Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Talented K. C. Sprayberry shares her new book, Lost & Scared!

When their younger twin siblings were murdered by their cold-blooded father, Shane and Keri’s own twin connection deepened. Their father shamed Shane and Keri into silence, and then went on to bring four more children into a house shuddering under the weight of his unpredictable temper.
Ten years later, what should have been a regular visitation turns into a horrific nightmare. Trapped in the Superstition Mountains with an addicted and dangerous father, Keri’s faith and determination wavers, but she knows she must save her brothers and sisters and return all of them to the home they love.

She now faces one insurmountable obstacle. He can’t afford to let her go.

Excerpt 1 ~ Shane

The window in my bedroom that I share with my two younger brothers overlooks Main Street. I angle my head, so I can attempt to see where my twin is.
“See Keri?” Axe, my best bud, asks.
“Nope. But I do see a bunch of cars leaving.” I face him and grin. “That means she’s on her way back.”
“Great. We can leave now.”
“Looks that way.”
He and I race down the stairs. The normal noise of a large family during winter holiday break greets me, along with what can only be described as evil snickering. We come around the corner, shoving and pushing to see which one of us gets to the bottom first, with me gaining an inch on my bud.
“Yes!” I pump a fist and hop down the last three steps, the satisfaction of proving once and for all that I’m the best pass receiver on our team.
“I am so going to beat you one of these days,” he says.
We knuckle bump and clown around.
“Ready when you are, honey,” a strange female voice says.
“Huh?” I turn around.
A woman who looks like a million miles of bad road stands beside the open front door. Before I can ask who she is and what she’s doing in our house, a series of loud bangs precedes the sound of a cat yowling. That noise sends fear shivers through every inch of my body, and I don’t scare all that easily.
“What the heck?” Axe pushes me aside. “What’s going on, Shane?”
“Don’t know.” I point at the woman. “Who are you?”
“Jake’s honey-poo,” she purrs.
That response is wrong on so many levels, beginning with Jake is my dad’s name. The last time I checked he was still married to my mom.
“Who are you two handsome hunks?”
Gross. Sick. Yuck! She sounds just like Scooter when he catches a mouse.
Just as I’m about to tell this loser from the wrong side of the tracks to get lost, Scooter races out of the kitchen. A mix of who knows what, he has gorgeous gray and white striped fur and I can only describe him as fat and slow.
Slow comes nowhere close to describing that streak racing for safety. Scooter howls out his fear. His fur stands on end and his tail is so fluffy that it looks ten times its normal size.

Author Bio:
Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in Northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.
She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies, others in magazines. Three of her books (Softly Say Goodbye, Who Am I?, and Mama’s Advice) are Amazon best sellers. Her other books are: Take Chances, Where U @, The Wrong One, Pony Dreams, Evil Eyes, Inits, Canoples Investigations Tackles Space Pirates, The Call Chronicles 1: The Griswold Gang, The Curse of Grungy Gulley, Paradox Lost: Their Path, and Starlight. Additionally, she has shorts available on Amazon: Grace, Secret From the Flames, Family Curse … Times Two, Right Wrong Nothing In Between, and The Ghost Catcher. 

Excerpt 2 ~ Keri

Carly and I sneak up the walkway to the backdoor of the house where I live with my parents and five siblings. We’ve done nothing wrong. There is no reason for us to be sneaking into my house, except one… him.
“Are you sure about this?” she whispers.
“Yeah.” I cast a guilty glance at the driveway.
Shane’s truck isn’t here. He must still be hanging with his best bud, Axe. Heat rushes up my face whenever I think about that hunk. Axe not Shane. Big Bro is anything but a hunk. Well, he is kind of cute, and a lot of girls like him, but a hunk? Give me a break. None of the girls hot for him know that he stinks up a bathroom or dumps his clothes all over the place for me to pick up.
I’ll forgive Carly for thinking like that. She’s good for Shane, if he’d just get over the “everybody will hate us for dating” thing. Big deal if she’s African American and we’re white. Nobody cares about that anymore.
“Your dad will pop a cork if he catches me in the house,” Carly says. “You know he hates… you know.”
We never talk about that. So what if my dad is the biggest bigot in the world? The rest of my family is totally cool with me having Carly around. They like her. She’s funny, and an awesome bestie.
We both stop in front of the back door. I reach out a hand, but don’t turn the knob when I hear shouting.
“Oh, shit.” I glance at Carly.
“What now?” she whispers.
Memories flood through me of a night I try so very hard to forget. Once upon a time, there was another set of twins in our house. Then they were gone. The reason they’re not with us anymore is too hard to think about. I don’t even talk about that night, but that’s because Shane and I made a sacred vow. We will always keep that secret. Telling now will cause so many problems for us.
I have to tell someone, but that means I’ll go to jail. Won’t I? Isn’t that where liars go when they hide a crime?
The anniversary of that particular act still haunts me, even though it was way back in August. December has usually been good, even if we’re sad because of whatever he is doing. To have such an innocent act end in the violence as that one did should never happen to anyone, especially a kid. To have the person responsible still walking around as if he did nothing wrong infuriates me, until I think about how I never told.
Shane didn’t either. We should have told. It didn’t matter if we were only seven. It doesn’t matter now that we’re almost seventeen. We should have told.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Sizzling PR Presents When I Think Of You by Rosa Sophia

When I Think of You
Rosa Sophia

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:  When Nina Archer dreamt of Wes Ladner, they were both in Florida, both runners, both writers, and both passionately attracted to each other.

After a year and a half, Nina is growing accustomed to a new life in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, and though she feels as if something is missing, she doesn’t think she will ever return to the place of her birth. Despite this, she soon discovers she not only misses Florida, but she is not so sure running away was the best idea.
Wes is the man who helped Nina learn to be intimate, but a disagreement between them seems to have finalized the idea they will never be together.
While Wes’s career is on the rise, and his novel is about to become a bestseller, Nina explores her inner self while attempting to let go of her fears and accept the fact that she is worth it and deserves love.
Will Nina and Wes find each other again, or will they ignore the dreams they’ve had?
When I Dream of You brought them together. When I Think of You continues their story as they try to decide if their dreams come from something substantial, or if they are nothing more than fantasy.
I know it isn’t over the moment I smell the salty air, breathe in the silence of Juno Beach at two in the morning. And like that night so many months ago, the stars are clearer than anything I’ve ever seen before. I walk the road that runs along the beach, then stand for a moment and close my eyes, trying to spot the differences between here and the place I’d come from only hours before. They are innumerable, but noticeable only to someone who is paying very close attention to the way the waves hit the sand, the way the lone car slides slowly past, headlights piercing the darkness.

Juno is unique, like nowhere else; there is something different about the sensations that fill me as I stand there. The drive from the Outer Banks of North Carolina was a long one, but it was liberating. I once believed I would never return to the place of my birth, but the universe had other plans. I cannot help but think there’s a reason I’m supposed to be here.

Stepping past the sea grapes and down onto the sand, I pull off my sneakers as I recall my favorite difference between here and there: the texture of the sand. Here, it’s so much softer, and I know without having to see it that it is a tan color, not like the sand in the Outer Banks which is often much coarser, turning almost orange when the tide comes in washing up tiny rocks and shells.

To my left, Juno Pier sits steadfast and still, a hulking giant in the night reaching out over the ocean. If I hadn’t flipped on the small pocket flashlight I carry with me, I would have stepped on the man-o-war jellyfish on the sand, spread out like an amoeba, its bright tentacles reaching for the ocean it might never return to.

It is trapped, like I’d been for so long. I recoil, horrified, not wanting to get stung. I don’t know what that kind of pain is like. Backing up, I jog toward the road again, keeping the little beam of light on the path before me. Once back on the sidewalk, I tug my socks and shoes back on and stretch my arms toward the sky, feeling the soft hot breeze against my exposed flesh. In my running shorts and tank top, I can’t resist; with the rushing of the ocean to my right,

I begin to run. I run, and run, and run along the sidewalk. There is nothing like running; the simple action of moving swiftly through the heavy air has saved my life many times over. How often I ran from emotion, from turmoil that plagued me day in and day out.

I ran, ran, ran—but I never escaped.

Now I’m running on the pavement, breathing in and out with such ease it amazes me. I raise my arms to shield my eyes from the blinding headlights, squinting until stars pop in my vision. I expect the car to keep going and disappear in the distance, but instead it slows and creeps nearer.

For a brief moment, I am perplexed as I hear the car door open and shut. Then—


Blinking, I lower my arm, my chest still heaving with breath, sweat coating my skin. At first, all I see is a silhouette, but the voice is so familiar. I cannot deny the lump forming in my throat, the way my heart leaps and heat rushes to the pit of my stomach.

Only one person can make my body thrum with this perpetual desire, an ache just as heavy as the heat around me. At one time I was sure I would never see him again, especially since it seemed so certain we couldn’t make it work between us.

I step into the light, I see his face, the corners of his lips twitching upward in recognition.

Buy Links:

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Rosa Sophia is a novelist and a full-time editorial consultant.  With a degree in Automotive Technology, she adores writing and editing as well as fixing cars.  Rosa is also a crazy cat lady in training, and currently divides her time between South Florida and Pennsylvania.
Author Links:
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Monday, February 23, 2015

The Bearded Dude In The Puzzle

I am offering a snippet of my WIP, The Bearded Dude in the Puzzle. I hope ya'll like it!

* * * *

The car was locked so he and Andi leaned against it, waiting for their dad to come out. “Can you believe him?” Andi growled. “He never had any intentions of taking you shopping. He would rather be with that…that idiot bimbo than spend time with us!”

She saw the shattered look on his face and stopped talking, taking a deep breath. “I’m sorry, Bobby. He’s just such a jerk.” She saw them come out of the pizza parlor. “Here they come.” She got nose to nose with her brother. “Do not let him make you cry. I mean it, Bobby. He is not worth it.”

Their dad walked around the car and opened the door for Miss James, laughing at something she had said. Clueless, or uncaring of his kids’ hurt feelings, Steve Taylor whistled a tune as walked to the driver’s side.

Bobby’s eyes were glued to the passenger window in the backseat. Please, don’t let me cry. He had been so sure today would prove that his dad still loved them. The giggling of the woman was like fingernails on a chalkboard. He glanced at his sister. Her jaw was clenched tight and she looked ready to explode.

Miss James turned to look at the two kids in the backseat. “Andi – that’s a name you don’t hear everyday.”

When there was no reply, Steve jumped in. “It’s short for Andrea.”

“How cute,” the woman said, smiling at Steve. She turned her attention again to the back seat. “So, how do you like our little town?”

Oh no! Bobby groaned inside, squeezing his eyes shut.

Andi sat up a little straighter, smiling. “Oh Miss James, my mom, brother and I are just loving it here. We are living the dream.” The woman smiled; apparently not having a clue sarcasm was being thrown in her face. “Picture this,” Andi continued, “My mom has a fabulous, great paying job, but because our dad loved us so much he talked her into giving up her career to come to Smallville, USA.”

“Andi,” her dad said in a low warning tone.

“Not only that, Miss James, Bobby and I were in schools we loved and we both had so many friends, but what was important was our family being together. You know, a loving family, everyone being a team member, so dad could have his chance.”

The woman’s eyes darted nervously around the car. “Well…uhm…that’s just lovely Andi. Now if we…”

Andy wasn’t through. “It is a lovely story, isn’t it? She leaned forward, as if to tell the woman a secret. “But the love didn’t stop there,” Andi said, putting her hand on Miss James’ shoulder.
“Bobby and I were nervous about going to a new school, yet excited to meet new friends. You can surely understand that, right?” Andi’s stare demanded the woman’s eyes to stay trained on her face. Miss James, her mouth partly opened, slowly nodded. “Can you imagine Bobby’s and my dismay when the kids, all but shunned us? We didn’t understand. We are nice people. Why would the kids at school, give us dirty looks and talk about us?”

Miss James, wide-eyed, shook her head back and forth. “Why would they?” She asked.

“That’s what we wanted to know.” Andi sat back in her seat. Her voice changed from sugary sweet to matter of fact. “Imagine our surprise when our father felt the need to shag the neighbor’s wife.”

“Andrea!” Her father snapped. “That’s enough!”

The sugary sweet voice was back. “What?” Andi purred. “Seriously, dad, how could you have known that mom wouldn’t understand about you screwing around with another woman? The nerve of her telling you to get out! Now she is working two jobs. An up and coming advertising expert is now answering phones at a real estate company, part time, and cleaning houses for a management company. Isn’t that priceless?” Andi’s voice dripped with sarcasm. “And who could have guessed that the lady’s family you destroyed, had two kids that are the same age as Bobby and me. Yep, John Slater, who is extremely popular, has apparently told everybody in my sophomore class at school that it is my fault that his family life is in the toilet.”


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Write By Your Side Presents Dee Dawning and her book Playtime with Sera

The Sensual Awakening Series is an ongoing series of ménage a trois books from Dee Dawning, a longtime writer of erotica and erotic romance. The first three volumes, Jasmine's Urban Cowboys, Sharing Brenda and Victoria's Secret Life are contemporary westerns set around the fictional Tawny Hills Ranch near Dallas Texas.

The last three books, Playtime with Sera, Naked Research and Fancy Lady & the Desperadoes are also ménage a trois books by Dee Dawning, but in unconnected settings.

Click the banner to watch the book blast trailer

      Book Blast Day 4. Featuring Playtime with Sera.

Marc doesn’t know it, but his beautiful wife Sera used to be married to his best bud from college and unknowingly he’s brings them together again.

Click on the cover to buy the book

If you like warmth, live in Arizona like Dee Dawning does. If you like to read hot sexy stories born and raised in the sweltering summer heat of Arizona, check out his scribblings.
Dee has been writing saucy romance stories and other novels for twelve years. At this time, he has forty-four titles available.
Dee & his lovely wife currently reside in Carefree, Arizona, where he writes a novella every three to four months and a novel every six to eight months.  

  A voice mail from her hubby, Marc, informs Sera, that he and an old school chum are going out for drinks and he wants her get all spiffed up and meet them at Christo’s for dinner and a night of dancing. 
At the restaurant, she takes a hard right into the lounge and bangs into Marc’s school chum, Jack who also happens to be her fabulous looking, lady killer, Jack. The unlikely situation prompts a degree of discomfort for all.
As the night wears on, it becomes apparent to the ex-husband and wife that although the bonds of matrimony were severed, their original burning attraction was as strong as ever. This forces Marc to make a decision a husband should never have to make.
Is this a case of fuzzy math where one plus one equals three?
Check out this sexy story with a touch of humor.

Click on the banner to visit Dee Dawning's Amazon Author Page

When Jack saw her, he smiled. “Are you ready to get undressed?”
        Sera sucked her lips in tightly. “If I have to. How about you?”
        Jack joined Sera at the circular breakfast table while Marc grabbed a deck of cards out of a kitchen drawer before joining them. Marc dealt the first hand of draw poker. Sera got a pair of aces, king high, drew two cards, and got a third ace.
        Jack laid his cards down. Two pair, sevens and nines.
        Marc threw his cards in. “Beats me.”
       She laid her cards down. “But it doesn’t beat my three aces.”
       They both made faces but took off their shirts.
       It was her turn to deal, and she admired their muscular chests as she dealt, five cards each, face down. She picked up her cards and fanned them. Ace, king high. She drew four and drew another ace. She laid her cards down. “Can anyone beat a pair of aces?” They both threw their cards in.
        Marc shook his head. “Damn, beginner’s luck.”
        Her brow furrowed. “Hey, let’s not be poor sports now.”
        This time they each took off a shoe. She passed the cards to Jack.
        She drew one card to four diamonds and didn’t hit it so she took off a sneaker and       Marc took off another shoe.
        Next hand she drew a third seven, but Marc won his first hand with three jacks. She removed another sneaker and Jack took off his belt.
        She won the next hand with threes over nines, full house.
        Marc took his belt off and Jack took off a shoe.
        “At the rate I’m going, I’ll be naked first,” complained Marc. “What’s going to happen when we’re all naked?”
        Jack dealt the next hand. “It’ll be playtime, just like with Annabelle. Remember Annabelle?”
        Playtime? Annabelle? “What’s ‘playtime’ and who’s Annabelle?” Sera wanted to know.
Marc’s jaw dropped as utter shock registered on his face. “What are you talking about? Sera isn’t like Annabelle. She’s my wife.”
        “I know, Marc, and she used to be my wife. There’s something we need to discuss. Can we go somewhere private to talk?”
        “We can go in my study.”
        “Let’s go.”
        “Sweetheart, would you wait here while Jack and I go into my office?”
        She nodded and they left.


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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Price Of Honor, by Susanne Matthews, is in the Spotlight on Penny's Tales

Excerpt from The Price of Honor:
Isabelle turned the paper over and recognized her father’s seal on the back of the letter. She broke the seal and unfolded the page.
My darling daughter,
I’ve made enquiries into the charges and events in Paris. Things aren’t as they seem and I’m worried. I’m glad you’re in the abbey where God and the good sisters can protect you. I’m afraid I can’t. I can’t even protect myself.
The events surrounding Pierre’s death are most confounding. Those who spoke with the guards have all vanished. Even the tavern no longer exists. This duelist is a ghost—no one can even describe him.
My informant discovered Pierre delivered documents from the governor general of New France to the president of the French West India Company shortly after his arrival in France. Since the charges against him stemmed from the colony, something in those documents must have been to blame. My man continues to search for answers.
By now, you’ve heard I’m ill. My physician can’t understand it, but while he won’t confirm my suspicions, I believe I’ve been poisoned. No matter what happens, you must stay away. I don’t know who’s to blame for this, but I suspect it’s tied to your husband’s death.
I love you and miss you. Be well my darling child. No matter what happens, follow your heart.
Your loving Papa
Isabelle sat in the pew and let the tears flow unimpeded down her cheeks. She reread Papa’s letter more convinced than ever to discover the truth. She was startled when a man sat beside her. She looked up into kind brown eyes. Guy!
He hadn’t worn his uniform. Instead, he’d chosen to dress normally, making it easy for him to blend in with the other penitents who’d attended the first church service of the day. He’d allowed his hair to fall forward to hide his scar and further obscure his identity. Like an answer to prayer, he held out his arms. Desperate for a touch of human kindness, Isabelle went into them and cried until she was sure there were no tears left inside. Gradually she became aware of the thumping of Guy’s heart, of his breathing, and of the warmth suffusing her. I could stay like this forever. Before she could nestle any deeper into his arms, she realized where she was and pulled away.
Guy released her. “Feeling better?”
The question had become a familiar one to Isabelle. It seemed everyone thought a few tears would heal even the deepest wounds, but there were some hurts which could never be mended by tears alone. “Yes, thank you. Come, walk with me.” She stood and moved towards the church doors. 

Book Blurb: The Price of Honor

What price is a woman willing to pay to restore a man’s honor?
When her husband is falsely accused of treason and murdered, Isabelle de Caen vows to find those responsible and see justice done. Of royal descent, Isabelle is stunned when the king orders her hasty marriage to one of his favorites, a man she detests. To save herself from a fate too awful to contemplate, she disobeys the king’s edict and commits treason of her own to find the truth.
Childhood friend, Guy Poirier, an aristocrat in New France, has always loved Isabelle. When he discovers her hiding in his cabin aboard ship, he agrees to hide her from her fiancé and help her clear her husband’s name. It doesn’t take them long to realize there’s more at stake here than her husband’s murder. With the fate of the colony in their hands, can Isabelle and Guy prevent a war and find love in the new world? 

The Price of Honor is available from Amazon and/or Solstice

About Susanne Matthews:
Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Eastern Ontario, Canada. She’s an avid reader of all types of books, especially those with a happily ever after. In her imagination, she’s travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.
Follow Susanne on her: Website Blog Facebook page Twitter @jandsmatt

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sizzling PR presents the Breaking in Waves Series Blog Tour by Laila Blake

When journalist Iris Ellis visits a sleepy seaside town to interview recluse screenwriter Paul Archer, he offers her insights into never acted upon fantasies of dominance and submission. Too curious to deny herself a taste of them, Iris gives herself up to Paul's gentle guidance, but when she realizes that a taste can never be enough, she must find the courage to ask for what she needs or risk losing it all.

Called a "gem for fans of BDSM romance and the perfect starting point for readers new to the genre" by RT Book Reviews, Driftwood Deeds is a novella of sexual awakening as well as consent and communication in bdsm.

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Love, they say, is magnified by absence.
After the dream-like quality of Iris' visit at Paul's sea-side home, she is back in the routine and drudgery of her city life. Struggling to put a label on what they have together, they phone and write letters, trying to sustain the flame, until they can make time to be in each other's arms again. But once they are, how do you pull back into proportions a love so magnified it burns?
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In this last installment in the Breaking in Waves series, Paul takes the helm and tells the story of how he and Iris move in together. Two decades of a bachelor's lifestyle are not easy to merge into a life together, and Paul goes on a journey of embracing Iris in his seaside world. Without holding back and without fear.

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the author:

Laila Blake ( is an author, linguist and translator. She writes character-driven love stories, co-hosts the podcast Lilt and blogs about writing, feminism and society.

Her work has been featured in numerous anthologies. Keeping a balance between her different interests, Laila Blake’s body of work encompasses literary erotica, romance, and various fields in speculative fiction (dystopian/post-apocalypse, fantasy, paranormal romance and urban fantasy) and she adores finding ways to mix and match.

A self-proclaimed nerd, she lives in Cologne/Germany with her cat Nookie, harbors a deep fondness for obscure folk singers and plays the guitar. She loves photography, science documentaries and classic literature, as well as Doctor Who, Game of Thrones and The Big Bang Theory.

You can find her across the web. To stay up to date with her most recent publications, please consider signing up for her spam-free newsletter.

Author links:

If I was writing a film about us, my kitchen would be the central location. Good sex and good cooking are linked for me, inextricably together. They trigger the same areas of the brain-- taste and smell and texture and pleasure. I think of sex when I eat good food, and I want good food when I lie there spent after an orgasm, something full of life and flavor and color to recuperate and start again. 
We’ve always spent a lot of a time here. In varying states of undress.

She feels it too, I think. That’s why her breathing is a little shallow. That’s why she steals a slice of zucchini as I layer it piece by piece between the eggplant, the yellow squash and the bright tomatoes. She has that glint in her eyes, small and wicked, and even now, after all this time, she looks hesitant when she tries to push boundaries. She still stops short of actually pushing them.

Iris loves to be good, to be praised, to be my beautiful, precious girl. She hates displeasing me, even as a game. But neither can she come out and ask for it, tell me about the tingling between her legs, the longing, the ache that only the crack of my belt can mend. And so she steals bits of zucchini, or switches the radio away from my favorite station just as we drive into my street. She criticizes books she knows I love, or picks them up and leaves them on a different shelf-- like I had any order in mind to begin with. They are little things, so minor I would miss them all the time, if it wasn’t for that look in her eyes.

It’s the look of guilt and desire, of fighting against her nature and fearing the consequences she’s trying to induce. It’s a look that makes my cock hard, that squeezes my chest almost painfully.
I listen to the zucchini crunch between her teeth. She eats it slowly, eyeing my profile as though wondering if I noticed anything at all. Sometimes I like to indulge her, I like to give her what she wants even though she can’t ask for it, even though she’s trying to manipulate the circumstances. It feels good sometimes, to let her out to play.

Today I don’t.

She picks the next slice out of the casserole, right out from between a slice of tomato and a slice of yellow squash, where they nestle in colorful stripes. She knows I can’t miss this one, and her hand hovers there a moment too long, just like she’s waiting for me to catch up and slap it away. But again, I don’t.

I watch her bring the slice to her mouth from the corner of my eyes. She places it on her tongue like a communion wafer, with intensity and slow purpose. She shudders; it’s a marvel to watch that change. A few seconds ago, she was my sweet girl, leaning next to me, relaxed and happy. Now, she’s strung tight, nervous and needy, like she exchanged her body for a different one.

“Are you bored?” I ask her. I look down at the pattern of vegetable slices, at the spot where she messed it up. When I drag my gaze up to her face, there are red spots on her neck, white teeth-marks on her lower lip.

She shakes her head.

“I think you are. You want attention, pet?”


Friday, February 13, 2015

Talented Jeanne Bannon presents her new book, Beautiful Monster!

Beautiful Monster, The Exchange (book 1)

Lev Baronovsky, a soulless creature of the night, has a problem. Carly, the love of his life has just died in an accident and in three days will pass to the other side. Without a soul, he cannot cross over with her and the thought of spending eternity without his beloved is unbearable. Is seventy-two hours enough time to find a way?

With the help of his brother, Alexei, they must face the vilest creature of all, Boris, an ancient one with selfish motivations of his own.


 Lev moved swiftly through the hallways, darting in and out and around what, to him, were slowly moving nurses and orderlies—those unfortunates working the midnight shift. Faster than any human eye was capable of detecting, he made it to Carly’s room in a flash. In fact, he made it there just in time, nostrils plucking the acrid scents from the air better than any dog’s.

He sat on the bed beside her in the dimly lit room and noticed, thankfully, she had no roommate. The bed beside Carly was recently vacated. The scent of death still lingered heavily and sadly.

Taking her delicate hand in his, Lev noticed a monitor clipped on an index finger. It seemed it measured her pulse and heartbeat. He noticed too that her heart was beating slowly, though he didn’t need a monitor for that. He heard its throb, and it made him think of a dying battery.

However, relief settled on him as he realized he was the first to arrive after the accident that had left her comatose. Carly’s family was nowhere near yet. It would take hours for them to get here from the other coast. He had time, plenty of it. Stealthily, Lev glanced into the hallway from his perch in the darkened hospital room. The occasional nurse strode past, but it was late, or perhaps the better term was early. In the wee hours of the morning, there would be fewer staff than during the day.

With a sigh, he took Carly in. Her blonde hair was matted and dirty, even though it looked as if someone had tried to clean her up, perhaps finger combing her thick mane and tucking it behind her head. Her face was still perfect. Not a single scratch had sullied her beauty.

A knot twisted in his belly. Why hadn’t he known? He could have saved her if only he’d known. But even Lev couldn’t know everything. It was his brother, Alexei, who’d given him the news moments ago.

“Brother,” he’d said, “there’s been an accident. Go now to the hospital or you’ll never see your precious Carly again.”

He hadn’t asked the how, the why, the when. Alexei had dropped his mental barriers. Lev felt them fall like a drawbridge. His brother had let him in. It was easier than speaking—Lev was able to glean whatever information he needed in an instant. But with the simple facts of Carly’s accident came the realization his brother was happy for the turmoil. A hint of a smile had curled Alexei’s full lips, and his eyes were bright. Lev was not surprised.

He pulled his thoughts from Alexei and looked down at his beloved’s hand in his. The pallor of it matched his own. He listened to the slow rush of blood through her veins, willing it to grow stronger.

Moving close, he whispered, “I can save you.” He brought her dainty wrist to his lips. She smelled like death already—like the musk of freshly turned earth. It was now or never. His fangs pricked at her delicate skin, drawing a bead of crimson. It tasted of iron and copper and of her. Carly’s very essence was in that droplet.

He stopped himself, knowing she wouldn’t want him to go through with it. They’d talked about it many times, about the possibility of him turning her, so they could be together, not for just the blink of an eye that was a human lifetime but for eternity. She would be furious if he turned her, and he wouldn’t blame her. Lev knew the pain and sorrow of being changed into a monster against one’s will.

But at least she would still exist. We could still be together. He shook off that small, but oh so inviting thought. No, he would not make a monster of her.

With a flick of his tongue, he licked the droplet away. A shudder of pleasure shot through him, and as he pushed her wrist to his mouth, like a child ready to bite into a ripe peach, the monitor blared a warning. He dropped her arm. Panic filled him. Carly’s pulse rose and fell suddenly. The stagnant tone of a heart that was no longer beating blared from the machine, stabbing sharply in his ears, but the growing silence of blood no longer pulsing through veins and arteries seemed louder. Hesitation had cost him. His compassion, as his brother would say, was his one true downfall.

Two nurses and a doctor were in the room now, buzzing frantically around Carly. Lev had disappeared through the pane of the window unseen and watched from outside where the moonless sky hid him. His jacket flapped in a breeze that also tousled his long black hair. It whipped and slapped against his cheeks.

It was said creatures like him could feel no pain. That they existed only as predators—takers of life—but Lev’s world had just crumbled. If he had a beating heart, it would be broken in two. Tears welled in his eyes, and he longed to let them fall. No, more than that, he wanted to scream, wanted to rip his cold dead heart from his chest and stomp on it.

Lev gathered himself as best he could, pinching the tears from his eyes and staring up to the heavens, but there would be no help for him there. For Lev Baranovsky, there was no God, only this perpetual hell he lived in. Love may come for him again in time, though he wasn’t sure he wanted it to. Would he ever get over losing his precious Carly? The vicious cycle of love and heartbreak was enough to drive him mad.

He should go now. Carly was gone. There was nothing he could do. Even though his brother would be at home, he needed the comfort of his own space to grieve.

He looked down at the ground two stories below, and when he peered back up for one last glimpse of his beloved, his brows lifted and his dark eyes grew to the size of poker chips.

Carly was dead, but she wasn’t gone.


I've worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years, first as a freelance journalist, then as an in-house editor for LexisNexis Canada. I currently work as a freelance editor and writer and am represented by Karen Thomas of the Serendipity Literary Agency.

My debut novel, Invisible, a young adult paranormal romance, has recently been optioned for film. Invisible is an Amazon bestseller both domestically and internationally and continues to receive wonderful reviews.

Another of my novels, Nowhere to Run, tells the story of Lily Valier, a woman of substance and beauty, and her dilemma when she falls in love with a man whose mission it is to bring her down.

Currently, I'm finishing up work on Dark Angel, a paranormal thriller. 

Trailer for Beautiful Monster