Friday, October 20, 2017

Downsized With Extreme Prejudice By David Hanrahan


Downsized With Extreme Prejudice
By David Hanrahan
Genre: Adult Crime/ Suspense

Bradford Baxton III, is the CEO of Amalgamated Worldwide Enterprises. His ruthless acquisition policies earned him the title, "King of Downsizing."

His corrupt corporate empire begins to crumble when his Chief Financial Officer is brutally murdered. What follows is a deadly downsizing campaign at Amalgamated Worldwide Enterprises, leaving its top officers wondering who is next on the killer’s list.

Bill Coine, a retired Massachusetts State Police Detective Lieutenant, is lured out of retirement to investigate and soon solves the case. Or does he? What follows is an exciting and suspenseful story with clever twists and turns, and a surprise ending.




About the Author

David G. Hanrahan was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1936. His Irish work ethic began early. When he was fourteen, Hanrahan started his first business venture selling freshly baked soft pretzels in front
of the Graham Avenue and Grand Street movie theaters. By the time he finished college, he had wrapped shirts in a laundry, sold a new German beer entry into the New York market, was a mailman for the Christmas rush in the old Brooklyn Postal Zone 11 and did a stint as an elevator operator in the United States Steel Building on Wall Street. Hanrahan is a graduate of the prestigious Brooklyn Technical High school. During his high school years, Hanrahan was managing editor of his high school newspaper, a soloist with the glee club, and sang in the tenor section of the New York All-City Chorus with four performances in Carnegie Hall.

He graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn with a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Design in 1958. He received the Organization of the Army medal and was designated a Distinguished Military Graduate. While in the Army, Hanrahan graduated from the Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia and the Jungle Warfare School in Fort Sherman, Panama Canal Zone. In 1962, while stationed in the Panama Canal Zone, he was honored by the people of a small Panamanian town for helping them achieve their dream of a new school. The inauguration of the "Lieutenant David G. Hanrahan School.- Amistad -Panama -Estados Unidos" was attended by the President of Panama, the American Ambassador to Panama and the senior army staff. After 5 years in the United States Army, attaining the rank of Captain, he attended Boston University Law School where he received his Juris Doctor Degree in 1966. He served on the Boston University Law Review where he was elected to the position of Note Editor.

Married with two young children while attending law school full time, Hanrahan worked as a reporter for the Quincy Patriot Ledger. He spent one year as an attorney for the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C. before returning to Boston to begin his career as a Boston trial lawyer. Hanrahan, a distinguished trial attorney, is a member of the Boston and Massachusetts Bar Associations and is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Music has always been an important part of Hanrahan's life. He is a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society and for the last 15 years has sung lead in a barbershop quartet “Spindrift." Now, writing suspenseful and riveting court room novels occupies an important part of his life.

Follow on Twitter and www.davidhanrahan.com

Daily Writing Prompt
Set your timer for ten minutes and start writing. Include the word somewhere in your story.
Good luck and have fun. I hope you find a story inside you that grows to be much more. I would love to read the story the word prompt inspires

Today's Word is:
patch



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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Wicked Fallout Kelly Charron


Wicked Fallout
Kelly Charron
(Pretty Wicked #2)
Publication date: July 17th 2017
Genres: Adult, Thriller
“Wicked Fallout is a twisty cat and mouse psychological thriller that will keep you turning pages right up to the unexpected end. A creepy mix of horror and psychological insight, Charron takes you into the mind of a killer and doesn’t let go.”
~Eileen Cook, Author of WITH MALICE

Convicted of six murders when she was just fifteen, the notorious Ryann Wilkanson hasn’t been able to act on her darkest, deadliest urges for twelve years. She’s exhausted her appeals and has little hope of ever getting out of prison and back to hunting.
Until a media-hungry legal team mounts a campaign to do the impossible—get her immediately released with a commuted sentence.
Forensic psychiatrist Nancy Clafin has mere weeks to evaluate Ryann’s current mental state against her grisly past to determine if she’s changed. But under the shadow of her own questionable history, it’s not easy to separate her personal life from her professional duty.
At least that’s what Ryann is counting on.
Behind the cold steel doors of a Colorado maximum-security prison, will Nancy find a cold-blooded killer or a newly redeemed woman determined to right her past wrongs?
**This novel can be enjoyed as a standalone or as part of the Pretty Wicked series.
EXCERPT:
I spin around and see two women rolling on the ground, hair flying. Fights are a pretty rare occurrence, but when they happen it’s nasty. I once read that men fight to injure, but women fight to kill.
Sounds accurate.
The women roll closer to our table, and we all jerk out of the way in case some of the action heads toward us. I can hardly see who it is, but Georgina is quick to say it’s Roxie and Jinx. And they are going at each other: hands whacking, hair pulling, face slapping, and rib kicking. The whole nine. But it doesn’t go on for too long. Two guards descend on them, yanking the women apart. Some damage is already done. Jinx has a bloody nose and a swelling eye, and Roxie’s lip is split open.
“Fuck, man. Did you see that? Roxie almost killed the bitch! Bam!” Margot slams her hand on the table and my head rings. Jodi laughs. Must be nice for her to sit back and chuckle, since she’s never actually fought in here.
“Enough, Margot, or the guards are gonna be over here next.” Steph eyes her and Margot settles down.
The cafeteria is returning to normal so we sit again, and I try to force a spoonful of my cold, lumpy lunch down. It takes all my concentration to swallow the disgusting mouthful. My stomach clenches, so I drop my spoon.
“No offense, princess, but you look like shit,” Georgina says in between shovels. She’s a fat pig. No matter how disgusting the food is in here, don’t take your eyes off your plate or it’ll be in her goddamn mouth before you know what’s happening.
I lock my gaze on her. “Thanks. Just giving you a chance to feel a bit better about your ugly ass.”
She shoots me the finger.
“Seriously, you look pale, like even more than normal,” Stephanie chimes in, sounding far too motherly for my liking.
I smile. “Thanks, ladies. You sure are the fucking cheer committee today.”
“This shrink is really taking the piss outta you, huh? I ain’t never seen you so frazzled before,” Jodi says.
“I’m just tired. Been sleeping like shit, the food is inedible, and yes, talking in circles about your feelings is agony. So I’m taking donations—any booze, pills, or weed is welcome.” Most of what I say is bravado. Keeping up appearances is key to survival in this hellhole. I can’t afford to get caught with any contraband in case a miracle happens and I have a chance of getting out. What a kick in the tit that would be, if I got approved only to have a stupid joint found in my bunk.
“We’re all suffering in here, princess, so buck up.” Georgina braces her gigantic noggin on top of her propped arms.
It takes all my strength to stay calm. Sometimes people in here forget what I’m capable of. Maybe some of them don’t believe in my history and are willing to take a chance by coming at me.
Too bad I’m on my best behavior.
Margot puts a hand in Georgina’s face. “Lay off her, Gina. Ain’t none of us know what being examined under a microscope like that feels like. I know I’d be stressed to fucking shit if my whole future relied on talking to one damn bitch for a couple of weeks.”
“Thanks, Margot, but you don’t have to defend me.”
“Yeah, princess is a big girl. She can take care of herself, or so she wants us to think.”
I glower at her and swallow the scream that threatens to explode out of me. I’m afraid if I release it, I’ll never stop. “You got something to say?” I sit on my hands. Just in case I’m a little too tempted to gouge her eyes out.
Georgina stands up from her spot at the table across from me and walks around to my side. “Actually, yeah. I think you’re a fucking weak-ass bitch who ain’t no one afraid of in here, especially not me. You walk around all high and mighty, thinking you’re better than us, smarter and prettier than us, but guess what—you in here just like the fucking rest of us, and I ain’t scared by your supposed past.” She makes finger quotations an inch from my face.
I stand. We’re eye to eye. I can feel her hot, stinky breath on my face. Her finger jabs me in the chest. My blood fills my ears and I can’t hear much past the intense rushing. I clench my fists at my sides. Ready. I want her to come at me so badly. “Is that so? You gonna do something about it then?” I say, smacking her finger away from me. My eyes narrow on her acne-scarred face.
Before I can register what’s happening, I feel her two bony hands dig into my chest. The air is pushed out and I gasp. My legs tremble. Teeth clench.
It only takes me a second to leap onto her. Her fingers are entwined in my hair and I can feel the pressure as she yanks. I elbow her, and she lets go. The top of my hand swings across her cheek and I hear a loud slapping sound. Her head flies back, her arms wave wildly as she tries to grab a hold of me, but my adrenaline is pumping so hard that I don’t feel anything. My hands find their way to her neck. I squeeze and squeeze. Teeth gritting.
The power of my fingers pressing into the flesh of her neck makes me shiver with excitement. It feels like I can breathe for the first time since that day in the library all those years ago.
I have tunnel vision. I only see her eyes rolling back and her mouth attempting to suck in air. My heartbeat increases in my ears. Thump. Thump. Thump. My hands and wrists must be aching, but I don’t feel them.
Her arms keep flailing. Her fingers attempt to dig at my face. I don’t feel that either, I just keep pressing my hands into her. Squeezing. I wonder how much longer until she dies. I’m tingling all over.
And then I feel hands on me—pulling and yanking me off her. I fight harder, and then so do the hands.
My grasp is broken. I’m being lifted into the air. I’m screaming and swearing. I’m shaking, ferocious with rage. It’s a sensation from a time very long ago, yet it’s so familiar to me.
A man’s gruff voice breaks into my trance. My arms are twisted behind my back where I’m cuffed. Tightly. “That’s enough, Wilkanson! You’re done! You’re done!”
Now that I’m off her, I realize in a sobering moment that he might not be talking about just the fight. A hurtling wave of nausea makes my stomach twist and my mouth water.
I may have just ruined any chance I ever had to get out of here.
***
I’m whisked away by two guards who throw me into solitary.
They aren’t gentle with me as they literally launch me inside the room. I’ve never been in here before, but I’ve heard enough horror stories to know I never wanted to see it. I land on the ground with a thud. My bones vibrate from the motion. My arms are sore and bruised above my elbows where I was manhandled.
“I got to say, I’m surprised to see you in here, Wilkanson. There goes your perfect record. Was it worth it?” The guard, Han, shakes his head. He looks like a disappointed daddy and not some guy who’s getting underpaid to deal with us lowlifes.
I remain quiet, as is my right. It’s about the only thing I can control in here.
The other guard that has kindly accompanied me to the hole is Rickers. Unlike Han, has a smug smile on his face, like he’s been waiting for this moment with a lousy fifty bucks riding on it.
Han spins me around and unlocks the handcuffs. My wrists are sore from being forced into the cold, hard metal. I rub them, trying to get the circulation back into my hands. My brain finally registers where I am as I look around the closet-sized room. There’s nothing in here but a sweat- stained pad on the floor and a disgusting dirty blanket that I wouldn’t touch for fear of contracting scabies or countless other contagious diseases.
“Someone will be in later to bring you to your hearing. Do you want anyone else there with you?” Rickers asks.
“What do you mean? I don’t understand what’s happening,” I say, and it’s the truth. I’ve never committed an offense before. My anger has dwindled, and I’m left in a state of confusion and shock. My body trembles. I can even feel my ribs shaking. What did I fucking do?
Han stands tall, shoulders squared, with his hand on his baton. He looks like he’s ready to take down a linebacker and not some hundred-and-ten-pound chick. “You’ll be taken in to see an adjudicator. You can bring in witnesses if you think it’ll help your case. You’ll tell them what happened and plead guilty or not guilty of the offense—in this case, assaulting a fellow inmate.”
“But Georgina started it. She hit me first!” Ugh. I hear the pitiful whine in my voice and I wonder how I suddenly became a petulant child. I need to get my shit together before the hearing if I have any hope in hell of being taken seriously. “Can you ask Stephanie Harvey and Jodi Brown to come? They were there.”
“We’ll see what we can do,” Han says.
“So what, I have to stay in here until then? How long does this hearing take to set up?” I ask. My palms are slick, and I wipe them on the thighs of my pants.
“It could be a few hours.”
“Oh, great,” I exhale, relieved.
“Or it could be tomorrow,” Rickers adds.
My eyes and mouth widen. “What? You mean to tell me that I could be stuck in this hell
hole overnight?” My mind reels. My bunk is shitty, but it’s the Westin compared to this hovel. “That’s right.” Rickers smiles. “Shoulda thought about that before you tried to kill someone in here.” He walks out with Han right behind him.
My hand goes up and I wave for them to stop. “No, wait. You can’t leave me.”
Han takes another step away. “I’m afraid we can, and just in case we’re not back today, sleep tight.” The hefty steel door slams shut. The sound reverberates, echoing painfully in my ears. I’m dizzy. The walls look like they’re getting closer. The air is cold and stale. My stomach turns over.
Think, Ryann. Lunch was served at one o’clock. The fight happened just after, which puts it around two. There’s got to be enough time to get a judge or adjudicator to see me. What if the warden won’t let Steph and Jodi out to testify for me?
I need water. My mouth is so dry.
Surely someone will come soon. In twelve years at this prison, I’ve never so much as hid a candy bar I wasn’t supposed to have. I don’t deserve this.
Fighting is a major infraction. Georgina wanted this. This was probably her fucking plan the entire time.
What the fuck did I do?


Author Bio:
Kelly Charron is the author of YA and adult horror, psychological thrillers and urban fantasy novels. All with gritty, murderous inclinations and some moderate amounts of humor. She spends far too much time consuming true crime television (and chocolate) while trying to decide if yes, it was the husband, with the wrench, in the library. She lives with her husband and cat, Moo Moo, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Daily Writing Prompt

Set your timer for ten minutes and start writing. Include the word somewhere in your story.
Good luck and have fun. I hope you find a story inside you that grows to be much more. I would love to read the story the word prompt inspires

Today's Word is:
hole




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and receive The Daily Ten-Minute Writing Prompt
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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Mermaids and the Vampires Who Love Them Debra Goelz


Mermaids and the Vampires Who Love Them
Debra Goelz
Published by: Hachette Audiobooks
Publication date: October 17th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Sixteen-year-old Waverly Fishwater believes that people who act suspicious are asking for her to spy on them. When she eavesdrops on one of her dad’s clandestine meetings, she learns that mermaids are being abducted. Fearing no one else will save them, Waverly swaps her tail for legs and heads to the site of the disappearances, but it doesn’t go as planned. After exposing mermaidkind to humanity, Waverly has to come to terms with leaving the home, friends, and school she loves. For her safety, she must go to a remote boarding school on the California coast.
Waverly discovers her new classmates are from a multitude of supernatural species, including werewolves, fairies, and minor Greek gods. But the bigger problem might be all the mermaid-blood loving vampires, and the fact that the most infuriating one has taken an interest in her already.
She must navigate this weird new world where her class schedule includes time-traveling history, fairy dance, interspecies biology, and sand-sculpting vain gods with rock-hard abs. The biggest letdown is that she still has to take algebra, even though polynomials are not her friends.
Just when she’s starting to fit in, she begins to unravel a dark plot that could destroy the bayside school and the oceans beyond. As she gets close to solving the mystery, the mernapper takes hold of her mind and hides the clues that will piece it together. Waverly is left with the knowledge of one thing: she’s next.
If Waverly is to expose the scheme and take out the mastermind, she’s going to have to rely on the most dubious kind of help-reckless gods, single-minded werewolves, and virtuous fairies. To avoid a supernatural catastrophe, Waverly must rally this eccentric band of heroes, learning to rely on the help of others in order to stay afloat.
Listen to an audio sample here!


Author Bio:
Debra Goelz is a refugee from Hollywood where she served for ten years as a financial executive for such companies as Universal Pictures, Dino de Laurentiis and Jim Henson Productions. Her performing career began and ended with her puppeteering a chicken during the closing scene in "Muppet Treasure Island." After garnering over 9 million on-line reads, her award-winning YA fantasy, "Mermaids and the Vampires Who Love Them," will be published by Hachette audio on October 17, 2017. She lives in a redwood forest in rural Marin County with her husband. Her two children have abandoned her to seek a college education in New York.

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Daily Writing Prompt

Set your timer for ten minutes and start writing. Include the word somewhere in your story.
Good luck and have fun. I hope you find a story inside you that grows to be much more. I would love to read the story the word prompt inspires

Today's Word is:
journal 




Subscribe to The Attic Ghost Digest
and receive The Daily Ten-Minute Writing Prompt
Vol 1 Free
 

 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Daily Writing Prompt

Daily Writing Prompt

Set your timer for ten minutes and start writing. Include the word somewhere in your story.
Good luck and have fun. I hope you find a story inside you that grows to be much more. I would love to read the story the word prompt inspires

Today's Word is:
skeleton 




Subscribe to The Attic Ghost Digest
and receive The Daily Ten-Minute Writing Prompt
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Monday, October 16, 2017

Monsters and Angels Anne Marie Andrus Review


Monsters & Angels
Anne Marie Andrus
Publication date: October 11th 2017
Genres: Historical, New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Fledgling nurse Sorcha Alden knew she had the skills to save lives, but she never dreamed that her own life would be the one in danger.
Driven by tragedy to honor her family name, Sorcha embarks on a journey that takes her from the bleak but familiar streets of New York, through the sultry and seductive city of New Orleans, and into the brutal jungles of Nepal. Forging friendships and carrying on her mother’s mission of healing was her dream. Plunging into a love affair with the mysterious Dr. Ashayle could have been a fairytale.
Being murdered and waking up as a blood-thirsty monster—became her living nightmare.
Torn away form a life that had just begun, Sorcha returns to New Orleans as a newborn vampire, forced to start over in a cutthroat underworld of devilry and decadence. Complicated politics, bitter rivals and jealous ancestors stand between her and the promises she’s still determined to keep.
In a realm where the boundary between good and evil is as murky as the Mississippi River and immortal does not mean invincible, will Sorcha ever risk her shattered heart and love again? Can the magical harmony of the Crescent City give her enough courage to fulfill her eternal destiny?

What I Really Think of This Novel

Quick synopsis: The story begins in 1935 where Sorcha has graduated nursing school at the top of her class in New York. She's excited to follow her mother's legacy, but tragedy hits home and she flees to a new life in New Orleans. A visit to Nepal changes everything for Sorcha. Her life as a nurse ends after she is attacked and she is changed into a vampire. Sorcha becomes a vampire of an elite royal family. Unfortunately someone wants the family destroyed. 

The story starts off well. Get a glimpse of old time New Orleans and Nepal. This is the first book in a series.  The story is mostly an introduction to the characters and how the relationships between the characters develop and sets up the situation for book 2. Once Sorcha is turned, the story is one grand party after another with implied threats threaded within.

The bones of this story is an interesting read with a few flaws. I thought the fashion described did not fit the time period. Sorcha said her father was killed in the war, but I am left wondering what war. There were parts where I did not feel the dialog matched the actions of the characters. Although Sorcha was born and raised in New York, she has a light Irish accent that comes out when she's stressed. This is shown by the occasional words Em and Jayz which did not add to the story, but did interrupt the flow. 

I did want to skim a few parts, but I was afraid I would miss something important. I had no problem putting the book down at any given part. I also didn't have any problem picking it back up. 

The end was quite exciting and a thrill to read. I'm glad I stuck with it. I had a good laugh at the last sentence. 

You know the feeling you get after reading a novel, the feeling that you are still at the place or setting? I will say I still have the feeling of old New Orleans atmosphere hanging about a few days after having finished the novel. I still feel the essence of the characters. The author must have done something right to make this reader feel this way.


About the Author
Anne Marie has been an equestrienne, chorale singer, candy-striper, EMT, and baseball fan. Roaming the back roads of New Jersey with her family, she found great respect for antiques, historical locations and the stories they hold. Her current list of favorite pastimes include coffee, bourbon, and Les Miserables--which requires more bourbon. She has been known to attend sporting events just for the flyover. The boat she and her husband christened Glory Days, is her escape from the chaos of everyday life.
The inspiration for Anne Marie's debut novel, Monsters & Angels, is her fascination with vampires and her passion for everything New Orleans. When she isn't writing, she can be found working nights with the critical care team in a busy trauma center.

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Daily Writing Prompt

Set your timer for ten minutes and start writing. Include the word somewhere in your story.
Good luck and have fun. I hope you find a story inside you that grows to be much more. I would love to read the story the word prompt inspires

Today's Word is:
bonfire



Subscribe to The Attic Ghost Digest
and receive The Daily Ten-Minute Writing Prompt
Vol 1 Free
 

 



Sunday, October 15, 2017

Daily Writing Prompt Challenge

Set your timer for ten minutes and start writing. Include the word somewhere in your story.
Good luck and have fun. I hope you find a story inside you that grows to be much more. I would love to read the story the word prompt inspires

Today's Word is:
candle


Subscribe to The Attic Ghost Digest
and receive The Daily Ten-Minute Writing Prompt
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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Murder Feels Awful Bill Alive


Murder Feels Awful
Bill Alive
(Empath Detective, #1)
Publication date: October 10th 2017
Genres: Mystery, New Adult
He can feel people’s emotions. And murderers feel awful.
Mark Falcon can “vibe” other people’s emotions … and they’re usually super painful. So he hides out in rural Virginia, making websites for clients he never has to meet. It’s a not-terrible life, sort of … until he vibes the final panic of a woman’s murder.
The last thing hermit Mark wants to do is go out and investigate, vibing which suspect is seething with secret hate. Even with me along, his trusty new sidekick/housemate. (I’m so cheerful that I double as an emotional air freshener.)
But Mark has no choice. He has to act, because our local cop detective is convinced that there’s no killer and the woman killed herself. Unfortunately, our cop’s also got the overall presence of a Viking goddess, and the last thing she wants is some delusional “psychic” website guy playing amateur sleuth. (Not to mention hitting on her.)
With the cops threatening jail, small-town secrets threatening Mark’s sanity, and a crazy-gorgeous doctor suspect threatening my heart, time’s running out for Mark and I to catch the killer…
Before the killer catches us.
Murder Feels Awful is the very first Empath Detective novel, a new cozy mystery series that totally really happened, but is officially fiction. If you like Janet Evanovich, M. C. Beaton, Deb Baker, and long lists of famous author names, you’ll love this new series that has it all — amateur detectives you’ll love, zany small-town characters, sparkling wit, and a cold-blooded killer you’ll never even suspect.
Buy this hilarious cozy mystery today! Right now, even! Seriously, at this limited-time launch price of 99 cents, it’ll cost you more to lose time thinking about it than to click RIGHT NOW and jump in! Plus, there’s a whole extra mystery book waiting for you inside … for free…
EXCERPT:
So I’m just going to start typing, because I can’t decide where to start. The dead woman flying the glider? Or when Mark first read my mind? Or maybe that crazy creeptastic first funeral?
This writing thing is hard.
But this story needs to be told. For the victims. For justice.
Plus, we both missed a lot of work time with this murder stuff. It’s not like our finances are dire, officially, but Mark said I could try this ebook thing if we used the money on the mortgage first.
Not that the mortgage is the worst of our problems.
Thing is, people really did die. Somehow, in made-up mysteries, that doesn’t seem to hit the characters much. Trust me, it’s a big deal.
In fact, spoiler alert, this all does get kind of dark. Like, not even just murder. Some things are worse than murder.
But … on the positive side … working with an empath is freaking amazing.
And you know what, that’s exactly where to start this. On that Saturday hike with Ceci, just before my mind exploded.
Not literally. That would be gross. Although that did kind of technically happen later … ugh … anyway…
It was one of those rare Virginia mornings in late August that are magically coolish instead of the usual broil. The point of our hike was to bask in the splendor of our gorgeous Shenandoah Valley, with the gentle, ancient hills rolling around beneath us in green late summer glory.
But Ceci had picked some new trail that turned out to have no views at all, just a scrabbly single-file path through skinny oaks and poison ivy. In the deepest shade, beside huge boulders, the air was cold and damp and tombish. Our voices echoed a little too loud, like kids squabbling in a graveyard.
“Not going to happen, Pete,” Ceci said, in her southern Virginia drawl that higher education and a nursing career have only partly tamed. She flicked me back a firm glance over her buff shoulder. “You are not moving in.”
This hurt.
My current lease was up in a couple days, and I needed new digs fast.
Dad was serious this time — “Son, it’s been a year since graduation, time to pay your own way, blah blah blah…” But how was I supposed to make the rent in the stupid four-room palace Mom had settled me in? And why was Ceci being like this? With our history…
“Don’t you want help with your mortgage?” I gasped. The gasp was only partly emotional — I had to sprint to keep up as Ceci jumped easily from rock to rock up yet another steep incline. My calves and thighs were starting to ache.
No, I’m not out of shape. In fact, I’m lean and wiry, sometimes misinterpreted as “skinny”. But these days, Ceci treats every minor excursion like some kind of Tough Mudder Triathlon.
By the way, “Ceci” sounds like ”sessy”, and it’s short for “Cecily”. Which has always struck me as super fancy and feminine for a woman who’s built like a linebacker (if the linebacker were five foot six and had a cute lopsided smile).
“Besides,” I pursued, “you’ve already got other housemates.”
She groaned, that special Ceci I-love-you-but-sometimes-I-wonder-how-you-even-know-how-to-talk groan. “My housemates are all women.”
“And?” I said, confused. It took me a second to process what she meant. “Wait, you mean, because I’m a dude? Really? Is this some Baptist thing?”
“I’m not Baptist!”
I flinched with remorse. I’m pretty good with details, but for some reason I can never remember the precise flavor of her denomination. Not Baptist, apparently.
“Sorry,” I said. “But we’re friends, Ceci. We have this magical complete lack of sexual attraction! We always have.”
Ceci stepped wrong on a pebble and lurched sideways. But she righted herself instantly. “It’s not that,” she said.
I don’t know why it wasn’t. She’s one of my best friends. We met our first week of college, back when she was a chubby freshman fifteener instead of this transmogrified Miss Muscle. Since then, we’ve been talking pretty much nonstop. We were probably brother and sister in another life. I’m serious. (I used to not believe in past lives, but in the last couple years I’ve really gotten a lot more spiritual.)
“I mean, sure, Hermosa is moderately hot,” I granted. “But I’m not going to try anything with a housemate!”
“Pete—”
“And she’s totally into that cop dude. Ramiro Romero. That guy has enough self-confidence to launch a major world religion.”
“Pete—”
Side note: Ceci knows a lot of cops and cop affiliates, because her older sister Gwen happens to be one of the Force’s finest. Sergeant Gwen Jensen, head of our local Investigations Division. (It’s a small town, so the division only has like three cops, but still.)
Gwen is also basically a Viking goddess, in both her Attractiveness Quotient and her overall temperament and approach to life. I’m not going to say she’s intimidating, because she might actually read this.
“Trust me,” I said. “Cop girlfriends are officially off limits.”
“PETE!” she exasperated. “You are not moving in!”
I opened my mouth to protest, but just then, there came a dude.
Trail etiquette is sketchy, but I always feel you should make at least fleeting eye contact as you try to avoid shoving each other into the poison ivy.
It’s like when you’re driving on back road gravel and there’s some three-ton pickup barreling your way. You both have to give this little half-wave of acknowledgment, even if you don’t actually lift your hand off the wheel and even though there is no way you actually know each other or will ever see each other again, ever. It’s just the code.
This guy did not make eye contact.
I tried three times.
On my first two quick glances, he was apparently way more interested in either watching his step or observing the fascinating local flora.
The third time, he was staring up, craning back his head to see the sky.
This seemed so obviously avoidant that I didn’t think to look up too. Besides, he was more interesting.
Even with his head back, his eyes burned a brilliant blue. They were luminous, the kind of eyes that shine so bright you might fall in. Almost unsettling.
He was also rocking a red-blond mustache, solo with no beard. That was unsettling. Because it actually kind of looked okay. I can’t explain it.
Maybe he was good-looking enough to burn some points on eccentric facial hair? He had a powerful, athletic kind of face. But who knows? I have no clue what kind of look girls actually go for.
I pegged him at mid-thirties, although it was hard to be sure because his reddish-blondish-grayish hair was thinning big time. A large expanse of scalp openly gleamed, and the hair he had left was all fringy and shaggy in the breeze, like the last few months had seen other priorities besides hair care. He wore a ratty T-shirt and thrift store jeans, but he did wear them well.
He tramped around us in awkward silence. Ceci and I put the courteous kibosh on our conversation to make space for obligatory pleasantries, but somehow even Ceci couldn’t muster a “good morning”. And this is a woman who can dump bedpans for sixteen hours straight while sporting the aforementioned cute smile. Somehow, this guy exuded silence like a force field.
Without a word, we went our separate ways.
Then, behind us, he gasped.
Hard. Like he’d been hit in the stomach by a freight train.
Ceci and I shared a glance of mutual what-the-hellitude, then whipped around to see.
The dude was slumped against an old oak, shuddering like he was freezing and fighting to breathe. He looked shocked, even horrified.
Ceci sprang into Nurse Mode, peppering him with medical questions as she leaped down toward him.
But he winced and rasped, “She’s dying.”
I went cold all over. I felt like I’d walked into a car crash. “Who’s dying?” I called, as I stumbled after Ceci.
Still wincing, he nodded … up. Toward the sky.


GIVEAWAY!
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Daily Writing Prompt Challenge

Set your timer for ten minutes and start writing. Include the word somewhere in your story.
Good luck and have fun. I hope you find a story inside you that grows to be much more. I would love to read the story the word prompt inspires

Today's Word is:
pie





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Friday, October 13, 2017

Writing Prompt Challenge

Set your timer for ten minutes and start writing. Include the word somewhere in your story.
Good luck and have fun. I hope you find a story inside you that grows to be much more. I would love to read the story the word prompt inspires

Today's Word is:
pumpkin


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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Ultimate Sacrifice by S.E. Green Review


Ultimate Sacrifice
S.E. Green
Publication date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
Vickie has always lived a quiet, ordinary life in an equally quiet and ordinary small town. Yet one fateful night a child turns up dead in the woods behind her house in a ritualistic slaughter. Vickie and her family are suddenly thrown into a national spotlight. But as the investigation unfolds, she begins to realize her family isn’t so ordinary after all. Evil is inching closer to those she holds dear and Vickie isn’t sure who she can ultimately trust.


My Review
The last time a horror novel made me cry was Stephen King's novel Pet Semetary. Ultimate Sacrifice had me tearing up more than once over the loss of the child. She's not "just" a child. This is a small community and the child is close to the characters involved. Our main character Vickie is determined to uncover who the murderer is and along the way discovers many family secrets. I would say this novel invoked emotions more than tears and it will take a few days after reading for these feelings to fade. 



About the Author
S. E. Green (aka Shannon Greenland) is the award winning author of the thriller, KILLER INSTINCT, the spy series, THE SPECIALISTS, and the romances, THE SUMMER MY LIFE BEGAN and SHADOW OF A GIRL. She lives off the coast of Florida with her very grouchy dog. ULTIMATE SACRIFICE is her debut YA horror, due out October 2017.

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Daily Writing Prompt

Set your timer for ten minutes and start writing. Include the word somewhere in your story.
Good luck and have fun. I hope you find a story inside you that grows to be much more. I would love to read the story the word prompt inspires

Today's Word is:
squirrel


Subscribe to The Attic Ghost Digest
and receive The Daily Ten-Minute Writing Prompt
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Writing Prompt Challenge

Set your timer for ten minutes and start writing. Include the word somewhere in your story.
Good luck and have fun. I hope you find a story inside you that grows to be much more. I would love to read the story the word prompt inspires

Today's Word is:
warm


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and receive The Daily Ten-Minute Writing Prompt
Vol 1 Free
 

 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Gate of Air Resa Nelson With Top Ten Favorite Fictional Characters


Gate of Air
Resa Nelson
(Dragon Gods, #1)
Publication date: June 19th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Frayka must find and convince the dragon gods of the Far East to appease the gods of her Northland heritage. If she fails, her own Northlander gods will destroy all the mortals who once promised to worship them.
The Far East is a mysterious place of legend to Northlanders like Frayka. Only an old map can show her how to get there. Once she arrives, all of Frayka’s sensibilities put her in danger. And every dangerous turn delays her from finding the dragon gods whose help she so desperately needs.
Although Frayka looks like a Far Easterner, she is a powerful Northlander warrior who is quick to voice her thoughts. She is trained to fight and won’t hesitate to do so.
But everything about Frayka puts her in deadly peril in the Far East, where the laws are strict and the punishment cruel.
Especially when the one being punished is a woman.
99¢ for a limited time only!


Author Bio:
Resa Nelson is the author of the 4-book Dragonslayer series: The Dragonslayer’s Sword (nominated for the Nebula Award, finalist for the EPPIE Award), The Iron Maiden , The Stone of Darkness , and The Dragon's Egg . Her 4-book Dragonfly series takes place after the Dragonslayer series.
Her standalone novels include the mystery/thrillers All Of Us Were Sophie and Our Lady of the Absolute .
Resa has been selling short stories professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), and she is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop. Resa was the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years as well as a regular contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.

"Top ten favorite book characters" by Resa Nelson

1.  Lisbeth Salander (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books by Stieg Larsson and David Lagercrantz) – Lisbeth is currently my favorite character because she’s damaged but she draws strength and courage from everything that happens to her.  Whenever she’s defeated, she comes back even stronger.

2.  Meg Murry (A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle) – When I was growing up, books featuring girls as the main character were few and far between.  I could identify with Meg every step of the way, especially when she felt like she had no way to fit it.

3.  Jo March (Little Women by Louisa May Alcott) – I knew I wanted to be a writer by the time I was 8 years old, so when I later read Little Women I felt as if the book had been written for people like me.  Although Jo is a much different type of character than Meg Murry, I identified with Jo just as much.

4.  R. Daneel Olivaw (The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov) – I fell in love with robots because of Asimov’s short stories.  But I’ve also been a lifelong fan of mysteries.  What could be better than a robot detective?

5.  Kivrin (Doomsday Book by Connie Willis) – I’m troubled by modern-day arrogance that assumes people who lived in past centuries were “less than” we are.  College student Kivrin travels back to the Middle Ages as part of her required studies and learns far more than she planned.

6.  Taran the Assistant Pig-keeper (The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander) – This 5-book series is one of my all-time favorites, because I’ve always longed for adventure just as much as Taran.

7.  Winnie the Pooh (the Pooh books by A.A. Milne) – Pooh is one of my favorite characters because he – and his friends – are hilarious and charming.

8.  Sherlock Holmes (novels and short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) – When I first began reading the Sherlock Holmes stories, I was enthralled because they seemed like magic.  The more I read, the more I felt calmed and comforted by the idea of deductive reasoning and keen observation.

9.  Myron Bolitar (Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben) – Myron is one of my favorite characters because he’s a man who reinvents himself.  When a devastating injury ends his budding career as a professional athlete, Myron first becomes a sports agent and then an amateur detective.

10. Win Lockwood (Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben) – As Myron’s friend and sidekick, Win crosses lines that no one else can cross.  He’s a dangerous sociopath with a heart of gold.


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Writing Prompt Challenge
Set your timer for ten minutes and start writing. Include the word somewhere in your story.
Good luck and have fun. I hope you find a story inside you that grows to be much more. I would love to read the story the word prompt inspires

Today's Word is:
fall


Subscribe to The Attic Ghost Digest
and receive The Daily Ten-Minute Writing Prompt
Vol 1 Free