Hello, fellow bloggers! I am excited and getting revved up, ready to launch Jagged Feathers on February 1st, and am looking for a few blog tour hosts.
I’ve listed all available dates below. If any of these would work for you to host me, I would be most grateful! I will provide all the blog content, and if you know me at all, you know I will interact with each comment on the blog, as well as share it everywhere.
**ALL THE DATES ARE NOW FILLED. I CAN GO OVER INTO MARCH A FEW DAYS IF NEEDED.** THANK YOU!!
Feb 8 Marcia Meara
Feb 11 Darlene Foster
Feb 15 Robbie Cheadle
Feb 17 Mary Morgan
Feb 18 Karen Ingalls
Feb 22 Aurora Jean Alexander
Feb 23 Jacquie Biggar
Feb 25 Pat Garcia
Feb 28 Erika Kind
March 1 Robert Fear
You can leave your date preference in the comments or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For this tour, I’ve upgraded from the train and gypsy wagon. I needed something more streamlined and efficient, so I’ve commandeered this jet.
Fellow Wild Rose Press author, Amber Daulton, has a new release that I am super thrilled to show you! This sounds like a compelling read. But I’ll let her tell you about it!
About the book:
Lies. Betrayal. A million-dollar bounty. After an undercover mission goes awry, DEA agent Jarrett Brandt hides out in the last place he wants to be—his hometown. Now he’s stuck with his judgmental parents and the memory of his perfect brother hanging over his head. His one bright light? Marissa Reinn Brandt—his high school sweetheart and former sister-in-law. Marissa lost Jarrett once before. No way will she let him back in; then her son offers him their guestroom. His wicked charm and smoldering stares are hard to resist, but she’ll make him work to reclaim his spot in her bed. When his enemies close in, how will Jarrett keep Marissa and her son safe, or will he lose his shot at redemption? Want to find out how this second-chance couple will keep strong when Jarrett’s past follows him home? This sexy, roller-coaster ride of a novella will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Marissa grabbed her plate and headed to the kitchen. How would she get through this? Better yet, how would she console her son when Jarrett left? Footsteps resounded softly behind her. The hair on her nape rose. She stuffed her plate in the trashcan and scowled at the source of her problems.
“I’m sorry. If staying here will be an inconvenience, I’ll tell Jason I can’t.”
“He’ll blame me.”
“No, I’ll say I have to go back to San Francisco for work or Montana for the ski trip. He’ll understand.”
She barked a laugh. “Have you lost your mind? He’ll scream and beg you to stay. Once you leave, he’ll cry for hours.”
“Marissa, what do you want from me? I can’t stay forever. I don’t want to hurt him—or you—I swear it, but I will leave. It’s only a matter of when, not if.”
She grasped the counter to keep steady. “I know that. Jason and I are not good enough reasons for you to give up the life you’ve built in California, and I would never ask it. I’ll understand when you go, but Jason won’t, not that it’s any of your concern. I’ll deal with his pain when the time comes.”
He cursed. “You sure know how to make a man feel like shit.”
“That’s not my intention.”
“Doesn’t change the facts.” He grabbed his phone from his pants pocket. “Am I staying here or not?”
If only she could toss him out on his ass. “You’re staying.”
“Okay. I’ll call my boss and let him know your address.”
“Fine. I’ll show you to the guestroom when you’re ready.”
Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through Daulton Publishing, The Wild Rose Press, and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats.
I am SO excited to share my blog space with C.S. Boyack today! He has a brand new release, the final book in the epic high-seas fantasy trilogy. I have read both the Voyage of The Lanternfish and the HMS Lanternfish and highly recommend them! I am currently knee-deep into the Wreck of The Lanternfish and again, highly recommend this entire series! I also recommend you start with book 1, then devour the entire series! Think of it as binge-watching a riveting Netflix series. 🙂 Seriously, these three books would make a fabulous Netflix series. Maybe someday!
Thank you for letting me borrow your space today, Jan. I have a new book out called Wreck of theLanternfish. This is the concluding volume of the Lanternfish Trilogy. Unlike my other series, this one almost has to be read in order.
Today, I want to talk about one of the more popular characters in the books. Serang has evolved into a co-main character. She was raised in a monastery system by monks who taught her to read and write, and also fight like a Kung Fu master.
She found herself in charge of a disgraced army of warriors from the country of Giapon. In the last volume, they were inserted into the war between Hollish and Prelonia with the sole mission of finding the mysterious Fulminites and destroying them if possible.
The Fulminites are no pushovers, their members make up the Black Assassins as well as the exploding monks. They are the real power behind the Hollish throne and the driving force behind the war.
Serang’s warriors are mistrusted by both sides, including the one they’re supporting. They’re so different than anything this continent has seen. From their Eastern features and dress, to their way of fighting and warfare. This part of the world has never seen anything like them.
To fulfill her captain’s orders, Serang will have to cross the wilderness and avoid anyone who might mistrust or betray them. She’s also going to have to face the ghosts of her own past, of the purging of the temple system that made her an outlaw in the first place.
Perform your morning meditations and stretches. Sharpen up your guandao, and join Serang as she hunts the Fulminites in ‘Wreck of the Lanternfish.’
James Cuttler created a peaceful spot for he and his wife to settle down. Far from the war that ravages their homeland, far from the reputation he earned as the notorious pirate Captain Bloodwater, and far from responsibility.
A royal Prelonian houseguest is a constant reminder of what’s at stake half a world away, of the friends he put ashore to fight the war. He lives in a dream world that’s temporary, at best. It’s only a matter of time before his guest is identified and the black assassins come for her.
He mortgages his precious vineyard to pay for repairs to his ship. If nothing else, Lanternfish will be one of the most powerful ships in the war, if he’s not already too late.
James will have to merge the skills of commander and con man into something new to make this work. He’ll need to avoid those on his own side who would hang him for piracy.
Serang is half a world away, leading her army of mercenary swordsmen toward the Fulminites. Mistrusted by both sides of the war, she appears as a third combatant on the battlefield. She may eliminate the mysterious order, only to succumb to the demons of her own tragic past.
Strap on your swords and hoist the colors one more time as the thrilling Lanternfish Trilogy comes to an end.
I am thrilled to welcome my friend and fellow author, Yvette Calleiro, to my blog today. She has a brand new YA book out that deals with some pretty tough social issues. But I’ll let her tell you about it.
On Writing a Foreword
I first wrote Hype about ten years ago. It was the second book I had ever written, and it needed major revising (not that I knew it at the time). I tried to get it traditionally published and was not successful, but one publisher did provide me with a few suggestions on ways to improve the story. Hype took a spot on the forgotten shelf for the next decade as I wrote my Diasodz series. Ignored but not forgotten. I knew Cici’s story had to be shared, but I wanted to make sure it was well-received when I gave it to the world.
When I finally decided to revise the story, I felt it was missing an introduction of sorts. When the reader first meets Cici, she has quite an intense personality. She’s quite sure of herself and doesn’t hold anything back. Her voice is strong with a splash of attitude (maybe more than a splash). Some readers may be turned off by such a strong character, and I didn’t want a reader to put the book down before they got to know the real her.
Nowadays, readers want the action to happen on page one, but this story builds up to horrors a bit more slowly. So, a foreword made sense to me. I chose to introduce Cici as a grown adult through an introductory letter. Here it is:
Time is constantly progressing. It stops for no one. It doesn’t slow for one to further enjoy a moment, nor does it quicken to allow one to forget a difficult time. It treks along on its own constant path, oblivious to our requests.
As with time, our lives are always moving forward. And with time comes experiences that forever shape the people who we are. Every moment, every minute, and every second carries with it a choice that affects which path we will follow. It molds the person we become.
People do not stand before you now without being a collection of their past experiences and the choices they made as a result of those moments. To truly understand someone, you must open yourself up to understand the particles of time that have formed a person’s soul.
It is with these words I find the courage to share with you my story. I am whole today, but there was a time when I was broken. To truly understand, you must understand my story from the girl I once was before my path was forever changed.
Do not ridicule my innocence. Do not mock my naivety. Try not to judge me, like I judged others. Allow my voice to integrate into your mind without prejudice so you can truly hear my story. Then maybe you will understand.
Cecilia M. Gonzalez
My hope is that this will allow the readers to accept Cici as she is in her teen years, flaws and all. The voice in this letter does not match the voice in chapter one. Cici is living a great life when the story opens. As her life falls apart, her voice will change because tragedy changes all parts of a person, including her voice.
This is my first book with a foreword. My other works do not have one. I’m not sure I’d write one again, but for this story, it doesn’t feel complete without it. I’d love to hear your thoughts on using a foreword to introduce a story. Do you appreciate them or do you tend to skip right over them?
To follow along with the rest of the Hype tour, please visit the author’s blog. Thanks for supporting Yvette M Calleiro and her work!
Yvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels. She spends most of her time pseudo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). When she’s living among real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over twenty years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.
Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her incredible son who has embraced her love for paranormal and adventurous stories. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.
I recently became acquainted with this author and find him to be not only a prolific writer but a super creative human. He has a brand new release, Descent Into Ulthoa, that I’m excited to share with you today. But, I’m going to let him tell you about it. Take it away, Gordon!
Thank you, Jan, for letting me visit your blog to tell your readers about my new book.
Is solving a mystery always worth the cost?
Ten years ago, a man and his girlfriend went into the woods at the end of Claver Road on what was supposed to be a weekend’s camping trip, and never returned. Police combed the area, but nothing was found except for his car, abandoned where they’d parked it. It seemed like Brad Ellicott and Cara Marshall had been swallowed by the silent, brooding forest, leaving not a trace of what had happened or nor any clues as to where they went.
His identical twin brother, left to mourn his loss, has spent the last decade unable to let go of his grief, to accept that Brad and Cara are gone forever. Based on sinister hints from a few of the older residents of the quaint, picture-postcard village of Guildford, New York, only fifteen miles from where the woods start, he discovers that there might be more to the story than the disappearance of a couple of hikers. The forest the locals call Devil’s Glen has had an evil reputation for well over a century, and his brother and his girlfriend are not the first people to defy the warnings and brave the shadows under the trees—nor the first to vanish there.
Becoming obsessed with discovering what happened to his brother, he delves deeper and deeper into the mystery that lies beyond the end of Claver Road, and he uncovers a terrifying truth that challenges everything he believes. Is the knowledge worth the cost? And will he get the answers he needs before the forest claims him as its next victim?
Inspired by the classic fiction of H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe, Descent into Ulthoa brings you on a journey into a world of atmospheric horror. Full of twists and turns, this book will draw you down a dark path where you truly will never be able to anticipate what’s around the next bend.
The author, Gordon Bonnet, has lived in upstate New York—near a village bearing a marked resemblance to Guildford—for thirty years, where he taught science and critical thinking in a rural high school. When he’s not writing, he usually can be found running, playing music, making pottery, or playing with his dogs.
Thank you for hosting me today, Jan. There’s a lot to be said for crossing the pond “on a magic carpet” in these difficult times. I’m here to launch my first crime thriller, Shattered Lives, and the first thing I want to say is it is true escapism. I’ve ignored Covid19 – in the book! I am double-jabbed, and crossing my fingers, in reality.
Escapism with a serial killer? Maybe. This is a five-star Amazon review.
Callianne: A Very Different “Killer-Thriller”!
I loved the way the first murder happened right at the start, though it’s scary being inside the mind of a psychopath. Shattered Lives has a complex plot, and knowing who the killer was, and his real target made it truly enthralling.
Ralph Thyme, an addicted gambler, and his wealthy grandmother’s only acknowledged heir, discovers he has an elder sister, Olivia, who was sold at birth. Suppose Olivia discovers her true identity and claims half the inheritance he craves? How far will he go to eliminate the threat?
Olivia escaped childhood sexual abuse. Despite horrific memories, nightmares, and fear, she is determined to save a stranger’s little girl from the same fate, and the solution she offers takes all her courage… and then some.
DCI Croft investigates a heinous case of rape, murder, and mutilation. Next to die, are a private detective and his pretty daughter… and then another woman… and another. Can DCI Croft identify and capture a psychopathic killer hell-bent on eliminating anyone who stands in his way before he murders his sister… or is it already too late for Olivia?
Excerpt featuring the serial killer.
Ralph was bored and frustrated; Sykes Gambling Club was closed for the installation of new machines, and he had problems to solve before he killed again. He wandered out into the garden. It would all be his soon, and when it was, he’d have a fully-glazed shelter built at the highest point – what the fuck were two of the gardeners doing?
‘Hold it higher than that, Lofty.’
‘Sod yer, I kent ’elp bein’ short. What’s this ’ere trellis for anyroad? This ’ere fence ’ides the rubbish bins from the windas.’
‘It’s a new support to train Sweet Pea plants. Dame Edith likes the flowers for the house.’
‘In autumn? Pull t’other one.’
‘Lift up, blast it, and keep it still while I tie it in place.’
He stopped listening. If Ralph Thyme wanted to keep a girl’s wrists together, those ties would do the trick. He approached quietly and grabbed a handful. If the men ran out, so what? Grandmother wasn’t coming home to stink the place out with flowers.
Back indoors, smugness faded. He’d seen how the ties were used, but he hadn’t expected them to be so stiff. No woman would hold her wrists together and wait! Then there was the hooker who’d screamed. Suppose one of the slags in the flat below had taken a night off and heard her? Would a scarf make a good gag? November had arrived with cold winds, so a woman wouldn’t be spooked by him wearing one. He pulled a selection out of his drawer. How much sound would penetrate cashmere? Was wool the best material? He opened drawers where some of Grandmother’s clothes were still stored. Useless female colours… except one.
Kicking his bedroom door closed, he scowled. He still didn’t know which to choose. He could try it on himself and bellow loudly – and have Mrs. Sharnbrook overhear if it didn’t work and send men to disable a mythical attacker? He could wait until she went out…
Mrs. Sharnbrook shopped personally sometimes, but the house was never empty and choosing an innocent item that worked as a gag was urgent. His cock gave him no peace and his hands itched to kill. He was holding scarves against the light to assess their density when Candice walked in with coffee.
‘Shall I ask Auntie to turn up the radiator thingy, sir?’
Trust Candice not to remember it was called a thermostat. The half-wit would forget him experimenting on her with scarves; if she did and said anything, nobody would believe her. It was risky, putting his hands near that long slender neck.
‘Sir, I could light the fire.’
Drivel, drivel! It was her life on the line unless he got satisfaction elsewhere. ‘I’m not cold now, Candice. I’m trying to decide which scarf is the warmest for when I go out.’
‘They all look warm, sir. I haven’t got a scarf, but I only go to the bins with rubbish.’
‘You shall choose one of mine if you help me with an experiment, Candice.’
‘Ooh, yes, sir. What’s an experiment?’
‘A way of –’ she wouldn’t understand “establishing facts” – ‘finding out something. If I tie a scarf over your mouth, and you shout, I’ll know which one is the thickest.’
Candice still looked baffled. ‘Yes, sir.’
The first two scarves allowed him to hear “is that right, sir”. He said nothing, so she was sure to have shouted louder, and the third scarf smothered her words. ‘Well done, Candice. Now, which scarf would you like?’
She pointed at the purple one that belonged to Grandmother. ‘That one, please, sir.’
It wouldn’t be missed by its owner, but it might be noticed. ‘Tell Auntie that Dame Edith said I could give it to you, or you’ll be in trouble.’
Candice shivered. ‘Yes, sir, I will.’
The half-wit feared Auntie, but silence from a victim was assured. Using the ties must be done quickly, and he had a girl here to practise on, but he’d already rewarded her. ‘Candice, do you have nice warm gloves?’
‘No, sir. My hands get sore every winter.’
‘I could buy you a pair, but I’d need to know the right size and… and not everyone’s wrists are a pair.’
‘A pair, sir?’
God, this was difficult. ‘Hold out both hands close together.’
‘Like this, sir?’
‘Perfect, Candice. Now, keep very still while I use my special measuring gadget.’ It took him far too long to wrap it around her wrists and slip the pointed end into the hole. ‘Ah! I need to practise, or the gloves might not fit.’
‘It’s a queer looking thing, sir. Will it hurt if it gets tighter?’
‘I suppose it might, but I won’t let it.’ At his sixth attempt, he applied one in a few seconds, and it locked. ‘Got it!’
‘Got what, sir?’
He pressed the tab and released her. ‘The correct size for your gloves.’
It was dark when he strolled down the steep hill to Garton North underground station debating whether to get off a train at a stop in Garton Central or travel on to Garton South. The second was where he’d found hookers, but he wanted a woman the Garton Gazette would write articles about, and half their readers probably thought hookers deserved anything they got, so another murdered would only get mentioned to up the victim count.
Amongst the crowd emerging from the station was a girl wearing a fur coat with a matching hat and gloves, and high-heeled shoes. Blonde hair flowed from beneath the hat and over her collar. She was perfect, and she was alone. Any second, a husband or father would arrive to pick her up; she was hovering almost on the kerb looking to her left.
He pretended to light a cigarette. She waited, tapping now and then at a mobile she produced from her handbag.
Another crowd of passengers swarmed from the station and took the waiting taxies. The girl stamped a foot, thrust the mobile into her pocket, and set off at a brisk walk. He followed, keeping to the opposite side of the road and watching for a darkened shop doorway deep enough to hide them both.
Five-Star Readers’ Favorite Review by Anne-Marie Reynolds
Shattered Lives by Sarah Stuart is a fascinating thriller that delves deep into two storylines: the mind of a psychopath and that of a sexual abuse survivor who must save another from the same fate to heal herself. It isn’t a story for younger readers or the faint-hearted: child sexual abuse, necrophilia, and graphic violence are just part of the substantial subject matter. This story delves into how a psychopath functions and what makes them tick, leading you down some dark paths through a truly twisted mind. It also guides you on a journey of discovery through the eyes of a child sex abuse survivor, more dark paths that eventually lead to the light. Shattered Lives is a gripping tale that will hold your heart in a vise while you read it, and it will have you turning the pages deep into the night.
It is with great pleasure that I host a fellow Story Empire author today on my blog with her newest book release! D.L. Finn is not only a talented writer but an inspired one. I’ll let her tell you about her newest creation!
I’ve lived in the forest for thirty-one years. A couple of years ago, I had an experience that I shared through my poetry.
It was a beautiful mountain morning, and I was enjoying the warm sun while standing on our deck. I took that moment to appreciate my surroundings when I heard a sound. My first thought was it was a radio or someone singing. Puzzled, I looked around to see where this was coming from.
I quickly established it wasn’t the usual music my husband played in our garage, and it wasn’t from the other homes nestled in the woods. The hum was coming from below where I was standing. My attention was drawn toward a patch of orange flowers where the perfectly pitched “La-la-la” floated to me. Then, a bee flew away, and the song stopped.
In that moment I was positive a bee had just sung to me, and then later I wondered if an angel had been present. I never knew what I had experienced that day, other than something special had just happened.
When I started working on Tree Fairies, a knowing flowed through me. It hadn’t been a bee or an angel like I first thought singing—it was a fairy! The fairies wanted their tale told, and magic visited that day to remind my inner child of that.
Fun Finn Facts
1. I believe magic and miracles exist. They communicate with our souls.
2. I’ve selected the path to happiness instead of collecting “things.”
When reality and magic meet in the forest
It’s 1969, and twelve-year-old Daniel Burns is camping in the redwood forest with his family. Danny wants to listen to his music and read, but his family has other plans. S’mores around the campfire and stories end their first day. The family is sleeping soundly in their secluded tent when Danny wakes up and finds his sister, Colette, is missing. Assuming she went to use the outhouse, he goes after her. When he finds his sister, they discover there is a thin veil between reality and fantasy.
Two bonus short stories offer a glimpse into the magical world that finds Danny and Colette. These hidden beings not only share our world but have a role in protecting their forest.
Roselle stopped midair to admire the pink, orange, yellow, purple, and red that filtered through the redwood forest as the sunset. She carefully scanned the area to make sure no one was watching, and then, with a huge grin, she dove into a double roll.
Her twirling skidded to a halt when an older fairy from the school office flew directly under her. Her always-braided gray hair had yellow flowers woven in like she was meeting someone special. The fairy made a sharp turn and shot out of sight without acknowledging Roselle’s childish frolicking.
Roselle couldn’t hold back a smile. It was hard to contain her exuberance because the forest was the best place to live. Everything about the redwood trees was amazing. They made tannin, a natural insect repellent that gave them that wonderful red tone and protected them from fires.
The only downside to a smaller number of insects was fewer birds, which she loved the most. The bright yellow Wilson’s warbler was her favorite. They added so much color to the deep green forest, and the male had a little black cap that she found endearing. Right now, her warblers and many others were on their way south as fall left summer behind, which also meant they would have winter bird visitors soon.
She found the year-round birds, the great horned owl and red-tailed hawk, beautiful but annoying. Those birds could ruin a peaceful moment like this. Both seemed to forget fairies weren’t their meals. Roselle reminded them with a powerful jolt that felt like a mini lightning strike. It didn’t hurt them, but they didn’t like it, either.
Her carefree moment quickly passed when she flew by her school. She sighed deeply and headed for the forest floor. “Darn paper’s due tomorrow. Why did I wait to write it?”
The paper stood between her and the upcoming fall break. It was normally a time when she could roam the forest uninterrupted and take in the deciduous trees as they burst into red, orange, and yellow. However, this break wouldn’t be the same without her human friends, Wren and Sierra. Roselle missed their company and all their silly jokes, including the ones about her putting off getting things done.
Sierra would say, “If they had an award for procrastination, you’d win first place.”
Wren would add, “But you’d be late and miss the ceremony.”
Okay, maybe she did put things off until the last moment and might be late for school now and then, but at least, at some point, it all got done. When Wren and Sierra left for college two months ago, it was like she lost a part of herself.
D. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include adult fiction, poetry, a unique autobiography, and children’s books. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.
I am super excited about the new release from my fellow Story Empire writer, Joan Hall! I can’t wait to read this one as I loved the prequel! But I’ll let Joan tell you about it.
Thank you, Jan. I’m excited to be here to talk about my newest release. Cold Dark Night is the first novel of my Legends of Madeira series. Each book begins with a historical event that ties to modern-day. Today I’m going to talk about the musical inspiration behind the book.
I like silence when I’m writing, but music often inspires me to write. Cold Dark Night was partially inspired by a song. Growing up in a music-loving family with a brother twelve years my senior made me appreciate the song of the sixties as much as (maybe more) than those of “my time,” the 1970s.
One of the albums my brother often listened to was The Band’s first solo album, Music From Big Pink. Among the songs that stood out for me was “Long Black Veil.” The idea of someone singing from the grave about his own death intrigued me. First recorded in 1959 by Lefty Frizzell, several artists have recorded the song, but The Band’s version has always been my favorite.
“Long Black Veil” inspired the opening chapters of Cold Dark Night. The circumstances between my character Adam McLaury and the person in the song differ somewhat, but those familiar with the words will recognize some similarities.
In the following passage, Lillian McLaury visits her husband in jail. He’s awaiting execution for murdering a man on the streets of Madeira.
“I’m not sure I even want to live if you’re gone.” Lillian hung her head.
“Don’t talk like that. Isaac needs you. So does our unborn baby. You’re still young. Much too young to pine away. Someday you might meet someone else. If you do, it’s okay. And one day, in another life, we’ll be together again.”
She straightened, then wiped the tears from her eyes. “You believe that?”
“Of course, I do. I’m prepared to die. I can go to my grave with a clear conscience, knowing I’ve done nothing wrong. There’s one other thing I ask of you.”
“What is it?”
“Find the person responsible. See to it justice is served.”
“I promise to do everything I can.”
“That’s all I ask. And don’t give up. I’m still holding out for a miracle.”
But three days later, Sheriff Bass walked Adam to the gallows to die for the murder of William Skinner.
At the bottom of the steps, Ethan stopped. Scrubbed a hand over his face. “I’m sorry, Adam. I truly hoped someone would come forth with evidence implicating the real killer. I know you’re innocent. Don’t need proof, but—”
“You were doing your job. I understand.”
The hangman stood at the top of the gallows. His no-nonsense demeanor had been the subject of several conversations among Madeira’s residents. Many of them thought him to be unfriendly. He motioned toward the crowd. “Come along, Sheriff. Can’t keep these good folks waiting. It’s time to get this over with.”
“Then, you do it. I did my job bringing him here. I’ll have no further part in it. I believe this man is innocent, and I’m washing my hands of his blood.”
And Pontius Pilate said similar words when he handed Jesus over to be crucified.
Adam nodded to his executioner as he ascended the steps on his own. Divine intervention hadn’t come. His knees buckled as he looked at the rope that would soon be placed around his neck.
Reverend Potts, the local minister, rushed to his side to steady him. Compassion shown in the older man’s eyes.
The hangman showed no sympathy. He took Adam by the arm, led him behind the noose, then placed it loosely around his neck.
Adam scanned the crowd. Entire families had turned out for the event. Some sat together in buggies, while others stood on the courthouse lawn. Children laughed and played, as if blissfully aware of what was about to happen. One small girl peered around her mother’s skirts, her eyes wide. A teenage boy peddled refreshments.
Why would anyone allow a small child to see something like this? There had been hangings in Madeira before, none of which he’d cared to attend. He wouldn’t bring his wife, much less his son. But many people acted as if hangings were a source of entertainment.
At last, he saw Lillian. She stood near the back, ramrod straight, not shedding any tears. Maybe she’d cried all she could cry. Perhaps she’d taken his advice to be strong.
The crowd began to sing “Amazing Grace.” When the song ended, Reverend Potts asked, “Do you have any last requests?”
“Look after Lillian, will you?”
The older man nodded. “Of course, my son.”
Adam met Lillian’s eyes again as she mouthed the words, “I love you.”
Her face was the last thing he saw before the hangman pulled the hood over his face. He would go to eternity confident in Lillian’s unwavering love for him.
Thanks again for hosting me, Jan. Cold Dark Night is available on Amazon. It’s on sale for .99 through June 15. After that, the price goes to $3.99, so this is a good time for readers to grab a copy.
New husband, new house, new town… and a new mystery to solve.
Tami Montgomery thought her police chief husband was going to be the only investigator in the family when she gave up her journalism career and moved with him to Madeira, New Mexico.
But after the historical society asks her to write stories for a book celebrating the town’s history, she becomes embroiled in a new mystery. If she can’t solve this one, she could lose everything. Her research uncovers a spate of untimely deaths of local law enforcement officials. Further digging reveals a common link—they all lived in the house she and Jason now share.
Tami isn’t a superstitious person, but the circumstances are too similar for coincidence. Then she unearths an even more disturbing pattern. And if history repeats itself, her husband will be the next to die.
Love and hate combine to endanger the Paladíns and all they hold dear.
Parris Afton Bonds is my friend, but first and foremost, she is a storyteller. She is the author of nearly fifty novels and has been in the business of creating compelling and entertaining stories for over four decades.
She is co-founder and first vice president of Romance Writers of America, as well as, cofounder of Southwest Writers Workshop.
Declared by ABC’s NIGHTLINE as one of three best-selling authors of romantic fiction, the New York Times best seller Parris Afton Bonds has been featured in major newspapers and magazines, as well as, published in more than a dozen languages.
The Parris Award was established in her name by the Southwest Writers Workshop to honor a published writer who has given outstandingly of time and talent to other writers. Prestigious recipients of the Parris Award include Tony Hillerman and the Pulitzer nominee Norman Zollinger.
And the latest series, The Texican Series, is a perfect example of her writing prowess. Before there was New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, or Utah, there was Texas. Molded by Old Mexico and a new rough and ready breed of hearty settlers from around the world, The Lone Star Republic was the thing of dreams—land, riches, liberty, home. And that is where this series begins with “The Brigands.”
And now Parris has released Book #4 in this series!
WHEN A LONGTIME family friend is wrongly accused of involvement in a Houston riot and mutiny, Drake Paladín vows to get the best attorney money can buy. That lawyer is none other than Roger Clarendon, known not only for his legal prowess but his insufferable arrogance as well. When the drunken attorney makes an aggressive pass at Drake’s wife, Angel, Drake breaks Roger open like a shotgun. The violent scuffle results in Roger’s father—the Honorable Brighton Clarendon, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court—delivering a none-to-subtle message to the Paladíns: politics is dirty business.
From hereon, the Paladíns are under the gun, suffering failures and even outright sabotage across their many business ventures. Eventually, even The Barony itself, the sprawling South Texas ranch the family fought and won the right to at the Battle of San Jacinto, is put in peril. Rallying together to save their ancestral home, the Paladíns finally put niceties and tolerance behind them. This is war.
But this battle to exterminate the Clarendons takes Preston Paladín all the way to the bowels of pre-war Nazi Germany—and the disarming charms of the beautiful Fabienne Allaman. But on whose side is she really? And dare he risk The Barony and the fate of his entire family for the love of a resistance fighter with nothing to lose?
In the penultimate volume of her riveting Texicans saga, New York Times bestselling author Parris Afton Bonds weaves the threads of loyalty, class, power, and politics into a single captivating tale of one family’s struggle to survive the fires of war and The Great Depression. Written with the authenticity of a historian, the color of a painter, and the grace of a choreographer, The Betrayers is Bonds at her finest.
I am so excited to share my blog space with the amazing author, Lizzie Chantree! She is here to tell us all about her newest book release!
Thank you, Jan! I’m thrilled to be here!
I want to share a character profile from my newest book, “Shh…It’s Our Secret.”
Having good mental health can help us relax, achieve more and lead happier lives. In my latest book, “Shh. It’s Our Secret,” my main character, Violet, has been dealt some blows by life. She is determined to show her friends and her sister that she can be a strong person and successful in her chosen career, which is managing a run-down café and bar.
The café bar regulars have become Violet’s family, following the loss of her own parents, and she fights to persuade the new owners of the café that the regulars should still be a part of the rebranded bar’s make-up. Three feisty pensioners and some untrained bar staff don’t really appeal to Kai, but he soon learns why they mean so much to Violet.
Violet has a shy personality and although she is very friendly, she hides in her comfort zone and shies away from any conflict. She has a secret that could change the fate of the whole community, but to share it means that she has to believe in herself, to step out of the shadows, and find her voice.
Violet has a secret that could change the lives of everyone she knows and loves, especially the regulars at the run-down café bar where she works. After losing her parents at a young age, they are the closest thing she has to a family and she feels responsible for them.
Kai is a jaded music producer who has just moved outside of town. Seeking solitude from the stress of his job, he’s looking for seclusion. The only problem is he can’t seem to escape the band members and songwriters who keep showing up at his house.
When Kai wanders into the bar and Violet’s life, he accidentally discovers her closely guarded secret. Can Kai help her rediscover her self-confidence or should some secrets remain undiscovered?
International bestselling author Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, about women with unusual businesses, who are stronger than they realise.
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