Whatever It Takes – Cover Reveal – New Release S. Burke

It is with great pleasure, I introduce to you a new Psychological Thriller from the amazing Author, S. Burke! I’ll let her tell you all about it!

Whatever It Takes cover reveal banner with curtain

Whatever It Takes

by S.Burke

Available to Pre-Order NOW. At the special Pre-order price of $0.99c
Release Date: May 8th, 2019
>Psychological > Thriller & Suspense >.

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 “Whatever It Takes” A big thank you to my wonderful editor and friend Rich Bowden @Bowden_Writing

At long last, I’m able to share the cover and blurb for “Whatever It Takes” my latest Psychological Thriller. “Whatever It Takes ” is due for release on May 8th, 2019.

It is NOW available for Pre-Order at the special Pre-Order price of $0:99

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 the marvelously generous hosts 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

And now the cover

Whatever it Takes Book Cover for all posts.

BOOK BLURB

James Kincaid had it all.

He’d made it the ‘A’ list in Hollywood, a town that prized and idolized its winners above all else.

Then life began exacting a price that no man could be expected to pay as the people he cared about began dying and dying badly.

He couldn’t move on with the dream without knowing why.

Andi O’Connor is the woman he’s hired to do ‘whatever it takes’ to find him the answers.

Could this disenchanted, street-hardened, ex-homicide cop uncover the truth without adding to the growing list of those already sacrificed on the altar of a serial killer’s insanity?

From New York to Los Angeles the body count continues to rise.

Time is not on their side.

***

Prologue.

James Kincaid had long held to the belief that the red carpet he’d walked so often was stained that color with the blood of all those that had bled on the journey to satisfy their heady and addictive dreams of fame.

He’d shed more than his own fair share to get there. He hated the dream destruction, as much as he understood it. This town drew dreamers from every place on the planet, all in need of completion, all hungry for fame and holding on for dear life to the belief that it was only a matter of time before their artistic genius was recognized. No other drug ever gave them that high pulsing adrenaline rush that you soon became reliant on and addicted to. Those first glimpses of recognition hit harder than heroin. Until even those with a strong moral compass became lost.

Lady Luck had become his constant companion only five years before. After twelve years struggling to make headway in the business he became the latest ‘overnight’ sensation, winning the coveted role in what was tipped strongly to be the next ‘big thing’. He knew he could do justice to the part and that knowledge became abundantly clear as the audition cameras rolled.

James Kincaid found himself launched into the stratosphere. This was the only game in town and he was now a lead player.

He was feted and celebrated, pimped out and postured until the day when everything in his world fell into an oxygen-deprived free fall as people he cared about started dying from anything but natural causes.

**

Pre-Order Whatever It Takes HERE on Amazon

Suzanne Burke Amazon Author Page

On TWITTER.

On Facebook.

My Blog

Thank you so much for joining in my excitement. Your support is very much appreciated.

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

Whatever It Takes PRE-ORDER Banner USE THIS ONE FROM Eeva

The Button by D.L. Finn #RRBC #RWISA

Thank you, Jan, for inviting me to be on your blog to help celebrate this week’s release of The Button!

Button_covEbkFinal

Blurb:

Lynn Hill left a difficult childhood behind when she turned eighteen. The 1980s were going to be the beginning of a great life. Then what started as an ordinary evening out with her best friend, Stacy, turns into a nightmare. Lynn hears warnings: “Go!” “Leave!” Believing she is hearing things after partying too much, she goes back for one more drink before going home. That decision sets off a chain of events that nothing could have prepared her for. While humans and not-so-human beings are attempting to either help or harm her, Lynn risks everything to find the only person she trusts, Stacy. Who can help her? The stepbrother who shows up right when she needs him or the attractive, helpful bartender who gives her his phone number? Lynn must learn to trust again. Her survival depends on it in this paranormal thriller.

Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

Castro Valley, California, 1976

Lynn was suddenly aware of her surroundings. It was tranquil floating above her still body next to angels. She felt indifferent at seeing her pale form hooked up to wires and IVs, although the beeping machines indicated that her body was still alive.

“You have to go back—you have more to do,” the female angel informed her.

Lynn met the angel’s steady gaze. While she was in awe of her beauty, it was the angel’s silver dress that drew her attention. It reminded her of how the water in her grandmother’s pool had wrapped her in serenity when she sat at the bottom. She’d loved doing that for as long as she could hold her breath. It was one of the few times she felt safe, cocooned in water where no one could hurt her. That dress, flowing like water around the angel, affected Lynn in the same way as the pool did—it made her feel safe. The angel pushed her hair back, causing it to cascade over her peacock-green wings.

Lynn turned her attention to the male angel. His smile was mesmerizing—like a lava lamp, hot and fluid. What a babe! With his long brown hair, strong chiseled features, and green eyes she could get lost in, she felt she could totally spend eternity with him. He smiled broadly at her, but the smile quickly disappeared when the female angel scowled at him. Wait a minute—do they know what I’m thinking? Not cool! Lynn felt her face redden.

The embarrassment was quickly erased as both angels smiled at her again. Lynn wished they’d say more, but she wanted to continue to hang out with them. She was feeling a peace she’d never felt before.

She started to express her desire to stay. “I don’t—” was all she got out before images of an older version of herself filled her mind all at once. Then she was thrust back—into her life and that pallid body hooked up to the beeping machines…


Random Finn facts:

  1. One of my favorite poems is “A Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. I have a framed print of it above my computer.
  2. I love the seasons: the red leaves of fall, the first flowers in spring, stargazing on a warm summer night, watching the landscape change during a snowstorm and listening to it rain–no matter what season it is.
  3. I prefer to drink my tea out of a coffee cup, although I collect teacups.

1

D.L. Finn is an independent California local, who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks and cedars, her creativity was cradled until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to her readers to join her.

D.L. Finn’s social media:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

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Google

Links to Purchase:

Amazon

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

D.L. FINN BANNER WITH WORDS

D.L. Finn is an uber-supportive member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and RAVE WRITER’S INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS

End of Day by Mae Clair – Cover Reveal!

Book cover for End of Day, mystery/suspense novel by Mae Clair shows old dilapidated church with bell tower and a cemetery in the background overgrown with weeds

Release Date: January 15, 2019
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Supernatural Thriller
Publisher: Kensington Publishing • Lyrical Underground Imprint

BLURB:
The past is never truly buried…

Generations of Jillian Cley’s family have been tasked with a strange duty—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane, whose body was the first to be interred in the Hode’s Hill cemetery. Jillian faithfully continues the long-standing tradition—until one October night, Vane’s body is stolen from its resting place. Is it a Halloween prank? Or something more sinister?

As the descendants of those buried in the churchyard begin to experience bizarre “accidents,” Jillian tries to uncover the cause. Deeply empathic, she does not make friends easily, or lightly. But to fend off the terror taking over her town, she must join forces with artist Dante DeLuca, whose sensitivity to the spirit world has been both a blessing and a curse. The two soon realize Jillian’s murky family history is entwined in a tragic legacy tracing back to the founding of Hode’s Hill. In order to set matters right, an ancient wrong must be avenged…or Jillian, Dante, and everyone in town will forever be at the mercy of a vengeful spirit.

End of Day can be read as a stand-alone novel or as a follow-up to book one of the Hode’s Hill series, Cusp of Night.

End of Day is available for pre-order through this link
and available to add to your Goodreads to-be-read list here.

Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

Amazon | BookBub | Newsletter Sign-Up
Website & Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | All Social Media

 

Bio Box 8-27-2018 (1)

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.

 

 

 

Amusement Park – 3

If you’ve just tuned in for this story, you can find segments 1 and 2 in my archives. I post a new episode every Sunday. This story is a writing exercise for me on two levels. I am writing it in first person (I hardly ever do that) and I am working on ways to make horrible things happen to my characters (which I struggle with.)

Last week, Mr. Parker had rounded up all the employees who were still in the park and organized a search for six-year-old Emily who seems to have disappeared off the roller coaster ride earlier. Her older sister, Jennifer, is panicked. She is responsible for her sister. Let’s head to the amusement park and see what’s going on.

***

I half-listened as Mr. Parker assigned each man a different area of the park to search.

Fear gnawed at my gut. Time was wasting. I had to do something.

Finally, he turned to me. “Jennifer, I know this is not what you want to do, but I need you to check at home and see if Emily might have gone back there. And bring your mother with you when you return.” He shoved a cell phone into my hands. “I’ll call you if we find her.”

I nodded and dashed out the gate. I ran like the wind to our two-story wood-frame house six blocks over. I suppose she could have gotten bored and walked home.

What would I tell Mr. Parker when I returned without our mother? Bitterness arose in my throat. I couldn’t even say the word without feeling angry and sick.

No real mother would take off with some strange man and leave her fourteen and six-year-old daughters to fend for themselves without so much as a fare-you-well. She’d been gone for over six months this time. It didn’t matter much that old lady Jobe lived in the house. At 93, she was blind and almost totally deaf. She depended on me to help her with the smallest of tasks. But, she paid her rent every month and that kept the lights on.

“Oh, Emmy, where are you?” This could get really messy. Attention was the one thing I’d managed to avoid until now. I couldn’t lose Emmy. I just couldn’t, and I wouldn’t let them put us off in some strange foster home.

If nothing else, the woman who called herself my mother had taught me to lie…and lie I would.

I reached the front door out of breath and shoved it open screaming. “Emily! Emily, are you here?”

Old lady Jobe stirred in her chair. I shook her and yelled in her ear. “Have you seen Emily?”

“Huh?” the old lady looked dazed and confused.

“Emily,” I repeated. “Has she been here?”

“I don’t think so, child. What’s wrong?”

It took less than two minutes for me to scour every room in the house. Emily wasn’t there.

Without another word, I ran back to the amusement park. Maybe they’d found her by now.

Oh, if only our papa hadn’t gotten killed. None of this would be happening. Tears flowed as I remembered his strong arms around me in the warmest bear hug. Had it already been two years? Emily barely remembered him. It was after that our mother quit caring about anything or anyone but herself. I didn’t mind that she’d left. I’d been taking care of everything anyway.

From that day forward, it fell on my shoulders to take care of Emily and now I’d failed.

I sprinted through the amusement park gates.

To Be Continued…

 

Legacy of Danger #RRBC

It is my pleasure to host #RRBC author, Patricia Guthrie on this stop of her 4 Wills Publishing blog tour to introduce us to her newest book, Legacy of Danger!

(Please note: The writing piece below is the sole work of author, Patricia Guthrie.)

What I Want to Write About

A Short rest from Legacy. Here’s what I want to write about. Seriously?

I really need to get back into the discipline of writing again. Honestly, I do. So, do I really want to write? What about? Do I want to concentrate on a new novel? (what a novel idea—no pun intended) How about getting into short stories? Non-fiction articles?  It’s funny. (not ha ha) every time I work on “Legacy of Danger”(since the 1990’s)  I get overly annoyed with my writing and plotting and work on something else. “In the Arms of the Enemy” and “Waterlilies Over My Grave” (both published) were the two recipients of my frustration.

If I do write this story, what to write about? A story about horses and horsemen—a subject I know something about?  How about music, maybe an opera singer?  How about setting my character as a would-be writer? Subject matter is important. What about a church as a setting? (lots of mysteries set in churches—remember Father Brown?) How about a barn? A ranch? The mountains?  Where do our readers enjoy vacationing? Should it be a romance or a mystery? Romantic suspense? Paranormal?  Do you see a pattern of wavering unsureness here?

Maybe I should take one of the published books and continue their story with a series.  An amateur writer-detective who lives on a horse farm and solves community crimes in churches.  I love amateur detectives. After all, I grew up on Miss Marple.

Should I just start writing? (panzer) Or should I do what I advocate for other authors to do. Make up character sketches, scene descriptions, and work on a goal, motivation and conflict-resolution. If I don’t and just panzer (write off the cuff) it can get sticky. At least for me. Green eyes turn blue in chapter 20. An avid lover of Shakespeare turns into a book hating TV watcher by mid novel.  (nothing against TV. I’m a Criminal Minds junkie.)

A murder mystery needs a good, suspenseful plot.  Our mm (murder mystery) needs a dicey  detective (generally with issues of his or her own,) perhaps a venomous victim and surly suspect. Should the victim be a nasty human being like we see in so many crime novels? Maybe not. Some of the most heinous of criminals love their mothers.  One of the saddest mysteries occurs when a nice man or woman kills a nasty individual, then either commits suicide when near capture, or is caught. Sometimes we root for the killer.

Maybe it’s time I got out of the romance-romantic suspense genre and went straight mystery.  A good ol’fashioned “who dun it.”  Yep, I’m thinking in that direction.  I’m thinking love of horses, a protagonist–a woman who I wish I could be like, a criminal who I’ve probably met, but with whom I hope I never have to interact, two teenagers and a hero who are not quite on top of the protagonist pool, but someone I wish I could meet–and marry at the end. It’s my story. I can meet and manipulate anyone I want.

This may be just a muse. A pending brain storming session from me to me and anyone who will listen. But, it’s also the beginnings of an idea. Maybe my next novel.

One thing I do know. I need to focus on one genre. Going back and forth isn’t getting me anywhere. But, that’s me. I’m writing this because I want to entice you to focus, too. If we go in too many directions, we get lost in the forest of ideas. Find that one gorgeous oak tree and make it beautiful.

Or lay up against it, look at the sky and contemplate glorious plots.

That’s all for today.

* * *

Patricia Guthrie

Author Bio:

Patricia A. Guthrie is the author of romantic suspense novels, mysteries and short stories. She resides in the Chicago area and has taught in the Chicago Public School system.

Guthrie’s current published novels ‘In the Arms of the Enemy,’ ‘Waterlilies Over My Grave’ and ‘Legacy of Danger’ are available in online bookstores such as Amazon.com. She also has short stories published in Amazon.com, Skyline Magazine and Affaire de Coeur and non-fiction articles in the Collie Cassette and the online ‘Nature Journal.’ She’s currently working on a mystery novel that she hopes to have published in 2018.

Guthrie is an accomplished musician: opera singer, church soloist and music teacher. After leaving the opera, Guthrie became a music therapist in a school for children with special needs and then went on to teach music in the Chicago Public School system.

She’s an avid animal lover and advocate.

You can find her books on Amazon.com, as well as other online booksellers.

* * *

Legacy of Danger by Patricia Guthrie

LEGACY OF DANGER https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M1024Y8/

Book Blurb:

Inheriting a castle, Elena Dkany travels to Romania, a land dipped in Myths, Folklore, and as legend has it, the Walking Dead.

 From the onset of her arrival, hearing a local proverb: “Do not speak badly of the Devil, because you cannot know to whom you will belong,” she soon understands the importance of adhering to this warning in this mysterious land.

Social Media:

Blogspot – www.paguthrie.blogspot.com

Facebook – https:///facebook.com?LegacyOfDanger

Twitter – @paguthrie1

This blog tour is brought to you by 4 Wills Publishing

#RRBC Spotlight Author – Vashti Q

Each month, the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB Spotlights one of its most supportive authors. The Spotlight Author spot for January is occupied by Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

VASHTI

Please show your support by purchasing her book, The Fall of Lilith, reading and reviewing it.

FALL

BOOK INFO:

 In The Fall of Lilith, Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts an irresistible new take on heaven and hell that boldly lays bare the passionate conflicted natures of God’s first creations: the resplendent celestial beings known as angels. 

 If you think you know their story, think again.

 Endowed with every gift of mind, body, and spirit, the angels reside in a paradise bounded by divine laws, chief of which are obedience to God, and celibacy. In all other things, the angels possess free will, that they may add in their own unique ways to God’s unfolding plan.

 Lilith, most exquisite of angels, finds the rules arbitrary and stifling. She yearns to follow no plan but her own: a plan that leads to the throne now occupied by God himself. With clever words and forbidden caresses, Lilith sows discontent among the angels. Soon the virus of rebellion has spread to the greatest of them all: Lucifer.

 Now, as angel is pitted against angel, old loyalties are betrayed and friendships broken. Lust, envy, pride, and ambition arise to shake the foundations of heaven . . . and beyond. For what begins as a war in paradise invades God’s newest creation, a planet known as Earth. It is there, in the garden called Eden, that Lilith, Lucifer, and the other rebel angels will seek a final desperate victory—or a venomous revenge.

 “[A] compelling narrative that . . . strays far from traditional biblical text . . . A well-written, descriptive, and dark creation story.”—Kirkus Reviews

THE FALL OF LILITH

AUTHOR BIO:

Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a writer of fantasy, horror, and suspense/thriller. When she isn’t creating extraordinary worlds or fleshing out powerful characters, she enjoys reading, traveling, kayaking, photography, and seeking adventures. She lives in Florida with her husband and fur baby, a Pomeranian named Scribbles (who’s also her writing buddy).

Twitter -@VashtiQV

Facebook – http://on.fb.me/1g0da7d

Website – http://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com

 

“I once wrote a story that killed a town.”

A Town’s Perception

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

It began with the blood moon.

One evening I lifted my eyes to the firmament, and the moon appeared to have doubled in size. It was crimson in color and its reflection painted the skies cerise. Afterward, all manner of curious phenomena began to occur and nothing would ever be the same in my small town.

Strange swirls of iridescent colors began to form in the night skies. During the day the sun shone purplish-blue and colored the skies indigo. It was like something had transported us to a different planet overnight.

When I saw the ships in the sky, I knew it wouldn’t be long before they came for us, and I was right.

In the middle of the day, they came. I watched them disembark their ships, small groups at a time. They resembled men of diminutive stature with large heads. They appeared to waddle rather than walk. They wore weird metallic suits with respirators attached to their faces. They walked down the street and entered my neighbors’ homes. Screams and wails disrupted our normally quiet town.

I rushed to my daughter’s side. She sat on the bed in her room, stared ahead at nothingness and wailed, as she had done for days.

My poor child. Her mind was not equipped to handle this invasion. I held her tight. I would not allow her capture. Who knew what these small creatures were capable of doing to her––to us.

I pushed the barrel of the gun up against her temple to keep my hand from trembling. The feel of the cold metal against her flesh did not stop her wails. Poor thing, her voice was so hoarse. I would extinguish the fire in her gullet.

I pulled the trigger. She fell on her side, her eyes still open wide as if she still saw this nightmare. I shut her eyelids and finally gave her peace.

It was my turn. I’d convinced myself, like so many others in this town, that this was the only way out. I was the last to take action since I was taught to always have hope, but even those of us who always have hope had given up.

The priest took most of the townsfolk. After his last sermon, the priest instructed the congregation to get on their knees and pray. While they were praying, the priest left the church and locked them in. Then he set it ablaze.

Pitiful man of the cloth, his mind also handled the crisis in a bad way. He burned those people alive: men and women, young and old. He had invited my daughter and I to attend his last sermon, and I agreed to go, but my daughter was sick, so we stayed home and were saved from a horrific death.

I live a few blocks from the church, and I heard the screams and howls of the burning souls. I ran down the street and noticed there was no one sitting on their front porches, no children playing hopscotch, no dogs being walked. As I neared the church the screams grew louder. I met with a fiery inferno. The stench of burning flesh and hair made me retch. I released the contents of my stomach right there on the street. What did it matter? There was no one around to watch me. I saw the priest stagger from the back of the burning building. My stomach was tied in knots.

“Demons! The demons are upon us,” he shouted. “If you remain they will take your soul!”

“What are you talking about?” I backed away from him. “There are people burning alive in there!” I ran toward the church’s double doors. The heat of the blaze stopped me. I sobbed helplessly. Those were my neighbors. My friends.

“You have to burn! Otherwise, the demons will take your soul. I burned them because the fire will purify their spirits.” He wore a demented expression.

I froze and stared at him with wide eyes and raised brow. Then my hands flew to cover my mouth upon recognition of what he had done. My legs faltered and I fell to my knees. I trembled uncontrollably as the priest took steps toward me.

I held up my shaky hands before me. “Stop! Don’t come any closer!” I made an attempt to get to my feet, but my knees buckled.

“My dear, you must not remain alive. The demons will take your soul.” His voice was eerily calm. He continued to walk in my direction.

“You’re right!” I bobbed my head. “I know I must die. I must tend to my daughter’s demise also.”

“What? Your young daughter is still alive?”

“Yes, she waits for me at home.”

“No, no, no!” The man of the cloth pulled on his sleeves and shook his head like a madman. “You must go to her. It may be too late already. The demons do not waste time. A young soul like hers is a prime target. Go to her! If her soul is still intact, take her life and then take your own.”

He took a lighter out and flicked it on. He bent over and put the small flame against the hem of his cassock.

I tried to scream as I watched the little flame spread and grow on the flammable cloth of his priestly vestment, but I opened my mouth and sounds did not leave my lips. I gathered my strength and lifted myself off the ground. I wanted to run. Instead, I barely escaped the howling priest who floundered, engulfed in flames.

I staggered past him, noxious smoke attacking my nostrils. The stench was so great, I could taste it.

The very next day, the little men came.

It’s time now. My daughter is gone. The entire town is gone.

***

A gunshot is heard. Men in white lab coats and facemasks run into a young girl’s bedroom. On the twin bed, dressed in pink, lies a pre-teen girl and a thirty-something-year-old woman. Both females are deceased due to gunfire wounds to the head.

“We’re too late,” one of the men in lab coats said.

“Well, maybe it is for the best.” His partner nodded. “There is nothing we could have done to reverse the effects of the chemical agent.”

“It’s a shame what happened in this town.”

“Yes, but how could we know Solution K would have this effect on them?”

“No, we had no way of knowing that the solution we prepared to cause infertility in the men and women of this town would turn into a powerful, hallucinogenic, mind-altering drug when combined with their water.”

“We’ll have to look into the town’s filtering system before we try this again in the next small town.”

“I agree, but let’s not allow this small speed bump to deter our cause.”

“Doctors,” a young man interrupts, “you asked for bottled water?” Both men nodded and each took a bottle. The young assistant leaves.

“Of course it won’t deter us. Our cause to save the planet by ending overpopulation goes beyond a few casualties.”

“Well, I wouldn’t exactly call five hundred people a few casualties, but such things happen in the name of science.”

“Absolutely.” The scientist gulps down his bottled water. Suddenly, he sputters. His eyes widen. “Thi-this water was bottled right here in this town!”

The other scientist fumbles with the bottle, trying to see the manufacturer’s name.

“How could this small town have a bottled water company?” Openmouthed and hands trembling, the scientist stares at the lettering on the bottle. He reads, “‘We take pride in our fresh, clean mountain water and we use the highest quality water filtration systems.’ They bottled this water four days ago.” He drops the bottle and it crashes to the ground.

“No!” His partner clasped his hands over his head. “We put Solution K in the water supply seven days ago!”

“Maybe it won’t affect us in the same way as the townspeople.” His voice wavers as he stared at his partner while rubbing his neck. His body trembles at the thought of having ingested the solution that caused all the townspeople to go mad and kill themselves and each other.

The other scientist stared at him, unnervingly silent.

Suddenly, the first scientist recoils. “Stay away from me! Don’t come near me. You will never take me alive!”

“What is the matter with you?” The second scientist narrows his eyes and shrinks back. “Oh––no.” His face slackens as realization hits.

“You’ll never take me alive, Nazi!” His partner continues shouting, grabs a lamp and charges.

The scientist wrestles with his crazed partner and seizes the lamp from him. The madman bites him on the shoulder. The scientist beats his partner on the head and back repeatedly with the lamp until the madman finally unclenches his teeth and falls to the ground dead.

The scientist falls back against the wall and wraps his arms around himself. He slides down the wall, landing in a crumpled mess on the floor. He holds his head in his hands and stares at his partner’s limp body and cracked skull, whose blood meanders toward him. Rivers fall from his eyes. His body shakes and convulses.

His eyes do not reflect what lays before him but instead, he sees what his mind perceives.

The flames of hell surround him, while demons dance around and torment him with pain.

Moral of the story––Karma’s a bitch.

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Sweet Temptation – Sarah Stuart #BookReview

5 star

Sweet Temptation

THE BLURB:

Evie Taylor is a career girl with no time for men, but she has a secret passion for Michael Marsh, the unattainable world-famous singer, The Diamond Superstar. Michael has been widowed for two years and the young detective who helped close the case on his wife’s murder still haunts his dreams. He doesn’t expect to find a deadly enemy in Evie’s mother.

Teenage Greta, jealous of her adored father paying attention to Evie, makes a dangerous contact in an Internet chatroom. The Spy, a journalist hell-bent on destroying Michael, sets out to prove he has an incestuous relationship with his eldest daughter, he encourages his adult twins to sleep together, and he is responsible for appalling injuries inflicted on Greta.

Can Evie defeat the virus intent on her death, The Spy, and her mother, to win the heart of the man who’s turned her life upside-down?

MY REVIEW:

I have read all the books in Sarah Stuart’s Royal Command Series, and until I read Sweet Temptation, my favorite of the series was the first book, Dangerous Liaisons.

Michael Marsh, the Diamond Superstar has millions of fans across the globe, but he’s lonely. When his wife, Lizzie, was murdered in front of him, his world shattered. He didn’t believe he could ever love again. That is until detective Evie Taylor, walked into his office. Thirty years his junior, it is a relationship destined to failure from the start. She’s been a fan and star struck by him since she was a teenager. So, when he asks her to move into Mere House with him, she’s ecstatic, but disillusioned when she is never invited to share his bed. She falls gravely ill and lies at death’s door in the hospital for months. That is when Michael realizes he cannot live without her. A hasty marriage in the hospital puts a diamond ring on her finger, but still she is riddled with doubt. How can Michael love her when she is so near death and disgustingly thin? The many skeletons in Michael Marsh’s closet come out and with the help of Evie’s evil and jealous mother, she is convinced the marriage is only a farce and meant to take the heat off Michael when The Spy reports damaging lies about incest and physical abuse in the tabloids. Add Michael’s teenage daughter, Greta, into the mix and the plot thickens. Greta allows herself to become a victim of a sex trafficking ring when she turns to a chat room to ease her own loneliness. She is jealous of Evie and the hours Michal spends at the hospital and convinces herself that her family doesn’t love her. The author did a superb job of getting inside the mind of a typical teenager. But, the danger is real and if not for Greta’s fierce determination, she would have been another statistic.

One of the reasons I loved this story so much is that Michael Marsh redeemed himself. By that I mean, that he had to, for once in his life, think of someone other than himself. The hours he spent with no food and no sleep to sit by Evie’s bedside as she battled to live and fight incessant nightmares put him in a different light. It showed a compassionate caring side of the Diamond Superstar that we had not seen in the other books. 

If you love dysfunctional family drama, suspense, and conflict, you are going to love Sweet Temptation. Sarah Stuart did an amazing job with all the characters, delving deep into their psyche. As a last word, I also have to give her kudos for the detailed way she depicted Evie’s nightmares that haunted her as she lay in a coma. Only someone who had experienced these could write about them in such vivid detail.

About The Author:

Sarah Stuart

Sarah Stuart is an award-winning author whose books are based on her show business experience, her concern for animals, the challenges of her Christian faith, and her passions for history and travel.

Sarah’s hope is that readers will enjoy her novels as an escape from reality, but be left understanding that fame and fortune often comes at a high personal cost. Also, an increased perception of the threat to animals: those shot in the name of sport for trophy heads, endangered species, many poached for their fur and ivory, and tragically discarded pets.

Sarah appreciates reviews very much. Readers have already helped endangered species and discarded pets worldwide; she donates 100% of her royalties to help and reviews encourage others to buy and review for this globally worthwhile cause.

Connect with Sarah:

Twitter        Facebook 

THE ROYAL COMMAND SERIES

RC dynasty and dallas quote

 

D.L. Finn – Book Release #RRBC

Author D.L. Finn has spread her literary wings a little further and released a new Paranormal Romance This Second Chance. It is my great pleasure to showcase her new book here today!

This Second Chance eBook Cover

Blurb:

Newly married Rachael Battaglia finally had it all. The only detail that stained Rachael’s perfect wedding was a gift she received. It was the exact present that her late ex-husband had given her on their wedding day — a snow globe. That marriage was not what she had envisioned, and she endured years of his abuse and charm until one night she escaped with two kids and one on the way.  Now Rachael was headed to Hawaii with an amazing man and her chance at happiness.  Unbeknownst to Rachael, she had an Angel on her side, although this Angel might not be able to save Rachael and her family from the evil that surrounded them. This is a tale of love, past relationships, things unseen, and redemption. Will Rachael find her happy ending, or will this evil thing get its way?

Excerpt:

Prologue

They hovered over the familiar woman in the wedding dress. She looked terrified, and on the day that she should be at her happiest.

“You are getting a chance most do not get. You understand that, right?” Zelina asked.

He meekly nodded at her. Her brown eyes narrowed, piercing his soul. She clearly didn’t like him—not that he blamed her.

“Good. We are clear. You give Rachael her happy ending. Then you can move on and let go of some of that bad you did,” Zelina said, pursing her lips tightly together.

Her pale silver gown flowed around her like an ocean wave ebbing in and out. He never understood how angels’ clothes did that yet, at the same time, kept their form enough to cover them modestly.

“I understand, and I’m grateful I’ve been given this second chance. I won’t let you, or Rachael, down. I’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen,” he replied, more confidently than he felt.

Although it confused him that he was being given this chance, he’d never question this angel. He certainly didn’t deserve it and hadn’t had a moment’s peace since his death. Everything he’d done flashed before him—over and over. He was relieved to have a break from it and a chance to finally do some good, but he was merely a ghost—a soul, or a man without a body. What could he do to take away that expression on Rachael’s face?

“Yes, it is a break from your much-earned reflections.” Zelina crossed her arms, obviously irritated at him.

He felt his face redden as he nodded back at her. In this form, he felt all the physical and emotional reactions he had when he was alive but stronger. He needed to remember that angels always knew what he was thinking. He had no privacy now.

“I had to watch Rachael make some bad mistakes. I will not do this again; this is too important. You must figure out how to fix this and make your atonement. You know the rules. If I see you doing any harm, I will send you back. This is your only chance to do some good. I will be watching if you need some guidance, but I think you will figure it out,” Zelina finished, suddenly seeming taller to him.

Her black hair glowed as she put her hands on her hips with her wings fully extended. He never tired of seeing the shimmering, feathered wings that reminded him of a peacock tail. They were beautiful. Under all that splendor, he knew, there was a ferociousness akin to a bear protecting her young. Rachael was her cub.

When her wings were tucked behind her, unseen, Zelina seemed perfectly ordinary. She could walk among the humans unnoticed. She turned her gaze on him again and scowled. She oversaw people like him—the tough cases. He sighed. Zelina responded to his sigh with a smirk. On Earth that look would have infuriated him, coming from a woman. Now it scared him.

A sudden chill ran through him. “Is someone else here?” he asked.

“It is not a someone; it is more of a thing, and it is what you are up against. It has no conscience, unlike even someone like you; your conscience peeked out after your reign of terror. This thing has no empathy, no love—only hate. I cannot hear what it thinks. It is the purest form of evil and is called an evildwel. This one has consumed its human—even in death. You had one in control of you, but a part of you remained. Death might have saved you, or you might have fought it off someday. I do not know things like that. What I do know is that this evildwel means Rachael harm. Be careful, and do not disappoint me,” Zelina warned, and then she vanished.

In the corner of the room, there was no form for him to make out, only thick, dark mist. Did the evildwel know he was there? He suddenly wished Zelina hadn’t left him. He was afraid, yet he was going to do what Zelina requested—not because he had no choice, but because he had a lot of things to make up for. It was time to get to work.

Chapter 1

Rachael’s detachment from the image in the mirror smoothing the satin, off-white wedding gown puzzled her. After all, this was the same scalloped three-quarter dress, showing off her newly trim waist, that she’d pictured herself in after seeing it on a Bridal magazine cover over twenty years ago. Frowning, Rachael adjusted the tiny yellow roses and baby’s breath in her Gibson-styled, lightened auburn hair with her set of pink, acrylic nails.

“Not bad for age thirty-seven and three kids,” Rachael tried to reassure the pale image in the mirror.

It didn’t work. The urge to rip off the dress and fake nails and make a dash out the back door was even stronger now.

“Why?” Rachael asked the woman staring back at her in the mirror, unaware of her unseen visitors…

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT:

AMAZON

SMASHWORDS 

BARNES & NOBLE

D.L. Finn is an independent California local, who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA.  She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks and cedars, her creativity was cradled until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to her readers to join her.

d.l. finn author pic

Check out other books by D.L Finn:      AMAZON

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D.L. Finn is also a supportive member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB,

She is also a member of Rave Writers International Society of Writers (RWISA)

OUR JUSTICE by John Howell – Review #RRBC

51bypm1jgll-_uy250_         5 star

Fasten your seatbelts and get ready for a ride!

In this third book of the John Canon series, Author John Howell has amped up the action. Matt Jacobs is determined to capture national hero, Attorney, John Canon, and force Canon to join with him in murdering the President and destroying America.

There are explosions, car chases, harrowing airplane trips and even F18 fighter jet rides in the race to evade capture and/or death at the hands of Jacobs. Canon manages to stay one step ahead and with Stephanie Savard at his side, finds not only an ally and but, perhaps even love. Sheriff Ned Tranes takes the brunt of attacks in his attempt to protect John and when he gets shot, is forced to sit on the sidelines for a while. But, not for long.

In this book, Howell takes us deep inside the mind of a terrorist, Matt Jacobs, and shows how committed he is and how much he believes in his cause. Matt Jacobs sees America as Satan and the president as the leader of Satan and feels fully justified in committing murder to bring the country to its knees. And, in that process, securing himself a place in heaven. Murder in the name of Allah.

But, he underestimates John Canon. And it helps that a bit of betrayal is added into the mix.

This is a nail-biter. Each attack on Canon escalates until there appears to be no hope of survival. But, in true John Howell fashion, there is a climatic twist. If you like thrillers, you are going to enjoy this conclusion to the Canon series when “Our Justice” is finally served.

Author, John Howell, is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and hosts a regular RAVE WAVES Blog Talk Radio Show.

Follow John on TWITTER    WEBSITE/BLOG   FACEBOOK

Purchase OUR JUSTICE

Other Books by John Howell

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