Defined By Others (Defining Ways Series Book 1) by M. C. V. Egan

Defined-by-Others-Defining-Ways-Series-Book-1-by-M.C.V.-EganA word, a single word defines a moment for Anne. She needs to find a new one when her spouse leaves her at the age of 47, coming out of the closet literally in a closet. She finds herself back in her hometown amongst her high school friends which she left behind in her past.

An inheritance from a friend leaves her with the means to meddle and spy on the lives of some of their mutual acquaintances. In an attempt to run from her reality Anne gets engrossed in a game of “fun” and “flirtation” with her friend and fellow sufferer Connie at her side. Anne however did not read all the files and what to her is fun games turns into a deadly reality. It is no longer a game.

Life, death and not even a defining word can stop the reality of manipulation.

Genre: Women’s Contemporary Fiction Thanks sounds better than Chick Lit

Book Review

Like so many in our mobile society, Anne had left her upper middle class town to live, work, travel, get married and have children away from her small town roots, family and friends. At age forty-seven Anne finds herself back in her hometown, where very little has changed. As bad as the small town rumor mill is, time has added a cyber aspect where it seems everyone ‘knows’ and this increases Anne’s pain, guilt, frustration, devastation and anger that her husband has left her for a ‘man’.

Anne prided herself in knowing just the right word for every situation. What word will come to mind after her high school friend Amanda dies? Amanda’s casket had just been lowered into the ground when Anne finds herself alone in an Attorney’s Office starring at Amanda’s final message on video. Almost in a trance, Anne leaves the office with the inheritance held tightly in her hands as questions swirl around in her head.

Connie whose marriage had also taken a bad turn, is a welcome old friend that makes herself at home in Anne’s childhood home. Connie and Anne reminisce, eat, drink, explore Anne’s mother’s secret room and slowly go through and digest the inheritance that Amanda has left.

Together Annie and Connie tap into what they call “our inner bitch” to deal with the cards that life had dealt them. Intrigued by a “game” that Amanda started and manipulated by the detailed instructions left by Amanda; this game engages them in “harmless” cyber fun that allows Annie and Connie to toy with the emotions and even love interests of mutual acquaintances.

If you could secretly know everything about your friends and neighbors, would you want to know?

If you could secretly manipulate those who had hurt you in the past, would you?

How far would you go?

Would you heed the message on the cover of this book? “If you share a secret it will no longer be a secret.^^^Keep your secrets safe.^^^Do not share your secrets.^^^.It will destroy you.^^^Secrets give power.”

I always quote a couple passages from the books that reads, so here goes.

P56 “power is great because it makes you the dominatrix. The psychological manipulator, which is the perfect description for what Amanda was.”

P150 “As we sat there judging and discussing our generation we were ridiculously oblivious to our own behavior. Apparently women often do not realize they are addicted until they are in a heap of trouble, and we were no exception.”

P151 “We were addicted to a variety of deceptions: love deception and sexual deception.”

You must read this book to see exactly what was included in the inheritance that Amanda gave Anne, what was involved in perusing Amanda’s game and what if any consequences, real or imagined in life and in cyberspace.

Defined by Others (Defining Ways Series Book 1) by M.C.V. Egan is a well written Women’s Contemporary Fiction with realistic dialog between the characters and a twist of generational similarities and differences.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Defined by Others (Defining Ways Series Book 1) by M.C.V. Egan which is Women’s Contemporary Fiction with realistic dialog and a twist of generational similarities and differences.

I hear rumors that ‘Climbing Up The Family Tree: Defined by Pedigree’ is next in the series. Meanwhile make sure you read The Bridge Of Deaths: A Love Story and A Mystery by M.C.V. Egan. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on January 27, 2016.

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Dangerous Waters: Contemporary Romantic Mystery (The Guernsey Novels Book 1) by Anne Allen

** Awarded Silver in the 2012 WishingShelfAwards **

A contemporary romantic mystery, Dangerous Waters is the first of The Guernsey Novels

Tragedy seems to follow Jeanne Le Page around . . .
Can she really go through it again and survive?

Jeanne is lucky to be alive … at sixteen she was almost killed in a boating accident which brought heart-breaking family tragedy. Now, fifteen years later, Jeanne returns reluctantly to the island of Guernsey following the death of her beloved grandmother. Struggling for breath as the ferry nears the island, she is overwhelmed by a dark foreboding as hazy memories of that terrible day resurface…

Only returning to sell her inheritance – her grandmother’s old cottage – she has no intention of picking up her old life. But the cottage holds a secret, dating back to World War II, and Jeanne becomes drawn into discovering more. Then, soon after her arrival, a chance meeting with an old teenage crush leads her to thoughts of love.

Jeanne is forced to face her demons, reliving the tragedy as her lost memory returns.

When the truth is finally revealed, her life is endangered for the second time…

Review
The island of Guernsey is so vividly evoked, one feels as if one is walking its byways. An atmospheric and tantalising read. –Elizabeth Bailey, author of The Gilded Shroud

I’ve never been to Guernsey but I’m determined to go now that I’ve read this book. It’s a book you can settle into and really enjoy, but it’s a lot more than chick-lit. There’s an intriguing mystery, a finish which had me reading into the early hours of the morning and an insight into what I think of as the back-end of the publishing industry the bit that the reader never sees or even knows exists. It’s delivered with a light touch but gives the book real depth. I was impressed. **** –Bookbag.co.uk

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Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 1) by A. K. Taylor

Winner of the 2012 Indie Reader Approved Award

Nominated as “A Great Book for Kids” by fantasy and science fiction reviewer CC Cole

What if the fate of two worlds were in the hands of one person: you?

The childhood secret of a troubled teen warrior is used against her by her enemies. It turns out what Neiko imagined is real, and she becomes trapped in the same world she imagined by an otherworldly evil that is worse than the devil. Getting home is the least of her problems.

The Indians and the Crackedskulls are locked in the turmoil of a war that has raged for centuries, and it is presently in a stalemate. Her enemies, Raven and Bloodhawk, have come up with a scheme to take her down, but in doing so they inadvertently open the door to another universe and to an otherworldly evil. Neiko later finds out that a land she thought she had only imagined is actually real and the dark being is not a figment of her childhood imagination-he is terrifyingly real and she faces him for the first time. To make matters worse, it is now in her world and he has evil plans especially for her.

After several standoffs with the malevolent Ramses the Dark Pharaoh in Hawote, she is trapped in Qari by his strange and powerful magic. Trapped in another universe in a place that is not exactly the way she imagined it, and she must somehow find a way to teleport home. That is easier said than done; the odds are overwhelmingly against her and her scorpion-cobra companion as they must travel to find the answer and help but at the same time avoid Ramses’ allies, traps, and tricks. Can she come back home and turn the tables on her enemies?

Best for tweens and teens 12-17 and the young at heart adult!

Book Review

I can’t begin to imagine A. K. Taylor as a young girl writing fascinating fantasy tales like Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (Neiko Adventure Saga Book One). Granted as an adult the author has revised this teen writing project and added the wisdom and balance of being a grown, educated and married woman.

Take a moment and think back to your childhood bedroom. Recall your favorite toys, the ones you played with the most and the ones that caused you some discomfort in the dark. Now imagine your bedroom transformed into a fantasy land were you were called upon to battle for the good and defeat evil between reality and imaginary. What if you found out those imaginary worlds and the people/creatures in it were real and you became trapped there? Some things you imagined were incorrect. What would you do?

Neiko’s has one foot in reality and the other where she is Captain Neiko Kidd, commanding officer of the Desert Storm Falcons a hidden world that coexists with the known one. These woodland warriors battle with the Crackedskulls and it has to be done before supper.

I always like to share a quote from each book that I review, not to spoil, but to engage. Now imagine yourself back as a teen trying to communicate with your mom and see if it would go something like this:

“Well, here goes nothing,” said Neiko as she walked down the hall. She was trying to measure up what to say to her mother about what happened. She sat down at the table and waited for her mom to hand her dinner. They prayed, and after they finished, Neiko began eating.

“I wonder where your daddy is,” her mom said, trying to break the silence.

“I don’t know, probably got held up at LP again,” Neiko replied with a mouth full of cabbage.

“Is there something on your mind? You’re awfully quiet.”

“Yeah, um—did you hear anything strange—like in my room… like metal hitting the wall or something?”

“No, why?”

“I was just wondering because a couple of strange things happened a few minutes ago.”

“Like what?”

“Well—like…um—I was playing with Ramses, and when he hit the wall he clanged, and then I tried to bring him in the toy box; I missed, and he hit the side and said ‘Ow’.”

“Who is Ramses?”

“One of my toys—the guy with the shiny armor.”

“Amanda,” she groaned in an aggravated manner, then said gently, “Oh—yeah— well… that’s nice, dear.”

“Mom, I ain’t makin’ this up. It really happened.”

“That’s really using your imagination. Did this happen during a battle?”

“No! This wasn’t pretend—this was real. Like in real life,” Neiko stammered.

“Oh, well, that’s a really nice joke—”

“I’m not joking—and I haven’t even laughed about it. If I was joking, then I would be laughing my head off.”

“Has he ever done this before?” “No.”

“Did he come with any special real-life sounds or anything?”

“No, he was just a plain toy. I’ve had him for a long time, and I’ve played with him a million times, and it’s never happened before—never mind, let’s talk about something else.”

The question begs to be answered, would your Mom believe you? What if your real or imaginary friends reveled in the fact that your Mom just didn’t understand.

I encourage teens and young adults to read ‘Neiko’s Five Land Adventure’ and learn from a peer that you must have courage and the strength to face the odds and fight for what you believe. Teens will enjoy this book and perhaps it will encourage them to write about their toys and action figures that seem to at times, take on a life of their own.

This book was winner of the ‘2012 Indie Reader Approved Award’ and this book was nominated as “A Great Book for Kids” by fantasy and science fiction reviewer CC Cole

Author A. K. Taylor created the Map of Hawote/Georgia and the Map of Qari and has been writing and drawing since the age of sixteen. She worked with another artist to create the 23 black and white photos that help bring the story to life IN THE Sixty-five chapters. There are also letters and an amazing log titled “Neiko’s Log” at the end of this book which details, people, places and events. This log will help young readers as this series continues.

For parents: The author grew up in the backwoods of Georgia where she learned hunting and fishing, beekeeping, gardening, archery, shooting, hiking, and has various collections. She has her degree from University of Georgia with a biology degree. I think she is a good role model for teens and young adults.

Theodocia McLean endorses Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 1) by A. K. Taylor and encourage teens and young adults to read Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (Book One), Escape from Ancient Egypt (Book Two), The Newbie Author’s Survival Guide and her latest book title Bloody Klondike Gold. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on October 20, 2016.

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Hunting Mariah by J. E. Spina

An insane killer, obsessed with blood and death, seeks revenge with those he perceives wronged him. He is now on the loose. His next victim may be Mariah.

Mariah has lost her memory. Will she remember what has transpired in her past? Can Mariah escape this deadly killer’s grasp. Will she finally be safe? Will the killer be apprehended?

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A Regency Yuletide by Becky Lower

After a disappointing season in London, Sophie Davenport returns home without a marriage proposal. No sooner does she settle back into her country life than she learns her uncle has arranged for her to marry the local vicar’s son, a respectable and utterly forgettable man. He’s returning home immediately after the Christmas holiday and they will wed. She sets about making this last Christmas with just she and her mother memorable.

Jeremy Wyatt hatches a plan to help his friend Thomas and his love, Emma, escape to Gretna Green and marry before her father comes after them. What he’s really doing is avoiding heading to his parents’ home, where he is the son who is always making the wrong choices. But their carriage becomes hopelessly mired in the mud from the incessant rains so Jeremy sets off to find shelter for them at the first house he comes to.

Sophie welcomes the wet and weary travelers, and her mother agrees to house them temporarily until they can free the carriage. Sophie forms a bond not only with Emma, but with Jeremy. However despite the sparks they ignite in each other, they have to maintain their separate paths.

But love and mistletoe have a way of upsetting even the best-laid plans.

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Our Family Quilt: The Fabric of Life (Volume 1) by Rhonda Cratty

Join and experience creativity and nostalgia through Grace, a master quilter, -as she shares her creative gifts with her young granddaughter, Audrey.

Together their lives unfold around their family quilt.

The love between grandmother and granddaughter keep a family’s generations turning despite minor setbacks, disappointments and celebrations of life. As friends and family of this charming mountain town in Colorado come together for life’s moments.

Creating an inspirational, heartwarming story to share with those you love.

Our Family Quilt immerses readers in: • Family Life • Contemporary Women • Quilting ideas • Creativity for everyday living • The secret world of Grandmothers and Granddaughters and the people they love…

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How Far Is Heaven by J. E. Spina

Parker and Priscilla Wilfork are happily married with two children. Life seemed perfect and peaceful until Parker goes on a business trip and does not return. Priscilla finds her world turned upside down when she searches for answers to how and why Parker disappeared.

One night Priscilla has a dream that Parker is an angel. Does this mean that Parker is now dead? After two years and no sign of Parker except in her dreams, Priscilla makes the decision to tell her children that their father has gone to Heaven.

Priscilla tries to get their lives back together until one day Deanna disappears too. Now Priscilla must go on a quest to find her daughter before it’s too late. She fears her daughter’s disappearance might be connected in some way to her husband’s. Can Priscilla go on with her life if she loses Deanna too?

With the help of a handsome police Sergeant, Blake Furelli, they work together to try to find Deanna and solve the mystery behind Parker’s disappearance. During this trying time, Blake, who suffered a loss of his own, feels drawn to the ethereal beauty of Priscilla.

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Snapdragon Wishes: The Magic of Making Memories and Bringing More Meaning to the Holidays by Katie Coates

Are you looking for ways to bring more meaning into the holidays and make memories with your friends and family? The Snapdragon – an ancient tradition from the British Isles – will help you do just that.

Full-color artwork in jewel tones illuminate the touching words in this beautifully illustrated picture book. The Snapdragon is a warm, fun and lively activity you can make a tradition in your own home.

The Snapdragon has been enjoyed by families and friends all over the United States. Now it’s your turn to learn how to make your Snapdragon Wishes come true and have good luck in the New Year.

This book makes a wonderful gift for birthdays, holidays, new parents, housewarmings and anyone who wants to introduce a fun and lively ritual that will create memories and bring more meaning into the holidays.

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Created to Live: Becoming the Answer for an Abortion-Free Community by Cathy Harris

In today’s America, an abortion is performed every 26 seconds.

Since 1973, nearly 58 million abortions have been performed in the United States alone, devastating countless women, men, and families. If you have had an abortion, know someone who has, or desire to make a pro-life impact in your community, Created to Live features resources, hard truths, and practical steps to help end the abortion epidemic.

The days of hanging in the balance are over. The grey area is quickly becoming black or white. The choice is ours.

Cathy Harris, a post-abortive woman herself, gives insight through her own story. Looking for new life for herself after her abortion, Cathy was brave enough to step through the doors of a church. Because of one bold conversation, a genuine community, and a merciful God, life found her.

Now she dreams that other women will find the abundant life they search for, both before and after abortion. Equipping women, church communities, and pastors, Created to Live starts the conversation that few are brave enough to start. God will always be merciful: will you be part of the abortion-free community that thousands of women and babies need?

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Give It Wings And Let It Fly Away by Ken Maxon

We all have felt the pleasure and pain of love, of unrequited love and of course, the ups and downs that come with it.

I’m sure we’ve all also felt the fear of doing something wrong as we get to know someone new. I have attempted to write down those feelings in verse for enjoyment. In some cases to relive those early moments and their exhilaration and in some cases to relieve the pain of the ending that sometimes follows.

It’s a bittersweet moment as I see this collection of poetry come to print. Not only because of the effort to write and the gauntlet of emotions I went through as I wrote, but also because during the process I lost my home, but found a new one. I had to part with several furry friends to make the move, even though I was able to save a good portion of them as well. I have always been a cat lover, they fascinate me.

As I was working on this collection, I had been adopted by 18 cats who wandered onto my property at various times. I was more than happy to water down the soup so to speak and accept their friendship in return.

The loss of the ones I couldn’t save though has made me decide to use a portion of the proceeds from these books sales to found and fund a no kill shelter specializing in my feline friends, who seem to have fewer and fewer supporters in this world today.

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Timeless Honor (Mirrors of Time Book 3) by Amber Daulton

Jaye Ramsey decided to prove to her eccentric grandmother that time travel only existed in movies by vacationing in Bolivia with her friends. When she woke up in Hawksatter, England, 1735—the same town her grandmother supposedly vanished from as a young woman—Jaye found refuge at a hunting lodge but the strapping, reclusive baron who took her in reminded her all too well she was a lone woman at his mercy.

Accused of murdering his newly-wedded wife a decade earlier, Lord Lucas Kenway closed the family farm and shut out the world. He never expected the little spitfire he claimed responsibility for would turn his quiet life upside down. Pushed together by fate and his meddling servants, Lucas wanted Jaye on his own terms and refused to surrender his hardened heart.
Then a mysterious wise man offered Jaye a way home.

Should she return to the future and the only life she’d ever known, or stay in an uncertain past as a stranger in a new world?

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The Springer Spaniel Mysteries: The Complete Series by Nancy T. Lucas

Scout is an only dog and sometimes lonely, but he does have some dog friends in his Charleston, SC neighborhood. Whether it’s a pair of Boston Terriers that go missing, a difficult ghost dog bully that needs re-homing, tulip bulbs that must be found, or a cursed carriage mule, it’s up to Scout (and later, NEW PUPPY Benne Wafer) to lead the rescue missions and solve the mysteries.

Along the way, he encounters a terrifying boa constrictor, some unkind wharf rats and a chatty possum that’s obsessed with food.

Don’t forget to pack your sense of humor and some extra palmetto bugs for these adventures that will take you through Charleston’s city sewers, King Street shopping and to the City Market!

And in this volume, Part Four of The Springer Spaniel Mysteries includes the new adventure, The Curse of the Carriage Mule.

PRAISE for The Springer Spaniel Mysteries: “This series… promises to be enticing to comic canine mystery lovers age 8 and up.” – The Midwest Book Review

“We are proud to announce that A GHOSTLY TAIL by Nancy T. Lucas is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree.” – indieBrag

“Anyone with a wee one in need of a good read, a heart for hounds, or just a love for a good yarn will enjoy The Missing Tulip Bulbs.” – The Charleston Mercury Nancy Lucas lives in Charleston, SC.

Scout is her favorite Springer Spaniel and she insists on writing and illustrating silly stories about his capers.

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The Parthian (Parthian Chronicles Book 1) by Peter Darman

When Rome transgresses upon his father’s domain that lays between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, Pacorus, a prince of the Parthian Empire, is sent to exact revenge. After a string of victories Pacorus and his men are captured in Cappadocia, clapped in chains and sent to Italy to live out the rest of their days as slaves. But fate intervenes and Pacorus and his companions are saved from a living hell by a renegade gladiator named Spartacus. In gratitude, Pacorus agrees to help Spartacus build his army as Rome musters its legions to crush the slave uprising. And so begins an epic adventure of glory and savagery played out across the length and breadth of Italy, as Spartacus defeats the armies of Rome and Pacorus leads his horsemen to victory after victory. But will Pacorous and the slave army escape from Italy, and will he win the love of the fierce and proud Gallia before the most powerful man in Rome, Marcus Licinius Crassus, takes the field against Spartacus?

A map of the Parthian Empire at the time of Pacorus (the 1st Century BC) can be found on the maps page of my website: www.peterdarman.com

“Darman has researched this novel extremely well, as one would expect with his military non-fiction background. This detail is meshed with great story telling which flows along with great gusto. Less for the fact that this book is about a Parthian rather than a Roman, I would describe it as a ‘Roman Sharpe’. Darman’s style is similar to and as good as Bernard Cornwell’s, one of my favourite authors.”

British Army Rumour Service review, June 2011

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Cotillion Ball Saga: The Complete Series by Becky Lower

You’ll fall in love with the spirited Fitzgerald family as they find romance in turbulent Civil War-era America.

Raised to defy societal convention and follow their passions, these siblings’ rebellious hearts meet their matches. Settle in to enjoy these 10 tales of independent, passionate, and strong American heroines!

The Reluctant Debutante: Ginger Fitzpatrick would rather be rallying for women’s rights than attending the Cotillion Ball – until she sets her eye on Joseph Lafontaine, a half Ojibwa Indian, whom New York society deems totally unsuitable for marriage to a fine, cultured young lady. But love knows no such boundaries . . .

The Abolitionist’s Secret: Heather Fitzpatrick falls for young army lieutenant David Whitman, who is tracking the runaway slave she rescued a few nights earlier. Can their attraction survive the coming divide between North and South?

Banking on Temperance: At age 23, Basil Fitzpatrick is the owner of the St. Louis branch of the family banking business and has his pick of the ladies – but it’s impoverished spitfire Temperance Jones, daughter of a circuit-riding preacher, who catches his eye. She’s determined to get to Oregon – does he have the courage to follow? The Tempestuous Debutante: The smart choice says Jasmine Fitzpatrick should choose to charm the Viscount of Foxborough at this season’s Cotillion, but the noble’s stable boy, Parr O’Shaughnessy, may hold the key to her heart.

Blinded by Grace: Grace Wagner has been in love with Halwyn Fitzpatrick since they were teens, but now she needs a husband in order to inherit the trust her father has left for her. Will Halwyn’s new glasses help him see her in a new light, or will she take control and propose to him herself? The Duplicitous Debutante: Writing the popular Harry Hawk dime novels as F.P. Elliott, Rosemary Fitzpatrick is busy hiding her female identity from her new publisher, Henry Cooper. But Henry is not the typical Boston Brahmin nor the typical publisher. When her deception begins to unravel at the Cotillion Ball, will Henry be able to forgive her, or has deceit cost her the man she loves?

Expressly Yours, Samantha: To escape her wicked uncle, Samantha Hughes cuts her hair to pose as a man and become Sam Hughes, a Pony Express rider. Valerian Fitzpatrick joins the hard-riding circuit in an attempt to escape life in the family business. As he and Sam grow close, Valerian’s more than willing to protect her secret, but when Sam’s forced to run yet again, does a future with her mean giving up the freedom he’s always craved?

A Widow’s Salvation: Volunteering at the army hospital, widow Pepper Fitzpatrick Brown meets Colonel Elijah Williams, the head surgeon who can’t shake his experiences in the bloody war. It’s hard to find happiness in a war-torn United States, but these two wounded souls stand a fighting chance – if they can save what’s left of their hearts. The Forgotten Debutante: Saffron Fitzpatrick spent her teenage years mourning the dead rather than dancing at her debutante ball, with the exception of one forbidden kiss with solider Ezekiel Boone. Fate reunites the couple three years later, and they discover unexpected common ground and begin to build a relationship. But though the war is over, a future together may still elude them . . . especially if Saffron’s brother and the U.S.

Army have anything to say about it. An Unconventional Courtship: Discover where it all began with this bonus novella featuring the Fitzpatrick parents! Charlotte Ashcroft knows her family would never approve of her attending a women’s rights speech in New York City alone. So when a busybody from back home confronts Charlotte, she grabs the man in a jaunty blue hat nearby and introduces him as her escort. What’s an up-and-coming young banker like George Fitzpatrick to do but help a lady out?

Sensuality Level: Sensual

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Wanna Take a Ride? (The Box Set – 5 Twisted Tales from the Files of the Second Chance Limousine Service) by Gary Tenuta

The concept is simple: Let’s say the Second Chance limo has come for you. You now get a second chance to right a wrong. The consequences of the second chance, however, are anything but simple. Did you hurt someone in some way? Or did someone do something to you? Either way, wouldn’t you like a second chance to straighten things out? Enter: the Second Chance Limousine. A mysterious, black 1959 Cadillac limousine arrives unexpectedly and, one way or another, you end up in the back seat and the car rolls away into the night.

The next thing you know, you’re back at a point in time just prior to the traumatic event with no idea how you got there. You find a business card in your pocket (or on the table, or on the nightstand next to your bed). A “Second Chance Limousine” logo is on the front of the card. The card has the numbers 1 through 12 printed across the top and the numbers 13 through 24 along the bottom. You notice one of those numbers has a hole punched through it. You flip the card over and read this:

••• This Second Chance has a time limit. The numbers represent hours. The number punched on this card is the amount of time you have to make things right. Your time will begin automatically the moment you finish reading this. The card is programmed to monitor your success or failure to complete your task. This Second Chance will expire if the task is not completed within the allotted time frame. Should that happen, you will immediately find yourself back in the moment of time and in the exact situation in which you were engaged just before the driver appeared at the scene. Good luck. Your time starts Now. •••

At first you’re puzzled. This isn’t possible, and yet here you are. Somehow, by some strange twist of fate, you’ve been given what everyone wishes for at some point in their life: a second chance. Now, the rest is up to you. Will you succeed? Or will you fail? You won’t know until you try. And by the way, you’d better get a move on. Your time starts….. Now.

The 5 “Twisted Tales” in this volume are:

• ATONEMENT (novelette, 11,500 words) – A wealthy computer software entrepreneur is filled with remorse for having his wife murdered by a killer-for-hire. Can he atone for such a sin? The 2nd Chance Limo is on the way. But will it help? Or will it fail? You’ll have to read this twisted tale. Wanna take a ride?

• A BITE OUT OF TIME (novelette, 7,500 words) – Vince Blaylock, an up and coming rock star, finds himself smitten and bitten and not at all pleased to discover he’s now a vampire. A hundred years later, to the day, his Second Chance becomes a tale of revenge with an ending you won’t see coming. Wanna take a ride?

• THE GOOD LIBRARIAN (novella, 21,500 words) – The tiny, rural town of Higginsville has a rather unusual library. Perhaps even more unusual than the library is the old head librarian, Ms. Beatrice Busby. She burns books. But when a Gypsy woman arrives and all hell breaks loose in the library basement, on Halloween night, and two young girls meet their demise, well… somebody’s gonna need a second chance to make things right. Then again, who’s to decide what’s right? Wanna take a ride?

• 1ST AVENUE ANNIE (novelette, 10,000 words) – A wanna-be actress, with a life full of baggage, finally gets a shot at the big time. The stage is set, the curtain is about to go up, the audience is buzzing with anticipation. What could possibly go wrong? Rest assured, something will. Something terrible. But you know what they say: The show must go on. The Second Chance Limo is on the way and the script is about to be revised in ways no one could have imagined. Wanna take a ride?

• THE PRANK (novelette: 17,500 words) – The owner of a small grocery store plays a lottery prank on a homeless man. It was all with the best of intentions. Who would have thought it could all go so wrong? So wrong that the Second Chance limo had to make two trips. Guns and fists and turns and twists. Oh my. Wanna take a ride?

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Escape From Ancient Egypt (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 2) by A. K. Taylor

Winner of the Bronze Medal Award and Best in YA Historical Fantasy in the 2013 Wisebear Book Awards!

Winner of the UP Authors Approved Award for the 2013 Fiction Challenge!

**Top 50 Amazon Bestseller in Teen and Young Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy Time Travel and Teen and Young Adult Action Adventure categories!

When being stuck in the past has a whole new meaning…

What if your worst enemy sent you on a one-way ticket to the past? Worse, later he shows up and tries to play match-maker with a dominant historical figure while all of history and the future are on the line? Survival is just one problem, but then add your friends into the mix…

Following an intense battle between the Indians and the Crackedskulls, Neiko and her comrades enjoy victory while her enemies suffer a crushing defeat. Victory is short lived for Neiko when Francesco pays her a visit at her home and sends her away in order to collect on his threat of revenge. She is banished into the ancient world of ancient Egypt during the reign of Ramesses II the Great on a one way ticket.

Lost and trapped in this ancient world, it doesn’t take very long for trouble to find her. Taken by a rich man, she is reunited with three of her friends that had been missing, and an eleven-year-old mystery is finally solved, but one of Neiko’s friends is still unaccounted for. After escaping from the rich man and journeying to Thebes, Neiko and her comrades have actually jumped from the pan and into the fire.

Things go horribly awry when Pharaoh finds out about Neiko and becomes infatuated with her. Francesco comes to Egypt on orders to bring her back, but he has other plans. Can Neiko and her friends thwart Francesco, return to the 21st century, and escape from the past and one of the greatest kings that ever lived?

Best for teens and tweens 12-17 and the young at heart adult!

If you love the action, adventure, and time travel intrigue of Back to the Future and Time Machine (except without the time machine) and modern 21st century Native Americans in ancient Egypt, but the story of the Ten Commandments and the Prince of Egypt in reverse with a battle of wills and the motives of passion from Pharaoh, and the comic relief of The Big Bang Theory, you’ll love Escape from Ancient Egypt!

For a Behind the Scenes backstory and the events of the story from Ramesses’ point of view go to: backwoodsauthor.com/2016/10/04/behind-scenes-exploring-backstory-escape-ancient-egypt/

Book Review

Escape From Ancient Egypt by A. K. Taylor is book two in the Neiko Adventure series. Although penned as a series, each book stands alone with action adventure all its own.  ‘Escape From Ancient Egypt’ is for those young adult readers who enjoy time travel to ancient Egypt with a Native American Indian twist.

The book starts out with a wonderful map drawing of Egypt Ca 1300 BC drawn by author. The seven photo illustrations were produced by a separate artist. Her book cover design is by Mallory Rock.

In chapter one, Neiko (main character) emerges from a portal and makes a log entry concerning Hawote, a “hidden land that coexisted with the United States, Canada, and Mexico”.

Forty-three chapters reveal realistic characters, imaginative fantasy with action suspense drama, easy to follow dialog that will keep the reader engaged anticipating the next carefully placed photo that brings visual enhancement to the story.

In order to give you the reader a feel for the author’s writing style, I quote a passage from chapter three and share a description of the illustration photo in this chapter.

“Neiko’s vision turned from the green light to the world spinning around her in dizzying speed. Neiko wasn’t moving, but she felt like she was in freefall—like someone had cut the cable from an elevator, and she was plummeting with it. Descending in what—space and time? The evergreen and colorful deciduous vegetation of the Hawote woodlands changed to a desert with a river with some greenery and palms nearby. The cool autumn air of Hawote in October transformed into stifling, searing, dry heat. Pyramids, sphinxes, and strange statues spun around her after her house, porch, and front yard disappeared within the vortex. It was nighttime in Hawote, but the sun rose and set as time flew by— from west to east—backwards. Beneath her bare feet the wood from her front porch turned to nothing then into hot, soft sand.

Neiko’s world stopped spinning, and the sun was high in the sky. Neiko watched the sun to be sure it didn’t move again. Wherever she ended up, she guessed the time must be about high noon there judging by the sun’s position in the sky after a few moments of observation. The heat was intense, and she discovered she must be somewhere far from home. “Where?” was the ultimate question.”

There is a photo of an Indian within this script. “The man chattered in a language she didn’t understand—God knows what he was saying to her. He thrust at her a fine scarab necklace. Neiko looked at him puzzled with her right eyebrow raised. The language didn’t sound like Arabic since she watched a lot of action movies. Neiko put up her hands and shook her head and signed “map” and “phone” and spoke the words in every language that she knew of but got nowhere.”

As you can see Neiko is far from home. You must become a detective yourself and read this book to find out how and why Neiko travels through time? What mystery involves Neiko and some of her friends? How does a Native American girl fit into ancient Egypt culture and what is a girl to do when the Pharaoh takes a romantic interest? What will it take to get Neiko out of the past and back home?

‘Escape From Ancient Egypt’ was the finalist in the ‘Wisebear Digital Book Awards’, winner of the ‘Bronze Medal Award’,  ‘Best in YA Historical Fantasy in the 2013 Wisebear Book Awards’ and Winner of the ‘UP Authors Approved Award for the 2013 Fiction Challenge’.

I invite you to read the first book in this series titled ‘Neiko’s Five Land Adventure’ and ‘Escape From Ancient Egypt’ as both books stand alone with their own adventure.

Theodocia McLean endorses Escape From Ancient Egypt (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 2) by A. K. Taylor. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on September 8, 2016.

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Tuckers Creek: The Mystery Of Elijah Tucker by David Price

Tuckers Creek is book one in the series.

Stu is adapting to small town life when he meets the spirit of his late uncle who takes him on a series of escalating confrontations with the people responsible for his uncle’s murder.

Stu keeps his ghostly encounters a secret but it becomes a struggle balancing a normal life with the whims of his deceased relative.

As the death toll begins to rise the mystery behind his uncle’s murder unravels leaving Stu and everyone he loves at risk.

Genre: Mystery Thriller Supernatural Romance

Awards: David Price was published in 2008 Vain Magazine.

Tuckers Creek Book Two Should Be Out Some Time In 2017.

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The Hunter’s Moon by John G. Evans

1944 – Deep in the forests of Eastern Europe Jasper Palin, the renowned occultist and British secret agent, is pursued by sinister Nazi forces after escaping from a spectacular train wreck.

Desperate to make it back to Allied territory, Palin must not only contend with his Nazi adversaries but also the harsh winter weather.

But unknown to both the agent and his enemies there are other things waiting in the forest under THE HUNTER’S MOON…

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The Dead Phone by Bryan W. Alaspa

A terrifying and chilling novel from the author of RIG: A Novel of Terror, Gone and After the Snowfall

**TERRIFYING SUSPENSE – A PHONE THAT SHOULD NEVER RING – DOES!**

Warren Hollis is a seasoned true crime writer. He likes to submerge himself in the local culture when he writes, so he packs his essentials and heads to Knorr, Pennsylvania. It’s a tiny town in western PA, the kind of town most people on their way to Pittsburgh or New York would drive right past. It’s a town full of friendly, smiling people, but it hides a dark past.

Years ago a man began sneaking into the bedrooms of young girls and taking them under the cover of night. Days later, a grisly calling card would be left for the families to find. He became known as “The Boogeyman” and the rural town of Knorr, and the surrounding communities, have done all they can to forget those terrible days when no one was safe, not even when nestled into their own beds.

Warren arrives and starts asking questions. He stays in a small cabin just outside of town. It’s a nice place, exactly what he’s looking for. There’s just one strange thing: a big, heavy black phone at the top of the stairs. It’s not connected to anything. The phone is just a decorative hold-over from the party line days. Something about it disturbs Warren, the way something about Knorr disturbs him, as well. Someone is hiding something about “The Boogeyman.”

Then the killing starts again.

And, in the middle of the night, a phone that should never be able to ring – begins to do just that…

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Ash-Return Of The Beast by Gary Val Tenuta

Ash: Return of the Beast is an occult crime thriller, a work of fiction based on a little known factoid about the death of Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), the notorious occultist the British press once called “The Wickedest Man In The World”. Crowley’s body was cremated but the whereabouts of his funerary ashes has remained a mystery… until now.

This diabolical tale carries the reader through a series of the most curious (and sometimes unsettling) events spanning the years from 1947(and the death of Aleister Crowley) to the 1990s and the coming-of-age (and eventual stardom) of a “death-metal” rocker named Rodney Duckworth.

The time-line shifts to the present day where Brian Kane, a gruff and gritty, street-worn Seattle Police Detective, reluctantly teams up with the mysterious Rowena Ravenwood, an attractive female FBI agent. Their task is to figure out why good, healthy, God-fearing preachers in their fair city are suddenly dropping dead.

What is the meaning of the strange symbols branded onto the bodies of these hapless victims? Are they all part of some bizarre cult? No eyewitnesses. No fingerprints. Is it really murder? Where’s the evidence? And what is the disturbing secret that Detective Kane is holding so close to his chest?

The investigation catapults Kane and Ravenwood headlong into life-threatening situations as they wind their way through the strange, dark labyrinth of the world of the occult and find themselves battling the powerful forces of ritual magick.

Problem is, the clues to help solve the case are in terribly short supply. Worse yet, so is the amount of time left to stop the mysterious killer’s reign of terror before all Hell breaks loose. And – according to Special Agent Ravenwood – that’s not just a figure of speech.

Warning: This book is intended for adult readers due to strong language and some implied sexual content of a violent nature. Note: the sexual content is implied as opposed to graphic. It is not included as a gratuitous element. Rather, it is specific to the background of one of the primary characters and his personal development as well as to an aspect of certain elements of what is known as “ritual magick”, one of the key elements woven into the storyline.

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Overture: Book 1 of the Overture Series by Issa Puppi

Meet Elma–classical pianist, resident of the Safe Side of the Street, and practitioner of a dependably predictable existence.

Her love life is acceptable, her piano is her home, and her best friend is her vicarious source of spontaneity.

Everything is in harmony until blade like fangs dig into her flesh to obliterate everything she ever knew to be true.

Overture, the first book in a four-part series of the same name, introduces readers to a heroine who will find that she is leagues stronger than she ever thought she could be, more passionate than she dared to believe, and critical in ways she could never have fathomed.

In a symphony of vampires, evil, magic, and timeless love, Elma sings a pivotal song. Watch as she learns the tune.

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The Afterlife Chronicles: Symbol of the Dead by James Paradie

Luke Hawkins is not a popular teenager. His parents think he’s an odd one; he has no friends and has seen many shrinks.

When his parents go on vacation, they leave him with his estranged sister, Samantha.

What looks to be a terrible week turns out quite differently than expected.

Luke never knew that he and his sister share a passionate interest in the paranormal, specifically in spirits. Luke finds an old book that gives instructions on how to get to the other side–the Afterlife … and Luke and Sam embark on an otherworldly adventure.

Breaking laws they didn’t know existed, they become “most wanted” by Afterlife authorities.

Their only help is from a whacky scientist and a king from a world of Afterlife rejects, and the Afterlife’s most notorious, rebellious bad-boy spirit.

For Luke and Sam, nothing is ever quite what it seems to be in the dimensions beyond the Symbol of the Dead.

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The Touch Of A Shadow by Cheri Vause

the-touch-of-a-shadow-by-cheri-vauseJust as Esther Charlemagne has discovered happiness with her partner and now husband, Aiden ‘Mac’ McManus, a grisly killer from a murder case which the couple worked five years earlier, in 1959, returns to threaten her.

For their own protection, the FBI flies Esther and Mac, together with others involved in the case to a remote safe house and Esther is forced to face what happened on that fateful day, five years ago.

Although it’s the last thing she wants to do, she finds herself recalling every detail of the case, as the US Attorney deposes each witness and, knowing that the murderer has unlimited resources and has vowed to kill his beloved Esther, Mac decides leave his wife in the safe hands of the FBI and to find the killer before he has a chance to reach her.

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The Legend of Pendyne by D. A. Karr

the-legend-of-pendyne-by-d-a-karrMaster Albert had seen his share of war and destruction as one of the King’s knights.

Retired to drinking ale and caring for the Royal horses, everything changes one day. He discovers the King’s battle horse, Pendyne, has disappeared from the stable.

Haunted by his past and defending his beliefs in the old ways, Master Albert, along with his apprentice, the young Donegal, set out to find Pendyne at all costs even though Britain was just a stone’s throw away. The Legend of Pendyne is a haunting epic tale of change and choice.

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Michelangelo: Spirit Walkers by Christina Smith Belcher

What would you do if one day you woke up from a really nasty dream to find yourself in the body of a cat?

That’s exactly what happened to me. My name is Michael, well now its Michelangelo and I am a cat. Yea, you heard me right.

Apparently a dark spirit or an agent for Death tried to steal my soul before my number was up. I was able to fight hard enough to jump back into a body, into the realm of the living but I landed in a feline.

Now I must convince my daughter and niece that it is me and persuade them to help me fight off the zombie attacks from this dark spirit before my time runs out.
Time that is hanging around my neck in the form of an amulet.

When a gypsy witch and her cousin cross our path, secrets are revealed and the sacrifices I must make to win this battle for my soul.

Who would have thought that Death was an entity and would end up saving me.

Wasn’t the life of a cat supposed to be lazy?

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Echoes of Time (The Guernsey Novels Book 5) by Anne Allen

Betrayal, injustice and revenge echo down the years…

1940. Olive marries farmer Bill Falla. The Germans occupy Guernsey.

All too soon Olive realises she’s made a mistake.

Her life changes when she meets Wolfgang, a German officer-
but there’s a price to pay. . .

2010. Natalie Ogier returns to Guernsey to escape an abusive relationship – only to be plagued by odd happenings in her beautiful cottage on the site of a derelict and secluded farm. Disturbing dreams, disembodied voices and uncanny visions from the past. She becomes increasingly ill at ease as someone else’s past catches up with her own…

Her only immediate neighbour, Stuart, is the grandson of the original owners, Bill and Olive.

Thrown together in a bid to find out what really happened to Olive, can they each survive the repercussions of the past and move on?

REVIEW

‘A powerful family drama packed full of mystery and intrigue. A stunningly good read.’ A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review

For the last three days I have been thoroughly immersed in Echoes of Time, a family saga set in Guernsey. Let me begin by saying how gripping this story is. Not only is the plot packed full of twists and turns, but the setting – and the characters – are lovingly described. There is, I think, nothing better than a novel written by an author who knows how to balance setting, speech and plot.

So, what did I like? Well, the opening chapter, albeit very short, is a real ‘grabber’. I’m very fond of books which open with a ‘BANG!’ and not with endless paragraphs of flowery prose. Well, trust me, this opens BIG, hooking the reader in…

I also very much enjoyed the pacing of this novel. The chapters were surprisingly short for this genre and there’s often a cliffhanger at the end of the chapters. So, although it is a family saga of sorts it is also very much a thriller and a mystery, and the style of writing reflects that.

So, would I recommend this book? Yes, absolutely. And who to? Well, pretty much anybody and everybody. If you enjoy a good thriller, this is for you. If you enjoy a complex family saga, this is for you. Or, if you simply love Guernsey, this is for you.

A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review www.thewsa.co.uk

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Lover’s Curse (The Hemocil Society Book 1) by Ruthie L. Manier

Will this man ‘Dark Eyes’ free Carra’s mind and break the Lover’s Curse?

He comes to her in her dreams, a force of nature like none other. The gravitational pull is unbearable, drawing her towards him like a moth to a flame. His dark eyes are fathomless, haunting her day and night. Who is this mysterious stranger, with the hungry eyes that call to her?

Has he come to make her one with his soul, his Eternal mate, or as a predator she his prey? Is he here to finish the kill?

Carra has had it rough for the last seven years struggling with amnesia. She often get the feeling as though someone or something is hunting for her. The problem is she doesn’t know if this is a good thing or if she should be running as fast as her feet will go. She fears the worst. If only she could remember…

Once she gives into her desire, which she knows is inevitable, will there be any going back? Could this dream man have the tools to free her mind and end the Lover’s Curse, or will he be her ultimate demise?

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The Family Divided: Contemporary Romantic Mystery (The Guernsey Novels Book 4) by Anne Allen

One family, divided by death – and money

Andy Batiste, at loggerheads with his degenerate cousin, seeks to discover the truth of his family history. Why was his pregnant grandmother forced to flee to France? What really happened to her husband during the German Occupation, sixty years ago? Who accused Edmund, the elder son and Batiste heir, of being an informer? Was he really a traitor – and who murdered him?

With Edmund’s brother Harold now head of the family, enjoying the wealth which ought to have come to Andy’s father, the family is forever divided. Andy yearns to clear Edmund’s name and restore his father to his rightful inheritance.

Into the conflict comes Charlotte Townsend, newly divorced, lonely and struggling with writer’s block and the consuming threat of impending loss. She returns for healing at Guernsey’s natural health centre, La Folie, and becomes involved in Andy’s family affairs.

Together they embark on a hunt for the truth…

REVIEW

“Love overcomes and a painful past is revealed in this poignant romance set on Guernsey” Gilli Allen, Author of Fly or Fall

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Hit Me and You Die by George Wilder Jr.

Where the police has failed, Maxine Monroe picks up the slack.

She is a self-appointed vigilante who goes after abusers who commit violence on the young and innocent.

Beat your wife, hit your girlfriend, kick your dog, soon Maxine Monroe will be blasting down your door and she will let her blowback shotgun do the talking.

Special Agent Derrick Sweat is dedicated to taking her down, as she always seems to find a way to elude him.

“Lots of action,”

“You will not be able to put it down.”

“Powerful short story.”

Highly Recommended.

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Bloody Klondike Gold: A Randi Braveheart Mystery Short Story by A. K. Taylor

A summer trip to the Klondike can be deadly…

Randi and her friend go to the Mineral Creek mining claim in the Klondike to visit her father during the mining season. Sabotage, theft, and a death threat turn wilderness summer fun and normal mining operations into a fight for survival…

Bloody Klondike Gold is an introductory short story to the new Randi Braveheart Mystery Series by award winning Teen/YA author A.K. Taylor! Stay tuned for the first installment To Catch a Catfish coming in 2017.

Book Review

Short stories are to an avid reader like chocolate to sweet tooth. Bloody Klondike Gold by A. K. Taylor is a short Story introduction to the Randi Braveheart action suspense mystery thriller series.

Two teenage friends, Randi and Brittany drive the long 2, 700 mile trek from San Francisco to southeast Alaska. Randi’s father, William Wallace Braveheart was already on location as his reputation for finding gold at any location made him a valuable asset.

Mining communities are tight knit as the environment, equipment and the mining processes inherit dangers make mining for Gold a driving force with the claim crews but also a draw for the darker side of human nature.

The summer starts out as an adventurous vacation with Randi dreaming of fishing in cool streams to a mining community’s worst nightmare.

If you enjoyed Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys mysteries then I invite you to read ‘Bloody Klondike Gold’ to prepare for ‘To Catch A Catfish’ scheduled for release in 2017. If this short story is any indication of what is to come with ‘To Catch A Catfish’ then prepare yourself for an action packed, suspense mystery thriller.

Theodocia McLean endorses Bloody Klondike Gold: A Randi Braveheart Mystery Short Story as the introduction to A. K. Taylor’s new action suspense mystery thriller series coming soon. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on September 23, 2016.

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Injury by Val Tobin

Trigger Warning: contains scenes that mildly describe rape/assault.

Actress Daniella Grayson puts herself in the spotlight, hoping to attract the attention of the father she believes abandoned her when she was five. Dani’s world falls apart when her father’s remains are discovered, and her mother is arrested for the murder.

In a moment of vulnerability, she turns to the handsome and caring Robert “Cope” Copeland, her limo driver, for comfort and support.

Can the budding relationship survive betrayal, Dani’s shameful past, and her obsessive ex-boyfriend?

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Help Wanted by Jax E. Garson

Welcome to the Wild West on Mars…

Gatling Gun Charley is a poor cowboy recently robbed by his latest employer. If that wasn’t bad enough, he is chased through the canyons of Mars by an angry farmer after he accidentally walked over his crops while fighting through a resolith dust storm.

An independent cowboy down on his luck, Charley is pursued by a poor Spurn girl, Clarissa, wanting to be trained so she can exact vengeance against those who killed her family. Even in desperate need of cash, he refuses to help, afraid to be associated with the poorer race, once enslaved a few years back and then emancipated. But his escape from Chantyville is not easy.

A mangy dog won’t stop pestering him. A domesticated lion stalks him. A beautiful horse is attracted to him. These creatures can‘t reduce his mounting losses. He runs from town and tries to find his way to Aurium City while needing funds and distancing himself from his enemies. But instead, a voodoo witch doctor, half human and half Spurn spells him.

Fighting away his destiny, he is forced onto a mountain near Clarissa. Charley relents to help Clarissa but only to train her to use firearms. He doesn’t want to have anything to do with her enemies, the Rotger Brothers. Begrudgingly, he teaches her to shoot a seven shot revolver on Blackhead Mountain.

But there is something else bothering him, a lingering feeling…

But his path leads him in circles until he is faced with an inevitable choice.

This book is intended for adults only: it contains violence, language, and adult situations.

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Finding Mother: A Family Drama (The Guernsey Novels Book 2) by Anne Allen

Prepare to be swept away by a heart-warming tale of family relationships and love

Three women. Three generations. Sacrifices for love…

Who is she really? Nicole is about to find out as she searches for her real mother; the woman who gave her away at birth. With her marriage in tatters, she sets out from England: travelling to Spain, Jersey and Guernsey before the extraordinary story of her real family is finally revealed.

Nicole becomes an unwitting catalyst for change in the family. Two women are forced to reveal long-buried secrets. One going back as far as the Second World War. Lives are transformed as choices have to be made and the past laid to rest…

This contemporary romantic drama is the second of The Guernsey Novels, a series of stand-alone books by the award-winning author Anne Allen. It is likely to appeal to lovers of the works of Joanna Trollope and Maeve Binchy.

** Voted Runner-Up in Family Drama 2013 in the SpaSpa Awards **

REVIEW

“A sensitive, heart-felt novel about family relationships, identity, adoption, second chances at love… With romance, weddings, boat trips, lovely gardens and more, Finding Mother is a dazzle of a book, a perfect holiday read.” Lindsay Townsend, author of The Snow Bride

“I first encountered Anne Allen when I read Dangerous Waters: Mystery, Loss and Love on the Island of Guernsey and if you’ve read that book you’ll notice a glancing reference to Jeanne, the heroine, in Finding Mother. I felt nicely grounded! In much the same way that Allen wormed Jeanne into my heart I really found that I cared for Nicole and willing her on to make the right decisions and a success of her life. Allen has a real talent for her female characters. The men don’t come off the page quite as well, but that’s a minor quibble.

Tracing a birth parent when you’ve been adopted is a sensitive subject and Allen handles it well, recognising the insecurities of the adopting parents who wonder if they’re going to be supplanted and the worries of the mother who gave up the child soon after her birth. Will she be judged for her relationship with the child’s father and for the fact that she made no attempt to bring the child up herself? There’s an added complication here in that Nicole will also find out about her birth father – giving her more parents than any girl should decently want! It’s neatly, elegantly done and the story is a real page turner.” The Bookbag

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Godly Inspirations For The Troubled Soul by Lisa C. Miller

This book contains inspirational and philosophical poems and stories that I felt inspired to write.

This may be a small book but it will make a huge impact on your life.

Each day you open this book I hope it leads you to a closer devotional life with the creator.

As a Christian my hope is I have written something that everyone can understand and use daily.

These words are not just for one group of people. They were written down so everyone can freely use them to strengthened their daily life.

May you be blessed and encouraged as you read: ‘Godly Inspirations for the Troubled Soul”

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A Matter Of Justice by Larry Auerbach

This is a story of justice delayed, and how each person’s life can intersect with another, with a varying degree of impact.

Jonah Berryman is a former Union sniper, who is hunting for someone out of his past. He has some unfinished business with the doctor who saved his life and allowed his cousin to die. When he went to find the doctor later, he learned he had never even existed…except for saving his life and his sight.

After the War, Jonah became a bounty hunter, and whenever he rides into a town, anyone who has something to hide gets nervous and lead begins to fly. Willow Springs was no exception. In A MATTER OF HONOR, after receiving wire saying he was in Willow Springs, Jonah rode in looking for the doctor but he found a whole lot more than he was bargaining for. People began dropping like flies from the moment he hit town, and most of the lead that was flying through the air appeared to be coming his way. It didn’t take long for him to discover there were a lot of players in this game, and that there were more than two sides in this war. In the exciting conclusion of this story, Jonah has already figured out that nobody is who they appear to be. Now he has to end someone else’s war if he is going to save his own skin. That’s going to be hard, since he can’t really be sure who is a friend and who isn’t.

There are hidden players in this game, and they all have their own agenda for how this will end. Jonah didn’t realize it at the time, but he was actually lured here because of his reputation. Someone wanted him to be the catalyst to bring A MATTER OF JUSTICE to this town for a lot of people.

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Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones (Zoraida Grey Series) by Sorchia Dubois

Granny’s dying, but Zoraida can save her with a magic crystal of smoky quartz. Too bad the crystal is in Scotland—in a haunted castle—guarded by mind-reading, psychopathic sorcerers.

Getting inside Castle Logan is easy. Getting out––not so much. Before she can snatch the stone, Zoraida stumbles into a family feud, uncovers a wicked ancient curse, and finds herself ensorcelled by not one but two handsome Scottish witches.

Up to their necks in family intrigue and smack-dab in the middle of a simmering clan war, Zoraida and her best friend Zhu discover Granny hasn’t told them everything.

Not by a long shot.

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A Matter Of Honor by Larry Auerbach

Set in 1877, in New Mexico Territory, former Union sniper Jonah Berryman is presently working as a bounty hunter who is known for bringing his man in alive, but Jonah is here on personal business and is hunting someone on his own time. He has some unfinished business with a doctor who saved his life but left his cousin to die. He has been looking for this doctor ever since the War ended, but not knowing what the doctor looked like has been a big problem.

Now he is here in the town of Willow Springs because someone sent him a wire saying the man was here. But as soon as he arrived in town someone started shooting at him. Now he is the middle of another war, and Jonah can’t tell which side is which…or even who is one what side. All he knows for sure is that he is in the middle. As the lead continues to fly his way, Jonah realizes someone has set him up to be the next casualty of their own private war. He has to figure out who it is that is behind all of this, if he has any hope of getting out of town alive. And he still has to find out who put him in the middle of this and why.

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The Spirit Of Redd Mountain by Larry Auerbach

Redd Mountain is a famous multi-mountain resort in western Montana, that boasts skiing on one side and hunting on the other, with a wide neutral zone between the two mountains.

Thirty years ago, Warner Barney, a world class big game hunter, came to Redd Mountain on a hunting trip. His narcissistic belief that rules of safety did not apply to him led to the death of several people, as a result of his reckless behavior in the pursuit of his single-minded goal. When Warner barney left the mountain, he left death and chaos for many in his wake.

In the months after he left, two legends began to grow. One is the story of a magnificent elk who is possessed of a singularly reddish color coat. No hunters have been able to take him, although many have seen him, because he always seems to be just out of range or behind a tree. The locals have dubbed him the protector of the forest, as hunters pass on the other animals in their efforts to bring him down, all of them failing.

There is also a legend of a mysterious red-jacketed skier who has been sighted for years, intervening in the activities of other skiers who are in danger of losing their lives, due to their recklessness or the unpredictable whims of nature. No one knows who he is, or where he comes from, or where he goes, but all are very grateful for his unexpected appearance whenever it comes. Every year, both of them are seen by skiers and hunters alike, and their legends grow bigger each year with every drink in the resort lodge.

Now Warner Barney is back, supremely confident in his belief that he is the one to claim the legendary trophy elk that has been a part of this mountain for almost as long. He has not changed at all, he still believes that rules do not apply to him. He wants this elk for his trophy wall, but there are forces standing in his way, including the chief ranger and safety supervisor for the resort, a party of conservationists and wildlife experts who are determined to rescue the elk and take him to a preserve. Also on this expedition is Warner’s old guide from his previous hunt, who has a debt to pay and hopes to find some answers of his own on the mountain. Some of these people have their own reasons for being on this hunt, to resolve old wounds and out an end to old debts.

This party also includes a newspaper journalist who is determined to use this hunt to advance her own career, regardless of the cost to others. After agreeing to follow the rules of the non-lethal hunt, Warner breaks away on his own to follow his own path to claim this magnificent animal. His blind obsession leads Warner to find his destiny, and to discover the truth of the old saying that time heals all wounds, and wounds all heels. Warner Barney, and these two local legends, have a date with destiny to resolve some old wounds, and they will do this on Redd Mountain.

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A Hero’s Heart by Amber Daulton

Ten years ago, Jarrett Brandt left home and abandoned everyone of importance. After a hard reality check, the irresponsible young man matured into a ballsy DEA agent with a kickass Harley Davidson and a million-dollar bounty on his head. Ordered by his superior officer to take refuge at a safe house just days before Christmas, he headed back home to Washington State, instead, to make peace with his deceased brother’s memory.

Marissa Reinn Brandt never expected to see Jarrett again. Best friends since childhood and lovers as teenagers, immaturity, over-demanding parents and illicit drugs ripped them apart. Now a successful chef at a posh restaurant, the young widow and her son offered Jarrett a place to stay for the holiday. Even though she expected nothing from her former lover–the twin brother of the man she married–fate intervened.

As Jarrett and Marissa rekindled the flames of love and lust that once bound them together, an enemy from his past and a trusted mentor from his present vied their time in the snowy dark and threatened to destroy everyone he held dear. He needed a Christmas miracle to save his family and the love of a good woman to heal his battered heart. Nothing, no one, would stand in the way of his second chance with Marissa. Come hell or high water, he would cherish her body and her heart for all time.

Warning: a hero with a dirty mouth and a drug-filled past, lots of hot sex with a sexy redheaded chef, and an adorable little boy to remind all of us about the meaning of Christmas… 

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Calla’s Summer Fantasy by Amber Daulton

Calla Lansky needed help at playing the field.

She scheduled two dates for the same night at her favorite seafood restaurant and she owed her shocked boyfriends an explanation. To her surprise, Nathan Risley and Sam Tomlin handled the awkward situation like pros and happily agreed to her ultimate fantasy: a ménage à trois.

After the hottest night of her life, Calla faced the ultimate decision.

Should she commit to the one man who secretly loved her all along or keep her options open and indulge in her summer fantasy again and again?

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Forever Winter by Amber Daulton

Viscount Camden Beckinworth had lived the life of a devil-may-care rake until his parents’ untimely death. He cast aside his personal life, returned home to save the crumbling family business and decided to re-enter Society five years later. By then, the pesky little sister of his two best childhood friends had grown into a lovely woman and he felt alive again with her innocence and beauty in hand.

After two disastrous London seasons, Susanna Lorican accepted a marriage proposal from a neighborhood friend and, while she had adored him since childhood, she never expected the man of her dreams to reciprocate her feelings. She planned the perfect Christmas Eve wedding but she didn’t expect a snowstorm to barrel through the English countryside on the morning of.

Susanna and Camden vowed to let nothing thwart their long-awaited day even though the storm delayed the dress and several guests. When the reverend fell from his horse and injured his head, however, they had little choice but to postpone. To worsen matters, Susanna’s insufferable brother-in-law cornered and then assaulted her in the library.

Does social peril and uncontrollable weather keep the lovebirds from the altar or do they find their happily ever after in the midst of a disastrous wedding day?

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Lightning Over Bennett Ranch (The Ranch Collection Book 2) by Amber Daulton

Melody Bennett’s parents trampled on her teenage romance with a drifter ten years ago. He disappeared without a word of goodbyes on the night they had planned to run away together. Since then, she cast aside her foolish notions of happily ever after and worked hard alongside the hired help to care for the majestic horses on her family’s ranch. She refused to give love another chance and resigned to live her life alone.

Max Fortaine returned with a heart guarded by secrets and a sizable bank account that took blood, prayers and tears to fund. The cowboy disrupted Melody’s peaceful existence with stolen kisses and a promise for more. After a lifetime of running, mistakes and regrets, he vowed to reclaim the only woman he ever loved… if only her overprotective father didn’t stand in his way.

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Mistletoe In The City (Handmade for Christmas Book 3) by Amber Daulton

Krista Hartley never expected the unrequited love of her life, the irresistible Derek Weston, to work as the groundskeeper at the apartment building she just moved into. They barely spoke in high school but now, three years after graduation, they tore at each other’s clothes and jumped into bed together at every opportunity. After all, how could a hot-blooded woman say no to a sexy man with an eyebrow ring, a dragon tattoo and a deadly swagger?

A Christmas miracle drew Krista back into Derek’s life. He kissed her for the first time under mistletoe, pampered her with romantic candlelight dinners and memorized every inch of her delectable body with his tongue. He refused to let his dream girl slip through his fingers again but then another woman threatened their whirlwind romance. Hurt once before, Krista broke off their relationship and then Derek made a drunken mistake that could destroy their love forever. With just days to Christmas, he vowed to win back her heart and trust, and prove his innocence once and for all.

Story 3 in the best-selling series, Handmade for Christmas.

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My Valentine Adventure (Contemporary Romance) by Amber Daulton

Parker Townsend raised his children alone after he lost his beloved wife. When his two little hellions placed a ‘Mom Wanted’ ad in the local paper, Parker found himself roped into an unwanted blind date.

Claire Lauer answered the want ad with few expectations and met Parker on Valentine’s Day, a day she hated with a passion. As an animal rights activist and a divorcée, she felt more comfortable with a placard in her hand than in the company of a handsome man with emotional baggage.

After a protest takes a turn for the worse, she seeks shelter in her date’s arms and loses time in his bed. Will Parker and Claire find the courage to lay their fragile hearts on the chopping block by morning, or will they forever live in a world of gray?

*NOTE: My Valentine Adventure is a standalone book with an HEA and no cliffhanger.

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Timeless Beginnings by Amber Daulton

Leonora Harris fled her newly-wedded husband’s home in Georgian England, 1725, and took shelter in a cave during a rainstorm. She woke up in a cold, barren land and a handsome stranger with a mechanical carriage offered her shelter.

Undercover American operative Rodger Ramsey never expected to find a runaway bride in the magnificent Salar de Uyuni. Assigned to Bolivia to investigate Communist activities, he just wrapped up his two-year mission in 1963 and followed his heart to the salt flats one last time.

Sparks flew and attraction sizzled. The lost, stubborn woman kicked his protective instincts into overdrive. Rodger took her home with him, determined to help her before he returned to the States, and Leonora flourished under his guidance. Their hearts intertwined. He wanted her, needed her, but could he truly love a woman who believed she jumped two hundred years in time?

Will they find a way to stay together, despite the obstacles between them, or will Leonora survive in this strange new world alone?

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How The Blue-Tongued Skink Got His Blue Tongue by Mary Langer Thompson

“Traveling a hero’s journey, Dinky overcomes bullying, tries to save us all, and gains a unique blue tongue in the process.” -Loralie Pallotta, Preschool Owner for 26 years

“Who can resist peeking into Pandora’s box or opening Aeolian’s bag of winds? Although Dinky is permanently affected by another’s wrong choice, he continues to encourage others to do what is right.” -Dale Lopez, Secondary English Teacher

“I would read this story to my grandchildren and great grandchildren.” -Evelyn Blocker, author

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The Nettle Tree – Editor Clayton Bye

Strangely Different Stories …

The Nettle Tree, edited by Kenneth Weene and Clayton Bye, is a collection of genre stretching and busting stories by some of the most talented writers we have.

Their challenge was to write strangely different western stories in a format of 3,000 words or less and to take you to places traditional westerns have never taken you.

We think they have succeeded admirably.

And with powerhouse writers, some known and others whom readers will find delightful discoveries, you will not be disappointed.

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