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Sunday, December 8, 2019

A World Torn Down by Rebecca Fernfield Book Tour & Giveaway

A World Torn Down 
A Novel of Survival After the Apocalypse 
by Rebecca Fernfield 
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic 

Publisher: Fruits of All Hallows 
Publication Date: November 19, 2019

An extinction-level plague is only the beginning. 

Cassie Morgan watched the world die from the comfort of her penthouse suite. She never expected her life of privilege to come to an end but, with all food gone, she has to face the survivors in the city alone. 

Sometimes, when the SHTF, you have to kick off your strappy sandals, let your fake tan fade, your Brazilian grow out, and become the woman you are meant to be. 

Rick Carter is the last of his unit to survive. To stay alive he must escape the disease infested city and head north to his prepper friend's self-sufficient farm. The last thing he needs is to rescue a woman with zero survival skills. 

When the apocalypse arrives, most will die, some will survive, whilst others will thrive. 

With most of the city dead, and no sign of rescue, Cassie and Rick have to rely on their own ingenuity to deal with the end of the world. Working together wasn’t what either had planned, but these are desperate times. 

Does Rick have what it takes to get them to the farm? 

Can Cassie rise to the challenge of survival? 

Will Rick have the stomach to help when he discovers Cassie's secret? 

'A World Torn Down' is an epic tale of the apocalypse with a fresh take on TEOTWAWKI. 

Read today! 

Previously published as six books: 'The Road to Ruin', 'The Savage Road', 'The Outcast's Journey', 'The Path to Despair', 'The Route to Justice', and 'The Road to Redemption'. 

What readers say: 

The series gave me a very Walking Dead comic feel. I loved it, and the characters were all very well written. The detail that went into all the characters was brilliant. 

It was fast paced and kept you interested right to the last sentence. 

I loved the strong female characters, Cassie being my absolute favourite, I love how she just gets things done and doesn't let the male characters walk over her. 

This series kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading. I would have to stop to go to work, and all I could think of was the book and getting back to finding out what would happen next. 

**Only 99 cents! ** 

Author. Mother. Free spirit. 

British author, Rebecca Fernfield, is a lapsed medievalist, and former research fellow, given to flights of fancy about the end of the world and what she'd do if the supermarkets suddenly ran out of chocolate, wine, and other essentials! 

A full-time novelist, she lives with her numerous children among the flatlands of the Humber estuary where Vikings and Saxons once fought and where, sometimes, on foggy mornings, you can still hear the echoes of clashing swords. 

She writes action-packed, suspenseful tales of horror, the supernatural, and the apocalypse. 

She can't stop writing because the voices in her head just won't shut up and there are SO many stories to tell. 

Don't lose touch! You can join her newsletter for the latest updates about new releases and the bribe of a free book. 

$25 Amazon 
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Arnhem Knights of New York by Susan Hanniford Crowley Book Tour & Giveaway

The Vampire With a Blanket of Stars 
Arnhem Knights of New York Book 3 
by Susan Hanniford Crowley 
Genre: Paranormal Adventure Romance 
Publication Date: August 31, 2019

In 1938, Vampire Prince Răzvan and his companions on their way to see the king, take the snowy path into the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. In the deep woods, they find a gypsy encampment and take refuge with them for the night. His heart is lost gazing in the exotic pale blue eyes of a raven-haired beauty. Saraina and her people just want to be free and live peacefully. Meeting Prince Răzvan changes everything, first with his dire prediction and second, with his warm hands and gaze that tear of her heart. 

Video Trailer 

Vampire Princess of New York 
Arnhem Knights of New York Book 2 
Publication Date: October 5, 2016

Noblesse is the daughter of the Vampire King of New York Maximillion Vander Meer. In the over two hundred years, she’s been a vampire, Noblesse has never found a true love or discovered what happened to her mother who disappeared just prior to the French Revolution. 

Noblesse has to choose between two men. Both profess their love. Both are keeping a secret from her. One wants to destroy her, and one wants to love her forever. But which one? 

**Read FREE with your Kindle Unlimited subscription!** 

Video Trailer 

Vampire King of New York 
Arnhem Knights of New York Book 1 
Publication Date: October 9, 2018

Max Vander Meer is a modern day Viking, CEO of VMeer Industries, and a Vampire. He makes a plea to the Goddess Freya to find the only woman who can heal his heart, the woman haunting his dreams. But, the Goddess strikes a bargain with him. To find this special woman, Max must return to the city he helped build-New York, which is threatened by an ancient terror. When he meets Evelyn, he is astounded. Could she be the one who inhabits his dreams? But Evelyn is haunted by loss and betrayal. How can Max win her love when she doesn't trust him as a man, and she doesn't want to be a vampire? If Max returns to Iceland without her, he will be encased in ice . . . forever! 

I'm married with two children and a granddaughter. Pete the dog and Bella and Buffy the cat sisters are the furry members of my family.

I have two college degrees, a BFA in Theater and a Master's in Education. I've explored a myriad of occupations from being a teacher to a deli worker to a webmaster. My favorite thing to do in life is writing.

My only goal for my writing is for my readers to have fun.

I write science fiction, fantasy and paranormal romance. In addition to writing, I'm also an Associate Editor for Space and Time Magazine. I'm a member of SFWA, RWA and CTRWA.

My hobbies are traveling, collecting sea shells and dragons. 

Please join Susan for the TRS Holiday Party on Dec. 19-23, 2019! 

It is online at https://trs.parties.com and also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/theromancestudio/

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Watcher Academy by S.K. Gregory Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway

Watcher Academy
League of Watchers
Book 1
S. K. Gregory

Genre: Supernatural suspense/urban fantasy

Publisher: SKGregory

Date of Publication:  Nov 30th 2019


Number of pages: 200
Word Count: 50k

Cover Artist: RMGraphX

Tagline: A Watcher is supposed to keep evil at bay, but what happens when it walks among them?

Book Description:

Adeline 'Dell' Grimm has been in training to join the Watcher Academy her whole life. A legacy, her grandfather, Edward was one of the Academy's most respected members and Dell is determined to follow in his footsteps.

An impulsive decision could destroy her new life...

Left alone one night, Dell cannot resist a quick look at the recent delivery of artefacts. Artefacts which the Watchers are duty bound to keep hidden away from the world, for they possess supernatural magic, magic that could prove deadly in the wrong hands. Which doesn't bode well for Dell when she accidentally drops one of them.

A Watcher is supposed to keep evil at bay, but what happens when it walks among them?

Soon Dell finds herself missing time and when a fellow Watcher is found murdered, she wonders if she is somehow responsible.

Turning to her fellow Watchers, Spencer and Max, Dell must figure out the truth before someone else dies.


“You can do this, Dell. Your whole life has been leading up to this moment. Don’t blow it,” I muttered to myself.
Squaring my shoulders, I took a deep breath, plastered on a smile and opened the door to the prestigious Watcher Academy.
Stepping over the threshold, I heard a snap and I stumbled. Catching myself on the wall, I looked down to find that the heel on my boot was broken.
I groaned in frustration. Why did this crap always happen to me? I considered returning to my room on campus to fix it, but then I would be late for my induction.
Maybe someone has glue or tape that I can use to fix it.
Walking on the ball of my foot, I made my way down the short hallway to a second door. This one needed a key card to open it.
Knocking loudly, I waited, trying to keep my balance. Nothing was going to ruin this experience for me. I just wished that Grandpa lived long enough to see this.
There was a beeping noise and the door opened. A man with dark hair stuck his head out. “Adeline Grimm?”
“Yes, but I go by Dell.”
He pushed the door open wider and stepped back. “Follow me.”
I resisted the urge to squeal. This was it.
Limping after the man, I followed him into the Watcher Academy.
“Oh my God,” I whispered.
We entered a huge round room, filled with other Watchers bustling about. A huge oak table sat in the middle of the room, behind which stood a stone fireplace. To my left, lay an alcove leading to an office. Above me, were the stacks. I turned slowly on the spot, taking in row after row of books.
Breathing deeply, I inhaled the scent of the musty tomes. It was exactly as Grandpa described.
“Miss Grimm?” a woman said.
“Yes, sorry.” I tore my gaze from the room and turned to face her.
“Chelsea Dean. I run things around here. This is Antoine,” she said, motioning to the man who showed me in. I was shocked at how young she was. Barely older than me. Blonde, with blue eyes, she stood several inches taller than me. She wore a black blazer over a white blouse and carried a clipboard.
“Nice to meet you,” I said. “I’m so happy to be here, I’ve wanted to see the inside of this place since I was a child.”
I realized I was babbling and quickly closed my mouth. Chelsea made a note on her clipboard, while Antoine hovered nearby. Everyone looked so professional looking and here I was, holding my boot heel.
“I need to check some details,” Chelsea said. “Adeline Jane Grimm, twenty-four. Granddaughter of Edward Grimm. He was one of the best. Hope you don’t ruin his legacy.”
My cheeks burned. Grandpa spent over forty years as a Watcher, I would never tarnish his reputation.
“You studied history and anthropology in college, then a year gaining practical experience. Which means we’re missing a year.”
“I took a gap year early on. I went with Grandpa, uh, Edward, to South America on a dig.”
Chelsea made a noncommittal noise and continued scribbling away on the clipboard, while I stood awkwardly, trying not to fall over. She seemed determined to do this standing.
“And you live on the college campus?” Chelsea asked.
“Yeah, there was actually some kind of mix up and I got stuck with a student roommate,” I said. The Watcher Academy was located on the ** college campus. No one outside the Watchers knew what went on in here. As far as they were concerned, this was some kind of historical society.
“Follow me and we’ll start your induction,” Chelsea said.
“Um, would you have…” I trailed off when I realized she wasn’t listening, she had already crossed the room and opened a door. I hurried after her.
The door led to a small office where a video monitor was set up. Chelsea motioned for me to sit in the only chair in the room. Grabbing a remote control, she switched on the monitor.
“I’ll be back when this is over,” she said.
Confused, I focused on the screen. After a few seconds, a man appeared on the screen, standing in a lavish office. I recognized him instantly as Charles Landry. One of the highest-ranking members of the League of Watchers.
“Welcome to the Watcher Academy. Today you begin a journey to become a fully fledged Watcher.”
Oh my God, it’s a training video like they give employees.
I resisted the urge to laugh that they would have something so normal.
“The League of Watchers was formed in 1869 to protect the world from the supernatural and ensure magical objects do not end up in the hands of civilians.”
Grandpa always spoke of the Watchers with such reverence. He was in charge of artefact retrieval, a job I wanted more than anything.
“Watchers dedicate their lives to keeping the world safe. You may even face the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Know that it will be a great honor and you will be remembered for your bravery.”
Translation – as a Watcher, there’s a good chance you will die on the job. I knew the risks, I also know that I was taught by the best.
The video ended and Chelsea returned. “Any questions?”
“No,” I said. “Oh actually…” I held up my heel but she had already left the room.
I ran after her.
“There are currently twelve Watchers situated here, along with our support team. You can learn their names in your own time, but I will introduce you to the two main people you will be working with.”
She led me to a desk under the stacks, covered in wires and computer equipment. A man with light brown hair sat behind it. He was around my age, wearing a red t-shirt with some band logo on it. Definitely not a Watcher or he would be dressed like the others.
“This is Spencer, tech support and research.”
Spencer stood up to shake my hand. “Nice to meet you. If you need anything, just let me know.”
“Thanks.” He was cute. Not that I was here to meet a guy. I would never let anything interfere with my training. Besides, I doubt Chelsea would take too kindly to any of us dating each other.
Spencer noticed the heel in my hand. “I have some tape, it that’s any use?”
“Yeah, thanks, I’ll give it a go.”
As he handed me the tape, Chelsea was on the move again. She approached a man standing in the alcove by the office. He was slightly older, maybe early thirties, with dark hair. He wore a pale blue shirt over black slacks.
“Adeline, this is Max Burrows. He is our resident expert on ancient cultures and curses.”
“Hi, I usually go by Dell,” I said.
He gave me a nod. “Has the latest shipment arrived yet?” he asked Chelsea.
“It should be here within the hour.”
He turned and went back into his office.
Nice guy.
“There are forms for you to fill out, then we can work out where to assign you,” Chelsea said, carrying on. I guessed his behavior was normal.
“I’d really like to follow in Edward’s footsteps and work in artefact archiving.”
Chelsea pursed her lips. “Miss Grimm, as a trainee Watcher, you do not get to choose your assignment. You go where we put you.”
“Of course,” I said, forcing a smile.
Chelsea took a step toward me and lowered her voice.
“Look, you may come from good stock, but you need to earn your place here, just like everyone else.”
“I understand,” I said, feeling my face heat up.
“Good, because if you screw up, I won’t hesitate to kick your ass out of here and I will see to it personally that you never get within ten feet of the Watcher Academy again.”

About the Author:

S. K. Gregory is the author of several urban fantasy, paranormal romance and young adult novels. She runs a blog that supports indie authors by offering book reviews and promotions.

She is an editor and proofreader with JEA Press.

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cVADcr  

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Holiday Extravaganza Feature Secret Series by D.K. Davis and Giveaway

Bri and Logan Share a Favorite Christmas Memory
(Includes Characters from Secret: At HL Woods)

            “Hi, everyone! I was told to introduce us before we share our favorite Christmas memory. I’m Bri Lancaster, and beside me is Kyle Benton. We are both story-stars from the novel, Secret: At HL Woods, by DK Davis.” I glance at Kyle, he grins. “Okay, Kyle, you start.”
            Kyle’s eyes narrow at me, then go wide. “Fine. Okay, it’s later on Christmas Eve, like about sevenish, our friends all take off to Christmas Carol through our village, but instead, Bri and I decide to take a little run to warm up. We have flashlights, you know, come prepared, and we’re actually dressed in our winter jog stuff.” He rolls his eyes, then asks, “Why did we dress in our running clothes?”
            I giggle at him. “Because you and I already talked about going for a run while everyone else goes off singing. We don’t sing, that’s Max and Luke’s thing.”
            “Oh, yeah. Okay, you take over…”
            “We head down a village street churning up the heat by running, right out of the village limits. Kyle challenges me to a two-mile run out of town, so of course, I’m all in. We race, not paying attention to anything else but our pounding feet staying in unison.” I slow my breath and nod at Kyle.      
            He takes the lead and says, “Suddenly, a child cries out, a scared, sad voice, calling for her mother, brother, sister, and her father. Bri and I stop in front of an old vacant house with windows broken-out, shoddy paint, as in mostly grayish wet wood on the outside, and a run-down porch with missing pieces of the steps. The house is well known as haunted. Bri heads off-road toward the house, and I catch up to her and grab her arm. I tell her, if we’re going to do this, we need to at least give James a call. Maybe there are some Spectral Paranormal Investigators – a.k.a. S.P.I. – available to help us out tonight, even though it’s the night before Christmas.”
            I step in and continue, “I shake off Kyle’s hand from my arm and make my way forward through the inches of snow covering the ground. The child’s voice keeps me moving around the house to the backside. I tell Kyle, I think she’s somewhere outside.”
            Kyle launches his bit, saying, “Bri becomes adamant when I pull my phone from my pocket to make the call to James. She stomps her foot, in fact.” Kyle winks at me.
And I’m feeling like we’re right back in that snow-covered yard as I say, “I grab Kyle’s phone and act like I’m going to throw it in a snowdrift. He tackles me to the ground, fighting for the phone. The thing slips from my glove and drops into the snow. Kyle dives for it. I leave him floundering in the white stuff and follow the little girl’s voice. Then, I see her, a small, glowing apparition gliding toward me across the top of the snow.”
            “You can see me,” she says. Her sad eyes open wider. “Do you see me? I mean, you’re looking right at me. Tell me you can see me and hear me.”
            I tell her, “I see you and hear you. Why are you calling for your family? Why aren’t you with them? What happened?”
            The little girl smiles. “Daddy brought a refrigerator home to fix. He left it by the barn. I hid inside it to scare him, and I couldn’t open the door. No one found me. And then, when I finally got out, no one could see me or hear me. Not my mom or dad, or my older sister and brother. They went away without me.” She breaks down in sobs, and even though ghosts don’t shed tears, I know her face would have been full of them if she were alive.
            “What’s your name? Do you know what year you were born?” Her clothing looks ancient.
She sniffles and straightens, wiping her tearless face. “I’m Sarah Beatrice Worthington, and I start school when the leaves turn color. I’ll be five-years-old. Mama says, I start school in the fall of 1935.”
That’s when I put a few pieces together. Sarah hides, is not found, and then when she is discovered, it’s too late to save her. The family moves away because they can’t bear the pain. I can only imagine what they were all feeling.
By this time, Kyle skids through the snow and meets up with me. “So, did you find her, the little girl?”
Of course, Sarah vanishes. I tell him about her and then say, “I want to call to her, light some candles, and send her into the light with her guardian angels. Maybe some of her family has already crossed-over and are waiting for her.”
Kyle states the obvious, even though it doesn’t cross my mind, “Bri, do the math. I mean, they couldn’t be alive if Sarah’s their last kid and doesn’t start school until 1935. Let’s figure it out…the mom and dad had at least one other girl and one other boy before her. Say they started their family young like they married at eighteen and the mom pops the first one out the same year they’re married, and then in another two years, another kid, two years later, another baby, Sarah. So, Sarah was born in 1930, and I’m guessing the mom took two-years between kids. When the mom’s eighteen-years-old, she had the oldest kid in 1926, and the mid-kid in 1928. So, take eighteen away from 1926, and the mom would have been born in 1908. She’d be one-hundred-eleven-years-old. I mean, Sarah would be eighty-nine right now.”
I’m stunned that Kyle figures that out so fast and realize there’s a good likelihood Sarah’s whole family has crossed-over.
Kyle whips out his phone again. “I won’t call S.P.I., I’ll call Max and see if he and Luke are up for a Christmas send-off.”
* * *
            An hour later, Max and Luke roll into the snowy yard with a four-wheel-drive truck, Max’s vehicle from his dad. Luke carries a bag full of the goods, like white candles, lighters, and incense, lavender, my favorite, along with a sage smudge stick. We all go into the house, leaving the door open so Sarah will venture inside. Luke and Max make a circle of candles on the floor, and Kyle follows them, lighting the wicks. I’m smudging the room with sage smoke, clearing the place of any negative energy. Thankfully, the breeze calmed down to nothing because the windows were glassless.
            Luke, Max, and Kyle stood around the circle of light, I took a spot, so we were evenly spread and then say, “Sarah, come now. I call upon you, please come now. The door is open.”
            A moment later, Sarah’s glowing apparition glides across the floor and stops in the bare space inside the lighted circle. “What is this? I’m feeling warm and cozy here.” She smiles at me and then notices the three guys. “Who are they?” She stares at Luke. “He reminds me of my brother.”
            “That’s Luke, my best friend. Sarah, I want you to stay warm and cozy, right where you are. I’m going to put a call out to your family, and we’ll see if anyone answers. Is that okay with you?”
            “You’re going to call my momma and daddy, my sister and brother? They are far away…how will they hear you?” Sarah glances around the room.
            Even though she’s looking around, my intuition tells me that Sarah will wait, so I say, “My Guardian angels, and those of Kyle, Luke, Max, and Sarah, all-loving beings related to Sarah Beatrice Worthington, I call upon you to come now. Come now to rescue Sarah, to take her home to her family.” Suddenly the flames on the candles brighten, and I see Kyle’s brother Logan appear, Max’s mother also appears, Luke’s mother smiles as she shimmers into view next to Luke, and Grandma Ilene steps next to Sarah and takes her hand. The other spirits move into the center with Sarah. The young girl is smiling from ear to ear as she grasps Max’s mother’s hand.
            A brilliant light vortex opens in front of the group within the circle. “Sarah, dear child, we’ve been waiting for you.”
            Sarah’s eyes grow huge. “Mamma?”
            “Yes, dear, it’s Momma, Daddy, Sissy, and Brother, we’re all here, waiting to turn on the Christmas tree lights. Hurry, dear.”
            The light spirits guides Sarah, and everyone steps into the bright vortex. Right before it closes, they all say in unison, “Merry Christmas.”
            Kyle, Max, and Luke all sucked in a breath at the same time.
            “You heard that, didn’t you?” I ask, my heart warm at seeing my grandmother. “Logan came, Max, your mother held one of Sarah’s hands, and Luke, your mother stood right beside you with biggest smile on her face. They all stepped into the light vortex with Sarah. All of Sarah’s family waited for her to join them and light their Christmas tree.”
            The guys look at each other with glassy eyes, then back at me. “Merry Christmas, guys. You made the perfect present for Sarah tonight.”

Secret: In Wolf Lake
D.K. Davis

Genres:  SciFi, PNR

Publisher:  BWL Publishing, Inc.  

Cover Artist: Michelle Lee

Date of Publication: January 1, 2017

ISBN: 9781772993899

Number of pages: 120
Word Count: 41,200

Tagline: Samantha discovers a gifted creature living in Wolf Lake; now his life depends on her saving him.

Book Description:

Samantha’s dealing with a lot of emotional blow-back from her mother’s new marriage. Then she discovers a gifted creature living in Wolf Lake, and life suddenly becomes all about keeping his existence a secret, earning his trust. That is until his life depends on her saving him. But she won’t be able to do it alone…

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Secret: At HL Woods
D.K. Davis

Date of Publication: December 15, 2017 

ISBN: EPUB 978-1-77362-990-2

Number of pages: 199
Word Count: 60,200 words

Tagline: A high school ghost-seer, an all-star jock, and a bully, cross paths, sparks spew, and lives change…

Book Description:

Bri, a seventeen-year-old ghost-seer, keeps her ability under wraps at the new school until a murdered couple from the 60’s asks for help.

Kyle, a high school jock, realizes the new girl lives next door; she’s crazy cute, goth-odd, and too convenient to ignore.

Max, Kyle’s best friend, only sees Bri as a wicked threat.

Luke, Bri’s gay best friend, moves in for the summer, escaping his abusive father.
Paths cross, sparks spew…will anyone remain the same after?

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Secret: Of Amber Eyes
D.K. Davis

Date of Publication:  November 2018 Release

Kindle 978-0-2286-0621-5
Amazon Print 978-0-2286-0623-9

Number of pages: 197
Word Count:  58,500

Tagline:  Instinct draws Morgan and Rowan together, a human and a shifter, until a wildcard wildcat threatens Morgan’s life, changing her forever.

Book Description:

Morgan Redding, a seventeen-year-old high school graduate, gets sent to her aunt and uncle’s wildlife rescue and preserve, a therapeutic place for not only nature.

Rowan Marcus, an eighteen-year-old cougar shifter, helps at the wildlife refuge. He’s part of a secret society of shifters guarding the preserve lands.

Instinct draws Morgan and Rowan together.

Then one wildcard wildcat within the shifter community kills for the needy, but the killing escalates and threatens Morgan’s life, changing her forever…

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Excerpt from Secret: Of Amber Eyes

Word Count - 964

“Gotta’ run honey,” she said over the glass sunroof of the Cadillac. “Our flight leaves in four hours, and I still have a few things left to pack.”
I immobilized as Mom dove into the car to retrieve her phone. She tapped the screen and started the car.
I didn’t wave as she shifted into gear and drove off with her cell phone stuck to her ear. 
She never even glanced my way. 
From my peripheral, Uncle Charlie and Aunt Becka looked at each other. They weren’t smiling anymore. Mom had never said a word to either of them. She didn’t say goodbye to me, either, unless I counted the trail of dust marking her exit.
Good riddance. Oh, and have a happy life with Jack.
My stomach fluttered, and the inside of my throat tightened like it might collapse in on itself. A load of moisture gathered, blurring my vision. Some trickled alongside my nose. I’m not crying. Extra baggage doesn’t cry; instead, I go to prison.
My body relaxed as if a heavy weight shifted and slipped off. Why not make the best of this crappy situation? I was on the back burner, but not being dumped down the garbage disposal. I wiped away the water littering my face and picked up my two duffle bags. Aunt Becka scooped up my backpack; her thick long blond braid slid over her shoulder.
“This way, dear. You’ve come at a good time with the weather. We’ve got a warm streak going. It isn’t normally nice warm temperatures until much later in the summer.” Aunt Becka led the way into the house. She wore faded denim shorts with a baggy sky-blue T-shirt, short white socks, and high-top hiking boots. She and Uncle Charlie were sun-browned and looked the same age as Mom. The muscles in Aunt Becka’s calves stood out as she climbed the circular stairway.
She continued, “It’s still pretty cool in the mornings and later in the evenings, which makes for great sleeping weather.”
At the top of the stairs, I walked across the open loft to the wall-sized window, dropping my bags mid-way.
Two bright red barns stood off to one side. I recognized the green T-shirt and dark blue baseball cap Uncle Charlie wore. He pushed a wheel-barrow into one of the barns. Another guy walked behind with a huge bag of something balanced on his shoulder. The muscles in his arm bulged. He stopped in mid-step and swung around to look upward, at the window, and then at me.
My stomach suddenly churned into warm pudding as our gazes collided. The guy’s eyes glowed, amber, a trick of the sun I was sure. My breath sucked in.
Aunt Becka stepped beside me and glanced out. “Oh, that’s Rowan Marcus. He’s here pretty much every day helping with chores and with the other kids that aid us at the refuge.”
Rowan swung around and followed Uncle Charlie into the barn. A tremor slid through me, and then I exhaled, realizing I’d completely stopped my lungs from working. What the heck? Amber eyes?
Aunt Becka pointed to the other side of the barn toward tall wire fenced-in areas. “We keep recovering deer or goats in those.” Then she pointed along the outside of the barns, to smaller wire pens. “Those hold fawn or other small animals that need special care.”
I attempted to stay focused on her words, but the image of Rowan and those eyes. My brain fogged over with his image burnt on the inside of my eyelids.
She waved a finger at the dirt paths that connected everything and waited until I looked to continue, “We have cleared pathways to every area that requires our attention, and that tree line marks the perimeter into our wildlife preserve. We own a lot of forest acreage that’s a safe place for our healed wildlife to live.”
A.K.A. my prison grounds.
She squeezed me to her. “It’s wonderful here. I know you’ll love it as much as Charlie and I do.”
I didn’t know how to respond, other than to go rigid and silent. My aunt acted like this was going to be a vacation for me, not punishment. Pulling away from her, I paced the room, taking inventory. Aunt Becka watched me from near the window.
A bed, nightstand, desk, and dresser, all built of knotty pine or logs. A narrow door opened to a closet and beside it, another narrow door led into a small bathroom. Most of the walls and all of the ceilings and floors were knotty wood. No carpet, no curtains. Like being inside a sterile prison, not that I frequented the inside of a real prison cell, but this shiny clean room gave me the impression of ‘no fun, all work.’
I plopped down on the bed and bounced on it a little. Comfortable.
“So, Kate said you and your step-dad are kind of on the outs with each other.” Aunt Becka strolled over and plopped on the bed beside me. “To be honest, Charlie and I didn’t even know Kate had gotten married.”
“Let’s just say I’m used to Mom having flings with her escort men, but she’s never married one of them,” I said, the words slipping from my mouth like a spray of negative ick.
Aunt Becka frowned, and then her face softened. “You’ve had it tough, haven’t you?”
I stared at her, another question I didn’t know how to answer. My nose tingled, an itch inevitable. So, again, I blurted, “No, I’ve been just fine. Mom and I played our roles the best we knew how, and then our roles changed. That’s all.” I rubbed the crap out of my nose, jumped off the bed and unzipped one of the duffle bags.

About the Author:

DK Davis writes YA sci-fi, supernatural, and fantasy with a good dollop of all the relationships woven in between. When she’s not writing, editing, or reading, she’s hiking, RV’ing, fishing, spending time with grandchildren or her favorite muse (her husband) in Southwest Michigan.

She also writes mainstream supernatural, suspense-thriller romance as S. Peters-Davis.

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