Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Book Tour: Shadows of Damascus by Lilas Taha Guest Post & Giveaway

Bullet wounds, torture and oppression aren't the only things that keep a man-or a woman-from being whole.

Debt. Honor. Pain. Solitude. These are things wounded war veteran Adam Wegener knows all about. Love-now, that he is not good at. Not when love equals a closed fist, burns, and suicide attempts. But Adam is one who keeps his word. He owes the man who saved his life in Iraq. And he doesn't question the measure of the debt, even when it is in the form of an emotionally distant, beautiful woman.

Yasmeen agreed to become the wife of an American veteran so she could flee persecution in war-torn Syria. She counted on being in the United States for a short stay until she could return home. There was one thing she did not count on: wanting more.

Is it too late for Adam and Yasmeen?

Shadows of Damascus to be released by Soul Mate Publishing mid January, 2014.

If I'd never heard of me, would I read my book?

If I was a romantic at heart, and is constantly striving to experience something new, I would read my book. There's a love story that unfolds in very unusual circumstances. There are characters that are too different, too far apart, they don't even understand each other-which made it a bit challenging as a writer. There's a political upheaval that no one seems to understand, or predict how it would settle. And there's an inner strive to not just survive, but to experience life's beauty and embrace it. One has to look hard enough, though.

I would want to know more about this emotionally distant Yasmeen. What made her that way? And why can't she unfold? How many women I know are like her? Would she be able to move on with life, with memories of what she had witnessed screaming loud and clear in her head? I would want to know what mattered to her the most, and would she be able to keep it?

I would want to understand why Adam turned out the way he did. How he managed to hold on to his principles and honor, despite everything he went through. And I would want to see if I could accept his choices and decisions.

If I had never heard of me, I would be intrigued by the foreign name, the timely book title, and the promise of a different kind of romance. Yes, I would read my book. And I would judge, critique, write a review about it, and I would tell my friends whether I liked it or not.



Damascus, Syria

Summer 2006

The seductive fragrance of Damascus roses drifted through the open window and flirted with fifteen-year-old Yasmeen's olfactory senses. The potent flowers in her neighbor's yard delivered the best awakening. She loved beginnings, especially early, mid-summer mornings like these. Stretching across the bed, her imagination raced with possibilities for the promising day.

Thursday. The day her older brother's friends visited and stayed well into the evening. Yasmeen ticked off potential visitors in her head, dashing young university students who loved to talk politics with Fadi. Today, she would do her best to discover the name of the quietest member in the group, the thin one with round-rimmed glasses. On her nightstand, the sketch she worked on during the last visit waited for his name, and more details around the eyes.

Peeling off the covers, she tip-toed to the window. Lively noises matched her optimistic mood. Nightingales sang greetings. Clanging dishes and pots resonated from surrounding houses beyond high walls. Mothers called out for their daughters to get breakfast ready. Men's deep voices describing fresh fruits and vegetables with tempting traditional phrases drifted above hidden alleys. One vendor claimed his cucumbers were small as baby fingers, and likened his ripe apples to a virgin bride's cheeks. Another boasted his plum peaches shed their covers without enticement, and his shy eggplants hid well in a moonless night.

Yasmeen succumbed to the enlivening chaos spilling in from her bedroom window, her own special and personal opening to the world. Tilting her head back, she exposed her face and neck to the sun, allowing its invigorating rays to paint her cheeks.

Today, her mother told her she would be allowed to take a coffee tray into Fadi's room once all his friends arrived. What would she wear? She should tell her best friend Zainab to stop by earlier than usual to go through her wardrobe. She could help her decide. Perhaps one of Fadi's friends would notice her. More than one? Why not?

Draping her arms on the windowsill, she looked at the neighbor's yard, counting the blooming roses, a ritual she performed each morning since the season started. In the north corner of the largest flowerbed, two violet buds grabbed her attention, their delicate petals about to unfold. Once they came to full bloom, their deep purple color would dominate the landscape.

A knock sounded at her door.

"I am awake."

Her father walked in. "Good. We have work to do." He held a hammer in one hand and a couple of boards in the other. "Move aside, Yasmeen." He approached the window.

She stepped away and pointed at the boards. "What do you need those for?"

Her father closed the windowpanes, locked them, placed one board across the frame, and hammered it in place.

"What are you doing?"

"This window is not to be opened again, child."

She could not believe her ears. "Why?"

"Neighbors moved out last night." Her father nailed the second board in place. "Mukhabarat took over their house."

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Lilas Taha is a writer at heart, an electrical engineer by training, and an advocate for domestic abuse victims by choice. She was born in Kuwait to a Syrian mother and a Palestinian father, and immigrated to the U.S. as a result of the Gulf war in 1990. She earned a master's degree in Human Factors Engineering from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. There, Lilas met her beloved husband and true friend, and moved with him to Sugar Land, Texas to establish a family. She is the proud mother of a daughter and a son. Instead of working in an industrial field, she applied herself to the field of social safety, working with victims of domestic violence.

Pursuing her true passion for creative writing, Lilas brings her professional interests, and her Middle Eastern background together in her debut fictional novel, Shadows of Damascus.

Website: www.lilastaha.com

Author Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/LilasTahaAuthor

Blog: http://lilastaha.blogspot.com

Twitter: Follow @LilasTaha https://twitter.com/LilasTaha

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lilastaha

Email: info@lilastaha.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/Lilas_Taha

Facebook page for the book: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shadows-of-Damascus/577132239031259

Buy Links:
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Damascus-Lilas-Taha-ebook/dp/B00HUZUG8Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389749986&sr=8-1&keywords=Shadows+of+Damascus

Publisher:  http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/

Lilas will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
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Release Blitz: Chronicles by C. A. Pack Excerpt & Giveaway

Chronicles: The Library of Illumination - Release Blitz
By C.A. Pack
Young Adult Fantasy
Date Published: April 29, 2014

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Within the walls of a centuries-old building lies the magical Library of Illumination, a place where books literally come to life. 17-year-old Johanna Charette is the youngest curator ever chosen to oversee the day-to-day operation of the library and she knows, in case of trouble, having an assistant can be invaluable, so she hires 16-year-old Jackson Roth to give her a hand. Jackson gets off to a rocky start, but manages to prove his mettle. Besides, he’s kind of cute and a lot of fun.

Johanna is charming and brilliant—and a natural born leader. She keeps the library operating on an even keel. Jackson is clever and intrepid. He relies on his wits to keep them out of danger when trouble arises. Unfortunately, his derring-do is one of the reasons why they sometimes find themselves in awkward situations. So it shouldn’t be any surprise when his wanton curiosity sparks a journey to a distant realm, where they end up with front row seats in a battle against an ancient foe.


“What’s this? Jackson asked, picking up a book that sat by itself on a bottom shelf. A thick layer of dust obscured the cover. “Did you leave this book down here?”

“What book?”

He opened the book to a random page to see what it was about. Dracula suddenly loomed over him, blood dripping from his mouth. “Uhhh ...!” Jackson’s scream did not get past his throat.

Dracula moved in for the kill. The teen managed to slam the book shut just as the vampire’s teeth made contact with his skin.

“What are you doing?” Johanna poked her head around the corner of the shelf and spotted the blood on Jackson’s neck. She looked down and recognized the volume of Dracula by Bram Stoker and winced. “We must have missed that one. Are you all right?”

Jackson swiped at his neck.

“Come with me.” Johanna led him to the circulation desk. She took out a first-aid kit and cleaned away the blood with an antiseptic wipe.

“Am I ...?”

“It’s just a surface wound.” She wrapped the bloody wipe in a tissue and threw it in the wastebasket. “You’re going to live ... but not forever.”

Jackson sighed with relief. “You know, when my mother used to patch me up, she would kiss it to make it better.” He raised his eyebrows and grinned at her.

“If you got hurt working for Larry at Once A-Pawn A Time, would you ask him to kiss it to make it better?”

“You really know how to hurt me.”

Johanna laughed. She leaned in and lightly kissed Jackson’s neck.

He could feel the hairs along his nape tingle.

“All better?” she asked.

About the Author : Carol Pack

C. A. PACK, author of Code Name: Evangeline, Evangeline’s Ghost, and the Library of Illumination novelettes, is an award-winning journalist and former television news anchor/writer from Long Island, New York.

Authors Links

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Blast: Finding Her Dream by Jennah Scott. Excerpt & Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jennah will be awarding a $10 Gift card (to the winner's choice of e-book retailer) to a randomly drawn commenter via the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more stops you visit, the more chances you earn to win.

It wasn't until she watched her best friend find the man of her dreams that RayAnne Hill realized there was a part of her missing. She knows the empty space can only be filled by finding her own true love, complete with kids and the white picket fence. Fear of letting someone in stops her cold, and it's much bigger than just finding Mr. Right.

James Shaw moved away from Kentucky and the family business to chase his own goals, settling in the small town of Kimmswick, Missouri. His business is succeeding, now he's ready to complete his life with a wife and kids. One night, one look and he's found her. RayAnne is everything he's been searching for.

As hard as James has fallen for RayAnne, can he be enough to help her overcome her worst nightmare? Or will he decide he can't wait forever, and walk away to find happiness?

Now enjoy an excerpt:

By the time his heart came back on line the group had broken off into two directions, one of the women went to find a seat while the blonde headed to the bar. With a man. Just his luck. But he couldn't keep his eyes off the way she sauntered up to the bar, her hips wiggling just enough to draw his attention. As he watched her order he noticed the man had his sights set on the other woman they'd arrived with. She had spiky black hair, piercings, and tattoos. Maybe his day wasn't doomed after all. The dark haired one wasn't his type. But the blonde…the cute, innocence of her face contrasted with the sexy short shorts and flannel shirt tied at her waist. She was exactly his type.

  She looked up and down the patrons, stopping at him. James couldn't pry himself away from her gaze. He winked and she grinned before offering him a finger wave. A little vixen.

  "Hi." Her cute, kissable mouth formed the word.

  "Hey, sugar," he replied, garnering the attention of the guy standing at her side. The other man glanced down the bar at him and cocked an eyebrow. Did they know each other? James didn't think so, but he wasn't very good at names or faces, so it was possible.

James broke their connection, turning to signal the bartender he wanted another round. As he tipped the bottle back, a warm, soft touch landed against his neck. "Save me a dance, cowboy," the sweet words were whispered in his ear.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Born and raised in Texas, Jennah is a transplant to Missouri long enough ago she should probably consider that her hometown. But she will forever be a Texan. She loves to write any story that will make a reader smile, laugh, and maybe even cry (although you won't ever hear her admit that she cries). Whether the next story she writes is contemporary, urban fantasy, LGBT, or whatever other crazy idea she comes up with, there will always be love and romance in the midst of trials and turmoil.

When she's not writing you can find her on Twitter, with her family, or buried in a book trying to escape reality for just a minute.

Website:  http://www.jennahscott.com/

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/jennah_scott

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/authorjennahscott?ref=hl

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6820280.Jennah_Scott

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/jennahscott/

Buy Links:

All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-findingherdream-1461203-147.html

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Her-Dream-Midwest-Kisses-ebook/dp/B00JCAZTX2/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396238996&sr=1-4&keywords=jennah+scott

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finding-her-dream-jennah-scott/1119020767?ean=2940149369669

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Week Blitz: Deadlier Than the Rest by Shirleen Davies Excerpt & Giveaway

Deadlier Than the Rest - Week Blitz
By Shirleen Davies
Historical Western Romance
Date Published: March 3, 2014

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“A passionate, heartwarming story of the iconic MacLarens of Fire Mountain. This captivating historical western romance grabs your attention from the start with an engrossing story encompassing two romances set against the rugged backdrop of the burgeoning western frontier.”

Connor MacLaren’s search has already stolen eight years of his life. Now he close to finding what he seeks—Meggie, his missing sister. His quest leads him to the growing city of Salt Lake and an encounter with the most captivating woman he has ever met.

Grace is the third wife of a Mormon farmer, forced into a life far different from what she’d have chosen. Her independent spirit longs for choices governed only by her own heart and mind. To achieve her dreams, she must hide behind secrets and half-truths, even as her heart pulls her towards the ruggedly handsome Connor.

Known as cool and uncompromising, Connor MacLaren lives by a few, firm rules that have served him well and kept him alive. However, danger stalks Connor, even to the front range of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains, threatening those he cares about and impacting his ability to find his sister.

Can Connor protect himself from those who seek his death? Will his eight year search lead him to his sister while unlocking the secrets he knows are held tight within Grace, the woman who has captured his heart?

Read this heartening story of duty, honor, passion, and love in book five of the MacLarens of Fire Mountain series.


Connor followed her up the narrow steps to her place, carrying her small bag, and set it down on the floor inside.
“You going to be okay here tonight?”
She slipped off her coat and hung it on a nearby hook. Grace wanted to be alone but didn’t want him to leave. Her heart told her to walk up to him, lace her arms around his neck, and ask him to stay. She shouldn’t. She was still married and it would be wrong, even if her marriage was a mockery. She planned to obtain a divorce, which was simple to do in Utah. The laws were lenient and divorce common with people coming from other states to take advantage of the quick dissolution procedures. She simply hadn’t had time to do it with work and planning how she was going to free Meggie.
Grace walked to a window and stared at the dark sky, deciding what to do. She needed to tell him about Moser but the words wouldn’t form. Say something tonight, or let him leave—she was conflicted. She continued to look out when she sensed him walk up behind her, felt his strong arms wrap around her waist, and draw her flush against his chest.
He pulled loose strands of hair away from her neck, bending to place kisses up to the tender spot behind her ear. “Ask me to stay,” he whispered before tugging a sensitive earlobe with his lips. She sagged against him, letting her head fall back against his chest and giving him access to the soft column of her neck.

Shirleen Davies

 photo shirleenProfile1_zps1c6a38a4.jpgI have been writing most of my life, but only recently began the transition into fiction. Historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and short stories are what keep me reading, so that is the focus of my writing.

I was born in California, grew up between a growing beach town and a small town at the base of the San Bernardino mountains. My mother originally planned to name me Katherine, but she read an article in the paper about a woman named Shirleen shortly before my birth, so instead of having a cool nickname, like Kate, I am simply Shirleen. My mainstays growing up were all the Nancy Drew mystery books; I loved them. Eventually I moved on to mysteries, suspense stories, crime novels, and romance. Pride and Prejudice will always be one of my favorites.

Besides California, life changes have allowed me to live in Oregon, Colorado, and Arizona. Everywhere I have lived has been inspirational in one way or another, giving me the opportunity to meet remarkable people with their own stories to tell. I've sailed, skied, owned horses plus lots of other animals, and ridden various off-road vehicles. I enjoy dancing, fishing, hunting, being the back-seater on my husband's Harley, traveling and, of course, reading and writing.

Prior to transitioning to writing fiction, I worked for Fortune 500 and many smaller, start-up companies. Fortunately, I regained my sanity long enough to start my own consulting firm, which I still maintain today.

My husband and I spend most of our time at our main home in the mountains of Arizona and our second home in Southern California. Between us we have five boys with growing careers and families of their own. So, from my perspective, my life is a success and always an adventure. I wouldn't change a thing; well, except finding more time to write.

I love hearing from readers, so please feel free to email me at shirleen@shirleendavies.com.

Author Links

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$25 Gift Card

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eBook Copies of Books from Shirleen Davies

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Release Blitz: Taking Chances by Adrianne Wayne Excerpt & Giveaway

Taking Chances - Release Blitz
By Ariadne Wayne
Contemporary Romance
Date Published: April 27, 2014

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Lauren and Mark Burrows lost their parents in a car accident one night. Despite their father being the drunk driver, both struggle with the urge to turn to drink; Lauren most of all. When all they have is each other, Lauren feels lost when Mark falls in love with Cassie Warren and moves out.

Ethan Stone has been alone since his divorce. His ex-wife took him for everything, and he has felt empty for a long time. He's not looking for love, but Lauren brings him back to life. The question is whether she can fight her demons for the man she loves, and if Ethan can handle the wild ride that is life with Lauren.


With Ethan’s arm around her shoulders, Lauren nestled up close, nuzzling his cheek.

“I did want to watch this, Lauren. You’ll distract me.”

“That’s the idea.”

He grinned. “I am trying not to make our relationship just about sex.”

“I know. I’m happy right here, but I’m still trying to distract you.”

Ethan laughed. “You’re so naughty.”

“Always.” She rolled her eyes. “As if I would be anything else.”

He kissed her lips softly. “Is that better?”

“Getting there.”

“If I keep kissing you, I’m not going to want to stop.” He said, in an attempt to look serious.

“That’s what I’m counting on.”

Ethan kissed her on the nose. “That’s all you’re getting until the movie is finished.”

“Spoil sport.”

She rested her head on his shoulder. Moving his hand down from her shoulder to rub her arm, he shared a smile before snuggling up again.

“I know I tease, but I do like this,” she said.

“So do I. You know, it’s been so long since I was this close to anyone. Just to have you here and in my arms is the best feeling.”

“I’m glad, Ethan. I’ve been looking forward to being here with you, even if it is only for a few days.”

“We’ll have to make the most of it. Spend every second we can together.”

He leaned back to look at her. What this beautiful woman saw in him, he didn’t know. Her long blonde hair hung in curls around her shoulders, and she had those gorgeous brown eyes that just sucked you in. The type you just want to look into forever.

She smiled, and his stomach plunged through the floor. There was so much to her that no-one else could ever know about. How anyone had never worked that out was a mystery, but Ethan saw it.

The depth of Lauren’s feeling in return was obvious. Looking at her, really looking at her, her emotions were written all over her face.

“How can no-one have claimed you before,” he said, softly.

She blushed, colour flooding her cheeks. The look on her face made his heart race at the thought she was his.

“Ethan,” she whispered.

Ariadne Wayne

Ariadne Wayne loves books and lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband and two children. Having always had a prolific imagination she now writes the words down instead of storing them in her head where she can't share them.

When she's not writing she works in Telecommunications, frequently banging her head on the desk with the random things that can happen to the ordinary phone line.

Author Links

Stirling silver bracelet & Amazon gift cards

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Week Blitz: Protostar by Braxton A. Cosby Excerpt & Giveaway


PROTOSTAR - Week Blitz
By Braxton A. Cosby
Young Adult
Date Published: April 16, 2014

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What Would You Choose, love or duty?
On the brink of civil war, the Torrian Alliance continues with its mission to obliterate Star-children across the universe in order to suppress an intergalactic evil. Following the recommendations of his council, King Gregorio Derry reluctantly agrees to send his only son William on a mission to restore honor to his family name. William seeks to complete his assignment, the elimination of a Star-child named Sydney on planet Earth, but when the assassination is delayed he begins to realize an emotional connection with his target. With conspiracy threatening his home planet, and a hidden menace on Earth seeking to secure a vested interest, William finds himself torn between irrevocable duty and sacrificing everything he stands for to defend Sydney. As William and Sydney struggle to overcome their impossible circumstances, they start to wonder if the connection of two Star-Crossed lovers will be enough to save them from certain doom.


He leaned in close to her ear. “Please Sydney, give me one more chance. The dreams, they are of you. If only I could have understood sooner, I may have been able to change our fate. But now, I know you have the power to change this. You are more than any normal person. You are the one thing I have traveled across distance and time for.”
A ray of sunlight broke through the clouds, slipping past the overlying trees. They kissed Sydney’s face. She gasped, and her lifeless body rose from the dead. Sydney swallowed a deep breath and grabbed William’s shoulders. His many tears drained from his face. The infectious warmth returned.
“I knew you’d return to me. Somehow, I knew it,” he whispered.
“I was lost for a moment in nothing but deep dark space. But I heard a voice calling out to me. It was very familiar to me. Someone I had met before. It was a woman’s voice. She told me it was time to go back. She told me I had a calling to do something great and the time of my awakening was at hand.” Sydney wiped the tears from his eyes. “Then I heard you, speaking to me from the darkness. Your voice guided me as I ran forward, until finally I saw a ray of light and I stepped into it.”
He squeezed her and planted his lips on hers. His solar cells erupted, and Sydney became surrounded in a bright aura that lifted them off the ground. He opened his eyes, amazed by what he saw. He planted another kiss, this time on Sydney’s forehead.
“There’s my signature,” he whispered.
They floated back to the ground and Sydney pulled him close.
 “Sydney, is there any way you could forgive me for what I’ve done?”
Sydney caressed his face. “What’s done is done. Even through all the pain, something inside me knew that you would save me. Love brought you to me and somehow, I knew love would give you the strength to protect me.”
The present situation invaded his thoughts. “And protect you I will. I must explain everything to you, Sydney. Come with me.”

About the Author:

 photo Cosby_zpsa994f8ab.jpgBraxton A. Cosby is a dreamer with a passion for inspiring others to love, in spite of circumstance and convenience. His calling to pen a young-adult series that is smart, witty, and thought provoking, has challenged readers to answer the question: What would you choose, love or irrevocable duty? Braxton lives in Atlanta, GA, where he co-hosts a local radio show on WAOK which is a mash-up of current events and health and wellness. He also has a blog where he discusses everything from health and entertainment to spirituality and relationships.

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Signed Copy of PROTOSTAR

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Promo Blitz: To Catch a Spinster by Megan Bryce Excerpt & Free Book

To Catch a Spinster - PROMO Blitz
By Megan Bryce

Historical Romance
Date Published: June 2012

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Come back to a time when manners are everything and rules are made to never be broken. Come back to a time when men are in charge and women do what they are told...
Yeah, that never happened.
Welcome to Megan Bryce's Regencyland, where ladies with backbone get what they want. Where a woman can thumb her nose at rules and care little for convention, and yet somehow, unexpectedly and most reluctantly, find love.
To Catch A Spinster
Olivia Blakesley, self-proclaimed spinster extraordinaire, is quite happy with her life. She has her studies and her duties, what need does she have of a husband? With five sisters married she knows the reality does not live up to the promise, and does not need to personally experiment with the state to know she would be ill-suited to it. However, she finds herself envious of at least one aspect of marriage. But to experience the physical side of marriage, one doesn't need a husband, all one needs is the right man...
Nathaniel Jenkins knows his duty. Marry a young girl from a respectable family and father an heir, no matter how cold the endless parade of suitable girls leaves him. But a shocking proposal from a scholarly spinster leaves him wondering if unsuitable is just what he's looking for. Can he convince his spinster that marriage is the greatest experiment of all?


Miss Olivia Blakesley watched as her youngest sister was married and thought, “That does it, old girl. You are officially on the shelf.”
Truthfully, she wasn’t quite yet. But at the ripe old age of seven and twenty, with two older sisters and three younger sisters all married, she was close enough. What man would want the sister who had been left behind? More importantly, why would she want the man who would want her?
She wouldn’t. So it was a good thing she had her studies and responsibilities. She was fairly certain she would have gone stark raving mad these last eight years waiting for a suitor who would never come if she hadn’t started studying the stars or helping her father with the accounts. Not exactly respectable activities for a gentle young woman, but she enjoyed them.

Her mother blamed those activities for her current matrimonial-less state. What woman would rather sneak outside to paint stars than flirt with a beau? What woman who was at least pretending she wanted to get married would wear those high-necked, front-buttoned, somber-colored old maid rags?
Olivia handed her mother, who sat sniffling in the pew beside her, a clean handkerchief.
“Thank you, Olivia. I can always count on your handkerchief to be dry at weddings, can’t I? I don’t understand how you can be so emotionless.”
“I’m not emotionless, and you should be grateful as you now have two handkerchiefs to drench.”
Olivia’s father winked at her as he patted his wife’s hand. “It’s not as if this wedding was a surprise, my dear.”
No, Eugenia had been promising that she would be snatched up the quickest since Prudence had taken nearly two years in the marriage mart. Eugenia had lasted a mere two months. The Blakesley sisters were nothing if not goal-oriented.
Olivia had her own goals and, unfortunately for her mother, they did not include catching a husband. Even so, she did not want to die inexperienced in love, estranged from her sisters because they knew something she didn’t.
She did not want to die a virgin spinster aunt, caring for her aging parents.
It would be much better if she could die an experienced spinster aunt, caring for her aging parents.
She glanced at the cross hanging above the vicar’s head. Dear Lord, what was she considering? Was she really thinking of. . .
No. It was a sin. And she was in a church, for heaven’s sake.
But as her father was wont to say: In the course of life, some commandments must be broken. For emergencies. For science.
Thou shalt not kill. Definitely one to be broken in an emergency.
Thou shalt not worship any graven images. A few might say that Olivia worshiped her Dutch-made telescope. For science, of course.
Honor thy father and mother. She had never been any good at that one.
Thou shalt not commit adultery. . .
Well, she just wouldn’t choose a married man. This was, after all, a scientific emergency.
She was not going to die an old maid.
Olivia looked back at the altar. Her beautiful sister in her lace-trimmed ivory satin wedding gown beamed at her new husband, who looked down at her with obvious love and a little bit of panic. Olivia would never have that. She would never fall in love. Never have someone to depend on– only herself.
She nodded. So be it. If she could not have everything, she would have something. If she could not have love, she would have lust. She would find someone to teach her desire.

About the Author:

Megan Bryce sits in front of a computer all day making up stories for a living. Which means she is not nearly as interesting (as well as tall, svelte, and/or dressed) as her characters. She gets bored quickly and just can't be bothered with anyone in her head who doesn't make her laugh-- which translates into fun books, outrageous situations, and witty characters who will leave you laughing and gasping for more.


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Book Tour: Unseasonal War by David Englund Excerpt & Giveaway

Clark Jackson’s travels, for the first time, put him in touch with an intriguing species remarkably human-like. He becomes instantly fascinated with the Fronents and envious of their advanced technology. Striving to befriend them and learn more, his uncontrolled enthusiasm forsakes the use of appropriate caution and suspicion. Could their cold reception be a byproduct of their war with a vile species in this corner of the universe, or something else?

The magnificent splendor of an unexplored galaxy, new species to encounter and the adrenalin rush of space battle feed Clark’s awestruck hunger for exploration and adventure. Unfortunately, the more he learns the more he questions; including the wisdom of his entangled involvement in their war.

Meanwhile, back home in Des Moines, Iowa, Clark attempts to maintain an inconspicuous lifestyle to avoid attracting the attention of a certain relentless federal agency. His girlfriend’s own secret, however, could unravel it all.

**Even though the book is the second book in the series, it IS standalone

The entire bridge quaked with greater and greater intensity.  Standing upright became increasingly difficult with each passing moment, even with the help of safety bars.  A ship of this size was not meant to traverse a planet’s atmosphere.

“There she is!”  A cadet pointed at a screen.

The enemy ship itself still wasn’t visible.  However, flames burst up out of nowhere, surrounding a small blank area on the screen.  Something was definitely breaking the atmosphere of the planet.

“Now!  Pull out.  Full speed ahead.”

The shaking quickly diminished.  Two seconds later, the bridge was perfectly level and moving forward smoothly again.

“Now!  Target those flames.  Fire aft lasers.  All engines stop.”

Clark concentrated on the view screens.  Lasers connected twice as two explosions erupted amidst the flames.  Crew members cheered.  Captain Trind quickly put a stop to the celebration as he continued to stare at the screens and rattle off commands.  The enemy vessel followed suit and broke out of the atmosphere back into orbit.  It came out firing.  Lasers once again impacted the ship in several locations.

“Fire!  Keep firing!  Target the smoke!  We can see exactly where she is now.  Hit her!”

The camera view displayed her approach.  The smoking ship passed directly overhead, both ships trading fire, both taking hits.  Clark could feel the deck tremble every time they were assaulted.

“All ahead one-half.  Follow that smoke trail.  Fire forward lasers.”

The entire ship jumped three feet as an explosion emanated from below decks, causing those standing to lose their footing.  A few seconds passed.  Several crew members shook their heads and struggled to stand.  It took a few more seconds to regain composure.  Clark felt the ship slow down.

“Sir . . . the engine room . . . the engine room is gone.  Completely.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
David Englund is a storyteller (science fiction author) and teaches economics at North Dakota State University.  His first two titles, Upsetting the Tides and UNSEASONAL WAR are available on Amazon.  Camouflaged Encounters is due out in late 2014 and the fourth and fifth books are in progress.

David will be awarding a digital copy of Unseasonal War to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: