Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Adventure, Author, blog, Book, Fiction, Historical, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Story, Tour, War, Writer

Walking Out of War by Scott Bury – Book Tour + #Giveaway

28/02/17

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Walking Out of War
by Scott Bury
Genre: Historical Adventure, War
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Ukraine, 1944: After the Soviets burned the Ukrainian city of Ternopyl to the
ground to crush the stubborn Nazi occupiers, they rounded up every
remaining Ukrainian man around for the Red Army’s final push on
Germany. Maurice Bury, Canadian citizen, Ukrainian resistance fighter
and intelligence officer, is thrust once again into the death
struggle between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s USSR.
Fighting across the Baltics in the autumn of 1944 is tough and bloody. Then
the Red Army enters Germany, where they’re no longer
liberators—they’re the long-feared Communist horde, bent on
destruction, rape and revenge. The Communists are determined to wipe
Nazism from the face of the earth. And the soldiers want revenge for
Germany’s brutal invasion and occupation.
Maurice has determined his only way out of this hell is to survive until Nazi
Germany dies, and then move home to Canada. But to do that, he’ll
have to not only walk out of war, but elude Stalin’s dreaded secret
police.
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wow-excerpt

Maurice and the truck

Latvia, October 1944

 

Maurice took out his pack of cigarettes from his inside pocket. They were damp, too, but he managed to light one and held the match for Stepan to light his, too. Even our cigarettes have to come from America. And they’re better than Russian cigarettes, too.

“Dig in, boys,” said a sergeant from another company. “Captain wants you to raise a berm along here,” he swept his arm along, indicating a line from a stand of burnt trees to a blasted barn. “Four men stand watch behind it at a time. The rest can sleep in what’s left of that barn.” He left to order other men to raise temporary, rudimentary defenses on the other side of the little camp.

The men shoveled and made a low dike with a shallow moat in front of it, good enough to hide behind and protect them against bullets. A lieutenant took three other men into the barn’s roofless loft as look-outs, even though they would not be able to see anything on this rainy night.

The berm complete, Maurice and a few other men set up the Maxim behind it and then huddled in the slightly dryer lee of a burned shed to eat their mobile rations. “Even our food comes from America,” he muttered, and surprised himself when he realized he had spoken aloud.

“Those cowboys know how to cook, too,” said another young soldier that Maurice did not know. He opened his tin can of rations. “This ham is very tasty.”

“It’s better than what we used to get,” said Maurice. Damn. I shouldn’t have said that.

“What did you used to get?” asked Taras around a mouthful of food.

“Just the Russian garbage. Sometimes, it was just stale bread.”

“When was that?”

Think fast, Maurice. “During training. The food was crap in the Donbas.”

The others nodded as if that made sense, and Maurice stifled a relieved sigh.

“Think the war will be over soon? Fritz is on the run,” said the man who liked the ham.

“It’s still a long way to Germany, and Hitler doesn’t want to give up any land,” Serhiy Koval said.

“France has been liberated, Belgium and Luxembourg too, and I heard that the Canadians have entered Holland,” said the ham lover. “Bulgaria and Hungary have turned against Germany, too. Germany can’t last.”

Maurice laughed bitterly. France had been liberated, or most of it, anyway. Italy soon would be completely free of Hitler. But what about Latvia? Estonia had declared itself a free country when the Red Army drove the Germans out, but its government had to flee the Soviets, too. Latvia would soon be firmly in Stalin’s grip.

And Ukraine? The Red Army had rolled across its flat fields in a matter of months, rolling up the Germans almost as quickly as the Germans had taken the country in 1941. Ternopyl had been destroyed in the fighting. The fall of Hitler’s empire would be the rise of Stalin’s.

A truck groaned up to the barn and parked for the night. The driver got out and three other men jumped out of the back and started unloading. Maurice shivered and felt water seeping through the canvas uppers of his boots. He looked longingly at the truck’s cabin. He thought fleetingly of climbing in the back once it was unloaded, but did not want to risk an officer’s ire. Instead, he walked up to the front of the truck and leaned against the grill. The engine’s damp heat suffused him, strengthened him. He closed his eyes and tilted his head back, thinking deliberately of his mother’s kitchen, of Katerina’s bed, of warm sunshine on the hills. For a delicious minute, he was no longer at war, but studying again beside his sister Hanya, sitting by the pietsch, his huge cat on his lap, a heavy book balanced on the table.

It couldn’t last. The sergeant walked into the barn, turning slightly as he passed Maurice. “Bury, you’re on first watch. Get up to the line.” Then he disappeared behind the blackened and splintered wall.

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Scott Bury can’t stay in one category.
After a 20-year career in journalism, he turned to writing fiction. “Sam,
the Strawb Part,” a children’s story, came out in 2011, with all
the proceeds going to an autism charity. Next was a paranormal short
story for grown-ups, “Dark Clouds.”
The Bones of the Earth, a historical fantasy, came out in 2012. It was
followed in 2013 with One Shade of Red, an erotic romance.
Army of Worn Soles, published in 2014, tells the true story of Maurice
Bury, a Canadian drafted into the USSR’s Red Army to face the German
invasion of the Soviet Union.
Invited to participate in two Kindle Worlds, he published Torn Roots: A Lei
Crime Kindle World Novella and Jet – Stealth: A Jet Kindle World
Novella. Both came out in July 2015.
In between writing books and blog posts, Scott helped found an author’s
cooperative publishing venture, Independent Authors International. He
is also President of author’s professional association BestSelling
Reads.
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Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, Bewitching Book Tours, blog, Book, Fiction, Paranormal Romance, Tour, Writer

Rescued by the Wolf by Kristal Hollis – Spotlight Tour + #Giveaway

27/02/17


Rescued by the Wolf
Wahyas of Walker’s Run Series
Book Two
Kristal Hollis
Genre: Paranormal Romance              
Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne 
Date of Publication:  March 1, 2017
ISBN:  0373139837
ASIN: B01JBQ3HQW
Number of pages: 304
Word Count: 74,000
Book Description:
She’s not afraid to run with his wolf.
When a poacher killed his mate, Rafe Wyatt lost his future. While the Wahyas of Walker’s Run have been pulling him back from the brink, he’s certain he won’t have another chance at love. That is, until Grace comes to town.
Grace Olsen is a woman without roots. That’s exactly how she likes it, until a sojourn in a small, close-knit Appalachian community gives her a new vision of what home could be—and so does Rafe. He was supposed to be nothing more than a casual lover, just as wary of commitment as she is. When their raw attraction becomes something deeper, more complex, they could be looking at a new future together. But someone close to them both would rather see Grace dead than let her be with the man—and the wolf—she’s grown to love.
Amazon        BN       Kobo        iTunes
Excerpt:
“Rafe, wake up!”
He didn’t move, snort, or
otherwise acknowledge her presence.
Grace eased off the Murphy bed,
slid her feet into pink slippers, maneuvered between the coffee table and
couch, and reached over Rafe to the alarm clock balanced on the top frame of
the couch, the LED face flipped so that the time flashed into the cushion instead
of into the room.
In a sudden whirl, she slammed
onto the couch seat cushions. Rafe’s steely fingers clamped around her wrists,
pinning them over her head. She stared into icy, cobalt blue eyes that would’ve
stolen her breath if she hadn’t lost all air when he plastered his hard, hot
body onto hers.
            The
short crop of his auburn hair stuck out in different directions. A pillow
crease cut across one high cheekbone and dipped into the reddish stubble
dusting his strong jaw. His firm, full lips would look much more kissable if he
smiled.
            Squared
shoulders rose above a sculpted chest swirled with soft tufts of hair, and a
quarter-sized scar marred the taut, tan skin over his right ribs.
            Her
gaze slid over the ripples of his abs and the sharp indents of his hips. She
couldn’t follow the treasure line that arrowed down from his belly button
because he was lodged intimately against her pelvis.
            A
giddy heat rushed her body and struck her with the acute awareness of a virile
man in his prime.
            “Never
sneak up on me, Grace.” Rafe’s laser-intense eyes burned holes straight through
her body. “It’s dangerous.”
            No
doubt.
            From
his deeply etched scowl to his silent, panther-like movements, she needed no
further warnings. He was dangerous on all levels.
——————-
            Rafe
sat on the couch in the living area of the suite, opened the fast food bag and
methodically set three wrapped sandwiches, an extra-large order of fries,
napkins and a plastic spoon on the small round table.
            “How
you can eat like that and not have an ounce of fat?” She knew he didn’t because
she’d seen every inch of him.
            “I
run almost every night.” Rafe unwrapped the first sandwich, wadded the paper
and dropped it in the bag.
            “You
don’t look like a runner. They’re usually lean and lanky.” Grace pulled a
bottle of water from the small in-room refrigerator and placed it on the table
for Rafe. “You’re thicker, more solid.”
            Elbows
on his knees, holding the sandwich in front of his face, he took a giant bite,
chewed slowly and swallowed. “You think I’m dense and slow?” His gaze lifted to
her with a challenge in his eyes.
            “No.”
She joined him on the couch. “Think of greyhounds and rottweilers. Greyhounds
are sleek, elegant and fast. Rottweilers are—”
            “Blocky
and stout?”
            Neither
of which described Rafe.
            “I
was going for strong and durable.” She picked up the spoon and shoveled a big
scoop of delicious, soft, vanilla ice cream drowning in hot fudge into her
mouth.
            Her
entire body cheered.
            “I
could give a greyhound a run for its life.”
            “Keep
eating junk and you won’t.”
            Eying
the sundae in her hand, he halted before taking another bite of his sandwich.             “Who’s the pot and who’s the kettle
in this conversation?”
            “Hey.
This is my only vice.” She savored another bite. “Ummmm.”
            “What
about coffee?”
            “Isn’t
a vice. Coffee is as essential as oxygen.”
            “If
you stopped breathing, which would you rather have, mouth-to-mouth
resuscitation or a cup of coffee poured down your throat?” Rafe’s gaze lingered
on her mouth.
            Her
lips tingled. She gave her spoon a slow, sensual lick. “Depends on who’s
providing the rescue breathing.”
FREE SAMPLE CHAPTERS: https://goo.gl/K5t5Ou
About the Author:
Raised in a small Southern town, Kristal Hollis has spent most of her life helping people and animals. When a family medical situation resulted in a work sabbatical, she began penning deliciously dark paranormal romances to escape the real-life drama. After the crisis passed, her passion for writing love stories continued. An RWA 2015 Golden Heart® Finalist, Kristal lives with her husband and two rescued dogs at the edge of the enchanted forest that inspires her stories.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, blog, Chick lit, Contemporary, Fiction, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Tour, Writer

40 Something by Shannon Peel – Book Tour + #Giveaway

24/02/17

40 Something
by Shannon Peel
Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary Fiction
Five women navigate life while juggling careers, children, family, and the
men in their lives.
Charlie is bored with the family tradition of Sunday Dinner so she brings a
friend her family won’t approve of to spice things up a bit. Will
this friend go too far and cause too much damage?
Rose only wants to do what is right and keep her family safe. How can she
do that when the world is so dangerous and her teenagers so willful.
Will helping a friend invite trouble into her perfect world?
Lindsay loves to have fun and enjoys the company of men. She is a modern
playgirl who will stop at nothing to get a man’s attention. Will she
find what she’s looking for or something unexpected?
Sophie wants to keep the peace and keep everyone happy, especially her
ex-husband, so her children will live with her full time. Will she
lose the children if she can’t afford to take care of them?
Justine wants to escape her perfect life, she just doesn’t realize it. Will
she find the passion that is missing or will she continue to hide
behind her computer screen?
40-excerpt

Sophie

 

I have an online dating profile.

The photos look nothing like me. The woman in the photos is cute and the write up even makes her sound interesting. Lindsay’s makeover had me speechless, when I was finally allowed to look in a mirror. I didn’t look like me. My hair had body, a bit of curl, and softly, framed my face. I feel weird looking at myself. I couldn’t stop staring at the stranger that was staring back.

I looked and felt pretty.

Will a guy think I’m pretty? What am I doing? No one is going to want me. I know that, and yet, I let Lindsay and Charlie push me into this. This is nuts. I’m nuts. Why do I let others push me into things?

“Do you want more wine?”

I shake my head.

“Sophie. You look freaked out, are you OK?”

I shrug.

“What’s on your mind girlfriend?”

“Well.” I’m not sure what to say, they’ve been so nice to me, and I know they mean well. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Discomfort shifts my body and I look down. “I’m just nervous, I mean, what if no one messages me.”

“Sophie. You already have three messages.” Lindsay says.

I look at her, my eyes wide and mouth open. Did she say three messages? Three men have messaged me? What do I do now?

“Check it out. These guys are the hovering ones, waiting to strike at the newbies while they are fresh, not worth an answer. You’ll get some quality ones soon enough though.”

I take a look, there really are three messages. Two of them don’t have photos and the third is a muscle head with a shaved head, looks a lot like Mr. Clean. I click on each message.

Takeuout: Hey sexy, what you doing?

Hotdude69: You want to come over for a good time?

Mr. Clean: Hello. You are very pretty.

I look to Charlie and Lindsay. I don’t know what to do.

“Don’t message them, the idiots with no pic are either married, ugly, or trolls, all of which you don’t need to bother with. The third. I don’t know. You’re choice. If you think he’s cute then chat with him. Otherwise just ignore it and wait for something better.”

I am unsure about what to do. I don’t want to do the wrong thing.

“What are the rules?” I ask.

“Rules? There are none.” Lindsay says.

No rules? How does anyone know what to do? How to act? What is OK and what is wrong? I don’t want to offend anyone. I don’t want to hurt anyone. And I definitely don’t want to get hurt. There must be rules. There must be a code of conduct.

“It’s whatever you want it to be. You want to have lots of sex, have lots of sex. You want a man to treat you right then you tell him to. You want a relationship, you wait to find a relationship. Don’t do what you don’t want, that’s all.” Lindsay says.

What I don’t want? I don’t know what I want, let alone what I don’t want.

“Take this new message from Wantmore: Hey sexy lady are you lonely tonight? What do you think he is saying he wants?”

“He’s asking if I’m lonely.” I say.

“He wants sex. He’s asking you if you want to come over to his place for a booty call. Do you?” Charlie says.

“NO.” Oh my God, what have I gotten myself into? “Why doesn’t he just say that?”

“Because he knows he’ll get virtually slapped down for it.” Lindsay says.

“Give you a compliment, some innuendo, enough to start a conversation.” Charlie adds.

“Let’s have some fun with this one.”

“Lindsay.” Charlie says.

“He’s hot and we need something to do.”

Lindsay leans over the computer and types, hey hot stuff, I’m very lonely tonight, what about you? I look at her, she lied, why would she do that? His response comes immediately.

Wantmore: Want some company?

Lindsay: What are you thinking?

Wantmore: Some kissing. Cuddling. My tongue tasting your body. I am very good with my tongue.

Lindsay: Mmmmm. I like a good licking, 😉

Wantmore: I’ll lick you good baby.

Lindsay starts to laugh and Charlie rolls her eyes, I’m at a loss.

“This is dating?” I ask.

“A part of it. There are lots of guys on here who want to get off on dirty talk, while jerking off. A large majority of them want casual sex with no strings. Nothing else. Just come over, pleasure me, and go home.” Charlie says.

“Sounds like they should call a prosititute or call girl.” I say.

“They should, they don’t want to pay or take a hit to their egos by paying for sex. Though I’m not sure why that would be a hit to their egos. Those girls need to make a living too.” Charlie says. “And if they did, they would be probably be less rude when dating. The funny thing is they don’t realize that the woman on here looking for quick sex, are sleeping with a lot of them and they are all sharing the same girls, which is how STDs get spread, because these guys don’t want to use a condom.”

“What?” I am horrified.

Charlie continues, “lots of them were married and are used to sex without a condom, so they don’t want to use one. They are dumb enough to believe that they have chosen someone who is clean, and doesn’t sleep around with other guys, at least not without a condom. They believe the woman is telling them the truth, when she wants to get laid as much as he does. They lie to each other to get what they want.”

“Hey. We always make sure we get tested and are clean.” Lindsay says.

“Yeah, up until your next fuck. I keep telling you to be more careful.”

“I don’t want to do this anymore.”

“Sophie. They aren’t all dumb pigs, just the majority of them. There are decent ones out there who are relationship guys.” Charlie says.

“They all have their uses and are worth exploring. It’s about having fun and some guys are only fun in the sack.” Lindsay adds.

“One of these days you’re going to find one who is worth so much more than a roll in the hay and then what are you going to do if he asks how many men you’ve been with?” Charlie asks Lindsay.

“Tell him. He won’t care.”

“Right. ‘Cause men are such liberal minded creatures who don’t think in double standards. What about, loves his ex guy. He admitted that he wanted to get back together with his wife, but because she’d been with other men he couldn’t. When I pointed out he slept with other women his comment was, that’s different, you’re not a man, you don’t understand. I understood alright, he held one set of standards for him and another set for his ex-wife.”

“You’re too hard on them. They are flawed, sure, but if you are good in bed they’ll keep you.”

“No they won’t. They will fuck ya, but that’s it.”

“You are way too jaded.”

“And you are way too forgiving.”

“I thought you two said this was supposed to be fun.”

The two of them start laughing.

“Sorry Sophie. It’s just that we have different opinions about what is acceptable and what isn’t, when it comes to how men behave. It’s a running debate between us, it is part of the fun. You’ll find your own opinions about men, what you will accept as acceptable, and what you won’t.”

“Charlie’s just a stick in the mud who hates men.” Lindsay sticks her tongue out at Charlie.

“You bet I hate men. All the good ones are married and I’m sick of being treated badly.”

These two are kidding right? Why in the world do they think that it’s a good idea for me to do this? I’m not sure I can survive being rejected by a man. Craig threw me away and the pain of it still cuts at me daily. Do I want to add to it by having other guys using me for sex or rejecting me because I won’t put out? This is not for me. I am not meant to be with anyone except Craig and he doesn’t want me.

I can’t do this.

 

Shannon Peel grew up in Enderby, BC where her family’s root run deep. Growing
up where television was either non existent or very limited she
relied on books & imagination to escape into the world
beyond.

She went to UBC to study and earn a general studies BA with a
concentration in Political Science and Economics. Macro analysis of
world events, social justice and human motivations became a passion
of hers. This passion is a driving force in all her stories, which
have political, economic, and social justice undercurrents.

After a career in the financial field she decided to stay home and raise
her two children until school age. In 2007 she return to the
workforce as a sales / marketing / advertising professional. She
currently resides in BC’s Lower Mainland with her two teenage
children.

Shannon Peel is a creative, intelligent professional with a 20 year proven
track record in sales, marketing, customer relations, project
management, presentations, and communication.

Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Action, Author, blog, Book, Fiction, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Thriller, Tour, Writer

The Azrael Initiative by K Hanson – Book Tour + #Giveaway

23/02/17

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The Azrael Initiative
Kayla Falk Series Book 1
by K Hanson
Genre: Action Thriller
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Best friends Kayla Falk, an engineering student, and Olivia Bellamy, who
is studying nursing, are nearing the end of their college career when
terrorists attack their university. Through a combination of
cleverness, bravery, and luck, the two manage to foil the deadly
plot. A mysterious man from the United States government, Mr.
Hightower, sees their potential and attempts to recruit Kayla and
Olivia for a program to take on ISIS. They initially refuse, but
another terrorist attack that strikes close to home pushes them to
change their minds and join the Azrael Initiative.
After several months of hard training, the two women are dropped into
Al-Raqqah, the capital of ISIS, in Syria. Once there, they must blend
in with the locals as they strike from the shadows to kill ISIS
leaders, destroy their facilities, and free captives. As Americans
deep within enemy territory, they know that they will be killed if
discovered. As women, they also know that they would suffer before
death. Walking the line between vengeance and justice strains their
relationship. As they work to resolve their differences, the symphony
of brutality around them ultimately pushes them closer together and
forges them into the warriors that they were meant to become.
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K Hanson is a new author and is currently working on launching his
debut novel, The Azrael Initiative, which features two young women
being thrown into the fight against ISIS. He is also working on Storm
Raven, the first book in a new fantasy series.
K lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he works as a software
developer. In his spare time, when he isn’t writing, he enjoys
reading, working out, playing video games, and spending time with his
wonderful girlfriend, Bobbi.
Some of his favorite authors are Tom Clancy, George R. R. Martin, and
Sarah Maas.
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Posted in #Book, Author, Bewitching Book Tours, blog, Book, Cover Reveal, Fantasy, Tour, Writer

Kinglet by Donna Migliaccio – Cover Reveal

22/02/17


 

Kinglet

The Gemeta Stone
Book One
Donna Migliaccio
August 1, 2017
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing
Book Description:
Kristan Gemeta has lost everything:  his crown, his kingdom, his courage – even his name.
In the vast wilderness of the Exilwald, he’s known to the other outcasts as Kinglet.  As long as Kristan stays hidden, he can elude the bounty hunters, brutal soldiers and terrifying spells of Daazna, the Wichelord who killed his father and destroyed his life.
But when a new band of pursuers comes looking for him, Kristan’s wariness gives way to intrigue. For bounty hunters they’re oddly inept, and a young woman in their company is leaving enigmatic drawings wherever they go.  As they plunge deeper into the Exilwald, Kristan follows. He discovers the drawings symbolize the Gemeta Stone, an ancient family talisman seized by Daazna but now in the little band’s possession.
With the Stone’s protection, Kristan might stand a chance against Daazna.  He could regain his birthright and his honor.  But to obtain the Stone, he must reveal his true identity and risk the one thing he has left…his life.
About the Author:
Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa and The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing. 
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Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, blog, Book, Fiction, Romance, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Tour, Writer

Dream Catchers Series by Sandy Lo – Book Tour + #Giveaway

22/02/17

Dream Catchers
Dream Catchers Series Book 1
By Sandy Lo
Genre: Rock Star Romance
Dreams come true only if you believe in them…Haley Foster never bothered
to believe in herself or find her dream. Growing up with a silver
spoon in her mouth, her parents gave her everything she needed except
freedom. Fate steps in at the bus station when Haley bumps into
Jordan Walsh, literally. His unpolished manners and rock star
attitude rile her, though she is oddly drawn to him. Haley and
Jordan’s opposing personalities clash while on the bus-before they
wind up stranded together! Haley finds herself in quite a predicament
with no way to get home. Jordan challenges her to escape her wealthy
conformity and go with him to New York, despite their disgust for one
another. Haley is enthralled with the carefree, in control and
gorgeous Jordan, yet he remains a stranger to her in many ways. With
his help, Haley begins to discover who she is and what she wants. She
finds herself at a crossroads: go back to her old life where she
merely exists or take a stand and chase her dreams.

The DREAM CATCHERS series is not just a rock star romance, but it’s about
taking chances, chasing dreams, and finding yourself.
sok-excerpt

The sun was bright as a florescent lemon as it blazed down, almost blinding me. I tapped my foot trying to think of what to do. Jordan sat down on the curb, and strummed his guitar absently. He didn’t seem to be worried, but I was terrified. I’m just a girl, who’s never really been on her own. College was supposed to be a form of “cutting the cord” from my parents, but they paid for everything and called to check in neurotically. I was basically chauffeured and sheltered my entire life.

My mother warned me about boys like Jordan. They were off limits, often described as delinquents. She would freak out if she knew I was stuck in the middle of nowhere with some deviant.

“…And girl, you’ll be a woman soon…” A sultry-raspy voice sang.

I turned slightly, and Jordan looked up at me as he continued to strum. I just stared. If Jordan was a delinquent, no wonder Mom worried. His fingers touched the guitar so gingerly; his mouth was a work of art as he sang. Somewhere deep down I wanted this; to be free; to be lost; to not know. I was stranded with a complete stranger. They make horror movies about this stuff, but then again, they also make porno films about it. I smirked at the thought, and I guess I was still staring.

“See something you like?” Jordan asked, a smile playing at his lips.

I cocked my head to the side and folded my arms.

“You sound pretty good.”

“A compliment?” he asked, and I remembered my cold shoulder that was rapidly heating up.

“Don’t get used to it,” I stiffened.

Jordan laughed quietly and put his guitar back in its case.

“So, what do we do?”

“Well, considering you’re broke…I guess you’re stuck,” Jordan said as he stood up.

He stretched his arms over his head, his tank top lifting as he did so. I noticed another tattoo just above his jeans. It was some kind of Celtic symbol. Jordan packed up his guitar and started to walk away with his things. My eyes widened at the realization that he would leave me deserted.

“You’re just going to leave me here?!”

My voice was high-pitched and whiny, which I hated myself for sounding. Jordan turned slightly.

“Relax, sweetie. I’ll help you as much as I can, but what are you going to do for me?”

He raised an eyebrow and my mouth just gaped open. How do I answer that?

“I’ll repay you with interest,” I decided.

Jordan rolled his eyes, “Don’t worry about it. Come on.”

He waved me on and I followed, letting out a breath of air. Call it naiveté, but I was worried he wanted some other form of repayment, or maybe I hoped. What did my boring life subject me to? Here I am hoping for someone to want my body in exchange for a favor.

Then again, it isn’t just someone…it’s him.

“Maybe I should just call my parents…” I stuttered, clumsily walking over the gravelly road behind him.

Jordan turned toward me and pushed his hair back; my knees buckled just a bit.

“There’s a payphone,” he pointed.

I must have made a face because he rolled his eyes.

“Sorry princess, I don’t believe in cell phones. You’re going to have to put that germ-infested phone against your pretty little ear.”

I placed my hand on my hip, and rolled my eyes before starting toward the public telephone.

“Who doesn’t have a cell phone nowadays?” I mumbled as I heard Jordan following me.

Stepping up to the telephone, I took a deep breath. Jordan leaned against the metal casing around the phone and held a quarter out to me. As I picked up the receiver, I imagined what my parents would say.

Don’t talk to strangers!” Mom would squeak.

“We’ll send a car for you. Don’t go anywhere with that boy,” Dad would insist.

Then the lectures would start about how careless I was to lose my wallet and my phone and get on the wrong bus!

“They’ll think I’m an idiot,” I sighed aloud.

“What?”

I looked over at Jordan.

“I mean, don’t you?”

“Idiot wouldn’t be the word I’d use.”

Jordan smirked; an expression of his I was becoming familiar with. I ignored his comment.

“They’re already over-protective,” I explained.

“Don’t tell them,” he shrugged.

“And where should I say I am? I’m supposed to be home in two hours,” I laughed.

“Change of plans?” he flashed a smile and winked.

Why is it men look so damn good when they wink? It’s such an old-fashioned, cheesy gesture, yet it’s still so sexy when the right person does it.

I put the quarter into the slot and dialed a phone number I was lucky I remembered. Nowadays, I barely knew anyone’s number since everything was programmed into my cell phone, which I’m probably never getting back. It wasn’t like I had any important information programmed into my phone, though.

“Tasha Torres, dancer extraordinaire at your service,” she piped through the receiver.

“Nice introduction.”

“Haley? What number are you calling from?”

“A payphone. Long story, but I’m stranded in…”

I pulled my mouth away from the receiver and scrunched my nose at Jordan.

“Where are we again?”

“Pinkston.”

I relayed the city to Tasha.

“Where the hell is that?”

“Uh, Rhode Island, I think.”

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah. Well, no¾I’m broke. My wallet and phone are gone. I don’t want to call my parents. I rather just get home on my own, and tell them my bus is delayed or something.”

“You really don’t want to risk them sending Christian, do you?” Tasha laughed.

“You know they will!” I laughed as well.

“I can wire you money.”

“Really?” I asked, trying not to sound too desperate.

“Of course. I’ve got your back, don’t worry. I just hate that you’re all alone in Rhode Island,” Tasha said with disgust.

“Well, I’m not exactly alone,” I glanced up at Jordan for a nanosecond, and then back down before I could even meet his eyes. I’m sure he was smirking at me, though.

“I met this guy on the bus¾”

“Is he hot?” Tasha asked with excitement.

“Uh, maybe,” I answered, blushing furiously.

“Is he standing right next to you?”

“Yes,” I blushed even more.

I felt like Tasha could see my red cheeks through the phone. Jordan could see them for sure.

“Look, if your friend wants to talk to me, fine,” Jordan said before snatching the receiver out of my hand before I could object.

“Hello?”

Jordan began to talk to Tasha and I watched him, curiously. He answered questions about himself and about ten minutes later, he was laughing before he handed the phone back to me.

“H-hello?”

“Hay, he sounds totally cute!” Tasha gushed, “His voice is sexy. Does he look the way he sounds?”

“Um, yeah.”

“I definitely approve of this little road trip. He passed my personality test. Go make out with him!”

“Tasha…” I laughed.

When I hung up the phone, Jordan was smirking at me still.

“What were you saying about me?”

“Nothing,” I shrugged and began walking to the bench at the rest stop.

Jordan followed behind.

“So, what now?” he asked sitting down next to me.

Jordan told me he was headed to New York City for a battle of the bands competition tomorrow night. I wasn’t surprised he was in a band. The guitar and the crooning ability tipped me off a bit, not to mention the tattoos and bad ass attitude. His face lit up when he talked about his music. Despite his laid back nature, he was all business when it came to his band. He reminded me of Tasha when she talked about dancing. I want what they have badly. To do something that makes me feel so alive, so free; something where I can be me without any consequences.

“Haley?”

I snapped out of my own world and smiled at him.

“What?” he asked.

“I’m just surprised.”

“About my band?”

“About you,” I gulped, “I presumed you were someone who¾”

“Was a slacker?”

“Well, yeah.”

“Join the club,” Jordan said taking a cigarette out of his pocket and lighting it up.

“That’s a disgusting habit.”

I was especially repulsed since Tasha wanted me to make out with him.

“Deal with it, Mom,” he blew out a puff of smoke close to my face and I coughed.

Breaking the Moon
Dream Catchers Series Book 2
BREAKING THE MOON is the tumultuous tale of heartache and love, and how
sometimes it’s just not enough.
A follow up to 2010′s DREAM CATCHERS, Sandy Lo continues Haley’s
journey of self-discovery as she is faced with new obstacles all
while trying to understand the tormented past of her boyfriend,
Jordan.
In the beginning, love is as easy as breathing. After almost two years
of dating, Haley and Jordan are the perfect couple. They’re young,
carefree and on the brink of their dream careers. Life is perfect
until their world is turned upside down by unexpected news: Haley is
pregnant. The couple struggle with the news as well as Jordan’s
demons and concepts on family. Will they be able to pick up the
pieces after their world shatters?
sok-excerpt

“Haley, what’s going on?” Tasha asked as I got into the passenger seat.

It has been so cold outside. I was grateful the heat was blasting in the car. My lips were even chattering.

“Just drive. Give me a minute,” I said, trying to keep my voice calm.

I knew once I began to talk my voice would start cracking again. Tasha looked at me with the amount of worry my parents would look at me with. From her, that is surprising. I must really look like crap to alarm her this much. I guess the sheer fact that I made an unexpected trip to Bakersfield, when I didn’t have to, is reason for caution.

It is no secret that my hometown is not my ideal destination. I honestly don’t know why I am here, either. Was I planning to tell my parents the news…so soon? Maybe I was. Deep down, I know no matter how disappointed Mom and Dad will be, they will give me the comfort I need right now; the comfort I so desperately hoped to get from my boyfriend.

I began to cry as Tasha pulled onto the highway going toward Bakersfield. I didn’t know where to begin. The baby would make the most sense to start with, but my heart was breaking over Jordan right then. The baby is not a baby yet—it is a growing change that I will adapt to. I am confident of that.

I am confident that even though my parents will hate the idea of me having a child at this point in my life that they will love their grandchild unconditionally.

Sure, I am scared, but I took such comfort in facing my fears with Jordan—my loving, warm and go with the flow boyfriend. I thought with him holding my hand throughout this pregnancy, I would be able to overcome fear and worry.

Then suddenly, that boyfriend turns into a hotheaded jerk that can’t even react normally to the news. He didn’t say much about our baby. He said a lot about his nonexistent child with his ex-girlfriend. He spoke about his ass of a father and his piece of crap car. Oh, and he spoke about how he does not want to marry me. But he barely mentioned the child we made together.

“Jordan and I are over,” I said, closing my eyes.

I meant that. Maybe I was hormonal, but I couldn’t bear the thought of being with any man who would react the way he did.

“Haley,” Tasha laughed. “What stupid fight did you get into? Do you have your period?” she rolled her eyes.

I looked at her warningly.

“What did he do?” she asked, turning serious remembering the severity of my emotional state.

“I’m pregnant.”

Tasha stopped short on the highway causing the car behind us to screech and swerve around us—honking its horn as it did.

“Can you please not kill me and my child?” I asked, looking at her horrified.

“You’re pregnant?”

“Yes. I just found out today.”

“And this is why you and Jordan broke up?” Tasha asked surprised.

“I don’t know. I guess so.”

“Haley, what the hell is going on?”

“He was pissed off at his father and Bippy…and he—it was like we didn’t matter. Like me being pregnant was nothing compared to his past.”

“I’m sure he was just upset. Maybe you should have waited to tell him until he had calmed down,” Tasha sighed.

She was right, but I couldn’t wait. And I didn’t know the severity of the fight with his father. And now… Saying we’re over seems a little hasty.

I took a deep breath before beginning to cry all over again.

“Haley, it’ll be fine,” Tasha reached over and rubbed my back.

“I shouldn’t have come here. I need to talk to Jordan and I can’t face my parents like this.”

I was a mess—plain and simple. My emotions were all over the place and I had no control over them. I saw the exit for Bakersfield and I panicked.

“Don’t take me to their house!”

“Where should I take you then?” she laughed, incredulously.

 

Expressions
Dream Catchers Series Book 3
EXPRESSIONS is the third installment to Sandy Lo’s DREAM CATCHERS SERIES. The
book is a series of vignettes written from the point-of-view of
various characters throughout the book series. From letters to blog
entries to song lyrics, EXPRESSIONS delves deeper into the minds of
the characters. Sandy hopes fans of the series will enjoy this
52-page companion book.
sok-excerpt

“You Make Me Hate Me” – Song written by Jordan

 

 

          “YOU MAKE ME HATE ME”

 

Have you ever hated someone so much…

You would say anything to keep them out

You swore and you pushed

To get out of their clutch

 

You make me question who I am

Am I a bastard like you?

Or am I just the person you drove me to?

I don’t like the things you make me feel

That’s why I have to get away

I just can’t stay

 

You make me hate me

For the things you make me feel

You make me hate me

For the wounds you cannot heal

I don’t believe in you

No, I don’t believe

With all the pain that you leave

You make me hate myself

For hating you

 

I tell you to go to hell before I walk out the door

I want to say I’m sorry

Though I’m really not

I just can’t take you anymore

 

You make me question who I am

Am I a bastard like you?

Or am I just the person you drove me to?

I don’t like the things you make me feel

That’s why I have to get away

I just can’t stay

 

You make me hate me

For the things you make me feel

You make me hate me

For the wounds you cannot heal

I don’t believe in you

No, I don’t believe

With all the pain that you leave

You make me hate myself

For hating you

 

Take Me Home
Dream Catchers Series Book 4
All Cami Woods has ever known was a hard work ethic and an unhealthy
marriage that leaves her a single mother of her brand new baby. The
story unfolds when Cami takes a vacation to visit friends in Florida
and winds up having a hot and steamy affair with a major league
baseball player.
That famous baseball player isn’t a stranger, however. He’s Cami’s
ex-boyfriend, Jordan’s little brother, Drew Ashton. With leftover
feelings for gorgeous rock star Jordan, Cami finds herself in quite a
predicament as his equally irresistible baby brother starts to steal
her attention more than just bases.
TAKE ME HOME is a story of loss, loneliness, renewal and true love, making
it a wonderful addition to the romantic book series!
sok-excerpt

“Matt, I just want to see my son,” I said, exasperated.

“Cam, he’s going to be right where you left him in a few hours,” Matt said, putting his hands on my arms.

“Psst!”

We both turned to see Andrew peeking out of the dugout. I plastered my fake smile on and Drew smiled, with no teeth this time. He saw through me. I could tell by his expression.

“You still up for hanging out?” he asked.

I was about to tell him no, but Matt spoke for me.

“She is, but I’m going to head home. Pregnant fiancée wants ice cream,” Matt laughed. “Thanks for the tickets, man.”

Drew hopped onto the fence and shook Matt’s hand.

“No problem. It’s nice to meet you. Don’t tell anyone, but I like some of Sound Wave’s music.”

I had to laugh. Jordan would torment Drew if he ever found that out. I think Drew said it just to be nice, though. That’s the kind of kid he was.

Matt laughed, “Come on, I have to tell someone. Like Razz Magazine.”

I groaned. Razz Magazine was a sore spot for me since it was how I found out my marriage was over.

“Sorry, not a fan of that rag,” I smirked.

Matt and Drew both were silent for a moment, which assured me they knew what I meant by the comment.

“So, I guess it’s just you and me,” Drew said. “The guys are going to this pretty cool lounge if you’re up for that.”

“Uh, sure,” I agreed, not knowing what else to do.

“Great,” Matt said, kissing my cheek. “See you at home. I won’t wait up,” he winked.

I turned toward Andrew and he jumped down from the fence.

“I’m just going to shower and change really fast. Wait by the security entrance. I’ll tell them you’re with me so they don’t kick you out,” he said, running back into the dugout and disappearing into the clubhouse.

I turned to walk up the stairs and a bunch of number 12 fans were about to storm toward me. I guess they caught a glimpse of Drew before he went back inside. I looked at my outfit and thought how embarrassing it was to be going out with the Yankees covered in team gear.

I could kill Matt for leaving me. I could kill myself for not thinking about bringing a change of clothes. Yes, I am a huge Yankees fan, and there was nothing to be ashamed of. However, in my line of work, integrity is important. I wouldn’t wear a Tortured t-shirt if I were out to dinner with Danny. That would just be odd and draws attention. What was even worse was the fact that I had the name “Ashton” on my back with Drew’s number. I hate groupies and that night, I was one!

I hurried into the bathroom to see what damage control I could do before meeting up with the team. I took off the baseball cap and shoved it into my purse before pulling my hair out of its ponytail. My hair had no volume to it and was fairly frizzy, even after I fluffed the hat head look out of it. I decided to braid it quickly. I touched up my make-up before pulling off the pinstripe jersey. In my tank top and jean shorts, I looked like I wasn’t wearing enough clothing! I put the jersey back on and decided supportive fan was a better look than white trash groupie.

About forty minutes later, I was standing by two security guards watching the team start to file out of the clubhouse. I guess I am a groupie since I found myself stifling the need to get an autograph or a picture with every single player to walk by.

I am used to being surrounded by celebrities. I stood next to Nicole Kidman on the red carpet before. I ate dinner with Lady Gaga twice. John Mayer hit on me a few times, big surprise there, which caused a huge, public feud between him and Danny. Still, there I was star struck over the New York Yankees. I suppose I wasn’t used to being around professional athletes. On top of that, being from New York and growing up watching baseball, these players are practically royalty in our eyes.

Andrew was the last player to come out. He was dressed in black slacks and a white collared dress shirt, that had the first three buttons undone. His hair was slicked back somewhat, but mostly because it was still wet, making it look darker than usual. I couldn’t help but notice the silver chain around his neck that disappeared into his shirt. It drew my eyes to the peek-a-boo he was giving of his chest. I hadn’t realized how muscular he had gotten until now. The last time I had seen him, he had a jacket on. He wasn’t very tall—5’10” according to his stats online—yes, I knew a lot of facts like that about the Yankees. Even though Drew wasn’t all that tall compared to the other players, he was solid and toned. He had the body of an athlete, which I wasn’t used to being around.

I couldn’t help but compare him to Danny in that instant. Danny was really tall and soft in spots from too much partying. As Drew walked closer to me, I found myself mentally comparing him to Jordan as well. They were close in height probably, but Drew definitely grew into a more muscular guy with a boyishly handsome face while Jordan had a more defined jaw line and intense eyes.

When Drew smiled at me, once again, I couldn’t help to genuinely smile back. He pulled me into a hug—with both arms this time—and I sunk into his broad chest instantly. It was the best hug I had received in such a long time; I didn’t want him to let go, but he did.

“Tonight, we are going to party like we’re twenty-one!”

I laughed, “Aren’t you twenty-one?”

He smirked, “I’ll be twenty-nine in July.”

“Wow, you’re getting old,” I teased.

“Me? You must be pushing fifty!”

I scowled, “Thirty-seven in September.”

He smiled, “You look much closer to my age than that.”

I rolled my eyes, “I wish. You look amazing. Been working out?”

I squeezed his bicep, and let my fingers linger on his arm. He wasn’t huge like a wrestler or one of those muscle head gym rats, but for a guy of his stature and his frame—he was big with broad shoulders. I was never into muscular men, but Drew had the perfect body. He looked at me for a moment. His brown eyes were searching mine for something—I didn’t know what, but I stared right back into his eyes.

“I’m not on anything, if that’s what you’re thinking.”

I dropped my hand and I stared at my shoes. That whole steroid idea went out the window hours ago. That was just me being cynical. Obviously, he was sensitive about it, though.

“I didn’t…” I said. “I mean, I wasn’t judging you if you were…”

Great, I couldn’t even lie anymore!

Drew laughed and slung his arm around my shoulders.

“You’re not the only one who thought it.”

I looked up at him, amazed he was smiling.

“Some stupid gossip website posted that I was on steroids. Jordan even asked me about it, too. It just makes me mad that he would think I would do that to myself. I already worry I have the temper of Chuck Ashton inside me, I don’t want ‘roid rage on top of that,” Drew winked.

I smiled, “Well, you’ll have to tell me your workout secrets.”

“It looks like you don’t need my help,” he said, glancing down my body to my legs for a moment.

I felt extremely self-conscious under his gaze, knowing he was just trying to flatter me.

“Thanks, but I know you’re just being nice like always. I gained some weight since the baby and the separation,” I sighed.

“You look great, but if you need a workout buddy, call me up if I’m in town.”

I smiled and a moment later, he directed me toward his car. As soon as we got settled inside, Drew turned on the radio. Funny enough, a Sound Wave song was on, and we both laughed. What was even funnier was Andrew actually sang along—to every word! The song came out while I was in high school, but I only knew the chorus.

After the song was over, I just stared at Drew with my mouth open.

“What?”

“You weren’t lying when you told Matt you were a fan…” I gasped.

Drew blushed, his smooth baby like cheeks, turning red.

“It’s fun music. It puts me in a good mood.”

I smiled and tried to keep from chuckling. Drew looked over at me and squeezed my knee, which made me spasm a little. He laughed before staring at my jersey.

“Is that my jersey?”

He was trying to catch a glimpse at the name on the back.

“No, I paid for it,” I grinned.

He laughed, “You’re a groupie.”

“Shut up,” I said and reached over to squeeze his much larger knee, but it didn’t have the same effect on him.

He just cackled at my attempt and I scowled.

“There’s the Cami I know,” he winked.

I looked over at him.

“What do you mean by that?”

He pulled into the parking lot of the lounge and put the car into park. He turned off the engine and faced me.

“Cami Woods was always tough. You’re feisty and put people in their place, especially guys. You didn’t pout or dwell…”

I stared at him.

“And now I do?” I asked, trying to remain calm.

I was about to lose it on him and I didn’t want to take my drama out on sweet, untainted, but the very forward Andrew Ashton, but it was going to happen.

“Well, you just look miserable. From what I hear, you don’t want to do anything or go anywhere…and you’re not yourself.”

“From what you hear?” I asked. “From who? Jordan? Or Danny? Maybe Haley? Who are they to discuss my business with anyone? Who are you to butt your nose into my business, Drew? Am I supposed to take advice from a hot shot kid who doesn’t know one thing about love or pain?” I yelled, infuriated at this point. “Of course I’m not myself! I just had a baby with a man who cheated on me! Will everyone just give me a fucking break?”

Drew swallowed and didn’t say anything.

“Take me to Matt’s house. Obviously you were put up to this whole getting me to go out thing,” I huffed.

“No,” he mumbled.

“No? You won’t take me to Matt’s?”

He looked over at me and shook his head.

“I’m sorry, Cami. You’re right, it’s no one’s business and I understand you need time to heal. I want to be here with you, though. I know how much you love the Yankees. And as much as we don’t see each other, we are family.”

I looked over at him, and was grateful no tears were coming out, though they felt like they would.

“Danny was your family first.”

He was like a second big brother to Andrew.

He sighed, “Do I have to choose who I keep?”

I smiled at him and unbuckled my seatbelt. I kissed his cheek. Drew was one more thing I had Jordan to thank for. It hurt so much knowing without Jordan, I wouldn’t have a career, or had Danny, which means I wouldn’t have Ben, and I certainly wouldn’t have any friends.

“Let’s go in there and have a good time,” Drew said.

I smiled and nodded. And now I had Jordan to thank for Drew, who was allowing me to party with my favorite sports team. Maybe life wasn’t so terrible, but why did all that was good in the world have to be from Jordan, the man of my dreams that I would never have?

 

The Reunion
Dream Catchers Series Book 5
THE REUNION is the 5th part in the DREAM CATCHERS SERIES. It acts as a
direct sequel to “Take Me Home“, following the storyline of music
mogul Cami Woods and Yankee short-stop Drew Ashton.
Three years have passed and famed music manager Cami Woods finds herself
engaged to the man of her dreams, New York Yankee captain Drew
Ashton. While they struggle to balance their busy, high-profile
careers, the couple are still smitten with one another and hope to
have a baby by the time they marry.
With the pressure of conceiving, Drew’s college reunion approaching, and
the confession of leftover feelings from her ex-husband, Cami finds
herself once again reevaluating love, but this time, it’s not her
feelings she’s concerned with, but rather both her fiance’s and
ex-husband’s.
While Drew is pondering the path he has taken in life, which led him away
from his first love, Katie, he finds himself pulling away from Cami,
the one person who filled the hole in his heart. Drew feels Cami is
too independent to be the wife he always imagined.
Faced with the realization she might lose Drew after he sees Katie again,
Cami contemplates falling into old habits, like the temporary comfort
in the arms of Danny, her ex.
THE REUNION is a journey through the ugly feelings of jealousy,
suspicion, guilt and living in the past, but ultimately, it’s about
learning from old mistakes and taking hold of your future before it’s
too late.
sok-excerpt

Tortured’s publicist met us on the red carpet and escorted us through to the reporters. I stayed back as Tortured did interviews. Haley and Tasha hung back with me most of the time, but were called over once in a while for photos with the guys. I am glad I am no longer a musician’s wife. I hated posing for the press and plastering on a phony smile for some story they’d most likely twist. Sure, I still dealt with it when I was with Drew, but we didn’t get to go to as many public functions together due to our crazy schedules.

Most of the night I mingled with people on the red carpet. There were publicists, managers, and celebrities I have worked with over the years. Haley’s friend Meghan, a popular fashion designer, along with Chloe, Tortured’s stylist, came over to chat with us for a bit. Chloe had dated Darren briefly, and she practically ran away before he spotted her. I don’t know what that guy does to make women hate him by the end of every fling!

My other clients were in close vicinity so I could keep an eye on things, even though I knew Colin, Lisa Ann and J.J. could handle it, along with some of the publicists that were on hand. Though J.J. was standing around, alternating between looking at his phone and the red carpet entrance as if he were waiting on someone. I walked over to him.

“Hey, where’s Rad?”

“He said he was waiting on his date,” he sighed.

“His date? J.J., you should be with him. He needs to be front and center tonight if we want to salvage what’s left of his image. I want him schmoozing with every reporter,” I warned him. “Get him here now.”

He nodded, and began punching away at his phone. I turned around just in time to hear the screams. Relief washed over me as Rad Trick came into view. He was wearing a red and black suit, which I thought looked great on him. He offered his arm to a girl and she had on a purple dress that looked like something Haley had worn years ago. My mouth dropped as I saw the girl’s face.

I went into shock. Aylin Ashton, our Aylin, on the arm of bad boy Rad Trick? No way are her parents going to be happy about it. No way am I happy about it! Not only was Rad five years older than Aylin, but he had a drug problem, picked fights in bars, and it was not uncommon to find more than one girl in his hotel room at any given time. If Jordan didn’t kill Rad, I’m pretty sure I would!

As Rad signed autographs, just like I had advised him in our meeting, I took the opportunity to approach Aylin, who photographers seemed to want to get pictures of. I’m not sure if they wanted shots of her because she was Rad’s date or Jordan’s daughter, or because she simply was stunning, but I wanted to protect her from it all. I loved this kid like family and damned if I wanted her sucked into my loser client’s drama.

“A, what are you doing?” I asked immediately.

“I’m being supportive,” she said, looking at me weirdly.

“Of who? You should be by your dad’s side.”

“Aunt Cam, really? I can’t be Rad’s date because my dad is up against him for an award?”

“No, you can’t be Rad’s date because he has a lot of issues,” I gritted my teeth.

She rolled her eyes, “Everyone has issues, and people change.”

“Is this your mom’s dress?”

“Yeah, it’s a vintage Meghan Williams design now,” she said with a smile.

This was the dress that practically put Meghan on the map. She designed it and gave it to Haley to wear on her first date with Jordan. Haley bragged about it to a bunch of socialites, hoping to get Meghan an in, and it worked!

Rad walked over to us and put his arm around Aylin.

“Oh right, you two know each other,” he smirked.

I wanted to slap his sneaky smirk away and rip off his black polished nails one by one as they caressed Aylin’s bare shoulder. I was steaming. I have dealt with a ton of crap representing this ass, and this is how he repays me? Jordan was going to fly off the handle—in public—at a televised event!

“When did this start?” I wondered.

Rad shrugged, probably not recalling.

“Remember when I babysat Ben for you a few weeks ago and I came to drop him off at the office?” Aylin asked. “I ran into Rad and we went for a walk in Bryant Park and…”

“I don’t have time for this,” I cut her off, really not wanting to hear the details.

Aylin looked pissed at me, but I wasn’t too thrilled with her choices tonight.

“Rad, J.J. is waiting for you. Aylin, all I have to say is good luck with your parents,” I huffed before walking away.

“I’m nineteen,” I heard her call out as I walked away.

Nineteen, that’s just a number. At nineteen, I was out on my own. I was hungry for opportunity. I fell in love with Jordan, who didn’t feel the same way as I did, and I hurt so bad that I dove into a frustrating relationship with Danny, a bad boy himself. I know nineteen seems old enough, but you’re never old enough to survive heartbreak, especially your first one. I wish I could explain all of that to her. She was always a smart girl, but intelligence flies out the window in relationships. I don’t know if she gets that. Her parents never taught her that. They were bound perfectly together and by her wanting to wear the dress her mother wore for her first date with her father just makes it clear that she thinks their story could be her story…with Rad.

Maybe I’m misjudging the guy, but I’ve known him a lot longer than Aylin has. I’ve heard the false promises and the proclamations of love when it was really lust all because you lie to yourself that what you have is different.

I want better for Aylin than some on-and-off-the-wagon pop star that would be—sorry to say it—washed up in five years. He was my client and making plenty of money, but I knew an act like him had an expiration date. His wild behavior was just shortening his career more.

I yearned for Drew as I headed back over to Tortured, wondering if Aylin had been spotted yet. I wanted Drew to remind me that he was my real love story. That my broken heart led me to him; to show Aylin he was the type of man you give your heart to; not the bad boys, but the guys who have big hearts as well as passion.

I immediately approached Haley while Jordan was speaking to a television camera.

“Cami, what’s wrong?” She asked.

“Aylin is here,” I sighed.

“Where?” She said and I pointed her out.

Aylin was posing with Rad as photographers snapped photos nonstop. She rarely liked that sort of thing. Jordan usually refused for her and Haley to be photographed. He wanted to protect them from the limelight as much as possible.

Haley’s eyes went wide.

“What is she doing?! And in my dress?”

“You have to help calm Jordan down. If there is any kind of hostility between him and Rad, it will wind up as a headline…and I don’t know if that’s the type of publicity either of my clients need right now.”

Or maybe I was going soft? Back in the day, I was the one jumping into arguments and fights. I would attack anyone who was out to hurt the people I cared about or me.

Or maybe I just knew whatever Jordan did, it would just wind up hurting Aylin in the end. It’s unfortunate that parents really just want to protect their kids, but in doing so, sometimes they push them further away. Or teach them to be afraid or not to trust. We’re all guilty of either causing or feeling these emotions, and I didn’t want Jordan and Haley to push that on Aylin right now. She was still so untainted and full of hope.

Just then, Tortured’s publicist, Melissa stepped over.

“This is great,” she clapped her hands together.

“What’s great?”

“We’ll get a picture of Jordan with Rad and Aylin. It’ll be top news tomorrow!” she squeaked.

“Mel,” I sighed. “Jordan is likely to knock Rad out if he gets near him.”

“Oh come on, so Aylin is Rad’s date. Jordan can take it. Besides, if he does knock him out, still a publicity gold mine,” she winked at Haley and me.

Haley groaned, “I’ll go tell him to smile pretty while that punk has his arm around our daughter.”

I watched Haley walk over to Jordan and the usual ease in his face disappeared as she spoke to him. His eyes searched for Aylin and Rad as they walked toward us. I then looked at Melissa, who was directing some photographers toward them. Jordan shook Rad’s hand, and I’m pretty sure he was trying to break it before he kissed Aylin’s cheek, all as the photographers captured the moment. They all posed for a group photo and once the photographers had dispersed, Jordan looked at Aylin while Rad was pulled away by J.J. for interviews.

“Are you sitting with us?”

“Dad, I’m Rad’s date,” Aylin said apologetically.

“A, I’m not trying to be an overbearing father, but why Rad Trick?”

She shrugged, “We’re just friends. He’s kind of sweet underneath it all.”

Haley took Jordan’s hand and squeezed, “We trust your judgment.”

I could tell Jordan didn’t quite feel the same as his wife at that moment. I know Haley was putting herself in her daughter’s shoes. It wasn’t like her parents had approved of Jordan at first.

Aylin sighed, “I hope so. I’m not stupid. I know Rad’s image. But it’s an image, that’s all.”

This is where I wanted to butt in. Yes, there were plenty of fake images in the entertainment industry, but Rad Trick’s tarnished image was the reality. I just hoped Aylin was being honest about just being friends with him.

“Guys, we have to go inside,” I interrupted.

“Maybe you’ll come sit with us when Rad performs?” I asked Aylin, rubbing her shoulder.

She nodded.

“You look just like your mom tonight,” Jordan told her and kissed her cheek.

“Thanks Dad,” she said. “Don’t worry, okay? I’ll be going home with you guys tonight.”

“You better,” he winked.

We walked inside Lincoln Center and were shown to our seats. I sat next to Danny and looked at my phone. The Yankee game was going into extra innings. Danny peered over at the screen.

“It’s hard not having a date to these things,” he sighed.

I rolled my eyes, “You bring dates all the time. You couldn’t get one of your underwear model friends or twenty-something pop singers to come with you?”

“I could have, but I figured since you were coming alone…” he shrugged.

“You figured what?” I scoffed. “That we could pretend?”

“No,” he sucked his teeth. “I meant… I didn’t want you to feel uncomfortable.”

“You’re making me feel uncomfortable right now,” I told him.

“I just—it’s nice to be with you without having to worry about some chick on my arm or to have to avoid you and Drew.”

“Danny, maybe you shouldn’t avoid us,” I sighed. “Drew wants to be your friend still.”

“That’s not going to happen.”

“Well, then stop being weird, okay?” I asked. “All you do is mope about not having anyone and when you do have someone, you’re not happy with her. I don’t remember you being this whiny when we were married,” I rolled my eyes.

“Yeah, well, I don’t remember you being nice when we were married,” he shot at me.

I laughed, “Okay, I was a bitch to you and still am. You bring it out most in me.”

“Guys,” Darren looked over at us. “Don’t fight.”

“We’re just being normal,” Danny shrugged.

“Yeah, I know,” Darren shook his head.

Danny and I had to laugh. We would always bicker; it was just how we were together.

The award show began with a not so funny comedian making somewhat offensive jokes. He made fun of Sound Wave’s age and Rad’s drug problem before making homosexual remarks about Bex Moore. At least he didn’t pick on Tortured… yet.

“Is that Danny D. from Tortured?” The host called out, pretending to look for Danny. “Wait, does your date actually have clothes on?”

I wanted to disappear since I knew the camera would flash to us.

“Oh, that’s not your date… that’s the Yankees’ ball girl.”

The crowd oohed at the sexual undertone to the joke. I wanted to punch the host out, but so did Danny apparently, who stood up and began shouting profanities. I grabbed his arm, trying to pull him back down.

Luckily, the first presenter was announced. Danny sat back down and was flushed.

“Calm down,” I said.

“Look, I don’t care that he messes with me, but…”

“He actually said it to mess with you, not me,” I sighed. “It’s no secret about our past.”

“It was a douche thing to say,” Danny huffed.

“Yes, and that’s what he’s getting paid for. That was actually the funniest thing he said all night unfortunately,” I rolled my eyes.

“You okay?” I heard Haley call.

“Fine,” I waved her off.

I took my phone out to text Drew about my night so far. I pretty much was trying to extinguish fights and was humiliated by a former Saturday Night Live alumnus. Oh, the glamourous life I lead!

I knew Drew wouldn’t reply; not until the seventh inning stretch—and it was only the fourth inning. The Yanks were up by one already, and I couldn’t help but be distracted by keeping tabs on the game while the show was going on. An hour later, I was surprised I didn’t hear from Drew. It was the top of the eighth and the Yankees were still in the lead. I smiled before looking for the most updated commentary of the game on Twitter. The first headline that I read had me shouting in the middle of Topaz—a pop singer and acquaintance of Drew’s—acceptance speech.

A few people looked at me, but I didn’t care as I opened the link to the article titled, “Yankees About To Head To The World Series While Ashton Rushed to the E.R.”. I skimmed through the article to find out Drew collided with a runner and possibly dislocated his shoulder. I immediately hopped up and received curious looks.

“Cam, what’s going on?” Danny asked, as I practically tripped into Darren’s lap.

“Are you okay?” Sebastian asked as I passed him.

“I have to go, I’m sorry,” I sighed. “Drew’s in the hospital.”

“What happened?” Jordan asked, bolting up.

“He was injured during the game.”

“I’m coming too.”

“No, you can’t,” I told him, though I wanted him to come with me. “You have to perform, remember?”

Jordan sighed and wanted to object.

“How bad is it?”

“I’m not sure—a dislocated shoulder at the most,” I offered.

I could see the struggle in his face. He wanted to be at the hospital for his brother. Drew was more important to him than performing for millions of people watching on T.V. Jordan also knew I had enough worry coursing through me over Drew than to have to smooth over burned bridges with MTV tomorrow when Tortured cancelled their performance.

“Tell Drew I’ll be there right after the show,” Jordan said. “Hale, why don’t you go with Cami?”

Haley nodded, “Of course. Good luck, baby. Don’t worry.”

She kissed Jordan before following behind me. I found a bodyguard for Rad Trick that I knew well.

“Fred, we need a car to take us to NYU Hospital. My boyfriend is in the E.R.,” I explained.

“I got you, Miss Cami,” he said, jogging outside.

“You don’t have to come, Haley. Drew will understand if you come later with Jordan.”

Haley shook her head in disagreement.

“I know that. I’m coming to be there for you,” she said, and I smiled gratefully.

Fred came back in and waved us out of the building. We got into a black Mercedes with tinted windows. I told the driver where to go while I tried to find out what room Drew was in and what I should expect.

I couldn’t get in touch with Drew at all. I called one of his best friends and teammates, Cisco Rodriguez. Drew and Cisco were co-captains of the team.

“Hey Cami,” Cisco answered. “I guess you heard?”

“Yeah, I’m on my way to the hospital. How bad is it?”

“I’m not sure. It looked pretty bad. He was in a lot of pain.”

I felt tears come to my eyes at the mere thought of my man in any kind of pain. I asked Cisco the room number and told him I’d get there as soon as possible. I hung up the phone and felt Haley’s hand on the back of my hand, squeezing it reassuringly.

“Look, worst case scenario is he’ll have some months of rehab, right?” Haley asked.

I sighed, “Drew won’t get to play in the World Series. He’s probably more upset by that than the physical pain.”

Drew was one of those players that still had such a love of the game. It was incredibly hard to not be there for him. I should have been there with him, watching his moments of glory as he brought his team closer to the World Series. Instead, I was wrangling a bunch of grown men at an awards show. I didn’t need to be at Lincoln Center; my clients had Colin, Lisa Ann, and J.J., on top of publicists to keep them in line. I was just a control freak, and I wanted to be there, showing my pride for what my artists have contributed to music this year. It was my pride and need for control that made me miss Drew’s win, and to not be there for him when he got hurt.

We made it to the hospital and Cisco directed us to the room Drew was moved to. He was lying in the bed, his right arm in a sling and a few scratches on that side of his face as well.

“Hey,” Drew forced a smile at me as we walked in.

I hurried over to the bed and ran my fingers through his hair.

“You look hot,” he said, reaching over and taking my hand into his left one, his eyes glancing over my mini-dress.

I wiped my tears and laughed, “Thanks.”

“Aw, you were worried about me?” he smirked, looking sexy, even all scratched up.

I sat down on his bed and kissed him.

“Still a flirt, even in a hospital bed.”

Haley walked closer, “It’s a good thing you’re a lefty, huh?”

Drew and I both stared at her, our minds both going into the gutter and not thinking of baseball at all. Haley caught on a moment later.

“Ugh, I meant so you can still do day-to-day things, like write, and eat, and throw a baseball!” She practically hissed.

Drew chuckled and I couldn’t help but laugh.

“Yeah,” Drew nodded. “It’s a good thing I’m a lefty,” he winked at me, and I smiled at him.

“So, what did the doctor say?” Haley asked, changing the subject.

“My shoulder is dislocated and it could be up to twelve weeks to fully recover. There goes the World Series for me.”

“You’ll be back for spring training, though,” I offered.

Drew shrugged, “Yeah.”

“You’ll be good as new,” Haley told him, sensing worry.

We’re not used to Drew being worried or negative in any sort of way.

“Do you mind if I talk to Cami alone for a few minutes?”

“Of course not,” Haley said with a smile before walking out of the room.

Drew looked at me and I leaned over to kiss him again.

“Are you in a lot of pain?”

He shrugged, “A little. The pain killers are starting to work.”

I nodded, “I’m really sorry.”

“For what?”

“For you getting hurt. For me not being here,” I said, looking at him.

“Stop looking at me with those guilty, beautiful blue eyes,” he said. “I think me getting hurt was a message.”

I looked at him funny, “What kind of message? Like from God?”

“Maybe. You know, we’re getting married and trying to start a family… I’ve always been prepared to retire when that happened…”

Wow. I didn’t know what to say to that. Drew had said he used to dream of retiring early to start a family, but that was before we were serious, and before I knew I would be the woman he would retire for.

“Drew, you’re loopy from the meds,” I laughed him off.

“That’s beside the point,” he smiled. “I have some time to think about it, but it’s an idea.”

“I just—don’t do this for me.”

“Cami, I love baseball, you know that. But I love being with you more and I want to be a full-time husband and father.”

“But there is not even a baby,” I laughed.

He shrugged, “So? I had my superstar hay day. I wouldn’t mind taking an entire season off, maybe, or more… I can coach little league or something. Would that be too boring for you?”

I shook my head, “I think you need to really think about this.”

“I know,” he nodded, and pulled me closer for another kiss.

I’m not going to lie and pretend I wouldn’t love the idea of Drew always being in town. However, I still have my career and I don’t want him to resent me for it. I know I get frustrated with my job sometimes, but it’s as much a part of who I am as he and Ben are.

Besides, as a die-hard Yankees fan, I would be pissed if the co-captain decided to retire at thirty-two! My guess was Drew was scared he wouldn’t be able to play the same after the injury, and wanted to take himself out of the game before someone else could.

 

Spotlight
Dream Catchers Series Book 6
Aylin Ashton always had a voracious heart and is fiercely loyal to the ones
she loves. At twenty-one, she wants more than the celebrity lifestyle
her family is known for—she wants an identity of her own with
friends who care about who she is and not her last name.
Most of all, Aylin wants the love story her parents have. In a world full
of divorce, and a society that has made it hard for her to be
“normal”, she is not sure if true love can be her reality.
She finds herself struggling to grow romantically and keeps hitting a
dead-end with men. From the egotistical pop-rocker Rad Trick to
hipster music critic Mike, Aylin is not particularly gaga for either
of them, and can’t help to pine for too-old-for-her, Colin
Houlihan, who happens to be her father’s tour manager.
The impetuous Aylin can’t help but make passes at the flirty, always
doting on her Colin, and when he actually admits an attraction to
her, the two are on dangerous ground.
The experience leaves Aylin wounded, but ultimately sends her on a
journey to find out who she is and what she really wants, and maybe
to the special someone she had hoped for.
*”Spotlight” is the 6th book in the “Dream Catchers” Series and is from
the perspective of photographer Haley Foster and rock star Jordan
Walsh’s daughter, Aylin.*
**Releases March 1st, 2017!!**
Sandy Lo’s personal story is inspiring. She started, StarShine Magazine, an
online publication in 2001, at the age of 18. She wrote her first
novel in 2009, “Lost In You,” followed by the “Dream
Catchers” Series. She was the first person ever to
professionally interview Taylor Swift and has received personal
endorsements for her books from members of boy bands Backstreet Boys
and 98 Degrees. Recently, she has been seeing some tremendous
momentum in book sales on Kindle. She has been included on the “50
Writers You Should Be Reading” list by The Authors Show, and
recently, both “Dream Catchers” and “Breaking The
Moon” reached the Top 100 Best Selling Coming of Age novels in
Amazon’s Kindle Store. What makes this even more unique, is that
Sandy relocated from NY to Nashville in order to write “The
Watch Dog,” which is set in a fictional town outside of Music
City. She has true dedication to her craft!
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Allerleirauh by Chantal Gadoury – Cover Reveal

22/02/17

 

 

Allerleirauh

Chantal Gadoury

Genre: Historical Fantasy /
Fairy Tale Retelling
Publisher: Parliament House
Publishing
Pending Release Date: August 22, 2017
ISBN: 978-1542850889
Cover Artist:  Parliament House

Book Description:

Long ago in the kingdom of Tranen, a king makes a promise to his dying wife to remarry only a woman who possesses her same golden hair. With time, the wicked king finds his attentions are captured by his maturing daughter. With her father’s dastardly intentions at her door post, Princess Aurelia wards off his advances by requesting impossible gifts…. Dresses created by the sun, moon and stars and a coat made of a thousand furs.
By the hands of horrible magic, the king is successful and the dresses are delivered and Aurelia decides to sacrifice her privileged life. She escapes her kingdom, the only home she’s ever known, disguised with a cloak and a new name, “Allerleirauh.”
Aurelia enters the safe haven of the kingdom of Saarland der Licht, where she is taken under the care of the handsome and gentle Prince Klaus. Hoping to not be discovered by her father’s courtiers, Aurelia tries to remain hidden under her new false identity. Unexpected love is challenged between Aurelia and Prince Klaus with an approaching arranged marriage between the heir of Saarland der Licht and the neighboring ruler’s daughter. With danger and heartache hanging in the air, Aurelia must face the troubles of her past and her fears for the future in her journey of self-discovery.
Based on the Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tale “Allerleirauh.”

Excerpt: 

“Have you
forgotten your mother’s last wish? I promised her I would marry someone as
beautiful as she. You’re the only one who has the same golden hair, the same
smile, the same beautiful eyes. You are the only one who will do, who I can
love. The only one worthy of my love, my power, my body. You will be my bride,”
he declared as he ran a finger through my hair.
My teeth
clenched at his touch. The only thing keeping me in the room was the new plan
wheeling through my mind. Perhaps it would be clever enough to save me from
this fate. I could not live this life with him. I would rather die.
            “If I am to marry you,” I began
softly, letting out a deep breath. “I have four simple requests.”
            My father grinned and nodded, “Go
on…anything.”
            It was clear he underestimated me
by way of his confident sneer. The way he stared down his nose at me, he
anticipated my requests to be silly and pedantic. I unclenched my white fingers
and licked my bottom lip.
“For our marriage to be arranged,
I will require new gowns. I request three. The first, made and spun from the
rays of sunbeams.  The second, silver and
made from the full moon’s light. And the third, woven from the star dust that
falls from the heavens.”
My father’s face contorted with
question and he puffed himself up, but continued to listen.
            “My last request,” I continued, “A
fur coat made from all the kingdom’s wild animals, so when the harsh winters
come, I can keep sickness and death at bay.”
I could feel my hands tremble
from my trepidation. I couldn’t believe I had actually made such ambitious
demands—things truly impossible. What would the people think once they heard of
the kind, my father, going to these magnificent lengths to marry me? Would they
think I was a harlot? Would they think I encouraged my father’s behavior? My
stomach knotted.
             “And this is all you request from
me?” he asked with his eyebrows lifted.
I could see the amusement light
up his face. As my throat constricted, I slowly nodded to him.
Maybe this would actually work.
Perhaps he would not see through my deceptiveness and agree. If he did, this
would grant me more time to collect my chattels, arrange an escape from the
palace, and move forward with my plans. I would never again be Princess
Aurelia, but I would avoid a future most grim and contemptible.

 

About the Author:

Chantal is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published three novels: “Seven Seeds of Summer” in March of 2014 with Waldorf Publishing, “The Songs in Our Hearts,” to be released in the Summer of 2017 with 48Fourteen Publishing, and “Allerleirauh,” which is to be re-released in a new edition by Parliament House Publishing, August 2017.
Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true!
When she’s not writing a book, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Carmel Mocha Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-‘brother’ (aka, puppy) Taran.

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