#BookTour “Vamoosed (The Penningtons Investigate, Book 4)” by C.T. Collier

~~~

Book 4 in The Penningtons Investigate

Mystery (Traditional/Cozy)

 Date Published: June 2020

Publisher: Asdee Press

 

Professor Rand Cunningham is shot and left for dead on the Penningtons’ front lawn, and Lyssa Pennington could be next. Who’s behind the drive-by hit?

• The husband of one of Rand’s conquests?

• The lawyer-brother of the student whose sexy video went viral on the
Internet?

• The father of the actress passed over for a part in the movie of
Rand’s bestseller?

Detective Shaughnessy hunts for the badass truck seen speeding away from the scene.

Lyssa and Kyle follow a lead to Norway, where villains, trolls, and other bombshells will change their lives forever.

~~~

 

~~~

About the Author

C. T. Collier was born to solve logic puzzles, wear tweed, and drink Earl Grey tea. Her professional experience in cutthroat high tech and backstabbing higher education gave her endless opportunity to study intrigue. Add to that her longtime love of mysteries, and it’s no wonder she writes academic mysteries that draw inspiration from traditional whodunits.

~~~

 

Contact Links

Website

Facebook: kate.collier.315

Twitter: @TompkinsFalls

Goodreads: C.T. COLLIER

 

Purchase Links

Amazon: Paperback

Kindle: Kindle ebook

Barnes and Noble: B&N Paperback

Nook: Nook ebook

~~~

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
~~~

RABT Book Tours & PR~~~

#BookBlitz “The Perfect Murder” by Kat Martin

ThePerfectMurder

Congratulations to Kat Martin on the release of The Perfect Murder! A romantic suspense perfect for the beach or pool! Read on for details and a chance to win a $20 Amazon e-gift card and a digital copy of The Ultimate Betrayal!

54922137._SY475_

The Perfect Murder

Publication Date: Today 🎉

Publisher: HQN

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is back with her most thrilling novel yet in the Maximum Security series—The Perfect Murder.

The eldest of the three wealthy Garrett brothers, Reese Garrett is in the middle of a major purchase for his multimillion-dollar oil and gas company, Garrett Resources. The Poseidon offshore drilling platform venture will greatly enhance the company’s value.

But when Reese is on a trip out to see the rig, his helicopter crashes, leaving him hospitalized and two men dead. It’s discovered the chopper was sabotaged, and Reese is determined to find out who’s behind the crash—and whether he was the intended target. Then, when his lover, Kenzie, is accused of her ex-husband’s murder—a man with a vested interest in the Poseidon deal—clues start pointing to a connection that puts Reese, Kenzie and her young son in the sights of a killer.

From the Texas heat to the Louisiana bayous, Reese and his brothers must track down the truth before the body count gets any higher.

Add to Goodreads

Chapter One

Galveston, Texas: Last Day of July

Seconds after the chopper lifted off the pad, Reese felt the odd vibration.  Along with the pilot and co-pilot and five members of the crew, the Eurocopter EC135 was headed for the Poseidon offshore drilling platform. 

For a moment, the ride leveled out and Reese relaxed against his seat.  As CEO of Garrett Resources, the billion-dollar oil and gas company he owned with his brothers, he was always searching for the right investment to expand company holdings, the reason he was flying out to the platform.

For months he’d been working with Sea Titan Drilling, the owner of the offshore rig, to complete the five-hundred-million-dollar purchase, an extremely good value when the average price of a similar rig was around six-fifty. 

The vibration returned and with it came a grinding noise that put Reese on alert.  The men in the cabin began to glance back and forth and shift nervously in their seats.  A sharp jolt, then the chopper seemed to fall out of the sky.  It climbed again, began to dip and sway, dropped then climbed as the pilot fought for control.

The pilot’s deep voice rumbled through the headset.  “We’ve got a problem.  I don’t want you to panic, but we need to find a place to set down.” 

There was definitely a problem, Reese thought, as the vibration continued to worsen.  The chopper was out of control and the whole cabin was shaking as if it would break apart any minute.  His pulse was hammering, his adrenalin pumping.

 Along with the men in the crew who rode back and forth from the rig every few weeks, he stared out the window toward the ground.  They were no longer above the heliport.  Clearly the pilot was looking for an open space big enough to handle the thirty-six-foot blade span.  All Reese could see were the rooftops of warehouses and metal commercial buildings.

The chopper kept shaking.  The crew was grim-faced but resigned.  The pilot did something to take the pitch out of the rotors and the chopper started falling.

“No need to worry,” the pilot said.  “We’ll auto-rotate down.  I’ve done it a dozen times.”

Auto rotate down.  Reese knew the concept, the technique helicopter pilots used to land when the engine failed.  The trick was to find a safe place to hit the ground. 

Both engines went silent.  The blades were flat now, the wind whistling through them, tying his stomach into a knot.

“Brace for impact,” the pilot said.  Below them, Reese spotted an open flat slab of asphalt in the yard of a small trucking firm–the only possible landing site anywhere around.  Trouble was it didn’t look wide enough to handle the blades. 

At the last second, the pilot flared the helicopter in an effort to slow the descent, then the ground rushed up and the chopper hit with a jolt that wracked Reese’s whole body.

For an instant, he thought they were going to make it.  Then one of the spinning rotor blades hit the corner of a building and tore free.  The Plexiglas bubble shattered as the long metal blades exploded into a hundred deadly pieces, careening like knives through the air, slicing into buildings and the cabin of the helicopter. 

Reese didn’t feel the impact.  One moment he was conscious, then the world suddenly went black.

Available Now

Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Kobo | Google | iTunes

Giveaway: Win a $20 Amazon e-gift card (US Dollars) and a digital copy of The Ultimate Betrayal! Giveaway runs from today until June 25th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Kat Martin head shot (high res)

New York Times Bestselling author Kat Martin, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, currently resides in Missoula, Montana with Western-author husband, L. J. Martin.  More than seventeen million copies of Kat’s books are in print, and she has been published in twenty foreign countries.  Fifteen of her recent novels have taken top-ten spots on the New York Times Bestseller List, and her novel, BEYOND REASON, was recently optioned for a feature film.

Kat Martin | FacebookTwitter | BookBub | Instagram

Book Release Blitz Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

#ReleaseBlitz “Revenge: A Romantic Thriller (A Kylie Tate Romantic Thriller Book 2)” by Anne L. Parks

Title: Revenge: A Romantic Thriller (A Kylie Tate Romantic Thriller Book 2)
Author: Anne L. Parks
Genre: Romantic Thriller/ Suspense
Release Date: June 22, 2021
Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.

.

AMAZON| iBOOKS| NOOK| KOBO

> https://ctt.ec/27ck9+ today on your favourite platform https://ctt.ec/7aoXk+ #RomanticSuspense #Thriller #BAPpr #ReadingList2021″>

Born and raised in the Rocky Mountains, Anne L. Parks has moved all over the United States with her Navy husband. Legally trained, she switched careers and followed her dream of becoming an author. When not writing, she spends her time reading, doing yoga, mountain biking, and spoiling her German Shepherd, Zoe. And drinking wine.

Parks loves to create stories with mystery, plenty of twists and turns, and loaded with suspense. With a background in criminal defense and a military husband, she feels right at home amongst highly trained, somewhat jaded, ready-to-take-out-the-bad-guys alpha males and the strong, brave women who love them, but can also handle whatever life throws at them. Murders, terrorists, courtroom drama…if it touches on the dark nature of humanity, Parks is unafraid of delving into the depths of depravity—and bringing her readers along for the ride.

Click on the Image below to Visit Anne’s Facebook page to enter to win 1 of 5 $10 Amazon Gift Cards!

AMAZON | iBOOKS | NOOK | KOBO

AMAZON | iBOOKS | NOOK | KOBO

#Excerpt “I Can Be… Stem Activities For Kids”

 
I Can Be… Fun STEM Activities for Kids
 
 
Children’s Activity Books
4 Book Series
 
 
Filled with entertaining and educational activities, these full-color books are the perfect way to introduce young children to many of today’s most important STEM subjects.

 

I Can Be a Math Magician: Fun STEM Activities for Kids

978-0-486-83922-6

 Date Published: 10/16/2019

  Publisher: Dover Publications

 Math is magical with this colorful activity book! It’s easy to entertain
family and friends as you complete mysterious number squares and “Magic
Multiples,” play a prime number card game, and draw fractal trees. This
book offers a fun and meaningful way to explore how math is an important
part of everyday life.

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Publisher

~~~

EXCERPT

Screenshot 2021-06-09 at 21-22-13 9780486839226_I Can Be Math Magician Sample Pages pdf

~~~

Additional Titles

  978-0-486-83923-3

I Can Be a Rocket Scientist

Date Published: 10/16/2019

Publisher: Dover Publications

 Find out what it takes to become a rocket scientist! With this
out-of-this-world activity book, you can make a scale model of the solar
system, build a prototype rocket from a plastic container, and try real
astronaut fitness exercises. You’ll discover Earth’s place in space, fun
facts about the other planets in our solar system, how gravity works, and
lots of other fascinating cosmic information.

 Amazon

B&N

Publisher

~

978-0-486-83924-0

I Can Be an Awesome Inventor

Date Published: 10/16/2019

Publisher: Dover Publications

 Put on your thinking cap and get inventive! Make a musical instrument
from glass bottles, use a drop of water to create a microscope, develop your
own computer programming language, and more! Filled with interesting fun
facts and entertaining activities, this book will inspire you to create your
own inventions.

 Amazon

B&N

Publisher

~


 

978-0-486-83921-9

I Can Be a Science Detective

Date Published: 10/16/2019

Publisher: Dover Publications

 Do you have what it takes to become a science sleuth? Of course you do!
Discover how to gather clues and collect evidence to catch a thief, follow
instructions to extract DNA from strawberries, take your own fingerprints,
analyze handwriting, and much more. While you’re having fun inspecting,
detecting, and experimenting, you’ll be learning all about the intriguing
world of forensic science and its important role in real life.

 Amazon

B&N

Publisher

~~~

~~~

About the Author Anna Claybourne

Anna Claybourne is an award-winning science writer and has authored many books for Usborne Publishing, A&C Black, and Franklin Watts. She writes mainly nonfiction, covering topics such as science, art, wildlife, and fashion. In addition, she has also published books about Shakespeare, myths and legends, and retellings of literary classics. She is based in
Edinburgh.

About the Illustrator

Katie Kear is a young British illustrator who has been creating artwork for as long as she can remember. She loves creating new worlds and characters, and she hopes to spread joy and happiness with her art. She is a graduate of
the University of Gloucestershire with a First Class BA Hons Illustration degree.

About the Author Claudia Martin

Claudia Martin is the author of many books and online articles for children and young adults. Her favorite subjects are history, current affairs, geography, the natural world, and technology. She lives in London with her family.

 

Publisher Contact Links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

Goodreads

Pinterest

Instagram

~~~

a Rafflecopter giveaway
~~~

RABT Book Tours & PR

~~~

#BookTour “Everyday Magic” by Charlie Laidlaw

EverdayMagic

I am so thrilled to share Charlie Laidlaw’s latest novel with you all, Everyday Magic! Read on for an excerpt and a chance to win a signed edition of the book!

Everyday Magic Front cover FINAL

Everyday Magic

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.

Add to Goodreads

Chapter One

When Carole was little, she found a magic clearing in the woods near her home.  She had been exploring, surrounded by oak, birch, and hazel trees, picking her way carefully between bramble and nettle.  There was birdsong, squirrels darting across branches, and patterns of sunlight on the woodland floor.  She had been looking for bilberries, and her hands were full of small black berries.  She stopped to sit on an outcrop of rock by a wide stream that, in winter, could quickly become a torrent of brown water.  In summer, it was comforting; in winter, treacherous.  She ate her bilberries, the stream cascading over a small waterfall; the sound of water in her ears.  It was summer and the stream bubbled crystal clear.  The woodland rose in folds from the stream, and she climbed steadily upwards.  Here, the trees crammed in on her; it was darker.  When she looked up, she could only see sunlight trapped on leaves far above.  It was a part of the old woodland that she’d never been to before, but she pushed on, feeling that she was on an adventure and might suddenly come across a gingerbread house or wizard’s cottage. 

At the top of the hill she found herself in a small clearing.  It was only a few yards across, framed with oak trees, and perfectly round.  Sunlight from directly above made the clearing warm, and she stood at its centre, wondering if she was the first person to have ever discovered it.  Each of the oak trees around the clearing seemed precisely set, each one a perfect distance from the next, and she walked around them, touching each one, wondering if someone had planted the oak trees, or if the clearing really was a magic place.  She still sometimes believed in magic.  Then she stood again at its centre, wondering at its symmetry and why a long-dead sorcerer might have planted the oak trees.  Then, realising that the sorcerer might not be dead, and that she had walked uninvited into his private domain, she hurried away, not sure whether to be frightened or excited.  It was a place she often went back to that summer, and on following summers, sometimes alone and sometimes with her little brother.  They would sit in the centre of the woodland circle, eating bilberries, hoping to meet the sorcerer who had built the clearing.  She wasn’t frightened of him anymore; the clearing was too peaceful to have been made by a bad wizard.  It was their secret place, but mainly Carole’s, because she had found it.  It was a comforting place: it was somewhere she would go if she was sad or angry about something, because the woodland circle and its shifting half-shadows offered calm and new perspectives.  She could almost hear the trees speak to her, the wind in their branches making the leaves whisper, but so softly that she couldn’t understand.  She would listen, eyes closed, the leaves rustling, but she never understood what they were saying.  The circle of trees stood solid and immovable, dark and stoic, old and wise, and each one the colour of stone.

Available Here and on Amazon!

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

International Giveaway: Win one of two signed editions of Everyday Magic!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

EverdayMagic

Book Tour Schedule

June 14th

Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com

@esmeralda_lagiggles18 (Review) https://www.instagram.com/esmeralda_lagiggles18/

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

Books, Ramblings & Tea (Spotlight) https://booksramblingsandtea.com/

June 15th

@swimming.in.books (Review) https://www.instagram.com/swimming.in.books/

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

Books Teacup & Reviews (Review)  https://booksteacupreviews.com/

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

June 16th

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

@geauxgetlit (Review) https://www.instagram.com/geauxgetlit/

@greeneyedgirl0704 (Review) https://www.instagram.com/greeneyedgirl0704/

@m_books.dogs (Review) https://www.instagram.com/m_books.dogs/

@reads.by.the.sea (Review) https://www.instagram.com/reads.by.the.sea/

June 17th

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

The Librocubicularista (Review) https://thelibrocubicularista.wordpress.com/

@theculture.hunter (Review) https://www.instagram.com/theculture.hunter/

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Review) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

June 18th

The Photographer’s Way (Review) http://www.thephotographersway.org

@jypsylynn (Review) https://www.instagram.com/jypsylynn/

@jenniferclaywood (Review) https://www.instagram.com/jenniferclaywood/

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review)  https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

@jeyreads (Review) https://www.instagram.com/jeyreads/

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

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

#BookTour “Darkness Hides” by J C Gatlin

~~~

Mystery-Suspense

Date Published: Apr 27, 2021

Publisher: Milford House Press, Inc.

 

photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

 

A former Fish & Wildlife Officer conducts an off-the-book investigation when a murder appears to have a connection to her deceased nephew, just as a hurricane hits her Florida beach town.

~~~

Exclusive preview of DARKNESS HIDES 

Meet Kate Parks, a former Fish & Wildlife Officer who is now working as a boat safety inspector for the Sienna Key Police Department. In this chapter, she is hunkered down in her childhood home with her sister, Elise, as Hurricane Sebastian makes landfall.

Meet Elise Tyler, Kate’s younger sister who is still grieving the loss of her son Noah. She refused to evacuate, and Kate had hoped to convince her to leave before it was too late.

~~~

Read the sample chapter before the storm hits and escape routes are blocked.

EXCERPT

Kate found a battery-operated Coleman lantern discarded on the kitchen floor and flipped it on. It lit up the room, and she carried it upstairs, where Elise sat alone in Noah’s bedroom.

“I want to be alone,” Elise said, sitting in the rocker.

Kate didn’t respond, listening to the rain and wind pummel the house. The walls creaked so eerily in the gale-force winds that she wondered if they could collapse around them. Stuffed animals above the bed trembled. Her pet squirrel, Doc, raised up on her shoulder, swishing his bushy tail. The lantern cast a pale glow around the bedroom. With the windows boarded up, any area outside the lantern light was lost in thick, inky blackness. Though she couldn’t see the lightning, she could hear the angry thunder compete with the rain beating the roof.

The bookcase rattled, keeping her on edge. She glanced at Elise, huddled in the rocking chair. Her sister wrapped the afghan tighter over her shoulders and locked her arms around her knees.

The walls trembled with another thunderclap, shaking the bookcase, and knocked the worn copy of Where the Darkness Hides to the floor. Kate jumped at the loud thump. Doc jumped too and leaped to the floor to investigate. She raised the lantern and looked around the room. Many of the stuffed animals had fallen onto the small bed. A model airplane dangled from the ceiling, swaying violently from the turbulence. A toy box sat positioned under the window.

Letting out a breath, she shut her eyes and focused on the rain thumping the roof. It intensified, then quieted. The sound was hypnotic, and she didn’t even hear Doogie enter the bedroom. He shined a flashlight in her direction and paused in the doorway.

“Sebastian made landfall”—his voice rose above another loud boom of thunder—“south of Sarasota.”

Kate couldn’t see him behind the blinding light in his hands, and when he lowered the flashlight, it still took a moment for her eyes to adjust. She sensed him stepping beside her. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Doc dash across the floor toward him.

“We’ve just got to make it through the night.” He walked over to the rocking chair and put a hand on Elise’s shoulder.

Doc followed, cautiously investigating the cuff of his right pant leg.

“It’s about to get worse,” Kate said.

A corner of Elise’s mouth turned upward, but her smile was without humor. She turned to Doogie. “Why didn’t you sell her to gypsies or leave her in the woods somewhere?”

The wind howled at the window, and a sudden gust ripped the plywood from the casing. The glass shattered. Wind and rain blew into the room.

Elise screamed. The rocker overturned, spilling her to the floor. Kate and Doogie rushed to the bed, flipped the mattress off it, and forced it to the open window. They fought the incoming wind. The force bent the mattress, folded it like a sheet of paper, and pushed them back. Doogie shoved the mattress against the window and held it there. He yelled at Kate to move the bookcase. She got to one side of it and scooted it across the carpet to the front of the mattress.

The mattress shuddered in front of the broken window. The wind squealed and screamed like a dying thing. Kate and Doogie were silent for a couple of minutes, staring at each other.

“It’s not going to hold,” Kate yelled to him over the wind.

“We need to go downstairs.” He pointed toward the bedroom door. “It’s not safe in here.”

Elise turned the rocker right side up and sat down. “I’m not leaving Noah’s room.”

Doogie stepped to her, knelt beside the rocker. “C’mon, kid. It’s not safe.”

Kate watched her sister look up at him.

“I’m not leaving.” Gripping the edges of the afghan and pulling it taut against her back, she sank deeper into the cradle of the rocking chair. Her voice sounded raspy and tired, and a clap of thunder tapped her willpower.

The wind grew louder. It sounded like a howling wolf for a second and then a train. The roar became deafening. Debris hit the house. The roof rattled and banged.

Kate looked up.

Doogie moved the box spring and bedframe to the window, struggling to position them against the mattress. He looked back at Kate.

Elise picked up the weathered copy of Where the Darkness Hides from the floor. With the soft lantern light illuminating her face, she set the book in her lap and opened the cover.

Doogie looked puzzled. “We don’t have time for this.”

Elise read out loud, raising her voice over the shrieking wind.

“We don’t have time for this,” Doogie yelled. He turned to Kate. “Do something.”

Kate listened to the roar of the wind. Something massive hit the side of the house. The impact was loud and shook the walls. What could she do? If their number was up, she couldn’t possibly do anything to prevent it. And at least they’d be going as a family, together. She dropped to the floor, next to Elise. Doc scurried to her, his tail raised high, and hopped onto her thigh. He stood on his hind legs and pawed at Kate with his single arm.

Thunder rocked the house, and Elise stopped reading. She turned toward the bedroom door. Doc let out a series of warning chirps and clicks. Kate heard it too. A pounding that seemed separate from the rain beating the exterior of the house. BAM! BAM! BAM! Intense. Determined. It sounded different from the wind.

It was coming from downstairs.

The hairs on the back of Kate’s neck rose. Another BAM! BAM! BAM! She definitely didn’t imagine it. She turned to Doogie. His eyes widened.

“That’s the front door,” he said. “Someone’s at the door.”

~~~

~~~

About the Author

JC Gatlin is a Mystery Suspense author living in Tampa, Florida. He self-published three mystery novels, including 21 DARES–which topped Amazon’s Mystery-Suspense chart in 2016. Milford House Press published his next mystery, H_NGM_N: MURDER IS THE WORD, and it won the Royal Palm
Literary Award for Best Mystery-Crime Fiction in 2019. His new mystery, Darkness Hides, is scheduled for release on April 27, 2021.

 

Contact Links

Website

Facebook

Goodreads

Instagram

YouTube

~~~

Purchase Links

Amazon

B&N

~~~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~

RABT Book Tours & PR

~~~

#BookTour “The Lost Great Dane (The Lost and Found Pets Mysteries, Book #1)” by B.L. Blair

~~~

The Lost and Found Pets Mysteries, Book #1

Cozy Mystery

Date Published: December 1, 2016

 

photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

 

The Lost Great Dane is the first novella in the Lost and Found Pets series.
Alexandra Prescott is a licensed private investigator specializing in finding missing animals. Reuniting pet and owner is more than just a job.

While looking for a lost cat, Alex finds a weak and injured Great Dane. The dog has no collar, no tags, and no microchip. And the only person looking for him is a man who might have murdered his own wife.

Within 24 hours, Alex has a hunted dog, a cryptic message, and a hitman after her. She realizes the only way out of this mess is to solve the mystery of the lost Great Dane.

~~~

~~~

 About the Author

B. L. Blair writes mystery/romance stories. Like most authors, she has been writing most of her life and has dozens of books started. She just needs the time to finish them.

She is the author of the Leah Norwood Mysteries and the Lost and Found Pets Mystery Novellas. She loves reading books, writing books, and traveling wherever and as often as time and money allows. She is currently working on her latest book set in Texas, where she lives with her family.

 

Contact Links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

Goodreads

Pinterest

Instagram

BookBub

~~~

Purchase Link

Kindle Unlimited

Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~

RABT Book Tours & PR

~~~

#BookBlitz “Genuine: Love Can Be Controlled” by Lena Ma

Genuine

Congratulations to Lena Ma on the release of her latest novel and the start of a brand-new series, Genuine: Love Can Be Controlled. Read on for more details and the chance to win a print copy of the book!

CoverGenuine: Love Can Be Controlled (The Scarlett Series Book 1)

Publication Day: June 5th, 2021

Genre: Dark Romance

One-night stands, cheating exes, and abusive partners. They’re all she thought she deserved. Repressed memories and a persistent voice inside her head that undermined her every word, leading to a life of alcoholism and depression. When her last failed attempt at love finally pushed her over the edge and into desperation, Sarah Levinson decided to take matters into her own hands by creating Genuine, an app that allowed her to choose the love she wanted, a partner guaranteed to remain forever faithful, until everything so right turned horribly wrong. Her new love interest tested her algorithm and took everlasting love to a new extreme that may just destroy her carefully crafted plan and lead to a disastrous end, and everything Sarah once thought she believed about her life, her future, and her past are called into question. Will her strategy for everlasting love lead to her demise, or will it shed light on unspeakable truths in this dark, twisted story?

Note: Possible Triggers

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

“Love cannot be controlled nor can love be forced. Love must be mutually accepted by both ends of the spectrum before it is able to come to fruition. That’s what we were led to believe anyway. What if, instead, we are able to choose love, exclusively select who we want to love us rather than waiting for them to never love us back? What if we are able to control love with the simple click of a finger, choose the relationships we want regardless of the opinions of the other person? This dream that we have all been lusting for, a dream that would forever abolish our fear of loneliness, has now come to life. I have found you. Choose or Lose.” – Genuine

Applause sounded as the light darkened in the auditorium, and a video appeared, the deep sound of a man’s voice was heard in the narration.

“Love. It’s all we ever seem to want. Love from a parent or a friend can never truly replace the love we obtain and experience from a partner, romantic love that requires unrequited love from someone choosing to be with us and only us, staying loyal through times of thick and thin. We have all been heartbroken, every single one of us in this room and more, falling for someone who only wants us for our bodies before moving onto the next victim. How many times have we fallen for the lies of those who promised us love, just to later on deceive us before our very eyes? How many times have we become the victim of someone who wants us one day and completely shuts us out of their life the next?

Meet Stacy, a young woman who had struggled with finding a loyal partner for over a decade, constantly being tricked by those who wanted her just for a night or two, never having a relationship last more than four months before the lies and infidelity set in, and always having to settle for those less than subpar instead of those she wanted. When we first met Stacy, she was a mess, a once-independent and intelligent woman on the brink of suicide.

However, through the power of Genuine, Stacy finally met the man of her dreams, Timothy, a man who checked off every item on her list, a man she doesn’t need to settle for, a man who will love her through thick and thin until she decides it is time for the relationship to end.

Genuine, true love is no longer impossible. Choose or Lose.”

As the video ended and the lights reappeared, so did the host of the App X-Change Summit, Brian Flint.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to the creator of Genuine, Sarah Levinson!”

Another round of applause rose from the crowd and camera flashes began to pepper the stage from the media rows. Sarah felt a familiar surge of fear pushing at the edges of her mind. She closed her eyes and breathed deep; I make the world a better place. I am the one in control. Move over, Aphrodite – I am the new goddess of love.

With that, Sarah stepped onto the stage with a winning smile and waved to the audience. Making her way to the podium, she shook hands with Brian, and then turned to the crowd, who only quieted when Sarah began to speak.

“Love cannot be controlled. For so long in our society, we believed that love was elusive to many and attainable to few. It was something that just happened…or didn’t. That belief can now be put to rest, thanks to Genuine.”

Sarah picked up a small remote from the podium and pointed it toward the big screen. A slideshow began, showing the Genuine logo, and the home screen of the app on someone’s phone.

“Genuine gives you the power to lock down love, the true love that you decide you want. Much like the hundreds of dating apps that already exist, with Genuine, users swipe through various profiles to find an ideal mate, swiping right to ‘Choose’ and swiping left to ‘Lose’. The profiles include pictures, a short bio, likes and interests, so on and so forth, but they also display a rating based on a 5-star system.”

Available on Amazon & Barnes & Noble

About the Author

71795F8A-69C8-4B69-836F-6052C0800192

The world is a dark and destructive place, and the mind is constantly flawed. Through personal traumatic and emotional experiences, such as domestic abuse, infidelity, and hospital-ridden adventures, Lena Ma brings her stories to life by exhibiting raw emotions that plague, not just her, but many others living in this world. Her stories come with dark, twisted scenes that reflect the horrors of reality. Happy endings are a thing of the past while the pain of disturbing reality shines. As an aspiring author, Lena hopes to make a difference in the lives of others by exposing the truths of psychological warfare and the manipulation of the modern world.

Lena Ma Books | Instagram | Facebook | Amazon | B&N

Win a print copy of Genuine by Lena Ma! Giveaway will run from today until June 15th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Release Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

#Excerpt “Ghosts of Guatemala” by Collin Glavac

~~~

Spy Thriller

Date Published: 11-25-2019

 

photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

 

Who can you trust when corruption and danger are a way of life?

The CIA never left Latin America, and is facing catastrophic blackmail at the hands of an erratic Guatemalan drug lord: the infamous patrón of
Antigua – Pablo Puentes. Desperate for a swift solution, the agency calls in their black operative fixer: John Carpenter.

John is a cold-blooded professional ready for the job. But the mission doesn’t have a simple fix. Pablo has a disastrous kill switch in place.

John is still haunted by the mysterious death of his best friend who died on a far too similar mission, and now is uncertain about how much he can trust his handler or his sensual partner.

Back at the agency, tensions are running hot as the stench of corruption is growing to a boiling point. If things aren’t put to rights – and soon – the entire mission will go up in flames and take the CIA down with it.

Only John Carpenter can bring this drug lord to justice and get the answers he deserves.

Because this mission is personal…

If you like the relentless tension of Daniel Silva and the gritty reality of Lee Child then you’ll love this first book in

the John Carpenter Trilogy!

~~~

~~~

EXCEPT

Prologue

The gunshot slammed into Brian’s chest with the force of a charging bull. It hadn’t been the first time he’d been shot. But he’d also never taken a direct hit in the torso or lost any vitals before. The slug threw him against the veranda door he had just snuck through, smashing glass and raking his arms as he crumpled painfully onto his back.

He managed not to moan – he was a professional even in the worst situations – but he couldn’t stop himself from hyperventilating. He was in shock. He knew he was in shock. He tried to kick it. Clear his mind, focus on the task at hand. He’d been shot. He needed to eliminate the threat. He had to finish the mission.

The searing pain was beginning to drip into his system now, a slow whine that overtook his adrenaline and as his pain tolerance started to be overwhelmed, he wanted to cry out, desperate for reprieve.

There was no one here to help him. If a mission went wrong, if someone was captured or killed, there would be no rescue. That’s how The Firm’s agent’s operated. That was how they kept the United States government far away from any political fallout. And besides, they never made mistakes.

Brian crawled painfully to cover, feeling blood smear against shards of glass against the floor. He pressed a hand to his chest, not bothering to look at how bad the wound was. He didn’t need to look at it. He knew what that kind of bloodflow through his gloves meant. He managed to pull himself next to a cabinet, leaning his back against the wood and tried to calm his breath. His sigh turned into a cough. He raised his other hand instinctively to cover his mouth and he found he hadn’t dropped his gun when he’d fallen. He held the reliable Beretta in white knuckled fingers that refused to let go, shaking from the effort of his training that refused to abandon him against all odds.

He looked down at the glass. Some of it had been decorated with a metal coating. He placed his gun in his lap and retrieved a large piece, angling it to see where his attacker was hiding. It was dark and his vision was beginning to blur. His thoughts began to wander.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It was supposed to be a simple hit. Kill the head of an Antiguan drug cartel. Snatch some information off a computer while he was at it. An upper level operative had confided in him that something was wrong with this cartel. Something about corruption. Something way above petty drug wars and trafficking operations.

He had slipped past security. Gotten into the estate. His target should have been here, caught unawares. A silent chuckle escaped him. Had he gotten that rusty? He coughed up blood.

As if to answer his unspoken questions, a figure emerged from the darkness. Brian watched it through the mirrored glass, but it was getting increasingly difficult to concentrate. The man was a large figure; imposing, he held a handgun and even as his consciousness ebbed and flowed, Brian couldn’t help but admire what a well-tailored suit he was wearing. He always tried to be an optimist. The man continued to walk toward Brian’s hiding place, waving the handgun as he spoke. His low voice pierced the darkness.

“Looks like my deal is better than your deal, mamón. I almost feel bad. But business is business.”

That was his target, no doubt about it. Sandor Puentes. But Brian didn’t understand what the man was saying. He couldn’t piece anything together. His mind was a fog. In his final moments, bleeding out, desperately attempting to complete at least part of his mission, Brian thought of his best friend John Carpenter, and the painstaking Spanish lesson he’d received. He’d wanted to master at least one good swear word.

Que te folle un pez!” Brian cried, bursting from behind the cabinet and preparing to unload his magazine into Sandor Puentes, brutal cartel boss of Antigua, probably one of the largest sex traffickers in all of Latin America. I hope you get fucked by a fish!

All people deserved justice. Some people’s justice was death.

Gunshots tore through the air like vengeance.

***

“In here!” Juan Puentes yelled to the guards. Where were the guards?

He had heard his mother and father yelling, and gunshots. The deals they had made with the other cartels were holding strong. Who could be attacking them? His heart pounded in his chest, his soul itched for battle. If there was trouble, he would protect his family. He clutched his shotgun and bounded into the foyer where he was sure the commotion was. Guards flooded the room alongside him, some shining flashlights. Idiotas, Juan thought, pushing a guard out of the way. He flicked on the light switch, turning on the lavish electric chandelier.

Pablo and Isabella, his uncle and mother were in the room, holding each other, shaking and weeping. Juan stared at them in shock. His eyes drifted over to his father’s desk, and he saw a handgun resting idly there. He was hardly aware of anything else until his uncle spoke and pointed near the door.

“I’m sorry, sobrino. Nephew. Truly, I am.”

A man dressed all in black laid in a bloody heap on the floor. Blood and broken glass were everywhere. Juan didn’t understand.

“I suppose it is not sobrino, anymore, mi hijo,” Pablo’s words hung, foreign in Juan’s ears. My son.

It was then that Juan saw.

Sandor Puentes, his strong and determined father – his loving father – lay beside the other man, his forehead blown apart, mouth twisted in a sneer.

Juan let out a wail, overwhelmed by the sight of his father, firing his shotgun into the air. The ornate chandelier exploded in a shower of glass and crystal. Its shattered remains fell all around him as darkness covered the room once more.

Chapter 1

 

One hundred people a week are murdered in Guatemala. It is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, yet Antigua is known for its safety. That was because many cartels kept their children in Antigua. Teenage guards held shotguns guarding storefronts. They were never robbed. Who would be stupid enough to commit a crime with cartels keeping the city peaceful?

The government and local authorities were corrupt. This was known. Everything was owned and run by economic elites known as the oligarcas familias. The family of oligarchs. Mostly everyone else was poor.

Yet Antigua was called the ‘jewel of Guatemala’ because of its beauty.

Pablo Puentes believed in Antigua.

Pablo was slightly shorter than average and had a squatter frame, olive-brown skin and beady eyes. Anyone would recognize him as a Mayan. He was proud of this. He was one of the many whose descendants had originally flourished before Spanish conquest and colonialism had wiped the existing civilizations and created an underclass that lasted even today. But unlike the majority of Mayans in Guatemala who were poor and destitute, Pablo was wealthier than the city itself.

He lived on Cortega street, one of the richest neighbourhoods in the city, boasting a line of trees decorating either end, shading passersby from the sun. His estate was at the end of the street, vast and with ten foot walls, keeping itself hidden away from peering eyes. Vines crawled up the towering walls and were lined with barbed wire. It surrounded the largest courtyard in Antigua. Guards wearing camouflage uniforms and colored berets patrolled the walls and the dozens of long hallways and luxury suites. They held wicked Remington Model 870 tac-14 shotguns.

It had been two weeks since his brother Sandor Puentes had been killed. Pablo Puentes was now the new head of one of the largest cartels in Guatemala, and today would solidify his position more than anything he had done so far. But there was no wealth without danger.

Tío, please,” Juan Puentes pleaded, folding his arms to stop himself from using them as he spoke. He was trying to live up to his station, and be the strong imposing man his father had been. “Blackmail has never been our business. Business is our business, no? What am I missing here?” His beret spun slightly as he shook his head. It was white, the only one among the others holding that color, distinguishing him as el comandante. Many guards in the room wore the new black berets marking them as Pablo’s chosen men while still others sported the red berets of common guards.

Pablo couldn’t have been more opposite, wearing a polo shirt with white and cream pants made of cotton. He sat with his legs spread wide and comfortable, elbows resting on the massive oak table. He radiated power.

“You are right Juan. Business is our business. Every opportunity seized.” Pablo raised a fist and clenched it. “You are thinking of money. This is a small thing to think about. I have money. You have money. We all have money. But now I have something no one else does.”

“Then keep it. Don’t give it away.”

Pablo smiled and shook his head like a man who refused to share a secret. “To become invincible, I must declare war.”

“Yes, but tío, this opens another front in a war we don’t need to-”

“And there is no need to call me tío. Uncle. I much prefer being your father.”

Juan grew quiet. After his father Sandor died Pablo had quickly married Isabella, Juan’s mother. Pablo was now both his uncle and stepfather.

Isabella sat beside Juan cradling a laptop. Her slender frame was cloaked in a loose, blood-red dress. She gave her son a look of sympathy then spoke softly to Pablo.

“Juan is right that these are not simple cartels, or even politicians to threaten or bribe, mi amor.”

Pablo pointed an index finger down at the table and opened his mouth to make a point but Isabella continued.

“I am not saying no. You decided this. Juan is simply being cautious. There is a reason he heads your security.”

“I am not being cautious,” Juan snapped, immediately regretting the rudeness shown to his mother as he caught her glare. He touched her shoulder lightly in unspoken apology, before turning back to Pablo. “I am asking you to be more ambitious. There is more we can do with this information.”

Pablo raised a hand to cut off Juan’s protests. It was clear Isabella would not sway him either. He had decided. Pablo reached for a small gray cell phone lying in the middle of the table. He opened it solemnly and handed it over to Isabella.

Isabella’s eyes flicked from her laptop screen to the phone. She punched in a number then handed the phone back to Pablo.

They waited as it rang.

Pablo did not put the phone on speaker for the benefit of his wife or stepson. He shared so much with them and kept few things even from his guards. He had a reputation of being strangely open and keeping little to no privacy. Yet even Pablo wanted this conversation to be kept from his family. This moment would be his own. He held the phone close to his ear.

The line continued to ring.

Juan pursed his lips, eyes fixated on the phone. Isabella’s face was a mask, unreadable.

There was a click. Static, then a breath.

“Go ahead.” The voice on the other end was hard and flat, and full of contempt.

Pablo smiled. His voice would not be the one they expected, and he reveled in this revealed surprise; the tension before a magician turns his hand.

“Your man is dead,”

There was silence on the other end of the line.

“But perhaps you already knew that.”

Some static and a shuffling sound.

“Who is this?” It was a different voice now. Another man’s voice, hard, short, strong. A voice that gave commands instead of taking them.

“They call me the patrón of Antigua,” Pablo continued. “I have always liked the title.”

“Pablo Puentes.”

He was surprised how quickly the man had identified him. He had hoped for a little more playfulness in this exchange. “It seems you have heard of me.”

There was a brief pause, and Pablo thought he could hear the chattering of a computer keyboard. The voice spoke again.

“We know you front one of the largest illicit cartels in Latin America, dealing primarily in cocaine and sex trafficking. You extort protection money from half of Antigua. Money laundering. We know you have members of the oligarcha familia on your payroll – the respected López family voted to suppress the anti-corruption commission. We know you are currently located at 117 Cortega street. We know your wife Isabella Muñoz 43, and stepson, Juan Puentes, 27, and son Pablito Puentes, 8.”

“It seems you know quite a lot about me.”

“We even know you killed your brother Sandor Puentes. Does Isabella know that, Pablo? What about Juan? Mr. Puentes, this is an office of the United States of America’s Central Intelligence Agency. We don’t know a lot about you. We know everything about you.”

Pablo had to admit, some of this was concerning. But a fire was lit in his mind and though Pablo’s fists clenched, his smile did not waver. Instead, if anything, his determination was steeled. His voice cut the air like a knife.

“Do you know about this, Mr. Central Intelligence Agency?”

Pablo turned to Isabella, smiling, and nodded to her. She smiled back and took his hand and gave it a firm squeeze. Then she took a breath, shook herself, and sent a simple email to the man they were speaking with.

Pablo waited patiently. There was the sound of keyboards now – he was sure there was more than one – and hushed whispers saying something incoherent. Finally, the voice replied.

“You think you’re clever Puentes. You’re not. We know about this.”

Pablo put one of his hands up, as if making a sign of surrender, even though the man on the other end of the line couldn’t see. He was enjoying himself. “Alright, alright. It seems there are no secrets. This is good. I hate secrets.” Pablo leaned forward in his chair and bared his teeth. “I’m sure the American people know about this if it is no secret.”

“If you send any of this information to the-”

“It is too bad you cannot do anything.”

“Pablo, it appears you misunderstand the sheer power of the United States of America. Within hours, a Reaper drone loaded with Hellfire air-to-ground missiles can be called to strike wherever we choose around the globe. Its blast is a focused fifty-foot kill radius. You and your family can run. We don’t miss. It doesn’t leave dirt in its crater because the thousand-degree Fahrenheit chemical reactions are too hot. It makes glass. I have 117 Cortega street prepared for a priority cue. All I have to do is give the word.”

“I don’t think the Guatemalan government would like that very much, or the United Nations for that matter.”

“For Christ’s sake we bankroll the United Nations. All I have to do,” the man broke up the sentence for emphasis, “is give. The. Word. Do you know what the word is Pablo? The word is go. I know my drone pilots personally. Maybe they should get to know you too.”

“My brother used to say it’s not what you do, it’s who you know.”

Silence.

“I disagreed with him. It is what you do. That is why he is dead and I am alive. Señor, I have a very long list of emails for respected American journalists who are very good writers, and they write for very curious citizens. If I am killed, these journalists will receive the same information I sent to you.”

More silence. Pablo considered for a moment that the line was dead. He continued anyway.

“My brother did not know what I could do. But you, you know what I can do. Perhaps you will be safe.”

The silence continued for a moment, then there came a sound of exasperation.

“What do you want? What bizarre stroke of madness made you think you could get something out of this?”

Pablo shrugged. “Maybe send some money. Maybe send some favors.” He leaned forward again. “But whatever you do or do not do does not matter. You cannot kill me. That is what you did not know. Now. You. Do.”

He ended the call. Pablo snapped the small cell phone in two pieces and tossed the remains on the table in front of him. Juan let out a breath of air through his teeth. Pablo gave him a sideways glance and winked. He probably hadn’t liked the way he had spoken about his late father. But Juan was his son now. He would be stronger. Juan would be part of something much bigger now.

Isabella stroked his leg, bringing him out of his reflections. “You have become the most powerful man in Guatemala, mi amor.”

“No,” said Pablo, stroking her cheek, although she wasn’t wrong. “I have become the most powerful man in America.”

~~~

About the Author

Collin Glavac is a Canadian born actor and writer who lives in the province of Ontario Canada. He has written, directed and acted in two original stage plays, In Real Life, and LoveSpell. He completed his Dramatic and Liberal Arts B.A. and M.A at Brock University.

Ghosts of Guatemala is his first novel.

Collin loves hearing from readers, so please don’t hesitate to contact him by email at: collinglavac@gmail.com.

 

Contact Links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Instagram

~~~

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

iBooks

 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~

RABT Book Tours & PR

~~~

#BookTour “His Sister’s Best Friend” by Shyla Colt

~~~

Contemporary Romance

Date Published: 03-29-2021

Solomon

The man of the house since my father’s death at sixteen, I knew I’d be the guardian for my sister, Susan, who has Down syndrome. However, I didn’t realize I’d become her guardian while dealing with my mother’s mini-strokes, rehabilitation, and selling the family home. I’m drowning in paperwork and emotions as I try to get Susan adjusted. A new care plan and a specialized school act as light at the end of the tunnel. I never expected to find her new best friend at the school was my old high school crush.

Ezra

I always regretted keeping my feelings for Solomon to myself. When we became the victims of losing touch in college, I added it to my list of regrets. Now he’s back as the guardian of a student, and the years have been exceedingly kind. My habit of following rules is suddenly out the window. Risking the reputation I’ve worked so hard to gain isn’t on my to-do list.

Can we manage a relationship without it becoming a conflict of interest?

~~~

EXCERPT

Ezra

Expanding Hope is the dream I’ve shed blood, sweat, tears, and dollar bills for. What started as the lofty imagining of a girl who watched her baby brother struggle in a world that didn’t understand him or respect him for all he could do, has come to fruition. We’d gone from a small, rented space to this beautiful building. Seeing so many handi-capable people grow to their full potential and live their best lives has made all my sacrifices worthwhile. Having my brother, Miles, teach one of the courses is a significant bonus. Who better to help them learn how to acclimate to living independently than one of their own?

The importance of representation shouldn’t be overlooked. There are plenty of ways to insinuate without ever opening your mouth. I pause outside of my brother’s classroom and listen to him going over the steps for purchasing groceries. My parents had a can-do attitude. We focused on all the things he was able to do and building up the skills that would give him as much independence as he could handle. It was a radical way of thinking back then. Life expectancy for children with DS used to be thirty years. That’s changed rapidly, along with their understanding of people who have the extra chromosome.

I admired my Mom and Dad for sticking to their guns and ignoring the drivel the doctors had told them when Miles was born. It always helped me forge my own path in life. Because there are plenty of people who’ll let you know what you can and can’t do. Moving away from the room, I proceed down the hallway into the main area where people socialize. Today is Invite a Friend Day. As the owner, I’m not as hands-on as I’d like to be. It takes a lot of money to keep our building running, which means grants, writing, and presentation to more prominent companies looking to do community service and work to make them look good.

I learned a long time ago to ignore the reasons why people do things and focus on the rewards. It’s the only way to keep my soul intact when I do proposals.

“Ezra.”

I turn to focus on one of our newest students. Susie came to us a month prior. Her lack of socialization broke my heart. She’s made friends and learned at an exponential rate. I call her my sponge.

“Hey, Susie.” I open my arms for a hug.

“I brought my brother! I wanted him to meet you.”

“I can’t wait to meet him.” I glance up, and my heart skips a beat at the face that greets me. It’s been over twenty years, but I’ll never forget those eyes or that expressive face. Soulful, deep-set, navy-blue eyes are set in a square face with a broad forehead and adorably over-sized ears. Ashland, Ohio is a decently sized city, but the village of Loudonville, where I grew up, is far smaller.

“Solomon?” I whisper, shocked. The odds of us coming back together now in Ashland are mind-boggling.

“Ezra?” His dark blue eyes widen. “When my sister said that was her best friend’s name, I didn’t even consider it might be you.”

I grin. “This Susie is your sister?”

We met in high school at a support group for siblings of children with Down syndrome. It was a unique and, at times, challenging position to be in. Having a sibling who required extra help often put us more capable children on the back burner. We were expected to take on more responsibility and grow up faster. Knowing I had a person I went to school with who I could talk to had been a lifeline when I felt ignored and alone. I owe my school counselor for seeing what was happening and being proactive. We’d been like peanut butter and jelly from that first meeting. I’d harbored a massive crush on him, but I hadn’t dared risk losing my anchor over the feelings.

“Yes. That’s my Susie.” He opens his arms, and I go to them like a bird focused on a homing beacon. The earthy scents with hints of pine are familiar and welcoming. Tightening his grip, he makes my heart race. Forty looks damn good on him. “How’s Miles?”

I peer up from the circle of his muscular arms. “Great. He teaches a class here.”

“That’s fantastic, Ez.”

“Seems only right, considering he was the inspiration and seed planted that grew into Expanding Hope.”

“I’m not surprised that you’ve created such an inclusive and warm space. You were always full of idealism and determination. I knew you’d change the world somehow.”

“Sol! That’s my best friend.” Susie’s cry is a bucket of ice water.

Clearing my throat, I step away from the hold that stopped being a hug sixty seconds ago.

“I’m sorry. I know Ez from high school.”

Susie’s eyes round. “You do?”

“Yes. We were great friends.” I grab Susie’s hand. “He talked about you a lot.”

Susie giggles. “He did?”

“Oh yeah. I heard all about his awesome little sister.”

She smiles.

“Is it okay if we share Ezra? She’s pretty cool, you know?” Sol bends down to put himself on her eye level, and my heart melts a little.

“I think we can.”

“Thank you.” Sol kisses Susie’s cheek and winks at me. “I’m so happy to see my friend again.”

His words make my stomach flip. I’m happy to see my old friend, too. I lick my suddenly dry lips and try not to stare at his fit frame. Sol has bulked out in the best way possible. The meat on his bones has me ready to explore him like a tree. I’m not tiny at five-foot-eleven, so he’s got to be pushing six-foot-four. My lack of professional thinking should be appalling, but damn, the man is a thirst trap.

I focus on Susie. “Do you want to show your brother what you’ve learned about the store?”

Susie beams. “I do.” She grabs Sol’s hand and pulls him toward the area we have set up to resemble a store.

“I’ll be the cashier today.”

I grab an apron off the hook on the wall and move behind the cash register filled with realistic paper money and coins. A lot of our students enjoy routines and familiar activities. Taking the scariness out of everyday interactions gives them confidence.

“Good afternoon,” I fall into my role as Susie comes up with a basket full of groceries. Each item is clearly marked with prices. I ring them up, scanning them to add authenticity. I can see the awe in Sol’s face. He had no idea she was ready for this step. I’ve watched her development and come up with a few thoughts on her past caregiver. Her mother was from the school of ‘she can’t do that, and I need to protect her’. She’s blossoming now with her brother at the helm and a progressive care action plan. We work closely with doctors and psychologists to make sure we’re challenging our students without pushing them to do things they aren’t ready for yet.

After bagging her items, I take her money and give her the proper change. “Have a nice day,” I say with a smile.

“You too.” She steps away, and I clap.

“That was amazing, Suz! When did you learn to do that?” Sol asks.

“We’ve been working on it,” Susie tells him excitedly.

Sol looks at me and shakes his head. “Wow.”

“Susie did all the hard work. We just gave her a little guidance.”

A bell chimes, and the doors open as classes shift. Miles steps out and waves at Susie.

“Can I go talk to Miles?” she asks.

Sol shrugs. “I don’t see why not.”

“I can update your brother on how awesome you’ve been doing.”

“Thanks, Ezra.” She all but skips off, and I smile. Her connection with my brother was almost instantaneous. They’re nearly inseparable when he’s not teaching.

I turn to face Sol. “I actually wanted to talk to you alone.”

Sol tenses. “Is something wrong?”

I reach out and grab his forearm, and his muscle flexes. I swallow back a moan.

“Not at all. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Susie is doing so well with her classes. I want to offer you a spot in a new program we are getting ready to launch. We’ll step outside of the classroom and help them further develop their social skills with people they don’t know.”

“I’m not sure if she’s ready for that.”

“I know this is a lot. You’re both in a transitional stage, but I truly believe she’s ready and eager to do more for herself. I think fostering that emotion will serve her well in the future.”

“I don’t know.” He frowns.

“You’re welcome to join us for our first trip to see it firsthand.”

He looks over to where Susie and Miles are talking animatedly. Hands are waving, and voices are raised. Their joy is almost tangible.

“When she first moved into the house with me, she fell into a deep depression. You guys have helped me pull her out of that funk. I don’t want to stand in the way of more breakthroughs for her.”

“We’ll take good care of her, Sol. I know how hard it is to let them go.” I grab his large hand.

He curls his fingers around mine. “I know.”

I hear Whoopie Goldberg’s character from Ghost whisper in my brain, You’re in danger, girl.

~~~

~~~

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Shyla Colt is a chaos wrangler, chronic crafter, and imaginary friend collector. The mom of two and a wife road trips with her weird brood when she’s not taking on a new hobby or bingeing on spooky podcasts and documentaries. She writes strong women with sass, plenty of nerdy tendencies, and the intriguing intense males who love them.

You can interact with Shyla Colt online via her website

www.shylacolt.net

Contact Links

Facebook

Twitter: @shylacolt

Instagram

Goodreads

~~~

Purchase Link

Kindle Unlimited

Amazon

~~~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~

RABT Book Tours & PR

~~~