Between Good and Evil by R. Michael Phillips

BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL

Auburn Notch Mystery Book 1

AUTHOR: R. Michael Phillips
GENRE: Mystery
Published by Sunbury Press
With a broad smile and slight wrinkles at the corners of your eyes you snap shut your suitcase and grab the sunscreen without ever entertaining the notion murderers go on vacation too. What adds a chilling dimension to the idea is they look just like any other tourist in plaid shorts and a golf shirt until you catch a glimpse of the terrifying evil hidden behind their Foster Grants. It’s not something you’re likely to forget, especially once they look up over the postcard rack and realize you’re the one that got away.
Promise Flynn was an overly impulsive Metro Detective whose disregard for procedure finally resulted in her being shot and left for dead during an investigation. To repair her bruised ego and splintered confidence she abandons the callous dark alleys of Chicago to patrol the quiet, birch-lined streets of Auburn Notch—a favorite vacation spot of her youth. For two years everything was idyllic, until the body of a young girl found in the abandoned asylum outside of town awakens the insecurities she thought her new life would insulate her from. As the new Sheriff she begins her investigation refusing to accept the similarities between the young woman’s death and her own case, oblivious to being unexpectedly recognized and penciled in at the top of a clever murderer’s To-Do list. Her internal struggle intensifies when a discredited crime reporter from the past suspiciously arrives in town to resurrect his threadbare reputation, along with an FBI agent chasing down a lead in a cold case. Both men quickly become entangled in Flynn’s investigation and her attempts to finally put her past to rest. Flynn reluctantly accepts the murder might be the work of the two men responsible for her hasty departure from Chicago, but Agent MacGregor insists the evidence points to a man he’s been chasing. As the rising current of her past threatens to pull her under, Flynn finds herself unprepared for option three.

The festivities in town were slowly petering out as the eleven o’clock hour approached. The earlier-packed sidewalks along the main drag, crowded with assorted craft and food vendors, were opening back up in ten-foot sections at a time as booths were disassembled. The trendy watering holes were still flush with business. The locals shuffled through the crowds grumbling about quieter times, while the newly of-age drinkers were busy testing the waters and carving out a space for themselves at the bar. The clusters gathered around family activities had diminished proportionately with the ages of the children attached to the extended arms of their parents. Cafés and eateries were cleaning up after a long day of serving sandwiches, dinners, sweets, and coffee to an overwhelming flock of locals and out-of-towners in for the festival. The assortment of local college students hired for the event were busy wiping down tables, eagerly anticipating a second wave of good tips. About another thirty minutes they figured, as soon as the parents washed the cotton candy and ice cream off all the little faces and they were nestled snugly beneath their covers.“Promise,” a shrill voice called out from one of the tables on the sidewalk in front of the Auburn Coffee House. “Sheriff Flynn, do you have a minute?”

As Sheriff Flynn approached the coffee house, she couldn’t help but notice Mrs. Johnson seated at one of the tables on the sidewalk. Policing the festival activities and the swelling of the population proved a long and tiring three days. Chitchat remained at the bottom of her list of things to do at that moment. She had hoped her hastened step, lowered head, and obvious intention of ignoring any recognition of her would give the impression of being off on police business. She paused, looking over the tops of the crowd, hoping to see some sort of minor criminal activity going on. Nothing major, she thought to herself. Public urination would work. Littering. A dog walker not scooping. Anything? Her thoughts eventually drifted to the possibility of a shootout in front of the bank as not being such a bad option at that moment. It wasn’t to be. She caught a glimpse of Mrs. Johnson out of the corner of her eye still waving. Not a distraction in sight. This town is too damn law abiding.

“Sheriff Promise Mary Flynn,” called out Mrs. Johnson, as if addressing a petulant child. “I’ve got a matter we need to discuss.”

Sheriff Flynn tucked her hopes of a shootout away and walked over to the table. She took a deep breath and forced a smile. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Johnson, I didn’t see you there. You see, I’m on my way—”

“Nonsense,” replied Mrs. Johnson cordially but firmly. “There is always a moment for two civil servants to compare notes. Besides, you have a whole department to handle the day-to-day policing of this fine town.” Mrs. Johnson paused, looked out over her reading glasses at the sheriff, giving the attractive, tall blond the onceover. “You know, it wouldn’t break any laws if you did something with your hair other than stuffing it under that hat.” She gave a petite snort to signal the end of her analyzing glance.

“With a little eye shadow, I would imagine some men might even find you attractive.”

Sheriff Flynn clenched her teeth into what might be construed as a smile and groaned. Forget the bank, a shootout right here will work just fine. “If this is about the missing money from the swim club account, Hank has been quietly looking into it. I can assure you—”

“No. No. No!” Mrs. Johnson replied, looking around and making sure no one was listening. “Please keep your voice down. I don’t want anyone to know I’ve asked you to look into that.”

Promise bit her inside cheek, continuing the conversation through clenched teeth. “Is there something else on your mind, Alice?”

“Yes. There is something much more urgent I believe we need to discuss,” said Alice Johnson. She pushed out the chair across from her with her foot, giving a nod of direction to the sheriff. “Have a seat, this will only take a minute. It’s the well-being of our citizenry at stake, and I know it’s as much a priority to you as it is to me.”

There was no escape. Short of an actual crime being committed at that very moment right in front of them, Flynn had no choice but to sit, smile, and listen to what the councilwoman had on her mind. “Well-being of the citizenry? I’m not sure I understand.”

The councilwoman pulled a green folder from her oversized canvas tote, placing it down on the table in front of Flynn. “As you can tell by these photos, I’ve made an extensive investigation of that dangerous curve out by the old asylum. This photo here,” she continued, nudging one of the photos out from the pile, “is of particular interest. You see that guardrail? I kicked it a few times, and it broke clean away from the support going into the ground. It’s that way along the entire length of the curve. It’s a deathtrap. I know this is a highway department matter, but I can’t stand by when a potential hazard to the fine people of this town is being ignored.”

Sheriff Flynn picked up the photo, making a careful examination of the evidence. “Those temporary barricades should be just fine.” She pointed to one in particular in the photo. “Like this one you had to move in order to get close enough to kick the guardrail. As long as no one moves them again, these will certainly protect the fine citizens of Auburn Notch.” Promise paused for a moment. “I believe there is also a sign directing people to use the fire access road as an alternative. It’s just up around the bend from that curve.”

“Nobody is going to use that narrow, dirt road. I certainly wouldn’t. Besides, most people don’t even know it’s there.”

“Well, I’m not sure what else I can do. At this point it’s a matter between you and the highway department.”

“Luke Sanders said he has money appropriated to replace the old guardrail in the new budget, but his department has a few other matters higher on his priority list.” Councilwoman Johnson tidied up the pile of photos and slipped them and the folder back into her tote. “Those wooden barricades might be fine to block off a parade route, but a speeding car will go right through them and over that embankment.”

Sheriff Flynn rose from her seat, eyeing her deputy coming in her direction at a hastened pace. No matter what he wants, she thought to herself, it was going to be an important matter in need of my immediate attention. “Everyone knows how treacherous that stretch of road is. I can’t image anyone speeding around that curve. If it will make you happy, I’ll talk to Luke and see if we can’t get a few more caution signs posted further down the road in both directions until his men can get out there. In the meantime, try not to kick it anymore.”

Councilwoman Johnson’s eyes narrowed at the insinuation. She responded with a grunt and a halfhearted smile. “Thank you, Promise, I knew I could count on your support.”

Sheriff Flynn nodded. She felt a light tap on her shoulder.

“Sorry to interrupt, ladies.”

“What is it, Hank?” replied the sheriff brightly; uncharacteristically appreciating his interruption whether or not it turned out to be his usual bellyaching about something he would have done differently.

“It may be nothing, Sheriff,” replied Hank, turning the sheriff away from the table and speaking quietly, “but we got a report there’s a lit candle in a second floor window of the old mental hospital. I’ll take care of it, I just wanted to let you know I’m goin’ up there.”

Sheriff Flynn didn’t respond. A quick gasp stole her voice. She glanced passed Hank, her eyes rolling upward following the tree line. There, perched on a granite crag a thousand or so feet in elevation above the town, were the weathered edges of slate gables piercing the silhouette of a tired length of pine trees. Where the spikes and dips clustered together were a fair representation of the past health of such a grand structure, the sharp drop-off to a flat, indigo tree line is deathly expressive of its sudden and tragic end. Little more than the discarded shell of how it once appeared, there remained a slight whisper of evil in its squalid halls. To Promise, this evil had a different voice. A voice she never wanted to hear again.

“It’s those damn kids,” moaned Mrs. Johnson, her hearing as acute as rumor had it. “You know, that group that walks around here dressed in black with those God-awful tattoos and piercings. Vampires, that’s what I say they are. Black shirts. Black pants. Black boots. Skulking about at night. Always up to no good. What decent child has coal-black hair with a white streak running down the left side? Up to no good, that’s what I say. I’ve a mind to call their parents in front of the next council meeting . . .”

“Are you okay, Sheriff?” Hank whispered under Mrs. Johnson’s rant.

Sheriff Flynn’s eyes remained fixed on the asylum. The chill running up her spine muffled any recognition of what her deputy was saying. She could feel a dull ache rising in her left shoulder. Not again. It can’t be. It can’t be.

“Did you hear me, Promise?” interrupted Councilwoman Johnson. “It’s those kids. Those vampires. Those damn—”

Sheriff Flynn raised her hand, shaking off the panicked look she hoped went unnoticed. She took a deep breath, tempering her response. “We don’t know anything yet, Alice. As for your vampires, I don’t think this town has seen a bit of trouble from any of those kids. They just express themselves a little differently than you and I.” She hesitated, trying to hold the words back. The next remark went off like the snap of a mousetrap. “And if dressing in black was a crime, they’d be sharing a cell with you. If you’ll excuse me, I think I better go out and see what’s going on. I’ll make it a point to find you tomorrow after I speak to Luke. Nice seeing you, Alice.”

Mrs. Johnson replied with a carping grunt. Before she could mount her rebuttal, Sheriff Flynn and Hank were in the patrol car heading out of town on Interstate 93 toward the abandoned mental hospital.

“What are you looking at?” asked Sheriff Flynn, giving a quick glance over at Hank.

“If dressing in black was a crime?”

“Yeah, I’m probably gonna regret that.”

Hank paused, trying to get a read on the sheriff’s expression. She actually looked spooked. They had been working together for two years. Two irritating years, according to Hank. Auburn Notch certainly isn’t a hub of criminal activity, just the usual share of traffic tickets and the occasional dead body due to a house fire or accident. Nothing ever happened that would warrant the mayor appointing some out-of-town, big-city detective as sheriff instead of him. He had the town council’s ear and wasn’t bashful about letting them know he was suspicious about her past. Hank was convinced it was only a matter of time before he would uncover the information he needed to replace his boss behind the big desk in the sheriff’s office. For the time being, she was sheriff, and he just had to deal with it.

Promise Flynn might be some out-of-town detective, but she spent many years vacationing in Auburn Notch with her family. One thing she learned back then, there are no secrets in a small New England town. She was very much aware of Hank’s resentment from her first day on the job and decided to let him dig around all he wanted. Just to make it interesting, she also put him in charge of the swim club investigation. She already had a good read on what transpired, but giving the investigation to Hank would flush out his true character. If he’s half the cop he tells people he is, he should have no problem putting the pieces together. It will also test his loyalty. Flynn had a feeling at least two prominent people might be involved with the missing money, and one of them is a close friend of Hanks. If he comes up empty, writing traffic tickets in a small town is going to be the extent of his law enforcement career. Until then, she’ll just have to continue to ignore him tugging at the rug under her boots.

“So why are you tagging along? I said I’d handle it.”

Flynn’s mind was elsewhere. By the time she realized he was talking to her, Hank tried another approach to get an answer.

“Just kids. That’s all,” Hank huffed.

“What is?”

“The candle in the window of the asylum. I chase those damn kids outta there once a week. You didn’t have to come along. It’s probably nothing. Just a candle in the window of an old building.”

Sheriff Flynn looked over at Hank, her lips drawn tightly closed. She shook her head and looked back through the windshield at the dark road ahead. “It’s never just a candle.”

Michael is a classically trained artist turned mystery writer. By combining his creative talents with a passion for mysteries he conceived his first series—The Ernie Bisquets Mysteries. It introduced Ernie Bisquets, a retired London pickpocket who decided he was going to assist the London police with there most difficult cases—whether they want his help or not. Michael has completed 3 books in the series, and has plans for at least five additional books.
Michael travels a bit, especially to Great Britain, but also has a fondness for New England. He spent many winters in the shadow of the White Mountains, skiing and enjoying the beautiful countryside. Those fond memories are the backdrop now for the new Auburn Notch Mysteries being published by Sunbury Press. The main character is Sheriff Promise Flynn—an ex-metro detective who left a dark past and her big-city detective shield behind and moved to a small New England town. What follows is anything but therapeutic.
When he’s not painting or writing Michael is an avid antique collector, filling his current home—an 1894 Queen Ann Victorian he, his wife, and son are restoring—with an assortment of antiques from around the world. Michael also enjoys cooking, working in the garden, and playing in the yard with their two rescues, Beau and Pup.
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Promotional Tour – Angela Ford

CYBER-CRIME SERIES by ANGELA FORD


Awesome Review by Romance Reviews Magazine!
This is an American FBI based romantic suspense. We’re given a female agent – a complex stalker, and a classic covert romance budding between fellow agents. Thankfully that’s not all the author has given the reader. The heroine, Jess, has emotional problems linked to her past. Her love interest, Tom, similarly has a past he would rather forget. Neither reveals their covert feelings for one another, and I rather liked the way the author enlightens the reader to their innermost thoughts. This could easily have turned into a tired old cliché plot of agents shooting their way through crisis after crisis, then falling in love and straight off to bed. Ms Ford, though, luckily spins a little magic into her story with a dead agent brought back to life. And so the plot thickens. But who is watching Jess besides a dead agent, and who is stalking her? The more Jess puzzles over gathered evidence the more she fears the outcome. What is worse, the killer knows her name. Ordered off the case, Jess retreats to a safe haven. Jess is far from safe. Tom is far from safe. And the hero of the day is far from the expected hero. Well done Ms Ford for putting a jolly good twist in this tale. As a debut novelist I sense Ms Ford’s writing will grow with each new book she undertakes to write.
CLOSURE (Book 1)
An elite FBI task force tracks online predators while they hunt their prey. A series of murders in Presario Heights has forced Special Agent Jessica Resario to follow her gut instinct to save the next victim. Supervisory Special Agent Tom Erickson removes her from the case. The only place to escape the danger is her family beach home. She hadn’t been there since her parents were murdered. The level of intensity climbs higher with her discovery of postcards marked “I Crave You”. Old ghosts, secrets, imminent threats and an inevitable attraction to Tom send her on an emotional roller coaster. If that wasn’t enough, she opens the door to a man she thought was dead. Tom is stabbed and his case files go missing…high emotions put Jess at the killer’s mercy.


Jess opened the file that held copies of the postcards. They were simple postcards of scenic views which could be found in any shop in the Vineyard. The backs of the postcards showed Jess’s name printed very neatly, and beside it was written, “I Crave You.” All three cards had the same quote, her name, no address and no postage stamp. They would have been placed under the door in person.
A cold chill ran up her spine. It was definitely not a prank from one of her friends; they had more class than that! She couldn’t recall anyone around her who was shy or might have a crush on her. Sandy and Billy, her closest summer friends, would definitely have told her if someone had a crush on her. She never even dated anyone from the village in the summers. It was a small village and everyone around her age had gone steady since they were about ten years old.
There was a boy she had dated in Washington her senior year, but it was never serious. They only dated for a few months before graduation and Jess ended it before she left for the beach home. He wanted to continue their relationship, but she was headed west and he was attending college in the east.
The three words, “I Crave You,” struck a nerve. Where had she heard those words? Jess couldn’t recollect if the words were used in the existing case, or if they were from her past.
FORBIDDEN (Book 2)
In this sequel to Closure, Agent Jessica Resario continues to deliver spine-chilling seminars about internet predators. A seminar one night introduces her to the Bennetts’. They believe their teenage daughter has a stalker and is in danger.
One desperate man forbids Jess to love another man. Another desperate man preys on a naïve teen. Both put Jess back in the line of fire and once again her life is put into the hands of a serial killer.

Startled from her thoughts, Jess turned and saw Tom in the doorway with a concerned look on his face. He walked closer to her and set a cup of tea on her desk.
“I thought you might need this.”
“Thanks Tom. You always know what I need. I love you so much.” She smiled and reached for his hand. Just his presence in the room warmed her from the cold chill she’d felt.
“I love you too.” He leaned down and kissed the top of her head. “Now spill it Jess. I know that look.”
She laughed at his remark. He knows me so well.
“I feel like I’m reading about Trevor stalking me. This girl is in trouble, Tom. She’s being stalked. I feel it in my gut.” Jess took a sip of her tea. The warmth and sweetness of that Earl Grey Cream was exactly what she needed to calm her.
“That look worries the heck out of me. But I learned a long time ago I can’t stop you.” Tom picked up her phone from the desk and handed it to her. “Call Mr. Bennett”
“At this time of the night?” Jess looked at her watch.
“If he’s as concerned as you believe, Jess, he’ll be awake.” Tom kissed her forehead and smiled.
OBSESSED (Book 3)

The FBI cybercrime series continues after Jess shoots Trevor Marshall in her kitchen. The man responsible for three murdered teens in the Bay area, her parents and her adopted daughter’s parents. Ten years before he stalked her without her knowledge. Her father kept it from her to protect her and sent her to the west coast for college. Marshall murdered her parents in his attempt to find her. Ten years later he’s successful but Jess is a compelled FBI profiler who hunts internet predators.
SSA Jessica Resario thought her life had settled; now there’s more at stake. She stepped down as the team’s leader to be with her family and SA Mike Turner is promoted. A postcard shows up on her doorstep with the same three words used by Marshall – I Crave You. Mike promises to discover how it was leaked from the sealed case. When another postcard turns up at Jess’s beach house, Mike takes the team to the east coast. Only half the team makes it to the beach house. Old ghosts, secrets and with more at stake; Jess is determined to end this obsession and protect her family.
Jess looked in that direction and something caught her attention. She tip-toed toward the door and discovered a postcard on the floor just inside the front door. Memories of the postcards crossed her mind as she bent down to pick it up. Her hand trembled as she read her name on the front of the post card. She turned it over slowly. A tear formed and hit her cheek as she read the words written on it. I Crave You.
The sudden jolt of shock that hit her at the front door led her to scream Tom’s name. The postcard fell from her hand. Tom came running from the bedroom. Jess’s scream woke everyone and they all met at the front door. Jess couldn’t speak but pointed to the welcome mat where the postcard lay. Those three words “I Crave You” could be read as plain as day. Tom reached for the postcard with horror; one of Vineyard Haven addressed to Jess with those three words just like the ones she’d received in the past.
Angela Ford originates from Nova Scotia…Canada’s Ocean Playground!
DSC_0447 - Copy - CopyHer love of the ocean and sunsets are always in her heart and give her inspiration. Her love for words keeps her turning the page. She is never without a book, whether she’s reading or writing. Now residing in Ontario, Angela works in Finance – numbers by day – words by night. Her dedication to volunteer and involvement with cyber safety seminars gave her an Award of Distinction and sparked the idea for her first book Closure – suspense with a dash of romance that hit the best- selling Action/Adventure and Women’s Fiction. Angela continued this FBI suspense with Forbidden and will deliver the final of the series in 2015. She also writes contemporary romance, sometimes sweet…sometimes spicy and sometimes with a dash of suspense. Unforgettable Kiss delivers a spicy romance with a dash of suspense. Blind Tasting of The Love List series and The Christmas Wreath of the Forever Christmas series are sweet reads. 2015 kicked off with a new Romantic Suspense Surrender.Between two jobs, being a mom with a home always filled with young adults and rather interesting stories; she is lucky to have one very patient and understanding man. But it is the furry family members who rule the house – a Puggle (Pug/Beagle), a new Chug puppy (Pug/Chihuahua) and two loveable cats. Every possible quiet moment she finds, she treasures and just writes about the moments to come. Angela is an avid reader of romance, a member of the RWA, KOD (Kiss of Death – Suspense Chapter) and Mississauga Writers Group. You can follow her at BTGN www.bookstogonow.com or visit her website/blog Romantic Escapes at http://www.angelafordauthor.com to connect with her on her social network sites. She loves to hear from her readers – they keep her smiling!

Marie Bartek and the SIPS Team Series

Marie Bartek and the SIPS Team Series
Robin Murphy
Genre: Paranormal Mystery/Psychic Suspense
SULLIVAN’S SECRET
Book 1

Dr. Marie Bartek’s life has been perfect as the local veterinarian on Sullivan’s Island, SC, until her ability to see spirits returns after eighteen years. After confiding in her best friend and realizing their interests in the paranormal, they organize a paranormal investigation team called Sullivan’s Island Paranormal Society, SIPS.Marie learns to channel her ability through the help of one of the team members, who is a medium, but not before learning the spirits are trying to warn her about the murders taking place on Sullivan’s Island. Sullivan’s Secret captivates the reader with murder, suspense, and the world of the paranormal.


Excerpt Page 2
Just before making the cut, Marie spotted a shadow of a little boy out of the corner of her eye. He looked to be six in age and was staring back at her. She immediately closed her eyes hard and tried to push the spirit out of her head. When she opened her eyes, the little boy was gone.
Excerpt Page 11
Her eyes stared motionless into infinity and bulged while her skin was gray and red streaked. Most of her hair had fallen out and her mouth, lips and tongue were swollen. Found floating face down was the description Chief Cory Miller received during the five a.m. phone call Sunday morning that woke him out of a deep sleep.
SECRET OF THE BIG EASY
Book 2

While visiting New Orleans for a conference, Marie Bartek and her friends decide to stay an additional week to do some sightseeing and investigate a few haunted places.

Their vacation turns into something else when Marie has a vision of a woman being tortured and murdered, and decides to contact the police. They soon learn that the woman she saw in her vision has actually been murdered, and after she has another similar vision, Marie and the SIPS team is dragged deep into the investigation.
Are the killings cult sacrifices or something else? Will Marie and her friends be able to figure out what is going on?
Excerpt Page 65
Marie dropped to her knees and the decaying room disappeared when she heard Cory and Gale’s voice yelling for her to open her eyes. As she did, she saw everyone staring back at her while her head rested in Cory’s lap. “What happened? And why am I on the floor?”
Excerpt Page 107
The brilliant moon created a glow through the trees upon the marble altar. He stood at the end of the altar between her thighs and held the dagger in his hands raising it up toward the sky catching the reflection of the moon onto her breast. Carefully he whispered his praise and sacrifice for Beelzebub and set the dagger down between her parted thighs as the golden inverted pentagram swung from the chain around his neck.
FEDERAL CITY’S SECRET
Book 3

In the third book of Robin Murphy’s paranormal mystery series, Dr. Marie Bartek and the Sullivan’s Island Paranormal Society investigate hauntings and spirit activity in the heart of Washington, DC.

Marie develops new nuances with her psychic abilities, bringing more depth and intrigue into their ghost investigations, but this lands the SIPS team in the middle of the mafia, politics, secret societies, and murder.
Through the help of a spirit, Marie discovers that the mafia doesn’t take kindly to strangers taking what isn’t theirs. This story will captivate the reader with murder, suspense, and the world of the paranormal.
Excerpt Page 74
There was a thud of an outside door opening and Kelly immediately decided to play possum as she quickly got back into her original position and closed her eyes. If nothing else, she may be able to fool them into thinking she was still unconscious and catch them in an unguarded conversation. As she heard the inner door open she tried to slow down her breathing and hoped they didn’t hear her heart pounding out of her chest.
Excerpt Page 112
“Speak to me in English demon and yes I know this will work. Go away, Seducer! The desert is your home. The serpent is your dwelling. Be humiliated and cast down, for even though you have deceived men, you cannot make a mockery of God. He has prepared Hell for you and your angels.”
SECRET OF COFFIN ISLAND
Book 4

Dr. Marie Bartek and her fiancé, Police Chief Cory Miller, have finally tied the knot. Their wedding festivities are interrupted, however, by the discovery of a headless corpse.

While criminal investigations are Cory’s milieu, Marie and her team of psychic researchers have been instrumental in solving mysteries in the past, and she has already received visions that seem to pertain to the mystery at hand. After suffering a fatal heart attack, her mentor and friend Myra has continued her mentorship from the other side, and Marie takes comfort in her presence and guidance.
Once again, Marie uses her psychic ability to lead the police in the right direction. Are there pirates amiss killing those who betray them by decapitation? And is Captain Kidd’s treasure really buried on Sullivan’s Island?
Excerpt Page 1
The ocean waves pounded out a rhythm that soothed your soul as its spray danced in the air with the seagulls. Crystal-like sands glistened in the sun as the sea slowly melted away the shore. With each ripple of water the sand eroded away the remains of the coffins revealing headless skeletons facing west. Tiny sand crabs scurried in and out of the chest cavities and nibbled on century old plankton and bacteria. The smell of decay mixed with salt gave out a sulfur-like odor even too putrid for the beach animals to ignore, while the sound of a sword sliced through the air. . .
Excerpt Page 30
He stopped his wagon at the edge of the smelly green dumpster and dragged a concrete block that was lying on the other side of the lot to the edge of the bin. He stepped up on the block and shoved the lid up on the top and winced at the pungent stench emanating from inside. He carefully gripped the first plastic bag and heaved it inside and grabbed the frame to keep from losing his balance. As he bent down to grab the next bag he noticed his hands were covered in a red sticky substance.
He wiped them off on the bag, but his curiosity got the best of him as he placed both hands on the frame of the dumpster and slowly pulled himself up to look inside. There staring back at him were maggot filled eye sockets and what appeared to be the remains of a head.
Robin Murphy, of Sharpsburg, Maryland, serves as the Administrative Associate assisting with student admissions, registration, financial aid, and business processes for the Masters programs in the Graduate Studies and Continuing Education departments at Shepherd University.
Robin attended Penn Highlands Community College and is a graduate of Long Ridge Writers Group. She was inducted as a member of Phi Theta Kappa Society, an International Scholastic Order of the Two-Year College in 1997, was nominated to The National Dean’s List in 1998, and received the honor of “New Executives 2000” by the Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Chamber of Commerce.
Robin is an Amazon best-selling author and a paranormal mystery and travel writer. She is a speaker on author platforms, self-publishing, and marketing, and recently became the sole-proprietor of Rookie Writers Solutions. Robin has over thirty year’s experience in the administrative, graphic design, desktop publishing, writing, and self-publishing fields.

Promotional Tour – Introducing Jennifer Felton

Through Life and Death & Through Love and Hate
(Prequel & Companion to
One Hell of a Romance series)
Author: Jennifer Felton
OFFICIAL GENRE: Paranormal Romance/Mystery
THROUGH LIFE AND DEATH
PREQUEL
PUBLICATION DATE: October 15, 2015


THROUGH LOVE AND HATE
COMPANION
PUBLICATION DATE: October 20, 2015

Paranormal Affairs by Jami Brumfield

 

PARANORMAL AFFAIRS

AUTHOR: Jami Brumfield
NAME OF COVER DESIGNER: Mel Graphics
OFFICAL GENRE OF BOX SET: Paranormal Mystery and Paranormal Romance
ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: September 23, 2015
11 amazing titles from highly rated and Best Selling author Jami Brumfield. Paranormal Affairs bundle I is her “first in series” collection. It’s made up of full length and novellas from 11 of her hottest paranormal series in the sub genres of Mystery, Romance, Comedy, Ghost, Shifter, Science Fiction, and Fantasy. Each story has kick butt heroines, sexy heroes, danger, suspense, intrigue and many even have visits from the ancients mythological gods and goddesses.
THIS INCREDIBLE BOX SET IS FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OFFER TODAY.
Individual book links found be clicking on book title.

The Witch’s Vampire (Mystery Springs)

Sophie Waters’ life was turned upside down when her mother passed away from cancer but the news her father and aunt delivered to her after the passing was far more devastating and unbelievable. ‘You’re a witch doctor, a healer, and you’re needed here to help protect the supernatural inhabitants of Mystery Springs.’

‘Like hell,’ was her response but the moment the witches unlocked her powers there was no way she could deny the truth. And the moment she met her vampire prince there was no way she could leave Mystery Springs even if she wanted to.
From the moment the powerful and terrifying Giovanni Mancuso spotted the spunky girl in ripped jeans, green cotton hoodie with her jet black hair in a ponytail and her green eyes covered by black cat glasses he was lost. She was not like the other girls that frequented his nightclub. She was different on so many levels. The moment his eyes connected with hers his soul knew she was important.
She was his soul mate, his first love, a love lost centuries ago. Only she was different; stronger, powerful. Sophie and Giovanni explore their feelings while they attempt to uncover the secret behind acts of war on the supernatural people of Mystery Springs. Together they will face off against dream assassins, death, ghosts, gods, and their own families to save the small Colorado town and find a path back into the safety of each other’s arms.
Past lives collide in this paranormal romance with mythological consequences.

In this excerpt from The Witch’s Vampire Sophie faces a dangerous Nephilim after getting her heart hurt from Giovanni and his consort. Enjoy.
His fear for her slammed into him with the force of a car hitting a guard rail at eighty miles an hour as he took in the sight. Christopher held a fire sword against Sophie’s sweet neck. He heard her heart beat race, her pupils were dilated, and the smell of terror vibrated off her with so much intensity he felt his own teeth lengthen. His desire to protect her drove his own sanity level close to the edge. The instinct to kill kicked in and he jumped in front of Nicolai with a hiss and a deadly light in his eyes.
“Back up, vampire or I’ll slice her head off.” Christopher snarled angrily and pressed the sword closer to her throat, cutting into her skin. Gio could smell her blood on the air which only kicked the predator in him into higher gear. It was like a demon on fire in his very soul. Adrenaline pushed through his veins with so much force he didn’t know if there was anything that could stop him from tearing the cupid boy’s head off his shoulders.
“Careful, brother.” Nicolai warned, his voice so low only supernaturals could hear.
Christopher let out a nasty laugh, “yes, careful, brother.” He spit each word. “You wouldn’t want something to happen to the pretty, novice witch.”
Sophie was remarkable. She didn’t scream, only let out a tiny cry as the fire blade cut through her skin as easily as melted butter. Her mortality, her softness, her ability to compartmentalize the attack were the only things keeping the deranged angel hybrid from taking action. Her strength and unexpectedly calm demeanor in the face of this tragic turn of events helped Giovanni find a clear head. If she could be strong in the face of danger so could he. Besides, if he made a move there was no doubt in Gio’s mind that Christopher would kill her. The very idea of losing her before he even got to know her was the greatest torture he’d ever felt.
Gio held both hands up to show he was unarmed. “You don’t want to do that, Christopher. Sophie is the only one that has been able to give your sister relief, she may even be able to heal her given enough time. Otherwise, your sister will become one of us. You don’t want that, do you?” He chose not to tell him Tiffany’s sire was dead. It was a secret he’d never reveal to his enemies.
“Tiffany isn’t getting better and your people are trying to take me into custody. Trying to take me away from her. I won’t be detained by a filthy, scum-sucking vampire. I’d rather die and I’ll take her with me.” He laughed maniacally-there was the look of insanity lighting his eyes, “That would really weaken your town wouldn’t it?”
He was right. If the town lost Sophie, there would be some major damage control needed to repair it, but that wasn’t what Gio cared about. If he lost Sophie there’d be hell to pay. He’d go rabid and take out every person Christopher ever cared about one by one, slowly, methodically, and when the nephilim had no one else, he’d exact his own ugly form of vengeance.
“You’ll die if you harm my daughter, I have no doubt Gio is ready to tear your head from your shoulders and then I’ll torment your soul in the after life.”
Rafe replied angrily as he entered the room. “I will torture you and anyone else you love. I promise you that you won’t go softly into the night.”
“Do you think I care?” He asked, his words not matching the fear in his blue eyes.
“Yes, I think you do.” Sophie answered him. “I think you care about your sister, I think you care about this situation, and you care whether you live or die.”
“How do you know that?”
“I can feel it.” She placed a hand on his arm and he screamed in pain – the shock of the pain transfer caused him to release her and she managed to slip free from his grasp. When she was free, Giovanni grabbed her and pulled her against him, but not before Christopher crumbled to the ground.
“What did you do to me?” Christopher groaned in pain, his body a tangled mess on the floor.
“I don’t… know.” Sophie looked around, desperate to help the man that just cut her neck open and threatened her life. She wanted to go to him to help alleviate the pain, but Giovanni wasn’t loosening his protective grip on her arms.
“Sophie is a healer, but as a witch she also works at keeping balance so she also has the ability to kill. Balance must be maintained.” Chelsea told them.
“So I killed him?” Sophie looked helpless, desperate to help him. All she wanted to do was get away from him, she didn’t want to hurt him and she had no desire to kill anyone. Except maybe Gio after watching him hold the blonde in his arms minutes after they shared the most passionate kiss she’d ever felt.
“No, it takes a lot of power to kill, and there are no grim reapers here so my guess is you gave him a nasty bite of what you could do as a warning.” Rafe smiled proudly at his daughter which made Sophie’s stomach turn. How could he be proud of what she did?
Sophie shook her head. “But I didn’t want to kill him. I just wanted him to let me go.” What if she accidentally killed someone with her untrained powers? It was in that moment she knew her fate was sealed. She wouldn’t go to Florida. Her place was here where she could learn how to control her gifts. She had no choice but to stay.
“No one can blame you for defending yourself, Sophie.” Giovanni spoke softly to her, so soft she wondered if anyone else could hear him. His voice tickled her ear and sent shivers down her spine. She cursed her body for reacting to him. Gio fought the desire that was rising in him from the smell of blood, and an ingrained desire to claim her as his. She was almost killed and he was helpless to save her. It would never happen again. “Rafe please take your daughter. I think Christopher and I need to have a little talk.”
Rafe took Sophie’s hand and helped her toward the door. She resisted, but her father’s hold and determination was stronger than her desire to stay. The rest of the strangers in their home parted like a lake in the wake of a speed boat and Rafe was just as fast as that boat in getting her out of the room. Only the vampires, captain Logan, and AnnaBella, remained in the room. Marissa closed the door and stood guard. Sophie didn’t want to imagine what was happening to Christopher behind the closed door, she didn’t want to, but her imagination had a mind of its own. The pictures she was creating were gruesome. What did vampires do to their enemies, she wondered to herself?
Out loud she asked, “What are they going to do to him?”
“Vampires aren’t very nice to those that cross them or their friends, and you seem to be important to Gio.” Marissa smiled coldly, a spark of jealousy played in her eyes. “I wouldn’t expect the nephilim to enjoy the conversation they’ll have.”
“We have to help him. He only reacted out of desperation.” Sophie pleaded with her father. “Please, he is scared and alone. His sister is dying and we can’t help her.” It amazed her that she could feel all of that during the short time he held her captive. If Giovanni kills him she didn’t know if she was going to be able to forgive him. She knew he was a vampire, but she didn’t want to think of him as an evil being, as the monster he mentioned outside. She promised she wouldn’t think of him as such, but in that moment, she was beginning to rethink that promise and wondered if it was possible to keep it. She couldn’t, no she wouldn’t date him if he was an evil being.
“He won’t kill him.” the clingy blonde told her as though she was reading her mind.
“Listen, whoever you are…”
“Marissa.”
“Marissa, I’d like to make sure of that myself so if you’ll kindly move out of my way?”
“No.” Marissa’s perfect face left little room for doubt. The conversation on her side was over.
“Who do you think you are? This is my home, and that is my patient and her brother.”
Marissa rolled her blue eyes and sighed heavily. “And that’s my consort who wants to have a conversation with your attacker.” She laughed, “Most people would be appreciative of such a powerful ally.”

To Love a Dragon (Shifter Love Tales) 

Homicide Detective Charity Holiday comes across some interesting characters when she works on a murder case of a stripper. One of those characters happens to be her mate. Working together with her dragon mate and his shifter community they uncover a conspiracy of mythological proportions.

Malick Pendragon isn’t thrilled when his mate, who happens to be a witch, walks into his life. The timing is completely wrong. He lets her walk out of the roadhouse deciding to pursue her at a later date. What he doesn’t expect is her life to be threatened or that he’d have to save her or risk dying himself.

The scent was the first thing that assaulted Charity’s senses when she walked into the rundown roadhouse. She knew she was foolish coming here alone, but the spelled talisman led her here and she needed to discover why. Smoke mixed with body odor, greasy food, and oil, making her stomach flip.
She jumped slightly as the door sealed behind her. She stomped out the irrational feeling that she was trapped. Just because the light from the outside was shielded from entering the club and she was surrounded by dangerous men and women who analyzed her every step didn’t mean she couldn’t turn around and walk back out. This was a far cry from being buried alive, the originating event in her life which caused her fears of being trapped and tight spaces. Phobias created by a horrendous act her grandmother did to her.
After a few calming breaths, she glanced around the dingy club. A couple members were playing pool in the corner, their biker colors evident on their leather jackets. Their girls sat close by, drinking beers and chatting amongst themselves. They stopped and took notice of Charity for a moment, then went back to their banter.
Country music blasted from the juke box in the corner close to a few other patrons that were engaged in a game of darts. A couple old timers were sitting at the bar chatting up the pretty middle-aged bartender who was wearing a shirt barely containing her large bosom. Her bottle dyed blonde hair was teased high, which reminded Charity of the 80s aqua net craze. As she familiarized herself with the club and the escape routes her fears began to dissolve.
The bartender’s hazel eyes narrowed on Charity as she made her way around the room. Charity didn’t want to give away her intention, so she ordered a bottle of beer and continued to walk the length of the room. Far back in the corner by a blazing fireplace, Charity found her target. Her necklace lit up and burned warm between her breasts.
The four men were engaged in a heated conversation. One looked three times bigger than a regular man. His sandy brown hair brushed his shoulders and adorned his face in the form of a goatee, which made him look edgy. Another man had milk chocolate colored skin, brown eyes, and a shaved head. The man monopolizing the majority of the conversation looked like he was Native American. His long brown hair was tied back in a braid, and the last man leaned back in the booth, listening with veiled eyes. He was the sexiest guy she’d ever laid eyes on. He had wavy black hair, olive tanned skin, and when he locked eyes with hers they seemed to pierce her very soul. Charity prayed he wasn’t the man she was looking for. He was too handsome to be a murderer.
She took a long swig of her beer, sighed heavily and headed to their table. Without permission she sat down and smiled at the men. Others in the room took notice and started to gravitate their direction in slow moves, nothing blatant but definitely movements that a cop was trained to detect. Something about the man with striking green eyes and wavy black hair put her at ease despite the feeling of being closed in on, but that didn’t mean her actions weren’t perilous. “Hello, boys.”
An awkward silence fell over them, and Charity wished she’d brought backup for the second time in five minutes. She placed her badge on the table but left her gun in the holster. Her actions did little to reduce the tension.
“I’m detective Charity Holiday and I have a few questions for you.”
The boys offered up varying degrees of laughter and chuckles. Charity wasn’t amused and kept her face stoic. “I don’t think murder is a laughing matter.”
The gorgeous man with green eyes grinned and leaned closer to her, his breath tickling her neck and sending shivers down her spine. “It’s not why you’re here that made us laugh, it’s the way you brazenly approached us, witch.” There was menace in his tone, warning in his eyes, and underneath it all was a sexual undertone she found hard to ignore.
It was unsettling that he recognized her as a witch. Very few people knew her secret. Inside she was doubting her daring move. Outside she simply shrugged. Never show fear. “No one is above the law.”
“The Triad is,” the burly sandy haired man stated, looking down his nose at her.
She stared back. “No. One.” Her mind searched for an explanation of who the Triad was. It was familiar but nothing sparked.
The sandy haired man growled and Charity leaned back, practically falling into the green eyed devil behind her.
“Settle down, Luka,” green eyes warned. A growl rumbled in his chest and she felt it on her back, which sent chills of…desire up her spine.
“I’m going to get us another round, Malick.” The Native American man grinned as he stood up.
“Thank you, Tobias.” Malick wrapped his arm around Charity’s shoulder possessively. “The cop is under my protection, understood?” All of them nodded in turn.
“Are you sure you want to do that, Malick?” Razor asked. “She’s a witch,” he turned his nose up, “I can smell her from here.”
Malick stared at Charity for a moment. He lowered his head to her neck and sniffed. Sniffed! It repulsed and aroused her at the same time. “Without a doubt.”
Charity pushed his arm off her shoulder. “I don’t need protection, thank you very much.” Even as she said the words she searched her body for the courage needed to continue. There was something very threatening about these men and undeniably sexy about Malick. “Do any of you know, Joanna Lane?” She pulled out a photo of her victim.
Luka nodded. “She works at one of my clubs.”
“Your clubs?” That was news to her.
Luka glanced at Malick, who nodded slightly. “The Honey Pot, I’m a silent partner.”
“Do you know she was found dead last night?”
“People die in this town every week. It’s one of the hazards of living in a metropolis.” Tobias set beers down in front of all five of them.
“Did you know her personally?” She glanced between Luka and Tobias.
“We all knew her personally. She was a very friendly girl,” Razor added with a grin.
Malick placed a hand on her thigh and she felt a rush of electricity run through her. She shook her head internally, attempting to keep a straight mind. Whatever he was doing to her was wrong, completely wrong and so amazing all at once.
“You sound callous,” she spoke her thoughts out loud.
“Perhaps, but I speak the truth,” Razor answered.
“Since we’re all being so honest, do any of you want to admit to murdering her?”
“No. Like Razor mentioned, she was very friendly.” Malick smiled, his thumb tracing a tiny circle on her inner thigh, flooding her system with lustful ideas.
What is he doing to me? She was beginning to wonder if he was a witch himself and he was distracting her with a seduction spell. It was the only explanation as to why her hormones were reacting to him this way. She scooted the opposite direction, which put her closer to Luka and his curled lip, removing Malick’s hand from her thigh. Was it too much to ask they show compassion toward a girl who had been ‘friendly’ with them.
“Do any of you know who might want to kill her?”
“The hunters.” Razor suggested.
She looked at all of them. “Who are the hunters?”
“For a witch you’re uninformed of how the supernatural world works.” Tobias scoffed.
Malick leaned forward. “The hunters are genetically enhanced humans whose sole purpose for existence is to kill off the shifters. They don’t discriminate. They kill without prejudice.”
“Joanna was a nice girl with no enemies. The hunters would be a logical place to start.” Razor advised.
Charity nodded as she processed the information. She knew of other supernaturals but had never really associated with any paranormal creatures except witches. Shifters were rumored to be one of the more brutish of the races. Her family had sheltered her from that side of their world. As a human cop, she’d rarely had run-ins with them. They worked very hard to keep under the official radar and used magic to protect their secrets. It was the very essence of self-preservation. If humans discovered their existence they would likely react with violence if history had any say in the matter. “Hunters are created by humans?”
Malick shook his head. “No, to the best of our knowledge they were created by a rogue group of shifters led by Jonathan Morris.”
Charity’s forehead crinkled in confusion. “Why would they be killing others like themselves?”
“It’s a religious battle.” Razor offered. “If you choose to live off the grid with Jonathan and his followers you’ll be saved from his wrath. He believes the shifters are a master race and once he has them all under his control he can use them as weapons of destruction for other races.”
Charity shivered. “That’s barbaric.” This guy had a similar belief system to Hitler, only instead of concentration camps he was murdering them in the open. He was nothing more than a mass serial killer. She was obviously out of her depth and needed to find a way to get caught up. If not to protect others, but also to protect her and her family.
“Why hasn’t something been done to control him?”
“We’re trying, but human interference has made things difficult. The authorities view him as a cult leader and are in the middle of negotiating with him. Since he houses shifters and humans he doesn’t fall completely under our jurisdiction,” Malick answered.
“I need to look into Jonathan,” she spoke her thoughts out loud.
“It’s a good place to start.” Tobias smiled. “But I wouldn’t. He is very unpredictable.”
“Thank you for your concern.” She stood up to leave. “Please remain available for further questioning if I need you.” All four of them nodded and Charity headed toward the door. It wasn’t until she was outside of the establishment that she released a breath she didn’t even know she’d been holding. As she allowed her lungs to fill back up with oxygen and her mind to clear from all the things she discovered during that interview, someone snaked a hand around her waist and slapped another one over her mouth.
She tried to fight against whoever was holding her from behind but failed miserably. A sting pricked her neck and her last thought before darkness enveloped her was that she should’ve brought Joey with her on this field trip.
The Dragon’s Succubus (Demon Fairy Tales)
Being a princess is a pretty amazing job, that is, unless you’re a princess of the Underworld. Alleyah “Lee” Jenkins is the daughter of Hades and a human woman, Joanna. Her birth left her an orphan in the human realm. When she hit adolescence, she came into her succubus powers and learned the truth of her birthright. She was destined to marry a demon prince and together they would rule the thirteenth level of the underworld. She had different plans.
For the next twelve years she hunted and dispatched demons to the underworld, honoring the memory of her human mother and clearly stating her opposition to taking her throne in the underworld. When she meets a bounty hunter named Connor MacGregor, her world is turned upside down. He is tasked with the duty of bringing her to justice for a crime she didn’t commit. His family honor, and the lives of his siblings, depend on him accomplishing his goal. He didn’t, however, expect to discover she was his mate!

In this excerpt from The Witch’s Vampire Sophie faces a dangerous Nephilim after getting her heart hurt from Giovanni and his consort. Enjoy.
His fear for her slammed into him with the force of a car hitting a guard rail at eighty miles an hour as he took in the sight. Christopher held a fire sword against Sophie’s sweet neck. He heard her heart beat race, her pupils were dilated, and the smell of terror vibrated off her with so much intensity he felt his own teeth lengthen. His desire to protect her drove his own sanity level close to the edge. The instinct to kill kicked in and he jumped in front of Nicolai with a hiss and a deadly light in his eyes.
“Back up, vampire or I’ll slice her head off.” Christopher snarled angrily and pressed the sword closer to her throat, cutting into her skin. Gio could smell her blood on the air which only kicked the predator in him into higher gear. It was like a demon on fire in his very soul. Adrenaline pushed through his veins with so much force he didn’t know if there was anything that could stop him from tearing the cupid boy’s head off his shoulders.
“Careful, brother.” Nicolai warned, his voice so low only supernaturals could hear.
Christopher let out a nasty laugh, “yes, careful, brother.” He spit each word. “You wouldn’t want something to happen to the pretty, novice witch.”
Sophie was remarkable. She didn’t scream, only let out a tiny cry as the fire blade cut through her skin as easily as melted butter. Her mortality, her softness, her ability to compartmentalize the attack were the only things keeping the deranged angel hybrid from taking action. Her strength and unexpectedly calm demeanor in the face of this tragic turn of events helped Giovanni find a clear head. If she could be strong in the face of danger so could he. Besides, if he made a move there was no doubt in Gio’s mind that Christopher would kill her. The very idea of losing her before he even got to know her was the greatest torture he’d ever felt.
Gio held both hands up to show he was unarmed. “You don’t want to do that, Christopher. Sophie is the only one that has been able to give your sister relief, she may even be able to heal her given enough time. Otherwise, your sister will become one of us. You don’t want that, do you?” He chose not to tell him Tiffany’s sire was dead. It was a secret he’d never reveal to his enemies.
“Tiffany isn’t getting better and your people are trying to take me into custody. Trying to take me away from her. I won’t be detained by a filthy, scum-sucking vampire. I’d rather die and I’ll take her with me.” He laughed maniacally-there was the look of insanity lighting his eyes, “That would really weaken your town wouldn’t it?”
He was right. If the town lost Sophie, there would be some major damage control needed to repair it, but that wasn’t what Gio cared about. If he lost Sophie there’d be hell to pay. He’d go rabid and take out every person Christopher ever cared about one by one, slowly, methodically, and when the nephilim had no one else, he’d exact his own ugly form of vengeance.
“You’ll die if you harm my daughter, I have no doubt Gio is ready to tear your head from your shoulders and then I’ll torment your soul in the after life.”
Rafe replied angrily as he entered the room. “I will torture you and anyone else you love. I promise you that you won’t go softly into the night.”
“Do you think I care?” He asked, his words not matching the fear in his blue eyes.
“Yes, I think you do.” Sophie answered him. “I think you care about your sister, I think you care about this situation, and you care whether you live or die.”
“How do you know that?”
“I can feel it.” She placed a hand on his arm and he screamed in pain – the shock of the pain transfer caused him to release her and she managed to slip free from his grasp. When she was free, Giovanni grabbed her and pulled her against him, but not before Christopher crumbled to the ground.
“What did you do to me?” Christopher groaned in pain, his body a tangled mess on the floor.
“I don’t… know.” Sophie looked around, desperate to help the man that just cut her neck open and threatened her life. She wanted to go to him to help alleviate the pain, but Giovanni wasn’t loosening his protective grip on her arms.
“Sophie is a healer, but as a witch she also works at keeping balance so she also has the ability to kill. Balance must be maintained.” Chelsea told them.
“So I killed him?” Sophie looked helpless, desperate to help him. All she wanted to do was get away from him, she didn’t want to hurt him and she had no desire to kill anyone. Except maybe Gio after watching him hold the blonde in his arms minutes after they shared the most passionate kiss she’d ever felt.
“No, it takes a lot of power to kill, and there are no grim reapers here so my guess is you gave him a nasty bite of what you could do as a warning.” Rafe smiled proudly at his daughter which made Sophie’s stomach turn. How could he be proud of what she did?
Sophie shook her head. “But I didn’t want to kill him. I just wanted him to let me go.” What if she accidentally killed someone with her untrained powers? It was in that moment she knew her fate was sealed. She wouldn’t go to Florida. Her place was here where she could learn how to control her gifts. She had no choice but to stay.
“No one can blame you for defending yourself, Sophie.” Giovanni spoke softly to her, so soft she wondered if anyone else could hear him. His voice tickled her ear and sent shivers down her spine. She cursed her body for reacting to him. Gio fought the desire that was rising in him from the smell of blood, and an ingrained desire to claim her as his. She was almost killed and he was helpless to save her. It would never happen again. “Rafe please take your daughter. I think Christopher and I need to have a little talk.”
Rafe took Sophie’s hand and helped her toward the door. She resisted, but her father’s hold and determination was stronger than her desire to stay. The rest of the strangers in their home parted like a lake in the wake of a speed boat and Rafe was just as fast as that boat in getting her out of the room. Only the vampires, captain Logan, and AnnaBella, remained in the room. Marissa closed the door and stood guard. Sophie didn’t want to imagine what was happening to Christopher behind the closed door, she didn’t want to, but her imagination had a mind of its own. The pictures she was creating were gruesome. What did vampires do to their enemies, she wondered to herself?
Out loud she asked, “What are they going to do to him?”
“Vampires aren’t very nice to those that cross them or their friends, and you seem to be important to Gio.” Marissa smiled coldly, a spark of jealousy played in her eyes. “I wouldn’t expect the nephilim to enjoy the conversation they’ll have.”
“We have to help him. He only reacted out of desperation.” Sophie pleaded with her father. “Please, he is scared and alone. His sister is dying and we can’t help her.” It amazed her that she could feel all of that during the short time he held her captive. If Giovanni kills him she didn’t know if she was going to be able to forgive him. She knew he was a vampire, but she didn’t want to think of him as an evil being, as the monster he mentioned outside. She promised she wouldn’t think of him as such, but in that moment, she was beginning to rethink that promise and wondered if it was possible to keep it. She couldn’t, no she wouldn’t date him if he was an evil being.
“He won’t kill him.” the clingy blonde told her as though she was reading her mind.
“Listen, whoever you are…”
“Marissa.”
“Marissa, I’d like to make sure of that myself so if you’ll kindly move out of my way?”
“No.” Marissa’s perfect face left little room for doubt. The conversation on her side was over.
“Who do you think you are? This is my home, and that is my patient and her brother.”
Marissa rolled her blue eyes and sighed heavily. “And that’s my consort who wants to have a conversation with your attacker.” She laughed, “Most people would be appreciative of such a powerful ally.”

Rayne’s Thunder (Part One) Master Chef (Dating a Werewolf)

Dating a werewolf can get a little hairy, literally and metaphorically. Rayne Manchester’s suitors learn this pretty quickly. Rayne and her siblings, Rhyme and River, have been through a lot lately, and the loss of their father was only more fuel for the firestorm that is their lives.
Grief offers a subtle salve to the drama that eats up their existence and leaves them spinning like a tornado, but when their uncle reads their father’s last will and testament they discover things are only going to get worse. The will divides the massive estate equally, but there is one catch; all three must be mated and married one year from their father’s death. If even one of them fails in this mandate, none of them will inherit! Estranged, the siblings will now be forced to help each other.
Rayne’s Thunder is Rayne Manchester’s journey toward finding a mate and walking down the aisle. Upcoming, Rhyme’s Reason and River’s Fire are River and Rhyme’s stories to happily ever after.
In Rayne’s Thunder, Part One: Master Chef of the Dating a Werewolf Series, Rayne meets her first suitor, Brick. Their date goes well until payback is delivered for the disrespect the two made to the new alpha. Immerse yourself in this series, the characters, and their world. They’re waiting for you to join them on their adventure.

The day my father died was heartbreaking. I’m not ashamed to admit I shed more than my share of tears. It was what my roommate, Joanna, called an ‘ugly cry’. The searing pain that clenches the chest at a loss of a loved one is something I’m sure many people can relate to, Joanna had been lucky and hadn’t felt this agony yet. Foolishly, Jo spent a couple of days trying to cheer me up, even went so far as to set up a chance meeting at The Watering Hole with our neighbor, Cole, who I’d been crushing on for the past semester in Chemistry class at Brigade University.
It was a nightmare! Our very first, actual conversation ended with me rushing off to the bathroom for a good cry and then sneaking out the back door and disappearing. Odd? Perhaps, but I was the baby of the family and a bona-fide daddy’s girl. Being social with anyone was the last thing I wanted. Being able to feel the loss would be the only way I could heal. Getting set up with a guy who’d be no more than a fling, because he wasn’t a werewolf, was not going to make the pain go away.
It wasn’t peculiar, though, when I hightailed it out of the city and returned home that very night. Joanna was pissed and left some nasty voicemails on my cell, but I figured I’d straighten it all out with her when I returned to college after the funeral. I mean, my father did just die. If she couldn’t understand that, well, fuck her. The one man who loved me more than anyone else in this world was gone and I needed time to grieve. So I emailed my instructors and informed them I was taking a week of bereavement and left the big city of Denver, Colorado for the country of Myriad Springs.
When I arrived, it was late. Freda, the live-in maid, greeted me with an irritated scowl and let me set up my old bedroom. It was as though I hadn’t been gone for close to four years. Everything was exactly the same. I felt like I’d stepped back in time and was visiting the room of a stranger. I had changed so much over the last few years, it was hard to reconcile the image of the nineteen year old in the photos with the twenty-three year old staring back at me in the mirror. Pressures and the stress of school left miniscule marks on my face, and the ashen shade of my skin and dullness of my golden brown hair was a result of my guilt and grief.
In a moment of sadness, I snatched the photos off the dresser and walls, and tossed them into an empty drawer. The room still reminded me of happier times despite the soft pink (what-was-I-thinking) walls, and white antique furniture that I wanted to destroy with a sledge hammer, not because I didn’t like it. I loved it. But because father had helped me pick each one of the furnishings out, and together, we had refurbished them. Everything about the room reminded me of him. I could almost smell the pipe tobacco that he carried with him in the fabrics of the room. I was probably imagining that, but wolves do have extra-special senses and enhanced scent was my one of my strengths.
I plopped down on the bed, battling my younger self and the overwhelming emotions of loss and guilt for not being there for his last moments. He was always so strong and invincible. I truly believed he’d live forever… or at least as long as it took me to complete medical school.
I was the only one of his children that actually got along with him, who actually liked the stern, unyielding man. To be fair, we got along so well because he hadn’t put the same kind of pressure on me as he did on my siblings, Rhyme and River. Their relationships were heated to say the very least.
The faint, familiar knock on my door shattered my thoughts like thin glass. “Enter,” I told my sister, knowing her scent was coming from the other side of the door.
Rhyme, hair dark as night with a blue tint, entered the room. She hadn’t changed into her night wear, and looked stunning in her pinstripe grey suit dress and Navy blue pumps. Her blue eyes were red, most likely from crying. Rhyme may not have had a good relationship with our father, but that was not for lack of trying on her side. She was, by all intents and purposes, the perfect middle child. Straight As, always did as she was told. Her career as a lawyer was because father told her to do it. I briefly wondered, out of curiosity, if she’d give it up now that he was no longer around for her to impress. The idea seemed ludicrous. She was very good at what she did.
“I’m glad you made it home, Rayne.” Rhyme tried to smile, but failed miserably resulting in something that looked more like a snarl. We never really got along. She wanted the relationship I had with father and resented me because I was his favorite. I felt that resentment and responded accordingly. It wasn’t my fault I was born last, and it wasn’t her fault she was born second so the animosity we held for each other really was pointless.
“I never expected to hear those words from you.” My mind flew back to the last time we saw each other and the terrible fight we had.
Rhyme was standing in the rain, her heels barely able to stay steady on the gravel parking lot of the Long Neck Saloon. It didn’t help that she was drunk out of her mind. I was, too. We faced off like angry competitors, neither one wanting to give an inch. I knew I was right and she believed she was right.
“You just don’t get it, Rayne. He’s the one father picked for me!” Her hands were fisted at her sides, shaking as the rain increased its pressure on both of us.
“Then stand up to him! Tell daddy that your all-too-perfect fiancé is cheating on you with a paralegal at his firm.”
“He’s not cheating!” She insisted.
“He is, Rhyme, and I’m not going to stand here and watch you marry a man that disrespects you.” I trudged toward the truck, my mind dead-set on giving the asshole a piece of it when she stopped me.
“You’ve had too much to drink.”
“Then I’ll call a cab!” I shrugged her off my arm, opened my phone, and dialed the cab company.
“If he’s cheating on me I’ll find out before the wedding and call it off.” She finally conceded.
“He’s a terrible person, Rhyme, and I’m going to tell father.”
She shivered. “He doesn’t care.”
“Of course he cares. He’s our father!” I snapped.
“No, Rayne, he doesn’t. All he cares about is power, and Joshua and I are a power couple. He could care less about my happiness. Or yours for that matter.”
I shook my head. “You’re drunk. You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I do know, and if you’re smart you’ll listen to me.”
“I refuse to let you belittle him when he’s not even here to defend himself.”
She shook her head. “You’re hopeless, even when I try to help you. You can’t see past your own head up his ass.”
“Excuse me?”
“You heard me! He only favors you because you kiss his ass.”
I slapped her.
The two of us faced off, neither one wanting to give in. Anger boiling in my veins. Adrenaline pumping to every inch of my body. I’m sure it was the alcohol, but in that moment I could’ve hurt her. Instead, we both turned and walked away. Never speaking again.
It would have to be a death in the family that got us back under the same roof. I’m not saying it’s right, but we both have a stubborn streak, one we inherited from our father.
Rhyme sat down beside me on the bed and I resisted the urge to put space between us. Now wasn’t the time to open old wounds. If our father’s untimely death taught us anything, it was time for forgiveness.
“I’m sorry about the way we left things. I’ve wanted to call you for months, but I couldn’t quite find the courage to do so.”
I looked at her with confusion swimming in my eyes and crinkling my face, “I’ve never known you for lacking courage.” The bite on my words harsher than intended.
“You’ve also never known me to be wrong, but I was that night, and I’m so sorry I projected my insecurities onto you.”
I shrugged. “We were drinking, a lot.”
“Which only made me feel bullet proof,” she chuckled. “Feeling invincible is not always safe.”
“I suppose we have that in common.” It was Rhyme’s engagement party, her night and I ruined it. I know I had good reason. I’m a tracker and I easily discovered Joshua’s indiscretions. Instead of saying what I needed to in a sober environment, I told her hateful things while I was drunk. Pointed out that she was only marrying the man because father picked him. I told her she was a coward and needed to stand up for herself. Even remembering what I said made me cringe. My motivation was to help her, but all I did was hurt her. I left that night and a month later the engagement was off. I waited for her call, but it never came, and I wasn’t going to be the first one to crumble. All that bravado seemed pointless now.
“We have a lot in common, which is why we butt heads so much. You saved me from a horrible man. I should’ve called you and thanked you.” She looked at me with tears in her eyes. “But, Rayne, I need you right now and I know you need me so can we bury the drama between us?”
“I’d like that.”
She embraced me in a firm hug. It took a moment, but I hugged her back and we cried. We shared memories of happy times we had with father. They were few, but they were there. Sometime during the grief-filled cry and memory share we fell asleep.
“Wake up, sleepy heads!” River’s annoying big brother voice stirred us from our slumber, but it was his bouncing on the bed that forced us to open our scratchy eyes.
“You’re irritatingly happy this morning,” Rhyme grumbled as she ran her fingers through her dark hair in an attempt to organize the mess. She lived by order. River existed in chaos, and I was the storm and the calm before the tempest that roared between them. You’d be hard-pressed to find three siblings so different from each other.
“Your cheeriness is a little inappropriate, don’t you think?” I grouched as I pulled my aching body out of the bed. He handed us both glasses of water and aspirin which was a blessing after dehydrating ourselves from crying most of the night. “Thanks,” I mumbled.
“I’m grieving, little sis, I just don’t show it. Father taught us to put on a good face. The wake is today and I refuse to let my sorrow ruin his send off.”
“Ever the leader.” Rhyme rubbed her head.
“I am a senator.” He offered a tight grin.
“Something you did for father.” I pointed this out as I swallowed the pills.
“And he was right. I can do better as a senator than as a lawyer.”
“Excuse me?” Rhyme glared at him while she held her head in her free hand.
“Hey, you were always a better lawyer than me, sis.”
“Because I’m cutthroat.” Rhyme nodded, her words had a sarcastic ring to them.
“No, because you’re very good at understanding and upholding the law. I never had a handle on the ins and outs of law like you do.”
“So you decided to have a hand in making and passing the laws.” I shook my head. He wasn’t making sense, or maybe my head was too jumbled to connect the dots.
“Flattery will get you everywhere, big brother.” Rhyme shrugged toward me and smiled as she headed toward the door. “I suppose if we’re going to have a party to celebrate dad I better start getting ready.”
“Me, too.” I started going through my suitcase looking for the black dress I brought for the funeral and wake. Unlike my sister, I didn’t enjoy wearing dresses, but would do so for father’s memory.
River pushed off the dresser he’d been leaning on and kissed me on the forehead. “I’m glad you made it back for the funeral, sis.” He started heading toward the door, hand on the knob, “but I hope you don’t stay. Now that he’s gone things are going to get dicey.”
“You mean the Carters are making a move for the pack?”
“Yep, they haven’t even let him get settled in the ground before they made a move against us.”
“But father named you as the new alpha, right?”
“He did.”
“Then we’ll defend you and his last wishes.”
“That’s exactly what I’m trying to avoid, Rayne. You have a life away from here. You’ve escaped the family commitments. Rhyme and I have things under control here.” He embraced me in a hug. “Go and live your life.”
“We’re a family, River, and family sticks together.”
“Rayne, seriously–” his phone rang interrupting whatever he wanted to say.Saved by the bell, literally.
He flipped it open. “What’s up?”
“We have a problem,” the male voice on the other end of the line told him.
I lingered close to River so I could eavesdrop on the conversation, pretending to search my luggage for items I’d already pulled out. Werewolf hearing was good, but it wasn’t a super power. Especially, for me, a semi-domesticated she-wolf. I hadn’t honed my ability to hear like others.
“I can’t really discuss it right now.” River cast a nervous glance in my direction which I caught out of my peripheral vision.
“I know you have the funeral proceedings, but I have it on good authority the Carters are going to make a maneuver during the funeral today.”
“Christ, the bastards can’t even let us have one day to mourn? Get Storm and come meet me at the office before the funeral,” River snarled as he headed toward the door. “I’ll see you downstairs, sis.” With an easy wink, my brother was a master at hiding behind false facades, he left my room.
I took a deep breath and sunk down onto my bed. None of this sounded very good.

Lone Wolf Rising (Winters Saga)

Vampires, witches, and werewolves, oh my!
Revenge has deadly consequences. Seventeen year old Rebecca Winters’ main goal for ten years has been to graduate high school and take down the people who murdered her parents. When she stumbled upon a werewolf pack in the middle of Phoenix, Arizona she knew she found a way to make her dream come true.
Instead of getting vengeance, an act of war has put her into a position of power and forces her to put her thirst for family justice on a temporary hold. The two incredibly sexy guys vying for her attention only complicates matters more. She doesn’t have time for romance but the heart wants what the heart wants and the wolf gets what the wolf wants.
While Rebecca manages to keep her head above water as she unlocks political and family secrets which could destroy her, she loses sight of the most important people in her life and one of them pays the ultimate price.

The Winters Saga is a paranormal fantasy that centers around three siblings and their entry into the dangerous world of the supernatural. Book one, Lone Wolf Rising is Rebecca’s story of vengeance which leads her to risk her life to become a werewolf. She survives the bite but her family doesn’t… here is a short teaser from Lone Wolf Rising. Please check it out and feel free to leave a comment below.
“What are you doing here, Gabriel?” Rebecca crossed her arms over her chest.
“I see you two do know each other. He was—“ Savannah started talking, only to be interrupted again, this time by Gabriel.
“I was looking for you when I got the lovely pleasure of meeting your sister and brother,” Gabriel stated simply. “She offered to help me find you.”
“I told you that I would contact you. So, I ask again, what’re you doing here?” Rebecca didn’t like him around her family, not until she trusted him. There was obviously a reason why he was a rogue wolf and not a member of the pack. A reason she hadn’t discovered up to this point and until she did there was no reason to trust him.
“I didn’t know that my presence would be unwelcome.” He glanced over at Lucky. “Perhaps that’s because you don’t want the others to know you have a guard dog.”
“Guard dog?” Savannah’s forehead creased in confusion.
“Lucky is my boyfriend,” Rebecca said the words too fast.
Gabriel chuckled. “Really? How convenient.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Lucky took a step forward, but Rebecca motioned for him to stay beside her. She needed to show strength.
“I’m sorry, just the fact that you met a few days ago and today you’re dating.” He flicked something off his dark green T-shirt which accented his emerald green eyes perfectly. “Seems a little suspect, don’t you think?”
“A few days ago?” Savannah continued to get confused and this time the expression she sent Rebecca was one of hurt. She felt she was lied too, Rebecca could see it written all over her face. Rebecca could tell Savvy wanted to ask more, but Gabriel continued on with his deductive reasoning and Becca’s heart thumped a little faster at the danger zone they were quickly entering.
“That morsel of information coupled with the fact that I have known Lucky for most of my life, and he has never settled down or made any kind of commitment to another woman, even his mother, makes me question the validity of your relationship.” Gabriel somehow maneuvered himself between Savvy and Rebecca as he tilted his head in a look that made Becca think he was judging her.
The heat that rose between them was instant and made her forget everyone else. Something about Gabriel intrigued Rebecca like no other, not even Lucky. Her wolf wanted to control him, her heart wanted to know him, and her mind wanted to trust him. But none of that would happen anytime soon. There was too much happening, too many things that needed to be worked out before other matters could be addressed. He was going to have to take a back seat on this ride for a while until she figured things out.
“What can I say, I’m a changed man.” Lucky stepped in the tight space between Gabriel and Rebecca. He pulled her close and before she knew what was happening his lips crushed hers. Rebecca’s senses pressed the overload switch in her mind as sensations shot through her body at super speed. One thing was for certain, Lucky knew how to kiss. It was earth shattering. Rebecca was compelled to reciprocate as her hands wrapped around his neck and her body pressed against his.
The kiss was abruptly ended when Gabriel spun Rebecca around. Her body slammed against his rock hard chest. Without a word he crushed his lips on hers and adrenaline shot through her once more, only this was different, her wolf was increasing the intensity. It was like a roller coaster ride of emotions as her body reacted to his kiss.
Her wolf assumed the control. All sense escaped her mind when his tongue rolled over her lips and she mentally cringed as a sigh escaped her lips when he pushed through the barrier those they made with ease. The kiss was almost violent as he alternated between licks and tiny nips on her lips. One even broke the skin. When that happened it was all over.
As quickly as the kiss started it ended. He pushed Rebecca back and stared at her as though she’d bit him. But it was he that bit her. She pressed her finger to her lightly bruised lip which was healing fast leaving only a few drops of blood on swollen lips. She could taste the coppery liquid on her tongue. There was no passion in the look Gabriel gave her, only discomfort and shock. The look knocked her ego down as she quickly rubbed her lips to remove all traces of him from her. His reaction intrigued the wolf and she realized the wolf was enjoying the chase, always the predator. Damn her!
“As you can see, a kiss can be faked.” His tone was sharp and pointed like a serrated knife blade sawing into her confidence. His razor sharp tongue had knocked her down a few notches just as Lucky’s fist abruptly knocked Gabriel down on his rear.
“Don’t you ever touch my girl again!” The fierce protection that sang from his eyes and tense body reminded Rebecca of a coiled snake ready to strike again if the threat remained.
Gabriel spit blood from the cut on his lips. “I was simply trying to prove a point.” His green eyes found her again. “You need us, Rebecca. Whether you like it or not, you do. I could’ve done much more than kiss you in those few moments.” He glanced over at Savannah and Hunter. They were both watching in shock at the scene playing out in front of them. “If that doesn’t convince you, think of your family.”
Father Made Me Do It (Demon Ascension) 
Charm Livingston’s life is hell, literally. As a vengeance demon, she resides in the underworld until a furious soul calls upon her to exact revenge in exchange for ten years in hell. Being a demon is bad enough, but as the daughter of the devil himself she has very little wiggle room for escape. And escaping is all she’s ever dreamed of, leaving the bowels of hell and becoming human is the one dream she knows she cannot have… or can she?
When a man is murdered by one of her fellow demons, the now grieving fiancé calls upon Charm for help. Charm’s psychometric power helps her replay the events leading up to the man’s death. In the midst of arranging justice for her client she meets the angel that was the killer’s target. He’s injured and she saves his life, despite the repercussions her actions could have on her own soul. Daddy dearest wants the angel dead, and she derails the devil’s plans.
In return, the angel agrees to help Charm with her greatest wish, except that ascension isn’t going to be easy. She’ll need to pass through the thirteen levels of the underworld by passing thirteen tests in order to overcome the realm of purgatory and reach the Hall of Akashic Records where her soul can be reborn.
In Father Made Me Do It, she faces her first test and begins her journey from the underworld to mortal life while she continues to carry out her duty as the justice demon. The fine line she treads is fraught with danger, and her naivety in human ways will take readers on an emotional roller coaster of tears and laughter.

I watched, invisible to human eyes, while the authorities gathered what little evidence they could, questioned Ericka, the witness, and transported the victim’s body to the medical examiner’s office. I knew they wouldn’t find anything. This was a supernatural crime, not a human one. The case would remain cold and then filed away in a dusty room in the basement of the police department. The victim was one of their own. They would do all they could to find his murderer. I knew it wouldn’t be for lack of trying, but the weapon was a fire sword so nothing they understood would be a match to the blade that cut Leo’s throat. There would be no real forensic evidence, it all drained down the street. It would be like searching for a needle in a haystack and then the challenge would be to separate what they did find from items not associated with the crime.
The only justice Ericka would find for her fiancé’s death would be what I could dole out. The question will be how much my father will allow me to dish out. For this woman’s soul, I wanted a smorgasbord.
When the coast was clear I rematerialized to the living realm and began touching surfaces for any clues I might find. My gift of psychometry or psychoscopy came in handy for these types of injustices.
“Do you really plan to take that poor human’s soul?” His voice was deep and warm like whiskey over my skin. It was also unrecognizable. I turned to find out where it came from, preparing for anything that could result in the interaction by pulling out the dagger from the sheath on my hip.
“Who are…you?”
His voice may not have been recognizable, but his image was one I’d seen a lot of in the last few hours. He was the man the redheaded demon had fought earlier. The dark skinned, muscled man was favoring his side, the injury delivered from the fire sword was not healing quickly. It looked to be a mortal wound. Something he’d probably not recover from.
“My name is Zachariah, and you are?”
“In better shape than you are,” I told him. “What are you? Can’t you heal?”
He grunted. “I can, usually. Unfortunately, your friend used poison on his blade and engraved a slow healing rune in my chest.”
“He’s not my friend.” I raised my chin defiantly. Very few demons were.
“You’re a vengeance demon, aren’t you?”
“I prefer justice, but yes.”
“So is he.” His face looked pain and I found myself taking pity on the man.
I reached out, inches from his wound, he cringed. “May I?”
“Going to finish your friend’s job?” He snapped bitterly.
“I was going to try and help, but if you prefer to suffer, then so be it,” I turned and headed to another wall.
“I’m sorry. I’ve just never met a vengeance demon who wanted to help those like me.”
I turned and examined him. “What are you?”
He smiled a crooked grin that popped a dimple on his cheek. “Help me and I’ll tell you.”
I grunted, “Sure you will,” as I headed to his side and touched his wound.
I closed my eyes as a vision flooded my mind and body. I felt the demon’s evil, his hatred for the man he was preparing to kill. A room, which looked like an attic built up around him, brick by brick. The only light in the room filtered through the shaded window. A priest was bound to a chair, gagged with a filthy rag, his face bloodied and crushed.
The redheaded demon plucked red and black colored peas, rosary breads from a potted plant. He placed them in a stone bowl and crushed them with a pestle. He forced the poisonous mixture under the priest’s nose. The aging father shook his head. The ginger demon pushed the priest’s face inches from the stone bowl as he pressed a dagger against the old man’s aging throat. The brutalized man relented and began speaking over the crimson liquid laced with black specks.
When he was done, the demon slit the fleshy part of his own hand and squeezed blackened blood into the bowl, then he poured the liquid on the unlit sword. It was all I needed. I pulled my hand away and the false world diminished around me. I was in the alley with the devastatingly handsome stranger again.
“I think I know what he poisoned you with.” I stepped back, stumbling slightly. The poison could kill many creatures, but mixed with the blessing and demon blood meant he was one thing. Nephilim.
There were good and bad Nephilim just like every other race. The bad were usually friends to demons, the good were mortal enemies.
“Out with it, girl,” the man groaned in pain.
“Are you friend or foe?”
“Depends,” he grunted.
“On what?”
“Do you really plan to take that girl’s soul?”
“I have no choice.” I stood up and began pacing the otherwise abandoned alley.
“We always have a choice.”
“Not everyone. Sometimes people are stuck in the roles they were born into.”
The man seemed to grow in size, his broad chest puffed up. “And you were born to steal souls of emotionally destroyed people.”
“That’s not… look, my father…” I shook my head, his assessment of my job was accurate. There was no point in denying it. I didn’t like what I did, wished I could change my fate, wanted desperately to live a human life, but that was never going to happen. “Yes, I’m a justice demon. I get justice for those that can’t get it for themselves.” I raised my chin a notch.
“You must be so proud.” He snarled and started to stagger away.
I watched him for a moment, knew it wasn’t smart to help him, but couldn’t stop my feet from following. “Where are you going?”
“To get help.”
This was such a bad idea, my inner voice chided, but I couldn’t stop. “He poisoned you with rosary peas that a priest had blessed.”
The man stopped. I put on the brakes to avoid slamming into his granite back. The man had muscles that you couldn’t help but want to touch.
“That’s not good.” He didn’t turn to look at me. He knew his fate was sealed. The demon had planned to kill him, not only kill, but torture.
“Why does he want you dead?”
“Why do all demons want Nephilim dead?”
“The same can be said of the opposite.” I shot back. The man wasn’t in any shape to have a verbal volley. I knew this. I just couldn’t keep the words from popping out of my mouth like that Rice Krispie cereal. It was the demon. She wasn’t a very nice entity. The man started walking again. I followed, like a child chasing a puppy. “I’m sorry.”
“It doesn’t matter. I’d like to be alone for a while.”
I watched as Zachariah continued to walk away. He was slowly dying, but wouldn’t give up. The pain had to be excruciating. I turned and started back toward the crime scene. I didn’t need to get mixed up in the mess between the demon and angel, the ginger killer was probably one of my father’s assassins. The angel deserved to die, right?
The ebony skinned man fell against the brick wall, the commotion made me turn in his direction. He was fading quickly and undoubtedly suffering immensely. There was probably very little I could do for him. I was a justice demon. Despite the price, I find justice for people. Does that include angels? Was an injustice done to him?
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. The beast that shared my soul warned me to stay out of it. I knew I should listen. I bit my lower lip as his raspy breaths fell on my supernatural ears. “Oh, hell.” I sighed as my feet started moving in his direction. I needed to know what happened, I told myself. It would help me get vengeance for my client.
The withering angel slid down the brick wall at the opening of the alley. I stood a foot or two in front of him and held out my hand.
“Go away and let me die in peace,” he hissed.
“Sorry, I can’t. You might have information I need.” I reached down, cautiously. I didn’t want him to feel threatened. I’d seen cornered, wild animals with nothing to lose. They were vicious. This man was on the verge of reaching that point.
“Back off!”
“I may know someone who can help.” I stepped back, but kept my hand out toward him. “Please let me help you.”
“Demons don’t help Nephilim.” The chuckle that tumbled from his lips sounded ugly.
“No, we usually don’t.” If it was any of my co-workers, they’d leave him. I knew it. He knew it. What I was doing was highly irregular, but I was not the usual demon. I’m not saying I have a code or anything, I mean, that would be laughable, but I had a mission and I was an out-of-the-box thinker. Somehow, I’d convinced myself this angel could help me. At the very least, he might know the name of the demon that murdered my client’s fiancé.
Sure, I could torture him for the intel, but where’s the justice in that? And if father didn’t allow me to take out the demon then the angel might be the sword needed to exact revenge for my client. A person could convince themselves of anything if they really wanted to, and I’d convinced myself that this angel hybrid needed to live. Right or wrong, it was my belief.
The angel was on the verge of passing out from the pain. His head lolled down from his neck like a drooping flower. It was now or never. I knelt down. “I’m sorry.” I placed my hands on his arm and closed my eyes.
The Beginning (PBI Case Files)
Francesca and Sarah Hollister are going to learn very quickly that the monsters that go bump in the night are very real, and very…sexy? After a night of drunken mishaps the very human sisters find themselves in a tough situation that will change their lives forever.
What they don’t know is they have been groomed for this life since the day they were born. Each possess amazing skill sets that will give them the ability to adapt and survive the new supernatural world they’ve fallen into.
As the newest recruits of the PBI (Paranormal Bureau of Investigation), they learn quickly there is no learning curve, and their lives will be forever put in danger as they work side by side with their new supernatural colleagues. They have each other, and Sarah is learning she has also caught the eye of a brooding, possessive vampire who happens to be on his own road to redemption.
This is the pilot episode of PBI Case Files, a new paranormal mystery novella series that is sure to keep you wondering… what if?

Sarah Hollister sauntered through the nightclub with confidence she wasn’t feeling. She understood in that moment the meaning of the saying ‘alcohol makes you feel ten-feet tall and bullet proof’, but she was fairly certain she’d be paying for her indiscretions tonight with a sledge hammer to the head tomorrow. It had been years since she drank alcohol of any kind. James was a recovering alcoholic, and she did her best to support him by avoiding the mind altering drug herself. But that wasn’t necessary anymore. All of that ended when she walked in on him with another woman in their bed! The room was spinning then, and it was spinning now but she didn’t care anymore. Now she was going to live her life for herself, and hopefully find her strength once again. She allowed her sister, Frankie, to weave her through the crowd back toward the VIP area, with no complaints despite the few slips and near misses she made on the journey. Damn high heels!
She was vaguely aware of the eyes following her ass as she swayed her hips back and forth on the trek to the back of the sectioned off area of the club. Tonight, she wanted them to stare. Tonight, she needed the attention and confirmation from the men, even some of the women in the room, that she was still sexy. She’d wasted five years on a good-for-nothing man who took and never gave back.
Just for tonight she was going to be someone else, tomorrow she’d go back to being a manager of a fortune five hundred company, She’d don the navy blue, black, and pin striped business suits that hid her figure. She’d toss her long golden brown waves into a French twist, and hide her blue eyes behind fifties-styled black glasses, and after tonight she’d forget about the pain in her heart from the man she planned her future with. Tomorrow, she’d be Miss Hollister, but tonight she’d be a sexy ten-foot-tall and bullet proof drunk.
Frankie stopped short of the roped off area of the room and examined Sarah. “Tell me you’re not too drunk?” She was so mad at Sarah for starting to drink before she picked her up. Sarah’s logic was that it was cheaper to drink at home. What she didn’t realize was that she was beautiful, and she’d have drinks bought for her all night long. In essence it would’ve been cheaper had she waited until she got to the club. But Sarah had lost all confidence in herself, and it was her job as her little sister to remind her what a knock out she really was.
Sarah offered a lopsided grin, “I’m not too drunk.” She air quoted the last part of that for emphasis.
Frankie’s eyes ping-ponged from side to side as she gave her sister a once over. Worry was written across her face as she bit her lower lip, contemplating whether or not to take her the rest of the way. “Tell me you’re not going to embarrass me?” Usually Frankie wouldn’t care, but she needed this job, and had worked hard to earn her boss’s trust.
“Frankie,” Sarah placed her hands on her sister’s shoulders, more for support than to get her attention.
“Between the two of us, who is usually the one that embarrasses the other?” hiccup. She covered her mouth in surprise.
“Good point.”
It was? Sarah tried to remember what she’d just said, but her mind was fuzzy so she just shrugged. “So are we good?”
Frankie eyed her once more and finally relented, “okay.”
“Excuse me.” A tall, dark, handsome man approached them. Sarah squinted to bring his face into focus, but instead of the desired effect she wound up seeing double.
“Twins.” She pointed. “Look, sis, one for you, and one for me.” She grinned suddenly feeling excited at the idea of dancing with twins.
Frankie gave her a concerned look. “I think you’ve had enough for tonight.”
“Francesca, can I be of some help?” The dark stranger asked, his voice ran over Sarah like silk and caused her to shiver inward.
Frankie’s cheek burned red with embarrassment. This was a first for her. Usually, it was her job to embarrass Sarah not the other way around. “No, Mr. Jackson. I think my sister had too much to drink. I’m just going to take…”
“Francesca, darling!” Marcus Jefferson yelled from inside the VIP lounge. He was a football player for some team, the name of which eluded her at the moment, overrun by her concern for her big sis who was now hanging on her in a precarious position, a position of which whiff of wind would send her falling to the floor. Great, now she’s a potential liability. “I’ve been waiting for you all night!” He continued in between swigs of beer.
Frankie glanced nervously at her boss who stood in front of them. His eyes green eyes were turning darker, more emerald in shade and she assumed that meant he was displeased with the situation. One of the primary roles of Frankie’s job as marketing director was to keep the VIP’s happy, and tonight Marcus brought a ton of his team members with him in celebration of their recent win. It was amazing publicity and made Devon Jackson a very happy man, something he was obviously not at the moment.
“Why don’t you let me take your sister to my office so she can sleep it off while you attend to your guests?” Devon suggested. It was worded in the form of a question, but his stern look left little room for argument.
Besides, Frankie was sure she could trust him. If she couldn’t trust her boss then who could she trust?
“Okay, thank you. I’ll see to my guests, and then come and extract her, and get her home.” She gave him a grateful smile as Devon pulled Sarah’s wobbly body toward him. “Sarah, honey, this is Devon Jackson, my boss. He’s going to take you someplace more comfortable, okay?”
“I like comfort.” Sarah grinned, her vision starting to focus a little as she stared at the man holding her. He was gorgeous. Dark green eyes, dark hair in soft waves just above his shoulder, and flawless skin. She fought the urge to twirl her fingers in his silky tresses. His body was solid steel, and she allowed herself to sink against him. “You’re very adorable.” She said as she closed her eyes against his chest and breathed in his masculine pine and cinnamon scent. “And you smell like Christmas!”
Devon struggled to keep his emotions in check. The brunette practically fell into his arms, and he enjoyed her softness. When she leaned in and sniffed his scent he worried she’d detect his secret but instead she cuddled closer calling him adorable and saying he reminded her of Christmas? He wasn’t sure he liked those comparisons, but he did like the way she made him feel. Her big blue eyes were like a pool of water he could get lost in. He straightened his body as he felt his arousal at the simple touch. She was the sister of his marketing director, and she was obviously drunk. He was not the kind of man that took advantage of that type of situation. “I’ll leave her in my office, and you can pick her up as soon as you get things settled over there.” He cast a glance at the impatient Marcus.
“Thank you.” Frankie breathed a sigh of relief and ran toward the VIP room and Marcus’ outstretched arms. The things she had to do to keep the public happy.
“Let’s get you upstairs, shall we?” Devon asked as he tried to help the floppy girl to stand up straight.
“Hold on.” She bent down at the waist, positioning her rear end against his zipper, and he worried she was going to throw up all over the main dance floor. Instead, she tossed up a silver sequined high heel which he caught easily, despite the surprise. Then the second one was tossed in the air and he had to reach long for it before it fell into the throng of people gyrating to the beat of music on the wooden floor. He hated techno music, but the crowd loved it, so that’s what played on Friday nights. If it were up to him he’d have a piano player and a lounge singer occupying the countless lost souls in his night club, but that would mean his club would be empty. He had to keep up with the times, despite his age.
Sarah leaned back, and he suddenly felt in a very compromising position. He groaned. It was like she was trying to seduce him with her ridiculous moves. He reached down and pulled her back up into a standing position. “Let’s go.” He said through gritted teeth. He wasn’t mad at her. He was mad at his lack of self-control and the hard on that pressed painfully against his jeans.
Sarah thought the idea of removing her heels was intelligent at the moment. That moment faded quickly as she was herded through the club. Other people were careless with where their shoes landed and after the fourth time she was stepped on she finally let out a yelp of pain.
Devon picked her up around the waist and placed her unceremoniously on a seat close by. He crouched down in front of her and took one foot in his hand. She was bleeding. He could smell the fresh cut before she cried out in pain. It looked like she was the victim of a high heeled woman who probably didn’t even know she’d done any damage. Devon fought back the urge to find the girl and kick her out of the club.
His hand traveled part way up her calf to steady her leg while the other hand secured her foot in her sparkly shoe – he really detested sparkly clothing, but on her shapely tanned legs and feet it looked sexy.
Sarah let a moan escape her lips and quickly slapped her hand over her mouth. Oh my god! She snapped at herself. What is wrong with me? Get a few drinks in and I turn into a… a… she didn’t want to admit what she was doing. It was so strange and out of character she couldn’t believe it.
Devon heard the moan and looked up just in time to see her hand rush up to cover her mouth. He looked down and allowed a grin to spread across his lips. In a way, he was thankful she was as affected by their touch as he seemed to be. It was encouraging, and he decided to let her know his desire a little more directly. He ran his fingers from her knee to the ankle of her bare foot. He felt the goose bumps rise on her skin and continued the assault on her senses by taking her foot in his hand and massaging the balls of her feet.
A squeal broke out from her lips. “You really shouldn’t do that right now?” Her voice was barely above a breathy whisper, but he heard her. His hearing blocked out the loud beats to the music and zeroed in on her voice. It seemed every part of him was zeroed in on her and her desires. She was getting aroused by his touch, he could smell it mixed in with her scent. It only fueled his own need more.
He looked up, mischief in his eyes. “Why is that?”
Because it was intoxicating and very sexy, she wanted to tell him, but his touch was bringing alive feelings within her that had been long since gone, and had a sobering effect on her. People close by were staring at them, and she was getting hot and bothered. Instead, she opted with another answer. “I’m ticklish.” She kicked playfully as he slipped on her other shoe.
“I’ll have to remember that.” He wanted to know if there were other areas on her body where she was ticklish, but would save that conversation for more intimate moments. He stood and held out his hand. Her body, voice, blood, and touch were stimulating feelings inside him he hadn’t felt in a very long time. He needed to get her to his office and leave her there to sober up while he put some space between them. She didn’t need a man like him in her life, and he didn’t need a human like her to mess up the balance he created in his own. Balance was necessary for him to complete his work. She tilted the scales with the barest of touches. It wasn’t good.
She took his hand and allowed him to lead her upstairs to his office.
Frankie watched the entire exchange between Sarah and Devon from the corner of the VIP lounge. She couldn’t help the jealousy demon that poked its ugly head out to play. There was obviously something going on between them. Frankie had tried for a year to get Devon’s attention, but he made it clear he wasn’t interested and now, five minutes with her big sister and he was providing erotic foot massages to her in the middle of a busy nightclub? What did Sarah have that she didn’t have? They were similar in looks, they were both fairly successful. Hell, Frankie was even more fun than Sarah. Why would he find her interesting and not the girl who’d been pining away for him for about a year?
It didn’t matter, she loved her sister and she’d support her, but she knew, the jealousy demon that wanted to play wouldn’t make it easy on either of them.
“Francesca, babe, come here.” Marcus patted his thick thigh inviting her to keep him company. She closed the VIP curtain and sauntered over to him. At least she had the attention of a famous football player.
Lost (Ghost Connection)
Ghost Connection is a series centered around Cassandra O’Grady and her unwanted ability to see spirits. In episode one, Cassie and her ghostly best friend, Abel, help a girl save her family from a jealous boyfriend. In the process her own family is destroyed.
To make matters worse, her well-built stable world is turned upside down when secrets are revealed that affect her and Abe. Tragedy will strike again, and a savvy sexy detective notices an uncomfortable pattern with Cassandra O’Grady… people keep dying around her.





My therapist recommended I start a journal to help me work through my issues. What he doesn’t understand is my issues aren’t internal, they’re external-well most of them anyway. I see spirits. Not of the alcohol variety, though drinking sometimes helps to blur the lines of communication between me and the ghosts, but a person can’t remain drunk twenty-four hours a day so I have to silence the voices somehow in order to live a half-way normal life.
Dr. Franklin suggested that journaling would help, so here I am sitting here writing words in a book to help me sort things out. Nothing coherent, mind you, just a jumble of words that spill from my mind onto the white lined paper through the blue ballpoint pen.
‘I hate to break it to you, Dr. Franklin, but writing does nothing to stop the visits.’ I threw my pen down and closed the notebook. He wants to view the journal at our next appointment. Let’s see how he likes that last entry. I chuckled to myself and leaned back in my chair. Then I quickly opened the notebook and ripped the page from the book. He didn’t know about the ghosts, and I didn’t plan on spilling those beans to him anytime soon. Every time I did, I got that look. You know the one, that look that says, ‘is she serious or insane?’
I probably would’ve gone crazy if it weren’t for Abel. He makes life livable, which is ironic since he isn’t of the living variety. People think Abel is an imaginary friend, but how many twenty-one year olds do you know with imaginary friends?
He is a ghost-not a figment of my imagination as some people might think. Kind of like my ghostly bodyguard. He is also my best friend, has been since I was old enough to understand what friends are. How he found me, I don’t know, but I will forever be grateful he did. He is like a big brother even though I’m technically older than him now. I keep aging, and he stays young and vibrant at seventeen.
Without his intervention I would’ve been institutionalized years ago. Instead, I’m a contributing member of society, going to college, working on becoming a psychologist, which is why I know my psychiatrist is a quack. I still don’t understand why I keep going or keep completing his assignments. I guess it’s comforting in a way. And my mentoring professor told me all great psychologists see psychologists themselves. I’m on my way.
“What are you doing, Cassie?” Abel’s familiar voice broke the silence of my bedroom. I felt the chill first, an obvious sign a spirit is in the vicinity, and then the hair on my neck stood at attention. I knew it was Abel before he spoke. He rarely let others through without my consent.
My fingers slapped against the cover of the journal; a protective mechanism, I guess. I didn’t want anyone reading my random thoughts, least of all my spiritual brother, and turned to greet my buddy. The smile disappeared from my face when I noticed he’s not alone. “I’m tired, Abel. Can’t this wait until tomorrow?”
Abel ran his fingers over his dark brown curls as he shook his head. His brown eyes looked sad, and his chocolate mocha-colored skin was paler than I’d ever seen. His clothes; the jeans, white t-shirt, and high school letterman jacket which were the clothes he died in, were disheveled, not their usual perfect condition. “No, I’m afraid not.”
I sighed, then yawned, and then stored the notebook and pen in my nightstand drawer. “Abe, unless this is life or death, I’m going to get some sleep.” Who was I kidding? It was always life or death where a spirit was concerned. I looked at the teen ghost standing next to him only out of curiosity, disinterest in helping her clearly written on my face.
She was wearing a white nightgown covered in blood splatter. Her hazel eyes were full of unshed tears, the streaks down her face indicated she wasn’t afraid of letting them fall. The quiver of her lower lip told me she was trying to control her emotions-probably because of some advice Abe gave her. I really hated waterworks-I know I’m cynical and sound harsh, but I’ve been seeing ghosts since my father died in the car accident that almost took my life when I was seven. After a while, you get desensitized to all of it. I mean, we all have problems, including me, but we need to find a way to get through them, and emotional outbursts only made things harder. “I’m sure your need is great, but…”
“Please, he’s going to kill my parents and my little brother.”
Ghosts had no concept of time in their realm. Usually, what they think are time sensitive issues are in the past-long ago past, and from the looks of her nightgown, perhaps the 1800s or early 1900s. I closed my eyes and silently counted to ten as I ran my fingers through my red curls. “Look, I get that you’re worried, but…”
“This one really needs your attention, Cass. Gina just died. Her boyfriend killed her by accident and now he’s unraveling.”
The girl nodded her head, her long black hair bouncing around her shoulders. “He thought I was cheating on him, but I wasn’t.”
I held up my hand to stop her. It’s not my job to judge, only to help when I could. “I don’t need to know the details. Whatever you did or didn’t do will be sorted up there.” I point to the sky-honest, it was always better when I didn’t get emotionally involved in the spirit’s life or tried to get to know them. That always ended badly, and I was the one who wound up getting hurt. “Are you sure this is happening right now?” I asked Abe, and gave him my because-if-I-get-dressed-and-run-out-in-the-middle-of-the-night-to-help-someone-and-it’s-an-incident-from-the-past-I’m-going-to-be-pissed look.
Message received. His soulful brown eyes grew large and he nodded his head. “Believe me, this is one you need to help with.” The conviction in his voice was strained and the worry on his face struck a chord in me so I relented.
But I did so loudly as I groaned and headed toward the closet, casting a mournful look at my comfortable bed and pillow where I wouldn’t be laying my head for a couple of hours yet. If I had half the intelligence my GPA eluded to, I’d call the cops and be snuggled up in bed. But I’d been burned using that tactic.
Nope, I had to first go and make sure there was a crime happening before I called and reported it. Payphones are scarce nowadays and ninety-nine percent of the time there are security cameras watching them. Don’t get me started on cell phones. Very few people can sneak by ‘big brother’ anymore and I wasn’t financially able to swing another thousand dollar fine for reporting a non-existent crime. I’ve been down that road one too many times.
All this was a tiresome responsibility, but Abe made things easier and safer. Thanks to his diligence I’ve avoided the evil spirits for the most part. I don’t know how he does it, but he manages to keep me from seeing the bad. I know it can get scary. I’ve read the online chat rooms for mediums. For his protection, I owe him, and that is the reason why I’d be going out tonight in the cold and helping this girl.
“Can I have a few minutes to change?” I asked, indicating my bedtime shorts, worn down ‘I Heart U’ t-shirt, and pink fuzzy bunny slippers-yes I like pink, sue me.
Abe shot me a toothy smile, and the girl looked down and managed to look embarrassed. They both disappeared into the mist-or wherever it was that spirits went when they weren’t in my line of vision. For all I knew, they were still there, staring, just invisible, and giving me the illusion of privacy.
There I go again, assuming the worst. Abe had been nothing but a god-send to me. An angel sent here to help. I quickly changed into a pair of ripped jeans – ripped from being worn too much and a green hoodie sweatshirt that matched my eyes. I tossed my red hair into a ponytail and grimaced at my freckled, peachy face. Without makeup, I looked like a ghost myself, but there was no time to fuss. I just hoped no one saw me, not that I had the guys lining up outside my door, even with makeup. I was the epitome of ‘the plain-Jane-girl-next-door’ and my anti-social attitude didn’t help matters.
I grabbed my purse and keys and headed toward the door. “Let’s go.” I said to the empty room, and headed down the darkened hall to the stairs. The elevator was broken, had been for a week. The jog down the twelve flights of stairs had me cursing out my landlord while appreciating the time I was saving from skipping the gym the last few days. There would be no appreciation given and plenty more curses when I’d climbing back up the steep steps later.
Abe and the dead girl, Gina, were waiting for me at my car. Ghosts had certain advantages. They could think of a place and be there. They could also fade through matter which means they could’ve been sitting in the car waiting for me, but Abe made sure no one surprised me from my backseat after the last mishap. So they waited impatiently outside the car. I slipped my keys into the late model gold Honda and slid in, my two passengers passed through the car exterior, and took a seat in the back.
The car was old and beat up, but I took care of it as best I could. I wish I could say what I did was lucrative, but other than the reward of a good deed done and maybe a few karma points every now and then, there was very little in the way of pay, which was why I was in college. I figured a girl had to live and becoming a psychologist would help me, hopefully, work through my own issues. Survivor’s guilt was not as easy to overcome as one might believe. Especially when you were left with a curse from the crash.
I turned on the ignition and warmed up the car. The night brought about a chill. “Okay, where are we going?”
Abe looked at the girl and back at me. “Home, Cassie. We’re going home.”
A shiver slid up my spine. “I don’t understand?”
“Gina and her family live next to your mother.”
I didn’t think, I simply put the car in reverse and sped out of the parking garage. If Gina died of a gunshot there would’ve been a pop from the gun. It would’ve woken the neighborhood and probably my mother. She was always a good neighbor and would’ve tried to help.
The more I thought about it, the more fear, anxiety and worry filled me. I dialed my mother’s number at the stoplight, “please, please, please pick up!”
“Hi…”
“Mom? Mom are you there?”
“I’m not available right now. Please leave your name and number after the tone and I’ll call you back when I’m free.”
“Crap! Abel can you go there and be with her?”
He nodded and disappeared. He couldn’t do much, spirits had little luck in manipulating physical matter. It only happened in extreme moments when the ghost was experiencing high emotional responses, and I’ve only seen it happen twice in the last fourteen years. Manipulating living beings on the other hand was a little different.
“I had no idea we were neighbors.” I stated as I sped across town at speeds that were far from safe. I figured if a cop stopped me, I could have them chase me all the way home.
Gina shook her head. “I didn’t, either, until Abel found me. I hope your mother is safe. I don’t know why Ricardo went so crazy.” The tears that moistened her eyes fell down her cheeks.
I handed her a Kleenex from the center cubbie, then realized the futility of my gesture.
At another stop light I dialed my mother’s cell phone and got the same irritating voice mail message. “Mom! You need to call me. Now!”
I bit my lower lip and decided to dial 911 as I continued racing down the road. It would take me at least fifteen minutes to get across town. Maybe the cops would get there faster.
Death Interrupted (Vanished Series) 
“Breaking News! Avalon Flight 370 has vanished. Authorities continue to search for the plane but the hopes for finding survivors are dwindling.”
Ripped from the past on the brink death. Thrust into a future where freedom is taken away under the guise of protection. Secured away by the creatures that once hunted and tormented the human race. On the surface it looks like a world of peace but underneath the facade lies a war brought on by many secrets.
Will Blake and Melissa find love after being forced to live together, drugged into submission with the sole purpose of saving the human race? Expectations are high, emotional connections to the past are broken, and their lives will never be the same again.

“No, Ricardo, I’m not going to argue with you again!” Melissa Cassidy slid out of the taxi and offered a weak smile as the cabbie pulled her rolling suitcase out of the trunk. The smile was better than she was feeling. If she wasn’t in public she’d be tossing the phone in a trash can just to put space between her and her ex-husband. “They are your children too and all I’m asking is that you keep them for one fracking night! I’ll be back tomorrow.” She pulled out cash from her wallet and slapped it into the cab driver’s fleshy hand. “Keep the change.”
“No, I wasn’t talking to you.” Jackass. “Will you pick the boys up at school or not?” Melissa sighed heavily and rolled her eyes. “Thank you.” She slapped the phone shut and juggled the suitcase, her laptop bag which was falling down her shoulder, and her purse as she tossed the phone in the Louis Vuitton black sequined purse. Her lawyer told her to be amicable, it was all she could do not to tell the lying cheater how she really felt. She would when the divorce and custody hearing was over.
Her heels click-clacked on the cement sidewalk as she headed toward the glass doors to the airport. A portly man in bright yellow and green Bermuda shorts and white t-shirt, which did little to cover his large beer belly, whisked past her, causing her to lose her balance which rolled her ankles, she recovered without damaging the body, but not in time to save the heel of her fire-engine red Jimmy Choo.
Fantastic! What is wrong with the male half of the population lately? Seriously, hasn’t anyone heard of manners, social graces, responsibilities, or being nice?
Melissa limped to the side of the door to look at the damage to her shoe. It was ruined.
“Here, let me help you with that.” A man with a shock of dark hair, piercing blue eyes, and a dangerous goatee knelt in front of her, took her opposite foot in his hand, and ripped the heel off the sole.
“What the hell!” She hissed.
He stood up and handed her the red heel with a grin on his face. “Now you aren’t going to miss your flight.”
Melissa snatched the heel from his hand, red anger coloring her cheeks, she slapped him squarely across the jaw with her free hand. “You’re lucky I don’t scream assault on you!”
He rubbed his scruffy chin and offered a wolfish grin. “I think slapping someone is more of an act of assault than aiding a damsel in distress with killer heels.”
The man screamed sex and danger. His voice was warm and silky on her senses. His ripped jeans sat low on his hips forcing a person to look, and even imagine what delights were at the end of the happy trail. His white t-shirt was tight across his shapely chest. His black leather jacket draped around broad shoulders.
“These shoes were $1500.00.”
“I’ll pay for one of them.” He pulled out his wallet which was attached to his belt buckle with a silver chain, and passed her his card. “Just call my assistant and she’ll cut you a check.”
Melissa stared at the card, “Blake Bronson, Attorney at Law.” She couldn’t wipe the look of disbelief off her face. “You don’t look like an attorney.” He looked like a sex god and his ego matched those looks which turned her off.
“That’s because I’m on vacation.” His cocky smile spread across his face, and Melissa decided she immediately disliked this clown.
“Well, good for you.” She ripped his card in half and tossed it back into his hand. “Thanks, but no thanks.” She attempted to limp her and her pride through the automatic doors of the airport. She needed to get as far away from the infuriating man as possible, unfortunately her ears didn’t make if far enough before his chuckle reached them. Jerk! To put it mildly she was having a very bad day and Blake Bronson, Attorney at Law was just the icing on the poop cake.
* * *
Blake watched as the wickedly gorgeous, green-eyed vixen limped through the doors of the airport. He waited for the familiar whoosh of those doors to close before he allowed the chuckle to erupt from his diaphragm. It was louder than expected since he was holding it in until she was out of earshot. She was a spitfire in a curvy package, and he couldn’t help but imagine the ways he’d enjoy taming her wild ways in the bedroom.
Like all women, she was simply a fantasy. He was otherwise occupied with his so-called fiancé who was pushed on him by his mentor, and one of the partners at his firm. He had no intention of marrying the woman who trapped him by lying about a supposed affair between them, one that boded a child? Yep, how she got hold of his swimmers was beyond him. He never slept with the woman and if he had his way, he never would. The whole engagement was a farce in his mind. He just needed to prove she wasn’t pregnant-at least not with his child, and he’d be free of the lying witch once and for all. Free to pick his own lady, a woman like the spunky one he just met. But until then, hands off. He didn’t need more complications, besides how would he explain his situation to her without sounding like a cheating bastard?
He’d lied about going on vacation. His trip to Hawaii was more of a working business trip with a social meet up. In his investigation of Elise, his fiancé’s past, he discovered another man she was engaged to under similar circumstances, only this engagement didn’t last. The man, Martin Jacobs, ran away to Hawaii never to be heard from again. Elise’s father, Trevor Donnelly, had no desire to see the union actually happen so he let the man escape. Unfortunately, Donnelly thought Blake was perfect for his daughter and he wouldn’t have the same luck escaping the man’s clutches. Too bad the man was one of the most powerful forces in the city. Trevor Donnelly was a man you didn’t mess with if you valued your career, even your life, if the rumors were true.
Genie’s Treasure (Magical Secrets Series) 
Joshua and Josie Parker are antique hunters with a penchant for enchanted items. Josie’s discovery of a secret map in a genie lamp sets the siblings on a magical adventure to Galveston Island. An adventure that leaves each of them in precarious situations, one of them facing death and the other a broken heart.
When Joshua triggers the genie, his life is turned upside down. Instinct has him wanting to save the girl but will his determination cost his sister her life? Join the siblings on an adventure that will leave you wondering, what if?




The clouds rolled across the sky with a furious determination to cloak the world in darkness. Amani watched with horror as her little brother, Faris battled the wicked wind and downpour of rain to get the horses into the stables. The majestic animals were their livelihood, they managed the royal stables and if anything happened to one of the precious creatures their family would face terrible wrath from the prince. It was rumored the prince loved his horses more than his wives, especially Black Knight.
Amani rung her hands and bounced softly from one foot to the other as Faris ran the last horse, the fine stallion of amazing pedigree, toward the stables. She waited for him at the stable door, ready to close it tight once he was over the threshold. Unfortunately, Black Knight was not in tune with his namesake and when lightning struck a nearby tree he reared up, putting Faris in danger.
She sucked in a scared breath, she’d seen fear in the majestic creatures’ faces before but this was terror and Black Knight was not easily tamed. His wild nature was why the Prince named him his favorite.
“Where are you going, boy?” A man wearing a black mask and dark clothes stepped in front of Faris, blocking him from the stable entrance. Somehow the man didn’t see her or maybe he didn’t see her as a threat.
“I’m trying to lock the horses up. Please step out of my way,” Amani heard her brother say. Her feet moved before her brain knew what was really happening. She rushed to her father’s office and picked up the shot gun. Checking to make sure it was loaded and the safety was off, she ran back to the entryway of the stables to provide back up for her brother if he needed her.
“I’ll take, Black Knight,” the intruder told him. The horse reared up angrily at the storm raging around them.
The coldness in the cloaked man’s voice ran shivers up Amani’s spine. She’d always been good at gauging a person’s emotions but this man sounded void of anything but hatred, cold, bitter hatred. It made her skin crawl. Another crack of lightning snapped a tree branch from the trunk. The horse pulled and bucked, reacting in fear, his only motivation was to get away.
Faris caught Amani’s eyes and puffed his chest, raising his chin defiantly. While he attempted to steady the furious black stallion he said, “I’m sorry but it’s my duty to protect the horses with my life.”
“If you’re willing to pay with your life than so be it.” The masked man flung a dagger at Faris and Amani screamed as the knife sunk into her brother’s chest. The light that left his eyes as he crumbled to the ground told Amani the robber hit his heart.
She didn’t think. Her father taught her to fight. Taught her to shoot the shotgun in her hand if she ever needed to defend her family. She knew as the scream left her lips that she only had moments before the assailant thrust a dagger in her direction. She felt the kick from the shotgun before she knew she had even pulled the trigger.
Black Knight lunged into the air, front hooves landing on the man she shot. If the bullet hadn’t killed the man the horse stomping finished the job. It was a gruesome sight. Amani dropped the gun and fell to her knees. She’d just had a hand in taking a man’s life. Emotions flooded her. Fear, sadness, remorse, disgust for her act. It didn’t matter that she was following through with her duty to protect the horses, that she was entitled to take vengeance on the man who murdered her little brother in cold blood, or that she was worried for her own life. None of that matter because she’d committed the most heinous of crimes, she’d taken a life. There was no coming back from this.
The tears that fell were as heavy as the rain from the angry clouds overhead. The blood was too much and Amani had to turn her head from the sight of the two bodies that laid dead in front of her.
There was another scream that broke through the storm like a thief, this one of pure misery. Amani looked up to see another intruder, this one a woman. The newcomer ran to the bloody, beaten body of the man Amani had murdered. Black Knight had disappeared but that didn’t matter now. Her brother was dead and so was the intruder.
The grieving woman glared daggers at Amani’s frail form. “You did this.” She pointed an aged finger toward Amani’s wilting frame.
“I’m so sorry,” she pleaded with the woman.
“No, you’re not sorry.” The woman stalked toward Amani, pulling her hood down and allowing the rain to soak her from head to toe. “You’re not sorry.” She pulled Amani to a standing position. “But you will be. I curse you!”
“What?” Amani staggered back. “No, he killed my brother. He was going to kill me, I had no choice.” Even as the words left her mouth she knew they were wasted. She burst into tears, covering her face with her hands, hiding her shame. “I wish I could take it back.”
“You wish? You wish? Foolish girl, don’t you know wishes are the devil’s tools?”
Amani shook her head. “No.”
“You killed my son and I could kill you but I’d rather see you suffer. I curse you to spend an eternity granting other people’s wishes, maybe someday you’ll realize what a wish really is.” She ripped an emerald heart necklace off her neck and pressed the jewel to Amani’s forehead as she chanted in a foreign language Amani had never heard of before. Amani frantically tried to escape the old woman’s grasp, but she was far stronger than her frail appearance demonstrated.
One minute she was fighting to get out of the old woman’s grasp and the next she was transported to another place. The new place looked like a pasture on earth, only the colors were off. Everything had a grey tint to it. Even stranger, there were no sounds, no animals, no rain. The place was void of people…void of life. Where was she and how did she get home?
Cherished Gift (Paranormal Hypnotherapy Files) 
As a hypnotherapist, Clara Jameson has seen a myriad of fascinating cases from past lives, inter lives, spiritual awakenings, spirit attachments and miraculous healing. But nothing has prepared her for Jenna’s case.
Jenna’s violent past life death is haunting her and Clara and her soul mate, Michael – who is no longer human, will have to help her overcome the obstacle that is keeping her from living a normal life. The demon that has kept these two apart over the centuries is not ready to give them peace and it will take everything the very human, Clara has to defeat the beast.
Clara’s work on this case catches the eye of the supernatural authorities. If things weren’t hairy enough, her life is going to get very complicated.

Jenna opened her eyes, sleep teasing her and attempting to pull her back into the peaceful moments before her personal hell took over. She’d come to terms that the night terrors were never going away. They came back every holiday season and remained until late January, terrorizing her and destroying any chance she had of a happy life. Nothing she did made things better. The visions at night stole her life bit by agonizing bit until she was nothing more than a helpless shell without a soul.
She couldn’t continue feeling the terrible loss… losing him night after night as he tried to save her and then, the pain of the knife sinking into her body, over and over again, burning her insides, ripping her to shreds as the evil cackle continued in the background. Her death every night was painful and inescapable. She was tired, tired of facing that horrifying reality any more. It was the reason she took the pills. She had hoped the drugs would numb her mind enough to kill off the dreams, but nothing helped. Nothing kept the evil at bay.
“Miss. Davis?” A soft feminine voice forced her eyes open. She thought she’d been alone, she was always alone. She’d tried to live a normal life, but the dreams seeped into her waking hours, and sabotaged the idea of normalcy. The men in her life ran because they couldn’t help her. They gave up on her. Who could blame them? She’d given up on herself.
“Miss. Davis, do you know where you are?” The voice was still soothing, but took on a sterner tone, jarring Jenna from her depressing thoughts.
Jenna looked around, and finally noticed the woman who was speaking. She wore a pair of black slacks and purple blouse under a doctor’s coat. Her golden brown hair was up in a French twist, and her fingers were wrapped around a clipboard that she held close to her chest. The woman seemed warm and gentle, but the glasses she wore had fallen down the bridge of her nose and gave the impression that her blue eyes were looking down on her. Typical. No one understood her issue. This doctor was obviously of the same mindset.
“Miss. Davis, do you know where you are?” Their eyes locked.
Jenna squinted her eyes against the pain that was stabbing her mind, the fuzziness of sleep had worn off. She tried to reach her hand to her head only to find it was restrained. “What the hell?”
“I’m sorry. Restraints are necessary under suicide watch.” Her voice was soft, understanding and did nothing to make her feel better about being tied down.
“No! You can’t keep me here! I did nothing wrong.”
The doctor looked at her charts. “According to this you took a whole bottle of sleeping pills – which can be construed as wrong.” She closed the file and sat down in the chair beside the bed. “Can you tell me what you were thinking when you took those pills?”
Jenna felt tears sting the back of her eyes. “I just wanted the nightmares to stop.”
“Why did you take more than the prescribed dosage?”
Jenna’s eyes snapped fire, “because the prescribed dosage did nothing but make the nightmares come easier.”
“Can you tell me about these nightmares?”
“Why? It’s not like you can help me. You’ll just give me more pills which don’t work. Obviously. No one can take the terrors away.” Acidic tears fell from her eyes creating rivulets in her already destroyed make up.
The fact that she had makeup on made Clara believe the overdose of pills was an accident unless, of course, she was someone who enjoyed the attention, which she also doubted since the woman hadn’t had one single visitor since she was admitted to the hospital. It seemed more likely that Jenna took the extra pills believing they would help her find a more peaceful sleep-people make bad choices when they’re sleep deprived. It was the wrong prescription. She didn’t need pills. She needed help identifying what was really impacting her subconscious.
“I think I can help you, without the use of medication.”
“How?” Hope shone in Jenna’s eyes.
“Hypnosis.”
Jenna couldn’t help the laugh that erupted from her diaphragm. “I’m not interested in being brainwashed.”
“Hypnosis is not a form of brainwashing. It’s simply a therapeutic tool that helps to open the subconscious mind to find out what is causing the night terrors.”
“I’m not up to any mind tricks, doctor.”
“I’m afraid there’s been a mistake. I’m not a doctor. I’m a hypnotherapist who works here in the hospital. My name is Clara Jameson”
“And you think hypnosis can help me?”
Clara shrugged, “you’ve tried everything else, right?”
“Aside from becoming a candidate for a sleep study, yes.”
Clara placed the files down on the bedside table. “Your subconscious mind communicates through pictures. Dreams are one of those avenues it uses to make a connection with your consciousness, your waking mind. There is usually an important message your subconscious wants you to get with reoccurring dreams. Maybe there are some messages in the nightmares you’re having that I can help you decipher through hypnosis.”
“And you really think this will help?” Jenna gave her a doubtful glance.
Clara’s smile eased onto her face, brightening her demeanor. “I think it’s worth a shot. What have you got to lose?”
Clara jangled her wrist restraints, “will it get me out of these?”
“You’re under a seventy-two hour suicide watch. I can set up a meeting with the psychiatrist who can determine if the seventy-two hours is excessive or not.”
“I’d like that.” Jenna offered a weak smile. She was fairly certain the hypnotherapist was wasting her time but she’d try it. “So when do we start?”
“Right now if you’d like?”
Even though she’d made up her mind to try it, she was still hesitant. “What if the nightmare returns?”
“When and if it returns let me know, and I’ll instruct you to remove yourself from the moment, and move to where you’re watching it as a television show; one where you have control. You’ll be able to stop, fast forward, rewind, and pause the show with a remote I’ll provide you in your mind.”
Jenna eyes brows scrunched up together. The nonsense Clara was speaking sounded like hocus pocus, not therapy. “If it was that easy, I’d be able to do it myself.”
“I can teach you self-hypnosis, but overcoming the fear of the moment to rationally remove yourself from it is very difficult, and sometimes having a guide like myself can help you manage better.”
That made more sense. “Alright. Let’s try it, I mean, like you said, what have I got to lose?” She’d already been pushed to the brink and lost her sanity. This wasn’t going to take that away from her.


New York Times Bestselling Author Jami Brumfield has a passion for the paranormal, supernatural, and mythological worlds for most of her life. She believes there is a kernel of truth in every story and loves playing detective to discover what that hidden truth is. She has written most of her life. She started with poems and short stories, then graduated to journalism working for online websites. It was only a natural progression that her love of writing and her passion for the unknown would combine. Her books are a product of that union. She lives in Arizona with her amazing husband and two fur-babies, Maximus and Zeus.

    
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Release Tour – Broken Window by Dorothy Hayes



Cover designer/Editor: Mainly Murder PressPage Count: 225 page ARC ~ 182 page MobiGenre: Fictional mystery

Published: February 10, 2015


Broken high res for print 45_apl
The New York City subway was dangerous, the parents told the three Wilton High School graduates, but the girls weren’t taking no for an answer. Kelly Singleton, soon to be an NYU freshman, and her two friends board the hazardous subway train. Several stops later, her two friends get off, but Kelly is nowhere to be found. It is the torrid August of 1984, and crime is at an all-time high. Kelly’s desperate parents turn to reporter Carol Rossi and police detective Jerry Stevenson to find their missing daughter.
Excerpt


Two special excerpts for you to enjoy.
The subway was dangerous.
But the three girls wouldn’t take no for an answer. Kelly Singleton was moving from her Connecticut home into her NYU dorm, and the subway was part of her new life, she told her concerned parents.

Jamie Ryan and Christina Moore were her two best friends and would be visiting Kelly whenever they could. They insisted that they needed to learn how to navigate mass transportation.

For all three of them, riding the subway was a rite of passage. That was their final plea.

The old, rusted trains they were so anxious to ride broke down regularly, leaving passengers to wait, sometimes forty minutes and longer, in dangerous circumstances, their parents argued. The Daily News and The New York Times frequently reported gang violence on the trains, which in the last ten years had become the symbol of the city’s rising crime rate.

Gangs, boldly wearing identifying colors, often openly roamed the cars, intimidating passengers, bullying them to hand over their pocket money with no fear of recrimination, as if they owned the trains. Gang-tagged graffiti covered every inch of the filthy trains, including the windows.

It was August 1984 and a crisis situation for New York City, with two thousand homicides expected yearly.

~~~~~~~~~~
However, the girls argued that millions rode the subway every day, and crimes usually occurred in the early morning hours. The girls would travel during morning rush hour, and to keep everybody from worrying, they would return home during rush hour in broad daylight.

Jack Singleton, a New York City attorney and managing partner of the firm, didn’t take well to losing the subway debate; he was only too familiar with the city’s crime rate and the subway system. So the Singletons were the last of the parents to acquiesce and Jack only after some arm-twisting from his wife Nina. He wasn’t too happy about his daughter attending NYU in the first place.

He’d be relieved when the three girls got this trip out of their systems, saw the dangers of the trains and got back home.

 

 

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About Author
Hayes, Dot 2 color low res-1Dorothy Hayes, a staff writer for local Connecticut newspapers for five years, received and honorary award for her in-depth series on Vietnam Veterans from the Society of Professional Journalists. Prior to that she was a Language Arts teacher. A staff writer for a national animal protection organization, for six years, she wrote Animal Instinct, 2006. Dorothy lives in Stamford, CT with her husband, Arthur. She also raised four children, and is the mother-in-law to three, grandmother to fourteen, and is GN to Bella. She writes for WomenofMystery.Net, CriminalElement.Com, and is a member of Sisters-in-Crime-Tri-State Chapter, and Mystery Writers of American.
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Afterlife of Alanna Miller – Demelza Carlton

Afterlife B

 

Afterlife Of Alanna Miller Cover

AFTERLIFE OF ALANNA MILLER

(Book Three in the Nightmares Trilogy)

By Demelza Carlton

 

Genre: Mystery Thriller

 

Synopsis:

 

Five years ago, Nathan’s world came crashing down. The witness protection program stole the woman he loved and now he’s lost everything – including hope that she’s still alive. His security job is a daily reminder of the girl he failed to protect, dragging him deeper into despair.

Forced to assume the identity of a dead girl, Caitlin struggles to rise from the ruins of the life she lost. A career change summons her home, but Perth isn’t the safe haven it seems. Someone is hunting her – one of her kidnappers, a long-lost relative or another terrorist with an axe to grind?

When nightmares from their past threaten to engulf Nathan and Caitlin, can a broken hero and a girl living another woman’s afterlife finally fight their way free?

Purchase from Amazon

Trailer for Afterlife

 

Or watch it HERE

 

Afterlife Excerpt 

“Seriously, what the hell is this, mate?”

Navid swallowed his huge mouthful of pie. “What do you mean?”

“This!” I shook the letter at him. “Is ASIO trying to buy my silence or what?”

Navid took the letter, held it at arm’s length and squinted at it. Looked like he needed reading glasses. Was he really getting that old? He passed the paper back to me. “It’s not a bad sum for not telling a story you’re not going to talk about anyway. I’d take it and book a nice holiday with it, if I were single like you. You could spend a month touring in the US or Europe for that, including flights.”

“But I can’t take a holiday if you need me as a witness in the inquiry. Have they finally set a date yet? It’s weird, getting offered money for silence before the hearings. Is this because there’ll be press coverage on the inquiry into that bastard Mott? And they want to make sure we won’t talk to the press?”

Navid stared at something in the distance. “No, no one’s set a date for the inquiry.”

“So why now?” I persisted. “Why are they throwing money at me? It’s Caitlin they have to worry about, and this is nowhere near as much money as the TV stations or magazines offer. I don’t see her agreeing to take ten grand to keep quiet. Not when she can get a hundred times that for an exclusive.”

Navid coughed. “I think they’ll be offering her a lot more than that. After all, she’s the one who almost died.”

“So it’s not just hush money? It’s compensation for damages suffered and…all the other shit it says in the letter? What about my sister? What about Alanna? Did she get a posthumous payout, too? And a hypocritical letter saying the department deeply regrets her kidnapping, rape, torture and death, but here’s some money to make it feel better? Shit, if Caitlin’s letter says that, expect fireworks.” My heart ached at just the sound of her name. I’d give anything to see her explode. I’d know she was alive and okay, wherever she was.

He lowered his voice. “If they can find her. There’s a rumour in the department that all the documents in her file are gone. Papers, digital, recordings of statements…everything, just gone. And the details of her witness protection arrangements, too, so that means she’s disappeared.”

I stared at him in shock, silence money forgotten. “You don’t know where she is? She could be dead or hurt or God knows what! You have to find her! She’ll need to give evidence at the inquiry, too. I mean, she nearly died because of him.” And I’d get to see her if she came for the inquiry, even if I had to camp outside the building. I’d know she was alive and okay, even if only for a moment. “Ask him where she is. He’ll know.”

“She was never going to be part of the inquiry. She didn’t have any contact with him beforehand and her statements will be enough, or they would have been, if we could find them. Now, I don’t even know if there’ll be an inquiry at all.” He sighed and lobbed his empty pie bag into the nearest bin.

I stopped dead. “What do you mean, no inquiry? I get paid off to shut up while that dickhead gets off scot-free? Fuck that.”

Navid sighed. “The justice system isn’t geared toward punishing dead people.”

“Yeah, which leaves Mott, seeing as everyone else is dead. Wait, hang on…are you saying he’s dead, too?” My mouth hung open. “Who killed him? Whoever did it’s a legend and I owe him a carton of beer. I’ve wanted to do it for years!”

Navid coughed out a laugh. “Then you owe Mott a carton of beer, because the official report says he killed himself. With an ornamental dagger, no less. Bit melodramatic, if you ask me.”

I found myself shaking my head. “That can’t be right. Mott was a mean bastard. He’d never do the world a favour and off himself. And if he did, he’d take people with him, or at least set someone up for his murder, so he could laugh all the way to hell. Who do you suspect?”

Navid shrugged. “Well, how many people hated him? It could be anyone.”

Caitlin was good with a knife, I thought idly, not willing to believe it was her. If anyone deserved to be on the point of her blade, it was him. His negligence…his indifference to what she might suffer had almost gotten her killed.

“Look, I got to get back to work. They’ve got Michael and me looking for her. One girl in twenty million people, if she’s even still in the country. The guys in Canberra want this whole affair over and done with as quickly as possible, so we got pulled off other projects to look for a girl who doesn’t want to be found.” He laughed, but sobered quickly. “Hey, she never mentioned anything to you, did she? About where she was headed, or the new name she’d be using? I remember the day Mott told her about the arrangements. She was really pissed off about them. Wish I’d asked her then.”

I shook my head. “If she’d told me anything, I’d have given in and started hunting for her long before now. I’d change my name and go into hiding, too, if I had to.” His words started to sink in. “Hang on. She never met Mott. He visited her in hospital when she was unconscious, but never afterwards. I’d never have let that bastard anywhere near her!”

He wouldn’t meet my eyes. “She spoke to me privately when you weren’t around, requesting a meeting with your superior. I made the arrangements and I drove her to the office and home again for both meetings. She spotted some inconsistencies in what he said, and told me she suspected he was corrupt. I dismissed it at first, figuring she was just a teenage kid with on overactive imagination, but some of the things she said rang some pretty loud alarm bells. Then I started to see him make mistakes, too. It took me four years to get enough evidence together to warrant an enquiry, and now he’s dead, so we’ll never know why he did it, or what else he knew.” He laughed quietly. “I wonder if she knew. I’d love to ask her now.”

I hesitated, then ploughed ahead anyway. “If you find her, can you tell me? I just want to know that she’s okay. It’s killing me, not knowing.”

He shook his head and wouldn’t meet my eyes. “Nathan, you know I can’t do that. She’s in witness protection for a reason, even if the official five years are up and she can let up on the secrecy now. She’s not the sort to go splashing her photo on every social media channel she can find just because she can.” He inhaled sharply, considering. “I’ll tell you what. If we do find her and I get a chance to speak to her, I’ll tell her that you wanted to know she was okay, and that you’d love to talk to her, but only if that’s what she wants. It’s not like you offered to go into hiding with her.”

“I would have if she’d asked me, or even wanted me,” I whispered, more to myself than to him.

 


 

NIGHTMARES

BOOK ONE

Nightmares Of Caitlyn Lockyer

Synopsis:

 

Six months ago, Nathan’s sister was brutally murdered.

Now the former playboy desires only one thing: revenge.

Late at night, Nathan trudges down the beach where his sister’s body was found. He’s searching for answers, but all he finds is a new nightmare: another girl’s tortured body.

Only this one isn’t dead . . . yet.

The unlikely hero becomes the prime suspect. Saving Caitlin’s life was just the start. Nathan must win her trust and unlock the memories hidden in her nightmares to find out who’s really responsible . . .before it’s too late.

Purchase FREE on Amazon

 


 

EVILBOOK TWO

Necessary Evil Of Nathan Miller

Synopsis:

 

“And now in breaking news, Caitlin Lockyer has been found. In the early hours of this morning, a man discovered her body dumped on a south-west beach. A police spokesperson would not confirm whether the girl known as the Absent Angel is alive or dead…”

Caitlin wakes in hospital, her damaged body telling a brutal story of torture, kidnap and rape that she will never forget. Her only lifeline is Nathan, the mysterious man who saved her life and promised to protect her. But Nathan is a broken man, hounded by his own demons and secrets he can’t bear to tell.

Burning for retribution, Caitlin will stop at nothing to get her life back. Can she trust Nathan to help her – or will his past destroy them both?

Purchase from Amazon

 


 

About the Author:

dem

Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkelling trip she found she was afraid of fish.

She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray-drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below.

Sensationalist spin? No – Demelza tends to take a camera with her so she can capture and share the moment later; shipwrecks, sharks and all.

Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world.

The Ocean’s Gift series was her first foray into fiction, followed by the Nightmares trilogy. She swears the Mel Goes to Hell series ambushed her on a crowded train and wouldn’t leave her alone.

The suggested reading order for each series is as follows:

 

Turbulence and Triumph series:

Ocean’s Justice

Ocean’s Trial

Ocean’s Triumph

 

Ocean’s Gift series:

Ocean’s Gift

Ocean’s Infiltrator

Water and Fire

Ocean’s Depths (to be released in 2015)

 

Nightmares Trilogy:

Nightmares of Caitlin Lockyer

Necessary Evil of Nathan Miller

Afterlife of Alanna Miller (to be released 15 January 2015)

 

Mel Goes to Hell series:

Welcome to Hell

See You in Hell

Mel Goes to Hell

To Hell and Back (to be released on 1 February 2015)

The Holiday From Hell (to be released on 26 March 2015)

If you’d like more information about the background behind her books, you can visit her website at: demelzacarlton.com

 

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Season of the Raven – by Denise Domning

I  recently had the pleasure of being asked to read and review Denise Domning’s new book ‘Season of the Raven’, the first book in her Season of the Crown Mystery Series.

My first introduction to Denise’s writing was through her series ‘The Graistan Chronicles’, a medieval romance series which I thoroughly enjoyed .
 
Season of the Raven is set in the same time period, beginning at Michaelmas in the Year 1194.   Whilst this first book solves one murder, Denise has used the book to set-up a continuing backstory which I imagine will continue through the series.  To say more at this stage, would reveal too much for the new reader, suffice to say there is much to look forward to in this new series.
 
Season of the Raven introduces us to Sir Faucon de Ramis, a former Crusader who travels to the tiny village of Blacklea.  He is to meet his Uncle, Bishop William of Hereford and is surprised to discover another relative, Lord Rannulf Graiston is also in attendance.  Both Bishop William and Lord Graistan are characters from ‘The Graistan Chronicles’ and Denise has neatly tied this new series to the old with the appearance of much-loved characters from the past.
 
Sir Faucon discovers he has been named as the Keeper of the Pleas for the area surround Blacklea, which will provide him with an income, whilst allowing him to build a life of his own.  It also lumbers him with an overbearing and bossy monk, Brother Edmund as his clerk.
 
From here the story moves quickly, as Sir Faucon finds himself called to the village of Priors Holston, where the local miller has been found dead.  Initially it would appear the death of the alcoholic man was accidental, but as we soon find, there is much more to this death than meets the eye.  As the story progresses, Sir Faucon finds himself wading into unknown waters, coming to terms with his new job, whilst trying to deal with his annoying, interfering and officious clerk.  
 
Denise has written a wonderful story, She has a mastery of medieval times and brings the history to vivid life.  Her creative prose is wonderful and brings the medieval period to the readers lap.
 
The characters are well-rounded, and as the relationship between Sir Faucon and Brother Edmund continues, we get a better understanding of each man and their reasons for what they do whilst investigating the residents of Priors Holston.  I particularly enjoyed the evolution and it will be interesting to see how it pans out in future books.
 
I would highly recommend this book to lovers of books set in the medieval period, but equally, it is a great mystery for those who enjoy a solid murder with all the follow-up detective work required.  This book was particularly entertaining in this regard, introducing us to a second monk, Brother Colin who is the Priory Herbalist and integral to discovering that the death was murder and not accidental.  In a modern world where technology is so important in homicide cases, to read about using very basic methods of deduction was both interesting and well-written.  I very much hope Brother Colin will make appearances in future books.
 
‘Season of the Raven’ is currently available to purchase from Amazon – click on the book cover above to go and purchase it.
 
About the Author:
 
 
Denise Domning is the award-winning, best-selling author of eleven historical novels and the co-author with Monica Sarli of one gritty, hard-bitten memoir of addiction and recovery. Of the two genres she frankly prefers the rats, grime and fleas of the Twelfth Century over the ghettos and drug use of modern Kansas City. For Denise, writing means using words as her time machine and painting an accurate portrait of a past. Open any of her novels, whether Twelfth, Thirteenth, Sixteenth or Nineteenth Century, and step into a bygone era. As one reviewer put it “…you live the life and the language, smell the odors of unwashed humanity, and hear the sucking sounds as your flimsy shoes slog through mud and muck.” Now doesn’t that sound romantic?
Denise and her husband Ed live on a farm in Cornville (yes, Cornville), Arizona, where they plant veggies, milk cows and have an Easter egg hunt every day.