Saturday, 22 July 2017

Release Boost - The Scars Between Us by MK Schiller



Welcome to the release boost of The Scars between us by MK Schiller. I am your host today and if you want to know my thoughts, click the book name in the previous sentence


Title: The Scars Between Us
Author: MK Schiller
Publisher: Entangled: Embrace
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 17, 2017



Blurb

Emma Cooper is determined to fulfill her mother’s dying wish to scatter her ashes with Aiden Sheffield in Linx, Texas. Just one problem. Why Texas and who the hell is Aiden Sheffield? The only clue is a faded piece of her mother’s stationary. Emma imagines Aiden is a former love of her mother’s, but when she meets the beautiful, damaged stranger, she realizes her assumptions couldn’t be more wrong. He’s hot and young. And Emma is as confused as ever.

Aiden Sheffield would rather go to hell than Linx. Who does Emma think she is disrupting his carefully built life? The last thing the Marine needs is to slice open the sealed wounds of his painful past. Yet, as he gets to know the lovely Emma, a woman who manages to smile even though she’s lost everything, he changes his mind. He will not let her go to hell alone.

But neither is prepared for the devastating evil waiting for them at the end of the road. It might just destroy them.








Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU






Trailer



Excerpt

“May I help you?” he asks, his smile tight like it’s forced. Struggling to find my voice, I finally respond. “Aiden Sheffield?” “Guilty. Are you here to adopt?” “No.” The pit bull whines at that. Without taking his eyes off me, Aiden pulls out a plastic bag from his pocket and throws him a treat. Unable to keep staring at him, my gaze shifts down. I get a good look at Aiden’s pal. The dog’s tail wags, but only one of his ears perks. The other ear is completely missing, and the poor boy’s jaw is misshapen. Aiden draws my attention back to him. “You’re making my pack nervous.”

That’s exactly what they look like…a pack. A family where he is the alpha. All the dogs have now come toward the fence, sitting in a straight line. They seem calm but curious as they flip their heads between us. “They don’t look nervous.”

“They are. They can smell your fear. They won’t hurt you.”

“I know.”

“Then what are you afraid of?”

You.

He smirks, moving forward so we are only inches from each other, separated by the chain-link fence. His gaze lingers on me, far too long for comfort. He smells masculine, of soap and sweat and something distinctively him. “Who are you, mystery girl? Too old to be selling cookies, too young to be from the Gazette, and too innocent to be spouting religion.”

“I’m Emma Cooper. Angela’s daughter.” It’s a flicker in his features, but I catch the scowl before it disappears. The dogs start surrounding Aiden and stare at me with suspicion. It’s as if they are protecting him…from me.

“What do you want?” His tone is curt, almost demanding. I shift from foot to foot.

“Can we talk?” The dogs stand at attention now.

“Go to the house and wait for me.” He snaps the words like a command.

“Um…”

“Now.”



Author Bio


Not knowing a word of English, MK Schiller came to America at the age of four from India. Since then, all she’s done is collect words. After receiving the best gift ever from her parents—her very own library card—she began reading everything she could get her greedy hands on. At sixteen, a friend asked her to make up a story featuring the popular bad boy at school. This wasn’t fan fiction…it was friend fiction. From that day on, she’s known she wanted to be a writer. With the goal of making her readers both laugh and cry, MK Schiller has penned more than a dozen books, each one filled with misfit characters overcoming obstacles and finding true love.


Author Links

GOODREADS

Blog Tour / Book Musings - Just me, The Sink and The Pot by Sudesna Ghosh



JUST ME, THE SINK & THE POT
by
Sudesna Ghosh



Blurb

Meet Pamela, an overweight girl who's looking back at her school days. From longing for a Valentine to dealing with a sibling who hates her, Pamela has a lot to deal with. She even has a special bunch of friends at home who she can turn to - but they aren't the kind of friends you'd expect. Life sucks when you're fat. Can Pamela ever be happy?

Read an excerpt of the book here...

One day a classmate asked me, “Where is your lunch?” I told her that I had already had it and went back to my fake laughter and smiles. The others chatted and laughed while they ate from their tiffin boxes. Some brought samosas or ice cream from outside the gate. My hunger pangs got worse as I saw all the food and smelt the delicious odours around me.

The ice cream cart was run by a sweet old man who knew me since I’d started school. He would ask me some days, “Child, you don’t want your favourite orange stick?” I would say no thank you and smile before running away from him and his cart. One day he seemed to be desperate to make me have an ice cream. “Child! Come here and have an ice cream. You don’t have to pay me,” he called out. I smiled, turned around and went to hide in an empty classroom. Two minutes later, I shrieked; the old man had found me. He was carrying a dripping ice cream for me. I started laughing. Then I started running away from him. The old man started running after me!

My classmates were shocked. The sports teacher was happy to see me run for the first time – I had never run before because fat moves when you run. Everybody would laugh. The lunch break ended with me accepting the mostly melted orange stick from the kind ice cream man. We were too tired to talk about the whole event. But it did make me a bit popular that year, with the school Yearbook including the story and a picture of me running away from a 6 feet tall man holding an ice cream.

Grab your copy @
Amazon.in | Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Book Musings :

I confess that I had overlooked this book at the beginning because of the cover. Yeah, I know I am being superficial but I can't help it at times. So you are asking why I picked it up? It's solely because of the blurb. It had me thinking about the book and I had to know if Pamela was happy at the end. In hindsight, I am glad that I came across it. Now I have no words to describe what it has evoked in me. I will try my best though!

When I started the book, I didn't realise that it was in a style similar to the diary format. I am not used to it much. Except for The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank, I hadn't read any in this form. So it took a bit to get into it. But  as soon as I got enmeshed in Pamela's heart, I wouldn't have it in any other form.

The story is about Pamela and her everyday struggles as a fat kid. It deals with body shaming and bullying. Kudos to the author to be gutsy enough to write on these psychologically important issues. The way the author has dealt with the sensitive material in the form of a first hand account of a girl who is deemed not normal by her peers is commendable. This resonated within me because seriously who hasn't felt what Pamela experiences. I can see a bit of me in her and I feel every teen would feel that way except for those who were perfect which I doubt anyone could be. The flow is easy  and the language is simple. It is a fast read which touched my heart in so many ways. The wry humour had me smiling with tears in the eyes. It is at once funny and poignant. It had me thinking late into the night.

I have always felt that Anne Frank's Diary has to be read by people of all ages and I feel the same way about this book too! This is a must read for everyone especially teenagers. It would help in making the kids realise how much impact they have on their peers and how deep it can be.

The only thing which doesn't make the book a full 5 star read for me is the ending. Though it had a sudden twist, it was rather abrupt. I was seriously thinking the author would end it with a Pamela who would find her one and look back with nostalgia. I did like the ending with Pamela's realisation that it's okay to be different but it was just too abrupt for my tastes. Other than that, I applaud the author on a book well written!

My one line review : A must read for everyone especially teenagers

My rating : 4.5/5

My reread factor : 3/5

Follow the tour @ Pinterest


About the author



Sudesna (Sue) Ghosh is a writer based in Kolkata. She was born in the United States and moved to India when she was 9. After completing high school there, she went back to the US for her higher education at the University of Rochester. She has also penned What Would I Tell Her @ 13 and News Now, along with several short stories. When Sudesna isn’t writing, she tries to do her bit for animal welfare.
       

                          

   This Tour is Hosted by 



We Promote So That You Can Write 



Thursday, 20 July 2017

Book Blitz - Crash land on Kurai by SJ Pajonas

Crash Land on Kurai banner

This is my stop during the book blitz for Crash Land on Kurai by SJ Pajonas. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 19 till 20 July. See the tour schedule here.

Crash Land on KuraiCrash Land on Kurai (Hikoboshi #1)
By SJ Pajonas
Genre: Science Fiction, Action Adventure, Space Opera
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 18 July, 2017

Blurb:
Yumi Minamoto has the shortest fuse on the ship. She’s just whipped a bully and been confined to quarters, but she’s not staying there. A disgraced journalist trying to clear her name, her job is to document the mission to the Hikoboshi system, and she’s determined to get it right, despite all the trouble she causes. But when unknown vessels fire on their ship, and Yumi's life pod crash lands on a dying moon, she's separated from her family and friends, and her mission falls to pieces. Now she must navigate the unfamiliar and deadly terrain, deal with a society she doesn’t understand, and try to stay alive until rescue comes… if it ever does.

Crash Land on Kurai is the first book in the Hikoboshi Series, an action adventure, space opera series that explores the worlds settled by the Japanese who fled Earth a century ago. Culture, history, technology, and swords clash in a fast-paced future society on the brink of war.


You can find Crash Land on Kurai on Goodreads

Read the first four chapters of Crash Land on Kurai! Get your sample here from Instafreebie!

You can buy Crash Land on Kurai here on Amazon
The book is available to read with Kindle Unlimited

Check out these teaser images for Crash Land on Kurai!

Crash Land on Kurai Teaser #1


Crash Land on Kurai Teaser #2


Crash Land on Kurai Teaser #3


SJ PajonasAbout the Author:
Stephanie (S. J.) is a writer, knitter, amateur astrologer, Capricorn, and Japanophile. She loves foxes, owls, sushi, yoga pants, Evernote, and black tea. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing or spending time outside, unless it’s winter. She hates winter. Someday she’ll own a house in both hemispheres so she can avoid the season entirely. She’s a mom to two great kids and lives with her husband and family outside NYC. They have no pets. Yet. When it comes to her work, expect the unexpected. She doesn’t write anything typical. Find her online at http://www.spajonas.com.

You can find and contact SJ Pajonas here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Tumblr
- Instagram
- Youtube
- Wattpad
- Bookbub
- Amazon

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway during the book blitz of Crash Land on Kurai. These are the prizes you can win:
- 2 winners will get a US$10 Amazon.com gift card and a Nogiku Series Omnibus ebook delivered via BookFunnel (valued at US$13)
- 1 winner will win a Nogiku Series Omnibus ebook delivered via BookFunnel (valued at US$13)

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Book Spotlight - Seven Threads by Jason Atkinson



Book Details:

Book Title: Seven Threads: A Book of Short Stories
Author: Jason Atkinson
​Category: Adult Fiction, 151 pages
Genre: Thriller and Suspense
Publisher: Mascot Books
Release date: July 4 , 2017
Tour dates: July 10 to 28, 2017
Content Rating: PG

Book Description:

In this collection of seven short stories from Jason Atkinson, follow a man accused of murder, a runaway girl on a train, a scientist at the heart of a government conspiracy, and more! Full of twists and turns, Seven Threads offers a selection of fast-paced stories full of heart and excitement.
​​
Buy the Book:





Meet the Author:




​Jason Atkinson lives in the Midwest with his wife and son. With a love of writing, this is his 3rd book, but first book in the fiction category. Short stories are easy to digest, and yet, this book still provides all the joys for the long haul reader. Jason write for everyone in mind when creating this piece and hopes you will enjoy it as much as he did when writing it.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Aug 5


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Monday, 17 July 2017

Release Blitz / Book Musings - The Scars between Us by MK Schiller




Title: The Scars Between Us
Author: MK Schiller
Publisher: Entangled: Embrace
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 17, 2017



Blurb

Emma Cooper is determined to fulfill her mother’s dying wish to scatter her ashes with Aiden Sheffield in Linx, Texas. Just one problem. Why Texas and who the hell is Aiden Sheffield? The only clue is a faded piece of her mother’s stationary. Emma imagines Aiden is a former love of her mother’s, but when she meets the beautiful, damaged stranger, she realizes her assumptions couldn’t be more wrong. He’s hot and young. And Emma is as confused as ever.

Aiden Sheffield would rather go to hell than Linx. Who does Emma think she is disrupting his carefully built life? The last thing the Marine needs is to slice open the sealed wounds of his painful past. Yet, as he gets to know the lovely Emma, a woman who manages to smile even though she’s lost everything, he changes his mind. He will not let her go to hell alone.

But neither is prepared for the devastating evil waiting for them at the end of the road. It might just destroy them.








Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU






Trailer



Excerpt

“May I help you?” he asks, his smile tight like it’s forced. Struggling to find my voice, I finally respond. “Aiden Sheffield?” “Guilty. Are you here to adopt?” “No.” The pit bull whines at that. Without taking his eyes off me, Aiden pulls out a plastic bag from his pocket and throws him a treat. Unable to keep staring at him, my gaze shifts down. I get a good look at Aiden’s pal. The dog’s tail wags, but only one of his ears perks. The other ear is completely missing, and the poor boy’s jaw is misshapen. Aiden draws my attention back to him. “You’re making my pack nervous.”

That’s exactly what they look like…a pack. A family where he is the alpha. All the dogs have now come toward the fence, sitting in a straight line. They seem calm but curious as they flip their heads between us. “They don’t look nervous.”

“They are. They can smell your fear. They won’t hurt you.”

“I know.”

“Then what are you afraid of?”

You.

He smirks, moving forward so we are only inches from each other, separated by the chain-link fence. His gaze lingers on me, far too long for comfort. He smells masculine, of soap and sweat and something distinctively him. “Who are you, mystery girl? Too old to be selling cookies, too young to be from the Gazette, and too innocent to be spouting religion.”

“I’m Emma Cooper. Angela’s daughter.” It’s a flicker in his features, but I catch the scowl before it disappears. The dogs start surrounding Aiden and stare at me with suspicion. It’s as if they are protecting him…from me.

“What do you want?” His tone is curt, almost demanding. I shift from foot to foot.

“Can we talk?” The dogs stand at attention now.

“Go to the house and wait for me.” He snaps the words like a command.

“Um…”

“Now.”



Book Musings :

I almost passed over this book because of the book cover. I don't know why but it just didn't catch my attention. It felt a bit plain and even after reading the book,I can't get it to sync with the story for me. But the blurb hinted in so many ways at a mystery in the tale that I was tempted to get my hands on it. And wow, the author has delivered an emotionally impacting book.

A bit of warning, guys, this book deals with abuse and there are so many triggers throughout the book. So be careful while reading it. If you are fine with sensitive material, you have to read this book. I recommend it strongly. I haven't read MK Schiller's other books so I went in blind but I can see myself reading this author in the future though with a bit of caution. 

As for reviewing the book, I don't even know where to start. The story itself is a very impacting one. The way the author has dealt with the subject is pretty good. And the story alone doesn't make the book.The characters and their reactions to their pasts and the journey they undertake to the future make the story an unforgettable one. The history of abuse highlighted is detailed enough to get me immersed in the pain. I felt as if I was there beside them during the scenes. 

The story is told in both of the protagonists',Emma and Aiden, POV. This is my favourite type so I was pretty happy to deal with their thoughts and feelings. And this also made me fall for them because I totally could understand their actions. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions for me. It made me sad, angry and happy as I read the book. At the end, I was sure I was smiling, happy with the way the author has dealt with the horrific antagonist. Wow, I never knew such a villain. It sure makes me wonder at the human mind and the way humans can be animalistic. 


As emotionally trapping as the book was, there were the love scenes which kind of didn't go with the flow of the story. I felt as if they weren't relevant to the tale and I could have done without them in such detail. Another part which I felt detracted a tiny bit from the book was the side journey they took on the way to Linx. I was wondering what was the point when reading it.

The story's pace was aligned well with the content. My mind didn't wander at any point and the twists and turns and detours the story took were hard hitting and kept me occupied till the end. As far as I am concerned the author delivered way beyond what she promised with the blurb.

I voluntarily received an ARC for reviewing purposes and this doesn't affect my review in any way. These are my thoughts on the book.

My one line review : A poignantly hopeful love story with a hint of mystery.

My rating : 4.5/5

My reread factor : 4/5

Author Bio


Not knowing a word of English, MK Schiller came to America at the age of four from India. Since then, all she’s done is collect words. After receiving the best gift ever from her parents—her very own library card—she began reading everything she could get her greedy hands on. At sixteen, a friend asked her to make up a story featuring the popular bad boy at school. This wasn’t fan fiction…it was friend fiction. From that day on, she’s known she wanted to be a writer. With the goal of making her readers both laugh and cry, MK Schiller has penned more than a dozen books, each one filled with misfit characters overcoming obstacles and finding true love.


Author Links

GOODREADS

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Book Blast - The Year I dated the Internet by Stacy Lynn Carroll

Welcome to the book blast of The Year I dated the Internet by Stacy Lynn Carroll. I am your host today.



The Year I Dated the Internet by Stacy Lynn Carroll

With her 30th birthday fast approaching, Chelsea Wilson decides she is done being single. She is going to be married by the end of the year if it kills her. And sixteen first dates might just do that. With no male companionship, other than her cat Daughtry, Chelsea reluctantly creates an online dating profile. She begins meeting all kinds of men in a world now full of man buns and skinny jeans. While trying to find one good man, she ends up with four. How will Chelsea ever decide? The best part is she doesn’t have to. It’s up to you. In this romantic comedy like no other, you, the reader, get to pick who Chelsea chooses in the end. Her fate is in your hands.

Grab your copy for just 99 cents from July 11th to 15th

Praise for the Book

“I highly recommend reading this book. The story is fantastic, the dates memorable, and the ending is what you decide. I was so happy to choose which guy Chelsea ends up with, I felt even more involved in her story.” –Stacy Lybbert, Amazon reviewer

“Having read plenty of fiction with endings I didn’t love, this book was refreshing and fun. And having been married for a couple of decades and out of the dating scene, it was eye opening to get of glimpse of the new world of online dating and how difficult it can be.” –Holly Frasche, Amazon reviewer

“There was plenty of humour throughout the story and I shared some of the jokes with friends and family who all laughed as well. I would like to see more books like this. It lived up to its description and recommendation and I’m glad I read it. I would recommend it. It was just what I was looking for: a nice, light read with no heavy stuff.” –Autism Mom, Amazon reviewer
“I especially liked how real and well developed the characters were. The main character has dating experiences that anyone in the dating world can relate with, as well as experiences that no one would want, and ones that are unique to our age of the internet, taking the reader on a ride that is entertaining and heart warming.” –Leilani Peterson, Amazon reviewer.
Excerpt

Me: That’s a beautiful cat

Cat Lover: Thanks, her name is girlfriend.

Me: Oh, that’s funny.

Cat Lover: What’s funny?

Me: Your cat’s name. I just think it’s really clever. 

Cat Lover: I don’t understand…

Me: Never mind.

Cat Lover: Do you like cats?

Me: Yes, I love them. I have an orange tabby named Daughtry.

Cat Lover: I have eight cats.

Me: Oh, wow.

Cat Lover: Would you like to see them?

Before I can even type a response, he starts sending me images. Eight pictures in all. In each one he’s holding a different cat and posing. With his shirt off. I am so glad I’m not using the camera on my computer otherwise he would see me laughing. I can’t stop. Even when I try and look away, the giggles continue. It’s like watching a train wreck. A train wreck involving eight cats. And a nubbin.

Grab your copy for just 99 cents from July 11th to 15th

Meet the Author :



Stacy Lynn Carroll has always loved telling stories. She started out at Utah State University where she pursued a degree in English, learned how to western swing, and watched as many of her fellow students became ‘True Aggies’. She then finished her BA at the University of Utah where she got an emphasis in creative writing. After college, she worked as an administrative assistant, where she continued to write stories for the amusement of her co-workers. When her first daughter was born, and with the encouragement of a fortune cookie, she quit her job and became a full-time mommy and writer. She and her husband have four children, two dogs, two rats, two fish, and a partridge in a pear tree.





$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 7/23/17


Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author.
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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Book Cover Reveal - Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer

Welcome to the book cover reveal of Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer. I am excited to be your host today. Only one word for it.. WOW!

Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer
12th July, 2017

Blurb :

Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita
Immortalised in the hymns of the Rig Veda
But largely forgotten to the memory of India
Is the Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala

Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to overwhelm and invade Ashtagani, Avishi rises to protect her settlement. But peril pursues her everywhere.

Separated from her love, her settlement broken, with a brutal injury needing amputation of her leg, can Avishi overcome Khela?

Meet the Author:


Saiswaroopa is an IITian and a former investment analyst turned author. Her keen interest in ancient Indian history, literature and culture made her take to writing. Her debut novel Abhaya, set in the times of Mahabharata was published in 2015. Avishi, her second novel set in Vedic India explores the legend of India’s first mentioned female warrior queen Vishpala.

She holds a certificate in Puranas from Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. She is also trained in Carnatic Classical music and has won a state level gold medal from Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams.



This Cover Reveal is brought to you by Book Review Tours

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Promo Blitz - A Promise of Fireflies by Susan Haught


Welcome to the promo blitz of A Promise of Fireflies by Susan Haught. 


Women’s Fiction/Romance

Date Published: January 2016

Blurb :

Questions never asked don’t always remain unanswered.

A blood-stained journal holds the answers to secrets her mother took to the grave, but an enigmatic old man knows the answers–truths she never expected.

Another round of turmoil isn’t on her agenda, but when Ryleigh Collins discovers a blood-stained journal among her deceased mother’s belongings, her curiosity leads her to a puzzling Mark Twain look-alike who shatters her family history–and her sense of belonging.

Bearing a treasure chest of secrets and a deeply scarred heart, Ryleigh returns home to her ex-husband’s appeal to take him back. Overwhelmed, she seeks refuge in the quiet majesty of the Rocky Mountains. But as the snow deepens, so do her feelings for Logan Cavanaugh, the distinctly reserved resort owner.

Two lost souls collide in a paralyzing snowstorm, but when the skies clear, Logan surrenders to a deepening guilt he can’t fight. Ryleigh’s sense of abandonment is further compromised with his sudden departure, though she refuses to believe they’ve left their shared memories frozen in the mountains of Colorado.

She’s struggling with shocking truths while trying to move on; he’s caught in a crossfire of a battle he doesn’t know how to fight.

One woman. Three promises–one honored, one broken, one pledged.

Other books in the Whisper of the Pines Series:

in the SHADOW of FATE

Whisper of the Pines, Companion Novel
By Susan Haught
Publisher: Four Carat Press
Published: March 2016


Blurb :
Their paths never crossed, but their destiny is bound by blood.

Strangers separated by forty years and a bloody war, their only bond is a name engraved on The Wall. He walked in the shadow of fate. She stepped into the shadow of love.

A restless intimacy followed Ryan through the jungles of Vietnam, the fear, loneliness, and death camouflaged by the beauty of a country twelve thousand miles from home. He walked courageously toward his destiny and left his legacy—words written in a bloodstained journal—for the woman he loved and their infant daughter.

Encouraged by an enigmatic old man who sends her a journal identical to her father’s, Ryleigh composes her words when a second chance at love is cut short by ghosts from the past. No blood stains her journal, only the souvenirs of a broken heart.


A Thousand Butterfly Wishes

Whisper of the Pines, Book 2
By Susan Haught
Publisher: Four Carat Press
Published: December 2016



Blurb :
What if the price of your wish is living without it?

Rachel Gowen wishes for nothing more than to escape the past decade—to safely lock away the memories that keep her from a future she can only dream about. But a Native American butterfly legend, Ambrose, a mysterious stranger who knows things he can’t possibly know, a cast of quirky characters long past their prime, and Nico, a tenacious and caring nursing assistant, plunge her down a path that will ignite the very memories she’s desperate to escape.

Rachel begins her new life as a nurse in a retirement facility. After all, how risky can it be working with the elderly? She quickly forms deep attachments to her patients, helping them in ways far beyond her duties. And when a casual stroll turns into a budding relationship with Ben, the handsome British doctor who’s too busy, too unromantic, and too distant—it may be exactly what she’s looking for.

But Rachel can’t conform to the rules. Nor can she deny the connection she shares with Nico. With her job in jeopardy, Rachel’s priorities and relationship with Ben are challenged. But one thing is certain—Ambrose knows the wishes she sent on the wings of the butterflies will be granted, but the price she’ll pay will upend her life.

Rachel is promised a thousand butterfly wishes—but all she wants is one.

Excerpt
Dreams die every day

Some drown in the endless churn of a washing machine,

some get lost under an avalanche of responsibilities

and still others suffocate in the wake of a broken promise.

Dreams die—disappearing with the sun in the western sky.

But a sprig of grass will sprout from a blanket of snow,

new life will be born when two become one,

and a phoenix will rise from the ashes left behind.

Dreams reborn—blooming with dawn’s radiant new light.

~sh~


Chapter One
SCARRED CORNERS FRAMED the small journal she pulled from the old shoebox. She

traced the cover with one finger, dark stains and pebbled leather disquieting, yet as oddly

familiar as the stale odor of cigarettes her mother promised to quit smoking and never did. Now

the tenuous reminder, void of the peppermints her mother nursed to disguise the smell,

threatened to unravel the tethers holding her together.

God, how she wished she could rewrite the last year.

With her legs crossed beneath her, Ryleigh Collins clutched the journal to her chest,

leaned against the wall of her mother’s apartment—as empty of her possessions as the world was

of her—and let the shadows of the waning morning swallow her.

“I can’t do this.” She grabbed a loose thread in the denim stretched over her knees and

yanked hard.

Two feet bundled in thick navy blue socks appeared in front of her. “Can’t do what?”

Ryleigh raised her eyes, moist with remembrance.

“Ah.” Natalie crossed her feet, lowered herself with the grace of a toned dancer, and

placed a firm, yet gentle hand on Ryleigh’s arm. “The personal stuff’s the hardest.”

After a pause, Ryleigh tucked the knot of emotions neatly back where they belonged and

turned. “I’m such a wimp.”

“You’ll get through this.” Natalie Jo Burstyn’s perfectly manicured brows knitted

together in a scowl that masked her usual playful grin. “I intend to see you do.”

The lump in her throat strangled the words she’d rehearsed since Natalie had offered to

drop everything to help. Of course she would. Her meddling best friend always seemed to know

exactly what to do. Or say. She grasped Natalie’s hand and squeezed.

Sometimes words got in the way.

Ryleigh released a long breath and straightened her legs. The journal tumbled to her lap.

“What’s that?”

She swiped a hand across the journal’s cover and then wiped them on her jeans. “An old

journal,” Ryleigh said, brushing away the dusty handprint.

“Don’t just sit there fondling it, open it.”

The binding creaked. Timeworn pages fanned in a graceful arch as if her touch had

resurrected them. Faded ink swirled across the unlined parchment, and the musty balm of old

paper and ink tapped at a recollection, distant and unformed, yet ripe for picking—but couldn’t

pluck it from her memory. Smudged and watermarked, the words danced across the aged pages.

She turned each one with care.

Nat leaned in. “Well?”

Ryleigh frowned. “Looks like a collection of poetry.”

“I didn’t know your mom wrote poetry.”

“This isn’t her handwriting,” Ryleigh responded without thought, “and my mother never

wrote anything more literary than a grocery list.”

Natalie peered over her shoulder. “Then whose?”

“Don’t know. Just an ‘R’ at the end of the entries.” The pages crackled as Ryleigh turned

each one. “And the year. ’66. ’67 on some.” A shiver feathered its way from her neck to the tips

of her fingers.

“Want to read it?” The familiar weight of Nat’s head settled on her shoulder. “Like old

times?”

She’d never considered not sharing something with Nat and quickly harnessed the

prickling urge to slam the book shut to prying eyes.

Careful not to damage the pages, she smoothed them flat, the tickle of selfishness

nibbling at her consistent, rational side. As she scanned the pages, she muttered lines at random,

the only autograph the watermarked scars of blurred ink. “The air is thick, gray ashen snow, the

ghost returns, its presence unfought.” She flipped the page. “Fireflies flicker against azure skies,

frolicking hither in reverent riverdance.” The weight against her shoulder anchored a covey of

troublesome thoughts, but Ryleigh continued to pluck lines from the pages. “Sodden showers of

infected rain, across crystal skies littered with fire.” She dragged a finger across an eyebrow.

“Intriguing.”

“You’re mumbling.”

“They dance to their reticent song.”

Natalie frowned. “Who?”

“Fireflies.” She tapped the page with her index finger. “One of the poems is about

fireflies. I wonder if they’re really like that.”

“Seriously?”

Ryleigh tucked a strand of hair behind an ear and closed the book with a finger marking

her place. “I’ve never seen one.”

“C’mon,” Nat said, crossing her arms. “Kids catch fireflies in jars all the time.”

“Not this small-town, sheltered Arizonan.”

“Come to think of it, I’ve never seen one since moving here.”

“They’re on my bucket list.”

Natalie opened and then shut her mouth. “You added to your bucket list without telling

me?”

The concentrated effort Nat used to curb her bewilderment caused Ryleigh to forget her

grief for a fleeting moment. “I’ll see one someday,” she said and reopened the book to the last

page.

“Read to me, Riles.” Nat folded her long legs beneath her, anticipation deepening her

eyes to warm chocolate. “Like when we were kids.”

Ryleigh glanced sideways at her. “I had to explain them to you.”

“So?” Nat said, the short word long on sarcasm. “It’s nostalgic.”

“Okay.” Ryleigh took a deep breath. “This is the last entry. It’s called ‘Lost.’”

“‘I placed my love inside your heart

and softly called your name—

I placed a hole inside of mine

as God’s heavenly angels came.

I placed a kiss of golden tears

upon your tiny chest—

I placed a rainbow at your door

the day you came to rest.

I placed a single pure white rose

upon your tiny feet—

I placed my hand against your cheek

and said good-bye, my sweet.

I placed a gentle autumn breeze

within your tiny space—

I placed with you, a piece of me

and let you go in God’s embrace.’”

~R~’67

The words stuck in her throat with painful intensity. Ryleigh dragged her finger over the

‘R’—the last letter in the journal. “Forty-three years ago.”

Natalie picked at a stray thread in the shredded knee of her True Religion jeans. “I’m not

very good at analyzing poems, but—”

“Whoever wrote this lost a baby.” Careful fingers traced the cover, the stained leather

unsettling, yet somehow comforting beneath her touch. Ryleigh’s neck prickled. A tear trembled

on the edge of her eye. “I feel like I’m eavesdropping,” she said and closed the book. Sheer will

eased the roiling in her stomach.

“Sounds like something you’d write.”

Ryleigh shook her head. “Cozy articles for The Sentinel on county fairs, care packages to

our soldiers, and Mrs. Grayson’s baby quilts don’t count. I haven’t written fiction or poetry in

years.”

“You should.”

Ryleigh raised the journal. “This is raw passion,” she said, sniffing back the telltale signs of

her emotion. “Emotion stripped naked.”

“Your work is like that. Peeking inside the places of your heart no one ever sees.”

“Maybe I don’t want anyone to see.”

Nat paused, and then wrapped her arm over Ryleigh’s shoulder. “Things will get better. I

promise.”

Nat’s words soothed her, a spoken ointment soothing a fresh wound.

* * *

The women sat cross-legged in the empty apartment sorting a mish-mash of items. One

scrap at a time, Ryleigh placed the pieces of her mother’s life into neat piles, turning each one

front to back, puzzled at how little she knew about the odd trinkets, mementos, and letters

safeguarded inside worn-out cardboard boxes. With one pile marked “Save” and the other to be

discarded, it occurred to her what a parallel her mother’s passing was to the death sentence

Chandler had given their marriage. Nothing remained but the pompous flashbacks of one and a

handful of useless trinkets from the other, and with one flick of the wrist (or philandering penis

in Chandler’s case), they are tossed aside with yesterday’s trash. Yet the part that remained—the

part that had wrapped itself around her heart—seemed useless to try to dismiss. Love doesn’t

stop with someone’s absence. Sometimes it grew heavier, the ache deeper, until the hurt no

longer gave in to tears.

The gravity of grief had exhausted her, and she felt as overused as the boxes that held her

mother’s meager belongings. Ryleigh pressed her fingers hard against her temples as if the

pressure would numb the ache and quench the niggling urge to leave it all behind and walk away.

Yet that wasn’t entirely true—the impulse to run bulldozed past any rational thought.

“You okay?”

Ryleigh rubbed the back of her neck. “Just tired.” Her hands fell to her lap. “It’s just,”

she said with a sigh, “none of this makes any sense.” Ryleigh picked up a patch embroidered

with an open-mouthed eagle’s head and tugged at the broken threads. “Who keeps junk like

this?”

Natalie shrugged.

“Or this?” She held up a single brass button. “Mom had hundreds of orphaned buttons.

Why isn’t this one with the others?”

“Don’t know,” Natalie said, straightening, “but I’m curious about the letters.”

Ryleigh stilled. “What letters?”

Natalie reached for the stack bound with a rubber band. “These,” she said, “postmarked

forty-something years ago with no return address.”

Fragments of Eleanor’s life lingered in Ryleigh’s hands—tokens she never bothered to

share. Or had she simply not paid attention when her mother spoke of these things? In either case

it was a moot point: she’d never bothered to ask. And now it was too late.

The items were meaningless, but an ambiguous feeling tapped at her like the annoying

click of a retractable pen. “I don’t want to save this crap, but it feels strange to think about

throwing it away. Does that sound weird?” She voiced the question with no expectations of a

reply.

“Of course it does,” Nat said, the usual lilt returning in her tone. She rose and brushed the

dust from the backside of her jeans. “But it doesn’t surprise me. You are weird.”

“Thanks,” Ryleigh said, reaching for the shoebox. The penciled sketches on the front had

faded, but the drawing of the stylish low-heeled dress shoes remained intact. Over the years, the

corners had become torn and sloppy and the lid slipped easily free. She placed the items inside

and then pressed the lid into place, concealing portions of her mother’s life, remnants absent of

explanation.

An empty feeling swept over her. “Something isn’t right, Nat.” In truth, it felt as if she’d

been yanked from the pages of a fairy tale and didn’t know how to find her way back.

Or if she truly wanted to.

“We’re almost done, Riles.” Natalie offered a hand up, her deep brown eyes glistening

with tiny flecks of copper in the afternoon light. “All that’s left is the desk.”

Ryleigh’s shoulders slumped. “I forgot.” She clasped the journal with one hand and

grabbed Natalie’s outstretched hand with the other. Nat had been her rock when she needed a

steady hand, yet waggish enough to celebrate the good times with all-out regale. Always there.

No matter what. With an achy groan that migrated through every forty-three-year-old bone, she

allowed her best friend to pull her upright.

A photograph fell to the floor between them.

Ryleigh reached it first. They rose together and turned toward the apartment window,

light spilling across the photograph. Yellowed and creased, and deckled edges crimped in several

places, it wore the markings of time.

“Wait…is that your father?”

Ryleigh nodded.

“Where’d this come from?”

“Must’ve been inside the journal.” She pushed the hair from her eyes. “Why didn’t Mom

ever show this to me?”

“Don’t know, but check out your father’s friend. The Kodak is faded, but he’s gorgeous.

Killer eyes,” she said, letting loose an exaggerated whistle.

Ryleigh flipped the photograph over. “Look at this,” she said, tracing a finger over faded

ink, a ghostly impression of time long passed. “Today this may be nothing, but tomorrow it may

be all that’s left.”

“An ‘R’ and 1967.” Natalie raised an eyebrow. “Just like the journal.”

“I wonder if my father’s friend is still alive? Is he the author?”

“Be fun to find out.”

“Fat chance. I’m a fair hand at research for inconsequential feature articles for my

column, but I’m no sleuth. I can’t find my phone half the time.” Ryleigh slumped. “Or keep track

of a husband and where he’s sleeping. Or with whom.”

“Ouch.” Natalie paused, cleared her throat, and then pointed to the photo. “The jungle

background. The dates. This was taken in Vietnam. It’s as good a place as any to start.”

Ryleigh tapped the photo three times against her fingers. She worried her bottom lip in a

series of successive tugs and slipped the photograph into the shoebox.

Natalie grinned. “Well, Sherlock? Shall we find him

Meet the Author :

Susan Haught–award-winning author and Australian black liquorice addict–lives in Arizona’s Rim Country with her husband and spoiled Shih-Tzu, Mercedes, who believes her princess status earns her the right to sleep on pillows, ride shotgun, and train her peers in the fine art of squeaky toys. Her husband is almost as spoiled and almost as noisy with a proficiency in elk bugling. Susan and her husband have one son.

Susan writes contemporary women’s fiction & romance with the belief that Love is Ageless and has the power to change lives–one step, one touch, one kiss at a time.

Contact Information
Website: http://susanhaught.com/index.html

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/SusanHaughtBKS

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