Author Spotlight + GIVEAWAY: Mona Hanna - author of Lucy's Wish

Lucy Bluebell is a quiet young witch working in a magic shop in her busy town, trying to keep it running after her parents retired. She keeps to herself, avoiding most people after an unkind warlock broke her heart. She has a wish, however: to meet a kind, caring man, who’ll always love and cherish her. Someone she can love with her whole heart. Someone safe who she can rely on. Warren Lewiston is embroiled in a dark plan and needs Lucy’s help, even though he knows he’s putting her in danger. His goal is to save his friend Sarah; his enemy Saxton will release her only if the plan goes off without a hitch. Warren has to work with Saxton, doing what he asks, or Sarah will never be free. But then things get messy. Lucy and Warren become hunted. Saxton becomes more threatening. Warren realizes he may lose his friend while endangering a woman he’s falling for. Lucy thinks she’s falling in love with a man who loves another. No one knows who will survive. In the end Lucy doesn’t know if she’ll ever get her wish.

Mona Hanna is an author of fantasy/romance books. She enjoys writing about love, magic, conflict, trials and the joy of overcoming them. Mona enjoys reading, movies, chocolate, and adores cats. She hopes to release many more fantasy books in the years to come.

Prizes up for grabs:

10 luck winners will receive eBook copies of Lucy's Wish

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The Testla Gate by John D. Mimms + PAYPAL CASH GIVEAWAY {BOOK BLAST}

Tesla Gate
When a cosmic storm enters Earth’s atmosphere, scientists are baffled by its composition and origins, but not nearly as much as they are by the storm’s side effect – anyone who has died and chosen not to cross over is suddenly stranded here, visible, and can interact with the living. With the world thrown into chaos, Thomas Pendleton is eager to make up for many broken promises to his six-year-old son, Seth. Soon after the storm, they set out on a road trip to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, completely unaware of the social and political maelstrom they’re heading into that will change their lives forever.

john mimmsJohn D. Mimms is a business owner, paranormal researcher, and author. John served as the Technical Director for the Arkansas Paranormal and Anomalous Studies Team (ARPAST). During his four-year tenure with the organization, he helped supervise over 100 investigations and wrote more than sixteen technical articles. One of John's articles, titled "A Christmas Carol Debunked," was read live on Parazona Radio by Paul Bradford of Ghost Hunters International fame. John also wrote the ARPAST technical/training manual which is a comprehensive guide on equipment usage, investigation protocol, and scientific theory for paranormal research. In 2009 John decided to couple his knowledge of paranormal phenomena with his lifelong love of literary fiction. Among his titles are The Great Keep, Death Theory, and The Lemonade Girl. John is currently working on book two of The Tesla Gate trilogy.

The day the storm hit, the world was changed forever. Its severity would not be measured in property damage or loss of life, although the latter could be argued. This storm’s impact turned man’s beliefs completely upside down; the social upheaval would be worse than the aftermath of any storm in history. Though this storm did not bring hurricane force winds, driving rain, cyclones or even floods, its effects would be far more subtle … but the impact every bit as palpable. This storm had unique origins and, unlike most weather events, it was not relegated to one geographic area. Indeed it covered the entire planet; no one was left unaffected. Living or dead.  

He Found Me by Whitney Barbetti + GIVEAWAY {BOOK TOUR}

When I was seventeen, I disappeared. I walked out the door of my apartment with a backpack and never looked back. I left the life of Cora Mitchell behind, seeking freedom from my real-life nightmare.
But my freedom came with a cost. I lived a fictitious life for the next six years, never letting anyone close enough to see underneath the façade that was Andra Walker.
I was content with my simple little life.
Until I met Julian.
And the moment I started allowing myself to open up, allowing someone to see through the superficial, was the very same moment the Monster from my past would return to find me

I am married with two boys. When I’m not changing diapers or cutting food into tiny bites, I escape to Starbucks for hours. 
I love music and have a playlist for everything.
I like watching creepy shows when I am home alone but then I instantly regret them once my mind starts breeding irrational fears.
I have about 20 bacon things in my fridge.

In an instant, I’d walked right into a wall. Or, it only felt that way. I was chest to chest with a wall of muscle that belonged to one Julian Jameson, currently clothed in a navy blue fitted tee, lying against his torso so that it was perfectly contoured to his muscles. I barely registered the warm hands that wrapped around my bare upper arms, steadying me.
My breath caught before I tilted my head up, meeting his deep, cocoa powder brown eyes. My eyes moved over that short hair on his beautifully sculpted jawline before meeting his eyes again and I bit my lip. This was the closest I’d been to him, face to face, breathing the same air. I’m not sure how long we stood there, looking at each other. I became aware of his breath, warm on my face. Cinnamon and sandalwood permeated the few inches of air that separated us.
“Andra,” he said, the sound gravelly in his throat. His hands left my upper arms, and I nearly stumbled backwards from the loss of warmth. He made a move to grab me again, but I stepped backwards, out of reach. My hands gripped the banana peel and water bottle, grounding me, reminding me of what I was doing.
“I was just swimming,” I blurted out. It sounded defensive. Why?
Julian allowed a smile to lift one side of his lips. “I know,” he murmured. He looked pointedly at the bikini top before looking back at me. I saw his Adam’s apple bob in his neck before he took a hesitant step backwards. The distance felt like an ocean in regards to breathing room, but I was still wrapped up in his presence and felt the goose bumps rise up on my skin instantaneously. “I was coming to find you. Does seven still work for you?”
I nodded, and licked my lips. “I was just heading up to get ready. I’m guessing bikini wear is out for wherever we’re going?” I gestured across my body with my water bottle.
Julian’s eyes raked over my torso. A muscle twitched in his jaw. “Unfortunately, yes. Dinner in a restaurant is what I’d planned on.” His voice sounded gruff and I was pleased that he seemed to be tracking the movement of the droplets of water sliding down my front, disappearing into the towel around my hips.
I smirked, feeling a little more level headed. “What didn’t you plan on?” I exaggerated a wink, attempting to lighten the heady tension.
Julian laughed and tucked one hand in a pocket of his khaki cargo shorts. “You. I definitely didn’t plan on you.” He drew his free hand through his hair and shook his head, an amused expression lightening up his features.
It could have sounded like a line coming from anyone else, but from Julian, it felt natural, and honest. An area deep within my chest bloomed with warmth. I couldn’t help the smile that curved my lips. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”
I stepped around him, intending to head to my cabin before his hand on my shoulder stopped me. I looked at him with an eyebrow raised.
He looked at me with an unspoken question on his lips, eyebrows drawn together in concentration, before reaching behind me, cradling the back of my head. My eyes closed involuntarily and I sucked in breath through trembling lips. I felt his fingers delve into my hair, right under the bun I’d made. And, just as soon as I’d readied myself to be pulled closer, I felt his fingers skillfully remove my hair tie, allowing my hair to cascade down my back.
I opened my eyes, watching his face as he brushed a hand through my hair, resting his hand on my back right where the hair ended, just below the bikini’s strings. His features softened, his expression turned appreciative. “Wear your hair down,” he murmured, “tonight.”
I didn't trust my voice just then. I met his eyes and nodded. His hand slipped away from my back and he smiled tightly at me before abruptly turning away and walking up towards the big house.


“Are you okay?” he asked, concern etched into his face, creating lines between his eyebrows.
I nodded, swallowing the tension that had stymied my voice. I pushed off the car, standing just a few feet from Julian. I heard my heart pounding in my ears but I stepped closer to him anyway, paying little attention to the anxiety rushing through my veins. Looking him in the eyes, I murmured, “I just need to do this.” Before I could allow the protesting voices in my head change my mind, I reached forward and grabbed the back of his neck. I pulled his face slowly towards mine and took one deep, fortifying breath before I crushed my lips to his.
It took only a second before his arms slid around my waist, pressing my chest to his. He kissed me back with a fervor that rivaled my own. The anxiety in my veins was overpowered by the instantaneous lust that rippled through every part of my body. I thought by kissing him, I’d calm the ache I felt whenever I was around him. Instead, I felt like I was drowning in him, desperate for buoyancy in the sea of my need for him.
I let my hands tangle in the hair behind his ears, dragging my nails across his scalp. Julian’s hands moved to the back of my head as he pushed me back against the car with little force. One hand moved into my hair and he twisted his fingers into my curls, tugging on them just enough to tilt my head back.
His lips left mine to travel along my jawline, slowly, kissing just behind my earlobe, before making their way back to my mouth, brushing his facial hair against my skin along the way. All the breath rushed out of my lungs and I gasped for air as his lips crushed against mine. One of my hands moved down to cup his jawline and I drew indefinite shapes into the hair that grew there with my thumbnail. He nipped at my upper lip and then my lower lip before sucking my piercing into his mouth. My knees grew weak and I gripped the back of his neck with more force than before. Something warm and heavy settled deep in my chest, depriving my lungs of the little remaining breathing room.
Julian pulled away and rested his cheek against mine, each of us trying to catch our breath. We were still tightly pressed together, his heartbeat rapidly echoing off of mine. My chest heaved as I gulped air and tried to calm the storm raging within me. His arms had slid over my shoulders, hands braced on the roof of the convertible. His upper arms rested gently on top of my shoulders in this position, sort of like a loose hug, and I ran my hands down his biceps, holding him in place, steadying myself. His weight on me was comforting, as if I was in need of comfort in some way.
I was completely oblivious to our surroundings, and suddenly thankful this road was not a busy one. I felt Julian’s warm breath tickle my ear as our breathing leveled out.
“Thanks,” I whispered right into his ear. I felt his returning smile against my cheek before he pulled back and looked at me face to face, his hands sliding to my shoulders. “I’ve wanted to do that since yesterday. And I couldn’t wait any longer. I needed to get it over with,” I said, smiling softly.
Julian’s eyes closed briefly before he let out a laugh. Opening his eyes, he said, “Get it over with? Well, I can tell you that this-”he gestured between us “-is far from over. Especially after that kiss.” He shook his head in amused disbelief.
His words should have scared me, but instead the warmth in my chest bloomed, surprising me. I rubbed my hands up and down Julian’s suit sleeves, a gesture that was meant to calm myself more than him. He leaned forward and touched his forehead to mine. We were nose to nose, eyeing each other with a quiet hunger.


I felt my ankle vibrate once. The phone. I froze. Then it vibrated again. And again. It didn’t stop vibrating.
I quickly closed the lid of the jewelry box and picked it up, whipping my head around in desperate search of a hiding place. I heard the pounding on the concrete steps outside. “Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!” I exclaimed under my breath. I didn’t have time to panic. I reached the bedroom door and closed it quickly before dashing into the closet.
As I closed the bi-folding doors, I heard the sound of the front door being unlocked right before the swish sound of the door swinging open. It was at that moment I remembered my backpack in his office, the USB still plugged into the computer. My entire body went still at that moment, except for the boom-boom-boom of my heart. I prayed harder than I ever had for a miracle.
I peeked through the slats of the closet doors, seeing the light from the moon slashing a stripe across the dresser. It illuminated the now-empty space where my jewelry box once sat. An unmistakable square of dustless space signaled that something was missing. I’d grabbed the box on a whim, not realizing until now that it was my intention to bring it back with me.
I heard the sound of keys hitting the entry table before I heard the door to the freezer open in the kitchen and checked my watch. 12:20 AM. My right leg started dancing up and down, a definite sign of nerves getting to me. A moment later, I heard the unmistakable sound of a glass bottle being set on the counter. Then, the creak of a cupboard and the sound of a lighter piece of glass being set on the counter.  Vodka and his shot glass. I couldn’t help but think of the frozen chicken I had purposefully avoided so many times and wondered, momentarily, if it was still there.
Unfortunately, the dust that had settled in the closet from my absence was sprinkling the air around me, disrupted by my movements. I felt my nose twitch from the tickle. Shit. I covered my free hand over my nose and mouth and prayed for quiet.
I sneezed.
I wasn’t sure how loud it had been, but I knew soon enough that it had been loud enough to alarm the Monster.
I saw the hallway light turn on, illuminating the space between the door and carpet. My heart was beating like a jackrabbit’s. I wondered, briefly, if I could see my heart beating right through my shirt. Panic squeezed my veins. There were no colors to name off in the dark to calm me. Any moment now I would go into shock from the fear of coming face to face with the Monster. Nearly seven years and I was still crippled by anxiety. I willed myself to be brave, to be strong, but my body betrayed me. Sweat prickled my palms.

I saw a shadow of his steps to the door and sucked in shattered breath. It hit me then that I was breathing in the same air as the Monster once again. Bile rose up into my mouth and I swallowed it back. This was reliving one of my many nightmares, but worse. I closed my eyes, praying this was just another nightmare. Praying this wasn’t real.

Author spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Susane Colasanti - author of Now and Forever

What if your boyfriend was the world’s biggest rock star?
Sterling is crazy in love with Ethan. Not only is he the sweetest boy she’s ever met, but he’s an incredibly talented guitarist, singer, and songwriter. And since forever, he’s believed he has what it takes to be a star. When Ethan becomes an overnight sensation, he’s thrown head-first into the glam world of celebrity—and so is Sterling. Before she knows it, she’s attending red-carpet premieres, getting free designer clothes, and flying around the country to attend Ethan’s monumental sold-out concerts.It’s a dream come true…but whose dream is Sterling living? And what do you do when forever comes to an end?

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Susane Colasanti is the bestselling author of When It Happens, Take Me There, Waiting for You, Something Like Fate, So Much Closer, Keep Holding On, All I Need, and Now and Forever. Susane has a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from New York University. Before becoming a full-time author in 2007, Susane was a high school science teacher for ten years. As a teenage Jersey girl, Susane felt like her true home was across the water in New York City. She lives in downtown Manhattan.

Vortex by S.J. Kincaid + GIVEAWAY {BOOK BLAST}

The impossible was just the beginning. Now in their second year as superhuman government weapons-in-training at the Pentagonal Spire, Tom Raines and his friends are mid-level cadets in the elite combat corps known as the Intrasolar Forces. But as training intensifies and a moment arrives that could make or break his entire career, Tom’s loyalties are again put to the test. Encouraged to betray his ideals and friendships for the sake of his country, Tom is convinced there must be another way. And the more aware he becomes of the corruption surrounding him, the more determined he becomes to fight it, even if he sabotages his own future in the process. Drawn into a power struggle more dramatic than he has ever faced before, Tom stays a hyperintelligent step ahead of everyone, like the exceptional gamer he is—or so he believes. But when he learns that he and his friends have unwittingly made the most grievous error imaginable, Tom must find a way to outwit an enemy so nefarious that victory seems hopeless. Will his idealism and bravado cost him everything—and everyone that matters to him? Filled with action and intelligence, camaraderie and humor, the second book in S.J. Kincaid’s futuristic World War III Insignia trilogy continues to explore fascinating and timely questions about power, politics, technology, loyalty, and friendship.

S.J. Kincaid was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and attended high school in New Hampshire, but it was while living beside a haunted graveyard in Scotland, that she realized that she wanted to be a writer. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012. The second book in the series, Vortex came out in July of 2013. The final book in the INSIGNIA trilogy will come out in Fall of 2014.

The Labyrinth Wall by Emilyann Girdner + GIVEAWAY {BOOK BLAST}

Araina’s isolated teenage life is forever altered when she witnesses a man emerge through a rippling wall into the dark labyrinth she calls home. As a result of the stranger’s arrival, Araina’s Creators have unleashed a series of magical attacks using the labyrinth against its inhabitants. Now Araina must decide if she will trust potentially deceitful allies in order to reach safety on the other side of the labyrinth wall. The Labyrinth Wall is the story of a young woman who discovers that although labyrinth walls confine her and her enemies try to repress her, the power of hope can set her free. Will the walls that confine her be the walls that set her free? Young Adult Fantasy Novel. Hit #2 on the Amazon Best Seller list in its category the day after release and hit #26 on the Top 100 Amazon Free Best Seller List. Only $.99 Grab it today
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Though she was born in Germany and raised in Turkey until the age of five, Emilyann Girdner spent the majority of her grade school years in Tallahassee, Florida. She discovered early she had a love for stories. Reading books, watching movies and then acting them out with friends or toys gave living an extra flavor. This is likely why she spent the first part of her college career studying Creative Writing, before switching to Graphic Design and then graduating with a BFA in Digital Art from Missouri State University in 2011. Her writing has appeared on websites and blogs including Center for Work Life, Easter Seals Florida, MU Museum of Art & Archaeology's Musings and She is best known for her Amazon Best-Selling novel, The Labyrinth Wall. Emilyann is now living and working in Florida. Given her three focus transitions as an undergraduate, it isn't a shock that she is a multi-medium lover, exploring writing, digital art, photography and design. She finds that her creativity is most fluent when given the opportunity to bounce between artistic outlets. To truly understand this Author, there are two things to know about her. Emilyann hopes to share a love for others and God in all she does. She believes that imagination sparks beauty in the soul.

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Jaded by Michelle Bellon {COVER REVEAL}

To what lengths will a man go for the woman he loves? Reed Dartmouth will learn the answer to those questions time and time again throughout his relationship with Jade Montgomery. When he first meets her as a young, gentle boy the heartache from losing his mother only a year before is still fresh and painful. Jade is different from anyone else he’s ever met; tough, sassy, and even a bit cruel. But she’s also the same as he is: she knows what it’s like to lose a parent. Their friendship begins and a bond like no other is formed. Time passes and Reed learns that not only are Jade’s parents dead, they were murdered and she’s made an oath to one day bring them justice. No matter the price. As they grow older their love evolves but for Jade, old habits die hard and she can’t stop hurting those she loves the most. Even in the midst of searching for her parents’ killers, passion ignites and jealousy burns as Jade tests Reed’s devotion for her. Will she push him too far?

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Collide by Christine Fonseca + GIVEAWAY {BOOK BLITZ}

The most dangerous secrets are the ones that kill.
When a surprising mental breakdown draws too much attention from a secret government group call the Order, 17-year-old Dakota discovers that her so-called boring life isn’t so boring after all. Between the lies, secrets and assassins out to kill her family, Dakota discovers there’s more to paranormal activity than ghosts and cheap mind tricks. Now she must uncover the truth before a new breed of terrorism takes everything away – including her life.


Critically acclaimed nonfiction and YA author Christine Fonseca is dedicated to helping children of all ages find their voice in the world. In fiction, she explores the darker aspects of humanity and delivers gothic thrillers that take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.
In addition to writing, Ms. Fonseca is a frequent presenter and trainer on subjects ranging from writing to behavior and understanding the unique needs of gifted children. She blogs regularly on many sites and participates in events throughout the country. See the News/Events page for upcoming events.
When Christine isn’t crafting her next book and working with kids, she can be found sipping too many skinny vanilla lattes at her favorite coffee house or exploring the world with her family.


Dr. LeMercier’s Personal Journal – 
June 29, 2002
The children are assembled, selected from a pool of more than a thousand recruits. It’s exciting to have so many of the former participants’ offspring in this group. I expect Jennings and Harrison to provide strong recruits. We agreed it best if I didn’t know their identities to avoid tainting the experiments in any way. Avoid favoritism. I expect them to pass the weeding, especially with their genetics.   
Training begins in the morning. Dr. Tate and I have redesigned the protocols. They are more grueling than the previous tests, designed to push not only the candidates’ physical and mental stamina but also their emotional development. The new program measures every aspect of their supernatural potential, from telekinesis to telepathy and more. 
We anticipate better results this time. These children are younger, stronger than their predecessors. Their abilities, unmatched. But will it be enough? I can measure their ethics, but I can’t guarantee their willingness to do everything their country requires.
We’ve run out of time. Global terrorism has reached unfathomable heights. The attacks have increased since 9/11. It’s worse than before, worse than during the Cold War. I fear another Hitler. We should’ve acted swifter when we first discovered Hitler and Stalin’s early research into the supernatural. Instead, we let our fear supersede our responsibilities to keep our nation safe. 
Never again.
There will be no safety until we find a better way to train our special forces. Our country will not be free from the terrorism that threatens us until we resume our goal of new, advanced weaponry. These experiments are the key. We cannot fail this time as we have before. 
The younger recruits offer something we haven’t had in the past, a way to shape and train their morality. We will be able to push the experiments beyond the confines of humanity. We will bypass ethical concerns and find the recruits we can train to use their gifts in new ways.
We will teach them to kill.  


February 5, 2016
Nothing ever happens in Cambria. Maybe that’s why I can’t wait to get out of here, the sheer boredom of my life.  One-hundred-and-fourteen days until I’m gone. Mom won’t be able to stop me. Josh can’t play the school card anymore. I’ll be a high school graduate, eighteen years old. There’s no way they can make me stay. 
I stare out of the window of the old Coffee Café and watch the clouds swirl, their dark shades of grey broadcasting a warning of the rain to come.  February storms, March storms, April storms; always the same. 
One-hundred-and-fourteen days click down in my thoughts, bringing me closer to freedom and a life with more meaning than the tedium of this place. Brushing my blonde layers from my face, I take a sip of my warm chai tea latte, so perfect on this dreary day. An involuntary shudder passes over me as the time continues to beat on, ever slowly, in my head.
“Dakota, hey, you okay? You look lost in your thoughts again.” Elaine’s voice pulls me to the present as she slips into the chair across from me. “Dakota?”
“Yeah, sorry. I was thinking about graduation.”
“And your escape, I’m guessing?” Ever since first grade, she’s always been able to tell what’s really on my mind.   
That’s the only nice thing about this small town. Elaine.  
“I guess so,” I say. She’s sick of my complaining by now. 
“Why do you hate it here so much?” 
“What’s not to hate?” Elaine and I will never agree on the let’s-live-in-Cambria-forever issue. “Why do you like it here so much?”
An awkward distance fills the spaces left by our words. The white noise of the crowded coffee bar with people sipping their hot coffees and discussing their big day in Boresville surrounds our silence.
“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to criticize everything. I just want something more than the same old, same old routine. I what an adventure, something I can feel passionate about. I hate the monotony of this place. Don’t you?”
“I like the predictability. But you need more. You always have.” Her words come out too fast. “I just . . . I’ll miss you.”
I grab Elaine’s hands in mine and release a heavy sigh. “I’m not leaving for one-hundred-and—”
“Fourteen days. I know.” A smile forms on her lips. “I’m not the only one who’s going to miss you.”
“What are you talking about?” I ask as I push back the uneven strands of hair that refuse to stay clipped, and finish my latte. 
“Whatever!” I choke on the words. “He made his position quite clear, I think. Homecoming? Gracie? I doubt he’ll give two thoughts to me after graduation.”
“Give him another chance. Yes, he was an idiot. But he likes you.”
My thoughts wander to him, the time we spent together. In a breath, my heart speeds up and the unwelcome feelings of longing rush forward. “Way too late for that. Now, if David suddenly came back, that’d be a different story.”
David. My first real love. Or at least, that’s what I’d thought. We met after Gabe’s drama at Homecoming. There was something so familiar about him, so perfect, like we’d known each other all of our lives. We went to Winter Formal together, he gave me a necklace and a promise of forever. And then he left. Seriously. Moved away with no text, no email, no explanations.
“Tall, dark and mysterious? Oh yeah, he was just secretive enough to make him interesting. Just your type.”
“Yeah,” I say as I get up. Just my type. “If he’d stayed around long enough.”
“I guess some secrets aren’t supposed to be known.”
“Guess not.” I chuckle as I walk to the counter, drink in hand. “Can I get a refill?” I ask the barista. 
Memories of David’s thick black hair, cream-colored skin and soft green eyes that could see straight through me eclipse my thoughts. My skin erupts in gooseflesh and for a moment, I can’t breathe. 
The barista takes my cup and turns away. My face begins to flush. Get it together, I think, willing my body to forget everything associated with David Jennings. My head pounds. The pain increases the harder I work to push aside the thoughts of him, of us. White-hot lightning streaks across my vision as bile churns up my throat. I grip the counter. My hands cramp with the strain. My vision blurs and the images of David’s lips on mine are replaced with a dark garage, the smell of exhaust and excruciating pain. 
“Miss? Are you okay?” 
The voice, her words, they float around me, meaningless. I grab my head and squeeze, desperate to keep it from splitting in two.  Panic seizes my lungs and a scream escapes my lips. 
“No!” I yell. “Leave me alone!” I take the coffee cup and toss the scalding contents at the noises that won’t stop. “Get away from me!”  Too many voices surround me, taunting, teasing. The room spins, spins, spins . . .
My world explodes.


The Architect watched Dr. Tate leave the hospital at 5:00, just like he had every night for the past month. He walked from the elevator to his mid-sized sedan, fumbling for his keys. Sweat dotted his brow, darkening the grey streaks along his hairline. He opened the car and slid inside. 
It’s time, the Architect thought. The parking structure was unusually quiet, the air thick with exhaust.  She settled herself as Dr. Tate closed the door. The sound echoed against the cement beams and a nervous smile formed on her lips.
His death would be child’s play to her now. After practicing for last the ten years, she had the technique down. Just picture the blood vessels in the brain exploding and poof, Tate would drop dead from an aneurysm before he knew what was happening. Quick. Easy.
The Architect wanted to believe the lie; was desperate to escape the truth she couldn’t afford to accept—killing took a piece of her soul. Every single time.
Dr. Tate pulled his cell phone and began to speak. The Architect stared, her mind wandering through his thoughts. The Doctor knew about death. Murder. He deserved this; he deserved to die. 
His memories merged with the Architect’s, transforming her thoughts into a distant sterile lab.  Experiments. Mice.
And death. 
The Architect tried to kill the mice, tried to make their tiny brains explode. But the feelings overwhelmed her—fear mixed with the blinding hot agony that settled behind her eyes as she pictured the rodent’s death. Dr. Tate ordered her to try again. And again. But each attempt brought more of the animal’s pain to her, causing the bile in her stomach to churn and rendering her useless. 
Until Dr. Tate had tried a new approach—self preservation. Dr. Tate had strapped her to the chair, injected her veins with a cocktail of cocaine and heroin, knocked her to the ground and unleashed the vermin. Moments passed before they nibbled at her feet, her hands, her face. Hyped up on the mind blowing poison, she’d slaughtered hundreds of mice as they chewed on her bound flesh. She had no choice. Through her own agony, the Architect could see the rodents’ tiny brains lined with blood-filled balloons. She burst them all. The mice screamed as their lives ended with one sharp explosion. It was a sound she’d never forget.
No matter how many more executions she completed.
The Architect had cut herself off from her emotions that day. She’d channeled her anger and hate into something else, something worse. She’d learned to kill. 
Are you ready to prove yourself? the Creator asked. 
Her memories of Tate and the lab faded in an instant. 
I am, the Architect thought as Dr. Tate ended his call and adjusted his rearview mirror. The engine roared to life, echoing through the still-vacant structure. She had little time to complete the mission before he left. The last thing she wanted was to risk collateral damage. 
The Architect’s eyes rolled back and she imagined life from Tate’s perspective. Her vision blurred as she focused on the blue glow of the sedan’s interior dash lights. She forced his fingers around the steering wheel, took a quick breath, and centered her thoughts. 
“Your turn to die,” she said to no one.
Dr. Tate slipped the car into Reverse, his foot on the brake. Blinding light split his head in two. Nausea swirled up from his stomach, racing toward his throat as the pain intensified. He gripped his forehead with both hands. Tears welled in his eyes and a strangled gasp came from his mouth. He pressed harder on the pedal as his thoughts shattered into a million pieces. Chaos, terror, agony and regret mixed in equal proportion. 
The Architect experienced every moment. Tate’s pain became hers; his regrets, hers. The end came in a single heartbeat. His head fell back and his foot slide off of the brake pedal.  Dr. Tate’s sedan rolled, hitting the large SUV behind him. Alarm bells pierced the silence and reverberated around the concrete grave. 
The Architect detached and left his mind.
It’s done, she thought as she opened her eyes. She started the ignition of her own black sedan and drove away.
Good. The Creator left her thoughts.
Her lips turned upward as she maneuvered out of the dark parking structure. The setting sun filled her car with pink and orange light. Long shadows told her the time as she sped off toward the Pacific Ocean, pleased. She had passed the test; she’d killed willingly. Acceptance into the Order wouldn’t be a problem now. Her life would be spared. 
The others shared a different fate. 

This Summer by Katlyn Duncan + GIVEAWAY {BOOK BLITZ}

Before college, before responsibilities, Hadley Beauman and best friend Lily are determined to have a summer to remember. There will be all the usual dramas - ex-boyfriends who don't seem to know what 'ex' means, pesky younger brothers with unrequited crushes, but what Hadley didn't anticipate was the out-of-the-blue return of the seriously hot boy-next-door, Will Carson. The boy who broke her heart when he skipped town two years ago. Will may have shot up a foot and filled out (oh yes), but inside he carries the weight of guilt - for leaving, for coming back... Now he's just passing through to tie up loose ends but it's clear the old chemistry still crackles between him and Hadley. Trouble is, it's built on two years of lies... This summer might just be the best time of their lives, but is Hadley ready for everything to change - again?

Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.
Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.


I enter the room, thankful that not many people have shown up yet. Lily is in front of a table at the far corner, talking with Tyler, only recently a rotating regular in our group of friends. Lily cackles about something Tyler says but when she sees me, her expression turns serious. 
I can’t deal with questions so I plaster on a smile and walk to them. "Hey Tyler," I give him a one-armed hug. His arm wraps around my waist and stays there. 
Lily’s eyes dart to the door then back to me. I shake my head slightly. Not now.
"Did you have fun on the cruise?" Tyler asks.
How could Carter do this? And where would Dad have found a replacement? At the very least he could have warned me last night. My throat constricts as I calculate the number of people in the room. With the last minute change in plans he has to pick someone who is already trained. I rack my brain thinking of who else was at the training. 
Tyler clears his throat. "Sounds fun."
I force a laugh. "Sorry. I’m just a bit distracted right now. I’m going to see if my Dad needs any help." And if he has any more surprises for me today.
"I’ll come with!" Lily offers. No doubt she wants more information about what happened with Carter. I don’t have the energy to argue. 
The door opens and Dad steps into the room. A herd of others come in right behind him and filter through the rows of chairs to their seats. Carter is the last to enter the room and I turn around, bumping into Lily to get the furthest seat from him. I can’t even look at him. 
"Welcome staff!" Dad says. A few of the returning lifeguards cat-call him and Lily offers a loud whistle. "I’m so glad you are all here, and on time," he eyes the stragglers who came in after him. But his smile quickly returns and as much as I’m pissed at him, I can’t help but smile. 
"I hope you are hungry because there is more than enough food to go around." His green eyes widen as he takes in the group. "Before we start orientation I’d like for the pool staff to head into the other room with Head Guard, Heath, for your assignments while I partner up the counselors." He runs down the names of the pool staff. 
Daisy and Ethan stand from their seats along with a few others I recognize from the training we had during spring break. As much as the two groups work together at the camp, the counselors and pool staff form strong bonds within their groups during the summer. 
Carter’s name is called and he slinks out of the room. I don’t look up even though I can feel him looking at me.  
"Uh." Lily slaps my arm. 
"Yup," I say, heat prickling my neck. "So did I." I glance around the room and note that someone is missing. Each age group is co-ed which warrants a male and female counselor. And without Carter in the room, I’m the odd man out. Fantastic.
With a few minutes to process the situation, and with Carter out of sight, I make a promise that even he can’t ruin the summer for me. I’ll make it fantastic with whoever I’m paired with. 
Dad continues. "As for the rest of you," his eyes are on his clipboard, as if he hasn’t memorized the list already, "I’m going to call your assignments."
He’s halfway down the list and hasn’t mentioned my name yet. I sink further into my chair and try to act happy when I hear Lily’s assignment with Aiden, the elusive mid-year transfer to our high school. He floated among the groups at school not picking one, but he was the shiny eye candy for most of the girls. And by the glint in Lily’s eyes, I can tell she's happy with the pairing.
The door to the meeting room opens and Dad’s eyes flick up.
"Are you happy?" I ask Lily. 
She turns to me smiling, but her eyes lift to something behind me, and her jaw goes slack. She grabs my arm and squeezes. 
"Ow," I say. 
"Looks like we’re all here now," Dad says. 
I meet Lily’s eyes, nearly popping out of their sockets. "What is wrong with you?" I turn to the newcomer, and all of the pieces fall together. 
I take in the apparition in the doorway. My breathing slows and I blink a few times, my mind not quite believing who is only a few feet away from me. In a few steps I could touch the person who shattered my heart into a million pieces nearly two years ago. 
My previous next door neighbor, Will Carson, looks the same, but different. His boyish face is a golden brown and the lines are more pronounced. His hair is shorter than I remember, barely touching the tips of his ears. My fingers numb knowing what the strands feel like. Or what they used to. He was thin as a boy, his strength coming in the later years of our friendship. But now his lithe muscles are tight. His chest fills the black t-shirt in a way that elicits a shiver down my spine. 
His jaw clenches in that nervous way as he looks around the room. It tightens further when his hazel eyes meet mine.


 My hands grip the steering wheel, tightening with each rolling mile towards the house I’d locked up almost two years ago. In the thirty-six hours of driving I had the urge to turn back at least a hundred times. But this was the last time I’d ever be in Spring Falls. Once the house was sold I’d slam closed that chapter of my life.
  The green sign for Bryn Street appears from behind the leave of an overgrown tree at the corner. I suck a breath in through my teeth and turn the wheel.
  I keep my eyes on my childhood home, growing larger as I near. I break out of the tunnel vision when I pass the Beauman house. I don't expect anyone to be home, considering we're due at the camp in less than an hour. I know Mr. Beauman will give me leave, considering I'm doing him a favor.
  A blue car sits in my driveway as I pull into it, turning off the truck. I flip my phone open just as a woman gets out of the car.
  The line picks up on the first ring. “Mornin’!” Aunt Mabel exclaims.
  My chest squeezes at the sound of her voice. “Mornin’.” I hold a finger up to the woman outside the truck. She nods, walking toward the house with a ring of keys. Not that I don’t have one. “Although it’s almost noon here. How y’all doing?”
  “We’re just fine, sweetheart. I’m assumin’ you got home okay?”
  This place isn't my home. My home is with her. “Yes, I’m here.”
  “Now off with you, we can carry on later.”
  “Love you,” I say.
  “Love you too.” She’s the first to hang up.
  I toss the phone into the cup holder and grab the bag from the seat next to me and sling it over my shoulder as I get out of the car. I stride up the driveway and the real estate agent, Trudy, turns around, grinning with a set of gray teeth.
  “Welcome back, William.”
  I clear my throat. “It’s just Will.”
  “Oh, sorry about that. I’ll just let you inside”
  “I have a key. Listen, can we talk later? I’m late for work.”
  She blinks a few times but nods. “Sure thing. Let me just get you the paperwork and you fill it out at your leisure.”
  She run-walks down the driveway, her heels looking as if they were about to snap and leans through the open window of her car pulling out a large folder. “These are just the standard contracts,” she says on the way back up the drive. “Just take a look at them and let me know if everything is okay?”
  “Yes ma’am.”
  She beams. “How polite of you. Well I’ll let you be on your way. My card is in there, call me with any questions.”
  She waves her long fingers at me and goes to her car.
  I turn to the house and fight the urge to get back into the truck and get the hell out of here. I pull the single key from my pocket, the one that burned against my leg since Mabel handed it to me three days ago. I push it into the keyhole and turn. I allow the door to open in front of me, my feet planted to the ground. The door ricochets off the wall and starts to return, but I enter the house before I lose my nerve.
  I bump the door closed with my foot. The air in the house is stale, lingering with the spicy scent of whiskey from that final night. I peer into the living room, which needs a serious cleaning. My nose wrinkles at the amount of dust on the fireplace mantel. I head into the kitchen and open the door to the basement. I don’t need lights to find what I’m looking for, not that they work anyway. I find the electric panel and flip on the switches. The house hums to life. I take the steps two at a time and am back in the kitchen. The clock above the stove blinks 12:00. I check the time on my phone. I should leave soon.
  I round the corner and take the stairs to the second floor, ignoring the two bedrooms on the right side of the hallway, and fling open the middle door on the left. My shoulders droop and my bag falls to the floor. My room is exactly how I left it. An outdated PC sits on the desk I made in wood shop, still unstained. A full-sized bed takes up most of the room. I make my way to the window, pushing aside the navy blue curtains that match the bedspread, revealing Hadley’s bedroom window. My heart lurches at the thought of her. Soon enough I’ll see her again.
  A small bright orange piece of yarn still hangs from her sill, barely noticeable to anyone who wasn’t looking. At ten I thought it was the greatest idea to build a zip-line between our houses using Hadley’s grandmother’s knitting yarn.
  I tear my eyes away from the window and let the curtain fall. I cross the room to the closet. I didn’t take much the night I left. I grab a black t-shirt from the hanger and toss it on the bed, lifting the same one I’d worn for three days over my head. I pull on the black shirt and bring the fabric to my nose. Good enough.
  I take a deep breath and leave the room. Here goes nothing.


I enter the hallway, making a point to relax my shoulders. Lily still knows how to push my buttons. I make my way to Mr. Beauman’s office and just before I knock, I hear Hadley’s voice. It’s wrong but I lean closer to the door, listening.
  “A little warning would have been nice, Dad.”
  Mr. Beauman says something, but I can’t make it out.
  “Well,” Hadley continues, “don’t expect him to stick around longer than he chooses.”
  Her form nears the door and I don’t have a chance to move just as the door flings open.
  A version of the sixteen year old girl I left two years ago stands in front of me. I was right, her braces are gone.
  “Hey,” I say.
  “Hi,” she says with a shake of her head.
  We stand frozen in place for a few seconds before Mr. Beauman speaks. “You all set?”
  Hadley jolts and steps aside. 
  I brush past her. Her scent follows me. Strawberries. I place the application and waiver down on Mr. Beauman’s desk.
  “Great,” he says. “I’ll see you in a few.”
  I turn to the door and she’s still there, her lips parted. I open my hand, signaling for her to go down the hallway first. I struggle to keep my eyes on hers, fighting the urge to move across every inch of her body. She turns and scurries down the hall in front of me, granting my wish. She’s grown into her curves since I saw her last. Her long legs carry her quickly.
  She stops at the double doors leading to the front part of the office and turns around. “Did you hear—I didn’t mean—”
  “I heard you,” I say, watching her face crumble. “But you’re right. I need to get back.”
  “To Texas?”
  My teeth grind together. Aunt Mabel did give Mr. Beauman a version of the truth, but I can't help but wonder what Hadley knows. “Yes.”
  She nibbles on her lower lip. She nods twice before freeing her lip. My gaze drops to her mouth. She leans against the door and opens it. I hold it for her, my arm grazing her shoulder.
  She offers a polite smile. “Then I guess we should make the best of it while you’re here.”
  I lean closer. “Sounds good to me.”
  She turns around, entering the room. 
  “Who left last minute to open up the position?” I ask, not wanting to stop talking to her.
  “My—” She shakes her head, strands of her hair falling across her face. She pushes them back behind her ear. “Carter Daniels.”
  I clench my jaw. “I just saw him.”
  “He’s on the pool staff now apparently,” she mumbles.
  People mull around the room, eating off paper plates. Hadley halts, staring at the back of the room. Carter and about a dozen people I don’t recognize have gathered around the table. My hands fist at my sides, looking for any excuse to knock him out.
  “I’ll be right back.”