Showing posts with label Fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fiction. Show all posts

March 4, 2016

Excerpt & Giveaway! Not Quite So Stories by David S. Atkinson


The center of Not Quite So Stories is the idea that life is inherently absurd and all people can do is figure out how they will live in the face of that fact. The traditional explanation for the function of myth (including such works as the relatively modern Rudyard Kiping's Just So Stories) is as an attempt by humans to explain and demystify the world. However, that's hollow. We may be able to come to terms with small pieces, but existence as a whole is beyond our grasp. Life simply is absurd, ultimately beyond our comprehension, and the best we can do is to just proceed on with our lives. The stories in this collection proceed from this conception, each focusing on a character encountering an absurdity and focusing on how they manage to live with it. 
For More Information 

NOT QUITE SO STORIES is available at Amazon
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads
Watch the book trailer at YouTube



TURNDOWN SERVICE

Margaret's heels clicked repetitiously on the polished marble floors of Finklebean's Mortuary. The sharp sound echoed down aisles of metal-faced vaults in the chilled, solemn hallways. Her steps were quick but purposeful, her stride constrained by the tight skirt of her starched navy business dress. An invoice was clutched tightly in her talon-like hand. Someone owed her an explanation…and that debt would be paid.

Catching sight of the plain brown wooden door hidden off in a back hallway bearing a faded Caretaker's Office sign, Margaret halted, causing her heels to clack loudly on the stone. She pursed her lips as she scrutinized the sign. As if using the white metal sign with flaking black letters as a mirror, she adjusted the smartly coiled chestnut bun of her hair. Then she shoved open the weathered door and marched inside.

"Excuse me," she called out sternly before looking what the room happened to contain, or even whether it was occupied.

A portly man in old blue coveralls sitting at a rough wooden worktable looked up at her calmly. Long stringy gray hair framed his face around a set of coke bottle eyeglasses perched on the end of his reddened bulbous nose. A metal cart, half full of plastic funeral flower arrangements, was positioned next to the worktable. Individual plastic flowers littered the table surface.

Unlike the somber and silent polished gray marble trimmed in shining brass of the hallway outside, the caretaker's room felt more like a basement or garage. The walls were cinderblock, unpainted, and the floor was bare concrete. Obviously, the room was not used for professional services.

"My bill is incorrect," Margaret said, thrusting the invoice out at the frumpy little man between a thumb and forefinger, both with nails bearing a French manicure. "You maintain my grandfather's plot, but this month's bill is way over the usual twenty-five sixty-three…nine hundred dollars more to be precise. You may not be the person in charge of this, but you're who I found."

The older man quietly looked at her still presenting the invoice even though he had made no move to take it. "Name?"

"Margaret Lane," Margaret said curtly.

"No," the caretaker shook his mess of oily old hair. "I won't remember you. I meant your granddad's."

Margaret pursed her lips again. "Winston Lane."

"Ah, yes." The heavyset man leaned back in his chair, putting his hands behind his head and cocking out his elbows. His belly pushed on the table slightly, causing loose plastic flowers to roll around on the tabletop. The flowers were separated into piles according to color: red, white, yellow, purple, and orange. "Winston Lane. His is over on hillside four, I believe."

"I'm sure." Margaret crossed her arms, still clutching the invoice. "So why do I have a bill for over nine hundred dollars?"

The caretaker hunched forward, setting his chin on a pudgy arm and wrapping a flabby hand around his mouth. "Let's see…Winston Lane…bigger than normal bill…oh, that's right!" His face brightened with recollection.

Margaret smugly waited for the expected rationalization to begin, the extras and add-ons designed to take advantage of the gullible grieving. She wouldn't be so easily manipulated.

"He got an apartment."

Margaret's expression cracked. 

"That's what the extra money is," he pleasantly explained. "It's to cover the rent."

Margaret stared, blinking occasionally. A thin purple vein throbbed angrily at the side of her neck.

The man smiled. Then he pushed his round glasses further back up his nose and grabbed one of the plastic funeral arrangements from the cart. It had a block of dense green foam set in a fake bronze vase and various colors of plastic flowers stuck in the foam. The man pulled all the flowers out in a single movement and set each in the respective colored pile on the worktable. Then he placed the vase in a pile of similar vases on the floor.

"You…rented my grandfather an apartment?" Margaret finally asked. "Why?"

"Don't be ridiculous," the older man snorted, dismembering another arrangement. "He rented the apartment, not us."

Margaret sneered, having recovered her self-possession and indignation. "Sir, my grandfather is deceased."

"Yep," the caretaker agreed. He started quickly taking vases from the cart, ripping them apart, and then tossing the materials in the respective sort piles. "Guess he didn't like the plot he picked out. Maybe it wasn't roomy enough, I don't know. Some things like that you just can't be sure of till you get in a place and stay there a while. Anyway, he must not have liked something about it because he went and got himself that apartment. He wouldn't have done that if he'd been happy where he was at."

Margaret stood rigid. The toe of one foot tapped irritably. "How could my grandfather possibly rent an apartment? He's dead!"

"How couldn't he?" The caretaker snorted again. "It's a great apartment. Plenty of light. Nice carpets. Good amount of space. It's got a nice pool, too. Not that pools make much of a difference to a guy like him, being dead and all. Anyway, take a look; happen to have a photo of the place right here. Can't rightly remember why."

The man handed Margaret a bent-up photograph he pulled from a coverall pocket. It depicted a pleasantly-lit living room with vaulted ceilings. Tasteful black leather and chrome furniture was arranged around a delicate glass coffee table. On top of the coffee table sat her grandfather's mahogany coffin, looking just as stately as it had at her grandfather's funeral service.

Margaret glowered, unsure what to make of the photograph, noticing after a moment that she was chewing her lip as she ground her teeth. Her brain couldn't keep up, it was all just too ludicrous for her to grasp. The man sorted more funeral arrangements. "So…you're telling me that my deceased grandfather rented an apartment. Him, not you."

"Yep. That's the long and short of it." The man jammed the photograph back into his pocket.

"My dead grandfather."

"Yes'm." He took the last arrangement off the cart and disposed of it as he had the others. He paused to dust off his hands. Then he grabbed a vase from the floor, jammed a plastic flower inside from each stack, and set the newly arranged arrangement on the cart.

"How could anyone rent my grandfather an apartment!?" Margaret threw up her arms. "He's dead! The landlord couldn't do that!"

"Sure they can," the caretaker countered, paying more attention to the funeral arrangements than Margaret. "The building is zoned for mixed use."

"Mixed use?! He's dead!" She wiped her hand down her face slowly, stretching her skin as it went.

"So? He's residing there. That's a residential use. Certainly isn't commercial." The caretaker accidentally shoved two red plastic flowers in the same vase. Laughing at himself, he ripped them out again and started over.

Margaret stepped back, perhaps wondering if the caretaker was insane as opposed to just conning her. That would explain the photograph.

She crossed her arms loosely and tilted her chin upwards just a little, trying to mentally get a handle on the situation. Her brain felt like an overheated car with no oil in the engine. "I'm sorry, but that's very distracting," Margaret commented, pointing at the plastic flower piles on the worktable. "Is there any way that you could stop a moment?"

"Sorry." The older man shook a thick calloused finger at an old clock on the wall, stopped as far as Margaret could tell. "I got to get this done."

"But…what exactly are you doing? You're just taking them apart and putting them back together."

The rumpled man gestured at the flowers. "Well, people pay us to put these on graves, don't they?"

"Right…"

"They come from a factory, don't they? Someone paying someone else to bring something a machine made? I don't think much of that. My way, there's at least some thought in it."

Margaret did not respond. Instead, she watched the man fill up the cart again. The arrangements looked exactly the same as before. 

"Anyway," the caretaker went on, "don't you owe your granddad?"

"Pardon me?" Margaret puffed out her chest.

"Sure," the man said, peering up at her through the finger-smudged lenses of his glasses. "He said when he bought the plot that you were going to take care of it and he was going to leave you money to keep going to school. He thought you should start working, but helped you out since you were going to mind his spot."

Margaret swallowed, ruining her attempt to look indignant. A few beads of sweat gathered at her temples.

"You figure you've done enough?" The man had his head held low, hiding the tiny smirk on his face.

Margaret's eyes widened. Her arms hung limply at her sides and her shoulders slumped. "But…"

"Hey, that's between you two. I just take care of things like I'm paid to. If he wants his plot, I do that. If he wants a two-bedroom palace, I do that instead."

Margaret absentmindedly twisted an old, ornate gold ring on her finger. Suddenly, her eyes narrowed as if the light in the dim room had gotten brighter. The meticulously squared corners of her mind twisted and stretched deliciously. "That's right…it was a deal."

"Come again?" 

"I agreed to have his plot cared for."

"And?"

"Well…" Her lips slipped into a pointed grin. "I pay you a fixed monthly amount to care for that plot. Apparently this apartment is his plot now, so the rent should be part of your monthly care. I expect you to take care of it accordingly. After all, caring for his plot is caring for his plot."

"Now see here–" 

"Regardless, I can't help but think," she went on, "that it reflects poorly on your services if grandfather isn't happy with his plot, not mine."

The caretaker gawked at Margaret, his mouth hanging loose. "Is that what you think now?" The older man finally growled.

"It is," she responded with a saccharine tone, "and I expect that all future bills will be for the correct amount." 

"Hmph," he huffed, settling back into his chair. "Wonder what your granddad would say about that."

Margaret smirked. "You're welcome to go and ask him, if you think it will get you anywhere." 






I've been reading and writing as long as I can remember, which I guess means since at least last Tuesday. Seriously though, you always hear people ask writers why they write. It just never seemed like a choice to me. It's just something I do. For good or bad, it is what it is.

I'm the author of three books: Not Quite so Stories(forthcoming from Literary Wanderlust), The Garden of Good and Evil Pancakes (2015 national indie excellence awards finalist in humor), and Bones Buried in the Dirt (2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist, First Novel <80K). My writing appears in Bartleby Snopes, Grey Sparrow Journal, Atticus Review, and others. 

I'm from Nebraska originally and spend most of my life there with occasional side trips to Loveland, Bellingham, and Seattle. I moved to Denver a couple years back and have been there ever since.

I have four college degrees now. I got a BS in computer science (original major was psychology) from UNO and a JD from Creighton. While working as a patent attorney, I picked up a BA in english lit from NYIT and went back for a MFA in creative writing through the University of Nebraska program.

Currently I live in Denver and work as a patent attorney. I spend most of my non-work time reading and writing. At the moment I'm working on a number of different pieces of different kinds. Keep an eye on the news section. If anything develops I'll post it there.



 

December 21, 2015

Sale Blitz! Excerpt & Giveaway: Killer Instinct, Killer Instinct #1 by S.E. Green



She’s not evil, but she has certain... urges.

Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. Afterschool job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick.

Why?

Because she might be one herself.

Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals—delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder. But with each visceral rush the line of self-control blurs.
And then a young preschool teacher goes missing. Only to return... in parts.

When Lane excitedly gets involved in the hunt for “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer that has come to her hometown, she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her birth dad and her own dark past. And once the Decapitator contacts Lane directly, Lane knows she is no longer invisible or safe. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim... 


~*~
CHAPTER ONE

I study serial killers. They’re loners. Obsessive compulsives. People who lack emotion and fantasize violence. Intelligent people who on the outside seem normal. 

Interesting thing is, I am those profiles. I have urges. I plot ways to violently make people pay for what they’ve done to others. 

Nature versus nurture. Of course I’ve studied that. I’ve got good parents with decent genetics so for me I’ve always suspected it’s something else. Except . . . I have no clue what. 

I don’t know why I am the way I am, why I think the way I think, why I do the things I do. All I know is that I’m different. Always have been. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know something was off in me. 

At ten, when other kids were coloring with crayons, I started tracking serial killers and keeping details of their murders in a journal—a journal no one has ever seen but me.

Now, seven years later, most teens hang out with friends. I, however, prefer spending my spare time at the court house—with Judge Penn to be exact. He tries all the hard cases. 

His staff expects to see me, believing my lie about wanting to go into law, and so I give my customary nod as I enter the back of Penn’s court and quietly take my usual spot in the left rear corner. I sit down and get out my summer reading just in case today’s log is boring.

It’s not.

A balding, short, pudgy, accountant type man sits beside a slick lawyer he’s obviously spent a lot of money on. The Weasel is what I decide to name him. 

In the viewing gallery sit a handful of women, three are crying and two stoically stare straight ahead. 

On the stand is another one of the expressionless ones and she’s speaking, “. . . classical music, a candle. He knew his way around, like he’d been in my house before. He handcuffed my ankles and wrists to the bed posts and stuffed gauze in my mouth so my screams couldn’t be heard. He cut my clothes away and left me naked. He wore a condom and was clean shaven, everywhere. He had a full face mask on.”

No evidence.

“He raped me,” she matter-of-factly reports and then describes in detail all the vicious ways he violated her.

“I’m going to be sick,” the woman in front of me whispers before getting up and leaving the room.

I continue listening to the details, mentally cataloging them. Details don’t bother me. They don’t make me sick. They don’t make me want to leave a room. If anything they draw me in because they are just that—details, facts.

A few of the women in the room sniffle and I glance to The Weasel. Although he’s doing a good job of keeping his emotions blank, I catch a slight smirk on his lips that kicks my pulse.

This is one of the things I consider a talent of mine. While some people show every emotion, I show none. And I can read others’ body language, others’ faces when they think they’re doing a stellar job of masking. The Weasel obviously thinks he’s getting away with something.

Thirty minutes later The Weasel is found not guilty due to lack of evidence. As he walks from the court room, his slight smirk becomes more visible when he glances at one of the sniffling women.

This is another thing people make the mistake of—confidence, cockiness, ego.

The Weasel will rape again. Of this I’m sure.

If it is my destiny to be a killer, I’m going to need a type. And today decides that my type will be criminals—specifically, those that have managed to avoid punishment.

I turn seventeen next week. The Weasel will be my birthday present to myself. I think I’ve just found my first victim.



S. E. Green (aka Shannon Greenland) is the award winning author of the teen thriller, Killer Instinct, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers; the teen spy series, The Specialists, an ALA Popular Paperback and a National Reader’s Choice recipient; and the YA romance, The Summer My Life Began, winner of the Beverly Hills Book Award. Her books have been translated into several languages and are currently on numerous state reading lists. Vanquished is her debut novel for adults.

Shannon grew up in Tennessee where she dreaded all things reading and writing. She didn’t even read her first book for enjoyment until she was twenty-five. After that she was hooked! When she’s not writing, she works as an adjunct math professor and lives on the coast in Florida with her very grouchy dog. Find her online everywhere @segreenauthor.



September 7, 2015

Book Spotlight & Guest Post! Asylum: A Mistery by Jeannette De Beauvoir


Martine LeDuc is the director of PR for the mayor's office in Montreal. When four women are found brutally murdered and shockingly posed on park benches throughout the city over several months, Martine's boss fears a PR disaster for the still busy tourist season, and Martine is now also tasked with acting as liaison between the mayor and the police department. The women were of varying ages, backgrounds and bodytypes and seemed to have nothing in common. Yet the macabre presentation of their bodies hints at a connection. Martine is paired with a young detective, Julian Fletcher, and together they dig deep into the city's and the country's past, only to uncover a dark secret dating back to the 1950s, when orphanages in Montreal and elsewhere were converted to asylums in order to gain more funding. The children were subjected to horrific experiments such as lobotomies, electroshock therapy, and psychotropic medication, and many of them died in the process. The survivors were supposedly compensated for their trauma by the government and the cases seem to have been settled. So who is bearing a grudge now, and why did these four women have to die?

Not until Martine finds herself imprisoned in the terrifying steam tunnels underneath the old asylum does she put the pieces together. And it is almost too late for her...in Jeannette de Beauvoir's Asylum.



Why Read About Murder?

My mother was a voracious mystery reader, and it is thanks to her that I “met” many of the authors who are still among my favorites: Mary Stewart, Josephine Tey, Mignon G. Eberhart, Rex Stout, Michael Innes, and many, many more. Her side of my parents’ bedroom was always heaped up with books: books sliding onto the floor, books placed in precarious and untidy piles, books tucked under tissue boxes and bedside lamps.

And a few of them, it has to be said, had some pretty lurid covers. This was the 1960s, and it was a time of realism. Women in tight sheath dresses being menaced by suit-wearing gunmen. Blood spilling out across a bright book jacket. A frightened figure running through the woods. And I can remember, too, visiting her bedroom (in her absence, of course) and being just a little distressed that she seemed to welcome so much violence into her world.

I was reminded of that recently when I was watching a TV program with a friend—one of the death-porn shows like Criminal Minds, I think—and there was a moment of particular gruesomeness. My friend turned to me and said, “Tell me again, what it is you like about this show?”

Right. There it is. Death as entertainment. On the surface of it, we mystery readers really, really like to read about death. Suspicious deaths, orchestrated deaths, clever deaths, carefully planned deaths. What is up with that?

Not to sound too trite, but I think that part of the answer at least is that murder ups the ante. Sure, there are mysteries that are about embezzlement, stolen treasures, and missing pets; but nothing holds our attention the way a murder mystery does.

Part of it, no doubt, is the escapism it offers. After all, stolen items and runaway pets are, unhappily, part of our normal lives. You read about someone embezzling retirement funds, and you start worrying about your own. You read about someone not clicking the lock so the dog got out, and you find yourself checking your own door. But the reality is that even when someone is killed and we read about it in the papers, it’s quite different from something investigated by Miss Marple or Lord Peter Wimsey. Most murders—at least the ones we know about—are shabby affairs, not particularly clever and not particularly interesting: they have more to do with drug deals, turf wars, or robberies gone bad than they do with intricate planning and hidden motives. 

So to read about diabolical motives and careful plotting takes us somewhere we’re not likely to ever go in Real Life. And that’s one of the functions of fiction, isn’t it? To transport readers to a different world?

But there’s more to it than simple escapism: other popular genres, like science fiction and romance, do the same: they also offer a few hours’ respite from our daily stresses. No; I think I need to go back to my original thought, which was that murder ups the ante. It’s the one thing that we have in common, after all: the certainty of death—and our fear of it.

It’s a truism that being exposed in a benign way to something we fear allows us to vicariously experience—and deal with our terror of—things that go bump in the night. It explains the popularity of horror flicks … and it also contributes to our love of murder mysteries. They provide an intellectual exercise as well as giving us that frisson, that ability to dip our toes into the cold water and squeal and then go back to Real Life... even as we confront our fears of death actually ever happening to us. 

Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps reading—and writing!—murder mysteries is simply a more genteel way of tapping into the apparent need for violence that humans experience: a kinder, gentler Coliseum. It’s possible, but I don’t think so; our violence comes to us wrapped in velvet shawls and locked rooms, in perfume wafting on the air and clever sarcastic protagonists outsmarting the police. We’re intellectual voyeurs rather than sadists.

And now, as my own side of the bed has come very much to look like my mother’s, I too pick up tales of death on the high seas, death in discreet drawing-rooms, death hidden in a poison cup, and these stories lull me to sleep just as they did her. Why read about murder? It sure beats sleeping pills!

Jeannette de Beauvoir is the author of ASYLUM, available from St. Martin’s/Minotaur. Read more about her at www.JeannetteAuthor.com.



JEANNETTE DE BEAUVOIR is an award-winning author, novelist, and poet whose work has been translated into 12 languages and has appeared in 15 countries. She explores personal and moral questions through historical fiction, mysteries, and mainstream fiction. She grew up in Angers, France, but now divides her time between Cape Cod and Montréal. Read more at www.jeannetteauthor.com


August 19, 2015

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway!! The Hazards Series by Alyssa Rose Ivy

The hazards Series bks1-3 - cover

About THE HAZARDS SERIES, Books 1-3:

The Hazards of Skinny Dipping 

This isn't a deep book about first loves or self-discovery. If you want a book like that, I'd be happy to recommend one, but I don't have that kind of story to tell. Instead my story is about rash decisions and finding out that your dream guy is bad in bed. It's the story of when I finally went skinny dipping, and how my life was never the same again. Oh, and it's also the story of my freshman year of college and realizing Mr. Right might have been there all along. 

The Hazards of a One Night Stand

One small town boy, one girl who wants more, one roll in the hay... Hooking up with your high school crush is a bad idea, a really bad idea. It was only supposed to be one night, one brief departure from my real life, but nothing ever works out exactly the way you plan. Colton Waters was everything from my past that didn't fit into my present, so why did he have to show up at my college and pledge the one frat I couldn't avoid? Because nothing is ever meant to happen just once. At least not the life changing things that mean the difference between falling apart and falling in love. 

The Hazards of Sex on the Beach 

One broken heart, one drink too many, one steamy night in the sand... No one warns you about the dangers of drinking with a broken heart. At least no one warned me. I never imagined I'd fall for a musician, especially not one like Chase, but then again I never expected to have my heart broken into a million pieces by the frat guy I thought was the love of my life. Sometimes it's the rash decisions, like hooking up in the sand, that lead you to the best places—the kinds of places where it's possible to let yourself fall in love again. 



Alyssa Rose Ivy Bio: Alyssa Rose Ivy is a New Adult and Young Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.




August 15, 2015

Release Day Blitz: Excerpt & Giveaway!! Taking Pole by Catherine L. Byrne


Two bitter racing rivals have fought since their teenage years to beat each other to the motorcycling championship title. When they are both caught up in a serious accident, however, their plans and conflicts fall apart. Thrown together to make sense of what happened, the aftermath forces them to wonder what they are actually fighting for.


“The sofa pulls out into a bed—I—I mean—you could sit with your leg up on it so you are comfortable,” said Javier.

“Oh, okay.” Glen nodded.

They arranged the sofa into a bed and switched the television on. Glen wondered what the other rooms were like. One door obviously led to the kitchen because it was half open and he could see the oven, the others must be the bathroom and bedroom. Would Javier sleep like a king in a vast four poster bed with curtains? How would he sleep? Curled up? On his front? On his back? Glen sniggered. Javier lying on his back. Now there’s a thought. I must stop fantasising.

“Why do you laugh?”

“Oh—er—no reason.”

“What would you like to drink and eat? I have my family’s own wine.”

“You make wine?”

Javier drew himself up and puffed out his chest. “Si! For centuries now, the Diaz family has been important players in the wine business. My father, and his father before him, and his father—we have all been connoisseurs of wine and producers of our own finest vintage, House of Diaz. When I give up racing—”

“Give up racing?” Glen’s stomach dropped. “So you decided to give up after all? After all we talked about the accident not being your fault?”

“No—listen—I meant after I win the championship, I can give up and continue my wine making.”

“But—but—who would I race against?”


Catherine L Byrne writes stories about relationships which push buttons and provoke reactions from readers. She writes about both gay and straight relationships, depending on which characters in her books shout the loudest to have their stories told. 

An inquisitive author, she prefers writing about different situations in each book rather than writing a series about the same one—her stories range from 10th century Viking Britain, to modern educational settings and from mystery to romance. 

As she was born and bred in England and lives there with her family, this infuses her books with a distinctly English tone. She has been writing since as long as she can remember and Extasy Books have published her novels since 2014.




August 1, 2015

Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway! Redemption (Diversion #5) by Eden Winters


Living is the easy part.

Agent Lucky Lucklighter and his partner escaped Mexico alive, only to plunge into bureaucratic fallout from their mission. Hell, maybe Lucky should have stayed south of the border. Especially when the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau places Bo into rehab, and Lucky’s facing both therapy and an inquiry into a fatal shooting. Watching over his shoulder for a vengeful drug lord or a cartel don calling in favors leaves him scarcely able to imagine a future for them as agents, or as a couple.

Bo Schollenberger once had a vision for their life together, but he’s bowed beneath the weight of his undercover work. Lucky’s hanging on by his deeply chewed fingernails, clinging to hope by making Bo’s dreams of a home into reality. The last thing he needs is a phone call from a dangerous man who knows too much, summoning him back to Mexico for “an early Christmas present.”

Not when the SNB brass asks tough questions, like “How well do you know your partner?”


“What’s your current credit rating?” 

Lucky didn’t often use credit. After getting out of prison to work for Walter, he’d bought his car from a police auction for cash, and lived a low-key lifestyle. Before that, Victor Mangiardi had taken care of him. A nice way to live, but other than a car stereo in his teens, he’d never made payments on anything. And he’d been Richmond Lucklighter then. He’d only been Simon Harrison for a short time, and although he’d used credit cards to make expense reporting easier when on assignment, he paid them off every month. “I’m not sure.” 

“Then let’s see.” The woman tapped on her laptop and whistled. “Mr. Harrison, I don’t think we’ll have a problem getting you the loan.”

He owed Walter one hell of a lot of those frou-frou coffee drinks from Starbucks for giving him a credit score to make a loan officer whistle. 

An hour later Lucky fought to hide a grin from a woman who’d put the Energizer Bunny to shame. “Now, I’m familiar with the house you’re considering. Offer 180. Trust me.” She winked and handed him the phone. 

He pulled a dog-eared card from his wallet and dialed. 

“Mr. Harrison?” The Realtor didn’t sound too happy to hear from him, not that he blamed her. She’d been working hard for her commission. That’s why she got commission.

“Is that house still available? The fixer-upper in the gated neighborhood?”

“Y… yes.”

“I want to make an offer.”

Now what was he gonna tell Bo?


Captivated young by story-telling, Eden Winters’ earliest memories include spinning tales for the family’s pets. Her dreams of writing professionally took a sojourn into non-fiction, with a twelve-year stint in technical documentation.

She began reading GLBT novels as a way to better understand the issues faced by a dear friend and fell in love with the M/M romance genre. During a discussion of a favorite book, a fellow aficionado said, “We could do this, you know.” Good-bye gears, motors, and other authors’ characters; hello plots and sex scenes.

Somewhat of a nomad, Eden has visited seven countries so far. She currently calls the southern US home, and many of her stories take place in the rural South. Having successfully raised two children, she now balances the day job with hiking, rafting, spoiling her grandchildren, and stalking the wily falafel or elusive tofu pad Thai at her favorite restaurants. Her musical tastes run from Ambient to Zydeco, and she’s a firm believer that life is better with fur kids and Harley Davidsons.

Find Eden’s other works at http://edenwinters.com or contact her at edenwinters@gmail.com




January 8, 2015

Release Day Launch! Razorblade Kisses by R.L. Griffin

Genre: New Adult/Coming of Age
Her name is Emery Shaw...Emily Sanders...Emma Simpson...Ericka Smith.
Her family was well off, she ran. They looked for her, she hid. They found her, she ran again. Tragedy strikes, she gets even.
The fact is, she doesn’t know who she is, she tried to run, to hide and make a life for herself, but that backfired. No one knows her except her best friend Rachel, if that’s even an adequate word for what they are to each other. Rachel helps her build a life for herself below the radar, which is fine until the unthinkable happens knocking Em out of her unfeeling cocoon. When her house of cards comes tumbling down she runs again, until the one person who can change her mind finds her.
Due to adult situations, language and possible scenarios that may be difficult for some readers to handle, take a breath before you start this one. It’s gritty and not pretty. Nothing is pretty here. Whiskey is a good thing.

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RL GriffinR.L. Griffin published her first book in 2004. After that she focused on practicing law. A few years ago she began writing the By A Thread series, which is out now. Her goal is to keep readers on their toes, whether it's the plot twist or the book itself, her books are outside any box. There is a little bit of grit in most of her books and a ton of cussing. Most books are enjoyed better with a glass of wine, or whiskey, whatever your poison may be.
She lives in Atlanta with her husband, kid and dogs. She loves to travel and meet readers.



Razorblade Kissed by RL Griffin Are you coming? Share with your friends, it's going to be fun! This book was just amazing & so worth the time & tears!

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