Oct 09

Reading in Public – “Winter’s Tale” by Mark Helprin

I’ve mentioned before that Mark Helprin’s “Winter’s Tale” is my favorite novel of all time (and also the best novel I’ve ever read).  Every year, once the weather starts getting cold and the days shorter, I reread it, and it’s about that time.

This year, I want to share my love/obsession with the world (or at least the regular visitors of this blog).  I’m going to read two chapters a week, and post my thoughts and feelings about them.  And I’m encouraging any and all of my visitors to join me, both in reading the book, and in discussing it.

I’ll kick things off right here, talking about the very brief prologue.  Even before that, Helprin starts us off with a quote that sets the tone for all that’s to follow:

“I have been to another world, and come back.  Listen to me.”

That sentiment could apply to many of the characters in the story about to unfold, and it prepares us to jump across both worlds and eras (and different times ARE other worlds; as the famous quote has it, “the past is another country.”).

The prologue showcases Helprin’s gift of prose; it’s gorgeous from the very first word.  As he opens things:

A great city is nothing more than a portrait of itself, and yet when all is said and done, its arsenals of scenes and images are part of a deeply moving plan.

He goes on to talk about New York City specifically, where our story is set, and, really, the book is one long love letter to the greatest city in the world.  We’re told about the mass of white clouds that surround the city, about which we’ll learn much more as the novel progresses.  We  also get our first reference to the the city as one great machine, about which, again, much more later.

And then we are told:

…our swift unobserved descent will bring us to life that is blooming in the quiet of another time.

This is important, as we’ll see very shortly in chapter one.  The prologue ends with an invitation:

As we float down in utter silence, into a frame again unfreezing we are confronted by a tableau of winter colors.  These are very strong, and they call us in.

Colors, both wintry and otherwise, play a large role not only symbolically, but very literally in the story, as we’ll discover early on.

So the stage is set.  We’re about to embark on a journey that will span worlds and centuries.  I hope you’ll come along with me; our first steps will be onto the snow-covered streets of pre-World War I Manhattan, which is where chapter one begins…


Chapter Index

I’ll keep an updated list of links to the individual chapter discussions here, so it’ll all be easy to find…

Part 1, Chapter 1 (“A White Horse Escapes”)

Part 1, Chapter 2 (“The Ferry Burns in Morning Cold”)

Part 1, Chapter 3 (“Pearly Soames”)

Part 1, Chapter 4 (“Peter Lake Hangs From A Star”)

Part 1, Chapter 5 (“Beverly”)

Part 1, Chapter 6 (“A Goddess in the Bath”)

Part 1, Chapter 7 (“On the Marsh”)

Part 1, Chapter 8 (“Lake of the Coheeries”)

Part 1, Chapter 9 (“The Hospital in Printing House Square”)

Part 1, Chapter 10 (“Aceldama”)

Part 2, Chapter 1 (“Four Gates to the City”)

Part 2, Chapter 2 (“Lake of the Coheeries”)

Part 2, Chapter 3 (“In the Drifts”)

Part 2, Chapter 4 (“A New Life”)

Part 2, Chapter 5 (“Hell Gate”)

Part 3, Chapter 1 (“Nothing is Random”)

Part 3, Chapter 2 (“Peter Lake Returns”)

 Part 3, Chapter 3 (“The Sun…”)

Part 3, Chapter 4 (“…and The Ghost”)

Part 3, Chapter 5 (“An Early Summer Dinner at Petipas”)

Part 3, Chapter 6 (“The Machine Age”)

Part 4, Chapter 1 (“A Very Short History of the Clouds”)

Part 4, Chapter 2 (“Battery Bridge”)

Part 4, Chapter 3 (“White Horse and Dark Horse”)

Part 4, Chapter 4 (“The White Dog of Afghanistan”)

Part 4, Chapter 5 (“Abysmillard Redux”)

Part 4, Chapter 6 (“Ex Machina”)

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Mar 18

Buy the Books!

Here’s the one-page resource for everything you need to know about me and my books…especially how to buy them!


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Mar 30

Book Launch – “His to Protect” by Caissy Boudreau

To Protect

By: Caissy Boudreau

Release Date: March 30th

ago the UnSeelie princes reigned chaos over the worlds.  Eventually they were captured and
imprisoned.  Many centuries later the
Seelie Court blessed several families with a special gift.  One of the gifts would keep the balance
between the worlds.  These sacred
creatures are meant to protect the innocent from the evil in the world.
is the second oldest of five brothers.
He runs a pub in a small town in Scotland with his brothers.  He longs for a chance at love.  The past few months he has been plagued with
dreams of a blonde haired beauty.  One
day he realizes that she is real.  He
instantly feels a connection to her….
longs to not feel so alone anymore.  She
travel with her sisters constantly.  She
is riddled of dreams with a blue eyed man.
Who is this man?  One day she and
her sisters are chased from where they were living to a small town in
Scotland.  There she meets the man of her
Unseelie princes has escaped prison and plan to wreak havoc on the world. But
first they must find these special women to help fulfil their plans.
Ramzi save Faith and her sister?  Or will
they fall victim to the evil of the princes?
(Enter Buy Links Here)






Caissy was born and raised in
South Louisiana.  She now lives in
Pennsylvania with her husband and 2 kids.
She has 2 dogs and 5 cats.  She is
an avid reader and she is a lover of all things paranormal.  Her favorite is vampires.  Since she was a teenager she has been
obsessed with vampires.  She enjoys
spending time with her family and friends.
She enjoys watching hockey and football.
Her children are both diagnosed with Autism.  They are now 14 and 13.  She has been married to the love of her life
for 15 years.
Her debut novel Skylar’s Dream is
based on her dad.  She lost her dad 15
years ago to suicide.  She has dedicated
this book in memory of him.  He was a
strong influence in her life.  Her
grandmother’s continue to guide her and give her encouragement everyday.
She has always wanted to write
since she first read “The Vampire Lestat” by Anne Rice.  She has never had the courage until
recently.  Her husband encouraged and
guided her to accomplish her dreams.
Her children are true inspirations to her.  She does not take anything for granted.  Everyday is a blessing.


Social Links:
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Mar 29

Book Launch – “The Awakening” by Adria Wade

The Awakening
(The Huntress Series Book 2)

By: Adria Wade

Release Day: March 26th, 2015

Blog Tour: March 29th – April 2nd

Hosted By: Author Sandra Love

After barely
surviving the battle against her father and the hunters she once called family,
chaos in Athena Bram’s life ensues once more as an unknown threat is foreseen,
leaving her and her friends defenseless and powerless against whoever it is
that is coming. In the midst of danger ahead, her nemesis returns for revenge,
only the threat against her life is far more sinister than Athena had
anticipated. The world around her begins to darken and crumble once again as
she endures the familiar pain of heartbreak, loss, and betrayal while she
fights to protect the ones she loves and races against time to keep her own
self alive
 (Enter Links In Here)


Forbidden (The Huntress Series Book 1)

By: Adria Wade

Release Date: September 25th, 2014

Edgy Y.A. Paranormal
Growing up in a hunter family where loyalty is
expected, nineteen year old Athena Bram was taught that vampires were evil and
ruthless and had to be killed in order to protect the human race. Only she is
no ordinary huntress. Thanks to a serum that her scientist uncle invented, a
powerful beast that lurks within her awakens, enabling her to gain superhuman
powers. The best huntress in her hunter family, she is the most feared amongst
the immortals…until she meets Lucas, the only vampire that renders her
powerless against him. 

Captivated with him, Lucas was everything Athena
did not expect. He was charming, alluring, and too gorgeous to resist. There
was a whole other side to him that she did not know existed, leaving her to
choose between her hunter family and the vampire she just could not live







Praise for The Forbidden: An enthralling and fabulously written story. I
absolutely love Athena’s character. She is very confident with the person she
is, even though those around her want her to be someone she is not. I read The
Forbidden in one day. A book I would read over and over again. – Kat’s Reading
Corner Book Blog 

I LOVE this story! It’s so much better than I
expected. You read the synopsis and you may think… ok so this is like a
twilight story. Nope, Athena is strong, independent and has a rich strong back
story that sets up amazing story arc that will draw you in. Lucas is sexy,
sweet, sarcastic, and loves being a vampire. The struggle between them feels
real, nothing feels forced, and the conclusion to this story had me scrambling
to immediately find out when the sequel is coming because I must have more! !!
Amazing read!! – Hooked On Books Forever 

Adria Wade has had a passion for writing since she was a kid. Her
favorite part about writing is getting lost in the world she created. She lives
in Maryland and is the second oldest of eight children. When not writing, she
loves to read, listen to her favorite bands, watch way too many eighties
movies, and has a fascination with sharks.

The Forbidden(A Huntress Novel) is her first
book, published September 2014. Please look for the second book in the series,
The Awakening, in the summer of 2015.

Follow her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/AdriaWadeAuthorFollow her on Goodreads:


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Mar 26

Book Launch – “Sweetness, He Said” by Jude Starr



Sweetness, He Said


TITLE: Sweetness, He Said

AUTHOR: Jude Starr

GENRE: Erotica

PUBLICATION: March 26, 2015




When the people you love betray and humiliate you, how do you learn to trust again?

Fleeing this very heartache, Iris leaves her Florida home to attend Columbia University. While she makes friends, works, and enjoys her classes, Iris is not in a rush to fall in love; that is, until a certain sexy someone finds her. Suddenly, Iris’ boring holiday takes a sizzling turn. But will the heat of passion lead to a holiday fling, or finally melt her frozen heart

Dealing with a tainted past, Calvin makes building his company his priority. He’s busy enjoying the single life until a blonde skater girl becomes the focus of his attention

Can Iris help her man let go of his past guilt and show him how to love unconditionally?







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Mar 23

Cover Reveal – “Promises to Keep” by Maegan Beaumont


Title: PROMISES TO KEEP (Sabrina Vaughn Book #3)
Author: Maegan Beaumont
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Release Date: August
8th, 2015

Add to Goodreads

three years, Michael O’Shea has been forced to act as a personal assassin for
Livingston Shaw, the cold-blooded puppet master who controls the remote
bioweapon implanted in Michael’s back. When Shaw offers to release him if he
can recover a kidnapped child, Michael works with every ounce of his being to
put the pieces together before all the witnesses are murdered.
Meanwhile, police Inspector Sabrina Vaughn–the woman Michael passionately
loves but has been kept from seeing–discovers the body of a little boy that
bears a striking resemblance to the missing child. Against all his instincts,
Michael must draw Sabrina into his life as one of the world’s most notorious
assassins if he’s to overcome the legacy of his bloodthirsty past.
Sabrina’s heart slammed into her throat. She unsnapped
her holster as quietly as she could, and shot a look over her shoulder.
Strickland had seen it too. He drew his weapon and nodded. She lifted her SIG
P220 off her hip and took aim at the curtain.



            “SFPD—I know
you’re back there. Come out with your hands where I can see them,” she said in
a tone that gave little doubt as to her intent if her command wasn’t followed.



            No response,
just the slight flutter of the curtain that told her that who or whatever was
behind it was still there.



            “I said,
SFPD. Come out—”



            A pair of
feet appeared, nothing more than the tops and toes. They were small and pale in
the steady beam of her flashlight.



            Holy shit. It was a kid.     



            She changed
tactics, softened her tone but still held firm. “It’s okay, you’re safe. I’m a
police officer—it’s okay to come out now,” she said but didn’t lower her gun.
There was a chance the child behind the curtain wasn’t alone.



Small feet shuffled closer and a hand peeked out from
the split between the curtains. The opening was pulled wider to reveal a white
face—dark, vacant eyes and a sharp nose set in a face that was painfully thin.
Equally thin shoulders and torso appeared as the kid moved forward slowly. Just
like the dead boy upstairs, he was naked.



            “Are you
alone back there?” she said. The kid didn’t answer, just stared at her with
those empty eyes. She motioned the child closer. “Come here, it’s okay.” She
looked at Strickland and tipped her head in the direction of the curtain. He nodded
and moved forward, gun raised.



reached out and latched onto the boy’s arm, pulling him toward her. The second
her fingers made contact, he went crazy—swinging and shouting in a language she
didn’t understand.



            She dragged
the boy clear of the curtain. He fought against her grip, screaming and
flailing, while Strickland did a sweep of the room behind it. He came out a few
seconds later. “Nothing. Just a mattress, TV and another camcorder.” he said
over the din of the boy’s screaming. “What the hell is he saying?”



            She shook
her head and looked at the boy, saw his face, white and stretched thin with
terror. He wasn’t speaking English but his fear was obvious. “Shhh, shhh—it’s
okay. We’re here to help,” she said, hoping her tone would convey the message
her words couldn’t.



            The boy
darted away from her, nothing but a pale blur as he bolted toward freedom and
she started after him, pounding up the steps, Strickland two strides behind
her. She reached the top of the stairs and saw him running down the darkened
hallway, darting this way and that.



            “Stop him,”
she shouted, hoping the uniform at the front door would be quick enough to
catch him.



            The boy cut
to the left and she followed, through the living room doorway. He saw the
uniform, blocking his way out and he darted to the left again, cutting across
the room to the other side of the house. Toward the room where the dead boy
probably still lay stretched out on the floor.



            “Don’t go in
there,” she said, even though he didn’t understand her. He disappeared through
the doorway seconds before she reached it. She skidded to a stop, blocking the
doorway. The coroner, Mandy Black, hunkered down next to the body on the floor
but the whole of her attention was concentrated on the boy who just burst into the
room. He was crouching in the corner furthest away from the doorway, knees
drawn tight against his chest by arms so thin and pale they looked like twigs,
bleached white by the sun.



            He started
rambling again, eyes, like miniature black holes, aimed at the body on the
floor. She started to cross the threshold but Mandy threw up a hand and shook
her head. Sabrina stalled out mid-stride and watched as Mandy stood, crossing
the room on slow and steady feet. She said something in what sounded like the
same language the boy was speaking and as if Mandy had thrown a switch, he
stopped talking.



watched and listened. Mandy got closer and closer, still speaking the strange
language in a low, easy tone that seemed to sooth the boy. It sounded
Slavic—maybe Russian. Strange coming from the woman crouched on the floor. She
must’ve asked him a question because the boy nodded, eyes suddenly flooded with
tears. He started to speak again but his speech had lost its hysterical edge.
Mandy got close enough to reach out and touch him but she didn’t. She kept her
hands at her sides, shaking her head as she crouched low and slow in front of
him. She kept talking. The boy kept listening.



            “What. The.
Fuck,” Strickland said behind her. “Coroner Barbie speaks gibberish.”



            “It’s not
gibberish, dickhead. It’s Russian,” Mandy said without looking up.



            She felt a
prickle, like electricity dancing along her skin. What was a Russian boy doing
in an abandoned house in San Francisco? One that had obviously been held
against his will?



            She looked
away from the boy crouched in the corner to the one dead on the floor.



“Ask him if he knows the victim,” she said.



            Mandy spoke
quietly and the boy answered, shaking his head. “No. He said he’s never seen
him before.”



studied the boy on the floor. He was small and blond. She entered the room and
squatted down next to the body. She peeled back a lid and looked at his eyes.
They were milky but she could see enough of the iris to know they were light in



stood. “I need some air,” she said, brushing past Strickland on her way out the
door. She could feel him watching her and she silently urged him not to follow.



            She didn’t
need air. She needed to call Ben, because there was a very real chance that
she’d just found Leo Maddox.


Carved in Darkness (Book #1)

Past horrors bleed into a present day nightmare

Fifteen years ago, a psychotic killer abducted seventeen year old Melissa
Walker. For 83 days she was raped and tortured before being left for dead in a
deserted church yard… But she was still alive.Melissa begins a new life as homicide inspector, Sabrina Vaughn. With a new
face and a new name, it’s her job to hunt down murderers and it’s a job she
does very well.

When Michael O’Shea, a childhood acquaintance with a suspicious past, suddenly
finds her, he brings to life the nightmare Sabrina has long since buried.

Believing that his sister was recently murdered by the same monster who
attacked Sabrina, Michael is dead set on getting his revenge–using Sabrina as

Amazon US

Sacrificial Muse (Book #2)


She is his muse, and the
fates require sacrifice.
San Francisco Detective Sabrina Vaughn is able to shrug off the nine red roses
being delivered to her office every day. But when only eight roses arrive on
the same day a Berkeley student’s mutilated body is found, Sabrina fears that
the killer is taunting her. Forced into a partnership with a deceitful reporter
who somehow remains one step ahead of her, Sabrina discovers that she’s the
object of a psychopath’s twisted delusion . . . and there may be no escape.Amazon US


Maegan Beaumont is the author of CARVED IN DARKNESS, the first book in the
Sabrina Vaughn thriller series (Available through Midnight Ink, spring 2013). A
native Phoenician, Maegan’s stories are meant to make you wonder what the guy
standing in front of you in the Starbucks line has locked in his basement, and
feel a strong desire to sleep with the light on.

she isn’t busy fulfilling her duties as Domestic Goddess for her high school
sweetheart turned husband, Joe, and their four children, she is locked in her
office with her computer, her coffee pot and her Rhodesian Ridgeback, and one
true love, Jade.

~ Blog ~ Goodreads
~ Website

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Mar 23

Book Tour – Jami Brumfield


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Mar 20

Blog Hop – Hot Encounters

I’m participating in the weekly blog hop sponsored by the Book Boyfriends Cafe.  This week’s theme is “Hot Encounters”, and I’ve got one from book five of the Dream Series, WAKING DREAM.  To set the scene a bit, Sara and Brian have taken the family on a Christmas ski vacation with Sara’s best friend Beth and her family.  Sara and Brian were just about ready to enjoy some “alone time” together when a transformer blew somewhere outside, knocking out the power and waking up their kids…

It takes an hour to find candles, since the only flashlight in the chalet is the tiny light in my medical bag.  And of course, the moment we do get a few of them lit, the power comes back on.  Then it’s another hour cleaning and bandaging up everyone’s cuts and scrapes, and then getting the twins and Zach Jr. back to sleep.

Beth grabs my arm as I’m heading back to my room.  She whispers to me, “I can’t believe that.  We were just…”

“Us, too,” I say, and we collapse into giggles.  What else is there to do but laugh?  We stand there right outside my bedroom, laughing, for probably five minutes, until our respective husbands grab us and drag us away.

Once we’re in the room, Brian asks, “Do you have your light?”  I hold it up and wave it at him.  “Good,” he says, then he locks the door.  This time, I don’t feel uncomfortable at all about the idea.  Brian’s still staring at the door, and I have no idea what’s going through his mind until he drags a chair over and wedges it under the doorknob.  “Just to make sure.  I don’t care if the lights go out again, or the fire alarm goes off, or if aliens land outside the front door and demand we take them to our leader.  No interruptions.  Agreed?”

I go over to him, throw my arms around his neck, and give him a kiss that makes his knees buckle.  As he sinks down to the floor, carrying me with him, I say, as if I hadn’t already given my answer, “Agreed!”


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Mar 20

Happy Anniversary to Me!

It was exactly two years ago today that I hit “publish” on the first four Dream Series books.

It’s been a lot of fun, and a huge learning experience.  Who knows what the next two years will bring?

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Mar 19

Author Spotlight – P.C. Zick and “Native Lands”

Please welcome fellow indie author P.C. Zick to the blog…


P.C. Zick began her writing career in 1998 as a journalist. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction. She describes herself as a “storyteller” no matter the genre.

She’s published five works of fiction and two nonfiction books.

She was born in Michigan and moved to Florida in 1980. She finds the stories of Florida and its people and environment a rich base for her storytelling platform. Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife – both human and animal – supply her fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.

Her fiction contains the elements most dear to her heart, ranging from love to the environment. In her novels, she advances the cause for wildlife conservation and energy conservation. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion.

“This is one of the most exciting times to be an author,” Ms. Zick says. “I’m honored to be a part of the revolution in writing and publishing.”

You can find all her books at Amazon

Her novel is “Native Lands”


Native Lands is a novel rich in intrigue and history as a tribe of Native Americans, thought to be extinct, fight to save their beloved heritage. They join with others willing to sacrifice everything to save further destruction of the Everglades and St. Augustine.

Forbidden loves, deceptions, and murder threaten to destroy nature and families in a saga stretching from the 1760s to the present day.

Join Locka and Mali as they lead their tribe of Timucuans away from the Spanish near St. Augustine in 1760 and settle into a new life in the Everglades alongside the Calusa Indians. Their progeny grow up in the Everglades, attempting to keep their bloodlines pure.

By 2010, Mangrove Mike, Joey Cosmos, and Rob Zodiac live among the white people and learn that the human connection transcends the fear of extinction of their people. Barbara Evans in the Everglades and Emily Booth in St. Augustine are the glue as the different cultures combine forces to fight a conglomerate of international interests.

It’s a dangerous journey as this oddly matched group attempts to halt the destruction of the natural world they treasure. Cultural boundaries established centuries ago are erased as love and nature seek the balance lost during the battle for power and control of the last of the Florida frontier.

You can get “Native Lands” – along with nine other fantastic novels (editor’s note – one of my books is in there, too!) in the outstanding collection “At Odds With Destiny”, available now at Amazon.

And here’s a guest post from the author…

When I first moved to Florida, landscapes unfettered with billboards and condos drew me to the beaches. Within twenty years, those miles of sea, dunes, and sea oats were gobbled up by bulldozers and large plastic oranges advertising, “free Disney tickets.”

Patches of wilderness existing as pockets in large coats of urban sprawl still exist. Wildlife has been pushed out of their habitat, forcing them to visit subdivisions and malls, wondering where the trees went. Dangers lurk on the highways and streets that were once their homes. Bears climb trees, coyotes eat domestic cats, and alligators jump in the backyard pool. Those scenarios don’t end well for the wildlife as many times the best course of action is to kill the animal rather than attempting to relocate. Interstates crisscross the state putting the wildlife in even more danger when they attempt to find the wilderness.

I learned the stories of some wildlife, such as the Florida panther, and wondered how something as beautiful and majestic as the panther could simply disappear. Once roaming freely around the state, by the 1960s the panther only existed south of Lake Okeechobee. And their numbers had dwindled to perhaps twenty. That’s a dangerous number of animals–cause enough to not call them endangered, but actually extinct. Inbreeding, along with overdeveloped lands with no place to roam, brought disease to those still existing. The wildlife managers got involved and brought in the Texas panther, a species very similar to Florida’s version. That introduction saved the panther in Florida. Today they have been brought back to a population of 200 and probably more.

The stories of the people of Florida also gave me pause. The Timucuans, as named by the Spanish, were the native population in the northern part of the state. As the history books state, within 200 years of the Spanish arrival, these people were extinct. Extinct—such a horrific term to use about any living thing, but if what the historians reported could be counted on as fact, the Timucuans vanished at the hands of disease, unable to acquiesce to the Spanish, both physically and mentally. The story seemed unrealistic to me. By all accounts, the Timucuan were smart and large, much larger than the Spanish. Would they really allow all of their people to simply disappear?

Several years ago, back in 2005, I was writing freelance articles for various Florida newspapers and magazines. I did a piece on mangroves and their importance to the ecosystem. In the first waves of Florida’s explosive expansion in the 20th century, mangrove forests were completely destroyed in the southern part of the state. Those mangroves are a host species for birds, animals, plants, and fish. When they are destroyed so are those dependent upon them. And it can even effect species indirectly in other ecosystems.

I began thinking about extinction and how the destruction of one thing creates a ripple effect for the whole structure of life. That’s when I began conceiving of the idea for Native Lands.

In the novel I wrote, the Timucuans did not suffer extinction; they went undercover in a place the Spanish would not venture. Not many except for the native Floridians could survive the harsh conditions of the Everglades, so I imagined a world where a small group of them left north Florida and headed south to join with the natives in the river of grass before almost all of them—the Calusa—escaped to Cuba.  Their story of survival in Native Lands parallels that of the Florida panther. Nearly decimated from human interference in Florida, the panther population received rejuvenation from the introduction of the Texas cougar, a species of cat very similar to Florida’s variety. Today, biologists estimate the population of the Everglades cougar at two hundred.

Through the story of survival of the Timucuans, I wove the stories of the mangrove and the panther, bringing Florida’s past, present, and future together in one novel to show how we are all interconnected. When we destroy one thing, we are all diminished.

Native Lands celebrates nature and the ability of a small community of like-minded souls to conquer the worst enemies in order to survive.

Last but not least, here’s an except from the book…

Blood dripped from the spear as Locka wrenched it from the dead man’s chest. He reached down, rubbed the soldier’s blood on his hands, and smeared it on his face.

“He won’t bother you again.”

“Thank you, Locka,” she said. “I was certain he was going to kill me or take me back to the fort.”

Locka wiped the blood off his spear with his bloodstained fingers.

Their blood is the same color as mine, he thought. A chill descended over him, despite the heat of the morning air.

He looked down at the man he’d stabbed through the heart.

“Go back to the village now. I’ll take care of the body,” he told Mali as she attempted to cover herself with the moss the Spanish soldier had ripped from around her neck and from her waist. “Stay to the estuary.”

She reached to touch his arm, but Locka pulled away, turning his attention to the dead man.

“I’ll cover him at the base of the burial mound.”

“Do you scalp him like the rest before burying him?” Mali asked.

“No, and I teach my warriors not to do it either, but they are young and foolish,” Locka said. “I hate these white men who’ve taken over our land, but I respect the soul of all living things. Now go back, and tell the others to stay close to the village today.”

Mali nodded, and then headed back to Seloy.

He dragged the body by its boots to the line of trees away from the water. When he came to the base of a mound twelve feet high, he dropped the boots and began digging a shallow grave with his spear. If the animals came and dug him up, so be it. He had at least made the effort to bury him.

When he finished, Locka stood and looked east to the estuary and the river beyond. The sun was higher now, and the water was receding from the mud flats. On the opposite bank of the river, Locka could see the dunes thick with the orange sunflowers and yellow daisies of spring. Tall and spindly sea oats waved in the wind. He couldn’t see the ocean beyond because the land was so flat and the dunes were taller than his six-foot four-inch height, but he could hear the waves.

Now that the water was receding, he could go to the weir and see if he’d captured any fish in the nets. He’d also try to fill up his pouch with whelk and oysters.

Locka climbed another mound, this one made from centuries’ worth of shells thrown there by his people. His eyes took in the different landscapes. He’d missed living near the sea. The Seloy had returned from their wintering site deep in the woods to the west a few weeks ago. He pulled his thoughts from the violence of a few minutes earlier to the sights and sounds of the marsh and the ocean beyond. Balance slowly returned to his blood.

He watched as the egrets and ibis pecked in the mud for food. A lone great blue heron stood on the edge of the water, patiently waiting for a fish to appear. A pelican flew close over his head spying to see if he had any fish he was willing to sacrifice. His village lay to the west in a low-lying canopy of live oak trees weathered by the constant salt breezes. He surveyed the river immediately in front of him and let his gaze wander south to the settlement of St. Augustine.

The peace of the moment disappeared as he thought of the Spanish. They called his people Timucuans.

“We are Seloy,” Locka shouted to the wind as he tilted back his head with its tall top knot. He raised his tattooed arms and shook his fists at the fort on the riverbank.

The Spanish worked continuously to clear land to build houses and churches. They ripped trees from their roots as a black bear ripped the meat from fawn’s bones. Locka’s heart broke every time he thought of it.

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Mar 18

Book Launch – “Right Kind of Wrong” by Shelly Jones

The Right Kind of Wrong
Author: Shelly Jones
Cover Models: Lance Jones and Alexandra Hardesty
Photo Credit: Shauna Kruse of  Kruse Images and Photography: Models and Boudoir
Cover Design: Cover to Cover Designs



Emily grew up in small town in Wisconsin as the daughter of the local pastor. When her job was over as an teacher’s assistant she sets out to leave her town and her family. She wants to find herself and break away from the cookie cutter mold of the town. So she did what she thought was right…She moves twenty-five hundred miles away to Arizona.

Xander is the single father to a 5 year old little girl. After her mother left, Xander swears off any kind of a relationship. Xander only has four cares: his daughter, his family, his friends and his motorcycle. He refuses to let anyone get near him or his daughter ever again.

When Emily and Xander meet it’s something that neither one were expecting. The attraction is undeniable, but with Xander refusing to let anyone close, Emily decides to offer him a deal he’d be crazy to refuse.

Sometimes those that don’t make sense, actually make perfect sense.

Right Kind Of Wrong. Shelly Jones © copyright 2015

Stalker links:

We get to what I hope is the last bar of the night. This bar is smaller, kind of like the ones back home. Out front there’s couple of guys on motorcycles talking and smoking. We get out of the truck, I look up to see where we’re going and I make eye contact with one of the guys for a couple of seconds. The grin he gives me is sexy, yet cocky. Of course my fucking face warms and turns red, he must have noticed because I heard a chuckle come from him.
“Come on, let’s get you something to drink!” Mel wraps her arm around me and leads me inside. There’s not very many people in this bar, which makes me happy. There’s music coming from the jukebox, it’s not country music, but I know this song, it’s “When I Come Around” By Green Day, this song was played a lot at parties back home. We find a table in the back and the guys go get us drinks. Mel grabs the darts, puts quarters in the dart board and we play darts.
A few songs have played, mostly rock, but when the jukebox starts to play “Porn Star Dancing” by My Darkest Days and Zakk Wylde, My skin starts to crawl, “Ugh, I hate this song!!” I say out loud.
“Let’s go put money in that bitch and pay back the bastard back!” Mel says and we start laughing. We walk over to the jukebox and put money in choose our song, “Kiss You” by One Direction. “That’ll teach the fucker!” Mel says.
Mel, Lucy and I start dancing by the table, singing along with the song. I start scanning the bar and notice it’s more of an older crowd in here, but I keep scanning when my eyes connect with the same eyes that met me when we got here. He gives me that same cocky ass smile. My stomach does flips and I’m ready to throw up. Him and his buddies start to walk towards us. His eyes never leave mine. When he walks past me, he winks at me and walks over by the pool table.
Fuck, this guy is hot, he’s tall, 6’0” at least, and he’s wearing a white t-shirt, baggy blue jeans and converse shoes. His t-shirt hugs his body showing off his muscular build. He has tattoos going up both arms.  He’s wearing a black baseball cap turned backwards, but I can tell his hair is dark brown, but fuck his eyes though, I could get lost in those dark brown eyes. There’s mystery in his eyes, but yet you can tell he knows he could have any girl he wanted.  He’s not my type but he’s hot as fuck, there’s no denying that.
“Damn it Emily, snap out of it! Ain’t gonna happen!” I say to myself.
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Mar 18

Book Hooks!

Hello, and welcome, if you’ve stopped here from the weekly Book Hooks blog hop.

logo book hooks

We’re a bunch of authors who share something from our work to, well, get you hooked.  So here’s something from my first novel, book #1 in the Dream Series, DREAM STUDENT.  Our heroine, Sara, is telling her roommate and best friend about her date the night before…

Of course, I know it’s not the milkshake that convinces Beth.  It also certainly isn’t the half-hour walk in the cold on a day when the icy wind and solid gray sky make it feel like we’re living on Ice Planet Hoth.  It’s only the prospect of getting a full report about Brian that makes her agree.  I must still be glowing; she takes one look at me and she knows exactly what happened last night.  But I know her; she wants to hear about it from my lips.

By the time we finally get there, red-cheeked and shivering, she’s got her full report.  She presses for every little detail as we enjoy our strawberry and vanilla (her) and chocolate and peanut butter (me) milkshakes.  I finally tell her what I didn’t tell her Friday night, too.  I tell her everything he said, and what it did to me.  “Nobody ever looked at me like that.  I felt it all the way down to my toes.  It–I don’t even know how to describe it.”  As I say the words, I feel dizzy and warm all over again, and my face is flushed.  Beth is looking at me like she’s never seen me before.

In a way, maybe she hasn’t; I don’t feel like myself, and I haven’t since Friday night.  After a moment, Beth closes her eyes; I know what she’s doing.  She’s calling up a mental image of Brian, and trying to square that with what I’ve just said and what she saw.  She isn’t quite managing it.  “If it was anybody else saying that…”

“I wouldn’t believe it either,” I finish her thought.  “But he–oh, my God.  Maybe I am crazy, but I’ve never felt that before.  And–I couldn’t tell you the other night.  I–I needed to keep it for myself.  You understand?”

By the way, DREAM STUDENT is FREE on Amazon!



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