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Carly Ellen Kramer has a new book for you!


Carly Ellen Kramer has a new book for you!

Available in paperback and Kindle format from Amazon:

How To Bake A Chocolate Soufflé: A Novel (Cherry Harbor Series) (Volume 1)

Author signed copies (no extra charge) are also available from Crowded Earth Kitchen

using the “Buy Now” button below!

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How to Bake a Chocolate Souffle Blue Cover

Forget what your English professor told you – life stories are not written in college.

Madeleine LaBlange, Annie Anderson, and Audrey Navarro shared formative years as roommates at Chicago’s Catholic haven for women, the historic Abbott College. If only they could have predicted the collisions between their carefully crafted life plans and the realities they discover beyond campus…

Madeleine harbors dreams of becoming a concert pianist while Dr. Reynold Fenwick, her mercurial graduate school mentor, harbors fantasies of Madeleine. Will pursuing her dreams be worth the cost? Will an evening in Budapest change her life forever?

Annie plans to build a perfect family with her perfect husband in the cutthroat news media industry, until an abrupt tragedy shakes the foundations of her marriage. What happens when she feels pulled between the two men she loves most, her husband and her father?

Audrey leaves her religious, restrictive parents behind and aims for Chicago’s downtown skyline, dating recklessly and staring down each grueling workday one Chicago Dog at a time. Will an island respite lure her away from her corporate future? When she finds herself in the arms of an unexpected lover, will she have the courage to stand up for her own evolving sense of self?

Follow the journeys of these remarkable women, and cheer them on as they navigate life, love, and chocolate soufflé.

Includes over a dozen decadent new recipes from Crowded Earth Kitchen!

Cherry Harbor Series, Volume 1

276 pages

CEK Publishing

ISBN-10: 0692292101

ISBN-13: 978-0692292105

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One Month Only: Editing Promotion


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For one month only (ends 6-12), every person who schedules an edit for this year will receive a free blurb edit and critique. That is a $25 value!

Editing Services by Cynthia Shepp

*Edit must be scheduled this year. Any service is acceptable. Manuscript must be received on time. Blurb to be edited must be from the book to be edited. Blurb edit received at time of book edit.

Please make sure to mention this promotion when scheduling.

S.E. MEYER PROMOTION & RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY


Book One: Origins 

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John Mitchell’s life in the small Midwestern town of Mill City Wisconsin is about to change forever. The animals in his lab at the Neuro Science Research center suddenly die, he learns gut wrenching news about his wife of ten years and the most important meeting of his career gets canceled when his boss mysteriously disappears.

After accidentally injecting himself with a serum made from the instructions scribed on a seven-thousand-year-old artifact John discovers he has new abilities and new blood-chilling enemies. He and his wife Jenny are soon running for their lives from the terrifying figures that will stop at nothing to protect the serum’s seven-thousand-year-old secret and retrieve the artifact needed to finish their plans.

On the run and searching for answers they are thrown into a world of ancient secrets, esoteric mysteries and a clandestine underground race when they become trapped in a cavern deep under the ruins of ancient Babylon. As millions of people around the world suddenly begin disappearing they learn the horrific news of the inevitable extinction of the Human Race.

Origins

 

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BOOK TWO: THE CROSSING

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Under the shadow of an ominous, double solar eclipse, Earth as we know it is changing forever… 

In a horrific world, where natural disasters are commonplace and food is as scarce as the hopes and dreams of the few who have survived, John Mitchell must find the courage, and the strength, to overcome his personal demons, and possibly the Devil himself. 

Circumventing radical religious extremists who believe it to be Armageddon while battling Braedon, the clock, and his own broken heart, John must find a way to complete the seemingly impossible task of saving the woman he loves, Earth, and the billions of tortured souls locked deep within it. 

From the Amazon best-selling author of ORIGINS. 
The Crossing, Part II of the new thought provoking series, takes us on a journey even deeper into the controversial, yet compelling, world of what we think we know to be true.

The Crossing: Part II Of The ORIGINS Series

giveaway

S.E. Meyer’s was kind enough to give away three ebook bundles of both books 1 and 2! This giveaway is open to USA and international. It will run through 4/5/2014. Please click the link to get to the rafflecopter. Thank you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Heartless by James Ticknor


The Heartless by James Ticknor

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Eighteen-year-old Menar Redfield, a gifted Healer apprentice, plans to settle in the city of Cajoi with his pregnant fiancée. However, his unexplained visions show him a secret war masked by the king’s political regime, placing them both in danger. When his visions come true, his fiancée is killed in the attack on Cajoi by the Heartless, a malicious raider cult.

In his body-strewn path of vengeance, Menar intercepts intelligence revealing the location of Crual, the Heartless’ sadistic combat commander and the one responsible for the death of his fiancée and unborn child. Menar vows to slaughter Crual and sabotage the Heartless’ insurrection. Yet the more blood he spills, the more a dark power grows within him.

If he can use this power to overcome Crual, end the war, and disband the Heartless, their increasing control over the debilitated country will be stopped. But he must hurry, because the dark power Menar possesses threatens to consume him.




Interview

Will Green: Tell us about your books that you have available.

James Ticknor: The Heartless is my debut novel, and it is the first in a trilogy. It is about a young man preparing to begin his life with his fiancée, but she is killed by a malicious raider cult. This atrocity makes him catapult himself into a clandestine war hidden by a political regime. As the story progresses through the book and the trilogy, his internal struggle fans the flames surrounding a corrupt political hierarchy and incites chaos among factions vying for control of the country. In this trilogy, I kept the action/pace intrigue of Game of Thrones in mind, and I also drew inspiration from the Eragon Cycle in the sense of magic. (Though, there are no dragons in this trilogy. It is light fantasy.)

Will Green: What can you tell us about your next project?

James Ticknor: Quite simply, my next project is going to be working on the second installment of this trilogy. This second novel should come much faster than The Heartless. For my audience, I promise that I will write it in six months. For myself, I promise to write it in three months. That way, I can surprise my readers if I finish early, but I can give myself some slack if I need to. In this second book, the political spectrum and factions are given a bigger spotlight, but I really wanted the first book to be focused on introducing and developing the characters. I know how to execute intrigue while still taking my time, something I admire George RR Martin for very much, and he’s played quite an influence in this trilogy.

Will Green: Where do you get the information for your book(s)?

James Ticknor: Well, at first it was Wikipedia. Then I realized researching was turning into an excuse. It also kind of sucked because I would read something about the era I’m writing in that I found astounding (such as impressing seals as signatures), and I would want to write all about how it’s done. Now, I only research on the edits, and skimp over what I don’t fully know in the first draft.

Will Green: What was the most surprising thing you’ve learned since you started writing?

James Ticknor: Without any shadow of uncertainty, I was immensely surprised that writing something could make me gasp and sting my eyes with tears. I am not an emotional man. I didn’t cry at The Notebook, Titanic, or even Forrest Gump. What I find amazing is that for most things, I kinda already knew what was going to happen. However, I remember when I was writing one part of the story and a character said something totally shocking and out-of-character for himself, and I didn’t gasp until after I had typed it- after he said it. I hold that as proof that characters act for themselves, and they can surprise you.

Will Green: How long does it take you to write a book?

James Ticknor: Oh, God. You know, Stephen King once said that writing a book should never take more than three months. This book took me…oh….nearly 5 years to write. I was writing on and off, because I joined the military and for about 2 years my writing suffered immensely with deployments overseas and training. During that time (before the military) I also experienced homeless and extreme poverty (I’m talking $5 a week to eat off of and nothing else). There were several other personal issues that I would never discuss, but the 5 years it took me to write this is poured with every emotion and influence of going through all this. I will never take so long to write a book again. 3-6 months is ideal, 1 year max. The thing that made it take so long aside from these is I was 16 at the time, and I’m 21 now. My writing style changed very much during that time, and the book was written by a different person in the beginning, middle, and end.

Will Green: Who or What inspires you to write?

James Ticknor: Sad songs inspire me. Seeing a couple kiss. Seeing a leaf fall. Squashing a spider in my house. Anything inspires me to write, because I will craft the craziest shit from the dumbest stuff. It’s easy to be inspired to write, but it’s practically impossible to maintain that inspiration. Inspiration is like an adrenaline shot, but it takes an Olympian writer to keep working after that boost.

Will Green: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

James Ticknor: You know, I had to think for a second before I answered this, and I actually have a good one for you. I’ve always treated my characters as if they were real. Occasionally, I will have them randomly engage in erotic behavior with one another, kill each other for no good reason, etc. Of course, I know I am going to delete this, but the characters are real, and I think they need a little release sometimes. If you’ve ever seen Monster In Law, you know what I mean.

Will Green: What book are you reading right now?

James Ticknor: I am reading two, actually. I am reading Under the Dome by Stephen King, and I am also reading A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin.

Will Green: Who is your favorite author and why?

James Ticknor: Stephen King! Oh God Stephen King! The guy is a freaking literary master, and he has proven it over and over again. He takes the most ordinary things and makes them outrageous, yet still believable. I love hearing how he comes up with stories. However, the main reason I am so enthusiastic about him is because of his interviews. A multi-million dollar entrepreneur, he walks into TV spotlight with blue jeans and a pocket T shirt that only my grandfather would wear. He cusses and engages with the population vocally in the same style of his writing. If I find out he voiced an audiobook of one of his books, I’d buy it and ask him to autograph it. I know it makes no sense, but I’m using “shut up and take my money” logic here.

Will Green: What kind of music do you listen to and why?

James Ticknor: Quite frequently, Evanescence. Although she said in an interview she doesn’t consider herself dark, I think she is. Nearly everything that I write is dark. I’ll otherwise listen to classical music. Songs can sometimes distract me.

Will Green: What do you watch on TV and why?

James Ticknor: I watch Netflix, not cable. On Netflix, I watch Futurama, Family Guy, American Dad, and American Horror Story. I love Disney movies too. I watch these comedy shows because comedy, in my firm belief, is the element of surprise, to get you to look at something in a new way that sparks sudden emotion and physical reaction. For American Horror Story, it’s because I like a long story, but still want to move on to other things at one point. For Disney, it’s just a good story. Also I like understanding the fucked up plots I didn’t understand before. My favorite Disney movie is The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and I love looking back at it because I didn’t understand the religious intolerance, lust, and ethnic persecution when I watched it at 5 years old.

Will Green: What kind of advice could you give an aspiring writer?

James Ticknor: Get the fuck off the internet. That doesn’t mean go and watch TV or check your phone for “just one more text”. Electronic recreational devices or social media is the death of inspiration and writing. How many times have you been inspired from something you read on Facebook? Exactly. No, I’m serious. Don’t argue with me. Get. Off. It.

On another note, live in doubt, but don’t let it cage you. Doubt makes us question all aspects of our writing, which is good. There’s going to be people who hate your writing. Listen to criticism, but be aware of who is speaking (Stephen King quote). I remember when I was in high school I wrote the worst, most profane literary piece to no one in particular. However, it got to the principal somehow. There was no violence, no threats or anything- just cuss words. In this public school where assault warranted 1-2 day suspension, I was initially suspended 10 days with recommendation for expulsion based on that writing piece. That is when the biggest critic of my life made me believe (from the amount of controversy and trouble it caused) that I was damned good writer. The message from that is even if someone hates your work, it can be because you are a very powerful writer.

Connect with James Ticknor

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Ethics of the Undead Promo & Giveaway


Title: Ethics of the Undead Promo and Giveaway
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Ethics of the Undeadby Loren Schechter

Synopsis:

Lured with scholarships to a charter school in Idaho’s Sawtooth Wilderness, four normal teens find themselves trapped in a school for vampires. Drawn from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, the scholarship kids’ faith, friendship, and love are tested in this fast-paced, witty adventure.

Sixteen-year-old Kathy finds herself on the kill list of a Shoshone vampire who teaches Ethics for Bloodsuckers. Her pal Lionel is terrorized by his music teacher, an 18th century violinist who worked as a Mafia hit man so he could play at his victims’ funerals. With the entire student body thirsting for snacks, keeping the warmbloods alive presents a challenge for several quirky but ethical vampires. And when Kathy and Lionel are put on trial for murder in a vampire court, there are only three options: escape, die
trying, or join the undead.

This novel will delight all readers of fantasy adventure who thirst for humor in the vein of Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels. Indeed, Clarion review says, “Urban fantasy meets eccentric comedy in this unique and caustically witty conflict between vampire and human ethics.

Loren’s Bio:
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Loren Schechter is a retired psychiatrist who loves to write humorous fiction. He was very lucky in that he spent much of his career treating adolescents.  His first novel was Murder in Millbrook, a cozy mystery. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife Susan and dog, Amigo. Noanimals, senior citizens or vampires were injured in the writing of his novels.

 

Find Loren At:
Buy the Novel At:AmazonPaperback

| AmazoneBook

| B&NPaperback

| B&NeBook

 

 

Excerpt:

 

A bald, barrel-chested man in a plaid shirt and jeans came onto the porch, shut the door firmly behind him and shook his head.  Edna crouched behind the low railing, waiting to see if the woman would come out with his coat.

Stay inside and live, she thought, willing her message through the cabin wall.  The white man is my prey, as I once was his.  Stay inside and live.

She heard the man click a cigarette lighter into flame.  She waited for his first satisfied exhalation, then vaulted over the rail.

His eyes went wide.  “What the-”

Edna whipped the hard edge of her hand into his throat.  His head jerked back.  He gurgled like a man drowning.  She punched his temple and caught him as he fell.  Stifling her own grunt, she heaved him over her shoulder, then stepped off the porch into the
rain.  She made her way downhill toward the river, avoiding the road.  The man’s weight felt less burdensome than her urge to feed on him immediately.
Still, she walked until she felt him move.  Then she laid him down carefully behind a clump of trees, straddled him and peeled back his collar.  Resting one hand on his throat, she sang a song of gratitude until his eyes opened.  She saw him trying to remember, to make sense of lying in wet underbrush, rain pelting his face, the dark woman sitting on him singing in a foreign language, her hand
caressing his aching throat.

“I apologize, cousin,” said Edna.  “I do this only so that I may exist as long as the Creator God wills it. I have-”

The man tried to speak.  She squeezed his throat until he gasped for air.

“Please don’t interrupt.  White people do that all the time, but not tonight.  I apologize that I have not yet purged all revenge from my heart.  I do try, but I once was a warm-blooded human and was badly treated.  You may be innocent of the crimes of your brothers, but we are all connected – and I need your blood to survive.”

The man struggled to push her off.  She rode him as if he were a frightened horse, with her knees and the grip on his throat tightening.  She bent over toward his ear and grimaced at the odors of smoke and alcohol that filled her nostrils, that she would taste in his blood.

“Do not struggle,” she whispered.  “I will spare you the pain of waking up a vampire.  I apologize for taking your blood, and your life.”

He bucked wildly as her teeth ripped into his neck, down to his carotid artery and vein.  Too hungry to suck, she punctured the artery and opened her mouth wide to the stream of blood that shot forth.  She rode him with her mouth at his neck, gulping down each pulse of salty, warm ambrosia as if the next swallow might deliver both a release from damnation and a heavenly life.

He gave out too soon.  Never enough, she thought. She licked up the splatter, picked the corpse up and walked toward the river.

 

 

Enter The Free Giveaway!2/5 – 4/5 At Goodreads

Goodreads

Book Giveaway

Ethics of the Undead

by Loren Schechter

Giveaway ends April 05, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

 

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eBookSoda (A New Way to Read & Promote)


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New free readers’ service helps find amazing ebook deals eBookSoda is a brand new service helping readers to find great free and bargain ebooks tailored to their reading tastes. Did you know a new ebook is released nearly every minute? According to Amazon that’s 1293 every day. The choice is overwhelming. But what many people don’t know is hundreds of ebooks are discounted or free for limited peri…ods. But how do you know and how do you choose? Well, thanks to eBookSoda, they’ll tell you via a daily email, so you can take advantage of great ebooks at low prices. eBookSoda sorts through the all the bargain and free ebooks out there. Based on what you like to read, it handpicks only the good stuff, including bestsellers and new releases. They’re all under $4.99 and many are free. So instead of spending hours endlessly searching the web, eBookSoda will send you suggestions tailored to your personal reading tastes. It’s a completely free service. All you have to do is tell them which types of books you like and they’ll do the rest. Sign up to www.ebooksoda.com  and start getting great free and bargain ebooks.

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It is also a great place for Authors to submit their books for promotion! Check out their promotion deals. It is free for a very limited time! http://www.ebooksoda.com/authors/

Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club Promo/Paperback Giveaway


Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club

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Synopsis

When Clare Ballard sports a new bruise on her right cheek the day after a contentious town meeting, the ladies of the Thursday Morning Breakfast Club suspect her husband Roger of abusing her. That same day Hester Franklin, another breakfast club lady, is called to rescue her grandson Patrick after he is arrested for transporting drugs. Proclaiming his innocence, Patrick threatens that those who set him up will pay. Roger Ballard is high on his list.

But it’s when Lillie Mae Harris, the club’s leader, discovers the body of the local drug dealer on the nearby hiking trail, that the community is upended. Roger Ballard, the primary suspect, goes missing, and when his body turns up in his own back yard, Clare Ballard confesses to his murder. No one
believes she did it, but Clare insists she’s guilty and mysteriously refuses to talk to her lawyer, the police, or her family and friends.

The Thursday Morning Breakfast Club ladies believe she’s protecting someone, and they vow to find out
who it is. Charlie Warren, the town’s homegrown policeman, using unconventional means, collaborates with the breakfast club ladies to draw out the real criminal. But danger lurks.

Alice Portman, the matriarch of the breakfast club, is struck down in her own yard and is sent to the hospital. Then others in the small community start to disappear—one after the other. As the ladies get closer to the truth, they get closer to the danger. With no time to cry over spilled coffee, they form a plan to capture the true culprits before someone else is murdered.

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About the Author

After some thirty years writing everything from political encyclopedias to software manuals, Liz Stauffer retired from corporate life to write fiction, travel, and play on the beach. Since that time,
she has traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world. With her two dogs, Stauffer lives in Hollywood, Florida, where she owns and manages a vacation rental business.

Thursday Morning Cover (Click to buy on Amazon for $3.99)

Excerpt

 “Clare’s dead!”

When she spoke the words, her voice was so low it was barely above a whisper. The sturdy woman with short, curly red hair dropped the handset back into its cradle and began to pace, the phone still ringing on the other end of the line.

Lillie Mae Harris stopped at the front window, taking no notice of the white buds that were just opening on the two Bradford pear trees in her front yard, or the spring flowers peeping through the freshly hoed soil in the close- by flower bed. Her thoughts were of Clare.

She had the best view in Mount Penn from this window. On a winter’s morning she could see for some thirty miles out over the valley with the big blue sky as the backdrop. The night view was even more amazing, offering a shower of dancing lights in the distance competing only with the brightest stars.

It was now early spring and the vista had already begun to shrink even though the trees were just beginning to bud. Once the trees were filled out with big green leaves the view would pull in even more until fall when the colors exploded and the view once again took one’s breath away.  But today the scenery did nothing to still Lillie Mae’s pounding heart or quell her shaking hands. She couldn’t stop worrying about Clare. Rushing back to the phone, she scooped it up, and punched in a familiar number.

“Hello.” Alice Portman answered in her sweet Southern drawl, after just one ring. Her Jack Russell terrier, Alfred, barked in the background.

“Clare’s not answering her phone this morning,” Lillie Mae said. “I’m so worried about her, Alice. I’m not sure what to do.”

“Settle down, Lillie Mae,” Alice said, shushing Alfred. “Why are you more concerned today?”

“You were at the water meeting last night,” Lillie Mae said. “You saw how Roger was acting. Yelling and screaming like an idiot. When he’s gotten that riled up in the past, Clare’s been his punching bag.”

“Well, yes,” Alice agreed, deliberately slowing the pace of the conversation. “But, Roger was just being Roger last night, dear. Just showing off. I didn’t see anything unusual in his behavior. Certainly nothing to make you so worried this morning.”

“He was acting worse than usual,” Lillie Mae insisted, still pacing the living room floor.  “And I’m sure he drank himself crazy when the meeting was finally over. That’s the real reason I’m worried, Alice. You know how he is when he drinks. What he does to Clare.”

“Roger playacts, you know, when it suits him, Lillie Mae,” Alice said, her voice still soft and cool. “He knows he’s going to make a lot of money hooking people up to the public water in a few short months, but he wants to come across as the good guy to his neighbors, not the money grubbing fool that he is. He’ll use every wile that he has to seduce the community. If the project fails, which it won’t this time, he looks like he’s the man who stopped it. If it passes, he wins big time.”

“You’re probably right, Alice,” Lillie Mae said, calming a bit. “I know Roger is shrewd. If he wasn’t always out there trying to make a deal, he wouldn’t be Roger, I guess.”

“So, stop overreacting, Lillie Mae. What’s brought all this on anyway?”           

 “I’ve been calling Clare’s house all morning and nobody answers the phone,” Lillie Mae said. “It’s stupid, I know, but I picture Clare lying on her kitchen floor, needing my help. Dead, even.”

A sigh escaped Alice’s lips. “You’re way over dramatizing this morning, Lillie Mae,” she said. “Roger’s not even home. He drove by me in that stupid yellow Hummer of his while Alfred and I were out on our early morning walk.”

“That’s good to hear,” Lillie Mae said. “Stop imagining the worst, Lillie Mae. Clare’s probably out, too. It’s such a warm spring day. Doesn’t she usually go grocery shopping on Wednesday mornings?”

“Maybe,” Lillie Mae conceded. “Or she could be in her garden, I guess.”

“She’ll call you back when she gets to it,” Alice said, a hint of impatience in her voice.

“I doubt if she does.” Lillie Mae’s voice broke. “She rarely calls me anymore. We’ve been such good friends for so many years and I miss her, Alice. I wish I knew what I did wrong.”

“Clare’s changing, Lillie Mae. She’s getting stronger. Give the girl some space.”

“I’ve noticed a change, too,” Lillie Mae said, “since Billy went off to university. She does have more confidence, I’ll give you that.”

“Have you written your article on the water meeting for the Antioch Gazette, yet?” Alice asked. “I thought it was due today.”

“Not yet,” Lillie Mae confessed. “I’ve been too worried about Clare.”

“Maybe being busy will take your mind off things that are not really any of your business,” Alice said.

“I guess you’re right,” Lillie Mae said. “Clare’s a big girl and can take care of herself.”

 “I know that well,” Lillie Mae said, then suddenly turned serious again when her thoughts returned to Clare. “I’m walking down to Clare’s to check things out before I start on the article. I need to make certain she’s all right, or I won’t be able to concentrate on my work. Do you want to come along?”

“No, you go on, if it’ll make you feel better,” Alice said. “You can fill me in on the details at dinner this evening.”

*    *    *

Roger Ballard’s yellow Hummer was not in the driveway when Lillie Mae arrived at Clare’s house a few minutes later, but Clare’s Ford Escort was. That was good news on both fronts.

Lillie Mae walked around to the back of the large white two-story house trimmed with neat green shutters, to see if Clare might be working in the garden as she often was at this time of the day. She paused when she heard Clare’s voice through the open back door. She sounded angry. Or was it scared? Lillie Mae couldn’t tell for sure.

As she approached the back of the house, Lillie Mae could see through the screen door that Clare was on the phone, her back facing the door. Ready to call out a greeting, Lillie Mae stopped when she heard what Clare said next.

“No, don’t come over here. I’m fine.”

A brief pause.

“There is nothing for you to worry about. It was an accident. Really. Roger didn’t touch me. I told you the truth about what happened.”

More silence.

“We have to be careful,” Clare said, her voice quivering. “If anyone finds out what we’ve done, it would be a disaster for both of us. Roger would kill us if he knew or even suspected.”

A stab of guilt pricked Lillie Mae’s conscience. She stepped back around the side of the house and then called out a belated greeting in her loudest voice.

“Clare, are you home? Lillie Mae here.”

“Just a minute Lillie Mae,” Clare called back. “I’ll be right there.”

Lillie Mae could hear rustling in the kitchen and what could have been Clare whispering something and then hanging up the phone. Clare’s big black tomcat was at the door mewing to get out, making it impossible to hear the rest of the muffled conversation.

Clare stood at the door a few seconds later, flushed and anxious. “Thanks for stopping by, Lillie Mae,” she said, brushing a strand of dark-brown hair behind her ear as she pushed the door open with her other hand. The slight smile on her lips was not in her bright blue eyes. “What a beautiful bouquet you have with you.”

“It’s for you.” Lillie Mae stretched the vase out toward her friend.

Clare took the flowers from Lillie Mae, then ushered her into the large country kitchen. “Come in and tell me the news,” Clare said, without much enthusiasm.  “Would you like a cup of coffee?”

“That would be nice,” Lillie Mae said.

Clare busily arranged an impromptu coffee while Lillie Mae took a seat at the table. Watching her friend as she prepared the table, Lillie Mae was struck again at how attractive Clare was despite her years with Roger. A large-boned woman, Clare could easily be a plus-size model with curves in all the right places. Although she must be in her mid-forties by now, Lillie Mae thought she could pass for a younger woman. Only her son Billy, now a freshman at the university, gave her age away.

Clare set the table with raisin-nut muffins, butter and jam, and a plate of strawberries and fresh pineapple, then poured the coffee in the mugs at each of their places. She had set the flowers in the center of the table. Sitting down opposite Lillie Mae, she passed her the plate of fruit. “These are the first strawberries out of my garden. I picked them this morning.”

Lillie Mae took one of the deep red strawberries from the bowl Clare had passed her, and popped it into her mouth. “That’s good,” she said when she had swallowed. “So sweet for an early spring berry.”

“Sweet berries always come after a cold winter.” Clare picked up a berry and tasted it.

It was then that Lillie Mae saw the bruise on her left cheek.

“That bastard,” Lillie Mae said. “What did Roger do to you?”

“Roger didn’t do anything to me, Lillie Mae,” Clare said, her hand flying to her face. “Right!” Lillie Mae exclaimed. “Roger never touches you, does he?  In all the years I’ve known you, you haven’t had one bruise or broken bone, thanks to Roger Ballard, have you, Clare?”

Clare looked Lillie Mae squarely in the eyes, and said very slowly, enunciating each word. “Roger did not do this to me, Lillie Mae. It was a stupid accident I did to myself.”

“Right,” Lillie Mae said again, this time muttering under her breath.

Clare blushed. “I’ll tell you what happened if you give me the chance. You’re so judgmental, Lillie Mae. You jump to the worst conclusions with very little information, and you always have to be right. I’m not a needy little girl anymore. I can take care of myself.”

Lillie Mae stared at her friend, shocked by the outburst. “I’m sorry.”

“Do you know what I hate the most, Lillie Mae?” Clare said, ignoring her friend’s apology. “The pity. I can see it in your eyes and I can’t stand it. Why do you think I’ve been avoiding you lately?”

Tears sprang to Lillie Mae’s eyes.

“Clare I didn’t realize—again, I’m sorry,” she said, truly repentant. “Tell me what happened last night, and I promise I’ll believe you.”

Clare looked at her friend for what seemed like a full minute.

“It was so stupid,” she finally said, as if the earlier conversation hadn’t taken place. “I went to bed around ten o’clock and went straight to sleep. It had been a busy day and I was tired. When I woke up around midnight and Roger wasn’t home yet, I got worried. As you know, when Roger stays out late, he usually comes home drunk.”

Clare glanced at Lillie Mae, who was nodding, but didn’t wait for her to say anything. “Most of the time he falls asleep on the sofa in his living room, but, on the rare occasion, he wants to talk to me. All I have to do to avoid him is hide in Billy’s room. Roger  never thinks to look for me there. So, last night when I was moving to Billy’s room, I didn’t turn on the lights in case Roger came home just then, and I tripped on an old pair of Roger’s boots that he had left by the landing. I fell and hit my cheek on the wall. That’s what happened, Lillie Mae. As I told you before, Roger didn’t touch me.”

 “So it really was an accident.” Lillie Mae said, thinking that indirectly Roger was as responsible for the accident as he would have been had he made the blow himself.  “Is there anything I can do for you?”

“No, Lillie Mae, there’s nothing I need from you or anybody. I’ve told you it’s not a big deal. I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. Please, let’s not talk about it anymore. Okay?”

“Okay,” Lillie Mae said, wondering who else Clare had been trying to convince it wasn’t a big deal that morning.

The phone rang, the shrill noise blasting through the tension in the air. Clare turned pale. She looked over her shoulder at the phone, than back at Lillie Mae. “I’m not going to answer that,” she said with a nervous laugh. “I’ve been getting so many crank phone calls lately.”

Lillie Mae moved her eyes from Clare to the phone, but remained quiet.

The ringing stopped as quickly as it had begun. Clare inhaled deeply and clasped her hands, but Lillie Mae could see they were shaking.

 “Let’s go outside, Lillie Mae,” Clare said, jumping to her feet. “It’s way too pretty a morning to be sitting in the house. Besides I want to show you my garden. The onions, carrots, and the spring lettuce I planted last week are already peeking through the soil.” Clare picked up a bowl off the counter. “Let’s pick some strawberries for you to take home.”

Lillie Mae glanced back over her shoulder at the phone as she followed Clare out of the house.

Giveaway

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Origins Promotion & Rafflecopter Giveaway


ORIGINS PROMOTION & GIVEAWAY

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John Mitchell’s life in the small Midwestern town of Mill City Wisconsin is about to change forever. The animals in his lab at the Neuro Science Research center suddenly die, he learns gut wrenching news about his wife of ten years and the most important meeting of his career gets canceled when his boss mysteriously disappears.

After accidentally injecting himself with a serum made from the instructions scribed on a seven-thousand-year-old artifact John discovers he has new abilities and new blood-chilling enemies. He and his wife Jenny are soon running for their lives from the terrifying figures that will stop at nothing to protect the serum’s seven-thousand-year-old secret and retrieve the artifact needed to finish their plans.

On the run and searching for answers they are thrown into a world of ancient secrets, esoteric mysteries and a clandestine underground race when they become trapped in a cavern deep under the ruins of ancient Babylon. As millions of people around the world suddenly begin disappearing they learn the horrific news of the inevitable extinction of the Human Race.

AUTHOR BIO:

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S. E. MEYER has been studying ancient civilizations and religions from around the world for over ten years. He has a passion for stimulating conversation and debate within these topics. Hobbies include playing guitar and anything to do with the outdoors or gardening. He lives with his wife and two sons in the Chippewa Valley of western Wisconsin.

Links:

Website: http://www.meye27.wix.com/origins

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/originsbook

Link to local news magazine published article: http://volumeone.org/articles/2013/07/02/5824_in_the_beginning

Link to Book on Amazon: http://www.amzn.com/B00CEKDQO6/?tag=indiestyle-20

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ANGEL OMEGA: IMPRISONMENT (RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY)


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Synopsis:

After struggling for several long months, Jason and Sarah Wyatt are expecting a healthy baby boy. How could they have ever known that the young child growing in Sarah’s womb is the banished soul of the youngest archangel of heaven? His crime so unspeakable that it seems unreal. The archangel Gabriel has sworn to watch over him, for he alone knows the truth about why the archangel Omega would defy his eldest brother, Michael, and bring the Antichrist before God. Could one act of kindness save the darkest of souls?

Author Bio:

Brandon Godbee resides in Houston, Texas with his family. After graduating from high school, Brandon’s creative spirit and love of singing drove him to major in music. Angel Omega: Imprisonment is Brandon’s first work in writing and he is currently working on Angel Omega: Shattered Soul the next installment in the series.

Author Links:

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BUY LINKS:

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Burning Sage Promotion & Rafflecopter Giveaway


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Burning Sage by Deena Remiel

Blurb:

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Sage Wilcot, an accomplished scientist, has set her sights on her lifelong obsession, studying the volcanoes of the island of Santorini. Once there, though, she gets more than she bargained for. The dormant volcano is waking and shaking things up in the process.

An enigmatic stranger—from a mythical ancient city—comes to her rescue and challenges her to believe in the unbelievable. Will she take the huge leap of faith for love’s sake or stay cloistered in her fortress of certainty and solitude?

Excerpt:

“Well, now what?” She brushed the sandy grit off her hands and sloshed her way to drier land. “I’m here. On a grumbling volcano. Alone. What the hell was I thinking?” She shook her head at her own audacity and stupidity.
“You were thinking of me, perhaps? I can only hope.”
Sage spun around at the sound of the low-timbered voice. “Emmanouel?”
He stepped out of the shadowy darkness and outstretched his arms in a welcoming gesture. “In the flesh. And you, Sage, are too, I see. Looking splendid.”
“Yes, much less dusty and grimy. It’s amazing what a shower and some clean clothes can do.” Really, Sage? That’s your big comeback?
He laughed lightly and sauntered closer to her. “So were you?”
“Was I what?”
“Thinking of me.”
“In a way.”
“In what way?”
“Annoyance, actually.”
“Why is that?”
“You disappeared on me earlier. You were following me out of the hole we were in, and then when I went to introduce you to a colleague, you were gone. I could have used some backup on my story about my face being injured and how you fixed it with that watery stuff of yours. See? It’s all gone. No cut, no bruise….”
“Just beautiful, soft skin that I long to touch.” His husky voice sent thrilling pulses through her body and a tingly sensation across her skin. He reached out, and with the back of his hand, tried to caress her cheek. Barely controlling her burgeoning lust, she stepped back.
“Now cut that out. I’m trying to be angry with you.”
“I’m sorry. Go ahead.”
“Well, I can’t now. You kinda fizzled it out of me.”
“Oh, good. So now I can touch you, yes?”
“No!” she huffed, and stepped farther out of his reach. “You can tell me where you went and why you’re here now. How did you know I’d be here?”
“I never left. I can never leave.”

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About the Author:

Deena Remiel

It was the mystique of Arizona’s history and landscape that called to Deena and catapulted her career as an author. When she’s not writing romance and urban fantasy in the wee small hours of the morning or in the deep, dark of night, Deena teaches language arts to middle school students. She currently lives in Gilbert, Arizona with her husband and two children, but New Jersey will always tug at her heartstrings. She believes in angels and loves connecting with her fans, so find her at deenaremiel.com.

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