Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WITNESS TO MY HEART #Excerpt by Loni Flowers @LoniFlowers #AmReading #Women #Romance

“So, how long have you been out of the Army?”

“A little over a year.”

“Did you leave when David did?”

Max stretched his arm across the back of the bench behind me. “We left at the same time; but, no, David chose not to re-enlist when his term was up. I wasn’t given any options.”

That seemed kind of harsh. Unless he was fighting or being disruptive—which I could definitely see—why couldn’t he re-enlist? “Dishonorably discharged?”

“I guess you could say that.”

“What did you do to warrant that?”

“I didn’t do anything.” What is this? Fifty Questions?”

“It’s however-many-questions-you’ll-answer,” I said nonchalantly.

“Oh, I see. And can I play this game too?”

“I guess it depends on what you ask.”

Max pivoted towards me and his right leg pressed against mine. “Okay, let’s get right down to it. What are you hiding from?”

My eyes bulged wide with disbelief. How did he know? I was no different around him than anyone else. “What? What are you talking about? Who said I was hiding from something?”

He smirked with amusement. “Denial. It’s okay. I get it. Tell me why you were so scared in the lobby? You never showed that kind of fear towards me before.”

“You have no idea what you’re talking about. And I wasn’t scared. I couldn’t see your face temporarily because of the bright glare from the sun. When you grabbed me, it startled me.” As if I would confess everything to him just because he asked. Yeah, right.

“You know, you can’t ask me questions and expect answers, if you’re not willing to offer up anything in return.”

He was right.

It wasn’t fair. I should have known better than most people how hard it was to conceal personal facts about your life, and if Max didn’t want to share his, I should have respected his choice.

“You’re right. I’m sorry. I hoped to ask you some basic questions. You know, favorite color, favorite dessert, dog or cat, what you do for a living… those types of things.”

“Well, you haven’t asked me those questions. But if you must know, I don’t have a favorite color. I don’t do pets. They’re a responsibility I don’t want or have time for. And I work for a buddy of mine in St. Louis as a private investigator. It’s nothing like a full-time career, however, just whenever he needs me. I don’t need the money, but it doesn’t hurt to get paid doing easy jobs; and it keeps my mind focused on other things.” His finger curled around a lock of my hair as he shifted beside me.

“You forgot one,” I mumbled, enjoying his aimless tugging on my hair.


“Dessert. What’s your favorite?”

“Strawberries… and whipped cream, if it’s around. Lots and lots of whipped cream.”

I was about to bite into a carrot stick, but stopped with it halfway to my mouth. His words seemed to drip from his lips. If he had leaned in a few more inches and kissed me—minus the carrot—I would have let him. He was only a few inches away, and I caught his eyes flickering from my eyes to my mouth. My mouth watered, imagining how strawberries and whipped cream would taste from his kiss. I licked my lips… and ate the carrot.

He leaned against the bench with a sly grin. “Does that about answer all your questions?”

I recovered as best I could and peeked at my watch. “I supposed it’ll do for now. I have to get back.”

Max stood and held his hand out to pull me up. “Until next time,” he said, walking me to the passenger side of his car.

Settling in the seat, I gave him a curious glance, not knowing if that were a question or a statement. I answered with, “Maybe.” I still wasn’t sure what to think about Max. He was an asshole one minute, a comforting savior the next, and pure sex-on-a-stick twenty-four hours of every day.

Witness to my Heart

Keep a low profile. That's what Abigale Peterson was supposed to do, especially when the person she was being protected from was one of the world's worst crime lords. After seven years in the Witness Protection Program, she felt no safer now than she did when she was seventeen. Revenge was rarely forgotten when it came to a professional criminal like Zerilli.

Low profiles meant no social life and definitely no love life.

Paranoia and lies became daily habits, going against everything Abigale believed in, but they kept her safe. They kept everyone safe.

Until a house fire puts her out of that safety and into the arms of a stranger. Max Smith is sexy, smart, and has major attitude. He’s the only one who seems to get her. He calms her fears and comforts her from her nightmares. But he also sees right through her lies.

Before Abigale can stop, she’s in too deep; confiding too much and breaking the one rule she promised herself to uphold: Never fall in love.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Loni Flowers through Facebook & Twitter

#Excerpt from MOXIE'S PROBLEM by Hank Quense @hanque99 #Humor #Camelot #AmReading

Scene background: 

Percivale is trapped in the Sherwood Forest with Bors and Gareth. They escape when Robbin’ Hoody implores the Green Man to send the knights back to Camelot.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

Percivale hit something. He groaned in pain, smelled pine needles, and continued to fall. He thumped into the ground and passed out.

When he regained consciousness, Percivale sensed people around him and decided to act like he was still unconscious until he could assess any possible danger. The ground were he lay was cold and Percivale shivered despite his attempt not to.

"Looky here, my pretties," a high-pitched voice said.

"A bonnie lad," a second voice replied.

"A warrior, methinks from the ax he carries," first voice said.

"Is he dead, you think?" second voice asked.

A toe gave Percivale's ribs a hard nudge making him move involuntarily.

"He lives." The footsteps rapidly retreated.

"Can we keep him?" a third voice asked.

"Nay, Carla, warriors make poor pets. They hate captivity and are dangerous when caged."

Percivale rolled over and sat up. His first glance at the three strangers startled him. Middle-aged women with scraggly white hair, they had nightmarish features. Their black, tight-fitting kirtles threatened to burst from the mass of flesh the cloth attempted to control.

"Good morrow, handsome visitor. Where are ye from?" The voice belonged to the first speaker. She seemed a bit older than the other two.

"I hope he ain't a bloody damned Brit," said the second. "Are ye?"

"Where am I?" Percivale ran a hand over his body searching for broken bones. "Where's my horse?"

"Ye are in the bonnie Highlands," replied the third woman. "And a horse grazes over yonder." She pointed deeper into the woods.

Percivale's mouth dropped open. How did he end up in the far north when the Green Man was supposed to send them south? Apparently the Green Man didn't understand directions.

"He's a wee one," second voice said.

"How can ye tell, withal he still wears his pants?" third voice asked.

"Ye have a filthy mind, Carla," the oldest one said.

"Aye, and proud of it I am."

"A filthy mind is an awful thing to waste," the second one observed. "So, who are ye?"

"My name is Percivale. I'm a knight inna service of King Artie of Camelot. Who are you three?"

"He is a bloody damned Brit," the oldest one said. "But I guess we can't be choosey at our age. I'm Agatha, and this is Bertha." Bertha dropped a curtsy that set mounds of flesh rippling and quivering under her kirtle. She had a large green wart on the right side of her nose.

"And this is our baby sister, Carla." Carla looked boldly at Percivale and slowly licked her upper lip. She had nostril hairs so long she weaved them into twin braids.

"We are the Wryd Sisters, witches all," Agatha added.

"Here," Bertha said handing Percivale a small flask. "Take a wee sip of this. It'll restore your natural humors."

Percivale took the flask and pulled the stopper. A whiff of alcohol escaped from it. He sipped and swallowed. Immediately, his throat and stomach felt like he had swallowed liquid fire. "What is that stuff?" he gasped.

"Double malt," Bertha replied.

"From a secret family recipe," Agatha said. "We age it in oak casks."

"Aye," Carla said. "Sometimes as long as a week."

"Mayhap, Percivale will join our quest," Bertha said. "We could use a bold lad to dismay the laird."

"Aye, especially since this one is twice beholden to us," Carla added.

"I'm beholden to you?" Percivale frowned and tried to work that one out. "How so?"

"First, we stood guard over ye and didn't leave ye for the wolves. Second, we didn't steal from ye, even though ye lay helpless as a new-born newt."

"Carla has the right of it," Bertha said. "You owe us recompense and we need help. Will you honor your debt or must we turn you into a beetle, food for the nearest snake?"

"What's this quest?"

"We seek to protect our pet Nessie from the wrath of the Laird of the Loch," Agatha replied.

"The scion of Malcolm," Bertha said, "the one who killed MacBeth and seized the throne."

"The despicable Laird has sworn to kill Nessie with a great hunt," Bertha said.

"I've raised her since she was a wee tadpole," Carla said. "Why, only last year, I loosed her in the loch when she grew too big to care for in our hut. And now, the Laird means to harm her."

Percivale stood up and knocked dirt and pine needles from his pants.

"Have ye always been so short, or are ye enspelled?" Bertha asked.

"Mayhap, upon kissing a virgin, ye'll regain your natural height." Agatha winked at him.

"Here now," Carla huffed. "I saw him first. I'll be one doing the kissing."

"I propose we all take a turn to break the spell," Bertha said.

"I'm not enspelled and no one is kissin' me." Percivale barely restrained himself from shuddering at the idea of the kisses. A quest would occupy his mind while he figured out how to return to Camelot.

Moxie's Problem

Do you enjoy untypical coming-of-age stories? Well, you won’t find one more untypical than Moxie’s Problem. Moxie is an obnoxious, teen-age princess who has never been outside her father’s castle. Until now. The real world is quite different and she struggles to come to grips with reality. The story takes place against a backdrop of Camelot. But it isn’t the Camelot of legends. It’s Camelot in a parallel universe. So, all bets are off!

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Fantasy, Sci-fi
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Hank Quense through Facebook & Twitter

Friday, January 16, 2015

Character Interview with River Madden and Others from TOUCHING MADNESS by KS Ferguson #Fantasy

We're here today to interview the characters of Touching Madness. Joining me are River Madden, the hero of our story; DPS Talent 'Sammie' Samuels, River's friend and companion; and Smokey, a demon resident of the Dark Place.


River: (cough, cough)

Sorry. And River's nightmare, the soot-ball. River, can you tell us a little about yourself? Who are you? What is your role in the story?

River: I'm just a twenty-something schizophrenic homeless guy trying to find his family. And understand women. And not make any more bargains with demons. I sell sketches to feed myself and spend a lot of time hanging out in libraries. No one minds if you loiter in a library as long as you're reading.

Sammie: River's being modest. He's the man who saves three dimensions.

Smokey: He is a traveler of the multiverse and a clever negotiator. (Smoke streams from Smokey's nostrils, and his thick bull brows pull down.) He also has a talent for destruction and chaos.

River: It wasn't my fault. Destroying the dimension, I mean. Well, it was my fault, but it was for a good cause.

What's the challenge that you're trying to overcome during the story?

River: Sorting out what's real from what I hallucinate. Facing my nightmares.

Soot-ball (swirls around River's face)

Um… not that kind of nightmare.

Sammie (frowning at River): Are you sure you aren't hallucinating the soot-ball? Because none of us talents can see it.

River: Smokey sees it.

Smokey (batting at soot-ball while it zooms in circles around his head): Like its creator, the soot-ball is both tenacious and annoying.

Sammie (looking askance at the demon):
Maybe Smokey pretends to see it so he can manipulate you.

Don't medications help with your schizophrenia? Wouldn't they stop the hallucinations and make you a 'normal' person, more like a typical hero?

River (shifting in his seat): It's a common misconception that schizophrenia meds make everything better, normal. But they don't always work. They also have a lot of nasty side effects. And how would I get them? I don't have money to pay for prescriptions. Before you ask, have you ever tried to get services at a community mental health clinic? There's always too many people in need and never enough budget to go around. Besides, they might put me in a mental ward again. I'd rather be crazy than incarcerated.

Sammie: You shouldn't dwell on River's mental disorder. He's more than a condition, and he compensates in so many ways. You should thank your lucky stars he was there to save the multiverse instead of questioning why he isn't 'normal.'

If you could make one wish, River, what would it be?

River: To find a home, a place where I'm wanted despite being crazy. If I can't have that, then I wish the light bulbs would stop singing off-key. No, scratch that. I'd like the light bulbs to stop singing, period.

Touching Madness

Light bulbs talk to River Madden; God doesn't. When the homeless schizophrenic unintentionally fractures a dimensional barrier and accidentally steals a gym bag containing a million dollars, everyone from the multiverse police to the local crime boss—and an eight-foot tall demon—are after him. Can he dodge them long enough to correct his mistakes and prevent the destruction of three separate dimensions? If he succeeds, will the light bulbs stop singing off-key?

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary, Urban fantasy
Rating – R
More details about the author

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

HUSH #Excerpt by KimberlyShursen @KimberlyShursen #AmReading #Suspense #Thriller

Dinkytown - 12:45 a.m.

Ann kicked off her sandals and closed the door to the third-floor apartment. Ben had been polite, hailed a cab, and not pushed to take her home. She liked him. There hadn’t been a lull in their two-hour conversation.

Many of the tenants in the older, all-brick building in Dinkytown were a part of the struggling arts group—most of them a few years younger than she and Jess. The location, however, was perfect. It was cheaper to ride a bus that dropped her off in front of Abbott Northwestern Hospital than own a car. Groceries, boutiques, and restaurants, as well as Lake Calhoun and Harriett, were all within walking distance.

She walked to the kitchen, her feet killing her. With two newborns in incubators and another baby boy on life support, she was exhausted. Keeping a scrupulous eye over every newborn in the nursery was taxing.

When they’d moved in together, combining Jess’s modern taste with Ann’s more conservative look made for an eclectic ambiance. Jess’s poster of Warhol’s “Marilyn” hung next to Ann’s framed picture of a tranquil cottage surrounded by English gardens. Books, memorabilia, and trinkets filled the bookcase they’d put together using two-by-fours and paver bricks. A bright red, curved sectional took up most of the cozy living room and a cream-colored shag rug sat underneath an oval-shaped glass coffee table.

In her bedroom, she wiggled out of her jeans and tossed them on top on the silent radiator. She pulled on drawstring, cotton “bum-around” pants, and a T-shirt.

After she nabbed a bottle of water out of the refrigerator, she plopped down on the couch. Adjusting two pillows underneath her head, she found the remote and pulled the colorful afghan her mother had crocheted over her. Flipping through the channels, she stopped when she found Pretty Woman.

The rattle of pans woke her. Ann slid an arm out from underneath the blanket. “What time is it?” she asked, yawning.

“I was trying to be quiet and not wake you,” Jess said from the kitchen. “Almost eight.”

“You going in early?” Ann rubbed her eyes.

“Have to. Everything’s on sale and not even close to being marked down.”

Ann heard an egg crack and then the sizzle when it hit the frying pan. As manager of the Gap, Jess worked most weekends.

“What time you get in?” Ann put her feet on the floor, waited a couple of seconds, and stood. She shielded her eyes as she stumbled to the window and pulled down the shade to block the rising sun.

“I don’t know—around three maybe,” Jess said. “Want some eggs?”

Ann plopped back down on the couch. “Too early.”

Jess sat down on the opposite end of the couch and put the plate of scrambled eggs and toast on her lap. “You have fun?”

“I did.”

“The guy you met is dreamy.” Jess stabbed a fork into the eggs.

“Seems like a nice guy.”

“And you didn’t want to go to a bar last night,” Jess teased. “Look what you would have missed.”

“He’s a lawyer.”

Jess’s oval-shaped, green eyes grew wide. “A lawyer? Wow. You hit the jackpot.” She stuffed the last of the toast in her mouth, stood, and carried the plate into the kitchen.

“We have so much in common—kind of freaky.” Ann pushed her arms up over her head and stretched. “Family law. Does custody cases. Says he represents kids more than parents.” She wrapped the soft, cotton afghan around her and sank down into the sofa.

“So…you bring the babies into the world, and he protects them.”

Lost in her own thoughts, she didn’t hear what Jess said. “I keep thinking I’ve met him before.”

“Maybe you have. Maybe he had a sister who had a baby, and he came to into the hospital or something.” Her footsteps went down the hall. “Gonna see him again?”

“He’s picking me up this afternoon,” Ann said. “Says he’s thinking of buying a house and wants to take me by it.”

“Still against meeting guys in bars?” Jess asked as she walked down the hall to the door.



Soon after Ann Ferguson and Ben Grable marry, and Ben unseals his adoption papers, their perfect life together is torn apart, sending the couple to opposite sides of the courtroom.

Representing Ann, lawyer Michael J. McConaughey (Mac) feels this is the case that could have far-reaching, judicial effects -- the one he's been waiting for.

Opposing counsel knows this high profile case happens just once in a lifetime.

And when the silent protest known as HUSH sweeps the nation, making international news, the CEO of one of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in the world plots to derail the trial that could cost his company billions.

Critically acclaimed literary thriller HUSH not only questions one of the most controversial laws that has divided the nation for over four decades, but captures a story of the far-reaching ties of family that surpasses time and distance.

*** Hush does not have political or religious content. The story is built around the emotions and thoughts of two people who differ in their beliefs.

 EDITORIAL REVIEW: "Suspenseful and well-researched, this action-packed legal thriller will take readers on a journey through the trials and tribulations of one of the most controversial subjects in society today." - Katie French, author of "The Breeders," "The Believer's," and "Eyes Ever To The Sky."

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kimberly Shursen through Facebook and Twitter

Madi Brown Says Sophie Kinsella is the Sarah Jessica Parker of #ChickLit @Madithe1brown #AmReading

10 Things You Didn't Know About Sophie Kinsella

SK (Sophie Kinsella) is easily the SJP (Sarah Jessica Parker) of Chick Lit. She's written over a dozen novels, with each of her works centering around strong female characters that modern day women love to read about. If she's extremely fashionable, enthusiastic about her career, and if she still holds a place card for family and friends then we're all in aren't we? Many of us have read her books in one sitting, but what do we really know about Sophie Kinsella the woman? Well---as I soon found out, this author is just as interesting as the multidimensional characters that she creates. Here are 10 facts about Sophie Kinsella that you probably didn't know:

1) Sophie Kinsella once considered writing a thriller. Yes, it's true. And if her agent hadn't told her that what she'd come up with wasn't dark or gritty enough, then we may have been able to judge for ourselves.

2) Sophie Kinsella admits that she can relate to all of the characters that she's concocted in her best-selling Chick Lit books. Once, while she was nursing her baby, she opened up the door for her mailman---and her shirt was unbuttoned! It was a Becky Bloomwood moment that she'll always remember.

3) When asked what profession she saw herself in if she wasn't an author, Sophie Kinsella revealed that she'd be belting out songs as a singer of course ( after all, she did study music at New College Oxford).

4) It takes Sophie Kinsella nine months to pen a novel. She breaks it up into two stages. The first phase involves coffee, and sitting down, planning and taking notes. The second phase involves total isolation where it's just Sophie writing like a mad woman to speaker blowout-blaring loud music.

5) One of Sophie Kinsella's books (Sleeping Arrangements) was adapted into a musical. It premiered in London on April 17, 2013.

6) Someone has been really busy in between books. Sophie Kinsella has five kids; four boys and a girl. Is anyone else thinking what I'm thinking? How-in-almost-Brady-Bunch name does she find the time to write?

7) Guess who's hooked on eating nuts and having packets of them wherever she goes? Sophie Kinsella.

8) Life imitated art on an instance when Sophie went out Christmas shopping. She loaded her baby stroller up with so many bags that there wasn't any room for the baby.

9) Sophie Kinsella has a customized pen for all of her author book signings. She keeps it stored in gold bubble wrap.

10) Who knew? Sophie Kinsella anonymously sent a novel that she'd penned to her own publishing house under a different pen name.She remained tight lipped about doing so until her book, Can You Keep a Secret was published.


"If you LOVE New York, if you’re a name-dropping, fashion fiend careerist; fed up with serial dating, plagued with a thirst for sex, then you’ll totally stalk me for what I've penned.” - Author, Madi Brown


29-year-old Emily Greene looks the part, but she’s still working on becoming a modern-day woman. Not that she’s one to back down from a challenge, but living as an eternal work-in-progress wasn't exactly the goal that she had in mind. It’s a harsh but true realization---the idea that that time isn't on her side, and the notion that wanting to have it all, doesn't mean getting it. The verdict is in; with zero prospects for a relationship and a stalled blogging career, Emily has every reason to believe that she’s been living a life too humdrum for her own good.

Making the change won’t be easy. She’ll have to do whatever it takes; start dating like a man, become more selective about which RSVP's she accepts, and work even harder at getting her dream job.The payoff’s huge; a modern twist on a storybook ending, but gains don’t often come without risks. In the here and now Emily just may be forced to choose...It’s got to be one or the other----the profession that she’s always wanted, or the love that she’s never had.

˃˃˃ Praise for Madi Brown & 

her debut novel, The Truth About Emily

"The added depth of character promises complexity but wraps everything in the saucy cloak of Emily's evolving personality and newfound beliefs about life, love, and the real nature of happiness. And this is where The Truth About Emily outshines many competitors, making it a recommended read for those seeking more than a standard romance novel." - D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Reviews

"This book has just about anything a girl would love to read about. If there's anything Emily Greene has is ISH and lots of it, oh the ending... This book is a total keeper, just anything about fashion to relationships to friends and family." - Y. Sanchez, Goodreads

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Women's Fiction
Rating – PG18
More details about the author
Connect with Madi Brown on Facebook & Twitter

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