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That Night: A Nadira Holden Novel by Azaaa Davis (Book Showcase)

All Nadira Holden wants is to preserve the last of her soul and create a new life free of magic, demons, and war. 

Her involuntary bond with a succubus makes her desires impossible. The threat of this disgruntled demon possessing her urges Nadira to find the succubus’s missing body. 

Nadira’s only hope of avoiding demonic possession lies with Derek, the only demon she can tolerate without slaying. Except his hands are full trying to secure his recently-inherited title of prince. Desperate, Nadira agrees to help Derek secure his title by experimenting with the deadly magic they once generated in exchange for his aid in her investigation. 

To untangle herself from the evil that surrounds her, Nadira must be willing to betray her friends and get cozy with her enemies. She may even have to do the unthinkable: break the peace treaty that allows demons and humans to coexist. If she can’t toss aside her scruples, Nadira may not make it out of this ordeal with her soul intact. 

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Below is the first scene of That Night — book two in the Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter seres. Enjoy this sneak peek and pre-order your copy today!

Please note this writing sample is provide before the final round of professional editing.

 

 

He pressed his lips against hers. His were thin, chapped and puckered. He began moaning immediately. His head tilted from left to right and back again. His mouth opened greedily. Long, thin and forked, his serpentine tongue licked her face from lip to brow, cheek to chin. And, she allowed it.

Nadira looked away as her stomach turned. Despite the biting cold waiting for her outside, Nadira pushed away her full cup of hot green tea. Sadly, she realized she would have to find a new hangout spot or accept the fact that demons were now sought after as lovers to teenage bookworms. And with those two unfortunate choices, Nadira stood from her cushioned lounge chair, stretched, then began walking out of Great Escape—her favorite bookstore—with her coat in one hand and a small, hardcover novel titled A Little Princess in the other.

“Miss, miss!” Nadira heard someone shout from behind her. “You forgot your phone!”

She turned and came face to face with the reason she was leaving.

“Thanks,” she mumbled as she carefully took the phone, successfully avoiding skin to skin contact.

The tall, slumped demon narrowed his eyes when he saw her discomfort. His pale skin had a blueish-green undertone that became more apparent when he clenched his jaw in annoyance. When Nadira rolled her eyes and sucked her teeth at his attitude, he swiftly grabbed her wrist and pulled her in close.

Do not kiss me.

“You’re next,” he said. Then, he licked his barely-there lips.

Nadira jerked backward and accidently bumped into the arm of someone sitting close by. From the sound of dishes clinking, the aroma, and someone hissing in pain, she knew hot coffee was spilled.

“Geez, I’m sorry!” Nadira apologized quickly.

Before she could turn around to make amends, Nadira heard someone say, “Sanford?” in a soft, timid voice. The young woman that actually enjoyed making out with the snake-tongued Sanford approached them hesitantly. “What’s … Um. What’s going on, bae?”

They all stood in a line facing each other due to the narrow aisles caused by a small room filled with oversized armchairs.

Shaking her head, Nadira tried to walk away again. She was a hammer—ready to fix problems the only way she knew how—and Nadira saw all demons as rusty, exposed nails in need of a beatdown. As riled up as she was by his cryptic attempt to threaten her, she knew a fight in a bookstore was not the way to go. She reminded herself that she was retired now and demon hunting was illegal.

The strained moment was cut by an unlikely request, “If you bump me with your beautiful butt one more time, you’re gonna hafta gimme your number.”

This man with a coffee stained shirt and a half empty cup stood. The interruption somehow broke the tension and they all relaxed their rigid stances a bit. The flirtaious man’s commanding presence reminded them that they were in a crowded bookstore and had no business causing a ruckus.

“Let’s go,” Sanford said while roughly grabbing his girlfriend’s arm.

He pushed past the rest of them, and his girlfriend mumbled apologies in his wake as she was pulled along. A minute later, they were out of sight in the cozy, cluttered bookstore. Nadira hoped they were gone.

Crink.

She felt an instant flash of pain in the palm of her hand in the same moment she heard the sound of her expensive phone’s screen cracking. Jaime is going to kill me. This made the second cell phone she would need replaced in the six weeks since she started using the minicomputers to make calls and look up “what would millennials do?”

Holding up her damaged phone, Nadira said to the guy wearing his coffee, “My number won’t do you any good today.”

She couldn’t hold back her look of utter frustration. He stood there looking at her, really looking at her, as if he could see her past and make sense of it. He nodded gravely, presumably accepting her—aggression, clumsiness, and all.

“I’ll go easy on you since you’re clearly not having a good day,” he offered.

Feigning a look of amazement, Nadira said, “That’s big of you after my blatant attempt to come on to you.”

Matching her mocking tone, he replied, “I can tell you’re clumsy as fuck.”

Nadira laughed. The sound erupted from her—loud and abrupt enough to turn a few heads. She quickly covered her mouth with her uninjured hand. Then, she dropped her hand just as quickly and allowed herself to continue laughing wholeheartedly.

“I—” She tried again when her laugher tampered off. “I think I needed that. Thanks.” She wiped tears from the corners of her eyes while smiling at him. She was intrigued now.

“What’s your name?” Nadira asked, genuinely curious about this twenty-first-century guy.

The animated face he made was filled with reluctant regret. “You’re gonna need to buy me a replacement cup of joe before this gets personal.”

“Done,” Nadira said decisively.

She swung around to face the front of the bookstore and headed for the makeshift coffee stand.

Nadira got in line to order Mr. Tall-and-Handsome whatever he wanted. She wasn’t sure if it was her hunter instincts or feminine intuition, but she knew he would follow her. In fact, she felt the exact moment he stepped in line behind her. The butterflies in her stomach fluttered and the goosebumps on her arms rose. Nadira’s full lips lifted into a satisfied grin. She was grateful he couldn’t see her face.

Stay cool.

There was only one customer ahead of them. After the young woman in front of her with pink-streaked blonde hair ordered herself a five-word, over-sugared, over-foamed, over-caramelized drink, Nadira stepped up to the register. The cashier was running a one-woman shop as she took care of both book purchases and coffee orders.

To stay relevant with all the trendy cafes springing up, the owner of Great Escape added a high-end coffee maker next to the cashier’s stand. The big, shiny piece of machinery seemed out of place in the dusty bookshop lined with shelves that overflowed with classic literature.

“Hi, sweetie. What are you having today?” the cashier asked looking a little frazzled.

Nadira took a dramatic step to the right and presented her new friend.

The cashier paused as she visually devoured the well-toned man of Chinese descent Nadira had presented.

“You willing to share this one, hon?” she asked Nadira.

With a bashful look, Tall-and-Handsome interrupted, “Caffe Americano, please.”

“Not a problem, not a problem at all,” the cashier said while leaning forward and batting her eyelashes. “And, your name for the order?”

Nadira chringed, hoping she wasn’t coming on as overtly as the cashier.

“Shaun,” he answered. The flirtatious cashier then tilted her head to make eye contact with Nadira as if to say ‘now you know too.’

While Nadira and Shaun looked at each other, the cashier continued to try her luck, “You gotta number for me, handsome?”

Nadira couldn’t help the frown that appeared as she wondered why the eager cashier didn’t care if he was her boyfriend or not.

All three of them smiled in the awkward silence that followed the cashier’s question, but Nadira was sure it was for three very different reasons. Her smile was more of a baring of teeth as she subconsciously displayed a nonverbal warning. Shaun might have been enjoying the attention of two women. It was too soon to tell what his preferences were. And the cashier—plump, curly-haired, and older than them by at least ten years—saw nothing wrong with hitting on customers while working.

“Will this cover it?” Between two fingers, Shaun held up a folded five dollar bill.

That was Nadira’s cue to play the role of sugar mama for a moment. She stepped into his personal space, swung her hips, and gently bumped him out of the way. Shaun stepped to the left with a chuckle. Nadira quickly pulled out her wallet and slammed her five dollar bill onto the counter. The cashier flinched, her come-a-little-closer look melting away.

“Aren’t you an eager one?” the older woman asked, chidingly. In a stage whisper, she added, “It’s not that attractive, you know.”

Nadira simply let her eyebrows do the talking. Her look said ‘are you serious?’ with all the sass she could muster while biting her tongue.

Perhaps sensing that the lightheartedness of the moment was over, Shaun chimed in, “I’ll take it to go.”  

Copyright © 2019 — Azaaa Davis


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Ignite on Contact by Jaci Burton (Book Showcase)

New York Times bestselling author Jaci Burton is back with a friends-to-lovers romance sure to melt hearts as one smokin’-hot fireman turns up the heat on love.

Relationships. Firefighter Rafe Donovan avoids them whenever possible. He loves dating women, but he makes sure they know up front that he’s in it for fun, great sex and nothing more.

Fun. As an ER nurse and official caretaker of her disabled grandfather, Carmen Lewis doesn’t have time for fun. But Rafe has been there for Carmen–and her grandfather–time and again, and he’s clearly interested in her. She knows he’s a player, but she’s tempted by his charm and incredible body. And maybe a little fun isn’t a bad thing, as long as she keeps her heart away from this fiery game she’s enjoying with a very hot man.

Love. It doesn’t take Rafe long to realize that until now he’s only been playing at romance. With Carmen he feels searing passion and heart-tugging emotion for the first time. Now he has to convince Carmen that what they have together is the real deal.

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~~ Excerpt courtesy of Jaci Burton’s Website ~~

 

Chapter One
 
Flames licked all around Rafe Donovan, the heat from the house fire causing sweat to drip down his face and inside of his SCBA mask. Since he couldn’t wipe his face, he blinked instead, clearing the perspiration from his eyes.
 
Rafe firmly gripped the lead hose to douse the blaze threatening to drop a fiery ceiling on their heads. Tommy Rodriguez had his back, feeding him more line. They soaked the flames in the living room, pushing through the dining room and into the kitchen, driving the beast back.
 
“It’s wearing down,” Rafe said, watching as the inferno tried to roar, then inched back into the walls as he blasted it with water. “You don’t win today, you bastard.”
 
“You tell that fucker, Rafe,” Rodriguez said.
 
Fire was his nemesis, the thing that had almost killed him back when he was a kid. It had also saved his life, turned it around and given him a new beginning. But it still had to die. Every day he faced it, it had to die.
 
When the blaze was finally extinguished, he exhaled. The Engine 6 team did a walk around, pulling down walls to make sure fire didn’t lurk in the Sheetrock, waiting to reignite. He made his way outside and pulled off his mask, sucking in a deep breath of Ft. Lauderdale’s hot summer air.
 
It might be humid as hell, and he might be drenched under his turnout gear, but he’d survived. No one was inside the house when the fire broke out, so he’d call this one a success.
 
He looked at the one-story ranch, charred but still standing. It looked a little beaten down, but the old house would come back.
 
“Nice job in there.” Jackson Donovan, his brother and his lieutenant, patted him on the back.
 
“Thanks.”
 
He grinned and headed back to the truck, elation blasting through him as it always did when they were successful.
 
He loved his job. If he could do it every day, he would.
 
They began to wrap up. They were folding the hoses and packing up equipment when smoke started pouring from the roof.
 
“Dammit,” Rafe said. How had they missed that? He heard Jackson’s voice ordering them to get back into the house. Rafe loaded a fresh tank of oxygen on his back and put his mask on, then waited for his backup.
 
Rodriguez was right behind him as they returned inside.
 
“Be careful in there, all of you,” Jackson said. “I don’t like the looks of that smoke.”
 
“Yeah, got it,” Rafe said. He didn’t like the skittering feeling crawling down his back. He had a sixth sense about fire, and which scenes posed a danger. This one didn’t feel right to him. Something was off.
 
Inside looked clear, which meant the smoke was hiding in the walls somewhere. Hendricks and Richards were inside, too, helping them inspect. They’d broken off, going in the opposite direction.
 
“There’s no heat, no smoke,” Rafe said as they made their way around the house, testing more walls for fire. “So where’s the smoke coming from?”
 
“Attic, maybe,” Rodriguez said.
 
“Already up in the attic and cleared it,” Hendricks said into his radio. “So whatever we saw, it isn’t up here.”
 
Damn. It wasn’t unusual for a fire to snake along the walls, lurking, moving from one location to another. Which meant they’d have to check behind the drywall in every room until they found it and extinguished it. Rafe used his drywall hook to cut open a section of wall, checking for smoke in one of the smaller back bedrooms.
 
“Anything?” Jackson radioed.
 
“Still looking,” Rafe radioed back. “Not finding anything.”
 
“I don’t like this,” Jackson said. “Keep a sharp eye.”
 
Rafe was already doing that. The whole team was in here now, cutting through and dragging down sections of walls to search for smoke, looking for hot spots.
 
When Rafe got to the closet in the hallway, he felt the door. It was hot, and the paint on the outside of the door was bubbling.
 
“There you are,” he whispered, then turned to Rodriguez. “We need to vent this through the roof.”
 
He was about to notify Jackson that they were exiting when he was knocked back on his feet by an explosion.
 
And then everything went dark.
 
Busy shifts in the emergency room at Ft. Lauderdale Medical Center were Carmen Lewis’s jam. It was a big-city emergency room, serving a large population that made for demanding days. Carmen’s shifts went fast because she rarely stopped moving. She relished the fast pace, but even more, she loved helping the sick and injured.
 
She was charting in the station when her friend and fellow nurse Tess Blackstone stopped by. “The patient in room seven is ready for discharge according to Dr. Lange. Scrip for pain meds and a follow-up with his personal physician in a week. Room six is still waiting for someone to take her up for a CT scan. I just administered another bolus of morphine to room eight with Dr. Chan’s approval.”
 
Carmen nodded and updated the patient charts, signing off on the discharge for room seven. “Call CT—again—and tell them we’ve been waiting an hour and a half for that scan. What’s the status on the patient in room three?”
 
“Waiting to be taken up for an angiogram.”
 
“Okay, thanks.”
 
“I’ll see what’s up with CT—again,” Tess said, picking up the phone and rolling her eyes at Carmen.
 
Carmen grinned, confident Tess would do her job. All her nurses did. She had the best staff in the hospital, in her opinion. As triage nurse and supervisor of the department, Carmen had her hands in everything in the ER, which meant she was always managing chaos. Just the way she liked it.
 
EMTs rolled in with a firefighter strapped to a stretcher, bringing Carmen to instant alert. She recognized Rafe right away since he and his brothers lived in the house next door to hers. As a nurse running an ER, she never panicked, but she hated seeing someone she knew on that stretcher.
 
His face was covered with ash and grit, but she was happy to see he was awake and seemingly alert as she directed the paramedics to take him into room five.
 
The attending physician came into the room at the same time to do an assessment.
 
“Explosion at a house fire,” EMT Miguel Acosta said. “He took a pretty good blast that knocked him unconscious.”
 
Acosta and his fellow EMT Adrienne Smith unstrapped Rafe and moved him from the stretcher onto the ER bed.
 
“But as you can see,” Rafe said, “I’m not unconscious now.”
 
“Patient was down for approximately three minutes but roused quickly,” Miguel said.
 
“And then he was a royal pain in the ass in the ambulance all the way here,” Smith said, glaring at Rafe. “So he’s alert and oriented times three.”
 
“Any vomiting?” Dr. Lange asked.
 
“None,” Smith said.
 
“Thanks, Adrienne,” Carmen said. “We’ll take it from here.”
 
Miguel smiled at Rafe. “Behave yourself.”
 
Rafe tried to sit up, but Carmen laid a firm hand on his shoulder. “Nope. Stay put until we assess you.”
 
Dr. Lange did a physical and neurological exam.
 
“No burns, but he does have a bump on the head. No external injuries. Get him set up on an IV and EKG and do his vitals and blood work,” Dr. Lange said. “Let’s order a CT scan.”
 
She nodded and Dr. Lange stepped out. Carmen went to the cabinet to get the leads and everything else she’d need, then alerted one of the other nurses to bring her IV fluids.
 
“I shouldn’t even be here,” Rafe said.
 
“You know the protocol, Rafe,” Carmen said, giving him her standard nurse stare. No one ever argued with her stare. It was pretty fierce.
 
Rafe, apparently, wasn’t fazed by her glare.
 
“Whatever, Carmen. I’m fine.”
 
“Sure you are. Let’s get you out of that turnout gear.”
 
He grinned. “Getting me naked. Now we’re talkin’.”
 
She laughed and shook her head. “Can you sit up?”
 
“Yeah, sure.”
 
She held out her hand. He grasped it and sat up, much too fast for her liking.
 
She noticed he winced, and then he wobbled on the table a little.
 
“Head hurt?”
 
He reached for his forehead, cradling it in his hand. “A little. Damn backdraft caught me unaware, and the door knocked me backward. And out cold, I guess.”
She’d known Rafe and his brothers since they moved next door to her four years ago. Rafe helped her all the time with her grandfather. Over the years, they’d grown close, and the thought of him being hurt made her hurt.
 
She helped him unlatch his jacket and slide it off. “You’re lucky it wasn’t worse.”
 
He shrugged out of his coat, and Carmen couldn’t help but admire his broad shoulders encased in his tight T-shirt, something she shouldn’t be noticing right now.
 
“Can you stand so we can get the rest of your turnout gear off?”
 
“Yeah.”
 
“Hold my hand.”
 
His lips curved, revealing his amazing smile. “Carmen, I never knew you were interested.”
 
She rolled her eyes at him. “Up. Hold my hand.”
 
He took her fingers and dropped his suspenders, letting the pants fall while he stepped out of his boots.
 
The hottest man she knew was undressing in front of her. At least partially undressing. Even in his T-shirt and standard uniform pants, standing this close to him made Carmen feel things she hadn’t felt since—
 
Longer than she’d like to admit. Which she wasn’t going to think about, because right now Rafe was a patient. And that’s all he was to her.
 
“Come on, climb back into bed. Shirt off.”
 
“See, you flirting with me like this makes my head feel a lot better.”
 
She shot him a look. “At least your sense of humor is still intact.”
 
He gave her a lopsided grin. “Always.”
 
He pulled his shirt off, and she refused to notice his wide shoulders and muscled chest, or the very interesting tattoo on the back of his right shoulder.
 
Okay, she did notice the tattoo, the Maltese cross with the three fists and the words “Brotherhood by Fire” surrounded by flames. She wanted to ask. She didn’t. He was hurt and she was his nurse and it was none of her business. She got him into a gown and hooked up to the machines so they could chart his vitals, all of which were ridiculously normal. She checked his eyes, which were dilating normally as well—a very good sign.
 
Amy, one of the nurses, brought her the fluid bag, so she started the IV. Rafe didn’t even flinch when she inserted the needle, which wasn’t a surprise. The guy was tough. She wet a washcloth with warm water and brought it over to clean the soot and grime off of his face.
 
“I didn’t know a bath was included,” he said, his warm brown eyes studying her the entire time.
 
Heat sang through her body. Normally, cleaning a patient was an emotionless task. She did it because it was part of her job. But with Rafe it felt . . . different. Intimate. Unnerving.
 
“I thought we might want to clean off some of this residue from the fire.”
 
“A nice hot shower would feel really good right about now.”
 
She swept his thick dark hair away from his forehead and finished cleaning his face. Such a gorgeous face, too, with angular lines and a very strong jaw. “Can’t do that for you, but does this feel better?”
 
He reached up and wrapped his fingers around hers. “You touching me feels good.”
 
That heat she felt earlier was replaced by an incredible tingling sensation that settled somewhere in the vicinity of her sex.
 
Whoa, girl, back up.
 
Which she did. “Okay, I can actually see your face now.”
 
He smiled, as if he knew exactly the effect he had on her.
 
She needed to remind herself that Rafe Donovan was a patient, and her neighbor, and that nothing was ever going to happen between the two of them.
 
Ever.
 
No matter how many times she’d fantasized about him.
 

END OF EXCERPT

 

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Perfect by Tricia Copeland (Book Showcase)


One driven woman. Five passionate paths to the perfect love.

Chloe refuses to compromise when it comes to romance and success. Powering through her sophomore-level college business classes, she’s done with the effort of distance-dating her high-school sweetheart. But when he proposes just as she hits it off with a hunky basketball player, she worries following her heart could send her bright future to the bench.

As Chloe matures becoming a rising star in the fashion industry, love knocks another four times. But while each potential suitor eventually pops the question, only she knows her ultimate happy ending.

Whose arms will embrace Chloe when she chooses her forever man?

Perfect is a standalone clean contemporary romance. If you like tender moments, lighthearted comedy, and endings you choose yourself, then you’ll adore Tricia Copeland’s option-filled tale.

Buy Perfect to pick your ideal walk down the aisle today!

 

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Abby

Reviewed in the United States on January 28, 2020

Format: Paperback
Mindy S.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Paths Not Taken

Reviewed in the United States on January 29, 2020

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The Well House by Ernest Solar (Book Showcase)

Some voices are never silenced.

Lucy is a young girl who loves her Pa, their cow, and the little farmhouse she calls home. She also loves the red bicycle that Harvey gave her as a present. But not all is idyllic, and she struggles to steer clear of the local transient, Joe-Michael.

Gannon and Farrah move to Lucy’s family farm many years after Joe-Michael became Lucy’s father’s farmhand. Together, Gannon and Farrah hear Lucy’s voice for the first time on an audio recorder hidden in the woods near the old family homestead. Even though their lives are separated by decades, they intersect at the pond where the secrets have been submerged by Joe-Michael.

Blurring the lines between time and space, Lucy shares her tale with Gannon and Farrah in an unconventional turn of events.

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Present

    “Taa daaa!”

    “Wait, play that again,” said Farah, still wearing the headphones.

    Gannon used the touchpad mouse on his laptop to slide the tracker on the editing software to play the recording again.  This time he pressed the loop button and then the triangle play button.  The two-second recording played repeatedly in a loop cycle.  He watched the reaction on his fiancées face.

    Farah cupped both hands over the headphones to block out any extraneous noise.  Eyes closed, she listened to the recording repeat itself.  “Taa daaa!  Taa daaa!  Taa daaa!  Taa daaa!  Taa daaa!”  She pulled off the headphones and handed them back to Gannon.  “She’s saying ‘Taa daaa!’ in a singy song voice.  It’s a little girl.  Almost like when Payton does a cartwheel and finishes with a ‘Taa daaa!’”

    Gannon smiled at her.  “This was recorded at 2 a.m. in the middle of the forest away from any of the walking trails.”

    Farah shrugged her shoulders and moved off toward the kitchen.  “She is saying ‘Taa daaa!’” 

    Gannon closed his laptop.  He moved into the kitchen to help Farah with dinner.  Shuffling the chicken around in the frying pan Farah asked, “Wasn’t the recorder near that old farmhouse?”

    Gannon nodded his head.  “Yeah, it was up the hill from the old Griffith house.”

    Farah thought for a moment.  “Maybe a little girl used to live there?  Maybe she was a slave?”

    Gannon pulled the plates out of the cupboard for dinner.  He wouldn’t say that Farah was a psychic or medium.  However, she did have a sixth sense about things.  She just seemed to know things.  Since moving into their house a year ago, she had several dreams – if you want to call them dreams, more like visitations from the old woman, Julie, who used to own the house.  At first, they weren’t sure if it was Julie, but at the community potluck dinners a couple of the neighbors described Julie.  They talked about her mannerisms, the way she dressed, her routine, and Farah and Gannon were able to deduct that who visited Farah at night was Julie.  Farah never got the sense that Julie was malicious.  But seeing a ghost can be unnerving in its own right.

Gannon had his own experiences; however, they were different.  He usually heard movement.  Or sensed a presence.  Many times, while working from home, he caught himself checking the closets because he swore a physical person was secretly hiding in their house.  Never finding anyone, his next logical conclusion was that he was hearing Julie move around the house.  Gannon was a trained scientist.  Therefore, he errored on the side of skepticism.  Gannon would be the first to admit that he had to control himself from automatically jumping to a paranormal explanation.  He forced himself to eliminate all other logical possibilities before believing or accepting that a ghost was living in their house.

The one exception was Farah.  Gannon wasn’t sure if Farah knew or not; he suspected she knew, but she was his barometer.  If Farah suspected paranormal activity, Gannon was one-hundred-percent onboard.  He still tried to eliminate all logical possibilities.  But in the back of his mind he was doing a happy dance when Farah believed something originated from the paranormal. 

“So, you’re saying I picked up the voice of a ghost?” asked Gannon.

“A spirit,” corrected Farah.

Gannon chuckled.  “I go out there trying to capture the howl of a Bigfoot and come away with the voice of a spirit.”

 

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Kindle Customer Robin

September 6, 2018

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K. L. Byles

November 19, 2019

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Ernest Solar has been a writer, storyteller, and explorer of some kind for his entire life. He grew up devouring comic books, novels, any other type of books along with movies, which allowed him to explore a multitude of universes packed with mystery and adventure. A professor at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland, he lives with his family in Virginia.

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A Crown in Time by Jennifer Macaire (Book Showcase)

Introducing TEMPUS U, the brand new time-slip series from Jennifer Macaire. From the far future to the distant past, A CROWN IN TIME is the perfect, action-packed read for fans of Jodi Taylor.
 
Since it was perfected in 2900, time travel has been reserved for an elite, highly trained few. However, on certain occasions, a Corrector is needed to rectify a mistake in the past.
Do your job well, and you’ll go down in history. Fail, and you will be erased from Time . . .

 

The first in an exciting new time-slip series, from the author of the action-packed Time for Alexander series, Jennifer Macaire. A CROWN IN TIME will have you on the edge of your seat from the very first page . . .
 
In the far future, a convicted criminal is given a chance at redemption. The Corrector Program at Tempus University is sending Isobel back in time, to the year 1270, to rewrite history.

Her mission? To save the crown of France.

If she follows the Corrector’s Handbook everything should run smoothly. But soon, Isobel finds herself accompanying a hot-headed young noble on his way to fight the infidel in Tunis: a battle Isobel knows is fated to be lost.

Isobel must fulfil her duty, knowing she can never return to her time, knowing one wrong move can doom the future, or doom her to be burned as a witch . . .

Praise for Jennifer Macaire’s Alexander series:
‘Fascinating . . . jam-packed with adventure and colour.’ Jodi Taylor
 

 
 
 
 
~~Excerpt ~~

 
Jean was already perched on the railing, his feet drumming excitedly on the wood, his eyes glowing. ‘Look!’ he cried, pointing toward shore. ‘The Saracens have arrived!’

In the indistinct light of dawn, I could make out a huge crowd of men and horses milling on the beach. I looked to the right. Another small army was camped on the bluff overlooking the harbour. On the left, tents were scattered across the land, and I could clearly see the glitter of light on the metal spearheads.

My head swam and I gripped the wooden railing until splinters dug into my palms. Unexpectedly, my stomach heaved, and I retched over the side of the ship.

‘Are you all right?’ Jean hopped off his perch and put his arm over my shoulders.

‘It’s just nerves.’ I wiped my mouth with a shaking hand. A shiver of fatigue washed through me, so I sat down on the deck.

‘There’s a whole shipload of sick people,’ said Jean conversationally. ‘They’ve all got swamp fever.’

‘Oh great,’ I said. ‘Malaria. That’s just what we need. I suppose King Louis is going to attack the Saracens?’

‘He’s planning to do that, yes.’ Jean’s face fell. ‘Our ship won’t be fighting, though. We’re going to retreat a way back and keep the king’s ship covered.’

‘That sounds like a sensible idea, don’t you think?’

‘The knights have been getting ready. I can hear the clanging of armour coming over the water. The sound carries well in the early morning. The horses have been kicking the sides of the ships.’

The noise of iron-shod hooves striking the wooden planks was distinct. The knights must be the first ones off. The ship crews, protected from arrows by large wooden panels, manoeuvred the ships backwards towards the beach. The ships carrying the mounted soldiers were simply hollow vessels that the horses surged out of in a tight group down two enormous gangplanks. There were thirteen of these ships, one having sunk on the way to Sardinia.

Our fleet boasted ten of another type of ship, designed for the archers with towers and shields. These, including the king’s own archers on their own special ship, would cover the cavalry’s flanks. The ships holding foot soldiers bobbed around the edges of the battle, searching for an opening to land.

The full force of the king’s army landed that afternoon and drove the Saracens out of the harbour without much trouble. The knights galloped their heavy chargers out of the bowels of the ships onto dry land, the archers rained arrows on the hillside and the foot soldiers charged gamely up the beach.

The Saracens retreated toward Carthage, their fiery horses galloping with their tails held high in the air like flowing flags.

Jean, Charles, and I cheered.
 
‘What happens next?’ asked Charles, his face pink with excitement.

‘We set up camp.’ Jean sounded morose, disappointed to have missed the action.

‘There will be other battles,’ I said, just as gloomily.

‘We’d best get our things in order if we’re leaving the ship,’ said Charles, ever practical.

I looked out over the water, toward the king’s ship floating so close to ours. All the flags waved jauntily in the hot breeze, and the king sat under his awning and waved his thin white hand at the soldiers on shore. His face was serene, joyful with the painless victory. However, it wasn’t a victory, really. The Saracens had simply wanted to see exactly what kind of an army the French king had brought. Now they knew.

 
 
 
 
Jennifer Macaire lives in France with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves cooking, eating French chocolate, growing herbs and flowering plants on her balcony, and playing golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories. 
 

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