Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fool for Love by Merry Farmer @MerryFarmer20

Chapter Four

The Majestic rose up out of the water in its Liverpool dock with all the glory of its name.  Amelia held one hand to her hat and stared at its iron sides, its two dun-colored funnels and three tall masts.  The ship was a strange thing to her, a mixture of old and new, progress with hints of the past.  It had sails that could be unfurled in a pinch, but with its powerful new engines, the ship could cross the ocean in a week.

Seven days to a new world.  It was an exact description of everything her life had become.  It was every bit as daunting.

“What am I doing?” Amelia whispered, staring at the hopeful monstrosity in front of her.  It was one thing to accept an offer for a new life.  It was another thing entirely to go through with it.

She turned away from the ship, swallowing the nausea that had plagued her since she’d left her mother’s house.  This time it wasn’t morning sickness.  That was long past.  At the moment, the baby was the least of her worries.  Her stomach rolled over the idea that she was about to board a ship heading for a new life at the mercy of a stranger, a man, no less.  The last time she had trusted her life and her future to a man had been a disaster.

She paced, purse clutched to her chest, scanning the busy dock in search of her American savior.  Men, women, and children crowded the gangplanks, eager to start their journeys, excited and hopeful.  Many of the third-class passengers carried bundles that indicated theirs was a one-way trip as much as hers was.  Eric had left her there to go buy her ticket, but there was nothing stopping him from running off and leaving her stranded.  Like her father.  Like Nick.  She was a fool to agree to this.  She pivoted and marched away from the ship.

No, she stopped herself after a handful of steps, this was the best decision she could have made.  She may have felt small and lonely standing by herself, waiting, heart and stomach fluttering, but she was as much a part of the intrepid adventurers seeking a new life in America as any of her fellow passengers.  This was right.

Maybe.

“Well, we got a minor problem on our hands.”

The twang of Eric’s accent shocked Amelia from her worries.  She spun to face him as he approached her with wide strides, scratching his head and looking as guilty as a schoolboy.

“A problem?” she asked, voice fluttering.

“Yeah.  I went to buy you a ticket, but they’re plumb sold out.”

Amelia’s chest tightened and her tender stomach lurched.  “Oh.  Oh dear.  Well I suppose….”

She lowered her eyes, heart aquiver.  As quickly as it started, her chance for a new life was over.  All that worrying for nothing.

She squared her shoulders to face her fate.  “I … I thank you for your efforts on my behalf regardless, Mr. Quinlan.”

Eric’s brow crinkled into a curious frown.  “Regardless?”

“I suppose I could find work here in Liverpool,” she explained.  “Surely there must be a shop somewhere that would look the other way from….”  She lowered her hand to the mound of her stomach.

Eric’s lips twitched.  The morning sunlight caught in his eyes.  “I didn’t want to have to put you in third-class, so I told them you were my wife.”

Amelia blinked.  “You what?”

“I told them we’re newlyweds.  I reserved my stateroom in first class last year when I came over.  Good thing I paid for it then too, ‘cuz after this fiasco of a trip I’ll never ride first-class again.  Anyhow, when they said they didn’t have any more rooms, I told them you were my wife and that we would be staying in the same stateroom.  They sold me a ticket for that.”  He handed her a fresh, clean ticket with her name written as ‘Mrs. Amelia Quinlan’.  “Sorry.”

Amelia held perfectly still on the outside, but on the inside her heart pounded and her stomach rolled with guilt for questioning him.  He wasn’t abandoning her.  He had gone out of his way to help her.  Her heart squeezed as it never had before.  She took the ticket from him with a trembling hand, hardly noticing when her fingers brushed his.  She was rescued after all.

“Thank you, Mr. Quinlan.  You have no idea how much this kindness means to me.”  She had to concentrate on breathing, standing straight, and looking up into his handsome eyes with a smile to keep her tears at bay.

“You don’t mind sharing then?” he asked her.

FoolForLove

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Western Historical Romance

Rating – R

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Merry Farmer on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://merryfarmer.net

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Birth of an Assassin by Rik Stone @stone_rik

Chapter 42

Jez let his mind dwell on the ceiling’s dull paint rather than think about his recent nightmares. But those thoughts wouldn’t stay down: whatever happened, he would achieve justice for Viktor.

Anna came out of the bathroom, hair wrapped in a towel, turban style. “We still have time to travel south,” she said. He sighed. She looked desperate again. “Please think about it. I promise this isn’t a test. No tricks. I’m telling you what’s in my heart, and I think we should run.”

Vertical tracks forged between his eyebrows. “We’ve already been through this, Anna. I do trust you, but I’ve made my decision.”

“But I don’t think you’ve thought it out properly. From what I can see, Mitrokhin has high-ranking contacts everywhere and I don’t think even Petrichova can save you. The captain has the guile of a fox and his cunning outwits us all. Please, Jez,” she implored, “go with me now.”

He got off the bed and embraced her. “I don’t know why you’ve become so worried. I’d never imagined you like this, but whether what you say is true or not, I won’t run. I must win justice for Viktor – and for me, come to that. Viktor has been murdered and I’ve been set up to look like his killer.”

Anna wept against his chest, and he couldn’t figure why. Of what he knew about her, it was totally out of character.

“I want you to remember this,” she sobbed. “And I’m speaking from the heart. No matter what happens, this is what is real and this is the memory I want you to hold onto. I love you, Jez, I love you.”

Baffled, he realized that having a real relationship with a woman was an enigma. Her declaration seemed distressed rather than tender. The only way he could think of handling this was to let it go straight over his head.

“And I love you, Anna, but I must go back.”

*

Outside the hotel the snow lay thick, and despite the best efforts of a heavy blanket of cloud, the cold had worked its way through.

“I’m glad I packed the ski jacket. Cold or not, this suitcase has me overheating. I know you’ve put my stuff in with yours, but what a weight.”

“Just girl things,” she smiled, and stepped out ahead.

“That’s right, don’t wait for me. Oh…” he said, almost stopping, “I forgot to pay for my lodgings at the hotel.”

She turned and raised an eyebrow. He grinned.

“You’re right, all the troubles I’ve got and I should worry about paying for a room. I’ll let the state sort it out.”

She laughed.

They trudged through the snow until they came to Railway Station Square – part of Stalin’s rebuild of the city. Anna wore the same azure coat with fur trimmings and fur hat as on the second day of their reunion, and he wondered how such a beautiful woman could really be interested in him.

“You look like a film star dressed like that, but aren’t you worried someone might be following?”

She tutted. “You seem to be worrying enough for both of us.”

She was so avant-garde, maybe she hadn’t carried out as many missions as she’d suggested. “Oh well, nearly there,” he said.

She smiled sadly.

He stopped to cross an avenue near a trolley rank. Six or seven people queued closely together, ankle-deep in snow, exhaling frosted breath as they waited for their ride. At last, a lull in the traffic. Anna went ahead. Jez kept a half metre behind, but something jarred his senses. Above the din of the city an explosion rang out. He turned to the direction of the noise and then looked at Anna. A hole had opened and blossomed in the back of her coat. His heart seemed to stop beating. She’d been shot and he couldn’t move. The force of the bullet had arched her back. She spun to face him, stumbled, eyes widened in shock.

The crowd at the trolley rank scattered in panic and shrill screams pierced his ears. But still, he couldn’t move – Anna.

Birth of an Assassin

Buy Now @ Amazon, B&N, Kobo & Waterstones

Genre - Thriller, Crime, Suspense

Rating – R

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Rik Stone on Facebook & Twitter

Website

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Lethal Journey by Kim Cresswell @kimcresswell

Chapter Three

Detective Eric Brennan sat at his usual table and sipped the night’s beverage of choice—a cola. In Chunkers Bar and Grill loud pointless chatter overpowered the ‘80s rock and roll band on stage.

The last week was a blur. Every waking hour he pounded the streets in search of his father’s killer.

Eric knew every detail of the shooters face, but not the kid’s name. He’d heard from one of his informant’s, the kid was a young tough-guy looking to be made—a “cugine” ready to make his mark into New York’s most influential crime network, the Valdina family. As part of his induction into the mob family, the asshole had already killed a low-life rival family member and Eric and his father were working the homicide case when they got a tip.

That steamy June evening had started like any typical bust. Within minutes after Eric and his father arrived at the warehouse, dozens of DEA agents secured the perimeter. Eric entered the warehouse first, his father followed. Amid the stench of mildew and dust, the first pop of an automatic echoed within the barren walls.

They were ambushed.

His father, a veteran with twenty-three years on the force never saw the shots coming. Eric threw his body against his father in hopes of shielding him. It was too late. Instead Eric witnessed his father’s face, the sickening whitish blue tint that came with death...

While Pete checked in with the precinct, Eric shifted in the chair. His left knee still burned where the bullet had grazed his leg. He rubbed the scar, a permanent reminder of a drug bust gone bad. Very bad.

“Hey, Brennan.” Pete threw a twenty-dollar bill on the table and downed the last swallow of his beer. “Come on. I think we got a lead.”

Outside on West 35th Street, a full moon peeked through the clouds. Jagged streaks of lightning ignited the sky as rain sprinkled against Eric’s leather jacket. He lit a cigarette and leaned against his white pick-up truck parked in front of Chunkers.

Pete smirked. “Man, I thought you quit.”

Lethal Journey333x500

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Thriller

Rating – PG-18

More details about the author

Connect with Kim Cresswell on Facebook and Twitter

Website http://kimberleycresswell.wordpress.com/

Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Author Interview – Arthur J. Gonzalez @arthurjgonzalez

Do you have any tips on how writers can relax? Success does not come overnight. It takes hard work. If you want it, you must first define your own interpretation of success and be willing to work relentlessly towards it.

How often do you write? And when do you write? EVERY day. The time depends, but I prefer to in the morning or afternoon.

Sometimes it’s so hard to keep at it -

What keeps you going? There’s this little voice in my head that nags at me constantly; reminding me that every moment I’m not writing, is time I am wasting off a best sellers list. ;)

What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel? I hope they feel inspired or motivated. And if not, I’d at least like them to feel entertained and/or intrigued.

What movie do you love to watch? Aladdin and Mrs. Doubtfire – hands down! ::face in a pie:: “Heeeelllloooooo!!”

What are you most passionate about? What gets you fired up? Human rights/Equality. I believe every human being should be afforded the right to live the life they feel they were meant to (so long as they are not inflicting harm on others!) It drives me crazy, the emphasis people place on what other’s do. WHO CARES!

What makes you angry? Ignorant people.

What’s your most embarrassing moment of your life? Ouch. I have so many. I am soooo clumsy and a major goofball.  Just the other day I was in the car singing my lungs off – but I mean, busting out –parked in my car. When I was done, I turned to catch a car full of teens laughing at me.

Photo Traveler

Seventeen-year-old Gavin Hillstone is resigned to being miserable for the rest of his life. Left alone in the world after his parents died in a fire when he was four, he was placed in foster care, which for him meant ending up in an abusive home with an alcoholic adoptive father.

Gavin’s only escape is in taking and creating images. His camera is his refuge from the unending torture and isolation of daily life in his “family.”

Until he learns by accident that he isn’t alone in the world after all. His father’s parents are still alive and living in Washington DC.

When he takes the plunge and travels 3,000 miles to find his grandparents, he learns that they—and he—are part of something much bigger, and more dangerous, than he could ever have imagined. Something that has always put his family at risk and that will now threaten his own life, while forever changing it.

He learns that he is one of the last descendants of a small group of Photo Travelers—people who can travel through time and space through images. But his initial excitement turns to fear, when he soon discovers that he and his grandparents are being pursued by the fierce remnants of a radical European Photo Traveler cult, the Peace Hunters. What Gavin has, they want!

His adventure will take him to past eras, like The Great Depression and the Salem Witch Trials. Gavin will have to discover who he really is and must make choices that spell the difference between life and death for himself, for the relatives he now knows and loves, and for the girl he will come to love.

For Gavin, life will never be the same.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Young Adult Science Fiction

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with Arthur J. Gonzalez on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.arthurjgonzalez.com/

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Christmas Cowboy by Shanna Hatfield @ShannaHatfield #thechristmascowboy

Tate surprises Kenzie by showing up on her doorstep late one afternoon… Standing on her front step, he rang the bell and listened to her footsteps hurrying toward the door. The smile on her face forced him to catch his breath.

“Hey! What are you doing here?” Kenzie asked, kissing his cheek then stepping aside so he could come in out of the cold.

Curiosity got the best of her when he stood staring at her, his good hand still behind his back. Trying to look around him, he turned so she couldn’t.

“What are you hiding?” she asked, her eyes warm and inviting when he stepped inside and nudged the door shut behind him with his boot.

“I couldn’t help but notice you’re missing a very important component of proper Christmas d├ęcor,” Tate said, sounding all knowing and official.

“What could I possibly be missing?” Kenzie asked, looking behind her and sweeping her arm toward the living room that did look particularly festive, thanks in part to Tate. “I’ve got a poinsettia, a beautiful Christmas tree, garlands, pine boughs, sugary treats, and a blazing fire. Did you bring me some chestnuts to roast? If you did, I’ve got no clue what to do with them, so you’re out of luck.”

Laughing, Tate raised his arm and held a bunch of mistletoe over their heads. “It seems to me this is the most important decoration of all.”

“Possibly,” Kenzie said, reaching out and looping her arms around Tate’s neck, pulling his head down to hers. Teasing and gentle at first, their kiss soon gained momentum until he dropped the mistletoe on the table near the door and she pressed as close against him as his thick coat would allow.

Taking a breath, she quickly unfastened the snaps on his coat and slid it off his shoulders, carefully over his injured arm, until it dropped to the floor. He tossed his hat on the little chair Kenzie kept by the door while a groan escaped his throat. He took in every feature of her face, the mouth-watering summery fragrance surrounding her, and the softness of the hot pink sweater she wore. Her favorite color currently matched the shade of her flushed cheeks.

Lowering his head to hers again, Tate wrapped his good arm around her waist and slowly backed her toward the living room without breaking the connection of their lips.

“I missed you,” he whispered against her mouth as he carefully guided her to the couch. When her knees connected with the edge, she sank down on the soft cushions, still holding onto Tate. He went down with her, ravishing her neck with sizzling kisses that made her whisper his name in a throaty tone, sending blood surging through his veins.

The Christmas Cowboy

"10% of the net proceeds from all my book sales December 1-24 will be donated to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund®"

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Romance (contemporary western)

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with Shanna Hatfield on Facebook and Twitter

Website http://shannahatfield.com

Template by:

Free Blog Templates