My Latest Release: The Crimson Curse

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I’m excited to announce that my fantasy romance novella, The Crimson Curse, is now available! I had abruptly stopped writing at the beginning of 2016 when I was in the middle of drafting this story. My brother had passed away unexpectedly, and the absolute shock of losing him kept me from sitting down and working on anything for months. Eventually, I found my way back to the keyboard and picked up where I left off. The Crimson Curse is special to me because writing it helped me through a pretty dark time. Once I returned to the writing routine to finish it, it reminded me of how much I love doing this. The main theme behind it is hope, and I hope that you’ll enjoy this story.Now for the blurb and the links…Also, don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post. Thanks for stopping by!

This week’s new Novella Niblets release…

The Crimson Curse
Romance / Fantasy
By Melissa J. Crispin
Release Date: Feb 7, 2017
Keywords: Romance, Fantasy, Sweet, Novella, Beauty and the Beast, Fairy Tale
 
Cursed and disfigured, Calliope must find true love before the final leaf falls from the Enchanted Tree. Being bound to her mansion on the outskirts of town leaves her with little hope.
 
Abandoned by his wife for a wealthy man, Bastian only needs one female in his life, his five-year-old daughter, Yareena. When she goes missing during a raging fire, fate brings him to a strange place where he encounters a woman wearing a golden mask.
 
An attack by rogues puts Bastian in Calliope’s care. As he struggles against pride and prejudice, Bastian can’t ignore his growing attraction to the kind soul behind the mask.
Yareena and the mansion staff do their best at matchmaking, but Calliope can’t reveal her darkest secret. Will Bastian discover her true beauty before it’s too late?
 
~~~oOo~~~
 
 
~~~oOo~~~
 
EXCERPT:

Calliope returned her attention to Bastian, grasping his shoulder with a gentle hand and giving him a small shake. When he didn’t stir, she considered how she could clean the wound without undressing him as he slept. She had never taken off a man’s clothing before, and she hardly wanted her first time to be when he wasn’t even aware of her actions. But, no other options seemed available. She started at the bottom button of his shirt, working her way up with trembling fingers, and spreading the fabric apart when the last of the buttons slipped free.
 
Her eyes roamed his upper body. While she was supposed to be assessing the extent of his injuries, she couldn’t deny the flash of heat that blasted through her at the sight of his bare skin.
 
She dipped a washcloth in the basin that Mrs. Widdleworth left on the night table, wringing out the excess water. As she dabbed at the gash near his naval, his vulnerability in that moment struck her in a way she had not expected. After their first encounter, she would have predicted his ego to get in the way, choosing to bleed to death in the cold rather than accept anything from her.
 
Although he suffered a serious injury, his daughter seemed to remain his utmost concern. Could his earlier ill-temper have been an unusual display? A behavior born out of fear for his daughter’s safety?
 
Maybe she had been wrong about him.
 
She pressed her lips together, allowing the notion to sink in as she dropped the bloody fabric off to the side, and proceeded to stitch the wound with shaky fingers. When the task was complete, she picked up a fresh cloth to use as a dressing. Relief washed over her as she inspected the area before covering it up. The slice in his flesh went deep, but not nearly as deep as she initially feared. She positioned the bandage and fixed it in place, her gaze catching a thin trail of hair that started under the center of his chest, following the way it continued lower down his body, and even further yet where it dipped beneath his trousers.
 
“It’s been a long time since a woman has laid her hands on me,” Bastian said, his voice rough.
 
Calliope jumped, heat infusing her cheeks. “My apologies if this offends. Marcus doesn’t fare well with blood. I had to care for your injury myself.” Her eyes met his, and to her surprise, no anger seemed to stir there.
 
“I was only teasing.” He swallowed hard, appearing to bite back the immense discomfort he had to be feeling. “Thank you.”
 
She inclined her head. “You’re welcome.”
 
“I shouldn’t have been so terse with you earlier. Yareena is my life, and when I couldn’t find her, well…” He reached for his face, pressing the heel of his hand against his jaw. “I lost my sense for a short while. I apologize.”
 
 
~~~oOo~~~

GIVEAWAY!

 
$25 Roane Publishing Gift Card, Bracelet with charm from Sweet Inspiration, Hot cocoa mixes and mug from The Crimson Curse
 
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveawayOpen only to those who can legally enter, receive and use a RoanePublishing.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department.

New Release: Reality Meets its Match by Sharon Hughson

Happy Release Day to my friend, and fellow Roane author, Sharon Hughson! Her story, Reality Meets its Match, is the first release in Roane’s new Novella Niblets line. I just finished reading this story, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you’re looking for a contemporary romance to read, and want a story that’s on the shorter side, I highly recommend it. Go check it out! :)
This week’s new Novella Niblets release…
 
Reality Meets its Match
A Virtual Match Romance
By Sharon Hughson
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: February 1, 2017
Keywords: Keywords: Novella, Contemporary, Romance, Sweet, Matchmaking, Online Dating, Geek Romance, Hot Geeks, Invisible Boyfriend
 
 
Ronnie Shay isn’t willing to risk a real relationship. Virtual Match offers her a fake boyfriend, which should satisfy her nagging family. And keep her heart safe. Unexpected attraction sparks with her imaginary beau unearthing a past secret Ronnie thought was banished. When her virtual boyfriend wants to meet, reality rains ruin on Ronnie’s chance for a romantic connection with the not-so-invisible man. Will her heart survive? Is love worth the gamble?
 
~~~oOo~~~
 
 
 
 
~~~oOo~~~
 
EXCERPT:
 
“I’m home, Major.”
 
Of course, the cat didn’t rush to greet her like a dog would. Most likely, he was curled up somewhere and would glare at her when she found him. He tolerated Jenny, the neighbor who made sure he had food and water and a clean box. Ronnie would need to be punished for leaving him yet again. Why didn’t the cat adjust? She traveled almost as often as she was home.
 
At the end of the hallway, she toed open the door to her bedroom. A bump from her balled fist turned the switch, and light from the two floor lamps illumined the room. In the center of her bed, the striped cat lay, feet curled under his chest, amber eyes glaring at her.
 
“Hey, buddy. Did you miss me?”
 
She plopped the bag onto her bed, earning a long blink from the cat. In the silence, the zipper squawked like a pack of hungry crows. She heaped clothes for the washing machine into a pile at the foot of the bed, chatting at the cat. By the time she finished unpacking, he had turned his back to her and was faking sleep. Or maybe he really could drop off with the mattress bouncing from her movements.
 
Her phone trilled.
 
Michael. Her heart leapt against her breastbone. No matter how her back screamed for a stretch, or her butt felt numb from the long flight, her lips curled upward. She rolled the suitcase into her deep closet and kicked her shoes off before picking up her phone and heading toward the living area. A quick glance at the screen revealed his message: Make it home OK?
 
~~~oOo~~~
 
About Sharon L. Hughson:
 
Translating wind-whispered concertos into fiction, Sharon Hughson writes romance and young adult fantasy, living out her lifetime dream and calling it “a job.” After being saved by The Chronicles of Narnia as a teenager, S.L. decided escaping reality alone isn’t nearly as delightful as sharing those make-believe worlds with friends. To that end, she invites you to enter her story realm and fall in love all over again.
 
Even after twenty-some years married to her high school sweetheart, she enjoys the hearts-a-flutter rush from a well-told romantic tale. S.L. resides in Oregon with her husband, sons and three cats.
 
LINKS:
 
 
~~~oOo~~~
 
GIVEAWAY!

$25 Roane Publishing Gift Card, Bracelet with charm from Sweet Inspiration, Hot cocoa mixes and mug from The Crimson Curse
 
a Rafflecopter giveawayOpen only to those who can legally enter, receive and use a RoanePublishing.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department.

Happy Release Day to Eye of the Soul by Terri Rochenski

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Hello and Happy Monday! Today is release day for Eye of the Soul by Terri Rochenski. Be sure to enter the giveaway for the gift card at the end of this post!

As a fellow fantasy author, I was curious to know what Terri enjoys about writing fantasy. With that, I will let Terri take it away!

~~~

My love of fantasy started as a child when someone read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to me. I decided I should have been born Lucy, that Narnia could be found in every closet. The farm house I grew up in, unfortunately, didn’t agree, and my spirits ended up sunk in the bottom of a cistern. Once I realized the fantasy world existed solely in my mind, I became a voracious reader and daydreamer, often staying up until after midnight to devour all of C.S. Lewis’s books—countless times.

In 8th grade, I decided to write a story of my own. Gundi’s Great Adventure was about a little gnome who went on a quest to save mythical creatures from the big bad guy…whatever his name was. Well, GGA never hit shelves, and I eventually gave up to focus on school and life. The writing bug bit once more while in my 20s, and I haven’t stopped since.

Although I’ve grown into a woman and have had children of my own, I still find myself getting excited when a Lord of the Rings is on TV. And, don’t even get me started on Game of Thrones! Sometimes a person just needs an escape, and I prefer medieval worlds with magic and intrigue.

When the need to escape reality hit you, where does your mind go?

~~~

Thanks for stopping by, Terri! I totally relate to the escape! It’s one of the reasons I enjoy writing fantasy, too.

As for Game of Thrones, gah! June better come around quick!

And now for the book details…

Eye of the Soul
Pool of Souls #1
Fantasy Novel By Terri Rochenski
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: January 9, 2017
Keywords: Fantasy, Medieval, Adult, Novel

Blurb:

Escape.

That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason.

Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people.

Or so she believes.

Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents.

Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on.

Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost.

Forever.

Purchase Links:
Roane Publishing: http://www.roanepublishing.com/product-p/eots-01.htm
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Eye-Soul-Pool-Souls-Book-ebook/dp/B01NCTFJJY
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/eye-of-the-soul-terri-rochenski/1117005611

Goodreads Link:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17156372-eye-of-the-soul

Giveaway Information:
A $10 Roane Publishing Gift Card. Go here to enter.

Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.

Website: Terri Rochenski
Facebook: Terri Rochenski, Author
Twitter: @TerriRochenski
Goodreads: Terri Rochenski
Amazon: Terri Rochenski

3 reasons to Read In The Beginning: Dark YA Retellings of Biblical Stories

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Hi everyone,

I’m happy to be a part of the blog tour for In the Beginning: Dark YA Retellings of Biblical Stories. Today, we get the privilege to hear from Lori Palmer, one of the eight great authors that make up this intriguing anthology. I’m excited to hear three reasons why everyone should read this book, so without further ado, I’ll let Lori take it away!

~~~~~~~

Hi, Melissa,

I’m thrilled to be here today on your lovely blog to represent Month9Books’ IN THE BEGINNING Anthology. So, why should you snag your copy as soon as the book releases on October 25th? You definitely should, and here are three reasons why:

#1 – The stories, of course!

Eight authors, four established and four new, have come together to weave some amazing tales based on familiar Bible stories, with a dark YA twist. These stories come to life in new and exciting ways, and, oh, the power and emotion they contain make the anthology such a compelling read. I have loved reading each of the stories contributed by my fellow authors in the anthology and can’t wait for the book to be shared with all of you on release day!

Here’s the link to view a summary of the eight stories included in the anthology and to add IN THE BEGINNING to your Goodreads to-read list: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25946627-in-the-beginning.

#2 –  The Month9Books team

Everyone from the Month9Books team, from the publisher Georgia McBride, to our editor Laureen Cantwell, has worked tirelessly to create a high-quality product. Laureen’s superb edits helped me fulfill the potential of my story, and I can see those same results in each story included in the anthology.

#3 – Check out the gorgeous cover! Doesn’t it pique your interest to read the stories within?

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Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

~~~~~~~

That is a gorgeous cover, Lori! I’ve already added the book to my Goodreads shelf, and I’m looking forward to reading it. Thanks for joining me!

~~~~~~~

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Lora Palmer

I’m a YA writer and avid fan of fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, and dystopian stories. My debut novel THE MIRRORMASTERS, a YA sci-fi/fantasy, is now available from Clean Reads (formerly Astraea Press). I live in beautiful Bucks County, PA, with my wonderful husband and our mischievous cat. In my spare time, I sing in a praise band, Chalice Sounds.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

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In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales

Publication Date: October 25, 2016

Publisher:  Month9Books

 

In the Beginning (Oct. 25, 2016) –Eight authors come together to build a powerful collection of dark young adult short stories inspired by the mysteries, faith, and darkness found within the Bible. Old Testament and New Testament, iconic and obscure figures alike are illuminated, explored, and re-envisioned throughout this charity anthology from Month9Books.

IN THE BEGINNING, ed. Laureen Cantwell and Georgia McBride

Daniel and the Dragon by Stephen Clements
A troubled orphan named Habakkuk dutifully follows his master, the prophet Daniel, into temples of blood-thirsty demon-gods, battles with unspeakable horrors, and bears witnesses to mind-breaking evil until his master’s zealous defiance of the king’s law seals their fate.

Babylon by Nicole Crucial
Far above the earth, in Second Eden, where moments and eternities all blur together, young Babylon befriends Sefer, the Book of Life. As Babylon awaits the moment she’ll fulfill her destiny, she and Sefer try to understand the world in which they live.

Last Will and Testament by Mike Hays
A homeless young boy, Baz, bears the weight of humanity on his shoulders and upon his body. When dark forces test a new-found friendship, Baz’s willingness to bear the ugliness of their world will be shaken.

The Demon Was Me by Sharon Hughson
Based on the story of the demon-possessed boy healed by Jesus, this tale provides a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic world where a teenage boy seeks to journey to a better land and yearns to discover the kind of man he’s meant to be, only to be hijacked by an evil spirit intent upon chipping away at the hope, faith, and resilience of its host.

The Deluge by Marti Johnson
A non-believer shares the story of Noah’s ark-building and the deadly downpour that follows. Fear, faithlessness, and the fallibility of mankind collide in a community where second chances aren’t unlimited and a better-late-than-never attitude just might be your doom.

Condemned by Elle O’Neill
Just sixteen-years-old, Barabbas finds himself pulled out of Routlege Academy and into a reality show competition—against Jesus himself—where the reward for the winner is life.

First Wife by Lora Palmer
In a first-person retelling of the saga of Jacob, Rachel and Leah, themes of family, deception, guilt, and heartache emerge amidst the first days of Leah’s marriage to Jacob—a marriage mired in trickery a mere week before Jacob was to marry Leah’s sister Rachel.

Emmaculate by Christina Raus
Based on the story of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, we enter the troubled mind of Emma, who finds herself torn between her religious upbringing and the purity ring that binds her to her boyfriend and the pregnancy that results from her relationship with another boy.

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Link to Tour Schedule:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/blog-tour-schedule-in-the-beginning-dark-retellings-of-biblical-tales-anthology

Audiobook Review: After the End by Amy Plum

I’m a fan of Amy Plum’s Revenants series, so I had high hopes for this book.

The beginning intrigued me, and I enjoyed the mix of the sci-fi apocalyptic world with magic and romance. I liked that Juneau was headstrong, and did everything she could to search for her clan, even though she felt betrayed.

As the story went on, the pace didn’t pick up as much as I had hoped it would, but it was interesting enough to keep on listening to see what happens. I was disappointed by the ending. The cliff hanger isn’t what bothered me though. I just felt like not enough had been resolved. I’m on the fence about picking up the second book.

Overall, I’d give the book 3.5 stars. I would consider it slightly better than average, and probably would have rated it a 4 right up until the end. I thought it was pretty unique, so if you’re looking for a mashup of different YA genres and something a little out of the ordinary, this one might be for you.

Happy Release Day to In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales!

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in-the-beginning-coverToday, I’m celebrating author Sharon Hughson’s YA debut in the anthology In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales. As someone who has already read other wonderful stories by this author, I can honestly say I’m looking forward to checking this one out, too! Sharon is one of eight authors in this book, and this is the blurb about her story The Demon Was Me:

Based on the story of the demon-possessed boy healed by Jesus, this tale provides a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic world where a teenage boy seeks to journey to a better land and yearns to discover the kind of man he’s meant to be, only to be hijacked by an evil spirit intent upon chipping away at the hope, faith, and resilience of its host.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?!?

There was one thing I was curious about. As someone who also writes in multiple genres, I was wondering what Sharon loves about writing YA. I got back an interesting and insightful answer. :)

~~~~~

From Sharon:

I have been reading YA since my oldest son learned to love Harry Potter and Eragon. Working in a reading classroom at the middle school expanded how much YA I read. I had to be able to talk books with my students, right? I love writing YA because I was that girl who carried a book to every class and read by flashlight under my blankets. The idea that I might write something that impacts a teenager on the cusp of becoming an adult gives me goosebumps. Books saved my life when my parents got divorced (I was 12). I pray my stories will offer the same hope to those who read them.

~~~~~

And now, I can’t lie–I’m pretty psyched to share an exclusive excerpt from Sharon’s story below. Check it out, then go straight to Goodreads to add it to your TBR List. Or better yet, head right over to one of these places and grab a copy!

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Happy Book Birthday, Sharon!

~~~~~

            The demon moved through the dim corridors of town. We had nearly reached the end of the street when a man slightly smaller than me cut across our path. My fingers snagged his shirt collar and yanked him to a stop.

“Hey!” Coffee-colored eyes flashed in his sun-darkened face.

Our fist crashed into his nose. Blood spurted. Excitement flooded my mind, sending our heart galloping wildly in our chest. Our hand smashed the underside of the stranger’s pointy jaw. Pain flared through every bone in that hand. I hardly registered the ache in my fist through the haze of the demon’s fury and glee.

Inhio sighed. He relished the adrenaline rush of violence as much as the delicious pie and soft bread. The food and beer turned to stone in our stomach.

Stop. There’s no reason to hit him.

Heedless of my desires, the demon continued battering the man’s face, stomach and back. The stranger’s blood turned my fist red. When my hand released the man, he staggered and fell against the side of the cabin. Groaning, he slumped to the ground.

Euphoria from the fight whirled in my head with the alcohol buzz. I tried to resist the demon’s joy. Mind-numbing waves of ecstasy circled like buzzards around a carcass.

 

 

Stamford Author Night

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Hey there! I’m excited to share an upcoming event with you! I will be at the Barnes & Noble in Stamford, CT on Friday November 4th at 7pm. I will be hanging out with other local authors and signing copies of Collide. If you’re in the area, I would love if you stopped by!

In case you’ve never visited this particular store, here’s the address:
Stamford Town Center, 100 Greyrock Pl #115, Stamford, CT

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Audiobook Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I’ve heard many people talk about Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series, and I had her on my TBR list for some time. When I participated at the Stamford Barnes & Noble B-Fest activities, a small crowd played trivia related to YA books and one of the questions was about this series. There were a few young readers present who gushed about how much they adored her books, and this caused me to bump it up higher on my list than it was before.

Yes, B-Fest was in June and it’s now October. What can I tell you? I’ve got a huge list of books I want to read, and not nearly enough time in the day (or night) to devour them!

Anyway, on to the review…

I really enjoyed this book. Celaena was an interesting female character who started off strong and grew even stronger by the end. Even though she was an assassin, I thought that the author did an excellent job of still making her seem like a vulnerable young girl at the same time. There was a nice mix of mystery and intrigue as well. I kept wanting to see how this would end, so I found myself sneaking in times to listen to it when I normally wouldn’t—with my headphones on while I was cooking dinner, waiting an extra minute to shut the engine off after I parked just to get a teeny bit more of the story in edgewise. I could name other weird things I did to try to finish this audiobook faster, but I’ll spare you from the minutia. I give this book five stars.

The narration for this story was good. Each character’s voice was distinct and easy to tell apart. Also, in places where there was a heightened sense of danger, or a stronger emotion being conveyed (whether it was sadness, anger, frustration, etc.), the narrator carried it through in her delivery.

I fully intend to check out the next book in the series, and I also saw a somewhat recent announcement about this getting made into a TV show. I have a feeling that this type of story will translate well, and I look forward to when it comes out.

October Giveaway Time

Hi there. My name is Melissa and I have a slight problem. I seem to enjoy giving away copies of my book! This is my third Goodreads giveaway to date. It brings me joy to give people things, so why not make my day and enter for a chance to win a signed copy of COLLIDE?!?

You can enter anytime between midnight on Sunday, October 2nd through midnight on Friday, October 14th. But, since you’re already here, why not give this widget a clickety-click and go for it. It’ll only take a second if you already have a Goodreads account.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Collide by Melissa J. Crispin

Collide

by Melissa J. Crispin

Giveaway ends October 14, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


Good luck!!!

My latest release: Drained

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I have a new short story that was recently released with Roane Publishing. It’s a paranormal short story called Drained. Want to know the best part of all? It’s free! Yes. That’s right. FREE.

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Go here and grab a copy today!

And now for some backstory…How many of you have ever had a horrible boss? Can I see a show of hands? I know I’ve had one, and I’m sure I’m not alone. In fact, a former one of mine is the one who inspired this story. She shared the same knack for killing plants as Melanie did, too. You know what they say… when life hands you lemons, write stories about how your boss is secretly a demon who lives to make you suffer!

I hope you download this story and give it a chance. In addition to my own story, there are a number of other free reads Roane offers by some other talented authors. If paranormal isn’t your thing, maybe you can give one of their stories a try. You’ve got nothing to lose, since they won’t cost you a penny. Here’s the link: http://www.roanepublishing.com/category-s/138.htm

Have a great Saturday! I need to get back to writing. Book 2 in the Collide series isn’t going to write itself. :)