Friday, November 24, 2017

Black Friday Steals, Deals and Freebies


Black Friday Sales

The Christmas Experience
Meredith Manor Hotel
Book One
Katherine Moore

Christmas comes but once a year but this year, Meredith Manor Hotel in scenic Silver Birch, Washington, is celebrating the holiday almost a dozen different ways. Guests can choose their "experience" from a selection of themed celebrations filled with food and drink and love and laughter. (Yes, there are recipes.)

***

When unemployed accountant Miranda Weston takes a temp job at the hotel her best friend's family owns, she never dreams that her friend's globe-trotting brother will show up to celebrate the holiday and complicate her life. Peter Meredith broke Miranda's heart years ago and it's still a little tender at the broken places. She's not the lovestruck teenager she once was and he's changed too, and as guests come and go and the staff works hard to deliver Christmas magic, the season works a little magic on them as well.

But Miranda's complicated relationship with the man who may just be the love of her life is only one of the storylines playing out among the hotel staff and the guests gathered for the various "Christmas Experiences" offered at the Meredith Manor Hotel.

This is a short, cozy Christmas romance novel for fans of movies like Love, Actually and Valentine's Day and the books of Katie Flynn, Trisha Ashley, and Cathy Kelly.

The Christmas Experience celebrates love and family, and all the season means.

The Christmas Experience is the first in a series of seasonal stories featuring a large, diverse, totally engaging cast of lovable characters who will have readers wishing Meredith Manor Hotel was an actual destination.

Get The Christmas Experience for .99 at Amazon

Vengeance of a Viking
The MacLomain Series
Viking Ancestors' Kin
Book 2
Sky Purington

Recently divorced, Samantha is all about new beginnings. Her own company. A beautiful seaside house in Winter Harbor, Maine. A chance to reconnect with her sisters. But fate has something else in store. Tenth-century Scandinavia and a reality she never could have anticipated. After being whisked back in time not once but twice, she ends up in a situation she didn’t see coming. Kidnapped by a Viking.

Of dragon blood, Bjorn Sigdir knew the moment he met Samantha that she was nothing but trouble. How else could it be? She bears the mark of Gungnir, the sword given to Odin by Loki. A blade he is convinced will ruin his people and all affiliated with them. Determined to protect his kin, he concocts a plan that will keep Samantha and her unfortunate tattoo far away from trouble. Or so he thinks when he yanks her back in time.

One a captor, one a prisoner, Bjorn and Samantha embark on a journey full of unending strife. Feisty and independent, she has her own mind. Headstrong and stubborn, he does too. However, they soon have bigger problems than their mutual dislike of each other. Secrets. Ones that force them closer and forge something unexpected. Respect. Attraction. Desire. Yet they face a huge obstacle. If they give into love, all could be lost, including everyone they care about.

Follow the turbulent, heart-wrenching journey of Bjorn and Samantha in Vengeance of a Viking.


On Sale for .99 at Amazon

Soul of a Viking
The MacLomain Series
Viking Ancestors' Kin
Book 3
Sky Purington

Lauren refuses to believe that her sisters traveled back in time to tenth-century Scandinavia. Cybil must be off doing one thing or another. And what of Samantha? She returned then vanished again with a bunch of uncivilized ruffians who called themselves Vikings. While thankful the crude men finally left, she’s now caught in an unusual situation. No matter how hard she tries, she cannot step foot outside her Winter Harbor chalet.

Desperate to return to the twenty-first century and figure out why he and Lauren were cursed by a Nidstang, Tait Sigdir struggles with what feels like half a soul. But that’s not all. When he finally returns to the future, he realizes how troubling things really are. Though drawn to Shannon, he can’t seem to stay away from her sister, Lauren. Hard to believe considering how difficult she is to be around. Even for a flirt like him. Yet if he’s not near her, he becomes uncharacteristically sullen.

Caught in an unraveling hex that steers them closer to the enemy, Tait and Lauren are forced on an adventure that tests them in more ways than one. Friendship emerges. Passion ignites. Even so, love does not come so easily to those who are cursed. As it turns out, they must get through a whirlwind of unfortunate events that will either bring them together or drive them further apart.

On Sale for .99 at Amazon



Black Friday Freebies 

SIMULATION
SIM WORLD
Book 1
M Black

ENTER A WORLD OF SIMS

Post Apocalyptic/Simulation-Fiction/Climate-Fiction, and part of M.Black's Enter Tomorrow brand.

Along the lines of City of Ember meets CW’s The 100, this story will capture your heart and still won’t let go...even at the end. Written in part while listening to Outside by Ellie Goulding, this story contrasts technology to nature, rich to poor, privilege to hardship, lies to truth, and illusion to reality.

Set in 2175 in Colorado, USA, where Citigogs are the new form of cities and citizens are kept under a careful population control, we meet Ilia the Princess of our main Citigog named Iliad, and Jez a Giver. As Ilia spends more time with Jez, she finds herself drawn to the Outside and ventures out of her Citigog only to learn that everything is not what it seems.

Fans of CW's The 100, City of Ember, Breathe, The Water Knife, Oryx and Crake, and the Windup Girl will revel in this YA SIM Cli-fic Dystopian story about a strong, but disillusioned heroine who must become brave as she uncovers the truth about her world.

" I LOVED THE CHARACTERS, WHO WERE EASY TO LIKE OR HATE, WHICHEVER THE CASE MAY BE." -Amazon Reader

"THE WRITING WAS REALLY GOOD AND THERE WERE A LOT OF TWISTS TO THE STORY THAT I REALLY WASN’T EXPECTING, THE BIG ONE BEING THE SIMULATION ITSELF." -Amazon Reader

"WHAT AN AMAZING ACTION PACKED THRILLER OF A BOOK SET IN A WORLD THAT YOU CAN EASILY IMAGINE AS OUR FUTURE." -Amazon Reader


Animal Graph
Graph World
Book 1
M Black

FANTASY DYSTOPIAN SciFi

ENTER A WORLD OF ANIMAL GRAPHS in this FANTASY DYSTOPIAN SciFi

YA AMAZON ECO-POST-APOCALYPTIC FICTION (young adult, set in Amazon forest, ecological/environmental based, set 42 years after nuclear war)

A never-before-seen-concept in a kind of HUNGER GAMES MEETS X-MEN!

6 books with 6 different covers, each cover an image of a character from the story and their flushed animal Graph.

The novel came to the author in a dream. When prisoners are experimented on by the ruler of the Americas, after a nuclear war, their cells are grafted with cells and neural tissue from animals of the Amazon. Release to be hunted in the Amazon, to train soldier, Jin finds another Graph like herself named Adan and the two have to survive the Amazon if they are going to live.

Immerse yourself in the gorgeous and dangerous Amazon, find new creatures, learn about new exotic countries, travel the highlands , savannas, and plateaus in this breath-taking, page-turning book, ANIMAL GRAPH.

"AN ACTIVE AND EXCITING STORY THAT WOULD BE ENJOYED BY YOUNG ADULTS AND MATURE READERS. M. BLACK PACKS IN A LOT OF INTERESTING CONCEPTS. FANS OF DYSTOPIAN FICTION LIKE THE HUNGER GAMES WILL ENJOY THIS VERY CREATIVE STORY." -Netgalley

"WOW! WHAT A CONCEPT! I CAN SAY THAT THIS IS THE FIRST BOOK OF THIS KIND THAT I HAVE READ." -Amazon Reader

"THIS WAS AN AWESOME STORY. IN THE APOCALYPTIC FUTURE THEY ARE EXPERIMENTING ON PRISONERS." -Amazon Reader



Thursday, November 23, 2017

Nemesis by Suzanne Madron



Nemesis
Immortal War Series
Book 1
Suzanne Madron

Genre: Horror

Book Description:

When an amnesiac deity is accidentally resurrected by an ancient evil, his only hope of remembering who and what he once was is a vampire named Lamia. When she runs to him for protection, an inescapable fate is unleashed upon them both as they fight to survive.

NEMESIS is the first installment in the Immortal War Series.







About the Author:

Suzanne Madron was born in New York City and has lived up and down the east coast. Currently she resides on a house built over a Civil War battlefield in the wilds of Pennsylvania where she has been known to host some interesting Halloween parties. She has authored several novels and stories under various names including Suzi M, James Glass, and Xircon.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Demon Within by Josh Gagnier





The Demon Within
The Last War
Book One
Josh Gagnier

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Date of Publication:  February 2015

ISBN:  9781520103358
ASIN:  B00T69ZCRC

Number of pages:  213
Word Count:    61,401

Paradise or The Abyss, you decide

Book Description:

Joe grew up listening to the voice in his head. It helped him through school, helped him gain wealth in his career.

The final temptation of power was too much. He hadn't considered the cost.

Now he must find a way to defeat The Demon Within.

Little does he know, his every move is being recorded. Every misstep is being judged. As he gets ever closer to winning over his demon, heavenly eyes watch from above. Some root for his success while others hope he'll fail.

While Joe fights his demon on the battlefront, the angel Michael fights for his Soul.

Will Joe win out?

Will Michael be able to save Joe's soul?

Or will the Demon win and thrust Joe into the Abyss.




        Excerpt:

“You must be new to these parts.  Name’s Belath,” says a figure standing over a young man lying against a large trash compactor.  A look toward the sound of the voice reveals what appears to be an older man who, by the looks of him, has had, to put it lightly, a less than spoiled life.  His dark skin is loose with an almost leathery roughness, like a stretched hide left in the sun too long.  Several of his teeth have long escaped the captivity of his smile and those left plot against the warden.  The lines of time can be seen through his mostly grey with spattered black scruff.  His posture is the only thing that doesn’t match his rundown appearance.  He stands straight and proud holding his shoulders square, almost in a protest, refusing to look weak.  He bears the righteous indignation of an innocent man facing the gallows. 
“Just passing through,” replies a shaky voice trying to sound formidable.  A young man, thin, but seemingly fed well enough, slowly stands and dusts himself off.  His posture seems closer to a beaten animal than a grown man.  His boots are scuffed and old, but the heel gives him a few inches in height, which is probably why he wears them.  His knuckles are cracked and healing; more likely from the heat than any type of hard labor.  The dark circles under his eyes and his unkempt appearance hint that he hasn’t slept an entire night in years.  His jacket makes him appear even smaller, as it is a few sizes too big and has small rips that don’t appear to be from wear and tear.  He probably fished it from a dumpster.  His jeans seem to be the least worn of the man.  Though dirty, they're nearly new.  This poor sap doesn’t look like he could fight his way through a paper bag.  The only things that don’t match his overall demeanor are his eyes.  Visibly swimming between pale yellow and bright green, they draw you in and make you trust him. 
“Well, ya may want to make yourself scarce before patrols make their rounds.  They let me stay because I’m the only one within a few hundred miles with a distiller.  I can’t guarantee they won’t haul you off to camp,” Belath warns. “What’s your name son?”
“Don’t want to know you.  I’m not your son and I’m not staying.  Just need a little rest,” replies the young man.  He pulls his hood over his head and turns to walk down the alley toward the main street. 
If he were watching where he was going instead of ignoring the world around him, he would seen the group of four large men, obviously armed, moving quickly toward him.  He would have heard Belath’s warning, and wouldn’t have cost himself such precious time.  Belath reached him just in time to be added as a target.  The young man realized what was happening a moment too late.  A fist hit him square in the side of the head, knocking him to one knee.  Belath runs to his side and helps him to his feet.  The men must have recognized Belath because three of them took a few steps back.  Even the big one, the apparent the leader, took a hesitant step backward.  They must have decided they had the advantage because they began to advance yet again. 
“Gentlemen, do not ring a bell you can’t unring,” says a stern, direct voice.  It came from the young man who, only moments earlier, seemed too weak to speak.  “This is a fight you will not win, regardless of your numbers,” the young man continues.
In response, the leader grabs a bat from one of his men and swings at the young man’s head.  Before anyone can realize what is happening, the young man lunges at the leader.  In one motion, he sidesteps the life ending swing, pulls a long black knife from a sheath under his jacket, and plunges it deep into the leader’s temple with his right hand while grabbing the bat from the ground with his left.  With his next step, he swings the bat at his second target, and finds such purchase the man’s head nearly spins backward.  Next, the young man yanks the blade from the leader’s head and stabs the third man in the side of the neck, almost as a cobra striking its prey.  The young man looks for the last of his adversaries, and sees him running down the alley toward the main streets.  The young man takes a deep breath, lifts the bat, takes aim, and hurls it at his target.  The bat’s aim is precise and the man falls to the ground, screaming in pain.  As the young man calmly walks toward his now-felled enemy, he cleans the blood off of his knife on his pant leg, and puts it away with such dexterity it can’t be known exactly where the sheath is hidden. 
“Today you benefit from being last, sir,” says the young man as he sits on the ground by the last man’s head. “Enough whimpering! You merely broke your ankle on my bat.  I have no desire to take your life,” he says as he pulls out a cigarette and lights it. “You will do something for me.  To that end, I spare you life.” His voice is calm yet direct, “You will tell whomever you work for it was Jekyll who reduced these men to corpses.  You will tell him this and,” he takes a long, slow drag of his cigarette, and continues, “you will tell them this, and you will tell them, they do not wish to meet Hyde.  Do we have a deal?” the last being more statement than question. 
The man, believing he is being played, but not wanting to die, gives an exaggerated nod.  The young man stands and begins walking back to where he had been resting and calls out over his shoulder. 
“Belath, I guess I’ll be staying a while longer,” once again speaking in the same shaky voice he had spoken with earlier. 
                               
Visit the Author:


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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Giveaway - Phoenix Rising Books One and Two by Alexandra Christian


Naked
Phoenix Rising
Book One
Alexandra Christian

Genre: Sci-Fi/ Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group

Date of Publication: April 13, 2017

ISBN: 1545383235 
ISBN: 978-1545383230
ASIN: B071CRSKV2

Number of pages: 210
Word Count: 70,000

Book Description:

OUT OF THE STACKS

Librarian Phoebe Addison has lived her entire life within a seventy-five mile radius of her small Louisiana town, but when she receives a strange medallion from her adventurous, off-world sister, reality tilts toward the bizarre. Everything Phoe thought she knew is…well, wrong. Dead wrong. But bone-numbing fear has no place in this brave new world—nor by the side of the dangerous, exquisite man who saves her life.

…AND INTO THE FIRE

Following the tragic slaughter of his family, operative Macijah “Cage” St. John understands evil in a way no man ever should. He traded happiness for a magnificent and terrible power, and fate isn’t done with him yet. He wasn’t looking for comfort. He didn’t need tenderness. But today he’ll play hero to a damsel in distress, and his quest will deliver him to the uncanny Martian colony of New London—and his heart to the demure Phoebe Addison. The bookish beauty’s hidden talents and deep abiding love just might save Cage from himself.

Boroughs Publishing      Amazon       BN      Kobo      Smashwords      Print


Excerpt  Naked:

“Hey…” she sighed, taking the curve of his jaw in the palm of her hand and raising his eyes to meet hers. “I’m okay. You saved my life. For like… the millionth time.”  He didn’t move, so she didn’t pull away, finally able to observe him. His jaw was set, tense as he stared at her with those dusky, changeable eyes. But Phoe could feel a tremble there. A fear lurking underneath that she would never have expected a man like Cage to possess. “I’m fine.”
“And what in hell were you doing?” he said, snapping his head up to glare at her. “I told you to run away and you did exactly the opposite of what I said! You could have been killed! Or worse, bitten! You just… you don’t understand, Phoe. I’m supposed to protect you, and I didn’t protect you. I can’t lose another…”  His words trailed off. She could tell he wanted to say more but wouldn’t. She held his gaze, but he looked away, as if he were hiding some weakness he couldn’t stand for her to see. There was some trauma lurking there.
“What are you talking about?” she said. “Help me understand.” 
“I can’t,” he said, pulling back and shaking his head as if to clear it. “I won’t.”
“But why…”
He rolled back on his heels and rose quickly, his shoulder brushing against the bedside table and nearly toppling the glass of tea, an uncharacteristically clumsy movement. “Just leave it alone, Phoe. My demons are my own.”  The weakness was gone, and now that hard-edged, barely contained anger returned. She knew if she pressed him that he would lash out. She was starting to understand, to be able to read his moods that had seemed so random and mysterious when they’d first met. There was a scab, healed over but still burning. “Rest up,” he said, turning to walk away. “We’ll leave at sunset. Addie has a car.”
Swallowing her nausea, she threw back the blanket and stumbled out of the bed toward him. “Wait… Cage…”
He stopped but didn’t turn.
“Look, I don’t know what’s happened to you in your past. But we all have demons. Some of us, more than most people. I get it.”  She lay a hand on his shoulder, feeling the tremble of muscles pulled tight. The sensation of gentle touch had evidently become a foreign concept, and his first reaction was to flee. His head turned, staring down at where the cool, pearlescent flesh of her fingertips rested against him. Such a profile, his eyes gazing downward and just the faint glisten of a single tear resting just under his eyelashes. Phoe’s heart broke for him. “You can trust me.”

“I do trust you, Phoe.”  She slid her arm along his shoulder, and he turned, enveloping her body in a gentle embrace. He brushed a hand over her brow, smoothing back the stray locks that fell around her face. Being so close to him, she felt small and skittish. If he loosened his grasp even just a little, she feared she would retreat. He took her hand, bringing it to his lips and then pressing her palm against his cheek. Instantly his body relaxed, as if her touch were some sort of calming drug. Phoebe could actually feel the tension melting from his embrace. His eyes were full of fire and his breathing labored. Phoe couldn’t believe that it was her doing this to him. That all of this was for her. “I don’t trust me,” he went on. She was mesmerized by the curves of his lips as he spoke and without even realizing, she’d moved closer. Only a breath between them, and then their lips touched. He kissed her, lightly at first then more insistent. Phoe was stiff, the sensation so unfamiliar as his sumptuous mouth caressed her lower lip, worrying it gently, teaching her what to do. She melted into his embrace, and he teased the crease of her mouth with the tip of his tongue, coaxing it open before taking possession. Cage stole her breath and then offered his own. His arms tightened around her waist as he pulled her in against him, letting his hands rest on her hips as their kiss went on and on. When he let her go, Phoe stumbled, holding her dizzy head. A fluttery feeling rose in the pit of her belly, and all she wanted to do was kiss him again.

Neo-Geisha
Phoenix Rising
Book Two
Alexandra Christian

Genre: Sci-Fi/ Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group

Date of Publication: October 26, 2017

ISBN:
ASIN: B076DDG8MX

Number of pages: 167 pages
Word Count: 65,500

Reluctant to become a spy again, Macijah "Cage" St. John's instincts prove correct when all hell breaks loose for him and his lady love, Phoebe Addison, who is also his new partner.

Book Description:

BACK...

Macijah "Cage" St. John' didn't want the spy life anymore. He would have been thrilled to spend every morning lying in the field behind Phoe's home in smalltown Louisiana watching the clouds roll by. But his Miss Addison wanted to spread her wings, literally. So Cage accepted a mission that teamed him up with his lady love. If only he had trusted her.

TO THE FUTURE

Everything about being a spy was a million times more exciting, and scarier, than the books she'd read in her former life as a librarian. When her first mission with Cage turned into a colossal clusterf*ck because he withheld information and kept secrets, Phoebe's world narrowed into a long tunnel of betrayal. Captured by space pirates and delivered to a horrible fate, she wished the last words between them had been of love, because she was certain she would never see Cage St. John again.

Amazon      Boroughs Publishing


Excerpt Neo-Geisha:
Phoebe stood there letting the steaming water pour down over her body, wishing it would wash away the doubt. She didn’t hear the swish of the door opening so when Cage stepped into the shower behind her she screamed, coming at him with the tiny penknife she kept on hand at all times.
“Whoa,” he chuckled, grabbing her wrist. “Calm down. It’s me.” She held firm to the hilt of the knife for a few seconds before letting him slip it from her grasp. “You’re all right.”
“Am I?”
He nodded. “You’re always safe with me, love.”
“Is that a promise?” She met his gaze, searching for sincerity in it.
“Always.” He leaned in and pressed his lips to her forehead. “You really must stop taking weapons into the shower. That’s a nasty accident waiting to happen.”
All the pent-up emotion and stress from the last several weeks bubbled to the surface and she crumpled against him, her tears mixing with the falling water in a mixture of relief and fear, exhilaration and uncertainty. “There now, baby. You’re all right.” He wrapped his arms around her, brushing the matted tendrils away from her ear and kissing her lightly at the small hollow beneath. It made her feel small and protected. She craved the strength she felt in the hard muscles cording through his arms and chest.
“Is it like this every time?” she sniffled.
He chuckled. “You get used to it.”
“I didn’t think you were supposed to be afraid.”
“Where on earth would you get that idea?” he said. “Fear keeps us on our toes.”
“It didn’t do so well for me,” she replied, rubbing at her burning eyes. “I fucked up everything.”
“No you didn’t. It isn’t anyone’s fault. It just happened.”
“If you hadn’t been there…” she sniffled. “I’d… I…”
He took her chin between his fingertips and forced her head up. “You would have figured a way out. You’re smart and managed to keep your cool. As soon as the antidote took hold, you were able to shift. That confusion you created saved both our skins. So no more of this doubt, all right? You need to not worry so much,” he purred, nudging her back under the spray. The steam was a comfort, wrapping her in a blanket of humid warmth and she began to relax. “You’re so tense.” He turned her around brushing his fingertips along her spine.
“You know I’m a worrier,” she muttered.
“It’s a useless endeavor, I’m afraid.” His fingers came to rest at the swell of her ass and began tracing circles at the base of her spine. The callouses at the tips tickled at her skin and she shivered. He pulled her against him, so close that she could feel his lips fluttering against the cuff of her ear. “You have to let that go. Let me help you forget all about the wolves in the dark.”
She leaned back, luxuriating in the sensation of his hands slip-sliding over her body. Her skin was slick with the water and the remnants of expensive bath oil. “I think you’re trying to seduce me, Mr. St. John.”
“Of course I am,” he replied, pushing her hair away from her neck so that he could feather gentle kisses under her hairline. “Do you mind?”
“I’ll tell you when I mind,” she mumbled with a groan as he pinched her fleshy earlobe between his teeth. She reached back, tangling her fingers in the soft curls at the base of his skull. They were short, but long enough to wrap around a fingertip and tug lightly. She could feel his body so close behind her, hard against her softness. The contrast was so erotic that she was breathless even before his hands slid over her breasts.
“It isn’t fair,” she sighed as the blunt edge of his thumbnail slid over her nipple. “To let me get all clean only to make me dirty again.”

“I’ll gladly scrub anything you have, Miss Addison.”

About the Author:

Alexandra Christian is an author of mostly romance with a speculative slant. Her love of Stephen King and sweet tea has flavored her fiction with a Southern Gothic sensibility that reeks of Spanish moss and deep fried eccentricity. Lexx likes to keep her fingers in lots of different pies having written everything from sci-fi and horror to Sherlock Holmes adventures. 

A self-proclaimed “Southern Belle from Hell,” Lexx is a native South Carolinian who lives with an epileptic wiener dog and her husband, author Tally Johnson. Her long-term aspirations are to one day be a best-selling authoress and part-time pinup girl. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America.









Amazon Author Central:

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Excerpt and Giveaway - The One Apart by Justine Avery




The One Apart
Justine Avery

Genre: Paranormal

Publisher: Justine Avery

Date of Publication:  December 4, 2017

ASIN: B076B7RDWY

Number of pages: 568
Word Count:  109k

Cover Artist: Oishii Designs

Only one obstacle stands in his way of enjoying a normal life. He remembers—every life he's lived before.

Book Description:

Tres is about to be born... with the biggest burden any has ever had to bear. He is beginning again—as an ageless adult trapped in an infant body.

He and his teenage mother face life filled with extraordinary challenges as they strive to protect, nurture, and hide how truly different he is. But Tres alone must solve the greatest mystery of all: who is he? The answer is linked to the one question he's too afraid to ask: why am I?

In his quest, Tres discovers that all is considerably more interconnected and dynamic than he could ever imagine—and fraught with far more danger. He cannot hide from the unseen threat stalking him since his birth.

Life as he knows it—as all know it—is in peril. And Tres is the only one aware.


The One Apart by Justine Avery – Excerpt 3

“He needs a name,” Maria said, pouring scrambled eggs onto the plate decorated with a face of bacon strips.
Sancha stared at her plate. “He has one,” she said.
The hot iron skillet slipped from Maria’s hand; she sighed her relief as it landing safely on the stove burner. “What... did you decide?”
“I didn’t.” Sancha prodded at her eggs, recovering her bacon art one eye at a time.
“I thought you—”
“He has one already. I just don’t know what it is.”
Maria’s subconscious almost recognized the truth in the statement before it was buried by her conscious again. “Don’t be silly. Did you choose a name? If not, I will have—”
“No, you will not,” Sancha ended the conversation.

* * *

In the fenced back yard Maria referred to as “the garden,” sat a rusting swing set for two: Sancha’s favorite spot in the whole world. Swinging there—in and out of the shade of the broad-reaching maple tree—seemed to slow time and shoo away all teenage troubles.
“I have to name you,” she called out to her bright-eyed baby resting in a basket nestled in the grass below her. She swung her pale legs to propel herself higher into the morning sunlight, her glittering hair swirling around her. “But you won’t tell me what yours is,” she pouted.
Her polka-dotted summer dress fluttered in the breeze as her legs scooped up another pocket of air. “I guess you can’t,” she concluded on a downswing. “Yet,” she shouted into the air.
  


About the Author:

Justine Avery is an award-winning author of stories large and small for all. Born in the American Midwest and raised all over the world, she is inherently an explorer, duly fascinated by everything around her and excitedly noting the stories that abound all around. As an avid reader of all genres, she weaves her own stories among them all. She has a predilection for writing speculative fiction and story twists and surprises she can’t even predict herself.

Avery has either lived in or explored all 50 states of the union, over 36 countries, and all but one continent; she lost count after moving 30-some times before the age of 20. She’s intentionally jumped out of airplanes and off the highest bungee jump in New Zealand, scuba dived unintentionally with sharks, designed websites, intranets, and technical manuals, bartered with indigenous Panamanians, welded automobile frames, observed at the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo in Noba, Japan, and masterminded prosperous internet businesses—to name a few adventures. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree that life has never required, and at age 28, she sold everything she owned and quit corporate life—and her final “job”—to freelance and travel the world as she always dreamed of. And she’s never looked back.

Aside from her native English, Avery speaks a bit of Japanese and a bit more Spanish, her accent is an ever-evolving mixture of Midwestern American with notes of the Deep South and indiscriminate British vocabulary and rhythm, and she says “eh”—like the Kiwis, not the Canadians. She currently lives near Los Angeles with her husband, British film director Devon Avery, and their three adopted children: Becks, Sam, and Lia. She writes from wherever her curiosity takes her.

Avery loves to connect with fellow readers and creatives, explorers and imaginers, and cordially invites you to say “hello”—or konnichiwa.


Twitter: @Justine_Avery