Friday, July 31, 2015

Breaking the Silence by: Diamante Lavendar w/ Guest Post

Title: Breaking the Silence  
Author: Diamante Lavendar
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: A Contemporary Read Based on a True Story
Publisher: D&L Productions
Release Date: Nov 21 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print

Based on a true story, a new novel from Diamante Lavendar.
Joan Eastman was born like any other girl. However her life would prove to be a life of great pain…
Growing up, she was treated differently by family members, powerless to defend herself against their sexual and psychological abuse. Feeling she had been dealt a wicked hand by the “powers that be”, she spiraled into substance abuse and troubled relationships. She became a victim of addiction and self-hatred.
Not giving up, she becomes aware of a greater spiritual being that protects her and she begins to heal. Then she finds herself pregnant. She learns to understand nothing is hopeless; that with a changed view and self-discovery, there is real hope in every situation, no matter how difficult.
As she and her husband look forward to the birth of their child, she writes in her diary as a way of expelling all of the evil memories. On bed rest for the duration of her pregnancy, she endures tests and tribulations that at first she couldn’t begin to understand. But no matter how high the hurdles in Joan’s life are, she doesn’t look back, and pulls the pieces of her life together…for herself and her unborn child.
This inspirational story speaks of Joan’s gradual self-acceptance and healing of her body, mind and spirit. It speaks of the possibilities of the future and the fulfillment of the dream of love and family. And it speaks of jumping the hurdles in life without looking back, no matter how high those hurdles may be.
Scroll up to buy Breaking the Silence now to experience this inspirational story of self-discovery and healing following a past of sexual abuse, addiction, and troubled relationships.
Also written by Diamante Lavendar The Secrets of Yashire, a fantasy adventure story about a young girl on a quest for healing in a strange land.

My Story Begins...

Life has a funny way of providing winding roads for us to travel on. This story is of my many winding roads. I decided to start here, with what happened today. I was at the office of a new doctor, one who I had never seen before. I nervously twirled my dark brown, shoulder length hair in between my fingers. As I looked across the room, I stared at a picture on the far wall. It had a blue painted sky, almost the same color as my eyes.
“Joan Eastman?” the nurse called across the waiting room.
I got up quickly, apprehension gripping me. My thoughts came at me all at once. I want a child more than anything. Please let me carry this baby to term.
“Dr. Marx will see you in his office now,” the nurse said as I followed her into the area where the examination rooms were. “Come with me, please.”
I followed her to his office, and when she opened the door, sitting behind a large desk was an older man with gray hair.
“Doctor, this is Joan Eastman,” the nurse said as she ducked out of the room, shutting the door behind her.
Dear God, I prayed, let him be able to help me.
He stood up, extending his hand. “I’m Doctor Marx. Good to meet you,” he said with a smile. “Please have a seat.”
I sat, making myself as comfortable as I could. I feel like I’m going to vomit. I’m so scared..
“I understand you’re a friend of one of my patients?” he asked.
“Yes...I am,” I answered. “She said you might be able to help me. I’ve lost a child before...I was six months pregnant. She was born premature...and...died.”
I remembered Stephanie’s tiny body wrapped in a blanket as I held her and whispered my goodbyes right before they took her to the morgue. Tears stung my eyes. I needed to be strong today. I can’t bear to go through that again. I can’t survive burying another child. And here I am pregnant again. I need to carry this child to term more than anything in life. Dear God let him be able to help me.
“I see...” he mumbled, grabbing a file.
“I was told I have an incompetent cervix by my previous doctor,” I said quietly. “Is there anything you can do to help me keep my baby to term?”
“Yes, there is,” he said, his eyes softened, showing his concern as a doctor. “We can suture the cervix. It’s called a cerclage. You’ll have to be put on bedrest for your entire pregnancy, but it should allow you to carry your baby full term.”
Hope blossomed through me. I may be able to keep this baby in me long enough for it to survive? Maybe I can do this! Please let it be so.
“What is the success rate for this procedure?” I asked, a guarded tone still in my voice.
“It has a very high success rate,” Dr. Marx stood. “You should be just fine. I’ll have the nurse make an appointment for you for next week. The sooner we can do the procedure, the better.”
“Thank you,” I breathed gratefully, standing along with him.
“You’re very welcome. I’ll see you next week. Nice meeting you.” He extended his hand again and I shook it.
Excitement flowed through me. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be lucky enough to be called Mom by my child someday. I can’t wait to share the good news with Steve. I thought of the delight I would see in his hazel eyes as he pulled me next to his tall, lean body in a hug. I knew he would be thrilled with the news!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Spirit Without Borders by: Andrew Grey w/ Guest Post

Title: a Spirit without Borders
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: Without Borders #2
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 19 2015
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Dillon McDowell, an infectious disease specialist, jumps at the opportunity to work with Doctors without Borders in Liberia. But when he arrives, things are very different than he expected, and he’s out of his depth. Will Scarlet takes him under his wing and helps him adjust. A hint of normalcy comes when a group of local boys invite Dillon to play soccer.
Will’s family rejected him for being gay, and he’s closed off his heart. Even though meeting Dillon opens him to the possibility of love, he’s wary. They come from different worlds, and Will plans to volunteer for another stint overseas. But Will realizes what Dillon means to him when Dillon becomes ill, and they can no longer deny their feelings.
When Dillon’s soccer friends lose their parents and aunt to disease, Will and Dillon must work together to ensure that the boys aren’t cast adrift in a society that’s afraid they might be contagious.  They must also decide if their feelings are real or just the result of proximity and hardship.  

“Not really, but we all help out as best we can. Dr. Patel—Sanjay—is out in the field. We work with nearby populations to try to educate them about Ebola, how it spreads, and what they can do to detect it early and help prevent contracting the disease. It’s an uphill battle, because there has been so much fear associated with the disease and so much misinformation generated within the local populations.”
“Is that what most of our patients have?”
“Yes. We are a facility that specializes in the treatment of Ebola. We handle other diseases as well, but in this area it’s Ebola that keeps us on our toes. I assume you’re familiar with it?”
“Yes,” Dillon answered dryly. “I specialize in infectious diseases, so I’ve read every paper and protocol that’s been published.”
Will set down his bag as they approached one of the hospital doors. “That may serve you well in the States, but it isn’t likely to be much help here. Yes, we know how Ebola spreads and how to protect ourselves from contracting it. But this disease seems to defy all of the rules that your papers and protocols describe. Here it’s down and dirty medicine, quite literally. People come in with sky-high fevers, weakened already by malnutrition, and they stand little chance.” Will picked up his bag once again. “It’s no cake walk. Back in the States, there are organizations to help, quarantines, antibiotics, antivirals, IVs, plenty of clean water and nutrition. Many of the people we see have parasites even before they contract Ebola, so we’re fighting a large number of issues at the same time.”
 “A little defensive?” Dillon chided as lightly as he could, raising his eyebrow when Will turned toward him. Dillon swallowed hard. This was definitely not going to be anything like what he imagined.
“Every new doctor who comes in here thinks they’re going to change the world, and most of them get chewed up and spat out.” Will pushed open the door, and they stepped out into the sweltering heat. “The doctors’ quarters are over there in the shade of those trees. You’ll come to adore that shade. We have electricity, but there isn’t enough for any sort of air-conditioning. That’s why the roofs are highly peaked—the heat can rise and we have a chance at not sweltering to death.”
“Thanks for the warning.”
“I saw your bio and I know you come from where it’s cold. Me, I’m from Florida. Heat is no problem for me.” Will walked across the yard and pushed open one of the doors. “You’ll be sharing with me.”
Dillon wasn’t sure how he felt about that. He’d spent the past ten minutes trying not to admire the way Will’s pants hugged his hips just so or the way his shirt clung tightly to his back, giving a hint of what was below. He was here to do a job, and he needed to get his mind off handsome Will and on the task at hand.
Will stepped inside, and Dillon followed. It was dark. The window was covered, most likely to keep out the sun and heat. But it was surprisingly comfortable inside. Will placed his suitcase near the foot of the one bed and then sat on the other.
“Not much privacy, is there?”
“Not here. That’s something we really don’t have the time or space for. I’m sure you’ll get used to it. We all had to at one point or another.”
“How long have you been here?”
“Three months, and I have about three more to go.”
“I thought the CDC recommended only three-month hitches.”
“They do, but I’ve already had Ebola. I got it on my first stint. They weren’t sure I was going to make it. But everyone got to me early and I was treated right away. They tell me it was touch and go for a while, but I survived, and it means I can’t get it again. So I’m an excellent candidate to work here. You, on the other hand, need to be doubly careful. There are other things besides Ebola that can get you. Of course you know about the water, but be sure to always shake out your shoes before putting them on. Spiders and other insects crawl inside.” Will practically jumped to his feet. “We need to get back, and I’ll show you around.”

Friday, July 24, 2015

Learning to Love Again by: Kelli Heneghan w/ Interview

Title: Learning to Love Again
Author: Kelli Heneghan
Series: Currently a Stand Alone with Potential to be the first in a Series
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: July 2015
Edition/Formats: eBook & Print on Demand via Amazon
  What do you do if Fate gives you a second chance at the love of your life?   Do you learn from past mistakes, or do you relive them?  Nicole Winters is about to find out.  After suffering severe injuries in a car accident, she is lucky to be alive.  She has to return to her home town to recover, only to discover her family has been withholding information and the doctor on her case is none other than her college sweetheart, Jason Marrow.  The man she dumped right before graduating from law school and leaving Texas.  Once back in her hometown, Nicole realizes that she has allowed the ghosts of her childhood to rule her life.  As she faces her past, and with the help of her family and friends, she realizes the love between her and Jason never faded.  Can they recapture what they had and build on it?  Can she move beyond the past and Learn to Love Again?

She stared at him in wonder and then looked away.  “I didn’t have anything else to go by.  And what I felt when I was with you…I was scared,” she whispered.  “I never even had a boyfriend until you came along.”
With a sigh, he tugged on her hands until she stepped into his arms.  He wrapped them around her and held her close.  “I never meant to scare you away.  What I felt for you, I knew it was intense but you were so…secretive, I guess is the word.  You never talked to me about your feelings or the past.  So much wasted time,” he murmured, rubbing her back and shoulders, feeling the tension.
Allowing herself to relax, Nicole leaned into him and he shifted to support most of the weight.  He reached up and framed her face with his hands, tilting her head back until he could see her eyes.  “We could try again, start over?” he questioned.
Without a word or breaking eye contact, she nodded her agreement.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sudden End by: H. L. LeRoy w/ Review Free Download till July 21

Title: Sudden End
Author: H.L. LeRoy
Series: The Fountain of the Earth Series (Prequel)
Genre: YA Dystopian
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: May 16, 2015
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook
Ratings: 5 Chalices
Long before the events depicted in The Fountain of the Earth, the end came. This is how it happened.
Lisa Evans, sixteen, lives with her mom and dad in a cute little town, Rose Vista, California, It's an idyllic life, except when you reside at the bottom of your high school's social ladder. Picked on, laughed at, and embarrassed daily, it's been rough for Lisa. But the next day things are going to change. She has an opportunity to take her life back.
Then catastrophe strikes. In the beginning, everyone thinks that it's a simple power outage and everything will be back to normal in a week or two.
Instead, the entire world has gone dark, cities have burned, and the jails have emptied. There is sickness, starvation and death everywhere, and each day that goes by, the population shrinks even further.

I sat in my first-period science class scribbling stuff in the margins of my notebook and looking up like I was paying attention. My brain was stuck on the time. At 8:54 I heard the muffled ring of the bell.
"Don't forget, tomorrow's quiz on—"
I missed the rest of what he said. I was already out of the door, narrowly avoiding a collision with a gaggle of cheerleaders.
I tore down the hallway to my locker, where I grabbed my gym bag.
Out of the corner of my eye I caught a flash of blue-blonde hair, "No time, Chrissie." I said.
I waved at Charlie out by the gym and hustled into the locker room. I changed into my practice jersey and headed out to the court. Coach would make the cuts early, and those who made it through would have a short workout. I sure didn't want to be late.
I sprinted into the gym, my Nikes chirping on the hardwood.
"Morning, Coach."
"Good morning, Miss Evans. Glad to see you could make it."
All the other girls laughed.
I looked up at the clock, 8:57. She had a slight smirk on her face, so I knew she was just jerking my chain. "Sorry, Coach."
I lined up with the rest of the girls and Coach eyeballed each of us, making checkmarks on a clipboard.
Looking at the group, I could pretty much tell who was going to be cut. Evelyn Perez for sure. She was always on her phone and seemed to show up late to every workout. The coach didn't have a lot of patience and had already warned her twice. I thought today would be her last. There were a few others, a couple with the height but not much skill who would likely be gone, too.
"I want you to know I'm very proud of all of you. I know these tryouts have been hard, but you've all impressed me, and if I could, I'd keep all of you."
Someone behind me laughed and Coach glared at the offender. "Today I've made the final cuts and Ms. Franklin has posted the results on the hall bulletin board."
It was then that the lights flickered and went out.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

From the Mountain by: L. L. Crane

Title: From the Mountain
Author: L.L. Crane
Series: Mark of Powers (Book 1)
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Fiction
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: February 14 2015
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
  What would you do if you were one of the last of your kind on earth? Sixteen year old Teak’s Mark of Power has kept her alive, but will it last?  Although she is a trained killing machine, it isn’t by choice. Slated to be one of Siv Gareth's elite soldiers, her life seems to be on course, but she has a decision to make.  Does she follow her father’s wishes and become a soldier, or chase after her own dreams of training dragons?  Persecuted, shunned, and tortured because of her skin color, Teak is mad, and somebody is going to pay for it.  Siv Gareth’s race war has just begun, and now that the Purity Law has passed, the Destroyers are out in hordes to kill her and any others with light skin.  When she shoots an arrow at Siv Gareth, a chain of events unwinds that ultimately threatens her very existence.  Accustomed to going it alone, Teak finds herself on a long journey with a group of inept teens, and she must learn to depend on them…or die.  When two boys enter the scene, one irritating and the other mesmerizing, Teak wonders if she has a shot at a normal life. But will her lack of Power and skin color ruin it? This dystopian society novel, Book 1 in the Mark of Power Series, is riveting with suspense, action, betrayal, and the brimming hope of romance.

The other boy seems sullen, his arms crossed over his chest.  He is leaner than the Light Skinned boy with an olive complexion and coppery curls that frame his face.  His jaw is firm, solid, and his eyes are a vivid green, like emeralds or green diamonds…if such a thing existed.
“Geez, what happened to you?” the Light Skinned boy asks.  I blink my eyes a few times, trying to understand what he is talking about.
“What?” I manage to say as I turn to close the still opened door.
“You’re covered with blood.”  I glance down at my healing robe.  When I woke up this morning it was white…but it would be difficult to tell that now.
“Emergency,” I squeak out, swallowing to clear my throat.
“What, did someone get his head chopped off?”  It is the Light Skinned boy, and his golden eyes are twinkling, as if he is enjoying this. 
“Yes…well, actually it was a woman.”

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Coral & Bone by: Tiffany Daune w/ Interview and Giveaway

Title: Coral & Bone
Author: Tiffany Daune
Series: Coral & Bone (Book 1)
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Jester Ink Press
Release Date: June 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Pages: Approximately 278
Halen knows the sparks igniting under her fingertips are dangerous. She has spent her entire life trying to quell the tingly feelings that make her destroy things, but now that she is back in Rockaway Beach, where she watched her father drown, the flames have become impossible to tame. Halen is trying to hold on, but when she is thrust into a mysterious new world, the underwater realm of Elosia, she unravels the secrets of her past and can't help but ignite. As she explores Elosia, she realizes her life has been a lie. And when those who have deceived her come to her for help, Halen must choose—walk away or unleash the magick that could destroy them all.

"See who you are," the mermaid whispered.
Halen's eyes clouded over and when the smoke cleared she found herself standing in an open field. She was dressed in a cotton dress which fell around her ankles. Soft grass tickled her toes. She took a step forward and a flower sprung from the ground beside her. She leaned down to pick the red poppy. As she took another step a flower sprang up from between the blades of grass. Halen smiled. She walked a little farther and with each step a new poppy sprouted and bloomed. She ran faster and the field blossomed under her feet, and when she waved her hand, the entire valley filled with red poppies. She inhaled their sweet scent and when she exhaled, the birds glided in the breeze of her breath through an endless blue sky.
Halen laughed when the wind caught her skirt and swept the fabric up over her head, but when she pushed it down, dark clouds rolled overhead. She took one step forward and the grass beneath her feet sizzled to a crisp. Taking another step, the poppies burst into flames. The fire licked the hem of her skirt and she gathered it up over her knees. Scanning the field, she spotted a boulder; if she could make it there, remove her feet from the ground, she could save the rest of the field.
She ran in long strides, and with each step, she scorched the ground with her fiery feet. Suddenly, she tripped. Her hands touched down and the ground combusted with a brilliant light. The fire raced through the field, spreading to the trees. The flames reached up, lassoing the birds from the sky, dragging them to the ground. Halen crawled to the rock and hoisted herself up. She stared out to the barren land. "No, no. What have I done?" She clawed the air and the clouds rumbled with thunder. The fire burned hotter and hotter under her flesh. The only way to extinguish the flames was to release them. Tilting her head back, she opened her mouth wide and screamed. What birds had not been burned turned now to black beasts swirling in the torrid sky.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Pooled Blood by: H. L. LeRoy

Title: Pooled Blood
Author: H.L. LeRoy
Series: A LT. Jack Daniels/Jillian Varela Mystery (A loosely tied together series. But any of the stories can be read as a standalone.)
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Publisher: Kindle Worlds
Release Date: May 3, 2015
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook
  After barely surviving the horror of the Parkside Strangler, Lieutenant Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels and her friend, P.I. Jillian Varela, decide to head to Cancun for a little well-deserved R&R.
But instead of a relaxing two weeks at a five star, luxury resort, a grisly death lands at their feet, and a young girl is arrested. 
  It should be simple, but in Mexico, you are guilty until proven innocent. And if the Policia Federal find out what Jack and Jillian are up to, they'll be spending a long time in less than luxury accommodations.

I sat in the chair and the girl tilted it back. What a treat. I hadn’t had my hair washed by someone else in years. It might even have been my prom, when Mom paid.
"Close your eyes. You don’t want to get soap in them."
I shut my eyes. Then I settled into the chair and relaxed.
The music in the background was some kind of classical piano thing. Not normally my cup of tea, but it was relaxing, and I felt myself start to drift off.
The woman’s fingers moved through my hair while she ran warm water over my scalp. With the spray prickling my skin, she squeezed cool shampoo and stroked it into my hair. I could feel my breathing slow and I started to drift away.
"Hi," I heard her say.
I didn’t hear a response, but she stopped massaging my scalp for a moment.
After a few seconds, she started again.
"Mmmmm. Relaxing."
I started to shift my position, and she pushed my head back and began to rinse the shampoo out of my hair. After a moment, her hands squeegeed the water off the sides of my head, settling on my throat.
"That felt goo—"
She clamped down on my windpipe shutting off my air.
My eyes flew open. Standing there wasn’t the girl but a man I didn’t recognize.
I kicked and bucked in the chair as he continued to tighten his grip
I pulled a hand free and jammed my thumb in his eye and gouged. He yelped and slapped a hand over his damaged eye. Rolling out of the chair, I hit the linoleum floor and sprinted toward the door. He grabbed me from behind and spun me into the counter. As he bent me back, I kneed him between the legs.
"Ahggh." His sour breath hit me in the face.
I clawed through the combs and brushes behind me on the counter looking for something, anything to defend myself. My fingers scraped across the handle of a pair of scissors. I kneed him again, and as he bent over I jammed the scissors in his arm. Jerking loose, I ran to the door and out to the street. Shit! My purse was still in the salon, but I had some money in my pocket and flagged down a cab.
I had him drop me at our hotel and called the police from the bell desk. I tried calling Jillian but she didn't answer.
It only took Garza a couple of minutes to get there.
After I explained what happened, he escorted me back to the salon.
"This is the place."
A short, stocky woman with black hair shot with gray and brilliant red lipstick stood behind a cash register.
I looked around. Two older women working on two even older women. No girl. No broken glass on the floor.
"Do you speak English?"
"Si, yes."
"Where is the young girl?"
"The thin girl with the short hair."
"No one like that works here."
"She was here not more than an hour ago. I even left my purse here." I ran to the back of the salon to the row of sinks. "Here. This sink."
There was no purse, and my jacket was gone from the coat rack.
"We opened at nine. But I didn't see you."
"I didn't see you either."
She shrugged.
"Are you sure this is the place?" Garza asked. "There are many hair salons."
Garza didn't believe me.
"Just take me back to the hotel," I said.
Now I had another problem. No purse meant no money, no credit cards and . . . worse, no passport or other identification.

H. L. (Holly) LeRoy is an award winning, American short story writer and novelist. Born in San Jose, California, LeRoy currently resides in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with his family.
When J. A. Konrath approached me with the opportunity to write in Lieutenant Jack Daniels’ world, I jumped at the chance. Since my other works are in the mystery/thriller/action/adventure genres and tell the stories of strong female protagonists confronting impossible situations, I knew it was a perfect fit.

Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. Television Group's Alloy Entertainment for Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and The Vampire Diaries; Valiant Entertainment for Archer & Armstrong, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman, and X-O Manowar; J. A. Konrath's Jack Daniels series, Hugh Howey's Silo Saga; Barry Eisler's John Rain novels; Blake Crouch's Wayward Pines series; and The Foreworld Saga by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, Eric Bear, Joseph Brassey, Nicole Galland, and Cooper Moo. Licenses for more Worlds are on the way.

Blog Random Thoughts

(A LT. Jack Daniels/Jillian Varela Mystery)
Can Be Read As a Stand Alone
Can Be Read As a Stand Alone
Can Be Read As a Stand Alone

The Fountain of the Earth Series
Sudden End (Prequel)
Heralds of Juno (Book 2) Coming 2015

Hollow Point (Coming Soon)
Malibu Blues (Coming Soon)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Remember the Dead by: H. L. LeRoy w/ Interview

Title: Remember the Dead
Author: H.L. LeRoy
Series: A LT. Jack Daniels/Jillian Varela Mystery (A loosely tied together series. But any of the stories can be read as a standalone.)
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Publisher: Kindle Worlds
Release Date: Mar 2, 2015
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook
In the world of serial killer hunters, Lieutenant Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels is a legend and well known in every cop shop in America. But when one gruesomely posed body after another are discovered in the middle of Chicago, ambitious politicians and an aggressive press are threatening to derail Jack’s investigation.
And with her partner Herb on an extended second honeymoon in Mexico, it doesn’t look like help is on the horizon.
Then a friend from California, P.I. Jillian Varela, shows up on a job that parallels Jack’s case. Together they pursue the killer into a nightmare world of obsession, torture, and murder where no one may survive.
A dark follow up to the first Jack Daniels/Jillian Varela mystery, ONE EIGHT SEVEN.

Ashley looked in the mirror while she brushed on the finishing touches of her smoky night face. Cat eyes and high gloss nude lips. She worked a small round brush and a hair dryer through her blue streaked pixie cut. With a pair of nail scissors, she snipped away a straggle dangling on her forehead. Blowing on her black-painted nails, she spent a minute or two deciding on glitter or rhinestones for the tips.
Drenched in a fragrance that smelled like sex, she tugged on an expensive pair of tight-ass jeans and buttoned her silver see-through top. Stepping into a pair of red spikes, she turned in front of the mirror.
She slipped on a fur lined bomber jacket and looked out the window. The cab was already waiting. The ride to Chicago from Lake Forest was going to be expensive, but she didn’t care. Daddy was going to pay for it whether he knew it or not.
“Where to?”
“Pink Paradise, but I need to stop first.” She gave him an address in Uptown.
“Your funeral,” the cabby said.
He dropped her on the corner and waited.
The wind had started whipping across the lake, specks of ice picking at her face. Going to snow, she thought. Fortunately, it didn’t take her long to find the same sketchy asshole she’d dealt with before. She bought an eight and rubbed a little on her gums, as she hurried back to the cab.
The cab hissed through the Chicago streets to West Addison where the Pink Paradise sat, gaudy and loud. A wet snow had come, still thin, it spattered the windshield. Puddles in the road reflected the blues, pinks, and purples of neon lights and oil sheen. Slush drizzled off the awning edges, sheeting into the gutter.
She paid the cover, slipped past the crowd, heading straight to the lady’s room where she did a couple of lines on the toilet tank lid.
A little more on her gums, and she took another look in the mirror.
I hope he’s here.
The dance floor writhed with bodies, the rave in full swing. While a shirtless, tatted up DJ worked a constant, steady assault of nosebleed techno, Ashley wove into the crowd.
After an hour, she broke away and headed back to the bathroom for a recharge. On the way out, she felt a light touch on the back of her neck. Turning, she slipped her arms around the man standing there, lights playing across his face.
“You came.”
“Told you I would.” He slipped a blue pill between her lips. “A little helper.”
They danced for a long time, finally taking a moment to grab a beer.
He slipped another pill in her mouth. “Let’s leave.”
Ashley swallowed. “I’m not ready.”
He frowned and reached for her arm.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Frostbite by: Adrienne Woods w/ Guest Post

Title: Frostbite
Author: Adrienne Woods
Series:  The Dragonian Series (#3)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher:  Fire Quill Publishing
Release Date: Mar 9 2015
Editions/Formats: eBook & Print
Losing Lucian McKenzie, the Prince of her heart and discovering her true identity has made Elena Watkins' life almost unbearable. However, new trials will test the 17 year-old's strength and push her to limits she didn’t think were possible.
Only a mysterious offer from Blake Leaf, the Rubicon and a dragon predestined for evil, reveals there may be a light at the end of Elena’s dark tunnel.
With the life she thought she knew crashing down around her, Elena will have to face a monumental decision about the fate of Paegeia. She can either make peace with Blake’s demands or try once again to unravel the Queen’s secrets that lie deep within her dragon, Tanya La Frey’s, heart.
The third heart pounding novel in The Dragonian Series by Adrienne Wood

I DIDN’T FEEL HUNGRY that night, skipped dinner, and went to bed early. My dragon form really drained my energy.
When I walked into the cafeteria the next morning everyone stared at me. There were even a couple of Dragonians whispering about trying to claim me. I rolled my eyes at that piece of information. As if I was going to be an easier claim than Blake. If they knew her the way I was starting to, they wouldn’t be thinking that.
Around ten, Master Longwei’s voice came from the speaker system. “Elena Watkins come to the office, please.”
Professor Pheizer, who’d helped us with developing our abilities while we’re in human form, nodded her head and I packed my books and left.
She wasn’t so helpful anymore and even limited her advice, but I still saw the question in her eyes of what I was whenever I found her staring at me. She would look away of course, but my dragon eyes were a lot faster than hers. Sometimes that second that our eyes met felt like minutes before she’d drop her gaze. It was hard to explain, I just felt . . . different.
I found Master Longwei behind his desk and he gestured with his hand to the chair in front. I took a seat. He held both his hands with his fingers rested against one another in front of his mouth. “You need help, Elena.”
I huffed. “What’s new?”
His lips curved into a smile and he dropped his hands as he moved his chair underneath his desk. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Blake has agreed to help you find your dragon.”
I froze. What! Blake had actually agreed to help someone else besides himself? Latin jumped into my mind and I shook my head at the words from the last conversation that had taken place between Master Longwei and Blake, right here in his office, after my secret had been revealed. “No, it’s fine. I’ll make peace with her some other way.”
“Elena. The two of you are from the same species. It won’t be anything like your Latin lessons, I promise.”
I laughed. “How do you know, did he say so? For all I know it could be his way of getting closer to me and killing me off. Two Rubicons can’t live together in this world. You know that.”
“He gave me his word that he would not hurt you. He wants to figure this out as much as you do, Elena, and I promise you he doesn’t want to kill you.”
“Just like the way Paul promised you.” It just slipped out but I didn’t regret it. Lucian died because of that choice.
Master Longwei’s eyes froze at my words, and he looked away. “I was fooled. It is a mistake I’ll never make again.” 
I took a deep breath. “I probably don’t have a choice, do I?”
“Not this time.”
“Fine, where do I meet him?”
He raised his eyes and looked as if I hadn’t just offended him a couple of seconds ago. “That is up to you two. I’m only the messenger.”
You mean I have to hunt him down and ask him. “Fine, thanks.” I wasn’t thankful really. I didn’t want to spend time with Blake any more than he wanted to spend time with me. I hated how he made me feel. Sometimes I felt like a toy. He was always there, except the last time, when I was in danger, but afterward he would push me away as if he hadn’t just saved my ass. It was a frustrating little game and one I really didn’t have the time or energy for anymore.
“Have fun.” He smiled awkwardly. “Not too much though.”
For some reason I wanted to snicker at his sentence. I’d always wondered if Master Longwei could read minds. As if Blake and I would ever have fun. Nothing had changed and he was still the arrogant bastard he had been a couple of months ago.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Silently Still by: Julieanne Lynch w/ Interview

Title: Silently Still
Author: Julieanne Lynch
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Young Adult Coming of Age
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: May 19 2015
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Everyone is entitled to making their own choices in life, but a decision can make or break you. For Jacinta Kelly, hers came in the form of running away from everything that reminded her of her roots.
Living in rural Ireland was hard enough, but living with her mother’s mental illness and her obsession with her garden took its toll. One winter, the world as she knows it changes. Jacinta becomes aware of her own mortality, and how fragile her existence truly is.
Alone and frightened; to live or die, the choice is hers.

Ever since the social workers came to the house, Rosemarie was like a ticking time bomb. No matter how many times Jacinta tried to talk sense into her, her mother tried to convince her that they were being watched. That they were targets and only time would reveal the true extent of what the government wanted. 
How someone could spiral so out of control in such a manner seemed unbelievable, but it was happening right before Jacinta’s eyes. The woman she saw was no longer a replica of who she once was. She had become an entirely different person. A shell that hid secrets, embarked on the oddest rituals, her paranoia destroying what was left of her relationship with her daughter. 
Jacinta put the blade away, wiped the excess blood, and covered the wound with some gauze and tape to make sure there were no leakages. She glanced out the window and saw her mother digging yet another hole. The March sun shone down on her, highlighting the natural copper tones in her hair, making her look pretty, but her hands and arms were a mess. Scratches, small wounds, discoloured skin–a mess that made her look much older than she was.

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