It's the exciting start of a brand-new series by a contemporary romance fan favorite!
After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.
Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.
The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John's already dating someone and Nora's not sure she's ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.
~ My Review ~
You know that line in "The fault in our stars," by John Green, where Hazel says, "I fell in love how you fall asleep. Slowly at first, then all at once?" I get that. I LOVE that line. (Sidenote, read the book or watch the movie, it's wonderful and well...heartbreaking). And I felt like this book was the same for me.....and how John Lawson fell for Nora.
The pacing moved a little slowly for me in beginning but somehow, without noticing, I was soon sucked into the world of Nora Bradford, her sisters, and John. Without knowing the exact moment of when, where, and how, I fell in love. I wanted to know more about the Bradford sisters. I wanted to simultaneously guard John's heart from his diagnosis, and will him to own up to his past and present, and a future he can't envision.
Becky Wade has a way with her words and I loved her descriptions of the scenery, the way her characters stood, their thoughts, their prayers, and always, their faith. This story about a man and woman has been told so many times over, but I absolutely love the part that both characters pushed and pulled God into their hearts. After all, isn't that the greatest love story ever told? It took a little while for these two to get their "happy ever after," but I appreciate the story about God's grace, and how no matter what our past was, who and what we were born into, our identity - the one that matters, the most - is that of being a Child of God. We all have faults and imperfections, but to stay grounded in faith through it all, despite what may......that's how we become true to ourselves, and for our partners, it's how we become True to You.
***I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I am not required to write a positive one. These thoughts and opinions are my own.***
About the author
Becky Wade is a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She's the Carol Award, INSPY Award, and Inspirational Reader's Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.
Social Media links:
Becky Wade's 'True to You' Prize Pack and $100 Giveaway
Sin and Cider by K. Reese
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Lee Ching of Under Cover Designs
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0723H6WLD/ref=sr_1_1?tag=geolinker-20&ie=UTF8
Feeling discontent in the big city and hoping to find what’s missing in her life, MacIntosh Layne decides to go back to her roots. Ready for a refresh, she heads home to her family’s orchard in Tennessee for the summer. What she doesn't count on rediscovering is her attraction to her brother’s charming best friend, Lawson Westbrook. The main star in her dreams growing up, he’s the perfect blend of Southern gentleman and sex in a flannel—rugged, successful, and more handsome than ever.
Lawson can’t believe Mac Layne is all grown up. No longer the gangly teen who went away to college, she’s all woman now and he’s eager to get reacquainted on a carnal level. As they continue to cross paths and their mutual attraction intensifies, he makes an enticing proposal.
A Choice Must be Made
Will Mac give in to the sinful temptation of the temporary arrangement Law is offering? Or will they find something sweeter than the cider they’ve been brewing together?
Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34677516-sin-and-cider
Shaking the lust from my mind, I decide to turn my focus to the inside of the barn now that I’ve finished the thankless task of clearing out weeds. I had pulled out some of the rubbish inside already but still have a lot of work to do. I pull one of the doors to the side, the gentle creaking sound washing over me in a wave of nostalgia. I make my way inside and step over dried leaves and debris, each step kicking up a layer of dust. I look ahead and broken slats of wood are on the ground; those must be part of the original roof that was destroyed. I survey the space and take in the old tanks where we used to make cider and the empty jugs, some whole and some broken, lining the walls on shelves covered in cobwebs. When I was a kid this barn was spotless and welcoming, the perfect place to make cider and welcome visitors. Now it looks like an old photograph and not the treasured memory it really is. I take a deep breath and the smells of dust and mold fill my nose instead of crisp apples and warm spices. It’s in this moment I make a promise to myself: I’m going to restore this barn to its former glory.
I pick my way across the worn and dirty hardwood and undo the latch on one of the windows. As soon as it swings open the sweet smell of flowers permeates the air and rays of sunshine filter in, the shafts of light instantly brightening up the room. I open the window on the other side and feel excited about the task at hand. This barn is a dirty penny and just needs to shine again.
About the Author
K. Reese is a contemporary romance author whose debut novel, Sin and Cider, will be published in 2017. In her spare time she likes to read, sleep, eat ice cream, and play with her dogs. She's also an ardent admirer of Tom Hardy and Mr. Darcy.
ENTER BELOW for the chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card (International) or a signed paperback of Sin and Cider (US ONLY) - Winner's Choice!
Dating-ish, an all new standalone from the USA Today bestselling Knitting in the City romantic comedy series by Penny Reid is available now!
'Dating-ish' can be read as a standalone, is a full length 100k word novel, and is book #6 in the Knitting in the City Series.
There are three things you need to know about Marie Harris:
1) She's fed up with online dating,
2) She's so fed up, she's willing to forego the annoyance and consider more creative alternatives, and 3) She knows how to knit.
After the most bizarre and irritating first date in the history of humankind, Marie is looking for an alternative to men. With the help of her friends, she quickly identifies a few possibilities:
Need a cuddle? Use a professional cuddler. Need affirmation? Get yourself a life coach. Need an orgasm? Try orgasm meditation! Why does she need the hassle of a romantic partner when she can meet all her needs with paid services?
But then her irritating date resurfaces. And he's not at all the person she thought he was. And he suggests a different--and crazier--solution to her dilemma . . .
As everyone knows (or will soon come to realize), traditional relations between humans are a thing of the past. Robots are our future. And if robots are our future, then why do we need other people at all?
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2mowgNq
Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/1pnSeh
Google Play: https://goo.gl/cWe2Uk
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2mG5GAc
Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/VW1TxJ
He was quiet for bit, we both were, and I felt myself relax more and more. His palm took a detour every so often, dutifully skipping my hip and sliding along my side, and then back to my leg. Soon, I was so relaxed I felt drowsy.
I felt fingers in my hair, moving the mass away from my neck with treasuring strokes just before Matt nuzzled the back of my neck, causing goosebumps to scatter over my skin.
“Mmm.” I smiled. “Hey. Jared said no tickling.” My voice sounded sleepy.
“Does this tickle?” Matt asked softly, nuzzling me again. I felt the brush of his lips—not a kiss, a brush—paired with hot breath against the bare skin of my neck and a zing shot straight down my spine, making my toes curl and a sudden hot ache twist in my lower belly.
I knew that ache. I hadn’t felt it because of another person’s touch in quite a long time. Nevertheless, no one ever forgets that ache.
My back arched instinctively, my bottom pressing back against his crotch, and I stiffened. I felt my nipples harden, strain beneath the cotton of my bra. I was now fully awake. No longer drowsy.
Not even a little.
Matt stiffened, too. His movements abruptly ceasing.
“Are you okay? What’s wrong?” he asked, alarm coating his words, and in the next moment his hand was suspended in the air above me. “Did I touch something I shouldn’t?”
I exhaled a short, nervous laugh, gripped by the urge to sit up.
“No. No. You didn’t.” I moved to the edge of the bed, righting myself, away from Matt, needing distance. “I’m good.” I gathered a silent breath and released it slowly because my pulse was racing.
Crap, Marie. Get a grip. It’s Matt Simmons. Professor Matt. The big kid. Why are you reacting this way?
“Did I . . .” These initial words were hesitant, and a moment of silence stretched before he continued, his tone comically teasing as he finished his thought. “Did I arouse you?”
I snorted, shaking my head, laughing at his silly tone. Turning at the waist to peer at him over my shoulder, Matt was grinning at me, twisting a make-believe mustache between his thumb and forefinger.
But then he stopped.
“I did, didn’t I?” he pushed, his hand dropping. He looked pleased, if not a little amazed.
I sighed, feeling a smidge embarrassed, and nodded. “Actually, yes. That’s a sensitive spot for most women.”
“The back of your neck?” He lifted himself to one elbow, his eyes darting to my neck with keen interest.
“My neck in general, actually.”
“Huh.” Matt frowned thoughtfully. “Where else?”
I pressed my lips together and gave him an incredulous look. “I’m not telling you that.”
“What if I needed it for research reasons?”
“What if I told you it was part of our questionnaire?” He tossed his legs over the side of the bed and stood, walking around to my side and offering me his hand. “You should give me a schematic of your body with the erogenous zones circled and rated.”
“Let me guess, you want them rated on a ten-point scale,” I deadpanned as I accepted his hand, stood, and stepped away to gain some distance and straighten my shirt.
He shrugged, crossing his arms, stalking after me. “Or exponential. I was going to say a Likert scale, but a logarithmic scale works, too.”
Chuckling, appreciative of his attempt to diffuse my embarrassment and awkwardness with the joke, I realized Matt Simmons wasn’t a bad guy. He might even be a good guy, just a little . . . peculiar.
And wants to replace romantic relationships with robots. Best not forget that detail.
Yeah, he’d make an interesting friend.
“Thanks.” I gave him a small smile.
“For what?” His eyes moved between mine.
“For the cuddle. Thanks for the cuddle, Matt.”
“Anytime, Marie.” He grinned down at me, his eyes dancing as he leaned forward and whispered, “Anytime.”
About the Author
Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.
Connect with Penny:
Journey back to a time when neighbors knew each other's names, and a handshake meant a person's honor. The bestselling Eagle Harbor Series continues with Book 5, Love’s Winter Hope.
When Jessalyn Dowrick’s husband left her and their three daughters to head west five years earlier, she had no choice but to pick up the pieces of her broken life and continue without him, eventually supporting herself as Eagle Harbor’s seamstress, and secretly hoping her husband would return. But days soon slipped into months, and months into years, all without word of Thomas or a cent of the money he’d promised to send.
While working day and night to build a new life that his wife would be proud of, Thomas wrote Jessalyn every week, asking her to come to South Dakota. But she never arrived. In fact, she never answered a single one of his letters. When he returns to Eagle Harbor in search of answers, he finds a woman who thought him dead . . . and soon regrets he didn’t come after her earlier.
As winter closes in and storms trap Thomas in town until the harbor opens in the spring, will he be able to convince his wife he’s worth a second chance?
Love's Winter Hope
Google Play http://geni.us/EHGP5
Come visit the historical town that readers can't get enough of.
Eagle Harbor Series--Where Love Finds Its Anchor
Book 1: Love's Unfading Light (Mac and Tressa)
Book 2: Love's Every Whisper (Elijah and Victoria)
Book 3: Love's Sure Dawn (Gilbert and Rebekah)
Book 4: Love's Eternal Breath (Seth and Lindy)
Book 5: Love's Winter Hope (Thomas and Jessalyn)
Book 6: Love's Bright Tomorrow (Isaac and Aileen--winter 2018)
Prequel Novella: Love's Violet Sunrise (Hiram and Mabel)
Short Story: Love's Beginning (Elijah and Victoria)
Love's Unfading Light:
Google Play http://geni.us/EHGP1
Love's Every Whisper:
Google Play http://geni.us/EHGP2
Love's Sure Dawn:
Google Play http://geni.us/EHGP3
Love's Eternal Breath:
Google Play http://geni.us/EHGP4
“Step over here, where there’s some room.”
He glanced around the cluttered shop, then raised his eyebrows.
Well, there would be room just as soon as she moved the stack of shirts. She bent and gathered them in her arms, then placed them on the table between the socks and mackinaw coats, which of course sent half the pile of socks plopping to the floor, but at least they took up less space than the shirts.
She measured his arms first, from wrist to wrist, never mind that his reach spread wider than the table where she’d just stacked the clothes. Then she did the length of his torso, from his shoulder seam down to his waist, ignoring the hard muscles beneath his shirt as she stretched the tape down him—or at least trying to. But when she wrapped the tape around his chest, much as she did when measuring one of their daughters, her breath hitched, and she stilled. Of course her left hand didn’t reach the tape she’d stretched behind him with her right. She’d known her hands couldn’t touch. So why had she measured him this way? Habit?
He looked down at her, not moving, barely even breathing. His face loomed over her own, her head tilted back to see the blue of his eyes. She needed to step back, put distance between her and this big, burly man who owned too many of her memories.
If only that big, burly man didn’t have the power to trap her beneath his gaze until she forgot how to move.
“Do you do this with the other men that order shirts from you?” he rasped.
About the Author
Naomi Rawlings is the author of multiple historical Christian novels, including the Amazon bestselling Eagle Harbor Series. While she'd love to claim she spends her days huddled in front of her computer vigorously typing, in reality, she spends her time homeschooling, cleaning, picking up, and pretending like her house isn't in a constant state of chaos. She lives with her husband and three children in Michigan's rugged Upper Peninsula, along the southern shore of Lake Superior where they get 200 inches of snow every year, and where people still grow their own vegetables and cut down their own firewood--just like in the historical novels she writes.
This is my stop for Amanda Tero's blog tour. I love this cover and the story it evokes.....and the story itself sounds intriguing! Good luck and hope you have a happy blog tour, Amanda!!
About the Book
Being a cripple is only the beginning of Lia’s troubles. It seems as if Bioti’s goal in life is to make Lia as miserable as possible. If Lia’s purpose is to be a slave, then why did God make her a cripple? How can He make something beautiful out of her deformity?
Raoul never questioned the death of his daughter until someone reports her whereabouts. If Ellia is still alive, how has she survived these ten years with her deformity? When Raoul doesn’t know who to trust, can he trust God to keep Ellia safe when evidence reveals Bioti’s dangerous character?
As time brings more hindrances, will Raoul find Ellia, or will she forever be lost to the father she doesn't even know is searching for her?
For Paperback copies, click here
Get “Befriending the Beast”
(Order “The Secret Slipper” by May 26, 2017, to get it at the discounted price of $.99!)
(“Befriending the Beast” Sale: $1.99 on May 25-26, 2017)
About the Author
Amanda Tero is a homeschool graduate who desires to provide God-honoring, family-friendly reading material. She has enjoyed writing since before ten years old, but it has only been since 2013 that she began seriously pursuing writing again – starting with some short stories that she wrote for her sisters as a gift. Her mom encouraged her to try selling the stories she published, and since then, she has begun actively writing short stories, novellas, and novels. If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)
Connect with Amanda
Smile Back is a series of six-word stories that follows a Muslim girl's journey. It covers the struggles of wearing the headscarf to loving nature. There is a battle between negative space and finding positivity. She is learning to love herself.
~ My Review ~
I'll say it again that authors are "wordy." That may or may not be a word, but bear with me. It takes pages upon pages to get to the point of the story when surely it could be done with a couple of short sentences. This is the thing I'm finding about poems. A poet doesn't need pages to build an entire world, she can create, build up, and tear down worlds using only six words.
I follow poet Fida Islaih on Twitter and Instagram. I've seen her, and been on the receiving end of, her encouragement and support for her fellow poets. If I could hear her speak, I'm guessing she's probably soft spoken but her voice would convey firmness, truths and give away her own convictions. I would love to hear her recite her poems to see if I'm right!
This six word series takes you on a quick journey that'll make you think, make you pause for a moment about what it's like to be in her shoes, and offers a few pieces here and there that makes you just Smile Back.
About the Author
Fida Islaih is a multicultural Muslim blogger and poet. She writes about her strong love for her faith and country. She shares her experiences with her faith and other life events. She loves to read realistic and historical fiction. Her other loves are chocolate and her two cats.
Series: Landry Family #4
Author: Adriana Locke
Genre: Second Chance/Military Romance
Release Date: May 15, 2017
Ellie Pagan has a list of reasons to stay away from Ford Landry.
It’s a mile long and was so much easier to stick to when he was a world away. Now that he’s standing in front of her—body hard and chiseled from a stint in the military, suit cut to perfection, and a smirk she could never resist—remembering all the reasons why just got a whole lot harder.
Ford gets Ellie isn’t his biggest fan. He just doesn’t care.
Standing in front of him, giving him hell, she’s even prettier than he remembered. All he can think about is how she felt in his arms, the taste of her kiss, the sound of her giggle in the middle of the night. He may not know how to win her back, but he does know this: he may have let her go once, but that’s one mistake he won’t make again.
GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33543120-swea
Join Adriana's group for lots of Release Week Fun! Join here: http://bit.ly/BBALGroup
Free in Kindle Unlimited
"Are you saying I’m not glamorous?” I tease.
“Your sneakers with paint splattered over them are so, so glamorous, Ellie.”
He laughs, a warm, rich, captivating sound that feels like a balm to so many of my wounds. It doesn’t fix anything, obviously, but it does soothe me somehow.
“You always did have a way with words,” I joke, sighing for dramatic effect.
“You should give me a chance to show you how much better I’ve gotten with words.” He shoots me a smile so sinful I have to look away.
“I bet you have.”
“I’ve gotten better at a lot of things,” he whispers.
He searches my eyes as if he’s asking for permission and in my amped-up state, I’m not thinking clearly … because I smile. It’s a tiny fissure in my persona that he takes full advantage of.
My back suctions against the paint behind it as Ford cages me in. One foot on the outside of each of mine, a hand planted on the wall on both sides of my face. My knees wobble the slightest bit as he leans down and feathers his lips over mine.
They’re as soft as I remember and my eyes flutter closed as my chin angles towards him, wanting more. We move together effortlessly, like there hasn’t been a decade since the last time we kissed.
ALSO AVAILABLE IN THE LANDRY FAMILY SERIE
About the Author
USA Today Bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.
She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather's nice and there's always a piece of candy in her pocket.
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/booksbyadrianalocke
Goodreads Group: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/159694-all-locked-up
There is a giveaway for a signed paperback of Swear and 2 x $10 Amazon gift cards (3 winners)
This is my stop during the book blitz for Saying I Do by Tracey Alvarez. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 19 till 25 May. See the tour schedule here: http://www.lolasblogtours.net/book-blitz-saying-i-do-by-tracey-alvare
Marriage and happily-ever-after are for suckers…
Joe Whelan was fooled once on the way to the altar, and the Irish doctor isn’t about to be an eejit over a woman again. Especially not one who witnessed his broken-hearted humiliation years ago. He won’t be swayed by the sparks that fly whenever his eyes meet MacKenna’s or distracted by her sweet kisses. The only thing Joe cares about is preventing his sister from making the biggest marital mistake of her life.
MacKenna Jones loves a good wedding—so long as she’s sewing the bride’s gown, not walking down the aisle herself. Falling for Joe Whelan’s sexy bedside manner wasn’t on the cards, neither was a seven-day road trip with him to Las Vegas, the Marriage Capital of the World. When the stakes are so high, will these two gun-shy cynics ever say I Do?
You can find Saying I Do on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29904842-saying-i-do
Listen to the soundtrack for Saying on I Do on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbJdPvEBMsygch3is5GjD4Ib_yXxSUTdB
You can buy Saying I Do here:
- Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071DMHMHK
- Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071DMHMHK
- Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B071DMHMHK
- Amazon Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B071DMHMHK
- Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saying-i-do-tracey-alvarez/1126075328?ean=2940154084632
- Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/en/ebook/saying-i-do-2
- iBooks: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/saying-i-do/id1102506478
- Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/62866
About the Author
Tracey Alvarez is a USA Today Bestselling Author living in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand). Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.
Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.
When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, Tracey can be found with her nose in her e-reader, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.
Follow Tracey on Twitter as @TraceyAlvrezNZ or Facebook as http://www.facebook.com/TraceyAlvarezAuthor
Her website is http://www.traceyalvarez.com and don't forget to sign up to her newsletter here: http://bit.ly/JR3Asu
You can find and contact Tracey here:
- Website: http://www.traceyalvarez.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TraceyAlvarezAuthor
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/TraceyAlvarezNZ
- Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/TraceyAlvarez
- Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/traceyalvarez/
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+TraceyAlvarez/posts
- Amazon: https://amazon.com/author/traceyalvarez
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/traceyalvareznz/
- Newsletter: http://bit.ly/JR3Asu
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Saying I Do. This giveaway ends May 25th.
One winner will win a prize pack (over $65 value) which includes:
~ Playing For Fun signed paperback (Playing For Fun is Book 6 in the series, and features Mac's cousin Holly)
~ Fun NZ theme tote bag
~ New Zealand Wild Ferns Pure New Zealand Manuka Honey Rejuvenating Face Pack
~ New Zealand Wild Ferns Pure New Zealand Manuka Honey Conditioning Lip Balm
~ Alpine Silk Manuka Honey Hand Cream
~ Alpine Silk Manuka Honey with Propolis Triple Milled Luxury Soap
~ Handcrafted in New Zealand woven Hessian Kete with feathers
~ 4 New Zealand Paua Shell Wine Glass Charms
~ Author magnet (not pictured)
~ Author bookmark (not pictured)
* Prizes are not exchangeable for cash or anything else.
* All due care will be made in ensuring the prize arrives at the winner’s address, but the author is unable to refund prize value in any way should it not arrive due to postal disaster.
* Entries close on May 25th and winner will receive a direct e-mail from me shortly after – so please ensure Tracy Alvarez’s e-mail address is added to your safe/contacts list. If the author doesn’t receive a reply from the winner in 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below.
To qualify for the bonus 5 entries, you'll need to purchase Saying I Do and answer this question in the space provided in the rafflecopter. The question is: What is the last 4-word sentence at the end of Chapter 13?
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: http://www.lolasblogtours.net/blog-tour-just-things-by-erin-lee/
Just Things (Diary of a Serial Killer #1)
By Erin Lee
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: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33783582-just-things
You can buy Just Things on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071CDNPB5/
You can watch the trailer for Just Things on Youtube: https://youtu.be/BztSKmGK1N4
I can’t sleep. It’s nothing out of the ordinary. My mind has raced since I was a kid. While I probably should be accustomed to it by now, I’m not used to it: At all. Worry. Worry. Worry. Stop. Worry some more. Then stutter, so I can worry about that too. Why not?
It’s like the ringing in my ears. That won’t stop either, and it drives me crazy. Although I sleep with a fan, it doesn’t help much. It merely mocks me, blowing dust around the room and forcing me to pull the covers tighter, the way I do with my Things’ bandages for wounds. (Not that I hurt them all that often anymore, I’m a nice guy lately).
Don’t mistake nice for not callous, or, maybe more like sentimental. Some people count sheep. I count their screams. If it wasn’t so darn cold out, I’d go back to visit my Things. I like checking up on them, seeing how they’ve changed. Sometimes I bring a bag of make-up. I fix them up the best I can. You see, I’m not all evil either. Wait. I said that already. I can’t really explain it, you see. It’s complicated. There’s one good way to describe it: I’m a collector. Because of that, I mostly take good care of my Things. Whatever. I don’t owe anyone explanations.
Back to the screams. I lost count at forty-seven on the last of my Things. Forty-seven bellows, pleas, and “Mister, why are you doing this to me’s?” Forty-seven blissful moments of feeling, no, knowing, I was God. Go ahead, roll your eyes, give me a dirty look. It doesn’t matter what you think of me. Until you’ve killed, you can’t possibly understand. You can’t know. Not until you’ve become an accumulator and taken pride in your belongings.
It’s in those final breaths before surrender where I get the high. Submission comes first through their eyes, which bulge and, when I’m lucky, turn red. It’s even contagious. I’m sure mine turn red too, reflective of the panic. In that moment, we’re connected most. If you’ve done it, you know that the terror races through them and into your own hands toward the finish line. It enters your limbs, likely wrapped around their necks if you are anything like me, and doesn’t leave until they are finally dead. I never kill someone from behind. That’s for cowards. I want to see it. I want them to see it coming too, so they know who’s in charge. What good is owning a Thing if it doesn’t know who its master is?
Maybe it was forty-eight. I can’t be sure. The last Thing mumbled at the very end. I can’t decide whether to count it or not. I guess it would depend on what she said. I think it was “help,” so that would count. Right? Do you agree? Answer me. Yet if it was only a grunt, it doesn’t. I really, really need to get some sleep. This is their fault; my Things.
Silly little Things they are. They think so little of me. I should be used to it. Everyone underestimates me. As if I haven’t prepared for their yammering. As if I don’t have a place where I can do my best work. As if I don’t have routines and a spot. As if they have a chance of escape. As if I haven’t prepared for this my whole life since that bitch in high school thought she was better than me. The one who made Momma laugh and say I was too “pansy” to ever land a girl like that.
Whatever, Momma. Look at you now.
It’s cute, though. The screamers, as much as they annoy me, are also the most fun. There’s something more satisfying about possession after you’ve really earned it. That last one, well, she certainly gave me a run. I’ll have to pick up lipstick—cherry red—for our date this week. I’m a considerate man. I take care of my Things. I told you that already. I don’t think I’d like her so much if she hadn’t screamed. I wish I could be sure how many times it was. It’s really haunting me. I need my rest, though it’s not going to happen until I’ve completed my mental inventory. It’s just something I know about me. Step one in being an effective collector is knowing yourself. It’s as important as keeping track of your Things.
I catalogue everything – journal entries of why I do the things I do, scrapbooks as reminders, and even logs of activities and research. I take this seriously, you see. And numbers, well, sometimes they bother me. Forty-eight is better than forty-seven. I don’t like odd numbers. I don’t like a lot of things. I don’t like Things that think they are better than others. I can’t stand pumpkin latté and I’m never late. Punctuality is the first step of being in control. The wonderful thing about Things is that once you possess them, they can’t ever be late. Better? They have to respect you. And they are fully in your control.
My wife Shelia was always late. Couldn’t even show up to church on time. What kind of woman of God was she? Never trust a ginger. Doesn’t matter now anyway. She’d never have been good enough to be one of my Things. I’m not saying they’re all perfect. My Things come in every shape and size. I’m sure lots of them were like Shelia – loud mouthed, white trash, and big, with lopsided titties. Hell, Thing Ten is the perfect example of that. When I get to her, you’ll hate her too. You’ll thank me for doing what I did. The world’s a better place with her mostly out of it. That one doesn’t get a bag of potato puffs for her head. She’s jammed in a freezer out back, alone, odd, left out… I’m not sure why I even keep her.
Wait. That’s it. That’s why I can’t sleep: Odd numbers.
Currently, I only have fifteen Things. I never sleep right when I’m stuck on an odd number. I hate odd numbers more than pumpkin latte with extra cream. Odd numbers are the worst, especially thirteen. I hate odd numbers even more than I hate Halloween, a holiday for posers.
Some shitty little kid with a sheet over his head and oval cut-out eyes isn’t of any interest to me. Nor are their mothers, who couldn’t be bothered to put together a proper costume. No. Not for me. I prefer to find my Things in much more refined settings, like book clubs, the library, the local university. I like my Things tidy, educated, neat. Sadly, it doesn’t always work that way. My research says it’s because I’m “impulsive.”
Sixteen will feel so much better to me. I look at my nightstand, squinting in the dark to see my alarm clock. Its blue numbers read 3:16. I smile. It’s a sign. I still believe in those, and I don’t believe in a lot of things. Tomorrow is killing time. Tomorrow is my day to collect my sweet sixteen.
I’ll have to dress the other Things up and throw her a party when I get her home. I bet she’ll like that, being the center of attention and all.
I close my eyes and quickly drift off to sleep, dreaming of the gym.
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:
- Website: http://www.authorerinlee.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gonecrazytalksoon
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/CrazyLikeMe2015
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13994843.Erin_Lee
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Erin-Lee/e/B013Q953LM/
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)
For a chance to win, enter the giveaway below:
I made a choice.
A single lie that changed everything.
In that moment, my life stopped spinning out of control. Not because I found my way, but because I hit rock bottom. Hard.
Now, I have a second chance. An opportunity to turn my life around and become the woman I’ve been too afraid to embrace. And I’m taking it.
I never thought I would meet him. He challenges me, spurs my desire to show the world that one night will not define who I am.
When the most beautiful blue-eyed blonde I’d ever seen slammed into me, my world was transformed.
But the universe played a cruel joke and the woman of my dreams is a constant reminder of my nightmares.
I lost someone once. A moment, a single action stole half of who I am. To allow myself to give in to my deepest desires feels like a betrayal and yet I’m drawn to her.
So I lie to the world and ignore my heart until it nearly breaks in two and I can’t take it anymore.
Live in the past or fight for the future?
I made a choice.
About the Author
Rachel Caid lives in Missouri with her husband and two sons. She is a self-proclaimed coffee addict with no plans of recovery and an avid reader of all types of romance. Her day job is very black and white, so she enjoys being able to lose herself in the colorful world of novels; whether it's reading or writing them.
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