Thursday, April 30, 2020

Women Meditation and Power (R&R Book Tours Blitz Post)

WomanMeditation copy
Welcome to the blog tour for Women Meditation and Power by Liz Lewinson! Read on for book details, an excerpt, and a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card! 38247527
Women, Meditation, and Power Genre: Non-Fiction/ Women’s Studies Publication Date: January 7, 2020 (New Edition) Women are the power species on the planet. Why? Because life force or kundalini flows through women more strongly than in men. The primary aspect of the female person is power. The primary aspect of the male person is love and humility. Somewhere back in time, the roles got switched. Men in charge have unwittingly created a heavy, inflexible power structure that lurches towards destruction. Now is the time for the woman in all of us to up-end the confusion, unravel the deep-rooted lines of misunderstanding, and make it right. Add to Goodreads
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Women are the power species on planet Earth. We are the leaders, the strategists, the negotiators, the collaborators, the seers, the matriarchs. We are naturally excellent at experiencing inner stillness—the ultimate nexus and balancing center of life power. Women today are rising from thousands of years of repression. Women are shattering glass ceilings and previous perceptions of what women can and should accomplish. The women shattering glass ceilings are those who find a way to express their power and energy, fighting to achieve this all the way. They bring a peerless power and energy to their tasks. The adolescent girls of today are the leaders of tomorrow. But if their education is neglected, if they are given inappropriate knowledge about their own abilities and potential, then the results are disastrous for the planet. Girls in so-called liberated nations often face a crisis in their teen years. It’s when being sexually and physically attractive to boys or other girls often trumps becoming educated and powerful. Westernized teens, with all that built-in energy and power that come with a strong, young nervous system, often weaken it with destructive and unfulfilling sex, bullying, violence, drugs, and overfocus on what others are doing instead of building confidence in self. The result is a long confusion period, especially for women, in which it takes years to regain the state of energy and assuredness that was lost in the teen years. Some women never regain it and instead make poor choices that burden them for the rest of their lives. Regaining or understanding for the first time their full, unlimited power is, for most women, a journey of identifying and overcoming past restraints.
Purchase on Amazon About the Author image-asset LIZ LEWINSON is an award-winning author in biography and Buddhism. Her travels and career in technology and communications have allowed her to observe the inversion of the roles of women and men around the world. She speaks on the topics of women, meditation, and power to students, corporations, and community organizations. Liz Lewinson For your chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card, click the link below to enter! a Rafflecopter giveaway Other Books by Liz Lewinson Power of the Loving Man American Buddhist Rebel
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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Beautiful Legend

Alright y'all so if you have been on here before you know that I love this Indie a lot! Waverly Alexander has become one of my favorite people and authors over the past year. This is her second novel and while it is still an angsty college romance, it does NOT have any connection to her first book Broken Elite. I know kind of a bummer, but she is hard at work on book two for the Darlington Elite series. In the meantime, she put this steamy, angsty, small bits of thriller, romance novel for us all to enjoy. As usual I absolutely loved it, because she knows how to pull you in from the first chapter and keep you there. This is definitely meant for the 18+ crowd, because it has some sexual content, some violence, and moments of PTSD. So with that being said, let's get started shall we?

Kensington College Junior Addison is being forced to go out by her beautiful but super demanding roommate Laney. Addison and their sassy blue haired roommate Taylor would both rather stay home, but both agree to go. Addison and Taylor both grew up with pretty much no parents while Laney has very involved and caring parents. Laney convinces Addison and Taylor to go to the non college sanctioned rugby game. The team was more of a club since the university refused to allow it on the campus.

After the game, Addison and Taylor are waiting for Laney to finish flirting with pretty much every guy close by. Taylor's on the phone with a guy that can't seem to understand there was no chance of a second date. Addison looks at the photo of her and her adopted grey faced dog Remi on her home screen. Taylor points out a rugby player that is staring at Addison like he knows her, but she doesn't recognize him. Addison's body has the hum of familiarity coursing through it, but she is sure that she has never met him before in her life. She gets the feeling that he knows about the secret she has kept hidden for 13 years, but reminds herself that it is impossible.

Addison, Laney, and Taylor go to Duffy's diner for their favorite food as Laney promised. Taylor says the rugby starer's name is Joshua Travin and that he only shows up for the games according to one of the other rugby players. Joshua doesn't talk to anyone or hang out after the games. Addison tries to brush it off even though she could still feel her body react to him. The next morning Addison takes Remi for a walk to try to shake off the remaining anxiety from last night. The walk included the boathouse and crew practice area where Matt comes over to say hello. Addison talks to Matt while watching Remi closely since she doesn't do well with men after the abuse she received in her original home. While they are talking Matt pats Addison's knee which causes Remi to growl, but it's seeing Joshua standing near the boathouse behind Addison that makes Matt go silent. While trying to be casual to Matt, Addison tries to figure out why Joshua's stare heats her body up in a way not associated with fear. Joshua disappears as quickly as he appears, and Addison reassures Matt she can walk home alone just fine.

Four days later, Addison rushes to her job at the on campus gym after oversleeping. As she is unlocking the door, she sees Joshua again. She tries to brush off the emotional impact he has on her while turning on all the lights. Around noon Taylor stops by the check in desk to tell Addison that she's been talking to Nick, another rugby player Laney is currently interested in, because he is in her Psych class. Nick says that Joshua was too good to not be on an official team. Taylor goes out the front door to head to class which causes Addison to notice a guy standing in the doorway. He looks to be in his late 20's and doesn't have a backpack or anything. When he realizes she is staring at him, he pulls out his phone and tries to look busy as he walks out the door. Despite her paranoia trying to kick in, Addison brushes it off because not everyone unfamiliar was out to get her.

Addison finds it hard to argue with Laney the following weekend about going to the rugby team's bonfire. Part of her hoped to see Joshua again, but of course wouldn't admit it outloud to anyone. Laney, Addison, and Taylor arrive to the farmhouse that sits on 20 acres of land that the rugby Seniors and some Juniors all live in. The party is already in full swing, and there are a lot of drunk people. Addison is grabbing two beers for her and Taylor when Taylor walks away to call the cops for advice about how to deal with the "can't take no" dude. Addison stays at the party instead of going with her because the sight of a police car will just take her back to the night that still has her living in fear. Addison decides to people watch while sitting on a bale of hay when Ash, douche rugby player that Laney had a fling with, sits down next to her. He grabs onto Addison's arm and thigh roughly when she tries to walk away from him. Before she can make a small scene, Joshua throws Ash to the ground and punches him. Addison fights a panic attack while the guys wrestle until Joshua gently leads her to a bathroom inside the house.

Addison tries to calm down and process what just happened while Joshua cleans the blood off his face and hands. Once again the overwhelming feeling of knowing him comes over her and she doesn't fight when he gets close. Joshua kisses her and takes off her hoodie, which she doesn't normally let anyone do because of the scars on her stomach and collarbone. Addison doesn't care that Joshua is seeing her like this or that she is kissing a stranger until Taylor knocks on the door. Laney is having one of her classic drunken breakdowns since she got in a fight with Nick. Addison voices that she feels like she knows Joshua to him before he tells her to call him Josh. He goes with her to find Laney and Taylor. Matt and Josh help get Laney into Addison's car before she drives the three of them home leaving Matt and Josh standing there.

Once home whatever Laney drank was hitting her full force enough that it takes a little extra convincing and quick thinking to get her to bed. Taylor checks on Laney while Addison takes Remi out in the backyard on her leash and harness. Addison is thinking about the night her sister and mom were killed in an attack when she was 7 and how she was in witness protection ever since until Remi growls. Remi alerts Addison to a twig snapping just as she is reminding herself that the man wasn't after her. Addison rushes Remi inside before checking the locks on the windows and doors. When she gets to Taylor's room, she tells her what happened and Taylor reassures her that it is okay to do whatever is necessary to ease the anxiety. Her roommates may not know what happened, but Addison was super grateful for their love and support no matter what these past few years. Addison jokes about helping Taylor with her new stalker problem before they both head to bed. After getting dressed for bed, Addison gives Remi a treat and some love before they both drift off to sleep.

By 11 a.m. on Monday, Addison has seen Josh three times around campus. By the end of her last class for the day, she had been asked a bunch of times about the video of the fight between Ash and Josh that has gone viral. Josh was sitting outside the gym and Addison decides she needs to apologize for any trouble the video caused him. Instead Josh tells her that what happened between them couldn't happen again. Addison walks away calm on the outside, but feeling how Laney must feel when a guy turns her down.

Later while walking Remi, Taylor and Addison talk about Laney's obsession with documentaries about murderers. Addison thinks about how there is a couple out there about the man who killed what little family she had, but she has never watched them. She doesn't really remember what happened that night, and thinks that is probably for the best. They stop on the boathouse to let Remi rest and get a drink when Matt joins them. Taylor starts coughing because the older dude from the gym has lit a cigarette. Matt tries to tell him to put it out, but he is more of a hall monitor than a tough guy. The attention quickly turns to the guy who has been stalking Taylor, because the older guy manhandles him when Taylor starts getting mad. Just as Addison is about to get Taylor to walk away with her, Josh appears and calls the older guy Jeff. Josh tells Jeff to knock it off as Remi moves closer to Josh until she is touching his legs.

Addison lets Josh lead her and Remi off the boathouse to calm Remi down. Matt stays with Taylor, so Addison knew she was okay. On the grass Remi allows Josh to touch her, and even eats up the attention he gives her which shocks Addison. She tells him about how Remi is normally anti-man, but Josh chalks it up to the fact that he had a dog just like her until his mom gave it away because his dad was an asshole. They are joined by Matt as he drags Taylor down to the grass. Addison takes Remi's leash back from Josh who tried to calm her when she reacted to Matt. She walks off even more determined to protect herself from Josh now that it is clear he knows Jeff, and they both keep popping up everywhere.

Three days later Taylor and Addison have to go pick up Laney from the rugby game in the rain. They had used the excuse of the weather to not go, but the truth was neither of them was really up for it. Taylor drove there so Addison got out of the car to look for Laney. Just as she finds Laney standing in the pouring rain still arguing with Nick, Josh comes up behind her and asks her to talk. He leads her across the parking lot to under a tree. He gives her a dry hoodie from his backpack after stripping off her own soaked one. He kisses her before either of them can say anything, but they are interrupted by Jeff yelling for him. Josh calls her Addie which is a nickname that only her mom and sister used, and it causes her to question how she knows him outloud. When he doesn't answer Addison runs back to Taylor's car where Laney is already settled into the front seat.

The next morning Addison heads to work after Taylor reassures her about watching Remi. Addison called the vet Dr. Alexander because Remi wasn't eating like she normally did, but was acting like her normal self. Taylor had to wait for the cops to come anyway, so she could file a police report about her car's busted windshield. Taylor tries to brush it off as the neighborhood kids getting payback for her constantly breaking up their street games. Addison gets the feeling that it is something much more sinister because nothing else was damaged or messed with. Later on Addison is sorting Matt's homework out for him because he managed to print it all out of order while he complains about how things are different from Maine. Josh comes up to them as Matt is about to list another reason he misses Maine. Matt heads to class and Addison tries to brush Josh off. Instead Josh convinces her to follow him into the closet so they can "talk". After he tells her to stop walking around alone because it is unsafe, it quickly turns into another make out session. He even uses his fingers to bring her to her first climax ever, but the pleasure wave stops cold when she hears her boss outside the door. He tells her to kiss him so that he knows she wants him too, but she decides that she isn't going to keep playing his emotional game.

Two days later Laney and Addison are sitting outside the Blue Bird Tavern while Taylor is waiting inside for her cheese fries. They just left Dr. Alexander's because Remi was acting sluggish the past couple days. Addison knew Remi's time was coming to end soon, but the grateful look on Remi's face made the emotional pain Addison knew was coming worth it. Just as Taylor comes outside, Laney points out Josh standing with Jeff down the street. Addison convinces them to just get in the car and leave without a second glance back. Taylor and Laney try to convince her to give Josh a chance, but Addison just changes the subject instead as she drives.

The next day Addison picks up chicken nuggets for Remi on the way home, but Remi doesn't want them even though they're her favorite treat. Instead Addison grabs Remi's favorite blanket and snuggles with her on the living room floor to watch a Hallmark movie. Taylor joins them sometime later and explains that the insurance company is fighting her about replacing the windshield. The three of them finish the movie in comfortable silence before Addison takes Remi to bed. Addison falls asleep snuggling Remi until Laney's screams and a familiar male voice wake her up some time later. Addison starts to panic as she thinks the man who left her for dead at 7 years old was back. She finally makes it to the brightly lit living room to find Nick trying to fend off a hysterical Laney, and it instantly calms her. Taylor tries to coax Laney into letting Nick leave without another word, but Laney turns around and lashes out at Taylor and Addison instead. They were used to this kind of reaction, but it didn't mean it hurt any less when she pointed out that Addison was a 20 year old virgin and Taylor was being stalked.

During Remi's morning walk the next day, Addison realizes she needs to rush to Dr. Alexander's office sooner than planned. As Addison starts carrying Remi back home, Josh pulls up next to her. Too panicked over Remi, she explains the situation quickly before letting him load them both into his truck. Josh listens to Addison's directions as he drives and Addison gives Remi all her attention and love. Dr. Alexander immediately takes Remi's vitals when they arrive. Josh tries to comfort Addison, but she is too busy making sure Remi knows she is loved and perfect.

A short time later, Josh is driving Addison in what she assumes is home while she holds Remi's collar in her hand. When he parks, she realizes that he drove to the boathouse. He pulls her to him and holds her while she lets the tears she was holding in till she got to her bedroom out. When she finishes, Josh tries to hold her longer until campus security knocks on the window. It is the one that Addison has talked to a few times. He asks her if Josh is holding her against her will simply because it is out of character for her. Josh starts to argue with the guard until Addison says that Remi passed. The guard lets them off with a warning and an apology to Addison for her loss. Josh takes her home and they both admit that they've never felt this way about someone before. There's still a lot of unanswered questions between them, but Addison just wants to do what she wants for a change and kisses him.

Before things can get too heated or they can start a real conversation, Laney pulls Addison's truck door open. Taylor stands on the porch to more than likely to make sure Laney doesn't go crazy again. After seeing Remi's collar in Addison's hand and makes sure that she is out of the truck completely, Laney tells Josh about the party she is planning for this weekend. Josh tells Addison to call him if she needs anything before making sure all three of them are inside safely. Addison takes a shower and falls asleep on the couch after it is clear Laney and Taylor aren't going to grill her about Josh. Later Taylor wakes Addison up with a cold hand pressed on her mouth. Someone is trying to break in, and Taylor can't find her phone or get into Laney's locked bedroom.

Taylor and Addison crawl to Addison's room so they can get her phone and call 9-1-1. Addison tells the operator in a hushed but clear voice what is going on. When she realizes that she can't leave Laney to defend herself, Addison hands Taylor the phone with the instruction to not hang up before she crawls to Taylor's room. She finds Taylor's purse and dumps it out to find a card she can use to pick Laney's door open. Once the door is finally open, Addison sees Laney's window is busted and can smell blood. She goes back to Taylor who is walking down the hallway towards her, and takes the phone back. She tells the operator about Laney missing and what she found in the room just before the cops show up and bust down the front door. One officer leads Taylor and Addison outside while the other search the house. Addison doesn't have a panic attack, and she chalks it up to her hyperfocus on keeping Taylor and Laney safe. Taylor and Addison tell the officers about everything odd that lead up to the botched break in. Addison even gives a quick rundown about what happened to her mom and sister all those years ago just in case it was relevant. More cops show and find Laney who needs an ambulance due to blood loss.

Taylor and Addison are in the waiting room at the hospital. The doctors took Laney back 20 minutes ago, and they hadn't been given an update. Addison decides to tell Taylor what she remembers about the attack that took her mom and her sister, because Taylor needed to hear it. Addison knows that she would never use any of this information against her in the future. Taylor listens patiently and tells her that now she understands more why Addison is the way she is, but makes it clear that she still loves her. Later in Laney's hospital room, Taylor and Addison are trying to relax a little when an orderly leads Jeff into the room. Jeff used the ruse that he was Addison's husband since there was a family only restriction in place since there wasn't a cop to guard the room. Jeff tells her to go see Josh, because the hospital banned him from coming to the room. Jeff stays in the room with Taylor who is too tired to argue.

After a kiss and a hug that brings Addison so much, she tells Josh about what happened while putting on his sweatshirt. Taylor comes out saying that the doctors want to release Laney and the cops are saying they could go back to the house. Taylor tried to convince Laney to get a hotel room, but she isn't hearing it. Addison says she'll come in and try to help convince Laney. Josh says he will come by their house after he stops by his. Jeff walks with Josh to the truck once both the girls were back inside the hospital. Addison takes Laney and Taylor home before going to get Laney's meds and some groceries. She comes back to find Jeff and Josh working on the repairs to the window and doors. They even added a deadbolt to the front door.

Laney lashes out at Taylor and Addison for getting so much attention from boys even though she was the one that got hurt. They aren't sure how to respond, so they just let her vent because they know she is hurt and been through a lot the past couple days. Addison remembers she needs to pick up Remi and bury her, so she tries to go alone. Jeff makes it clear that he isn't done doing repairs, and stays with Taylor. Addison says she'll pick up pizza on the way home. Josh tells her that he is coming with because he doesn't want her to leave his sight after what just happened.

Josh helped Addison bury Remi in the special spot Dr. Alexander lets her use since Addison doesn't own any of her own land. When Josh asks, she tells him there are seven dogs in total that she has rescued and buried here. He asks her to tell him all about them. They go to pick up pizzas before heading back home. Taylor goes to bed after eating and making Jeff pinky promise they were safe. Jeff leaves to handle some business even though it is 10 o'clock at night. Josh stays with Addison mainly because she knows she won't sleep if she asks him to leave. She starts to tell him about all the dogs she has adopted, but falls asleep on the second one. Josh holds her all night.

What will happen between Josh and Addison? Why does he seem so familiar to her? Who is behind the break in? Will Addison ever reveal her past to Josh and learn his?

I know that is not the usual spot I would normally stop in, but this book is less than 200 pages and what happens next would spoil the ending. Which as you should know by now is one thing I am to not do. Like I said I absolutely loved this book, and there was a couple surprises that I didn't expect. This is classified as an angsty romance, but Waverly definitely added in a couple thriller aspects. I am super proud of her hard work and think she is an absolutely rockstar! If you simply must add this amazing Indie novel to your personal collection, be sure to head over to my page:

Blood of the Assassin (R&R Book Tour Blitz Post)

Blood of Assassin copy
Welcome to blog tour for Blood of the Assassin by Bill Brewer! We've got an excerpt to read and a fantastic giveaway -- A $25 Amazon Gift Card (Open Internationally), so be sure too read on!
Blood of the Assassin (David Diegert #2) *Can be read as a standalone Publication Date: March 10, 2020 Genre: Thriller/ Action-Adventure David Diegert is ensnared into serving Crepusculous, a secret society that controls the economy. In spite of his reluctance, Diegert is coerced into completing deadly missions in which the stakes keep getting higher. Set up to take the fall for killing a target of immense importance, his fragile world falls apart. Betrayed by Crepusculous, he becomes a fugitive sought after from all sides. With fast-paced writing and intense action, this installment of the David Diegert series is ready to blow you away. Available on Amazon!
“The target’s name is Hans Klemmler. He’s an executive at Zeidler-Roche, a company that contracts with the US Department of Defense to handle communications. He’s selling encryption codes on the black market. Posing as the front person for a Pakistani customer, I’ll be meeting him to pay him in cash. I’ll be dressed in traditional Pakistani attire, covered head to toe in order to facilitate infiltration. The hit will take place in the meeting room, and then I must be extracted.” “We’ll dupe them. We’ll leave that counterstrike team with no idea how they lost us.” Handing Diegert a sheet of photos, Fatima continued, “Blevinsky’s mole in the CIA provided us with these photos of operatives who are tasked with being active in Frankfurt tomorrow.” Reviewing the photos, Diegert noted two women and three men. The women both looked to be in their twenties, one blonde, the other brunette. The guys were a wider range of ages. The oldest looked to be in his fifties, with gray hair and a beard. The other two were in their twenties or thirties. One had dark-black hair and dark features. The last guy had a thick, athletic neck, shoulder-length blond hair, and a very piercing gaze for an ID headshot. Diegert folded the photos, tucking them away. He felt even more confident now that he could identify the CIA by sight.
About the Author image-asset
Bill Brewer is a member of the Faculty of the College of Health Sciences and Technology at RIT where he serves as the Director of Exercise Science within the Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition. His areas of instruction include Anatomy & Physiology as well as numerous courses in Exercise Science.
Bill is a family man, happily married and the proud father of a son and two daughters. He lives in the South Wedge of Rochester NY. and loves to find outdoor adventure in the Adirondacks and in the Frontenac region of Ontario, Canada.
Bill Brewer Books Giveaway: For a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card, click the link below! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Aroha (R&R Book Tours Blitz Post)

Huge congratulations to author, L.C. Conn on the release of her epic conclusion to the One True Child Series, Aroha! To celebrate, the entire One True Child series is on sale! Read on for more details and a sneek peek at chapter one!
Aroha ebook
Aroha (One True Child Series) Publication Date: April 27th, 2020 Genre: Fantasy Aroha, born of the Universe, needs her godmother’s help. Danger is once more swirling around Claire and her family as Chaos seeks domination over the world. The continuing quest to protect them all will take them on a journey around the world, discovering things about themselves of which they had no prior knowledge. But will it be enough to finally defeat Chaos in the battle that will decide all? Now Available!
Chapter One
As she stared out of the kitchen window drinking her coffee, Claire Drummond was feeling a little pensive. There was something happening up at the stones that sat on the hill behind the cottage, hidden away in a valley in the highlands of Scotland, her adoptive home. For days now she had felt the changes slowly emerging and spreading out to encompass its surroundings, including the old house in which she now stood. If she were asked how to describe it, Claire honestly did not think she could give a coherent answer that anyone would be able to understand. It was just a feeling. Claire and her husband, Matt, now lived in the house that had been the home of his mother and grandmother. They split their time between Glasgow ‒ where they both worked at the university ‒ and the small hidden valley. But the cottage always felt more like home to her. Having been born and raised in New Zealand ‒ which Claire still loved fondly ‒ Scotland was where she felt she belonged and needed to be. There was a connection to the land, especially the valley, that she had never felt anywhere else. Reflecting back over her life, she was in awe at how much it had changed since she had discovered the beginnings of her Abilities at the age of seventeen. The many Talents that were once buried deep inside had grown from the initial two: Hide and Flight. Claire had been born into a very special group of people; so too her husband and their children. Her studies in the library in the outbuildings of the farm had revealed a rich history and insight into this group, more than she could ever have hoped. Claire and her family were descended from an ancient race of people, the first to live in these lands, and created by the Coimheadair. These people had openly used their Abilities until it was necessary to hide them away, as the rest of the world came to their shores. Claire had read with fascination the references to the Coimheadair, the Guardians of the lands, the creators of this world and, now, a new name she had discovered: Ancient Ones. She had just finished reading an account of an old creation story that had fascinated her and was still wondering if it were true or just some fanciful way of explaining how things had come to be. The Coimheadair were real – of that she was certain; she had seen and spoken to them herself. Claire had emerged from the library with new wonder and, as always, she looked up to where the two hills joined behind the house. The large upthrust of rock was clearly visible and standing guard as it hid the stones, marking where the brook started with the spring at the top and tumbling down the rocks into the length of the valley. She placed the empty mug down on the bench and looked at the brook once more. It sparkled under the weak winter sun that had managed to push its way through the clouds. According to the story it had been opened up by an Ancient One to give water and life to the family of people who would guard the stones. Before she knew what she was doing, Claire was out of the house and flying through the air, finding herself already halfway up the hill. She rose up and landed carefully beside the spring. It burbled and bubbled up from the depths under the hill, tumbling down the first few rocks and disappearing over the edge. Kneeling down she plunged her hand under the cold water and lifted it to her lips. It tasted sweet and crisp. Claire stood and slowly, almost hesitantly, made her way around the guarding rock. They stood as they had done since the beginning of time, tall and straight; they were dark pillars, with only the clinging lichen giving any hint as to how old they really were. The standing stones still called strongly to her; she could feel their vibrations and the anticipation of her touch. She felt the energy swirling around and inside them as they reached out for her, pulling her closer. They had always healed and calmed Claire in her times of need. Now she reached out her hands that seemed to have aged since the first time she had touched the stones. The energy immediately raced through her fingers and into her body; it filled her up and she felt revitalised. The energy surged and Claire felt the stones searching, seeking more of her. The feeling frightened her. With great effort she pulled her hands away from the dark stone. Always she was wary of touching them for too long, afraid of being lost to them. She walked around the large stones on the outside, touching each one briefly as she went. This time as she walked it was different. The peace she normally felt was interrupted by voices. Faintly the murmuring came to her as if carried on a breeze from far away, and she frowned as she tried to hear them, only for it to slip away each time, just as she thought she could make out what they were saying. Reaching the entrance stones, she stopped in the gap. Very rarely did she step inside the circle. The last time had been with her family when Aroha, her niece, had been given the blessing of the Coimheadair of the north and south. It was also when Claire had pulled evil from Aroha that had lain hidden away in the depths of her soul, something she had inherited from her great-grandfather. Stepping through the entrance Claire made her way to the centre of the circle. She stood and looked around her. The change she had felt grew and increased in intensity. It was urgent now. She wanted to turn and leave, it was expectant and weighed heavily on her, holding her in place. From around the rocks a procession came, seven beings in all, dressed in dark hooded cloaks that covered them from head to toe. Their faces, hands and feet were concealed under the heavy robes. They entered the circle in single file and arranged themselves around her, standing in the gaps between the large stones. Claire did not fear them; she knew they were the Coimheadair. “Greetings to the One True Child,” they called in unison. “My greetings to the Guardians of these lands,” she replied. “Carling,” One of the figures stepped forward, greeting her with the name she had been told was hers. “You once asked that we give you an explanation of what has happened to you.” “I remember. It was shortly before I disposed of Marcus’s remains,” Claire said, nodding. “It is now time that you knew everything, Carling. That you were made aware of who and what you truly are. The many lives you have lived down the ages have been hidden from you, your actions and deeds only hinted at and drawn on when those skills were needed. You are so much more than just a wife, mother and scholar. You are the Protector, the Staff and Sword of Order. Your spirit born from two who stand here and sent out into the world to guard against the darkness.” “I don’t understand. What do you mean, ‘born from two who stand here’? I knew my parents. Is part of them still with me in my mind?” “We know, we helped them be there to guide you and love you,” the figure said gently. “The time for your education to begin is now, Carling. It is time for you to come into your full potential in order for you to act as Guide and Protector to the Ultimate One, to help her achieve her goal. It has been written in the Book of Destiny and cannot be erased.” “The Ultimate One is Aroha, our god-daughter?” Claire asked, seeking confirmation to what she already suspected about her niece. “Yes, it is she that the world has been waiting for. The Universe has sent her daughter to us.” “What is the task that lies ahead of her?” Claire asked, feeling anxious for her niece. “That will be part of your education,” another cloaked figure said in a deep male voice. Claire looked at each Coimheadair that was present; they all stood upright, taller than her. Never once had she glimpsed what was hidden in the depths of those cowls. “When does my education start?” she asked them. “When Galen arrives.” A third figure stepped forward, referring to Matt’s true first name. “He will need to be with you. You need to draw on his strength and his love as it has always been between you. That is the reason my son was born.” “That is tonight,” Claire said quietly, biting her lip a little. “It is the reason we called you up to the stones. There is so much you must learn, so much you must understand and not one piece can you doubt or reject. The writings in the library are all true, Carling. They were made so that you could read them now, to prepare for tonight. We cannot lie; it will be hard on you, and maybe a little painful. But the time is coming when you need to use everything you have learned over all of your lives to survive and protect Aroha.” Yet another figure spoke now, in a woman’s voice this time. “You have told me in the past that you are the Coimheadair, the Guardians. But you are so much more, aren’t you?” she asked them. “We are, Carling, and so are you,” the first figure said. “We must leave now and will meet you here tonight. You will know when it is time. Galen is not far away.” Slowly the host of beings began to file out of the entrance to the stones and Claire was left in the middle as she watched them disappear around the rocks. All she could hear was the wind as it wound around the stones and the lonely, haunting cry of an eagle on the wing, high up in the cloud-strewn sky above. Claire made her way back down the hill, taking her time as she pondered on the Guardians’ mysterious words. The texts she had been deciphering came to mind and she flicked through the pages in her mind. It was part of the Abilities she had acquired – understanding their ancient language. It was knowledge that she had shared with her father-in-law and with his help she had made great inroads into the myriad volumes in the family library. Walking around the house to the front she saw a car making its way up over the rise in the track that led to the ford and the main road. She waited by the door of the cottage for it to arrive and smiled broadly as her husband got out of the car. Claire ran to him and flung her arms around his neck. Matt Drummond was tall; his dark hair now showing traces of grey and the beard he had grown was now almost completely white. He was still the most handsome man to her, still so full of life and love for her. Claire clung to him. “Hey, what’s up?” he asked, pulling away. He placed his hands on the side of her face, leaned down and kissed her gently. He could always tell when something had happened. “Just when I thought I was free to live my life, they called me back,” she told him. “They said… They told you that you were free.” She could see the agitation growing in him. His hands dropped from her face and he stepped back from her embrace. “We have to be at the stones tonight. Apparently, I have to finish my education and I get to learn who I am.” “But we know who you are. They told you that your tasks were done!” Matt said, a little forcefully. He reached out and took her hand. They walked together into the house and headed to the kitchen, which always felt warm and comforting. The traces of Matt’s grandmother were still there, and Claire had never tried to erase them. “They want me to guide and protect Aroha as she faces her own task,” Claire informed him. “This is not fair, Claire,” Matt growled. “You have already done so much for them. You have done everything they asked of you, and it almost destroyed you. They ask too much!” The deaths of Jack and his father Marcus had affected her greatly, as had the ordeals that Marcus had put Claire and their family through. They were things that they had not spoken of for years; the memories were still too painful, and they had actively sought to suppress them. She leaned up against the bench and looked out of the window up to the hill. Matt came up behind her and put his arms around her waist, his lips seeking the spot between her neck and shoulder. “They want so much from you,” he whispered to her. “I fear they want your life, that you will leave me behind. I can’t live without you, Claire. I love you.” Claire turned in his arms and wrapped her own around him. “I love you, too. I couldn’t have done what I did back then without you, without knowing how much you love me and feeling it within my heart. I still feel the rose that you created for me; it still surrounds my heart and protects me. It fills me with love and hope every day.” “That is not just my love, but everyone’s.” “But the rose and dewdrop from your tear is from you. It is the source of my strength and my love.” “I guess we must go, then, and find out what they want,” Matt said, seeming resigned to the fact. “I’m pleased that they want me there too. In the past they have kept me in the dark and I’ve been floundering around trying to help you.” “I know they have. I will make sure they include you in this; you have every right to know. Our lives are shared, we are one,” she told him and kissed him again. They stood in the centre and waited. Inside the circle it felt warm; the wind and rain that blustered in the darkness beyond the stones did not affect them. Matt clasped her hand in his and was growing impatient. Claire turned to face him, her arms going about his waist as she drew him into her. He looked down at his wife and smiled, his bright blue eyes sparkling in the fleeting moonlight and showing the love he felt for her. He reached up and pushed her blond hair away her face and kissed her. There was no need for words, they had been together for twenty-eight years and they knew each other too well. The connection between them ran deep inside their minds and was unbreakable. Claire rested her head on his chest and closed her eyes, taking comfort from his arms and his presence. Memories of their times at the stones came floating up and she smiled at the ones that meant the most to her. “Claire,” Matt said, softly bringing her out of her memories. Pulling away from the warmth of his body reluctantly, she watched the Coimheadair enter the circle. Each figure took their place once more in the gaps between the large stones and faced the couple. With increasing nervousness Claire waited for the Guardians to begin. “Greetings to the One True Child, daughter and sister of the Sentinels, Staff and Sword of Order, Guardian of the Stones and wife of Galen the Protector,” one of the hosts proclaimed, as he stepped forward from his place. “My greetings to the Guardians of the lands,” Claire said. “Greetings to Galen of the Boar, Protector and husband of the One True Child,” another said, moving forward. “Greetings to the Guardians of these lands,” Matt said. “That is a lot of titles and some I have never heard before,” Claire spoke to the first. “The time for all knowledge is now. What once was hidden and kept from you, will now be laid out and revealed to you, Carling,” he replied “Before we begin, there is something I must ask,” Claire said, her hand still clasping that of Matt’s. “If it is within our Abilities to grant it to you, Carling, then we shall,” the first Guardian told her. “I ask that the knowledge is also passed on to Galen,” she requested, using her husband’s real name. “He has a right to know what I do, we share everything, and we are one.” “My son shall know what you do as far as your joined history together. But there is still knowledge that my son will not be able to comprehend or understand. I do not intend to insult you, Galen, but some of the knowledge is specific for Carling to do with her Abilities,” the second Guardian replied. “I understand, Guardian,” Matt inclined his head. “I thank you, Guardians.” Claire bowed her head to them. “Carling and Galen, it may pay that you sit. I fear that the knowledge will be weighty and hard for you.” Yet another figure spoke with a gentle feminine voice. The couple sat facing each other, legs crossed, and hands held together. Their knees were touching, and Claire couldn’t tell if it were her hands that were shaking or Matt’s. She gave him a small smile of encouragement and closed her eyes. The Guardians’ chanting started slowly and quietly, rising in tempo and volume. Some the words Claire understood and recognised as a blessing. The words then formed a request from a higher being than the host gathered, to grant knowledge to the couple. The pressure inside her mind increased as she saw her beginnings here in the stones. Claire witnessed her birth from a great being clothed in sunshine yellow, surrounded by others in multiple hues. Lights under their skin swirled as a storm raged overhead and around the stones. The scene shifted before her, showing Carling as a child with golden hair, her small hand clasped in that of a tall boy with bright blue eyes. Claire recognised the spirit of her husband. They had been destined for each other from the moment of her conception. Deeds played out before her, travels and people. Marveling as she recognised the spirits of so many, linking them with those she knew in this life. They had followed her down through the ages to be at her side, to support and love her. So many were there her mind began to rebel at the enormity of it and a flash of pain seared through her. “Peace, Carling. Accept it,” a gentle voice called to her. It was familiar and she relaxed under its smooth tones. The imprisonment of Chaos was before her. The crystal cave and its bright light she understood. Order was still standing guard over its brother, who was bound to two large pillars of pure clear crystal that pushed their way up through the floor of the cave. The scene changed quickly. She saw the lives of her children and that of her husband, the love she felt for her ultimate parents, and the Guardians. She saw them once more transform into the seven great trees to stand guard around the sacred lands. Another life rose to meet Claire. Another called Carling. The same in every single way. The house which sat over the water, flames leaping from the thatched roof and the roar that frightened the small child, the fire that claimed her family. The scene changed and once again she saw the spear as it pierced her grandmother, the blood and the sound of her cries. The man who had taken her and who wanted to possess her. The hazel eyes, the face the same as the Marcus Claire had known, only younger. She saw the evil begin in him. She saw the great fire she had caused at the Roman fort and the final battle. Galen killing the man, the first Marcus, as he cried out for him to do so. The darkness had not fully possessed his soul; there was a part that was still human and capable of love. Claire also understood where that love had come from: the Guardians. The aftermath of the great fire and the life as she lived it with Galen with their children on the side of the mountain. The broch she recognised, the little village she knew, and had helped to rediscover, where she had dug the stones from the earth with her own hands. The pendant Matt had found, with the image of a boar, the one she had once worn at her throat, the work of her husband Galen. It all came to her and she smiled at the memories. Other lives she had lived: in the area around Loch Tay; some later on, further afield in America. She saw the lines of her children. Galen and her offspring spread far and wide across the world, so many now. One she recognised and she stood before its spirit – that of Maddison, her brother Tony’s first wife. She saw her own home. The small settlement in the valley in New Zealand. The stones as they had once stood at the head of the gully, green stones from the ground, polished and gleaming in the southern sun. She felt the Sentinels of the south as they gathered there, joining their energy to that of the north as they imparted all their knowledge to her. With the memories finished, it was now time for the truth. In the darkness of her mind, in a small corner, where the glow from the crystal that was the facilitator for her Abilities could not reach, she found herself. It was there that Claire tried to centre herself and accept the new memories. From the shadows of that corner came another to stand in front of her. Identical to herself in every way except for golden points of light which danced and swirled under her skin. Her hair was the same, her eyes the same shade of blue. Dressed like one of the Sentinels she smiled at Claire. “We are one,” she said. “I take it you are the one I call Crystal?” “I am. It was necessary for the Sentinel side of us to manifest itself in such a way. It was too early for us to understand and accept it. Our first life showed us that the human side would take a little convincing.” “This is what the Sentinels look like?” “It is. They were born of the light of Order, although for ourselves we were born from the bodies of Yellow and Blue.” “This is a lot for us to take on, Carling,” Claire said to her twin. “It is, Claire. There is more – the Abilities that we used in our first life must now be released. It will be painful as our mind grows to accept them all. To do this, Claire, we must wake from here and open ourselves up to the Stones. Do not be afraid of losing ourselves to them, they will not absorb us. The energy we have felt inside the stones is that which has been stored for us, to draw on at this moment.” “We shall trust in the knowledge that is stored in your side of our spirit.” Claire told the glittering being. “Are we ready?” “We are ready,” Claire nodded and opened her eyes. Matt was sitting watching her, still clasping her hands in his own. His bright blue eyes widened as he came to terms with his own history and that of his wife. “The time is now, Carling,” one of the male Sentinels intoned. “Open yourself to the stones and take the knowledge that is yours. Use it well and protect the world and the Ultimate One. The task is yours to take on and once more we ask you to be the Staff and Sword of Order.” “I accept the task,” she told them and turned to Matt. “I must do this, Galen, it is the reason I was created and born.” “I understand, Claire. And where you go, so do I, as your support, love and protector.” “We cannot touch you, Carling, while you are communing with the Stones. This task is for Galen to support you. You must hold her onto the stones, my son, and do not let her release until it is time.” “I understand, my Ancestor,” he nodded to the Sentinel. “I’m ready, Galen,” Claire told him, and he walked with her to the largest of the stones. Standing in front of it and feeling very small in comparison, Claire could sense the knowledge already reaching out to her. She raised her hands and placed them on the flat hard surface and found it warm to the touch. It vibrated with energy as it started to impart knowledge, releasing all the Abilities and so much more. In her mind a bell began to toll, it was a sound she had heard before at the stones and the understanding of where it came from washed over her. The Universe herself was giving Claire her blessing. When Claire was first granted access to some of her Abilities, she had trouble controlling the influx of information. It was the same feeling she was now experiencing. Everything around her was blocked out, including the feeling of Matt holding her. “Let it in and do not try to control it. Accept it,” the calming voice told her. “We are trying to,” Claire replied gritting her teeth and she forced herself to relax, and the pressure eased some. Beads of sweat appeared on her brow as she concentrated on the knowledge. Her body shook with the force and weight of it. Matt held his wife tightly and was amazed at the capacity she had. He noticed small points of lights flickering to life just under the skin of her hands. They spun and swirled as they made their way slowly up her arms. Looking around at the Sentinels who stood guard over them, he was concerned and sought their guidance. “The side that has been hidden from her, she is now accepting, my son. Keep her there, the time is not right to release her,” the Guardian reassured him. “What are they?” “They are the lights of the Universe. When Order created us, he took the light from his own body, the light that was created from the explosion of the old world and split it into its many facets. We are those facets. A rainbow of colours to stand guard over this world and protect it from the darkness. Carling’s light is purer than ours, her light is greater. It burns brighter and the Abilities she has been granted by our Mother Universe far exceeds our own. She is a gift from the Universe to help bring back balance. Chaos was never meant to be only darkness, the Universe created Order from Chaos’s destruction to bring balance. But unfortunately, it never came to pass. The great plan of Carling was only the beginning. She was always meant to be a tool to be honed and used to prepare and protect the Ultimate One. Aroha is meant to replace Chaos and Order. The balance shall be returned when she has banished them.” “And what is to become of Claire when it is over?” Matt asked with a great fear beginning to grow inside him. “It will be decided on the day of the banishment. We cannot see the outcome. Carling, when she does pass, will join us and take her rightful place with the Sentinels, at our side to continue our work. This has been seen.” “So, I will lose her…?” He looked at Claire. The love he had for her was written clearly on his face, and the pain of knowing they would be separated from one another. “We cannot see that,” another spoke gently. “But you said…” “Yes, it is written in the Book of Destiny, but we cannot see what becomes of either of you,” she told him. The lights that had started underneath the skin on Claire’s hands were now spreading faster up her arms. They pushed their way with a surging force, advancing and then retreating a little until Matt saw them reach under the pushed-up sleeves of her jacket. They emerged at her throat and he could see them seeking out the rest of her body. The moment they reached her face she grimaced in pain and he almost pulled her off the stone. “A little longer, my son.” A thin, bony hand was raised over Claire’s head and a spark of light jumped from the hand to Claire, like a little piece of golden lightening. The Guardian pulled back and held the hand under its robe. The others stood their ground, waiting for the moment when all knowledge had been passed onto Claire. Matt could feel her tremble under the pressure, and she began to weaken. He held onto her, holding her in place. The weight of her body slightly pushing him off balance as he tried to adjust. The lights were now rushing through her body, streaking and pulsating like a meteor shower in the heavens. Under his hands he could feel her racing heartbeat as she absorbed all that she should be, and it became a part of her. “Now, Galen.” One of the gathered hosts placed a hand on his shoulder and gently pulled him back. Claire’s hands released their hold on the stone, and she collapsed into his arms. Matt gently lowered her to the ground and cradled her, smoothing the damp hair from her face. Claire’s eyes flickered opened and the lights had even invaded the soft blue of her iris. They flashed for a moment before disappearing and she focused on his face. “Claire,” he said softly to her. “Galen, my Galen. So long have we loved,” she said in wonder as her golden laced hand reached up to his face. “And we shall continue forever more,” he promised as he bent and kissed her lips.
About the Author L C Conn - Author Photo L.C. Conn grew up on the outskirts of Upper Hutt, New Zealand. Her backyard encompassed the surrounding farmland, river, hills and mountains which she wandered with her brothers and fed her imagination. After discovering a love for writing in English class at the age of eight, she continued to write in secret. It was not until much later in life that L.C. turned what she thought was a hobby and something fun to do, into her first completed novel. Now married, L.C. moved from New Zealand to Perth, Western Australia, and became a stay at home mum. While caring for her family and after battling breast cancer, a story was born from the kernel of a dream. The first book of The One True Child Series was begun, and just kept blooming into seven completed stories.
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Monday, April 27, 2020

Author Interview with Sarah Mello

Alright so if you haven't figured it out by now I love my Indie authors! This beauty right above is the author of the wonderful YA novel Westcott High, and I absolutely loved it! I have also gotten to know Sarah as she started the journey of promoting her first book that included a photo shoot with an amazing cast! We talked more as we realized we lived only a few hours apart! So let's dive in shall we?

Q: What is your name and where do you live?
A: Sarah Mello, Charlotte NC

Q: Are you an Indie Author or do you work with a publishing company?
A: Indie

Q: What genre(s) do you write?

Q: What made you want to become a writer in the first place?
A: My twelfth grade English teacher made such an impact on me—both academically and personally. She was the reason I fell in love with words and writing. She told me that I’m a writer, but after high school I stopped writing entirely. Over the years I always said I wanted to write a book someday—and when I finally decided to—she was the first person I thought of. I’m so happy to have known her. She changed the way I viewed storytelling.

Q: Do you work a regular job in between books?
A: Yes! I’m a personal assistant!

Q; How many books have you published?
A: One! (It's an amazing book!!)

Q: How many books do you have in the works right now?
A: Two! (Super excited to see what she has in the works!!)

Q: What was your hardest scene to write so far?
A: Most definitely the two-part Christmas Gala chapter from Westcott High 2. Every single gala scene was particularly difficult to write for many reasons.

Q: How many books do you have that are not being currently worked on, but are half-written or complete but unpublished?
A: 1!

Q: Do you have a series developing?
A: Yes!

Q: Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
A: I think it’s important that each Westcott book is a stand out. They obviously connect, but I want every book to feel different than the last.

Q: What is your next book that is set to be published and when is the release day?
A: Westcott High 2, sometime this spring!

Q: How long did it take you to write it?
A: Six months.

Q: What did you do when your characters stop talking (writer’s block) to you during the process?
A: I always take a break and watch something on Netflix—something that could possibly inspire me to pick it back up. Or take a nap. Naps are good.

Q: What routine do you have when you sit down to write a book?
A: I wish I had a routine, but I just pick up and write anywhere. My desk, my bed, my table, my floor.

Q: Do you write it all out in long sittings or short ones (sprints)?
A: Ohhh, I don’t understand how authors can sprint. I’m jealous of them. I definitely type dialouge very quickly, but always go back and read everything almost immediately. Lots of stops, no sprints!

Q: Do you get exhausted or energized during writing sessions?
A: Energized if I’m on a roll, but hours in I definitely find myself mentally drained.

Q: Where do you get your ideas for your books?
A: Westcott wasn’t an idea before it was a book. I just sat down and typed, and things came out!

Q: Is there another author you look up to or strive to be as successful as?
A: Karen McManus and Jenny Han. (I can completely see why considering TATILB is taking the world by storm again!)

Q: Are you a reader yourself?
A: I’m actually not a big reader. I never really have been. But I’m learning how important it is to read as an author, so I’m working on that!

Q: Do you like to read the same genre(s) you write?
A: Yes!

Q: Do you have a favorite book or a book that stands out the most?
A: I’m halfway through One Of Us Is Lying, and I’m loving it! (I have that one on my shelf but haven't started it yet!)

Q: Have you ever cried, laughed, or had a real emotional response to a book?
A: When I was writing the last few chapters of my book Westcott High 2, it was imperative I fully put myself in those characters’ shoes. I wanted to feel what they were feeling so I could relay that to the reader—which absolutely led to some tears.

Q: What kind of social media do you have?
A: Instagram. I’m so bad at my personal account. It looks like I died in 2018. I promise I’ll get better!

Q: Do you like to connect with your readers using your chosen platforms?
A: Yes! I love talking to my readers! (She really does! She responds back to you as fast as she can, and will answer anything that does not involve a spoiler!)

Q: Do you have any author friends that have helped you with your writing process or just been there for support?
A: Everyone on bookstagram has been so supportive! I’m so glad I found this little (big) family!

Q: What was the best money ever spent as a writer?
A: On my editor, Andrea! (From what I have learned these and book covers are the top answers!)

Q: How does your family feel about your writing?
A: They love it!

Q: Is there anything about you that your readers don’t know that you would like them to know?
A: I’m actually such an introvert. (Aren't most readers anyway?)


Alright so there you have it! She is an absolutely sweetheart, and a super talented writer. Since she is preparing for the release of Westcott High 2, I wanted to make sure her interview was out as a small promo. I am super thankful to know her as an Indie author and as a person, because she is just super awesome to work with! Be sure to check out her bookstagram and her first book Westcott High in the meantime!

Friday, April 24, 2020

The New Husband

Alright y'all, I received this ARC from St. Martin's Press, and it was definitely a thriller I wasn't expecting. I was excited from the get go when I saw the cover said "Just because you love someone doesn't mean you know them." Who doesn't love a line like that when it comes to thrillers? We can all admit, myself included, that we all love a Lifetime movie like this book. I did take a little longer to read it than I planned, but that is mainly due to the new reality of homeschooling while blogging. Anyways, D.J. Palmer is an amazing author who definitely knows how to pull you in from the first chapter.There are only three POVs, but I will only focus on Nina and Maggie since the third one will spoil the ending. Let's dive in shall we?!

Anthony Strauss is taking his Boston Whaler (mini yatch) off the trailer and into the water when he spots Starcraft Starfish (bass fishing boat) floating nearby. He maneuvers closer and sees a golden retriever standing on the deck alone. The dog has its eyes locked on a spot towards land and the engine is off. Anthony tethers the two boats together and climbs aboard the Starcraft. He sees that the dog is perfectly fine, but the cabin is covered in dark red blood.

17 Months Later:
Nina, her 13 year old daughter Maggie, 16 year old son Connor, and her boyfriend Simon are in the process of moving into their new house. Maggie was understandably upset because Simon wasn't her father, but that didn't change the fact that this move needed to happen. While it was only fifteen minutes across town it felt like it was across the country, but Nina knew she just needed time to adjust. She already missed pop up visits from her best friends Ginny and Susanna. Everyone involved will just have to learn to accept what was happening, because it was either move in with Simon or move herself and the kids to her parents place out of state.

Connor doesn't hold the same resentment as Maggie, but that was because he was older and accepted that their father Glen wasn't coming back. Connor steps around their five year old golden retriever Daisy as he carries in another box. Nina had to wait eight more months for the divorce to be granted due to spousal abandonment. Nina follows Maggie into the house and listens to Maggie voice her desire to be moving to Nebraska to Nina's parents. Simon comes in with a box marked for the office, and tries to use his teacher voice to help calm down Maggie. Nina tries to use one of her social worker phrases, but Maggie just walks out of the room with distaste written all over her face. Simon tells Nina things will work because neither one of them wanted her to move to Nebraska.

Nina is tackling laundry when Ginny and Susanna come in for yet another round of unpacking. Ginny opens one box in the kitchen and pulls out an old copy of Real Simple magazine that brings Nina back to the day her whole world changed. Nina was at home about to read the magazine on the couch when two officers pull into her driveway. She meets them at the door and listens as they try to explain that Glen's boat was found adrift by itself, covered in blood, and Daisy alone. After letting Daisy out of the car, they tell Nina they need to go to the station in order to get into more details.  Nina is brought back to the present where she has to explain the memory she just relived. They recommend that she start seeing Dr. Sydney Wilcox for therapy sessions.

At her first appointment, Nina found herself nervous even though she used to untangle family messes all the time during her years as a social worker. She took the necessary classes to keep her license current, but she hasn't worked a case in years. Nina gives Dr. Wilcox a quick background on why she needs the therapy sessions before explaining how her and Simon started dating. The hour ends just as she explains how their first date was him actually cooking dinner for the whole family before fixing the kitchen sink at the old house. Nina knows that it will take time and multiple sessions to get through the surface of everything, but that's the point of therapy right?

Maggie still loves Nina, but she's annoyed and angry that she started a relationship with Mr. Fitch aka Simon. Maggie is a good kid with good grades, but has no friends and dreads the idea of being home alone with Simon. Especially now that Nina is talking about getting a job, and Maggie cannot do lacrosse due to her sprained ankle. It was one of those few nights alone with Simon, and he was cooking while Maggie watched TV with Daisy. Simon comes in at 6 p.m. saying to turn the TV off and go do her homework like Nina asked. Maggie ignores him since he has no legal power over her until he snatches the remote from her hand. As he turns it off himself, Maggie watches as a dark and sinister look comes across Simon's face for just a few moments. Maggie runs upstairs and stays in her room until Nina comes home with Connor.

When Nina arrives home, Simon tells her about what happened with Maggie and the TV before she heads up to answer Maggie's calls. Nina thinks about how Simon has always been so attuned to her wants and needs. They haven't even fought during their relationship so far. Nina listens and thinks carefully over how this could have happened, but just comes to the conclusion that she set him up for failure no matter how she looked at it. Nina heads upstairs to deal with yet another "he's not my dad" fit from Maggie who is reading the same book she was when Glen disappeared. When Glen first went missing, Nina kept most of his misdeeds from the kids until it became clear that Glen wasn't coming back. She explained even more when she realized things were getting serious with Simon.

Just as Nina is about to start her lecture after Maggie said something about Simon scaring her when Simon bursts into the room holding his prized Revolutionary War musket. He uses it as a prop for his yearly school presentation as well as part of his costume for a field trip he chaperones. He lays it on Maggie's bed as a peace offering of sorts. Nina tells her that they all need to try better, and something about her tone tells Maggie to quit pushing the matter. Later Maggie sneaks downstairs to eavesdrop on the animated discussion Nina and Simon were having over her going back to work. Simon was clearly against it and tried to use Maggie as the reason why, which just made Maggie want to cheer her mom on to get a job.

It was Saturday and Nina woke with a start at the sound of a lawnmower as well as the thought she forgot to mail a birthday card to her dad early in the week. She goes downstairs in search of coffee and is surprised when Daisy doesn't start demanding breakfast. Nina heads outside where she finds Simon prepping to trim a tree in the neighbor's yard. Maggie and Daisy come from the backyard just in time to see Nina tell Simon to leave the tree alone. Nina gets a glimpse of the sinister look Maggie described, but just brushed it off as his controlled anger when he agrees in a normal posture, tone, and voice. She simply brushed it off as Maggie not having the life experience to teach her the difference between evil and anger since she was only 13.

At her next session with Dr. Wilcox, Nina talks about the first few days after Glen went missing. She talks about how the cops wanted a tearful display for the media, but Susanna gave a statement on behalf of the family. Then a few nights later Nina got an anonymous text with photos and a name of a woman that Glen was supposedly seeing. It says her name is Teresa and she lives in New Hampshire. Nina of course gave the photos and screenshots of the text to the police, but it didn't lead to much except proof Glen was leading a double life.

Maggie dreads going to lunch every day since she got booted from her lacrosse friends and lunch table. This was all because of her ex best friends Laura and Justin branching off due to Laura's jealousy of Justin being nice to Maggie. Justin started showing more empathy towards Maggie after Glen disappeared, because his parents got divorced. It only got worse when the sprain happened and she was no longer able to play lacrosse. Now Maggie sits alone while trying to ignore all the bullying thrown her way. Today however the group floater Ben decided to join her. When he sat down with her it actually made Maggie feel less lonely for once in over a year.

Nina is having a post workout latte with Ginny and Susanna talking about how Stephanie, Laura's mom, was still talking about Nina even though she stopped volunteering. Stephanie is still in denial about Laura bullying Maggie. Nina is about to make a comment about putting a boot to Stephanie's throat when her phone rings with an unknown number. It is the head of HR at Davis Family Center with a job offer for her. She decides that she needs to talk to Simon and the kids before accepting. At her next therapy session, Nina picks up where she left off with Dr. Wilcox about the search for Glen after she received the photos. Nina explains how she felt she was betraying the volunteers after finding out about Glen's affair. She also noticed no one from Glen's work ever made an appearance, called, or emailed. Nina ended up calling the bank he worked at only to find out that Glen was fired two years prior. The session ends with Nina admitting she wants to take the job, because she doesn't wan to let another man control her finances after Glen practically wiped their savings.

Maggie is sitting through another family dinner when Nina announces that she got a job starting in two weeks. Simon says that he booked them a Niagara Falls trip for him, Nina, and Maggie that same week. Maggie internally calls BS since taht is the same week as Simon's annual field trip where he carries his musket. Later that night, Nina is putting on a mini fashion for Simon to determine what her first day of work outfit will be. He gifts her with the Coach bag she had been eyeing. Simon even had it monogrammed with her initials and stuck an encouraging note in it. He brings up them getting married and the monogram being an easy fix. Nina thinks about how his proposal came too soon before they moved in, and it makes her more determined to start her new job.

On Monday, Maggie tells Ben about the fake trip and decides to investigate during lunch. Maggie calls the hotel Simon says he booked, and poses as Nina to check the reservation. There isn't one under Simon or Nina's name which is all the confirmation Maggie needs that he lied. Later at home Maggie tells Nina as soon as she gets home. Nina instantly makes it out like Maggie was in the wrong for snooping. She finds Simon and tells him about Maggie calling the hotel. Simon explains that he booked the trip through a travel agency which is why the hotel didn't have it on computer. When Maggie brings up the field trip, he tells her that bonding as a family was more important to him. Maggie is still suspicious but knows she is really pushing her luck.

Saturday comes and Nina is getting ready to go have dinner with Ginny and Susanna. Nina starts her job in just four days, and is about to walk out the door when Simon comes rushing into their bathroom. She can hear him throwing up, and wonders if she needs to cancel. Connor is at his friend's house and Maggie is home, so Nina calls and cancels for the second time. After four hours that include a movie with Maggie and getting ready for bed, Nina checks on Simon who seems to be feeling well enough to be flipping through one of her magazines. Simon plants the seed of her cutting her hair into a bob like a model in it and presents her with a gift certificate for a spa day.

Tuesday comes and Nina heads to the salon using the certificate Simon gave her since he also set an appointment for her. She decides to get a shoulder length bob instead of the angled one Simon pointed out. She heads to her session with Dr. Wilcox afterwards. They talk a little about how her new job is affecting Nina and Simon's feelings before moving on to Teresa. Nina thinks about how before Glen she only dated a lot of "broken" men. After college one of her co-workers told her to try online dating which is how she met Glen. Nina recalls how she went to the Muddy Moose to confront Teresa just a few days into the search, but found out from one of the other bartenders that she disappeared without telling anyone anything. The police looked for her but she never appeared, which left Nina feeling even more hurt because Teresa was her polar opposite.

When Nina got home, Connor and Maggie praised the new hair do. Simon fixated on how it wasn't just like the model's in the magazine. Later in bed, Nina made it clear his reaction was hurtful. Simon starts spewing apologizes before engaging in sex that doesn't end with a happy ending because he's "tired". Nina obsesses over whether he is still attracted to her all night long. The next day Nina tries to get settled in at the Davis Family Center, which mainly included paperwork and catching up on current New Hampshire Family Law. After work she goes to the salon to get her hair cut just like in the magazine in hopes it will reignite the attraction between her and Simon.

Meanwhile at home, Maggie calls Ben to "witness" the reaction she is going to get from Simon after she "accidentally" breaks the musket. Simon is outside in the yard, so Maggie keeps Ben on the phone while she tries to secretly record him. Simon seems to figure out that she is recording him, and holds her wrist gently enough to keep the camera pointed at the ground. He tells her that they will just have to wait for Nina to get home in order to deal with Maggie's dangerous "accident". Simon keeps a blank poker face the whole time, but tilts his head and winks as he says the last sentence. Maggie is more scared and creeped out than the TV incident.

Simon calls a total of seven times during Nina's work day. The first couple are sweet, but she quickly gets annoyed by the time the last one comes in. She is at the salon finishing up when he tells her about Maggie breaking the musket.  Nina drives home and tries to process and come up with a plan. She says hello to Connor and Simon who are standing in the driveway while Maggie sits in her room. Nina goes up and starts talking about taking Maggie's phone away as her punishment. That is until Simon comes into the room saying not, because he can get it fixed and no one was hurt.  Nina agrees but notices Maggie trying very hard to not react to Simon's overture or meet his eye contact.  Simon tells Nina that dinner is ready, but he won't be joining them since he wants to get to the gun store before it closes. The rest of the evening was peaceful and ended with Simon making love to Nina.

Maggie is sitting with Ben at the anti-bullying lecture half-listening because she is still dealing with bullying. Just as Maggie thinks it is over, Simon gets up and vaguely refers to the bullying impact on Maggie which has her even more embarrassed. Maggie runs out so fast to the bathroom she doesn't bother with politeness. She stays in the bathroom long enough to know people were already talking about her in the hallways and on social media. She opens Talkie, the new Twitter, to find a friend request from TracyNuts. That's the joke Glen made about her peanut allergy. She reads the message attached, and it is supposedly from Glen. She almost waves it off as a cruel joke until she reads the last line. "I love you to the moon and back and there and back again to infinity," which is exactly what Glen used to whisper to her when he tucked her in at night.

Later that night, Nina decided it was time for a family meeting to not only discuss Simon's speech, but how they all need to pull equal weight around the house. Simon apologizes, but Maggie's body language tells Nina that she doesn't fully accept it. After the family meeting is over, dinner eaten, and bedtime routine followed, Nina lays down with Simon. She tries to tamper down her anger as he once again brings up her quitting her job, because of the negative impact on Maggie. He falls fast asleep shortly after she tells him to stop using her kids as his reasoning. Meanwhile Nina stays up trying to understand what his real reason could be for not wanting her to work.

At school the next day Maggie is in the library working on a science project with Ben that will make up 20% of their grade. She tells him about the Talkie message even though Glen told her not to tell anyone. She still hadn't heard anything back, but they talked about why Glen may have disappeared in the first place. Simon comes into the library suddenly and politely dismisses Ben so he can be alone with Maggie. As Simon goes into another one of his "we need to try harder to make this work for everyone's sake" speeches, Maggie's phone vibrates. It's another Talkie message from TracyNuts. Maggie tries to end the conversation with Simon as nicely as possible before running off. She reads the message and sees that Glen wants her to have her phone handy at noon on Monday so they can talk.

Nina receives a phone call from Simon about his attempt to talk to Maggie, and she just gets frustrated that the conflict doesn't seem to end between Simon and Maggie. Nina had her first home visit for work which gave her some perspective on her own life and marriage to Glen. She tells all this to Dr. Wilcox later during their session, along with all her concerns about moving in with Simon too quickly. Dr. Wilcox offers to do a session with Simon, but that just makes Nina cringe. She admits that he doesn't know about her seeing a therapist, so Dr. Wilcox suggests they go to a couple's therapist separately. Especially since there seems to be a lot of unresolved issues from past relationships on both side. On the way home, Nina thinks about calling Susanna and Ginny, but changes her mind simply to avoid the impending fight about her cancelling lately. Instead Nina calls the Muddy Moose and finds out that Teresa is supposed to work on Monday when she poses as Teresa's friend.

On Saturday Nina wakes up and decides to go workout with Ginny and Susanna as well as go shopping with them since it's been awhile. Simon tries to convince her to stay home and help with the yard, but Nina stays determined. After their workout, the three of them grab lunch and plan out their annual girls getaway before heading to the mall. When Nina gets home, Simon leads her down to the basement blindfolded. When Simon takes it off, she sees a Bowflex home gym and elliptical trainer Connor helped put together. Nina acknowledges that it an expensive and thoughtful gift, but it just makes her feel trapped. Especially when Simon explains that now she can workout during the week and help with the housework without worrying about making it to the gym before it closes.

Monday comes and Maggie is in the library with Ben waiting on TracyNuts to message her. They came up with five questions only Glen should know the answers to. Maggie finally gets a message and starts asking questions including where he is. Ben hands her tissues while she texts pleas for Glen to come home. She ends up telling him how she feels about Simon when Glen repeats that no one can know that they are communicating. To make the day worse, Maggie can't find her and Ben's science project when they get to class later. She is convinced that Simon took it since she put it in her bag last night, and he knew how important it was for her grade. She calls Nina but doesn't get an answer on the first try.

Nina picks Maggie's call the second time just after seeing her message. She listens as Maggie explains why her grade will drop in science since her project is missing and she is sure that Simon did something. Nina calms her down since there is nothing that she can do about it right now before saying she has to work late. Nina is really heading to the Muddy Moose to confront Teresa, but she doesn't tell Maggie or Simon that when she calls him next. She warns him about the impending Maggie storm, and he tries to convince Nina to cancel her girls trip because of everything going on.

Nina gets to the Muddy Moose and finds Teresa as she is about to serve food to a table. Nina waits until her tray is clear before introducing herself. Teresa say they need to talk, so Nina grabs an empty booth while Teresa grabs a couple sodas.  Teresa explains that she had a one night drunken stand with Glen after being bar buddies for a while. She makes it clear that she didn't normally mess with a married man, but they were both really wasted and another man was involved. Teresa is pretty sure that her stalker ex boyfriend is the one that sent the photos and texts to Nina. He was also the reason she left town without a word to anyone a month before Glen disappeared. She only came back because he is currently in jail for at least five years for doing something to his girlfriend at the time. Teresa asks Nina about Simon which leads to a discuss about Maggie's behavior lately. Teresa gives her the advice to make sure she really knows Simon, because she's been in Maggie's shoes with four stepdads.

Nina leaves with no more resentment towards Teresa, but a lot more questions about Glen. She decides to pull into a strip mall on the way home, and Google Simon again. She sees the usual school posts and articles she saw when she did this when they first started dating. She sees a few references to his second wife Emma who killed herself. Nina decides to Google Emma as well, and finds her obituary. She sees that Emma left behind parents, extended family, and a man named Hugh listed as her husband. Nina looks him up, sees his mugshots from drug related arrests, and then looks Hugh up on Facebook. She finds the right one, and messages it. She gets the simple reply of "So you're the one, we need to talk."

What will Nina find out from Hugh? Will Maggie ever be able to show Nina the dark side to Simon? Who is Maggie really messaging? How is Simon so perfect? Is he really that perfect? What will happen to all of them if Nina finds out otherwise?

Probably not the most ideal spot to stop, but I already left a couple chapters out that were from the third POV because I didn't want to spoil the story. I was actually shocked a few times while I read this book, because there were a few things I didn't see coming. The ending was unpredictable, but extremely satisfying! Thank you again to St. Martin's Press for sending it to me! I may have taken a little longer to read this book due to the crazy new reality we are living in due to COVID, but I loved it! If you simply must find out what is wrong with Mr. Perfect in this thriller, be sure to head on over to my page:

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Notorious Minds Boxset (R&R Book Tours Blitz Post)

Hey Thriller & Mystery Fans! Huge news! The Notorious Minds Box Set is coming this Fall and if you pre-order now, you get a special gift! Check out this amazing collection by several bestselling authors! 320x0wNotorious Minds Boxset Genre: Mystery/ Thriller/ Crime Thriller Expected Publication Day: October 13th, 2020 Publisher: Fire Quill Publishers What does it take to commit the perfect crime? Delve into these dark and twisted tales by twenty USA Today and International Bestselling Authors. No matter what kind of crime story typically catches your imagination, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Conspiracies, political plots, and yes, even murder, are just a few of the crimes waiting inside this box set. Discover a narcissistic grandmother running an underground syndicate, or a support group bent on murder…and even a serial killer who turns his victims into fairytale creatures. Prepare to delve into an elite killing team who made a mistake, an oil rig filled with secrets ready to explode, and a reporter uncovering a treasonous plot. Uncover how fatal passion, jealousy, and fear can be to a group of royal marines and learn from a detective who is far from home fighting demons from his past in order to stay alive. Can you figure out how the police solve a killer’s confession to nine murders that haven’t happened yet? or how a girl that got a heart transplant became the FBI’s number one ally in solving crimes? This box set is packed with thousands of pages that will hold you on the edge of your seat, crying for answers. Definitely a must for fans of Patterson, Lee, and Grisham. One-click it today! AUTHOR LINE UP: Judith Lucci - USA TODAY AND WSJ BESTSELLING AUTHOR Carlyle Labuschagne - USA TODAY Eva Winters - USA TODAY Lena Bourne - USA TODAY Karen M. Bryson - USA TODAY Inge - Lise Goss - USA Today Karen Randau - Award Winning Author Eric J. Gates - Award Winning Author Deborah Shlian & Linda Reid - International Bestselling Author Add to Goodreads The Book Authors Club
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Pre order now and you will receive our amazing pre-order gift! Claim your prize here! Book Blitz Organized By: R&R Button R&R Book Tours

Author Interview with J Lynn Hicks

Alright y'all, this is another amazing author that I met through the FB Group Dystopian Ink. I haven't read her books yet, but I did...