Category Archives: Guest Authors

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VBT – One Summer Night

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About the Author

Caridad Pineiro

Caridad Pineiro is a transplanted Long Island girl who has fallen in love with pork roll and the Jersey Shore, but still can’t get the hang of tomato pies. When Caridad isn’t taking long strolls along the boardwalk to maintain her sanity and burn off that pork roll, she’s also a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author with over a million books sold worldwide. Caridad is passionate about writing and helping others explore and develop their skills as writers. She is a founding member of the Liberty States Fiction Writers and has presented workshops at the RT Book Club Convention, Romance Writers of America National Conference as well as various writing organizations throughout the country.

Want to receive Caridad’s newsletter with exclusive content just for subscribers and special giveaways?

Just visit http://bit.ly/2cbxlYw to sign up.

Caridad values your privacy and will not share your e-mail or personal information.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

 

About the Book

 One Summer Night

Title: ONE SUMMER NIGHT
Author: Caridad Pineiro
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary Romance

BOOK BLURB:

An offer that’s impossible to accept . . .

Maggie Sinclair has tried everything to save her family’s business, including mortgaging their beloved beach house on the Jersey Shore. But now, she’s out of options.

The Sinclair and Pierce families have been neighbors and enemies for almost thirty years. That hasn’t stopped Owen Pierce from crushing on Maggie, and he’s determined to invest in her success. Now he has to convince her that he’s more than just trouble with a capital T…

Watch the Trailer at YouTube!

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback | B&N | iBooks

Muscular man with the retro car in the background

Book Excerpt:

Tracy Parker was in love with being in love.

That worried her best friend and maid of honor Maggie Sinclair more than she cared to admit.

In the middle of the temporary dance floor, Tracy waltzed with her new husband in a satin-and-lace designer gown, gleaming with seed pearls and twinkling sequins. But the sparkle dimmed in comparison to the dreamy glow in Tracy’s eyes.

The sounds of wedding music competed with the gentle rustle of seagrasses in the dunes and the crash of the waves down on the beach. The fragrance from centerpiece flowers and bouquets battled with the kiss of fresh sea air.

Connie and Emma, Tracy’s two other best friends and members of the bridal party, were standing beside Maggie on the edge of the dance floor that had been set up on the great lawn of Maggie’s family’s beachfront mansion on the Jersey Shore. Huddled together, Maggie and her friends watched the happy couple do a final whirl.

“She’s got it so bad,” Maggie said, eyeing Connie and Emma with concern past the rim of her rapidly disappearing glass of champagne.

“Do you think that this time he really is The One?” Connie asked.

“Doubt it,” Emma replied without hesitation.

As the DJ requested that other couples join the happy newlyweds, Maggie and her friends returned to the bridal party dais set out on the patio. Grabbing another glass of champagne, Maggie craned her neck around the gigantic centerpiece piled with an almost obscene mound of white roses, ice-blue hydrangea, lisianthus, sheer tulle, and twinkling fairy lights and examined the assorted guests mingling around the great lawn and down by the boardwalk leading to the beach.

She recognized Tracy’s family from their various meetings over the years, as well as some of Tracy’s sorority sisters, like Toni Van Houten, who in the six years since graduation had managed to pop out a trio of boys who now circled her like sharks around a swimmer. Although the wedding invite had indicated No Children, Toni had done as she pleased. Since Tracy had not wanted a scene at her dream beachfront wedding, Emma, who was doing double duty as the wedding planner for the event, had scrambled to find space for the children at the dinner tables.

“Is that Toni ‘I’ll never ruin my body with babies’ Toni?” Connie asked, a perplexed look on her features.  At Maggie’s nod, Connie’s eyes widened in surprise, and she said, “She looks…happy.”

A cynical laugh erupted from Emma. “She looks crazed.”

Maggie couldn’t argue with either of their assessments. But as put-upon as their old acquaintance seemed, the indulgent smile she gave her youngest child was positively radiant.

Maggie skipped her gaze across the gathering to take note of all the other married folk. It was easy enough to pick them out from her vantage point on the dais where she and her friends sat on display like days’ old cakes in the bakery. They were the last three unmarried women in an extended circle of business and college acquaintances.

“How many times do you suppose we’ve been bridesmaids now?” Maggie wondered aloud. She finished off her glass and motioned for the waiter to bring another.

“Jointly or severally?” asked Connie, ever the lawyer.

“Way too many,” replied Emma, who, for a wedding planner, was the most ardent disbeliever in the possibility of happily ever afters.

Maggie hadn’t given marriage a first thought, much less a second, in a very long time. She’d had too many things going on in her life. Not that there hadn’t been a few memorable moments, most of which revolved around the absolutely worst man for her: Owen Pierce.

But for years now, she’d been dealing with her family’s business and its money problems, which had spilled over into her personal finances. As she gazed at the beauty of the manicured grounds and then back toward her family’s summer home, it occurred to her that this might be the last time she hosted a celebration like this here. She had mortgaged the property that she had inherited to funnel money into the family’s struggling retail store division.

Unfortunately, thanks to her father’s stubborn refusal to make changes to help the business, she spent way too much time at work, which left little time for romance. Not to mention that none of her casual dates had piqued her interest in that direction. Looking down from her perch, however, and seeing the happiness on so many faces suddenly had her reconsidering the merits of married life.

“Always a bridesmaid and never a bride,” she muttered, surprising herself with the hint of wistfulness in her tone.

“That’s because the three of us are all too busy working to search for Prince Charming,” Connie said, her defense as swift and impassioned as if she were arguing a case in court.

“Who even believes in that fairy-tale crap?” Emma’s gaze grew distracted, and she rose from her chair. “Excuse me for a moment. Carlo needs to see me about something.”

Emma rushed off to the side of the dance floor, where her caterer extraordinaire, Carlo Teixeira, raked a hand through his thick brown hair in clear frustration. He wore a pristine white chef’s jacket and pants that enhanced his dark good looks.

Emma laid a hand on Carlo’s forearm and leaned close to speak to him, apparently trying to resolve a problem.

“She doesn’t believe in fairy tales, but her Prince Charming is standing right in front of her,” Connie said with a sad shake of her head.

Maggie took another sip of her champagne and viewed the interaction between Carlo and Emma. Definitely major sparkage going on, she thought.

“You’re totally right,” she said with an assertive nod.

Connie smiled like the proverbial cat, her exotic green-gold eyes gleaming with mischief. “That’s why you hired me to represent your company as soon as I finished law school. Nothing gets past me.”

“Really? So what else do you think you’ve seen tonight?”

Raising her glass, her friend gestured toward the right of the mansion’s great lawn where some of the fraternity brothers from their alma mater had gathered. One of the men slowly turned to sneak a peek at them.

“Owen has been watching you all night long,” Connie said with a shrewd smile.

“Totally impossible, and you of all people should know it. Owen Pierce has absolutely no interest in me.”

She set her glass on the table to hide the nervous tremble of her hand as her gaze connected with his for the briefest of moments. Even that fleeting link was enough to raise her core temperature a few degrees. But what woman wouldn’t respond like that?

In his designer tuxedo, Owen was the epitome of male perfection—raven-black hair, a sexy gleam in his charcoal-gray eyes, broad shoulders, and not an ounce of fat on him, which made her recall seeing him in much, much less on a hot summer night on Sea Kiss Beach. She had been staying in the quaint seaside town on the Jersey Shore with her grandmother that summer, much as she had all her life. As they also had for so many years, the Pierce boys had been residing next door for the entire season.

The two beachfront mansions had been built side by side decades earlier, before the start of the Pierce and Sinclair rift. The cost of waterfront real estate had escalated so drastically since their construction that neither family was willing to sell their beloved home to put some distance between the warring clans.

Well, make that the warring fathers, because as far as Maggie was concerned, she had no beef with Owen. They had played together down on the beach as kids. She couldn’t count the many sand castles they’d built or the time they’d spent out in the surf.

But after her mother had died, things had changed, and the carefree spirit of those halcyon days had disappeared. The Pierce boys had stopped coming down to the Shore for the next few years, and combined with the loss of her mom, it had created an emptiness inside her that hadn’t really gone away.

By the time the Pierce brothers returned years later, the feud had gotten worse, and Owen and Jonathan had been instructed to stay away. But an ill-timed and half-drunk kiss with Owen on a moonlit summer night had proved that staying away was impossible. It had also helped the emptiness recede for a bit. Since then, fate had seemed to toss them together time and time again in both their business and personal lives, keeping alive her fascination with him. She felt not quite so alone when he was around, not that she should get used to that.

Owen Pierce had left her once before when she’d needed his friendship the most: right after her mother’s death. His on-again, off-again presence in her life proved that she couldn’t count on him.

Owen stood next to his younger brother, Jonathan, who couldn’t be more different. While Owen was clean-cut and corporate, Jonathan had the scruffy hipster look going on. It was appealing in its own way, but not to her.

“Trust me, Maggie. Your families might be at war, but Owen would clearly love to sleep with the enemy,” Connie said.

She blew out a frustrated sigh. “More reason to avoid him. You know I’m not the kind to sleep around.”

Emma returned, color riding high on her cheeks, but not in a good way.

“Something wrong?” Maggie asked.

Emma kneeled between the two of them and whispered, “It seems the groom had a bit too much to drink and Tracy caught him being hands-on with an old flame.”

“Not Amy? Tracy always lost it if she spotted him with Amy,” Maggie whispered.

“Definitely Amy. Now Tracy is refusing to come out and cut the cake. I have to say, this takes the cake, literally. Married a few hours, and already there’s trouble.”

“Ever the hopeful romantic, Em,” she kidded.

“If you think you can do better, why don’t the two of you come help me talk Tracy off the ledge?”

One Summer night teaser 2

 

Book Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9dhRJwhabg

 

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Cover Reveal – DEVIL’S GAMBLE

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DEVIL’S GAMBLE
by Michele Arris

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GENRE: Steamy Contemporary

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BLURB

Sienna Keller saw how men used her mother, and from an early age she swore she’d never allow it to happen to her. So when she meets smooth-talking billionaire Gavin Crane, who uses his connections to help her art career, she resolves to keep things strictly professional—no matter how gorgeous he is.

Gavin might be the son of the head of the Kavanagh organized crime family, but he wants no part of that life. It’s important to him to prove to Sienna that he’s a good guy. But when she winds up in the hospital with a gunshot wound, he is driven to exact revenge. His father agrees to provide security to watch over her as well as find the man who shot her, but at a cost—Gavin must come back into the family business.

As Sienna begins to let her guard down around Gavin, seeing the kind, caring man he’s always wanted her to see, his secrets begin to pile up. Has she done the one thing she vowed never to do—trusted her heart to the wrong man?

BookCover_DEVILS GAMBLE COVER

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

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Award winning author, Michele Arris, writes steamy contemporary romance.
Michele is always plotting out her characters’ next move. Even when she’s not seated in front of her laptop writing about strong-willed, professional heroines and the complex heroes who strive to have them, she’s plotting scenes in her head.
“I love to write story where my characters are guaranteed their Happily Ever After.”
In her spare time, Michele enjoys reading all types of romance genres. She loves paranormal romance as well as historical romances, enjoys watching period classics (Little Dorrit, The Buccaneers, and Persuasion to name a few), actually looks forward to working out, is a holistic enthusiast/vitamin junkie, and spending time with family and friends – simply enjoying life.

LINKS

WEBSITE: www.michelearris.com

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Michele-Arris-Author

TWITTER: @ArrisMichele

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2yGFpaA
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2fRe25X
iBooks: http://apple.co/2xBfv8a
BAM: http://bit.ly/2wWspeG
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2xKIM1Z
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2frfTxG

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY 

THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY:

$20 Amazon/BN GC

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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VBT – Seven Sundays to Sweet Inner Serenity

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About the Book

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Title: Seven Sundays to Sweet Inner Serenity
Author: LeNae Goolsby
Genre: Nonfiction (Body, Mind & Soul)

Seven Sundays to Sweet Inner Serenity provides an experiential journey where mental and emotional vibrations rise and conscious awareness expands. Personal power is reclaimed and peace restored with each chapter and each sweet serenity tip.

Author Bio

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LeNae Goolsby is the Founder/Owner of www.LeNaeGoolsby.com, the host of Empowered Living with LeNae which is syndicated on 50 global networks, as well as the Practice Administrator/Director of New Business Development for www.YourInfiniteHealth.com

In addition to running these successful ventures, LeNae is a wife, mother, artist, writer, oracle of the pragmatic persuasion, calm cultivator and energy healer.

LeNae received her certificate from the Duke University Integrative Medicine Center Leadership Development Program in February 2017, and her law degree from Tulane University Law School in 2010. And somewhere between Tulane and Duke she completed her universal law-centric coaching studies and honed her intuitive abilities.

LeNae is also an expert and writer for www.YourTango.com. She is the author of Seven Sundays to Sweet Inner Serenity, and is on the cusp of releasing “Empowered Medicine – Harnessing the Infinite Laws of the Universe for Optimized Health,” which she co-wrote with her husband. She is also working on her next book, Seven Sundays to Money Manifesting Mastery.

Links

Website: www.LeNaeGoolsby.com

Where to Purchase: https://books.pronoun.com/seven-sundays-to-sweet-inner-serenity/

Book Except

…you beautiful infinite being in a fabulous body, are the designer of your life, the chooser of your destiny. If you feel otherwise, it is only because you have been giving your power away subconsciously, consciously, or more likely, both.

So, here’s a myth-buster for you. Free will, in the Divine/Creator/Life Force/Universe sense of the words, is actually not conditional. You are absolutely free to create the experience of your choice, whether it be gloom, doom, guilt, shame, drama trauma, or all Ode to Eeyore, the master of self-pity.

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For a long time I forgot how to daydream. My overactive imagination was replaced with just trying to survive the uncomfortable home life I experienced as a teenager, and then as a single mother at the age of nineteen. During my early twenties, it felt as if those who were positioned to be my biggest support resources, were instead those who attempted the hardest to manipulate, control, and oppress me—oftentimes using my daughter as their weapon of choice.

I was simply trying to hold down a job and make the rent. Daydreaming was a luxury I did not believe I could afford back then. The fact of the matter is, however, if I had spent a little more time imagining…

RAINBOWS ARE ROUND

By LeNae Goolsby

When you change the way you look at things,
the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

It is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.
– Adept to Neo from The Matrix

These quotes sounded cool but meant very little to me. Until one day, I happened across a picture of a rainbow that had been taken by someone who had a larger perspective than I did.

The rainbow was perfectly round. Until that moment it never occurred me that rainbows could be round. All I had ever seen were arcs, or glimpses of colors peeking through the clouds.

When I saw this picture, all of a sudden it made perfect sense that a rainbows are round, or at least can be round, and that it had been my limited perspective that kept me from seeing the whole picture.

Consider traffic jams.

We’re sitting in traffic, running late for wherever it is we are supposed to be, at whatever time it was we were supposed to be there. All we care about in the jam is how utterly inconvenient and annoying it is to be stuck in between these cars, and contemplating the risk and reward of flying by everyone on the shoulder (I know you’ve thought about it).
Here is another perfect example of us getting caught up in our own limited perspective. I mean, we can’t see ahead to know what the reason for the delay is – is it construction, an accident, did someone have a heart attack at the wheel?

Or, are we stuck here because if we were going any faster we would have been the one t-boned by a random drug induced drive. We don’t know, we probably won’t ever know. And that’s okay.

The point here is to realize that often times when we react, when we make fraction-reaction decisions, we do so based upon the information we have in the moment. Sometimes we do not always have all of the information. Sometimes our perspective is limited. In fact, much of the time we are operating out of a limited perspective.
Personal Case Study:

When my husband’s community oncology medical practice was in significant debt and I did not have the money to pay the bills on time, I would literally drive myself into a mascara running, anxiety ridden, panic attack induced ball of frenzy and stress – because somehow that was going to solve everything (not).

Then one bill paying Tuesday, I sat down and mentally went through the worse case scenario of not being able to pay the lenders and the vendors what they were due, when they were due. And then I kept asking myself, “Okay, what is wore than that? And worse than that?

My envisioning exercise ended up at having to file business bankruptcy and losing the office building as being the potentially worse thing I could think of. So, then what?

Well, we would lose the stuff and that would suck, but we still had the ability to work, to make an income and life would move forward…without a bunch of debt, actaully.

Once I was able to realize that life will go on after the worse case scenario, I was able to respond to what was effectively a temporary cash-flow crunch, pay who I could when I could and just keep moving forward in faith (faith – there’s that word again).

Once I was able to release my persistent worse case scenario what-ifs I was able to respond from the space of calm because I was able to shift my perspective.

It took about a year, but cash flow did increase, and now profits are high enough to not only pay the bills with ease, but we are now actually in a period of amazing growth and expansion – never even came close to having file bankruptcy, btw.

Okay, so now you know that chances are whatever is showing up in your reality is only showing up as a portion of whole, right? We have but glimpses of puzzle pieces at varying moments.

For the rest of the week, whenever something shows up that is stressful, annoying, makes your shoulders tense up and your blood pressure rise, bite your lip (a/k/a catch yourself BEFORE you go into fraction-reaction mode), take a deep breath in, hold to the count of a slow 4 and release to a count of a slow 4, and ask yourself the following questions:
• “How does even this serve my highest good?”
• What might be happening here that I am not seeing in this moment?
• If I imagine myself taking a higher perspective of this issue, what is really going on here?

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LeNae Goolsby is the author of Seven Sundays to Sweet Inner Serenity – How to cultivate the calm even in the midst of the crazy chaos, the co-author of the soon to be released, “Empowered Medicine – Harnessing the infinite laws of the universe for optimized health.” She is also the Founder/Owner of http://www.LeNaeGoolsby.com, where she offers intuitive empowerment life coach and pragmatic oracle services, as well as the Practice Administrator/Director of New Business Development for Infinite Health Integrative Medicine Center in Louisiana.

LeNae received her certificate from the Duke University Integrative Medicine Center Leadership Development Program in February 2017, and her law degree from Tulane University Law School in 2010. And somewhere between Tulane and Duke she completed her universal laws-centric life coaching studies and honed her intuitive abilities.

 

VBT – SAVING NARY

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Saving Nary

by Carol DeMent

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GENRE: Fictional

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BLURB:

A Finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Saving Nary explores the losses, loyalties and secrets held within families broken by war and genocide. This compelling novel presents a palette of unique characters who struggle to make sense of the events that led them to America, even as they ponder the bewildering culture and lifestyle of their new homeland.

Refugee Khath Sophal lost everything when the Khmer Rouge swept into power in Cambodia: his livelihood gone, his family dead or missing; his sanity barely intact from the brutality he has been forced to witness.

Now resettled in the Pacific Northwest, Khath treads a narrow path between the horrors of his past and the uncertainties of the present. His nights are filled with twisted dreams of torture and death. By day he must guard constantly against the flashbacks triggered by the simple acts of daily living, made strange in a culture he does not understand.

Then Khath meets Nary, a mysterious and troubled Cambodian girl whose presence is both an aching reminder of the daughters he has lost, and living proof that his girls, too, could still be alive. Nary’s mother Phally, however, is another matter. A terrible suspicion grows in Khath’s mind that Phally is not who or what she claims to be. A split develops in the community between those who believe Phally and those who believe Khath. And those, it seems, who don’t really care who is right but just want to stir up trouble for their own personal gain.

Khath’s search for the truth leads him to the brink of the brutality he so despises in the Khmer Rouge. His struggle to wrest a confession from Phally ultimately forces him to face his own past and unravel the mystery of his missing daughters.

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BOOK EXCERPT

As the sun rose, Khath sat cross-legged in a lotus position in the small Buddhist temple nestled below Khao I Dang Mountain. The barbed wire perimeter fence separated the mountain from the refugee camp, but the mountain lent its power to the area nonetheless. Pra Chhay and two other monks chanted the Heart Sutra, a prayer of enlightenment, the rhythmic drone rising and falling in a soothing and familiar hum as the scent of incense hung heavily in the hot, humid air. About thirty refugees sat on the straw mats covering the wooden floor of the bamboo temple. The lips of many were moving as they softly chanted along with the monks.

Khath’s lips remained still, his heart empty. If asked, he would not disavow the teachings. He believed the teachings, yet the words of the Buddha had lost the power to move or to comfort him. He felt somehow distant from the teachings, as though they controlled behavior on a different world from the one he inhabited. It was a very lonely feeling.

The monks chanted on, a background hum that began to irritate Khath. He might as well be listening to the drone of mosquitoes as he toiled on the dikes under the watchful eyes of the Khmer Rouge, their guns aimed and ready, afraid to brush the insects away from his face lest he be beaten for not putting full attention into his work.

Observing the others in the temple, Khath envied them their faith. Pra Chhay often said there were two levels of Buddhism, one being the simple devotions taught to uneducated villagers; the other consisting of the higher practices and theories studied by the scholar monks.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

Carol DeMent worked in the field of South East Asian refugee resettlement for seven years, and completed master’s level research into international refugee resettlement policy. She lived for two years in Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer and has traveled extensively in South East Asia. Her first novel, Saving Nary, was a  Finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

https://www.amazon.com/Saving-Nary-Carol-DeMent/dp/1522982906 https://www.amazon.com/Carol-DeMent/e/B01CRJ1EVA

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15089080.Carol_DeMent

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Carol DeMent will be awarding $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tell us about you as a person. 
For the last ten or so years, my vacations are spent on a bike! I sign on to multiday trips with tour companies that cart your luggage from one place to the next, and you spend all day riding through beautiful places, then get up and do it again the next day. I have toured in Nepal, Canada, Vietnam, Cambodia, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Germany. Next up is the East coast of the US. It’s simply the very best way (in my opinion) to see a new area.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I would choose to hang out with Michele Obama, because she is smart, strong, and fun-loving. I think we would talk and talk and talk about history, politics, culture, movies, music, feminism and the environment. We would do this while enjoying some activity outside on a beautiful day and then finish the day by cooking a meal together and then eating it.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
Saving Nary tells the story of a Cambodian refugee trying to find his daughters who were taken from him by the Khmer Rouge. The story is set in Thailand and the US, and illuminates the emotional and practical challenges of refugees trying to start a new life while their old life is still unresolved.

What is your writing process?
I think for days about a scene before I sit down to write it. I work out entire conversations between characters, visualize the setting, the mood, what people are wearing, and how the action will flow. As I mull it over, the pressure to write builds inside of me, so when I actually sit down at the computer, the scene sort of pours out of me.

Tell us about your main character: 
My main character, Khath Sophal, is a man in his late 30’s who was severely traumatized by the brutality of the Khmer Rouge. He is troubled by flashbacks and nightmares, and struggles to adjust to life in the United States. His burning desire is to find his daughters, and though he has no real reason to believe they survived Cambodia’s civil war, he is convinced that they have and cannot rest until he finds them. He is a kind man, a good man, who is nearly pushed to the breaking point by the events happening around him.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
When I visualize what Khath looks like, the actor who comes to mind is Jackie Chan, though Mr. Chan’s facial features are Chinese, rather than Cambodian. But as far as body type – compact, wiry, strong – Jackie Chan is definitely the one I would choose. Khath has a sort of wariness about him at all times, a watchfulness common to persons suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, and think Jackie Chan could portray that well. I am not familiar with any Cambodian actors other than the late Dith Pran.

What are you working on next?
I am working on a book set in Montana in the late 1800s to early 1900s that will explore the tensions arising from influx of Chinese immigrants to the US at that time. The story is told through the eyes of a young woman being exposed to this new culture at a time when her own family is undergoing tremendous turmoil and change. I like to write multicultural stories that examine the frayed edges where two cultures meet. I am also working on some memoirs about my years in Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Start early and keep a steady outflow of PR activities going. Hire professional help – it takes time and contacts that most writers haven’t had a chance to develop since most of us are writing in addition to having a day job. A good professional will open a lot of doors for you.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
Plum Wine, by Angela Davis-Gardner. It’s about an English teacher in Japan who receives a bequest of memoirs from a woman who survived the bombing of Hiroshima.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
Well, I am an acupuncturist so that is still a profession that many people find interesting and unusual. And I have been told that I am a very good listener. All my life, people have confided in me about their secrets and troubles. It’s not something I do consciously, but it’s a constant theme in my life.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
I would love to be able to fly. The views would be spectacular and one could cover a lot of ground getting from place to place easily and safely.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Go to Africa on a bike trip
  • Go to Ireland on a bike trip
  • Visit the new Black History Museum in Washington DC
  • Become fluent in German and Thai
  • Learn to make awesome chili

Where can readers find you on the web?
www.caroldement.com

Any final thoughts?
Thank you for letting me share some bits about myself and my writing! Readers, let me know what you think about Saving Nary!

Book Trailer Blitz – The Magus

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Book Trailer

 

About the Book
Title: The Magus (A Chronicle of Rebirth)
Authors: J.M. Fletcher and J.P. Fletcher
Genre: Fantasy Romance

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Everyone had heard of the Magus of Danthamore, a powerful, dangerous, and ruthless man. Nelina, who was sold on the slaver’s block by her unscrupulous uncle, now finds herself as a slave of the Magus. Finding that he is more than what he appears to be, Nelina follows her heart as the irresistible and handsome Magus leads her into a world she had never dreamed existed.

Ru’ark who had become known as the Magus of Danthamore, used the power he wielded with little regard for the people beyond his homeland of Aghadine and the Waste. Finally, after years of diligently searching he has found the perfect vessel he needs -the voluptuous, flaxen haired Nelina. But, when the time comes, will he be able to sacrifice his own feelings, or instead betray his own people?

Author Bios

Jill Marie Fletcher was born in 1973 in Chicago, IL and grew up in Dolton, IL. James Fletcher was born in 1976 in East Machias, Maine. He grew up in Whiting, on Downeast Maine’s rugged coast. In 2006, James and Jill Fletcher were married. Together, they live in rural Maine with their two children and three dogs while working on their books.

Links
US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072511ZWY
AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B072511ZWY
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B072511ZWY
CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B072511ZWY

Website: http://www.chronicleofrebirth.com/

 

VBT – The Author’s Guide to Blog Tours

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About the Book

Title: The Author’s Guide to Blog Tours
Author: Tiffany Shand
Genre: Nonfiction

The_Authors_Guide_To_Book_Blog_Tours

You’ve put a lot of time and effort into writing your book and sent it out there into the world. Now it’s time to start marketing it – but you don’t know where to begin. That’s where book blog tours come in. Blog tours are a great way to market your book and find readers at the same time.

In this short eBook, you’ll learn what the benefits of blog tours, how to find tour hosts and organise your very own book blog tour.

Author Bio

Photo of Tiffany Shand

Tiffany Shand started writing short stories when she was a child. She has always done writing in one form or another and started writing novels in her early teens.

Tiffany loves to read books and discovered her love for fantasy and paranormal romance.  She writes both non-fiction and fiction, and love helping writers to build their author platforms.

After doing a creative writing course in her early 20s, she is now a freelance writer and professional editor.

Tiffany lives in Essex with her two spoiled cats and one very nutty hamster.

Links:

Amazon Link (For Blog Tour Book)

Tiffany’s Website

Tiffany’s Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Book Excerpts

Except 1

What is a blog tour?

A blog tour is a virtual blog tour. Instead of going to different locations and doing a book signing, you’re hosted on different blogs used by book bloggers. Blog tours are a great way to promote your book, get reviews and generate more sales.

How blog tours helped me

When I published my first novel I literally spent hundreds of pounds I couldn’t afford on two awful editors who did a lousy job with my book which left no money over for any kind of marketing. So I started searching around online for ways to market my book and I read a lot of different books about book marketing.

I became overwhelmed as there so much information out there by authors who say do this, do that. Their recommendations included spending hundreds on ads or PR packages, going to book signing events or giving away dozens of paperbacks. None of these options were financially or realistically possible for me. I started searching around for free ways to market my book. Aside from using a Kindle promo, where I made my book free for a few days and promoting on Facebook groups, the other result I had was of doing a blog tour.

I had heard about blog tours from other authors in my writing group but I wasn’t sure how they worked. So I queried another author from my group and she explained that blog tours are virtual book tours. Instead of going to bookstores and other places to do book signings, you are instead hosted on a blog where they promote your book via different kinds of posts.

Once I figured out how blog tours worked, I had a look around some different blog tour companies for the type of services they provided, but it still seemed a lot of money for my non-existent budget. So I decided to learn what I could and go down the do-it-yourself route.

Using a site called blogtour.org I started going through dozens of different blogs. This site isn’t as well indexed as other blog directory sites. I had to go through and search each blog individually.

Except 2

What are book bloggers?

Book bloggers have only been around for the past few years since the use of blogs became much more popular and website platforms became much more affordable for the everyday user.

Since the growth in popularity of blogs over the past few years, dozens of booklovers have taken to writing about their favourite books. A book blogger is someone who loves reading books and writes blog posts about it on their blog. This can include thoughts on books, excerpts and posts about different books and reviews.

The different blogs reflect their owner’s tastes and vary in focus. Many readers will read a variety of different genres; other blogs will focus on a specific genre such as romance, fantasy, or young adult, etc.

Different blogs will have different kinds of audiences depending on what genre that blogger chooses to read. A blogger who likes to read a lot of different genres will probably have an audience who likes the same thing and chooses the type of posts they read on that blog.

Not every blogger will want to read your book, don’t ask a romance reader to read your sci-fi novel to help you promote your book. Choose a reader who enjoys your type of book. This may seem obvious but a lot of authors mass email book bloggers in any genre to try and promote their books, regardless of whether that blogger reads their book’s genre or not. There’s no point in trying to contact them if they don’t like your particular type of book, it’s just a waste of your time and theirs.

Excerpt 3

Querying book bloggers

Now you know what book bloggers are and what they do. After you’ve found some bloggers in your genre that you want contact, it’s time to write the all-important query email. It can be good beforehand to comment and respond to some of their posts.

This is where you want to start approaching bloggers and find out what they can do for you. If you were trying to get your book published by traditional publishers and agents, you would send query letters asking them to consider your book for publication. It’s very similar when contacting bloggers as you’re asking them to consider reviewing or possibly promoting your book.

One word of warning before contacting any blogger: make sure you to check the reviewer’s particular reviewing style. Some reviewers can be quite snarky or may even post bad reviews if they don’t like a book. So as I said before it’s important to choose bloggers who like your style of book.

Can bloggers leave bad reviews? Yes, it does happen. I find you have to be thick-skinned to be an author. Don’t take reviews personally, not everyone is going to like your book. You can’t please everyone.

Now you’ve got your list of potential bloggers, start by approaching the first blogger on your list. It’s a good idea to always check their review policy again before you email anyone as review policies often get changed, especially if the blogger decides they are no longer taking submissions. Read through the page again and see how to contact them. Some bloggers have a contact form on their website, some will give out their email addresses or some prefer you to fill out forms such as Google forms.

Some review policies will state what kind of timeframe they have to review your book. Some bloggers may have a waiting list several months long. I have even seen blogs that have a waiting list of up to a year or two. So take that into consideration before contacting them if you want your book to be reviewed quickly. Remember it’s their blog and they make the rules.

Guest Post – M. K. Theodoratus

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Guest Post – M. K. Theodoratus

M.K. Theodoratus

Saved By My Paper Blizzard

Paper makes it possible for me to be a writer. I’m so old I can remember when gurus promised the world that computers would rid it of paper. They made the pronouncements without considering my addiction to sticky-notes.

Yeah, I’d be lost without those little squares of paper with the gluey-stuff down one edge. They’re my idea-saver. Without them, I could never be a writer.

Losing ideas is a common gripe among the writers I know. My critique partners often complained about the “idea that got away”. They’d give up on something that wouldn’t work, thinking the idea or solution would come back when they’re doing something else. The missing piece would, eventually, pop into their heads at the most inconvenient times. After a firm resolve to remember the idea, they’d lose it before they got the idea into the manuscript.

I’m no different. For years, great ideas would flash between my ears only to get lost in the ether. Since I wrote fiction mainly to amuse myself, it didn’t matter. I just jotted down whatever popped into my head, wondering what would happen next. Maybe it’s just as well most of those sheets of paper are lost.

Then, I got more serious about writing fiction. I started working with critique groups that expected me to write something coherent. My sense of duty got in the way of my laziness. I felt obligated not to waste my partners’ time.

First, I jotted new insights or plot developments down on any handy piece of paper, only to lose most of them. Worse, there usually was never a piece of paper or a pen in sight when I needed them. Of course, I never remembered the idea beyond a couple nano-seconds. Fortunately, 3M came to the rescue with their Post-Its.

3M didn’t solve my problem, though. The sticky pads sit at my elbow at the kitchen table. Lay in the clutter by my comfy chair in front of the TV. Are buried under the clutter around my computer. Lurk in my wallet and car. The ideas get written down, but the sticky notes don’t do any good unless they’re organized.

I solved that problem two ways:

  1. I classify them at the top, like the book and character they pertain to.
  2. I enter them into my computer…eventually. Each of my projects gets a folder on my desktop. Ideas get written in a document and filed. If I’m not getting any new ideas about a project, I file the folder in another folder called “Inactive”.

It may not be neat and tidy, but it helps me keep things organized and accessible.

One good thing about the pile of sticky notes, they tend not to go anywhere. They stick together in a clump.

I know there must be some neater way of salvaging those lost inspirations, but I haven’t found it. Doubt if I’ll ever discover it. So, I make do with a salvage system that that works for me.

VBT – There Be Demons

There Be Demons banner

About the Author

M.K. Theodoratus

Fantasy has always been part of M. K. Theodoratus’ life, starting when she starting playing with an imaginary friend when she was three. Comics, books, TV, and movies followed throughout her life. A northern California girl, many of her Andor alternative-world stories are firmly rooted there. Today, she lives in Northern Colorado with her husband and two lap-cats, and writes when she’s not wasting time on social media.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

About the Book:

There Be Demons

Title: THERE BE DEMONS
Author: M.K. Theodoratus
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 360
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Paranormal

BOOK BLURB:

Heroes come in all shapes.

The war for Andor has lasted a century. Humans and their allies, the Angeli, fight demons from another plane who need a warmer planet to hatch and raise their young. Trebridge becomes Ground zero when Abraxas, a minion of the demon Prince Vetis, opens a secret portal into the city. The demons’ goal is to build an army to subjugate the city before the humans realize they are under attack.

Standing in the demons’ way are two disparate groups: the humans of Andor and their Angeli allies who command gargoyle warriors.

Leading the four gargoyles guarding Trebridge is Gillen, a proven war hero who uses magic to fight demons. But Gillen is an outcast, mocked for his tuft of hair that normal gargoyles lack. It’s up to him to prove once and for all that he’s worthy of his command, in spite of dissention in his ranks. When Gillen asks the Angeli Commanders for reinforcements to fight the growing demon menace in Trebridge, headquarters send four human teens from the projects.

The leader of the humans is Britt, a 14-year-old half-Hispanic girl who is one of the four magic-possessing Chosen. But Britt was never trained in the art of magic, and like most girls her age, spends her days preoccupied with school and romance. Like Gillen, she must rise above her station in life–if she is to save the ones she loves.

But Gillen and Britt are facing formidable demon foes, Abraxas: a chicken-headed demon who possesses several humans as part of his plan to build the demons’ base in Trebridge and power-hungry Prince Vetis who is his commander. Neither will let the deaths of expendable humans get in their way of the conquest.

In There Be Demons, author M.K. Theodoratus spins a brilliant tale of good versus evil. In this thrilling Young Adult fantasy novel, unlikely heroes rise to challenge a relentless enemy. Join them as they risk everything to save their city.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

 

Book Excerpt

An Unwanted Discovery

2

Britt Kelly leaned against the jamb between the cramped kitchen and living room of her new home in the projects. I feel like a sardine stuffed in a can.

Her anger churned. If her father hadn’t abandoned his family for his bimbo boss, she’d be back home in her own bedroom, chatting with friends about the new school year. Instead, she was stuck in her older half-sister’s apartment.

Many prized the apartments in St. Edmund’s Towers for their size, but Britt refused to see it. She looked at the walls they had painted as a trap. Her mother and sister were sleeping in each family’s respective bedroom. Her two small nephews smeared jam on their faces in the living room as they waited for the cartoons to start. Her two younger brothers, Carlos and Darin, whispered in the bathroom, forgetting their argument over who got the sink first might wake their sleeping mother.

Welcome to another merry day in the projects.

The teen huffed as she waited for her brothers to get ready to sneak away to go see their father uptown. Her thoughts switched to getting revenge on her absentee father. He’d missed his last two court-ordered visits, but she’d get him today, even if her mother forbade them to annoy him. The court said he could see his kids every third Sunday of the month. See them he would. Her brothers had a right to visit him even if his new wife hated them like cooties. Britt was going to make sure they did.

Wish I could make him suffer for the visits he’s missed.

A vision of Britt sticking him with a knitting needle in each hand like his Granny Nan made her smile.

No. That’s not vicious enough.

A vision of a steamroller with thousands of pins on its roller popped into Britt’s mind. In seconds, the machine squashed her father into the ground. When he emerged from underneath, he was a bleeding mess.

A low volume fanfare announced the TV news. Just as she was about to yank her brothers out of the bathroom, her favorite reporter came on. Jessica Hawthorne of the The Trebridge

Channel wore a stunning form-fitting green outfit that Britt coveted. The color would go as well with her dark hair as the reporter’s blond, blue-eyed looks. Hawthorne took a deep breath, ready to deliver her morning spiel.

Britt swallowed hard. Before the Divorce, Britt had worn expensive clothes like Hawthorne’s, not thrift shop junk like she wore now. When they lost their uptown apartment after her mom got sick, the county sheriff had dumped all their belongings on the sidewalk. Most of their stuff got stolen.

Dad could’ve helped us. At least buy us some new clothes for school. He’s still got plenty of money. Mom couldn’t help getting sick.

The small living room swallowed Jessica Hawthorne’s breathy voice. Britt strained to hear her over the bratbies’ sporadic giggles as they shoved pieces of toast in each other’s faces.

“Enough about the underage Crown Prince of Andor getting caught in a strip joint when he should have been at school. Closer to home and our thought for the day. The Guarda assures the citizens of Trebridge the new curfew will end the vandalism and muggings. Stronger measures are needed, I tell you. Scores of people appear at hospitals with the most dreadful wounds and can’t remember how they got them.”

The reporter blathered on, an earnest expression knitting her brows. “We need more guarda on the streets, especially in the river districts. These hoodlums need to be stopped.”

Britt concentrated harder, not daring to turn up the volume while her mother slept. She worked the swing shift now and didn’t get home until four in the morning. Someday I’ll look that polished again, I swear. Granny Nan would bawl Dad out for how we live now if she were still alive.

Britt shut her complaints down, feeling embarrassed at how proud she had once been to be called her daddy’s ‘little princess’.

“While the guarda say their investigations are ongoing, I don’t see any results. Why have so many people disappeared? The police haven’t a clue.” Her lip curled. “You’d almost think we’re being invaded by demons and our fine protectors are too scared to investigate.” Her contempt poured from the screen.

Britt tapped her foot, wishing her brothers would stop giggling. She wished she lived uptown where she still had a room of her own. Granted, they didn’t live on the streets, but four people stuffed in one bedroom in her half-sister’s apartment was torture. Her father deserved to be kicked in the ass. Britt wanted revenge. Her father needed to pay for abandoning his family and her.

The noise in the bathroom grew louder.

Those buttheads better not wake Mom up.

Britt twitched the draped folds of her new V-neck blouse wishing she had the boobs to fill it out. It did have a designer label, just the thing she needed to sneak into the posh condos where her father now lived.

Just like the boys can’t wear their grubs today.

“I want to wear a T-shirt to Dad’s, Britt.”

Quarrelsome Darin whined behind her, making her jump. He had become a total pain since their parents’ divorce. Britt hoped seeing their dad would stop his constant bitching. Britt didn’t feel any guilt for disobeying their mother’s orders. The boys deserved to see their cockroach of a father. His ice-blooded new wife could just tough out their visit.

Britt’s muscles tightened in the cold, funny way they did when something bad was going to happen. She shook her head, forcing herself to ignore the bothersome feeling that was happening too often for comfort.

Glancing at the closed bedroom doors, she put a finger to her lips. Mom’s going to blister our ears if we wake her.

Darin opened his mouth. Lifting her hand to smack him, she brushed back the thick fall of hair across her eyes instead. If she hit him, Darin’s screams would wake their mom and Pietra, their half-sister.

Keeping her voice low, she said, “Get your butt in gear. You’re wearing what you’re wearing. End of questions, comments, and complaining.”

Darin did not give up. “My tees are clean. Dad don’t like fancy either. He sat in front of the TV with his shirt and shoes off all the time. In summer, he only wore his boxers. Remember? Mom always got mad at him for leaving beer cans on the coffee table. Always.”

“Shh. Don’t wake Mom or Pietra.” Britt held a finger to her lips. “Get your shoes on, and we can talk in the hall.”

“I don’t like dress shirts either.” Carlos, her older, calmer brother, carefully left the bathroom door partly ajar. “It’s not fair to make us wear them. You’re just a kid like us even if you’re taller. Being a high school freshmen ain’t no bigger deal than being in fifth grade.”

“Stop being buttheads, both of you.” Britt jerked the apartment door open. “You begged to visit Dad. I’m doing the best I can to see you do, so shut up and move your ass before Mom wakes up.”

Her mother did her best to push their father out of their lives. Britt refused to let her have her wish. Since the messy divorce and his marriage to the Ice-Bitch, Timothy Kelly had seldom spent more than an hour with them. Their dad mostly offered excuses when his visitation weekend came. When he did see them, they barely ate a fast lunch before he sent them off to a movie on their own. The last time was three months ago. Britt missed him and his compliments terribly.

He’s not going to escape today.

Britt remembered their one visit to the posh high-rise, so different from both their suburban and project homes. The pristine rooms, sprinkled with figurines and trinkets, made her nervous enough to get the cold crawls down her back every time she moved. The Ice-Bitch’s rat-dog had barked and snapped at them the whole time.

Carlos didn’t mean to break the stupid shepherd figurine when he jumped. The damn dog would’ve bit him if I hadn’t kicked the yapping rat in the head. I don’t care if the cabrona told us never to come back again. It’s our right to see him.

Outside the apartment, the hallway reeked from years of cooking in the eight apartments of the fifth floor, B-wing. In spite of the blinking light of the security camera in its wire cage, someone had tagged both sides of the hall. Thankfully, they left the picture Britt called the “Tree of Life” undamaged. Someone had painted a huge tree with birds flittering through the leaves. No one told the artist that real trees didn’t grow alone, especially the big ones. Britt missed the trees lining the streets of their lost home, and the painting’s survival gave Britt hope she might survive living in the slums, too.

Be glad you don’t down near the docks.

The thought of trees made Britt smile as memories of her summers at Granny Nan’s flitted through her mind, the pines sighing in the breeze while the oaks rustled with a brisker note. Her huge white dogs slipping out of the house to silently disappear into the tree-covered hillsides. Granny Nan standing lost in thought, rubbing her hidden necklace with the tips of her fingers until the gems glowed, when she thought she was alone. The three guard dogs,

Nan called her guardians, licking Britt’s face.

Britt’s heart clutched when she recalled their goodbye last summer. Granny Nan had bustled about the kitchen, packing a lunch with extra snickerdoodles for the drive back to Trebridge. Just before she shoved the paper bag into her hands, she rose to her tiptoes to kiss Britt on the forehead.

“Cheer up, my girl. Next summer will be loads of fun. You’re going to learn all sorts of new stuff. Our secret now. Remember.”

The last word had held force as she tapped Britt’s forehead. She’d loved Granny Nan. Staying with her was always fun, except when she trained Britt in self-control. Britt had looked forward to her coming summer, not ever imagining the old woman would die.

Britt shoved the memory away because it hurt too much to remember. Won’t learn anything now since she’s dead.

A shuffling noise on the stairs put Britt on alert, living in the projects wasn’t as safe as Uptown. The head of the girl from across the hall appeared, followed by some older guy with broad shoulders carrying a sack. The girl took one look at Britt and dropped her gaze before scurrying toward her door.

On her way, the girl said, “Hi, tree.”

“Why do you always talk to that silly tree, Sara?” asked the guy following her. His gaze rested on where Britt’s boobs should be and sank to her crouch area.

When he smirked, Britt was glad her skirt was loose, happy she did not share Pietra and her mom’s busty figures.

The dark-haired Tejano girl pushed the door open after unlocking it. “Gerome, Hurry up. Mama wants that milk yesterday.”

He scooted into the door, throwing a backward glance at Britt. “Okay, Sara. Okay.”

Carlos slipped into the hallway, pulling their door shut without closing it. “Okay, Britt. Now tell me why I gotta do the dress-shirt shit before school starts.” He stopped and folded his arms across his chest. His expression mirrored his father’s when the old man was ready to start a tantrum and throw things when something didn’t go his way. “I’m not going to move an inch until you let me go back and get a t-shirt.”

“Yeah,” said Darin, joining them.

“We gotta sneak by the co-op’s security, buttheads. If you don’t blend in, they’ll check their list of undesirables and bounce you out the door faster than you can spit. So, you’re wear prissy clothes. Comprendes? Or are you guys totally too stupid to understand?”

“Dad don’t like you speaking Spanish,” said Carlos.

Darin parroted in the high-pitched voice that grated her patience raw. “Yeah, we’re Americans. Have been forever. You can even join the Daughters of the Kingscourt.”

“Shut up, or go watch TV with the bratbies.” Britt gave him a cold stare. Her fifth-grade brothers hated being lumped with Pietra’s pre-school sons. “Carlos and I’ll visit Dad by ourselves and get bigger ice creams afterward.”

Carlos gasped. “You won’t really leave Darin behind?”

Britt’s glare heated. “Damn sure I would, if he don’t stop whining like a baby.”

“Okay, but I still don’t like dress shirts,” said Darin. “All the guys around here wear tees.”

“Duh. Wear a tee to school tomorrow. Now move your ass. We gotta catch the tram.”

Once on the street, the boys forgot the argument in a game of shoving and giggling. Was I ever so young? Maybe before Pietra fell down the stairs and everyone blamed me for pushing her.

Memories of her father’s great-grandmother who lived back in the hills flooded through her mind. Longing pulsed through Britt as she thought of the summers when she lived with her.

Britt should’ve hated the old woman, but she loved her. When she was nine, Britt had been sent away because everyone thought she shoved Pietra down the stairs, breaking her leg. Pietra had been teasing her by lifting her Mr. Pongo over her head, and she had been jumping trying to grab him away. But she slipped. Pietra had fallen down the stairs when Britt had grabbed her for balance. No one believed her when Britt said it was an accident.

The summer after, Granny Nan had invited her back. She did teach her to “control” her temper. She taught her imagination games. Made her use her use all her senses to examine the world around her. Taught her to sing in descant during the long evenings with the mages who came to visit her. Granny Nan was a Dissenter who disliked the Kingscourt and all it stood for. Still, Britt had loved Granny Nan’s mountain valley. The summers had been the most wonderful of Britt’s life.

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