The Caretakers, Shauna Nosler {$2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

Picture a typical suburban city, 1972 … the Roe v. Wade decision is seven months away and an upper middle-class family is about to be slammed into varying degrees of lunacy. Mabel Jamieson, the youngest of four siblings, had an illegal abortion that left her maimed and unconscious. Though unknown to her at the time, Mabel’s older brother Jasper followed her and was able to deliver her cataleptic body safely home. Filled with rage and misinterpreted information, Jasper swears to avenge his sister’s wrong doing and spends years sifting his way through seemingly impossible implications until he finds the man responsible.

Flash forward to summer, 1987 … Jasper’s eleven year old daughter Caroline and her cousin Mitch find a small cross near the home where their fathers grew up; a cross that bears the date March 24, 1972, and carries with it a powerful silence. The children trade theories about its origin and let their discovery saturate their imaginations until a tragic accident devastates Caroline and rips all the joy from her heart.

The Caretakers a is not another story of good vs. evil, but one of devotion vs. obligation and protection vs. abandonment. Crafted from years of collecting family members’ real life accounts as well as my own cherished childhood memories, the storyline will tug at your very soul and petition your own beliefs. The narration takes the reader down a nonlinear path with character revelations at every turn: Mabel becomes a young woman and learns to cherish her own worth, Caroline realizes that life does go on and Jasper comes face-to-face with a truth that has haunted him for nearly fifteen years.

What readers are saying:

From an Amazon Vine Voice:

This is a character-driven novel which opens with a raw, disturbing scene revolving around an abortion in 1972. Then it goes on to summers end, 1989 describing the adult life of Jasper Jamieson, attorney at law, a widower, with an 11 yr. old daughter, and his sister Mabel, single and living at the family’s “Country House” where they grew up and lived before their parents deaths. Every summer, Jasper and his brothers take their kids to The Country House (which the author describes in such a way you just want to pull up a chair and sit a spell). Mabel has no children, but her culinary skills has everyone anticipating their summers around her kitchen table. The kids look forward to spending this time together, especially Caroline, known as “Rho” who is Jasper’s only daughter, and Mitch, her cousin of a similar age. Rho & Mitch are best friends, write during the year, and spend summers together, close as brother and sister. Jasper and his sister are close as adults but both have regrets about not being closer than they were in their late teens, after their parents were killed. He went off to law school, and Mabel to Paris for culinary school, then she came back to live in the family “Country House.” The other brothers were not developed much at all for this novel. I don’t even remember if their names are mentioned, but they don’t have key roles in this family structure, the wives are in control. We all know families like these.

Dealing with tragedies, grieving and learning that one can survive them is a challenge to all the characters in this novel, and well done. It was emotional, but not dark or morose by any means. One message that is clear here is that “old skeletons in the closet” might best stay there. Let them turn to dust, and move on. Accept what you cannot change, and that you can love a person, and hate their choices.

I grew to care about the characters in this debut novel, and for me, that makes the author successful in the endeavor. I wish her every success with this novel and any future undertakings. I will certainly keep an eye out. Recommended for male or female, YA or adult readers.

The average Amazon Reader Review is currently 4 stars {31 reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase The Caretakers for $2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime from Amazon

Nowhere to Hide, Joan Hall Hovey {$3.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

EPPIE WINNER~BEST THRILLER

Val at “You Gotta Read” Reviews has given Nowhere to Hide by Joan Hall Hovey their highest rating, You Gotta Read!

Raised in an atmosphere of violence and unpredictability, Ellen and Gail Morgan have banded together, survivors of a booze-fertilized battleground, forming a fierce united front against an often cold and uncaring world. When their parents are killed in a car crash, Ellen becomes the mother figure for Gail.

When fifteen years later Gail is brutally raped and murdered in her shabby New York basement apartment, practically on the eve of her big breakthrough as a singer, Ellen is inconsolable. Rage at her younger sister’s murder has nearly consumed her. So when her work as a psychologist wins her an appearance on the evening news, Ellen seizes the moment. Staring straight into the camera, she challenges the killer to come out of hiding: “Why don’t you come after me? I’ll be waiting for you.”

Phone calls flood the station, but all leads go nowhere. The police investigation seems doomed to failure. Then it happens: a note, written in red ink, slipped under the windshield wipers of her car, ‘YOU’RE IT.’ Ellen has stirred the monster in his lair … and the hunter has become the hunted!

What readers are saying:

“…Not since Silence of the Lambs have I slept with my lights on. Buy it! Read it! (But not in a house by yourself).” JD Masters

“… will scare the wits out of you…an exciting work starring a brave yet vulnerable heroine.” Harriet Klausner

“… a thriller release from the pen of the very talented writer, Joan Hall Hovey, who once again demonstrates her ever-increasing skill at designing tales of psychological suspense and terror.” Jill M. Smith – Rave Reviews

The average Amazon Reader Review is currently 4.5 stars {27 reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase Nowhere to Hide for $3.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime from Amazon

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: MURDER TAKES TIME (Friendship & Honor), Giacomo Giammatteo {$4.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

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Description of MURDER TAKES TIME (Friendship & Honor):

There was only one rule in our neighborhood—never break an oath. But oaths are easy to take and damn hard to keep.

Now I’m staring at my best friend, lying on the floor in a pool of blood, my bullet in his gut. Where the hell did it go wrong?

To understand that you’d have to go back to the beginning, back to when the three of us ruled the neighborhood.

Book Trailer

 

Accolades:

This novel is not just a murder mystery.

This novel is not just a thriller.

This novel is not just a love story.

This novel is not just a life story.

This novel is all in one.

OBI-Amazon Reviewer

Giammatteo turns a genre stereotype on its head. Kirkus Reviews

Grips you by the throat in the first two chapters… OnFictionWriting

There is a grit and reality to the story that gives it a credibility few books ever achieve. Amazon Reviewer

Giammatteo takes his crime novel to a new level and… puts the characters through the wringer, so the reader knows each one intimately. SPReview


Reviews:

MURDER TAKES TIME (Friendship & Honor) currently has a customer review rating of 5 stars from 24 reviews. Read the reviews here.


MURDER TAKES TIME (Friendship & Honor) is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $4.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

An excerpt from MURDER TAKES TIME (Friendship & Honor):

Chapter 1

Rule Number One―Murder Takes Time

Brooklyn, New York—Current Day

He sipped the last of a shitty cup of coffee and stared across the street at Nino Tortella, the guy he was going to kill. Killing was an art, requiring finesse, planning, skill—and above all—patience. Patience had been the most difficult to learn. The killing came naturally. He cursed himself for that. Prayed to God every night for the strength to stop. But so far God hadn’t answered him, and there were still a few more people that needed killing.

The waitress leaned forward to refill his cup, her cleavage a hint that more than coffee was being offered. “You want more?”

He waved a hand—Nino was heading towards his car. “Just the check, please.”

From behind her ear she pulled a yellow pencil, tucked into a tight bun of red hair, then opened the receipt book clipped to the pocket of her apron. Cigarette smoke lingered on her breath, almost hidden by the gum she chewed.

Spearmint, he thought, and smiled. It was his favorite, too.

He waited for her to leave, scanned the table and booth, plucked a few strands of hair from the torn cushion and a fingernail clipping from the windowsill. After putting them into a small plastic bag, he wiped everything with a napkin. The check was $4.28. He pulled a five and a one from his money clip and left them on the table. As he moved to the door he glanced out the window. Nino already left the lot, but it was Thursday, and on Thursdays Nino stopped for pizza.

He parked three blocks from Nino’s house, finding a spot where the snow wasn’t piled high at the curb. After pulling a black wool cap over his forehead, he put leather gloves on, raised the collar on his coat then grabbed his black sports bag. Favoring his left leg, he walked down the street, dropping his eyes if he passed someone. The last thing he wanted was a witness remembering his face.

He counted the joints in the concrete as he walked. Numbers forced him to think logically, kept his mind off what he had to do. He didn’t want to kill Nino. He had to. It seemed as if all of his life he was doing things he didn’t want to do. He shook his head, focused on the numbers again.

When he drew near the house, he cast a quick glance to ensure the neighbors’ cars weren’t there. The door took less than thirty seconds to open. He kept his hat and gloves on, walked into the kitchen, and set his bag on the counter. He removed a pair of tongs and a shot glass, and set them on the coffee table. A glance around the room had him straightening pictures and moving dirty dishes to the sink. A picture of an older woman stared at him from a shelf above an end table. Might be his mother, he thought, and gently set it face down. Back to the kitchen. He opened the top of the black bag and removed two smaller bags. He set one in the fridge and took the other with him.

The contents of the second bag—hair and other items—he spread throughout the living room. The crime scene unit would get a kick out of that. He did one final check, removed a baseball bat from the bag, then sat on the couch behind the door. The bat lay on the cushion beside him. While he stretched his legs and leaned back, he thought about Nino. It would be easy to just shoot him, but that wouldn’t be fair. Renzo suffered for what he did; Nino should too. He remembered Mamma Rosa’s warnings, that the things people did would come back to haunt them. Nino would pay the price now.

A car pulled into the driveway. He sat up straight and gripped the bat.

#

Nino had a smile on his face and a bounce in his step. It was only Thursday and already he’d sold more cars than he needed for the month. Maybe I’ll buy Anna that coat she’s been wanting. Nino’s stomach rumbled, but he had a pepperoni pizza in his hand and a bottle of Chianti tucked into his coat pocket. He opened the door, slipped the keys into his pocket, and kicked the door shut with his foot.

There was a black sports bag on the kitchen table. Wasn’t there before, Nino thought. A shiver ran down his spine. He felt a presence in the house. Before he could turn, something slammed into his back. His right kidney exploded with pain.

“Goddamn.” Nino dropped the pizza, stumbled, and fell to the floor. His right side felt on fire. As his left shoulder collided with the hardwood floor, a bat hit him just above the wrist. The snap of bones sounded just before the surge of pain.

“Fuck.” He rolled to the side and reached for his gun.

The bat swung again.

Nino’s ribs cracked like kindling. Something sharp jabbed deep inside him. His mouth filled with a warm coppery taste. Nino recognized the man who stood above him. “Anything you want,” he said. “Just kill me quick.”

#

The bat struck Nino’s knee, the crunch of bones drowned by his screams. The man stared at Nino. Let him cry. “I got Renzo last month. You hear about that?”

Nino nodded.

He tapped Nino’s pocket with his foot, felt a gun. “If you reach for the gun, I’ll hit you again.”

Another nod.

He knelt next to Nino, took the shot glass from the coffee table. “Open your mouth.”

Nino opened his eyes wide and shook his head.

The man grabbed the tongs, shoved one end into the side of Nino’s mouth, and squeezed the handles, opening the tongs wide. When he had Nino’s mouth pried open enough, he shoved the shot glass in. It was a small shot glass, but to Nino it must have seemed big enough to hold a gallon. Nino tried screaming, but couldn’t. Couldn’t talk either, with the glass in there. Nino’s head bobbed, and he squirmed. Nothing but grunts came out—fear-tinged mumbles coated with blood.

The man stood, glared at Nino. Gripped the bat with both hands. “You shouldn’t have done it.”

A dark stain spread on the front of Nino’s pants. The stench of excrement filled the room. He stared at Nino, raised the bat over his head, and swung. Nino’s lips burst open, splitting apart from both sides. Teeth shattered, some flying out, others embedding into the flesh of his cheeks. The shot glass exploded. Glass dug deep gouges into his tongue, severing the front of it. Shards of glass pierced his lips and tunneled into his throat.

He stared at Nino’s face, the strips of torn flesh covered in blood. He gulped. Almost stopped. But then he thought about what Nino had done, and swung the bat one more time. After that, Nino Tortella lay still.

He returned to the kitchen and took a small box from the bag on the counter then went back to the living room. Inside the box were more hairs, blood, skin, and other evidence. He spread the items over and around the body then made a final trip to the kitchen to clean up. He undressed and placed his clothes into a large plastic bag, tied it, and set it inside the black bag. He took out a change of clothes, including shoes and plastic covers for them. Careful not to step in any blood, he went back to stand over the body.

Nino lay in his own piss, shit, and blood, eyes wide-open, mouth agape.

You should never have done it, Nino.

He blessed himself with the sign of the cross while he repeated the Trinitarian formula. “In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.” Then he shot Nino. Once in the head. Once in the heart. An eye for an eye. And then some.

Before stepping out the door, he removed the plastic covers for his shoes, placed them into the bag, then closed and locked the door behind him. The wind had picked up since he arrived, bringing a cold bite with it. He turned his collar up and tucked his head into his chest.

Forgive me, Father, for what I have done.

He walked two more blocks, almost to the car, when an image of Donnie Amato appeared in his head.

And for what I still have to do.


MURDER TAKES TIME (Friendship & Honor) is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $4.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!


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Frugal Freebie Wednesday! {5/30/12}

What could help push us through the middle of the week better than Frugal Freebies??

Check out these five NEW Frugal Freebies from the Kindle Store! {And grab them quick, they won’t be FREE for long*}


Apolo Drakuvich
,
G.W. Jefferies ~ Free!

G.W. Jefferies’ Apolo Drakuvich captures the life of a petty criminal on a strange ride ranging from bizarre and senseless to utterly tragic. Revolving around parasitic journalism, media and government corruption, and a ruthless, conniving judge who milks the citizens out of millions of dollars, Apolo Drakuvich can be described as a compilation of untamed and sheer madness–captivating the readers’ attention from beginning to end. With its raw descriptions, penetrating dialogue and crisp writing, this book is like no other.

Within all the madness that so epitomizes the life of Apolo, G.W. Jeffries presents a life of regret in epic proportions. Sitting in a jail cell, Apolo reflects, “One thing is for sure, I let it all slip away…so many opportunities lost.” Apolo sadly examines the events and decisions of his life, and the paths he took and should have taken. Apolo seeks peace of mind and justice, but flashbacks of his past continuously haunt him; moreover, he seems to be victimized by a corrupt justice system everywhere he goes.

As an offender, Apolo discusses pertinent issues of today’s society, where it is next to impossible for offenders to live normal lives, despite the desire to do so. Essentially, law enforcement and authorities seem to systematically destroy the offender by placing constraints on the offender such as restrictions on where to live, GPS monitoring, registering as offenders on websites, and more.

Apolo Drakuvich is a microcosm of numerous real-life issues encompassing the wild, the bizarre, and the tragic.

{4.5 Stars, 35 Reviews}


Moonlight on the Nantahala
, Micheal Rivers ~ FREE

His life began deep within the mountains of North Carolina. Edward Caulfield was a dedicated craftsman who appreciated the finer things in his life. As a young man he fell deeply in love and married a beautiful young woman he did not want to live without. Fate took her from him early in his marriage and he lived the rest of his life as a shrine to her. In the twilight of his years he met a troubled young woman and their relationship turned the tide for them both. In his efforts to help her, their lives were changed forever learning from each other. In a world filled with romance, deceit, and sorrow Edward left her a legacy fulfilled with the promise of finding, “The Perfect Rose.”

{4.5 Stars, 15 Reviews}


Versim, Curtis Hox ~ Free!

Harken Cole is a highly trained Entertainment Specialist. He immerses into rendered worlds called Rend-Vs to play the hero, the villain–whatever his bosses want. To fulfill a promise to a dead friend, Hark illegally jumps into Collides, a twenty-first century Rend-V, and realizes something’s not right. The host of Collides is in danger, and Hark must protect her. Hark soon learns that controversial director Miesha Preston plans to flip peaceful Collides into a horror Rend-V. If Hark can’t protect the host, while still fulfilling his promise, everyone immersed will die.

{5 Stars, 4 Reviews}

 

Sprig of Thyme, Jenna Dawlish ~ Free!

England, 1853. Jilted five years ago by a man masquerading as a tutor, Adella believes she has come to terms with her loss. She has moved on with her life, no longer a governess, she is happy in Bath helping her brother, a doctor.

That same man moves to Bath under his true identity; a rich landowner. Fate throws them together and she discovers the secret behind his betrayal. Can she live with the consequences it holds for both of them? Can she learn to forgive him?

{5 Stars, 4 Reviews}


The Dogs Head and Other Underworld Encounters
, MacIntyre Donal~ Free!

Donal MacIntyre is an award-winning investigative journalist, specialising in hard-hitting investigations and television exposés. In The Dog’s Head and Other Underworld Encounters Donal opens up his reporter’s notebook and reveals some of the most compelling stories of his career. In this candid and revealing collection, we are given a fascinating insight into what it means to truly take risks and live a life without limits. Donal has gone undercover with football hooligans, befriended notorious gangsters and gotten up close and personal with Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair and his devoted neo-Nazi followers. His life was threatened by an out-of-control crack addict, he has spent time on death row in America’s most infamous penitentiary and bought Semtex in Kosovo. This is living dangerously on a grand scale.
Originally published as part of Donal MacIntyre’s memoir, Hitmen, Gangsters, Cannibals and Me.

Donal MacIntyre has worked as an investigative journalist for the BBC, ITV, Five, National Geographic and TV3. His award-winning programmes include MacIntyre Undercover, MacIntyre Investigates, World’s Toughest Towns. He has directed and produced two award-winning feature documentaries, A Very British Gangster and Sins of the Father. His current TV series, At Home with the Noonan’s is being broadcasted by Sky’s Crime and Investigation network.

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

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

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: After the Fog, Kathleen Shoop {$2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

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Kathleen Shoop‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of After the Fog:

For every woman who thinks she left her past behind…

It’s 1948 in the steel town of Donora, Pennsylvania, site of the infamous “killing smog.” Public health nurse, Rose Pavlesic, has risen above her orphaned upbringing and created a life that reflects everything she missed as a child. She’s even managed to keep her painful secrets hidden from her doting husband, loving children, and large extended family.

When a stagnant weather pattern traps poisonous mill gasses in the valley, neighbors grow sicker and Rose’s nursing obligations thrust her into conflict she never could have fathomed. Consequences from her past collide with her present life, making her once clear decisions as gray as the suffocating smog. As pressure mounts, Rose finds she’s not the only one harboring lies. When the deadly fog finally clears, the loss of trust and faith leaves the Pavlesic family—and the whole town—splintered and shocked. With her new perspective, can Rose finally forgive herself and let her family’s healing begin?

***Independent Publisher Awards:

2012 Silver Medal, Best Regional Fiction–Mid-Atlantic***

***National Indie Excellence Awards:

2012 WINNER– Literary Fiction***

 

Accolades:

Darlene from “Peeking Between the Pages,” says… “It is based on a true event and at the same time portrays a family who is broken but it is these very things that makes this such a good book – it is raw and real but at the same time you will find hope and forgiveness within it’s pages. It’s impossible to convey how deep this novel is…”

Shelia Deeth says, “A novel filled with believable characters set in well-researched time and location, with such well-drawn historical insights it leaves the reader trembling for today, Kathleen Shoop’s After the Fog is hard to put down, fiercely absorbing, and furiously real.”

Marcia Lehman says, “In her latest book, After the Fog, Kathleen Shoop has woven another compelling story combining history and humanity.”


Reviews:

After the Fog currently has a customer review rating of 4 stars from 17 reviews. Read the reviews here.


After the Fog is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

An excerpt from After the Fog:

Inside the Greshecky home, Rose pressed the light switch but knew it wouldn’t work. Ian appeared, his form outlined by the paltry light slipping through a gap in the wood siding. Even in darkness his complexion—white as the smoky plumes billowing from the zinc mill—told Rose things were not well with his Aunt. He opened his mouth, but Rose grasped his shoulders and shoved the twelve-year-old toward the kitchen before Ian could form a single word.

“Heat the water. Get the clean towels we hid away for the birth.”

Ian looked at his feet, but didn’t move.

“Go on. You remember,” Rose said.

Ian nodded.

Isabella’s screech from the back of the house summoned Rose toward the bedroom. She groped the walls trying to remember the placement of the furniture. The last thing she needed was to trip and fall. She stepped where the wood floor dropped a few inches into an unfinished dirt path, stumbled and twisted her knee. She grimaced and fell back against the wall, bent over, grasping her throbbing leg. Nothing felt out of place. Another wail. Rose pushed off the wall and limped down the hall toward Isabella. She slammed open the bedroom door, tearing it from its hinge.

In the middle of the shadowy room, Isabella squatted as though urinating, her nightgown splashed with blackened blood, its thick iron odor choking the air. Rose hooked Isabella under the arms and hauled her toward the window, and the mattress on the ground. Rose dug her heels in; thankful traction was the one good attribute of having a mud floor.

She gritted her teeth, wanting to reassure Isabella, to remind her of the slew of births Rose had assisted over the years. But Isabella’s awkward two hundred pounds consumed the energy Rose might have spent on reassuring words.

Isabella groaned and bucked forward. Rose knelt in front of her on the mattress, praying for the moon to move a sliver to the right and illuminate the shadowy room. Rose needed to assess why there was so much blood; Ian was spooked enough to forget the candles she had requested, and his uncle, the baby’s father, was on shift at the mill.

Rose gripped Isabella’s knees and tried to wrench them apart. “It’s all right, you can let go. It’s okay, Isabella. Baby’s coming.” Isabella’s legs gave way and fell open as she dropped back onto the mattress, gasping. Rose felt between the woman’s legs to the baby’s crowned head. She felt a surge of panic at Isabella’s sudden silence, but pushed her fear away.

Rose supported the baby’s head and reached for Isabella’s hand. She squinted, trying to gauge if Isabella’s nails had blued from lack of oxygen, but it was too dark.

“Isabella? You all right? Baby’s here. Prop yourself up, you don’t even need to push, he’s coming, he’s—”

The baby slid out, bringing the usual tumble of cording, but so much more Rose thought she was witnessing the birth of triplets. So much flesh falling through her fingers in the darkness. The rush of blood warmed Rose’s knees, saturating her nurse’s uniform as if it were consuming it.

Her breath tripped and sputtered as she fumbled through the mass of expelled tissue and peeled the baby away. She flipped the body over, whacking its back. Part of Rose understood what she was experiencing, but in the darkness, she could pretend.

“It’s a girl, Isabella. Your baby girl’s here. Just like you wanted. A girl to stay by your side.” Rose worked quickly, firmly opening the baby’s airway and bracing her against her chest, warming her back to life. The baby was definitely full-term, but too thin, and not breathing, heart stilled. Rose cursed herself for not forcing Isabella to take the labor inducement, but the woman thought God alone had the right to induce anything.

“Auntie Bella?”

Rose snapped around. She hadn’t heard anyone come into the room. Behind her stood Ian, a nearly invisible form holding fresh bleached towels that glowed in the twilight. The image of a happy birth flashed through Rose’s mind, a plump, pink baby and healthy mother. Rose’s heart heaved with desolation at what Ian was about to understand.

She waved Ian to her. “I need you to hold this little princess while I tend to your aunt. And, get the scissors from my bag.”

He nodded, handing over the downy towels and dashed to Rose’s bag. She didn’t have time to tell him how to be sanitary when handling them, too busy toweling the blood and fluid from the baby’s eyes, her own burning from the emotion she was stuffing away.

Ian dashed back with the scissors, thrusting them under Rose’s nose.

“She’s okay, right? Both of them?”

Rose lay the baby on the towel, not saying a word, and cut the infant’s cord. Next she swaddled the baby and handed her to Ian. She shuffled him toward the chair across the room and ordered him to sit; fearful he might pass out, afraid if he wasn’t in the room, she might.

Rose resumed her attempts to stop Isabella’s bleeding and rouse her with soft words, knowing the woman died with the birth of her daughter. Even without surgical lighting, Rose saw the woman’s uterus had been expelled with the baby and even in a hospital, it was unlikely she would have survived.

“Sweet Isabella,” Rose whispered, wiping the woman’s hair from her brow. “I’ll put in a call to Dr. Bonaroti.” Rose wiped her hands on the uniform’s apron; angered the physician hadn’t made it to the birth.

“No phone, Nurse Rose,” Ian said, “‘member last time yunz guys come down the house for—”

Ian began hyperventilating, his body shuddering rhythmically, bouncing him out of the chair. His desperation jolted Rose’s own grief. She dashed toward the boy grasping his arms.

“That’ll be enough, Ian. I need your help.”

He looked up, snot flying from his nose, saliva at the corners of his mouth like a rabid animal, and she grabbed him from the chair, hugged him so tight he choked. She held him there, baby between them. Rose eased his pain with the warmth of her skin, hoping that she could stave off the sadness he’d feel as he grew up without his aunt.

“Now Ian. You need to go next door and phone Dr. Bonaroti.” Where was that damn doctor? This was exactly why Donora needed to fund Rose for the next year. If her nearly one year serving as a community nurse had shown her anything, it was that they actually needed three nurses. Just two more months of funding and the program was shot if their data wasn’t convincing.

Rose took the baby and guided Ian from the room. “Tell Alice to tell the doc it’s an emergency.”

She rubbed his back and wanted to say everything would be all right, but she knew nothing would be fine for young Ian. His uncle had a lust for booze and when he wasn’t breaking his neck in the zinc mill, was inattentive even at his most benign.

Though she would have given anything to be one of those people who could lie to make someone feel better, she had discovered through the losses she’d experienced in life, she was not that kind of woman at all.

 

After the Fog is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!


Connect with Kathleen Shoop:

{Closed: Updated with winners!} THE TUESDAY GIVEAWAY: 5 eCopies of DARK POOL from Helen Hanson!

The winners have been announced below!

Happy Tuesday!

It’s time for a Frugal eReader Giveaway!

See below for how to win one of five Kindle or Nook Copies of DARK POOL, sponsored by the author Helen Hanson... but first, a little about the novel:

 

 

~ Forty Billion Reasons to Kill

By this time in her life, Maggie Fender expected to be on her way to law school. Instead she’s far from any degree, waiting tables to support her teenage half-brother and their ailing father. With early onset Alzheimer’s, her father’s lucid moments are few and unpredictable.

Her brother’s legal defense for felony hacking charges strained their finances to a snap. In spite of the conviction, he claims he was framed. But now that he’s on parole, he also claims their father is sending them messages.

Maggie’s tired of the struggle, but she’s everybody’s legal guardian. Slowing down will lead to disaster. She can hustle. Or face financial ruin.

This isn’t the life she envisioned.

In the news, disgraced hedge fund manager Patty O’Mara awaits trial for bilking investors out of forty billion dollars. The legendary dark pool wizard offered phenomenal profits until the SEC examined his books. Then they discovered O’Mara didn’t make any legitimate trades on the market.

O’Mara ran his hedge fund the way Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff ran theirs. It was all a fraud.

One wealthy investor rallies the troop of irate victims by hiring a noted private investigator to find the missing pot of gold. A Russian mobster, out thirty million in cash, prefers to search for the money alone and without witnesses. Their competing efforts sift the same set of facts.

So why are they interested in Maggie Fender’s incoherent father?

While SEC officials try to rebuild credibility for allowing the financial scandal to rage unchecked, the private investigator and the Russian mobster vie to answer a solitary question:

What happened to all that money?

DARK POOL is available for $3.95 at the Kindle Store

Now, for the giveaway:

Simply leave a comment on this post to be entered to win one of five Kindle or Nook Copies of Helen HansonDARK POOL!

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!} Don’t forget to choose either Kindle or Nook format!

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

Good Luck!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Congratulations to the five winners!

debbie r

theresa

michelle acord

Gracie

Kim White

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{Three} Tuesday Frugal Freebies!

Check out the THREE FRUGAL FREEBIES below!

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

Watcher’s Web, Patty Jansen ~ Free!

She’s not your ordinary country girl, even though she might look like one. She casts webs of power, reading the feelings of living beings and telling them what to do. Nobody knows what causes it, least of all her. Her name is Jessica, but most people call her ‘freak’.

One fateful day, her ‘web’ connects with a stranger, and stray power causes the plane in which she’s travelling to crash in an alien world. An accident? The more she discovers about the world in which she has landed, the more she doubts it. She is a survivor from an ancient race that once travelled the stars. Her ancestors were powerful and dangerous, and it seems at least two people want her: the man who invades her mind, and the man who’s desperate to help her get back home. But Jessica grew up an Earth girl, and isn’t having any of this. She’ll pander to no one, thank you very much, even if her stubbornness enrages the tyrant race who hold the world in their grip.

{4.5 Stars, 4 Reviews}


Historical Romance Boxed Set
, Brenda Novak ~ Free!

OF NOBLE BIRTH

He was a man who took what he wanted. And he wanted her.

To escape her cruel stepfather, seamstress Alexandra Cogsworth envisioned sailing far from England…though not as a captive aboard a pirate’s ship.

Pirate captain Nathaniel Kent’s strategy for exacting revenge on his coldhearted father involved taking a valuable hostage…not a seamstress he mistakenly thinks is his half sister.

Yet fate has designs of its own, landing them both on board the Royal Vengeance. At sea, Nathaniel intercepts and plunders his father’s ships, all the while tormented by his illicit hunger for the tempting prisoner he thinks is his blood relation. And although Alexandra wants no part in this terrifying voyage, to reveal her true identity to the handsome, blue-eyed Nathaniel would invite danger. Not only would she become worthless cargo, but the revelation would surely unleash what she and Nathaniel have been fiercely battling–a rising undercurrent of impossible desire that could sweep them away for good.

HONOR BOUND

To some men honor is just a word….

Jeannette Boucher, a young French beauty from a family left penniless by the revolution, must marry against her will to save them all from ruin. But almost immediately after the vows are spoken, she learns that her old English husband is impotent—and in his desire for an heir, he plans to compromise her in the worst way.

Determined to escape such a fate, she stows away on one of His Majesty’s frigates. But a woman alone is in constant danger.

To Lieutenant Treynor, honor means everything….

Born a bastard to a wayward marquise, Lieutenant Crawford Treynor was given to a poor farmer to raise and was maltreated until he ran away to join the Royal Navy. Treynor is determined to prove he’s as good as any other man and rise to captain his own frigate. But once he finds Jeannette aboard The Tempest he must decide whether to return her to the man he knows would abuse her—or risk everything, even his life, to keep her safe.

{4.5 Stars, 9 Reviews}


Love is a Wounded Soldier
, Blaine Reimer ~ Free!

Love is a Wounded Soldier combines the old-fashioned romance of a Nicholas Sparks novel with all the gut-punching grit of Saving Private Ryan to bring you a story of heartbreak and hope.

Despite growing up with an abusive, alcoholic father, and having to cope with the untimely death of his mother, Robert Mattox has retained his innocence and idealism. He woos and marries his first love, Ellen, and it appears his life is set for a happily-ever-after ending.
But World War II is raging, and its vortex snatches him away from his young bride. He finds himself fighting in Europe, witnessing and participating in the unspeakable ugliness and brutality of war. His love for Ellen holds him back from utter despondency, and his will to fight and live draws strength from his desire to return home to her.
When he finally does return home to Kentucky, he’s exhausted, jaded, and scarred–inside and out. His worst fear is how Ellen will respond to the changes in him, but when he gets home he finds that Ellen is different, too–much different.
Can things between them ever be the same again? Or will their love be the war’s most tragic casualty?

{5 Stars, 64 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.

KINDLE DAILY DEAL: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating: A Memoir by Elisabeth Tova Bailey is $1.99 Today Only!

In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, Elisabeth Bailey shares an inspiring and intimate story of her uncommon encounter with a Neohelix albolabris -a common woodland snail.

While an illness keeps her bedridden, Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence on her nightstand. As a result, she discovers the solace and sense of wonder that this mysterious creature brings and comes to a greater under standing of her own confined place in the world.

Intrigued by the snail-s molluscan anatomy, cryptic defenses, clear decision making, hydraulic locomotion, and mysterious courtship activities, Bailey becomes an astute and amused observer, providing a candid and engaging look into the curious life of this underappreciated small animal.-

Told with wit and grace, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a remarkable journey of survival and resilience, showing us how a small part of the natural world illuminates our own human existence and provides an appreciation of what it means to be fully alive.

What readers are saying:

A charming, delicate meditation on the meaning of life. — Kirkus Review

“An exquisite meditation on the restorative connection between nature and humans . . . with sentences of stunning lyrical beauty. –Huffington Post

The average Amazon Reader Review is currently 4.5 stars {61 reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating: A Memoir for $1.99* from Amazon

*Price goes back up to $8.38 tomorrow!

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Secrets of the Apple, Paula Hiatt {$3.99}

Sponsored Post

Paula Hiatt‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Secrets of the Apple:

“When the door shut behind Kate, some invisible detail changed in the room, maybe something to do with the air pressure, or possibly the temperature.  Gradually minor noises took on a strange magnification, like the grinding tikka tikka of the antique clock on the credenza and the splatter of raindrops against the windows as the long drizzle finally turned ardent.  He felt a chill in his arms and rose to put the clock in a drawer, wondering how he could have occupied this room for two weeks without consciously noting such an irritating sound.  Back at his desk, he picked up a pen, reminding himself how rejuvenating it was to work in solitude, free to swear all he wanted.  He put the pen down, remembering he didn’t need it.  He sat back in his chair.  The office felt dead.”

Ryoki is comfortable is his custom-built hell, making money with both hands and slashing his path through the world of men.  But there’s something about Kate, something important dangling just at the edge of his consciousness.  She can’t read a map, she falls off her heels, and yet she saves his life with a button and a bit of thread.  Terrified she’s privately plotting to marry him, he studies her with hooded eyes, attempting to discover her secrets for himself.  But understanding Kate will challenge everything he thought he knew.

 

Accolades:

“Exceptional” –Kirkus Starred Review

“A captivating love story” –Lisa Oliver Monroe, Kirkus Magazine


Reviews:

Secrets of the Apple currently has a customer review rating of 5 stars from 6 reviews. Read the reviews here.


Secrets of the Apple is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $3.99!

 

An excerpt from Secrets of the Apple:

Kate played a couple of scales to limber up her fingers before looking up.  “Would you like to hear what the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ really sounds like?”

“Surprise us,” Brian said, leaning back, almost burrowing into his chair.  Kate’s gaze swept over the room, resting briefly on Ryoki, whose palms turned moist for no reason he could fathom.  Without taking out any music she turned her eyes to the keys and began to play “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

Ryoki rubbed his hands on his knees, sitting back and smiling—don’t be too critical, he told himself, just enjoy the ambiance and the little family show.  She played the childish tune without pretense or fanfare, pausing at the end.  Ryoki would have started to clap and laugh at her joke, but her hands stayed on the keys and her expression remained detached as though listening to some inner voice.  Her fingers moved again and the melody began to unwind, embroidering around itself until Ryoki recognized Mozart’s 12 Variations on “Ah vous dirai-je, Maman,” a favorite of his father’s.

Ryoki had always been moved by music, humming the correct intervals almost as soon as he could talk.  He inherited his perfect pitch from his father, Hiroshi, who sang to his son before bed whenever he was home, and listened to music every day of his life, only the best from classical to jazz, most particularly on piano.

Unaware of his son’s musical interest, Hiroshi enrolled Ryoki in a rigorous judo program at the age of four, over the years insisting on a broad mix of martial arts training both to protect him and help him develop the mental and physical discipline that would prepare him for adulthood.  Ryoki worked hard and excelled, as was his nature.  When Hiroshi discovered his son picking out simple melodies on the piano at the age of five, he found an exacting teacher with a morning and evening practice strategy, and again Ryoki worked hard and excelled.  This time however, Ryoki practiced out of pure fascination for the magic sound of notes rubbing together.

The two courses went on in tandem for two years, until his parents noticed that their son had become increasingly solitary, spending so much time at his books and lessons that he had little time to be a boy.  His mother knew of his love for music, but after all he was not a prodigy, and his father had imbibed his parents’ view that music was a more feminine than masculine pursuit.  Reluctantly they let the piano lessons go, with the hope that he would one day find time to pick it up again.

So it was that Ryoki reached manhood with the ability to kill a man with his bare hands, but only the sketchiest memory of where to find a G on the piano.  His music collection was massive, though, especially rich in the piano.

Now he folded his hands together and rested his mouth on his knuckles as he watched Kate play.  She didn’t close her eyes or make flourishing gestures with her hands, or add any of the theatrical indulgences committed by those who believe themselves carried away by art rather than by their own vanity.  It seemed to Ryoki that she played lit from within, as one who plays for the sheer love of the sound, and nothing to prove to anybody.  Because he knew the piece so intimately, he couldn’t help spotting the failures in her technique, those wooden moments when her dexterity couldn’t quite execute her intent.  Yet there was something in her performance that reached out to him, an open-handed sharing that thrilled his skin like a caress.

Halfway through he understood why he’d been so absorbed as she read to the children.  Kate had an innate gift for expression, puzzling together the plain and the astonishing, the way he envisioned Mozart created his music, like God creating man out of dust.  Such power frightened him, but he clung to it nonetheless.

He could no longer look at Kate.  He wanted to lean back and close his eyes, allowing the notes to swirl and twine around him, unmolested by his visual sense.  He couldn’t, not here; in public he had to stay contained.  He put his hands in his lap and kept very still, taking slow breaths to calm his rushing blood.

As the piece drew to a close, he looked up, watching Kate as she breathed into the final chord.  Looking at the keys, she smiled to herself.

Ryoki wanted to kiss her.

Once the final sounds had died away, the spell was broken. He clasped his hands tightly, curling his lip at his own absurdity.  It was the musician effect, nothing more, suckering him in.  It was the same gaslight magic that explained why poor, scraggly haired musicians were famous for scoring hordes of otherwise sensible women.  He knew that.  Impossible he could have been snared, even momentarily, in such a ridiculous trap.  Still, it seemed unfair that she had touched him so intimately without giving him a chance to touch back.

 

Secrets of the Apple is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $3.99!

 

Connect with Paula Hiatt:

MONDAY’S THREE: Under Nine, Under Five, Under One! {5/28/12}

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 Attorney (A Paul Madriani Novel), Steve Martini {$7.99}

Riveting . . . a suspenseful tale, right up to the satisfying climax, wrote Publishers Weekly in praise of The Judge. “Legal thrillers don’t get much better than this.” Kirkus Reviews hailed Undue Influence as “the courtroom novel of the year.” Now Martini delivers Paul Madriani’s most challenging case yet: one pitting a drug-addicted mother against her daughter’s newly rich grandfather in a contentious custody case that leads to criminal accusations and ultimately murder. Having moved to San Diego to be closer to the woman in his life, Madriani takes on the case of Jonah Hale, an elderly man in terrible straits. As a result of their only child Jessica’s longtime drug addiction, Jonah and his wife have been raising their eight-year-old granddaughter, Amanda. On the heels of Jonah’s multimillion-dollar state lottery win, Jessica revives her interest in mothering. When Jonah won’t deal–maternal rights for a mega-bucks payoff–Jessica plays dirty: she accuses the old man of having sexually abused her as a child and similarly abusing Amanda now. Enter Zo Suade–a flamboyant, feminist activist with a penchant for making the objects of custody battles and their mother/plaintiffs “disappear.” True to form, a week after Zo takes on Jessica’s case, mother and daughter vanish. When Zo’s body turns up, Jonah becomes the prime suspect. And Madriani is the man who can prove his innocence. Filled with action in and out of court, rich in characters with motives obvious and subtle, The Attorney marks the much-anticipated return of Paul Madriani.

The average customer review is currently {3.5 stars, 77 reviews}.


Under Five
BLOOD STAINED (Lucy Guardino FBI Thrillers, Book #2), CJ Lyons {$2.99}

New from New York Times and USA Today Bestseller, CJ Lyons:

WARNING: the Lucy Guardino FBI Thrillers are NOT for the faint of heart! They depict adult situations, realistic violence with consequences, and delve deep into the darkness of the human heart and mind.

Both BLOOD STAINED and SNAKE SKIN are on sale now for a limited time!

The average customer review is currently 4.5 stars {57 reviews}.


Under One: GUILTY OR ELSE, Jeff Sherratt {$0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

When Ernesto Rodriguez, a blue collar gardener is arrested for the savage murder of a senator’s beautiful secretary, ex-cop turned lawyer Jimmy O’Brien is brought in. But Jimmy isn’t asked to defend the man. The judge wants Rodriguez put away fast. No trial, cut a deal with the D.A. Guilty: twenty-five to life. Launching his own investigation, Jimmy must navigate a labyrinthine course of corruption and conspiracy with danger lurking at every turn. From the suburbs of Los Angeles to Sacramento to Las Vegas, the trail runs boiling hot with greed and violence. With help from his PI friend Sol Silverman, Jimmy tries to find the answers to questions that may save his life and free an innocent man. Was the senator having an affair with his secretary and did he kill her to keep it quiet? Why is the local mob having Jimmy followed? And why has the judge told Jimmy to plead Rodriguez GUILTY OR ELSE?

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

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

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