Posted in Short Story, Spotlight, suspense, Thriller on October 3, 2015

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Short Stories
Suspense/Thriller/Short Stories
Date Published: January 2014

From Best Selling Author of The Jeff Bradley Thriller Series Thomas Ryan is a collection of suspense/thriller short stories.

Award winning thriller novelist, Thomas Ryan, is a prolific writer of short stories. Ryan’s short story’s span the spectrum of human emotions, from the creepy ‘Nightmares’, to the fun and humour of ‘The World’s Biggest Bun’. Ryan believes all good short stories should have unexpected twists and turns. Applying his thriller writing skills he manages to achieve this end and readers will find Ryan’s short story writing gripping but also easy to read. Quoting a recent review, ‘these are very intriguing, original stories, all well written and enjoyable. Ryan really gets inside his characters and makes their world our world, whatever its moral code or unwritten rules. These stories are powerful and stay with you once you’ve finished them.

Volume Two Was Released in February 2015 – Short Stories Volume 2”: Includes ‘John Wayne’ and ‘Gerry’


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After hitting the kitchen floor and suffering the sickening sensation of her head bouncing off the grey slate, Ruth Deverett found her vision blurry. Squinting eyes couldn’t make out the position of the hands on the wall clock above the fridge. No matter. She knew it was six o’clock. There was no mistaking the news signature tune streaming from the television set in the lounge.

And the day?


From the cheese and garlic aromas in her nostrils, the dish now splattered across the floor could only have been lasagna. Robert demanded she keep a strict mealtime regimen. Roast on Sunday, steak on Monday, curry on Tuesday and….

Lasagna on Wednesday.

So, Wednesday it was.

A cautious hand lifted from the tiles and drew up the rough weave of her husband-prescribed white linen apron. Tips of fingers gently patted the side of her head. A wince as Ruth encountered a newly formed lump.

Her head never used to jar this badly when it hit vinyl. She had argued with Robert against replacing the vinyl, but as usual a forceful justification of the soundness of his decision had silenced her. How fortunate, Ruth continually reminded herself, to have a husband who was so supremely confident of the correctness of his opinions.

Out the corner of her eye she caught sight of a movement. A defensive hand flew to her side. A boot deflected off her wrist and into her thigh. Needles of pain stabbed through her upper arm. She knew another blow would come and squeezed her eyes tight. She worried her wrist might be broken. How could she iron Robert’s shirt in the morning with a broken wrist? Her own fault really, she should not have tried to defend herself. Robert had repeatedly yelled at her not to do so. It only made him angrier.

She should apologise for her foolishness. After all, Robert only ever offered helpful advice.

Without opening her eyes Ruth curled into a fetal position and waited. The toe of Robert’s boot tapped against the table leg. She sensed him looking down at her, almost certainly disgusted by her weakness and deliberating his next move. This usually meant he was calming. She held her breath, guarding against sound. A groan would set him off again. She ached, but it wasn’t so bad. Not as bad as other times.

She heard the news reader introduce a news bulletin.

That meant the ad break was over. Robert would not miss the news, not on her account.

A bowl smashed against the wall. Ruth flinched. Lettuce and tomato sprinkled across her exposed calf. Shards of crockery skittered across the floor. This was a good sign. Robert only threw dishes at the wall when it was over. A final vent. Footsteps moved away from her. The sound became muffled. He’d reached the thickness of the broadloom carpet in the sitting room.

Don’t move yet,” she whispered. “Not yet.”

About the Author

Award winning novelist, Thomas Ryan, has been a soldier in a theatre of war, he has traded in Eastern Europe, trampled the jungles of Asia, and struggled through the trials of love and loss. Armed with these life experiences Ryan turned to writing thriller novels and short stories. Ryan considers himself a story teller, a creator who has enthusiastically plunged his psyche into the world of creativity and fantasy. With the reader in mind he weaves colourful characters into the threads of his riveting storylines. Taking readers on a thrilling journey is what motivates Ryan as a writer.

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Posted in excerpt, Holiday, romance, Spotlight on October 2, 2015

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The Christmas Bridge Couple Lighter FINAL


A First Love. A Second Chance.

A young widow travels to New York on business a few days before Christmas. She has reluctantly made a date with a lover she hasn’t seen in 20 years, and she is nervous and apprehensive. Twenty years before, she made a difficult decision that has both troubled and haunted her ever since. She knows she’s about to come face-to-face with her past and she’s hoping for some redemption and resolution. She also wonders if she can somehow pick up where she left off 20 years ago and start again.

An exciting chance encounter changes everything. Now, not only will she face the past with hope to rekindle an old romance, but there is the possibility that this chance meeting will bring her love and happiness she never thought possible.

Once again, she will have to choose. She will have to make the right decision. She will have to believe that Christmas miracles can still happen.


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Andrew was seated on a comfortable stool at the busy restaurant bar, sipping a vodka martini. It was a classic, dark wood bar, with back lighting, glowing liquor bottles, brocade mirrors and plenty of wealthy regulars, chatting with the black-vested, paunchy, middle-aged bartender.

Westie had said she’d meet him there at 6:45pm. She was running late. Andrew was surprisingly skittish—uncharacteristically so. He was not the type. Nothing much shook him anymore. He’d traveled the world, met all types and all cultures: politicians, billionaires, film directors, generals, you name it.

Yep, he’d met them all. He’d been in meetings with venture capitalists, kicking around million dollar deals, and he’d sat in two meetings with the Vice President of the United States. He’d felt nervous, yes, but not the churning-in-the-stomach unease he was feeling now, knowing Westie was on her way. Westie—his first love—his only true love.

The booze began to blur and relax his anxiety. He chewed on an olive and frequently twisted around to see if she’d arrived. Andrew wore a hand-made, classic, navy blue striped wool business suit, costing almost three thousand dollars. His sky blue shirt was set off by a bronze silk tie and a matching scarf, artfully blooming from his lapel pocket. His haircut was three days old and, though he was losing hair, it still wasn’t that obvious. But he didn’t have the mane he’d had the last time Westie saw him. He kept it short on the sides with a bit of length on the top, but combed back from his broad forehead.

He checked himself in the brocade mirror once more, frowning, as the dim lighting made him look older. Was he still “rough-around-the-edges handsome?” Well, younger women still found him attractive. He had affairs now and then, though nothing serious. Andrew was not interested in serious anymore. But with Westie, that could all change.

Andrew turned to see Westie standing by the hostess station. He stood, then froze. bHe breathed out a jet of air, his pulse drumming in his ears. She searched for him, until the tall African American hostess indicated toward the bar. Westie turned.

Andrew’s and Westie’s eyes met—timid, nervous, hopeful.

His first impression of her was that of a tall, classy woman, possessing a supreme elegance and beautiful face. No longer was she a tall, gangling girl of 19 with mismatched clothes, blue fingernails and dark eye shadow. This Westie—this Olivia—had the alluring mystery and the supreme class of a Jackie Kennedy. She instantly intimidated him.

Olivia saw a mature, attractive man, a bit overweight, with streaks of gray at his temples. His face was square, his dark eyes watchful, his stance secure and confident. He smiled warmly, showing teeth. She did not sense or see the old swagger, or the raw, animal sexuality she had known as a girl.

Andrew drew in a breath and started over to her as she approached him. They gently embraced, like strangers.

Then they took a step back and Andrew wished he’d finished his martini. He felt a storm of emotions inside. “Hello, Westie,” he said, largely.

Olivia was still reeling from her time with Brett. The entire day had taken on an urgent, dream-like quality, as she’d fallen into girlish memories and swelling emotions. Now, as she stared into Andrew’s face, the moment seemed nebulous and out of focus, as if they were framed in an impressionistic painting hanging on a museum wall, and she was watching the entire scene as a spectator. She felt suspended there, and absent from feeling.

Andrew smiled, his eyes glittering. “There you are. The girl I always wanted.”

Olivia was a conflicted mess. “You always did know what you wanted,” she said, her voice low and breathy.

“I always knew I wanted you. Wanted us. Yes. That hasn’t changed. Twenty years hasn’t changed anything for me. I’m still the same guy you knew all those years ago. The same guy who fell in love with you on the Bow Bridge.”

His words hung in the air, waiting.

About the Author

elyseElyse Douglas is the pen name for the married writing team Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse grew up near the sea, roaming the beaches, reading and writing stories and poetry, receiving a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Columbia University.  She has enjoyed careers as an English teacher, an actress and a  speech-language pathologist.  She and her husband, Douglas Pennington, have completed five novels: The Astrologer’s Daughter, Christmas for Juliet, Wanting Rita, Christmas Ever After, The Christmas Town and The Christmas Diary.

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Posted in Book Release, Cozy, mystery, Spotlight on October 1, 2015

say yes to murder


Someone old, someone cruel

Debutante dropout Andrea Kendricks is beyond done with big hair, big gowns, and big egos—so being dragged to a high-society Texas wedding by her socialite mama, Cissy, gives her a bad case of déjà vu. As does running into her old prep-school bully, Olivia La Belle, the wedding planner, who’s graduated to berating people for a living on her reality TV show. But for all the times Andy wished her dead, nobody deserves Olivia’s fate: lying in a pool of blood, a cake knife in her throat—but did the angry baker do it?

Millicent Draper, the grandmotherly owner of Millie’s Cakes, swears she’s innocent, and Andy believes her. Unfortunately, the cops don’t. Though Andy’s fiancé, lawyer Brian Malone, is handling Millie’s case, she’s determined to spring Millie herself. But where to start? “La Belle from Hell” had enemies galore. Good thing Andy has a BFF who’s a reporter— and a blue-blood mother who likes to pull strings.


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About the Author

susan mcbrideSusan McBride is the USA Today Bestselling author of Blue Blood and the Lefty Award-winning, Anthony Award-nominated Debutante Dropout Mysteries from HarperCollins/Avon, including The Good Girl’s Guide to MurderThe Lone Star Lonely Hearts ClubNight Of The Living Deb, and Too Pretty To Die. A sixth title, Say Yes to the Death, will hit bookstores on September 29. Susan has a second bestselling series with HC/Avon that debuted in May 2014, the River Road Mysteries, that include To Helen BackMad as Helen, and Not a Chance in Helen. A fourth installment, Come Helen High Water, will be out in 2016.

Susan’s young adult thriller, Very Bad Things, came out in 2014 from Delacorte Press. Publishers Weekly raved: “McBride’s fast-paced plot is fueled by jumps between multiple characters’ perspectives, and her rendering of the venerable yet sinister school…is as absorbing as the tightly wound mystery.” She has authored several YA non-mystery novels for Delacorte about debutantes in Houston: The Debs (2008) and Love, Lies, And Texas Dips (2009). Gloves Off, the third book, will be released in 2016.

Susan has also penned three women’s fiction titles: The Truth About Love & Lightning, featured in Target’s Emerging Authors program, a Midwest Connections Pick, and dubbed “a poignant page-turner” by Publishers WeeklyLittle Black Dress, a book club favorite and Target Recommended Read that spent five weeks on the St. Louis bestsellers list; and The Cougar Club, a Target “Bookmarked Breakout Title” and a Midwest Connections Pick. Foreign editions of Susan’s books have been published in France, Turkey, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Lithuania.

Susan has a short memoir available from HarperCollins: In the Pink: How I Met the Perfect (Younger) Man, Survived Breast Cancer, and Found True Happiness After 40, which tells her tale of becoming an “accidental Cougar” and marrying a younger man, her cancer diagnosis at age 42, and finding herself pregnant at 47. In 2012, Susan was named one of St. Louis’s “Most Dynamic People of the Year” by the Ladue News and was given the “Survivor of the Year” Award by the St. Louis affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. As Susan likes to say, “Life is never boring.”

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Posted in Christian, Spotlight on October 1, 2015

Christian Fiction
Date Published: August 2013

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Experience a journey that leads to a legacy. Birthright brings the imagination to life and explores true faith. Orion discovers that life can be so much more.
There are so many things in life that we must work hard for. Other things come to us just from being born. What an amazing feeling to have something of importance given to you. In Birthright, author T. J. Pulley tells the story of a young college student Orion who inherits an extraordinary gift after suffering the loss of his grandpa. In the reading of the will Orion heard, ‘To my wonderful grandson you brought me much joy in life so I give you my greatest treasure; I leave you my faith.’ Sitting and waiting for the rest, he realized that there wasn’t anything left to hear. What Orion thought to be pointless becomes the foundation of his existence. Join in this story as Orion navigates the challenges of life while he comes to grip with his purpose. This is a story of someone receiving something far greater than they could ever imagine. We all share in this story because we all have a birthright in God.
I could see it all. I remembered every thought and fear.
I remember everything before I blacked out. I had shortness of breath, intense emotions, and disbelief. I was scared but I had an unsettling peace. I was being asked the same things in different ways, so I attempted to explain, but some of the details were hazy, so I had to go to the beginning of that day and work my way to where I was at that moment. That day wasn’t the greatest day for me because I had to attend my Grandpa Miller’s funeral.
I wasn’t hurt because he was too young—he actually lived to be ninety-eight years old. I was more hurt because of the connection we once had, and without warning, it was gone forever.
Sometimes you can feel that a person will mean a lot to your life, and that’s how I felt about Grandpa Miller.
I felt like he was teaching me without even trying to.
Despite the fact that he was seventy-nine years older than me he never bored me or even seemed old for that matter. Part of me felt like he would actually live forever. It’s nothing like someone close to you leaving your life to make you feel like your whole life has been flipped upside down. He once told me this world is a bad preview of the coming attraction. He was always finding common ground, and he knew I loved the movies. He would occasionally watch one with me even though he had no use for them. After a while Grandpa drifted away from normal things and behaviors and always seemed to be preoccupied. No matter how brief our activities got I would always remember my talks with him the most.
There was always wisdom that he had to pass on to me.
We could talk for hours on just about anything except for the one sore subject, which was my grandma Miller.
About the Author

T. J. Pulley was born in Chicago, IL. Growing up in the church was one of the best things that happened to him. It not only gave him a relationship with God but it exposed him to talents he would have never known that he had. Pulley’s writing was mostly geared toward music, but he asked God for the ability to be able to write in every way possible. Religion is a big part of his life and draws upon his beliefs in all aspects of his life and his writing. His wife, Ashlie is a great support for him and was a great encouragement while creating his book, Birthright. T. J. really hopes people are blessed by this book and he is thankful for the chance to express this story in his own way.


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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Guest Post, paranormal, Spotlight, Young Adult on September 30, 2015


Wild Sky


Title: Wild Sky
Authors: Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal)



Skylar is a girl with extraordinary power. A girl with a mission to use her Greater-Than gifts to stop the makers of Destiny from getting people hooked on their deadly drug. But Sky is still mastering her new abilities, and her first mission to destroy a Destiny lab leaves her best friend addicted to the drug. For a few days Cal will be able to walk again – until it kills him. Time is running out for Sky to save the world without sacrificing her friends, to become truly Greater-Than…


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I wish I could say I’d never witnessed a windshield shatter before, but I’d been in a terrible car accident a few years back, so I knew exactly what it looked and sounded like.

There’s a weird silence that happens immediately after something like that, in which everything seemed to occur in slo-mo. I forced my mouth to move.

“Gunshot!” I shouted, because I could see both Cal and Garrett looking wildly around, trying to process exactly what that noise was and what had just happened. “Bullet to car window! Over to the right.”

The broken windshield belonged to a beat-up sedan parked two slots down from us in the Sav’A’Buck lot. Someone had fired a gun, just once, probably from somewhere near the grocery store’s front doors, judging from that broken front window. Shards of glass made tinkling sounds as they careened off the front of the car and onto the pavement.

“Gunman at the store door, get down get down get down!” Calvin shouted, and I stupidly turned to look instead of diving onto the floor of his car, and he grabbed me by the shirt and yanked me down just as the shooter must’ve flipped the switch from one shot to massacre, and the gun began going off, popping bullets through the air.


I braced for them to hit Cal’s car, covering my head as I prepared for a rain of glass, but the man with the giant gun must’ve been pointing it in a different direction, because I heard the ping of punctured metal and breaking glass, but it wasn’t from our car.

I could hear someone screaming—high-pitched and frantic—even as Garrett yelled, “Calvin, drive!”

“Don’t,” I told Cal as I closed my eyes and focused on that glimpse I’d seen before he’d pulled me to relative safety.

Single gunman. Carrying…

A big gun. And something else…?

I focused on calling up the image, and yes, he was carrying some- thing under his left arm, some kind of brightly colored sack, with his assault rifle tucked into his right elbow—this tall, broad man, maybe twenty years old, buzz cut, scar above his eyebrow.

That screaming—it had been a child’s voice. She was silent now, but I realized with a flash that I hadn’t seen a colorful bag but instead the cheerfully patterned clothing of a little girl. That man with the gun was abducting a little girl. And I bet I knew why.

“Gimme!” I said and reached back to grab one of the water guns from beside Garrett.

“Sky!” Cal exclaimed. “Don’t—”

I didn’t wait to hear what he thought I shouldn’t do. I’d yanked my hood up over my head, hiding my red hair and as much of my face as I could, and I was already out of the car and on the asphalt, heading toward the man who was still firing that gun. He was using it not to kill, thank goodness, but to keep the little girl’s family from following him. I could see with just one glance that she was unconscious, as he tossed her none too carefully into the passenger seat of his shiny black Bimmer. He had a nice car. And I was pretty sure I knew how he’d paid for it—by kidnapping little girls like this one, like Sasha, too, and selling them to the Destiny makers.

Mother. Effer.

Hey! ” I belted out. But my voice was buried beneath the cacophony of his weapon. I had to move fast, or he was going to get into his snazzy car and that little girl would be gone.

I took a deep breath and concentrated. Water versus bullets? Not normally much of a contest there.

But I could do this. Couldn’t I?

Suddenly, I heard Dana’s voice in my head, shouting Fail! Fail! What are you doing, Bubble Gum? You have no backup, you have no plan!

What was I doing? This was insane.

Still thoughts. I closed my eyes and pictured Milo. I breathed him, I felt him, I heard him. Still thoughts, Sky. Just let it go

And in that moment in which I was specifically not thinking about what I was about to do or what the consequences would be if I failed, I felt and then saw my enormous pile of plastic water pistols—there were sixteen of them total—shoot out from the backseat of Calvin’s car and through the passenger side window that I’d left open. They streamed toward me like metal particles toward a magnet.

Then, just as quickly, all but one—a little green one—swooped in front of me before lining up and hovering in midair.

The little green plastic water gun zoomed over to the man with the real gun and smacked him in the face.

“What the hell…?” He fumbled his weapon as he turned to see me standing there—me and that collection of water guns—and his eyes widened.

“Holy shit, Sky!” With the noise from the assault weapon silenced, I could hear Garrett shouting, and I winced inwardly because he’d used my name.

But whatever he said next was muffled, and Cal’s voice rang out instead. “Hoshitski, look out!”

It was an intentional misdirect, and I tried to stand like a Hoshitski might, no doubt surly from years of being teased. I pitched my voice lower and ordered, “Drop it! Now!”

The gunman’s wide eyes narrowed, and we both knew he wasn’t going to drop his weapon, so before he could turn and kill me, I let loose my TK and blasted him. All of those plastic guns shot water from their barrels with the intensity of sixteen narrow but powerful fire hoses, and it sent the man down onto the ground so hard that I heard his head as it smacked against the pavement.

The gun he’d been holding clattered to the ground.

All of my weapons ceased water-fire and dropped onto the pavement in front of the unconscious shooter.

The silence that followed was eerie. I felt a little dazed, standing there with a single, silly-looking pink water gun still in my hand, staring at the downed man and his big real gun, and then over at the bullet-riddled storefront of the Sav’A’Buck.

Message From The Authors Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann

MelWild Sky is a paranormal story, set in Florida, approximately fifty years in the future. In this world, a small percentage of people, mostly girls and young women, are born with a chemical in their blood that gives them superpowers like telekinesis or extraordinary strength

Suz: Nicknamed “Greater-Thans” or “G-Ts,” these girls have been targeted for kidnapping by bad guys who harvest their blood and use it to manufacture a drug called “Destiny.” Destiny is extremely expensive, highly addictive, and ultimately fatal, but before the user dies from it, the drug reverses the aging process, heals illness and injury, and gives the addict super powers, too.

Mel:  It’s pretty scary stuff!  Oh, and just an FYI: Although Wild Sky is the sequel to Night Sky, you don’t have to read Night Sky for Wild Sky to make sense!

Suz:  All you really need to know is that in Night Sky sixteen-year-old Skylar Reid discovers that she’s a Greater-Than with some serious superpowers.

Mel: And that Sky and her best friend Calvin–a really upbeat kid who’s spent most of his life in a wheelchair–have some dangerous adventures with another tough-girl G-T named Dana, and Dana’s extremely (ahem) attractive sidekick Milo.

Suz: Sky and Milo really hit it off, so in Wild Sky, they’re a bit of an item.

Mel:  A bit! In Wild Sky, Sky and her friends get into more trouble as they search for Dana’s sister, Lacey, who disappeared years ago and has been presumed dead.

Suz: But now Sky’s got reason to believe Lacey’s being held captive in a Destiny “farm.”  And of course, high jinks ensue, and our beloved character Calvin is put into extreme danger–although throughout most of it, he holds onto his crazy sense of humor!

Mel: We both love Calvin very much!

Suz: And Sky does, too!  When we developed the Night Sky series, we wanted to center it around a main character we could easily relate to. And even though we grew up in very different circumstances –

Mel: Mom has an older sister, I have a younger brother. My dad was a lawyer, my mom a writer. My mom’s parents were both teachers.

Suz: I grew up listening to the Beatles –

Mel: Christina Aguilera.

Suz:  Watching Star Trek.

Mel: Full House.

Suz: Paul Newman!

Mel: Bradley Cooper!

Suz: But despite all of those superficial differences, Mel and I shared experiences far too common to teenage girls. Waves of self-doubt, with occasionally soul-crushing periods of insecurity.

Mel: Yet even at our lowest moments, we knew that there were things we were really good at.

Suz: And that’s where Sky came from. A young woman whose primary goal is to fit in with her peers, but whose G-T status makes that virtually impossible. Or so she believes.

Mel: Of course, her friends recognize Sky for who she really is – a funny, loyal young woman with a huge heart — whose superpowers only add to her awesomeness.  But for Skylar, nothing comes easy. Everything seems to be on shaky ground – her budding romantic relationship with Milo, her ability to help Dana find Lacey, even her friendship with Calvin.

Suz: It’s that very human mix of vulnerabilities and strengths that make Skylar so special.

Mel: We hope readers see Wild Sky as not just a really exciting, action-packed adventure, but a story about Skylar’s quest – and really every teenage girl’s quest — to own her awesome.

Suz: Because we truly believe that everyone is born with abilities that – no matter how seemingly small or insignificant — should be recognized and celebrated! It is our differences that make us Greater-Than.

About the Authors

SuzanneMelanieBrockmannSuzanne Brockman, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author, has won 2 RITA awards, numerous RT Reviewers’ Choice, and RWA’s #1 Favorite Book of the Year three years running. She has written over 50 books, and is widely recognized as a “superstar of romantic suspense” (USA Today). Suzanne and her daughter, Melanie Brockmann, have been creative partners, on and off, for many years. Their first project was an impromptu musical duet, when then-six-month-old Melanie surprised and delighted Suz by matching her pitch and singing back to her. Suzanne splits her time between Florida and Massachusetts while Mel lives in Sarasota, Florida. NIGHT SKY is Mel’s debut and Suzanne’s 55th book.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance, Spotlight on September 29, 2015

first time with a highlander

Title: First Time with a Highlander
Author: Gwyn Cready
Series: Sirens of the Scottish, #2
Pubdate: October 6th, 2015
ISBN: 9781492601968


From the “master of time travel romance”, award-winning author Gwyn Cready continues her steamy Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands series.

She needs a man—but only for a night

What do you get when you imbibe centuries-old whiskey—besides a hangover the size of the Highlands? If you’re twenty-first century ad exec Gerard Innes, you get swept back to 18th-century Edinburgh and into the bed of a gorgeous, fiery redhead. Gerard has only a foggy idea what he and the lady have been up to…but what he does remember draws him into the most dangerous and exhilarating campaign of his life.

Be careful what you wish for…

Serafina Seonag Fallon’s scoundrel of a fiancé has left her with nothing, and she’s determined to turn the tables. If she can come up with a ringer, she can claim the cargo he stole from her. But the dashing man she summons from the future demands more than a night, and Serafina finds it easier to command the seas under her feet than the crashing waves he unleashes in her heart.


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Exclusive Excerpt

When you write a romance, you want a lot of sexual tension between your hero and heroine, as soon as possible and as much as you can get. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your tastes, one way to do that is have the hero and heroine be at cross purposes. This is practically a given in a time travel romance since the non-time-traveling person usually wants the time traveler to stay and the time traveler wants nothing more than to return to the safety and comfort of his/her home.

In this scene, we’re in Serafina’s head. Serafina is my heroine, the down-on-her-luck eighteenth-century owner of a small shipping concern, and Gerard is my ad man hero from the twenty-first century. Serafina has to explain to her spell-caster friend, Undine, from whom she, er, borrowed magical herbs to summon a man to help her claim some cargo. The spell-caster is resting in bed after having a bit of misadventure of her own, and Gerard is still trying to figure out how he woke up in bed with a beautiful woman in the eighteenth century and why he can only remember the less interesting parts of the night they’ve apparently spent together.


Undine waved away her concern. “I am assuming you ignored what you knew to be my wishes and mixed your own potion.”

Serafina lowered her head. “I did, aye.”

Undine pushed the inkwell and paper to the side of the lap desk and made a short, unhappy noise. “Bring me the herbs. I need to see what you’ve done.”

Serafina slowly lifted her head. “What do ye mean?”

“You used the herbs, did ye not? Bring me the whiskey and what’s left of the herbs, so I can estimate the potency.”

A tiny muscle under Serafina’s eye began to twitch. “I used them all.”

The desk overbalanced and the inkwell crashed to the floor. “You did what?”

“All of it. The whole packet.”

“Gods in heaven. How did you eat so much?”

“I didn’t eat it. I drank it. In whiskey.”

“In whiskey!”

“You said to.”

“I said I recommended putting my marigold tisane in whiskey. I said nothing about the mixture I gave you. Well, I hope you two enjoyed your little liaison. I’m surprised either of you can walk…or talk…or”—she looked at Gerard’s midlands with such naked curiosity he took a step backward, tripping over the threshold and only barely catching himself with the back of the settee—“or anything, frankly. Did you drink it too?”

Gerard hesitated. “I drank whiskey, yes. In the twenty-first century though. Not here.”

Serafina, who’d swept the pieces of broken inkwell onto a sheet of writing paper, dropped them with another crash. “You’re from the twenty-first century?!”

Undine collapsed back on her pillows. “Oh, this is recuperative.”

“That’s three hundred years from now!”

“There’s no slipping anything past you.”

“Why didn’t you say something?”

“Why didn’t you say you summoned me with magic?”

“Stop!” Undine cried. “Both of you. Fortunately for us, ’tis very little trouble to reverse a love potion.”

“It wasn’t a love potion!” they said simultaneously.

Undine rolled her eyes. “Call it what you like. The mixture of invocation and fornication you gave form to could have powered Paris and his kinsmen throughout the entire Trojan War.”

Gerard grinned. “Trojan. Heh.”

Undine pointed to large jar on the chest, which Serafina retrieved instantly. Undine shook the gray, powdery substance into her palm. “To summarize, we have a man from the future summoned to the past for a single night of passion. You didn’t leave these rooms except to find me, and you didn’t talk to anyone else. Is that the sum of it?”

Gerard looked at Serafina; Serafina looked at the floor.

“We didn’t make love,” Serafina said, busying herself with the glass.

“Except we did,” Gerard said. “And I think a lot else happened too.” He cleared his throat. “Quite a lot.”

Undine flung the powder back into the jar and brushed off her hands. “What exactly? I have to know everything.”

“Everything?” Serafina said.


About the Author

Gwyn Cready is a writer of contemporary, Scottish, and time travel romance. She’s been called “the master of time travel romance” and is the winner of the RITA Award, the most prestigious award given in romance writing. She has been profiled in Real Simple and USA Today, among others. Before becoming a novelist, she spent 25 years in brand management. She has two grown children and lives with her husband on a hill overlooking the magical kingdom of Pittsburgh.

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Print copy of Just in Time for a Highlander which is the first book in this series.  Open to US residents only please

just in time for a higlander


It’s tough being a woman in a man’s profession, especially for Abby Kerr, the unexpected chieftess of Clan Kerr. Loathe to marry but in need of a strong arm, Abby wishes for a Scots warrior and gets . . . Duncan, the historical reenactment hobbyist.

Wall Street Impresario Duncan MacHarg isn’t bad with a fencing foil, but he’s no Highlander. When a misdirected spell plucks him from the 21st century, he lands in 1705 Scotland at the feet of the fiercest woman he’s ever laid eyes on…
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Posted in 3 paws, Monday, mystery, Review, suspense on September 28, 2015


The Brooklyn Drop (A Fina Fitzgibbons Brooklyn Mystery Book 4)
Suspense Mystery
File Size: 422 KB
Print Length: 267 pages
Publication Date: August 15, 2015


In the middle of a wintry night, private investigator Fina Fitzgibbons finds Lorraine’s friend, Phyllida Oxley, slumped over her dining room table, the victim of memory-impairing date rape drugs. When her condition goes from poor to comatose, her distraught fifteen-year-old granddaughter, Kat Oxley disappears. Meanwhile, Fina’s agency is busy surveilling a massage parlor in Bensonhurst suspected of human trafficking, and Fina’s father reappears to throw a wrench into her relationship with NYPD Patrol Officer Denny McDuffy. As Fina frantically searches for the missing teen, she uncovers the truth behind the traffickers, but they have a surprise waiting for her in the not-so-friendly skies.


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This is the first book that I have read by this author. I knew it was book 4 in the series and I decided to read it anyway even though I don’t like jumping into a series. The mystery itself is a stand alone, but there is so much that I felt like I didn’t understand when it came to the personal lives/stories of the main characters – Fina, Denny, Lorraine, Cookie & Clancy. So if you decide to read these books, start with book 1!

The mystery itself kept me guessing. You knew who was involved but there were a few twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting and I wasn’t sure how it was all going to tie together in the end. Mix that with personal problems between Fina and Denny and the appearance of her father, who maybe isn’t what/who she thought.

We give it 3 paws up


About This Author

Susan Russo Anderson is a writer, a mother, a member of Sisters in Crime, a graduate of Marquette University. She’s taught language arts and creative writing, worked for a publisher, an airline, an opera company. Like Faulkner’s Dilsey, she’s seen the best and the worst, the first and the last. Through it all, and to understand it somewhat, she writes. Too Quiet in Brooklyn, the first book in the Fina Fitzgibbons Brooklyn mystery series, published December 2013. The second book in the series, Missing Brandy, about a missing teen, published September 2014, and Whiskey’s Gone, about the abduction of a single mom, completes a trilogy. The working title of the fourth is Dead in Brooklyn.

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Tour Participants

September 21 – Back Porchervations – Review

September 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review

September 23 – A Blue Million Books – Interview

September 24 – readalot – Review

September 25 – Crandom – Review

September 26 – Frankie Bow – Spotlight

September 27 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Spotlight

September 28 – Student of Opinions – Review

September 28 – StoreyBook Reviews– Review

September 29 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – Review

September 30 – Celticlady’s Reviews – Spotlight

Posted in 4 paws, Christian, DVD, Giveaway, Review on September 27, 2015

Cokeville Miracle DVD_entrapment


On May 9, 1986, in the small, ranching community of Cokeville,Wyoming, David and Doris Young took an elementary school hostage for several hours before detonating a bomb inside a classroom that held every teacher and student in the school. In the wake of the madness, Ron Hartley, whose children were inside the classroom, must fight his skepticism and unbelief as he hears eyewitness accounts from the students about miraculous, heavenly intervention during the crisis.

When tragedy strikes . . . what do you see?


It’s hard for me to believe that this event happened nearly 30 years ago.  I had never heard of this event, but I was a freshman in college and I don’t think this would have hit my radar as I live in Texas.  It isn’t like today where events happen almost live thanks to social media and the internet.  That aside, it is truly a miracle that anyone survived this situation.

But this story is more than 150+ people surviving a hostage situation and a bomb, it is about faith.  There are plenty of naysayers that will try and rationalize the events of that day and why the bomb didn’t kill everyone.  I like to believe it was the faith of the townspeople, students and teachers and their prayers for protection and safety.  The Sheriff, Ron Hartley, had a hard time believing what he was hearing from all of the children, that they saw angels and those angels were past family members that had died that were keeping them safe from harm.  It didn’t help that he was having an internal battle when it came to his faith and it took a lot of inward soul searching to realize that maybe sometimes you just have to believe in what cannot be easily explained.

I thought the movie was well done and portrayed the incident as it happened.  It also reminds me that times are so different now compared to 30 years ago.  Maybe we were more naive or innocent at that time, but the community came together and prayed with and for each other and truly supported one another.  This is what our society should be like now.  There aren’t any big names in this film, and I don’t think there needs to be to share this story with the world.

I thought it was interesting as I was looking up this movie/event online that in 1994 it was a CBS movie called To Save the Children and Richard Thomas (who I remember from The Waltons) portrays David Young, the disgruntled former town employee seeking his revenge.  Robert Urich was also in the movie.

We give this movie 4 paws up and if you have the chance to watch it, I think you will enjoy the movie.  You can also enter to win a copy below!




Copy of the DVD, The Cokeville Miracle.  Open to US Residents only

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Posted in excerpt, fiction, Historical, mystery, Spotlight on September 26, 2015



Two men, two different generations, both initiated into a powerful organization that throughout history has sought control and use their power for destruction.

Two men leaving behind a wake of murder, revenge and vengeance. Two men that will stop at nothing, playing a game that only they know the rules.

One man roams the dark London streets for his victims, preying on women of the night. While the other stalks his victims in Seville, Spain; knowing that only he could uncover the true motives of one of the world’s most infamous serial killers – Jack the Ripper.


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January, 1888

The solemn lodge hid from unworthy eyes, an unnoticeable forgotten place made of granite. Two Sphinx-like granite lions with women’s heads peered down from the entrance of the lodge.

An “ankh” adorned the lion’s neck, entwined with a cobra. An image of a woman embellished the neck and breast of the other lion, speaking of fertility and procreation.

Fervent men slowly make their way up the three levels of narrowing steps, passing under the two Egyptian swords with curved serpentine blades, passing through the two tall bronze doors.

One man glanced up as he ascended the steps, silently mouthing, “the temple of the Supreme Council Freemasons,” made of brass letters and set in stone. His gaze fell to the plaque cut in stone, “Freemasonry Builds Its Temples in the Hearts of Men and Among Nations.”

Stone columns extend high above the entrance and partially conceal an image of an Egyptian god, backed with radiating sun and flanked by six large golden snakes. He stepped past the threshold of the lodge entirely made of marble, exotic wood, and statues carved from gold.

The ofting room decorated with many symbols, especially the serpent, and portraits of famous and influential men, lined the walls. Illuminations flickered above the men, resembling stars in the dark blue sky; the golden serpents silently watching in the blue heavens.

Slowly removing his clothes, wrapping the long black robe around him, placing a hood over his head to partially conceal his face. In the recesses of the ancient temple, an ornately decorated room filled with candles, lighted the way for the men filing in.

Dressed in long black robes, hands pressed solemnly together, slowly the row of men trudge into the Temple room. Each with their face down, they instinctively form a large circle in the room. The room fell with a deathly silence; abruptly three knocks reverberated throughout the room.

The Worshipful Master spoke, “You will admit him in the name of the Grand Architect of the Universe, and let him be placed in the West.”

Gradually the door creaks open, a young man enters with a black robe and the left knee and breast exposed.

The young man’s face is covered by a dark cloth and led around the circle by a rope around his neck. The candidate is led to the oath of secrecy where the Worshipful Master stands. A sword is pricked to the candidate’s left breast.

“As this is a prick to the flesh at this time, so may the remembrance of it be to your conscience hereafter, should you ever attempt improperly to reveal any of the secrets with which you are about to be entrusted.”

The group silently watch as the candidate is instructed to kneel with his left knee bare and bent, his right foot forming a square and the body being erect in that square. The left hand supports the Volume of the Sacred Law, compass and square and right hand placed thereon.

“‘Vouch safe Thine Aid, Almighty Father, Grand Architect of the Universe, to this our present conviction. Grant that this Candidate for Masonry, now kneeling before thee, may dedicate and devote his life to thy Service, and become a true and faithful Brother amongst us. To this end

Initiated to Kill endue him with such a competency of thy Divine Wisdom, that assisted by the secrets of our Royal Masonic Art, he may be better enabled to display the beauties of true godliness to the Honour and glory of Thy Most Holy Name.’ ”

“‘I do most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear to have my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by the roots, and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea at low water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows in twenty-four hours…should I ever knowingly or willingly violate this my solemn oath or obligation as an Entered Apprentice Mason. So help me God.’ ”

The young man is then presented with white gloves and escorted to the pedestal in the East to become an Entered Apprentice. Throughout the ceremony another waited expectedly. Another man would join them, and this man would be the one. He had done a lot to encourage them to allow this man to be initiated. But he could never have foretold the events to come.

* * * *

A candlelit chamber houses a secret meeting where four men sit around a table, each wearing the long black robes and only talking above a whisper.

“The time has come to make our stand and proclaim to our Brothers that it’s time. It’s our time to cause such a panic, that people will not know whom to turn to. That the reliance on religion and government will pass. It’s our time to take control, and whoever does not stand behind us will fall.”

“Yes, we must give a sign to our Brothers that can only be recognized by them, something that will forever change the world.”

Chapter 8
7 August, 1888 George Yard, Whitechapel
The dark suffocating smog enveloped the man as he strolled down the grimy streets. The smell from the raw sewage drifted in the night air, flowing through the gutters and into the Thames River. Dressed in a navy uniform, with a white band around his cap, a fake mustache pasted on his face, his thoughts traveling to the scene before him. He was disgusted with this place. The onslaught of Irish and Jewish immigrants had caused this place to fall to the hands of street vendors, pick-pockets, drunks, beggars and prostitutes. Wrinkling his nose as a soft moan came from the deep recesses of a darkened street. A prostitute at her trade. He desperately wanted to be back in his studio, paint all he had seen; away from the disparity and disgust. But he was on a mission. He was not going to falter, regardless of the smell that greeted him at every corner. A loud shuffling brought his attention to a woman staggering out of the shadows. Resting against the hard, cold  building, he observed her as she tripped and righted herself before continuing on her way. She was an ugly woman. Quite overweight, short, and her bloated face spoke of her abuse with alcohol. She continued to fiddle with her dark green skirt and black jacket, completely ignoring him as she walked past. Clenching his jaw, that sickly smell of an unwashed body filled his nostrils, coupled with the vigorous act of sexual intercourse sickened him. He silently stalked her steps as she turned from Whitechapel High Street, entering into the narrow, dimly lit courtyard of George Yard. Suddenly, she spun around and glared at him.
“You’ve been a followin’ me,” she slurred.
He stopped in his tracks, surprised that she would have noticed. For a minute he didn’t say anything, just stared at this grotesque creature.
“I know what ya want. Well, ya can’t have it. I’ve had enough soldiers for one night,” she cackled, “besides, ya look like ya could use something more down there before tryin’ anythang with me.” Letting free a belch, continuing to approach the stairs. Narrowing his eyes, an intense rage filled him. How dare that whore speak to me like that. Instead of backing down, his anger pushed him on. Slowly he followed her as she began to climb the stairs. Cursing under her breath, tripping on the hem of her skirt, knees thudding to the hard cement steps. He didn’t hesitate. Adrenaline poured through his veins. He relished the feel of the strong, sharp dagger, swiftly straddling her from behind. He didn’t give her a chance to protest, yanking her head up by the hair, slicing the dagger straight across her throat. Blood oozed over his fingers, fighting the urge to vomit. The thought of what that whore might have repulsed him, but he couldn’t stop now. His anger propelled him, his need for vengeance like an addict in need of a drink. Pushing her over onto her back, the deep gash oozing crimson liquid, pale eyes staring at him, as if accusing him, mocking him. In the darkened shadows of the landing, he continued to drive the dagger into her throat, lungs, heart, liver, spleen, stomach and genitals. Ignoring the stickiness that dripped off his clothes. The gaping wounds revealing his unique masterpiece. He continued thirty-nine times to make sure he sent a message to those that would view the events, viciously tearing her clothes as he did this. Standing, he stared at her one last time. His anger had subsided, he regretted losing control, he must do better next time. Dropping a small piece of leather apron, he slid into the shadows, anticipating the one that was next to come.
* * * *
 At 4:45, John S. Reeves headed out of the building. He frowned. A woman lay on the landing, a dark liquid surrounding her body, clothes disarrayed. The smell that emitted from the unmoving body caused him to run as fast as he could to locate P.C. Barrett. Later, she was identified by Pearly Polly as Martha Tabram.

About the Author

I live in Auckland, New Zealand with my two dogs. Although I have had training in Beauty and Spa therapy, editing, journalism, animal behavior and photograpy, criminology and counseling, my main interest lies in writing novels which allows me to explore and learn about other eras and countries, creating characters that have deep rooted flaws, but uses those to achieve the end goal. My inspiration for novels came by accident, when finishing writing my first novel and starting to edit it, I stumbled across a conspiracy theory, in which some believed the Freemasons were involved in the Jack the Ripper murders. From there, the historical aspect took shape, continuing throughout all the novels I write. I hope that each novel I write doesn’t necessarily cause a person to believe in the conspiracy or myth, but challenges what they really believe could be possible. To everyone reads my books, I hope they can transport themselves back in time, learn more about the world around them, and maybe even question certain things they believe in.

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Posted in Book Release, excerpt, Spotlight, Thriller on September 25, 2015

Blue Baby


by Carolyn Arnold
Published by: Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.


Where light meets darkness…

Happiness is elusive for many, but from the killer’s standpoint, it’s something he creates. And he’s determined to get it right…at least one more time.

The murders were one year apart, but the similarities have the interest of the FBI. Both victims were found in their tubs, dressed in their wedding gowns. But that’s not the worst of it. When a third body is found, Brandon Fisher and his team make the chilling discovery that more than the killer’s method of operation connects the women.


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THE WHITE SILK WAS DRAPED over the porcelain of the tub like angel wings. She was beautiful, radiant. Her face was flushed, and her eyes were open and staring at him.

He took the set of fake lashes from his pocket and applied them. He coated her eyeball with glue before delicately using both hands to pull her eyes closed. The extensions fanned against her flesh.

He applied the eye shadow and stepped back to appreciate the hues of brown and gold.

Next. Lipstick.

He smeared the tube across her lips. The bright red was an exquisite touch of color against her fair skin. He put the veil in place and wisped back the nylon until it framed her face and ensconced her shoulders. He stood back to admire his work thus far.


The blonde sat with her back against the end of the tub, her dress spilling down her frame and over the ledge. Her hair was a bed of curls beneath her veil. Her makeup appeared professional, and he was pleased with his hard work. He wasn’t nearly as perfect with the first one.

Her mouth carried a hint of peace. Of happiness.

The Big Event was under way.


His gaze went to her left hand resting in her lap.

How could he have been so foolish? Was he rushing things? He moved swiftly through her apartment and found what he sought on her dresser.

“There you go, beautiful.” He slipped the wedding ring on her finger, leaving him with one final task.

He took the cigar cutter from his pocket, slipped her ring finger into it, and squeezed. As he had the first time, he marveled at the ease of it, how such small blades were able to cut through bone. He let the severed finger fall against her ivory dress.

Stepping back, he took in her beauty.

She was pleased. It was in the way her lips were set.

He smiled. “Now, you can just be happy.”

About the Author

Carolyn Arnold

CAROLYN ARNOLD is the international best-selling and award-winning author of the Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher, and McKinley Mystery series. She is the only author with POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT.™

Carolyn was born in a small town, but that doesn’t keep her from dreaming big. And on par with her large dreams is her overactive imagination that conjures up killers and cases to solve. She currently lives in a city near Toronto with her husband and two beagles, Max and Chelsea. She is also a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

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