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Monday, June 27, 2022

PROMO: Circle of Roses by Martha Wickham

 

 

The Mystery of Frankenstein's Bride Series


Horror

Date Published: 06-24-2022


Stopping the unstoppable is what Rose Cortez does best.

Terra, Frankenstein's ex, is using the old electric machine to bring the dead back for fun now. After running into zombies her old psychic Rose must do something about the machine Frankenstein's Bride can't give up. Is there a way to get the machine away from her and her terror of lurking zombies? Rose and her band of psychics find out when one of them is found dead.

Rose is a powerful psychic detective and ghost hunter. Revenge is what she wants after the death one year ago of her husband. Now her psychic comrade is dead too and she's had enough. Terra's second life can't last forever. The way to stop her is not so easy!

 

Excerpt

     Fern was excited as she wanted to start immediately.  “I’ll be there first thing in the morning!”

***

     As soon as Rose opened the doors to the shop the next morning, Fern arrived with boxes of things she needed for readings. She started calling herself a psychic reader and ghost buster and had cards made up. Within a few days, her business was booming, and the other two psychics joined the team.  Rose kept her eyes open for Terra and her zombies but didn’t see any until one evening when she and Fern were alone in the shop and they heard a moan and then a dog barking. “I’m sure I heard a zombie,” Rose said. “What has Terra been up to?”

     They ran to the window and looked out.  There were three long-dead zombies walking down the street to Terra’s house.  The two of them looked at each other, then ran into the bathroom and locked the door.  “I’m gonna get to the bottom of this,” Rose whispered.

     “How can I help?” Fern asked.

     “This will be more difficult than a reading.  They must be destroyed.  Do you know how to kill zombies?” she asked.

     “Yes, just shoot them in the head,” Fern answered.

     Rose nodded.  “Terra won’t go easy.  I want to get that galvanism machine from her.  It’s in her shed right now, but this will take more than one person.  Maybe Lily and Violet will help.”

     “And you can’t just call the police.  They won’t believe you.”

     “When I looked at her through the window the other day, she was different.  Old and deader looking.  Who knows how long she will last undead?”

     “She can’t be that hard to destroy, then,” Fern said.

     “I’ll see what my crystals can do. If anything.”

***

     The three zombies sat in Terra’s backyard.  Her galvanism machine was plugged into her backyard outlet as her creepy old mansion did not have a garage.  The zombies then approached the machine and one of them bent the wire back that conducts electricity.  Terra did a back-bend and her face wrinkled.  “You stupid heap!”  She stood up and straightened the wire.  Looking a little younger, she brushed the zombies away from the machine as her long gray hair blew in the wind.  The neighborhood dogs were barking now and she rolled her eyes.  

     “Maybe I should lock this thing away,”she said to herself.  Then to the zombies, “Curiosity killed the cat!  No, I think I’ll lock you away.”  She grabbed a pole and started pushing them toward the shed but the zombies managed to grab it out of her hands.  They began to hit her with it until she backed into the shed and then they locked her in!

     Terra flipped on the shed light, trying to think happy thoughts.  She sat down and remembered things about her childhood.  Like her father cutting down the Christmas tree and ice skating with her cousins while her mom watched.  Thoughts of fireplaces and hot chocolate always warmed her.  Zombies were afraid of fire, not her.  The fear made her realize the zombies obviously knew her weakness.  They could kill her with the machine or by leaving her in the shed.

     She created them hoping they would be like Frankenstein, but they never were.  Frankenstein was evil at the start.  There would never be another.  She heard the zombies shuffle away and wondered, How long will I last?


About the Author

Martha has studied writing with Writer's Digest.  She is the author of many short stories and books and still likes getting writing prompts.


Contact Link

Twitter @MarthaWickham

 

Purchase Link

Amazon

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PROMO: The War Girls

 


Historical Fiction, WW1

Date Published: June 28, 2022

 

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During the Great War, in a German-occupied Red Cross hospital in Brussels, Belgium, there are three British nurses who will risk everything to save the lives of those in their care. These are the stories of The War Girls.

Saving the Rifleman - British Red Cross nurse Maria Hunt lives in daily fear that the German soldiers who regularly inspect her hospital will uncover her secret: she helps wounded British soldiers escape German hands.

Enticing the Spymaster - Judith Goddard is hiding in plain sight. A dual citizen with family ties to Belgian royalty and the British military, she works as a Red Cross nurse in a German hospital, learning what she can, ever fearful her true allegiance will be discovered.

Aiding the Enemy - Rose Culver is in grave danger. For months the Red Cross hospital head nurse has been aiding Allied soldiers caught behind enemy lines, helping them flee into neutral Netherlands. It's only a matter of time until she's caught.


The War Girls is composed of three previously published novellas. This is the first time they have been published in one volume.



Excerpt

Chapter One


Brussels, Belgium

November, 1914



“Maria.”

Alarm rippled across Maria’s nerves, jerking her attention from the supply record book she was writing in.

Her teacher, mentor, and matron of the hospital on Rue de la Culture stood at the window, staring out at the street, her back straight and stiff.

“Rose?” Maria took a step toward her, but Rose’s voice stopped her before she could take another.

“Please take an inventory of the bandages in the closet on the second floor.” Her words were spoken with a deliberateness that should have been reassuring. It wasn’t. The other woman held herself too still, too rigid. “We’re about to have another friendly visit.”

“Germans?” Maria whispered, dread tightening its coils until she could barely breathe. “Again?”

Regular soldiers didn’t make her too uncomfortable; they appreciated the nurses who looked after their wounded countrymen, and they knew they could end up at this hospital and in her care. But the officers were another thing altogether. They looked at Maria and Rose as if the two of them were convicted criminals of the worst sort.

As if they were dirty.

Rose nodded.

“Lord preserve us.” The words slipped out before Maria could stop them. “When will this madness stop?”

Rose turned then, a rueful smile on her face. “I wish I knew. Go now and stay out of sight if you can.”

“But—”

“I’ll be fine. Dr. Geoff is still here. He’s as irritated with all these inspections as we are. They’re a constant interruption, and we have little enough time for our work as it is.”

Herman Geoff was a German doctor, but he treated Rose and even Maria with the utmost respect. His uncle was a high-ranking officer. Very high. As long as Dr. Geoff supported them, they would most likely remain safe.

If they did nothing to irritate or anger the local German troops. Something Maria feared she’d already done.

She rushed to the back stairs and climbed them quickly. Rose would be safe. The second daughter of minor gentry, she had demonstrated time and again her diplomatic skills were more than up to the task of dealing with arrogant, suspicious German officers.

Maria had none of those skills or family background.

The second floor was filled with bedrooms, now used as wards for their patients. There was also a room where the nurses slept—Rose, herself, two Belgian nurses and one German nurse who worked with them. A closet near the back stairs had been converted into a storage area for bandages and other medical supplies.

Perfect for a woman to hide in while waiting for their German visitors to leave.

She opened the door, prepared to enter…

But the closet was already occupied—by a soldier complete with pack, sidearm and rifle. The weapon wasn’t what snared Maria’s gaze and held it.

His eyes were green. A brilliant emerald green.

Her breathing stalled as she stood in the doorway and stared into those wide, pale eyes and at the blood spattered across his face and uniform.

His British uniform. In a Belgian hospital full of enemy German soldiers.

Good God.

Voices floated up the back stairs a few feet away and she opened her mouth to caution him.

Before she could utter a warning, before she could blink, his hands reached out, grabbed her, and yanked her into the closet, pulling the door closed behind her.

Fear and shock crushed her throat as she found herself pressed against the soldier’s body, one of his hands over her mouth, the other a steel band behind her back.

She couldn’t move and the closet was so dark it might as well have been a tomb. Blind and restrained, the unfamiliar scents filling her nostrils took over her senses.

Mud, blood, and man.

***

Lieutenant John Bennet held the woman in his arms tightly enough to keep her from crying out, but not enough to harm her.

He’d hoped to find someone to help him, preferably a nurse, but this wasn’t how he’d anticipated meeting such a woman—staring into her frightened face then pulling her into a dark closet. He couldn’t even tell her she was in no danger from him. Any noise would likely be overheard by the men now standing on the other side of the door.

He held himself still despite the pain from his wound and the unfamiliar weight of the woman in his arms. How long had it been since he’d held anything so soft? Weeks? Months?

He sucked in a breath and the scent of evening flowers filled his head, driving out all others. His cock stirred in response to the feel of her curves along his flank. Her chest rose and fell erratically under his arm as she tried to breathe through what must be a terrifying situation.

Yet there were no tears, no sobs, or cries.

He tore his focus from the delights of her body to consider her movements for a moment. She’d stopped struggling for the most part and now stood relatively docile in his arms.

Maybe she realized how dangerous his predicament was. If she was a nurse, she might feel some sympathy toward him, some care.

Energy surfaced from some unknown well inside him, heating his muscles. He couldn’t give up hope, not now. He had to find a way out of Belgium, a way to report what he’d seen. There were more lives at risk than his, thousands more. Including the nurse in his arms.

A man was giving orders in German in the hallway, from the sound of it, only a few paces from the closet door. Orders to search the hospital for the British soldier. Orders to find and detain for questioning the second British nurse. The woman John no doubt held in his arms.

The woman now in as much danger as he.

Poor girl. It was one thing to tend wounded men in no shape to offer offensive behavior, but quite another to be taken captive in a dark closet. He was lucky she hadn’t screamed herself hoarse or fainted.

Somehow, he needed to communicate his lack of intent to harm her. He’d been told this hospital was a place of safety for British soldiers caught behind German lines. The last farmer who’d sheltered him just outside of Brussels told him the matron of this hospital could help him, had already helped many others like him. She might even be able to supply fake identity papers and an escape route out of the country.

Warm, soft, and sweet-smelling, the woman in his arms could be the key to his survival. And what he knew was the key to Britain’s defense.

His spine solidified, transforming into steel.

She didn’t know it, but he was prepared to kill to protect her.

 

About the Author

Retired medical lab technologist, Julie Rowe writes stories that plunge you directly into chaos and adrenaline from the first page & don’t let up until the end.


Praise for Julie Rowe

“Read Julie and you get it all, the suspense, steaming chemistry and a story that doesn't let you put it down." - Ayekah, Goodreads

“I love this authors writing style. She writes balls to wall, edge of your seat, page turning thrillers." - Cindy, Goodreads

"This is one of the best books I've read this year because of the complex and dramatic life and death storyline and the sizzling sexual chemistry." -Diane, Goodreads


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PROMO: The Time We Met

 

 

 Timing is Everything Series, Book Three

 

Contemporary Romance

Date Published: June 28, 2022

 Publisher: Sealed With a Swoon Books LLC


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Will love be worth taking a huge risk?

 

Campbell Grey is getting her life back on track after escaping a difficult past. She has a job she loves, friends who have become family, and has returned to the college classroom—where she unexpectedly connects with handsome Scott, her literature professor.

 

Scott Mayhew has been alone for far too long. Though devoted to his daughter, family, and career, he’s ready to meet his match. But he never imagined a student would capture his attention—that’s not allowed. Still, the sparks he and passionate, beautiful Campbell share can’t be ignored.



Other books in the Timing is Everything Series:





Last Time We Loved

Timing is Everything Series, Book 1


Can they free the past to have a future together?


First Time We Laughed

Timing is Everything Series, Book Two


Will timing be on their side for a real chance at love?


Amazon

 


About the Author

Christine Miles loves writing and reading so much she has two degrees—one in English and one in Creative Writing.

She now calls Albuquerque, New Mexico, home.

When not writing, she enjoys reading romances with sassy heroines and swoony heroes, as well as the occasional mystery and thriller, listening to music, and binge-watching guilty-pleasure shows on Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max.

You can find her on Facebook and Instagram.


 Contact Links

Website

Facebook

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GoodReads

BookBuzz

 

Purchase Links

Amazon

B&N

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Blog Tour: Calla's Candy

 

 

The Flowers of Avenel  Book 5


Contemporary Romance

Date Published: 05-31-2022

 

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Sugar flows through Calla Taylor’s veins, so owning her own candy shop is her dream come true. She has independence and the chance to surround herself with her passion… candy. But life in Avenel, a small island town, has its challenges. The summer’s hurricane season hit her hard, and now that winter has begun, she’s not sure Calla’s Candy can hold out until the warmer temperatures lure tourists back to the beaches.

Ash Singh has it all: good looks, a charming personality, and a pile of money that just continues to grow. He also has a broken heart. Because of the hellish way his last relationship ended, he wasn’t sure he could ever love again. But meeting Calla changed everything. It started small. When she smiled, the jagged edges of his heart found their match and sealed together. Her laugh revived a pulse that sent need and desire through his soul. But when he held her in his arms as they danced, he felt something he hadn’t felt in a long time. Hope.

But one thoughtless act cuts Calla to the core and threatens the hope that took root in Ash’s soul. He sets out to not only save his relationship with Calla, but he vows to save Calla’s Candy too.

 



Excerpt

Ash’s stomach grumbled again as he made his way towards the café on the other side of the lobby. He’d debated getting room service, but he wanted to stretch his legs. He’d worked in his suite all day, going over the numbers for potential companies that Singhular Venture Capital could fund.

As he stepped up to the vacant hostess stand, he spotted the hostess coming his way. She was a young woman in her twenties. She graced him with a smile as she hustled towards him.

“Good evening, Mr. Singh,” Cherie Berry said as she stepped behind the hostess stand. She usually worked in the 5-star hotel’s Hope’s Garden Restaurant on the other side of the lobby, but a friend called in sick. She volunteered to cover for her because she never turned down the chance to earn money.

“Good evening, Ms. Cherie,” Ash replied after reading her name tag. Some people would be surprised to have strangers automatically know their name, but not him. He learned that when someone pays over a thousand dollars a night at a resort, the resort makes sure the staff recognizes that guest’s face to ensure the very highest caliber treatment.

Cherie’s heart raced a little when he said her name. Ashwin Singh was handsome and well mannered. And single. She wouldn’t mind finding a man from among the crème de la crème of society. What would it be like to be a guest of the posh hotel instead of a worker?

“Are you dining alone or waiting for someone?” Cherie asked. She set her hand on the stack of menus and waited to hear how many to grab.

“Ah, just myself.” He glanced around the café. Most of the tables were occupied.

“Please, follow me,” Cherie said, picking up a menu.

Ash followed Cherie, but then he spotted Calla. The raven-haired beauty with alabaster skin was laughing with a man on the other side of the room. He was surprised at the range of emotions that flooded him.

His first thought was how lucky he was to spot her. He’d been thinking about her all week, hoping that their paths would cross again so he could continue to heal the fissure between them. Then jealousy twisted his heart. She wasn’t with a friend. She was with a man. And she was laughing with him, slathering him with giggles and smiles. Women liked men who made them feel good, and it was apparent that this man was making Calla feel good.

Ash cleared his throat and asked softly, “Excuse me, Ms. Cherie, is it possible to sit there?” He pointed to a small table for two along the window that looked out at the ocean. It would also give him a good view of Calla.

“Of course,” Cherie gave him a smile. She shifted directions and led him to the table that he’d pointed out.

Ash pulled out the chair and sat so Calla was in his direct line of sight. Cherie handed him a menu and then walked away.

Ash wasn’t sure if this was a good idea or not. He would happily watch her all night, revel in her smile, but was he torturing himself? Her smiles weren’t for him. They were for the man sitting across from her.

Who was that man? He hadn’t accompanied her to the wedding. Calla didn’t seem like the kind of girl to cheat on a boyfriend. At least he hoped not. Could he be a gay friend? A man who had a host of female friends but was romantic with none of them.

When the waitress arrived, he glanced at the menu and ordered a Monte Cristo sandwich After handing her the menu, she hustled off.

Ash intertwined his fingers and set his hands on the table in front of him. He couldn’t take his eyes off of Calla, but he also didn’t want to look like a creepy stalker. He forced himself to grab his cell and cradle it on the table in front of him. He scanned through the business news while darting glances in her direction.

When the waitress set his sandwich in front of him, he noticed that Calla was eating the same sandwich. He smiled at that. This was another thing they had in common.

While he finished his sandwich, the waitress set a large slice of chocolate cake in the middle of Calla’s table. Ash cringed as she slid her fork into the cake and fed the man the first bite. Bile churned in Ash’s stomach as the man’s lips covered the morsel and she pulled the fork from his mouth.

Ash immediately lost his appetite. He wanted to be the man she was flirting with, the man she was romantically feeding, the man she would go home with. He wasn’t sure how much more of watching her on a date with another man he could handle. He just knew that he couldn’t take much more.

Being a man of action, Ash stood. The alpha within him demanded that he speak with her. See if there was any spark in her eye when they spoke. He prayed that her gaze, a sparkle in her eyes would offer him hope? The gentleman within him argued that he needed to respect her space. She was not his, therefore he didn’t have the right interrupt her date.

He knew that the polite thing to do would be to leave her alone, but the alpha in him won the internal struggle within him.

He strode towards her, weaving between the tables of diners, with his eyes glued to her. In some weird way, he prayed that if he could speak with her, that she’d realize that she wanted him.

Halfway to her table, his heart dropped out of his chest as she leaned across the table and let the man feed her a bite of chocolate cake. With her eyes closed in sublime pleasure and the moan of appreciation she purred as the man withdrew the fork, Ash nearly turned around. But he stayed the course.

He didn’t run from a challenge.

Maybe it was his imagination, but as he neared, he could feel the sexual energy between the couple as they shared that cake. Between their body language, the smiles, and eye-contact, they were oblivious to anyone else around them. They were completely absorbed in each other.

This was not a good sign.

Ash came to a stop beside their table and cleared his throat casually to politely interrupt their moment. Then he said, “Hi, Calla. It’s good to see you.” He glanced at the man who sat across from her, gave a polite nod and said, “Hello.”

Calla startled when Ash’s deep voice resonated over her skin. She was thankful that she wore long sleeves so he wouldn’t see the goose bumps his velvet voice caused to dance over her skin. As much as she was enjoying Trent, the sight of Ash standing beside her jolted her. The man was one of the handsomest men she’d ever seen, including Hollywood heartthrobs. It shouldn’t surprise her that his presence affected her. But then the memory of his disrespectful words tickled her ears and she regained her composure.

 “Hi,” she said. She leaned back in her seat. Her eyes widened as she glanced between the two handsome men. The moment suddenly felt awkward. The air was heavy between them.

She motioned towards Ash and said, “Trent, this is Ash. Ash, this is Trent. Trent and I went to school together.”

The men gave each other a firm head nod and grunted their hellos as they sized up their competition. Ash noted that she didn’t introduce the man with a romantic title. Not even a ‘good friend’. That made him smile.

“What are you doing here?” she asked Ash. Her brow crinkled in curiosity. “I thought you were back in Raleigh.”

“I was, but I look at houses tomorrow with the realtor.”

“Hm,” she responded. His presence was affecting her in ways she hadn’t expected. Her heart rate ticked up, a flushed heat covered her, and she felt her heart warming to Ash.

She needed Ash to leave for Trent’s sake. She stabbed the tines of her fork into the cake and pulled off another bite. “Good luck with that. I hope you find something that you like.” She slid the fork into her mouth and savored the bite.

She really didn’t want to talk to Ash. And despite her conflicted feelings, she didn’t want him to ruin her date with Trent. As she chewed, she hoped Ash would take the hint and let them enjoy their cake in peace.

Ash nodded politely at them and said, “I didn’t mean to interrupt your dinner.” He purposely didn’t use the word ‘date’. “I just wanted to say hi.” His gaze went to Trent. “It was nice meeting you. I’m sure I’ll see you around once I move here.”

Calla gave him an awkward wave and then mumbled, “Bye,” with her hand covering her mouth full of cake.

Trent nodded once and said, “See you around.”

Ash wasn’t sure how to read their short interaction. She and Trent were friendly to him, but when Calla started eating her cake, he knew it was time for him to hit the road. And Trent definitely wanted to be a lot more than friends with Calla.

Ash stopped at the hostess station. Cherie instantly set down her pencil and gave him her full attention.

“I hope your meal was delicious,” Cherie said. “Is there anything else I can do for you, Mr. Singh?”

Ash began, “My meal was fabulous, thank you. I would like you to add that couple’s bill to my room.” He pointed out Calla and Trent. “No need to tell them who paid. You can just tell them that a friend took care of it.”

“Of course, sir,” Cherie replied. “Have a good evening.”

Ash’s Monte Cristo sandwich was heavy in his stomach as he cut through the lobby towards the elevators. He hoped buying their dinner would be counted as a plus in her book. From her indifference towards him, even if she understood why he behaved the way he did at the reception, she wasn’t interested in him. He wasn’t sure that he could blame her.

 


About the Author

Karen Tjebben lives in central Georgia with her wonderful husband and twin daughters. She loves traveling the world. Whether it's to the heights of Yosemite, the white sands of the Caribbean, or even Down Under, she's always ready to pack a bag in search of inspiration. She enjoys creating worlds filled with unique characters that will delight and raise goose bumps on her readers.

 

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Blog Tour: From the Potato to Star Trek and Beyond

 

 

Memoirs of a Rocket Scientist


Memoir

Date Published: June 21, 2022

Publisher: Pawpress


Narrow escapes from bouts with The Potato were just the beginning

Having had a number of odd brushes with death, Author Chester (Chet) L. Richards has always boldly gone where few have dared. His mantra: view all that comes your way - the good, the terrifying, and the ugly - as a series of adventures. Here are a few snippets his book, From The Potato to Star Trek and Beyond: Memoirs of a Rocket Scientist:

"It took much practice, and many accidents, before I got the hang of it. Even then, The Potato, in its death throes, did not always behave as a Proper Sacrifice should and blazing hot molten lead would explode out from the bubbling caldron." From The Potato

"He swung his rifle around and pointed it towards my belly, his finger nervous on the trigger. I froze." From Land of Troubles

"One day, Judy and I were taken for a walk. We wandered around for a bit, climbed a narrow flight of stairs and were ushered into the Sanctum Sanctorum. There, waiting for us, was Gene Roddenberry." From Star Trek

"My last vision of the raft, before I was driven to the black bottom of the silty river, was of Terry, half overboard, his outside leg caught between a maverick oar and the side of the boat." From Lava Falls

"'Three...two...one...fire!"...Hisssss...Pop! 'Uh, oh!' said the technician as the meters all swung to zero and red lights lit up down the length of the long control panel. My signals also had disappeared...'We just blew up the [rocket engine] test stand.'" From Rocket Science

The loss of the love of his life, Sarah, knocked the stuffing out of Chet initially. But writing these, the stories she loved, brought him back. May reading them bring you the zest for life the author regained from recalling them.

 


Excerpt

OVERTURE: LETTERS TO SARAH


IT HAD BEEN A GOOD DAY AT WORK, a day of considerable achievement. I was looking forward to telling Sarah. The last few weeks had been hard on her. She was recovering from a fractured pelvis, and the pain had visibly weakened my Sarah.

The news, I hoped, would give her some pleasure.

After the long drive from work, I finally arrived home.

Odd. No cheerful greeting.  Something was wrong. I found Sarah sitting in her wheelchair at the entrance to the bathroom. She had been there a long time, she said, waiting for me to arrive.

She got up, took a few steps, collapsed and lay still.

No doubt it was only a few minutes before the paramedics arrived, but it seemed an eternity. I knew Sarah’s heart had stopped and time was now against her. The paramedics did get her heart going again, but as one of them turned to look at me, his expression, and a slight shake of his head, filled me with dread.

At the hospital I waited in the Chapel while the staff worked to stabilize Sarah. Time passed. The head physician came to get me. His pessimism was apparent.

For a long while I stood beside my beautiful wife’s silent form, talking to her, telling how much I loved her. She seemed to respond to my voice, but it could have been an illusion.

Soon the staff told me to go home and get some rest. I turned on every light in the house. It didn't give me much comfort, but it was better than the dark.

Later in the evening the hospital called. Sarah's heart had stopped, but they’d managed, once more, to get it going. They asked for instructions. I told them if it stopped again they were to let her go. But her heart continued strong and steady.

Much earlier I’d called Paul, her son by a previous marriage. He’d immediately started south from San Francisco. I expected he would arrive sometime around midnight, or shortly thereafter, so I stayed up waiting for him. In the morning I awoke from a short sleep on the sofa. Paul had still not arrived. Another worry.

Mid-morning Sarah’s son showed up. He had been so tired on the drive south he pulled off the road and slept through the night. Good. Better late than worse. We talked. He had not realized how serious the situation was.

At the hospital I left Paul alone with Sarah. He had many things to say to her. A couple of hours later he found me, and we stayed with her together.

Shortly before the end a priest arrived to give last rites.

Sarah’s blood pressure slowly began to fade. The attending nurse had briefed us, so we knew this was the end. The inevitable continued until only the oxygen machine was still pumping her lungs — simulating a life that was no longer there. I turned it off.

Paul could not bear to stay. This place was now a nightmare. He headed north to be with his family. Alone in agony, I wailed, and wept long into the night.

There was much to do the next day. Work had to be notified and business put on hold. A funeral had to be arranged.

A gathering planned. A grave and gravestone had to be purchased. Friends had to be notified. The day passed quickly.

Exhausted, I slept, but not well, that night.

The next morning it really hit me. The house was empty. It would always be  empty. Half of me was gone. I had been sliced in two, from the top of my head on down. I was deep in shock.

There are no words to describe the experience. No language is capable. If you have suffered the like no words are needed.

You know. If you have not, you simply cannot comprehend.

One thing was clear, I could not stay here. I fled.

My colleagues at work were shocked to see me. I couldn't explain. I needed to be someplace different but familiar. Most of all, I needed the human companionship of my collegial friends. I felt a certain relief being in my office, and tried to work on my project. The nature of my work as an engineering physicist often requires intense focus. This concentration was now out of the question. I couldn’t do a thing. At least, though, I was in a place of comfort.

Sarah was universally loved. At the upcoming funeral our friends would want some reminders of her life. That was my task. I sat for a while, remembering the stories she had told me about the years before we met. I remembered the many things we had shared. Yes, there was much I could report to our friends. Much, but not all. Many things were just between the two of us. I sat in my office and began to write.

I wrote A Great Lady.  I told about Sarah’s early life and gave some hint of the troubles she had experienced. I wrote of her talents and triumphs. I wrote about things we had done together. I told of the great privilege I had had spending so many years with this wonderful woman. I wrote my love. And as I wrote, my mood lightened.

The days passed. Friends from all over came to the funeral. It was good to see everyone again. We talked, we told stories, we laughed, we cried. We said farewell to the one we all loved. All gave me comfort. All gave me their love.

After this brief bright moment I sank back into darkness.

This depression, I knew, would be fatal. And I knew I must find some way back up towards the light. While I brooded over the question of how to move forward, the warmth I had felt when I wrote my eulogy flooded through me. I knew what to do.

Sarah liked my stories. She liked to hear of my travels to exotic places, of my challenging and rewarding experiences as an aerospace engineer. Most of all she liked to hear about the people I’d met along the way.

Many times Sarah said I should write these tales. I never did. I never wanted to, but now I needed salvation. If writing would put me on the upward path, I would write. I would write stories drawn from my experiences. I would write in memory of Sarah. Writing worked. I began to heal.

Each story is a letter of love to my dear Sarah. Each is an adventure. Each stands complete by itself. Each is meant to entertain or inform. Each is true.

 


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Sunday, June 26, 2022

PROMO: Time in Between

 


Liberty Valley Love, Book 6


A Time-Travel, Paranormal Western Romance

Date Published: June 14, 2022

 Publisher: Satin Romance


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The oldest of the Jamison triplets, hereditary witch and criminal defense attorney, Astra Jamison knows more about the laws of magick than her two sisters. She serves the Goddess but believes those who hurt and harm people who can’t defend themselves should be punished, abhorring it when innocents suffer. She is always willing to dole out her kind of justice to anyone who offends her, often sending them to gruesome deaths. When she and her sisters open a time portal to 1888 Liberty Valley to save two people from a serial killer, the last thing she expects is to have the wizard she views as an age-old enemy return, seeking retribution for sins she committed in the past.

Wizard and healer in more than one life, Rowdy Tall-Deer struggled to survive when his soul-matched mate arranged his murder time and again, having rogue shape-shifters attack and eat him alive. Discovering a time portal that leads to the 21st century and the witch who betrayed him means making new plans. Does he opt for vengeance or attempt to learn the truth behind her machinations? Nothing is as it seems when her demon father becomes involved, determined to continue a war that began eons ago.

Will love finally conquer evil or is history doomed to repeat itself for their next life?



Other Books in the Liberty Valley Love series:

 


Liberty Valley Love – “Where no matter what, soulmates find each other.”


A Man’s World

Liberty Valley Love, Book 1

 

Cowboy Spell

Liberty Valley Love, Book 2


The Marshal’s Lady

Liberty Valley Love, Book 3

 

Hero Spell

Liberty Valley Love, Book 4


Trail Through Time

Liberty Valley Love, Book 5


Amazon

 


About the Author

Josie Malone lives on the family farm, a riding stable in the Cascade foothills where she organizes most of the riding programs, teaches horsemanship, nurses sick horses, holds for the shoer, trains whoever needs it – four-legged and two-legged. And writes books in her spare time, Liberty Valley Love, a paranormal western romance series, “where no matter what, soulmates find each other” and the Baker City Hearts and Haunts, a paranormal military romance series – “where love is real and so are the ghosts!”


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