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SpotLight for Book Tour I am Involved in.

 
Blog Tour Destiny of the Queen by Jacqueline Patricks
This is my stop during the blog tour for Destiny of the Queen by Jacqueline Patricks. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 29 May till 11 June.
See the tour schedule here: http://www.lolasblogtours.net/blog-tour-destiny-of-the-queen-by-jacqueline-patricks Destiny of the Queen (The Brajj #3) By Jacqueline Patricks Genre: Science Fiction Romance Age category: Adult Release Date: 6 May, 2017
Blurb:
Can a goddess find redemption? Can a soldier find purpose? When you think all is lost, When you believe life is meaningless, Sometimes your destiny is revealed. If you’re willing to see the signs, And brave enough to fight, Sometimes you can change worlds. Rejoin Cass, Jeamon, Lewis, and Ta'mat as they deal with the ramifications of Ta'mat's insanity and General Neville's betrayal. The few Brajj remaining with Cass and Jeamon are now under Dr. Saniya's control. Meanwhile, a world away, Captain Lewis and Ta'mat struggle with their strange bond inside his mind as they unravel the mystery of their new circumstances. Where did Ta'mat's wormhole transport them? Why? Is there some greater destiny unfolding? Where does freewill end and destiny begin? The stunning conclusion to the Brajj trilogy!
You can find Destiny of the Queen on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22430700-destiny-of-the-queen
You can buy Destiny of the Queen here: - Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06ZYRT2YG/ - Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/destiny-of-the-queen-jacqueline-patricks/1122188910?ean=2940151986045 - Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/en/ebook/destiny-of-the-queen-the-brajj-3 - Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/552319 - Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Jacqueline_Patricks_Destiny_of_the_Queen?id=_8G5DgAAQBAJ - iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/destiny-of-the-queen-the-brajj-3/id1011134429?mt=11
Earlier books in this series! Dreams of the Queen (The Brajj #1) by Jacqueline Patricks Dr. Cass Baros is haunted by dreams of an alien world... ...and will do anything to find it.
Links: - Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17458342-dreams-of-the-queen - Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dreams-Queen-science-fiction-adventure-ebook/dp/B009XTVGNE/ - B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dreams-of-the-queen-the-brajj-1-jacqueline-patricks/1114035229?ean=2940015888140 - Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/en/ebook/dreams-of-the-queen - Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/248843 - Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Jacqueline_Patricks_Dreams_of_the_Queen?id=47F-BgAAQBAJ - iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dreams-of-the-queen/id919283882?mt=11
Nightmares of the Queen (The Brajj #2) by Jacqueline Patricks Their love will be tested by betrayal and deceit. Links: - Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21859853-nightmares-of-the-queen - Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nightmares-Queen-action-adventure-romance-ebook/dp/B00JC6QZ5C/ - B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/nightmares-of-the-queen-jacqueline-patricks/1118904417?ean=2940045752169 - Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/en/ebook/nightmares-of-the-queen-the-brajj-2 - Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/416013 - Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Jacqueline_Patricks_Nightmares_of_the_Queen?id=zvR-BgAAQBAJ - iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/nightmares-of-the-queen-the-brajj-2/id836911143?mt=11
About the Author:
Nominated by The Author Show as Top Female Author 2017, PAN member of the Romance Writers Association, a volunteer with Houston’s Writespace, and a winner of the Seal of Good Writing from the IndiePENdents for her first published novel, Dreams of the Queen, Jacqueline Patricks’ passion for writing began early in life. Before she published, however, Jacqueline traveled a winding path through the U.S. Army, college, over twenty years in 911 as a paramedic, professional teaching, and all the exciting adventures in between. She currently resides with her husband and four parrots and hopes to meet Mark Twain someday since he understands parrot people. “She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.” – Mark Twain
You can find and contact Jacqueline Patricks here: -
Website: http://jacquelinepatricks.com - Facebook: https://facebook.com/jacquelinepatricks -
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jackiepatricks - Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6584097.Jacqueline_Patricks -
Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Destiny of the Queen.
One winner will win their choice of an e-copy from one of Jacqueline Patricks's books (INT) For a chance to win, enter the giveaway below

 

SpotLight and Excerpt for Book Tour I am Involved in.

Cherished  - Christina Bauer

Cherished
Christina Bauer
(Beholder #3)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

For Elea, there’s never been a better time to turn away from witch life. The Tsar is in exile. The Vicomte is dead. And Rowan? Falling for him only broke her heart. Instead of casting spells, Elea spends her days running Braddock Farm and enjoying the flirtations of the very handsome and non-magical Philippe. Everything is going perfectly, except for one problem.

Someone’s trying to kill her.

Shujaa is a Changed One, a Creation Caster mage whose mutated form makes him invincible in battle. Now that the Tsar and Vicomte are gone, Shujaa wants to rise and rule. To do so, he must eliminate all those powerful enough to oppose him, and Elea is top on his list. Anyone who offers her aid quickly ends up dead.

In the end, there’s only one person who can keep Elea safe while helping her defeat Shujaa: Rowan. Like it or not, Elea must team up with her old love. With Philippe along for the ride, Elea plans to team with Rowan without losing her heart this time. But that’s when all her plans fall apart…

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks

Monster House Books is celebrating the launch of the ebook version of CHERISHED! As a result, the first two books in the series are specially priced for a limited time! To find out more, visit: http://monsterhousebooks.com/blog/cherishedpromo

 


Excerpt

 

When I woke up again, it was still night. Rolling onto my side, I propped my head on my hand. For a time, I watched Rowan’s chest slowly rise and fall as he lay beside me. Moonlight shifted over his handsome features. He looked better, but still not back to full strength.
He cracked open his right eye. “I can’t sleep with you staring at me.”
“I’ll look away.” I didn’t, though.
Rowan opened both his eyes and stretched his arms over his head. “How long have we been asleep?”
“I’m not really sure.”
Rowan frowned. “What has you worried?”
“Your mother. She’ll try to cause trouble.”
“Doubtless.”
I stared at Rowan’s handsome face in the moonlight and then did what was possibly the most Zuchtlos action of my life. I leaned over and kissed him. Rowan’s mouth was as soft and delicious as I remembered. I suppose my impulsivity could have ended there, but it didn’t. I rolled atop him so our bodies lay flush against each other. Our kiss deepened. Rowan’s warm hands slid up my back. Words started tumbling from my mouth. “I’ve never slept with a man before.”
Rowan narrowed his eyes. “What’s this about?”
I moved to straddle his waistline. “You know what I mean.”
“If we have sex, you’re as good as married to me.” Rowan’s gaze turned intense. “You have to choose this, Elea.”
“I do. Really.”
“Our bodies say otherwise. We haven’t shared energy.”
A shiver of doubt moved up my spine. “Maybe we can’t.”
“We already did. With Viktor.”
“Your mother says it’s not possible for the energy to go both ways. You can only give me your power.”
“In that case, we definitely can. If something is good for me, then she goes out of her way to ensure it won’t happen.”
“She also says I drain you.”
A muscle ticked along Rowan’s jaw. “That’s my choice.”
“What do you mean? Please tell me.”
“When you’re ready, we will bond. I have no doubt of that. And I want a real mating. One that changes everything. A true mating transforms how we kiss, how we fight. It’s worth waiting for. You’re worth waiting for.”
My eyes stung with held-in tears. “How do you know that?”
“You’ve been in love with me from the first time you saw me, same as I fell in love with you.”
“That’s not possible.”
“We’re both people with heavy burdens who carry them for others. We give much to our people, but for ourselves? We have only each other.”
My hands were splayed on Rowan’s chest. I stared at my mating ring. “Then why can’t I share energy with you?”
“For some of us, love is easy. But trust? That takes longer.”
A chill crept over my skin. His words hit the mark inside me. When I spoke again, my voice was a rough whisper. “Trust does take longer. Tristan betrayed me.”
“With the curse.”
I nodded. “Everyone says that our relationship is impossible.”
Rowan wrapped his hands around mine. “What do you want, Elea?”
“I want to sleep with you.”
A small smile rounded his full lips. “No.”
“You’re a damned noble menace, you know that? Why can’t you take advantage of a girl like a normal person?”
“You know why. And if the situation were different, you wouldn’t take advantage, either.”
“Maybe I would.”
“Then take me. I won’t stop you.”
I reached toward the waistline of his leathers and stopped. “But you want to wait.”
Rowan arched his brow. “You see? Pleasant as this would be, I know you too well. You’re only trying to prove that I’m as evil as everyone else. I take advantage and I lose you.” His gaze turned intense again. “And I won’t lose you.”
All of a sudden, voices sounded from the courtyard outside the window. People were yelling. I rushed to the window and looked outside. Casters were scurrying about everywhere. Bells began to ring.
Someone pounded on the door. “It’s Kade. Is Rowan awake?”
“I’m up,” called Rowan.
“You’re needed right away,” called Kade. “A battle is coming.”
“There’s no point asking you to stay out of this fight, is there?” asked Rowan.
“Not at all.”
“Good.” He winked. “We make a good team.”

 

Author Bio:

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates

Website / Blog / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / LinkedIn

 

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Reading progress update: I've read 24%.

Royal Bastards - Andrew Shvarts

Starting to get pretty interesting. I really love this group of characters so far. I really feel bad for them being treated the way they are, just because there bastards. 

Favorite characters so far are Jax, Tilla, and Zell. 

More to come later!!!!!

I am so Sad!!!

IDA - Alison Evans

When I saw this book on Netgalley it looked like a book I would really enjoy. I am so sad because this was not the case !!!!!! I couldn't handle the talking in the book, so I just couldn't finish the book. 

I will say  I did like what I did read about Ida, as well as her girlfriend Daisy. I just gave up at 27 %. But I was ready to give up at 20% but wanted to give the book a fair chance. But I just couldn't do it.

I will also have to admit that I was confused about the storyline as well, I just think that the way certain individuals talked in the book just distracted me so bad that I just couldn't get past it. I am sure other individuals that will read this book wouldn't be bothered by this, and I wish I could have been one of them.

I would say give this book a chance because even though I didn't like the book doesn't mean you will be like me. 

I would like to also mention that I was the person that asked to read this book. No one made me, and my opinion is my own and no one else's. Thanks so much NetGalley for the chance. 

One of the best books I have received from NetGalley!!! This book will keep you guessing!!!!

One of Us Is Lying - Karen  M. McManus

When I saw this book on NetGalley and it mentioned the movie Breakfast Club and also a murder, I knew right away that I had to have this book in my greedy little hands. So I was very happy when I found out I was chosen to read and review this book. The book had me from the beginning to the very end, and I never guessed who the killer or maybe killers was until the reveal.

I really loved all 4 of the main characters, so I was hoping none of them did it. I won't tell you who it was. The main characters where Bronwyn, Cooper, Nate, and Addy. They weren't prefect angels that's for sure, but we're anyone of them a murderer? I did figure out what Coop's secret was before it was revealed. Coop was the jock. I really liked him, but if I had to pick who I liked more out of him or Nate, I was choose Nate. Nate is the criminal, his the bad boy, the one mom's or dad's wouldn't want there daughters to bring home. I really loved Nate and I felt bad for all he has to go through at home. You can understand due to his home life why he does the things he does. But does that make him a killer? 

The girls I liked them as well, my favorite was Bronwyn, who is the Brain of the group. I thought I just felt more of a connection with her. But that doesn't mean I didn't like Addy, who of course is the beauty. She was just my least favorite of the 4 characters, even though I started warming up to her more towards the middle of the book.

I was so very happy with the way things turned out, in regards to wrapping up the mystery of who killed Simon. Oh I need to talk about Simon!!!! Simon was one F-Up individual that is for sure. He sure knew how to screw up someone's life, as well as his own life.

I voluntarily requested a copy of this book on my very own, for the purpose of being able to read such an awesome, amazing book. And I would definitely recommend this book to people that enjoy the movie Breakfast club, as well as a interesting murder mystery. I have never watched Pretty little liars, so I have no way to know if this book is anything like that show. So people that like that show, might want to read this book, to find out if it's anything like the television show.

Excerpts for books 1-4 in Book Tour that I am Involved with!!!!

The Lily Singer Adventures (4 Book Series) - Lydia Sherrer
 
Excerpts from Books 1-4 Book
 
 
1: Beginnings Chapter 1: Environmentally Friendly Burgers 
Lily Singer wished she could simply say her date was going badly and leave it at that. But such a gross understatement was against her nature. To be accurate, she would have to admit it was in the top five worst, if not in the top three. This wasn’t totally unexpected. Most—actually, all—of her dates were men she’d met online who, inevitably, weren’t as cute as their profile pictures suggested. Awkward and bookish, she found it much easier to start virtual, as opposed to real, conversations. Speed dating and blind dates were out of the question due to her abysmal social skills. Well, that, and the fact that she was a wizard. No, not a witch. A wizard. “Soo…when you said you had diet restrictions, what you meant was you could only eat burgers?” Lily asked, trying to keep the sarcasm out of her voice. Though she suspected the only way her date would notice sarcasm was if it was dressed up like a cheeseburger. “Huh?” Jerry Slate, a good hundred pounds larger and ten years older than his profile picture suggested, looked up from his second burger to stare, confused, at her face. “When we were setting up the date, you asked if you could pick the restaurant because you said you had diet restrictions,” Lily reminded him. “Oh, yeah. I have a sensitive stomach. I can only eat 100% pure beef burgers, and they have to be grass-fed. Free-range, you know? None of that GMO stuff. This place uses the best ingredients out there.” Lily resisted the urge to roll her eyes, consoling herself with the thought that it was better to be taken to a gourmet, environmentally friendly burger restaurant than, heaven forbid, a normal burger restaurant. Looking to the side, she gazed longingly through the restaurant’s front windows to the sunlit street, busy with lunchtime traffic. If only she knew how to teleport, she could escape this awkward situation with minimal embarrassment. “So…” she tried again. “How’s your gaming campaign going?” “Oh, it’s fantastic,” Jerry enthused past a mouthful of half-chewed but—let’s not forget—grass-fed burger. Not slowing his consumption of burger, fries, and a handmade root beer float, he launched into a detailed description of his gaming group’s latest campaign against…someone. Lily couldn’t remember who. It was a topic she could safely rely on to keep him talking for a good while, though it bored her almost to tears. Boredom was preferable, however, to the awkward silence interspersed with chewing sounds she’d suffered through for the first half of their date. Funny, she’d thought that, in person, Jerry would be more inquisitive. That was before she’d been aware of his burger obsession. As she absentmindedly separated the carrot coins from the rest of her salad and stacked them into a tiny, walled fortress between her and her droning date, she realized he hadn’t asked her a single question beyond the perfunctory “How are you?” since they’d met outside some twenty minutes before. From the time they’d entered the restaurant, his entire attention had been devoted to ordering and eating, though he had, at least, disengaged a few brain cells long enough to inform her of the best items on the menu. Come to think of it, he hadn’t been very inquisitive online, either. But Lily was good at asking questions through virtual chat. It was like doing research in a search engine. Type in a question, then browse through the resultant dump of information to find your answer. When asked a question, especially if said question had anything to do with himself, Jerry was obligingly verbose. He went into great detail, as long as that detail involved the hundred different titles in his grunge rock music collection, or his daring feats in the latest sneak attack against his group’s unsuspecting, now-no-longer allies. It wasn’t as if she’d had soaring expectations. She’d just hoped for some intelligent conversation about, oh, say, books. Or history. Or philosophy. Or anything that mattered, really. Some people improved upon face-to-face acquaintance. Jerry was not one of them. Neither was she, come to think of it. But she, at least, didn’t bore anyone with loving descriptions of each book in her expansive personal library unless she knew, for a fact, that the person was a bibliophile. Excerpt from Chapter 3: Virtuous Thieves “So…what do we do now?” she said into the silence. “Can’t we just wait until the fall?” “No,” Sebastian said, slouched low in his seat, arms crossed. “The owner gave me a time limit. After that, the deal’s off, and he’ll find a ‘real’ professional. So, no magic books for you, and no money for me.” They relapsed into silence. “You know…” Sebastian said after a while, “there is something we could do.” “Is it legal?” Lily asked suspiciously. She recognized that tone of voice. Sebastian adopted it right before he suggested something wild and dangerous that usually got them into trouble. “Weeell, depends on how you look at it. We wouldn’t be hurting anything, if that’s what you mean.” Lily glared. “No, that’s not what I mean. I mean exactly what I say. Is it legal?” “No,” Sebastian admitted, and there was a pregnant pause. The seconds stretched into a minute as Lily glared, and Sebastian maintained a carefully casual expression. “Alright, fine,” she finally said. “What is it?” “We could sneak in after dark and steal it,” Sebastian suggested, studying his nails. “No! I will not commit a robbery.” “We’d give it back when we were done! How else do you suggest we get ahold of it? Would you rather sit there for hours reading and risk getting caught?” “No, of course…wait a minute…” Lily’s eyes lost focus as she considered a sudden idea. “If I could physically hold the book for about fifteen minutes, I could make a copy.” “Really?” Sebastian was intrigued. “Yes. It’s a relatively straightforward spell, it just requires extended concentration for the duration of the process. I use it sometimes to make copies of fragile documents that can’t be safely handled without risking damage.” “So, what’s the holdup then?” Sebastian asked, excited once more. “We sneak in, you do your little bit of hocus pocus, and voila! We have a copy of the book. No harm done. Nobody will even know we were there.” “No, no. This is insane,” she insisted. “Forget I suggested it. Breaking in is illegal, too. I’m an upstanding citizen. I will not break the law!” “I can’t believe I’m breaking the law,” Lily whispered, still agonizing over the moral quandary even as she crouched in the shadows of a dumpster behind the Shorter Mansion, Sebastian at her side... Episode 2, Chapter 1: The Uses of Moldy Pizza Though not the most aesthetically pleasing or comfortable place to read, the Basement was nonetheless Lily Singer’s favorite. Hidden beneath the McCain Library of Agnes Scott College, this secret archive of wizardry and occult books lacked beams of sunlight to bask in, warm, fuzzy cats to pet, and a kitchen in which to make scones and tea—all delightful things, but distracting nonetheless. The Basement was silent as a grave and blessedly cool in the heat of the Atlanta summer. This peace and quiet, not to mention the plethora of magical wards, made it an ideal location for reading, studying, and practicing magic undisturbed. She’d filled it with the comforts of home, of course. Being the archives manager of the library above and curator of the Basement’s secrets, she had exclusive authority over its interior decoration. When her predecessor, Madam Barrington, had been its keeper, it had contained minimal decoration and only a few hardwood chairs—a reflection of her mentor’s austere nature. Nothing had changed when Madam Barrington took on Lily as a student to teach her wizardry. That had been seven years ago during Lily’s freshman year at Agnes Scott. It wasn’t until her mentor had retired last year and left the Basement in her care that Lily took steps to make it a bit more welcoming. First, she’d brightened the place up by renewing the light spells on the dozen dimmu-engraved glass balls hanging from the ceiling. No outlets or electrical wiring graced the Basement, since the whole thing had been magically created from a broom closet during the original 1936 construction of McCain Library—known then as the Carnegie Library. It had the advantage of being accessible only to wizards, and only to those who knew the access spell. Not that the Basement was much of a secret. Madam Barrington had said the Basement was frequented by numerous wizards at one point in time. But that must have been long ago, since Lily had only ever seen one other person there besides herself and her mentor. It seemed the Basement was protected by simple virtue of being forgotten. With that in mind, she doubted anyone would ever see, or care, about her improvements, from hanging art on the walls to enchanting the dull ceiling to resemble the rib-vaulted heights of the library above. She’d added several small tables to display various magical knickknacks previously hidden away in drawers. There were items like a delicate antique engraver made entirely of spun lead except for its diamond tip, used to carve magical runes of power—dimmu runes—into any surface. Then there were the all-speak glasses, enchanted to translate any text into English for whoever was wearing them. Though quite useful, their creator must have had coprolalia, because the glasses had an annoying tendency to add random swear words to the translation. As for other furniture, she’d left the large oak worktable, but the hardwood chairs had been relegated to stepping stools and replaced by several tastefully upholstered chintz chairs. How she’d managed to single-handedly maneuver those things down the archive steps, through the broom closet, and into the Basement, she had no idea. But she’d done it. Overall, the room’s ambiance was much improved. It had become an island of peace in a world annoyingly full of people who, oddly enough, wanted to interact with her. Thus it was quite shocking when her cell phone rang that Saturday afternoon. She was ensconced in a chintz chair, studying one of the books Sebastian had given her from Francis Jackson’s estate. Not only was she underground—her cell barely got signal in the archive room next door—but the magical nature of the Basement completely scrambled electronic signals of any kind. After the first few seconds of shock wore off, she recognized the jaunty jingle of the 1960s theme song from Bewitched. Lily rolled her eyes and sighed. If anyone could manage to call her underground in a signal blackout zone, it would be Sebastian. Leave it to him to disturb her peace. Being a witch, and a good one at that, he usually found a way. Excerpts from Book 2: Revelations Chapter 1: Unexpected Conversations Lily woke Wednesday morning, not to the sound of her alarm clock, but to the soothing vibrations of a purring cat. She had an uncomfortable feeling she’d overslept, but was distracted from it by the warm, heavy ball of fur settled comfortably on her chest. Groaning, she tried to push him off. “Kip, you better not have turned off my alarm again.” Sir Kipling, however, didn’t want to move. He dug his claws into the sheets and resisted her groggy attempt to dislodge him. “Well, if it weren’t so loud and annoying, I wouldn’t have to take matters into my own paws,” he protested. “It’s supposed to be loud and annoying to wake me—” She froze, going cross-eyed in an attempt to see the feline perched atop her. Her muddled, half-asleep brain tried, and failed, to make sense of what she’d just heard. It’d sounded like meowing, but also like words. She stared at her cat and he stared back, eyes half-lidded. “Did you…?” She paused, giving her head a shake to dislodge the cobwebs in her brain. “I thought I heard…good grief, I’m imagining a conversation with my cat. I need a hot shower.” She sat up for real this time, her movement threatening to spill Sir Kipling onto the bedcovers. Twisting with cat-like agility, he launched off her chest and landed on the edge of the bed in a dignity-preserving move, then turned to lick his mussed fur into submission. “A hot shower won’t fix your problems,” he commented between licks. Lily stared, speechless, no longer sure of her own sanity. Sir Kipling paused his ministrations to look at her. “If you insist on sitting there being shocked, you might as well make yourself useful and pet me.” “I—” She stopped, then tried again. “You…talk?” A smug look was all the reply she got. “Wait, that’s not—since when?” Lily was still shocked, but her brain at least had started working again. She’d adopted Sir Kipling as a stray kitten during her last year of college and had never gotten the slightest inkling he was anything but a normal cat. “Since now,” he stated matter-of-factly. “Don’t be silly. Cats don’t randomly start—” she paused, suddenly suspicious. “Was it that fragment of tablet? Wonderful. Just splendid. What did you do?” He sniffed archly. “You’d think you weren’t happy to talk to me. Well, good morning to you, too. I’m just fine, thanks for asking.” Lily rolled her eyes. He was perfectly healthy but probably wouldn’t cooperate unless she mollified him. Typical cat. “I trust you’re well this morning? Did whatever you got up to last night damage anything vital?” She couldn’t resist a bit of sarcasm, but he ignored it. “Now that you mention it, there is this place on my back that’s been itching all night—” “Sir Edgar Allan Kipling,” she interrupted in a voice that brooked no nonsense. “To the point, please.” “Well, if you insist,” he said, taking his time to stretch and yawn before continuing. “I did nothing at all. I was just minding my own business when that piece of dirt you’ve been staring at—” “You mean the clay fragment?” Sir Kipling stopped, ears tilted back in annoyance. Lily closed her mouth. After a deliberate pause, he continued. “Yes, the piece of dirt. It started glowing and then…well, let’s just say interesting times are coming, and someone thought you could use a little help.” “What? What’s that supposed to mean? What’s coming? Who are you talking about?” “Well, I could answer your questions, but then you’d be late for your meeting.” Glancing at her alarm clock she yelped and jumped out of bed, heading for the shower. She had barely thirty minutes to do what normally took an hour, and she would have to skip breakfast. Hand on the bathroom door, she turned and glared at her cat who’d settled comfortably onto the warm spot she’d just vacated. His eyes had closed, as if in sleep, and all four paws were tucked under him, making him look like a fluffy loaf of bread—a catloaf. “This isn’t over, Sir. You and I will be having a very long conversation when I get home.” She didn’t wait for his reply as she rushed into the bathroom to get ready. Interlude (Sebastian's POV) The elevator dinged as it passed each floor, moving so slowly Sebastian had time to rock back and forth on the balls of his feet three times in between floors. Hospitals made him nervous. They were where you went when things weren’t right, when people got hurt. Or were dying. He usually avoided them like the plague. Even driving past one brought back memories of the night when his parents died. But that had been a long time ago, and today he was going to see someone very pretty and not at all dead. Even more exciting, she was a witch—the first one he’d met who wasn’t trying to kill him, curse him, steal his clients, or turn him into a small, furry animal. Well, there had been that poltergeist she’d sicked on him, but that had been a misunderstanding. Having finally reached the fourth floor, the elevator emitted one last ding and slowly opened its doors. Sebastian held back, letting the Sunday afternoon press of visitors exit first to ensure he wouldn’t be jostled, thus endangering the vase of flowers he carried. He had no idea if Tina was a flowers kind of girl, but it seemed a safer bet than a stuffed bear or chocolate. To throw in his own flair, he’d put a bit of fae glamour on them so they would slowly change color, like one of those fancy lava lamps. Exiting the elevator and seeking out her room, he reflected on how much Tina reminded him of himself. Last night when he’d accompanied her to the hospital, he’d overheard one of the nurses asking for an emergency contact. Tina had just shaken her head. She was probably very independent and would be reluctant to accept help. But he had to try. Finding the correct room, he took a deep breath and knocked on the open door. “Flower delivery service. Anyone home?” He poked his head in the door, giving a grin and a wave to the petite girl sitting upright in the room’s hospital bed. Tina gave him a disapproving scowl which did nothing to hide the twinkle in her eye. “Seriously? Flowers? You totally should have brought me a burger. This hospital food is complete crap.” “Well, I didn’t just bring flowers. I also picked up some old clothes that should fit, since they threw away your other ones. I mean, hey, you look great in a hospital gown, but I doubt you want to wear it home.” He winked, stepping into the room and positioning the flowers carefully on a bedside table where their vibrant, changing colors couldn’t be missed. “I also might be persuaded to smuggle in real food. For a price, of course.” Tina crossed her arms. “A price, huh?” “Yup. A date. Once you’re better, of course,” he added hastily. Though his smile was confident, he had to resist the urge to wipe his sweating hands on a pants leg. “Mm-hmm,” Tina responded, mouth pursed and eyebrow raised as she considered his demands. “Well, you didn’t rat me out to the police, and you did save me from a demon—” she paused, brow furrowing as she stared at the blue flowers. “Weren’t those yellow when you brought them in?” Sebastian grinned like a Cheshire cat. “How did you do that?” Tina asked. “I’m a witch,” he said airily. “Mystery is sexy, so excuse me if I decline to explain.” Tina laughed. “You wish. And yes, we can hang out as soon as I escape this hellhole.” “Hey,” Sebastian said, expression growing concerned, “don’t go running off before they discharge you. You’ve got to give yourself a chance to heal. If I recall correctly, you bruised three ribs, had a minor concussion, and got stitches. If I catch you sneaking out I will turn you in with a completely clear conscience.” Excerpts from Book 3: Allies Chapter 1: Thicker than Blood It was fully dark before Lily finally groped her way down the loft ladder and headed back to the house. Once outside the barn she could see a little better—the stars were bright above and patches of light spilled out from the farmhouse windows. She was just crossing the barnyard, contemplating the evening’s events, when a dark streak shot out from some bushes and charged straight at her. A cry of surprise was halfway to her lips before she realized the streak was Sir Kipling, the white tip of his fluffy tail bobbing with every stride. He skidded to a halt by her feet, back arched and fur standing on end as he gazed toward the house, ignoring her presence. “Sir Edgar Allan Kipling, you are an absolute terror! Don’t scare me like that.” Lily scolded. “What? Oh, sorry. I was just, you know, practicing.” He sat down, now completely at ease, and started cleaning himself. Lily sighed but couldn’t help smiling. She’d read somewhere that a house cat’s habit of randomly racing from room to room was how they exercised and practiced hunting. It made sense, then, that Sir Kipling would need practice. Before his transformation to a talking cat, the largest thing he’d ever hunted was a moth. With an inward grin at the picture, she bent down and picked up her ferocious hunter. “Unhand me, woman!” he yowled, struggling. “Kip,” Lily said, a warning growl in her throat. “If you scratch me you will not live to regret it. I’m taking you inside. The dogs will make less of a fuss if I’m carrying you. Now sit still. Or else.” He quieted, though not without protest. “Humph! I’m not worried about the mongrels. They’ve been shown their place. It’s the simple indignity of it. As if I couldn’t walk on my own four legs.” Lily rolled her eyes. “I’m sure you’ll recover. Wait, what do you mean they’ve been shown their place? What did you do to them?” They had been unusually quiet. “Nothing permanent,” Sir Kipling said airily. Apprehensive, Lily looked for the dogs as they approached the house. She could see their ropes still tied to the railing, but the dogs were nowhere in sight. Following the line of the ropes in the semi-dark, she saw that they curled around the edge of the porch, low to the ground, and then disappeared… “Kip, why are the dogs hiding under the porch?” she asked accusingly as she mounted the steps. “How should I know? Am I their keeper?” Her cat took no pains to hide his smug look, even as he protested his innocence. Shaking her head, Lily entered the house. “It’s a good thing we’re only staying one night.” Interlude (Sebastian's POV) While it certainly wasn’t beyond his ability, being still had never been one of Sebastian’s favorite things to do. He was a man of action—well, words, at least, but even those required movement. Of course, he could have picked a more concealed spot further out and just used binoculars. Then he could have shifted around as much as he liked. But watching Lily through binoculars would have felt…wrong. Well, more wrong than he already felt, anyway. Sitting with his back against the brick wall of the apartment building adjoining hers, he had to keep still for his fae glamour to work. Not being a fae himself, simply using gifted power, there was a definite limit to how effective it was. He could not turn invisible, nor completely transform his features. He could create a sort of shimmer that copied the pattern and color of an object behind him—a brick wall for instance—thus camouflaging his outline. If he sat still. At least he was in the shade, or would be for another hour. He hadn’t expected to be there this long. Lily was traveling today to reunite with her family in Alabama, and he’d expected her to leave sometime that morning. Well, it was two o’clock and he was only just seeing signs of life, Lily having emerged a few minutes earlier to load her car. He wondered if she was delaying on purpose, and the thought made his lips twitch in a grin. He certainly didn’t blame her. If he was supposed to go see his brother, he would “lose” his watch, then drive around in circles until he ran out of gas as far away from a gas station as possible. His grin faded, however, as he remembered what going to see her family entailed: leaving Atlanta. Which meant he could no longer keep an eye on her. It wasn’t stalking, he told himself, it was counter-stalking. A man like John Faust—powerful, obsessive, controlling—wouldn’t just shrug and give up if his prey escaped. Sebastian was sure he was having his daughter followed, probably using that creepy raven thing during the day and who knew what at night. While he had no way to drive off John Faust’s spies—and his suggestion that she go into hiding had been summarily rejected—at least keeping an eye on her from afar kept him from worrying himself to death. And ensured he was on hand should Mr. Fancypants decide to show up. Not that Lily knew he was there. If she ever found out, she would curse him halfway to next week. But her curses scared him far less than the possibility of losing her. He’d been lax once before, and look where it got him: she’d almost died. And that scared him more than anything ever had. His heart rate picked up and his muscles tensed in readiness at the mere thought of her being in danger. Suffice it to say, he hadn’t been getting a lot of sleep lately. “Merrrow murph meow meow?” Sebastian almost jumped out of his skin. As it was he fell to the side, away from the sound, and scrambled to his feet. If anyone had been looking it would have appeared that a human-shaped section of the brick wall had just detached and started flailing. “I swear, Kip, if you scare me like that one more time…” Sebastian glared down at the entirely unrepentant feline sitting primly next to where he’d been reclining, lost in thought. Sir Kipling just blinked at him. Episode 2, Chapter 3: The Advantages of Being Crazy To say that she dreaded this phone call would be putting it mildly. Sitting on her couch, staring at the cell phone in her lap, she procrastinated by thinking of a sufficiently colorful comparison for how she felt about the situation. She would rather drink bottled green tea than call Richard Grant. She would rather admit she’d had a crush on her ninth-grade English teacher, whose rendition of Shakespeare’s 116th sonnet had always made her swoon, than call Richard Grant. She would rather be seen walking the streets in a neon-orange vinyl jumpsuit with a feathered mullet than call Richard Grant. She would rather burn a book…well, alright, perhaps that was going a bit too far. The point was, he had hurt her. What was worse, he’d probably done it in an effort to protect her, darn drat his overdeveloped sense of chivalry. And, therefore, the worst part of all: she felt guilty for yelling at him. Not that he hadn’t deserved it, but it had been terribly impolite, not at all like her. At least, not like the person she tried to be. She was beginning to realize the two were more different than she cared to admit. Sir Kipling, who was cat-loafing on the floor by the bookcase and watching her with half-lidded eyes, gave a yawn. “Coward.” “Oh hush,” she retorted. “You have no idea, so don’t even pretend. Have you ever had your heart broken by a lady cat? Hm? Have you ever even talked to a lady cat?” “I’ll have you know I’m all the rage among the local dames,” he informed her, whiskered nose in the air. “Uh-huh. I’m sure.” He gave an indignant huff and shifted, uncurling a paw, which he licked with deliberate care, proving his utter disdain for her unbelief. Excerpts from Book 4: Legends Chapter 1: A Hop Across the Pond Though it was embarrassing to admit, Lily had never been to an airport before, much less flown on a plane. She’d never needed to. While she’d dreamed of traveling the world, it was done from the comfort and safety of her living room sofa with a nice cup of tea close at hand. As tempting as all those exciting new experiences were, they had the misfortune of being exciting, new, and experiences. All the things Lily tried to avoid. She didn’t have anything against excitement or new things, just as long as they kept their distance. She was a creature of habit, and excitement was generally disruptive to her routine. There was a fiery adventurer buried down deep inside of her somewhere, she was sure, but as of yet she hadn’t found it. Thus it was with great trepidation and not a little bit of stress that she followed Sebastian through the doors of the largest and busiest airport in the world—Atlanta International. Behind her she pulled a gigantic suitcase packed with every item she might possibly need—and quite a few she wouldn’t but wanted with her just in case. In the other hand she hefted a cat carrier containing one extremely unhappy feline. Sir Kipling had complained long and loudly at the idea of being separated from his mistress and trapped in a small crate for over nine hours. After all, he’d been able to slip in and out of no-pets-allowed areas before. Why couldn’t he simply sneak onto the plane? Lily didn’t even bother arguing. She was taking no chances, not when it involved hurtling through the air in a metal tube thousands of feet above a vast ocean. Now, as she struggled to get her oversized suitcase up to the check-in desk, she tried not to think about how many things could possibly go wrong with said metal tube hurtling through the air thousands of feet above a vast ocean. The fact that—statistically—it was much deadlier to drive a car than to fly on a plane didn’t comfort her in the least. Unsurprisingly, Lily looked around at her fellow travelers with bleary eyes and a frown of general discontent, brain frazzled from too little sleep and too much worry. The fact that Sebastian was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, bouncing on the balls of his feet in excitement, did not improve her mood. “You are disgusting,” she grumbled, giving her friend’s cheery look a sideways glare. “Come, now, Lily. Where’s your sense of adventure?” “At home. In bed. Asleep.” Sebastian chuckled, drawing odd looks from those around them who, like Lily, knew it was impolite to be happy this early in the morning. “Why are you so chipper, anyway?” she asked. “You hate getting up early and usually do your best impression of a zombie until at least eleven o’clock.” Sebastian shrugged, giving her a silly grin. “Just excited, I suppose. I mean, come on, we’re having an adventure. Anything could happen! Daring escapes from dastardly villains, life-and-death struggles with monstrous creatures, intrepid explorations of wild landscapes never before seen by the eyes of men—” “You do realize we’re going to England, right?” Lily asked dryly, smiling in spite of herself. “England, where the biggest native animal is a deer, and the average mountain is so short they’re technically considered hills? This isn’t Africa we’re talking about, Dr. Jones.” “Shush, you’re ruining it.” He flapped a hand at her, eyes closed as if to keep his adventure fantasy fixed in his mind. “Just because you’re a stick-in-the-mud doesn’t mean we all have to be.” Chapter 2: The Most Honorable House of Barrington By the time she had collected her things into a sensible leather handbag, it was almost two o’clock. And they hadn’t even had breakfast yet. She went to the next room over and knocked on Sebastian’s door. Waiting for an answer, she stared morosely at her leather bag, wishing she had her much larger carpetbag instead. As it was she’d had to fit her eduba, personal effects, and a few casting supplies into something half its size. The door opened with a click and Lily looked up, expecting to see Sebastian’s face. But there was no one there. “He’s just finishing up, you can come in,” came a voice at her feet. Looking down, she saw Sir Kipling sitting in the doorway, looking quite proud of himself. “What—how did you—” she spluttered. Finally she just threw up her hands and stepped into the room, thoroughly convinced her cat was using magic to open locked doors. That had to be it. There was no other way. Was there? She was so preoccupied with her cat’s mysterious ways that she didn’t notice the sound of the bathroom door opening. She looked up just in time to avoid colliding with a dripping Sebastian, clad only in a towel around the waist as he exited the bathroom. “Oh my—” “Holy cow—” They exclaimed in unison, a shocked Sebastian almost losing his grip on the towel as Lily spun away, covering her eyes and blushing beet-red. Mumbling apologies and not waiting for him to speak, she shuffled sideways, eyes tightly shut as she felt for the door handle. Upon finding it, she fled, making a quick escape to her own room where she collapsed on the bed. That. Bad. Cat. There would be no milk, salmon, or clotted cream for that devious little reprobate anytime soon. Lying on her back and feeling the heat radiating off her cheeks, she could just hear Sebastian’s voice in the other room, no doubt having a talk with her mischievous feline. Whether he was angry or amused, however, she couldn’t tell. “Uuuggg…” she groaned to herself, covering her eyes again. She’d never been so embarrassed in her life. What made it even worse was that, for the split second before she spun around, she’d enjoyed the view… Desperate for a distraction, she jumped back up and carefully peeked out of the room. With no sign of Sebastian, she hurried down the hall and to the elevators, heading for the hotel restaurant to find some breakfast. Well, lunch, actually. She was halfway through her Eggs Benedict when Sebastian found her. Sir Kipling was nowhere in sight, no doubt sneaking around since, as far as the hotel was concerned, all pets were supposed to be on a leash or in a carrier. Unable to meet Sebastian’s eyes without blushing furiously, Lily kept her attention on her food. He sat down across from her and a waiter took his order. They sat in silence for several minutes before he finally spoke. “So, what’s the plan for today?” Relief filled her from crown to toe. If he wasn’t going to mention their little, ahem, encounter, neither was she. CExcerpts from Books 1-4

Book 1: Beginnings

Chapter 1: Environmentally Friendly Burgers

Lily Singer wished she could simply say her date was going badly and leave it at that. But such a gross understatement was against her nature. To be accurate, she would have to admit it was in the top five worst, if not in the top three. This wasn’t totally unexpected. Most—actually, all—of her dates were men she’d met online who, inevitably, weren’t as cute as their profile pictures suggested. Awkward and bookish, she found it much easier to start virtual, as opposed to real, conversations. Speed dating and blind dates were out of the question due to her abysmal social skills. Well, that, and the fact that she was a wizard.
No, not a witch. A wizard.
“Soo…when you said you had diet restrictions, what you meant was you could only eat burgers?” Lily asked, trying to keep the sarcasm out of her voice. Though she suspected the only way her date would notice sarcasm was if it was dressed up like a cheeseburger.
“Huh?” Jerry Slate, a good hundred pounds larger and ten years older than his profile picture suggested, looked up from his second burger to stare, confused, at her face.
“When we were setting up the date, you asked if you could pick the restaurant because you said you had diet restrictions,” Lily reminded him.
“Oh, yeah. I have a sensitive stomach. I can only eat 100% pure beef burgers, and they have to be grass-fed. Free-range, you know? None of that GMO stuff. This place uses the best ingredients out there.”
Lily resisted the urge to roll her eyes, consoling herself with the thought that it was better to be taken to a gourmet, environmentally friendly burger restaurant than, heaven forbid, a normal burger restaurant.
Looking to the side, she gazed longingly through the restaurant’s front windows to the sunlit street, busy with lunchtime traffic. If only she knew how to teleport, she could escape this awkward situation with minimal embarrassment.
“So…” she tried again. “How’s your gaming campaign going?”
“Oh, it’s fantastic,” Jerry enthused past a mouthful of half-chewed but—let’s not forget—grass-fed burger. Not slowing his consumption of burger, fries, and a handmade root beer float, he launched into a detailed description of his gaming group’s latest campaign against…someone. Lily couldn’t remember who.
It was a topic she could safely rely on to keep him talking for a good while, though it bored her almost to tears. Boredom was preferable, however, to the awkward silence interspersed with chewing sounds she’d suffered through for the first half of their date.
Funny, she’d thought that, in person, Jerry would be more inquisitive. That was before she’d been aware of his burger obsession. As she absentmindedly separated the carrot coins from the rest of her salad and stacked them into a tiny, walled fortress between her and her droning date, she realized he hadn’t asked her a single question beyond the perfunctory “How are you?” since they’d met outside some twenty minutes before. From the time they’d entered the restaurant, his entire attention had been devoted to ordering and eating, though he had, at least, disengaged a few brain cells long enough to inform her of the best items on the menu.
Come to think of it, he hadn’t been very inquisitive online, either. But Lily was good at asking questions through virtual chat. It was like doing research in a search engine. Type in a question, then browse through the resultant dump of information to find your answer.
When asked a question, especially if said question had anything to do with himself, Jerry was obligingly verbose. He went into great detail, as long as that detail involved the hundred different titles in his grunge rock music collection, or his daring feats in the latest sneak attack against his group’s unsuspecting, now-no-longer allies.
It wasn’t as if she’d had soaring expectations. She’d just hoped for some intelligent conversation about, oh, say, books. Or history. Or philosophy. Or anything that mattered, really.
Some people improved upon face-to-face acquaintance. Jerry was not one of them. Neither was she, come to think of it. But she, at least, didn’t bore anyone with loving descriptions of each book in her expansive personal library unless she knew, for a fact, that the person was a bibliophile.



Excerpt from Chapter 3: Virtuous Thieves
“So…what do we do now?” she said into the silence. “Can’t we just wait until the fall?”
“No,” Sebastian said, slouched low in his seat, arms crossed. “The owner gave me a time limit. After that, the deal’s off, and he’ll find a ‘real’ professional. So, no magic books for you, and no money for me.”
They relapsed into silence.
“You know…” Sebastian said after a while, “there is something we could do.”
“Is it legal?” Lily asked suspiciously. She recognized that tone of voice. Sebastian adopted it right before he suggested something wild and dangerous that usually got them into trouble.
“Weeell, depends on how you look at it. We wouldn’t be hurting anything, if that’s what you mean.”
Lily glared. “No, that’s not what I mean. I mean exactly what I say. Is it legal?”
“No,” Sebastian admitted, and there was a pregnant pause.
The seconds stretched into a minute as Lily glared, and Sebastian maintained a carefully casual expression.
“Alright, fine,” she finally said. “What is it?”
“We could sneak in after dark and steal it,” Sebastian suggested, studying his nails.
“No! I will not commit a robbery.”
“We’d give it back when we were done! How else do you suggest we get ahold of it? Would you rather sit there for hours reading and risk getting caught?”
“No, of course…wait a minute…” Lily’s eyes lost focus as she considered a sudden idea. “If I could physically hold the book for about fifteen minutes, I could make a copy.”
“Really?” Sebastian was intrigued.
“Yes. It’s a relatively straightforward spell, it just requires extended concentration for the duration of the process. I use it sometimes to make copies of fragile documents that can’t be safely handled without risking damage.”
“So, what’s the holdup then?” Sebastian asked, excited once more. “We sneak in, you do your little bit of hocus pocus, and voila! We have a copy of the book. No harm done. Nobody will even know we were there.”
“No, no. This is insane,” she insisted. “Forget I suggested it. Breaking in is illegal, too. I’m an upstanding citizen. I will not break the law!”

“I can’t believe I’m breaking the law,” Lily whispered, still agonizing over the moral quandary even as she crouched in the shadows of a dumpster behind the Shorter Mansion, Sebastian at her side...



Episode 2, Chapter 1: The Uses of Moldy Pizza
Though not the most aesthetically pleasing or comfortable place to read, the Basement was nonetheless Lily Singer’s favorite. Hidden beneath the McCain Library of Agnes Scott College, this secret archive of wizardry and occult books lacked beams of sunlight to bask in, warm, fuzzy cats to pet, and a kitchen in which to make scones and tea—all delightful things, but distracting nonetheless. The Basement was silent as a grave and blessedly cool in the heat of the Atlanta summer. This peace and quiet, not to mention the plethora of magical wards, made it an ideal location for reading, studying, and practicing magic undisturbed.
She’d filled it with the comforts of home, of course. Being the archives manager of the library above and curator of the Basement’s secrets, she had exclusive authority over its interior decoration. When her predecessor, Madam Barrington, had been its keeper, it had contained minimal decoration and only a few hardwood chairs—a reflection of her mentor’s austere nature. Nothing had changed when Madam Barrington took on Lily as a student to teach her wizardry. That had been seven years ago during Lily’s freshman year at Agnes Scott. It wasn’t until her mentor had retired last year and left the Basement in her care that Lily took steps to make it a bit more welcoming.
First, she’d brightened the place up by renewing the light spells on the dozen dimmu-engraved glass balls hanging from the ceiling. No outlets or electrical wiring graced the Basement, since the whole thing had been magically created from a broom closet during the original 1936 construction of McCain Library—known then as the Carnegie Library. It had the advantage of being accessible only to wizards, and only to those who knew the access spell. Not that the Basement was much of a secret. Madam Barrington had said the Basement was frequented by numerous wizards at one point in time. But that must have been long ago, since Lily had only ever seen one other person there besides herself and her mentor. It seemed the Basement was protected by simple virtue of being forgotten.
With that in mind, she doubted anyone would ever see, or care, about her improvements, from hanging art on the walls to enchanting the dull ceiling to resemble the rib-vaulted heights of the library above. She’d added several small tables to display various magical knickknacks previously hidden away in drawers. There were items like a delicate antique engraver made entirely of spun lead except for its diamond tip, used to carve magical runes of power—dimmu runes—into any surface. Then there were the all-speak glasses, enchanted to translate any text into English for whoever was wearing them. Though quite useful, their creator must have had coprolalia, because the glasses had an annoying tendency to add random swear words to the translation.
As for other furniture, she’d left the large oak worktable, but the hardwood chairs had been relegated to stepping stools and replaced by several tastefully upholstered chintz chairs. How she’d managed to single-handedly maneuver those things down the archive steps, through the broom closet, and into the Basement, she had no idea. But she’d done it. Overall, the room’s ambiance was much improved. It had become an island of peace in a world annoyingly full of people who, oddly enough, wanted to interact with her.
Thus it was quite shocking when her cell phone rang that Saturday afternoon. She was ensconced in a chintz chair, studying one of the books Sebastian had given her from Francis Jackson’s estate. Not only was she underground—her cell barely got signal in the archive room next door—but the magical nature of the Basement completely scrambled electronic signals of any kind. After the first few seconds of shock wore off, she recognized the jaunty jingle of the 1960s theme song from Bewitched.
Lily rolled her eyes and sighed. If anyone could manage to call her underground in a signal blackout zone, it would be Sebastian. Leave it to him to disturb her peace. Being a witch, and a good one at that, he usually found a way.
Excerpts from Book 2: Revelations

Chapter 1: Unexpected Conversations
Lily woke Wednesday morning, not to the sound of her alarm clock, but to the soothing vibrations of a purring cat. She had an uncomfortable feeling she’d overslept, but was distracted from it by the warm, heavy ball of fur settled comfortably on her chest.
Groaning, she tried to push him off. “Kip, you better not have turned off my alarm again.”
Sir Kipling, however, didn’t want to move. He dug his claws into the sheets and resisted her groggy attempt to dislodge him. “Well, if it weren’t so loud and annoying, I wouldn’t have to take matters into my own paws,” he protested.
“It’s supposed to be loud and annoying to wake me—”
She froze, going cross-eyed in an attempt to see the feline perched atop her. Her muddled, half-asleep brain tried, and failed, to make sense of what she’d just heard. It’d sounded like meowing, but also like words. She stared at her cat and he stared back, eyes half-lidded.
“Did you…?” She paused, giving her head a shake to dislodge the cobwebs in her brain. “I thought I heard…good grief, I’m imagining a conversation with my cat. I need a hot shower.” She sat up for real this time, her movement threatening to spill Sir Kipling onto the bedcovers.
Twisting with cat-like agility, he launched off her chest and landed on the edge of the bed in a dignity-preserving move, then turned to lick his mussed fur into submission. “A hot shower won’t fix your problems,” he commented between licks.
Lily stared, speechless, no longer sure of her own sanity.
Sir Kipling paused his ministrations to look at her. “If you insist on sitting there being shocked, you might as well make yourself useful and pet me.”
“I—” She stopped, then tried again. “You…talk?”
A smug look was all the reply she got.
“Wait, that’s not—since when?” Lily was still shocked, but her brain at least had started working again. She’d adopted Sir Kipling as a stray kitten during her last year of college and had never gotten the slightest inkling he was anything but a normal cat.
“Since now,” he stated matter-of-factly.
“Don’t be silly. Cats don’t randomly start—” she paused, suddenly suspicious. “Was it that fragment of tablet? Wonderful. Just splendid. What did you do?”
He sniffed archly. “You’d think you weren’t happy to talk to me. Well, good morning to you, too. I’m just fine, thanks for asking.”
Lily rolled her eyes. He was perfectly healthy but probably wouldn’t cooperate unless she mollified him. Typical cat.
“I trust you’re well this morning? Did whatever you got up to last night damage anything vital?” She couldn’t resist a bit of sarcasm, but he ignored it.
“Now that you mention it, there is this place on my back that’s been itching all night—”
“Sir Edgar Allan Kipling,” she interrupted in a voice that brooked no nonsense. “To the point, please.”
“Well, if you insist,” he said, taking his time to stretch and yawn before continuing. “I did nothing at all. I was just minding my own business when that piece of dirt you’ve been staring at—”
“You mean the clay fragment?”
Sir Kipling stopped, ears tilted back in annoyance. Lily closed her mouth. After a deliberate pause, he continued. “Yes, the piece of dirt. It started glowing and then…well, let’s just say interesting times are coming, and someone thought you could use a little help.”
“What? What’s that supposed to mean? What’s coming? Who are you talking about?”
“Well, I could answer your questions, but then you’d be late for your meeting.”
Glancing at her alarm clock she yelped and jumped out of bed, heading for the shower. She had barely thirty minutes to do what normally took an hour, and she would have to skip breakfast.
Hand on the bathroom door, she turned and glared at her cat who’d settled comfortably onto the warm spot she’d just vacated. His eyes had closed, as if in sleep, and all four paws were tucked under him, making him look like a fluffy loaf of bread—a catloaf.
“This isn’t over, Sir. You and I will be having a very long conversation when I get home.”
She didn’t wait for his reply as she rushed into the bathroom to get ready.








Interlude (Sebastian's POV)

The elevator dinged as it passed each floor, moving so slowly Sebastian had time to rock back and forth on the balls of his feet three times in between floors. Hospitals made him nervous. They were where you went when things weren’t right, when people got hurt. Or were dying. He usually avoided them like the plague. Even driving past one brought back memories of the night when his parents died.
But that had been a long time ago, and today he was going to see someone very pretty and not at all dead. Even more exciting, she was a witch—the first one he’d met who wasn’t trying to kill him, curse him, steal his clients, or turn him into a small, furry animal. Well, there had been that poltergeist she’d sicked on him, but that had been a misunderstanding.
Having finally reached the fourth floor, the elevator emitted one last ding and slowly opened its doors. Sebastian held back, letting the Sunday afternoon press of visitors exit first to ensure he wouldn’t be jostled, thus endangering the vase of flowers he carried. He had no idea if Tina was a flowers kind of girl, but it seemed a safer bet than a stuffed bear or chocolate. To throw in his own flair, he’d put a bit of fae glamour on them so they would slowly change color, like one of those fancy lava lamps.
Exiting the elevator and seeking out her room, he reflected on how much Tina reminded him of himself. Last night when he’d accompanied her to the hospital, he’d overheard one of the nurses asking for an emergency contact. Tina had just shaken her head. She was probably very independent and would be reluctant to accept help. But he had to try. Finding the correct room, he took a deep breath and knocked on the open door. “Flower delivery service. Anyone home?” He poked his head in the door, giving a grin and a wave to the petite girl sitting upright in the room’s hospital bed.
Tina gave him a disapproving scowl which did nothing to hide the twinkle in her eye. “Seriously? Flowers? You totally should have brought me a burger. This hospital food is complete crap.”
“Well, I didn’t just bring flowers. I also picked up some old clothes that should fit, since they threw away your other ones. I mean, hey, you look great in a hospital gown, but I doubt you want to wear it home.” He winked, stepping into the room and positioning the flowers carefully on a bedside table where their vibrant, changing colors couldn’t be missed. “I also might be persuaded to smuggle in real food. For a price, of course.”
Tina crossed her arms. “A price, huh?”
“Yup. A date. Once you’re better, of course,” he added hastily. Though his smile was confident, he had to resist the urge to wipe his sweating hands on a pants leg.
“Mm-hmm,” Tina responded, mouth pursed and eyebrow raised as she considered his demands. “Well, you didn’t rat me out to the police, and you did save me from a demon—” she paused, brow furrowing as she stared at the blue flowers. “Weren’t those yellow when you brought them in?”
Sebastian grinned like a Cheshire cat.
“How did you do that?” Tina asked.
“I’m a witch,” he said airily. “Mystery is sexy, so excuse me if I decline to explain.”
Tina laughed. “You wish. And yes, we can hang out as soon as I escape this hellhole.”
“Hey,” Sebastian said, expression growing concerned, “don’t go running off before they discharge you. You’ve got to give yourself a chance to heal. If I recall correctly, you bruised three ribs, had a minor concussion, and got stitches. If I catch you sneaking out I will turn you in with a completely clear conscience.”

Excerpts from Book 3: Allies

Chapter 1: Thicker than Blood

It was fully dark before Lily finally groped her way down the loft ladder and headed back to the house.
Once outside the barn she could see a little better—the stars were bright above and patches of light spilled out from the farmhouse windows. She was just crossing the barnyard, contemplating the evening’s events, when a dark streak shot out from some bushes and charged straight at her. A cry of surprise was halfway to her lips before she realized the streak was Sir Kipling, the white tip of his fluffy tail bobbing with every stride. He skidded to a halt by her feet, back arched and fur standing on end as he gazed toward the house, ignoring her presence.
“Sir Edgar Allan Kipling, you are an absolute terror! Don’t scare me like that.” Lily scolded.
“What? Oh, sorry. I was just, you know, practicing.” He sat down, now completely at ease, and started cleaning himself.
Lily sighed but couldn’t help smiling. She’d read somewhere that a house cat’s habit of randomly racing from room to room was how they exercised and practiced hunting. It made sense, then, that Sir Kipling would need practice. Before his transformation to a talking cat, the largest thing he’d ever hunted was a moth.
With an inward grin at the picture, she bent down and picked up her ferocious hunter.
“Unhand me, woman!” he yowled, struggling.
“Kip,” Lily said, a warning growl in her throat. “If you scratch me you will not live to regret it. I’m taking you inside. The dogs will make less of a fuss if I’m carrying you. Now sit still. Or else.”
He quieted, though not without protest. “Humph! I’m not worried about the mongrels. They’ve been shown their place. It’s the simple indignity of it. As if I couldn’t walk on my own four legs.”
Lily rolled her eyes. “I’m sure you’ll recover. Wait, what do you mean they’ve been shown their place? What did you do to them?” They had been unusually quiet.
“Nothing permanent,” Sir Kipling said airily.
Apprehensive, Lily looked for the dogs as they approached the house. She could see their ropes still tied to the railing, but the dogs were nowhere in sight. Following the line of the ropes in the semi-dark, she saw that they curled around the edge of the porch, low to the ground, and then disappeared…
“Kip, why are the dogs hiding under the porch?” she asked accusingly as she mounted the steps.
“How should I know? Am I their keeper?” Her cat took no pains to hide his smug look, even as he protested his innocence.
Shaking her head, Lily entered the house. “It’s a good thing we’re only staying one night.”




Interlude (Sebastian's POV)

While it certainly wasn’t beyond his ability, being still had never been one of Sebastian’s favorite things to do. He was a man of action—well, words, at least, but even those required movement. Of course, he could have picked a more concealed spot further out and just used binoculars. Then he could have shifted around as much as he liked. But watching Lily through binoculars would have felt…wrong. Well, more wrong than he already felt, anyway.
Sitting with his back against the brick wall of the apartment building adjoining hers, he had to keep still for his fae glamour to work. Not being a fae himself, simply using gifted power, there was a definite limit to how effective it was. He could not turn invisible, nor completely transform his features. He could create a sort of shimmer that copied the pattern and color of an object behind him—a brick wall for instance—thus camouflaging his outline. If he sat still.
At least he was in the shade, or would be for another hour. He hadn’t expected to be there this long. Lily was traveling today to reunite with her family in Alabama, and he’d expected her to leave sometime that morning. Well, it was two o’clock and he was only just seeing signs of life, Lily having emerged a few minutes earlier to load her car. He wondered if she was delaying on purpose, and the thought made his lips twitch in a grin. He certainly didn’t blame her. If he was supposed to go see his brother, he would “lose” his watch, then drive around in circles until he ran out of gas as far away from a gas station as possible.
His grin faded, however, as he remembered what going to see her family entailed: leaving Atlanta. Which meant he could no longer keep an eye on her. It wasn’t stalking, he told himself, it was counter-stalking. A man like John Faust—powerful, obsessive, controlling—wouldn’t just shrug and give up if his prey escaped. Sebastian was sure he was having his daughter followed, probably using that creepy raven thing during the day and who knew what at night.
While he had no way to drive off John Faust’s spies—and his suggestion that she go into hiding had been summarily rejected—at least keeping an eye on her from afar kept him from worrying himself to death. And ensured he was on hand should Mr. Fancypants decide to show up.
Not that Lily knew he was there. If she ever found out, she would curse him halfway to next week. But her curses scared him far less than the possibility of losing her. He’d been lax once before, and look where it got him: she’d almost died. And that scared him more than anything ever had. His heart rate picked up and his muscles tensed in readiness at the mere thought of her being in danger. Suffice it to say, he hadn’t been getting a lot of sleep lately.
“Merrrow murph meow meow?”
Sebastian almost jumped out of his skin. As it was he fell to the side, away from the sound, and scrambled to his feet. If anyone had been looking it would have appeared that a human-shaped section of the brick wall had just detached and started flailing.
“I swear, Kip, if you scare me like that one more time…” Sebastian glared down at the entirely unrepentant feline sitting primly next to where he’d been reclining, lost in thought.
Sir Kipling just blinked at him.





Episode 2, Chapter 3: The Advantages of Being Crazy

To say that she dreaded this phone call would be putting it mildly. Sitting on her couch, staring at the cell phone in her lap, she procrastinated by thinking of a sufficiently colorful comparison for how she felt about the situation.
She would rather drink bottled green tea than call Richard Grant.
She would rather admit she’d had a crush on her ninth-grade English teacher, whose rendition of Shakespeare’s 116th sonnet had always made her swoon, than call Richard Grant.
She would rather be seen walking the streets in a neon-orange vinyl jumpsuit with a feathered mullet than call Richard Grant.
She would rather burn a book…well, alright, perhaps that was going a bit too far.
The point was, he had hurt her. What was worse, he’d probably done it in an effort to protect her, darn drat his overdeveloped sense of chivalry. And, therefore, the worst part of all: she felt guilty for yelling at him. Not that he hadn’t deserved it, but it had been terribly impolite, not at all like her. At least, not like the person she tried to be. She was beginning to realize the two were more different than she cared to admit.
Sir Kipling, who was cat-loafing on the floor by the bookcase and watching her with half-lidded eyes, gave a yawn. “Coward.”
“Oh hush,” she retorted. “You have no idea, so don’t even pretend. Have you ever had your heart broken by a lady cat? Hm? Have you ever even talked to a lady cat?”
“I’ll have you know I’m all the rage among the local dames,” he informed her, whiskered nose in the air.
“Uh-huh. I’m sure.”
He gave an indignant huff and shifted, uncurling a paw, which he licked with deliberate care, proving his utter disdain for her unbelief.

Excerpts from Book 4: Legends

Chapter 1: A Hop Across the Pond

Though it was embarrassing to admit, Lily had never been to an airport before, much less flown on a plane. She’d never needed to. While she’d dreamed of traveling the world, it was done from the comfort and safety of her living room sofa with a nice cup of tea close at hand. As tempting as all those exciting new experiences were, they had the misfortune of being exciting, new, and experiences. All the things Lily tried to avoid. She didn’t have anything against excitement or new things, just as long as they kept their distance. She was a creature of habit, and excitement was generally disruptive to her routine. There was a fiery adventurer buried down deep inside of her somewhere, she was sure, but as of yet she hadn’t found it.
Thus it was with great trepidation and not a little bit of stress that she followed Sebastian through the doors of the largest and busiest airport in the world—Atlanta International. Behind her she pulled a gigantic suitcase packed with every item she might possibly need—and quite a few she wouldn’t but wanted with her just in case. In the other hand she hefted a cat carrier containing one extremely unhappy feline.
Sir Kipling had complained long and loudly at the idea of being separated from his mistress and trapped in a small crate for over nine hours. After all, he’d been able to slip in and out of no-pets-allowed areas before. Why couldn’t he simply sneak onto the plane? Lily didn’t even bother arguing. She was taking no chances, not when it involved hurtling through the air in a metal tube thousands of feet above a vast ocean.
Now, as she struggled to get her oversized suitcase up to the check-in desk, she tried not to think about how many things could possibly go wrong with said metal tube hurtling through the air thousands of feet above a vast ocean. The fact that—statistically—it was much deadlier to drive a car than to fly on a plane didn’t comfort her in the least.
Unsurprisingly, Lily looked around at her fellow travelers with bleary eyes and a frown of general discontent, brain frazzled from too little sleep and too much worry. The fact that Sebastian was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, bouncing on the balls of his feet in excitement, did not improve her mood.
“You are disgusting,” she grumbled, giving her friend’s cheery look a sideways glare.
“Come, now, Lily. Where’s your sense of adventure?”
“At home. In bed. Asleep.”
Sebastian chuckled, drawing odd looks from those around them who, like Lily, knew it was impolite to be happy this early in the morning.
“Why are you so chipper, anyway?” she asked. “You hate getting up early and usually do your best impression of a zombie until at least eleven o’clock.”
Sebastian shrugged, giving her a silly grin. “Just excited, I suppose. I mean, come on, we’re having an adventure. Anything could happen! Daring escapes from dastardly villains, life-and-death struggles with monstrous creatures, intrepid explorations of wild landscapes never before seen by the eyes of men—”
“You do realize we’re going to England, right?” Lily asked dryly, smiling in spite of herself. “England, where the biggest native animal is a deer, and the average mountain is so short they’re technically considered hills? This isn’t Africa we’re talking about, Dr. Jones.”
“Shush, you’re ruining it.” He flapped a hand at her, eyes closed as if to keep his adventure fantasy fixed in his mind. “Just because you’re a stick-in-the-mud doesn’t mean we all have to be.”




Chapter 2: The Most Honorable House of Barrington

By the time she had collected her things into a sensible leather handbag, it was almost two o’clock. And they hadn’t even had breakfast yet. She went to the next room over and knocked on Sebastian’s door. Waiting for an answer, she stared morosely at her leather bag, wishing she had her much larger carpetbag instead. As it was she’d had to fit her eduba, personal effects, and a few casting supplies into something half its size.
The door opened with a click and Lily looked up, expecting to see Sebastian’s face. But there was no one there.
“He’s just finishing up, you can come in,” came a voice at her feet.
Looking down, she saw Sir Kipling sitting in the doorway, looking quite proud of himself.
“What—how did you—” she spluttered. Finally she just threw up her hands and stepped into the room, thoroughly convinced her cat was using magic to open locked doors. That had to be it. There was no other way. Was there?
She was so preoccupied with her cat’s mysterious ways that she didn’t notice the sound of the bathroom door opening. She looked up just in time to avoid colliding with a dripping Sebastian, clad only in a towel around the waist as he exited the bathroom.
“Oh my—”
“Holy cow—”
They exclaimed in unison, a shocked Sebastian almost losing his grip on the towel as Lily spun away, covering her eyes and blushing beet-red. Mumbling apologies and not waiting for him to speak, she shuffled sideways, eyes tightly shut as she felt for the door handle. Upon finding it, she fled, making a quick escape to her own room where she collapsed on the bed.
That. Bad. Cat. There would be no milk, salmon, or clotted cream for that devious little reprobate anytime soon.
Lying on her back and feeling the heat radiating off her cheeks, she could just hear Sebastian’s voice in the other room, no doubt having a talk with her mischievous feline. Whether he was angry or amused, however, she couldn’t tell.
“Uuuggg…” she groaned to herself, covering her eyes again. She’d never been so embarrassed in her life. What made it even worse was that, for the split second before she spun around, she’d enjoyed the view…
Desperate for a distraction, she jumped back up and carefully peeked out of the room. With no sign of Sebastian, she hurried down the hall and to the elevators, heading for the hotel restaurant to find some breakfast. Well, lunch, actually.
She was halfway through her Eggs Benedict when Sebastian found her. Sir Kipling was nowhere in sight, no doubt sneaking around since, as far as the hotel was concerned, all pets were supposed to be on a leash or in a carrier.
Unable to meet Sebastian’s eyes without blushing furiously, Lily kept her attention on her food. He sat down across from her and a waiter took his order. They sat in silence for several minutes before he finally spoke.
“So, what’s the plan for today?”
Relief filled her from crown to toe. If he wasn’t going to mention their little, ahem, encounter, neither was she.



Chapter 2

Lily breathed deeply as she walked, happily drawing in the snappy English air as she examined the buildings along the street. It seemed that Oxford was very much a stone city. Nearly everything was made of it: stone walls, stone buildings, cobblestone streets. Most of it was pale grey, but some of it had a yellowish tinge. She vaguely remembered reading somewhere that after the Great Fire of London in 1666, building regulations were changed to ban the use of anything but brick and stone to erect buildings. Perhaps that was why so much of Oxford was made of that cold, durable, majestic material. And majestic it was. Beautifully jointed stone walls broken up by ornate carvings rose into the blue sky on either side of the street, and what little of the skyline she could see was dotted with ornamented spires. Gargoyles carved into the shape of angels, demons, and even a bishop here and there stuck out from the edges of roofs. Tiles were the standard roofing material, some of them mottled with age and speckled with ancient lichen and moss.
Everything she saw around her had a feeling of incredible age. Well, not everything, exactly. There were more modern buildings here and there, and they stuck out like sore thumbs with their concrete and metal façades. To be fair, though, it wasn’t just the modern architecture that confused the eye. In fact, she spotted a wide range of architectural styles sitting right next to each other. The Ashmolean museum with its massive columns and clean lines was made in the classic Greek and Roman style. But right across the corner was a memorial to a group of martyred bishops, which, though erected about the same time, was built in a neo-gothic style. Its elaborate scrolling and stone filigree made it look like a massive confectioner’s cone. The dichotomy was almost comical, giving the whole city an air of eccentricity.
Even with its wide range of styles, however, the city had a feeling of heavy, solemn age. Not decrepit, like some abandoned places in Atlanta. No, everything was incredibly well maintained, with old buildings carefully restored and repurposed into shops and houses. It just looked as if the buildings had settled down and weren’t entirely straight anymore. Not crooked, just…organic. She could tell life in Oxford was built around a space that had been in use for thousands of years. It was tremendously odd where some of the streets and shops were, popping up and twisting around in a strange labyrinth of stone and history. She supposed it was because they were built around ancient buildings and ancient lives. The awkwardness made her lips quirk. She liked it. The English seemed not to shape the space around them to suit their needs—as Americans did—but rather shaped their needs to fit the space around them.hapter 2 Lily breathed deeply as she walked, happily drawing in the snappy English air as she examined the buildings along the street. It seemed that Oxford was very much a stone city. Nearly everything was made of it: stone walls, stone buildings, cobblestone streets. Most of it was pale grey, but some of it had a yellowish tinge. She vaguely remembered reading somewhere that after the Great Fire of London in 1666, building regulations were changed to ban the use of anything but brick and stone to erect buildings. Perhaps that was why so much of Oxford was made of that cold, durable, majestic material. And majestic it was. Beautifully jointed stone walls broken up by ornate carvings rose into the blue sky on either side of the street, and what little of the skyline she could see was dotted with ornamented spires. Gargoyles carved into the shape of angels, demons, and even a bishop here and there stuck out from the edges of roofs. Tiles were the standard roofing material, some of them mottled with age and speckled with ancient lichen and moss. Everything she saw around her had a feeling of incredible age. Well, not everything, exactly. There were more modern buildings here and there, and they stuck out like sore thumbs with their concrete and metal façades. To be fair, though, it wasn’t just the modern architecture that confused the eye. In fact, she spotted a wide range of architectural styles sitting right next to each other. The Ashmolean museum with its massive columns and clean lines was made in the classic Greek and Roman style. But right across the corner was a memorial to a group of martyred bishops, which, though erected about the same time, was built in a neo-gothic style. Its elaborate scrolling and stone filigree made it look like a massive confectioner’s cone. The dichotomy was almost comical, giving the whole city an air of eccentricity. Even with its wide range of styles, however, the city had a feeling of heavy, solemn age. Not decrepit, like some abandoned places in Atlanta. No, everything was incredibly well maintained, with old buildings carefully restored and repurposed into shops and houses. It just looked as if the buildings had settled down and weren’t entirely straight anymore. Not crooked, just…organic. She could tell life in Oxford was built around a space that had been in use for thousands of years. It was tremendously odd where some of the streets and shops were, popping up and twisting around in a strange labyrinth of stone and history. She supposed it was because they were built around ancient buildings and ancient lives. The awkwardness made her lips quirk. She liked it. The English seemed not to shape the space around them to suit their needs—as Americans did—but rather shaped their needs to fit the space around them.
 

 

SpotLight and Excerpt for Book Tour I am Involved in.

Shattering Truths  - Kyrian Lyndon

Shattering Truths
Kyrian Lyndon
(Deadly Veils, #1)
Publication date: January 30th 2017
Genres: Suspense, Young Adult

She was left fighting her demons alone . . .

For sixteen-year-old Danielle DeCorso, the old house in Glastonbury was an eerie place to grow up. Coping with mental health challenges exacerbated by a traumatic family dynamic, Danielle watches from the window for two men in a dusty black sedan who keep circling the house and harassing her with phone calls. The two predators drugged her and her cousin, Angie, and then lured them from Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport to a secluded cottage on Long Beach West. She remembers feeling dizzy, the room spinning. She recalls screaming, crying, fighting, and then slipping in and out of consciousness. Angie, however, has no recollection of the incident.

When Danielle attempts to jog Angie’s memory and convince their best friend, Farran, that the two strangers had victimized them, no one seems to believe her. Alone in her pain, Danielle remains guarded, obsessed, and withdrawn. Soon she is sinking deeper into a tumultuous world of adolescent isolation and change. Grief, guilt, and anger send her spiraling into an even darker place.

Tormented by terrifying nightmares, she fears she will lose her sanity, or possibly her soul. Is she having post-traumatic stress hallucinations, as one of her friends suggest, or are her recurring nightmares as real as they seem? Trapped in an unyielding emotional bondage, Danielle continues the fight to reclaim her power. Startling revelations awaken her newfound spirit, inspiring a once naïve girl to grow into a woman of defiance and courage.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks

 

Excerpt

 

“So who are members of the Lynx?” Farran asked. “Tell me.”
“Hang around. You’ll see.” Billy took a hearty swig of his beer. “Man, they’re not fucking gods to me. Excuse the language. You always gotta watch what you say about them and who you say it to. If any of the Lynx is in trouble, they’re all there. They stick together. What, I should be grateful I get a nod from them while most of the patrons, regular customers for years, are ignored?” He took another swig and looked toward the door. “Speak of the devils … here comes the leader of the pack.”
We followed his gaze to a tall figure bustling confidently through the crowd. The guy looked more like a glam metal rock star than a biker and was clad in a sleeveless, black-studded vest, tight jeans, and boots, his magnificent head of dark hair falling two inches below his shoulders. I thought I’d have to pick up Farran’s jaw—and Angie’s.
Farran was salivating. “Damn! Is he drop-dead gorgeous or what?”
“Enough to make you forget Dave Navarro and every single one of The Lost Boys,” Angie concurred.“ I mean, those cheekbones, too—like they were sculpted to perfection!”
He was svelte more than herculean, with a well-toned physique that included muscular biceps adorned with tattoos. I figured him to be six-foot-one, and in his early twenties.
“Wait,” Farran said, glancing at Shannon. “Is that the guy you’re seeing?”
“Who, Valentin?” Shannon giggled. “Uh, wait a minute. Come with me.”
Farran, Angie, and I followed as she led us to Valentin and hugged him.
He hugged her tight in return.
“This is Valentin,” she said.“ I go out with his brother, Nico, but he and I are close friends.” During the subsequent introductions, she provided my full name.
“Ah, Joey’s sister,” he acknowledged.
I could see the tattoo on his left arm was a dragon. On his upper right arm, he had what appeared to be a king cobra amid a myriad of roses and flames.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” I said.
“The pleasure is mine,” he returned.
His dark eyes drew me in with their formidable intensity. I felt a chill in their power to seduce without effort. It was as if his soul was burning, and I could see its fire through the darkness. It forced me to look away.

 

Author Bio:

Kyrian Lyndon is the author of Shattering Truths, the first book in her Deadly Veils series. She has also published two poetry collections, A Dark Rose Blooms, and Remnants of Severed Chains. Kyrian began writing short stories and fairy tales when she was just eight years old. In her adolescence, she moved on to poetry. At sixteen, while working as an editor for her high school newspaper, she wrote her first novel, and then completed two more novels at the ages of nineteen and twenty-five.

Born and raised in Woodside, Queens, New York, Kyrian was the middle of three daughters born to immigrants —her father from Campochiaro, Italy; her mother from Havana, Cuba. She has worked primarily in executive-level administrative positions with major New York publishing companies. She resides on Long Island in New York.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram / Tumblr

 

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Loved Luke!!!! Ok Book.

Gilded Cage - Vic James

First I would say thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a chance to read this book. And I would also say that I am the one that asked for a chance to read this book. And my opinions are my very own.

While I didn't fall in love with this book, I didn't hate it either. My favorite parts are with Luke and with Silyen. First let's talk about Luke. Wow poor guy goes through it all in this book, I just wanted to be able to put my arms around him and give him a big hug. I liked that he was trying to do the right thing even though he knew he could get into big trouble for doing so. I can't wait to find out what is going to happen to him next. Even though the book was pretty boring I will read the next book for Luke.

Now Silyen I can't figure him out at all what is his agenda? Is he good or bad? I have to say he really has me very confused but also very interested in finding out what his deal is. Why does he do what he does towards the very end of the book? 

The things I didn't like was the book really didn't get really exciting until the last 8 or so chapters. I really didn't like anyone else. Abi I was really bored with almost throughout the whole book, until the last few pages. Besides Silyen the rest of his family I couldn't stand. The dad is so awful. The oldest son was a jerk and also a wimp. And Jenner the guy Abi falls for needs to get a freaking backbone. 

I hope Abi is much more interesting in the book, after how the book ended, I have really high hopes for her. 

I forgot to talk about Abi's sister Daisy. Her worshipping of the oldest brother that they working for in this book is very disturbing. I really hope that ends soon, or that nothing happens between them two, that would be so very wrong. I believe that it says she is 10years old in the book. Gavar has a baby, and about to get married. And he also has one hell of a temper.

Like I mentioned above even though I only gave the book 3 stars, I would definitely want to read the next book, when it's available to buy.

 

Review and Spotlight for Book Tour I am Involved with.

The Buried Symbol (The Runes of Issalia Book 1) - Jeffrey L. Kohanek
 
Check out my tour stop for The Runes of Issalia series blog tour! There is an excerpt and giveaway below.
 
The Buried Symbol (The Runes of Issalia #1)
by Jeffrey L. Kohanek
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: May 5th 2016
Black Rose Writing

Summary:

Discover a lost magic, long buried and forgotten…

Without a rune marking his role in society, Brock is doomed to an existence below the lowest rung of the social ladder. Unwilling to accept his fate, the teen risks his life to obtain a fake rune that marks him as a member of the Empire's ruling class. He then embarks on a quest to join an institution where the Empire’s future leaders are trained. 

As a student of the Academy, he soon uncovers a chain of secrets kept hidden for centuries, secrets that expose cracks in the foundation of Empire society. Among his discoveries is a powerful magic, long buried and forgotten.

Brock’s compassion and sense of justice are seeds that sprout tight friendships and a blossoming romance. An unwillingness to be bullied earns him a dangerous enemy, becoming a feud that escalates to a climactic showdown.
 
Review for book 1

Boy did I really love Brock. I thought he was a pretty interesting hero and really looked after the people he loved. I have to say wow the girls were falling for him, left and right.
I thought the journey he took along the way to get to the Academy was pretty awesome. Even though parts were boring it didn't make me what to give up on the book. I really loved his friendships with Cameron and Benny whom he became friends with at the Academy. 
I really loved his love interest Ashland, she was pretty bad-ass. I thought they made a pretty interesting couple. Things that Brock and us readers find out about his abilities made me even more invested in reading this series. Also what Brock is starting to figure out about the academy, also makes this book even more intriguing.
 
The Emblem Throne (The Runes of Issalia #2)
Release Date: October 6th 2016
 
Summary:
 
Journey on a magical quest to save the world...

As they strive to become Masters within the Ministry, Brock and his friends resume their training at the Academy, an institution founded on magic, science, knowledge, law, and combat. They soon discover an expansive web of conspiracies and deceit within the Ministry, hidden behind a veil of benevolence and piety. The exposure of one of those secrets forces Brock and his friends to flee the institution with their lives in the balance.

Joined by a fierce Tantarri warrior, the group embarks on a quest to locate a mysterious throne that has been lost for centuries. Guided by the cryptic words of an ancient prophecy, and backed by a forbidden magic that they are still learning to wield, they journey across the continent to save humanity from extinction.
 
 
 
An Empire in Runes (The Runes of Issalia #3)
Release Date: April 27th 2017

Summary: 

A Long Forgotten Magic That Might Save the World…Or Destroy It

Led by a boy named Brock, a small team of teens urgently assembles a force to confront an army of monsters, one that ravages and destroys anyone or anything in its path.

In a race against time, Brock attempts to train a group of recruits to wield the powerful magic known as Chaos, a magic that he himself is still learning to master. All the while, they must remain vigilant against a secret organization within the Ministry that will do anything to prevent the return of Chaos.


As foretold by an ancient prophecy, the human army must face and defeat their ancient enemy on the Tantarri Plains. For if they fail, all will be lost.


 
Here is an excerpt from THE BURIED SYMBOL. This is a short scene that takes place after Brock and his friend Tipper take refuge in a cave when a rain storm interrupts their journey to the Academy.
 
A noise woke Brock, who sat up to find his clothes still damp. He rubbed the crust from his eyes and blinked to shake the cobwebs from his brain.
Recognizing his surroundings, he remembered the cave they had found to escape the rain. Early morning light emanated from the entrance, shedding light on Tipper, who lay asleep beside him. In the dim light, Brock noticed something near Tipper.
He leaned close to get a better look, finding bones he hadn’t noticed in the dark of night. Near the bones, rows of four parallel lines marked the surface of the rock. His chest constricted as he realized that something lived here, something large.
A howl echoed in the forest outside the cave.
Brock urgently shook Tipper.
“What? What’s happening?” Tipper blurted, sitting up in confusion.
“Shh.” Brock whispered. “Be quiet. There’s something out there.”
Tipper rubbed his eyes. “Huh? What are you talking about?”
A shadow eclipsed the light at the mouth of the cave. As Brock turned toward the entrance, his breath caught in his throat.
Against the light of the morning sky, the silhouette of a massive four-legged creature blocked the opening. Whatever it was, they were in its home and it was angry.
A low growl sounded, its ferocity rumbling in the small cave. The boys backed away, and Brock stumbled when he collided with a boulder near the rear of the cave. He scrambled to his feet as his mind raced. The beast blocked the only exit. Like the banshee attack at Glowridge Pass, they were trapped in a hopeless situation with no way out. His mind drifted back to that event and he reacted.
Brock scooped a bone from the cave floor and began scraping a symbol on the boulder: the same rune he had drawn on Hank.
The creature stepped forward, and Brock noticed the beast’s eyes, glowing an angry red. The smell of wet animal filled the cave, mixing with the smell of fear from Brock and Tipper.
Spurred by desperation, Brock closed his eyes and began pushing with his will. He felt the same force as last time, just beyond himself. Pushing harder, he latched onto it and his body grew flush with hot energy. A storm raged within, threatening to destroy him. He opened his eyes and poured the energy into the rune. It glowed bright red, pulsing as the boulder began to shake.
Brock backed from the advancing creature into the rear of the cave, against Tipper’s cowering form.
The boulder suddenly burst. Bits of rock pelted him, cutting hands held up to protect his face from the beast. The creature leapt back from the blast, dozens of small shards hitting its face and body. It growled in rage. Brock lowered his throbbing hand to see what had happened.
The boulder moved toward the beast. The round headless body of the rock advanced on four legs made of stone, emitting crunching and grinding sounds with each movement.
The hairy beast attacked, swinging vicious swipes with its huge paws. Sharp claws scraped the hard surface of the living boulder and bounced off harmlessly. The beast backed away, but the boulder continued to advance.
The beast attacked again, with little result as the boulder relentlessly forced it backwards. Suddenly, animal was outside, its red eyes squinting in the pale light of pre-dawn. It made one last swipe and then bolted.
The boulder turned the corner to give chase, one leg stepping over the edge, and it disappeared. The rumbling and crunching sound of a small rockslide followed as it tumbled away.
The cave became silent.
“What in the blazes? Brock, what did you do?” Tipper shouted. “What was that thing? What’s happening?”
“I don’t know!” Brock yelled back. He was breathing heavily, trying to calm himself. “I don’t know, Tipper. I had to do something, and it just came to me. I don’t know what it is.”
“It’s like what happened with Hank. You did it again with that big rock,” Tipper said.
“Yeah. I know,” Brock replied. “I wish I knew what it was, but I don’t.”
Brock grabbed his pack and headed toward the entrance. “Let’s get out of here before that thing comes back.”
Stepping outside the cave, he looked down. The rock-thing lay at the bottom of the outcropping, its legs broken off with the pieces still twitching. A shiver went down Brock’s spine.
“That’s creepy,” Tipper said.

Nodding, Brock began to climb down as the first rays of morning sun streaked across the valley.


About the Author
Jeffrey L. Kohanek grew up in rural Minnesota, where comic books sparked his young imagination and inspired fantasies of heroes with super-powers saving the day. His tastes later evolved to fantasy epics, featuring unlikely heroes overcoming impossible odds to save worlds born from the writer’s imagination.

Now residing in southern California, Jeff uses that imagination to weave tales of engaging characters caught in fantastic plots to inspire young adults and the child within us all. His first book series, The Runes of Issalia, began in May 2016 and will conclude in Spring 2017.

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Reading progress update: I've read 41%.

Gilded Cage - Vic James

I am not really sure yet if I like this book or not. The beginning of the book started out very interesting, but not exciting has really happened as of yet. Luke's part of the story is pretty interesting, but not on his sister's part of the story.

I am really hoping it starts to get more interesting soon, or I don't know if I will be able to finish the book. 

I do feel sorry for Luke, and I am liking the friends he is starting to meet, and I love that his part of the rebellion. I think that if it doesn't getting interesting at 50% then I will probably just read Luke's part of the story. 

SpotLight and Excerpt for Book Tour I am Involved in.

Sonora: And The Eye of the Titans - T. S. Hall

Sonora and the Eye of the Titans
T.S. Hall
Publication date: January 14th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

The King is dead, and the capital city of Titanis has fallen. The world of Sonora is at war, and the only hope against the onslaught of the Titan army lies with the last royal descendant of Zeus, who is being covertly sheltered on Earth in the secluded mountain town of Sandy, Oregon.

Allora is a shy, intelligent sixteen-year-old, trying to get through the gauntlet of high school while coming to terms with her otherworldly origins. After getting into a fight at soccer tryouts, Allora’s emotions boil over, and her hands suddenly burst into flames. She has harnessed the power of hadrons at the highest level, but at extreme cost. The magical outburst projects an energy signature that is detected by a group of assassins tasked with killing Sonoran rebels.

To survive, Allora, Katie, Dax, and Tanner must find a powerful ancient artifact known as the Eye of the Titans. With the help of a guardian known as Sasquatch, they will have to fight off creatures, solve complex riddles, and navigate magical caverns, all while enduring advanced calculus, jealous girlfriends, and prom.

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Author Bio:

I’m a writer, skier, and wanderer. I grew up in Portland, Oregon, but currently live in the beautiful mountain resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho. I love history, mythology, and the fantastical interpretations that have been incorporated in my debut young adult urban fantasy series called Sonora.

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Excerpt 

 
 
 
“Allora,” Katie snapped, “we don’t have much time. It’s imperative that you follow my directions.” Her eyes were wide and confident, as if a military commander had taken over.
“I can’t find it!” Dax said, frantically throwing junk out of the back of the Bronco.
“Shut up, shut up, shut uuuuuuuuuup,” Jenny seethed. 
A dark, shadowy figure leapt from high above the crowd and landed right on the hood of Jenny’s car with such force that the windows exploded outward like a bursting bubble.
That is a rover!” Katie said, charging toward the strange creature.
Allora squinted in the firelight to get a look at it. The rover was small, only a few feet high, with scaly, dark, greenish-brown skin, like a reptile’s. Its eyes were golden with vertical, cat-like irises. After briefly surveying the chaotic scramble of humans, the creature grinned, baring sharp, pointed teeth. 
Before Allora could move, Jenny knocked her over, attempting to escape. From the rocky ground, Allora noticed Katie pulling knives from her waist as she charged the creature. Dax found the handle of a short stick and pulled it from the bed of his pickup just as the creature sprang forward and hit him in the chest. Dax flew limply across the quarry, into a pile of dirt. 
Before the creature could mount another attack, Katie pulled back a knife, gripping the steel blade with her thumb and forefinger, and flung the weapon toward the rover. With a glistening flash, her blade slashed through the crisp air, striking the creature in the side, sending it flying off the gravel lip at the quarry edge. A high-pitched squeal trailed into the night, followed by a chorus of earsplitting screeches from the valley depths.
Suddenly, an identical creature flew over the line of cars. It sprang forward and struck Jenny in the back with such force that it propelled her forward, hurling her into the road, where she crashed headfirst into the hard dirt, knocked unconscious. 
The creature crawled along her back, maliciously pulled her head by her hair, and placed its palm on her forehead. The firelight revealed a lanky, reptilian creature with a long, skinny torso, razor-sharp teeth, and five locks of hair pulled back against its flat skull. Unhappy with its prey, the creature picked up a rock and raised it above Jenny’s head.
 
 
 




Finished

The Buried Symbol (The Runes of Issalia Book 1) - Jeffrey L. Kohanek

I just finished the book, review will be coming in a couple of days!!! 

Pretty awesome start of a Series!!!!

A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas

I would have to say I really think this series is going to take me on a very interesting and awesome adventure. I would have to say my favorite character was Rhysand, what can I say I really love a bad boy. I also felt more chemistry between him and Feyre than Feyre and Tamlin. I thought Tamlin did really care for Feyre though. I did see some chemistry between them through but just not as much.

I do have to say it did start off pretty slowly for me but once Feyre has to go with Tamlin things started to really pick up.  I thought Amarantha fit the part of a witch perfectly. I also really loved Lucien. And I also loved Nesta as well.

I was really happy with how things ended and can't wait to read book 2 and 3, as soon as I catch up with a few other books. 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 187 out of 400 pages.

RoseBlood - Howard A. DeWitt

I really wanted to love this book, but I just couldn't get into it. I got too page 187 but just had to give up because I knew this book wasn't going to do it for me. Nothing was really happening and I was just so freaking bored. I gave the book 2 stars through, one because I did like the main characters. The second reason is that I did read the last three chapters, so I could see how it ended. I thought that part deserved another star.

Things I didn't like is that nothing  really excited me enough to make me want to finish this book, and because like I said above I was really bored. 

Book Tour Review that I am Involved with.

Memortality - Stephen H. Provost

Memortality
Stephen H. Provost
Publication date: February 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal

Minerva Rus can raise the dead. And it might get her killed.

Minerva’s life has never been the same since the childhood car accident that paralyzed her and killed her best friend, Raven. But when the long-dead Raven reappears in her life, now as a very attractive grown man, she discovers that her photographic memory has the power to bring the dead back to life … heal her paralysis … and shape reality itself.

Pursued by a rogue government agent who wants to eliminate her and her talents, Minerva must learn to control her powers to save herself and Raven. Because if she dies, he dies as well―again.

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My Review

The topic of this book was very interesting, and I really liked Minerva. I really also love Raven the love interest and Min's best friend. I really enjoyed some parts of the book but there parts I didn't like. The parts I liked, some I mentioned above. The main thing I didn't like was the way the book ended. I just didn't care for the ending at all, even though I am sure there are people that will love the ending. There were things that I just didn't understand. Another thing I did like was Min's brother and how he reacted at what happened at the end of the book. In regards to the last scene with them too. 

While I didn't like this book as well as some other books I read lately, I am really glad I asked to take part in the tour for this book. So thanks to all parties involved that let me come along for the ride. 

 

Excerpt

Minerva (2016)
“The accident is a lie.”
“What do you mean? You keep saying that.”
The face staring back at her was the same one she remembered from all those years ago. Kind, caring, patient. But older now. The playful smile the boy had once worn had vanished behind a mask she couldn’t seem to penetrate now that he was a man. She hadn’t seen him for years, but this was how she’d always imagined he’d look all grown up: the soft brown eyes, the pale complexion just brushed by a touch of sunshine, the auburn hair unkempt and uncut, cascading down across his left eye. She’d always stared at that; it distracted her. And he’d always noticed, brushing it back the moment she became aware of it.
His brow lowered slightly, as if to say, “You’re staring.” But he said nothing. Even the words he did speak seemed silent to her somehow, as if she were in a dream …
She moaned in her sleep and tried to turn her body, but the vice grip held her, the paralysis that had been with her since the accident.
In her dream, concern flitted across his face, apparent even in the dim glow of the candle that burned beside her bed. Its light had always comforted her, and at times, she’d stared into the flame as it flickered for moments on end, imagining she was a part of it. The thought of that soothed her, one of the few things in this world that did.
“Stay with me,” he said, his tone resolute.
“I can’t move,” she protested.
“Yes, you can. All you have to do is remember how you felt before all this. Before the accident and the lies it’s telling you.”
“You’re the liar,” she whispered, her voice whispered venom.
He looked hurt now, and pulled away from her, that resolve appearing to evaporate at the sound of her voice. In the same moment, he seemed farther away, the reflected candlelight that had danced in his eyes a few moments earlier now a fading glow that illumined little more than his forehead and the tip of his nose.
“I’m telling you the truth,” he said, but she could barely hear him. A part of her wanted to believe what he was saying. Not a part – all of her. But in the instant she acknowledged that desire, she was aware it could not be.
She tried to turn her body again.
Nothing.
Her jaw clenched tight, and she began to tremble with the effort.
“Not that way,” he said.
“Then … how!” Her voice was louder than she intended, and he pulled away further into the shadows.
“Wait,” she said, softening her tone. “Don’t go. You have to tell me … about the accident.”
“It’s not important now,” he said, moving forward slightly again, into the candlelight.
“Not important? Then how do you explain this?” She nearly spat the words at him, and he averted his eyes.
“See?” she said. “You can’t even bear to look at me. If the accident didn’t happen, how did I get like this?
He sat up straighter and held her gaze again, his eyes locking on hers so that, this time, it was she who wished to glance away. But he held her there by force of will. “Min, you’re beautiful.”
No one ever called her that but him.

 

Author Bio:

Stephen H. Provost is an author of paranormal adventures and historical non-fiction. "Memortality," his debut title on Linden Publishing's new fiction imprint, Pace Press, is due out in February 2017 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

An editor and columnist with more than 30 years of experience as a journalist, he has written on subjects as diverse as history, religion, politics and language and has served as an editor for fiction and non-fiction projects. His book "Fresno Growing Up," a history of Fresno, California, during the postwar years, is available on Craven Street Books, and his next non-fiction work, scheduled for release in June of 2017, will examine the history of U.S. Highway 99 in California.

In addition, the author has published several books as Stifyn Emrys, beginning in 2012 with "The Gospel of the Phoenix" and also including the nonfiction works "The Way of the Phoenix" and "Undefeated." He also has published three works of fiction: "Feathercap" (children's); "Identity Break," (young adult science fiction/adventure) and an accompanying novella, "Artifice."

The author served as editor of four young adult novels: the "Mad World" series by Samaire Provost - "EPIDEMIC," "SANCTUARY" and "DESPERATION" - and the award-winning "Lorehnin: A Novel of the Otherworld," Volume 6 in the Otherworld series by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson. He has worked in journalism as a news editor, sports editor and reporter for four daily newspapers in California, and is currently managing editor for an award-winning weekly, The Cambrian. He has worked as an educator and has been featured at occasional speaking engagements.

He lives on the California coast with his wife, stepson, cats (Tyrion Fluffybutt and Allie Twinkletail) and dogs.

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The Waterfall Traveler: Book 1 - S.J. Lem, Aaron S. Kaiserman

The Waterfall Traveler
S.J. Lem
Publication date: April 19th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

All eighteen-year-old Ri wants is to cure her adoptive father Samuel from his hallucination-inducing illness. Everyone in her village tells her it’s impossible. But when she meets two newcomers in the forest—a gruff rogue with a vendetta against the gods and a charming fugitive who saves her life—she’ll be torn away from Samuel and swept across the sea to an oppressive city governed by a ruthless tyrant. Once there, she’ll not only have to confront Samuel’s unlawful past, but a vicious evil that threatens all mankind.

In this tale of bravery, friendship, and unforeseen love, Ri risks it all to save those she cares for. But if she prevails, she’ll find the one thing she yearns for most—a cure for Samuel.

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Author Bio:

S.J. Lem is a digital art director gone writer in hopes of expanding her creative aspirations. Whether it’s introducing dimensional characters, crafting imaginative worlds, or transporting readers into high-stakes adventures, she strives to deliver an immersive experience.

She lives in Chicago with her husband and son. When not writing, she enjoys pottery, gardening, and volunteering. Connecting with readers and fellow writers is one of her greatest joys.

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