Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cover Reveal! 'Just One Cup' by Cassandra Giovanni

Book Info-
Title- Just One Cup
By-Cassandra Giovanni
Genre-New Adult
Publication Date-June 20, 2013


Emma Walker was a writer who'd lost herself to someone else's anger--who had given up on ever feeling like herself again.

Evan Levesque was a rock-god--the one all the woman wanted, but he'd never gotten used to the loneliness between the stage and real life.

With just one cup of coffee they'll begin a journey of self-discovery at each others sides, but can Emma handle Evan's fame while dealing with her own demons? Emma's checkered personal past, a bad relationship that haunts the edges of her memories, threatens to make everything implode on them when Evan takes matters into his own hands.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they'll destroy my soul--Can Emma handle being put back together and facing who she's become because of it?

About the Author-

Cassandra doesn't remember a time when she wasn't writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since than Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character's stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. In 2012 she became a published Young Adult author, releasing In Between Seasons (The Fall, #1) and Walking in the Shadows. In 2013 she branched out by using her artistic illustrating talents to publish her first Children's novel, The Adventures of Skippy Von Flippy: Tales of Friendship (Skippy Tales, #1). Cassandra will also release her first New Adult novel, Just One Cup, in the Spring of 2013.

Cassandra is a freelance professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is the owner of Gio Design Studios, a photography and publication marketing company that designs covers and marketing materials for authors utilizing the company's photography. She is currently studying to receive her associates degree in Marketing. Cassandra is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England with the other loves of her life their dogs, Bubski and Kanga.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Meet Alison Stuart, author of 'Secrets in Time'

Today, please take a few moments to welcome author Alison Stuart, as we get to know her and her book 'Secrets in Time' a little bit better. As always, thanks for stopping by and reading!
Hi Andi and thanks for having me here!
What was the inspiration behind this book?
I have always wanted to write a time travel story. My love of history stems from childhood and A TRAVELLER IN TIME by Alison Uttley was one of my favourite stories.

I have a passion for the English Civil War and I used to go to sleep at night, my head buzzing with the latest story I had just read, willing myself to wake up and find myself magically transported back in time.

This particular story began as a writing exercise for a writing group I was involved. It lingered in the cyber sock drawer for a few years and I came upon it by accident which goes to show no writing is ever wasted. Time travel+ English Civil War = A fun story.
Do you believe that love can transcend the ages?
There are different types of love… and in SECRETS IN TIME I explore both romantic love and the love of a parent for a child. Both can be powerful to transcend time itself.If you could time travel, when and where would you go?

I have long since got over my desire to wake up and find myself in the middle of the English Civil War. I couldn’t imagine anything more unpleasant…as my heroine finds out. Much better to travel in time in my own imagination where at least I have a toothbrush and modern medicine.
What kind of research did you have to do for this book?
Having lived and breathed the English Civil War since I was young, the historical research is now just part of my cellular structure.

It was 1995 I found myself having to research! I had to do quite a bit of research into a particular aspect of pediatric medicine but fortunately I had an obliging cousin who was prepared to make sure my research checked out.
Do you prefer to write books in this time period?
I have an absolute passion for the English Civil War. It’s a fascinating and little understood period of history. Like the American civil war, it pitted Englishman against Englishman in a brutal war brought about by a weak and stubborn King (who lost his head). After Charles I died, England toiled with a form of republicanism and when the monarchy was restored, it brought with it the system of democratic government we know today.
From a writer’s point of view, it is a period of passion, tragedy, intrigue and romance. Perfect fodder for the historical romance writer!
What other projects do you have in the works?
I have a couple of books under consideration by publishers at the moment-- a Regency murder mystery and an English Civil War romance set in a besieged castle. Current works in progress include a Restoration period sequel to my first two English Civil War novels (BY THE SWORD and THE KING’S MAN) and a “cosy” murder mystery set in Singapore in the early 1900s – just for something completely different!
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I have copies of letters I wrote dating from the age of 11 in which I assert that I want to be a writer. At school my best friend and I both spent our lunchtimes perched in the willow tree in the playground writing our best selling novels. Mine (guess!) was an English Civil War story called “The Locket of Grace”.
Is there a particular routine that you follow?
I wish I could say I did but I am an erratic writer with a part time job and a swag of outside interests. I start every day intending to start writing but I am the mistress of procrastination so when I do get to writing I’m always surprised that it is half way through the afternoon and I need to think about the evening meal.
What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
I am blessed to be a member of Romance Writers of Australia where wonderful advice abounds on every aspect of writing, but I think the best piece of advice came from a woman I greatly admired, but had no idea she wrote romance fiction. She told me that if I wanted something badly enough, I would get there and it’s so true. There have been many times along the writing journey when I could have given up but I have kept going and I am now proud to put “writer” down as my occupation.
What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I have just ridden on a float with the Krewe of Morpheus in the 2013 New Orleans Mardi Gras. That is something so surprising that I still surprise myself that an Aussie from Downunder found herself tossing beads in New Orleans. Such fun. You can read about it on my blog. http://www.alisonstuart.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/riding-float-new-orlean-mardi-gras-part.html
Anything else you would like to share?
I wrote most of this book while my father was in his last illness. I would go from sitting by his bedside straight into this magical world of time travel, witches and dashing cavaliers. Writing was my solace and escape in a time of incredible sorrow and a gift I was truly thankful for. However this is far from being a sad book so I do hope the readers enjoy it.
Thanks for your time! 
And thank you once again for having me, Andi.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Alison Stuart is an award winning Australian writer of historicals with heart. Whether duelling with dashing cavaliers or waywards ghosts, her books provide a reader with a meaty plot and characters who have to strive against adversity, always with the promise of happiness together. Alison is a lapsed lawyer who has worked in the military and fire service, which may explain a predisposition to soldier heroes. She lives with her own personal hero and two needy cats and likes nothing more than a stiff gin and tonic and a walk along the sea front of her home town. She loves to hear from her readers and can be found at her website, facebook, twitter and Goodreads.

Find Alison on the Web

Website: http://www.alisonstuart.com

Blog: Ms.Stuart Requests…: http://www.alisonstuart.blogspot.com

Facebook: Alison Stuart- Writer https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alison-Stuart-Writer/177254485659744?fref=ts

Twitter: @AlisonStuart14

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4636079.Alison_Stuart

Secrets in Time

by Alison Stuart


When a seventeenth-century cavalier hurls himself over her garden wall, Doctor Jessica Shepherd is more angry than surprised. Although she ís no stranger to military re-enactors, there ís something different about Nathaniel Preston. If he ís to be believed, something…or someone…has sent him forward in time from the midst of a civil war to the quiet English countryside of the twentieth century.

With time working against them, Nathaniel has to convince Jessica why fate brought them together before he ís forced to return to his own era and certain death in battle.

Can the strength of love overcome all obstacles, even time itself?

Read an excerpt:
Alan and I went through his clothing but found nothing that gave any indication of his identity, either in this century or the seventeenth. The only hint was the finely wrought initials NP in the guard of his sword.

“NP, Nathaniel Preston,” Alan said.

“It doesn’t prove anything. He has a sword with initials that match the name he gave us.” I traced the intricate fretwork on the hilt of the sword with my finger. “What do you know about the seventeenth century Nathaniel Preston?”

“He’s dead,” Alan replied with a wry smile. I pulled a face at him and Alan shrugged. “At the start of the war he formed his own local regiment and declared for the king. He fought at Edgehill but spent most of the rest of the war in local defense of this area. A few days before Naseby, he was instrumental in deflecting the parliamentary advance at the battle of Chesham Bridge.” He stopped. “I am not sure going to Heatherhill Hall is such a great idea.”


“Because he may not like what he finds out.” Alan looked into the depths of his coffee mug.

“Like what? That he’s dead? I think even he may have worked that out.”

Alan looked up at me. “That he died at the battle of Chesham Bridge.”

“Oh.” A cold shiver ran down my spine. Even I knew the date of the battle of Chesham Bridge- -12 June, 1645--its anniversary would be in nine days time. I tried not to think what it would be like to know the exact date of your death.

Buy Links: Amazon \ Lyrical Press

Alison will be awarding ecopies of her two previously published books THE KING’S MAN and the award winning BY THE SWORD, which are set in the same period as this story, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a gift pack of Alison Stuart products to a randomly drawn host. Follow the tour for more chances to win!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

'Fat Diary' by Duane Simolke ~ Free Read!

While she writes about reasons to lose weight, a librarian finds humor in her West Texas life.

ISBN: 9781476311395
Title: Fat Diary
Author: Duane Simolke
Publisher: Smashwords, Inc.
Published May 2012
Categories: humor, comedy, short story, fiction
Format: Flashbacks, in the form of journal entries.

In this free comedy eBook, a West Texas librarian makes fun of herself and the other people in her town, while writing about her reasons for wanting to lose weight. 

Pamela Mae Willard must learn to love herself. Still, she can’t resist laughing about her problems, and about the adventures of the colorful characters in Acorn, Texas. 

This irreverent, politically incorrect tale reveals a woman finding joy in life, no matter what happens to her and no matter who mistreats her.

This short story also appears in The Acorn Gathering. Some of its characters also appear in The Acorn Stories.

Download this free book on your favorite sites! 

Bio from Goodreads:

My writing spans genres, but my most popular books are Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure and the West Texas fiction collection The Acorn Stories. I live in Lubbock, Texas.

Duane Simolke (pronounced “Dwain Smoky”). Education: Belmont University (B.A., ‘89, Nashville, TN), Hardin-Simmons University (M.A., ‘91, Abilene, TX), and Texas Tech University (Ph.D., ‘96, Lubbock, TX), all with a major in English.

Writing published in nightFire, Mesquite, Caprock Sun, Midwest Poetry Review, International Journal on World Peace, and many other publications.

Readers can order my books at local or online bookstores; libraries or bookstores can order them at Ingram Books or Baker and Taylor.

I'm writing a sequel to Degranon.

Author links:

Blog | Author's Den 

'She-Wolf: Drive-By' by J.D. Simpson

Publication Date: May 21, 2011
Paperback: 60 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 21, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1461001684
ISBN-13: 978-1461001683


Greg is on a mission to find out who killed his partner. Greg's new partner Sloan is hiding something from him. Now they must solve a case together, that involves an evil corporation and three mysterious murders. Will they be able to solve it in time? 

Read a review:

'SheWolf' by J.D. Simpson Flips the Werewolf Genre on Its Ass!  

~~Buy it on Amazon~~ 

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Mickey Tussler Series by Frank Nappi

Frank Nappi


In the late 1940s, the minor league Milwaukee Brewers are foundering yet again and manager Arthur Murphy is desperate. When he sees seventeen-year old Mickey Tussler throwing apples into a barrel, he knows he has found the next pitching phenom. But not everyone is so hopeful. Mickey’s autism—a disorder still not truly understood even today—has alienated the boy from the world, and he is berated by other players and fans. Mickey faces immense trials in the harsh and competitive world of baseball while coping with the challenges inherent to his disorder. An honest and knowledgeable book about overcoming adversity, and the basis for the television movie A Mile in His Shoes, Mickey’s powerful story shows that with support and determination anyone can be triumphant, even when the odds are stacked against him.

Read an excerpt by clicking here.

~~Buy links: Paperback \ Kindle~~ 

It’s 1949 and eighteen-year-old pitching phenom Mickey Tussler is back with the rejuvenated minor league Brewers in the sequel to The Legend of Mickey Tussler (the basis for the television movie A Mile in His Shoes). Despite Mickey’s proclamation that he will never play baseball again after last season’s violent conclusion, his manager— and now surrogate father—Arthur Murphy cajoles the emotionally fragile, socially awkward boy with autism into giving it another shot. Mickey reluctantly returns to the field and must once again cope with the violence and hatred around him. When a young African American player joins the team, the entire team is subjected to racial threats and episodes of violence, one of which Mickey witnesses firsthand. Struggling to understand such ugliness and hatred, and fearful of reprisal should he tell anyone about what he has seen, the boy’s performance on the field suffers. Mickey now must deal with a side of human nature he scarcely comprehends.
Read an excerpt by clicking here.

~~Buy links: Paperback \ Kindle~~  
~~My thoughts~~

I am a huge fan of Frank Nappi. A few months ago, I fell in love with his book Nobody Has to Know, which is a story of an illicit affair between a teacher and his student, that goes horribly wrong. I also interviewed him and had he told me a bit about the Mickey Tussler series. I have fond memories of watching baseball when I was a kid. I also work with children, some of whom have autism, and have several friends with autistic children. This series just seemed meant for me to read.
I love these books. The plot of each one goes beyond simply baseball, or autism, or race. The different storylines blend together to make for an intriguing glimpse into the world of yesteryear. Many of the points being made with the characters and their situations are still valid today. Delicate issues are gracefully handled, yet messages are driven home. You develop a relationship with the characters and feel like you know them, or someone just like them. You are appalled at how some of them treat each other, because humans shouldn't treat other humans that way. You become protective of the vulnerable ones and wish for the jerks to reap their just rewards. 
And then there are the baseball games. Reading the descriptions of the games made me think of minor league baseball when I was a kid, and was reminiscent of other great baseball books. Frank Nappi has a way of telling a story that is sure to stay with you for some time to come. I am excited for a third installment to come out and look forward to reading it.


Frank Nappi has taught high school English and Creative Writing for over twenty years. His debut novel, Echoes From The Infantry, received national attention, including MWSA's silver medal for outstanding fiction. His follow-up novel, The Legend of Mickey Tussler, garnered rave reviews as well, including a movie adaptation of the touching story "A Mile in His Shoes" starring Dean Cain and Luke Schroder. Frank continues to produce quality work, including Sophomore Campaign, the intriguing sequel to the much heralded original story and the just released thriller, NOBODY HAS TO KNOW, which received an endorsement from #1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille. Frank is presently at work on a third installment of his Mickey Tussler series and his next thriller. He lives on Long Island with his wife Julia and their two sons, Nicholas and Anthony.

Follow Frank Nappi: Twitter | Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Frank will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour for more chances to win!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

'The Guardian of Genghis Khan's Tomb' by Michael B. Hickland

This exciting new e-novel about Genghis Khan's Treasure - The Guardian of Genghis Khan's Tomb has just been released for sale by Amazon. In a remote Asian river valley, a beautiful English scientist’s chance discovery of an ancient artifact tied directly to Genghis Khan ignites a furious race among China, Russia and the United States to find that crypt. The stakes are huge, putting the young woman along with her American sponsor at the center of the confrontation.

Since 1227, finding the Tomb of Genghis Khan has been the obsession of tyrants, adventurers and treasure hunters. All have failed to find it. It is a Genghis Khan fact that, looking at a map today, he had conquered a geographic area which would include 30 countries and 3+ billion people. 
The legend says that, in order to keep his tomb’s location secret, Genghis Khan slaughtered hundreds if not thousands of his captives after they had been forced to dig his burial site. He had amassed untold wealth with enormous quantities of jewels, gold and silver from his conquests that are believed to be buried with him.
So why hasn’t his crypt been found in almost eight hundred years? In The Guardian of Genghis Khan’s Tomb, the Great Conqueror extracts a sacred oath from a special advisor. It binds both this trusted counselor and his family forever to protect the tomb and the most immense treasure ever known.

Now, in a remote Asian river valley, a beautiful English scientist’s chance discovery of an ancient artifact tied directly to Genghis Khan ignites a furious race among China, Russia and the United States to find that crypt. The stakes are huge, putting the young woman along with her American sponsor at the center of the confrontation. 
Can The Guardian of Genghis Khan’s Tomb manage to keep the gravesite safe and his beloved country, a fledgling democracy, from being overrun? Or will war break out between the world’s Superpowers? Michael B. Hickland’s e-novel is a fast paced historical fiction thriller full of turns and twists. It ends with a conclusion that would stun even the Great Conqueror himself.

~~Buy it on Amazon!~~

My name is Michael B. Hickland. I’m an author, retired corporate executive and amateur history buff. I’m a graduate of the University of Florida and attended Delaware Law School. During my earlier career I traveled extensively to many countries. In Asia Genghis Khan dominates history like no other. I am both fascinated and intrigued by this enigmatic leader. So, I decided to devote myself to learning and writing about him. I don't know if my interest in all of the archaeological efforts to locate the tomb qualifies me, but after three years of research I've written a historical fiction e novel titled The Guardian of Genghis Khan's Tomb. I hope you take a look at the free blog-http://guardianofgenghiskhan.blogspot.com/. If you like Ken Follett, Dan Brown, Clive Cussler action with Indiana Jones thrown in? You'll love this ebook!

'Fate (The Timeless Trilogy Book 1)' by Tallulah Grace Super Book Blast!

Fate: Timeless Trilogy, Book 1
by Tallulah Grace



Death stalks Kris in dreams and in reality. The target of a cunning serial killer, Kris must defend her life and her love. Visions prepare her for what’s coming, but is knowledge enough to change the future? Or will demented mania claim victory over fated love?

The good things in life are coming together for Kristina Collins. She’s found her ideal home, her career is on track for mega success and the man of her dreams has finally come back into her life.

In Fate, the first installment of the Timeless Trilogy, Kris Collins discovers the benefits and risks of having precognitive visions while being stalked by a serial killer. Her friends can’t help her, the FBI can’t save her; she must save herself.

The Timeless Trilogy heroines, Kristina, Veronica and Cassandra, each deal with paranormal abilities as they discover and rediscover eternal love.


Read an excerpt:
Thanks. Do you live there with your husband?”
No, it’s just me and Peg, um, Pegasus. My cat. Who is probably trying to dig his way into the pantry, looking for dinner.” Kris smiled and started to back down the stairs. “Welcome to the neighborhood, I’m sure you’ll love it here. I have to go now, see you around.” The very last thing Kris wanted was to run into Marla. Seeing Nick was bad enough, but she had to get her act together before making nice with the wicked witch.
Wait,” Nick didn’t want to let her go. The woman had stomped on his heart, crumpled him up and threw him away, but that didn’t seem to matter at the moment. “Would you like to have dinner? We could catch up.”
Kris felt like a deer in headlights. Her body and soul screamed ‘YES’ but her mind knew better. “Thanks, but maybe some other time. I’m really beat tonight.” Two more steps, keep moving, she thought.
Tomorrow night?” Nick was determined not to take no for an answer. “I’ll cook. Is seven okay? Pegasus is invited too.” Nick gave her one of his most charming smiles; at least he hoped it was charming.
Kris opened her mouth to say ‘No thanks’, but she heard the words “I’d love to” escape her traitorous lips. She had never been able to resist this man. Not from the first time she saw him walking out of the library at school. Tall with broad shoulders, he was one of the only men she had met who made her feel petite, which she definitely was not. His thick, wavy hair—so black it was almost blue—was a little longer than she remembered. It suited his high cheekbones and wide-set blue eyes.
Nick took note of her appraisal, his heart hammering against his ribs. Relief washed over him when she agreed to join him for dinner. Dazzling her with a smile, which she couldn’t help but return, he said softly, “Till tomorrow then.”


 Buy links: Amazon \ Barnes & Noble \ iTunes \ Smashwords \ Kobo

 ~~Get the entire trilogy on Amazon~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Tallulah Grace is an aficionado of anything paranormal, loves to read a good thriller and creates characters that become friends. Tallulah was born and raised in a small southern town located in the foothills of the vibrant Blue Ridge Mountains. When she's not developing characters and weaving stories, Tallulah enjoys antiquing and bead-weaving.

Personal Links:

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/tallulahgrace

Tallulah will be awarding winner's choice of a backlist eBook to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop, and a choice of a backlist eBook to each host. Follow the tour for more chances to win!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

'To Have and to Hold' by Charlene Raddon Excerpt Tour

Charlene Raddon

A woman without a prayer…

A widow with two children, Tempest Whitney had to mortgage everything to repay the money her husband had stolen. But even as she struggles to hold onto her Utah homestead, a scheming rancher buys up her debts, demanding she either get off his land or marry him. Then a dark-haired stranger shows up, claiming to be her dead husband…

A man without a past….

Buck Maddux spent two years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Now a death bed promise has brought him to Tempest’s dugout. A man without roots, he doesn’t plan to stay—or to feel so fiercely protective of this feisty beauty he saves from a forced marriage. Suddenly, Buck yearns for a home, a family, a lasting love. But what can he offer Tempest? The surprising answer lies in the forbidden canyons of an ancient Anasazi tribe, where fortune and danger await—along with a passion more precious than gold…

Read an exclusive excerpt:

A strange sound intruded into his consciousness, a sort of scratching that seemed to come from overhead, and set the hair at his nape on end. "What in tarnation . . . ?

Tempest went stiff and still. "Centipedes," she whispered.

Every hair on his body prickled. "What?"

Centipedes. The storm’s disturbed them. They've come down out of the sod and are running around inside the paper tacked to the ceiling."

He sat back on his heels, staring up at the dim, candle-lit ceiling. "Judas, must be hundreds of them."

Buck had seen them, five-inches long and thick as his forefinger, racing across the ranch yard on hundreds of tiny feet. Their bite was said to be deadly. Even the pigs were wary of them. The thought of them falling on him and scrambling over his flesh was enough to kill his ardor. He understood now Ronan’s hallucination of centipedes when he had the shakes.

A trickle of water joined the scratching noise. Wood snapped. Mud and water streamed down. Buck leaped from the bed, dragging Tempest with him and shielding her with his body while stones and mud clods battered his head and shoulders. The candle guttered, and went out. Above the roar in his ears, he heard Angel cry out for her mother.

Buck’s voice, coming from the darkness, was stark with shock and terror. "Judas Priest! The roof’s caving in!”
Buy links: Amazon

About the author:
Charlene first serious writing attempt came in 1980 when she awoke one morning from an unusually vivid and compelling dream. Deciding that dream needed to be made into a book, she dug out an old portable typewriter and went to work. That book never sold, but her second one, Tender Touch, became a Golden Heart finalist and earned her an agent. Soon after, she signed a three book contract with Kensington Books. Five of Charlene's western historical romances were published between 1994 and 1999: Taming Jenna, Tender Touch (1994 Golden Heart Finalist under the title Brianna), Forever Mine (1996 Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer's Choice Award Nominee and Affaire de Coeur Reader/Writer Poll finalist), To Have and To Hold Affaire de Coeur Reader/Writer Poll finalist); and writing as Rachel Summers, The Scent of Roses. Forever Mine and Tender Touch are available as e-books and after January 24, To Have and To Hold will be as well. When not writing, Charlene loves to travel, crochet, needlepoint, research genealogy, scrapbook, and dye Ukrainian eggs.

Charlene will give away a free copy of one of her other books to a commenter at each stop and for the grand prize, a $15 Amazon gift card. Follow the tour for more chances to win!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

'Dead Light' by Mike Pace

Horror - Thriller/Suspense
Sapphire Star Publishing
Date Published- 4/4/13


…a matter of light and death…

In the sleepy college town of Cumberton, MD, an old cemetery must be moved to make room for a new dormitory, and an ungodly Light, buried for centuries, escapes. A rash of gruesome student suicides rocks the town. Sheriff Estin Booker teams up with former Baltimore homicide detective Anna Tucci to investigate the deaths. What neither expects is to have all roads point to a 2000-year-old legend which, if true, could lead to the destruction of mankind.

The most frightening account of the power of evil breeching our world since The Exorcist, DEAD LIGHT will teach you the most improbable lesson you will ever learn:


Read an excerpt:

The thickness faded again, like she’d just awakened from a deep sleep.
Wait, no, she must still be dreaming ‘cause she was standing naked on the bench seat of a rowboat in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. She heard a low hum and looked down to see the sound came from the friction of a black line rubbing across the boat’s edge. Something on the end of the line must be awfully heavy to make the line run that fast. She followed the line back to—Oh, my God! The
line was tied to her ankles and—someone was treading water next to the boat.
Grampy? Impossible, Grampy was—the man in the water had no eyes and no mouth. Just a black hole that opened on the side of his face. She shrieked as loud as she could, but knew no one could hear her.
She felt the line scratch her ankle. She saw in an instant she would be yanked overboard. She crouched and grabbed the line to slow it down, but the weight was too heavy. She jumped off the bench and tried to use the gunnel as leverage to stop the pull of the line, slowing it down some. If she could just untie the knot around her ankles . . . yet if she let go to free the knot, the line would pull her into the water.
The muscles in her arms weakened, her hands bled from the rope burns.
She screamed again, but she was too far out for anyone to hear. Her eyes fell on the oarlock. A chance, but she had to pull the oar out of the lock. She tried to kick it loose, but the instant she lifted her foot she was yanked forward. She quickly replanted her leg to maintain the brace against the weight, then clamped the oar between her knees and tried to lift it. Her legs were slick with sweat and she couldn’t get a grip. She tried again, pressing her legs together as hard as possible and this time the oar moved, but she couldn’t maintain the hold and the oar slipped back into the setting. The line was digging deeper into her flesh and her hands were now slippery with blood, making the line even more difficult to hold.
She knew she had only one more chance. This time she squatted deep and sat on the oar. She crossed her legs, clamping it hard against her body, then stood up straight. The oar lifted it from its setting. Yes! She released the pressure and the oar dropped between her legs, hit the bench and bounced overboard.
She looped the line around the lock. Immediately, she felt the tension slack. She twisted the line around two more times for good measure. It was holding! She let one hand fall from the line, then the other. Thank you, God!
Only one oar left, but she could use it to paddle back as soon as she untied the line. She bent down to her feet and attacked the knot. Damn, it was so tight.
“Shipshape, Jilly, shipshape!”
The voice was coming from the water, from that thing. She couldn’t spare a second to look up. The knot was impossible—no, wait, one of the loops loosened. Just a touch. A bit more and she’d be able to—
The weight on the line had ripped the oarlock completely out of the
railing. The line was running free. She reached for it, then felt a tremendous yank as if something or someone was pulling on the line from the depths below.
In a split second she was overboard.
She struggled to tread water; with her ankles tied together she had to move like a mermaid. She’d grown up by the bay and was a strong swimmer, but the weight was heavy.
Her head slipped below the surface. No! She would not drown! Summoning all of her remaining strength, she undulated her hips and knifed up to the surface. She pulled her long red hair from her face. The boat was right there! She reached up and was able to curl her fingers around the railing. She caught her breath. If she could just hold on until—
“Want a hand, Jilly?”
She looked up. The thing, the Grampy thing was now in the boat. He—it—reached downand touched her bare shoulder. She watched in horror as its flesh dropped into the water like overcooked meat from the shank, leaving nothing but greasy black bone. He laughed and pulled his arm back. She didn’t scream. She had to keep all her wits about her and concentrate. Maybe if she swung back and forth she’d be able to get her elbow over the rail and—her fingers were slipping. The rail was covered in something slick. She tightened her
grip, but it wasn’t working.
She smelled something. What was it? Cookies. Burnt cookies. Not
chocolate chip, more like—
The thing leaned over the rail, inches from her face. Its putrid breath compelled her stomach to convulse violently, and she had to fight to keep the bile from rising in her throat.
“Time to go, Jilly.”
God help me! She felt a tickling across her breasts and looked down to see a swarm of shiny black waterbugs tightly circling her. She tried to dig her nails into the wooden rail and squeeze her fingers as hard as she could. For a moment she didn’t move. Then the muscles in her fingers weakened and her grip slowly curled under the railing. No! No! No!
Wait. Of course. This is a dream. Has to be. She laughed to herself,
hoping she would remember everything in the morning so she could tell Tony.
He’d probably tease her for dreaming she was naked.
The tickling became more pronounced, and she looked down again. The bugs had formed two long lines. With military precision, each line scaled one of her breasts, circling the rounded flesh like a conquering army. Deeper into the water she saw the Grampy thing looking up at her, smiling, beckoning.
And she knew she wasn’t dreaming.
She willed the muscles in her fingers to hold, but they were numb and could no longer respond. Her grip released.
She didn’t scream. Instead, she used her last breath to whisper, “Beware the Light.”
Then Jill Louise Bryant slid silently down into the black glass.

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Author Bio

Mike Pace was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Illinois on an art scholarship, and graduated with a BFA degree. He taught public school in Washington D.C.’s inner city, while attending law school at Georgetown University. As an attorney, he prosecuted numerous cases, including those involving murder and rape. He resigned in order to practice law part time, thereby allowing him the time to devote to his first love, creative writing. He lives on the Chesapeake Bay with his wife and two dogs, Blueberry and Scout. DEAD LIGHT is Mike’s first novel.

Website- http:// Mikepacebooks.com

Twitter- www.twitter.com/MikePacebooks