Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Book Blast: The Right-Wing Threat to Democracy by Burt Hall







For over thirty years, World War II veteran and author Burt Hall assessed accountability in government and national security. Now, this seasoned, professional analyst delivers a tough account of what went wrong in our politics and system of government over the past two decades and what we can do about it. 

The right wing (not to be confused with Conservatism) has hijacked the Republican Party and wrecked havoc on our nation. It exploited basic flaws in our system to gain power and a series of major setbacks and a weakened democracy have followed. 

The Right-Wing Threat to Democracy lays out clearly what the basic flaws in our system are and how they can be fixed. The danger is that an ongoing shift of political power to the very wealthy and suppression of voting rights is silencing the voice of the average citizen. 

If elected officials do not fix the basic flaws, the American people have alternatives in our democracy and must take matters into their own hands.




After early careers in the aircraft electronics field and as a CPA, Burt Hall joined the USGovernment Accountability Office (GAO), where he served as group director analyst on national security and other matters. For more than thirty years, he reported to Congress and testified before its committees on behalf of the GAO. Mr. Hall graduated from the Harvard Advanced Management Program and was loaned twice for two years, once to a bipartisan congressional commission and later to the Reagan White House.

With Ed Asner, who also contributed to The Right-Wing Threat to Democracy, Hall coauthored Misuse of Power. He coauthored the bestselling book, How the Experts Win at Bridge, with his wife, Lynn.
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RIK'S BOOK TRAILER BLAST






About the Book:

Title: RIK’S   
Author: dhtreichler
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 483
Genre: Thriller

“The entire affair began with sheep brains and falafel -- Saddam Hussein's favorite dish.”
It is 1990 and in Baghdad two lovers are separated by the impending First Gulf War. CIA operative Rik Bogart is desperately seeking television correspondent Ingrid Johannson -- but is instead picked up by  Saddam’s Secret Police and thrown into Abu Graib -- the Prison of the Dead. Ten years later, he must make a fateful decision after finally reuniting with her -- one that may keep them apart forever. How far would YOU go for your true love?
This heart-pounding thriller is written by a former international defense contractor who brings incredible realism and arresting insights into the days leading up to Saddam’s invasion of neighboring Kuwait, and provides a chilling account of life inside the infamous Prison of the Dead.
"It's as much a love story as it is a runaway thriller." Midwest Book Review

RIK’S IS AVAILABLE AT AMAZON


Book Excerpt:


Despite the blood flowing from my side and my exhausted condition, we wrestled for control of the weapon.

I rolled him over, coming up on top, and pinned him to the ground as we continued to wrestle for control of the Glock. I pushed his arm down to my left, held his arm with my left hand and punched him in the face, which loosened his grip just enough. I gained control of the gun. Now Tariq stared down the barrel of his own weapon with me on top of him.

“So this is the end, my friend?” Tariq asked as he looked beyond the barrel pointed at his head.

“No, Tariq, this is just the beginning. The ring?”

Tariq nodded in understanding and held his hand up for me to remove my Academy class ring, which I did and slipped it into my pocket.


About the Author

As a defense contractor, award-winning screenwriter and novelist, dhtreichler has wandered the world, visiting garden spots and more.  Having lived and worked with our intelligence agents and soldiers, witnessing the conflicts and the turmoil of recent decades, he paints vivid backdrops for his stories. Like him, the men and women he portrays attempt to make sense of our fast-changing world. He has held a lifelong interest in the profound influence of rapidly changing technology on our lives and relationships. Exploring that power (what has changed and what might come) forms an insightful theme of his novels. His stories also reflect the universal desires and fears of real people everywhere.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Book Spotlight: Lord of Shadows by Shania Tyler


Title: LORD OF SHADOWS
Author: Shania Tyler
Publisher: ColleenNorman Publishing House
Pages: 330
Genre: Paranormal Romance
The Power of Love and Darkness
How strong you need to be to face your sealed fate?

Kelly Green had plans for her senior year of college.
Graduate. Get a job. And hopefully find love.

What she didn’t include was:
1. Getting kidnapped by an arrogant vampire 
2. Getting swept into his world of eternal darkness
3. And she certainly didn’t plan on falling for him...

Mason is the leader of the Rebels, an army fighting in a secret war that is about to get real. Vampires have enslaved elves for centuries, and Mason’s men fight for their freedom.

He’s willing do anything to see his people as the victors… whatever it takes.
This includes kidnapping a woman who isn’t what she seems and doing whatever he must in order to keep her close…

including pretending to fall in love…

But all the magic in the world of Asea can’t protect the heart and sooner or later, they’ll both have to make a choice that could change the future of an entire nation.

In the world of Asea, destiny’s course is set like a dance.
Nothing in life has been left up to chance.

“Destiny must be fulfilled.”

*Are they ready?*

*Are you?*

PURCHASE INFORMATION:

Amazon


Book Excerpt:


“Hey!” she called as he headed toward her. “What’s with the robe?”
A strong gust pushed her dress backward. She looked over her shoulder at the administration building and then back at the stranger, who stood only a few yards away.
He’d been so far away a moment ago.
Kelly did a double take, noticing for the first time that he wasn’t wearing a robe. The black was like a shadow that floated around him. The image of Pig-Pen from the Peanuts comic strip—the little boy with the cloud of dirt always circling him—stopped her from totally freaking out.
Then the image of Pig-Pen vanished and she freaked out.
“Kelly!”
She turned and saw the stranger from inside and frowned. How did he know her name?
He held out his hand, his green eyes wide and his dark hair windblown. “Come to me.”
She rushed to him, too afraid of the thing behind her to think about the consequences.
A peacefulness fell over her at his touch and then she was flush against him, chest to chest and thigh to thigh. “I—” Her body jerked and a fast wind stung her eyes. Her hair whipped in her face, and it was only then that she realized they were moving.
Her stranger, with his arm around her waist, held her with her feet off the ground and was running faster than humanly possible. “Hold onto me.”
Kelly’s jaw dropped, but her arms went around his neck to hold onto him for fear of being dropped; she could feel the strength in his body and knew he wouldn’t let her go.
What was happening to her?
Maybe she’d been drugged.
She tried to remember everything that had happened. Had she even attended the event? What if she was dreaming? It was the only explanation for the fact that she was being carried by a man who was speeding past buildings and trees like some sort of superhero. The street lamps’ rays splashed onto the sidewalk in quick patterns and everything about the dream felt real.
The man holding her certainly felt real. His thick muscles and the coolness of his leather jacket under her hands all felt real.
But then she looked up and saw they were being chased by the shadow. She thought it a dream again, especially as the shadow seemed to spread into the darkness around them, turning the already dark night into a blackness she’d never seen.
She closed her eyes and, like she did with any nightmare she’d found herself stuck in, told herself to wake up.
Her body jerked when they turned, and she heard the opening of a door before her body jolted again when they came to a complete stop.
The stranger set her down on her feet and then turned to close the door.
Kelly looked around and recognized the president’s house. She’d attended a few dinners at the house last year with her friend Amity, who’d been part of every major organization on campus.
“Come on,” the stranger said, holding out his hand.
She didn’t move. “What is going on?”
Something flickered in his green eyes, anger she thought, before he smoothed it away and said, “We have to go.”
“No.” Kelly shook her head. “I want to know what’s going on.”
The front door began to rattle, and she jumped.
“Come on!” the stranger shouted.
Kelly pressed her fingers to her temples. “Wake up, wake up, wake up.”
He grabbed her arms.
She looked up into the stranger’s eyes and the intricate shades of green began to dance.
Ote-oun’a.”
Kelly blinked as a heaviness settled in her head and over her eyes. She grew tired instantly and the stranger wrapped his arms around her.
Ote-oun’a,” he whispered again. His eyes held a touch of tenderness and then darkness claimed her. “Sleep,” she heard him whisper, before there was nothing.




About the Author


As a young girl, Shania Tyler has always been fascinated with the world of vampires, dragons, fairies, elves and angles. So strong was her fascination that she always felt there is indeed such a world out there. A world where creatures of supernatural powers can transcend beyond time and space, not confined to the rules of the human world, and being able to live for eternity.

In Shania’s writings, you will find an infusion of passionate romance, action and mystery, and sometimes with a touch of suspense. She enjoys creating a dark complex world containing entities of a supernatural or otherworldly nature and being able to bring a romantic flavour to the plot and amongst the characters. It brings her great joy to see her childhood fantasies becoming a reality through the pages that she wrote. Some of her inspirations of writings include Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, J.R. Ward’s The Black Dagger Brotherhood series and Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton .

Shania’s latest book is the paranormal romance, Lord of Shadows.

You can connect with Shania on Facebook.




Shania Tyler is giving away 7 paranormal romance paperbacks by Bella Forrest, JR Ward, I.T. Lucas, Dannika Dark, Karen Marie Moning, Patricia Briggs and Christine Feehan. BONUS: All entries will receive a free copy of FALLING INTO DARKNESS by Shania Tyler.

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive  a 7-pack paperback collection of paranormal romance novels by bestselling authors. All entries will receive a free copy of Shania Tyler's FALLING INTO DARKNESS.
  • This giveaway ends midnight May 31.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on June 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!




 
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Monday, May 22, 2017

Book Feature: Dark Mind Star Carrier by Ian Douglas

 


Title: Dark Mind: Star Carrier
Author: Ian Douglas
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy


New York Times Bestselling Author Ian Douglas continues his Star Carrier saga as humanity unites against an ancient artificial consciousness powerful enough to exterminate every species it encounters

2425. The civil war between the United States of North America and the Pan-European Confederation is over. But before a new era of peace on Earth can begin, humankind must martial its interstellar forces as one fleet to engage in a war against an alien entity in Omega Centauri. Without provocation, it destroyed a Confederation science facility inhabited by 12,000 people, and it must be neutralized before it sets its sights on Earth.

Admiral Trevor “Sandy” Gray of the USNA star carrier America has his own mission. The enigmatic AI known as Konstantin has convinced him that humanity’s only chance for survival is technology found in a distant star system. Now, Gray must disobey orders as well as locate and create a weapon capable of defeating a living sphere the size of a small planet…





Ian Douglas is one of the pseudonyms for William H. Keith, New York Times bestselling author of the popular military science fiction series The Heritage Trilogy, The Legacy Trilogy, The Inheritance Trilogy, Star Corpsman, and Star Carrier. A former naval corpsman, he lives in Pennsylvania.





Monday, May 8
Book featured at I'm Shelf-ish
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Tuesday, May 9
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Book Feature: The HIghlander's Conquest by Eliza Knight

 




What is a Highlander to do when he falls for the daughter of his enemy? 

Highland warrior, Blane Sutherland, has one mission: disguise himself as an Englishman, cross the border and retrieve Lady Aliah de Mowbray. Always up for a challenge, he agrees, pursuing his conquest with vigor—and trying to deny the powerful desire that eclipses him each time he touches his charge. A rogue of the highest order and a younger son, he has nothing to offer a lady but a broken heart. 

And what is a lady to do when she cannot trust her heart? 

Aliah is skeptical of the English noble who has come to take her to her father and sister in Scotland, but she pushes her doubts aside. Without word in months, she must make certain her family is safe, then she can return to England to join the convent to which she has sworn to pledge her life. But then her escort reveals his true self—he’s a Highlander and his kisses are more seductive than the sweetest of wines.

Surrender never tasted so sweet… 










Late Fall
Northern England, 1297

A violent banging at the manor door startled Aliah from her studies and set Frosty, the family’s monstrous Irish wolfhound, to barking ferociously. Aliah jerked backward against the oak chair she sat in, hitting her head against the ancient wood and stifling a harsh word beneath her breath.

Her father, Baron de Mowbray, had left a small contingent of men to protect her while he escorted her older sister Arbella to her bridegroom in Scotland. These men would fight to keep her safe until their very last breaths.

But who was to say they hadn’t already taken that last shuddering inhale? Aliah glanced around the room, filled with memories, but not with people. Today, her maid Glenda was her only companion. Well, Frosty as well—who in fact was a far superior protector than her maid. Swallowing her fear, she rubbed the ache from the back of her head and squared her shoulders. Strength. That was what she needed, even if the sound of someone knocking made her want to run to the opposite end of the manor and hide. Her father should have returned a month ago. The only news she’d managed to garner was that a battle took place at Stirling Bridge in Scotland—the very place her sister was to marry.

Had the battle now come to her own door?

Aliah jumped as a strong fist once again slammed the door.

“Glenda, would you answer the door?” Aliah asked.

’Twas Saturday morning and most of the servants had gone to tend family or to enjoy themselves in whatever way they did, leaving Aliah quite alone—and at the mercy of whoever stood outside her door. Could they have dispensed of her father’s guards so quickly?

Glenda, afraid of her own shadow, started to shake her head, but Aliah gave her a stern look. The woman had been driving her mad since she was a babe and ever since Arbella left, Aliah had little patience for the older woman’s nonsense.

Aliah set down the book of Gaelic she’d been studying—she was determined to learn the language because she secretly believed the Scots would soon invade. Understanding their barbaric conversations was crucial. Aliah smoothed her gown and stood tall.

Glenda scurried toward the door, Frosty a foot ahead of her. Aliah tried to find comfort in the fact that perhaps the guards had allowed whoever came knocking through the manor gates. She’d heard no clanging of metal or yells of pain. Aye, the only conclusion that made sense was, they were not enemies, but friends.

She could use a good friend. The comfort of someone she knew. Aliah frowned. She had few friends, and seldom was it that they dropped by. So who had the audacity to practically beat down her door?

“Wait!” Aliah shouted just as Glenda touched the wooden plank barring the door.

She hurried to retrieve her bow and an arrow from beneath her chair. As swiftly as possible, she cocked an arrow and aimed it at the door. Taking a deep breath, she nodded for her maid to open it. If her father’s enemies dared to come after her, they were in for a big surprise, she wouldn’t surrender so easily.

An interminable amount of time seemed to pass before the door was fully open. Aliah stepped back, speechless. Standing before her was the most staggeringly handsome man she’d ever seen—and he was quite alone. Frosty growled for only a moment, quickly silenced by a motion the stranger made with his hand. What? How had he done that? Aliah struggled to keep her mouth from falling open at the man’s effortless command of the dog. The animal had favored her sister, but since Arbella had left, Frosty refused to leave Aliah’s side.

She felt a certain amount of betrayal at Frosty’s easy acceptance of this stranger. Who in the name of God was he? And why didn’t one of her father’s men escort him? She’d have to speak with them about that later.

The visitor wore an intriguing cap of deep burgundy, a dark feather jutting from the side, held on by some sort of medallion. A thick black wool cloak lay open to reveal a matching tunic, and leather studded armor. White hose outlined the shape of his legs in a way that drew her eyes from his intense dark green gaze. His boots were made of soft, expensive-looking leather, and the gilded belt at his waist held a gleaming, sharp sword that was hard to miss.

Aliah allowed her gaze to travel over the length and breadth of his solid form, before getting ahold of herself. “Will you shoot me, my lady?” His voice was deep, raspy, and stroked along the ends of her nerves in a way that made her want to run away and kiss him at the same time.



Eliza Knight is a USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author of sizzling historical romance and time-travel erotic romance. Under the name E. Knight, she pens riveting historical fiction. She runs the award-winning blog, History Undressed. When not reading, writing and researching, she likes to cuddle up in front of a warm fire with her own knight in shining armor. 

Connect with her at http://www.elizaknight.com or http://www.historyundressed.com. You can sign up for her newsletter at  http://eepurl.com/CSFFD. Follow her on social media at:











Monday, May 22
Book featured at Books, Dreams, Life
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Author Interview: Darin Gibby, author of 'Chasing Hindy'


In addition to a thriving career as a novelist, author Darin Gibby is also one of the country’s premiere patent attorneys and a partner at the prestigious firm of Kilpatrick Townsend (www.kilpatricktownsend.com). With over twenty years of experience in obtaining patents on hundreds of inventions from the latest drug delivery systems to life-saving cardiac equipment, he has built IP portfolios for numerous Fortune 500 companies. In addition to securing patents, Gibby helps clients enforce and license their patents around the world, and he has monetized patents on a range of products.

Darin’s first book, Why Has America Stopped Inventing?, explored the critical issue of America’s broken patent system.  His second book, The Vintage Club, tells the story of a group of the world’s wealthiest men who are chasing a legend about a wine that can make you live forever. His third book, Gil, is about a high school coach who discovers that he can pitch with deadly speed and is given an offer to play with the Rockies during a player’s strike. Gil soon discovers, however, that his unexpected gift is the result of a rare disease, and continuing to pitch may hasten his own death.

With a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and a Master of Business Administration degree, he is highly regarded in Denver’s legal and business community as a patent strategist, business manager, and community leader. He is also a sought-after speaker on IP issues at businesses, colleges and technology forums, where he demonstrates the value of patents using simple lessons from working on products such as Crocs shoes, Izzo golf straps and Trek bicycles.
An avid traveler and accomplished triathlete, Darin also enjoys back country fly-fishing trips and skiing in the Rocky Mountains. He lives in Denver with his wife, Robin, and their four children.

His latest book is the thriller, Chasing Hindy.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK





ADDY’S DREAM AS a patent attorney is to help bring a ground breaking energy technology to the world. Addy’s hopes soar when she is wooed by Quinn, an entrepreneur, to join his company that has purportedly invented a car that can run on water using an innovative catalyst. After resigning her partnership to join Quinn, Addy discovers things aren’t as they seem. The patent office suppresses the company’s patent applications and her life is threatened by unknown assailants if she doesn’t resign.

When she is arrested for stealing US technology from the patent office she realizes Quinn has used her. Now, Addy must find a way to clear her name while salvaging her dream of propelling this technology to the world, all while powerful forces attempt to stop her.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

My day job is being a patent attorney. But when I’m not working or writing, I love to be outdoors. I’m from Colorado and I love skiing or hiking in the mountains during the summer. I also run triathlons and fret over my organic garden during the summer.

When did you start writing?

I started writing about 15 years ago.  I wrote several “practice books” before publishing my first book, Why Has America Stopped Inventing?  I’m now on my fourth book.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

When I really learned what a “flat character” meant. Good writing is so much about character development and finding ways to make readers fall in love with a character was what really changed my writing.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

In a small cottage somewhere in rural England. Why? Because to write well, I need to be alone with my feelings and be away from all the distractions our modern world has to offer. If I could seclude myself for six months I could do a lot of good writing.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Helping my kids with their homework.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

My next book is going to be set in New Jersey.

Back to your present book, Chasing Hindy, how did you publish it?

I published Chasing Hindy using Koehler Books.  They published my previous two books and we have a good working relationship.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

Most of the action for the book happens in Sunnyvale, California.  I used to live there, so I didn’t need to travel there for the research. But, I do still go there several times a year for work.

Why was writing Chasing Hindy so important to you?
Chasing Hindy is a book that I started on more than a decade ago. I’ve rewritten the book at least five times. The reason why is because I could never find a main character that I liked. That all changed when I came up with Addy—a patent attorney with a dream to change the world. I decided on a female character (who was also a patent attorney) for several reasons. Perhaps the main reason was that female patent attorneys are in short supply and I wanted to encourage women to enter the profession. So I created Addy to hopefully show what a difference one person can make, and through her experience more women would want to become patent attorneys. What I love about Addy is her determination to make the world a better place, no matter the cost.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

Ideas for books come in the strangest ways. For me, they often just seem to fall out of the sky, usually at the most unexpected times. I’ve written books or articles from ideas that woke me up in the middle of the night, from thoughts that came to me while running triathlons, and while taking hikes deep in the Rocky Mountains. I’ve even had some ideas come while sitting on a ski lift during a freezing blizzard. I really don’t have an explanation for why ideas come this way.

The genesis behind Chasing Hindy came from a surprising source—a hypnotist. When I was in high school, we had an assembly where a hypnotist put a group of volunteers under hypnosis. One of the questions he asked them was what would be the fuel of the future. What fuel would people pump into their tank? Almost without exception they all said, “water!” The hypnotist then told the audience that every time he asked that question he received the same answer.

That was several decades ago, but I’ve always wondered whether that could possibly be true—and why all these people thought we’d all be driving cars that used water. In the following years, I realized that a car wouldn’t run on water per se, but from hydrogen that is extracted from water. The question, of course, is that if we know how to produce hydrogen, why aren’t there hydrogen cars? The answer is quite simple. As an engineer and patent attorney I know the science behind extracting hydrogen from water. The problem is that it takes more energy to do this than to just run a car on gasoline, or even electricity. But what if somebody invented a way to make it happen? That’s the germ of an idea that led to Chasing Hindy.


Any final words?

As Stephen King is fond of saying, as long as you can wake up and write, life is going to be okay.


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In the Spotlight: Playing with Fire by R.J. Blain





ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: PLAYING WITH FIRE
Author: R.J. Blain
Publisher: Pen & Page Publishing
Pages: 323
Genre: Fantasy/Romantic Comedy

Warning: This novel contains excessive humor, action, excitement, adventure, magic, romance, and bodies. Proceed with caution.

What do you get when you mix gorgons, an incubus, and the Calamity Queen? Trouble, and lots of it.

Working as the only human barista at a coffee shop catering to the magical is a tough gig on a good day. Bailey Gardener has few options. She can either keep spiking drinks with pixie dust to keep the locals happy, or spend the rest of her life cleaning up the world’s nastiest magical substances.

Unfortunately for her, Faery Fortunes is located in the heart of
Manhattan Island, not far from where Police Chief Samuel Quinn works. If she’d been smart, she never would have agreed to help the man find his wife.

Bailey found her, all right—in the absolutely worst way possible.

One divorce and several years later, Bailey is once again entangled in Chief Quinn’s personal affairs, and he has good reason to hate her. Without her, he wouldn’t be
Manhattan’s Most Wanted Bachelor, something he loathes. Without her, he’d still be married.

If only she’d said no when he asked her help, she might have had a chance with him. While her magic worked well, it came with a price: misfortune. Hers.

When Quinn’s former brother-in-law comes to her for help, he leaves her with a cell phone and seventy-five thousand reasons to put her magic to the test. However, when she discovers Quinn’s ex-wife is angling for revenge, Bailey’s tossed in the deep end along with her sexiest enemy.

Playing With Fire is available at Amazon.



Book Excerpt:


No one in their right mind would ever license me as a private investigator, but that didn't stop people from coming to me when they needed something found. Fortunately, I liked my job as the only human barista at Faery Fortunes Coffee and Book Shop. Most came for a cup of joe and left too buzzed to read a thing, but who was I to complain? People paid top dollar for their pixie dust infused latte, and they tipped me well not to judge them.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t so fond of Chief Quinn. When he walked through the door, bad things usually happened to someone—me. For him to come in five minutes after opening, long before the sun even thought about rising, he needed something, and it wasn’t a cup of coffee. Why couldn’t he want coffee? I could deal with making him a drink, and I’d double his dose of pixie dust to keep him happy.
I gave the espresso machine a defiant swipe of my cleaning cloth before stepping to the counter to deal with Manhattan’s Most Wanted Bachelor. Without my help, he’d still be married, too.
What a way to start the day.
And to think people wondered why I refused to help find anything for anyone anymore. The reason stood across the counter from me. Chief Samuel Quinn, aged thirty, hotter than sin, and my heaven and hell rolled together in one smoking tall, dark, and handsome package, hated me for good reason. It was his fault, too. He had been the one to ask me for help finding his wife. I had found her all right, right in the middle of teaching a college stud the nuances of the reverse cowgirl.
If no one asked me to find something or someone again for the rest of my life, I’d be a very happy woman.
“Chief Quinn, what a pleasant surprise,” I lied. “Can I get you something? A dark roast, cream, no sugar, light on the dust?”
Why couldn’t I have been blessed with forgetfulness? I knew my worst nightmare’s favorite drink, and I had to make it for him first thing in the morning. Of course I knew it. He came in at least three times a week to torment me. Screw it. Who was I kidding? Instead of the coffee, he could take me instead. If I had to put up with the hassle of dealing with him, why couldn’t I enjoy it, too?
“Cream, no dust, and make it a large, Bailey.”
Alarm bells tinkled in my head. Since when did Chief Quinn address me by my first name? On a good day, he snapped my last name like he worried it would contaminate him. “Of course, sir.”
The faster I made his coffee, the sooner he’d go away. I’d love every second I spent watching him go. In less than a minute, I had his drink ready, and to lower the risk of him spending any extra time with me, I chirped, “It’s on me today, Chief Quinn. Have yourself a nice morning.”
If it meant we parted without incident, it’d be well worth the five bucks.
He saluted me with his cup, flashed a hint of a smile, and walked out the door. Facing him was hell, but I glimpsed the heavens when he left, and if my panties hadn’t caught on fire under my jeans, I’d be very, very surprised.
“You’re drooling, Gardener,” my boss squeaked. The moth fairy, with just enough pixie heritage to dust glitter when she wanted, fluttered over my shoulder, her tiny arms crossed over her chest. “Reverse cowgirl.”
“Stop reminding me!” I wailed, slumping over the counter. “He hates me. Worse, all I think about when he struts in is taking off my clothes and giving him my panties. I think they caught on fire this time, Mary. Why couldn’t he have had one of his cops find his wife instead?”
“You just want to indulge in some guilt-free fantasizing like every other hot-blooded American woman in the city.”
“Exactly. This is why no one in their right mind asks me for help. I ruin everything.”
“Except my coffee, which is a miracle. Now that we’ve had our daily dose of excitement, can you handle the shop on your own for an hour? We’ll call it even on the coffee.”
Was she serious? Alone for an hour on a Monday morning forty minutes before rush hour? If she thought I’d be all right alone, she was completely cracked. I could already hear her if I dared to complain about my shift. What could possibly go wrong in an hour? Didn’t I like my job? The list went on and on and on. I smiled so I wouldn’t cry. “Sure, Mary. I can last an hour.”
“You’ve gotten better at lying. Your smile didn’t even slip that time. Try not to die while I’m gone. Good humans are so hard to find.” Mary zipped out of the shop through the pixie door and dove through the window of an idling sports car.
Wait.
Sports car? Red, convertible, top up despite the nice summer morning? I leaned over the counter and squinted. Yep. My boss had just ditched me for a ride in Chief Quinn’s car. Sometimes life really wasn’t fair.



About the Author

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

When she isn't playing pretend, she likes to think she's a cartographer and a sumi-e painter.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS


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