Trust In Love Linda Kage (Love Mark, #2) Publication date: May 4th 2020 Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
The kingdom of Far Shore still resents Donnelly, its neighboring land, for forming an alliance with those filthy High Clifters and then defeating them in war. Twice! They really must pay for such an insult. And what better way to prick their pride than to steal their lovely, revered princess, mutilate her a little, and then ransom her back to them for a hefty sum.
So, the king blackmails stable hand, Farrow, into accepting the mission of kidnapping Princess Nicolette and bringing her back to Far Shore to meet her gruesome fate.
With his sister’s life on the line, Farrow reluctantly accepts the quest and travels through sand and forest, only to find Nicolette eagerly awaiting his arrival with her bags already packed and good to go, spouting off insane nonsense about being his destiny and one true love.
What follows is a crazy, eclectic adventure that brings two lost souls together and helps them learn who they’re supposed to be and what they’re supposed to do in this ever-changing journey called life.
“Given the proper incentive, Farrow here might be more reliable to fulfill this quest than anyone in all of Far Shore.”
I narrowed my eyes. The douche might’ve just complimented me, but I’d never trusted him. Whatever Greggor was thinking, I already knew I wouldn’t like it.
“What do you mean?” The king asked curiously, and I shook my head, wishing he’d just disregard the damn advisor’s suggestion already. Find someone else for his stupid mission.
But he didn’t.
“The boy’s quite fond of that middle girl of yours, isn’t he?” Greggor’s top lip curled into a wicked snarl as he watched my face drain of color. Then he rasped one word.
And just like that; my entire world shifted on its axis.
Cold, slippery dread slithered through my system.
I immediately waved both my hands, disagreeing. Whatever he wanted to do that involved Sable, I was out. She was an innocent twelve-year-old child. Why should she be brought into any plans that involved kidnapping another kingdom’s princess? This already sounded disastrous.
Turning to my father—my eyes pleading—I said, “No.”
But the panic on my face only caused the king to blink in surprise before he motioned to his advisor. “Keep talking.”
“No,” I growled more vehemently as Greggor said, “We could hold the child in the dungeon until Farrow returns with the Donnelly bitch. And if he fails his mission…” He glanced at me and smiled. “Sable dies.”
“What?!” I shouted. “The hell you say.” Turning to my father, I was even more horrified because I could tell the ignorant ass was actually considering this madness. “Have you lost your damn mind?” I boomed “How could you even ponder such a ridiculous notion? Sable is your daughter.”
King Torrance shrugged. “And you’re my—” He cut himself off before finishing the sentiment.
I held my breath, wondering if this was going to be the moment of truth, when he finally called me son. My heart beat hard in my chest, yearning for that one word, while my stomach churned, also dreading it. Being his would mean I actually belonged somewhere; I was someone. But did I really want to be the heir of this brute?
He snickered and waved a hand. “Well, whatever you are. You’re both equally useless to me, so…” He motioned toward a pair of guards by the entrance of the room. “Fetch the girl.”
“No. Stop!” I stepped toward the guards to waylay them, but the king waved his hand again, and four more knights stepped into my path, blocking my way.
I snarled at them before whirling back to the king. Shit had just gotten real. With Sable involved, my will collapsed like a poorly-dug well.
“You don’t have to involve her,” I told him. “I’ll do it!”
Linda writes romance fiction from YA to adult, contemporary to fantasy. Most Kage stories lean more toward the lighter, sillier side with a couple meaningful moments thrown in. Focuses more on entertainment value and emotional impact.
Published since 2010. Went through a 2-year writing correspondence class in children’s literature from The Institute of Children’s Literature. Then graduated with a Bachelors in Arts, English with an emphasis in creative fiction writing from Pittsburg State University.
Now she lives with hubby, two daughters, cat Holly, and nine cuckoo clocks in southeast Kansas, USA. Farm girl. Parents were dairy farmers. Was youngest of eight. Big family. Day job as a cataloging library assistant.
Harry Potter House Gryffindor, Patronus White Stallion, character match Hagrid. Supernatural Team Dean. Game of Thrones Team Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister. The Walking Dead Team Daryl. Outlander Team Jamie Fraser. Teen Wolf Team Stiles. Avenger Team Thor…or Hulk (can’t decide). Justice League Team Flash. Arrow Team Stephen Amell. Stranger Things obsessed. Heard Laurel, not Yanny.
Started out reading with the Baby-Sitters Club. Then moved to Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, Julie Garwood, and LaVyrle Spencer in high school. Now all over the place with her romance reading tastes.
by Lian Dolan Publisher: William Morrow Release Date: April 28th 2020
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
An accomplished storyteller returns with her biggest, boldest, most entertaining novel yet—a hilarious, heartfelt story about books, love, sisterhood, and the surprises we discover in our DNA that combines the wit of Jonathan Tropper with the heart of Susan Wiggs.
Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia Sweeney grew up as a happy threesome in the idyllic seaside town of Southport, Connecticut. But their mother’s death from cancer fifteen years ago tarnished their golden-hued memories, and the sisters drifted apart. Their one touchstone is their father, Bill Sweeney, an internationally famous literary lion and college professor universally adored by critics, publishers, and book lovers. When Bill dies unexpectedly one cool June night, his shell-shocked daughters return to their childhood home. They aren’t quite sure what the future holds without their larger-than-life father, but they do know how to throw an Irish wake to honor a man of his stature.
But as guests pay their respects and reminisce, one stranger, emboldened by whiskey, has crashed the party. It turns out that she too is a Sweeney sister.
When Washington, DC based journalist Serena Tucker had her DNA tested on a whim a few weeks earlier, she learned she had a 50% genetic match with a childhood neighbor—Maggie Sweeney of Southport, Connecticut. It seems Serena’s chilly WASP mother, Birdie, had a history with Bill Sweeney—one that has remained totally secret until now.
Once the shock wears off, questions abound. What does this mean for William’s literary legacy? Where is the unfinished memoir he’s stashed away, and what will it reveal? And how will a fourth Sweeney sister—a blond among redheads—fit into their story?
By turns revealing, insightful, and uproarious, The Sweeney Sisters is equal parts cautionary tale and celebration—a festive and heartfelt look at what truly makes a family.
William Sweeney was a famous author and when he died he not only left his three daughters a memoir to find but also a surprise sister. We follow the three Sweeney sisters as they come to turns on who their famous father was, changes in their personal lives and a new addition to the family. This book started off pretty slow and I had a hard time getting into the story. It was probably at least halfway thru that I started to actually like any of the main characters and want to know how their story ends. The oldest sister Liza was a typical mom for their neighborhood. Her kids were in all the right clubs and programs, she was a dutiful wife to her successful husband and she even owned her own art gallery. She is the sister who holds it all together and makes sure everyone is doing what they are supposed too. The middle sister Maggie is the artist and she is very selfish. I never liked her throughout the book and even though she has some growth in the end she was not redeemed in my eyes. She was cruel to her sisters and was only looking out for her self. The youngest sister Tricia at first appeared to be a very cold and distant sister but as the story goes on she became my favorite. She is a lawyer in Manhattan and very good at her job. I loved her story arc and Raj!! The fourth sister who is actually the oldest is Serena Tucker, she is a journalist and grew up next door to the sisters. I enjoyed how the four ended up rallying around each other and supporting one another. Sister’s are not always easy to get along with and this book showed that but in the end they all loved and supported each other. Overall I really enjoyed this book. I thought the author did a great job of bringing you into the family and getting you to feel the emotions of all the characters. This would be a fun summer read, its not too hard hitting and the setting of being in Connecticut in the summer was perfect! Thank you Netgalley, William Marrow, Goodreads and the Fantastic Flying Bookclub for my copies!
Lian Dolan is a writer and talker. She’s the author of two Los Angeles Times best-selling novels, Helen of Pasadena and Elizabeth the First Wife published by Prospect Park Books. Her next novel, The Sweeney Sisters, will be published in 2020 by William Morrow. She’s a regular humor columnist for Pasadena Magazine and has previously written monthly columns for O, The Oprah Magazine and Working Mother Magazine. She’s also written for TV, radio and websites.
Lian is the producer and host of Satellite Sisters, the award-winning talk show she created with her four real sisters. On Satellite Sisters, she’s interviewed everyone from Nora Ephron to Madeleine Albright to Big Bird. Satellite Sisters began life as a syndicated radio show and is now a top-rated podcast for women. The recent book by the Satellite Sisters, You’re the Best: A Celebration of Friendship, is popular with book clubs.
A popular speaker who combines humor and heart, Lian has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Sunday Morning and The Today Show and many local TV stations. She’s been a featured speaker at the LA Times Festival of Books, the Santa Barbara Celebrity Authors Lunch, the Literary Guild of Orange County Festival of Women Authors and dozens of other events at libraries, book stores, schools and women’s organizations across the country. In 2020, she’ll be on the faculty of the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop.
Lian graduated from Pomona College with a degree in Classics. She lives in Pasadena, California with her husband, two sons and a big German shepherd.
No White Knight Nicole Snow Publication date: April 30th 2020 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Handsome devil. Hate-worthy. Walking scandal.
I’m catching one feeling with him and it’s got teeth…
If I was a bird, I know who I’d paint white.
The cocky dolt who swaggered up thinking he’d buy my ranch out from under me.
I know his reputation—those stormy eyes and chiseled looks ruined half this town.
Spare me the pick up lines and pretty words.
I’d rather chew nails than get roped up in anything with him.
I ain’t selling off my home, my inheritance, or my horses.
Not even if I desperately need the cash when trouble comes calling.
But there are two things I didn’t count on.
Holt’s as stubborn as a bull.
He’s also hiding a rough and tumble country boy behind that big city suit.
Everything flips upside down the day he says he’ll help save my land.
Because I can’t let anybody uncover the awful secret on my property.
Not even gorgeous stallions turning I-hate-you into what-are-we-doing.
He’s no white knight.
The way Holt kisses is a warning…
Nothing will ever be the same after this dark knight rocks my world.
From Wall Street Journal bestselling author Nicole Snow – a rogue of a man plays for keeps when he collides with a determined small-town firecracker. A bantery enemies to lovers thriller. Full-length standalone romance novel with all the Hell Yeah Happily Ever Afters.
That’s one area, though, where I’m never insecure. I’m actually grinning.
There’s a fire in her, and frankly, I respect her more for calling me the douchebag I am for coming out here and sizing up her land without even a how-do-you-do?
“Don’t even try it,” I say. “I grew up around here. I know how to handle horses.”
“I hope you mean riding. Wouldn’t know it just looking at you.” Another once-over, like my suit’s some kind of scarlet letter branding me an outsider. “You look like New York. Tell you what—you ever want your country edge back, I’ll break you in until you’re raw around the edges and leave you begging.”
I arch both brows. “Sweetheart, I don’t think you meant that to come out the way it did,” I say, biting back a bigger grin.
Libby makes a disgusted huff, rolling her eyes so hard they go white.
“Keep it in your pants, cowboy.”
“Again,” I point out, “you seem to be putting a whole lot of thought into what’s in my trousers. You been missing me, Libby? Had a little crush I never knew about and now we’re all grown up and you want to play?”
I step closer to her.
I can’t help it.
Women look at me like I’m dinner. Sure, they hear the stories.
I’m bad news, but the kind of bad news you want to hear to learn a few dirty tricks.
Everybody wants a ride.
Nobody ever tries to buck me off.
Not like Libby.
And that just makes me want to get under her skin and live there. I smile slowly, leaning down toward her, close enough to purr in her ear.
“You want to play house,” I say, “you gotta call me Daddy.”
Her eyes go wider than the moon.
She makes a strangled sound in the back of her throat.
That hot-pink flush in her cheeks turns brilliant red, and there’s no mistaking the fury.
Her mouth thins to a tight line.
The only warning I get is Sierra shouting.
“Oh, no, Libby, don’t—”
Too late. Libby plants her hands square on my chest and pushes me.
I mean, hell.
It’s a miracle she catches me off kilter, considering she barely comes up to my collar.
But I’m thinking less about being impressed and more about the sky spinning and the world whirling by as I topple backward.
My ass lands hard in a puff of yellow dust that flies up and spills back down, coating my freshly dry-cleaned black suit.
Nicole Snow is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author. She found her love of writing by hashing out love scenes on lunch breaks and plotting her great escape from boardrooms. Her work roared onto the indie romance scene in 2014 with her Grizzlies MC series.
Since then Snow aims for the very best in growly, heart-of-gold alpha heroes, unbelievable suspense, and swoon storms aplenty. With over a million books sold, she lives for the joy of making two people fight with every bit of their soul for a Happily Ever After.
Current fan favorites include her Enguard Protectors series, accidental love novels, plus long beloved MC romance thrillers like the Grizzlies and Deadly Pistols.
Infinite Us Eden Butler Publication date: April 28th 2020 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Love is timeless…
Nash Nation loves zeroes and ones, over-sized monitors and late office hours. He’s too busy taking over the world to make time for relationships—that is, until his new neighbor Willow O’Bryant barges into his life, and now Nash can’t shake the feeling that this isn’t the first time she’s interrupted his world.
Then, the dreams start. And in the dreams—memories.
Memories of a girl named Sookie who couldn’t count on love or friendship, never mind forever. Memories of a library and a boy called Isaac and secrets made in private that destroyed his world.
The memories seem real, but who do they belong to?
When Nash and Willow discover the truth, life as they know it unravels.
The bridge between this life and the next is shored up by blood and bone and memory. Sometimes, that bridge leads to the place we’ve always wanted to be.
NOTE: This is a completely revamped re-release version of this title with new characters and is a standalone with a HEA
“This thing we got… I told you, it won’t be easy.”
“Nothing good is ever easy, Isaac.”
There was a pause as unasked questions hovered around us. I considered what life would be like with Isaac, that no matter how committed we might be to our relationship, we could not exist in a vacuum. Struggles would follow us wherever we went, and would spill out to our families, our loved ones, our friends.
He waited. Although Isaac was the one who moved with caution, the one who refused to assume that the easy road would be ours to travel, he waited for me to come to a decision. He wanted me to say yes, but wouldn’t ask the question. He would not lead me anywhere, but would be waiting for me when I arrived—if I didn’t turn back.
“Isaac?” He nodded again and brought me closer. His cheeks were wide, his features strong and he closed his eyes, as though he relished the feel of my fingertips over his face. “Will you love me? No matter what happens?”
Isaac pulled me around him, holding me against his large body, his hand around my waist. His voice was quiet, but filled with strength, with conviction. “Always.”
No one had touched me like Isaac. He had a way about him, something real and honest that was assured by his long, perfect fingers down my back and the slip of his tongue inside my mouth. There was no fear, not when those fingers gripped me tighter, when he slowly lowered my zipper and held my hand as I stepped out of my dress.
He watched me then, and even though a different Riley might have been shy, I liked the way his stare felt against my bare skin. It was me he wanted, only me; only I could sate his hunger, redeem that desperate look that had caught him in a silent pause.
Isaac still held my hand, arm extended with that hard, greedy gaze working over me. He made me feel needed, wanted, he made me feel necessary. And when he pulled my hand to rest it against his heart, I held my breath, waiting to hear what he thought, hoping he wanted me as much as I wanted him. “My sweet… my beautiful Riley.”
He stepped back, my fingers trailing away from his chest, and tugged off his shirt, dropping it to the floor, instantly forgotten. Isaac picked me up and carried me to the bed, divesting me of everything that kept me covered, and everything that kept him hidden from me.
I had never seen a naked man before. I’d never been naked with a man before. But there I lay on Isaac’s large bed covered by his long legs and muscular thighs, my small frame underneath him, open to him as he took control and showed me what it meant to be loved.
“You and me, Riley, there’s nothing but this. Nothing else but this, how we are right now.”
Isaac never spoke much of his feelings, the things that rocked his soul, the many worries that kept him up at night. Maybe he didn’t know how to say he loved me, but just then, with Isaac’s warm, solid body right against mine, skin to skin, touching me like no one ever had before, I decided words weren’t all that important.
“Nothing else, my love. Nothing else at all.”
Eden Butler is a writer of contemporary, fantasy and romantic suspense novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum.
When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden patiently waits for her Hogwarts letter, reads, and spends too much time in her garden perfecting her green thumb while waiting for the next New Orleans Saints Superbowl win.
She is currently living under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana.
Happy May Book Friends! I am enjoying the warmer weather that we are starting to get here in Colorado. I am so over winter and ready for warm summer days! I read three books for the last of April, all were ARCs. If you would like to my thoughts then keep reading!
What You Wish For by Katherine Center – 5 Stars Katherine Center has quickly become one of my favorite authors. This is my third from her and it was just as good as her others. Here we follow Sam, a librarian at an Elementary School in Galveston, TX. After a tragedy her school hires a new principle and he is someone from Sam’s past but he is nothing like what she remembers. I enjoyed both Sam and Duncan’s stories and the journey they both needed to go on to grow. Katherine’s books always have something going on besides the straight storyline, so trigger warnings for school shootings. Katherine’s stories always have a way of just sucking me in! Highly recommend this one if you are looking for a sweet second chance and enemies to lovers story! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press.
War and Speech by Don Zolidis – 3.5 Stars Sydney’s life has been turned upside down when her dad gets sent to prison for tax fraud and must start at a new school, Eaganville School of the Arts. Things are different her as the speech and debate team rule the school and athletes are looked down upon. Sydney has a bad run in with some members of the team and their head coach so with her new friends she decides to join the team and destroy it from the inside. I really enjoyed the writing style of this book and thought the dialogue and banter was great. What I had a small problem with was how mean all the characters were, not just the speech team but also Sydney and her friends. I did enjoy how the story progressed and that in the end Sydney had grown and was able to talk to her parents about how she was felling about the imprisonment. The friendships in this book were also a lot of fun to read about. This was a fun read and I loved all the insights into speech competitions. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you Netgalley and Little Brown Books.
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler – 4.5 Stars I don’t know what it is but I love a good book set in Alaska. This book takes place in a town called Moose Springs and we are following Graham. Graham is a local boy who does not like tourists and owns one of the most popular restaurants in town, he is also friends with a moose. Zoey is in town for two weeks and this is a trip of a lifetime for her, she has saved for years so that she can finally come to Alaska. I absolutely loved Graham’s character, he appeared to be grumpy but was really this funny lovable guy! My favorite scenes were always the ones where he was talking with the moose or his dog. The romance was also a pretty slow burn which is my favorite. Highly recommend this one if you are looking for a fun rom-com where the setting is another character in the story! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca!
by Don Zolidis Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Release Date: May 5th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Not everyone can be a winner…
Sydney Williams knows this better than anyone. After her white-collar- criminal dad is sent to prison, Sydney fails almost all of her classes and moves into a dingy apartment with her mom, who can barely support them with her minimum-wage job at the mall.
A new school promises a fresh start. Except Eaganville isn’t exactly like other high schools. It’s ruled with an iron fist by a speech team that embodies the most extreme winner-takes-all philosophy.
Sydney is befriended by a group of fellow misfits, each of whom has been personally victimized by the speech team. It turns out Sydney is the perfect plant to take down the speech team from within.
With the help of her co-conspirators, Sydney throws herself into making Nationals in speech, where she will be poised to topple the corrupt regime. But what happens when Sydney realizes she actually has a shot at . . . winning? Sydney lost everything because of her dad’s obsession with being on top. Winning at speech might just be her ticket out of a life of loserdom. Can she really walk away from that?
Sydney’s life has been turned upside down when her dad gets sent to prison for tax fraud and must start at a new school, Eaganville School of the Arts. Things are different her as the speech and debate team rule the school and athletes are looked down upon. Sydney has a bad run in with some members of the team and their head coach so with her new friends she decides to join the team and destroy it from the inside. I really enjoyed the writing style of this book and thought the dialogue and banter was great. What I had a small problem with was how mean all the characters were, not just the speech team but also Sydney and her friends. I did enjoy how the story progressed and that in the end Sydney had grown and was able to talk to her parents about how she was felling about the imprisonment. The friendships in this book were also a lot of fun to read about. This was a fun read and I loved all the insights into speech competitions. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you Netgalley and Little Brown Books. 3.5 but rounded up to 4 Stars.
Thank you Fantastic Flying Bookclub for letting me be a part of the tour!
Don Zolidis grew up in Wisconsin, went to college in Minnesota, and is mostly known for being a really funny playwright. For the past five years, he’s been the most-produced playwright in American schools. His more than one hundred published plays have been performed tens of thousands of times, and have appeared in sixty-four different countries. He currently splits his time between New York and Texas, and has two adorable boys who will someday read this book and have a lot of questions. He aspires to owning a dog. His first novel was The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig.
I was watching Heather from Bookables on youtube they other day and she did this tag and said it was created by Backlist Books. I enjoy doing these and April is almost over so I thought I should do it asap! If you like tags feel free to be tagged and let me know if you do it!!! (P.S. I have all these books on my shelves but might insert images if needed.)
1. Listening to raindrops on the rooftop–where is your favorite place to curl up and read on a rainy day? My chair in the living room that is positioned between a bunch of windows.
2. The smell of spring rain fills the air–name a book with rain or a storm on the cover. The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda
3. Rain clouds in the distance–Name a book with a gray cover. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
4. “April showers bring May flowers”–name a book with flowers prominently displayed on the cover. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
5. Stormy night skies–What is the perfect thriller and/or horror book to read during a thunderstorm? I would say anything by Karin Slaughter!
6. Partly Cloudy–name a book that made you sad but also happy/content at the same time. How To Walk Away by Katherine Center
7. Morning dew–feature a debut author that you think needs a shoutout. Sarah Hogle, this book is hilarious!!
8. Verdant grass–Recommend an old book that you think should be reprinted or given a new cover. Son of Shadows by Juliet Marillier, A lot of her old books I would like to see redone like some of her newer ones.
Malachi, Ruse Master Pamela Schloesser Canepa (A Detours in Time Character Spin-off, #3) Publication date: April 23rd 2020 Genres: Mystery, New Adult, Young Adult
Duplicity is Mike’s first nature. If you want to know what he’s doing with his life, just ask, but don’t expect the truth. You may not even be getting his real name…
Such duplicity is the reason a so-called ‘acting job’ at a suspiciously sparse agency, LLJF, becomes the perfect solution to Mike’s college drop-out blues. During a time when he is just finding out who he really is, Mike adopts the new identity of ‘Malachi,’ and it fits like a glove. A broken nose, a lost tooth, stealing scientific secrets, and a run through the alleys of D.C. are all in a day’s work. Malachi is the best at uncovering the truths that others want to hide, and the taste of succeeding at what you are best at is intoxicating.
Malachi is willing to do anything to get his paycheck–until he must decide if the thrill of deception is worth the price he must pay.
Malachi, Ruse Master is a Detours in Time series character spinoff and intersects with events from Undercurrents in Time. The third book in the series, Malachi, Ruse Master is also perfect as a stand alone read.
Jack got me back home in a blur. I headed back to my basement room and studied the scratches and bruises. I still had two black eyes.
“It’s not always this bad,” Jack said.
“Eh, it’s alright. I mean, a hundred dollars extra? I’ll take that. And you even fixed it for me. I should pursue that career in boxing after all.” I chuckled.
He set the pill bottle on my coffee table. “Well, let me know if you ever want some sparring lessons; it may come in handy, just for self-defense. By the way, you’ll only need one of these every six hours.” He tapped the pill bottle. “No drinking, okay?”
“I’ll get those back day after tomorrow.” He left with a grunt and a gentle pat on the back, as if I had just been initiated into manhood.
I pulled out an old Loius L’amour Western and opened it up. It had been a while since I’d read a book other than to scan it for a class assignment. Bad habit. The storyline and the concept of frontier justice could soothe me after a hard day’s work, but I could not focus my vision or my mind. My shoes were off, but my jeans were still on, and my money was still in my pocket. All of this made me feel a little more secure in the moment, as long as I didn’t think about the blow to my nose. Maybe he was right, and it wasn’t always this bad. I tried to focus on the pay, and soon gave up, dropping the book down on my lap as I lay back and drifted to sleep.
As a teacher of middle school English, Pamela loves to inspire the imagination of young readers and writers. As a child, she herself wrote often to escape boredom or entertain herself on long trips or long distance moves. When her family settled in the Southeast, writing provided an outlet for private thoughts and emotions for years, and after blogging for a few years, she decided to self-publish fiction in 2016. Pamela’s genres include science fiction, paranormal fiction, and poetry of all types. The “Made for Me” series was Pamela’s first published fiction series with a futuristic flavor. Pamela is now releasing a spinoff for Malachi, one of the characters in “Undercurrents in Time,” and her next project is another installment in the “Made for Me” series. What inspired Malachi, Ruse Master? “I feel like the young adult years are sort tumultuous for many of us, as well as being a huge turning point in who we decide to be. I remembered those years from my life as I allowed Malachi’s story to unravel in my mind. I truly enjoyed it!”
What’s next? Ellie, the elusive young woman who keeps showing up in Malachi’s life, reveals her purpose for doing so in Ellie, the Time Traveler, due for release in 2021 or 2022.
In Mother of Many, a young woman whose real mother is unknown, becomes part of a conspiracy as she discovers the truth about the father of her unborn child. Due for release when the muse insists.
Someone To Kiss My Scars: A Teen Thriller Brooke Skipstone Publication date: October 17th 2019 Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
First Place Pencraft Award in Young Adult Abuse
Readers’ Favorite International Contest: Silver Medal in Young Adult Thriller
“Powerful. Original. Deeply felt and convincing.” — Kirkus Reviews
Hunter needs to remember. Jazz needs to forget. They need each other to heal in this teen thriller of survivor love.
Hunter’s past is a mystery to him, erased by a doctor at the direction of his father. But memories of the secret trauma begin to surface when Hunter sees other people’s memories–visions invading his mind with stories of abuse, teen self-mutilation, rape, and forbidden sex.
His best friend Jazz has dark and disturbing memories of her own that she hides behind her sass and wit. Hunter discovers he can rescue the victims, even though he risks adding their suffering to his own.
Hunter and Jazz kiss each other’s scars and form a bond of empathy no two teens should ever need.
Jazz waited for Hunter inside the front doors of the K – 12 school, home to 150 students from the small town of Clear Creek and ten miles in either direction on the nearby highway. Her big boots stomped on the metal grating just inside the door as she paced, wondering what was keeping him. Her flatworms had regenerated their heads and tails and still remembered what she had taught them prior to decapitation. Memory can exist outside the brain! How cool was that? She couldn’t wait to tell him.
“Girl, you need to get to class,” said Patty, the secretary, in her loud, thick drawl. She was a large woman with a big smile, born in Texas, who lined her eyes in dark blue, wore big hoop earrings and gaudy silver necklaces. Today she wore jeans, boots, and a bright yellow top with white fringe and turquoise pieces sewn into the fabric. She loved the kids, and most loved her back, including Jazz.
“I need to show something to Hunter. It’s so cool!”
“Mr. Roberts approved you being out of his class?”
“He knows. He said it was OK.”
She had advanced to the state science fair a month ago and now wanted desperately to go to the international fair next year, her last chance before graduation. Maybe she could win a scholarship or some money for college. Mr. Roberts, her science teacher, had given her a corner of the school lab to run her experiments even through the summer. She’d been hired as extra maintenance help at the school, so she would have access to the building through August.
Jazz straightened up and put her hands on the glass door as she saw his truck roll into the parking lot.
Jazz watched Hunter park his truck and run toward the front door. As usual he looked flustered and a little clumsy when he ran, but God was he cute! She loved his long, floppy hair, his thick eyebrows over his dark brown eyes. And his mouth was gorgeous—so full and soft. He was the only guy in school who didn’t think she was weird for loving science and who smiled at her like he meant it. He was her only real friend. Before he came in August, the only people who cared about her were the teachers and Patty.
Just as he reached for the entry bell, Jazz pushed the front door open.
“Hey, Hunter!” She knew from the heat she felt in her cheeks she was blushing behind her big smile.
“Hey, Jazz. Sorry I’m late. I know you wanted me here early.”
“It’s OK. I have something to show you.” She grabbed his arm.
“I’ve got to get to class,” he said, panting.
“Patty said she’d give you a pass. C’mon!” Jazz pulled him down the hallway. “I said no such thing!” yelled Patty as the two kids ran past her.
“You know you will!” shouted Jazz over her shoulder.
Jazz dragged him down the hall to the science wing, opened the lab door, and walked to the far side of the room near the fume hood and a short lab table against the wall—her domain. One of the fluorescent tubes flickered on the ceiling. She looked up and shook her head. “That won’t do. Can’t have another variable in here. I’ll talk to Mr. Roberts later to have this fixed.”
She carefully removed a cover from a small shelving unit to reveal a series of petri dishes containing small brown worms. “Ta da!” said Jazz.
Each dish lay inside colored tape strips, labeled with names and dates. A clipboard with the color-code key hung from a hook.
Hunter bent closer. “Worms? Did you make them?” He wrinkled his nose. “Kinda. I trained them with food and bright lights until they remembered what to do in different environments to find their food. So if those memories were stored in their brain, which is similar to ours, you would think that if their heads were amputated, the new regenerated brain wouldn’t remember their training. But they did!” She threw out her hands in excitement.
“Yeah! As a group they didn’t do quite as well as the trained, uncut controls, which were not decapitated, but the ones that regrew their heads did as well as those which regrew their tails. And both groups of regenerated worms found their food faster than an untrained group. ”
“Meaning memory is not confined to their brains!” She lifted up onto her toes and felt warmth radiating throughout her body. “If it were, the ones that grew new brains wouldn’t remember the training. Don’t you see? So many people think memories are stored in the brain, but they may be stored in other parts of the body or outside it.”
“At least in worms. What about in humans?”
“Could be the same. I haven’t figured out an experiment for them yet.” She moved closer and straightened the collar on his shirt. “But I’m looking for volunteers to help me.” She touched his nose with her finger. “How about you?”
“Sure. Unless you plan to chop something off me.”
She moved closer, enjoying the tease, locking her eyes onto his. “First, I train you, then I chop.” She picked up a ruler off a table next to her and slapped it into her hand. “Do you respond better to punishment or reward?” She walked toward him, shaking the ruler. “I used bright lights and raw liver on the worms.”
He backed away, chuckling. “So which one of those is the reward?”
“The liver, obviously. But for you . . .” She thought of so many things she wouldn’t dare say to him. “How about fresh chocolate chip cookies after school? I could come by your place.”
“Cool. I’d like that.”
He was so much fun. “When are you going to show me more stories about the Tremarians? I haven’t read any for a while.”
A pained look crossed his face. “I had to start writing something else.” “You had to? Why?”
“I’ll explain later. How about when you bring the cookies?”
“OK.” She noticed his frown and felt a chill. “Are you all right?” “Sure. Well, not really.”
“What’s wrong?” She almost reached out for his hand, but pulled back and clasped her hands against her chest.
“I realized this morning I never asked you about the things you didn’t want to remember. When we first talked. In the gym months ago. I told you I wanted to remember my past, and you said there were things you wanted to forget. What are they? And I’m sorry for not asking you before now.”
She felt her eyes widen and her heart race. How could you remember that? “So many things, Hunter, but none of them involve you.”
His shoulders slumped.
Jazz felt a rush of fear. Had she offended him? “What made you think of that now? I mean, I love that you care enough to ask, but what brought that up?”
Hunter bit his lip and frowned. “I haven’t had much sleep. I tried to find something from my past in my dad’s room, but the few things I found meant nothing to me. And I think he’s lying to me about . . . why we came here.” His chin quivered.
She moved closer to him, unable this time to resist, and reached for his hands. He tensed, causing her to pause. “Do you mind?”
She held both of his hands and felt them quivering within her own. “I’m your friend, Hunter. Something’s going on with you, and I want to help.” She looked into his brown eyes and saw them twitch. “Why don’t you come to my house for lunch today? I’ve got some leftover spaghetti and meatballs.”
He looked at their hands touching and smiled slightly. “That would be great. I forgot to bring anything to eat today. Lucky this school allows us to go home for lunch.”
“Good.” She squeezed his hands then let them go. “You better get to class.”
“Yeah, thanks.” He turned to leave and opened the door then looked back. “So what’s the brain for if not to store memories?”
“It’s a receiver and transmitter, like a TV set. A signal comes in, and a movie memory plays in your head.”
His eyes widened as he just stared at her with his mouth open.
“Are you OK?”
“Yeah. Gotta go.” He left the room.
She thought he would be excited or awed about her conclusion, but he seemed
terrified. Why did he have to write something else? Something was going on inside Hunter’s head. She’d sensed it since they first met. He said he couldn’t remember his past, yet he often seemed haunted.
She knew what nightmares the past could bring.
Brooke Skipstone lives in Alaska, where she watches the mountains change colors with the seasons from her balcony. Where she feels the constant rush toward winter as the sunlight wanes for six months of the year, seven minutes each day, bringing crushing cold that lingers even as the sun climbs again. Where the burst of life during summer is urgent under twenty-four-hour daylight, lush and decadent. Where fish swim hundreds of miles up rivers past bear claws and nets and wheels and lines of rubber-clad combat fishers, arriving humped and ragged, dying as they spawn. Where danger from the land and its animals exhilarates the senses, forcing her to appreciate the difference between life and death. Where the edge between is sometimes too alluring.
Grinded Heather Slade (The Invincibles, #3) Publication date: April 27th 2020 Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
When the odds are against them, they fight for each other.
First loves torn apart…
With a Tuscan backdrop of romance and innocence, sixteen-year-olds Miles “Grinder” Stone and Pia Deltetto learn of love and loss. After a whirlwind romance, they return to their separate lives with a hope of reconnecting someday.
Broken and battered…
Severely wounded in battle, Grinder refuses Pia’s sympathy and pity. However, when he realizes the true danger Pia is in, Grinder will do anything to save the only woman he’s ever loved. With everything on the line, she’s forced to trust himr with her estate, her life, and her heart. But has too much time passed to bring to shattered souls back together where they belong?
Four hours later, I raced out of customs at the Florence airport and into Pia’s waiting arms. My heart raced as I touched her warm, opened her lips with my tongue, and the rest of the world went silent. There were no more birds singing, no sounds of the traffic that surrounded us. Even the wind stilled as I focused solely on the way her body shuddered as I brushed soft kisses from her mouth, down her neck, to the smattering of freckles on her bare shoulder.
“Tell me there’s somewhere we can be alone.”
“Sì,” she said, leading me outside to where a car sat waiting. “Do you want to know where we’re going?”
I shook my head. “I don’t care.”
When the driver opened the back door and we got in, I pulled her into my arms and devoured her mouth like a starving man. We spent the next hour with our lips fused together in one long kiss.
The driver pulled up to what looked like a resort. I got out and waited for Pia to put her hand in mine. I pulled her close and kissed her again. “I can’t get enough of you.”
“Come,” she said as I grabbed our bags from the driver and followed her down a walkway to a villa that looked like a miniature of the one at Valentini.
Once inside, she put her hands on the hem of my shirt; I grabbed the back and pulled it over my head.
“Santa Madre di Dio.” She rested her hand on my bare torso, leaned up, and kissed me.
“Pia,” I breathed. “If you want me to stop…tell me now.”
She wound her fingers in my hair and pulled me closer. My blood throbbed, and my heart beat frantically in my chest. All at once, I felt like we were melting into each other, our two bodies dissolving into one.
She reached up and slid her dress off her shoulders. It floated to the wood floor, landing in a heap at our feet and leaving her naked but for her pale pink knickers.
“Touch me,” she demanded, bringing my hand to her breast. I couldn’t resist a taste. My mouth covered her nipple, and we both groaned. Her skin tasted like the sweetest honey; I wanted to lick her everywhere.
I write stories set in places I love with characters I’d be happy to call friends. The women in my books are self-confident, successful, and strong, with wills of their own, and hearts as big as the Colorado sky. And the men are sublimely sexy, seductive alphas who rise to the challenge of capturing the sweet soul of a woman whose heart they’ll hold in the palm of their hand forever.
I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.
I grew up an East Coast girl, and then spent half my life on the West Coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.