LAST CHANCE: How to ensure you see TFeR posts in your Facebook feed! {PLUS: Enter to win a $25 Amazon eGift Card!}

I know that many of you are still missing The Frugal eReader posts in your Facebook Newsfeed. This is because of the changes to the Newsfeed that Facebook automatically made, but I found a new fix!

To ensure you receive all of the Frugal Finds, Giveaways, and Freebies, please try the below quick fix.

**Leave a comment on this blog post to let me know you’ve tried the fix and you’ll be entered to win a $25 Amazon eGift card!**

{1} Login to your Facebook page @

{2} Submit a Bug Report to alert Facebook of this issue ~  Use this link to submit a Bug Report

Choose the option “I am not receiving notifications”

Include a description to let Facebook know that you are subscribed to The Frugal eReader Facebook Fan page, but are no longer receiving updates in your newsfeed. Tell them that you want to be sure you that you always see them!

{3} Click Submit, and you’re done!

{4} Leave a comment on this post to let me know you submitted a Bug Report to Facebook, and be entered to win a $25 Amazon eGift Card! {Entries must be received by January 31st}

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{CLOSED: Updated with Winners!} The Tuesday Giveaway: 5 eCopies of Broken (A Paranormal Romance) from David H. Burton!

Happy Tuesday!

It’s time for a Frugal eReader Giveaway!

See below for how to win one of five eCopies of Broken (A Paranormal Romance), sponsored by the author, David H. Burton... but first, a little about the novel:



Three days before her twenty-fourth birthday, Katherine Gregory receives a letter from her deceased mother. It details a faery curse in which the eldest child in each generation will die in their twenty-fifth year.

Three days before her twenty-fourth birthday, a new love interest comes knocking, and her first love has returned – neither men are what they seem, and Katherine may have to choose between them.

Three days before her twenty-fourth birthday, Katherine must decide if this is all real, or if the strange visions she’s been having are just a figment of her imagination.

The race to unravel the mystery begins, and Katherine must solve it – for any day after her birthday could be her last.

“I don’t feel that I can adequately put into words how much I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  In this case, words simply fail me. So, I will do what I have done only one other time…give it a 10 out of 5.”

- Forbidden Reviews
5 out of 5 stars: “David H. Burton’s talent for weaving an intriguing, engrossing and magnificent tale explodes in Broken.”
- Romancing the Book


Broken (A Paranormal Romance) is available for $0.99  at the Kindle Store

Now, for the giveaway:

Simply leave a comment on this post to be entered to win one of five eCopies of David H. Burton‘s Broken {Don’t forget to specify which type of file you prefer: Mobi, ePub or PDF}!

Want more opportunities to win? Share this giveaway via the buttons at the top of this post, and leave a separate comment stating that you’ve done so! {Every share/comment counts as an extra entry!}

Entries will be closed after midnight {PST} on Thursday ~ and five random winners will be chosen and notified next week!

Good Luck!


Congratulations to the five winners!

Debbie Bo

Kim White




Your eCopies will be sent shortly!

Flirts! 5 Romantic Short Stories (The Flirts! Collection), Lisa Scott {$0.99}

**Special $0.99 price for one day only!**

Flirts! 5 Romantic Short Stories to squeeze into your busy life. Fun, flirty, sweet, and sassy—always with the perfect happy ending. Discover the link that ties these shorts together, and look for characters to reappear in the other stories. Titles include:  “The Hot Girl’s Friend,” “Wrong Place, Right Guy,” “Not You,” “Desperately Seeking Cupid,” and “Never Been Dumped.”

Each story is 8,000 to 11,000 words in length

This is the first volume in Flirts! collection, which also includes Beach Flirts!, Holiday Flirts! and Fairy Tale Flirts!

What readers are saying:

from Scarletledder on amazon

“How I laughed reading this book! Sexy, fun, charming, sweet. I have found a new favorite author!”

from M. Ehsa on itunes US

“I absolutely love the collections of short stories and how they tie in together! Each story was different yet sweet in their own way. Fast and great read.”

by Paleflower on itunes UK

“These stories are sensational, well written, witty and heartwarming. Simply put, I couldn’t put it down.”

The average Amazon reader review is currently 4.5 stars {13 reviews}.


THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: King of Swords, Russell Blake {$4.99 or Borrow FREE with Prime!}

Sponsored Post

Russell Blake‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:


Description of King of Swords:

King of Swords is an epic assassination thriller framed against a gritty backdrop of brutal drug cartel violence in modern Mexico.

The G-20 Financial Summit is planned for San Jose Del Cabo. The world’s pre-eminent finance ministers will attend, along with the presidents of the U.S. and Mexico.

Captain Romero Cruz of the Mexican Federal Police uncovers an assassination plot against the attendees. In a roller-coaster race against the clock, Cruz must track and stop El Rey, the “King of Swords” – a faceless super-assassin responsible for a string of the world’s most spectacular killings, before he turns the G-20 into a slaughterhouse.

King of Swords is an intelligent, rule-breaking rush that shatters convention to create a richly-drawn story that’s sure to shock and delight even the most jaded intrigue/adventure thriller fans.



Amazing Assassination Thriller

Blake’s latest, King of Swords, is described in the product description as “epic” “gritty” and “a rule-breaking rush.” What I can say after reading it is that the description radically underplayed it. This is simply one of the best books I’ve read. I could write pages to describe all the twists and unexpected shocks but it would be a waste of time. Anyone considering reading it should prepare for an amazing ride that will jar, sicken, fascinate and delight. Unbelievable achievement.



King of Swords currently has a customer review rating of 5 stars with 10 reviews! Read the reviews here.


King of Swords is available to purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $4.99 or Borrow it for FREE with Amazon Prime

Connect with Russell Blake:


Twitter: @Blakebooks


Announcing the Megan’s Way Giveaway Winners!

Congratulations to the Megan’s Way Winners!

The following threee eReaders have won a gifted eCopy of Megan’s Way!*

Mary Tullila



Thank you to everyone who participated, and be sure to stay with The Frugal eReader for future giveaways!

*Melissa Foster will eMail your eCopy to the eMail address you provided. Congrats!

Monday’s Three: Under Nine, Under Five, Under One! {1/30/12}

It’s Monday ~ A brand new week is ahead of us. Let’s start it off with three Frugal Finds for our Kindles!

Under Nine: The Nail Knot (Fly Fishing Mysteries), John Galligan {$6.99}

The going has gotten tough, and Ned “Dog” Oglivie has gone fishing. Fly fishing. For trout. All across America. At least until his money runs out . . . Driven by tragedy to turn his back on human society, the Dog is on a quest to fish himself into oblivion. And he’s nearly made it. Playing the back highways of America in a wounded old RV . . . provisioned with a supply of peanut butter sandwiches, bad cigars, and vodka-Tang . . . armed with a loaded pistol (for when the money runs out) . . . the Dog is nearly at the end of his tether when he rolls into little Black Earth, Wisconsin, intending to fish the yellow sally stonefly hatch . . . and finds a body instead. Who killed Jake Jacobs, fellow fly fisher and late-coming agitator who was trying to save Black Earth Creek? Why was Jacobs disfigured in such a peculiar way? Why does the Dog give a damn? Can he rekindle his faith and interest in humankind? By caring about the death of a stranger, can the Dog recover his own life? Can he untie The Nail Knot?

The average customer review is currently 4.5 stars {3 reviews}.

Under Five
Between a Rock and a Mad Woman, Stephanie Queen {$2.99}

Madeline Grace was alwlays expected to do great things, but she discovers the price of destiny means running for governor–against a man who was once her lover. In this world of politics, romance wins over cynicism and the good guys finish first. Not since JFK, has a political candidate used his wit and charm to such an advantage as Peter “the Rock”. On the other hand, there hasn’t been a woman so admired as a crusader against corrupt power since Joan of Arc… until “Mad” Madeline. Madeline is running for Governor of Massachusetts against Peter. Madeline and Peter were once in love—before she broke his heart. In the midst of the campaign battle they reignite their volatile relationship, but on warring sides of the ticket, they can’t afford for the media to find out too. As they fight each other for office they find they have an enemy in common. When their enemy drives up the stakes, Peter must decide if he’ll risk his career and fight with Madeline to overcome the political crisis. Madeline has to decide if she trusts Peter—and whether she still loves him.
The average customer review is currently 5 stars {12 reviews}.

Under One: No More Lies, Mona Risk {$0.99 or Borrow FREE with Prime!}

A lie that brings a smile… or the truth that draws tears?
Dr. Olivia Crane lives a quiet life. No one questions why she doesn’t socialize or where she spends every weekend. When the visiting physician from France strolls into her office, with open arms and a confident smile, her perfect control is about to crumble. Good God, he can’t be Dr. Luc George, the man she loved ten years ago? Should she return his scorching kisses, or should she lock her door before he digs into her many secrets? Secret daughter, secret friend, secret enemy. Had Luc really known his sweet Olivia back then? He wants her back, but he wants the truth, too. Now, Olivia has to face her past before she can grab her second chance.
The average customer review is currently  4.5 stars {20 reviews}.

Click on the links or covers above to read reviews or purchase this Monday’s Three Frugal Finds Under Nine from Amazon!

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: A Note from an Old Acquaintance, Bill Walker {$0.99}

Sponsored Post

Bill Walker’s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of A Note from an Old Acquaintance:

Brian Weller is a haunted man. It’s been two years since the tragic accident that left his three-year-old son dead and his wife in an irreversible coma. A popular author of mega-selling thrillers, Brian’s life has reached a crossroads: his new book is stalled, his wife’s prognosis is dire, and he teeters on the brink of despair.

Everything changes the morning an e-mail arrives from Boston artist Joanna Richman. Her heartfelt note brings back all the poignant memories: the night their eyes met, the fiery passion of their short-lived affair, and the agonizing moment he was forced to leave Joanna forever. Now, fifteen years later, the guilt and anger threaten to overwhelm him. Vowing to make things right, Brian arranges a book-signing tour that will take him back to Boston. He is eager to see Joanna again, but remains unsure where their reunion will lead. One thing is certain: the forces that tore their love asunder will stop at nothing to keep them apart.


Some stories stay with the reader long after the reader has finished the novel. Such is the case of Bill Walker’s A Note From An Old Acquaintance, a novel of astonishing depth and breadth, of love and loss, and the universal question of ”what if,” which makes Walker’s beginning quote about chaos theory all the more apropos.

The reader is introduced to Brian Weller and immediately learns four very important things; his young son is deceased, his wife Penny is in a coma, Brian is suffering from writer’s block, and he has an email waiting from his old love, Joanna Richman, who he has not seen in fifteen years. It is safe to say Brian Weller is a man with an extremely full emotional plate compounded with his deep love for Penny, who has spent the past two years in a coma with a negative prognosis. Brian’s re-emerging feelings for his ex-lover Joanna provide him a certain strength he needs, but is it possible to erase the mistakes of the past and find love again?

Without giving anymore of the plot away, Walker takes the reader from present day then back 15 years to when Brian and Joanna first meet when Johanna was an aspiring artist and engaged to Erik Ruby, back again to present day. The characters are very realistic and quite likeable, which surprised me a bit, since one normally would not care for Erik Ruby. While I did not like the things Erik Ruby did and continued to do, I did find his character to be exceedingly realistic. The storyline flows smoothly, even with a lengthy, but necessary flashback. A Note From An Old Acquaintance is a beautifully crafted story of hope, determination and the belief that love can conquer all.



A Note from an Old Acquaintance currently has an average Amazon Reader Review Rating of  4.5 stars from 33reviews. Read them here!

An excerpt from A Note from an Old Acquaintance:

Please tell me why you’re doing this, Brian!  Please!”

He tried opening his mouth, tried to tell her the truth, but the words he’d always wielded with such effortless aplomb, failed him, slipping away like smoke on a windy day.  His throat felt as if it were gripped in a vise, his mind a flat, cracked slab of flyblown desert; and her muted sobs echoing through the phone’s earpiece made him want to take it all back.  Every word.  But how could he do that, now?

“I–I’m sorry, Joanna…for everything….”



The phone jangled, ripping Brian Weller out of the dream.  He sat up, gasping, sounds and images jumbling in his groggy brain until none of it made any sense.

The phone rang again, startling him.

He grabbed it, his eyes struggling against the darkness in the room.

What time was it?

Jesus, it was only 6:00.  It felt even earlier due to the late night he’d spent at the computer.

He cleared his throat.  “Brian Weller.”

“Is this a good time?”

Brian’s body stiffened.  It was Armen Surabian, Penny’s neurologist.  “What’s wrong?  Is everything–”

The voice on the phone softened.  “Hold on, Hoss, everything’s fine.  Her vitals are stable, but we need to talk.”

Brian sagged back against his pillows, his heart rate dropping.  “I keep dreading that phone call, Armen.”

“And this one isn’t it, but we still need to talk.”

“What about?  And why couldn’t it wait until a decent hour?”

“I’d rather not discuss it on the phone.”

“Now, you’re making me nervous again, Doc.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t mean to, but it’s been awhile since we’ve assessed the situation, and I think it’s time we did.  And don’t call me Doc.”

Brian grinned.  “And don’t call me Hoss.”

It was an old gag between them, a sure sign that things were status quo…for the moment.

“All right,” Brian said.  “What time?”

“How about we do lunch?  Meet me at the Bistro.  I’ll buy.”

“Now, that’s an occasion.  You’re on.”

Brian hung up, then padded into the bathroom and threw cold water on his face.  Might as well get up and see if he could get any more writing done.  Donning his bathrobe, he trudged downstairs, turned on his MAC G5 then entered the kitchen to brew up some much-needed java.  How much sleep had he gotten?  Four hours?  And Armen’s phone call coming at this ungodly hour didn’t make it any better.  Brian shook his head and laughed.  Did the guy ever sleep?  He was always calling at weird hours and never seemed to realize that he might be inconveniencing someone.  Still, he was the best doctor in Los Angeles, and Penny deserved the best.

When the coffee finished brewing, Brian filled his mug, went back into his study and sat down in front of the computer.  The familiar image he’d put up as wallpaper on the screen stared back at him.  It was a picture of Penny and their son, Joey, taken on a postcard-perfect summer day at Roxbury Park two years before.  They’d both mugged for the camera, looking silly.  It wasn’t the best photo.  It was just the last one…before the accident.

“Miss you, Little Guy,” Brian said, to the image of the towheaded boy grinning back at him.

He took a sip of his coffee and grimaced.  When would he ever learn to make it right?  It was something Penny always did, and she’d always chided him that he should learn.

“Guess, I never will, Pen.”

Looking down, he turned the mug in his hands, the one she’d given him after his first book sold, its once stark white glaze now chipped and yellowed.  He read the stenciled words for the millionth time.


He sure as hell didn’t feel like a genius.  Not now, anyway, no matter what the L.A. Times or any of those other rags spouted.  They’d called his latest, A Nest of Vipers, “a towering landmark of suspense.”  It still sat in the top ten after twenty-five weeks.  No small feat.  And to tell the truth, he was proud of it.  But because of the mess his life had become, it had taken every ounce of will and discipline to finish that book.  Now, after six months of beating his head against the wall, it was time to acknowledge that the well had run dry; and the thought of that scared him to the core.

He brought up the previous night’s work and read through it, hating every word.

“Who are you kidding, Weller?” he said, shaking his head.  He reached for the DELETE key, and noticed the little mailbox icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen was flashing, indicating fresh mail.

Well, at least someone loves me, he thought, grabbing the mouse.  He opened his AOL account, ignoring the headlines shouting about the latest North Korean saber rattling and the newest fad diets.

Thirty e-mails.  Thirty since last night.

Most of them were the usual spam for hot stocks and hotter singles, as well as those from the ubiquitous pharmaceutical touts.  He deleted them with the practiced motions of one who’d done it a thousand times.

That left four.  Two were from his agent.  He smiled, knowing Doris would be falling all over herself to apologize for her caustic humor during their last phone call.  He’d read them later.  The third was from his college alumni association with the usual pitch for money.

Not today.

He stared at the subject line of the last one, frowning.

A Note From An Old Acquaintance….

Odd.  A part of him wanted to delete it, feeling it was just another spammer with a crafty come on.  But another, deeper part of himknew it wasn’t.

“The hell with it,” he said, clicking the “READ” button with a jab of his index finger.  The e-mail flashed onto the screen.  The font resembled feminine handwriting, almost as if someone had scanned an actual letter.


August 19, 2006

Dear Brian:

I know it’s been almost fifteen years since we last saw or spoke with one another, and I’m not at all sure if I’ll be able to put my feelings into the proper words as eloquently as I know you can, so I’ll just muddle through.

I often think about the night you and I met at that private party Nick Simon threw at the Metropolis Club back in ’91.  And I still remember the feelings that went through me when you asked me to dance and how we spent the evening together.  I wanted you to know that night, and all the days and nights that followed, were magical ones for me, as I’ve always hoped they were for you.

Ever since I saw your interview on the Today Show last month, I’ve wanted to contact you and tell you this–to see if I could find out why things turned out the way they did.  I have so many unanswered questions, Brian.  You see, you really made an impression on me, one I’ve carried with me all these years.  What’s really silly to me is why I’ve waited so long.  Guess I was afraid of how you might feel….  And maybe how I’d feel, too.  Truth is I’ve never stopped wondering if I deserved to meet someone as wonderful as you.  Maybe I didn’t.  Does any of this make sense?  Maybe you’ll just laugh at this e-mail or…maybe you’ve forgotten.  I hope not.

Anyway, please tell your agent that I’m sorry for my little deception.  I told her I was your cousin, so she’d give me your e-mail.  She wouldn’t budge on the phone number.  Boy, you must REALLY think I’m nuts!

I’m now the head of the Fine Arts department at The Boston Art School.  You can reach me at 617-555-8795 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays when I hold office hours.

I’d love to hear from you.


Joanna Richman

PS–I’ve read all your books.  They’re terrific!


He stared at the screen, his mind spinning.

“It couldn’t be….”

Joanna Richman.

Brian shook his head, his emotions warring.  He remembered her, all right. Her and that night in the minutest detail, his nascent writer’s mind recording everything: the shadowy modernist interior of the club, the moment their eyes met, falling madly in love with her in the span of a heartbeat, and the one other not-so-insignificant thing that hung over that night and its aftermath like a pall: she was engaged to another man.  And as far as how he might feel, he wasn’t at all sure how he felt.

And the dream he’d just had….  It was more than a little uncanny.

“Why now, Joanna?  Why the hell now?”

A Note from an Old Acquaintance is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99

Connect with Bill Walker:

The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted, Andrew E. Kaufman {FREE!}

From Andrew E. Kaufman, author of the #1 bestseller, While the Savage Sleeps…


But a minute was all it took to turn Jean Kingsley’s world upside down–a minute she’d regret for the rest of her life.


Because when she returned, she found an open bedroom window and her three-year-old son, Nathan, gone. The boy would never be seen again.


A tip leads detectives to the killer, a repeat sex offender, and inside his apartment, a gruesome discovery. A slam-dunk trial sends him off to death row, then several years later, to the electric chair.


Now, more than thirty years later, Patrick Bannister unwittingly stumbles across evidence among his dead mother’s belongings–it paints her as the killer and her brother, a wealthy and powerful senator, as the one pulling the strings.


There’s a hole in the case a mile wide, and Patrick is determined to close it. But what he doesn’t know is that the closer he moves toward the truth, the more he’s putting his life on the line, that he’s become the hunted. Someone’s hiding a dark secret and will stop at nothing to keep it that way.

The clock is ticking, the walls are closing, and the stakes are getting higher as he races to find a killer–one who’s hot on his trail. One who’s out for his blood.

What readers are saying:

“Awesome Mystery with Great Characterization”


“A Second Masterpiece!”

The average Amazon reader review is currently 5 stars {18 reviews}.



THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Faith and Trust, Suzanne Davis {$3.99}

Sponsored Post

Suzanne Davis’ Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Faith and Trust:

Faith and Trust is a work of literary fiction and a novel-in-stories, classifiable also as experimental and psychological fiction. Each chapter is a vignette depicting a single event in the life of Faith Thomas, a twenty-something and slightly neurotic Chicagoan navigating her way through the 1990s. Each story is told in Faith’s voice and in real time, as she experiences and reacts to the events in her life, including love, sex, friendship, and death. And while the stories are secular, each explores the concept that trust, either in another person or a higher power, feels a whole lot better psychologically than simply having faith. Faith and Trust captures a young woman’s psychological evolution over the course of the decade leading up to Y2K, the year she will turn thirty and begin a new phase of her life.


Faith and Trust is a book written with women readers in mind – so it is inescapably intriguing for a man to read.  At just over 100 pages, Faith and Trust is short for a novel but much more than a short story. Richly interwoven with psychology and dreams, this little book deals perceptively and sensitively with big issues of life and death, love and sex.

A series of vignettes provide a pleasingly relaxed pace as we follow the life of Faith, who lives in a Chicago apartment with her cat called ‘Tangle’ and works as a Paralegal. (I had to look up ‘paralegal’ as it has different meanings.  Faith is trained in legal matters but not qualified as a lawyer).

We soon find ourselves looking at the world through Faith’s perspective. Interestingly, we have to wait for the description of her in a wealth of details, her shade of lipstick, her eclectic taste in music  (Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, Second Movement, Allegretto – Suzanne recommends you listen to it when you read chapter one)

It is also not long before you start to realise that Suzanne Davis has a very liberated style and enjoys exploring the possibilities of novel writing. For example, in chapter 2 she runs through the first nine tracks on Elton John’s Tumbleweed Connection CD. (Later we find we are following every detail of how to make a red pasta sauce).

The book is full of real life details that create a very credible world that would be very hard to research.   I also liked the way Suzanne’s economy with words creates a clear sense of place and character.  Faith finds Chicago sinister and dangerous at night – and her date is like ‘Jim Carey in a serious role’.

Faith and Trust did offer an insight into the mind of a modern woman but also left me with more questions than answers. Do women really like being called ‘beautiful’ as a nickname?

Suzanne’s background as a psychologist really shines through in the dream sequences.  More than once I found I had to re-read sections as I realised we had slipped out of the real world.  That I wanted to is a testament to the way the book makes you work as a reader – and want to return to it at a later date.  I wanted more.  A sequel?



Faith and Trust currently has an average Amazon Reader Review Rating of 4 stars from 3 reviews. Read them here!

An excerpt from Faith and Trust:

It’s June 1993 and Faith Thomas and her friends attend a poetry slam and enjoy each other’s company.  There, Faith meets Evan, her future fiancé, and the chemistry is powerful.


Upstairs, the café has really filled up. I squeeze between people to step up to the bar.

I order a shot of Patron at the bar. Do I want lime? Yes.

Now to the ladies’ room, but my foot doesn’t move right and I stumble. Some idiot stepped on the back of my flip flop while I was in mid-flip.

“Shit!” I mutter. One look, and I see that my flip flop is toast. The thing that goes between the toes is completely broken off from the rest of the shoe.

“Oh, sorry,” a voice behind me says.

It is the shoe-breaking idiot.

I turn around to say something mean, but I can’t do it once I get a look at him. He’s tall and lanky, with longish wavy brown hair and a slightly goofy, yet intelligent, appearance. And his blue eyes twinkle in a nice way. Green t-shirt, tan straight-cut cords, and black Doc Martins. Standard.

He smiles apologetically, and the eyes twinkle some more. “I broke it, didn’t I? Here, let me fix it.”

“Uh, do you think you can?” I wave the two pieces of the flip flop in front of him. “Looks a bit hopeless.”

“Well, I can try, if you’ll let me.”

“Ok, give it your best shot,” I say, handing him the pieces. “I’m going to the ladies’ room while you reassemble it.”

“Yes, I’ll . . . reassemble it.” In a monotone voice, he adds, “I have the technology. I can

rebuild him.”

I can’t help but smile as I walk away.

He calls after me, raising his voice considerably against the chaos of the bar. “You’re going to the ladies’ room with just one shoe. Isn’t that kind of weird?”

“Probably. I’ll be back.”

I do a quick hair check in the ladies’ room and make sure I look decent. I freshen my lipstick – MAC’s brilliant color called Captive.

Back at the bar, I am surprised to see my flip flop in one piece.

“Here you are, ma’am,” he says formally with a slight bow. “See here?” He points to the little strap that goes between the toes. “I just popped the strap back into the bottom of the shoe.

Viola! But I wouldn’t go for a run on the way home or anything.”

“Wow, thanks. I really didn’t want to go back down into the basement with only one shoe.  It’s kind of gross down there.”

He looks playful. “Now let me get this straight. It is ok to be barefoot in the ladies’ room,

but it is gross to be barefoot in the basement?”

“Yes, exactly.” I smile brightly because I don’t know what else to say to that.

“Hmm. Ok, well let’s get Steve Austin back where he belongs, shall we?” He gets down on one knee, takes holds of my ankle, and slips Steve Austin on my foot.

“Thanks,” I say, looking around to see if anyone is noticing. Nobody is.

He reaches upward. “Help me up?” I take his hand and pull him up, even though I’m sure he didn’t need help.

“Step outside with me for a minute.” He says this as a statement, not a question.

We go outside, and he leans against the side of the building, a brick wall covered thick with posters for local events and all-ages shows.

“My name’s Evan, by the way.”

“Faith,” I say, extending my hand.

But he doesn’t shake my hand. He takes it in both of his and kisses my knuckles lightly. I don’t break character. I look right into his eyes – not at our hands or the kiss. No blushing, no nervousness, no fear, no exhilaration. Just a look. I think this is passion, but I’m not sure.

He slowly returns my hand to my side.

“Cigarette?” he offers, taking a pack out of his pocket. “They’re clove.”

“Sure.” I don’t know why I agree to this. I don’t smoke. But I take a cigarette and it is actually pretty good. “It’s sweet, almost,” I say, more to myself than to him.

“I like them,” he agrees. “Looks like you do, too.”

“Yes,” I say with a slight raise of my chin. “I think I do. You shouldn’t smoke, though.”

“Neither should you. Nor should anyone.” He exhales some smoke and stares into the air.

“You know,” he continues, “the Native Americans smoked tobacco to get closer to nature.

What do you think of that?”

“What I think is that it causes cancer.”

“Not always.”

“More often than not.”

“That’s not right, actually. Most heavy smokers don’t get lung cancer, but most cases of

lung cancer are caused by smoking. You do the math.”

He smiles handsomely.

“You ever been caught?” he says suddenly, looking at me sideways.

“Caught? What do you mean, caught?”

“You know,” he says, staring out into the street, “caught caught.”

“Um . . . ” I don’t know if he means what I think he means. “No,” I add quietly.

He says nothing else and we finish the cigarettes in silence.

“I’m going to give you my information, Faith,” he tells me. “Maybe you will call me for another clove sometime.” He writes on a piece of paper from his pocket and hands it over.

More deliberate eye contact on my part. “Are you asking me for a date?”

He smiles. “I’m asking you to call me. Can you cope with that?”

I smile back. “Yeah. And hey, thanks for fixing my flip flop.”

“Now, back inside with you,” he says, taking my hand. He leads me back into the café, directly to the door with the green curtain.

“Have a wonderful evening, my lady Faith.” His eyes twinkle a little more, and he leaves.  I walk downstairs to the basement, just in time for the Emcee to announce the first intermission of the evening.

Jen spots me immediately. “Hey, where have you been? You missed somebody getting totally slammed!”

“My flip flop broke and I had to get it fixed,” I explain.

Andrea eyes me in horror. “You smell like smoke! Were you smoking? I didn’t know you smoked!”

“It was just one, don’t worry.” I want to get off this subject and I really don’t want to be lectured all night about smoking.

“Yuck,” Andrea hisses, wrinkling her nose.  “I’m going to get another drink while you air

out. Jen, are you coming?”

“No, I’m all right, you go ahead. I want to talk to Faith.”

Andrea leaves and Jen pounces. “Oh my God, Faith, the Emcee says I can present something during the next round of readings. Do you think I should? Andrea says I shouldn’t, but I want to, except I don’t know what to present, but I lost my brain and I told him I might do it. What do you think?”

“But you don’t have anything to perform, do you?”

She smiles meekly. “No, but . . . maybe if you . . . you know . . . can write something for me? Maybe a poem?”

“You are supposed to present your own original work, Jen.”

“But I don’t haaaaave an original work!”

“I’ll write something, but I’m not getting on stage and I won’t be singled out.”

“Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!” She gives me an enthusiastic hug. “I’m going upstairs for a minute to leave the artist to her work!”

Jen skips away happily and I look around for something to write on. I find a discarded Chicago Reader and sit down to write a few lines. I’m just finishing as Andrea comes back.

“What are you doing?” she says.

“Writing something for Jen.”

“Writing something? Why? Is she going up stage? She’s not, is she? What if she gets slammed? It will ruin our whole evening.”

“Hey, she can’t do any worse than Curt Cobain did.”

“What did you write? Let me see it!” Andrea says, trying to grab the paper.

“No, no, no pre-presentation evaluation!” I pull the newspaper off the table and into my lap.

“Hands off, mama.”

Jen pops back to the table with a beer, and I wonder where she got the cash for it. “Watchmy beer – I’m going to tell the Emcee and sign up to perform. This is so exciting!”

“Are you sure it’s a good idea for her to do this?” Andrea asks me.

“She’ll love it, you just watch. I hope the poem isn’t too short, though.”

“There’s no length requirement, is there? Hey, do you think it’s the poem or the person that gets slammed?”


“When people slam a poem” Andrea says impatiently, “are they slamming the poem because they think the poem sucks, or are they really slamming the performer because they think the performer sucks?”

“Who asks questions like that? You weirdo!”

“It’s a legitimate question. What do you think?”

“I don’t know, probably both the poem and the performer are slammed simultaneously.”

“God,” she sighs, re-doing her ponytail, “Now, Curt Cobain got slammed, and I think he got slammed for scamming everyone. It wasn’t the words themselves that got him slammed.”

I can’t take it anymore and put my head down on the table. “No,” I say. “He got slammed   because he is a moron for reciting pseudo-Nirvana lyrics somewhere like this.”

“Right. It is personal, see? He was slammed. Not the poem. That’s my point.”

“I really don’t know, Andrea.”

Jen comes back to the table, bubbly. “Ok, guys, I’m second up after the intermission. I’m getting nervous.”

“We’re leaving after your performance,” Andrea says. “I’m hungry.”

“Me, too,” I agree.

“Works for me,” Jen says.

Andrea starts in again. “Hey, Jen, do you think Curt Cobain was slammed because people

didn’t like him or because they didn’t like what he read?”

Jen stares back, blankly. “What? Curt Cobain? What are you talking about?”

“Never mind,” Andrea sighs, chuckling at her own joke.

Jen looks around. “Where is the poem?” she asks.

“Right here,” I say, tearing it out of the newspaper.

Jen takes it, folds it in half, and closes her eyes, I think in an attempt to compose herself.

“She’s a true artist,” Andrea muses. “But aren’t you going to read it, Jen?”

“Nope! Not until I’m up there.”

“Uh, Jen,” Andrea says, “I’m sure Faith is flattered and all, but what if you get on stage and that little paper says ‘Ha ha, you’re screwed’?”

“It won’t.” Jen says confidently. “I trust her.”

“Oh,” I say, putting my hand to my heart. “I’m touched.”

“Brave woman,” Andrea says, patting Jen on the shoulder.

Jen scoffs. “It’s not about bravery. Who’s to say I won’t get up there and botch Faith’s poem? That could happen.”

“Oh, you’re not going to botch my poem,” I say.

“See, you trust me, too!” Jen hugs me big. “Or you’re brave, in Andrea’s world.”

“Durrrr,” Andrea mocks.

The Emcee walks on stage and gives the five minute warning. People gradually come back to their seats, many drunker than when they left. He once again recites the ground rules and calls someone named Erica to the stage. A skinny, pale girl with straight black hair and bangs, wearing a white button down shirt and black skirt with black flats walks onstage with a guitar.

She is pretty, in a natural sort of way. Andrea would say she is “just mascara” girl. I hate that term because it actually takes a lot of work to achieve a “just mascara” look. At the very least, it takes a good foundation, a light dusting of powder, plus some very neutral color over the eyelids, in addition to the mascara. And a little clear lip gloss.


Faith and Trust is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $3.99

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{CLOSED: Updated with Winners!} The Saturday Giveaway: Ten Free eCopies of The Delphi Chronicle, Book 1 – The Manuscript from Russell Blake!

Happy Saturday!

It’s time for a Frugal eReader Giveaway!

See below for how to win one of TEN Smashwords coupons for FREE copies of The Delphi Chronicle, Book 1 – The Manuscript, sponsored by the author Russell Blake... but first, a little about the novel:


The Delphi Chronicle is a serial trilogy – a story that unfolds over three installments. This first book, The Manuscript, chronicles the saga of NY private eye Michael Derrigan, as he unwittingly comes into possession of a manuscript that will change the world order if its secrets are aired. Clandestine factions of the U.S. government will do anything to keep the story buried, and a trail of butchery follows Derrigan as he races for his life in a chase that takes him from New York, to Mexico, to Havana. An epic roller-coaster ride of a thriller, The Delphi Chronicle‘s unflinching and often disturbing twists and turns question the nature of reality and of the integrity of our governments in a post-modern world of lies, deceit and betrayal.

The Delphi Chronicle, Book 1 – The Manuscript is available for $0.99 at the Kindle Store

Now, for the giveaway:

Simply leave a comment on this post to be entered to win one of TEN FREE copies* of Russell Blakes The Delphi Chronicle, Book 1 – The Manuscript!

Want more opportunities to win? Share this giveaway via the buttons at the top of this post, and leave a separate comment stating that you’ve done so! {Every share/comment counts as an extra entry!}

Entries will be closed after midnight on Sunday ~ and ten random winners will be chosen and notified next week!

Good Luck!

*The author will be providing ten Smashwords coupons so that you can download any format you choose!


Congratulations to the 10 winners!


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