We Love – Carolyn LaRoche

Carolyn LaRoche Author pictureCarolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago.

She now lives near the beach with her husband, their two boys, two finicky cats and one old dog. When she is not at the baseball field cheering on big hits and home runs, she is busy teaching science to unwilling teenagers.

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Book 1

Just $0.99 
On sale now on Amazon.com or free in KU

CarolynSomeone wants NYPD detective Angelina Ferrara dead…again.

Following her heart instead of her mind landed her in Witness Protection. Can she trust it and handsome detective Logan James to keep her alive this time?

As far as the world knows, NYPD detective Angelina Ferrara died in a violent firefight on Chelsea piers over a year ago. Living in the witness protection program as history teacher Lucy Taylor was supposed to save her life but being alive and living were two very different things. Until she meets detective Logan James when he goes undercover in the same private school where she works. Something about the handsome man with the gorgeous blue eyes piques her interest. There’s no doubt he has secrets… but then so does she.  When the Ricci crime family discovers she’s still alive, can she trust the same heart that landed her in the witness protection program in the first place to let Logan to help her survive it?

Book 2

Just $0.99
On sale non on Amazon.com or Free in KU

Carolyn b 3All Katie McCoy wanted was a quiet Friday evening, a frozen pizza and a pair of comfy pajamas. Damn her stupid ex-fiance to hell for the armed men that stormed her apartment and dragged her off on a matter of “national security”. Wearing those comfy pajamas and nothing else, she wasn’t at all prepared for the interrogation that awaited her…or the man with the questions.

Kaiden James would like to get through one vacation without the job interfering. Just once… Called away from his cousin’s wedding and his best man duties, he is less than happy to have to deal with Homeland Security’s new domestic terrorism case. Until he gets a look at the pajama-clad suspect…

After several attempts on Katie’s life, it’s clear she’s no terrorist but a loose end the real suspects need to tie up…and fast. Can Kaiden solve the case and keep her safe without losing his heart in the process?

Book 3

 

Just $0.99
On sale now on Amazon.com or Free in KU

Carolyn b 2He’s running away from a broken heart…

For Keegan James, his career meant everything. Until he let his heart get in the way of his good sense. Oh, she was thinking about the future too—with another man. So, he did what any jilted lover would do and left the FBI to move to the beach to join the Border Patrol. He bought an old farm in need of a ton of work—or a total tear down. Unfortunately for him, the entire property is under investigation by the DEA for drug trafficking and the agent on the case thinks he’s involved. What’s worse? She’s smart, sex and good with a gun.

Falling for those deep blue eyes could ruin her career…

Nikki Swenson has had to prove herself every step of the way to get where she is. After months of investigation, dedication, and surveillance, she’s about to break the biggest case of her career and possibly arrest the sexiest man she’d ever met. But things are not always as they seem. Will one tiny detail totally derail Nikki’s carefully constructed case?

 

MUST READ – On A Red Horse by Monica Corwin

This book by one of our favourite authors has been on a limited time sale, but even at full price, let me assure you that you will not be disappointed. This is a talented writer and an amazing series!!
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51QGx0VAf-LScarlet needs a new job, but Horseman of the Apocalypse doesn’t sound good on a resume. Three years ago she followed her companions to Earth in an effort to live human lives. But the moment she left her husband Tyr she knew life wouldn’t be worth living. Lonely and longing for her husband, Scarlet is on a path of destruction that could endanger all the riders.

Tyr, god of justice, hunts his wife across the realms. From Hell to the Golden Throne, he travels until he finds her working as a phone operator. Scarlet is no longer the woman he fell in love with, and he is determined to bring that woman back to him if it takes the rest of eternity.

Even though the Horsemen live on Earth, they are still responsible for guarding four seals that can unleash the Apocalypse. When a prophecy is awoken by a deity who only has her own interests at heart, they must go on the defensive to keep their homes on Earth and protect the seals. If even one seal opens, it will start a chain reaction that will force the Horsemen to take up their mantles and destroy the new lives they’ve worked so hard to build.

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We Host – The End Game by Kera Faire

 

the-end-game-evernightpublishing-2016-banner1

A Scottish-based author with the love of the unexpected, Kera writes stories to make your heart miss a beat. Living in the land of the spirits helps her to get in the right frame of mind and find light in the dark side of life.

Let’s hope you think The End Game does just that.

www.evernightpublishing.com/the-end-game-by-kera-faire

www.ravenmcallan.com

Blurb Skinny

the-end-game-evernightpublishing-2016-finalimageAs an undercover operative, your life is not your own and you can’t trust anyone.

Emma MacKay is only too aware of that, but it still sucks when you have to take out a friend’s fiancé, because he’s suspected of being a traitor.

Milo Dorn is more than an undercover operative. He’s one of the dispatchers, secret killers for the department.

When someone is feeding his pigs fresh meat he needs to find answers.

What he finds instead is the woman of his dreams. While the sex is mind blowing, and makes him want to throw away the rule book, he cannot forget the first rule of the game.

Trust no one.

When the truth comes out, can Milo and Emma find a way to each other, or are their jobs an obstacle to high to overcome?

The End Game is on.

 

Excerpt skinny

‘What sort of person accepts what’s going on and makes the best of it?”

“A horny one?” She laughed throatily. “And let’s face it, what else can I do? I’m a bit tied up at the moment.”

That made him grin. “Yeah. So go on, sweet cheeks, what next?”

She bit her lip and looked pointedly at her ankles where her trousers and underwear were in a crumpled heap. “Take off my shoes and trousers for me and I’ll show you.”

That seemed reasonable. Milo tugged and pulled where necessary until she was as near as dammit naked. Now he had a chance to look at her closely, he could see red patches where he’d rubbed his stubble over her soft skin. Her bra and t shirt were pushed up and her luscious breasts with puckered nipples called to him like a siren.

He traced one red patch gently. “Shit, sorry, I guess I was a bit rough.”

She nodded. “Just a bit, but did you hear me complain?”

Well, no, she has a point.

Okay so what next? “Over to you, sweet cheeks. It seems you’re the one directing the traffic.”

“You better believe it,” she drawled and closed her legs. Disappointment stabbed at him, until he saw the speculative expression on her face.

“Pity, pet,” he drawled. “That was a great view.”

She dipped her head. “Not pet, I don’t bark or meow, just purr on occasion.”

He laughed. “Sweet cheeks?”

She sighed, very dramatically. “If you must. Put your leg either side of mine, not too close, lean back and think of Scotland.”

“What?” Now he was puzzled. Excited, aroused, but puzzled.

She tilted her head “Are you chicken, Sir?” She clucked and he burst out laughing.

“Nope. Okay.” He did as she bid and found himself with his cock between her feet before he had a chance to say ‘what’s next?’.

Milo swallowed. “Ah and now?”

“Now this.” The soles of her feet encased his cock and slowly began to move up and down his hard length.

Milo swore his eyes crossed as she varied the speed and depth of her strokes. Why had this never happened before? Fucking hell her feet moved in such a way his pre-cum covered them within seconds.

Stroke, sigh. “Ah that is so good to do. Oh my.Better to fe… ah sweet jesus.” Somehow she’d nipped his foreskin between her toes, just enough to sting. “Bloody… sweet cheeks you’re killing me here.”

“No… not yet…  now more eh… like this…” Her words made little sense to him. Every fiber of his being was concentrated on those magic feet stroking his dick. Milo stopped thinking and let his climax roll through his overheated body.

He stiffened and she chuckled before tightening her hold on him, and he came in a roar. Cum spurted all over her feet, his balls and the grass beneath him.

“Sweet cheeks, you are a genius,” he said as soon as he had enough breath to speak. “I’ll never look at feet in the same way again.”

“I bet not.” Her toes tightened on him, and them she moved. “Sorry, Sir. I have no option.”

Milo didn’t even see it coming.

3 books the-end-game-evernightpublishing-2016series-VistaPrint-Mugs_Panoramic-Wraparound

 

 

 

 

 

We Host – Re/Leased Doms of the FBI by Michele Zurlo

Michele Zurlo is the author of over 20 romance novels. She writes contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give her characters the happy endings they deserve.

She confesses that she’s not half as interesting as her characters. Her childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in her to-be-read pile, and she aspired to be a librarian so she could read all day. She ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of her dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had her tapping out stories on her first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from her fingertips.

She’s pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something she’s never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase her great instincts. Find out more at www.michelezurloauthor.com or @MZurloAuthor.

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released 500Honoring a promise he made to his late mother, David Eastridge, part owner of SAFE Security, returns home one final time—to help his father find the culprit responsible for embezzling three million dollars from his company. It should be an easy job—his father already has a suspect in mind.

After a series of tragic events that robbed her of a father and put her sister in a coma, Autumn Sullivan was forced to take on several jobs just to get by. She’s an accounting assistant by day, an occasional service Domme on the weekend, and a thief-for-hire by night.

David’s strategy of hiring Autumn—as a submissive—backfires when he finds himself enchanted by her sense of humor and playful attitude. Determined to prove her innocence, he enlists the help of Malcolm Legato and Agent Keith Rossetti to dig deeper. This enigmatic submissive is openly hiding things from him. Her secretive nature and the bread crumbs she drops about her past don’t add up—not even when he assigns Jesse Foraker, his SAFE Security buddy—to tail her and search her apartment. None of them are prepared for what the FBI uncovers.

Falling in love wasn’t in the plan, but David makes her believe that she isn’t doomed to live a solitary life. Plunged into a world of lies and espionage—with a serial killer after her—Autumn is forced to come to terms with her past if she is to have any hope of a future with David.

Warnings: BDSM party games, sex toys, bondage, flogging, spanking, and a trip to the beach

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He parked, and they walked to the entrance. Autumn’s pace slowed considerably as they approached the gates. He paused to let her take in the magnificence of the entrance. “It’s impressive.”

She panned the area, taking it all in. “That’s a very large tiger statue.”

Darcy tugged at Malcolm’s arm. “Let’s get our picture with it.” She thrust her camera at Autumn. “Will you take it?”

“Sure.” Autumn waited until they were positioned, and then she clicked several photos. Then she whirled, her hand shooting out to grab the wrist of a passerby. She twisted it, putting enough pressure near the base of the thumb to cause serious pain. The boy cried out, but she lacked mercy. She twisted harder. “You sincerely don’t want to do that. My boyfriend is a mercenary, and he’s not the forgiving type.”

David wasn’t sure what she was doing, but he knew he needed to intervene. Before he could say anything, the boy reached in his pocket and handed over a wallet—David’s wallet. Too wrapped up in Autumn, he’d let down his guard. He checked to make sure nothing was gone. “Thanks.”

Autumn eased the pressure on the boy’s wrist. “This isn’t the life you want. You should think about choosing another career.” She let go, and the boy disappeared into the crowd.

Malcolm and Darcy returned, and Autumn gave Darcy her phone back.

“What happened?” Malcolm asked.

“A pickpocket tried for my wallet, and Sugar caught him.”

A light blush stole up her cheeks, probably at his public use of the nickname. “Crowds make for easy targets. You have to watch out.”

Darcy looked impressed. “It’s a good thing you were watching. I’m not that observant.” She gestured toward the tiger statue. “Your turn.”

After handing his phone to Darcy, he slung his arm around Autumn’s waist and steered her toward the statue. “I’d love it if you didn’t call me a mercenary in public. It sends the wrong message.”

“Yeah, but ‘security specialist’ just makes you sound like a mall cop. Nothing against mall cops, but they’re not big, bad, and dangerous like you.”

Pre-Order your copy now: Amazon     iTunes

Find us online:  Midwestern Book Lovers Unite   Doms of the FBI page   Facebook   Twitter

Blog Tour – Love Theories by C Clark Jefferson

Author Pic C Clark JeffersonC Clark Jefferson is a correspondent, blogger, playwright, speaker and writing coach. She was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and has been writing since the age of nine.

She obtained her MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management and studied abroad in London, United Kingdom while attending undergraduate school.

Love Theories Short Stories Collection is her new release.

Author Website

 

Blurb Skinny

ICover - Love Theories by C Clark Jeffersonn our lifetime, we all experience it. It’s that intimate tugging at our heart that controls our thoughts and our actions. Love Theories is a fly-on-the-wall moment into how others interpret and ultimately function given varying heart-to-heart interactions involving the universal feeling of LOVE.

Xiomora is a bi-racial teen struggling to find her place in life. Antonia, a recent college grad, meets a disc jockey and ends up in a world of trouble. A blue-collar working Wyatt, battles an unfair system to clear his name after his wife’s sudden disappearance. Majesty and Ainslie, best friends, face life challenges but with different responses. Jordan—the fearless, punctual, and sometimes ruthless venture capitalist—stands her ground in a male dominated industry. A Barbadian girl with big dreams leaves her home country in pursuit of higher education in the United States. A career-driven Angelina, once blinded by love, tries to give Cupid’s arrow another chance despite her mother’s interference. And the list goes on along this journey into the lives of an interracial couple, a culturally-biased doctor, a fraud examiner who has to withdraw from a case that involves her ex-lover, a rich man seeker, and a single mom who left her former church on bad terms.

They are each normal, everyday people, but they all are dealing with the most common and universal emotion known to man. Love Theories asks the question: How do YOU equate LOVE?

Buy your copy now

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Love Theories Blog Tour

28 June – Indy Book Fairy
30 June – Books on Fire
01 July – Night Owl Reviews
01 July – Room with Books
02 July – Books & More
03 July – Stormy Nights
03 July – Shelli Rosewarne
03 July – Cynthia Bloggs
04 July – Erzabet’s Enchantments

 

Excerpt skinny

In The Middle

The breezy weather blows the palm tree leaves in a mild way as the green-violet colored hummingbird sucks out the nectar from one of her neighbor’s plants. Out of nowhere, a large honey bee goes around in circles, making loud buzzing noises while she’s moving in the opposite direction, trying to fan the stinging creature away from her. Obviously the Cotton Candy scented Calgon body mist she sprayed after swim class caught the bee’s attention. Just like Calgon’s slogan, she was hoping the day would could where someone would take her away from the madness at home.

The cookie-cutter, Orange County homes with driveways filled with cars, motorcycles, and children playing in the nearby park, wasn’t much different than the interior of her home. It was a neighborhood that screamed of peace, comfort and security.

Looks can be deceiving.

Before reaching the steps to the house, a sharp pain rushed through her ear, reminding her of that terrible day.
“Look at you. Rough hair, light eyes, thick lips and you’re much too big for a Chinese girl. You won’t make any friends. In my country, your kind is nothing more than peasant farmers.” Her mother spoke in a tone slightly above a whisper as her daughter’s eyes began to flood her face with tears.

“Showing feelings means no self-control.” A grin appears moments before the wooden spoon is swung across her daughter’s head. And to make matters worse, this was her first day of starting kindergarten.

As the door opens, she sees her mother mopping the kitchen floor. A curt whisper of “hello” escapes her lips as she makes a beeline to her room. The blinking cursor on the blank email silently mocked Xiomora as she stared at the computer screen in front of her. Mei enters the room without as much as a knock on the door.

“Is something wrong?”

Xiomora has been through this same routine enough times to know that something’s behind the act of kindness coming from her mother’s lips.

“No, mother, nothing’s wrong.”

Mei stares for a moment, but Xiomora continues to sit at the computer, staring at nothing and praying that she could be left alone. Immediately, the door is shut and Xiomora is happy as a clam in high tide. At times, she feels like Waverly from The Joy Luck Club. Just like Waverly, she’s criticized by her mother for having too many American ways, which puts a relationship barrier between the two of them. Just like Lindo Jong, Mei left her home country under unfavorable terms and hasn’t gotten mentally acclimated with North America. Bother Waverly’s and Xiomora’s mothers wanted them to become a prodigy for showoff purposes.

Xiomora goes to her Facebook account and her friends Svetlana, Kate, and Moon’s pages. Svetlana’s part Russian and Native American. She used to attend UHS with Xiomora, but her family moved to a small British Virgin Island of Bequia to tend to their boating business. She’s tall, blond, slim, piercing baby blue eyes and has the typical directness of an Eastern European. Kate, on the other hand, is popular, a teen model, fashionista, and a little envious of Xiomora because her runway walk is better. Moon is the complete opposite of all four. The raspberry colored haired, gothic-clothing wearing Latino hodgepodge, likes to smoke and read about Astrology. Xiomora looks at pictures of Kate’s modeling shoot on her page.

I wanted to be a model, but she prefers the violin and I hate that thing. She says inside her mind. Kate must have read her mind because she sends a chat message to Xiomora.

“How’s everything with you and your mom?” she asks out of pure concern.

“The same,” Xiomora quickly responds without giving it a moment’s thought.

She then types, “Hello” in the small chat box to Moon, but she hasn’t noticed that Moon has already logged out.

Svetlana sends an inbox message to her.

Before she could respond to her friend, she hears her mother’s footsteps a distance away from the room. To be on the safe side, Xiomora abruptly shuts down her computer. She then lays on her bed to listen to music. Xiomora had used her savings from her allowance to buy a MP3/MP4 player so she could have a chance to listen to music that she liked. She setup a password on her laptop to make sure that her mother couldn’t repeat her previous action of deleting all her old songs and replacing them with classical and traditional Chinese music.

“Mei, why did you do that?” Mr. Greene was home from work early one day and clearly not in the mood for nonsense.

Mei proceeded to tell her father every associated superstition she could think of as rationale for why she changed the music. Mr. Greene, on the other hand, had no problem with the music selection she listened to. His main concern as a parent was to keep her off the pole and to make sure she didn’t follow the tradition of some of his trifling sisters and nieces by depending on the government system for the rest of her life. He was willing to work three jobs a day to make sure that never happened.

“You’ve been home all day, why is this house untidy?” Clyde asked his wife in a mean manner.

Mei remained silent.

Clyde is offended, “Mei did you hear what I just said?”

Not in the mood to be confrontational with him, she quickly spits, “I was getting around to it.”

She walks away without giving him a chance to ask anything else. Xiomora is glad Mei was out of sight, so she resumes listening to her music while Clyde walks to his study.

Later that same day, Mei still tried to harass Xiomora. While behind the sanctity of her closed bedroom door, Xiomora heard her mother’s footsteps long before she came barging in.

The weekend came and went. Monday evening came quicker than a black mamba hunts down its prey. Xiomora had a light day at school, no homework and she was in her room reading a fashion magazine. As usual her mother was in one of her moments. “Why aren’t you reading music sheets?” She sighed loudly when she noticed that the wooden spoon hadn’t hit XiXi as intended. “When you come home, you are to study violin.”

After her initial questioning, Mei began to chastise Xiomora for not being smart and dependent like traditional Asian girls and belittling her for not having a GPA over 4.0.

“I’ll excuse your ignorance since you are part of that other race.”

Not believing what she just heard, Xiomora was speechless. Her father happened to be standing behind his wife. He took off his glasses and gave Mei a disgusted look before uttering, “What did you just say?”

We Host – The Scorpion’s Empress by Yoshiyuki Ly

 

 Title: The Scorpion’s Empress
Author: Yoshiyuki Ly
Cover Art: Michele Crocker
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
After years of serving a corrupt government, Ser Videl, an idealistic paladin, learns that her younger sister is tangled in a dark scheme against Raj Mangala, the compassionate yet troubled empress of the city’s oppressed lowtown; the two women meet and are deeply drawn to one another, finding a shared sanctuary in their violently-divided city. The Scorpion’s Empress is intimately written through the eyes of both twenty-seven year old women.
Videl’s loving devotion is just what Raj craves, but Raj is wary of letting her guard down while protecting her throne. Determined to prove her worth, Videl chases after Raj and works to unravel the mystery of the plots against the empress. Raj wants Videl to serve her emotional and sexual needs,
and the two explore a meaningful relationship of dominance and submission that delves fully into their deepest wants. When the conspiracy against Raj comes to a head, Videl’s loyalties are tested when she is forced to choose between her past and her empress.


Excerpt

“God, you’ve sent me to a soul who is lost,” said Ser Videl. “I worry for her. She seems lonely on her throne, as if her reign is incomplete. Her passions well within without a way to let them out. I’ve allowed her to watch me while I hold back. I want to protect her, to thank her some way, but she won’t let me. I did a terrible thing to Kurtz, and now he suffers for me. I have to learn the power of forgiveness…”
I didn’t mean to say the words out loud: “You have a beautiful soul, Videl.”
“Empress!” she said, bolting to her feet. She bowed to me. “I didn’t know you were here…”
“Take it easy,” I replied, smiling. “I had a terrible night up until I found you. You’ve got this habit of makin’ my days brighter. I’ve gotta wonder…have you really been holdin’ back?”
Videl stared at me with that controlled, focused want. “There is so much I’d like to do for you,” she answered.
“But I feel like I can’t. The voices in the shadows taunt you. They have your attention most of the time. I can’t compete with them. I’m trying to be patient about this.”
“Voices in the shadows… That got somethin’ to do with me bein’ lost?”
“I think you’re haunted by your enemies,” she said, moving closer to me.
“You don’t want me to know this much about your affairs. Anyone else would be oblivious to them. But I know, Empress.” Heat rushed to my face and neck; my head pounded in-time with my stresses, my wants. I knew she’d find some way to make me let go, whether I was ready for it or not. Videl held my hands in hers—gentle touch and gentler intentions. “You won’t let me find out more about your rival, will you? I feel like you made that decision days ago.”
Was I that easy to read? “I don’t want you gettin’ hurt on account of me,” I admitted.
“You know how to look out for yourself. I get that. She likes her mind games, Videl. This ain’t somethin’ your sword can keep you safe from. You’ve gotta trust me on this.”
Videl didn’t hide her disappointment. “I understand,” she replied. “I just wish I could help you…”
“I’ve got it covered, Videl. You don’t need to worry about me. I’ll handle it.”
“And I believe you, Empress. There is still a part of me that longs to know you more. I feel like I’m not welcome in your world yet—only at this distance. It isn’t like me to rush in where I’m not invited. I’ll…keep being patient if that’s what you prefer.”
“Oh, this is so good!” exclaimed Satya. “It sounds like such a classic story—the Holy Knight from Eden finding the Queen of Beggars from Elysium, bringing the two parts together as a whole Tynan. But your idea seems unfinished… Do they work together to unify the city? Or do they run off into the sunset together and leave it behind?”

Escape today!

Amazon

IHeartReading.net – “The romance between both women has a BDSM aspect – dominant/submissive, which adds another interesting touch to the book. I also liked how the conspiracy/politics played an important part too. It wasn’t just romance, a lot was going on. The protagonists were interesting, and I must say, I liked Videl the most. An intriguing, sizzling erotic romance. I look forward to reading more books by this author.”
Books On Fire Tours –Never in my life have I been so in love with characters and their names! This book has the best names for characters I have read in at least 10 years, lending even more to it’s originality and it’s uniqueness.

In a world of make believe, two forces of nature collide. Each have her own strength. Each have an agenda. Each have multiple enemies. This book has it all! Paladins and Knights. An Empress fighting to save a destitute nation. A warrior out to seek revenge and protect her baby sister. The suspense just about killed me, as I couldn’t decide who was hunting who. I couldn’t wait for the “Scorpion” warrior to catch up with the Empress!!! But through it all, gripping sub plots and fascinating back stories filled each page, demanding my undivided attention and getting it.
There were some scenes that weren’t very realistic, but this is in a world of make believe, remember? Apart from that I found it to be tasteful, not over the top compared to other Sub/Dom, Lesbian Erotica I have read. This is a love story, filled with passion long since forgotten by most authors. This is true gay fiction. This is your next read if you don’t want to miss out on really good writing, perfect timing and a world so rich, your imagination is tested to it’s limits!”

 



 

Yoshiyuki Ly was born in San Diego, CA. She lived there until moving away to college. In high school, she began writing fanfiction as a serious hobby. Her pen name is representative of her multiracial heritage and a unique, diverse outlook that is reflective in her work. While pursuing an undergraduate degree in philosophy, she spent her free time reading the works of Virginia Woolf, Soren Kierkegaard and Simone de Beauvoir. She then spent the next years honing her craft to become a published author.



Alternate Endings for The Scorpion’s Empress
I’m Yoshiyuki Ly and for today’s guest post, I decided to write about alternate endings for The Scorpion’s Empress. I’ll avoid spoilers.
My ideas kept changing as I wrote the book. I started with high, emotional concepts for key scenes, most of which I ended up not writing. The core idea was always for Raj and Videl to eventually come up with a solution to the political crisis in their city.
The first idea I had was a more personal ending for Videl and Raj. There were other plot ideas I threw out.
Toward the last few chapters, the main characters were supposed to get in a terrible argument. I wanted to have Videl return to Eden with her sister, and for Raj to chase after her. The ending from there would have been Raj and Videl resolving the situation and coming back together. This was also the backbone of my original ideas for the whole story.
The second idea I had for the ending was predictable—a typical happy ending for Eden and Elysium. This didn’t feel satisfying. Thinking about it made me anxious. I couldn’t build up to this ending. I stepped away from the manuscript for two months while I let better ideas come to me organically.
In the end, the last chapter wrote itself. Once I stopped worrying over the details, everything settled down. If you’d like to see if the actual ending paid off, be on the lookout for my book here.

 

 

Blog graphics designed &copyrighted by Books On Fire Tours

 

Blog Tour – Rough Edges Collection

Cover Rough EdgesWork hard, play hard, love hard…

Nothing is sexier than someone who knows what they want and has the confidence go after it. This anthology is crammed full of hot romances featuring those kinds of rough-around-the-edges alpha personalities–stories about the kind of men and women who ride horses during the day and their partners at night, who speak few words but mean every one of them, and who would never break their own personal code of honor. We’re talking about cowboys… and cowgirls.

This anthology contains seven romances with a Western theme that run the gamut from sweet to sizzling.

Buy yours! All Romance Books   Amazon (Kindle)   Kobo

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Rough Edges Blog Tour Graphic

13 June – Erzabet’s Enchantments
14 June – Indy Book Fairy
16 June – Books on Fire
16 June – Foreplay & Fangs
17 June – Night Owl Reviews
17 June – Torie James
17 June – Room with Books
17 June – Romance Reviews Today
18 June – Books & More
19 June – Stormy Nights
19 June – Shelli Rosewarne
26 June – Cynthia Bloggs
28 June – Romancing the Book

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Emma’s Ride by Christine Morgan

Christine Morgan spent many years working the overnight shift in a psychiatric facility, which played havoc with her sleep schedule but allowed her a lot of writing time. A lifelong reader, she also reviews, beta-reads, occasionally edits and dabbles in self-publishing. Her other interests include gaming, history, superheroes, crafts, cheesy disaster movies and training to be a crazy cat lady. She can be found online here: Facebook and Website

Blurb

Emma is a demure young lady from Back East, or so she appears until her stern parents discover her inclination toward lusty leanings, and decide she’d best be safely married off before she can ruin the family reputation. She finds herself on a stagecoach bound West, set to wed an old man she’s never met. When a strapping cowboy boards the same stage, Emma realizes this might be her last chance to give in to her wild and wanton ways, but the journey may yet have some surprises in store for them both.

Excerpt

What angered Emma the most was that she was being punished for something she hadn’t done. Or, rather, that because she was being punished for it, she wished she’d gone ahead and done it.

How easy it would have been, how delightful! And they had, almost. If she’d been less coy, dash it all! If she’d not played at maidenly demure resistance, and made him pant vows of undying adoration in

her ear… why, it might have been long over with by the time Papa came in, and the ache, the terrible need in her, might finally have been met. The need that had burned since she’d discovered the books. She had never dreamed people did the deeds described in their pages, depicted in their drawings.

The flame had begun then, flickering, lapping, making her think of things she had never considered before.

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Time Machine Cowboy by Trayce Primm

By day Trayce Primm transforms women into goddesses with her flashing shears; by night she uses her razor sharp words to transform boring reality into fantasy. She is a poet, published author of sensual romance, and is currently awaiting publication of a reincarnation murder mystery.

Blurb

A boring end to a cold winter’s day means shedding work clothes and popping a frozen dinner into the microwave.  But once in a magical while, the package contains a sizzling surprise that heats up more than a cold heart.

Excerpt

A sharp, mechanical ping from the microwave summoned her back to the kitchen. She picked up a pot holder and pulled on the oven door, frowning slightly when it wouldn’t open. She pulled harder, then turned the timer on and off, hoping it might be of some help. A spark arced inside, setting off a humming, buzzing sound. Before she could move, a kaleidoscope of multi-colored, neon-bright light erupted from the small machine, filling the room with streaks of smoke and jagged blue bolts of lightning.

She tried to get out of harm’s way, but it was too late. The Technicolor web held her fast, paralyzed with fear, yet unhurt. Visibility dropped to zero, and she felt disoriented by the cacophony of light and sound. The noise intensified to a horrible crescendo, then settled down to a plinking, rhythmic regularity, familiar somehow.

Her senses returned one by one, picking up a jumble of isolated images. The sound of a badly tuned player piano—the tinkling dance hall classic, A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight—the yeasty smell of beer mingled with the acrid pall of cigar smoke, a glimpse of a polished wooden bar and rows of bottles lined up behind it and the tantalizing aroma of hickory-smoked barbeque. As the colored aura cleared, she realised she wasn’t alone anymore.

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Lady of Lacrymosa by Brantwijn Serrah

When she isn’t visiting the worlds of immortals, demons, dragons and goblins, Brantwijn fills her time with art: sketching, painting, and cover design. She can’t handle coffee unless there’s enough cream and sugar to make it a milkshake, but try and sweeten her tea and she will never forgive you. She moonlights as a futon for four lazy cats and can spend hours watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer while she writes.

In addition to her novels, Brantwijn has self-published erotic short stories available on Amazon.  Her short stories occasionally pop up at Foreplay and Fangs, her blog.

Blurb

When Katarina started her shift in the saloon, it was a night like any other. That was before the silent lady gunslinger strolled in through the batwing doors. Katarina can’t keep her eyes off the woman, and when the gunslinger starts to dance, sensuously spinning a black magic spell, Kat finds herself hopelessly, utterly lost. By morning, nothing will be the same.

The West gets weird, the night the strangers come to Lacrymosa.

Excerpt

Once she’d tended to her needs and tidied herself again, she slipped into the poorly-lit passageway between the saloon and the boarding rooms above. She crossed to the barroom door, still flustered and distracted, and didn’t notice the hand reach out from under the stairs and haul her back.

A short cry barely made it to her lips when there came a hot, soft mouth upon her own. Katarina felt the rough wood of the pantry door at her back, and a slender hand slid round the back of her neck, holding her captive to the kiss. A slim leg nudged between her thighs, rustling her skirt. She might have panicked but even before the scent of leather and magnolia hit her she knew who the phantom would be.

“What are you doing?” she whispered. Putting her hands up between them she nudged the lady away. “You don’t belong here. Get out, get back into the bar, or I’ll scream…”

Lady Gunslinger gave a husky, quiet little laugh, but she said nothing. Her hand found Katarina’s wrist in the dark, and without a word, she tugged the saloon girl towards the stairs.

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Hunted and Haunted by Jen DeLuca

They say write what you know. When Jen DeLuca was 6, she wrote stories about girls who had dogs, played tennis, and took naps.  She’s branched out a little since then, and now her stories usually include some snark, some angst, and some kissing. A Floridian by way of Virginia, Jen loves Hokies football, latte-flavored lattes, and the Oxford comma. She no longer plays tennis but she takes as many naps as she can.

Blurb

A key witness in her ex’s corruption trial, Anna needs to lay low for her own safety. While she’s stashed in a remote hunting cabin in Montana, her nightly erotic dreams make her wish that sheriff’s deputy Gabe McKenna’s protective custody was a little more hands-on. Then she learns about the ghost who shares the cabin with them and discovers it’ll take both men to keep her safe… and satisfied. 

Excerpt

“Tell you what?”

“Tell me I’m safe. Tell me you’ll stay.” I had come out here because I was afraid, but that feeling was long gone, replaced with something much more primal. I wanted him in my room, in my bed, but my mouth couldn’t form the words.

Something must have shown on my face, because he started toward me. Slowly, deliberately, the soles of his boots like ominous music against the wood floor. “You’re safe,” he reminded me. “I’m not going anywhere. Nothing’s going to happen to you.”

His voice was a growling whisper, and I strained to hear it as he walked closer still. Heel, toe. Heel. Toe.  Clomp-clomp. Clomp-clomp. The closer he came, the harder my heart thudded in my chest, a counterpoint to his footsteps. I didn’t shrink back at his approach, just kept my eyes on his as he came closer.

He stopped a scant inch away, the heat from his body radiating toward mine. The quick rise and fall of my breath brushed the soft fabric of my camisole against his chest in a barely-there whisper. He was a large man, and this was a very small cabin. With anyone else, I would have felt threatened, but this was Gabe and I wanted nothing more than to curl into his body.

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My Midnight Cowboy by Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin Spice is the published author of adult romantic fiction. Her naughty fairy tale line “Scarlett Hood & The Hunter” and “Goldlie Locks & The Brothers Bear” is published by Evernight Publishing along with her Cupid Conquest romance, “The Hart Moment.” Pumpkin’s favorite time of year is fall when the leaves are turning, the weather is crisper and the nights are a whole lot longer. Write to her at  pumpkinspicecom@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter: @PumpkinSpiceU2

Blurb

If chocolate is the way to a man’s heart, then pastry chef Lucy Baker has the recipe for success. But will her culinary skills melt the most-hard hearted bachelor in Wyoming?

A chance encounter on a New Year’s Eve flight leaves two strangers to discover unbound pleasure and a hunger for more sexual discovery.

Excerpt

I sat alone in complete darkness until the tram pulled into a stop. When the doors opened, light poured into the car and suddenly Ben stood before me. I gasped. He said nothing.

The tram resumed moving toward another tunnel and darkness overtook the tram. I felt for him, but he was no longer in front of me. A brief pocket of light before the next tunnel spliced through the tram and Ben was on the bench seat beside me, his voice in my ear.

“Hey,”he said.

“Hello.”I waited for him to touch me. “I wondered where you went.”

“I promised to look after you and I plan to keep that promise.”

“People break promises.”

He reached his hands into my hair and pulled me toward him. His mouth grazed my neck and nibbled at the tender skin. “I don’t break promises and neither will you.”

“Maybe.”I dug my fingers into his thick, wavy hair. “Maybe not.” I toyed with him and his hold on me strengthened. The ferocity of his kiss ignited my senses and made my skin prickle with pleasure.

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Coming Up Roses by Anna Kyle

Anna Kyle spent her youth reading about and dreaming of horses and scheming (unsuccessfully) how to convince her parents to get her one. That led to writing her first story about a girl and her horse which in turn led to a lifetime love of writing. As an adult she reads everything from histories to mysteries but romances are definitely her favorite. These days she writes the paranormal romance series, the Wolf King, at World Weaver Press. SKYE FALLING was published last summer and the origin novel, OMEGA RISING, will be out late spring 2016.

Blurb

To get the long-coveted D.V.M. initials after her name, healer Rose is forced to spend the last two weeks of her internship at the Finnegan Ranch she left eight years ago, where she spent and best and worst times of her childhood.  Now Rose had to contend with using her rusty healing abilities to help a wounded, angry donkey and deal with the sexy shapeshifter cowboy who broke her heart.

Finn’s wolf did the unthinkable eight years ago – attacked the girl he loved. Then years later she’d unknowingly saved his wolf, and him. Now he has two weeks to convince Rose that the bite which drove them apart also binds them together. Because letting her go this time might not be possible.

Excerpt

If he let her go now nothing would stop her from leaving him. Forever. His wolf whined, a high-pitched , mournful sound.

No. If Rose thought she’d be happier without him, he would stand aside and let her walk away. Her safety and happiness were all that mattered. But he couldn’t let her stumble away, raw and hurting and believing he’d ever hated her.

Murmuring soft words in her hair like she was a scared filly at the crossroads of trusting or bolting, Finn held her. He wasn’t sure how long they remained locked together, swaying gently back and forth. Inch by inch her body relaxed until her arms crept around his waist and she sighed against his neck. The soft, contented noise she made was a gift so tender and precious that it stole his breath. Too soon she untangled herself and scrubbed her face.

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Jump Without Looking by TJ Dodd

TJ Dodd is a frequently sweary, occasionally inappropriate former teacher and acknowledged black sheep of her family. She’s okay with that. She shares her home with her pit bull named Piddles, who outgrew the habit but got stuck with the name. She’s made up stories her whole life and thought it might be fun to try to get some of them published. So far it has been.

Blurb

Jackie has a veterinary practice, her family’s ranch, and a habit of avoiding men. The last thing she needs is a giant, blonde cowboy who tears down her fence and rattles her nerves. Russ has no job, a beat-up old pickup, and a rundown ranch he just inherited. He needs everything except the beautiful, angry neighbor who turns him on and then runs him off. Can one pregnant cow, two horses that love to jump, and three long kisses prove them both wrong?

Excerpt

Not that his thoughts were angelic. In fact, they’d send him straight in the other direction. Jackie O’Neill was exactly the kind of woman who turned him on: spirited, strong, and sturdy. She was more of that kind of woman than anyone he’d met, so much so that she may have just become his definition of that kind of woman.

He wondered if she felt what he did, something like two magnets pulling them together. He wondered if her skin was as soft as it looked, and if it would dimple between his fingers when he held her thighs and kissed her full round breasts. They wouldn’t bruise each other, that was for damn sure. He’d fit right into her cushioned body.

Sitting next to her was a gift.

We Host – Stealing Hearts by Sheri Velarde

Sheri Velarde AuthorSheri Velarde lives in New Mexico with her husband and their two dogs.

Being an avid reader since an early age, she has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She has been writing all her life, but only recently started to actually try to pursue her dream of writing for a living. She specializes in all things paranormal and that go bump in the night. Her heart truly lies in exploring unknown worlds or adding the supernatural to our world. If it goes bump in the night or has magical connotations, Sheri writes about it.

She is constantly putting out new material with various publishers, so it is best to keep up with her on her website.

In her spare time Sheri is an artist, jewelry designer, independent comic writer/artist and freelance non-fiction writer. Hiking in the mountains, going to live concerts, art openings, museums, and hosting intimate dinner parties.

Website/Blog    Facebook      Twitter 

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Sophia had fled New York and the feelings that a certain detective had Stealing Hearts Finalstirred within her. Now she found herself alone in LA on New Year’s Eve, the former goddess of love reduced to having to look for a date. Hitting the Sunset Strip she finds the last thing she was looking for, but exactly who she was yearning for, Detective Bruce Stoker in the flesh. A night of passion leaves her with high hopes for the future, until an art heist threatens everything.

Bruce had followed Sophia across the country in order to rekindle the passion he felt during their one night together and to get some much needed answers from her about who he really was, what her really was. Just when he thought he would get his answers, Bruce begins to wonder if he can truly trust Sophia at all. Only time and a mystery will tell.

Grab the series now!  Looted     Lost Souls     Stealing Hearts

 

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Why Greek gods in modern times?

When I decided to try my hand at an actual book series, the first idea that popped into my mind was that it should be about Greek gods. That is where the idea for the Gods Behaving Badly series started. People since then have asked me why Greek gods? Why not? Not only are there plenty of gods to choose from, which means lots of potential characters for a book series, but they are fascinating to me. I believe that you should write what you know and love, so ancient gods from mythology just made me want to write them. Plus let’s face it, all those overgrown personalities make for some pretty good fiction! Talk about drama!

For my own personal deities of lore stories I chose to place them in modern times with diminished powers. Same egos, but more challenges. So far I am liking the results. Looted, the first in the series was pretty well received and I am hoping Stealing Hearts does just as well. I am loving writing this series and in the latest book have already brought in more gods and that means more stories to tell. Here is a little sneak peak from Stealing Hearts.

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The next morning Bruce awoke feeling happier than he could ever recall feeling. Suddenly he snapped open his eyes to make sure that Sophia still lay beside him. Sure enough, she slept peacefully next to him, a slight smile played on her beautiful features, her long auburn hair mussed, making her even sexier. Thank god, or goddess in this case. He had been afraid she’d disappear despite her promise the night before. Now that his need for her had been abated ever so slightly, maybe he could get her to answer some questions that had been eating him alive since their first meeting. His stomach growled; he forgot when his last meal had been and he had certainly worked up an appetite the previous evening. Quietly, he slipped out of bed, praying that goddesses kept a fully stocked kitchen. Maybe a little breakfast in bed would make her more talkative about the magic she seemed to have awakened within him. He still needed to know what an empath truly was, what he truly was, and what he was capable of doing. It seemed too farfetched to believe he was anything but human. However, he certainly felt different when with Sophia.

Making it to the kitchen, he was thrilled to see Sophia had all the makings for a fine breakfast. He turned on the small television on the counter as he began to get the eggs and bacon ready to cook. Mostly, he just wanted a little noise as he got to work, but something suddenly caught his attention.

“This is the highest profile art heist to hit Los Angeles in history. What is even more puzzling, there is no evidence as to who could have stolen the painting. All cameras and security systems are working properly, and the guards on duty didn’t see or hear anything. No alarms sounded, and the Getty’s systems show that no one entered or exited the premises last night. Van Gogh’s Irises is valued at over fifty-five million dollars, but many consider it priceless. If you have any information please contact the police. This is certainly not how we wanted to start off the New Year…”

Bruce’s heart sank. As he lay asleep last night, exhausted by lovemaking, it appeared Sophia may have been up to her old tricks. How could he ever learn to truly trust a creature such as her? She seemed to be getting bolder too, now she wasn’t just stealing from nefarious rich men, but from the Getty Center, and a high profile piece as well. He must not have provided her with enough excitement last night after all.

Gods Behaving Badly Series 3

Blog Tour – Omega Rising by Anna Kyle

Anna KyleAnna Kyle wrote her first story at age 12 on an old manual typewriter, and though the technology has changed, she hasn’t stopped since. She lives in the Midwest surrounded by family and friends and dogs and horses. They’ve forgiven her (mostly) when they appear in her stories. She reads everything she can get her hands on, but romances, especially paranormals, are her favorite. Vampires, humans, Fae, shapeshifters, or demons, it doesn’t matter—Anna’s heart goes pitter-pat for the Happily Ever After. Hot heroes + strong, funny heroines = awesome.

Twitter               Website

Blurb Skinny

Cover - Omega Rising by Anna KyleCass Nolan has been forced to avoid the burn of human touch for her whole life, drawing comfort instead from her dreams of a silver wolf—her protector, her friend. When her stalking nightmares return, her imaginary dead sister’s ghost tells her to run, Cass knows she should listen, but the sinfully hot stranger she just hired to work on her ranch has her mind buzzing with possibilities. Not only does her skin accept Nathan’s touch, it demands it. Cass must make a decision—run again and hope she saves the people who have become her family, or stand and fight. Question is, will it be with Nathan or against him?

Nathan Rivers’ life is consumed by his quest to find the Omega wolf responsible for killing his brother, but when the trail leads him to Cass and her merry band of shapeshifters, his wolf wants only to claim her for himself. When evidence begins piling up that Cass is the Omega he’s been seeking, things become complicated—especially since someone else wants her dead. Saving her life might mean sacrificing his own, but it may be worth it to save the woman he can’t keep from reaching for.

Book One of the Wolf King series  285 pages / 85,000 words  *  Paranormal romance

Buy Now:   World Weaver Press    Barnes and Noble   Amazon   Kobo   All Romance eBooks

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Omega Rising Blog Tour
06 June – Erzabet’s Enchantments
07 June – Indy Book Fairy
09 June – Books on Fire
09 June – Foreplay & Fangs
10 June – Night Owl Reviews
10 June – Torie James
10 June – Room with Books
11 June – Books & More
12 June – Shelli Rosewarne
12 June – Cynthia Bloggs
14 June – Romancing the Book
14 June – Romance Reviews Today

Excerpt skinny
“I like him, Tabs.”

“You know nothing about him.”

Cass was unprepared for the jagged lick of jealousy as the old boyfriend possibility became suddenly real. She clenched her hands into fists into her lap and bowed her head as she imagined Tabitha running her fingers through Nathan’s hair.

“You know him then,” she said, steeling herself.

“No. But I know men like him,” Tabitha responded, her voice flat, angry. Cass sighed in relief, relaxed her hands and looked up at her friend who was staring off into the distance, frowning. “Dangerous, selfish, arrogant, cold.” She turned to look at her. “You have nothing in common. Zero. He would destroy you.”

“Destroy me,” Cass scoffed. “Listen, drama queen. Guy was shaking when he bandaged me. So he’s sensitive. He helped us out today on no notice. So he’s nice. And we both don’t like blood, so there. That’s one thing in common.”

Tabitha barked a loud humorless laugh.

“Guys like him bathe in blood.” Cass stared at Tabitha, mouth open. Tabitha blinked then smiled ruefully. “Okay, that was a little drama-queenie.”

“And super disgusting.”

Tabitha grinned now. “Yeah, that too.” She held out her index finger toward Cass. “Agree to disagree?”

Cass nodded and stretched her own finger to Tabitha’s for a second.

“Just . . . be careful. I’m worried about you. You need to eat. You need to sleep. You need to take care of yourself. This whole thing,” she gestured widely, her voice catching, “falls apart without you.”

Cass’s eyes burned at her friend’s concern for her. She nodded. “You’re right. I know. The nightmares will go away.” Who will die this time? “They did before.” Only because I ran. Cass looked out over her grounds of her tiny kingdom spread before them, not believing her own words and unable to look at Tabitha.

Cass knew the truth; death was coming.

Blog Tour – My Father Didn’t Kill Himself by Russell Nohelty

Author Pic - Russell NoheltyRussell Nohelty is a writer, publisher, and consultant. He is the publisher of Wannabe Press and its main author. Russell likes to write genre fiction with deep character studies.

He’s sadistic with his characters, putting them in the worst situations and watching them claw their way back up, just to kick them back into the abyss again. Russell started his career writing comics, and now writes novels and children’s books as well.

@russellnohelty (twitter/Instagram)
www.facebook.com/russellnohelty

Blurb Skinny

Cover - My Father Didn't Kill HimselfHow would you cope is somebody you love committed suicide?

Delilah’s father is the greatest man she has ever known. When he commits suicide her world is shattered. She can’t eat. She can’t sleep. Her bubbly personality becomes ascorbic. All she wants is to be left alone.

When his insurance policy refuses to pay out, Delilah sets out to prove what she’s known all along: that his suicide was in fact a murder.

A story of getting over grief and learning those you idolize aren’t perfect, told in blog posts through Delilah and her best friend.

On the surface My Father Didn’t Kill Himself is a mystery book, but right below the surface is a story of how people get over grief. And not just how Delilah gets over her grief of losing the person she idolizes most in the world. Also about how a wife gets over the grief of her husband, a husband that was supposed to provide for her, but instead left her alone and destitute.

Mixed with that is the loss felt by Alex, Delilah’s best friend, in losing her best friend to the anguish of grief, watching her slip away and pull back from the world, feeling helpless.

Buy your copy HERE

YA Mystery. This book deals with death, loss, and grief. There are difficult concepts to deal with and uncomfortable situations.

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My Father Didn't Kill Himself Blog Tour
13 May – Room with Books
16 May – Dana’s YA Book Pile
17 May – Indy Book Fairy
18 May – After This Page
19 May – Books on Fire
19 May – Night Owl Reviews
19 May – Torie James
20 May – Writing Dreams
21 May – Savvy Authors
21 May – Books & More
21 May – Stormy Nights
22 May – Shelli Rosewarne
22 May – Cynthia Bloggs
25 May – Celtic Lady
25 May – Tome Tender

Excerpt skinny

DROWNING

Posted by Delilah Clark × December 15 at 9:31 pm.

Here is what The Suicide Handbook says about drowning.

Drowning in cold water is supposed to be like going to sleep. For me, it was a nightmare.

Shivering, freezing, I sat for a minute until my body

Adjusted to the cold. Then I sunk down under the water. The cold washed over me, but my lungs were on fire. Before I could pass out my natural instincts kicked in. I couldn’t fight them. I kicked and screamed

until half the water was gone. I gasped for air. It was frightful.

I performed my experiment much like J. I laid down in the tub until my body adjusted to the temperature. Once I was acclimated, I sunk below the water. I breathed out until there were no bubbles. And I waited. It didn’t take long for the fire in my lungs to start. Soon, it was unbearable. My body thrashed around for a moment before I shot out of the water and gasped for precious air.

I wholeheartedly endorse every word J said.

On top of that I realized something.

If I died in this tub, my bowels would empty, and I would be sitting in feces-filled water until somebody found me. That is not a dignified way to die—my bowel excretion muddying the water and coating me in a fine mist of poop. They’d be scrubbing for days to get me ready for the casket.

No thank you.


CEMETERY

Posted by Delilah Clark × December 16 at 7:22 pm.

Before every session with Dr. Bennett, Susie drives me to the cemetery and tries to coerce me into visiting my father’s grave.

I’d never been to his grave before; not since the funeral. It didn’t seem important to me.

It’s not like he’s in there anyway. Maybe his body, but not him. If he’s anywhere, he’s by my side as I try to fulfill his last wishes, not hanging out in a cemetery.

But Susie always insists on driving to the cemetery anyway. The cemetery is a weird place full of weird people. There’s this tall undertaker who seems a little too into the dead people’s families. He’s like overeager for them to buy something. His smile creeps me out.

There’s a grave digger who has to be high on something because he moves slower than molasses. Sometimes I catch the funeral director yelling at him, as if that’s going to motivate somebody that digs graves for a living to pick up the pace. Shocker, it never worked.

They’re not weird in a bad way though. Some of them I could like if I didn’t hate everybody on principle. There’s this guy who is always reading comic books. He introduced himself to me one day as “Roscoe. Roscoe Fay.” Like he’s James Bond or something. He just sits under this tall oak tree overlooking the cemetery and silently reads comics. I would watch him read sometimes, letting my eye catch a cool image every once and a while.

I would usually just sit there, looking out at the cemetery, until Susie gave up and drove us away. But today was different. Today, I felt a twinge in my stomach, a pang, not quite a stress baby, but maybe a stress zygote, or an unfertilized egg.

I needed to see his grave. I needed to talk to him.

Susie was ready to fight, but before she could open her big mouth I pushed out of the door and walked over to his grave.

It was weird.

For all my research on death, I had no idea how to act in a cemetery. I saw a few people crying over graves and placing flowers on them as they rehashed their day.

That isn’t me. I’m cried out.

His gravestone was simple and to the point.

Tim Clark. Devoted husband and father.

I read it over and over again. Have you ever noticed that any word you say over and over again sounds super weird? Just try saying neck two hundred times and tell me that’s not a silly word by the end?

By the eight millionth silent loop, my dad’s name sounded like an alien language. Maybe Zorgblopple, which I just made up.

“Hey dad,” I finally said. “How are you doing? Probably not so bad, right? I mean worms might be eating your insides, but at least you can’t feel how cold it is, right?”

I paused, waiting for a response from him. I felt like an idiot.

“It’s been snowing here a lot. Remember when Mom went out of town for the weekend and it rained? You always said that God was crying because he missed her. I thought that was silly, but I always think about that when it rains or snows now.”

I liked it. I liked it so much I skipped therapy and sat there most of the day. I really can’t tell you how much better than therapy it is.