#TeaserTuesday “Someone Like Me” by Marian L. Thomas

~~~

Women’s Fiction | Sweet Romance

Date Published: June 1, 2021

Publisher: DartFrog Blue

Since her mother’s death, Mýa has been no stranger to loss. But with a budding new singing career on the horizon and help from Jack and Mary Tanner, a couple that understands from experience how a troubled past can prevent someone from having a better life, Mýa finally gets a fresh start.

Courageously touching on issues of race and the importance of self-love, Someone Like Me serves up a cast of relatable characters, each searching for that moment in life when you’re flying down Love Lane with your heart open wide.

Someone Like Me is a captivating novel of acceptance and forgiveness that will have you lingering over lessons learned long after the last page is turned.

Excerpt

Prologue

You started as an assignment for me, but became my way of life—a daily task that wouldn’t let me rest unless I’d shared my innermost thoughts, be it at two in the morning or eight in the evening. You have been my savior on dark and lonely nights.

You have been like a second mother, allowing me to tell you everything that happened during the long hours of the day, everything that ripped my heart open with joy and laughter, or pain and tears.

No judgment you gave, only a listening ear to my scribbling. My wild talk.

Frankly, I don’t know if I would have survived this year without you.

I can’t say that I love you; you are not a person, although I suppose one can love a thing, too.

So, I say to you, my dear journal, thank you.

You have been a good friend and my closet, as Jack once said.

Thank you for understanding. For understanding everything.

Even today, as I sit here with only minutes left to write in you, you understand why I’m wearing this dream of white and lace, and why the person I gave my heart to told me that he could love…someone like me

~~~

~~~

About the Author

Born in Illinois, Marian L. Thomas wouldn’t say that her first career choice was writing novels. She saw herself working as a journalist for a local newspaper. In college, she served as a sports editor for the student paper, and later as the news editor. But Marian’s writing path took a detour when she drafted her first completed manuscript. Now, she can’t imagine not crafting stories for women that bring characters to life-characters who face real obstacles, cross difficult barriers to find love, and discover all the wonderful possibilities that life can offer. Marian has been featured on television stations such as Fox, NBC and CBS, and in many print and online publications including USA Today. She currently resides in Atlanta with her husband, enjoys a big bowl of popcorn every night, and believes that pasta should be a vegetable. Readers can stay connected to Marian through her website and active social media accounts, so stop by and say hello or join her mailing list for new release updates.

Contact Links

Website

Facebook

Instagram

BookBub

~~~

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

RABT Book Tours & PR

~~~

#CoverReveal “Pink and Country” by Emmanuelle Snow

BLURB

A cabin in the mountains.

A chance for a fresh start.

A dropped towel that seals their fate.

Lost and confused, April Simmons has no clue how to turn her life around. When her best friend sends her to a cabin in the mountains for a month, alone, to work on herself, April has no idea that her handsome, yet broody and enigmatic neighbor is country music superstar Carter Hills.

Carter has everything other people would kill for: money, success, and fame. And yet, being at the top has never felt so lonely.

The moment April and Carter meet, sparks fly, but neither is ready to give in to temptation.

Been there. Done that.

But soon, Carter decides April, the colorful and sassy woman living next door, is worth breaking every rule he set for himself years ago, and nothing she’ll do or say will keep him away. The more April resists, the more Carter pulls her in.

Can April trust Carter with her heart, knowing he has the power to shatter it into a million pieces?

Loving Carter Hills is like riding a roller coaster. It’s breathtaking. It’s fast. It’s scary. And it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Smart, Sexy, and Sassy Love Stories

Emmanuelle Snow is a contemporary author of mature YA and New Adult love stories, who likes to give life to strong characters who’ll fight with all they have to reach their life goals and find their own happiness.

Emmanuelle is in love with love. Especially those complicated, deep, and passionate feelings that make a relationship extraordinary and complex, all at the same time.

In her spare time, when she’s not writing or reading, Emmanuelle likes to go on road trips—with her four kids and her own soulmate—watch movies, paint, or do some DIY, always with a cup of green tea in her hand and listening to country music.

She splits her time between beautiful Canada and the small US towns she adores.  

Find all of Emmanuelle’s books here:  http://www.emmanuellesnow.com/books

Author Social Media

Website

www.emmanuellesnow.com

Bonus chapters and bonus scenes

www.emmanuellesnow.com/PAGE

Snow’s VIP newsletter

(for all the cool stuff, promos, releases, and free gifts)

######

Readers’ VIP group Snow’s Soul Mates

facebook.com/groups/snowvip

Facebook

facebook.com/esnowauthor

Goodreads

goodreads.com/emmanuellesnow

Bookbub

bookbub.com/authors/emmanuelle-snow

Instagram

instagram.com/snowemmanuelle

Twitter

twitter.com/snowemmanuelle


DRBT new logo

#BookTour “Call Me Elizabeth Lark” by Melissa Colasanti

May 1-31, 2021 Tour

Synopsis:

Call Me Elizabeth Lark by Melissa Colasanti

Your daughter went missing twenty years ago. Now, she’s finally back. You thought she had returned a few times in the past, and your husband tells you she’s not the one, but you feel it in your bones.

Now, what will you do to keep her home?

Twenty years ago, Myra Barkley’s daughter disappeared from the rocky beach across from the family inn, off the Oregon coast. Ever since, Myra has waited at the front desk for her child to come home. One rainy afternoon, the miracle happens–her missing daughter, now twenty-eight years old with a child of her own, walks in the door.

Elizabeth Lark is on the run with her son. She’s just killed her abusive husband and needs a place to hide. Against her better judgment, she heads to her hometown and stops at the Barkley Inn. When the innkeeper insists that Elizabeth is her long lost daughter, the opportunity for a new life, and more importantly, the safety of her child, is too much for Elizabeth to pass up. But she knows that she isn’t the Barkleys’s daughter, and the more deeply intertwined she becomes with the family, the harder it becomes to confess the truth.

Except the Barkley girl didn’t just disappear on her own. As the news spreads across the small town that the Barkley girl has returned, Elizabeth suddenly comes into the limelight in a dangerous way, and the culprit behind the disappearance those twenty years ago is back to finish the job.

Book Details:

Genre: Domestic Suspense

Published by: Crooked Lane Books

Publication Date: March 9th 2021

Number of Pages:

ISBN: 1643856820 (ISBN13: 9781643856827)

Series: Call Me Elizabeth Lark is not a part of a series.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

MYRA

Herb says Myra has drowned herself with Charlotte, where the beach is rocky and the tide tinged gray-yellow, its crest effervescent. At the inn, wind batters the wooden shingles like the ocean thrumming the shore at high tide. The squall sends sand whipping through the air. The pier empties of people, except for the lone fishermen who wear rubber boots and heavy yellow raincoats, casting their lines in turbid water. Myra and Herb are ensconced in the inn, wrapped in sweaters and crocheted afghan blankets. Occasional guests trickle in, but not often. People visit the Oregon coast during summer.

Myra doesn’t take vacations during the off season, no matter how many empty winters pass. Charlotte knows her mother is waiting. She lived for the scent of the ocean, for the lacquer of salt on her skin. The crabs hidden under mounds of sand and the starfish in the tide pools enchanted Myra’s youngest child. Myra supposes this is why Charlotte was so attracted to the mystery of the deep, dark sea. The waves sweep away an entire pool of living things, but with the next tide, they begin again.

And so Myra is not particularly surprised when her dead daughter walks in the door.

***

Myra studies the sawdust-covered floor of the musty inn, thinking they should sweep it and install shiny new wood. She spends her free time leafing through the glossy pages of decorating magazines, considering all the possibilities for the place. It should be more modern, like the bigger hotels in Rocky Shores. There are bed and breakfasts with assorted coffees and fresh baked goods; there are vacation rental homes and cabins, some of which come equipped with pools and fitness centers. And the Barkley Inn is an entire mile from the open shore.

When Myra’s parents were alive, people shuffled in wearing flip-flops and shorts in the summer, eager for slabs of marbled steak served for cheap on Fridays. Peanut shells and loose sand scattered the floor. Back then, poets read their work on Saturday afternoons. Musicians strummed their guitars and sang with their husky, melodic voices on Saturday nights. Candle-filled Mason jars adorned the tables. Ripples of lavender incense hung sweet and thick in the air.

They have personal touches that have gone back decades—luxurious bath towels, chocolates on the pillows, chilled champagne in the honeymoon suite. But the curtains are a drab shade of olive-green, and antique topaz candelabras cast dim light over the lobby. In the sixties, they were eclectic; now they’re just creepy. Perhaps Myra could get one of those latte machines people like nowadays.

On this particular afternoon, Herb hovers behind her as she considers the flooring. She pretends not to notice his wry smile, how he watches her. Age spots dot his thin skin; his eyes are set beneath deep wrinkles, but they glow with a tenderness that has never changed. He will always be her Herb.

“Whatcha up to, honey?”

“Do you think we should get rid of the sawdust? I’m thinking deep mahogany floors.”

He says with a playful smile, “Does it really matter what I want?”

Myra rolls her eyes. “I’m just thinking of ideas to spruce the place up—”

A vehicle brakes hard, its screech penetrating the thick storm windows.

Herb cringes. “Good lord. Someone needs a brake job.”

Myra peers around the curtains. Headlights dip and rise over bumps in the gravel. Rain has streaked the windows, leaving tracks through the winter grime.

“A guest?” she says, thinking: no one has stopped by in weeks. Who wants to go to the bayside town and get drenched? Perhaps someone is traveling through. Maybe they need directions.

A rusty pickup truck with Washington state plates jerks into a spot.

“Great,” mutters Herb. “Here comes trouble.”

A stranger with inky hair climbs out of the car. It falls in thick, unkempt chunks around her face. “This one’s gonna have a fake ID,” she tells Herb. “A really fake one.” Myra isn’t one to turn away a guest. Everyone has a story—and if they’ve got information about Charlotte, they might not be exactly on the right side of the law. They don’t give every guest a room. But they’ve got a reputation for turning a blind eye to a fake ID, for accepting cash without a credit card as collateral. The dyed hair, the ancient truck. This is a woman running from a man. Myra has seen it before. She could never turn a woman out on the street because she doesn’t have a credit card, or she’s changed her name. Besides, it’s a bed and breakfast—rich folks with good credit tend to stay at five-star resorts. They can’t be overly picky.

Herb says, “Shoulda dumped that vehicle a thousand miles ago.”

“Maybe she couldn’t,” Myra says, watching.

The stranger ushers a little boy out of the backseat. She begins to trudge toward them, a duffel bag tossed over her shoulder, clutching the child’s hand. The woman stops sharply and turns back to the vehicle. She swipes the underside of the wheel with her palm.

Herb fixes his gaze on Myra. “Don’t go soft on me, honey. That girl’s running from something, and it’s probably trouble.”

“Can’t be too experienced.” She nods to the truck. The girl won’t find a tracking device stuck in a wheel well. It’s on the damn GPS.

Herb shakes his head, placing his thick knuckled hand on hers. She shoves it away, breath caught in her throat. Hanging his head, he shuffles toward the office. Myra knows what he is thinking. She could climb inside Herb’s chest and feel the rhythm of his heart. As much as anyone can know another person, Myra knows Herb.

As the sound of his footsteps recedes, she looks back to the window. The girl is too far away for Myra to make out her features. She slips into her vinyl chair and waits for their nebulous figures to sharpen. Leaning on her elbows, Myra breathes slowly, listening to the rain drum on the roof, run down the metal storm drain, and trickle onto the ground. The damp inn is cozy compared to the biting Pacific Northwest rain.

The bells on the door jingle as the woman pushes it open, water dripping from her clothing. The noxious scent of her fresh dye job wafts inside. She leans over the boy and whispers in his ear. He shoves his thumb in his mouth and looks back at his mother questioningly, and she nudges him toward the front desk. “It’s okay,” she says. “Let’s go up to the nice lady.”

The woman’s voice is eerily familiar. Myra can’t quite place it. Has she come through town before?

Myra glances at the stranger’s face as inconspicuously as possible, but she notices how this woman moves, the tilt of her chin, the cadence of her voice as she speaks to the boy—it is so familiar that a guttural pain shoots through her bones, her gut, every last piece of her. The hair may be black, but the eyes are the same. Her breath quickens; the room spins. She leans against the counter, reeling. “My god.” The words swirl off her tongue before she can catch them.

“Yes?” says the woman, who is not exactly a stranger, yet somehow strange. She backs toward the door. “I’m sorry. I guess you’re full—”

“No,” says Myra. “You look like a girl I once knew, that’s all.”

“We need a room. But if you’re full, we can keep driving.” She pulls the boy closer.

Myra realizes how bizarre she must sound. She ducks beneath the counter. The woman looks just like Charlotte. Those eyes.

Is she Charlotte?

No. Not again.

Herb is already convinced she’s insane. He’s probably right in his assessment.

She emerges from beneath the desk and tosses a hand towel to the woman. “You’re soaked to the bone. So is your son.”

“I’m sorry if I sounded stressed. I’m traveling alone with Theo.” The stranger’s voice wavers. Rain beads on the boy’s apple-shaped cheeks like teardrops. His threadbare pants graze his ankles.

“What’s your name?”

The woman hesitates, dropping her driver’s license on the counter. “Elizabeth Lark.”

“That’s a beautiful name,” she murmurs. Myra likes it when people choose lovely, poetic false identities for themselves. The lark is such a lyrical bird. Sometimes people come in with names like Moonstone or Pippin. Too much, she thinks. Unique is not what you’re going for when you are on the run.

Myra studies the driver’s license as she boots up the computer. It’s well done as far as fake IDs go. The little wheel on the computer whirls to the beat of her heart. “I’m sorry. It’s thinking.”

Elizabeth pulls her wet jacket around her thin frame, shivering. Her skin is a milky-gray color, and her lips, pale blue.

“You are about the same age as our daughter.” Her voice grows husky. She clears her throat and types the information into the computer. “We lost her years ago.”

Elizabeth avoids Myra’s eyes. The girl already knows. Maybe she has come to see about Charlotte’s ghost. Myra’s chest is raw and tender. A snake coils in her stomach, lithe and threatening to escape.

“Anyway, it’s done thinking.”

Elizabeth purses her lips and reaches for her driver’s license, knocking over Myra’s glass of water. The contents of her purse tumble behind the desk.

“Dammit, I’m sorry.” Elizabeth rushes toward the counter, stuffing papers and cards and cash back into the tattered bag.

That’s when Myra sees it.

A strand of silver is coiled against the green carpet. It could have been any silver necklace, really. But Myra would recognize the cracked edges of the half heart anywhere. Best Friends Forever. It was a gift from Charlotte to her sister, Gwen, the year before she disappeared. Myra picks up the necklace, locking eyes with the stranger, who holds the boy’s hand so hard her bony knuckles turn white. Myra turns it over and traces the initials with her finger.

CB. Charlotte Barkley.

“Where did you get this?” She steadies her voice.

The woman pulls herself to her feet, eyes wide. She takes a deep breath and exhales slowly. “It’s mine.”

Myra’s heart flutters. The snake is ready to pounce. Elizabeth Lark is not leaving, not until she explains the necklace. “Yours?”

“From long ago, yes.”

The world slows. Myra catches Elizabeth’s eyes. They are sapphire-blue, and the closer she looks, she more she is certain. They are Charlotte’s. Her little girl face has gone, and it is replaced by sharp cheekbones and an angular jaw. Elizabeth looks similar to Myra’s oldest daughter, Gwen. Her limbs go numb. The necklace slips from Myra’s fingers, landing in a soft pile on the floor.

“My daughter.” The word sticks to her tongue. “Charlotte.” Charlotte does not move. She is stuck in a different time. At this moment, Herb pads back into the lobby.

“What’s going on out here? Are you checking in?” He lifts his chin toward Charlotte.

“I don’t have any idea what she’s talking about.” The stranger’s face flushes.

Myra closes her eyes. Toddler Charlotte lays on her chest, knees curled up like a prawn, the light sweat from her cheek dewy and warm. Charlotte’s squeals as she races her wooden fire truck along the windowsills. Both of her girls would trample in and out, dripping sand and water all over the floor, covered in sticky treats from the ice-cream truck.

“Don’t track that water in the house, girls. Stop bringing that sticky stuff inside. Wash your hands!” She hears her own words and wishes she could swallow them. Take them back.

Twenty summers missed. Twenty summers of eclipsed sunshine, of icy heat. These guests wander in with nothing but their fake identities to cover secrets they cannot face, to investigate rumors of a haunted inn. Twenty years of drifters washed up from the frothy shores, looking for a room, dirty and chafed by the combination of sand and rain and heartbreak.

“My god, I have loved you. I have been here, waiting. I never stopped waiting.”

Charlotte grips Theo’s hand.

Herb takes Myra’s shoulders, meets her eyes. He whispers, “This is not Charlotte.”

Of course he says this. This has happened before. But this time it’s true.

“Look at her, Herb. She looks just like Gwen.”

Charlotte stares at them. “I have no idea what to say.”

Herb releases her shoulders. He knows when to recede. Myra and Herb dance like this, intricate and poised. They know when to dip forward, when to swing sideways. He knows where he can touch her and what is too tender. And they move gently because their breakable parts have shifted throughout the years, like plates of the earth, scraping against one another deep beneath the surface.

She presses the necklace in Herb’s palm. “Look at the initials, honey.”

Herb clenches his jaw. His eyes glisten. The jowls on his neck shiver. “Where did you get this?” His voice thickens with emotion.

The wind howls and bristles the door; the tick of the clock over the fireplace throbs in her mind. Warmth spreads through Myra’s chest. It relaxes in her stomach, heavy but silent.

“Charlotte’s home. This time she really is.”

Myra has a million questions. What has happened to her daughter? Who has had her all these years? And how did she find her way home?

Charlotte was only eight. Just a baby, really. And now, she stands before her mother, tears catching in her sunken cheeks.

Sweat beads on Myra’s forehead. Tentacles grip her neck. She is drowning, deep in the ocean, where they said Charlotte died. Except Charlotte is here, right in front of them.

Herb steps closer to their daughter, scanning her from head to toe. He turns back to Myra, breathless.

Charlotte is alive. Wondrously, exquisitely alive.

CHAPTER TWO

ELIZABETH

Washington State—One Week Ago

The necklace slips through Elizabeth’s fingers and lands in her palm. She inspects the cracked edges of the half heart and turns it over, focusing on the initials carved into the metal. She drops it into her purse.

The cabin reeks of dank mold. Elizabeth peeks out the window, hoping no one will see her, though there is no logical reason for her fear. The cabin is situated in a thicket of deep wood, where lime-green lichen weeps from the trees like gnome hats. Tufts of moss unfurl through the walls where the wood has rotted, while the foundation crumbles precariously beneath their feet. It is as tiny as a dollhouse dropped amid the lush, expansive forest, surrounded by frozen creeks and giant boulders. The moonlight seeps through a lattice of soft fir branches, and the cabin casts a shadow onto the snow. It is swallowed by the forest ahead. On each side of the shadow, crystals of snow glitter like a smattering of diamonds.

No one could find this cabin. No one away from the forest knows they are alive.

“Elizabeth?” Her husband’s gravelly voice startles her.

She turns back to her son, who snuggles with his blue blanket and stuffed giraffe on the couch, fast asleep. Elizabeth smiles at Theo and clicks off the television. She slides to the boy’s level and perches on the balls of her feet, tucking the blanket under his chin. The cold mountain air seeps into the poorly insulated cabin. His hair tumbles over his eyes, but she won’t cut it. A memory of Peter shaving her son’s luscious ringlets churns inside her. Elizabeth pushes her fist into her stomach and twirls Theo’s stray hair.

“Are you coming, or what?” Peter yells.

She steels herself for the next few moments.

“Coming.” She speaks just loud enough for him to hear her. This is the last time her voice will be low. She squeezes her hands into tight fists.

“Honey, my back is aching. Can you bring me a drink and my pills?”

This is the moment she has waited for. The man doesn’t pay the heating bill while he’s out of town. And now he wants to be taken care of.

Elizabeth can arrange this.

She swings open the hollow-core door softly, taking care not to let it bang against the wall. He lays in bed, quiet and vulnerable, covered with the only heavy comforter in the house. The curtains are drawn tight. “I’ll have your drink and pills in a second. You want food?”

“No. Just the pills. Please, honey.”

She hates the word, so thick and sweet off his tongue. She shudders, remembering the tang of his hot breath against her neck.

“I’m sorry about yesterday.” He groans in pain. “I can’t believe how slippery that ice is. It’s like someone dumped water all over the porch.”

Her lips curl into a smile. She pours three fingers of Jack Daniels into a tumbler—funny they can afford this, and his Vicodin, when she and Theo haven’t been to the doctor, not ever. They haven’t left this cabin in years, except to exchange pleasantries with the homesteaders who have cleared trees and built little farms that sprawl down the mountain. They have their own peculiarities, she thinks, because they aren’t alarmed that Elizabeth lives in this falling down shack with a five-year-old.

Still, Peter says to be friendly.

“But don’t get too close. I’m watching you.”

The threat hides beneath his words, like a rat scratching in a dark cabinet.

She drops a pill into the amber liquor, watching it billow into a thick, hazy cloud. And another. It is hypnotic. Venom fills her blood, lurid and dangerous. She swirls it with a teaspoon, and it clinks against the glass like the tick of a clock. She is numb, devoid of emotion, but she depends on this emptiness to survive. Pure instinct drives her down the crumbling hall. Holding her posture straight, she enters the bedroom.

“Here you go, babe.” Elizabeth helps him to a seated position. His warm body is sticky with sweat.

“Ahh, thank you. You are a goddess,” he says with a light smile.

Don’t believe him, don’t believe him. He will turn this on you and eventually kill you with his lies.

The whisky sloshes in the glass as she hands it to him. “Drink up.” She feigns cheer, but her voice shakes.

“Please don’t be afraid of me. I’m your husband. I’m sorry.” His eyes are pleading. And pathetic. “Is your arm okay?” Her flesh is mottled with purple finger marks.

She nods with a smile.

“I just don’t want to lose you.”

She and Theo have been trying to escape. And Peter’s relentless surveillance prevented them from contacting the nearby homesteaders without his looming presence. However, on one of his work trips, she and Theo walked a mile or so from the log cabin, until they came upon a farm. She got more than fresh eggs and a free-range chicken at the Hart’s place.

Mrs. Hart let her use the internet.

Theo played with the Hart woman’s children as she typed “domestic violence help” in the search engine. Alice Johnson’s name popped up first. She’d apparently been helping abuse victims for decades. Elizabeth sent her an e-mail, wrote down her phone number. But before Alice could respond, Peter rang the doorbell. She heard his voice booming from the front room and slammed the laptop shut. Trembling, she ushered Theo toward the foyer. He put his arm around her, patted Theo’s head, and said a sickeningly sweet goodbye to Mrs. Hart. “I was in the area,” he said. “I thought you’d appreciate a ride home.”

Once they got outside, he transformed back to the Peter she knew. With a sneer, he’d grabbed her by her thin shirt, digging his knuckles into her clavicle. He said, in cool, measured tone, “Mrs. Hart seems nice.”

It took month for Elizabeth to get another cell phone and make the call. And for weeks after that, they meticulously plotted their escape.

Peter cuts the water supply when he will be gone for more than forty-eight hours. She and Alice planned to wait for the faucet to shudder and spout, till only copper silt would vomit into the stained sink. But he’s become even less predictable. His back injury is an opportunity, perhaps the only one. They can’t wait for an out-of-town trip. One might never happen. She cannot predict what electrical line will short circuit within her husband next. There is nothing she can do right when it comes

to Peter, because what is right one moment is wrong the next. Every breath she takes is so cold it’s hot.

They have one shot.

I’m not the one who should be afraid. Not anymore, darling.

He slings back the drink with another pill. “Damn, that’s some strong shit.”

“You’ll feel better soon. Get some sleep.”

Peter leans back on the pillow, his eyes fluttering shut. How lovely it must be to be safe.

Safety is merely an illusion, a trick of the mind. It is never guaranteed.

She rushes back to her son and shoves the last six years of her life into a single duffel bag. Before waking Theo, she creeps back to the bedroom to make sure Peter is knocked out. He’s asleep, for sure. But his face is pasty. His olive complexion has turned yellowish, especially around his eyes. His lips are a bluish-gray color. Did she give him too much?

She tiptoes quietly toward him, afraid he’ll sit up in bed and pounce on her. He looks really bad. Elizabeth needed to immobilize him for an hour or two, not kill the man. Peter’s chest rises, ever so slightly. His neck rolls to the side with a labored breath.

Holy shit. Elizabeth runs to the living room, tears springing to her eyes. She shakes Theo awake.

He looks at her, drowsy and confused.

“We’re taking our adventure today, remember? I packed our things. Daddy isn’t coming.”

“Are you sure?” He chews his fingernail.

She pats his head and smiles. “He’s not coming.”

Theo glances toward the bedroom door.

“Don’t worry.” Elizabeth takes his cheeks in her palms. “He’s sleeping. We are going on an adventure together, just you and me.” She forces herself to smile, heart beating wildly in her chest. “Okay?”

A dubious look crawls across Theo’s face.

“He’s sleeping. I promise. But we must go now.”

“What if he wakes up?” Theo whispers.

“He won’t,” she replies.

“What if he finds us?”

“He won’t. Not this time. Let’s go.”

“Did you pack my card games, my checkers?”

“Yes. I wouldn’t forget those. Come on, now.”

“Are you sure he won’t wake up?”

“Pretty sure.” She taps his shoulder. “Enough questions.” Peter might never wake up again. She shoves her hand under the couch cushions, looking for his phone, but he keeps it hidden from her. Maybe she should go back in the bedroom and make sure he’s okay. She isn’t a murderer. Lord, what has she done?

Maybe Theo won’t remember this moment. He is five years old. Maybe he won’t remember Peter at all. Peter will wake up, confused as hell, once they are gone, she hopes. He can’t possibly be dead. She covers her face with her hands, trying not to cry. Theo has watched Peter hit her, has watched television shows where people aren’t typically living in a cabin without heat, and with little food. He’s five, and his understanding of the world is expanding, ballooning within their captivity. It’s getting harder to hide the truth from him. He asks questions; he’s curious about life outside the forest. And she finds herself snapping at him because she can’t give him what he needs.

They need to get down this mountain.

Although, deep within the folds of her brain, she realizes that Peter will never let them go. As long as he lives, she is beholden to him. Even once they escape, change their identities, and move far, far away, Peter will be somewhere.

Safety is merely an illusion, a trick of the mind. He will hunt them till his last breath. Maybe it’s best he take his last breath now. But still . . . She takes a tentative step toward the bedroom. Oh, shit. Should she check on him again? He could be dying. Should she call someone? They’d help her; they would save Peter.

No, she decides, it is not safe for her child here. There was no other choice but to incapacitate him. Right?

Fuck. They head for the door.

Elizabeth ushers Theo to the truck, dragging the duffel bag behind her. “Hurry,” she urges. “But don’t slip.” The frigid air whips against her skin. Gripping his hand tightly, she instructs Theo to dig the heels of his boots into the ice as he walks. The ground is slick; jagged rocks shine in the moonlight. She clicks the seatbelt over her son’s waist, hands trembling, and tosses the bag in the back. Her own seat is awkward.

It has been years since she has driven a vehicle.

She turns the key in the ignition, hits the gas. They slide on the ice, over thick tree roots, into swathes of evergreen trees. The metal truck scrapes against branches, and she hits every gear wrong. But she gathers her bearings. They travel down the mountain, past the Harts’, past more pockets of homesteaders with chickens and goats, and away from their captor—her husband, his father. She squirts the windshield with fluid and wipes away a layer of dried mud.

Elizabeth inhales deeply when they hit the main mountain road.

When Peter wakes, they will be long gone. She conjures images of all the possible states Alice might take her to. Someplace sunny, like California. Or a tiny Midwestern town with a big yard for Theo.

What if Peter doesn’t wake up? She remembers the odd angle of his neck, his shallow breaths. Is she running from Peter—or the police? Could she be charged with murder?

The thought speeds her own heartbeat up. Blood rushes through her capillaries like a broken dam.

Her son looks out the window, enthralled with the road ahead of them. The sunrise spreads over the mountain, clear and wide. Theo points out the window. “Beautiful,” he says.

“Beautiful,” she agrees.

“Where are we going?”

“We’re stopping at a friend’s house.” She has no cell phone, no GPS to direct her. Only this rusted old truck. She will ditch it when they arrive at Alice’s, get on a bus. Elizabeth laughs, deep and throaty. They turn off the main road, crunching through gravel, and up a windy hill to a little blue house.

Her chest bursts with excitement. “C’mon Theo. Let’s go meet Alice.”

She drags him a little too quickly, and the boy’s feet slip on the ice. “Whoops.” He giggles as she catches him by the back of his threadbare coat.

Alice is a stout woman, with copper-colored skin and gray-streaked hair. Her smile is empathetic and kind. Several women linger around the breakfast table, holding mugs of steaming hot coffee, the rich scent wafting through the air. A couple of children play in the living room. The space is tight, but it exudes warmth and compassion. A pang of sadness hits her in the chest. She and Theo cannot stay here. It is too dangerous. He could find her among these women. The house is too close to the cabin. Does Peter have friends? He must. What if someone she doesn’t recognize tries to find them? He could trail them, set a trap. Theo and Elizabeth must disappear.

And if she’s killed him—oh god, she hopes she hasn’t killed him—that’s murder, right? She didn’t technically need that dosage to knock him into oblivion. Her brain spins.

“All right girl, come in the back.” Alice turns to Theo. “Why don’t you play Legos with the other kids?”

He crouches around the box of red and blue and green blocks. A blonde-haired girl helps him stack them into a little building. She takes a deep breath, hope blossoming through her body.

Elizabeth follows Alice down a dark, narrow hallway and into a tiny room with a neatly made twin-sized bed. She rests on the soft blue bedspread as Alice rifles through the closet.

“All right. Here’s the plan. You’re gonna leave the truck and take one of mine.”

Elizabeth opens her mouth to protest. Alice holds a hand up. “Look, girl. You can’t take off in the man’s truck. They’ll find you. And even if you tell the cops what’s happened, Peter will kill you and Theo before they can prosecute him. I’ve seen it before.”

Elizabeth decides not to mention that Peter’s body might be turning cold as they speak. “But what about you? He’ll find the truck—”

Someone will find the truck anyway.

“I’m gonna get in the truck and ditch it twenty miles from here. But don’t you worry about that. You take my vehicle.” She tosses a key ring onto the bed.

“Alice, I can’t take a car from you.” She sighs, rubbing her aching forehead.

“You can pay me back someday. Till then, your life is at stake. Don’t think about the cheap-ass car I’m about to give you. It’s not registered in my name or anything.” She rolls her eyes. “Still, you need to ditch it once you cross into Oregon. You’ll be conspicuous with out-of-state plates.”

“Whose car is it, then?”

“Never mind that. Doesn’t matter. All that matters is that the cops can’t trace it to you or me. Just don’t get pulled over.”

Elizabeth is bone-tired. “All I care about is getting away from here.”

Alice plops on the bed beside Elizabeth. Her eyes are dark brown, and her lipstick reminds Elizabeth of a ripe plum. Alice takes her hands and squeezes them tightly. Teardrops drip down Elizabeth’s nose.

“It’s going to be okay,” she says.

“Promise?” says Elizabeth, feeling very young.

Alice smiles warmly. “I can’t promise anything. But you’re gonna do your best. I have a good feeling about you.”

She clears her throat. Back to business. Alice shuffles through a box of cards, takes a few, and tosses them on the bed. “I made these with the pictures you sent me from the Hart woman’s computer. You did what I told you about, wiping your search history, right? And you cleared the photos from the webcam?” “Yes. But you said a computer can never be fully wiped. That all the information is stored on the hard drive.” What if the police discover she contacted Alice on the internet? Her hands begin to shake. If he’s looking for her, the first place he’ll go is the Hart place.

“Oh sweetheart. All we want is to keep the Hart woman from snooping around. Do you really think Peter is going to report you missing? Let the cops search that dump he’s been keeping you in?”

Elizabeth nods. The log cabin is essentially a prison.

It is a prison.

“Where do you think you’ll go, Liza? As far as anyone is concerned, you don’t exist,” Peter had said, with a nonchalant shrug.

Elizabeth’s conviction grows. She will leave; she will take her boy far away, where he will never find them.

Unless she’s killed him. Then the police will search everywhere, including the Hart’s computer. Dammit! Why did she give him all those pills?

“All right. We’ve got three IDs here. One Oregon State driver’s license. One Social Security card, which is essentially worthless for applying for credit or a job. It’s just for show if someone doesn’t buy the driver’s license. Same with the passports,” she says, laughing. “That ain’t gonna get you out of the country if you plan to return. And I hear Tijuana isn’t a fun place to live.”

Elizabeth shoves the cards in her purse, beside the necklace.

“You’ve gotta be careful with fake IDs. Lots of people think giving a person a new first name is safest. To my mind, it’s risky. You’ve been called Elizabeth your entire life. You could not respond to a strange first name. Hell, I’ve heard of a woman who started to sign the wrong name on a job application. How do you turn back from that? ‘Sorry, it seems I’ve signed the wrong name?’ Nah.”

“Technically, I’ve been called Liza. A nickname my mom gave me because she loved Liza Minnelli . . . but I get a new last name?”

“Yup. You are no longer Elizabeth Briggs. Now, you are Elizabeth Lark.”

“I love it,” she says, smiling.

“Don’t get too attached. My work isn’t that authentic. We may have to change it again, if he comes after you, or someone else finds out.” Alice purses her lips, thinking. “For now, aim for jobs at small companies. Family owned. It’s not so much the name, as the Social Security number, which is completely fabricated. Make sure you avoid companies that are gonna do a damn background check.” She shakes her head. “That, we do not need.”

Elizabeth considers this. “Isn’t it strange that this pile of false IDs is no more fake than I am?”

Alice ignores the existential musing. “Next is the hair.” Alice reaches into a chest of drawers filled with boxes of hair dye, combs, and scissors. She points to the adjacent bathroom. “Welcome to my spa.”

Elizabeth settles into the chair, inspecting her gaunt face in the mirror. Alice works methodically, chopping her long, sand-colored hair to her shoulders. Elizabeth watches it land in chunks on the ceramic tile.

“I’m not trained in this,” she says. “But I have a lot of practice. My handiwork will have to do.” Alice puts her hands on her hips, squinting a little. “I think we need to go darker.”

They turn the chair and Elizabeth leans her head back, letting her hair tumble into the sink. Her neck digs into the cold ceramic. Alice pours a pitcher of warm water over her hair, greasy from lack of a decent shampoo. She massages Elizabeth’s temples and scalp with a dollop of Suave.

“You normally wait to wash the hair after applying the dye, but you really needed the wash first.” Alice squeezes out the excess water with a towel.

Alice rubs the dye through her hair. The smell of ammonia settles heavily in the stuffy bathroom, stinging Elizabeth’s nose. She is woozy from the cocktail of chemicals. Alice peels her rubber gloves off and cracks the window. A shiver runs down her neck. It’s funny to think how a whole new life begins with her hair.

“So, how did you end up there?” She tucks cotton around Elizabeth’s scalp and behind her ears, then covers her head with a plastic cap.

“Stupidity. Pure stupidity.”

Alice perches on the fluffy pink toilet seat. “Tell me about it. Out of all the stories I’ve heard—”

Elizabeth shakes her head. Alice cannot know. No one can.

Thirty minutes later, her hair is the color of a moonless night. Alice packs her bag with burner phones and rushes them out the door.

“Be careful now.” She takes Elizabeth’s cheeks into her palms, looking at her with intense, shiny eyes. “You get across the border, into Oregon, and stop for the night. Go someplace that takes cash. Then call me. I’ll arrange a bus ticket in my name to your next destination. Keep your head down. Try to be unmemorable.”

Elizabeth takes a shaky breath and waves before they pile into the truck. They drive down the forested road in silence, leaving Washington for good.

“Where are we going, Mommy?”

Elizabeth cracks the window and lets some of the noxious smell from her damp hair out of the truck. She takes a deep breath.

“I’m not sure, baby.”

But the road takes her toward the seashore, almost against her will, and definitely against her better judgment.

She is going home.

CHAPTER THREE

ELIZABETH

Charlotte Barkley is a legend throughout the country, but for the residents of the small town on the Oregon Coast, she is everyone’s daughter. The Barkley Inn is nestled across the highway from a tiny, hidden pier outside of Tillamook County. The marina is weathered gray, with a few boats that seem perpetually docked there. There is a surf shop with an ocean mural painted on its door, an old-fashioned candy store needing a coat of paint, and a fish-and-chips restaurant. Rocky Shores is so sleepy it is swallowed by the lush, endless forest.

Rocky Shores was never a well-known town, not until Charlotte’s disappearance. Now, the tourists stop by the bayside for a piece of a secret. Elizabeth wonders what the Barkleys think about this—how they feel about the influx of business their private tragedy has brought. Some of the kids at school whispered that the Barkleys knew what happened to the little girl. Others said that Myra Barkley’s obsession bordered on insane, that she would wait at that inn for Charlotte till the end of time.

She kisses Theo on the forehead and tucks a blanket around him. It is the thickest blanket he’s ever had. His lips turn up in his sleep, and she wonders what he dreams of.

Myra Barkley doesn’t strike Elizabeth as all that odd. She would wait for Theo too.

Elizabeth redirects her thoughts to the plan she must adhere to if they want to escape. She unzips her duffel bag and rifles through it, retrieving the three burner phones Alice purchased from different Walmarts, and the stack of different identification cards.

Don’t fuck this up, she thinks.

She holds the phone in her palm. Should she call Alice yet?

No, not until she is sure they are safe. She knows one thing— they can’t stay here.

Elizabeth runs her fingers along the silver necklace and squeezes her eyes shut. How will she get out of this one?

Her breath quickens. Elizabeth poisoned the man. She could be guilty of murder. Or maybe it would be considered self-defense. Elizabeth is no lawyer. She’s got no experience with cops, and there’s no one she can think of to ask without sounding suspicious as hell.

Elizabeth cannot spend one more day incarcerated.

As soon as Myra and Herb retreat to the house, she will gather Theo and sneak out to the truck. Her eyelids are heavy; sleep threatens to overtake her. Even her muscles have gone soft from the hot bath Myra had drawn for her that afternoon. She decides to lie down, just for a few minutes. It is better to wait till deep in the night. She cannot head to the police with Herb and Myra in the morning. Run. That’s what she is supposed to do. What she was told to do. Everyone from Rocky Shores is haunted by Charlotte Barkley. The old case will resurface. When the truth comes out, Elizabeth and her son will be filleted by the media. Imposter takes advantage of grieving mother. Her chest aches as she lies beside Theo.

Elizabeth Lark is no one’s daughter.

***

Excerpt from Call Me Elizabeth Lark by Melissa Colasanti. Copyright 2021 by Melissa Colasanti. Reproduced with permission from Melissa Colasanti. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

Melissa Colasanti

Melissa Colasanti is a mother and an author. She has a BFA in fiction from Boise State University. Her writing has appeared in Lithub, Memoir Magazine, The Coffin Bell Journal and others. She is the Stephen R. Kustra scholar in creative writing for 2019, and was awarded the Glenn Balch Award for fiction in 2020.

Catch Up With Melissa Colasanti:
MelissamColasanti.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @melissamcolasanti
Instagram – @melissacolasanti
Twitter – @mmcolasanti
Facebook – @melissacolasantiauthor

 

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 Melissa Colasanti. There will be one (1) winner of one (1) signed Copy of Call Me Elizabeth Lark + Swag (US Addresses ONLY). The giveaway begins on May 1, 2021 and runs through June 1, 2021. Void where prohibited.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

#Excerpt “Faye’s Fortune (Second Sight Romance, Book 1)” by Emily Tidning


 

 

 

Second Sight Romance, Book 1

 

Paranormal Romance, Romance

Published: April 2021

Publisher: Applied Divination

 

 

FREE on Kindle Unlimited

 

Despite being a skilled fortune teller, Faith is unable to predict what will become of her floundering occult shop, Faye’s Fortunes. Between apologizing to her disappointed business partner, struggling to pay the bills, and dealing with a surprise eviction from her apartment, she’s barely able to put one foot in front of the other, let alone predict a customer’s future. If she had any customers, that is!

When she awkwardly stumbles over a sidewalk crack, the help of a friendly construction worker seems much more embarrassing than fated. Then his girlfriend showing up confirms for Faith that it was just another clumsy fall, not a sign.

But when worlds start to collide and Faye’s Fortunes reveals a dark secret about Jasper’s relationship, will their fates prove to be destined, or doomed?

~~~

 

~~~

Excerpt

 

“Speaking of pavement,” Faye sang, as if their conversation had never strayed from the broken sidewalk, “let me see what kind of damage was done out there.”

“Dressed like that?” Charlotte eyed her conspicuously.

For a darkened fortune telling sanctuary, Faye was perfectly, majestically adorned. But for a bright Saturday morning on the streets of Fallstaff, Missouri, she was extremely out of place.

She faked a commanding bellow, “I am the all-knowing oracle of a divination shop, and I declare that walking outside to survey my lands shall invoke the great spirit to send customers my way.” Her robes danced as though an invisible breeze had struck only her.

Truthfully, a small twist of her wrists shifted the fine robe material just enough to make it look like a mysterious wind had caught it.

Charlotte had seen this trick done many times before. She shook her head and retorted, “alright then, magic lady. You go outside and use your psychic powers to create some customers. I’m going to prep my massage table. Maybe if I sprinkle it with extra love I can invoke the spirits to send me some customers, too.”

“Watch it with the love sprinkling,” Faye teased, “we run a clean business here.”

Faye danced herself over to the shop door and whisked it open with another fake flourish designed to entertain Charlotte.

She almost danced right into Kelsey, who stood prepped with her hand ready to grab the door handle.

Kelsey’s jaw drop could have hit the already busted pavement. She gushed, “how’d you know I was here?”

Although startled, Faye composed herself quickly and lowered her voice, “I know everything.” She stepped backward into the shop and waved her robed arm, “Please, do come in again my child.”

Out of the corner of her eye, Faye caught Charlotte shaking her head as she ducked into her massage studio. Faye didn’t need to be a psychic to know there was an eyeroll, too.

~~~

About the Author


Emmy Tidning lives in a magical fantasy world called the Pacific Northwest, where anything is possible but no one is real. She has two cats, a dog, a husband, some kids, and a widowed crow she befriended using peanuts. Emmy reads Tarot cards, writes paranormal romantic fun, and loves love!

 

Contact Links

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Promo Link

 

Purchase Links

Amazon

Other

 

RABT Book Tours & PR

~~~

#BookBlitz “Everyday Magic” by Charlie Laidlaw

EverdayMagic2

Great news! If you pre-order a copy of Everyday Magic by Charlie Laidlaw and you will receive a signed edition! But you have to order before May 26th!

Everyday Magic Front cover FINALEveryday Magic

Expected Publication Date: May 26th, 2021

Genre: Literary fiction/ Contemporary Fiction/ Humour

Publisher: Ringwood Publishing

Carole Gunn leads an unfulfilled life and knows it. She’s married to someone who may, or may not, be in New York on business and, to make things worse, the family’s deaf cat has been run over by an electric car.

But something has been changing in Carole’s mind. She’s decided to revisit places that hold special significance for her. She wants to better understand herself, and whether the person she is now is simply an older version of the person she once was.

Instead, she’s taken on an unlikely journey to confront her past, present and future.

Everyday Magic is an uplifting book filled with humour and poignancy, and reminds us that, while our pasts make us who we are, we can always change the course of our futures.

Pre-Order HERE!

About the Author

download

Charlie Laidlaw lives in East Lothian, one of the main settings for Everyday Magic. He has four other published novels: Being Alert!, The Space Between Time, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead and Love Potions and Other Calamities. Previously a journalist and defence intelligence analyst, Charlie now teaches Creative Writing in addition to his writing career.

Charlie Laidlaw | Facebook | Twitter

Book Blitz Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

#BookTour “Technopaladin: Clarity’s Edge” by Elizabeth Corrigan

Techno

Welcome to the tour for this exciting new YA Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Technopaladin: Clarity’s Edge by Elizabeth Corrigan! Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a $25 US Amazon E-Gift Card!

Technopaladin_500x800-Cover-Reveal-and-Promotional

Technopaladin: Clarity’s Edge

Publication Date: May 17th, 2021

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/ Fantasy

Clarity’s paladin order forbids her from entering the Azure District, the one location in her high tech city that refuses paladin rule and technology. When she receives an illicit invitation to violate the prohibition, spurred on by rumors of suffering in the district, she passes through the crumbling brick entryway into no-man’s land. Within, she finds the residents lack not only the ocular implants and three dimensional computers she takes for granted, but also medicine to fight a disease infecting the children.

Clarity knows her order isn’t perfect—after all, they stole her from her parents when she was a small child to raise her with their values—but she cannot believe they know what’s going on in the Azure District. When she confronts the head of the order, he refuses to aid people who have rejected his help in the past, even the children. Unwilling to take no for an answer, Clarity enlists the help of the leader’s son Cass and takes matters into her own hands.

Desperate both to cure the children and keep her place in the order that is her only home, Clarity engages in increasingly questionable behavior—deleting official records, lying to her friends, and manipulating people who can help her. As the nefarious nature of her actions tarnishes the purity of her cause, she must determine what it truly means to be a paladin, in both name and action.

Excerpt

“Come on, Clarity!” Hope grabbed Clarity’s hand and dragged her down Londigium’s main thoroughfare. The bright glare of the morning sun glinted off the silver skyscrapers and made some of the light-up signs in the storefronts difficult to read. Nonetheless, Clarity could make out the image of a dress on the digital placard of Hope’s destination.

Clarity dodged to avoid running into some people going in the opposite direction from her. She tried to wrench her hand free of Hope’s grasp to give herself better maneuverability, figuring she could follow her friend’s gleaming, red-gold hair through the crowd, but Hope held tight. “Remind me again why we’re doing this? I don’t care about going to the gala, and I don’t see why I can’t just wear my official paladin armor.”

“I swear, for someone so invested in her career, you can be dense about the things you need to do to advance it.” Clarity’s other friend Zeal tossed her black braids over her shoulder as she gave Clarity a scathing glance. “You have two weeks left until the gala, and Hope has convinced Steady Threads to make an exception to their usual deadlines and take an order for your dress. Try to be a little grateful.”

“I’m a warrior.” Clarity cringed at the petulant tone in her voice but continued her line of argument anyway. “My job at the moment is just conducting training for the non-warrior paladins, but if and when I get promoted, I’m going to be a Citadel guard or a peacekeeper in the city. None of this has anything to do with looking pretty at a gala.”

“Do I have to remind you why you put that ‘if’ in there?” Zeal asked. “You beat out the Grand Conductor’s son during graduation trials for a position at the Citadel.” Zeal was right. Steadfastness Hughes ran the Order of the Amethyst Star, and he hated Clarity. “You need to go to the gala and do some networking among the other warriors to make yourself popular in other circles. Or at least look appropriate so as not give him an excuse to send you off to the boondocks and install his son in your place.”

“I know, I know. You’re right.” Clarity stumbled as Hope came to a sudden stop in front of the tailor’s shop. “I just feel more comfortable in my armor. The paladins already spent a lot of money getting us high-tech, retractable armor. I don’t see why they’re bothering to pay for dresses and tuxedos as well.”

“Because it would be ridiculous to try dancing at a ball with your armor clanking everywhere, and the purple microfiber bodysuits underneath are not nearly as flattering as you all think they are,” Hope said, her voice containing an uncharacteristic tartness. “Besides, don’t you want to look amazing enough that Valor regrets breaking up with you just because you beat him in that silly contest?”

“Don’t say that so loud.” Clarity glanced up and down the street, but no one she knew was nearby. “You guys are the only ones who know we broke up. Besides, I don’t think—”

Before Clarity could finish her sentence, a man ran into her, practically shoving her into the store’s forcefield window. She and her friends turned in sync to watch a man in a fine suit run past them, knocking the crowd aside to get through. Behind him came a pair of men in armor as shiny as Clarity’s own, sufficiently far behind that the recovering throng on the street would be an impediment. By the time the paladin peacekeeper she recognized as Diligence noticed her and called, “Stop that man!” Clarity was already racing after him as best she could.

The pursuant looked behind him and noticed a much closer paladin. With a curse, he tried to pick up speed, and when that failed, he turned a corner into what looked like a small alley. He must not know the city very well, Clarity thought. There’s an open air market on the other side of that building. He’s going to be easy to spot there.

Indeed, as she chased him between the skyscrapers, she could easily see his head bobbing amid the stalls. Realizing his mistake, he pushed over a table full of crates of apples, sending the green fruit rolling across the ground. Clarity didn’t miss a beat, leaping into the air above the overturned boxes and landing on her quarry in a tackle.

The crowd had erupted into shocked gasps at the chase, but as Clarity pulled the man to his feet and twisted his arms behind his back, the crowd burst into applause. She heard the word “Azurite” murmured a few times, so she glanced down at his chest and saw that he in fact wore the telltale diamond-shaped, blue patch that marked him as a resident of the city’s Azure District. Everyone knew the Azurites hated paladins and the order they represented so much that they refused paladin technology rather than follow paladin laws. Clarity had heard rumors that people in the walled-off part of the city lived in abject poverty, but the man standing in front of her looked well-fed and clothed.

Diligence and his partner jogged up behind Clarity. “Thanks for the assist,” Diligence said as he handcuffed the criminal. “We caught him trying to buy a slew of weapons on the black market. The dealer was smart enough to try to make a deal, but this idiot ran.”

Wow. Clarity had known she was chasing down a criminal, but she’d had no idea he was such a dangerous one.

“If you want paladin tech, all you have to do is submit to the laws of the city,” Diligence said to his prisoner. Then he turned to the farmer whose apple crates remained upside down on the ground. “If you file a report with the Citadel, the order will reimburse you for your damaged merchandise. We apologize for interfering with your business.”

Available

Amazon | Barnes & Nobel | Kobo | Apple

About the Author

Author Pic

Elizabeth Corrigan has degrees in English and psychology and has spent several years working as a data analyst in various branches of the healthcare industry. When she’s not hard at work on her next novel, Elizabeth enjoys playing tabletop role-playing games and cooperative card games. She refuses to watch most internet videos and is pathologically afraid of bees. She lives in Maryland with two cats and a very active iphone.

Elizabeth Corrigan | Twitter | Facebook

Giveaway: Click the link below for a chance to win a $20 US Amazon e-gift card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule

May 17th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandsreels.com

Just Views @brendajeancombs (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/brendajeancombs/

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Nesie’s Place (Promo)  https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

May 18th

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Dark Whimsical Art (Spotlight) https://www.darkwhimsicalart.com/blogs/news

Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

May 19th

Lunarian Press (Spotlight) https://www.lunarianpress.com/

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

May 20th

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

Cocktails & Fairy Tales (Spotlight) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

Pop the Butterfly Blog (Review) https://popthebutterfly.wordpress.com/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

May 21st

J Bronder Reviews (Spotlight) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

Rambling Mads (Spotlight)  http://ramblingmads.com

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

@the.b00kreader (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the.b00kreader/

Meli’s Book Reviews (Review) https://melisbokreviews.wordpress.com/

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

#ReleaseBlitz “Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia” by Julia Hengst

VenusUnderwater

It’s such a pleasure to share this beautiful book with you all! Songs from Mermaidia by Julia Hengst, will delight kids and parents alike!

Read on for more info and a chance to win a fantastic giveaway – A copy of the book (digital or print) and a $25 Amazon e-gift card!

VenusUnderwater-Interior-Ingram-EBOOK-ISBN- 9781736137512.indd

Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia

Publication Date: May 14th, 2021 (Today 🎉)

Genre: Children/ Songs/ Poetry/ Puns

The magic universe of mermaids, full of laughter, song and delight: help your child discover self-confidence and find their inner flow by diving deep into the magical world of Mermaidia. Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia introduces the underwater world of Mermaidia. This humorous and whimsical collection of poems and songs reveals how baby mermaids are made, what mermaid families are like, and how mermaids study magic at School of the Fish to become Sea Witches (not Sand Witches). Created by family therapist Julia Hengst the Venus and Her Fly Trip series helps nurture the whole child, promoting self-esteem, confidence and social/emotional/mental health in a fun, playful way.

Add to Goodreads

Available on Amazon

About the Author

J+Round

Julia Hengst is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, an avid surfer, traveler and word nerd who resides in Maui. Passionate about psychology, spirituality and media literacy, she holds an undergraduate degree in Media Studies from UC Berkeley, a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology, and an imaginary degree from the University of Puns. www.venusandherflytrip.net

Julia Hengst | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway: Click the link below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Release Blitz Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

#NewRelease “In Between Chemistry: A Instant Chemistry Novella (Instant Chemistry Series)” by Taylor Love


Chemistry was never the problem, everything else was.

As an adult, Antonio Alverez has success beyond his wildest youthful dreams. Everything he needs and everything most women want. Which is why he’s mystified when Julia Millan won’t give him the time of day. His interest was sparked, not to mention his arousal when they took part in their friend’s wedding. Avoiding him at every turn, the strict accountant is friendly and nice to everyone but him. But now he has a second chance to win her over while they mentor a youth group together.

Julia has seen the likes of men like Antonio before, even had fun with them when she was young. But at this stage of life she looking for more than being another notch on a Casanova’s bedpost. With her close friends finding real love, she knows what it looks likes and wouldn’t mind finding her own. But as hard as she tries something pulls her to sexy Antonio over and over again. And time, after time she gives him another chance to put their relationship in the black and make it all worthwhile.

When it’s all said and done, will the two have anything “in-between” the chemistry? 

♥Stand Alone Inter-connected Novella

♥Enemies to Lovers

KINDLE UNLIMITED

Amazon