Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Adventure, Author, Bewitching Book Tours, blog, Book, Fiction, Paranormal, Supernatural, Tour, Writer

Operation: Endgame by Tee Morris – Cover Reveal

28/06/17

 
 
 
Operation: Endgame
Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences
Philippa (Pip) Ballantine
Tee Morris
Book Description:
Join
Agents Books and Braun on their final adventure with the Ministry of Peculiar
Occurrences!
There is no time to rest for Eliza D Braun and Wellington
Thornhill Books. The man who has haunted and hounded them since the fall of the
Maestro, Doctor Henry Jekyll, is now on a killing spree, using bizarre,
theatrical murders as a way to taunt their inability to capture the. It falls
on Books and Braun to turn the tables on Jekyll and bring him to justice.
As Wellington and Eliza continue their pursuit of
the madman Jekyll, the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences stand against a recent
surge in House of Usher activity. Agents Bruce Campbell and Brandon Hill
discover more about the intention of Operation: Ragnorok, and the Ministry find
themselves in a race to thwart Usher’s intent to plunge the world into chaos,
despair, and a noticeable lack of clotted cream for Devon Teas.
The Ministry will not let this stand.
About the Authors
Philippa (Pip) Ballantine
New Zealand born fantasy writer and
podcaster Philippa (Pip) Ballantine is the author of the Books of the Order and
the Shifted World series.
She is also the co-author with her
husband Tee Morris of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels as well as Social
Media for Writers. Her awards include an Airship, a Parsec, the Steampunk
Chronicle Reader’s Choice, the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for steampunk, and a
Sir Julius Vogel. She currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with her husband,
daughter, and a furry clowder of cats.
Find out more about her at  http://www.pjballantine.com/
***
Tee Morris
Tee
Morris has been writing science fiction, fantasy, horror, and non-fiction for
over a decade. His first novel, MOREVI: The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana,
became the first novel to be podcast in its entirety, ushering in a new age for
authors — podcasting. In 2011, Tee penned with his wife Pip Ballantine the
Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. The series and its short fiction
podcast, Tales from the Archives, has won several awards including the 2014
Parsec Award for Best Science Fiction Anthology Podcast, the 2011 Airship Award
for Best Steampunk Literature, and RT Reviews’ Choice Awards for Best Steampunk
of 2014. In 2016, Tee and Pip released the fifth book in the series, The
Ghost Rebellion; the first book in a new spin-off series, The Curse of the
Silver Pharaoh; and the unexpected novella of erotic ridiculousness and hidden
messages from Ministry command, Countless Hues of Crimson.
And
somewhere in the middle of all that, Tee and Pip released with Writer’s Digest
the go-to, how-to book, Social Media for Writers. In 2017, he reunites with
Chuck Tomasi for the third edition of Podcasting for Dummies and brings his
steampunk adventures to a close with Operation: Endgame. Tee and Pip also host
The Shared Desk, a podcast covering collaboration and other aspects of a
writer’s lifestyle.
Explore
the works of Tee Morris, and his occasional geek rants, at

 

Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Action, Adventure, Author, blog, Book, Fantasy, Fiction, Giveaway, Magic, Paranormal, Story, Tracey A Wood, urban fantasy, Writer

Sentinel by L.D. Nash – Spotlight Promo + #Giveaway

03/06/17

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SENTINEL

By: L. D. Nash

Paranormal fantasy/Action-Adventure/Magic Realism/Urban fantasy

80,000 Words

Sometimes amnesia is a demon hunter’s best friend.

 

About the book

Luna Ashwind is the Grigori’s top assassin and her marks are the big, bad uglies that slither out of Hell. She’s worked for the secret society of demon hunters since they found her broken, bleeding and unconscious just four short years ago. They nursed her body back to health but her mind is a different story.

Lucifer’s made good use of his time in Hell. He’s learned of a Heaven-forged talisman with the power to either start or stop the biblical apocalypse without God’s approval. For centuries, he’s sent his best demons topside in search of the three artifacts needed to create this celestial weapon.

Hellhound wrangler Kurbane is topside to capture the angel who stole Cerberus’ key to the Gates of Hell, but when the trail leads him to Luna, he realizes he’d bitten off more than he can chew. Luna is no mere angel – she’s the life or death of all creation.

excerpt

North Roxbury neighborhood, Boston, Massachusetts

While easing through the damp, sour smelling alleyway, Luna halted mid-stride as a black, swirling vortex, roughly the size of a Volvo, shredded the foggy air around her. A rough gust of wind whipped past her, sending trash and other debris scattering around her feet.

When a huge silhouette stepped out of the whirlwind, Luna instantly abandoned her ninja-like tactics and stood in open-mouth shock.

In her four years of training, she’d never heard of demons using teleportation; their life-force was usually directly within the vicinity of where the Watchers sent their soldiers.

Smoky tendrils of smoke inked outward from the center, sending clouds of wispy darkness to pollute the air. After a few moments, the strands slowly receded and their absence revealed the hulking beast. Momentum from the vortex shoved the demon forward, making sure it cleared the swirling chasm. Then it shrank back in on itself as quickly as it appeared.

The demon, which she now recognized from her textbooks as an Arsena – a lesser demon that crawled through Hell on its underbelly, begging for scraps – snarled and gnashed its razor sharp teeth before rushing toward her. A fashionably late entrance coupled with its particular method of travel succeeded in totally throwing Luna off her game. All her training went right out the window.

She was only briefly discombobulated, but long enough for the demon. It rushed past her and its large scaly arm caught her beneath the chin; its momentum and element of surprise clothes-lined her painfully, yet beautifully.

She hit the asphalt back-first, air whooshing from her lungs on an elongated hiss. She gasped and gulped, her mouth opening and closing like a fish out of water as she tried to force sweet air back into her lungs.

I’m sorry, Luna, Barr’s soft voice flitted through their telepathic connection. I failed to see it till it was too late. Her falcon-companion’s intense, guilt-ridden emotions blasted through her mind like a frigid tidal wave, the unexpected intrusion seized her mind and almost fried her brain.

Can you believe a freaking Arsena rode a vortex in and attacked me?!? Luna projected her thoughts and then shut down their mental connection. She focused on keeping well away from the sharp claws and gnashing teeth.

Once she was capable, she drew a complete breath and then quickly rolled back to her feet. She lowered herself into an offensive crouch with hands fisted before her and waited for the demon’s next move.

It swung its huge, slimy, talon-tipped left hand at her. She saw it coming and managed to duck in the nick of time, saving herself from sporting a severed head.

An angry roar shook the ground and the Arsena swung its right arm around from behind its huge body. Luna’s eyes widened in shock when she realized he had a gun and it was aimed it directly at her. Demons never used human weapons.

“Shit,” she hissed and feigned to her right milliseconds before a shot rent the night. Pain exploded in her left shoulder and she crashed to the pavement for the second time in less than five minutes. Her breath, again, whooshed from her body.

She’d never felt so helpless before and was lost as what to do next.

Pain blazed through her system, her blood sizzling in her veins like fresh lava. Inhaling deeply, she pushed herself to her feet, determined to get her ass moving. She’d suffered plenty of wounds during training, but never something this severe. Zeke had stressed the danger of hunting, now she understood his blatant reluctance to send her on her first mission alone.

Luna, get out of there! Barr roared forcefully, shattering the concrete wall Luna had shielding her mind. Depth-less black spots converged in Luna’s mind as a result of Barr re-establishing their mental connection without Luna’s consent.

Luna winced as agonizing heat tore through her head, finding every nerve ending possible. She blinked rapidly in hopes of shaking the side-effects of the falcon’s mind-meld. Her stomach rolled in response, threatening to send her dinner back up.

Barr’s forceful invasion, combined with the gunshot wound, left Luna not only temporarily blind, but also in intense agony. Her body weakened and grew sluggish.

Summoning every ounce of strength she had left, she pushed herself back to her feet and slowly approached the demon. When she was within reach, she shoved him roughly and lurched past him, heading for the alley on the right

The Arsena’s roar only partially registered through the shock flooding her mind. Her main concern wasn’t that she’d been shot by a demon with a human weapon. It was the fact that she ran from a demon to being with; something she’d never believed she’d do.

A warrior at heart, Luna abhorred weakness as much as cowardice. Yet Barr was right. There was no way she’d survive a battle now that she’d been bodily wounded and mentally incapacitated.

Already, the gushing wound leeched her strength too quickly for her liking.

“Zeke’s going to kill me,” Luna declared, her thoughts flashing to her mentor. She’d all but bullied her way into this mission by swearing she’d be safe and now here she was severely wounded. She inhaled deeply and pumped her legs harder, putting as much distance between her and the demon as possible.

*

“Have we received word from her?” Sem stormed into the Control room. When Luna failed to check in after a couple hours, he’d grown worried. Allowing for the possibility she ran into unexpected problems, he’d gave her some extra time. Now, it was way passed time for her to have returned.

“No.” Penn shook his head, no hint of emotion in his voice. He wasn’t one to get ruffled over anything unless there was reason to. Penn was all about patience and it was one virtue Sem could do without. When it came to Luna, few of the Watchers had much patience. She was the daughter of a dead friend and it was their responsibility to protect her no matter what. Even if she wasn’t the salvation of them all, Sem would still lay down his immortal soul to protect her.

“When was her last update?” Sem asked and ran long fingers through his narrow strip of purple spikes.

“Twelve a.m. Dispatch received an update.” Penn narrowed his eyes as fingers flew over computer keys. “She’d landed and began her search for the demon.” He turned to spear Sem with ice-blue eyes; worry glazing their surface. “That was over ten hours ago Sem. She should have called by now. It wouldn’t have taken her ten minutes to shred the bastard. Something’s wrong.”

Sem’s blood turned to fire in his veins. The thought of Luna hurt didn’t sit so well with him. “Maybe she lost her phone, have you activated her internal tracker?”

Penn turned back to the computer and more keys clacked noisily. The air suddenly grew very heavy and a malevolent aura cloaked the room. Sem sighed heavily. The last thing he needed right now was the angry man now standing behind him. He felt the fiery blast of anger emanating from the soldier and sighed heavily. They’d barely avoided a blood bath earlier and it was only Luna’s presence that had calmed him.

“We’re looking for her now, Zeke,” Sem warned before the other man could even utter a word. He knew his brother too well. If Zeke had the slightest inkling Luna was in danger, he would be gone in the blink of an eye. No matter that none of them could pinpoint her location; Zeke would blast through the Nether until he found her.

As one of the Watchers with the ability to transport, Zeke was an ever present threat to the group’s anonymity. His emotions, which he denied having on a regular basis, seemed to rule him when it came to Luna.

“You’d better find her or I will,” Zeke threatened and slammed the stainless steel door shut behind him before propping himself against it. With arms and feet crossed, he presented an unmovable roadblock. His silent challenge blasted into the air, engulfing the room in an almost malevolent fog.

“There’s no signal,” Penn murmured. “I can’t find her anywhere.”

A loud crash preceded the slamming of the Control room door. When Sem turned, Zeke was gone and a hole marred his formerly pristine door.

“Dammit, I just had that door replaced,” Sem cursed. “Keep looking Penn, I’ll go with Zeke to make sure he doesn’t kill anyone he shouldn’t. Send the area coordinates to me; maybe we can search until something pops up.”

Penn nodded, his floppy blonde hair bouncing.

“Sure thing boss,” he called.

As Sem raced down the hall toward the weapon’s room, he recalled the night Luna literally came crashing into their lives and hoped with every fiber of his being that she was alright. Injured, he could handle, but if she were dead, they were all fucked.

He slid to a halt when Zeke emerged, armed to the teeth, sporting a murderous glint in his eyes. It was moments like this, that made Sem grateful that Zeke was on his side. The warrior made a formidable enemy and Heaven help anything that dared harm Luna.

about the author

Me

S.D. Nash was born, raised and still lives in the northern piney woods of Louisiana. She doesn’t have alligators in her front yard and she isn’t surrounded by swamps. She loves trekking the lush woods surrounding her home in search of buried treasures of times long past. Old, abandoned homesteads and barns are her favorite places to explore. She has a very rich imagination and loves all things unexplainable and supernatural.

 

She’s obsessed with the television series Supernatural and has recently developed a deep interest in AMC’S Preacher, SYFY’S Wynonna Earp and Doctor Who. Her favorite quote is by an unknown author: It’s only impossible until it’s done.

 

Her writing career began later than she’d wanted, but as with all things, it has begun. You can find all her titles on Amazon and select ones on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Scribd, Apple and Smashwords. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and her blog by clicking the links below:

Amazon Buy link: http://amzn.to/2rAFFnM

www.facebook.com/authorldnash

www.twitter.com/authorldnash

www.ldnashauthor.blogspot.com

www.pinterest.com/lesliedawnnash

 

Giveaway

Two E-copies of Sentinel are up for grabs. To enter all you need to do is share this post on Twitter, tag in the author (@authorldnash) and two randomly selected winners will receive either a mobi or pdf copy.  The author will contact the winners directly.

Other titles by L. D. Nash:

The Lost Outlaws

Six Guns & Garter Belts (Book 1)

Celestial Keys

Sentinel (Book 1)

The Last Keeper (Book 2) – Coming Soon

 

Stand Alone Novels

Trinity

Southern Fangs

AnnWenn

Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Adventure, Author, Bewitching Book Tours, blog, Book, Fiction, Giveaway, Romance, Tour, Writer

Where on Earth by David H. Minton – Book Tour + #Giveaway

31/05/17

 

Where On Earth? An Alaska Adventure
By David H. Minton
Fiery Seas Publishing
May 2017  
Romantic Adventure
Book Description:
Dan Richards, an Iraq war vet, is a surveyor for the mining company, looking to open a new silver mine. Scrambling to establish his helicopter charter business in the wilds of Alaska, while trying to stay connected to his teenage daughter, his world soon turns upside down when he rescues a woman and her dog sledding team after an avalanche.
Samantha Bettencourt, an environmental engineer, is eager to begin her first project with the university. A spokesperson for an environmentalist group intent on preserving the wilderness, she is on the path to saving the wild, but when Dan walks into her life things start to change.
Sparks fly between Dan and Samantha as they find themselves running for their lives—from the good guys as well as the bad guys out to ruin the things they long to protect. Will they be able to escape before it’s too late? Will they get a chance at love or will they lose everything. . . including their lives?
 
 
About the Author:

 

After graduating college, David spent two tours in United States Military Assistance Command Republic of Viet-Nam, before beginning his career as a nuclear engineer, then electronics engineer, tele-communications engineer, and software security engineer. He has previously published three non-fiction books, several poems, and many non-fiction technical and historical articles.  


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Adventure, Author, blog, Book, Box set, Historical, Romance, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Tour, Writer

Romance on the High Seas – Boxset – Release Tour + #Giveaway

19/05/17

**
ROMANCE ON THE HIGH SEAS
SEVEN SWASHBUCKLING PIRATE ROMANCES BY
SEVEN PIRATE WENCHES:
Katherine Bone
Jennifer Bray-Weber
Barbara Devlin
Chloe Flowers
Danelle Harmon
Amanda Mariel
Kamery Solomon
*
PREPARE TO BE BOARDED.
If you love historical romance, pirates, adventure and thrills, you’ll love this
7-book set by these award winning and best selling pirate romance
authors!
The Pirate’s Debt by National Best-selling Author Katherine Bone:
An earl-turned pirate is ordered by his benefactor to find an
adventurous young runaway and return her home.To do so, he must
retrieve her without being discovered by the most ruthless pirate
hunter on the seas: her brother.
Dead Man’s Kiss by Award Winning Author Jennifer Bray-Weber:
Eight weeks. That’s all pirate captain Valeryn Barone has to escort a
tempting naturalist untouched across the Caribbean or face the
gallows. Can he resist the beauty who’s fallen for him? Does a dead
man walking even have a chance?
The Black Morass by USA Today Bestselling Author Barbara Devlin:
In exchange for a chance at redemption and pardons for his crew, Jean
Marc Cavalier accepts a pact that could result in liberty or death,
if only he can survive the terms, but at least he will be free.
Pirate Heiress by Award Winning Author Chloe Flowers:
Captain Conal O’Brien has already lost control of his ship to the most
unlikely band of pirates sailing the seas. If he’s not careful,
he’s going to lose his heart to a notorious lady pirate
determined to destroy both.
My Lady Pirate by NYTimes Bestselling Author Danelle Harmon:
The sea delivers a handsome castaway to Pirate Queen Maeve Merrick’s island. But her
handsome prisoner harbors secrets dark enough to change the fates of
nations and threatens their new found love.
Captivated by the Captain by USA Today Bestselling Author Amanda Mariel:
What happens when an American shipping company heiress crosses
paths with a pirate? Can two people whose life paths are at odds find
common ground?
Carried Away by Kamery Solomon:
After falling through time and being forced to join a pirate crew, Mark
Bell falls in love with his fellow time traveler, Samantha. She’s a
woman he can’t have, though. Will their presence in the past alter
the future they know and love?
**
*
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*
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Katherine Bone
*
National Bestselling Historical Romance Author Katherine Bone has been
passionate about history since she had the opportunity to travel to
various Army bases, castles, battlegrounds, and cathedrals as an Army
brat turned Officer’s Wife. Who knew that an Army wife’s passion for
romance novels would lead to pirates? Certainly not her rogue, whose
Alma Mater’s adage is “Go Army. Beat Navy!” Now enjoying
the best of both worlds, Katherine lives with her rogue in the south
where she writes about rogues, rebels and rakes, aka pirates, spies,
the Royal Navy, and duty, honor, and country and the happily ever
afters every alpha male and lady deserve.
As an Army wife raising four children, romance helped Katherine weather
loneliness. Now she hopes to pay it forward, to ease readers’
burdens by taking them on a swashbuckling, adventurous voyage into
historical romance and beyond.
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*
*
*
Chloe Flowers
*
A Parrothead at heart, Chloe’s love for pirates began with Peter Pan
and continued with Pirates of the Caribbean and ghost stories about
pirates from the Outer Banks. She listens to Celtic music while she
writes. When life gets too serious, she reads Calvin and Hobbes
comics. She lives in Ohio with her tall, dark and handsome husband,
three children and two rambunctious dogs, Indiana and Luke, who are
named after her two favorite action heroes.
Descended from a family of cooks and gourmet chefs, Chloe is a true foodie and
along with working for fortune 500 companies in marketing and
teaching MBA students strategic marketing, she also ran a gourmet
cookie company. Cooking for a crowd runs in the blood, so her fridge
is always full. She deals with stress by baking pies (just ask her
college roommates what it was like for them around exam time).
Her idea of a perfect day? Sailing on the Caribbean with her family, sun
in her face and wind at her back, and finishing the day in the
kitchen making a fab gourmet meal and sipping a glass of wine.
The Pirates & Petticoats Series is about spunky heroines and the
scoundrels who love them.
*
*
*
*
Jennifer Bray-Weber
*
Award-winning author Jennifer Bray-Weber is a proud native Texan. She is a married
domestic goddess/beach bum with two beautiful daughters. Holding two
degrees, one is Music and Video Business, the other in Liberal Arts,
she has been able to express her creative thinking through countless
questionable, often hilarious, life experiences.
Her interests include writing, reading, traveling (what she likes to call
“research”), horseback riding, scrapbooking, shopping,
relaxing at the beach, and dares.
Join Jennifer’s mailing list for sneak peeks, excerpts, and free
giveaways.
*
*
*
*
Barbara Devlin
*
USA Today bestselling, Amazon All-Star author Barbara Devlin was born a
storyteller, but it was a weeklong vacation to Bethany Beach, DE that
forever changed her life. The little house her parents rented had a
collection of books by Kathleen Woodiwiss, which exposed Barbara to
the world of romance, and Shanna remains a personal favorite. Barbara
writes heartfelt historical romances that feature flawed heroes who
may know how to seduce a woman but know nothing of marriage. And she
prefers feisty but smart heroines who sometimes save the hero, before
they find their happily ever after. Barbara earned an MA in English
and continued a course of study for a Doctorate in Literature and
Rhetoric. She happily considered herself an exceedingly eccentric
English professor, until success in Indie publishing lured her into
writing, full-time, featuring her fictional knighthood, the Brethren
of the Coast.
*
*
*
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Danelle Harmon
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First published in 1991, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
Danelle Harmon has written sixteen books, with many distributed in
various languages throughout the world. She and her family make their
home in New England with a menagerie including four dogs, an Egyptian
Arabian horse, and pet chickens.
*
*
*
*
Amanda Mariel
*
USA Today Bestselling author Amanda Mariel dreams of days gone by when
life moved at a slower pace. She enjoys taking pen to paper and
exploring historical time periods through her imagination and the
written word. When she is not writing she can be found reading,
crocheting, traveling, practicing her photography skills, or spending
time with her family.
*
*
*
*
Kamery Solomon
*
Kamery is not the person who grew up dreaming of the day that she would
clutch her very own novel to her chest, tears brimming over the rims
of her eyes as she thought about how she’d written it herself,
finally! In fact, anything remotely like that didn’t even happen
until she was actually holding her first book in her hand, amazed
that she’d written it and wondering how on Earth she’d managed to do
it when it hadn’t ever occurred to her to write one until months
before. Surprisingly, though, it was just what she never realized she
loved doing.
When starting out in life, Kamery had (and still has) big dreams to
perform on Broadway. She loves music and acting very much, while she
and dance have a love/hate relationship; she would love to do it and
every form of dance decides it hates that about her, haha! The one
constant she always had between the performing world and the book
world were the stories, tales that transported her to other worlds
and made her feel like she really could do anything. Finally, she
decided she wanted to do that for someone else and sat down to write.
It’s been a few years since she held that first book, realizing that she
really liked writing and wanted to do more, but the love that
blossomed in that moment has only grown. Currently, Kamery works from
home in Arizona, while taking care of her two adorable kids, a girl
and a boy, and talking her sweet husband Jake’s ear off about the
insane amount of characters in her head who are ready to fight to the
death for a chance at their own novels. It truly is a wonderful life!
*
*
 *
 *
*
*
It’s a Treasure Hunt!
Grand prize: Kindle Fire, carrying case, $20 Amazon gift card, wine charms,
coasters, a Root candle, Pirate bandana, playing cards, autographed
copies of pirate romances by the authors of the boxed set, and other
booty! Valued at $175
Runner up Prize: Various signed books, $20 Amazon Gift Card and some
nautical fun pirate booty!
To WIN THE GRAND PRIZE: Read the short 200 word story. One
line of the story will be revealed on the Romance on the High Seas
page on each blog on the tour. At the end of the tour, simply answer
the question: “What started it all?”
Find links to all the blogs HERE!
*
*
Ahoy me treasure hunting hearties! Your treasure hunt word or phrase for this blog is:
(put your unique word or phrase here, found in the clues page sent with the media kit!)
**
*
*
Grand Prize!
*
 *
Runner Up Prize!
 **
 **
Posted in #Book, Action, Adventure, Author, blog, Book, RomCom, Story, Writer

Five Weeks to Jamaica by Doug Oudin – Book Promo

13/05/17

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Who in this wide and wonderful world has not wanted to say “Screw this!” and venture off to some exotic tropical destination?

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Book Description:

Five Weeks to Jamaica is an ocean adventure saga, a colorful tale about four good friends (Kurt, Madison, Larry, and Marcos) that embark upon a ‘luxury cruise’ that turns into something much more than they ever expected.

From the moment they set eyes upon the 147′ motor yacht ‘Explorer’, the friend’s vision of the pending trip turns skeptical, and they nearly abort the cruise.  But Larry persuades the other three to ‘give it a go’, and their cruising odyssey begins.  From the port of Ensenada, Mexico, down the coast of Central America, and through the Panama Canal, the intrepid travelers encounter and experience a series of sometimes dangerous, often exciting, and wildly stimulating experiences that go beyond all expectations.

After finally reaching Jamaica, way behind schedule, another unexpected twist to the journey occurs, and three of the four find themselves bound for the Bahamas, and ultimately Florida, aboard the ill-fated 47′ steel-hulled sailboat ‘Cozy’; under the charge of a salty Englishman, whose interest in Kurt’s girlfriend Madison, turns into a test of machismo.

When they encounter a violent tropical storm between Cuba and Haiti, their very survival comes into question.  Just short of their final destination, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, another twist to the adventure turns their world upside-down, and brings about an end to their journey that alters their lives forever.

This is a journey of wanderlust, personal discovery, colorful insight into the allure of the tropics, and most notably a glimpse into the fragile but explosive vagaries between males and females.

A great read for a day on the beach, an afternoon by the pool, or a stimulating evening under the glow of the bedside lamp.

Excerpt:

Kurt watched appreciatively as his girlfriend Madison walked across the patio bricks, involuntarily twitching his eyebrows at the motion of her hips under the short restaurant skirt. Madison had an unusual method of movement, almost manly in nature, but somehow always sensual. Kurt turned back to his workbench, and placed his tools in the center of the table. He had hoped to finish the job he was working on by nightfall, but a cold beer sounded really good. Maybe he would go back out after dinner and complete the project. He rolled down the garage door and went into the house.

Madison waited for him in the kitchen, popped open two Pacifico’s and grabbed his hand in an effort to lead him into the living room.

“Hang on a minute,” he said, “let me wash up.” He scrubbed-up quickly and joined her.

Seated together on the small, front-room sofa, Kurt turned to Madison and gave her a brief kiss on the lips. She grinned. He loved her lips. They were soft, and the upper lip was nearly as full as the lower—one of the many things about her that he adored.

Kurt had noticed the unusual fullness of her upper lip one evening a couple of years before, when she was lying on her back on the kitchen table drying her hair. She liked to let her thick tresses hang down nearly to the floor while drying. Lying on the table, she would run her fingers through the long golden locks, spreading them outward and let air between the strands to help them dry. On that particular evening, he was struck by the beauty of her heart shaped face in the upside-down position. With a cat-like slant to her eyes and a narrow bridge across her nose, her face appeared even more intriguing and lovely than when right side-up. That memory made him grin.

He stood and walked behind the couch, and leaned over to kiss her from that upside-down angle. She responded coquettishly, and smiled happily at his seemingly childlike captivation. “Oh Kurt,” she whispered, “Sometimes you are so silly.”

Both of them jumped in surprise when the phone rang. “Darn,” said Kurt.

“Let it go,” said Madison.

He shrugged and told her, “I’m expecting a call from work that I need to take.”

It was a phone call that would change their lives.

***

Kurt picked up the telephone. “Hello?” He was expecting a call from his boss, but instead it was his brother Larry.

“Hey Kurt,” Larry asked, “want to go to Jamaica with me and Marcos?”

It was so typical of him to get right to the point.

“What?” Kurt replied, frowning because his brother had once again managed to disrupt his usually imperturbable state of mind. “What are you talking about?”

“We found a luxury yacht selling a five-week, all-inclusive cruise to Jamaica, and we’re leaving in ten days. Want to go? It’s only five hundred dollars per person, and they still have space available.”

Kurt’s immediate reaction was one of slight annoyance, partly because Larry had interrupted his dalliance with Madison, and partly because he would not have answered the phone if he had not been expecting an important call. Pausing for a moment before responding, Kurt tried to focus. ‘A five-week cruise to Jamaica for five hundred dollars?’ It was a little too much to wrap his thoughts around.

“Larry,” Kurt responded slowly, “I’m kind of in the middle of something right now. Besides, I can’t just stop my life to take off on a five-week cruise.”

“Okay, not a problem. I just thought I would ask. Go ahead and get back to what you were doing and I’ll talk to you later.” With that, Larry hung up.

Madison sat with a puzzled expression. “What was that all about?”

“Oh, you know Larry. Apparently he and Marcos found a five-week cruise to Jamaica for five hundred dollars and he called to ask us if we wanted to go.”

Madison looked at him for a long moment, then asked, “Can we?”

Madison rarely strayed beyond her comfort zone. She grew up in the tiny desert community of Barstow, California. She had lived there for the first eighteen years of her life, never venturing out of the State, much less the country. Her life was basically predictable and routine. For her to express even a faint interest in taking off on the spur of the moment on a potentially life-changing excursion seemed well outside of her conservative nature. But as Kurt searched her face, an expression of quizzical interest was evident.

“Seriously?” You are actually contemplating an adventure like that?” Kurt asked.

Madison paused for a moment before answering, “Why not? After all, what do we really have going here? I don’t like my job very much. I’ve never had the opportunity to visit other parts of the world. Both of us are more or less just living day by day without any real goals, plans, or serious ambitions. Why couldn’t we just drop everything and take off on a cruise?”

Kurt did not expect her reaction. Her eagerness intrigued him, but he needed a little time to try and digest the direction this was beginning to take. Like most men, he tended to categorize everything in his daily life into neat little compartments that could be opened, reacted to, and closed in systematic order. To have something like this pop up out of the blue caused him some serious consternation. He stared at Madison for a long moment before answering, “Okay, if you like, I’ll call Larry back in a little while and ask him for more details about the cruise.”

“That would be great.” Madison whispered as she stood and moved toward him, wrapped her hands behind his neck and stretched her five foot-three inch frame onto her tiptoes to brush his lips. “Now can we get back to where we were before the phone rang?”

***

Afterward, they dressed and went back into the kitchen to prepare some food. Kurt caught a couple of decent size surfperch the evening before, and he prepped the filets while Madison fixed a salad. Casually, they talked about their day, Kurt told her about the excellent body surfing he enjoyed that morning and Madison filled him in on some of the current gossip going around the restaurant.

Seated at the dining room table and eating their food, both of them were quiet. Kurt’s thoughts lingered on Madison’s reaction to the cruise conversation. Madison’s face exuded a rare mix of pensiveness and restrained energy or enthusiasm. Her cheeks were slightly flushed, while her eyes sparkled as if they were lost in some far away Shangri-La. He wasn’t sure what to make of her mood. He believed that she was truly engrossed and captivated with the thought of taking off on the cruise. At the same time, he was reluctant to bring up the conversation, simply because he was still trying to come to terms with even considering such a bold and outlandish move. They finished their meal in silence and cleaned up the mess.

Then Madison asked, “Are you going to call Larry and find out more details about the trip to Jamaica?” There it was. Obviously, she was serious, and evidently she was anxious to pursue the possibility.

“Sure, but I’m going to make my work call first, then I’ll call Larry.”

Kurt and his boss spoke briefly about everyday things, and he assured his boss that he could have everything wrapped up by the following afternoon.

After hanging up, he asked, “Are you sure this is something you want to do?” He had pondered the matter enough to become more curious and was beginning to warm to the subject.

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure,” Madison replied, “but there are a lot of things we’ll need to know before we can really consider it completely.”

Kurt nodded. “Yes, there is a lot to consider, but things like this don’t come up very often in one’s life; and hey, what’s life without a little adventure?”

They smiled at each other for a long moment, and then Kurt picked up the phone and dialed Larry. “Hey Larry, what’s this thing about Jamaica?”

“Like I told you earlier, Marcos and I found an ad in the local paper, advertising a five-week cruise to Jamaica for five hundred dollars, and we booked passage. The cruise is due to depart in ten days. We’re going to downtown L.A. tomorrow to get our passports and our shots.” He paused for a minute, and Kurt interrupted.

“So, what kind of a boat is it? Do your really think it’s legitimate? That seems like a really cheap ticket for a luxury cruise ship.”

Larry said, “Well, it’s not a real cruise ship, more of a yacht. It’s about one hundred-fifty foot long; and they’re selling passage for thirty-five people. I think they are just trying to cover some of their expenses to get the boat delivered to Jamaica. It’s scheduled to go into service as an inter-island excursion boat between Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. I spoke with the captain of the boat yesterday, and it all sounds legitimate to me. The captain said we could have our money back when we arrive at the boat if we are not satisfied with what they have to offer.” He paused for a breath, “So, do you really think you and Madison might want to go? They told us at the Passport Office that if we got applications in by tomorrow, we should receive them back by the first of next week. That gives us about a five-day leeway. As for shots, I think we need malaria, typhoid, and maybe hepatitis. There is a travel vaccination office near the passport office we are using, and they will know what we need.”

Kurt asked, “Okay, do you have a number to call where we can find out a few more things?’

“Sure, I’ll give you the number, and I’ll also give you the number for the captain. He said that anyone interested could call him for details. Give me just a second.” A moment later, Larry read off two phone numbers.

“This is great!” Larry exclaimed, “I really hope you guys decide to go.”

“Yeah,” said Kurt, “it does sound pretty exciting.”

“Great. Give me a call and let me know, and say hi to Madison.”

After hanging up, Kurt filled Madison in on all the details. Rubbing the scar on his cheek—a habit of his whenever his thoughts are fraught with anything he is unsure of—Kurt grinned a sheepish smile and nodded at Madison. “Okay kiddo, I guess we’ve got a lot to do if we’re going to try and make this happen.”

For the remainder of the evening, Kurt spent a lot of time on the phone. He contacted the gal in charge of booking the cruise, finding out the details for payment, anticipated departure time, a basic itinerary of ports and stops along the way, and information about meals, sleeping accommodations and other amenities. Most of it sounded good, although there was some vagueness about the sleeping arrangements on board.

Kurt took notes of all the details, with Madison looking over his shoulder as he wrote. She questioned him about the sleeping quarters, and he told her that he would discuss that more with the captain. When he called the captain’s number, there was no answer. He told her he would try again later.

He reached over and pulled Madison to his side. “If we’re really going to make this happen, I think we had better try and get to the Passport Office tomorrow. My passport expired about two years ago, and I know you’ve never had one. If we get that done, and the shots, at least we’ve got those steps out of the way.” Reflexively, he rubbed the scar on his cheek and continued, “Financially, I’m not really sure we’re prepared for an adventure like this. We have plenty to cover the basic passage, but I think we will need quite a bit more for other things. Also, we will need to fly back from Jamaica at our own expense. Right now, I think we have about twenty-eight hundred put away. I’ll bet we need considerably more than that. How is your own personal stash?”

Madison saved the majority of her tips, using them only for special occasions. She responded, “I think I have about one thousand put away. Of course, I still have an account with my mom that I can draw from if I really need to. It’s close to five thousand, so I’m not too worried about money.”

Seated together on the couch, they quietly shared their excitement and concerns about taking off and virtually disappearing for five weeks. They had no children to be concerned about, no pets, and no seriously binding ties. But there was the house, rent, and Kurt’s pickup truck that needed to be on the right side of the street every Tuesday and Thursday or it would get ticketed. They also had to consider their jobs and possible lack thereof once the trip ended. Kurt was sure that his boss would agree to let him pick up where he left off upon his return, but Madison could lose her job. She told him that it did not really matter that much, she knew it would be easy to find another job. At nearly midnight, Kurt commented that the following day would come early and be a busy one.

***

 

The first vestiges of dawn lit the window in the bedroom. Madison lay quietly with her head upon his chest as Kurt watched the arrival of ‘the gray’; that condition between darkness and daylight when time always seems to be in slow motion.

Kurt thought back to the first time they met.

It was a balmy evening in 1973. Kurt lived in a small bootlegged unit in the back of a three thousand square foot home in Pomona, California, a place that he rented from the homeowner. He worked at a Mattel Toy manufacturing plant in nearby Baldwin Park. He played pickup basketball games twice a week with a few buddies from school and from the nearby neighborhood.

 They had just finished a three-game set of hoops and were cooling off with a cold beer when a light green Volkswagen Beetle pulled to the curb with a flat tire.

            A young lady got out of the car and walked around to inspect the problem. She looked baffled. Excusing himself from his buddies, Kurt walked over to the car.

            “Hi,” He said, “It looks like you’ve got a problem.”

            She stared at him, as if trying to determine if he was a potential threat, or merely friendly and helpful.

            “Hi. Yeah, I seem to have a flat tire, and it’s not my car. It’s my brother’s.”

            “Okay,” Kurt smiled. “Do you have a jack and a spare?”

            She replied, “I know this looks like I’m a real idiot, but I have no clue.”

            “Well, do you mind if I have a look?” Kurt questioned casually.

            “I’m sorry,” she responded. “If it’s not too much trouble, I could use some assistance. I’m supposed to pick my brother up in fifteen minutes, and I really would appreciate a little help.”

            Kurt opened the hood and found both a jack and a spare tire. A few years previously, he had worked in a service station; so he was very adept at changing tires. The task was completed in less than ten minutes.

            Finished, Kurt put the jack and the flat tire into the trunk. “Okay, that’s that,” he stated, stepping back onto the sidewalk. “You’re good to go.”

            She looked slightly bewildered, blushed timidly, and stammered, “Thanks so much. I…I…can I offer you some money?”

            Gazing at her innocent, yet tantalizingly provocative face, Kurt sensed that a connection was taking place. He chuckled lightly. “Of course not, it was my pleasure to be of service. If you wouldn’t mind though, I would like your phone number.”

            She looked at him for nearly a minute before responding, “I don’t have a phone, but I work at the Bob’s Big Boy Restaurant on Ganesha Boulevard if you’d like to stop by sometime. I’ll buy you breakfast. I work mornings, every day except Tuesday and Wednesday.”

            “Deal.” said Kurt, and almost as an afterthought asked, “By the way, what’s your name?”

            “Madison.”

            “Okay, Madison, I’m Kurt.”

He walked around the car and opened the door for her. “Guess you’d better be going, it sounds like your brother may not like to wait.”  

As he watched her drive away, Kurt knew that something special had just occurred in his life. A few weeks later they were seeing each other regularly, and two months after that they packed up their things and moved into the little beach bungalow in Hermosa Beach.

Kurt snapped out of his reverie, leaned over and kissed Madison on the lips and said, “Hey doll face, I think it’s time to rise and shine. We’ve got a lot to do if we’re going to make this journey happen.”

***

The ensuing few days brought about a frenzy of preparation. Together they visited the Passport Office, the immunization clinic, and the local library to gather information about the countries they would be visiting. Kurt had heard rumors about the political climate in a couple of the Central American nations, and he wanted to know more about the Panama Canal and Jamaica.

It took a number of phone calls, but Kurt eventually contacted the captain of the boat to find out more information. The captain was friendly, but slightly aloof and vague about particulars aboard the ship. From their conversation, Kurt determined that the ‘luxuries’ aboard the boat were minimal, but the captain and crew would do everything possible to make everyone comfortable and ensure an enjoyable and positive experience for their guests. The captain put a lot of emphasis on the journey itself, and the opportunity to see and experience places and things that few people ever have the chance to encounter.

Packing for the journey was a challenge. Luggage would need to be minimal. On the other hand, having the essentials for five or six weeks of travel required some definite planning. Dress codes should not demand anything special. Once they reached the tropics, shorts and swimsuits would likely be the daily attire, along with light tops. Coats and jackets would probably not be needed in the warmer climates. Still, there were the personal items that nobody wanted to be without, extra toothpaste, deodorant, and other essential toiletries. They would also need towels, books to read, a camera, snorkeling gear, and other personal comforts.

For Madison, the list was longer. There were cosmetics and other female items necessary for her. Her hair alone required special combs, brushes, and shampoos. There was also her lingerie. On this matter, Kurt tried to subtly reassure her that most of those items would be unnecessary. She settled on a few select items.

Meanwhile, they kept in close contact with Larry and Marcos, compared lists and reaffirmed the departure time from San Diego—where the boat would be docked—and discussed a multitude of other questions they all had about the pending journey. During each phone call, Larry remained philosophical about the trip, equating it with an extended campout, albeit to faraway exotic ports. His enthusiasm was infectious.

At the close of one conversation, Larry told Kurt, “I know the whole thing sounds just a bit shaky, but it also sounds like a real adventure. A journey like this could really be life altering.”

They had no idea how prophetic that comment would become.

***

The year was 1976, a Leap Year. America was celebrating its bicentennial—two hundred years of independence from Great Britain.

Two days before their expected departure their passports arrived. However, so did a phone call from the boat captain that left both Kurt and Madison intensely concerned.

“Due to some unexpected problems with the delivery of the boat and with U.S. Immigration,” he told them, “we have to postpone our departure date by two days and move the embarkation point to Ensenada, Mexico.”

According to the captain, the ship encountered a gale force storm off Point Conception and had to hole-up in Port San Luis for two days, delaying its arrival in San Diego. Further complicating the matter, port authorities in San Diego—for undisclosed reasons—would not approve clearance out of the U.S. for the vessel. That bit of news disturbed Kurt. The idea of having to go to Ensenada did not bode well at all.

Kurt felt troubled. They had set all the wheels in motion for the trip, including giving the assurance to their respective employers that they would be back in six weeks. The two-day delay could mean an extension of the trip, but the captain told him that the lost time could be made up along the way.

But there were other things that disturbed him as well, particularly the apparent clandestine switch of the embarkation point from San Diego to Ensenada. The switch had a certain ‘ring’ of illegal action, as if the boat was trying to evade normal channels of operation. Kurt had spent enough time in Mexico to recognize that things were often done quite differently below the border, and the reason for the boat’s change of departure to Mexico could possibly be an effort to avoid U.S. port authority scrutiny. He and Madison discussed the situation at length.

Together, they reached a conclusion that they would cancel the trip and ask for a refund. The decision was difficult, but they both agreed that it seemed prudent.

Kurt called Larry to inform him of their decision; he held the phone so they could both hear what Larry had to say.

Larry immediately began trying to persuade them to reconsider. “It’s not a big deal,” Larry reassured. “I already have a ride to Ensenada arranged, and there’s really no reason to worry about switching the point of departure.”

Kurt wasn’t convinced. “Look Larry, there’s something wrong with this whole thing. If a legitimate operation offers a trip like this, these types of issues would be arranged and taken care of well ahead of time. It looks to us like this whole trip is disorganized and not very legitimate. Neither of us wants to get involved with something that looks like it is falling apart before it even gets started.”

Larry’s response was immediate. “I understand your concerns, but think about how cool this trip will be if things work out. It’s really a great opportunity, and something you might never have a chance to do again. Besides, you’ve already committed; give it a chance. At least go with us to Ensenada, see the boat, meet the other people; and if you still don’t like how it looks, then back out. After all, what do you have to lose at this point?”

“Well, a thousand dollars, for one thing,” Kurt retorted. “To say nothing of the time and energy we have already put into this whole thing.”

“That’s my point exactly.” Larry replied. “Why give up now? If nothing else, go with us to Ensenada and check it out in person. If you’re still convinced that you’re making a mistake, take an extra day or two to enjoy Ensenada, then go back home. Look at it like a mini-vacation. But I really think you’ll decide to go if you’ll just give yourselves the chance to check it out.”

His arguments were very upbeat, perhaps a little pleading. Kurt looked at Madison with a questioning lift of his eyebrows. “What do you think?”

She shrugged. “Okay, we’ll go as far as Ensenada.”

“Great!” Larry enthused. “I know you won’t be sorry.”

 

Buy link Amazon

http://amzn.to/2qqZfSq

 

 Reviews:

Most Helpful Customer Reviews=Five Star

By robert murcott on May 20, 2015

Format: Paperback

I found Five weeks to Jamaica to be a great read! I was hooked just from reading the Preface. I have been a licensed Yacht Delivery Captain for almost thirty years and have been to many of the locations described in the book (very accurately by Doug Oudin). The whole premise of a group of people from many different walks of life, willing to take that leap of faith on a far from pristine yacht, with a questionable crew and ship on a dangerous and uncertain journey staggers the imagination! This cruise would be filled with possible problems and mishaps with the best of ships and crews and to venture out of the harbor on that ship was obviously going to be the start of a wild and uncertain ride. All aspects of this voyage was masterfully written by Doug Oudin. He brought all the characters to life and put you in the middle of this wild ride. I read the book in two days and cannot wait for his next one!

Online bookclub review

4 out of 4 stars

Review by ananya92

Share This Review

Five Weeks to Jamaica by Doug Oudin is a book in the fiction section. It traces the journey of the passengers from the coast of Mexico to Jamaica, aboard the cruise ship, Explorer.

Five weeks of non-stop fun and adventuring at the sea? Definitely yes! Kurt Decker, his girlfriend Madison, his brother Larry and their friend, Marcos, thought they were getting a good deal when they bought their passage aboard the luxury cruise ship bound for Jamaica, for five hundred dollars each. However, their vacation seemed doomed even before they set sail. Some of their fellow passengers opted out of the tour, when they saw that the ship definitely did not qualify as a ‘luxury’ cruise ship, along with some other issues. Despite their disappointment, Kurt and his group elect to go ahead with the tour. Thus begins their journey on the ‘ship of fools’, where the ship’s inhabitants slowly become a close group of friends, as they bond over their discomfort, troubles, romances, joy, and the breathtaking wonders of the ocean.

The book is written in third person, covering the individual stories of the passengers which are effortlessly intertwined with central theme of their tumultuous but exciting journey across the ocean. The author has penned down a story with rich and colorful descriptions, which leave a strong visual imprint on the reader’s mind. Such as this description of the sunset aboard the ship, “Ahead of the ship, the undulating surface of the sea absorbed the rainbow colors of the sky, turning the glistening surface into a surreal stratum of brilliance. Where the sea met the sky, colors danced about like the interior of a kaleidoscope.” The vivid detailing of the journey makes the story come alive for the readers, and gives a very realistic feel to the tale.

The author has sketched well-developed characters for the readers. The characters display the complex human emotions fairly well. The emotional turmoil faced by some of the characters and their ensuing troubled romances, are captured nicely by the author. There is an air of believability about the characters, especially how they slowly come to trust each other and overcome their inhibitions. The struggles of the group and their determination to enjoy the trip, despite the troubles, dangers and a few mishaps, have been portrayed very well by the author.

This book will appeal to all the readers who love the sea. It will also appeal to those readers who love travelling, if not the ocean (like me). I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars, for its believable characters and wondrous scenes.

About the Author:

Doug Oudin is a retired harbormaster from Catalina Island, California.  For twenty-one years, he wrote a weekly article for the local Catalina Islander Newspaper.

author

Married for thirty-eight years, with two sons, his life on and around the ocean has given him the essence of a true seaman.  Having traveled extensively in Mexico, Central America, and parts of the Caribbean, his seafaring adventures enable him to describe, in vivid detail, the captivating lure of the tropics, the power and beauty of the sea, and the subtle, fragile, and inexplicable

diversities of personal relationships.

His two books, ‘Between Two Harbors, Reflections of a Catalina Island Harbormaster’, (a memoir), and ‘Five Weeks to Jamaica’, (a novel), reflect his broad knowledge of the ocean realm.

You can find Doug:

Facebook; http://.www.facebook.com/doug.oudin

Goodreads; http://.www.goodreads.com/author/show/7251794.Doug

Amazon; http://.www.amazon.com/DougOudin/e/B00J6ELD5C

Website; http://.www.dougoudin.com/our-story.html

Linkedin; http://.www.linkedin.com/in/dougoudin

Twitter; https://mobile.twitter.com/DougOudin

www.barnesandnoble.com/w/between-two-harbors-doug-oudin/1116825557

Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Adventure, Author, blog, Book, Romance, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Tour, Wrestling, Writer

Three Seconds to Legend by J.B. Garner – Book Tour + #Giveaway

11/05/17

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The Opening Bell
Three Seconds to Legend Book 1
by J.B. Garner
Genre: Sports/Wrestling Romance, Adventure
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WHEN THE OPENING BELL RINGS, A NEW RING LEGEND BEGINS!
Leilana Ito always knew her family had a long history in the wrestling world
but she never knew how much had been kept secret from her. Wanting to
continue her family’s legacy in the ring, she was shocked when her
father adamantly refused to let her proceed. Unable to deny the
fighting spirit in her heart, Leilana did the unthinkable and defied
her father’s wishes, having no idea what terrible series of events
she had begun.
Dana Harding was in the twilight of her wrestling career, striving for one
last chance at glory in the regional circuit. Despite juggling two
children as a single mother and the hard life of the road, Dana had
one last chance to win championship gold and thought she would do
anything to attain that. Every dirty trick in the book was on the
table, as long as it took place in the squared circle.
Now, in the heart of Oklahoma, the rookie with an unknown past hunting her
and the veteran heel with nothing to lose are about to meet in the
ring. Their clash will bind them and wrap them up in corporate
machinations, family rivalries, and secrets of the past coming back
to life to threaten both women and everything they hold dear.
In the midst of it all, will Leilana succumb to her family’s past or
find the strength to follow her dreams? Will Dana stay the infamous
heel or discover something in her heart she didn’t even know she had?
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The Tale of the Tape
Three Seconds to Legend Book 2
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LOST LOVES AND DEADLY LABORS, ALL ARE TOLD BY THE TALE OF THE TAPE!
Nothing remains constant in the tumultuous world of pro wrestling! On the eve
of their victory over the most powerful family in the wrestling
world, Leilana Ito and Dana Harding look forward to a bright future
but that perfect ending is snatched away when Leilana disappears.
Desperate to find her, Dana starts a country-wide search, spurred on
by both friendship and something stronger: love!
Meanwhile, Leilana faces a gauntlet of rigged matches, hidden spies, and
psychological torture as a ‘guest’ of the Von Richters in Los Vegas.
Trapped in a city where anything goes, money talks, and no one asks
questions, Leilana puts it all on the line in a ring where each match
could be her last.
The clock is ticking. Can Dana find the woman she loves before it’s too
late? Can Leilana endure each deadly labor long enough to be saved?
Even if they find each other, will Dana find her love to be
reciprocated or unrequited?
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The Twelfth Labor
Three Seconds to Legend Book 3
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At the end of the championship quest, there lies the final match: The
Twelfth Labor!
Hardened by a gauntlet of challenges, wrestler Leilana Ito is a rookie no
longer as she nears her ultimate goal: completing her labors and
winning freedom from the Von Richter sisters, mistresses of the
wrestling world.
However, the storm is fiercest before the calm and Leilana’s most dangerous
challenges lie ahead. Fearsome opponents, devious traps, and lies
from all sides threaten to put an end not only Leilana but her
friends and family. Joined by fellow wrestler and newfound love, Dana
Harding, and a motley alliance of allies, Leilana struggles on
towards her greatest fight, the final duel, the Twelfth Labor!
The Twelfth Labor is the no-holds-barred conclusion to the pro-wrestling
action/adventure drama of Three Seconds to Legend!
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J. B. Garner was born in Baltimore, MD on December 1, 1976, the youngest
of three children. While still young, the family moved to Peachtree
City, GA. His parents always encouraged his creative side and J. B.
began writing and drawing from an early age. Though considered
talented by his teachers, he never fully applied himself and bounced
through high school and into college at the Georgia Institute of
Technology. During his freshman year, his father died suddenly.
Grief and lack of purpose caused J. B. to drop out of school. If not for a
few close friends, he might have dropped out of life as well. Taken
in by his friends and given a second chance, J. B. matured, applied
himself, and finally, after over a decade of hard work, is now back
to doing what he loves the most: writing.
**
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Posted in #Book, Action, Adventure, Author, Bewitching Book Tours, blog, Book, Fantasy, Historical, Tour, Writer

The Sun God’s Heir by Elliot Baker – Book Blitz

19/04/17

The Sun God’s Heir: Return
The Sun God’s Heir
Book One
Elliott Baker        
Genre: Historical Fantasy/Action and Adventure
Publisher: Hypatia Press,
Piscataqua Press
Date of Publication: January 18, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-9978322-0-4
ASIN: B01MS3RCE0
Number of pages: 347
Word Count: 108,000
Cover Artist: Kelly Shorten

Tagline: To defeat a brutal pharaoh re-embodied in 17th century France, René Gilbert must fight his way through pirates and slavers to Morocco and reclaim the power of his own ancient past. To succeed, he must remember.



Book Description:

For three thousand years a hatred burns -In seventeenth century France two souls incarnate, one born the child of a prosperous merchant, the other, determined to continue a brutal incarnation begun long ago.
In ancient Egypt two brothers are disciples of the pharaoh, Akhenaten. When Pharaoh dies, the physician takes the knowledge given and goes to Greece to begin a new mystery school. The general makes a deal with the priests and becomes pharaoh. One remembers, one does not.
The year is 1671. René Gilbert’s destiny glints from the blade of a slashing rapier. The only way he can protect those he loves is to regain the power and knowledge of an ancient lifetime. From Bordeaux to Spain to Morocco, René is tested and with each turn of fate he gathers enemies and allies, slowly reclaiming the knowledge and power earned centuries ago. For three thousand years a secret sect has waited in Morocco. 
After ages in darkness, Horemheb screams, “I am.” Using every dark art, he manages to maintain the life of the body he has bartered for. Only one life force in the world is powerful enough to allow him to remain within embodiment, perhaps forever. Determined to continue a reign of terror that once made the Nile run red, he grows stronger with each life taken.
Get it Free April 19th 



Amazon    Kobo

Excerpt:

The boatswain, a
large man with scars on his arms and face, walked over to stand in front of
René. “Chain him to the mast.”
Their gazes met.
“Don’t look at
me, boy,” he said, backhanding René in the face. “Look down at the deck when I
talk to you. You’re some over-fed nobleman’s kid thinkin’ you make the rules.
I’m surprised you ain’t cryin’ for your mama. You got a mama, boy?” he asked
and laughed. When René didn’t answer, he hit him again. “I asked you a
question, boy. Don’t try my patience, cause I ain’t got none.”
“My mother died
when I was born,” René said, watching the man’s feet to see how he moved. He
was cataloging everything he could see out of the corners of his eyes.
“Well, not to
worry, you’ll be seeing her soon.” The boatswain turned to walk away and then
turned back and hit René again. “I had to do that,” he said, and walked away
laughing.
Though they had
chained him in a way that didn’t allow him to sit, René had enough slack to
turn and see most of the ship. He was aboard an English slave ship. She was an
older carrack in design, still with the large forecastle. She had seen better
days, though. The fact that she was still on the seas suggested either a
cutthroat reputation or an experienced captain. Under the wear, the ship was
surprisingly clean, her ropes and sails newly repaired and in good order.
Second rate though she might be, she was seaworthy. This was a veteran crew,
competent in their tasks. It wouldn’t be easy getting free, and even if he
could, where would he escape to in the middle of  the ocean? Don’t rush fate. One thing at a
time. Do what you can do, he heard the Maestro say. It was clear he would have
to pick a fight, and hope he could survive long enough to begin creating
allies. The next time the big boatswain walked by, René laughed.
“What are you
findin’ so funny, boy?” The boatswain stuck his face within inches of René’s.
René had noticed
the boatswain had one leg shorter than the other, and was certain the big man
would be touchy on that point. “You walk funny, that’s all,” said René, raising
his voice. It was of no use to him if he got beat up and no one knew why.
All work within
the sound of René’s voice crashed to a complete stop. Silence reigned. René had
guessed right. Now he could only hope he would survive his insight.
The boatswain
stood in absolute disbelief, his face turning redder by the moment. “What did
you say?” Spittle flew from his mouth.
Even the captain
had turned to watch. René counted on the fact Gaspard’s agent had given the
captain a great deal of money, along with explicit instructions that didn’t
include throwing a dead boy overboard. What he didn’t know was how close to
dead the agent considered acceptable.
“I said you walk
funny,” René said—louder this time, so there would be no mistaking it.
“Do you know
what a cat is, boy?” the boatswain said, clearly beyond rational thought. René
could see the veins standing out in his neck and temples, his eyes shot red
with blood.
“A small
animal?” René asked.
There was a
laugh from the men standing around the mast. The boatswain took one look
around, and the laugh died.
“You, James,
bring me the cat. I don’t think this boy has ever seen a real one. Your
education has been sadly incomplete, boy. You’ll be thankin’ me for this. I
promise you.” The boatswain’s voice was a rough whisper.
James walked
over and handed the Cat-O-Nine-Tails to the boatswain. As he caught René’s eye,
he sadly shook his head. The cat had nine long thongs of blood-encrusted
leather dangling from a handle, knots tied along the length of each thong.
“This here’s a
cat, boy. As you can see, it ain’t no small animal. Now, there’s a skill and a
talent to usin’ a cat, both of which I’m proud to say I have. You see, you need
to take care the thongs don’t get all stuck together with blood and skin, which
they’re wont to do. If that happens, the cat’ll take yer organs right out, and
that’s always a bad thing. So you need to run your fingers between the thongs
every couple of strokes, to keep ‘em separate. I gotta tell you—as much pride
as I take in usin’ the cat, sometimes I’m forgetful. I try to keep count, but
before I know it, I plumb forget to clean the damn thing. I surely hope that
don’t happen today.”
“I also have a
skill and a talent, and I will kill you with it,” René said quietly.

 

For one second, the boatswain paused, confusion written across his face. “Turn him around, and
chain him up. You there, strip off his shirt.”
About the Author:
Award winning novelist and international playwright Elliott Baker grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. With four musicals and one play published and produced in the United States, New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada, Elliott is pleased to release his first novels. The Sun God’s Heir: Return, book one of the trilogy, was released this past January, and book two, Rebirth will come out in April, followed in July by the third and final book of the series, Redemption. A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his wife Sally Ann.
Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Adventure, Author, Bewitching Book Tours, blog, Book, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal Romance, Story, Tour, Writer, YA

Purgatory Reign by LM Preston – Book Tour + #Giveaway

31/03/17

 

 

PURGATORY REIGN

Purgatory Reign
Book One
LM Preston
Genre: YA, Romance, Paranormal,
Adventure, Mystery
Publisher: Phenomenal One Press
Date of Publication:  02/16/2013
ISBN: 9780985025144
ASIN: B01N6ZTBNX
Number of pages: 307
Word Count:  79K
Cover Artist: Emma Michaels
Tagline: Something evil this way comes, unfortunately for it Peter Saints awaits.
Book Description:
Peter Saints’ life stinks. But things are about to get much worse. First, his parents are murdered in front of him. Then another victim dies in his arms. Visions plague Peter with warnings that something wants him for a sinister cause. It desires the one thing that Peter refuses to give, his blood.
Peter carries within him the one gift or curse that could unlock a secret to destroy the human race. On the run with Angel, a scruffy kid, Peter starts to unravel the mystery. It is the one treasure the heavens sought to hide from the world.
Unfortunately, when Peter finds the answer he hopes that will save the girl he loves, he opens the door to a great evil that happens to be salivating to meet him.
Purgatory Reign is Book 1 in the series including Deviant Storm, Fierce Tides and Kindle World novella Colliding Souls from Runes World.
Amazon     BN     Smashwords       Kobo      iTunes     BAM
 
Excerpt
Purgatory Reign:
Peter took a
moment to catch his breath. “I left. I left the grounds. But something’s bad
has happened. Sh-she…Hanna died!” He coughed and his eyes watered. “Because of
me! My fault. It was my fault. You gotta help her! I always screw up. Always.
Please…”
Pastor Finn put
his hands on Peter’s shoulders and shook him. “Why’d you leave? I told you
never to leave here. You’ll put us all in danger. Yourself in danger. I didn’t
save your butt for you to screw this up, boy.” He yanked Peter by the shirt and
down the stairs. Then dragged him, practically running, all the way to the
cellar stairs where he pointed at the small door where Peter had escaped.
“Sixteen years old and you think you are man enough to make it out there?” he
grumbled. “This is where you got out?” He sighed. “You don’t understand.”
“It’s my fault!
Did you hear me? I killed someone! You gotta help her.” Peter jerked out of his
grasp and grabbed Pastor Finn’s shirt, facing off with him. For once in a long
while, he stared down the man eye to eye. He straightened up to his full
height. The older man’s gray crew cut and piercing blue eyes were filled with
fear. Peter’s hand loosened in shock that it was the first time he remembered
that Pastor Finn looked afraid.

 

“I can’t help
the dead.” He pushed Peter’s hands away from him. “But I have to help you. Come
with me.” Peter watched him, confused. His teeth clenched at Pastor Finn’s
betrayal. “I thought you were different. I have to go back. Bury her, like she
deserves.” Peter stumbled backwards.
 

DEVIANT STORM

Purgatory Reign
Book Two
LM Preston
Genre: YA, Romance, Paranormal,
Adventure, Mystery
Publisher: Phenomenal One Press
Date of Publication:  02/16/2013
ISBN: 9780996919500
ASIN: B016NU9CWC
Number of pages: 252
Word Count:  68K
Formats available: ebook
Cover Artist: Emma Michaels
Tagline: Something evil this way comes, unfortunately for it Peter Saints awaits.
Book Description:
The battle is on. Peter Saints thought he’d killed It. But bad people never stay down. Now the jail of his enemy is weakening. Luck is running out for Peter and the girl he saved by wagering the Earth. Only now, with each second and secret revealed, his enemy gains the answers to destroy Peter and devour the world.
Expect FIERCE TIDES (Book 3 of 3) in Dec. 2017 and COLLIDING SOULS (Character Spin off: April 2017)
Amazon      BN      Smashwords      Kobo      iTunes
Excerpt Deviant Storm:
He screwed up.
So bad, he didn’t think he could fix it. Peter tossed the ball against the wall
once more as he drowned out Kyle’s words. He never admitted everything that had
happened to him in the Stronghold to Kyle. Didn’t think he could. One thing for
sure, time was up. Peter was through waiting to be told what to do by the
Elders of at this dump who seemed to have their own agendas. Dealing with the
nightmares of what he’d done – possibly killing a man by pulling something
beyond evil out of him, plagued Peter every night. Those times when he wasn’t
careful, it pressed his thoughts, even when awake.

 

“We’ll go get
her.” Peter’s dark brown eyes landed on Kyle’s questioning blue ones.
 
About the Author:
LM. Preston was born and raised in Washington, DC. An avid reader, she loved to create poetry and short-stories as a young girl. With a thirst for knowledge she attended college at Bowie State University, and worked in the IT field as a Techie and Educator for over sixteen years. She started writing science fiction under the encouragement of her husband who was a Sci-Fi buff and her four kids. They inspired the beginning of her obsessive desire to write and create stories of young people who overcome unbelievable odds. She loves to write while on the porch watching her kids play or when she is traveling, which is another passion that encouraged her writing.
 

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Age Six Racer by Joe Vercillo – Book Tour + #Giveaway

29/03/17

 

 

AGE SIX RACER
Joe Vercillo
Genre: Adventure/Coming of Age
Publisher: Wild Thorn Publishing

Date of Publication: 03/25/2017


ISBN: 9781520784137

ASIN: B06XFMNQNG


Number of pages: 150

Word Count: 36 000


Book Description:


Now, I’m not sure if it’s like this for every guy out there, but it seems like the main underlying reason for everything I do is because of a girl. It was ‘the girl’ who made me run away from my hometown. And it was ‘the girl’ who almost got me killed. But it was also because of ‘the girl’ that I ended up in New York City with my three best friends on a mad adventure.


My name is Princeton, and I’m a white-footed mouse.

Excerpt
AGE SIX RACER
CHAPTER
ONE
The End
I
had a little scare this morning. There I was, lying facedown on the garage
floor of 18 Westwinds Boulevard in Princeton, New Jersey. I was only a few feet
away from my home, actually—a little woodpile in the front corner.
I
felt the bristle of the broom gently pushing then rolling me into the plastic
dustpan. Next thing I knew, I was in a shallow grave in the cedar mulch under
the damn maple tree out front.
After
a heartbreak, I always like to fantasize about having an untimely death and
going out in a blaze of glory with the girl who broke my heart bawling her eyes
out and wondering how she’s ever gonna live without me. But as great as this
death fantasy is, I’ve never really
wanted to die.
Now,
don’t think that this is some sort of Romeo
and Juliet
story or anything like that because it’s not. Even if it were,
you should never feel bad when a mouse dies. Our life spans are only about a
year in the wild, but to give you some perspective, one day for a mouse feels
pretty much like a human year. So most of us live good long lives even if they
seem short to people.
So
yeah, my name is Princeton, and I’m a mouse—a white-footed mouse, to tell you
the truth. We’re often confused with our rival cousin, the deer mouse. Our
coloring is similar to that of a deer—reddish brown on top with white bellies.
The only difference between deer mice and us is our white feet.
By
the way, Princeton is just my nickname. I don’t wanna tell you my real name
because it’s kind of embarrassing. The nickname Princeton actually started as a
razz. My friends acted as if I had suddenly turned into a douche when I moved
to the town that was home to the prestigious
Princeton University. Sure, it’s full of professors and some of the world’s
brightest young minds, but the attitudes here are exactly the same as in any
other town I’ve ever been to. An outsider with an inferiority complex about
Princeton should see how most of the humans dress here. It’s all sweatpants and
hoodies, I swear to God.
Anyway,
the nickname Princeton just stuck, and to tell you the truth, it’s grown on me.
Nicknames can make or break you. I once knew a guy who was nicknamed The Dove.
Some friends and I had shown up at a grain-silo party, and there was this field
mouse named Miles sitting way up in the rafters, eating all by himself. My
friend Tyler said, “Hey, check it out—the lonesome dove.” Everyone laughed, and
from that day on, Miles was known as The Dove. Imagine getting stuck with that nickname for life. Doves are the
worst. Trust me.
And
Princeton isn’t the first nickname I’ve ever had. I’ve been called other things
too. This one time, I had to hide out in a hamster cage for a night to evade a
barn cat, and my friend Charlotte started calling me Hamster Boy. Another time,
she started calling me Junior after I had a close call with a vacuum cleaner.
Why Junior? Well, when she was a kid, she had this pet potato bug named Junior
that got sucked up by a vacuum cleaner. She has a sick sense of humor like
that.
Anyway,
I moved to Princeton a couple weeks ago from Port Elgin, Ontario. To be
completely honest, the move was a result of two things, which I’ll tell you
about in a minute.
Back
in Port Elgin, I lived in this little woodpile in the backyard of a big old
two-story century home. It was a great setup. The humans who lived there were
the Sanagans. I actually got to know them pretty well—not personally,
obviously, but you know what I mean. I found a hole in the foundation
underneath their deck that led into the wall right behind the kitchen stove. I
could sneakster my way in and out of there pretty easily.
There
was never a shortage of food in that house, with old half-eaten boxes of cereal
lined up along the back wall of the pantry. And it was all of the good stuff
too—Honey Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Corn Pops, you name it. The Sanagans were
cereal fiends.
The
family was also addicted to watching movies, which was how I became such a
movie buff. I used to do marathons with them, watching from under the couch.
My
taste in music was also shaped in that house. The one son, J.P., would blast
his tunage while taking showers. I’d always make a point of being in the
bathroom wall near the return air vent in the mornings so I could rock out and
jump around to songs like “Blue Orchid” by the White Stripes, “Sober” by
Blink-182, or “Breed” by Nirvana. J.P. would be dancing and singing along too,
so those days were a lot of fun.
I
swear, that place would have been like the damn Elysian Fields if it weren’t
for a few of its nonhuman inhabitants: Indy—a silver tabby cat, Rascal—a big
fat calico cat, and Frankie—a little wiener dog. The fat cat wasn’t much to
worry about. She would just lie around all day stretched out on the floor like
Jabba the Hutt. And she had this permanent sore on her back that kind of looked
like a slice of pepperoni. It was strange. I was never sure if I wanted to puke
or lick it. Frankie wasn’t usually a threat, either. That guy was anything but stealth. I could hear him coming
from a hundred miles away with his heavy footsteps and jangly metal collar, not
to mention his incessant yelping, whimpering, and whining. Nope, it was only
Indy who put the fear of God into me.
Indy
was an infamous mouser—a mass
murderer—who haunted the dreams of small rodents all across the land. There
were rumors in the neighborhood that she had over three thousand kills dating
back to the early 2000s. Mice, chipmunks, and rabbits were her favorite
targets. During the warmer months, a killing a day was the norm. It wasn’t
uncommon to come across chipmunks or mice who had been chopped clean in half
and left on the front porch or back step like some sort of sick taunt or
medieval warning—a message to us all to watch our asses. Other times, you’d just see the entrails or dry blood spots of
some other poor departed soul.
The
point is, Indy was a professional assassin, and our crossing of paths was the
push I needed to get out of town.
So
there I was, out on a movie date with this girl named Jules. She was this
beautiful field mouse I had gone out with a couple times. She was more of a
rebound, to tell you the truth. I was really only seeing her to try to get my
mind off of a recent heartbreak. I was very attracted to her, but we didn’t
have much in common. Deep down, we both probably knew it would never work out.
Anyway,
we’d just finished watching the movie—the Sanagans had put on the fourth Harry Potter—and were on our way back
through the pantry and into the kitchen. I told her to wait the usual ten
seconds to make sure the coast was clear before heading to the exit behind the
stove. But Jules—being the naive little field mouse she was—decided to just
stroll on out there like a moron. Well, guess who came flying around the
corner, barking his head off just as she was walking out? Yup, you guessed
it—Frankie, the wiener dog.
I
took off like a shot, running straight under the kitchen table and around the
corner of the island. My diversion worked as Frankie was right on my ass. That
meant that Jules was in the clear and had a safe path to the stove.
There
were small cubbies where I could wait out danger in most parts of the Sanagans’
house. But unfortunately, I was chased into the only area that didn’t have a
hiding place—the dreaded dining room.
“THERE’S
A MOUSE!” a human voice yelled out from somewhere behind me. Frankie was still
hot on my heels at that point.
Damn.
It was one thing for the pets to know you were in their house, but when a human
found out that they had a mouse problem, it was pretty much game over. All of
your routes and hiding places became compromised—holes got filled by foam
insulation; poison-bait stations popped up on every corner of the foundation;
snap traps, electric zapper traps, and glue boards got set up at your favorite
hangouts. It was a real pain in the ass. If you were lucky enough to make it
out alive after being spotted, you’d cut your losses and move on to the next
house.
All
I could do at that point was beeline it for the junk-cluttered section in the
back corner of the room. When I made it there, I squirmed my way in deep and
hunkered down to catch my breath.
With
all of the barking and yelling, it was hard to concentrate, but this would be
the best time to escape—during the pandemonium. I shimmied past a bookshelf and
then crawled under the liquor cabinet and stopped for a minute at the back
corner. I had to try to figure out where exactly my pursuers were positioned.
Frankie
was still barking like a bastard back near the junk pile where I was hiding. I
didn’t have eyes on him, but he was over there for sure. Mrs. Sanagan was in
the same area. I could see her feet and hear her trying to calm Frankie down.
She must have been the one who spotted me on my run over here. I could hear Mr.
Sanagan yelling from either the kitchen or the family room. He wasn’t a very
mobile fellow, so I assumed he would be supervising the mouse hunt from afar.
From
what I could tell, I only needed to elude the three of them.
If
I stayed under the liquor cabinet it’d be game over, Frankie would be moving in
to sniff me out at any second. So I did what I had to—I made a run for it.
Did
you ever have that feeling as a kid, when the shortcut to get home required you
to go through a really dark section of a scary forest or alley, and you’d run
through it as fast as you possibly could hoping to God that nothing would
snatch you up? Well, that’s pretty much what it feels like to be a mouse making
a mad dash.
After
scurrying through the dining room doorway into the kitchen, I rounded the
corner of the island and saw the stove. My heart leapt for joy—home stretch!
But just as I cleared the island, I looked over to my left, and what I saw made
my stomach drop. It was Indy, the mass-murdering killer cat. She was sitting
there on her haunches, no more than a foot away, staring at me with her
squinted green eyes. I instinctively jumped sideways and skidded away from her.
“THERE
IT IS! GET IT, INDY!” shouted Mr. Sanagan.
But
as God is my witness—and I’ll never know the real reason why—Indy let me run
right by her. She didn’t move an inch. She just sat there with a carefree smirk
on her face, like she was only there to watch the show. I’ll never forget that
act of mercy she displayed for me that day. Ever.

 

Just
a few weeks ago, though, I heard some sobs coming from outside of my woodpile
in the garage in New Jersey. It was J.P. He had just gotten word that Indy had
passed away in her sleep back home in Port Elgin. I know I should have been
rejoicing with the rest of the woodland creatures that she’d haunted and
terrorized all of those years, but I ended up saying a little prayer for her
that night. Just out of respect for letting me go that day, ya know?
 

About the Author:


Professional ice-hockey goaltender and Canadian singer-songwriter, Joe Vercillo, stumbled upon the love of his life, journeyed down to Princeton, New Jersey, and found a dead mouse in a garage.


The rest is history.



Facebook: 

https://www.facebook.com/joevercilloauthor/Amazon: 

https://www.amazon.com/Joe-Vercillo/e/B06XGP2K74/ 

 

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Treacherous Deceit by Zola Blue – Book Tour + #Giveaway

27/03/17

*
Treacherous Deceit
By Zola Blue
Genre: Adventure, Thriller, Mystery
 *
*
*
In the Yukon, nothing is more important than family. Loyalty to her
family is what Mona must face when her Grandfather, who rescued her
from death as a child and raised her as his own tells her she must
return to the Yukon from New York to go into the mountains and search
for the ancient village of gold that is her legacy.
Convinced that the ancient village exists, her grandfather sent his team on
ATV’s to find it while commissioning his adopted son Jonas to lead
the others, including his cherished granddaughter.
Jonas is happy to lead the expedition while planning on somehow getting Mona alone. His plan goes astray when they are forced to team with four other unexpected
seekers, including Bryan, a geologist who immediately falls for Mona
and becomes an interference for Jonas. The team overcomes severe
obstacles, setbacks, and loss of lives while traveling through water
filled caves and treacherous mountain passages.
*
d- excerpt
*

Tricks Upon the Mind

After the meal they rested, and at least for now everyone appeared calm. Mona was glad for that. While they sat around a small fire burning in the hibachi, an enchantment she could not explain had seized her. “This area has always been known for its abundance of caves and caverns. That is why my people settled here in the first place my Gee-pa told me; the grottos were great protection and shelter for the women and children,” she said, tranquility and peace with her surroundings satiated her.

“Yes, I read that too,” Bryan replied. “I am assuming these caverns were once safe havens in the rock cliffs. They said the village buried itself beneath the ground when it disappeared.”

“Yes, we were cliff dwellers,” she said smiling.

Bryan smiled back at her, reached over, and took her hand in his; she moved closer to him.

“What are cliff dwellers?” asked Sean.

“Well, my Gee-pa told me, in the village of Goldum all the houses were built within the cliffs; the only way out was through passages built within the mountains,” she answered.

“Oh I bet that was fun to live in,” giggled Tracy, she felt lightheaded and blithe; she leaned her head against Willie’s shoulder.

“Oh this is very exciting I am sure,” Willie said, his words reeking with sarcasm, “but I didn’t come all this way for a history lesson. Did he tell you how much gold was there?”

“That what I want to know too Willie,” Sean laughed.

“Oh Willie, you are so funny,” Tracy giggled playfully throwing her arms around his neck. “It does not hurt to know about the mountains, after all, we are beneath them.”

“Anything for you baby,” Willie replied and kissed Tracy on the nose. “Anyone want a drink?” Willie asked holding up a bottle of brown Bacardi rum.

“I do,” answered Sean.

The blue haze surrounding the stalactites hanging from the ceiling gave him migraines. The intimacy of the room had a different reality and made Jonas feel confined; his only point of sanity was the sound of rushing water running through the river behind him. The mugginess of the cavern, accompanied by the feeling of being trapped and the presence of more people than he was accustomed to, created an uneasiness within him. Jonas’ recluse lifestyle never afforded him much socialization with others, and except for the occasional chat with his prey, and the dinners at Hattie’s, he never spent time listening to others. Jonas made it a point to isolate himself; he found people, and their pathetic ways uninteresting and superfluous.

The redhead’s playful giggling taunts and the girly man’s unintelligible slang made no sense to Jonas; they seemed to speak in a language he did not understand. For her obnoxious silliness all Jonas could think of was stuffing her mouth with one of the ball gags he kept in his workroom. Jonas rarely gave his prey the ability to communicate. He glared scornfully at Mona then Bryan; watching the two of them chat like old friends made him angry.

Jonas rubbed his temples with the tips of his fingers trying to ease the thudding within his head; breathing in deeply, the rich smell of metal excited his senses, relaxing him. Jonas gave in to the pull of the cavern’s life force. The intoxicating smell electrified him and Jonas breathed in a second time, immediately experiencing a euphoric intoxication within his mind, giving him a high beyond any he had ever experienced from drugs or his sexual games. Its metallic aroma eased his headache and he said, “Pass that bottle over here Willie.” Willie threw the bottle to him and Jonas poured a generous amount into his cold coffee and took a big gulp. The flavor made his head swell and gave him a momentary rush. “Damn that’s rough,” he commented.

Willie and Sean laughed.

“Yeah, Gi-I-Joe, that stuff ain’t for no titty slurpers,” Sean cried out; chuckling hysterically. He pushed his fist toward Willie and his buddy fist bumped him back.

Willie saw the bewildered look on Jonas’ face and realized the man did not understand Sean. He laughed and said, “Sean means it’s not for babies.”

“What, you don’t know what that means? You are lame Jonas,” Sean whooped.

Jonas ignored the young man and allowed the rum and the cavern’s natural attributes to mellow him. As if he were dreaming, Jonas watched the flames blazing into the heavens leaking out through the open roof. Jonas admired the long spirals of red and blue flame dancing upward releasing smoldering smoky wisps into the darkness. The sky was full of twinkling stars and the bright spots created a silvery shimmer against its thick blackness.

Darkness filled the cave and shadowed the rest of the group, hiding them from his sight. The flames still roaring, Jonas gazed as if hypnotized into the burning fire; he watched as Mona walked into the midst of the flames and stopped. The hostile flames licked at her beautiful golden brown body. She stood still, her hands clasped before her submissively. She was illuminated before him like a seductive temptress. Immune from the heat of the fire, her lovely body did not burn or scorch. Most of her skin was exposed and she wore a golden bustier with dangling tassels. Her nipples stuck out through the glittery material and each held golden rings. Mona moved towards him, her advances beguiling, each purposeful sway in her hips enticed him to leer greedily at her, inspecting every curve of her shapely body. Tassels across the top of her golden G-string panties swung back and forth allowing him to see the curves of her shapely thighs and he felt himself growing excited.

Her long black hair spun around her pirouetting body, alluring him further and intensifying his longing to touch her. Jonas grew weak as she moved, his body beyond desiring her now. Calling out to him, she urged him forward with her finger, indicating she was offering herself to him. His lust for her overwhelming him, Jonas jumped from the foldout chair. The chair toppled over, spilling his drink on the ground. Mona reached out for him, her small hands grabbing his. She pulled him forward and pressed her body against him. Jonas reached for her breasts and fondled them roughly, pulling at the rings in her nipples. Suddenly her movements grew wild and exhilarating. She pirouetted around him like a feral cat, throwing her legs and arms around his body. She bounded onto his waist, holding his body between her legs while clawing passionately at his chest. Jonas grabbed her silky hair and forced her to kiss him as he breathed in her metallic scent. Mona forcefully shoved him away from her, stepped back and took off her top exposing her small, firm breasts. Jonas reached for them and the rings turned into eyes where her nipples should have been. They winked at him. Come take us, Jonas, the eyes beckoned to him.

Willie had noticed Jonas behaving weirdly but when he got up and walked toward the fire with his eyes wide open and arms out as if he were embracing someone, he asked, “What’s going on Jonas?”

Jonas did not answer.

“Jonas, you alright?” Willie asked again.

Sean began to snicker and laughed, “Willie he’s had too much rum.”

Tracy giggled with him.

Jonas stepped forward. Mona waited for him; she wanted him, all this time she had wanted him too. She smiled at him, opening her arms to receive his embrace and the small eyes on her breasts looked at him.

“Stop what are you doing man.” Willie held on to Jonas, snatching him back just as he stepped into the open flames and knocked over the small grill.

Willie’s voice resonated within his head, Mona disappeared, floating away, her beautiful brown body fading into the darkness. Momentarily, Jonas stared into the face of the little girl he had murdered long ago. Screaming, he leaped backward and the confused faces of the group materialized around him. Realizing the illusion he felt disturbed and bewildered.

“What’s wrong Jonas?” asked Wayne.

Jonas could only assume he must have fallen asleep. “I must have fallen asleep and had a nightmare, I better not have any more to drink,” he chuckled, shrugging off their concern as he picked his chair up and sat back down.

“Yeah I had a dream last night too,” Sean said. “I was like in Las Vegas; they treated me like a king, all the VIP services, free champagne and everything. Taylor Swift gave me a free lap dance, and all the hot babes were around me wanting a piece of me.”

“What? I want that dream,” chuckled Willie.

“I don’t think so Willie.” Tracy slapped him on the shoulder, teasingly.

“I was only joking babe, you know you got me all to yourself,” he chuckled, embracing Tracy in his arms.

“Hey, I am not saying we are going to find it, but let me just waste some time here. What would everyone buy with their gold?” Willie asked the others. He could see Mona glaring at him and wondered what her problem was. They had helped the bitch get down there and now she was going to create problems for herself because of her selfishness.

“The gold goes to the village,” remarked Mona indifferently, “so there is no reason to speak of useless dreams.”

“I know that. You have already said the gold belongs to ‘your people’,” Willie smirked and continued, “but just humor me for a moment; it gives us something to talk about.”

“I am going to get me a Maserati, with custom leather seats and the crown on the head rest,” Sean said laughing, “blue with all the extras.”

“A blue car; blue is for babies Sean,” giggled Tracy.

“Shut up Pipi, I bet you will get a dog or something stupid like that,” laughed Sean.

“No I would not get a dog,” Tracy replied, “I would get a show stallion. A black mare with white eyes, and a long white mane and tail.”

Sean laughed at Tracy, only she would want a horse, but he liked horses. “You’re alright Tracy,” Sean told her.

The Gold Claims Even the Stoutest as Victims

The cavern had calming properties for Bryan. It stimulated his senses and increased his awareness. Mona was writing in a small notebook she carried, probably taking notes for her next best seller, Bryan presumed. The notion that she liked him, and they could possibly have a relationship elicited emotions unfamiliar to him. He wanted to protect her, keep her happy and comfortable on the journey. Bryan imagined one day the two of them could explore their love for each other while receiving notoriety for the discovery of the village. The wealth of the gold was nothing in comparison to the pure paragon of finding the lost village. Only he appreciated the quest the party undertook; finding the lost village would uncover a civilization long lost, providing an abundance of hidden knowledge, and he would be the one to find it.

Bryan drifted off into his thoughts, conjuring up the life he envisioned finding the village would impart to him. The image growing in his mind, Bryan’s heart beat quickly as he absorbed himself in the hallucination. He stood outside the door of the long black limousine, waiting for Mona to step out while the driver opened the door for her. Dressed in formal attire, he held his hand out to her to assist her. Her soft, delicate hand was smooth in his hands, and her long pink nails were perfectly manicured for the special event. As always, and especially since their marriage, she was beautiful. Her black hair was combed into a stylish updo with bangs falling delicately into her lovely face and highlighting her beautiful brown eyes. She smiled at him, her lips turned slightly upward. Even from a distance she could make him desire her. Bryan helped her out of the car and when she drew nearer he breathed in her tart, metallic perfume.

Bryan pulled her body close to his and the embrace made his heart beat faster. Her lovely blue gown hugged her curved body wondrously and his hands travelled along the silky smooth material.

The geological community, friends, and family hailed him, shaking his hand and congratulating him as he and Mona strolled through the packed ballroom towards the table of honor. His mother and her new husband approached him. Bryan’s mom smiled at him and he saw her pride radiating across her beautiful face. The bright lights in the banquet room shimmered down upon his mother, removing the wrinkles from her aging body and making her just as beautiful as she was when he was a child. Her dark brown hair, free of gray now, glimmered softly. Bryan kissed his mother’s cheek softly; her perfume smelled of lavender with a hint of metal, reminding him of the days of his youth, when she grew lavender plants in pots around the house. Harold, her husband, shook his hand proudly, and as if Bryan were his own son, pulled him forward into a big bear hug.

An elegant table covered in a golden tablecloth was set for six and contained plates of gold. The silverware was wrapped in white silk napkins and tall crystal stem glasses sparkled under the bright lights. A centerpiece of white lilies and yellow daffodils caught his attention; his favorite flowers. A black Cherrywood table marker, Bryan Lawless Party etched across a gold plaque attached to it, welcomed him. Mona, his mother and her husband, Tracy, and some new guy she had just met cheered as he sat down.

The six-course meal included lobster briquettes, prime rib, and a creamy ice cream soufflé. The evening grew better as the night went on. Mona held his hand and fed him her unwanted desert spiritedly.

“Bryan, can you please come up here,” the director of the International Geological Society called to him.

Mona kissed him and her lips tasted like metal. “I love you, Bryan,” she whispered letting his hand go.

Bryan walked onto the stage and stood behind the podium looking at the clapping audience under the bright lights of the golden chandeliers.

“Well I think spending money on anything but chicks and four-bangers is just stupid,” Sean cried out.

The shouts awakened Bryan from his dream. Had he fallen asleep? He flinched. The skin on the back of his neck crawled as an eerie feeling developed within him. “Was I asleep?” he asked himself and the odor of metal filled his nostrils. “None of them understand, only you,” the voice told him.

Mona was looking at him. “There you are, I thought I lost you for a moment,” she grinned at him, “you were lost in your thoughts.”

“I am sorry,” he told her, embarrassment flooding over him.

“Were they about me?” Mona asked touching his hand gently.

Startled by the dream and its vivid images, he questioned their current reality. It did not feel like a dream, so he must have been hallucinating. Bryan needed to make sure this Mona was not some extension of the vivid hallucination. “Possibly,” he said and reached for her hand and held it to make sure she was real.

“So Willie what will you buy with the gold?” Tracy asked him, grabbing his hand in hers, “and you better be nice,” she instructed.

Willie had dreamed about an upscale carwash gentleman’s club with only the hottest babes to serve his clientele and wash their Bentleys, Mercedes or Jaguars topless. He would never tell Tracy about this dream, though if things worked out between the two of them, and she took good care of him, he’d eventually let her know. Until then only he and Sean had shared the dream. The gold they were going to find, was going to make his dream come true. “If I could get the gold,” Willie emphasized, “I would buy me a yacht. I want one of those big suckers like 100 feet long. It would be like a world on the water that belongs to me.”

Sean stuck his fist out at Willie, and the two of them knuckled butted each other.

Willie continued, “It would have three kinds of restaurants—Mexican, Chinese, and soul food—and a casino, dancing, singing. Everything.” His mood ecstatic his arms moved through the air and he spoke with his hands as he shared his elaborate fantasy. “Mmmmm, soul food, I have not had that for years.”

Tracy giggled, “I must try it.”

“You will love it baby girl,” he told her. “Anyway, it’s gonna have three pools, tennis court, golf course, and everything I can think about putting in it!”

“Awesome Willie, make sure you don’t forget all the hot babes laying around in bikinis!” Sean exclaimed. “It’s a big boat, yeah a big boat.”

“Yeah that’s right,” Willie replied and thoughts of gorgeous women laying before him filled his mind.

Tracy nudged him.

“Ah no, I mean, only Tracy laying out on the deck of it in a teenee wenee bikini,” he grinned.

“Okay, then Tracy can be up front and the other hot girls in the back for me,” Sean exclaimed laughing hysterically.

“Sean,” said Tracy laughing, she gave him the finger.

“Damn straight, and keep the finger away from me;” Sean pushed his hand against her finger, hiding it from his view. He saw Mona staring at him and her cold gaze made him freeze. “She thinks you are stupid,” a voice told him. She was like other people he hated who felt the world should revolve around them. “So what would you buy if we get the gold Dora?” he asked laughing.

Jonas and Willie chuckled.

“My name is not Dora. Dora is Latino and I am First Nations so at least get your nationalities correct,” smirked Mona. “But to answer your question, I don’t believe in dreams or ‘what ifs’, they are for mindless people that can’t do anything,” Mona replied, growing weary of Sean’s persistent belittling.

“Are you calling me brainless?” asked Sean.

“No, I called you mindless,” Mona replied.

“Hey you think you are better than us,” Sean yelled back angrily. She had watched him and Willie with her mocking stare all night, now she was calling him stupid in front of everyone. “The bitch is laughing at you,” the voice told him. Laughter grew within Sean’s head. “She is laughing at you,” the voice kept repeating. Sean thought he saw a grin on her face and remembered the arrow she almost hit him with. His head starting to pound and fury enveloped him. He hurled himself from his seat and cried out, “You stop laughing at me.”

“No one is laughing at your Sean,” Bryan told him. “Calm down.”

If Bryan wanted to protect her, Sean was all right with that as well. Punching him would satisfy him as much as hitting the woman. “Bryan, what are you going to do?” Sean said weaving about on his toes and punching at the air with his fists, mocking Bryan. The geologist was weak, and Sean was sure he could hurt him with one punch.

Bryan saw Sean approaching and acting erratically. Releasing Mona’s hand he stood in front of her. “Sit down Sean, and calm down,” he commanded.

“You make me sit down,” Sean cried out. He stormed over to Bryan and pushed him backward. The palms of his hand hurt from a fist balled up so tightly his fingernails dug into the already raw skin. “You make me Bryan, you make me sit.”

“Be careful Bryan!” Mona exclaimed and moved out of the way so she would not be pummeled during the young man’s fit.

“Sean I don’t want to hurt you. Back off,” Bryan said trying to reason with him.

It was clear Sean was not listening. His listless, vacant eyes were glassy like he was in some type of daze. Blue veins popped out over Sean’s face and arms and he began to growl at Bryan. “Grrrrr, grrrr, fight me, Bryan,” Sean mocked. Stepping back from Bryan he started to bounce on his toes like a boxer. “I am like a Doberman Pincher, quick and agile and I am gonna pounce on you, Bryan. Growl,” Sean continued.

“More like a Chihuahua,” Jonas chuckled.

“You shut up, this is between Bryan and me,” Sean growled.

Blood was dripping from his palms and talking was not going to stop Sean this time, Bryan realized, nevertheless he was not going to let him bhurt Mona.

“Sean sit down,” Tracy screamed loudly and her voice echoed through the cavern. Tracy held on to Willie as she watched Sean bounce around.

“Make me, make me,” he cried continuing to taunt Bryan.

“Sean stop,” Tracy screamed again, “stop Sean don’t.”

Willie pulled her closer to him and whispered, “It will be okay babe girl. Sean just needs to get rid of some of his energy.” Willie smiled at her.

Bryan stepped up to Sean, grabbed him by the shoulders before he could react, spun him around and kicked his feet from beneath him. Sean fell face down onto the ground and Bryan held his arms behind his back and pushed Sean’s face into the mossy ground. Sean struggled to free himself.

“Get off me Bryan,” Sean’s muffled voice cried out.

His knee, now securely holding Sean’s arms in place behind his back, Bryan wrapped his arm around the young man’s neck and pulled his head backward, choking him. Gurgling sounds came from his throat, as he struggled, but Bryan ignored Sean’s suffering and squeezed harder against his neck.

The pressure from Bryan’s arm around his neck made it hard to breathe. “I can’t brea…,” Sean gurgled.

“I won’t let you up until you calm down,” Bryan said. Sean’s Adam’s apple moved against his arm, and his gurgles grew desperate while a reddish tint developed over his face.

“Bryan let him go,” Mona said. Taking him by the arms, she pulled at him.

Bryan felt Mona trying to lift him off Sean and let go. He glared down at Sean, watching him gasp for air. Bryan backed away from him, while Willie helped Sean to stand.

“You tried to kill me,” Sean wheezed; he coughed trying to catch his breath.

“I didn’t try to kill you. If you remember correctly, you attacked me,” Bryan said and sat down, his body suddenly growing weary. He was also afraid of himself as he had not wanted to let Sean go until he stopped moving. Mona placed her hand on his shoulder and he held it with his own.

“That’s right Sean started it,” agreed Mona.

“You shut up,” Sean cried back at Mona.

Bryan exhaled, releasing the tension his body. “Sean, I think everyone has had enough of you,” he told him.

“Bryan you tried to kill me, I won’t forget that,” Sean scowled and angrily paced the ground near the side of the cavern.

“Sean,” Willie reached out to grab Sean’s shoulder and tried to settle him down.

Sean snatched away from him and continued pacing angrily.

“Sean,” he called loudly but his friend ignored him.

“I am not going to be able to rest with him like that,” Mona cried out.

Sean stopped his pacing and yelled at Mona furiously, “You shut up, I told you.”

“I am scared,” Tracy cried out, tears falling from her face. She wrapped her arms around herself and stood against the back wall.

“We should tie him up,” Wayne told them.

“I agree,” remarked Jonas, “with him acting like that, who knows what he will do.”

“No,” Tracy murmured.

“I thought you were scared?” Jonas asked, “we need to tie him up to keep everybody safe, as well as to keep him from hurting his self.”

Sean was not about to allow them to tie him down. As the First Nations’ raced toward him, he darted throughout the cave he tried avoiding capture. As if playing tag with Jonas and Wayne, he moved from side to side and chuckled at the two of them as his thin, nimble body dodged their outstretched arms. Sean realized he had the upper edge; the two of them were too slow and he was Superman. Confidence satiating within him, Sean moved freely around the cavern until Bryan stuck out his foot and he stumbled to the ground. Before he could stand completely, Wayne had grabbed him in a tight bear grip and whisked Sean off his feet. Wayne’s massive arms encircled Sean’s chest and he felt like a child struggling in the big man’s arms.

“Help me, Willie,” Sean cried out struggling as Wayne held him suspended above the ground. Willie glared crossly at him, his arms folded and Sean realized Willie was not going to help. “Let me go,” he cried loudly.

“Drop him, Wayne, let’s tie him up,” smirked Jonas.

Wayne put Sean on the ground and held his arms behind him. Sean struggled to free himself, but he could not; Wayne constrained his face against the mossy ground and he breathed in the smell of metal. “Calm down, you will get your chance,” the voice reassured Sean and finally he gave in and allowed Wayne and Jonas to tie him up.

Later that night, Willie went to speak to Sean. His buddy had been acting strangely and this latest episode was just weird, even compared to Sean’s natural exasperating behavior. He gazed down and was mumbling to himself when Willie approached him. “Hey buddy what got into you; did you lose your mind?” Willie scolded Sean. Helping him against the others right now, meant him becoming an outcast as well, and he was not about to have that. Sean had brought this on himself.

“No,” replied Sean.

“I told you not to start anything, didn’t I?” Willie reprimanded him.

“Yep,” answered Sean; he’d upset Willie and did not mean to, however he did not feel like talking. “I am good, just leave me alone Willie.”

“You sure you’re good?” Willie asked punching Sean in the shoulder with his fist genially. “You know it’s just you and me, right?”

“Ya I know,” answered Sean.

“Alright I am going back over there,” Willie said to Sean walking off.

Sean watched Willie walk over and sit next to Tracy. They were all over there laughing at him; the gold was right, he was alone.

The Gold Promises Love

After all the excitement died down, and Sean fell asleep in the corner, Mona grew tired. All the hiking, the fights and long days were taking their toll on her; she found a place near the opposite wall from Sean, and laid down to get some rest.

In her sleeping bag, she snuggled herself in the thick quilted bag on top of the mossy ground. The thick bushy moss was soft and Mona felt as if she were floating when she closed her eyes, and the serene tranquility, shattered by the fight, was returning. She thought of Wolfdog; she missed him, but it was not possible for him to travel any further. Mona knew when he found the ATVs he would return home or wander the woods waiting for her to return.

Bryan was here now; he was prepared to fight Sean to protect her and this pleased her immensely. She was also sure Bryan had released his grip on Sean because she’d asked him to. Sean’s bulging eyes had scared her and it did seem as if Bryan had tried to kill him. She didn’t blame him of course, but she did not want him to do something he would regret later as he was a good man. Mona blushed as she thought about how he made her feel. Bryan promised her he would make sure Sean remained tied up so she had a peaceful sleep; with him around, she felt secure, even with Jonas around. Thinking of Bryan, Mona closed her eyes.

The darkness of the cavern eliminated everything but his image as he approached her. Mona sat up and gazed at Bryan as he walked over to her. His brown hair was mussed and sweat beaded on his forehead. She wondered what had caused this upheaval in his appearance. Bryan’s disheveled appearance made her heart beat faster. Reaching down, he took her hand and lifted her out of the sleeping bag. Mona ran her fingers through the sparse brown hairs on his shirtless chest. He pulled her close to him, embracing her. His lips pressed against hers and as he kissed her passionately, a longing built within her to make love to him. Slipping out of her night shirt, she looked down as it fluttered down to the mossy floor of the cavern. Naked and unashamed she smiled as Bryan gazed at her.

“You are beautiful,” Bryan whispered to her.

Moments later, pulling her back into his strong arms, his hand stroked her body. Gently nudging her down, she lay atop the soft fibers, and Bryan laid on top of her; his soft lips did not release her from their kiss and he caressed her passionately while she nibbled on his bottom lip. Bryan’s kisses tasted of metal.

Jonas’ cackles awakened Mona. She opened her eyes and the blue glow from the ceiling exposed the lighted cavern, removing the darkness she saw earlier. Still snugly tucked in the sleeping bag, her arms cuddling her body, she continued to feel Bryan’s caresses. Mona sat up looking for Bryan and observed him sitting around the fire talking with Jonas and Wayne. An awareness seeped into her conscious and she was surprised to find she was fully dressed and it was all a dream. “It felt so real,” Mona told herself giggling as mortification flooded her because of the sensuality of the dream and its vivid impressions. Mona rolled over onto her side and stared at the cave’s wall, hoping she could fall asleep again.

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When I allowed God to take over my life, over the years, he healed my
heart and with the guidance of his Holy Spirit, a new life developed
within me. God put a new dream in my heart. Over the years, I spent
several years in the US Air Force, and later achieved a BA in
Psychology and the academic level of Master’s Degree in Business
and currently work as a professional in the insurance industry.
Married, I live with my husband and sweet puppy Tomasina. I have two
books currently published, Porcelain Doll and Treacherous Deceit and
I am currently finishing my third, a fantasy series called “The
Kingdom of the Mejuar.”
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