Release Blitz

WISH MARKED by Lissa Bolts

BANNER Wish Marked by Lissa Bolts
Welcome to Magic Pen Book Tours‘ organized release blitz for Wish Marked by Lissa Bolts taking place August 1-5, 2022! The first book in the urban fantasy series of Stones & Curses filled with adventure, treachery, magical beasts, tons of action and a dash of romance.
COVER Wish Marked - Stones and Curses Book One - Lissa Bolts
Title: Wish Marked
Series: Stones & Curses #1
Author: Lissa Bolts
Genre/Tropes: Urban Fantasy / Enemies-to-Lovers Romance, Slow-Burn Romance
Release Date: August 1, 2022
BLURB

Hi. I’m Nora, and I bring people’s worst nightmares to life.

Everyone needs a hobby, right?

Gah. Don’t look at me like that. It’s not like I do it on purpose. I’m cursed. Like bonafide needle-pricking, frog-kissing, poison-apple cursed. Except worse because in addition to slowly chipping away at my soul, this thing will eventually kill me too.

Let me start over…

It all goes back to wishes. The damned things come true around me but in the worst possible way. And I don’t mean that lightly because, well… sometimes people wind up dead.

The kicker? Once I grant my quota of ill-fated desires, that’s it for me. Finito. I know because there were others before me. Just our sick family heritage. We screw people over, and then we die. Hell of a way to live, right?

I think I might be the last one too. I’ve searched my whole life and found nothing. No answers. No cure. Not one hint of magic in this entire world besides me.

Well, that is… until today.

*This is the first book in the all-new urban fantasy series: Stones & Curses. If you like fierce heroines with hearts of gold, edge-of-your-seat adventure, a touch of swoony romance, and enough mind-blowing treachery to leave you wondering what in the world just happened, this is the series for you.

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EXCERPT
Darkness settled around us, and I realized that the forest had gone completely still again. Goosebumps ran down my arms, making every little hair stand on end. I couldn’t quite put my finger on how I knew, but… Something was watching. “Where are we going?” I asked in a near-whisper. Rafe put his finger to his lips, his footfalls silent. Every instinct inside of me was screaming for me to run. To hide. To get the hell out of here. He crouched, sliding to his knees beside a massive tree. It wasn’t a palm and not a deciduous tree, but something in between that I’d never seen before. It had a dark, thick trunk the diameter of a small car that stretched toward the darkening heavens. The top held a plentiful array of branches, all draped with green leaves the size of my body. I watched as Rafe pushed some ferny underbrush away at its base, exposing the tree’s huge, gnarled roots. The woody knots curled up and out, leaving a dark opening beneath—big enough for him to slip through. He crawled inside, waving a hand for me to follow. Do I have to? I glanced up one last time and instantly wished I hadn’t. Several pairs of glowing red eyes blinked down at me from the treetops. My heart thumped like a drum, and I swallowed hard before scrambling after Rafe. The cold, damp earth wedged beneath my fingernails as I tried to get situated in a way that didn’t put me right on top of Rafe. The pitch-black hollow was barely big enough for us to sit beside one another. Fine bits of dirt rained down, falling into my shirt while hairlike roots tickled my cheeks. It was gross, but I supposed it was better than out there. Out there, we were dinner. A soft glow illuminated Rafe’s face, and I turned to find the obelisk in his palm. He moved over me, reaching toward the entrance of our little hideaway. I tried to make myself as small as possible as he sealed us in, covering the way out with the broad leaves and ferns that he’d pushed aside earlier. I watched in fascination as he used the small stone to draw a line in the dirt, and I felt the hum of magic splash against my senses. The line glowed white for just a few seconds before fading and returning to normal. What was that? “Protection spell,” he said, answering my unspoken question and making me wonder if he had powers of the psychic persuasion. “This is a zylas tree. Instead of spreading its roots deep, it stretches wide, often leaving hollows underneath. It also has inherent magic that, when paired with a stone like this”—he held up the obelisk—“can enhance magical properties.” “The stone can do spells?” “They call it a Lightbringer. It’s a protection stone with a minimal range of things it can do—like that spell. It’s not foolproof, but it should keep us safe tonight.” I had a feeling his words were meant to reassure himself just as much as me, but it worked anyway. He had a way of making me feel safe. A revelation that shocked me. He settled back down beside me, pulling the small pack off his back. He rested the obelisk on a root where it continued to light our little enclosure with a faint glow. I shifted and ended up practically on top of him again. “Well, this is awkward,” I said, only making it more so as I continued to try to get comfortable. There was a damn rock beneath my left butt cheek that seemed to follow me no matter which way I moved. He chuckled and lifted an arm, gesturing for me to settle in the nook next to his body. I only hesitated a moment before giving in. He was the perfect balance of strength and softness, and I felt myself relaxing into it. His arm tightened around me, and he rested his cheek on the top of my head. When did I stop hating Rafe again? “You should get some sleep,” he said. Right. Not happening. With every blink, I heard the flapping of giant wings and felt the stare of red gazes. At least those thoughts kept me from reliving our blood pixie and drosera encounters. Those would come later; I was sure of it. “What are the things in the trees?” I whispered. “Predators. Big, big predators.” A shiver rippled through me, and I caught sight of the tiniest hint of black smoke curling off my pinky finger. I’d begun to realize that it was a defense mechanism, triggered when I let the terror take hold. There was more to it than that—like how I sometimes seemed to run out of juice—but that was the gist. I clenched my hand into a fist. No. I would not be afraid. “Remind me, what keeps us from becoming their dinner again?” I could feel him smiling against my forehead. “They can’t fit through the door.” “Look, everybody, it’s Rafe the comedian.”
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AUTHOR BIO
Lissa Bolts

Lissa Bolts is an urban fantasy writer and the author of The Ruling Magic Series. She has a passion for creating new worlds, perilous situations, and villains you’ll love to hate.

A native to Utah, Lissa enjoys spending time with her family tearing up the powdery slopes in the winter and long lakeside camping trips in the summer.

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Release Blitz

On the Beach



Book Three: The Maison de Danse Quartet


Suspense

Date Published: 08-01-2022

Publisher: Épouvantail Books

 

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Private investigator Joy Nakamura is working the strangest cold case of her career, the 1999 disappearance of the five Sanger children. Working the old files, she tries to make sense of a twisted and clearly delusional interview within the records, the closest thing to a confession or explanation. Fighting her personal demons and ruinous alcoholism, she latches onto a clue and goes on the hunt.

The trail leads Joy to Maison de Danse, a family compound in Ormond Beach. Gaining access,

she questions Bo and Jangles Danser, a  handsome man with two distinct personalities: one well-mannered and kind; the other vicious and deadly. They are soon entangled in lies and deceits as she presses on with the investigation, determined to find out what happened to the five children.

When she next meets Izzy Danser, her world is turned upside-down as the mystery gets dark and menacing. Caught up in the family’s ménage, she’s drawn into their eccentric lives and secrets, desperate to discover what happened to the Sanger children. As she draws closer to the answer, a long black shadow threatens to consume her.

Risking her life and sanity, Joy will stop at nothing until the killer is made to pay for his crimes.



About the Author

Greg Jolley earned a Master of Arts in Writing from the University of San Francisco and lives in the very small town of Ormond Beach, Florida. When not writing, he researches historical crime, primarily those of the 1800s. Or goes surfing.


Contact Links

Website

Facebook

Twitter @gfjolle

Goodreads

Instagram

Amazon Author Page

 

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble


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Cover Reveal

Redeem Me by Brittany Tarkington

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About Redeem Me

Raquel:

Finding him was all I’d wanted the last three weeks. He’d haunted my mind, my dreams. I couldn’t decipher what was real or fake. Did he even exist at all?

Roman:

Nothing would stop me from getting back to her.

Or so I thought.

Waking up without identification on the opposite side of the world would throw a kink in things.

When we made it back to each other, it would perfect right?

We were at college now. No longer under our families’ thumb.

But when missing posters pop-up on campus, more each day, we realized something much sinister might be waiting for us.

We’d never guessed how far they’d go to keep us apart, but they underestimated what we’d do to stay together.

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Meet Brittany Tarkington

I’ve always had a crazy imagination and I loved writing. So, I started writing Forever Careless to see if I had it in me. It was too much fluff for me, however my friends loved it. So, I wrote another, this time I pushed to boundaries of fluff.

One day, while in a very bad mood, I thought of a story without a happy ending. One with real problems and real people. A story that was very close to my heart. It nagged me constantly. Months later, I sat down and started Hazed. At first, he was going to be apart of the Forever Series. Just come in and wreck their lives. Instead, I went another route.

Only weeks later, Hazed was finished. I was obsessed with it. It took me over a year to finish my first novel and weeks to finish this one. I knew what that meant. I liked to write about bad people who do bad things. I like to get inside their minds and feel their crazy. So, if you’re looking for hearts and flowers, you won’t find them here. My stories are real and they aren’t pretty.

Author Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrittanyTarkingtonBooks

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brittanytarkingtonbooks/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@brittanytarkington

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3PN3ofg

Website: https://www.brittanytarkington.com/

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Cover Reveal

Domestic Violence

 


Fiction/Thriller

Date Published: December 13, 2022

Publisher: Acorn Publishing


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Agnew, a small farming community in south-central Texas, has just been obliterated in the nation’s worst rail accident in history. The President of the United States enlists cybersecurity expert, Mike Paxton, to lead the investigation and determine who is to blame.

As Mike seeks to uncover the truth behind the attack, more weapons of mass destruction are unleashed across the country in what appears to be an attempt to eradicate western society. Those who survive are forced into a near-apocalyptic existence: transportation, manufacturing, agricultural, and oil industries crumble, and economic collapse devastates America.

With time and resources running out, Mike must discover the cruel forces at play. Are these violent attacks merely a ploy to preoccupy the American government so a larger, global plan can be carried out without the threat of intervention by America’s powerful military defense? Will Mike and his team be able to stop them before it’s too late? Or will the United States lose all hope of maintaining its status as the most powerful country in the world?


About the Author

 Chuck Edmonds is a scientific writer whose military experience includes the evaluation of weapons of mass destruction. Most recently, his work has focused on mechanical circulatory support systems (partial and total artificial hearts), his field of specialization at one of the nation’s leading cardiac centers. His research has appeared in national medical and surgical journals. He draws from his background of deep scientific knowledge to create his fictional works, which often incorporate apocalyptic and war themes. Chuck and his wife live in Houston, Texas, where they enjoy spending as much time as possible with their kids and grandkids. 

 

Contact Link

Goodreads

Twitter: @chuckedmondsauthor

Instagram


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Book Blitz

The Light After the Orange by Beverley J. Hall 

The Light After the Orange
Beverley J. Hall
(The Tundra Stone Series, #1)
Publication date: July 18th 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic

EVEN IN A DYING WORLD, IS SURVIVAL ENOUGH?

After the Orange and the catastrophic devastation of Earth, magic began to seep in—but will it help Alex Chegasa survive?

Hidden and protected by magic, she grew up embracing her gifts. After witnessing the only people she can call family being murdered, eighteen-year-old Alex must choose between her head and her heart in her search for a place to belong. But, her hunt for a home means having to hide her magic.

All the while, in the shadows, eight-hundred-year-old Fae Billey NicNevin, suffering from amnesia, is rediscovering her magic.

Are their fates intertwined?

What if the fantastical stories Alex’s mother told her as a child were true?

ALL MYTHS ARE BASED ON TRUTH

Sales Copy: Eighteen-year-old Alex Chegasa, one of the first generation to be raised on post-apocalyptic Earth, was taught to embrace her magical gifts.

After the Orange, as the planet burned, magic trickled in. The bombs that had wiped out most life ripped open the barrier between worlds. Can the next generation, connected to the magic, be the solution to mankind’s problems or are they destined to repeat the mistakes of their ancestors?

Did the Orange, the very thing that ravaged the planet, also provide the solution? Or is magic more than a coincidence?

While Alex searches for somewhere to belong, in Massachusetts, she questions if survival is enough when she comes to understand that magic, used by the wrong people, could be more dangerous than the power of the generations before her.

Meanwhile, in a parallel story, we meet eight-hundred-year-old Fae, Billey NicNevin. With a past she doesn’t remember, she struggles to fit into Nuadh Caled (New Scotland) as it rebuilds itself. When she meets a woman whose soul calls to her, will she find her missing piece or tumble into insanity?

Are their destinies connected?

WHAT IF THE FANTASTICAL STORIES FROM ALEX’S CHILDHOOD WERE TRUE?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

Loneliness ate me up from the inside, nibbling away at me and leaving an aching emptiness. I didn.t know what I missed or who I missed but knew, deep in the part of my soul that holds my intuition, there was a person-size hole nobody could fix, except for the one.

The person we all hunt for but so rarely find.
The person we were made to fit with.
The one imperfect, perfect, mismatch our soul longs for. *

The trees gathered around me and protected me from the breeze that grew and took on a new life. I rested against the rough bark of the largest tree, my rear now sitting into the roots that formed a seat in the ground. The tree, I almost believed, was shaped for me. Its branches wrapped around my tiny form as I snuggled among the roots. The wind grazed my cheek and I pulled my scarf around my face, desperate to stay here for every second possible.

The sound of the wind howling through the branches vibrated the leaves and created a voice I longed to understand. I closed my eyes, listening, imagining I could hear the voices of the trees. I felt my soul combine with the tree, and contentment that existed nowhere else in my life melted my anguish and pain.

My eyes shot open and I stared at where Geilis had been moments earlier. Empty space filled my view.
I was, again, alone.

Author Bio:

Beverley J. Hall was born in Kent, England, and raised in Scotland. Most of her childhood was spent with her nose in a book, and her love of stories was born.

While studying Art and Design, she discovered her love of storytelling, whether with paint, sculpture, fabric, or words.

After completing an MA in Creative Writing, she is now living her best life, writing stories at the seaside with her son, her granddaughter, and her cat Bertie.

Head over to TikTok, Instagram, or Twitter to join her overthinking and daydreaming (she’s still hoping for a pet dragon).

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / TikTok


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Storm and Flame by Mallory Wanless

Storm and Flame
Mallory Wanless
(Enchanted, #1)
Publication date: September 22nd 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Elena has always been a disappointment. Her magic is practically non-existent and now, on her sixteenth birthday, she is expelled from magic school by the strict headmistress–also known as her mother. Cast out into the world of the magically inept with only her familiar for company, Elena feels lost and alone until she meets a strange boy in the woods.

Quinn is a thief, a hunter, and a hothead. His unexpected friendship with Elena awakens a fiery side in him–quite literally–and uncovers new and surprising magical abilities. Except men aren’t supposed to be capable of magic.

With Quinn’s help, Elena carves a safe new life as a barmaid, but when she is attacked, her powers awaken with shocking ferocity. Elena’s explosion of magic creates a power surge that attracts the attention of magical investigators, sent to uncover and contain the source of the power surge.

But the awakening of their powers kickstarts an ancient prophecy. Will they be able to escape those that hunt them? Can they fulfill the prophecy, destroy the turmio and save magic from being destroyed once and for all?

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EXCERPT:

“Come on. Just work, dammit,” Elena muttered to herself, trying for the millionth time to cast her spell.

Agon had stretched his lithe, weasel-like body across a long, skinny patch of sunlight on the floor of the testing room. He’d spent the morning basking in the warmth of the sun-drenched stone and flicking his fluffy blue-black tail back and forth. As her closest, and arguably only, friend, Agon knew nothing he could say would make her feel better. She was in a mood, and the best thing he could do was to leave her be.

Sparks flared and quickly sputtered out from Elena’s fingertips.

“Dammit. Why can’t I get this stupid spell right?” It was a rhetorical question, but Elena was so frustrated by her own ineptitude that she would have traded everything she owned to successfully complete a spell on the first try.

Elena was easily the worst enchantress in her class, probably the whole school. The other students mocked her mercilessly. It didn’t help that her mother, Madame LaBelle, was the most famous enchantress in the whole country, possibly the world, and the headmistress of their school. She could turn a seed into a centuries-old tree with the flick of her wrist. Elena could grow a seed into a sapling with twenty minutes of chanting, flicking, waving, and praying. Maybe. On a good day.

Madame LaBelle was notorious for her skills with magic as much as her beauty. Unfortunately for Elena, she inherited her looks from her father. At least, she assumed that’s where she got her flat hair and dull brown eyes. She’d never actually met him. In Waverly, as far as enchantresses were concerned, men served one purpose: impregnating women. The men were used and released of all parental rights, whether they liked it or not. Most men didn’t even know the woman they had lain with was an enchantress, much less that they had fathered a child as a result. The women opted to disguise themselves — bar wenches, visitors lost in the big city, damsels in need of aid on the side of the road, etc. — just to get what they needed and be gone before the man even knew her name.

It was crass and cowardly, but Elena had been raised to believe it was for the best. Men weren’t capable of raising children, especially magical ones, and an enchantress always gave birth to another enchantress. Never in the history of the world, had an enchantress given birth to a non-magical child. Or a boy, for that matter. Enchantress beget enchantress. End of story.

Elena dreamed of love and happy endings when she was younger. All the girls did, but their time at Harbor Ridge taught them that magic was their top priority, followed closely by their loyalty to the school and Madame LaBelle. Elena always felt that it was a tad hypocritical how often her mother preached about loyalty to their family — the school and their classmates — when she never paid any attention to her own flesh and blood. What sort of mother neglects her own child to favor those who are more adept at magic? Not a good one, Elena mused glumly.

Agon had been with her since before she was born, like all familiars. They were born together and stayed attached for an “unusually long time,” according to her mother. Typically, familiars disconnected from the baby’s umbilical cord within a few days before settling into their permanent animal form. Agon and Elena stayed connected for two weeks, all the while Agon remained a blob encased in the placenta. Her mother had many specialists, including a Therionology Enchantress, or an animal enchantress, come and inspect Agon and try to coax him into taking any form at all. Nothing worked. Baby Elena just spent her days cuddling “this disgusting blob of goo” and sleeping. Madame LaBelle often liked to remind Elena of how unusual that was, and how that should have been a sign that her daughter was going to be different, and not in a good way.

Agon did eventually develop into an animal; however, he didn’t change into anything anyone had ever seen before. When she was young, Elena overheard one of the scholars reminiscing with another about how they’d managed to identify Agon as a Raju. Madame LaBelle had tasked all of the scholars in the Therionology department to scour all the history books and tomes to identify him. Agon was the only known Raju in ages, and Madame LaBelle hated it. Rajus were blue-furred, weasel-like creatures that had lightning abilities. Another frustrating hiccup, as far as Madame LaBelle was concerned. Familiars weren’t supposed to have magic of their own; they were just meant to be guides to help the enchantress learn to control her powers.


Author Bio:

Mallory lives in Texas with her husband and their two young boys. She spends her days homeschooling and full-time parenting. Her nights, and any free time she manages to carve out during the day, are devoted to reading and writing.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / TikTok


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Redeem Me by Brittany Tarkington

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About Redeem Me

Raquel:

Finding him was all I’d wanted the last three weeks. He’d haunted my mind, my dreams. I couldn’t decipher what was real or fake. Did he even exist at all?

Roman:

Nothing would stop me from getting back to her.

Or so I thought.

Waking up without identification on the opposite side of the world would throw a kink in things.

When we made it back to each other, it would perfect right?

We were at college now. No longer under our families’ thumb.

But when missing posters pop-up on campus, more each day, we realized something much sinister might be waiting for us.

We’d never guessed how far they’d go to keep us apart, but they underestimated what we’d do to stay together.

294370537_734855244240967_566049300465535482_n

Meet Brittany Tarkington

I’ve always had a crazy imagination and I loved writing. So, I started writing Forever Careless to see if I had it in me. It was too much fluff for me, however my friends loved it. So, I wrote another, this time I pushed to boundaries of fluff.

One day, while in a very bad mood, I thought of a story without a happy ending. One with real problems and real people. A story that was very close to my heart. It nagged me constantly. Months later, I sat down and started Hazed. At first, he was going to be apart of the Forever Series. Just come in and wreck their lives. Instead, I went another route.

Only weeks later, Hazed was finished. I was obsessed with it. It took me over a year to finish my first novel and weeks to finish this one. I knew what that meant. I liked to write about bad people who do bad things. I like to get inside their minds and feel their crazy. So, if you’re looking for hearts and flowers, you won’t find them here. My stories are real and they aren’t pretty.

Author Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrittanyTarkingtonBooks

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brittanytarkingtonbooks/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@brittanytarkington

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3PN3ofg

Website: https://www.brittanytarkington.com/

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Book Tour

A Girl Name Charlie by Micki Fredricks

Title: A Girl Named Charlie
Author: Micki Fredericks
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: July 1, 2022



 


★★★★★ Amazon Review – “This was such a cute and fun and heartwarming story about journeys and destinations and real life situations.”

“If life was regulated by star ratings, I would be a one… maybe one and a half star.”

Single mom, Charlie, is trying to make it to the end of the week without another major catastrophe. Her day-to-day life is nothing what she expected it to be, and she doesn’t have time to figure out where everything went wrong. Keeping her head above water has proven to be harder than avoiding her ex-husband and his new girlfriend.
Topping the list of things she doesn’t have time for: laundry, balancing her bank account, and love.
But when dreamy Reid Fletcher, a handsome doctor from the city, moves into her little hometown of Blueberry Pointe, Charlie wonders if maybe her list is too long.
It seems the sexy doctor is determined to find a way into Charlie’s life, even if that means jumping into the eye of the storm and making her struggles his own.
Until life happens, tragedy strikes, and everything takes an all too familiar nose dive.
Can Charlie see through her brokenness and find her way back to happiness? Or will she do what she’s always done and put everyone else’s happiness before her own?
No one knows exactly how this will turn out, especially not… A girl named Charlie.





Micki is a small-town Iowa girl with a flair for the dramatics. Her favorite thing to do is people watch and make up romantic scenarios in her head. She loves her family, coffee and tacos.

When not reading, writing or watching Korean zombie movies, you can usually find her supporting one one of her five kids as they sing, dance or act on a stage somewhere. While her kids were born with stars in their eyes, the idea of being the center of attention makes Micki want to pass out.

Her other hobbies include wrestling with her two American Bulldog rescues, Ozzy and Luna, or begging her cat, Cora, for attention.

Micki is obsessed with growly alphas and the strong women who set them free.



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Beginning of the End by Colleen Green

Beginning of the End
Colleen Green
(Amber Milestone, #3)
Publication date: August 10th 2022
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

“Amber Milestone’s life in New York City has been plagued by the Mafia for as long as she’s lived there. Her roommate, Fiona, and friend, Henry have had their lives ruined by drugs and mobsters, and the trio agree to share what they know with the police in the hopes of taking down the Bugiardini family once and for all. However, informing on the Mafia is not without risk, and Amber will have to be careful if she wants to make it out of the investigation alive.”
Alyssa B., Proofreader, Red Adept Editing

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EXCERPT:

The thought of speaking about my mob-related experiences over the past months caused an emotion I couldn’t name even if I tried. I couldn’t digest what I was feeling. It was such a mixture that it left me with an ache in the pit of my stomach grinding against the swarm of nerves, making it quiver uncontrollably. It was anxiousness and anger toward the men who did horrible deeds under the guise of so-called business. It was hatred toward them, their actions, and the pain they inflicted on others. It was sadness for the irreparable damage they had caused, like Fiona’s disappointment in her gambling-addicted father. Somehow, I was about to take all those feelings and turn them into coherent information with names, dates, places, and suspicions for my father to take to his NYPD contacts.

As we got off the train at our stop, it wasn’t just the cold fall breeze cutting through me. Memories of every injustice played back in my mind and filled my veins with ice. To help take down the mob with information, I needed to be calm under pressure. I couldn’t worry about the bullet that might get lodged in my brain because of the words I was about to speak or the bullets that may go into my dear friends ’heads. I couldn’t let fear win. Instead, truth and justice would prevail no matter what, no matter the cost. It was the only way to stop these so-called businessmen.

Fiona and I walked side by side without talking to each other. We knew what each other would say to my father per our discussion last night. We knew the information was valuable to the police and how dangerous it was to divulge it to the authorities. There was nothing left to say to each other until we were done speaking to my father.

My cell vibrated in my pocket. I pulled it out and saw “Henry” on the screen. I flipped it open. “Hey. What’s going on?”

“Change of plans. Now we’re meeting in the restaurant Tea Time in the Continuance Center on the third floor. The building is in the Columbus Circle area. I told your father that you and Fiona are coming to talk to him. He seemed excited to see you. After what he put your family through, he’s lucky you’re talking to him at all!”

“He is. But I’m not doing it for his sake. I’m doing it to do my part in taking down the mob.”

“Yes, of course. I’ll see you soon.”

I hung up by flipping the phone before putting it back into my pocket.

“What was that about?” Fiona asked.

“New meeting place. We’re still headed in the right direction, so at least we don’t have to backtrack.”

“That’s good. Where?”

“Tea Time in the Continuance Center.”

“I’ve heard they have delicious pastries.” Fiona’s eyes lit up, but the gleam faded quickly.

“I know. It would have been an exciting thing to do if it weren’t for all the ugly things we’re about to talk about.” I frowned. “I’ve always wanted to go to have tea and crumpets or whatever, but not like this.”

At nearly four o’clock, Columbus Circle was already crowded, almost like rush hour on a Monday. In Manhattan, though, it always seemed like rush hour. New Yorkers say the busiest time is from four in the afternoon to about seven in the evening.

Tourists with maps, people in business suits, workers in black-and-white uniforms who must have been servers or bartenders at restaurants, and casually dressed New Yorkers walked around Columbus Circle, heading to different buildings. Traffic was congested, with horns beeping. The statue of Christopher Columbus stood high in the air on a pedestal. We had seen it in the distance when we were walking.

Henry was ahead of us, standing beside the twenty-story Continuance Center. I had heard it had business offices, restaurants, and shops inside. His drawn face, puffy eyes, and the crease above his forehead were most likely due to his inner struggle of living with what he thought his brother, Charles, could be doing with the mob. As we approached Henry, he mustered a faint grin.

I hugged him more tightly than I ever had before.

Author Bio:

Author Colleen Green lives in Ohio. She loves to write, read, and cook. Creating a world that readers can immerse themselves into is her passion. Last Words is her debut novel. The romance suspense book is set in the breathtaking vineyards of Napa Valley, California. Romance suspense, YA paranormal romance, and urban fantasy genres are among her favorites to read and write. She is currently working on the second book in the Amber Milestone series and a series of short YA urban fantasy stories.

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