Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Valentine's Day novella set - Valentine's Pets and Kisses



Valentine's Day is all about the joy of love and romance, and who doesn't like hearts and flowers? Get a jump on that special day by pre-ordering your copy of the Valentine Pets & Kisses Boxed Set brought to you by a fourteen talented romance writers. 

At the special price of $0.99, you have more reason than one to celebrate because this is a limited time offer. Order your copy of Valentine Pets & Kisses today! Release date is Tuesday, February 2, 2016, which is just around the corner!

BLURB
Candy and canines. Flowers and felines. Celebrate this Valentine's Day with your sweethearts of the human and fuzzy varieties! 

Nothing is more heart-warming than kisses from the pet who adores you and the man who loves you, so snuggle up with VALENTINE PETS & KISSES -- an anthology of fourteen sweet romances from USA Today bestselling and award-winning authors -- and strike the perfect mood for moonlit walks and candlelight dinners with your pet and sweetheart.

Valentine Hound Dog  - Rachelle Ayala 
Fashion icon Jenna Hart, along with her basset hound puppy, tries to convince a burned former fireman that beauty is never skin deep and love's arrow strikes not only the beautiful, but the bold. 

The Crazy Girl’s Handbook - DelSheree Gladden 
Spending the weekend babysitting her two nephews and a puppy was supposed to be fun. Sweating to death at a baseball game while getting gum in her hair, soda down her shirt, and an ice cream pedicure wasn't part of the deal. Neither was finding out the best guy she'd ever missed a blind date with had witnessed it all. Longest. Weekend. Ever.  
                     
The Vet's Valentine Gift - J.L. Campbell 
Matthias Laing has snagged the woman of his dreams, but his job as a vet keeps getting him into trouble. The situation is past complicated because of the growing assortment of animals in Toni's house and to top it all, the conflict between Matthias and her ex-husband. Can Matthias and Toni's budding romance survive their challenges and if it doesn't, will Jade, her precocious five-year-old find a way to play Cupid and fix things by Valentine's Day? 

Her Perfect Catch - K.L. Brady 
Nerdy, struggling sports writer Melanie Vincent needs a miracle when her dream of running a nationally recognized blog hits a snag due to low readership. After Mel is gifted a pair of Super Bowl tickets for years of faithful dog sitting, she has a chance encounter with her favorite football player that leads to the inside scoop on the biggest story of her career...and maybe the love of a lifetime. 





Inflamed - Jade Kerrion
Debra Martinez doesn’t believe in happy endings, until Sean Orr, Havre de Grace’s newest firefighter, shows her and her son, Aidan, a new and beautiful kind of “normal.” But the happiness can’t last—not for Sean who is on the run from his own past. 

Remember When - Hope Welsh 
Laura and Brent really tried to make their marriage work, but in the end, it just wasn't meant to be. Or was it? When they meet to discuss joint custody of their Akita, they discover they have much more to talk about other than the dog. 

Your Biggest Fan? - Sydney Aaliyah Michelle 
 Noah Patrick, NFL bad boy, has sworn off women, who only seem to want him for his fame and his money. Callie James is such a big Noah Patrick fan, she named her energetic Chihuahua after the man of her dreams. When they find themselves hiding out in the same Brooklyn Brownstone, a crazy blizzard, a never-ending supply of spaghetti, and a dog with identity issues bring them together even though they both have secrets that would tear them apart. 

The Feline Fix - Caroline Bell Foster 
Meeting Police Constable Callum Forde on the worse day of her life, makes cat lover and scientist Wendy Wilde question all that she values, her cat’s loyalty and the role science plays in love.



Trembling Hearts - Suzette Riddick 
Recluse Jason Carr is living in rural Virginia after an accident leaves him physically scarred. While taking a stroll and minding his business, the spunky Lezlie Sharpe literally crashes into his life, stealing the heart of his beloved pooch, Trooper. Now, forced to share living quarters, will Lezlie capture Jason’s heart too? 

Valentino, Be Mine - Tina D.C. Hayes 
Kaylee Rose is thrilled when a neighbor moving out of the country asks if she'll consider taking in her teacup Yorkie, Valentino, but there are a few strings attached. When she finds out a man she can't stand is the other caretaker, she's forced to deal with the arrogant jerk until they decide who gets the pampered pooch permanently . . . or risk losing the dog to a heartbreaking fate. 

Lost and Found - Jeanne Bannon 
Lexie is so distraught after long-time boyfriend, Josh, dumps her, she takes a leave of absence from her teaching job. Josh leaves behind the puppy he bought for her just before things fell apart even though she’s not a dog person. Lexie contemplates giving it away but decides keep the little mischief-maker and get her some training.  

While at puppy obedience school, Lexie meets Tommy, the happy-go-lucky type she could give her heart to if only she was ready. But Lexie gives Tommy the brush off and they lose touch. However, a series of events, some unfortunate, bring them together again. 


Surviving San Francisco - Susan Oloier 
When 23-year-old Leah Newland accepts a job in San Francisco and runs away from her small-town Illinois life, she expects things to change for the better. What she doesn’t expect is to lose her job, adopt a cat she hit with her car, and fall for a sexy and seemingly unavailable veterinarian. Suddenly, going back to the Midwest seems better than surviving San Francisco.                                                   

19 Ivy Lane - Aubrey Wynne 
Eloise Kolby steps off the bus and greets Hollywood with high expectations and a smile. Two months later, she’s broke, hungry and rethinking her dream. An offer to house sit provides her with too much time alone, an adopted family of kittens and a sexy postman waiting at her gate. 

Victor Burnham can’t stop thinking of the beautiful, mysterious woman who just moved into his hometown. She meets him each day at the mailbox, waiting for a letter.  
When the envelope finally arrives, they both must face decisions that could make their dreams come true or jeopardize their relationship forever.   

Three Plus Three - Cindy Flores Martinez 
A year after losing her husband, a grieving widow, Violet, and their beloved bichon frise visit their favorite place the day before Valentine's Day. While they are there, Violet meets a handsome widower who makes her feel alive again. 




Don't delay. Download your copy today!

Purchase Links
Amazon US: http://bit.ly/VPKK
Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/VPKUK
Barnes & Noble Nook: http://bit.ly/VPKNok
Kobo: http://bit.ly/VPKKobo
Google Play: http://bit.ly/VPKGp
Apple iBooks: http://bit.ly/VPKiBk

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Just in time for Valentine's Day - Valentine Pets & Kisses



Available for Pre-order now!

Release date February 2nd.

FOURTEEN ALL-NEW, SWEET VALENTINE ROMANCES



Candy and canines. Flowers and felines. Celebrate this Valentine's Day with your sweethearts of the human and fuzzy varieties!

Nothing is more heart-warming than kisses from the pet who adores you and the man who loves you, so snuggle up with VALENTINE PETS & KISSES — an anthology of fourteen sweet romances from USA Today bestselling and award-winning authors — and strike the perfect mood for moonlit walks and candlelight dinners with your pet and sweetheart.

Valentine Hound Dog — Rachelle Ayala
A fashion designer and her basset hound puppy convince a burned ex-firefighter that beauty is never skin deep and neither is love.

The Crazy Girl’s Handbook — DelSheree Gladden
Watching her nephews was supposed to be a fun and relaxing weekend for Greenly, not a never ending disaster all witnessed by the best blind date she ever stood up.

The Vet’s Valentine Gift — J.L. Campbell
A veterinarian is caught between his job, an ex, a menagerie and love. Can a little Cupid fix things by Valentine’s Day?

Her Perfect Catch — K.L. Brady
Years of faithful dog-sitting pays sweet dividends when a struggling sports writer scores tickets to the Super Bowl and encounters her favorite football player.

Inflamed — Jade Kerrion
A firefighter running from his past convinces a hard-luck single mother to believe in happy endings.

Remember When — Hope Welsh
Laura and Brent really tried to make their marriage work, but in the end, it just wasn't meant to be—or was it?

Your Biggest Fan? — Sydney Aaliyah Michelle
Snowed in with the man of her dreams, a football fan and her dog find love.

The Feline Fix — Caroline Bell Foster
A scientist questions her cat’s loyalty when it comes to love and a hunky policeman.

Trembling Hearts — Suzette Riddick
A daring young woman crashes into the life of a disfigured recluse and his pooch. Can love be far behind?

Valentino, Be Mine — Tina D.C. Hayes
Sparks fly when two people who can’t stand each other wind up dog-sitting a rambunctious little Yorkie that needs a new home.

Lost and Found — Jeanne Bannon
Stuck with her ex’s puppy, a high school English teacher meets a new man but will a series of unfortunate events keep them apart?

Surviving San Francisco — Susan Oloier
A small town girl survives San Francisco after she hits a cat and falls for a handsome veterinarian.

19 Ivy Lane — Aubrey Wynne
A mysterious woman and her cat befriend a postman and set tongues wagging on Ivy Lane. But when he delivers a long-awaited letter, will his heart be “returned to sender?”

Three Plus Three — Cindy Flores Martinez
A grieving widow and her beloved doggie meet a handsome widower the day before Valentine’s Day. 


Purchase Links:

Reviews:




Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Lost and Found, a sweet romance


I'm one of the fourteen authors with a novella featured in the upcoming boxed set, Valentine Pets & Kisses. https://www.goodreads.com/…/…/27887192-valentine-pets-kisses The set has not yet been released but I would love to share my story (free of charge) in return for a short review. It's called Lost and Found (PG rated). Please comment below if you're interested and I'll send a copy.

Here's the blurb:


Lexi is so distraught after long-time boyfriend, Josh, dumps her she has to take a leave of absence from her job as an English teacher. Josh leaves behind the French bulldog he bought for her just before things fell apart. Lexi is not a dog person and contemplates giving the pup away. However, it’s all she has left of Josh and so she gives the little mischief-maker a little more time.

While at puppy obedience school, Lexi meets Tommy, a handsome, happy-go-lucky type she could easily give her heart to if only she was ready. Still pining over Josh, Lexi gives Tommy the brush off and they lose touch. As much as she doesn’t want to admit it, Lexi comes to realize that in the short time she and Tommy spent together, he’d left more of an impression on her heart than she cared to admit.

A winding road of unfortunate events brings Lexi and Tommy together again, but are they meant to be, or does fate have another plan?


Excerpt:


Chapter 1



“No! Bardot, no!” Lexi said with an exasperated sigh as she scooped up the chubby little pup. It had been chewing on the wooden legs of one of her kitchen chairs and now turned its needlelike teeth to the flesh of her wrist. “Ouch!” Lexi yanked her arm away but the puppy quickly turned its head and chomped down on her other arm, all the while, its stubby tail motored from side to side.
Clearly, the dog was oblivious to the pain it was inflicting. Though just five months old, the French bulldog was heavy in Lexi’s slender arms as she speed walked over to the corner she’d set up for the pup—a kind of puppy jail. It was all she could think to do in order to keep the little fiend from ruining her house.
Lexi settled Bardot into her dog bed, then tossed in a handful of toys over the plastic railing of the “jail” in the hope the dog would turn her attention to them and eventually grow to realize the toys were okay to play with, and the furniture was not. Bardot’s preferred chew toys for the past four weeks had been anything at puppy eye level, chair legs being her favorite. However, the little scoundrel had also chewed a floor mat and three pairs of her mistress’s shoes.
Lexi had placed a crate inside the perimeter of the jail, beside the doggie bed. Did she dare lock the dog up? She thought on it for a moment as she watched Bardot climb easily from her bed and jump at the plastic baby gates Lexi had used in constructing the puppy compound. Bardot yipped and yelped as she continued to try to climb the gate. It didn’t take much until one of the walls fell to the hardwood with a clack and the puppy was free.
Bardot made a beeline for Lexi and her toes; sharp baby teeth easily penetrated her socks. This time, it was Lexi who yelped as she hopped around, trying with all her might to suppress a swat. That was the last thing she wanted to do. After all, Josh had given Bardot to her just before… She cut the thought off before heading down Desperation Avenue, which she knew from recent experience stopped at the dead end of Depression Street.
Part of her hated him, but another part still loved him despite how he’d crushed her. She wished he were there with her now, to help her and to teach her. She had no idea how to train a puppy. Bardot was her first pet ever.
Lexi once again plucked up the pup and this time put her into her crate. As soon as the door closed, the dog threw her head back in a howl. Bardot could howl with the best of ’em and it was likely to go on for hours, but it was either let her run around the house chewing on furniture and toes, or live with the bedlam of a howling pooch.
Lexi drained her glass of Merlot, her third of the night. She’d been drinking too much lately but it was all she could think to do to ease the pain of heartbreak. Before Josh left her, she hardly drank at all—just the occasional glass of wine with dinner. How had she gotten to this point? She’d been a well-adjusted, seemingly happy woman, working and enjoying life, until Josh stole it all away. Stripped to the bone, that’s how she felt.
With cell phone in hand, she checked the time—almost midnight. She headed for the bedroom, leaving a remarkably loud puppy crying and howling in the living room.
Her stomach did a flip-flop when she came to the entrance of the bedroom. It had once been her sanctuary and was now a chamber of horrors. Sleepless nights spent alone made her dread bedtime. Her bed, their bed, was now a source of anxiety.
Instead of entering the room, Lexi closed the door and made her way to the spare room. It had been set up as a study of sorts where she would grade papers at her old wobbly desk and Josh would sometimes spend time working on his music.
Now, his guitar sat silently in the corner. Another reminder of his absence and of the fact he would probably never again pick it up and play her a song. Sometimes she wanted to snatch it up, not to play it but to smash it to pieces. She eyed it now. It was so pretty, made of some expensive, polished wood. Josh’s name was hand-painted in script on the body. Why he’d left it behind she had no clue, but deep down Lexi hoped he’d come back for it one day and maybe he’d come back for her, too. No! She scolded herself. She couldn’t let him weasel his way back. He’d done that before and things had only worsened.
The spare room was the lesser of two evils. Lexi took down a comforter from the top shelf of the closet and smoothed it out on the floor, then placed a throw cushion at the head of it. She’d sleep in her clothes again. Why not? They were comfy sweats and a T-shirt anyway, not much different than pjs. Tomorrow, she promised herself, tomorrow she’d shower and change her clothes, though she didn’t put much stock in her own goals as of late, minuscule as they were. She had nowhere to go. Not back to work, not yet anyway.
“Come back when you’re ready,” were the reassuring words of her boss—Abby Braxton, the school principal. She’d told Lexi that she understood about things like depression and breakdowns. After all, it had been part of her management training. Lexi wondered if the tall, perfectly coifed blonde even possessed emotions. She was always so…so cold as if made of granite.
Lexi much preferred dealing with the soft-spoken and kinder vice principal, Darren K. Barton. He too was adept with soothing words but his felt real, and there were the sympathetic looks that came with his words, making Lexi believe he really meant them. Although she appreciated the support of both the principal and vice principal, there really was nothing anyone could do to erase her pain or turn back the clock. Being alone was her new normal.


Lexi awoke with a start to Bardot’s high-pitched howls, which had stopped after two hours or so, allowing Lexi to fall asleep for a short time. She checked her phone. It was four in the morning. She was grateful she didn’t have to get up early to go to work. Was this what it would be like to have a baby? she wondered, but heartache quickly pushed that thought from her mind. She couldn’t go there.
The love-hate relationship she had with Bardot was never more evident than in these moments. She’d grown to kinda-sorta love the dog because Josh had given it to her, but she’d never really wanted a pet and had been more than a little annoyed when he’d brought the dog home unexpectedly.
“I bought her for you,” he’d said with a huge grin as he handed the tiny beige and white pup out to her. Lexi just stood there, hands at her sides. She’d never held a puppy before, had she? What if it wriggled away from her and she dropped it?
Josh had laughed and pushed the dog to her chest, her hands coming up automatically to cuddle the warm little bundle. A cold wet nose tickled her neck and slobbery kisses followed.
“Whaaaa…?” was all she could manage with a shake of her head. He couldn’t be giving her a dog, could he? she remembered thinking.
It was a Friday night and their anniversary. The puppy had a big pink bow tied loosely around her neck, which she tried in earnest to pull off.
“Her name’s Bardot,” Josh said with a look of anticipation. He was waiting for her to connect the dots. When she said nothing, he began again, with a few hand gestures as if trying to pull the memory from her. “Because when I first met you, I said you reminded me of Brigitte Bardot but without the blonde hair. And, she is a French bulldog after all. It seemed appropriate. But go ahead and change the name if you like.” His lips thinned and his smile died. He’d been reading her expression, which she was certain was one of horror.
“Fine, fine. The name’s…great,” she’d said with forced enthusiasm, then set the dog down on her new area rug. Bardot promptly squatted and peed. Lexi managed to keep her reaction to a minimum as Josh ran into the kitchen to grab the paper towel.
How could she have told him she hated her gift? It was a puppy for crying out loud! Weren’t people supposed to love animals, especially puppies? What was wrong with her?
Then it hit her. She realized it was Josh who’d wanted the dog. He’d brought up the subject countless times since he’d moved in with her. Lexi had always said the same thing, “Maybe later, hon. Now’s not the right time.”


Bardot was five months old now and still not housebroken, but without Josh around, Lexi was as helpless as a, well, a newborn puppy. She got up slowly from the hard floor. Her back ached and her head pounded. She guessed Bardot had to go outside for a pee—another thing she hated about having a dog. Her small yard wasn’t fenced and so she had to walk the puppy around until it decided to do whatever it had to. Lexi prayed Bardot hadn’t already done her business in the crate. That was not an uncommon occurrence and it always meant she’d have to bathe the dog since she didn’t seem to have the sense not to step in her own waste. Lexi sighed at the thought of it. Bardot did not like baths.
She bent down to open the door to the crate. Bardot already had her little pushed-in snout against the grill of the door, stubby tail wagging furiously. When she opened it, Bardot bounded out and jumped up to kiss her. Even though still just a pup, she was strong and her boxy little skull connected with Lexi’s nose. Blood gushed. Lexi stifled it with a hand while trying to keep the puppy at bay with the other, but Bardot was persistent, jumping and jumping until she knocked her mistress backward onto her butt.
Lexi let her head fall into her hands and cried; a small pool of blood and tears spilled onto the front of her T-shirt. She looked up in time to see Bardot squatting on the rug.




Bio:

Jeanne Bannon, an international best selling author, has worked in the publishing industry for over twenty-five years. She is represented by the Serendipity Literary Agency.

Her debut novel, Invisible, a young adult paranormal romance, was published by Solstice Publishing in 2011 and was subsequently optioned for film. Invisible is an Amazon bestseller both domestically and internationally and is set for re-release in the coming months.

In 2014, Nowhere to Run, a romantic thriller, was published by Etopia Press. In 2015, Jeanne published the first of a three-part novella series, a paranormal romance titled Beautiful Monster, The Exchange (Book One). She is currently finishing work on the second in the Beautiful Monster series.

Links:





Goodreads page for Valentine Pets & Kisses


 

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Ornament by P.A. Estelle



A warm Christmas read 

 The Ornament by P.A. Estelle 




Twelve years ago Jim Rustle packed up and left his home in Idaho and hasn’t looked back.  He gets quite an awakening when Lisa Parker, whom he hadn’t seen in all those years, breaks into a business meeting and uses some colorful adjectives to tell him just what she thinks of him.

Sparks fly between the two when he decides to follow Lisa home and sees what has happened in his absence.  Is the anger stemming from the present, or from the past?

It’s Christmas time.  Can an ornament from years past help heal betrayals that have festered for years?


Blurb:


A black cowboy hat sat low on her head, shadowing her face.  Light brown straight hair with white blonde streaks throughout swayed almost to her waist.
The sign, Wagner, INC, was in large block letters above a double door that was opened. The receptionist at the desk, Dani according to the name plate, was on the phone, taking a message.  Her hair was black and cut in a perfect short bob. Dani looked up to see the woman standing in front of her.  She sat back in her chair, staring at the visitor, and finished the call with “I’ll have Jim call you as soon as he is done with his meeting, John.”  The receptionist’s eyes never left the face of the woman standing in front of her.
Dani took her time hanging up the phone and finishing writing the message.  “May I help you?”
“Jim Rustle,” was all the woman said.
The corner of Dani’s mouth rose.  “I’m afraid he is in a meeting and will be busy most of the afternoon.  I can take your name and ask him to call.”
The woman was looking behind Dani at the closed door that said James Rustle on it.  “No need.” She walked past Dani and headed to the door.
“Wait!  You can’t go in there!”  The composed Dani was anything but.
The woman threw the door open. The office had a large desk made of rich cherry wood. Opposite it stood two small padded chairs of deep brown leather.  On the other side of the room stood a small conference table with blue prints spread out all over it.
The woman, once again, saw none of it.  Her eyes were trained on the man sitting behind the desk.  For a split second, the words caught in her throat.  She hadn’t seen Jim Rustle for twelve years.  His dark brown hair was clipped short.  His smoky gray eyes were as hypnotic as she remembered.  He wore a pair of navy suit trousers, a navy vest, and a white long sleeved shirt, with the top two buttons undone.  The suit jacket was draped over his chair.  The man was more handsome than when he walked out of her life, if that was possible.
“Jim, I’m sorry but this…this woman just went right by me when I told her you were busy and couldn’t be disturbed.”  Dani was clearly distraught.
Before he had a chance to answer, the woman walked to the desk and leaned her hands on it.  “You selfish, arrogant, self-absorbed, SOB.  Are you so important you can’t find time, yet again, to spend Christmas with the one person in this world that thinks the sun rises and sets in you, no matter how many times you have chosen to put everything and everybody else above her?  Not to mention the woman who raised you and made it possible for you to go to college so you could sit in this office and be the overblown ass that you have become?”
Fire was shooting out of her hazel eyes and her chest was heaving with anger.  The two men that were sitting in the meeting and Dani, standing at the door, were watching with their mouths hanging open.  They had never seen someone talk to their boss like that and walk away without limping.
Something flickered in his eyes – anger, guilt, or maybe appreciation in what he was seeing.  “Men,” he said, never taking his eyes off the woman, “we’ll finish this meeting later.  Dani –“
“Don’t bother. I know how important your time is.”  Sarcasm dripped with every word. She turned to leave.
“Lisa,” he said stopping her.  “I see you still aren’t married.”
Lisa closed her eyes as if praying for restraint.  Her words didn’t have the disdain in them when she said, tiredly, “Annie doesn’t have much time, Jim.  Give her a break.”


A word from the author:

Thanks so much for taking a look at my new Christmas story, The Ornament. 

I write for all ages, from the early reader to adults.  My books range from pictures books for the little ones, to fantasy, time-travel adventures for ages 9 to 13. I also write adult stories, including a family drama and contemporary, paranormal and historical westerns romances, under P. A. Estelle.

I was a school secretary for 21 years.  My husband and I moved to our retirement home in Kingman, AZ, on very rural 54 acres, living on solar and wind only.  


Bio and Links:


More about P.A. Estelle's books can be found in the following links:



Thursday, November 12, 2015

When We Were Human



WWWH Two Seals
When We Were Human
2015 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards
Silver Medalist
for Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fiction
Get it for $0.99
November 12-18 only

“They came four years ago. Invaded our planet, rounded us up, decimated the human race. We fought back, and some even say we won, but they’re wrong. The invaders took everything from us. Our family. Our hope. Our humanity. We won the war, but there are no humans left. Only monsters who will do anything to survive. Some look human and some don’t, but they are all the same.”






Synopsis


Eighteen-year-old Eva has spent the last year punishing herself for her sister’s death and hiding from everyone she comes into contact with, human or otherwise. With the population destroyed and the Earth left in ruins, she sees little hope left for the future.

But when she crosses paths with Walker and Tara something inside her awakens. Something she thought had died along with her entire family. In these new friends Eva sees a promise of what the future could be, as well as evidence that humanity might not be extinct after all.

When a ghost from Eva’s past makes an unexpected appearance, the group sets out on a cross-country trek that will teach Eva how to love and hope again, and will remind her what it truly means to be human.






Links
Find on Goodreads
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Excerpt


      When the camp comes into view I have a difficult time not throwing up. Water and carrots slosh back and forth in my stomach. The sweat on my palms has nothing to do with the humidity, and my legs are so weak they feel like pipe cleaners trying to support a rubber ball.

      The fence surrounding the camp is down in most places, and the majority of the hastily set-up tents have blown away. The few left are ripped. The canvas blows in the warm breeze, flapping back and forth like the wings of an ominous bird.

      The storage building is still standing, though. If it isn’t empty this trip might be worth our time, but if it’s been cleaned out all this emotional turmoil and pain I’m going through right now will be for nothing. And I don’t have a lot of optimism that things will turn out in our favor.

      Atlanta is just visible in the distance. Or what’s left of it, anyway. A ruined building juts up here and there, but for the most part the city is flat. It looks as if like the earth had just opened up and sucked the city down. It’s what the creepers did in the first wave. Wiped out the all the major cities until there was nothing left but a landscape of rubble and dust. Killing millions in the blink of an eye.

      Walker heads into the camp, and I follow silently, trying not to think about those terrifying days. My throat tightens when we step across the toppled chain link fence. The rusty metal clinks under our feet and my heart pounds harder with each step.

      When I finally enter the prison camp where my sister lived out her final days, it feels like I’m walking into a cemetery. In many ways I am. Bones of the former inhabitants are scattered across the ground as far as the eye can see. The bodies have been picked clean by animals and bugs, and the clothes have long since blown away, but the skeletons remain as a heart-breaking reminder of everything we lost.

      Which one is my sister?

      “This way,” Walker says, tilting his head toward the storage building.

      The three of us pick our way across the camp, stepping over debris and remains. Tara won’t stop looking at me, and every glance causes my insides to harden even more. I wish I’d never told them I lost my sister here. I hate thinking that they associate me with this place. Even worse, I hate that I associate myself with this hell.

      I catch sight of a charred, mangled tree and the urge to hurl hits me so hard that I almost have to stop. The stump juts up from the ground, and to the left of it sits a small crater. It’s like a missile took out the top of the tree, then hit the ground next to it. The black circle from the fire extends for about ten feet around the hole. The fire burnt the tree to a crisp, leaving almost nothing behind.

      Our tree. Mine and Lilly’s.

      I force myself to turn away from the remains before I burst into tears. I shouldn’t have come here.

      We get closer to the storage building but something looks off. The brightness of the sun makes it hard to see and forces me to squint. Then it hits me. The walls are covered in writing and discarded cans of spray paint by the dozens lay on the ground. At first I’m not sure what I’m looking at, but it only takes a few seconds of scanning the words to figure out what it all means. They’re notes left by survivors. People hoping to find loved ones they’ve lost.

      Stupid people clinging to hope that doesn’t exist.

      “What is this?” I ask, coming to a stop about ten feet from the wall.

      “Survivor’s wall.” Walker glances toward Tara, then turns at the entrance of the building. “People leave messages behind just in case a family member comes through. We’ll check it out before we leave, but we should look for food first.”

      Tara nods and follows him, but her eyes are glued to the wall. They never stop moving, never stop reading the names.

      I keep my eyes on the back of Walker’s head as I follow him inside. Away from the wall and the words of desperation painted on them. There’s nothing on that wall for me.




About the Author

Kate L. Mary is a stay-at-home mother of four and an Air Force wife. She grew up in a small town just north of Dayton, Ohio where she and her husband met at the age of twelve. Since their marriage in 2002, they have lived in Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and California.

Kate enjoys any post-apocalyptic story - especially if zombies are involved - as long as there is a romantic twist to give the story hope. Kate prefers nerdy, non-traditional heroes who can make you laugh to hunky pieces of man-meat, and her love of wine and chocolate is legendary among her friends and family. She currently resides in Oklahoma with her husband and children.

Be sure to check out her best-selling BROKEN WORLD series, a top 100 book in dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction on Amazon.






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The Broken World series
Available now on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, Paperback and Audiobook! 


When a deadly virus sweeps the country, Vivian Thomas sets out for California in hopes of seeing the daughter she gave up for adoption. Then her car breaks down and she’s faced with a choice. Give up, or accept a ride from redneck brothers, Angus and Axl. Vivian knows the offer has more to do with her double D’s than kindness, but she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to reach her daughter.

The virus is spreading, and by the time the group makes it to California, most of the population has been wiped out. When the dead start coming back, Vivian and the others realize that no electricity or running water are the least of their concerns. Now Vivian has to figure out how to be a mother under the most frightening circumstances, cope with Angus’s aggressive mood swings, and sort out her growing attraction to his brooding younger brother, Axl.

While searching for a safe place to go, they pick up a pompous billionaire who may be the answer to all their problems. Trusting him means going into the middle of the Mojave Desert and possibly risking their lives, but with the streets overrun and nowhere else to turn, it seems he might be their only chance for survival.
Shattered World       Mad World       Lost World         New World          Broken Stories

New Adult Romantic Mystery
Available now on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited

Some secrets are better left untold…

Revised Collsion CoverWhen eighteen-year-old Kara Jones gets into a car accident on the way home from college, she’s left with more than a few bruised ribs, a busted cell phone, and a totaled car. After a slip-up at the hospital, she’s shaken to discover that her family isn’t all it seems. And now her mother’s strange behavior and willingness to do anything to protect her secrets—including pulling Kara out of school—have Kara floundering in the dark.

Enter Derek Miller, a former classmate who’s dealing with family issues of his own. His nerdy charm is too much for Kara to resist, and she’s even more amazed when he agrees to help her dig into her mother’s past. Together they investigate her mother’s old friends and boyfriends, hoping to discover who Kara really is. Instead, they find disturbing connections to the dark history of Kent State University, and an ever expanding maze of mystery surrounding Kara’s birth.

As Kara and Derek chase secrets, she realizes he’s the only person she can trust. But as they get closer to the truth, the disturbing answers reveal a web of evil far darker and further reaching than they’d imagined, leaving Kara to wish she’d never asked the questions in the first place.



The List
(College of Charleston, #1)
New Adult Contemporary Romance
Available from Lyrical Press

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 The List-highres_edited


The List. Twenty things every girl must do before she turns twenty. . .
Body piercing
Get drunk
First kiss

But thanks to her crazy, over-protective father, Annie Roth is way behind schedule. Good thing it’s her first semester of college, because Annie is more than ready to start checking off items. . .

Fake ID
Skinny dipping
Road trip!!!

Where it gets complicated? Ryan and Chris. Best friends. Both sweet, funny, totally hot, and totally into Annie.

But there are some things on The List that Annie only wants to do with Ryan. . .

Lose it
Get Heart Broken
Fall in love

No Regrets
(College of Charleston, #2)
New Adult Contemporary Romance
Available from Lyrical Press

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No Regrets
College is supposed to be fun…
Go to parties
Pick up guys
Maybe get in a little trouble

On the surface Cami is your average, wild teenager out to have a good time, but inside she’s struggling. Almost a year ago her best friend was in a car accident, an accident Cami feels responsible for. Since then, she’s made it her personal mission to experience everything life has to offer, both for herself and for Julie, who will never have fun again.
Then she meets Liam, her cousin’s sexy roommate. Hooking up with a hot British dude seems like the perfect way to start off the school year, but the more time she spends with him, the more she finds herself actually liking the guy. Which totally screws up her plans to live life with no regrets…

Don’t Look Back, Chapter 18
Band of Dystopian Anthology
Young Adult Apocalyptic

PFD cover_officialFrom the imaginations of twenty authors of dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction comes PREP FOR DOOM – an integrated collection of short stories that tell the tale of a single catastrophe as experienced by many characters, few of whom will ever meet. What begins with a seemingly innocuous traffic accident soon spirals into a global pandemic. The release of Airborne Viral Hemorrhagic Fever upon New York City’s unsuspecting populace brings bloody suffering within hours, death within a day, and spreads worldwide within a month.

An online community called Prep For Doom has risen to the top of a recent doomsday preparation movement. Some have written them off as crazy while others couldn’t be more serious about the safety the preppers could provide in a global disaster. But when AVHF strikes, their preparation may not be enough to save them.