#ReleaseBlitz “The Spare – Part One (The Kings & Queens of St Augustus #1)” by Gemma Weir

The Spare Part 1 (The Kings & Queens of St Augustus)

by

Gemma Weir

Genre: New Adult

Add to your TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52209062-the-spare—part-one
BUY THE BOOK: books2read.com/thesparepartone

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Synopsis:
Young love, betrayal, intrigue and more, this book has it all!  This is the first book in a brand new series: The Kings & Queens of St Augustus.
A will. The last wishes of a dead man shouldn’t have had the power to change all of our lives.
But a family fortune can test even the bonds of identical twins.
Now there’s him, the perfect bad boy who hates us all.
My sister wants him, but he wants me.
With billions of dollars at stake, no one is going to come out unscathed.

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Meet the Author

Gemma Weir is a half crazed stay at home mom to three kids, one man child and a hell hound. She has lived in the midlands, in the UK her whole life and has wanted to write a book since she was a child. Gemma has a ridiculously dirty mind and loves her book boyfriends to be big, tattooed alpha males. She’s a reader first and foremost and she loves her romance to come with a happy ending and lots of sexy sex.
Her social media links are:
 

#BlogTour “Screw: A Hell’s Handlers and No Prisoners MC Crossover” by Lilly Atlas

Title – Screw: A Hell’s Handlers and No Prisoners MC Crossover
Series – Hell’s Handler’s #8
Author – Lilly Atlas
Genre – MMF/MC Romance (Standalone)
Release Date – March 31, 2020
Jazmine lives with secrets she buries beneath conservative clothing and avoidance of relationships. Those secrets are just one reason she spends months resisting the advances of the Hell’s Handlers’ resident flirt, Screwball. Mostly, she can’t stand Screw’s constant parade of one-night stands and inability to be serious. But the man is charming, and her resolve is only so strong. When Gumby, a romantic interest from Jazz’s past, returns to her life, she suddenly finds herself stuck between two men who hate each other on sight yet seem inexplicably drawn together.

As the new enforcer for the Hell’s Handlers Motorcycle Club, Screwball faces a challenge he’s avoided his entire life: the heavy weight of leadership. Now he’s in charge of protecting his club as threats from an enemy MC mount. Even though he doubts himself, Screw wants the opportunity to prove his worth to his brothers. Meanwhile, he also finds himself attracted to Jazz in a way he’s never experienced. When Jazz’s eye-catching biker from Arizona shows up in town, Screw finds himself wondering if a future full of commitment might be worth leaving his comfort zone.

Having grown up with a brutal father who spoke with his fists, Gumby learned early to suppress certain sides of himself. When he crosses the country in search of a woman he can’t shake from his head, he not only finds her in danger but the object of one very appealing enforcer’s desire. He soon discovers denying his true identity can be impossible when faced with real temptation.

Can three wounded souls overcome their baggage in time to save the Hell’s Handlers MC and their relationship?
“I need to start having the prospect warm up my car before I leave,” Jazz grumbled as a full-body shiver ran through her. Though this was her second winter out of the toasty Arizona desert, she hadn’t gotten used to the cold.
At all.
And the seven-minute drive from work to home wasn’t enough time for her car to warm up. At least not when the day’s high never made it out of the thirties. Even with a hat, scarf, gloves, puffy down jacket, and wooly socks, she felt the chill. And not in a brisk, refreshing sort of way, but in an I’m-buried-under-an-avalanche-and-about-to-freeze-to-death way.
When it came to the cold, Jazz was a complete and utter wuss.
The good news was she only had half a mile left until she reached her home. The bad news was that it had snowed a good three inches while she’d been at work, so she now had to shovel the driveway, a task she loathed. Shell and Toni had laughed when she’d whined, telling her to make the prospect do it, but that felt all wrong. The poor guy was stuck watching her boring ass all day when she wasn’t even someone’s ol’ lady. How could she ask him to do manual labor on top of it? No, she’d suck it up and shovel her own driveway like the big girl she was. And if the prospect jumped in to help, well…she wouldn’t turn him away.
She wasn’t stupid.
As she turned onto her street, a smile lit her face. There in the driveway of her little rented house stood her next-door neighbor, Jeremy, using his snow blower to rid her driveway of her white nemesis.
What an angel.
She pulled into the snow-free driveway just as Jeremy was powering down his snow blower. After giving a little wave to the prospect as he parked next to a mound of plowed snow, she exited the car. “Seriously, Jeremy, you are the best. How has some lucky girl not snapped you up yet?”
He snorted as he set down the blower. Dressed in a leather jacket, biker boots, and black jeans, he looked like he’d fit right in at the Hell’s Handler’s clubhouse, but for some reason unknown to her, he’d been denied the opportunity to prospect.
“Been waiting on you, Jazzy, you know that.” He winked, then walked her way. “But you keep breaking my heart at every turn.” The words were spoken with a lightness to them, but the gaze that held hers conveyed a sincerity that had her face heating.
Thankfully, her cheeks had already reddened from the cold. Otherwise her blush would be obvious, and she’d hate to give the guy the wrong idea. Even if she’d been interested in Jeremy, dating him would have proven way too awkward, considering how close she was to the men of the MC. Supposedly, he’d attempted to prospect more than once and hadn’t made it through the door. “Flattery will get you everywhere,” she said with a wave of her gloved hand and an airy chuckle. “But I see the parade of chicas you’ve got coming and going from your bachelor pad over there. Pretty sure you’re loving your freedom.”
That made him smile. Teeth, a little on the yellow side gleamed at her. Overall, he wasn’t bad looking. Somewhat attractive, with buzzed brownish hair, a smooth-shaven jaw, and eyes on the greener side of hazel. His muscles were real as was his passion for motorcycles and desire to join the Handlers. The problem with Jeremy was how he always seemed to be trying just a little too hard, which often came off as needy. At least in Jazz’s opinion. She’d never say it aloud, but Jeremy was a beta male and Jazz was the kinda girl whose head only seemed to turn for alphas. Was it a good thing? Perhaps not considering she was twenty-nine and pathologically single.
“What can I say, Jazz? The ladies like what they see.”
She cocked her head, studying him. Were his neediness the only issue, perhaps she could have overlooked it and gone out with the guy, but it wasn’t the only problem. She had mountains of her own issues holding her back.
“Of course they do,” she said with a wink. “You’re a stud. Anyway, thanks for taking care of the driveway for me. I really appreciate it. I’ve dreaded the thought of shoveling out since the first flake fell.”
“Why shovel when you can blow?” Jeremy said wagging his eyebrows.
Jazz laughed. “I’m sure there’s a naughty joke in there somewhere, but I’m not gonna dig too deep for it.” When Jeremy groaned, she laughed again. “See what I did there? Shovel? Dig?”
“Unfortunately. Your comedy game needs work.” He slung an arm around her shoulders and propelled her toward her door. “Better get that sweet ass inside before it freezes off, Arizona-girl.”
Jazz dug out her key. “Thanks again, Jeremy.”
“My pleasure, babe. Long as I’m not out of town I’ll take care of your driveway, okay?”
God, why couldn’t she be attracted to this guy? He was so damn sweet. “You’re seriously the best, Jeremy,” she said before giving him a peck on the cheek. “I think Mrs. Sampson might actually have an old snow blower out back in the shed,” she said of her land lady. “I went out there once and found a snake staring at me so that was the last time I ventured back there. And I won’t ever be going again.” She shuddered and it had nothing to do with the chill for once. “I’d rather die than find another snake. That shed is off limits to me.”
Jeremy laughed. He kissed her back then started down her driveway, calling, “Don’t worry, I got your back. Unless I’m out of town, you won’t have to shovel or battle the snakes to look for the snow blower.” With a wave of his hand he reached the sidewalk and turned right toward his own home.
Monty, the prospect who’d been tasked with following her for the day, stared at him from his truck while chatting away on his phone. For his part, Jeremy glared back then flipped Monty the bird before making his way up his own snow-free driveway.
Interesting. Jazz would be lying if she said she wasn’t curious why the MC didn’t seem to care for Jeremy. Though she could see how he wouldn’t be such a great fit, she had a feeling the rejection came from more than just the fact Jeremy was a bit…weak. Ugh, just thinking the word made her feel like a bitch.
Well, none of it was any of her business. Time to get inside and get some coffee brewing to warm herself from the inside out. Just as she shoved the key in the lock, her phone rang. After digging it out of her overstuffed purse she held it to her ear without looking at the screen.
Her mistake.
“Crawly, really?” Screw’s disgusted voice entered her ear, stopped at her nipples to perk them up, then continued straight to her pussy which fucking fluttered at the sound.
Damn him.
Key still sticking out of her door, Jazz sighed. “What are you talking about, Screwball?”
“You put your fucking lips on Crawly. Let him put his lips on you.”
Jazz pinched the bridge of her nose as an ache began to form between her eyes. Of course the pain, it did nothing to squash the arousal brought on by his voice and the memory of another pair of lips on her. A set of lips that she’d given into in one very needy moment a few weeks back.
Another mistake because now that memory popped up at the most inconvenient times.
Like now.
“Okay, buddy, first of all where and on who my lips land is none of your business. And second of all, what the fuck are you talking about? Who the hell is Crawly?”
Screw practically growled as he said, “Jeremy Crawly. That pansy-assed mother fucker who was on your doorstep five fucking seconds ago.”
What the…
Jazz spun, scanning the street for an annoying biker. “You spying on me now?”
“That the kind of man you’re looking for?”
He wasn’t on her street. At least not in sight. Screw wasn’t subtle enough to be hiding in the bushes or some nonsense like that. He was too loud and too proud to hide from anyone. Had he actually been there, he’d probably have stormed out the moment she kissed Jeremy’s cheek and laid some ridiculous claim on her.
Your stomach did not just flutter at the thought of being Screw’s, you stupid silly girl.
She continued to scan the street, consciously ignoring Screw’s question, and as her eyes passed over the navy truck in front of her house, she scowled. “Really, you traitor?” she yelled at Monty.
When the prospect shrugged through the foggy windows, she flipped him off then stormed into her house. “Not that I owe you any explanations, asshole, but it was a kiss on the damn cheek to thank him for getting the snow off my driveway before I got home from work. He didn’t want me to do it myself and freeze my tits off. I didn’t see you out there actually doing something for someone else.”
“I was on my way with my blower when I got called into Copper’s office. He wanted to meet with me but was fine with waiting until I was done at your house. I called Monty to tell him to either sit on you so you wouldn’t shovel or get his lazy ass out of the truck and start shoveling until I got there. He let me know Crawly had already completed the job.”
If she were in a movie, the background noise would be a whistling sound as the wind left her sails. Every time she put Screw in the box called careless womanizer, he went and did something to surprise her.
Of course, ninety-nine-point nine percent of the time it was with the end goal of getting laid, which kinda negated the whole good deed thing.
“Damn you, Screw,” Jazz said as she sagged. Her back hit the closed door with a heavy thud she’d have felt if it weren’t for the thickness of her puffy jacket. “How many times do I have to tell you—”
“I know you’re not gonna fuck me if I shovel your driveway, Jazzy.”
“But you thought I’d fuck Jeremy for it?”
“What? No, shit.” He actually sounded frustrated with himself. “Look, I may like to fuck and it’s no goddamn secret that I want to fuck you, but I’m not an asshole. You hate the cold and live by yourself. You don’t have a blower and there’s about four inches out there. It’d have taken you all goddamned day to shovel, and who the hell knows if Monty is worth anything.”
“He’s been prospecting for two months.”
Screw snorted. “That don’t mean shit. The fucker’s got a long way to go before patching in.”
True enough.
Jazz sighed and the silence between them grew heavy.
“A thank you kiss on the cheek, huh?”
Jazz stared at the ceiling, willing herself to end the call. Just a quick goodbye and the push of one button and this conversation would be over and she could focus on not thinking about Screw for the rest of the day. But did she do that?
Nope.
Of course not. That would be logical. Healthy, even.
“Yes. I’m not interested in Jeremy.” What the hell was wrong with her? Maybe the cold has frozen all the parts of her brain responsible for rational thinking.
“Good to know,” Screw said.
 

Lilly Atlas is a contemporary romance author, proud Navy wife, and mother of two spunky girls. By day she works as a physical therapist for a hospital in Virginia. Lilly is an avid romance reader, and expects her Kindle to beg for mercy every time she downloads a new eBook. Thankfully, it hasn’t happened yet, and she can often be found absorbed in a good book.

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#DoubleCoverReveal “Josie James and The Teardrops of Summer” & “Josie James and The Velvet Knife” by Lily Mae Walters

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Josie James and The Teardrops of Summer

Josie James is an ordinary 13 year old until something extraordinary happens during her summer holidays.Whilst staying at her Great Grandmother’s cottage in the country she finds herself swept into the cursed world of Suncroft where it is perpetual winter.Her new friends believe she could be the Chosen One who it is foretold will lift the curse, but there are more pressing matters.

The Teardrops of Summer – magical crystals that render the owner immortal – have been stolen. Along with her telepathic husky-dog Protector Asher and her new friends, Josie must race to find the Teardrops and prevent catastrophe for their world.

Amazon UK     | Amazon US

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Josie James and The Velvet Knife

For you to find the Velvet Knife, you must solve the riddles thrice.” A mysterious hooded figure, known only as the Velvet Knife has appeared in the cursed village of Suncroft. No one knows who he is or what he wants but when he starts leaving riddles around the village, it is time for Josie to return to Suncroft for a second time.

With Asher, her faithful husky Protector by her side, Filan, a half elf, and her great grandad, will they be able to solve the clues in time and discover his identity? The Velvet Knife is not the only one causing problems for Josie. Her rival for the position of the ‘Chosen One’ continues to grow stronger, and now he has a Protector of his own.

What does all this mean for Josie? Is she destined to lift the wintery curse of Suncroft or will another take her place as the ‘Chosen One’?

Amazon UK     |     Amazon US

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About Lily Mae Walters

Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honour of her beloved grandparents who also stare in the Josie James series.

She is married with two teenage children, and two huskies that are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books.

Lily Mae lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local  places and even her old school in her stories.

Family and friends mean the world to Lily Mae and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series.

Lily Mae also writes for adults under the name of Florence Keeling.

Social Media

Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Instagram

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#Excerpt “The Gift of Cockleberry Bay” by Nicola May

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From the author of the #1 BESTSELLING The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay

All of our favourite characters from Cockleberry Bay are back in this final, heart-warming story in the series. Including Hot, Rosa Smith’s adorable dachshund and his new-born puppies.

Now successfully running the Cockleberry Café and wishing to start a family herself, Rosa feels the time is right to let her inherited Corner Shop go. However, her benefactor left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.

Rosa is torn. How can she make such a huge decision? And will it be the right one? Once the news gets out and goes public, untrustworthy newcomers appear in the Bay . . . their motives uncertain. With the revelation of more secrets from Rosa’s family heritage, a new journey of unpredictable and life-changing events begins to unfold.

The Gift of Cockleberry Bay concludes this phenomenally successful series in typically brisk and bolshy style and will delight the many thousands of Rosa’s fans.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK |   Amazon US  

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EXCERPT

Extract from The Gift of Cockleberry Bay where we learn that both puppies and a big storm are on their way to the bay!

‘Rosa, Rosa, you have to come right now.’ Jacob’s voice was full of panic.

‘What’s wrong? Where are you?’

‘Upstairs at the pub. The Duchess is about to give birth, and although I’ve watched Call the Midwife once or twice, my own midwifery skills are somewhat limited. Please, I need you!’

With a shake of her dark brown curls, the publican’s younger friend answered with a smile-filled voice, ‘Jacob, it’s OK.  The Duchess will know what to do.’

Then on hearing both him and the pregnant dachshund making irregular panting noises down the end of the phone, she said, ‘I’m on my way.’ Instructing her own dachshund, Hot Dog, to be good, she quickly headed for the door of the Corner Shop, slamming it shut behind her.

Rosa was walking so fast up the hill, she nearly missed her mother waving from the window of Seaspray Cottage. Mary Cobb dashed out, dressed in her supermarket uniform, ready to do a shift at the local Co-op.

‘I’m just off to work but have you got a minute, duck?’

‘I haven’t actually. The Duchess is about to give birth and so too is Jacob by the sound of it.’

Mary tutted. ‘Bloody drama queen, he is.’

Rosa laughed. ‘Yes, and he’d be the first to admit it. I must go – but is everything OK?’

‘Yes, apart from the weather forecast. Did you not hear? There’s a massive storm on the way. The sea’s likely to come right up and over the beach wall. You and Sara might need sandbags to protect the café.’

‘A storm in July? And that bad – really?’

‘Well, I personally can’t wait. I’m sick of this bloody humidity. It plays havoc with my breathing.’ Mary reached for the inhaler in her apron pocket and shook it. ‘Merlin, that mad cat, has been tearing around the back yard in circles too, and he is all-knowing when the weather’s about to change.’

‘OK. I’ll go down to the front and check with Sara about keeping the café protected, but I can’t go until I’ve helped deliver these baby chipolatas.’ Rosa turned to go.

‘You’ll be getting a reputation as a midwife in the village at this rate, what with bringing Titch’s little Theo into the world too,’ Mary called after her, a sudden gust of wind taking her words away over the rooftops of Cockleberry Bay.

As Rosa carried on up the hill, Ritchie Rogers was busy nailing single boards of wood across the big front window of the fish-and-chip shop.

‘Morning, Rosa,’ the young man hailed her from the top of his ladder. ‘It’s going to be a fiery one. The glass was blown clean out last time we had a storm of this predicted level. It was really dangerous – thank heavens no one got hurt.’

‘Really? It doesn’t seem possible with the sun still shining like it is now.’

‘Yes. I guess you soft townies haven’t encountered anything like a proper coastal storm.’ He laughed. ‘You wait and see.’

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Author Bio Nicola May

Nicola May lives in the UK, five miles from the Queen’s castle in Windsor, with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon and devouring cream teas.

Her bestselling The Corner Shop in Cockleberry, the 1st book in the Cockleberry Bay series, went to #1 on Amazon and stayed there for an unprecedented 6 weeks.

She classes her novels as ‘chicklit with a kick,’ writing about love, life and friendships in a real, not fluffy kind of way. She likes burgers, mince pies, clocks, birds, bubble baths and facials – but is not so keen on aubergines.

Follow Nicola May

Website

Facebook  

Twitter

Instagram

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 Giveaway

Win a signed copy of The Gift of Cockleberry Bay

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(Open Internationally)

E N T E R

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days, then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organizer and used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

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#Review “The Best Man” by Winter Renshaw

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5/5 Stars!

Fate? Destiny? Coincidence?

Do we choose our life’s journey… or are we characters acting out a script written for us?

The Best Man is not a paranormal story, but it made my mind wonder.

A chance meeting between Cainan James and Brie White is just that. A few minutes in a bar. Cryptic conversation. A prophetic parting. They go back to their lives without even exchanging names.

A near-death car accident finds Cainan waking from a coma six months later, asking for his wife. The only problem is he isn’t married. He heals and returns to his law practice with the visions of the mystery lady in his head. Cainan’s sister, Claire, is convinced he’s still traumatized by the accident and wants him to get help. Cainan is ready to agree with her until he meets his mystery woman.

Engaged to his best friend, Grant.

As the story unfolds, nothing is what it appears to be. Analytical Brie and Pragmatic Cainan ignore the simmering connection between them for obvious reasons. Rethinking her decisions, Brie has to make choices that have nothing to do with Cainan, while all of Cainan’s decisions are because of Grant.

What happens when the couple realizes they may know each other better than either of them know Grant?

(Insert speeding car in parking to mow Grant down. Read the story. He deserves it.)

Engaging and bittersweet, The Best Man is about relationships and does a great job of delving into several, especially between siblings and friends. It also deals with misplaced loyalty, manipulations, and betrayals. But not where you think. Pay attention!

However, it shines brightest as the connection between Brie and Cainan is explored and explained. Well, as much as the unexplainable can be explained!

I enjoyed this read. It didn’t fall back on insta-love, broody males or females making bad decisions simply because. It focused on people, the part they play in our lives, and the consequences of life choices.

Or are they choices? If you hear the Twilight Zone theme… just go with it.

Enjoy!

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SYNOPSIS

I didn’t know her name, but I heard her laugh, tasted her lips, felt her warm skin as I held her in my arms. Together we watched our young children playing in the sand, the warm ocean lapping the shore behind them as the setting sun painted the sky. She was my soulmate and this was our life, our beautiful forever …
Then I woke up—alone in a hospital room, connected to wires and machines.
There was no wife. No kids. Not a single soul waiting for me. That life I dreamt of … never existed.
I’d been in a devastating wreck, a nurse told me when she rushed in. Comatose for weeks. I’d have a long road to recovery, but I was going to make it.
From that moment on, the dream haunted me. I saw that woman’s face every time I closed my eyes, searched for her in every crowd, ached to be with a stranger I felt I’d known my entire life … and I swore that if I ever found her, I’d do anything to make her mine.
Anything.
Then I found her.
And it was both the best and worst day of my life because the woman of my dreams … was about to marry my best friend.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: No cheating, no love triangles. That’s all I’m going to say … 😉

Purchase

Amazon

Goodreads

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#BlogTour “The Best Man” by Winter Renshaw




I didn’t know her name, but I heard her laugh, tasted her lips, felt her warm skin as I held her in my arms. Together we watched our young children playing in the sand, the warm ocean lapping the shore behind them as the setting sun painted the sky. She was my soulmate and this was our life, our beautiful forever … 
Then I woke up—alone in a hospital room, connected to wires and machines. 
There was no wife. No kids. Not a single soul waiting for me. That life I dreamt of … never existed.
I’d been in a devastating wreck, a nurse told me when she rushed in. Comatose for weeks. I’d have a long road to recovery, but I was going to make it. 
From that moment on, the dream haunted me. I saw that woman’s face every time I closed my eyes, searched for her in every crowd, ached to be with a stranger I felt I’d known my entire life … and I swore that if I ever found her, I’d do anything to make her mine. 
Anything.
Then I found her.
And it was both the best and worst day of my life because the woman of my dreams … was about to marry my best friend.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: No cheating, no love triangles. That’s all I’m going to say … 😉


Cainan

Beep … beep … beep … beep …

​I wake to a steady sound, slamming into an unfamiliar shell of a body, which as it turns out is mine. A dreamlike haze envelopes me, and when my surroundings come into focus, I’m met with white walls, white blankets, white machines connected to white wires leading to a strip of white tape on my wrist holding an IV in place.

​I’m in a hospital.

​I try to remember how I got here, but it’s like trying to recall someone else’s dream—an impossible task. And it only makes the throbbing inside my head intensify.

​“My wife …” My words are more air than sound, and it’s painful to speak with a bone-dry mouth and burning throat.

​ “Mr. James?” A woman with hair the color of driven snow leans over me. So much fucking white. “Don’t move. Please.”

​She’s a calm kind of rushed, hurried but not frenetic as she makes her way around the room, pressing buttons, paging for assistance and adjusting machine settings.

​The room fades in and out, murky gray to pitch black, and then crystal clear before disappearing completely. The next time I open my eyes, I’m fenced by three more women and one white-coat-wearing man, all of them gazing down on me with squinted, skeptical expressions, as if they’re witnessing a verifiable miracle in the making.

​I’m certain this is nothing more than a bad dream—until my head pulsates with an iron-clad throb once again, accented by a searing poker-hot pain too real to be a delusion.

​“Mr. James, I’m Dr. Shapiro. Four weeks ago, you were involved in a car accident.” The doctor at the foot of the bed studies me. “You’re at Hoboken University Medical Center, and you’re in excellent hands.”

​They all study me.

​I try to sit up, only for a nurse to place her hand on my shoulder. “Take it easy, Mr. James.”

​Another nurse hands me water. I take a sip. The clear, cold liquid that glides down my throat both soothes and stings. I swallow the razor-blade sensation and try to sit up again, but my arms shake in protest, muscles threatening to give out.

​“Where’s my wife?” Each word is excruciating, physically and otherwise.

​She should be here.

​Why isn’t she here?

​“Your wife?” The nurse with the water cup repeats my question as she exchanges glances with the dark-haired nurse on the opposite side of my bed. “Mr. James … you don’t have a wife.”

​I try to respond, which only causes me to cough. I’m handed the water once more, and when I get the coughing under control, I ask for my wife once more.

​“Has anyone called her?” I hand the cup back. If I’ve been out of it for weeks, I imagine she’s beside herself. And our kids. I can’t begin to imagine what they’ve been going through. “Does she know I’m awake? Have my children seen me like this?”

​“Sir …” The nurse with the dark hair frowns.

​“My wife,” I say, harder this time.

​“Mr. James.” Dr. Shapiro comes closer, and a nurse steps out of the way. “You suffered extensive injuries in your accident …”

​The man rambles on, but I only catch fragments of what he’s saying. Shattered pelvis. Spleen removal. Internal bleeding. Brain swelling. Medically-induced coma.

​“It’s not uncommon to be confused or disoriented upon awaking,” he says.

​But she was just here …

​She was just with me …

​Only we weren’t in this room, we were at the beach—the little strip of sand beyond our summer home. She was in my arms as we lay warm under a hot sun, watching our children run from the rolling waves that rolled over the coastline, leaving tiny footprints up and down the shore.

​A boy and a girl.

​My wife smelled of sunscreen, and she wore an oversized straw hat with a black ribbon and thick-framed cat-eye sunglasses with red rims that matched her red sarong. I can picture it clearer than anything in this damn room.

​I can hear her laugh, bubbly and contagious.

​If I close my eyes, I can see her heart-shaped smile—the one that takes up half her face and can turn the worst of days completely upside down.

​“We’re going to let you rest, Mr. James, and then we’ll order a few tests.” The doctor digs in a deep pocket of his jacket, and then he sneaks a glance at his phone. “I’ll be here for the next eight hours, if you have any additional questions. The nurses will ensure you’re comfortable in the meantime. We’ll discuss your treatment plan as soon as you’re feeling up to it.”

​He tells the nurse with the dark hair to order a CT scan, mumbles something else I can’t discern, and then he’s gone. A moment later, the room clears save for myself and the third nurse—the one who’s done nothing but stare at me with despondent eyes this entire time.

​“There must be a mistake. Someone needs to call my wife immediately.” I try to sit up, but an electric intensity unlike anything I’ve ever experienced shoots up my arm and settles along my back and shoulders.

​The thought of her not knowing where I am sends a squeeze to my chest. What if she thinks I left her? What if she thinks I disappeared? What if she has no idea what happened? And what was I doing in Hoboken when our life is in Manhattan?

​“What’s her name?” Her question comes soft and low, almost like she’s trying to ensure no one hears her. “Your wife?”

​I open my mouth to speak … only nothing comes out.

​I can picture her as vivid as still blue waters on a windless day—but it’s the strangest thing because her name escapes me.

Nothing but blank after infuriating blank.

​“I … I can’t remember.” I lean back, staring into the reflective void of a black TV screen on the opposite wall.

​The nurse’s gaze grows sadder, if that’s possible. “It’s okay. You’ve been through quite an ordeal.”

​She doesn’t believe me.

​“Would you like me to call your sister?” she asks.

​My sister … Claire.

​If I can remember my sister’s name, why can’t I remember my own wife’s?

​“Yes,” I say. “Call Claire. Immediately.”

​She’ll be able to sort this out, I’m sure of it.

​“Would you like me to adjust your bed?” The nurse straightens the covers over my legs. “I’m Miranda, by the way. I’ve been assigned to you since you arrived. I can tell you just about anything you need to know.”

​“Just … call my sister.”

​“Of course, Mr. James. Can I grab you anything while I make that call?”

​I lift my hand—the one without the IV—to my forehead. “Head’s pounding like a goddamned jackhammer. Got anything for that?”

​“Absolutely. Be right back …”

​Miranda hurries out the door, and I’m alone.

​If I close my eyes, the room spins, but I can picture my wife with impeccable lucidity—the square line of her jaw, her heart-shaped lips that flip up in the corners, the candy-apple green of her eyes.

My heart aches, though it isn’t a physical pain, it’s deeper.

​More profound.

​Like the drowning of a human soul.

​I remind myself that the doctor’s said it’s normal to be disoriented, and I promise myself everything will come back to me once I get my bearings.

​The clock on the wall reads eight minutes past seven. The sky beyond the windows is half-lit. I haven’t the slightest clue if it’s AM or PM. I couldn’t tell you what day it is or what month it is for that matter.

​“Mr. James, your sister is on her way,” the nurse says when she returns.

​She hands me a white paper cup with two white pills.

​So much fucking white.

​If I never see white again after this, I’ll die a happy man.

Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Winter Renshaw is a bona fide daydream believer. She lives somewhere in the middle of the USA and can rarely be seen without her trusty Mead notebook and ultra portable laptop. When she’s not writing, she’s living the American dream with her husband, three kids, and the laziest puggle this side of the Mississippi. 
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#BookBlitz “Elle of Portuana” by Samuel Narh

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Children’s Book

Published: December 2019

Publisher: Austin Macauley

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Elle of Portuana is about environmental stewardship. Assist Elle to plant more trees across the world.

Elle is from a small town by the beach named Portuana. She loves trees, nature, and saving money. This picture book takes a child into Elle’s world. The child then sees how Elle ties all her passions together.

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About the Author

Samuel Narh is a natural storyteller. He loves to paint stories with words. He aims at touching and moving people with his stories.

 

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