Check out some of the authors and their series in the event below.
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Livia Quinn (Calloways)
Judith Sterling (Ravenwood)
Petie McCarty (Cinderella)
Julie Rowe (Viable)
Jami Gray (Hunted)
Livia Quinn (Destiny)
Julie Rowe (Deadly)
Helen C. Johannes
Jami Gray (Shadows)
Judith Sterling (Cauldron)
Petie McCarty (Angel)
Alina K. Field
Tammy L. Bailey
I cannot clearly say how I had entered
the wood; I was so full of sleep just at
the point where I abandoned the true path.
–Dante Alighieri, Inferno 1. 11-12
Puerto Rico, 1973
Oak trees dripping with Spanish moss embraced us from both sides, but not enough to shield us from the prison that would be my home for the next seven months. The high stone walls and neo-Gothic bell tower loomed over us as my stepfather drove his Mercedes through the spiked iron gates and into the sloping, curving driveway.
A spider of dread crawled up my back. Prison indeed.
I couldn’t believe it had come to this. The way things had blown out of proportion. I’d only wanted to contact my dead father. Ask his forgiveness.
My mother reached for my hand from the front seat without turning around to look at me. I stared at her perfectly polished red nails and the glittery square cut emerald on her ring finger. Her fingers flicked, silently pleading for my attention, but I was frozen inside. Her hand retreated.
I stared at the convent, my eyes studying the dark arched windows, the worn, age-blackened stones. The place looked haunted. Perfect for my state of mind. What was my mother thinking?
Something moved behind one of the windows. A face. For an instant my pulse raced at the sheer paleness of it, at the two dark holes that made up its eyes.
“What are you looking at?” Sara, my six-year-old half sister, asked.
I pointed. “A girl.”
She followed my line of vision. “Where?”
“There. High up. In the window.”
She dipped her head so she could have a better look. “I don’t see anything.”
I felt a shiver, but not from the cold. It’s white. It’s watching us.
Then the car moved too close to the building, and the face vanished from view.
“Is this your new school, Paloma?” Sara asked.
I nodded. Sara was the child, female version of my stepfather. Her bottomless dark eyes, framed by velvety lashes, stared at me with misery. “I don’t like it,” she whispered, grabbing my hand.
“It’ll be okay,” I whispered back, and gave her hand a little squeeze.
“Well, here we are,” Domenico said in his strong Castilian accent, stopping the car in front of the entrance. He climbed out and opened the door for my mother. Then he proceeded to take out my suitcases from the trunk.
My mother was silent. She stepped out like a wooden mannequin, her eyes shimmery with unshed tears.
I climbed out, followed by Sara, the gravel crunching under our shoes. The early morning air was cool and a blanket of mist still lingered—not surprising, since the convent was on the outskirts of El Yunque, the island’s rain forest. More Spanish moss hung from the oak trees and rippled in the breeze like long, shivering memories. I could smell the dew on the leaves and the rich perfume of moist earth, redolent of open graves.
I glanced at the ominous clouds. “Beautiful morning.”
An ongoing distant hum resonated all around us. One, two beats passed, before it struck me: Waterfall.
Something within me shut down—or exploded, I couldn’t be sure.
I shut my eyes for a second, wiping out memories of chilled water searing my lungs.
I repeated the eighth multiplication table in my head.
“After you,” Domenico said, interrupting my thoughts.
I wanted to loathe him. Tried to, anyway. I could see what my mother saw in him: a powerfully charismatic, handsome man with the infinite skill to make people do his bidding. My mother, with her small delicate features and petite frame, looked invisible beside him. A mere spectre. But that was just a façade. I knew better.
The big oak door opened and a nun clad in black habit and a wimple came down the steps to greet us.
Sara wrapped her arms around my waist. Her gesture both comforted me and heightened my anxiety. Nuns in habit made me think of great black birds.
“Bienvenidos,” the nun said. Like my stepfather, she also had a Castilian accent. “I’m Madre Estela and I’m second in charge to Madre Superiora. You must be Señor and Señora de Aznar.”
They exchanged small talk. Madre Estela sounded polite enough, but she didn’t offer to shake hands with my parents, which I found strange. Maybe nuns weren’t allowed to shake hands. I wouldn’t be surprised. I noticed the wedding band on her ring finger. Married to God. Absurd.
“You must be Paloma,” she said tonelessly.
“Yes,” I said. Wasn’t it obvious? I didn’t know what else to say.
The cross on her chest caught my attention. It had a crucified Christ on it and I noticed the thorns cutting Christ’s forehead, the little drops of blood glistening on His fragile body.
“Welcome to our school, Paloma.” Her critical gaze scrutinized my makeup, my tight jeans. “I’ve heard much about you.”
I didn’t miss the hint of cold disapproval in her voice. I wasn’t sure how much my parents had complained about my behavior, but considering I had been kicked out—well, actually, kindly asked to leave—my previous school in the middle of October, it couldn’t be good.
“Are you ready to resume your senior year of high school?” Stress on resume.
“I can’t wait,” I said. There was no point in being nice—or pretending to be. That just wasn’t me. I felt miserable and couldn’t hide it. Besides, I could tell from our short exchange that she’d made up her mind not to like me long before meeting me, and I had the sinking feeling that no matter what I said or did, her opinion wouldn’t change. I had already been stamped in her Inquisition book, tagged a criminal.
Madre Estela’s stony eyes moved to Sara. My little sister’s arms clutched my waist even tighter. From the nun’s expression, I could tell she was wondering if I had infected Sara with whatever plague ailed me. She dismissed us and turned back to my mother and stepfather. “Madre Superiora is expecting you in her office. Let’s not keep her waiting, shall we not? Don’t concern yourselves with the suitcases. Someone will come for them shortly.”
They thanked her and followed her up the steps.
“I don’t want to go in,” Sara said.
“It’ll be okay,” I said. I glanced at the window. I wanted to see the pale face again. But there was nothing.
A drop of rain hit my cheek and I wiped it off. Then I held Sara’s hand and together we walked up the steps and through the arched doorway.
I felt my throat closing up.
Seven months wasn’t that long, was it? Besides, Thanksgiving break was just around the corner. Six weeks, to be exact. I had already marked my calendar. I couldn’t wait. I would go through the motions, no need to make friends that I’d never see again. When you get close to people, you end up getting hurt.
Excerpt 2 (from Chapter 9):
Madre Estela remained standing by the door. “Get a bucket and fill it with water.”
Her hypercritical eyes sliced through my self-worth as I grabbed one of the metal buckets, lifted it into the sink, and turned on the faucet. I watched, transfixed, as the water gushed like a torrent spurting from an open artery. The cold spray raised goosebumps on my arms.
Madre Estela snapped her fingers. “Move.”
As I hauled the bucket to the door, some of the water slushed over the edge and splattered to the floor.
“Add the detergent,” she said stiffly, irritated by my clumsiness.
I chose a green bottle, twisted the cap, and poured. The acrid pine smell stung my nostrils.
“Get a sponge and a brush from there. Get going. We don’t have all evening—unless you want to work in the dark.”
I gritted my teeth, but pretended not to be bothered. I suspected that the one thing that this nun couldn’t stand was indifference.
Outside, it was almost dusk. In spite of the intense screeching of the coquíes, the drum of the waterfall hit my ears. It was louder now than the last time I’d been here. How was that possible?
I felt a drop of rain. Great.
Madre Estela put one hand out, palm up. “My, my. What’s this?” She looked chagrined, and I suddenly realized why. If it rained, I would have to go inside, ruining her plans. “What are you standing there for? Start scrubbing.”
I was tempted to throw the bucket of greenish water at her face. Instead, I prayed for rain as I walked across the rose garden. Once at the gate, I glanced back at her.
“You’ll work until I come for you, understood?” she said, hands on hips in her usual stance. She pointed to one of the second-floor windows. “I’ll be watching from there.”
And that was it. She was gone.
For a moment I just stood there. If only my friends could see me now. They would never believe it.
I opened the gate and walked into the graveyard. The statue of Gabriel greeted me, its face fiercer in the dusk. The temperature must have been in the low seventies. I was glad I had my cardigan.
Suddenly, the garden lamp post lit up. I turned, startled. I wasn’t sure if it had automatically switched on or if someone, maybe Madre Estela, had done it from indoors. I glanced up at the second-floor window, expecting to find her face. I had the chilling sensation of being watched. There was nothing. The windows glowed with yellow light, a multitude of feral eyes keeping guard.
However, behind one of the ground-floor windows on the right, a figure appeared. Tall, blurred. Madre Superiora? I was sure that was her office. Yet, something about the shape of the head and the shoulders made me think of…Rubia. What was she doing in Madre Superiora’s office?
Just as abruptly as it’d appeared, the figure vanished from view.
The incident left me strangely unsettled.
I splashed some of the water on one of the tombstones and got to work. The sound of hard bristles against stone blocked the hum of the waterfall. Almost.
Go away, damn it.
As I crouched to work on a second tombstone, doing my best not to get wet in the process, something shifted at the edge of my vision. I jumped to my feet, my heart thudding. Gabriel. Its wings had rippled with movement.
Dear God…what’s happening to me?
I rubbed my forehead and grimaced, my fingers shaking.
I felt another drop of rain. If it was going to rain, why didn’t it? The sky was playing with me, too. Mocking me.
I cursed the clouds and started scrubbing again.
I had another sensation of being watched and this time, yes, it was Madre Estela behind the window. I pretended I hadn’t seen her and tried to keep focused on the task at hand. The water had turned blackish with grime.
I don’t know how long I scrubbed. I lost track of time. But it was dark. My back and shoulders were sore and my hands stung from the harsh detergent.
Madre Estela was long gone from the window.
Half panting, I sat down on the edge of the tombstone and tossed the brush aside in disgust. I looked at the statue again, but it was motionless. I turned to the windows again, my eyes slowly moving from one to the other.
From one to the other.
Expecting to see the face. Wanting to see it.
Yet, that weird sensation of being watched, again.
My gaze shifted to the woods, to the exact place where the cemetery ended and the forest started. There was a path there. Narrow, obscured by the trees. For a long moment I sat, mesmerized. Then I stood up and began to approach it. The breeze picked up as I got closer, carrying with it the cool, slightly pungent smell of the waterfall.
I stopped at the very edge, the darkness enveloping me, the dampness seeping through my clothes.
The wind sighed, rustling the leaves and fluttering my hair.
Icy breath, on the back of my neck.
I’m in here… a voice whispered from the shadows.
I spun around in terror.
Then I hit something hard.
Excerpt 3 (from Chapter 11):
The foliage swallowed me. Sodden leaves gave under my shoes. Twisted limbs and giant ferns reached out to scratch my arms, my legs.
“Adelita!” I called, hastening my pace.
Flash of white ahead.
“Adelita!” No response. “Damn it. It’s getting freaking dark!”
Voices? I halted, panting.
Then broke into a run again. The mist, carried by the waterfall, clung to my lashes, my cheeks, my lips. I tasted its bitterness on my tongue.
“I’m here!” Adelita called.
I slowed my pace. Toward the end of the path, fibrous vines hung from branches like a curtain of snakes. I pushed them aside and staggered forward. Slowly, I looked up.
Against the blackening sky, the monster roared, cradled by twisted, stunted trunks and wisps of fog, looming over me in all its brutal magnificence. Its crystalline waters gushed ferociously, cascading into a murky, swirling pool that spiraled into a descending rock-studded stream gurgling with white iridescent foam.
A cloud of spray enveloped me, cold and impersonal like the wings of some giant bat. Had it not been for one of the vines, I would have fallen to my knees.
Cold water, sucking me down, searing my throat, my eyes. Can’t see, can’t breathe; his hands grab me; blackness, like tar, steals its way down my lungs, spreading its web and filling every corner, every crevice; utter agony before oblivion settles—
The sight of Adelita, standing at the edge of the pool, shook me out of my trance. She was very still, her skirt puffing from the thundering falls.
“Step back!” I shouted.
Slowly, Adelita lifted her arm and pointed to the center of the waterfall. “She’s in there.”
“Who?” When she didn’t answer, I answered for her. “The ghost? Your invisible friend?”
Adelita lowered her arm. She seemed to have fallen into one of her sudden spells.
“Is that who you were speaking to?” I said urgently.
She was silent.
“Adelita,” I coaxed. She was about ten yards from me. I took one step toward her, my toes curling. “Please… step back.”
“She wants to speak to us,” Adelita said, moving closer to the edge.
“What’s wrong with you? Stop!”
She turned her head to look at me. When she smiled, her teeth looked unnaturally white, as if the iridescence of the foamy water reflected on them.
I edged a little closer and extended my hand. “Please.” I clenched my teeth. “I can’t come any closer,” I said, stressing each word. I squeezed my eyes shut, willing reality to go away, willing it all to be a nightmare. But when I opened my eyes, Adelita’s toes stood just over the edge. For an instant, as if suspended, she seemed to sway, before she opened her wings like an angel about to take flight.
“No!” I sprang forward and seized her arm. She twisted, lost her balance and clutched at my gold chain—“No!”—The gold snapped. I grabbed her shirt and jerked her toward me. We staggered in a drunken embrace before stumbling to the ground. My hand groped wildly around my neck, but my pendant, the most precious object I possessed, was gone. I searched for it on my hands and knees, my flesh sinking into the cold, wet earth.
Then I stood and stared hard at her.
Smudged with dirt, she sagged against a moss-covered boulder. “It’s in there,” she said, her gaze lowered, pointing to the water.
“How do you know?”
“I saw it fall,” she said.
A jolt of nausea hit me and I held my stomach. “That can’t be.”
I stared at the swirling pool and thought I saw it twinkling in the depths. I squeezed my eyes shut—for an eternity, it seemed—before I spun and grabbed Adelita and shook her violently. “You’re lying! That’s what you do. You lie.” I kept shaking her. I wanted to hurt her, hurt her. That was the only way to ease my pain.
She started whimpering, in a manner not unlike my sister Sara. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she kept saying.
I shoved her away and reeled backwards. I felt breathless, delirious.
I glanced one more time at the swirling pool, before I grasped her muddy hand and we headed back. She didn’t resist, an obedient, repentant little child.
By the time we got back to the graveyard, it was already dark. The lamp post cast an iridescent glow on the white roses and tombstones.
To my dismay, Madre Estela had just stepped out of the garden gate and was marching in our direction. With the light behind her, her face was a black mask. But her chin was high and her stride purposeful.
As if out of habit, she went for Adelita first. “What are you doing here? You haven’t done any of your chores.”
I stepped forward and shielded Adelita with my arm. “This isn’t her fault,” I said quickly. “I told her to come and help me.”
She bared her teeth. “Help do what?” she said, her eyes sweeping over our dirt-covered hair and clothes.
“We heard voices coming from there,” I said, gesturing. “We thought one of the girls had gotten lost, so we decided to take a look.”
This made her pause, but only for an instant—before her hand came down, hard and brutal. I staggered backwards, more from shock than pain. No one had ever slapped me before. I touched my burning cheek and just stared at her.
“Voices here, voices there,” she said, disgusted, as if she couldn’t stand to hear more of it. “There are no voices, do you understand? No voices,” she repeated, as if she were trying to convince herself of the fact. “You should know better than listen to Adelita’s lies.”
Adelita didn’t even flinch when Madre Estela twisted her ear. I thought she was going to wrench it off her head right in front of my eyes.
“Pick up the things and go change immediately, both of you,” she ordered, “before you catch pneumonia.”
Before we went inside, I glanced back at Madre Estela. The vegetation rose up behind her, dark and menacing. Her eyes seemed strangely unfocused. She was clutching her wooden cross and murmuring a prayer. A gust of wind rattled the branches.
Welcome back to author Francis H Powell – please tell us your news.
My big important news in recent times, is that after a long wait, my new book Adventures of Death, Reincarnation and Annihilation, finally got published, by Beacon publishing.
I have written a lot of short stories, a lot of them revolve around “death”. While living in Paris, I saw a writing competition, which required writing about the last person on earth. I sent three stories, the last of which they really liked, but it arrived too late to be published. This sent me on the course of writing about world annihilation. It also introduced an unlikely science fiction element into my writing.
At some point I decided to group all my stories that connected with death into a book.
I decided to try to write a story that would exceed my normal page length. It is called “the Master”. The story is a bit like a Russian doll; it contains stories within stories. Finally we never really know who the Master is, even he is unsure of his own identity. This story covers the element of reincarnation, the Master is an old soul, who is re-discovered by a young girl who he was involved with in his previous life.
Despite the title; not all the book is doom and gloom, there are quirky characters, unfortunate happenings and attempts at wit.
I have a follow-up, which I am working on at the moment. It is far more shocking than Adventures of Death, Reincarnation and Annihilation, it is called “I am the priest killer”. It is set in different times, the past, the present and the future. I don’t know where the idea came from, but the title seems like a newspaper headline from some trashy journal.
I started off by writing about a psychopathic priest killer, then moved onto a female priest killer, a story set in Italy in the past. I decided I wanted a real contrast so I created a druid priest killer, set in Celtic times. Finally and more recently I have been writing about the future and a woman who more kills the priest’s faith, similar to the way Winston Smith is persecuted in 1984.
Some parts have involved research, because for example they are set in the past in Italy. I have also researched Celtic culture including the role of a druidess and medicinal remedies. So writing a book also involves learning and investigation. In this work I describe battles, which is something new to me. I am a history teacher, and love history, which certainly has impacted some of the stories.
At the moment I am trying to plug my book, as much as I can, so as to engage as many readers as possible.
Born in 1961, in Reading, England Francis H Powell attended Art Schools, receiving a degree in painting and an MA in printmaking. In 1995, Powell moved to Austria, teaching English as a foreign language while pursuing his varied artistic interests adding music and writing. He currently lives in Brittany, France writing both prose and poetry. Powell has published short stories in the magazine, “Rat Mort” and other works on the internet site “Multi-dimensions.” His two published books are Flight of Destiny and Adventures of Death, Reincarnation and Annihilation
Out Now—Moonstone by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #reverseharem #rh #whychoose #ku #kindleunlimited
Do you love reverse harem romances? Love Christmas books? Then check out Moonstone!
Moonstone is a standalone contemporary reverse harem romance, which is part of the Jewels Café series—all of which can be read as standalones.
Christmas gifts aren’t the only surprises Ginny is going to get this year.
Moonstone Guinevere ‘Ginny’ Miles is in Silver Springs visiting her parents for the holidays. They moved to the town five years ago, and adore their new life here. Used to the hustle and bustle of London, England, Ginny isn’t convinced at first—what’s so great about a small town in Upstate New York, anyway? Despite her own opinions, it’s clear to Ginny the move has done her parents the world of good—they look years younger. There’s clearly something magical about this town.
Following some exploration of her own, Ginny discovers Silver Springs has its charms—Jewels Cafe is amazing, for starters, as is its pumpkin spice latte. Ginny’s drunk a lot of lattes in her thirty-three years, but nothing quite like this.
Her taste buds are still tingling from the tasty treat when she comes across a broken-down truck on the way back to her parents’ place. And when she spots the three gorgeous guys with the vehicle, it’s not just her taste buds that are tingling.
Is Ginny’s vacation in Silver Springs about to get a whole lot more interesting?
Buy now or read in Kindle Unlimited: http://books2read.com/moonstoneJC
Add to your Goodreads shelves: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48280273-moonstone
Moonstone Guinevere Miles—known as Ginny to people who didn’t want to incur her fierce and everlasting wrath—heaved her suitcase off the luggage reclaim belt with an “Oof!” and placed it on the floor, a sigh of relief escaping her. At least the thing had wheels—she didn’t really have the energy for carrying a heavy suitcase all the way through Customs and out to Arrivals. The long, tiring flight had seen to that. No matter how much she tried, no matter how exhausted she was, she simply could not fall asleep on a plane. Ever. Eye mask, ear plugs, meditation, bloody whale music—nothing helped. She’d long since resigned herself to staying awake while snores from other passengers emanated around the cabin. At least it had only been about seven and a half hours since taking off from Heathrow—she couldn’t imagine what state she’d be in if she ever flew any longer than that—to Australia, New Zealand or somewhere.
Doubtful that would ever happen, though. It had taken long enough for her to get her backside out to the east coast of America, where her parents had been running a retreat since retiring five years ago. But then, things were different now, weren’t they? Which was why she was even here in the first place—it wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
Thinking of her parents brought an inevitable smile to her face, and inserted a little more spring in her step. Despite the energy and mood suck that had been the flight, she was excited to be here. She was eager to see her parents, and to find out exactly what they’d built up over the last five years. She’d seen photos and videos, but it wasn’t the same as actually being there.
When they’d first announced they were using their retirement nest egg to open a retreat in Upstate New York, she’d been floored. Who the hell retires, only to take on a massive project like that? Surely the whole point of retiring is to wind down, enjoy some free time, relax? But no, her mum and dad—who, to be fair, had never been what one would call conventional—had set their hearts on it. They’d had a huge purge of their belongings, sold their cars and house, and jetted off across the pond, leaving Ginny shocked and not a little bereft. She’d been so used to having them close by and had quickly realized just how much she’d taken that for granted.
At the same time, her own career had taken off and she’d become so busy that her parents’ sudden distance hadn’t made the blindest bit of difference. She barely saw the inside of her own flat, never mind her friends and family. This was the first Christmas she’d had off work since then, too, and she was looking forward to spending it with her parents more than she could put into words. They’d been big on the festive period ever since she was a baby, and as such, Ginny’s brain was stuffed full of warm, fuzzy memories of Christmases past. They’d been useful to get her through the last five crappy ones, too, where a microwaved ready meal was the best she could hope for, if she hadn’t managed to wangle a free meal from the place she’d been working at at the time.
Her smile widened, and she walked faster still—God, just how big was this bloody airport?—desperate to see her mum and dad and start the Christmas holiday with a bang. Anticipation rushed through her. They’d have turkey and roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, mounds of vegetables, desserts laden with enough calories to last them until Valentine’s Day, Christmas carols, amazing decorations, a beautiful tree, fairy lights…
And Santa Claus. Two of them, in fact, jumping up and down enthusiastically and waving wildly at her, with not a rotund belly in sight.
Ginny was so excited, she couldn’t even be bothered with the embarrassment she might have felt at being greeted in a public place by her parents dressed up in Santa outfits. Plus, nobody knew her here anyway, so who cared?
She scurried around the barrier, almost flipping her case in her haste to turn a corner, then covered the remaining distance between them in seconds flat and released the handle of her suitcase. A series of squeals and exclamations went up—from all three of them—and then everything went dark as Ginny was enveloped in a warm, fluffy embrace, her face crushed up against what she suspected was the white fur trim on her mother’s jacket, and kisses rained down on her. It was all she could do to suck in oxygen as she was squeezed and squeezed them right back. She was assailed by the scents of clean clothes, shampoo, perfume, and cologne—all perfectly lovely smells by themselves, but somewhat overwhelming all at once. Unintelligible murmurings reached her ears, but she didn’t bother to reply since she had no idea what was being said. And she didn’t need words, anyway. All she needed at that moment in time was to soak up the enormous outpouring of love she was experiencing.
She was so bloody happy, she thought she might pop.
Eventually, her parents loosened their hold enough so she could step back and actually look at them. She took in her father’s handsome face, his steel-gray hair—or what she could see beneath the hat, at least—his wide grin, and her mother’s long, light gray, waist-length plaits, the glint in her eyes and the glow of her skin.
“Guys, you look fantastic! If this is what retirement does for you, I think I might sign up now.”
Her mother, Deborah, gave a nonchalant shrug—which, given her attire, was way more amusing than it should have been. “What can I say, sweetheart? I feel fantastic. I’ve got so much more energy than I ever had in London, even when I was much younger.” She shrugged again. “It’s the retreat, I’m sure of it—the moment your father and I first set foot there all those years ago, I felt there was something magical about it. Silver Springs is the most wonderful little town, and we’re lucky enough to live and work in the most spectacular part of it—though it hardly feels like work.”
Ginny gave her mother a kiss on the cheek, then turned to her father, Charlie. “And you, Dad? You look twenty years younger, but how do you feel?”
His face took on a beatific expression. “The same as your mother, kiddo. Exactly the same. If I’d known just how wonderful it would be, I’d have thrown in the towel and moved out here years ago. Decades, even.” He grabbed the handle of Ginny’s case in one hand, then looped the other around her neck and pulled her in to drop a kiss on her chin-length blonde hair, which he then ruffled. “I’m so thrilled you’re here, Moony. You’re going to love it in Silver Springs. Just love it! Come on, let’s get going. We’ve got a long drive ahead of us, and the weather’s on the turn.”
Ginny bit back comments on both his use of her childhood nickname, and his messing up of her hair. She didn’t want to dampen the almost euphoric mood that seemed to float between the three of them—a combination of being pleased to see each other, and her parents’ obvious appreciation of their new home. Though five years was hardly new anymore, was it? She really should have visited before now, but the circumstances had been impossible. Now they weren’t, and she was here, in the bosom of her family, at Christmas time, and it was going to be magical.
And, at some point, she’d enlighten her parents about the fact she had nothing in particular to rush home for, either. But that could wait. No need to burst the happy, everything-is-perfect bubble just yet. She’d let them all enjoy their first Christmas together in years before thinking about that.
They made their way out of the airport building. The cold air slapped Ginny in the face, momentarily taking her breath. Her slight gasp drew her mother’s keen eye. “I hope you listened to me, sweetheart, and brought warm clothes with you. It’s even colder up in Silver Springs, you know.”
“The car’s not far,” her dad piped up. “I’ll get the heating on as soon as we’re inside, and we’ll soon have you snug as a bug in a rug.” He tipped her a wink, and warmth flooded her veins. She hadn’t realized until now just how much she’d missed her wacky yet lovable parents. They might be unconventional, but they’d given her a wonderful childhood. When she’d reached adulthood, they’d remained incredibly close, with them managing to achieve the perfect balance of loving and supportive without being controlling. They’d let her forge her own path, make her own mistakes, and had been there to help pick up the pieces without uttering so much as a “I told you so.”
They’d definitely earned this idyllic new life they’d carved out for themselves, and she couldn’t wait to experience it for herself, if only for a little while. Though she wasn’t sure how much fun there was to be had in the back end of beyond. It was hardly going to be lively. Perhaps it was a good thing she was only here for an extended holiday.
Buy now or read in Kindle Unlimited: http://books2read.com/moonstoneJC
Add to your Goodreads shelves: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48280273-moonstone
Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and The Heiress’s Harem series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter
Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.
Welcome to Jo Elizabeth Pinto
I was born in Chicago in 1971 and grew up in Brighton, Colorado. I was part of the first generation of disabled students who integrated the public schools in the late 1970’s. In 1992, I graduated from the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley with a degree in Human Services. While helping disabled students learn how to use adaptive computer technology, I earned a second degree in 2004 from the Metropolitan State College of Denver in Nonprofit Organization Management. Blind since birth, I am currently self-employed as a braille textbook proofreader.
As an author, I know the importance of entertaining my readers while also giving them food for thought. Whether I write fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, I draw inspiration from my own experiences with the ultimate intention of showing my audience that hope is always just an action away.
I live in Colorado with my husband and my daughter, my yellow Labrador guide dog Anlyn, two cats named Sam-I-Am and Andy, and a parakeet called Rocket. In my free time, I enjoy baking, growing flowers, and listening to music.
I’m an author, as I’ve wanted to be since I first figured out as a little girl that words could be written down in books and enjoyed over and over again. But I’m also a freelance braille proofreader, mostly for clients across the country who produce textbooks that will be used by blind children in kindergarten through high school, and a few random college students and library patrons now and then. I’m a wife and mother, a daughter, a friend.
What that means in practical terms is, I write in bits and pieces. Sometimes I get up and write in the dead of night when the house is quiet. Sometimes I write for ten minutes while the spaghetti bubbles on the stove and my daughter works out a long division problem at the kitchen table. Sometimes I shove work aside, switch off my conscience, and write for an entire morning with undone dishes piled up in the sink because I’ll explode if the characters don’t get themselves out of my head and into the world.
My writing space is a beat-up old computer desk in the corner of my dining room. When my daughter was little, she plastered the lower drawers and cupboards of the desk with colorful stickers. The upper cabinets are hung with bead necklaces, old track meet ribbons, and other childhood trinkets. When I lived alone, I was organized to a fault. But having a family has taken care of that problem. My desk is always cluttered, often with random items that, for the most part, don’t even belong to me.
My computer is fitted with text-to-speech (screen-reading) software that repeats the words I type and allows me to listen to emails and navigate the Internet. Using that software, I’ve written and self-published two books. The first, “The Bright Side of Darkness,” is a novel about a group of kids from the projects and how their lives change because of mentoring. The second, released this last July, is a nonfiction book about my adventures as the blind mom of a sighted daughter.
My daughter is delighted to have been featured in a book, but she isn’t quite old enough to understand the point the stories about the two of us are trying to make. Her dad is a staunch supporter of my writing. He owns a watch and clock repair shop, and I’ve sold many books locally out of his store.
Working from home, writing and running a business, raising a child—it can all be overwhelming at times. The lifestyle works for me, especially because I found a sustainable way to make money as a freelance proofreader and be home when my daughter is. I would recommend my chosen crafts, with a caveat or two. First, a person has to be a self-starter. When you take up writing or work from home, there won’t be anyone standing over your shoulder, nagging you to improve. There will be a million things waiting to take up your time, and writing takes hours, weeks, and years of practice. Those who persist, prevail. And second, join a group of like-minded people—real live people are best, but online is okay if necessary. Writers need other writers to support them, challenge them, and keep them writing.
Please check out my author Website, where you can find many relevant links:
“The Bright Side of Darkness” is my award-winning novel, Available in Kindle, audio, and paperback formats.
The paperback version of my novel is available at Barnes & Noble here:
Please see my author page on Facebook here:
Please see my author blog, “Looking on the Bright Side,” on Goodreads here:
Please see my Bookbub profile here:
To read guest posts about parenting in the dark, please click here:
To read guest posts on a variety of topics, please click here:
Calling all readers! Fill your library with N. N. Light’s Book Heaven Snuggle Up With These Books Readathon picks. 56 books from multiple genres featured plus a chance to win one of the following:
Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $25 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $15 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My book, The Shining Citadel, will be featured on 14th November. I even talk about what I’m thankful for this year. You won’t want to miss it.
Bookmark this bookish party and tell your friends:
Interview with Queenie Black. @queenieblackwr1 #authorinterveiw #amreading #eroticromance
Name: Queenie Black
What attracts you to the genre in which you write?
I’m fascinated by love in all its variations and I particularly love the power play behind the D/s dynamic. I’m intrigued by submission and how something that seems to be a weakness is, in reality, strength, and also the degree of trust and caring required to make such a relationship work. Writing about these sorts of situations is a way of exploring many different scenarios – more than I could live in a lifetime.
What piece of writing advice do you wish you’d known when you started your writing adventures?
Hmmm, interesting question. There are two I can pinpoint. One is write everyday. Make it a discipline and don’t wait for inspiration. The other is to be true to the story and don’t try shaping it for a ‘market’ or a publisher.
If you could have dinner with any famous person or character who would you choose?
The Greek Goddess Athena who gave her name to the Greek city of Athens. She was awesome. First-off her symbol is an owl, right? Who can resist owls? Her second symbol was the olive tree – long-lived, useful and beautiful trees that symbolise peace. Finally, she was kick-ass strong but clever with it, independent and known as the goddess of wisdom, warfare and handicraft-three things every woman should be proficient in. I reckon if we could get past the language barrier we’d hit it off and I’d learn a lot!
Who has been the greatest influence on your own work?
There are three women who have helped me get to this point in my writing. My auntie, who tried to write a Mills and Boon when I was about nine. I remember her talking about it and showing my mum these pages and pages of blue pen. This made me realise that it would be possible for me to write a book. My mum who never scoffed at my auntie or at my efforts throughout my childhood and was always supportive. Finally Jane Holland, an author who writes many different genres under many different names – Beth Good, Elizabeth Moss, Jane Holland, Victoria Lamb. Her writing discipline, output and dedication made me realise that being a writer is 80% hard work, 10% talent and 10% inspiration with a salting of luck.
Do you think the e-book revolution will do away with print?
Never. Print books may become more of a luxury and we may see books going back to being works of art or they may be printed on recycled or bamboo paper and become more tree-friendly and disposable, but there will always be print books.
Which 3 books would you take to a desert island and why?
Only three? Eeek.
Well then let’s see…in no particular order, it would have to be:
- Agnes and the Hitman by Crusie and Mayer, for sheer hilarity and uniqueness (the heroine has anger management problems). Think an old house, mafia, a wedding, hitmen, a dog with a jewelled collar, a flamingo, and murder with a barbecue fork.
- Julie Anne Long’s What I Did for a Duke, also for hilarity, sharpness of dialogue, a May September romance that is totally awesome and for twisting tropes,
- Finally…..drum roll……Cherise Sinclair’s Edge of the Enforcer. Let me just say, feisty heroine, sexy, sexy, did I say sexy? hero, insurmountable odds, a kink club and BDSM. ‘nuff said.
Author bio and book synopsis
Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):
I’ve always loved writing and I won my first prize for a short story when I was still at primary school. I’m an avid reader of romance and erotic romance and if I’m not writing I can usually be found with my nose in a book. The dynamics and sheer variety of human relationships fascinate me, and this is what I like to explore in my writing. I live in North Yorkshire with my husband, cat and five hens and I enjoy running and Tai Chi. I’m currently working on a sequel to Hard Pressed (watch this space) and on a romantic suspense novel.
Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)
My latest release, Hard Pressed is out now.
Master Lucien has one night at Club Hard.
One night…to show bodyguard Rose Dainty that he can be the Dom she needs,
One night…to show her that submitting to him doesn’t make her weak, that true submission requires strength and trust.
Will pushing Rose to her limits prove to her she can trust him with her body and heart, and can she let go of her deepest fears long enough to enjoy her surrender? `
They both have everything to prove and everything to lose.
Amazon USA: https://amzn.to/2lXpCSP
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2kswibm
Social media :
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/queenieblackauthor/
Now on Preorder – Blood Moon Bundle – Out 1st October (Already released on Amazon).
Amazon, Kobo, I-books, Nook and Bundlerabbit.
When the sun has set, when the moon is full, the shapeshifters gather—wolves, cats and totemic creatures, nightmares and revelations.
Seeking answers, seeking revenge, seeking a cure to affliction, seeking blood, seeking answers or seeking love—a gathering of beasts abounds. Dare you walk beneath the moonlight?
By Howl and Claw – Rebecca M Senese
Spirit Dancer – Douglas Smith
Big Bad Wolf- Annie Reed
Badlands – Michelle Lang
Family, Pack – Michael Jasper
Serpent’s Foe – J.M. Ney-Grimm
The Night Mischief Became a Real Cat – Annie Reed
Silver Light – Rita Schulz
Wolf Warlock – Meyari McFarland
Stolen By The Werewolf – AJ Tipton
Beware the Easter Moon -De Kenyon
Moon Spell – Rita Schulz