High above the dusty ground he came alive without a sound. He came to life to hurt the one to whom his soul did wait upon. The bricks and mortar were no gate to keep this raging lover’s hate For he had loved but now he’s dead Coming for some blood to shed.
One of my oldest and best friends, Kristen Poth, was the proud wife of Paul Poth and now the president of this organization! So proud of all they have accomplished in Paul’s memory! Find all the information here
We’re celebrating the release of Jenni Bara’s latest novel, More than the Game! Read on for more details and a chance to win a $25 Amazon e-gift card!
More Than the Game (Becoming and Evans #1)
Publication Date: September 14th, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Sport Romance
Trending on social media is her nightmare.
Beth Evans, former Olympic golden girl, known for a national scandal and daughter of a rising political star, is more than happy to stay out of the spotlight, living life as a normal single mom in a small Jersey town. The last thing Beth needs is Twitter’s favorite bad boy–Marc Demoda–walking into her life to stir things up.
Marc lives for the three b’s; baseball, bars, and ball bunnies, until the unthinkable happened. An accident destroys his shoulder and his career, leaving him desperate to get back in the game. Too bad no one hires notorious bad boys to coach. With his reputation on life support, Marc finds his saving grace might be the feisty blonde he can’t get out of his head.
When pictures of Beth and Marc’s chance encounter blow up on Twitter, they strike a deal to avoid further scandals and fix their image. But even in the harsh public spotlight, their fake relationship begins to feel real. Beth’s growing feelings for Marc have her questioning if she can permanently handle the limelight, just as Marc wonders if Beth might mean more than the game.
Marc walked down the ramp over the dunes in front of his house with his water bottle, cooling off after his evening workout. He took a selfie and sent it to Austin, telling him to post it with a comment about keeping in shape. For fuck’s sake, he wouldn’t let anyone think he was getting fat. He pulled his shirt back on and leaned against the railing overlooking the Jersey coastline.
Who knew getting good media was so hard? When he’d been pitching, even bad press wasn’t that bad. He’d been patient with being called a drunk, a drug addict, a hothead, even a whorish disease-infested sleaze bag, but he drew the line at fat.
His eyes scanned the beach while he sucked in a breath of salt air. He sank into one of the two chairs he’d placed on the wooden planks, watching the runners who dotted the sand this time of night. Nothing caught his eye until he landed on slender, toned legs in a pair of tight Sideline shorts. The woman reached down to tie her shoelace, allowing him to catch a glimpse of her heart-shaped ass.
He swallowed, feeling relieved. For days he’d tried to drudge up interest in the women he met in bars and clubs, but he couldn’t. It had been years since he spent so many consecutive nights alone.
Seeing this woman, watching her bend down, Marc found himself interested. He smiled as he brought the water bottle up to his lips, but it stopped halfway to his mouth when the woman turned around, and he realized it was Beth. Shit. How had he not known this was the same woman he’d spent days uselessly trying to forget? He shook his head in frustration.
Ever since that night, when he’d been close to placing his lips on Beth’s, he’d spent most of his waking hours thinking about her. He couldn’t believe how badly he’d messed up by asking her to go out with him. He winced.
But he’d have to think about what that meant later if he wanted to catch up with her now. Marc left the bottle sitting on the chair’s arm and took off down the ramp towards the water.
“Beth,” Marc called, but she didn’t hear him. When he got closer and she still didn’t answer, it became clear she was ignoring him. No one ever ignored him–especially not women. Marc picked up his pace, putting himself in her path, forcing Beth to acknowledge him. Her eyes tracked over him, and his stomach tightened before she glanced away.
“Marc,” she replied coolly. Her tone clearly showed her annoyance. He’d have to try harder.
“It’s beautiful this time of night,” he said awkwardly.
That was the best he could do?
He shook his head as he moved in step beside her, slowing his long legs to match her shorter strides.
“I usually enjoy it alone.” Her eyes took in anything and everything apart from him.
“Lucky you; now, you don’t have to,” he joked sending her a smile—knowing full well by her body language that she didn’t see it as lucky.
She didn’t even crack a grin back.
“I realize I owe you an apology.” Her glare turned softer as, at last, she snuck a glance at him, so he continued. “Beautiful women make men nervous and we say stupid things.”
“It’s been two weeks, and that’s the best you got?” She shook her head and tried to speed up, but he easily matched her pace.
“I was trying to ask you out for a drink or dinner or something, and it came across like I was trying to get you into bed. That’s not what I meant.” Those words felt strange coming out of his mouth. They were true now, but for most of his life that statement would have been a lie.
“You think I don’t know Marc Demoda’s reputation?” Beth rolled her eyes, but Marc almost missed his footing.
“You know who I am?” He made a poor attempt to keep the shock out of his voice.
“Of course.” Beth stopped suddenly and turned in the opposite direction. “This is where I head back. Enjoy the rest of your run.”
Marc stood frozen after her apparent dismissal.
In hindsight, it was obviously she knew who he was. His father had called her a VIP client, and his sister spoke about Beth as if Glory knew her. On top of that, repeatedly Beth called him Marc without him having to introduce himself. But he’d assumed as soon as she discovered who he was, she would be falling over him like every other woman he met. She was so different.
“Beth,” he called, taking off down the beach after her. She seemed not to hear him, or maybe she was ignoring him again, but that didn’t stop him. “Did Steve know too?” He slowed down and matched her stride again.
“He didn’t care either?” Damn, kids were always impressed with him. She shot him a look that said, Are you kidding me?
“You’re definitely not going to be his pick for a teammate anytime soon.”
“I had an off night.” He couldn’t even blame it on his bad arm; it was her fault. “Normally I’m more impressive.”
“Marc, you flooded my kitchen and played bad baseball. That’s the extent of my impressive experience with you.”
“Then give me a chance to do better.”
“I’ve told you I’m not interested,” Beth sighed.
Couldn’t she spend some time getting to know him before she decided he wasn’t worth her time?
“Well, I am,” he huffed. Wow, that was his comeback? Maybe even given a chance, he wouldn’t impress her.
“Why, Marc?” Beth stopped running and looked at him.
It was a good question, and one that he damn well wished he could answer, but he didn’t know. Well, that wasn’t exactly true. His eyes slid over her sweatshirt and then lingered on her hips. He reached for curl that had fallen out of her ponytail and tucked it behind her ear.
“I can think of a few reasons,” he said, his voice low and throaty. Without consciously deciding to, he’d fallen back into seduction mode.
Instead of backing away, Beth let her hand run down his arm before grabbing his wrist and pulling him closer, so almost no space existed between them. She stood up on her toes and let her mouth move to within a centimeter of his ear. His gut clenched as a jolt shot down his body and he licked his lips in anticipation of what she’d do. He finally had her.
Even as a young child Jenni Bara would conjure up all kinds of tales with her endless imagination. She’s improved her skills since the days of scaring her younger cousins with ghost stories, but her love for books and stories has never changed.
In her everyday life, she is a paralegal for family law writing unhappily ever afters for people every day. So in turn she spends her free time with anything that keeps her laughing including life with her four kids, or five if you count her husband!
All joking aside she is blessed to have not only a very supportive husband but super supportive parents as well as a loving extended family always happy to share their opinions!
Her favorites spots all have the best views of the sunsets and she loves to share the views through photos
Have you ever been to a clothing-optional (nude) venue, such as a beach, resort, club, party, etc? If so, what did you think of the experience? Would you do it again? If not, would you ever consider going to a clothing-optional gathering? Why or why not?
I have never been to a place such as this and I am not sure I ever would go. The thing is this, if you want to walk around nude or swim or whatever that is fine but I really don’t feel like hanging out playing cards naked, for instance, just to say I play cards naked. Also, I really don’t see the point. Yes, so you are free from judgement of superficial belongings but going just to be naked seems like it is, I don’t know…I don’t want to sit in a restaurant after someone’s bare ass has just sat in a chair and if you are going to walk around with a towel to cover yourself why not just wear clothes? I guess it just seems pointless to me to go to a party, take off your clothes, and then stand around doing the same thing you would be doing at a regular party.
A spellbinding anthology of creepy, twisted, and surprise-ending tales which will leave re-examining your own life and relationships.
Fleeting Chills by Joseph C. Gioconda is a spellbinding anthology of creepy, twisted, and often surprise-ending tales which will leave you wondering if you should re-examine relationships with the people you know, the places you visit, and the thoughts that you think.
Gioconda has put together an anthology of tales that range from murderous plots to contorted ghost stories with a touch of reality leaving you to question if each one is a true story, or close to one. Difficult to talk about any of the tales independently, for fear of spoiling the endings, each tale begins with a somewhat realistic or slightly conventional beginning. Many of the tales are constructed in a contemporary perspective, which lends to its plausibility. There is Jack who believes he died and has come back to find an altered life, a bone collector who acquires an original find, and a suicidal psychopath who is just “following doctor’s orders”. Also included are tales of twisted families; leaving loved ones sleeping alone in morgues, stories of spirits who come calling, and anecdotes of harrowing relationships that just don’t work.
I give this anthology four out of five stars for its ability to keep me absorbed in the irrational and often bizarre stories. Each tale is quite unique and seems to be written in such a way that the twisted endings are a true surprise. The first four or five stories are the most twisted which led to a slight amount of disappointment in some of the other tales, as the madness and absurdity was of a lesser extent than the beginning of the anthology. As a reader who enjoys the bizarre, I was looking for the intensity to increase rather than decrease. Regardless of order, this is a must read for those who love a twisted plot, some irrational characters, and completely insane endings to tales that seem realistic and quite commonplace. Being an anthology was a plus as each story could be read in a short amount of time without having to have any break in plotlines.
Welcome to the blog tour for romantic historical fiction novel, The Colour of Rain: A Kansas Courtship in Letters by author John W. Feist. Read on for details and a chance to win a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card!
The Color of Rain
Publication Date: September 1st, 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Romance/ Based on True Events
Publisher: Winter Wheat Press
Separated by a great distance in the 1890s, can a widower and a schoolteacher overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of their love and commitment? John Feist unfolds a true-love story, old-fashioned letter style, in his historical romance novel, The Color of Rain.
Handsome, well-respected local banker, now eligible bachelor, Frank Wilson is nothing less than a hot-ticket item with “the path to [his] home? a pilgrimage for unmarried women bearing casseroles.” He’s not interested in remarriage right away-except for Irene, a schoolteacher living two train connections away. A long-distance courtship commences. The lovers keep to weekly letter-writing since they barely have the chance to see each other, especially when trials and tribulations convolute their individual lives.
“Feist’s rich writing style stitches historical details, providing a seamless flow from letters-writing to narrative sections that capture everyday life’s realities amid unsettling times. A true-love historical romance that will have readers riveted to the page. Highly recommended!” -Chanticleer Reviews, five stars
Frank could not converse in the carriage Ethan Alton drove behind the green wagon to the railway station for his train home. Frank had brought Allie to the St. Joseph hospital twelve days before she died. Their family doctor had run out of anything meaningful to do or say about whatever it was that put her in bed a week before that. Between visits to her bedside, Frank had talked with the Altons about sickness and mortality until he, too, had run out of meaningful things to say. Today, the Altons did converse but accepted his silence. He looked from one side of the street to the other. A normal day. But the sun-splashed houses, buildings and people he saw were water-colored contrivances not from his world.
The Altons sat with him in the St. Joseph terminal until his train yanked him toward home, toward two sons, their thirty-seven-year-old father now widowed. Their mother would be buried beside two infant siblings in a graveyard which he was later to design as a more formal cemetery. It was now an unshaded patch of hill in the northeastern Kansas town of Horton, founded just ten years before.
The train crossed the railroad bridge over the Missouri River to the Kansas side and started to speed up its run toward Horton, putting soot into the cloudless sky. The tracks of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway would not pass such a waterway again in their transit of the vast Kansas wheat fields and prairie grasses. But, for the next three hours, Frank’s journey would be only fifty miles across wrinkled hillocks of sorghum, oat and corn fields, and over streams lined with willows and cottonwood trees. Soon farmsteads came into view that he knew by name. He had financed those farmsteads. He was banker to these farmers. Today he saw that his fields of collateral needed rain badly.
Seeing familiar crossroads and steeples brought back thoughts of the girl he fell in love with. The smile he fell in love with. Allie lived the love commandment. She held a constitutional belief in the goodness of others. She delighted in her encounters with everyone without reservation or exception. Whoever felt her smile felt improved. Frank did so daily. It was not some occasional, wordless expression to signal mood or assent. It was the emblem of her soul. Her smile was her distinctive song, regular as dawn, constant as breath.
Frank had seen life leave Allie. He had watched the swarm of nurses drift away while he stood stationed at the foot of her bed. A doctor he had never met before declared, unnecessarily, that she had expired. It hurt to hear it. It hurt to smell the still, sultry air. What exactly she died of had not been evident or ever explained. I’ll forever wonder why, he thought. No, please . . . not on the train. He stiffened. His mouth bent downward. He stifled himself. The whistle shrieked.
John W. Feist is the American author of a series of political thrillers, “Night Rain, Tokyo” (2018), “Blind Trust” (2019), and “Doubt and Debt” (2021), plus a literary novel, “Diamond Mornings” (eLectio Publishing, 2016). He is semiretired from a career in business law in California and government relations advocacy in Washington, D.C. His work experiences planted the seeds for his thrillers with their lawyer-protagonist, observations of Japanese culture, and high-stakes international business deals.
Having inherited from his mother, an Equity actor, a love of drama and literature, Feist has appeared on Washington, D.C.-area stages, and provided live audio descriptions of theatre and opera performances for The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He holds a BA in philosophy from the University of Kansas and a JD from Stanford Law School. Feist lives in Falls Church, Virginia. He has two sons and two grandchildren who live in California.
*****For any participants that do NOT like restrictions, please feel free to participate in any way you would like. It is great to read the contributions!****
Set up a timer or sit near a clock so you can keep track of the six minutes you will be writing.
You can either use one of the prompts (photo or written) or you can free-write.
Get ready and write for 6 minutes, that is it! Can you write a complete story? Can you think of a new Sonnet? Can you write 400 words? 400? 500? There are no restrictions on what kind of writing you do, but you should try to be actively writing for six minutes.
After you are done writing, include your word count and then post back to this page #Simply6Minutes or include your link in the comments section. Pingbacks are enabled.
*Feel free to leave your work completely unedited. I believe it is good to see, especially for new writers, that even very seasoned writers don’t write a perfect first draft.*
Have fun, challenge yourself if you’d like, read and respond to others’ posts.
Happy publication day to author Viola Tempest! Check out her new novel Silver Lining, and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a paperback copy of this genre-blurring book!
Publication Date: September 26th (Today🎉)
Genre: Dystopian/ Dark Romance
Tired of one-night stands and failed relationships, Marissa Sinclair sets out to change her luck by creating Silver Lining, a revolutionary contact lens that matches people with their one true love.
Like Marissa, Bethany Rose, among others, is hopeful the lens will help her find the love of her life. But soon, the perfect solution becomes her worst nightmare…
A major malfunction blurs the line between reality and disaster. Bethany, a once bright, beautiful young woman, loses touch with reality. Her life spirals out of control and leads her down a dark tunnel between madness and the consequences of gambling with her love life.
Witnessing the disturbing transformation, Thea is convinced the technology is to blame. The only problem is, no one believes her. With her desperation growing stronger and her desire to pull her friend out of the abyss, she risks everything to let the world know the truth. But will she succeed in her mission, or will the desperate all fall victim to the Zetas?
Bethany wasn’t safe though. She thought it would be easy to just forget, to just immerse herself in the fantasy world and ignore the real world, because it’s not like she was happy in it anyway. But the façade kept falling apart.
Haven didn’t have a job, so he was around her all the time. She needed space, needed to breathe, needed somebody she didn’t have to babysit or take care of.
And then when he did get a job, she wanted him back in the apartment, back in her life all the time, because they no longer spent any time together. So, he got a part-time job as a waiter, but part of her knew that wasn’t real. She didn’t know what she wanted anymore.
And then when he was at home all the time again, the cycle started all over. And he never called her out on it, just bent to her will. And the more he did, the more the logical part of her brain piped up, saying that this couldn’t be real. She was living in some sort of love-sick nightmare.
“Honey, please stop pushing me away.” Haven looked up at her from the couch. “Let me say this, no matter how much you try and push me away, I will never leave. You can’t argue your way out of this relationship by nitpicking at me. I love you too much for that.”
“But that isn’t healthy! You need to be your own person, not let me walk all over you!” Bethany finally screamed.
She heard a thump somewhere in the background, but when she tried to focus on it, she couldn’t register where it had come from. Bethany looked around herself, and her eyes fell on the remote. She walked over.
“Please, don’t hurt yourself with that anymore. You know how you feel when you turn it off,” Haven said.
She glared at him and clicked the button. The smell hit her nostrils, and Bethany screamed, trying to get the crawling bugs off her skin. She needed to turn on the lens again; she couldn’t live like this.
“Miss, open the door,” someone banged on the entrance to her apartment.
A heavy thump sounded, and a man shoulder-pounded against the door so hard that the lock broke. Bethany clicked the remote on instinct.
She managed to register the police uniform right before her world shifted, and Haven returned. Then, she saw nothing but him, sitting in the middle of the couch, smiling as the sunlight streamed through the open windows.
“What’s wrong with me?” Bethany asked.
She could feel a pressure on her arms, but she had no idea why.
“Relax, honey, you’re okay.” Haven got up and hugged her. His fingers carded through her hair.
“I’m still mad at you.”
“I know, but everything will be fine. You’ll see.”
Welcome to the blog tour for award-winning novel, Where Are We Tomorrow by Tavi Taylor Black! Read on for more info and a chance to win a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card!
Where We Are Tomorrow
Publication Date: May 31st, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction
Publisher: TouchPoint Press
Alex Evans, a thirty-six year old touring electrician, discovers through an accidental pregnancy and then the pain of miscarriage that she truly wants a family. But to attempt another pregnancy, she’ll have to change both her career and her relationship; her partner Connor, ten years her senior, isn’t prepared to become a father again.
When Alex is implicated in an accident involving the female pop star she works for, she and three other women on tour rent a house together in Tuscany. While the tour regroups, confessions are made, secrets are spilled: the guitar tech conceals a forbidden love, the production assistant’s ambition knows no limits, and the personal assistant battles mental issues.
Through arguments and accidents, combating drug use and religion, the women help each other look back on the choices they’ve made, eventually buoying each other, offering up strength to face tough decisions ahead.
Inside the concrete arena, programmed lights whirred and spun in rhythm; eleven thousand fans watched, mesmerized, as vibrant magenta and violet beams sliced through midnight black. On stage, the band regurgitated the same set as the night before, and the night before that. They’d performed the set in Mexico City and Guadalajara. As far south as Santiago and Lima. The road crew for Sadie Estrada’s Home Remedy tour knew each dip in volume, each drop in the beat. They knew exactly, down to the second, how much time it required to step outside and suck down a Marlboro. These time-zone travelers planned bathroom breaks by the songs’ measures; no one missed a cue to mute the stage mics, to hand out room-temp bottled water for set breaks, to pull up house lights.
Behind heavy velvet curtains, separated from the frenzied pace of the show, Alex unscrewed the cover of a moving light to expose the core: circuit boards and capacitors, motors connected to color wheels. Deep bass, feedback, and the fevered pitch of collective voices penetrated the curtain, the familiar, almost comforting reverberations of life on the road. Alex continued her diagnosis, removing the light harness as a mother removes a soiled diaper— routinely, with a touch of tenderness. While she located and replaced the broken part, she kept an ear to the music, alert to the final measure of the set, ready to repack her multi-wheeled toolbox, move on to the next city, set up again.
Alex ran the light through all its functions, testing and retesting once she’d replaced the gobo wheel. The body of the light panned and tilted, working fine. A small victory.
“Sure you know what you’re doing, little lady?” Alex turned at the familiar voice of the tour’s production manager.
“Funny,” she said. “Very original. For that, you get to help me put it away.” Alex waited for another barb, one about her not being able to lift the seventy pounds by herself, but Joe simply helped her flip and crate the unit, a harder task for him at 5’2” than it was for Alex, a good five inches taller.
The arena crackled in anticipation of the show’s climax. Thousands of voices swelled and surged, a unified congregation. The body of the moving light settled into the carved Styrofoam, and Alex tucked its tail inside the handle. As she slammed the case shut, Joe’s laminate got caught inside the box, and he was jerked down by the lanyard around his neck. He freed the latches and yanked it clear, smoothing the wrinkles from the photo of his two young children, a wallet-sized clipping he’d taped behind his backstage pass. Joe caught Alex eyeing the photo.
“When are you gonna give in and pop out a few yourself?” Joe asked.
Alex breathed slowly, letting a brief sadness settle into her body, though her face wore a practiced, blank expression. She gestured into the smothering dark, into the roar of the crowd and sweat-filled air. “And give up all this?”
Tavi Black lives on an island near Seattle where she designs sets for the ballet, works as the tour manager for a musical mantra group, and has founded an anti-domestic violence non-profit organization. Before earning an MFA from Lesley University, Tavi spent 14 years touring with rock bands. Several of Tavi’s short stories have been shortlisted for prizes, including Aesthetica Magazine’s Competition, and the Donald Barthelme Prize for Short Prose.