Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Available Now: Fade by AK Morgen

The Ragnarök Prophesies, #1
A.K. Morgen



99c/p through Sunday10 November
What do you do when you realize nothing in your life is what you’ve believed it to be?

Arionna Jacobs' world is turned upside down when she loses her mother in a tragic accident. She’s forced to leave her old life behind and move in with her father.

Dace Matthews, a teaching assistant at Arionna's new college, is torn in two, unable to communicate with the feral wolf caged inside him.

When they meet, everything they thought they knew about life unravels. Dace has intimate access to Arionna’s mind, and something deep within her fights to rise to the surface. They don’t understand what’s happening to them or why, and they’re running out of time to sort out the strange occurrences around them.

Their meeting sets an ancient Norse prophesy of destruction in motion, and what destiny has in store for them is bigger than either could have ever imagined. Unless they learn to trust themselves and one another, they may never resolve the mystery surrounding who they are to one another, and what that means for the world.

• • •

December 9, 2009

The wind howled around me, flinging cold rain this way and that. Frigid drops stung my face and hands. The vinyl awning overhead shook and rattled in time to the thunderclaps echoing from every direction. Energy crackled in the air as lightning splintered trees miles away. The resulting clamor forced Reverend Don to shout just to be heard above the fury of the storm. Even so, I only caught every third or fourth word of the prayer he offered.

I didn't need to hear what he said anyway. There were no prayers for raising the dead. I knew because I'd tried. I'd begged, pleaded, and prayed to every god I could think of over the last four days, and none of my efforts changed a single thing.

My mom still lay in the gleaming wood casket in front of me. And I still couldn't breathe. I'd tried that for the last four days, too, but my breath remained lodged in my throat. It burned when I inhaled. It burned when I exhaled.

Was that normal?

I wasn't sure.

I lifted my unblinking gaze from my waterlogged black shoes as Reverend Don continued shouting. He bowed his gray head over his Bible, his shoulders hunching against the driving rain pummeling us from all sides. The few mourners who'd braved the storm alongside my dad and me to attend the graveside service huddled in groups beneath useless umbrellas, soggy tissues clutched in their shaking fists. Mascara ran in rivulets down more than one face, but whether from the rain or tears, I didn't know.

I couldn't remember if I'd put on mascara before leaving the house, but any smudges beneath my eyes were from rain. I hadn't cried yet, and I didn't know if that was normal either.

I didn't think it mattered one way or another though. My life stopped making sense the moment I'd opened the door to the state trooper on Saturday, and every hour since had flung me further and further from normal. Who cared if I cried now or later?

My mom was dead, and tears wouldn't change that.

Besides, if I let myself cry now, I wouldn't stop. I'd keep on until I ran out of tears, and I couldn't do that. I needed to keep moving forward. One step at a time. Sprinkle dirt over her coffin. Thank her friends for coming. Pack my things. Transfer colleges.

The list seemed endless, but if I stopped long enough to think now, I'd fall apart. Eventually, I'd run out of things to do, I knew that, but I didn't know what to expect when I did. When I had nothing left to plan or store or do…is that when I cracked? When I shattered like Humpty Dumpty?

As a murmur of "amen" went up from Mom's friends and co-workers, I almost hoped I did get to fall apart then. Being strong and brave hurt. Especially when I just wanted to hit my knees and scream until I passed out.

But when do we ever really get what we want, anyway?

Dad's hand tightened around mine, and I glanced in his direction. He stared straight ahead, his brown eyes fixed on Mom's casket. I followed the path his gaze had taken, only to realize he wasn't looking at her casket at all. His eyes locked on the far side of the cemetery, at the line where the plots stopped and the trees started.

I squinted through the rain, trying to pinpoint what held his attention.

A lone wolf hunkered beneath the trees.

A wolf?

I blinked, certain I hadn't seen an animal at all, but I had. A wolf, or the domestic relation anyway, sat in the shadows of the trees, staring in our direction. Even from a distance, he looked as sad as I felt, and I wondered if he'd lost a loved one too.

Do animals feel loss like us? Do they grieve, too?

I hoped not.

As the wind picked up around us, the animal's eyes met mine. He didn't move for a moment. He just sat there with his sad, wolfy eyes locked on mine. And then he lifted his muzzle skyward and howled.

Goose bumps broke out along my skin as his mournful wail ripped through the cemetery. Reverend Don's voice, the sniffles and muffled sobs of Mom's friends, even the crash and clatter of thunder and lightning faded.

The lump in my throat dissolved, and I could breathe.

I didn't feel peaceful or better or anything remotely close to unburdened. I felt…wrecked. As if listening to his call shook loose a little grief that had been building for the last few days. Everything inside, all of the grief and fear I hadn't allowed myself to think about, expanded. Grief swept through me like a tsunami, leaving nothing untouched.

A tear slipped down my cheek, followed by another.

The wolf's howl lingered in the air around us for long moments before the storm renewed its assault. Lightning flashed in the distance, and the sound of his howl faded into the screeching wind.

The animal turned his head in my direction, looking right at me again. Yellow eyes locked on mine, burning through me, speaking to me.

My heart twisted painfully in my chest, the truth hitting me like a ton of bricks.

My mom was never coming back. Not ever.

My vision blurred until the wolf looked like little more than a watery spot far off in the distance. "I love you, Mama," I whispered, hoping she'd heard me.

The animal sat there for another moment, watching me, and then he slipped back beneath the shadows of the tree. I watched him go through tear-filled eyes, my heart aching in ways I couldn't even begin to describe.

Reverend Don loomed in front of me as I reached up to wipe my eyes, his wrinkled face a mask of sympathy and support. He extended one of his hands in my direction, his Bible clutched to his chest with the other.

I glanced over at my dad, but he had his eyes closed and his head bowed. A line of moisture worked its way down his cheek, and I knew that even if Mom hadn't heard me, he had.


I hesitated, not ready for what came next. I was only nineteen…why did I have to say goodbye to her now? How was this fair? I looked back at her coffin, and then at the broken expression on my dad's face. My hands trembled in my lap.

Dad reached over to squeeze my fingers. "Love you, Ari," he whispered.

I rose from my seat, a sob building in my throat.

• • •

A.K. Morgen lives in the heart of Arkansas with her childhood sweetheart/husband of fifteen years, and their furry minions. When not writing, she spends her time hiking, reading, volunteering, causing mischief, and building a Spork army.

She graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychology in 2009 before going on to complete her graduate degree in CJ and Law.

She puts her education to use as a 911 Dispatch Supervisor, where she's responsible for leading a team of dispatchers as they watch over police, EMS, and firefighters for her county.

In addition to writing fantasy, she also writes steamy contemporary romance as Ayden K. Morgen.

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Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Available Now: The Power of Love by Kemberlee Shortland

Kemberlee Shortland


When Elaine discovers she's pregnant, she hesitates telling her husband, Ethan. They're newlyweds and want to wait until they're ready to start a family. Ethan surprised her by accepting early parenthood, embracing the idea more fully than either of them expected. But when they receive bad news after a prenatal exam, both must face that their charmed lives were about to come crashing down around them.

Do Christmas wishes really come true? Elaine would stake her life on it!

• • •

Limerick City, Ireland - June

The best feeling in the world had to be lying in a lover’s arms, completely exhausted after a night of lovemaking, totally and absolutely sated.

Elaine went with Ethan as he fell back onto the mattress and snuggled close to him, weaving her legs with his and grinning at how his leg hairs tickled her.

The warm, masculine scent of his body—the lingering hint of his cologne, the smell of his skin damp with fine perspiration, the heady aroma of sex—permeated her senses and made that place deep inside her long for him once more.

In a word, he smelled delicious. So much so, she had practically gobbled him up over the last several hours. Perhaps she would again, she thought, trailing her fingertips across the ridges of his broad chest and boldly circling his nipples.

His strong hand grasped hers and brought it to lips framed with dark stubble, kissing the backs of her fingers. “Please, love. I can barely move.”

Elaine glanced down the solid length of him to the twitch beneath the sheet just covering his hips. “Could have fooled me.”

Leaning over, he propped himself up on an elbow and looked down at her. He nestled her head in the crook of his arm.

“Isn’t it enough you kept me up all night,” winking at the double meaning, “but you want to make me late for work, as well?”

“You weren’t complaining an hour ago.”

His lips against hers echoed the passion they had shared through the night.

When he leaned away, his deep voice was soft, his blue-eyed gaze intense. “And I never will, Lany. I love you to the depths of my soul and will always be here for you.”

Tears welled and threatened to spill down her cheeks. “Will you?”

Nodding, he said, “Aye. Always.”

“You truly want this baby.” It wasn’t a question. She rubbed her belly without breaking her gaze with him. When he nodded again, his grin answering more than his voice could, she added, “Oh, Ethan! You make me so happy.” She slid her arms around his shoulders. He came to her instantly, burying his face in the curve of her neck, kissing her there. Familiar tingles shivered up her body and threatened to rekindle the passion she felt hovering just beneath the surface.

All too soon, he pulled away. “I still need to go to work. Now let me go or we’ll be raising our child on the Dole.” He winked again before placing a quick peck on her lips then rose from the bed.

Elaine laughed lightly. "As if you'd accept unemployment money."

When the sheet fell away as he left the bed, she leaned up on her elbow and watched his firm ass flex as he strode out of the room. Something inside her swelled with admiration. Yes, no matter how exhausted she was, she could eat him up over and over again.

A moment later she heard the shower go on then splashing and she imagined the water sluicing over him, wishing she could be in there with him.

She cocked her head at another sound. He was actually singing! He must be really happy. She considered joining him, but he was right. He had to get to work—so did she—or they would both be raising their baby on the Dole.

As she rose and threw on a robe, she laughed at her feelings of dread last night. She had been so afraid to tell Ethan she was pregnant. They had only been married a few short months and were trying to plan their future and keep to an agenda. That included birth control—at least for a while. But nothing was one hundred percent effective, as her current condition proved.

She could barely contain her joy at how Ethan welcomed the baby much sooner than they had planned that she felt she was floating down the stairs.

In the kitchen, Elaine put on the coffee then turned her gaze out the kitchen window to their back garden. She tried imagining a swing set, sand box, and a Wendy house rather than the clothesline, spotty lawn, and falling down tool shed. She wrapped her arms around her waist, wondering how they were going to give their child the life he or she deserved. If money was tight now, it would only get tighter once their child was born.

A moment later, strong arms encircled her, pulling her against a broad chest. Ethan kissed the curve of her neck and she melted against him.

“You okay?” He turned her to face him. “You’ve been standing there for a while just staring outside.”

His dark hair was damp and hanging over the dark brows and lashes framing his crystal blue eyes. His gaze was both concerned and sexy. She wanted to rip his shirt from his shoulders and . . .

Instead, she just finger-combed the curls back from his face. “Aye. I’m trying to imagine a swing set in the garden instead of the clothesline.”

Ethan chuckled. “Everything is going to be grand. We’ve a perfect life. Nothing’s going to change that.” He kissed her on the forehead before releasing her to pour himself a cup of coffee.

Even as she watched the man she loved more than anything move about the kitchen, she could not quell the feeling of dread suddenly eating at her.

• • •

Kemberlee Shortland is a native Northern Californian who grew up in Carmel, a community founded by artists and writers, including John Steinbeck, George Sterling, and Jack London. Over the years, Kemberlee has worked with several Carmel notables, including Doris Day, Kim Novak, and Joan Fontaine. It was in 1997, she left the employ of Clint Eastwood to live in Ireland for six months. It was during this time she met the man she would marry, and permanently relocated to live in Ireland.

While always writing since a very young age, Kemberlee earned her keep for fifteen years as one of Ireland's foremost travel consultants, and also wrote travel articles about Ireland. In 2005, she saw her first romance sell, and to date, she has thirteen published titles to her name, including the best-selling Irish Pride Series, and her new thriller series, Jack Slaughter Thrillers, as K.A. Lugo.

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Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Available Now: The Viking's Cursed Bride by Mairibeth MacMillan

The Brothers of Thunder Series, #1
Mairbeth MacMillan



99c/p through Sunday, 27 October
Half Briton, half Pict, Aoife has been an outsider all her life. Rejected by her family, despite saving them from the Norse raid on Alt Clut, she is forced to marry one of the invaders to ensure her family’s safety and rid them of a cursed daughter, while putting her own life at risk.

Jarl Tormod intends to settle on the Clyde and to marry a Briton. One as high-born as Aoife ought to ensure the safety and prosperity of the Norse settlement. When their relationship grows beyond convenience, loving one another may prove to be disastrous.

All Aoife wants is a place to belong, but when her family’s deception is revealed, a near-fatal betrayal in Tormod’s past threatens to destroy all hope for a peaceful and prosperous future.

• • •

Alt Clut, Kingdom of Ystrad Clud, 870 AD

“Smile,” Aoife’s stepmother, Ula, hissed at her. “You don’t want King Artgal to think you are ungrateful you were invited, do you? He has been known to punish even his most loyal subjects for less. And for one such as you...” Ula’s cruel laughter made Aoife want to run far from here. Not that she had anywhere truly safe to go. She glanced towards the dais and managed to force her lips into some semblance of a smile, then returned her attention to the plateful in front of her.

All around her, the families of the richest, most important nobles of the kingdom of Ystrad Clud feasted. Every one of the long wooden tables was full, and the room was too warm for the fire burning in the grate, more to demonstrate the wealth of the king than from necessity on a summer night such as this one. The gathered nobles were richly dressed in heavy woollen kirtles, and with the excessive heat, the stench of their sweat only grew stronger as the feast wore on, making Aoife’s stomach churn. Not even the smell of roasted meats and vegetables could mask it.

Aoife pulled at the neck of her dress. She’d grown over the past winter and Ula had not yet instructed the servants to make a new summer dress for her. Ula’s four natural-born daughters always came first. There was also the fact she knew Ula did not wish her to look too attractive tonight — at least not in comparison to her half-sisters. Any suitor found at a gathering such as this one was of a higher status than Ula would ever allow Aoife to marry.

“Eat,” demanded Ula, nudging her elbow and smiling beatifically towards the king.

Aoife lifted a mouthful to her lips. Obediently she chewed and choked it down as fast as possible under her stepmother’s wrathful glare. It tasted like ashes. The noise of the revelry around her was giving her a headache, the smoke from the fire stung her eyes and the heat made her queasy. The room swayed around her. She closed her eyes, then felt a sharp elbow in her ribs. Her eyes flew open.

“If you bring dishonour to our family...” her stepmother whispered urgently, her cold expression and hands clasped as if in prayer making it clear where Aoife would be headed. A prisoner forever behind the bare stone walls of the abbey, with no family, no hope for a home, nor a husband and children.

Not that she was sure why she yearned for those things. Her own childhood had been far from idyllic. And there was little chance of any of them before Ula had secured decent marriages for Aoife’s half-sisters. But she wished for them nonetheless.

Across the room a gentleman caught her eye and inclined his head towards her. She thought she recognised him but couldn’t remember his name. She nodded at him.

“Keep your eyes down,” Ula said. “And if you have any ideas in your head about Lord Aethelfred, then forget them. He will not be for you.”
“And what if I am his choice?” Aoife replied before she could stop herself. Sometimes she found it hard not to answer her stepmother back, despite knowing it only ever made her life more difficult.

“Your father will give him short shrift,” Ula promised, hatred etched on her features. “Your father always does what I tell him.”

It was true and becoming more true as each year passed. Ula’s influence over her father’s decisions was not a good thing. Not for the first time, she wished her own mother was still alive to care for her and protect her. What Aoife would have given for her to have lived through her brother’s birth. But they had both died, and her father, Lord Cadell, had remarried. And now she had Ula as a stepmother. Most of Cadell’s people had been happy to see him marry another Briton rather than a Pict. Aoife had often regretted that her father had not sent her back to her mother’s family in Pictland, but Cadell wasn’t willing to give up anything belonging to him – even an unwanted daughter.

Aoife picked up her cup of wine and took a sip. A wave of dizziness swept through her. The cup clattered onto the table, wine spilling like blood and seeping into the wood. She clutched at the edge, trying to keep her balance. She glared at her stepmother. Had the woman finally poisoned her, hoping she could blame another?

“What are you doing?” Ula demanded, talon-like fingers gripping Aoife’s elbow. “Stop this at once.”

But Aoife’s eyes no longer saw the woman, nor the room, nor the walls of the hall at Alt Clut. At first, she didn’t know what she did see. She smelt the salt tang of the sea and heard the whoosh of waves and the cry of gulls. It was night, dark out on the water, and yet in front of her were the heads of hundreds of serpents. They approached Alt Clut in the darkness just before the dawn and swept onto the land, slithering up the walls of the rock and on into the fort. Above them, two ravens circled, watching the progress of the serpents, their frantic screeching serving to encourage the invaders. Blood-curdling screams sounded and she realised they were her own.
“They’re coming! The sea serpents are coming!”

A slap from her stepmother was hard enough to jar her neck and her head hit the back of the wooden chair, sending her down into darkness.

• • •

Mairibeth MacMillan lives on the shores of Loch Long on the edge of Argyll and Bute. While very picturesque, living there seems to involve endless driving and family life currently involves running a taxi service.

She was a drama teacher for many years until, during a career break, she studied for a Creative Writing degree through the Open University followed by a Masters degree in Playwriting and Dramaturgy. Over the years she has had some success with short stories and flash fictions in various competitions, magazines and anthologies. In 2014 she was shortlisted for the New Writer’s Award at the Festival of Romance.

Inspired by the discovery of a Viking fort marked on the Ordnance Survey map in a friend’s garden she started working on a series of Viking Romances set in the Kingdom of Strathclyde at the end of the Ninth century. The Viking’s Cursed Bride is the first in a series of books about four Norse cousins as they build new lives far from home.

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Thursday, 17 October 2019

Congratuations to Susan Clayton-Goldner!

Please help us congratulate our Susan Clayton-Goldner. Her book, TORMENTED, has just won Best Thriller of 2019 in the InD'Tale RONE Awards!

To celebrate the win, we've discounted Tormented to 99c/p through 20 October. If you haven't read Tormented yet, or aren't familiar with Susan's body of work, this is a great opportunity to dive in.

Fr. Anthony's devotion to God begins to unravel the moment Rita Wittier steps inside his church and struggles to control his feelings. After 60 Minutes’ special on the Shepherd Academy, a school for disadvantaged children, Anthony becomes a national hero. But he can’t get Rita out of his mind. Just hours after telling her how he feels, she’s found dead in her car. Is it suicide, or is it murder?

For more info and to download your copy:

* Listen to the author read the first chapter of her book on her page too!

If you have read Tormented, please be sure to share your feelings of the story via your review where you bought the book, share the link with your friends and family who you think would enjoy the book, share your comments on your socials. Your comments help authors know how they're doing with you, the reader, and learn where they may need improvement. And they aid in their ability to market their books more effectively. If you have reviewed already, thank you!

Some reviewer comments:

"Boy was I totally blindsided! First of all this was nothing of what I expected..." ~M. Rondeau

"You will not see the end coming." ~ Simatsu

"...truly a story of mental and emotional torment." ~ S. Lynn


Friday, 11 October 2019

Available Now: Fated Desires by Becky Flade

Join us for FATED WEEK

This week, our Becky Flade is releasing each book in her fabulous Fated Series.

Monday, we featured Fated Souls, #1.

Wed 9 Oct - Fated Hearts, #2.

Today - Fated Desires, #3.

All books will remain at that price through the weekend. No better time to grab a full series for just $2.97!

The Fated Series, #3
Becky Flade



99c/p through Sunday, 13 October
Jenna Gavin is searching for a fresh start, but more importantly, balance. Her heart, and perhaps the hands of fate, has led her and her young son to Trappers' Cove, Minnesota. Settling in the small, quirky town, she's not in the market for a casual relationship yet finds herself in one with the young widower next door.

Former shortstop, Gabriel Foxx, is drawn to his difficult new neighbor. The more the prickly divorcee attempts to keep him at arm's length, the more determined he is to break down her walls. He can't avoid the passion she inspires but he won't allow himself to feel more.

When friendship grows complicated by stronger emotions and mutual desire, it just isn't enough. Will love be worth the risk?

• • •

Gabriel accepted the two frozen margaritas the nearly naked waiter offered and set them on a small, glass table. Drops of water slid down the sides of the glasses. Even condensation was lazy here. The sun was warm, and the surf crashed against the beach only yards away from his toes. The scent of suntan lotion infused the air with coconut.

“Hmm,” he murmured. He loved Cancun.

“You always choose this memory,” Cass said.

He squinted at his wife. Her bikini strained the bounds of propriety and desire tugged at him, swirling through a flash of pride she was his. He knew other men stared at his wife, as she knew other women stared at him. They laughed about it, secure in their mutual affection.
“It’s my favorite.”

“You know this is only a recollection of a moment in time.”

“Stop trying to ruin this for me. Sip your margarita, drip the condensation on my stomach, and I’ll chase you to the water’s edge, okay?”
“Sorry, handsome, not going to happen. It’s time for you to wake up.”

“Do you know how much snow is out there?”

She smiled at him. The expression that had once lit him from inside instead caused an ache, a bereft pain like he’d lost a part of himself. Melancholy didn’t belong in this memory, damn it. He hated it when she screwed with his dreams.

She laughed this time—a treasured sound he’d never again hear while awake. He pushed himself up onto his elbows. She looked different. Not like she did on the beach in Cancun. But closer to the age she was when she…when she left him.

“I have to wake up, don’t I?”

“Always, my love. But today, your future waits for you.”

Gabriel Foxx’s arm shot out to silence the bleating alarm. He rubbed sore eye sockets with the heels of his hands; they were gritty, as though the beach he’d dreamt of had thrown sand in his face. When he dropped his hands, sunlight bounced off his wedding band. He sighed while rubbing it with the pad of his thumb in a familiar habit. He should take it off. But he couldn’t bring himself to remove the ring, even though he knew how far away its delicate mate rested.

He sat up, swung his legs over the side of the bed, and stretched. He was too sore for his age. The inches upon inches of frozen precipitation had caused his knee to ache for days now. He rubbed the offending joint, cursing one bad slide into home base as he did each morning. He had no reason to hide his nakedness; he lived alone despite his mother’s constant nagging to hire a live-in housekeeper. She couldn’t understand that between the cleaning woman that came by twice a week, the groundskeeper’s crew, the team working his crops, and the handful of reliable friends Gabriel had made in Trappers’ Cove, he was far from lonely.

After relieving himself and brushing his teeth, he wandered through the house, aiming for the kitchen. Second only to his home gym, this was his favorite room. The entire outside wall was enclosed in specially treated glass. He had an amazing view of the forest that buffeted his land, and he could just make out the edges of farmland he’d cleared for his crop. He stood in his kitchen, his back against the island, admiring his largesse as he swallowed down the first blessed hit of caffeine with a silent salute to the creator of the timing mechanism on his coffee pot. It may be cold outside, but the inside was cozy, the coffee was hot, and the snow dazzled. The view reminded him of a scene from an old Bing Crosby movie.

Gabe exchanged coffee for a cold bottle of water and headed to his gym. He preferred to start his days with a workout and a swim before he showered. He found the exercise particularly cathartic following one of his special “dreams.” When he got to the basement, he threw on a pair of shorts; he had no reason to cover himself, but he wasn’t comfortable lifting weights bare-assed. By the third rep of thirty deadlifts, he had worked up a sweat and put the visit from Cassidy behind him.

• • •

Becky has been writing stories since kindergarten. But it wasn’t until she found her very own knight in slightly tarnished armor that she took the leap in to publishing. And hasn’t looked back once. In addition to being a wife, mother and grandmother, she works as a legal professional when she’s not writing, reading or dancing. And Becky’s proud to tell people she’s making her own dreams come true one happily ever after at a time.

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Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Available Now: Fated Hearts by Becky Flade

Join us for FATED WEEK

This week, our Becky Flade is releasing each book in her fabulous Fated Series.

Monday, we feature Fated Souls, #1.

Today - Fated Hearts, #2.

Friday - Fated Desires, #3.

Books #3 is still on preorder for just 99c/p, and all books will remain at that price through the weekend. No better time to grab a full series for just $2.97!

The Fated Series, #2
Becky Flade



99c/p through Sunday, 13 October
Psychiatrist Henley Elliott fled her quiet life in Cleveland for a gypsy lifestyle, trying to stay one step ahead of her painful memories. When she breaks down in quirky little Trappers' Cove, Minnesota, she meets Sheriff Carter McAlister - a man healing from his own share of hidden heartbreaks.

At the request of a friend, Carter offers Henley a job to help her get back on her feet . . . but soon he can't resist trying to sweep the intriguing woman off them. Breaking through her carefully built shell proves to be a near-impossible task, and to make matters worse, a dangerous new presence in the Cove seems to be targeting Henley. They must learn to trust in each other in order to keep her safe.

Can Henley and Carter leave their secrets and scars in the past to get a second chance at happily ever after?

• • •

“Come on, baby. You can do it.” Henley Elliott petted the dash of her twenty-year-old Grand Prix and coaxed it over the hill. She loved the old green car, her first and only since getting her driver’s license her senior year of high school, but it was on its last leg, and Henley knew it. As the car chugged over the peak, she took her foot off the gas and coasted down the other side. She enjoyed the speed, and the view as the valley opened.

She didn’t blame the car for wanting to quit. She was tired too. She was exhausted from constantly running, always looking over her shoulder, jumping from town to town. She hoped she’d gone far enough to be safe. She had almost convinced herself she would be, that it would be okay to settle for a few weeks in the next town. She’d done preliminary research online at a public-access computer in the library a few miles back. Though a small and rural community, the next town appeared metropolitan enough to provide lodging and work for a while. She had too much dust on her shoes and needed to call somewhere home. Trappers’ Cove was as good a place as any.

As gravity pulled the limping car downhill, farms gave way to a residential area that must’ve bordered the town proper. The houses, small and large alike, were old but well maintained; they showed tradition, respect, and pride. Henley glanced at her dashboard clock—it was noon on a Wednesday in late April. Kids were in school, but she imagined later they would play in their yards and ride bikes in the street. Young women chatted over fences as they hung laundry on clotheslines. It resembled a scene out of a television show from her childhood or the Lifetime movie she’d caught in a motel last month. Henley smiled. It was charming. She loved it.

Her smile faded as the road leveled, and her car slowed.

“No, no, no, baby, just a little bit farther,” she pled. She pulled the car off the side of the road in time for it to roll to a stop, shudder, cough, and die. She laid her forehead against the steering wheel and sighed. She didn’t have much money and feared the car needed massive repairs. It was a miracle her baby had made it this far. Trappers’ Cove would be home for the next little bit—once she got there. Her immediate problem was getting herself into the main part of town, followed closely by locating a mechanic who would tow the vehicle in with only the promise of payment. Then she’d worry about securing lodging and employment. Henley grabbed her purse and the backpack she kept filled with a couple days’ worth of necessities, locked the Pontiac loaded with the rest of her meager belongings, and began walking west.

Late April in Minnesota wasn’t exactly balmy, so she’d dressed that morning in jeans and a long-sleeved tee. Always practical, Henley had also wrapped a sweatshirt around her waist in case she needed it. But after a few miles of walking in the afternoon sun, she began to perspire. Her hair clung to the back of her neck, and her shirt grew clammy. With practiced skill, she pulled the long, brown locks into a sloppy bun and secured the knot with a scrunchie she kept on her wrist. She pushed the sleeves up to her elbows and nudged her sunglasses higher on the bridge of her nose.

She heard the truck approach. It came around the bend in the road and into view, its appearance as dilapidated as it sounded. She kept her gaze on the horizon, but the truck slowed to a stop parallel to her regardless. She expected to see a grizzly old farmer behind the wheel, his teeth yellowed from tobacco, dressed in flannel and suspenders. She knew it was a snobby presumption, but she’d seen more than a few on her travels, and they drove similar trucks. Instead, the man behind the wheel of the once-blue jalopy appeared to be close to forty, and he was pretty.

She doubted he’d appreciate the description; in her experience, not many men would, but it was the first word that came to Henley’s mind. His dark brown hair needed a cut, the ends curling around his ears and nape. He had blue eyes framed in thick, black lashes, a day’s worth of stubble, though it wasn’t yet three o’clock, and a cleft chin. His full bottom lip curved seductively as he smiled at her in an amused but condescending fashion that suggested women tended to stare and he thought it funny. She realized her mouth hung open and snapped it shut. She tucked her hands in her back pockets. She wasn’t sure what else to do with them, but the move thrust her ample breasts forward, and the pretty man’s smile widened exponentially.

Sweet baby Jesus, some things in life aren’t just.

“Hi. Can I help you?”

“My car broke down. About three, maybe three and a half miles back.” Okay, she sounded like a functional human being. “I’m going to Trappers’ Cove.”

“Well, you’re heading the right way.” His smile warmed. “I’d be glad to give you a lift. My name is Carter. Carter McAlister.”

“I’m okay walking, but thanks.”

“Sure. I get it. Not safe, accepting rides from strangers.” He shrugged, but his eyes twinkled. “It’s not really safe offering a ride to a stranger. These days.” He creased his forehead in an exaggerated expression of suspicion. “Are you a crazed ax murderer?”

Henley tilted her head and considered him. “Recently reformed. I’ve adopted my own version of AA’s twelve-step program. You’d probably be okay.”

She enjoyed the full, throaty sound of his surprised laughter. He didn’t speak like a Midwesterner, yet she couldn’t place his distinctive accent. Her pulse thrummed in a delicious rhythm she hadn’t felt in a long time. He was probably harmless. But a frisson of sexual awareness and “probably harmless” weren’t good enough reasons to override basic caution.

“For both our sakes, I think I’ll walk. But thanks again.”

• • •

Becky has been writing stories since kindergarten. But it wasn’t until she found her very own knight in slightly tarnished armor that she took the leap in to publishing. And hasn’t looked back once. In addition to being a wife, mother and grandmother, she works as a legal professional when she’s not writing, reading or dancing. And Becky’s proud to tell people she’s making her own dreams come true one happily ever after at a time.

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Monday, 7 October 2019

Available Now: Fated Souls by Becky Flade

Join us for FATED WEEK

This week, our Becky Flade is releasing each book in her fabulous Fated Series.

Today, we feature Fated Souls, #1.

Wed 9 Oct - Fated Hearts, #2

Friday - Fated Desires, #3

Books #2 and #3 are on preorder for just 99c/p, and all books will remain at that price through the weekend. No better time to grab a full series for just $2.97!

The Fated Series, #1
Becky Flade



99c/p through Sunday, 13 October
Shamed investigative journalist turned tabloid scribe Maggie O’Connell convinces her editor to let her go to Minnesota to research alleged werewolf sightings. Her first night in the woods, she gets trapped in an old sleeping bag, unintentionally attracts the attention of a bear, and is saved by the most unlikely of heroes: the very wolf she had come to investigate!

When she meets horse rancher Aidan Gael in the town market days later, she recognizes his eyes as those belonging to her champion.

Aidan tries desperately to avoid her; he both fears Maggie and fears for her. Neither man nor beast can resist her curious mind and courageous heart. One kiss threatens to break Aidan’s tenuous self-control but furthers Maggie’s resolve.

Danger lurks at every turn. The curse Aidan fights to keep secret is only one of the obstacles that will test the strength of their bond. Together they will navigate the violence of both nature and of man in pursuit of their destiny.

• • •

The forest settled around her as the darkness deepened, and Maggie felt a sense of peace wash over her. Small, nocturnal animals went about their business as they became comfortable with her presence in their home. She’d always been comfortable with solitude and silence, two things that made tasks like this one pleasurable instead of a chore, and Maggie quickly lost track of time. Eventually, the sounds around her changed. The ambient noises of the small creatures moving through the brush hushed to a near whisper. The sudden, eerie, silence caught Maggie’s attention, and she listened closely for some indication of what had caused the change. Moments passed before she heard what had quieted the forest. Something large was lumbering through the trees. With an economy of motion, Maggie pulled out her camera and checked her speed and flash.

She saw the fur first, dark, nearly black in the muted moonlight. But it seemed too far above her line of sight to be a wolf. And the townspeople had said that the wolf was gray, not dark. Fear trickled up the back of her neck as the furry blur moved closer and became larger. It didn’t take long for the dark form to pass clearly into Maggie’s line of vision. A bear. Panic welled deep in her throat; she prayed the bear had neither seen her nor caught her scent. She moved her hand slowly toward her pack, toward her gun, when her elbow knocked over the Thermos of coffee. Its roll into the leaves sounded to Maggie like a cacophony of drums, and as she watched, horrified, the bear turned his head toward her. Forgetting to move stealthily, she scrambled for her gun with one hand and fought with the zipper on her sleeping bag with the other.

She cursed and prayed as she tugged at the sleeping bag, but the zipper didn’t budge. The bear advanced on her. She realized he wasn’t fully grown yet, but from her seated position on the forest floor, he looked huge. She raised the gun with trembling hands, afraid she’d only enrage the animal in her attempt to protect herself—but perhaps since he wasn’t fully grown, she might be able to inflict enough pain to scare him away. At least long enough to get this damn sleeping bag off and get to her car. Her hand steadied as she took aim, waiting for the bear to get close enough for the gun to be effective but also close enough to hurt her with one well-placed swipe of his massive paws.

“I’m so sorry.” She whispered as her finger flexed on the trigger. Without warning, a gray blur streaked into her path, and Maggie instinctively lowered the nose of the gun. A wolf had placed itself between her and the bear. He growled low and threateningly at the bear. The bear grumbled in a loud, grumpy tone. The wolf continued to growl, slowly pushing the bear back until, finally, the bear turned and disappeared back into the night. Though the entire episode had taken only minutes, for Maggie, time had slowed. Sweat puddled in the small of her back, and her mouth tasted like her palm often smelled after gripping copper pennies for too long.

The wolf was magnificent. His fur was a rich, dark gray. He was taller than any wolves she’d seen at the zoo, and the breadth of his shoulders was impressive. She didn’t wonder at the bear’s decision to find his meal elsewhere but sensed the wolf posed her no threat. Instead, she felt protected.

The wolf turned to her then, his head cocked as though asking a silent question. She had a crazy urge to explain what she was doing in the forest stuck in her ancient sleeping bag. But Maggie gasped instead as she looked into his moss-green eyes—eyes that possessed a breathtaking clarity and intelligence. Eyes that assessed her in an entirely too human manner, and, unless she was sorely mistaken, eyes filled with derision. He seemed to look her over dismissively before ambling into the bushes. She heard him settling down a few yards from her, out of sight but not out of reach. She imagined him preparing his bed much as her best friend’s dog did. Circling a favored spot over and over, primping it with the front paws before dropping down to rest. She wondered how long he’d stay there and suspected he’d be there as long as she was. That he’d appointed himself guardian of the woman foolish enough to venture into a bear’s domain.

Maggie knew her thoughts fantastical, wondered if they were the aftereffects of the terror and adrenaline that had left as quickly as they had surfaced. She wondered why she didn’t call it a night—hell, call it a trip, and just go home. But she knew that the wolf she’d heard so many stories of, the wolf she was here to write about, was the brave animal that had just faced off against a black bear and was, even now, nearby. She planned to be there come dawn to see if those moss green eyes looked any different, staring out at her from the face of a man.

“Shit!” Maggie swore as she shoved the gun back into her pack and picked up her forgotten camera. “Goddamn it! I can’t believe I didn’t get one single picture. Not one.” She heard what she could only describe as a soft, breathy chuckle from the area where she sensed the wolf had settled and, without thinking, furiously whispered back, “Go ahead and laugh, I’ll still be here at dawn, camera-ready.”

The forest slowly came back to life as Maggie calmed herself the only way she knew how. By writing. With quick strokes, she recalled in print the scene as it had unfolded before her. The absolute terror of watching the bear approach and waiting until he was close enough to hurt her before taking aim. The wolf leaping into the line of fire, both hers and the bear’s, then forcing back the hungry beast in a display of superiority. Even what she told herself she’d imagined seeing reflected in the canine’s eyes and the huff of breath she’d convinced herself was a chuckle.

The adrenaline-fueled writing slowed, and when she scribbled the last word, a weariness swept over Maggie. Before long, she was sound asleep, bundled into the threadbare sleeping bag that had nearly cost her life.

• • •

Becky has been writing stories since kindergarten. But it wasn’t until she found her very own knight in slightly tarnished armor that she took the leap in to publishing. And hasn’t looked back once. In addition to being a wife, mother and grandmother, she works as a legal professional when she’s not writing, reading or dancing. And Becky’s proud to tell people she’s making her own dreams come true one happily ever after at a time.

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Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Available Now: 13 Steps to the Cellar by Teresa Mathews

Teresa Mathews



99c/p through Sunday the 8th
There were thirteen steps to the cellar. They were steep and they were narrow—but was a fall down them enough to have caused the twenty-seven deep lacerations to her aunt’s head?

Callie Harris travels from her home in Alabama to her aunt’s former mansion in Maine to unravel the haunting forty-year-old mystery of Dr. Laverne Harris Doss’ brutal death.

Why wasn’t a murder weapon found? Was her uncle justly convicted of the killing? Was his mistress involved? Or was the murderer the bearded stranger rumored to have arrived by train that night?

In the charming town of Richmond, located on the banks of Maine’s historic Kennebec River, Callie uncovers the community’s darkest secrets—a botched police investigation, a betrayed widow’s lie, a dead woman’s blackmail, and a wealthy philanthropist’s shame. The web of intrigue extends far beyond Callie's suspicions and its connection to her personal story pierces her to the core.

• • •

A man hovered over the crumpled body of the woman at the bottom of the cellar stairs. An awful, guttural sound forced its way up from deep in her lungs. A cavernous head gash bled profusely, the blood pooling, forming a red halo around her auburn hair. Her glassy, fixed eyes looked up at Callie, pleading for help. I must stop the bleeding, Callie cried. She hurried down the stairs, her feet heavy, her heart pounding. Why can’t I breathe? Why can’t I reach her? Why won’t my feet move faster? She was only steps from her aunt when the grimacing man turned toward her, then looked back to Laverne and raised his hand for a final blow.

Callie awoke with a start. Sitting on the side of the bed, she ran her hand across her forehead to feel the perspiration. Since the funeral, she’d endured recurring dreams about both her father and deceased aunt. It’d been two weeks, and still, she couldn’t shake the nightmares.

She looked at the bedside clock. In an hour, she had a scheduled meeting with her brothers. Wanting to arrive a few minutes early, she dressed, skipped breakfast, and drove to her vacant childhood home.

A heaviness surrounded Callie as she unlocked the front door and walked into the quiet house. Turning on lights, she paused in the family room. For a moment, she imagined she could hear pots rattling in the kitchen. She turned her head to one side to listen to the ghostly strains of her mother singing her favorite hymn. In her mind, Callie could see her father sitting in his recliner, reading the newspaper with his feet propped up. Her two brothers were roughhousing as they came through the door, all sweaty and dirty from playing football in the front yard. So many memories…

Walking down the hall, she opened the linen closet where years ago she’d found the newspaper article about her aunt. I didn’t know Laverne, yet I can’t seem to get her out of my head. Reaching under the sheets on the top shelf, she slid her hand side to side across the cedar boards. She checked the remaining shelves, then closed the door. Empty-handed, she wandered into her father’s bedroom.

On an impulse, she walked to the dresser and opened the bottom drawer to see several sets of folded pajamas. Beneath was a sheaf of papers. With her heart fluttering, she pulled out the stack and took a seat in the nearby chair.

Carefully unfolding the papers, she spread open a section of the Boston Globe. Front and center was her Aunt Laverne’s photo. With anticipation, she read the ensuing article. It confirmed her aunt’s body had been found in the cellar of her Richmond, Maine home. It established the brutality of her death. Otherwise, not many details were divulged. Sighing, Callie folded the newspaper back into its original four creases.

Sitting beside his empty bed, Callie attempted to remember every word her father had uttered about her Aunt Laverne.

• • •

Teresa Mathews is a graduate of The University of South Alabama. She’s a member of the Mobile Writers Guild and serves on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Nursery and Landscape Association.

An avid gardener and artist, she has multiple book covers to her credit. Several years ago after visiting the site of her real-life aunt’s murder, Teresa discovered another passion–storytelling. Although inspired by an actual tragedy, Thirteen Steps to the Cellar is fiction.

Raised on the Gulf Coast, Teresa, her husband, and son now live on a farm with a second home on the sparkling white sands of Fort Morgan, Alabama.

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Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Available Now: One Night in Portland by Angelique Migliore

City Nights, #37
Angelique Migliore



99c/p through Sunday the 25th
Bridges traverse worlds.

Army Captain and surgeon, Finn O’Grady, returns from a field training exercise exhausted and defeated; two soldiers were injured in an accident and one didn’t make it home.

Quilt artist, Lee-Lee Song, storms out of a date with yet another good Asian boy her parents have set up only to run smack into Finn.

Their worlds—which could not be further apart—collide on a street corner in downtown Portland, and neither is in a hurry to return to their own realities. Finn craves the distraction of Lee-Lee's creative and colorful world. Lee-Lee wants a man who is one hundred eighty degrees away from her parents’ choices.

As Lee-Lee and Finn venture together across the many bridges of Portland and share their favorite places around the city, they grow more attracted and closer.

Will this special day together force Lee-Lee and Finn back into their own worlds, or will they build one more bridge in Portland—one to each other?

• • •


Swelling? Oh, I was swelling all right.

In all the wrong places. Or the right places. As soon as this blue-eyed hottie’s large hand skimmed up the back of my bare thigh, my brain dropped straight down to the gutter. I couldn’t remember the last time a touch seared my skin with such electricity—if ever. My mind drew a complete blank, so naturally, my mouth filled the void with words.

I kept my head down, pretending to look at my knee as I gathered my thoughts. The giant pack I had tripped over lay on the ground a few steps away. Camouflage: it matched his uniform. Since when did Portland have soldiers just standing out on the streets? That was the job of the hippies.

Lifting my head, I smiled at the soldier. “Do you need a ride somewhere?”

Confusion blanketed his face, and he slowly shook his head. “Why would you ask me that?”

“You look a bit like someone just dumped you here. Can I take you somewhere?” His concern for my knee already told me he deserved better than to be abandoned on the sidewalk. Time alone with a hot stranger probably wasn’t the smartest idea, but after eight weeks of boring dates with Jae and a dry spell for over a year before that, my body said it wasn’t the worst idea, either.

His rust-colored eyebrows furrowed as he considered my offer. His very handsome face grew thoughtful, and its intensity ramped up several notches. “How about I drive you home and properly examine your knee? Maybe even ice it for a little while and then check your patella?”

“I think it’s only scraped; I’ll be fine. See?” I placed my foot back on the ground and put my weight on it. A small moan escaped my throat before I could capture it.

“That’s what I thought.” He tossed his giant pack onto his back as if it weighed nothing and secured it on each shoulder. “Where’s your car, ma’am?” Done with my objections, his blue eyes bored into mine.

Did I really want to argue with this man who was concerned over my scraped knee when guys like Jae weren’t even concerned for my future happiness? No, I didn’t. “Only a couple of spaces up, actually.”

“Do you need me to carry you?” He held his arms out.

“Ha!” I blurted. “You have no idea how much I weigh.”

Not one of his muscles budged, but he visually pored over all of my curves thoroughly enough to make my cheeks warm. “Not a lot from the looks of things. Not to mention, you have no idea how much I can carry.”

My cheeks grew even warmer as I stepped out of my comfort zone and boldly returned the investigation of this soldier: his outstretched arms, wide chest, rigid torso, and thighs the size of tree trunks. He was the farthest thing from my parents’ choices, and he looked delicious. “Tempting, but I’m not that hurt.”

He dropped one arm and crooked the other for me to take.

The caring gesture warmed me more than the sun did right then. I couldn’t argue with such a sweet display of gentlemanly affection, either.

• • •

While in her third year of French at high school, Angelique was forced to journal every day. Never the lover of her own personal diaries, she instead rewrote Romeo and Juliet, en Françias. Except that Romeo was a duck-billed platypus, and Juliet was a strawberry. It was a doomed, albeit deliciously sweet, relationship from the start.
Long before that, Angelique wrote and performed ridiculously caddy commercials in grade school with her best friend Shannon. Ever the optimist, she believes the best is yet to come, sharing a meal is the quickest route to peace, and love conquers all. Although she was born and raised in the paradise that is the Emerald Coast of the Florida Panhandle, not traveling has never been an option for Angelique.

Today, Angelique writes character-driven love stories of various heat levels in settings from Earth to the nearest Black Hole which range from the Cosmic past to the Inter-galactic future. She also loves rugby. And champagne. With fresh raspberries, if you please.

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Wednesday, 14 August 2019

THANK YOU to everyone who downloaded these books while on #KU / #KindleUnlimited. Your support and page reads are much appreciated.

These books are now available platform-wide:

A Winston Radhauser Mystery, #5
Susan Clayton-Goldner

When Parker Collins goes missing, girlfriend, Rishima, files a missing person’s report, adamant something is wrong. Radhauser agrees to investigate, soon discovering something doesn't sit right with him. Elderly neighbor, Homer "Sully" Sullivan, finds a body floating in the lake near his cottage. Could it be the missing student? Will this missing person’s case become a murder investigation?

The Last Wizard, #3
JM Robison

Still hunted by the church, Zadicayn has remained in hiding with his family. But rumors of his location finally reach the Illuminati, a secret underground society of Black Magicians. Wanting his magic for themselves, the Illuminati lure Zadicayn to Rome where the last wizard is forced to fight, not only for his life and his family, but also for the world. Because his next death will be his last.

The Rowanbrae Series, #1
Joan Fleming

Local teacher and lady golf captain, Mandy Campbell strives for equal status in a male-dominated club. Despite their rivalry, she becomes attracted to gents' captain, Gavin Simpson, but does he return her affection? Troubles increase with her mother's drinking, and when a student's mother threatens legal action against the school. Will Mandy have to leave Rowanbrae to find the peace she craves?

Dianne Noble - Author

After taking a room in Ruth's dilapidated Sri Lankan guesthouse, Sarah Latimer becomes aware of the brutality her friend suffers at the hands of her husband. Sarah decides to help, ignorant of the dark secrets in her own life. Receiving devastating news about her son, Tom, Sarah considers flying home, but a shocking act of violence eclipses everything and she finds herself driven to take action.

Don't forget to share some love with our authors by letting them know what you thought about their books once you've read them. Your comments help authors improve their craft and offer future stories readers want to read. Reviews don't have to be long, and can be posted on your favorite retailer site, sent to the publisher, or sent directly to the author via their website or social media site. All options available on the author's pages listed above.

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Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Available Now: Racked by Sue Coletta

Grafton County Series, #4
Sue Coletta



99c/p through Sunday the 11th
It starts with an innocent stuffed animal. It ends in mind-numbing terror.

Five missing boys and an adult corpse found in the town’s water shed was only the beginning for Sage and Niko Quintano. After a hooded-stranger gives their son, Noah, a stuffed animal—the exact Christmas moose given to all the missing boys days before their abductions—their lives spiral downward into uncertainty.

Could Noah be the next boy to go missing?

As they piece together each cryptic clue, the future looks more and more grim. But what they soon discover blows everyone’s mind, the truth teetering on the unfathomable.

What does it all mean, and where do they go from here?

• • •

December 19, 2008
7:30 p.m.

In the vast openness of the snowmobile trails, solar-powered Christmas lights danced across pine needles on the branches I separated while the lanky silhouette of the serial predator tossed shovelfuls of dirty snow on a mound. Was he digging a fresh grave? My calf muscles jumping-jacked beneath my skin, begging me to run. But I couldn’t. Not yet.

A row of thin birch trees bowed over the makeshift grave, thin branches curled like the skeletal fingers of a demon protecting its prey. The overcast sky blurred the hazy moon into non-compliance, its glow hastened by gathering storm clouds.

Who did he plan to bury here? My gloved hand clawed at my throat.

Sweet Jesus, please tell me Noah’s still with Mrs. Falanga. All the saliva in my mouth dried to dust, my insides squirming, screaming for release. What if Childs left his post long enough for the serial predator to sneak past him? What if he murdered everyone in the house? What if he abducted my child after Mrs. Falanga tucked him in bed? She might not realize he was missing till dawn.

Beyond the tree, a flashlight balanced on its end, a smoldering yellow glow pointed toward the heavens. Cigarette smoke billowed through the haze. Hot ash tumbled into the darkness when he flicked the filter into the arctic December air.

I backed away from the tree.


My right heel froze on the pinecone.

The serial predator slung his portable spade over one shoulder and stalked toward me. “Hello?”

Male voice. Almost familiar. Where had I heard it before? Holding my breath, cramps squeezed my calf muscle as I crouched behind the conifer, flames tunneling down my sciatic nerve to my partially-raised foot, bent at such an angle mind-numbing pain riddled the whole right side of my leg.

The serial predator hustled back to the shallow grave, and I lowered my wet boot to the snow. The moment he turned his back, I nosedived toward the base of the tree trunk, slithering beneath the branches like a frightened garter snake. The snow piled around the bottom helped shield the top half of my body. I pulled my legs out of view. A glacial breeze swept across my wet hair, and I could not stop shivering, the icy snow soaking through my jeans and wool coat.

With one smooth motion, he swiped his flashlight off the snow and aimed the beam toward the pine tree. “Hello?”

After the blinding light struck my eyes, I would never be able to describe his face or any distinguishable features, the black hoodie masking his identity. He could be anyone. Or no one.

With both gloves covering my nose and mouth, I held back icy breath that threatened to reveal my hiding spot.
“Is someone there?”

A cylindrical sphere lasered through the pine needles, and I ducked, my bare cheek trembling against a clustered mass of icicles. Snow boots clomped around the tree, then stopped—inches from my face.

Dear God, don’t let him find me.

• • •

Sue Coletta is a Member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Grafton County Series and the Mayhem Series, which won the Best Mystery/Thriller/Heist Award and Readers’ Choice Award in Mystery/Thriller. Sue also writes in the Kindle Worlds, where she hit #1 in Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense. Sue’s had short stories and flash fiction published in Out of the Gutter Flash Fiction Offensive magazine and numerous anthologies, and InSinC Quarterly featured her forensic articles.

In 2017 & 2018, her Murder Blog won Feedspot’s Top 50 Crime Blog Award. She’s also the communications manager for Forensic Science and the Serial Killer Project, both groups founded by cold case expert, Detective Sergeant (Ret.) Joe Giacalone. As a way to help fellow crime writers, Sue created a team of crime experts (detectives, coroners, police captains, etc.) and founded #ACrimeChat on Twitter.

Sue lives in northern New Hampshire with her husband/best friend. When she’s not writing or reading, you might catch her feeding circus peanuts to her beloved pet crows, who live free.

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