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A Serenade to Die For – Blitz

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Romantic Suspense
Date Published: April 2017
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On the verge of her long-sought career breakthrough, singer Isbel Vargas has just completed the performance of a lifetime when a kidnapper demands a ransom for her father. Thanks to his car theft and antiquities operation, her father will be arrested if she involves the Acapulco police. Who can she turn to?
Isbel’s ex-boyfriend, Cane Mullins, is once again south of the border, purportedly tracking down his beloved Camaro, a vintage street rod stolen years before by her father. Cane gets more than he bargains for, though, when he again crosses paths with the exquisite singer. Chased at high speed through the Sierra Madres, the former lovers search for Isbel’s father and a priceless sword he has hidden away, the sole surviving Aztec maquahuitl, while sparks fly and passion reignites. But can Isbel trust Cane again…with her heart?
Excerpt 

from Chapter One

Acapulco, Mexico, 2008
                “Isbel.” Clap. Clap. Clap.
                “ISBEL!” Clap. Clap. Clap.
                “ISBEL!” CLAP. CLAP. CLAP.
                Isbel laughed and danced to center stage in rhythm with the clapping. Three spotlights warmed her skin as her white sequined dress glistened and twinkled in reply. Spinning slowly, she loosened the clips holding her long black hair and let it tumble onto her shoulders.
                “I’m Isbel Vargas,” she murmured into the mike. The theater erupted. “I hope you loved your evening in Paradise. I know I did.”
                An understatement. Finally. She was home.
                Wolf whistles faded and shouts of encouragement fell silent as she began to sing again, a final serenade for the perfect audience.
                Her voice soared.
                At the end of the song, she succumbed to the joy claiming her soul. This was what she was meant to do. The music swelled into a crescendo as Isbel let tears stream down her face. Lighter flames and cell phone screens glowed in the surrounding galaxy of fans. Isbel blew kisses and waved and then stepped back to catch hands with Hudson and Octavio as they lined up to bow together.
                Backstage, goose bumps prickled her arms as Isbel palmed the tears from her cheeks. Her mountain of a drummer, Octavio, laughed and lifted her off her feet to spin her around. She looked over his shoulder and stiffened as he lowered her. Her feet touched down.
                Cane.
                He shouldn’t be here. He couldn’t be. She’d banished him forever. Yet there he stood, an unwelcome specter from her past.
                Hurricane. It really was him.
                He said quietly, “You were sensational, Isabella. Better than I remembered.” His voice hadn’t changed. Smooth as a frosty beer on a salt-flats day, but quiet and low, taking its own sweet time to roll out each syllable.
                Apparently Cane’s taste in clothing hadn’t changed either. A vivid yellow and green Hawaiian shirt topped new khakis and work boots. He looked strong and tan and unfairly handsome. Flashing the same stunning white smile as he pushed his red baseball cap to the back of his head, he freed more of his wavy dark hair. His eyes gleamed with mischief as he suddenly grabbed the brim of the cap and swept it low in a courtly bow.
                “Guess I should call you Isbel now, shouldn’t I? Like everyone else does. Well, whoever you are, you could stop the Super Bowl in that dress.”
                Isbel remembered to breathe.
                “Hurricane Mullins,” she said softly, holding tight to her desire to march over and slap him. “The only thing you can call me is good-bye.”
                Was it Hurricane who’d tailed her through traffic earlier in the day? Whoever it was rode a bright red crotch rocket. Funny how it matched Cane’s bright red cap. Definitely his style. Or more appropriately, lack of style. On top of that, only the band and hotel staff could get backstage. By facing her here, Hurricane thumbed his nose at all of them, at their pathetic security measures and semblance of control.
                The hint of a smile on his face, he looked at the floor in front of her toes. Clearly, there wasn’t a contrite bone in his body as his gaze then swept up to relish every curve of her body. Amber flames ignited deep in his eyes. “Glad to see you haven’t lost that spitfire,” he said.
                “Glad to see you’re enjoying the view,” she retorted. “Now get out of here. Or I’ll call security.”
                Hurricane shrugged. “Okay by me. They have a couple of problem areas, and I can set them straight.”
                “You arrogant…”
                “Look, Isabella. Isbel. I don’t want to fight. I came back down for the same reason I did the first time, when I took the job with your father.”
                “What, did you actually find your precious car?”
                Flipping his cap around in his hands, he shrugged and said, “Not yet. But there’s a new lead on the Camaro. If I get it back and your father did have something to do with it going missing, he might take the fall. Figured I could at least warn you.”
                Isbel narrowed her eyes. “How big of you. Or are you just trying to find out where he is?”
                Octavio leaned close to rest one hand on Isbel’s shoulder. “You okay, Isbel? Want me to get rid of this guy?”
                Isbel hesitated. That would be the easy way out. At six foot four, Octavio stood a couple of inches taller than Cane and outweighed him by at least forty pounds. Cane looked tougher, though. Hardened. Like seasoned driftwood. She wondered if Octavio really could get rid of him if Cane fought back. But this was her battle, and she could handle Hurricane Mullins.
                Isbel shook her head. “I’m fine, Tavio. Thanks. I’ll just be another minute.” He squeezed her shoulder gently but didn’t move. “Seriously. Go back over with the band. I’ll be right there.”
                Octavio nodded slowly. He pointed at Cane. “I’m watching,” he said as he backed away.
                Cane sighed and slipped his cap back onto his head. “I shouldn’t have even tried. You had nothing to do with it then, and you don’t now.”
                “Nothing to do with it? You’re talking about my father!”
                “Isabella, will you for God’s sake listen to me?!” He straightened to tower over her. “Just this once? Please? This time I want to talk about my family!”
                Isbel clenched her jaw, trying to think of a jagged comeback. Drew a blank.
                Hurricane hurried on. “I bought the Camaro with my brother. We decided to share the car but would hand it down to my kids or his—whoever had ’em first. We sweated blood rebuilding the damn thing. Had a blast, though. Always did, until those last few months.” Cane fell silent, gazed beyond Isbel at nothing. Then he said quietly, “Sky died in ’96, just after we finished restoring the car.” He cleared his throat, looked back at her. “I respected your decision, and I’ve stayed away, as you asked.”
                “Cane. Your brother… You never…”
                “Doesn’t matter. Not now.” He waved his hands between them, breaking their bond. “But even if it had been a clunker used for delivering pizzas, Mickey jacked it.”
                “He said he didn’t steal it.”
                “He pushed it through his chop shop.”
                “You never proved that.”
                “What if I would have?”
                Isbel swallowed hard. At the sweet age of twenty it had been easy for her to blame Hurricane. Now, she knew better.
                Her father wasn’t exactly honest, but the label “criminal” didn’t exactly fit him, either. But one thing she did know: she was absolutely furious that this all resurfaced today. Today, of all days, when she should be celebrating, Cane had to return.
                “Seems like old times, doesn’t it?” Isbel said. “But you know, Hurricane, just like your nickname, every time you show up there’s a huge mess.”
                “It’s not my nickname.”
                “Oh, yeah, I forgot. Well, stay out of my life. You don’t know anything about my father. Or me.”
                “Isabella, I like your father. Always did.”
                “Sure have a funny way of showing it.”
                “I just want my car back.” Cramming his thumbs into his pants pockets, Cane inhaled raggedly. “And…it was…amazing to hear you sing again. There was a time when I thought I’d get to listen to you for the rest of my life.”
                She turned her back on him, strode over to the refreshment table, and groped for a bottle of water. Twisting off the cap helped hide the tremor in her hands. She took a deep drink, nodded in reassurance at Octavio, who watched from the far end of the table, and then walked straight back to Cane. “Stay out of my life,” she said.
                “I’d hoped that after all this time you would have cooled off and, when I finally explained why the Camaro is so important, that you could…well, that you would forgive me.”
                She searched his eyes. Not a hint of insincerity. She understood better now. But forgiveness? It was too late. She couldn’t betray her badly-behaved father any more than Cane could betray the memory of his brother.
                “Isab…”
                “Go.”
                He nodded. Pulled a card from his pocket. “If you ever need me…”
                “Good-bye, Hurricane.”
About the Authors

Janet Fogg’s focus on writing began when she was CFO and Managing Principal of one of Colorado’s largest architectural firms. Fifteen writing awards later she resigned from the firm to follow the yellow brick road, and ten months after that signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press for her historical romance, Soliloquy, a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit winner.
Janet once participated in a successful rattlesnake hunt, has climbed two dozen of Colorado’s Fourteeners, was alternate on a winning trapshooting team, and recently received her motorcycle endorsement.
With husband Richard, Janet co-wrote Fogg in the Cockpit, one of five books nominated in 2012 by the Air Force Historical Foundation for best World War II book reviewed in Air Power History.
In 2016, Janet Fogg and Dave Jackson celebrated the release of their first book in a new adventure series for the young—and young at heart!  In Misfortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper, you’ll ride with Annabelle Fortune, an 1880s cowgirl tougher than Calamity Jane!  Book Two, Misfortune Annie and the Voodoo Curse, will be released in late 2017.
In their newest collaboration, A Serenade to Die For, you’ll be introduced to a sultry singer, her hunky ex-boyfriend, his stolen hot rod, and the sole-surviving Aztec sword. (It ain’t over till the phat lady sings!)

Not your typical author, Dave Jackson started writing in his constant pursuit to become a renaissance man. Then he fell in love with the art form. Comedy remains one of his many passions and he writes and performs skits as well as stand-up. Also a songwriter and guitarist, Dave has composed over 300 musical titles.  Settled now in Colorado, Dave is passionate about living life to the fullest with those he loves, especially his young son.
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MOLLY BELL AND THE WISHING WELL -BLITZ

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Middle Grade
Date Published:  December 2016
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Molly Bell is an eleven-year old girl who used to be a whimsical, sporty type of a child with a zest for living. All that has been turned upside down by the untimely death of her cherished mother two years ago. To make matters worse, her father is getting remarried to a high-maintenance beauty that Molly seemingly has nothing in common with, and she comes with an annoying six-year old son, Henry, who finds a way to wreck everything in his path.
Molly can’t find anything about her new circumstances to be excited about, until her Aunt Joan tells her about the wishing well at Molly’s grandparents’ farm. According to Aunt Joan, every wish she ever made there came true. And it just so happens that Molly and Henry will be staying at the farm for a week while their parents are on their honeymoon. Molly is convinced if she could just find that wishing well, she could wish for her mom to come back to life and everything will be okay again.
But Molly is in for a few surprises, and more that a few hard lessons about being careful what you wish for when the consequences of Molly’s selfish desires wreak havoc on her entire family. Can Molly make things right again through the wishing well? Or will she need to find it within herself to bring back the joy in her life that has been missing all this time?
Excerpt

 

CHAPTER EIGHT
Molly was lying in bed, still as a mummy, star- ing up at the ceiling fan. The whirling of the fan and the rhythm of the ticking of the clock on the
wall should have lulled her to sleep hours ago. But sleep didn’t come easy when your mind buzzed as busy as a swarm of bees. As hard as she tried, Molly couldn’t get the thought of the wishing well out of her head.
What if Grandpa Cody’s wish didn’t come true because he didn’t believe hard enough? Didn’t Grandma Saige say that the power of a wish was be- lieving in it? What if Molly really believed as hard as she could, would it still be possible? The waiting drove her crazy. Too many questions remained un- answered. What did it look like? And why did her mom show it to her in a dream?
That was it. Molly had to find out. And now was as good a time as any, since she wouldn’t be getting any sleep anyhow.
Molly sat up, stiff and groggy, and pulled the cov- ers off of her. Luckily, the full moon outside cast a dull glow inside Aunt Joan’s room from the window. It gave Molly just enough light to find her way to her suitcase without turning on the bedroom light and risk waking anyone up.
What should she wear? Molly decided on jeans and a long-sleeve T-shirt. Even though it was most likely still warm and muggy out, she didn’t want the bugs pestering her. She fumbled her way through the suitcase and got dressed as quietly as possible. That was very hard to do in a mostly dark room.
But where were her sneakers? Molly’s heart sank. She had left them outside because they were muddy! Oh well, they were most likely still there. That was not a good enough reason for her to give up now.
Molly snuck the two pennies on the nightstand into her jeans pocket for safekeeping. She was ready, but not really. Molly was nervous. She didn’t yet have a plan. Oh, well, just go for it, she decided. What else was she going to do, sit up all night and think about it?
The first step would be to get out of the house undetected. Molly tiptoed to the bedroom door. She turned the knob ever so slightly. Phew, it wasn’t squeaky. Molly eased the door open and peered into the upstairs hallway.
All the other doors were closed. Molly paused to listen. It was noiseless, except for Molly’s breathing, which sounded too loud.
Molly put one foot out into the hallway to test and see if the floor was creaky. It was, a little. She imagined herself a burglar and inched across the side of the hallway, careful not to disturb any of the pictures on the wall. Her eyes adjusted to the dark- ness, but she could still see only about a foot in front of her at a time. Molly held her arms out to feel her way, relying on all her senses to maneuver down the hall.
The moonlight from the downstairs front win- dow illuminated the stairwell. She was worried about tumbling down and waking everyone up, ruin- ing her adventure. Not to mention hurting herself. So, like a fool, she sat down on the front step. And slowly, one by one, scooted down each step on her bottom until she safely reached the first floor.
Once she was downstairs, Molly looked up to make sure she was still alone. She was, and she sure felt like it. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. It felt really creepy. She fought against the urge to get back upstairs and tuck herself back into bed. Maybe this would be the re- solve that was needed to show the wishing well that she really did deserve to have her wish come true. Molly steeled herself and carried on.
She would need a light for outside. Molly remem- bered that Grandpa Cody had gotten a large, bright flashlight out of the pantry in the kitchen when the power had gone out during one of her visits.
Molly crept into the kitchen. The refrigerator buzzed. Funny, she had never noticed that sound before. The light from the clock display on the stove showed her the way to the pantry. Molly eased the door open. Everything inside looked the same, mostly cans and boxes. She took a breath to give herself patience. One impulsive move could send everything flying off the shelves and cause a ruckus.
She felt around the items on the pantry shelves, her fingertips guiding her from one thing to the next. Something felt like plastic. Molly carefully re- moved it and brought it close to her. It was a large container of ketchup. Disappointed, and not sure that she should bother to keep looking, she spotted a basket on the pantry floor. Molly knelt down and felt through it. Batteries, a radio maybe, and the flashlight!
With a sigh of relief and thanks, Molly grabbed the flashlight. As much as she wanted to turn it on for help, she knew she had to wait until she was far enough away. So she clutched it next to her body and snuck out the side kitchen door, being sure to shut the door slowly and quietly.
Thank goodness, Grandma Saige had left the outside light on next to the kitchen entrance. And there were Molly’s sneakers, placed neatly on the stoop. They had been carefully cleaned, shined up to a polish. Molly smiled. Grandma Saige must have done it.
Molly pulled on her shoes and breathed in the damp nighttime air. She noticed that far off into the distance, past the vegetable garden and the fields where she was headed, it was pitch black besides the moonlit glow way up in the sky.
It was so different than nighttime in her own neighborhood. At least there were streetlights there, homes all around giving a sense of not being utterly and completely alone. Here there was no such se- curity. It was just Molly, and the sound of bugs that couldn’t be seen.
Molly stood and walked briskly past the vegeta- ble garden. She strutted with a purpose, her arms around her waist for comfort, clutching the still un- lit flashlight. She was approaching the pathway be- tween two rows of cornfields. She would follow this narrow dirt path to the end of the corn, and then she should be close.
Molly’s concentration was broken by a rustling in the cornfield beside her. She froze, her heart screaming inside of her. It could be a coyote. Or a serial killer. What a fool she was!
Her hands trembling, she pressed the button of the flashlight to turn it on, and shone it in the di- rection of the unwelcome noise. “Who’s there?” she whispered loudly, sounding more like a scared little girl than she wanted to.
A shadowy shape emerged from the cornstalks. It moved low to the ground, creeping toward her.
Molly scolded herself for going outside all alone. What kind of trouble was headed her way?
About the Author

Bridget Geraghty lives in northern Illinois with her husband and three children.  She taught elementary school for eight years before focusing on writing.  It is her sincere hope that her stories inspire and uplift the minds and spirits of her young readers.
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UNLEASH -BLITZ

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Urban Fantasy
Date Published:  May 5, 2017
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Craving a gritty, kickass heroine? If you like guns, magic, & heartbreaking drama, you NEED this book!
Orphaned. Hunted. Pissed as hell.
Helena Martin doesn’t know who she hates more, the sorcerers who fired the magic-laced bullet or the gang-lord master who used her mother as a shield. It’s not the price she expected for escaping magical slavery, nor is the unstable power now pulsing in her veins.
Caught between her former master’s hunters and the Guild Sorcerers determined to kill them, she finds a safe haven at a dog rescue willing to take in a different kind of stray. But Helena’s newly-unleashed power is a beacon for her enemies. And they’re threatening the first place she’s ever thought of as home.
Praise for Unleash
 
“A visceral, heart-pounding ride of a book that will keep you guessing until the final bloody breath.” – Award-winning fantasy author Pip Ballantine (The Books of the Order, The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences)
About the Author

Lauren Harris was raised by an impulsive furniture mover and an itinerant TV News professional in a string of homes up and down the East Coast of the United States. Eventually settling (sort of) in Raleigh, NC, Lauren befriended a band of whimsical nerds who found themselves de-facto beta readers for her scribblings.
After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she studied English and Classics, Lauren moved to Tokyo, Japan for three years. While there, she studied Japanese, taught English, and fell in love with the hot drink section in the vending machines.
Now, Lauren balances a day-job of Cardiac Ultrasound with her passion for writing and other creative persuits. She is the author of The Millroad Academy Exorcists novella series and an Assistant Editor at Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. Her narration and voice acting can be heard on Audible.com, EscapePod, and various short fiction podcasts.
Keep up with Lauren on her podcast, Words of a Feather, or her website, www.laurenbharris.com.
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BACKHAND – BLITZ

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Sports Romance
Date Published: April 2017
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Mike Stewart is a bad boy.
Sleeping around. Boozing. Fighting with teammates.
Name a bad behavior and he’s done it—done it so well, in fact, that he almost tanked his career as a starting defensemen for the NHL’s San Francisco Gold.
But Mike is done with all that. He’s starting with a fresh foot forward and putting his past behind him.
That is, until his past quite literally reappears before his eyes.
Sara Jetty is just as beautiful as she was a decade before, but Mike hasn’t seen her since she left for her first Olympics and scored a gold medal in women’s figure skating. Now something has put shadows in her eyes, a familiar type of hurt he is all too well versed in.
This Sara wants nothing to do with him. Their easy friendship is gone and in its place is a hardened woman who’s nothing like the girl from his past.
Still, Mike hasn’t become a top defensemen in the NHL by being afraid of hard work, and he isn’t about to let Sara push him away. Come hell or high water, he’s going to crack her tough outer shell and find the sweet, innocent woman he’s lusted after and loved, in equal measure, for more than ten years.


About the Author

 

Aside from writing romance, Elise’s passions are chocolate, Star Wars, and hockey (the order depending on the day and how well her team — the Sharks! — are playing). She and her husband also play as much hockey as they can squeeze into their schedules, so much so that their typical date night is spent on the ice. Elise is the mom to two exuberant boys and is thoroughly addicted to Dancing With the Stars. Connect with her on facebook (facebook.com/elisefaberauthor), twitter (@faberelise), instagram (@elisefaber) or www.elisefaber.com.
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HEREAFTER – BLITZ

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Contemporary Fantasy/Paranormal
Date Published: January 9, 2014
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Why let a little thing like dying get in the way of a good time?
Thirty-six-year-old Irene Dunphy didn’t plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on earth as a ghost, where the food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the sex…well, let’s just say “don’t bother.” To make matters worse, the only person who can see her—courtesy of a book he found in his school library—is a fourteen-year-old boy genius obsessed with the afterlife.
Unfortunately, what waits in the Great Beyond isn’t much better. Stuck between the boring life of a ghost in this world and the terrifying prospect of three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment in the next, Irene sets out to find a third option—preferably one that involves not being dead anymore.
Excerpt
“Come.” Samyel gestured, indicating that they should follow him. “We must go.”
“Go? Go where?” Irene asked.
“Away. Inside. Or they will see.”
“Who will see what?”
The dark glasses revealed nothing as he stood impassively for a moment. “Everyone.”
Samyel was attracting a lot of attention. The crowd moving around them was giving him a wide berth, and he was the focus of a lot of strange looks, which just confirmed that he wasn’t dead—people could see him. Irene knew that it looked like a seven-foot tall man in a trench coat and dark glasses was talking to himself in the middle of the sidewalk. It wouldn’t be long before the cops came to investigate.
Irene gestured for Samyel to lead the way. “Fine. Let’s go.”
Irene heard another choke of protest and glanced at Jonah. There was a silent exchange of mouthed words, pantomimed gestures, and angry, exaggerated looks.
“Don’t be crazy,” Jonah hissed. “You can’t go with him!”
“You’re the one that always wants to stop and talk to every weirdo we meet,” she countered.
“And what do you mean ‘you’? We’re both going.”
“Uh uh,” Jonah said. “This is your idea. If you get murdered, I’m not saving you.”
With an exasperated look, she motioned for Jonah to follow and set out after Samyel, who was nearly out of sight. Jonah reluctantly followed. Irene gave him a wry look as they trailed, side by side, a few feet behind Samyel. “You know, at some point, we’re going to have to talk about your propensity for picking fights with people bigger than yourself.”
“What’s propensity?”
“A really bad habit that you should stop.”
Jonah’s expression turned unreadable for a long moment, as if he was debating with himself, and then he looked away, stuffing his hands in his pockets and bowing his head to stare at the sidewalk as they went.
“I’ve changed the password, by the way, so you can’t do that again,” he said darkly.
She grabbed his arm, pulling him to a halt. “Jonah, listen to me. It’s not that I don’t appreciate you trying to protect me. I do. Even when it’s annoying and misplaced, like with Ernest. You’re the bravest, sweetest guy I’ve ever met, but I’m dead. You’re not. I’m already probably going to Hell for dragging you along on this adventure. Don’t add being the cause of your death to my list of crimes, okay?”
The tips of his ears had turned pink and his head was down, shoulders hunched. Then, to her surprise, he suddenly looked at her, his eyes inquiring as he searched her face. She didn’t know what he was looking for, but he was gazing at her so earnestly that she blushed.
About the Author

Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and science fiction stories from beautiful Downeast ME, where she lives with her husband and multi cats. She is the author of the paranormal/contemporary fantasy “Afterlife” series, which includes Hereafter (Afterlife #1) and Thereafter (Afterlife #2), and several short stories in various anthologies. Visit her on the web at www.terribruce.net.
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