Friday, May 19, 2017

NEW RELEASE ~ Trusting Tanner by Lexi Lawton w/ Giveaway

Trusting Tanner

by Lexi Lawton 
The Collins Brothers #1
Publication Date: May 8, 2017 
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Embrace, Contemporary, Romance


Tanner Collins is the embodiment of perfection—tall, dark, sinfully sexy—and completely out of Juliana Shea’s league. Knowing she’d never survive a repeat of her last disastrous relationship, she parks Tanner firmly in the friend zone. But man, he’s hard to resist.

Juliana is exactly what Tanner wants, and he’s determined to win her over with his kindness and humor… But one night—a night he can’t even remember—threatens to take it all away.

With the flick of a “send” button, their hope for a future together is shattered. But Tanner isn’t the type to give up on what he wants—and he wants Juliana.



Amazon US / UK / CA / AU / Paperback

B&N / Kobo / iTunes


Heart racing, she straddled him. His stomach clenched slightly, and his eyes darkened, but he didn’t move. He lay exactly as he had been, and he watched her. Was it possible to orgasm from a look? Because she was damn close to the edge. “You’re going to be a great doctor.” She rested her hands on his abs.
“Why do you say that?”
“Because you have a way of calming people. You can’t teach that kind of bedside manner.”
“Is that so?” He moved his hand from his chest to her thigh, rubbing his fingers in swirly motions, which were anything but innocent. Sensations ricocheted inside her.
“Mm-hmm. You’re also ridiculously hot.” She eased the hem of his shirt up until her hands found bare skin. “Seriously. How does anyone get a body like this?” It was absolute perfection.
“I go to the gym every day.”
She tilted her head. “You do?” Of course he did. She felt sort of foolish for not knowing that.
“What does any of that have to do with me being a good doctor?” His hand moved up her thigh, his thumb coming dangerously close to her sex.
She held her breath, waiting to see if he’d touch her. When he didn’t, she exhaled slowly, trying—and failing—to ignore the intense throbbing between her legs. “Because your residency will be like a real-life version of Grey’s Anatomy. The female doctors and nurses will be all over you. They’ll probably nickname you Dr. McSexy Abs.”
He roared with laughter, and it vibrated through her in all the right places. She bit on her lip to keep from moaning. But she couldn’t stop herself from pressing down on him, letting his length settle snuggly between her thighs.
“Dr. McSexy Abs, huh?” His eyes danced with amused delight, stealing her breath and turning her bones to mush. It was a damn miracle she was able to sit upright. But that look right there, that’s how she wanted him to always look at her. With honesty and desire and respect. Like she was the only woman in the world.
“Yup. There will be more hooking up than healing patients.”
“Oh really?” He propped himself on his elbows, bringing his torso upright and his face within inches of hers. His stomach muscles rippled and tightened beneath her palms, and she dragged her hands up over his pecs and hard nipples, causing him to groan. An unexpected zap of pleasure shot straight to her core. “Wanna know a secret?” he whispered in a deep, raspy bedroom voice. 


Playlist for Trusting Tanner
Lexi Lawton

One of my favorite things to learn about other authors is what’s on their writing playlist. And I totally geek out when I get to the end of a book and there’s a playlist that corresponds to specific scenes. I will find the song and listen to it while re-reading whatever scene or chapter it’s been matched with, and I’m always in awe of how perfect the music and the words go together. 
Unfortunately, I’m not that cool. Lol. Yes, I love to listen to music while I write, but I can’t ever pair one song with one scene/chapter. I don’t know why… Maybe it’s because I’m so easily distracted. Or maybe because I know I would agonize over finding that one perfect song that I would never actually write any words. So, I tend to listen to specific artists or genres that help set the mood. Here are the top 5 musical inspirations for Trusting Tanner…
Luke Bryan – I can listen to anything by this man. His voice is so soothing and just makes me happy. It’s an added bonus that he has some fantastic love songs. 
Lady Antebellum – They have a great mix of slow love songs and faster “pop” style songs. Their new one, “You Look Good” is amazing!
Anything from the 80s – Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Journey, Poison. 
“Say Something” by A Great Big World – I listened to this song on repeat while writing the big black moment. 
Twenty-One Pilots –My 12-year-old daughter is a HUGE fan, and I recently took her to see them in concert for her birthday. Wanting to be able to actually enjoy the concert I was spending big bucks on, I figured I might as well start listening to some of their stuff. I was surprised by how much I liked it! They’ll more than likely have a permanent place on future playlists. 
What are some of your favorite artists / songs to listen to while writing?  


  Born and raised in Central New York, Lexi Lawton is an only child who found companionship in books. When she was old enough to put pen to paper, she began writing her own stories of love, suspense, and heartbreak. She hasn’t stopped since. Represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency, Lexi is actively pursuing her dreams of publication. Today, Lexi lives in Michigan with her husband, three kids, three pit bulls, and two cats. When she’s not writing, she enjoys going to the gym, spending time with her family and friends, and obsessively listening to anything by Luke Bryan.

  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon Author Profile


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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ahe'ey by Jamie Le Fay w/ Giveaway

Ange’el Series
Book One
Jamie Le Fay

Genre: Epic Fantasy Romance
Date of Publication / Book Release Date: 8th March 2017
ISBN-10: 0646969188
ISBN-13: 978-0646969183
Number of pages: 625 paperback
Word Count: 155190
Cover Artist: Milan Jovanovic


Morgan’s feminist books didn’t prepare her to deal with the dashing Gabriel and the land of Ahe’ey

Book Description:

"A thoughtful look at empowerment for women."

"A rollicking trip into a fantasy world complete with dragons, love and strength, and ideas that really get you thinking."

"Highly recommended for all ages."

Morgan is a dreamer, change maker and art lover. She is a feisty, slightly preachy, romantic feminist full of contradictions and insecurities. Morgan uncovers a world where women have the power, and where magic is no longer just a figment of her wild imagination. Sounds like a dream, but it may, in fact, turn into a nightmare.

The world of the Ahe'ey challenges and subverts her views about gender, genes, and nature versus nurture.

The strong and uninvited chemistry between her and the dashing Gabriel makes matters even more complicated. His stunning looks keep short-circuiting her rational mind.

Books2Read  /  Amazon  /  BN  /  iTunes  /  Kobo


"She believed in magic—the magic of places, the magic of people, the magic of coincidences, serendipity, and fortune. She enjoyed wandering through the world with the open mind and curiosity of a four-year-old child. In her world the mystical, mythical, and magical inhabited the same space and time as the ordinary and the practical. At Bethesda Terrace, she always felt close to a source of magic and creativity. It was as if she were tapping into the place where dragons, angels, gods, sorceresses, and demons came to life."

"She killed him instantly. The young woman plunged her hand into his wound and licked the blood. Once again, she dipped her hand into the blood and used four fingers to paint stripes on her face. Sky’s defiant eyes locked on Iblis."

"Debilitating guilt crushed Gabriel every time he interacted with Morgan. The Ange’el’s affection for the human was weakening his mandate to control her movements and influence her decisions. His task was, once again, to deceive and manipulate. He seemed destined to betray the confidence of those he held most dear."

“You know, it would be much less trouble if you were willing to bat your magic eyelashes.”

"Young Sathian was flirtatious, titillating, quick-witted, and brilliant. He left a trail of broken hearts across the land as he teased and taunted his victims with his beauty and charm. Both women and men succumbed to his joie de vivre and panache as he was an untypical Ange’el that carried the sunshine in his smile and in his eyes."


"A bracing mix of emotionally and intellectually honest fantasy." - Kirkus Reviews

"This book is a thoughtful look at empowerment for women. At the same time, it’s a rollicking trip into a fantasy world complete with dragons, love and strength, and ideas that really get you thinking. This book is highly recommended for all ages." - HUGEOrange

"They're flawed, real, and honest characters that can be easily related to. Ahe'ey is the kind of novel society needs to read, to create inspiration and to make people think. Ahe'ey is daring, complex, and honest. A must-read novel that tackles heavy and real topics with a mix of serious and humorous, charm and tragedy." - Reader's Favorite - 5 Star Review

"Ahe’ey contains a richly imagined world that raises complicated and timely questions about our own.

Jamie Le Fay’s Ahe’ey is an action-packed love story that puts forth a nuanced vision of gender stereotypes, body politics, and the dark side of seeking perfection." - Foreword Clarion - 4 Star Review

About the Author:

Jamie is an accomplished writer and speaker that focuses mainly on topics related to girlhood, feminism, gender equality, and the misrepresentation of minorities in media and marketing.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

For Beau: The Sarah Ashdown Story by Simon Gandossi

For Beau: The Sarah Ashdown Story 
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Release Date: December 15th 2016

The ground shook with each bomb that fell on London. The night sky lit up, and the sounds of gunfire overwhelmed the city as our brave men fought back. It took so many bombs to fall on this great city to make the Germans realize that England could not be defeated. It took just one bomb to make one woman realize her true destiny. 

Sarah Ashdown's insurmountable guilt and remorse over the death of a young girl sets in motion one of the most unbelievable stories of World War II. An ordinary housewife who defied the odds to become one of the most wanted women in occupied Europe, her story of determination and courage will shock and inspire those who read it.


Simon Gandossi is a historical fiction author who was born and raised in Western Australia. From an early age, Simon discovered a passion for history and writing. Itis that passion combined with his desire to bring to light the different aspects of the past that makes him a unique writer. There are a lot of people who give upso much to follow their dreams, and Simon isno different. To become a professional writer is difficult, but his hard work and determination has seen him develop from an amateur to a full-time writer in just a few years. To learn more about Simon, please visit

"I want everyone to take a step back in time when they read my books. Every book should take the reader on a journey. With my dedication to preserving history, I know that each and every person will begin that journey from the very first word" - Simon Gandossi

Blog Tour Organized by:

Hunks to the Rescue Anthology.w/ Giveaway


Title:  Hunks to the Rescue 
Authors: Margo Bond Collins, Trish McCallan, Krista Ames, Raine English, Tamara Ferguson, Aileen Harkwood, Lynda Haviland, Jody A. Kessler, Katie O’Sullivan, Constance Phillips, Stephanie Queen, Nancy Segovia, Emily Wilder, Jan Romes, Debbie White, Michelle Jo Quinn 

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense 
Release Date: June 13, 2017 

Heroes by Day…Sinful Bad Boys by Night

Fantasized about being rescued by a red-hot hunk? Indulge in this box set of alpha rescuers with a delicious talent for romance. 15 stand-alone novellas from New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning authors will steam up your nights and leave you begging for more.

Whether the hunk you lust for is military, a firefighter, first responder, FBI agent, cowboy, bad boy mafioso, or that sexy, everyday guy who plucks you from danger only to kiss you senseless, this bundle has your hero.

15 hunks. 15 heart-pounding rescues--13 brand-new stories. Get ready for a passionate and thrilling ride!

Bound by Temptation by Trish McCallan
 "An absurdly cute canine and a hot, sexy SEAL make reading this a delight." –Amazon Review

Saving Necessity by Margo Bond Collins
For this cowboy, risking his life to save a movie star from a fire is easier than risking his heart.

An Unexpected Twist by Krista Ames
Used to fighting wildfires, Boone Michaels isn’t prepared for the sexy stranger who blows into town fighting battles of her own. Nor for the twister that tries to blow her right back out again.

Destiny’s Secret by Raine English
 Eden Wright’s fixer of a Savannah mansion comes with two unexpected extras, a not so friendly ghost, and a hunky paranormal investigator whose agenda includes seducing her.

That Unexpected Kiss by Tamara Ferguson
 Can an undercover FBI Agent rescue the woman he loves, when she’s targeted by his father’s killer?

Unreachable Heart by Aileen Harkwood
Mountain rescue expert Hart Renker isn’t counting on sharing a tent in a blizzard with the stunning survivor he pulls from a plane crash, but the heat between them could melt the bitterest cold.

Dark Current by Lynda Haviland
When Ben Kane hitches up to the dock at her troubled marina, with a murky past and a body hotter than the Florida sun, Willow Vega can’t tell, is he destined to be her savior or her downfall?

Unwrapping Treasure (A Granite Lake Romance Novella) by Jody A. Kessler
 Two paramedics, one disastrous night shift, and a sexy holiday vacation that changes everything.

Breaking the Rules by Katie O'Sullivan
 Undercover at a 5-star resort, police detective and rule-breaker Jake Campbell finds the prime suspect impossible to resist.

Falling for Captain Hunk by Stephanie Queen
Always one to go for the wrong damsel-in-distress, Captain Colin “Hunk” Lynch worries his attraction to a fellow law-enforcement professional could be the mistake of his life…if it prevents him from saving hers.

Fire and Ice (A Sunnydale Days Novella) by Constance Phillips
 If only someone warned injured firefighter Brian his old flame, Charlene, would walk into his physical therapy session. He should still be angry with her, but instead, he wants nothing more than to rekindle the flames of passion.

Two More Miles by Jan Romes
 Keith Miles, rescues Ava Beckenridge after she falls at the gym, and the chemistry between them is undeniable.

Come Hell or High Water by Nancy Segovia
 Stranded on a rooftop with first responder Dwight during a hurricane, Maisie’s resolve to swear off men weakens as she finds some promises are meant to be broken.

Coaching the Sub by Debbie White
Substitute teacher Shannon has her hands full with bullies in her classroom until Coach "Brock" Andrews gives an assist, while also teaching Shannon a thing or two about love.

Path to Grace by Wilder and Quinn
 Daughter of a mob boss, Carina wants nothing to do with the family business until she becomes a target in need of a rescue. Enter Matteo, the Family's “cleaner,” tasked with handling messes of the dangerous variety, and the passion between them is most definitely messy.

Hunks to the Rescue Website

Trish McCallan Website / Facebook

Margo Bond Collins Website / Facebook

Krista Ames Website / Facebook

Raine English Website / Facebook

Tamara Ferguson Website / Facebook

Aileen Harkwood Website / Facebook

Lynda Haviland Website / Facebook

Jody A Kessler Website / Facebook

Katie O’Sullivan Website / Facebook

Constance Phillips Website / Facebook

Stephanie Queen Website / Facebook

Nancy Segovia Website / Facebook

Debbie White Website / Facebook

Author Quinn Website / Facebook

Emily Wilder Facebook / Twitter

Pre-order your copy of Hunks to the Rescue (releasing June 13), and get a second box set FREE right now. Beyond Hunks includes 12 novels and novellas by the Hunks to the Rescue authors not normally published as a set, with a combined value of $26 individually. Don’t wait too long, however. This BOGO offer expires June 12, when Beyond Hunks will no longer be available. Details here:

Orlando Universal Giveaway: 
We’re giving away a boatload of fantastic prizes during our pre-order giveaway, including a $700 Universal Orlando Theme Park Family 4-Pack, which includes 1 day passes to 2 parks and a special welcome at the park from Hunks to the Rescue author Lynda Haviland

Monday, May 15, 2017

NEW RELEASE ~ Breathless by Jessica Bayliss w/ Giveaway

by Jessica Bayliss

A brush with death brings Leah closer to the ghosts she longs to find and throws her into the arms of the troubled scuba instructor who saves her.
Dale, an Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran, is haunted by his own restless spirits. He's on a hunt for forgiveness, and the Caribbean Sea is his hunting ground.
The peace they search for lies in the bond they never suspected they shared.

Amazon / B&N / Kobo

I exhale and watch bubbles float off into the churning blue above me. I draw another breath, except this time, there is no air. My lungs, in all their twenty-seven years of finding no resistance to their whims, of drawing in sweet gulps, huffs, and puffs, meet a wall of stainless steel. With the next try, that wall slams into my diaphragm.
My left hand grasps the air pressure gauge as it bobs and snakes down by my hip. The dial’s needle hovers at a thick black line highlighted in red. Zero pounds per square inch. 
I’m seventy feet below the Caribbean Sea, and I’m out of air.
Heavy nausea grabs hold of my gut and throat. I almost spit out the regulator mouthpiece, but reason kicks in. I stop myself just in time. 
Don’t panic. Stay calm.
But it’s so hard to follow my own instructions. The warm water cradling my body has no mercy for this tiny, helpless human, and it turns to ice around me, needling my skin with cold until I’m numb. I hold my final breath. Everything in me screams out the wrongness of this. The world on the other side of my mask fuzzes out. My mind will soon follow if I don’t do something. Now.
Remember the training. Just find another diver.
Thank God, one of the instructors is less than ten yards away. My finned feet power me to Dale’s side with five hard kicks. He’s tucking something into a waist bag, and when I thrust my air pressure gauge into his face, at first he jerks away from it. Then his eyes widen as realization hits.
I expect him to immediately reach for his spare regulator, the savior of rubber and metal, my sole hope if I want any fate other than drowning. Instead, he brings his large, strong hands to my face. The honey-gold flecks within his irises glint and flash in what filmy light breaches the yards of water between the surface and my airless lungs. There’s no warmth down here, and I’m out of time. 
Dale is my only hope. 
I let him capture my face between his palms and hold me with his anchor eyes. My heart beats a fluttery, jerky rhythm, and I count—One. Two-three. Four. Five-six-seven—and wait as though I’m not moments from my death. 
As though I have all the time in the world.
But whatever he’s doing, it’s working. I’m calmer. For the first time since I found nothing behind my inhale, my heart beats steady and true. He gives me a firm nod, and I return the gesture.
It’s then, only then, that he unhooks the spare regulator from his dive vest. His other hand comes to the mouthpiece I still clench in my teeth. He brushes his fingers against my lips as he pulls the device free, and I give it up reluctantly even though it’s totally useless. A small, salty flow of water hits my tongue, and I swallow it down—the first of what could turn out to be a whole ocean’s worth if we mess up this maneuver.

They say write what you know, so Jessica Bayliss did. Her story, BREATHLESS, was inspired by her own experience running out of air on a scuba dive—except without all the steamy romance and eerie paranormal happenings. Alas, real life. Obviously, she survived. Her genre-bending fiction holds a little something for everyone. A lover of ghost tales and horror since her days scanning VHS rental shelves—admittedly with eyes half-averted from the gory covers—a touch of the mysterious always finds a home in Jessica’s work. Romance with a dash of supernatural. Horror with a bit of humor. You get the gist. Jessica also writes across age groups and is a firm believer in the motto: there is a new reader born every day, whether young or not-so-young. 

 Look for her upcoming releases: TEN PAST CLOSING, a YA contemporary thriller (Sky Pony Press, Spring 2018), and BROKEN CHORDS, a YA horror novella (Leap Books, October 2017). You can find her story “Care of the Undead Dog” in ZOMBIE CHUNKS, which came out earlier this year. Read about all of Jessica’s books and stories here.

Connect with Jessica online:

NEW RELEASE ~ Shifted by Fate by S.R. Mitchell

Shifted by Fate
S.R. Mitchell

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: May 15, 2017
ISBN: 978-1544768236
Number of pages: 232  
Word Count: 46, 323
Cover Artist: Cassy Roop

Book Description:

Kelly had a history of picking the wrong guy, but destiny had its own twisted plan for her. She could not change what destiny had in store for her, but she could learn to accept it. With change came Eric and he was one-hundred percent Alpha bad boy.  Kelly knew one thing when it came to Eric... 

He drove her absolutely crazy.

Eric knew as soon as he scented her, and her smell invaded his senses, that she was his mate.  An alpha did not let go of his mate for anything.... she was his. He would fight for her.  He would guide her.  He would love her.

And with other wolves now after her… he would protect her at all cost.

Buy Links:

Kindle      Nook      iBooks      Kobo


About the Author:

I am a Texas born wife, mother, and writer! I write words to enchant your soul and fill your heart with love.  I write Historical Romance, Historical Paranormal Romance, and Contemporary Paranormal Romance.

NEW RELEASE ~ Just Things by Erin Lee w/ Giveaway

This is my stop during the blog tour for Just Things by Erin Lee. 
This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 1 till 21 May. 
See the tour schedule here.

Just Things (Diary of a Serial Killer #1)
By Erin Lee
Genre: Horror
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 14 May, 2017

Sometimes, the cravings just take over.

Jimmie Putnam is an ordinary man by any measure. By day, he works as a law clerk. At night, when he can't fight the cravings, he becomes a collector. He takes great care of his human Things; buying them cherry lipstick and reading to them from his journal. When they've been on their best behavior, he even takes them out of his freezers...

Sometimes, the need is just too deep.

Florel Ross has been mostly invisible since the death of her twin, who died twenty years ago at the hands of a serial killer. Obsessed with justice, Florel is willing to risk anything for the answers she craves: What goes on in the mind of a serial killer?

When the two yearnings collide, will it be justice or just Things?

You can find Just Things on Goodreads

You can buy Just Things on Amazon

Watch the trailer for Just Things on Youtube


My name is James “Jimmie” William Putnam, Jr. I apologize. I’m actually a very polite man. I just don’t do well on so little sleep or when my mind is racing. I should have introduced myself in the beginning. It was very sloppy of me. I hope you will forgive me. I’m not a perfect man by any stretch. With that said, I have to be candid with you. This is, after all, my story. I refuse to censor myself. So if you can’t handle it, I suggest you stop reading now. My version of things won’t be like the stupid newspaper articles referring readers to another page for more information with the worlds “in lieu of.” I collect those too, anything I can find written about them or me, tiny reminders of my Things. I keep them in a scrapbook. Momma would be pleased.
I’m thirty-five years old. I work as a clerk at Ducharme, (he’s dead) Tweed, (he’s the dead guy’s son by marriage) Hadley & Roderick. These guys, all four of them, think they own me. Sorry, but I’ll never be anyone’s Thing. Pretentious pricks think their shit doesn’t stink, all because they have the word esquire behind their names. All because their parents had the cash to send them to fancy schools with fancy names. All of them think they are God. None of them respect me.
They make fun of me for wearing a wedding band all these years from a woman who left me with maxed out credit cards and an ugly cat. That’s fine. I’m a man of my word, in spite of Shelia. The cat’s long gone; out back. They don’t get that. Although I want to scream at them that they can’t commit, I say nothing. They tell me I need to get out more, that my dick’s going to fall off if I don’t start using it soon. If they only knew. I press my lips together and smile. I tell them I swore off women years ago. They look at me with pity, shrug, and pile more work on me. I tell them I don’t have time to date. More work. More pity. More slavery.
It’s fine. I use it to my advantage. I allow them to underestimate me. I’m actually a really smart guy. Just because I got most of my smarts on the streets and at a community college, not the Ivy League, doesn’t mean I couldn’t beat a single one of them in a game of paper-push bankruptcy style law. The truth is, I do all their work for them anyway. Don’t let the stutter fool you, I’m a fast learner. 
I’ve been here at the firm since 2005, back when I was with blissfully hopeful with Shelia. In those days it was a refuge for me. I didn’t mind coming in early to get away from the landlady who sang the national anthem to her cats and told us to keep the music down. It was a relief to be away from Shelia’s loud-mouthed cackling and endless phone calls to her even louder mother. I spent early mornings filing cases in massive cabinets out back. I miss those cabinets; everything in order, in its place, like my Things in the freezer. These days we use hard drives. There’s nothing to smell, touch, or check on.
I don’t get the same peace I once did at the office. It might be because the landlady’s gone and I haven’t heard from Shelia or her mother in years. Living alone, you don’t really need a place to escape to. Now coming to the firm is more of a chore. I’d rather be home with my Things out in the barn. 
They say that two out of three ain’t bad. I wonder what they say about three out of four. Only one of the partners in in today. Roderick isn’t a bad guy. I get his complex and why he thinks he’s a god. He’s been treated that way since he was a kid. He still takes his mother to lunch on Thursdays at noon. It’s the one appointment he’s never late for. 
I don’t mind slow days like these. They give me time for thinking and planning. I have a lot of work to do in that area. Normally, I take my time. Lately, my urges have been too strong. I’ve never collected as quickly as I’m about to now, with another Thing, tonight.
Cravings are strange like that. You can never tell exactly when they will come on. For me, killing is like craving ice cream. It might be why I keep my Things in the freezer, besides the obvious reasons. Anyway, I’m not sure if it’s the odd numbers or the other obsessions that are getting harder to ignore. Maybe it’s just that the cravings never go away once you get a taste for it, like hot fudge on a banana split. Maybe it’s that the last few have been such fighters, challenging me to work harder and harder to obtain them. I’ve always been a hard worker, never one to turn down a dare or challenge. 
Even as a kid, there wasn’t much I wouldn’t do. When I did play with other kids in the neighborhood, because Momma forced me to, I was the kid who would climb the highest tree or pick up the fattest salamander bare-handed. I was the kid who drove past Mr. Vitous’ ‘Beware of Dogs’ and ‘No Trespassing’ signs to peek at the old man passed out in his chair. It’s probably when I got my fascination with watching things. Also, being the kid who would do anything helped take attention away from my stutter.
I’ve always been wired a little bit different. It’s not enough that anyone would notice, aside from my speech. Because of it, I’ve focused—hyper focused—on everything. It was a matter of survival and a lesson my Things could have learned from me. Even on the playground, I made sure things went my way. I had a group of kids who did what I said simply because they knew I’d keep things interesting. At the same time, I wished they’d go away. I didn’t see value in their requests for play dates. I didn’t have much fun hanging out with them after school. It was merely something to do to shut my mother up. Secretly, I wanted to be in my room reading and studying the encyclopedia. I like learning. And I learn fast. I told you that. I hope you are listening. Never judge a person by the way they talk. I’m a living example of that.
People always thought I was dumb. In third grade, I was in the remedial reading class, something Momma insisted on so I could keep being on disability. The truth was, I could read full length novels in my head but when it was my turn to read aloud, something in my brain shut down and my words came out twisted, probably guilt and worry about not wanting to betray Momma. Betrayal is the worst, and I still struggle with it now. I stuttered through the shortest of sentences and turned blood red when teachers said things like, “It’s okay, not everyone’s a reader.”
Momma would argue, telling them that I liked to read for fun. She didn’t mean it. She laughed, telling me they were dumb when we got in the car. She’d spend the whole drive home telling me every single thing she loved about me. She counted them, like I count my Things. Then she’d go back and say the same thing, threatening lawsuits if they didn’t do something more – testing, anything. They didn’t listen. They thought she was crazy as a bat. Momma was misunderstood too, a fact she called “intentional” and proof of her intelligence. She’d repeat it over and over in her gravelly voice. When she said it, she’d look at me to be sure I understood. 
It was strange, people said, that I didn’t have a dad or a brother or sister to play with. “Only children are odd,” they’d say. Maybe you live up to the things people say about you. Either way, Momma taught me not to worry so much what people thought of me. I tried, I really did. Sometimes it even worked. Other times, even now, it doesn’t work so well. 
Frankly, I was glad I didn’t have a sibling, or even a dad. Momma said only children were smarter, more capable of getting their way. Momma mostly left me alone. She had her hands full with her pills, bottles, and three-pack-a-day habit. Momma spent nights sipping on vodka and talking on the phone to any man she could get to listen. Luckily, she never brought them home for more than a month in a row. 
See, that’s the thing. People thought of Momma as a bad mother. Truth was, she was perfect for me. She left me alone and never tried to change me. She only wanted to improve me. She told me the system sucked and that she was going to teach me how to work it. She said it was the key to survival and she only wanted the best for me. I believed her. Momma was always loyal.
She was the opposite of Shelia, who was always nagging. Momma collected too. Not my kind of Things though. She collected little figurines of animals. Her favorite was an orange glass cat. I still feel bad that I broke it when I was ten and buried it under her shed. When she died, I tried to go back and dig it up. I never did find it. I feel bad about that.
Tonight I’m going to even the score. Sweet sixteen has me on my toes. I jump when the phone rings. The anticipation is one of my favorite parts. The killing, well, that’s okay. Really, it’s about the planning and the control. We’ll get to that later, if you care to join me. You can be the cherry on top. I like having an audience. 


About the Author:

Erin Lee is a freelance writer and therapist chasing a crazy dream one reality at a time. She is the author of Crazy Like Me, a novel published in 2015 by Savant Books and Publications, LLC, Wave to Papa, 2015, by Limitless Publishing, LLC and Nine Lives (2016). She’s also author of Alters, Host, and Merge of the “Lola, Party of Eight Series,” When I’m Dead, Take Me As I Am, Greener, Something Blue, Once Upon a Vow and 99 Bottles. She also penned Her Name Was Sam, an LGBTQ awareness novella. She is author of Losing Faith, and co-author of The Morning After with Black Rose Writing. These days, she spends her free time working on the sequels to this novel, Jimmie’s Ice Cream and Thing Fifteen.

Lee is a co-founder of the Escape From Reality Series. She, along with authors Sara Schoen and Taylor Henderson, are working with twenty other authors to bring the hopes, dreams, fears and terrors of a tiny fictional town alive. The town and its setting is exactly the type of place a man like Jimmie might escape to as the bodies thawed.

Lee holds a master’s degree in psychology and works with at-risk families and as a court appointed special advocate. She cannot write horror with the lights off. However, these days, she’s getting braver and dimming them. She’ll get there . . .

You can find and contact Erin Lee here:

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There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Things. One winner will win a signed copy of Just Things by Erin Lee (US only)

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