The Scent of Leaves
Publication date: January 15th 2021
Genres: Adult, Fairy Tales, Retelling
Janet has always dreamed about leaving her small town behind and starting over somewhere fresh. The only thing keeping her going is a photography obsession and her film camera. For her, life is a series of late nights spent working at a local gas station and days earning a final college credit before graduation. But she’s been putting it off for so long she’s starting to feel like it might not happen.
One night Tom appears, charming and handsome, and going out of his way to get to know her. Suddenly he’s everywhere in her small town, appearing and disappearing at odd moments, creeping in on her days and nights. As they spend time together, Janet falling more under his spell each day, she begins to realize that reality is different around Tom. Small things begin to happen, odd occurrences turning into strange events, as Janet is pulled deeper into the mystery surrounding him.
In this modern retelling of the classic Ballad of Tam Lin the world is brought into sharp focus through the lens of a camera. The line between what is and is not real blurs, nature stealing in around the edges, and Janet comes to understand that there is more at stake than just a broken heart.
Another night came and went, smelling like coffee and glass cleaner as she turned the convenience store over to Gary in early morning. The sun had yet to come up, a thin yellow line growing on the horizon, diffusing, and she eyed it as she walked toward her car, wondering what kind of day it would turn out to be.
“Where will you go now?”
She jumped, turning to see Tom leaning against the building.
“How long have you been here?”
“A minute or two. Ryan dropped me off. I was just behind Gary but didn’t want to come in and give you away. I was worried he’d tell your boss you have company every night.”
“Not every night,” she said, shrugging.
“Close enough.” Tom stepped forward, shoving his hands into the front pockets of his jeans, shoulders coming forward. “Where will you go?”
He smiled, “Would you like to do something besides go home?”
She could not help it, she smiled too, a creeping delight curling her toes. “Like what?”
“You drive. I’ll navigate.” He moved to the passenger side of her car, hand on the door, waiting for her.
Janet unlocked the car and got in, aware of him sliding in beside her, taking up more air and space than the little car had to spare. She turned it on and rolled down the windows, shooting him a look before backing out of the space. At the edge of the lot, where the street met the gas station, and all roads led away, she paused, waiting for the first direction.
She put the blinker on and turned.
Tom half turned to her, already smiling. “So, tell me what you want to be when you grow up.”
“What?” She laughed, glancing at him and away. The town rolled by, flat background to his intense stare.
“What’re you going to school for? I don’t think you’ve told me.”
“And photography is part of that?”
“It can be but mostly I just stumbled into it.”
“And you love it?”
She smiled. “Yeah, I do.”
“So what’s your end goal then? In a year where do you want to be?”
“Not here.” The answer came out so fast, she hadn’t thought about it, just opened her mouth and there it was, hard and solid truth.
“This place isn’t so bad,” he said.
“You didn’t grow up here.”
“I think I would have liked it if I had.”
“You say that.”
“No really, I think it would have been nice.”
“Everyone here is still talking about how my mom left. It’s been twenty years and they’re still asking if I miss her. They still ask my dad if he’s heard from her. It’s like it happened yesterday for them, still gossiping about it. They don’t have anything better to do. To be fair though they’re also still talking about the one year the pickles exploded at the state fair.”
“Yep, when I was one.”
He sounded like he meant it, but she did not look at him, not wanting to see pity in his eyes. She stopped at a four-way intersection, looking each direction. “Which way?”
“Left,” he said without hesitation. He did not tell her where they were going. The sun touched her rear-view mirror, throwing light in her eyes, filling the car with reflections. The seen and unseen, the shadows and light dancing over their faces, hiding expressions and masking fears.
After a pause she asked, “What about you?”
“Yeah, in a year where do you want to be?”
“Somewhere with a stage.”
She laughed, “Yeah?”
He nodded. “I grew up in a big town with plays and movies rolling around in my head. I was in all the school plays and a few after high school in local venues. I did performance art in college.”
“You’ve graduated?” she asked.
“No. I’ve got a semester left.”
“Why’d you leave when you were almost finished?” She darted a look at him, watching his face shut down and close up, light shifting over his features.
“I had an offer I couldn’t refuse. It was too good.”
“But it wasn’t?”
He shook his head, turning to look out his window, silence growing between them like lichen, slow and spreading. She drove in it, skin prickling, head buzzing. The sun, though rising, seemed suspended above the horizon and they had crossed the town limits a few miles back. He had chosen farm fields and grassy valleys, open areas, instead of the dark closeness of the trees, the Nantahala National Forest in the other direction. Janet was not sure what else was out here, besides fields and woods, and eventually the next town.
“Here!” Tom shouted, pointing to the right.
“Where?” Janet looked around, fields and low hills rolling past, a few trees but mostly knee-high grass and rocks. But she caught sight of a narrow track leading away from the road, overgrown and faded.
“That dirt track there.”
“I don’t think I’m going to be able to get my car down that.”
The track was more of a path, overgrown and rutted, twisting out of sight.
“You can park on the verge and we’ll walk.”
She pulled over, checking the mirrors for traffic, the engine ticking as she rolled the car windows back up. The road belonged to them, the countryside full of bird song and morning light. She wished she had brought her camera last night, so she would have it now, so she would be able to capture the physical warmth shimmering and thrown up by the dewy grass. She held her breath for an instant, pulling it all inside, keeping it tight against her heart.
He looked at her, understanding, and the smile he gave her was swift but sweet.
He swung out of the car and she followed, smoothing her shirt as she got out. She felt tired and greasy, the scent of stale coffee on her skin. In the already hot morning, sweat prickled along her hairline. She wished she had known he would be waiting, that she had worn a less faded work shirt and not the baggy jeans she reserved for days she did not care.
But he had not shown up the night before and she had wondered if she would see him again. Or if he would be gone just as suddenly as he had arrived, and realizing that, knowing it, made her realize she was hoping he would show up.
He took her hand as they left the paved road behind, twining their fingers together, pulling her toward the track with long sure strides.
“I come here a lot,” he said, looking down at her. “It’s quiet. I don’t get a lot of alone time generally.”
She realized she did not know very much about him. As much as they had talked and he had talked, there was not much about his current situation that he shared. But she felt like she knew parts of him, accepting his presence beside her, wanting him with her.
A shake of his head, lips twisting into ruefulness.
They came around the curve, around the hill, and Janet stopped.
“I didn’t know this was here.”
Shielded from the road a clear pond sparkled in the hollow between hills. Water lilies floated on the surface, dark green leaves and brilliant white blooms. The grass was greener, the blue morning sky above the pond clearer.
“It’s spring fed. You can see where it bubbles up from the rocks in the deeper parts.”
“How did you find it?”
“Someone showed me. I had the same reaction you did. My mouth fell open and I just stood there.”
“So are you.”
He smiled, pleasure pouring from him, washing over her. In that moment she would have jumped off a bridge with him. And with that feeling deep down inside she knew she would have flown.
Then he pulled her, jogging for the water, without pausing. She let herself go, following, until they ran into the pond, fully clothed, shoes and all, between waving blossoms and rippling lily pads. Janet laughed, throwing back her head, the sound of it bouncing back. It was cold and water up past her knees, chasing away the sweat from the hot morning. The sun felt different in the little hollow, like liquid gold, soft against her skin.
He kissed her, quick like a habit she never wanted him to break, the pressure of his mouth there and gone. He took her laugh with him, releasing it with his own, leaving her breathless and aware of their bodies, so close, and the quiet of the hollow around them.
“I think this place is magic,” she said.
“It must be. Give me your hands.”
She did and he held her at arm’s length, their arms stretched taut. “At the count of three fall back.”
“We’ll get soaked.”
“We’re already soaked,” he laughed, squeezing her hands tight. “Ready?”
She shook her head no but said, “Ready.”
He fell back, away from her, his smiling face falling. She let herself go, surrendering to gravity, feeling weight and then water rushing in, filling ears and nose. The bottom of the pond was sandy beneath her hands, a little rocky, and not at all slimy like other ponds she had jumped into as a kid. She squeezed her eyes tight, holding her breath, floundering up. She wiped water from her eyes, pushed hair out of her face. She gasped and laughed.
Opening her eyes, expecting Tom and not seeing him, she turned, sloshing, searching her surroundings. The water rippled, like a stone had been tossed in, like a grown man had cannon balled into it. She waited, expecting him to pop up, gasping for air, slicking his hair back. Birds trilled, making her realize how quiet the hollow had been since they had first stepped into it. The water continued to ripple and move.
She turned, scanning, brows coming together. The birdsong grew louder, grating, filling her head like a buzz saw. She sloshed forward, hands in the water, moving as if she could part it, feeling for Tom. It was so clear she could see the sandy bottom, the rocks, the water lilies.
The pond was empty.
Kathryn Trattner has loved fairy tales, folk stories, and mythology all of her life. Her hands down favorites have always been East of the Sun, West of the Moon and the story of Persephone and Hades. When not writing or reading she’s traveling as much as possible and taking thousands of photos that probably won’t get edited later. She lives in Oklahoma with her wonderful partner, two very busy children, one of the friendliest dogs ever, and an extremely grumpy cat who doesn’t like anyone at all.
Want to hear about the latest release? Sign up for my newsletter Magical Mundane Madness at kathryn.substack.com
Blood and Bone
(The Blood and Bone Series, #1)
Publication date: October 30th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Love is complicated, messy, and sometimes painful but oh so worth it. A heartbreaking journey through love, friendship, family, and fame.Music brought them together, addiction tore them apart, loyalty saved them. It was always Jack and Mia, everyone else was just collateral damage.Jack O’Donnell‘s life was teetering on the edge. Forced, as a teenager, to make a decision that would change his life forever, he left his hometown to pursue a music career with collaborator Mia Stone. Living in a van by the beach was not the glamorous Los Angeles lifestyle they had envisioned but sparked the most creative time of their lives. Making it big was all they ever wanted but when it happened, friendships were tested, hearts were broken, and lives were changed forever.Erin Langford is a seasoned journalist tasked with writing a feature on Jack O’Donnell. Being at the right place at the right moment puts Erin in a unique position to get the story, but at what cost? Having preconceived notions about Jack’s rock star image, she learns there is more to a story than just the headlines. The two embark on a journey through Jack’s past where he recounts the rise and fall of his band Mogo and the irreplaceable bond between himself and collaborator Mia Stone. The feature she thought she was going to write, turns into so much more.Blood and Bone is an evocative story told in alternating time periods, from the early ’90s to the present day about deep bonds between flawed people whose only outlet of self-expression is through their music.
“I didn’t get this gig because of my looks.” Erin explained but he seemed unfazed. “Just so you know.” Never had she cared about such a thing from any other interview, but she wanted Jack to respect her. That was the only way this interview would be taken seriously.
“If you say so.” He did not seem convinced.
“I have a pretty extensive portfolio.” She felt compelled to make him understand that she was not being used as bait or whatever he thought. “Edge is just one of the magazines that I’ve written for.” She clarified. “You can look up my work.”
“I believe you.” Jack said putting his hands up but it was Erin who was not convinced now.
Returning to business. “I’m going to turn on my recorder.” She told him.
“Ah, we’re getting serious now.” Jack leaned back in his seat, trying to appear comfortable but everything about him was tense.
“Where should we start?” Jack asked, smoothing his hair with one nervous swipe of his fingers.
Erin took out her notebook and clicked the pen open, always well prepared. The waitress dropped off their drinks. She discretely placed a napkin near Jack with her name and number written on it. This angered Erin as she felt slightly protective over Jack after the events of the morning and gave the waitress the stink eye as she left the table.
Jack ignored the waitress and gave all his attention to Erin, waiting for her to continue. “You look displeased.” Jack suggested.
“I just think that’s presumptuous.” Erin motioned to the napkin.
“How so?” Jack cocked his head.
“Well, for one, we could be on a date.” Erin said in an annoyed tone.
“Would you like for us to be on a date?” Jack’s smile unnerved her.
“Don’t be ridiculous.” Erin scoffed.
“You brought it up.” Jack shrugged innocently.
“Ok, that’s not…” Erin was frustrated. “Never mind.” She settled back in.
Erin cleared her throat and went back to business. “It’s been 20 years since the first album came out. I’d like to go back to how the band was formed. There’s not a lot of information on this subject, other than you being high school friends, but I’d like to go a little deeper and talk about what it was like before the fame.” She said.
Erin could see a slight tick at the corner of Jack’s eye. “If that’s ok.” She added, swallowing hard.
Jack took a sip of his cappuccino and Erin could tell he was very pleased with it. “I was a sixteen-year-old asshole of a kid who was destined to drop out of school and end up in jail.” He said. “Music was all I had.”
“Well, you did drop out and you did end up in jail, on more than one occasion.” Erin sifted through her notes. “But my guess is that there was a lot that happened in between.” She took a sip of her latte. Every place made chai differently and she was not impressed but it was drinkable. She was partial to a shop around the corner from her apartment in Queens.
Jack chuckled. “That’s a matter of public record.”
“You said music was all you had. Why?”
Jack’s expression darkened.
“How did the band get formed?” Erin rephrased.
“It’s how every great love story begins.” A touch of nostalgia in his eyes. “I met a girl.” A smile spread across his face that didn’t quite reach his eyes. “I met a girl and she ruined me forever.”
Erin could not tell if he was talking about Mia or Amber. She only knew that she wanted to find out.
Paula Dombrowiak grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois but currently lives in Arizona. She is the author of Blood and Bone, her first adult romance novel which combines her love of music and imperfect relationships. Paula is a lifelong music junkie, whose wardrobe consists of band T-shirts and leggings which are perpetually covered in pet hair. Music is what inspires her storytelling.
Paula is currently working on a sequel to Blood and Bone which focuses on Hayley O’Donnell’s music career while living in her fathers shadow.
Super sexy sorcerers?
The Magic of Twelve: Scarlet by Pepper North is coming…
Follow Pepper for release alerts: http://bit.ly/38xwjRi
Love and magic. Danger and evil. Which will triumph?
Clueless to the true meaning of her life, Scarlet is awe-struck when she is transported to another realm on her 22nd birthday. Safe in the arms of the sorcerer she soon chooses to call Pappa, all of her secret fantasies begin to come true.
As Remo celebrated the arrival of the eleven fated women before his, he longed for the day when he would finally embrace his own droblin. At long last, this powerhouse of magic holds Scarlet close and vows to protect her with the last bit of his life force as the prophecy of The Magic of Twelve unfurls.
This final volume in The Magic of Twelve Series weaves together all the foreboding omens of the entire series to reveal the menace threatening the droblins and their sorcerers. In this ultimate battle, will the Sorcerers of Bairn vanquish their foe? What will prevail: love or evil?
Readers Beware: The Magic of Twelve Series is intended to leave the audience enchanted and wanting more. Each of these fantastical love stories features sizzling scenes that may leave the reader as uncomfortable as the heroine’s bottom. Tread carefully with the Sorcerers of Bairn if you are sensitive to high heat.
Amazon — amzn.to/3pJwbVw
BookBub — bookbub.com/authors/pepper-north
Facebook — facebook.com/4peppernorth
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Instagram — instagram.com/4peppernorth
Laura John has revealed the cover of Clean Slates and we get to share it with you!
Clean Slates is coming February 11th!
Add Clean Slates to your Goodreads TBR today!
Cover Design by Dark City Designs
When my fiancée left me at twenty years old with a three-month-old baby, I refused to let it break me. I put my dreams on hold and worked tirelessly to provide a life for my daughter.
An opportunity strikes when I take a job in the music industry, just like I always wanted. The only thing is, I’ll be sitting on the sidelines managing minor details instead of being center stage.
Then, out of nowhere, a woman with strawberry hair walks into my life and proves to me that I’m more than just a single dad.
Can I really have it all, or is the past doomed to repeat itself?
Start the Love in Sienna Series today!
Meet Laura John
Laura John is a contemporary romance author with a love for music. She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband, two kids, and one loveable fur-baby. She loves karaoke, makeup, and of course a good glass of wine. She mixes her love of words with her love of music and hopes to transport you into a world you don’t want to leave.
Readers group: www.facebook.com/groups/lauraslovelyladies
Join us for the cover reveal of Broken by Evelyn Sola. Fans who love Second Chance Romances will sink their teeth into this sexy, diverse romance. Keep scrolling for more details about this sexy cover.
Author: Evelyn Sola
Release Date: 2/15/2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 401 pages
Trope: Diverse Romance, Second Chance Romance
I never saw Noah Weston coming. He swept into my life like an unexpected storm, but soon, he was everything to me.
Until tragedy struck.
One day I was planning the rest of my life with my soulmate, and the next I was picking up the pieces of a love so strong, it broke me apart.
It took three years to put myself back together.
Three years until I was ready to move on.
I’ll never forget it. The day he came back.
Can lightening strike twice? Maybe, but when I look into his eyes, all I remember are the last words he ever spoke to me.
The words that left me broken.
I loved her before I knew her name. She was more than just my heartbeat. Julia Blake was a dream too good to be true.
When real life invaded the bubble we had created, I was left a broken man.
I survived, but I was dead inside. Half the man I used to be.
The half I needed had a new life without me.
Three years later, I’m back to reclaim what I’ve lost.
I’m back for her, only she wants nothing to do with me.
Pre-Order Now on Amazon
Amazon → https://amzn.to/3hNpCxF
Add to Goodreads Here!
About The Author
A Boston native, wife, mother, and wine enthusiast. If she’s not writing, thinking about writing, you will find Evelyn with a book in her hands. While a new publisher, she’s been writing for years, and she will continue to write for many years to come.
Evelyn is obsessed with assertive and confident men who will stop at nothing to get their woman. Her stories are filled with love, passion and humor.
She currently lives in Chicago, IL with her husband and two daughters.
Facebook → https://www.facebook.com/evelynsolaauthor/
Twitter → https://twitter.com/WritesEvelyn
Instagram → https://www.instagram.com/EvelynWritesEveryday/
Reader Group → https://www.facebook.com/groups/2572728646312337/
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of My Life (Finding Sabrina, #3)
Author: Marissa Honeycutt
Genre: Dark Romance, Dark Paranormal Romance, Suspense, Political Thriller
Cover Designer: Dani Rene-Raven Designs
Editor: Ms.K Edits
Developmental Editor: Kristi Cramer
Publication Date: March 18th,2021
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
I started my first writing journal in 7th grade after a dream about my favorite boy band, New Kids on the Block. A dream also inspired the writing of The Life of Anna and Distorted Hope. I dreamed I was kidnapped with Adam Savage from Mythbusters and taken to Mexico. That dream ultimately morphed into the book now known as Distorted Hope.
I never set out to become a published author. I never imagined that there were other people out there with twisted minds like my own. But after sharing rough drafts of The Life of Anna, I decided to be brave and publish the first part of Anna’s story, Enslaved. When The Life of Anna took off as it did, I was in complete shock. The success of the books humbled and encouraged me. I’ve made such good friends through my writing and I can’t imagine ever stopping.
I write for myself, but always keep my reader’s hearts in mind. I follow my characters’ lead and sometimes they lead me into the darkness, but there’s always light somewhere, if you look hard enough. There’s always hope.
I love hearing from my readers. They keep me going; keep me writing. An author is nothing without a reader.
★✩★ NEW RELEASE ★✩★
By IZZY MATTHEWS
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Trope: Older Age Gap
Release Date: January 18, 2021
Hosted by DS PR Services
Purchase for .99c for a LIMITED TIME!
iBooks, Nook, Kobo https://books2read.com/u/me7nng
Available on all major platforms
Can a brilliant English professor and a dyslexic auto mechanic find a path to love?
Divorced Zoe Gifford hopes her move to Riverbend will heal her shattered heart. She’s not looking for love and never with a younger man. But when she meets the compelling auto mechanic in a yoga class, it’s impossible to fight her fascination for him.
Zander Greybek spots Zoe unrolling her yoga mat and his immediate attraction to her staggers him. Blinded to their differences he’s in hot pursuit and intends to catch her at all costs. But when her insecurities surface, the shame he carries from his past is a punch to the gut.
Can she conquer her fears and reach for love and will he play the odds to win?
Improbable Odds, is a standalone, steamy, contemporary older age gap romance with a passionate and resilient hero and heroine who must each decide to risk it all for a chance at a forever love.
Once a non-fiction writer, Izzy Matthews made the dream-come-true switch to writing romance. Her love of romance began as a child when her mom gave her Jane Eyre to read. Plain, feisty Jane was the perfect foil for alpha Edward Fairfax Rochester…she was hooked. Now she creates steamy, contemporary romances with smart, sexy alpha men who tangle with clever, captivating women, and despite the detours, they will find their happily ever after endings.
With her kiddos grown, she lives in Pennsylvania on a bluff overlooking the Delaware River with her two rescued cats and spins tales of love and passion.
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★✩★ COVER REVEAL ★✩★
Heroes for Hire: Missions Book 1
By JESSIKA KLIDE
Genre: Contemporary Romance | Security
Release Date: February 25
Hosted by DS PR Services
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08SWPS1DJ/
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08SWPS1DJ/
Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08SWPS1DJ/
Available in Kindle Unlimited
. What happens to former Navy SEALS when we enter civilian life?
Do we stop serving our country?
Stop giving a damn about the mission we’ve been trained for?
Stop caring about our fellow Americans who are unable to defend themselves?
I am Jeff Crockett, and when I came face to face with human trafficking, I was forced to answer those questions. My answer was and always will be “HOOYAH!”
I refused to fail in the fight for freedom and I was not alone. I and a select group of former military special operators formed a company known as: Cock Blockers, Inc.
Our mission: Stop the scourge of human trafficking.
Our specialty: Snatch and Grab Rescues.
Our commitment: Leave no one behind.
Our motto: Freedom is the only option.
This is Ground Zero.
A Standalone novel
About the Author:
Everyone has secrets!
Jessika Klide is my pen name. I’m from LA … Lower Alabama. The Deep South. My mind is extremely sensuous, some call that slutty, so it’s just better to use a pen name. Trust me on this! 😉
I believe lust and love form perfect unions and the stars do align for true love.
Facebook Author page- https://goo.gl/5EBf1b
Twitter – https://goo.gl/mdL5oM
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Website – https://goo.gl/2eGyeu
Bookbub – https://goo.gl/EHAxmZ