* Smuggle diamonds from Liberia to Morocco
* Make the trip in three days
* Don't get caught
* Don't kill each other
* Don't have sex with each other
* Don't fall for each other
* Stick to the plan
This is the story of what happens when an unlikely bond is formed between enemies, causing tensions to rise, and igniting a chemistry that threatens to burn them both. Together, they'll learn that sometimes even the best laid plans can fail.
If this NOVEL were a MOVIE, it would have an R rating from the MPAA. Contains: Violence, Grisly Images, Strong Language, Nudity, and Graphic Sexual Content
She came back around to his front and watched him as he loaded up the rest of his gear. Thigh holsters, shoulder holster, ankle holster; pretty much anywhere he could hang a gun, there was a holster. When he glanced at her, she had her eyebrows raised in surprise.
“What?” he looked himself over, looking to see if he'd missed anything.
“That's a lot of gear,” she commented.
“Can never be too careful. I don't feel like dying tonight.”
“Why are you getting ready here, anyway? Don't you have a home?” she pointed out. He snorted.
“Sweetheart, the job starts here and ends here. I don't want anyone following me back to my place – not even these fuckers. I don't let anyone see where I sleep,” Marc stressed. She pouted her lips.
She stepped up close to him, standing on her tiptoes so her mouth was near his ear.
“Because I'd love
to see where you sleep.”
Crazy woman living in an undisclosed location in Alaska (where the need for a creative mind is a necessity!), I have been writing since ..., forever? Yeah, that sounds about right. I have been told that I remind people of Lucille Ball - I also see shades of Jennifer Saunders, and Denis Leary. So basically, I laugh a lot, I'm clumsy a lot, and I say the F-word A LOT.
I like dogs more than I like most people, and I don't trust anyone who doesn't drink. No, I do not live in an igloo, and no, the sun does not set for six months out of the year, there's your Alaska lesson for the day. I have mermaid hair - both a curse and a blessing - and most of the time I talk so fast, even I can't understand me.
Yeah. I think that about sums me up.
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Sixteen year old Emersyn Moore spends her summer days working part-time in a book store, enjoying her next read, and hanging out with her best friend, Brianna. She also spends a lot of time admiring Briannaâs older brother, Kaden, who has made it clear that he sees Emersyn as nothing more than a sister. Emersyn concedes to her sisterly role, keeping her feelings to herself, as well as the fantasies she knows will never become reality. However, when Kaden is involved in a disabling accident, everything changes, including their relationship.
Will it tear them apart, making her long for the sisterly role sheâd always despised, or will this life altering experience bring them closer together, forcing Kaden to see her in a new light? Only time will tell.
Time. They say it will heal all wounds, but Emersyn knows thatâs a lie. Some wounds never heal, which is evident every time she looks at Kaden.
"In An Instant is the one story that has come from my heart more than any other book I've written. Kaden, one of the main characters, suffers injuries that most would think would make life unlivable, at least to the point where a normal life would never be accomplished. However, my nephew suffered the same fate in a similar accident, and even though his life's story is totally different than Kaden's, both lives give me hope. Every time I see my nephew smile, it's like a rainbow, letting me know that the storms of life, as severe as they may seem, are only temporary. The sun will always return, and it's up to us as to how we're going to enjoy it."
Janae was born and raised in East Tennessee, where she currently resides with her husband, two children, and their hairless dog, Dobby. In her spare time, she likes to read, play tennis, and spend time with her family on the lake.
Online Release Event
To celebrate her most recent release, Janae is hosting an IN AN INSTANT Release Event! There will be several other authors there throughout the day celebrating with her and doing giveaways for all the loyal readers who attend, so make sure you join! (Click on event photo below to join!)
Georgia Trenton has always been lucky in lust but hasn’t ever been interested in love. She prefers quickies to courtships, never seeing the need for more than just sex.
Years of listening to her best friend Danielle’s relationship woes had assured her she was right to avoid romance altogether. But ever since Dani returned from vacation in love and looking like the poster girl for happily ever after with her new boyfriend Evan Weston, Georgia has been questioning her wild ways and thinking about the future.
In an attempt to forget about the uncertainties that plague her and escape the constant symphony of sex noises coming through the walls of her apartment thanks to Evan and Danielle, Georgia jets off to Desire Resort & Spa hoping to enjoy the rowdy vacation hotspot the way it was meant to be enjoyed.
No strings attached. No commitments. And with one sexy stranger…no names.
But when strings appear, complicating what was supposed to be a carefree getaway, and commitment suddenly doesn’t sound as bad as it used to, Georgia finds herself wondering if lust is really enough.
The Desire Resort Series
The first 2 books Last Resort & Best Laid Plans as well as the holiday novella Many Times, Many Ways are all on sale for 99 cents as well.
Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/1pCnKYl
Best Laid Plans (Desire Resort 2)
Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/1A0CHW5
Many Times, Many Ways (Desire Resort 2.5)
Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/1FMgssV
Inspired by music, film, art and the wealth of stories she has heard through her career as a professional hair stylist, Kate Roth has been dreaming up love stories since junior high.
Kate’s first two novels, new adult romance The Low Notes and new adult paranormal romance Reckless Radiance were released by Rebel Ink Press in May of 2012 and September of 2013. Natural Harmony is her third novel and her first venture into independent publishing. She is hard at work on the next two novels in the Confession Records collection, as well as her first erotic romance, Last Resort. She is a small business owner and lives in Indiana with her husband, Adam and their dog, Sampson.
You can find more about Kate and her work on her website www.katerothwrites.com and stay up to date with all her news by following her on Facebook www.facebook.com/authorkateroth
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“It looks like Princess Aurora found her soul mate. Who am I to stand in between them?”
“Do you believe that?” he asked, his voice solemn.
“In soul mates.” He cocked his head to the side and looked genuinely interested in my answer.
Of course, I believed in ‘the one.’ I also believed that I’d already lost him. “I believe that there’s one special person that is the perfect fit, and that it’s no coincidence when we find them. You?”
“Certainly, some are better suited for each other than others,” he said, nodding to the dogs sitting side-by-side at our feet. “But I don’t believe in ‘the one.’” He leaned against the trunk of my car and eyed me as if he thought I was made of glass and his words would shatter me. He was right to wonder.
Jonathan had been my soul mate. We’d been very young when we’d met – just nineteen. Yet, I’d known immediately that he was it for me, that he was the one. In fact, I’d called my mother the next day and told her that I’d met the guy I was going to marry. There had never been anyone else and he’d felt the same way. If that wasn’t the definition of soul mates, I didn’t know what was.
Father Paul seemed to sense my feelings on the subject but barged ahead anyway. “Have you ever wondered where it comes from … the idea of there being just ‘one’ perfect counterpart for every person?”
“Walt Disney?” I asked, pointing at Princess Aurora.
He shook his head. “Actually, it originated from the Greek philosophy of Plato who believed that man and woman are made of one body and separated by the gods, forced to spend their lives searching for each other so that they can be complete.” He was silent for a moment before continuing, “Obviously that goes against what I believe.”
“Each of us is a complete person all on our own. You are complete person on your own, Grace. That was true six months ago, and it’s true today. You may not feel like it, but even without him, you are complete.”
I scuffed the toe of my shoe in the dirt while I considered his words, noticing that he’d purposefully framed his argument without mentioning God.
Father Paul was walking a fine line with me and he knew it. He was being very careful not to say something that he knew would push me away; yet, he’d still managed to get his message across.
He flipped his ball cap around so that it sat backwards on his head. The act had the dual effect of revealing his face – and the utter sincerity etched across it – and returning the Greek mythology-spewing priest beside me to a mere mortal man again.
I crumbled just a bit.
His mouth turned down as he squinted into the sun. “Of course, I’ve never been in love like you have.”
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
To put it simply, this book is brilliant. It fully captures the darkest day of a woman's life and life thereafter. There is always light in darkness. New Point? It tells that story. Effortlessly and beautifully.
We meet Zoe, who has come to New Point, Michigan. Months ago an event has caused her life to shrouded by constant darkness when a stranger stole her sense of freedom. Despite her past, she is now in a new place ready to work towards gaining her life back. The details of her tragedy? In all fairness to the reader, it is one you must read about. It would be a disservice to discuss her past. This is not your average broken girl story. There is so much more. The depth of her pain comes from a place that many of us will likely never experience. But Zoe?
“He’s my missing piece.”
So when she meets Miles? He’s the light in her darkness. He storms in to her life, completely unplanned. It just takes Zoe sometime to realize this. Her falling for him? One of my favorite parts. Miles falling for Zoe? Absolutely breathtaking. The talks, the notes in the sand. Just everything. This sexy bar owner will steal your heart. Oh. And you may never get it back. But how can she fully give herself to Miles when her past continues to haunt her? Opening herself to those memories will hurt, but she believes running away from love is her only option. Until that day happens. Again. He will watch her relive the darkest day of her life. But what does Miles do? He loves her harder. With his entire being. She soon learns that sometimes you go through things in life to get to where you’re supposed to be. And her past, it brought her to Miles. Once she learns to embrace her past, she accepts her present and future.
“Because I want all of you, damnit!”
“The best you have to offer and the worst. I want to pull you up the days you can't get out of bed. When you're smiling, I want to be the cause, and when you're crying, I want to take away the sadness.”
Why aren’t more people talking about this author? About this book? The synopsis in no way demonstrates the depth of this story. While it pulls you in, the story itself will resonate with you. No matter what life has thrown at you, this book will touch you. You will LIVE this story. The beauty of it lies within the characters and how they deal with circumstances. They are real, genuine, and relatable. New Point is one of those stories that allow you as a reader to completely immerse yourself in and not stop until the very last page. It is a flawlessly written book in that every word is heart felt. Every. Word.
“New Point isn’t known for much breaking and entering, but I have to admit, this looks mighty suspicious,” an unmistakably Midwestern accent drawls from behind me, effectively scaring the sweat off my bare shoulders.
A shriek escapes from my lips as I teeter preciously on the wood chair and my hands lose their grip on the white doorframe. The rubber of my flip flop doesn’t provide much traction and my body pitches sideways. In just a second I’ll crash against the deck floor and I’ll spend the summer recovering physically instead of gaining back my old–
Sturdy muscular arms slide around my waist and yank me against an equally firm chest. “Woah, there. I didn’t mean to scare you.” The masculine voice has a smile behind it.
“Probably shouldn’t go sneaking up on someone then,” I mutter once I catch my breath and untangle myself from his grasp. He chuckles at my retort, a rich baritone that makes me feel like shivering.
When I’m a step or two back I’m nearly breathless again, but this time for completely different reasons.
Sturdy was one way to describe his muscular grasp, but now that I have a full frontal view of him, I see my mistake. He’s perfect. Thick arms with nicely defined muscles that don’t bulge too aggressively beneath his white T-shirt, a broad chest, trim waist with low riding blue exercise shorts. And that’s just his body. Bright white teeth gleam at me from behind a broad smile. Thick, dark curly hair begs to have fingers run through it and he has coffee colored eyes framed by long lashes most girls want desperately.
He’s a combination of sultry sex appeal and mischievous intentions as displayed by the twist of his lips. Less than one minute in his presence and I’m practically swooning.
“Who are you?” I blurt out.
With a smirk, he crosses his arms across the planes of chest. “Shouldn’t I be asking the questions, Ms. Breaking and Entering?”
Olivia Luck lives in the middle of America with her loving husband and her obsession with writing. She wrote her first romance novel at age eight. When she’s not reading, editing, or writing, you can find her in the kitchen learning to cook. Olivia loves to travel and spend time with her family.
Get in touch with Olivia, she adores emails: firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you’re on social media, you can find her there too:
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Welcome to the RELEASE DAY EVENT for Forever Kinda Love by Clara Stone! Be sure to check out the teaser and giveaway below!
It’s not getting any easier to tell my mother what’s happened, what she’s missed, what’s been going on in my life. It’s not getting any easier to survive each day without her. It’s not getting any easier to think of her and not cry. Elbow on my writing desk and chin cupped in my hand, I stare at the yellow notepaper. The lines across it are as empty as my pounding head. The spot where the tip of my favorite pen touches is marked by a growing dot, evidence that there are no right words.
It’s sure as heck not getting any easier.
Hoping to find inspiration, I glance at the photo waiting to be slipped into the envelope with this letter. Normally I put aside a nature shot for her, but this one’s a ‘selfie’ of me and Will. His sandy hair looks kind of messy the way it falls into his bright eyes, and his arm, resting over my shoulders so naturally, pulls us close together. Our grins say more than words ever can.
Twirling the pen between my fingers, I gaze out the window at the soft autumn afternoon and daydream about what to write. A distant clang like metal against metal sounds from outside. Will must be at it again. I shoot up, lean over the desk, and raise the window, letting a rush of warm air brush my face.
His jean clad legs stick out from under the hood of a beat-up car parked in their yard.
That car is like a full time job, he works on it so often now. He backs out and hoists a motor, or something, onto his shoulder, lifting like it weighs no more than his kid sister. He looks up, catches me watching him, and grins. I wave and, with a sigh, plonk back into the chair, dropping my gaze to the blank sheet in front of me. I really want to write her.
For nine years I’ve been writing these letters and placing them in my top drawer with a photo. It’s become a yearly tradition. At least if we ever find Mom, she’ll know what my life’s been like.
Nothing comes to me. None of the thoughts ambling through my mind are quite right, so I drop the pen, pinch my lips together, and tap my fingers on the desk in a sharp rhythm that cuts through my aching head. I need the right words.
I last saw her on an ordinary March school day the year I was eight. She packed my lunch, gave me a kiss on the cheek, and waved goodbye. I climbed into the bus. As she stood on the curb, she didn’t look happy or sad, scared or frightened—just the same as any other day.
Heaviness squeezes my chest and makes each inhalation of breath hurt. I’ve played that day back in my mind over and over, analyzed every detail: her wave, her smile, her words, her haunted look. Did she know it was goodbye?
Not knowing leaves a complete emptiness inside me. Knowing if she’s alive or dead, or why she hasn’t come back would make it so much easier. Especially since Dad barely mentions her anymore, and no matter how many times I turn her photos around, they continue to spin and face the wall. I guess it’s just too hard for him.
I shake my head in an effort to expel the memories, but it’s no use. The lines on the paper blur, my eyes slide shut, and it hurts too much. I can’t do this right now. Grabbing my camera off the desk, I slam the window shut and run down the stairs, shouting to Dad, “I’ll be back for dinner.”
“Wait. Can you grab milk?”
He walks out of the kitchen, a five dollar bill pinched between his fingers. I pluck it from his outstretched hand and turn to leave, but his hand closes over my shoulder, spinning me around. “Everything okay?”
I close my eyes and expel a long breath. He won’t want to hear it, so there’s no point sharing. “I miss her, too.”
He pulls me into his chest, and it’s too much. Tears roll down my cheeks, and I throw my arms around him, holding him as tight as I can while he runs a hand over my head. “Sweetheart.”
I cling to him. “It’s just…”
He holds me for a long time, until my tears stop. When I pull away, I rub the telltale streaks from my cheeks, and shove the money in my pocket. “Milk, right?”
He nods, and I turn for the door. “Anamae,” he says, “I love you, kid.”
A weak smile raises my lips. “Love you, too.”
Outside, I head straight to the white picket fence separating our yard from Will’s. He’s been my best friend since he moved here in the sixth grade, and I’m so grateful his parents decided quiet suburbia was a better place to live than the inner city. I slap my hands onto the flat tips and stretch over, calling, “Will.”
He peers around the corner of the house, and the sight of his smile is enough to rattle this awful mood.
“Sure. Two minutes.”
Fishing for weeds in the garden occupies the time while I wait. The Averys have the nicest yard on our street. A perfectly manicured lawn complete with stone statues and spiky plants in white pebble gardens. Will’s mom likes being fashionable and modern, obvious from the gravel now crunching under his feet. Appearances aren’t important. Sure it’s nice to look good, but it’s not the thing that matters most. That’s one of the things she just doesn’t get about me. I always wear faded jeans and comfy t-shirts, yet she constantly tries to dress me up. Make me look like a girl. Still, she’s been like a second mom to me. She even gave me The Talk. I just about died when I realized what was happening.
Will’s coming. “Hi, Mae.”
“Hey.” I grin. Love it when he shortens my name.
We stroll down our wide path and turn onto the next street. It’s only a few blocks from our street to a small cluster of shops. The short walk, fresh air, and Will’s banter help lighten my mood. The cafe comes into sight, and I grab his hand, dragging him across the road toward another storefront—an old shop. Aqua paint peels off the brick walls around huge glass windows, and two stories rise up above us. Like all the shops on this street, a big tin awning slants out over the pavement, and a balcony juts out above. Albert’s Second-Hand Treasures emblazons a window spanning the shop’s front. Through the window piles of odd stuff are visible, cluttering the inside. According to the kids at school, it’s evidence the old man who owns the store is a little unhinged, which earns this place the nickname, Crazy Al’s. But to me, it’s far more than that. ‘Crazy Al’s’ been a part of my life almost as long Will.
“Bet you can’t find the weirdest one today,” I say.
Will raises his brows and shoots me a look that says ‘you’re insane.’ “Really, this old game? I thought you wanted to get coffee.”
“Oh, come on. I need some childish fun.” I lean in toward him an smile. “Bet you can’t win.”
I also need to see Al, not to talk… just see him. His grandfatherly ways might make me feel better.
I drag Will toward the front door, and all the while he shakes his head and scuffs his heels. “Okay, but loser buys coffee,” he finally says, “and cake.”
He pushes me through the door, making the bell overhead jingle. As he heads toward a large table in the far corner of the shop, a small smile crosses my lips. Glancing toward the counter, I stop at a long bench and paw through ancient yellowing books and old jewelry scattering it in a disorganized mess. I’ve no idea how Al even knows what’s here.
Al raises his white-grey frizzy-haired head from the newspaper sprawled on the glass counter. His bushy eyebrows lift, and he throws me a warm smile which somehow makes me feel a little better.
Running my hand over the ‘treasures,’ I stop at a ceramic owl perched amongst the clutter on the table. When I turn it over in my hand, chubby little claws grip the sides of a skateboard. I hold it up so Will can see it. “Check this out.”
“A skating owl?” Will laughs. “I can top that.”
He holds up a book with the title Peanuts in Love. On the cover two peanuts hold hands, their cute little shell bodies in a sea of pink hearts.
“Not good enough.” I scan the table looking for something better and spot a pile of old movies scattered over the next table. I move them aside one by one, looking for a good title. Sunlight dances across the table and glints off something shiny. A blue flower with a yellow center. My heart jumps, the only part of me still moving. It can’t be. Surely Dad didn’t pawn it or give it to Al. He wouldn’t. He couldn’t. It can’t possibly have been made into something else.
A small noise of surprise escapes my lax mouth, and a memory flashes into my mind: the pendant lying on Mom’s pillow the day she disappeared.
Will chuckles from the corner. I drag my gaze away from the flower brooch to see a bright pink pith hat sitting atop his sandy head. He eyes my open palm, which now holds the brooch. “You call that weird?”
I run my fingers over the cool glazed metal, and a lump grows in my throat. “It’s the same as the forget-me-not pendant Mom always wore.”
Not missing a beat, he raises his voice toward the back of the shop. “How much?”
Al pauses in his perusal of the paper, two fingertips touching his tongue as if to dampen them as he flicks a page over. His bushy eyebrows lift, and he clears his throat.
“Gosh, lad, for that?” I hold up the brooch, and Al squints at it. “It’s for Mae?” He smiles at me.
“Yep.” Will pulls his wallet out, and empties the coins into his cupped hand.
“Nothing,” Al says, then flicks his gaze to me. “Tell your Dad poker’s on tomorrow night. All the boys are coming.”
I return his smile with a nod. “Sure thing, Al.”
“Take care, Mae.” He doesn’t mention today’s Mom’s anniversary—the day she disappeared, but he doesn’t have to. Even though he never knew her, I’ve always suspected it’s why he took me and Dad under his wing. Especially after Nan died; her death upended the last slither of normalcy we had.
“No refunds….” Al says.
“Without magic,” I chime in on his usual farewell. No wonder people think he’s crazy, since he’s always saying stupid things. A sign hangs on the wall above the counter mimicking his words. No refunds without magic.
We walk out the door, and the bell jingles. “You owe me cake,” Will says.
“I do not. The brooch won.”
“No way, the peanuts definitely—”
“The peanuts did not beat the skating owl,” I say, and we both laugh.
I want to go home. I want to go straight to mom’s pendant. I want to compare it to this brooch, but I promised Will cake and coffee. He’d understand, but it wouldn’t be fair after dragging him out here. Although it makes me a little impatient, I’ll wait.
After hanging out with Will, I climb the stairs into the rarely used, cold, dark attic. Goose bumps prickle my arms with each step. This place is so eerie. Holding my hand out, I grope around in the dark until it closes around the cord for the light switch. A sharp tug illuminates the room with a soft glow which highlights the dust floating in the air. Pressure grows in my nose, and I hold my breath to suppress a building sneeze.
A corner of the chest which holds all my mother’s most precious possessions peeks out from behind cardboard boxes. I need to see the pendant and make sure it hasn’t somehow been altered and made into this brooch. Something so precious to her can’t be lost. A wooden creaking noise makes me spin around so fast my neck kinks, but the entry is empty. Phew. If Dad catches me up here… don’t think about it. He won’t know, as long as the driveway stays empty of his car, I’m safe.
A tight knot grows in my chest, anyway. An image of Mom running her thumb over the charm she wore everyday lingers in my mind.
I ease open the lid of the chest. Love letters, a few small items of jewelry, and other precious odds and ends rest on top of a discolored wedding dress, as if every last item was placed in here with care. Dust and the smell of moth balls make my nose twitch and finally bring on the sneeze.
Blue fabric, the same color as the brooch, peeps out between a stack of old envelopes. I slide it out of the bunch with care and peel back the fabric, my fingers slipping on the soft, smooth silk. My breath catches at the sight of my mother’s pendant.
My memories of it remained unchanged by time. It’s exactly as I recall. Five blue petals come to a yellow center, creating the shape of a forget-me-not flower. The pendant hangs on a long chain with shiny, silver looped links.
The sight of it brings back so many memories. The only time I ever saw my parents fight… Mom shouted so loud I covered my ears, and Dad responded in a low emotionless voice. Young and scared, I hid in the curtains while she screamed. Her last words were punctuated by her yanking the pendant off and tossing it across the room. Dad scooped it up, crossed the room in long strides and pulled her to him. His fingers traced the edge of her face before he kissed her. He lowered the pendant over her head, and the angry lines on her face melted into a smile. It’s not exactly a good memory, but it was her.
Now, I find myself smiling, too. Surely he won’t mind if I wear it. Something so precious to her shouldn’t be left to rust in the attic. I’m almost certain she’d want me to have it, so I slide the pendant into my pocket with the brooch and pack the other contents of the box away.
Easing the door closed, I climb out of the attic and head to the bathroom to clean my dust-covered hands. Water rushes from the spout and splashes against the sides as the basin fills. A reflection of me stares back at me from the mirror, my dirty hand clutching my aching chest. Today everything feels so raw, open, and fresh, like it only just happened. She should still be here.
Rubbing my hands clean, I delve into my pocket for the jewelry. Bringing it to my collar, I pin the brooch into my blouse. The hard edges prick my skin. My thumb brushes over the smooth, round sides of the pendant and when I pull it over my head, the chain catches on my hair. After I twist it through the tangle so it finally falls cool against my skin, it nestles in the hollow of my throat. I pick it up between my fingers and with reverent slow strokes, rub my thumb over the shiny yellow center—the pendant Mom never took off.
A shiver shoots up my spine and out through my limbs like an electric current, zapping every cell, every fiber, every part of my being. Walking on graves, that’s what Mom would have said. Maybe it’s an omen about her.
I plant my palms on either side of the full basin and peer into the still water, taking a moment to collect my thoughts. The water reflects only the cream ceiling. That can’t be right. I do a double take.
My chest tightens. I hold my hand up, but I can’t see it—not my arm, not my chewed fingernails, not my leather watch on my wrist. Where am I? Mouth gaping, I look into the mirror again, but I see nothing.
Not even my face.
I dip my finger into the warm, reflection-free water. Circles ripple in ever growing rings, but there’s no image. My gaze flits to the mirror, but I see only the open door. I have no reflection.
My stomach flutters like a thousand butterflies are trying to escape it. I slap my palm onto my chest, and I can still feel me. I must be here. When I slide the pendant over my head, my reflection blinks onto the mirror. Huh? Pulling it back on, my hand brushes the cool metal. The ripple goes through me again. I look into the mirror, and once more my reflection’s gone.
I grab my hairbrush from the drawer and wave it around in the air, but its image isn’t cast in the mirror either. It has to be magic, but that’s only in fairytales. Will’s not going to believe this, not in a million years. I pull the pendant over my head and my reflection returns. No way. It can’t be, but it is. I’m almost certain it’s making me invisible, but how?
I put it on—invisible. Take it off—visible.
It doesn’t make any sense. How can something like this—like those video games Will plays—even exist? It must be a magical artifact or some kind of prank. My shoulders shake with a chuckle while I stare at myself in the mirror. This is unreal. I bet he’s gone right back to working on his car. He’ll love this. Ha! Now let’s see who found the weirdest treasure. I slide it back on and wipe my damp hands on my jeans. Watch out Will, I’m going to sneak up and scare the life right out of you.
A sharp rap, someone knocking on the front door, echoes up the stairs. I duck into my room, unpin the brooch, and place both forget-me-nots in the jewelry box on my dresser. The rap sounds again. “Coming.” I bound down the stairs, through the living room, and yank the door open.
A man in blue overalls carrying a toolbox holds a yellow box-like thing snug in his palm. “My name is Thomas. I’m from the East Coast Natural Gas Company. There’s been a gas leak reported in this area, so I need to check the levels in your home. It won’t take a minute.”
A green flame and fancy words, the logo for East Coast Natural Gas, are embroidered on his loose, navy overalls. He’s legit, so I unlock the screen and pull it open, letting him inside.
The man’s gaze meets mine as he walks past me, into the living room. He scratches his head of close-cropped dark hair, and moves his hand to his chin, rubbing it along the shadow of facial hair lining his jaw.
I scrape my palm across my forehead, suddenly recalling my recent vanishing act. He spoke first. I must be visible again. Phew. I didn’t forget to take it off.
“Ignore the mess,” I say.
He holds the yellow gas meter out in front of him, his eyes never leaving the small flashing green light. He walks in straight lines across the living room. Crossing my arms over my chest, I tap my foot. Hurry up. I’ve got a neat trick to show off.
He nears the base of the stairs and the green light flicks to red. His pace quickens, and he strides up the steps two at a time. I rush up behind him. “What is it?”
The gas meter beeps when he reaches the top of the staircase. Coming upstairs seems kind of strange. I mean, surely gas leaks would have to be a kitchen thing. The beeping sets my teeth on edge, and I just want it to stop. Maybe there’s something wrong, but here in the upstairs hall?
“That doesn’t sound good,” I mutter.
“It means there is indeed…”
He twists, angling himself toward my open bedroom door, and his gaze locks on my dresser. The back of my neck prickles, a sure sign something about this just isn’t right. I step past him and pull the door closed, but he pushes me aside and slams it open. Panic shoots through me, but I’m fast enough to dart around him. Turning my shoulder and reaching for the box.
He lunges toward me, grabs me from behind, and his arm pins my neck to him with a shoulder crushing grip. He pushes me against the dresser, and the box falls open, its contents spilling across the top. Heart pounding, my throat burns with a scream. I’ve got to get him out of here. He must know about my pendant, the brooch. Dammit. I wriggle to escape his vice-like grip, but it’s no use—he’s too strong.
My hand darts toward the pendant. I snatch it, but he grabs my wrist. Adrenaline tries to pound my heart right out of its home in my chest. If only I can get the jewelry on, I might be able to make its magic work and hide.
“Tech breech confirmed,” he speaks into his collar in a matter-of-fact tone; then he turns his gaze to me. “Give me the pendant.”
There’s a tiny ripping sound, like Velcro torn open.
A young guy in a black leather jacket flickers into my bedroom. A sharp gasp leaves me. I can’t escape one attacker, let alone two.
Where the heck are these men coming from? I’m not going down without a fight, so I kick at my captor’s shins. The leather jacket guy wrenches the man’s grip from my shoulders and punches him square in the chin, knocking his head to the side. Shaking his head, the gas man stumbles backward.
The jacket guy raises his knee and drives a foot into the other man’s stomach. The straight, hard kick makes a loud thud and forces the dude to double over and curl in on himself. The leather jacket guy crouches and drives his fist straight up into the man’s chin. It knocks him flat on his back like a felled tree.
My chest rises and falls with my quickened breath. My heart thuds like a booming drum.
The mysterious rescuer turns toward me, holding my gaze with intense, steady jade eyes. He grabs my assailant by the arm, and they both flicker out of my room.
My mind spins.
Legs, arms, body—I can’t move, but it doesn’t matter. Moving is the least of my worries.
Who were they, and what just happened? The meter seemed to lead him straight to Mom’s pendant. Gas man, my ass.
I clutch my head in an attempt to stop my mind spinning, but my hand slides off my sweaty forehead and falls against my tightened stomach. They might come back. The guy in the jacket…
What was that? The brooch, the pendant…my disappearing reflection. They wanted it. Damn.
Sweat trickles down my forehead and into my eyes. I wipe it away with a trembling hand. Questions hurtle through my mind, all jumbling together as they race faster and faster in my mind. Seconds, minutes, hours I don’t know, but a single thought emerges through the haze of my mind.
Remember Me by Stacey Nash
Series: Collective #2
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Speculative Fiction
To Be Published September 22, 2014
Pre-Order: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Google Play
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When all is lost, she must remember…
Anamae Gilbert managed to thwart The Collective and rescue her father, even though his mind is now a shell. Determined to stop Councilor Manvyke hurting her family again, she’s training to become an active resistance member and enjoying a growing romance. But things never sail along smoothly – Manvyke wants retribution. And Anamae’s name is high on his list.
After a blow to the head, she awakes in an unfamiliar location. Anamae can’t remember the last few weeks and she can’t believe the fascinating new technology she’s seeing. She’s the new kid at school and weapons training comes with ease, but something feels off. Why does the other new kid’s smile make her heart ache?
And why does she get the feeling these people are deadly?
Stacey Nash writes adventure filled stories for Young Adults in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres. When her head isn’t stuck in a fictional world, she calls the Hunter Valley of New South Wales home. It is an area nestled between mountains and vineyards, full of history and culture that all comes together to create an abundance of writing inspiration. Stacey loves nothing more than writing when inspiration strikes.
* I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Fall was a little different from everything I have read before. This sci-fi novella was packed with action, humor, and a strong female lead.
After a tsunami that hits Braita's world, she is one of the chosen ones to go live in another planet. The Mian's are not the friendliest and these aliens want to use humans as their slaves. But Braita's actions when she arrives changes everything that was planned for her.
I really enjoyed this first installment in The Cold Mark Saga. Before this one I had read plenty of serials, but those were contemporary romances so this one was definitely different from the others.
For it being around 66 pages it did not feel short at all, which definitely surprised me. We are thrown along with Braita into this new world that is totally different from Earth and Joyal. It took me few pages to get the names of people right since they are so many new characters introduced almost at the same time at a fast pace.
The ending definitely left me with my jaw on the floor. I was not expecting the twist at the end at all. I wish Braita would've reacted a little different, but I can't wait to see what happens in the next installment! I know Scarlett Dawn is going to blow me away.
#1 Bestseller in Witches and Wizards Romance and award-winner, Scarlett Dawn is the author of the Forever Evermore new adult fantasy series, which include King Hall and King Cave. She lives in the Midwest, adores her music loud, and her fries covered in melted cheese.
Blurb:Sometimes, finding your destiny means doing the exact opposite of what The Fates have planned.
Winning the heart of an immortal assassin was a dream come true for Kristia Tostenson. Now she’s knee deep in wedding plans, goddess lessons, and stolen kisses. But her decision to become immortal could end in heartbreak -- not only for Kristia, but for the god who loves her. Because while Ull would do anything to protect his bride, even the God of Winter is powerless against the Norse apocalypse. Ragnarok is coming.
And the gods aren’t even close to ready.
When I came to, my chest heaved with sobs. Cold sweat cloaked my body from my forehead to the backs of my knees. My hair was damp, my pulse was racing, and my fingers gripped the sheets so tightly my knuckles ached. I was in my room at Ýdalir, the one place I had always felt safe. Only now I was absolutely terrified.
I ripped the covers off and wrapped my arms around my legs. My nose twitched at an unfamiliar smell. I pulled the cord on the bedside lamp, and looked around to see what might be burning. There was no smoke in the room; all of the furniture seemed to be intact. But when I glanced down, I saw the hems of my pajamas. They were black, singed from the fire I’d desperately hoped had been part of a dream.
This time things had gone too far. If my smoldering pant legs were any indication, being injured in a vision could have far-reaching worldly consequences. And if Elfie had come that close to killing me . . .
Ull had his rules, but I no longer cared. I jumped out of bed and raced down the hallway. When I reached his door I pounded on the distressed wood. Tears streamed down my face but I didn’t bother to wipe them away. The downpour was too intense; it wouldn’t have done any good anyway.
The door flew open and Ull stood on the other side. He wore a loose pair of grey sweatpants and nothing else. Oh hot bejeebus. There was no way this guy was for real. It just wasn’t humanly possible to look that good.
Oh, right. Ull wasn’t human.
Despite the agony coursing through my awakening consciousness, this was a moment of glory I’d remember forever—the first time I saw Ull’s naked torso. His sweats hung low on his hips, affording me a view of the cut just above the bone.
“Kristia?” Ull rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He took in my matted hair, tear-streaked face, and shaking hands. “Great Odin. What happened?”
He pulled me to him, crushing my face against the muscles of his chest. The knot in my stomach loosened infinitesimally. Just being near Ull gave me peace, but being this near Ull was like taking a sedative. Breathing in his woodsy smell made my panic subside. And when he pressed his hands against me—one to my hair, the other against the small of my back—my gut knew I was safe. Nothing bad could happen to me so long as I was in Ull’s arms. I inhaled again, letting his familiar scent fill me from the inside until my shaking stilled. Then I pressed my lips against his skin. Hard.
“Sweetheart?” he asked again.
“I had another vision and it freaked me out. Can I stay with you?” I didn’t take my lips off his chest as I spoke. I couldn’t. He tasted divine—like spruce and soap and home. There was a very real possibility my mouth might be permanently adhered to his flesh, like a kid who’d tried to lick a frozen railing.
Only this was far less unpleasant.
The Amazon bestselling Upper YA Paranormal Romance series inspired by Norse mythology and featured in USA Today.
What reviewers are saying about The Elsker Saga:
"The characters will leave an imprint on your heart and mind for a long time to come." -Lisa (Bound by Books)
"Bende takes classic bits of Norse mythology and throws in original elements to create her own tasty Nordic blend... I'll definitely be checking out the sequel!" -Bookalicious Reviews
"One of my favorite books of the year." -White Zin Bookends
"Action packed with a heart pounding romance!" -Curse of the Bibliophile
"This book was nearly impossible to put down and I'm dying for the sequel!" -Brittany and Bianca Blab Books (now BiblioBelles)
Tur: An Elsker Saga Novella (Prequel)
AMAZON - BARNES&NOBLE - KOBO
Inga Andersson is the envy of every girl in Asgard. On the surface she has it all -- great friends, a job as Odin’s personal fight choreographer, and a happy ever after with her realm’s hottest assassin. But when evil invades Asgard, her perfect world comes crashing down. Someone is planning to kill off the gods, and Inga’s best friend Ull is first on their list. With the Norse apocalypse a nanosecond away, Inga has to decide how she’ll spend her final moments of freedom. Because from the moment this battle begins, Inga’s happily ever after will be nothing more than a memory.
Some things are worth fighting for.
Elsker: The Elsker Saga Book One
You don't win the heart of an immortal assassin without making a few enemies along the way. Kristia Tostenson prefers Earl Grey to Grey Goose and book clubs to nightclubs, but when she transfers from her one-stoplight town to Cardiff University in Wales she falls in love with Ull Myhr. Her new boyfriend isn't exactly what she was expecting. He's an honest to goodness Norse God - an immortal assassin fated to die at Ragnarok, the battle destined to destroy Asgard and Earth. Kristia's crazy visions are the only thing that can save their realms.
Her orderly life just got very messy.
Author Social Media Links:
Before finding domestic bliss in suburbia, ST Bende lived in Manhattan Beach (became overly fond of Peet’s Coffee) and Europe… where she became overly fond of McVities cookies. Her love of Scandinavian culture and a very patient Norwegian teacher inspired the books of The Elsker Saga. She hopes her characters make you smile and that one day, pastries will be considered a health food.
Find ST on Twitter @stbende or her blog (http://stbende.blogspot.com). While you’re at it, introduce yourself to @UllMyhr -- when he’s not saving the cosmos from dark elves, he loves meeting new friends. Especially the human kind.
Jennifer Novotney was born in Burbank, California and lived in Los Angeles for most of her life until settling in North Eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter. She attended California State University, earning a bachelors degree in journalism, and Northern Arizona University, earning a masters degree in English. After college, she spent several years writing and teaching, including at Pennsylvania State University.