Tag Archives: new release

M9B Two for Thursday Book Blitz: Life, A.D. and M.I.A. by Michelle E. Reed with Giveaway #T4T

T4T-Banner

Hello and welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!

Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!

You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you the Atman City series by Michelle E. Reed:

Life, A.D.: Life After Dez
and
M.I.A.: Missing in Atman!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Life-AD-Cover

In Life, A.D. you have two choices: join the program or face the consequences.

Seventeen-year-old Dez Donnelly crashes headlong into fate on the side of a rural highway, her life ending in a violent collision of steel and screaming brakes. The train that delivers her newly departed soul to the crossroads of the afterlife won’t be carrying her to the sweet hereafter until she accepts her abrupt end and learns to let go of the life she’ll never finish.

Her new reality is conduct manuals, propaganda, and unrelenting staff, all part of a system to ease her transition from life to death, while helping her earn her way out of limbo. Atman City, beautiful and enticing, is an ever-present temptation that is strictly off limits to underage souls. The promise of adventure proves too strong, and beneath the city’s sheen of ethereal majesty, Dez discovers a world teeming with danger.

Welcome to Life, A.D. where being dead doesn’t mean you’re safe, and the only thing harder than getting out of limbo is getting through it.

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Available for Purchase:
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WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:

 

I loved this book. it takes on the aspect of death and afterlife, transforming it into a character driven story.” – Troy, Goodreads Reviewer

 

There was a theme threaded throughout the tale: Most people are busy living life preparing for the future instead of living in the moment. Gosh, I love that.”S.A. Larsen, Author

 

“I think Life A.D. holds high potential for a fantastic series. It was GREAT and I really do think that people would really get into it if it became a series.” – Olivia, Book Comet

MIA-Cover

Dez is finally hitting her afterlife stride. She hasn’t missed a meeting or session in 42 days, and she’s put the adventures and danger of her first days at Atman behind her. Life after death is becoming tolerable, yet nothing is quite what she’d hoped. Confusion over her feelings for Charlie, residual resentment over losing Hannah, and a continuous stream of unwanted assignments leave Dez restless and argumentative. In a missed encounter with Crosby, her prying gaze lands upon a single entry in the datebook on his unoccupied desk. These few, hastily scribbled words reveal an enormous secret he’s keeping from her. Possessed by a painful sense of betrayal, she once again sneaks off to Atman City, determined to find answers to an unresolved piece of her life. It begins as all their adventures do, but as light falls into darkness, a stop in an unfamiliar neighborhood sets forth a chaotic series of events. Dez will have to fight for her very existence, and will face painful, irreparable loss in an afterlife teeming with demons wielding ancient powers.

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Available for Purchase:
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WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:

 

“This was a wonderful continuation to the Atman City series!”Bri, Books and Ashes

 

“I couldn’t put it down!!

Now I desperately await the next installment. I’m nowhere near the writer Michelle Reed is, so I won’t bother trying. I’ll simply say this book is a must read, following the first installment, “Life A.D.””Amy, Goodreads Reviewer

 

“M.I.A. had an interesting ending and I imagine there will be a third book in the series based on it. I look forward to reading it.” – Dawn, Bound 4 Escape

 

about-the-author

Michelle Reed

Michelle E. Reed was born in a small Midwestern town, to which she has returned to raise her own family. Her imagination and love of literature were fueled by a childhood of late nights, hidden under the covers and reading by flashlight. She is a passionate adoption advocate who lives in Wisconsin with her husband, son, and their yellow lab, Sully.

 

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway

Complete the Rafflecopter for a chance to win!

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Here she is …. Cover Reveal: Pixelated by @LSMurphy #yalit #coverreveal #BloomsburySpark

Pixelated by L.S. Murphy 
Release Date: 06/30/15
Bloomsbury Spark
How much do you love this cover, people?
I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this baby and its so good you guys!!

Summary from Goodreads:

Senior Year. 

 

Middle of nowhere. 


What’s the new girl to do?

 

For Piper Marks, the answer is simple. She’s determined to have her photography
rock the cover of National Geographic someday, and moving to Clarkton, Iowa for
her last year of high school is not going to stop her. Even if her usual subjects
have changed from bright lights and skyscrapers to fields, cows…and more
fields. 
But when photographer at the local paper quits in a huff, she steps into his
spot. Her new job keeps Piper busy capturing tackles, and zooming in on first
downs and end zone dances, not to mention putting her directly in the path of
varsity football star Les Williams IV. Her new friends warn her off, but she
can’t resist the pull she feels toward this mysterious country boy. But this
small town is keeping a secret, and it’s one that could destroy any chance they
have to be together. 
It’s up to Piper to decide what to do with the distorted truth. Can she risk
exposing her heart? It might be worth it, ’cause Les is about to change her
world from black and white to fully saturated color. 

 

Praise for Pixelated:“In Pixelated, L.S. Murphy weaves a complex web of secrets and lies with a
‘will they or won’t they’ romance that kept me turning pages and holding my
breath!” ~ Julie Reece, author of The Artisans and Crux“Beautifully written, with a full spectrum of emotion and complex
characters, Pixelated will tug at all your heartstrings. I easily lost myself
in the world L.S. Murphy created and couldn’t stop reading because I needed to
see how the story ended.” ~ Kelly Oram, author of Cinder & Ella“L.S. Murphy brings something for every reader with Pixelated: romance,
secrets, mystery, and a main character torn between two choices. Murphy’s
writing is sharp and steeped in emotions, deftly hooking her readers from the
first sentence to the last.” ~ Sarah Bromley, author of A Murder Of Magpies 

About the Author

L.S. Murphy obsesses about St. Louis Cardinals baseball, fangirls over her favorite
authors, and watches every episode of Doctor Who like it’s the first time. When
she’s not doing those time-consuming things, the former farm-girl turned city
slicker turned suburbanite writes sweet romances for teens and adults.


Author Links:

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Cover Reveal Organized by:

Cover Reveal: Doing It for Love (All About Love #1) by @CassieCook2

Welcome to the cover reveal

for Cassie Mae’s

newest release:

Doing It for Love

*******

Sorry, after experiencing some technical difficulties, I’m late to the party, but …

 Are you ready?

Omigosh, yes!!! 

Then brace yourself cause here we go …

So pretty, right?  

Release date September 29th!

 
Blurb: 

Cassie Mae’s charming, sexy new novel, perfect for fans of Emma Chase, puts a steamy twist on modern love as one bride-to-be tries to put the spark back in the bedroom—by any means necessary.

Elizabeth Fanning’s life looks pretty perfect, judging by the diamond ring on her finger. Her fiancé, Landon, is sweet, handsome, and hilarious. The trouble is, before they’ve even tied the knot, their sex life has gone from mind-blowing to “meh”—and Liz isn’t ready to be part of an old married couple. After a cathartic call to her best friend, Liz comes up with a brilliant idea. She and Landon may never be able to re-create the magic of their first time, but how amazing would their wedding night be if everything below the neck was off-limits until then?

Liz thinks it’ll bring them closer together. Landon’s convinced she’ll cave first. So they raise the stakes: Whoever lasts longer gets to pick their honeymoon destination. With her heart set on the Bahamas and Landon fighting for snowbound Utah, Liz simply has to win. But pretty soon, her body is screaming for attention, and Landon’s never seemed so far away. Has Liz’s experiment backfired? Losing their little competition would be frustrating—but the one thing she can’t afford to lose is him.

Learn more about or order a copy of Doing It For Love by Cassie Mae, available September 29, 2015:
Buy at Amazon
Buy at B&N
Buy at iTunes
Or add to your Goodreads here:
About the author:  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cassie Mae (who dons the name Becca Ann on occasion) is the author of a few hundred… okay, maybe not that many… books. Some of which became popular for their quirky titles, characters, and stories. She likes writing about nerds, geeks, the awkward, the fluffy, the short, the shy, the loud, the fun.

Since publishing her bestselling debut, Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend, she has published and sold books to Random House, Swoon Romance, and Tulip Romance. She has a favorite of all her babies, but no, she won’t tell you what it is. (Mainly because it changes depending on the day.)

Along with writing, Cassie likes to binge watch Teen Wolf and The Big Bang Theory. She can quote Harry Potter lines quick as a whip. And she likes kissing her hubby, but only if his facial hair is trimmed. She also likes cheesecake to a very obsessive degree.

You can stalk, talk, or send pictures of Dylan O’Brien to her on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cassiemaeauthor

*** Note: Doing It for Love is an adult romance title


M9B Friday Reveal: Cover for Ashes In The Sky by Jennifer M. Eaton with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

M9B-Friday-Reveal

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing the cover of

Ashes In The Sky (Fire in The Woods #2) by Jennifer M. Eaton

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Ashes In The Sky

After inadvertently saving the world, eighteen-year-old Jessica Martinez is ready to put adventure behind her and settle back into the familiar routine of high school.

Though when she’s offered an opportunity to photograph the inside of an alien space ship, Jess jumps at the chance. After all, she’d be crazy to turn something like that down, right?

Spending time with David on the ship has definite advantages and the two seem to pick up right where they left off. But when Jess discovers a plot to sabotage David’s efforts to establish a new home for his people on another planet, neither David’s advanced tech nor Jess’s smarts will be able to save them.

ASHES IN THE SKY is an action-packed, romantic Sci Fi adventure that will leave readers screaming for more.

add to goodreadsTitle: Ashes In The Sky (Fire in The Woods #2)
Publication date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books
Author: Jennifer M. Eaton

Available for Pre-order:
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About-the-Author

Jennifer M. Eaton

Corporate Team Leader by day, and Ranting Writer by night. Jennifer M. Eaton calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle.

Jennifer hosts an informational blog “A Reference of Writing Rants for Writers (or Learn from My Mistakes)” aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be.

Beyond writing and motivating others, she also enjoys teaching her dog to jump through hoops—literally.

Jennifer’s perfect day includes long hikes in the woods, bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, and snuggling up by the fire with a great book; but her greatest joy is using her over-active imagination constructively… creating new worlds for everyone to enjoy.

 

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

FireInTheWoods.v6-Book1-Final

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Giveaway

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
Title will be sent upon its release.

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M9B Two for Thursday Book Blitz: Scion of the Sun by Nicola Marsh and Lifer by Beck Nicholas with Giveaway #T4T

T4T-Banner

Hello and welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!

Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!

You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you:

Scion of the Sun by Nicola Marsh
and
Lifer by Beck Nicholas

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Cover-v2

When she least expects it, sixteen-year old Holly Burton’s unremarkable life is shaken to the core. A vision of the mother Holly never knew leaves her questioning everything she believes.

Eager for answers, Holly enrolls at a boarding school for highly gifted students in Wolfebane, New Hampshire. But things will get worse before they get better, as Holly accidentally transports to a parallel existence where she’s confronted by a dark and ancient evil.

With the help of Joss, a sexy alpha warrior sworn to protect her, and her new BFF, the equally swoon-worthy Quinn, Holly faces her fears and an unlikely adversary in a showdown that is worse than anything she could’ve possibly imagined …

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Available for Purchase:
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WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:

 

Charmed and drawn in by Holly’s spunk and snark, Scion of the Sun will leave you spinning and falling for Joss right along with Holly. Marsh’s unique story is packed with action, mystery, romance and suspense. This is not to be missed!” – Jennifer L. Armentrout, USA TODAY Bestselling Author

It’s a unique novel in YA literature, and I hope it won’t be under-appreciated! An excellent start to a new mythology-based series, this is!”Alyssa – Eater of Books

“This was a unique tale about a heroine who is not perfect by any means, but does her best despite her failings.” –Grace – Grace Books of Love

 

about-the-author

Nicola Marsh

Nicola currently writes for Harlequin Mills and Boon Romance and Riva/Presents series, Entangled Publishing, Month9Books, Harlequin Teen and Crimson Romance, has published 39 books and sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide. She’s a Bookscan, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Waldenbooks bestseller, has finalled in several awards including the prestigious HOLT (Honoring Outstanding Literary Talent), Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, Booksellers’ Best, Golden Quill, Laurel Wreath, More than Magic and won several CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Awards. Nicola loves the hip, vibrant, cosmopolitan vibe of her home city, Melbourne, where she’s set the bulk of her novels, highlighting fabulous cultural and food havens like Acland Street (St. Kilda), Brunswick Street (Fitzroy) and Lygon Street (Carlton). When she’s not writing she’s busy raising her two little heroes, sharing fine food with family and friends, cheering on her beloved North Melbourne Kangaroos footy team and her favorite, curling up with a good book!

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Lifer-Cover

Asher is a Lifer, a slave aboard the spaceship Pelican. A member of the lowest rung of society, she must serve the ship’s Officials and Astronauts as punishment for her grandparents’ crimes back on Earth. The one thing that made life bearable was her illicit relationship with Samuai, a Fishie boy, but he died alongside her brother in a freak training accident.

Still grieving for the loss of her loved ones, Asher is summoned to the upper levels to wait on Lady, the head Official’s wife and Samuai’s mother. It is the perfect opportunity to gather intel for the Lifer’s brewing rebellion. There’s just one problem—the last girl who went to the upper levels never came back.

On the other side of the universe, an alien attack has left Earth in shambles and a group called The Company has taken control. Blank wakes up in a pond completely naked and with no memory, not even his real name. So when a hot girl named Megs invites him to a black-market gaming warehouse where winning means information, he doesn’t think twice about playing. But sometimes the past is better left buried.

As Asher and Blank’s worlds collide, the truth comes out—everyone has been lied to. Bourne Identity meets Under the Never Sky in this intergalactic tale of love and deception from debut novelist Beck Nicholas.

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Available for Purchase:
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WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:

 

“There are some books that are just smooth, you know? Books where the characters are consistent but still capable of surprising you, the world building is solid and doesn’t raise questions, the plot never drags, the writing flows seamlessly. Books that you don’t want to reach the end of, because it feels so right to read them. Lifer is one of those books.”Angela – Angela`s Library

 

“Lifer was a very interesting book that managed to keep me turning the pages and left me with questions that I needed to know the answer to throughout this book.”Bri – Books and Ashes

 

“I have to say I was immediately captured by the author’s writing style. She has a beautiful way with words and they flowed so wonderfully well. Descriptions were clear but not cluttered. Characters were well flushed out, plots were crazy twisted and cleverly done. Settings…well I thought I was there in the thick of it all.” – J. Keller Ford – Author

 

about-the-author

Beck-Nicholas-head-shot-248x300

I always wanted to write. I’ve worked as a lab assistant, a pizza delivery driver and a high school teacher but I always pursued my first dream of creating stories. Now, I live with my family near Adelaide, halfway between the city and the sea, and am lucky to spend my days (and nights) writing young adult fiction.

 

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Giveaway

Complete the Rafflecopter for a chance to win!

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M9B Friday Reveal: Chapter One of Summer of the Oak Moon by Laura Templeton with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

M9B-Friday-Reveal

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing the first chapter of

Summer of the Oak Moon by Laura Templeton

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Summer-of-the-Oak-Moon-Cover

Rejected by the exclusive women’s college she has her heart set on, Tess Seibert dreads the hot, aimless summer ahead. But when a chance encounter with a snake introduces her to Jacob Lane, a black college student home on his summer break, a relationship blooms that challenges the prejudices of her small, north Florida town.

When Jacob confesses that Tess’s uncle is trying to steal his family’s land, Tess comes face to face with the hatred that simmers just below the surface of the bay and marshes she’s loved since birth. With the help of her mentor Lulu, an herbal healer, Tess pieces together clues to the mysterious disappearance of Jacob’s father twenty-two years earlier and uncovers family secrets that shatter her connection to the land she loves.

Tess and Jacob’s bond puts them both in peril, and discontent eventually erupts into violence. Tess is forced to make a decision. Can she right old wrongs and salvage their love? Or will prejudice and hatred kill any chance she and Jacob might have had?

add to goodreadsTitle: Summer of the Oak Moon
Publication date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Swoon Romance/Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Laura Templeton

Available for pre-order:
amazon

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Excerpt

Chapter 1
1982
Port Saint Clare, Florida

Two days after graduation, I saw the panther.
Drifting down a shallow creek, I’d cut the motor on
my boat and trailed my hand in the water, worrying about my
lack of a plan for the rest of my life. Being a girl, local custom
didn’t demand too much of me, but Mother had her own ideas
about what I should strive for. And those ideas, adhered to with
the same fervor as Brother Franklin’s sermons, meant going
away to college and leaving this backwater town for a vague,
but much-touted, “something better.” It was my life, though,
and I’d refused to leave, choosing instead to spend the summer
wandering the seemingly endless saltwater marshes and tidal
creeks that spread away from our house like a gift unfurling in
the hot sunlight.

I spotted the panther crouched on a rock, facing away from
me and stalking something in the grass. Growing up on the
Apalachee Bay, I’d seen a lot of wildlife. More than once, I’d
watched a black bear walk down the wooded coastline. But
panthers were secretive and scarce, and I’d never seen one.

The cat was smaller than I expected, and the slight
quivering of its hindquarter reminded me of Oliver, my gray
tabby, when he stalked butterflies in the garden. I must have
made some small sound because it turned to look at me and
all resemblance to Oliver vanished. As I stared into its wild,
unblinking eyes for a few seconds before the panther leapt
away, something broke and swirled inside of me, like when
Lulu cracked a fresh egg into a bowl of water and read the
white patterns she saw there.

If I’d seen my future in that brief encounter with the panther,
I don’t know if I would’ve had the courage to live it. Port
Saint Clare was my home, but the summer I turned eighteen I
realized that what I knew of it was deceptive as gentle waves
rippling the surface of the bay, hiding the dangerous undertow
that moves below.

Violence and hatred existed in my world. That summer, I
ran headlong into them.

***
A little after noon a few days later, I slammed the screen
door and yelled back through it at Mother. “I swear I hate
you!” I stomped off the porch, wiping a tear that hung like an
accusation on my chin. How could she fail to see that I was
just as upset as she was about the unplanned turn of events?
As if constantly reminding me that I had no place to go come
August would get me any closer to college.

I shoved aside tendrils of wisteria as I walked through
the arbor that covered the path to the dock behind my house.
Breathing in the sweet scent of its summer blooms, I closed
my eyes to the hot sun on my upturned face. I wished its heat
could burn away the ugly words I already regretted.
I carried a large Mason jar filled with rose petals and
lavender blossoms I’d picked from the garden that morning.

Sitting carefully on the hot planks of the dock, I pulled my
canoe toward me with my legs and then set the jar in a holder
I’d made from an old tackle box. My backpack held the
essentials—water, bug repellent, and my pistol. I tossed the
bag in the canoe and climbed in after it, lugging with me the
doubt I’d carried around like a suitcase ever since I’d received
the rejection letter from Mother’s alma mater.

The paddle made soft splashing sounds as I moved it from
one side of the boat to the other, and the water dripping off it
cooled my bare legs. The weather had stayed nice long enough
for our outdoor graduation ceremony and then turned hot
and muggy right afterward. Now the heat clung like a sweatdrenched
shirt and wouldn’t let up until October, about the
time the monarch butterflies stopped over in the marshes on
their way to Mexico.

I used my trolling motor to maneuver the canoe down the
clear, fresh water of Sugar Creek toward the Saint Clare River
a short distance away. About a mile downstream, the river
spread out into saltmarsh before it reached the shallow water
of the Apalachee Bay.

A lighthouse stood in the estuary, and I used the whitewashed
brick tower to navigate a labyrinth of narrow creeks, each of
which looked pretty much like the next. I can’t really say how
many times I’ve gotten lost in the marshes. Physically lost,
that is. I don’t think I’ve ever felt really lost there. The marshes
are in my blood like the grandmothers I never knew—they
rock me, ground me, and teach me that many things existed
before I was born.

The sun was high, and in the distance, south toward Dog
Island, I saw oyster boats—white flags pinned to the gray
water. I hugged the marshy shoreline and then turned down a
series of side creeks. As the water grew shallow, I killed the
motor and paddled. Around a bend, a big bull alligator sunned
on a partially submerged tree, his knobbed back the color of
the rotting tree bark and his nose hidden in cattails. He was
there more often than not, and neither of us was alarmed. He
didn’t move as I paddled within a few feet of him.

Right after I passed the gator, I glanced down a side creek
and saw a black man fishing from a skiff. It was rare to see
anyone out fishing on a weekday, and I looked to see if it was
someone I knew. He saw me and raised his hand in greeting.
He was a good distance away, but close enough that I knew he
was a guy I’d seen in town a few times. I wondered why he
was fishing on a Thursday afternoon when most people were
working. I waved back, but seeing him there made me uneasy.
In Emmettsville, about fifty miles away, a black man had
recently attacked and killed a white girl who was out hiking, a
terrible crime that Mother was fond of calling to my attention
whenever I left in my canoe. That she’d forgotten today was
a sign of how angry she was. The incident had sparked riots
in Emmettsville and a flurry of heated op eds in the Port Saint
Clare newspaper. Race, it seemed, was still a hot button issue.
I always preferred to be alone on my “expeditions,” as
Daddy called them. I never even took my best friend Karen
with me, though she and I had done pretty much everything
together since third grade.

“Tess, I swear you’re the reincarnation of Sacagawea,”
Daddy liked to say.

I always rolled my eyes, but secretly I liked the image. Me,
wild and savage in my canoe, leading Lewis and Clark through
the wilderness I knew like the lines in the palm of my hand.
I was twelve when I started roaming the woods, most of
which belonged to the wildlife refuge. At first, Daddy forbade
me to go. But no punishment he and Mother thought up could
keep me from the bay.

On my fourteenth birthday, just after we’d finished my
cake, Daddy handed me a package wrapped in brown kraft
paper with no ribbon. When I pulled back the paper to reveal a
gun, Mother gasped so hard I thought she’d swallowed a gnat.
Her face was as red as I’d ever seen it. I knew Daddy would
catch heck later.

“It’s a Smith & Wesson .38 Special. It’s got a four-inch
barrel, so you can actually hit something with it.” Daddy
smiled at me.

“Damn!” Karen said without thinking. I kicked her under
the table.

I smelled a hint of oil as I lifted the pistol out of the box,
admiring its knurled wood grip.

“Walnut,” Daddy explained before I could ask.
I hugged Daddy then. I knew he was turning me loose. He
knew it too, and looked like he might cry, which scared me a
little.

Daddy spent hours teaching me to shoot the pistol. I was
a good shot, which surprised me, and I almost always hit the
cardboard torso he nailed to a tree out in the woods. That
seemed to satisfy him. But in the four years I’d owned the
gun, I’d never used it for anything other than target practice. I
supposed that was a good thing, though it also pointed to the
fact that my life had been pretty uneventful.

After seeing the man fishing, I set the paddle aside and
reached into my backpack, checking to make sure the gun was
loaded. It never occurred to me to question why I was doing it.
I just figured—better safe than sorry.

I paddled alongside a large rock that jutted out into the
creek at a shallow spot and secured the canoe with a rope that
I long ago had tied to a nearby tree. Then, I climbed the bank
and carried the jar of petals a short distance down a dirt path.
The undergrowth beside the trail was thick with palmettos,
pine trees, and oaks veiled with Spanish moss. Wild lantana
ran rampant, its yellow blooms attracting scores of bees.
The path ended at a clear pond that reflected the sunlight
in brilliant turquoise. A freshwater spring bubbled up through
vents in the sandy bottom. The grassy shoreline held few
trees, though some cypresses grew along one side, their wide,
wet knees sending root tentacles into the clear water. As I
approached, a pair of wild ducks half ran, half flew, to the
far side, their wings flapping like someone shaking out wet
laundry.

I filled the jar of petals with water from the spring, screwed
on the lid, and set it on a partly submerged rock. I would leave
it there overnight to steep in the light of the full moon. Lulu
taught me that. “The full moon gives them power,” she said.
I removed my shoes and sat in my favorite spot, my back
against a large rock. My feet touched the edge of the pond,
cooling my whole body. After emptying my canvas backpack
on the ground beside me, I crushed it into a pillow and put it
behind my head. The heat rising from the rock lulled me to
sleep.

Some time later, I jerked as if something urgent had
wakened me. At a movement to my right, I turned to see a
water moccasin coiled inches from my leg. Its thick, black
body, easily as big around as my arm, glistened in the sunlight.
The snake lay close enough that I could make out individual
scales, little tiles of shiny, violet-black granite.

Instantly, I froze. Moving only my eyes, I glanced at the
pistol, which lay a short distance away. I weighed my options.
I was afraid to make a grab for the gun. If I didn’t move, the
snake might just go away.

For what must have been several minutes, I sat so still I felt
my heart pulsing in the pads of my fingers where they rested
on the hot rock beside me. Water lapped at the edges of the
pond, its gentle sloshing sounds a sharp contrast to the terror
that gripped me. But still I waited, as sweat trickled down my
forehead and stung my eyes.

Then, suddenly, a bird or a squirrel rummaged through
the underbrush. Sensing the movement, the snake tensed and
opened its jaws wide. I saw its fangs and the cotton-white
lining of its mouth and lunged sideways for the gun. At the
same time, I rolled my lower body to the left and drew my legs
up under me, away from the snake.

But I wasn’t quick enough. Just as I grabbed the gun, the
snake hit my leg hard. The needle-like fangs pierced my skin
like bee stings, only much worse. I gasped in pain but rolled
quickly back to the right so I could aim the pistol straight on. It
would be just like target practice, I thought. I pointed the gun
and fired as the snake raised its head to strike again.

But my first and second shots missed. Fear and nerves
affected my aim. I screamed out of sheer frustration, the sound
seeming to come from someone else. The snake stretched out
almost the length of its body and struck a second time, biting
my shin just below the knee. Again the sharp pain tore through
my leg. I got a third shot off and finally hit the snake, throwing
it backward.

I stood as quickly as I could, wobbling as I tried to put
weight on the bitten leg, and fired two more shots into the
snake just to make sure it was dead. I felt a little woozy as I
watched its body twitch and jump with each shot. I didn’t like
the idea of killing something—not even a venomous snake
that had just bitten me. Twice.

I sat on the rock and examined the two puncture wounds
that oozed blood. Already they were beginning to swell. Pain
seared through my leg when I tried to stand, and a wave of
nausea hit me, forcing me to sit down quickly. I decided to
wait a bit for the pain to let up.

But while I drank from the thermos of water I’d brought,
the seriousness of the situation dawned on me. The pain wasn’t
going to get any better. A snake bite typically wasn’t as big a
deal as people made of it. But I’d been bitten twice, and the tenminute
paddle out to the deeper water of the bay was the worst
thing I could do. The exertion would set my heart pumping
and spread the venom more quickly through my body.
As my leg stung out away from the impact points, up along
the veins, I mentally prepared myself to get moving toward
home before the pain got any worse. I sat up and splashed
some cold water from the spring on my face.

As I struggled to stand, I heard a boat approaching.
Remembering the guy I’d seen fishing, I began to shake,
though whether in fear or because of the bites, I wasn’t sure.
The sound of the outboard motor came closer then stopped.
He’d seen my canoe. Nausea caused me to clasp my hand to
my mouth and double over.

“Hello?” he called out as he ran down the path toward me.
By the time he reached the clearing, I was on my feet with
the gun pointed right at him. I had only one shot left, which
he probably knew as well as I did. My aim had to be good this
time. But the nausea and the pain in my leg made it difficult to
hold the gun steady.
“Stop right there!” I meant to sound authoritative. Instead,
my voice wavered, and I knew I sounded pathetic.

“Whoa!” He stopped with his palms facing me as if he
could hold off a bullet with them. “Hey, I’m just trying to help
here. You can put that thing down.”

He has big hands. The thought flashed through my mind
and left me wondering about my mental condition.

“Not until you leave.” I swayed a little with the effort it
took to remain standing. I needed help, I knew. But Mother’s
warnings sounded in my head. I didn’t intend to be the next
victim found in the woods.

His gaze moved from the dead snake to my injured leg.

“You’ve been bitten. Cottonmouth, huh?” He could have been
commenting on the weather.

I nodded and chewed my bottom lip to curb the nausea. His
voice was warm like the rock I’d been sitting on. And he was
younger than I’d realized, probably just a few years older than
I was. Flushed and dizzy, I let the gun droop until it pointed
more toward his legs than his chest. He noticed, but he didn’t
step forward to take it from me.

“It’s okay.” He sounded exasperated. “Put that thing away.

You screamed, and I heard gunshots. I came to help.” He
watched me closely. I didn’t put the gun down, though by now
it was pointed at his feet.

“I’m Jacob Hampton.” He walked deliberately toward me.
At the time, that struck me as incredibly brave, but thinking
back on it I doubt I was much of a threat. He seemed blurry
around the edges, like waves of heat were rising off his brown
skin. He stopped right in front of me and, before I could react,
offered me his hand. It was clean with trimmed nails—not
bitten, like mine.

“Tess Seibert …” my voice trailed off to a whisper. I
dropped the gun and fainted in a decidedly un-Sacagawean
way.

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author

Laura Templeton

Laura Templeton lives near Athens, Georgia, with her husband, son, and a menagerie of animals. When she’s not writing, she enjoys gardening, learning to figure skate, and taking long walks on the quiet country roads near her home. Something Yellow is her debut novel, and her creative nonfiction has appeared in various publications.


Author Links:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Guest Post: Flash Fiction, Giveaway and the Surrogate Sea by @DEShipley

Woot! Here it is guys, book six of The Wilderhark Tales!

Surrogate Sea Launch Week Tour Pics, Novella

Surrogate Sea Launch Week Tour Pics, Availability

Buy the Book:

 

 

Guest post : 

As a treat, here is an author favorite flash fiction piece for you to enjoy. 

Prequel to “The Surrogate Sea”

She heard his voice from leagues away. With a laugh of delight, the wind changed course, dancing to the side of her favorite human.

“You called, little prince?”

He smiled, naturally. He was him. And she was there.

“Fair wind, might I trouble you for a flight? I wish to visit my sister, if I may.”

His sister. His favorite human.

Is that all I am to you?, she thought, bearing him up. Safe passage to the Sky?

She hoped not. Could ensure not. But would not hurry him. Even a Stone Kingdom heart could be worn down in time.

 

And there’s a giveaway too!

Surrogate Sea Launch Week Tour Pics, Giveaway

 

Want to know more about this great series?

Surrogate Sea Launch Week Tour Pics, Series

 

Here’s the good stuff on the author!!

Surrogate Sea Launch Week Tour Pics, Author

Ever On Word

 (Danielle’s blog and giveaway site)