.” He launched into an explanation about how the app was part game, part matchmaker. That it helped connect people who’d really get along without making the process cumbersome. So far, it sounded good.
But how did she fit into this?
“We’re actually trying to find one more person to try it out.”
Oh. He needed a guinea pig. “Why?”
“We’re close to the launch date. While our feedback has been good, it hasn’t been personal. We haven’t been able to see it from the inside.”
“Why doesn’t one of your employees try it?”
He shook his head. “That’s not objective enough. We need someone who can give us an inside look, while not influencing the outcome. Someone local. Someone who can find a good match that we can brag about to our investors. Someone with a good story.”
Someone desperate enough to give it a try with an audience. Someone like her.
She could see the logic. That didn’t mean she liked where this was going. “So, you want me to try your app and report back.”

Laura Chapman

About the Author:

Laura Chapman is the author of sweet and sexy romantic comedies. A born and raised Nebraska girl, she loves watching football, traveling, crafting, and baking. When she isn’t writing her next story, she is probably working at a museum by day and binge-watching Netflix with her cats Jane and Bingley at night. So, basically, she’s living large.

You can find and contact Laura Chapman here:

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Giveaway

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Counting on You. One winner will win a Amarillo Sour Starter Kit, that includes two shot glasses, two coasters, a bottle opener and pens with the bar’s logo on them plus a $10 Amazon card. US Only.

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Revenant: Falling Awake II Blog Tour ~ Guest Post and Excerpt

REVENANT: FALLING AWAKE II
Series: Falling Awake Book 2
Author: Kristoffer Gair
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: June 19
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 90,000 words
Genre: Paranormal Thriller

Synopsis

Andrew O’Donnell’s childhood friend, Thomas, was murdered when they were ten years old. Nightmares and guilt have plagued Andrew ever since. And he believes himself responsible for delivering Thomas into the very hands of the men who committed the atrocity.

Now, fourteen years later, Andrew is driven to uncover the mystery of what really happened to Thomas, the reason behind the brutal abduction, and whether the assailants—who were never caught—have set their sights on someone else.

Even the help of an unlikely ally may not be enough to stop the darkness, the threat of what it will do to them in this life…or the next.

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Guest Post

MY HOPES FOR THE SECOND BOOK

I set out to write a story two years ago with depth, a larger cast of characters, and a plot—if done correctly—that would tug at the heartstrings. This story became the novella Falling Awake, and it did everything I hoped it would. There was so much grief inside me during the time I wrote it, and the grief had nowhere to go. I channeled those emotions into the book, and attempted to create a sense of hope through expressing and expelling the grief. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t think I’d write a second book, let alone be writing a third.

The trick to me in writing Falling Awake II: Revenant has been writing a main character (Andrew) who is flawed, a product of experiences early on in life beyond his control, being gay in early 1970s, and entirely sympathetic. Everything in the plot hinges on us, as readers—since I consider myself a reader too—believing Andrew doesn’t deserve what happened to him, and what could possibly happen to him. His journey is a dark one, but one he believes will make him whole again.

I won’t lie. I put Andrew through more hell in his twenty-four years than I will ever go through. There are plenty of times in the story when he can make the choice to stop, re-evaluate, let things be, and fade into the background. He certainly might be better for it, only he refuses to surrender. As unrelenting as the odds are, he matches those odds with his own unrelenting nature.

My hope is for readers to feel his pain, his determination, his terror, and, ultimately, his own hope. One of my beta readers told me upon finishing a draft that as much as he liked how the story unfolded, he felt like he walked away after getting into a plane wreck. Oh, and he needed a drink. That’s the kind of intensity the story builds up to towards the end. I figure I did something right if my beta reader is having those reactions.

It’s fair to say I also hope after reading and reacting to this second book, readers will want to know how the much larger story this is part of will play out. I certainly want to get it out of my head. The weird thing is I know I’m going to miss having the whole thing in my head. Having the series in print makes it concrete, and separate from me in some way. Plus, after the third book, I don’t know if I’ll ever revisit these characters again. Guess that’ll depend on whether a story worth telling comes to mind. I didn’t plan on there being a second story, so stranger things have happened.

Excerpt

“Damn.” Frank’s face twitched and his eyes opened wide. “Is what you just did natural, or part of your government training?”
“Probably a little of both,” Andrew lied again. “I’ve always had some aptitude for reading certain situations.” His throat started to close up when he recalled one in particular, one fourteen years ago. “But I’ve learned to trust and act on my instincts instead of ignoring them.”
Losing one life because he didn’t act on those instincts was already too much to bear. It couldn’t be allowed to happen again. Ever.
“Okay.” Frank nodded. “Yes, I have them checking on you. They’re going to call Ruby here at the diner and ask for me, but I’m already confident you are who you say you are.”
“And?”
“And what?”
“You didn’t have to bring me here to buy them time.” He watched Frank squirm. “Your instincts told you I was on the level back at the house. We could have gone to the police station, only you brought me here instead.”
“Jesus.” Frank winced.
“What are you not telling me?”
“Some aptitude for reading certain situations my ass.” Frank wiped his forehead with a napkin. “OSHA? I think the only reason you aren’t working for the FBI is they haven’t heard of you yet.”

Meet the Author

Author/Blogger Kristoffer Gair grew up in Fraser, MI and is a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He currently lives with his husband in a suburb of Detroit.
Official Website
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Milijun Book Tour: Excerpt

Milijun
by Clayton Graham
Genre: Science Fiction
The next phase of human evolution depends entirely on her…
Laura is willing to do whatever it takes for her son. When aliens kidnap
Jason, it’s going to take a lot more than a mother’s love to get him
back. After infiltrating a military research base, Laura discovers
a
terrifying secret
: their plans to impregnate women with alien DNA.
Laura battles to save Jason, the mothers-to-be, and herself. But she
quickly realizes the aliens have their own mission for her, too. Soon
she faces a choice, take a chance at an impossible escape
or accept the aliens’ vision of a new humanity.
Milijun is the first installment of an action-packed

an action-packed sci-fi
alien invasion story. If you like tales of first contact, secret
military operations, and the people caught in the middle, then you’ll
love Clayton Graham’s fast-paced sci-fi thrill ride.

Buy Milijun to discover the future of evolution.
“Captured my interest from the very beginning, and never once let go.”
Jenna – Indie Book Reviewers
“If you love the genre, read this gem.”
Julius Zon – Self Publishing Review
“This is a must-read for science fiction fans who appreciate a hard
scientific foundation, in the tradition of Asimov, Niven, or Heinlein.”
Patrick Dent
“Million? 5 stars are all Amazon permit!”
Sarah Stuart

EXCERPT FROM ‘MILIJUN’ THE NOVEL

Laura lay back on the bed, hands clasped behind her head and knees drawn up as tightly as comfort would allow. Jason, emotionally exhausted, was asleep in the other bed and for the first time in many hours she had the luxury of undisturbed time to think the day’s events through. They had called a taxi from Robert’s house and directed it back to camp. Having found Jason, she had no wish to chase into Caiguna and risk further confrontation with the police, Janice Mepunga in particular. There was just no forgiving the policewoman for leaving her stranded at Robert’s house with a laser-seared dead body on her hands.
Some semblance of inner strength returned. They would have to see Mepunga tomorrow, of course, and learn what happened to Bradley Robert or, more accurately, how he had ended up with a hole drilled in his chest.
Careful not to wake Jason, she made her way outside, in search of fresh air. Looking up at the darkened sky she saw a pale moon rising and what could only be Venus shining brightly. The air held a slight chill, and she shivered involuntarily.
Laura scanned the sky, half expecting something to emerge from the star-pricked canopy and descend upon her with mischief in its heart. What was it Jason had said? Sometimes when it touched me I didn’t even feel it. She didn’t know what to believe but whatever it was, Janice Mepunga was the next step.
They had found the camera in a kitchen drawer, but it contained no record of Jason’s pictures. Robert had obviously removed the stick. Or, of course, the alien had. Surprisingly enough, observing Jason’s face at that moment of disappointment served to remove her doubts concerning his version of events. She had totally believed, if only for a few seconds, that an alien being had emerged from Bradley Robert and examined her son.
Tomorrow they would see Mepunga. And maybe get some answers.
***
At the Eucla defence base the only source of light in the room came from a large wall screen that portrayed the death throes of choppa flight 209 from Cape Pasley to Cocklebiddy on the night of 17 January 2179. In the room were Assistant Commissioner Ray Parlane of the West Australian Police, Major General Sebastian Ord, Air Vice-Marshal Jean Pescos and Sergeant David Jameson Cooke of the Australian Defence Force. The whole flight cam episode had run for no more than three minutes, and now the group were digesting, and struggling to understand, what they had just seen.
“At least it ties in with the radar records,” Jean Pescos stated, a frown ageing her otherwise smooth, olive complexion. “Definitely two …” she struggled for the right word, “… attackers.”
Sebastian Ord raised his brow at the use of the word. “Could it have been an accident, a collision?”
Cooke snorted and said, “No sir. The radar shows two objects peeling away from the main group. Definitely intentional.”
“I agree,” Jean Pescos ventured. “Definitely intentional. Analysis of the short flight path they took indicates an optimum trajectory for intersection with the choppa.”
“You mean it shows intelligence.” Ray Parlane looked incredulous. Short, with luxurious eyebrows, he had obtained his rank by being down to earth and taking no nonsense. This whole episode did not sit well on his shoulders.
“Perhaps even more to the point, what the hell are the damn things?” Sebastian Ord asked. Tall and wiry with piercing blue eyes, he wore his neatly pressed uniform like a glove. He started the video again and they watched as bright moonlight exposed a flock of large creatures moving through the night sky. The choppa had hovered no more than two hundred metres away, and its lights had picked out two of the objects breaking away to veer towards the camera. They looked large, too large for any known species of bat. Strong white beams highlighted their outstretched wings as they homed in on their target, revealing thin reticulated arms as they grew closer. Large reflective eyes dominated the screen for a moment and then focus was lost as the creatures appeared to collide intentionally with the choppa’s canopy.
Ord ran the video back to show the best zoomed shot of the creatures as they approached Pilot James Vanelli’s machine. He shook his head slowly. “Hands up those who have seen animals like that before?” he said sardonically. “We need to let an expert look, but I wouldn’t be confident of an identification.”
“And don’t forget the radar showed them descending from at least ten thousand metres,” Cooke added. “Air is thin up there.”
The group grew silent as Parlane switched on the light and turned off the wall screen. “So, what happens now?” he asked nobody in particular.
“One. Expert opinion on identification,” Ord replied, counting off on his fingers. “Two. Find out if anyone else saw them that night.” He looked at everyone in turn before raising a third finger. “Three. Try to find them.”
“Then what, after we find them?” Jean Pescos asked.
Parlane was swift to answer. “We must eradicate. Can’t have them bringing down air traffic.”
Ord couldn’t help smiling. “Let’s give the scientists a say. If they’re a rare or unheard of species it could be a different anecdote.”
The room became quiet again and Cooke stretched uncomfortably in his chair. He wasn’t convinced. Other than Vanelli, there were no bodies at the crash site. And the aerial attackers didn’t look like anything he had seen before; alien almost. Though nobody, of course, had the balls to say so.
***
The road ribbon system took them directly to the front of the Caiguna police station, seaward of the Eyre Highway along dusty, unkempt side streets. Mother and son dismounted as one and strode resolutely up the path and through darkened glass doors. They found themselves in a featureless foyer where a single three-metre plant was placed strategically in the middle of a brown synthetic marble floor. A long black desk stood at the far end but there was no sign of any other exit door or, for that matter, any other person. The walls were sky blue, the ceiling white, and the effect austere.
Laura approached the desk and saw a white button labelled Press for immediate attention. She did as requested. A flat screen rose from the desktop and the face of Janice Mepunga stared out at them. An aura of total distrust immediately gripped Laura’s mind, reinforced by unwelcome apprehension, but the image on the screen flashed a convivial smile and said, “Oh hello you two. I’ve been expecting you. Just one moment.”
To the right of the desk, a mechanism hummed and a well-disguised door opened within the blue wall to reveal a brightly lit office beyond.
“Come through. Come through,” Janice Mepunga called.
Jason seized his mother’s hand and looked at her questioningly. There was a strange fear in his ashen face, and his eyes mirrored the foreboding that Laura felt within her own heart.
“It’ll be fine,” Laura said quietly and gently guided him through into the inner office.
Janice instantly took the wind out of Laura’s sails by saying, “Look. I’m sorry about yesterday. An emergency came up. I had to leave. Sorry about leaving you with Robert, too – it was unavoidable. He tried to kill me. I knew Jason was around.” Her smile grew broader. “I knew you would find him.”
Shaking her head, Laura said sharply, “Maybe you did, but in what condition? It was absolutely unforgivable what you did.” She threw a challenging look at the policewoman. “And Robert wasn’t dead when I found him.”
Janice’s face hardened and Jason noticed she slowly worked her hand down to her pistol. “It was unavoidable,” the policewoman repeated.
“Are there any other officers here?” Laura asked.
Janice shook her head. “My partner went to Perth this morning. It’s normally pretty quiet around here, you understand, and there’s plenty of air backup from Kalgoorlie.” She cast a meaningful glance at her visitors before adding, “Should we require it.”
“What about a statement?” Laura asked. “Don’t you want one?”
“I certainly do,” Janice said, pointing to a terminal in the corner of her office. “Be my guest.” She was all sweetness and roses again, in control of the situation.
While his mother typed, Jason waited his turn. He was nervous, upset about Bradley Robert and about the loss of his photographs. His eyes hardly left Janice Mepunga, unsure in his own heart whether the alien creature was harboured inside her or whether it had moved to fresh pastures. On the drive to the station his mother had told him of Robert’s dying words, and he had felt sick. He desperately wanted to know the truth but was afraid of another confrontation. And worst of all, there was no proof of anything.
“How did the ranger threaten you?” Jason asked abruptly causing his mother to pause her statement mid-sentence.
Mepunga glanced up, her face like stone. “He just did, and that’s enough these days.” She gestured to Jason to sit down on the chair across the desk. “Let’s compile your statement together while your mother finishes hers.” She initiated a recorder and leant back in her chair.
Jason shot a fleeting look at his mother and received a warning glance in return, accompanied by a small shake of the head.
“How did you get to Robert’s house?” Janice asked.
“I was on the computer in the camp tourist centre,” Jason replied. “He knocked me out and I awoke in a bedroom.”
Despite the recorder, Janice typed as she said, “And then what happened?”
“He made me something to eat, just eggs and toast. Then he made me shower and took me into the basement.”
“What about his sister from next door? Did you see her at all?”
“No,” Jason said. “There was nobody else.”
Janice raised her eyebrows. “Did you try to escape?”
With a shake of his head, Jason said, “He was always in my face, and twice my size.”
“Even in the shower?”
Jason averted his eyes. “More or less.”
“He was naked when I found him,” Laura interjected. “In the basement.”
The policewoman looked hard at Jason. “Did he touch you? Molest you in any way?”
Jason bit his lip. “No, he didn’t.”
Laura stood up. “I’ve finished. It’s fairly short but to the point.”
Janice walked over and glanced down at the screen. “Not exactly flattering behaviour on my part,” she said, pursing her lips. “My statement will give my story.”
Laura shrugged. “I’d still like to see—”
Jason interrupted her. “Can we go now, Mum? I need some air.”
Laura saw he looked pale and distressed. “I’m sorry,” she said to Janice. “Is that all for now?”
“Sure. We have your vehicle tag. Stick around the district though.” She printed both statements and laid them on the desk. “Just sign these for now.”
After they had signed Laura turned to leave but paused at the door. “What happened to the body?”
“It’s been taken care of,” Janice replied. “Thanks for coming in.” It was the final dismissal. Laura and Jason left without further discourse. They moved through the stark foyer and once outside paused to breathe the fresh southern air, which was rapidly warming as the sun rose higher in the sky.
“No alien for the lady,” Laura said. “Thank God you didn’t say anything about that.”
“Not to her,” Jason said, looking at his mother fearfully. “I think it’s still with her.”
***
In her office, Janice read the statements again and put them through the shredder. She stood, swayed slightly, and pushed a floor panel with her foot to release the door into an adjacent room. Moving through, she closed the door behind her and stared at the uniformed body of her colleague. He was slumped face down on the desk, head resting in a pool of coagulated blood.
Suddenly, the winged alien was outside her, standing two metres away, observing with its head on one side. She sensed an instantaneous chill invade her body as the creature emerged but, once free of it, Janice felt warmer and strangely fearless. No words or other communication passed but Janice felt its mind boring into hers, trying to understand her emotions. At least she thought she did. She didn’t really want to see it anymore, was not interested in it at all, and wished it was light-years away.
“I’m sorry, Daniel,” she said to the motionless body of her partner. “I’m so sorry. I really could not help it.”
A tangle of meaningless images ran through her mind, and she turned to face her symbiotic disciple from another world. Something passed between them, intangible and outside her scope of logical thought. She asked the question anyway.
“What do you want from me? What do you want from us?”

As a youngster growing up in the cobbled streets of Stockport, UK,
Clayton Graham read a lot of Science Fiction. He loved the ‘old
school’ masters such as HG Wells, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov and
John Wyndham. As he left those formative years behind, he penned
short stories when he could find a rare quiet moment amidst life’s
usual distractions.
He settled in Victoria, Australia, in 1982. A retired aerospace engineer
who worked in structural design and research, Clayton has always had
an interest in Science Fiction and where it places humankind within a
universe we are only just starting to understand.
Clayton loves animals, including well behaved pets, and all the natural
world, and is a member of Australian Geographic.
Combining future science with the paranormal is his passion. Milijun is his
first novel. Second novel, Saving Paludis, will be published early
2018. They are light years from each other, but share the future
adventures of mankind in an expansive universe as a common theme.
Follow the tour HERE
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Ullr’s Fangs Blog Tour: Excerpt

Ullr's Fangs banner

This is my stop during the blog tour for Ullr’s Fangs by Katharine E. Wibell.

This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 25 June till 15 July. See the tour schedule here.

Ullr's Fangs

Ullr’s Fangs (The Incarn Saga #2)

By Katharine E. Wibell

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Age category: Young Adult, New Adult

Release Date: 29 April 2018

Blurb:

According to legend, when the world was young, two gods of war — one male, one

female — were destined for each other. Yet Ullr, forever unfaithful, lost the

love of Issaura, his true match, and was forsworn. His violent anger and bitter

rage grew and intensified, poisoning all creation and humanity.

Now that the Raiders’ long ships have faded from sight, the kingdom of Elysia is

beginning to recover from the summer’s war with the brutal invaders from across

the sea. Yet darker forces have taken root, forces that can alter the future of

the land and its people in unthinkable ways. Seventeen-year-old Lluava must

discover the means to prevent her world from collapsing. But in doing so, will

she succumb to that darkness?

You can find Ullr’s Fangs on Goodreads

You can buy Ullr’s Fangs here on Amazon

Excerpt:

In the failing light, Lluava sat her weary body down on one of the cut logs that served as benches around the ever-blazing cooking fires. She ached from an exhaustion that was more than physical. In her hand, she held a steaming bowl of clumping porridge, or maybe repurposed hash. Although its taste was barely better than its looks, this mysterious gruel was the only thing the town could provide to feed the army for their extended stay. Lluava had grown accustomed to its bland taste and grainy texture. It might not be ideal, but it kept everyone’s strength up when they needed it.
“May I sit next to you?” Varren’s formal upbringing emerged even when there was no need.
Nodding, Lluava shoveled down the sludge. Eating quickly was her trick to keep the so-called food from sticking to the back of her throat. In contrast, Varren sat down, whispered a prayer of thanks, and began to eat. They remained silent until Varren had finished.
Wiping his mouth, he said, “I would like to head back to the capital tomorrow. Since you are my military partner—no, that is not the reason.” Varren seemed flustered. He was not one to fumble with his choice of words. Eloquence had always come naturally to him, so why could he not state a clear thought now?
“Yes?” inquired Lluava, hoping to coax him to continue.
Varren stood up in his most formal manner and asked, “Lluava, would you come with me to the royal palace? I want to introduce you to Grandfather and the High Council and, well…I would like you to be with me when I return to court.”
Lluava understood his fear of what he was about to do, for altering an age-old law was all but unheard of. Nevertheless, excitement fluttered inside her like a newly fledged bird. Varren wanted her near him. This was his way of admitting how much he needed her at his side. This day had truly brought wonderful news.
She was about to say yes when a new thought crossed her mind. “How long do you expect to be at court?”
“I do not know. Why do you ask?”
Lluava fingered the carefully folded letter in her pants pocket. “Well, I had hoped to visit home. I haven’t seen my family since the draft.”
Thoughtfully, Varren said, “I will not force you to come. You can leave at any time. However, I would like you to be with me when—”
Lluava interrupted. “Don’t worry. I’ll be standing by your side from now until eternity.” She grinned at her pathetic attempt at poeticism.
“That is good. That is great!” Varren could not hide his relief. “Well, I will say good night to you now. Tomorrow will be a new and exciting day.”
With that, Varren gently took Lluava’s hand and kissed it, which sent a tingling sensation up her arm. As he left, Lluava thought, Oh, what am I getting myself into?
Next morning, Lluava ran to the shanty that served as Ymen’s dispatch headquarters. Since a large portion of the Southern army was stationed here, the king’s messengers came to the town every two weeks. Lluava had to hurry so as not to miss the chance to send off her own letter. She had forgotten to do this errand the day before, and with her departure imminent this was the only chance she would have before she left.
Attempting to catch her breath, Lluava retrieved the letter from her pocket. It was surprisingly unwrinkled. Perhaps the gods were watching over her. She handed the parchment to the small man loading full satchels onto his horse. Annoyed at the last-minute arrival, he began to lecture Lluava on the importance of punctuality. She in turn quietly reprimanded herself for her forgetfulness. Satisfied with his thorough scolding, the letter carrier asked Lluava in a disinterested manner, “Are you human or Theriomorph?”
This simplest of questions caught Lluava off guard. An inner heat coursed through her body as she growled out the formal reply.
“I am Lluava Kargen, daughter of Haliden Kargen, and I am Theriomorph.”

First book in the series:

Issaura’s Claws by Katharine E. Wibell

“If they fail to trust each other, the consequences will be devastating. Death and destruction are on the horizon and time is running out.”

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon

Katharine E Wibell

About the Author:

Katharine Wibell’s lifelong interest in mythology includes epic poetry like the Odyssey, Ramayana, Beowulf, and the Nibelungenlied. In addition, she is interested in all things animal whether training dogs, apprenticing at a children’s zoo, or caring for injured animals as a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. After receiving degrees from Mercer University in both art and psychology with an emphasis in animal behavior, Wibell moved to New Orleans with her dog, Alli, to kick start her career as an artist and a writer. Her first literary works blend her knowledge of the animal world with the world of high fantasy.

You can find and contact Katharine here:

Website

Website blog

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Goodreads

Instagram

Giveaway

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Ullr’s Fangs. One winner will

win a $25 Amazon gift card!

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Cusp of Night Blog Tour: Excerpt

CUSP OF NIGHT
Hode’s Hill #1
by Mae Clair
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Pub Date: 6/12/2018
The truth hides in dark places…
Recently settled in Hode’s Hill,
Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore,
especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like
creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific
murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the
past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual
“Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of
the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone
dressed like the Fiend.
Compelled to discover who is behind the
attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode
clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late
nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house—a
woman whose ghost may still linger. Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s
Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a
trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The
disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the
monster, trigger Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But
the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden
world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die…

Excerpt

Within moments, Charlotte was outside in the dismal weather. The drizzle had steadied into a light rain, pattering in a ceaseless rhythm against the cobblestones. The gas lamp on the corner was barely visible through the thickening fog. It would be a rough ride back in the carriage, bordering on miserable, now that she’d lost the opportunity to communicate with her deceased mother and share the news of Reginald’s birth. Drawing the collar of her cloak about her throat, Charlotte hurried down Chicory toward the alley. How far to the carriage? The fog played tricks with the
distance, shapes materializing from the mist with an abruptness that made her regret not taking the lamp Frederick offered. When a cat shot out in front of her, she gasped.
“Silly animal.” Pressing a hand to her heart, she breathed deeply.
The feline darted across the alley, vanishing into the mist. Were those footsteps behind her?
She glanced over her shoulder, but it was impossible to see more than a few feet. Rain trickled from the edge of the umbrella and splattered onto her gloves. Quickening her pace, she scurried forward. She’d only managed a few steps when the footsteps echoed again.
Once more she looked over her shoulder. “Frederick.” Perhaps he’d left the carriage in search of her when the rain grew heavier. “Frederick?”
The footsteps quickened, lengthening into a fleet run. Hair prickled on the back of her neck. She hesitated, torn between fleeing and needing to see who followed. Within seconds, a painted face bobbed in front of her from the fog. The macabre mask hung disembodied, a leering devil with ice white eyes and cadaverous grin.
The Fiend! Dear God, the monster was real.
Charlotte screamed and tried to run, her long skirts twisting about her ankles. Stumbling, she dropped her umbrella. “Frederick!” Her frightened cry echoed through the night, swallowed by the fog. “Oh, Frederick, please help!”
Fingers fisted on the back of her cloak and yanked hard, wheeling her around and tugging, until she was pressed up against the hard body of the Fiend. Trapped mere inches from that demonic face and hateful gaze, she swooned. Her vision spun into a funnel curtained with fog and rain as if the night had blindfolded her. A stinging flare of heat ripped across her stomach, chased by something sticky and damp. She tried to find her breath and wheezed out a faint bubble. “Oh!”
Pain ruptured upward from her navel. Fire seared her voice and left her choking soundlessly on cold air. Her knees buckled. The Fiend released her, and she wilted to the cobblestones, conscious of a dark stain spreading beneath her.
Blood.
The stench of hot metal and damp wool clotted her nostrils. She choked on tears, overcome by the realization she would never cradle her baby again or see the husband who had given her such a precious gift. A foolish woman, she’d paid for her folly. Why hadn’t she heeded Henry and stayed safe at home? Blood plastered her bodice to her skin, sticky heat against the rain. She folded to the side—down to the damp press of cobblestones
against her cheek, the thick gathering silt of the dead.
The Fiend stepped closer. Hunkered down near her head.
Charlotte forced herself to grip the hand that clutched the bloody knife. Twisting her neck, she stared up into the awful leering face. “Why? Please…tell me why.”
The slice of the blade across her throat paid her passage to Summerland.

Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s
Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back. Her
father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create
make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer
nights beneath the stars.
Mae loves creating character-driven
fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever
her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with conflict, romance and
elements of mystery. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives
in Pennsylvania and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a
good Maine lobster tail and cats.
Follow the tour HERE
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