Category Archives: Guest Authors
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About the Book
Title: Cloak & Dagger
Author: Michel Lee King
A demonic howl rips through the air. Panicked voices call out. Women race through the fields to the sanctuary of their walled village. The wolf howls again. Men barricade the entrance, daughters are wrapped in the protective arms of their mothers. Sons race to assist their fathers.
It is a scene I’ve seen many times. Heard many times. Caused many times. Their fear does nothing for me. I’m not here for them. I am here for the one they harbor, the one they protect. The harpy in maiden’s clothing. I am here for the one who changed me.
She stole my life, my husband, my future, my sanity. Now with the wolf inside I will find her. I will shred her. That harpy will never fly again.
My name is Ashleigh. I am the big bad wolf. And I am here for Rosamund.
I drink copious amounts of coffee while writing light and dark fiction. It is an obsession of mine (both coffee and writing). I love to create different world people can delve into. Whether set in our world or a fantasy, I love to push my characters through experiences that most of us can relate to. We’ve all been embarrassed by our own actions. We’ve all had those moments you wish you could take back. We’ve all had the “naked on the first day of school” dream. Our idiosyncrasies are what make us human. And, I love to force those traits on my characters to see how they cope with them.
I live in western Washington state in the shadow of Mount Rainier with my husband, son, dog, and the cat that adopted us and refuses to leave. When not writing, I can be found in a library, in the woods, or reading next to the fire.
I am a raging introvert, but I can be found on social media through:
Facebook – King.Michel.Lee
Twitter – @Michel_Lee_King
My website- http://www.MichelLeeKing.com
About the Book
Title: Murder at Midnight
Author: John Ukah
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Alex Simpson, an ex-police officer, decides after a bout of typhoid fever to take a break in a serene and therapeutic environment. The last thing he expects is to be called upon to solve a murder at the Kinging Guest Lodge. But that is what happens, when the delectable and vivacious Maria Marshall is found dead in her bedroom at midnight.
The gallery of characters living at the guesthouse and thrown into the mix, do not make his task of solving this chilling and brutal murder any easier …
John Ukah is a seasoned banker and Associate of the Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ACMR). He is a graduate of Business Administration from the University of Benin, where he was listed as University Scholar. He also holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA).
THE HEATSTROKE LINE
Author: Edward L. Rubin
Publisher: Sunbury Press
Genre: Scifi/Cli-Fi (Climate Change Science Fiction)
source of the invasion. The bizarre and brutal people he encounters, and the disasters that they trigger, reveal the real horror climate change has inflicted on America.
Amazon | Sunbury Press | Walmart | B&N
They were in some sort of garage, with several other vehicles and various pieces of equipment scattered around. The two men who stood beside them, watching, were the ones who had taken him out of the auto-car, one white, one black, both very big. Three people approached from a doorway to Dan’s right. In front was an attractive woman with blond hair, wearing an elegant leopard print dress and the long, pointed shoes that were the latest fashion. Behind her stood a man and a woman, both much bigger, and dressed in work clothes like the two men who were guarding them.
The woman in the leopard dress looked at her wristlink, then at Dan and Stuart, and smiled at them in self-satisfied manner. She motioned to the woman beside her and then to one of the two guards, and they led Stuart, still complaining about his arm, through the doorway they had come from. Then she turned toward Dan and motioned to the man beside her and the other guard, who grabbed Dan’s arms and started to lead him toward the same doorway.
“Who the hell are you?” he said, trying to turn toward the woman. “Are you aware that we’re part of a diplomatic mission from Mountain America to Jacksonia authorized by President Peter Simonson? I don’t know what you’re trying to do, but if you – – – “
One of the men let go of Dan’s arm, grabbed his cheeks to force his mouth open, and plunged a plastic gag into it. Dan felt himself choke and struggled for breath. The gag had a slightly sour, greasy taste. Then both men grabbed his arms again and led him through the doorway. Dan suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of dread, stronger even than he had felt when the men first pulled him out of the car.
Beyond the doorway was a narrow corridor with dirty green walls covered with beads of water. Clearly, they were underground. The men lead Dan through the first opening along the corridor and into a small, dimly-lit room with three chairs facing a transparent plastic window. Through the window was another room, painted grey and brightly lit. Dan was forced into the chair at the back of the room, his handcuffs were removed and his arms were strapped to the armrests, and then, to his increasing dread, some sort of metal device was placed over his head and tightened so that he was forced to look straight ahead into the room beyond the window. He felt saliva dripping down his chin. The woman in the leopard dress came in, sat down in the chair placed to his left and closer to the window, looked at him up and down, then crossed her legs and turned to the window.
A moment later, Stuart was led into the brightly lit grey room by his two guards. All his clothes except his undershorts had been stripped off. He had always been slender, but now he looked emaciated and pathetic. He was obviously in pain. Dan felt tears coming to his eyes despite his own discomfort. The woman turned to him, smiled, and then turned back to the window. By now, one of Stuart’s handcuffs had been removed and re-attached to a metal loop that was built into the wall. The two guards left and Stuart was alone in the room, one arm fastened to the wall, the other hanging limply at his side.
With a sense of horror, but not, for some reason, of surprise, Dan saw a dark shape fly through the air and attach itself to Stuart’s thigh. It was a biter bug, shiny black and nearly three inches long. Stuart jumped and writhed, turning one way and the other, but Dan didn’t need to see clearly to know what was happening. The bug’s six legs had plunged immediately into Stuart’s skin; now its two sharp mandibles, each half an inch in length, were folded under its body, tearing his flesh. Blood welled up from under the bug, and as it moved down his leg, it left a trail of raw, bleeding flesh behind. Stuart clawed weakly at the bug with his other arm, which was obviously disabled. That didn’t matter because Dan knew that tearing a biter bug off your body was virtually impossible. As soon as you started, its legs dug deeper, and you would wind up tearing out a chunk of your own flesh, which was just as painful, and somehow more awful, than letting the bug continue for the half minute or so until it was satisfied and flew away.
Dan wanted to yell. He heard the words “Why are you doing this” form in his throat, but he couldn’t speak. He tried to lift the chair to get out of the room, to smash the window, to kill the woman sitting calmly next to him, but the chair was bolted to the floor. He couldn’t move — he couldn’t even look away. The first bug was gone, leaving an oozing wound behind, but two more bugs had been released and attached themselves to Stuart’s body, one to his chest and one to his arm. Helpless and in agony, he was trying to pull away from the wall and he was screaming. No sound came through the window and the silence, compounded by Dan’s own inability to speak, made the scene somehow more horrible.
Dan closed his eyes. If there was nothing else that he could do, he could at least deny this woman the satisfaction of making him watch his friend be tortured. Beneath his sorrow, fury and horror, he sensed another feeling, some indefinable nausea that lay deep inside him. After a few minutes, he felt compelled to look again. Stuart had collapsed and was lying against the wall. There were four or five bugs on his body now, and one was on his cheek, moving toward his eye. He was still writhing, but had also begun to shake compulsively. Blood was oozing from bug tracks on his arms, legs and stomach, covering his body and dripping onto the floor. He was going into shock; they were killing him. Dan had never felt so angry or so powerless. It was hard to believe that this was real, that Stuart was really dying, that in a few more minutes he would cease to exist. The bugs flew away, one leaving a pool of blood in his eye socket, and then three more, five more, came flying in. Dan closed his eyes again. They were wet with tears; he felt himself sobbing and gasping for breath through the greasy gag.
Suddenly, there were people around him, three or four. They released his head, unstrapped his arms, stood him up, handcuffed his arms behind him again, turned him around and dragged him out into the corridor. In the process, he caught a glimpse of Stuart’s prostrate, motionless body through the window, covered in blood, with bugs still crawling over it. Once in the corridor, he was dragged a short distance, through an opening, and into an even narrower corridor. One of his captors opened a door and he was pushed into a brightly lit grey room. The steady sense of dread that Dan was feeling congealed into panic. They were going to set the bugs on him the way they did to Stuart. They were going to kill him. He was going to die.
His gag was removed, his handcuffs were opened, and then one arm, still cuffed, was attached to a metal loop in the wall, just the way that they had done to Stuart. Then all the guards left the room and closed the door behind him. He was alone. In front of him was a large plastic window, dark and blank. The woman was sitting behind it, he was certain, and she was going to watch as the biter bugs killed him.
How could this be happening? He felt a roaring in his head, he couldn’t think. There was something he had to figure out, something he had to make sense out of, but he didn’t know what it was. Would he really die, would he really stop existing? What about his children and Garenika? “If I die now, I’ll never see them again” he realized. “No, there will be no ‘I’ not to see them. The world will come to an end. It can’t be, it can’t be.”
He heard the unmistakable, high pitched buzz of a biter bug flying toward him through the air. Instinctively, he knew what to do—he had been trained in Mark Granowski’s department before he went to central Texas for a research project. The bugs flew in straight lines when they were attacking. He waited until it almost reached him, then slapped it with his free hand. It fell to the ground with a sickeningly solid thud, but right side up. Black and huge, it crawled a few inches, its long mandibles opening and closing. Even though he had his shoes on – he realized that they hadn’t taken off his clothes – he knew there was no point trying to crush the bug; its carapace was much too hard. After a few moments, the bug’s wings started vibrating, it rose up in the air, and flew toward him once more. Again, he slapped it and it fell down right side up. The hideous thing crawled a few inches and rose up again. Once again he slapped it and it thudded to the ground, right side up again. Its wings vibrated, it rose up and flew toward him, he slapped it hard and it fell down again, this time on its back. Immediately, he stamped his foot on it and felt the satisfying crunch as its body cracked beneath his shoe.
But what was the point, he asked himself a moment later. They could release another bug, five more, fifty more. The pain would become worse and worse and he would die, just like Stuart. No, not just die — the world would end, there would be nothing. The roaring in his head returned, the sense of dread and disbelief. It couldn’t be. He heard himself bellowing “No, No, No, No.” There was a high pitched buzz behind him, and as he spun around, the biter bug slammed into his upper arm. He felt its feet dig in, and then the burning, searing pain as its huge mandibles, now tucked under its carapace, began to tear his flesh. He could only stare at it in horror. Blood rose up under it and turned his light blue shirt sleeve sickly purple. The bug moved slowly down his arm, leaving a track of bloody, torn up flesh, visible inside the inch-wide tear in his shirtsleeve. The pain was unbearable. He couldn’t believe that the twenty five or thirty seconds that they bug was on him seemed so long, and he felt a moment of relief when it finally flew away, dripping blood behind it.
He had to organize his thoughts, there was something that he had to do, but what was it? How could he stop existing? Would he live somehow, because of his research? Would he live in the memories of Josh, Senly, Michael and Garenika? But he wouldn’t be here, there would be no world for him. An image, a memory, suddenly came into his mind. He was walking across the University of Utah campus with Garenika. They had just met, he had said something to her and she laughed, in a soft, silvery tone, and he wondered if they would end up having children together. Now he saw his home in Arches Park City. His father was reading to him, his mother came into the room with the poster of the Milky Way, the one he had wanted and that hung in his room when he was growing up.
After a few minutes, he realized that no more bugs had come. A sudden surge of hope passed through him. He was afraid to even form the thought, afraid that it would somehow preclude the actuality. But the door opened, one of the guards came into the room with a suppressed smile on his face, removed the handcuff from his wrist, removed the other part from the loop on the wall and walked out with it. The lights in the room suddenly dimmed. Dan sank down onto the floor. He took the bottom of his shirt and pressed it against the wound on his arm, as much to relieve the burning pain as to staunch the flow of blood. He became aware that he was sobbing, but whether it was with relief or anguish was impossible for him to say.
Several hours later, the door opened, and before Dan could react, a tray with clothing, a plate of food and an inflatable mattress was pushed into the room. The door closed again. The clothing was an ordinary, open collar white shirt, a pair of dark brown trousers and dark green undershorts. Dan became aware that the front of his own pants was wet and realized he had pissed himself when the bug attacked him. Next to the clothes was a large blue, disinfectant bandage. Slowly and deliberately, Dan stripped off his clothes, wrapped the bandage around his arm, which immediately felt a bit better, and put on the clothes he’d been given. Looking around, he saw an open hole in the opposite corner of the room, walked over and peed down the hole.
He went back to the tray, took a bite of one roll. All at once, he felt nauseated, ran to the hole and vomited. He couldn’t stop; he vomited repeatedly and convulsively, long after there was anything left in his stomach. The roaring in his head returned, he felt intensely chilled and his body began shaking uncontrollably. After what seemed like a long time, the shakes and chills subsided, but they were followed by a slowly intensifying fear. Suppose they turned off the lights and began to fill the room with water. He could feel himself being forced to the top of the room, feel his head pressed against the ceiling when only a few inches of air remained, feel the water filling his nose and mouth as he gasped helplessly for breath. Suppose the walls of the room began to close from both directions, pressing against his body until he was trapped tiny, pitch black space. Suppose they raised the temperature until searing air burned his lungs with every breath as he began to suffocate.
Dan tried to calm himself. He wondered if he should use Jiangtan –why hadn’t he thought of it when he was watching Stuart die — but somehow didn’t think that it would help. Had the bread been poisoned? That wouldn’t make any sense. Clearly, they meant to keep him alive. Were they holding him for ransom or as a hostage for some political purpose? In any case, once the Mountain American government found out about it, they would arrange for his return, he reassured himself. He decided he should try to sleep; he was obviously exhausted. He inflated the mattress, lay down, and closed his eyes. The biter bug wound on his arm was still throbbing and his head ached. He tried to think his college days, of his evenings with friends, of nineteenth century novels, of Garenika, but it all seemed thin and pointless. Finally, his thoughts returned to his early fascination with astronomy, and he pictured himself touring the moons and planets of the solar system and then venturing out among the undiscovered worlds that orbited the distant stars.
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Edward Rubin is University Professor of Law and Political Science at Vanderbilt University. He specializes in administrative law, constitutional law and legal theory. He is the author of Soul, Self and Society: The New Morality and the Modern State (Oxford, 2015); Beyond Camelot: Rethinking Politics and Law for the Modern State (Princeton, 2005) and two books with Malcolm Feeley, Federalism: Political Identity and Tragic Compromise (Michigan, 2011) and Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America’s Prisons (Cambridge, 1998). In addition, he is the author of two casebooks, The Regulatory State (with Lisa Bressman and Kevin Stack) (2nd ed., 2013); The Payments System (with Robert Cooter) (West, 1990), three edited volumes (one forthcoming) and The Heatstroke Line (Sunbury, 2015) a science fiction novel about the fate of the United States if climate change is not brought under control. Professor Rubin joined Vanderbilt Law School as Dean and the first John Wade–Kent Syverud Professor of Law in July 2005, serving a four-year term that ended in June 2009. Previously, he taught at the University of Pennsylvania Law School from 1998 to 2005, and at the Berkeley School of Law from 1982 to 1998, where he served as an associate dean. Professor Rubin has been chair of the Association of American Law Schools’ sections on Administrative Law and Socioeconomics and of its Committee on the Curriculum. He has served as a consultant to the People’s Republic of China on administrative law and to the Russian Federation on payments law. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton and his law degree from Yale.
He has published four books, three edited volumes, two casebooks, and more than one hundred articles about various aspects of law and political theory. The Heatstroke Line is his first novel.
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About the Book
Title: When Blood Reigns
Author: Barbara Custer
Genre: Horror / Science Fiction
Marked for death, Alexis accompanies her lover, Yeron, and four survivors of a zombie invasion on a search for the renegades who created a chemical that induces a zombie-like state. On the way, ravenous flesh-eaters attack Alexis’s team; one survivor turns on her. She realizes too late that the renegades have been tracking her every move. When officials capture her, she becomes deathly ill. Can DNA splicing save her? Will Yeron’s attempts at rescue jeopardize all their lives?
Barbara lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she works full time as a respiratory therapist. When she’s not working with her patients, she’s enjoying a fright flick or working on horror and science fiction tales. She’s published Night to Dawn magazine since 2004.
Other books by Barbara include Twilight Healer, City of Brotherly Death, Infinite Sight, and Steel Rose; also novellas Close Liaisons and Life Raft: Earth. She enjoys bringing her medical background to the printed page, and then blending it with supernatural horror. She maintains a presence on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and The Writers Coffeehouse forum. Look for the photos with the Mylar balloons, and you’ll find her.
Visit her at:
Under a sky dark as tar, Shively and his gang left through the rear exit of Jackson Hospital. The power blackout cloaked the surrounding streets in shadow. Shively and Tyrone led them through an alley parallel to Jonasville Street, where the hospital was. Alexis stayed close to Yeron, teeth gritted, with Johnny to her left, and behind Shively. Mark followed close behind her. Despite Johnny’s and the others’ assurances that they could control Mark, she found herself shivering. She felt his intent stare on her, the way she had ten years ago right before he threw her on the couch.
“Brrrrrrr.” She rubbed her arms, moving closer to Yeron.
The warm May air carried a stench like that of rotting tomatoes. At the end of the block, the full moon splashed silver over the buildings and bushes. Yesterday they had slaughtered an army of emaciated, wasted people who smelled like they were many days dead, monsters that had trashed Jackson Hospital’s research floor. They knew more lay in wait; the offensive odor betrayed their secrecy.
Unease festered in Alexis’s stomach. A creepy feeling nagged at her, like someone had eyes on her, biding his time, planning a surprise attack.
She glanced toward Yeron. The soldier in him had replaced the lover: squared shoulders, head erect, jaw muscles tight, and mouth closed. His ruby eyes shifted right and left. With the invisible eyes on her came an overwhelming sadness. Don’t be ridiculous, she scolded herself. It’s not like he’s snubbing you at some party. He’s watching out for trouble and you should, too, so pay attention.
Still, the feeling of being watched lingered.
Aw oooooooooo! AWOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Alexis let out a yelp, and this time, she did latch onto Yeron’s elbow as if they were dancing at a party. The howling continued, loud and plaintive.
“Listen to that.” She nudged his shoulder. “Those woods are crawling with dead and their stink’s drawing the dogs.”
“The dogs smell Kryszka renegades.” Johnny’s voice faltered. His wide blue eyes remained fixed on their surroundings. “I don’t like this.”
“Whether you like it or not, deal,” Shively told them.
“That’s right.” Mark’s voice raked her with freezing contempt. “We’ve had enough of your whining.”
Alexis stiffened, then set her lips in a grim line. Damn, I’m not spending the next several weeks listening to Mark’s shit.
With her telekinesis at the ready, she whirled upon Mark and unleashed a surge of psychic energy. Mark stumbled, fell against a brick wall, and then landed in a heap. He doubled over, one hand rubbing his right arm.
“Cut the shit, asshole,” she warned him.
“Whoa!” Johnny brayed nervous laughter. “She socked it to you.”
“Bitch nearly broke my arm.” Mark scowled, struggling to his feet.
“Next time, she might hurt you bad.” Tyrone’s solemn face shone with sweat. “If I were you, I’d shut it.”
Mark’s mouth worked like a guppy’s, and in the moonlight, his face reddened. Tyrone held his finger to his lips. Mark kept quiet.
The howling continued, sending liquid fear racing through Alexis’s veins.
“Of course, the dogs will howl,” Yeron said. “This street smells gamey.”
“The animals sense danger, too.” Alexis hugged her tunic around her shoulders. She had Yeron to thank for looting the plasma guns and uniform after his compound exploded. “Weekly World Reporter had a big article on dogs and how they smell scent.”
Yeron did not comment. He continued staring ahead, his face impassive.
“I’d like to give those creatures a nice, long, dirt nap.” Johnny scowled. “Too bad Weekly World didn’t give us an easy way to make it happen.”
“Do not worry, honey.” Yeron smiled and stroked her hair. “I will not let you face those creatures alone.”
“Be quiet, all of you!” Shively darted a withering glance over his shoulder. “There’s something weird ahead.”
Shively reached into his backpack for his binoculars and flashlight. Alexis and the others stopped and kept quiet. All eyes were on Shively. There was no sound coming from the houses; most of them were cloaked in shadow. No streetlights, thanks to the power outage. The dogs continued howling, long, melancholy wails. No other sounds could be heard except for the crickets. The air thickened with its rancid odor. Alexis slid her fingers around her plasma gun. Knees bent, she braced herself for an exchange of gunfire.
“Where at?” she asked.
“The back alley.” Shively pointed and moved to his left.
Alexis and the others hustled after him. An acrid smell wafted from a garage near a doctor’s office. The buzzing came next. The garage appeared intact, but the low beam from Shively’s flashlight washed over a corpse. Swarms of flies buzzed around its skeletal legs and the two blood-spattered bushes that concealed the rest of the body.
All She Never Wanted
Carolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband, their two boys and one sweet kitty. When she is not at the baseball field cheering on big hits and home runs, she is busy teaching science to unwilling teenagers.
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One moment changed everything…
Evie Ward had everything she’d ever dreamed of. An action-packed job where no two shifts were ever the same, the best friend a girl could ever want, and a fairy tale wedding just days away. Her life was absolutely perfect. Until one bullet—one horrible choice—left her with a broken heart and shattered dreams. Fleeing the city she loved and a lifetime of memories, Evie took a job in the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the hopes that the ocean air and fresh beaches could somehow restore her soul. Falling in love again wasn’t part of the plan.
Landon Reed was on top of the world. The money, the women, the status—he had it all until one bad decision nearly cost him his life. His father gave him three months to get his act together or be cut off from the family fortune and business. No house, no job and no money. His will and his patience are tested further when his father hires a nurse to whip him into shape. She may be little but she’s mean and it looks like Landon has finally met his match.
With her shattered heart and his broken spirit, the road to recovery will be long. Can they help each other heal or will their fractured pasts be too much to overcome?
“Good morning, Landon!” Amelia hummed a little tune quietly as she set up the bedside table. “It’s a beautiful day, today. Perhaps you’d like to go down to the beach after your physical therapy appointment?”
I pulled the covers over my head. “I changed my mind. I’m not going to any appointment.”
“Come on, Landon. You can’t spend the rest of your life sitting here in this room.”
“Yes, I can.”
“You are going to physical therapy.” The covers disappeared from my face as I looked up into the smiling grey eyes of Amelia. “Rise and shine!”
“I’m not getting up.” I buried my head under my pillow.
Amelia walked toward the door. “Maybe you’ll have better luck with him.”
“Good morning, Mr. Reed. Do you plan to stay in bed all day?” A different voice, one thick with the distinctive accent of New York City replaced Amelia’s soft southern sound.
“What’s it to you?”
“Well, it’s all the same to me if you want to rot away in that bed. I get paid either way.” I heard soft footsteps cross the room toward the little sitting area.
Rolling over on my side, I shifted the pillow enough to peek out. From my vantage point, all I could see was a pair of canvas shoes. The television turned on. I heard her flip through channels, finally settling on that home improvement show with the twin brothers. Every woman I knew loved them.
“Nobody watches those stupid shows anymore.”
Either she didn’t hear me or she was ignoring me.
“Those shows are ridiculous.” I made sure to project my voice from under the pillow.
“No more ridiculous than a grown man hiding under a pillow and acting like a two-year-old.”
I threw the covers off and shot up to a sitting position, ignoring the burning pain in my leg. “What the fuck is your prob…” Holy shit. The woman sitting on the couch looking at the television and completely ignoring me wasn’t hideous or horrible. In fact, she was fucking hot. “Who the hell are you?” I knew exactly who she was.
She looked over at me, boredom in her expression, before returning her attention to the television. “The nurse your father hired. Who do you think I am?”
“I don’t need a nurse.”
“I agree.” She flipped the channel to a news program and grimaced. “The way you’re acting, you need a nanny.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I turned so I could swing my legs over the side of the bed, my knee making my movements jerky not angry and pronounced like I’d intended.
“It means, you can’t even dress yourself so how can anyone expect you to do anything?”
I followed her glance down to my lap. “See something you like?
“Nope. I’m a nurse. I’ve seen worse. Of course, I’ve seen better too. Much better.” She clicked to another station. I could have sworn I saw her lip twitch as I growled over her insult.
“Just get out. I don’t need you. Tell my father to go to hell.”
She tossed the remote control on the coffee table and checked her watch. “You have ten minutes to get ready for physical therapy or I’m taking you the way you are.”
I pulled the sheet onto my lap and crossed my arms over my bare chest. “I already told Amelia, I’m not going.”
“You are going to get dressed.” She stood and looked me in the eye. “You’re down to nine minutes.”
“And just how do you expect me to get down all of those stairs?”
“The same way you got up them. Walter showed me the elevator.”
Damn it. I was hoping she hadn’t found that yet. “Are you planning to watch?”
“Watch what? There’s nothing to see.” She dropped her gaze to my lap and gave me a little smile that was way more taunting than friendly.
“Fine. Suit yourself.” I whipped the sheet back and reached for my wheelchair. Instead of turning away, she stayed right where she was with that little smile dancing around on her lips. With about as much grace as a bull in a china shop, I managed to get from the bed to the chair while she just stood there and watched.
“I thought you were supposed to be here to help me.”
“You didn’t say you needed my assistance.”
“Really? I had to ask? Isn’t that what you are here for?”
“Let’s get something straight, Mr. Reed.” She put her hands on her hips and glared at me. “I’m a trauma trained RN. I am not your maid or your gopher or any other thing. It is my job to get you back on your feet both literally and figuratively. I’ll handle your medical care and your personal care as needed but I am not at your beck and call.”
“Just get out of my way so I can get dressed.” I pushed past her to the large walk-in closet and started grabbing clothes. Dragging a pair of sweats, some boxer briefs and a t-shirt into the bathroom, I struggled my way into them. The doctors had promised me that things would get easier once the pain wasn’t so excruciating but my knee just refused to bend like it used to.
When I was done, I ran a comb through my wild hair, mostly so I won’t have to see the look on Amelia’s face when we leave the house.
“Come on, we’re going to be late!” The nurse called.
“I’m coming already!” I whipped open the bathroom door and scowled at her. “You never told me your name.”
She shrugged. “You never asked.”
She was fucking infuriating—despite the way her long brown hair tumbled in sexy waves over her shoulder from the pony tail it was secured in.
“Fine. What is your name?”
“What’s your real name?”
“That is my real name.” She stepped behind me and turned the wheel chair toward the door. She stopped and grabbed a pair of tennis shoes from the floor, placing them in my lap.
“I meant, is Evie short for something?”
“Yes.” She pushed the chair down the hall toward the door at the end and pressed the button for the small service elevator—the number one reason I had chosen the beach house as my home base after the accident.
“Are you going to tell me what it is?” The elevator opened and Evie pushed me inside.
“It’s none of your business. You can call me Evie or nurse. That’s all you need to know about me.”
“Anyone ever tell you that you can be a real bitch?”
“Honey, I grew up in New York. They teach a class on that in high school.”
The door opened at the ground level. Evie pushed me out of the elevator and down the ramp Walter had constructed to get me in and out of the house.
“I’m going out on a limb here but I bet you aced that class.”
“You’re smarter than you look, Mr. Reed.”
About the Book
Title: Legacy of Luck
Author: Christy Nicholas
Genre: Historical Fiction
Irish Traveler Éamonn loves gambling, women, and drinking, not necessarily in that order. But he’s entangled in a true mess when he falls for fiery redhead, Katie. When she’s married to a Scottish Traveler, Éamonn travels to Scotland to find her, with the help of Katie’s sister and cousin, and the magical brooch gifted by his father. Their quest takes them across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Skye, encountering war, betrayal, death. In the end, Éamonn must make his own luck.
My name is Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon. I do many things, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing and photography. In real life I’m a CPA, but having grown up with art and around me (my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected me, as it were. I love to draw and to create things. It’s more of an obsession than a hobby. I like looking up into the sky and seeing a beautiful sunset, or a fragrant blossom, a dramatic seaside. I then wish to take a picture or create a piece of jewelry to share this serenity, this joy, this beauty with others. Sometimes this sharing requires explanation – and thus I write. Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. I do local art and craft shows, as well as sending my art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad.
About the Book
Title: To See a Jaguar
Author: E. Etinger
To See a Jaguar is a fascinating book of adventures.
It illustrates the complex relationship that exists between Humans and Nature. It also considers the discord existing between existential, rational insights, and primordial mysteries such as in ancient legends.
Philippe is a tour guide in the rainforests of the Amazon Basin. He embodies a boundless admiration for nature in its totality, and the duality of bringing people to experience nature, on the one hand, while dreading to disturb the primeval natural balance on the other.
While journeying throughout adventurous sites in the Amazon Basin, the author of the book guides the reader through the unique fauna and flora of the rainforest in a breathtaking manner.
To See a Jaguar describes the Amazon Basin of today and periods in its history over the last several centuries, in an interesting and entertaining way.
E.Etinger has worked with animals all his life. After touring in the savannah and rain forests of South America for a year, he decided to stay a further six years working as a guide on the various reserves. The book gives an account of his experiences and is inspired by the places he visited.