Reality Check. A New Release By Carol Browne

Surreal, fresh, dark, and entertaining is this new psychological fiction novella from Carol Browne. Some moments it’s thought-provoking and other times it’s unsettling, but it is Carol Browne at her finest. The story as well as the cover will definitely give your mind and imagination a great workout. Reality Check is a must read.

Gillian Roth finds herself in middle age, living alone, working in a dull job, with few friends and little excitement in her life. So far, so ordinary.

But Gillian has one extraordinary problem.

Her house is full of other people… people who don’t exist. Or do they?

As her surreal home life spirals out of control, Gillian determines to find out the truth and undertakes an investigation into the nature of reality itself.

Will this provide an answer to her dilemma, or will the escalating situation push her over the edge before she has worked out what is really going on?

BLURB
Thursday, 26th March, 2015.

My house is filled with people who don’t exist.

They have no substance. They are neither alive nor dead. They aren’t hosts or spirits. They aren’t in any way shape or form here, but I can see them, and now I need to make a record of how they came to be under my roof.

Why now? Why today? Because we line in strange times, and today is one of the strangest days this year; this is the day that Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England, was interred in Leicester Cathedral, with all due ceremony, 530 years after he was slain at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. How surreal is that? I watched the highlights on Channel 4 earlier. A couple of my house guests sat with me and together we marveled at the event. They did Richard proud, no doubt of that.

I left them to it after a while and came up here to my bedroom to start writing a diary: this diary.

Life feels unreal today, as if time has looped back onto photo albums. The house clearly passed must itself and everything is happening now. And if I can set my thoughts down on paper, perhaps I can make sense of everything, make it all real somehow.

Where did it start, this thing that has happened to me? A couple of years ago? I can’t say when. It evolved without my conscious input. The existence of my house guests was a fact long before I began to wonder at it. I do wonder at it now and I know I must keep track of what’s happening before I lose myself in this crowd of imaginary beings.

At first there was only a few of them, and I observed their doings without much concern. I watched them snooping around the place, choosing the most comfortable chairs to sit in, leaning against the furniture, inspecting the bookcases, checking the kitchen utensils, and peering into my photo albums. The house clearly passed muster and they stayed. In time, they knew me down to the marrow. I have never known them as well as they know me. They have an air of mystery, as though they have a life outside my house they will never divulge. Even so, I felt I was safe with them and I could tell them my problems. Tell them what no-one else must ever hear. And so these shades thickened, quickened; their personalities accumulated depth and solidity, as though they were skeletons clothing themselves in flesh.

I no longer came home to a cold, empty house, but to a sanctuary where attentive friends awaited my return. I was embraced by their jovial welcome when I stepped through the door. I never knew which of them would be there, but one or two at least would always be waiting to greet me, anxious to hear about my day and make me feel wanted, and for a while I could forget the problems I have at work (even the one that bothers me the most). Since then I have felt a subtle change.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I really need this to be a faithful account of the entire situation from start to finish, so I have to try to work out how it all began, even if I’m not sure when.

If I cast my mind back, it floats like a lantern through a city cloaked in fog. I must try to isolate the shadowy figures that flit up at me out of the murk. So, let’s begin with the friend I remember first. I was cooking my evening meal. My mind wandered. I remember feeling sad. And there she stood, at my right elbow, peering into the saucepan.

“Watch you don’t burn that,” she said.

I don’t have names for my imaginary friends, just titles, so I call her Kitchen Girl. She’s dark-haired with porcelain skin, and she’s tall and voluptuous. The sort of woman I’d like to be except I’m small with red hair and a ruddy complexion, and I need chicken fillets to convince people I’m female.

I suppose Kitchen Girl is rather daunting, with those fierce blue eyes and no-nonsense approach to everything. I can stand up to her though. I use humour as my weapon of choice and she appreciates wit and banter. I’d like it if she didn’t nag so much, if I’m honest (“Use less salt… keep stirring… is that all you’re going to eat?”) but, criticism aside, I know she’ll compliment me on the finished product as it lies uneaten between us on the table. Long conversations back and forth have been played out while the meals go cold on their plates. Fried eggs congeal and go waxen. Ice cream melts into a tepid sludge. Sandwiches curl up with embarrassment to be so spurned. You know how it is when you get gossiping. Someone wants to talk to me and that’s better than food.

And sometimes, it’s curious, but it’s Kitchen Girl who cooks the food and serves it to me like a waitress. She likes to surprise me with new dishes.

I have no idea how this happens.

Nor why she never leaves the kitchen. But I wish she’d do the washing up now and then.

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Born in Stafford in the UK, Carol Browne was raised in Crewe, Cheshire, which she thinks of as her home town. Interested in reading and writing at an early age, Carol pursued her passions at Nottingham University and was awarded an honours degree in English Language and Literature. Now living and working in the Cambridgeshire countryside, Carol writes both fiction and non-fiction.

Stay connected with Carol on her website and blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Are you Ticklish? Erotica Author, Sloane Taylor, Wants to Find Out.

Lace and handcuffs…Tools of the trade
Hot damn and everything sexy! Book Five from Naughty Ladies of Nice is now available!

New Yorker Samantha Bradley has a fun, sexy career designing ladies lingerie. Now that her business is on the rise, she treats herself to a well deserved break on the French Riviera where the women are glamorous and the men are gorgeous. After a few days Sam is eager to sample more than just the local cuisine.

Cisco Bernier is France’s key criminal prosecutor, but his courtroom charm falls flat outside the hallowed halls of justice. From family relationships to romantic trysts, his success rate is abysmal until a chance encounter with a sensuous American businesswoman spins his staid world out of control.

Sam and Cisco sizzle together, but any future is threatened when their pasts collide. Her mob-connected father and his deceitful mother resurface and drag them into a corrupt world of lies and danger.

EXCERPT
Cisco fought to hold back and not spill his seed all over Samantha and the duvet. Her heat radiated to him, making it impossible not to rip off her silky thong and devour her. More than anything he wanted to taste her sweet honey, to lap her until she came.

He peeled the thong down her long legs, then hooked them over his shoulders, all the while he watched her flushed face.

With shaky hands, he coiled his fingers through her damp, dark hair. “Have you ever thought to…” The words trailed off as her scent drifted up to greet him.

“A Brazilian?” Crystal laughter filled the room. “Not really, but would you like that?”

All he could do was nod as the memory of his fantasy filtered through his mind.

“Would you like to shave me?”

He glanced up. Her eyes sparkled in the golden light. She would allow him to perform the most intimate sexual pleasures with her, to both their benefit.

“Tomorrow night, after I bathe you.”

Her breath caught in her throat. A smile tipped his lips. This woman touched deep to his core, like none ever had.

His cock throbbed, aching for release, but he refused to come until he had satisfied his mouth on her.

He leaned down, drawing his index finger along her slick folds, separating them. Her soft whimper reached into his soul and curled around his heart stronger than a fist.

A light nip on her swollen flesh, then he flicked his tongue against her wet creases and explored until he found her tender pearl. Lapping and sucking, he burrowed closer while inhaling deep and savoring her salty taste.

He stroked his index finger along her perineum, then dipped into her channel and paused. She writhed against him as if encouraging his hand to make love to her. His middle finger slipped in and massaged deep within while he continued tonguing her clit.

Much too soon her body tensed, her muscles clamping onto his fingers. Shudders ran through her as she cried out. A volley of shivers followed as he gathered her in his arms and kissed her damp body up to her throat, then finally her mouth.

She wrapped her arms tighter around his neck and nestled against his shoulder.

“I need to move you a bit, Samantha.” He adjusted his legs straight out on the mattress and lifted her to his lap. “Swing your leg over my head to the other side.”

He ducked to make the movement easier for her, then, with a hand under her compact ass, he scooted her closer to his chest.

“What about satisfying you?” She smiled and combed his hair from his damp forehead.

“You will.” He wrapped her hand around his hungry cock and…

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Award-Winning author Sloane Taylor is a sensual woman who believes humor and sex are healthy aspects of our everyday lives and carries that philosophy into her books. She writes sexually explicit romances that takes you right into the bedroom. Being a true romantic, all her stories have a happy ever after.

Her books are set in Europe where the men are all male and the North American women they encounter are both feminine and strong. They also bring more than lust to their men’s lives.

Taylor was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. Studly, her mate for life, and Taylor now live in a small home in Indiana and enjoy the change from city life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor is currently published by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Excerpts from her books can be found on her website, blog, and all popular vendors.

Subscribe to Sloane’s newsletter. Connect with with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Can a Married Woman Overcome Her Desire for Another Woman?

My new lesbian novella, Loving Again, has released today. I’m so excited to be a part of Affinity eBook Press.

loving again cover

Dana Perkins lost her longtime partner in a tragic accident. Although she still struggles with the loss, her profound loneliness is evidence that it is time to move on. She knows her deceased lover, Casey, wouldn’t want her living this way. Dana begins her slow process of letting go, removing reminders of Casey from her house, and dating again.

The women she meets leave Dana uninspired and missing her deceased partner even more. Just as she is about to resign herself to the belief that she will never love again, Dana meets Emily Daniels, a married woman who is deeply conflicted over her attraction to women. Soon, the two women form a friendship that leads to deeper emotions. They discover that one moment in their past had brought them together in a way neither woman could have ever imagined. Is that one moment in time enough to let both women follow their hearts, or will they let their past continue to rule their future?

Excerpt:

Dana Perkins leaned against the side of the trolley and watched as landmarks of the city’s skyline passed by. Her brown eyes traced the contours of the well-appointed, fancy high-rise condos over-looking Lake Michigan, and the sophisticated architecture lining the city’s downtown streets. Tall, crystalline, and convex—the view was stunning.

She closed her eyes as the cool breeze brushed against her face. She inched closer to her lover and kissed her bare shoulder, tasting the salty sweat on Casey’s skin. Dana drew in the raw scent of her partner’s body, the smell of an entire day spent taking in the sights of a big city.

“You’re not ready to call it a day, are you?” Casey asked.

Dana groaned

“I guess you are.”

“Baby, what else do you want to do?” Dana stifled a yawn. “We have all day tomorrow. Oh, and we also live an hour from the city. We’re not tourists, honey.”

“But we only see everything when we act like tourists. That’s why I got us a hotel for the weekend. No more saying ‘next time’. We’re seeing it all now. ”

“But baby, I’m soooo tired.”

“Okay,” Casey said. “You win.” She slung an arm loosely around Dana’s neck and kissed her gently on the lips. “We’ll go back to the hotel.”

As the trolley slowed to a stop, the women walked through the open aisle. The thin fabric of Dana’s khakis stuck to the back of her sweaty leg. Dana realized—too late, as she normally did—that she should have listened to her girlfriend and worn shorts.

Casey skipped down the small steps, onto the sidewalk. Her light blue sundress swayed as she moved. She took Dana’s hand and pulled her lightly down the stairs.

“Come on you tired, old lady. Are your legs gonna make it back to the hotel? Or do you need a motorized scooter?”

Dana smoothed a hand over Casey’s long, blond ponytail. “I can make going to the room early very agreeable…”

Casey eyed her. “And how would you do that?”

“Trust me. You’ll like where this is going….so stop complaining.” Dana reached for Casey, and heard a child’s voice yelling behind her.

“Hot dog! Hot dog!” a little boy’s voice cried out.

But Dana kept her thoughts on Casey. She fantasized being back at the hotel, sliding the thin straps of Casey’s dress down her shoulders, and running her hands over the inside of her bare thighs, when suddenly, Casey whirled from under Dana’s fingers.

Dana turned around. Her eyes fought with the sun as she struggled to follow her partner’s sudden actions. Dana heard the boy yell again, and watched as the child chased after a hot dog vendor that was crossing a busy intersection.

Casey was running full-speed after the boy, heading straight into oncoming traffic.

Dana didn’t know which came first—the smell of burning rubber, the sound of screeching tires ,or the man in the cab yelling for Casey to get out of the way. Everything seemed to happen in the same moment, but somehow Dana’s unsteady legs made it to the edge of the street where Casey’s body lay near a curb.

Dana yelled for help and dropped to her knees. She pulled Casey into her lap, while faintly registering voices—some offering help, and some shouting “Call 911!” She cradled the woman she loved in her shaking arms.

Trapped by the crowd of people huddled over her, stealing the air, Dana struggled to breathe. Then the sudden blare of sirens shattered through the chaos, yet her eyes never left Casey’s face, her beautiful face.

“Wake up, baby. Please wake up,” she cried softly.

The young bride held her dress in one hand, while the other pressed tightly through the arm of the man she’d just married. A few short hours ago she was Emily Bradford, but now, the woman made her way down the steep church steps as Emily Daniels. Emily smiled readily as a cascade of lights flashed before her eyes. Guests lingered at the edge of the steps with cameras in hand and she took it all in. The gorgeous sky hung like a perfect portrait in the background of a nearly cloudless day.

Michael Daniels took Emily by the hand and kissed her while cameras snapped eagerly to capture the tender moment. From a distance, the faint sound of sirens rang out. Emily squinted against the glare of the sun as she searched the street. The blaring noise was headed in their direction. The bride watched as two ambulances, a fire truck, and multiple police cars sped by.

The beauty of their day was temporarily interrupted by someone else’s tragedy.

Emily closed her eyes and made the sign of the cross, something her mother had taught her to do as a small child whenever an emergency vehicle drove by. When it all passed and the streets were once again serene, her new husband gave her hand a squeeze.

“Are you ready?” He smiled.

Leaning her body against his strong shoulder, she kissed her groom the way brides did in movies, creating their very own “happily-ever-after” moment.

“I’m going to love you for the rest of my life,” she said, her voice trembling slightly.

About the Author:

IMG_20131119_143129

Alicia Joseph grew up in Westchester, Illinois. Her first novella, Her Name, was published by Musa Publishing in 2014. Her Name is a sweet romantic story about a woman who believes the beautiful woman she dreams about is the real love of her life.

Loving Again is her second published novella. It is a story about two women who fall in love and then soon discover that one moment in their past had brought them together in a way neither woman could have ever imagined.

Alicia is currently working on a new novel called A Penny on the Tracks, a coming of age story about love and  friendship. Alicia has many works-in-progress that she hopes to finish soon.

When she is not writing, the author enjoys volunteering with animals, rooting for her favorite sports teams, reading, and playing “awesome aunt” to her nine nieces and nephews.

Please visit her blog at www.aliciajoseph.com

She can also be found on her Alicia Joseph Author Facebook Page  and on Twitter @JosephJody76

Buy Links: 

http://affinityebooks.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=12_69

http://www.amazon.com/Loving-Again-Alicia-Joseph-ebook/dp/B01807ZOX2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1447599721&sr=8-2&keywords=Alicia+Joseph

Thank you!

A Light Pasta Sauce and a New Sexy M/M Release. Need Anything More?

by Viki Lyn

I was raised in a family of chefs. My grandfather left his hometown in Italy as a young lad, and crossed the Atlantic Ocean during the early 20th century. From New York City, he boarded a train to California. He had work lined up in San Francisco as a sous chef in a prestigious hotel where he learned his trade.

My father inherited my grandfather’s love of food and was an excellent cook. My father never measured anything, so when he wrote down a recipe it was a pinch of this and handful of that.

This recipe is all about a pinch of this and a handful of that. You can add whatever you have in the fridge…be creative…and have fun.

Light Pasta Sauce

Start with simmering garlic in olive oil. Stir occasionally. Adjust heat as needed so you don’t burn the garlic.

Snoop around your vegetable bin and decide which veggies to use. The only essential vegetable is the tomato!

I’m partial to my old standbys:

Mushrooms
Fresh Tomatoes
Zucchinis
Red Bell Peppers

Chop the veggies, but not too small.

Once the garlic is lightly roasted, add in the mushrooms and bell peppers first. After a couple of minutes, mix in the chopped zucchinis. After another couple of minutes, stir in the tomatoes.

This is when I like to include salt, pepper and Italian herbs. And, if you have fresh chopped basil, toss it in. It adds a nice taste to the sauce.

Cook the pasta and before you add the sauce: Toss the cooked pasta in a light coat of olive oil and lemon juice, and add the sauce.

Top with Parmesan or Romano cheese. Serve with a crisp salad and plenty of fresh Italian bread for dipping into the sauce.

Enjoy!

And for dessert, here’s a peek into my latest M/M from Loose Id.

Rocker Leo needs a break. From the band, roadies, everything related to his present life. Wandering the streets of Vienna, he chances upon a poster that just might change his life. Andre Revele, renowned violinist, and Leo’s ex-lover, is performing in the city. It’s been years since Leo slipped out of Andre’s life in the middle of the night, but he’s never forgotten their passionate love of music and each other.

Andre’s shocked when Leo shows up backstage after his performance. Hell yes, he’s angry, but he can’t walk away. Against his better judgment, he invites Leo to his hotel for a drink. Not sure what he wants from Leo, he knows what his body wants right now. A night of passionate sex leads to another, until he’s lost his heart to Leo again.

When Andre finds his trust in Leo tested, Leo must prove his loyalty by using their one common passion – music – to bind their hearts.

EXCERPT
Leo finished his cappuccino. He needed a break. From the band, roadies, everything related to his present life. He tried to ignore the constriction in his chest. He hadn’t written anything in months, and that scared the shit out of him. His bandmates were like his brothers, but as much as he loved them, it wasn’t the same as having a lover who completely got him. He had no one to turn to when in a funk.

He hoped to God he still had more words inside him. For all of his flamboyance on stage, his real love was composing.

Leo paid the check and left. Too wound up to go back to his hotel, he roamed the streets, taking in the Vienna night. Stars sparkled above St. Stephen’s gothic spire. The wide boulevards twisted into narrow lanes perfect for getting lost in.

Happy to wander aimlessly, Leo slipped his hands into his fleece-lined jacket. Living in LA, he’d forgotten how cold winter could be in other parts of the world. He turned the corner and sputtered to a halt. Staring at the poster pasted to the side of a building, he didn’t need to read the name of the virtuoso to know who it was. He could never forget that face in rapture—when playing or getting off. Music and sex had invoked the same feelings in Andre Revele. Passion was passion, and that man had always had both in spades.

Numbness swept across Leo as he stared at the picture of Andre caressing the bow in those slender-fingered hands—such artistic hands on a large man. It had been love at first sight—or at least lust—when Leo had walked into the practice room.

He could still remember a youthful Andre, not quite grown into his robust physique, as he played the last stanza of Bach’s Concerto in E. The violin’s notes had faded, but the music had remained in the air long after the performance was over. Bright green eyes peered through dark lashes, and sensual, pouty lips morphed into a shy smile. Like an idiot, Leo had been at a loss for words at Andre’s performance and enamored by that handsome face. Until Andre laughed, breaking the spell.

From that day forward, they were inseparable. They both had insatiable appetites for music. They stayed up all hours talking about philosophy and musical composition, and arguing what was better, thin-crust or thick-crust pizza. They played music together, fucked, and enjoyed the simple moments that composed their insular world.

He scanned the poster for the dates of the concerts. Tomorrow night was the last performance. Leo shuffled his feet, unable to move away. He bit his lip and traced the image of Andre. Did he dare go? It had to be fate. He’d been thinking of Andre, talking about the past with Sid, and now this.

His heartbeat quickened. What if he went backstage and Andre didn’t recognize him? Or brushed him aside? Leo had purposely avoided searching the Internet for news of Andre, too afraid that his ex had a lover, or worse, had married. Their lifestyles were miles apart, and Leo could never think of Andre as a friend.

He drank in Andre’s image. Tall and broodingly dark, Andre had the body of a jock and the sensitive heart of an artist. Leo preferred men unlike himself. He’d been a skinny kid, and had a difficult time gaining weight. If he’d been born years earlier, he would have been the perfect face for a glam rock band. At least he’d outgrown the term pretty boy or twink.

Leo chewed his lower lip as he studied Andre’s picture. Tempting as it was to see his ex again, visiting the past was a bad idea. This wasn’t the time, not when Leo was restless and bored. His heart couldn’t take a rejection from Andre. There were other men, lots of men, and he’d had his share of quite a few of them. With his schedule it had become impossible to form any long-term commitment. Or at least that was what he told himself.

A big, fat lie.

He’d never met anyone who made him feel the way he’d felt for the violinist.

Leo kissed his fingers and pressed them to Andre’s lips. “Good-bye, Princess.” Andre hated that pet name, but Leo loved using the endearment. Andre had been born into wealth and privilege, and his family had expected great things from him. “You proved them right, didn’t you?”

Before Leo changed his mind, he hurried away, dismissing the memories of a love lost to his ambition.

BUY LINK

Multi-published and award winner, Viki Lyn is a successful writer of gay paranormal and contemporary romance. After reading and collecting whatever she could get her hands on, she wrote her first male/male romance. And that was ‘it’ for her. She never looked back. Viki travels the world in search of inspiration. She considers herself blessed to have traveled to many of the mystical sites she had dreamed about as a child. Her travel experiences have been influential in creating her paranormal worlds. When she needs to relax, she calls a friend to meet at their favorite coffee house. When the chattering in her head goes off the charts, she plays one of her favorite RPGs on her PS4 and immerses herself in the world of dragons and magic.

Learn more about Viki Lyn on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Vala Kaye Introduces Her YA Novella, Ghost Writer

by Vala Kaye

“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Not all the people you meet during your teen years will become your BFFs, but if you’re very fortunate, one or two might always be with you to share the ups and downs that happen to us as we go through life.

I have two “lifetime” friends. One I met in junior high and the other in high school. One is similar to me in temperament, while the other couldn’t be more different. We’ve shared school experiences; engagements, marriages and divorces; the birth of children; and the deaths of grandparents, parents and siblings.

Those are the big things, the huge emotional highs and lows that only time and the love and caring of true friends can help see you through. But we’ve also always been there for one another through the smaller things in life, everything from movie nights and mid-terms to concerts and cooking disasters.

When I was working on my YA paranormal novella, Ghost Writer, I gave my main character, Malden, a friend named Ashley. They go to the same school and I suspect they’re truly BFF’s. When I was writing the scenes where Malden and Ashley, though physically separated by hundreds of miles, are online in their school’s student chat room, I thought about how my friends and I sound when we’re filling each other in on “the latest.” Not only do we talk about what’s happening to us and what we’re feeling, but sometimes we also pick up on what our lifetime friends aren’t saying, what they’re holding inside because they’re afraid of being embarrassed or laughed at.

Because we love them, we have to gently remind them just who they’re talking to. With a lifetime friend, they’re safe. And it’s okay to share anything.

Here is a short intro to my YA Paranormal. I hope you enjoy it.

Tech-savvy teen Malden Montgomery leaves New York City anticipating nothing but boredom when her artist-mother brings her along on a two-week vacation to a family inn in rural Virginia.

What Malden doesn’t expect is the owner’s 17-year-old son, Jackson, who is totally to-die-for cute. But does she dare believe him when he tells her that her room at the inn may be haunted by a young woman named Emily, who died there more than 150 years ago?

Then Emily begins to communicate with Malden and she and Jackson realize they have to find a way to help Emily’s ghost come back home or risk a spirit’s wrath if they choose to leave her lost in the darkness forever.

Read more about Ghost Writer on Amazon.

Vala Kaye grew up in Texas as an avid reader of science fiction, history and romance. Her favorite writers ran the gamut from Robert Heinlein to Margaret Mitchell, and included side journeys with Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” and The Hardy Boys mysteries.

After graduating from college with a double major in Communications and History, Vala now lives and writes in warm and sunny southern California. She is addicted to movies, live theater, word games, salsa dancing and adaptations of the stories of Jane Austen.

In her first published YA novella, Ghost Writer, she explores what happens when a human ‘spirit’ meets computer technology. Vala’s newest title is book #1 of The Superhero Next Door series, Artificial Intelligence.

Anne Montgomery: A Light in the Desert.

I’m delighted to introduce you to my author friend Anne Montgomery. Anne is visiting today with her new release A Light in the Desert, an intriguing Soft Thriller novel I think you’ll enjoy.

A Light in the Desert traces the story of a pregnant teenager who bears an odd facial deformity, a Vietnam veteran and former Special Forces sniper who, as he descends into the throes of mental illness, latches onto the girl, and a group of Pentecostal zealots – the Children of Light – who have been waiting over thirty years in the Arizona desert for Armageddon.

The Amtrak Sunset Limited, a passenger train en route to Los Angeles, is derailed in their midst’s, a deadly act of sabotage. Their lives are thrown into turmoil when local and state police, FBI investigators, and a horde of reporters make camp by the twisted wreckage of the Sunset Limited. As the search for the saboteurs continues, the authorities find more questions than answers. The girl mysteriously vanishes, the assassin struggles to maintain his sanity, and a child is about to be born in the wilderness.

EXCERPT
Most of the two hundred and forty-eight passengers on the Sunset Limited were asleep when David Flowers – weaving slightly as the sleeper car rattled along at fifty miles-per-hour – moved along the passageway en route to the bathroom. At the end of the car he saw Mitchell Bates, a twenty-year Amtrak veteran.

“Don’t forget to get me up when we get to Palm Springs,” the passenger said. “Don’t wanna sleep through my stop.”

“Don’t worry about a thing,” Bates responded, smiling. “That’s what they pay me for.”

Two cars back, Kelly sat wide awake, fingers cupped around her eyes, the outside edges of her hands pressed tightly to the window. She could see the moonlit desert careening by, the scattered mountains black against a star-filled night sky. She felt the gentle rolling of the car: a strangely pleasant feeling. A sense of calm surrounded her, maybe because, for the first time since her father died, there were other people who cared about her. Kelly glanced over at Miranda, still engrossed in a two-month-old, dog-eared issue of Glamour Magazine. Had her mother ever had a friend?

Up in the cab, the engineer watched as the massive headlight bathed the track ahead in bright white light. He’d been on this run hundreds of times. A curve that would lead the train onto a trestle that spanned one of the deeper washes between Phoenix and L.A. was just ahead. The headlight blazed – a star shooting in the darkness – wrapping the track in light as harsh as any clear desert day.

But the damage was under the rails where no light could penetrate.

****

Ramm was driving on the dirt road that would take him back to the cabin. That edgy, too-much-caffeine feeling gripped him again. He should be on the train, the one protecting Kelly. Had he made a mistake contacting the watchers, which meant he had put himself in play again? The community in which he’d worked for so many years was relatively small and there was always the possibility that word had spread about the debacle in Jerusalem. By contacting the watchers, he might have put himself in jeopardy, which could also bring harm to those around him.

Ramm’s head began to pound, the migraine accompanied by a hazy aura. His psychological state was fluctuating. How long could he stay ahead of the problem without medication? What if he blacked out again? What if he was hospitalized and people started checking on him?

Feeling impotent, powerless, Ramm jammed on the breaks. The truck skidded to a stop on the soft shoulder where blacktop and dirt merged at the turnoff. He rubbed his face hard then gripped the steering wheel. When he looked up and peered through the windshield, Ramm blinked several times, confused.

There, in the night sky before him, floating in a spectral light, was Kelly’s face. Ramm squinted, shutting his eyes tight, then looked again. The ghostly image was still there, hovering before him, her troubled visage beckoning him to follow. She merged
with paintings and sculptures – the mother of Jesus in all her quiet grief, the face of Mary on the shimmering white marble of Michelangelo’s St. Peter’s Pieta, on Raphael’s Madonna del Granduca, her desolate melancholy depicted by Masaccio, Veneziano, and countless other artists through time.

Ramm painfully unclenched his hands from around the steering wheel. The suddenness of the bright light caught him off guard. His first reaction was to grab for the loaded Glock he kept under the front seat, but when the glare splashed past him, followed by the steady beat of the passing railcars, he relaxed.

Then, an unexpected wave of heat engulfed Ramm, and he pushed open the cab door and stepped out, breathing deeply, trying to clear his head. The noise hit him like a blow, shattering the desert calm, causing Ramm to reflexively drop to the ground. He lay there listening to the calamitous groaning, a ghastly noise that washed over him like a rogue wave.

To read more from A Light in the Desert please click a vendor’s name:
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Anne Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. She worked at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter, and ASPN-TV as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery has been a freelance and staff writer for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces.

When she can, Anne indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, football refereeing, and playing her guitar.

Learn more about Anne Montgomery on Wikipedia. Stay connected on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

Disenchanted by Leigh Goff

Disenchanted’s Bewitching Main Character, Sophie Goodchild
by Leigh Goff

Sophie Goodchild is a sixteen-year-old half-witch and the star of my new release Disenchanted from Mirror World Publishing. She lives with her eccentric aunt in the small town of Wethersfield, Connecticut—the sight of the first American Witch Trials. Sophie is descended from a powerful black witch, but struggles with her erratic white magic. All the while she is forced to deal with a nasty group of full-blooded witches known as the Glitterati. These evil beings love to make Sophie feel like she is less than they are.

Sophie is a natural beauty with long, unruly waves of sable-colored hair, dark blue sapphire eyes, and heart-shaped pillowy lips. More importantly, she is beautiful on the inside, although she hides it well behind her impatience and impetuousness, which makes her easy to relate to.

Those heart-strong characteristics are what lead Sophie into trouble and, since she is ruled by her heart, she’s always finds trouble. She is fiercely loyal, determined, and fearless and there is nothing she wouldn’t do or sacrifice for the ones she loves. That hold even more true when she learns of the true love curse her ancestor cast on the Mather family.

Things become more dangerous for the beautiful half-witch when Judge Mather, a descendant of the man who condemned Sophie’s ancestor to hang, learns his son has fallen hard for her. The mysterious, handsome young man recently returned to Wethersfield. His sexy British accent and face that could melt a black witch’s heart, sweep Sophie off her feet. Dark secrets come to light and impossible choices are made as Sophie sacrifices everything, including her soul, to save her true love.

Here is a brief intro to my novel that appeals to people of all ages. I hope you like it, too.

Disenchanted
A forbidden love. A dark curse. An impossible choice…

Descended from a powerful Wethersfield witch, sixteen-year-old Sophie is struggling to hide her awkwardly emerging magic, but that’s the least of her worries. When a dangerous thief tries to steal her mysterious heirloom necklace, she is rescued by the one person she’s forbidden to fall for, a descendant of the man who condemned her ancestor to hang. He carries a dark secret that could destroy them both unless Sophie learns how to tap into the mysterious power of her diamond bloodcharm. She will have to uncover dark secrets from both of their families’ wicked pasts and risk everything, including her soul to save them from a witch’s true love curse, but it will take much more than that.

Buy Links:
Mirror World PublishingAmazon

Leigh Goff loves writing young adult fiction with elements of magic and romance because it’s also what she liked to read. Born and raised on the East Coast, she now lives in Maryland where she enjoys the area’s great history and culture.

Leigh is a graduate of the University of Maryland, University College and a member of the Maryland Writers’ Association and Romance Writers of America. She is also an approved artist with the Maryland State Arts Council. Her debut novel, Disenchanted, was inspired by the Wethersfield witches of Connecticut and was released by Mirror World Publishing. Leigh is currently working on her next novel, The Witch’s Ring which is set in Annapolis.

Learn more about Leigh Goff on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.