Friday, 31 March 2017

#Spotlight ; Mark of Destiny by Azrael James






Mark of Destiny
Azrael James

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Publisher: Branch Publishing

Date of Publication: 03/02/2017

ISBN: 1544070276
ISBN-13: 978-1544070278
ASIN: B06XDSHCSS

Number of pages: 403
Word Count: 82,331

Cover Artist: T.K. Chapin

Book Description:

Her destiny will change the world forever.

Belstrom—an ancient and mystical land where the Curo Wizards rule and life is cheap.

Tizrah—a lowly armory brat who dreams of one day becoming a warrior but fate has other plans.

Korlin—a recent graduate of the High Wizard’s School of Curogath is tasked with an assignment to eradicate a lost magic system that threatens the very stability of Belstrom. Mark of Destiny weaves together the threads of a captivating fantasy adventure, while remaining epic in scope, and modern in its originality.


Excerpt:

HOLDING HER EYE STEADY UPON the massive wolvike, Tizrah silently slid the longbow from her back. The care with which she moved came naturally to her.
The way she slipped unseen and stalked her prey might have even impressed the elite rangers ofRavenwood Forest, had they been there to see. Alas, they were not, and Tizrah was truly and utterly alone as she crept closer to the herd of colossal beasts feasting merely ten yards away. Flies buzzed loudly, and the odor of fresh blood hung thick in the air.
Tizrah’s heart hammered against her chest. She tried to calm herself using the measured breathing she’d been taught. It wasn’t helping. Sweat poured from her like rain, rolling down her face in droplets that stung her eyes. When she drew as close as she dared, she quietly climbed an ekenwood tree in hopes of finding a better vantage point from which to view the pack.
Breathing a sigh of relief now that she was off the ground, she waited. The branch Tizrah straddled offered a measure of safety, as well as a clear shot, and she sent out a prayer of thanks to Oshawa, who had given her the perfect perch from which to bring down one of the legendary beasts.
This kill would prove her worth before the men of New Hayden. It would change the direction of her life, and that was what Tizrah desired with all her burning heart.
Desperation had drawn her away from her home and directed her feet to the heart of the Labby Forest. When she had caught sight of the wolvike, Tizrah knew that this was to be her chance.
She had only read about the beasts in her worn school books, and the penciled drawings paled in comparison to the frightful creatures which stood less than a stone’s throw away. Nearly seven feet tall, paws to shoulders, the wolvike were imposing to look upon. Their fur resembled freshly fallen snow, and catching sight of the wolvike’s sickle- like, razor sharp teeth, Tizrah was reminded of the fine blades of the Knights of Eldor.
She knew from her studies that one bite would be enough to bleed a full-grown man out in a matter of minutes. Six—that’s how many of the beasts she counted. They grunted and growled below her as they tore a spotted deer to pieces.
Now, for one to stray from the pack.
Tizrah was patient. She wouldn’t let her arrow fly until victory was assured.
Releasing a long, controlled breath, she relaxed her muscles. Anticipating movement from the pack, she raised the bow to eye level. The largest of the beasts, having had its fill, began to traipse toward the nearby stream.

The moment had arrived.
Drawing her bowstring back with wiry arms, Tizrah followed the wolvike with her steel-tipped arrow.
Stopping dead in its tracks, the beast lifted its head.
Tizrah’s arrow shot across the clearing, impaling the artery running down the side of the beast’s neck. The wolvike toppled, its rapid blood loss dragging it down into the sleep of death.
The rest of the pack bolted, leaving their fallen alpha to Tizrah and her blade.
Dropping from the branch, she took a steadying breath, then strode to the trophy. She would need proof of her kill, as she wasn’t strong enough to drag the beast through the forest. I’ll take its eyes, she thought, nearing with her blade poised.
The eyes of a wolvike were unlike any other known mammal within the Four Kingdoms. Used to make costly medicines for the virility of the wealthy, wolvike eyes were extremely valuable. At the grisly sound of her knife cutting into the eye socket, Tizrah blanched. Having completed the unsavory task, she rolled them in aneken leaf and placed them in the leather pouch on the outer side of her main pack for safe keeping.
Bending over the prone form, Tizrah offered a whispered prayer. “Oshawa, Life- Giver, I pray that this death will not go in vain. I pray that it might bring sustenance to the beasts of the forest and afterward enrich the ground upon which it lies.”
Finishing her heartfelt plea, Tizrah stood and took stock of the situation. Three days, the time it would take her to reach home. The Warrior Trials were scheduled to take place five days hence. Perhaps, with proof of her kill, she would be able to convinceJax at the arena to add her name to the list. Dreams danced before her mind’s eye. Picturing herself crowned victor at the completion of the Warrior Trials set her feet in motion.
Tizrah wasn’t worried about the competition. Her only worry was whether Jax would concede to her request when she offered him the eyes. Years of working with her father in the armory had honed her muscles into steel beneath her skin, and she had hunted and trained in the fighting arts since she was small. Many thought her dedication odd, preferring girls to keep to their traditional roles. Girls were taught to cook, clean, and sew. They were also expected to birth offspring and take care of the men. Tizrah viewed the societal limitations placed upon her with hatred—not that it was wrong for others, but she wanted something more in life than hiding behind a stove and raising brats for some man.
Shaking her head to clear it of the endless stream of thought, she left the clearing and reentered the forest. Ekenwood trees towered above the various shades of green flora covering the forest floor. The chattering of wild poka birds echoed back and forth beneath the canopy of branches. How had they ever been trained as messenger birds?
While growing up, she had seen them flying overhead often enough, and she had been curious to know what important messages they might be carrying each time one passed over.
A single shaft of amber light pierced through the tree barrier, distracting from her musings. Tizrah entered the dazzling luminescence and reveled in its life-giving rays. She loved the forest above all other places; in the depths of its silence and solitude, she found peace.
Peace with her mother’s death, for Tizrah had wanted her mother to live and had been unable to save her. Disease rarely paid heed to the cries of children.
Peace with the way her father had hidden his broken heart at the bottom of tumblers of ale from the local tavern, instead of comforting his only child.
Tizrah even felt peace in the fact that no matter the trophy she brought with her, her chances of entering the Warrior Trials were slimmer than the dirty beggars who sat pleading for crusts of bread on the outskirts of Silvermeere. If Jax changed his mind, then she might be able to work her way up to fighting on the battlefield of Echo Flats, or even serve a stint in the Fireblade Mountains, where rumor had it the dragon still lived.
Pulling herself from her musings, Tizrah continued onward. As much as she would have liked to stay soaking up the rays of sunlight and marveling at the beauty of Oshawa’s greatness, Tizrah knew that for her dreams to be realized, she must trudge forward, allowing the old moment its death while a new moment was born.
After two days of hiking, Tizrah reached the southwest corner of the Labby Forest. She was almost home. Leaving the ancient ekenwood groves, she entered the forest’s area of newer growth that was still recovering from being logged off before the dawn of the Magi Wars.
When the wars ended two centuries past, people had found that the ashenwood tree was far superior in strength to all others. The newly founded Council of Nine had issued a mandate for the loggers to focus their efforts on gathering the stronger wood located in the ironwood and ashenwood forests that lined the southern end of Belstrom. According to the history of New Hayden, Tizrah’s home had once been a booming hub for logging, but the mandate had dropped its population by half, and afterward, the town had assumed a much slower rate of growth over the centuries.
Running lightly down the dirt path toward home, Tizrah nearly bubbled over with excitement. She imagined her father, Eldim, crafting an exquisite set of armor for her to wear during the Warrior Trials. He would choose fine ossen metal, for it was incredibly strong and lightweight and would reflect sunlight to the blinding of one’s enemies.
Nearing the western exit of the forest, Tizrah reached a stretch of the path that was open and straight, set between two groves. Halfway across the stretch, she caught movement in the sky. Diving down swiftly and alighting directly in her path was a large, gray and white-speckled gryphon. The beautiful and fearsome creature heldTizrah with its nerve-rattling gaze. Gryphons were considered the messengers of Oshawa, and to see one so close was considered either a very good omen or an ominous one.
What could Oshawa’s creature want with her, a lowly armory brat? Nevertheless, she waited, returning its gaze. She had nothing to fear; her heart was right before the One-God.
Seconds passed like centuries until Tizrah noticed a burning sensation sear her right arm. In a flash of radiance, the landscape surrounding her disappeared as she lost consciousness, falling to the ground like a crumpled doll.

The gryphon watched over her as she slept.


About the Author:

AZRAEL JAMES fell in love with Tolkien at the age of twelve leading to a life-long love of fantasy fiction. Writing stories that capture the imagination, James invites readers into a world where magic rules and ordinary life is forgotten. When not spinning tales, James teaches guitar to underprivileged fairy folk. He believes music and love are what binds all life together.





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Three lucky winners will win a signed copy of Mark of Destiny in paperback.
Drawing will be held on April 18th.


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Thursday, 30 March 2017

#Spotlight ; The Princess of a Whorehouse by Mayank Sharma


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THE PRINCESS OF A WHOREHOUSE: THE STORY OF A 
SWAMP LOTUS
by
Mayank Sharma



Blurb

Aparajita is a tenacious go-getter. Her name means unconquerable in Sanskrit, and she lives up to its meaning. 

Just like any other ambitious girl, she desires to fulfil her dreams and become an independent individual. Far and wide, the shadow of her melancholy past chases her passage. The fact that her widowed mother is a former sex worker irks the community. Nonetheless, she is not ashamed to reveal her mother's past. 

Will she lose hope, or will she defy an enigma that is centuries-old? Will she ever conquer the hearts of a prestige-obsessed community? 

See the world through Aparajita's prism in a tale stirred by some real life events.

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About the author


Mayank Sharma is a computer engineering graduate with post-graduation in business management. He works with a leading technology multinational in Delhi. He has authored a number of articles and white papers on software technology and processes. For the first time in April 2014, his article was featured in Better Software magazine published in Florida, USA. Writing has become Mayank's greatest passion when he observed how it can trigger the winds of change. He is gradually transforming from a “left-brained” writer to a “right-brained” writer. Besides writing, he is passionate about sketching, painting, and making sculptures since childhood.

India is the fifth-largest economy in the world with the Gross Domestic Product growth at 7.1 percent. Contrary, India ranks 118 out of 157 countries in the happiness index. The fact seized Mayank’s attention towards social problems affecting social support, freedom of choices, and generosity, to name a few. Having travelled across continents and associated with people with diverse beliefs and values, he became more curious about the social riddles curtailing liberties across societies. He penned his debut novel, The Princess of a Whorehouse, when he came across some real life incidents that quivered his soul.

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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

#Spotlight ; Legacy Lost by Jillian David



Legacy Lost
Hell’s Valley Series
Book Two
Jillian David

Genre: paranormal romance/western romance

Publisher: Crimson Romance

Date of Publication: 3/27/17

ISBN: 1507202326

ASIN: B06W2JZXSC

Number of pages: 250
Word Count: 66,700

Tagline: The melding of the contemporary western with paranormal elements—think Big Valley meets Alphas—makes for a compelling, fresh mix for Jillian David’s sophomore series.

Book Description:

Growing up as an honorary Taggart, Eric Patterson found the family he’d always wanted. Almost. He couldn’t ever manage to see the clan’s youngest and only daughter, stubborn spitfire Shelby, quite like a little sister. Suddenly, his long-suppressed feelings are determined to come to light.

Too bad Shelby’s cursed. Her double whammy psychic powers to read emotions and locate anyone anywhere have always made relationships impossible—and now they’ve begun to endanger her life. If she uses her echolocation skills again, it just might kill her.

But when a malevolent supernatural force invades the valley, threatening the Taggarts and their neighbors, the Brands, Eric and Shelby must contend with both their blossoming feelings and the increasing danger. Does Shelby dare risk using her powers one more time, sacrificing her own life to save Eric?

Amazon    BN    Kobo

Excerpt:

Wait until Eric found out she could read anyone’s emotions.
Not that she’d ever tell him.
It was bad enough he knew about her homing beacon skills.
A wave of something else wafted over her filters. Warm, smoky caramel. The scent of Eric’s concern and worry about her.
Great.
His light brown brows drew together. “So, how’s your breathing? Really?” By the way he asked, he damn well knew the answer.
“Fine.”
“Want to try that answer again?” The curve of his sensual mouth pressed into a hard line as he studied her. Did he seriously move into a wide alpha-dude stance? Not that she was affected by him. No way. Her disgust stemmed from the fact that hard muscled, denim-clad legs like those should be illegal to display without a license.
“Sure.” She suppressed a betraying wheeze. “How about it’s none of your business and let’s get back to work?”
He barked what passed for a laugh and moved not one inch. “You bet it’s my business.” He extended a work-roughened hand toward her then dropped it. “I can’t believe you’re on call for Search and Rescue in this condition.”
“In this condition?” Virtual heat steamed from the top of her head. “Now you’re checking on my condition?”
“I’m an EMT, same as you. Someone should assess how you’re doing since you refused medical treatment after the fire.”
“Don’t need to assess anything. I’m fine.”
He rolled a gloved hand into a fist and propped it on a central beam, leaning like he wanted to shove down the entire structure. “Damn it, Shel, you’re going to get yourself killed if you don’t take care of yourself. I’m one of the team leaders on Search and Rescue. And I will pull you from a mission if you’re not healthy.”

Irritation crackled along her nerves. No way could she give in to the undertone of concern in his voice. “That would be the last thing on earth that you did, getting in my way of doing my job.”
His mouth barely moved. “If it’s a medical call, I’ll do it.”
“This conversation was getting too serious too quickly. And she couldn’t detect a rock bottom for this uncomfortable chat. “So now you’re a medical expert?”
“As close as we’re going to get right now.”
Spin the topic, damn it. Change the subject. Now. “No way, dude. You’re not evaluating my medical condition. Because then I’d have to make you wear the stupid nurse costume and call you ‘ma’am.’”
He paused then shook his head. With a glint in his dark blue eyes, he shot her a broad grin that made her heart flop. “How about I wear the hat?”
“Well . . . ”
“And nothing else.”
Today’s verbal judo wasn’t working like it normally did. Her cheeks warmed up at the thought of an exam by Eric. With him wearing only a nurse’s cap. That image cast her childhood friend in a whole new and uncomfortable light. She broke eye contact. Nope. Nothing would ever happen beyond friendship, and life was better for both of them that way.
Because, with her crappy gift to detect emotion, Shelby’s problem wasn’t intimacy, it was the aftermath, the judgment, the inevitable disapproval, the garbage and static that came along with even the nicest thoughts. Way too much closeness.
She and Eric were friends. That’s the way it had been for years, and that’s how it would be for years to come. Period.

“Fine, Nurse Patterson.” She sniffed. “But I get to decide how to use the stethoscope and blood pressure cuff.”

About the Author:

Jillian David lives near the end of the Earth with her nut of a husband and two bossy cats. To escape the sometimes-stressful world of the rural physician, she writes while on call and in her free time. She enjoys taking realistic settings and adding a twist of “what if.” Running or hiking on local trails often promotes plot development.




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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

#Spotlight ; Purgatory Reign by LM Preston







PURGATORY REIGN
Purgatory Reign
Book One
LM Preston

Genre: YA, Romance, Paranormal,
Adventure, Mystery

Publisher: Phenomenal One Press

Date of Publication:  02/16/2013

ISBN: 9780985025144
ASIN: B01N6ZTBNX

Number of pages: 307
Word Count:  79K

Cover ArtistEmma Michaels

Tagline: Something evil this way comes, unfortunately for it Peter Saints awaits.

Book Description:

Peter Saints' life stinks. But things are about to get much worse. First, his parents are murdered in front of him. Then another victim dies in his arms. Visions plague Peter with warnings that something wants him for a sinister cause. It desires the one thing that Peter refuses to give, his blood.

Peter carries within him the one gift or curse that could unlock a secret to destroy the human race. On the run with Angel, a scruffy kid, Peter starts to unravel the mystery. It is the one treasure the heavens sought to hide from the world.

Unfortunately, when Peter finds the answer he hopes that will save the girl he loves, he opens the door to a great evil that happens to be salivating to meet him.

Purgatory Reign is Book 1 in the series including Deviant Storm, Fierce Tides and Kindle World novella Colliding Souls from Runes World.

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Excerpt Purgatory Reign:

Peter took a moment to catch his breath. “I left. I left the grounds. But something’s bad has happened. Sh-she…Hanna died!” He coughed and his eyes watered. “Because of me! My fault. It was my fault. You gotta help her! I always screw up. Always. Please…”

Pastor Finn put his hands on Peter’s shoulders and shook him. “Why’d you leave? I told you never to leave here. You’ll put us all in danger. Yourself in danger. I didn’t save your butt for you to screw this up, boy.” He yanked Peter by the shirt and down the stairs. Then dragged him, practically running, all the way to the cellar stairs where he pointed at the small door where Peter had escaped. “Sixteen years old and you think you are man enough to make it out there?” he grumbled. “This is where you got out?” He sighed. “You don’t understand.”

“It’s my fault! Did you hear me? I killed someone! You gotta help her.” Peter jerked out of his grasp and grabbed Pastor Finn’s shirt, facing off with him. For once in a long while, he stared down the man eye to eye. He straightened up to his full height. The older man’s gray crew cut and piercing blue eyes were filled with fear. Peter’s hand loosened in shock that it was the first time he remembered that Pastor Finn looked afraid.


“I can’t help the dead.” He pushed Peter’s hands away from him. “But I have to help you. Come with me.” Peter watched him, confused. His teeth clenched at Pastor Finn’s betrayal. “I thought you were different. I have to go back. Bury her, like she deserves.” Peter stumbled backwards.

DEVIANT STORM
Purgatory Reign
Book Two
LM Preston

Genre: YA, Romance, Paranormal,
Adventure, Mystery

Publisher: Phenomenal One Press

Date of Publication:  02/16/2013

ISBN: 9780996919500
ASIN: B016NU9CWC

Number of pages: 252
Word Count:  68K

Formats available: ebook

Cover ArtistEmma Michaels

Tagline: Something evil this way comes, unfortunately for it Peter Saints awaits.

Book Description:

The battle is on. Peter Saints thought he'd killed It. But bad people never stay down. Now the jail of his enemy is weakening. Luck is running out for Peter and the girl he saved by wagering the Earth. Only now, with each second and secret revealed, his enemy gains the answers to destroy Peter and devour the world.

Expect FIERCE TIDES (Book 3 of 3) in Dec. 2017 and COLLIDING SOULS (Character Spin off: April 2017)


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Excerpt Deviant Storm:

He screwed up. So bad, he didn’t think he could fix it. Peter tossed the ball against the wall once more as he drowned out Kyle’s words. He never admitted everything that had happened to him in the Stronghold to Kyle. Didn’t think he could. One thing for sure, time was up. Peter was through waiting to be told what to do by the Elders of at this dump who seemed to have their own agendas. Dealing with the nightmares of what he’d done - possibly killing a man by pulling something beyond evil out of him, plagued Peter every night. Those times when he wasn’t careful, it pressed his thoughts, even when awake.

“We’ll go get her.” Peter’s dark brown eyes landed on Kyle’s questioning blue ones.

About the Author:

LM. Preston was born and raised in Washington, DC. An avid reader, she loved to create poetry and short-stories as a young girl. With a thirst for knowledge she attended college at Bowie State University, and worked in the IT field as a Techie and Educator for over sixteen years. She started writing science fiction under the encouragement of her husband who was a Sci-Fi buff and her four kids. They inspired the beginning of her obsessive desire to write and create stories of young people who overcome unbelievable odds. She loves to write while on the porch watching her kids play or when she is traveling, which is another passion that encouraged her writing.







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Saturday, 25 March 2017

#BookReview ; Mirage by Mayank Sharma



Mirage: 'Nature's way of treating you with your need or desire'.
Rajeev have an accident while he was on his way to celebrate his first marriage anniversary and subsequently finds himself in coma. Though he recovers but scars of the accident gets fresh, when he finds the same 'angel' in his dreams, revisiting and making the gleam move to dark. He gets home only to find his wife dead. Will you call it dichotomy? To an extent; it was. He tries hard to convince people around about his wife Shreya's presence in his life but no one believes.
Time can't heal all wounds but can cover them for a while. To keep his family happy he tries to act normal but pressure of remarriage, Shreya's presence, keeps on haunting him every moment. It is then he decides to escape to be with his wife in her world.
Muddled, Rajeev could feel her presence around but couldn't see her and simultaneously, the question linked with the dream, her death and her presence in the hospital. Standing over the edge either to see Shreya or to commit suicide, Rajeev is drenched in storm of emotions. Will he end the worldly life and find Shreya? Or he'll see a Mirage? If it's a Mirage will the world accept it? Or will call him mad?
Let us find an unconfined meaning to most desired way of breathing in, unconfined love and human life.

Mirage is a romantic novel written by Mayank Sharma. The author was born in a small village of Rajasthan & brought up in Nagda, a small town in Madhya Pradesh. After finishing his schooling he enrolled for graduation, during his years in college he acquired a lot of work experience in different fields. He started writing poems due to his inability to express himself verbally & after sometime he decided to write novels after getting encouraged by his friends. This is his second book.

The story is mainly about a couple, Rajeev & Shreya. They crazily love each other & even after a year after their marriage their emotions for each other haven’t changed a bit. On their 1st marriage anniversary fate takes a cruel turn, both of them suffered accidents as they were on their way to meet each other & celebrate their special day. Shreya couldn’t make it while Rajeev fell into coma. After he came out of the coma this info was shared gradually & his world crumbled down. He claimed to feel the presence of Shreya even when he was being operated & also afterwards too. After he recovers from the injuries he tries to remind himself the moments he spent with his wife & hence visits places where they’ve been so that he would feel her presence again. But his family wants him to move on with his life. Will Rajeev ever move on? Will he be able to see through the mirage? Read the book to know..



The book starts at a very nice pace with a detailed plot & emotions being conveyed effortlessly through words which says a lot about the potential of the author. The story isn’t exactly the same old romantic one hence that’s a relief but as we move towards the middle of the book & henceforth the pace as well as the quality deteriorates. The editing could’ve been much much better & saved this book, also after a while the story seemed too loosely written. I like the title though but again the cover was a downer.  A lukewarm book which might interest you if you like to read a different kind of romance.




Tuesday, 21 March 2017

#Spotlight ; Building Celebration House by Annette Drake





Building Celebration House
The Celebration House Trilogy
Volume 1
Annette Drake

Genre: Women’s fiction/paranormal romance

Publisher: Baskethound Books

Date of Publication:  3/1/17

ISBN: 978-0-9916118-9-8
ASIN: B01NBIK7KJ

Number of pages: 234
Word Count:  52K

Cover Artist: Elizabeth Mackey

Tagline: How can she plan a future with a man who has only a past?

Book Description:

Carrie Hansen spent her life caring for cardiac patients. Little did she know she would become a patient herself.

After recovering from her own heart surgery, she learns she has a special talent: the ability to see and talk with the dead.

Now, with her health failing, she leaves the bustle of Seattle behind and returns to Lexington, Missouri, the small town where she spent her childhood. Here, she sets out to restore an abandoned antebellum mansion and open it as a venue for celebrations.

Carrie’s unique gift allows her to build relationships with the mansion’s ghostly occupants, especially Major Tom Gentry, the handsome Civil War soldier who died 100 years before Carrie was born. He encourages and comforts her, though not in the physical way they both desire.

Will Carrie finish restoring the celebration house or will it finish her? And how can she plan a future with a man who has only a past?


Amazon    Nook    Kobo    Smashwords

Excerpt:

When Carrie opened the door and stepped inside, sunlight streamed in through the dirty windows. Even though the barn had been vacant for years, the air smelled of hay and horses.
Looking to her left, she saw a man shaving. He’d glanced up when Carrie opened the doors, but returned his gaze to the small mirror tacked to the wooden beam. He was bare from the waist up. His chest was lean and muscular, with dark brown hair from mid-chest to his waistline. His arms were powerfully built, and his right hand was steady as he scraped the white soap from his angular jaw with a razor. His dark blue uniform pants with gold braid down the side were tucked into knee-high black leather boots. He stood at least six feet tall, and though Carrie hadn’t made her living in the carnival, she guessed he was probably younger than her, likely in his mid to late twenties. He peered at the small mirror, tilting his chin to swipe away the shaving soap. Carrie waited to speak until after he’d finished with the ivory-handled straight blade and dipped it into the basin of soapy water.
“Good morning,” she said.
His expression was an equal mix of surprise and annoyance. He dropped the razor and grabbed his shirt off a nearby nail. He turned his back to Carrie and pulled it on.
“You can see me, madam?” he asked, buttoning his shirt and stuffing it into his pants.
“Yes. Can you see me?”
“I can, but I believe I have the advantage. I’m dead. You are not.” He turned and glared at her. His eyebrows furrowed as though he wasn’t quite sure how they’d arrived at the point of introductions.
“I’m sorry to intrude. I’m Carrie. Carrie Hansen.” She extended her hand.
He reached to shake her hand, but his fingers passed through hers. They both jerked back.
“I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean to intrude,” she said.
“You surprised me. That’s all. We seldom receive visitors, especially living ones who can see us.” He put on his blue uniform coat and fastened the long row of brass buttons. “I’m Major Thomas Gentry, at your service.” He bowed.
“I’m sorry I startled you. I sometimes forget ghosts aren’t accustomed to being seen.”
His eyes narrowed and he frowned. “How may I be of service to you, Miss Hansen?”
“Where can I find Colonel Stratton? I need to speak with him.”
His dark blue eyes showed his increasing puzzlement. “The living do not go looking for Colonel Stratton. What business have you with him?”
“I bought this house, and I intend to live here.”
“You bought Stratton House?”
“And I need to speak with the colonel.”
Major Gentry shook his head as though to sort through the details. “Please forgive me. You bought Stratton House, you intend to live here, and you wish to speak with the home’s proprietor, Colonel Stratton?”
“I thought we’d covered that,” she said. “You don’t get many visitors, do you?”



About the Author:

Annette Drake is a multi-genre author whose work is character-driven and celebrates the law of unintended consequences.

She makes her home in Washington state. A member of the Romance Writers of America, she loves ferry rides, basset hounds and bakeries. She does not camp.







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