Welcome to the “WORLD UNKNOWN” Blog Tour! @Jinlobify #4WillsPub #RRBC #RWISA

It is with great pleasure I introduce a new collection of short stories from author, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko!

Day 10:

This is the tenth day of my ten days tour.

The Clue:

Below are the titles of the stories. If you have read the snippets, try and match them to the titles. Beside each title write the number of the snippet. At the bottom write your name and submit.

*You Will Die If You Scream!

*Is This Love or What?!

*Florence

*The Silent Thief

*Lost in Soho

*Simple Things of Life

*The Break-In

*Wedged-In

*Girls’ Talk

The Rules:

I have randomly chosen a short snippet from a story in my book for you to read each day of my tour. Today, I have listed the titles of the stories from where the snippets were taken. Match the snippets to the titles. Once again, I will choose only three winners from the correct matches. The winner with nine correct matches will be gifted with a $15 Amazon gift card and an eBook copy of your choice from any of my books. The second with eight correct matches will be gifted with a $10 Amazon gift card and an eBook copy of your choice from my books. The third winner with seven correct matches will be with gifted a $5. Amazon gift card and an eBook copy of your choice from my books.

Now the catch! If you follow the tour and read the snippets, you may want to read the complete stories and leave a review of the book after the tour.

This tour is supported by another of my books; Pregnant Future. If you want to read that one too, that will be great. However, the focus will be on Vagaries of Life: And Girls’ Talk. Good reading!

About the Author
Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

Joy has written and published extensively on national and international scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers.


Her first short story I Come from Utopia was published in African Voices, Spring/ Summer, 2007, pg. 18. Since then, she has published numerous others in RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL Anthology, Vols. 1 & 2.


Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women was published in 2011 and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Contest in 2012. She has also two books published in the Italian language. The First titled: Io Odio, Tu Odi, & Cinema E Africa Nera, are both by Edizione, Tindalo.


The Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies, is a journey into the mysteries of life and death of the Igbos of Nigeria was published in 2014

In Pregnant Future: No One Knows What Tomorrow Will Bring, her latest Novel, Justina is the story of every young woman who found herself alone in the world to fend for herself. It is the story of the pitfalls that await such a woman. It is the story of survival

Her latest book, A collection of Short Stories, titled: Vagaries of Life: And Girls’ Talk was published in December, 2018.

Pregnant Future – Blurb

Justina was a fighter. And, although it seemed the world was against her and her future was destined for failure …she persevered in the face of it all.

The future that was being thrown in her face, was not the one she had dreams of …and if she wanted to get her feet on the right path, she was going to have to show the world her strength. But, does she?

Will she have the will to make it to the end, unscarred?

What would you do if you knew what the future had in store for you?

Would you run towards it with open arms, or would you run away and never look back?

Justina must make a choice …before life chooses for her.

Links to my Social Network:

My Web Site

FaceBook

Goodreads

Twitter

LinkedIn

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  

Lastly, Joy is a member of the best book club ever – RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB {#RRBC}! If you’re looking for amazing support as an author, or if you simply love books, JOIN US! We’d love to have you!

Thanks for supporting this author and her work!  

It’s #RRBCReadAShortStory Month

March is the month set aside at the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB to promote short stories!

I enjoyed this history about short stories and how they became recognized as a distinct literary form in the nineteenth century.

A short story must have all the same elements as a full-length novel, but much less complex, and of course, much shorter.

The RRBC Catalog has a great list of short stories that would be perfect for celebrating this special month! You’ll find stories from myself, Rhani D’Chae, Beem Weeks, Wendy Scott, Patricia Guthrie, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, D.L. Finn, Vashti Q, Nonnie Jules, and many others! There are LOTS to choose from.

So, take a look and grab any that pique your interest! RRBC SHORT STORY CATALOG

And if you read a story, don’t forget to leave a review so that others can see what you thought!

A short story is the perfect form of entertainment when you don’t have much free time!

Mountain Laurel – Segment 5

As this story has progressed, we met Andy Roberts, who has made it big in the country music world of Nashville, but is tortured by demons and memories that won’t leave him alone. We first met him in a bar where a reporter was trying his best to get a feature story out of him and we left him last week at the remains of the cabin where he grew up and where so many memories, both good and bad still linger.

###

The porch and most of the walls still stood, and the Mountain Laurel tree Papa had planted for Mama at the corner of the porch gave off a sweet tantalizing fragrance. It seemed to be the only thing left alive.

mountain laurel

 

Inside, I found decaying ruins inhabited by varmints. I took in the familiar rough-hewn board walls and kicked at a tin can that rolled across the dirt covered floor. A mouse streaked across the floor and into a hole.abandoned_Cabin

I sank down on my haunches and put my head in my hands. Somehow, I had to find a way to get past the guilt that gnawed at my insides like a rabid animal. Papa would be sorely disappointed. I’d been handed an opportunity that few people ever get in a lifetime. And yet, I was dead inside.

 

 

Papa’s flashing eyes and wide smile were in front of me. I could almost feel his breath on my face and hear him say, “Son, get my banjo. Let’s pick a little.”

banjo man

After some time, I got to my feet and poked around the house in the fading sunlight. A yellowed envelope tucked carefully away in Mama’s top dresser drawer caught my attention. The address showed Blackmon Children’s Home in Bowling Green, Ky. I carefully slipped the letter out of the envelope and my heart jolted. I never knew where they’d taken Timmy until now. I folded the letter and slid it into my pocket.

In the back corner of the kitchen pantry, I found Papa’s banjo covered with a thick layer of dust. I picked it up and wiped it off with the tail of my expensive silk shirt.

It wasn’t until minutes later I realized tears coursed down my cheeks. I tuned the rusty strings, picked out Papa’s favorite song and talked to him. I felt like a real person for the first time in many years. A man needs roots no matter if they’re only in his mind.

“I’m sorry, Papa. I let you down. I let Mama die and I let the welfare lady take Timmy”…the words poured out of me like water from a spigot. The louder I played, the louder my voice got until I was fairly shouting.

The room began to spin. My knees buckled and I went down with a thud.

When I opened my eyes, the room was pitch black. Where was I? I groaned and rolled over. I was going to be sick. I stumbled out onto the porch and let the whiskey spew from me. When had I eaten last? With knees like Jello and only pale moonlight to guide me, I made my way down the rickety porch steps to the Jag. With any luck, I’d find a package of crackers in the glove box.

 

I returned to sit on the porch with half a bottle of water and two crackers in hand. I knew I had to rid myself of this demon. I needed a sign, something to tell me Papa forgave me. I reached inside my pocket and felt the letter. It was too late for Mama, but maybe not too late to do something for Timmy.

I lost track of time as I sat cloaked in the darkness. A flash from the sky got my attention. A shooting star streaked across above me, followed by another and another.

shooting stars

I felt a familiar hand squeeze my shoulder. Was it really Papa’s voice, or did I imagine it? Then I heard his easy-rolling laughter when he told me to get my ass back in that fancy car and go make some music.

I stood, brushed the dirt off my clothes, retrieved Papa’s banjo, threw it in the back seat and turned the car around just as the sun peeked over the horizon.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Mountain Laurel – Segment 3

Andy Roberts is a singing star in Nashville, Tennessee. He is sitting in a bar drinking and wanting only solitude, but an insistent reporter keeps interrupting his thoughts. So far, we know that Andy Roberts isn’t his real name and we know he lost his father to a coal mining accident when he was a young boy. He has a little brother, Timmy, who is mentally disabled and a sister, April, who is beautiful with long dark hair and violet eyes. When his father died, his mother fell into a deep depression and stopped functioning for the family. Let’s check back in and see how things are going. When we left them, Andy was about ready to punch the reporter in the face for insisting that Andy tell him his real name.

###

No kid should have to go through life as Norbert Angus. If I lived to be a hundred years old, I’d never understand what possessed Mama and Papa. At least, Papa had shortened it to Bert, but that wasn’t much better in my way of thinking.

From the corner of my eye, I spotted a voluptuous brunette who wiggled through the barroom door. For a split second our eyes met and she tugged at the fringed sequined tank top giving me an unobstructed view of her cleavage.

brunette

I sighed and looked away. It was all the same. The shows, the reporters, the whiskey, the women and worst of all, the memories…the memories that haunt me and won’t let me be.

The day the welfare lady returned to take Timmy was the one time I saw Mama show a spark of who she’d once been. She grabbed the lady’s dress screaming at the top of her lungs, fighting for her child. Timmy’s wails only added to the chaos. But, in the end, the welfare lady won and stuffed Timmy into the back seat of the Ford, spinning rocks and dirt as she took off.

crying_1394109273_crop_550x522

We never saw him again. Guilt and shame rolled over me in waves as I gripped the whiskey glass, finally setting it down before I shattered it. Here I am, a big Nashville singing star, and never once have I tried to find Timmy.

Not long after that horrible day, April married the first soldier that came along and moved to Toledo, leaving just Mama and me. The memory of Papa placing his hand on my shoulder a few days before he died, and making me promise to take care of Mama, April and Timmy if anything happened to him, stuck in the back of my throat now like a bitter quinine pill. I failed him. I failed myself and I failed Mama.

The awkwardness of those days that followed would be forever branded in my mind. The way Mama stared through dull eyes into nothingness, the way I made clumsy attempts to feed us and the way I longed to escape.

Within a few months, Mama took to the bed sick. She never got up again.

Just before my fourteenth birthday, I was an orphan, facing the world alone.

The reporter’s whine jarred me as he dove into his second beer. “I understand that you came from Kentucky, Mr. Roberts. How did you get all the way to Nashville?”

I pushed the memories aside and faced Lewis. “I walked.”

“Walked?” He scribbled furiously.

“Got a hearing problem, Lewis? After my mama died, I went to Toledo to live with my older sister and her husband. I was almost fifteen when I struck out for Nashville. All I had were the clothes on my back and a beat-up Harmony guitar.”

guitar on back

“That’s a hard walk.” He took a long draw from his mug.

“You have no idea.”

TO BE CONTINUED……….

Blown Away!

I am astounded to learn that my collection of short stories, “Two Shorts and a Snort” won the GRAND PRIZE in the #RRBC 90-day Alpha/Omega short story writing challenge!!

TWO SHORTS&A SNORT_Final2

Wow! I certainly was not expecting this. I have read a lot of the short stories that were created for the challenge and I have to say that some of them were outstanding. You can see all of them in the RRBC Catalogue.

The first story in my book, “Obsession,” was inspired by a song, “Loving County” by Charlie Robison and Jack Ingram. I posted a link before, but here it is again if you want to listen.

I am grateful, honored and humbled to receive this award.

And, it couldn’t have come at a better time. If you follow my blog, you know that I’ve been trying to get a publisher interested in my latest novel. I had begun to feel like I didn’t have what it takes.

This award gives me much-needed validation. It also gives me the motivation to push forward.

You can pick up your copy of “Two Shorts and a Snort” for 99 cents on Amazon. Just click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/Two-Shorts-Snort-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B07DY8FSWL/

That being said, I’d also like to announce the winners from my last blog post. They are:

Janet Gogerty, John Howell, and Craig Boyack. Watch your mailboxes for “Two Shorts and a Snort.” I sincerely hope you all enjoy the short read. 

Next, I’d like to recognize the 1st Place Runner-up

“Tequila Rose Virginity Blues” by Wendy Jayne is a great short story!

Tequila Rose

BLURB:

Tequila Rose may have met the man of her dreams. Unfortunately, she wakes up suffering from alcoholic amnesia and doesn’t remember anything about the night before. Tall, dark, and Jack may be the cure her jaded heart desperately needs, but Tequila’s wary as friends warn her that Jack hangs out with the local drug dealer. Thrust together at a Speed Dating event, their chemistry sizzles, but is Jack after a different kind of fix?

You can read my 5 Star review HERE: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1J5Y7KX7QH80Y/

AND you can pick up a copy for 99 cents while you are there!

A HUGE THANK YOU to the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB for all the amazing benefits offered to authors and for encouragement when we need it the most!

Thank-You-Red-Clipart

 

Completing a Challenge #RRBC #RWISA

There are times when you throw your hat in the ring in response to a challenge and then find yourself saying, “What have I done?”

Thankfully, that wasn’t the case for me this time with the RRBC 90-day Alpha/Omega Beginning-to-End short story challenge. 

I listen to a lot of music and my favorite songs are the ones that tell a story such as “Loving County,” written by Charlie Robison and Jack Ingram.

So, when I accepted this challenge, I knew I wanted to write a short story based loosely on this song.

The first story in my new book, TWO SHORTS AND A SNORT, is “OBSESSED,” taken from the song. There is a moral to my story and that is, “If the price tag is too high, walk away.”

The second story in TWO SHORTS AND A SNORT IS “MAGGIE.” Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.

Then the SNORT is a poem. Yes, I know it wasn’t part of the challenge, but it was just there, so I went with it.

I designed the cover for TWO SHORTS AND A SNORT. I’m not a cover-designer, so this was another challenge unto itself.

TWO SHORTS&A SNORT_Final2

Then I had another challenge and that was trying to format this little twenty-one-page book. I spent hours and days trying to get it right because again, I am not a formatter.

But, I eventually got it all done and even went a step farther and created a book trailer video to accompany it.

So, if you are inclined to read some very short short stories, I’d be honored if you’d pick up a copy of the book today. It’s only 99 cents on Amazon.

PURCHASE LINK

And if you are curious about the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and the many opportunities like this they offer, take a look! It could just be the right community of supportive authors for you.

Oh yes, and HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

101582-Happy-4th-Of-July-To-All-My-Friends

The Alternative – New Release from S. Burke

It is my honor and pleasure to host this author and her new release! I was lucky enough to be a beta-reader for this collection of short stories and I can tell you they are not only compelling but downright riveting! 

Welcome to Day 3 of my Choose “THE ALTERNATIVE” Blog Tour.

With my grateful thanks to my marvelous host.

Thank you for joining me here.

BOOK COVER

BLURB

There are those that cling unreservedly to the lifeboat that believing in Karma hands them so willingly.

They work, they live, and they function in a world that allows them the option of unreservedly trusting that Karma has no deadline.

Until they are handed the spark that ignites them into becoming the instrument of Karma itself.

There are others who have had all they once held to be truths, everything they once stood for and took pride in, torn apart and ripped from them by the hand of a cruel fate.

Then, of course, there are those who believed in nothing and no one, to begin with …

These are their stories.

The stories of people both good and bad, who made the choice to exact “The Alternative.”

***

Today I’d like to share with you a glimpse of the story behind one of the stories.

Part of my book blurb reads

“There are others who have had all they once held to be truths, everything they once stood for and took pride in, torn apart and ripped from them by the hand of a cruel fate.”

This story fits within this premise.

Chapter 2. Human Disinterest.

Within the pages of this particular story is someone I knew and loved. And whilst this is a fictional work, the persona of Jenny Thurston is intensely real.

In the story, Jenny runs a charity organization desperately trying to keep the people that found themselves out on the dark city streets, warm, dry, fed and alive.

Jenny takes up a large television network’s offer to do a feature piece focused on informing the public and making them aware of the circumstances that caused these folks to be out there. She puts up one hell of a fight to protect the unprotected.

My Jenny was barely eight years old when I  met her. I was eleven.  Jenny had the oldest eyes I’ve ever seen. We came from different places, she and I, both of them equally painful and dark.

Jenny spent her entire life fighting cruelty in all of its dark permutations. She inspired me to be stronger, she gave me loving arms without judgment to cling to. She opened her wounded heart to all those in need that she encountered.

She helped me to laugh, and she taught me that I was capable of loving unconditionally.

Jenny lost her ongoing battle with life several years back. She had no fight left in her. She took her own life. It was the only promise she ever made me that she had broken.

I hope I have somehow shared a glimpse of her strength, resilience, frailty and warmth within the pages of this short story.

I miss her still.

Here is a brief extract from the opening of Chapter 2. “Human Disinterest”

Jenny Thurston hung up the phone, then sat in her creaking office chair and gazed longingly up at the brief glimpse of sky visible in the confined space permitted to a two-story building surrounded by towers of concrete and glass.

Brad Levinson hesitated momentarily outside the door, and then he walked heavily, the sound of his intrusive feet deliberately loud to gain his boss’s attention.

“’Sup, Jenny?” he asked.

“I had a phone call, just now. CNN wants to do one of their ‘A Day in the Life of…?’ programs.”

“Wow, Jenny … I mean, hon, that is huge!”

“Oh, it’s huge alright. It’s not a focus on me or our work here they’re after; they want to do a three-part series based on interviews with our street folks. They want me, as the head of Street Angels, to gain them introductions after they have carefully chosen their preference. Jesus, Brad … they don’t give a crap. They just want someone guaranteed to spike the ratings.”

“Well, that would have been a fast conversation. You didn’t threaten them, did you … Jenny?” He looked at her face and found his answer, “Oh, Jenny … not again?”

He was trying hard not to laugh and failed miserably.

“Winter is coming fast, Brad. I don’t have time for this shit. You know we stand to lose a few. The donations always slow down around now.” Jenny smiled and then said, “Anyways, I made them an offer.”

She stood then and stretched her lean frame. “Let’s go over those rosters again for tomorrow night. You know it’s going to get crazy. Friday night and a full moon both at once. I’ll need our most resilient on duty. Can you contact the guys for me, please?”

“Whoa, go back a second, you made them an offer? Please tell me it wasn’t one they couldn’t refuse.”

“Yeah … Don Corleone, I’m not.”

Brad just grinned and said, “Coffee first?”

“Always.”

He laughed again. Jenny was like this most of the time. The other times weren’t so hard to witness, knowing that this Jenny … his Jenny would always come back.

***

Thanks so much for joining in my New Release Promotion. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Again my sincere thanks to my host, and to the great crew at 4 Wills Publishing for organizing my blog tour.

“The Alternative” NOW Available Amazon.com

Author Bio:

Suzanne Burke resides with her daughter and grandson in a small country town located hundreds- of miles to the west of her previous home in Sydney Australia.

Suzanne had long wanted to write, life interrupted and she didn’t begin her journey into the world of writing until she was in her early fifties.

Suzanne has written her memoirs under the author name of Stacey Danson, both her non-fiction books have ranked in the top 100 paid in Kindle on Amazon. “Empty Chairs” and “Faint Echoes of Laughter” continue to earn wonderful reviews.

Suzanne writes her powerful Thrillers “Acts Beyond Redemption” and “Acts of Betrayal” and her Paranormal anthology “Mind-Shaft” as S. Burke.

Suzanne Burke is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

Amazon Author Page

On TWITTER.

On Facebook.

My Blog

This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

Gunsmoke and Lace – New Release! Linda Broday

I am sure everyone who is a regular reader of my blog knows Linda Broday is my sister. But, I can tell you in ALL honesty that even if she wasn’t my sister, I’d want to tell you about this collection of short stories!

If you’d like to read the BLURB, click HERE

Gunsmoke and Lace

I figured the best way to tell you about it is to post my 5 star review here.

***

Linda Broday is well-known for the historical romance novels she’s been publishing for two decades. And, now she’s put together a collection of short stories set in the same historical time-period (1800s), in Texas.

The first two stories in the collection carry the same theme. Widows trying to carve out a living in a land that is harsh and unforgiving. Both are desperate, lonely and determined to survive. But that is where the similarities end.

In the first story, a young woman left alone with an infant to care for saves her sanity by tying notes to a scrawny tree. She needs to matter. She needs to let someone know she lived. Imagine her surprise when she finds a note tied to the tree that isn’t hers. With no one for miles around, she is baffled. I won’t spoil this story by telling you who has tied the notes or what happens. I’ll just say that she mattered more than she could imagine.

In the second story, the widow is completely alone with the nearest neighbor six miles away. Angry that her husband died, she has nowhere to go. While she desperately tries to survive the silence and loneliness, she is forced to ward off the unwanted attention of an evil suitor intent on having her. When a man stumbles onto her property carrying his saddle, gun hanging low on his hip, she doesn’t know whether to shoot or hide. I love the plot in this story. The backstory and history make it believable and real.

With the third story, it takes a completely different turn with a bounty hunter just one kill away from gaining his dream, and two small children seeking justice and revenge. The way the story weaves them together is heartwarming and satisfying.

The fourth and final story in this collection brings about a bit of humor when one man short on brains attempts various schemes to hold onto his land that the bank is closing in on. With the help of his lifetime friend, Logan, Wade achieves his goal but in the most unexpected way.

If you like variety, action, romance, and characters that come to life, you’ll love these short stories.

Available in both eBook and Print.

PURCHASE LINK

About Linda Broday:

Linda-outside-200x300

Linda is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance.  She has been a “writer in training” her whole life. Many nights long after the house grew dark and everyone else was asleep, she’d lie beneath the covers and read by flashlight until she either reached the end of her book or her eyes got too heavy to see the words.

Cowboys have always fascinated her so it’s no wonder that she loves to write about them and their ladies and the struggles they endure in trying to carve out a small place to call home. It took some awfully tough men and women to settle this great country of ours.

Western romance is her passion. Humble roots and the love of family have become focal points in her stories. She strives to bring characters to life on the printed page.

For more, visit Linda’s Website: https://www.lindabroday.com/

For all of her books, visit her Amazon Author Central Page: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Broday/e/B001JRXWB2/

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

The Alternative by S. Burke – Cover Reveal!

 

Hello, and welcome to the Cover Reveal of my New Thriller Anthology

“The Alternative”

The ALTERNATIVE BANNER HEADLINE FOR COVER REVEAL BEST

The Alternative

The Alternative
by S.Burke

Available to Pre-Order NOW.
Release Date: Monday June 18th 2018
Mystery> Thriller & Suspense > Anthology.

It is such an exciting time for an author when releasing a new book! I would be remiss in not sharing my heartfelt thanks to the marvelous people who gave of their time so readily to beta read my latest book. Their valuable insights helped me enormously when crafting “The Alternative”

At long last, I’m able to share the cover and blurb for “The Alternative” my latest Thriller Anthology. “The Alternative ” is due for release on June 18th.

It is NOW available for Pre-Order

I have many good friends sharing this cover across the blogosphere today and tomorrow, so you’re likely to see it pop up in various places. Thank you to everyone participating in my cover reveal splash, and to everyone dropping by to share in my excitement. Here’s my new baby . . .

With much gratitude to Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khaleesi for the cover creation.

Cover Created by Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khalessi

Presenting “The Alternative” A Thriller Anthology.

“The Alternative”

THE ALTERNATIVE COVER IN HIGH RESOLUTION BEST

BLURB:

The Alternative.

There are those that cling unreservedly to the lifeboat that believing in Karma hands them so willingly.

They work, they live, and they function in a world that allows them the option of unreservedly trusting that Karma has no deadline.

Until they are handed the spark that ignites them into becoming the instrument of Karma itself.

There are others who have had all they once held to be truths, everything they once stood for and took pride in, torn apart and ripped from them by the hand of a cruel fate.

Then, of course, there are those who believed in nothing and no one, to begin with …

These are their stories.

The stories of people both good and bad, who made the choice to exact “The Alternative.”

An excerpt from Chapter 1. Picasso.

February 1990.

The tall man stretched his arms and flexed his long artistic fingers. He stood back to gain a different perspective of his latest work of art. He’d spent a great deal of time sketching his outline and was well satisfied with the outcome. Perhaps this one would be the perfection he craved above all else.

His other efforts were upstairs in the gallery, and while they were far from his lofty imaginings, they each represented another step forward toward his ultimate goal. He knew this exhibition would prompt worldwide interest, that was a given. His reputation was on the line. That at least was something he valued.

He grunted and moved the newest piece into the workroom. The more difficult application of his talent needed to begin.

***

NEW YORK JULY 2015

Meredith keyed in her code, shouldered the door open and dropped her briefcase onto the polished boards of the entry. Working on autopilot, she flicked on the light and bent to collect the mail from the floor; throwing it onto the small bureau without bothering to check the sender. She shrugged off her coat and draped it over the arm of the sofa. Too damned weary to be bothered with any external interruptions tonight, she removed the home phone from its cradle and headed to the kitchen to fix enough coffee to sustain the long evening ahead, deliberately ignoring the well-stocked bar. She was well aware that she’d need every bit of concentration she could muster. She removed the Glock from her handbag, and out of habit, she placed it on the coffee table next to the perpetually full ashtray.

Her head was already pounding and she rubbed at her tense neck muscles until her fingers ached. Relief from the unresolved tension still hovered … just out of reach. She held her breath for a moment, stilling her impatience. If all went to plan, this thing would be finally ended. If justice existed at all, it would go well. All the years she’d worked to bring what was the only course left open to herself and the others to completion was coming. ‘Soon now’, was her daily mantra. But the darker visions still danced vividly in her mind’s eye and tormented her rare sleeping hours … it had been that way for almost twenty-five years.

The memory haunted her, dark and unforgivingly brutal. It replayed in clear and explicit detail every time she was forced to reflect on it … and its aftermath.

***

THE ALTERNATIVE IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER

“The Alternative” on AMAZON.COM

Suzanne Burke Amazon Author Page

On TWITTER.

On Facebook.

My Blog

Thank you so much for joining me here today. Your support is very much appreciated.

I would be delighted to hear your thoughts and comments below.

Suzanne Burk is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.

Book Release – C.S. Boyack #RRBC

Today, it is with great pleasure that I host Author, C.S. Boyack’s latest book release The Enhanced League!

Thanks for inviting me over today, Jan. I’m here to talk about my newest release, The Enhanced League. It’s a collection of short stories and anthems that span one year in a fictional baseball league.

I keep a living document about topics for a blog tour, and an excerpt is one of the topics. It’s always tricky choosing an excerpt because you don’t want to introduce spoilers for those who may run out and buy the book. This one gives you a bit of the pomp associated with this league.

***EXCERPT ***

I threw about twenty right down the middle; all changeups to spare the bullpen catchers. It was more about loosening up than working on location at this point. I slapped my glove on my leg and headed for the dugout.

“Not you, Warren.” It was the pitching coach.

“Why not?”

“Part of the show. You get to ride in the bullpen car for your intro. You’ll be the only starter who’s ever ridden in it.”

Jesus, these people love a show. It’s more like professional wrestling than I realized. I made my way down to the tunnel.

The bullpen car was a full blown custom hot rod. It had a huge Mountie hat atop the open sides, and a chromed engine block with six chrome intake stacks. The body was the traditional red of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The field announcer named off the starting players for both teams. Boos echoed as the Las Vegas Gamblers were introduced.

The announcer continued, “Working the third base line tonight, Traci Goodbody. Roaming the infield is Daisy Farmer, and your crew chief tonight, working the first base line is Ms. Lita Von Strychnine.”

The butterflies decided to swarm when the national anthem started. O Canada! Terre de nos aïeux, Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux

I closed my eyes and took some deep breaths.

“Better climb in, and hang onto the straps.” It was my driver, but I’d never met him before.

Machines filled the tunnel with a thick fog. The stadium went silent and spotlights waved back and forth occasionally hitting the tunnel. The stadium announcer said, “Roger Warp-speeeeed WARREN!” The thundering sounds of It’s a Long Way to the Top, by AC/DC echoed through the stadium, complete with bagpipes.

The bullpen car roared to life with a sound that would shame most Harley Davidsons. We crept toward the opening, and the driver hit the lights and siren. Red and blue alternated across the fog, and the crowd screamed above the siren.

We launched from the tunnel and turned onto the warning track around the outfield. The crowd was on its feet, and I reminded myself to shut my jaw which had fallen open. No ancient gladiator would have seen a sight any more outrageous.

We toured around the outfield and past the visitors’ dugout with sirens and lights all the way. My driver deposited me beside the mound, where Montes was waiting. “You ready, man?” He asked.

“Um, yeah.” I tipped my hat to the crowd, then glanced at Daisy Farmer in her booty shorts and cropped umpire top. “Looks like the players aren’t the only thing enhanced here.”

Montes slapped me lightly on the cheek. “Head in the game, jefe.”

“Right, let’s go.”

Von Strychnine stalked down toward the plate and called, “Batter up.”

***

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Blurb: The Enhanced league is a collection of short stories and anthems centered around a year in a fictional baseball league. It has a slight science fiction background. This league has a lot more pomp than you might be used to, and nobody seems to care if the players use performance enhancing drugs.

Stories involve existing heroes, up and comers, and falling stars. While there are the obvious stories that take place on the field of play, there are also human interest stories that take place around the baseball gyrations. These stories involve scouting, trades, ruthless business decisions, and even relationships.

I enjoyed researching and bringing you The Enhanced League, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. — CB

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I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

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