Hour of the Wolf (Steam and Stone Saga), Andrius B. Tapinas {$0.99}

Biggest SF bestseller in Lithuania – $.99 only this week

It is the year 1905 and Europe is not as we know it. Alchemists pilot steampunk airships over great cities, hardworking mechanics create automatons and deep in the dungeons secret societies of macabre wizards strive to create artificial intellect.

Powerful bankers created The Alliance of Free Cities – beacons of progress, art, science and freedom.

But…

Blood has been spilled

Former US Marine Antanas Sidabras is exceptional at his job – enforcing public order in the ancient Free City of Vilnius. But a gruesome murder mystery at an abandoned cemetery leaves him at a loss. No clues, no motive, no suspect.

And…

A shadow has been awoken

With the biggest social event of the year – The Summit – looming just a few days ahead frantic investigation turns out to be a complex mystery of political intrigue and Sidabras has everybody against him – mad doctors, corrupt officials, Russian agents and monsters from his personal nightmares. And then, the bells will toll the Hour of the Wolf.

Will you live to see another day?

If you like alternate history fiction stories, science fiction adventure, unrelenting storytelling and steampunk setting – Hour of the Wolf will not disappoint.

This powerful steampunk and alternative history adventure is the biggest science fiction bestseller in Lithuania for the last decade. Animation series is already in the works and Hour of the Wolf became a major inspiration for a groundbreaking computer game – The Howler.

Check it now – Look Inside feature is just above on the top left side of the page.

What readers are saying:

“To read this book is like to watch a super intensive Hollywood thriller”

“Hour of the Wolf will delight fans of mystery, international intrigue, and fantasy alike”

The average Amazon Review is currently 4.3 stars {58 reviews}.

 Click here to read more about and purchase Hour of the Wolf (Steam and Stone Saga) for  $0.99 from Amazon!

The Guestbook, Andrea Hurst {$2.99}

EVERYONE REMEMBERS THEIR FIRST LOVE…
BUT SOMETIMES IT’S THE SECOND LOVE THAT LASTS

“Evocative and heartfelt, The Guestbook is the profound story of one woman’s journey toward hope, renewal and a second chance at love on a lush Pacific Northwest island. Curl up with your favorite cup of cocoa and enjoy.”
~Anjali Banerjee – author of Imaginary Men and Haunting Jasmine said about this women’s fiction romance

This book weaves together the heart of Nicholas Sparks, the romance of Nora Roberts, and the charm of Debbie Macomber.

Fleeing her picture-perfect marriage among the privileged set of Brentwood and the wreckage of a failed marriage, Lily Parkins decides to move to the only place that still holds happy memories, her grandmother’s old farmhouse. The lush and majestic setting of the Pacific Northwest calls to her and offers a place of refuge and perhaps renewal. Her grandmother has passed away, leaving the Madrona Island Bed & Breakfast Inn to Lily.

Left with only an old guestbook as her guide–a curious book full of letters, recipes, and glimpses into her family history–Lily is determined to embrace her newfound independence and recreate herself, one page at a time. With the help of the quirky island residents she has befriended, she slowly finds the strength to seek out happiness on her own terms. But as soon as she has sworn off men and is standing on her own two feet, Lily meets Ian, the alluring artist who lives next door, and her new life is suddenly thrown off course. The last thing she wants to do right now is to open her heart to another man.

Ultimately, Lily must decide if it’s worth giving up her soul for security or risking everything to follow her heart in this romantic love story.

The Guestbook is the first book in the Madrona Island Trilogy. www.madronaislandbandb.com

What readers are saying:

This is a story that captured every sense engaging the reader from the first page. With savory recipes that made my mouth water, elegant descriptions of the Pacific Northwest which made me remember why I love living there, and a story that filled the soul, I loved this book.-Amazon Review

If you’re looking for a book with charm and a great atmosphere, I would definitely recommend The Guestbook. Everything from the island to the inn to the town and its people and food is lovingly rendered to really draw you in.-Amazon Review

I cannot express how very much I enjoyed The Guestbook. A wonderful debut from author Andrea Hurst and I cannot wait for the next book in this trilogy!-Goodreads Review

The average Amazon Review is currently 4.4 stars {509 reviews}.

 

Click here to read more about and purchase The Guestbook for $2.99 from Amazon!

 

Trust: The Hero Chronicles (Volume 2) , Tim Mettey {$0.99}

Nicholas Keller has come to terms with his Thusian heritage and has finally achieved some normalcy in his life. But when new neighbors move in next door at the beginning of his junior year, everything changes. He is launched into an impossible search, uncertain of who to trust, and this time it’s not just his own life that hangs in the balance—it’s the lives of countless others and everyone he loves.

What readers are saying:

True to its title, book two of The Hero Chronicles delivers a powerful reminder that TRUST is a key factor to the success of any and all relationships – dating, friendships, parents/children, teachers/students, neighbors etc. Mettey does a good job of keeping readers in suspense — wondering who we should TRUST — with twists and turns throughout the story hinting that people and situations aren’t always as they seem.

I have enjoyed both books in this series. They are easy to read and the characters are quite likeable. I find myself thinking about Nicholas and Elle sometimes even though I finished reading the book weeks ago. I look forward to reading more about the Thusians and the Seekers in the next book.

The average Amazon Review is currently 4.4 stars {8 reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase Trust: The Hero Chronicles (Volume 2)  for $0.99  from Amazon!

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: The Gift, Rachel Newcomb {$0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

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Description of The Gift:

Is egg donation a gift or a transaction?

After several years together, Elise and Peter’s marriage is on the rocks. She can’t get pregnant, and he can’t seem to finish his dissertation. An editor with a promising publishing career, Elise decides to shelve her ambitions to pursue the baby that she believes will stabilize their shaky union. Meanwhile, Peter’s mind is elsewhere, haunted by memories of his glory days as a Peace Corps worker in Morocco.

Celia, the Princeton scholarship student who answers their advertisement for an egg donor, appears to be the solution to their problems. The daughter of an unemployed mill worker from South Carolina, Celia doesn’t quite fit into the elite Ivy League environment. But when Elise decides that Celia needs a mentor, the situation takes an unexpected turn.

 

Accolades:

“The Gift is a moving and beautifully rendered story about ambition, whether overt or oblique, thwarted or fulfilled. In precise and elegant prose,Rachel Newcomb explores the ethics of egg donation, campus politics, and marital conflict. A smart, complex book by a deeply empathetic writer.”
- Laila Lalami, author of Secret Son and Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits

“Clear and relentless… this timely, stark, dead-on story nails two of our biggest contemporary dilemmas and brings into question the entire arrangement of marriage in a world wrenched by torrents of ambition amid doubts about the future that turn friends and even spouses into rungs on the ladder, or roadkill.”
- Philip F. Deaver, author of Silent Retreats and How Men Pray

Reviews:

The Gift currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 4.5 stars from 21 reviews. Read the reviews here.

 

An excerpt from The Gift:

At 6:30 Peter closed the book he was reading, a weighty book about sea exploration in the fifteenth century. Somehow it must relate to his dissertation, but as of yet he wasn’t sure how. He climbed the stairs to the main floor of the Firestone Library, which at this hour hummed with activity, the large reading room with its high ceilings and tall windows packed with industrious students hunched over chemistry notes and history books.

Heading to the exit, he passed one of his students from his Introductory Arabic class, a boy with a brush cut and a face dotted with acne who had expressed interest in someday using his Arabic to work for the CIA. Peter had to fight his dislike for Kevin, who saw the Middle East as a hostile, monolithic region and showed no interest in learning more about the beauty or diversity of its people.
“Hey Professor,” Kevin said. “I went looking for you after class but you weren’t in your office hours. Could we talk for a second?”
“I was in my office hours,” Peter sighed. “I must have just been in the bathroom. Actually, I’m running late for dinner, can this wait?” He tried to keep moving, but Kevin matched his stride.
“I wanted to talk about the grade you gave me on my last paper.”
Peter stopped in the lobby.
“The paper that was supposed to be about culture?” he asked. “You mean the one where you wrote that Israel is the only civilized country in the region?”
“Yes, you gave me a D. I thought that seemed a little undeserved.”
“You didn’t respond to the question correctly.”
“You mean I didn’t answer in a way that pandered to your political views.”
“No, you didn’t do what the assignment asked. I asked you to write about some aspect of Middle Eastern culture, not a polemic. I didn’t ask you to make value judgments. No culture is more or less civilized than any other.”
“Depends on your definition of culture. I was defining culture as the elevation of civilization, which Israel has reached. They’ve got world-class orchestras to prove it. Not like their barbaric neighbors.”
“Barbaric?” Peter said. “You can’t use words like that.”
“I can’t call suicide bombings barbaric?” Kevin argued. “Honor killings? Last time I checked, both practices were popular in that neighborhood, except for Israel.”
“How about targeted assassinations?” Peter said, wanting to bite his tongue but finding himself unable to do so. He tried to keep his voice low, but the security guard was listening with interest. “How about torture in the prisons?”
“Terrorists don’t play by the rules, so why should we have to when we’re dealing with them? These are exceptional times.”
“Hitler claimed that, too.” Peter knew he was on dangerous territory.
“Well, it seems obvious to me that I got a D because you didn’t like my subject, not because of the grammar, which was acceptable. I had Dr. Thomas look it over and he had no problems with it. He said he would have given it an A.”
“Dr. Thomas is neither your professor nor your teaching assistant,” he responded. “And whether you’re writing in Arabic and English, the subject matter is just as important as the grammar and style. You did not write about culture. You wrote a political polemic. Had you written about Israeli wedding ceremonies or Bedouin goat herding practices, you would have been on safer ground. Just remember the parameters of the assignment next time.”
“I certainly will, Doctor… or wait, you’re not a doctor yet, are you.” He smirked. “I’ll definitely keep this in mind.” Kevin looked at him pointedly then turned to go back into the library.
Peter stepped out into the chilly September air. He had no interest in bringing politics into the classroom and only wished that he could teach without feeling that students cared only about their grades. If only they were there to learn Arabic because of their love for the language’s unconventional beauty, and for the region’s rich and compelling history! He was used to students complaining about their grades—this was Princeton, after all, and the students were competitive—but Kevin made him nervous. The professor he was assisting as a teaching assistant, a Lebanese expert on 19th century Levantine social history, would back him up here. He would have to tell her about all of this before Kevin went to her, if he hadn’t already.
His discussion with Kevin made him late for dinner. Elise wouldn’t care, but Peter preferred order, and for his own sanity he liked to parcel the day out into planned tasks, just to make sure they were completed. The run at six thirty each day, shower and breakfast, and on campus no later thaneight thirty, ensconced in his carrel. Teaching from eleven to twelve on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, followed by a lunch, sometimes brought from home or else in the student union. Back in the library from one until three, a coffee break at the hour when he was most likely to get drowsy, then more work again until at least six o’clock. Office hours on Wednesdays from three to five.
The dissertation would only be completed if he were meticulous about his ordering of time. Inspiration without discipline was nothing. At night he could be more spontaneous, going out for the occasional dinner and a movie, or, if Elise were out of town, a beer at the grad student bar. Arranging his life this way offered just enough comfort to prevent him from other excesses that might afflict him if he dropped his insistence on routine. Sometimes even the slightest deviation from the schedule led to chaos, and when this happened he might find himself needing to spend a good hour arranging his books, first by descending order of size, then alphabetically, then by publication date. Without the routine, other troubling behaviors threatened to appear, operating beyond his volition.
Unlocking the door to their apartment, he breathed in the smell of seafood. Seated at the functional wooden IKEA table drinking wine with Elise was a girl he didn’t recognize. He wondered if Elise had started working at the rape crisis center again. When she did, it was not uncommon for him to come home to find unfamiliar faces around the dinner table, fellow activists, or girls whom Elise was helping to get through difficult times. He suspected she had boundary issues, so he’d been relieved that she was not volunteering as much lately.
“Peter, this is Celia,” Elise said. She stood up to shake his hand. For a minute her name did not register, and Peter tried to recall where Elise might have met her. A friend from yoga class, maybe? Suddenly he remembered where Elise had been yesterday, and why he had avoided coming home until the last possible instant, when she was already asleep.
“This is…” he stalled, reaching out his hand to shake Celia’s as she stood up to meet him, her face slightly flushed, whether from the wine or the awkwardness of the meeting, he wasn’t sure. She seemed so young; she could have been one of his students, one of the masses of slender, elfin girls who populated the Princeton campus, with perfect, television-commercial hair and shiny white teeth. She wore the requisite long hair over her shoulders, jeans, and a t-shirt from a bar that claimed to be in Key West but was probably the creation of a marketer at Old Navy. She looked at him expectantly.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know I’d be meeting you this soon,” he said. “Elise didn’t mention…”
“She caught me just as I was about to leave for dinner,” Celia said. “Risotto sounded a lot better than the usual fare they serve in the cafeteria.”
“What are they serving in the cafeterias these days?” Elise said. “When I was in college, I avoided the cafeteria assiduously. But then, I avoided food in all its guises, institutional or otherwise.”
After a few drinks, Elise became expansive, her personality a little more outsized. He knew she was planting the comments about food on purpose. Ask me about my eating disorder. But Celia was diplomatic, not falling for the bait.
“I bet the food is the same from when you were in college; they’ve just updated the names. Like calling something penne arrabiata changes the fact that it’s really just spaghetti and tomato sauce with a dash of Tabasco.”
Peter smiled and sat down at the table.
“Wine?” Elise lifted the bottle in his direction, already half finished.
“Just a bit,” he said. “What kind of cheese is that?”
“Your favorite—St. André triple cream.”
“How decadent. What’s the occasion?” he asked. Elise angled her head in Celia’s direction.
“Celia’s agreed to help us out,” she said, placing her hand over his. “She’s going to help us have a baby.”

 

The Gift is available for purchase at:

 Amazon Kindle for $0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Connect with Rachel Newcomb:

Website: http://www.rachelnewcomb.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachelnewcomb2

Twitter: @rachelnewcomb

THE SEAL (Rosicrucian Quartet), Adriana Koulias {FREE!}

Action, Adventure, History.

It is 1307 and King Phillip of France and Pope Clement are scheming to bring down the Order of Knights Templar. Etienne de Congost, Seneschal of the Templar Order must travel to the outer edges of Europe taking with him a most sacred relic, the Grand Master’s secret Seal.

While his brothers are burnt at the stake or lie rotting in the king’s prisons, Etienne must dodge papal spies and assassins to find his way to Lockenhaus Castle where he can lay the relic to rest. But what he discovers is that his greatest enemy is the enemy that lies within.

700 years later, a writer arrives at the Castle, and together with an eccentric old woman she discovers how closely their destinies are bound to the destiny of The Seal.

What readers are saying:

This is a terrifically entertaining work of historical suspense that contains a lot of fascinating esoteric insights. Far better researched than “The DaVinci Code” and more action and suspense oriented than Paul Coelho’s “The Alchemist”. In a way it’s like “Ivanhoe” meeting Carlos Castaneda or the film “The Kingdom of Heaven.” First rate fun!

—-

Set at the time of the Templar arrests the story revolves around Etienne de Congost, a battle weary and incorruptible knight of the Temple, who must travel to Austria taking with him the most precious relic of the order away from the clutches of the French king.

The characters are well drawn, the action and suspense keeps you turning the pages. This book will appeal to those who love history and action. Recommended highly for Templar fans!

———
I loved this book for its historical accuracy, its beautiful writing, the depth of its characters and a plot that is full of intrigue.

The Seal begins with the fall of Acre and follows Etienne de Congost’s – the Seneschal of the order – struggle to safeguard the greatest treasure of the Templar Order, The Grandmaster’s Secret Seal. It explores the arrest of the templars at the hand of the avaricious Phillip le Bel and his henchmen and the machinations that led to their ultimate downfall.

This book is full of political intrigue, an intelligent historical mystery for fans of the genre, but it is deeper than you generally get in this genre. I would compare it to Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, but it is better than that in that the author clearly delineates her characters and gives a good description of the milieu in which they exist. I was completely immersed.

If you love history with some metaphysical overtones, if you are not afraid to think, and you have an attention span, then this intelligent, elegant book is for you.

HIghly Recommended.

The average Amazon Reader Review Rating is currently 3.9 stars {42 reviews}.

 Click here to read more about and purchase THE SEAL (Rosicrucian Quartet) for FREE

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Blood Brothers, Jody Zimmerman {$0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

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Description of Blood Brothers:

Thirty-three year old Philip Hampton is an award winning freelance writer and investigative journalist. His younger brother, Billy, an A-list New Yorker, is on the brink of stardom in the international art market.

Orphaned as children, the two brothers are the only family either has until Billy is murdered. Shattered by his brother’s death, Philip vows revenge.

During a visit to Billy’s studio, Philip discovers Billy’s final painting. Certain that the painting somehow holds clues to Billy’s murder, Philip begins to unlock the painting’s secrets.

He finds himself drawn into a frantic search for the treasures from the largest art theft in history—the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Heist of 1990. Discovery of the treasure is Philip’s only hope of solving the murder, attaining retribution, and healing from emotional and sexual trauma from his childhood.

 

Accolades:

Blood Brothers is filled with fantastic writing, an utterly enthralling plot line and some of the best written characters I have read. D.P. Whitehead

Brilliantly dark and edgy….Dii

Breathtaking Lauren R. Alumbaugh

Reviews:

Blood Brothers  currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 3.9 stars from 23 reviews. Read the reviews here.

 

An excerpt from Blood Brothers:

Billy is so much like Mother—the smile; the green eyes; the long, thick, auburn-brown hair; the flawless, warm-olive skin; the chaotic, anxious, angry moods; but most of all, the gift with canvas.

I pick up his limp, warm, right hand to kiss it tenderly. My tears fall on his fingers, rolling off onto the harsh, crisp-white linens. I study his hand—the slender, long fingers; pink nails topped with white crescents, speckled with bits of dried red and yellow oil paint underneath them; the faintly green veins on the back of his hand; the downy covering of brown hair on the tops of his fingers and hand, becoming thicker and slightly curled on his wrist and forearm; and the thumb he sucked until he was four years old. There is no expression on his face. Stubble sticks out in sharp contrast to the etiolated complexion.

“Please God, please God, let this hand paint again,” I beg.

“Oh please, let my brother wake, pick up his brushes and paint again,” I plead.

“Mother, I’m so sorry, forgive me,” I rub Billy’s hand all over my wet face.

“I’ve tried my best to look after him. You know I have. Dammit, Goddammit, don’t you Mother? I miss you so much. I miss you so, so much.” Futile queries spark through my mind. How would she react if she were to see her baby boy lying here in a coma? How would age have affected her beautiful face? Would I have turned out the same? Would she and Dad have stayed together? Would Billy be lying here now?

“Please don’t leave me, Billy,” I whimper, hands trembling, nose dripping. I rub my nose on my right shoulder. Fear hammers through my soul with each beat of my heart. My connection with Billy began the day Dad brought Mother home from the hospital with a tiny, pink creature, eyes shut tight with a head full of dark brown hair, squirming, reeking of sweet, silky Johnson’s Baby Powder, his tiny little fingers grabbing tightly around mine, leaving me breathless—the first vivid memory I recall, though I was only two years old.

I’ve been sitting for hours willing that my touch and voice might get through to him, that his fingers might once again grab mine. I visualize my love for him to be a life-giving force emerging from my body through my hands, permeating his body, repairing all the damaged cells, nerves, and tissue in his brain. I focus all my consciousness into him, communicating to him that I am here with him, that together we will make him well. I imagine that he opens his eyes—imploring God to make it happen. I remember my lucky rabbit’s foot. I fish it out of my left pants pocket, put it in his hand and fold my hands over his.

“How could this be?” I ask myself over and over. “How could you have overdosed, Billy? You’ve gotten your life so together the past few years. What were you doing taking GHB? You never mentioned that drug to me before.”

My brother is attached to life through an array of plastic tubes. Electrodes monitor all the electrochemical pulses emanating from his heart and brain. Machines surround him. The metronomic sound of a ventilator pumping oxygen through a white, plastic tube inserted into his trachea through his mouth sends stinging waves of adrenaline-laced fear through my body. This high tech cubicle in the neurological intensive care unit at St. Vincent’s Hospital is one of several fanned out in a circle around a central operations post manned by technicians and nurses overseeing dozens of panels, monitors, and computers. The area looks like mission control, and I think about how Billy loved to play space travel when we were kids.

Armed with a walkie-talkie and a laser firing cap gun, he would set out from my bedroom—mission control—to explore outer space—our back yard. I would direct him on his journey and he would report back his findings. We were careful to steer clear of Planet X—Mother’s cottage studio, whenever she had shut herself in to paint.

“Mr. Hampton, Mr. Hampton,” a soft, high pitched female voice interrupts my thoughts. I look up to see a short, obese, middle-aged woman in a large blue and green flowery smock looking down at me, her brown eyes full of compassion.

She bends over, gently takes Billy’s hand from mine, gently placing his hand on the bed. She smiles when she sees the rabbit’s foot as it rolls from Billy’s hand onto the bed. Her bosom is huge, so I am unable to read her nametag that faces upward. She takes both my hands in her right hand and puts her left arm around my shoulders pulling me into her large body. I collapse into the warmth, sobbing like a lost, frightened child. The scent of fabric softener crawls through my swollen nasal passages, my eyes fix on her perfectly manicured red nails, dwarfed by the circumference of her fingers. Her breathing is labored. After a while, she slowly releases me.

“Mr. Hampton, they tell me you’ve been sitting here since noon yesterday,” she informs me as she hands me a wad of tissue.

“You should go get some rest. We’ll notify you the second there is any change in your brother’s condition. I promise you,” she says. I stare into her eyes that tenderly acknowledge the desperation in mine, yet reflect no solid hope for me to grab.

I try to speak; nothing comes out. I blow my nose into the tissue and try to clear my throat but it clenches shut emitting a raspy dry cough.

“Water?”

“No.”

“We have a nice lounge where you could rest. We can also offer you something to eat if you are hungry,” she says. “If you prefer, you can go home and get some rest there. Do you live here in town?”

I shake my head back and forth.

“I see,” she says. “Well, we have a family coordinator who can help you make arrangements,” she adds in muffed, gentle soprano tones. Her face is full and round, framed by cropped brown hair, with penciled in crescent eye brows, and red lips stretched into a slight smile over large jowls, resting under ample earlobes, hanging like beagle ears over her neck. She exudes compassion, and I wonder if she is a hand picked harbinger carefully groomed and trained in the skill of gently relaying devastating news.

“Where’s the restroom?” I ask.

“This way.” She pulls me up, and I look down to read her nametag—Janet Ostro, RN.

My knees lock, my lower back hurts, and my bladder aches. I bend over to gently kiss Billy’s face.

“I love you,” I whisper into his right ear.

She picks up the rabbit’s foot and hands it to me. “It’s beautiful. I’ve never seen one with a gold cap and chain. Are these your initials, Mr. Hampton?”

“Yes. My grandmother gave us each one for Christmas when we were kids,” I struggle to get the words out as I stuff the rabbit’s foot in my pocket, desperate for its magic to work.

Slowly, we walk out of the intensive care unit and down a corridor. She leads me by my right elbow. We come to a men’s room, and I go in. It is dark. She reaches her right hand in and turns on the light. I go to the urinal and begin to pee. My concentrated urine splashes my hands, overpowering the pink urinal cake, its odor illuminating the memories of Billy and me engaging in pee contests in grade school to see who could back away farthest from the urinals without hitting the floor. I feel tears running down my face again. If his brain is damaged beyond repair, how can I let him live that way? How could I ever let him not live? Dear God, how could I make such a decision? I finish peeing, move to the sink, turn on the cold water, soap my hands, rinse them, then bend over splashing water on my face several times. I stand up, water dripping down my face and neck onto my green Polo shirt, and look at myself in the mirror—swollen face thick with stubble and stinging r ed tear trails, dark semicircles under blue-grey eyes, my curly, dark blonde hair in disarray. I gaze at my face distinguishing Mother’s features, Dad’s features—the genetic commingling producing indisputably recognizable brothers. I grab my neck with my left hand, apply pressure on my carotid arteries until I feel the thump of my heart in my throat, startled by a feeling of déjà vu that sends rings of shivers over my skin like the iridescent rings of color accelerating from a drop of gasoline on a sunlit mud puddle.

“My God, I’ve got to get out of here,” I mumble. I release the grip on my throat, grab some paper towels, wipe my face and hands and emerge to find Janet waiting.

“I’ll, I’ll stay at my brother’s, at Billy’s,” I hear myself say.

“He lives in Tribeca. Could you find out where they put my duffle bag and please call me a cab? I have to get out of here now.”

Puzzled, she says “Why certainly.”

I follow her to a closet. She takes out a set of keys from a pocket in her smock, unlocks the door, reaches in and pulls out my black duffle. I grab it.

“Wait a second Mr. Hampton. I also need to give you your brother’s personal items. They are locked up in an office. Please wait here, I’ll be right back.”

“Yes, thank you.”

“Oh, I almost forgot. The man who accompanied your brother in the ambulance left this note for you,” she says, almost in a whisper and pulls a small, white envelop from her smock pocket and hands it to me.

“Thank you, thank you very much,” I say looking down into her eyes. She hesitates a moment and looks at the note. I look at the note and look back at her.

“Yes, well, I’ll be back in a minute,” she turns, breathing heavily. Stride induced echoes of rubbing fabric resound and slowly fade.

I tear open the sealed envelope to find extraordinary penmanship: consistent, uniform letters and numbers printed by a steady hand with a black felt tipped pen.

7 April 2006, 8:00 am

Philip:

I am the friend of Billy’s who called you this morning. As you may know, we’ve been dating for the past couple of months. I am so sorry this happened. I really don’t understand it and cannot explain how this happened. He went looking for some coke and that was the last time I saw him. I think someone must have slipped him something. I’m sorry I can’t meet you here, but I have to fly to Bermuda in a couple of hours for an important shoot. I feel like a bastard for leaving him, but I know you’re on the way. This is the biggest shoot of my career. Billy would want me to go, I believe. He is getting the best medical care in the city and they tell me there’s nothing we can do now but wait. I’m afraid his situation is not good at all. My cell phone number is 212-555-1432. Please call me if there is any change at all in his condition. I’ll be back in town on Wednesday.

Elliott Fields

Blood Brothers is available for purchase at:

 Amazon Kindle for $0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Connect with Jody Zimmerman:

Website: http://www.jodyzimmerman.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jodyzimmermanstoryteller?ref=hl

Twitter: @jodyzimmerman

The Mosquito and the Sign of the Cross, Benoit Papineau {$3.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

Are you one of those who claims to have faith in a God you know and love?
Are you one of those who claims to have faith in a God that knows and loves you?
Both knowledge and love develop through time and as time as passed, more knowledge and love develop and eventually, we get so intimate that all secrets and mysteries dissolve.
We can tell how the other influences us; we can tell how we influence the other. We can tell how the other would react in front of specific situations; fear or courage, tears or laughter, joy or sadness, vigor or lethargy, patience, softness, anger or brutality.
When a relationship becomes so intimate, knowledge and love can even allow us to tell how life would be without the other; secrets and mysteries dissolve.
Are you one of those who claims to have faith in a God you know and love?
Are you sure?
What can you tell me about your intimate God?
What can you tell me with undeniability and precision?
Anything?
Of course you can tell me things, I already have heard from others, but can YOU really tell me about your intimate God?
Have you ever heard about superstition? Here’s the definition: “A belief or practice based on fears or ignorance.”
Do you claim your faith through the fear of others judgement? Can you tell me anything personal about God or is it really ignorance? So,…is it faith or is it superstition?
Need help???
Read the Mosquito and the Sign of the Cross and you will really know the loving God of your intimacy.

What readers are saying:

“This is an amazing book. Profound beyond measure. Somewhat disturbing only because of it’s insight. The book is life-changing. It will leave the reader speechless. A thought provoking book like none before it.”

The average Amazon Reader Review Rating is currently 5 stars {1 review}.

 Click here to read more about and purchase The Mosquito and the Sign of the Cross for $3.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Domestic Entanglements, Karen Laven {$2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

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Karen Laven’s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Domestic Entanglements:

Limited discount offer of $1.99

Domestic Entanglements will make you smile

Blade Dafner is a hunk of a man, but a married one. Dali Wright is a career woman, looking for a way to pay for Graduate School.

Meanwhile, Blade and his wife are planning to hire a surrogate to carry the child Blade so desperately wants but his wife, Daisy, doesn’t want to ruin her surgically enhanced figure for.

When Blade and Dali meet by chance, its electrifying. Little do they realize in this first encounter how entwined their lives will soon become…all by chance.

A joyfully funny and enjoyable journey ensues between Blade, Dali, and Daisy, Dr. Dirk Dynk (Daisy’s gynecologist), and the ancient butler, Buford.

NOTE: This is an updated and edited version of Karen Laven’s novel The Surrogate Who Cleaned Up.

˃˃˃ Romantic, funny and light-hearted !

 

Accolades:

“Domestic Entanglements is a deliciously saucy tale, full of sly wordplay and comedic situations. But amid the chuckles is an affecting story of how a self-centered, ambitious young woman, out for some quick money, finds herself drawn into emotional situations that teach her unexpected lessons about family and love. An enjoyable and rewarding read.”

If you enjoy a good laugh (or dozens of them) and a charming story about characters who are unique and unforgettable, you’ll love Domestic Entanglements. The premise has a unique twist, too. If I had to pick one thing that I liked the most, it would have to be the snappy, clever dialogue. Will look for more books by Karen Laven!

Reviews:

Domestic Entanglements currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 4 stars from 33 reviews. Read the reviews here.

 

Domestic Entanglements is available for purchase at:

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

 

Connect with Karen Laven:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@hoblovesbooks

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Children of the Fog, Cheryl Kaye Tardif {$0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

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Cheryl Kaye Tardif ’s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Children of the Fog:

• International & National Bestseller
• A Top 100 Paid Best Seller on Amazon
• #4 in Amazon Top 100 Paid Best Sellers overall (March 2012)
• Top 100 Bestseller in Thrillers, Suspense, Horror, Occult
• #1 Horror & #1 Occult

YOU HAVE 10 SECONDS TO MAKE A DECISION: Let A Kidnapper Take Your Child, Or Watch Your Son Die. Choose!

Sadie O’Connell is a bestselling author and a proud mother. But her life is about to spiral out of control. After her six-year-old son Sam is kidnapped by a serial abductor, she nearly goes insane. But it isn’t just the fear and grief that is ripping her apart. It’s the guilt. Sadie is the only person who knows what the kidnapper looks like. And she can’t tell a soul. For if she does, her son will be sent back to her in “little bloody pieces”.

When Sadie’s unfaithful husband stumbles across her drawing of the kidnapper, he sets into play a series of horrific events that sends her hurtling over the edge. Sadie’s descent into alcoholism leads to strange apparitions and a face-to-face encounter with the monster who abducted her son–a man known only as…The Fog.

*CHILDREN OF THE FOG has a unique tie-in to Tardif`s newest thriller, SUBMERGED.

 

Accolades:

“A chilling and tense journey into every parent’s deepest fear.” ―Scott Nicholson, author of The Red Church

“A nightmarish thriller with a ghostly twist, CHILDREN OF THE FOG will keep you awake…and turning pages!” ―Amanda Stevens, author of The Restorer

“Reminiscent of The Lovely Bones, Cheryl Kaye Tardif weaves a tale of terror that will have you rushing to check on your children as they sleep. With exquisite prose, Children of the Fog captures you the moment you begin and doesn’t let go until the very end.” ―bestselling author Danielle Q. Lee, author of Inhuman

“Cheryl Kaye Tardif knows the mind of a parent and makes us all want to believe the impossible…” —Eileen Schuh, author of Schrodinger’s Cat

“Cheryl Kaye Tardif has written the novel to launch herself into the company of best-selling authors. With Children of the Fog, she has taken her writing and her readers to another level…Ripe with engaging twists and turns reminiscent of the work of James Patterson, Tardif once again tugs at the most inflexible of heartstrings. True to form, she has created believable characters so tangible that you expect to see them at the local store. Complete with Canadian flavour, Children of the Fog possesses you from the touching beginning through to the riveting climax. Kudos to Ms. Tardif for bringing the world a read truly worth staying up all night to finish.” —Kelly Komm, author of the award-winning YA fantasy novel, Sacrifice.

“There are so many great things about this story…you won’t guess what happens. This wasn’t predictable and I ate it up.” —NovelOpinion

Reviews:

Children of the Fog currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 4.4 stars from 626 reviews. Read the reviews here.


An excerpt from Children of the Fog:

prologue

May 14th, 2007

She was ready to die.
She sat at the kitchen table, a half empty bottle of Philip’s precious red wine in one hand, a loaded gun in the other. Staring at the foreign chunk of metal, she willed it to vanish. But it didn’t.
Sadie checked the gun and noted the single bullet.
“One’s all you need.”
If she did it right.
She placed the gun on the table and glanced at a pewter-framed photograph that hung off-kilter above the mantle of the fireplace. It was illuminated by a vanilla-scented candle, one of many that threw flickering shadows over the rough wood walls of the log cabin.
Sam’s sweet face stared back at her, smiling.
Alive.
From where she sat, she could see the small chip in his right front tooth, the result of an impatient father raising the training wheels too early. But there was no point in blaming Philip―not when they’d both lost so much.
Not when it’s all my fault.
Her gaze swept over the mantle. There were three objects on it besides the candle. Two envelopes, one addressed to Leah and one to Philip, and the portfolio case that contained the illustrations and manuscript on disc for Sam’s book.
She had finished it, just like she had promised.
“And promises can’t be broken. Right, Sam?”
A single tear burned a path down her cheek.
Sam was gone.
What reason do I have for living now?
She gulped back the last pungent mouthful of Cabernet and dropped the empty bottle. It rolled under the chair, unbroken, rocking on the hardwood floor. Then all was silent, except the antique grandfather clock in the far corner. Its ticking reminded her of the clown’s shoe. The one with the tack in it.
Tick, tick, tick…
The clock belched out an ominous gong.
It was almost midnight.
Almost time.
She drew an infinity symbol in the dust on the table.
“Sadie and Sam. For all eternity.”
Gong…
She swallowed hard as tears flooded her eyes. “I’m sorry I couldn’t save you, baby. I tried to. God, I tried. Forgive me, Sam.” Her words ended in a gut-wrenching moan.
Something scraped the window beside her.
She pressed her face to the frosted glass, then jerked back with a gasp. “Go away!”
They stood motionless―six children that drifted from the swirling miasma of night air, haunting her nights and every waking moment. Surrounded by the moonlit fog, they began to chant. “One fine day, in the middle of the night…”
“You’re not real,” she whispered.
“Two dead boys got up to fight.”
A small, pale hand splayed against the exterior of the window. Below it, droplets of condensation slid like tears down the glass.
She reached out, matching her hand to the child’s. Shivering, she pulled away. “You don’t exist.”
The clock continued its morbid countdown.
As the alcohol and drug potpourri kicked in, the room began to spin and her stomach heaved. She inhaled deeply. She couldn’t afford to get sick. Sam was waiting for her.
Tears spilled down her cheeks. “I’m ready.”
Gong…
Without hesitation, she raised the gun to her temple.
“Don’t!” the children shrieked.
She pressed the gun against her flesh. The tip of the barrel was cold. Like her hands, her feet…her heart.
A sob erupted from the back of her throat.
The clock let out a final gong. Then it was deathly silent.
It was midnight.
Her eyes found Sam’s face again.
“Happy Mother’s Day, Sadie.”
She took a steadying breath, pushed the gun hard against her skin and clamped her eyes shut.
“Mommy’s coming, Sam.”
She squeezed the trigger.

1

March 30th, 2007

Sadie O’Connell let out a snicker as she stared at the price tag on the toy in her hand. “What did they stuff this with, laundered money?” She tossed the bunny back into the bin and turned to the tall, leggy woman beside her. “What are you getting Sam for his birthday?”
Her best friend gave her a cocky grin. “What should I get him? Your kid’s got everything already.”
“Don’t even go there, my friend.”
But Leah was right. Sadie and Philip spoiled Sam silly. Why shouldn’t they? They had waited a long time for a baby. Or at least, she had. After two miscarriages, Sam’s birth had been nothing short of a miracle. A miracle that deserved to be spoiled.
Leah groaned loudly. “Christ, it’s a goddamn zoo in here.”
Toyz & Twirlz in West Edmonton Mall was crawling with overzealous customers. The first major sale of the spring season always brought people out in droves. Frazzled parents swarmed the toy store, swatting their wayward brood occasionally―the way you’d swat a pesky yellowjacket at a barbecue. One distressed father hunted the aisles for his son, who had apparently taken off on him as soon as his back was turned. In every aisle, parents shouted at their kids, threatening, cajoling, pleading and then predictably giving in.
“So who let the animals out?” Sadie said, surveying the store.
The screeching wheels of shopping carts and the constant whining of overtired toddlers were giving her a headache. She wished to God she’d stayed home.
“Excuse me.”
A plump woman with frizzy, over-bleached hair gave Sadie an apologetic look. She navigated past them, pushing a stroller occupied by a miniature screaming alien. A few feet away, she stopped, bent down and wiped something that looked like curdled rice pudding from the corner of the child’s mouth.
Sadie turned to Leah. “Thank God Sam’s past that stage.”
At five years old―soon to be six―her son was the apple of her eye. In fact, he was the whole darned tree. A lanky imp of a boy with tousled black hair, sapphire-blue eyes and perfect bow lips, Sam was the spitting image of his mother and the exact opposite of his father in temperament. While Sam was sweet natured, gentle and loving, Philip was impatient and distant. So distant that he rarely said I love you anymore.
She stared at her wedding ring. What happened to us?
But she knew what had happened. Philip’s status as a trial lawyer had grown, more money had poured in and fame had gone to his head. He had changed. The man she had fallen in love with, the dreamer, had gone. In his place was someone she barely knew, a stranger who had decided too late that he didn’t want kids.
Or a wife.
“How about this?” Leah said, nudging her.
Sadie stared at the yellow dump truck. “Fill it with a stuffed bat and Sam will think it’s awesome.”
Her son’s fascination with bats was almost comical. The television was always tuned in to the Discovery Channel while her son searched endlessly for any show on the furry animals.
“What did Phil the Pill get him?” Leah asked dryly.
“A new Leap Frog module.”
“I still can’t believe the things that kid can do.”
Sadie grinned. “Me neither.”
Sam’s mind was a sponge. He absorbed information so fast that he only had to be shown once. His powers of observation were so keen that he had learned how to unlock the door just by watching Sadie do it, so Philip had to add an extra deadbolt at the top. By the time Sam was three, he had figured out the remote control and the DVD player. Sadie still had problems turning on the TV.
Sam…my sweet, wonderful, little genius.
“Maybe I’ll get him a movie,” Leah said. “How about Batman Begins?”
“He’s turning six, not sixteen.”
“Well, what do I know? I don’t have kids.”
At thirty-four, Leah Winters was an attractive, willowy brunette with wild multi-colored streaks, thick-lashed hazel eyes, a flirty smile and a penchant for younger men. While Sadie’s pale face had a scattering of tiny freckles across the bridge of her nose and cheekbones, Leah’s complexion was tanned and clear.
She’d been Sadie’s best friend for eight years―soul sistahs. Ever since the day she had emailed Sadie out of the blue to ask questions about writing and publishing. They’d met at Book Ends, a popular Edmonton bookstore, for what Leah had expected would be a quick coffee. Their connection was so strong and so immediate that they talked for almost five hours. They still joked about it, about how Leah had thought Sadie was some hotshot writer who wouldn’t give her the time of day. Yet Sadie had given her more. She’d given Leah a piece of her heart.
A rugged, handsome Colin Farrell look-alike passed them in the aisle, and Leah stared after him, eyes glittering.
“I’ll take one of those,” she said with a soft growl. “To go.”
“You won’t find Mr. Right in a toy store,” Sadie said dryly. “They’re usually all taken. And somehow I don’t think you’re gonna find him at Karma either.”
Klub Karma was a popular nightclub on Whyte Avenue. It boasted the best ladies’ night in Edmonton, complete with steroid-muscled male strippers. Leah was a regular.
“And why not?”
Sadie rolled her eyes. “Because Karma is packed with sweaty, young puppies who are only interested in one thing.”
Leah gave her a blank look.
“Getting laid,” Sadie added. “Honestly, I don’t know what you see in that place.”
“What, are you daft?” Leah arched her brow and grinned devilishly. “I’m chalking it up to my civil duty. Someone’s gotta show these young guys how it’s done.”
“Someone should show Philip,” Sadie muttered.
“Why―can’t he get it up?”
“Jesus, Leah!”
“Well? Fess up.”
“Later maybe. When we stop for coffee.”
Leah glanced at her watch. “We going to our usual place?”
“Of course. Do you think Victor would forgive us if we went to any other coffee shop?”
Leah chuckled. “No. He’d start skimping on the whipped cream if we turned traitor. So what are you getting Sam?”
“I’ll know it when I see it. I’m waiting for a sign.”
“You’re always such a sucker for this fate thing.”
Sadie shrugged. “Sometimes you have to have faith that things will work out.”
They continued down the aisle, both searching for something for the sweetest boy they knew. When Sadie spotted the one thing she was sure Sam would love, she let out a hoot and gave Leah an I-told-you-so look.
“This bike is perfect. Since his birthday is actually on Monday, I’ll give it to him then. He’ll get enough things from his friends at his party on Sunday anyway.”
Little did she know that Sam wouldn’t see his bike.
He wouldn’t be around to get it.

 

Children of the Fog is available for purchase at:

 Amazon Kindle for $0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Connect with Cheryl Kaye Tardif:

Website: http://www.cherylktardif.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cherylktardif

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cheryl-Kaye-Tardif-novels/29769736630

The King of the Winter (In The Absence of Light), Andy Monk {$0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

The road has brought him home.

Running from a broken heart and the hangman’s noose he followed the road across Europe; searching for happiness in a pretty girl’s smile, the turn of a card and the depths of a brandy glass. Instead he became a womaniser, and then a thief living behind a charmer’s mask until, finally, the road ensnared him in insanity and murder.

It is 1708, the Age of The Enlightenment, and, in the shadow of the nearly completed St Paul’s Cathedral, Caleb Cade has returned to London a broken man; incapable of love and terrified of the grave, his only friend the half imagined ghost of his dead brother.

The road has now brought him home for there is nowhere left to run, and his only hope of redemption is to find the man he might have been.

Haunted by his own ghosts and demons, he relives the events of his childhood that led to the death of the only friend he had ever known, and the fear that The King of the Winter is forever peering through the window, all cold of heart and sly of eye, waiting to take him down to damnation.

But whist one journey ends and another begins. He is befriended by a fellow libertine, Louis Defane, a strange man around which strange things seem to happen. A man with an insatiable appetite for all the pleasures of life, a man who can seemingly bend people’s will to his own, a man with sparkling blue January eyes and snow white hair.

A man who might not be a man at all…

Book One of the dark romance series In the Absence of Light; a story of love, loss, vampires and the black hearts of men.

Book Two (A Bad Man’s Song) and Book Three (Ghosts in the Blood) and Book Four (The Love of Monsters) are all now available.

What readers are saying:

It is so well done that you can’t help but read on to get all the pieces of the puzzle to try to figure Caleb out. There are some excellent twists that I didn’t see coming.

What a great story this was. A must read if you like dark stories that are definitely well thought and intricately built.

Loving this series! Many twists and turns, hard to put down. Can’t wait for the next book to come out.

The average Amazon Reader Review Rating is currently 4.5 stars {6 reviews}.

 Click here to read more about and purchase The King of the Winter (In The Absence of Light) for $0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

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