Wednesday, November 30, 2016
I've been reading Between Hope and the Highway by Charissa Stastny. With all the snow we've had in our neck of the woods lately, a romance was just the thing I needed to cozy up by the fire with.
This story is told from three perspectives: Liz, who is running away from painful memories and her critical mother, Bentley, a young man who was crippled in an accident that also killed his brother, and Rawson, the older brother of Bentley, who is fighting demons of his own from that same accident. So far, there have been a lot of emotions between the three as they navigate getting to know one another and deal with all their internal struggles. The sparks are just starting to smolder between the hero and heroine, though, so I'm getting to the part that keeps every romance reader turning pages!
I think the author has done a good job with the ranch setting in Montana. She really brings it to life with her descriptions, which added to the story. The characters are likable and it's a slower-paced romance that sneaks up on you the longer you read. With everyone's past holding them back, I think it's going to be a long, twisty journey to happily-ever-after. I'll let you know what I think of the end!
Here's the back copy:
Sometimes things get so messed up you have to pick up and get the heck out of Dodge. That’s what Liz Ruthersford does. Memories can be weapons, and hers have become incoming missiles. Fleeing home and her parents’ pity, she seeks refuge on a remote ranch in Montana where no one knows her tragic past. When she meets Bentley and Rawson Law, brothers with wounds of their own, life veers off course from her plans. Embers of hope and love flicker to life, but will Liz let them burn bright enough to warm her heart? Or will she hit the highway and run once again? A clean, heart-pounding romance and redemption story.
You can buy your copy here
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
I am so excited to share the first chapter of my new novel, The Capture, with you! This is the third and final installment of the Griffin Force series and it's Julian's story. I can't wait for you all to read it in April 2017!
by Julie Coulter Bellon
All Rights Reserved
Zaya still wore the same clothes she’d worn the day she was captured, and, after all these months, they were little more than filthy rags that barely covered her. With temperatures dropping now, she’d wished countless times she’d put on something different that day. Maybe a few layers– her favorite leggings, a long-sleeved shirt and sweater, even an extra pair of socks. But, then again, that last morning of freedom had been filled with thoughts of Julian, not what clothes she might need in a wintry 6x9 cell.
She shivered and pulled the tissue-thin blanket over her shoulders. Every day the air cooled by significant degrees so she knew winter was coming on. While it was hard to be grateful for anything her captors did, she’d nearly cried when they handed the small blanket to her. Captured operatives did their best not to show emotion, but as hope of rescue leeched away from her, that had been harder to control. It didn’t matter now, though. She was going to die in a cold, dark cell in central Afghanistan. The thought chilled her on the inside.
Zaya curled into a ball, trying to preserve what little body heat she had. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d been warm. Well, that wasn’t true. If she closed her eyes, she remembered Julian’s arms wrapped tight around her, his lips on hers. The heat from his touch had blazed through her veins like wildfire. But Zaya didn’t want to remember so she kept her eyes wide open, wishing the cold could numb her heart and mind as easily as it had her toes. Julian wasn’t coming. There would be no rescue. This frozen rock cell was her tomb, its icy touch the last thing she would know before she died.
The clanging of the door down the hall signaled that it was time for the next meal. She drew in a breath, then wished she hadn’t, as her stomach rolled even thinking about the watery bean soup and crust of bread she’d been living on. Her captors had tried to use spices and spinach to make it somewhat edible, but Zaya still had to choke it down. The smell of the spices mixed with unwashed bodies and waste made her want to retch. She pulled the blanket over her nose and breathed through her mouth to calm her stomach. Even with the revolting food and surrounding odors, she still had hunger pangs. They were a strange comfort now, a reminder that her body was functioning and could still feel.
Some days she wished she couldn’t.
The small section cut out of the metal door lifted and a bowl was shoved in. If she didn’t eat within the next ten minutes, the bowl would be taken away, but Zaya didn’t care. She lay near the door, the food an arm’s length away, but turned her back and closed her eyes. She couldn’t do this anymore.
Just let me die.
The thought flitted through her mind, and she fought it for a moment. Only cowards gave up. She could stay strong until Julian found her. But even with all his resources and the Griffin Force at his disposal, he hadn’t been able to do it so far. Maybe the mission to save her was destined to fail. She knew that would torment him. Julian hated to admit he couldn’t do something. His drive for success was what made him the best. But with every day she spent in captivity, it looked like Nazer al-Raimi had won the battle and maybe the war. Fighting terrorism had cost her everything, and having a front-row seat to their failure was salt in the wound. It was over. She couldn’t fight the inevitable. She was too tired to go on.
Closing her eyes, she finally went to the corner of her mind she rarely allowed herself to go. Laughing in the sunshine with Julian. Teasing him about the premature gray in his beard. Kissing him in their favorite coffee shop. Tears burned her eyelids. She’d never thought he’d give up looking for her, but maybe he had. How else could she explain the fact that she was still here? She pulled the blanket tighter. Being a covert operative had been her lifelong dream, but those dreams had never ended alone in a filthy cell. But, maybe it was for the best that they hadn’t found her. Then they’d never know she’d stopped fighting and had given up.
It hadn’t been that way at first. They’d moved her several times during her first two weeks of captivity and she’d spent her time plotting escape attempts. Each one had met with failure and beatings. That’s when they’d started using drugs to keep her docile, and then she’d ultimately ended up in this basement prison. Trying to keep track of the days, she’d made markings on the wall, but when her guard found them, she’d been moved farther down the hall to this darker cell, which looked like a medieval dungeon. She’d paced her prison, exercised her body and mind, to try to stay strong. Hope had burned bright then, but eventually, with barely any food and injuries that wouldn’t heal, Zaya no longer had the energy to fight. She was ready for death and hoped it came quickly.
Sighing, she turned back over and stared through the darkness at the bowl. Even with the unappetizing smell, her stomach growled, and her hand reached for it. Curling her fingers around the clay, she pulled it to her and quickly drank the liquid.
I can survive one more day, she told herself. Hang on for just one more.
After pushing the bowl away, she lay back down, but before she could close her eyes, the door down the hall clanked open again. Zaya’s stomach sank. Saif. Her jailer. Her interrogator. Even in the cold air, sweat trickled down her back. He was the man who ruled her nightmares with the whip he always carried in his hand.
“Zaya,” he boomed. “I’ve thought of more questions for you.” He ran the handle of the whip across the door of her cell, his beady eyes gleaming in the light from the candle he carried in his other hand. She hated him. Loathed everything about him, from his pride at speaking fluent English to the way he enjoyed hurting others.
She sat up slowly and drew her legs underneath her. Her hand automatically went to her hair to smooth it, but instead of a familiar long braid, there were only short spikes. Saif had cut it during one of their “sessions.” Rage filled her, effectively covering her helpless misery. That was why operatives were drilled constantly about compartmentalizing emotions. They didn’t help in situations like this and made everything worse.
“I’ve told you everything.” Her voice sounded weak to her own ears. She was so tired and didn’t have the strength for another beating.
He opened the cell and took a step inside towering over her. If she were standing, even with her 5’8” frame, they’d be nose to nose, but he rarely allowed that. He liked to feel bigger than he was and forced everyone to sit or kneel in front of him, as if he were a king of some sort. If they refused, he put them in the box— a narrow wooden contraption that compelled the person inside into a kneeling position. Saif had left her there for hours. Her knees still had scars from her many trips to the box. But with his whip in hand, Zaya knew today’s visit wasn’t about feeling superior or sending her to the box. He wanted answers and would punish her to get them. The soup she’d just eaten roiled in her stomach. She couldn’t endure through another session with Saif. Hanging on was starting to sound like the worst idea she’d ever had.
He toed her knee with his boot. “I think you need a bit more encouragement to truly tell me everything.”
“There’s nothing more to tell, I swear it.” She backed herself against the wall. “Please. I don’t know anything.”
Saif chuckled, a sadistic echo that radiated prickles of dread down her spine. “But I think you do.” He nodded to the guard behind him, who stepped forward to take the candlestick from Saif, who then grabbed Zaya by the arm. She knocked over the bowl trying to find her balance, but he merely dragged her behind him down the hall.
She knew the room he was taking her to like the back of her hand. A metal table was in the middle of it with restraints for her hands and feet. When she didn’t answer his questions, he would whip the sensitive soles of her feet and palms of her hands. It was his specialty.
He pushed her inside and she bit back a cry of agony when her aching knees hit the concrete floor.
“Get on the table,” he ordered and watched as she hauled herself to a standing position. Pain arced through her heels, still sore from their last session. Gritting her teeth, she sat on the edge of the table. She didn’t have a choice. There were consequences to resisting being tied down, and it would take weeks to recover. If she did as he asked, their time together and her recovery would be shorter.
She lay down and waited while he buckled her hands and feet into the leather straps. Exposed and vulnerable, she carefully watched Saif finish making sure she couldn’t move. Exhaustion and despair enveloped her. She couldn’t go on like this. The tiny flicker of hope she’d felt in her cell, telling her to hang on was snuffed out as she looked at Saif, tapping his whip on his thigh.
Turning her face away, she stared at a stain on the wall. Sometimes, if she could concentrate on something else, it helped get her through the pain of Saif’s “questioning” sessions.
He didn’t approach her right away, but she could feel his eyes staring. “We don’t have to do this, you know. Just tell me about Julian Bennet’s life– he places he goes, the people he cares about– and your suffering will be over.” His words were soft, deceiving. She knew what he said was a lie, but part of her wanted it to be true, if only to make the pain stop. When she didn’t respond, he touched her foot with the whip handle. He used that maneuver to scare her, but today, resignation mixed with her fear, making his techniques seem more bearable.
Tell him about Julian? Did Saif want to know that Julian liked his coffee black with only a dollop of cream and no sugar? That he had a cat named Milo? No. He wanted to know about Griffin Force, Julian’s resources, their black sites, and how much Julian knew about Nazer al-Raimi’s network. Revealing anything would be like signing Julian’s death warrant. “I’ve already told you. I was only a runner. I never met Julian.”
The whip snapped her left foot, and she clenched her teeth. He would go easy on her at first, whipping slowly until she refused to give him the answers he wanted. Then it would get ugly.
“I know you aren’t a runner. You were seen with him.” He got down in her face, his mouth twisted into a snarl. “How many operatives has he recruited for Griffin Force?”
Not enough, she thought. Or I wouldn’t still be here.
But before she could finish that thought, an explosion rumbled through the old complex. Ceiling tiles fell on her torso, and she flinched, but with her hands and feet shackled, she couldn’t protect herself.
Saif took three steps to the door and yanked it open. “Waheed!” he shouted, but his guard didn’t answer. Saif shut the door again and came around to unshackle her. His fingers were clumsy as gunshots sounded outside.
Could this be the rescue she’d prayed for? If so, she needed to stall so they’d have time to find her. If it wasn’t, and it was a rival terrorist cell storming the complex, she definitely wanted to be far away from here as fast as possible.
“Where are you taking me?” Zaya asked, trying to decide whether to attempt an escape. Maybe Saif also knew more than he was saying.
“You’re valuable enough that I have my orders to take you directly to Nazer if anything like this happens,” he said, then clenched his teeth as more ceiling tiles fell. “I need to get you out of here before this building falls down on top of us.”
He grabbed her arm again and pulled her off the table. She set her foot on the floor and cried out in pain. Saif didn’t slow down, and dragged her to the door. Before he could touch the handle, though, the burst open and three men in full combat gear rushed in. Saif tried to push Zaya in front of him, but her foot was too tender, and she dropped to the floor. Everything was moving so fast, but felt like slow motion. The men were pointing guns and yelling for Saif to get on the ground. She turned her head in time to see Saif point a gun toward the tac team leader, but he didn’t even have time to blink, much less pull the trigger before he was killed.
Saif’s body dropped heavily to the floor next to her. Am I dreaming? The men’s combat boots surrounded her, their voices a mix of American and British accents. Could Julian have finally found me?
The obvious team leader, dressed in black, leaned over her and she blinked up at him. “We’re going to get you out of here, Z.”
Z. No one called her that except her closest friends. Hope swelled in her chest. This had to be Griffin Force. She just couldn’t place the voice yet.
He put his hands out as if he wanted to help her stand, but hesitated. “You’re pretty banged up,” he said carefully, looking her in the eye. “It’d probably be best if I carry you.”
“We gotta get out of here,” the man next to him said, touching his earpiece. “Nazer’s called for reinforcements, and they’re on their way.” He stood next to the first man and stared down at her. “I know you’re hurt, and we’re going to take care of that, but we’ve got to get you to the helo now, or we’ll lose our window.”
Zaya could only stare, her tongue thick, tears clogging the back of her throat. It was over. The nightmare was over. Nodding was all she could manage, and she didn’t protest when he put her in a fireman’s carry and they hustled toward the door.
From her perch over his shoulder she lifted her head to see Saif’s body on the floor. Rage filled her again. His death had been so easy. No suffering. No torture or threats or prayers for death. Part of her wanted them to stop. To somehow let her mete out justice for everything he’d done to her. But it was over now, and she just wanted to be free. To go home.
A tear slipped out and blazed a trail into her hair as her rescuers rushed down the hallway of her prison. Deep down, she knew, even if they got out of there, that too much had happened for her to ever go back. Nothing would ever be the same again.
Not even home.
Monday, November 28, 2016
My Christmas novella, Truth or Dare, that is featured in Under the Mistletoe Collection of the Timeless Romance Anthology, is now in paperback! If you want to get in the Christmas mood, or give a great gift, then this is the collection for you!
You can get your paperback book here
Here's the back copy:
Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Under the Mistletoe Collection. Six contemporary novellas, all adding sweet romance to the Christmas season.
In the enchanting novella FORGOTTEN KISSES by Cindy Roland Anderson, costume designer Madison Taylor has no love lost when the male lead playing Sir Lancelot in a TV series is fired. She couldn't stand working with him anyway. But when she discovers who his replacement is, her heart nearly stops. Caleb Matthews is one of the hottest male actors ever... and not to mention Madison's former boyfriend. When things got too serious between them, everything fell apart. And now, Madison must play nice or lose her job. She just has to forget all of the reasons she'd fallen for him in the first place.
In THE LAST CHRISTMAS, a sweet romance novella by Annette Lyon, Meredith only has to make it through the Christmas holiday pretending that she and her husband Eric aren't on the verge of divorce. She doesn't want to ruin the holiday for her two grown daughters and their boyfriends. But when Eric hurries home after weeks of living in a motel to unpack before their daughters arrive, he starts pressing Meredith with questions about why she filed for divorce. The last thing Meredith wants to do it give Eric a second chance, but it seems that Eric is not willing to let her go without trying to win her back.
In Julie Coulter Bellon's captivating novella TRUTH OR DARE After a year of recovery, wounded war veteran Jonah Harrison comes home for Christmas. No longer the outgoing high school track star, he just wants to be left alone, away from well-meaning friends and neighbors. But when a blizzard strands him with Cami Jackson--the girl who once knew him best--he can't hide anything from her, no matter how much he wants to. Cami has a wounded heart of her own, though, and it might take a Christmas miracle for them to find the healing they both long for and the courage to reach for a chance at love.
In the charming novella HOLIDAY BUCKET LIST by Sarah M. Eden, Celeste Lagorio has officially given up on Christmas. A single mother, with her children grown and unable to return for the holiday, Celeste determines to take a break from everything. When her single neighbor and almost-best-friend, Mike Durham, discovers her non-plans, they discuss things they've always wanted to do, but never had time. Mike and Celeste put together a friendly competition of checking off the things on their bucket list, all the while drawing closer and discovering they have more in common than they thought.
In CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY, a delightful novella by Heather B. Moore, Monica is on the verge of buying her dream store, but when she tells her boyfriend, he turns it into an embarrassing public argument. Heartbroken, but determined to follow her dream, she goes to her employer's Christmas party to play Mrs. Claus, only to be paired with someone unexpected. A young Mr. Claus who is the complete opposite of her ex-boyfriend in all the most important ways. Yet, Monica is not sure she can risk opening her heart again.
In Jennifer Griffith's exciting novella FIRST (AND LAST) CHRISTMAS DATE, pilot Juliet Law has been in a holding pattern, dating the wrong guy, until she gets a holiday shake-up: old flame Tag McClintock e-mails her to ask for second date--after ten years. Their first date, back in high school, had been an unmitigated disaster culminating with Pepto Bismol and the police. Still, Juliet would have gone out with Tag again the next day--and the next--had he asked. So now that he's finally popping up in her in-box again, Juliet must decide whether to say yes to the date, even if it puts her at risk of another decade of carrying a torch for Tag McClintock. Will their second date be their last?
Friday, November 25, 2016
Two of my books are part of a Huge Christmas Ebook sale that features "clean fiction" in all different genres, with all free or .99 cents books!
If you need to fill your ereader with flinch-free fiction, then this is the sale for you! Scroll down to see them all.
Julie Coulter Bellon
All Fall Down
- a romantic suspense from the Hostage Negotiation Team series
- #1 Amazon Bestseller for Action Adventure/Romance
- RONE Award Winner for Best Suspense
That simple rhyme turns negotiator Claire Michaels' current hostage situation into an international incident. Claire just wants to help get everyone out safely, but as the crisis escalates she realizes she's dealing with an al-Qaeda operative who has the means to become another bin Laden---with the potential to attack America. Claire has her own personal reasons for wanting to stop al-Qaeda, but time is slipping away as negotiations break down. Can she overcome her scars of the past in order to get the hostage out alive and possibly stop an assault on U.S. national security?
Navy SEAL Rafe Kelly is on leave to recover from a knee injury he suffered during his tour in Afghanistan and he doesn't expect to be fighting terrorists on his home turf. But when he is taken hostage and his brother is kidnapped, Rafe teams up with a hostage negotiator in order to stay alive and get his brother back. The terrorist is always one step ahead of them, however, and the situation quickly turns from desperate to deadly. Will Rafe be able to save himself and his country without anyone he loves getting caught in the crossfire?
- From award-winning author, Julie Coulter Bellon, comes the first book in her new romantic suspense series, Griffin Force . . .
Former Navy SEAL Jake Williams is the newly appointed head of a task force assigned to rescue a kidnapped American diplomat. Their only hope is Mya Amari, the daughter of a notorious Algerian hostage negotiator, but she is full of secrets and complications-something Jake takes as a personal challenge. As they grow closer, the threat to the mission escalates and time runs out for the hostages. Can Jake unravel the web of deception to save them all without getting caught in the crossfire?
Mya Amari has been in hiding nearly her entire life to escape her father's enemies. But when her sister is kidnapped along with an American diplomat, she'll do anything to bring her home-including walking into the enemy's lair. She doesn't trust anyone, especially the too-handsome-for-his-own-good Commander Williams, but when all her careful plans explode out of control, he's the only one she can turn to with the truth about her family. Is it too little, too late?
Donna K. Weaver
(audiobook is only $1.99 if you own the Kindle ebook)
**Winner of the prestigious RONE Award for best New Adult fiction**
Modern-day pirates took more than Jori Virtanen's friends; they stole his face. Not only does the 24-year-old former model have to confront months of reconstructive surgery, he discovers his previous life was as superficial as his looks. Jori struggles to make a new life for himself as an artist while evading the press. They expect a hero, but he knows the truth. His beauty masks a beast.
Olivia Howard's given up a normal life for her job, and the sacrifices are finally paying off. The 26-year-old talk-show host's ratings are heading to the top of the charts. Her dream is to make a difference in people's lives, but the studio wants mind fluff-like interviewing hot model Jori Virtanen. When Olivia learns the guy helped rescue passengers on a cruise excursion from kidnappers, she knows this is the story she needs to make her case. The only problem is the hero was injured, and now he's disappeared.
The more Olivia learns about the man behind the scar, the more intrigued she becomes. But Jori is no girl's happily ever after. Once she finds him, Olivia has to free his heart and help heal the beast.
“We’re the same. I’m night, you’re day. You have to have both to have life.”
“You can hide in the shadows.”
“And you can shine like the sun. This prophesy is about both of us.”
Destiny doesn't think she's anything special. The daughter of an outcast witch. Her twin, Fate, is her best friend, so that's awesome. They're experts in love potions and selling them to crazy high school kids.
So they can buy more shoes.
But that all changes when their school is attacked by warlocks—warlocks who want her power for their own. The attack launches her onto the path the stars have chosen for Destiny, Fate, and their long-lost father.
Oh, and Quin.
Quin, who's the son of a witch, only tolerating Destiny's presence because she can save his mother. Except along the way, that all changes, and he realizes Destiny is everything he never knew he wanted. The only problem is she thinks if love can be made from a potion, it can't be a real thing.
If they survive this, he's going to prove her wrong.
Laura L Walker
Caitlyn's Christmas Wish
Just when former model and single mother Caitlyn Drevier Reel has finally put her life on track after a divorce and six-month stint in rehab, she is surprised to receive an invitation from her ex-in-laws to spend Christmas with them. After all, she reasons, her ex-husband Grant is constantly on the road with his band and it's only fair to allow them to get to know her young son. What Caitlyn isn't prepared for, however, is the spark of attraction she feels toward Ridge, Grant's older brother, or the sense of belonging to their wonderful family once again. Ridge, who is recovering from his own personal heartache, seems to feel the same way. As they work together to ensure the success of the Winter Festival his parents have organized for their small Wyoming town, Caitlyn begins to envision a bright future. But will Grant's unexpected arrival keep her Christmas wish from coming true?
This inspirational romance is sure to put you in the holiday mood!
Stranded on a primitive world, facing death at the hands of the natives, hunted by drug smugglers, wanted by the Patrol, Captain Dace has one hope of escaping: Convince the Patrol agent trying to kill her that she's innocent.
Have you ever danced in a fairy ring? Sabrina has, and it opened the door to fairyland. But it's not the place of legend. The Queen is missing and the lords of the Seligh are hoarding the magic, using it to fuel their devices. With the help of a pixie warrior and a renegade elf, Sabrina must restore magic and solve the mystery of the balmorae, flying monsters that plague the Winterlands beyond the barrier.
Changes of the Heart
Buying the 1920s farmhouse south of Phoenix, where the rumors of John Dillinger’s gang hid out in the 30s, is supposed to be accident-prone Grace Evanheart’s way of escaping an old romance. When she finds an ancient diary with a map under the bedroom’s floorboard, the rumors solidify into fact. She doesn’t know who to trust with the news; Micah Stevens, the handsome deputy and the great grandson of the original landowners with whom she’s attracted, or Jerry, the young historian who seems too intent on learning about her new home?
Micah seems convinced their paths cross exactly at the right time and in the right place for them to fall in love. Now he just has to convince Grace of the same thing before suspicions of his real motive have her running again.
Window of Time
CIA courier Lucy James never gets used to seeing innocent people killed, but she copes with it—every day. Cursed with the ability to glimpse into the future when a death is about to happen, she has a short window of time to interfere—risking her life in order to change it. No one knows about her curse, until she saves a handsome Los Angeles firefighter trapped between her and foreign operatives hell-bent on intercepting her current assignment.
LA firefighter Johnny Cartwright’s life changes the moment he meets Lucy. His uncomplicated days flip to dangerously unpredictable after he’s drawn deeper into her secretive world of premonitions. His attraction to Lucy grows as he helps her stop a terroristic plot against the U.S., putting his life between her and certain death.
Gone for a Soldier
· Book 1: The Owen Family Saga. 2014 Whitney Award Finalist-Historical Fiction
Rulon Owen loves two things more than life—his country and Mary Hilbrands.
When Virginia secedes from the Union, Rulon enlists, and finds himself fighting foes both in battle and in his own camp. He struggles to stay alive against all odds, with a knife-wielding tent-mate and a Union army that seems impossible to defeat. It will take every ounce of vigilance he has to survive and, with a little luck, he might make it home to his wife and the son he's never seen.
Forced to live with her parents for the duration, Mary faces a battle for independence. With a mother whispering that her husband won't come home to her and a son who needs her to be both father and mother, Mary has to dig deep for strength to overcome her overwhelming loneliness and the unknown future ahead.
Separated by war and circumstance, Rulon and Mary discover that not all enemies wear the Union blue.
After Treena’s disastrous attempt to unite the nation, she has the deaths of hundreds haunting her dreams. Now, with hatred and accusations following her past the border, she’s determined to leave that horrible day behind and find a peaceful, uneventful life with Vance and the settlers. But when she starts seeing mysterious figures hiding in the abandoned cities at night and uncovers a strange desert population, she realizes there’s a danger much greater than NORA to worry about—and she just abandoned her people to their fate.
Vance is a prisoner. Being rejected by the girl he loves and put on trial for betraying his clan are bad enough, but now he’s been framed for a crime he never committed. Their less-than-perfect refuge has become the political game of a madman, and Vance is the only one who can stop it—if he can keep from being executed first.
Treena and Vance are still very much in the game, and this time it will take everything they have to save those they love.
- NUMBERS IGNITE is book two of the Numbers Game saga. Readers who enjoy action-packed sci-fi mystery and romance will love this futuristic thriller from a #1 bestselling author.
- PRAISE FOR THE NUMBERS GAME SAGA: “Offers new things to the world of YA and there is much to look forward to in the next books.” ~In'DTale Magazine
- “Gripping, from beginning to end . . . a tale as action-packed as Divergent yet as introspective as The Giver. . . . Sure to be an instant classic in the genre.” –R.J. Craddock, author of The Children of Cain series
- “Best dystopian fiction I have read since Red Queen!” -Sheri, Reader
All is Merri and Bright
Merri Wilcox has finally achieved her greatest dream and opened her own hair salon. Life is bliss until Brighton Stansbury walks through her door. Growing up, Brighton was behind every bad thing that happened to Merri. She hasn't seen him since high school graduation and could have happily continued like that forever.
When a winter storm traps Merri and Brighton together, will the pair finally learn to get along, or will the Christmas holiday become their new war zone?
Five years ago, Lauren Walker ditched everything—and everyone—she knew and headed for Nashville with her bags packed and violin case in tow, ready to conquer her dreams. With the perfect boyfriend, a great roommate, and a job she’s good at, she believes it’s only a matter of time before her talents as a musician will finally be discovered and appreciated.
But, just as quickly as they begin, all the good things in her life come crashing down.
Out of options and money, Lauren returns to the small town in Utah where she grew up. Living with her parents and working at the same job she had in high school is hard enough on her ego, but seeing the successes of people she once considered good friends is even worse. Especially when one of those friends is her former best friend, Scott McAllister.
Will Lauren completely lose her independence and her mind, or will she find a way to manage rekindled feelings and still conquer her dreams?
Connect with Tifani Clark:
A Kane County Christmas.
Spider Latham’s first Christmas Eve in Kane County is complicated by a fouled-up septic system. Then his foster daughter, Amy, decides to recreate the Bethlehem Star in the sky above his barn. As Spider’s holiday spirit unravels with each snag in his plumbing solution, Amy’s star works a special Christmas magic.
(Book 3 in the Quantum Faith Effect Series)
When the Hallelujah Chorus is banned from his school's Holiday Gala, Josh doesn't want to get involved and fight the injustice like he usually does. But after book-traveling through the life of George Frideric Handel in the Literary Loom, Josh has second thoughts. Those second thoughts grow into a passion as Josh discovers the mystery behind the quirky new kid at Claremont High, and learns the value of remembering Christ as he travels through the New Testament. Everywhere he looks, Christmas seems to be about everything but Christ. He can't change the world but he can at least bring back the Hallelujah Chorus and help people remember what Christmas is all about.
The Secret Life of Daydreams
He planned for everything except her. She's too busy to follow her dreams. But sometimes the dream you never expected is the one you can't live without.
Six years after a painful divorce, Josh Conrad is happy traveling the world as a photographer. When he arrives in Portugal, he plans to complete the assignment as quickly as possible. What he doesn't plan for is Sofia, the girl he baptized eleven years earlier on an LDS mission, and soon he's making excuses to prolong his trip.
Sofia Monteiro leads a structured life in Braga, Portugal, teaching high school by day and caring for her mother by night. After she reconnects with Josh through mutual friends, the memory of a failed relationship and her new graduate program are enough reasons to stay away from him.
As they collaborate on a project, Josh is wary of repeating his old mistakes and Sofia hesitates to spend time with an American who's only passing through.
Can two people with wounded hearts bring themselves to trust their dreams to each other?
The Secret Life of Daydreams is a standalone full-length novel set in Braga, Portugal. It’s a clean and wholesome contemporary LDS romance in the A Love Story From Portugal series.
One Small Chance
Isabel Antunes is content with her life as director of the British Academy in Lisbon. Then she’s hit by a man on a bike—a man her boss just hired to be her assistant. Despite Simon Ackerley’s repeated assurances to the contrary, Isabel believes he’s after her position, but she won’t hand it over without a fight. As if dealing with him all week is not enough, he shows up at church as well. Her only solace is in writing to the pen pal she knows as “Elliot”.
Simon Ackerley told his father that he was moving to Lisbon for the job. But that isn’t the only reason. Simon is looking for Amélie, the pen pal he’s written for fifteen years. A woman he knows everything about—except her real name and address.
When the biking accident reveals that Simon’s prickly co-worker Isabel is the elusive Amélie, he knows he has to win her trust before he can confess his true identity. If only he could tell her the actual reason why he’s come, he’s sure Isabel would treat him differently. But she’s not ready for the truth.
One Small Chance is a standalone novella set in Lisbon. It’s a clean and wholesome contemporary LDS romance in the A Love Story From Portugal series.
Tristi Pinkston / Amelia C. Adams
Sea of Strangers
by Amelia C. Adams
Jeanette Peterson left behind the man who loves her to go to nursing school in New York, promising to come back in six months and marry him. His love is the only thing that sees her through the trials ahead. When the time comes to make the toughest decision of all, will she choose justice or mercy out of many shades of gray?
Take My Advice
by Tristi Pinkston
Jill Reed thinks she knows it all, and as the advice columnist for her high school newspaper, she gets to share her wisdom on a weekly basis. She handles questions about everything from dating to choosing the right nail polish, and with the exception of a few bullies, everyone respects her opinion.
But when life throws her some curves she can't handle, she realizes she knows a whole less than she thought she did, and she'll need to ask others for their advice so she can make it through.
First Love, Second Choice
What happens when you impersonate your identical twin sister to score a date with your long-lost high school crush? Enjoy this delightfully sweet case of mistaken identity today!
A kiss shouldn’t be this complicated. When animal rights activist Michelle kisses a mystery man underneath the mistletoe at a holiday party, she's horrified to realize he's the new marketing director of the pharmaceutical company she's trying to destroy due to their nasty habit of animal testing. Can one impulsive kiss be the foundation for a happily ever after? Curl up with this delicious holiday romance today!
Tweaks: The Beginning
Henry Johnson has a best friend, a crush, a life-long enemy, and no idea his life is a science project.
In sixth-grade, average may mean boring, but at least it also means avoiding freakdom. Henry is all kinds of average—that is before other people’s thoughts start popping into his head. He thinks he’s going crazy until he discovers he’s one of several kids with genetically modified abilities, including the school bully. How did they get tweaked? To unravel the mystery, Henry must face family betrayal, his parent’s abduction by a greedy scientist, and even becoming frenemies with the bully. Can the Tweaks use their new abilities to avoid being used as demo models for the corrupt Dr. Grey’s foreign military buyers?
Just Say No-el
With five children to Christmas shop for, a Sunday School class to teach, and a cub scout den to lead, she has no time to volunteer at the Seattle Crèche Festival. Reluctantly, she agrees to help her friend arrange the nativity displays for one afternoon. Somehow, she ends up working for weeks under Marilynn, a stern woman who organizes the volunteers like an invading army and relegates Kelly to the Children’s Room where she can’t break anything.
Unable to say no, Kelly stays on and on. With each new assignment, she wants to get done and get out of there, but then nativity pieces start to go missing. Before long, Kelly wants, more than anything, to solve the mystery and make sure the festival succeeds, but how will she ever get Christmas ready for her family?
Vicki Hunt Budge
Renewal: Kaylas Story
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength,
While loving someone deeply gives you courage.
Meanwhile Kayla’s father drops the bomb that he’s not her real father. And then he dies, setting Kayla on an arduous quest to discover who she really is, and if she’s worthy of anyone’s love.
Along the way she establishes new friendships and treasures current friends. But will the drama of her friends and family strengthen her, or will it cause her to withdraw back to her destructive beginnings?
Renewal is the continuing story of love and friendship in the Hope and Healing Series. It is a story of redemption and faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Storm’s ranch is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy after cattle rustlers strike. When her part-time ranch hand dies under suspicious circumstances, she concocts a plan to save her ranch. Now she just needs to convince her reclusive neighbor to be her business partner.
Dak Hunsaker moved home after he lost everything when his wife died from cancer. He has finally saved enough money for a down payment on a house in the city so he can raise his girls in the cultured environment he promised his wife. When Storm proposes a business partnership, he refuses. But when she ends up in the hospital and is on the verge of losing her ranch, Dak steps in to help. And so does Storm’s old cowboy flame, Taggert.
In jeopardy of losing the only place that’s ever felt like home, who can Storm trust with her heart?
A woman rancher hitches the community’s dreams to her sleigh ride business and ropes in a heap of trouble for them and her heart.
Jayne Gardner turned her family’s ranch into the successful Snowed Inn Lodge and Restaurant. After she learns the community has one month to earn funds needed for a grant, she donates her company’s sleigh rides for a community fundraiser.
When Jayne’s new volunteer sleigh driver turns out to be Forrest Hunsaker, the man who left her three years ago, Jayne sets up three rules to maintain a professional distance and protect her heart.
When vandals strike Snowed Inn, Jayne must team up with Forrest to prevent a fundraiser fail. Now Jayne must decide if breaking all her rules will break her heart. Again.
Ghost Moon Night
also available in audiobook
It was whispered years ago that when a pirate cursed a Philippine village with langbuan, or flying undead, a boy received a secret that would protect him from certain death. But even armed with a secret, can anyone survive the undead for long?
Seventeen-year-old Antonio Pulido has never known a time when the langbuan didn’t roam the streets every Ghost Moon Night, killing anyone in their path. He works hard to protect his family and the girl he loves from the deadly attacks, but he wants them stopped once and for all. Can Antonio uncover the decades-old secret and will it help him defeat the langbuan? Or will Ghost Moon Night come again and take someone he truly cares about? It falls on Antonio to save his village, but time is running out. The next Ghost Moon Night is nearly here and Antonio knows this is his last chance to destroy the undead and end their reign of terror -- or die trying.
When a medical waste company tries to relocate to her county, columnist Jewel Allen never would have guessed it would be the end of one life, and the beginning of another. Wanting to protect her community, she starts a social media campaign against the giant incinerator which not only costs her her writing job, but gives birth to the activist inside. She rallies her neighbors against the company and the State Legislature bent on invading their land.
As the dust settles from that battle, she faces an even greater dilemma: The Speaker of the House and his allies, armed with a million-dollar public relations budget, want to build a new, water-hogging state prison ten minutes from her home. Equipped with only her media know-how, Jewel helps her neighbors wage a creative grassroots campaign to save their town.
In this more-than-a-memoir, Jewel Allen not only tells her David and Goliath stories, but shares effective and invaluable secrets and insights to running and winning a political / grassroots campaign. It answers the questions: What can I do? and How can I do it? A must-read for anyone looking for motivation, upliftment, and guidance.
Miranda D Nelson
Joanna Leighton has never desired a husband. She’s seen what love can do to a person and she refuses to subject herself to that pain. She’s satisfied to help her uncle, the physician of Roselund Heights, tend to his patients. When the quiet and secretive Colin Aldridge moves to town her resolve softens, and she begins to wonder if love is perhaps worth the pain it inevitably brings. Joanna’s wounds run deep and when secrets and sorrows arise, she’s tempted to close off her heart forever. Can she trust Mr. Aldridge enough to risk the pain and give him her heart? Or will she decide she's better off spending her life alone?
The Crystal Bridge
A novel that spans worlds and genres, breaking rules at every turn. Imagine Lord of the Rings meets Stargate.
Kaden’s Egg, a shell of light only he can see, transports him to dangerous distant worlds, but he’s afraid to use it. It may have saved his life once or twice, but it’s also failed him just as often. Aren’s sight reaches deep into the souls and memories of others, exposing more than she ever wanted to see.
When Aren turns her gift on Kaden, his Egg responds, sending them spiraling across the space between universes to a world where dragons, mythic creatures, and peculiar gods dwell. Separated, lost, and alone, these teens must come to grips with their unique gifts if they ever want to see Earth again.
Back home, a biotechnology company tinkers with the science of reality, hoping to cure death itself, but they will awaken something shadowy and powerful, imprisoned in the void for millennia. This dark being longs to break free and devour everything. Infinite universes would be consumed, and Kaden and Aren must decide if they can save more than themselves.
Can they save us all?
The housing market is crashing, and Sophie’s life is crashing with it. At twenty-four, her successful real estate career evaporates. She’s broke, can’t find a job, or pay her bills. At the urging of her roommate, Sophie accepts a job in her fallback career—teaching six-year-olds. She hopes it’s temporary. After all, how long can a tanking economy last anyway? The best part of the new job is Liam, another employee at Rio Grande Elementary. The worst part of the new job is, well, teaching.
Sophie has a surprise real estate closing from a contract she wrote months ago, leading her to a niche in the real estate market and to a new partner, Kevin. Sophie must choose between Liam or Kevin and between a lucrative career or recess duty.
This new adult, chick lit novel is a sweet romance filled with humor as Sophie navigates her life as a teacher, trying to balance lesson plans and love in the workplace.
All By My Selfie
While on vacation at McLeod Castle in Scotland, Gwen Mackenzie has nightly dreams of an ancient warrior bound by a curse. During the day, she sees Niall, nicknamed #ScottishBoyfriend. Oh, and can that man rock a kilt! As she gets to know him, she realizes that Niall is the warrior from her dreams, cursed to live as a ghost for the past five hundred years, to see life around him but never see, taste, or feel any of it—except Gwen.
This is a 100 page novella in the clean & wholesome category.
Son of War - Daughter of Chao
on sale from November 25 - 30
Aislynn is accustomed to watching for the enemy. Her parents have instructed her from the time she was young to look for people with the signs: greater than normal strength, eyes that sometimes glow green, and the ability to jump long distances. Over the years, Aislynn has come to view her parents' fears as quirks and unfounded paranoia.
When Aislynn's mother dies under suspicious conditions, her father doubles his restrictions. But all his precautions can't stop the boy with glowing green eyes from finding Aislynn. She realizes too late she's been drafted into an ancient Egyptian war, one where Horus and Set still struggle for control and people aren't who or what they seem to be. Danger will find her, whether she's prepared or not.
This urban fantasy takes you around the world: from Arizona to Oxford, England, with stops on the snowy peaks of the Arctic and the ancient ruins of Egypt.
Have you ever experienced that one moment that made you stop and take notice of a person you see every day, but never truly saw before? That’s what happened to me the day Eli Markham walked away from the school bully, instead of fighting.
It wasn’t the first time he’s done this, but it was the first time his eyes found mine in the crowd and held me captive. Now, I can’t get him out of my head and I’m seeing him everywhere.
Problem is, I’m not the only one taking notice of him. Someone, something, has got him in its sights and they want him bad. Bad enough to try to frame him for the murder of the bully he walked away from.
As his alibi for that crime and then another, I’ve stumbled into the crosshairs of the monster that’s after him and losing isn’t an option for it.
People say it wasn't an accident, so what really happened that night at Ritter's Crossing when a fire at the abandoned cotton gin killed seven students? Or was it eight? Soon the writing on the bathroom wall means it's up to Taryn Young to hurtle past her grief to figure out just what's going on at Ideal High School in this page-turning mystery that confronts bullying and betrayal.
Stacy Lynn Carroll
On the Corner of Heartache and Love
Maren's stuck at the intersection of heartache and love, but happily ever after might be just around the corner.
After three years, Maren Summers is elated to finally have her dream wedding to her dream man, Kevin Bryant. In her sights is the promotion to Weddings she’s worked so hard for at the newspaper. Happily ever after is within her grasp…
Until Kevin jilts her at the altar, elopes with another woman, and becomes her boss. Devastated by the twisted turn of events Maren moves in with her best friend and notices the not-so-homeless guy on the corner, Zane Whitfield. As his heart-wrenching tale unfolds—his vow to wait a year on the corner for his lost love—Maren sees his compassionate human-interest story as her ticket away from Kevin, weddings, and her heartache.
But as the New Year approaches, is Maren headed for heartache again if Zane's lost love returns or has time changed more than one heart?
Lady Theona McArthur thinks opening The Keeper, a forbidden ancient relic, will help her find the love of her life. At least that’s what her dreams tell her. But instead of being shown where this handsome boy with violet eyes lives, she becomes possessed by evil spirits and is imprisoned for violating the laws of Kildaria.
Then rumors of war bring a foreign prince to seek an alliance with Kildaria, and Theona’s shocked that Prince Gideon Seville is the young man of her dreams, the one with the violet eyes.
When Theona is condemned to death for transgressing the law, those evil spirits—the shades of sorcerers long dead—offer her one reprieve. Just learn to use magic she never knew she had to return them, and their two ferocious dragons, to mortality, and they’ll set her free. She has no choice but to comply, but she fears that if the sorcerers don’t destroy her, the lure of magic could. Her chance friendship with Prince Gideon blossoms into the love of a lifetime, but even together, will they have what it takes to beat the odds against evil sorcerers, magical dragons, war, and death?