Saturday, October 20, 2018

#Sci/FiFantasySaturday #FrozenDeath

Frozen Death
G. L. Didaleusky
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1

BLURB: Frozen Death

Ancient Indian lore holds the answer to these mysterious medical aberrations. A newly constructed Florida male prison sits on ancient hallowed grounds called Forbidden Hill. Soon after the prison opens, two male inmates freeze to death without exposure to frigid temperatures. John Randall, a widowed prison doctor, meets Lena Windmaker, a single, off-duty sheriff detective at a local library. Their initial plutonic relationship soon kindles into a more amorous one. They hide a personal secret that could bring them together or destroy them. They uncover articles in local, post-Civil war newspapers describing residence succumbing to Frozen Death. John and Lena race to discover a cause before it chooses other victims.

EXCERPT: Frozen Death

At 3:30 A.M., the telephone rang. On the fourth ring, John picked up the receiver, his mind still foggy from sleep. "This better be an emergency."

"Is this…Dr. Randall?" 

John realized the caller had a male voice, not the feminine voice of Nurse Simpson. “Yes, I'm Dr. Randall. I'm sorry for being so abrupt when I first answered the phone. I thought it was the infirmary nurse calling again."

"I've answered the phone the same way on several occasions at this time of the morning," said the male caller. "My name is Steve Patterson. I'm the ER physician at Ocala General Hospital."

"Is it about the inmate I sent to you a few hours ago? Was it a drug overdose?"


"A brain tumor?"

"No. His CT brain scan was normal, along with a normal drug screen," said Patterson. "I'm sorry to tell you but the inmate died."

John nearly dropped the phone. "What did he die from?"

"He froze to death. I've never seen anything like this in my thirty years as an ER doctor. After running all the tests on him, he started to shake. His temperature rapidly dropped followed by cardiac arrest. I tried everything to save his life, but nothing worked."

"I’m sure you did everything you could. Hopefully an autopsy will give us an answer to his death." John decided not to tell him about Inmate Armstrong’s similar death yesterday morning. "Thanks for calling me, Dr. Patterson."     

"I'm just sorry I didn't have good news to tell you." He hung up the phone. 

John couldn't go back to sleep. He got up and put on a pot of coffee. After he had showered, shaved, and dressed, he went back to the kitchen and poured himself a cup of coffee. 

As he sat at the kitchen table, sipping his coffee, the telephone rang. The ominous ring almost caused him to lose his grip on the coffee cup. He glanced up at the wall clock: 5:15 A.M. John sprang from his chair and rushed toward the ringing phone on the wall. 

He picked up the phone. "Dr. Randall."

"It's Nurse Simpson from the infirmary." She took a deep breath. "I have an inmate…"

Stevi B. for Manic Readerssays:

"Frozen Death is a very intriguing mystery and it gets even more interesting as the answer appears to be found in Ancient Indian lore. If you love Indian lore, medically impossible puzzles, and mysteries that look impossible, you will like Frozen Death." 

Friday, October 19, 2018

#Friday'sFeaturedTitle #Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big Fat Loser

Title: Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big Fat Loser
         A Book About Bullying
ISBN: 978-1-62420-291-9
Author: Catherine DePino

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1


The kids at school pick on Elliot Carnucci. He's overweight, looks like a geek, makes top honors, and lives in a funeral home. Can Elliot win his fight against the bullies, or is he doomed forever?

REVIEW: Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big Fat Loser

Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big Fat Loser
by Catherine DePino
Manic Reader Review 
Rating:  5 stars out of 5
Reviewer: Teresa

Total Score: 5/5

Nothing is worse than feeling you are all lone without anyone you can count on to have your back. Anyone who has experienced bullying in any way can understand exactly what Elliot was going through. It was difficult enough living in the funeral parlor that his father owned and ran, but being overweight just made things more difficult. Kyle, the school bully, and his gang were relentless and nothing Elliot did made them stop. If it wasn't for Roy, his best friend, and Duke the head custodian Elliot would have felt completely alone. Duke was determined to keep him safe where Kyle's good looks and manipulative behavior had most of the teachers believing he could do no wrong. It takes a strong person to stand up saying no more, but with the help of his friends Elliot may find a way to triumph.

This was a wonderful story about the difficulties of growing up and how one person can make a difference. Elliot didn't believe in himself until others stepped forward to support him even if it made them a target. It was ridiculous how Kyle thought that anyone, even Duke and the school principle, could be threatened by his parents if they attempted to make him face up the verbal and physical abuse against Elliot. This story should give hope that there are people out there who are willing to support and help anyone so please look around. There is light at the end of the tunnel as one who has overcome bullying so don't give up. Better days a head for you.

BLURB: Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big Fat Loser

The kids at Ralph Bunche Middle School love to pick on Elliot Kravitz-Carnucci. He struggles with his weight, looks like a geek, makes top honors, and lives above the Carnucci Home for Funerals in South Philadelphia with his distant, workaholic father and Nonna, his quirky, overbearing grandmother. Since his parents divorced, he splits his time between living with his father and his mother Rayna, who dreams of becoming the queen of commercials, on the west coast. At the hands of his peers, Elliot experiences a series of bullying episodes that escalate from entrapment in a school supply closet to a brutal “swirly” (head dunk in the toilet) that lands him in the hospital emergency room. Can Elliot win his fight against the nasty bullies, or is he doomed forever? Read this funny, sad, and crazy book to find out.

"Help—I can't breathe—let me out. Somebody help..."
I pounded the inside of the musty supply closet until my knuckles turned blue. Did anybody even have the key?
What if they don't come? What if I'm trapped here all night?
I could hear loud voices and laughing, so I knew Kyle Canfield and one of his friends from the basketball team were there, waiting to see if I would cave in and plead for mercy.
The bell blared. Classes changed. Kids stampeded through the halls. Then, silence.
Finally, I heard someone shout, "I've got the key, Doc."
"Thanks, Duke," Doc Greely, the assistant principal, said to Mr. Boardly, the man who'd sprung me loose.
Mr. Boardly, the head custodian, better known as Duke, offered me his arm, and I stumbled out of the closet. He was as thin as his mop handle, but all muscle, no flab like me. A scruffy white beard covered half his face.
He slammed the closet door shut and bolted the lock. "One of the hall guards reported noise coming from this area. We came as soon as we heard."
Duke patted my shoulder. "Let me know if I can help, Elliot." I could hear his keys clanging as he walked down the hall humming "Duke of Earl," that old sixties song he loved.That's where he got his nickname.

~ * ~

"Up to their old tricks again, Elliot?" Doc asked on the way to his office.
I figured it was a dumb question, so I looked at the ground like I always do when an adult says something stupid.
Doc walked beside me, babbling nonstop. "As I said when they pelted you with those mini pizzas in the cafeteria, 'I'll do everything I can, but I can't be there every minute.'"
The kids at Ralph Bunche High School make fun of Doc because he has a belly that flops over his belt and makes him look like he's about to have a baby. They call him "Beer Gut Greely" behind his back.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Kyle Canfield and his buddy Derek Parker smiling. "Fat loser," one of them whispered. That was their favorite name for me, but they loved to call me "2K," meaning two tons, so the teachers wouldn't have a clue about what they were up to.
Doc spun around to where they were standing. He enjoyed what he called "catching culprits in the act," but it was too late. Kyle and Derek had already made a mad dash down the hall.
Doc barked into his walkie-talkie to Officer Grady, the school cop. "Pick up Canfield and Parker in homeroom. Have the dean give them in-school suspension for three days. Looks like they didn't learn much from those detentions we gave them last time."
"You got it, boss," Grady shouted over the phone static.
I followed Doc to his office and sank into the butt aching folding chair he reserved for kids who talked back, cursed out teachers, or cut class. Doc leaned back in his swivel chair and tapped the tips of his fingers together.
I read in Psychology Todayhow body language can tell you what's going on in people's heads. Steepling your fingers shows you think you're better than everybody. Doc thinks he has all the answers, especially when it comes to my harassment issues.
When I thought Doc would tumble over in his chair, he braced his hands on the desk and straightened up like he had a broomstick up his butt. He pointed his finger so close to my face I thought he'd gouge out my eye and I'd have to roam the earth like a Cyclops for the rest of my life.
He leaned toward me, and I could smell the stinky salami and provolone sandwich he usually ate for lunch. "You know who can help you?"
I shrugged, knowing what his answer would be.
"You can help you," he said, like he was giving me the secret of the universe.
I looked at him like he was an alien, but he didn't catch it.
"What do you have to say about all this, Elliot?"
I shrugged my shoulders. What did he expect me to say, that I was the big fat loser those guys always called me?
By now the whole school knew because they'd scribbled that name and a few others I won't mention on the bathroom wall.

Doc squinted at me with his muddy hazel eyes. He hated it when you didn't answer right away.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

#HighlandMiracle #FantasyRomance

Author: Christine Young

Genre: Romance/Fantasy/Paranormal
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 2

EXCERPT: Highland Miracle

"Look, Tia," Reagan said as she pointed toward a nearby hill.  
"What is it?" 
"A handsome stranger," Reagan giggled, instantly transfixed by the man. "Coming to dance around the May Pole?" Reagan looked a little more closely. "Oh, it's the Laird of Sterling Castle. Why is he on foot?"
"You are not thinking what I think," Tia said. "You dinnae know who he is. He looks like the laird but then he doesn't."
"How do I look?" Regan asked, ignoring Tia and smoothing her skirts then hoping she looked beautiful enough to snare this man. She wanted to sweep the laird off his feet. This might be her one and only chance.
She heard the celebration in the background and watched as all eyes rose to meet the Laird's. Her brother William's eyes were startled then guarded and thoughtful. Tia's were intrigued. Some of the others gazes were wary and distrustful. They were a superstitious lot here in the Highlands. But even as she watched the people around her, she could not fully keep her attention from the Laird who had never attended this celebration before. 
She felt a curious draw as she met his piercing gaze. She had only once before seen the man. He was an illusive creature, usually keeping inside the walls of his castle. Rumor had it the castle was haunted and the ghost was a woman who kept him from finding true love or happiness.
"Who do you think he is and where did he come from?" Tia asked peering intently at the man. "I really don't think it's the Laird. No one has spoken to the man in years. He is so withdrawn. A few months ago people were saying he had died."
The man possessed a calm air as if he knew and recognized all the people in front of him. His dark gaze was mysterious, and when he stopped walking, he stood as still as a rock, striking and in clothes she had never seen anyone wear before. She had thought then, though, it would not have mattered what he wore.
Reagan could not draw her eyes from his and felt her flesh grow warm. The way he stared at her was unnerving. Her heart thundered beneath her chest. It seemed as if she knew this man from some long ago time.
But that wasn't possible.
It was May Day. The very air was filled with such excitement, and now this man was here as if sent for her and her alone. In the meadow maids and youths already danced around the Maypole. A man with a bear had the animal dancing circles upon his hind feet, and a marionette show was in progress. A flutist played in honor of King James, a group of Highlanders played the bagpipes. Noise and confusion flourished. The day was bright, clear blue, and so very beautiful. 
She saw a strange gold dusting swirling and dancing in the air around her. Instantly, she felt compelled toward the stranger. For a moment she thought someone spoke to her, encouraging her onward.
Reagan was grateful she'd taken so much time with her clothes. Her hose were white silk, and her little leather slippers were blue decorated with glass stones. Next to her flesh she wore a soft silk shift and over it a binding corset and three different petticoats. The dress was blue brocade, with stomachers in velvet, low-cut bodices, and half sleeves with scores of blue lace. Her facemask was covered with feathers and plumes. Her golden hair was done in ringlets, tied through with blue satin ribbons.  When she'd looked at herself in the mirror, she had been quite pleased with the results. 
So lost in thought, she had lost track of the man. 
Until he stood next to her.

"A...hi," he said. "I'm Sean Michael Sterling." He stared at her with dark dangerous brown eyes as he crossed his arms on his chest.

#HighlandHonor #HistoricalRomance

Christine Young
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 3

BLURB: Highland Honor

The first book in the Highland Series

Willfully stubborn, innocently courageous, Callie Whitcomb braves a journey through the treacherous highlands to the Macpherson castle. Callie flees from an unwanted marriage as well as her ruthless half brother. Naively she believes Colin MacPherson, the head of the clan, is loyal to her father and will give her sanctuary, protecting her from the vile plans that have been made for her.

As hard and as unyielding as the winter storms that sweep through the countryside, Colin is irresistibly drawn to the impetuous beauty who has magically appeared on his doorsteps. Despite his vows of revenge against her father, she stirs his passion as well as his sense of justice...but to love her would violate all his vows of revenge.

Scotland November 1512: 


"Don't think of that now," she reminded herself fiercely, even while tears stung in the back of her throat and fear made her limbs tremble. "Don't ye dare think of home. It no longer exists." Nothing and no one could coax her back or make her believe there was naught but terror in the home where she'd been born. 

"I will never marry Lord Huntington. Never!" she whispered fiercely, the chill night air solemnly echoing her words. 

Her stepbrother, Archibald Covington III, made sure she could never return. 

"There ye be, lass! I've been waiting for you." 

The voice rose from nowhere and surprised her. Her heart froze, lurched, then began an erratic beat, while raw nerves snapped, sending a myriad of sensations racing down her spine. 

"Archibald--" she whispered, panic sweeping through her. "He's found me." All she could hear was the pounding of blood in her ears. 

Before she could reach her destination, before she could find safe refuge from him, his men had found her. No! Not now. Not when she thought she had eluded them all. 

A wave of fear sweeping through her reminded her, that if caught, she would be taken back to Archibald and forced to marry Lord Huntington. 

"I'll help you down, lass." 


Before she could react and spur her horse forward, callous, rough hands centered on her waist then pulled her from her mount. 

"No!" She cried out to no avail. Regaining her wits, she beat fiercely upon the man's broad chest, tearing at his face and his thick beard with her fingers. 

"Ach, lass! Hold still! I mean ye no harm. Stop this--" His voice was gruff and impatient. 

Fear for her life had spurred her haste. Terror she might see Huntington or Archibald with each turn of the road haunted every hour of her journey. Archibald had retainers everywhere. Messages would have been sent. A highlander could be bought. 

"Ruffian! Unhand me! Ye barbarous Scotsman." 

If Archibald had guessed what path she followed... 

"Verra well, ne'er let it be said that I dinna do a lass' bidding." Just as suddenly as he'd grabbed her, his hold upon her vanished. She stumbled backward. 

Instantly, she found herself sitting on the frozen earth. The man towering above her watched her with concerned dark eyes. Despite the scar stretching from forehead to chin, his mouth quirked upward in a humorous slant. 

"Ye be a handful, lass." 

Mary of A Romance Review says, "Overall I liked the story and can recommend it as a worthwhile read. The author has a lot of talent and the plot and tension of the story are well handled."

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

#GottaHaveFayth #HistoricalRomance

Title: Gotta Have Fayth
Twelve Dancing Princesses Book Six

Author: Christine Young
ISBN: 978-1-62420-373-2
Genre: Historical Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4

Buy at: Amazon


Fayth Graham unexpectedly meets a man with sparkling gray eyes and an infectious grin, Jarret Kingsley, who gets more than he bargained in the beautiful debutant.

BLURB: Gotta Have Fayth

A regal beauty with raven hair and piercing blue eyes, Fayth Graham is unwilling to parade herself in front of the wealthy Lords of England during the season. Seeking a means to dissuade any man wishing to wed her, she seeks a way to ruin herself for marriage. When she unexpectedly meets a man with sparkling gray eyes and an infectious grin, she decides this is the man who will keep her from agreeing to obey.

He returned from six months at sea, looking for a few nights of pleasure with a willing lass, but Jarret Kinsley got more than he bargained for when he met a beautiful debutant who responded to his kisses with a wild innocence that touched his heart. Yet the obstacles looming between them might rip them apart. Both had vowed never to marry, so when consequences of their dalliances got in the way, Jarret would have to choose between the life he's always desired and the woman he loves more than life.


            “You’re frightening me. I don’t understand anything you’ve been telling me right now.” For a moment, Fayth closed her eyes, realizing she’d pushed him too far. She didn’t know how to remedy this. “I apologize if I’ve done something to change you.”
            “I stole your innocence instead of keeping you safe.” His voice sounded bitter to her. “I wanted you for myself, only myself, without acting on what was in your best interest.’’
            She focused on Jarret, blinked and smiled slightly. “If you remember, I asked you to ruin me,” she murmured, hoping the truth would help. “I wanted you the instant I saw you.”
            “You had no idea what would happen in the aftermath of the tempest we created. I did. The pain I feel at the thought of what I’ve put you through is an agony I’ve never felt before. You trusted me without reservation, yet I’ve brought you nothing but challenges you never asked for and compromised you so thoroughly there is no way to rectify the situation.”
            “You’ve misconstrued everything about me,” she murmured, wishing he would give her credit for some intelligence and understand she had no misgivings. “I wanted everything we did with all my heart. You should have no regrets unless you regret me.”
            “I’m a bloody fool.”
            “Then I’m a blithering idiot,” she told him, unwilling to make this about him. “I’m a willing and eager partner in everything we’ve done. Perhaps you are a bloody fool if you still think this is all about you.”
            “I could’ve stopped us before we were buried in lies. Nothing will happen to me and I knew it. The town will ostracize you, and they will applaud me and my manly prowess.”
            Fayth smiled and touched Jarret’s hard jawline. “I won’t let you dictate what I do and you’ve always known that fact. You’ve gone far beyond what we discussed in the beginning. I’ve no expectation of marriage, nor do I want any part of the institution that involves weddings and a commitment to obey.”
            Jarret’s mouth flattened. “I’m going to leave and let you have what you’ve made damn clear to me, your independence.”
            “I don’t want you to go, you hard-headed man. I want you to make love to me and hold me in your arms. I don’t want that to end.”
            “I can’t do that without the commitment you will never make. There is no other choice for me. This has become a living hell.”
            “I can still be your mistress.” She’d wanted that from the beginning. “I’ll wait for you and I won’t betray you in anyway. Not like your father betrayed your mother.”


Their attention once again was directed to the entrance. A young woman stepped through the door. Jarret’s mind centered on her face; she was so beautiful he couldn’t keep his jaw from dropping. She could have been the largest woman he’d ever seen, but her face seemed angelic. Gorgeous. Stunning. Yet she was petite with coal black hair, intricately coiffed with a few tendrils framing her cheekbones. She wore a travelling dress that had seen better days, but it didn’t distract from her slim delicate figure.
He swallowed hard and his breath caught in his throat. He wasn’t sure he could speak. “I want her. Gotta have her. Tonight.” Maybe my fortune is changing for the best.
“What did you just say?” Logan turned to stare at Jarret.
“My wishes for this evening have just been answered. This is the woman I’ve been waiting for. The next lady who will find my bed and enjoy all the pleasure she deserves.” Jarret rose, striding to the enchanting vision.
He reached her, feeling for the first time he could remember, tongue-tied. The air around her was filled with the scent of lemons. “Can I help you?” He touched her elbow, gently guiding her to the corner of the room where he’d been sitting. He couldn’t resist her aqua colored eyes or the tilt of her chin. When she moistened her lips, all he could think was that he had to taste them, breathe in their essence.
She stared at him, appearing a bit bewildered. “I...”
“I...” One eyebrow rose and the smile inside him grew realizing this woman, whoever she was, would be his next affair. All that remained was convincing her. He didn’t think that would be too difficult.
“I need directions.” She said, her voice assuming a note of command, yet at the same time breathless.
“You entered a tavern for directions?” he queried skeptically. “Then direction you will have.” His heart pounded in his chest, a sudden heat sweeping through his body. More than willing to give instructions to the captain’s cabin of his ship.
She let him lead her across the floor and pulled out a chair for her. “This is...” he began, only to shift his attention from his friends to this gorgeous lady.
“Fayth,” she said.
"And I'm Jarret Kingsley."
An easy peace swept through him. Gotta have Fayth. He touched the top of her hand with his. Its softness sent a warm shimmer spiraling straight to his heart.
“Fayth, a beautiful name,” Logan said, grinning at Jarret as if he knew his intentions.
Jarret slanted him the best hands offlook he could manage. Logan appeared to receive the message, and Drake downed his second pint, signaling for another.
“Kingsley, if I haven’t missed the clues, I believe your wishes for tonight have been granted.” Drake told him. Guess you won’t be going with Logan and myself.”
Now I just have to convince my lady. “Don’t the two of you have somewhere to go?” Jarret asked, nodding his head in the direction of the door.
Fayth slipped her hand from beneath his and placed it on Jarret’s arm. “I came in here for help. Can you help me?”
“Of course, directions where?” Jarret asked, knowing where he wanted her but still trying to figure out the details.
“To my new lodgings. I’ve been travelling for days and I’m confused. I’ve never been in London and I thought...”
“No fears. I’ll make sure you get where you want to go.” Jarret had every intention of taking her wherever she pleased but only after he knew her better, intimately.
The pint of ale Jarret had ordered for her appeared. She licked her lips and stared at the glass. “I don’t know if I should drink that.”
“Only if you want to. I can get you water or wine. The water is horrible, but the wine might be better if it comes from Logan’s vineyard in Bordeaux.” Jarret ignored the conversation between his two best friends. Without listening, he knew what it was that they talked and laughed about and he didn’t care, knowing he was smitten he wasn’t about to deny the emotion.
“I’ll try this.” She sipped the cold brew, a strange expression appearing on her delicate features.
“What do you think?”
“Good.” She licked her lips, and he wanted to follow the path of her tongue with his fingertip.


Historical, Romance, Regency, England


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

#TellTaleTuesday #HealthyHomicide

Author: C. L. Kraemer
Genre: Mystery
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1

Just $0.99


Two murders have occurred at the Barrel Springs Day Spa. Police hurry to find the method and reason before anyone else is murdered.

EXCERPT: Healthy Homicide

Barrel Springs Day Spa had many features, but the one that had set it apart from its closest competitor, West Palmdale Rejuvenation Clinic and Fitness Center, was the No Cellphone rule. On the one occasion Alexa had scheduled a massage at West Palmdale, the masseuse’s cellphone had rung--and she had taken the call! That pretty well convinced Alexa she wouldn’t visit again.

As she turned her phone on, it immediately began to ring. Alexa sighed, checked the time-11:30-and answered. Not soon enough her time would be her own.

"Alexa Bond."

"Ms. Bond? Are you still on the property? This is Cyndi Palmer, and I really need to speak with you. Can you spare a moment? I promise it won’t take long."

Something about the note of desperation in Cyndi’s voice touched Alexa.

"Okay, but I’ve got a noon meeting with the mayor pro tem, and I can’t miss it."

She turned and walked back into the spa’s lobby. A piercing scream rent the air. Alexa’s skin prickled in goose bumps. She stepped aside of the uniformed employees running in the direction of the Vitamin Verandah. Spotting Cyndi Palmer, her normally tanned face ashen, Alexa raised an eyebrow. Behind Cyndi was the spa’s assistant manager, Marilyn, who strolled to Alexa’s side.

"I’ll bet it’s just Vonnie Spencer trying to get her session for free. That woman is a menace. She’s badmouthed and scared every employee here except the head masseuse. He’s so stoic even she can’t ruffle his feathers. Why don’t you wait here? I’m sure this will take only a moment." Marilyn winked, her bright, green eyes twinkling as she strolled in the direction of the current crisis.

Alexa watched as Cyndi dashed past Marilyn nearly knocking her over in the process and instructed the receptionist to call 911. She picked the microphone up and flipped the switch.

"Ladies. I’m sorry but we’ve had an emergency arise. I’d like to ask all of you to please dress and come to the lobby. I’ll explain in more detail when everyone is out front. Your appointments today are courtesy of the spa. Thank you." Returning the microphone to the desktop, head in hands, Cyndi faced the wall mural located behind the reception desk of a serene Tahitian beach.

Alexa moved to her side. "Cyndi? Is there anything I can do to help?"

Sighing deeply, the tall, elegantly muscled, tanned spa manager offered a lopsided smile.

"No, Ms. Bond. I’m afraid you’re going to miss your meeting. When my appointment secretary went to notify Ms. Spencer it was time for her Swedish sauna, well, she, she found her…dead."

Monday, October 15, 2018

#MysteryMonday #MeadowsOfGold #Fantasy

Author: Christie L. Kraemer
Genre: Fantasy
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1

Buy at: Amazon

BLURB: Meadows of Gold

EXCERPT: Meadows of Gold

A gentle breeze sighed, undulating the meadow grass lazily and whispering past the forlorn figure slumped on the tree trunk, hands clasped tightly in his lap. Thomas, a forest leprechaun, released a long melancholy breath between his cracked, dry lips. A single plump tear meandered down his stubbled cheek.
The sun sent bright shafts of light through the pine boughs and around the wooden pedestal upon which the morose figure resided. Ignoring the dancing beams, the leprechaun pulled a shuddered breath into his lungs and stared at a spot in front of the stump where a crumpled daisy chain necklace lay withering in the warmth of the afternoon. Another plump tear snaked down his unshaven face.
In the distance, a lone figure scuffed up the lane, which crossed in front of the tree stump. Thomas paid no heed to the approaching form, pulling a thin silver flask from inside his rumpled vest. He blindly opened the lid, placed the opened top to his lips and pulled a deep draught from the container. Refitting the cap to the top, he slipped the silver spirit holder back into his vest. His next shuddered breath was interrupted with a hiccup.
The figure on the road drew closer. Thomas raised his head and squinted his eyes. Was she coming back? He hiccupped and straightened up. Maybe she had been teasing him when she ran away and now she realized how much he cared for her. His eyes brightened and a smile began to touch his lips.
The figure came around the bend and toward him. The last he'd seen her, she was wearing a diaphanous, thin dress. Had she changed? The form nearing him was clad in leather breeches, a braided leather tunic, and knee-high, soft leather boots. A sword blade strapped to the figure's back flashed in the sunlight. Was Cary so angry she meant to cut him in little pieces? His heart began to pound in his chest and inside his mouth his tongue stuck to the roof.
The figure stopped two lengths from him and raised a hand to shade its eyes from the brightness of the day.
Thomas realized he was shaking. This was it…his life was over. He hung his head.
The voice was familiar but it didn't sound like Cary. If it wasn't her…