Twice Betrayed by Gayle C. Krause

banner

The thread of friendship is stretched to the breaking point…

TwiceBetrayedFinal-FJM_Kindle_1800x2700.jpgWith the spark of independence crackling in Colonial Philadelphia, Perdy Rogers chafes under the strict rule of her Quaker grandmother and the endless duties of her apprenticeship in Betsy Ross’s upholstery shop. So when her best friend shares a secret and invites Perdy to help plan an elopement, she’s thrilled to be with her friends again. But Perdy has no idea that one favor will unravel the stable fabric of her life and involve her in a tangled web of deceit, lies and treachery.

Disguised as boys, three girls head to the river to put Perdy’s plan into action, but only two return. When the third, a young milliner’s assistant, is found drowned with gold coins sewn into her hems, coded spy letters in her bodice, and a journal implicating another sewing apprentice as her co-conspirator, all eyes turn to Perdy Rogers. But she’s no spy!

Accused of treason, she struggles to prove her innocence with the help of a handsome stranger and learns the hard way that freedom, whether an individual’s or a country’s, comes at a cost.

~ Amazon ~ Goodreads ~

 

Excerpt:
      I sit accused of treason and I’ve no one to depend on but myself. I’m not going to let these strange men who don’t even know me and these absurd lies win. I squeeze my teary eyes shut. They’ve all abandoned me.

      Mother, please send me the strength to get through this. Is this my punishment for foolishly disregarding Abby’s safety that night? I’m sorry for that. Mother, please make these men see the truth.


      Suddenly, footsteps hurtle down the aisle and interrupt my thoughts.


      Mr. White and Mr. Tillingham approach the Constable and the tiniest spark of hope ignites the darkness that surrounds me like a mourning cloak.


      I peer through my lashes as the men huddle and quietly debate. The two parties of men stand at the back of the hall.


      Finally, Constable Duffield faces me, waves his clenched fist above his head, and struts toward the judge. He opens his hand and whispers what Mr. White disclosed to him.


      The judge straightens in his chair and strokes his beard. “You may proceed, Constable.”


      “Councilman, we have uncovered the last bit of evidence that ensures a guilty verdict for our young traitoress. This button is the same type shown earlier in this court. Please pass it among yourselves.


      I gasp. More evidence? A guilty verdict? How could this be?


      Each man examines it closely. The last man pries it open. It’s in two pieces, when it returns to the Constable. His voice rings clear through the hall. “Here we have a secret compartment button, just as the others were, only this one has yet to have a message inserted.”


      He turns to me. “Does this button look like the others, Miss Rogers?”


      I turn the halves over and my heart sinks. The cover is exactly the same as the ones Old Annie tried to give me. I’ve no choice, but to answer. “Yes.”


      “In her own words, she has claimed this button is the same as those used to transfer secret information. Do you know where this button was found?”


      I’ve no idea. I bite the side of my mouth, mind frozen, unable to comprehend the warped logic of this man. Why does he think this button is proof of my guilt? I shake my head.


      He turns to the townspeople, holds both halves above his head for all to see, and bellows, “Under your bed, Miss Rogers.” He turns to the jurors. “It was found under her very own bed, in the room she shares with the Widow Lithgow.”


      The room erupts with whispers and insinuations.
Constable Duffield turns to where Mam was seated and continues. “Who is also gone from this court? Is this a coincidence? Whenever someone from that household is to be held accountable for their part in the conspiracy, they mysteriously disappear. First, Miss Montgomery, and now the Widow herself.”


      I spring to my feet, as Abby did, and with a running start, push the treacherous man from behind.


      He lands in the first row of chairs, where Mam and Abby were seated. My words are calm, but my tone is cold, almost threatening. “I told you not to accuse my grandmother. She’s a good woman with no blemish on her name. If you must blame me, then blame me, but do not try to implicate my grandmother.”


      “See here, Miss Rogers,” calls the judge. “I shall not tolerate violence in my court. Seize her.”


      Stunned silence hangs as thick as black velvet in the meeting room. Constable Duffield’s men grab my arms, and Quaker or not, I’ve no trouble focusing my hate on him.


      He pulls himself to his feet and charges to where his men detain me. Gripping my arms, he lifts me high in the air.


      I thrash my legs like a rearing stallion, as he carries me back to my chair, and forces me to sit. “We are not blaming you, Miss Rogers. We have proven you are, indeed, a traitor.” He’s so frenzied his spittle splashes my face. “You are the link between the British Loyalists and Colonial security. You, my dear, are a spy, a very cunning and clever spy. This button proves your connection and by your ‘own words,’ as the good grandmother would have it. This council will now decide your fate.” He pivots toward the Selectmen. “Gentlemen?”


      My bewildered gaze falls on Miss Betsy, my only hope for salvation.


      Tears glisten in her eyes.


      The rest of the town sits with grim expressions, approving of the so-called justice they witnessed.


      Adam Tillingham stands in the back, a smirk plastered across his face.


      My pulse races. The knot in my chest tightens like a hangman’s noose. I can’t let this happen. It’s wrong. They’re wrong.


      After several minutes of heated dialogue, the councilmen confront the judge. “Sir, she is but a girl, and some of us find the punishment for this crime to harsh.”


      “Ah, but the law is the law, gentlemen. It does not defer to age.” Constable Duffield glowers at them.


      “I order you to come to a decision, sir, as your verdict insures justice for our community,” says the judge.


      After more discussion, the eldest man stands. A tear glints in his eye. He hesitates, and then glances away from me.


      “Have you reached a unanimous decision, sir?” asks the judge.


      “We have your honor. The known penalty for treason is death.”

 
The Author:

photo.JPGAs a Master Educationalist Gayle C. Krause taught Children’s Literature, creative writing, storytelling techniques, and acting in upstate New York, where she trained young men and women to become successful Early Childhood and Elementary teachers. She also directed the Pre-K Laboratory School affiliated with her teacher-training program and taught at a local SUNY college as an adjunct professor.

Her years as a creative role model for teens and pre-school children have led to her career as a children’s author. She is a member of SCBWI, KIDLIT, INK, The JAGRS Writing Group, and a past member of the Historical Novel Society and The Poets’ Garage.

Her publishing credits include:

• Rock Star Santa, (2008) Scholastic.
• RATGIRL: Song of the Viper – Noble Young Adult /Trowbridge Books (2013)
• Scheherazade’s Secret – Trowbridge Books 2014
• Twice Betrayed – Trowbridge Books 2017
• And coming November 7, 2017 – Daddy, Can You See the Moon? – Clear Fork Publishing.

She lives in a small town not far from where she was born. She listens to her muse sing through the trees of the Pocono Mountains and is inspired to write for children everyday.

~ Twitter ~ Amazon ~

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our

Official Event page

Picture1Loving the Book

 

The Heartbeat Hypothesis by Lindsey Frydman

heartbeat hypothesis banner.png
Title: The Heartbeat Hypothesis
Author: Lindsey Frydman
Genre: Contemporary Romance
LFTheHeartbeatHypothesisBookCover1600x2400_400x600Audra Madison simply wanted to walk in the shoes of Emily Cavanaugh, a free-spirited teenager who died too young. After all, Audra wasn’t supposed to be here.

Thanks to Emily, Audra has a second chance at life. She’s doing all the things that seemed impossible just two years ago: Go to college. Date. Stargaze in the Rocky Mountains. Maybe get a tattoo. You know, live.

Jake Cavanaugh, a photographer with mysterious, brooding gray eyes, agrees to help chronicle her newfound experiences. She makes him laugh, one of the only people who can these days. As they delve into each other’s pasts – and secrets – the closer they become.

But she’s guarded and feels like she can’t trust anyone, including herself.

And he’s struggling with the fact that his beloved sister’s heart beats inside her.

Goodreads * Amazon * B&N

 

Excerpt:

“Audra…I’m really sorry.”

My mind was stuck on the way my name sounded coming from him in that low, rough voice. I wrapped my arms together, running my hands down them to chase away the line of goosebumps. “It’s fine. I understand.”


His jaw twitched. Fingers flexed and unflexed. “I’ve still got more pictures to take,” he said, taking a step back. “If you still want a piano lesson, I’ll be in the rec center at seven on Monday, okay? Meet me there.”


I nodded, offering him the best smile I could manage. But as he turned to go, I whispered, “I’m the one who’s sorry.”


He flashed me a questioning look. “Sorry for what?”


I lowered my arms and pressed my palms together. “About Emily.” I’m sorry she’s dead and I’m not, and that you want her to be standing here and not me. I’m sorry if this isn’t what she would’ve wanted—me living the life she couldn’t have.


I’d never seen anyone stand so still and straight-faced for so long. The only movement was his chest rising and falling with increasing pace.


When he spoke, agony laced every word. “There’s nothing for you to be sorry about.”


My whole body trembled, a thousand tiny needles pricked at my skin, and I couldn’t keep my voice from wavering. “I think…I feel like—”


“No.” He shook his head, inching toward me again. “I don’t want your pity. I don’t want you apologizing.”


Peering across the street at a cluster of trees, I swallowed. The coils in my chest tightened like a winding rubber band until I thought I might snap in two.


Jake said my name again, lower this time, and when I looked at him, he was only inches away. “I have a lot of shit going on. None of it has anything to do with you.” Two fingers brushed the edge of my cheek, and he gave me a half-hearted smile. “You just don’t know me that well.”


My skin burned beneath his light caress. “That’s the whole point,” I whispered, still shaking. “I don’t know anything about you. But I want to.”


“I’m not an easy guy to understand.” His fingers drifted down my neck, and he took another deep inhale before he pulled his hand away.


I’m beginning to see that. I ran my own hand over the spot where he’d touched me, then rubbed the back of my neck. “Most people aren’t.”


“I know.” His eyes grew unfocused as he lifted the camera up. “I’ve got to get back to work. See you Monday?”


I nodded and he stepped past me, heading for the back of the house, his shoes crunching over the dry grass.


Flattening my palms against my sides, I looked at the porch steps, wishing I didn’t have to go back inside, through the crush of people. Wishing Jake wasn’t leaving me.


“Hey,” he called from yards away, his figure merely a shadow beneath the trees. “I want to know you too.”

 

Giveaway

Amazon Gift Cards/Swag

Follow the tour for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Author:

LindseyLindsey has been writing since she was nine years old, when she discovered the awesomeness that is Harriet the Spy. Her books always include a romance, though sometimes there’s an added sci-fi or magical realism twist. She lives in Columbus, Ohio (where the weather is never quite right). Her BFA in Photography and Graphic Design has granted her a wide assortment of creative knowledge that serves as inspiration (and not much else). When she’s not crafting YA and NA stories, you’ll likely find her spending waaay too much time on Pinterest, playing a video game, singing show-tunes, or performing in a burlesque show—because she enjoys giving her introversion a worthy adversary. (Plus, it’s the closest to Broadway she’ll ever get.) Lindsey was a proud 2016 Pitch Wars Mentee and thoroughly adores being a part of the wonderful writing community. THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS is her debut novel.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Amazon * Goodreads

 

 

Redemption Lake by Susan Clayton-Goldner

redemptionlakeblitz_zpsgrwrogjp

 

Genre: Mystery
Date Published: May 17
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

redemptionlakebysusanclaytongoldner1800hrTucson, Arizona – Eighteen-year-old Matt Garrison is harboring two terrible secrets: his involvement in the drowning death of his 12-year-old cousin, and a night of drunken sex with his best friend’s mother, Crystal, whom he finds dead the following morning. Guilt forces Matt to act on impulse and hide his involvement with Crystal.

Detective Winston Radhauser knows Matt is hiding something. But as the investigation progresses, Radhauser’s attention is focused on Matt’s father. Matt’s world closes in when his dad is arrested for Crystal’s murder and Travis breaks off their friendship. Despite his father’s guilty plea, Matt knows his dad is innocent and only trying to protect his son. Devastated and bent on self-destruction, Matt heads for the lake where his cousin died—the only place he believes can truly free him. Are some secrets better left buried?

Redemption Lake is a novel of love and betrayal. It’s about truth and lies, friendship and redemption, about assuming responsibility, and the risks a father and son will take to protect each other.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

 

Excerpt:

For the next hour and a half, he drifted in and out of sleep. Cradled by the night sounds of the desert outside the open window, each time a memory emerged, his thoughts thickened and folded back into sleep. At one point he heard water running for a bath. A little later, he heard a car outside.
Oh God, please don’t let it be Travis. He stumbled to the window and opened the curtains. In the street, two long rectangular taillights moved away, turning south onto Oracle Road.


Matt leaned against the wall, staring at the sunflower sheets on Crystal’s bed. The same bed he and Travis had jumped up and down on when they were eight. The digital clock read 10:38 p.m. His head throbbed. He needed to close his eyes. Crystal would wake him in time to leave before Travis got home. He fell back onto the bed.


When he woke up again, the room was very dark. He wore only his boxers and a white T-shirt his mother had insisted upon — claiming his usual dark one would show through his tuxedo shirt. As if the color of his T-shirt could ruin her perfect wedding. But he’d been ingenious and found another way to ruin things for his mother. He turned toward the empty space beside him. It took a few moments for him to realize where he was. He closed his eyes, shook his aching head to clear it. Crystal was his best friend’s mother. What the hell was he doing in her bed?


He thought he heard the sound of the front door open, then close again.
Oh God, please don’t let it be Travis. His eyes adjusted to the darkness. One event at a time, he remembered everything.


Fully awake now, he shot from the bed, rocking for a few seconds before he achieved balance, then hurried to the window. The moon hung over the mountaintop, its light silver and unforgiving. Crystal’s driveway was empty. Whoever he’d heard, it wasn’t Travis. On the other side of the street, an engine started. This time the taillights were round. Definitely not Crystal’s Escort. The car turned north on Oracle Road.


Matt let out the breath he’d been holding and glanced at the digital clock—its red letters told him it was 11:20 p.m. He needed to get dressed and leave. The dance ended in forty minutes and Travis would head home. He grabbed his tuxedo pants and shirt from the chair. His hands shook so hard he could barely work the fly and the button on his trousers. He slipped into his shirt, then sat on the edge of the bed. As if he had the flu, his head throbbed and his stomach felt queasy.


He rushed down the hallway toward the bathroom. And when he did, he saw the puddle of blood on the floor beside the bathtub.


He hurried across the room, jerked open the pale green shower curtain.


Crystal lay naked in a bathtub filled with blood-colored water. Her hair, her beautiful blonde curls, had been chopped off, shorter in some places than others, as if a small child had done it. Some of the curls were floating on top of the water.


For a strange moment, everything remained calm and slow.


Her head was propped against one of those blow-up pillows attached to the back of the tub with suction cups. The tint of her skin was pale and slightly blue. Crystal’s eyes were open and staring straight ahead—looking at something he couldn’t see. Blood splattered the white tiles that surrounded the tub. It dripped down them like wet paint. One of her hands flopped over the side of the tub. A single thick drop fell from her index finger into the crimson pond congealing on the linoleum floor. It covered her neck and shoulders. Tiny bubbles of frothy blood still oozed from the gash in her neck.


An empty Smirnoff bottle sat in a puddle of blood on the tub’s rim beside a straight-edged razor blade.


The bathroom was so quiet. Nothing but the sound of his own breathing. He clenched and unclenched his hands. His body grew numb. “Oh no. Oh God, no,” he said, the words thickening in the air in front of him. His head filled with strange sounds—the drone of insects humming, violinists tuning their strings. “What have I done?”


The contents of his stomach rose. He crouched in front of the toilet and heaved until nothing more came up. Then he started to rock, back and forth, muttering what he already knew was a useless prayer.
Please, just let her be okay. He said it over and over like an unstoppable mantra. If only he could keep saying the words, maybe he could reverse this unthinkable thing.


Maybe she was still alive. He straightened up and stepped over to the bathtub to check Crystal’s neck for a pulse. As he bent closer, he smelled the metallic scent of her blood as it mixed with her perfume and the stale, metabolized smell of alcohol seeping through her skin. He placed two fingers on her neck, searching for her carotid and pressed. His fingers slipped into the gaping hole. It felt wet and warm. He screamed and jerked them out. They were covered in blood.


He swiped his hand on the front of his shirt, then checked the other side of her neck for a pulse.
Please, just let her be okay. Nothing. He shook her by the shoulders, then tried again. Still no pulse. At that moment, he stopped his mantra.


Though he knew she was dead, he held her hand—soft and still warm. It belonged to Crystal, who’d taught him to line dance, who liked hot buttered popcorn with cheddar cheese grated on top. Crystal, who was sometimes irresponsible and drank way too much. Crystal, who’d cheered for him at bat in Little League, cheered just as loud as she had for her own son. Crystal, who’d always be sitting in a bathtub of blood. “I’m sorry.” He squeezed her hand, then let go. “And I swear to you, Travis will never know what happened between us.”


Struggling to his feet, he headed for the kitchen phone to call 911. Halfway to the bathroom door, he stopped. Blood smeared the front of his white shirt. And there was still blood on both his hands, drying beneath his fingernails. His body was slick with fear. He smelled it, tasted it, and felt it coming out of his pores like sweat. His mind told him to call the police, to tell the truth. His heart told him to keep his promise to Crystal. It was the last thing she’d ever ask of him.


He dropped his chin and stared at his shirt. Holy shit. If anyone saw him like this, they’d think he’d killed Crystal. The thought stopped him. Had he? Was he capable of doing something so heinous?


The bubble of panic in his throat got bigger. He hurried across the bathroom to wash his hands. There were more clumps of hair in the sink and a hardened blue streak of toothpaste. He used toilet paper to pick up the hair clumps and dropped them into the trashcan. Looking at the uncapped tube beside Crystal’s toothbrush, he felt as if something had been cut out of his chest.


He grabbed the sides of the sink, stared at himself in the mirror. The face staring back resembled no one he’d ever seen before. Was it the face of a murderer? Had he just pushed someone else to her death? He shook his head—breathing in short gasps, like a swimmer gearing up for a plunge. His lungs burned as if he were being swept away by a strong current.


When the memory of his cousin’s death surfaced, as it often did, Matt used his fists to hammer the stranger’s face he saw reflected in the medicine cabinet. The mirror fractured, sending out long cracks in every direction. The face split into interlocking parts like an abstract puzzle. One jagged sliver fell into the sink, breaking in half. It left a black and empty space in what had once been the mirror.


He held onto the sides of the sink again and rocked slowly in front of it, still staring at the blood on his hands and under his fingernails. “You’re all right,” he said, but could barely hear the words, the sounds inside his head were so loud.


In his mind he saw himself letting go of the sink and getting as far away from this nightmare as possible. But it would destroy Travis to come home and find his mother like this. Matt had to intercept him.


He washed his hands, then rinsed the blood from the sides and bowl of the sink, recapped the toothpaste and tucked it into the medicine cabinet. He wrapped the shards of mirror in toilet tissue, careful to avoid getting his fingerprints on the glass, and placed them in the trashcan, jagged sides down. There were no towels in the bathroom, so he wiped his wet hands on his pant legs. Panic rolled in, sucked him under.


What should he do? Call the police? His father? 911? If he did, there’d be a recording of his voice and he’d have a lot of explaining to do. The police often suspected 911 callers. They might take his DNA. What if they found semen inside of Crystal? What if they matched it to Matt’s DNA? If that happened, they’d know. It would be in the newspapers. It would hurt Travis. He couldn’t let that happen.


He hurried back into Crystal’s bedroom. Hands shaking, he sat on the edge of her bed and put on his socks and shoes. Then, as if he were someone else, running through an obstacle course, he went into the kitchen and gathered the empty beer bottles. He took them out into the garage and carefully placed them in their cardboard carriers. Next he wiped the kitchen table, closed the open drawers, loaded the dishwasher, emptied the ashtrays, then made Crystal’s bed with fresh sheets. He tossed the sunflower sheets into the washing machine and started the cycle, careful to wipe his prints from the lid and dial. With the same cloth, he wiped down the edge of the plastic shower curtain, then pulled it closed—the way he’d found it. For the most part, his fingerprints were easily explained. He’d spent almost as much time in Travis’ house as his own.


Matt stood in front of the coffee table. He heard the candles guttering, smelled the wax melting. He blew them out, then picked up the clothes Crystal had discarded in the hallway beside the bathroom door. Folding them neatly, he then placed them on the chair beside her window. He grabbed her red cowboy boots from the living room and set them beneath the chair. It was the least he could do for Travis.


The clock on the stove read 11:45 p.m. The Narrow Way didn’t allow opposite sex teenagers to spend unsupervised time together. Jennifer’s parents would pick her up from the dance. That meant Travis would be leaving for home soon.


If Matt hurried, he could intercept him, convince him to spend the night with Matt and his dad. He raced into Travis’ bedroom, jerked open the drawer where he kept his T-shirts. Surely he had a plain black or a dark blue one somewhere. Matt lifted the stacks of folded shirts until he found one, then ripped off the tuxedo and stained T-shirt, slipped Travis’ shirt over his head, then grabbed his jacket from the kitchen chair and hurried outside.


On the back deck, insects clustered around the light fixture, high-pitched, insistent and frantic. The sound reminded him of Crystal’s voice when she’d pleaded with him not to tell Travis. Why hadn’t he agreed?


In the carport, Matt unlocked the trunk of his Mustang, a restored nineteen sixty-seven Grande that had been his mom’s first car, and dropped both the jacket and the bloodstained shirt inside. Silence ballooned into the night air around him, a strange silence with a ticking heartbeat. Then he remembered the cufflinks. Crystal had tucked them into his shirt pocket. He checked. They weren’t there. He plunged his hands into his pants pockets and then the tuxedo jacket. No cufflinks. He didn’t have time to go back inside. He had to stop Travis from coming home.


When he climbed into the front seat, he looked out through the windshield, but the dome light inside the car and the darkness outside had changed the glass into a mirror. He turned away. His face was the last thing he wanted to see.

 

Giveaway

An e-book of my first novel, A Bend In The Willow

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Author:

photoshoot-5Susan Clayton-Goldner was born in New Castle, Delaware and grew up with four brothers along the banks of the Delaware River. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Creative Writing Program and has been writing most of her life. Her novels have been finalists for The Hemingway Award, the Heeken Foundation Fellowship, the Writers Foundation and the Publishing On-line Contest. Susan won the National Writers’ Association Novel Award twice for her novels and her poetry was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies including Animals as Teachers and Healers, published by Ballantine Books, Our Mothers/Ourselves, by the Greenwood Publishing Group, The Hawaii Pacific Review-Best of a Decade, and New Millennium Writings. A collection of her poems, A Question of Mortality was released in 2014 by Wellstone Press. Her novel, A Bend In The Willow, was published in January 2017. Redemption Lake, the first in a 3-book detective series, will be released May 17, 2017. Prior to writing full time, Susan worked as the Director of Corporate Relations for University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona.

Susan shares a life in Grants Pass, Oregon with her husband, Andreas, her fictional characters, and more books than one person could count. In her spare time, Susan likes to make quilts and stained glass windows. She says it is a little bit like writing, telling stories with fabric and glass.

Website |  FacebookTwitterBlogGoodreads

 

 

Highland Faith by Madelyn Hill

Book 2 of the Wild Thistle Trilogy

highlandfaith_zpseppy9okc

 

Genre: Historical Romance
Date Published: May 17th, 2017

Lady Faith MacAlister lives to provide for her clan with a skill she honed while hunting with her father. Since his death and final pledge, “Through Hope, Faith, and Honor, ye can rule” she proclaims herself as clan huntress. She loves the quiet of the woods, the thrill of the hunt and the exhilaration of a perfectly placed arrow. If only she could travel further than MacAlister lands to experience adventure. When an intruder interrupts her hunt and steals her away from MacAlister land and out to the sea—she may just experience the adventure she craves.

Graeme Ross must save the family home his father gambled away and regain the respect of his father and clan. When he stumbles upon a lovely lass in the forest, he secures her for ransom. He knows she was one of the MacAlister sisters, those who pledged to rule the clan. What Graeme didn’t expect was how this beautiful woman would entice him with her strength and determination. Graeme’s attraction to Faith cannot interfere with his quest to save his home, redeem his image in his father’s eyes. Graeme lets her go—worse he betrays their growing affection by feigning she means nothing to him.

Devastated, Faith goes back to her clan with a secret she must keep until Graeme comes back to her. Graeme travels to his father with the ransom money weighting his pocket and heart. Faith is better off without him, his vagabond ways and the loathing of his father and clan.

Can Graeme reconcile with his clan and have Faith as his?

Can Faith keep her secret until Graeme comes to his senses and realizes he loves her?

Separately, they yearn for one another, together their love will take them on an adventure of a lifetime.

Amazon

Author Bio:

madelynphotographMadelyn Hill has always loved the written word. From the time she could read and all through her school years, she’d sneak books into her textbooks during school. At the age of 10 she proclaimed she wanted to be a writer. After being a “closet” writer for several years, she sent her manuscripts out and is now published with Soul Mate Publishing.

A resident of Western New York, she moved from one Rochester to another Rochester to be with the love of her life. They have 3 children and keep busy cooking, movies, and of course reading!

WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodReadsAmazon

 

 

The Blood of the Infected Series

by Antony J Stanton

The Blood of the Infected Banner

Series: The Blood of the Infected
Author: Antony J. Stanton
Genre: post-apocalyptic/thriller/horror

Once Bitten, Twice Die

Book One

OBTD High Contrast 2017The end of the world was just the beginning.

A cure for dementia has disastrously failed. Patients are left crazed, infectious and enraged. The ensuing carnage quickly spreads the disease, and civilisation is decimated.

On London’s outskirts a military base shelters some survivors. The soldiers within must battle against the infected who now roam unchallenged. Tensions are high, relationships fraught, death commonplace.

But if they thought the end of the world was bad enough, their troubles have only just begun…

An ancient menace has long existed in secret alongside humanity – a vampire clan, which has recently encountered the soldiers. Now is their time to emerge from the shadows. First though they have to overcome their own problems. They too have to fight for survival against the infected, and they violently disagree on their approach towards the humans.

Hostilities are rising. It’s only a matter of time now…

Amazon

 

Once Bitten, Twice Live

Book Two

9780993428531When death is the best option, survival is no longer enough…

With a growing realization that their continued existence bestows upon them a debt to humanity, the survivors look to create a cure for the insanity that has brought civilization to its knees. But that only encourages disagreement and infighting, and comes at a heavy price, bringing various shocks and surprises.

Tensions amongst the vampires are escalating, jeopardizing the very existence of the clan itself. A battle for supremacy seems inevitable and their future is in the balance. How far will Farzin go to achieve his aims – domination of the vampires and humans alike? And how terrible will his vengeance be against any who stand in his path? Their interaction with the humans threatens to increase and not necessarily for the benefit of either group.

Meanwhile the wrathful infected grow ever hungrier…

When every day is a struggle to stay alive, survival of the fittest is never guaranteed.

Amazon

 

Twice Bitten, Twice Die

Book Three

TBTD front-hiWhen there’s no one left to hear you scream…

Deaths amongst the survivors are occurring at an unsustainable rate. Numbers are rapidly dwindling. Morale is plummeting. Soon they will be beyond salvation, yet their real task has only just begun. But will anyone remain alive to complete it? Nothing could have prepared the soldiers for what lies ahead. If they thought life was brutal already, they had absolutely no idea…

The vampires are in disarray. Their relationships are becoming blurred, confused and violent. A titanic clash between soldiers and vampires seems imminent but no one’s survival is assured.

In a world where life is unpredictable, the threat from the infected suddenly becomes even more unexpected and menacing. Hostilities are inevitable. Only one thing is certain: there will be blood!

Amazon

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Author Bio:

AntonyStanton was born in London in 1970. Even as a child he always dreamed of becoming a published author, and he started to write a book. But, having watched the film ‘Top Gun,’ he was swayed into a becoming a military pilot. After no more than a glancing blow of a career in the British Royal Air Force he decided that his long term future lay elsewhere and he became a commercial pilot and remains thus to this day. Hence much of this trilogy was written all around the world, generally at unsociable times when jet-lag meant that normal people were asleep.

During a holiday with three friends, a bet was made amongst them. Each had a task to fulfil within the year – Stanton’s was to write a book. A little late, but five years on and his challenge has been completed. Three times.

His period spent in the RAF helped him write the military survival aspects of this book, and a kidnapping incident in Kazakhstan (*see guest post) and shooting in Ghana, amongst other ‘adventures’, provided him with a dark well of experience to draw from. Life is, after all, one big adventure. A combination of the aforementioned, along with his love of the darker sides of literature, and the results are this novel and the next two in the trilogy.

And all it took was the impetus of a friendly challenge to spur him on to his creative dream… He still lives in South London and is very much looking forward to watching his friend fulfilling his part of the challenge: demonstrating his (not-so) newly acquired break-dancing skills, surely a sight to behold

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

 

Guest Post:

There is an incident that happened to me a few years ago, that I thought might be of interest. I love travel and have been fortunate to visit over 100 countries. You get to meet all kinds of fascinating people and as often as not it is the people who either make or break a trip.

I found the people of Kazakhstan to be incredibly warm and friendly on the whole – that is, when they are not trying to kidnap you. They are hospitable and open their arms and their houses readily to foreigners and strangers in a way that puts us in the West to shame. This part of the world really is the kind of place where intrigue and exploits abound. Anyone with the slightest inkling for adventure can find it without searching too hard. However, there is also this darker side that exists in their society; the ever-present undercurrent of corruption and bribery and, in my case, kidnapping.


It wasn’t my writing that took me to Kazakhstan back in 1999. It was my primary job as a commercial airline pilot for British Airways. We had a training contract to teach the Kazakhstanis to fly the Boeing 757, a most interesting experience in itself. When my work finished, I went travelling for a while, and that was when I had my little ‘adventure’. A lot happened. Even before I was abducted I had already had a fascinating time most worthy of narrating. I will write of that in another article as you really should know how all this began. But for now, I must tell you of the kidnapping itself, so I will jump right into the midst of the whirlwind.


I awoke at the border. The vodka was still heavy on my breath but I was sober enough to realise that I was the last person on the bus, and that it was now night-time. Alas, I was not sharp enough to understand the significance of this. I really had drunk a lot. Not my fault. The bus driver was shooing me off his bus, so I collected my day-sack and climbed down.


As the bus pulled away I realised that the border, which was rather inconveniently situated in the middle of nowhere, was well and truly closed. However, there was a car waiting. In Kazakhstan there were not many proper, bonafide taxis. If one wanted to go somewhere one hailed private cars as they went by. Someone would swerve to a halt with the screech of dodgy brakes and one could barter with the man. Well, here was a car that was ready and waiting for me. Perfect. And this one had, not one man, but two.


Soon I found myself on my way. I had told the driver and his friend that I wanted to cross the border from Kazakhstan, and go to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. ‘Dah, dah,’ they had assured me. I settled back into the seat but immediately something seemed wrong. Nothing definite, just an uneasy feeling. After a short while I leaned forwards.


“Tashkent?” I asked, making sure they knew where I wanted to go.


“Dah, dah,” they again said.


I left it for a minute or so, but it was clear that Tashkent was across the border and we were heading away from the border. Away from Tashkent. Away from any signs of other people and into the bleak and barren countryside.


It is amazing how sobering fear can be. Instantly I was alert. The lurch in my stomach was not due to the alcohol but to the sudden realisation of how my stupidity had actually put me in a VERY dangerous position. I repeated my request to be taken to Tashkent. Again, they tried to convince me that all was okay. But all was most definitely not okay. And if I did not do something soon, then quite possibly all would not ever be okay for me again. I leaned forward and demanded that they stop. They did not speak English but they understood well enough. And they ignored me. I was shocked at how fast the day had gone from one amazing and joyous experience to a complete nightmare.


“Tashkent, Tashkent, okay,” they said, but this was not okay and I was not okay. They were driving me further from the border, further from any semblance of civilisation and further from safety. I looked all around, and realised that I had only one option…


On these unkempt, remote gravel roads the car had slowed to take a bend. Now was my chance. Now was my only chance. Without considering the danger, I opened the door and dived out. I do not remember how quickly we were travelling, but it can’t have been very fast as I did not seem to injure myself – or maybe that was the vodka’s protective embrace. The car screeched and complained to a halt some twenty yards away. Still close, but far enough for me to be able to affect my escape. The men were shouting at me, ‘Tashkent, Tashkent, no problem.’ Only I knew that there most definitely was a problem. And now here I was, in the middle of no-man’s land, nobody else in sight in the enfolding darkness, and my options very limited.


They were clearly as surprised by my actions as I was. I guess nobody had escaped from them in such a drastic manner before. I now had to decide. I could run back to the border, and by the time they turned the car I could probably be long gone and it would be easy to hide. If they chased me on foot I was confident I could outpace them. But either way I would be without my rucksack that I had foolishly put in the car boot. Not ideal.


Alternatively, I could dash back to the car and try to open the boot and grab my rucksack before they grabbed hold of me, but that would almost certainly end in a fight. Not good.


Or I could get back in and, fingers crossed, all would be ok. I tend to have a very positive attitude to life in general. Things just seem to work out, at least that’s how it seems in my naivety. So, I dusted myself off and chose option three.


‘Tashkent? Well why didn’t you say my good man?’ Having just dived out of a moving car I have no idea what they must have been thinking as I climbed back in. Lunatic!


For the rest of the journey I was completely awake and aware of my surroundings, keenly watching where we were going, looking out for signs of civilisation or habitation (none), noting the route, and mentally preparing myself for action. They no longer tried to convince me we were heading for Tashkent. The charade was over. Finally, we arrived at a lone farmhouse where there were two more kind-hearted men, ready to assist me with my luggage, just like a first rate, international hotel. ‘Why thank you sir, so kind. Please take my bag. Oh, and my wallet too? Be my guest…’


They escorted me into the abandoned building. I noted there were no other houses around. Inside there was no furniture or decoration to speak of. Clearly it was long-since abandoned. Just a table in a rear room, a bare light-bulb swinging, and a single chair into which I was ‘ushered’. Images of the film ‘Midnight Express’ flooded my mind. I realised if I lived to see sunrise I would be extremely lucky. They took my rucksack and ripped it open it, tipping its contents onto the cold floor like spilled intestines. I started to complain but the largest of them raised a threatening fist. I saw no weapons but who’s to know whether they had knives or not. And besides, there were four of them, after all.


They spoke no English, but I understood there was some kind of hierarchy, as though they were in the military or the police. I also understood that the best thing was to comply. Comply with their every request. Comply, right up until that moment when I thought I was about to die. And then I would fight for my life. When it was clear that I was in mortal danger then I would have nothing more to lose.


They all stood over me as I sat. I reasoned, if I acted suddenly I could probably strike one or two before they would have a chance to react. I started to plan what I would do, who I would attack first, where I would hit them as I sprang into action. If I was lucky and decisive, maybe that would swing things in my favour. Maybe I would avoid death. Maybe I could facilitate an escape. But this really was a very, VERY last resort. Until then, comply.


They went through my rucksack fairly thoroughly and found my money, which they took. Obviously. They ignored my camera, passport and sunglasses which surprised me. It was only money they wanted. However, they did not search me, so they did not find the money belt I wore. I started to think they were nervous and unprofessional. I was not sure if that made them less dangerous or more.


Time passed, and they started to argue amongst themselves. I will never know what they were discussing, but the scowls, gesticulations and glances in my direction made me think they were arguing about me. And specifically, what to do with me. Do they kill me and dump my body? Or do they let me go and risk being identified? I knew that the border here was real bandit country. I knew that my chances were not exactly great. I was preparing myself for action. If it was going to happen, then surely it would be soon. I had to be ready. Complete surprise, just like my exiting their car like James Bond (or perhaps more Jonny English), was my only chance, and a slight one at that.


I had heard of the Stockholm Syndrome – where feelings of trust or affection develop in a victim towards their captor. I wondered if I could use this to my advantage, by developing some sort of positive relationship with them. To make them see me as a person, and ultimately to set me free. I hung my head and tried to look downcast, to prompt feelings of sympathy. I sighed deeply and wrung my hands in despair, and it seemed to work, with one or two of them at least. They were all smoking, so I asked for a cigarette. One of the more apparently empathic men gave me one. It felt like a condemned man’s last cigarette in a black and white film. I looked around my grim surroundings taking it all in. The bare floorboards, the peeling wallpaper, the damp stains on the ceiling, all the while drawing on my last cigarette. This shared cigarette gave us all something in common, some form of bond; I hoped. It was the oddest experience for me. I felt detached from myself, as though I was watching a movie from above. I was curious to see how it would end. Would the luckless traveller escape? Would he be set free? Or would this be his gruesome end?


The arguing amongst them continued, for a while. Fists were shaken and voices raised. The one who seemed to be in charge was still angry, but the two empathic ones definitely seemed to be fighting my corner. Or so I hoped. Finally, they handed me my rucksack, and $20, (which they then changed to $10). To me this meant life. They were not going to kill me. I felt indescribably elated. I had a rush of warmth – maybe some of that Stockholm Syndrome flooding in. I figured the money must be to pay a taxi to take me away from them. At this, the feeling of the night changed for me. If I was not going to die then this had gone from being the worst (and last) night of my life, to possibly the most fascinating adventure. I had $10 and a pack of cards in my backpack. Suddenly there were possibilities.


What if I could entice them to play poker and I was able to gamble all of my money back…? How cool would that be! What an ending to my initially unfortunate incident. I had visions of myself and my captors-turned poker friends, sitting in the smoke filled room, perhaps sharing a tot of whiskey while I hustled them and shared jokes through the international language of alcohol. But they weren’t for playing, alas. Undeterred, I thought that I really should have a photo of the event. Nobody’s gonna believe this has happened otherwise, I thought. They said no. Unsurprisingly. But wait – I wasn’t deterred. Like those books one sees written by ex-SAS soldiers with photos of troops with blacked out eyes to preserve their identities, I tried to mime to them that they could cover their eyes. Imagine, a photo of me posing with my captors, beaming at the camera with pockets stuffed full of my poker earnings, arms on their shoulders as they cover their faces. This time the leader thumped his fist on the table when he almost shouted at me. Ok, time to stop treating it like a game. Time to get away. And live.


A car finally arrived. I was ushered outside, and my captors bade me an ‘emotional’ farewell. This car had only one driver – I checked carefully this time. He whisked me away from the house, into the night. I looked back but they were quickly lost in the darkness. After all, there aren’t exactly any streetlights in that part of the world. He drove me back to the border, to the Uzbekistani side. I was alive. I was free. I was euphoric.


The driver, a grizzled and rough man who stank of cigarettes, probably in his fifties, then turned around to face me. He held out his hand, demanding money. Adrenaline had been coursing through my body for several hours now and I was still fairly pumped for action. This was just too much for me. It really was taking the mickey. They had had quite enough from me, thanks. Now I was sober and it was one against one, mano a mano. I swore at him in no uncertain terms. Despite our lack of a common tongue, he most definitely got my meaning. It would have been hard to misinterpret me. I got out and think I may even have slammed the door. This time however, I remembered my rucksack. I had been kidnapped for a few hours. It was now early morning. I was tired, cold and thirsty, and stuck at the border. What now? I may have been free, but unbeknownst to me my ordeal was far from over…


For some reason there were three other cars at the border. They seemed to have nothing to do with the kidnappers although I still have no clue what they were doing there at that time. I approached them and asked for a cigarette (they were smoking – obviously). One spoke a little English so I explained my situation to him and asked for help. Kindly he agreed to take me to Tashkent. When they’re not abducting you and threatening your life, they really are very decent people. I checked into the Sheraton, absolutely amazed that I was not dead and feeling extremely happy with life. I went straight to the bar – still open – and had the best beer of my life, whilst telling the barmaid, ‘I’ve just been kidnapped, don’t you know!’


The fact that I was now in Uzbekistan without actually crossing the border and without having my passport checked, did not register as important. Not yet, anyway!

 

 

The Green Scroll by I. V. Phillips

TheGreenScroll_zpswbneg4q6

Genre: Fantasy Fiction
Date Published: 03-18-2017

THE GREEN SCROLL CoverFiery fissures close, and thick descending clouds dissipate, revealing the heavenly skies of Wanderamid, and its neighboring worlds. Nevertheless, evil lurks amid the celebration of sustained existence. A demon known as, Lepper, discerns one whose blood runs through pulsating veins, like his own. It provokes his diabolic interest to heighten, and motivates him to search for this individual. He embarks on his pursuit by going through electrifying portals, no longer accessible to mortals, ever since Wanderamid’s crystal ball was placed back to its rightful place, in palms of stone.
Emera, Wanderamid’s powerful witch, finds out about her son’s imminent transformation. His demonic fate leaves her in grave disbelief. She has no notion where he could be, and unaware that he is the purpose for a demon’s hunt!

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Smashwords

 

 
Excerpt:

The peephole’s first vision was that of a man sitting beside an old woman, seemingly ill, and oddly grinning down at her, while she, surprised, looked up at him.

“Why did you come back?” she asked sadly.


“You don’t seem at all happy to see me, Mother. I wanted to make sure you were on your way to the heavens you’ve always dreamed your ‘spirit’ would rise up to.” He smiled with his arms raised high.


“I’m not departing any time soon, my son. It’s only my weakness increasing. I’ve always wished the same for you too, but you chose to accept eternity in the deep depths of ….” She turned her head away, unable to finish.


“You can’t even say it.” He chuckled. “Use ‘eternal flames’, or ‘darkness’, Mother! Can your cracked old lips say those words instead?”


She forced herself to see his red glaring eyes again, and when she did, she reminisced about the day she had given birth to him. If only he had not chosen to welcome his demonic inheritance.


“I tried to save you… both of my sons. I would have given my life.”


“Hmm,” his voice murmured, unimpressed by her boring statement of unconditional love. “Daeg is not as I. He has more of your soul… your ‘pathetic’ soul. Besides, when death finds him, he will be shunned out from any ‘darkness’ and rise up to your precious heavens!” He laughed. “On the other hand, you saved Father! Be glad for that! You turned his soul to be weak as yours with your ‘love’—and now he’s dead!”


Tears escaped her solemn stare.


“I’ve prayed that my boys would find someone to love them as much as I did your father. He loved me the same, yes, but he was not weak. His love was strong. That’s how he became free from the temptations with the dark world.”


“I don’t have any storage for sympathy; Mother,” he replied, “and I don’t have a heart to share with anyone.”


“How can you say such a thing? You have a heart. When you were born… you had a heart. I felt it beating… and nurtured it,” she said, even though he was visibly dispassionate.


“Oh, I will deceive someone, with my fake heart, and she will bear my child. That child will follow me after choosing my ‘gift of eternal darkness,’ and then walk beside me.”


Even to imagine that as her unborn grandchild’s fate sickened her more, as she lay in a fragile spell.


“Please—don’t encourage an innocent child to a life of despair,” she pleaded. “If you can do anything for me, I beg of you, grant me that.”


“I’m your son! You didn’t steer me your way!” He glared at her ferociously.


“Your father and I both gave our sons love. What you boys choose will be your destiny. It’s not up to me, although I tried my best!” she cried.

 

 
The Author:

I.V. Phillips Author PhotoI. V. Phillips has always been fascinated with the paranormal. Her supernatural beliefs inspired A New World Fantasy Novel Trilogy.
Born and raised in New Jersey, she now resides in Florida.

Website

 

 
 

 

Rescue Me by Sara Schoen

Rescue Me RB Banner

 
Title: Rescue Me
Series: Escape From Reality Series #1
Author: Sara Schoen
Publication Date: May 15, 2017
Genre: Romance

 
RescueMeCoverMia Daniels is running away.

She’s leaving her family, her job, and her life behind, all to get away from her past. With no plan, she packed her suitcase and took off for a town where she thought she’d be safe. She should have known she wouldn’t be safe anywhere…

Gage Greystone is running from his family name.

His family has owned the town for generations, but he doesn’t plan to take it over from his father. He has a dream to save others; from the treacherous hiking trails or from themselves. Maybe that’s why he’s so attracted to the newest resident of Escape, Mia. She seems to be silently begging to be rescued. From what, he doesn’t know, but he’ll do anything to rescue her.

But this rescue may be impossible for the decorated emergency serviceman…

Amazon | Goodreads

 

Excerpt:
As I traveled through the camping ground and the wellness camp, I could see what Lottie meant by a slow start to summer. There was room for well over one hundred and fifty hikers, and that didn’t include the trailers I’m sure drove through occasionally, at the camp site. The wellness camp had about ten cabins with what seemed like only one being used and a lot of open space.

I made a point to travel through the wellness camp slowly so I could possibly find Kelsey and see if she wanted her bike back, but I only saw a few girls who looked to be about fifteen. They were lacing up their hiking boots while others were preparing for a swim. A few waved at me as I passed, others seemed shy and looked away from me. I tried not to be offended. To them I was an outsider, someone they should stay away from. Just like he had taught me to do. I waved back regardless and continued my ride over Faith Bridge. I could see the town crowning over the hill to my right, but the well-defined hiking trail to my left beckoned me.


Lottie can wait a little longer, I decided with a smile. Turning my front tire toward the dirt path, I took off with the girl’s excited laughter and shrieks from entering the cold-water echoing around me. Their voices faded behind me as trees thickened around me, wrapping me in a cool, shadowy blanket, shielding me from the sun, and silencing everything around me until I was left with only my thoughts.
A few months ago, leaving me to my thoughts would have been dangerous. Maybe even suicidal. In the past few years, I had gone through more turmoil than I thought possible, and it seemed like the pain was never-ending. No matter what I did, I couldn’t escape bad news.


I thought I had found the one, the person I was meant to be with, the one who’s supposed to be by my side for the rest of my life, but then it all fell apart. “It’s over, Mia.” I had been trying to fix a broken relationship; cheating, fighting, and abusive, manipulative behavior. I should have known it couldn’t be fixed, but I didn’t want to give up on him. I thought we loved each other, but it turns out that had been one sided too. “Mia, stop. You’re embarrassing me and you’re embarrassing yourself. It’s over, Mia. I don’t love you, I don’t think I ever did. You’re someone I settled for, you’re nothing. It’s your fault this happened, not mine. Now it’s time to move on. I have, and you should too.”


Trees moved past me in a flash as I peddled faster, taking my memories with them. But once those were gone, I was left with a harsh reality. The same ex who had told me I wasn’t worth anything and would never amount to anything is chasing me to ruin the life I had created without him. I shook my head as the path took a turn. Stop thinking about it. It’s over now. The small flickers of sunlight through the leaves and the light at the end of the tunnel of trees echoed my thoughts; a new life, one without him.


I broke free of the trees and came out on a stunning overlook. The path settled against the edge of one of the mountains, giving me a great view of Peak View, a small town the bus had stopped in for a short time, and the surrounding landscape. It reminded me a lot of Escape, but with more shopping, a high school, a military base, and more homes. It’s going to be packed in the upcoming months. Not that I could blame anyone for wanting to visit. I had been here only a few days and I already loved the little town. Even as I looked over the lush green landscape, I didn’t feel as far from my family as I had when it came to Wes. For the first time, in a long time, I genuinely felt at home. I didn’t feel the need to look over my shoulder. This is the place for me. This is where I can finally heal and move on. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for.


Taking a deep breath of the fresh mountain air, I realized I couldn’t wait to move on. I’d dive in head first, even if it meant accepting another gift I didn’t deserve from Lottie. If this is what they do, then I should accept it. It’s time to move on. Whether he wants me to or not. Turning my bike around to head back to town, I took one last glance at the overlook. The sun hanging over Peak View, the mountains keeping us concealed, and everything in me was screaming for me to take a leap of faith. And that’s just what I’ll do. I pushed away from Mountain Side Height lookout and headed toward town, thanks to the helpful signs on Morning Glory’s trail. I left feeling the best I had in years…I’d return when my life turned to shit again. As it inevitably would.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Author:

 

LSNpik77Sara Schoen is a Biology major at James Madison University who was born and raised in Northern Virginia. She has been an adamant writer since she was young. She hopes to have readers find solace in the worlds and characters she creates, and in some cases provide a cautionary tale. Sara plans to continue writing and will explore various genres in the future.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

picture1
Promo Stars Services