Logan Judy’s Finding Sage

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Title: Finding Sage

Series: The Rogue

Book # or Vol #: 1

Author: Logan Judy

Audience: Young Adult

Genre: Dystopia, Paranormal

Formats: E-book and paperback

Publisher: Logan Judy

Pages: 358 pages

ISBN: 9781497543232

ASIN: B00JDSJXZ8

Date Published: March 30, 2014

blurb

In the future, some people known as rogues exhibit supernatural abilities.  That’s not a good thing, however, because the global government hunts them down and executes them, imprisons them, or forces them to become assassins.  Silas is such a rogue.  He lives day by day constantly paranoid about his chances of survival.   So when a wide-eyed hobo offers him a solution to his problems, a mysterious man who the U.N. seems desperate to find, he follows, not having the slightest clue what he’s just stepped into.

Alice hides a dark secret. Many rogues have come and gone in past years, but if people only knew how dark her so-called gift was, they would reject her. Attack her. Kill her. Where can she turn?

Sage is the one that connects them. The one that offers hope to them both. Little is known about him and precious few have seen him. So why is he the only one that the U.N. is afraid of?

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excerpt

Click.  Clack.  Click.  Clack.  Click.  Clack.

                Carter cringed with every step as he heard the metallic clashing of the chains that bound his wrists and ankles.  United Nations soldiers surrounded him: one at each side, two behind, and two in front.  They walked with their firearms close to their chests, ready for action at any moment.  He scanned his surroundings, looking for an exit: blank white walls, glass security panels, and grey tile ceiling.  Blue uniformed soldiers guarded every door, and he saw the door to his doom approaching.  He could see no windows looking into the room, only a solid white wall and the grey door, guarded by two soldiers.

                Click.  Clack.  Click.  Clack.

                The soldiers stopped at the door.  They exchanged a few words, told the guards of the door why they were there, showed their I.D.s, then entered the room.  It was far less menacing inside than Carter had imagined.  There were none of the flickering bare light bulbs, blood stains, or pungent aromas of decaying bodies that he had conjured in his mind’s eye.  The room, like everything he had ever seen in this building, was remarkably and shockingly bare.  So bare, in fact, that it was creepy.  Was this routine for them?  Was it normal?  Was there nothing extraordinary, nothing even immoral about what they were going to do? 

                They walked him to the wall on his left, and a touchscreen panel popped up.  One of the soldiers pressed a few buttons and he felt his wrists and legs pin against the wall. 

                “Sure is a sticky situation, eh?” remarked one of the soldiers to his buddies.  Soldiers often made comments like this, but always to their friends.  Common soldiers were forbidden from talking to prisoners, especially rogues.

                Ten gunmen filed in from a door on the opposite wall and lined up with their guns pointed upwards.  Behind them approached an agent, instantly recognizable with his black and blue suit.  He held his military stance with his hands behind his back and recited the appropriate words.

                “William Carter Jackson.  You have been found in violation of Sovereign Order 21, which dictates that no biologically outstanding person, defined as those exhibiting phenomena deemed supernatural or otherwise extraordinary, shall be allowed to live, under the equal opportunity statutes of the first United Nations Sovereign Order.  Your crime has been deemed punishable by death, and will therefore be carried out in a swift and humane manner, by firing squad, authorized by this Agent Sebastian Jefferson.  Do you have any last words?”

                Carter lifted his head and established eye contact with the agent.

                “Yeah, I do.”

                He waited for the soldiers to shift, to listen to what last words he had.  None of them budged, but that didn’t change what he had to say.

                “What’s so wrong with having good hearing?”

                “Ready arms,” said the agent. 

                The boy refused to break eye contact.  He looked the agent in the eye, determined in a last act of ideological rebellion that they would not ignore him.

                “Fire.”

                All ten rifles fired at once.  Blood spattered the wall behind the boy and spread into pools on the ground.  The force broke the wall’s magnetism, leaving the boy lying upon the ground.

                One of the soldiers who had escorted the boy knelt down and took a look at him.           

“Affirmative,” he said.  “We’re clear for the clean-up crew.”

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I’ve found that a lot of mainstream music (music with words) distracts me. So instead I listen to soundtrack music. I actually made this playlist on Spotify, so you can probably look it up. I named it “Soundtrack Awesomeness.”

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 giveaway

1 x E-Book Copy of Finding Sage

about the author

 

clip_image006Logan Judy is a dystopia, science fiction, and fantasy author who published his first book, Finding Sage, in 2014.  He spends his days dreaming up new worlds and new stories, as well as wishing for a Serenity sequel.  He currently lives in Indiana with his wife and their Don Quixote-like guard dog.

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Crane

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Synopsis

The Horseman is unending,

his presence shan’t lessen.

If you break the curse,

you become the legend.

Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep.

What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?

Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse.

But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides?

Buy Now

 

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Excerpt

Excerpt 1:

The plush terry cloth robe slipped from Ireland’s shoulders with a whispering caress before pooling in a heap around her ankles. Marble tiles chilled her bare feet as she stepped into the walk-in shower. The tips of her fingers slid across stainless steel. With a flick of her wrist, the trio of showerheads flowed to life. Welcoming heat came at her from all angles, pulsating over her curves with a rhythmic seduction. Ireland turned, a groan escaping her as the streams massaged all the right places. Steam rose, fogging the handle and creating a cloud of humidity that hugged her frame. Tipping her head back, she let the droplets rain down on her face and across her closed lids. Her lips parted, welcoming the rush of warmth that flooded between them. Until it assaulted her tongue with a rush of coppery warmth that clamped her throat shut with a wretched heave. Her hands cupped to catch the droplets, her eyes widening as thick crimson pooled in her palms, seeping between her ivory fingers. Formerly white tiles were now smattered and smeared with blackish-red gore that sprayed from the nozzles. Ireland threw herself from the shower, her feet slipping beneath her. She reached out to steady herself, but found nothing to hold on to. Nothing there to pull her back from the brink, except her own need for self-preservation … and a shadowed silhouette in the corner. Instinctively, she covered herself with her arms. Squinting, she craned her neck to see the figure that was slowly turning to face her.

“Mason?” Her voice echoed around her before she could even speak it.

He stared straight ahead with fixed, unseeing eyes. Blood trailed down his face from various points of origin, soaking the front of his shirt. “Cloak of night, brings Horseman’s plight. His pricy toll, will be a soul.”

“Mason? Are you okay?”

A hard blink and his eyes found focus on her. A desperate panic flared his nostrils, forcing his breath to come fast and ragged. “Help me, you have to help me,” he pleaded, his teeth pink with the blood that streamed past his lips.

Her trembling hand reached for him, then recoiled at her own inept state of confusion. “H-how? What do I do?”

“You have to save us,” Mason’s words became more garbled by the fresh rush of gore that bubbled up the back of his throat. His once handsome face contorted in rage. Leaning forward he balled his fists and screamed with a force that bulged the tendons of his neck, “Save us!”

Excerpt 2 

“Tonight was meant to be the Harvest Ball,” Katrina said as she slid between the folds of her crimson and taupe gown. “Now the town is meeting, trying to concoct a plan to stop a being that death itself couldn’t tame.”

Ichabod sat on the edge of the bed with his back, respectfully, to Katrina while she changed. His loaded musket lay across his lap. In the reflection of the window in front of him he could see the soft curve of her hips as they tapered into her narrow waist. He cleared his throat and shifted his gaze to the floor. His chin tipped to the side, ever so slightly, to ask, “Are you secure in our plan?”

“I am to attend the summit on the arm of Brom Van Brunt,” she reaffirmed as she pulled her long, blonde locks out from the back of her gown and began tightening the laces of her bodice. “Then speak with as many people as I can, searching for anyone that may have motives leading to the Horseman.”

Ichabod nodded. Mostly to himself, he muttered the remaining details they were depending upon, “Rip will be inside as well. That man can finesse a crowd with a skill that truly baffles. If there are secrets to be found, he will uncover them. Irv will be outside with me, primarily because the Horseman isn’t the only one in this town that would like to see his head on a spike. We will be on horseback, patrolling the grounds with a few other men that have volunteered. You will have nothing to fear.”

Her elegant gown in place, Katrina turned to Ichabod wearing an expression equal parts timidity and fear. “What of Brom?”

The bed squeaked as Ichabod shifted his weight to face her. “Boorish as his ways may be, he cares for you. If you adopt the guise that you have interest in him, he will do all he can to protect you inside the gathering, while I provide you the same service outside.”

“And,” her long lashes brushed the tops of her cheeks as she cast her gaze to the floor, “you aren’t bothered by me being on his arm?”

In the midst of the plotting and planning, Ichabod had slipped into the role he knew well of military strategist. He had detached himself from the emotional aspects—until that very moment. The reality of his request sank in like a heavy stone. He had asked her to take another man’s arm, asserting her place beside him. The implications of that dug into his gut like a dull blade, churning and twisting deep.

“The mere idea of that makes me ache,” he stated, forcing the words through his suddenly parched throat. “Yet I would endure this hardship, and countless others, to keep you safe.”

She moistened her lips with a flick of her tongue, seemingly wrestling with words that gave her pause. “Ichabod, when this is over … w-would you call yourself mine?”

Ichabod closed his eyes. The euphoria of that question washed over him, cleansing him of all his sins with the promise of tomorrow. Rising to his feet, he took her velvet soft hand in his. A love he hadn’t known possible illuminated her striking face. “From the moment I saw you, my heart belonged to you alone. If by some miracle you were to give me your love in return, I would need nothing else to sustain me the rest of my days.”

Katrina’s palm tenderly brushed his cheek. “You have already claimed that.”

Allowing no further hesitation, Ichabod gathered her in his arms. Katrina tipped her head back, the soft curves of her body molding to his. Full lips parted in an alluring invitation it would take a stronger man than him to resist.

BLOG REVIEW

Think you know the story of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow? Think again.Stacey Rourke delivers a heart pounding thrill ride in her newest tale, Crane. Your heart will race and your breath will hitch with each terrifying step the Horseman’s steed takes as he closes in on his next unsuspecting victim.

Some of the residents of Sleepy Hollow are not who they appear to be. Who has called the Hessian forth? Can a past injustice and a lost love be righted? Most importantly who dawns the Hessian’s cloak in search of centuries old revenge?

Fans of The Gryphon Series will love that the main character, Ireland, carries on the author’s trademark witty, flirtatious, and sarcastic sense of humor. The climatic end to the novel left me sitting up in bed gripping my kindle at 2:00am. I was so engrossed in the story. My heart was pounding. My dogs were pacing not understanding the palpable tension that seemed to hang in the air as I neared the end of this tale. Even after finishing the story, putting down the kindle and snuggling back into bed; scenes from the novel continued to dance in my head.

I give this tale a 5 Star Review. Stacey Rourke weaves a tale that includes dark flashes from the past when Ichabod Crane first encountered the Horseman to present day Sleepy Hollow and the unexplained murders of 2 of its prominent residents. You will not be disappointed on the journey this book takes you.

MeetTheAuthor

 

RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel

Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012

Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013

Stacey Rourke lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant, dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.

Author Q & A
Q1. What or who gave you the idea to write Crane?
     Since I was a little girl I have loved the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Any movie, book, or show even remotely connected to it I HAD to partake in. For me writing this book was a labor of love, giving a wink and a nod to the legend that is such wonderful creepy fun.
Q2. Was your writing process for Crane similar to or different from the Gryphon series?
     The actual process was the same; outlining, story boarding, first draft, edits and rewrites. However there was a great deal more research into the actual legend and Washington Irving that went into Crane.
Q3. How hard was it to write a story not only told in two person views but also in two different time periods?
     To be honest I wrote them as two totally different books. I started with Ichabod’s take first and wrote that in entirety before tackling Ireland’s. Only when they were done did I go back and weave them together, braiding the pivotal moments in the lives of both characters to show the parallels between the two.
Q4. Do you consider Crane to be a retelling of Sleepy Hollow? Why or why not?
     In some ways yes, by using the characters so known and loved. However by digging up actual facts, like Washington Irving ACTUALLY serving in the military with a man named Ichabod Crane, and the truth behind the legend that a British soldier that saved a baby then lost his head to canon fire, allowed me to put a spin on the story never before seen.
Q5. When writing Crane which of the characters were easiest to write, the funniest to write and the hardest? Why?
    Noah is pretty easy to write because he’s a calm, easy going guy. Rip is by far the funniest. His “episodes” cracked me up every time. The hardest had to be the actual Horseman. Dude doesn’t have a head! Somewhat tricky to write action, expression, or anything for someone with a stump where their head should be!
Q6. What should we the reader expect from the rest of the Legends Saga?
     The incorporation of the works of other literary legends!! Old school works that helped to pave our literary world will make an appreance! Book two, Raven, will be out September 22 of this year so stay tuned!

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Learning to Live with Fragile X

 

 

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By Cindi Rogers
Paperback, 292 pages
Published May 16th 2014 by Createspace
ISBN 1497373409 ISBN13: 9781497373402

 

 

 

 

 

Becoming Mrs. Rogers is the true and heart-felt story of one couple’s journey into acceptance following a devastating genetic diagnosis for both of their sons. Their story, its highs and lows entwined with its wisdom and compassion, has been a beacon of hope for thousands of families struggling with fragile X and other autism spectrum disorders.

Fragile X is a common and inherited cause of learning difficulties, affecting a child’s entire world, including social and behavioral problems as well as cognition and speech. Rogers not only tells her story, but also gives advice for new parents, sharing facts about…

* the physical and behavioral characteristics of Fragile X
* the effects of Fragile X on learning, functioning and daily activities
* medication and therapy
* how fragile X affects the family.

Cindi Rogers and her husband, Chris, share the perspectives and tools they embraced in order to help their boys be as happy and independent as they can possibly be. It is a story of challenges, tears, joy and hope.

**A portion of the proceeds of this book are donated to the Rogers Neighborhood FX Family Fund which in turn offers scholarships to the NFXF International bi-yearly FX Conferences.**

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Getting to know Cindi Rogers and her Family
Cindi is the mother of two sons, ages 23 and 25, who are affected with fragile X syndrome and autism. Since receiving this diagnosis, Cindi has become a leader and symbol of hope within the fragile X community.  Her positive attitude, creativity and defining can-do attitude has inspired families and professionals worldwide. Cindi and her family have travelled to conferences around the world to present her innovative strategies, helping families not only to live with fragile X, but to also thrive. It has become her personal mission to share techniques to help families generate ideas that they can implement in their own world, while helping their children with fragile X syndrome to live happier, more independent lives. Today, Cindi serves on the board of directors for Developmental FX in Denver, a non-profit that helps families just like hers learn to thrive in the face of fragile X syndrome. She lives and works with her husband and two sons in Littleton, Colorado, and together they love travelling the U.S. in their RV named Rocket.
 
Connect with Cindi:                                                                   
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Facebook- 
Twitter-  @MrsRogers2014
Rogers Neighborhood FX Family Fund–http://www.rogersneighborhoodfxfamilyfund.com
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Our Boys
Our boys are like many affected by fragile X syndrome; they don’t like to have their picture taken!  This photo turned out awesome, only after 52 “trials”, the addition of sun glasses, and offering a sitting position (with a snack in the wings).  Things are not always as they appear.  We were so very proud to have this memory documented.
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Coming June First!

One thing set Lydia Shaw and her store apart from the other antique shops in town…

Lydia’s collection was plagued by curses, and it was her duty to break them.

 

Rachel, Angie, and Jo knew nothing about their aunt’s secret life. In fact, they didn’t even know she owned an antique shop, until they inherited it. Unfortunately for them, Lydia passed down more than just her store. The sisters are the proud new owners of countless deadly curses, buried under centuries of dust. 

Lydia also left behind her apprentice, Peter. He does everything he can to protect the girls, as they explore their new store, unaware of the dangers it hides. In spite of his efforts, Rachel finds herself obsessed with opening a strange trunk, Angie has vivid dreams, haunted by a man who claims he needs her help, and Jo’s imagination starts to run wild. 

When one of them falls victim to a curse, it’s up to Peter and her sisters to save her. But, if Peter can’t teach them to wield a magic, that he barely understands himself, she’ll be the first one to die…

Here’s an exclusive sneak peek for you!

   “Who are you?” she called.

   The man frowned at her. “You can … you can see me?”

   The question caught her off guard. Angie wasn’t sure what she had been expecting him to ask, but that wasn’t it. “Y-yes. Who are you?”

   He cleared his throat. “Ethan. My name is Ethan.” He moved toward her, and the light from the cell phone made him easier to see and less threatening. “What’s your name?”

   “Angie.”

   Angie studied him. He was cute. He had dirty blond hair, which was styled and gelled up unusually high. Khaki pants and a knit, button up sweater, made up his really preppy, bordering on outdated, outfit.

   Ethan smiled at her. He looked happy. No, more than happy, he looked overjoyed. “Angie,” he breathed. “You’re beautiful.”

   Well, that was straight-forward and awkward. Angie smiled weakly. “Uh … thanks.”

   It seemed like he realized his comment had made her uncomfortable. “I’m sorry. It’s just that you’re the first person I’ve seen … the first person I’ve spoken to in a long time.”

   “How long?”

   Ethan shook his head. “I don’t know.”

   She realized, with a start, that she recognized him. “Oh my God, I saw you! I saw your reflection today!”

   “You did?”

   The thought made Angie’s heart pound. She had been awake then. How had she seen him while awake? She took another look at his clothes. Did anybody dress like that anymore? God, what if he’s a freaking ghost? He looked real, solid. Alive. Weren’t ghosts supposed to be transparent or something? “I don’t understand. How can I see you when … if nobody else can?”

   Ethan furrowed his brows at her. “What is your trisk-rune?”

   “What?”

   “Your trisk-rune. What is it?”

   Angie shook her head. “I don’t know what you mean.”

   He seemed confused by her answer. “You don’t know what your trisk-rune is?” He looked around. “But then … what are you doing here?”

   “Here? In the shop?” Angie shrugged. “My sisters and I—”

   Ethan stumbled back a step. “What? Your sisters?”

   “Yes.”

   “You’re one of them? Is that why you can see me?”

   “What?” Angie took a step closer. “I don’t know what you mean.”

   “You did this to me!” he yelled. “You and your sisters!”

   “No!” Angie shook her head, baffled. “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” As she spoke, she moved closer to him and reached out, even though he was halfway across the room.

   “Stay away from me!” He waved his hands through the air and then, to Angie’s utter shock, a ball of white fire was flying toward her.

   As she raised her hands to protect herself, she screamed.

 

 If you can’t hold out until June 1st, you can read the first chapter here!

You can also head over here to find out what your rune is!  Then, run over to my Facebook Party – there’s a contest for people displaying their runes on Facebook! You can also earn a point for doing this on the Rafflecopter!

Speaking of: what fun is a cover reveal without a Rafflecopter!?

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Cover Reveal: Flame by Alicia Michaels

 

COVER REVEAL AND GIVEAWAY:

 FLAME by Alicia Michaels 

(Book #5 in The Bionics Series.) 

Release Date: June 27, 2014

Publisher: Crimson Tree Publishing

 

 

 

 

War has come to the United States. It’s been brewing for years as the government and Military Police wage war on the outcasts known as the Bionics. It’s spilling out into the streets as the militant Rejects continue to wage war against the ‘inferior’ humans, the M.P.s are raiding neighborhoods and putting Bionics to death, and I am fighting alongside the Resistance to save our kind from extinction. To top it all off, the president has now declared martial law, and the rights of American citizens are being stripped away one by one. 

Together, with the vigilante known as The Patriot, and my Resistance family, I am prepared to fight the impossible fight, to stand up for what’s right. From a single spark, our little rebellion has grown into a revolution, a roaring fire that will envelop the nation. At the same time, things in my personal life are finally turning around. I’m in love with a beautiful girl who loves me back, and we might have a shot at a real future … unless the enemy manages to snatch away from me everything that I hold dear.

 

WIN THE BIONICS BOX SET (DIGITAL VERSION) and A SWAG PACK. (Bookmarks & Bracelet) 

The Bionics Series by Alicia Michaels

 

 

The year is 4010. 

Nuclear war and the wasteful nature of humans have all but destroyed the United States. A new government regime rules the day with strict laws, rationed food, and careful control. When those injured in the nuclear blasts that rocked many of the nations largest cities are offered another chance by the Restoration Project, how could they refuse?

 

Little do they know that the robotic additions to their body will paint targets on their backs once the government decides that they are dangerous. At the forefront of the resistance is a girl with a bionic eye, Blythe Sol, who wants nothing more than to be a normal girl. Blythe has yet to realize that normal will never exist again for her, or anyone else.

 

The Revolution has begun…


 

The Bionics (Book 1) 

FREE

 (New Adult or YA Mature) 

 

Most nineteen year-old girls are thinking about college, stretching the wings of newfound adulthood, and boys. Well, I’ll probably never go to college and all my dreams of the future are gone. I’ve been an adult for much longer than I should have been and my girlhood was stolen the minute the North Koreans dropped their nukes over the United States. As for boys … well, that’s pretty much out of the question now, too. My love life is too messy to even talk about. I have nothing. Except, maybe, my cause, my mission, The Resistance. It is the hope I have to cling to, I am counting on it to pave the way to my future. As things heat up and the terrorist sect known as The Rejects make themselves known opponents of society in this war, the choice to be on the side of good is harder than ever. My friends are broken; Olivia is a shell of her former self and Jenica is barely hanging on. Dax and Gage … well, we’re not talking about my love life, remember? The Rejects, the government, President Drummond; they are pressing in on us from all sides and the weight is tremendous. Still, when given the choice to crumble or stand, I’d rather stand. Times are dark, but we are here, a rebellion, a whisper in the dark, a spark that lights the flames of change.

  

 

Titanium (Book 2) 

(New Adult or YA Mature) 

 

 

Secrets (Book 3) 

 (New Adult or YA Mature) 

 

SPARK (Book 4) 

(New Adult or YA Mature)

 

About Alicia Michaels:

Ever since she first read books like Chronicles of Narnia or Goosebumps, Alicia has been a lover of mind-bending fiction. Wherever imagination takes her, she is more than happy to call that place her home. The mother of two and wife to an Army sergeant loves chocolate, coffee, and of course good books. When not writing, you can usually find her with her nose in a book, shopping for shoes and fabulous jewelry, or spending time with her loving family.

 

 

 

 

 

An Angela Panther Novel

 

Unfinished Business (Angela Panther #1)Unfinished Business by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ebook: 277 pages

Genre: Chick Lit, Paranormal, Ghost

 

 

Before beginning this series I urge you to read the author’s bio. Carolyn Ridder Aspenson’s journey to write this book is wrought with loss and overwhelming sadness at the loss of her mother and father. Mrs. Aspenson takes all that raw emotion and weaves it into a delightful, funny and heartfelt story. While there are moments of sadness and grief, you will find yourself laughing out loud while crying tears of joy.

Before Angela can grieve for the loss of her mom, Fran returns as a ghost. Once Angela gets over the shock and accepts that her mother’s ghost is a permanent fixture in her life, others start to show up. Imagine having to deliver a message to someone’s surviving daughter or wife? That’s just what happens to Angela. The hijinks begin when Fran starts spying on her grandkids and trying to keep them out of trouble. Along for the ride is Melissa (Mel), Angela’s best friend. While she can’t actually see Fran, Mel is along for support and for supplying the cupcakes.

This truly is a wonderful book. You will laugh, cry, snort-giggle and probably crave sweets. I look forward to reading new works from this author.

View all my reviews

~Lynn Shaw

AUTHOR BIO

Laughter as Medicine:carolyn headshot altered 7
Author’s grief inspires bestseller – and more to come

Carolyn Ridder Aspenson signs on with Seattle start-up, Booktrope Editions Carolyn Aspenson epitomizes today’s juggler: busy mother of 3, avid fitness buff, and columnist for several websites and Atlanta-based publications. A few years ago, when both her parents died within 11 months of each other, she found herself orphaned, and completely devastated. Her grief consumed her, and her weight spun out of control. One day, she gazed in the mirror and decided she no longer wanted to be “that girl.” She channeled her grief. Carolyn wrote her first paranormal/chick lit novel, Unfinished Business: An Angela Panther novel, as a way of honoring her parents. “I felt the world wasmissing out on these wonderful people, and I wanted to share them. I created the character of Fran, the ghost in the book, after my mother, who was very much the sassy, in-your-face Italian woman you’ll find in the book.” Before she knew it, Unfinished Business hit bothAmazon and Barnes & Noble bestseller lists. Caroline Fardig, author of Barnes & Noble bestseller It’s Just a Little Crush, says, “The author has a great sense of humor, even aboutdeath, but when the story called for it, she was reverent and empathetic in the way her characters handled each other.”Re-energized, Carolyn worked through her grief, dropped the weight, and discovered she was just getting started. She discovered Booktrope, a Seattle-based publishing startup that uses targeted marketing strategies and an innovative Team Publishing concept, which offers authors the support they need to succeed, and allows them more creative control and higher royalties than traditional publishing houses. Unfinished Business got a makeover, slated for release in just weeks, and her second novel in the Angela Panther series, Unbreakable Bonds, will be released through Booktrope in late spring. A third novel is in the works.”I’m excited to be a part of the Booktrope community,” Aspenson said, “and look forward to working with them. “About Booktrope Publishing: Booktrope is a team-publishing platform and a social marketing engine for books of all kinds. We free the creative team of authors, editors, designers and marketing partners to work on what they do best—create and market the bestbook possible. With over 150 authors, several on bestseller lists, Booktrope is redesigning the way to publish. For more information on Booktrope, visit http://www.booktrope.com.

Contact Info

Information to contact or learn more about Carolyn is:
Google+ Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
Twitter: awritingwoman

Buy Links

Amazon purchase link:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=carolyn+ridder+aspenson

Barnes & Noble purchase link:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/carolyn-ridder-aspenson?store=allproducts&keyword=carolyn+ridder+aspenson

 

 

Crashing Waves by Amy Richie

crashing waves cover

 

Meet Rani, servant of Ortec.
Sixty years have passed since the great wave came, destroying the world as human kind knew it. The people living on the island-city of Ortec have their own way of life, their own way of surviving the endless water.
Rani, a young earth walker who has never dared to dream of a different life, knows what is expected of her as the wife of the lawman. But then, one night changes everything. The night the pirates come.
Without any warning, Rani is faced with a decision that no one on Ortec has ever had to make before. Shaking up the very foundation of the world they have so carefully rebuilt might just be the only choice Rani has.

Releasing Soon!

Follow Amy Richie @  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amy-Richie-Author-Page/167413166631322

 

 

 

Carolyn Ridder Aspenson’s Story

 

Unfinished Business and Unbreakable Bonds were my introduction to Carolyn Ridder Aspenson. These books have it all; from the raw emotion of dealing with the passing of ones mother to laugh out loud girlfriend banter. After reading the author’s bio I now feel an even deeper connection to these stories. Through the telling of these two books, Carolyn Ridder Aspenson was able to take back her life, her sanity and her grief. Please do not be put off thinking these book are a depressed account of a woman grieving the lost of her mother. Yes, from page one Angela, the main character, loses her mom to cancer, but the way Angela deals with it, how her family surrounds her, and her best friend, Melissa (Mel) supplies her with cupcakes is remarkable. I give both books 5 Stars. I highly recommend these chick lit stories to any age gal. It has its tough moments but the laugh out loud moments out weigh them. Its realism and hard hitting subject matter will have you and your girlfriends chatting over lattes at Starbucks for hours.

~Lynn Shaw

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Laughter as Medicine:carolyn headshot altered 7
Author’s grief inspires bestseller – and more to come

Carolyn Ridder Aspenson signs on with Seattle start-up, Booktrope Editions Carolyn Aspenson epitomizes today’s juggler: busy mother of 3, avid fitness buff, and columnist for several websites and Atlanta-based publications. A few years ago, when both her parents died within 11 months of each other, she found herself orphaned, and completely devastated. Her grief consumed her, and her weight spun out of control. One day, she gazed in the mirror and decided she no longer wanted to be “that girl.” She channeled her grief. Carolyn wrote her first paranormal/chick lit novel, Unfinished Business: An Angela Panther novel, as a way of honoring her parents. “I felt the world wasmissing out on these wonderful people, and I wanted to share them. I created the character of Fran, the ghost in the book, after my mother, who was very much the sassy, in-your-face Italian woman you’ll find in the book.” Before she knew it, Unfinished Business hit bothAmazon and Barnes & Noble bestseller lists. Caroline Fardig, author of Barnes & Noble bestseller It’s Just a Little Crush, says, “The author has a great sense of humor, even aboutdeath, but when the story called for it, she was reverent and empathetic in the way her characters handled each other.”Re-energized, Carolyn worked through her grief, dropped the weight, and discovered she was just getting started. She discovered Booktrope, a Seattle-based publishing startup that uses targeted marketing strategies and an innovative Team Publishing concept, which offers authors the support they need to succeed, and allows them more creative control and higher royalties than traditional publishing houses. Unfinished Business got a makeover, slated for release in just weeks, and her second novel in the Angela Panther series, Unbreakable Bonds, will be released through Booktrope in late spring. A third novel is in the works.”I’m excited to be a part of the Booktrope community,” Aspenson said, “and look forward to working with them. “About Booktrope Publishing: Booktrope is a team-publishing platform and a social marketing engine for books of all kinds. We free the creative team of authors, editors, designers and marketing partners to work on what they do best—create and market the bestbook possible. With over 150 authors, several on bestseller lists, Booktrope is redesigning the way to publish. For more information on Booktrope, visit http://www.booktrope.com.

Contact Info

Information to contact or learn more about Carolyn is:
Google+ Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
Twitter: awritingwoman

Buy Links

Amazon purchase link:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=carolyn+ridder+aspenson

Barnes & Noble purchase link:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/carolyn-ridder-aspenson?store=allproducts&keyword=carolyn+ridder+aspenson

UB1 BT 3d front cover

~BOOK BLURB~

Stay at home mom Angela Panther is living the good life. Happily married with two kids, a house in the suburbs and, a fantabulous best friend, she’s got it all. But hours after Angela’s mother dies, her ghost pops in for a visit, leaving the door to the other side wide open.  Suddenly Angela’s life is jam-packed with ghosts – ghosts that need her help. Now Angela must find a way to balance the needs of the living along with the unfinished business of the dead, all while keeping her mother’s ghost in line. Hilarious and bittersweet, Unfinished Business tackles the emotional ups and downs of the relationships between mothers and daughters and the desperate desire for that one last chance to tell someone we’ve lost how we feel.

 

Second book ebook cover (1)

~BOOK BLURB~

A Mother’s Work is Never Done…

Carolyn Aspenson’s (Unfinished Business) latest picks up the story of Angela Panther’s dealings with her dead mom, Fran and the duo’s dynamic is as delightful as ever!

Angela had her psychic gift under control until a traumatic loss shut it down. And now that Angela’s daughter is in too deep with a boy and her best friend Mel’s husband is cheating, she needs her mom more than ever.  Fran knows that when you’re a mom, there’s no such thing as till death do us part and she won’t rest in peace while there’s strife in her daughter’s life. Using her nifty celestial superpowers, she’s soon back in the game and helping out, regardless of her daughter’s defunct gift.

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Join the giveaway at http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/47c7cd2/

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Unfinished Business; An Angela Panther Novel

Chapter One

Chapter One

The air in the room felt frigid and sent an icy chill deep into my bones. Searching for comfort, I lay on the rented hospice bed, closed my eyes, and snuggled under Ma’s floral print quilt. I breathed in her scent, a mixture of Dove soap, Calvin Klein Eternity perfume and stale cigarettes. The stench of death lingered in the air, trying hard to take over my senses, but I refused to let it in. Death may have taken my mother, but not her smell. Not yet.

“You little thief, I know what you did now.”

I opened my eyes and searched the room, but other than my Pit Bull, Greyhound mix Gracie, and me, it was empty. Gracie sensed my ever so slight movement, and laid her head back down. I saw my breath, which wouldn’t have been a big deal except it was May, in Georgia. I closed my eyes again.

“I know you can hear me, Angela. Don’t you ignore me.” 

I opened my eyes again. “Ma?”

Floating next to the bed, in the same blue nightgown she had on when she died, was my mother, or more likely, some grief induced image of her.

“Ma?” I laughed out loud. “What am I saying? It’s not you. You’re dead.’

The grief induced image spoke. “Of course I’m dead, Angela, but I told you if I could, I’d come back. And I can so, tada, here I am.”

The image floated up in the air, twirled around in a few circles and floated back down.  

I closed my eyes and shook my head, trying to right my brain or maybe shake loose the crazy, but it was pointless because when I opened my eyes again, the talking image of my mother was still there.

“Oh good grief, stop it. It’s not your head messing with you, Angela. It’s me, your Ma. Now sit up and listen to me. This is important.”

As children we’re conditioned to respond to our parents when they speak to us. We forget it as teenagers, but somewhere between twenty and the birth of our first child, we start acknowledging them again, maybe even believing some of what they tell us. Apparently it was no different when you imagined their ghost speaking to you, too. Crazy maybe, but no different. 

I rubbed my eyes. “This is a dream, so I might as well go with it.”

I sat up, straightened my back, plastered a big ol’ smile on my face, because it was a dream and I could be happy the day my mom died, in a dream and said, “Hi Ma, how are you?”  

“You ate my damn Hershey bars.”

  “Hershey bars? I dream about my dead mother and she talks about Hershey bars. What is that?”

  “Don’t you act like you don’t know what I’m talking about, Angela.”

“But I don’t know what you’re talking about, Ma.” I shook my head again and thought for sure I was bonkers, talking to an imaginary Ma.

“Oh for the love of God, Angela, my Hershey bars. The ones I hid in the back of my closet.”

Oh. Those Hershey bars, from like, twenty years ago, at least. The ones I did eat.

“How do you know it was me that ate your Hershey bars? That was over twenty years ago.”

The apparition smirked. “I don’t know how I know, actually. I just do. I know about all of the stuff you did, and your brothers too. It’s all in here now.” She pointed to her, slightly transparent head and smirked.

She floated up to the ceiling, spun in a circle, and slowly floated back down. “And look, I’m floating. Bet you wish you could do that, don’t you, Angela? You know, I’d sit but I tried that before and fell right through to the damn basement. And let me tell you, that was not fun. It was creepy, and it scared the crap outta me. And oh, Madone, the dust between your two floors! Good Lord, it was nasty. You need to clean that. No wonder Emily’s always got a snotty nose. She’s allergic.”

“Emily does not always have a snotty nose.” She actually did but I wasn’t going to let Ma have that one.

The apparition started to say something, then scrutinized at the bed. “Ah, Madone, that mattress. That was the most uncomfortable thing I ever slept on, but don’t get me started on that. That’s a conversation for another time.”

Another time?

“And I hated that chair.” She pointed to the one next to the bed. “You should have brought my chair up here instead. I was dying and you wanted me to sit in that chair? What with that uncomfortable bed and ugly chair, my back was killing me.” She smiled at her own joke, but I sat there stunned, and watched the apparition’s lips move, my own mouth gaping, as I tried to get my mind and my eyes to agree on what floated in front of me. 

“Ah, Madone. Stop looking at me like that, Angela Frances Palanca. You act like you’ve never seen a ghost.” 

“Ma, I haven’t ever seen a ghost, and my name is Angela Panther, not Palanca. You know that.” My mother always called me Angela Palanca, and it drove both my father and me batty. She said I was the closest thing to a true Italian she could create, and felt I deserved the honor of an Italian last name. She never liked Richter, my maiden name, because she said it was too damned German

“And that recliner of yours was falling apart. I was afraid you’d hurt yourself in it. Besides, it was ugly, and I was sort of embarrassed to put it in the dining room.” I shook my head again. “And you’re not real, you’re in my head. I watched them take your body away, and I know for a fact you weren’t breathing, because I checked.”  

Realizing that I was actually having a discussion with someone who could not possibly be real, I pinched myself to wake up from what was clearly some kind of whacked-out dream.

“Stop that, you know you bruise easily. You don’t want to look like a battered wife at my funeral, do you?”

Funeral? I had no intention of talking about my mother’s funeral with a figment of my imagination. I sat for a minute, speechless, which for me was a huge challenge.

“They almost dropped you on the driveway, you know.” I giggled, and then realized what I was doing, and immediately felt guilty, for a second.

Ma scrunched her eyebrows and frowned. “I know. I saw that. You’d think they’d be more careful with my body, what with you standing there and all. There you were, my daughter, watching them take away my lifeless, battered body, and I almost went flying off that cart. I wanted to give them a what for, and believe me, I tried, but I felt strange, all dizzy and lightheaded. Sort of like that time I had those lemon drop drinks at your brother’s wedding. You know, the ones in those little glasses? Ah, that was a fun night. I haven’t danced like that in years. I could have done without the throwing up the next day, though, that’s for sure.”

Lifeless, battered body? What a dramatic apparition I’d imagined.

I sat up and rubbed my eyes and considered pinching myself again, but decided the figment was right, I didn’t want to be all bruised for the funeral. 

There I sat, in the middle of the night, feeling wide awake, but clearly dreaming. I considered telling her to stay on topic, seeing as dreams didn’t last very long, and maybe my subconscious needed my dream to process her death but I didn’t. “This is just a dream.” I tried to convince myself the apparition wasn’t real. 

She threw her hands up in the air. “Again with the dreaming. It’s not a dream, Angela. You’re awake, and I’m here, in the flesh.” She held her transparent hand up and examined it. “Okay, so not exactly in the flesh, but you know what I mean.” 

This wasn’t my mother, I knew this, because my mother died today, in my house, in this bed, in a dining room turned bedroom. I was there. I watched it happen. She had lung cancer, or, as she liked to call it, the big C. And today, as her body slowly shut down, and her mind floated in and out of consciousness, I talked to her. I told her everything I lacked the courage to say before, when she could talk back and acknowledge my fear of losing her. And I kept talking as I watched her chest rise and fall, slower and slower, until it finally stilled. I talked to her as she died, and because I still had so much more to say, I kept talking for hours after her body shut down. I told her how much I loved her, how much she impacted my life. I told her how much she drove me absolutely crazy, and yet I couldn’t imagine my life without her.

So this wasn’t Ma, couldn’t possibly be. “You’re dead.”

The figment of my imagination shook her head and frowned, then moved closer, and looked me straight in the eye. I could see through her to the candelabra on the wall. Wow, it was dusty. When was it last dusted?

“Of course I’m dead, Angela. I’m a ghost.”

I shook my head, trying hard not to believe her, but I just didn’t feel like I was sleeping, so God help me, I did. 

My name is Angela Panther and I see dead people. Well, one dead person, that is, and frankly, one was enough.

### 

“Honey, it’s time to wake up.” My husband, Jake, shook me softly. “We have to go to the funeral home. Come on, your brothers will be there soon. Wake up.” He shook me a little harder.  

I sat up. “Where’s Ma?”

He studied me, his expression a mix of sadness and compassion. “I know this is hard but it’s going to be okay.” He hugged me and it felt good, comforting. I let him hold me a little longer, and then I remembered the night before.

“No,” I told him, pulled away, and rubbed the sleep fog from my eyes. “Ma. She was here. Last night. I know she’s dead, but she was here. I saw her.” I grabbed his shoulders, trying to show him how serious I was and whispered, “She told me she’s a ghost.”

His eyes widened and all of the sadness and compassion flew right out the dining room window. Jake was a fantabulous husband, and supported me in ways that often tried his patience, but to see the gray area of what he considered to be only black and white was asking too much. Fantabulous and all, he had his limits. 

“Ang, it wasn’t Fran. It was a dream. I’ve read that kind of stuff happens. People dream about the person who died and think it’s real.” He made a small attempt at comforting coos, but they just sounded like our cat before she died.

I pushed away from him and got up. “Stop it. You sound like a sick cat, and I need coffee.” My mind barely worked without a good night’s sleep, but without coffee, even the simplest conversations were practically impossible. Besides, it wasn’t the time to get into a debate about the hereafter. I walked to the kitchen to pour myself a cup of coffee and said a silent thank you to Jake for making a pot. I would have said it out loud but I was a little miffed at him for discounting my ghostly experience.

Jake was kind enough to get our two kids, Emily and Josh, off to school while I slept. I felt a sense of relief for not having to deal with them and then felt a little guilty for that. They left me a handmade card near the coffeepot knowing I’d be sure to see it there. It had red hearts and sad faces drawn all over the front, most likely by Josh, because he drew eyes with eyelashes. The inside of it read, “We’re sorry for your loss. We loved Grandma and miss her.” 

They weren’t here last night. I knew it was Ma’s last day, and Jake and I didn’t want them to see her die, so we made arrangements for them to spend the evening with friends. Jake picked them up after the funeral home took Ma. I lacked the energy and courage to talk to them, so Jake asked them to give me some alone time.

The card was sweet, and I got a lump in my throat just reading it even though I was sure they’d never work for Hallmark. 

“What time is it?” I asked, and then checked the clock. “It’s ten a.m. What the – we have to be at the funeral home at eleven fifteen.” I finished pouring my coffee, took a huge gulp, and cursed myself as it burned my throat, then rushed upstairs to get ready.

We arrived at the funeral home just before eleven fifteen. My long, blond hair was pulled into a ponytail since I didn’t have time to style it. I didn’t have on an ounce of makeup and was dressed like a typical soccer mom heading to a yoga class. Normally I wouldn’t go to an appointment like that but considering the fact that my mother just died, I didn’t really give a crap.

We walked in through the front doors into a sitting area I’m sure was meant to seem comforting and inviting but instead felt like a grandparents’ family room, old fashioned and overstuffed. The couch was a ridiculously huge, twenty years outdated, 1980s floral print of mauve and gray, flanked with humongous pillows in matching solid colors. There were two matching and equally uncomfortable looking chairs and ugly, ornate tables that didn’t match, intermixed with the seating. A few magazines and tissue boxes sat on the tables. I grabbed a couple tissues just in case I needed them later. Overhead, soft music played, and I was sure they thought it made someone in my position feel better, but mostly it was just annoying. 

Carnations in various colors sat in vases on stands around the lobby, attacking my nasal passages like an old woman drenched in White Diamonds perfume. Almost instantly I had a sensory overload headache. The entire room smacked of old people, but I guess it should since it was really mostly old people who died. Jake crinkled his nose at the smells, too. We both moved quickly as we followed the signs to the assistant funeral director’s office, almost like we were running from a skunk. I silenced my cell phone, knowing my best friend, Mel, would probably text. I’d talked to her just after Ma passed but not since. I was sure she’d check on me sooner rather than later.

Before Ma died, we talked about what she wanted, and I promised her I’d honor her requests. They were simple. She wanted to be cremated and buried with my grandparents in Chicago. Since we lived in the suburbs of Atlanta, we’d have her body cremated here but her memorial and burial would be handled separately.

My brothers, John and Paul, were already in the assistant director’s office. There was a spread of coffee and its fixings set out on the conference table, and I made a beeline for it. I’d have an IV of caffeine inserted into my wrist if it were socially acceptable. Actually, forget socially acceptable. I’d do it even if it weren’t. Coffee for me was like sex to a twenty-year-old man – never too much and never too often.

My oldest brother John lived nearby, and was with Ma and me when she passed. Paul lived in Indiana and didn’t make it here in time to say goodbye. I could see the angst and regret on his face. I said hi, hugged both of them, and turned toward my chair so I wouldn’t cry. Crying in front of my brothers made me appear weak and I refused to let that happen.

“Ma wanted to be cremated and buried with her parents,” I told the assistant funeral director, a short, squat man, with a bad comb-over and a blue paisley tie that didn’t quite fit over a mid-section that rivaled Santa’s.

“Yes, your brothers told me,” said Comb-over. “It is our policy to return the remains to the loved ones for proper burial if our services are not being used.”

We all nodded in agreement, and then Paul asked Comb-over if he could see our mother.

Comb-over gave us what must have been his really sympathetic face. “Oh, no. No. I’m sorry. It is against our policy to allow family back into the crematorium. You understand.”

Paul nodded his understanding.

Seriously?

“Excuse me. My brother wasn’t able to see our mom before she died. He lives out of state and couldn’t get here, so I’m sure you can make an exception. I mean, it is our mother and we are paying you after all.”

Jake smirked in my direction, liking my passive aggressive technique, and I gave him a quick smile.

  “Well. ” Comb-over back-pedaled. “I’ll see what I can do.” He then gave us what was obviously his, I am not making enough money for this job face, excused himself and closed the door behind him. A chill filled the air, and I hugged my arms to my chest for warmth.

My brother’s mouths gaped. “Well, it’s a stupid rule and someone had to call him on it.”

Paul nodded. “Thanks.”

I nodded and then saw my mother floating behind him, smiling, too. I shook my head to clear the image but it didn’t work. She was still there.

  “You’re such a good girl. I knew you loved your brother.”

“Uh, I guess I do.”

Paul tilted his head. “You guess you do what?”

Well, crap. For a brief second I considered saying, sorry I was talking to the ghost of our mother, who, by the way, is floating behind you, but instead went with, “Look behind you,” as I pointed behind them.

They did. “What?” Paul asked.

Ma winked at me and laughed. They couldn’t see her.

“Oh, nothing. I thought there was a spider or something on the wall, sorry.”

Probably it wasn’t a good time to tell my brothers I could see our dead mother and I wasn’t sure there would ever be a good time for something of that nature.

Paul started to say something again, but Comb-over walked back in. The man may have been a fashion nightmare, but his timing was impeccable. He coughed lightly and straightened his tie. “We don’t normally allow anyone into the crematorium, but given the circumstances, we’ll make an exception.”

We. Uh huh. We, as in the big boss, I bet. I smiled my I won smile and thanked him. Comb-over explained since our mother was being cremated, they didn’t prepare her body as they would for a traditional burial. I assumed that meant she’s not made up and nodded my understanding. He walked over to the closed door behind my brothers and walked right through my mother.

She shuddered. “Oh, Madone, that was creepy.”

I concentrated on the wall and searched for the imaginary spider and tried to ignore her.

Through the doorway I saw my mother lying on a gurney, the mother that wasn’t floating in the room with me, that is. My eyes shot back and forth between the horizontal Ma and the floating Ma. This was all a little confusing. First I had one Ma, and then she died. Now I had a dead Ma and a ghost Ma. If they both started talking to me, I’d get right up and drive myself straight to the loony bin. I stood up and shook off the crazy. “Ah, Paul, you can go first.” He did.

The fact that I took control of the meeting was not lost on me. As the youngest of the siblings, my brothers always considered me the baby, never quite aging me past a toddler in their mind so for them to acquiesce authority in this situation was surprising. I wrote it off to their shock and grief at losing Ma and expected the newfound respect to burn out quicker than a birthday candle. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit to enjoying it just a little.

We all said our goodbyes to my mother. I couldn’t hear their private whispered words, but I could hear Ma responding. Not the Ma lying on the gurney, the ghost one. As I said, it was confusing. Like the loud Italian woman she was in life, her raspy, I’ve had one thousand too many cigarettes, voice enveloped the room, for me at least, since apparently I was the only one who could hear her. “Oh Pauly, it’s okay. I’m not mad that you weren’t here. Don’t be upset. It’s okay.”

I always knew he was her favorite.

Paul and I haven’t always had the smoothest of relationships. In fact, as a child he wanted me dead. No, really. He tried so hard to make it happen he actually pushed me in front of slow moving cars three times. I was lucky to suffer only emotional, not physical, damage. Attempted murders aside, my heart ached for him now. The guilt of not being there when Ma passed would haunt him forever, though I couldn’t help but wonder if that was easier than being haunted by her ghost.

###

An hour later, the four of us sat with coffee in hand, at Starbucks. Coffee made everything seem better, if only a little. Before we left the funeral home, Paul asked Comb-over to let us know when Ma’s body was cremated. I preferred not to know, but everyone handles death differently and Paul needed what he needed so I didn’t argue. Admittedly, backing away from an argument with Paul was a new thing for me. Ma’s death had really messed with my brain.

We were discussing the arrangements of her burial when I got the call. Comb-over told me they’d started, and as I nodded to Jake and my brothers, a heavy sadness filled the air.

I disconnected from the call and stayed on task. “Okay. When should we go to Chicago?”

“That’s a good question,” John, the over thinker of us siblings, said. “I’ll call the cemetery later today and find out if we can bury Mom with Grandma and Grandpa. If they won’t let us, we’ll have to figure out what else to do. I was thinking maybe we could each take a portion of her remains and do something with our kids to honor her.”

Oh, no. No, no, no. That was not going to happen. I promised Ma I’d do this for her and I’ll be damned if I didn’t do it right. Especially since she was haunting me. There was no way I would to spend the rest of my waking days with the ghost of my mother pissed off because we didn’t honor her final wish. No way.

“It’s okay,” I blurted out before Paul agreed with John. “Ma was worried about the same thing, so we called the cemetery a few weeks ago and found out that it’s fine.” I took a quick breath and hoped God wouldn’t strike me dead for lying.

“They told me that as long as we’re not getting a stone, the plots are ours to do with as we please. Except for digging up our grandparents, that is.” I checked the sky, but still no lightning. Phew.

My brothers nodded. “Okay.”

Dodged that bullet. What’s wrong with a few little lies? This was what Ma wanted and eventually I’d tell them the truth, once she was buried and we were on our way home. Or maybe next year. What’s the saying? Ask for forgiveness, not permission. That’s what I’d do, eventually.

I offered to make the memorial arrangements even though we all knew they’d have asked me to do it anyway.

I filled them in on my call to our cousin. “I already called Roxanne, who said she’d make the rounds of calls, and since the funeral home here said they would put the obituary in the Chicago papers, that’s covered. Does the weekend after next work? That gives us all time to plan accordingly.”

“I don’t see a problem with that, but I’ll have to check with Elizabeth and see what her schedule is,” John said.

Jake nodded in agreement with his eyes still glued to the screen of his iPhone.

Paul nodded too. “Let’s go through all of our pictures of Mom. I can make a video with music, and we can show it at her memorial.”

We all agreed that was a great idea and made plans to confirm the date over email by tonight. My brothers left Jake and me there to share our addiction to the warm, smooth taste of coffee. We got refills before we headed home, too.

The rest of the day I was on autopilot and truth be told I couldn’t remember much of it. One minute Jake and I were getting coffee and the next it was after ten p.m. I kissed Jake goodnight and went upstairs and checked on the kids, who were already blissfully sound asleep.

“It’s done,” I texted Mel after I settled under the covers.

“I’m sorry,” she texted back. “Do you need anything?”

“No, I’m okay. Going to bed. I’m tired.”

“K. I’m here if you need me. (HUGS).”

*****************************

 

Review: Forced Autonomy (Phases 1-3)

Author: Lila Felix
Author website: http://authorlilafelix.blogspot.com/
Published : January 3, 2014 – March 18, 2014
Publisher: Self published
Reading Challenge: Goodreads Reading Challenge
Rating: Found here, here and here
Format: E-book (mobi.) *For Review*
Young Adult/Dystopian

 

[Synopsis]

THIS IS A NOVELLA SERIES
The
United States has collapsed. Those citizens who are left are in one of
two classes. One: Citizens who have undergone forced lobotomies, as
mandated by the United Nations. Two: Those who fight against their
tyranny.
Petra Kingsley falls under both classes. She falls in line
with the drones, pretending her procedure worked. She’s existed among
their ranks, hiding in plain sight, being worked to the bone and starved
almost to death.
Lawson is a bounty hunter of sorts. His target isn’t the guilty, it’s those who are lost in the folds of a broken society.
When he spots Petra working in the masses, he stops at nothing to help her escape.
But he has no idea who exactly he’s helping—and who will now be hunting them both?

[Review]

This is a series I can not get enough of, in Forced Autonomy the United Nations have taken over the United States and now the U.S. looks like and is run like a third world country. After the president is assassinated the U.N. begins lobotomies on the people to control them. But there is those few that either escaped the cities before they were caught or those that the lobotomies did not work on.

Forced Autonomy is told in two-character views: Lawson and Petra. In phase 1 we are introduced to Lawson the guy who looks for those people in the cities that are hiding out or going through the motions in hope to not get caught, Lawson’s job is to find them and hope they will follow him out of the city to what he feels is freedom. In Phase 1, Petra is his target and when he finally finds her she tries to shank him, but ends up believing him when he says freedom is just a short drive away. In Phase 2 we find that freedom is not always what we think it is and possibly just as worse as being under U.N. rule. Phase 3 is about finding the truth however far one needs to go to get it. 

What I love about this novella series is it is fast paced, a great love story that meshes well in the story and does not take over it, and the mysteries and dangers that lurk throughout the story. When I describe this novella series to people I tell them it is similar to the show The Walking Dead without the actual zombies, meaning there is a group of people running and dodging either the U.N. or people with different interests that could harm the group, funny, one may be within the group itself.  

  

So worth reading! Great writing and just pulls you in and refuses to let you go!



I can’t wait to get my hands on Phase 4!

Post by: LeAnn Luckett
 

Christy Sloat The Visitor’s Series (completed)

 

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The Visitor’s Series from Christy Sloat is now complete.  No more cliffhangers.  No more waiting for the next book to release.  It is all here and waiting for you. 

Read it in the dark…if you dare.

 

 About the Author
Christy Sloat currently resiCSdes in New Jersey  with her husband, two daughters and Sophie her Chihuahua. Christy has embraced the love of reading and writing since her youth and was inspired by her grandmother’s loving support. Christy passes that love of reading, writing, and creativity to her daughters, family, and friends. When you do not find Christy within the pages of a book you can find her being mommy, wife, crafter, and dear friend. She loves adventurous journeys with her friends and can be known to get lost inside a bookstore. Be sure to venture into her Past Lives Series, The Visitor’s Series, and watch for many more exciting things to come.

 

Check out her website http://www.christysloat.com
Blog http://christysloat.blogspot.com/, Facebook: Christy Sloat Author http://www.facebook.com/christysloatauthor. 
Twitter: @ChristySloat

  
 
 
TheBrownHouse
Some secrets should never be revealed…Brylee Branson begrudgingly made the excruciating move with her family from the warm sandy beaches of California to small town living in New Jersey. As if she wasn’t miserable enough, they’ve moved into a creepy old house that everyone in the area claims is haunted. Brylee dismisses the idea of ghosts and hauntings, until she begins to see and hear things that can’t be explained…Brylee has no choice but to seek the help of new friends to unlock the secrets of this place she now calls home. But some secrets should never be revealed. Can the teens find a way to release the spirits imprisoned within the walls? Or will the curse claim them, too?
 
 
 
 
TheCrimsonKey The truth can be deadly.Brylee Branson’s best friend and boyfriend have fallen victim to a horrible curse that haunts her home. With the witches who cast it dead, she has no choice but to rely on the ghosts inside the Brown house to help her find a cure. But time is not on her side, because Lynley’s illness is spreading rapidly.Confused and scared, seventeen-year-old Brylee must confront a new ghost in the house she has never spoken to before. This spirit is not a Brown relative and makes no promises to help them … unless she can reunite her with a loved one. The fate of those she loves now rests on her. Can Brylee put the pieces of this puzzle together in time to save them? Or will the Brown house claim another victim?
 
 
 
  
thewhitedoor The haunting third book in the Best Selling Visitors Series. “When I first moved here I was still a girl who cherished the normality of teen life. Now, after being here a year I had come to love a boy who was both strong and courageous. I made real friendships that would last even after death. The selfish girl my grandmother warned me of becoming had vanished. A girl who stood tall, with the powers to see the dead and help those in need, appeared in her place.”
In Brylee’s world, nothing is normal. She sees and speaks with the dead and, at seventeen years old, she already has a full plate. She’s in her senior year of high school and college is just around the corner, but only if she learns to control her gifts and survive in the land of the living. She has succeeded in ridding her boyfriend, Ephraim, from the Brown family curse, but, in the end, her best friend loses her life. Now a whole slew of new problems present itself and, like always, Brylee is tempted to run for the hills. With Ephraim at her side, she must come to grips with the reality that she is not an average girl and she never will be. What will happen when the town turns on her? Or, better yet, when a body is unearthed in her backyard? The choices that Brylee must make will determine whether she has a future or nothing at all.
 
  
Novella
 
Kayla Hart was loved by some, but not all. There were whispers she was a witch.
However, most chose to believe she was merely a misguided
Unfound freak. The sad truth was she was just unpopular and a bit shy. When Kayla went missing, everyone pretended to care. The entire community scoured her small New Jersey town looking for her. Unfortunately, this tragic story has no hero. Kayla’s disappearance would remain a mystery. Only she knows why and what happened the night she became … Unfound
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Buy links for all of Christy’s Books:

The Brown House

http://www.nook.com/gb/ebooks/the-brown-house-by-christy-sloat/2940044689930

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-brown-house-christy-sloat/1112134916?ean=9780985538590

http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780985538545

http://www.amazon.com/The-Brown-House-Christy-Sloat/

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Title/book-3BqNZ_Zhk02MFzo_IGBh8w/page1.html?utm_source=shopping.com&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=title-The+Brown+House

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/173544

 The Crimson Key

http://www.amazon.com/The-Crimson-Visitors-Series-ebook/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-crimson-key-christy-sloat/1115369610?ean=9780989175340

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/317251

The White Door

http://www.amazon.com/White-Door-Visitors-Christy-Sloat-ebook/

Smashwords-http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/413568

Unfound

http://tiny.cc/bd2j3w (Amazon)

http://tiny.cc/lf2j3w (Nook)

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/358183

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