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Hunted by Aoife Marie Sheridan

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Title: Hunted
Series: The Demon Series Book 2
Author: Aoife Marie Sheridan
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Paranormal/Romance
Release Date: 6th of June 2017
Book Cover Designed by: Ultimate Fantasy Books
Edited by: Magpie Editing

Smashwords 201719-year-old Abigail is going from the frying pan to the fire. Cast into Hades unexpectedly, she narrowly escapes murder and torture–only to find herself kidnapped by Nicolas Frost, the man who tried to kill her. Sundered from her beloved Daniel and friend Cathy, the tortures and mysteries of Hell itself await Nicolas and Abigail.

As her captor leads her to an unknown fate, she discovers her true destiny. To save her home, Abigail may have to ally herself with enemies–unless the horrors and predatory wraiths devour her first.

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Author Bio:

AoifeAoife Marie Sheridan has loved reading from a very young age, starting off with mills and boon books given to by her grandmother. Her love for romances grew, by the age of 14 she had read hundreds of them.

Aoife has a passion for writing poetry or in her eyes her journal entries. It was something she did throughout her teens and into her twenties. Aoife won first place for two of her poems and had them published at a young age of just nineteen.

Aoife’s first book Eden Forest (Part one of the Saskia Trilogy) took first place with Writers Got Talent 2013. Aoife continues to write tales of fantasy and romance.

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Eversoul by Adam Reese

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Series: Amniwar Trilogy, Book Two
Genre: Science Fiction Suspense
Publication Date: June 3, 2017

Picture2The chase is on for Aaron Lambright as he travels back to familiar territory. A place where his father’s clues lead him back home to Cordova, Alaska. With the United States government hot on his tail and a corrupt leader striving to take more than he can endure, our world is at the brink of an early apocalypse.

Can Aaron trust his new ally, Amnicore? Will he be able to lock away his troubling memories and find the key to the answers he seeks? Is the Eversoul the Key to unlock what awaits our world in the future?

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Meet the Author:

Picture4Adam Reese is an erotic horror author from Georgia. He is the creative mind behind the “Triple D Series” and currently creates book teaser trailers. His academics stemmed from the Art Institute of Atlanta, where he studied Audio and Film Production. For twelve years, he has written imaginative stories from science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

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Rusty’s Chronicles by Victoria H. Loren

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Rusty RustyseBookembarks upon an adventurous journey through life facing different vulnerabilities, conquering handicaps empowered by devotion to his unconditional love.

This odyssey leads a young pup through challenges facing danger and conquering fears through the first year of his life. The growth and knowledge of some experiences gained are through trial and error. The structure of family and friends strengthen the learning experience while the young pup enriches each life he encounters. Creatures come to life to share inspirations from a magical world of nature.

Each journal entry portrays a short story or lesson learned. A final thought or reflection closes the segment. How often do we reflect on our experiences and feelings throughout life? The journal format provides an easy method to allocate time periods of a natural progression of growth. The wisdom of insight or enrichment gained from success or even failures intensifies the need to survive.

Rusty’s Chronicles takes us on a journey visualizing life through the eyes of a lovable pup. Each encounter allows us to laugh, to cry, or just give in to the warm fuzzy feeling of his innocence.

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Excerpt:

Mother Nature surely has a plan for all to envision her splendor whenever she beckons. The universe around us is so great and holds within the essence of our very being. Life evolves as we experience changes and growth. We set forth both enduring and embracing our destiny.

Yes, growth; toes sinking down into the soft gooey mud with rain pouring down drenching what use to be nice warm pajamas. The booming thunder overhead provides a challenging setting for nature’s calling for a young pup. The sheer joy of not being fried to a crispy critter by the lightning bolts does tend to leave a certain sense of gratitude.

 
Rusty’s Journal Entry: Flashes of Light

The splendor of a sunset normally leaves a peaceful feeling with the most beautiful colors painted across the sky. The closing of yet another adventurous day, with nightfall and darkness drifting throughout left an air of uncertainty for me. I snuggle down into my soft, cozy blanket. Binky Bear is already fast asleep and snoring rather loudly…or maybe that is Dad again. The air has a funny smell causing my little puppy fur to stand on end, which is not easy for all those ringlets to do. I close my eyes and put my chin on Binky so that he will not be afraid.

The loud thunderous boom shakes the walls and even the floor causing my bed to walk a few steps across the room. I raise my head and open my eyes wide to adjust to the darkness. Sudden bursts of bright light fill the room ever so often. I look under my bed to see if Dad put training wheels under it. Logically this would explain my sudden departure and relocation. I wag my tail finding the most wonderful surprise…my lost doggy biscuit is right there. Maybe the tooth fairy pup left it since I gave her my first little tooth. Well actually, I think I gave it to Dad since he found it in his foot. Mom convinced me not to eat the tooth. She said that if I put it under my bed, the tooth fairy pup would bring me a treat.


The loud booming thunder and crack of lightning bolts across the sky send my whole little puppy body right out of bed. I race across the floor to find Mom at a lightning fast speed. As I snuggle down beside her, I must have accidentally pointed the wrong puppy part right in Dad’s face. I cannot tell if the word’s “Rusty” or the booming thunder is louder. Which prompts me quickly to snuggle down under the covers to my safety spot; my cave as Dad calls it. I carefully tiptoe down to the end of the bed as not to put my little paws on Dad. That is, until I find his toes. What a smell, this is better than my bugs…maybe he will not mind if I just sample a few of them. My tiny tongue licks ever so lightly on first his big toe and then the next one. My delight, suddenly brought to a halt, as Dad bolts upright in the bed leaving the cave door open for both of us to be exposed to the firework display. Dad must have found his vision to be able to move that quickly. I wonder why he is grabbing the legs of his pajamas shaking them as if he found a bug. I remember how Dad put a bug in his pocket…I wonder if he puts them in his pajamas too.

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Victoria H. Loren:

Victoria Loren was born in Fort Worth and currently resides in Texas. She is an artist/graphic designer, utilizing creative concepts inspired by nature and her love for landscape/garden designs. Victoria H. Loren is the author of the inspirational novel, Rusty’s Chronicles and ‘Legacy of Trust’ trilogy (Blind Trust, TrustyWorthy and Flames of Trust).
Victoria is dedicated to helping others and strives to share her devotion for finding peace and joy in life.  She is blessed with a loving family and friends. The appreciation for mentors, teachers, and professors who inspired and ignited a passion for making a difference by allowing one’s voice to be heard, gives Victoria a foundation. Her outlook on life provides a strong basis for the concept of being able to incorporate and share this gratitude. She embraces each day with renewed hope, joy and passion. The simple things in life inspire and allow her to visualize and appreciate the beauty in all things. Her journey is one of providing strength, compassion, and a genuine interest to touch and make a difference in the lives of others.

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Finding Marcus Anderson by C.L. McGrath

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Title: Finding Marcus Anderson
Author: C.L. McGrath
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Editor: Jean Hall
Cover Designer: KA Ware at Bite Me Graphic Design

“Your past will always catch up with you…it’s just a matter of when.”

marcus ebook coverJust when Marcus thinks things are finally falling into place, having found his beautiful Sarah, he is finally going to get his happy ever after. Until a vision from his past jeopardises everything.

Marcus and Sarah couldn’t be happier. Arriving home from their road trip, Marcus begins having nightmares. With vivid memories from his childhood haunting his thoughts, he turns to his past in search of answers.

Marcus’s search leads him to Madison Jennings, his first love. Their affair was as secret as it was powerful. He filled her loneliness after the death of her husband. She filled his need to be safe and loved.

Sixteen years later they meet again. What effect will this have on the life he has built with Sarah?

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Author Bio:

My name is Christina McGrath. Originally from Sydney Australia, I now live surrounded in lakes and beaches on the beautiful central coast of New south wales with my husband and two young children.

As a girl, I had always dreamed of being a writer, but like most people I pushed my dreams aside for reality.

Turning 40, I guess I just thought if I don’t try, I’ll never know. Here I was telling my kids they could do anything they wanted in life. They just have to try. Time to live by my own words.

So, I sat down and started to write. To my surprise, it came very naturally.

I wanted to write strong, witty, fun…REAL women. I wanted my characters to feel like someone you could easily be friends with.

CL McGrathThe hardest question I get asked is what genre I write. The truth is…to this day, I don’t know. My books thus far are definitely romance, but, they are so much more. They are funny, heart breaking, naughty and emotional. The characters are relatable and real.

All I really know is, now I’ve started to write, like any addiction…I just can’t stop. I truly love it.

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Where it All Began by Lorana Hoopes

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Genre: Christian Fiction
Date Published: re-released April 2017
Publisher: H&H Publishing

where_it_all_began_2Sandra Baker thought her life was going perfectly until she found out she was pregnant. Her boyfriend doesn’t want the baby and pushes her to have an abortion. After the procedure, Sandra spirals into depression losing her relationship and nearly her job. When she meets Henry, a Christian man, who displays God’s love, she begins to wonder if God can forgive her and more importantly if she can forgive herself.

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Excerpt:

The delicate paper menu held only a few choices, and my eyes widened at the prices. I should have thought to ask where we were going before I agreed. I didn’t have the money to spend so much on dinner, especially since Peter had moved out and money was much tighter. My heart thudded in my chest as I quickly scanned for the cheapest item on the menu; even the side salad was nearly fifteen dollars. How do people afford this? Well, the salad comes with bread and a bowl of soup, so at least it should be enough to fill me up.

          The waiter, clad in a white dress shirt and perfectly pressed black pants, appeared just as I laid the menu down. “Have we had enough time?” he asked politely, glancing at each of us before focusing his attention on Philip, who took the lead in ordering.
          “Yes, we’ll have two glasses of your finest red wine and two plates of the steak and lobster, grilled medium well.” He handed his and Raquel’s menus to the waiter.
          “Very well,” the waiter nodded and turned his attention to me.
          I swallowed. “Um, I’ll have the side salad and the tomato soup.”
          The waiter cocked his head. “Will that be all miss?”
          My face flushed, and just as I was about to answer, Henry jumped in. “Yes, and the same for me please.” He handed our menus to the waiter.
          The waiter nodded. “Yes, sir, and anything further to drink?”
          Henry glanced at me; I shook my head. “No, water will be adequate for now, thank you.”
          As the waiter turned away, I regarded Henry. Who was this man, and why was he being so nice to me? He caught me staring and shot me a small wink as he picked up a piece of bread.

 

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The Author:

author20photoLorana Hoopes is an inspirational romance and children’s author originally from Texas. She now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and three children. When not writing, she can be found singing or acting on stage or kickboxing at her gym. You can also find her hosting her show Write the World where she interviews authors and writers. If you are an author and want to be featured, be sure to contact her.

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The Last Valentine by Felix Alexander

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Genre: Romance, Mystery
Date Published: February 2017

the20last20valentine1The fate of two best friends and the secret love between them is known only to a mysterious figure who offers to aid one in hiding the truth from the other…lest their lives and love meet a tragic end.

When Olivia Villalobos finds a bloodstained love letter she endeavors to deliver it before Chief Inspector Sedeño finds it in her possession.

A city along the southern coast of Puerto Rico emerges in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War. Olivia, daughter of a drunkard police investigator who never knew the truth behind her mother’s disappearance, finds a bloodstained love letter in the hidden compartment of her father’s coat. Convinced it belonged to the man recently found dead she sets out to deliver it to the Labyrinth of Love Letters. A mysterious place believed to be an urban legend where the transients of forbidden love leave missives for one another. She enlists the help of Isaac Quintero to find the Labyrinth and they soon realize their quest has opened the door into Old Sienna’s darkest secrets—the perils, madness and depth of tragic love.

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The Author:

the20last20valentine20author20-20felix20alexanderFelix Alexander (1976-Present) is a Mexican-born, American-raised novelist, and poet of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent.

Acclaimed by readers for his poetic prose, his indie releases include: Dear Love: Diary of a Man’s Desire, a collection of love letters and poems; The Romantic: A Love Story; and most recently an epic historical fantasy Shadows of Time: The Amulet of Alamin along with a mystery-thriller The Secret of Heaven.

Being third-generation military, after a grandfather and uncle who served in the Korean War and Vietnam War, respectively, Alexander is proud of his service in the U.S. Army, and grateful for his experience.

After his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, he embarked on the long and arduous journey of a writer. Having made a name for himself during his tenure, serving his country, he vowed to himself and his fellow soldiers that he would answer his true calling.

When not spending time with his children, a son and daughter, he journeys through the portals in his extensive, personal library. When he returns, he immerses himself in his writing, and pursues the scent of his muse.

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Redemption Lake by Susan Clayton-Goldner

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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