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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Shoulder Buddies Character Review

Shoulder Buddies are adorable, wearable characters that come with "Smart Cards" that share valuable life lessons.  Kids love to collect and wear their Shoulder Buddies, while learning about the great messages that come with them!
Each Shoulder Buddy figurine is approximately 4 inches high with fuzzy fluffle hair and 1.5 inches wide. Contains inaccessible magnets. The Magical Coin is a covered metallic coin that attracts to the magnet. Manufactured under license by The Bridge Direct. Each sold separately, subject to availability. Colors and styles may vary as we continue to modify and improve our products. Made in China. The Bridge Direct products are safety tested and comply with ASTM F963. Ages 4 and up.

 Sissy and Bobo really loved these Shoulder Buddies.  They are really cute and I really love the messages that they send. They are a new and different idea and I believe that they are something that all kids would enjoy . 
I was  really excited to learn that they are available for fundraisers.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Fairy Tale High Where Magic Begins Dolls Review


Enter the magical world of Fairy Tale High®, a place where magic happens and beloved fairy tale characters come together for the first time ever in a modern-day high school setting. Toting the latest accessories and sporting designer fashions and hip hairstyles, teenage Snow White, Rapunzel, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Little Mermaid, Alice in Wonderland, Tinker Bell and Cinderella are brought to life as they might have been before they became fairy tale princesses. Fairy Tale High features a collection of beautifully designed fashion dolls, along with a series of webisodes and eBooks found for free at www.fairytalehigh.com, that showcase each character’s  teenage story, revealing the qualities that will eventually make them princesses and the not-so-perfect flaws that trip them up along the way. As students in a performing arts high school, these hip and trendy teenage characters develop their talents and learn new ones as they study music, dance, art, and acting while dealing with romances, jealousies and personal challenges along the way. With guest appearances by classic heroines and villains like Victoria, the Wicked Witch of the West; Pinocchio, who cannot tell a truth; and many others, Fairy Tale High is for the princess-loving girl who is looking for one she can relate to.

 --Fully articulated bodies enable girls to create stories, posing and bringing together characters for the first time
--Recommended Ages: 3 & up (with greatest appeal to 6-10 year olds)

•           Available summer 2013
•           Website: www.fairytalehigh.com
•           Social Media:
o          Facebook www.facebook.com/FairyTaleHS
o          Twitter @FairyTaleHS
o          Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/FairyTaleHigh
o          YouTube: www.youtube.com/FairyTaleHS

Teen Alice in Wonderland:
Hi, my name is Teen Alice in Wonderland. My friends call me Ali. I go to Fairy Tale High with my BFFs, Belle, Little Mermaid and Tink.  I love painting and exploring new places. I have the cutest striped kitty cat named Chessie that I adore.  Sometimes he sneaks into my backpack and comes to school with me. I hope he doesn’t make anyone sneeze!
 Teen Belle:

Hi, my name is Teen Belle. My friends call me B. I attend Fairy Tale High with my best friends Alice, Little Mermaid and Tinker Bell.  My favorite class is cello.  I have been playing the cello since I was seven years old.  After many years of practice, I'm actually pretty good. I also love, love, love shopping for new clothes and hanging out with my friends. I'll see you again soon.  It's time for cello practice.
 Teen Little Mermaid:

Hi, my name is Teen Little Mermaid. My friends call me M. I'm so excited to be going to Fairy Tale High with my BFFs Tinker Belle, Alice and Belle.  I am so in love with the beach and swimming! I live in a palace under the sea with my family and swim many miles every morning to get to school.  I am also captain of the swim team! You can also find me singing my heart out before school, after school, even during school! Singing is one of my favorite things to do in the whole wide world.  I know my voice classes at Fairy Tale High will help my singing be even better.
 Teen Tinker Bell:
Hi, my name is Teen Tinker Bell. My friends call me Tink.  Fairy Tale High is the best school ever.  I love hanging out with my friends Alice, Little Mermaid and Belle. I also love creating cool gadgets out of my friends’ stuff and fixing computers. I sing in a rock band called The Pixie Chicks. You should definitely check us out.  Well, it's almost time for class.  Having wings makes it a breeze to get to school.  I can just fly there!!!

 Teen Sleeping Beauty:

Hi, my name is Teen Beauty, but my BFFs call me Sleeping Beauty, because I need a ton of beauty rest! I take naps whenever and wherever I can. I attend Fairy Tale High with Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel—my three fav friends!  I am really into making clothes and my favorite class at Fairy Tale High is Fashion Design. I love creating fabulous outfits for my friends when I am not busy trying to stay awake during math class. Boy, I sure hope Rapunzel will share her notes.
 Teen Cinderella:

Hi, my name is Teen Cinderella. My friends call me Cindy. I go to school at Fairy Tale High with three of the coolest kids in the kingdom—Rapunzel, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. I have the best shoe collection... although I always seem to be missing one! I could dance all night, but I never stay out past midnight. I can’t wait to have a ball with my prince charming at the school prom!

Teen Snow White:
Hi, my name is Teen Snow White. My friends call me Snow.  I just love going to Fairy Tale High with my best friends in the land Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Rapunzel. I am crazy about music and love writing songs!  In my free time, I play the piano.  But who has the time? It seems like I am constantly taking care of my seven little brothers! That's okay though because family comes first.

Teen Rapunzel:

Hi, my name is Teen Rapunzel. My friends call me Gigi (that stands for Golden Girl, because my hair is so, well, gold)!  I attend Fairy Tale High with my besties, Cindy, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Hair is my life! I style it and work it every day and night. You’ll never spot me with a bad hair day, and thanks to my style abilities, none of my friends have to worry about that either! When I’m not fussing over my hair or someone else’s, I’m singing.  Even though I am only in high school, I am already a professional singer and perform shows all over town.  Come see me at my next gig!  I always get back stage passes for my friends. 
Dolls are available at Toys R Us and some Walmart stores. There are alsp online stores that sell them.
I was lucky to receive Teen Sleeping Beauty, Teen Little Mermaid and Teen Cinderella.

   My review;

Oh my gosh!  Sissy was just the right age for these dolls and she absolutely loved all of them.  She could not believe that her favorite, Teen Rapunzel was one of the dolls.  Since she was little she loved her and is trying to grow her hair long, like her favorite doll.  The accessories were really cute. Finally there is a doll that has the appeal to older girls who love fashion dolls and younger girls who like fairy tales but wasn't a more grown up doll to play with. I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sugar Free Treats by The Butterfly Bakery Review

Mini Muffins for your enjoyment by The Butterfly Bakery made sugar free so you can still enjoy the great taste but not worry about sugar intake or major calories. These are perfect for all ages! Check out www.thebutterflybakery.com for more infor

I was so excited when I received these to try . No one in my family could believe that these were sugar free, they tasted wonderful.  It is very hard to get a sugar free bakery product that doesn't taste good, but they have made it taste really good!   Everyone who needs to eat sugar free product should try these. I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Everafter Escape the Ordinary Book Releases

Find Your Ever After in Under An Hour

October is the official release month for the all new Ever After. Ever After features paranormal, sci-fi, and horror novellas, all with the romance you've come to love from Entangled--just in a shorter format.

 Ever After is celebrating in style with four new releases and great giveaways, including a Kindle Fire. Make sure to like their new Facebook Page and follow them on Twitter

Vampire Games by Tiffany Allee
Otherworlder Enforcement Agency #4

She’s seen the past…

OWEA Agent Beatrice Davis is haunted by the death visions that help her solve crimes. When Detective Claude Desmairis, her vampire ex-lover, asks for her assistance on a case, she’d rather help him than take the mandated leave to stave off her burn-out.

The truth won’t stay buried…

Pressed to solve a series of crimes before the perpetrator blows the vampire world apart, Claude turns to a woman he thought he’d been able to leave behind. But he was wrong, and his feelings for her will only bring trouble in an investigation this dangerous. As their passions reignite, they see a possible future together. Until her visions show her the face of the murderer—a man Claude can never betray.

Ghosts of Kingston Cottage by Libby Bishop

She believes in ghosts.

Medium and paranormal investigator Arabella Pierce is sent with her crew to Kingston Cottage, a haunted Maine seafarer’s cottage on an isolated island, but for this investigation, her boss has stuck them with skeptical reporter Lucas Brown. Though he’s hot as they come, Arabella can’t trust a man whose sole job is to discredit her and the work she does. Not after what happened with the last few skeptics...

He believes in evidence.

But Lucas isn’t as skeptical as he seems—he wants the truth, no matter what that is. When the ghosts appear, he and Arabella must work together—in tight quarters—to convince the resident ghosts to move on before a storm strands the entire crew on the island. If Arabella can put aside her prejudices, she and Lucas just might have a shot at a lifetime.

Ghost of the Falls by Sarah Gilman

Determined to prove she’s fit for the family business, exorcist Jade Clarence knows the assignment waiting in Maine is her last chance. Born into a family of exorcists, Jade’s unorthodox ideas have gotten her into trouble in the past...and cost the life of a client.

After haunting a Maine state park for more than a century, Dutch Hutchinson will do whatever it takes to bring an end to his unfulfilling existence. When an act of arson brings a beautiful exorcist to town, Dutch takes corporeal form in order to spend his last hours in her company.

Jade quickly uncovers Dutch’s true identity and finds herself falling for the man behind the spirit. But when Jade’s legacy threatens their future, they will have to overcome the greatest of odds—life and death.

Less Than Perfect by Kelly Jensen

Mikayla’s read every book in her collection of post-apocalyptic novels at least twice. She thinks she’s prepared for aliens taking over Earth. She’s not.

Nor is she prepared for the attention of a good-looking refugee named Reg.

All Mikayla and Reg want is a safe place to see out the end of the world, hidden away from the aliens that call themselves The People, but cities of the depopulated United States not infested with The People are rife with gangs, the detritus of civilization and disease.

On a mission to restock their supplies, Mikayla and Reg are captured by The People and prepared for the procedure that will make them perfect, but no longer quite human. In order to escape, they need to rely on each other…if Mikayla can trust a man who seems too good to be true.

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Prowl Trilogy by Amber Garza Cover Reveal


Series: Prowl Trilogy

Book Titles: Prowl – Entice - Unveil

Author: Amber Garza

Genre: Young Adult Christian Thriller

Length: About 220 Pages Each

Presented by: As You Wish Tours

Banner Made by: Julia Hendrix



Seventeen-year-old Mackenzie Smith is sent away to spend a boring summer at her grandma's. But then she meets Wesley. He tells her exactly what she wants to hear and has information about her past that no one else knows. It's almost like he can read her mind.

Only Wesley isn't who he seems.

By the time Mackenzie discovers his true identity it may be too late. She's in too deep and he won't let her go. Now Mackenzie must call on the strongest power of all in order to save her life.



“Hello Kenzie.”

He turned toward me. I gasped in horror. He was faceless. His face was a black hole with no eyes, nose or mouth, like a shadow. Was this what ghosts looked like? I thought for sure they’d be white like in the movies. “Oh, I’m sorry,” he said. “Is this better?”

His face transformed before my eyes. Black turned into peach colored flesh. It stretched and bent to reveal a cartilage filled nose. Two eyes popped out, and ears broke through the side of his head. Lips, hair, a body, and clothes appeared. My mouth dropped open, and hung loosely as if it had come unhinged. I slapped my hand over it to keep from screaming.

“You don’t need to scared,” he said.

“How did you do that?”

“You think that’s amazing? I can do much more than that.”

I nodded, taking a deep breath. “I think that’s enough for me right now.” He moved toward me, crawling stealthily on the bed like a cat. I moved away from him until I was pinned against the wall. He smiled, revealing blood red gums and a perfect row of white teeth. His pupils were black, and the whites were filled with spidery red and purple veins. My body shook.

“Why are you scared, Kenzie? Don’t you recognize me?”



Mackenzie returns home from the summer with her grandma, certain that Wesley is out of her life for good. Until the nightmares resurface, and strange things start to happen. Is Wesley back? When the danger escalates and threatens those closest to her, Mackenzie must fight to save them. Only this time the evil is more powerful, and Mackenzie is faced with an impossible decision.


“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” I asked Tanner as I stared down at the foamy rush of water.


I glanced up at Tanner who was staring right at me with a look so intense it caused heat to rise up my neck and spill across my cheeks. Taking a deep breath, I averted my gaze. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my phone with the intention of taking a couple photos.

“So, you’re calling him, huh?” I tried to ignore the jealousy in Tanner’s voice; tried to tell myself it was just a figment of my imagination. I wanted to believe that Tanner only thought of me as a friend, and that he supported my relationship with Isaac. But deep down I knew that wasn’t true.

I shook my head. “No, I was just going to take some pictures.”

Relief swept over his features. He beamed at me. “Here, let me.” He grabbed the phone from my hand. Holding it out in front of us, he pressed his cheek to mine and snapped a shot. He was so close I could smell his aftershave lotion, and the sweat on his skin. My pulse quickened. My heart pounded in my chest. He turned to me, his face inches from mine.

I froze, unable to move or even breathe. His face came closer and somewhere in the back of my mind, alarm bells went off. I knew I should step back, or push him away. But my feet stayed rooted to the ground, like I was a tree on the mountain, a permanent fixture. I could hear the blood rushing through my ears, feel the beating of my heart. The world around us stopped. It was as if we were the only people up here. Tanner’s eyes stared into mine. I swallowed hard, and kept my gaze even.


Mackenzie is looking forward to her eighteenth birthday and upcoming high school graduation. Until an unwelcome visitor from her past appears, threatening her future plans. Will she ever be free? Armed with a new weapon and the boy she loves by her side, Mackenzie prepares to fight. She doesn't realize that she is about to step into the ultimate battle between good and evil, where the stakes are higher than ever before.


“What was that about?” Isaac asked when we got inside the house.


“The way you said hi to your neighbor and then started looking in another direction and said hi again in a weird voice.”

“Oh.” I smiled.

“That’s just how I talk to kids.”

“Why did you do it right now though?” His brows furrowed in a look of utter confusion.

I was starting to get annoyed with this line of questioning. Can’t I say hi to a neighbor boy without getting the third degree? So what if I use an odd voice when talking to kids. Lots of people do. “Cause I was saying hi to the little boy.”

“What little boy?”

Cold slithered up my spine at Isaac’s tone. “The boy sitting next to Mrs. Kelley in the front yard.”

“There was no boy with her.”

I flung open the front door and raced outside, my heart thumping in my chest. Was I going crazy? I was sure I saw a little boy.

Relief flooded me at the sight of the child still sitting in the grass. I gave Isaac a triumphant look. “See. Right there.”

Isaac narrowed his eyes, staring in the direction I pointed. I expected an apology. Instead, he said, “Are you okay?”

“Fine. Why are you acting so weird?”

“Because there is no little boy there.” A chill brushed over my body, causing goose bumps to rise on my flesh. I glanced back at Mrs. Kelley who kept weeding, oblivious to our conversation. She also seemed not to notice the child, even though he practically sat on her legs. The boy’s neck craned to look at me, but he still didn’t smile.

Fearful, I raced back in my house. Why did I see him if no one else did? Who was he? And what was he doing next door?



Amber Garza is the author of Young Adult paranormal and contemporary romance. She has had a passion for writing since she was a little girl, making books out of notebook paper and staples. Amber lives in California with her amazing husband and two hilarious children who provide her with enough material to keep her writing for years.






Link button it to http://asyouwishtours.com

A Callahan Christmas Miracle by Tina Leonard Release Blitz

Blitz Button: Callahan-Christmas-Miracle

Becoming a husband and family man in the middle of a raging land feud wasn’t the destiny Galen Callahan saw for himself. But once he laid eyes on Rose Carstairs, he knew the bouncy blonde with the warrior heart was his future. Now, with Rancho Diablo under siege, the eldest Callahan sibling will do whatever it takes to protect his new wife and triplets.

Except Rose refuses to be protected! No husband of hers can stop her from fighting by his side while keeping their newborn sons out of the line of fire. With Callahan lives and legacy on the line, Galen has a new mission: to vanquish a dangerous enemy and bring his family together in time for Christmas!
Galen Chacon Callahan looked over Rancho Diablo, where dark smoke filled the sky above the canyons with smudges of black. He put his binoculars to his eyes, studying the smoke as it grew a

He turned as his sister, Ashlyn, drove up in the jeep. “It’s not a wildfire,” she said.

“No.” Rancho Diablo was safely separated from the fire by the canyons, but if someone was sending up signals near the expansive ranch, it would be a message the Callahans couldn’t ignore. “It’s the land Storm Cash has offered to sell us.”

“I know. I wonder if the elderly farmer who sold that land to Storm still lives there.” She studied Galen’s face. “Think we should ride over and check on him?”

“I’ll call the sheriff. He can alert the proper authorities. I think it’s best if we stay out of it for now.” He was troubled by the fire, and an uneasy feeling was growing in the pit of his stomach. “I’m heading back.”

“I’ll stay here a bit longer.”

“Got your gun?” Galen asked, knowing full well that Ash could take care of herself. He could order her back to the ranch—should order her—but she’d just ignore him. Probably give him a blistering retort to send him on his way as well.

“When do I not have my gun?” Ash didn’t even bother to glance at him. Her eyes were glued to the horizon.

“Don’t go over there.”

“I won’t. Quit fussing. You’re like a mother hen.” Ash finally turned to look him in the eye. “By the way, the new agents are at the house, waiting for you to interview them.”

“New agents?”

“The ones to replace Ana and River. Jace lined them up every hour on the hour for interviews. Remember we agreed we needed new agents? Sawyer Cash can’t handle everything on her own. And anyway,” Ash muttered under her breath, though he could plainly hear every word of her complaint, “I’m not exactly sure she’s capable of handling anything.”

He’d listened to all the negative things the Callahan clan said about Sawyer, and he couldn’t say there wasn’t real reason for concern. She was Storm Cash’s niece, after all, and they’d never been certain if they could trust their wily neighbor. He always seemed to be in the wrong place at the right time. “Maybe we’re just being suspicious,” Galen said.

“There’s no such thing as too much caution.”

“I know. I’m heading off. Be careful. Don’t invite trouble.” Even though he knew Ash was more than capable of protecting not just herself, but the ranch, Galen couldn’t help leaving his sister with that warning before riding toward Rancho Diablo’s main house. After last month, when their aunt Fiona blew up Uncle Wolf’s hideout in Montana, he and his brothers had decided that the women in their family had earned their stripes. They could more than take care of themselves. Ash, like the rest of them, had been in the military, a trained operative. She was as tough as any male Callahan. Tougher, maybe. And so he and his five brothers had finally decided that their overprotective attitude toward their baby sister was accomplishing nothing and was detrimental to their family harmony.

Ash had never listened to anyone’s concerns, anyway. Like Fiona, and the women who’d married into the Callahan family, she did what she wanted—which was mostly chase Xav Phillips, a family employee who rode the canyons and kept an eye out for trespassers.

Galen was pretty sure Ash caught him on occasion, too.

He was so busy pondering the smoke in the canyons and his platinum-haired baby sister that he almost missed the rider heading his way. A brunette he didn’t recognize rode up on a gray horse.

“Hi,” she said, smiling, as if it was every day strange women appeared at Rancho Diablo.

“Hello?” He swallowed, peering into the dark green eyes smiling at him from under a white cowgirl hat.

Her smile turned sweeter, somehow sexy. Galen tried to pull his brain back from the alluring abyss into which it was threatening to fall. “My name’s Somer Stevens. I’m here to apply for the agent position.”

“I believe the agents are supposed to be waiting for their interviews up at the house.”

“There are ten candidates over there right now. It’s not every day that an opening comes up for a position at Rancho Diablo.” Somer winked conspiratorially. “I figured I’d better take a look around before I decided whether I belong here or not.”

He frowned. “My brothers were going to show everyone around.”

“Yes, but if I’d waited for the canned tour, I wouldn’t have gotten to speak to you directly.”

Direct. Assertive. These were valuable traits in someone working for the Callahans. Most likely he would’ve done the same thing, if he’d been in her shoes. But he wasn’t, and he was going to let her know that stroking his ego wasn’t going to get her anywhere.

This one wasn’t getting the job. Somer didn’t follow directions, and she made him sweat. She wore dark blue pants and a blue jacket, all very proper for an interview; she had a great horse and a lot of attitude, yet something told him Somer was nothing but trouble.

And he never ignored his instincts.


Unusual moment number two of Galen’s day was when he walked into the massive den at Rancho Diablo, looking for Fiona and the others. He wanted to corral his brothers into the upstairs library, where they always held their meetings, so he could set a game plan before they began interviewing. Galen wanted to apprise his brothers of Somer’s tactic, and make certain she didn’t win her way into the job by pulling the same thing on them that she had on him.

He gawked at the woman sitting demurely in the den, recognizing her from one of Fiona’s many Christmas balls in Diablo. She wore a gypsy costume and flashed a big smile he found irresistible. “I believe I know you.”

“I’m Rose Carstairs.” She shook his hand, and it was crazy how much he enjoyed feeling her small hand in his. “You were there the night Dante was raffled off. Will it be your turn this year?”
He found himself transfixed by her costume, which consisted of a flouncy black skirt that fell to her knees, a fluffy white blouse, lots of dangling chains around her neck and huge hoop earrings. She wore many thin bracelets, and her blond hair was swept up in a bouncy ponytail, topped by a red rose. “That’s some outfit you’re wearing.”

“I’m here to apply for the bodyguard position.”

Galen laughed. “You don’t look the type.”

“Isn’t that the point?”

He watched her full lips curve into a smile. Appreciated the sparkle in her blue eyes. “I don’t see how you’d blend into the background, gorgeous.”

“Hello, Galen,” Aunt Fiona said, bustling into the den. “Don’t stand there monopolizing the talent, please. You have interviews waiting.”

“The talent?” He looked at Rose.

“I see you’ve met Rose,” Fiona said. “She’s applying for the nanny position.”

“Ah. The nanny position.” Galen took a second look at her shapely calves, her flat black, practical shoes, and the laughter in Rose’s eyes. “I should have known.”

“Come on, dear,” Fiona said, “before Galen hires you to be his personal bodyguard. Goodness, Galen, get a move on. You need to change, look like a respectable employer.”

Rose grinned at him. “Good luck.”

“Good luck to you. Nice to meet you, Rose.” He went off, forcing himself not to watch her curvy backside as she followed Fiona out of the room. It was clear his aunt was interested in hiring her. He didn’t think his brothers would get a thing done with Rose around. The scenery would be just too tempting.

Then it occurred to him that he and Jace were the only bachelors left at Rancho Diablo. Sawyer was doing her best to monopolize Jace, though Galen wasn’t certain how effective her barrage of attention was on his brother’s single status.

But that left him as the lone available Callahan. The Lone Ranger of Rancho Diablo.

Neither Rose nor Somer might make the cut with his five brothers and headstrong sister. His brothers were dumb as woolly mammoths, and his sister, well, Ash was unpredictable at best. Her mind stayed on Xav Phillips. She could go thumbs-up or thumbs-down on either woman. Plus there were a number of other applicants.

He was thumbs-way-up-high on Rose.

He’d just let the situation develop and hope that Rose and her playful, kid-friendly gypsy costume were voted yes by the family council. There was something so sexy and darling about a woman who came dressed to play.

Jace followed Galen into the upstairs library for the meeting.. “Did you see that woman from the Christmas ball year before last showed up?”

“I did.” Galen ignored his brother while he dug through some paperwork. “Let’s lay out our battle plan. We need a new strategy, or have to improve on the old one. Something has to change.”

“I might ask her out,” Jace said. “You know, she’s from Tempest. Not that far down the road—and we’ve got family and friends there. Our cousins have the Dark Diablo ranch in Tempest. It’s a nice place. And Rose is probably a real nice gal. Looks like it, anyway.” He grinned at his brother.

Galen hesitated, suddenly losing interest in the stack of papers. “Why?”

“She’s hot as an oven, dude.”

Galen swallowed. “Poetic.”

“I know, right?” Jace grinned, pleased with his announcement. “If Fiona hires her, I’m definitely going to think about it.”

“I almost hate to ask, and we do have greater matters to discuss other than your love life, but don’t you and Sawyer have kind of a secret thing going on?”

Jace shrugged. “If it’s a secret, why are you asking? And no, we don’t. Sawyer is a pretty girl. That’s all. I think she flirts with all the guys. She’d probably flirt with you, if you’d unbend.”

Galen decided he didn’t care about Jace’s love life. “Whatever.”

“Why? Do you want to ask Rose out?”

“No, I don’t.” Damn straight I do.

“Because if you want to,” Jace said, like a dog with a juicy bone, “I wouldn’t stand in the way. I wouldn’t want to make you look bad. You’re not getting any younger, old-timer.”

“As if you could make me look bad.” Galen glanced toward the door. “Where’s the rest of the team?”

“I think they saw the other candidates and stopped to chat. I, on the other hand, stick to the assignment.” Jace poured himself a whiskey with a huge grin. “What’s up with your face, bro? Look like you have a stomachache. Need a soother?” He waved the bottle Galen’s way.

“I do not need a soother.” He sat on a sofa, dismissing his brother, and pondered what he should say about Somer. She’d definitely gone after the job, and he felt vaguely uneasy about her aggressiveness. He was the eldest Callahan, a doctor, a man who believed that fate and hard work brought many gifts. Why should Somer bother him so much?

“One of the candidates took off by herself to tour the ranch,” Galen said.

“Oh.” Jace seated himself at the opposite end of the sofa. “The tall, hot brunette? I think I heard Fiona tell her to go let her horse have some exercise. She pointed her in your direction, knowing the two of you would meet up. Fiona would never send a female onto the ranch without protection, but she knew you were on your way back, and that Ash was out there, too.”

Now that made more sense. Aunt Fiona’s fey mind at work, probably culling the tempting beauties from the herd and dangling them in front of the remaining single Callahans. “Why’d she bring her own horse?”

“Probably because she’d be expected to ride here? This is a ranch, you know.”

It all sounded reasonable.

“Gorgeous piece of flesh, if you ask me.” Jace’s grin was so irritating Galen wished he could bean him one across the head as he had when they were children. He’d given up beaning his siblings when they went off to boot camp.

“Are you planning on asking her out or not?” Galen asked.

Jace gave him an annoyed look. “The horse was a gorgeous piece of horseflesh,” he said, emphasizing the word as if Galen were stupid. Then he grinned again. “Galen, my brother, has a woman finally walked into your path that stirs your quiet, hard-to-reach soul?”

“No,” he said, thinking, Yes, that petite blonde with big eyes, but I’m not about to give you anything to crow about.

The rest of their brothers filed in, as well as Ash, whose grin was big as the quarter moon.

“What’s going on with the fire?” Galen asked her.

“Sheriff says he’s got men over there checking it out. We’ll know soon enough.”

He studied his brothers, grateful that he’d been able to keep them on the right path, the path of men committed to the fight. Strong, brave, true. Of course, Grandfather Running Bear had set the path for all of them. When their parents had gone away from the tribe, Galen returned home from his medical studies and raised his brothers and sister. They’d been a headstrong bunch, fierce and courageous. All of them had opted to join the military—and then retired to quiet lives. Then Running Bear had reached out with his astonishing instructions that they come to Rancho Diablo and protect cousins they’d never known they had. Protect a heritage they’d never known was theirs.

That decision had been the turning point that marked them all, and changed their lives.

“Excuse me,” Fiona said. Their aunt poked her head into the library. “I know the family meetings are sacred, but Rose is about to head back to Tempest. Are there any objections to her being hired on here?”

Jace looked at him. “Yes, Galen, are there any objections?”

Galen grimaced. “Why would I care who is hired as a nanny here? I don’t have children.”

“Well, you always seem to have an opinion about everything, relevant or not,” Fiona replied. “And you’ve met Rose before, so I just wanted to make certain there’d be no awkwardness. Awkwardness is bad when we all live as closely as we do.”

His frown deepened. “Why would I feel awkward around Rose? I barely know her.”

The rest of the family was quick to sense that something was in the air.

“Are we roasting Galen about something, Aunt Fiona?” Ash asked.

“No. Just making sure his highness is consulted about the new hires.” Fiona looked pleased with her jibe.

“Ah,” Dante said, “you’re trying not to get on his bad side by hiring Rose.” He nodded wisely, as if he understood the entire situation. Galen felt pretty much in the dark. “So, Galen, what do you think about the new girl?”

Galen cleared his throat, realizing his family had him pinned against the wall. If he let on that he did have a weakness for Rose, there would be incessant teasing and subtle ribbing. “I couldn’t care less who is hired on at Rancho Diablo.” He pondered his words for a moment. “Though I do admit I’m not certain about Somer Stevens,” and everyone said, “Ah!”

He sighed. “I guess I couldn’t convince you that there’s just something about her that puts me off. It’s not personal.” He glared around the room at all the smiling faces. “Never mind. I don’t care who gets hired. Can we get on to planning how to beef up security?”

They moved on with the meeting, shooting him a few knowing looks, sizing up his mood in a way that family does when they know you’ve got something on your mind. His family did know him, very well, but on the matter of his heart, Galen preferred to remain an enigma.

Then he could romance Rose without his family observing every single move he made, the way they had with his brothers when they were courting. Of course, Galen did the same thing to them, which was why he had no desire to have the matchmaking tongs applied to him. Once his family had you in their sights, the well-meaning interference never ended.

If Rose accepted the position, he’d begin to plan a different strategy, called Romancing the Nanny.

He didn’t want to be the Lone Ranger of Rancho Diablo for the rest of his life.

“What are you grinning about, bro?” Tighe asked, and Galen shook himself from his daydream of Rose’s delightful curves and big smile. “Look like you had something sweet on your mind.”

“Just wondering how you dolts ever ended up with women. Proceed.” He waved a hand imperiously. “Let’s hear all your plans for securing this ranch, especially if that fire over there was set by our renegade uncle Wolf. Because if it can happen across the canyons, it most certainly can happen at Rancho Diablo. And I refuse to allow the work of our father and Uncle Jeremiah  to go up in smoke.”

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Marry Me by Kristin Wallace Book Blitz

Marry Me By: Kristin Wallace


She'd vowed never to fall in love... Julia Richardson is no fan of weddings. A lifetime of watching her parents treat relationships like the flavor of the month has taught her that love is for fools. Then she learns her former stepsister is having a crisis with her pregnancy. The crisis has Julia returning to the small Southern town – and the family – she’s been avoiding for years. Before she knows it, Julia’s been pressed into service running her former stepsister’s wedding planning business, Marry Me. Julia doesn’t know a garter from a garden hose, but now she must navigate couples along the bumpy path down the aisle - despite wardrobe malfunctions, killer bees, and plenty of near disasters. In the midst of it all, Julia makes the most unexpected discovery of all…Love, with Seth Graham, the widowed local minister! Julia’s been running from love and everything spiritual for most of her life. It’s not until she finds the courage to stop running that she finds her own “I Do” moment.

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2013/09/now-booking-tasty-virtual-book-tour-for_5.html

  Author Info

Growing up Kristin devoured books like bags of Dove Dark Chocolate.  Everything from Nancy Drew & Encyclopedia Brown to C.S. Lewis and the  Sweet Valley High series. Later she discovered romance novels. It’s no surprise then that Kristin would one day try her hand at writing them. She writes inspirational romance and women’s fiction filled with love, laughter and a leap of faith. In May 2013, Kristin sold her first novel, MARRY ME, to Astraea Press. Publication date to come!  When she’s not writing her next novel, Kristin works as an advertising copywriter. She also enjoys singing in her church choir and playing flute in a community orchestra.

Author Links http://authorkristinwallace.wordpress.com/


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Dark Winter by John Hennessy

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Book Details:

Dark Winter  by John Hennessy
Expected Pub: October 9, 2013

Romilly Winter is no ordinary heroine, just a reluctant one.
She has a gift. She can see the future. But can she see far enough? The world in which she lives is under attack – the dead are rising, and evil follows her at every turn.
Will she be able to save herself – and the world?
From the Diary of Romilly Winter, October 14th. 
"I’ve had two years to prepare for this. In that time, I have never told a soul. Of course, my Nan knew. She’d bequeathed me the mirror, after all. 
Now, maybe tonight, tomorrow, in a few days, the event that I don’t want to happen with all my heart, will come to pass. I’m not ready. I know I’m not ready, and yet, it will happen nonetheless. 
Nan had this thing in her possession for nearly seventy years. She had told me I simply had to be at Rosewinter, prior to my sixteenth birthday no matter what objections my parents raised. She said I was ‘special’, and was the only one equipped to deal with what was coming. 
The problem is, I don’t feel special, I just feel…different, and in all probability, that isn't going to be good enough. 
In just two days time, I will be sixteen years old, and if anything my Nan said is remotely true, I will be lucky to survive that long…"

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Author Bio:

My first book was published in 2011. Whilst I am working on a follow up, I've been interested in all sorts of genres, and I will pretty much read anything.

In 2012, I completed a first draft of an epic fantasy novel and hope to release it in 2013. Closer to release in 2013 is 'Dark Winter' - a paranormal horror aimed at the YA/NA market. 

If that's you, and you are planning to / have read the book (s) let me know, I'll always be happy to hear from you.

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The Keeper : Revenge by O.L. Ramos Book Tour and Giveaway

The Keeper: Revenge

The Keeper Series

Book 2

O.L. Ramos

Genre: Paranormal Romance


Number of pages: 296

Word Count: 112,930

Cover Artist: Dane Low

Book Description:

If the world you lived in was someday revealed to be nothing but a lie, would you really want the truth? Elizabeth McBeth did, and she's paid the price for it...

After almost 10 years since Liz's mother was taken from her, Liz finally found her mother, Mary. But Mary has been forever changed, something that Liz will have to accept. The beginning of happier times, one would think...

The conspiracy has been exposed; Liz, Vincent, Mary and Michael had all thought that the vampire plot had been destroyed. They should have never underestimated Klein.

Klein has reinforced his armies, splitting the entire vampire species with the question... is Klein the vampiric messiah? Unfortunately for the heroes and the world itself, Klein has set in motion a plan that will destroy the world and recreate it in his own image.

Will the group be able to defeat Klein and restore the balance to nature? Or are they already doomed?

Chapter 1

It had been several months since the uproar at the Coronam estate. Klein had been deemed an enemy of the state for the entire vampire nation, the ones that wanted to stay on Vincent’s good side, anyway. In all honesty, the entire time since then had been both frantic and surreal. Vincent’s declaration before the Coronam asserting that he was Cain’s enforcer had caused a massive schism in the entire vampire race.

The bloodsuckers had always been a chaotic, selfish bunch. But at least with a strong government like the Coronam reining them in, they were fearful of getting tortured … or worse. The idea that mass executions could be a consequence had never entered their minds, however. Yet now, that’s all anyone could think about. The united stand made by Vincent and Michael had finally broken the camel’s back. Some of the more fearful vampires, the ones prone to paranoia, believed it was an example of what Klein had been warning about for over a thousand years. They believed Klein to be the true messiah of Cain, and Vincent to be a mere false prophet sent to lead them astray. This group of vampires announced themselves as the Hand, a creepy mishmash of politics and skewed religion.

They droned on and on about how Klein was the voice of Cain, and they were the ones who would take action on Cain’s behalf. It was all pretty shady, and there wasn’t a thing that we could do about it. Unfortunately, the entire world behind the veil was becoming increasingly unstable. Vincent was forced to allow Algarus to accept the Hand’s request for freedom of religion, even though everyone suspected the whole thing was just a front for a terrorist organization. But nothing could be proven.

Even the werewolves had ostracized Michael. Although he was never truly accepted because of his close association with Vincent, Michael could at least always request help in the past. Now, he was cut off from almost all of werewolf society. Almost all of them resented Michael openly, dismissing his claims that a werewolf was to blame for Klein’s success. They saw his actions as the beginning for a total civil war amongst all supers. When dozens of supers were caught acting as willing slaves for openly rebellious vampires, Michael realized that there might be truth to the charges imposed against him. This caused him no shortage of pain.

I often found myself staring outside my window wondering how things had worsened so quickly. But then again, I wasn’t the same person I’d been before all this started. I was now hardened by the experiences I’d been made to endure, decisions I’d had to make. Things I truly hoped to repress.

In the past months, I had witnessed Mom, I mean, Mary, go through a very thorough and intensive training regimen. The guys had run through everything from battle concepts and strategies to weaknesses of almost every super in existence. I have to say it that way because that was another key point that Michael always stressed to Mary: to be ready for anything and everything. That it was impossible to know of every super in the world. It was crazy, considering Michael had an almost encyclopedic knowledge of thousands of different kinds of supers. But after dealing with the Hela poison, I could definitely see why he was being so cautious.

I guess that brings me to Bobby. Poor Bobby. His entire clan was ousted from the slayer community, even the children who had never known combat. This caused many fights to break out … even one Anvil clan member’s death. The majority of Bobby’s clan blamed him for siding with a vampire and a werewolf. I don’t know the specifics of what happened, but I’m positive that the slayers were just trying to evade the wrath of Klein’s Hand and the Coronam, too. It was generally agreed that the Hela poison was a threat to the entire world, both supernatural or otherwise. Still though, an example had to be made. And so Bobby took his entire clan and relocated all 188 of them to the only place they could safely go. About thirty or so miles from Angel’s Retreat.

And I guess that’s why I’m keeping this diary. It’s cliché as all get out, but for all my big talk … I’m terrified. Everything has changed. And I’m not even sure it’s for the better either. The reality is—

A loud knock announces the presence of a visitor. I turn in my chair to look at my bedroom entrance and see Vincent. He has a curious look to his face as he leans on my door and waits for me to say something.

Hey Vincent,” I say with a bit of a sigh. “How’s it going?”

Same old, same old,” he answers as he walks into the room and heads straight to the balcony. He opens it up and sits on the guardrail. “How about you, Goldilocks? You seem to be brooding on a Michael-esque scale lately. The hell’s wrong with you anyway?”

“What do you think is wrong with me?” I reply angrily, the sharp tone in my voice echoing throughout my room. I give it a chance to linger before I continue. “You know … it’s just that I really thought we won. Seriously. You guys kicked some major bad guy ass. I thought that would be that. My mother could come home and be back with Dad, I could have some semblance of an ordinary life, I don’t know.”

Why be ordinary, though?” he asks with a brief turn to me before he returns to browsing the outside scenery. “You were special before, you were special during. You’re special now. Why all the teenage angst? So everything didn’t end up roses … it sucks. We’re working on it, though. Besides, is this the way you treat me after not seeing me for two days? That’s hurtful.”

He pretends to get stabbed in the back, does a horrible silent death scene and then throws himself off the balcony. I merely shake my head.

Wow, tough crowd,” Vincent says as he floats up and hovers in the air a little above my balcony. Such a strange sight, but I’m completely desensitized to it. “You really are on a bummer aren’t you? What really gives?”

Oh, I don’t even know …” I admit reluctantly with a deep sigh. “I decided to keep this stupid diary. I thought it would make me feel better if I could just write out my thoughts. Maybe keep them here, and the negativity would only be here. In secret. Then I could go and live my life as if nothing ever happened. But it didn’t work out like that at all. I wrote everything down and it just upset me more. What good have we done? Everything is just so much worse now. And this stupid diary is just a reminder of how much we’ve failed.”

If it’s so bad, why not just throw it out?” He asks, as if the issue was a simple one. “Besides, you know that things have to get worse before they can truly get better.”

If it exists, someone can find it,” I explain, already defeated. I know there is little sense in what I am saying. But it’s the way I feel. “Maybe someone can know the truth about what we really tried to do. If the world ends, I mean.”

What?” Vincent straggles his question with a chuckle. He stops his silly flying and lands on the balcony. “Seriously, what happened in the two days I was gone? This is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever said to me. And lady, you’ve had your fill.”

I shake my head slowly. I know he’s right. But what a person thinks and feels aren’t always on the same page. I know I’m not helping things. But I can’t just press a switch and change the way I feel.

While you were gone, Bobby had to make an example again,” I explain as I inhale deeply, hoping to forget about the trauma. “Three slayers came in and tried to kidnap me, or kill me. I don’t know what they were going to do. Before they even had a chance to touch me, Michael was on top of all three of them and was carrying them out like a bunch of … I don’t know, rabbits or something.”

He looks at me in disbelief. He’s clearly angry, but my strangely odd word choice has him a little off balance.

Michael manhandled them, Vincent,” I say, irritated. “It just looked weird. They were kicking and screaming and they just never stood a chance.”

And how are you?” Vincent asks as he walks around the room examining it. “The place seems to be all right, so I guess Mikey didn’t wreck the place too badly. By your kinda crazy word choice I’m guessing he didn’t hurt them at all, huh? Knowing him, he probably just dragged them back to Bobby by the nape of their necks. Oh, I get it now; rabbits. Heh, pretty good.”

Yeah, it was still mildly terrifying, though,” I answer as I start to feel myself chuckle as well. The image in my head about the incident is pretty funny, if you can get past the three guys trying to hurt me part.

I’m sure it was,” Vincent says as he switches his attention and walks towards me slowly with a warm smile on his face. “But you do know that between Mary, Michael and I, there’s really no chance anyone can harm you, right? I mean come on sweetheart, you’re stacked.”

I laugh a little more before shrugging my shoulders.

So what kind of example did Bobby make?”

He killed the one who made the plan. Skyles was his name,” I report, once again feeling the burden of the tragedy. “Did you know him? He expelled the other two.”

Skyles … never heard of him. Did they at least find out why or what they were trying to do?”

More or less,” I say as I look down at the ground and inhale deeply again. “They were trying to take me to the slayer leadership and barter for their family to live within their community again. Bobby came by and apologized … he explained that no matter what, what happened had to happen. He said that almost all of the slayer leaders know it had to be done. This was just—”

Damage control,” Vincent says, finishing my sentence. “Yeah, politics will kill you every time. I knew that something must have rained on your parade, though. Want to go downstairs and get a drink?”

I chuckle. I don’t know if Vincent remembers it, but he drank the entire house dry before he left.

How are we going to do that, smart guy?” I ask playfully. It was good to see him. Every time anyone leaves the house, I feel vulnerable and lonely … and it was only getting worse. “You drank everything in the house before you left on your little excursion.”

A, it was not an excursion,” Vincent says with a mischievous smile. “It was a fact-finding mission. Unfortunately, not much of said facts were to be found. I’m kinda in a mood myself, now that I think of it. I did find out that some of the smaller islands of the Dodecanese was hosting a Klein party … the jerk. He’s even got Greek critters siding with him.”

But why would he be doing that?” I ask, puzzled.

Not done yet,” Vincent says as he raises a finger to hush me. “And B, you should know better than to think I wouldn’t be prepared. I stocked everything back up and even ordered an underground cellar to be constructed to house our reserves.”

It takes me a moment to understand what he means.

You’re talking about the booze?!” I say in shock. “Why wouldn’t you just gloss over that and continue talking about what you found in Greece?”

Far be it for me to allow my reputation to be sullied,” Vincent answers sarcastically before stifling a laugh. “Besides, Greece has been there forever; it’s not going anywhere. Booze has to be maintained and regulated around here. It’s like an endangered species. And besides again, it’s a part of Greece, but if you want to be technical it’s really a series of islands off the coast of Greece. So I didn’t find it in Greece, I found it near Greece.”

I grunt in frustration before slapping him. I examine him to see his reaction but he just turns his gaze up to me and smiles.

“Feeling better, are you?” He asks knowingly. How I hate him and his sneakiness. “That’s more like it. To thy own self be true. Silly, down on her luck Izzy. That isn’t Izzy at all. Wow, say that five times fast. Anyhoo, stop being such a hard luck case and focus on the task ahead.”

I continue analyzing his smile before I sit down again. He’s right. I shake my head because I know that telling him that he’s right is about as painful as a root canal. But not telling him he’s right becomes much, much worse.

I know,” I say as I admit my lack of options. “You’re right. I’m sorry. It’s been hard. This last month we haven’t sat down as a family, or whatever you want to call our group. Not even one Sunday dinner. We’re not running this like a home. We’re running this like a prison.”

Well, this is the first I’ve heard of it,” Vincent says as he straightens out his dress shirt. “But have you told the furry boy scout anything about how you feel?”

No, I haven’t,” I answer with yet another sigh. I suppose it’s not fair to be bothered if I haven’t even given the guys a chance to fix things. But I just felt restricted. I shrug those feelings off before continuing. “I know you both have your reasons to do what you do. Klein needs to be found. The supers are all scared and getting desperate. Everyone is afraid that the humans will find out the truth of the world because the vampires all seem to be getting ready for a civil war. Mary needs to be in fighting shape, my father needs to be watched and guarded, and I need to be protected.”

All while keeping the balance,” Vincent points out in a matter-of-fact tone. “As you can see, it’s more than a day’s work. You gotta have more faith. This guy had a ton of failsafe tools, people, and secrets to work on. It’s a thousand years of this guy thinking that I was coming to kill him and take his seat of power in the Coronam. He was ready before we ever even thought about going. As much as I hate to say it, the guy’s smart. He was prepared.”

Vincent leans back and stretches his arms; he lets out a yawn. It’s the worst fake yawn in the history of fake yawns. I suppose when you haven’t slept or felt exhaustion in 1600 years, you forget these things.

Man, this is boring,” he finally says as he snaps to attention. “I feel like I should be asleep. I guess it’s been too damn long … Anyhoo, where was I? Oh yeah, the Dodecanese. Thing about Greece is that it’s relatively close to Romania and it holds a very important position in Europe. It’s a brilliant strategic choice. If Klein wants to hit the Coronam, he can, rather easily. On top of that, there are so many islands out there, not many are gonna find him. I found him because I figure he has vastly underestimated my information network.” Vincent smiles proudly before poking me softly in my right upper arm.

Come on,” he suggests with a nod of his head. “Let’s have a drink, you could use one. I’ll tell you all about it. We also have to talk about what we’re going to do to liven this personality of yours permanently. I can’t have you slapping me every time you feel down in the dumps.”

I stand up slowly and look at his incredible, deep blue eyes.

I don’t know why you say that,” I say slowly. “I have no problem slapping you all day long if that’s what needs to happen. You gotta do what you gotta do, right?”

I suppose so,” Vincent agrees with several short nods of his head. “Of course, you’re just going to end up breaking your hand.”

I laugh a little before I end up pushing Vincent’s chest. We walk out of my bedroom and take the obscenely long journey to the common area of Angel’s Retreat. The place is still as beautiful as ever. The décor is a very classy blending of old European castle with modern Hollywood flair, but all of it seems gray and blurred to me. It has become my prison over these last few months. And I am really sick of it. When we finally make it to the bar, Vincent urges me to sit. A change, and a rather drastic one, from me playing bartender to Vincent’s regular drunk roles.

Wow ... What a treat!” I exclaim as I sit on the barstool, something I had become increasingly familiar with in times of stress. “I can’t believe we’re having a drink and I’m on this side of the counter. Feels pretty different. It’s nice. If I get Vincent-drunk, will you help me make it to my bed like I always help you?”

Vincent clears his throat before raising his finger again. Oh geez, here he goes again.

“Two things I have to point out again. Apparently I’m gonna be doing this all day here,” he says as he puts down the bottle of vodka he was opening. “A, again, is that you should never make suggestive statements like that to me unless you want sarcasm as a reply. You should know better than that. I.e. you want me to help you to bed, don’t you?”

I slap him in midsentence just for the sake of slapping him. I have to admit, it’s a strange relationship we share.

And B, again,” Vincent says as he shakes the strike away from his face and continues his rant. “Saying that someone is Vincent-drunk implies that I’m nothing but a no-good drunk. That’s also very hurtful. Besides, you’re the minor here. You should just be glad I’m even allowing you to drink.”

You? Allowing me? That’s hysterical,” I say as I pick up the vodka cocktail Vincent has slid over to me. “Admit it Vincent, you just love the company. Michael doesn’t drink much anymore and you just want a drinking buddy.”

Yeah, well, it’s all a part of my nefariously genius plan to get into your barstool,” Vincent says as he raises his own cocktail to me. “And before you think about it, I’m not gonna let you slap me again. You’ve used up your limit for today. Now, as is customary we will follow the beautiful tradition of—”

Yeah, I know,” I say as I raise my glass and tap his with it. I answer his smile with one of my own. “The beautiful tradition of blessing our drink. It is a beautiful tradition. Salud, Vincent.”

And to you, Izzy,” he says as he brings his glass to his mouth. “Cent’anni.”

One hundred years to you,” I say. Knowing him, this is probably a test.

Very good, you’ve been keeping to your studies.”

No,” I point out a little sharply. “You just say it so often it’s hard to forget.”

Vincent scratches his head and chugs down his drink. He grabs the vodka bottle and drags it along the counter until it’s in between the two of us. He looks at me longingly, licking his lips suggestively. It was good to see at least one of us behaving normally.

So, I was thinking about this anyway, before you even brought it up; so was Michael,” he says as he opens the bottle and begins to pour himself another round. “We both feel that a lot has happened in such a short amount of time, we should probably reopen the discussion about what you should be doing with your life in the meantime. I’m not going to say that what’s been happening lately is normal for us, but it has happened several dozens of times in our lives. But we can’t expect you, in your short nineteen years, to be dealing with it anywhere near as easily as we have been. I’m surprised you haven’t snapped like you just did before.”

Well thanks a lot,” I say before chugging down my own drink and snatching the bottle from Vincent’s hands. He only looks at me and shakes his head. “If you knew I wouldn’t react well, why keep me here?”

I don’t really know what you expected us to do,” Vincent admits almost in frustration. “You yourself said you were never much of a social butterfly.”

More like a social spider.”

Yeah, no kidding,” Vincent agrees before taking the bottle away from me as I was helping myself to another drink. “Everything in moderation there, drunko. What I was getting at was that we didn’t really have a lot of choices here. We could have sent you back to the campus, and you could have kept working, but for what? You never really mentioned liking it there. Besides, everyone in town doesn’t even know you exist anymore. I could try to screw around with their heads again and give them back their memories of you, but that’s a real loose option. I don’t wanna do that if I can help it. It’s too dangerous, even with my newfound powers.”

Yeah, yeah, I get it,” I answer in more evident frustration. The whole thing sucks. He’s right and I know it. But that doesn’t really matter. It was different when I was still searching for my mother. I had a plan and a goal. We had achieved that goal and my mother was back and safe. Now all I did was take alternating courses of education by the guys … that was losing its fun, to say the least. “It was easy for me to not appreciate everything in my old life while I had it, but it’s all I think about now. I even miss the shrink visits. Don’t misunderstand me, I know what you’re saying, but there has to be something better to do with my life. I love you guys, I always will. You both have saved my life, you saved my mother’s, I mean … there’s no repaying any of that. But when are we going to get off of terror alert red here?”

I was just getting to that,” he continues as he pours himself another drink. Wow, I never noticed he drank the one he had. Lush. “Michael and I have been thinking about what we could do to make your time pass by a little easier. Michael wants you to be protected and watched over at all times. I disagree with that because you do need some level of freedom, or else you’ll end up resenting the both of us.”

I would never,” I argue in almost a scream. “I just want some fun. I’ve watched everything I can on TV; I’m caught up on all my reading. I would go back to studying all the supers that you guys know about, but what’s the point? Michael is a rolodex of information on the subject. Maybe if I could get my job back at Jack’s Place? Go back to the university, have a normal life? I’m not going to do anything crazy.”

You say that, but you don’t know what you’ll do,” he contends firmly. “I don’t have you on a leash. None of us do. But what I’m saying is don’t take this temporary phase of you being down in the dumps for more than what it is. It’ll pass. Deep down you know what the right thing to do is. You can’t really risk too much crazy behavior right now. I bet Klein thinks we aren’t anywhere near here, especially with all the false information and dead ends we’ve been leading him on with. But we can’t risk lives with that type of hunch. Jack’s wouldn’t be so bad, because why would you have a job if you were with us? But on the other hand, there’s nothing to do around here but visit Jack’s. Same deal with the university. We gotta take this slow.”

How slow?”

Not very,” he assures me before pouring me a little more vodka. “But reasonably slow. So why don’t you start thinking about what you want to do when you grow up, huh? The choice is still yours, eventually. If you wanna walk away from all of this when Klein’s dead, then you have that option open. It’s just not open to you right now because we can’t in good conscience let you get yourself killed.”

So what are you saying, Vincent? Stop with the theatre and spit it out.”

He grasps his glass and stares me in the eyes before presenting his glass to mine again. “What I’m saying is, give us some ideas,” Vincent says with a smile as he raises his glass. “And you’re free to go do whatever you want. Just don’t skip town, huh?”

I smile back at him and I can’t help hugging him over the counter. He was obviously not expecting this as I sense him almost jerk in place.

Now what should I do?

About the Author:

From what I understand, the first line of this thing is where I say something really interesting that wins you over. After all, they say that you know within seconds of meeting a person whether you like them or not.

So...yeah... I got nothing. But if there is one thing I know, it's that through stories we discover the world, learn about history and traditions; and in doing that, we become who we are as an individual.

Since I was a very young child, my only dream was to become an author one day. I wanted to reach people with my words, maybe even entertain them. I wanted to touch their lives and give them something to think about. After all, I am a loveable blowhard kinda guy... that's gotta be entertaining, right?

In my life, I've done many things; from supervising sales for a retail giant chain to being a Deputy Sheriff. You would think that a person who had been shot at for a living would be brave enough to write a biography without all the sarcastic quips. Unfortunately no, that's one of my main flaws as the above mentioned blowhard.

Anyhoo, please feel free to drop me a line! If you loved the book, I wanna hear about it. If you hated every word of it, please make sure to let me know, but please avoid the CAPS LOCK! The font can be a little... demeaning. Make sure to have fun guys! They say you only live twice; and if that's true, we're at least half done.

Vincent tilts his head and walks closer to me, stopping about two feet away. He looks down at me and blinks his eyes, seeming unsure of what to say. He opens his mouth as if to speak and then stops himself. He inhales deeply and licks his lips, narrows his eyes and just nods his head.

“That’s because, when it comes to your safety, nothing ever will be good enough,” he answers somberly, almost as if he hated saying it where others might hear. “You could shoot the bull’s-eye every single time, you could split bullets with other bullets, it still wouldn’t be good enough. You’re still a damsel in distress to me. Someone I need to protect, no matter what. And it’s not just because of the world and Klein’s plan. You’re my Goldilocks, Goldilocks.”

He looks at me and lifts my chin up gently with his finger.

“Though sometimes I’m just looking at your bubble butt for more than just the sake of your safety,” Vincent says with a cocky smile.

I try to slap him but he grabs my arm, so softly that I don’t even know his hand was on my forearm ‘til I see it with my own eyes.

“You always have to have the last word, don’t you?” I ask, feeling myself trembling. “You always got to be the joker, the one who doesn’t care about anything. You think you’re fearless or unbeatable?”

“Unbeatable? Nah, not even close,” Vincent says as he begins to stare at my lips. “Fearless? Hell no, I’m terrified. But I’m not terrified when I’m fighting Klein’s lackeys or dealing with whatever big baddie we gotta fight. I’m scared stiff when the idea of you being in harm’s way comes to my mind. But mostly? I’m just terrified when I’m in your presence. You. You scare the crap out of me.”

“Me?” I ask, unsure of what to say as I stammer through a simple word.

Vincent just continues to stare at my lips as he nods his head slowly.

Then it happens. I don’t even know why or how myself. But I just have to have him. I throw myself at him and drape my arms around the back of his neck. I kiss him passionately, almost aggressively. I feel my knees shake, almost buckling beneath my body’s weight as I feel his tongue softly massage my own. I feel goose bumps spring up all over my body as his fingers run through my hair. He pulls my head back gently and nibbles on my neck, teasing. I try to wrap my left arm behind his lower back when I feel him slowly pull away.

I keep my eyes closed for a few seconds, not sure of what has just happened. Vincent has his back to me, trying to hide his face.


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