Buzzing Blitz – Livin’ Large in Fat Chance, Texas by Celia Bonaduce #Giveaway

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About the Book

Livin Large in Fat Chance Texas

Title: Livin’ Large in Fat Chance, Texas

Series: Fat Chance, Texas Book 3

Author: Celia Bonaduce

Published: July 19th, 2016

Word Count: Women’s Fiction, Romantic Comedy

Genre: Lyrical Press

Synopsis

From ghost town to growing community, it’s been a few years since a group of strangers inherited property in tiny, deserted Fat Chance, Texas. And besides creating businesses, they’ve developed friendships and romances too. But plans to pave the town may put Dymphna Pearl and her beau, Professor Johnson, on opposite sides of Main Street. In his zeal for the project, he’s making great decisions for Fat Chance, but not for them as a couple. Disgruntled, Dymphna heads back to Los Angeles to collect the rabbits she’s created a special place for in the hot Texas climate. But the professor is in for another surprise…

Professor Johnson didn’t even know about Dymphna’s sister, Maggie, and when he meets her in a most unexpected way, he begins to understand why. In the meantime, Dymphna is off pursuing an exciting venture to let the world know about Fat Chance—one that will bring a talented new crew to the eclectic group. The kitschy little place they call home is clearly destined for bigger, better things—-but with so many changes a-coming will the same be true for everyone in Fat Chance, including the professor and Dymphna?

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About the Author

Celia Bonaduce

Celia Bonaduce is an award-winning producer whose credits cover a lot of ground – everything from field-producing ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to writing for many of Nickelodeon’s animated series, including Hey, Arnold and Chalkzone. If Celia Bonaduce’s last name is any indication, she is proof that TV talent runs in the family.

An avid reader, entering the world of books has always been a lifelong ambition. She is the author of the Venice Beach Romances, including The Merchant of Venice Beach, A Comedy of Erinn, and Much Ado About Mother. Her dream continues with The Fat Chance, Texas Series. Welcome to Fat Chance, Texas, and Slim Pickins’ in Fat Chance, Texas are available now! The series continues with book three, Livin’ Large in Fat Chance, Texas, on July 19th, 2016.

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Excerpt

Dymphna had to admit, now that Fat Chance had a road, the fact that they could get Professor Johnson’s Outback up to the farm was pure luxury. It would have been hard to sneak off if she needed him to carry her bag up the trail.

The sun was rising over the farm as Dymphna tucked one small bag into the back of Professor Johnson’s SUV. She felt guilty taking his car, but not guilty enough to stay. The farm was still in shadows, but she was able to make out Thud’s form shooting through the open back and climbing into the passenger seat. He was extremely agile for a large dog. Or at least, extremely determined.

“Thud!” Dymphna called in a hoarse whisper. “Get out of the car.”

Dymphna tiptoed over to the passenger side and opened the door. Thud thumped his tail. She grabbed his collar. As soon as she was in range, Thud dealt her a slobbery kiss. Dymphna wiped the drool on her sleeve, grabbed his collar, and pulled. The dog didn’t budge.

“Come on, Thud,” she said. “Get out!”

She was not usually this stern with the bloodhound, but there was no time to lose. Dymphna had hoped to be gone by the time Wobble, her crabby rooster, crowed. Even though it was still mostly dark, she could hear Wobble flapping around the yard. The rooster was putting his all into it this morning, looking like a vintage Kellogg’s Corn Flakes ad, perched on the fence and flapping his wings in the hazy morning light.

“I’m going to miss you.” Professor Johnson’s voice pierced the fog.

Dymphna started.

“I was hoping I wouldn’t wake you,” she said.

“You didn’t,” Professor Johnson said. “Thud did.”

Dymphna knew a scowl from her would not matter in the least to Thud, so she didn’t bother.

“I . . .” She paused, then started again. “I just think it’s easier this way. We said goodbye last night . . . and . . . I mean, I’ll be back. Soon.”

“Will you?”

“I have your car,” she said, trying for a confident smile.

“And I guess I have your farm,” he said.

He had a point. While she was gone, Professor Johnson would be here, taking care of her goats and chickens, as well as packing the orders that came in for her jams and jellies. He would also have to keep an eye on Dymphna’s friend Crash the duck, who remained a wild bird but would show up at the farm every now and then to let her know he was fine.

Both of them had agreed that it was time for Dymphna to return to Los Angeles and collect her Angora rabbits. Professor Johnson and Powderkeg had made a climate-controlled environment here on the Fat Farm that was just waiting for the rabbits. When she and Professor Johnson had first started discussing the details of retrieving the rabbits, their relationship was not as strained as it was now. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but it seemed as if when times were tough, the entire town pulled together. When they first got word that the trail was to be paved, it seemed like the answer to their prayers. The asphalt wasn’t even dry before the bickering began. While the town prospered, both sides claimed victory: Professor Johnson’s side thought the uptick in the town’s prosperity was due to the new access to town and would only get better if they continued paving Main Street. Dymphna’s side felt that as long as people were making their way into town, why ruin the historic nature of the place? Folks in the area were well aware of the squabbling among the Fat Chancers and snickered about Team Professor and Team Dymphna. It was idle gossip for those not involved, but tensions were running high at the farm. Neither Dymphna not Professor Johnson took things lightly.

As the time approached for her to leave for Los Angeles, Dymphna felt she was escaping. Her thoughts turned more and more to her life in Santa Monica, the days before Fat Chance, the years before Professor Johnson. She’d had a good life there, living in the guesthouse of her best friend, Erinn. Erinn was a Broadway playwright who had reinvented herself as a TV producer and documentarian. Erinn’s family had become Dymphna’s family. Fat Chance had completely overwhelmed Dymphna and she’d somehow never made it back to Southern California. Now she was homesick, daydreaming about long walks along the coast, drinking tea at Erinn’s sister’s tea shop in Venice, catching up with how her rabbits were doing from Erinn’s mother, Virginia, who had been watching over the three rabbits that remained in her care. Virginia had moved into Erinn’s guesthouse when Dymphna made the bold move to Texas, but Erinn had said Dymphna would always have a room in the large Victorian on Ocean Avenue that Erinn somehow managed to hang on to, even with her feast-or-famine career.

Although unspoken, neither Dymphna nor Professor Johnson was sure she was going to come back immediately. Dymphna kept pushing away the thought that she might not come back at all. Tears pricked her eyes. This farm was as close to “home” as any place in her life.

Of course I’ll come back, she scolded herself.

“The rabbits will love it here,” Professor Johnson said.

The sun had made its way over the hills. She could see him clearly now, his T-shirt and sweatpants wrinkled from sleep, his hair wild from last night’s passionate goodbye. Dymphna’s heart lurched when she saw that he was barefoot—he had obviously run out of the house as soon as he understood what the empty side of the bed meant.

Of course I’ll come back.

“Were you going to say goodbye?” he asked.

She knew if she looked at him, she would see the little boy who no one got to see but her. The little boy who trusted her not to hurt him.

So she didn’t look. Instead, she tugged again at the dog.

“Thud, seriously,” she said. “Out.”

“Do you want to take him with you?”

This is why she had wanted to leave while he was still asleep. He could be such a dear man—when he wasn’t infuriating her.

No,” Dymphna said. “He’s been at the farm for years now. I don’t think he’d want to go back to Los Angeles.”

“But you do?”

“For a little while,” she said softly.

“Get out of the car, Thud,” he said evenly.

The dog jumped out of the passenger side and Professor Johnson closed the door with a solid thwack.

“It’s a long drive,” she said. “I really better be going.”

He nodded.

“I washed the car,” he said.

“Oh?” Dymphna looked at the Outback. Now that the sun was up, she could see it was sparkling clean.

“Thank you,” she said.

She started to put her arms around him. She wanted to hold him and say all the things that she never said. She loved him. He was the best thing that ever happened to her. She would be back. She took a deep breath, but he was the first to speak.

“If Main Street were paved, the car wouldn’t be completely trashed by the time you got through town,” he said.

Dymphna kissed him on the cheek, gave Thud a squeeze, and got in the car.

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Buzzing Blitz: Shadowed by Ken Hughes #Giveaway

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About the Book

Shadowed

Title: Shadowed

Author: Ken Hughes

Published: February 6, 2012

Publisher: Windward Road Press

Genre: Paranormal Thriller

Synopsis

He can hear a whisper a block away… and can’t remember why.

Open your mind, to a city where mystery chases up and down office back stairways, turns brother against brother, and plays out on frozen sidewalks where lives may be shattered if the enemy even looks at the ragged man passing by in the crowd—and even that man cannot guess what memory will be next to batter his mind.

Paul was no detective, no thief, only a student trying to get some distance from his father and brother. When he found himself marked by the power to enhance his senses, he had only that treacherous gift and what few tricks he dared to teach himself, to search for some explanation—or at least the chance to give it meaning by exposing a few petty corruptions.

Paul thought if he lived in poverty to keep his existence secret from the world, at least nobody could force him to use that gift as a weapon against others. But just when he thought he was untouchable, the last thing he expected shakes his world and drags him into the perils of his family, his power, and two women who each have a different claim on his life.

As Paul begins to play cat and mouse with enemies he can’t even name, he must break every rule that’s kept him alive, in every frantic chase and every gamble he makes to break his family free. And all the while, he knows his greatest enemy may still be what lies behind his own secrets.

If you think you know everything a paranormal thriller can do, take a closer look.

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About the Author

Ken Hughes Author

Ken Hughes is an urban fantasy writer living in Los Angeles, author of Shadowed and the upcoming The High Road. He’s also done technical writing for missions to Mars, and blogs about writing and genres at www.KenHughesAuthor.com.

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Excerpt

Paul gritted his teeth. Gripping the metal piece as firmly as he could through the glove, he Opened to the shape in the shadows along the window, fighting to ignore the two memories so he could just see the wires, know the distance…

In one move, he reached down through the broken pane to stab the metal’s edge into the wood below, pressing its length between the sensors at just the proper angle. Nothing snapped, no alarm blared… and he yanked his hand back up as the dog snapped at him.

The metal stayed in place. He tried to Open his hearing to follow if the electrical path had changed, but all he heard were Quinn’s words and the dog’s thwarted growls.

Time to find out.

The dog watched his every motion now, so he took the last pigeon from his box and slid it through the hole. The dog barked as the bird fluttered by, but this time, it turned right back to the window as Paul reached in again to flip the latch.

He pulled his hand back in time, but the dog kept barking, and Paul could only hope the guard was still sick of false alarms. And that the other alarm here…

The window slid up, just three inches for now. No bells rang, but the dog snarled and snapped just beyond that gap.

And Paul raised the pet store’s spray bottle and squirted cleaning fluid into its face.

The dog yelped and pulled back, giving Paul a moment to fling the window up. As the dog started toward him again, he gave it another spray, then caught up the bird net and flung it over the beast.

Paul grabbed the bottle again and leaped through, into the room.

A few desks and cabinets stretched around him in the dim light. He turned back to see the dog already shaking off the thin net, as expected. He stepped back and pumped the spray as the dog charged—but it squirted once and then the trigger clicked in without pumping any liquid. He back-pedaled and pumped more slowly, but now the spray only made the dog flinch back a moment.

The inner door’s this way—Paul took a step, and his hip bashed the edge of a desk. The dog lunged.

He spun around the desk and threw himself at the door. For one frozen moment, he wondered if he’d ever heard the guard open it. What if it’s locked? Then he seized the handle and wrenched it open, which sent a spasm through his injured arm.

As he stepped through, the dog came up behind him. Paul ducked sideways and gave the spray bottle trigger one hard squeeze. The spray drove the dog back only a step, and Paul pumped wildly, felt the trigger catch on nothing—He smashed the bottle into the animal’s head, knocked the dog away, then leapt back out through the door and slammed it shut.

Gasping for breath, he listened to the dog’s muted barking for a moment. The spray bottle had split open in his hand, and he set the its remains quietly on the floor.

Paul looked past the desks to the office’s little file cabinet and then marched back to slide the window shut and gather up the net. That left him in the space between the alarms, with the dog trapped, and the guard tired of checking out all these noises.

“Alright, what now?” the guard growled, as the outer door’s lock clicked open. Paul dropped flat, behind a desk just as the light came on.

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Buzzing Blitz: Family is Murder by Carolyn Arnold #Excerpt

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About the Book

Family is Murder

Title: Family is Murder

Series: McKinley Mysteries #5

Author: Carolyn Arnold

Published: July 6, 2014

Publisher: Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Romance, Humor

Synopsis

The search for a maid results in a mess.

When a woman shows up and claims to be Sara’s birth mother, it pits Sara and Sean against each other. Sara opens her heart and wants to believe the woman, but Sean is suspicious of her true identity and motive. After all, there are billions at stake. But when the woman goes missing and a dead body turns up, they both start to question the truth.

Led by Sara’s intuition, they pursue all possible leads and soon realize they may have welcomed a killer into their home.

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About the Author

Carolyn Arnold

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

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Excerpt

SEAN KNEW SARA’S HEART WAS jumping in before she listened to the warnings that would be going off in her head. But that was his Sara—always taking a leap before assessing the fall. He wasn’t just going to stand by and watch the woman he loved get hurt, though. The chances of this being her mother, after all these years, was hard to believe. Why resurface now if it wasn’t for the money? It seemed easier to accept that she was a fake, playing a role in staking a claim in their fortune.

While the DNA tests would confirm or deny whether she was, in fact, Sara’s biological mother, until then how much drama would Sara live through? Whether she verbalized it or not, he could tell by the subtle twist of her lips, the way she looked on this woman, that she wanted to believe this was her real mom. There was also a mess in Sara’s eyes, a swirl that, to him, spoke to guilt.
Sara hadn’t stopped moving since they got back to the house. She was hurrying around tidying up and preparing the meal.
On her way by this time, he took her hand to slow her stride, and he drew her in to him. “You can relax, darling. It will all work out.”
“I just want everything to be perfect.” Her eyes scanned his.
“And it will be.” He led her to a sofa in their sitting room. “Please, darling, sit and let’s talk.”
Her eyes sparked. “I know what you’re going to say.”
He tapped the tip of her nose. “You’ve always been sort of a mind reader, but—”
“You’re going to tell me to keep my head about me, to not rush to accept this woman as my mother.”
The way she stared into his eyes made him feel like he was the enemy. “I just don’t want you to get hurt.”
“And I appreciate that.” Her raised shoulders relaxed slightly, and her tone softened when she continued. “I know that you had a rough life, Sean. You lost your mother when you were nine, your father when you were a young adult. But I’ve never known my real parents.” She paused, and there was that flicker of guilt dancing across her eyes. “Jeannie and Leon are the world to me. They were there for me from the beginning and will always be Mom and Dad. But, if this woman is who she claims to be, well, this may sound silly, but I’ll feel I belong in this world.”
He wasn’t prepared for those words and they attacked him as if a thrown fist, hitting him dead in the heart.
She put her hand on his leg. “Darling, please, know that I love you with all my heart and soul.”
He nodded. No words would form.
“And that didn’t come out right. I know I belong because of you, because of Jeannie and Leon, but this is my chance to know where I came from. I have never had a blood relative all my life.”
The way her eyes misted as she spoke chipped away at the gnawing pain in his chest, somehow making his life experience seem less significant. Still, losing his mother had impacted him as a boy. He remembered the isolation, the separation from others his age when there were school outings. Even watching his friends unpack their boxed lunches, he knew their mothers had taken extra care. His dad had tried, bless his soul, but he was a man. He didn’t put the little cards in his lunch box telling him to smile or reminding him that he was loved. While the boys who received these would blush from embarrassment, Sean would have traded spots with them in a heartbeat.
Yes, he knew grief, he knew heartache, he knew what it was like to be left in the world without a blood relative—but the latter not fully. He had his dad until he was nineteen and, to this day, he had his uncle Ray, although he lived in North Carolina.
He wanted to warn her to guard her heart, but seeing the look in her eyes, he couldn’t speak those words. “I’m happy for you.”
She leaned in and kissed him, then pulled back slowly. “I love you for that.”
He nodded and smiled. She had stolen his heart two years ago when he’d first met her, and with their spoken vows that bond had only solidified into concrete.
Sara tapped the couch and went to get up. “I better get that roast in the oven.”
“Roast?”
One of her brows arched slightly higher than the other, a smirk on her lips. “Yes, and I am fully capable of cooking it, you know.”
He raised his hands in surrender. “Hey, I never said that you weren’t.”
“Uh-huh.” She laughed as she pranced back to the kitchen.
Sean stayed on the couch, his heart wanting to accept Leslie, but his mind warring against the request. He would try to open up, for Sara’s sake, but there was a little voice inside his head that cautioned him to stay vigilant.

 

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Buzzing Blitz: Dracula Lives by Robert Ryan #Excerpt #KindleFire #Giveaway

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Dracula Lives

Title: Dracula Lives

Author: Robert Ryan

Published: May 30th, 2016

Genre: Horror

Age Recommendation: 12+

Synopsis

Where is the line between movies and real life? Perhaps there isn’t one.

In Dracula Lives, Amazon bestselling author Robert Ryan once again takes us where no one should ever go.

Deep in the wilds of New England, a man who worked on the 1931 Dracula still lives. Haunted by the experience ever since, he has built an exact replica of Castle Dracula and become obsessed with bringing the movie vampire to life. But when one sets out to make monsters, there are risks—as Adam Quinn is about to find out. A lifelong fan of Dracula and the classic horror films from Universal Studios, he is invited to the castle. It’s a horror lover’s dream: the chance to find out what it was like to work with Bela Lugosi, Dwight Frye, director Tod Browning, and all the others. But dreams can turn into nightmares…

The castle awaits. Enter freely and of your own free will.

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Robert Ryan

Mr. Ryan was born and raised in the D.C. where tourists don’t go—a land of soul food and Scrapple.

He lived directly behind the neighborhood movie theater, and his mother took him to everything from the time he was barely out of diapers. When he reached the ripe old age of about six, he couldn’t wait for the Saturday creature features. Atomic mutants running amok, the monsters of Ray Harryhausen, Roger Corman’s Poe films, and the unabashed frightfests of William Castle were among the early influences that warped his writer’s muse into a breeding ground for—to borrow a line from Morbius in Forbidden Planet—his “Monsters from the Id.” In Castle’s The Tingler, when Vincent Price told us all to scream because the Tingler was loose in the theater, you better believe he screamed. On the literary front he soon discovered Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Bloch, among others, and followed the trail they blazed into the “ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.”

It seems he has always been drawn to scary stories.

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Excerpt

The severed hand hitched its way up the stairs in its relentless drive to kill the person it was directed to kill.

The hand was not human. It was a webbed humanoid thing. Long, scaly fingers with inch-long, needle-sharp claws deftly hooked into the carpet covering the stairs, again and again, until the hand flopped onto the landing. It scuttled across the Persian rug to the closed wooden door of the bedchamber. Catlike, the hand used its claws to dig into the wood and skitter up the door. The instant it reached the top, it released its grip and began falling. With a precision that spoke of long practice, it broke its fall by grabbing the handle. The maneuver turned the handle and jostled the door open a crack.

The hand dropped noiselessly onto the rug. Righting itself, it squeezed through the crack and scrabbled across the floor as though possessed. Clamping onto the wooden bedpost of the canopied four-poster, it wriggled up and flopped onto the bed.

The sleeper lay face up, under a satin sheet pulled up to just below the neck.

A few feet away, a tall man dressed in black stood beside the bed, watching the scene unfold through a pair of oversized goggles. A large glove on his right hand mimicked the movements of the beast with five fingers.

The hand clawed its way across the sheet with deadly purpose. Seconds later, it reached the exposed neck and clamped down.

The sleeper’s eyes shot open.

The tall man dropped his gloved hand to his side. “Cut!” he said.

The hand from some alien world squeezed harder.

The sleeper’s eyes widened in alarm.

“Cut, I said!” The tall man yanked off the glove.

The sleeper struggled to pull the hand off, moaning in pain as the tugging only made the maniacal thing tighten its grip.

After an intense battle the tall man managed to pry the hand loose and toss it to the floor. Its fingers twitched erratically for a few seconds, then made a wobbly effort to crawl back to the bedpost. As the man bent to grab it, the hand fell over on its back and lay still.

Looking back at the sleeper, the man saw spots of red where some of the claws had pierced the flesh.

Annoyed, the tall man stared at his glove. “We shall have to test it again. All must be in readiness for our guest. There will be no time for retakes.”

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Buzzing Blitz: Lurking in the Shadows by CHBB Publishing #NewRelease

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Title: Lurking in the Shadows

Edited by: Jaidis Shaw

Published: June 28th, 2016

Publisher: CHBB Publishing

Genre: Short Story, Horror, Paranormal, Fantasy

Synopsis

Embrace the darkness.

Murderous entities, haunted houses, screaming banshees, and sympathetic necromancers are just a few of the chilling things you’ll encounter in this anthology. Follow our authors into the shadows … if you dare.

Stories featured in this anthology include the following:

“Release” by E.M. Fitch

“On Two Lane Roads” by Shelly Schulz

“Too Young to Kill” by Lily Luchesi

“An Empty Building” by Jacqueline E. Smith

“Living Nightmare” by Savannah Rohleder

“The House on Juniper Lane” by Jaidis Shaw

“Dorcha Scath” by Liz Butcher

“Scream for the Night” by Gina A. Watson

“Bump in the Night, Inc” by Melody Black

“Revenant” by Stacey Jaine McIntosh

“Lizzie” by Tania Hagan

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About the Publisher

CHBB Where Dreams Take Flight

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Buzzing Blitz: Changing Moon by June Stevens #NewRelease #Giveaway

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About the Book

Changing Moon

Title: Changing Moon

Series: Paranorm World #3

Author: June Stevens

Published: June 30th, 2016

Publisher: Crimson Tree Publishing

Genre: NA mature Paranormal Romance

Content Warning: Contains adult and sexual content

Age Recommendation: 17+

Synopsis

A brutal attack has left Anya’s body and life forever changed.

The man she loved is gone, her relationship with her family is in tatters, and her future is dead. With the woman who attacked her still at large, her growing friendship with Luca is the one comfort keeping her sane.

Determined to take control of her life and her body, she finds her purpose to move forward… getting revenge.

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About the Author

June Stevens

JUNE STEVENS WESTERFIELD writes romantic fiction with strong, confident heroines. Her non-fiction work includes collections of real life stories that help give other women a voice. In addition to writing, she runs two small businesses designing greeting cards and websites. When not working she can be found reading, making jewelry, or snuggling on the sofa with her husband and six furbabies binge watching Netflix.

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Excerpt

As the fog in my brain lifted and I climbed towards consciousness, it was as if I could feel every cell in my body, and they were all throbbing. There wasn’t any real pain; it was more like every nerve ending in my body was on high alert. I tried lifting my eyelids and was surprised to find they were working properly. The room was dim, yet I could see everything clearly—not that there was much to see other than a darkly painted ceiling. When I turned my head, a sharp pain stabbed through my brain.

“Ouch,” I said, my voice coming out in a loud croak.

“You’re awake,” a familiar voice said. Pinky’s face hovered over mine. “Welcome back, darling girl.”

His voice was breathy as if he were whispering, yet it was so loud I couldn’t help but wince. Pain and worry etched his face, and he looked tired in a way I’d never seen before.

“What happened? Where am I?” My voice sounded dry, cracked, and a little panicky. I couldn’t help it. Fear was starting to bubble up inside my stomach, churning it. I felt so odd. So much of my body hurt, and then there was the pain that wasn’t pain, but more of an odd sensation. Where was I and why was Pinky staring down at me as if I’d just come back from the dead?

“Shh, it’s okay,” Pinky said, trying to soothe me.

He laid his hand on my arm, but it hurt and I flinched away. “Ouch,” I said, tears filling my voice. “Pinky, what’s going on? Why does it hurt?”

“Shh, don’t talk. I need to get you some tea to soothe your throat. Lie there and rest.”

Too weak to argue, I did as he bade, closing my eyes as I waited. I didn’t drift back off to sleep, though. I was painfully aware of Pinky moving around the room. It was as if every sound was amplified, and every shift in the air blew across my skin. From the sounds, I’d guessed there was a teapot and crystal warming plate in the room. The scent of herbs and something else I couldn’t name burst into the room as he slid the lids off glass containers. The odor grew stronger before softening as he combined them and poured hot water over the mixture.

Within a few minutes, Pinky was back by my side, though he had never actually left the room.

“Are you ready to try to sit up?” he asked, placing a mug on a table near my head.

“I think so,” I said, opening my eyes and gazing up at his concerned face. I wasn’t completely sure I was telling the truth, but curiosity was gnawing at me. I wanted to know what had happened, but I knew Pinky wouldn’t tell me anything unless he thought I was doing better. Though better than what, I had no idea.

Several minutes later, I was cursing my curiosity and wishing I’d just told Pinky I wasn’t ready to sit up yet. But I hadn’t, and I was sitting up. If you could call propped against six pillows that forced me into a sitting position ‘sitting up’. I wasn’t even sure propped was the correct word because the moment Pinky let go of me after putting the last pillow into place, I’d collapsed back onto them, heaving from the pain and effort of getting into the position. Even with Pinky’s help, it had been excruciating and exhausting.

“Here, this will help,” Pinky said, holding the mug of warm liquid to my lips.

I sipped it, the strong flavor exploding in my mouth. “What is that?” I asked after swallowing several mouthfuls.

“An herbal tea from River’s garden. Chamomile, I think. There’s some medicine to help your pain mixed in,” he answered, setting the empty mug down. “Are you feeling any better?”

The medicine must be why it tasted so strong, but I was feeling a little better. “My throat doesn’t hurt as much.”

He smiled. “Good.”

“Pinky, what happened? How did I get sick? What’s wrong with me?” As I asked the questions, I watched my father’s face grow serious, dread filling his eyes.

“I’m not sure right now is the best time. I think you need more rest.”

“No,” I said. It took every bit of energy I had, but I pushed his hand away as he tried to pull the blanket up around me. “I don’t want to rest. Please, what happened? Why does everything hurt? Why are you the one taking care of me? Where’s River and Fiona?”

With every question, my voice got more and more shrill. As I asked about my sisters, I realized just how strange, how wrong, it was for them not to be in the room. Were they sick too? Had something happened to them?

“Shh, Anya, calm down, baby. Fiona and River are okay,” Pinky crooned as he gripped my hands between his. I realized I had been screaming out the thoughts in my head and that I was sobbing. “If you’ll drink another mug of tea, I’ll tell you, okay?”

I nodded, the motion making my head ache. “Okay,” I said, trying to stop crying now that I realized I was doing it.

Pinky prepared another mug of tea, and we sat in silence as I drank it. The drink soothed me, sending a warming calm throughout my body. I suspected Pinky had put some sort of sedative in it that would knock me out soon, but I wasn’t about to be deterred.

I held the mug out. “It’s all gone. Now tell me what’s wrong with me. I don’t want to wake up again feeling so confused and scared.”

The moment I spoke the words, I could see the determination to keep me in the dark fade from Pinky’s demeanor. “Okay. I suppose knowing will be better than the fear of not knowing. What do you remember?”

I shook my head, grateful that the last cup of tea had taken away the stabbing pain behind my eyes. “I don’t know. What do you mean?”

“Before you woke up here, what is the very last thing you remember doing?”

I thought hard, trying to focus. An image of Farrah and River formed in my mind. They were laughing. “I was at the market with Farrah and River. We were having lunch.”

“You don’t remember anything else? Do you know what you did after you left the market?”

I tried to think. I remembered telling River goodbye and walking towards the bridge with Farrah, but as we neared the bridge, everything got fuzzy, and then it was black. I couldn’t remember. As I concentrated, another sharp throbbing started behind my left eye. I rubbed at my temple.

“I don’t know, Pinky. I can’t remember.” My voice was nearing hysteria.

“Shh, it’s okay,” Pinky said, sitting on the edge of the bed and pulling me into his arms. “I’m going to tell you what happened, but I need you to promise to try to stay calm. You are safe and loved, and no matter what, you will be okay. Promise to remember that?”

I nestled my head against his chest, much as I did when I was a child. The comfort of his arms was accompanied by the feeling of dozens of tiny bees stinging my skin at every point where we touched, but I ignored it. A sense of dread was slipping over me, but I needed to know. “I promise.”

As my adoptive father cradled me in his arms and rocked me like a baby, my entire world was pulled out from under my feet. He told me Farrah and I had been attacked, and that Farrah was fine, but I’d been kidnapped. He didn’t have any other details except that Jarrett and Fiona tried to get me back, but the kidnapper, some woman named Cora, had cut my throat. I’d been dying and the only chance they’d had to save me was to infect me with the N-V virus.

The only way to save my life had been to change it forever. To change me forever. I was now a vampire.

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Buzzing Blitz: Chasing Rabbits by Erin Bedford #Giveaway

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About the Book

Chasing Rabbits

Title: Chasing Rabbits

Author: Erin Bedford

Genre: Supernatural Fantasy

To Be Published: June 2nd, 2016

Age Recommendation: 16+

Synopsis

Alice was wrong – Wonderland wasn’t so wonderful after all.

Kat never expected to be back in her hometown, but when house sitting turns into a mad rabbit chase, Kat finds herself with a whole new set of problems.

A two-headed bird with a Game of Thrones obsession, a party full of tea addicts, and a Cheshire Cat who could seduce the pants off her grandma? And if the citizens weren’t bad enough their prince was off his rocker.

This wasn’t your run of the mill Wonderland. This was the Fae world, where rules are rules, and some things are exactly as they seem.

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About the Author

Erin Bedford

Erin Bedford is a new fantasy romance author, a computer programmer by day, and a hobby hoarder.

Creating fantastical worlds has always been a secret passion of hers and she couldn’t imagine writing any story without some kind of lovey-dovey or smexy goodness in it.

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Excerpt

The feeling of his mouth on mine made me lightheaded in the best of ways. In an effort to stay afloat, my hands gripped on to his vest, pulling him closer. I admit I was more than a little bit disappointed when my movement caused him to pull away.

My chest heaved as I tried to regain my breathing. He leaned his forehead against mine, his own breath coming out in pants. At least I wasn’t the only one affected.

“What was that for?”

A crackling sound broke our little moment up and Chess took a step back. The billowing fog from the forest leaked in under the wardrobe door. All thoughts of Chess’s kiss fled my mind as terror began to overwhelm me. I didn’t want to know what lie behind that door.

“You need to go now, Kat.” He ushered me to the mirror before turning back to the door.

“Wait!” I tugged on his arm. “What about you?”

“Who me?” Chess gave a coy smile that didn’t reach his heated eyes.

“I’m just a cat.”

“Are you mad? Come with us!” My voice became desperate as the door banged open and then there was silence.

The light from the bedroom was gone. Inside the door lay only darkness. It was the kind of darkness you were afraid to look into for fear of someone looking back. I knew I didn’t want that darkness looking at me.

Chess turned to me once again, brushing his lips against my ear. My eyes were focused so much on the approaching darkness that I almost didn’t hear what he said. I frowned in confusion, but before I could question him he shoved me through the mirror’s surface.

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Buzzing Blitz: The SEAL Next Door by Makenna Jameison #Giveaway

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About the Book

The SEAL Next Door

Title: The SEAL Next Door

Series: Alpha SEALS #5 (Standalone)

Author: Makenna Jameison

Published: March 29th, 2016

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Content Warning: Sexual Content

Age Recommendation: 18+

Synopsis

The girl next door is all grown up, and she’s ready to play….

Brianna Miller’s life isn’t going as planned. She’s moonlighting as a cocktail waitress after getting laid off from her marketing job, her older brother was injured in Afghanistan, and the man she’s pined for since she was a teenager is back in her life, hotter than hell and more tempting than ever.

Navy SEAL Matthew “Gator” Murphy has only one goal when he returns to Pensacola, Florida for a long weekend—to welcome his best friend home and then get the hell out of there. There’s no way he can face life with his buddy in a wheelchair, not when he was the one who convinced him to enlist in the first place.

When a gorgeous blonde waitress catches his eye, the last woman he expects to see is Brianna, his best friend’s younger sister. The chemistry between them sizzles as Matthew tries to stay away from temptation, but sometimes a raging inferno begins with only a spark.

The SEAL Next Door, a stand-alone novel, is book five in the new Alpha SEALs series.

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About the Author

Bestselling Author Makenna Jameison writes stories with hot alpha males, steamy romance, and happily-ever-afters. She loves reading, writing, coffee, the beach, and traveling to new places. Makenna lives in Washington DC with her husband and daughter.

Makenna loves to hear from her fans! Contact her or join her mailing list by sending an email to info@makennajameison.com.

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Excerpt

Brianna muttered under her breath as she tripped over her flippers in the shallow water and ungracefully fell over with a splash. The school of fish scattered in the clear, turquoise waters, and she tried to remember why she’d enjoyed this when she was younger. Or why she’d agreed to go snorkeling with Matthew today. She was supposed to be celebrating her brother’s long-awaited homecoming, spending the day with family, not out here making a fool of herself.

She didn’t even have her phone with her in case her parents needed to reach her or someone else contacted her from the police station. She supposed that Matthew had thought this would be a fun distraction from what was going on at the moment, but her mind was on everything but the fish she was supposed to be admiring.

Chunks of shells cut against her hands as she struggled to push herself back up, and a strand of hair fell into her face. Maybe flippers were good for swimming, but they were pretty lousy for attempting to walk around in. No one else seemed to be having as much trouble as her though.

She lost her footing again as she tried to stand, dropping her goggles and snorkel into the water, which she’d long since pulled from her face.

“I got you,” a deep voice said, and suddenly Matthew’s strong hands were wrapping around her waist, lifting her back onto her feet. He held her directly in front of him, his chest to her back, and the feel of his fingers against her bare flesh sent tingles rushing down her arms and warmth coiling in her belly. She froze, not daring to move.

“Are you okay?”

“Fine,” she said stiffly, pulling his hands from her waist and awkwardly turning to face him.

Droplets of water ran down his bronzed skin, and she tried not to stare at his wall of muscles. At those wide shoulders, broad pecs, and eight-pack abs. Or into those deep green eyes.

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Buzzing Blitz: Eun Na and the Phantom by Erica Laurie #Excerpt #Giveaway

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About the Book

Eun Na and the Phantom

Title: Eun Na and the Phantom

Author: Erica Laurie

Published: February 2nd, 2016

Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis

One man’s immortal curse.

The precious gift of a dragon’s soul.

And a woman who can set him free.

A logger is in debt to his landlord, and he must pay up or hand over his daughter, Eun Na as payment.

Hardworking and kind, Eun Na attracts the attention of a mysterious man from the mountains. When an accident renders her father unable to work, the handsome young man steps in and offers his assistance. Yet he is not what he seems.

Eun Na and the Phantom is a magical story set in a fictional world based on historic Korea. It is sure to please both readers of fantasy and viewers of K-dramas a like.

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About the Author

Erica Laurie

Bookworm. Shutterbug. Story writer. LDS. Wife. Mother. Loves dragons and Korean dramas.

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Excerpt

“Are you a ghost?” Eun Na asked as she looked and saw Tae Kyung standing there. He was leaning up against a tree. His eyes went wide briefly, as a bit of color left his face. Was he surprised to see her? No, it wasn’t that Eun Na reminded herself. It was something else. He had called to her first.

“Something like that,” Tae Kyung replied.

“Well that would explain it” Eun Na walked to the side of the road where Tae Kyung was standing and sat down next to him. Eun Na removed her worn shoe. One of the pieces of twine was broken. She would need to mend it.

“What would explain what?” Tae Kyung asked as he joined her.

“Ghosts would explain my wound,” Eun Na said as she pulled off her sock and revealed the angry looking red streak on her leg. Its dark color became lighter. “It’s even healing right now, before my eyes.” If she hadn’t seen it fade, she’d not have believed it.

“Mmm,” Tae Kyung murmured as he reached over and put a hand on her head. She felt a tingling sensation on her scalp from his touch. “You must have hit your head when you fell into that hole.”

“Is that your polite way of saying I’m going crazy?” Eun Na said, turning her head to look at him as she spoke. The smile he gave her made her heart rate speed up. She moved to cover her feet when Tae Kyung spoke.

“There’s nothing wrong with your leg.”

“Huh?” Eun Na looked at her leg. Tae Kyung was right; the angry red wound was gone. “Maybe I am going crazy.” Eun Na gave Tae Kyung a pondering look, and then leaned over and pinched his arm hard.

“Hey! What did you do that for?” Tae Kyung shouted, leaning away from her.

“Sorry. I was just checking to see if you were real.”

“Shouldn’t you have pinched yourself to see if you were awake?” Tae Kyung grumbled, rubbing his arm and watching Eun Na warily.

“I am awake. That’s the problem,” Eun Na replied. “My life is turning into a huge mess it seems.”

“I think you need new shoes,” Tae Kyung informed her.

“What?” His sudden change of topic confused her.

“I bet that’s why you were limping. So, put your sock and shoe back on, and let’s go see what we can find.”

“That’s all right. I’ll make do with these. My family can’t afford shoes just now,” Eun Na explained as she finished putting her shoe back on and stood up. “Well, I must be going.”

“To buy shoes,” Tae Kyung said as he moved swiftly. He took one of Eun Na’s arms at the wrist, and in a fluid motion, lifted her onto his back, her legs to either side.

She had no choice but to wrap her arms around his neck and shoulder. “Hey! Put me down.”

“Only after we buy you a pair of shoes that are not worn out to strings.”

“They are made of twine,” Eun Na laughed.

“As I said, they are nothing more than strings,” Tae Kyung said, winning the argument.

Eun Na decided to rest her head on his strong shoulders and just enjoy the moment.

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Buzzing Blitz: In Black & White by Catherine Lavender

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About the Book

In Black and White

Title: In Black & White

Author: Catherine Lavender

Published: May 12th, 2016

Publisher: Chamomile Books LLC

Genre: Women’s Contemporary Fiction

Synopsis

Micah Winters always knew that she was different. It was the pigment of her skin and the texture of her hair that revealed that she was a woman from biracial parents. For five decades, Micah’s African American mother has remained silent about Micah’s estranged father (Sidney Irving). It is not until after Sidney Irving’s death that Micah learns that she is the daughter of the legendary novelist and screenwriter. Now with her mother’s memory fading away from Alzheimer’s disease, Micah can only rely on a novel that was written from her father years ago to understand her parents past during the time of segregation in the United States. Micah’s once simple life is not so simple anymore as she tries to make sense of an unfamiliar world as she inherits her father’s wealth and private past. With an abandoned heart, Micah must forgive the past in order to discover who she really is.

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About the Author

Catherine Lavender

Catherine Lavender is from Baltimore, Maryland but now resides in Tampa, Florida with her miniature schnauzer name Ripken. She is an animal activist, as well as a supporter of the organization First Book which helps supply literature for underprivileged children. In her spare time, Catherine enjoys reading classic literature and playing the acoustic guitar.

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Excerpt

Sidney Irving knew that his time had come. At the age of eighty-four, the prospect of imminent death didn’t frighten him. In truth, death was a welcome reprieve from the loneliness that had plagued him for the past few decades.

As a well-known and respected author, Sidney achieved much success in his youthful, productive years. He was certain that people would continue to read his novels and watch movies based on his screenplays long after he was gone. He had won many awards, given interviews, and shared his work on public platforms. For a long time, his work satisfied and fulfilled him in a way that his life was not able to. But then, old age caught up. He couldn’t write as well or as quickly as he used to, and eventually, even the personal delight in finding the right word, and the perfect sentence began to elude him.

Sidney knew that like most men, he had committed a number of mistakes during his years of living. Unfortunately, many of them came back to haunt him on his death bed. Chief among them was a relentless guilt that ravaged his already worn-out body.

However, he had already done all that he could do to set things right after his death. There was nothing else that could be done. Perhaps in time, he would be forgiven. It pained him that he did not take that step forward while he still had the energy to do so. It was cowardice; he knew. Although, it was hard to make amends with the distressing fear of facing rejection and humiliation.

When he died, things would be set right – as they should have been fifty years ago.

A sudden cough escaped his lips. Years of habit brought him to cover his mouth with his hand, which was now leathery, spotted, and dry. Once, he had been a robust man, with an almost insatiable lust for life, but age had stripped him of all energy.

His nurse, a staid, matronly woman of middle-age, walked into the room. “You have a visitor, Mr. Irving. It is Nathan. Should I bring him in?”

“Yes, let Nathan come in,” he wheezed.

Nathan came to Havre de Grace seven years ago. An ex-Navy SEAL, who had been fighting his own personal demons after taking an early retirement from the military, with hopes to begin a new life, Nathan started working at the Irving Estate as a handyman. As the years went by, he slowly opened up to Sidney.

Nathan walked in. For a moment, he stood staring at Sidney. “And here I thought you would be up for a round of golf, but you are still lounging in the bed.”

The laughter that escaped Sidney’s lips turned to a cough. After helping Sidney sit up against the plush pillows that neatly lined the headboard of the bed, Nathan made him drink some water. “You…” Words seemed to escape him as he tried to catch his breath.

Sidney leaned back and rested his head against one of the pillows. “Don’t worry, Nate. I’ve made my peace. My time has come.”

“Don’t say that.” Nathan dragged the nurse’s chair closer to the bed and sat down. “It’s my turn to beat you in a game of chess.”

Sidney smiled. He would miss his time with Nathan. Over the years, they had formed a friendship of mutual trust and respect, and the two men bonded over games of chess and broken shingles on the roof. If he could have told someone about the entire truth of his sad, old tale, he would have chosen to share it with Nathan. Even now, he wished he could bear his soul – but it would not assuage the guilt or undo the harm he already inflicted. “You’ve been a good friend, Nathan. Thank you,” he whispered in a voice that was as dry as rice paper.

“I’ll always be here for you, Sidney.”

“Promise me that if she decides to…”

Sidney didn’t have to finish the thought. Nathan already knew his friend’s wishes, and he wanted to put his mind at ease. “I’ll be here, Sidney. I’ll see it through. However, that’s not going to be for a long time. You still have some life left in you.”

Sidney turned his head to the side to look upon his friend, ignoring the twinges of pain that had already begun to stab him in his chest. “Nathan, we both know my time is short. Just promise me you’ll stick around.”

“This is home, Sidney,” Nathan said simply. “Where else am I going to go?”

It would have to do. He trusted Nathan to make the right choices.

The nurse came back into the bedroom, looking a little flustered. “Your lawyer is here, Mr. Irving? I told him that you already had a visitor, but he insists on seeing you and…”

“It’s alright. I’ll leave.” Nathan put his hand on top of Sidney’s, squeezed once, and while looking down at the floor to gather his emotions, he let go. “I’ll come back tomorrow.”

Nathan was a good man. Perhaps tomorrow Sidney would tell him more about things that had happened all those years… no, decades ago, but now was not the time. He watched his lawyer; Kris Angles come in. A handsome man, the streaks of silver in his hair only added to the distinguished image he cultivated with care. As Nathan left the room, the two men exchanged a look as they passed each other.

Kris took the seat Nathan had vacated. “I was in town for some work, and thought I would pay my respects to you, Sidney. It’s been a long time.”

With great effort, Sidney suppressed a cough. “Thank you for coming. For a minute, I thought there may be a problem with some paperwork.”

Kris put his briefcase on the floor. “No, everything is already arranged. Unless, of course, you have changed your mind as I advised…”

A sharp pain seared his chest and traveled down to his belly. “I haven’t, no.”

Kris smiled. “Then your wishes will be carried out as you’ve stated, Sidney. There will be sixty-five days before a decision has to be made. Are you sure you just don’t want to make it sixty days as per industry standard in the-”

Sidney cut him off with as much force and determination he could muster in his deteriorated condition. “Sixty-five days, Kris!”

“Okay, I’ll see that it gets done.”

“I know, Kris. I trust you.”

Finally, a long drawn-out cough brought the nurse back in. Her severe look was enough to make Kris stand.

He picked up his briefcase. “I don’t want to overtax you, my friend. I’ll come back soon.”

After Kris departed, the nurse checked Sidney’s temperature. “Would you like your pain medication now, Mr. Irving?”

He considered the option. The round, white pill would make the pain bearable, but it would also dull his memories and cloud his brain. And today of all days, he wanted to remember each tiny detail, examine every facet of his life, and relive every experience that once made his youth exciting.

“Not now,” he said, knowing he would have to take it soon enough if he wanted to sleep. The deadly combination of pain and a high fever made it impossible for him to rest for long, unless he was drugged with sleeping tablets and pain medication. For now, he didn’t want anything to disrupt his trip down memory lane.

“I’ll be right outside your room. Call me if you need anything.”

He watched his nurse depart, with his eyes tracing her path across the dark Persian carpet that adorned his room. Twin cherry and walnut chairs flanked a wishbone chest on top of which were placed bottles of his medications, and a striped brown and white curtain hung across the window that overlooked the estate garden. At this time of the year, the flowers would be in full bloom. He longed to take a look at the delicate daisies and the elegant roses that were the crowning jewel of his flower beds. Beyond the garden was the gleaming wooden dock where his sailboat would be anchored. Maybe one day he could walk down that way again, stand at the dock, and observe the blue herons that walk upon the shore of the Chesapeake Bay.

It was a pipe dream, of course. He would never be able to do the simple things he had taken for granted only months ago. Nevertheless, the biggest regret in his life was what he had done to Micah, his daughter, who was born from an African-American woman. Micah’s mother, Loretta was a dignified woman whose only crime had been falling in love with a white man. In the sixties, such an indiscretion was not permissible. Still, perhaps, they could have gotten away with it had they kept it quiet and discreet. Even so, when she fell pregnant, they had no choice but to separate. He missed Loretta, but what he missed most was the years of fatherhood that he threw away simply because his daughter did not share his pristine white coloring.

He had not been man enough to change his circumstances – and now, fifty years later; he regretted that decision more than anything. For a while after Loretta left, his life had been wonderful; friends, experiences, and his work were enough to sustain him. However, as the years blended into decades, his work lost the excitement he had once harbored for it, his friends moved away or got busy with families, and no experience was enough to relieve him of the utter tedium of his mundane existence. Perhaps, it would have been all so much better if he had not thrown aside the chance to be a father.

He never once talked to the child whom he abandoned, never picked her up, carried her in his arms or witnessed her smile as she found joy in small things. If she had shared his life, she would have grown up in this estate, run through the massive gardens, plucked his prized flowers and stood with him at the wooden dock as they enjoyed the cool breeze that filtered in through the bay. Perhaps, she would have sat by his side while he took his last breath.

Her company might have given him the solace he so desperately sought in the efficient but impersonal concern of the nurses who attended him, and the occasional kindness of his friends who dropped in once in a while.

He cast his thoughts back to the last time he saw her. She had not known he was there, but he had tracked her whereabouts to Baltimore, the city where she lived. Three years ago, or four; he could not quite remember. Nevertheless, he would never forget the soft, black curls that framed a face that was hauntingly beautiful with its bronze skin and delicate features. Even from afar, he had seen that she had his eyes; the same shade of hazel. His mother’s eyes passed on through him to his only child.

He had never been able to forget her. It was evident that he had missed his chance to have a stab at real happiness. And he had no one to blame for it but himself. It was his dream to make amends after death. Perhaps, then, he would be able to rest in peace.

Sidney’s eyes rested on the thin rays of sunlight that sneaked in through the chink in the curtains. It was the last thing he saw before his eyes closed – forever.

 

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