Archive for February, 2019
Thursday, February 7th, 2019
Me: “New email, cool! Hey, it’s from Book Bub with today’s deals! Super cool!”
I start scrolling down, mumbling, “No… Not in the mood for this…. Maybe this one–no.”
And so on. You know how it goes, right?
While I was doing that, the reasoning behind two of my choices (one leading up to buying a book; the other turning a book down) made me face where I stand these days, as far as life goes.
I said no to a story where the Heroine, overworked and pregnant (long story), takes a break and goes to Alaska (I love Alaska as a setting. Along with Texas, Ireland, and Scotland, is one of my favorites). Up to that point, I was sure I was going to click buy. Love the setting, the story is fresh, it has a gazillion of 5star reviews. What can possibly go wrong, right?
Then the next line.
It stopped me and my buy-button-hovering finger.
Her needy family….
I was out.
This woman, a woman who had made a place for herself by herself, who’s pregnant and overworked, has to leave her house and her life because of a needy family??? No way, man.
You see, the thing is, I was never her. It was never that bad. But I have family trouble and pressure. I’m about to face some of that, I know there will be fights, and how those will take a toll on me (hell, before starting this blog I researched non-drowsy anxiety medicines over the counter). The last thing I need now is reading about it, going through the same s#@t. Unless she tells them all to go and you-know-where to go. Which I don’t believe she will.
Hence, my not buying the book. A shame, because it seemed like a great story.
What I did buy was a story where the Hero is a scholar. I’m telling you, lately, I’m crushing on nerdy men. Not because my husband is a hot nerd, although I’ve always appreciated that type more. It’s just that I need a break from alpha growling in favor of a quiet, maybe even aloof, vibe. Again, it’s about to get hot and uncomfortable around here, I don’t need more noise, I don’t need adrenaline.
I need to relax. I need quiet, and a quietly heroic Hero.
So now I have one in my kindle, waiting to tell me his and the Heroine’s story.
And this is how I realized how much what happens in my life, my mood, influences my choice in books.
Do you feel the same?
Are the books you read a mirror of, or the reason why, you read a particular story?
Crescent Creek Bundle
From the cold Canadian border, the US1 runs along the east coast with patience. Southbound, always south, until it reaches the Sunshine State.
Not the fastest way, sure, but if you have time to drive it all the way down, you might find yourself lost in one of the coastal towns that dot the US1 like little jewels.
Maybe that town’s name is Crescent Creek.
These are the stories of its people.
All Those Miles I Walked ~ Crescent Creek 1
At eighteen, DJ made a choice–her heart or her dreams. Neither was wrong, yet either would break her heart. She chose the world. Over a decade later, she returns to Crescent Creek and to the one regret she’s ever had–Scott.
Scott’s always been steady as a rocky reef. He’d loved once and when she’d left, his strong heart had crumbled like a sandcastle. Now DJ is back, and Scott wants nothing to do with her. If only Eva, his and DJ’s old friend, didn’t need their help. Because of her, he’s stuck with DJ and he’d be damned, she still gets under his skin.
DJ is a free spirit who needs the road under her feet. Scott is a family man who wants to groom his roots. With danger on their doorstep and a baby to keep safe, how much are they willing to compromise for love?
Painted Love ~ Crescent Creek 2
Thou shalt not steal.
Oh, but Florence had, and would do so one last time. Ten pieces her grandfather painted for her because he loved her. Ten pieces her mother lost, along with anything else, for loving the wrong man. She couldn’t get back everything he’d wasted away, but she’d be damned if she’d give up those paintings.
Easy and genuine, Rhett loves his life–his family, his market, his town. Until he meets a British woman with grey eyes and a cute little smile. The woman he’s been waiting for. The thing is, to love her is easy, but can he trust her?
When Rhett pushes to uncover her agenda, Flo knows she will lose something–the man she loves or what she’d been fighting for years. Which road will she choose?
His Midnight Sun ~ Crescent Creek 3
Tormented, fierce, and broken, sculptor Aidan Murphy has judged himself guilty. He yearns for love but pushes everyone away. He longs for acceptance but has lost the key to open his heart. Until he meets Summer Williams. Beautiful and smart, Dr. Williams promises haven for a man who believes he deserves none. All he has to do is let her in and risk his heart and soul.
Summer’s managed to keep her inner light alive, even through tragedy. She’s created a new life for herself and her daughter in Crescent Creek with loving, caring and fun friends–well, except brooding, breathtaking Aidan. She’s used to keeping away from his type, though. All she has to do is ignore the pull of a man who’s turning up to be much more than snarls and storms. Will her compassion and medical instincts let her?
Love can heal a broken soul and shake up a timid heart. Or it can unleash devastation and revenge.
Will Aidan and Summer survive the hurricane?
Free with KU
About the Author
Beach bum and country music addicted, Viviana lives in a small Floridian town with her husband and her son, her die-hard fans and personal cheer squad. She spends her days between typing on her beloved keyboard, playing in the pool with her boy, and eating whatever her husband puts on her plate (the guy is that good, and she really loves eating). Besides beaching, she enjoys long walks, horse-riding, hiking, and pretty much whatever she can do outside with her family.
On my website http://www.viviana-mackade.blog/
Amazon Author page
Wednesday, February 6th, 2019
I’ve never been a tomboy, but I’ve always been a jeans and T-shirt kind of gal. I like to be comfortable. I like vegging out on the couch and watching movies that make me use my brain cells to predict the ending and reading intriguing love stories. I’m also a huge sports fan. Football is a season of its own, and Saturdays are reserved for hot wings, loaded nachos, and pizza. (I would include beer since that’s always present for my guests, but I’m not a beer drinker). Game Day is sacred. Therefore, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that my last two books (Defending the Net and Out of the Penalty Box) were both sports romances. What was a surprise, or rather an adjustment, was my having to work in an office that none of the employees were sports fans. OMG! Talk about feeling a slow death.
In short, I was sports-shamed.
Now, I get it. Sports is not everyone’s thing. But, hey, this is the south. Next to Southern Baptist, SEC football is the next largest religion. I’m just kidding … well, kinda. When I transferred into my new position, I was viewed as an oddity. I don’t want to sound stereotypic, but they, the women (and my new department only employed two male workers at the time, one of whom knew zero about any sport), found it weird that a “girl” would know so much about sports. Yes, I hang with the big dogs and can talk trivia with the best of them. I found it weird that my new coworkers were so uninterested in sports while previous co-workers who also were predominately female were extremely knowledgeable. I went from goals, touchdowns, and home runs to weeding gardens, cooking casseroles, and long-lasting nail polish. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking those activities. I do like gardening, even if I do manage to kill most veggies. And occasionally, I paint my nails when I have time and find a cute color.
There was a time, a long time ago—like in prehistoric days when I was in high school—I actually cared a lot about fashion, accessories, and doing my hair. College knocked that right out of me. I had 8:00 A.M. classes and no time for coordinating sweaters and socks. I was happy with clean and unwrinkled.
Comfortable became my element and has remained with me. However, recently, I’ve taken more of an interest in cosmetics. I must admit, the beauty world has changed since I last paid attention. I’d never heard of primers, eyeshadow bases, or color correctors. I had no clue of the difference between a setting powder and a finishing powder. (And still don’t if I’m completely honest.) I still use the applicator that comes in the eyeshadow pallet instead of a brush (with a number/name) or sponge (and I won’t even say what I thought this was when someone first mentioned it to me). Contouring sounded like something that had to do with streets. When my coworkers started discussing bath bombs, I seriously considered calling Homeland Security and reporting them as a terrorist group plotting to blow up plumbing. It all seemed foreign to me.
But as I stated previously, I’ve never been a tomboy. I’ve always wanted to look pretty, but it wasn’t a priority. Lip gloss to keep from cracking and out into the world I venture. Yet, there are times when I want to take an extra moment to invest in my image. My coworkers seemed to believe it is either sports or beauty and that a woman can’t do both. I believe that thinking is outdated. I believe it is sexist to think women can’t be athletic or knowledgeable in sports. One search on YouTube will unveil plenty of talented male makeup artists. And when I say talented, I mean it. They transform their faces into palettes and create masterpieces.
Just because a woman doesn’t get all guzzled up to the nines (or tens) does not mean she’s ugly, homely, or letting herself go. Something is to be said for natural beauty. Likewise, there is no rule stating women can’t be feminine and enjoy sports. Women shouldn’t be designated to being designated to being the swimsuit model in high heels strolling around a ring carrying a “Rounds” sign.
By now, one might be wondering what prompted me to write this article. Well, several weeks ago, someone asked me what inspired me to write sports romance. I replied it was because I enjoy sports, which is true. However, as time passed, I realized the answer was more deep-seated than that. I think that it is important for women to be portrayed as more than one-note and capable of being competent in areas that are “traditionally” associated with men. I feel more sports romances are needed that blend both the hard and soft sides of the industry. Additionally, I wanted to push myself into an area that I had not attempted previously. I knew sports, talked sports, but had never written sports. Writing sports romances provided me an opportunity to explore and balance two loves that are not as incompatible as some may think.
Enjoy sports romance? Check out my new adult romance, Defending the Net, released on November 10. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It will be sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.
Missed the first in my hockey romance series? Don’t worry. Out of the Penalty Box, an adult romance where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.
Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.
Copies of all my books and stories are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.
NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click https://genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com/newsletter/ and sign up today.
Finally, if you or anyone you know are interested in joining a college Greek life organization, check out my special series posted each Monday for everything you wanted (and didn’t want) to know about college fraternities and sororities. Visit Sorority Bible Table of Contents to view any or all of these posts.
DISCLAIMER: Creole Bayou is not sponsored or being paid to endorse any business, website, person, podcast, broadcast, videos, philanthropy, or products. Any shoutouts given is due to personally liking a product or cause. There is no intention to slight any competitors or introduce bias. If you have a product or service that is related to anything mentioned in this post and would like a shoutout in the future, please do not hesitate to contact via email to inform me of such product or service.
Tuesday, February 5th, 2019
UPDATE! My winners are…Laura, Colleen, Buttons, Debra and Sheryl!
I just finished laying out my release schedule through June, and I’m super excited! I have tons of pages to write, but the stories are going to be so much fun! What do you have to look forward to? These are just a few in the works!
Big Sky Wedding (Montana Bounty Hunters #8) — coming this month!
Stepbrothers Stepping Out: With His SEAL Team Part 6 — coming in March
Gilded Cage (a dark ff vampire story) — coming in March
Adventure Girls box and print set! — coming in March
Stranded (A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology) — coming in April
My wonderful cover artist (aka Elle James) has been hard at work giving me some very inspiring covers for the new stories. I can’t wait to share them all, but for now, have a look at Stranded!
I’m still making my final run through the stories some wonderful authors have submitted for this collection! I’ll be putting together my final lineup this week before announcing who made the cut! I’ll also be including a short story of my own, something related to my Montana Bounty Hunters. Someone who will get the full-size treatment very, very soon in his own story!
Stranded will be a nice, hefty compilation, filled with juicy erotic romances from some authors you know and some you’ll be excited to meet! You can preorder your copy now! Best news? The anthology sells for only $0.99! So go ahead and reserve your copy now! Get your copy here!
For a chance to win a free download of one of these previously released anthologies, tell me what you’re excited to see in the lineup or what you wish was there!
Monday, February 4th, 2019
There are more reasons to love horses than I can share with you here. I’ve put together a few thoughts on why I love having companionship of horses in my life.
These magnificent creatures are clearly a natural wonder in this world. Not only are they beautiful to behold, but artists and poets alike have been continually inspired by them. These living art forms remind us to live our lives at a higher level.
Not only are horses affectionate, enjoyable companions, they nurture the imagination, and are faithful, loving friends with a will to please.
Trial riding is an amazing way to enjoy nature’s bounties while toning the body and burning calories. Riding uses many muscles and is a great workout. Combine it with animal grooming and care, barn work, getting in hay, and you’ve discovered the best kept fitness secret around.
Social activities with horses are vast, depending on your interests. Horses allow you to fit into social circles with others who enjoy the same activities as you. You may prefer showing your animal, riding with a saddle club, hanging with a crowd from your stable, trail riding or camping with groups for trail riding weekends and socials around a campfire. Whatever interest you have, the love of these glorious animals will help you form bonds with other horse lovers.
When you ride the same mount consistently, he or she intuitively knows what you need. They seem to read your mind. They pay attention to minor nuances in your actions, mood and voice with a truly remarkable will to please. This is a two-way street. You will find yourself understanding and anticipating the horse’s actions as well. It’s a great way to allow your inner voice or natural ESP to work. There is no better way to improve your mood than being one with a horse.
Caring for the horse is priority one. Whether returning to the barn or campsite for a night, his needs come first. Prior to relaxing with a cold drink by a bonfire, the animal must be groomed, fed, watered, and put in a safe place. Before we were allowed to have a ride of our own, we cared for someone else’s mount for a while. The experience taught us the reality of ownership, and allowed us the chance to experience what truly unique creatures they are.
There is nothing more freeing than riding a powerful steed in the sunshine with wind in your hair. On horseback you can venture far into the woods, climb soaring mountains, and see nature’s bounty first hand, regardless of your condition or any weakness you might have. The human body is frail and comes with limitations we are freed from on horseback.
Horses are wise creatures. They see a person for who they truly are. I liken them to dogs in this respect. They see our inner souls. They don’t care what your job is, what you have, or what your life is like.
You must earn a horse’s respect and prove yourself worthy before he will allow you to master him. This doesn’t mean you should bully him. Forget your ego. He needs to trust you. In return, you will learn to trust him. Establish an honest relationship with your animal, and he will willingly succumb to your commands and do anything in his power to please you.
Nature’s bounties are full of wonder. Horses are a perfect example. Spending time with them can calm you when life gets rough. With each rock in the saddle you’ll feel stress of the day sliding off your shoulders and disappearing. Isn’t that better for the body than drugs? Talk about returning to nature? Ride a horse.
He doesn’t emit pollution to damage the ozone, make irritating mechanical sounds, or create hazardous waste. He’s completely natural.
I can’t argue that dogs are man’s best friend. Mine always slept on the foot of my bed. My horse can’t do that; but in every other respect, he’s right up there with my dog. Folks who’ve experienced friendship with a horse will totally understand this. It is a bond like no other.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lynda Rees is a multi-published historical and suspense award-winning romance author. Freckle Face and Blondie is a children’s suspense middle-grade co-written with her ten-year-old author granddaughter, Harley Nelson. Lynda has two suspense novels about descendants of mobsters—God Father’s Day and Madam Mom. Her 2016 award winning historical novel Gold Lust Conspiracy depicts a woman’s struggle during the savage 1890’s Alaskan Gold Rush. Parsley, Sage, Rose, Mary & Wine, is Book one of The Bloodline Series and a 2015 and 2017 Golden Heart and RITA finalist. The Bloodline Series is set in Kentucky horse country.
The other series books are:
Blood and Studs – Hot Blooded – Blood of Champions
Bloodlines & Lies – The Bloodline Trail – Horseshoes & Roses
Real Money and The Bourbon Trail are due to launch early 2019.
Author’s Note: I hope you enjoy my work and we become life-long friends.
Lynda Rees Love is a dangerous mystery
Get these fine books and join Lynda’s VIP Group for specials, news and freebees. Use these links.
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Sunday, February 3rd, 2019
I have a book coming soon. Would you like a hint of what it’s about? Solve the puzzle.
Saturday, February 2nd, 2019
UPDATE! My two winners are…Eileen and Sheryl!
I hope you haven’t forgotten my Uncharted SEALs stories! I do have quite a few of these action-packed stories for you to enjoy—12 of them! And I’m not saying I’m done with them either. In fact, one of the stories, Big Sky SEAL is about to have a sequel inside the Montana Bounty Hunters series, Big Sky Wedding! I’ll have that story to you before the end of this month!
Uncharted SEALs spawned my Montana Bounty Hunters, and soon, MBH will spinoff to another series, but I’m not talking about that yet! Just know I love my military heroes, and I don’t plan to stop writing them anytime soon! I love writing them! They’re fast and funny. I make myself giggle when I write them.
And why write if you don’t have fun doing it, right? My Motto, always!
Here are all my currently available titles in Uncharted series.
Peruse these lovelies…
Click on the covers to learn more!
I’ll choose two winners! Tell me whether you’d love to see more Uncharted SEALs or Montana Bounty Hunters, or both for a chance to win your choice of an Uncharted SEAL story!
Between a SEAL and a Hard Place
The last person world-class sniper, Wolf Kinkaid, expected to see in the crosshairs of his rifle during an operation to take down a drug cartel assassin was his pretty, bounty hunter wife. He takes the shot, disarming the bad guy, but the assassin wasn’t working alone, and now, Piper is a target for revenge.
Solution? The two of them hole up in a safe house while his team tries to find the assassin’s psychotic brother. Piper and Wolf have issues to resolve, and all that time alone gives them something they haven’t enjoyed in excess for a while—each other. But while they get close, the enemy closes in…
So many things were the same. Merciless heat beating down from above. Staring through the scope of a Macmillan Tac-50 from a dusty perch. Spotter at his elbow. Familiar chatter from the mission commander in his ear. And yet, everything was different.
For Wolf Kinkaid, the differences made the experience surreal. Yes, the air was hot, but he wasn’t wearing a heavy helmet, which would have cooked his brain.
His position was on a high-rise rooftop rather than amid rocks in a lonely mountain pass. The spotter at his elbow was dressed in SWAT black rather than a uniform of woodland camouflage, as was he. And the commander providing updates of what was happening inside the building entrance he surveilled wasn’t talking about insurgents. He gave details about an Assistant District Attorney, a “suit” who was about to exit the law building they watched.
Yup, he was a long, long way from Afghanistan.
“Suit’s taking the elevator,” Deke Warrick, the mission commander, said quietly over the comm in his ear.
Wolf checked the pictures he’d taped to the wall he knelt behind. One was of ADA Ben Souther who had a hit on him from a Mexican cartel, primarily for the fact he was preparing to prosecute a high-ranking cartel member for murder and racketeering. The second photo was of the assassin that the team—which consisted of FBI, ATF, and Charter agents—was trying to take down. They wanted to arrest the bastard and maybe milk him for names of other members residing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Wolf’s particular talent was needed to implement Plan B if the assassin got too close to Souther.
Outfitted with a Kevlar vest, Souther was accompanied by two bodyguards, both provided by Wolf’s new employer, Charter Group. They’d trained for this mission for a week in another city with a similar topography, all while keeping Souther in a safe house. Souther’s office had hired the company to provide added protection and, hopefully, nab another cartel member, because the cartel lieutenant they’d captured had, so far, remained uncooperative. After weeks of lying low, Souther had grown restless and suggested they end the impasse by allowing him to act as bait.
He was a gutsy bastard, an ex-Marine who’d used the GI Bill to complete his education and become an attorney. So, Charter had agreed, figuring he knew the score and could handle himself should shit go sideways. A situation which chatter from paid CIs said was about to happen.
“Get ready,” said Deke. “He’s about to come through the doors.”
His sights already set, Wolf looked through his scope, noted Souther’s set jaw, his short buzz-cut. Determination and fearlessness radiated from the man. He wasn’t a SEAL, but the man was a warrior, no matter he now wore a suit and tie. His battlefield was a different kind of minefield, a courtroom.
The doors swung open, and one of his guards preceded him, glancing left and right before turning to usher Souther through them. His second guard kept close to his back, glancing behind then taking in the sidewalk and the armored car placed behind a barricade that stood in front of the doors.
“We have movement from the West,” said Deke.
Wolf pivoted his weapon on its tripod. A slender figure with an impressive rack, wearing a ball cap, moved forward at a fast clip. But she wasn’t the target. He recognized that long, fit frame. Her brown and copper hair was drawn back in a ponytail that bobbed behind her. He noted a cord extending from her ear to her collar.
Damn, his fears were confirmed, the little twit was on the job, and likely looking for the same target they hoped to capture.
“Wolf, is that—”
“Southwest corner of the building,” came another urgent voice.
Again, Wolf sighted down his barrel. No time to wonder why she was here or how she’d discovered their plan. A man wearing blue jeans, a cowboy hat drawn low over his forehead, and wearing a casual jacket also made his way down the sidewalk from the opposite direction.
“God dammit,” he whispered as he took a bead on the man, ready to pull back the trigger at the first sight of a weapon—should the team closing in on him not get there in time. He glanced to the left, hoping the damned woman wasn’t about to get in the way of his bullet. Then she glanced up to the rooftop where he perched, mostly hidden, and he cussed again. She knew he was there, but she was still coming fast.
She reached behind her and drew a handgun then kept it hidden against her thigh.
“Dammit, he’s got a gun!” Deke said. “Wolf! Take him out!”
Wolf adjusted, aimed for the middle of the cowboy’s thigh, drew a breath, held it for a split second, and then pulled the trigger. Blood spurted from the wound.
Piper sprinted the last few feet and took the assailant down at the knees. His cowboy hat fell away, long black hair spilled, a dark hard-edged profile was revealed. They had their man.
Or rather, Piper did, pressing into the wound Wolf had made while shoving her Glock hard between the bastard’s legs.
The man reached out his hands and dropped his weapon to the pavement at the same moment the first of Souther’s guards took position over him and Piper, his stance wide and his weapon pointing downward.
Blood pounded in his ears. Wolf cussed again and put down his weapon.
“Want me to pack up for you?” his spotter drawled.
Wolf shot him a deadly glare. “Not a fucking word.”
The man smirked and took up position behind the weapon, likely to watch the fireworks through the scope.
Wolf headed to the stairwell and hopped the steps two at a time, racing downward. At ground level, he hit the bar on the exit door with a bang and sprinted across the street.
The team was converging. Souther had been moved to the armored car. Piper was still on the ground, but now lying face down beside her “collar” with her hands cupped behind her head.
“I have paperwork in my pocket,” she said, annoyance in her voice. “He’s mine to return to Houston on an outstanding warrant.” Frowning, she glanced behind her shoulder. “Is this really necessary?”
Deke shook his head then spotted Wolf bearing down on them. “Mind explaining how she knew to be here at this exact moment?” he bit out.
Wolf shook his head, too furious to get out the words. She’d promised him she’d be taking easier jobs, ones close to home. And although she’d never promised to stay completely out of harm’s way, something that would have been impossible for a bounty hunter to do, she had said she wouldn’t be seeking the most dangerous, high-value jobs. At least, she’d kept the first promise about staying closer to home. He bent and tugged at her earpiece, dislodging it.
When she looked over her other shoulder at him, she ventured a thin smile. “Hi, there, hon. Thought that might be you on the rooftop.”
He brought the device to his mouth. “Calvin, hustle your ass down here. Now,” he gritted out then dropped it. She began to open her mouth. “Just shut up.” He glanced at Deke, wanting to know if he had a preference for how this should be handled.
“Bring her along. I’d like to hear her sorry excuse, too.”
Several of the team turned as a large man barreled down the walkway, huffing. “Damn, Piper,” Calvin said, pausing beside her, then bending, hands on his knees as he gasped for breath. “Told you this was a bad idea.”
“I took him down,” she said, her voice gruff. “He’s mine.”
“Don’t think they’re gonna agree, baby girl, and your man looks ready to pop an aneurism.”
She glanced back again. “Can I get up?”
Barely able to keep his motions contained, Wolf reached behind his back, drew out a set of cuffs and snagged her wrists, drawing them down to the small of her back, and quickly snapping on the cuffs. Then he gripped her upper left arm and levered her to a stand.
Deke handed him her piece and the keys to the vehicle they’d come in. “See you back at HQ.”
Wolf grunted and goose-walked his wife to the underground garage.
Friday, February 1st, 2019
UPDATE: This giveaway has ended!
Just because, here’s a free story.
Click on the cover to claim your free copy!