Showing posts with label Book Excerpt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Excerpt. Show all posts

Thursday, November 13, 2014

#BookExcerpt: How to be Manly by Maureen O’Leary Wanket #PromoBookTours


How To Be Manly

When Fatty Matty Sullivan finds a self-help book by former football great Tad Manly at a yard sale, he secretly starts following the old pro’s advice to get in shape and get the girl. Summer goals: lose the milkshake weight, join the football team, and turn himself into the kind of guy super hot Cassie Bale will love.

But between taking care of his grandfather, trying to pass remedial Algebra, and getting caught up in his friend Jester’s half-baked weed-dealing schemes, Matty’s summer isn’t quite the game-changer he’d planned. When on top of it all his dad moves back in with his own plans to get rich quick, Matty suddenly has much bigger things to worry about than football and whether or not Cassie’s going to call him back. And it turns out that there might be more to being manly than he thought.

Excerpt #2

Grandma went straight for a table full of black Santa Claus statues. Grandma was a big believer in black Santa. I think if on Christmas Eve Grandma caught a white Santa coming down our chimney she’d send him right back up. She wasn’t prejudiced or anything. She loved Grandpa and he was white. Grandma just thought that black Santa deserved a chance too. Whenever there was a black Santa statue at a yard sale it was always the first thing she grabbed.

The Christmas stuff didn’t interest me. I shoved the rest of the donut in my mouth and stuck around the books. They had a million books about sports.

I brushed sugar off my hands and tried to find some science fiction. Then a title of one of the football books made me stop and pick it up. It was called How to Be Manly.

I looked around real fast to make sure that nobody saw me pick up a book called How to Be Manly.

There was a picture of the author on the front. He was a football player from when I was a little kid. He clutched a ball to his chest and he was about to run through a big mob of other players. I flipped through the pages. There were only a few pictures. The back said that he was an MVP for the Chargers.

I used to be a fat kid. A loser. I started reading the first couple lines and I couldn’t stop. It was like I was hypnotized. Girls wouldn’t have anything to do with me. I had nothing to show for myself. The guy’s voice was right there in my head.

Maureen O’Leary Wanket’s debut is a sharp, comic novel about trying to do the right thing… even when you’re not sure what that is.

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Meet the Author:

MOW author pic_cr suzanne swansonMaureen O’Leary Wanket is a writer and teacher living in Sacramento, California with her husband and two daughters. How To Be Manly is inspired by the humor and courage of the students she’s met in her classrooms over the past twenty years. She loves high school football, but only when she happens to teach at least half of the players on the field.

Her short stories have appeared in Esopus, Xenith, Fiction at Work, Blood and Thunder, Musings on the Art of Medicine and Prick of the Spindle.

Maureen writes articles about issues in education for local and national publications. She also muses about inspirations for a writer’s life in Friday Free Topic at

How To Be Manly is her first novel.

Find Maureen on: Twitter | Blog | Goodreads

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Monday, August 25, 2014

#BookExcerpt: Lieutenant Henry Gallant by H. Peter Alesso #PromoBookTours

LietenantHenryGallantbannerLT Henry GallantIn an era of genetic engineering, Lieutenant Henry Gallant is the only Natural (non-genetically enhanced) officer left in the fleet. Many of his superiors, including rival Anton Neumann, have expressed concern he is not up to the challenge. However, his unique mental abilities have proven essential to the defense of the United Planets in its fight against the Titan invaders.

Serving on the first FTL prototype, the Intrepid, on its maiden voyage to Tau Ceti, Gallant finds a lost colony on the planet Elysium. Cyrus Wolfe and his son, manipulate planet politics against the democratic opposition led by James Hepburn and his granddaughter Alaina. Wolfe has allied himself with an ancient Artificial Intelligence which had lain dormant on the planet for millennia, but is now willing to protect the colonists against the Titans.

With Alaina’s help, Gallant discovers the ancient AI has a sinister ulterior motive and he matches his unique and exceptional mind against the complexity of machine intelligence to escape the ultimate trap and prevent the extermination of humanity.

In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, one man pits the naked human mind against the perspicacity of machine intelligence.

Excerpt # 6 Aliana


The noise startled everyone.

The conference room door had been slammed against the wall with enough force to produce the loud bang—calling a halt to the proceedings and focusing attention on the arrival of a young slender blonde with a shapely figure, dressed in rugged outdoor hiking gear, who marched boldly into the room. She was about a year or two younger than Gallant, perhaps twenty.

She dominated everyone’s attention. It wasn’t because she was so shockingly belligerent as to require an immediate rejoinder, though she was clearly intent on being provocative—nor was she was so strikingly beautiful so as to inflame male passions, yet she was certainly attractive. No, she dominated the situation, despite portraying a rebellious joy of life, because of her defiant bearing, her air of resolution, and her dogged expression—all of which were so clearly evident—by marching, hands on hips, into the focal point of the room, thereby demanding the immediate and undivided attention of all present.

“Alaina, you are interrupting important state business. What do you want?” demanded Wolfe, standing up to express his annoyance with her theatrical appearance.

Wolfe’s carefully crafted mask of self-assurance had slipped.

“My grandfather is unable to attend, so he asked me to take his place, which is his prerogative. Certainly that’s allowed? Isn’t it?” she asked with an authoritative voice, shifting her gaze from one council member to another, causing them to fidget in their seats as her stare met theirs.

Clearly internal politics were at play, but Gallant was wary of how he should interact with this new dynamic in the room.

Wolfe heaved a sign of resignation and sputtered, “Well—of course—under those circumstances, you’re welcome. Please sit. Here, sit next to me.”

Alaina brushed back her long flowing blonde hair and walked toward Gallant instead. “Well aren’t you going to introduce me to this officer?” she asked.

Again Wolfe heaved a sign of resignation, this time deeper and more sustained. “Lieutenant Gallant, this is Alaina Hepburn, granddaughter of Professor James Hepburn, a leading citizen, a member of this council, and our leading expert on cybernetics.”

“I’m glad to meet you, Ms. Hepburn,” said Gallant, standing and offering his hand.

“A pleasure, Lieutenant.” Alaina bowed her head slightly, but kept her hands clasped to her hips.

A moment later, to Gallant’s surprise, she flashed him a luminescent smile and took the seat beside him, tapping her fingers impatiently on the top of the table. With her hair pulled back from her face, the creamy beauty of her skin was exposed.

Gallant took his place beside her.

She helped herself to a cup and filled it with the coffee-like beverage. She sipped slowly as if waiting for the meeting to resume, all the while studying him surreptitiously.

“Are you enjoying our local cuisine?” she asked, meeting his gaze.

“Very much so.”

“Here, try this fowl. It’s one of my favorites.”

“Thank you.”

Aliana took charge of Gallant, commandeering his attention right along with the meeting.

Gallant’s face grew rosy under her scrutiny. He felt self-conscious, because admittedly, he didn’t look his best—after all, he had recently been in battle and was forced to wear a ragged uniform.

Purchase on Amazon

Book 1 available on Amazon :

Midshipman Henry Gallant

Book Reviews for Volume 1:
Past Reviews of the first volume: Midshipman Henry Galant @2013

"The author has created a wonderful piece of work with his first novel in the Henry Gallant Saga. Between Henry Gallant beginning his new life on the United Planets' battle cruiser Repulse and trying to save the world the author has came up with it all. Henry Gallant is an admirable character with many wonderful features such as courage, intelligence, humility, kindness and special powers. ... the odds stacked against him pretty high. But maybe through it all, Kelsey will see the remarkable things about him." Ashley Patts, Teenage Rush

"This story moves along at a swift pace, with interesting character development and plot surprises. The characters are complete and engaging. This could develop into a good series." Rae

"Its style and flavor reminded me of The Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell." - JJH

"Space Opera at its finest. Rousing read, introverted young man against impossible odds, a girl to win or lose, an enemy or is he? Way too much fun...can't wait for the next one." - vrzepka


pete2As a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of computer scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of seven books.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

#BookExcerpt: Bee Helpful by J.W. Edwards III #PromoBookTours



For Sunny Bee, being truly helpful means going anywhere and everywhere. When his beautiful sunflower friend Myah becomes very ill, Sunny travels to the “far side of the hills” seeking help. Faced with a series of challenges including a raging storm, large spiders, or even the intimidating Grandfather Oak, Sunny’s dedication never wavers! (ages 4 - 8)


Sunny waited on the rock all night thinking of Myah and sighed when he heard Grandfather Oak snoring.

The next day Grandfather Oak, along with many other creatures, noticed Sunny was still there, but said nothing.

Sunset had come again and a leaf falling from Grandfather Oak captured Sunny’s attention on its way to the ground. “Myah!” he blurted and wiped his eyes. “Hold on! I’ll never give up trying.” Again, he waited long into the night.

“Your behavior is unusual for a bee. You have the patience and rootedness of a tree,” said Grandfather Oak. “You care for this flower very much, do you?”

Sunny took a deep breath and nodded.

“I see. A very good friend you must be. Your request I will submit. Perhaps, Mother Nature will grant your wish.” Sunny looked up.

“About her plans, no one ever has a clue. Go on home, son. There is nothing more you can do,” said the tree.

“But I’m afraid it may be too late,” Sunny answered, wiping his face.

“You don’t know if that is true. Leave your fear behind and make the most of whatever awaits you.”

Softcover: Hardcover:

About the author:


J.W. Edwards III was born in St. Louis, Missouri and spent the majority of his childhood there. Eventually he left St. Louis for engineering school and job opportunities. He has traveled across most the U.S. in search of a place to call home. He currently resides in northern California with his wife and three boys and works full-time as a software engineer while writing stories for his youngest son in his spare time.

J.W. Edwards is busy these days working on a variety of writing projects which includes the Sunny Bee Book Series. Book number three, Bee Helpful, was the first one to be published. Books 1, 2, and 4 will follow soon in 2014. Learn more about this series at
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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

#BookExcerpt: Drake: An Oral History of the Dragon War (Episode 1: Emergence) by Mike Kraus #PromoBookTours

Drake: An Oral History of the Dragon War 2

Title: Drake: An Oral History of the Dragon War
Series: Episode 1: Emergence
Author: Mike Kraus
Description: Lost to myth and legend, few believed that dragons were real, and still fewer believed they could ever return. When a covert operation resulted in their release, all the might and power of the world couldn’t hold them back. With the world on the brink of defeat, the few who remain must grapple against all odds to combat an enemy that nearly drove us to the brink of extinction once before – and which has nearly done so yet again.

From bestselling author Mike Kraus (Final Dawn, Prip’Yat) comes a new, five-book series: Drake: An Oral History of the Dragon War. In what can be best described as “World War Z with dragons,” Drake portrays a realistic, scientific history of the emergence of the drakes, and humanity’s subsequent battle just to stay alive. The gripping 5-part series will take you around the world, examining the history of the war from all sides: political, military, civilian, scientific and more.


Purchase the book: - Kindle

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

#BookExcerpt: Fragile Creatures by Kristina Circelli #PromoBookTours

Title: Fragile Creatures
Author: Kristina Circelli
Description: Seventeen-year-old Evangeline Frost had a great life, until the car accident that killed her father and turned her mother into a bitter alcoholic. Unable to bear the guilt, Evangeline attempts to take her own life, saved only by the memory of her beloved father.

Left with no other options, Evangeline is enrolled in a program for troubled teens at Kindred Hides Wildlife Preserve. There she meets Caster, a keeper as annoying as he is caring; Jett and Lettie, who treat her more like a daughter than troubled teen; and Ruke, a prized giraffe in mourning for his lost mate.

Immersed in the preserve with her new friends, Evangeline finally begins to heal. But the haunting memories of the accident and her mother’s unforgiving words threaten to destroy her progress. Only her new friends and their unconditional support, along with her own special connection with Ruke, can save her.

Evangeline must learn that there is redemption for her father’s death, and that the bonds between human, animal, and life are not as fragile as she once thought.

Excerpt: Unable to help herself, Evangeline moved forward and pressed herself against the fence, hands clasping the metal. She wasn’t sure why, but giraffes always held a special place in her heart. She loved everything about them — the way they moved, the way their eyes held a look of such peace, the way they stood so tall and proud.

Her breath hitched when one of them caught sight of the two humans just outside the gate and started walking over. Excitement curled in her stomach and her fingers tightened on the fence, but she stood perfectly still until the graceful female came to a stop mere feet away, looking first at Caster and then at the unfamiliar face.

Evangeline swallowed, eyes never leaving the giraffe. She barely breathed when the female lowered her head and sniffed at her fingers, wet nose tickling her skin. In one slight movement, Evangeline lifted a finger and stroked that nose, then blew out a breath when she was dismissed and the animal returned to its tree to graze.

“Well, maybe I oughta call you the giraffe whisperer,” Caster put in with a grin. “That’s Lady Regal, Lady for short. She isn’t usually so curious.” He stepped closer to Evangeline when she shifted to get a closer look, and as she did, the edge of her left sleeve slid down. Not much, but enough for him to see the top of a scar hiding beneath a thick bracelet.

He knew what she’d done; or, rather, what she’d tried to do. They all did — after all, that was the entire point of the program. But to see the reason in person, even if only one small part of it, still caught him off-guard.

“Um … Well, that about concludes the tour. How about we get back to the goats? We will start the day there.”

He held out a hand, but Evangeline ignored the gesture. Instead they walked back to the goat pen with the newcomer a few feet behind the veteran, both with their hands in their pockets.

Purchase the book: - Kindle
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Smashwords - Multiple digital formats
Createspace - Paperback

About the Author:
Meet the Authors

A lover of the written word since the time she first picked up a pen, Kristina Circelli shares her passion for fiction in her multi-genre novels.

Circelli is the author of several fiction books, including The Sour Orange Derby, a young adult novel about family and childhood imagination steeped in southern traditions; Beyond the Western Sun and Walk the Red Road of The Whisper Legacy, which centers on Native American cultures and the legends that come to life in the spirit realm; and The Helping Hands series, books that follow a gang of friends who rescue abused children.

Currently, Circelli works as a copywriter, author, book editor, and creative writing professor at the University of North Florida, where she received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in English. She resides in Florida, with her husband and two kittens.

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Friday, March 14, 2014

#BookExcerpt: c3 by Sherrie Cronin #PromoBookTours

Title: c3
Series: 46. Ascending Series
Author: Sherrie Cronin
Publisher: Cinnabar Press
Description: Teddie’s life as a sixteen year old hasn’t always been easy, but nothing has prepared her for the unexpected dangers she encounters as an exchange student in Darjeeling. A frightening world in which young girls are bartered and sold stretches its icy fingers into the beautiful resort town and touches her friends one by one.

Terrified, Teddie finds that her own mind develops a unique ability for locating her friends and that an ancient group of mind travelers is willing to train her to use her new skill to save these girls. It will require trust in ideas she barely believes, and more courage than has ever been expected of her. When it becomes clear that the alternative is her friends’ deaths and the unchecked growth of an evil crime lord’s empire, Teddie accepts the challenge and shows those guilty of unspeakable crimes just how powerful a young woman can be.

At night, Teddie took refuge from all the strangeness. The collage of colors and faces and smells that permeated her world now by day subsided into the comforting greys of darkness. She lay in her bed and thought of how much she missed boots. Western boots, on her and others. Pickup trucks and country music and bar-b-que and dead armadillos in the road. Now wasn’t that stupid? Pine trees and Tex-Mex food and front lawns and churches everywhere even though her family didn’t belong to one. It was her world, and she missed its familiarity.

Luckily she had been able to keep her MP3 player, and sometimes she thought that the music was saving her sanity. She fell asleep that night crying softly and listening to the song “Texas Kind of Way” while she smelled the musty non-flower smell of her mother’s geraniums in her head. And that was the night that she starting sleepwalking.

She didn’t remember getting out of bed, or walking down the hall or going out the front door of the school. Didn’t they keep it locked at night? She thought that they must. Maybe she had climbed out the window? Could she even do that in her sleep?

Yet there she was, walking down the street in front of the school in the middle of the night. Lights were mostly off and half a moon was high in the sky. A group of older boys stood huddled together a couple of blocks away, smoking cigarettes. If they noticed Teddie they paid her no mind.

She looked around, enjoying the chance for once just to soak up the view without people jostling her and trying to move her along. The mountains in the distance glistened with snow. The boys down the street all wore jackets, and Teddie wondered if she had thought to grab a coat as well. She glanced towards her arm, and the next thing she knew she was back in her bed, not the least bit chilled, and with no memory of how she got back there at all.

Well, sleep-walking was supposed to be an odd phenomenon, she thought. It had probably been set off by homesickness, to be honest. Luckily her subconscious seemed to have found ways to safely navigate her in and out of bed. This time. Hopefully this wasn’t something that was going to become a habit.

Purchase the book: - US Kindle / UK Kindle

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Monday, March 10, 2014

#BookExcerpt: A Lady’s Plight by Katy Walters #PromoBookTours


A Lady's Plight
Title: A Lady's Plight
Series: Lords of Sussex
Author: Katy Walters
Publisher: Oakwood House Publishing
Description: Lady Isabella Winton waits years to marry her fiancé, but Lord Alexander Fitzroy, a reformed rake, always finds an excuse to delay the nuptials. With the marriage set for the next month, Fitzroy tells her he is needed in Belgium almost immediately. He warns her it may be dangerous for her to accompany him.

Isabella suspects he is bluffing. Brussels is the centre of a social whirl. She looked forward elaborate dinners and extravagant balls. Fearing Fitzroy may have returned to his rakish ways, she insists on travelling with him.

Isabella is unaware that Lord Everard Ladness, heir to a dukedom, is obsessed with her and will go to any lengths to possess her.

'How could you? You promised.' She leapt to her feet, sending the bucket of champagne tumbling on the grass. 'I've waited four years - four years.'

Reaching to save the bottle, Lord Alexander Fitzroy, the Earl of Standford spluttered, 'Deuce Isa, I can hardly refuse can I?'

'What about the wedding, the arrangements, the guests? How could you?'

'I have no choice; the invitation - command rather was given into my hand, this morning. General Maddeson expects me as his aide-de-campe in Brussels.'

'You could say no - just this once. He knew of our nuptials; he's a guest for pity's sake.'

Alexander rose to his feet, his arms outstretched to placate her. He planned an idyllic picnic, hors d'oeuvres, ham, chicken, goose foie gras and champagne, now he faced her wrath. 'Bonaparte escaped Elba; he's in France. The General's request is an honour I cannot refuse. I would be ostracized from the regiment - egad, from the ton.'

'Don't start talking about honour. You use that each time.'

His eyes embraced her bosom heaving with anger. In two long strides, he grabbed her, drawing her close, intending to kiss her to silence.

Struggling she gasped, 'Unhand me Alex, this time you will not win.'

Smiling, he held her fast, 'Look, I shall be back within a couple of months. We can then marry. I'm sure the countess will delay the nuptials?'

'She's already delayed them each year for four years. Dammit - let me go.'

Purchase the book: - Amazon UK / Kindle


Meet the author:

I live in a Sussex village near to the Regency towns. Before writing a novel, I visit one of them to soak up the elegance of the architecture, trying to enter the atmosphere of those far-gone times. Whilst walking through narrow cobbled streets, I imagine horse drawn carriages rollicking past, of ladies in Empire fashion, of feathered bonnets and velvet pelisses, of nankeen breeches and starched cravats. Even today, the same bay fronted shop windows replete with mullioned windows yawn over narrow pavements. The only changes being the wares; an empire dress swapped for a top and miniskirt. Best of all, is stepping down rickety steps into an oak beamed tearoom, with a leaning floor, where log fires crackle in open grates, the air filled with the rich aroma of tansy and cinnamon cakes.

Katy has a BA(Hons)Psych, BA Eng.Lit and Creative Writing, MA. Hon Doc. for research into complementary methods of pain control.

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

#BookExcerpt: A 3rd Time to Die by George Bernstein

A 3rd time to die

Title: A 3rd Time to Die
Author: George Bernstein
Publisher: GnD Publishing LLC; First edition
Description: Ashley Easton rescues a badly abused horse, deciding to return to show jumping, the passion of her youth. The animal gives unquestioned love, something lacking from her husband, Keith. But when Ashley begins to compete, she is terrified as the show course seemingly changes into an old forest and the jumps appear as real walls, fences and trees. Her thoughts spill through her head in elegant French. As she attacks the fences with an unfamiliar, fearless abandon, she begins winning every competition. Craig Thornton, an avid horseman, happens upon Ashley’s first competition, entranced as he watches her jump her horse, Injun. Mystically drawn toward each other, it’s as if they knew the other…but from where? After several missed opportunities, they finally meet, becoming fast friends, their love of jumping horses a mutual bond. Ashley seeks therapy to address a strange terror swamping her whenever she’s intimate. During hypnotic regression, she’s stunned to find herself in two apparent past lives, first in the 17th Century, on a fox hunt as the fearless French horsewoman who fills her head while jumping, and again, 150 years later in Philadelphia, a shipping tycoons daughter. Both times she is fulfilled by glorious romance, followed by the terror of their brutal murder while making fervid love in a forested glade! The doctor says these are figments of her subconscious, but he’s shaken, knowing the truth. He realizes those were real past lives, and their killer may be lurking again, nearby. Ashley and Craig soon discover more than friendship. As these two newly rediscovered lovers struggle to free themselves from broken marriages, others plan to fulfill a 300-year-old legacy of death.


1695 AD

"Sound the assembly! The Sun's up, and time's awasting."

Charles Wallace stood in his stirrups, long, equestrian-hardened legs raising his tall frame high above the restless conglomeration of horses and riders, milling about the glade in front of the gray granite mansion-house.

The Earl of Devonshire’s nostrils flared, savoring the pungent orders of trampled, dew-laden grass and fresh droppings. He tugged at the cuffs of his taupe doeskin riding gloves, massaging palms together, as a shiver tiptoed across his spine. Anticipation, not the chilled morn air, was its author.

Tis a glorious day, full of promise! Puffs of cottony clouds spilled across a rich, aquamarine sky. Flexing broad shoulders, Wallace twisted in his saddle, scanning the melee.

What a bloody good turnout. Few local gentry dared miss the Earl's first spring foxhunt. Nobles and wealthy landowners converged from across southern England for this new, prestigious sporting event. Every guest room in his rambling country estate was filled, as were the stalls in his stables. Even George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham, who recently popularized this sport, was hard pressed to compete.

Wallace’s topaz eyes raked the crowd, all mounted and eager to be off. Sixty horse at least, edgily mincing and prancing in place, awaiting the blare of the hunting horn. Still, he scoured the sea of bobbing black and tan caps and flowered bonnets.

Ah! There—the copper-haired French seraph. He visualized her delectably curved long legs below full hips, cinched by a petite waist. Her heart-shaped face was illuminated by incandescent emerald eyes, hovering above a slender, tipped up nose. Arched cheeks bracketed Cupid’s-bow-shaped lips. So deceptively feminine, slender and delicate she seemed upon her muscular white gelding.

Charles knew otherwise.

Victoria Chevalier was a passionate, willful maid, plainly disenchanted with her marriage to an effeminate dandy twenty years her senior.

When first he saw her, the young Countess du Beaujolais' sensuality swept over him, sucking away his breath and setting his heart thundering like the hooves of this very stallion he sat astride. Thick-limbed, masculine Clarice, his acidic, passionless wife, had never ignited lust in his heart… or his loins.

But this nymph, Victoria, was God-sent. During the week as his guest, they were drawn together, as bees seek succulent clover. Sharp-witted and charged with life, she was full of sport. Quick dexterity with a 16 gauge brought three flushed grouse to hand… just one less than he… while her effete spouse was knocked ass over heels by his 12 gauge gun. Clarice had stayed abed.

And Victoria must have otter in her blood, out swimming him, crossing the river in swim garb much too brief for local customs. Long arms and strong legs sliced the water with astonishing ease.

He felt stirring, despite his tight britches, at the memory of his arms around her, teaching her to cast a fly for trout. Her soft chuckle hinted at greater expertise with the long rod than she admitted. ‘Twas sport neither of which their partners show interest.

Victoria Chevalier was truly akin in spirit, far different from either of their mates. This French beauty would be his that very day. His starving soul demanded it, boding a liaison far more intense than just a quick tumble in the grass.

How is it she was even wed to this foppish count? Arranged marriages! Bah! Neither Chevalier, nor the earl's icy wife will offer any real obstacle to their desires. Charles and Victoria had slyly courted for the entire week, and now was their chance to fulfill those promises silently made.

He smiled as she wound her horse through the mob. As she edged nearer, her devilish grin and sly wink snatched the breath from his lungs.

"We go," his strong tenor carrying to the page, standing atop a small stone wall. "Sound the horn, God blast it!"

The brass trumpet echoed three times over the glade, and then thrice again.

Shouting riders urged their steeds ahead, each vying for a place directly behind the Earl, a sea of horses, sleekly muscled hunters, surging into the lightly wooded countryside. The drum of hooves and the echo of lusty shouts echoed through the trees like rolling thunder.

Immediately, a stone wall bordering a creek loomed as the first challenges, and two riders were quickly down. The hounds had drawn far ahead, hurdling through the underbrush, noses skimming the ground, seeking fresh scent. It won't be long. The Earl had spied several fox in the area just last week.

A movement at his right drew his glance, as the copper-tressed angel closed to his side. A few light strokes from her crop urged her steed ahead. She grinned, a playful challenge in her eyes, tossing her head, loosening burnished bronze locks from beneath her flowered hat.

They were swiftly upon a huge downed oak, vaulted by both animals with little trouble. Just as they landed, a hound let forth a melodious wail, and charged off to the south, head high, the call ringing from his throat, joined in full harmony by his brethren. A familiar wave of goose bumps skipped down his spine.

"Tallyho! Tallyho!" Wallace yelled, as he urged his dappled mount hard after the quickly disappearing dogs.

"Tallyho!" the two-legged vixen riding beside him howled gleefully, putting her crop to her snow-white steed. The cry echoed behind him again and again, as the others, strung out over a thousand yards, strove to follow. None could match the abandon of their host and his reckless female companion as they surged even farther ahead.

Ten minutes of hard riding, spiced by arduous jumps, had brought them within a few hundred yards of the hounds, their calls saying the fox was not yet bayed. Much of the party had fallen prey to the many obstacles they had crossed in their pell-mell charge after the dogs.

The countess' fearless attack of the hunt had kept her slightly to the front. Charles happily hung back, watching her with an ever-escalating appreciation. She was magnificent! Never had he known such a wild and exciting creature, so fully invested in all he held dear. He could barely wait to gather her in his arms.

The hounds were clearly visible ahead, just beyond a low, stone wall. The riders vaulted it, almost as one, and as they landed on the far side, Victoria began slowing her mount, pulling off to the side.

"What's amiss," he asked, slewing to a stop beside her.

"Fa! This foolish beast has come up lame. I’m unable to continue."

"Damn the luck. We were hot on the little bastard's trail." Turning to Count Armand, surging to a skidding halt with several other riders, Charles pointed south.

“Her horse has gone lame. Finish the hunt without us. I’ll see the Countess safely back to the manor house.” The mud-spattered Frenchman nodded, tapping his cap with his crop, and charge off in pursuit of the fast disappearing dogs.

He may be an effete dandy, who can’t shoot and doesn’t fish, but the bugger can ride. Charles watched them vanish into the woods.

Dismounting, he took the lady's reins, starting back from whence they came. After a bit they found themselves in a shaded meadow, a small brook tumbling cheerfully along one side. Cottonwoods lined its banks, their flowers in full bloom, perfuming the air with a heady scent.

"Come, m'lady. We’ll take our ease here for a time before we continue. 'Tis been a hot, thirsty chase."

"Ah, truly said, m’lord. Your every wish is my command."

His lust-filled eyes caressed her every curve, lingering over each erotic swell. He licked parched lips, smiling up at her.

"An interesting proposition. You'll accede to anything I ask of you?"

She gave a throaty laugh, as he plucked her from her sidesaddle mount… and into his arms. Once there, he had not the will to release her. The scent of lilies and musk sent him spinning.

She tilted her face, crimson lips slightly parted, eyes green pools of fire. The sweet smell of her hair laid waste to his senses. His manhood, trapped in the confinement of skin-tight jodhpurs, struggled to attention.

"You are but to ask, m'lord," she whispered, panting softly. "I am willing--nay, eager--to heed your every desire."

He crushed her to him, hungry lips entangling, tongues darting vipers, his breath snatched away by the heat of her response. The fire of her kiss consumed him in delicious flames. They grappled with sweaty garments, and luckily, riding habit was infinitely less complicated than the normal fashions of court.

Welded as one, they slid down upon the soft grass, moist with dew. There was only sweetness in the salty taste of their skin. In a moment’s time they were lost in wonder, soaring high above even Heaven’s Gate.

For uncounted hours they bared their souls as well as their bodies to each other. Charles, reluctantly struggling with his unwilling libido, glanced at the sky.

“Come.” His voice still husky with ardor, he snatched up their garments and pulled her to her feet. “We must be off before we are found out.”

“Oui,” she said, but her flaming body, clinging closely to his, disagreed, rekindling the blaze within him. She raised liquid eyes to his, honeyed lips parted, wetted by the tip of her tongue.

They were quickly lost in a heated embrace, slipping again to the lush green carpet. He worshipped her skin with tender kisses and wet caresses of his tongue before entering her, her long legs trapping him urgently against her.

Their hearing filled by the thunder of unquenched passion as they lay entwined, they never heard the heavy tread of quickly approaching footsteps.

A sudden vicious blow to the back of his head slammed Charles against her, showering her with blood and gore, pinning her down.

"No!” A fearsome beast hovered above her, swinging a weapon high above its beaked head.

“Mon Dieu! No! Please, don't hurt...” The thud of heavy blows, the crunching of bones and rending of flesh, continued unabated for many minutes in the otherwise silent glade.

It wasn't until four hours after the last of the hunt had ridden in, two foxes in hand, before it was admitted that something was amiss. A hastily organized search party gave up, finally, three hours into the night.

The entire village was out again at dawn, searching ahorse and afoot for the missing couple. Two hours after sun-up, a hunting horn was sounded from a thick forest glade. The dogs had found their master. Searchers gathered in silent wonder in the small meadow that, sixteen hours before had hosted an idyll of love and passion. The ground was torn, blood and bits of flesh splattered everywhere. Two broken bodies lay heaped together, limbs twisted askew, heads crushed, faces gone, barely recognizable as having once been human.

The huntsmen agreed it was the work of some great beast--mayhaps an angry bear. Had an enraged sow destroyed them while protecting her cubs? Surely a plausible answer. They would hunt down and kill her, if they could.

So two lovers, newly discovered unto each other, died with love and life unfulfilled.

It was a passion that might have lasted an eternity, were it not cut short.

So brutally short.

1850 AD

Morgana Quincy’s hazel eyes, shaded by arched, inky eyebrows, squinted against the sun, watching the one-horse coach clatter around a corner before she started down the cobblestone path. Her white parasol, protection against the mid-day sun, draped casually over a slender shoulder. She shook her head, glistening onyx curls swirling and bobbing about her gentle, round-cheeked face. She needed time to clear her mind.

Her father, Jonathan Denton, had immigrated to the Americas only fifty years before, and had distinguished himself as a blockade-runner in this new country's second war with England. Now, thirty years later, he owned a successful shipping business, with six sloops carrying goods to all the major cities of the World.

But a life that should be a cornucopia was not going well. She was a fortunate woman, raised in a warm and loving environment by her father, widowed now these past twelve years. She married eight years past to a handsome young pillar of Philadelphia society, something that should fill her life with joy. William came from one of the oldest families in the city.

At twenty-seven, the major thing missing from paradise was a child, but not for a lack of trying… at least during their first five years together. Sex with her husband… something she shamefully enjoyed… was far less frequent now.

Just last month she discovered the cause: his affair with a sultry, voluptuous singer from a "high class" saloon near the harbor.

How could that bastard do this to her? What to do now? Take revenge? Something not in her nature, but the lure was strong.

They could try to work things out, but did she even care to make the effort? For what? If he pledged penance, would she let him back into her bed? She imagined he would try. She’d begun to suspect William was more enamored with her father’s fortune than her. And despite promises, would he really forsake that sensuous trollop? Nay, nothing good could come of this.

Now she was plagued by greater worries. Father, her stout oak providing shelter throughout her life, was ill. Seriously ill! Some foreign thing grew tenaciously in his chest, consuming him, sucking the meat off his bones, casting him into a mere shadow of himself. He’d become somnolent from heavy doses of morphine. She could only hold his hand, weeping incessantly during her daily afternoon visits. Conversation, while lucid, was brief and strained.

Head lowered, lost in thought, she was sent spinning upon colliding with someone on the walk. Strong hand caught her slender shoulders, steadying her until she regained her balance.

"Oh, I'm so sorry." She snatched a breath, her cheeks flushed, hazel eyes wide, as she glanced into a pair of fathomless, amber wide-set orbs. A long face, dominated by a strongly arched nose, smiled down at her. A mop of curly mahogany hair sprouted around the edges of his cap.

" ‘Tis I who owe an apology, Mrs. Quincy. I wasn't looking where I was about."

"Nor was I, sir. But how is it you know my name?” Her heart fluttered, her skin infused with a tingling heat. Who was this strangely exciting man? His was not a presence she would soon forget.

"I am your father's barrister. Robert Isaac, at your service."

"Oh, yes. Father mentioned you just today." Tears blossomed in the corners of her eyes. "T’was the most we have talked this whole week."

" ‘Tis a sad thing to see one so strong grow frail. It must be very hard on you." His long, smooth, tapered fingers magically encircled her hand, and honest compassion filled his eyes.

“Your father has been very kind to me. Few of this city's gentry show much interest in a Jewish lawyer."

"Father spoke of that as well, mocking their ignorance. You are the brightest of them all, he said… his gain and their loss. He also said you were the only compassionate barrister he'd ever met." Can he hear the cacophony he has stirred in my breast?

"He is too kind. Thousands of years of oppression have taught my people that virtue well. ‘Tis a major tenant of our upbringing." Her hand still nestled in his, her knees trembled. A strange heat permeated her.

"He also instructed me to help you with any matter in which you might have need. He referred, rather obliquely, to something about your husband?"

"He knows, does he?” She sighed. “Well, I shouldn't be surprised. He always fathoms when something is amiss. I dare say, he's a lot less innocent than I."

"Is it something you wish to discuss, ma'am? I am available, and anything told me is strictly confidential. It won’t be repeated, even to your father, if you wish."

She looked at her pale fingers, still ensconced safely in his tanned hand. She was flooded with the strange sensation she had known this man all her life. Her heart fluttered with the wings of a small frightened bird, but there was no fear in her. Finally, all that had been wrong would be set right.

She was awash with an inexorable sense Robert Isaac came from God to protect her, now that her father was unable. Her eyes turned to his. A delicate, bow-shaped mouth and aristocratic cheeks conspired to transform her smile… the first in many weeks… into a brilliant sunrise.

"I suppose I must confide in someone, although there's little enough to be done. Just talking to a person of trust would be a large load off my back. And I do sense you are someone to rely on, Mr. Isaac.”

"There's a small cafe nearby,” he said. “Quite secluded, and tables in the back allow for complete privacy. Shall we go there?"

Settled beside a scared oak slab, perched on slick, dark leather benches in a dim corner of the sparsely occupied pub, she found herself pouring out her heart about things she had never before discussed with a single soul. His compassionate understanding of her grief over her father’s illness and the illicit behavior of her husband were a strange catharsis. This was a connection she never felt with another person, especially a man.

Robert escorted her to her door, finally, as darkness began its approach, saying he had some ideas that might help in dealing with her husband, should things eventually come to an end in their marriage. She made an appointment to visit his offices the very next day.


Almost a year to the day after she first met Robert Isaac, they rode his black lacquered surrey into the countryside for a picnic. Jonathan Denton had succumbed ten months past, leaving his fortune in trust to his only daughter.

William Quincy made many determined forays after a share of that wealth, but a phalanx of attorneys could not dent the ironclad instruments forged by Robert for his client. Denton had consigned Morgana's care and fate to the hands of this capable young man. It was a duty he would have taken seriously… even if he hadn’t fallen hopelessly in love with her.

He had struggled to remain aloof and proper with his lovely client… until the beating. William, in a fit of rage, peaked by his family's failing finances and his inability to touch his wife's vast wealth, had taken a riding crop to her.

Robert summoned all his self-control to keep from thrashing the man. Instead, he charged Quincy with assault and battery, a rare challenge to a husband's right to strike his wife. Eventually, charges were dropped with the court ordering William to keep his hands to himself.

It was the impetus Morgana needed to begin pursuing a divorce.

"I've found love with another man," she had told Robert, a merry twinkle in her golden eyes.

"Who is the lucky fellow," his throat suddenly constricted, he could barely draw breath.

"Oh, he's a strong, handsome, gentle man of the utmost integrity. Completely unlike that lout I married."

"If you'll only give me his name," his eyes cast down to hide his despair, "I'll make inquiries to be sure he's as upright as you fancy him. ‘Tis for your protection." He was resigned to step aside. Anything for the happiness of this angel he had grown to treasure so deeply.

"Oh, you ninny." She laughed, eyes alight, her face a picture permanently etched into the fabric of his brain.

"His name is Robert Isaac. ‘Tis you I love, my sweet fool."

What? T’was he? How could this be? His wildest dreams fulfilled? Thunder hammered his breast as he took her hands, his eyebrow arched. Her smile dazzling his senses, she nodded, nestling in his arms, her face tilted, begging to be kissed.

They soon became lovers, enthralled by a familiarity and passion more profound than either ever expected. Now, months later, her divorce to Quincy soon to be finalized, they were about to celebrate. The picnic basket was filled with delicacies and two well-chilled bottles of wine… a fine meal, capped off with tender lovemaking under the shade of the great oaks that bordered this idyllic meadow.

They nestled, naked, upon a light blanket, spread over the dew-dampened meadow, shaded from the warm sun by mighty oaks, full with spring bloom. Robert rolled to his side, propping his head against a hand, gazing down at her, snuggled in the crook of his other arm. Her velvety fair skinned, slender body was still flushed and moist from their recent ardor.

" ‘Tis a miracle I still cannot fathom that I am here with you. That such an angel professes to love me as deeply as I love her."

"The miracle ‘tis mine, my love." She stroked his face with elegant, crimson-nailed fingers, "that I could be shed of that cruel bastard, William, and find myself in the arms of one such as you. I adore you more than I can say. ‘Tis as if I’ve loved you forever, in my dreams."

"Aye. So ‘tis with me." He handed her one of their partly filled glasses of wine glasses.

"To our love, eternal. Nothing on earth will ever destroy it." They clinked their glasses together, sipping the warming brew.

"We are already one, Morgana. Marry me, to make it official."

Her smile stirred him almost beyond bearing.

"Yes, my darling. As quickly as I’m shed of William. Our child will need a proper name, and I love you beyond my ability to say."

"Our child? Are you…?"

"Yes! I missed my time, neigh three months past."

"But how? Eight years with William, and you never…"

"Aye, but apparently t’was his lacking, not mine." Her smile ignited him. Their hands, their mouths, wended on amorous explorations, and soon he was entering her.

Nearing a wondrous finale, the earth seemingly trembled at their exquisite ardor. Her ears twitched, and the flames of passion were suddenly chilled by an ominous sense of danger.

A vague image of a horned beast and blood-soaked beak bloomed in her head. Eyes flared wide, she struggled to glimpse the wood beyond her lover’s shoulder.

“Morgana? What’s amiss, my love?” He snatched a breath, struggling from the depths of ardor.

An approaching heavy tread was clearly audible, as the air humming with a strange whirring beat.

“Non! Mon Dieu, non!” French? Terrified, she wondered, I don’t speak French.

Locked in the steel band of her panicked arms, Robert tried to turn but before he could move he was slammed against her, his full weight pinning her to the ground. Reeling from the impact, her face drenched by blood and splattered with small spongy gray particles, Morgana's eyes flew wide.

Paralyzed by terror and the weight of her lover, she cringed at large shadow above her, then the suddenly familiar fierce beaked head, the sun glinting off its silvery body, flailing the air with a spinning weapon.

"No, don't!" A terrifying flash of memory bloomed… a vision of being here before!

"Arret! Not again! Mon Dieu! Non! Non..."

The search party, led by Robert's brother, Aaron, found them the next afternoon. The small glade was a gruesome slaughterhouse… ochre stains and shredded bits of flesh scattered across the verdant lea. Two naked bodies, tangled together in a heap, were rent beyond recognition. Not a single man there held down his gorge.

It must be the work of some wild creature, probably a bear. Destruction of the two and the grounds around them were too vicious to be dealt by human hand.

Still, the Sheriff made a thorough investigation. William Quincy had been in his offices the entire day. No other possible perpetrator could be identified.

No, it had to be an animal. A hunt was organized to search for the beast, but none was ever found. It remained the mysterious end of a new and wonderful love, cut short.

So brutally short.

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About the Author:
George Bernstein

George Bernstein says "A 3rd Time to Die is a Paranormal Romantic Sus-pense, different from the usual vampires, demons & werewolves, in that it deals with Past Lives, murder & rebirth”. The author is retired President of a Chicago company, now living in south Florida. A 3rd Time to Die is his 2nd novel. His first, Trapped, won the "Next Great American Novel" contest, and received high praise, gaining mostly 5-star reviews at Ama-zon & Goodreads. He’s also a World-class fly-fisherman, having held a dozen IGFA World Records, and has published Toothy Critters Love Flies (, the definitive book on fly-fishing for pike & musky.

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

#BookExcerpt: The Frost of Springtime by Rachel L. Demeter

The Frost of Springtime

The Frost of Springtime
Title: The Frost of Springtime
Author: Rachel L. Demeter
Publisher: Black Lyon Publishing, LLC
Description: To rescue her was to rescue his own soul.

On a cold Parisian night, Vicomte Aleksender de Lefèvre forges an everlasting bond with a broken girl during her darkest hour, rescuing her from a life of abuse and misery. Tormented by his own demons, he finds his first bit of solace in sheltering little Sofia Rose.

But when Aleksender is drawn away by the Franco-Prussian war, the seasons pass. And in that long year, Sofia matures into a stunning young woman—a dancer with an understanding of devotion and redemption far surpassing her age.

Alongside his closest friend, Aleksender returns home to find that “home” is gone, replaced by revolution, bloodshed, betrayal—and a love always out of reach. Scarred inside and out, he’s thrust into a world of sensuality and violence—a world in which all his hours have now grown dark, and where only Sofia might bring an end to the winter in his heart.

Inspired by the 1871 Paris Commune, The Frost of Springtime is a poignant tale of revolution, redemption, and the healing power of love.

Spring of 1871
Coast of Normandy

Luminous shafts of orange and red illuminated the limitless morning sky. The horizon was halfway hidden behind a blanket of swirling clouds and still tucked in for the night. It was a breathtaking sight to behold. The world was no more than an artistic canvas, and God had painted a masterpiece. A few stars shined overhead, their glows absorbed by the imminent sunrise. The North Star was front and center. And she curtsied in the sky.

A ship’s massive silhouette clashed against the horizon. Cradled by the ocean’s tide, the vessel approached its port, skimming across Rouen’s leaden waters in slow and steady movements. Heroes of the Franco-Prussian war lounged among the clutter of crates, barrels, and weaponry, oblivious to their defeat … oblivious to the hell in which they were returning. They simply rested in harmonious silence, lost halfway between dreams and reality.

Aleksender de Lefèvre and Christophe Cleef tapped their beer bottles and drank in the sunrise. A mild breeze stirred the ship’s billowing sails, carrying them ever closer to home.

Any semblance of peace quickly vanished.

Rouen’s central railway station was packed tight that morning and an engine of pure chaos. Aleksender and Christophe shoved through the commotion, tense expressions on their faces and satchels slung over each shoulder. Mon Dieu. There was barely enough space to breathe, let alone walk.

Thick clouds of smoke ascended into the rafters and flooded Aleksender’s lungs. Streams of light poured through the above woodwork, illuminating dust motes that danced about midair. Mourning doves roosted among those polluted ceiling beams, oblivious to the hustle and bustle, devotedly preening and nurturing their young squabs. Aleksender squared the wide expanse of his shoulders and continued his pursuit.

The steam locomotive was hard at work and breathing heavily as it recovered from a recent round-trip. Aleksender empathized with the thing, feeling a strange sort of kindred spirit.

Indeed—within seconds, the agony of the past year had struck him in one fell swoop. Mounting exhaustion claimed every last muscle. A film of sweat gathered above his brow and blurred his vision. Each step burned more than the one before it. And the ground below his feet was painful to the touch. It seemed to be paved with hot coals rather than stones—

“Ah, come now. Look alive, mon ami.” His comrade’s voice sounded surreal, impossibly distant.

Moments from departure, the locomotive puffed out ribbons of smoke and blared its horn in warning. Aleksender and Christophe muttered a unified curse and picked up their strides.

Anywhere was better than this limbo.

Alas, Aleksender had half-expected to be greeted by Charon, Hades’ personal ferryman—the infamous seaman who escorted the souls of the dead into the Underworld. And instead of paying passage with coins of gold, they’d offer two clammy pieces of parchment.

Aleksender blinked away the beads of sweat. Upside-down words, Chermin de Fer de Rouen—Voiture, were slightly smudged and damp with perspiration marks. He and Christophe beelined through the maze of swishing skirts and worn helmets, hearts madly pounding, those one-way tickets balanced between their fingertips.

Overhead the silhouette of an eagle emerged from a black haze of smoke. Mindless of his friend’s glower, Aleksender stopped dead in his tracks, brushed away his forelock, and marveled at the vision. Colossal wings were curved into two elegant arches as if preparing to take flight. But the creature remained unnaturally still. It was a shadow kissed by coils of smoke, a sinister force that had come with the tenth plague of Egypt, hovering high above the station like the Angel of Death.

Wearing a scowl that could only be described as weary, Christophe socked Aleksender’s shoulder and urged him into motion. A set of dog tags dangled from his neck and clashed against the uniform’s navy hue. The tags tinkled with the delicacy of tin cymbals, manipulated by each shift in his body weight. The sound irritated Aleksender. It reminded him of nails on a chalkboard. Or, more appropriately, like nails raking against the inside of a coffin—

“Stand there like that and I reckon we’ll never see Paris again.” The train whistled another warning and pumped out furls of smoke. Christophe scoffed, massaging the arch of his chin in a nervous gesture. “What in the devil has gotten into you? Would you—”

Aleksender silently shoved past Christophe and claimed the lead. He half-expected the eagle to descend from the rafters at any given moment. But the illusion faded away with each of his steps— unveiling that bird of prey for what it truly was. “The Imperial War flag.”

Or rather, the symbol of the Imperial War flag.

Christophe rotated in the direction of Aleksender’s voice with a grin and arched brow. Murmuring a pained grunt, he adjusted the satchel’s strap. The leather was pliable and soft with age, though fully capable of leaving a solid welt in its wake. “Ah. So it is …” A chuckle rumbled low in Christophe’s throat. “Bit of an ugly thing, eh?”

Aleksender said nothing. Firmly rooted in place, he held his breath and surveyed the station in its entirety. For the first time, he really drank in his surroundings.

And the truth was a knife to his throat.

An overall sense of discontentment tainted the air. Hordes of Prussian soldiers infested nearly every square foot, outnumbering members of the French military three-to-one. Aleksender felt strangely out of his element—as if he was intruding upon his own home. He cursed and blotted away beads of sweat with the side of his cufflink. “What horror have we returned to?”

His words were lost to the surrounding din. From wall to wall, a wave of excitement had flooded the station. Men, women and children eagerly huddled about as they contended for a proper viewing spot of the building action. A little boy was lifted onto his father’s shoulders, granting him a bird’s-eye view as the scene unfolded.

The competition was ruthless. In a single instant, Aleksender had returned to the damn battlefield.

Laying down the rifle and satchel, he extended each limb and inhaled a deep groan. He was more than a bit grateful for the delay. As he’d expected, his comrade flocked to the drama, behaving like some petty spinster rather than a veteran of war.

And what spectacular drama it was. Within moments, the surrounding madness escalated to a full-blown riot. A handsome, young couple was hustled from the train in order to make room for two Prussians. A tangle of protests and empty threats filled the station as France’s citizens flocked to the couple’s defense.

“My sincerest apologies, madame, monsieur,” the guard mumbled without an inkling of sympathy in his voice. He led them down the three wooden steps and onto the platform.

The lady twisted on her fine heels. Her fair complexion flushed deeply, gloved hands strangling the parasol like twin manacles. “You dare turn us out for those savages!? Those … those common Visigoths!”

“Don’t fret, darling,” crooned the husband as he caressed her arm with calculated strokes. “We shall catch the next one without delay.”

She jerked free of his touch, lips hooked into a fierce scowl and pretty eyes blazing. An arm was propped on either side of her hip as she hotly spoke. “Why, I never took you for a coward till this moment! I suppose Father was right about you, after all.”

The faintest blush singed the gentleman’s cheekbones. Leaning on his walking stick like an old man, he cleared his throat and shrunk two full sizes. “Now, see here, darling, I simply—”

“How can you be so shameless? Why, I’ve half a mind to board the first ship out of this wretched place and never look back!”

Suspended above this melodrama was Prussia’s black and white flag. Fluttering amongst a smoky sea of ashes, it hung in the midst of France’s greatest railway station without a trace of honor.

A true angel of death, Aleksender inwardly mused.

And that blackened eagle had confirmed his deepest, darkest premonition: the war was far from over.

The bloodshed had only just begun.

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About the Author:
Rachel L. Demeter

Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and high school sweetheart of ten years. She enjoys writing dark, edgy romances that challenge the reader's emotions and examine the redeeming power of love.

Imagining stories and characters has been Rachel's passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mom would jot them down for her. She has a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether sculpting the protagonist or antagonist, she always ensures that every character is given a soul.

Rachel strives to intricately blend elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some common themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness.

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Thursday, March 6

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Friday, March 7

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Monday, February 24, 2014

#BookExcerpt: Spartanica by Powers Molinar #Promobooktours


Spartanica 2 Title: Spartanica
Author: Powers Molinar
Description: Ty and Marcus Mitchell are average middle school brothers growing up north of Chicago until one night when they’re hurtled through an inter-dimensional gateway to a parallel world defined by its multiple moons and planet-wide apocalypse. As they struggle to figure out where they are and how to get home, the boys encounter refugees of “the last day” from the distant city of Atlantis and a mysterious girl called Bellana, the sole survivor and resident of the devastated city of Spartanica. Ty and Marcus soon learn they only have seven days to get home. But before they can leave, they must battle through long-extinct predators, track down the elusive Professor Otherblood, and rescue a new friend from certain death. Is all of this insanity just Ty’s overactive imagination or are the brothers truly on the brink of being stranded on the brutal wasteland known as Spartanica?



“Come on, man!” I yelled at Kinnard as he stood over the fallen Proditor with the other Atlantean kids. “He just saved our lives! Do something!”

“What do you want me to do?” he hollered back. “I’m no ’rat doctor.”

Proditor still wasn’t moving or breathing, at least as far as I could tell. I’d been kneeling next to him for probably ten minutes and he hadn’t given any indication he was still alive.

I finally stood up and walked away. The others followed at a distance. After getting somewhat back under control, I spun back around and faced them.

“Great,” I said, frustrated and saddened by Proditor’s loss. “This is great. How do we get into the human area now without setting off every alarm on the settlement? This messes up our whole plan.”

“I don’t know,” Yra answered. “Maybe we go back and think of another plan.” “No!” both Kinnard and I yelled.

“We’ll just have to figure out something else,” I insisted. “Dang, he was perfect. He was the missing link that brought it all together.”

“We still have all of us,” Kinnard said, motioning around at everyone. “We still have the transport and all the weapons. This is not a big deal, Marcus! As soon as the fireworks start, you and I will head inside the compound and get everybody out. You do your Guelphic thing and I’ll cover you with my rifle. We can still do this. We have to do this!”


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Author Bio:

Powers Molinar

Powers Molinar grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago and earned engineering and business degrees at the University of Iowa. While he works as a process engineer and project manager during the day, his passion is writing science fiction. His first novel, Spartanica, is the culmination of several year's of part-time effort mostly late at night and on weekends when he wasn't enjoying time with his wife and kids, all of whom were big helpers getting Spartanica written.

Powers believes every kid has the potential to become exceptional. In addition to being a blast to read, he truly hopes his books spark kids' imaginations and inspire them to read more and maybe even become writers. Being a solid reader is a foundational piece of leading an exceptional life. Powers hopes his books can be part of that foundation for as many kids as possible.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

#BookExcerpt: War of the Heavens: Leviathan by Charbel Tadros #PromoBookTours

War of the Heavens: Leviathan 2
Title: War of the Heavens: Leviathan
Series: War of the Heavens, Book 1
Author: Charbel Tadros
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition
Description: Nigel survives a car crash, while his whole family perishes in the accident. With the help of his later-to-become girlfriend Vicky, he overcomes the tragedy and makes his way to college. As they are about to graduate, Vicky convinces him to embark on a strange project involving crystals and magick, with a “k” (meaning real magic). Little did they know that this project would open for them the gates of other dimensions including the world of the gods, the world of the muses and the demons, the world of the dead and many more. But why were they called there?


“The dragon is cunning,” Nick replied, “he probably found a way around the rule. He could’ve maybe affected something in the environment which caused the muses to freeze. He probably just froze the time around each of them.”

“Can you do that?” Nigel asked with excitement.

“I could,” Nick answered, “but it would take too much willpower to actually accomplish something like that.”

“Going back to my other question,” Nigel remembered, “why didn’t we just fly to Belzebul’s domain and why didn’t you tell me that the dragon was an ally?”

“Usually, we learn things when we need them,” Nick replied, “when you need something, you will learn it faster because you would have an emotional connection to what you are trying to accomplish. I did not tell you about the dragon because I wanted you to become upset.”

“What?” Nigel cried again, “you intentionally pissed me off?”

“Yes!” Nick laughed, “when you are pissed off, you tend to be generating and working with more energy. And because you are pissed off at something, you tend to channel that energy towards it. You were pissed off and worried about Vicky, so you needed to learn to fly quickly in order to get to her.”

“But why couldn’t you teach us flying before?” Nigel asked again.

“Because you were afraid of Belzebul,”Nick answered, “when you are afraid, you don’t learn. The remedy to fear is sometimes anger.”

“I see,” Nigel concluded with determination, “at least now I know how to fly and how to fight with a sword. I’m ready to kick some ass!”

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