Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sutton Capital Series Boxed Set by Lori Ryan ~ Goddess Fish Promotions Book Blast ~ Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lori will be awarding a $15 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. You may go here to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more stops you visit and comment, the better your chances to win.

Lori Ryan's Sutton Capital Series Boxed Set masterfully combines contemporary romance with a kick of suspense to keep you turning the pages well after midnight! This three novel and one novella set is sexy and steamy and the individual books have over 150 Five Star reviews on Amazon. Regularly priced at $4.99, Lori is discounting it to 99 cents from April 29th through May 5th only! Grab it now before the price goes up.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

Kelly’s head was throbbing when she woke, and she felt nauseated and confused. She tried to shake the foggy feeling in her head and rid the cotton from her mouth. Panic set in when she realized her hands and feet were bound with thick layers of duct tape and she was in a room she didn’t recognize. Kelly felt as though a band was tightening over her chest, suffocating her. Waves of panic swept over her and bile burned at the base of her throat.

She was lying on the floor in a typical bedroom; a bit small. It was daylight out. There was a twin-sized bed, and a torn-up upholstered chair in the corner, but that was it. The room was bare, other than those two pieces of furniture.

Kelly fought to pull details from her mind, grasping at threads of memory so thin they seemed to fall from her memory before she could see where they went. She closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths and pictured herself earlier in the day. It would have been noon when she was grabbed. She had left the clinic at noon.

She could remember walking out the back door of the clinic. Denise had asked her to take the trash to the dumpster on her way out, so she left through the back door even though her car was parked out front. Out front – where her security detail would have been.

She struggled to remember, but felt as if there were holes in her mind; as if her brain weren’t functioning quite right. She could remember someone coming at her from behind as she walked out into the alley, then a strong, sweet smell filled her nose and overwhelmed her before she blacked out. Nothing about the memory seemed right, like trying to put together pieces of different puzzles.

Tears were flowing freely now. Kelly could picture four men surrounding her and she remembered seeing a van before she passed out. The men wore masks….

Staying calm was no longer an option. Fresh waves of sheer terror bolted through Kelly’s body. She closed her eyes tight and tried desperately to calm herself, but she had never felt a level of dread and utter anguish like this. Her mind started running through all the ways that this could end, each image sending her into further panic until she felt like she would choke on the fear. Then one image stopped her catapult into darkness.

Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romance with a twist of suspense. She lives with an extremely understanding husband, two wonderful children, two mostly-behaved dogs, and a lone little cat in Austin, Texas. It's a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn't change a thing.

Buy Links: 



LOVE FINDS A WAY BOXED SET ~ Bridging the Gap Promotions Blog Tour ~ Guest Post by Margaret Ethridge ~ Giveaway


Four unconventional love stories from popular and bestselling romance authors, each with sequels from Turquoise Morning Press.

Limited time offer… $ .99

(Includes) Contentment  by Margaret Ethridge


These 4 great authors are giving away a $25 Gift Card to Turquoise Morning Press. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter.

Making plans (Guest Post by Margaret Ethridge)

I’m a planner. I never leave my house to run errands without mapping my entire route in logical order. I have a daily to-do list. I have a weekly calendar. My electronic calendars generate various types of alerts as an event approaches. I know what I’m wearing to work tomorrow, and I have my evening activities blocked out days ahead. You’d think that with all this preparation, my life would trip along without a hitch, right?
One of my favorite lines is John Lennon’s “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
The truth is, no one’s life goes according to plan. Plans are nothing more than semi-logical daydreaming. I can route my way from library to dry cleaner to the well-times stop at the grocery store before driving the seven miles back to the house, but something as simple as an ill-timed freight train can mean my ice cream won’t survive the warmth of an Arkansas spring intact. 
When I was young I had all sorts of plans. I thought I’d marry somewhere around twenty-five, pop out the first kid by twenty-eight, and be done having kids by my early thirties. The reality was that I married a man with two children from his previous marriage at the ripe old age of thirty-two, and spent the next twelve years raising my step-children as my own. 
I once thought I’d be super-business-woman ala Tess McGill in Working Girl and live the big city dream with hotshot business guy who looks just like Han Solo. Instead, I stumbled into a career I didn’t even know existed when I was in my twenties and married a man who bears a striking resemblance to Sherriff Woody from Toy Story.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. At. All. Although my life has taken a different path than the one I envisioned when I was a young adult, I have no regrets. So far, it’s been pretty darn awesome. That realization got me thinking about how lucky I was to have the nerve to jump out of line. 
By letting go of ‘The Plan’, I lived my life instead of programming it. 
The conflict between dreams and reality is a central theme in most of my novels. In Contentment, Tracy Sullivan almost flushes her idyllic life down the toilet because she can’t let go of her old dreams. From what I hear from readers, it seems to be a pretty common theme. 
All four of the stories included in the Love Finds A Way boxed set deal with the clash between reality and expectations. Each tells a unique story of personal growth, friendship, and love with just enough humor to turn this crazy roller coaster we call life a joy ride. I hope you’ll give Love Finds A Way a chance—there’s sure to be one story among the four that will speak to you. And for only $0.99, how can you go wrong?
So tell me, what plans have you changed when the prospect for something different came along? 


Tracy Sullivan seems to have it all, a handsome, devoted husband, three beautiful children, a steady career, and the perfect suburban home; but she isn’t happy.

The petty resentments that have built over fifteen years of marriage surface when Tracy tells her husband, Sean, that she is no longer interested in sex, and their marriage threatens to implode.

For the sake of the children, Tracy and Sean agree to lead separate lives under the same roof.  With the help of a healthy dose of adult-rated fiction and some gentle prodding from a good friend, Tracy begins to rediscover who she is, what she wants, and the reasons she fell for Sean once upon a time.

After two years of soul-searching, Tracy is finally ready to embrace her happily ever after, having learned that while happiness may be fleeting, contentment can last a lifetime.



June 2008
The cursor blinked, the little bastard. The flashing line taunted her, all but double-dog daring her to click the link. But there was someone on the other end. Someone who had seemingly nothing and absolutely everything to do with what may or may not be about to happen. Somewhere out there, caught in the World Wide Web, was a living, breathing person she had never met, never seen, and never heard of Tracy Sullivan.
She glared at the cursor. Shouldn’t someone know they had this much of an impact on another human being? Doesn’t she deserve to know what she does matters to someone? Tracy assumed the author was a woman. Only a woman would understand.
She pressed the button, and a strange sense of calm flooded her veins as the contact form appeared. After entering her email address, she typed, ‘Your stories’ in the subject line. Then she chickened out.
Tracy wasn’t surprised. She’d been clucking like a crazed hen all day. I wonder if I’m sprouting feathers yet?
Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted the telltale pink shopping bag peeking out from under the briefcase she’d had dumped on the chair. Tracy stared at the tiny pink bag, gnawing her bottom lip and remembering the agonizing forty-five minutes she had spent surrounded by a sea of lace and satin.
She stuck out like a sore thumb in the Pepto-Bismol pink store. Her navy blue skirt and peep-toe pumps seemed like such good choices that morning. The skirt may have been navy, but it fit lean and snug. The hem fell below her knee making her feel like a sexy secretary. She’d paired the skirt with a deceptively simple, white cotton blouse that nipped in at the right spots, and finished the ensemble with the sinfully red high-heeled pumps and a slash of scarlet lipstick. The whole combination had almost given Sean whiplash as she rushed to the car to run the morning carpool shift.
Whatever confidence Tracy had when she dashed out the door fled the moment the whipcord thin, I’m-barely-old-enough-to-order-a-drink salesclerk starting pulling baby dolls, teddies and negligees from the racks.
Tracy gawked at the displays, trying to envision prying her body into one of the scraps of fabric without benefit of a crowbar. She caught a glimpse of herself in one of the store’s many mirrors, and her heart sank. She looked exactly like what she was: an almost forty-year-old woman buying lingerie in a desperate attempt to salvage her failing marriage.
She could almost hear the overgrown teenager thinking she’d have to exert some serious effort if she thought she wanted to lure her man back into the nest. These girls probably dealt with a lot of this. Every day, women her age must rush through their door in a blind panic hoping to recapture their youth. They rifle through the inventory of flame red lingerie and wonder if they can tolerate wearing a piece string splitting their ass on the off chance the butt floss might rekindle a spark.
When this same eager, young saleswoman dared to hold a teeny-tiny bustier set in front of her own non-existent bosom, a woman browsing a rack of full-support brassieres muttered, “Nurse a coupla kids, sweetie,” under her breath.
Tracy chuckled, but the clucking began in earnest. The idea of teddies, baby dolls and bustiers had to be jettisoned. The last thing she wanted was to come off looking like a wannabe pin-up girl in a froth of scratchy lace and high-heeled, marabou-trimmed slippers.
She didn’t even have a pair of marabou-trimmed slippers.
Tracy snatched the bag from the chair and padded into the laundry room. She extracted her oldest, softest jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt from the pile waiting to be sorted and put away and stepped into the tiny powder room, unable to meet her own gaze in the mirror above the sink.
Being a chicken, she refused Sean’s offer of dinner, pleading a large lunch. She pretended she didn’t notice the bewildered confusion in his eyes when she brushed past him and rushed down the steps. She didn’t want him to spot the stupid pink bag. A few minutes later she dashed upstairs again. As silently as a ninja, she checked on the kids, steered clear of the kitchen where he prepared lunches for the next day, and sought refuge in the basement room that was her lair.
She glanced up, tentatively scanning her reflection for one little scrap of bravado. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to see him. For the first time in forever, she was dying to see him. But she wasn’t ready. She had to think, and lately she hadn’t been able to think clearly with Sean nearby.
She needed a plan. She was nothing without a good plan, but once a plan was in place, boy watch out!
Tracy slowly unbuttoned her blouse, but by the time she stripped out of the day’s work clothes she still had nothing. She reached into the pink bag and pulled out a matching bra and panty set in a demure, pale peach with cream lace. The choice bewildered her. For a moment, she wondered if she’d been in some kind of fugue-state when she made the purchase. Tracy hated the color orange and all of its derivatives. She hated fake, antique-looking lace. The last thing any woman staring down the barrel of forty needed was to put her body into something with the word ‘antique’ attached.
She shook the seventy-five dollars worth of polyester at the mirror. “I should make you wear this as a punishment, chicken,” she muttered to her reflection.
She froze for a second, then cocked her head, giving the set another glance. The peach would warm her complexion, the teeny-bopper titty measurer said. The color would go nicely with her eyes. The lace might not be so old lady-ish on a pair of boobs which hadn’t gone completely south yet. She peeked at her bosom. Not bad, only halfway down.
Tracy stripped off the serviceable bra and panties she wore. Biting off the tags, she caught sight of her body in the mirror and wished she hadn’t. Once she put the pretty new bra and panties on, though, a flicker of her fickle confidence returned.
Turning from side to side, she inspected what little she could in the oval mirror above the sink. Not awful. She shook her boobs into the cups, pressing on the sides of the bra to be sure the girls were being displayed to their best advantage before slipping into her t-shirt and jeans.
She caught sight of her bare feet as she left the bathroom and smiled.
Brazen hussy red.
That’s what Sean used to call the bright red polish she used on her toes. The glossy enamel gave her the boost she needed. Her poor toes had gone unpolished for too long. She wasn’t the girl she used to be, but she was okay with that. Now. At least she was no longer the foolish woman who had almost thrown everything away.
This has gone on for too long.
Tracy drew on the power of the crimson polish. After all, she needed to be brazen. She desperately wanted to be the hussy she had never been. She hurried to the computer before she could chicken out again. The cursor still winked at her. She glanced at the ceiling. Pots and pans clamored as they were piled in the kitchen sink. The cursor urged her on, flashing its silent, ‘Do it. Do It. You want to do it.’
She wrung her hands. The water shut off, and the lilt of the familiar tune Sean always whistled while he wiped the counters carried down the steps. He was almost done. His kitchen would be sparkling clean and ready for another day’s battle.
Another day’s battle. She straightened her spine. I can’t wait another day.
Tracy glared at the nagging cursor and bent, ignoring the bite of the snug denim at her waist. She tabbed down to the tiny message window and paused, her fingers hovering above the keys. Biting her lip, she battled back the panic humming low and insistent in her brain and tried to think of the right words to say.

Subject: Your stories

Hi! You don’t know me. Well, you kind of do, because you have responded to some of my reviews, but you don’t really know me. I just wanted to tell you how much I love your stories. They have helped me more than I can ever explain. I read in your author’s notes and the messages you post on the boards that you think these are just silly stories you write and post to make people happy - and they do, I am incredibly happy whenever I get an email saying you have updated. But they are so much more. I just wanted to take a minute to thank you. I know you have no idea what I am truly thanking you for, and that’s okay. I needed to say thank you. So, thank you. Wish me luck.


With a click of her mouse, the message flew off into cyber-space. Tracy stared at the monitor for a moment, wondering if she should wait for a reply.
Maybe if I get one it would be a sign.
But the sign came from above. The dishwasher hummed to life, and she realized she had to do something now. No more waiting. No more watching. No more sitting at the computer escaping into another couple’s world, another couple’s bed. This was it. Now or never.
Tracy cringed at the words as they flitted through her head, but she knew they were the truth. She turned her back on the flashing cursor and headed for the stairs. The time had come. Tonight, Tracy Sullivan planned to seduce her husband of seventeen years, and he’d better damn well cooperate.


By day, Margaret Ethridge is buried in spreadsheets. At night she pens tales of people tangling up the sheets. The product of a charming rogue and a shameless flirt, you only have to scratch the surface of this mild-mannered married lady to find a naughty streak a mile wide.
She pens tales of true-to-life women’s fiction, contemporary romance, and has been known to dabble a bit in the paranormal. Titles include: Paramour, Inamorata, Contentment and Commitment (2013 GDRWA Booksellers Best Award finalist) from Turquoise Morning Press.
Margaret also writes steamy erotic romance under the pen name Maggie Wells.
You can find her online at:


You May read more about the other great books in this Box Set here on my post about release day

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

STAY by Jennifer Silverwood ~ GLITERARY GIRL Release Day Blitz ~ Giveaway

 by Jennifer Silverwood

4Word Press Publishing and Gliterary Girl are proud to present the release of Jennifer Silverwood’s STAY. 


In honor of this celebration, 4Word Press Publishing is hosting a GIVEAWAY.  One Grand Prize Winner will receive a $25.00 Amazon Giftcard.  Three runner-ups will receive a digital copy of STAY. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter.


Crystal: Today as part of this Gliterary Girl tour, I have the opportunity to ask Jennifer Silverwood a few questions. Welcome Jennifer, I'm so happy to have you here today. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?

Jennifer: Today I met a police officer and learned just how many towels it takes to mop up a flooded apartment. But seriously, I'm halfway through my twenties, a writer and a dreamer. It's the dreaming that brought me here today. Most would claim it better to keep both feet in the real world. My experience says the bigger you can dream the better. 

Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for Stay?

Jennifer: I had recently come to a point in my life where I stopped believing in true love. And a part of me wondered if it did really exist. So I came up with a list of questions and interviewed other bloggers, readers, authors and friends. I asked them for their definition of true love. As Rona seeks to know the meaning behind true love, I was asking the same questions. I wrote three endings because I wasn't sure which I would choose in the end. But when the time came it was obvious that there could only be one answer. 

Crystal: What are you currently working on?

Jennifer: At the moment I am working on the sequel to Stay. I hadn't planned on writing a follow-up. I felt like the story had been told. But this chapter takes us many years into the future and instead of love, we'll take our characters through great loss. This time, it will be through the eyes of Rona's daughter. And yes, while it won't focus on the meaning of true love, it will be a love story. ;)

Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing? 

Jennifer: I usually have to have my headphones, to blot out the world around me. And it's best when I can do it in a room apart from a television set. There have been desperate times when I had to cut off my internet so I would actually focus. Also, hot tea and fuzzy blankets are a must. 
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?

Jennifer: When I was interviewing women about love, I found that their answers often resembled each other. When it comes down to it, all of us seem to agree that true love is much more than lust and like. A long-lasting commitment demands selflessness and friendship to weather the storms. It showed me that in spite of how often we face heartache and despair, none of us ever completely lose hope. 

Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?

Jennifer: I have a lifetime affair with L.M Montgomery, Robin McKinley and Margaret Mitchell. But some new favorites are Indie authors, Melissa Wright of The Descendants Series and Derrolyn Anderson of the Marina Tales. And if you're looking for intrigue and passion go no further than Robin LaFevers. 

Crystal: Is there a genre you haven't written that you would like to try?

Jennifer: I have big ambitions about writing a 19th Century historical epic. I've also got plans for a strictly YA novel that has no magic attached. ;) And truthfully, at some point I would like to tackle every genre if I can. Big ambitions, I know. But like I said before, dream big!
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?

Jennifer: So much of Stay is my favorite for the little moments between Cain and Rona. But this is one of my favorites:

"From here I could still hear the voices inside his apartment building as they spoke of Cain’s new girlfriend. They said the lonely biker had knocked on the doors of thieves, drug dealers and ordinary people, asking about me. What I learned shocked. I was an indestructible and immortal being, so shock had long ago fled my makeup.
Though I shouldn’t have worried about the human, I rushed back onto the street. At the same instant tires screeched on ice and a heavy engine rumbled closer. Without stopping I ran until I saw the bold headlight aiming straight for me. The pain in my chest eased the closer he sped to me.
Cain’s bike groaned and slid in a precarious circle, until his body was nearly parallel to the asphalt. At the last possible moment he thrust out a clunky black boot to catch his fall.
“Rona!” he shouted, stripping off his helmet and killing his engine, but forgetting the headlight. “Do you have any idea what I thought, when I came home and you weren’t there? And after I told you to stay put!” I held my ground even as he advanced upon me. His blue eyes were brilliant against his brown skin in the light of the broken street lamp and his body a silhouette before the artificial light.
I couldn’t help smiling as he grasped my arms and held me in place because his warmth infected me. I hadn’t known I was freezing until he held me. I hadn’t known until then, after the long hours of separation, that with Cain I could pretend to be human. Now that I knew the torture Lissa had put him through, I wondered how such a person could still carry so much love inside of them. Rather than apologizing or trying to say something meaningless, I slipped my arms about his neck and buried my face into his chest. A feeling greater than happiness wrapped around me and I felt the unfulfilled emptiness within me fill to the brim.
Cain snatched me up as if I weighed nothing. He crushed me to his chest until I was no longer trembling with cold.
Silence separated us afterward as he returned his bike to its resting place and carried me to his apartment. Ms. Nguyen watched us from the open crack in her doorway and smiled knowingly at me when our eyes met.
Cain’s work clothes were scattered and the apartment was a mess. It looked as if he had taken his anger out on some of his less than favored furniture, including the magical couch. His mouth tightened when he noticed the direction of my attention.
“It was stupid of you to go walking out in that cold,” Cain growled after carrying
me into his room. “Why were you wandering in the streets, huh? Are you asking to get
I reached out to touch his face and he grumbled under his breath about his “luck with crazy chicks”. He set me down atop the sink counter in his bathroom and stripped the nearest towel off its hook. With a start, I realized this was the same towel he had wrapped me in the morning things changed between us. I sensed the beginning of something far greater and insurmountable coming with a tiny warning flashing in the back of my mind. All I could think of was calming the dark cloud of swirling emotions covering this human’s aura.
“I was in no danger, Cain,” I said, reassuring him. “I am much stronger than I appear.” I looked him deeply in the eye and willed him to feel the truth behind my words. He knew I wasn’t normal, that I could not feel the things other people felt. But there was power stirring in him, too. I had felt it all along, but only now began to wonder as he reluctantly met my gaze if there was not more to this mission than I was aware.
“Well, I saw you, didn’t I?” Cain said angrily. “Rona, you don’t know! Didn’t you say something about your powers getting weaker? How do you know some bum off the street didn’t see you and think you were offering something else, dressed like that?” 
Despair and fury oozed from his aura and from his expression, overshadowed by his desperate need for control. I had seen this need before, from people who had
experienced too much loss, beginning at an early age. Irreparable damages such pain caused the soul were almost impossible to fix. Only one cure I knew of existed for such internal scars.
“I left your jacket at the club…” I whispered.
Cain continued to rub my shaking limbs down with the towel. “I’ll get it later,” he mumbled. He furrowed his brow as he fumbled with the edge of my slip of a dress. “Where did you find this getup anyway?” Cain remarked with a grimace.
The sleeve drooped low against my arm, exposing my upper chest and the tattoos above my breasts that marked my lineage. “Lissa let me borrow it. She took me out for drinks, for fun,” I said, regretting my words the instant his features froze into a hard mask.
“And how did you meet her, huh?” Cain demanded and then shook his head. “Unbelievable… can’t believe you went to the club after I told you to leave it alone.” Cain stood abruptly and stripped out of his heavy coat and my stomach clenched to see the muscles in his arms flex. He linked his fingers over the top of his head and hissed a stream of unintelligible phrases as he stomped out of the bathroom. He plopped down on the edge of his mattress and pulled his wet boots off.
“Rona, I get it that you feel like it’s your mission to get us back together,” he said through his hands after. “But I’d rather you stayed away from her. She’s no good for anyone. She uses people, Rona, just like she used you as her wingman to find out what I’ve been up to.”
I hopped off the counter and walked into his space, until I was standing between his parted knees. I rested my hands on his bare shoulders. “She didn’t use me. I simply wanted to know her. The curse brought me to both of you. I need to learn why. And I cannot learn if I am always here.”

He reached up and clasped my hips, pulling me closer. The center of his eyes darkened so the blue reflected the eye of a storm. “Did you dance with any men tonight?”
Smiling softly, I teased him. “One or two, perhaps…” I squealed when he tipped back onto the bed, pulling me on top of him, and then rolled us so he had me effectively pinned beneath.
“Dressed like this?” he said, glancing down and wagging his eyebrows suggestively. “Baby, there’s only one person I want you dancing with from now on.”

My question was drowned in the wave of his passion. "

Synopsis for STAY

Rona believes love is nothing more than a myth, a tale for little girls. Until the immortal ruler of the seas appears from thin air and she is swept into a dark and dangerous affair, turning myth into a grave reality.
Commanded to work as the savior of true love, Rona realizes that love is just an illusion as grandiose as magic and after two thousand years, she is ready to give up. Until the night a human, deep in the underbelly of the city that never sleeps, sees her. She recognizes him instantly, a lost love. Trouble is, he has no memory of her.
Tasked with mending a relationship between the love she lost thousands of years ago and another woman, Rona will have to learn what it means to be human all over again when past and present collide.
Can love transcend time or will Rona be forced to roam the earth alone, forever?


My new mission was close. When I turned the colors in my eyes just right I could
see his aura through the chaos of buildings and people. And the closer I drifted the faster I was, until I was no longer walking but floating, flying through every obstacle in my path.

Looking up at the buildings, I noticed the flashing lights had been mercifully left behind. Once his building was in sight my pulse began to sputter, to race and soar. I could feel the budding newness of his affection for her in my chest and savored it. This was the closest I came to feeling what they felt these days.

My vision cleared once I stood outside the window before them. All sound ceased
to exist, save their words and breaths. The café was dimly lit, a very old nightclub from the looks of it. Wordless music crooned up from below, horns and the strokes of piano keys. Feet shuffled in rhythm to the soft beat of a drum.

That was when I heard their voices for the first time.

“You look so perfect tonight, Lissa,” he practically growled in her ear.

She giggled and answered in a sultry tone, “Good enough to eat, sugar?”

Chuckling low, he kissed her on the lips. “That’s right, baby.”

I frowned as the brick wall kept blocking my vision and realized too late I wasn’t
peering through a window. I would have to go inside to better see. Walking through walls used to scare me senseless until I got the hang of it. Now I brushed the feeling aside as I squeezed past the gritty matter. The front room was built to disguise the underground world beneath it. It was worn down like the rest of this city and no one would ever believe the cultural haven it sheltered.

For a brief moment I recalled brilliant jewels and brassy music, short dresses lined
with tassels of an era gone by and women’s laughter over the chink of forbidden liquid.

The present incarnation pulled me back to the present. I had passed through the
secret door, walked down a short flight of stairs and now watched from inside the smoky club. Here women still dressed to please and men of a higher class sought their nightly trophies. On stage the jazz band played and at the center of the dance floor my newest assignment drank their fill of each other.

When the tempo began to drag into a slower tune, she tilted her head back to
expose her neck. Her long brown locks trailed to her red-clad hips. He tightened his hold on her waist as he kissed her neck. And I could feel the thrill in her heart temporarily mask a quiet sorrow.

Yet there was nothing from the man.

I frowned and turned my eyes to the rest of the establishment. Where was the
budding newness of his affection I so strongly felt outside?

“Excuse me?” A deep, rough voice came from behind me, over my shoulder and I

He cannot see me.

Convinced that he was speaking to another patron, I nearly walked on. Perhaps I
was not close enough to them to feel the man’s love for this girl?

“Come back to my place,” the man whispered into the woman’s ear. Her emerald
eyes sparkled as she batted her lashes and pulled back her full lips in a saucy grin.

I shook my head. Sex was never the key to a man’s unwavering devotion. Yet she
was considering it, hoping it would give him reason enough to keep her around longer, this time. I paused and shut my eyes as a flurry of images and sensations flashed past my closed lids. It took some time, depending on the difficulty of my mission, to grow accustomed to their emotions. Rather than simple feeling, human emotions often carried scattered memories and impressions. I pushed the usual discomfort aside.

I took another step and gasped when a hard hand clasped my shoulder and spun
me firmly round.


No one had touched me in two thousand years.

Yet his hand remained planted on my shoulder and I followed the shape of his
muscled arm to the chest attached to it. His black shirt was a tight fit and in the dim blue and red lights seemed to flash several colors. He bent down so his eyes met my line of sight.

My mouth dropped the moment I breathed in his scent.

He smelled like the skies before a rain and the sea air as it wafted into the

My vision blackened and suddenly broke through in brilliant flashes of light
around his face. I could feel the colors growing, shifting and glowing in my eyes, beneath my skin. I clenched my fists as I fought for control, convinced I had lost it for the first time. Had I wanted him so badly in my memories that they came to life?

He clutched my waist to keep me from falling down the short flight of stairs. A
frown creased his brow as he said, “Whoa there, lady, take it easy. I didn’t mean to scare you. It’s just my job to check everyone before they come in. You got any ID?”

I shook my head slowly and watched as those eyes, his eyes, shifted from the
dance floor and back to me a few times. Holding up a couple of fingers, he nodded to someone over my shoulder and returned his attention to me. Something flickered in those dark blue orbs akin to recognition. Clenching his firm jaw he sighed and then nodded to himself.

“Look, lady,” he began, “I’m really sorry but you can’t stay here without any ID.
Any chance you can find your way back up?”

I was trembling. Just hearing his voice again set every forgotten nerve in my body
on edge. My flesh was on fire beneath my cloak where his fingers touched. Still, I had forgotten my voice for too long and could not remember how to speak.

My cloak.

How could he see me when I had refastened my cloak once again? It was such a
thin, flimsy thing, like a second skin I wore so often I forgot. But no human had ever seen me beneath it before.

It has to be him.

His frown deepened, voice dropping to a softer unused tone. “You’re shaking all
over… You okay?”

No one else has the power to see.

My mouth opened but no sound came out. I was forbidden to speak to the
humans. And even though he had Seid’s face, the curse commanded my attention. Oddly enough, I could feel what he felt.

He feels nothing toward me.

He did not recognize me.

His eyes flickered up as two pairs of feet approached us from behind. Immediately his arm curled me closer to his chest and his eyes darkened. Lissa and her date were speaking in hushed tones, but I heard them clear as the true light.

“—so hard you won’t know what hit you, babe,” the man was saying.

Lissa giggled and playfully swatted him with her clutch. “Derek!”

They paused on our level at the head of the stair. Another girl brought their
jackets to them. As Derek helped Lissa into her fur jacket her gaze locked on to the man holding me.

That was when I felt it with such horrifying clarity. The aura I had followed across a country, across a city, was burning brightly between them. Invisible to them, the
golden strands were weak now, but the link between unmistakable. It was linking this
man, the man who wore his face, to her, Lissa.

The man holding me tensed and clutched me tighter to him again, his words stuck
on the roof of his mouth.

Instead the other girl who handed out and hung cloaks offered, “Good job tonight.
See you tomorrow, Lissa,” as Derek and Lissa walked through the secret door. And to my horror I watched the threads stretch and fade that linked them to me.
Bio for Jennifer Silverwood

Everyone has to begin somewhere. I began my journey to becoming an author long before I published anything. Storytelling was something I did every night before bed with my father. We would create such wonderful tales together, far better than anything in books. It sprung from our imaginations. My mother ingrained a love for the written world early on. Then my grandpa gave me his first typewriter when I was in elementary school. You can guess the rest.
But it was many years later, after dabbling in all the arts, that I realized writing was my greatest passion. I grew up on the far outskirts of the Metroplex of Texas, a busy world of cities within cities. It’s easy to get lost in a place like this. Some might argue that Dallas is the “New York” of the south and I might agree. Rather than worry about being a little fish in a big pond, however, I made up my mind long ago to follow my dreams. The funny thing about dreams is they have a tendency to come to life in unexpected ways.
My best friends were my twin next-door neighbors. (Inspiration for the three main ladies in Silver Hollow) We made up our own little book club, complete with readings and brainstorming sessions. I loved reading to them and they loved “the story,” as we dubbed whatever project we were working on. As we grew up and went on to different careers and schools, and I tried three different universities. Needless to say, college didn’t pan out well for me. So I did the next sensible thing and decided to write “for real.”
By day I am personal assistant and simple childcare worker at the local Learning Center for preschoolers. But by night, I moonlight as an independently published author of Young/New Adult and fantasy novels. My hope is that you enjoy my books and are encouraged to follow your dreams as well.

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