Friday, July 31, 2015

Release Day Blitz Guarded by Carmen Fox


Tell us about the role of women in your writing.

They’re strong. And I’m not talking about a token ‘feistiness’ to balance out an inherent need to find refuge in a man’s arms, but about an inner strength that allows them to weather any situation alone. If they choose to be with a man, it’s because they want to be, perhaps driven by passion or love, but never by a need for safety.

Who is Ivy?

Ivy, GUARDED’s main character, doesn’t let her past define her. Or so she thinks. In truth, her experiences have left her with emotional pressure points she doesn’t want anyone to poke. She deals with most situations with her special brand of humor, and although she’d do anything for her friends, she’s far from perfect. When people vie for your attention, perhaps it’s natural to take their support for granted. Worse, her curiosity often gets the better of her. It’s not that she deliberately walks into danger, but rather her idea of what is safe is a little skewed. Most of all she’s self-reliant. Not too proud to accept help, but she will act alone if she has to. In many respects she is who I want to be.

Why does Ivy have such a hard time deciding between the men in her life?

Ivy dithers between her sexual urges and her desire to be loved. Each of the three men offers her something different. One promises a normal future, the one she’s always wanted. Guy number two is incredibly hot and satisfies an itch the first man might not be able to scratch. And the third might be the most passionate, but also the most possessive of them. Sometimes, heart, body and mind simply cannot agree.

Tell us about Ivy’s relationship with Florian.

Florian is Ivy’s best friend. I imagine he’s every woman’s ideal best friend. No matter the situation, he has her back. Plus, he’s funny, and a little goofy. The two of them just click. He’s quickly become the most memorable character, and I’ve had women tell me he’s their ideal book BFF.

Do you have a Florian in your life?
I used to have a Florian in my life, the kind of person I spent every free minute with without ever being bored. We’d do the craziest things. And the total absence of sexual tension made it easy for us to laze in front of the TV in our sweat pants, greasy hair or not. Sure, our closeness wasn’t always straightforward, especially for my boyfriends or his girlfriends, but we made it work.

Would you categorize GUARDED as urban fantasy or paranormal romance?

I wish I didn’t have to categorize it. An agent informed me that GUARDED is a romance, since it has a HEA, a happily ever after, which is the payoff readers of that genre expect. But some romance readers have struggled with the fact that they can’t immediately tell who Ivy is going to end up with. She experiences different chemistries with different men. It’s part of the fun. Also, there’s a strong non-romance plot, which shifts the book closer into the urban fantasy or suspense genres. To me, it’s an urban fantasy romance.








Guarded
The Silverton Chronicles
Book 1
Carmen Fox

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Romance/Suspense

Publisher: Smart Heart Publishing

Date of Publication: July 31, 2015

epub: 978-0-9931992-0-2
paperback: 978-0-9931992-1-9
hardcover: 978-0-9931992-2-6

Number of pages: 276 print pages
Word Count: 104k

Cover Artist: Ana Grigoriu

Book Description:

When everyone's existence depends on the lies they tell, trust doesn't come easy

Ivy’s neighbors have a secret. They aren’t human. But Ivy has a secret, too. She knows. As long as everyone keeps quiet, she’s happy working as a P.I. by day and chillaxing with her BFF Florian, a vampire, by night. When a routine pickup drops her in the middle of a murder, her two worlds collide. While Florian knows how to throw a punch, deep down he's a softie. His idea of scary? Running out of hair product. It’s time Ivy faced facts. Even with a vampire on stand-by, one gal can only kick so many asses.

For help, she must put her faith in others. A human, who might just be the one. A demon, who will, for a price, open the doors to her heritage. And a werewolf, who wants to protect her from herself.

Torn between these men, Ivy must tread carefully, because one wants her heart, one wants her body, and one wants her dead.


Review Trailer: http://youtu.be/rpI5DtqvR8E


Blurb Read by Voiceover Artist: http://youtu.be/6i3DmvcaMWs

About the Author:

Carmen lives in the south of England with her beloved tea maker and a stuffed sheep called Fergus. An avid reader since childhood, she caught the writing bug when her Nana asked her to write a story. She also has a law degree, studied physics for a few years, dabbled in marketing and human resources, and speaks native-level German and fluent Geek. Her preferred niches of geekdom are tabletop games, comics, sci-fi and fantasy.

She writes about smart women with sassitude, about pretty cool guys too, and will chase that plot twist, no matter how elusive.

Expect to be kept guessing.

DIVIDE AND CONQUER, Carmen’s first urban fantasy novel, was published in March 2015. To find out more, visit her at www.carmen-fox.com.


Twitter: @authorcarmenfox


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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Guest Blog and Giveaway The Awakening of Tara by Sara McBride



When I decided to write my first paranormal erotic romance novel I decided to write about what I knew. I fully realize that statement sounds absurd. What could I possibly know about paranormal erotic romance? I’m an ex-fitness professional from Southern California who grew up in Michigan, so magic really isn’t a part of my world, but I’m definitely a believer in the paranormal. A few years ago my husband and I were in Barbados and I was teaching yoga at a high-end resort. I was teaching yoga class first thing in the morning and again at sunset every evening but the rest of the week was ours to savor.




On the first day of our stay I noticed a small shack just down the road from our hotel that had a sign out front that read “Handmade Jewelry and Psychic Readings.” Being a big believer in the occult and magic I stopped in. The woman who ran the shop was incredibly sweet and did the most spot-on reading I’ve ever had. She claimed to be a witch and sold me a “love potion” that I believe brought us our daughter. Over the course of our week on this incredible island, we ran into a multitude of people who saw themselves as witches, including one of our waitresses and several women on the beach who did palm readings and offered magical implements. After talking to these people, what I discovered was that the Island had a long history of magic.



When I decided to write this book I couldn’t think of a more magical place to set my story. First of all the island is one of the most beautiful in the Caribbean, boasting white sand powder beaches and brilliant turquoise water along with some of the friendliest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.

For me this place embodied what I wanted for my characters and their story: Paradise with an undercurrent of magic. The following images are of places that I put in my story that are actually on the island of Barbados.






      

The Awakening of Tara
Charmed in Paradise Series
Book One
Sara McBride

Genre: Paranormal Romance/ BBW Witches and Wizards

Publisher: MLF Press

Date of Publication: July 15th 2015

ASIN: B010MFYDP0

Number of pages: 77
Word Count: 24975

Book Description:

Tara’s a big girl whose life is in shambles. Her fiancé left her for some skinny little bitch, work is overwhelming and her self-esteem has been shredded. So when her best friend suggests a vacation on the tropical paradise island of Barbados, she jumps at the chance.

A freak accident on a Caribbean beach leaves Tara with a magical gift that makes her virtually irresistible to men, rebuilds her broken self-esteem and introduces her to a mystical world of witches and wizards as well as one of the sexiest mega millionaire pro athletes on the planet.

When an evil billionaire wizard decides to take what he wants, the real question is, can Tara and her friends escape this adventure with their lives.

This paranormal romance adventure series is filled with steamy romance, sizzling sex, paranormal adventure, evil billionaires and hot, curvy BBWs.


Available at Amazon

Excerpt:
“A couple of people said they had seen the box you were looking for.”
Radella tried to keep the emotion from showing on her face. She and her people had been down here for a month asking questions and no one said a word about the box. This was the first solid lead they had. She felt her heart skip a beat.
“So what’s this box look like?” she asked coolly.
Kai didn’t take his eyes off her. She could tell he was trying to decide how valuable this information was to her. “Just like you described it. Old dark wood with shiny white squares across the top… real fancy. People say some woman that works down on the beach selling junk and telling fortunes has it.”
Now it was Radella’s turn to smirk. “You got anything else?”
Kai didn’t say anything for a couple of beats. Radella knew he was up to something and he was trying to decide what his next move should be.
“Look, I know this box is worth a lot to you. Tell you what, for another $500 me and Navas will steal this box from her and bring it to you. What do you say?”
Radella smiled, crossed her arms and gazed directly at Kai. “No, I’ll get the box myself.”
This clearly wasn’t what Kai expected her to say. “What do you mean you’ll get the box yourself? You don’t even know who this bitch is. I KNOW who this bitch is!”
In her peripheral vision, Radella saw Navas begin to inch in towards her and saw one of his hands go, without any attempt to conceal the movement, into his back pocket. She took a half step back, but kept her eyes on both men.
“This island isn’t that big, so finding someone who sells souvenirs and tells fortunes on the beach isn’t going to be that hard.”
Navas turned to his brother. “Fool, you told her too much!”
“Shut up Navas!” Kai shouted.
As the two brothers stared each other down Radella took another step back as she continued to talk.
“Besides, I’ve known from the beginning that I couldn’t trust you two. If you stole the box and the things we want are actually inside, you’d either steal them and try to sell them yourself, or you would try to make me pay you some ridiculous price to give me the things I already paid you to get. As I said, I’ll get the box myself.”
A look passed between the brothers. Navas produced a large folding knife from his back pocket and flipped the blade open. Kai picked up what looked like a bowie knife from under a pile of food wrappers on the table.
“Fine, have it your way,” whispered Kai. “But it’s going to cost you $500 to get out of the house alive.”
Radella gave them both an icy, appraising stare. “I didn’t bring any money.”
Navas spoke up. “That’s not a problem. We’ll just take the necklace.” With a wide grin he gestured toward the star pendant hanging around her boney neck.
Radella smiled back and reached down taking the star pendant in both hands pointing the large stone in the direction of the two men.
“You mean this old thing?” The emerald began to glow and Radella began to chant, “Lamina lamina lamna, inermis, prehendo, fervens, letum!”
A flash of green light filled the room and then it was gone. Kai and Navas were taken aback, but Kai recovered quickly enough.
“Nice trick lady. But that ain’t gonna help you. Now hand over the necklace.”
Radella’s eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas morning.
“Gentlemen, I have good news and I have bad news.” She smiled. “Let’s start with the bad news. I’m a witch and I’ve put a spell on your knives.” She stopped and thought for a second. “That’s not entirely true. I’ve actually put four spells on your knives.”
 She held up her index finger. “The first spell won’t allow your knives to harm me.”
She held up a second finger. “The second spell won’t allow either of you to let go of your knives.”
She held up her third finger. “The third spell will make your knives begin to grow hotter and hotter until finally the metal and whatever else they happen to be made of burns away or melts.”
She paused for dramatic effect, and then finished.
“You can just imagine what that will do to your hands.”
She smiled brightly at both men.
“Now here is the good news. The fourth spell is your way out.  All you have to do is kill your brother with your knife,” She looked at Kai then over at Navas, “and the spell is broken. Your knife cools off and you can set it down.”
Radella started toward the door but Navas lunged at her, leading with the wicked looking blade pointed at her throat. But he never came close. The knife swung away like her body was the bad side of a magnet, slashing harmlessly through the air.
Kia leapt forward, stabbing at Radella’s torso but again the knife was repulsed, the tip wrenching straight up before it reached her, leaving the man standing holding the knife over his head.
The brothers looked at each other with panic-stricken eyes. Navas tried to open his hand and let the knife fall to the floor but his fingers stayed clamped like a vice on the handle of the folding knife.
Kai tried to throw his bowie knife but had no more success than his brother.
Radella turned lightly and as she reached the door she heard Kai cry out in pain. The knives were beginning to heat up. She smiled contentedly and turned to study the two brothers as they began to stalk each other around the room.
“Oh, and did I mention that you have about five minutes? Her smirk widened to a full skeletal grin.
“Have a nice evening, gentlemen.”


About the Author:

When a life-changing injury forced her to give up a successful career as a personal trainer, Sara McBride did what any girl with the gift for gab and a typing speed that is freakishly fast would do—become a paranormal BBW erotic romance writer. 

Long frustrated with the fitness industry’s lack of acceptance that many people naturally have a body mass index above the “normal” range, she has always championed acceptance and wellness for all—not just those crazy people who love to exercise. Viva la BBW!

A lifelong reader of fantasy and paranormal fiction, Sara lives with her very patient husband and two small children who now begin every sentence with “As soon as you’re finished writing that chapter, could we….”

Her license plate holder reads “My other car is a broom.”

This is her first work of fiction.

If you would like to read Sara’s blog or sign up for an email letting you know when her next book will be released, please visit:





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Spotlight and Giveaway: Baby’s Got Bite by Candace Havens







Baby’s Got Bite
Candace Havens

Release Date: July 28, 2015

Genre: paranormal romance

Publisher: Entangled

Book Description:

Bennett Langdon has a firm no-relationships policy. Still, it doesn't stop her from hooking up with a super-sexy bad boy at her best friend's wedding. After all, it's only one night—what harm could it do? Ten weeks later, a pregnant Bennett has her answer...

Linc Monahan can't believe it. This wasn't supposed to happen. He's a werewolf, and shouldn't be able to father a child with a human. Now Linc has to find some way to tell Bennett that not only do werewolves exist, but she's about to have a baby with one.

But when word of their surprise conception gets out, the fur hits the fan. There are people who don't want this baby to be born—even if it means killing. Now Bennett and Linc aren't just fighting each other...they're fighting for their lives.

Goodreads      Amazon      BN       Entangled Page


About the Author:

Bestselling author Candace Havens has written multiple novels for Berkley, Entangled and Harlequin. Her books have received nominations for the RITA's, Holt Medallion and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is the author of the biography Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy and a contributor to several anthologies.

She is also one of the nation's leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities including Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, George Clooney and many more. Her entertainment columns can be read in more than 600 newspapers across the country. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 2200 writers, and teaches comprehensive writing class. She does film reviews with the Hawkeye & Dorsey on 96.3, and is a former President of the Television Critics Association.



Twitter: @candacehavens





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July 28 Spotlight and review
Books, Booze, and BDSM

July 28 Spotlight
IndieWritersReview

July 29 Guest Blog
Mythical Books

July 30 Review
Fanatical Paranormal Romantical

July 30 Spotlight
Roxanne’s Realm

July 31 Interview
Urban fantasy Investigations

July 31 Spotlight
Zenny's Awesome Book Reviews

August 3 Review
Keeley's Book Nook

August 3 Spotlight
Dark Side of Romance

August 4 Spotlight
I Love Books

August 4 Spotlight
Share My Destiny

August 5 Spotlight
Read Your Writes Book Reviews 

August 5 Spotlight
Romantic Reads and Such

August 6 Spotlight
Booklover Sue 

August 6 Spotlight and review
Rasheedah Prioleau

August 6 Spotlight
Angel’s Guilty Pleasures

August 7 Review
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August 7 Review
I Smell Sheep 

Aug 7 Spotlight
All I Want and More Books  

August 10 Guest Post 
Books Books and More Books 

August 10 Guest blog
Babs Book Bistro 

August 10 Spotlight
Eskimo Princess Book Reviews

August 11 Guest blog
ARe Café

August 11 Review
Musings From An Addicted Reader

August 11 Interview
Literary Musings

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blitz- Imperfect Love by Isabella White




Imperfect Love
The 4Ever Series
Book One
Isabella White

Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing

Release Date: July 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9946536-3-5

Book Description:

At 24 years old, Holly Scallenger has the perfect life. Everything a girl could want; a beautiful man, a stunning home, as well as being in the midst of preparing for the wedding of her dreams. This all vanishes the night she catches her fiancé, Brandon Morgan, in bed with her worst nightmare, Donna Sinclair, just a week before Holly is set to walk down the aisle.

Attempting to recover from his betrayal, Holly swears off the affections of men in order to pick up the pieces of her crumbling life. Unfortunately, meeting Jake 'Hooligan' Peters is not part of her plan. The tall, dark-haired and handsome as hell med student, sweeps Holly away from the pain of her past and reveals to her the bright future that lays ahead. That is, until she falls pregnant just as Jake begins his internship at P and E; his family's hospital.

Will this love at first sight lead her to the fairytale she has always craved? Or, will she fall victim to a betrayal of the heart yet again?

Excerpt One

Holly climbed out of the plush chair and gingerly walked across the soft carpet. Grasping the metal handle, she opened the closet door with a flourish and pulled out the suitcase. Flapping it open, she began arranging all her clothes haphazardly. Lucky for her, it was a big suitcase. When she’d bought it, she knew the size would come in handy one day; she just never thought that it would be used for this.
Pausing in her frantic packing, she fell back onto the white carpet, letting her hair swirl around her, reflecting the tornado of emotions swirling inside her. How could he have done this to her? They’d had so many dreams. They could have been such a great couple, if he would have just kept his dick in his pants. Heaven knew she loved Brandon, but she refused to marry Donna, too.
Tears began streaming down her cheeks, leaving a hot path that burned into her very soul. She inhaled deeply, trying not to lose it as she pushed her hair back. She knew that as soon as his Audi pulled into the driveway, he was going to start with his begging again. Especially now; a week before the big day.
She had to stand her ground. She owed it to herself, and deserved so much more than a two-timing whore! Yes, if women were called whores when they did it, men could be labeled in the same manner.

Suddenly, her phone began buzzing frantically. As she looked at the polished glass screen, a beautiful picture of him and her smiling greeted her. Damn... they looked so happy.

About the Author:

Isabella White was born and raised in South Africa, where she still lives with her husband and two beautiful little girls. She always knew she was going to be a writer, but it only started to really happen about four years ago. In her free time―if she gets any because moms don’t really have free time―she loves to spend it with friends, whether it’s a girls night out, or just watching a movie. She’s a very chilled person.

Her writing career started with Firebolt, book one in the Dragonian series under the pen name of Adrienne Woods. Her other series, Dream Casters, will be released mid 2015. She also writes in different genres, The Pregnancy Diaries, You and Me 4Ever has a total of 3 novels. More to come in the Pregnancy Diaries soon. And then, she has a paranormal series by the name of the Aswang series, which will consist of about ten novels. And if that wasn’t enough, there is another series, Guardians of Monsters, which will be released in 2016. Both novels are written under another pen name called Kristen Ping.





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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Guest Blog and Giveaway with Jay Falconer Author of the Emily Heart Time Jumper Series




From the Journal of Emily Heart, the Glassford Girl

How to Survive a Time Jump

Living on the streets as a time jumper doesn’t have to be torture if you remember to always keep your cool, plan each move carefully, and trust your logic. The first instinct is to run, but don’t. That’ll only draw attention to yourself. If you’re not in immediate danger, then stop, look, listen, and most of all, think!

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. Especially for a newbie. A zillion things can go wrong, but if you can stay calm and focus, it’ll keep you alive. That usually means starting with a chill pill, because a major panic attack will only make the situation worse. I know, ladies. That was me when I first started. I was such a complete spaz. It’s so embarrassing now that I think back on it.

It’s also important to memorize my simple Post Jump To Do List and put it into action as soon as you land: clothes, food, and shelter. In that order. Remember, only living cells can be transported across time and space, so you won’t be able to take any clothes or supplies with you when you jump.

You can’t plan ahead and build a stash either. Time jumps can take you months or even years ahead, and you’ll usually come out in some other part of the city. By the time you get back to your stuff, it won’t be there. So don’t bother. It’s a giant waste of time. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that homeless people develop a special kind of uber radar for finding things. Trust me, they WILL find your stash. No matter where you hide it. And you can forget about keeping your bling safe.
I know this all sounds insane, but eventually you’ll learn to fly by the seat of your pants, even though you won’t have any.

A sense of humor helps, too, since everyone’s gonna notice you’re not wearing any clothes after a jump. Forget modesty, too. Focus on survival and ignore everything else.

I still remember the first time I jumped. I came out in the burning hot parking lot of a huge shopping center in Phoenix with a curious rent a cop standing over me. The mall guard turned out to be a really nice guy and helped me a lot, but still. You never know who’s gonna be around. Being naked in public takes some getting used to; however, once you do, it serves as quite the distraction for eye witnesses when they try to tell their story to the cops. After all, who remembers a girl’s face when she’d naked?

But you need to realize up front, this won’t be easy. Everywhere you turn, there will be creepers. Always gawking. Pointing. Drooling. Totally grosses me out, but what’s a girl to do? Eventually, you’ll get used to it, just like I did. There’s nothing you can do about it, so just deal and move on.
Being naked is the most natural thing there is, though it can wreak havoc on your feet, especially in the city. OMG, what I wouldn’t give for a pedicure and a foot massage. Some nail polish would be nice, too, and some makeup, but that’s a whole other story.

Truth is, I never liked my Sasquatch feet anyway, but now that I’m a veteran time jumper, they’re even more hideous. Ugly feet run in my family and my mom’s were the worst. I guess that’s why they invented shoes—to cover up the nasty.

Which reminds me, the worst part about time jumping is not having socks. My feet are always cold when I come out of a jump, no matter where I end up and believe me, you can end up anywhere. Been there, done that if you know what I mean.

One time I came out of a jump and found myself face to face with a pissed off orangutan at the Phoenix Zoo. He snarled at me with his big, ugly face, and then threw crap at me—literally—and it stuck in my hair!

IN MY HAIR!

Yuck!

Granted, my hair is always a hot mess and I would gladly trade a kidney for a good hairbrush, but come on, really? Poop in your hair? Do you know how hard it is to get that @#^! out when you’re homeless?

And the smell! You know what I’m talking about—that funky jungle stink that seems to take on a life of its own. Makes me want to hurl just thinking about it.

So let this be a warning. If you come out of a jump and find yourself staring at a giant primate armed with a handful of smelly stuff, remember to DUCK! 

Then run!

There aren’t exactly bathtubs for the homeless on every street corner, so avoid the zoo at all costs. Oh, and stay away from police stations, too. Cops don’t have a sense of humor when it comes to girls running around in public in their birthday suit.

Anyway, always being cold after a jump is something you must be prepared for when you first arrive somewhere. I think it has something to do with the compression of space-time through a quantum fold, at least that’s what I read in a physics book at the public library couple months back. There’s no heat when you’re transported through time, so my poor little piggy’s always come out as ice cubes when I wake up. Even in the middle of the blistering hot summers in Phoenix. Luckily, it passes quickly and so does the nausea, so just give it time.

Homeless shelters are where most rookies head for when they first arrive. Don’t. Those people are impossible to deal with. There’s too much competition for an already sucky selection of clothes, and the people that run the place ask WAY too many questions. I’ll pass, thank you very much.

Instead, I look for the nearest church. Especially if it’s St. Bob’s or whatever. Catholics are the best people to hit up for free stuff. They’re always looking to help someone out, like it’s their religion or something. Go figure. But they usually have boxes and boxes of nice stuff sitting around, and they’re just waiting to give it all away. Free stuff is like gold—never pass it up.

When you get there, grab a few things that fit and don’t worry about fashion. If it’s warm and doesn’t smell like orangutan (if you know what I mean) —be thankful. I don’t recommend carrying a suitcase around ‘cause it screams HOMELESS GIRL. Actually, it screams DUMB HOMELESS GIRL. It’s like walking around with a great big sign that says COME HURT ME.

The streets are filled with evil around every corner, so there’s no reason to go out of your way to attract it. Be smart. Stay off the radar. Layer on a few outfits and get moving. Don’t hang around any longer than necessary because even the nice church people will eventually get nosey.

It seems like everyone wants to help the poor homeless girl—always trying to fix you or change your life. Little do they know, time jumpers can’t be fixed and we don’t need help! We’re just fine the way we are. Once you’re dressed, get out as fast as you can and don’t forget a good pair of shoes and socks for the road. Comfort over style is one of my rules, and I have many rules I live by. But I’ll save that list for another time.

Once you’ve covered all your goodies with some clothes, it’s time to think about food and water.
Water is easy—faucets are everywhere in the city, so keep your eyes open and head down. When you pass a trash can, dig around and see if you can find something to use as a water bottle. People always throw them away, so it shouldn’t take long to find something useful. Keep it filled every chance you get. Just be sure to wash it out good the first time. Oh, and never, and I mean never, share it with the old homeless man who reminds you of your grandpa. Can you say backwash?

Food is a little tougher.

My favorite place—a Mexican food restaurant.

They put so much food on a plate for everyone, there’s plenty of leftovers that get thrown away. A quick trip around back and you can usually score a fresh meal from the dumpster, assuming you don’t mind sharing it with a bunch of hungry fly’s.

Enchiladas are my fave, but I don’t recommend the beans. Being homeless with bad case of gas—and I’m talking about kill a horse kind of gas—won’t earn you any brownie points with the normals. 
Eventually you’ll need help from one of them, so try not to offend their sense of smell.

Special Emily Tip: If you happen to stumble across some unused wet-naps in the dumpster, snag ‘em. You can trade them for almost anything.

Way back in the early days, finding a specific kind of restaurant was easy. I’d just find the nearest phone booth, grab the yellow pages and turn to the restaurant section. Now that cell phones are all the rage, it’s almost impossible to find a pay phone anymore—let along yellow pages.

Since I don’t recommend talking to anyone or asking for directions, that leaves you with two options: wandering around like a crazy person, or using the Internet. Public libraries are the best choice for getting online, especially if you’re a skilled, ninja chick like me. It didn’t take me long to learn how to sneak past the old Nazi lady at the front desk.

How?

Let’s just say, this girl has skills. J

In an upcoming entry, I’ll show you seven handy tricks for sneaking into places using my famous stealth moves. For now, just find a group of chatty Kathy’s and slip inside with them. That usually works.

Once you’re past the entrance, you’ll need to head to the back and sweet talk the tech guy. Every girl should already know how to do that, so I won’t go into detail. LOL. Boys as soooo predictable—and gullible. Soon you’ll be using a computer station without a library card any time you want. Just use your imagination, girls. That’s all I’m gonna say. Wink. Wink.

One last tip before I end this journal entry.

Most people don’t realize this, but good luck trying to prove your identity when you’re a homeless time jumper who doesn’t age and can’t bring anything along when the blue fire comes. I’ve been traveling for thirty years now and my records are long gone. Yours will be, too. Anonymity is both your friend and your foe. So be prepared to deal with it. You won’t be able to get a job or stay in a motel like a normal person without proper ID, so you’ll have to get creative if you need cash or a place to stay.

That’s it for now. Next time, I’ll show you how to find shelter and hunker down for the night. Like they say, it’s all about location, location, location.

Remember, street urchins are everywhere, so stay safe and stay strong!
And never, ever give up!


—Emily Heart


Glassford Girl Boxed Set: Parts 1 and 2
Emily Heart Time Jumper Series
Jay J. Falconer

Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Paranormal / Young Adult

Publisher: Bear Down Publishing

Date of Publication: 4-10-2015

ISBN: 978-1508985815
ASIN: B00VXYTS2S

Number of pages: 430

Book Description:

Teleportation. Telepathy. Superior strength and speed. Abilities she never wanted. Abilities she must learn to control.

Emily Heart used to have a normal life. A life filled with family, friends, and a warm bed to sleep in. But that was before the night of The Taking. The night when she was abducted and genetically transformed against her will.

Now she's lost everything and living on the streets of Glassford Park, struggling to stay alive one more day. But it won’t be easy. Not when a gang wants to kill her, cops want to arrest her, and a reporter wants to expose her.

However, Emily’s problems don’t end there. Any uncontrolled burst of emotion can send her jumping randomly across time and space, arriving naked and alone. If she's not careful, she could travel to infinity and beyond, never to be heard from again.

Emily doesn't quite know what she is, or what she's capable of, but she knows what she can't afford to do -- feel anything.

And she can’t afford to make any mistakes.


Available at Amazon


Chapter 1:
August 11, 2013
1:16 a.m.

Emily Heart pushed through the burning pain in her chest and thigh muscles, convincing her legs to run faster. She dodged a park bench before jumping over a homeless man lying under a pile of cardboard.
Her mind’s eye could see the gunman aiming his sights at the back of her head and squeezing the trigger, sending the bullet out of the barrel and downrange with supersonic intent. She leaned to the left, letting the round whiz past her fifteen-year-old body. It took out the headlight of a cement truck parked across the street near the alley behind Glassford Street.
The flickering specks of blue light were fading in her vision. It wouldn’t be long before she turned normal again. She would then be unable to see through the gunman’s eyes, or sense the cold blackness of hate she could sense in his heart.
She bent forward at the waist, using a low-profile running pattern, hoping she’d make it safely to the alley. She ran through the grass at the edge of the park, over the sidewalk and hit the asphalt, racing across the empty lanes of the street.
More gunshots rang out, one after another in quick succession. She couldn’t see where the bullets were headed, telling her the link with the shooter was broken. Bricks and mortar exploded all around her as the hailstorm of rounds missed her. They hit the side wall of an old warehouse covered in spray paint and gang signs. She turned right, just before the cement truck, and ran down the alley.
“Don’t lose me!” she yelled at Junie, who was sprinting in front of her, a book bag bouncing on the back of her rail-thin body. Emily was falling behind, unable to keep up with the speed and endurance of her twelve-year-old friend from the homeless shelter.
A minute later, she heard another round of weapons fire erupt as she was nearing the far end of the block-long corridor, plinking and ricocheting off the walls around her. She felt the wisp of a bullet fly through strands of her flowing red hair. It took out the painted window on the wall ahead of her, shattering it into a million shards of colored glass.
She looked back and saw the gang leader standing at the entrance to the alley, changing the magazine in his weapon. His crew came running into view, just catching up to him.
She made the corner and ran further down the passageway, which stank of garbage and sewage. She hurdled a pothole, then flew over a garbage can laying on its side, almost losing her balance in the process. But she managed to keep her feet under her while her shoes pounded the pavement ahead.
Faster, she told herself, faster! She pushed her feet to their tripping point, trying to draw more blood and oxygen than her teenage body could deliver. Her legs wanted to quit—so did her lungs—but she wouldn’t let them.
She pressed on, looking ahead, trying to spot Junie, but she couldn’t see her anymore. She turned another corner and saw a scrawny, dirt-covered leg sticking out from behind a pile of stained mattresses leaning against the wall. She ducked in and grabbed her friend by the shoulder, dragging her eighty-pound frame forward.
“Run, baby, run! Don’t stop! One more corner and we’re there! It’s on the left!”
Emily had learned over the past two years of living on the streets of Phoenix that the blistering summers were endless and miserable, and so were the nights, keeping most of the normal people indoors. She knew that nobody was watching, and nobody cared. There would be no rescue. Not at this time of night, and not in this part of town. It was up to her to get Junie to safety before the shooter and his crew killed her.
She felt a familiar tingle start to grow at the base of her spine when she turned the last corner. “Oh, no! Not now! Not again!” she cried, trying to steady her nerves as she caught up to Junie, who was squeezing her skinny body behind the dumpster.
She couldn’t let it happen. Not so soon. She’d barely recovered from the last time. She needed to focus all her attention on Junie, and let the balance of her emotions run dry. It had only been four days since she’d met her fiery companion in the homeless shelter, but she felt a strong connection with this girl, even though she barely knew her. She didn’t know why, but something inside of her told her to protect Junie. She was important somehow, not just another homeless girl with a deadbeat mother nobody cared about.
She followed Junie behind the garbage bin and into the hidden doorway; darkness engulfed them. “Down the stairs. And stay quiet,” she told Junie in a whisper, locking the door behind her.
“But I can’t see.”
“Go slow and use the handrails. There are twelve steps. Count ‘em as you go.”
They made it down the steps and through another doorway that led into a basement storeroom. It was piled high with junk and old restaurant equipment that had been mothballed by the owner. Emily knew this place well, spending at least one night a week there in recent months. It was her secret hiding place where she could escape the insanity of the city.
An emergency exit sign hung over the inside of the door that she’d just entered, showering an eerie redness over the scene. On the wall to the left stood another door. It led to a flight of stairs that rose up to the kitchen of a high-end Italian restaurant. Emily had made friends with the eighteen-year-old busboy, Parker, who was also a volunteer at one of the local shelters. When he was the last one to leave for the night, he’d push the red dumpster close to the door as a signal to Emily that the door was unlocked and she was welcome. She’d swoop in around midnight, and lock the door behind her.
“Over here,” Emily said, gesturing to a huge metal cabinet with rusty hinges that was standing next to a stack of Styrofoam coolers. “I think we lost them.”
Junie’s chest heaved in and out as it worked to recharge her lungs after the long run. “How do you know?”
“I can’t feel them anymore,” Emily replied, equally as winded.
Emily quickly opened the white cooler sitting on top and put her hand inside, pulling out a cellophane-wrapped peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a banana. As usual, Parker had left the food for her in the top cooler with a chilled Pepsi acting as ice to keep the contents from spoiling until she arrived. She tore the cellophane off, split the bread down the middle, and gave half of it to Junie.
“Here, eat while you can,” she said, before stuffing the sandwich into her mouth, chewing it with abandon.
Junie did the same, smiling, with peanut butter stuck to her teeth. “Sea food,” she said with her mouth full.
Emily laughed. “We have a banana for dessert.”
She popped the Pepsi open and waited to see if the contents would bubble up. It did. She sucked the cola off the top of the can until the carbonation settled down, then gave the soda to her friend.
Junie guzzled several swigs before giving it back to her. Emily swished the can around in a circle to test its volume—only a quarter of the liquid remained. Emily finished her half of the sandwich, then washed it down with the last bit of Pepsi.
They plopped down against the wall beside the cabinet. Junie wrapped her arms around her knees, keeping the dual-strap backpack sandwiched between her thighs and flat chest.
“Junie, that’s not yours. Where did you get it?”
“I—” Junie hesitated. “I took it.”
Emily sighed, feeling disappointment spread across her body. “What’s in it?”
She shrugged. “I snatched it from those boys right before you showed up.”
“Lemme see.”
Junie gave her the backpack.
Emily unzipped it and peered inside. “Uh-oh,” Emily groaned. “We’re in big trouble.”
She tipped it to the side and opened it wide so Junie could see the money inside. Lots of it. Bundles and bundles of wrinkled $100 bills, each wrapped with a blue rubber band and slip of notepaper with a four-digit number written on it.

* * *

Outside, the group of West Side Locos that had been pursuing the two street girls were becoming agitated. Their leader, Flaco, was more than agitated: he was pissed. The chase had taken them several blocks outside of their home turf and into enemy territory. He knew it was only a matter of time before a member of the Glassford Gatos noticed their trespass. His crew was light, no match for a full-out fight with a two-dozen-strong gang.
The crew stood in a loose bunch on the sidewalk at the far end of the alley where the girls had disappeared. Flaco was sure that the girls couldn’t have made it all the way to the end before his crew rounded the corner. They must be hiding in the alley somewhere.
“Where’d they go?” he yelled at his lieutenant, Nesto, shoving him against the wall, his gun pointed up under his chin. “El stupido! You let that street chica snatch the buy money?”
Nesto shoved him back, hard.
“Get the fuck off me!” he yelled. “I didn’t do anything. She was already there. It was your dumb-ass idea to set up the buy at the rec center. Back the fuck up.”
Flaco backed away, lowering his gun. He looked down the alley, the way they had come.
“Okay. They have to be in this alley somewhere. No way they made it all the way through here before us. Split up. You two, this side; you two, that side,” he said, gesturing down the alley. “Search everywhere. Garbage cans, dumpsters, everything. We gotta get it back. Nesto, go back to the other end and keep eyes. I got this side.”
The crew split up, following his orders.
Flaco knew that if they didn’t find the money, he was a dead man. His uncle would kill him without a second’s remorse. He’d trusted him to make this drop with the Russians—the first really big one since he’d decided to quit high school and join the family business. He paced back and forth, trying to find a way out of the situation. He was about to give up on the search when one of his crew whistled from down the alley. It was the new kid, barely 14 years old. What was his name? Derek? Kid didn’t look Latino, but he swore he’d grown up in Hope Gardens on the West Side. Not that it mattered. His uncle told him to take him along and break him in, so he did. “Do as you’re told, and don’t ask questions” was a phrase that he knew all too well.
The new kid was waving at him to come take a look at something.
Flaco ran down the alley at full speed. “What you got?”
“Doorway,” Derek replied, pushing the dumpster away from the wall. He pointed at the doorframe where a torn shred of clothing was hanging on a nail. “Check it out. Wasn’t the older girl wearing a blue T-shirt?”
Flaco smiled. “We got ‘em. Good eyes, new boot.”
Flaco heard a cry from Nesto, who was running toward them in a full gallop. “Policía! Policía!”
A police cruiser came screeching to a halt, blocking the alley at the end where they’d originally entered. The cop gave the siren a quick double blast and then called over the loudspeaker.
“You there! Stop where you are! On the ground! Hands behind your head!”
Flaco and his crew took off running in the opposite direction, but another police cruiser with lights flashing and engine roaring skidded into the mouth of the alley, trapping them.
“This way!” Flaco yelled, instantly reversing direction. He ran a few feet, then veered and kicked in the door that the new kid had found. He ran into darkness, not expecting the ground to disappear from under his feet. He yelled as he fell down the void face-first. He bounced and flipped, cracking his head on one of the steps on the way to the bottom.

* * *

Emily’s spine tingled again, deep down at the base, but the tingle was stronger than before. She knew it was coming, and she wasn’t going to be able to stop it this time. The gunshots must have started the countdown. Guns always sent her mind into a blur and her heart racing, charging her body with a rush of uncontrolled emotions that seemed to act as the trigger for the blue light. Gunfire and gangs were two things that she had fought hard to avoid during her time on the streets.
The jump was coming, but she couldn’t leave Junie to fend for herself. She needed to think of something. She usually had seventeen minutes from the first tingle until the blue light consumed her and she’d vanish. The pre-jump process used to proceed like clockwork, but lately it had been different. The lead time was now ten minutes, tops, from the first indicator to the last moment. Barely enough time to find seclusion before it happened. She didn’t understand why the timer suddenly decided to change, it just had.
Now that she had a friend in tow, she couldn’t slip away into the shadows and let it take her. Not with Junie depending on her. This is why you never break the rules, she scolded herself, as she reviewed the list in her head. Her mind highlighted rule number seven in bold—never get involved; nothing good ever comes from it.
Junie was babbling on and on, trying to explain what she was doing on the playground next to the shelter in the middle of the night, and why she’d stolen a backpack from a bunch of West Side Locos.
“I was sitting in my secret place under that little arbor thing, ya know, in the corner by the bathrooms. I was waiting for some drunk to finish his dump and leave so I could wash up. I heard the Locos coming up the walkway through the trees by the picnic tables so I hid. I knew the bag was important because they were arguing about it. Then they all turned their backs and kept yelling at each other. English mostly, but some Spanish sprinkled in. They just left it sitting there on the picnic table. I thought I could sneak up and grab it and get away, then sell whatever was in it. I hate living in that shelter, Em. Too much touching. I don’t like all those hugs, and people wanting to give me a bath all the time. They think they have to help me just because Mom leaves me alone for an hour to go out and get high. Plus it smells like vomit all the time.”
The tingle in Emily’s spine crept up to her shoulder blades, confirming what she already knew—the countdown had started.
“Shhhhh,” she said, covering Junie’s mouth with her hand. “I hear voices outside.”
“Are they coming in?”
“I don’t know. I can’t sense them. The walls must be blocking.”
They listened. There were muffled voices just outside the door, at the top of the stairs where the dumpster had hid their escape route. Emily’s pulse started to pound even more, thumping in her eardrums. The tingly feeling shot up to her neck. She took a deep breath, trying to focus her thoughts away from the ticking bomb inside of her. She had to do something with Junie, and fast. She only had minutes.
“We have to get out of here,” she whispered. “We can sneak out through the upstairs—it’s a restaurant, and they close early. I doubt anyone is there this late, but we’ll probably set off the alarm when we leave.”
“Alarm?”
“Do you remember my friend Parker that I told you about? The busboy?”
She nodded.
“He disabled the sensors on the back door so I can sleep here whenever it’s raining, or when he leaves food out for me. Nobody ever comes down here except him when he takes the trash out, so he leaves food for me whenever his boss leaves early. I never go beyond this basement. That’s our deal. But we don’t have a choice this time. Just stick close and we’ll be fine. If I run, you run. Got it?”
Junie’s eyes widened. She looked scared, but she nodded.
They got up and made their way across the room as shouting rang out from the alley above. They froze. Emily heard a police siren chirp twice, then an amplified voice that sounded like it was coming over a loudspeaker. Shit. Cops. Definitely cops.
Thump! Thump! Thump!
“The Locos are trying to kick the door in!” Junie said.
Thump! Thump! Crack! The door at the top of the stairs to the alley slammed open, and one of the West Siders came tumbling down head over heels. He fell through the door at the bottom and landed on his side in a heap, just inside the entrance of the storeroom. His eyes were closed and his head was bloody. He started to moan.
Junie screamed.
Emily covered her mouth.
“Flaco?” a Latino voice called out from the top of the stairs. “Flaco? You okay?
Emily held a finger to her mouth, reminding Junie to be quiet.
The same voice spoke again. “Send Derek down to check.” A few moments later, footsteps pounded the wooden steps, getting louder with each beat.
“Run!” Emily whispered in Junie’s ear, shoving Junie across the room toward the door that led to the kitchen upstairs. Junie opened the door and ran up the steps. Emily was about to follow her friend, but stopped when she heard another person breathing heavily behind her. Something told her to turn and look at him. It felt like curiosity, but it was more than that.
He was young—too young. Maybe a little younger than she. The red glow of the exit sign made it difficult to be sure, but his spiked hair looked to be jet-black, with triangle sections cut down to the scalp above his ears. His eyes were either blue or green. She hoped blue. Tattoos covered both of his forearms like a sleeve, and a single gold earring hung down below his left ear. She didn’t recognize its unique shape—maybe it was a symbol, or something that he’d made. He was two inches taller than she, with high cheekbones that perfectly offset his narrow, aquiline nose and full lips.
Emily couldn’t help herself. She stared into the eyes of the pretty boy. A thought came unbidden into her mind: he’s way too cute to be part of this.
“Damn girl, you’re smokin’,” he said, with a voice much lower than she had expected. His eyes moved down across her figure, then back up.
She smiled when he made eye contact with her again, sensing that he wasn’t going to shoot. He was calm and quiet on the inside. There was no malice in his thoughts, just a growing feeling of desire that excited her.
He lowered his gun.
She relaxed.
Then a voice came flooding down the stairs, as did more footsteps, breaking the calm. “Derek?”
Derek bolted across the room at her. Emily came to her senses and lashed out with her right foot, just like Master Liu had taught her. The lightning-fast front kick struck him in the groin and he fell back to the doorway and landed on top of Flaco, temporarily blocking access for the rest of their crew.
Emily ran upstairs and shut the door behind her, jamming a metal garbage can under the doorknob to slow the gang down.
Junie stepped out of the shadows in the dimly lit kitchen. She was holding a stainless steel skillet cocked by her ear, ready to brain whoever came up the steps.
“It’s me!” Emily hissed, taking the weapon from her friend. She put it on the counter next to the prep station. “Hurry, out the front. This way.”
She ran past Junie through the double swing doors where the dining room of the elegant restaurant was waiting. Lights from the street cast shadows across the empty chairs, wooden tables, and the bubbling lobster tank. The tables were covered with white tablecloths and folded linen napkins, wineglasses, and elegant cutlery. The floor was spotless and shiny, and there was a fresh scent of pine in the air.
Emily felt a tremor rise up through her body. What had begun as a tingle in her spine was now an overwhelming, full-body sensation. She felt electrified and alive, like she always did right before a jump, meaning that her senses had now been supercharged, allowing her to have visions of the immediate future. Normally, she would use this ability to know where to hide until the jump came and she could disappear. But this time, she couldn’t just use her abilities to protect herself. She had to make sure Junie would be okay before she vanished.
She knew that another thug was about to start kicking at the door to the kitchen behind her, and then bolt through it and find his way into the dining area, where he’d start shooting his machine gun. She could sense his plans, and felt the anger boiling inside his chest. It wasn’t the pretty boy that she’d kicked in the basement. This one was itching to kill.
She waited a few seconds for what she knew would come next. It did—the extra strength that hard-charged her muscles, allowing her to become stronger and faster, but only for a short time. It would fade from her body the moment time began to slow down, which was the last step in the process right before the jump.
She scooped Junie in her arms like a rag doll, ran across the dining room in a flash, and dove over a low wall that separated the foyer from the dining room. Junie sat in a ball, clutching the backpack to her chest, holding onto it for dear life.
“You know they don’t serve peanut butter in a place like this,” Junie mumbled.
“What?”
“My mom used to be a hostess, so I know. Your friend must have brought it from home. I think he likes you.”
She took Junie’s head in her hands and looked her in the eyes. “Listen to me. We don’t have much time. As soon as I’m gone, wait for the glass to break on the front window. Then go through it and run outside. Hide the backpack somewhere safe and go find the cops.”
“Cops? We don’t like cops!”
“This time we do. They’ll protect you. They’re holding back now, but they’ll be here in a few minutes.”
“When do I run, again?”
“After I’m gone, you’ll hear gunfire, but don’t be afraid. The bullets won’t be coming at you. A man will scream, and then glass will break. That’s when you run. After the glass breaks. Got it?”
Junie gulped as tears began to flow, but she seemed to pull it together. She sniffed and nodded. “Thank you, Em.”
“You should use a tablecloth so you don’t get cut,” she said, helping Junie put her backpack on.
“When will I see you again?”
“It might take me a while, but I’ll find you. Now cover your ears, and don’t scream when you hear gunshots. He won’t be aiming at you. Just wait for the glass.”
Emily heard the double doors swing open and smash against the walls on either side of them.
Emily took a breath and steadied herself for what she was about to do. The closer she got to a jump, the more it happened: time got slow and she got fast, but only for about fifteen seconds of her time immediately preceding a jump.
She felt the blue energy rise up through her body, telling her that it was time to act.
She sprang over the wall and ran at the gunman in a cloud of blue. She could see three bullets just leaving his gun, hanging in midair, with smoke trails behind them. She touched the bottom of each bullet with her finger as she zipped past them, then grabbed the wrist on the man’s gun hand and added a twisting force to it.
She turned her attention to the second villain who had been frozen in time, stepping through the double swing doors. There was another man in the kitchen behind him, but she didn’t see the pretty boy, Derek, anywhere. She grabbed the second man’s shoulders and spun him around so that his gun was facing the third man, who was not far behind. She gently touched the trigger finger of the second gunman, then moved to the third Loco and did the same with his trigger finger.
She dashed out of the kitchen and into the dining room, where she applied pressure to the underside of a table built to seat eight people, calculating the trajectory of its flight in her head.
She knelt on the ground, then curled herself into the fetal position and waited for the last second of the countdown to tick by. It did.
The jump pain hit as her body began to sizzle with blue lines of energy, like tiny lightning bolts crisscrossing her skin. A searing bolt of agony shot from the back of her skull to the center of her forehead, just as she was consumed by the blue fire and vanished.

* * *

Junie heard things happen just as Emily had described: first there were three shots of gunfire that tore through the ceiling panels above her, then a man screaming in pain, then more gunshots, then more screaming, then glass breaking, and a second after that, the alarm system began to wail.
She took a deep breath and ran to the front window, seeing a man on his knees holding his wrist, and two bodies a little further back lying on the floor, bleeding from their chests. She snatched a tablecloth, stepped on the wooden chair closest to the broken window, spread the tablecloth over the bottom of the frame, and climbed out. She heard sirens coming from the right, but she decided to go left instead, running as fast as her feet could take her.

About the Author:

Jay J. Falconer is an independent author, publisher, blogger, editor, engineer and Sci-Fi junkie who lives in the mountains of northern Arizona where the brisk, clean air and stunning mountain views inspire his workday. He makes his online home at: www.JayFalconer.com and is an active member author with BookBreeze.com.

Mr. Falconer is the author of the critically acclaimed Narrows of Time Series and The Emily Heart Time Jumper Series, and is currently developing an all new apocalyptic Sci-Fi series called Redfall, The Flames of Tomorrow, due to be released in 2015.

Be sure to watch the video trailer for the Author's Narrows of Time book series by cutting and pasting this link: http://youtu.be/QXic3vkwC1U



Twitter: @JayJFalconer


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