I am coming to you to ask for help for my Sister’s dog Sistinas (Sissy). She was a dumpster baby. She was found by the dumpster and she was not very old. I think whoever threw her away, thought she was dead at birth. She was found and has a happy home. She recently tore her miniscus and also has a luxating patela. When this happened, she was in a hurry to exit our Mom’s travel trailer. Before my Sister could pick her up, she fell off the steps. Sissy is a very active dog and there is no way we can keep her off her leg. It is over $1600 dollars for the surgery. There is no way for her to pay for the surgery at this time. Here is the Go Fund Me Page for Sissy.
The line between passion and obsession runs through us all.
Levi Combs never planned to rocket to stardom.
Eva Florez knew he would the moment she saw him.
Gabe Adams didn’t want anything to do with celebrities.
But after Gabe’s sister sells his photos of Levi with a young starlet to a tabloid website, their lives become intertwined forever, bound by rage and retribution.
Blending the nuance and insight of literary fiction with the big-screen magic of a Hollywood thriller, Focus Lost whisks readers into a world of temptation, indulgence, and revenge, daring them to take a bite of the forbidden fruit.
The road twists and turns away from Los Angeles. A man and girl ride inside an open Jeep. The vehicle slows and bends onto a grassy lane. Trees line both sides, connecting above, cloistering the path. Branches smack against the grill and windshield, raining leaves on the passengers, actor Levi Combs and young starlet Emily James.
A blonde ponytail sprouts from Emily’s head. She rubs the debris from her bare, milky shoulders and legs and swats at the swarm of gnats swirling through the cab. “How did you ever find this place?”
“Driving late at night.” Levi downshifts into first gear to navigate the uneven terrain. Strands of his black curly hair bounce against the red bandana wrapped around his head. He nudges up the black Ferragamo sunglasses resting on the tip of his nose. “You’ll see, you need places like this to escape the cameras.”
Even at only seventeen, Emily already knows that. She had been a working actor since she was three. Levi didn’t get his break until he was twenty. “But what do you do out here?” Emily says, leaning toward the middle to avoid more of the invasive underbrush. She latches onto Levi’s forearm as he continues to work the gearshift.
“Just roam,” Levi says, powering the Jeep through the brush. A dilapidated farmhouse and barn appear ahead. He drives past the buildings into an overgrown orchard. Wild plants and grass extend up through the decaying branches spotted with leaves but bearing no fruit. “Solitude is your only friend in our business. Everyone either wants a share of what you have or to keep you from getting theirs.” He increases speed, swerving between the dying trees. The thick weeds and fallen branches scrape against the undercarriage.
Emily clutches the safety bar. “Shouldn’t you slow down?”
Levi accelerates, passing the last row of trees. “Hang on.”
The weeded field drops off into a canyon fifty yards ahead. Panic seizes Emily. “Come on. What are you doing? Just stop.” The space between the Jeep and the canyon decreases. Shrieking, Emily closes her eyes and curls up into a ball on the seat.
Levi stomps the breaks. The Jeep skids to a halt. Levi and Emily thrust forward. The seatbelts tighten and yank them back into the seats. The edge of the canyon appears just beyond the hood. A cloud of dust passes over them. Levi kills the Jeep. The sound of the engine fades into the fog blanketing the bottom of the canyon. Nearby rocky peaks poke through the mist like islands in a white sea. Unbuckling his seatbelt, Levi stands and looks out above the windshield. “Great view, huh?”
Emily uncoils and opens her eyes to the tranquil, majestic setting. She rips off the seatbelt and launches from the Jeep. “You’re an asshole.” She stomps to the edge of the canyon and stares into the emptiness.
Levi trails after her. “Relax. You weren’t in danger. I told you, I come here all the time.”
“But what if we had rolled over?” Emily asks, the fear revealing the young girl she never allows herself to be.
Stepping up next to her, Levi bumps his hip playfully into hers. “But we didn’t.”
“Still,” Emily says, accentuating her pouting with a little girl’s voice. “Why do you have to push everything?”
“That’s funny, coming from the queen of the fast lane. You know I wouldn’t let anything happen to myself. The world would be such a far drearier place without me.” Levi wraps his arm around her, wiggling it to loosen her up. “There’s a waterfall a short hike from here.” He spins her toward him. “What do you say we go for a swim?”
“I suppose.” A restrained smile creeps out through her dissipating anger. “But I’m still mad at you.”
About the Author
Doug Cooper is the author of the award-winning novels Outside In and The Investment Club and 2019 thriller Focus Lost. Always searching, he has traveled to over twenty-five countries on five continents, exploring the contradictions between what we believe and how we act in the pursuit of truth, beauty, and love.
Cassie Bowmont had what it took to succeed, at least that’s what she told herself. Hoping a change of pace and new scenery would get her creative juices flowing, she rented a beach cottage in the small town of Avenel where she could dip her pen into the steamy depths of adult romance. She didn’t need or want any distractions to thwart her progress, but she hadn’t counted on Chris Walker. After deciding that he would be a great muse for the hero in her book, she realized that a summer fling with him was just what the Book Gods ordered.
When Chris Walker spotted the small car on the shoulder of the road, his hero complex kicked in. Unable to ignore a damsel in distress, he pulled over to be a knight in a Ford F-150. He stomped through the flooded road and convinced Cassie to follow him to safety. After a goodbye wave in the parking lot of a Piggly Wiggly, he figured he’d never see her again, but Fate had other plans. When their paths crossed once more, he paused long enough to notice the delight in her eyes, the playful smirk on her glossy lips, and the determination of her spirit. His heart stuttered. His brain flooded with need, and a crack penetrated the wall around his heart.
They knew the summer was all they’d have but falling for each other was inevitable. The pleasure of lust somehow transformed into the contentment of love. When a jilted lover returns and sabotages their relationship, they must decide if they will be prisoners to the past or sail into their future.
“Are you published?” Chris asked.
“Yes.” She nodded and added, “Self-published.”
Pink heated her cheeks. She wasn’t about to tell him that she wrote romance and was considering erotica. She hadn’t decided yet. She read both, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to be an erotica writer. She wasn’t sure she had enough sexual experience or creativity to write a book that needed eight to ten sex scenes. She thought she could handle two or three at the most per book, which was what most of the romances she’d read had.
“I’m debating between writing contemporary romance or romantic suspense. You know, chick lit.” She did her best to make that sound boring and uninteresting.
“Chick lit,” he repeated. The corners of his mouth turned up. Was that code for mommy porn? His cock perked up at the news. What kind of naughty thoughts went through her mind? Damn, she was already hot, but that information made her down right volcanic. He’d have to get his hands on one of her books to check it out.
“You know, books you read at the beach, while waiting in line at the grocery store. Something with a Happily Ever After. Feel good books,” she added with a casual shrug. Then she cursed adding that last part.
His green eyes darkened with lust. Feel good books. He knew what that meant. Women all over America read books at night to ‘feel good’. Was she into that? Damn, his pants were getting tight in the crotch just thinking about the ways she could make him feel good.
She wanted to roll her eyes. Men were so predictable. They couldn’t help but think with their cocks. She should have known the man sitting across from her would be no different. He’d been a gentleman last night and had been polite so far, but the heat in his gaze betrayed the truth that his cock had taken over his brain once the conversation shifted to something that hinted at the notion of sexuality.
When would her bacon and eggs get here? She needed to finish this impromptu breakfast. She leaned closer to him and shook her head. “I don’t write about sex,” she stated matter-of-factly and a little annoyed.
It didn’t matter that she was going to write about sex. He didn’t need to know that was what she was considering. The way he looked at her suddenly made her feel dirty. Like she was some porn queen who’d fucked an entire town or a sports team. She wasn’t into group sex or even banging strangers. She liked to be wined and dined. She had high standards for men she’d be with romantically. But if the look he was giving her was typical for how men would approach her once they knew that she wrote romance, she’d have to come up with a pen name. It was becoming clear that keeping her writing persona separate from her true identity would be the best plan.
Chris leaned back in the booth and waved his hand as if wiping away dirty thoughts. “Of course not. I didn’t think you did.”
She raised an eyebrow.
“Look, you don’t owe me an explanation. I love books. The only bad book is an unread book, right?” Hopefully that appeased her.
Thankfully the waitress set their plates on the table in front of them at that moment. Clearing his throat, he thanked the waitress and grabbed a piece of bacon and shoved it into his mouth before he said something stupid.
Cassie picked up her fork and jabbed the liquid center of her egg. The yolk spilled out and flowed over the egg white. Would everyone look at her like she was a weirdo if they knew what she wrote? Could she live with that?
About the Author
Karen Tjebben lives in central North Carolina with her wonderful husband, twin daughters, and two hamsters. When her girls left for kindergarten, Karen discovered that she needed to fill her days with something, and that was the beginning of her writing career. She loves to create worlds filled with unique characters that she hopes will delight and raise goose bumps on her readers. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and seeing the world through her daughters’ eyes.
Lauren has loved Luke since first grade. They planned to marry—until he murdered her sister. The moment he was sentenced to prison, Lauren fled with her secret baby and made a new life. Now she’ll do anything to keep their daughter safe. But her hard won peace shatters when Luke is exonerated, and it sets her on a path of mixed emotions to discover the truth. Letting a killer into their tightly knit family is out of the question. Or is it?
She almost destroys her life by threatening his…
Prison stole his future with Lauren and twelve years of Luke’s life, so the last thing he needs from her is a knife in the back or a gun in his face. Lauren believes he killed her sister, and he has no plans to pick up where they left off. Luke can’t afford to trust her, but he wants nothing more than to convince her he’s worth fighting for.
Their daughter is in danger…
Luke is heartbroken when he learns they had a child together. Now his daughter is in danger. Lauren trusted the wrong person for far too long, but he hopes she’ll now trust him. Luke will risk everything to keep them safe. And Lauren will risk everything if she lets him into her heart.
When Lauren strode through the door and saw Luke, she halted. A panic switch flicked on in her chest, heart pounding in fight-or-flight mode.
Stay. Don’t run. She forced her erratic breathing to slow.
Laramie stood beside her. Laramie. Why hadn’t she picked up the car later, when Laramie wasn’t around? Oh yeah, because she never expected to confront Luke at the same body shop he recommended.
Jim Edwards approached. She didn’t know him well, but enough to know he was a good man and ran a good shop. He and his wife owned and managed it together. Despite Luke’s recommendation, Jim’s reputation made it her first choice. Knowing Luke worked here would have changed everything.
Jim was tall but squatty, with a permanent curve to his back, a twinkle in his eyes, and salt and pepper hair. Grease covered his clothes. He rubbed his hands in a towel but didn’t offer a shake.
“Ms. Cooper, good to see you again. Your vehicle is ready. You wanna look it over first?”
The shop was full of grease and tools and contraptions expected to be in such a workplace. A sign to her right pointed to the office. That’s the direction she should have gone. If only she had known to avoid Luke.
“Um.” She wet her lips, swallowed, and ignored Luke’s gaze from the other side of the garage. “Who handled the repairs?”
“Oh, that’d be Luke Fuller. Great technician. He’s standing right over there if you’d like to talk to him.”
Jim pointed, but she knew exactly who Luke Fuller was.
What kind of joke was this? A joke with destiny? How had Luke been the one to repair her vehicle? It was practically his fault she had wrecked. Not directly his fault, but indirectly. She had been running from him and from all the emotions he’d wrought in her.
He should have told her he worked here.
“Luke,” Jim called, waving him over. She hadn’t answered, so he must have thought that meant she wanted to talk with the technician.
She didn’t. She wanted to get into her car and run away. She’d have to force herself to go slow and easy so she didn’t wreck. Luke’s long strides ate up the distance between them.
“That’s okay, we’re good to go,” she told Jim, but he kept waving Luke over.
She had wanted to talk to him. Tell him how sorry she was about everything that happened. But now wasn’t the time. Her whole body shook, weakness assailing her when her daughter gasped beside her.
“Laramie, get in the car,” she whispered.
Laramie was busy studying the man coming toward them, blatantly curious. She undoubtedly recognized Luke from her online search.
He stopped in front of them. Lauren tried to turn Laramie away, but Jim spoke.
“Can you go over the Escape with Ms. Cooper? I’ve got to run. Great to meet you and do business with you, ma’am. You can settle up your deductible in the office there. Claire will take care of you. Or Luke can take care of it, too.” He nodded toward the door and offered his hand. “Have a great day, little lady,” he said to Laramie. The man walked away, and she stared at his disappearing back, her mouth opening but no words formed.
I don’t want to talk to Luke, she wanted to say.
She avoided his gaze and eyed Jim’s retreating back as if he was her lifeline. But when she turned back to Luke, his brows creased and his head swiveled between Laramie and her.
She planted her hand on Laramie’s shoulder. “Get in the car. I’ll be there in a minute.” Her voice was shaky, empty, and way too tactless not to sound suspicious. She couldn’t have him studying Laramie too long. She didn’t need him to figure things out. And she damn sure didn’t want Laramie questioning anything.
“As you can see, ma’am, we replaced the passenger door and fixed the front fender. The bumper was a bit skewed, and—”
She whirled on him, her eyes flashing fire. “And what else did you do?” Her whisper was a silent but scorching scream, only meant for his ears. But not silent enough Laramie wouldn’t hear the irritation. Her daughter continued to stand beside her, but she was too shocked to do anything about it.
He gave a slight headshake as if confused by her outburst. “Excuse me?”
“I’m supposed to get into this vehicle now? After you’ve touched it?”
He took a step back, his mouth opening.
“I replaced your fender and repaired your passenger door. Your bumper needed a bit of adjustment, too.”
Angry fire clogged her throat, her voice an eerie grumbling twang. Laramie stood silent beside her, watching her, observing her reaction. Lauren bit back on her fear.
This was Luke’s daughter. Luke’s daughter, and he didn’t know it, didn’t need to know it. She never would have brought her if she’d known he was working here. But now her best interest was to know everything she could about him, including his daily routine and where he worked, so she never had to run into him again.
Best to stay composed and avoid attention. She didn’t need her daughter wondering, or Luke studying her daughter too much.
She needed to get out of here.
His gaze flipped to hers, then to Laramie’s. She shielded her by shifting ever so slightly in front of her, but the question in his eyes revealed his curiosity.
“Mom?” Her daughter’s voice held that tween-angst-trust-no-one-and-question-everything tone.
“Get in the car,” she told Laramie, biting back her name. She refused to speak her name in front of Luke, as if that made everything real.
“You have a daughter?” Luke’s voice rose in a choppy wave of aggression.
No one besides them was in the shop. What would Jim’s reaction be if he knew he’d left her alone with the man who had sired her child and gone to prison for murdering her sister?
Her belly tightened. The car stereo fired up, jolting her back to reality. Laramie had climbed into the car, doing as asked, and a boomy bassy song blared from the speakers. The rumble resonated in her heartbeat.
“How old is she?” Luke asked. Why was she still here, her feet planted into the concrete floor as if stuck? His eyes flashed, lips curled. Her entire body shook. Curled into knots.
She squared her shoulders. “Thank you for the repair,” she said, then turned on her heel toward the car.
About the Author
Angela Smith is a Texas native who, years ago, was dubbed most likely to write a novel during her senior year in high school. She always had her nose stuck in a book, even hiding them behind her textbooks during school study time. Her dream began at a young age when her sister started reciting ‘Brer Rabbit’ after their mom read it to them so often. She told her mom she’d write a story one day and never gave up on that dream even though her mom was never able to see it come to fruition. By day, she works as a certified paralegal and office manager at her local District Attorney’s office and spends her free time with her husband, their pets, and their many hobbies. Although life in general keeps her very busy, her passion for writing and getting the stories out of her head tends to make her restless if she isn’t following what some people call her destiny.
Cookie & Milk are nothing alike but are their best when together. Follow through this dynamic duo skateboard stunts and tubular-tastic surfs to discover what lies beneath true friendship. Cookie is a genius, Milk a daredevil. Cookie loves math & science. Milk loves adventure & adrenaline. What could two little girls who are nothing alike possibly have in common? Follow this dynamic duo through skateboard stunts and tubular-tastic surfs to discover what lies beneath true friendship. You may be surprised at what you find. Michele McAvoy has created a genuine story that breaks stereotypes sure to entertain, excite, and endear young readers and parents alike.
About the Author
Michele is a mother of two young children, an attorney and a writer. She began writing creatively again as an adult after the tragic loss of her father in 2001. This loss coupled with the joys and craziness of being a mother has allowed her to tap into a wonderful well of inspiration. Her picture book entitled “The Gorilla Picked Me!” was released Spring 2018 with Native Ink Press. Her picture book entitled “Cookie & Milk” is slated to release in 2019 with Cardinal Rule Press and is listed as a top shelf title with IPG. A personal piece she wrote entitled, “Writing for Children from Tragedy,” was published on September 8, 2017, by The Children’s Writer’s Guild (http://www.childrenswritersguild.com/writing-for-children-from-tragedy/). She’s a member of SCBWI (active in NY & NJ), The Author’s Guild (https://www.authorsguild.net/services/members/2412).
In a kingdom in turmoil, people only care for riches and power. As a war breaks out between countries, a godly power is awakening.
Two boys train at the Academy to become Knights of Valor. Best friends, one is filled with light while the other leans towards darkness.
They both have the power to change the world – or destroy it – in their battle for what they believe is right.
This was one of my favorite scenes to write. Began the book off with a bang.
Alistair pulled off his helmet, his long blonde hair fell down his back. His blue eyes were filled with rage, aimed at Ballard. “If you do not move out of my way, I will be forced to move you,” Alistair hissed, this time his hand on the hilt of his sword.
Ballard slyly grinned, “So you would be willing to do battle within these walls?”
“If it means getting to see the King, then yes,” Alistair replied, standing tall and unwavering.
Ballard unsheathed his blade, “If you refuse to back down, then have at thee.” His determination was just as unwavering as Alistair’s.
Alistair felt as though his hand had been forced, and he too unsheathed his blade. The two men were now set to do battle. Ballard was the first to strike with his blade, but Alistair parried the attack, “Not bad, Chamberlain. But now it is my turn,” he said, then lunged at Ballard.
Ballard knocked the blade away without even trying, “Not bad yourself Knight, but you will have to do better than that if you want to best me,” he sheepishly grinned.
The sound of steel clashing against steel could be heard all throughout the castle as the two men fought each other. Hearing the sounds echoing through out must have drawn the ire of King Edward, for he stormed out of the throne room, and unbeknownst to the two men he used his blade “Kings Defender” to knock Alistair and Ballard’s swords from their hands, sending them both to the floor without trouble. “What is the meaning of this? Fighting inside my castle walls is forbidden.”
The King was infuriated with the both of them. “Tell me. Why would my first Knight and most trusted adviser be in my halls fighting like two fools,” he shouted at them both. “I want answers, or so help me I will have both of you locked up in the dungeon for months.” Instead of answering King Edward. Ballard made a big mistake by reaching for his sword and King Edward took notice by stepping on the blade, keeping the sword just out of reach, “Reach for your blade one more time Chamberlain, trusted or not I will cut off your hand,” the King yelled. “Now which of you are going to give me the answer I seek?”
Alistair on one knee placed his arm across his chest and bowed before he spoke, “Your majesty. I have urgent news for you, but before I could deliver. The Chamberlain here refused to let me have an audience, and this is urgent and I did what I felt was right. Even if it meant fighting inside these walls. I do apologize, I should have thought this through.”
Edward then looked over at Ballard, “Is this true, Chamberlain?”
“It is my Lord,” Ballard answered.
King Edward’s anger was solely upon his Chamberlain now, “Why would you stop my First Knight from coming to see me? You know it is important whenever he rushes in like this.”
“My Lord, you’ve been ill lately and do not need the stress. I was only thinking of you your majesty,” explained Ballard
“You had no right,” the King responded. “As long as I am the King of Drasal, and have the aid of my blade, I refuse to be treated like an old frail man. I shall always be here for my knights and my people. Get out of my sight, Ballard!”
“But your majesty-” the Chamberlain tried to speak but the King would have none of it.
“I said to get out of my sight,” King Edward shouted again.
The Chamberlain stood up and asked if he could have his sword back, of course, the King was not a heartless man and allowed him to take back his blade. But Ballard did not go far, instead, he hid out of sight and listened in on what King Edward and Alistair had to say to one another.
“Go on Lord Alistair, tell of this news you speak of,” the King said, now in a much calmer state, but still as serious as ever.
Alistair sheathed his sword and picked up his helmet. “The Dark Knights have returned and are on the move, your majesty.”
Edward’s face had now changed to a look of despair, “What? The Dark Knights have returned? You must be mistaken, Knight. That evil was laid to rest a lifetime ago.”
“Yes, I remember my Lord. I was just a kid when you vanquished that evil with the King’s Defender, and a handful of knights to aid you. But believe in my words, I have seen them with my own eyes. They have returned and are not far from here, my Lord,” said Alistair.
King Edward held tightly onto the hilt of his blade, “If that is the case, then I shall ride out with you and vanquish that evil once more.”
“King Edward, you musn’t. You are ill! And who knows what could happen out there. Your people need you now more than ever. If you would, please allow me to take some more men and go out to scout, and see what they are up to that is. At least allow me that before you get involved, my King. Please. I beg of you,” Alistair pleaded.
Edward was reluctant but agreed to do as Alistair had wished, “Okay, Alistair. I will do as you wish and allow you to take a few extra men out with you, under one condition.”
“Of course.” He bowed. “Name your condition.”
“You take only a few men, and some from the Academy as well. And under no circumstances do you engage the Dark Knights. Understood,” King Edward explained.
“I understand your majesty. I shall do as you ask,” replied Alistair.
“Then go now Knight Of Valor, and assemble your team. I shall be awaiting your return, may the gods watch over you,” King Edward said.
Alistair crossed his arm over his chest and bowed to the King, “I shall take my leave now, your majesty. And thank you for placing your trust in me once more.”
King Edward stood there for a moment, mumbling a few words under his breath before turning and walking back into the throne room. However, there lurking in the shadows was the King’s Chamberlain, and he heard every word that was said. “So the Dark Knights have returned from the ashes, that must mean “the dark powers” are up for grabs again. And all the mythical blades powers must have been resurrected as well. Which would explain why the King took us down so easily while being so frail.
“This could be good for me,” Ballard whispered, before disappearing back into the shadows.
About the Author
I am the author of Albert: Killer In The Woods and many more. I love to write horror novels and short stories as well. I live in Powell Wyoming with my fiancee and two kids.