#GuestPost “The Deadening” by Kerry Peresta

The Deadening by Kelly Peresta Banner

April 1-30, 2021 Tour

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The struggle to be an independent woman, to cut ties with dependence on that perfect partner to make us complete, whole; happy…is an ongoing battle.

Often it takes a disaster or two to help us open our blind eyes, our deaf ears. We learn, either willingly or unwillingly (through traumatic consequences), that we have to be a 100% whole woman before we can attract a 100% whole mate. This 50/50 stuff, just doesn’t work. All we have in this scenario are two broken people trying to mend each other, and that doesn’t benefit anyone.

Such is the case with my protagonist, Olivia Callahan. She is broken, but doesn’t know it. And this is a big problem. She is a sitting duck—vulnerable, naïve, clueless.

It takes twenty years, two beautiful daughters, and a divorce before she realizes something is dangerously wrong. In her haste to depart her parents’ home at the tender age of 18 she had leapt into her husband Monty’s arms, unaware that she was trading one fire for another. Monty felt comfortable. Familiar. They rock along for twenty years, and all is well as long as she lets Monty take the lead.

In everything.

Bad move.

When he leaves for a younger, perkier version, Olivia is shell-shocked. Devastated. What happened? She’d given him everything she had to give. Had she needed to try harder? Be more available? Claw into his mind to find out what she’d done wrong?

In a desperate attempt to pursue normalcy, even though her life would never be ‘normal’ again; after the divorce she takes her daughters to the beach, the family’s yearly vacation spot. In retrospect, she realizes this was not the best decision, since she sees the ghost of their marriage around every palm tree, in every beach chair. She is desperate to move on, to stop dwelling on what was and embrace the possibilities ahead. But she is still broken.

And so the cycle continues. One poor—but well-intentioned—decision after the other. One of which lands her in the bushes, bleeding and unconscious; the victim of an apparent assault. Fortunately, she is in the bushes outside an ER, and is carted in after someone finds her.

The ER team finds a massive brain injury, and struggles to save her. She lapses into a coma, and all the medical team can do is wait. She has no ID, and is admitted as a Jane Doe.

Olivia is based on an expanded and darker version of myself, decades ago, before I found strength and support in a recovery group. The information was life-changing, and boy, did my life ever change!

It got worse immediately.

They don’t tell you that this happens. I guess they like to keep it a secret, or the recoveree will run screaming from the meeting. I’m joking, but many times life does get worse when we begin facing facets of ourselves that are unpleasant and non-productive, but the resultant healing is phenomenal. Worth every cringy, hard-fought moment. These moments are temporary and healing.

Oliva is in for a tough battle. It’s one I believe most women experience in one way or another, and its severity depends on what the woman is willing to endure. Whether she will move forward, or stay stuck because it has become familiar. In Book One, Olivia stumbles through trying to find her way back to her life, but since the coma has stolen her memory, she is exhausted trying to reclaim the memories from her marriage, and memories of her children’s most precious years. And angry. She finds the anger energizing, and it propels her to carve out a better future than what family and friends share about her past. Pre-coma. Unfortunately, in order to be completely free of the past, she must revisit it.

What she discovers makes her more determined than ever to run from it as fast as she can.

~~~

Synopsis:

The Deadening by Kerry Peresta

OLIVIA CALLAHAN’S quiet, orderly life is shattered when she regains consciousness in a hospital and discovers she is paralyzed and cannot remember a thing. The fragmented voices she hears around her help her piece together that an apparent assault landed her in the hospital, but nobody knows who attacked her, or why.

Now, in spite of a brain injury that has rewired her personality, Olivia is on a mission to reclaim her life. As clarity surfaces, and she starts to understand who she was, she is shocked.

Could she really have been that person?

And if so, does she want her old life back?

Praise:

“A gripping read populated by likable characters. Peresta draws us into a colorful detailed world and makes us care what happens to the people living in it. We root for Olivia as she struggles to regain her memory, her bearings, and the identity she lost long before her injury. Excellent!”
– Susan Crawford, Internationally bestselling author of The Pocket Wife and The Other Widow.

The Deadening is a captivating psychological suspense novel that will have you holding your breath with each turn of the page. Peresta has created a world chock-full of characters who are dynamic and unforgettable, for better or worse. Hold onto your seat.”
– Clay Stafford, bestselling author and founder of Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Suspense

Published by: Level Best Books

Publication Date: February 21, 2021

Number of Pages: 353

ISBN: 1953789358 (ISBN13:9781953789358) (ASIN:B08SVKLMZ8)

Series: Olivia Callahan Suspense, 1

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

~~~

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

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Giveaway!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Kerry Peresta. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card.
The giveaway begins on April 1, 2021 and runs through May 2, 2021. Void where prohibited.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

~~~

#NewRelease “Acquainted With Atlas (The Hero Reservist Book 1)” by Tina Martin

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Army Reservist AKA Special Agent, Atlas Zayvian, has infiltrated Genetix Industries, not because he’s really a biochemist working on discovering breakthrough cures for common illnesses. No, his business here involves a woman with a mean strut who possesses effortless beauty and the brains to match.

She’s his ‘target’ – pharmaceutical scientist Bria Mallery.

Bria has no idea she’s in the agent’s crosshairs. Like all the other women at Genetix, she can’t deny the appeal of Atlas. With his blue eyes and caramel complexion, he’s a whole lot of eye candy and a whole lot of man. Bria soon discovers that his blatantly obvious, awkward personality is likely his downfall when it comes to establishing connections with people – that is until she begins to like the weirdness that comes along with him.

*Acquainted With Atlas is book one of a three-book series. For the best reading experience, these books should be read in order.

Kindle Unlimited

Amazon

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#FREE “Florida Son (Rip Lane Book 2)” by W.J. Costello

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For Julie Collins the loss was shattering. First her son was kidnapped. Then he was found dead. On the fifth anniversary of his death Julie receives a Facebook message from him: “Happy anniversary, Mommy.” Is it a hoax? Or is he still alive? Former U.S. marshal Rip Lane’s pursuit of the truth plunges him into a dark world of family secrets.

FREE at time of posting!

Kindle Unlimited

Amazon

~~~

#BookTour “The Deadening” by Kerry Peresta

The Deadening by Kelly Peresta Banner

April 1-30, 2021 Tour

Synopsis:

The Deadening by Kerry Peresta

OLIVIA CALLAHAN’S quiet, orderly life is shattered when she regains consciousness in a hospital and discovers she is paralyzed and cannot remember a thing. The fragmented voices she hears around her help her piece together that an apparent assault landed her in the hospital, but nobody knows who attacked her, or why.

Now, in spite of a brain injury that has rewired her personality, Olivia is on a mission to reclaim her life. As clarity surfaces, and she starts to understand who she was, she is shocked.

Could she really have been that person?

And if so, does she want her old life back?

Praise:

“A gripping read populated by likable characters. Peresta draws us into a colorful detailed world and makes us care what happens to the people living in it. We root for Olivia as she struggles to regain her memory, her bearings, and the identity she lost long before her injury. Excellent!”
– Susan Crawford, Internationally bestselling author of The Pocket Wife and The Other Widow.

The Deadening is a captivating psychological suspense novel that will have you holding your breath with each turn of the page. Peresta has created a world chock-full of characters who are dynamic and unforgettable, for better or worse. Hold onto your seat.”
– Clay Stafford, bestselling author and founder of Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Suspense
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: February 21, 2021
Number of Pages: 353
ISBN: 1953789358 (ISBN13:9781953789358) (ASIN:B08SVKLMZ8)
Series: Olivia Callahan Suspense, 1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt from The Deadening:

Prologue

The stiff bristles of the brush grew coppery as he scrubbed back and forth, back and forth. Wrinkling his nose at the smell, he groped for the mask he’d bought, looped it over his head, and snugged it into place.

He dipped the brush in the red-tinged solution in a blue, plastic bowl beside him on the floor, and continued scrubbing. Fifteen minutes later, he emptied the bowl down the toilet and shoved everything he’d used into a trash bag. He fought to staunch the bile creeping up his windpipe, but his throat constricted and he gagged. After retching into the sink, he turned on the faucet and splashed water on his face. Paused to take deep breaths. He could do this. He had to do this. He gripped the edge of the counter and stared out the bathroom window.

She’d not told anyone. Thank God for that. No one could know. No one would ever know. He’d make sure.

He walked to his garage, opened his car trunk, tossed in the latest trash bag. His hands felt icy. He rubbed them together, wiggled his fingers, and slammed the trunk shut.

Admittedly, her terror had excited him. Confusion. Dawning realization in her expression. His lips curved upward into a smile, then disintegrated. Reliving it didn’t change anything. He needed to move forward.

He returned and studied the carpet. In spite of his efforts, the stain still needed work. He cursed, dropped to his knees, and pounded the dampness with a fist.

Through a veil of fatigue, he watched in horror as the kidney-shaped stain stood and pointed an accusatory finger at him. He blinked, hard. Was he hallucinating? How long had he been without sleep? He crabbed backwards, leaned against the wall, pulled his knees to his chest and squeezed his eyes shut. When he opened them some moments later, the blood-apparition had disappeared.

He groaned.

He stared at the ceiling until his brain spit out a solution.

The problem lay in the other room. That’s how he looked at her now.

A problem to solve.

He rose from the floor and walked out.

His eyes slid from her pale face, down her form, to her feet. He no longer thought of her as warm, soft, desirable. She had been so scared…eyes wide and unblinking as she fell. He shook his head and pushed the image away.

Nesting her in towels so her blood wouldn’t pool on the couch, her bronze-sandaled feet with their shiny, pink toenails hung over the edge. He looked away. “Get a grip, man. Just do it.”

The towels fell away when he picked her up. He wound them back around her, careful to tuck in the edges. His heartbeat slammed his ribs.

She was fragile, a little bit of a thing, like a bird. He drew his index finger across her lips. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. “If you had just…if you had only…” His voice trailed away. Jaw clenched, he carried her to his car.

Chapter One

Nathan ambled along sidewalks that wound through the manicured hospital grounds, fishing in his pocket for a lighter. He lit the cigarette dangling from his lips and inhaled deeply, his smile saturated with nicotine’s unholy bliss.

“Thank God,” he mumbled around the cigarette, and withdrew it from his lips, stretching. He glanced over his shoulder at the brightly lit ER entrance to Mercy Hospital, rubbing his neck. He rolled his shoulders, inhaled several deep drags from the cigarette, dropped it, and ground it beneath his shoe. “These night shifts are killing me.” He groaned and gazed at the sky. Clouds hid a full moon. He’d been grateful to get the med tech job, but after two months of bodily fluid testing and storage, he was bored. He needed a challenge.

Nathan followed his typical route through the hedged lawn, almost on auto-pilot, so when he stumbled and sprawled onto the grass face-first, he was stunned. What had tripped him? Cursing softly, he explored his cheeks, nose, forehead. No damage done that he could tell. “Klutz,” he berated himself, pushing up to hands and knees.

Something soft and warm lay beneath his palms. His breathing sped up. He looked down, but it was too dark to see. Trembling, his fingers inched their way to lips, nose, eyes, stiff knots of hair. His mouth dropped in horror. The clouds obligingly slid off the moon and revealed a woman’s body, her hair blood-matted, her face ghostly white. The grass around her head was rusty with blood. He edged his head toward her lips to check her breathing. Shallow, but at least she was alive.

He scrambled to his feet, fighting nausea and staring at his palms, sticky with the woman’s blood. Shrieking for help, he raced into the hospital and skidded to a stop in front of the desk. The ER nurses behind the reception desk squinted at him like he was deranged.

“Possible head injury!” He flailed an arm at the entrance. “Someone, anyone, come quick!”

A male nurse and two aides followed him outside, shoes pounding the sidewalk at full gallop. The tech stopped, turned, and signaled them to tread carefully as they parted ways with the sidewalk and navigated the shrubbery in the dark. Single file, panting, they tiptoed through the shadows until the tech raised a palm for them to stop.

“Here,” he hissed at the nurse, and held a point like a bird dog.

The nurse dropped to the ground and clicked a flashlight on. “Ohmigosh,” he whispered. He lifted the woman’s thin, pale wrist and glanced at his watch. Satisfied that she had a pulse, he slapped the flashlight into Nathan’s bloodied palm. “Stay with her!” He rushed inside.

Within minutes, looky-loos poured from the ER and clustered around the limp form.

“Move back!” Nathan stretched out his arms like a cop directing traffic. “She’s barely breathing!” His glanced nervously at the ER entrance.

The crowd didn’t yield an inch. The ER doors whooshed open. A stretcher clattered down the sidewalk and onto the dew-damp grass. Chills shivered up the tech’s spine as the ashen pallor of death climbed from the woman’s neck to her face. He dropped to the ground and picked up her hand. The paramedic team drew closer, their flashlights piercing the darkness with slivers of light. The crowd eased apart to let them through.

Nathan bent closer to the woman, and whispered, “Hang in there. Help is on the way.”

The stretcher slid to a stop beside him. The paramedics dropped to their knees, stabilized the woman’s head with a brace, staunched the bleeding, and wrapped the wound. They eased her onto the stretcher and rumbled away. The aides shared nervous smiles of relief. They looked at Nathan, then followed the paramedic team back inside.

Nathan, his heartbeat finally slowing, called, “Thanks for the assist, guys!” as they walked away.

The crowd dispersed with curious glances at Nathan, who watched until the group disappeared behind the ER’s double glass doors. He heaved a sigh of relief and swiped perspiration off his forehead. He patted his scrubs pocket for a cigarette, reconsidered, and trotted toward the ER entrance.

After the automatic doors parted, he jogged past two closed-door exam rooms and paused at a third, wide open. He looked inside.

The paramedics shared their observations with the ER doctor on call as he deftly explored the woman’s wounds. When he finished, he nodded, barked instructions, and pointed at the bed. In seconds, the woman’s transfer from stretcher to bed was complete. One of the nurses whisked a blood pressure cuff around her arm. Another hooked an IV bag to a chrome stand, pierced the skin on the back of the woman’s hand, slid in a needle, and taped it down.

The tech stepped back from the door to allow the paramedics to exit. Holding his breath, he stole into the room and crept past a floor-to-ceiling supply cabinet. He planted both palms onto the smooth, white walls behind him and inched sideways, melting into the corner next to a shelf holding tongue depressors, a box of plastic gloves, and a sanitizer dispenser.

“Pulse one-fifteen.” The nurse studied the blood pressure cuff. “Blood pressure eight-five over fifty.”

“Need a trach,” the doctor barked. “She’s bleeding out. Get some O neg in here.”

A blur of motion, two nurses and the ER doctor huddled around the woman’s body. When they stepped back, a laryngoscope, an endotracheal tube, and four sticky electric nodes leading to a cardiac monitor had been secured.

The medical team stilled, their eyes riveted to the monitors. The nurses wore sage green scrubs. Both had pink stethoscopes around their necks. The ER doctor had on a crisp, white jacket with his name scripted in black on the pocket. Nathan fidgeted and stuck his head out from the corner a little to focus on the screens.

The readings sputtered, stalled, plummeted.

“Code Blue!” The doctor spun around. A nurse jumped to the wall and slapped a flat, white square on the wall.

“Code Blue!” echoed through the ER’s intercom system. Frantic footsteps in the hall. Shouted instructions. Clanging metal. Squealing wheels. Nathan squeezed farther into the corner as the cart bearing life-saving electronic shock equipment exploded through the door.

“Brain must be swelling,” the doctor mumbled. He grabbed two paddles and swiped them together. “Clear!”

The woman’s body jolted. The doctor’s head jerked to the cardiac monitor. Flat.

“Clear!” He placed the paddles on the woman’s chest.

Her frail torso arced. The machine blipped an erratic cadence, then droned a steady hum.

The doctor cursed. “Clear!”

Another jolt. The monitor surged, sagged, then settled into a reassuring metronome blip. Tense faces relaxed. Applause spattered around the room.

The doctor blew out a long breath. “Okay, people, good job.” He smiled.

Within minutes, more lines snaked from the woman’s form. An orogastric tube drooped from the corner of her mouth, behind the intubation tube. A lead to measure brain waves clung to her forehead. The doctor studied each monitor in turn. Nathan let out the breath he’d been holding, slid down the wall into a crouch, and balanced on the balls of his feet.

“Any additional instructions, Doctor Bradford?” Brows raised, the nurse waited.

He rubbed his head thoughtfully. “Think she’s stable for now. CAT scan already ordered?”

She nodded. “Of course.”

“Tell them to expedite.” He cocked his head at the woman. “May be a long night. Watch her closely.” The doctor strode to the door, paused, and turned. He glanced at the tech huddled in the corner. “Good job, son.”

Nathan grinned and rose from his crouch, his chest puffed out a little. He’d never saved a life before. After a sympathetic glance at Mercy Hospital’s latest Jane Doe, he returned to the lab.

***

Excerpt from The Deadening by Kerry Peresta. Copyright 2021 by Kerry Peresta. Reproduced with permission from Kerry Peresta. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Kerry L Peresta

Kerry’s publishing credits include a popular newspaper column, “The Lighter Side,” 2009-2011; and magazine articles in Local Life Magazine, The Bluffton Breeze, Lady Lowcountry, and Island Events Magazine. She is the author of two novels, The Hunting, women’s fiction, released by Pen-L Publishing in 2013, and The Deadening, released in February, 2021 by Level Best Books, the first in the Olivia Callahan Suspense series, She spent twenty-five years in advertising as an account manager, creative director, and copywriter. She is past chapter president of the Maryland Writers’ Association and a current member and presenter of Hilton Head Island Writers’ Network, and the Sisters in Crime organization. Recently, she worked as editor and contributor for Island Communications, a local publishing house. Kerry and her husband moved to Hilton Head six years ago. She is the mother of four adult children, and has a bunch of wonderful grandkids who keep life interesting and remind her what life is all about.

Catch Up With Kerry L Peresta:
KerryPeresta.net
Goodreads
Instagram – @kerryperesta
Twitter – @kerryperesta
Facebook – @klperesta

 

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

 

Giveaway!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Kerry Peresta. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card.
The giveaway begins on April 1, 2021 and runs through May 2, 2021. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

#ReleaseBlitz “Forever Blake (Once Upon a Player Book 3)” by Elena Matthews

**Release Blitz**

Forever Blake

by Elena Matthews

A few things to know about Forever Blake

➜ Contemporary office romance

➜ Sexy lawyer

➜ Forbidden / Age gap

#ForeverBlake #ElenaMatthews #OnceUponaPlayer #Live

**BLURB**

Once upon a time…

A sister told her brothers, “Eventually, a girl is going to come along and flip your worlds upside down.”

She was right…

…and Blake was the third to fall.

Hotshot lawyer Blake has always lived the bachelor life, never wanting to be with a woman more than once.

Until Ever comes along.

When a one-night stand turns into an unexpected life-altering weekend, Blake desperately wants to see her again.

What Blake doesn’t anticipate is seeing her so soon … as she’s being introduced to him as the new summer intern, who happens to be the boss’s twenty-two-year-old daughter.

A dead man walking, Blake makes it clear to Ever that nothing can happen again. He has too much riding on his career.

However, the electrical charge between them is unlike anything he’s ever felt, and when the tension gets to be too much, Blake finds it impossible to stay away from her.

Will Blake risk it all for Ever, or will he let the ten-year age gap and the fact that she’s his boss’s daughter get in the way of his happiness?

**

Grab your copy here https://books2read.com/ForeverBlake

Add to your Goodreads https://bit.ly/3d4fzDJ

**

Other books in the Once Upon a Player series ➜

Forever Nate (Book 1):

Free (for a limited time)https://books2read.com/ForeverNate

Forever Logan (Book 2):

$0.99 (for a limited time) – https://books2read.com/ForeverLogan

Author Bio –

Receptionist by day, author by night, Elena Matthews is from Manchester, United Kingdom, the home of Manchester United, MediaCity, and of course, Coronation Street. When Elena isn’t writing, she can be found with her nose in a book or watching guilty pleasures, such as Grey’s Anatomy. And, when she isn’t doing those things, you can often find her on Facebook, or obsessing over Kellan Kyle, book-boyfriend extraordinaire.

Social media links –

Newsletter (You can grab a free ebook by signing up)https://bit.ly/2Y6ZxQl

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AuthorElenaMatthews

Facebook grouphttps://www.facebook.com/groups/elenamatthewsreadergroup

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/authorelenamatthews/

Bookbubhttps://www.bookbub.com/authors/elena-matthews

Goodreadshttps://bit.ly/2qhLPh4

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/AuthorElenaMatt

Websitewww.authorelenamatthews.com

#NewRelease “Near Enough to Hold: a novel of love lost and found” by Kim Golden

cover

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It happened one night.

Nick doesn’t want to be anyone’s hero. He thinks he’s fine on his own with his dog, Rufus, trying to exorcise the ghosts from his past. But he can’t leave a woman stranded at a train station in the middle of nowhere on a rainy night.

She thought this was her second chance at love.

Former ballerina Keisha thought she was coming to Richmond for a second shot at love. But when the man she thought she loved leaves her stranded at a remote train station, she accepts an unexpected act of kindness from a stranger.

It was never supposed to be more than a ride into town.

But that single act of kindness leads to something more – friendship, a second chance for both of them…and maybe even love.

Purchase Links

Amazon

All Other Online Retailers

Add to Goodreads

~~~

#BlogTour “Sins of Our Mothers” by Nicole Souza

It is a pleasure to welcome author Nicole Souza here today to talk about her latest release, SINS OF OUR MOTHERS.

◊ Genre: Dystopian Novel
◊ Publisher: WiDo Publishing (August 25, 2020)
◊ Print & eBooks
◊ Paperback: 338 pages
◊ ISBN-10: 1947966391
◊ ISBN-13: 978-1947966390

     It has been fifteen hundred years since the solar flare devastation of the Global Catastrophe. Due to the radioactivity in the harvesting fields, society dismisses its defective children as nothing more than flawed products of the malfunctioned seeds in the field.

     But Lyratelle, a hyper-observant musical prodigy, believes these “defects” are intelligent, particularly her own sibling, the youngest child of her impervious mother. Abandoning her dream career, Lyratelle climbs the bureaucratic ladder to run the Defect Research Center, where she can safeguard the child.

     With an underground team of women who share her uncertainties, Lyratelle unearths the Old History truth that womankind’s survival actually hinges on the existence of these defects.

     When General Sarah Love, the city’s most powerful advocate against the defects, detects Lyratelle’s sympathy toward the creatures, she threatens the life of Lyratelle’s sibling.

     Now Lyratelle’s desperate attempt to save this child endangers everyone she loves—her team, her family, even the existence of the defects themselves.

SINS OF OUR MOTHERS is available at AMAZONBarnes & Noble * WiDo Publishing. Also, be sure to add it to your TBR List on Goodreads.

~~~

EXCERPT

Chapter 4
Juley 23, 1513 P.C.

10:00 a.m.

“Incoming call from the Governor’s office.”

Lyratelle stared at her ring. She wasn’t expecting a call from Governor Sky. She stepped away from the window where she observed the morning’s extractions and stood with her back to the wall. “Accept call.”

Governor Sky’s face emerged. Her silver hair was tied back in a bun, her jawline more prominent than usual.

“Governor Sky, to what do I owe this honor?”

“I’m afraid it’s unpleasant. You’re aware, of course, Valiance Serenity is ill.”

Lyratelle breathed carefully, conscious of her heartrate and the speed and tone of her voice. “Yes. You relocated one of my best doctors to care for her.”

“Even in Doctor Rain’s care, she’s worsened. This morning, Valiance conceded she’s unfit to run the Settlement and is being checked into Lilac Hospital.”

Lyratelle couldn’t stop herself from reacting but managed to play it off as surprise rather than joy. “I’m sorry to hear that.” She was accustomed to the taste of a righteous lie.

“There’s no telling when she’ll recover. As you know, when a Chief Director retires, passes away, or is otherwise unable to run the Settlement, the DRC President is promoted to replace her. Which means, effective immediately, you’re Chief Director of Settlement eleven-sixty-three. You’ll receive intensive training this week and relocate to the Settlement on Monday.”

It took every bit of training, mirror rehearsal, and natural ability for Lyratelle to mask the surreal elation washing over her. “Monday, wow.”

“I realize it’s sudden, probably shocking, but you’ll have plenty of flexibility to visit your family in Lilac.”

“Sudden, yes, but not shocking. I’m prepared for whatever the job requires. May I ask who will replace me here at the DRC?”

“I’m hoping you’ll guide me. Losing you is quite a blow. Doctor Rain is the obvious choice, but to limit her to an administrative position seems unwise, especially under the circumstances.”

“Agreed.”

“Who do you trust to take on the load?”

Lyratelle pretended to consider the options. “I have an unconventional idea.”

“Tell me.”

“We recently hired Reproductive Specialist Emily River. She’s brilliant, trained in record time. Because she’s new, her routine isn’t concrete. The other doctors run the place like a well-oiled machine. It would really be a shame to interrupt that. I recommend assigning Doctor River the administrative role.”

“A brand-new doctor? Maybe if you could stay to train her, but you begin your own training Wednesday morning.”

“You know my assistant, Grace Angels. She’s my anchor. She knows the program inside and out and has a great relationship with the doctors. She’ll help Doctor River find her footing.”

“You really think . . . ?”

“I wouldn’t suggest it if I didn’t know it will work.”

Sky nodded. “I trust you, Faith. Let’s move forward.”

“Great. I’ll speak with them immediately.”

“Then that just leaves your meeting with Valiance.”

~~~

Meet the Author

 

As the third of eight siblings, Nicole has always been surrounded by people. Among her immediate family are spoken seven languages. Her favorite thing is hearing her nieces and nephews speak French, Tongan, or Mandarin. It’s no surprise she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Languages, as language is one of her greatest passions, topped only by music and Beat Saber.

Nicole minored in Women Studies and continues to take a particular interest in both women’s history and their individual stories. She’s grateful for her ancestors and other women who paved the way for her to pursue her dream of publishing stories and strives to create new avenues for the coming generations to pursue their dreams.

Though she’s lived-in various states in the U.S. and Brazil, Nicole considers Utah “home base” and continuously finds herself returning, even when previous moves were intended to be permanent. She attributes her love of Utah to the beauty of the Wasatch Mountains and the incredible people who make it feel like home, even when she’s been away for long periods of time. Recently, however, after visiting her sister’s family overseas, she’s been dreaming of a quiet beach house in Taiwan.

Connect with Nicole on her website nicolesouzabooks.com
Facebook @nicolesouzabooks
Instagram @nicolesouzabooks

 


Be sure to enter the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card by clicking HERE.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you enjoy books where the main protagonist is a female?

~~~

#BookSale “Seriously?: A Lou Fleener Mystery (Lou Fleener Mysteries Book 2)” by Duane Lindsay

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1960s CHICAGO: THREE PIs AGAINST
AN ENTIRE ARMY 0F NAZIS

Private Investigator Lou Fleener’s second surprising period thriller explores an explosively dangerous conundrum: how can Lou prevent a huge Nazi terrorist attack when every cop in Chicago thinks we wiped out all the Nazis in the war?

It’s early 1960’s Chicago and Lou’s back in business. After his last harrowing heist adventure, he took some time off…and ended up bored out of his skull. Now he’s scouring the city for clients. His fiery wife Cassidy and his painfully awkward yet brilliant best friend Monk are standing by, ready to serve as the crack team that recently bested the mob. But their first customer has a doozy of a problem. She’s an elderly Holocaust survivor who needs Lou to investigate her new neighbor, a Nazi fugitive from justice she recognizes from the camps. Lou’s client is hellbent on getting the Nazi arrested and tried for his brutal crimes.

Immediately, Lou’s at her service…until she disappears under mysterious circumstances. All signs point towards her being kidnapped and murdered by the Nazi neighbor. When Lou, Cassidy, and Monk manage to get on the Nazi’s tail, they figure out some unfortunate news: there isn’t just one rogue American Nazi plotting misdeeds. There are a lot of Nazis. And they’re planning something big.

Lou Fleener’s action-packed adventures will appeal to every kind of mystery reader–he’s got the edge for hard-boiled fans, and the witty, fun banter and likeable characters required by cozy lovers. Like Donald Westlake, Lindsay’s prose is humorous and humanizing. Fans of James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler, and Lawrence Block will also discover a new favorite sleuth.

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