Alicia Michaels Bionics Blog Tour & Review

The Bionics Series by Alicia Michaels

THE BIONICS SERIES by Alicia Michaels

New Adult Dystopian Romance 
(Mature Content)
Published through: Crimson Tree Publishing
(The Adult Imprint of Clean teen Publishing.)
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)

NEW RELEASE:

SPARK (Book 4) 

(New Adult or YA Mature)

EXCERPT FROM THE BIONICS:

 

“I wish that I had died that day,” I admit, unable to look away from his gaze no matter how much my mind tells me that I need to. “I wish that all the time.”
He inches closer to me on the bed. “Is it really so bad? Professor Hinkley gave you and the others a second chance at life. It’s not fair that the government has decided you and others like you pose a threat.”
I think about a news broadcast I saw a couple of weeks ago, showing a surveillance video of a man with an arm identical to mine smashing in the window of someone’s car and beating them to a bloody pulp for no reason, before pulling a limp body from the driver’s seat and driving off in the stolen vehicle. Of course the thief was found and immediately executed; no trail, no jury, no questions asked.
“Some of us are dangerous,” I answer, and of course, it’s the truth.
“Some people are dangerous,” he insists. “Bionics are still people….just modified.”
“Right now your blood pressure is 124/90, your heart rate is an elevated 70 beats per minute; not bad, but still high for a healthy male that I assume is athletic. You have a tattoo on your left arm of an eagle, and a fractured rib.”
“That is amazing.”
I shrug. “It’s my eye. It is capable of reading a person’s body heat signature as well as their vital statistics. It allows me to pull away individual layers, such as clothing, skin, and muscle to expose what’s underneath. It’s how I knew about the rib.”
I reach out with my bionic arm and poke the rib for emphasis, raising my eyebrows as he winces in pain. “Still think I’m human?”
Gage reaches for my arm—my robotic arm—and grabs it by the hand. I can’t feel it, or his hand circling the wrist above it. His eyebrows wrinkle as he turns my arm over, inside facing up. He traces the inside of my arm, his fingers sliding over the cool metal and, for the first time since I woke up with that hunk of machinery on the other end of my elbow, I am wishing that I could feel the damn thing.
“Cold,” he murmurs as he draws circles on the metal. His fingers stop on the inside of my elbow, on the line where the titanium ends and I begin. I hear his breath catch in his throat and another noisy swallow as the pad of his index finger slides over my skin. I gasp as he trails it up the inside of my arm, flesh now on flesh. The human contact that I’ve denied myself for years has left me sensitive to every touch, and I feel as if I’m being caressed for the first time.
Of course Dax has held my hand from time to time; he’s even held me against him some nights when the nightmares get particularly bad until I fall back asleep. But he’s never touched me like this, and while I’m no virgin I certainly feel like one right now. A thousand emotions are exploding in me at one time and just as many sensations are following the path his finger traces up to my shoulder, pausing at the strap of my tank top.
“Warm,” he says with a smile. “Only about….what…ten percent of you is metal. When I got past your elbow, I felt skin, blood flowing through veins, muscle, and…goose bumps?”
He says that last bit with a smile, forcing me to look away in embarrassment. He holds his arm out toward me, pulling up the sleeve of his shirt and revealing a tanned arm sprinkled with light blond hair, which is standing on end. He leaves the sleeve above his elbow and holds his arm out in front of me.
“See?” he says gently, his head way too close to mine, his breath brushing my cheek. “I have them too.”
 

Top 10 Dystopian Films

As a Sci-Fi and Dystopia author, of course I have a deep love for movies of the genre. Here is a list of my top 10 favorite Dystopian movies, number one being my absolute favorite of course!

  1. Book of Eli – probably my favorite dystopian movie of all time! Denzel Washington kicks so much ass in this movie. Plus the surprise ending really blew me away!
  2. The Hunger Games – what can I say, I’m a sucker for a strong heroine and Katniss Everdeen is my spirit animal.
  3. V for Vendetta – I cry every time I watch this movie. It embodies everything I think a great dystopian movie should have. Plus, V is the ultimate hero and I love the evolution that Natalie Portman’s character goes through.
  4. Equillibrium – This is another one of those movies I could watch again and again. Christian Bale kicking butt with guns and swords? Taye Diggs with his fine, chocolatey goodness? Yes, please!
  5. The Matrix – This is the movie that I think revolutionized the dystopian film. The Matrix, during its time, did things for film that had never been seen before. Plus, the mind-bending twistiness of it all … is it real? Is it not real? The symbolism pertaining to religion, the cool leather clothes … this movie has it all!
  6. Ultraviolet – Another example of a kick ass heroine. Though I will say this one shares a spot with Aeon Flux, which I love just as equally. Plus their wardrobes are to die for.
  7. I Robot – Because you can’t have dystopia without robots
  8. I Am Legend –You also can’t have dystopia without zombies … or, apparently Will Smith
  9. War of the Worlds – Hopefully no one hurts me too bad for admitting I’ve never seen the original. (winces) I know, I know, remakes are the devil, but I love the Tom Cruise version.
  10. Gattaca – I actually had to watch this film and write a paper on it for my English 1 class, my freshman year of college. Even though I loved writing a good paper, I loved this assignment all the more because it allowed me to discover this gem.

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.

 

My Review of the Bionics Series

The Bionics Series is a group of short (120-150 pages) stories meant to be read as a group. This is not a stand alone book. In order to fully understand and comprehend the reader needs to read the series in order. Each book is told in a different characters POV. In doing so the author gives you a unique understanding of all sides. Honestly from the synopsis I didn’t think I would like this book. Sci Fi, dystopian type books are not my genre, but Bionics surprised me. The series is based on a group of outcasts called the Bionics. The US Government who made them after the horrific bombings that shattered the land and its people, has now turned against them and sees the Bionics as a threat. Due to the mechanics of having titanium legs, bionic eyes and Kevlar skin the government is scared that with the Bionics physical superiority they may take over. The Government declares that all Bionics must be destroyed thus making the Bionics fugitives on the run. The Government also runs false propaganda against them to turn the “normal people” against them. The Bionics as a whole are not a violent people and want to live normally as they did before. Striving to maintain their way of life the Bionics are forced to live in refuge camps in hiding. Teams go out in search of others like them and bring them back to city they have created. This is a great series that showcases the heart of the human spirit. It shows us that our differences are what make us who we are and that those differences should be embraced and not ridiculed or punished.

Bionics (Book 1)

In Book 1 the reader is introduced to the Resistance. A group of Bionics that strive to be accepted and live in a world that shuns them. The main character, Blythe, is well developed. You feel her struggles and the reader connects to her story. Blythe saw her family gunned down because they refused to turn her over to the Military Police to be destroyed. She fights the demons inside her daily and with the help of her friend, Dax, she copes. Her salvation is in finding and rescuing others like her.

It is a well written opening book. You do have to read Book Two to finish the story.

Titanium (Book 2)

Book 2, Titanium, picks up immediately where Book 1 ended so you will not be disappoint. There is not a recap so you need to read the series in order. Again, I have to say that this is not my genre but the author, Alicia Michaels, does an excellent job of painting a canvas of a post apocalyptic world that sucks me in every time. I am compelled to complete this series.

Book 2 is written from the view point of Dax. We get his shady back story and well as a gruff look at the Resistance and their plan to rescue the hostages and other Bionics by storming the Capital. The romance that he wants between himself and Blythe is explored in Book 2 also. Don’t be fooled. This is no sappy love story. The action and suspense grips all pages. You won’t be able to put this book down. Once again we end with a conflict so moving on to Book 3 is a must!

Secrets (Book 3)

I cannot say enough wonderful things about Alicia Michaels and her Bionics Series. These stories play out in my head like a television series. Mrs. Michael’s vivid descriptions of the post bombed U.S. and the part human, part machine Bionics comes alive in my imagination. I am so glad I gave this series a shot. I haven’t been able to put it down.

Secrets is action packed just like the books before it. This installment is told form the POV of Gage. There is never a dull moment in this series. Gage, Dax, Blythe, the Professor, and others stage a rescue for Olivia and other Bionics from the prison in Washington D.C. Of course dangers and unexpected chaos arises. The team gets separated and receives aid from a very unlikely source, The Rejects. This doesn’t come without a price. As the title suggests, secrets are revealed and lives are changed forever. I cannot wait to pick up Spark and continue this storyline!

Spark (Book 4)

In the fourth installment of The Bionics Series, Spark picks up with the Resistance battling the Rejects as well as battling the negative propaganda perpetrated by the Government. This installment is told from the POV of Blythe. Blythe has endured a lot in the previous books and you really see her come out in this book. Without giving away spoilers, get ready to see the kick ass side of Blythe as she emerges into a warrior in the battle against the Rejects. The Resistance also gets some unlikely help from a former Army Corporal. Look for something that Gage said back in Book 3 to create a “spark” in book 4.

As I have said in previous reviews of this series, I didn’t think I would like it but wanted to give the author a shot. This has been a great, exciting, fast paced series. I am now in the midst of a book hangover until another installment is released

Raffletoper code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

THE BIONICS SERIES by Alicia Michaels

New Adult Dystopian Romance 
(Mature Content)
Published through: Crimson Tree Publishing
(The Adult Imprint of Clean teen Publishing.)
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)

NEW RELEASE:
SPARK (Book 4) (New Adult or YA Mature)

EXCERPT FROM THE BIONICS:

 

“I wish that I had died that day,” I admit, unable to look away from his gaze no matter how much my mind tells me that I need to. “I wish that all the time.”
He inches closer to me on the bed. “Is it really so bad? Professor Hinkley gave you and the others a second chance at life. It’s not fair that the government has decided you and others like you pose a threat.”
I think about a news broadcast I saw a couple of weeks ago, showing a surveillance video of a man with an arm identical to mine smashing in the window of someone’s car and beating them to a bloody pulp for no reason, before pulling a limp body from the driver’s seat and driving off in the stolen vehicle. Of course the thief was found and immediately executed; no trail, no jury, no questions asked.
“Some of us are dangerous,” I answer, and of course, it’s the truth.
“Some people are dangerous,” he insists. “Bionics are still people….just modified.”
“Right now your blood pressure is 124/90, your heart rate is an elevated 70 beats per minute; not bad, but still high for a healthy male that I assume is athletic. You have a tattoo on your left arm of an eagle, and a fractured rib.”
“That is amazing.”
I shrug. “It’s my eye. It is capable of reading a person’s body heat signature as well as their vital statistics. It allows me to pull away individual layers, such as clothing, skin, and muscle to expose what’s underneath. It’s how I knew about the rib.”
I reach out with my bionic arm and poke the rib for emphasis, raising my eyebrows as he winces in pain. “Still think I’m human?”
Gage reaches for my arm—my robotic arm—and grabs it by the hand. I can’t feel it, or his hand circling the wrist above it. His eyebrows wrinkle as he turns my arm over, inside facing up. He traces the inside of my arm, his fingers sliding over the cool metal and, for the first time since I woke up with that hunk of machinery on the other end of my elbow, I am wishing that I could feel the damn thing.
“Cold,” he murmurs as he draws circles on the metal. His fingers stop on the inside of my elbow, on the line where the titanium ends and I begin. I hear his breath catch in his throat and another noisy swallow as the pad of his index finger slides over my skin. I gasp as he trails it up the inside of my arm, flesh now on flesh. The human contact that I’ve denied myself for years has left me sensitive to every touch, and I feel as if I’m being caressed for the first time.
Of course Dax has held my hand from time to time; he’s even held me against him some nights when the nightmares get particularly bad until I fall back asleep. But he’s never touched me like this, and while I’m no virgin I certainly feel like one right now. A thousand emotions are exploding in me at one time and just as many sensations are following the path his finger traces up to my shoulder, pausing at the strap of my tank top.
“Warm,” he says with a smile. “Only about….what…ten percent of you is metal. When I got past your elbow, I felt skin, blood flowing through veins, muscle, and…goose bumps?”
He says that last bit with a smile, forcing me to look away in embarrassment. He holds his arm out toward me, pulling up the sleeve of his shirt and revealing a tanned arm sprinkled with light blond hair, which is standing on end. He leaves the sleeve above his elbow and holds his arm out in front of me.
“See?” he says gently, his head way too close to mine, his breath brushing my cheek. “I have them too.”
 

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.

 

My Review

 The Bionics Series is a group of short (120-150 pages) stories meant to be read as a group. This is not a stand alone book. In order to fully understand and comprehend the reader needs to read the series in order. Each book is told in a different characters POV. In doing so the author gives you a unique understanding of all sides. Honestly from the synopsis I didn’t think I would like this book. Sci Fi, dystopian type books are not my genre, but Bionics surprised me. The series is based on a group of outcasts called the Bionics. The US Government who made them after the horrific bombings that shattered the land and its people, has now turned against them and sees the Bionics as a threat. Due to the mechanics of having titanium legs, bionic eyes and Kevlar skin the government is scared that with the Bionics physical superiority they may take over. The Government declares that all Bionics must be destroyed thus making the Bionics fugitives on the run. The Government also runs false propaganda against them to turn the “normal people” against them. The Bionics as a whole are not a violent people and want to live normally as they did before. Striving to maintain their way of life the Bionics are forced to live in refuge camps in hiding. Teams go out in search of others like them and bring them back to city they have created. This is a great series that showcases the heart of the human spirit. It shows us that our differences are what make us who we are and that those differences should be embraced and not ridiculed or punished.Bionics (Book 1)In Book 1 the reader is introduced to the Resistance. A group of Bionics that strive to be accepted and live in a world that shuns them. The main character, Blythe, is well developed. You feel her struggles and the reader connects to her story. Blythe saw her family gunned down because they refused to turn her over to the Military Police to be destroyed. She fights the demons inside her daily and with the help of her friend, Dax, she copes. Her salvation is in finding and rescuing others like her.

It is a well written opening book. You do have to read Book Two to finish the story.

Titanium (Book 2)

Book 2, Titanium, picks up immediately where Book 1 ended so you will not be disappoint. There is not a recap so you need to read the series in order. Again, I have to say that this is not my genre but the author, Alicia Michaels, does an excellent job of painting a canvas of a post apocalyptic world that sucks me in every time. I am compelled to complete this series.

Book 2 is written from the view point of Dax. We get his shady back story and well as a gruff look at the Resistance and their plan to rescue the hostages and other Bionics by storming the Capital. The romance that he wants between himself and Blythe is explored in Book 2 also. Don’t be fooled. This is no sappy love story. The action and suspense grips all pages. You won’t be able to put this book down. Once again we end with a conflict so moving on to Book 3 is a must!

Secrets (Book 3)

I cannot say enough wonderful things about Alicia Michaels and her Bionics Series. These stories play out in my head like a television series. Mrs. Michael’s vivid descriptions of the post bombed U.S. and the part human, part machine Bionics comes alive in my imagination. I am so glad I gave this series a shot. I haven’t been able to put it down.

Secrets is action packed just like the books before it. This installment is told form the POV of Gage. There is never a dull moment in this series. Gage, Dax, Blythe, the Professor, and others stage a rescue for Olivia and other Bionics from the prison in Washington D.C. Of course dangers and unexpected chaos arises. The team gets separated and receives aid from a very unlikely source, The Rejects. This doesn’t come without a price. As the title suggests, secrets are revealed and lives are changed forever. I cannot wait to pick up Spark and continue this storyline!

Spark (Book 4)

In the fourth installment of The Bionics Series, Spark picks up with the Resistance battling the Rejects as well as battling the negative propaganda perpetrated by the Government. This installment is told from the POV of Blythe. Blythe has endured a lot in the previous books and you really see her come out in this book. Without giving away spoilers, get ready to see the kick ass side of Blythe as she emerges into a warrior in the battle against the Rejects. The Resistance also gets some unlikely help from a former Army Corporal. Look for something that Gage said back in Book 3 to create a “spark” in book 4.

As I have said in previous reviews of this series, I didn’t think I would like it but wanted to give the author a shot. This has been a great, exciting, fast paced series. I am now in the midst of a book hangover until another installment is released

From Award Winning Author Stacey Rourke, Raven (Cover Reveal)

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Cover Reveal

covergifTitle: Raven
Series: Legends Saga # 2
Author: Stacey Rourke
Audience: NA Paranormal
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Formats: E-book and Paperback  
Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
Cover by: Najla Qamber Designs
Editor: Melissa Ringsted
Expected Date of Publishing: Sept 22, 2014
green2
An infamous love, destined nevermore,
For death could not claim, the enchanting Lenore.
Cursed by the malevolent spirit of the Headless Horseman, Ireland Crane ventures to Manhattan in search of a way to break her soul crushing bond. Instead, she discovers the lines between fact and fiction are blurring once more. Croaking ravens. Telltale hearts. Could the works of Poe be coming to pass with handsome Wall Street Midas Ridley Peolte as their unwilling target?
She walks the Earth, a plague on mankind,
searching for he, her rotted heart doth pine.
Together, the two unknowingly release a dark force death itself could not tame. Surrounded by the unrelenting violence and mayhem they’ve unleashed, Ireland feels her control over the Horseman slipping. Before the beast within consumes her, she and her crew must follow the clues of the dead to right a centuries’ old wrong. Will it be enough to sate the Horseman’s appetite?
Hell hath no fury like a ghoul scorned.
green3
image
ravenfull
green4
authorgifThe Gryphon Series is written by Stacey Rourke. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant, drooly dogs. Stacey 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. She is currently hard at work on the continuations of this series as well as other literary projects. The Gryphon Series is available wherever fine books are sold.
Contact Info: Visit the author at www.staceyrourke.com
Twitter @Rourkewrites
imageimageimage
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Cover Reveal 
Who We Were
A Contemporary Romance Novel
 By Christy Sloat 
 

 Christy Sloat usually dives into the paranormal realm when it comes to her books. She gave us; The Past Lives Series and her bestselling trilogy, The Visitors Series. But one night she was trying to sleep and ignore the idea of a book that was beginning to haunt her. She threw off the covers and decided to write the layout of Who We Were, a novel about a young girl who finds out how one simple alteration in her summer could change her life forever.
Sloat wrote the book in under three months and is very happy to be able to say she has added a contemporary romance to her line up of books.
Here is the long awaited cover for Who We Were. Get the standalone novel September 15th published by Anchor Group Publishing.

 




                                                              About Who We Were


“Who we were had washed away with the summer. Who we are was yet to be seen.”
Summer school at Alcott High was only supposed to gain Sadie Peters extra credit, nothing more. Her goal wasn’t to make friends, or gain the attention of the most popular football player, yet she managed both. Her life was cruising along on course … until that summer.
Could a simple stint in a different school change her identity completely and introduce her to love for the first time? How would that affect her relationship with Lily, her best friend?
Hopefully their friendship was strong enough to make it through the tumultuous summer. Sadie learns that great things come with change, but sometimes memories of the past are hardest to part with.
 
 
The Book Goes on Sale September 15, 2014
 Add it to your Goodreads TBR

What do you think of the cover? Tell us in the comments

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new release

covergif

Title: Keeper vs. Reaper

Series: Graveyard Guardians, # 1

Author: Jennifer Malone Wright

Audience: New Adult

Genre: Paranormal

Formats: E-book and Paperback

covergifPublisher: Jennifer Malone Wright

Cover by: Regina Wamba of Mae I Design

Editor: There for you editing

Pages: 300 pages

Date of Publishing: Aug 12, 2014.

 blurb

When her father died, Lucy Mae Estmond inherited the family business. She has known all of her life that she would be in line to watch over the souls of the recently passed, keeping them safe from the Reapers.

The soul eating Reapers have been a plague upon the Earth, stealing souls and leaving the Keepers as the only thing that stands between Heaven and Hell. The factions despise each other and have warred for generations.

Then Lucy discovers an ancient legend predicting the arrival of the Chosen One, destined to bring forth an end to the Reapers. The surprises continue when she realizes she is that person. For Lucy, being the Chosen One doesn’t change much. Fighting Reapers is just another day in the life of a Keeper.

When she meets Jack Walker, they both realize they have an insane, mutual attraction. Too bad that he’s been sent to prevent the prophecy from coming true. His only mission: to kill the Chosen One.

 

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SALEAD

excerpt

Inch by painstaking inch, the casket sank lower into the freshly churned earth.

The scent of lilacs floated on the breeze, along with the heavy stench of perfume and cologne, reminding Lucy of the fragrance aisle in a department store.

Lucy stood beside the grave, dressed in a modest royal blue sundress. She had chosen it specifically because her father always said the color looked the best against her hair, which was a mix of reddish brown that shone burgundy in the sunlight.

Tilting her head up, Lucy looked through the canopy of the aging oak trees that were scattered throughout the cemetery. The breeze shifted the branches, causing a few of the leaves to pull free and flutter off into the wind. There were almost no clouds in sky, allowing the sun to shine down over the funeral.

Her brothers and sisters surrounded the open grave opposite of her. All six of them also wore something fitting for a funeral, but nothing depressing enough to send their father into a rage in his afterlife.

Smiling, Lucy remembered the argument she and her father had during his last moments. “Lucy!” he had shouted at her. “Don’t you dare let them bury me in a suit. I am not going to spend eternity in a stuffy ass business suit. Make sure I’m wearing my khaki shorts and a Hawaiian shirt because I’m going on the vacation of a lifetime.”

That was toward the end, when the cancer was so bad that her dad spent most of his time in bed, moaning about how he should be up and about doing something. They both knew that the end was near, but Lucy had cried only in private. Her father wanted her to be happy he was moving on to the next life, but she couldn’t understand in what way, shape or form, his dying was a good thing.

So she shed her tears alone in her room until there were no more left to cry.

The fog of the memory lifted from Lucy’s mind and she looked across the grave at her brothers and sisters. The entire brood of Estmond siblings were born with the same color hair as Lucy had been blessed with. Each of them, as well as Lucy and Ethan, held a white rose in one hand. Later, before the grave was sealed, they would each take a turn throwing one down onto the casket, as a symbol of their wish for their father’s peaceful journey into the afterlife.

Just behind her brothers and sisters stood the mourners who came to pay their last respects. Most of them were town’s people whom they had grown up with, except for one group who stood close together, most of them around her father’s age. These were the Keepers whom her family had been closest to over the years. She could see Gloria and Edward White, the Keepers from one of the Napa Valley graveyards standing solemnly beside Ellen and Stanly Evans, who worked in the hospital in Santa Rosa. There were several other Keepers surrounding them who she recognized and made a note to speak to them later.

Beyond them, further out into the trees, the spirits began to show themselves. They appeared in the form of their human bodies, a bit transparent, but solid for the most part. It was harder to see in the daylight, but their misty blue auras swirled around them, helping form the solidity of their bodies.

The spirits were fascinated by funerals. When Lucy was little she used to think that they wanted to say goodbye to someone, but really it was because there wasn’t much else to do in a graveyard except talk to each other and attend burials.

Pastor Brown spoke solemnly, saying kind words and telling her father’s life story. Inwardly, Lucy cursed her father for choosing Pastor Brown, a man who had not known her father and she was sure didn’t give a flying fuck about him either. Her father hadn’t set foot in church since he was a child. Not because he didn’t believe in God, he just didn’t believe in organized religion.

Sensing her tension, Ethan squeezed her hand reassuringly. Turning to her left she looked up and met her best friend’s eyes through the tint of his sunglasses. Even through the dark lenses she could see the sorrow in his eyes. He had loved her father too, just as much as any one of the Estmond clan. In response, she squeezed his hand back and then turned back to stare at the grave again.

“And now, Lucy Mae, Gregory’s youngest child, will say a few words about her father.” The preacher cleared his throat, signaling to Lucy that it was time.

Lucy had no tears staining her face. She had cried all those tears long before the day of the funeral. Again, Ethan gave her hand a gentle squeeze and then released her so that she could reach down and withdraw the folded piece of yellow legal paper out of her miniscule handbag.

As Lucy unfolded the paper she felt like it was taking an eternity.

This day is never going to end.

Finally, the paper was open in front of her and she began.

“I know that this speech is going to sound like the speeches given for so many others who have passed on. But, when someone we love dies, we all feel pretty much the same way … so here it goes. My father, Gregory Estmond, was the best person I’ve ever known. Today, we stand here, not to mourn him, but to celebrate him. He didn’t want any one of us to be sad that he was gone. Because … he isn’t gone. He will always be with us. For those of us who spent each day with him, his teachings and his love will always be with us. He taught us love, he taught us respect, he taught us of our family heritage, and he taught us how to live.

“For those who are acquaintances of my father, you may have met him only once and you are here because he impacted you in some way.”

A few nods came from the crowd.

Lucy continued. “He had that effect on people because he had a genuine love and respect for human life. Which is not something all of us can say we have. He treated everyone the same, with kindness.

“Because my father had cancer, he knew that this day was coming and he had time to prepare for it. We had many discussions and the one thing he consistently told me was to embrace life. He didn’t say this because he was dying, it was his mantra. This man lived every day of his life like it may be his last. He didn’t wait until he was dying to find the beauty in this world or the people in it. He was always this way.

“Remember my father, not with sadness, but with the memories he left behind. Remember him with love, with laughter and knowing that he is exactly where he wants to be.”

Lucy stepped back, reaching out for Ethan to grasp her hand once again. She eyed her siblings, none of them were crying either. Daniel, the second oldest son, reached into his gray trench coat and pulled out a silver flask. Lucy sighed and watched as her brother didn’t even try to hide it and took a long pull of the whiskey she knew was inside.

Sadly, as inappropriate as her brother was being, she couldn’t help but wish she could take a giant swig off that flask too.

It’s almost over.

“Would anyone else like to say a few words?” Pastor Brown offered.

Sherriff Davis stepped forward, he had his Stetson clutched in one hand and hitched up his gun belt with the other. As always he was wearing his uniform. The Sheriff and her father had been pretty close … well, as close as a Keeper can get to someone without that someone thinking that they are out of their mind.

“I’d like to, if that’s all right.” The Sheriff looked down into the grave before his eyes swept across the crowd of mourners. Finally his eyes met Lucy’s and she flashed him a smile meant to encourage him to proceed.

“Greg was my friend … and an old grump like me doesn’t have many friends. Greg knew a lot of people in this town, but I feel damn sorry for anyone who lives here and never had the chance to meet him. No one, aside from my own wife, Darcy, could make me laugh like Greg could. He was loyal and respectful, even if he was a bull shitter. Good grief that man liked to tell stories. Also, any man who can raise a brood of children by himself and manage to keep them all out of jail is a good man in my book.”

Lucy could have sworn that she heard Principal Robertson blow air between his lips like he was blowing a raspberry. A few people looked his way and then back at Sheriff Davis.

“That is all I got.” Sheriff Davis stepped back into the crowd.

Evelynn Andrews, the librarian at the Summer Hollow library, raised her hand slightly. She was about seventy years old, but didn’t look a day over fifty five. Lucy hoped she would age that well as the years progressed.

Evelynn pushed her glasses up her nose and closed her eyes for a moment before she began to speak. “I don’t think I can say much more about how wonderful Gregory was, but I wanted to make sure to pay my respects by voicing them. I’ve known the Estmond family all the way back to when Kathleen was still alive, as far back as when she and Greg were high school sweethearts. No one, could have been a better father to these children. Sure, they have caused a fair amount of ruckus over the years, but he did it all on his own and they are educated, mostly well behaved.”

She paused to glance at Daniel who had decided that moment would be appropriate for another pull from his flask. “And above all, Greg gave these children a sense of loyalty. Anyone who knows these kids knows that if you mess with one, you get the whole bunch of them.”

A few people giggled, even Lucy, knowing how true that statement really was.

“This may not seem like a good thing in retrospect, but a family who stays together so closely is a rare thing these days. It is to be cherished. Greg gave them this sense of family and that is something to be proud of.” As she finished, she closed her eyes again looked Pastor Brown.

“Would anyone else like to speak?” Pastor Brown addressed the crowd of mourners.

Unexpectedly, Ethan released Lucy’s hand and raised it up a little bit. “I need to say something.”

Pastor Brown nodded and held his hand out beside him. Ethan moved over to the other side of Lucy beside the pastor. “There are very few people here who don’t know who I am.” Ethan began. “Gregory Estmond took me under his wing a long time ago, when Lucy and I were both very little. My parents, who have moved away now…”

He paused and took a breath, pondering if he should let out the deep dark family secrets. Well, secrets that the whole town knew anyway. That was how small towns worked.

“They were, drug addicts and alcoholics who barely took care of me. Greg came by the house one day to see my parents for some reason and what he found was a little boy locked in his room with no food or water and his parents passed out in their bedroom surrounded by drugs and trash. The story is a long one, a long sad story. But it ended with Greg and the rest of the Estmonds making sure I always had a place to go, that I always had food. Greg even went so far as to pay me for making good grades, just to give me incentive to do well in school.”

Lucy grimaced as he told the story, hating Ethan’s parents for what they did to him. Ethan had conveniently left out the part about how her father had beat the ever living snot out of Ethan’s dad that day he found him locked up in his room half starved. It was hard to believe Ethan’s parents came from a Keeper line, but sadly, not all Keepers were immune to addiction. Keepers were human, just like everyone else.

Ethan scanned the crowd through his glasses. “No one, except for maybe the Estmond kids, owes more, or loves that man, more than I do. He saved me and I will never forget that. I hope that none of you ever forget that either.”

Ethan lowered his head and hurried back to Lucy. She immediately took his hand again, knowing how hard it must have been for him to say all that in front of everyone. He never spoke about his parents. They moved away when he was fourteen and left him alone in the house. After that he came to live with the Estmonds for good. She and Ethan were friends long before the incident at Ethan’s house, but after he came to live with them, they were inseparable.

Pastor Brown closed up the ceremony with a prayer and then the bagpipes started on Amazing Grace. Lucy stepped forward with Ethan’s hand firmly in her grasp and looked down into the dark, deep hole where her father’s body would spend eternity. Luckily, she knew better than most that his soul would not remain in that body.

She held the white rose firmly over the grave. “I wish you peaceful passage.” She released the rose and it drifted down into the depths of the hole. “I love you, Daddy.”

Ethan mimicked her actions, familiar with the meaning of the ceremony from the many deaths of Keepers past. Her siblings had moved into a line directly behind her and Ethan, tossing their roses in as well.

The other mourners milled about, giving Lucy and the family some time before they headed over to her house for the wake. She caught sight of Gloria and Ellen chatting beside the giant wreath of flowers with her father’s picture inside. She wandered over to say hello. “Gloria, Ellen, it’s been so long since I’ve seen you.”

Gloria smiled, as did Ellen. “Yes dear,” Gloria greeted her. “It has been some time. I’m sorry we couldn’t make it sooner.”

“Or under better circumstances.” Ellen added.

Lucy nodded. “Well, I’m just glad that you could make it here now. I’m sure my father would be happy that you are here now.”

Gloria and Ellen nodded, they made a bit more small talk and then Ethan appeared beside her. “I think we had better get over to the house now.” He whispered just loudly enough for the older ladies to hear.

“Oh,” Lucy checked her watch deliberately. “You are absolutely right. I’m sorry ladies, I need to get some things ready over at the house.”

Gloria smiled again, a loving gentle smile of someone she had known her entire life. “You go on dear, we will see you over there.”

With a quick ‘see you later,’ Lucy backed away and then turned to join hands with Ethan again. “Thanks for saving me. I didn’t really want to talk to them, but I had to make sure to say hello to them.”

“You doing all right?” Ethan asked, rubbing the back of her hand with his thumb.

Lucy nodded. “I’m fine.” She turned her head to try and see his eyes through the dark tint of his glasses. “How bout you. Are you all right?”

He twisted his lip up a little and she knew he was giving slight eye roll. “I’ll survive. I just miss him and all this,” he gestured to the crowd, “actually makes it harder.”

She nodded again. “I know what you mean. I feel the same way.” Her gaze strayed from the grave and focused on her house. Their home sat on the edge of the cemetery, separated from the dead by a white picket fence and about thirty yards of grass. The yellow farmhouse had been in their family for several generations, and now it was hers, as was the family business.

“Let’s head over.”

She nodded. Of course they had to get to the house. But, it wouldn’t be for relaxing. There was food to get out and serve. People would come up to her and tell her how sorry they were for her loss, or how much her father meant to them, or some awesome memory they had of him. It was going to be a very long afternoon.

Almost over, she told herself again. Almost over.

 

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about the author

imageJennifer Malone Wright is best known for her short story series, The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter. Other works include the follow up to The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter series called The Arcadia Falls Chronicles and her vampire novel called The Birth of Jaiden. Jennifer also co-authors a series called Once Upon A Zombie Apocalypse.

She resides in the beautiful mountains of northern Idaho with her husband and five children where she practices preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Just kidding!

But seriously, between the craziness of taking care of her children, Jennifer has little time left for herself. The time she does have left, usually leading far into the night, is spent working on her beloved fiction or chatting with her equally crazy friends.

Jennifer also loves coffee, has a passionate affair with red bull, wishes the sushi were better where she lives and dances while she cleans.

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EL-204

You may know Lucian Barnes from his DESOLACE
series. While EL-204 is much different from what you have come to know
from Lucian, you are in for a treat. And without further ado, the cover of EL-204.

 

 

Ahhhh … how about you find out what EL-204 is all about first.

For Jason Lambert, a prominent M.I.T. geneticist, fear of natural
death has become a thing of distant memories. His latest concoction has,
in a sense, increased his longevity and made him nearly immortal.

Over
the past one hundred years, the technological advances of medical
science have rendered the deadliest diseases of the twentieth century
insignificant. Cancer, heart disease, and AIDS are no longer a death
sentence. Serums have been developed to eradicate the problematic cells
and their growth.

When he meets a beautiful woman, his world is
turned upside down. Add to this the government’s sudden interest in his
research, and things begin to spiral out of control. We all know what
happens when the military gets involved. Greed takes over, and ethics
are pushed to their boundaries. Will Jason be able to juggle his
responsibilities without compromising his integrity, or will his
experiments lead to the evolution of a new breed of monster?

Are you ready to see it? Can’t wait any longer? Here it is. Another talented work of art from Kate Cowen.

The cover of EL-204 by Lucian Barnes. Coming this fall to you from Anchor Group Publishing

 

HOSTED BY:

www.bookheathens.com

 

Lilia’s Choice by Laura Brown (relaunch)

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Never let your friends get involved in your personal life.

Lila and Nate learn this the hard way. They are the star-crossed lovers of Glendale High. For three years the students have waited for the two to get together. They begged Nate to put his past relationship behind him, and cringed when Lila started dating Bryce. Just your typical teenage romance, except they’re the teachers.

Lila, a guidance counselor with a sweet demeanor, has an answer for every problem, every problem but her own. A visit from childhood friend Bryce thrusts her calm world into turmoil, as emotions buried deep inside are dragged to the surface. He soon realizes what only a friend can notice and a lover regret, that Lila, unbeknownst to herself, is in love with Nate.

Nate has seen better days. He is a history teacher stuck living in the past. Depression has kept his love for Lila unspoken, his ego frail after being cheated on.

Now Lila and Nate’s coworkers must unleash a scheme and uncover Lila’s true feelings. In a school this nosey what better way to get fast results than to involve the student population? The students are all too eager to get involved.

If everything goes as planned Lila will have to choose between two men. If her friends fail they might destroy these three and ruin their friendship. No wonder the scheme is called Project Torture.

Author Spotlight on L.B. Dunbar

 Hi everyone.  Today on 2 Girls & A Book I am spotlighting Author L.B. Dunbar.  She is the author of the Sensations Collection.  Book 1, Sound Advice, is available now.  Book 2, Taste Test, will be released on September 2nd.
Sound Advice Cover
 Sound Advice (Sensations Collection #1)      By L.B. Dunbar
Kindle Edition     Published by author June 2014
ASIN  BooKQ7F7UU
♦ ♦ ♦
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/nbk47kt
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/mzah4ud
itunes: http://tinyurl.com/p3rmmvg
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sound-advice-1
“Nana’s Rules to Live By”

Gentlemen should always open the door for a lady.

I was busy and I didn’t have time for a vacation, let alone a weekend away. When a frantic phone call from an old neighbor brought me to my grandmother’s summer home, I wasn’t prepared for an extended stay. And I especially wasn’t prepared for the man holding the door open to the radio repair shop who made a lasting first impression.
In attempts at a relationship, a gentleman should always make the first move.
Calling Jess Carter’s clenched jaw and denim-colored eyes part of his standoffish manner was an understatement. His brooding exterior bordered on being downright rude. From the moment I bumped into him, quite literally, our lives began to intertwine in a way that made me question what I wanted.
Children should be seen and not heard.
Jess had secrets and I was determined to get to the bottom of them. Even he didn’t know the solutions to all his problems, I wanted to help. In doing so, I might have drawn too close to the truth, forcing Jess to risk something he wasn’t sure he could chance again. I had decisions to make for myself and it’s hard to know whose advice to take when so many questions remain unanswered.
The first novel in the Sensations Collection visits small town romance filled with big hearts. Sweet, sexy, summertime.

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Welcome L.B. Dunbar.  Please tell the readers about yourself.
I was raised in East Lansing, Michigan, a university town (Michigan State University), but moved to Chicago when I was 22 and have lived here longer. Chicago is where I call home with my husband and four children (who are all teenagers). In my free time, I love to read, but writing has taken over much of that time as well.  I started writing in general because I was caught up reading too much of the same thing.  I wanted a story a bit different.
What was your inspiration to write Sound Advice?
Stranger than fiction, as the cliché goes, is how this tale started for me as the author.  Everyone has a story.  This one is based on a man I never met.  It was looking upon a tall, longish haired man as he picked up his sun bleached little girl at a small town festival that I was inspired for this fictional story.  It was the way he stood, looking, but not really watching, his daughter on the kiddie ride.  The way he clenched his jaw in concentration, then picked her up by her arms with strength and slung her on his hip.  She wrapped her arms around his neck and you knew there was love between the flower-print-dressed girl and the brooding young man.  It was actually my husband who called him an interesting character and it sparked my imagination for a romance.
This story was hurriedly typed on my computer (in 2009) then put on hold.  The following year when I returned to the small town, there he was in the crowd with a year older daughter.  Out of hundreds, it was astonishing to recognize him again.  We still never met and the story I invented of him remained on my flash drive.  Another year, another chance sighting on the midway of rides again in Elk Rapids, this time waiting for his daughter as she climbed the rock wall.  I felt like a stalker and could not believe I had seen him again out of all the nights the town held activities and the thousands of people who come to this small town to celebrate the harbor.  But it was three years after I first saw this man, as I was standing outside the local ice cream shop, and he rode up on his bike with friends, stopping two feet away from me, when I felt the need to take my chances and send out this story.  We have still never met.  And I’m sure this is not his story.
Did it start out being a collection of did it grow from Sound Advice?
It definitely did not start as a collection.  It started as a writing exercise to get the story out of my head.  I didn’t think it would go anywhere, but my computer.  But when I opened the document again in 2013, and started to edit and review the story, a new story blossomed.  I had been playing with the idea of writing a story that was Beauty and the Beast in nature, but the woman was the beast and the man a beauty.  Taste Test was born, connecting the Carter and Scott families, and from Taste Test, book 3 (Fragrance Free) and book 4 (Touch Screen) followed almost immediately.  In two months, I had written three books. Book 5 (Sight Words) is still a work in progress.
Tell us about your next book in the Sensations Collection and when will it be out.
Taste Test is the next book in the Sensations Collection, due to release September 2.  This story is primarily Ethan Scott’s POV as the boy-after.  After a traumatic event happens to a girl, how can you be the boy after?  Ethan doesn’t know what has happened to Ella Scott; she’s scarred both physically and emotionally, but he becomes determined to find out her secrets.  Ella has other plans at first.
What is your writing style? 
I type everything on a laptop, but if the inspiration hits and I have an idea, I jot it down on scrap paper.  I try to be better about that because I always lose the papers.  I use my phone or ipad notes function quite a bit to take down one-liners or concepts so I don’t forget them. I have typed chapters at work (don’t tell my boss) if the inspiration really hits and I use google docs for those moments.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
This summer has been the summer of indie author discovery.  I love Mia Sheridan and Penelope Ward.  My long standing favorites are Jay Crowner, Kylie Scott, Samantha Young and Sophie Jordan.  I will read anything these ladies write.  I also love Katie McGarry and Jennifer Armentrout (writing as J. Lynn).  These are all NA authors.
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 My Review of Sound Advice 
Sound Advice is a contemporary romance with Emily Post and Jess Carter as the main focus. However in my opinion the real story is Katie Carter, Jess’ daughter. Katie’s mother, Debbie, abandoned her at a young age scarring Katie. Debbie simply walked out, moved to Chicago, and served Jess with divorce papers. She never looked back. After that traumatic experience, Katie stopped talking. Completely. Not even a giggle or a scream passed her lips. Through patience, love and kindness Emily teaches Katie sign language. While it is not the same as speaking out loud, it is a start. And of course this brings together Emily and Jess.
My favorite character in Sound Advice is Katie Carter. Her innocence and sadness just broke my heart. This novel is so much more than a romance. It is also about family bonds, friendships, selflessness and healing. This doesn’t just apply to Katie either.
This is author L.B. Dunbar’s first published novel. She does a brilliant job of pulling the reader into the story. Her description of Nana’s home painted a beautiful picture in my mind. It was so easy to see myself sitting on Nana’s porch sipping lemonade. I look forward to reading other works by Mrs. Dunbar.

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Excerpt from Sound Advice
I lay on my bed in Nana’s house with my dress and shoes still on. I was curled up with my hands under the pillow and my knees pulled up under my chest. I had taken off Nana’s sweater due to the heat of the luncheon next door, and I stared out the window at a lone morning dove cooing on the phone line.
    I never heard the back door click open or someone walk up the stairs. I had just closed my eyes when I felt someone sit down on the edge of the bed behind me. As I turned in surprise, I saw Jess sitting opposite me. He wasn’t looking at me and I resumed my original position.
    “How are you doing?” he asked me.
    “What do you want?” I responded, harsher than I intended.
    “I want to know how you’re doing.” I knew without looking at him that he was clenching his jaw in that way he had and was probably pinching the bridge of his nose.
    “I’m fine. Thank you,” I said formally.
    “Katie misses you.”
    “I miss her too.”
    There was silence after this comment and I waited a moment before I spoke.
    “I don’t need your sympathy, Jess. I told you it wasn’t your fault.”
    “I’m not here out of guilt.”
    “Then why are you here?”
    He didn’t answer.
    “I can’t do this right now, Jess. You’ve made yourself clear. Please go away.”
    I heard the side of the bed rise as Jess stood up. I waited again and heard him cross the short space to the bedroom door. Silently, tears slipped down my face and I briskly wiped them away. The room was silent before I felt the bed creak behind me again. Arms suddenly came up around me and I felt Jess’ body pressed into my back.
    “I’m not leaving,” he whispered into my ear.
    More tears rolled down my face as his hand moved along my arm and I cradled my hand in his. I closed my eyes again and wiped my face with my other hand. With his free hand, Jess began stroking my hair. He had removed it from the twist I had it in, and he was combing it out with his fingers. When he was done with that, he let go of my hand and began to rub my back. Gentle fingers massaged my neck and shoulders down the center of my back, moving lower to its base. It took a while, but I finally relaxed. I knew under better circumstances I would have been on fire under his intimate touch, but now I was so tired and drained that I gave into the comfort, not the temptation, of his touch. I felt him tracing something on my back. Letters possibly, spelling something maybe. It felt like an I…but I was drifting off to sleep.
    Hours passed and it was pitch black when I woke. Jess was still on the bed with me, but there had been a shift. I no longer had on my shoes, which was the first thing I consciously noticed. I also noticed that I was no longer cradled into Jess, but more like sprawled on top of him. I raised my head slightly to take in our new position, and leaned on him to see how we had twisted in the night. Jess was flat on his back with my hand up inside of his t-shirt, touching hot, rippled abdominal skin. His oxford shirt was unbuttoned, lying open. I had one leg hiked over Jess’ leg, so my dress was raised up to below my hip, exposing my thigh, which Jess had his hand on. I looked down at his sleeping face and realized I was practically on top of him. Hurriedly, I disentangled myself and leapt to one side of the bed. In embarrassment, I pulled down the skirt of my dress and realized one of the spaghetti straps had broken.
    Jess propped up on his elbows and looked around the room, sleepily.
    “What time is it?”
    “I have no idea. Late.” I was kneeling awkwardly on one side of the bed. I could hear the sounds of the night outside the window. Crickets chirped softly and creatures squeaked through the yard. It took me a moment to process that, no, I had not been drinking, and no, nothing happened between Jess and I. He lay back down and smoothed his uncontained hair before he spoke.
    “You okay?”
    “I think I was draped all over you.”
    “Um… I noticed.” Without seeing his face, I knew he was smiling a lopsided smile and when I covered my own face with my hands in embarrassment, in my mind’s eye I could see his hidden dimple. Jess rolled off the opposite side of the bed and reached down for his shoes.
    “Don’t sweat it,” he said with his half-crooked smile. The heat of his voice was seductive and it sent a shiver down me. I shook a little.
    “Are you cold?”
    “No.”
    “I should go. You know, before the neighbors talk.” He smiled again.
    “Oh, I bet it’s too late for that.” I giggled. “But you have Katie to think about.”
    He didn’t answer and my comment added a tension that wasn’t in the air a moment ago.
    “Leave before I do something I’ll regret,” I whispered, trying to make light of the situation.
    “Oh, that might tempt me more to stay,” he said, low and dangerous.
    “Just go.” I laughed.
    “Alright, alright. You don’t have to be so pushy.”
I lay down on my back and laughed. “I always am.”
    Jess stood looking down at me. “Good night, Emily.” I rolled onto my side to see him walk out the door for real this time.
“Good night, Jess.” I felt that new growing desire move through my body as he went down the stairs.
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Sneak Peek at Taste Test, Book 2, Sensations Collection

tastetest

In a modern twist of fairy tales, what if the beast is a woman instead of a man?
Ethan Scott
I was about to find out when a mysterious job led to the secluded home of a horror novelist. I’d lost everything: my scholarship, my education, and my way. In denial of my family inheritance, I took the unusual employment as a chance out of a hole, but I found myself buried in the unknown trauma of another situation much deeper.
Ella Vincentia
I had changed my name and my address to keep myself hidden, but my scars were more than physical. Living as a recluse in the woods, I was used to being alone, so I wasn’t happy when a certain someone was always in my space. Our first encounter was less than pleasant and tension continued at every attempt to tame me.
Secrets
I knew she was keeping secrets and I wanted to help, but she was cutting me down and cutting me off every time she opened her mouth. Our frustration with one another grew until a misunderstanding changed everything. How can I be the next guy after something so tragic? It was a challenge I wasn’t sure I was willing to take.
Add LB Dunbar’s Taste Test to your TBR list today.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22684294-taste-test?ac=1

th6DN48977About the Author

L.B. Dunbar loves to read to the point it might be classified as an addiction.  The past few years especially she has relished the many fabulous YA authors, the new genre of New Adult, traditional romances, and historical romances.  A romantic at heart, she’s been accused of having an overactive imagination, as if that was a bad thing.  When not reading, she’s usually driving one of her four growing children somewhere.  She grew up in Michigan, but has lived in Chicago for longer, calling it home with her husband and children.
 In Her Own Words
I’d like to say I was always a writer.  I’d also like to say that I wrote every day of my life since a child.  That I took the teaching advice I give my former students because writing every day improves your writing.  I’d like to say I have my ten-thousand hours that makes me a proficient writer.  But I can’t say any of those things.  I did dream of writing the “Great American Novel” until one day a friend said:  Why does it have to be great?  Why can’t it just be good and tell a story?
As a teenager, I wrote your typical love-angst poetry that did occasionally win me an award and honor me with addressing my senior high school class at our Baccalaureate Mass. I didn’t keep a journal because I was too afraid my mom would find it in the mattress where I kept my copy of Judy Blume’s Forever that I wasn’t allowed to read as a twelve year old.
I can say that books have been my life. I’m a reader. I loved to read the day I discovered “The Three Bears” as a first grader, and ever since then, the written word has been my friend.  Books were an escape for me. An adventure to the unknown. A love affair I’d never know. I could be lost for hours in a book.
So why writing now?  I had a story to tell. It haunted me from the moment I decided if I just wrote it down it would go away. But it didn’t. Three years after writing the first draft, a sign (yes, I believe in them) told me to fix up that draft and work the process to have it published. That’s what I did. But one story let to another, and another, and another. Then a new idea came into my head and a new storyline was created.
I was accused (that’s the correct word) of having an overactive imagination as a child, as if that was a bad thing. I’ve also been accused of having the personality of a Jack Russell terrier, full of energy, unable to relax, and always one step ahead. What can I say other than I have stories to tell and I think you’ll like them. If you don’t, that’s okay. We all have our book boyfriends. We all have our favorites. Whatever you do, though, take time for yourself and read a book.
L.B. Dunbar
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Available Now…

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Get ready for some Hot Summer Nights ….

 hotsummernights

Hot Summer Nights Volume One

A multi-author anthology by: Alicia Michaels, Carly Fall, Casse NaRome, C.J. Baty, Elise Marion, Kacey Hammell, Natalie G. Owens, Peggy Martinez, and R.K. Ryals

Genres: New Adult/Adult, Contemporary Romance, Paranormal, Time Travel

Release Date: July 30, 2014

Website: www.dasiaisland.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dasiaisland

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22430015-hot-summer-nights-volume-1

Blurb:

Welcome to the exotic paradise of Dasia Island. In the Elysium Resort, nestled among the lush beauty of the rainforest, adventure and romance await. In these nine short stories by bestselling and award winning authors, passion ignites between people from all walks of life, with stories ranging from New Adult to Erotic Romance, and even a bit of Paranormal and Time Travel thrown in—after all the island itself has a mystical history, with mysteries and legends to explore. Lose yourself in the magic of the island … you’ll never want to go home again!

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