Frugal Freebie Wednesday! {Leap Day!}

Leap Day gave us an extra 24 hours of Freebies ~

Check out the five FRUGAL FREEBIES below!

Check out the below FREE eBooks available at the Kindle Store. As always, grab them quick before the prices go up*!

The Jackpot, David Kazzie ~ Free!

It hasn’t been a very good day for attorney Samantha Khouri. She’s been passed over for partner at her law firm, she’s coming down with the flu, and she’s just learned that her parents’ business is teetering on the brink of failure.

But when she discovers that her financially desperate boss has stolen their new client’s gigantic winning lottery ticket, she realizes her day is just getting started.

Now, to return the ticket to its rightful owner, Samantha must stay one step ahead of her nothing-to-lose boss and a homicidal mercenary who’s been hired to hunt down the ticket at all costs.

And as her pursuers close in, Samantha can’t help but think about showing up at lottery headquarters, smiling for the camera, and walking away with the richest lottery jackpot in American history.

{4.5 Stars, 43 Reviews}

No Mercy (Sgt Major Crane Story), Wendy Cartmell ~ Free!

The title story of this small collection of short stories ‘No Mercy’, is an introduction to Wendy Cartmell’s detective Sgt Major Crane of the Special Investigations Branch in the British Army. After writing this story she went on to pen the full length novels Steps to Heaven and 40 Days 40 Nights. There are four mystery stories, all with a twist in the tail, and one humorous autobiographical piece, Dick Wanted to be a Policeman. A good introduction to her work.

{4 Stars, 1 Review}

The Fulcrum Files
, Mark Chisnell ~ Free!

The young Ben Clayton was one of Britain’s brightest boxing prospects, until the day he slammed a left hook into a fragile chin. Sickened by the consequences he turned away from the ring, found solace in the arms of the beautiful Lucy Kirk and looked for new challenges.

On the 7th March 1936, after almost two decades of peace in Europe, Hitler ordered the German Army back into the Rhineland. It was a direct challenge to Britain and France. Still unnerved by the toll of the Great War, the politicians dithered. The French Army stayed in its barracks, while the aristocratic British elite looked on from their country retreats.

History teetered on a knife edge, but the spymasters were busy.

Just one man could make the difference between war and peace, victory or defeat. And that man was Ben Clayton. Thrown into the maelstrom of plot and counter-plot, into a world of murder, spies and traitors, Ben must battle not just to survive, but to protect all that he loves and holds most dear.

Mark Chisnell’s thrillers include The Defector – a top download in the UK Kindle free eBook chart for over two weeks, subsequently charting in the Top 100 paid list. The Wrecking Crew was the sequel, and both books are regulars in the UK Spy Thriller charts.

{5 Stars, 3 Reviews}

In the Company of Darkness, Kerrie Droban ~ Free!

Investigating the brutal murder of a wealthy heiress has prosecutor Sidney Michaelson delving into dark secrets, secrets someone is willing to kill her for. Not even homicide detective Cole Vladik can stop the ruthless predator from his game of spider versus fly. The one target the killer prizes above all others is the one woman who can put him away. Suddenly, Sidney’s quest for the truth is no longer a matter of justice, it is her only hope of survival.

{5 Stars, 2 Reviews}

Mad Money (Madeline Carter), Linda L. Richards ~ Free!

Mad Money, the first novel to in the acclaimed Madeline Carter series, now in e-book format!

“Murder, mayhem, humor, romance, and great characters make this first book in the Madeline Carter series hard to put down.” — Booklist

When her best friend is killed in front of her at the New York City brokerage where they both work, Madeline Carter quits her job and aims for a safer life on the warm coast. But life has a way of interrupting the best laid plans and it isn’t long before Madeline’s quiet new life of day trading in the Malibu hills is interrupted by kidnapping, murder and a run-in with a corporate psychopath.

{4.5 Stars, 11 Reviews}

Click on the above covers or links to read more about and purchase these Frugal Freebies from Amazon!

*Be sure to verify price before 1-click buying. The price may change from time of posting.

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

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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 33 reviews. 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:

{CLOSED: Updated with winners!} THE TUESDAY GIVEAWAY: 3 Kindle Copies of State of Rebellion (A Pug Connor Novel) from Gordon Ryan!

{The winners of this giveaway have been announced at the end of this post!}

Happy Tuesday!

It’s time for a Frugal eReader Giveaway!

See below for how to win one of three Kindle Copies of State of Rebellion (A Pug Connor Novel), sponsored by the author Gordon Ryan... but first, a little about the novel:


STATE OF REBELLION: A runaway federal government!  Western states in revolt!  Martial law in Sacramento!  America in a State of Rebellion!

“Had the gallows knot been placed to the side, behind the ear,Richard McFarland’s neck would have snapped, delivering a swift death. As it was, the young California National Guard lieutenant twisted and convulsed for a long, agonizing two minutes before he died.”

California is on the brink of secession, and those who oppose this drastic political maneuver are turning up dead. Federal Agent Nicole Bentley is sent to discover what she can about the movement and meets up with Assemblyman and National Guard JAG officer Daniel Rawlings, a man whose commitment to his country runs deep in his blood.  Resisting their mutual attraction, they uncover a plot devised by greedy men bent on taking power at any cost.

As Colonel Pug Connor, working under the direction of the President of the United States, seeks to root out the leaders of the Western Patriot Movement–a military cadre with a chip on its shoulder–Nicole and Dan find themselves literally in the crossfire. Can they end the dispute between the various factions before they all end up martyrs for the cause?

A fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat political thriller, State of Rebellion will keep you turning pages long into the night.

State of Rebellion (A Pug Connor Novel) is available for $4.95 or FREE to Borrow with Prime at the Kindle Store

{PLUS!} Destiny: The Callahans Book One from Gordon Ryan is now FREE at the Kindle Store!

Now, for the giveaway:

Simply leave a comment on this post to be entered to win one of three Kindle Copies of Gordon RyanState of Rebellion (A Pug Connor Novel)!

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 Thursday ~ and three random winners will be chosen and notified next week!

Good Luck!


Congratulations to the three winners!

Yvette Bovey

Sheila Garrison

Debbie R

Your Kindle Copies will be sent soon!

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: In Leah’s Wake, Terri Giuliano Long {$0.99}

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Terri Giuliano Long‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of In Leah’s Wake:

***Newly edited by Sara-Jayne Slack, Inspired Quill Press***

‘Book Club Edition’ with author Q&A and discussion questions added.

The Tylers have a perfect life—beautiful home, established careers, two sweet and talented daughters. Their eldest daughter, Leah, an exceptional soccer player, is on track for a prestigious scholarship. Their youngest, Justine—more responsible than seems possible for her 12 years—just wants her sister’s approval. With Leah nearing the end of high school and Justine a seemingly “together” kid, the parents are set to enjoy a peaceful life…until everything goes wrong. Can this family survive in Leah’s wake?

Margot Livesey, award-winning author of Banishing Verona, calls In Leah’s Wake “a beautifully written and absorbing novel.”

When happens when love just isn’t enough?

Recipient of the CTRR Award for excellence

2011 Book Bundlz Book Pick

Book Bundlz 2011 Favorites, First Place


“Sometimes scary, sometimes sad, and always tender.” Susan Straight, National Book Award finalist, author Take One Candle Light A Room

“In Leah’s Wake is a beautifully written and absorbing novel.” Margot Livesey, Award-winning author of Banishing Verona

“Pulled me right along as I continued to make comparisons to my own life.” Jennifer Donovan, 5 Minutes for Books, Top 50 Book Blog

“An incredibly strong debut, this book is fantastic on many fronts.” Naomi Blackburn, Founder Sisterhood of the Traveling Book

“Easily the best read that I have enjoyed in 2011.” Bonnie Erina Wheeler, author Fate Fixed: An Erris Coven Novel


In Leah’s Wake currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 3.5 stars from 161 reviews. Read the reviews here.


An excerpt from In Leah’s Wake:




Justine strikes a pose before the full-length mirror on her closet door. Chin up, hands at her sides. She draws a breath. “My dear…” she begins, and stops midsentence. Wrinkles her nose. She’s got it all wrong.

She’s too—stiff. Too grown up. Too something.

With her fingers, she sweeps the hair out of her pale, darkly fringed eyes and tugs at the hem of her pink baby-doll pajamas. When she learned five months ago she’d been selected to give the candidates’ address at her Confirmation, Justine was ecstatic. Now, the very idea of standing in front of the whole congregation and telling hundreds, maybe thousands, of people about how her own family has taught her what it means to be part of God’s larger family makes her sick to her stomach.

She has no choice. She made a commitment.

Folding her hands primly, she sets them on her imaginary podium. Glancing at her cheat sheet, she pulls her lower face into a smile and begins again. “My fellow Confirmation candidates,” she says this time.

Justine balls the paper and tosses it onto her bed. My fellow Confirmation candidates. What a dork. She sounds about twenty instead of thirteen.

She unclasps her necklace, places the gold cross in her jewelry box, and logs onto her computer, launching the Word document for her Confirmation speech. She scans the opening paragraph. “I’ve learned from my own family what it means to be part of God’s larger family,” she reads. Learned from my own family what it means to be part of God’s larger family? Please. Could she have been any more naïve?

She hits delete.

Typing furiously, she begins a brand new essay, the words tumbling out. In a rush of emotion, Justine describes how miserable she feels. And how very, very alone.


One – Just Do It


Zoe and Will Tyler sat at their dining room table playing poker. The table, a nineteenth century, hand-carved mahogany, faced the bay window overlooking their sprawling front yard. Husband and wife sat facing one another, a bowl of Tostitos and a half-empty bottle of Chablis positioned between them. Their favorite Van Morrison disc—Tupelo Honey—spun on the player, the music drifting out of speakers built into the dining room walls.

Dog, their old yellow Lab, lay on a blanket under the window.

Zoe fanned her cards. She was holding a straight. If she laid it down she’d win her third hand in a row, and her husband would quit. If she didn’t, she would be cheating herself.

“Full moon,” she said, glancing out the window. “No wonder I had trouble sleeping last night.”

The full moon made her anxious. For one of her graduate school internships, she’d worked on the psych ward at City Hospital in Boston. When the moon was full the floor erupted, the patients noisy and agitated. Zoe’s superiors had pooh-poohed the lunar effect, chalked it up to irrationality and superstition. Zoe had witnessed the flaring tempers, seen the commotion with her own two eyes, and she’d found the effect impossible to deny—and the nurses concurred.

Will set his empty glass on the table. With his fingers, he drummed an impatient tattoo. “You planning to take your turn any time soon? Be nice if we ended this game before midnight.”

“For Pete’s sake, Will.” Her husband had the attention span of a titmouse. He reminded her of Mick, a six-year-old ADD patient she counseled—sweet kid, when he wasn’t ransacking her office, tossing the sand out of the turtle-shaped box, or tweaking her African violets.

“What’s so funny?” he asked, sulking.

She shook her head—nothing, Mick—and forced a straight face.

“You’re laughing at me.”

“Don’t be silly. Why would I laugh at you?”

He peered at the window. Smirking, he finger-combed his baby-fine hair, graying at the temples, carving a mini-pyramid at his crown.

“Nice ’do. Could use a little more gel,” she said, feeling mean spirited the instant the words slipped out of her mouth. Her husband was exhausted. He’d spent the week in California on business. Though he had yet to fill her in on the details, it was obvious his trip had not gone well. “Sorry,” she said. “Just kidding.” She took another look at her cards, hesitated, and laid down the straight.

“Congratulations.” Scowling, he pushed away from the table. “You win again.”

“Way to go, grumpy. Quit.”

“I’m getting water,” he said, flattening his hair. “Want a glass?”

Dog lifted her head, her gaze following Will to the door. She yawned and settled back down.

Her husband stomped across the kitchen, his footfalls moving toward the family room. The music stopped abruptly and then the opening chords of a Robbie Robertson tune belted out of the speakers. Zoe appreciated the gesture. She loved Robbie Robertson; “Showdown at Big Sky” was one of her favorite songs. That didn’t mean the entire state of Massachusetts wanted to hear it.

From the kitchen, heading his way, she caught his eye. “Turn it down,” she mouthed, gesturing. “You’ll wake Justine.”

He pulled a face and lowered the music.

Exasperated, she returned to the dining room. She bundled the cards, put the deck in the sideboard drawer, and gathered the dishes.

The toilet flushed in the half-bath off the back hall. Then she heard her husband rattling around the kitchen, slamming the cabinet doors. In April, Will had won a major contract for his company, North American Construction. For five months, he’d been flying back and forth to the West Coast, spending two weeks a month on the job site in San Francisco. Zoe hadn’t minded his traveling at first. A glut of office and manufacturing space had tanked construction starts in the northeast; with sales in a slump, his commissions had steadily dwindled. To compensate, they’d initially relied on their savings. In January, they’d remortgaged the house.

The project spared them bankruptcy. But his schedule was brutal. Will hated traveling, being away from the family, living out of a suitcase. He missed her and the kids. Now, with soccer season in full tilt, it was especially hard. Last year, when she was only a sophomore, their daughter had been named “Player of the Year” on the Boston Globe All-Scholastic team. The sports reporter from the Cortland Gazette had called Leah the “best soccer player in the state.” Head coaches from the top colleges in the northeast—Harvard, Dartmouth, Boston College—had sent congratulatory letters, expressing their interest.

Since her first day on the field, Will had trained and guided their daughter. He wanted to be here now to meet the prospective coaches and help her sort through her options. Zoe knew how tough this was on him. It didn’t seem to occur to Will that his traveling disrupted her life, too. Last year she’d developed a motivational seminar, called, “Success Skills for Women on the Move.” With the girls practically grown, the workshops were her babies. The extra workload at home added to the demands of her fulltime job at the counseling center, left her no time for marketing or promotion, and the workshops had stagnated. Zoe understood her husband’s frustration. It irked her that he failed to recognize hers.

Will appeared in the doorway a few minutes later, empty-handed. Her husband was tall, a hair shy of six-one. He’d played football in college, and at forty-five still had the broad shoulders and narrow waist of an athlete. Amazing, really:  after eighteen years of marriage, she still found him achingly sexy. Crow’s feet creased the corners of his intelligent blue eyes and fine lines etched his cheekbones, giving his boyish features a look of intensity and purpose. Zoe recognized those qualities from the start, but it was only now, as he was aging, they showed on his face.

After work, he’d changed into jeans and a gray sweatshirt with the words “Harvard Soccer Camp” across the chest. He pushed up his sleeves and peered around the room as though looking for something.

“Zoe?” Normally, he called her “Honey” or “Zo.”

“I put the cards away.” She thumbed the sideboard. “You quit, remember?”

“Where’s Leah?”

“She went to the football game with Cissy. They hardly see each other lately. I thought it was nice.”

“She ought to be home by now.”

She glanced at the cuckoo clock on the east-facing wall. Their daughter was a junior in high school. They’d agreed before the start of the school year to extend her weekend curfew to eleven. It was ten minutes past.

“You know Leah. She probably lost track of the time.”

Will, nodding, went to the window.

Their driveway, half the length of a soccer field, sloped down from the cul-de-sac, ending in a turnaround at the foot of their three-car garage. In summer, the oak and birch trees bordering the property obscured their view of the street. Now, with the trees nearly bare, they could see the flash of headlights as vehicles entered the circle.

Dog hauled herself to her feet and pressed her nose to the glass.

Will stretched his neck, wincing. His back was bothering him again, residual pain from a football injury he’d suffered in college.

Zoe came up behind him, pushing Dog’s blanket aside with her foot. “You’re tight,” she said, squeezing his shoulders.

He dropped his chin. “That feels good. Thanks. I’ve got to get one of those donut pillows for the plane.”

“Try to relax. You know Leah. She has no sense of time.”

“I can’t see why Hillary won’t set a curfew. All the other coaches have one.”

“You’re blowing this out of proportion, don’t you think?”

A flash of headlights caught their attention. An SUV entered the cul-de-sac and rounded the circle, light sweeping across their lawn.

“She has a game in the morning,” Will said.

“I know.”

Will ruffled Dog’s ears. “Reardon’s coming specifically to see her. She plays like crap when she’s tired.”

The Harvard coach. She should have known. “So she doesn’t go to Harvard,” she said, a tired remark. “She’ll go someplace else.”

“There is no place else.”

No place with such fantastic opportunities, great connections…blah, blah, blah. They’d been over this a million times. If their daughter expressed any interest at all in Harvard, Zoe would do back flips to support her. As far as she could tell, Harvard wasn’t even on Leah’s radar screen. It was a moot point, anyway. Leah’s grades had been slipping. If she did apply for admission, she’d likely be denied.

“Reardon’s got pull. He’s been talking to Hillary about her,” he said. “She can’t afford to blow this opportunity.”

What opportunity? “Face it, Will. She doesn’t want to go to Harvard.”

“If she plays her cards right, she can probably get a boat.”

“Please,” Zoe said, set to blast him. He’d received a full football scholarship from Penn State. What did he do? Dropped out of college. Was that what he wanted? For their daughter to burn out and quit? Noting the purple rings under his eyes, she held back. “You’re exhausted.” His plane had barely touched ground at Logan Airport when he was ordered to NAC’s corporate office in Waltham for a marketing meeting. He hadn’t had time to stop at home to change his clothes, never mind take a short nap. “Why don’t you go to bed? I’ll wait up.”

The look he returned implied that she’d lost it.

“Relax, Will. For all we know, they had a flat.”

“She would have called.”

“So call her.” Duh.

“I did. I got voicemail.”

Shoot. “You know Leah. Her battery probably died.” She was grasping at straws. Leah was sixteen. That phone was her lifeline. Still, it could be true. It was possible. Right?

In Leah’s Wake is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99

Connect with Terri Giuliano Long:


MONDAY’S THREE: Under Nine, Under Five, Under One! {2/27/12}

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
: River Thieves: A Novel, Michael Crummey {$8.99}

“Vibrantly written and uniquely evocative” (Denver Post), River Thievesis the riveting story of a group of European settlers of the New World in the early nineteenth century. The Peytons, their enigmatic housekeeper, and the men who manage their fishing and trapping concerns on the shores of Newfoundland live lives of punishing physicality, inarticulate longing, and violence. Their misunderstandings and compromises have tragic consequences not only for their own community but also for the Beothuk, or Red Indians, a people on the verge of extinction. With penetrating insight, Michael Crummey captures both the vast sweep of history and the intimate lives of those caught in its wake.

The average customer review is currently 4.5 stars {11 reviews}.

Under Five: Witches on Parole (WitchLight Trilogy: Book 1), Debora Geary {$3.99 or Borrow FREE with Prime!}

Two pendants. Two students. And it’s entirely possible they didn’t volunteer.

World-famous (and now retired) photographer Jenvieve Adams has a debt to repay–and a soft spot for witches who have lost their way. Or so she thinks, until they actually show up.

Jennie is the newest guide for WitchLight, and her first two students are about to arrive.  One is an obsessive psychologist with hidden layers under her repressed exterior.  The other is a grown-up juvenile delinquent with a passion for words and a kick-ass biscuit recipe.

Can Jennie help unlock their hearts?  The journey will involve (sometimes involuntary!) sisterhood, a little knitting, karaoke, a touch of magic, and one hopefully temporary belly tattoo.

Note: Witches on Parole is the first book in the WitchLight spin-off trilogy, set in the world of the A Modern Witch series. This trilogy can absolutely be enjoyed on its own, but if you haven’t yet read A Modern Witch, you might consider doing so–many of the characters featured in Witches on Parole get their start in the main series. For those who are already fans of the main series, this book falls between book 2 and 3, but can easily be read anytime after book 1.

It’s a full-length book, about 300 pages.

The average customer review is currently 5 stars {96 reviews}.

Under One: Mommy, May I?, A.K. Alexander {$0.99 or Borrow FREE with Prime!}


Helena Shea is putting her life back together. Once a highly paid supermodel and now the owner and CEO of her own modeling agency, a recent bitter scandal that nearly destroyed Helena and the daughter she gave up for adoption years ago seems to be settling down. With a chance to have a relationship with her daughter, Frankie, and the development of a center for wayward young mothers that Helena is funding, it looks as if life is turning around for mother and daughter. However…


A killer raised amidst evil and seeking revenge is targeting Helena. Leaving a trail of blood in his wake, this sadist plans his return into Helena’s life. When the madman abducts Frankie, Helena fears she might never see her daughter again. Seeking help from the journalist who almost destroyed her, an FBI agent with suspicions toward her, as well as her ex-lover who is also Frankie’s father, Helena must find the strength to fight past addictions and see her daughter back home again—alive.

Prepare to lock your doors. This eerie thriller will have you up late into the night looking over your shoulder. It is as equally compelling as it is disturbing.

The average customer review is currently  4 stars {7 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: Sweetwater American, Eileen Cruz Coleman {FREE!}

Sponsored Post

Eileen Cruz Coleman‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:


Description of Sweetwater American:

Special Notice: Sweetwater American includes Eileen Cruz Coleman’s Young Adult debut, Taker of Light, a post-apocalyptic speculative fiction story.

Set in Washington, D.C. and El Salvador, SWEETWATER AMERICAN is the story of an orphan and would-be filmmaker who is sent to live in a cursed town in El Salvador with her godmother, a woman whom she has never met and who may hold the secret to breaking the town’s curse.

Through Sandy Rodriguez and Elena Martinez, the two main characters, we are led into a different, haunting and magical world, where people test their faith every day and hold true to what they believe: that hardship and darkness can be overcome if one finds a reason to live.

While living in El Salvador, after a film crew comes to her town to film a movie, Sandy realizes she wants to be a documentary filmmaker.  When she returns to the States, she attends George Washington University where she meets Elena, a sixty-something-year-old woman who serves peas and mashed potatoes in one of the school’s cafeterias.

Sandy, intrigued by Elena, decides to ask her if she would be willing to share her life story with her. Elena, whose past still haunts her, agrees to tell Sandy her story.

During the interview, Sandy is forced to come to terms with her own past and she begins to understand what the term, Sweetwater American, really means.



5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn’t put this book down

A beautifully written story about immigrants and their families that will touch all your emotions. The story centers on Sandy, a would be filmmaker and her life in Washington, DC and her life in El Salvador after the death of her parents. It also covers her family and friends and their stories. Complex but very readable and I honestly could not put this book down. It will leave you thinking…

5.0 out of 5 A hidden piece of literature

I am so happy I happened upon this book! I never expected to find such a beautiful piece of literature hidden in the free book section. I put it up there with “The House on Mango Street,” and “Like Water for Chocolate.”


Sweetwater American currently has a customer review rating of 4 stars with 13 reviews! Read the reviews here.

Sweetwater American is available to purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for FREE!


Connect with Eileen Cruz Coleman:



Hemlock and the Wizard Tower (The Maker’s Fire), B Throwsnaill {FREE!}

How is power gained, retained and exercised; and what happens to a power structure when a young girl with magical abilities hacks and slashes her way into the very core of its apparatus?

In a magical city that travels through multiple dimensions, a young girl named Hemlock has risen from being a lowly cutpurse to discovering that she is a powerful fighter. Under the guidance of an aging freedom fighter named Safreon, Hemlock battles to keep the peace in her run down district, while across the City the upper class Elites enjoy peace, prosperity and freedom.

The Wizard Tower looms in the center of the City, casting a long shadow over its affairs. The Wizards rule behind the scenes, dictating and controlling the use of magic. Hemlock instinctively feels that the Wizards are her enemies, but Safreon will not discuss openly opposing them, as he seeks to methodically mentor Hemlock, and advance his own cryptic plans for the City.

Hemlock makes a decision to make a bold attack on the Wizard Tower alone, convinced that she can destroy or undo whatever method the Wizards are using to control and ration magic. As the novel opens, we join Hemlock just after she has infiltrated the Wizard Tower, learning what happens through a narrative interspersed with flashbacks to events leading up to the attack.

Look for the next volume in the series scheduled for release in spring 2012!

What readers are saying:

“A Fantasy Read At The Highest Level. A Wonderful Fulfilling Novel.”

The average Amazon Reader Review Rating is currently 4 Stars {6 Reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase Hemlock and the Wizard Tower (The Maker’s Fire) for FREE from Amazon!

*Be sure to verify price before 1-click buying. The price may change from time of posting.


Playing the Game, Stephanie Queen {FREE!}

What would happen if the “priest” of basketball, the man most admired by all dedicated superstar athletes, Barry Dennis, met his match?

And his match was a woman?
He gets taken down a peg by a woman in the habit of taking men down a peg. She’s been accused of murder because of her habit.
Roxanne didn’t set out to figure what made the superstar tick,
but she finds out.
Playing the Game: about more than a ball

What readers are saying:

“Boston comes vividly alive in the first of Queen’s Scotland Yard Exchange Program series. Grace is an engaging heroine with charm, humor and sass. Resplendent in rich detail, laugh-out-loud moments, a fast-paced plot and spellbinding characters, The Throwbacks is a stellar not-to-be-missed standout!”

The average Amazon Reader Review Rating is currently 5 Stars {2 Reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase Playing the Game for FREE from Amazon!

*Be sure to verify price before 1-click buying. The price may change from time of posting.

KINDLE DAILY DEAL: Slumberland: A Novel by Paul Beatty is Just $1.99 Today Only!

Critical darling Paul Beatty’s highly original, widely praised novel of race, identity, and underground music.
After creating the perfect beat, DJ Darky goes in search of Charles Stone, a little know avant-garde jazzman, to play over his sonic masterpiece. His quest brings him to a recently unified Berlin, where he stumbles through the city’s dreamy streets ruminating about race, sex, love, Teutonic gods , the prevent defense, and Wynton Marsalis in search of his artistic-and spiritual-other.
Ferocious, bombastic, and laugh-out-loud funny, Slumberland is vintage Paul Beatty and belongs on the shelf next to Jonathan Lethem, Colson Whitehead, and Junot Diaz.

What readers are saying;

“With laugh-out-loud parodies of everything from the SAT’s cultural bias to neo-Nazi musical tastes, Slumberland shows that Beatty can still crank out the acerbic riffs…as inimitable as ever. Beatty’s outrageous novel aims to provoke, and it succeeds.”   —Time Out New York

“Ferociously witty and original…virtuosic and hilarious. Whether he’s warning against the ‘cutie-pie cabal’ of The All-New Mickey Mouse Club; spinning a track for a philosopher skinhead; hypothesizing about Harriet Tubman or Nabokov or Big Daddy Kane; rhapsodizing about every sound he’s ever heard (he has a “phonographic memory”); or brilliantly spinning an analogy between East Germans after reunification and African-Americans during Reconstruction, DJ Darky brings the full funk. Marvelous.” —Kirkus

The average Amazon Reader Review rating is currently 4.5 Stars {11 Reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase Slumberland: A Novel for $1.99* from Amazon

*Price goes back up to $8.25 tomorrow!


{CLOSED: Updated with Winners!} THE SATURDAY GIVEAWAY: Four eCopies of L.M. Preston’s Novels!

{The winners of this giveaway have been chosen and are noted below!}

Happy Saturday!

It’s time for a Frugal eReader Giveaway!

See below for how to win one of two eCopies of Bandits, AND two eCopies of The Pack sponsored by the author LM Preston... but first, a little about the novels:

Bandits {$0.99} – Daniel’s father has gotten himself killed and left another mess for Daniel to clean up. To save his world from destruction, he must fight off his father’s killers while discovering a way to save his world. He wants to go it alone, but his cousin and his best friend’s sister, Jade insist on tagging along. Jade is off limits to him, but she insist on changing his mind. He hasn’t decided if loving her is worth the beating he’ll get from her brother in order to have her. Retrieving the treasure is his only choice. But in order to get it, Daniel must choose to either walk in his father’s footsteps or to re-invent himself into the one to save his world.

The Pack {$3.99} – Shamira is considered an outcast by most, but little do they know that she is on a mission. Kids on Mars are disappearing, but Shamira decides to use the criminals most unlikely weapons against them the very kids of which they have captured. In order to succeed, she is forced to trust another, something she is afraid to do. However, Valens, her connection to the underworld of her enemy, proves to be a useful ally. Time is slipping, and so is her control on the power that resides within her. But in order to save her brother’s life, she is willing to risk it all.

Now, for the giveaway:

Simply leave a comment on this post {be sure to specify which title you’d like to win; you can leave a comment for each one} to be entered to win one of two eCopies of LM Prestons Bandits AND two eCopies of The Pack!

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 four random winners will be chosen and notified next week!

Good Luck!


Congratulations to the four winners!

Brenda Mihalik – The Pack

Carla – The Pack

laura thomas – Bandits

Grace – Bandits

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