Note to Readers: This book contains detailed descriptions of sizzling passion only suitable for mature readers.
Outcasts Book 4
Publisher: Anything-but-Ordinary Books
Published: January 2019
Torrin’s simple mission is seriously complicated when he finds Arrista, a lovely Sarronti female, in need of rescue. The Sarronti resent the Outcasts and continually sabotage their efforts to build a settlement on the primitive planet. But Arrista isn’t just any Sarronti. She’s the personal servant of one of the most powerful Sarronti. The information Arrista can provide would be vitally important to the Outcasts, so Torrin is ordered to use their mutual attraction to question her.
Arrista has been taught to fear and mistrust the savage Outcasts, so why does she find Torrin so fascinating, so desirable? It’s not just his muscular body and rugged features. He is kinder and more protective than any male she has ever known. She is drawn to him by a force so compelling it leaves her no choice but surrender. She wants him, needs him, but can she trust him not to break her heart?
Note to Readers: This book contains detailed descriptions of sizzling passion only suitable for mature readers. Certain plot elements carry on from book to book. Though Assassin can be read as a standalone, it’s more fun to read the series in order.
Other Books in the Outcasts Series:
Outcasts, Book 1
Publisher: Anything-but-Ordinary Books
Published: April 2018
Genre: Sci-fi RomanceRestless and embittered by an abusive past, Arton the Heretic finds himself in a battle of wills with Lily, a gorgeous geneticist. She holds the key to the future of his people, but she was brought to this savage world against her will and that’s an insult she’ll not soon forget. Their attraction is instantaneous and intense, yet each has valid reasons for mistrusting the other. He wants her, is consumed with the need to claim her, but he can’t focus on the future until he deals with the past.
Outcasts, Book 2
Publisher: Anything-but-Ordinary Books
Published: June 28, 2018
Rex Dravon, a notorious smuggler, is one of the Outcasts’ most important allies. Many of the Outcasts’ philosophies and approaches to life in general appeal to him, but he’s hesitant to commit to any cause. Hoping to entice Rex into committing, Arton the Heretic, tells Rex that he is genetically compatible with one of the “captive brides”, a feisty blonde named Thea Cline.
Thea is still enraged that she was dragged from Earth without her permission, and she’s recovering from a horrendous tragedy. She sneaks aboard the Marauder hoping to steal a weapon. Instead she’s confronted by the ship’s handsome commander. She knows to be wary of Rex because of his reputation, but she’s instantly, and powerfully, drawn to him. His offer to help her escape comes a little too quickly and she fears he has ulterior motives. Is he simply hoping to lure her into his bed—a fate she’s not sure she’d mind—or is his motivation more nefarious?
Outcasts, Book 3
Publisher: Anything-but-Ordinary Books
Published: September 2018
Xorran, a famed tracker, is sent to find two human females kidnapped by the Outcasts’ enemy. His search seems futile until he encounters Sara and a feisty battle cat cub. He’s fascinated by the tiny animal, but feels an immediate and powerful connection with the wisecracking human.
Sara is still angry about being brought to the Outcasts’ planet without her permission, yet her stubbornness is no match for “the pull”. As they work together to rescue her friend, their passion flares ever hotter. Can Xorran prove to Sara that he wants more than a torrid affair? Now that he’s found a potential mate, he will settle for nothing less than forever.
Outcasts 4: Assassin
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Copyright © 2019 Cyndi Friberg
Torrin’s jaw dropped, and his heart lurched inside his chest. For one blissful moment, he was paralyzed by shock and primal need. A goddess stood before him naked, offering her perfect body to him. High round breasts, tiny waist and softly curved hips combined to form the personification of his wildest dreams. A small patch of hair above her mound was the same silvery blue as the shimmering hair on her head. Her legs were long and shapely, perfect to wrap around his waist while he thrust strong and steady between her thighs.
“I am willing to serve you, but I need to know what pleases you.”
Her soft, tremulous voice snapped him from his lust addled stupor. He forced his gaze back to her face as he pushed to his feet. His ocular scanners provided information on her biological functions, but he knew nothing about the Sarronti, had no idea if the readings were problematic or not.
Still, fear smelled like fear regardless of the species and facial expressions were nearly universal. Her pastel blue gaze followed his movements with a mixture of dread and hopelessness. Her bleak resignation tore at his heart, and he’d thought himself much too jaded to feel pity. It was obvious she’d done this before, offered her body out of obligation and fear.
He snatched the towel off the deck and wrapped it around her, inadvertently trapping her arms at her sides. “This is not why I brought you here. If we share pleasure, it will be because you want me just as much as I want you.”
About the Author
Cyndi Friberg has written about rock stars, vampires, and cat shifters, but she's currently focused on outer space. Her stories are fun, fast-paced, and seriously hot. She has made the USA Today Top 100, and every book in the Battle Born series landed on Amazon's Top 100. She is currently working on Outcasts, a spin-off series set in the Battle Born universe.
FREE to Kindle Unlimited Members!
Painting With Words: Poetry for a New Era
Publisher: Manor House Publishing
Published: November 2018
This collection of poems features six thematically distinct parts, displaying a full spectrum of human emotions, capturing the shared aspects of our experience. Each poem reflects how deeply the author has traveled into his personal experience to process its meaning. His poetry is incisive and devoid of redundant imagery that might obscure the truth, both the poetic and human one.
"With the multi-layered quality of the poems, Prattis takes the reader through the immensities of joy and pain, through the infinite and the mysterious. He dissects the dissonance of the modern world with the scalpel of his poetic musings, and describes the interflow between the human soul and the spirit of earth, paving his quest for spiritual evolution and higher meaning. Prattis’ poetry is a poetic narrative of our basest attributes as a species, our greed, and propensity toward savage violence, as well as our ability to love beyond the telling power of words. His verses awaken the sense of the infinite within us surging our hearts with the power of their message. They restore the possibility of the ancient dialogue between humans and nature, and most of all they restore a sense of optimism." Jana Begovic - Foreword
About the Author
A Poet, Global Traveler, Founder of Friends for Peace, Guru in India, Zen teacher and Spiritual Warrior for planetary care, peace and social justice. Ian presently lives in Ottawa, Canada and encourages people to find their true nature, so that humanity and the planet may be renewed. He mostly stays local to help turn the tide in his home city so that good things begin to happen spontaneously. He is an award winning author of seventeen books. His novel – Redemption – is being made into a movie. His poetry, memoirs, fiction, articles, blogs, and podcasts appear in a wide range of venues. Beneath the polished urban facade remains a part of human nature that few acknowledge because it is easier to deny the basic instincts that have kept us alive on unforgiving earth. Prattis bravely goes there in his outstanding literary work. A stone tossed into the waters of life.
Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing, Inc
RED IS FOR ROOKIE
RED IS FOR RACE
Tracking a kidnapper is an unusual assignment for a private investigator. But Matt is Holly’s lifelong friend. During the race to save him, Holly discovers a lot more than she bargained for. Matt’s in love with her.
RED IS FOR RISK
Holly’s world has never been more dangerous. Her mother’s convinced Holly will end up dead, so she hires a PI to protect Holly. She needs Stryker’s savvy and expertise and is eager for his help, though she risks her heart working with the danger-loving man.
RED IS FOR REVENGE
Stryker’s past returns to haunt him. The kidnapper wants revenge. Stryker risks his life Holly. The dangerous race transforms Holly from a Rookie into a seasoned PI. But with the two men turning her life upside down, can Holly take the heat?
As I turned away to retrace my surveillance route, my gaze swept across a man I hadn’t noticed before. He stood near the ballroom door with his back to me. I did a double-take. An off-duty cop. I could spot one a mile away. The way he walked, stood, and observed his surroundings. A cop couldn’t disguise his identity. Calm, professional, strong, he looked as though he controlled the world. With legs braced wide, right foot behind, he kept his piece away from the crowd. Even from the rear the guy looked cocky.
Someone touched my shoulder. I jumped. While I’d been eyeing the cop, Matt had crossed to my side of the room.
“Who invited the police?” Matt jabbed a thumb toward the ballroom door.
“My question exactly. Maybe one of the rich types demanding extra protection. Or maybe the cop’s moonlighting as a bodyguard.”
Matt rubbed his clean-shaven chin. “Maybe. Don’t know.”
“Whatever. I’ll find out.”
“You do that.” Matt sauntered back to his side of the ballroom.
I planned to check the cop out but didn’t want to meet him this way. I had an image to project. I was an investigator. A professional. Strong. Independent. Cool. Granted, I had a lot to learn, but I sure didn’t want to be seen on Valentine’s night appearing to shop for a man. In a town as closely-connected as Dallas, if we met in the line of fire–and I had no doubt we would—he’d never take me seriously. Some time tonight I’d inform the cop I was actually working.
I policed my half of the room then headed back toward the Champion Wrestler table.
Big, warm fingers grasped my arm with just enough pressure to make me brake and take notice. The dark-haired, fine-looking man extended his other hand. A sense of recognition nagged me. But I didn’t know him.
He sat with his back to the wall at the Attorney table catty-cornered to the wrestlers’ enclave. I shook his waiting hand, feeling warmth and solid strength. He wore his dark suit like other men wore uniforms. Daring. Proud. Indomitable. Candlelight reflected mystery in his brown eyes. With the kind of smile you see on a man given an unexpected dish of ice cream, he stood and offered me the empty chair his polished wingtips had guarded. With the chair now free, a bevy of females flew over from different tables and circled him.
“Sit a while.”
His compelling expression excluded everyone in the room but me. It was an invitation I didn’t want, but my feet, aching from the unaccustomed spike heels, did. So, I slid into the seat.
“Thanks, but just for a minute.”
Sophisticated women glared—shoppers vying for the man’s attention. He flashed them a smile and motioned to the nearby Champion Wrestler table. “Those men want to meet you.”
“I’ll be back.” One woman, wearing heavy eye liner, trailed her hand along the top of the man’s chair and threw him a seductive glance before she moved away. The other ladies stepped over to the strong men’s table.
“Thanks, man.” One wrestler nodded, his long blonde hair falling into his square-jawed face.
I turned to the man, a real James Bond type. Unwanted sparks ignited my insides. Too intense to be handsome and too electric to be ignored, he was big, tense, and concentrated. I’d never met a man who looked so ready for adventure.
Here was trouble masquerading as charm.
“They’re gonna love this at the office,” Bond drawled.
I blinked. The heat in his eyes warmed me like sun-melted chocolate. The challenge in his steady gaze stiffened my backbone.
“The office?” I noticed the bulge under his armpit not quite hidden by his well-fitting dark suit jacket. Tingles trilled my spine.
“Stryker Black. You’re Holly Garden.”
Recognition hit me. The out-of-uniform cop I’d spotted standing in the foyer with his back to me. How had he settled in so quickly? His proximity caused my eyelid to do its thing. Most people never see my twitch. I hoped Stryker didn’t. The quivers make me look unprofessional.
“How do you know my name?”
“Looked up your file at our office.”
Suspicion brought sudden anger biting into me like the Genesis serpent. To keep my temper in check I whispered. “You’re a police officer?”
“Used to be. Now a PI. Ace Investigations.”
I shot to my feet, snagged a four-inch stiletto on the chair rung and lurched forward, catching the table’s edge to keep from landing in his lap.
“I knew it!” Mom.
With my nose inches from his ear, his masculine scent broke through my protective aura. Trying not to breathe in his woodsy, nautical aroma, I scooted away.
Because I wasn’t breathing freely, my whisper sounded weird and nasal. “I want you to leave. At once.”
“Why should I?”
I stared and forgot to lower my voice. “You’re not needed.”
The four lawyers seated around Stryker perked up. Fat and thin, they gazed at me like I was a valuable bequest in a contested will. One leaned so far forward on the table his French cuff dipped into his coffee.
Stryker remained cool. “I’m sure you’re acquainted with a lady named Violet Garden.”
My palms turned sweaty.
My own mother thought I couldn’t fill Dad’s shoes. She thought I didn’t have the guts to be a detective. She thought I’d fail. Knees weak, I slid back into the chair and gazed down. My fingers itched to fiddle with the clasp on my glittery bag, but I held them still. I couldn’t let the PI see how his words curdled my self-esteem.
“Security was the word Ms. Garden used.”
I spoke low, not wanting anyone else to hear. “She didn’t. She couldn’t.” I clamped my lips. Striker didn’t need to know how his words upset me.
“Hard to believe?” He gave me a hard-boiled, tight-lipped Bogart smile.
Sitting so close, he didn’t look like a cop. Or a PI for that matter. More like a very, very sexy bad guy. Mafia or something. My throat closed. How could Mom do this to me?
“Mom asked for you? Personally?”
“She asked for Ace’s top man.” His dark eyes spoke of secrets, hinted of danger. Pulled me in even as they warned me off.
I whispered, “Luck of the draw?”
We’d been talking in hushed tones, but now the PI, a beguiling smirk on his face, spoke louder. “I won the lottery.”
One lawyer said, “I’ve got to remember that line.”
The other lawyers grunted agreement.
Their responses helped me regain my poise. I turned back to the PI. “Okay, you work for our competition . . . and you’re here?” I’d staked out Ace Investigations to see what I was up against, so why hadn’t I laid eyes on him there? And he was an eyeful. Plus, he was feeding me a line. And good at it. Too good.
I scooted my chair away from him. Not that long ago I’d been dumped by another charmer. I wasn’t about to nibble this bait.
Even if I had wanted to chance another romance, I had a new vocation. I had Dad’s murder to solve and his reputation to sanitize. I needed to prove to the city of Dallas and its entire police force that Dad hadn’t been a dirty Private Investigator. If I failed, our investigative firm would dribble on down the drain. I lifted my chin. Even if I had time to spend with a man, I’d never choose this smoothie. But I did need to size up the competition.
Investigator Rule Number One – know your enemy.
So, I did an about face and turned on the sugar. “Stryker, is it?” I smiled sweetly. “I thought I had every PI in Dallas pegged. Glad to meet you.”
Stryker’s focused expression didn’t change. “Likewise.” He laid a strong hand on my bare arm, raising the hair with a single light touch. “Stay a minute more. Tell me about yourself.”
A male voice interrupted Stryker. “Let’s be judicious here. Fair’s fair. There’re four attorneys at this table and one lovely woman. Time to share. My name’s Jeff Davidson of Davidson, Hillyer & Greene. I’m sure you’ve heard of my firm. And this is . . . .”
While Jeff introduced the other three suits, Stryker leaned back and scanned the room, doing his security thing. With me quickly shaking hands around the table, the trio of women who’d huddled around Stryker earlier made their move. Rising from the nearby Champion Wrestler table as if directed by an unseen choreographer, they mobbed Stryker.
I sucked in a breath. His mouth hanging ajar, Stryker looked stunned. Three wrestlers stood too, pushed aside their chairs, and towered over Stryker. I glimpsed Matt striding across the ballroom toward us, security face on.
The big blond wrestler, who seemed to be their leader, rasped, “We wasn’t just twiddling our thumbs over here. We was talking with these ladies.” His expression looked downright testy. He raised a fist, looking about to deck Stryker.
The three glamour girls stepped away from Stryker and melted into the crowd.
Prepared to intervene, I grabbed my purse and wriggled to the edge of my seat, curious to see what Stryker would do. This was plain screwy. Were the wrestlers trying to pick a fight?
Stryker’s face grew leaner, showing clear bone definition. A paper-thin scar slicing through his cleft chin whitened. He stood and faced the three muscled men, their crimson cummerbunds flashing.
“So, we want our ladies back.”
“Cool it you guys.” I unclasped my purse, thinking I might need my gun.
The fourth wrestler jumped to his feet, tipping his chair backward. It landed with a thud on the carpeted floor. A solid wall of red cummerbunds circled Stryker. I shot off my chair. One mat-pounder grabbed my arm and hauled me toward his table.
“We want this one too.”
I jerked my arm loose. My abrupt movement caused my ankle to turn in one of the tricky stilettos.
“Yeow!” I stumbled. Before I could catch my balance, I lost the shoe on my twisted ankle, and fell to my knees.
Events fast-forwarded. Two wrestlers pummeled Stryker. Someone kicked my evening bag. On hands and knees, I chased it under the Attorney Table to rescue my gun. I glimpsed Matt confronting the other two wrestlers and attempted to squirm out to escort the muscle-jocks to the nearest exit. Crouched on hands and knees, my dress tightened around me like shrink wrap and stopped me cold.
A lawyer squatted beside me. “Let me help—”
One of the wrestlers slammed him backward with an open palm. With a crash and tinkle of broken glass, the table flipped onto its side. A white and silver rain of crockery and cutlery poured down. A plate of romaine lettuce and blue cheese dressing slapped against my thigh, releasing the odor of salad-splashed velvet. My vision slowed as if I starred in a surreal movie. Mind scanning possible actions, my skirt creeping higher above my knees, I crawled free.
Was this a diversion for a robbery? I had to take control. Still on hands and knees, I smelled something acrid and sulfuric. The lighted candle centerpiece smoldered at the edge of the tablecloth. With a soft whoosh, flames leapt to life. I grabbed the closest thing at hand, a large slab of prime rib probably from the same uneaten place setting as the salad and beat the flames with the semi-rare meat until they died in wisps of smoke beneath charred beef. Smelling cooked steak mixed with scorched hair and fearful of what I would find, I touched my eyebrows and bangs. Crispy but still there.
Gasps and murmurings told me the crowd grew around us. Heavy feet shuffled, and I jerked my hand back to keep it from getting trampled. Fists struck flesh accompanied by grunts and colorful language. I couldn’t believe such a brouhaha erupted in our little corner of the big room with so little provocation. Something smelled fishy and it wasn’t the shrimp cocktail sauce dripping onto the carpet. I was about to spring to my feet when a body thudded to within an inch of me and lay still.
Stryker. One look at Stryker’s bloody face and I all but keeled over him.
My pulse spiked, pushing me into Unthinking Mode. Okay, so I lost it here. Thoughts of my job flew out the window. But only for a few seconds.
Still on my knees, I fished in my clutch for my cell, and dialed 911. Dead zone. Resisting the urge to throw the instrument at a wrestler, I dropped the useless thing back into my purse.
As quickly as the commotion started, it ended. The dull thud of fists on flesh died. Fingers and knees digging into the thick carpet, I lifted one hand and pressed two fingers against the carotid artery in Stryker’s muscular neck. Warm skin. Steady pulsing.
Lord, please don’t let him be badly hurt.
With all quiet above me, I assumed Matt held everything under control. I loosened Stryker’s red power tie and rubbed his big, limp hand between both of mine. His lashes, fanned across those high cheekbones, looked longer than any man had a right to own. Other than being a little bloody and lying motionless, he looked fine. Too fine. But I didn’t have to remind myself that Mom hired him. A twinge of joy that it was him, not Matt or me lying on the floor, layered in an uncomfortable guilt that squashed the relief, so I said another quick prayer for the competition PI.
He groaned, and his eyelids fluttered.
Men’s polished dress shoes, accompanied by glittering high heels, moved close enough for me to touch. One wrestler squatted next to me. “Here, let me—”
“No. Don’t touch him.” I swatted the man’s beefy hand away from Stryker.
Stryker opened his eyes, relieving my worry about him. But Mom would arrive any minute for her grand entrance, and I desperately wanted her to gawk at her security being carried away in an ambulance.
I said to the wrestler, “I’ve got to call EMS.”
Furor at the ballroom doors made me look up. “That was fast. Matt must have gotten through to EMS.” But doubt nagged my brain. Too fast. Way too fast.
Before I could follow up my hunch, the crowd opened up and two blue-uniformed men, carrying oxygen paraphernalia, a stretcher, and a medical kit hustled to the table.
The EMS team ignored Stryker who lay concealed by a drooping tablecloth, with only his long legs and feet protruding. One Medic knelt beside another stretched-out body. I struggled to my feet, red dress hiked almost mid-thigh, to identify the victim.
“Matt!” I rushed over in time to see the medic jab a syringe into my co-investigator’s limp arm.
Electrical impulses spiked my nerves. I’d never seen an emergency team do that. The first medic finished a cursory check for broken bones, then both men heaved Matt onto the stretcher and hustled him through the crowded ballroom.
Juggling on one four-inch heel and one bare foot, I elbowed my way through the crowd after them. “Which hospital?”
They mumbled something incoherent and disappeared through the hotel’s exterior door.
Lord, please take care of Matt. He’s a good friend. Keep him safe.
I started after them.
The blond wrestler clutched my arm, stopping me from following them out to the ambulance. Then he smiled crookedly, straightened his bow tie, and righted his cummerbund. “Don’t look so worried, the PI’s in good hands.”
I stiffened. “How do you know Matt’s a PI?”
The wrestler frowned and clamped his lips.
Shivers snaked my spine. Something was very wrong.
About the Author
Anne Greene lives in the quaint antiquing town of McKinney, Texas, a few miles north of Dallas. Her husband is a retired Colonel, Army Special Forces. Her little brown and white Shih Tzu, Lily Valentine, shares her writing space, curled at her feet.
Besides her first love, writing, she enjoys family, friends, travel, reading, and way too many other things to mention. Life is good. Jesus said, “I am come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly.”
Anne’s an award-winning author of twenty-three books. She loves writing about alpha heroes who aren’t afraid to fall on their knees in prayer, and about gutsy heroines. She hopes her stories transport you to awesome new worlds and touch your heart.
Date Published: January 2019
An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he's pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler's fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.
He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can't do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they're going to have to engage the enemy.
James' goals aren't necessarily the same as his crew. It's a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.
Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.
Fala nudged Dan with her shoulder, then fed the anvil bird a red berry.
As they rounded the corner onto the docks, the ship came back into view. Gold letters nearly two feet tall arched across her stern. They read, Lanternfish.
Dock workers lugged items aboard the ship, rolls of canvas, kegs of gunpowder, live pigs, and more. A glazer worked on the large lanterns attached around the poopdeck. Stuttering Lewis hung over the stern on a bosun's chair, and carved a log that replaced the supporting statue they'd destroyed when they took her. Rather than a lady with a vase, he was making a skeletal pirate, complete with a branch that became an arm holding a cutlass.
McCormack sat at a desk underneath an umbrella alongside the ramp up to the ship. He turned his journal around quickly. "Do you want to check it, ma'am?"
"No need Mr. McCormack. Maybe later. Things look much improved around here."
"Aye, ma'am. You look much improved too. Island life agrees with you."
"That it does. We're going to have a look around, we'll report in this afternoon. Where's the captain?"
"Could be in the tavern. That's where most business gets done around here."
They walked the length of the ship. Underneath the bowsprit was a new figurehead made of riveted pieces of metal, like a suit of armor. It was a huge lanternfish. Circular white portholes served as eyes, and a long twisted steel rod protruded from his forehead. The rod arched until it was tangent with the bowsprit, then bent back down. At the end, a huge hexagonal lantern hung, it matched the others on the back of the ship. Long sharp teeth protruded from the creature's bulldog-like jaw, and the fish appeared to be hollow inside.
The ship resembled an anthill. Men scurried everywhere, painting, tying new rigging, glazing, and more. When they turned back, a young woman approached McCormack's desk.
The woman was tall, thin, and muscular. She wore a bamboo coulee hat that was wider than her shoulders. It was covered with a gauze beige cloth. Her features were Eastern, giving her an exotic beauty. She wore only short leather boots, and a leather pair of shorts. Her legs were covered with wrapped strips of beige silk up to her knees, as were her breasts, forearms, and fists. She thumped the bronze foot of her pole weapon on the dock then waited for McCormack to speak. The shaft of her weapon was ebony black. The curved blade of the glaive started above her head, and had but a single edge.
As they walked closer, they made out a jade disk pendant around her neck, and the weapon had bronze fittings of a fierce dragon holding the blade in its mouth. The fittings served to add strength opposite the cutting edge.
"Name?" McCormack asked.
"What are you good at?"
"Any experience with guns?"
"Can you rig a sail?"
"Like a master."
"Sign here. Then find Don Velasco topside. He'll get you situated."
Dan and Fala walked past. Serang's braided black hair hung to the small of her back, nearly touching her shorts.
"Wonder what she does with that frog sticker?" Dan said.
Serang spun around, took two running steps toward the side of the pier and threw her weapon like a spear. It sailed across the water to the next dock and impaled a huge bay frog that was sunning itself. "Stick frogs," she said.
About the Author
C. S. Boyack was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. He likes to tell everyone that he was born in a small town in the 1940s. He's not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives him a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into his fiction.
Boyack moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back.His writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups he jumped in with both feet.
He likes to write about things that have something unusual. His works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. His goal is to entertain readers for a few hours and he hopes you enjoy the ride.
An Anthology of the Weird and the Peculiar
Published: October 2017
Do the dead dream?
Dive a wreck that was never there, in the waters off Bimini . . .
Meet a young girl who debates with rooftop monsters . . .
Dine at a tiny café teetering on the edge of oblivion . . .
Take refuge from a downpour in a gas station from nowhere . . .
Discover the real reason behind migraines . . .
Encounter a love gone bad before it ever existed . . .
Explore the emotional remains of a woman’s not-quite-dead past . . .
Follow a WWII airman plummeting through flak-filled German skies . . .
Not quite right.
These are but a few of the surreal, the weird, and the peculiar you will encounter in a realm few willingly tread…with or without the lights on.
“F. P. Dorchak writes like a hot-rodder heading toward a brick wall. Edge of your seat entertainment! I pondered over each of these stories long after I’d finished reading them. That’s what great writing is all about!” - Dean Wyant, Co-Founder, Hex Publishers
“A collection that folds upon itself like a Möbius strip. A twisted landscape of the humane, the weird, and the fantastic.” - Mario Acevedo, Author, University of Doom
“Stylistically edgy and willing to muck around in the darker corners of life, the stories in Do The Dead Dream? are both bold and gritty. Readers looking to be soothed and reassured about the human condition, seek elsewhere.” - Mark Stevens, The Allison Coil Mystery Series
“F. P. Dorchak’s anthology—a collection of forty-five short stories—spans decades and showcases the author’s wide-ranging talent. With tales that are at turns engaging, suspenseful, twisty and often slyly humorous, Dorchak focuses his penetrating gaze on those things we too often take for granted—and makes us laugh or shiver in the doing. Reading Do the Dead Dream? takes you across a threshold into a Kafkaesque world where anything can happen; if Rod Serling were still on Planet Earth, he would be the first to offer his voice for the audio version.” - Barbara Nickless, The Sydney Parnell Mystery Series
“So reminiscent of the Twilight Zone! Imagine a story between light and shadow, between science fiction and superstition, between what you know about horror, and what horrors one can only imagine. Gritty and beautifully crafted, Do the Dead Dream? is the sort of collection readers will enjoy story after story.” - J.A. Kazimer, Author of CURSES!
“From the surreal to the all too real, F. P. Dorchak’s stories delve into the realms of the mind, otherworldly beings, loves lost, and the fickle nature of death. With a little bit of everything, this collection of stories will haunt readers long after they’ve closed the book.” - Shannon Lawrence, Short Story Author, Blogger, The Warrior Muse
“Do The Dead Dream? is a masterpiece. F. P. Dorchak effortlessly weaves the real and surreal into twisting, epically personal stories. “Etched In Stone” and “Tail Gunner” challenge what we know as real and yet are completely human tales of love, loss, and camaraderie with incredible resonance. This is a collection of the highest order from a supremely talented author.” - Kevin Ikenberry, The Protocol War Series
“F. P. Dorchak’s short stories take a look at the world in an inside-out, rarely visited way. These are neither happily-ever-after tales nor ghost stories solely meant to creep you out. They are worlds that can be deliciously understated like dreams of dreams, as enigmatic as time warps, and as unexpected as falling in all directions at once. We meet werewolves and undead and people whose past lives bleed through. These tales are nostalgia-meets-a-future with nighttime borders that hint something is not quite right, each one putting the reader in a graying state between sleep and wakefulness.” - Karen Albright Lin, WritersLaunchPad
“F. P. Dorchak blurs the lines between reality and the paranormal with his vast collection of unnerving tales that are sure to keep you up past midnight.” - Joshua Viola, Denver Post bestselling author
“From a dangerously precocious little girl who befriends gargoyles to a conventional guy who discovers (first hand) an invasion of mind-blowing creatures, F. P. Dorchak offers up a collection of horrifying short stories in Do The Dead Dream?, which he delivers with an inimitable, unique voice. The reader accompanies Dorchak’s characters’ bizarre experiences that manifest as rapid-fire flashes of thought-pandemonium . . . as would naturally occur under such unnatural circumstances. Just when you think the path is headed in an obvious direction, Dorchak jerks the road out from under your beliefs to find yourself suddenly drawn along a most unexpected thoroughfare.” - Jan C. J. Jones, Executive Producer/Writer, FOREST ROSE PRODUCTIONS, LLC, A Journey with Strange Bedfellows
“You may think you’ve read it all, but F. P Dorchak’s “Do the Dead Dream?” will test the limits of your imagination. Picture Stephen King as a mad scientist, mixing bits of Night Gallery with a generous helping of Black Mirror, a dash of Altered States, a pinch of metaphysics, and a healthy dose of surrealism. Dorchak takes you forward and backward in time, puts you in the cockpit of a plane, plunges you into the ocean, and ushers you into other realms you never expected. Buckle up for a unique and unforgettable ride.” - Paul Gallagher, Writer/Editor, Blogger, Shadow & Substance
There comes a time in everyone’s life when you must face the music.
To think back to your childhood . . . when you were basically not held accountable for much. Those were the fun times, happy times! Happy and carefree. Life was your amusement park!
You had no real responsibilities, aside from school and a few chores. If you had a bike, you were mobile and that meant freedom! The world was literally at your feet! And the challenges! Nothing went unchallenged! Everything was suspect, from your home to your school. You’d try to get away with as much as possible, testing the system. You’d steal that candy bar just to see if you could get away with it . . . stay out later and later on dates.
It was all part of being a kid.
The excitement of being a kid!
But then things begin to change about mid-way through high school.
Slowly but surely more responsibility was layered into your life. No longer did things remain just mere “unaccountable challenges” . . . and if you later became one of the few to go to war, you witnessed the atrocities of mankind. Things that seared your soul with an intense anger and hatred.
It was anger at the cruelties and callousness of conflict. At how the Human Condition could inflict torture—mental or physical—upon another. You wondered how could such things be? How could—can—people be driven to perform such atrocities—horrible, unspeakable acts upon each other.
How God could allow such things.
But it was and is real . . . and won’t ever go away.
The worst part is that it isn’t just confined to wars: it breeds . . . finding other ways to manifest . . . unleash itself. War (you find) just becomes a convenient excuse.
And while you’re in the middle of it all, you may find yourself thinking back to a particular girl you knew . . . before you left and everything went crazy. You think back to when you and her were an item.
You think back with a sadness that bites deep. You think back to when you told her not to worry . . . you’d be back.
She says, well what about all the others who’ve said the same? You look her in the eyes and tell her—with all seriousness—that you’re different.
Yes, you think back to that time . . . and how you began to doubt your own words. She was the one you really cared about.
You remember that when that night was over so was your relationship. No one said anything, but you both felt it. And it wasn’t that you would necessarily never come back . . . no that wasn’t it. It was the waiting . . . and what you might become . . . .
She never wrote to you and you never wrote her—well, maybe once. You did write her that one time just to let her know you were okay. But that was it. When there was no response, you knew why.
There was no animosity. It was just something that had to be.
But you did come back . . . all limbs and mentality intact. At least you think so. Maybe you are a little rougher around the edges—there was no part of your being that was not bruised from your “experiences,” “they” call them—but you were still you.
That boy who’d gone off to war.
So you found your way to her place, that lone porch light still on the way you remember it. You knock at the door . . . her father opens it. Looks outside. He looks right through you as you stand before him . . . then he solemnly turns around without saying a word and reenters the house, head slumped miserably forward.
You, however, straighten yours up more.
Couldn’t be more prepared.
You turn back to the street . . . your thousand-yard stare catches you off-guard . . . recall the firefights . . . the carnage . . . the smell of death and destruction . . . but also the life you had before the war . . . before . . . before you’d changed . . . .
It seems you stand there for an eternity.
Then a hand reaches out for you.
She stands before the door, face to face with you.
You’re knees buckle.
Something inside you unhinges.
Tears . . . pain . . . in both sets of eyes.
You weren’t the only one who’d changed.
You thought you’d forever lost her . . . and she you. Sure, she had her “experiences” (“they” call them) while you were gone . . . but she’d always held you closest . . . never really wanted to let you go. You see it in her eyes. Feel it in the electricity between the both of you.
You were back . . . and so was she.
Back for you.
Gently you take her hand. Together you both turn . . . and hand-in-hand step off the porch . . . and vaporize as your feet hit the path leading away from one life . . .
About the Author
F. P. Dorchak writes gritty speculative fiction. Frank is published in the U.S., Canada, and the Czech Republic. His novels are Voice, Psychic, ERO, The Uninvited, and Sleepwalkers, and his first anthology, Do The Dead Dream? won the 2017 Best Books Award for Fiction: Short Stories. His short stories have appeared in the off-the-grid The Black Sheep; You Belong 2016, Words and Images from Longmont Area Residents regional anthology for 2016; The You Belong Collection, Writings and Illustrations by Longmont Area Residents regional anthology for 2012; Apollo’s Lyre. Frank can occasionally be reached in séances, and his website is www.fpdorchak.com.
Title: A Prickly Christmas Kiss
Author: Allyson Abbott
Genre: Sweet Christmas Romance, Humor
Cover Designer: Ada Frost
A Prickly Christmas Kiss
Finalist in OKRWA âContemporary Shortâ Book Awards
A Fun, Magical Sweet Christmas Story
Emma Louise Fallon, aka Elf, has two wishes for Christmas. Having spent the last few months bragging about her latest boyfriend, who's turned out to be a womanizing cheat, one, she needs to escape her well-meaning family, and, two, she needs to avoid all men while she's in a man-hating mode.
But stranded in a cold isolated cabin, when her girlfriend is forced to bail out on their vacation plans, Elf makes one more desperate wish: Can she please learn how to build a fire before she freezes to death?
Title: A Tangy Christmas Kiss
Author: Allyson Abbott
Genre: Sweet Christmas Romance, Humor
Cover Designer: Ada Frost
A Sweet Holiday Romance
Confused city girl Mel responds to her motherâs request, at a drop of a hat, and flies to Spain to house sit for her aunt. With visions of lazy days on the beach, she barely considers, why her mother cannot go? And why her aunts needs a house-sitter for a bungalow on the beach?
Her journey takes forever, consequently on arrival Mel missed the organised lift from her aunt. With jetlag, the lack of the Spanish language and having no knowledge of geography of Spain, all she has is her auntâs address, a headache and an overwhelming urge to sleep as she struggles to cope with completing the journey.
Enter the extremely handsome and chivalrous Spanish passenger who was seated next to her on her flight, help her out, even though he only speaks Spanish, so Mel has no idea what he is talking about. But hey, you canât turn away a great looking man in your hour of need!
A fun Christmas Story with a sweet and happy ending.
Recommended for readers who enjoy New Adult Romance, Teen or Young Adult Book or a Sweet Clean Romance. Humorous Fiction for women
#1 International Bestselling and Award-Winning Author (fiction and non-fiction) A Blooming Boomer who loves life on the road, making new friends and meeting great people. Life in the slow lane!
After a few full-on years of travelling, which included a year and a half checking out New Zealand, a few Pacific islands, Australia and South Africa, 15months driving around the USA in a motorhome, some quick few weeks visit to Canada, Mexico, Cuba and Spain, Allyson and her husband have now decided to pull over onto the hard shoulder for a while and have settled on the Valencian Province in Spain. Life is rich, according to Allyson, but the pocket is empty and she needed time to focus on her writing. It is very easy to get distracted when you see so many beautiful places.
The last twelve months have seen three new nonfiction books; all to help authors write, publish and promote their books, thirteen short sexy reads penned as Cyra May and three new Christmas stories all to be published in 2018
Of course being locked in a room and chained to a desk, did not help top up her sun tan, but at least Allyson was very productive.
Newsletter Signup http://www.allysonrabbott.com/contact.html
Amazon page https://amzn.to/2QDvPC2
A Prickly Christmas Kiss: https://amzn.to/2LnnbSm
A Tangy Christmas Kiss: https://amzn.to/2LkENOw
A Pink Christmas Kiss: https://amzn.to/2R1slbL
A Frothy Christmas Kiss: https://amzn.to/2UT7eY8
A Tangy Christmas Kiss
She moved forward and peered into the area where heâd stepped. Clambering over his feet and climbing up his shins with tiny paws, whining and crying for attention with miniscule muzzles and teensy mouths, were the cutest little bundles of fur Mel had ever seen. She wasnât really much of a pet person but she had to resist the urge to squeal at how cute they were, and when Domingo bent and picked two of them up, cuddling them and laughing as they clamored to lick at his chin with pink tongues no bigger than her finger tip, Melâs heart melted into a big puddle on the floor. He may be brusque with her, but he showed a much gentler side with the puppies.
Title: Beyond Spells
Author: Harmony Lawson
Genre: NA Fantasy
Editor: Rogena Mitchell Jones
Harmony Lawson and her family live in Northern California in the beautiful foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. She is mostly self-taught in drawing, painting, and writing. She is fascinated by angels, and incorporates her research in angels, the Nephilim, and fallen angels into her fictional stories.
While she has endured many hardships in life, she believes she has learned something new from her experiences. Life has its ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and Heaven and Hell. She believes the bad times are a test to prove a personâs worth. Her books reflect on that concept. Writing also helps her heal from past traumas. In the meantime, she cares for her family, loves her pugs, and remains silly through all that life throws at her. Her goal is to be an introverted hobbit.
Author Links: Amazon:
What if you were given a second chance at first love? Would you take it?
5… The number of years since I’ve been home.
4… The number of people who know my secret.
3… The number of times I attempted to move on.
2… The number of months I spent crying after I left.
1… The number of men I’ll love in my lifetime.
They say everyone has one true love, one person who was made just for them. A person they were meant to spend the rest of their life with.
For me, that person was Wyatt.
Our love was perfect. When we were together, nothing else mattered. Not college. Not our parents. Because our relationship wasn’t about anyone else.
We had big plans for our future together.
The thing about life… it doesn’t always go as planned.
An award-winning romance author, Rachael is a Midwest girl (yes, they say she has an accent but no, she doesn't hear it) who loves to create amazing stories that tug at your heartstrings. Keep your tissues handy.
When she's not writing, you can find her on the golf course in the summer or cuddled up with a cup of coffee and her Kindle in the winter.
To keep up with what Rachael is doing at the moment, follow her on social media (IG is her fav) or sign up for her newsletter. bit.ly/2KDE5dG
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2TJxML9
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07DPRZNQH
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07DPRZNQH
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07DPRZNQH
Apple Books: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/imperfect-love-story/id1440989080
Universal Link: www.books2read.com/ImperfectLoveStory
More days than I want to add up.
When I left, I was instructed to stay away. Don’t look back, my mother said. Only good things lie ahead, and looking back would keep me from achieving everything I wanted out of life.
She was wrong.
The first year was the hardest. Everywhere I turned, I saw him. Everything reminded me of him, of the trip we took together. The time we shared together that summer. The one night that changed the rest of our lives.
Wyatt was my life, and then my parents ripped me from him.
All it took was one misstep and it was over for us. Once they found out about him, they made sure it was over between us. They didn’t care about the circumstances. In their eyes, he had destroyed my life, my future. They cared more about their reputation than how I felt. They always have and still do to this day.
Per my mother’s instructions, I’m to come home for her birthday celebration and then head back to Denver. No detours. No pit stops. No fooling around.
As if I could face him after all this time.
The secrets I’ve kept from him will come to light one day, but it won’t be this weekend. It can’t be. I’m not ready to confess all my sins. Five years may be a long time, but it still feels like too soon, yet too late to ask for forgiveness.
Some things are beyond forgiveness and this secret is guaranteed to be one of them.
It feels like a lifetime and yet there are moments when it feels like it was only yesterday I stared out of the passenger window of my father’s car, watching as my life was changing before my eyes.
I remember holding my stomach as we drove past Garrett’s, the realization that Wyatt would never know why I left. He would never know that we created a child together. He would never forgive me for keeping his child from him, for denying him the opportunity to be a father.
But I wasn’t denying him, my parents were. At least, that’s what I’ve tried to convince myself of. Every time I look into her eyes, I see him. I see the life we planned for us. And all that convincing fails me.
I should have been stronger.
I should have fought harder.
I’ve had the opportunity to try and make amends, but my fears have held me back.
For five years.
**DISCLAIMER** This is a dark thriller and not for everyone.
Since high school everyone thought Jake Bender would end up behind bars; after all, he comes from a long line of bad boys. He spent years away from the place he called home. When he finally comes back, everyone thinks he's just a punk kid all grown up who’s now running a dive bar called The Night Club. What they don't know is he heads up a special task force, which cleans up neighborhoods and makes them safe again.
Stormy Ryan has always felt more comfortable with her books than with people. She loves to spend her days within the pages of her books. When her second-hand bookstore is robbed for the third time in as many months, her employees quit leaving her to run the shop on her own. With the pressure of having to deal with her shop and people, not to mention the declining neighborhood, she is at the end of her rope.
When closing up her shop late one night, she is held up and the neighborhood bad boy saves her, putting both of them at the forefront of a psychotic’s obsession.
Being bad has never looked so good.
M. Stratton is an International Amazon bestselling author in the romantic suspense and mystery suspense categories for her Storm Series and Bender. She lives with her husband and son in Arizona, which is a big difference from where she grew up north of Chicago, Illinois. As an only child she learned to tell herself stories to make the long winters go by quicker while dreaming of summer vacations. Now as an adult she still makes up stories to pass the time, but now she writes them down to share with other people.
Stratton is a self-proclaimed dork who loves to make people laugh. Her inner rock star is always on stage performing to a sold out crowd, but she quiet and shy on the outside. She spends her days plotting new ways to surprise her readers.
Abandoned by his mother as a young boy, and taken in by the elders of the Redwater clan, Tegan isn't your typical hero. In fact, if you ask him, he wouldn't call himself a hero at all. Yet when he is asked to investigate the outcome of an attack on the nearby human villages, what he discovers invokes the rage of a thousand storms, and he finds himself on the run with a beautiful stranger.
Tegan may be half dragon, half human, but he's all heart. If he doesn't stay focused on the mission at hand, he will find that the curvy woman he's determined to protect, could be on her way to stealing it.
On the run, they must fight their way to safety before time runs out, and everything they love is destroyed.
If you love riveting storytelling, sensual alpha shifters, and paranormal romance that never quits, then you’ll love Shades of Dragon.
NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author Catherine Vale writes urban fantasy stories of magic and mayhem and paranormal romance.
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