Promised Land: A Galatia #Novel by @cdverhoff #excerpt #fantasy

In this excerpt, due to a catastrophic disaster, the people of Galatians Bunker have been forced the surface of the Earth centuries ahead of schedule. Sixteen-year-old Josie has escaped with her mother and young niece. The fate of her other family members is unknown:

The acid air was beginning to burn Josie’s eyes. The cold invaded her like an army intent on conquering every bit of flesh and bone. It was like nothing she had ever felt before, making her muscles cramp and sending violent shivers deep through her body. She pulled the collar of one of her layered shirts over her nose, but it didn’t do much good. Bad luck to emerge in what surely must be the dead of winter. Families huddled together in groups, but she could barely make them out through the thick mists. If she lived a thousand lifetimes, the sounds of her people’s wailing would never leave her head.

Coughing spasms wracked her frame. Her head felt all woozy. She sidled up to her mother, and they sheltered Shasta between them. Speaking was becoming difficult. Josie, Shasta and Josie’s mother clung together amid the swirling fumes.

They were cheek to cheek.

“I love you, little Shasta,” mother said, voice quaking. “You too, sweet Josie.”

“I love you too, Mom.” Josie’s chest felt constricted. Through a fit of coughing she asked, “Do you think Feenie and Jo made it?”

“Shhh,” Mom said, her legs slowly crumpling beneath her weight, but Josie held her up. “We’re all going to be fine—just fine.”

Josie felt the poisoned air weakening her as well. In her despair, fear turned to sadness. I’m not ready to die, she sobbed inside, thinking of Shasta, who was only a little girl, and Nicholas, so innocent and sweet, who had been swallowed up by the crowd. Josie wasn’t sure which religion had it right about God, if any, but she shook a fist at Him or Her for good measure. “This is so unfair!”

Then, up on a hill, a bright light burned away the fog. The tainted mists parted to reveal a barren wasteland. There were no trees, no vegetation of any kind, or any life whatsoever. And there on the summit, a lone figure stood above the world, glowing as if illuminated from within.

“Is that the mayor?” someone asked.

“Red Wakeland, Junior,” her mother whispered. “What are you up to?”

“Is it some kind of super charisma?” Josie gasped.

Surely, there was no reason to expect salvation, but seeing him like that planted the seed of hope.

They watched him reach the summit, where he turned in a circle, and stretched his hands toward the sky. The blaze emanating from him grew brighter. In a voice like thunder, he called out to the heavens, “In the name of my father!”

A burst of energy radiated from his body like ripples from a stone thrown into a pond. He dissipated the tainted green mists and the mustard-colored clouds engulfing the land. The pulse went right through Josie, setting her nerve endings on fire. Intense white burned her eyes through her closed lids. Then came a boom, so deep and vibrato she thought that her veins would explode.

Sure that she was being incinerated, Josie wanted her final words to be lofty ones, but all she could muster up was, “Here we go!”

PromisedLand

The last survivors of the human race are riding out nuclear winter in an underground bunker when disaster strikes. Forced to the surface centuries ahead of schedule, what they find blows their minds. Who can explain it? Two social misfits work together to unravel the mystery.

After living in a posh underground shelter his entire life, Lars Steelsun is plunged headfirst into a mind-blowing adventure on the surface of the Earth. As Lars and his displaced bunker mates are led across the grasslands by Mayor Wakeland, a man of questionable sanity who claims to talk with God, they discover a primitive world where human beings are no longer welcome. Even more mystifying is the emergence of new senses and abilities from within. Learning to use them has become a priority, but his biggest challenge comes from the vivacious Josie Albright. Her lust for glory is going to get them both into trouble. Sparks fly when her gung ho ways clash with his cautious personality. Can they overcome their differences to find love and a homeland for their people?

May not be suitable for younger readers. Contains mild profanity, sexual situations (infrequent), and violence. 

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Epic Fantasy

Rating – R

More details about the author

Connect with C. D. Verhoff on Facebook & Twitter

Blog http://cdverhoff.blogspot.com/

Advertisements

#BlogTour – A Lady in France by Jennie Goutet @aladyinfrance #Women #Memoir

For our first night there, we decided to stay in a hotel on Waikiki beach before heading over to the house where we’d be spending the rest of the vacation. As we were walking back to the hotel after a day of sunbathing, we noticed a skit being performed on a portable stage on the beach, so we stopped to watch.

They were really good—funny, moving, talented. And it was only at the end of the show that it became clear that the whole performance was about God.

In general, outward expressions of faith offended me, especially outward expressions of Christian faith. I’m not sure why this was so—perhaps I just found the religion judgmental in spite of my own connection to it. As a sophomore, when I was a Resident Advisor for my dorm, I was furious when some of the freshmen on my floor came back from an off-campus gathering—where the subject matter was “God, Satan, and the Occult”—crying because the professor hinted that they were not going to heaven. I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I went to the next speech he gave, which was actually more reasonable than I expected it to be, and listened to him with a set jaw. When it was over, I followed him and his groupies into the room reserved especially for people who had questions. I barely entered the room before spluttering, “How dare you tell people whether or not they’re going to heaven? Who do you think you are?”

“Come in,” the professor said kindly. But I stayed where I was in the doorway glaring at them all. One of the girls, whom I recognized from class, was standing next to a guy my friends called “BJ” because he had gotten a blowjob on the bus ride home from a campus ski trip. The girl said, “You know, it’s like when you believe in God… it’s like, you know, if everyone thinks the sky is blue, but the sky is not blue, it’s green. And…”

I stared at her, my mouth open.

“Why don’t you come in and talk for a bit?” the professor urged again, gently interrupting the girl who was starting to ramble. But I decided to leave right away. There was no way I was going to stick around to be brainwashed by some evangelical Christians. And I had a feeling I was not going to make a dent in their way of thinking. As I was walking home and remembering BJ and that girl with her green sky, I muttered under my breath, “What a bunch of fools you are.”

But these little skits on the beach in Hawaii were different. The people were talented, the dialogue was clever, and they spoke on the innocuous subject of love. The entire performance was so professionally done it was enjoyable to watch. When I finally realized what it was all about, I was a little impressed that such talented people would talk unashamedly about God.

Just as the applause was dying down, one of the actors jumped off the stage and singled me out in the crowd.

“Would you like to study the Bible?” she asked me with a broad smile.

“Huh?” I blushed, startled. “Um…” I paused as I blinked at her.

“No, thank you,” I finished with the ghost of a smile, and glanced at my friends who were starting to walk away. I quickly ran to catch up with them.

In my year of solitude and hopelessness, this was the first time I was invited to learn about God. This was the first time I was called.

ALadyInFrance

At seventeen, Jennie Goutet has a dream that she will one day marry a French man and sets off to Avignon in search of him. Though her dream eludes her, she lives boldly—teaching in Asia, studying in Paris, working and traveling for an advertising firm in New York.

When God calls her, she answers reluctantly, and must first come to grips with depression, crippling loss, and addiction before being restored. Serendipity takes her by the hand as she marries her French husband, works with him in a humanitarian effort in East Africa, before settling down in France and building a family.

Told with honesty and strength, A Lady in France is a brave, heart- stopping story of love, grief, faith, depression, sunshine piercing the gray clouds—and hope that stays in your heart long after it’s finished.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Memoir

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author

Connect with Jennie Goutet on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://aladyinfrance.com

#BlogTour – To Love A Cat by @TinerBooks #AmReading #Romance

Crash!

Mitch bolted upright. Roscoe leaped off the bed and ran to the closed bedroom door. He stood with his head cocked to the side, listening. Grabbing his service revolver off the nightstand, Mitch swung his legs over the side of the bed and joined Roscoe at the door.

Thud! Boom!

Roscoe placed his paws on the door and began barking hysterically. The hair on the back of his neck stood on end.

Adrenaline coursed through Mitch as he slowly cracked open the door and glanced down the darkened hallway. Roscoe shoved past him and bolted for the kitchen. Moving quickly and cautiously, Mitch followed him.

Weapon up, he stepped into the kitchen and threw the light switch. Shards of glass from a shattered plate littered the floor. An overturned box of cereal rested in the center of the room. Roscoe stood in front of the refrigerator barking loudly.

Knowing that whatever Roscoe had cornered wasn’t human, Mitch lowered his weapon. “All right, easy, big guy,” Mitch said, stepping up to peek behind the refrigerator. Roscoe stopped barking, but continued to growl low in his throat.

A large orange cat with round, golden eyes stared up at him. It twitched its tail, but otherwise didn’t move.

“What are you doing here?” Mitch asked. He glanced around the room, looking for the cat’s entry point. The screen covering the window above the sink was torn.

He turned back to the cat and glared down at him. “You tore my screen,” he stated gruffly. The cat continued to stare up at him, seemingly unconcerned.

Mitch shook his head in consternation. He’d never been much of a cat person. He found their aloof and superior attitudes annoying. He much preferred the loving loyalty of a good dog.

Grabbing Roscoe by the collar, he half dragged him back to the bedroom. “Stay in here and keep quiet,” he commanded gruffly. He wasn’t usually so irritable, but he hadn’t gotten much sleep lately, and he was extremely aggravated at having it interrupted by a cat.

Mitch Holt was a detective in the Spring Valley police department. He’d been working long hours trying to solve a homicide. He was usually pretty easy going, but the investigation wasn’t going well, and it was starting to affect him. A cat breaking into his apartment wasn’t doing anything to improve his mood. He shuffled back down the hallway, not looking forward to trying to wrestle the cat out from behind the refrigerator.

When he reached the kitchen, the cat was sitting on the counter, licking one of its paws. “How’d you get up here, anyway?” he grumbled, moving over to look through the window. He lived in a one-bedroom apartment on the third floor of an older apartment building. Mitch liked to keep his windows cracked during the early autumn. The air always seemed to be freshest at that time of the year.

His building butted up to a city park. A large oak tree grew close to the park’s fence, one branch curving out over the fence to within a few feet of his kitchen window.

“Ah,” he said, turning back to the orange tabby. “You used the tree.”

Picking up the cat, he said, “Sorry, buddy, you can’t stay here.” Mitch glanced down and saw a few drops of fresh blood on the counter. “Damn,” he muttered. “You’re hurt.”

He glanced at the clock on the microwave. It was only 5:30 a.m. It would be a few more hours before Rebecca opened her veterinary clinic. Not only was Rebecca Miller the best veterinarian in town, she was also a good friend and engaged to his best friend, Derrick Peterson.

He held the cat away from his body and looked for the source of the bleeding. A small droplet of blood fell from the cat’s right rear paw. He shifted the tabby into his left arm and lifted the injured paw for a better look. There was a small laceration across the foot’s large pad. Mitch glanced at the floor and saw tiny, bloody footprints leading away from the broken glass to the refrigerator.

He shook his head and sighed heavily. Although he was irritated at being awoken out of the longest sleep he’d had in days, he was a good guy. He wasn’t about to throw the cat out of his apartment, if it was injured. As he stood there debating what to do with it, the cat began to purr.

“What are you so happy about?” he asked, feeling some of his good humor return.

The big tabby pressed his head against Mitch’s chest and purred even louder. He chuckled and scratched the cat under his chin. Using a couple of paper towels and some tape, he wrapped a make-shift bandage around the cat’s paw.

“All right, you can hang out in here until Rebecca opens her clinic. I’m guessing you broke in because you’re hungry. Let me see what I’ve got.”

He set the cat down on the floor away from the broken glass and turned to open a cabinet. He pulled out a can of chicken. Before he had the lid off, the cat jumped onto the counter and stood waiting expectantly.

“There you go,” Mitch said, placing the can on the counter. The cat gave the chicken a few tentative licks, then opened his mouth and pulled out a large chunk. Mitch watched in fascination as he devoured the food. When the cat finished, he sat back on his haunches and licked his lips in satisfaction.

Mitch chuckled. “You’re welcome. I guess I’d better clean up this mess you made.”

A few hours later, he drove up to the Animal Friends Veterinary Clinic. He was impatient to get the cat off his hands. He really needed to get back to work on the case.

“Good morning, Mitch,” June, Rebecca’s receptionist greeted. She was a plump, middle-aged woman with short gray hair.

“Mornin’, June. How’s life treating you?” Mitch asked, giving her a charming grin, his blue eyes sparkling.

June smiled back. “Can’t complain,” she replied. “What can we do for you today?”

“I’ve got a cat with an injured paw out in the car. The darn thing broke into my apartment early this morning.”

The door to the first exam room opened. Rebecca followed a tiny, elderly woman out of the room. A bright smile lit her face when she saw Mitch standing at the receptionist’s counter.

“Remember to bring Josie back for her next set of shots in three weeks,” Rebecca told the woman.

She stepped over to Mitch and gave him a quick hug. She pulled back and grinned up at him. “It’s so good to see you. You’ve been such a stranger, lately. Is everything okay?” Although Mitch wasn’t that tall himself at only 5 feet 10, she had to tilt her head back to look up at him.

Mitch ran his eyes over Rebecca’s upturned face. She’d recovered amazingly well from the injuries she suffered when an intruder had broken into her clinic and brutally attacked her a few months previously. The only remaining sign of the attack was a small scar above her right eye that disappeared into her hairline. Mitch reached out and playfully tweaked her nose. He and Rebecca had been as close as siblings since almost immediately after they’d met each other. Before she’d gotten engaged to his best friend, he’d asked her out. They’d both recognized that they were only meant to be friends. He was thrilled when Derrick had fallen hopelessly in love with her.

“Everything’s fine. I had an intruder of the four-legged variety last night. Damned cat ripped through my window screen and knocked a plate off the kitchen counter. Then he proceeded to cut his paw on the glass. He’s out in the car. Do you have time to take a look at him?”

“Sure, do you need help bringing him in? Is he wild?”

“No, he’s probably the most laid-back cat I’ve ever met. He purrs like a freight train every time I touch him.”

A minute later, Mitch joined Rebecca in the exam room. “The right back paw’s the one he cut,” he said, placing the cat on the stainless steel table. “I put a bandage on it, but he managed to pull it off almost immediately.”

Rebecca chuckled. “Cat’s hate things on their feet. How did he get into your apartment?”

Mitch shrugged. “There’s a big oak tree in the park behind my building. He must have climbed it and jumped onto the windowsill. That’s the only thing I can figure.”

“What did Roscoe think of him?” Rebecca asked.

“When I opened the bedroom door to investigate the noises we heard coming from the kitchen, he bolted out and had the cat cornered behind the fridge by the time I got there. I locked him in the bedroom for the rest of the morning. I think he might’ve tried to eat the cat if he’d caught him.”

Rebecca chuckled. “I doubt it. Usually, all it takes is a good swipe of a claw across the nose for most dogs to learn to leave a cat alone. By the way, how’s your case going? Any closer to finding the Colsons’ killer?”

Mitch shook his head. “No. So far, we’ve got nothing.”

“I’m sorry, Mitch. Something will break soon.”

“Yeah, I have no doubt that we’ll catch him. I only hope it’s before he hurts someone else. That’s the part keeping me up at night. So, how’re the wedding plans coming?”

Rebecca smiled. “Everything’s all set. I can’t believe the wedding’s only two weeks away. Do you have a date, yet?”

Mitch gave her a roguish grin and winked. “You know me, a different woman every week. I’m not sure who the lucky lady will be.”

Rebecca rolled her eyes. “You just wait, Mitch. Someone’s going to come along and knock you off your feet.”

Mitch shook his head. “Not likely, besides, Derrick’s marrying the only woman in town who could have tempted me to give up the single life.”

Rebecca shook her head in exasperation and brought the subject back to the reason for his visit. “The cat’s healthy other than the cut on his paw. He needs to be kept inside until it heals. No climbing trees for a while.”

Mitch recognized the look in Rebecca’s eyes. “No way,” he said, shaking his head. “He can’t come home with me. I’ve already told you that Roscoe tried to eat him. Last week, I had to hire a kid down the hall to walk Roscoe for me every day, due to the crazy hours I’m working. I don’t need another animal. Besides, I don’t like cats.”

Just then, the cat stood and started rubbing his head across Mitch’s arm, purring loudly. Rebecca laughed. “Sorry, bud, it looks like you’ve been chosen. Cats are easier to take care of than dogs, anyway. You don’t need to worry about taking him for a walk. Just get him a litter box, put out some food and water, and he’ll be happy. I predict he and Roscoe will be pals before you know it.”

Mitch sighed. He knew arguing with Rebecca was useless. She was as stubborn as they come, especially when it concerned the well-being of an animal. “Okay,” he relented. “But only until his paw heals. Then he’s out the door. Besides, he probably belongs to someone.”

Rebecca grinned with satisfaction. “I’ll let you know if anyone comes in looking for a cat that matches his description. In the meantime, you can borrow a litter box, bowls, and cat food from me.”

As Mitch was driving home, he threw his head back and laughed as he thought about how effortlessly Rebecca had convinced him to take the cat home. If she maneuvered him that smoothly, then Derrick was definitely in trouble. Somehow, he didn’t think his friend minded. He was crazy about her.

ToLoveACat

From the author of “Dogs Aren’t Men” comes “To Love a Cat”, a contemporary romance novel.

Catherine “Cat” James’ life is simple and orderly, and she likes it that way. She loves her job as an accountant. Working with numbers is safe and routine, no surprises. Her childhood had been very abusive and unstable. She vowed not to live that way as an adult. She also made a promise to herself to become a foster parent. She wished someone had been there for her as a teenager, to let her know she wasn’t alone.

Cat agrees to foster Ethan Summers, a troubled teenage boy whose childhood closely resembles her own. Suddenly, her nice and orderly life is filled with chaos and uncertainty. Things really start to spin out of control when circumstances bring police detective Mitch Holt into the picture. He’s handsome, charming, and definitely not what Cat needs right now, or so she thinks.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Contemporary Romance

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with Billi Tiner on Facebook & Twitter

Website www.tinerbooks.blogspot.com

#BlogTour – Murder Strikes A Pose by @TracyWeberTypes #Mystery #Yoga

In this excerpt, Kate goes to Pete’s Pets planning to sweet-talk Michael into adopting the murder victim’s dog, Bella.  When she arrives, she’s surprised to find that Michael has hired a new employee, Tiffany. 

The bell on the door announced my arrival as I purposefully strode through the entrance.

“Welcome to Pete’s Pets, can I help you?”

My smile vanished.

Sitting behind the desk was a woman—a child, really. She was no older than twenty. Her thirty-six D chest contrasted nicely with her size six hips, and her too-tight top and hip-hugging jeans left nothing to the imagination. I glanced back at the window. The “Help Wanted” sign was conspicuously missing.

“Um … I’m um … looking for the owner. I mean … I’m looking for … you know … Michael.”

Brilliant, just brilliant. You have such a way with words.

“He’s busy right now, but maybe I can help. I’m Tiffany.”

Seriously? Tiffany? Who in the world named their kid Tiffany? Parents who raised brain-dead sex kittens, that’s who. My esteem for Michael, not all that high to begin with, dropped several notches. My self-confidence rose by twice that amount, and with it, my ability to speak.

“I need to speak with Michael. It’s personal. When will he be back?”

Perhaps I shouldn’t have used the word “personal.” Perhaps I should have continued stammering. Regardless, her attitude toward me changed. Her smile thinned to a smirk, and her eyes shrewdly narrowed. She looked me up and down, mentally sizing up the competition. “I didn’t say he was gone. I said he was busy.”

Game on.

If this licentious Lolita wanted a catfight, I’d show her my claws. I considered spraying her with my newly acquired vial of pepper spray, but decided that would probably be overdoing it. I impaled her with my oh-so-sharp-witted tongue instead. “Well, in that case, do you have any idea when he will get un-busy?”

No reply. I was as inconsequential as a housefly—annoying, but not worth the effort of swatting. She stared at me, clearly asserting her authority. I had two choices: I could either leave, or I could provide more information.

I chose option three.

I planted my feet and did my best impersonation of a statue, staring right back at her. Time ticked on, both of us childishly refusing to give ground. I imagined decades passing while we continued our passive-aggressive struggle for dominance. In my mind’s eye, dust and cobwebs covered us both, as our hair turned white and numerous body parts sagged with the inevitable effects of gravity.

Tiffany finally stood up, sighing. “If you wait here, ma’am, I’ll try to find him.”

Ma’am? Who was she calling ma’am?

She walked, or more accurately sashayed, back to the storage room. In a voice more than loud enough for me to hear, she said, “Michael, there’s some older lady out here who insists on talking to you.”

Michael emerged from the storage room, looking confused. His gaze bounced from Tiffany, to me, then back to Tiffany again. He tried, unsuccessfully, to suppress a grin.

“Hey, Kate. How’s that food working out for Bella?”

“Much better, especially now that I’ve figured out the enzyme routine. But that’s not why I’m here. I need to talk to you for a minute.” I looked pointedly at Tiffany. “Alone.”

Michael nodded for her to return to the cash register. She reluctantly left, but flashed me a look on her way. Don’t celebrate, it said. This battle is far from over.

Guestpost 3_photo2 (1)

When George and Bella—a homeless alcoholic and his intimidating German shepherd—disturb the peace outside her studio, yoga instructor Kate Davidson’s Zen-like calm is stretched to the breaking point. Kate tries to get rid of them before Bella scares the yoga pants off her students. Instead, the three form an unlikely friendship.

One night Kate finds George’s body behind her studio. The police dismiss his murder as a drug-related street crime, but she knows George wasn’t a dealer. So Kate starts digging into George’s past while also looking for someone to adopt Bella before she’s sent to the big dog park in the sky. With the murderer nipping at her heels, Kate has to work fast or her next Corpse Pose may be for real.

Praise:

Cozy fans will eagerly await the next installment.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Murder Strikes a Pose, by Tracy Weber, is a delightful debut novel featuring Kate Davidson, a caring but feist yoga teacher . . . Namaste to Weber and her fresh, new heroine!” PENNY WARNER,AUTHOR OFHOW TO DINE ON KILLER WINE

“[T]his charming debut mystery . . . pieces together a skillful collage of mystery, yoga, and plenty of dog stories against the unique backdrop of Seattle characters and neighborhoods. The delightful start of a promising new series. I couldn’t put it down!” WAVERLY FITZGERALD, AUTHOR OF DIAL C FOR CHIHUAHUA

“Three woofs for Tracy Weber’s first Downward Dog Mystery, Murder STrikes a Pose. Great characters, keep-you-guessing plot, plenty of laughs, and dogswhat more could we want? Ah, yesthe next book!” SHEILA WEBSTER BONEHAM, AUTHOR OF DROP DEAD ON RECALL

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Cozy Mystery

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with Tracy Weber on Facebook & Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#BlogTour – Leveling by J.R. Tague @JR_Tague #AmReading #YA #GoodReads

“I should tell you,” he hesitated. “We can expect some limitations on the reanimation I’ve performed.”

“You mean, like, I’ll still be Max McKay,” I said. A disappointment to be sure, but I could deal with it.

“In order to bring you back, I had to reattach your soul to your body—your dead body.”

I didn’t like where this was going. Images played across my mind of Dr. Frankenstein flipping a switch and watching the eyes of his monster snap open.

“Your point being?”

“Without the soul, the body ceases to be human. It is just a biological machine. All processes and reactions. More like a car than a person.”

Zombie. Once the word flashed through my mind I couldn’t shake it loose.

I looked down at my hands, flexing the fingers open and closed. “But I’m human, right? I still have a body and a soul.”

He looked uneasy for a moment, searching for a way to explain.

“Correct. Technically.” His voice grew soft, almost tender. “While in your mother’s womb, in an incredibly complex process, your eternal soul joined with this body. That union was perfect. Such an action can never again be performed precisely the same way. Once body and soul are separated and reunited, the two will never function quite the same again.”

My brain felt ready to burst from philosophical overload. I needed the bottom line. “So what exactly does that mean for me?”

“Your reanimation is a temporary fix.”

“Temporary?”

“It is inevitable that your soul and body will separate once more, Max. And when that happens, it will be for good.”

“How long do I have?” I swallowed back the dread threatening to choke me.

“A year or two at most,” he said quietly. “It’s impossible to know.”

His words may have been soft but they hit me hard. “Why even bother reanimating me, then? I’m only sixteen. I’m clueless. No one would even notice if I was gone!”

“I’ve done my job so that you can do yours.” His eyes grew solemn as they fixed on mine. “When next we meet in the in-between realm, I will have to follow protocol. Whether you are ready or not.”

“You should have just followed it from the get-go,” I said. “What difference is a year or two going to make?”

He looked up quickly to meet my eyes.

“Why, it could make all the difference. As a mortal, you should know that better than I.”

“But this is my life,” I said, gesturing around the room. “I go to school and I play games online. Sometimes I have to put up with my family. I don’t know how any of this is going to change in such a short time.”

“Perhaps it’s not the things around you that need to change.”

levelingUp

Max McKay gets a second chance at life when, after a bizarre accident on his sixteenth birthday, he is reanimated as a new breed of thinking, feeling zombie. To secure a spot for his eternal soul, Max must use his video game prowess as well as the guidance of Steve the Death God to make friends and grow up. As if all that weren’t hard enough, Max discovers that he’s not the only zombie in town. As he enlists the help of his new friends, Adam and Penny, to solve the mystery of their un-dead classmate, Max discovers that he must level up his life experience in order to survive the trials and terrors of the upcoming zombie apocalypse. And, even worse, high school.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – YA

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with J R Tague on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://jrtague.wordpress.com/

#BlogTour – Seasons’ End by @WillNorthAuthor #Contemporary #Fiction

Having finished off a half gallon of orange juice and most of a half gallon of Stolichnaya for breakfast, Tyler Strong was now struggling to load the family Ford Explorer. An observer, had there been one, would have puzzled at the methodology, which appeared frantic and, at the same time, utterly random; Tyler was tossing whatever was at hand into the back of the SUV, talking to himself as he did so.

Suitcases: Got mine. Where are Pete’s? Where’s Two’s? Where’s that girl, Justine? She’s old enough to help, dammit. Tennis gear. Got it. Water skis; where the hell are they? Can’t find them. Emptied the fridge. Well, most of it anyway and filled the cooler. Shoved it to the back. Crammed stuff around it for insulation. Need more stuff. And the toys…never know which go and which stay… Shouldn’t have to sort this all out myself.”

He thought he heard his mother Amanda’s low, cigarette-ruined voice, with its usual rasp of disgust:

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Tyler ducked out of the rear of the SUV to find not Amanda but Old Adam behind him. The old man was standing, legs apart for balance, in the middle of the crushed oyster-shell driveway, cane in one hand and a sheaf of papers in the other.

“Did you even hear me? What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Old Adam repeated.

Given the extremity and baffling discontinuity of his present circumstance, a condition which made the space around him seem to ripple like heat waves off an asphalt road, Tyler had no idea what the old man was talking about, no idea even how he’d got there.

“Hello, Adam,” Tyler said, buying time and trying to steady himself by leaning on the edge of car’s rear hatch.

“Don’t ‘Hello’ me, you bastard; do you have any idea where your wife is?”

“Nope.” The younger man held his hands up in the universal gesture of helplessness and grinned, the picture of ease. “Went for a walk early this morning, I guess, and hasn’t come back yet. Left me to do all the heavy lifting, her and those kids. How about that?” He wasn’t at all certain this was the truth; he was finding truth to be elusive.

Old Adam was about to tell him where Pete was, but something—his old prosecutorial instincts, perhaps—held him back. Tyler was drunk; that must be it. But why would you be drunk on the morning you’re supposed to be driving home? Crazy. He was also acting, or covering maybe; that was obvious, too. What was he disguising?

Adam switched subjects, an age-old technique to throw a defendant off his game: “Guess who just paid me a visit?” It was less a question than an accusation.

For a moment, for just a fraction of a second, for the merest blink in the stately procession of time from present to past and back again, he saw fear in Tyler’s eyes. And just as quickly, Tyler’s eyes went blank again.

“No idea, Adam. Is this a game? Maybe I should get Two. He likes games.”

Adam stared at him. “Two? What the hell are you talking about?!”

Tyler didn’t know. He didn’t know where everyone was, why no one was helping. He looked around and listened for their voices, but the beach was silent except for gulls’ cries and the distant keening of an eagle. He couldn’t hear Amanda anymore either. Suddenly, he found the old man’s questions infuriating, and the noisy dissonance in his head rose painfully.

“Get on with it, Uncle; I’m trying to pack the car.”

“Odd how there’s no one here helping you, isn’t it?”

A part of his brain, the part on autopilot, agreed but he wouldn’t acknowledge it. “Was there something you wanted from me?”

“Oh yes, there is. There is. A legal messenger just mistakenly delivered a package of documents to me. But they were meant for you. Guess who they’re from?

Tyler crossed his arms against his chest but said nothing. It was all a mystery to him, this entire encounter. He tried to be separate from it. It wasn’t hard. He had only the slightest grip on the present.

“Soren Sorensen. Remember him? General Manager of Pacific Pioneer? Your wife’s family’s firm? Of which you’re CEO?”

“Soren…”

“Now why do you suppose old Soren would resort to sending documents to you via a receipt-requested legal messenger service? Never mind; don’t bother fabricating, I’ll tell you. Thanks to your incompetence, Pacific Pioneer is effectively bankrupt and Pete is ruined.”

Tyler slipped into another prism of the present, found a bit of text, and waved a breezy hand. “Whole industry’s in collapse, Adam. Nothing we could do. Fuel prices through the roof, customers dropping like flies, creditors snapping at our heels…”

“Who’s ‘we’?”

“Soren and me. And frankly, that old coot Soren—what is he, in his late fifties now? Older?He’s lost it. Completely. Can’t keep on top of the invoices. We’re forever in arrears. Supposed to be the general manager but can’t be trusted to make timely payments. Have to cover for him all the time.”

“Curious of you to say that, Tyler, because these documents include increasingly desperate letters from Soren to you, pleading that you act to take charge of the company’s financial crisis. If anyone’s ‘lost it,’ it looks like you.”

Tyler thrashed around in his crowded head for a response. “Oh Christ, Adam, the guy’s a Chicken Little. The sky’s always falling with him.”

Adam leaned on his cane and fixed Tyler in his gaze.

“Funny how the sky never fell until Harlan gave you control of Pacific Pioneer…”

“That’s my fault?”

“Well, you tell me. Whose is it, then? Harlan’s? Maybe Pete’s? Because you know what, nephew? I know you’ve made Pete the guarantor of the firm’s loans. I don’t know how you did it, but I’ll find out. Pete’s smarter than that. My guess is you forged her signature, but that’s easily checked and you can be damned sure I’ll have it checked. Now that the company’s failed, you’ve left her holding the bag.”

Tyler thought, Hey, this is like being in court! As if addressing a jury, he said, “Let us all remember that this is not my company; it’s hers.”

“Who’s ‘all?’ This is you and me, and don’t give me that bullshit! The general manager reports to you. The management decisions are yours to make, and what these documents show is that you’ve dodged those decisions for months. What the hell is wrong with you?”

Now Tyler suddenly felt himself in the witness box instead of arguing his client’s case before the judge. He didn’t like it.

He stepped out of the witness box and lunged for the documents, misjudging the distance. Old Adam pulled them away, stepped to one side, and swatted Tyler’s back with his cane. Tyler went down.

“Let me tell you something else,” Old Adam growled at the drunk struggling to his knees before him. “I’m not going to let you ruin my niece. I’m going to use every connection I have, every string I can pull, to exonerate her and make it clear that the burden of this failure rests upon your shoulders. What is more, nephew, I’m writing you out of my will. You got that? You’ve taken down the Petersen fortune; you won’t take down the Strong’s. Out of honor to my brother and love of your father, I’ve been carrying you for years. Pure dead weight. That’s done. Over. Got that?!”

Old Adam turned toward his house.

Tyler decided he’d kill the old man before he got away. He found his feet, promptly tripped on the cedar driveway edging, regained his balance, and plodded after the hobbling old man. He had no plan; he dimly figured the cane would suffice as a weapon.

SeasonsEnd

Every summer for generations, three families intertwined by history, marriage, and career have spent “the season” at their beach cottage compounds on an island in Puget Sound. Today, Martha “Pete” Petersen, married to Tyler Strong, is the lynchpin of the “summer people.” In childhood, she was the tomboy every girl wanted to emulate and is now the mother everyone admires.
Colin Ryan, family friend and the island’s veterinarian, met Pete first in London, years earlier, when she visited his roommate, Tyler. He’s loved her, privately, ever since. Born in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, son of a bar owner, he’s always been dazzled by what he sees of the sun-kissed lives of the summer people.

But this summer, currents strong as the tides roil: jealousies grow, tempers flare, passions clash. Then, on the last day of the season, a series of betrayals alters the combined histories of these families forever.

As in previous novels, The Long Walk Home and Water, Stone, Heart, with Seasons’ End, Will North weaves vivid settings and memorable characters into a compelling tale of romance and suspense.

Buy Now@ Amazon

Genre – Women’s Contemporary Fiction

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author

Connect with Will North on Facebook & Twitter

Website willnorthonline.com

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Belinda Garcia @MagicProse #Suspense #TBR

1. I am a closet romantic. I write love stories into most of my books. I love to watch romantic movies and read romantic books that make my heart beat fast. I love the famed romantic couples; Rhett and Scarlet; Darcy and Elizabeth, etc.

2. I’m a computer nerd (which is probably why I’m a closet romantic and not a romantic). I worked as a computer programmer and web developer. It’s like a drug, and I now get my fix by working on my website or creating my book covers.

3. I believe in personal power. I once heard that human beings only tap about 4% of their brain. Within everyone lies unimaginable power and strength. Believe in yourself and you can do anything!

4. I love movies. I go nearly every week. I prefer love stories but enjoy action-packed movies that my husband likes. Feel-good movies and funny comedies are the best; but so is a touching movie that stirs the emotions, leaving my cheeks wet with tears.

5. When little, I would stand up on a chair to dry dishes and count the silverware. Thank goodness for DVD players. When I used to watch a tape on a VCR, I would have to cover the numbers with a towel else I’d be adding them up as the movie played down. I think the counting is related to my nerdicitis.

6. I love to dance.

7. I’m a bit too independent. My father abandoned my family when I was 11 and my mother was ill so I would walk to a strip mall to buy my school clothes and supplies, etc. I was sort of on my own. When I was 16, my mother died, I was pretty much on my own.

8. I’m crazy about Zumba, a Latin-dance-exercise. I attend a class 4 or 5 days a week. I spend so much time sitting at my desk that Zumba keeps me limber. For some reason, when my mind is relaxed, my brain likes to start writing. I start hearing dialogue in my head, or narration starts writing. I have to run to my notebook, do some scribbling, and then get back in line to continue the song.

9. I never worry. It’s a total waste of time and doesn’t change anything. Worrying is frustrating and nerve-wracking. My philosophy has always been, don’t worry about the fire until you see the flames!

10. I have great faith in God, though I confess I rarely attend church. From the time I was six until the age of 16, when my brother and I were forced out of our home by the man who owned the mortgage, I used to lie on the roof of our shed and talk to God about my life. He was a great listener and many times helped me and still does in my life. God has literally reached out and touched me, and no one can ever convince me that He doesn’t exist.

IWillAlwaysLoveYou

The last thing Miranda ever expected was to see her brother’s ghost at the fallen Twin Towers.

It’s bad enough survivor Christopher Michaels scares her with claims that if one dies violently, his ghost will haunt the place that holds his name. And to top it all, one of those thousands of ghosts follows Miranda to her hotel. The only certainty is the ghost grabbing her under the covers is not Jake.

Their parents’ deaths separated Miranda from Jake when they were kids. Michaels insists Jake brought them together and it’s no coincidence that of thousands mourning at Ground Zero, it’s his best friend she bumps into. Some best friend. Michaels is more like a moocher. The cheapskate never has money, just a blood-stained wallet he broods over. Miranda has no choice but to hang out with the weird Michaels in order to unravel her brother’s past.

As Miranda spends time with Michaels, she begins to wonder who he really is. Against her better judgment, Miranda becomes emotionally entangled with Michaels, a bitter alcoholic with a secret linked to her brother and that blood-stained wallet.

I Will Always Love You is part mystery, suspense and romance, a novel that will keep the reader turning the pages!

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Suspense, Mystery, Romance

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with Belinda Vasquez Garcia on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://belindavasquezgarcia.com/

#BlogTour – The Copper Witch by Jessica Dall – #HistFic #AmReading

It was getting dark by the time they turned to head home, and the festival was not winding down in the slightest. A large stack of wood had just finished being stacked and it seemed a row of bonfires was imminent. Adela checked over her shoulder, seeing bits of glowing in the distance. Who knew how long the festival would continue down in the valley.

“We should have left earlier.” Thomas stepped around a puddle. “We’re liable to step into a sinkhole at this rate.”

“You seem perfectly agile.” Adela smiled. “If anyone is going to get themselves stuck in mud it will be me. Luckily I’d have you to rescue me.”

“You’re so sure I would be able?” He smiled, helping her step around a puddle.

“I have complete faith,” she said. “I feel incredibly safe with you, Thomas. I’m sure the worst that would happen is that I’d lose a shoe to the mud.”

He laughed. “And I would do my best to even save that.”

“Shoes are replaceable,” she said. “Much more so than people. I’d prefer you forget my shoe and focus on me.”

“It would be impossible not to.”

She slowed, looking at him.

“What?” He frowned.

“You are probably the sweetest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet, Thomas. That or the man most skilled in flattery that I have ever met.”

“I’m not one to flatter when there’s no backing for it,” he said.

“You see?” She smiled. “I’m surprised I haven’t seen more women throwing themselves at you.”

“I believe your cousin frightens them away,” he mumbled.

“She can be a very frightening woman,” Adela answered, whether or not he was looking for one.

He cleared his throat. “Not that it seems to assuage you any.”

“Well, there’s not much she can do to me, Thomas,” Adela said. “Worse comes to worst, I’m sent back to Penrith. She can hardly excommunicate me.”

He caught her hand, turning to face her.

She looked up at him, eyes wide. “Is something wrong, Thomas?”

He looked at her.

She blinked. “What?”

He took her hand and held it in between both of his. “You are the most remarkable woman I have ever met, Miss Tilden.”

“Thank you,” she said with an easy smile. “But you’ve only known me a few days.”

“It feels much longer.”

“In a good way, I hope.”

“In the best of ways,” he said.

With not much else to say, she smiled.

He didn’t move to talk, didn’t move at all, just stood there holding her hand.

thecopperwitch

Adela Tilden has always been more ambitious than her station in life might allow. A minor nobleman’s daughter on a failing barony, Adela’s prospects seem dire outside of marrying well-off. When Adela catches the eye of the crown prince, Edward, however, well-off doesn’t seem to be a problem. Thrown into a world of politics and intrigue, Adela might have found all the excitement she ever wanted—if she can manage to leave her past behind.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Alternate Historical Fiction

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author

Connect with Jessica Dall on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://jessicadall.com/

#Suspense – Lazar’s Target – “James Bond Meets 50 Shades of Grey” by @ksterlingwriter

 ONE

Sergei Mikhailova faded into the shadows of the dockside building and lit a cigarette as he waited for the courier with the critical package. He flipped closed the Zippo lighter he had stolen from an American tourist, took a long draw off the rich Marlboro Red and exhaled through his nose, the rising smoke sifting through the light above him. Without his cherished cigarettes and regular shots of vodka, he didn’t know how he would cope with his arduous and demanding job.

It was dead silent out there except for the occasional ship blowing its fog horn in the distance, and because of the late hour, there wasn’t another person in sight. The air was bitterly cold, so the intermittent breeze carrying the ocean’s salty humidity stung his face like sharp needles, and his ears felt like they might fall off. The area also reeked of dead fish, which made his stomach turn, but the strong tobacco was starting to help.

As he waited and smoked, he noticed the huge piles of dirty snow up and down the dock, which had no doubt been plowed in layers from one storm after another. The sight of it made the place seem all that more frigid and revolting.

One thing was for sure. He didn’t want to wait there any longer than absolutely necessary.

Sergei checked his watch. It was ten minutes after midnight, which meant the courier was late or, God forbid, not coming. The thought of the latter possibility turned his stomach again, and he quickly took another drag off his precious smoke.

The item he awaited was essential in paving the way for Alexei Chernikova’s master plan, and Sergei knew the man trusted no one else to ensure its safe delivery to their office in St. Petersburg. It was such a crucial component, in fact, that even the slightest hitch in tonight’s plan made Sergei anxious.

Failure was not an option, and suffering it at the hands of another was totally unacceptable. So, with every minute that passed, Sergei became more and more enraged, and the likelihood of this delinquent courier leaving the docks alive grew less and less.

Finally, the white compact car he was told to expect approached in the distance, and it slowly weaved through containers, barrels and snow piles until it stopped at the far edge of the next warehouse building. It sat there for a moment before backing up, hesitating, and finally turning right.

What is this idiot doing?

Anger swelled inside him as he watched the car disappear behind the structure. And for several minutes thereafter, all he could see were lights dancing this way and that as the driver apparently searched for the drop-off point. The package was so close Sergei could almost taste it, but this buffoon was playing keep away with the damned thing like a sadistic teenager.

Sergei had certainly killed people for less.

He lit another cigarette and continued to wait as the cold started to seep into his bones. His fingers grew stiff, and his feet were so numb he could hardly feel them. And all of it was because of this asinine courier.

Finally, the car rounded the near corner of the building as if the driver had circled the structure’s entire perimeter. But now he was back on track, continuing along the dock.

Sergei was relieved until he saw the vehicle stop again.

Now what?

The interior light came on, and the car sat there for several minutes as if the driver was reacquainting himself with the directions.

Imbecile!

Sergei drew on his cigarette and continued to steam. He fantasized about wrapping his hands around the driver’s neck and feeling the pleasure of snapping it in his grasp. Just the fantasy of doing it made him shiver with satisfaction. Or maybe it was just the goddamn cold.

The car continued ahead, albeit at a snail’s pace, but it eventually pulled up to the designated drop-off point, twenty minutes late.

Not fucking acceptable.

Sergei was tempted to approach the vehicle, snatch the package from the driver, and shoot him in the head. But that simply would not do. Instead, he stepped into the light to reveal his presence, worked the stiffness out of his neck, and waited for the man to emerge from the car. The courier would come to him, not the other way around.

The driver’s door opened, and the man stepped out. He was a small, skinny guy wearing a black overcoat, and he held a small parcel, about the size of a cereal box. He made eye contact and brought it over.

“What took you so fucking long?” Sergei growled as he dropped the cigarette butt to the concrete and crushed it with his shoe.

“Sorry. I had a lot of trouble finding the place. All these warehouse buildings look the same, and I didn’t see any addresses.”

Neither did I, but I still made it here on time.

Sergei took the package and slipped it into his empty attaché case, which sat on the crate next to him. He flipped the latches closed and glared at the little man, fantasizing about how he would best enjoy killing him.

“Where is my payment?” the courier asked.

“Payment?” Sergei belted out a throaty, foul laugh and coughed through it. “Here it is.” He reached inside his coat, pulled the trusty knife from the sheath at his belt and let fury drive him. He swiped the blade and slashed the man’s carotid artery before the bastard even knew what was coming.

The driver clasped his hands around his throat and dropped to his knees as blood seeped through his fingers. Then he fell to his side, coughing and gurgling as Sergei watched over the scene with pleasure.

It was tempting after that to stab the son of a bitch like crazy and work out his frustrations, but it was hardly necessary. Besides, he was having so much fun watching the idiot gasp, flounder and die on the ground beneath him.

The feeling of sheer power was exhilarating.

Satisfied that the courier was finally dead, Sergei dragged him back to his car, opened the door and worked him into in the driver’s seat. He belted him in, turned the key to start the ignition and rolled down the window before closing the door. Then he reached inside, shifted the car into gear and used the steering wheel to direct it off the side of the dock.

He heard the heavy splash as he walked to the edge and watched the vehicle slowly bob and sink into the ocean, thankful that the dock lights were so bright. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to see everything, and could there possibly be a more splendid sight?

The rear end of the car made a sucking sound as it finally disappeared beneath the surface, and the deed was done.

There were no words to describe Sergei’s satisfaction. He finally had the package in his custody, and the bastard who had no respect for the importance of the exchange had been handily eliminated. He had completed the most important step toward Alexei’s glorious new era. And who knew…maybe there would be a place for him in the annals of history.

lazar

“James Bond Meets Fifty Shades of Grey”

Immerse yourself in the world class novels that combine action, mystery & suspense with tantalizing and tastefully written erotica. You’ll find all your sensibilities roused at once with Kevin Sterling’s ultra-sexy, action-packed Jack Lazar Series.

In this fourth action-packed thriller, Jack travels to Denmark for a business venture, but what seems to be a textbook transaction turns into a nightmare after he gets involved with Katarina, a vivacious Danish girl who apparently lacks a moral compass, not to mention an off button. After naively believing their liaison was just a random encounter, Jack discovers she’s connected to his business deal, and there’s a dangerous political group with skin in the game, too.

Katarina makes a convincing case of being a victim, not part of the conspiracy, but can Jack really trust her?

The firestorm gets out of control as Jack digs deeper, unearths the convoluted plot behind it all, and discovers that innocent people are being heartlessly killed. He’s not only horrified by the reason why it’s happening, but how it’s being done, and there appears to be no way to stop it from occurring again.

Then the scheme’s real objective emerges, launching Jack into action with intelligence operatives to prevent it. But that’s not so easy with assassins on Jack’s tail, forcing him to struggle for survival while trying to prevent Katarina from getting caught in the crossfire.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Action, Mystery, Suspense

Rating – R

More details about the author

Connect with Kevin Sterling on Facebook & Twitter

#BlogTour – Haunted by @EileenMaksym #YA #Paranormal #Giveaway

Once in the lab, Tara shrugged off her overcoat and scarf, and hung them on a hook inside the door.  While Steven was hanging up his jacket, she  pulled on a white lab coat.

“You can sit there,” she said, gesturing toward a cluttered desk.  Steven sat and pushed aside an odd mixture of magazines: Neuroscience, The Chicago Literary Review, People, Cosmopolitan.

Tara disappeared into a back room, then reappeared, carrying a small black tray that held maybe 20 slides.  Steven noticed a bit of mist curling up from the black plastic into the warm room.  Tara set the tray down, sat, and picked up a clipboard.  She took out a slide, positioned it in the microscope, flipped a light switch, and leaned forward to peer through the eyepiece.

Steven took the Laceys’ number out of his left pocket, his cell phone out of his right, and dialed.  One ring.  Two rings.  Three rings.  Four rings.  He started to wonder if they were home; what he would say if he had to leave a message on a machine.  Five rings.  Six –

“Hello?”

“Hello, may I please speak to Mr. Lacey?”

“You’re speaking to him, son.  What can I do you for?”

“My name is Steven Trent, and I’m a member of my university’s Society of Paranormal Researchers.”

Tara turned her head over her shoulder and grinned at him.

He grinned back.

Mr. Lacey chuckled.  “This is about that article in the Register, isn’t it?”

“It is, yes.”

“Thought so.  My wife warned me about this; she said that if we had the story published in the paper, chances were we’d attract more than just potential buyers.  I wasn’t too concerned about it, though – figured any publicity would be good publicity at this point.”  He chuckled again.  “You wouldn’t want to buy the house, would you?  It’s really a spectacularly good bargain.”

Steven smiled.  “As a college student, I’m afraid I’m not in the market.”

“Ah, well; I had to ask.  So, Mr.…what did you say your name was again?”

“Trent.  Steven Trent.”

“Mr. Trent.  You haven’t called to buy my house…unfortunately…so, what can I help you with?”

“Well, we here at the Society were wondering if you might be willing to allow us to investigate the property.  Usually, when we get reports of ongoing hauntings, the houses are occupied, which limits what we can do; most people don’t want us tramping through their house at all hours.”
“I can imagine.  What sorts of things are involved in these investigations?  You’re not going to break windows, are you?  Scratch up the wood floors?  Tear down the vintage wallpaper?  Or otherwise lower the value of our property?”

“No, no worries,” Steven answered, amused.  “We won’t damage anything.  Basically, we spend some time in the house – ideally overnight.  We have cameras that take regular pictures, as well as some that take infrared shots; we take a number of pictures throughout the house.  Then, we use instruments that measure electromagnetic waves and temperature changes.  And that’s pretty much it.”  Steven didn’t mention Paul.  Even though the Laceys believed in ghosts, he figured they might balk at the idea of using a psychic in their house.  Bringing up the subject had the tendency to make people’s opinion of the Society of Paranormal Researchers go from “odd but credible” to “who the heck are these wackos, and how did they get my number?”

“Well…” Mr. Lacey said, “I’ll have to run it by the wife, of course, but I don’t see why not.  The house is just sitting there empty anyway.  It would be interesting to know a bit more about the scientific side of the things we heard and saw for 20 years.  Say,” he said, his voice becoming more serious, “what do you do with all this information?  You won’t publish it in the paper or anything like that, will you?”

“Not unless you want us to – more publicity, right?  We’ll write up a report with everything that we find, including copies of all the photographs.  We’ll keep one copy of it for our files, and we’ll give you a copy to do with as you wish.  Heck, if you wanted to, you could give it to anyone who asks about the haunting when they come to see the house.”

“That’s a great idea,” Mr. Lacey said.

“We’ll even make you a few copies, if that helps.  And if we ever want to use it for any future publication of any kind…an article for a journal, a book, whatever…we will get your permission in writing first, and you can have your names changed and the actual location of the house obscured, if you wish.”

“Sounds pretty good.  Tell you what: let me go ask the missus.  Can I call you at this number?”

“Sure thing.”

“Great.  Let me go talk to Susan; she’s right out back.  I’ll give you a ring in a moment.”

“Great; talk to you then.”

Steven hung up and turned toward Tara.

She was bent over the microscope.  “So,” she said without looking up, “that sounded like it went well.”

“He’s clearing it with his wife as we speak.  I definitely think he’s up for the idea.”

“Certainly sounded that way.”  She sat up, made a few notes on her clipboard, then looked back into the microscope, adjusting the focus knob. Steven’s phone buzzed. Tara smiled.  “You’re on, Mr. Trent.”

“Cute,” he smirked, then answered the call.

A few minutes later, Steven had the name and number of the Laceys’ realtor, as well as some more information about the haunting.  Aside from the moving furniture, Mr. Lacey and his wife had seen lights moving up and down the stairs and had heard scratching on their bedroom door.  They knew nothing of the origin of the haunt, however, and had learned to live with it, even coming to regard it, in a strange way, as their child.

Steven noted all of this, thanked Mr. Lacey, and flipped the cell shut.  “Well, there you go: we have permission to investigate.”

Tara lifted her head.  “Good job.”

“Thanks.  How’s the research going?”

“Slowly.  I’m on slide number five, and I have to get through all 22 now, since I can’t refreeze them.  Would you mind hanging out while I finish up?  It might take an hour or two, but after that we can go to the library.”

“Luckily, I have some Plato with me…”  He pulled a beaten-up copy of The Republic from his bag.  “And if I want to sound at all intelligent in class, I should probably actually read it.  Because, y’know that whole learning-by-osmosis thing?  Doesn’t work.”

“Don’t I know it.” Tara turned back to her microscope and put the next slide in place.

Steven sat and looked at her for a long moment, noticing how her red locks fell down her back over the white lab coat.  Then he shook his head and opened his book.

As Tara went through her slides, Steven read about political theory in ancient Greece –  looking up every once in a while to glimpse her cascading hair.

Haunted

Tara Martin – exceptionally accomplished neurobiology major with a troubled past. Steven Trent – confident political science major with an irresistible attraction to Tara. Paul Stratton – history major who is able to hear spirits. Together, they make up the Society for Paranormal Researchers at their prestigious New England University. When they’re not in class or writing papers, the three friends are chasing their passion….ghosts.

When the group learns of a local retired couple trying to sell a house they claim is haunted, they decide to investigate. As the clues unfold, a familiar spirit interrupts their investigation and Tara finds her life in danger. Can her friends save her before it’s too late?

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – YA paranormal, NA paranormal

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author

Connect with Eileen Maksym on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://eileenmaksym.wordpress.com/

 h2

a Rafflecopter giveaway