Monthly Archives: September 2014
Review: Saved by Her Dragon by Julia Mills
Saved By Her Dragon (Dragon Guards #5)
By Julia Mills
There Are No Coincidences…
Devon’s heritage has given him a unique perspective into the world around him. His father was one of the fiercest Guardsmen in history and his mother is a very talented and highly respected Healer. At the age of his transformation he made the choice to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Guardsman but in his heart he always carried the belief and wisdom of his mother’s clan. That knowledge and his complete trust in Destiny may be all that saves the One the Universe made for him.
The Universe Does Not Make Mistakes…
Orphaned as a child and raised by powerful Earth witches, Anya Sloane thought her life was pretty normal and relatively happy until the night she left the family farm and headed into town. Abducted and left for dead outside the hospital, she spent the better part of a month fighting her way out of a magically induced coma only to wake and find everything she’d ever knew was little more than smoke and mirrors.
Fate Will Not Be Denied…
Anya is the light of his soul and the only woman able to tame the beast within. Devon has the strength and knowledge she will need in the coming days. Together, they just may be the key to saving Dragon kin. All they have to do is defeat the traitor…but that means they have to find him first.
Fate decided that I was not going to be denied some time with my smart mouthed dragon shifter Devon. He is cocky but so protective of his clan. When he found his love at the end of book four, I could not wait to see how Julia would outdo her other books. When I think that Julia has reached her peak a new one appears.
Anya is introduced as this mysterious woman in a coma that can mind-speak but has something blocking her from truly hearing her fated mate. The Guard comes together (as they always do) to support each other and find out what is really going on. In true shifter fashion the love moves fast and hot. Add in little Sydney, whose secrets still remain and we have a winner! As the last white dragon left, Devon has a lot to live up to. By the end of the book many answers are provided, but many still remain. The piece of shit Andrew is still out there wreaking havoc, Calysta is still being held and now we have another mating on the horizon. I cannot wait to see what is next for the guard and Julia, Please give us more on the mystery that is this little 6 year old ball of knowledge. Thank you for another 5 fang read!
Smashwords : Amazon US : Amazon UK : Amazon CA
I am a sarcastic,sometimes foul-mouthed, not afraid to drink a beer, always southern woman with 2 of the most amazing teenage daughters, a menagerie of animals and a voracious appetite for reading who recently decided to write the stories running through her brain.
I read my first book, Dr Suess’ Cat in The Hat by myself at 4 and was hooked. I believe a good book along with shoes, makeup and purses will never let a girl down and that all heroes of all the books I have ever read or will ever write pale in comparison to my daddy!
I am a sucker for a happy ending and love some hot sweaty sex with a healthy dose of romance.I am still working on my story but believe it will contain all of the above with as much SPICE as I can work into it.
Her Dragon to Slay
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A Bride of Salt and Stars by Terry Maggert
Title: A Bride of Salt and Stars
Author: Terry Maggert
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Cover Design: Amalia Chitulescu
From a secret tomb beneath the ashes of a Mexican volcano, something has broken free. Something luminous. Beautiful. And deadly. From the deepest part of our human legends, she is known simply as The Bride, and she’s visiting Florida for dinner, but her arrival has not gone unseen.
The Fearless will make certain her reception is memorable. In a place where creatures like The Bride hunt each night, The Fearless will go to any lengths defending humanity. But only after dark. That’s when the hunting is best. In this battle, new warriors emerge against this timeless evil as Ring, Wally and Risa rejoin their stalwart friends to turn demons into dust –and justice into reality.
They’re joined by Aurelia, the Romanian stripper who fights better than she dances and has a very unusual history. Aurelia brings a legendary weapon to bear against The Bride– but first, she’ll have to guide Ring through a maze of warlocks, a clever deity, and the ongoing reclamation of the succubus Delphine’s soul. Along the way, The Fearless will feed the dog, collect the rent, and act like every day in the sun might be their last.
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Born in 1968, I discovered fishing shortly after walking, a boon, considering I lived in South Florida. After a brief move to Kentucky, my family trekked back to the Sunshine State. I had the good fortune to attend high school in idyllic upstate New York, where I learned about a mythical occurrence known in Florida as “seasons”. After two or three failed attempts at college, I bought a bar. That was fun because I love beer, but, then, I eventually met someone smarter than me (a common event), and, in this case, she married me and convinced me to go back to school–which I did, with enthusiasm. I earned a Master’s Degree in History and rediscovered my love for writing.
My novels explore dark fantasy, immortality, and the nature of love as we know it.
I live near Nashville, Tennessee, with the aforementioned wife, son, and herd, and, when I’m not writing, I teach history, grow wildly enthusiastic tomato plants, and restore my 1967 Mustang.
::::connect with terry maggert here::::
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Wildcard by Missy Johnson
by Missy Johnson
Publication Date: September 4, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Sports
She’s hiding something from me and I need to know what it is. I’ve done so many things I never thought I’d do for this woman and it kills me that she’s lying to me.
How can I make her see that she can trust me?
Do I want to know the truth?
Sometimes things are easier when they’re left unsaid…
About Missy Johnson
Missy lives in a small town in Central Victoria with her husband, and her confused pets (a dog who think she’s a cat, a cat who thinks he’s a dog…you get the picture).
When she’s not writing, she can usually be found looking for something to read.
Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads
Lead Him Not Into Temptation by M.L. Steinbrunn
Jennifer MacLauchlan is not who you think…
I’m damaged, but not destroyed.
I’ve been betrayed, but I remain loyal.
The only people I love don’t know the secrets I hold. They wouldn’t want me anymore if they did.
Casen Thompson refuses to acknowledge the world that left him behind…
I may be tattered, but I’m not torn.
I’m trusted by many, but I have faith in very few.
My love for music and the desire for the family I never had is the glue that holds my shattered soul together.
When these two volatile personalities collide, a firestorm of emotions erupts forcing both to face the fears that keep them from everything they have ever wanted. Secrets are unearthed and forgiveness is tested as Jen struggles to accept that Casen might be everything that could fix her.
Will Jen trust herself enough to truly lead Casen into a temptation that he can’t walk away from?
Lead Him Not into Temptation is an adult contemporary novel and is not intended for younger readers due to mature content.
Jennifer is a strong, resilient woman who has made choices like we all do after experiencing betrayal and loss. She has guarded her emotions and her heart.
Casen appears to be this rock star who falls into the stereotype of loving the entourage, cocky and can get anyone he wants.
I love a book that can pull various emotions from me and this book did just that. I had audible sighs of “awes”, screams of frustration, and just plain chills. The author did a great job pulling the cast of the first book in the series and cleaned up all the predictability that the first book had. I give this one 5 fangs.
Vivian has seen loss from an early age, which causes her to guard her heart. She has to live with the loss every day, in a small town that talks. She decides the best way to get past it, is to leave and go off to college, where no one really knows her or the history that follows her.
Brooks, is the guy that you just know is going to shatter your heart any way you go. He is hot, cocky and screws just about anything that looks barbie.Putting into words what I felt through this book is tough. Initially I felt that the author did not really relate appropriate research in how a five year old is going to react to such a big loss to her perfect world. It frustrates me that someone would really think that a 5 year old has the cognition to decide that she is “never going to let anyone in her heart again” on the day that she suffers her loss. It is not realistic to true development.
As the story progressed, I was intrigued by Viv and Brooks relationship, albeit predictable. The story continued in predictability when Vivian married and moved back home. It had such predictability that I was caught eye rolling numerous times.
That being said, I loved how the author brought the story back around. I knew what was going to happen, just not how. The author threw in a couple of unexpected turns toward the end of the book that saved the rating. I give this four fangs due to the predictability of it. I would have also liked to see a little more heat in the bed between the characters. I hate guessing what happens behind the door.
Colorado native M.L. Steinbrunn is new to the professional literary community, but has been in love with the world of fictional characters and plot twists since she was a child. Writing short stories and reading anything she could get her hands on, it could be argued that her hobby borders on an obsession.
She works full-time as a middle school and high school educator and coach in rural Colorado where she and her husband are raising their three young children. Through education she has enjoyed guiding others on their paths and helping students build their stories. After countless evenings of discussing story ideas, it was her husband who encouraged her to follow her own path and publish her first novel.
She recently published her debut romance novel Forgive Us Our Trespasses, which was released in March of 2014. It is the first in a series of intertwined stand-alone novels. Book two, Lead Him Not Into Temptation will be released in August of 2014.
In her free time M.L. enjoys travelling, Amazon one-clicking, watching movies, chauffeuring her children to their one and half million activities, and people watching.
She would like to add a big thank you to everyone that has been overwhelmingly supportive of this incredibly scary yet exciting journey.
One random commenter on this blog post will win an exclusive swag pack from the author! Winner chosen via random.org and will be notified on the comment thread of this post. Good luck!
True North Book 1 Finding Home by Allie Juliette Mousseau
my top ten book heroes of all time, and that’s a damn selective list to be on.
Great story, great writing, great characters…need I say more?” – Nicole
Bex ‘N Books
a must read! This is the beginning to what promises to be an amazing series of
books!”– Swoon Worthy Books
grabbed me. Trust me; this is a book that is one-click material. Then one-click
for a friend.”– The Pink Bookshelf Blog
Finding Home highlights the resiliency of the human spirit, even in the darkest
of circumstances and shows us that love and light can truly lead us home. If
you’re a fan of NA romance, then you will LOVE this book!”– Feed Your
be one hell of a thrilling ride!!!” – Scandalous Book Blog
from the beginning. ~Amazeballs Book
friends play and Livie knows how to dominate that game… I hope the next book
is as entertaining as this one.” –Andrewsheath; Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer;
Crazy Vermonter Book Blog
READ!!! Everyone should read this book – ESPECIALLY if you have loved ones that
are or have served.”-Jennifer
ever have the Honor of Reading!!!”- Heatheranne
Jake’s name. A group had formed around the picnic table on the deck where Jake
and Charlie, a friend of theirs, were playing a drinking game.
getting started. They pushed back a shot each and turned the cup upside down on
the table. Jake had a sizable shot glass pyramid in front him while Charlie’s
was just growing. I could tell Charlie wasn’t Jake’s first opponent.
grasp hands with Jake.
down to give him a kiss. The inside of my mouth turned to copper. But as she
closed in, he blocked her face with his hand and shook his head. My stomach did
the crowd, lifting his arms up over his head like Rocky on the Philly Art Museum
steps. His silver studded belt glinted in the firelight, and his wrists were
covered in leather and silver bands.
wanted. I wished I could be more like him; Julia and I were still trying to
find our secret formulas or mojo or something to help us hit our targets.
just have a little fun.” As soon as I said it, Jake almost cracked a smile.
even have to try.
break she can tag me.”
don’t mind the handicap.”
facilitating the game, and said something to him.
with little sisters we’ll be toning down the questions a notch.”
expression never changed.
thought you knew.”
bottle of rum and filled each of our shot glasses.
panicked. I didn’t even know the rules! “Name three things that make you go
weak at the knees.”
came through Jake’s tough exterior. He picked up his shot while penetrating me
with my favorite warm, deep brown eyes in the world and tossed his head back
before adding his glass to his pyramid. He was in nothing but a t-shirt, and I
had never seen the tats that now decorated his arms. I wanted to move closer to
examine them and ask him what each meant, but the DJ threw me when he said,
“Our champion’s question is … Imagine you have two hours left to live. You get
to spend those precious hours with the lady of your dreams. What would you do
swooning. If these were the toned down questions, I wondered what the regular
questions were like. I was already feeling all hot and bothered and he hadn’t
even answered the question yet.
forget any man she ever had before me. I’d slide my lips across her ear and
bite the flesh there before I trailed the vein of her neck with hot kisses and
nips from my teeth, all while I buried my hands in her long, thick raven hair.”
He’d just described my hair. I hoped no one noticed the blood rushing into my
face as he continued, “I’d follow that path all the way to her most intimate
places and do the same there until she begged me for release, but I wouldn’t
give it to her just yet.” As Jake went on with his description, his eyes
followed along my body until he reached the table—Mr. X-Ray vision was at a
loss. Nope—he just kept his eyes on the table in the exact space that hid me
from him and used his imagination. All my nerves fired like it was Chinese New
the shot, flipped over the empty glass and put it on my loser’s pyramid. My
face must have been as red as an apple.
Black Keys before announcing, “Now, ladies and gents, we have bets rolling on
this next question.” He paused for dramatic effect. “Will our girl give up her
truth or forfeit and drink her shot?” The crowd clapped and shouted, and terror
shot through me.
all kinds of shades of red, but I was still in the game. Jake took the shot and
held his gaze away from mine for a moment. I was hoping he had to recuperate
just as much as I did.
own, but Jake answered, “Handcuffs.”
about Jake having me in handcuffs, doing everything he’d just described. The
combined effect of that hot fantasy and the alcohol made the space between my
legs start to sizzle. So much so that I had to rearrange the way I was sitting.
opposite sex. So to spice it up, this next dare is that Olivia has to act as if
she’s having an orgasm and cry out Jake’s name as she does it.”
can go from 0 to 60.
the very happy place where we discuss Allie’s books and characters, and get the
teasers, promos and early reads before anyone else!
Giveaway: Body Language by Em Petrova
TITLE – Body Language
SERIES – The Boot Knockers Ranch #2
AUTHOR – Em Petrova
GENRE – Contemporary western erotic romance
PUBLICATION DATE – sept 9, 2014
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 44,000 words
PUBLISHER – Samhain Publishing
There are no words for desire this hot…but he’ll sure try to find them.
The Boot Knockers Ranch, Book 2
If there’s one thing that Damian Vince can do well, it’s read women. With his trademark wink and sexy drawl, he’s the most wanted cowboy on the Boot Knockers Ranch, a spa where sexually challenged women come to get charmed out of their uptight panties.
He’s also the ranch’s bad boy—he hates to admit he’s had his mug-shot taken more than once. But now he’s on the right path, ranching and fulfilling women’s desires.
Prim grade-school teacher Ruthie Johansson prays Damian will be able to fix her strict upbringing that’s left her leery of men and intercourse, though her body aches for both. Once she sets eyes on the muscular, auburn-haired Damian, she throbs only for him.
As they get skin to skin, her instinct touches something Damian’s been struggling to hide from his fellow Boot Knockers. A secret he’s spent a lifetime keeping buried beneath bar brawls and a bad attitude. But with Ruthie’s gentle coaxing, he just might give overcoming it another try—as long as they do their homework in bed.
Warning: Contains a bad boy with a vulnerable underside, a squeaky clean woman who wants to get dirty, and a secret shame only love and compassion can heal. Prepare to drool while he parses her sentences…one sexy verb at a time.
BUY & TBR LINKS
AMAZON KINDLE US – BARNES & NOBLES NOOK
GOODREADS – SAMHAIN PUBLISHING
BOOK 1 – Pushin’ Buttons
Ruthie clasped her hands and fought to keep from wringing them. The backstage area was alive with chatter. Excited giggles echoed around her as she waited for the cowboys.
She looked at the other women. They were as diverse as the cowboys on the brochure. Women with every shade of hair and body type huddled together, some talking quietly about what to expect.
With a knot of nausea in her throat, Ruthie didn’t feel like speaking. Besides, when she stepped onto the stage, she would be alone. No one could save her from what she’d chosen to do.
Isabel, the stage manager, buzzed between girls, dashing notes on her clipboard. “You’re up third, Ruthie.”
Nodding, she battled the urge to bolt for the door. Boarding the jet to Texas had given her the illusion she was going on a nice vacation. But once she’d arrived at the ranch and been taken into a private screening room to choose from a selection of cowboys, her real purpose hit hard.
She’d come to find the most sexual pleasure she’d ever known, which would be easy considering she hadn’t found it with her former lovers.
Images of the five cowboys she’d selected revolved through her mind. They were in the audience right now. In a few minutes she’d step onto the stage and they’d fight over who would win her.
She dragged in a wavering gasp just as Isabel announced the first contestant was to take the stage.
Holding her breath with the rest of the women, Ruthie watched from the sidelines as a tall girl with a pretty face and dishwater-blonde hair stood before the cowboys.
Ruthie’s mind clouded, and she stared at her simple, flat leather sandals. How had she gotten here? From the third-grade classroom to a sex club. Her face burned.
By the time she lifted her gaze again, the first woman was coming offstage.
With a cowboy.
Ruthie felt her jaw drop as she came face-to-face with the dashing, muscled man in worn denim, boots and hat. His shirt was blue plaid, sleeves rolled to his elbows, displaying a tattoo of a rodeo belt buckle on his forearm.
“Take good care of her, Elliot,” Isabel said with a grin.
He tipped his hat at Isabel and hooked the woman’s arm more securely over his. He led her through the throng of women and out the side door.
Oh my God. Oh my God.
Ruthie gasped for breath when contestant number two took the stage. She wore ill-fitting clothes that disguised her body. When she took her place in the spotlight, she smiled, and her whole appearance transformed.
“I wish we could hear what they’re saying,” someone beside Ruthie whispered.
Me too. What should she expect? More Q&A? How would she ever keep her knees from knocking when faced with all that testosterone?
“Get ready, Ruthie. It’s almost your turn.”
The knot in her belly pulled tight, and she was pretty sure she knew what expression she wore. In the classroom, it was one she’d come to recognize early—right before the cleanup.
Contestant number two came off stage, grinning like Miss America and guided by a tanned hunk with his hand on the small of her back.
Ruthie shivered, more aware of herself than ever before. Within minutes she’d be that girl, and she’d have some cowboy’s hand on her.
All OVER me with any luck.
“Ruthie, you’re on!”
Sucking in a deep breath, she stepped onto the stage. Her sandals were almost noiseless on the polished floor. As soon as she stepped into the spotlight, she broke out in a sweat. Her watermelon-colored cotton sundress clung to her damp skin, and she squeezed her fingers together until her knuckles popped.
Her heart throbbed heavily in her ears. Through the glare of lights, she could just make out the line of cowboys. They sat in plush leather chairs with red buttons before them.
Oh my God, I’ve landed on a game show. And I’m the prize.
This is a great read!! The only thing for me was at the end and it seemed rushed to me. Other than that I loved it. Damien is your dream cowboy I get chills just thinking about him. Ruthie is like everyone of us women. Scared of what’s to come till it gets here. This book will show you to open your heart more and wait till the right one comes along. Ruthie is tired of the guys she has been with. Not feeling satisfied with them. She also wants to escape her religious parents and their views of a man and woman being together. She books herself a week stay at a ranch only its not your ordinary ranch. Its all about making women satisfied. That’s where she meets Damien. Rugged, sexy, fun, and did I mention sexy cowboy. He knows something different is happening and he knows he is falling in love with her. But will he be able to confide in her and tell her his past and his problems? If he does will she still love him? With all these thoughts going thru his head he doesn’t know what to do till the time comes. But will they both take the chances? I am hoping there is going to be another story with these cowboys. I give this a 4.5 fang review.
Mine – Christina Perri
Begin Again – Colbie Caillat
Stubborn Love – The Lumineers
Unsaid – The Fray
Em Petrova lives in Backwoods, Pennsylvania, where she raises 4 kids and a Labradoodle named Daisy Hasselhoff. Her heroes are hardworking heroes–in bed and out–and she is known for panty-scorching erotic romance.
AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS
Website – Goodreads – Amazon Author Page
Blog – FB Fan Page – Twitter
(2) $5 Amazon Giftcards
(2) $5 Starbucks Giftcards
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
Broken Souls by Laurie Olerich
Broken Souls by Laurie Olerich
Series: Primani, #4
Publication Date: September 5, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Stalked by evil…
Psychic Rori Austin’s life is over. She just doesn’t know it yet. Plagued by recurring nightmares and terrifying fugues, she’s hanging on by a thread. When she blacks out and wakes up in 1969, she knows she’s out of control. Broke and alone in the city that never sleeps, she’s desperate to find someone who can hold back the darkness in her mind. When gorgeous Declan shows up out of nowhere, she’s thrilled until he starts asking questions she has no intention of answering.
Haunted by guilt…
Primani Declan Manning is a ruthless killer and a renowned healer. Demons fear him. Humans love him. Life is good. The last thing he needs is a human woman. After saving Rori’s life, he walks away but can’t forget the fear in her exotic eyes. They haunt him, dredging up memories better left buried deep. Intrigued by her secrets, he uncovers the horrifying truth. She’s been marked for Hell, and her time is up. He’ll risk his own immortality to save her so ul…if they can find the demon in time.
Glancing at her watch, Rori picked up her pace. She never had enough time. In her universe, it ran in fast-forward. It didn’t matter how much time she gave herself to get ready, she was always late. And of course, she was out of bus money so she was walking – no, make that running – the ten blocks to the flower shop where she worked. The owner, Angela Donatucci, was a total bi-otch about time. She was opening, so technically Angela wouldn’t know if she was on time or not… but she had a pissy habit of showing up out of the blue. “Spot checks”, she called it. She’d been busted three times in the last month. One more time, and she was jobless. And jobless meant homeless soooo… Crap! Dodging around a kid on a scooter, she hung a fast right and cut through the alley behind the Downward Dog Chinese slop shop. A couple of delivery trucks were pulled up to the back door. No problem. She’d just squeeze through. With her mind on the time, she didn’t see the backup lights until it was too late.
A starburst exploded and then… nothing but darkness. Excited voices babbled nearby, but they drifted on the wind. Sirens warbled in the distance, the sound fuzzy and faint.
“Hey! Are you all right?” a man’s voice snapped next to her ear.
Yes, yes, I’m fine! She tried to speak, but her mouth wasn’t working. No sounds came out. This was so not good.
“Holy shit, Ramirez, you killed her!”
What? No way! I can’t be dead! She struggled to move, to show them she wasn’t dead, to sit up, something, anything, but she was frozen inside her uncooperative body. A wave of dizziness rolled in slow motion through her brain, spreading from head to toe. She was too weak to twitch. She strained to lift her hand, but vicious pain stabbed into her belly. Why wasn’t anyone doing anything? Didn’t she moan? She could’ve sworn she’d moaned out loud. If ever there was a time to moan, this was definitely it. No one responded, so maybe she hadn’t. Darkness pressed in, her inner vision tunneling to a single spear of bright light. Seriously? Damn… I am dying. Well, this sucks.
I should’ve seen this coming.
Hi! I’m Laurie Olerich and writing is my passion. I love to create guilty pleasures full of exciting locations, rollercoaster action, strong, quirky heroines, and steaming hot heroes who’ll raise the temperature in any room you’re in! Paranormal romance? Check! Urban fantasy? Check! Romantic suspense? Check! My Primani series combines the best of the three. When I’m not plotting, writing, or fantasizing about my next hero, I’m planning parties, traveling, and spending lazy nights with my son, my Dal pals, and my friends. If you’d like to get to know me better and keep up with my works in progress, look me up on the Internet. I’d love to hear from you!
Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Email
Vision of Destiny by S. Moose
Do you know that feeling when a knife is in your heart, twisting and turning? Do you know what it’s like to have a car run you over a million times? That’s how I’m feeling. Rage builds in me and, instead of screaming and yelling, I sit in front of Larry, numb and frozen.
“I can’t do this, Larry. I’m fucking human, you know? I have feelings!”
He brings me into his arms and tries to calm me down. “I know and that’s what I told him.”
I can’t give Nicholas what he needs, even though it’s what I truly want. I refuse to break up his marriage and be the one that he uses to escape from Jamie. If something is up and he’s doing this because she’s manipulating him, then that’s a different story and I’ll beg him to leave her. I don’t know the whole story and I’m not sure if I even will get the story. A little voice in my head keeps screaming at me to fight for the man I love. But I don’t know if that’s the right answer.
“I’m gonna go lie down. Thanks for the coffee,” I mutter.
Back in my room, in my safety area, I place the steaming cup of coffee on my nightstand and lie down, facing the balcony.
Tearing away from the sun rising, I force my mind back to sleep. It’s been the longest few nights without Nicholas. I don’t know where to go or what to do. I can’t forget him. Every time I close my eyes, I see his eyes, his smile; I see everything. My chest fills with ache. Sitting here crying over him while everyone else is living kills me. The fight in me is slowly going away. Unable to stand the silence I open my music app on my phone and play a song I haven’t heard in a few weeks – our song. It plays over and over again so I can remember our dance and how I felt when he was holding me. Everything feels heavy and miserable. I scream into my pillow and pray that I can be taken away. I don’t care if we weren’t together for a long time. When it comes to love, there’s no measurement in time. It’s how love makes you feel and it made me feel whole. I’d give anything to feel that way again.
Vision of Love & Vision of Destiny
Nate Tebow as Nicholas Hayes
Vision of Hope
Ryan Patrick as Jensen Toscano
As a high school senior, Karly goes through a horrific event and loses both her parents. All alone, she perseveres her way through college in the hopes of becoming a teacher. After graduation, she moves to to a new town and is introduced to divorced dad Nicholas and his daughter, Emma. While Karly works as their nanny, she and Nicholas explore their feelings for each other. Can they both overcome their pasts and move forward together?
In Dreams by Heather Mullins
client, but any business is good business right? I own a mobile pet grooming company, Squeaky
Clean, and so far it’s doing well. But today I’m thanking everything that’s holy that as soon as I
drop off Jeanie Costa’s Yorkshire terrier, I’m done for the day.
beautiful areas left in the Detroit area. After everything that’s happened, I’m always looking
over my shoulder because feel like I’m being watched. Hines Drive doesn’t calm me like it
usually does, and I find myself rushing the dog so we can get out of here. With the sound of
footsteps behind me, fear settles in my soul causing me to start pulling the dog along.
millionth time. Fear hits me full force and I’m about to just pick up the damn dog and run when
Gigi growls as a large, calloused hand grips my shoulder and spins me around. I swing my arms,
trying like hell to strike my attacker but hit nothing but air. As soon as I recognize him, anger
quickly replaces fear.
back of my neck is standing up and a frisson of disquiet travels down my spine. I mean, what
are the odds that he’d be on the same street as me, when neither of us lives in this area?
not a single person or car in sight. Smart move, Hope. Put yourself in a dangerous situation by
not paying attention to your surroundings.
gripped in his raised hand. He hits me on the head with such force that I actually see stars and
feel incredible pain shoot through my temple. The momentum of the blow makes me think my
brain shifted in my skull. I stumble backward and the last thing I see is Gigi biting my attacker’s
eyes adjust to the dimly lit room, it becomes evident that I’m no longer outside, and I’ve been
walls are yellowed and peeling. An old, battered wooden chair is nearby, and a dented bucket
sits off in the corner. It’s the mattress that does me in, stained from top to bottom with a piss-
covered top that reeks of decay. I take a few deep breaths and swallow back the rising vomit in
quicken, I’m too scared to think straight. I force myself to take calming breaths so I can try and
figure out how to get out of here. I try to get a better idea of my location, but all that’s visible is
a window, most of the glass covered with boards.
Pretending that I’m still out, I hear heavy footsteps approaching and I sense my stalker standing
over me. He bends down and runs his fingers through my hair in an intimate gesture.
and seeing me wince seems to piss him off. Apparently realizing I was faking, he pulls me by my
hair to the edge of the mattress and slams my head to the floor. It makes a sickening “thud”
sound as it hits followed by an instant, nauseating throbbing. Warm liquid, probably my blood,
drips down the side of my face into my mouth. The metallic taste fuels my fear—and my anger.
I thrash against the bindings in an attempt to free myself but only manage to cause the filthy
rope to dig deeper into my wrists and ankles, leaving me raw and bleeding.
things for you, and you don’t even have the manners to say thank you.” He turns to look at me,
venom in his eyes. I stop struggling as I shake my head to try and clear my thoughts and
possibly ease the throbbing. I hope that my fear is not evident to him.
seems to become more agitated. He fists his hands into his dark hair, pulling on the ends. I
twist my left wrist, wincing in pain from rope digging into my abraded flesh, but I feel the rope
slowly giving way. Every time he glances in my direction, I freeze as my fear creeps higher up.
I’m praying he doesn’t notice what I’m doing.
keep watching you every day, knowing you won’t be mine.” He stops pacing to look at me. He
pulls a roll of duct tape out of his jacket pocket as he saunters over to me twirling the roll
around his finger with an evil smirk on his face.
Please. I’m sorry, I didn’t know sooner; let me make it up to you.” I try to sound genuine but
fear overcomes me and my words sound shaky and unsure.
fuck up. I won’t listen to your bullshit anymore.” Before I can even open my mouth, he slaps me
in the face so hard my head whips back. The sound of my neck cracking reverberates
throughout the room. The force of the blow causes my jaw to clamp down so hard I bite into
my tongue, the blood pooling in my mouth.
face. “You bitch!” He rises up and wipes his face. Finally pulling a hand free, I punch him as hard
as I can in the groin. Grabbing his crotch, he falls sideways with a loud groan, writhing in pain.
door, throw it open and come face to face with complete darkness. My heart racing, I pick a
direction and pray it’s the right one.
“Where the fuck are you? When I find you, so help me God, you’ll be sorry, bitch,” he growls. I
look around the moonlit room and spot what looks like a small closet. I get in, moving the nasty,
ratty clothing that still hangs there aside and close the door behind me. I press myself up
against the wall, the only sounds my heavy breathing and rapid heartbeat.
know he’s only seconds from entering the room I’m in. My panic reaches new heights as I push
myself to the back of the closet and close my eyes like a child. If I can’t see him then he can’t
see me…right? Suddenly the door flies open and I cover my mouth to silence my scream.
Grabbing the first limb he sees, he yanks my battered body from the small enclosure, knocking
the wind out of me as my back slams against the hardwood floor.
teasing me all the time.” He places his foot on my neck, holding me in place while I gasp for air.
He jerks my arms behind my back nearly dislocating my shoulder. My struggling doesn’t deter
him and he ties the ropes tighter than he did the first time.
punches me in the face. Blood gushes from my nose, mixing with the dark pools that flow from
my mouth and head. My face throbs and my tongue burns from the salt in my tears as he
finishes his work, quickly leaving me totally at his mercy. He pulls a switchblade out of his
scuffed combat boot and flicks it open. He slowly drags the double edged blade lightly up my
body, stopping when the cold steel touches my cheek, smearing the blood that has continued
to run down my face. Closing my eyes tightly, I pray he won’t use it but I silently begin to say my
love you, what you mean to me? Do you know how bad it hurts watching you from afar when
you should have been mine? DO YOU?” His breathing becomes more ragged as he shoves the
knife under my shirt. I hold my breath, knowing where this is going. He cuts through my shirt,
the knife razor-sharp, then makes quick work of my bra, leaving me naked from the waist up.
against the ropes until I feel the edge of the knife at my throat. “Move again, slut, and I will cut
your throat end to end and watch the life drain from your body.”
Lust by Bonnie Bliss