Lori Ryan

Rachel Thompson

Aicha Zoubair

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lethal Greed by John W. Mefford @JohnWMefford #ReviewShare #Mystery #Suspense

Lethal Greed (Greed Series #2)Lethal Greed by John W. Mefford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lethal Greed starts out with a bang and just keeps the pace going throughout the novel. This book was a gripping read that combines elements of corporate greed, drugs, death, violence, espionage, and lust in a sexy and exciting format. What made this book particularly unique is the much younger cast of characters as many other stories in this genre focus on the seasoned veterans in these destructive paths. This really helped the reader to see the way someone was changed quickly after the initial initiation into the lifestyle of drugs. While this really hit home as a North Texan myself, a reader from anywhere may be able to relate to, or at least find interest in this story.

John's writing style was more detailed at some points and more brief and choppy at others. This may seem confusing and jarring at first, but as you read along you get the sense that each paragraph is carefully constructed to skilfully show the reader how the characters feel and when they are out-of-depth. Like in every good mystery, John did a great job of carefully revealing certain parts of the story so that the reader could have surprises along with the characters. The suspense at times was difficult to bear, but it was worthwhile as you got to the end. Overall, the story is exciting, and edgy without any attempts to cover the darkness. I enjoyed the realness this added so that each action and consequence is presented with sobering honesty rather than glamorized.

Keep in mind this is the second book in a series, so I'd recommend checking out Fatal Greed first. The good news is by the time you read that and Lethal Greed, it won't be long before the 3rd book is released! If you're a fan, make sure to look for Wicked Greed early August.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads UK Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my book review. This book review is based on my thoughts, opinion and understanding of the book. This book review does not reflect the opinion of other book club members.

View all my reviews

Razer 8 #Series by P.T. Macias @pt_macias #Romance #Suspense #AmReading


The hard driven, ambitious delta force operative is immune to women. His heart has been destroyed by a treacherous woman and the unexpected loss of his family. These events have driven him nearly into insanity. The hard knocks in life propel him into grasping his emotions, his thoughts, and his physical condition. He focused on his goal. Loco doesn’t allow any type of distractions or obstacles to stop him. His actions and recklessness have earned him his nickname, Loco. 

The Infinite power, Razer 8 operatives, are united and linked for infinity. His team mates recognize his pain, anger, and strength is derived from the intense impotency he feels from his loss. 

The unexpected mission and unexpected encounter with his soul mate, tests his strength. His mind, heart, and soul recognize his love even before the actual encounter. The ruthless criminals threaten to harm his soul mate, pushing and transforming him into a fearless warrior. 

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Ghost is an old-fashioned Southern boy fighting hard to forget his pain. He’s forced to protect his Mama and sister from their abusive Pa. Ghost is strong, silent, and soft spoken. He works hard against all obstacles and hurt. 

Ghost grows up to become a Delta Force. He meets and falls for a hot Latina who sets him on fire! She captures his soul and brightens his world. He would do anything to protect her. 

Duty calls and he’s forced to leave her unprotected. The unspeakable happens! Ghost calls on Infinity. Infinity aids to extract his woman from the clutches of a soulless prostitution mob. Time is running out! 

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Bulldog is the youngest of the Razer 8 Delta Force Operatives. He enjoys life. He’s called upon to help out one of his team operative. Infinity is there. 

He runs into Katherine Morgan, a sweet young victim. In the the process of extraction he gets caught by the prostitution gang. They mistake him with being her boyfriend. 

Bulldog grabs onto that line and poses as her boyfriend. In the process of rescuing Katherine from the mob he becomes entangled in her web. Will Bulldog’s skills and training save him from falling under her spell? Will he be able to outrun the mob and his soul? 

Buy Now @ Amazon
Redfox, Razer 8 10-13-13

Redfox, Razer 8 operative mission is to infiltrate the Police Commissioner’s office and home. He has 72 hours to gather the intel on the Commissioner’s dirty business. 

Redfox charms his way into the Commissioner’s home, throwing him into the arms of his soul mate. The unexpected love rocks his world and the success his mission. 

The Commissioner’s daughter, Marsha Diane Bryant is a lovely sweet young girl. She falls under Redfox spell and unconditionally bestows her soul. 

Redfox fears losing his soul mate in the process of completing his mission. Can their love survive the storm? 

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Genre – Romantic Suspense
Rating – PG 13
More details about the author
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Robert Breeze on What Inspired Him to Write 2082 #AmReading #Politics #GoodReads

I graduated from university in 2004 having received B.A. degrees in History and Politics. Moving back to my hometown of Hereford (a quiet, sleepy town near Wales) I quickly got bored (boredom to become a key inspiration throughout my quest to publish these books). Writing hadn’t crossed my mind at this stage and after a year of small town monotony I moved to London, having netted myself what I thought to be a comfy little local government job (little did I know how true this would be, but as I’m still in that local government job so can’t say too much).
Having been in the job since 2006 it was in about 2009 that I started writing. The excitement at moving to London gradually began to wane as I found myself a monotonous cog in the government system. Seeing how that world works from the inside initially manifested itself as searing cynicism and spawned a disappointed, and probably annoying, idealist. One day at work a few years ago an inner spark fired (the flint again being extreme boredom) that fuelled putting pen to paper. An idea for a working-class genius politician came to mind and after developing that character it became about moulding him into a story and background.
The Chronicles of Hope series of books is thus just that, a story of hope. Without giving too much away it’s ultimately a utopian vision of a hopeful future for humanity. The intention behind the books is merely to challenge people’s beliefs and make people think and question everything. I’ve genuinely never been motivated by money, I don’t subscribe to the theory that it brings happiness, but saying that I do understand that having none will often bring unhappiness if it stops you having the lifestyle you want to have. Fortunately my income and circumstances to that end have always been very middle of the road, something that feels like a privilege in this world we live in.
I think the Che Guevara in me hopes that the more people think and the more people work out that we’re owned by the world’s leaders and have no say in society, the closer the world might come to some kind of uprising and revolution. Despite that, there’s no great moral message at the core of the books, I’m well aware that the pile of crap is probably too deep now for such change. My hope is loosely that more people thinking about some of the issues raised could lead to more people refusing to accept the failings of the society in which we live. 
Frank Noon divides opinion. Whilst some say he’s a philosophical genius, some say he’s a fanciful dreamer who deliberately courts controversy with his anti-establishment views about the failings of modern society.
Seemingly nearing the end of his life in politics, he reluctantly fronts an experimental inter-galactic government project late in the 21st century aimed at making life on an overpopulated Earth more sustainable. As he battles to gain control of a relative asylum, consisting of a cross section of the populous as much at odds with themselves as the situation, he unwittingly embarks on a life-changing journey of self discovery.
As they learn more about the project and its intentions how far-reaching might the consequences be for the future of humanity?
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Political Fiction
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Robert Breeze on Facebook Twitter

Thursday, July 24, 2014

FLASH BANG #Excerpt by @KellenBurden #AmReading #Mystery #Thriller

In the dream they’re shooting at me. Rounds screaming past my face and popping around my head and I need to return fire, but my rifle’s empty, and my hands won’t work. They keep doing that classic fucked-up dream thing where I can’t coordinate my fingers to wrap around the magazine to jam it into place to slam the breech, bring the round home and bring the hate to the fuckers on the ridge line. I scream for Mullens to call in air support, but Mullens is down. Why Mullens? They weren’t aiming at Mullens. The one who shot him wasn’t aiming at all. Then it’s just me and McDowell. I shoot him in the face. My hands work now. When I wake up, my phone is wiggling its way off the milk crate next to the bed. I’m sweaty and my jaw hurts, like I’ve been grinding my teeth and I roll over and answer the phone like this:
On the other end of the line, Etch says, “Parks, you sound like shit.”
Say “Fucker.”
Says, “Classy.”
I squeeze my eyes hard to clear the smoke, say, “What the fuck?”
Etch gets tired of my razor-sharp wit, says “He bit. It’s go time.”
I’m upright now, a start. And I’m naked. Not unusual. I’m alone, too, not exactly surprising either. I say, “Which one, and how long?”

“Brock Mason. Two hours from now. City Park.”

I’m out of bed, wander into the kitchen to load the French press with the heavy shit, saying, “You called Harkin yet?”

Harkin says, “I’m here.” But not on the phone. It takes me about six seconds to realize that he’s sitting at my kitchen table. He’s in full battle rattle, too. Fancy, all-white BDUs, tactical vest, ski mask, Bushmaster ACR with an ACOG scope mounted to it, and a Starbucks coffee in his hand. I’m still naked.
I say, “Sup.”
And he says, “Homo.”
And I blow him a kiss, turn the burner on under the kettle and wander back into my room.
Into the phone, I say: “Never mind, we’re good. I’ll be ready in five.”
Etch: “Let’s hook ’em and book ’em.” And I hang up before one of us screams yeehaw.
It works like this: We catch bad guys. Then we bring them to good guys who don’t have the manpower or skills to find them on their own. In the good old days, bounty hunters did that by carefully cultivating contacts and listening to the word on the street, and then simply knocking on doors and doing good, old-fashioned leg work. Unfortunately, that method is inefficient, outdated, and a really good way to get your ass shot off. You raise your enemies’ awareness of you by asking their friends where they are for days on end. Then you confront them in a place in which they are familiar, and attempt to take them somewhere they really, really don’t want to go. Our method is better; safer, easier and, 9 out of 10 times, funnier.
Brittany Hart is 5’6”, 120 pounds. She has blond hair, blue eyes, a knock-out smile, and a body that would make a Barbie doll gag herself. She was born in Detroit, Michigan, but moved to Denver, Colorado in March of 1998 for school. She majored in “gettin’ loose” before hitting the bricks in ’99 and working full-time at a club downtown. She likes FarmVille, Hooked on Colfax, and Jersey Shore. She is:
Headed to the park to spark up with an old friend, 15 minutes ago.
First you find your fugitive, someone stupid who has a vice that you can exploit, like multiple drug charges or sex offenses. Then, you find their Facebook page. Almost anyone under 40 has one (yes, even wanted fugitives), and almost all the ones over 30 don’t have the Internet-savvy to set their accounts to private.
Brittany Hart went to John R. Madden High School with Brock Mason. That’s where he thinks he knows her from. It’s a big school, especially for Michigan: 2,000 students and Brock doesn’t remember a fraction of the classes he took, let alone all the people he sat through them with. But Brittany Hart is a fucking fox, and Mason would pretend to remember anything she wanted if it meant breaking off a piece of that.
Then, you find several pictures of the same sexy girl on the Internet. You make sure that this girl is very far away. Somewhere like Russia, or Yugoslavia. Once you have enough pictures to make this girl look like an average, sexy woman of an appropriate age for your target, you create a fake Facebook profile for her. Fill in all the information, tailoring her identity to interest him in some way. If he went to a big high school, she went to the same one. If he used to work at the Target on 15th Street, so did she. From there, it’s all about making contact.
Brock Mason, according to his Facebook profile, is a full time hustla, in Da Streets of Denver. He lives with his auntie and her two grandkids somewhere near Federal Boulevard. He likes Kanye West, Real Thugz, and (believe it or not) FarmVille. He has hundreds of pictures of himself flashing gang signs, holding money, and posing with his shirt off in front of mirrors, a gangly white guy with tattoos slithering across his pasty body like leeches. Nowhere on his profile does it explain that he spent seven years in a federal penitentiary for aggravated assault. Nor does it state that he is wanted in Wisconsin, Wyoming, Nebraska, and right here in Colorado, for everything from possession with intent to sell, to sexual assault. It doesn’t say that there is a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest, either, or that he almost never leaves his auntie’s apartment except to pick up more liquor or to pop out for the occasional booty call. A booty call like Brittany Hart. Brock Mason is:
Hyped for today, 56 minutes ago, and Rollin’ out, 20 minutes ago.
Then you send him a message. Something innocuous but provocative, like, “Hey, stranger, long time no see ;).” (Idiots love emoticons.) If he answers back, you’re golden.
Brock Mason is walking through six inches of freshly fallen snow in the middle of City Park right now, steam pouring from his face like dragon’s breath in the frigid winter air. Brock Mason is at least 30 pounds heavier than his Facebook page says he is, and judging by the way he’s walking, he’s carrying a weapon in the front of his pants.
I put my gloved hand to the Bluetooth in my ear and whisper:
“Etch, target is inbound from St. Paul Street, moving northbound through the park.”
“Copy that, I have eyes on.”
Snow falls softly on the hood of my jacket, pattering like tentative fingertips all around my head, landing in my eyelashes, settling on my cheeks. The balaclava around my face keeps the steam from escaping and giving away my position. Mason trots nearer, sticking to the trail, and from where I lie I can make out the prison tattoos on his neck. He’s wearing a red snow jacket, black pants that are roughly four sizes too big for him, and a pair of red Nikes. He’s fatter, paler, and duller than his mug shot photos. Mason is thirty feet away from me now, looking left and right but still moving, intent on getting to shelter from the snow. I am a ghost, dressed all in white, packed into a snow drift in the shadowy gloom of the tree line.
After you’ve flirted with him for about two weeks, lure him to a controlled environment where he is both isolated and disoriented.
City Park is the biggest park in Metro Denver. There’s a zoo, a museum, and a lake scattered throughout it. At the edge of the lake on the southern shore is a gazebo, 100 feet long and 40 feet wide, with iron gates on either side, effectively enclosing the inside of the structure. It was built 98 years ago by some rich industrialist to function as a band shell. Now it’s used for weddings and parties. When it’s not being partied in, all of the doors are locked except for one at the western end, which the park leaves open so that joggers can use the water fountain. That’s where Mason is headed. He’s headed there because Brittany Hart asked him to meet her there so that they could “smoke some weed, and see what happens ;).” I know that because I am Brittany Hart. Well, we are Brittany Hart.
When you’ve got him horny, disoriented, and all alone, you and your ex-military buddies swoop in like the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and wipe his ass out. Oh, yeah, join the military and make some friends. Simple as that.
“Subject entering the gazebo. Engage.”
I’m running now, up and running through the driving snow, with ice pluming off me in clouds. To my left I see Etch moving, too, diagonally through the trees, 12-gauge Benelli M1 Super on his shoulder, checking for hostiles. I see him only because I know where he is supposed to be, and even then it’s difficult to make him out. Harkin hangs back for support, further north, lined up with the building. As the edge of the tree line nears, I yank the FNP .45 from the holster on my hip and bring it to a ready position midway up my chest.
Harkin in my ear: “Subject has moved to the western end of the building. Be advised, subject is favoring a weapon, front waistband.”
Out of the trees, across the clearing, the building looms before us like a monolith. Etch and I converge on the eastern wall of the structure. There are no windows or doors on this side, so we’re covered for the moment. The wind howls, furious, and my legs are on fire from lying in the snow for so long, but I’m ready to do this, so I give Etch the signal and we split, Etch around one side, me on the other, around the corner sharply, and in the open gate. The wind outside the building is deafening, and Mason’s back is to me when I enter.
“Brock Mason.” My voice is steady, ice-cold mercury, and Mason’s shoulders rise infinitesimally in alarm. He does not reach for the weapon, so I don’t put a double tap in his spine. He turns to look over his shoulder. Brock Mason is:
Shitting his pants, 5 seconds ago.
I’m not a big guy, about 5’8” and lean, going on stocky; but I don’t know anybody who likes being on that side of a .45, especially when the person holding it is in full tactical with a ski mask on.
Mason says: “Fuck.”
“Mason: raise your hands out to either side and interlace your fingers behind your head. If you move for the piece I will light you the fuck up.” He considers his options for a millisecond, and then the arms go up.
“On your knees, Mason. Good. Now put your forehead on the ground. Flatten out.”
I move closer to him, watching him breathe heavily on the other side of my iron sights. Five feet away I say:
“Mason, I’m going to cuff you now. If you fight me, my friend will shoot you in the face with a 12-gauge shotgun.” On the other side of the iron bars, Etch appears like a ghoul and blows him a kiss over the breech of his weapon. Mason grinds his forehead into the floor. I holster my weapon, grab his right wrist and drop to a crouch, my knees on his neck and low back. Wrist, click, wrist, click and he’s done. I turn him over with my boot and yank a Taurus .25 from the front of his pants. Clear it, stow it.
“Harkin, subject in custody. Extracting to the tree line, move to cover.”
He says: “I’m at Taco Bell. Be there in like fifteen minutes.”
I tell him to fuck his own face.
We extract Mason from the park quickly and quietly. Harkin brings the van around, and the four of us are gone before anyone even knows we exist. It’s a short drive to our usual bail bondsman’s place of business. Etch phones ahead to tell Mark that the bust was good, and that we’re bringing Mason in. Mark says he’s just hanging around. Big fucking surprise. Mark’s an ex-Department of Corrections guy who got booted from his gig as a prison guard for smuggling dope into a correctional facility. After that, he decided to try his hand at putting shitheads in prison instead of keeping them there. Mark is a burly, lazy-looking S.O.B. A hulking white guy with a beer gut and a shaved head, teeth like a mammoth, forehead like a caveman. Like if Barney Fife had a baby with Chuck Liddell. We drop Mason off at the duplex Mark runs his gig out of, and he meets us at the door in jeans and a T-shirt. He says, “Cool.”
Mark gives us $5,000 under the table, three quarters of what Crime Stoppers is going to give him for the bust. We need Mark because:
a) The way we operate is pretty illegal.
b) The criminal justice system crawls as far as payment systems are concerned (six months to wait for five grand, and that’s if Mason gets convicted) and we are way too broke to wait that long.
Mark needs us because:
a) We bring him free bad guys.
b) He’s a piss-poor bounty hunter.
Two and a half hours later finds Etch, Harkin, and myself in the Goosetown Tavern. The snow is falling harder outside; flakes like cotton balls, falling heavily, lumbering on the breeze and settling on the sidewalks and in the gutters and streets. It’ll pile up by evening, freeze by night, melt in the morning and flood the gutters by tomorrow afternoon. Then it’ll freeze again. Fucking Denver. Beers hit the table with a splash, and the waiter stammers something about the pizza being on the way as he retreats from the table in reverse. No one’s surprised. We’re all wearing our tactical shit. The weapons are in the car, but you can’t blame the kid for being careful. Plus, Harkin and Etch look like comic book characters. The two huge fuckers with their shaved heads, John Harkin with his lumberjack beard, Eric “Etch” Echevaria with his goatee, 500 pounds of muscle, paunch, and sinew between the two of them.
The beer is cold and cheap, the way I like it, and I down it with fervor while the winter paces like a lion outside the windows.
Etch says, “So, what? About $1,700 each?”
About $1,660; but either way, it isn’t a terrible haul for a few hours’ worth of ninja shit and a few days on Facebook pretending to be a sexy blond. When Etch gets home he’ll wipe Britney’s profile and clean out his temporary Internet files so Mason can’t come looking for her, or us, when and if he gets to use a computer again. That’s the other reason we use pictures of girls in Russia; it’s not likely that one of these assholes is going to run into them at a bar anytime soon.
Etch wipes foam off his face with the sleeve of his coat, asks, “What’s the plan for your pieces?”
I’m spending mine on not starving or getting evicted from my apartment, say, “I’m going to buy a tiger with a saddle. Just for cruising around.”
Harkin says, “I’m going to buy a rocket ship, strap my girlfriend to it.” He makes a blast-off sound, trails a finger off into the cosmos. Getting rid of his girlfriend, Stacy, has been a running gag since their first date, and my theory that anyone crazy enough to go on a second date with Harkin is jacked in the brain still stands. Two weeks ago she got drunk and stuck Harkin with a fork because he “was asking for it.” He may very well have been, knowing Harkin; but still. Not a Nicholas Sparks novel in the making.
Harkin asks Etch what he’s got planned. He smiles, tips his mug at us and mumbles something like “soon,” and before anyone can ask what he’s talking about, the slices are on the table. Three of them, the size of kites, steam curling off like a naked flame, cheese running down onto the plate. The Tavern makes some of the best $3 pizza in the city, and I always order mine with pineapple and jalapeños because I’m a troll. It gets real quiet at the table. Etch and Harkin watch Man vs. Wild with the sound off on the flat screen above the bar, and I scoop the dismembered newspaper off the table behind us. Ads, ads, Big 5: box of 50 .40 caliber rounds for $15.99, Sports section, Opinion. Half a world away, people are charging checkpoints with dirty bombs strapped to their chests. No articles, no pictures, nothing. You can walk into any grocery store in America and find out what top J-Lo wore to the beach or who Ashton Kutcher is having sex with, but if you want to know who got their face shot off while brushing their teeth in a tent so that J-Lo or Ashton could keep rocking in the free world, good fucking luck. Your average teen can tell you the entire cast of the Jersey Shore, but has no idea where Afghanistan or Iraq is on a map. I swallow down the bitterness with my next bite. Buried beneath it all on the second page of the local section I find a two-paragraph article about some kid getting stabbed to death near The Stampede, a country-western bar in Aurora. Something about it bites me. Call it a premonition, call it gas. I read it twice, and can’t figure out what it is that feels wrong about it, turn the page, flip to the funnies. On the TV, Bear Grylls drinks his pee out of a snake.

Sebastian Parks is drowning in a flood of his own creation. Dishonorably discharged from the Army, he’s wracked with night terrors and an anger that he can’t abate. Unemployable and uninterested in anything resembling a normal job, Parks makes his living in fugitive apprehension, finding wanted felons on Facebook and thumping them into custody with his ex-military buddies John Harkin and Eric “Etch” Echevarria. When the body of a teenage Muslim boy is found in front of a downtown Denver nightclub Parks, Harkin and Etch are called on to do what they do best: Find bad men and make them pay. 
First-time author Kellen Burden serves up edgy humor, brutal action and characters you can’t get enough of. Flash Bang will keep you turning pages until the end.
Received “Honorable Mention at Los Angeles Book Festival 2014″
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller, Mystery
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Kellen Burden on Facebook

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Danny Wynn on Books, Writing and Motivation - #AmReading #AmWriting #Literary

What’s your weakest character trait?
There are so many bad ones. Let’s just say I’m a bad person trying to do better.
Why do you write?
The magic of books has worked for me from a very early age, and it was only natural that I would want to try to create some of that magic, myself.
Have you always enjoyed writing?
Nobody always enjoys writing.
What motivates you to write?
To write something good that people read and truly moves them, makes them feel the tragicomedy that is human life, even if only for a few moments in the course of the book.
What writing are you most proud of?
The novella I’m promoting now, Man from the Sky.
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
That I built a satisfactory functional life out of the mess that was my upbringing. And of course, my wife and kids.
What books did you love growing up?
Winnie the Pooh, A Pass and a Prayer, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Lord of the Flies. 13. Who is your favorite author? Robert stone, graham greene, William boyd, john fowles, martin amis.
What book genre of books do you adore?
Thinking men’s adventure stories.
What book should everybody read at least once?
The Magus by Fowles
Is there any books you really don’t enjoy?
Books that seek only to entertain without intelligence.
What do you hope your obituary will day about you?
That I wrote some novels which found an audience, and that I am survived by my wife and two adult children.

How far would you go to add excitement to a life you felt was boring and meaningless?
For seventy-three-year-old Jaime, the answer takes him by surprise. Accustomed to a lonely life high up in the mountains on the western coast of Mallorca, his dull routine is suddenly shattered when a man parachutes from a plane and lands nearby. The plane crashes; the man lives.
It’s a drug smuggling operation gone bad. But Stefan, the man from the sky, has escaped with eight kilos of cocaine in a gym bag. Jaime brings Stefan home and is soon entangled in Stefan’s attempts to sell the cocaine and start a new life.
As they dodge Parisian drug dealers and corrupt Mallorcan police, Jaime’s search for excitement and Stefan’s resolve to find stability lead them both down dangerous paths.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Literary Fiction, Adventure
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Danny Wynn on Facebook

Becoming a Better Writer with @GayleTrent #AmWriting #WriteTip #Mystery

1)      Read, read, read.
Reading within your genre as well as within other genres will make you a better writer. See what works for you as a reader and what doesn’t. Incorporate the good traits and resolve to eliminate any bad habits you observe.
2)      Study writing blogs, books, and sites.
You might feel like you’re an expert once you’ve gotten your book published, but there’s always more that you can learn. Writer’s Digest, other authors’ websites, genre-specific magazines, and writing newsletters can help you understand what mistakes other authors are making and how to avoid those mistakes. For instance, one writing ezine often discusses disreputable publishers and agents, warning other writers to say away.
3)      Watch TV and movies.
Yep, you read that right. Watching television and movies helps you to understand what’s popular and can help you to see issues in ways you might never have considered. Let’s say you watch a detective program. It could give you insight into why your villain behaves as she does. Granted, your villain might not be a murderer, but her long history of abuse could explain her actions.
4)      Subscribe to agents’ and editors’ blogs.
They know the industry like no one else. If you want to know what’s going on in the publishing world, this is an excellent place to start.
5)      Follow Publisher’s Weekly on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pubweekly) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/PublishersWkly).
6)      Learn to proofread.
In order to properly proofread your own work, you might have to read the story backward or in some other order to truly see the words. When we’re proofing our stories, we tend to see what we believe is there.  If our intention was to write, “We took the dog to the groomer,” then we’ll see that even if we’ve actually typed, “We too the dog to the groomer.” The eye skims right over that missing k, and the mistake isn’t highlighted as such by my word processing software.
7)      Learn to self-edit.
Self-editing differs somewhat from proofreading because it is more involved than correcting typos. Self-editing includes fixing flaws. Did your character say something that doesn’t ring true? Have you used the word jump ten times on the same page? Does your character behave in a way that isn’t faithful to her personality for no apparent reason? Once you’ve had your work edited by a professional, you’ll be more aware of what to look for. In the meantime, do a search for some helpful articles.
8)       Listen to how people actually speak.
To do dialogue well, you need to truly listen to people talking. This is another good thing about watching movies. The first time I picked up an Elmore Leonard novel, I thought, “Huh? This guy doesn’t follow the rules.” But his dialogue rings so true! He uses dialogue to create characters that are realistic.
9)      Experiment.
Write outside your comfort zone. If you don’t write poetry, try a poem to see what you can come up with. I took a creative writing class where students had to read a short story in a particular genre and then write a story in that genre. We had to write western, science fiction, romance, horror, mystery, and even how-to instructions. Stretch your limits—you might be surprised at what you can do.
10)   Write.
All the study in the world won’t make you a better writer if you don’t simply put your butt in the chair and write.

Embroidery shop owner Marcy Singer is about to have the rug pulled out from under her….

Marcy can’t wait to see the new exhibit at the Tallulah Falls museum on antique tapestries and textiles, including beautiful kilim rugs. But her enthusiasm quickly turns to terror when, the day after the exhibition opens, she discovers a dead body behind her store, the Seven-Year Stitch, wrapped up in a most unusual fashion.

The victim appears to be a visiting art professor in town for the exhibit. Did someone decide to teach the professor a lesson, then attempt to sweep the evidence under the rug? Along with her boyfriend, Detective Ted Nash, Marcy must unravel an intricate tapestry of deception to find a desperate killer.
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Genre – Cozy Mystery
Rating – PG
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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cast in Blood by Michelle Rabe @michrabe #ReviewShare #Paranormal #Fantasy

Cast in BloodCast in Blood by Michelle Rabe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The last few years seem to mark the era of the vampire when it comes to popular fiction. This can sometimes make movies or reading seem too repetitive, so I was skeptical when I first read the description for Cast in Blood.

I was pleasantly surprised that this book took a very different and modern approach that mixes mystery, action thriller, and sci-fi genres seamlessly. Along with the mixed genres, you’ll also find a mix of other supernatural creatures besides vampires. I won’t ruin how they come to play in the story, but they certainly add to the plot. I felt like Michelle did a good job of giving each character a different personality and background, down to the details of how they spoke.

You were able to get a good sense of each person and that enhanced my ability to feel connected emotionally. Some of the descriptions and musings by Morgan had a very poetic quality that showcased Michelle’s writing abilities well. The main character, Morgan, is extremely savvy and tenacious while being put through some pretty difficult situations, even for a vampire.

The settings of this book are modern from night clubs to secret laborites. The ending of the book left me with many questions, a few of which I wish were wrapped up now, but that’s most likely my impatience getting the best of me. I noticed Cast in Blood is listed as the first in a series, so perhaps this is further genius in getting me and the rest of us readers hooked and waiting to see what happens next to Morgan.

One of my favorite passages was early in the book, but it’s just as applicable to how we, the reader, feel curious and wanting at the end; “She is enveloped by numbness, falling, into oblivion. She drifts to the edge of awareness, shoulders, wrists and elbows aching. She twists, seeking relief from the painful position. She drowns in a black sea.” Here’s to hoping that oblivion will become clearer in book 2, which I’ll definitely be reading.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads UK Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my book review. This book review is based on my thoughts, opinion and understanding of the book. This book review does not reflect the opinion of other book club members.

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From Stress to Stillness: Tools for Inner Peace by @GinaLake #ReviewShare #SelfHelp #TBR

From Stress to Stillness: Tools for Inner PeaceFrom Stress to Stillness: Tools for Inner Peace by Gina Lake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From Stress to Stillness takes an unusual approach to examining the origins and dissolution of stress. The book is written with a mixture of personal anecdotes and scientific or psychological research, while maintaining a simple and straightforward writing style that will appeal to the average reader.

Gina Lake delves into the explanation how each person's inner ego causes stress by instilling fear, doubt, and dissatisfaction through a distorted lens of reality. In simple terms, the ego is the voice in your head that tells you a small mistake means total failure or makes you worry that a future event will go poorly before it even happens.

It contributes to low self esteem and also distracts you with greed for material or social gains. Gina talks about how negative emotions are on the Stress Channel, whereas you want to be on the Stillness Channel with emotions like calmness, satisfaction and confidence.

As a person with high energy, it makes sense to me how important it is to connect with my thoughts so my energy is channeled in the right path. The energy is always within me, so I need to control the path it takes.

Interestingly, while many books in this genre attempt to teach ways to "reprogram" thinking to end all negative thoughts, Gina's focus is different. Gina's techniques for reducing stress involve a lot of work on becoming self-aware as you learn ways to recognize the difference in your true self and your ego.

Gina's techniques are useful no matter your level of dedication so you can go at your own pace as you learn to stay in-the-moment and slowly change your lifestyle. I noticed that the benefits started right away as I applied her techniques and I'm confident they will continue to grow as they are used more often!

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads UK Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my book review. This book review is based on my thoughts, opinion and understanding of the book. This book review does not reflect the opinion of other book club members.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Last Finesse by Brian Bloom @BrianB_Aust #Thriller #AmReading #Fiction

‘Gramps wasn’t around anymore. Successful industrialists don’t have time for their daughters. My mother had her hands full with the boys. Teenagers crave attention. That’s all I was doing. It turned out I was quite normal. I finally grew up. Sports were helpful.’

He was as intrigued with her as ever. ‘What kind of sports?’

‘Gymkhana horse riding, till I was 15, and then some board surfing, on the odd occasion, and then, more recently, board sailing. I love to be at one with nature.’ She flicked back her hair and looked up at the sun.

‘So,’ he said in response, ‘we both know how to ride a horse – that’s a start isn’t it?’

‘Yeah,’ I guess so, she replied, ‘but I’d rather play golf.’

‘I’d be delighted if you’d play with me,’ he stated enthusiastically. ‘What did you do when you were “finished” at that “finishing school” of yours?’

‘I’ve told you,’ she answered: ‘my old man wanted me “barefoot and pregnant” in the kitchen next door – he thought it was time I settled down. We had a hell of a fight, but I had Guido on my side, and my mother finally came to the party and supported me.

 ‘I enrolled in a journalism course at Texas U, in Austin. I did quite well. My old man finally acknowledged my existence by coming to my graduation ceremony. And then our relationship became an armed truce, when I “informed” him I’d decided to go out on my own.’ Using her index and middle fingers, she drew quotation marks in the air, around the word “informed”.

‘That wasn’t his idea of how a good Italian woman should conduct herself. I basically told him, “Go fuck yourself!”, but I used more diplomatic language – as they taught me at finishing school. He finally came to realise he’d been a failure as a father, and backed off. From time to time, he still dangles my trust fund in my face, in the hope he can make me see reason and live my life according to his paternal script.’

‘Right,’ Luke acknowledged. ‘And your mother?’

‘Mum died when I was 20, a week before my 21st-birthday party. That rug was also pulled out from under me, and it was the last straw, as far as I was concerned. That’s when I moved to San Francisco to start living my own life properly.

‘That’s also why I wanted to know your views about gay marriage. Like Sydney, San Fran’s got a large gay community, and I’m lucky enough to have a lot of gay friends.’

His ‘naughty streak’ surfaced again. ‘And if you come to live in Australia among the “large gays”?’
She smiled, but was clearly fixated on wrapping up her story. ‘Some of them might miss me.’

‘Did you struggle to get a job?’

‘No,’ she answered, ‘not really. A few doors were opened to me because I topped my class and was the daughter of Louis Marchetti.’

Luke imagined the opening doors, and indulged in a quick fantasy about banging his boys up against her open doors . . . ‘So,’ he remarked, ‘he wasn’t entirely a waste of rations . . . Hang on a second: did you just say you topped your class?’

She had a palpable air of relief that she’d finally told her story. ‘Look, Luke, he’s not really a bad guy; it’s just he’s been hanging on to his old values in the modern world. I’m convinced that somewhere deep inside him, he’s just as sad as I am that we don’t have a relationship. I’m his only daughter. Maybe, if you and I finally get together, it’ll serve as an ice breaker.’

‘You topped your class?’ he persisted.

‘Yes,’ she replied, with a trace of impatience. ‘So what?

He considered his next question. ‘Can I ask you something personal?’


The Last Finesse
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Genre - Conspiracy Thriller
Rating – MA (15+)
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Infernal Gates by Michael J. Webb @mjwebbbooks #reviewshare #christian #fantasy

Infernal GatesInfernal Gates by Michael J. Webb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am not familiar with Michael J Webb’s work so I was apprehensive when I picked up this book. While the description sounded great. I just wasn’t sure if it would live up to my expectations. I am glad to say that I was blown away. This is one book I just couldn’t put down.

The plot is wonderful and flows nicely. The combination of spirituality and supernatural blend so well and is wonderfully done. The characters are well rounded and believable which makes the immersion in the story just that much greater. The main character Ethan Freeman is an ex-Special Forces Ranger who wakes up to find that he is the sole survivor of a horrific plane crash that has killed his entire family.

From that moment the events of the book travel at a quick pace with action and suspense with every turn of the page. Michael Webb definitely knows how to spin an engaging tale and keep the readers interest. This book might be a little bit too much for those that have problems with religion.

However I think that almost anyone would be able to find enjoyment in this book. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and family. I will also be checking out Michael J Webb’s other books.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads UK Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my book review. This book review is based on my thoughts, opinion and understanding of the book. This book review does not reflect the opinion of other book club members.

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Loving Conor: A Clairvoyant's #Memoir on Loving, Bonding & Healing by @TamiUrbanek #reviewshare

Loving Conor: A Clairvoyant's Memoir on Loving, Bonding and HealingLoving Conor: A Clairvoyant's Memoir on Loving, Bonding and Healing by Tami Arlene Urbanek
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loving Conor is an excellent read. As a young mom who experienced domestic violence for a large portion of my life, I could definitely relate with to this book. From the very first page, I was hooked on reading the story and seeing what twists and turns would come next. I read this book at a great speed because it was so engaging the entire time. I learned lessons from the book and I even got into my emotions throughout some parts of the story because I flashed back on times when I was the one wondering when anger would cease and looking for acceptance from men.

I liked how the author incorporated her entire journey throughout the book and ended with her daughter’s voice. I am a mom of three young boys but I feel my story may be similar to hers.

If you are a woman who has suffered domestic abuse or is currently experiencing it you definitely need to read this book. It will open up your eyes and show you not only how you are hurting yourselves by staying in abusive relationships but how you are hurting your children too. I can tell that the author really put her feelings into this book, which is what makes it an excellent read.

The book not only covers domestic abuse though. It goes into how to heal from it and how to learn from mistakes and seek out healthier relationships. There are just so many heartwarming things that you learn from this magnificent read.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads UK Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my book review. This book review is based on my thoughts, opinion and understanding of the book. This book review does not reflect the opinion of other book club members.

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Date with the Dead by Chris Myers @cmyersfiction #reviewshare #mystery #ya

Date with the Dead (Ripsters, #1)Date with the Dead by Chris Myers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Chris Myers' Date With The Dead brings us into the captivating world of Jolie, a sassy newcomer to her high school in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Not only is she spunky and quick witted, she also speaks to the dead and has a ghost hunting business.

Readers are quickly immersed in the world of the creepy and occult, and her peculiar friendship with her unlikely ghost friend Drew. Immediately it is apparent that our protagonist is unfazed by her strange life, which pulled me into her world even more, keeping me reading til' the very end with excitement and wonder about the adventures that were yet to unfold. Smart, hardworking, and tough Jolie makes it her business to keep a roof over her and her mother's heads, showing that she is not only wise and experienced beyond her years, but she harnesses the wisdom of those many years passed as well.

The stakes are high for Jolie to solve the mystery about the Caldwell family's haunting, the case drawing her deeper with each twist and turn as a haunting becomes a murder, and so much more. With each chapter, Jolie's hunt for the truth of Distal's disappearance and murder brings her greater danger, and even more thrill.

As this young adult novel draws to a close with the mystery and excitement, I was in awe of Myers' carefully crafted narrative, and the shocking plot twists until the suspenseful conclusion. A coming of age tale has never been more fresh and interesting than the complex story of Jolie and her friends and romantic interests—both alive, and dead—and her knack for calming ghosts and solving a big criminal case.

This is a goosebump-inducing story with thrilling and unpredictable surprises along the way that left me craving another look into Jolie's amazing world. I can't wait to see how this story will develop!

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads UK Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my book review. This book review is based on my thoughts, opinion and understanding of the book. This book review does not reflect the opinion of other book club members.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Curse Giver by Dora Machado @DoraMachado #DarkFantasy #AmReading #Paranormal

IT WASN’T THE MAN’S SCARRED FACE that had alarmed Lusielle. It wasn’t his proximity either, or the feel of his lips on her mouth, or the tingle swelling her lips. It was the shock that she spotted in his eyes, along with the loathing and the misery she saw there, followed by the instant hardening of the dark stare she had caught undefended.

Who was he?

A memory of fire and pain flared in her mind. The high heat running through her veins muffled her thinking. Dread. She had survived the torture and the flames. Despair. Was it about to start all over again?

She scrambled out of the pallet like a rat dashing out of a trap.

“Don’t!” the man said, grabbing for her leg but letting go as soon as his fingers came in contact with her bandages.

She scooted backwards on her hands and elbows. A solid wall of rock slammed against her back. Pain shot through her body like a rain of arrows. Out. She had to get away from this man. Fast. She looked around in desperation. Was that a sword lying on the ground?

Mustering whatever little strength she could, she dove for it. Her fingers wrapped around the sword’s hilt as she forced her voice past her bruised throat.

“Stay back!”

“Easy now,” the man said, standing up slowly, displaying his empty palms, motioning for her to calm down. “You’re going to reopen your wounds.”

No more pain. No more torture. She was done with King Riva and his random courts of so-called justice. She was done with the magistrate, Orell, and Aponte. She wasn’t going to let it happen again.
She scoured the place for an exit, swallowing great gulps of smoke-scented air. Her feet throbbed. Her legs ached. Her arms quivered under the heavy sword’s strain. It was an odd weapon, curved instead of straight, unwieldy to her untrained hands, foreign and wild. She clung to it with all the grit she could muster.

He took a step towards her.

“If you come any closer,” she said, “I’ll have to kill you.”

“That’s a mighty big boast,” he said. “Do you really think you can hurt me with my sword?”

Shaking as hard as she was, she could barely keep the heavy sword aimed at him, let alone manage a thrust. If she hadn’t been so weak, maybe she could have edged her way out of the cave. As it was, he looked very strong and daunting standing between her and the way out.

“Listen, Lusielle,” he said. “That’s your name, right? Lusielle?”

She nodded reluctantly.

“Lusielle,” he repeated, almost kindly. “You’ve been through a lot. I understand that you’re scared, but you’re safe at the moment, and you’re not doing your wounds any favors. For your own good, do you think you could lower the sword and try to settle down?”

Her mind was spinning in too many directions. The pain wasn’t helping either. But Lusielle forced herself to think.

Where was she? In a cave of some sort, not in a place she recognized. How had she gotten here? She’d have to come back to that. Was this man friend or foe?

Lusielle willed her frantic heartbeat to slow down. Her arms quaked with the effort of holding the sword. She recognized that she was ill and not just physically. She was also sick with fear. She had been hurt and could have died, but someone had been taking care of her.


She could barely get the words through her parched throat. “Did you—did you tend to my wounds?”
He gave a curt nod.

 “A-Are you one of Orell’s guardsmen?”

“I’m not with Orell or the magistrate,” he said. “We’re no longer near your town.”

“Then why are you wearing the king’s colors?”

“Oh, this.” He tugged at his sleeve with a measure of embarrassment. “It’ll be off as soon as we’re out of the kingdom. It was a ploy. To get to you. Without getting killed?”

“Oh.” She wasn’t sure she could believe him—or anyone else—ever again, but she decided to give him the benefit of the doubt because she wasn’t feeling well or thinking straight and he had kept her alive, at least until now.

She fought a bout of dizziness. “W-Where are we?”

“We are in hiding, in a cave, away from those men. I got you from the fire. Remember?”

She had a memory of his black eyes, holding her stare; of his curiously scarred face lit by the fire’s hot flames. She recalled the crowd’s snarling faces, flames flaring all around her, a commotion beyond the pyre, and something else, right at about the time she lost her senses… a horse, galloping through the flames?

The world blurred. He got there just in time to catch the sword as it slipped out of her grasp. Resting the back of her head on the wall, she laughed. There was no amusement to her chuckles, only bitter surrender.

“Don’t you go mad on me,” he said, enfolding her in a warm blanket. “Hang on to your wits, girl.”

Easy for him to say. His life hadn’t been destroyed in three terrible days.

He picked her up from the ground and lay her down gently on the pallet. His words came through muted and distant, but the masculine murmur was pleasant to the ear and calming to her nerves. His lean face occupied the full space of her vision. His mouth was firm, like the expression on his face. His nose was also stern, matching the grimness in his black eyes.

Shame about the scar, which was so deep that it had burned through skin and muscle. It was a dark blotch on the cusp of his chiseled cheekbone, an oddly round patch, intricately roped around the edges where the mangled skin rose above the rest. The seared flesh pulled on the man’s lower eyelid, warping his right eye into a fearsome expression. Her sight was still blurred, but when she squinted, she thought she spotted a tear-shaped outline within the blackened edges.

She shook with fever. Flashes of cold and heat traveled through her bones like caravans of rattling wagons. Her lips were as dry as cracked leather. She knew what she needed; liquids, lots of it, preferably infused with some of her healing herbs. But her arid mouth couldn’t quite make out the words.

The man must have sensed that she was thirsty, or else he had tended to the wounded before, because he braced her carefully against his chest and leaned the rim of a pewter cup against her lips. Lusielle swallowed the lukewarm tea eagerly. It restored moisture to her throat and revived her senses.

The man’s essential scent enveloped her, a fusion of heated metal, worn leather and fresh rain. It also wafted from the blanket and scented the air she breathed. It was strange, but despite the darkness she spied in his eyes, she wasn’t afraid of the scar or the man anymore. She reached out to touch him.
He flinched, but that didn’t stop her.

She ran her fingertips through the dark bristle of his closely cropped hair, allowing her hand to slide down to his clean-shaven cheek, caressing his chin and crossing over to the other side of his face, until her fingers tripped over the scar’s leathery edges.

Had it been a dream? “Did you … kiss me?”

“No,” he said harshly, but then the light changed in his eyes. “Aye, I did.”

By the gods, he had kissed her, with tenderness, she remembered, with passion. “Why?”

He frowned. “I—I don’t know.”

What a strange man he was. Perhaps she was hallucinating and he wasn’t real. Perhaps he was her mind’s odd creation. At least he had admitted to kissing her, which was her most recent memory. Or maybe she was making that up too.

She traced the scar on his face. “Were you kissed by the God of fire?”
Surprise flashed in his eyes. “I guess you could say that.”

“But you survived?”

He offered a reluctant nod.

“And yet you dared the fire again? After you knew how bad it burned? To get me out?”

He gave her a curious look, but said nothing.

The world spun violently within those black eyes, but she managed to keep her senses. “What’s your name?”

“I’m Brennus.”

“Brennus.” She mulled over the word. “He who comes with the darkness. In the old tongue. Why did you fetch me from the fire?”

“We’ll talk about that later.”

“Was it an act of kindness?”

A sneer twisted his face. “Hardly.”

“A feat of courage?”

“I was pissing in my saddle.”

“A charitable deed?”

He scoffed. “I gave up on charity a long time ago.”

It was odd. It must be the fever. She was having trouble distinguishing between humor and sarcasm, bitterness and rage. There was nothing soft about his face, no trace of joy or friendliness. Still, she wasn’t afraid of him. She thought perhaps she should be.

“Why did you act as you did, Brennus?”

“Would my reasons make any difference to you?”

The question hung in the air like a promise about to break. She tried to read his eyes and found nothing but blackness in his stare. Her mind was flickering like a sputtering candle. Her thoughts were fading. But she could have sworn he was about to say something when a tall, gaunt man rushed into the cave.

“They’re onto us,” he said. “We’ve got to move.”

Curse Giver
Award-Winning Finalist in the fantasy category of The 2013 USA Best Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News
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Genre – Fantasy/Dark Fantasy
Rating – PG-18
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Fool for Love by Merry Farmer @MerryFarmer20 #Historical #Romance #AmReading

The Majestic rose up out of the water in its Liverpool dock with all the glory of its name.  Amelia held one hand to her hat and stared at its iron sides, its two dun-colored funnels and three tall masts.  The ship was a strange thing to her, a mixture of old and new, progress with hints of the past.  It had sails that could be unfurled in a pinch, but with its powerful new engines, the ship could cross the ocean in a week.

Seven days to a new world.  It was an exact description of everything her life had become.  It was every bit as daunting.

“What am I doing?” Amelia whispered, staring at the hopeful monstrosity in front of her.  It was one thing to accept an offer for a new life.  It was another thing entirely to go through with it.

She turned away from the ship, swallowing the nausea that had plagued her since she’d left her mother’s house.  This time it wasn’t morning sickness.  That was long past.  At the moment, the baby was the least of her worries.  Her stomach rolled over the idea that she was about to board a ship heading for a new life at the mercy of a stranger, a man, no less.  The last time she had trusted her life and her future to a man had been a disaster.

She paced, purse clutched to her chest, scanning the busy dock in search of her American savior.  Men, women, and children crowded the gangplanks, eager to start their journeys, excited and hopeful.  Many of the third-class passengers carried bundles that indicated theirs was a one-way trip as much as hers was.  Eric had left her there to go buy her ticket, but there was nothing stopping him from running off and leaving her stranded.  Like her father.  Like Nick.  She was a fool to agree to this.  She pivoted and marched away from the ship.

No, she stopped herself after a handful of steps, this was the best decision she could have made.  She may have felt small and lonely standing by herself, waiting, heart and stomach fluttering, but she was as much a part of the intrepid adventurers seeking a new life in America as any of her fellow passengers.  This was right.


“Well, we got a minor problem on our hands.”

The twang of Eric’s accent shocked Amelia from her worries.  She spun to face him as he approached her with wide strides, scratching his head and looking as guilty as a schoolboy.

“A problem?” she asked, voice fluttering.

“Yeah.  I went to buy you a ticket, but they’re plumb sold out.”

Amelia’s chest tightened and her tender stomach lurched.  “Oh.  Oh dear.  Well I suppose….”
She lowered her eyes, heart aquiver.  As quickly as it started, her chance for a new life was over.  All that worrying for nothing.

She squared her shoulders to face her fate.  “I … I thank you for your efforts on my behalf regardless, Mr. Quinlan.”

Eric’s brow crinkled into a curious frown.  “Regardless?”

“I suppose I could find work here in Liverpool,” she explained.  “Surely there must be a shop somewhere that would look the other way from….”  She lowered her hand to the mound of her stomach.

Eric’s lips twitched.  The morning sunlight caught in his eyes.  “I didn’t want to have to put you in third-class, so I told them you were my wife.”

Amelia blinked.  “You what?”

“I told them we’re newlyweds.  I reserved my stateroom in first class last year when I came over.  Good thing I paid for it then too, ‘cuz after this fiasco of a trip I’ll never ride first-class again.  Anyhow, when they said they didn’t have any more rooms, I told them you were my wife and that we would be staying in the same stateroom.  They sold me a ticket for that.”  He handed her a fresh, clean ticket with her name written as ‘Mrs. Amelia Quinlan’.  “Sorry.”

Amelia held perfectly still on the outside, but on the inside her heart pounded and her stomach rolled with guilt for questioning him.  He wasn’t abandoning her.  He had gone out of his way to help her.  Her heart squeezed as it never had before.  She took the ticket from him with a trembling hand, hardly noticing when her fingers brushed his.  She was rescued after all.

“Thank you, Mr. Quinlan.  You have no idea how much this kindness means to me.”  She had to concentrate on breathing, standing straight, and looking up into his handsome eyes with a smile to keep her tears at bay.

“You don’t mind sharing then?” he asked her.

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Genre – Western Historical Romance
Rating – R
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