No Such Luck by Staci Troilo~ #Contemporary Romance Fiction ~ #Review ~ @stacitroilo

Seeds of luck usually wither. The rare one grows and blooms.


Piper Seidel has one thing going for her—a red carnation given to her by Tommy Burnett in the tenth grade. It might have dried over the years, but it’s still her good luck charm. Losing it sets her life in a downward spiral, forcing her to return to her hometown where she comes face to face with her high school crush.


The years have been kind to Tommy, who looks better than ever. Unfortunately, Piper is at her worst, continually embarrassing herself whenever he’s around. The only plus? Her long-time friend, Jack Rhodes, still lives in town. Since she last saw him, his legs have grown longer, his biceps thicker, and his shoulders broader. He was always the brother she never had, but now she can’t help noticing him in an unsisterly way. Jack is every bit as caring as he’s ever been—until her bad luck drives him away, maybe forever.

Piper needs a new good luck charm, and fast, before she loses her final chance at happiness.

Our Review

It was the title of this book that attracted me, mainly because when it comes to luck, it always seems to run out when it gets to be my turn! I am ever searching for a HEA, so I thought it would make a change to read about someone else’s misadventures and I am really glad I did!

No Such Luck is the first of the new Keystone Couples Series, beautifully written and totally romantic and if all the stories that follow are like this one, they should do very well!

Tuesday Teaser ~ His Ladyship by Stevie Turner ~ #Family Life Fiction @StevieTurner6

This extraordinary story is my book of choice this week. (and I’m loving every minute!)

Book Description

Norman Wicks is 57, overweight, and has diabetes. He is sick of his life. He has never left home, had a girlfriend, or held down any kind of job. The only friends he has are online, as he prefers to stay in the comfort zone of his bedroom. His devoted 92 year old mother Agnes waits on him hand and foot.

Norman has a secret he has kept hidden from the world for the majority of his life, but now he is desperate to bring it out into the open. He is terrified of how his family will react. However, for his own happiness and peace of mind, Norman must find a way to tell his mother and siblings exactly what they do not want to hear.

HIS LADYSHIP reached the finals and the Longlist of the 2021 Page Turner Awards.

Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner is a British author of romantic suspense, humour, paranormal stories, and women’s fiction family dramas. She is a cancer survivor, and still lives in the same picturesque Suffolk village that she and husband Sam moved to in 1991 with their two boys. Those two boys have now grown, and she and Sam have 5 lovely grandchildren.

One of her short stories, ‘Lifting the Black Dog’, was published in ‘1000 Words or Less Flash Fiction Collection’ (2016). Her screenplay ‘For the Sake of a Child’ won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival, and her novel ‘A House Without Windows’ gained interest in 2017 from De Coder Media, an independent film production company based in New York. ‘Finding David’ reached the quarter-finals of the 2019 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Competition. https://writers.coverfly.com/profile/writer-d3b3affc7-6104#accolades

To quote reader Roberta Baden-Powell, ‘I’m looking forward to reading your new book, and find your books the best so far. The style you write in has given me a new perspective and a renewed inspiration in reading once again.’

You can find out more about Stevie from her website http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk or by reading her WordPress blog http://www.steviet3.wordpress.com

Stevie can be contacted at the following email address: stevie@stevie-turner-author.co.uk

Review to follow…





New Release: No Such Luck by Staci Troilo #Contemporary Romance Fiction @stacitroilo

I have started reading Staci’s new book and loving every word, but couldn’t wait to tell everyone about it! My review will follow in due course…

Piper Seidel has one thing going for her—a red carnation given to her by Tommy Burnett in the tenth grade. It might have dried over the years, but it’s still her good luck charm. Losing it sets her life in a downward spiral, forcing her to return to her hometown where she comes face to face with her high school crush.


The years have been kind to Tommy, who looks better than ever. Unfortunately, Piper is at her worst, continually embarrassing herself whenever he’s around. The only plus? Her long-time friend, Jack Rhodes, still lives in town. Since she last saw him, his legs have grown longer, his biceps thicker, and his shoulders broader. He was always the brother she never had, but now she can’t help noticing him in an unsisterly way. Jack is every bit as caring as he’s ever been—until her bad luck drives him away, maybe forever.

Piper needs a new good luck charm, and fast, before she loses her final chance at happiness.

Dead of Winter ~ Journey 10 ~ Pergesca ~ Review

Dead of Winter: Journey 10, Pergesca” resumes outside the Lost Library, where Hallgeir was faced with a decision that could impact the entire world.
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Lucetius is gravely wounded when he attempts to deliver a message. Emlyn, Zasha, and Osabide are again separated from all their friends. The Three must continue their journey without assistance or protection from the other travellers. They must reach the faraway city of Pergesca. That is also the seat of power of the ancient Society of Deae Matres. Will the companions eventually be reunited?
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A vicious enemy returns, displaying unexpected strength.
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An important character dies in this novelette. The death of a character is a rare thing in stories written by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene.

Our Review

This enthralling story is gathering pace, and although things do seem promising, I doubt there can be a totally happy conclusion as there are too many opposing forces at work here.

Emlyn, in her innocence, cannot hope to compete with all the forces of evil that surround her.

Or can she?

The mysterious force that guides her is her only help. Thankfully, her companions have stopped treating her as a child, dismissing her adventures and intuitions, as they have begun to realise that a strong and powerful presence is guiding her.

Watching the fall of Haldis, someone I never completely trusted (I was with Emlyn with this one) I was impressed with the way the author handled this extraordinarily complex situation.

Throughout the episodes already visited and enjoyed, I have been enthralled, entertained and patient, waiting for the story to reveal its secrets, but as we near the end, the tension is becoming unbearable.

I need to know who or what is guiding Emlyn…

#Thursday Throwback ~ Review for Examining Kitchen Cupboards by Stevie Turner @StevieTurner6

Jill Hayes discovers that not all is as it seems in her new post as a college examinations administrator. When she turns whistle-blower and tries to report her findings to the authorities, she is horrified to discover that some people will stop at nothing to ensure her silence.

Our Review

Starting a new job is always fraught with tension, you worry whether you will be liked, and more importantly, are you able to convince them of your competence?

Jill Hayes is met with total disdain from her new superior, so when she questions something that doesn’t seem right, she is met with hostility on many levels.

If you discover something is wrong, could you be a whistle-blower, or would you hope that someone else would do it instead?

This story has it all, corruption and greed, and an interesting cast of fascinating and true to life characters. Although Examining Kitchen Cupboards is a work of fiction at its finest, you could be forgiven for thinking it seems far too real to be comfortable, and I’m sure some of it must be based on fact, which of course, makes it all the more chilling…

About the Author

Stevie Turner is a British author of suspense, paranormal, women’s fiction family dramas, and darkly humorous novels. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and ‘A House Without Windows’ gained the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017. Some of Stevie’s books have been translated into German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

Stevie can be contacted at the following email address: stevie@stevie-turner-author.co.uk
On her website http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk you can find a free suspense novella to read so that you can check out her writing style. You can also find her blog at the following link: http://www.steviet3.wordpress.com and you can sign up to her mailing list at http://eepurl.com/dvNklL

Linda… new hair, new date…

We had some brilliant feedback yesterday for the first episode of Anita’s serial, so thank you all for that.

Here is episode two, so we are looking forward to reading your comments!

The book I brought yesterday kept me up past my usual lights out of eleven pm. It was twelve thirty before I could put it down. The writer has a soft, gentle way of writing that pulls you in on every page. I wanted to know what will happen to the girl and her baby. That’s quite enough of that, or I will want to stay home and read some more.

I am taking the car, after a light breakfast of Rice Krispies. I check the post, just five birthday cards, as I have no family to speak of and few friends. Parking the car in my allotted space, I wondered what I would find upstairs. Would they have remembered my birthday?

I decide on brunette for my hair, in Stella’s across the road from Holland publishing. I can see the shop from my window and have been there twice for a shampoo and trim.

Entering my office space, I saw the envelopes on my desk. Terence arrived with coffee and a cupcake with a lit candle. Stopping in front of me, he said, ‘make a wish,’ with a big grin on his face. I wished for him to have a good life. I know, goody two shoes!

Like I said he’s a good egg. Birthday wishes over with; I find a note on my desk. The boss wants to see me. My guess, it was about Wednesdays meeting. Wants to give me his final pep talk. Well, okay, it is my birthday, I will be kind. Let him believe I am hearing it for the first time. that done, I pick up a file I had forgotten yesterday and put it in my bag.

I had time for a quick sketch of the fire fairy for page five of the new children’s book. Somehow, looking at it, made me think of the last date I had. The cinema, drinks after, that’s when he turned into an octopus. Too many hands had me running to the hills.

That was the beginning of last year, about ten months ago. Enough of that, today my year begins again.

Checking the time, I gather my cards. ‘I’m off, guys. Thanks again for the cards and cupcake.’

Opening the door of Stella’s let out a waft of hair spray, a warm sweet smell. Stella greeted me, ‘Come sit down, Linda. I hear it is your birthday. Carol will see to you today.’

I had barely sat down when they burst into singing happy birthday and another cupcake. This time the wish was for me. I can’t tell you what it was, or it won’t come true. I will let you know if it does. Picking my new colour from her colour range, my transformation began. Carol was quick and nimble fingered. Before I knew it, my hair was being blow dried and I was ready to go home. I liked my new colour, and everyone agreed that it suited me. Making my way back across the road to my car, my footsteps felt lighter.

There is a message on my answer phone. Someone I hadn’t heard from in a decade. Brian, an old flame from school. I listened to the message more times than was necessary. Should I agree to meet him at the Horse and Crown? He had, after all, remembered to wish me a happy birthday. Would I recognise him after all this time? What did I remember about him? Not much, which might be good or bad. He said eight I clock, so I have time to think about it. In the end I decide it would be a good test of my new look.

Would he recognise me? It was a pub, so I decided on my navy trouser suit, cream camisole, navy sling backs with four-inch heels.

We recognise each other without too much trouble. Turns out four inches was the best choice as it put us eye to eye. Save my six-inch heels for a better date.

Now that’s unkind, he might surprise me.

I will let you know tomorrow…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Linda: looking for love…

I have a small star shaped scar on my forearm.

I have been told over the years by many psychics, it’s a deliberate stabbing from a former life. Now, unless they are all reading from the same handbooks for psychics, I have to wonder.

I wish it wasn’t three in the morning, staring at a light spot on my ceiling where the curtains have been disturbed. The empty space beside me, a reminder of being alone. I turn 33 tomorrow. Colleagues at work tell me there is still time to find the one I am so fussy to find.

With luck I may get a few hours sleep. I turn over and try.

Nightmares bleed into morning, I know, because I am screaming.

The nightmare told me I had planted the seed of my own destruction, minutes before conception. I can only hope it’s a long way off.

Standing in front of my hall mirror, I can see I need a do over. My mousy brown hair turning grey, making my eyes look too dark, almost as if I am trying to haunt someone. The rest of me is not so bad. Five foot six, full lips, small nose. My figure is much the same as when I was in my twenties. I don’t tend to pile on the weight, nine stone is comfortable for me.

This morning I will cycle to work, as I feel the need for danger.

The ride to work went better than usual, only one angry driver with his hand on the horn, a face the colour of a beetroot. Poor man, I hope he calms down soon, I wouldn’t want him to blow a gasket.

Today, I cheated. I zipped down the bus lane getting into work ten minutes early in time for coffee. We are not a big publisher, I am an illustrator working until two in the afternoon, then I work from home if I feel like it.

Terence is in early, a good egg, does all the fetching and carrying. Wouldn’t think there is much of that would you, well there is always reams of paper that need cutting. Maggie takes care of the phone and Tom comes in two days a week. The boss sits behind his big glass door, the need to see him slim, as things don’t go wrong that often. Terry, our other illustrator comes in about ten, works until five and doesn’t like to work from home.

I remember to make an appointment for my hair, a birthday gift from me to me. I wonder if it will make me look and feel different, maybe the dream world won’t recognise me and give me better dreams and no nightmares.

My hair appointment all booked for 2.30 on Tuesday.

Waiting for me on my desk, I find the three children’s books which I knew about, plus a folder about a new client that wants to meet with me. “Wednesday lunch, bring your pad and pencil to the Silver Spoon on the corner of the street.”  Peter Westwood, his name didn’t ring bells.

The rest of my day flew by. I decide to try not to upset any motorists on the way home. I stop off at a Spar to find something for my tea, where I also pick up a book. Pretty Baby, by Mary Kubica. I will let you know how that goes when I have read it.

Safe inside my home, I finish off the work I brought with me. Make tea, take a shower and settle down with the book…

See you tomorrow…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Dead of Winter ~ Journey 9 ~ Doors of Attunement #Fantasy @teagangeneviene

In this ninth installment Emlyn, Osabide, and Fotia (in Zasha’s body) traveled to a third world, so little known that it is only called the Other Realm. They hope to restore Zasha. Will Fotia willingly relinquish her new life in a young body? There the trio meet unpredictable, but vastly powerful beings known as the Listeners. One of them is a new enemy. Another might be friend or foe. Either way, he is dangerous.
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Arawn has grown stronger. An army of the dead gathers near the Lost Library. Hallgeir faces one of the biggest decisions of his life.
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Journey with our travelers. Adventure awaits.

Our Thoughts

In the Other Realm, Emlyn and her friends are faced with three doors, all very different, but none inviting. It would seem they must choose one, but should they be opened? Taking an enormous risk, they choose to open the second door and meet a strange creature who warns them of the risks they face. But is he telling the truth?

So many questions in this journey, so many dangerous decisions to make. Emlyn begins to lead the way, her newfound confidence and trust in her own instincts shining like a beacon.

I loved the part when Emlyn is drawn to the mysterious staircase. Something compels her to climb the crumbling steps that seem to lead nowhere and discovers more about this world and her powers.

Was she right to trust her instincts, or is she being beguiled by Arawn?

With each journey, this story gets more and more delightfully complicated. I take my hat off to the author’s incredible imagination for creating this amazing world!

The Castle by Anne Montgomery ~ #Review ~ @amontgomery8

Ancient ruins, haunted memories, and a ruthless criminal combine with a touch of mystic presence in this taut mystery about a crime we all must address.

Blurb

Maggie, a National Park Ranger of Native American descent, is back at The Castle—a six-hundred-year-old pueblo carved into a limestone cliff in Arizona’s Verde Valley. Maggie, who suffers from depression, has been through several traumas: the gang rape she suffered while in the Coast Guard, the sudden death of her ten-year-old son, and a suicide attempt.

One evening, she chases a young Native American boy through the park and gasps as he climbs the face of The Castle cliff and disappears into the pueblo. When searchers find no child, Maggie’s friends believe she’s suffering from depression-induced hallucinations.

Maggie has several men in her life. The baker, newcomer Jim Casey, who always greets her with a warm smile and pink boxes filled with sweet delicacies. Brett Collins, a scuba diver who is doing scientific studies in Montezuma Well, a dangerous cylindrical depression that houses strange creatures found nowhere else on Earth. Dave, an amiable waiter with whom she’s had a one-night stand, and her new boss Glen.

One of these men is a serial rapist and Maggie is his next target.

In a thrilling and terrifying denouement, Maggie faces her rapist and conquers her worst fears once and for all.

Anne Montgomery

Biography

Anne Butler Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. Her first TV job came at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, and led to positions at WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, and ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter. She finished her on‐camera broadcasting career with a two‐year stint as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery was a freelance and/or staff reporter for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archaeological pieces. Her previous novels are A Light in the Desert, The Scent of Rain, and Wild Horses on the Salt. Montgomery taught journalism and communications at South Mountain High School in Phoenix for 20 years. She is a foster mom to three sons, and spent 40 years officiating amateur sports, including football, baseball, ice hockey, soccer, and basketball. When she can, she indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, musical theater, and playing her guitar.

Contact Information

602.275.6064

annemontgomeryauthor@gmail.com

Excerpt of The Castle

“Holy crap!” Maggie dropped the phone. Someone peered from outside the darkened window. A child. Big eyes in a bronze face. “Hey! You can’t….” But the boy—nine maybe ten—disappeared. She heard a laugh, a light tinkling sound like tiny brass bells on the breeze.

Maggie scrambled for the phone, punched in the number, and made her report. Then she grabbed a flashlight from under the counter and bolted out the back door of the Visitor Center.

A half-moon lit the concrete trail. There was no sign of the boy. The wind pushed through massive Arizona Sycamores, their star-shaped leaves fluttered, the sound mimicking a stream rushing over small river rocks. Maggie rushed down the path. Her Nikes would have served her better than the brown ankle boots that were part of her uniform.

The laughter came again, this time from the wild land amidst the rocks—huge slabs of fractured white limestone that over the centuries had tumbled down the escarpment. Striving to avoid the vicious prickly pear that dotted the slope and the jagged pieces of stone that could slice skin like a honed blade, Maggie left the safety of the trail and pushed past the mesquite and pungent creosote bushes toward the base of the cliff, boots crunching on the rocky rubble that littered the ground.

Her gaze drifted up the sheer stone wall to The Castle, a prehistoric edifice almost iridescent in the moonlight. She could make out the small windows and even ancient logs that jutted from the structure, all of which had been felled and carted up the cliff face many hundreds of years earlier.

Maggie gasped. To her horror, she saw the boy ascending the wall. She flashed on the day she’d scaled the precipice with archaeology students from New Mexico State University. A seasoned climber, she was comfortable in the harness and helmet, but the ladders were touchy. The feel of rock beneath her hands and feet provided a much more solid sense of security. But there were no ladders propped against the ragged limestone now, nor was the child dressed in any protective gear. In fact, he didn’t appear to be wearing clothes at all.

Frozen, she watched the boy mount the wall like an animal, arms and legs working with almost preternatural ease. Then Maggie saw the child hoist himself over the ledge before he disappeared into the cave that held The Castle in its belly.

At six-foot-three, Jess Sorenson towered over her friend. She folded the slim spiral notebook and tucked the pad into the back pocket of her uniform pants. Like Maggie, Jess sported a gray button-down short-sleeve shirt and forest green slacks. But Jess was a National Park Service Law Enforcement officer, so she also wore a sidearm.

“You don’t believe me.” Maggie slumped into a desk chair in the office at the Montezuma Castle Visitor Center.

“Look, sweetie…”

Maggie glared.

“I’m just saying that we’ve had a search team out here for,” Jess checked her watch, “five hours now. And they’ve found nothing. And you have to admit….”

“They think I’m still crazy, right?” Maggie jumped from the chair and paced the room, a palm pressed against her forehead.

“I didn’t say that, but….” Jess creased her brow. “You know I have to ask.”

“No, I’m no longer medicated, if that’s what you’re curious about.” Maggie turned toward the east-facing windows of the Visitor Center, where the morning sun had yet to offer even a hint of illumination.

Jess nodded and reached again for the notebook. She jotted the information in blue ink, stuck the pen in her breast pocket, and ran her fingers through short, shockingly white hair. “Maybe you need some more time off,” she said softly.

Maggie closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. “I know what I saw.”

Jess stared for a long time. “I believe you. But the other guys….” She spread her hands wide.

“I have to work, Jess. Sitting around is doing me no good. I just think too much when I’m alone. When I’m here, I feel better. I can’t go back to the house.”

“I know.” Jess perched on the corner of a nearby desk. “So, what do you want to do? Should we file a report with the local authorities? Ask if any young boys are missing?”

“They’ll send me home.”

“They might.”

“But what if a child is out there injured?” Maggie pointed toward The Castle, unable stop tears from spilling down her cheeks.

“Do you think the child was hurt?”

Maggie blew out a breath and closed her eyes. She pictured the boy scaling the wall like one of the ubiquitous brown lizards that scampered among the rocks, his tinkling laughter playing on the breeze. Suddenly the memory seemed wrong. How could the vision be real? She stared at Jess, frowned, and collapsed into a chair.

Jess got up, walked over to Maggie, and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “I’m gonna call the guys off. Let’s get you to bed.”

Maggie lifted her head and peered from bleary eyes. “What about the report?”

“I think we need to err on the side of caution and tell the local folks, just in case. But maybe we can make it sound not so….”

“Crazy?” Maggie finished the sentence.

“Come on, now.”

Maggie allowed Jess to help her from the chair. Then she picked up the straw-colored hat with the flat brim and dark leather band that symbolized her profession. Her job was all that mattered now. By making the report Maggie was putting her employment at risk. But what if a child was lost or injured, and they stopped the search because she chose to say nothing? Maggie couldn’t live with that.

Maggie dragged herself from bed. After slipping on a pair of khaki shorts and an overly large navy-blue T-shirt bearing the words Plant Lady: I dig dirt, she made a cup of instant coffee, heavily laced with sugar and milk.

Maggie pushed through the screen door to the tiny porch that fronted her one-bedroom apartment, let the door snap shut behind her, and placed the steaming mug on a round wrought iron table. She’d slept until noon—not a surprise considering her run in with the boy/spirit/hallucination—so the sun was directly overhead. Birds chattered noisily in the surrounding bushes and trees. A speckled brown and white roadrunner, who sprinted about the grounds frequently and exhibited little fear of humans, tilted his head as she sat at the table, then went back to pecking among the rocks in a search for insects and lizards.

The apartment, one of several in a tidy row, sat on National Park land, just a short walk from The Castle. One of the benefits of being a National Park Ranger was the opportunity to live at work. Maggie had recently requested one of the simple flats—a bedroom, kitchenette, tiny living room, and bath—because the thought of returning to her house on Beaver Creek was overwhelming. Memories lingered there, once vibrant and joyful, now nothing but dust and shadow, thoughts that clawed at her gut like a small rodent anxious to eat its way out. She fingered the ragged scars that bisected her wrists—cuts that were partially concealed by a pair of colorful tattoos—then stared at the cerulean blue of the high desert sky.

Maggie, who’d grown up in the bulging metropolis of Phoenix, Arizona, had enjoyed the small-town feel of the Beaver Creek area, which encompassed the communities of Lake Montezuma, Rimrock, and McGuireville. On the way home from The Castle, she’d pass Vickie’s Grill—where a sign proclaimed you could get good home cooking—the Feed Store, and Candy’s Creek Side Cottage with its colorful kitschy décor that always made her smile. Further down the road stood the Montezuma-Rim Rock Fire Department, the town post office, and the most popular spot in town, Flora’s Bakery, where indescribably delicious confections came in pink boxes tied with twine. Then Maggie would turn onto the unpaved, dusty lane with the long row of metal mailboxes, mostly black and white and green, some with their red flags at attention, signaling mail within. Maggie’s was the fourth box from the right, turquoise with white flowers and a yellow butterfly that Charlie had insisted on.

Her tiny house was embraced by an ancient Arizona Sycamore, some of the tree’s branches having kissed the earth untold years earlier, after which they’d rebounded into the high desert sky, massive in their height and breadth. She’d felt connected to the tree with the mottled skin—pale green, brown, and white—cool to the touch, verdant star-shaped leaves. She couldn’t wrap her arms completely around the trunk, though she’d tried.

Charlie had loved the tree. Maggie stopped worrying as he’d grown older, no longer concerned that the boy might fall from the enormous limbs.

Bits of Charlie’s life assaulted her as she sipped her coffee. A hand-painted wooden frame clutching a picture of the two of them, smiling on a hike when he was six. A small pair of boots, laces untied, caked with dried red mud. The collection of minerals on the bedside table, including the strange geometrically-shaped white rocks called pseudomorphs, they’d found sifting through the sandy bottom of the open-pit salt mine in Camp Verde.

Maggie forced the thoughts away, not wanting to think about the house she still owned but dared not enter. For six months she’d stayed away. Jess periodically checked on the property and picked up the mail. Maggie continued to pay the mortgage, but the water and electricity had long since been turned off.

A half an hour and two cups of coffee later, Maggie stared at a Queen butterfly that rested on the wooden porch railing. The creature lazily opened and closed white-spotted orange and black wings, and flitted to a nearby patch of milkweed.

Maggie jumped, startled by the sound of a vehicle. A late model green Jeep Wrangler pulled to a stop in front of the last apartment in the complex. A tall man wearing a Colorado Rockies baseball cap unfolded himself from the driver’s seat and spoke into a cellphone as he slammed the door. He ended the call and slipped the phone into his back pocket. Then, he opened the rear of the vehicle and hoisted a large silver cylinder to his shoulder. His phone rang.

“What!” He walked up the wooden steps to the apartment. “I’ll call you back.” He put the cylinder on the porch floor and fumbled with a key.

Maggie recognized the object, strangely incongruous in the desert. It was a scuba tank.

Our Review

The author has dedicated The Castle to all survivors of sexual violence, which has to be the worst abuse every woman fears.

Maggie is back at work as a Park Ranger, trying to lead a normal life after a rape ordeal. That’s if life and her memories will let her.

She meets many men in her job, and they all make her feel uncomfortable. How can she know who to trust?

Like Brett Collins, a serious scuba diver that she is assigned to assist. He seems decent enough and doesn’t even flirt with her. Her boss Glen, Jim Casey the baker and Dave the good looking, dark haired waiter, they all seem harmless, but try as she might, the thought that she could be in danger again will not leave her be.

I loved the way I learned more about the rapist as the story developed, all while I was trying to guess who he was. It was as if once I knew, then he would be caught and punished before anything bad happened!

The author tried hard with the sympathy card, but I couldn’t feel sorry for the serial rapist, sorry.

I also loved the history of the ancient ruins and the thread of mystery throughout the story, which did help to balance the pervading evil.

I cannot say I enjoyed reading this story, due to the subject matter, but it is brilliantly written and plotted, and I didn’t manage to guess who the rapist was until the very end!

Dead of Winter ~ Journey 8 ~ The Lost Library ~ Review ~ @teagangeneviene

Throughout the previous volumes the fantasy aspect of this epic has gradually built. In Journey 8, that fantastical element comes to the fore.
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Emlyn and her companions search for the fabled Lost Library. The entire world is at risk, so they hope answers will be there. However, a new complication arises and the fate of one Deae Matres hangs in the balance.
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Meanwhile Arawn, who tore the Veil between the worlds of the living and dead, tries to make an evil alliance with a long dead king who was known for his ruthlessness.
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Remove the limits from your imagination and join Emlyn and company on this extraordinary adventure.

Dead of Winter Journey 8

This story moves on to another part of this intriguing world and opens with Emlyn and her companions Zasha and Hallgeir exploring the newly found Library, trying to find out why Osabide and two of members of the Deae Matre have disappeared. And as this magical Library seems enormous, not an easy task.

When Hallgeir reappears, he brings with him the ancient watcher, Haldis.

The one who has been watching their progress all this time. Was she the reason they were here? Or the reason the library had vanished all those years ago?

As Haldis recounts her story, Emlyn was reminded of the magic that linked them. But whose side was the magic on, and did it still have plans for them all?

Emlyn grows uneasy as she listens to their conversations and the decision that involves herself, realising that they are deciding her future and that of her own special gift.

Ripples of unease and mistrust begin to circulate, were they all being manipulated into making the biggest mistake of their lives?

I cannot wait for the next journey!