Publication date: March 4th 2022
Genres: Adult, Romance, Time-Travel
She thinks he’s crazy, he thinks she’s a witch.
Of course, they fall in love.
Shannon Kellogg is a spoiled heiress. She’s shallow and self-centered, but after her third divorce, she vows to become a better person. Practicing kindness and empathy is her prescription for self-improvement.
As if on cue, a young man with a strange accent, dressed as a colonial cosplayer appears in her yard during a thunderstorm. He’s lost and confused, and something about him tugs at her heart. She sees an opportunity on her path to change, and decides to help him.
It turns out to be more of a challenge than she anticipated. Azariah Scott was unwillingly tossed through time and the only way to help him is to send him back to 1750. She doesn’t know how to honor her commitment to him; despite his belief she’s a witch, she doesn’t believe in magic.
As they work together to find a gateway to the past, love blossoms, and Shannon comes to regret her promise.
He cried out, and jerked away from her outstretched hand, falling to the floor, cracking his head on the corner of the island. He went still.
“Well, damn,” she muttered, closing the door.
A puddle had formed where he’d been standing. Much to her relief, a glance down confirmed water, not blood, covered the floor. Barefoot, she stepped gingerly on the well-polished tiles.
Shannon squatted next to him, picking up his wrist and checking for a pulse. His eyes were closed, but his lips were moving. Unable to hear what he was saying, she leaned in, her nose crinkling with distaste as she got closer. Such a heavy costume in the hot weather required far more deodorant. Holding her breath, she put her ear near his mouth.
“I am cursed…”
Straightening, she pursed her lips. The whole situation was bizarre enough to be intriguing. She was curious about this strange man. What was his story? An actual interest in another was a bit foreign to her. A sign, no doubt, she was already becoming a better person.
Okay, but what did she do now? If she called the police, first, they would send someone to her house. It might be the same hot officer who had come a couple of months ago, and after assuring her no bobcat lurked in her backyard, had left a few hours later with more than a grateful “thank you.”
He’d come back once or twice, to play Criminal & Lady Cop, but she’d soon tired of him. Officer CuffMe was the last person she wanted to see when she had an unknown young man passed out in her kitchen. Awkward and uncomfortable at best, of questionable legality at worst.
Second, it would be straight to the psych ward if the police got involved. Probably the right call, but if he were whisked away, she’d never learn his story. Making up her mind, she strode decisively to the liquor cabinet. Bryce had kept an extensive, and expensive bar.
“Brandy, brandy, brandy,” she chanted as she skimmed the labels. She smiled as she wrapped her fingers around the neck of a bottle. She’d read enough romances with bare-chested sea captains on the cover to know when the heroine fainted dead away, the thing to revive her was a bit of eau-de-vie. Singing a Spanish song about brandy she opened her crystal cupboard.
The lines never said anything like, “He poured four ounces of cognac into an eight ounce snifter and lifted it to her trembling lips.” It couldn’t be much. The unfortunate lass was usually “spluttering and gagging at the first taste of the amber fluid.”
Settling next to the stranger on the floor, she assumed the Lotus position. He had stopped mumbling, but was still quite pale. She set the glass down, then shifted to her best approximation of “cradling his head in her lap,” and wondered how the mechanics of this worked.
She decided to check his pockets before reviving him. If she found his license, the mystery would be solved. His apparel was odd, she wasn’t sure where to look. A pat down revealed a muscular body but no phone or wallet in the expected places. There was a slight bulge over his chest. In the small pouch she pulled out, she found some old coins, and some paper which might be foreign currency, though she didn’t recognize it. There was also a large, intricate antique key. None of this was helpful. She slid the purse back into the concealed pocket.
Putting a hand on the back of his head, Shannon, surprised by the weight, carefully lifted it and angled him, as best she could, into a drinking posture. Then, she brought the glass to his mouth—
a very sensuous mouth—
and poured the tiniest bit of alcohol over his lips. She laughed when he actually spluttered.
His head jerked, and his eyes flew open. Shannon drew back her hand, brandy splashing over the rim. She dropped his head, which unfortunately did not land back in her lap, but thumped heavily to the floor. A grimace of pain crossed his face, and she felt a tinge of guilt.
He fixed her with a baleful stare.
“What do you want of me?” he asked.
Rowena Tisdale was born and raised in Michigan, sort of all over the state. As an adult, she moved south to Texas, and after living there for a bit, headed east, eventually returning home to her beloved “Mitten State.” She now resides nearby her favorite city, Detroit, with her son and a pair of feline companions.
A reader of romance from an early age, she remains an avid fan of the genre. Over the years, she began to wonder why the feisty heroines she’s always loved haven’t aged with her. Her stories are about older women, because she knows romance is not solely the purview of youth. Whether a single mother in her 30s, a crone who makes goddesses smile, or a spoiled socialite in her 40s, Rowena writes female characters who have the beauty and confidence of experience. She writes across genres, romance, chick-lit, and women’s fiction, but all her novels are love stories.
Young Reader, Children’s Book, Middle Grade, Mystery, Adventure
Publisher: Annie Tillery Mysteries
What can possibly happen when a crime happens under the very noses of a group of very savvy eighth graders at St. BeSillius’ Catholic School on St. Frederick’s Island? When the money they raised to buy toys for children in homeless shelters in near-by NYC is stolen, the Buccaneers, as they call themselves are outraged. Despite warnings from Father Felix and Sr. Jo, Sprocket, the leader of the Buccaneers, and her determined buddies set out to follow the clues, run down the thief, and get those toys for the homeless kids.
When their clubhouse is burned down, and a threatening letter is sent to the local newspaper, The Foghorn, owned and operated by Sprocket’s mother, the Buccaneers are even more determined to unravel the plot against them. A mysterious island once owned by the pirate, Jon Buccleigh and a labyrinthine cave serve as the setting for this skullduggery. A Native American healer, her community, and a group of the beach people conspire with the Buccaneers to get that money back.
You will be laughing at some of the Buccaneers’ antics and gasping at what those brave eighth-graders face to solve the mystery. The story is rich with colorful and engaging characters as well as the flavor of post-war America in 1947. An altogether fun and satisfying read.
ON THE MOVE
How do those turtles do it? Pull their heads into their bodies? Here comes Sr. JoAnn. My head stubbornly remained on top of my neck.
If you think it’s easy writing a note to the kid in the seat next to you when the rattling of Sr. JoAnn’s rosary is announcing her slow walk down my aisle at this moment, you’ve never been to Catholic school. The room is silent. You can hear pen nibs scratching across the pages of our black and white composition books, leaving a trail of ink blots.
Pen nibs, you say. Ink blots? You won’t believe this about the ink and the inkwell. Will you? We all learned to master a form of writing called the Palmer method. This is just another aspect of toughening the backbone here at St. BeSillius’s. As I look at my permanently stained right middle finger, I wonder if I will be done in by something lurking in the ink and become St. Sprocket, patron saint of calligraphy.
The smell of chalk and old tempera paints barely covers the tinge of pine-scented urine coming from the old radiators. My mom went to this school and tells the story of kids leaning their wet behinds against the radiators to let their underwear dry if they had an accident. Going to the bathroom in those days was a privilege reserved for the Pope. Thank God things have changed, and St. BeSillius has hired a nurse, and given her an office where this kind of thing could be taken care of.
A floorboard squeaks. I hear the faint clink of keys as if Sr. has reached into the stygian depths of her pocket for something. I slide my ruler over the words I’ve just written and peer cautiously from the side of my vision trying to locate Sr. JoAnn. My stomach bunches. She is reading Eddie O’Malley’s entire page. Eddie’s not one of us, so there is nothing out of the ordinary to see in his notebook.
My page is full of writing, but not what I think I want Sister to see. So far, I’ve jotted a list: LOOK FOR CLUES, including the narvex, the sacristy, the side entrance, the choir loft, and the bushes around the church. I’ve signed it, Sprocket.
Sprocket? Is that a Christian name? Of course not, silly reader. We all have code names to protect the guilty. We are the Buccaneers of St. BeSillius School, a secret society dedicated to solving the mysteries and misdeeds of our little parish school and the island where it’s located.
Uh-oh. Here she comes. If I rip the page out and crumple it, she’ll just grab it. And, I’ll have to explain why there’s nothing on the page, in longhand mind you, about the characteristics that would have made George Washington a good Catholic, if only he had known better.
George was an Anglican having once been a colonial loyal to the King of England, also a George. But that’s another story.
Eddie, not the sharpest pencil in the box, is getting the Spanish Inquisition treatment about his lack of inspiration on the topic. I wonder if the nuns get a special course in interrogation techniques.
Eddie, I love him dearly, is buying me time. Could I quietly turn the page and jot a quick sentence or two? I pick up the notebook and turn the page, knocking a pen full of ink onto the floor along with the ink well. As you can imagine, this was not a silent maneuver. Sr. JoAnn, Eddie and the whole class look at me. I feel my face burn. I get up to clean the mess and knock the composition book on the floor with my note showing plainly on top. Sister reaches for it. I’M DEAD!
The fire drill siren shrieks. Sister turns to move the class to the fire exit, and I kick the composition book under the desk. It obliges me, closing with a snap.
“I’ll clean this later, Sister.” I smile.
“And I will be checking your essay.” She smiles back.
“Yes, Sister,” I say, noting that the proverbial glove his been tossed onto the floor like they did in those ancient duels. I file past her.
Are you wondering why a bunch of Catholic school kids are searching for clues in what looks like a church and the yard around it?
Let me digress for a bit and fill you in on some details about why we are listing clues and what all this skullduggery (Great word, isn’t it?) is about.
Well, before I fill you in on what happened when we found those clues, let me explain who we are. We call ourselves The Secret Crime-Stoppers of Sts. Christopher and Michael, but I wanted a shorter title like Buccaneers of St. BeSillius. I thought calling on both St. Christopher and St. Michael was pushing the envelope of sponsorship. And who even knows who St. BeSillius is? So, just think of us as the Buccaneers.
For the past year, our class has been raising money for a class trip to visit seven churches on the mainland and distribute toys to the children’s day care centers in those parishes. We did bake sales, car washes, leaf-raking, snow shoveling. We cleaned attics for old ladies, cut lawns and pulled weeds. Some ill-informed parents even let us do fence-painting. Don’t worry! Those shrubs will come back in a year or two.
A whole year of those earnings went into the fund. We kept it in the vestry. That’s the room behind the altar in the church where the priest keeps his vestments. Get it? Vestry, vestments? The box with the money disappeared the day Father Felix was supposed to open a bank account for us. We never got the money back, never found out who did it, and we’re pi….. Whoops! Sorry. I’m just angry. Not mad. Sister Priscilla said that mad means crazy. Well, she hasn’t been paying attention to her students.
Anyway, even though the sisters and priests said we should offer it up to God. I’m not sure what that means, the money or the cursing we did. And, we should learn a lesson. Next time lock it up! And where were we supposed to lock it up? It was in the vestry! With Father Felix, the parish priest!
This didn’t go down too well with some of us, and one night last summer at our club house which is just a shack on the beach, we decided to form our own little PI group, that’s Private Investigator. We voted on and accepted our official title, Buccaneers of St.Besillius. Look. You can’t beat our creativity in naming the group. We even researched St. BS. She’s the patron saint of mimes.
As we gathered around the fire, we wrote up a charter including the following:
· Each member is sworn to secrecy, under pain of . . .what? Oh, I don’t know.
· All clues are to be shared by everyone.
· All communications would be done using our code names. Mine is Sprocket.
· Our meeting place would be the old fishing shack on the beach.
We made a list of our code names.
Lily code name Sprocket, all around smarty, leader, that’s me.
Ryan: code name Bletch, general genius.
Frank: code name Wingnut, mechanical genius, and a bit dippy.
Leon: code name Snap Shackle, math genius, can put two and two together.
Amalie: code name Ratchet, electronic surveillance, or just plain snoop, meaning she can use a camera.
And so, the story begins.
About the Author
Linda does lectures on Topics on Forensic Science at libraries, universities, clubs and other venues. She is currently writing the next Buccaneers book.
Goodreads Review – “Emma Luna definitely knows how to masterfully create a killer story that grabs you right from the start and doesn’t let go. Black Wedding is just the perfect dark mafia kidnapped romance story you’ve been looking for.”
Date Published: January 22, 2022 (Hardcover coming March 2022)
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Jim Gibson was flying to the other side of the world, barreling toward what he feared could be the end of his life. In 1968, five hundred American soldiers were dying every week in Vietnam. Outfitted in brand new, scratchy, combat jungle fatigues and boots, the twenty-year-old Army Private and trained Combat Medic found himself on a plane to a place he had never been, to fight a war he didn’t believe in. Young men like him were being drafted against their will every day, called into a war that made no sense to them. Vietnam, they thought, was a war orchestrated by relics; old white men and corrupt politicians willing to expend countless lives for personal gain. Still, it was no use to resist. There was nowhere to go, and the FBI made sure there was no place to hide.
About the Author
Jim Gibson was born in Santa Barbara, California in 1948. Growing up he was fascinated by the world around him, a curiosity that drove his love of reading at a young age. He has carried this passion for reading and desire for understanding throughout his whole life. In Not Paid Eleven Cents an Hour to Think, Jim recalls his fourteen months in Vietnam as an Army Medic and ambulance driver. In exploring his past and the lessons he learned, he considers what we must do to carry on. Mr. Gibson, now a happily retired grandfather, occasionally teaches abstract painting and other art classes in his community. He resides in Orange County, California.
Cold Blood by T. Strange
General Release Date: 8th March 2022
Word Count: 86,043 Book Length: SUPER NOVEL Pages: 350
BONDAGE AND BDSM CONTEMPORARY CRIME EROTIC ROMANCE GAY GLBTQI PARANORMAL THRILLERS AND SUSPENSE