Friday, 23 February 2018

Tarragon, Dragon Mage





After hundreds of years, the gates to Tarragon are open once more, fulfilling age-old prophecy. However, Anwen’s journey is far from over. The dragons still sleep and she has no clue how to wake them. Forced to retreat from the Mountain, she and her newfound friends must devise a new plan to wake the inhabitants of Tarragon.

Meanwhile, the Mage Circle, a group of dragon mages with a vendetta, is camped outside the Gates. Calling on allies of their own, they will stop at nothing to gain control of the Dragon City and all who dwell inside.

To complicate matters even more, Anwen’s mother has joined the party. But even with the help of all her friends, can Anwen overcome the ordeals set before her or will this spell the end of the dragons and the world as we know it?


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Karlie Lucas is a preschool teacher by day and a writer/artist by night.

A graduate of Southern Utah University, Karlie received a B.A. in Creative Writing, with a minor in art. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, The International English Honor Society, as well as ANWA, the American Night Writers Association.

Karlie is interested in all things magical and mysterious, especially elves and dragons. She is an avid fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling.

When not writing, Karlie can often be found drawing, baking, watching her favorite old school shows, or just spending time with her family.

She currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband and a cat named Kally

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Top Ten List:


Top Ten Favorite desserts

1- Ice cream. Who doesn’t love ice cream? It’s like the standard go to

2 – Cheesecake. What’s not to love? Especially if it’s one of those Oreo ones.

3 – Coconut cream pie. I don’t normally go for coconut, but there’s just something about it in pie form that can’t be denied.

4 – Brownies. What can I say besides Chocolate?

5 – Blintzes. If you haven’t tried them, you’re missing out. It’s like a crepe but not rolled, and it’s pan fried.

6 – Pudding, especially pistachio or cheesecake flavored, I mean, come on! It’s creamy. It’s rich. It’s prefect. And you can add in whatever you want.

7 – Cobbler, usually apple or peach. You’ve got that sweet crunchy stuff and that gooey filling. Yum.

8 – Chocolate Silk Pie. It’s Chocolate! In a graham cracker crust.

9 – Sugar Cookies, like the melt in your mouth coated with sugar kind, not the cheap tastes like flour stuff you get at the grocery store. Home made all the way!

10 – A Lie, if you don’t know what this is, you’re missing out. It’s a pie baked into a cake. (Some call it something along the lines of a cherpumpkin but my version’s better). Or if, you want to take it a step further, do a glacee pie backed into a giant brownie and decorate it like a cake to have a Conspiracy.)


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Saturday, 10 February 2018

See Me For Me









Her most recent accomplishment started in the summer of 2015. Making her dad’s dream come true with publishing his works as well, as an emotional accomplishment. She is the 2016 local A.N.W.A. chapter (Snake River Writers) president, won NaNoWriMo and loves StoryMakers.
            Teya has been writing for as long as she can remember. At a young age she lived on a street she affectionately named Hill Street Blues, which helped her creative writing. Her Family moved to Menan where she continued her love of writing. Her father would always be and will continue to be her inspiration, even after his untimely death in 2006.
            She loves sitting in her soft chair next to the fireplace and watching out a big living room window. It gives her plenty of creative juice for stories.
            She met the love of her life in the loft of a barn. Yep, that set up some teasing from her father. They have been happily married since 2003. They have four children and all are loving and supportive of her writing.  Her oldest daughter is following in her footsteps as a writer adding her own illustrations. She refuses to comment on the trolls in the closets and under the beds. She is active in her church, has compassion for others, and a love for all life brings.



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One wrong step changes Jocelyn’s Prima Ballerina’s life in one step...



A single choice results in Jeremiah facing unbearable consequences...



When these two meet, it could be catastrophic or the answer to unspoken prayers.

Can love be tested too far? Will hearts soften and hurts be forgiven?

Or will too much loss be too devastating to find hope?


One thing is for sure, lives are about to change forever…









Excerpt:

Anticipation filled the air performance night, as tension and spirits ran high. People to further Jocelyn’s career sat strategically in the audience. For just a moment she wondered if her mother might be in the audience. She dismissed the thought. Ridiculous, her mother never attended her performances, and she certainly wouldn’t start now. Disgust and resentment for her mother’s money and busy filled her. Jocelyn’s muscled locked, momentarily stunned by her own thoughts and shook her head to clear her mind. FOCUS, she told herself.

            The performance screamed perfection so far. Jocelyn’s Pas de Deux with Jason came next, after the fairy dancers in pink sequenced ballet tutus finished.  A feeling of trepidation filled her. Not now, she thought to herself, and shook it off as nerves. The lights darkened, their cue to take center stage. Jason took her left hand in his left hand, and lifted it and kissed the back of her hand. His right arm wrapped around her waist, and placed his hand in position at her waist. Smiling down at her he walked her to center stage. 

            Music began and the curtain opened. The presentation perfect, the emotion, the reaction of the crowd, and it all fed her performance. They hadn’t seen anything yet and she almost smiled knowing the best part happened next. 

            With her and Jason’s emotional entanglement within ballet art, captured flawlessly. Jocelyn could feel the audience enraptured with the whole ethereal experience. The climax, the epic moment of the entire ballet filled the air as the audience held its breath. 

            She stepped onto the knee Jason presented to her, and up into his arms as he stood. She gently stepped onto his shoulders and balanced. She stood up in point on his shoulder. Once stable she lifted her right leg in the air and stretched her arms out in an arabesque, the audience gasped. Spotters in position Jason slowly walked in a circle as she balanced and stretched. 
            She stretched her furthest extension ever, her personal best. Pure perfection. Her heart calm and running rapid, at the same time. She soaked in the excited tension of the crowd as it filled the air. 

            When he stopped they would hold and he would do a little bounced jumped into the air. Jason would catch her and finish in a fish dive for the finale. As he came to a stop the spotters slipped back.  

            Closing her eyes, she prepared herself for the finale, but the moment never came. 

            Jocelyn felt Jason loosen but the push up she waited for slipped away. Her mind screamed, where’s Jason’s push?  She felt the sensation of falling instead of being tossed in the air, her thoughts stern, this isn’t right.

            She opened her eyes and saw the stage rapidly approaching. She knew the spotters could not reach her in time. Her heart ceased with fear and closed her eyes tight as her body stiffened. Jocelyn heard the audience’s sharp intake of breath and screams, just before her body slammed into the stage. At the same time, she heard a deafening crack and shooting pain in her back. Her body crumpled and all went black.


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Friday, 9 February 2018

The Secret of a Kiss






When she was in Paris, Kimberley Montpetit spent most of her souvenir money at the La Patisserie shops with their beautiful and delicious pastries. She grew up in the fabulous city of San Francisco, loves all things chocolate, and now lives in a small town along the Rio Grande with her engineer husband and three sons.

She once stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland and didn't sleep a wink, sailed the Seine in Paris, rode a camel in the ancient world wonder of Petra, shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria.

Kimberley also writes Award-winning Middle-Grade novels with Scholastic and Young Adult novels with Harpercollins under the name, Kimberley Griffiths Little.


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A makeup artist for the Phantom of the Opera with a tragic past. A mysterious man hiding a scar worse than the phantom from the Broadway show.



Linden Adair is a talented makeup artist on the New York Broadway show, Phantom of the Opera, creating the hideous scar for the actor who plays the phantom every night. But nobody knows the deep scars Linden carries after the divorce from her husband, Mark Denly—the famous director of Phantom.



Why didn’t somebody ever tell her that marrying your director was a bad idea, especially when he has a wandering eye?

Desperate to get away after enduring several years of heartache and scars, Linden takes a cross-country trip to visit her best friend in Seattle. While driving on a deserted stretch of highway late at night, she hits a deer and crashes the rental car into a gully outside of Snow Valley, Montana.

A devastatingly handsome stranger with a tow truck rescues Linden and her smashed vehicle, but when she catches sight of him in the light, she’s shocked. Anton Baldwin possess a terrible scar on his face—just like the phantom she created every night for the theater.

But Anton is hiding more than the truth behind his scar, and during a whirlwind week while being recruited for a television show being filmed in Snow Valley, the secrets of this enigmatic man turn her world upside down. 

When Anton helps Linden open up to the world around her, Linden wonders if the small town of Snow Valley might hold the magic she needs to heal the scars on her broken heart.

If you like sweet romance and second chance love stories, then you’ll love THE SECRET OF A KISS, A Snow Valley Romance. 






~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK




Snippet:

Her heart hammered in her throat when Mark’s face stared at her through the window. “What the heck—” she spluttered, pressing the power button to roll the window down. “What are you doing here? I thought stalking me ended a year ago.”

“I never stalked you, Linden,” her ex-husband said with a roll of his eyes.
“You sure seemed to show up at my favorite restaurants often. Or my front door with divorce papers.”

“Because you wouldn’t sign them.”

“Because you wouldn’t give me what I wanted after sleeping with your new dancer. When you have an affair and leave the marriage, you lose buddy.”

Linden shivered at how hateful he looked. This was the man she had loved for ten years, worked every day with at the theater, and finally married. They’d suffered through infertility together, finally being blessed with their beloved daughter, only to lose her to SIDS at eleven months old.

“Can’t you see I’m busy, Mark? Like in a car ready to drive off? Maybe I should have run you off the road,” she said sarcastically.

          “Ha. Ha.” Mark’s tone dripped with rancor. “I saw your letter asking for a leave of absence from the theater. You never gave it to me.”

          “I gave it to the office manager. I didn’t have to show it to you and get your permission.”

          “You did if you want to have a job when you get back from wherever you’re headed to. Secret lover of your own, Linden?”

          His comment was so infuriating that Linden bit down so hard she tasted blood. “First off, I would never have a secret lover. That’s reserved for cheating husbands. Second, I don’t have to explain myself to you. We have no relationship any longer, Mr. Denly. Third, vacation time is in my contract. Vacation hours I haven’t used in years. Fourth, it’s none of your business what I do in my personal life. And fifth, why in the world do you even care? Go back to your girlfriend and bugger off!”

          “I do care,” Mark said, his voice softening. A sure sign that he was going to bully her about something. “You haven’t been well the past year. I worry that you’re going to get yourself into trouble.”

          Linden stared at him, aghast. “Like drive off a cliff? Why is everyone suddenly terrified that my trip is a way to off myself.”

          “Have you had any counseling about Abigail or the divorce?”

          “That’s none of your business, Mark. Stay out of my life.”

          “I know I did you wrong, and I guess I wanted to apologize. We were both hurting over our Abby-girl.”

          That was the first apology she had ever received from her husband and the words shocked Linden. Then she shook her head, lest he was just messing with her heart again.

“While I was home crying, you were running into another woman’s arms. On the earthquake richter scale of selfishness, you hit an eleven. Is that why you’re here? To bully me into coming back to Phantom? Interesting that I’m suddenly so needed.”

          “Okay, I admit it. You’re one of the top makeup artists in town. So yes, I need you. We’re in our last month of performances and you should have told me I needed to find someone to replace you. You should have waited until this run was done in December.”

          “September has better driving weather. I’m avoiding snow chains in the mountains. And, I do believe your office manager hired a makeup temp for the next month. You really should talk to Gloria more often,” Linden added. “Or pay attention to your backstage crew instead of your half-talented Christine understudy.”

“That’s a low blow, even for you, Linden.”

“She interfered in my marriage and took my husband from me and you want me to give her sympathy? And just to clarify this entire conversation: I get to take a vacation without having to run over the director on Second Avenue.”

          He straightened, hands on his hips, suit coat over one arm. Looking very much like an ordinary businessman instead of a Broadway director.

          Linden gave a small laugh. “I do believe you’re going to miss me, Mr. Denly, but you can’t bring yourself to admit it.”

          He bent over, hands braced against the doorjamb. “Hey, Lindy,” he said quietly. “Do you mind getting out of the car for a minute? It feels weird talking to you through the window like this.”

Linden gazed at him, and then opened the car door, standing on the edge of the broken sidewalk. “Is that better?”

“You’re coming back, aren’t you, Linden?”

          Linden tried to figure out where this was going. “You mean from my vacation? Why is everyone so worried about me not coming back to New York?”

“Because you’ve had a rough couple of years. We both have.”

“You seem to have gotten over it pretty quickly. Looong before the divorce papers were drawn up.”

A pensive look crossed his face. “We had a child together, I’ll never forget that. And I did love you, Lindy. Part of me still does.”

Before she knew it, Mark scooped her up in his arms, bending softly to kiss her on the lips. Linden was so shocked she froze, but his lips were warm and gentle, and the smell of his familiar cologne engulfed her as much as his arms did.

She couldn’t move, couldn’t speak. Oh, how she’d missed him. Missed his romantic kisses. Missed having her husband in her life. Missed the comfort he used to give.

Ten seconds later, she pushed against his chest, tottering on her feet. “No, no, no, don’t you dare do this to me, Mark Denly! It’s too late. There’s no going back.”

“But Lindy—”

She cut him off, shaking her head, emotion welling up in her throat. “You made your choices. All you want to do now is possess me. I’m leaving. Now goodbye!”

          With shaking legs, she clambered back into the driver’s seat, while Mark slipped his hand along her arm as if to stop her.

          “We used to be good, Lindy, didn’t we? There’s still something between us. I can feel it.”

          “I am not going to answer that,” she whispered, her voice shaking now. If it weren’t for Julie literally back at the theater, waiting in the wings, waiting for Mark at the apartment they now shared, she might not have stopped Mark’s kisses.

But after that kiss, Linden had to reclaim some of her self-esteem.


She hit the button to roll up the window, put the car into gear, and pressed her foot on the gas pedal, shooting toward the green light at the next intersection. 



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Thursday, 8 February 2018

Spy by Night





An award-winning author, Jordan McCollum can’t resist a story where good defeats evil and true love conquers all. She writes stories about love, lies, secrets and sometimes spies, and she helps writers craft their fiction to make their stories and their prose more engaging. 

All four of the novels in her Spy Another Day series were named finalists in the Whitney Awards, a juried prize. Spy by Night is a prequel to the other novels in the series.


Connect with the Author here: 


"After watching her parents’ marriage crash and burn, CIA operative Talia Reynolds doesn’t believe in “happily ever afters.” Besides, her job entails eighty-hour weeks, juggling a dozen covers and disguises, and tracking down a dangerous Russian spy ring. She hardly has time for romantic entanglements, even if she could let her guard down enough to get close to anyone. But all the rules she lives by could be broken when she meets aerospace engineer Danny Fluker.

Danny moved to Canada for a great job — and a chance to start over after a bad breakup. Dating definitely isn’t in his plans . . . until beautiful and enigmatic Talia throws a perfect storm right in his flight path. When he catches a glimpse of the real woman behind her fa├žade, he has to get to know her better.

Talia has to find a Russian spymaster before he figures out she’s not who she claims, and failing to keep her two lives separate in the process could mean the death of more than just her budding relationship. Danny has to decide if a future with Talia — and facing the past — is worth the risk of getting hurt again. If they can break through the barriers keeping them apart (and avoid a major international catastrophe), they just might have a chance at being happy together."



~ Amazon ~ B&N ~ Kobo



Excerpt:

I don't do romance. After all, when your job involves lying to almost everyone, you aren’t set up for success on that front—and emotional entanglements have never helped me do said job. On a personal level, it’s much, much safer to spy alone. 

Fortunately, feelings have nothing to do with the allure (and lust) of Latin dance, or the fluttering in my stomach, or the guy escorting me onto the dance floor. Elliott’s tall, dark and handsome enough to make James Bond jealous—and he shoots a wink my way. I skip my normal eye-roll, because I need the luck. We’ve been working for weeks, and if we don’t look legit in these next make-or-break minutes, the whole thing will be a waste. My partner and I take our places, and the smirk passes unspoken between us.

Neither of us look at the couple to my left: Galina Isayeva and Vasily Loban, the Russian spymaster we’re tracking. I know, an amateur ballroom competition in Canada might be the last place you’d expect a Russian spy, but everyone needs a hobby—and his day job as a barber in Embassy Row gives him plenty of access to prime targets. For now, I need to focus on my cover and my partner. 

Most of the time, the real jobs of people like Elliott Monteith and Talia Reynolds (that would be us) look very little like the exciting lives of Bond or Bauer or Bourne, especially in Canada. But once in a while, being a spy is a scene right out of a movie. Today that scene’s a ballroom dance sequence—but instead of blending into a sophisticated, glamorous reception, I’m on display to be criticized and scrutinized. I may be covered in sparkly flesh-toned spandex from ankle to wrist, and yet I feel completely naked.

I take a deep breath that smells of musty high school gym and anticipation. A couple semesters of Latin dance versus the top dancers in Canada? I’d be lucky to be naked (because nobody would be paying attention to my technique). We may not confront many direct threats in Canada, but today’s biggest danger is to my dignity—and I haven’t even started dancing.

“First,” the melodramatic Moviefone-wannabe announcer booms over the public address system, “the cha cha.”


The music starts. My heart stops. Show time.



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Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Soul Mirrors





My love of storytelling traces back to my step-mother, who spun wonderful fantasy stories when I was child. I finished my first novel at sixteen. That first attempt was terrible, but taught me quite a bit about story construction. Though I would start numerous other projects in the following years, I wouldn't actually complete another book for another 21 years. 
I wasn't idle in that time, though. I earned a degree in engineering, married the love of my life, worked as a semi- truck driver crisscrossing the country, moved from Texas to North Dakota and then came back home. 
It's been a fun and interesting journey. I really enjoy engineering, but writing was my first passion, and I'm excited to share it with you.
I currently live in West Texas with my wife and our two adorable (but weird) cats.

Connect with the Author here: 
 ~ Website





"No one knows how human genetics evolved to create Mirrors. No one knows how the evidence of a criminal’s last horrendous act can be confirmed in a single gaze of a child’s silvered eyes. But just because science can’t explain something doesn’t mean it can’t be used, and this gift is simply too valuable to ignore.

Twins Thomas and Ashley Ross have grown up knowing they would be used as Mirrors for the “good” of humanity. When their powers mature at age twelve, they are taken weekly to fulfill their role. By reliving the most heinous crimes from a perpetrators’ perspective, they alone can assure that no innocent people will be executed, and that the worst offenders are not set free due to lack of evidence.

Justice is not without cost, however. Taking on the memories of others is a destructive process, one that quickly consumes the children involved until most take their own lives. As despair threatens to drown Thomas and Ashley, a distant hope keeps them from succumbing: If they can make it to their eighteenth birthday, their contract with the government will be fulfilled. Changing views on the morality of their role threatens to tear them apart, but the twins struggle to cling to each other and try to construct a fragile life above the weekly flood of horrors. 

As their work takes it toll, however, a new question emerges: does survival even matter when you’re already broken beyond repair?"



~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK




Snippet: 


 “Why do you think I do this?” Sam demanded suddenly. His voice was hard, almost angry.
“It’s a paycheck.”
Sam shook his head firmly. Even in the dark, Thomas could make out the gesture. “I told you the day I met you that I could make more money doing something else.”
Memory of a conversation floated to the surface, and instinctively Thomas pushed it away before realizing that this time the memory seeking his attention was his own. He remembered sitting in the plane, talking after that first Reflection.
“To make a difference,” Thomas said. “And you don’t think you’d have done that today.”
“Yes, Thomas. Someday I’ll lose this job by caring too much for one of my kids, but it wasn’t today. I’m not going to sacrifice everything when it won’t make any difference.”

For a long moment, Thomas processed that. Then, quietly, he said, “It would have made a difference to me.”


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