Monday, September 22, 2014

~Double Cover Reveal~ Hale Maree & Full of Grace by Misty Provencher


Title: Hale Maree & Full of Grace
Author: Misty Provencher  
Genre: Contemporary Romance NA
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours


Book Blurb (HALE MAREE)

Hale Simmons's life is already bottoming out and she's only eighteen. Struggling on welfare, while trying to keep her alcoholic father on track, her dreams of having a better life fade a little more each day.

But, when her dad witnesses a brutal accident at the bar one night, it changes the entire course of Hale's future.

Thrust into an arranged marriage
with Oscar Maree, the playboy son of a wealthy man, Hale must learn to trust a
stranger to give her the life she's always wanted.

First, Hale needs to figure out if love can ever happen by accident.


Book Blurb (FULL OF GRACE)

Landon Grace is a stand-up guy, but running about 7-bananas-strong, from tequila shots at Oscar and Hale's wedding reception, what happened between him and Sher Simmons was supposed to be a one time thing. A quickie, between the Best Man and Maid of Honor, at their best friends' wedding.
But some one-night-stands refuse to be finished in one night.
Especially when they return with a hard shot of morning sickness.
Now, Landon is faced with a problem he never thought he'd have to consider...
Just how much sway does a guy really have, regarding a woman's choice to pursue or terminate the pregnancy of his child?


Misty Provencher is a long-term wife, mama, and author. The first two are a bit more recent, but Provencher's writing roots date back to the hieroglyphics she left in her mother's womb.
While Provencher can ride a motorcycle, knows how to Karate chop, and has learned enough French, Spanish, and Sign Language to get herself slapped, Misty's life is actually just the ruse she uses to connect with people. She is totally enchanted with them and spends her days trying to translate the soul bouquets of her muses into words.
Misty Provencher lives in the Mitten. Knock on her internet blog door at: Misty Provencher's Books,http://mistypro.blogspot.com/ or find her on Facebook and Twitter as Misty Provencher.
AUTHOR LINKS

BUY LINKS
HALE MAREE

FULL OF GRACE

Excerpt from Hale Maree:
“I want you to worship me,” I say. Oscar’s entire forehead wrinkles up with amusement as he chews.
“Worship? Seriously?” he asks, mouth full.
“Yup.”
“You mean like bowing when you walk in the room? Making altars? That kind of thing?”
I roll my eyes. “No. I mean that if I call for you, I want to know that you’ll come running. I want to know that, when I walk into a room, you’ll always notice. That if I burn dinner or turn your t-shirts pink or gain five pounds, you’ll still feel lucky to have me. When we talk, I want you to really hear what I’m trying to say. That’s what I want from you.”
Oscar puts the mug on the counter. I think he’s going to tell me I’m a spoiled brat, or that I don’t know a thing about how relationships work, or that I’m just plain impossible, but instead, he leans forward with one hand on the countertop before he says, “Done.”
My fingertips slip from the door handle.
“I would notice you, Hale,” he continues, “if you walked into a room behind a 500 pound lion that was charging straight at me. I would notice you if the room were full of naked women, and I was in deep conversation about my own death. I will always come running, I’ll eat the dinner, and wear the shirts and I’ve already thought that if you put on ten more pounds, it’d be a sure bet that I would never let you out of my bed. I’ve been trying to soak up every word you’ve said since the first time we spoke, so I think it’s only fair that you try just as hard to hear me now. I think you are perfect for me, Hale, and I’m just waiting for you to realize that I’m perfect for you too.”
It’s like the entire room disappears and all I see is Oscar with his level gaze. He drops his voice to a whisper as he says, “Come here.”
But I stay where I am, with the sun warming my back through the windows, and I shake my head at him.
“No,” I say. “Come running.”    

Books by Misty Provencher
The CORNERSTONE Series  (Young Adult)
HALE MAREE  (Adult, Contemporary Romance)
FULL OF GRACE (Adult, companion book to Hale Maree)
MERCY, A GARGOYLE STORY  (New Adult, Dark Urban Fantasy)
Available in paperback and ebook at:  





Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Release Day Blitz for the Dark Duet by Your Bloggerly Host KaSonndra Leigh




Author: KaSonndra Leigh
Series: A Musical Interlude
Number in Series: 3
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Publisher: TriGate Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Erotic Romance/New Adult/Romantic Suspense
Add to: Goodreads

Hello Muses & Fallen Friends,

Yes! I'm actually stepping out of the writing cave to take a moment to write this post. I know I've been silent over the past few weeks, but I do hope you've enjoyed the books and talented authors we've been featuring here at the Muse! Today I've released my 11th book... the Dark Duet. This is Nikolai Belikov's story; and just in case you're not familiar with the Musical Interlude series, then I'll have you know that he's the sexy, but tortured best friend & comrade of our handsomely Maestro, alpha hero, Alek Dostov of the Prelude. I'm super excited to bring you his story.

I'm also excited to be continuing on with this series because so many people have asked for these sequels. So take a look at Nikolai's note and enter the giveaway. You can win some really cool prizes from Reading for Fun owned by the lovely Tina Donnelly along with a copy of the soon to be released Musical Interlude Box Set and a gift card to feed your romance fetish! Good luck!

Now I give you the Dark Duet!

Synopsis



Family.
What does that word mean?
Kindness. Generosity... Love?
None of that applies to mine.
I think we should try vicious, corrupt...
Deadly.
I am not an innocent.
I do not believe in fate.
Revenge should have its moment to shine.
I’ve been a slave to circumstance...
A child of the shadows.
Now, I embrace the gloom and thrive inside it.
Revenge. Love.
Vengeance. Salvation.
The battle inside me rages on.
At least it does until one day when... I find her.
I do not understand.
I cannot allow myself to believe that...

There is light inside the darkness.

~Nikolai Belikov

** This novel contains mature content and situations that some readers may find disturbing. It is intended for an audience at 18+ years of age.**


Buy here:

And don't forget that the rest of the Musical Interlude Family can be found on Amazon !




Follow KaSonndra Leigh here:

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Friday, September 5, 2014

~Cover Reveal~ Drawing Down the Moon


Title: Drawing Down the Moon
Author: Steven Lee Climer  
Genre: YA Horror/Dark Fantasy
Expected Release Date: Nov. 4, 2014

Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours

Blurb:A group of misfits learn how to conjure an ancient dark evil that gives them the power to be judge, jury, and executioner.

Ronan and her friends unlock the secrets of delivering vengeance on their tormentors with an ancient artifact found in Ronan's mom's mail. However, it goes beyond petty high school teasing and the trio begins doling out horrific punishments.

When it goes too far and Ronan wants out, Lyda, the charming new student, gets in her way. Ronan must break Lyda's hold on her friends before they become the monsters hunting each other. 

Tag Line: Because Every Teen Wants Revenge


Steven Lee Climer lives in Metropolitan Detroit with his partner.  He is an avid amateur bodybuilder, gardener, and all-around handyman.  He has sold the motion picture rights of his novel Demonesque to After Dark Productions, and is the recipient of several honors including the Darrell Award, Eppie for Best Horror Novel 2000, and 1997 finalist for Best First Novel from the International Horror Guild.

Author Links:www.stevenleeclimer.com 





Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blog Tour & Dream Cast: The Blue Effect by Rose Shababy


Title: The Blue Effect: A Renegade Heroes Novel
Author: Rose Shababy
Genre: Adult Sci Fi Fantasy
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours

Blurb:
Blue Brennan is jaded and bitter despite her pinup girl looks and quick wit. Night after night, she scours the Seattle club scene looking for someone or something to fill the emptiness inside.
When she meets the mysterious Kasey, her world stops… literally. He claims she has the ability to control time and stuns her even further when he reveals his own gifts.
Blue is inexplicably drawn to Kasey and reluctantly enters his world filled with a new breed of humanity. They’re misfits like her, blessed or cursed with powerful abilities, struggling to hide their differences from the rest of society.
Then the group discovers a nameless, faceless sociopath with nightmarish powers; and he’s coming for Blue. She’s left reeling when they discover her gifts are the key to defeating his terrible evil and saving them all.
Now she must race against the clock to harness her own powers and save her new friends. Can she be more than a renegade? Can she be a hero too?


Rose Shababy and her family reside in eastern Washington State. Rose grew up in the Northwest but swears she’s going to move to warmer climates someday. She’s claimed this for over 20 years, however, and has yet to move more than 75 miles away from her mother.
Rose has a deep love of all things Star Trek and yearns to travel the heavens, as well as an intense desire to be bitten by a radioactive spider. Unfortunately she sucks at science and math so she hasn’t been able bring her dreams to life, instead living vicariously through books, comics, television and film. She hopes to someday make a million dollars so she can afford to buy her way to the international space station, but she’d settle for being able to fly around the world and leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Rose also loves to cook and worked for years in a gourmet Italian grocery and deli where she learned to hone her skills. She prepares culinary masterpieces for her family, but fervently wishes the dishes would wash themselves. Especially now that her dishwashers/children are nearly grown and only one still lives at home.
Rose likes to use her free time wisely. For instance, she likes to daydream, will often read for hours until she falls asleep on the couch with an electric blanket and a warm tabby cat curled up on her hip, as well as spending cozy weekend days watching Syfy movies like Sharknado and Mega Piranha with her husband.
If Rose were a cartoon animal, she’d prefer to be a wise old owl or a sleek and sexy jaguar, but in reality she’d probably be a myopic mole with coke-bottle glasses.


Excerpt One
As I scanned the crowd my eyes fell on one person out of sync with the rest. Close to my age, maybe a little older, he obviously didn’t belong in the club. His clothes, messy looking slacks and a gray t-shirt, hung on his lean frame. He finished his look with a tartan scarf and brown fedora that seemed more at home on an old man than one in his twenties.
He pulled his hat off and shaggy brown hair fell across his eyes as he danced. Well, he didn’t dance so much as sway to the music, his eyes closed while a hint of a smile graced his lips. As he danced, he bobbed his head back and forth and his hands moved like graceful waves. His shadow grin seemed to infuse his entire body. He danced by himself as if he didn’t care what anyone around him thought, as if he danced for himself and no one else. He looked completely out of place, yet he appealed to me and I felt myself wanting to go to him.
I was shocked by the surge of jealousy that rushed through me as I stared at him. His face broke through my drunken haze and I realized this man was no paper doll. His face belonged to a truly happy man. Hell, he looked fucking ecstatic.  
He had the face of an angel.

Excerpt Two
“Kasey,” I yelled stupidly, knowing it wouldn’t do any good but unable to stop myself. “Kasey, where are you?”
I burst through another door to find the bathroom, a layer of steam frozen in the air. I pulled the curtain back without even thinking about who might be in the shower, and slumped with relief when I found Kasey. He held a washcloth to his face as a stream of water rained down on him, frozen in place.
“Kasey,” I breathed happily, and reached out to grab his hand.
As I touched him, the same spark I always felt when we made contact erupted and the world came to life again. Water spewed all over me, soaking my clothes, spilling over onto the floor, but I didn’t care.
Kasey startled and yelped a little when he saw me. He recovered quickly. “Blue? What happened?”
I smiled, my tears mixing with the hot water from the shower as I launched myself at him, hugging him tightly. He smiled back and wrapped his arms around me.
Thank god I found you! I thought. “I’m so glad you’re here,” I whispered in his ear.
“I knew you would come back,” he whispered back, just before his lips found mine.

Excerpt Three
Clearly the time had come for the two of us to have it out. “I may have thought you were hot when we first met, and you got to listen to the nasty thoughts in my head, but every time we meet I find it harder to like you. In fact, every time you open your mouth, you get uglier and uglier. I don’t know if Val was right, and you really are jealous, but let me make this crystal clear for you. There is no part of me that wants you.”
His eyes narrowed for a moment, and then, before I could do anything, his hands shot out and grabbed my shoulders again. He yanked me close to him and I the heat from his chest burned through my t-shirt. His face was so close to mine I could feel his hot breath blazing against my cheek when he spoke. “You’re a little liar,” he hissed. “There is a part of you that likes this,” he shook me a little and I flushed with rage… and something else. “And goddamn me, there’s a part of me that likes it too.” He hovered with his face still close to mine and for a moment I thought he was going to kiss me. My head fell back slightly and my lips parted involuntarily as I anticipated his invasion.
Then he released me, almost flinging me away from him. I pressed my back against the wall as I watched him and tried to catch my breath as my traitorous heart beat so hard I thought it might burst out of my chest.
“Let me make this crystal clear for you,” he mimicked. “Kasey is like a brother to me and if you hurt him, you’ll wish you never met me.”
“I already do,” I whispered with sincerity.


Dream Cast for The Blue Effect by Rose Shababy
I have to tell you it was hard to decide who I would want to play the characters from my book. There were couple I hemmed and hawed about for a while before finally settling. I think I finally came up with some great picks and I’m pretty happy with all of them.  
Blue Brennan
Scarlett Johannson is a total bombshell. With long red locks, she embodies Blue’s look and I’m certain she has the acting chops to pull off the brash, mouthy attitude of Blue.
http://www.celebrityhaircolorguide.com/wp-content/themes/InspiredBits/thumb.php?src=http://www.celebrityhaircolorguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/ScarlettJohanssonRedhairColorFormula.jpg&w=683&zc=1&q=80&bid=1

Kasimir Korsak
This one was actually easy to come up with. Anton Yelchin is a little young, but I can’t think of any young actor that looks more like Kasey than he does. He’s a great actor too. A little aging makeup and he’ll kill as Kasey.
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ8MlsHliC7nBZLwdz8DQgD6FBIzmHnyoRzoypS_Of4ds6-dz-o

Avery Anderson
This one was easy for me as well. From the very beginning, I had an image of Avery in my mind, and it was the very delectable Channing Tatum. I think he’d be able to play the character just fine!
http://imageserver.moviepilot.com/-0110e978-5437-413d-b401-7c859e2ece5a.jpeg?width=1024&height=768

Esme and Valentina Love
The twins were really hard. Part of the problem I have is with the whitewashing of Hollywood and the lack of African-American actresses with extremely dark skin. Take a look at the top African-American actresses and you’ll find that most of them have very light skin. It’s this perception that paler skin is somehow more attractive. Thanks Hollywood. Anyway, I could go on and on about this issue, but that would be a whole different post, so I won’t. Google it if you’re curious.
I finally settled on Lupita Nyong’o. She won an Oscar for 12 Years  A Slave and I have little doubt she could pull off playing two very different characters. Not to mention she’s a stunning ebony goddess.
http://thejuicyexpressions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/lupita-nyong_o-by-sharif-hamza-for-dazed-confused-february-2014-1.jpg

Ashton Gray
I had a little trouble finding someone to play Ash until I ran across this picture of Chad Michael Murray and I knew instantly that I’d found my guy. In fact, I laughed out loud when I saw his picture and realized who he was, although you’ll have to read the book to find out why it was so amusing. I’m not super familiar with his body of work other than some things he did as a teenager, but he has the look and he’s been in the business long enough that I’m sure he could pull off the easy breezy hippie persona of Ash. http://celebrity-exchange.com/celebs/photos60/chad-michael-murray-07.jpg

Saturday, August 23, 2014

~Release Day Blitz~ Soulless by Amber Garr




Title: Soulless
Author: Amber Garr
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Expected Release Date: August 23, 2014
Publisher: 
Hallowed Ink Press

Blurb:
When it comes to death and love…only one is guaranteed.

Four decades ago Nora died. A tragic event for someone so young; however, four decades ago Nora was also given a second chance to walk among the living.

A Death Warden with a mysterious past, her job is to escort the newly expired towards the light, battling with the Soul Hunters who want the freshly dead to help with their own evil purposes buried in the dark.

When Nora’s charges suddenly become targets, she realizes that the hunters are after far more than just souls. A shift in power between good and evil threatens to change everything, risking the lives of the only family Nora has ever known.

Devastated and angry, she’s forced to face the man she once loved - a man who chose darkness over her - in order to find the answers she needs to stop the horror from escalating. Yet, while a lost relationship still haunts her broken heart, a new Warden with secrets of his own will enter the mix and quickly alter everything Nora believed to be true.

Death is unavoidable…but sometimes, so is love.



Amber Garr spends her days as a scientist and nights writing about other worlds. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain she has a supernatural sense of smell. Amber is a multiple Royal Palm Literary Award winner, author of the bestselling The Syrenka Series, The Leila Marx Novels, The Water Crisis Chronicles, and the upcoming Death Warden Series. When not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie. Find out more at www.ambergarr.com.

Author Links:Website * Facebook * Goodreads * Email * Twitter



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

~Release Day Blitz~ Keeper VS Reaper by Jennifer Malone Wright


Title: Keeper VS. Reaper
Author: Jennifer Malone Wright   
Genre: New Adult Paranormal
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours

Blurb:
When her father died, Lucy Mae Estmond inherited the family business. She has known all of her life that she would be in line to watch over the souls of the recently passed, keeping them safe from the Reapers.
The soul eating Reapers have been a plague upon the Earth, stealing souls and leaving the Keepers as the only thing that stands between Heaven and Hell. The factions despise each other and have warred for generations.

Then Lucy discovers an ancient legend predicting the arrival of the Chosen One, destined to bring forth an end to the Reapers. The surprises continue when she realizes she is that person. For Lucy, being the Chosen One doesn’t change much. Fighting Reapers is just another day in the life of a Keeper. 

When she meets Jack Walker, they both realize they have an insane, mutual attraction. Too bad that he’s been sent to prevent the prophecy from coming true. His only mission: to kill the Chosen One.


Jennifer Malone Wright is best known for her short story series, The Vampire Hunter's Daughter. Other works include the follow up to The Vampire Hunter's Daughter series called The Arcadia Falls Chronicles and her vampire novel called The Birth of Jaiden. Jennifer also co-authors a series called Once Upon A Zombie Apocalypse.
She resides in the beautiful mountains of northern Idaho with her husband and five children where she practices preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Just kidding!
But seriously, between the craziness of taking care of her children, Jennifer has little time left for herself. The time she does have left, usually leading far into the night, is spent working on her beloved fiction or chatting with her equally crazy friends.
Jennifer also loves coffee, has a passionate affair with red bull, wishes the sushi were better where she lives and dances while she cleans.


Buy Links:
Long Excerpt:
Inch by painstaking inch, the casket sank lower into the freshly churned earth.
The scent of lilacs floated on the breeze, along with the heavy stench of perfume and cologne, reminding Lucy of the fragrance aisle in a department store.
Lucy stood beside the grave, dressed in a modest royal blue sundress. She had chosen it specifically because her father always said the color looked the best against her hair, which was a mix of reddish brown that shone burgundy in the sunlight.
Tilting her head up, Lucy looked through the canopy of the aging oak trees that were scattered throughout the cemetery. The breeze shifted the branches, causing a few of the leaves to pull free and flutter off into the wind. There were almost no clouds in sky, allowing the sun to shine down over the funeral.
Her brothers and sisters surrounded the open grave opposite of her. All six of them also wore something fitting for a funeral, but nothing depressing enough to send their father into a rage in his afterlife.
Smiling, Lucy remembered the argument she and her father had during his last moments. “Lucy!” he had shouted at her. “Don’t you dare let them bury me in a suit. I am not going to spend eternity in a stuffy ass business suit. Make sure I’m wearing my khaki shorts and a Hawaiian shirt because I’m going on the vacation of a lifetime.”
That was toward the end, when the cancer was so bad that her dad spent most of his time in bed, moaning about how he should be up and about doing something. They both knew that the end was near, but Lucy had cried only in private. Her father wanted her to be happy he was moving on to the next life, but she couldn’t understand in what way, shape or form, his dying was a good thing.
So she shed her tears alone in her room until there were no more left to cry.
The fog of the memory lifted from Lucy’s mind and she looked across the grave at her brothers and sisters. The entire brood of Estmond siblings were born with the same color hair as Lucy had been blessed with. Each of them, as well as Lucy and Ethan, held a white rose in one hand. Later, before the grave was sealed, they would each take a turn throwing one down onto the casket, as a symbol of their wish for their father’s peaceful journey into the afterlife.
Just behind her brothers and sisters stood the mourners who came to pay their last respects. Most of them were town’s people whom they had grown up with, except for one group who stood close together, most of them around her father’s age. These were the Keepers whom her family had been closest to over the years. She could see Gloria and Edward White, the Keepers from one of the Napa Valley graveyards standing solemnly beside Ellen and Stanly Evans, who worked in the hospital in Santa Rosa. There were several other Keepers surrounding them who she recognized and made a note to speak to them later.
Beyond them, further out into the trees, the spirits began to show themselves. They appeared in the form of their human bodies, a bit transparent, but solid for the most part. It was harder to see in the daylight, but their misty blue auras swirled around them, helping form the solidity of their bodies.
The spirits were fascinated by funerals. When Lucy was little she used to think that they wanted to say goodbye to someone, but really it was because there wasn’t much else to do in a graveyard except talk to each other and attend burials.
Pastor Brown spoke solemnly, saying kind words and telling her father’s life story. Inwardly, Lucy cursed her father for choosing Pastor Brown, a man who had not known her father and she was sure didn’t give a flying fuck about him either. Her father hadn’t set foot in church since he was a child. Not because he didn’t believe in God, he just didn’t believe in organized religion.
Sensing her tension, Ethan squeezed her hand reassuringly. Turning to her left she looked up and met her best friend’s eyes through the tint of his sunglasses. Even through the dark lenses she could see the sorrow in his eyes. He had loved her father too, just as much as any one of the Estmond clan. In response, she squeezed his hand back and then turned back to stare at the grave again.
“And now, Lucy Mae, Gregory’s youngest child, will say a few words about her father.”  The preacher cleared his throat, signaling to Lucy that it was time.
Lucy had no tears staining her face. She had cried all those tears long before the day of the funeral. Again, Ethan gave her hand a gentle squeeze and then released her so that she could reach down and withdraw the folded piece of yellow legal paper out of her miniscule handbag.
As Lucy unfolded the paper she felt like it was taking an eternity.
This day is never going to end.
Finally, the paper was open in front of her and she began.
“I know that this speech is going to sound like the speeches given for so many others who have passed on. But, when someone we love dies, we all feel pretty much the same way … so here it goes. My father, Gregory Estmond, was the best person I’ve ever known. Today, we stand here, not to mourn him, but to celebrate him. He didn’t want any one of us to be sad that he was gone. Because … he isn’t gone. He will always be with us. For those of us who spent each day with him, his teachings and his love will always be with us. He taught us love, he taught us respect, he taught us of our family heritage, and he taught us how to live.
“For those who are acquaintances of my father, you may have met him only once and you are here because he impacted you in some way.”
A few nods came from the crowd.
Lucy continued. “He had that effect on people because he had a genuine love and respect for human life. Which is not something all of us can say we have. He treated everyone the same, with kindness. 
“Because my father had cancer, he knew that this day was coming and he had time to prepare for it. We had many discussions and the one thing he consistently told me was to embrace life. He didn’t say this because he was dying, it was his mantra. This man lived every day of his life like it may be his last. He didn’t wait until he was dying to find the beauty in this world or the people in it. He was always this way.
“Remember my father, not with sadness, but with the memories he left behind. Remember him with love, with laughter and knowing that he is exactly where he wants to be.”
Lucy stepped back, reaching out for Ethan to grasp her hand once again. She eyed her siblings, none of them were crying either. Daniel, the second oldest son, reached into his gray trench coat and pulled out a silver flask. Lucy sighed and watched as her brother didn’t even try to hide it and took a long pull of the whiskey she knew was inside.
Sadly, as inappropriate as her brother was being, she couldn’t help but wish she could take a giant swig off that flask too.
It’s almost over.
“Would anyone else like to say a few words?” Pastor Brown offered.
Sherriff Davis stepped forward, he had his Stetson clutched in one hand and hitched up his gun belt with the other. As always he was wearing his uniform. The Sheriff and her father had been pretty close … well, as close as a Keeper can get to someone without that someone thinking that they are out of their mind.
“I’d like to, if that’s all right.” The Sheriff looked down into the grave before his eyes swept across the crowd of mourners. Finally his eyes met Lucy’s and she flashed him a smile meant to encourage him to proceed.
“Greg was my friend … and an old grump like me doesn’t have many friends. Greg knew a lot of people in this town, but I feel damn sorry for anyone who lives here and never had the chance to meet him. No one, aside from my own wife, Darcy, could make me laugh like Greg could. He was loyal and respectful, even if he was a bull shitter. Good grief that man liked to tell stories. Also, any man who can raise a brood of children by himself and manage to keep them all out of jail is a good man in my book.”
Lucy could have sworn that she heard Principal Robertson blow air between his lips like he was blowing a raspberry. A few people looked his way and then back at Sheriff Davis.
“That is all I got.” Sheriff Davis stepped back into the crowd.
Evelynn Andrews, the librarian at the Summer Hollow library, raised her hand slightly. She was about seventy years old, but didn’t look a day over fifty five. Lucy hoped she would age that well as the years progressed.
Evelynn pushed her glasses up her nose and closed her eyes for a moment before she began to speak. “I don’t think I can say much more about how wonderful Gregory was, but I wanted to make sure to pay my respects by voicing them. I’ve known the Estmond family all the way back to when Kathleen was still alive, as far back as when she and Greg were high school sweethearts. No one, could have been a better father to these children. Sure, they have caused a fair amount of ruckus over the years, but he did it all on his own and they are educated, mostly well behaved.”
She paused to glance at Daniel who had decided that moment would be appropriate for another pull from his flask. “And above all, Greg gave these children a sense of loyalty. Anyone who knows these kids knows that if you mess with one, you get the whole bunch of them.”
A few people giggled, even Lucy, knowing how true that statement really was.
“This may not seem like a good thing in retrospect, but a family who stays together so closely is a rare thing these days. It is to be cherished. Greg gave them this sense of family and that is something to be proud of.” As she finished, she closed her eyes again looked Pastor Brown.
“Would anyone else like to speak?” Pastor Brown addressed the crowd of mourners.
Unexpectedly, Ethan released Lucy’s hand and raised it up a little bit. “I need to say something.”
Pastor Brown nodded and held his hand out beside him. Ethan moved over to the other side of Lucy beside the pastor. “There are very few people here who don’t know who I am.” Ethan began. “Gregory Estmond took me under his wing a long time ago, when Lucy and I were both very little. My parents, who have moved away now…”
He paused and took a breath, pondering if he should let out the deep dark family secrets. Well, secrets that the whole town knew anyway. That was how small towns worked.
“They were, drug addicts and alcoholics who barely took care of me. Greg came by the house one day to see my parents for some reason and what he found was a little boy locked in his room with no food or water and his parents passed out in their bedroom surrounded by drugs and trash. The story is a long one, a long sad story. But it ended with Greg and the rest of the Estmonds making sure I always had a place to go, that I always had food. Greg even went so far as to pay me for making good grades, just to give me incentive to do well in school.”
Lucy grimaced as he told the story, hating Ethan’s parents for what they did to him. Ethan had conveniently left out the part about how her father had beat the ever living snot out of Ethan’s dad that day he found him locked up in his room half starved. It was hard to believe Ethan’s parents came from a Keeper line, but sadly, not all Keepers were immune to addiction. Keepers were human, just like everyone else.
Ethan scanned the crowd through his glasses. “No one, except for maybe the Estmond kids, owes more, or loves that man, more than I do. He saved me and I will never forget that. I hope that none of you ever forget that either.”
Ethan lowered his head and hurried back to Lucy. She immediately took his hand again, knowing how hard it must have been for him to say all that in front of everyone. He never spoke about his parents. They moved away when he was fourteen and left him alone in the house. After that he came to live with the Estmonds for good. She and Ethan were friends long before the incident at Ethan’s house, but after he came to live with them, they were inseparable.
Pastor Brown closed up the ceremony with a prayer and then the bagpipes started on Amazing Grace. Lucy stepped forward with Ethan’s hand firmly in her grasp and looked down into the dark, deep hole where her father’s body would spend eternity. Luckily, she knew better than most that his soul would not remain in that body.
She held the white rose firmly over the grave. “I wish you peaceful passage.” She released the rose and it drifted down into the depths of the hole. “I love you, Daddy.”
Ethan mimicked her actions, familiar with the meaning of the ceremony from the many deaths of Keepers past. Her siblings had moved into a line directly behind her and Ethan, tossing their roses in as well.
The other mourners milled about, giving Lucy and the family some time before they headed over to her house for the wake. She caught sight of Gloria and Ellen chatting beside the giant wreath of flowers with her father’s picture inside. She wandered over to say hello. “Gloria, Ellen, it’s been so long since I’ve seen you.”
Gloria smiled, as did Ellen. “Yes dear,” Gloria greeted her. “It has been some time. I’m sorry we couldn’t make it sooner.”
“Or under better circumstances.” Ellen added.
Lucy nodded. “Well, I’m just glad that you could make it here now. I’m sure my father would be happy that you are here now.”
Gloria and Ellen nodded, they made a bit more small talk and then Ethan appeared beside her. “I think we had better get over to the house now.” He whispered just loudly enough for the older ladies to hear.
“Oh,” Lucy checked her watch deliberately. “You are absolutely right. I’m sorry ladies, I need to get some things ready over at the house.”
Gloria smiled again, a loving gentle smile of someone she had known her entire life. “You go on dear, we will see you over there.”
With a quick ‘see you later,’ Lucy backed away and then turned to join hands with Ethan again. “Thanks for saving me. I didn’t really want to talk to them, but I had to make sure to say hello to them.”
“You doing all right?” Ethan asked, rubbing the back of her hand with his thumb.
Lucy nodded. “I’m fine.” She turned her head to try and see his eyes through the dark tint of his glasses. “How bout you. Are you all right?”
He twisted his lip up a little and she knew he was giving slight eye roll. “I’ll survive. I just miss him and all this,” he gestured to the crowd, “actually makes it harder.”
She nodded again. “I know what you mean. I feel the same way.” Her gaze strayed from the grave and focused on her house. Their home sat on the edge of the cemetery, separated from the dead by a white picket fence and about thirty yards of grass. The yellow farmhouse had been in their family for several generations, and now it was hers, as was the family business.
“Let’s head over.”
She nodded. Of course they had to get to the house. But, it wouldn’t be for relaxing. There was food to get out and serve. People would come up to her and tell her how sorry they were for her loss, or how much her father meant to them, or some awesome memory they had of him. It was going to be a very long afternoon.
Almost over, she told herself again. Almost over.


Short Excerpt:
“Yeah, I get that.” He took a swig of his beer and cringed. “Ugh. Can I get a shot of Jameson with this too?”
“I thought you tried to stay away from the hard stuff.” Her dark eyes penetrated him, looking for a reason that he would want to be drinking the hard A.
“Not tonight I don’t.”
“Fine. But, because I’m your friend I’m only allowing you one shot then it’s back to the hangover beer for you.”
Friend. What a fucked up word. The F word for sure.
He gave her a twisted smile as she handed him the shot of amber colored liquid. “I don’t have any friends. Not anymore.”
She shot him a concerned look and put the Jameson bottle back on the shelf. “You do now. I think we hit it off as far as friends go. See, I’m going to help you out right now, just like a dude would. There’s Janette.”
“Who?”
“Are you fucking kidding me?”
Jack raised his eyebrows and shrugged his shoulders, then tilted his head back and slammed his shot.
Reese had her hands on her hips. “Janette. The girl you took home the other night.” She explained.
“Oh! You mean Janice.” He turned around to see who she was talking about.
“No, I mean Janette. That is her name, asshole.”
“Oh shit, really?”
Reese shook her head and laughed. “You may be good looking, but you are the poster child for guys women shouldn’t date. I have no idea why I like you at all.”
With a smile, Jack turned around and wiggled his eyebrows, “maybe we should take that to the next level.” He was totally joking and she knew it. The two of them seemed to have a mutual no touchy code.
“Not a chance in hell, Casanova.”
Jack laughed and then once again looked over his shoulder at Janette. Now, that was exactly what he needed right now. Nothing calms the nerves after an attempted murder and a fight with your friend like a good night of fucking out the frustration. He grabbed his beer and got up off the stool.