#NatalieWood drowning case - re-examined by #CSIexperts & #ForensicPsychologist Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D. at SleuthFest. Many sessions with fantastic experts. Check out the whole schedule at https://t.co/aeGM9rPq5L. pic.twitter.com/rbZDa93ws5— Florida MWA (@floridaMWA) February 8, 2018
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Date Published: Feb 27, 2018
Damien Morgan learned a long time ago that love was just a figment of someone’s warped imagination and good girls simply didn’t exist because women were master manipulators. Nonetheless, he’s happy to wish his brother well when he decides to take the plunge.
Serenity Hanscom is shocked that she’s been invited to the wedding a year after her sister played matchmaker for the groom and had an active role in a plot to murder his sister-in-law. Despite the rather unusual circumstances, Serenity accepts the invitation because it’s an opportunity to mingle with Miami’s elites. But the second she catches sight of Damien, she’s reminded of the horrible events that led to her father’s imprisonment, all because of him. Determined to ignore him, as the evening goes by, she finds herself drawn to him more and more.
Will their plan to stay clear of love backfire on them and instead become the first step to an unexpected happily-ever-after?
This is an UNEDITED sneak peak version!
Once everyone stood up and cheered for the bride and groom's kiss, Serenity sunk in her seat and tried to hide. Her glass was almost empty but it sounded like the ceremony was finished. She stood and joined the crowd of people clapping their hands. Soon, the yacht would return to shore and she'd run.
The bride and groom walked past her fast. The captain said, "Please wait in your seats for five minutes while we transition to the reception. Waiters will offer everyone a glass of champagne for this short intercession."
More champagne might help her survive this. She slumped into her seat and held her hand high to signal she wanted a glass. The waiter handed her glass to the man at the end of the row and her neighbors passed it. Once everyone in her row had a glass, the server moved forward and she nodded her head at the people next to her then took a sip. The champagne tasted sweeter without staring at people her sister almost killed or the man that set her father up. Her skin grew goose bumps and the air grew warmer. There was something tasty in the air itself. A second later, Damien turned around and as he stared at her, he winked, "This will be over soon, sweetheart."
"Don't be sexist." She swallowed her sip and took a deep breath. Damien had no right to say anything like that, to her. She turned her nose in the air. "I'll never be your sweetheart."
"Relax." He then motioned for the man next to him to change seats. Without another word to her, he came and sat beside her. "I'm here to make amends."
"How?" He clicked his glass with hers. She refused to drink and shook her head. "Damien Morgan, that's impossible. You and I can never be friends."
"Why?" He raised his eyebrow.
Tonight he insulted her. Years ago he ruined her life and he had no shame about any of it. She sipped her champagne as steel ran up her spine. "I know who you are and how you knew my father."
He sipped his own glass. "Neither of our father's were boy scouts, sweetheart."
"Perhaps I wasn't clear. Don't patronize me with the nickname 'sweetheart.' It's insulting." Her free hand formed a fist at her side. Damien Morgan was the last person on earth to insult her, again. She knew better than to get riled up. She forced her hand to uncurl itself and gulped another sip. In one minute, she could get up with the crowd and lose Damien.
"I'll happily be your sweetheart."
"Never going to happen." Sometimes she wished she was a guy who could tell another to back away and be respected. She folded her hand over her waist. "Forget this conversation."
"Wow." Her eyebrows both raised as she shook her head. "You do know my name?"
"I should not have insulted you earlier. I'm sorry."
"Don't." Sorry echoed in her ear. If it was anyone else, she'd close her eyes, say a prayer and then wish him well. However Damien wasn't anyone else, and he had no idea. She finished her drink and then waved for the waiter to get another. Once she had her drink, she squared her shoulders and stared hard toward the now empty altar. "You didn't know I would walk in on your conversation about me earlier. You didn't know I remembered you at my father's house. And for the record, you say what you want about me. I don't care."
About the Author
USA Today Bestselling Author, Victoria Pinder grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She’s worked in engineering, after passing many tests proving how easy Math came to her. Then hating her life at the age of twenty four, she decided to go to law school. Four years later, after passing the bar and practicing very little, she realized that she hates the practice of law. She refused to one day turn 50 and realize she had nothing but her career and hours at a desk. After realizing she needed change, she became a high school teacher. Teaching is rewarding, but writing is a passion.
During all this time, she always wrote stories to entertain herself or calm down. Her parents are practical minded people demanding a job, and Victoria spent too many years living other people’s dreams, but when she sat down to see what skill she had that matched what she enjoyed doing, writing became so obvious. The middle school year book when someone wrote in it that one day she’d be a writer made sense when she turned thirty.
She’s always been determined. She is amazing, adventurous and assured on a regular basis. Her website is www.victoriapinder.com.
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
The Blood of a Rose Blitz
The convention had been long and tiring, and Fiona stifled a yawn. Then she caught the eye of the man in the elevator, the man whom she'd met just hours before, and giggled.
Date Published: February 2018
Jesse Fairlane is missing. Max Larkin and Special Agent Michaels are unsure if this is related to a recent case involving human trafficking or something else. On top of trying to locate his partner, Max has to make a decision as to whether he leaves Rockton to work with the FBI or stays to become captain at the local police department. As Larkin, Michaels, and the other detectives work furiously to find Jesse before it's too late, Max finds himself despairing they'll find her alive. He struggles to maintain his relationship with Veronica and trying to be a friend to Jesse's girlfriend, Melissa, all while following a maze of clues to Jesse.
The convention had been long and tiring, and Fiona stifled a yawn. Then she caught the eye of the man in the elevator, the man whom she'd met just hours before, and giggled.
“Long day, eh?” he said.
Jesse Fairlane is missing. Max Larkin and Special Agent Michaels are unsure if this is related to a recent case involving human trafficking or something else. On top of trying to locate his partner, Max has to make a decision as to whether he leaves Rockton to work with the FBI or stays to become captain at the local police department. As Larkin, Michaels, and the other detectives work furiously to find Jesse before it's too late, Max finds himself despairing they'll find her alive. He struggles to maintain his relationship with Veronica and trying to be a friend to Jesse's girlfriend, Melissa, all while following a maze of clues to Jesse..
She stared around, taking in the artwork on the walls, the deep pile of the carpet under her feet, and the shining wood of the doors in the corridor, as the man held his key card against the lock, buzzing them into his suite. The interior astounded her. He'd laughed when she had stoutly declared that she wouldn't go to his hotel room, and now she could see why. This was an entire apartment with no bed in sight to remind her of the things she refused to do on a first date. There were enormous plate-glass windows lording over stylish furniture. A big bowl of fruit sat on the counter of a well-equipped kitchen.
“Wow!” she said, unable to stop herself.
“Quite something, isn't it?” he said. “Glad I’m expensing this rather than footing the bill.”
He was a sales rep, he'd told her. Must be pretty good at his job to merit a hotel like this.
“So, Fiona Turner,” he said, eyes flicking down to the name badge that was still pinned to her chest. “Let me get you a drink. I'd say we deserve one, wouldn't you?”
She nodded and walked to the windows to look out over the glowing city below as he strode to the kitchen area. She heard the pop of a cork as she tried to locate landmarks below her. She felt the cool touch of glass against her hand, and turned to take it from him.
He stood next to her and they sipped while watching the city move toward slumber for the night. At times, she could feel his stare on her in the glass. Whenever she tried to catch him, he would take another sip to hide his eyes.
She wasn't sure when she knew that something was wrong. At first it was nothing, a little blurring around the edges of her vision, a slight dizziness when she went to sit down. Perhaps the wine was hitting her harder than she’d imagined. She shouldn't have skipped lunch to attend that talk. On the other hand, she thought, perhaps she was just dehydrated. She took the last sip of crisp pinot grigio in the stemmed glass. It was the last thing she remembered.
About the Author
Perhaps you wouldn't characterize the Finance Manager of your local automobile dealership as an Amazon best-selling author--until you get to know Todd Thiede. He has worked for the past decade at Elmhurst Toyota, but Thiede is in the driver's seat as the writer of a murder mystery series featuring his hero Detective, Max Larkin. "Time Killer," which Kirkus Reviews deemed "a fast-paced thriller" that will "keep crime and thriller fans wrapped up in its twisting plot, fast pace and memorable detective,", "Lies To Die For" (which reached No. 1 on Amazon in the "Serial Killer" category), Miss Me? (3rd in the series) and Slashtag (4th in the series) are available via Amazon Kindle.
Go to www.toddthiede.com for more info on Todd and his books.
Free with Kindle Unlimited
Free with Kindle Unlimited
Monday, February 26, 2018
Redemption Song Blitz
Date Published: July 2017
Publisher: Archway Publishing
Part Hero’s Journey, part Military Science Fiction, part Space Opera with just a touch of Fantasy thrown in for good measure.
A child of wealth and privilege, Small Snow Flower is a member of a highly intelligent spacefaring species called the Rynn. Although she is young and untested, she is given a trading ship to command by her father. But just months into her first voyage there is a mutiny, and Small Snow Flower finds herself marooned on a primitive planet, believing she will die alone.
Jeremy Blunt is a bitter old man. For fifty years, he’s mourned the death of his wife, cutting himself off from the world and living alone in a forest cabin, believing he will die alone.
But fate has other plans. It brings together these two lonely people in spite of their differences—age, experience, and species. Slowly but surely, the alien girl and the elderly human man find ways to work together. They must find the strength to change their destinies and those of their respective home worlds. This is the beginning of the Rynn-Human alliance.
In a story of fate, second chances, and redemption, an unlikely partnership forms between a young alien and an old human widower that will change the future of both their races.
The passenger door opened and a diminutive figure walked around to the driver side. She wore a pink hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled over her face and a long skirt. She walked over to Dierdre. There was a chirping. “Your hair is beautiful.” Said a pleasant soprano voice. “May I touch it?”
“You haven’t met too many black girls, have you, girl friend?” Dierdre replied. “We’re not fond of people touching our hair.”
There was a chirping. “You would be the first.” Came the voice. There was a chittering. “I propose a trade.” She said. “If you let me touch your hair, I’ll let you see my face.” There was another chittering. “I don’t think you’ve seen anyone like me before either.”
“That’s for sure.” Mel said under her breath. “If you do that, we’re gonna have to take them with us.”
Again there was a chirping. “I believe if I showed my face, they’d want to go with us.” The little figure said. “I believe they actually came out here to find us.”
Crystal looked at the tiny person and then the grainy image flashed through her mind. “If, if mind you, you are what I really, really, really hope you are, you’d have to shoot me to get rid of me.”
There was a chittering and then a chirping. Crystal felt as if she could almost make out, not meaning, but separate sounds in the apparent bird song. “We’d rather not shoot you.” The figure reached up and lowered her hood.
“Oh Lord Jesus.” DIerdre breathed
About the Author
Henry A. Burns has studied martial arts since he was 15, played in various Latin bands as a percussionist and just recently decided to retire and devote his energies toward writing. Redemption Song is his first novel in what is expected to be a multi book series.
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Date Published: November 2017
SALE: $.99 from February 14-28
Fledgling police sketch artist Piper Cooke has always been different.
Gifted with second sight, but cursed with a life of tragedy, she has survived the feral streets of Dixon and has triumphed over her troubled upbringing. Piper faces her biggest challenge yet, however, when her visions compel her to disobey police orders and send her right into the wicked grasp of a madman.
Her life should've ended back in the blood soaked suburban basement, but it didn't. Instead, the brutal trauma that should've been the end of her only makes her unique abilities stronger.
Years after her escape, a series of hideous visions force Piper out of hiding and back into the city that almost destroyed her years ago. Plagued by premonitions of doom, she finds herself compelled to track down Dixon's most twisted serial killer yet.
Follow Piper through a horrifically unsettling labyrinth of family secrets, corruption and the sickening workings of humanity’s darkest minds.
July 23rd 2012 12:35 pm
Dixon City - Suburbs
She had given up on the hope of surviving this.
Perhaps it was hours ago that the switch had been flicked in her brain, but it could have been minutes. It could’ve been days. Anything remaining of Megan’s sanity, that rational part of her that had the ability to form coherent thoughts had dissolved as quickly and completely as a sugar cube in a cup of scalding tea.
The only thing she knew now for sure was pain. It had taken over her mind, hand in hand with a kind of fear that she couldn’t have possibly comprehended before. It was a combination that no one survives to talk about.
Her world had been reduced to the basement she was being held in.
She had assured Megan that the dealer was legitimate. The house had seemed safe enough. Nevertheless, a nervousness had blossomed the moment they stepped off the bus, and it had continued to grow in her stomach with every step the two of them had taken to the address Beth’s new online ‘friend’ had given her.
“C’mon Megan. Don’t be a chicken shit,” Beth had scowled.
Beth was scary when she was mad.
She always had been. Her narrow eyes and wiry red hair gave her an off-putting look that she’d used to her advantage since childhood. Beth had practically dragged Megan up the cracked concrete path that led to the house, her freckled arms so much more powerful.
There had been a dog barking in the background, she could remember that much. For some reason, its yapping had sent warning signals off all through her body, only increasing the tension that was building steadily inside her.
Megan had known that they were risking it by skipping school to buy drugs in the worst part of town. She’d seen enough horror movies to know that this was how all immoral teenage girls were punished. Instead of knocking on the door of a drug house, she should’ve been in first-period biology. But she wasn’t.
She hadn’t wanted to be chicken shit.
Megan blinked at the paneling and matted green carpet that decorated her prison. Beth had escaped. Of course she had, she had always been the stronger one. Thick boned and fearless like some kind of suburban Viking.
It hadn’t come as a shock at all when, through eyes clouded with tears, she saw Beth begin to successfully loosen her wrist bonds. Her skin had torn from the rope, and the blood that coated her hands like red satin gloves eventually helped her to slide free.
Beth hadn’t looked back at her when she slipped through the basement window. Her face had been so transformed with fear and outright panic that she looked more like a wild animal than a human.
It had been when Megan helplessly watched the soles of Beth’s sneakers disappearing through the casement window that the rational part of her mind had broken.
Two girls never escaped. There was always one left behind.
There was always one set of parents collapsing with grief in the background while the survivor’s family turned their elated smiles to the news cameras.
Megan Coogan, who had willingly allowed Beth to cheat off her in school almost daily. Megan Coogan, who had lied to Beth’s parents so that their daughter could make out with some nameless boy in the dusty corner of a playground.
That Beth would carry on, finish school, get married, get a job, maybe even have kids.
Megan Coogan would never leave this basement.
The sound of footsteps on the creaking stairs sent a surge of adrenaline through Megan’s system, drowning out her thoughts and causing her limbs to go rigid. Breathing heavily, she listened to the wood groan as he moved slowly down the steps, as if deep in thought.
The door opened carefully, and he stepped in the room.
About the Author
E.M. Townsend is an incredibly talented writer who hails from the Great White North. This amazing wordsmith crafts intricate tales of horror and suspense that will keep you up at night. S. Prescott Thrillers has named E.M. Townsend as one of the hottest new novelists in the genre.
SALE $.99 from February 14-28
Saturday, February 24, 2018
A Miles Stevens Novel, Book 3
Date Published: February 15, 2018
It has been months since Miles Stevens, a time traveling CIA agent for the Department of Historic Intervention (DHI), has seen his former partner, Terri King.
Upon returning from his most recent assignment, Miles learns Terri and her new partner, Dr. James Brock, have been transported from 2050 and their offices in Langley, Virginia to thwart a bioterrorist assault on the 2032 Olympic Games in Sydney. A genetically altered chimera virus was used in the devastating September 1st attack, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths. It was never determined who was responsible, but AQIA, a terrorist organization from North Africa, was suspected.
Miles demands to join Terri and is transported to August 18, 2032. Terri is surprisingly cool to Miles’ return, having decided a life with a risk-taking CIA agent may be too stressful. Not giving up on their relationship, Miles gives her time and space.
The strong-willed Brock attempts to lead the investigation from Atlanta and win the support of Terri, but Miles has other plans. He follows his instincts to investigate a reported smallpox outbreak near Moscow, where clues mount and peril rapidly surrounds him.
Death, danger, and diversions lie ahead. Terri is torn between supporting Brock and following Miles to Moscow. With time running out, the CIA trio will need to come together if they are to stop the historic September 1st attack.
Other Books in the Miles Stevens Series:
A Miles Stevens Novel, Book 1
Years of unsuccessful nuclear arms negotiations in the Middle East had finally resulted in warring countries facing off with unthinkable destructive powers. Regional flare-ups had escalated and geopolitical dominoes had tumbled, finally leading to a horrific 48-hour interchange that erased cities and forever changed the region and the world.
The war was already in the history books when Miles Stevens and Terri King were sent 23 years into the past to relive a botched CIA mission -- a mission intended to prevent the 2027 Middle East War. They landed at O'Hare International Airport with no memory of who they were, who they left behind, or why they were there. Their memories were gradually restored by their CIA superiors as they orchestrate Miles and Terri's mission from their Pentagon offices in the year 2050.
Iranian subversives, acting alone, intent on fueling the war's progress, had been alerted to the couple's arrival, putting them in danger the second they landed in Chicago. In the coming months, Miles and Terri faced the challenge of daily survival, the challenge of intercepting the events leading to the war, and the challenge of what to do with their growing love that was two decades before its time.
A Miles Stevens Novel, Book 2
Coordinated cyberattacks were launched against the U.S. on May 8, 2020, destroying vast electrical grids of its largest cities, sending them into darkness and chaos. In the weeks and months that followed, thousands of citizens perished, the American economy collapsed, and gang law ruled. The source of these attacks remained a mystery.
Miles Stevens, a time traveling CIA agent with the Department of Historic Intervention (DHI), ended his last mission stranded in 2028, never knowing if his partner, Terri King, made it safely home to 2050. Before returning to learn Terri’s fate, Miles is given another DHI assignment--travel back to 2020, join the newly formed Cyber One counterterrorism team, and avert the May 8th cyberattacks.
From Cyber One headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, Miles and his team pursue the cyberterrorists to remote outposts in Russia and the Middle East. With the May 8th deadline looming, Miles Stevens once again races against time to alter history.
Year – Somewhere between 2020 and 2050
BODY AND MIND DETACH during journeys across time.
Einstein was the first to theorize such travel was possible, but it took more than 100 years after his death to put his theory into practice. Elaborate technologies were developed to convert mass into protons for the time-altering voyage, and then upon arrival, convert them back to their original form.
Protons can’t think, yet Miles Stevens firmly believed he had thoughts, or maybe dreams, during his trips from one decade to the next. Returning from his most recent mission, his vision of Terri King was vivid. He anticipated her greeting, arms extended, smile bright.
Without his body to limit what his mind imagined, everything seemed possible. Miles wondered what it would be like to be suspended indefinitely passing through time. He concluded the thoughts were euphoric, but thinking wasn’t as satisfying as doing.
Hope sustained Miles during his last mission: hope that Terri was safe and hope that they’d be reunited. The desperate look on Terri’s face as she was forced into the time capsule had never left Miles’ mind. Left alone two decades in the past, he could do nothing to save her. But Miles’ wait was nearly over. He was about to learn if Terri had made it home to 2050.
MILES HEARD THE DOORS of the time capsule snap open and felt the rush of fresh air filling the cabin. He squinted as his eyes adjusted to the florescent light of the reentry room.
He could see Dr. Jones, standing stone-faced outside the capsule door. Miles scanned the open space before him, but there was no sign of Terri.
It had been nearly a year since Miles had seen his former partner.
Where is she?
About the author:
A dog lover, blogger and author of several novels, D.R. (Donn) Shoultz hails from a small town in central Illinois. He and his wife Claudia have called North Carolina home for more than 20 years. Donn writes at their mountain retreat off the Blue Ridge Parkway where Claudia shares her editorial experience in shaping his novels, and where they both enjoy hiking nearby wooded trails with their dog, Milo.
Donn turned his focus to writing in the fall of 2010 following a 32-year career in corporate America that took him around the world. His ongoing writing projects include posting regular thoughts to his blog, submitting short stories to competition, and working on his next novel. Having recently finished the third book in the Miles Stevens series, GONE VIRAL, Donn has begun a murder mystery set in the foothills of North Carolina.
Donn’s short stories have received recognition in national writing competitions. Blending captivating characters with suspenseful plots, Donn strives to appeal to a broad range of readers. His books include:
• Corrupt Connection
• Better Late Than Ever
• Melting Sand – A Miles Stevens Novel #1
• Cyber One – A Miles Stevens Novel #2
• Gone Viral – A Miles Stevens Novel #3
• It Goes On – Short Story Collection #1
• Most Men – Short Story Collection #2
You can find Donn's books on Amazon and Goodreads, or go to drshoultz.com to learn more about his writing.
Friday, February 23, 2018
Birds of a Feather, Book 5
Paranormal Fantasy, Coming of Age
Date Published: February 2018
Publisher: FAB Books
Annie has secrets.
She takes a job as stable hand at Double H, but she's really there to let her unusual abilities help the group around Hawker Johns in their search for the man responsible for death and destruction - Cameron Strachlan.
Abuse victim. Murderer. Lost boy. The devil. Annie has more reason than most to hate the man, but that is a secret too.
It's a surprise to find Olly at Double H, and nothing about him is like she'd imagined. Olly is hard and angry, and his eyes almost as black as the tattoos on his neck. She knows immediately that she's looking straight into the eyes of the Reaper.
As they spend time together, the Olly she thought he would be slowly begins to show again, but there are still doubts at the back of her mind... What will happen when he finds out? Can he handle her secrets?
Reaper is the fifth and final book in the Birds of a Feather series, a young adult/coming of age series with paranormal elements, full of laughter, mystery, and romance.
Other Books in the Birds of a Feather Series:
Birds of a Feather, Book 1
Release Date: December 14, 2016
Wilder’s wonderful grandfather is dead, and so is her mother, but Grandpa Willy gives her one final gift in his will – the knowledge that her father is only her step-father.
Once she meets Hawker, the scary man who turns out to be her real dad, her life takes an unexpected turn. She finds out about a heritage she never knew she had, and secrets from the past are uncovered as she fights to save her part of the world from destruction.
And then there’s Mac, with his green eyes and a soft voice that flows through her like sweet honey. He’s there to help Wilder when she needs it the most, and as she struggles with how to fit into the group of people around her dad – having Mac in her life becomes more important with every bad thing that happens.
“Wilder” is the first in the Birds of a Feather series and a spin-off from the Dreughan trilogy. It’s set in modern time and can be read stand-alone.
Birds of a Feather, Book 2
Published: March 2017
Jiminella “Jinx” Sweetwater is a genius. She’s a scholar, an inventor, hardworking and loyal, and well known in the scientific circles around the University in Prosper City.
Being smarter than everyone else might seem like a good thing, but it isn’t. At least, it isn’t to Jinx who has two friends, a small condo, and no life.
After a fight with her best friend Wilder, it just gets worse. Someone breaks into her home and when her parents show up in all their hippie-like glory, Jinx has had enough and escapes to a small village by the sea.
Suddenly, Jinx finds herself involved in village life, living with the unpleasant Mrs. Fratinelli and trying her best to juggle all the things that seem to end up on her plate. And then there’s calm, cool and gorgeous Dante – Snow’s boyfriend, who seems to see right through the shields Jinx has put up around herself, straight into her mind.
Birds of a Feather, Book 3
Release Date: June 29, 2017
Life just keeps slapping Mary in the face.
She had it rough growing up, and when it finally looks like she’s getting her life firmly back on track, breaking up with her boyfriend starts a string of events that threatens to bring Mary to her knees.
Fortunately, there are good people in her life who will do everything in their powers to help her when she needs it. Mary’s girlfriends, Jinx and Wilder are there for her, and after she’s rescued from being kidnapped, Carson and Bo take her into their home, becoming the family she always wanted but never seemed to get to keep.
As the group around Hawker Johns hunt the men who wanted to trade Mary for the valuable crystal from the mountains, she slowly recovers. Then life throws her another few curveballs, and it looks like she’ll lose everything yet again.
Mary is resilient and used to restarting her life from nothing, but when it looks like she’ll also lose the man she loves, maybe the happy girl has just had enough?
Picture this is the third book in the Birds of a Feather series, a young adult/coming of age series with paranormal elements, full of laughter, mystery, and romance.
By Lena North
Release Date: October 24, 2017
Snow’s best friend is a bird. An osprey, to be specific.
Everyone knows Snow’s parents died a long time ago, and she has perfected her happy smile and girly giggle so no one suspects that she hides a darker side of herself deep inside. No one, except her bird – and Nick, who always seems to know how she feels.
Then Hawker Johns blackmails her into joining his covert group of protectors. The imposing sheriff from Norton sends Snow to the Islands to investigate Jamie Jamieson, one of her friends and a man she dates casually, and once the first fury has passed, she’s eager to go. Mostly so that she can come back and shove Hawker’s suspicions down his throat.
Things are not what they seem on the Islands, though, and when Snow has been shot at, almost drowned and fallen through the roof of a cave, she starts thinking about her life, and her past.
Then she suddenly finds herself in a situation where she has a tough choice to make. Will she follow her heart or the pull from her family and friends? And will she ever find peace with her past?
Black Snow is the fourth book in the Birds of a Feather series, a young adult/coming of age series with paranormal elements, full of laughter, mystery, and romance.
“Thanks for bringing lunch,” I whispered.
“Ma used to do stuff like this, all the time,” he replied.
I forced myself to keep breathing evenly and turned slowly.
“Yeah?” I said, hoping he would continue talking about her.
The others from Norton and the rest of his extended family were constantly chasing him to talk about what had happened, and I thought they were so incredibly stupid. The more they pushed, the deeper he dug in and refused, and I didn’t understand why they couldn’t see that. Snow and Jinx’ visit had been the last straw, and the huge fight they’d had in front of everyone ended in an impasse where they didn’t talk to each other at all. Now he’d brought his ma up himself, though.
Our gazes held, and slowly he relaxed.
“It hurts to talk about her,” he confessed.
“Of course, it does.”
“I miss her,” he murmured and closed his eyes.
“What was her name?” I asked.
When he opened his eyes again they were so full of pain that my own suddenly burned with tears, but he’d started talking and I pushed gently, hoping he’d be ready for it.
“I don’t know what you’re feeling. My parents are alive, Olly, so I can’t know what it’s like and I dread the day when I have to feel what you feel right now,” I said. Then I sighed, and went on, “But I lost my best friend a few years ago and I know what it felt like, so I know what grief is. And it’s not the same but –”
I cut myself off, remembering the feeling of helplessness and how afraid I’d been. My friend had been shot, and I’d feared I would be too. I’d been hiding since.
“It hurts,” he said.
“What was her name?” I asked again.
He didn't say anything at all and kept looking at me with wide, pain-filled eyes.
“They say a person dies three times,” I whispered. “The time of her death, when you put her to ground, and when people stop saying her name. You can’t change the first parts but you have the power to keep a bit of her alive, Olly.”
“Byrd Anna Maria Harper,” he said quietly and closed his eyes. “Most people called her Bee. My father called her Bebe when he thought no one heard, but to me, she was just Ma.”
“Was she funny?”
His brows went up but his face softened, and I slid my hand gently over his cheek.
“Yeah,” he said. “How did you know?”
“You are,” I told him.
“I think so.”
He chuckled and shifted until he was on his side. Then he told me about his mother, and how she'd had this theory that if you laughed at least once every day you would get fewer wrinkles and live longer. His father was a school teacher and had argued that there wasn't any scientific evidence to support her theory, but she'd insisted, and made sure he and his taciturn father laughed every day. Sometimes it had been silly jokes or practical ones, and sometimes she'd made them dance in the kitchen after dinner, doing the funky chicken until they howled with laughter. I'd known things about her in the same way I did about all of them, but I realized I hadn’t known her at all, just as I hadn’t known all of Olly, not for real, until I came to Double H.
We laughed as he told me about that part of her, and when he was done, he leaned over me.
“Thank you,” he whispered.
“You’re totally welcome,” I replied and he smiled like I knew he would.
His hand suddenly trailed up my side, in under both my jacket and long-sleeved tee, and the way his fingertips slid slowly over my ribs made me shiver a little.
“Um,” I said, knowing well what he was up to.
“Exactly,” he murmured against my neck as he moved his mouth up until he breathed softly into my ear. “You’re gonna be naked in a minute, Annie. Okay?”
About the Author
The proper way to put it here would probably be to describe how I love to play with our two big dogs, adore my fantastic daughters and how much I love to read.
Another way would be to use my imagination and then I would be a super powerful warrior woman, think Xena the warrior princess (though with less tacky clothes). Or when I think of it, maybe I'm actually more of a Hercule Poirot (sans the suit and moustache). Or maybe I'm like Aragorn, strong and cool and then I might get to meet Gandalf! Or I could be Bella's pretty cousin and snap Jacob up in a second (yeah, I'm so not team Edward), or wait, maybe I could be like one of them heroines in historical novels who swoon all the time. I've always wanted to swoon...
Well, I guess you get how my mind is working (or not working, some say).
Anyways, I like to write. Stories, adventures, romantic and happy stuff mixed up with sorrow and hardship, and bit of laughter here and there because the way I see it - life is way too short to go around feeling grumpy.