Wednesday, September 23, 2015

In the Spotlight...V.L. Locey

Please join me in welcoming V.L. Locey and her new release, Clean Sweep. 

Be sure to check out the buy links.

Fiery, flame-haired Jane Bratkowski is catapulted from a small college town to Philadelphia to become head coach of a new women’s hockey team, The Venom. It’s a life-changing opportunity, a dream come true until – in a cruel twist of fate that could turn into a nightmare – she comes face to face with her ex-husband Tore Ahlberg, the Wildcats' head of European Scouting.

Suddenly, Jane’s faced with more challenges than she bargained for: Will she let him distract her -- and derail her big chance to coach pro hockey? Can she build a team of relatively inexperienced, irrepressible young women into champions? Can she and Tore triumph over the gut-wrenching tragedy that ripped them apart -- or will the shocking truth of their passionate past threaten to destroy them once again?


"Morning, Jane." Tore looked much better than he had last night. He was dry for one thing. Nicely shaved, showered, and nattily dressed. In addition, he seemed to have recovered from the shock of seeing his ex-wife. "I see your hair still makes you look like Storsjöodjuret when you wake up."
            Shit balls. My hair. I wrinkled my nose at his reference to some Swedish lake monster he used to compare my tresses to. How he came up with such a thing, I have no idea. Unless this monster had Brillo Pad red hair, it never made any sense to me why he called me that. At one time, I must have found it cute. Confusing? Yes, but mostly endearing. This morning I found it less than amusing.
            "I wouldn`t go casting lake monsters if I were you. You're not looking too great yourself." I lied. He looked superb. The years had been kind to him, giving him lovely laugh lines that added to his sex appeal. "Your tie is ugly. I need to get dressed and—"
            "And make your hair drop to its knees in subjugation," he murmured by rote as he inspected his dark blue tie. It was on the tip of my tongue to ask him how, or why, he remembered so much from our years of wedded bliss. Instead, I marched into the bathroom, Pomeranians in hand, then shut the door on him, his tie, and those damned recollections of a time best left in the past.
            I washed my face then set to work on detangling. I accomplished this with snarling expletives aimed at long dead ancestors. The boys were restless. I laid down my hairbrush then snuck over to the door. I couldn`t hear my ex on the other side. I cracked the door just enough to peer through. Tore was standing at the sliding glass door. He still cut a fine figure from the back even though he was now in his early fifties. Wide shoulders, lean waist, long legs. The sun made his straw-colored blonde hair look like spun gold. It was time to stop, Jane. I had thought to ask him to walk the dogs but after that Rumpelstiltskin moment, perhaps a brisk walk would do me good. I closed the door quietly. Ten minutes later I stepped out, face freshly scrubbed, hair beaten into submission, and dogs in dire need.
            "I have to get dressed," I told Tore when he turned from the city to look at me.
            "You want me to leave?" I nodded. "We were married, Jane. Unless you have done some alterations, there is nothing I have not seen before."
            I felt a slight flush rushing up behind the freckles on my cheeks. "There have been no alterations. Go wait on the patio. I mean it, Tore. Don`t give me that stupid look. Go."
            "Stupid look? I have a stupid look?" he asked, a definite twinkle in his eye. A sharp comment was resting on my tongue. I swallowed it back to be nice. It was only seven am. Even ex-husbands deserve a small kindness from time to time.
            "Either you step outside now or I hand the boys to you and you can walk them. Pick an option, Tore, but make it fast. Tiny bladders can only be held so long."
            I held the dogs out to the man. They both growled. He threw a look at the twins then went outside. Smart man. I placed the boys on the bed then hurried over to draw the drapes shut with a slap. I should leave his tall ass out there. Maybe that would dispel his usual laid-back attitude about things. Fire and ice, that captured us well. I slipped into the same clothes I had worn yesterday. I know, it is a shitty way to arrive at work your first day, but I hadn`t packed for the trip. Sometimes I get ahead of myself. When I opened the slider, Tore rushed back in, gave me a long perusal but kept his lips firmly sealed.
            "I know. I`ll buy something on the way to the Houseman and change." I spun from him, snapped the dogs onto their leashes then headed to the door. Tore hustled past to open the door for me. I gave him one distrustful look as I passed. He merely smiled genially.
            "We're not going to the Houseman. The Wildcats have a morning skate so we have to go to the Trenton stadium to get our first look at the new team," he explained as we jogged to the elevator. Rupert and Roscoe were pulling like huskies. We stopped to wait at the elevator.
            "Does she do things like this often?" I inquired as I watched the numbers above the door slowly climbing.
            "The boss? Well, I'm not real sure." I quit watching numbers to give my ex a puzzled look. "Colton left her the team and all his business assets when he died. So far she seems to be kind of prone to snapping decisions."
            "Snap decisions."
            "Yeah, snap decisions. You knew what I meant. Why do you always have to correct me?"
            "Sorry." I meant it. I was. It was a thing that I did that drove him nuts. His English was quite good, as were the several other languages he spoke. Don`t equate hockey player with dumb jock for either sex. And please, do not assume that all of us vagina owners who play ice hockey secretly wish to own penises. I like to think with the head on my shoulders. "Old habits and all," I offered as a form as apology. I even threw in a shoulder shrug. Thankfully, the bell sounded for our floor.

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Author Bio:

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, two dogs, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and three Jersey steers.
When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

I love to meet new friends and fans! You can find me at-

Secret Cravings Backlist Books and Upcoming Releases
Pink Pucks & Power Plays (Book One of the To Love a Wildcat Series)
A Most Unlikely Countess (Book Two of the To Love a Wildcat Series)
O Captain! My Captain! (Book Three of the To Love a Wildcat Series)
Reality Check (Book Four of the To Love a Wildcat Series)
Language of Love (Book Five of the To Love a Wildcat Series)
Final Shifts (Book Six of the To Love a Wildcat Series)
Tumble Dry

Torquere Press Backlist and Upcoming Releases
Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse (Part of the He Loves Me For My Brainssss anthology)
Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 2: It Came From Birmingham
Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 3: He's a Lumberjack and He`s Undead
Love of the Hunter
Goaltender`s Penalty
All I Want for Christmas - A Toms & Tabbies Tale
Early to Rise - A Toms & Tabbies Tale
 Every Sunday at One (Part of the 2013 Charity Sip Anthology)
 Night of the Jackal
An Erie Halloween
An Erie Operetta
Back to the Garden (Also part of the Mythologically Torqued Anthology)
Coming soon . . . Life is a Stevie Wonder Song

Ellora`s Cave Backlist and Upcoming Releases
Bound, Boarded and Bagged
Two Man Advantage
Coming soon . . . Shutdown Pair and Two Man Advantage 2: Game Misconduct

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

In the Spotlight...Wendy May Andrews

Please join me in welcoming Wendy May Andrews and her newest release, The Governess' Debut.

Be sure to check out the buy links!

Can the governess charm both the spoiled child and the haughty earl?
After her parents died in an accident and her brother gambled away her inheritance and dowry, leaving her to fend for herself while he ran off to the colonies, Miss Felicia Scott must find a way to keep a roof over her head. No longer able to enter the Marriage Mart but certainly not of the servant class, the only option is to find a position as governess.
Her luck finally turns when an acquaintance refers her to the haughty widower, Lord Victor Astley, Earl of Standish. His spoiled, seven year old daughter has been through three governesses in the 18 months since her mother died.
The earl is highly doubtful the young, inexperienced Miss Scott could possible manage his irascible daughter but since he is desperate he agrees to give her a chance. Much to the astonishment of the entire household Felicia succeeds beautifully, bringing the little lady under control and brightening the lives of everyone she comes in contact with, including the jaded earl.
Will her joyful spirit be able to finally melt his resistant heart?

Lord Victor Astley, the fifth Earl of Standish, was surprised by his own undisciplined reaction when the young woman was announced. He was always in control of himself and his environment. It was decidedly out of character that he would be unnerved by the presence of a young woman in his library.
Miss Felicia Scott to see you, my lord,” Alfred, the earls aging butler, had announced in even tones, not revealing anything about his own reaction to the elegant young woman who had been recommended to fill the post of governess to the earls hoyden of a daughter.
The earl nodded to her from behind his desk, not bothering to come around to bow over her hand.  Thank you, Alfred.  Please see that a tea tray is brought in momentarily.
Miss Scott dipped into a respectful, deep curtsy, forgetting for a moment that her new position in the servant class did not require the varying degrees of courtesy.  When it did cross her mind she dismissed the thought, surmising accurately that the haughty looking earl would consider the extra depth to be his due.
Felicia had made every effort to appear as serious and trustworthy as possible.  Her sober gown of brown worsted material was just perfect for whatever activities she would be involved in while chasing after a seven-year-old child.  Realizing she looked quite young, she had scraped her thick, curling, brown hair into the severest hairstyle she could manage, hoping it lent her an air of maturity.
Of course, in her innocence, she was unaware of the things that were impossible to hide – her obvious breeding was evident in her proudly erect carriage.  Intelligence shone from her wide, shining, green eyes as she glanced around the earls handsomely appointed library.
Her own governess had done her best to prepare her but since this was the first time Felicia had applied for a position she was somewhat uncertain as to proper protocol.  The earl was still gazing at her with a rather arrested expression on his severe, but still handsome face, so she surmised that he was waiting for her to say something.
Thank you for agreeing to see me, my lord.
The earl blinked away his momentary inertia.  Despite the glowing recommendations he had received it was obvious to him she would be impossible for the position.  He was uncomfortable with the strange reaction he had felt to her presence, besides she was much too young. There was no way she would be able to control his daughter.  He supposed he still had to interview her.

Buy Links:
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About the Author:
Wendy May Andrews has been reading whatever she could get her hands on since the age of five. She has been writing for almost as long but hasn’t been sharing those stories with anyone but her mother until recently. Wendy lives in Toronto with her own real-life hero. When not writing or reading, they love to travel wherever the mood takes them. This is Ms. Andrews’ second publication with Clean Reads.

Social Media:
Twitter:  @WendyMayAndrews

Thursday, September 17, 2015

In the Spotlight...Cindy K. Green

Ella Valentine doubts she'll ever recover when her twin brother passes away in college. Four years later, living in a new city and working for a large corporation, she gets caught in a lie and saddled with a new boss who she suspects might be losing his mind. Now he has her enacting insane acts of espionage while trying to catch the culprit who has embezzled money from their company. If it wasn't for his deep brown eyes and lazy smile she just might quit. Is this God's plan for her life? She isn't even sure who she is anymore without her twin and the way things are going she just might end up in the loony bin.

Charles "Charlie" Murray II may be the heir presumptive to his father's industrial dynasty, but all he really wants is to create--be it drawings or a marketing campaign. When he's summoned to the home office to take over the position of CFO, he discovers his new assistant is the same woman who passed him a phony phone number in a diner the previous weekend. If he can figure out who's been stealing from the company, he just might attain the position of his dreams or will he sacrifice it all to be with Ella.

Reader Reviews:

“A Charming Comedy!”

“Delightful Read!”

“This is a quick easy read will lots of fun twists and turns.”

“I was drawn into this comedy from the very beginning. The characters quickly become quite real to me.”

“What fun reading about Ella and Charlie and their sometimes rocky and always hilarious road to realizing their love for each other.”

Excerpt #1:
Want to Meet Ella and Charlie? Well, this is a short excerpt on what happened the day they met.

Taking a wobbly second step back, Ella’s heel slid on the slick tile flooring of the diner. Her feet flew out from under her, and she landed down on her backside in a matter of seconds. This couldn’t have been more embarrassing if she’d planned in every detail the best way to make a total fool of herself in front of a complete stranger. Then she connected with his amazing eyes as he looked down at her.
“Are you okay?” He offered her a hand up, but she could tell he held back a smile.
Great! He thought she was as much of a klutz as she did.
“I’m fine.” With his help, she came to her feet. Then she brushed off the back of her black dress pants.
“Are you sure?” His voice was as dreamy as the rest of him—low and smooth with just a trace of teasing. “Maybe I should check your eyes for a concussion.” His dark eyes danced with his restrained laughter.
“Are you a doctor?” She played along.
“No, I just always see them do that on TV.” He grinned. “Here.” In his hand, he held a packet of sweetener. “You wanted some of these, right?” His gaze wasn’t mocking, as she’d thought earlier. It was more like curious and amused.

Excerpt #2:

Ella punched the button for the lobby and waited. Oh, why had she waited? Why hadn’t she taken the stairs? Behind her, she heard rapid steps thumping down the hallway. She peeked back to see Charlie Murray rushing toward her. He didn’t appear calm and mellow, like at the restaurant—not even charming and confident, as he’d been in the office. No, he was angry. Why on earth should he be angry? She’s the one who just lost her job.

Oh, dear Lord! I lost my job! No, I just quit my job. She held up the photograph. “George, I am a colossal idiot.”

What had she done? Obviously, she needed more prayer than she thought. And now what was Charlie planning to do to her? She decided not to stick around and find out. In a flash, she took off down the side hall toward the stairs. She pulled open the heavy steel door and glanced over to see Charlie still coming right for her, and this time he was jogging. After running through the doorway, she took the cement steps to the floor below as quickly as she could.

“Ella, stop!”

She paused on a step for just a second to peer up at Charlie staring down at her, a deep frown marring his handsome face.

“Stop following me. I quit, remember?”

“I remember. Now hold on. We need to discuss this.” He started down the stairs.

Her heart raced with panic. With his much longer legs, he was bound to catch up with her in no time. She launched herself down the next set of stairs. “There’s nothing to talk about.”

“Yes, there is,” he shouted back. “Now stand still, because I’m bringing you back to the office with me one way or another.”

She stopped and his footsteps ceased, as well. Would he actually force her back to the office? She could almost imagine him picking her up and tossing her over his shoulder fireman-style to carry her back to the office.

Carefully, she peeked up the stairwell. Shimmering brown eyes filled with determination met hers. Her breathing from all the running remained elevated.

“Ella…what are you running off…like that…for?”

Charlie stood right in front of her now, a little short of breath and patience, too. He couldn’t hide the flash of annoyance ruminating in his dark eyes, as he stared her down.

Like he had any right to be mad at her! What had she done? Not a thing. Except quit. And she had every right to do that. The longer she looked at him and ignored the cute dimple in his cheek, the angrier she got.

“Now, just take a step back, mister.” She held her palm out to him. “I quit, and you have no right to force me to come back.” With her wool coat in place, she felt incredibly warm. Why had she put it on when she was still inside the building? A trickle of perspiration formed at the back of her neck.
“You’re right.” The way he smiled just then made it absolutely impossible to ignore the dimple a second longer and her anger began to wane.

But then she remembered why she could never see this man again, never be in his presence, and most definitely never work for him. That Saturday night. The flirting. The fake number.

“Y…you should have told me,” she blurted out, “who you really are.” His eyes opened wider, as if confused. “At the diner. ‘Just Charlie.’” She firmed her mouth and tilted her head slightly.

In response, he gave her a relaxed smile. He leaned into the wall of the stairwell and placed his hands into his pockets. “I like just being Charlie. It fits me a whole lot better than Charles Murray II.”

His sincerity at that moment moved something deep inside her chest. It must have been her heartstrings. It had been a long time since someone had yanked on them. She’d done her very best to keep them hidden away. Away from the players, the liars and the commitment-a-phobes. Away from anyone looking one iota like Mr. Charles Murray II.

And yet she couldn’t help but think that Charlie wasn’t like many of the men she’d dated. He had eyes that seemed too direct and too earnest to ever intentionally hurt someone. And it seemed as if the boss’s son carried a burden of his own. You probably needed big shoulders to carry the Murray name around. Although, in point of fact, Charlie had mighty broad shoulders, now that she came to think of it.

Oh, she couldn’t think. Her emotions were a blur racing through her system. Pondering the width of Charlie’s shoulders was not helping. She lowered her eyes and leaned against the door to the third floor. If she looked into his eyes one more second, he could probably get her to do whatever he wanted. She glanced at the photograph and focused on George’s face. If only her brother were here now. He’d get her out of this mess.

Purchase Links:
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Amazon Japan:
Barnes and Noble:

Cindy K. Green has worked as a middle school history & English teacher, a frozen yogurt server and a golf magazine employee. Today she's a multi-published, award-winning author, a mother, a wife, and a homeschooler too. This native Californian now resides in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and two cats named Chloe & Kassey.

Facebook (Cindy K. Green)
Twitter (@cindykgreen)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

In the Spotlight...Katy Newton Naas

Please join me in welcoming Katy Newton Naas and her newest release, Operation: Bully Renovation.

Back Cover Blurb:
            Jack Sullivan is Blackwell Middle School’s scariest bully. When students and teachers see him coming down the hallway, they run the other way. He has no friends; he doesn’t need them. School is a waste of his time.

            But after a car accident with his father leaves him in need of surgery, Jack has to have a tissue donor. Strangely, he then begins having memories from events that never actually happened to him – memories of being bullied by bigger, meaner boys. Jack learns he is experiencing cellular memory, which makes him receive the memories of his tissue donor…who just so happened to be a weak, helpless victim of bullying.
            Jack decides he has to make things right. To do that, he offers each of his former victims an apology, along with the chance to choose a way to get even with him. But Jack quickly learns that earning their forgiveness won’t be easy... 




Jack shoved the head of the writhing boy further into the toilet, feeling a small glimmer of satisfaction as he listened to the muffled screams. He watched the water bubbles come up from the nameless boy’s mouth as he tried to make noise and fought a useless battle, trying to escape the grip of Jack’s large fingers on his neck. Jack continued to hold the boy’s head under the water, waiting patiently for the boy to stop moving. When he did, Jack quickly pulled his head back out of the water, watching the helpless boy gasp for breath and slap the water off his face while tears filled his eyes.

“If you tell anyone what just happened, I’ll kill you,” Jack growled at the boy, giving him his most convincing glare before he casually walked away, leaving the boy crumpled on the floor, drowning in his own sobs.

Jack walked out of the locker room and rejoined the rest of the members of his gym class just as the dismissal bell rang, signaling the end of his school day. He shoved past several students who were heading for the gym doors, ignoring their grunts and protests as he bumped into them from behind. He knew that as soon as the other students saw who was pushing past them they would quickly shut their mouths in fear. No one wanted to make Jack Sullivan mad. No one even wanted to be on his radar. He was crazy. Unpredictable. No one messed with him; no one even looked at him. The scrawny new boy in gym class had just learned that the hard way. A nice swirly would teach him to ask Jack to pass him the ball.

Jack smiled to himself as he walked down the middle of the hallway, thinking about his own reputation. Every boy and every girl that roamed the halls of Blackwell Middle School was terrified of him. It was obvious at all times, even as he made his way out of the building. The other kids intentionally averted their gazes and deliberately moved to the other side of the hallway to avoid any accidental contact. Even the teachers pretended to be engrossed in something else whenever he came into view. He smirked slightly as Mr. Andrews stared at the file in his hand while he passed, never smiling up at him or even glancing in his direction with so much as a nod, though he’d greeted the group of students a few feet in front of him only moments ago. There was no doubt that he brought terror to the hearts of others, both kids and adults.

That was just the way Jack preferred it. He didn’t need friends; he had no interest in any of the idiots that surrounded him in his classes. He hated school, hated the teachers, hated the classes, and hated the structure of it all. He hated the clubs and the sports and even the stupid cardinal mascot that covered the walls of the building. If everyone were scared of him, no one would try to talk to him. He felt invincible as he pushed through the double doors of the front of the building.

Trudging down the sidewalk toward his home, he never looked back at the building he had come to loathe so much. He couldn’t wait for the day when he’d never have to step foot in that hole of a school again. As an eighth grader, he didn’t have too much longer to wait.

He often considered quitting. He would call it an early retirement, he decided. But then he would remember the state’s dumb law that a person has to be sixteen to quit and be left alone. If he stopped showing up now, the feds would get involved and make his life complicated. Not that he was scared of a bunch of low-life feds; he wasn’t. But he knew they wouldn’t be as easy to avoid as his teachers and the students at school. If he could just hold out for a couple more years, he could quit and no one would bother him about any laws. So for now, he showed up most days, keeping the number of days he skipped strategically low so that they would go unnoticed.

As he approached two girls standing together near the end of the block, giggling incessantly, Jack wrinkled up his nose in disgust. He glared in their general direction, laughing on the inside when their annoying high-pitched laughs ceased at once. It was more than fear that the kids felt toward him, he decided. It was respect. And to Jack, respect was the most important thing in the world.

Trailer Link:

Buy Links:

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About the Author:
From the time she was old enough to talk, Katy Newton Naas has been creating characters and telling stories. As a child, they sometimes got her into trouble. She knew she wanted to write books when she won a Young Author's competition as a second-grader for her short story titled, "The Grape Pie." (Don't let its tasty title fool you - it was actually a sad little tale!)


Katy devoured books as a child and young adult, always doing chores and odd jobs in order to make enough money to buy more of them. Though she continues to age, her true literature love is and has always been children's and young adult fiction.

Katy currently teaches
middle school reading and high school English in southern Illinois, as well as children's church. She graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a bachelor's degree in English Education and a master's degree in Reading and Language Studies. She enjoys her life out in the country with her husband, her two sweet and rowdy young sons, and all her other “kids”: four dogs, three cats, and eight ducks.

She loves creating both realistic and futuristic stories about kids, tweens, and teens, and feels so fortunate to get to work with them every day as a teacher.

Connect with Katy Newton Naas:Website:






Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In the Spotlight...Andy Lewter

“Through the body, strength and healing prevail.”


After her experience during spring break, Abigail Everett battles to fill the role she inherited as the leader of Valens – people that possess unparalleled strength and dangerous mind powers.

Being forced to choose between what her heart wants and what is right, contending with captivating peer pressures, and nearing the brink of war, she must prove herself worthy. Not only to those who follow her legacy, but to herself.

Will she be able to stop this war before it begins?

Buy Links-

"It was stupid for you to come here. This place is crawling with guards," Miles said in a threatening tone.

"I don't care anymore," Nicholas said, almost inaudibly.

"Why are you here, Ludovic?"

Nicholas stepped closer, the fog becoming denser by the second. I shifted my footing and chanced a peek from behind Miles. His eyes looked tired and his hands hung loosely by his side. "I came for her."


Andy Lewter is a stay-at-home mom with three beautiful children. Between homework, playing, cooking, and cleaning, she writes on the side. Most of her inspiration comes from life experiences that have helped her grow. She also gets inspiration from the crazy vivid dreams that occur on the nightly, and from the amazing people that have touched her life.

Monday, August 10, 2015

In the Spotlight...Chris Von Halle

Please join me in welcoming Chris Von Halle and his debut release, The Fourth Generation!

Be sure to check out the buy links as well ;-)

Back Cover Blurb:
In the future, no adults exist. Ever since the plague swept the world 100 years ago, no one has lived past seventeen.
Sixteen-year-old Gorin, a collector of curious artifacts left over from the pre-plague civilization, is on the verge of perishing from that deadly epidemic. And his last wish is to find a way to visit the rulers’ reputedly magnificent, off-limits mansion.
Up against the clock, he and his friend Stausha steal into the mansion and discover a secret more horrifying than they ever could’ve imagined—a secret that holds the key to the survival of the whole human race.


            I raced up the stairwell pretty fast for someone in my awful condition. My empty backpack bounced on my shoulders, my feet landing just in front of the steps’ worn, chipped edges. Sunlight leaked through the dusty windows at the top of each landing, enough to light my way to the decaying apartment building’s eighth floor.
            The rest of the Valuable Objects better still be there.
            No way I was losing the Tournament of Prestige this year, and the VOs could be worth just enough prestige points to finally push my faction into the top spot. But if someone else found them while I was gone…
            At last I made it to the eighth floor. My chest heaved as I sucked in breath, my burning legs threatening to crumple.
            You’ve gotta be kidding me.
            The second door on the right lay wide open. My heart banged against my ribs, making it tough to breathe, as I crept to the door as quietly as only I could.
            I peeked inside the room. My gut clenched, even though I’d seen it coming.
            A boy about my size—taller than average with good-size muscles—stood in front of the old wooden cabinets on the left side of the room. He had blotchy, dark gray skin, so was about sixteen years old like me. His back looked a little crooked, like his spine wasn’t quite aligned right. Mine was probably in similar shape.
            Even from the doorway I could see through the cabinet doors’ inlaid glass. Empty, except for one measly glass bottle. Sure enough, the boy started to turn away from them. I jerked my head back into the hallway, then peered back in. He made his way to the right side of the room.
            No—not there.
            He stopped at the faded loveseat wedged against the wall. Patches of peeled leather formed large, complicated shapes that looked like continents on a globe.
            Get away from there.
            Then again, this room had been scoured countless times over the past fifty years by generations of supply hunters like us, and none of them had found the short, tiny closet behind the sofa. Chances were slim this kid would.
            Please, Power, this is my last year, my last chance. Please don’t let him find the VOs.
            He walked to the side of the loveseat and put his hands on it. He was about to push it!
            I yanked my flashlight out of my pocket, snapped open the battery compartment as quickly and quietly as I could, and hurled a battery across the room. Wasn’t like I needed it. Our faction got fresh batteries every week from the mansion, and could probably get more if we asked.
            The battery smacked the back wall by the open window—I felt a light breeze, even from where I stood by the door—and hit the floor with a thud. The boy stopped pushing the sofa. Thankfully, he’d only moved it a couple inches. Not enough to reveal any of the closet.
            “What the…?” He watched the battery roll across the wooden floor a bit and stay still.
            He walked toward it.
            He picked it up and headed toward the window, his back to me. Probably thought someone had thrown the battery through it.
            I crept toward the sofa as quietly as I could, so there was no chance the kid could hear me. Few people had feet as soundless as Gorin of Faction 235.
            I navigated around the squeaky floorboards. Good thing I’d memorized them during my first two trips to this room, after I’d found the jackpot of a closet this morning. Could never be too careful or prepared for a situation like this. Every VO counted, especially ones worth as many prestige points as DVDs.
            When I made it to the loveseat, I shoved it aside as hard as I could and burst into the closet.
            “Hey!” the boy cried as I lifted the lid of the plastic blue bin inside and started to stuff the last of the whopping stash—a stack of plastic DVD cases coated in thick dust—into my backpack. Not sure exactly what they were or what they did in the Old World. Us supply hunters weren’t trained to know stuff like that, annoyingly enough, though I’d give all my limbs to be given one hint.
            Feet shuffled toward me. “Get your filthy paws off those. They’re mine.”
            I turned my head toward the boy. He towered over me, at least by a foot. Thick, muscled arms framed his sides. Okay, so I was wrong—he was bigger and stronger than me. He dug his gaze into mine with pebbles for eyes on his overly broad forehead. A large, beak-like nose jutted from his face.
            “Sorry, you know the rules,” I said. “I got to all of these before you, fair and square.” Which meant I got to keep them. Actually, I’d gotten to them way before him, but I had no proof of that, so no use mentioning it.
            He folded his meaty arms across his chest. “Sorry, punk, but I don’t play by the rules.”

Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble Smashwords
Author Bio:
Chris von Halle has had many different lives in many different worlds—the near and distant future Earth, other planets, and even other dimensions—and his books recreate his childhood memories of such outlandish locations.  In this world and life, he lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and enjoys such extraordinary activities as playing videogames, tennis, and basketball, and writing the occasional comic strip.

Social Media Links:
Twitter: @ChrisvonHalle

Friday, August 7, 2015

In the Spotlight...TC Booth

Please join me in welcoming TC Booth and her new release, To Be Honest.

Be sure to check out the buy links!

Blurb: A freak accident left Starla Emerson with a deformed hand, low self-esteem, and a need to fade into the background. However, she finds it impossible to be invisible at her new high school where she is pushed front and center by a behind the scenes internet bully.
 She joins forces with newfound friends to launch a counter attack in order to expose the cyber bully, aka grizzlygirl2015. Part of the plan involves the school’s bad boy Chase McFall. Star feels more for this golden eyed boy than she should as the plan progresses. The plan backfires and lands Star in a mountain of trouble.
 Will she have the courage to be honest about her part in the plan and her true feelings for Chase? Or will she be left heartbroken?  Once the truth is out…there’s no turning back.

Excerpt 1: I left one shelf bare for my memory boxes. I stacked the shoe-sized cardboard boxes so their labels showed. Freshman Year, Sophomore Year, Junior Year. The first two boxes were filled with memories that I collected to keep safe. My Junior Year box felt empty. I removed its lid and took out the orchard ticket stub, the pictures of the guys wrestling in the dark, and a dried purple rose. Jared handed me the rose at school the morning of Sweetest Day. I could only guess what might fill my box the rest of the year. Will I even make any new friends? How would people react when they saw my hand? They’d probably think I’m the creepy new girl and be grossed out by my claw. I took a deep breath and put the box back.
A piece of paper stuck out from between the pages of one of my books. I tugged it free and unfolded it. It was a note Jared wrote to me about two months after we started going out.

Please don’t be mad at me for the whole TBH thing. I just didn’t know what to say to Jan. I shouldn’t have said anything. I like you a lot! You are my girl. I don’t want anyone else.
Love, Jared

A sigh escaped me. I never got the whole TBH—to be honest—thing. You opened yourself up for drama if you posted a picture with the letters TBH online. A girl named Jan did that and Jared took the bait. He had to honestly say something about her, so he commented under the picture that she was cute. My phone blew up with text messages telling me about it. I cried and sent Jared a text telling him I wanted to break up. I felt so stupid. The entire student body of Cedar High knew Jared told another girl she was cute. He slipped me the note during Algebra class the next day. I forgave him.

Excerpt 2:
Inside the stall, I heard giggles and saw three pairs of feet under the door wearing designer boots. “She is so freaking weird.” I heard one of them say.
“I know, right? I heard she kissed that gross Shane Baker with blue lipstick on. I don’t care if it was a challenge, that’s nasty,” a second voice said.
“Who’s that girl she’s been hanging out with?” asked the third voice. I tensed.
“She’s a new girl,” the first voice said. “I hate to break the news to you, Haley. I think Chase likes her. Have you seen the way he looks at her?” My heart flip-flopped.
“Uh-uh. There’s no way,” Haley said. “Have you seen her hand? It’s disgusting.”
Tears sprang into my eyes. I squeezed my eyes shut and pushed them back. My heart thumped against my chest. My blood boiled, flowing hot and angry. I was ticked! I flung the stall door open. Three startled faces gaped at me. I stepped up to the sink and washed my hands, purposely shook the water off of them so my right hand was visible, and made eye contact with lemon-head, who I now knew was Haley.
The three girls watched me wide-eyed and silent. I strolled out of the bathroom with my head held high.

Excerpt 3
Still fueled from the anger coursing in my veins, I marched up to Maggie. “May I borrow your blue lipstick?”
Maggie creased her eyebrows. “Okay.” She reached in her purse and handed me a black tube. I twisted it until a blue waxy tip appeared. I smeared a thick coat of blue over my lips and puckered. I looked at Rayne. “You challenged me to do this, okay?”
Rayne glanced at Maggie. She shrugged. Jake arched an eyebrow.
“Ooo-kay,” Rayne said.
I spun on my heel. My heart thudded loud in my ears as I marched toward the group of skateboarders and BMX guys that stood in a circle. I scanned over the faces of the circle until I found my target. After I sucked in a breath, I pushed my way past the curious faces of the boys, until I was face to face with Chase. The group fell silent. Chase tilted his head and quirked his eyebrow. I took another deep breath then placed my hands on Chase’s broad shoulders, rose on my tiptoes, and placed a blue kiss on his cheek. The boys erupted with laughter and whistles.
“Tell your girlfriend where that came from.” I tapped the blue mark left on his cheek. The shock on his face left, replaced with a half-twisted smile. That infuriating grin of his was back. I shouldered my way through the boys. Heads turned, tracking my movements. My friends gawked at me like I’d grown three heads. I slipped onto the seat at the table so my back was to Chase.
“Whoa, Emerson. You just rocked the challenge above all challenges, even though you didn’t really get challenged,” Rayne said. “That didn’t make any sense, did it?” He lifted one dark eyebrow.
Jake shook his head, still wide-eyed. “Not at all.”

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Author Bio: TC Booth was born and raised in a small town in Northeast Ohio where she currently teaches. She lives with her husband and four children ranging in ages from 13-23. Her pets include one dog named Sammy, and two cats- Sheldon and Sasha.
   TC Booth views books as the best form of entertainment and her escape for life’s stresses. She prefers reading a book over watching a movie, and writing over almost any other way to spend her time.
 When not attending her children’s sporting events and running them around, you’ll see her writing on her laptop, iPad, and even jotting ideas down on her phone apps.
 She enjoys the escape from the adult universe into the adolescent world. The passion in which young people experience life is contagious and the driving force of her writing.

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To Be Honest Playlist
Steal My Girl by One Direction
Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey
Heroes by Alesso and Tove Lo

Fight Song by Rachel Platten