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When Emmett helps Viola on her first day of kindergarten, a friendship is forged. As the years pass, their friendship blossoms. But fate tears them apart just as they are discovering their true feelings for one another. Can their love survive time, distance, and the challenges life throws at them? Only time will tell.
After dinner, Coach heads to the hotel and my folks head to bed, leaving Mutt and I sitting on the porch swing, getting caught up.
I tell him about school, how I am now tutoring because my grades are so high, about all the after-school activities I’m involved in, about Kevin, Deedee and Chase. Mutt takes it all in, smiling the entire time.
During a pleasant lull in the conversation, he puts his arm behind me on the back of the swing and rests his head against mine, rubbing my shoulder with his fingers. I hum at the familiarity of it, even though he’s changed so much since the last time I saw him. He hums, too, and then we both laugh.
He uses his other hand to turn my head toward him. My heart starts pounding so hard, I’m pretty sure he can hear it. When he licks his lips, I close my eyes and lean forward. It feels like the air crackles between us before I feel his lips brush against mine. I whimper, feeling him smile against my lips in response. He chuckles before he does it again, sending a shiver down my spine.
“Open your eyes, Lola. Look at me. Let me see you,” he says, his voice low. “Tell me what you’re thinking.”
I open my eyes and gaze into his.
“I… I think you should definitely do that again,” I breathe.
Scarlett Wells has been a voracious reader since she was a toddler sitting in the laundry basket she used to move her library from place to place. Her love of reading has been a constant in her life and ultimately led to her sharing her own stories.
Scarlett is a stay-at-home mom to a sassy, precocious 5-year old, wife to a software engineer (read: geek), and slave to two cats. If she’s not reading or writing, she can be found at Target, trapped under an avalanche of laundry, guzzling wine while she’s cooking dinner, or playing with her munchkin.
REBEL HEART In 1776, the American rebels were thwarted by British magic. The leaders were executed, but the surviving soldiers went into hiding and kept the revolution alive. By 1984 they have developed better weapons and machinery to even the odds. Now all these "technomancers" need is an army for their arsenal, and their newest recruit is 15 year-old Calvin Adler of Baltimore. The problem is, he’s got a pretty strong will, and might give the technomancers at bit of trouble in training...
SUICIDE RUN Calvin learns that the technomancers aren't all good guys like he'd thought, and soon runs afoul of the worst of them. Now, with a bomb in his chest and a lot of ground to cover, he has a little over a week to save his life, or else become another casualty in the revolution. Meanwhile, an old enemy comes back stronger than ever, with ambition to spare...
PATRIOT'S GAME Calvin is on the brink of death. The army is scattered, the commodore is dead, and the British mages know about the technomancers' secret weapon. Just as all hope seems lost, Calvin and his friends find out the mages have a weakness, one that could end the war overnight and liberate the colonials. But it will take a miracle to reach it...
Funny thing is, I used character models for many of these people, and a lot of them were friends and family. (Calvin and Godfrey were based on my wife's two brothers, Patrick and Joe.) If they were to be cast for a film or something, I think I'd like some unknowns for those roles. I will say that I think Jonathan Frakes should play Commodore McCracken, and Marina Sirtis should be his wife Edith, for nerdy reasons. And I would demand a side role for myself, I'm just that vain. I think I'd like to be John Penn, the man who recruits Calvin to join the cause. That would be pretty meta.
Here's a scene from REBEL HEART. It's not the Boston Tea Party, but, well, the similarities are there.
Calvin recalled the trip he’d taken with his father. They’d left Baltimore and led a horse-drawn wagon all the way up to Massachusetts, where Father knew of a captain who would deliver their wool to a wholesaler in Nouveau France, for a small commission. Their meager stock from that season had filled only a small part of the deck on the captain’s ship; the rest of it was dried tea leaves in strong crates secured with a special kind of iron.
“Frosted iron,” the captain whispered to Father. “So as it can’t be magicked away by the mages, you see. It’s a special product from Ohio. Your load’s safe on this ship, Mr. Adler.”
Father was impressed. “And all this tea?”
The captain told how he and a handful of his friends had planted the valuable crop many years prior, tended to it themselves, harvested the leaves and dried them with painstaking care. It would catch a king’s ransom on the open market, compared to what the crew normally sold on their voyages.
Father and the captain shook hands and parted ways. Yet it would seem that not all of the captain’s commercial associates had been so discreet that year. After Calvin and Father had gotten off the ship, a trio of mages showed up, wands in hand, and matching sneers on their faces.
At the time, Calvin hadn’t understood what was happening. The mages demanded to know the captain’s intent for the tea. He and his crew bristled at the question. Some of them quietly grabbed nearby instruments off the deck, but they weren’t holding them the way they held tools. The captain stated his business, that they meant to sell their haul, and the mage casually said he’d have to confiscate the load.
“It just wouldn’t be fair to the other colonists, who don’t have any tea to sell,” the mage had said, signaling for his companions to seize every crate of product. Calvin scratched his head at this; if the captain and his men had done all the work, why shouldn’t they sell it?
Apparently the captain agreed with this sentiment. What happened next was burned into Calvin’s memory sure as a branding iron marked livestock.
Some of the crewmen were still loading crates of tea leaves onto the deck of the boat. Half a dozen crates sat on a platform mounted to the dock, all rigged up with ropes and pulleys so it could swing out over the water. While the platform hung between the dock and the boat, the captain uttered a word in what sounded like an Indian language. One of the crewmembers, a bronze-skinned man with pitch-black hair shaved in an extreme pattern, drew a tomahawk from behind his belt, spun around and hurled it with stunning accuracy at the rigging. The tomahawk’s blade bit into the ropes, sliced them clean through, and unlaced the complicated weave that allowed the platform to move. Six crates plunged into the salty water below, instantly ruined. To save the falling crates, the mages uttered summoning spells in the Old Saxon tongue, but the anti-magical iron did its job.
Calvin was pretty sure a fight had broken out after that, but he didn’t get to see it. Father clapped a hand over Calvin’s eyes and quickly whisked him away, telling him they were to return to Baltimore immediately.
Even now, Father refused to let Calvin speak of that day, and all of his questions since then had been met with a sharp command to put it out of his mind. Calvin had never forgotten it, though. After years of seeing Fitz and Birty squeeze coins out of the Baltimore residents, Calvin eventually understood why the captain had destroyed his load.
Here's a scene from SUICIDE RUN, introducing Sophronia Brimble, one of my favorite side characters.
A young lady emerged from the back room, her figure trim and muscular, covered primarily in form-fitting leathers and thin cotton fabric. She wore a leather vest and a black canvas skirt over skintight leggings tucked inside gatorskin boots that accentuated the curves of her calves. She also wore long daggers strapped to either leg. Unlike most faunamancers Godfrey had known, she let her hair grow long, though she braided it in a stiff tail that reached almost to her waist. A bandana covered her forehead and most of her hair, giving her a working-girl image that invited no nonsense.
“Yeah?” she demanded, half-interested.
“Eh, the owner . . .” Godfrey trailed off.
“You’re looking at her.” She had a lilting colonial accent. Fitz’s badge indicated to Godfrey that this was not the same owner Fitz had known.
“Um, hello,” Godfrey said.
“Something I can do for you, bobby?” She asked it in such a way as to imply that she wasn’t in the mood to waste her time.
“I was under the impression that Iphigenia Brimble was the manager?”
“Aunt Iffie kicked the bucket two years back, din’t she? Ain’t no warm fuzzy neither, thanks for bringing it up.”
“My apologies, I—”
“Yeah, yeah. Anyway, I’m Sophronia Brimble, this is my gig. You got coin or what?” She fixed him with a hard stare.
Godfrey didn’t like that; he’d meant to come from a position of power. He’d have to come at her tough, really play the hard mage if he was to get her services. He curled his lip and tried not to straighten up too abruptly.
“Name’s Fitznottingham, Deputy of His Majesty’s Continental Bureau of Intelligence.” He flashed the badge like he’d seen Fitz do it a dozen times. “I require the services of three fast airborne animals, post-haste. Official business.”
“You’re a kid.”
At this, Godfrey glared. “And a bloody accomplished one. Age matters less than skill, Miss Brimble.”
“Oh bollocks, you ain’t commandeering my flock, are ye?” Sophronia demanded. Godfrey steeled himself, doubling down on the act.
“In the name of the Crown, yes. You will be generously compensated for answering the call to aid the kingdom in this time of crisis.”
“I’d better,” she growled, and mumbled something under her breath that sounded suspiciously like wanker. “I’ve only got one other flyer on duty. Can you handle a wyvern?”
1) Calvin is trapped in a burning house, surrounded by mages.
Think, think, think!
Sweat. Cloth. Layers. Damn it all, the jacket wouldn’t cover him forever. Water! Was there any water in the kitchen?
The wash basin! Mother kept a barrel full of water in the kitchen and emptied it once a week. It would be dirty. But it would also be water.
Wool would soak up water like a sponge, if he could remove his coat. It clung to him, having absorbed his sweat. Maybe he could tip the barrel over himself? Too heavy, he might waste it.
Think! Come ON!
The tablecloth! It was heavier, thicker than his coat, and likewise made of wool. It was the one family heirloom that his parents had brought from Europa before getting married in Meryka. Calvin grabbed a handful of the cloth, balled it up and dunked it in the barrel.
Hotter. Smokier. Harder to breathe...
When he could stand it no longer, he tugged the heavy cloth out and draped it over himself. The steam and smoke smothered what little air there was left. Now or never, do or die.
Gritting his teeth, he raised himself to a crouch and aimed at what he hoped was the remains of the back wall; it was impossible to see or make sense of his surroundings. He looked straight ahead and ran for it, and when he sensed that he was going to hit something, he shifted and put his shoulder into it, bracing for the worst.
2) The “honeymoon phase” of Calvin and Amelia’s relationship is over. They have a massive disagreement about something, and, well…
Calvin bit his lip and descended the ramp. His feet had just touched the tarmac when the ramp retracted and the lifter fans kicked back into gear. The downwash knocked several people aside, and he found himself sprawled on his back, shielding his eyes from the intense rush of air.
There were shouts of alarm and orders from Yahola to cease, but the wyvern went on, heedless. Calvin could only watch helplessly as Amelia spun it around and pointed it at the open hangar doors.
She took one last look at Calvin’s face. That face that she had come to love in such a short time. The life she had left everything to save...oh, how it killed her to do this, to know that she had to do this.
There could be no more delays. No more side trips. The Culper box had to get to Harrisburg, and now, with the machine a thousand pounds lighter, she could probably make it with her current fuel level. She had to finish Dad’s work.
Tears rolled down her cheeks. Before she could change her mind, she hit the throttle and took off, settling in for another long flight.
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Book: Thirty Happens Author: Elizabeth Butts Release Date: 30th August Genre: Chick Lit Cover Designed By: Nwato Christian Hosted By:Francessca’s PR & Designs
Turning thirty is a big deal. Getting married is also a big deal. Karyn’s about to do both, and she’s freaking out about it. From the outside looking in, anyone would think she’s got it all going on. Amazing fiancé who adores her, job as the top reporter in town, amazing group of friends… seriously, the list goes on and on. But, Karyn had dreams as a kid. She had these amazing, huge goals. She was so close to achieving them, too. However, like life has a tendency to do, it took a detour. And now she’s turning thirty, and getting married, and it turns out that she is nowhere near where she thought she would be at this point in her life. So now, she is turning thirty, and getting married, and asking herself the question: ‘If I could go back and change direction… would I?’ Would she willingly change everything if only to have a chance at making her original dreams come true?
Donna Hatch, author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” has won writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she is a sought-after workshop presenter, and juggles multiple volunteer positions and her six children. A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.
Q&A With the Author:
5. What is your favorite part of writing?
The first few chapters of the rough draft are the most fun. Usually that evil little voice hasn't started talking to me yet--you know, that little voice that whispers it's not good enough? Yeah, that one. Getting a jump on it is great for my ego. The first few chapters of a rough draft is also the point where I have not yet realized that I don't have a very well thought-out plot. Ah, that part is bliss.
6. Do you have any advice for other writers?
1. Don't listen to that evil little voice. 2. Finish the rough draft before you begin revisions. 3. Accept advice and critiques with grace and humility, even if you don't plan to do what they suggest you do.
"Determined to help her father with his political career, Jocelyn sets aside dreams of love. When she meets the handsome and mysterious Grant Amesbury, her dreams reawaken. But his secrets put her family in peril. Grant goes undercover to capture conspirators avowed to murder the prime minister, but his only suspect is the father of a courageous lady who is growing increasingly hard to ignore. He can’t allow Jocelyn to distract him from the case, nor will he taint her with his war-darkened soul. She seems to see past the barriers surrounding his heart, which makes her all the more dangerous to his vow of remaining forever alone. Jocelyn will do anything to clear her father’s name, even if that means working with Grant. Time is running out. The future of England hangs in the balance...and so does their love."
Mr. Amesbury blinked as if unaccustomed to such an
outpouring of gratitude. “No need. Their safety is enough. I enjoy
administering a bit of justice now and again.”
The corner of his mouth twitched and an unholy gleam
shimmered in the hardness of his eyes. For a fleeting moment, a vision of Grant
Amesbury hunting down the criminal who’d attacked her and exacting some form of
vengeance upon him flashed through her mind. He was like a rogue knight with
his own code of honor and his own methods of justice.
Jocelyn studied Mr. Amesbury’s profile, fascinated
with his cautious probing. He was so solemn, so intense. If only he’d smile.
But no, perhaps it was best he didn’t. He’d probably be so handsome she would
be rendered unable to utter an intelligent word.
When the butler opened the door to announce dinner,
she said quietly, “I hope you don’t mind, Mr. Amesbury, but I’ve seated you
next to me.”
He blinked as if he’d forgotten she stood next to him.
“Why would I mind?”
She huffed out a self-deprecating laugh. “You seemed a
bit ill at ease yesterday when you came for tea.”
His pale gray eyes passed over her. Again came that
intensity. His hard edges softened. “Not because I object to your company, Miss
It was ridiculous, really, the warmth that wrapped
around her like a blanket at his words. She probably grinned like some kind of
silly schoolgirl. His crusty, protective barrier returned in his posture and
his expression. How long would it take her to break open his emotional armor
and find the real Grant Amesbury?
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