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Monday, January 28, 2019

Book Feature: Lavender Shores Series by Rosalind Abel


LAVENDER SHORES SERIES by Rosalind Abel,
M/M Romance

Lavender Shores is a charming little California town enclosed by the Point Reyes National Seashore. It has forests, wildlife, cliffs, beaches, and ocean views. At the center of it all is a fancy downtown of picture perfect restaurants and shops, surrounded by Victorian mansions and craftsman cottages.

The town was designed to be a safe-haven in the 1940’s by five families. The series follows the descents of those five founding families as they discover romance, redemption, passion, adventure, and love. Like all small towns, everyone always knows everyone else’s business. And when you’re ‘founding family royalty’ all eyes are on you, and that can make things… interesting.

While each novel is guaranteed to have you laughing, crying, sighing, and fanning yourself as you reach every happy ending, there will always be twists and turns along the way. Lavender Shores is pure storybook quality (of the grown-up variety) and the ultimate place to fall in love.


Title: The Palisade
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink, LLC
Pages: 230
Genre: Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction

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Title: The Garden
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink, LLC
Pages: 264
Genre: Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction

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Title: The Veranda
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink, LLC
Pages: 258
Genre: Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction

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Title: The Shipwreck
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink, LLC
Pages: 292
Genre: Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction

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Title: The Hideaway
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink, LLC
Pages: 258
Genre: Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction

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Title: The Glasshouse
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink, LLC
Pages: 304
Genre: Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction

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Title: The Alcove
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink, LLC
Pages: 312
Genre: Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction

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Title: The Wilderness
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink, LLC
Pages: 298
Genre: Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction

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Title: The Victorian
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink, LLC
Pages: 336
Genre: Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction

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Rosalind Abel grew up tending chickens alongside her sweet and faithful Chow, Lord Elgin. While her fantasy of writing novels was born during her teen years, she never would have dreamed she’d one day publish steamy romances about gorgeous men. However, sometimes life turns out better than planned.

In between crafting scorching sex scenes and helping her men find their soul mates, Rosalind enjoys cooking, collecting toys, and making the best damn scrapbooks in the world (this claim hasn’t been proven, but she’s willing to put good money on it).

She adores MM Romance, the power it has to sweep the reader away into worlds filled with passion, steam, and love. Rosalind also enjoys her collection of plot bunnies and welcomes new fuzzy ones into her home all the time, so feel free to send any adorable ones her way.

Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2qoiuLC
BookBub Page: http://bit.ly/2E5fgUe
(Read by Kirt Graves)
Facebook Author page: http://bit.ly/2rH8C4o
Rosalind Abel Website:  http://www.rosalindabel.com
Rosalind Abel Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2v6iuXI
Lavender Shores Website:  http://www.lavendershores.com
Twitter: @rosalind_abel



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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Book Review: The Lady with the Purple Hat by Otilia Greco






Title: The Lady With the Purple Hat
Author: Otilia Greco
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: General Fiction
Format: Ebook


Ten years ago, Daisy left her husband, Bernard, to create a new life for herself. But now as their divorce proceedings continue to drag on and Bernard battles terminal cancer, Daisy determines she would rather be his widow than his ex-wife and decides to play with fate.

After she dons an outlandish large purple hat to disguise her face, Daisy glides through the hospital corridors, hell-bent on poisoning her husband to accelerate his death. When she finally arrives at his door and opens it, she is shocked to see a woman sitting by his bedside. With her plan foiled, Daisy rushes out of the room as she transforms from the hunter into the hunted. Still obsessed with ending Bernard’s life, Daisy retreats into her memories, unaware that a surprise is waiting in the shadows. Now only time will tell if fate will intervene to save Daisy or if she will lose her soul to the dark side, where it can never be retrieved.

In this contemporary thriller, a woman intent on ending her husband’s life is propelled on a journey through her memories that leads her to an unexpected truth.

PURCHASE HERE

BOOK REVIEW:

This was a thrill from start to finish and a book I will read again. It takes a lot for me to really be overwhelmed in a thriller and this book did that. Not only did the author do a great job with character development but plot as well.

Great book!




Otilia Greco was born in the Swiss Alps; was educated in Switzerland, England, and Paris; and is fluent in six languages. She graduated from Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and developed an appreciation for history and cultures.

Otilia and her husband worked internationally, lived for several years in California, and now reside in Switzerland. This is her third book.



Monday, January 14
Interviewed at Voodoo Princess

Tuesday, January 15
Book reviewed at I'm Shelf-ish

Wednesday, January 16
Guest blogging at Harmonious Publicity

Thursday, January 17
Interviewed at The Book Czar

Friday, January 18
Guest blogging at Literal Exposure

Monday, January 21
Book reviewed at Lover of Literature

Tuesday, January 22
Guest blogging at PUYB Book Club

Wednesday, January 23
Book reviewed at A Title Wave

Friday, January 25
Interviewed at She Writes

Monday, January 28
Guest blogging at The Literary Nook

Wednesday, January 30
Book reviewed at A Book Lover

Thursday, January 31
Guest blogging at The Revolving Bookshelf

Friday, February 1
Guest blogging at My Bookish Pleasures

Wednesday, February 6
Book reviewed at The Dark Phantom

Thursday, February 7

Book Feature: Iquitos, The Past Will Kill by John R. Beyer @drjohnrbeyer



IQUITOS: THE PAST WILL KILL by John R. Beyer, Mystery/Thriller, 353 pp., $15.49 (paperback) $3.99 (kindle)


Title: IQUITOS: THE PAST WILL KILL
Author: John R. Beyer
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Pages: 353
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Jonas Peters and Frank Sanders team up to solve a string of murders, starting with the intentional and fatal bombing of a local coffee shop in downtown Riverside—a usually calm city in Southern California. Dozens are dead after an explosion rips apart the Coffee Grind, leaving dozens of others gravely wounded. Frank soon finds himself up to his elbows assisting the bombing victims, especially when he discovers that Jonas was walking to the Coffee Grind to meet up with his fiancĂ©e, but he never made it. In an instant, all their lives are thrust into a trail of death and destruction carried out by an unknown psychopath.

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PROLOGUE


Jonas Peters grinned at the slightly older man standing on the second step of the entrance to the brick building while reaching out his right hand. “Thanks for the help on the case.”
Frank Sanders shook his head. “I should be the one saying ‘thank you’ a few times, as many cases you’ve helped me on.”
“How’s business, seriously?” Jonas asked.
     “It’s good, Jonas. Some cases really make me some money, and some just pay the bills. Sure, I miss the days when you and I would bump into each other at the department on a juicy murder or burglary, but those days are gone. Retirement pay isn’t substantial, but this gig gives me plenty of traveling money.”
The two men had spent the previous forty minutes in Frank’s office on the second floor of the Wright building just northwest of the Mission Inn in downtown Riverside, California. They had been going over the final paperwork on a joint case they had been working on together, albeit somewhat apart.
Frank had gone from a crimes-against-persons detective to private detective when he retired from the Riverside Police Department. Jonas Peters had gone from homicide detective to falling into a bottle of Jack Daniels and then re-surfacing to finish a case which cost him a dear friend, along with many innocents. Fortunately, that story had a happy ending, with the killing of Zachary Marshall, the psychopath who had started it all. It should have meant the release of the demons Jonas had felt for so many years, but instead, it just reinforced the negativity of the world in which he had lived for so long. He wanted out, but did not know how to exit.
Jonas had turned in his badge for the Riverside Police Department where he worked, and moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, believing his life might take a one-eighty. It hadn’t. Jonas eventually found himself on a pension, living on twenty acres of desert near a small town named Phelan in Southern California and working a few cases here and there as a private detective. Not a glamorous job but one, like Frank had responded, that helped make the financial side of life a bit more comfortable.
Jonas also liked the solitude of the High Desert. Seemed fewer ghosts circled there.
He also liked to cry where no one would see him.
“How’s your life really going?” Frank asked while stepping down a step and looking his friend squarely in the eyes.
Frank had known Jonas for over two decades while working at the Riverside City Police Department but had never gotten to know the man very well. Jonas had always been friendly enough, but to dig into his personal history was not a door a fellow officer ever tried to venture through.
Jonas had always been somewhat aloof. Not aloof like a head-in-the-sky sort of fellow but one who always questioned himself and thus never allowed anyone from the outside to look inside.
“Actually, Frank,” Jonas stated. “Things are looking up for me recently. The cases I take are ones that I want, and the ones I don’t, I don’t.”
Frank nodded his rather large square head. “Any women?”
Jonas smiled. “There was in Scottsdale for a while. A great lady by the name of Samantha—I called her Sam—and we hit if off well after I retired from the force. You know, after Steve’s murder, I just had to get out of here, but after a year or so I needed to come back. This is where I grew up and all I really know.”
“You know, John Steinbeck wrote that you can never truly go home.”
“Yeah, well, he was right. That’s why I live out in the boonies in Phelan. Just me and my three dogs.”
Frank grinned. “I like dogs.”
“You have any?”
“Nope, I’m just gone too much to feel like it would be fair to them.”
“That makes sense.”
“What happened to Sam?”
Jonas shifted his weight from the left to the right. “She could sense I wanted to move back near here, and we sort of went our own ways. We reconnected a few months back—you know, sort of a long-distance affair with texts, phone calls, and the like. She called me the other week to let me know she would be in Riverside on business. It coincided with my meeting with you.”
“Serendipitous, I would say.” Frank clapped Jonas on the shoulder while giving him a wink.
Jonas smiled in return. “Yes, we’ve spent the last couple of days together, and things were just like they were. We may even try the relationship again—even if it means some traveling for both of us for now. I truly love that woman, Frank.”
“And I’m sure she feels the same way about you.”
“I hope so,” Jonas said. “Well, I gotta get going. I promised to meet her at the Common Grounds in a few minutes. Thanks for helping me on the case.”
“And vice versa.” Frank held out his hand and shook his friend’s. “Go and enjoy your cup of coffee.”
I hope she does love you, Jonas—you could use it.









John R. Beyer spent nearly ten years in law enforcement in Southern California as a street cop, a training officer and a member of the elite SWAT team. After leaving the force, he continued in public service entering the field of education. During his tenure, he served as classroom teacher, school administrator and district administrator, and was an integral part of the gang and drug force in San Bernardino. While in both worlds he earned a Doctorate in School Administration and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

During all those years, he never gave up the passion for writing – both fiction and nonfiction. He has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers and the like for decades, writing on a variety of topics. His latest short stories in the past year can be found in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine (2016) and GNU Journal (2017). He is also the author of three highly praised internationally known novels – Hunted (2013), Soft Target (2014) and Operation Scorpion (2017).
He won the ‘Write Well Award’ in October of 2018 from the Silver Pen Writer’s Association for a fictional short story.

His newest novel, ‘Iquitos – the Past Will Kill’, was released in November of 2018 by Black Opal Books bringing two of his protagonists together for their first investigation. Jonas Peters and Frank Sanders will work hand in hand with an international incident which left undetected could cause a catastrophic issue for the United States. They are friends and they are good at they do. Catching the bad guys.

Website Address:    http://johnrobertbeyer.weebly.com/
Blog Address:  https://jandlresearchandexploration.blogspot.com/
Twitter Address: @Drjohnrbeyer

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Book Blast: The Employee Millionaire by H.J. Chamass






Title: The Employee Millionaire
Author: H.J. Chammas
Publisher: PartridgeSingapore
Genre: Business/Economics
Format: Ebook

When the financial crisis erupted in 2008, thousands of people lost jobs they thought theyd always have to sustain their standard of living. For H. J. Chammas, it was a wakeup call to escape struggling to make ends meet. It was time to take charge of his life and stop acting like a lab rat following a set program. In this detailed guidebook to buying, owning, and managing rental properties, he gives readers a plan that you wont find in other books. Instead of promoting foolish risks, he helps you leverage your position as an employee to achieve financial freedom. Learn how to: evaluate the current state of your finances; overcome limiting beliefs about money and investing; set personal objectives to achieve financial freedom; and think and operate like a seasoned real estate investor. Chammas shares real-life examples that will help you build a personalized investment blueprint to build your rental property portfolio and become wealthy. From identifying and closing deals, getting approved for loans, renting out properties, dealing with tenants, and capitalizing on opportunities, this book will challenge how youve always looked at life, finances, investments, and real estate.

PURCHASE HERE


H.J. Chammas is a self-made "Employee Millionaire" who has achieved financial freedom by investing in rental properties throughout Asia, Dubai and Europe. With over 10 years of real estate industry and investing experience, as well as property management, he brings forward a blueprint for real estate investing in a simple and clear manner.

He is the founder and CEO of the Employee Millionaire, a company that empowers employees to achieve financial freedom and become millionaires with real estate investing.

To emulate Chammas' success in single family real estate investment, sign up for his program on www.employeemillionaire.com to learn the sound investing principles and avail of free templates and worksheets that makes rental properties investing almost on autopilot.



Monday, January 14, 2019

Book Spotlight & Blog Tour: Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter by A.L. Bryant


BLESSED: THE PRODIGAL DAUGHTER by A.L. Bryant, Supernatural/Christian/Thriller/Horror, 279 pp., $5.99 (Kindle)

Title: BLESSED: THE PRODIGAL DAUGHTER
Author: A.L. Bryant
Publisher: HSW Publications LLC
Pages: 279
Genre: Supernatural Christian Thriller/Horror

On New Year’s Eve 2021 the staff at St. Ann’s Hospital witness a medical miracle when a semi-conscious woman walks into the emergency room. The Jane Doe has been stabbed multiple times and as the staff struggle to keep the woman alive in the end all they can do is stand back and watch as their mysterious patient revives herself.

Glory wakes up in St. Ann’s Hospital gravely injured from an attack she cannot remember. However, her memory loss is no ordinary amnesia and she is no ordinary patient. Much to the shock of the hospital staff Glory heals at three times the rate of an average person. Soon the administration hears of her unique case and waste no time convincing the recovering Glory to be a part of an experiment to discover the origins of her power.

Once outside the comforting walls of the hospital it becomes apparent that healing is just a small portion of Glory’s capabilities. Abilities that to Glory’s distress are becoming increasingly unstable. Deciding that the hospital’s experiments are in vain, Glory embarks on her own Journey to discover the source of her power, unaware that she is a major pawn in a war between two secret organizations.
The two syndicates continue to clash in their fight for control and their battles result in several casualties. The crimes of their warfare surface and draw the attention of Dennis Wilson, a NYPD Detective known for solving his cases in the first forty-eight hours. Dennis follows the trail of bodies out of curiosity. But when his curiosity causes the deaths of his loved ones Detective Dennis becomes obsessed with the case.

In his overzealous attempts to find the murderer Dennis becomes the syndicates’ next target. Now the Detective must run for his life and the only person capable of saving him is the very person he suspects.

Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter is a hybrid of government espionage and supernatural Thriller. This novel is intended for audiences 18+ that seek an edgier outlook on Christian fiction. Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter is the first installment of the Blessed trilogy.

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With a slight hesitation, Glory examined the entrance. Using the corner of her jacket she tested the knob, not overly surprised when the door opened easily. Behind her, she could still hear the muffled sounds of the girl’s sobs. Glory stepped one foot through the door and paused. She turned sideways and looked back out into the yard. With one foot inside the house and one still on the porch, she stared at the girl, whose eyes were as wide as her own. The side of her body that remained outside of the house felt light; she could feel the breeze whip her clothing. She raised her hand and, as expected, it lifted easily. Glory looked down at her other arm, the one in the corridor of the house. Sweat drizzled down her brow as she struggled to lift it.
            Making sure to keep her voice light, Glory nodded in the direction of the gate. “Go home, I’ll get Mitch and he’ll call you afterwards.” She waited until the girl nodded reluctantly and disappeared.
Feeling a strong urge to leave, Glory turned as quickly as she could and closed the door behind her. Instant darkness. She pulled out the cell phone Dr. Stephens had helped her purchase shortly after she left the hospital, and turned its flashlight on. She had not paid the bill in a long time, so she had no service, but Glory still kept it charged. The corridor was short, maybe two or three large steps long. A staircase, which dominated the space in the narrow corridor, stood against the left wall. Glory shined the light up the steps trying to determine where they led, but the light’s range was too short.
Examining the staircase carefully to make sure it could hold her weight, Glory began ascending. The house had its own gravity; every step felt like moving through quicksand. By the time she made it to the top, she was winded. She leaned against the wall, shining her light around the area while she rested. She stood in another corridor, much larger than the first one. A solid wall lined one side; several doors, some of them mere centimeters apart, lined the other. She pushed herself away from the wall and walked to the first door, covered her hand with her jacket, turned the knob, and pushed the door. It gave way only slightly before it refused to open any farther. She tried pulling the door, but it could only be opened inward. She pushed one more time, shining a light through the narrow opening to see if she could locate the blockage—silently hoping it wasn’t the boy—but nothing met the light. Frustrated, she moved on to the next door, only to encounter the same problem.
By the sixth one, Glory started to wonder if any of them were meant to open. With each door, she put more strength and effort into her shoulders and arms, desperately trying to force her way through. By the twelfth, she was exhausted. She took a deep breath and shoved her shoulder against it. The door swung open, Glory stumbled two feet, and fell through the hole behind it. She fell through one story of the house into an open room and into the much bigger hole in that room’s floor. She fell through another story and into another room with another hole. She hit hard rock and slid until she landed on her back. Her head hit the floor and her eyes instantly clouded from the impact.
Glory’s breath and sight came back simultaneously. Slowly, she sat up with a grunt as she brought her right hand to her ribs. Not only had her pack survived the fall, but she had managed to hold on to her phone. Standing up, still favoring her left side, Glory began dusting herself off. Her hands shook and she took a deep breath to dispel the effects of the adrenaline still rushing through her body. Turning on the light so she could look around, Glory shifted her feet. Taking a small step forward, she tripped on something, but managed sustain her balance with a small hop to dislodge whatever had caught her foot.
Glory turned the light downward to look at the ground and saw a piece of cloth clinging to her boot. Ruffles—the cloth was filthy, covered in dust and grime, but the ruffles still maintained their shape. Forgetting herself, Glory reached out and ran her fingertips over the cloth, smoothing the dirt away so she could see the color. Her fingertips grew warm and her eyes widened as she realized what she had done. Too late, she snatched her hand away.
“This is so exciting!” A young woman in a blue ball gown tightened her grip on her friend’s arm, her gloved fingers long and delicate. Looking a little less interested, her friend, a tall, thin brunette, pried the girl’s hands from her arm, but her friend only returned them with slightly less bruising force.
“Yes, well, if my father knew I was here, it would be the end of me.”
“That’s what these are for, silly.” The young woman flipped her blonde hair behind her shoulders and tapped her masquerade mask with her folded fan.
“I shouldn’t have let you talk me into this. I have a bad feeling.”
“You are thinking far too much. Now tell me how beautiful I look and then let’s go get some refreshments.”
The brunette stood back and pretended to consider her friend. “You look positively stunning as always, Annabelle. Your dress is lovely; I could never pull off so many ruffles.”
Annabelle waved the last statement away. “Nonsense, Sarah, I’m sure you would look just as lovely in ruffles. I don’t know why you insist on wearing such drab garments.” She looked her friend up and down, a frown on her face as she examined the dark green dress that covered Sarah, from its unfashionably high neckline down to the slightly pointed toes of her boots.
Sarah grimaced. “My father does not agree with today’s fashions. He thinks exposing shoulders, wrists, and cleavage is unseemly.” Trying to distract her friend from her dress, she made a show of looking around. “This is an extremely odd house, isn’t it? Why would he build a staircase directly at the entrance?”
“For that matter, why build a staircase that only goes to the top floor when there are four flights in between?”
“We’ve been here less than an hour and I’m already confused. So many corridors and staircases.”
“And how many rooms are there, anyway? There are doors everywhere you look.” The girls spoke frantically now, their intertwined arms squeezing together as they became more excited.
Annabelle turned to her friend. “Let’s explore the house more.”
Sarah looked over her shoulder. “I don’t know. We haven’t even greeted the host yet. It would be bad manners.”
Annabelle shrugged. “It was bad manners for him not to show himself so he could be greeted.”
Keeping an eye on the group they had been standing with, Annabelle pulled Sarah toward the door, only to stop mid-stride as their path was cut off by a large figure in an expensive dinner jacket and a full porcelain mask.
“Good evening, ladies.”
Annabelle released Sarah’s arm and took a step closer, resting her hand coquettishly on her bosom. “Good evening.” She let the greeting hang in the air. When the man merely nodded, Annabelle tried again.
“I do not recognize you, and since I know everyone in this town except the owner of this fine home, you must be…”
“The owner? That is correct.”
Barely masking her annoyance, Annabelle turned to her companion. “This is…”
The man held up his hand, effectively cutting off the introduction.
“If I wished to know the identity of my guests, then I would not have made this a masquerade ball.”
Flustered by her mistake, Annabelle released a breathy chuckle. “My apologies, I don’t know what I was thinking. We must keep the mystery up.”
The man turned his head to the side as he considered the two ladies. “Do you like mysteries?”
Eager to impress, Annabelle stepped forward. “Yes, I do!”
The man turned to look at Sarah, who hovered in the background, not at all certain she wanted to join in the conversation.
“And what about horrors?”
Taken aback, Annabelle frowned. “I beg your pardon?”
“Do you like to be frightened?”
Not sure where this was leading, Annabelle glanced at her friend. “I suppose being frightened every once in a while can be thrilling.”
The man nodded slowly as if contemplating her answer. “Do you believe in the supernatural?”
Annabelle laughed. “Do you mean ghosts and goblins? I think it’s nonsense.” She waved a delicate hand. “Stories to scare children.”
“And what of demons?”
Annabelle paused, the smile wiped from her face. “The church tells us that they exist, so I believe in them.”
The man leaned back on his heels and shoved his hands into his pockets. “So do I. I have always been curious, and judging by the turnout of this gathering, I’m not the only curious one.”
While he surveyed his guests, Sarah inched forward and grabbed her friend’s arm.
“Come, Annabelle.” Annabelle ignored her, staring at the man as if mesmerized. Sarah pulled sharply on her arm. “You said you wanted to explore the house.” This time Annabelle looked at her and nodded, allowing Sarah to lead her around the man and toward the door.
“Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be possessed?” Both girls turned to look back at the man as he spoke. “All the power of the demons and none of the rigid rules of the angels.”
Sarah trembled. “At the expense of our souls and sanity? No, thank you. You can keep your so-called demonic power.” She pulled Annabelle forward and escorted her through the door. Before she could close it behind them, she looked up to see the man looking directly into her eyes for the first time.
“There is only one way to leave this house, and it isn’t the way by which you entered. I doubt you could find the exit even if you stayed here a hundred years.” He turned and headed toward his other guests. “I wish you the best of luck.”
Sarah closed the door. “What an unpleasant man.”
Annabelle shrugged, walking along the corridor, sliding her hand along the wall. “I think he’s fascinating.”
“I think we should leave, Annabelle.”
Annabelle swung around. “I’m not leaving until I’ve explored this house.” When Sarah didn’t make a move to follow, Annabelle turned her mouth down, opened her eyes wide, and lifted her pupils, creating the perfect pout. “Just this one corridor and then I promise we will leave post haste.”
Sarah studied her friend and then nodded. “Just this one corridor and then we’re leaving.”
Annabelle smiled and skipped toward her friend, linking their arms once more.
Trying to take her mind off the eerie darkness of the corridor, Sarah changed the subject. “I wonder what he meant when he said that judging from the turnout, there were a lot of people curious about demons.”
“Oh!” Annabelle swatted the question away. “He was just referring to his invitations.”
Sarah looked over her shoulder. Had she heard something? “What about his invitations?”
“In his invitation, he appealed to those of us who were interested in a thrilling evening. Something about satisfying curiosity about demons in—and these are his words—the demons’ playground.”
“What?” Sarah stopped walking. She stared in Annabelle’s direction, but could barely see her in the dim lighting.
Misinterpreting, Annabelle shrugged. “I know… Who would name their house that?”
Sarah grabbed Annabelle’s shoulders. “Who cares about the name—why did you come? Why are we here?”
Annabelle tried to pry Sarah’s bruising grip from her shoulders. “Calm yourself, Sarah. It’s like taking a ghost tour, there is no need to be—”
Sarah covered Annabelle’s mouth with her hand. “What is that?” The question was rhetorical; the noise was piercing and distinct.
“W-why is everyone screaming?” Annabelle, who had taken Sarah’s hand from her mouth, stared back toward the ballroom. Sarah grabbed her friend and made a move back toward the sound—but more importantly toward the path she hoped would lead to the exit. The girls had only gotten a few feet when the corridor erupted in chaos.
Terrified men and women spilled from the room, tripping over each other in their panic and trampling the people in their way. They didn’t run back the way they came. Instead, they ran toward the two girls, their bodies pressing forward trying to propel themselves farther away from the ballroom. Everything happened so fast that it took Sarah a couple of seconds to react. In that short period of time, the mass of people was almost upon them. Sarah swung around and pushed the startled Annabelle farther into the corridor.
“Get into one of the rooms!” Annabelle grabbed the closest doorknob. She leaned her weight against it. Sarah came to help.
“It won’t open!” Annabelle cried.
“It’s locked?”
“Not locked—just won’t open!”
“Try the next one. Hurry!” Giving up on that door, Sarah followed Annabelle to the next one. She looked over her shoulder to find the crowd less than ten feet from them. Directly behind her friend, she cried out in relief as Annabelle opened the door. But her world came crashing down as she watched her friend disappear in that same second.
Glory sat up sharply. A full minute passed before she stopped gasping and coughing. She had made some progress in controlling the duration of her illusions. Standing, she dusted herself off and picked up her cellphone. From what she could tell, she was underground in a place that resembled a dungeon carved from the rock that the mansion had been built on. It was large and dark. There was no place for light to shine through, so even during the daytime, the room would still be pitch black.











A.L. Bryant was born and raised in St. Petersburg FL. She became interested in writing at an early age; an interest that depending on the circumstance brought punishment (detention for passing out the latest installment of her novella during class) and praise (being chosen for a youth writers conference at the Poynter Institute.)  A.L. Bryant gets her inspiration from both her mother and her Great Grandmother. Her mother recently published an inspirational children’s book under a pseudonym and her great grandmother is South Carolina’s first published African-American female author and playwright.

Until recently writing had simply been a pastime for A.L. Bryant who although she attended several writing courses, graduated with a B.A. in International Business. It was shortly after her second job as a Financial Office Manager at a Goodwill correctional facility that she realized she loved writing more than anything else. It would still be some years before she would convert the short story she wrote in college into a novel.

Besides writing, A.L. Bryant loves traveling the world. God has blessed her with the opportunity to visit a total of seven countries. She has studied abroad in Seoul and has traveled throughout Kenya; two locations she researched for her Blessed series. Her dream is to visit every country in the world.
Her latest book is the supernatural Christian thriller horror novel, Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter.

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