Battle for Love by Valerie Bowes

Battle for Love by Valerie Bowes
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (189 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

It’s not easy, being an unmarried woman in the England of 1814. But Nancy Worth will not marry where there is no love, and every man in her small Sussex village is either too old, too young, or has a face like a fish. Except for the handsome Bartholomew Boult, and he has his own reasons for pursuing her.

When, against all the odds, Nancy does find love, both her family and his are determined to put a stop to it. He is gentry, and she a farmer’s daughter. With lies and gossip flying, as well as the unexpected resumption of war, it seems everyone is trying to separate her from Will Carlton.

Even Napoleon Bonaparte.

While Napoleon lingers in Elba the Regency period is in full swing in England. Nancy Worth is not one of the aristocracy, her father is a landowner and although they are well off they are not considered to be of the same social level as the Squire and his family. Nancy finds herself with two suitors. One she loves and the other who, unknown to her, wants her for his own selfish ends.

Regency books are a joy to read, but the main characters can often be a bit silly, acting in ways that seem unnatural. This book has a heroine and hero who are quite natural in their actions and the misunderstandings that always happen in romance, are believable and had me urging them to sort out the difficulties before they were overwhelmed by family members who felt they knew best.

Even the bad guy had a ring of truth to his actions and in the end I felt quite sorry for him. I have to admit I didn’t envisage the resolution to be quite so dramatic, but it was well handled and I felt a great satisfaction when I finished the book. Good story, good characters and lovely to read.

A Symphony of Heart Strings by T.E. Hodden

A Symphony of Heart Strings by T.E. Hodden
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (50 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Meet Bob. Bob is the guy between the lines of every love story you ever met. The lucky chance, the twist of fate, the astounding coincidence that sets sparks flying. Never seen, but always there.

Today Bob is assigned to help Jenny find love. But there is something more than bad luck working against the quirky librarian. Bob might have to save her life, before he can help her find love.

And he can’t do that from the shadows…

You don’t need luck to fall in love. You need Bob.

The world-building was amazing. It honestly felt more like a chapter out of a full-length novel because of how complex and logical it all was. Everything the main character explained about his world made perfect sense, but it also left me yearning for more. I had never stopped to wonder what it would be like to be the entity who makes people fall in love, but now I can’t stop thinking about how such a system would have first been set up or what might happen to Bob next.

I would have liked to see a little more time spent developing Bob and Jenny’s personalities. I loved the shy and sweet parts of their personalities that were revealed, but I finished this book with a few lingering questions about how they behaved in general. There was so much time spent on creating the incredible world that they lived in and moving the plot forward that this part of the storyline didn’t get quite enough attention. With that being said, I still deeply enjoyed this tale. This is only a minor criticism.

The descriptions of the places Bob went and the people he met were so vivid. I especially enjoyed his descriptions of how humans are connected to each other and how he figured out which folks should be gently encouraged to get to know each other better. While I can’t say much more about this without giving away spoilers, there was some gorgeous writing in these passages that got Bob’s point across perfectly.

A Symphony of Heart Strings was both a beautiful love story and a thrilling urban fantasy. I’d heartily recommend it to fans of either of these genres.

Harper’s Place by Sheryl Winters

Harper’s Place by Sheryl Winters
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (46 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

Harper Grey is fed up with over-bearing men.

Her father wants to sell the family hamburger joint to her brother because a woman could never make it successful.

Harper knows she has the same flair for business as her mother, and sexy Navy SEAL Patrick O’Brien dares her to prove it to the world.

When duty calls and Patrick must leave her side, will Harper be strong enough to make her dream a reality?

This book may be short, but it’s a lovely romance story with a touch of humor. Harper wants to take over the family burger business but her brother has talked her father into closing the place instead. An old high school friend Patrick comes into the burger joint and encourages her to follow her dream. All too soon he returns to his regiment overseas, but leaves behind the promise that he will be free of the forces in a few months.

I loved how this story did not force romance onto the reader. The main story was about Harper fighting for the right to have her own business despite her family’s opposition. Patrick believes in her and provides the support she needs, not only regarding the business but also on a personal level. Even from a distance Patrick shows his love and this makes for a very soft, sweet, but touching romance.

I like the way he often surprises her and drags her back when she’s ready to give up. Great story with lots of human interest and love.

Sweet Inspiration by Linda Carroll-Bradd

Sweet Inspiration by Linda Carroll-Bradd
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (50 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Dependable Cadence Wills yearns for excitement. The owner of a yarn business, she is pulled in every direction by her demanding family. Haunting dulcimer notes draw her to a practice for the musical festival, and she spies an intriguing stranger.

Musician Rafe Frasco is a rover, bouncing from one competition to the next. Interest ignites at his first glance at the woman who is enthralled by his music. He is drawn to Cadence whose heart seems big enough to encompass everyone within her reach.

A fantastic opportunity for Rafe presents Cadence with a major problem—is she strong enough to negotiate the business deal that will take him away…maybe forever?

Cadence is getting very tired of being the reliable person in her family. If one of her sisters isn’t asking for her to organise the theme and menu for one of their parties, someone in her extended family is making some other request that gnaws away at her day. Determined to be spontaneous, she leaves her small shop for a quick walk in the sunshine. When a haunting melody captures her attention she follows the sound of the music, intrigued. She meets Rafe, a tall, dark and mysterious man who instantly steals her affections. Can this man be part of her future?

This is a lovely, sweet romance story with plenty of steamy chemistry. I loved how Cadence was a sweet, small-town girl. I felt a bit bad that she’d managed to allow herself to be used a bit (in a nice and kindly sort of way) by family and friends around her. Cadence sits on a bunch of committees, babysits at the drop of a hat for her sisters and acts as a counselor and go-between for far too many people. All to the extent where her own dreams and desires are stifled. I loved how when Rafe finally walks into her life Cadence’s own desires suddenly come into the fore and she gets the courage to finally go after some of the romance and adventure she secretly yearns for.

While the storyline is mostly very sweet and slow, there are a few steamy kisses and a passionate clinch. Rafe and Cadence spend the night together (completely platonically) too so I’m not certain it would be appropriate for teenaged readers – but all other age groups should find this a wholesome, character-driven and excellent romance story. Overall I found this story to be very wholesome and in some ways empowering. Sometimes very good people can find it difficult to say “no” when friends and family ask for favours or help and shelving their own dreams and needs in the process. I loved how Cadence decided to follow her heart with Rafe and start their adventures together. I found it to be a powerful, loving and very happy storyline and I really enjoyed it.

Readers who like a bit of steam and spicy kisses with their romance, but nothing too physical or sexy should find this a good balance with an interesting storyline and some memorable characters.

The Crimson Curse by Melissa J Crispin

The Crimson Curse by Melissa J Crispin
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Genre: Historical, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (65 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

Cursed and disfigured, Calliope must find true love before the final leaf falls from the Enchanted Tree. Being bound to her mansion on the outskirts of town leaves her with little hope.

Abandoned by his wife for a wealthy man, Bastian only needs one female in his life, his five-year-old daughter, Yareena. When she goes missing during a raging fire, fate brings him to a strange place where he encounters a woman wearing a golden mask.

An attack by rogues puts Bastian in Calliope’s care. As he struggles against pride and prejudice, Bastian can’t ignore his growing attraction to the kind soul behind the mask.

Yareena and the mansion staff do their best at matchmaking, but Calliope can’t reveal her darkest secret. Will Bastian discover her true beauty before it’s too late?

Calliope’s mother led her to believe the beauty spot on her face would deter men from courting her. A witch appears and offers to remove the spot, then casts a foul spell which leaves half of Calliope’s face a burned ruin. Before she departs the witch puts a curse on the entire household. Only true love will lift the curse, but if if the last of the crimson leaves of the Enchanted Tree in the garden fall before love appears, Calliope will remain scarred for the remainder of her life.

At first I wondered where this story was going as there seemed to be no reason for anything to change, but once the child Yareena appeared the mansion came alive again. Warmth also grew in Calliope when Bastian Chance, Yareena’s father, appears in her life. Constant misunderstanding and intriguing secrets hidden behind the mansion’s walls draw Bastian and Calliope together then pulls them apart. Warmth and lightheartedness from Yareena helps to solve their differences, before another one causes yet more problems.

A short story but with enough depth to catch my attention and hold it until the end of the book. A good read.

Favorite Meals from the Authors of ACCIDENTAL VALENTINE: Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour sponsored by Roane Publishing. A randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter will receive a paperback copy of Accidental Valentine and a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The authors of this anthology have agreed to share their two favorite meals for us.

Claire Gillian: I love to go a Mongolian Grill type restaurant where you assemble your own fresh ingredients and the chefs stir fry it on this massive grill while you wait. I don’t have to cook or clean up, always a plus, and it’s fairly healthy eating with no hidden MSG or excessive oils or other fats. After that I really enjoy making my yearly Thanksgiving spread, with a roasted turkey, yeast rolls made from scratch and slathered with creamy butter, an array of root and green vegetables and something sinfully decadent for dessert. Yum! I’m hungry now!

Katrina Sizemore: My favorite meals are homemade meatballs with spaghetti, and steak.

Jaylee Austin: Favorite meals are any dish I didn’t have to prepare. Cooking is the least favorite activity I like to do. If I never have to prepare another meal I’d be on top of the world. Two favorite dishes are my fresh cranberries with brandy, coconut sugar, orange juice or peel and nuts. Yummy! And Chicken tortilla soup.

S.L. Hughson: My most favorite meals are all about the gravy. Top choice: buttermilk biscuits slathered with sausage gravy. Close second: chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes – both drowned beneath country gravy – and green beans. I eat like a Southern girl, don’t I?

Wendy Sparrow: Eggplant Parmesan made by someone else. Food that I don’t have to agonize over getting right—and I never can seem to with eggplant—is the best sort of food. Then, of course Key Lime pie for dessert. Nothing makes me happy like good Key Lime pie.

2_24 AccidentalValentine_CvrGuiding Hearts by Claire Gillian: Is a lonely woman’s GPS sentient or is her subconscious taking her by the hand to help heal a scarred heart?

When Jemma Ernst’s GPS malfunctions and sends her to the home of handsome and engaging Gabriel Nash, she writes it off as a fluke. But she can’t seem to reprogram him out of her thoughts nor her GPS.

Better Latte Than Never by Katrina Sizemore: Single and cold on Valentine’s Day, Hailey Merritt is not looking forward to working all day at the coffee shop while everyone around her is cheery with romance and she’s stuck trying to figure out her next step in life.

But, when a special bouquet arrives for her from a secret admirer, she decides to reserve judgment on this holiday and find whomever sent the flowers.

Maybe Cupid has a plan to make this her favorite Valentine’s Day ever.

Dream Architect by S.L. Hughson: Taylor and Sons Custom Design keeps ASHLIN TAYLOR at arm’s length from her dream job. If only she were a son, she could follow her architectural dream. In the Taylor creed, girls get married and boys have careers. DYLAN CUTRIGHT focuses on finishing college and landing an architectural engineering job in a large firm. Minus emotional ties.

After their accidental encounter, their attraction is amplified during their work interaction. Unlike her family, Dylan encourages Ashlin to pursue her dream by enrolling in college. He even argues her case with Uncle Mike. All of this support confuses Ashlin because when she moves closer to him, he rebuffs her for reasons she can only speculate about.

Valentine’s Day might be the perfect opportunity for Ashlin to make him notice her. They are working together – alone – on the most romantic day of the year. Dylan builds her dream of career, but will he ever lower his walls and become more than just the man IN her dreams?

One Hot Angel by Jaylee Austin: Oblivious to Tiffany Jenkins in three short weeks her life will end—unless she makes the perfect choice. Will she chose revenge and expose her ex-husband? Or chose love and surrender her heart to the only man who can save her?

Rock My Bones by Wendy Sparrow: Jared has been eyeing the sexy mural painter from inside the museum’s paleontology lab, but she’s way out of his league. He can’t let her paint that obviously misplaced fern, though…even if it means initiating contact.

You could call her a paleontology groupie, but Shay Meyers is interested in a more modern specimen. An adult male Homo Sapien to be exact—one who needs to be dragged out of his lab for a practical course in mating rituals. If she’s lucky, this will be the Valentine’s Day she rocks his bones.

Buy the book at  Roane Publishing, Createspace, Amazon, Amazon (UK)Bookstrand, Smashwords, or Barnes & Noble.

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Handling Negative Criticism by Terri Rochenski – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. One randomly drawn commenter will receive signed copies of both Love’s Sorrow, the first book in the series, and Love’s Revenge, which was just released, as well as a $25 Amazon gift card. The Rafflecopter to enter is at the end of this post.

Handling negative criticism…
by Terri Rochenski

The first reviewer to request an ARC of Love’s Sorrow, Means of Mercy #1, sent me an email two weeks after receiving the file. She said she couldn’t recommend my book, nor would she post a favorable review.


Because there is no HEA, not even an HFN at the book’s end. Means of Mercy is a series—of Anne Tearle’s life, one that couldn’t be told in a tidy 80-100k novel. Oh, she gets her HEA…just not as quickly as some would like.

While I expected—KNEW—such thoughts would rise from readers, the first negative reaction still stung. For me, when a character speaks, I tell their story. Period. If people don’t like it, so be it! At least I stayed true to my muse.

So, how to handle it?

I’d love to say brush it off, but that’s impossible to do. Almost a year later, the thought of that reviewer’s email still stings, and when it does, I remind myself that I can’t please every reader every time. I focus on the two following reviews raving about my guts to tell a tale of true life and love, of not sugar-coating how a woman in the 19th century had to live a life beneath society’s eyes and a husband’s thumb.

I guess it all comes down to focus. Dwell on the negative, and you’ll get dragged down by depression. Grasp onto the encouraging words, and it’ll help keep your head afloat.

And, keep writing!

1_30 LovesRevengeCvrEmbittered by betrayal, Anne MacKay flees London for America, where she learns she’s pregnant with her abusive husband’s longed-for heir. In a society that doesn’t protect, or afford a well-to-do wife’s desire for divorce, Anne decides there is one way to exact revenge: deny the father any knowledge of his child.

Sought after by her husband’s henchmen, Anne travels by rail and horseback, far from civilization where silk and stays are worn, let alone thought of. Lies and deceit protect her identity for a time, allowing her to birth—and grow to love—the child who was supposed to be her vengeance.

With the help of her loyal and protective business partner, Jude Connagher, and the ranch hands in their Montana Territory valley, Anne attempts to rebuild her life under the shadow of her husband’s wrath.

One unwise decision lands Anne in her pursuers’ clutches, tearing her from the ranch, her child, and her growing love for the one man who could redeem her from bitterness. She’s left with no choice but to finally face her husband, knowing her freedom and life hang in the balance.

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About the Author: Tracey Hanlon PhotographyTerri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.
Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.





Website Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads


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Ten Things You Might Not Know About London Saint James – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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9_5 ParadiseKeyChainThis post is part of virtual book tour organized by the publisher. Enter to win an ecopy of Welcome to Paradise, a horseshoe keychain, and a $10 Amazon gift card. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Thanks so much for having me over to visit today to talk a little bit about my new release from Roane Publishing, Welcome to Paradise and to talk a smidge about me! I had a great time writing this novella which is the introduction to a new western erotic romance series I’m writing called Paradise Ranch, set on a 980 acre cattle ranch in West Texas.

As I sat down to write my post, in hopes to give you and your readers some insight into London and who I am, I thought about the topic, “A day behind the scenes with me.” But, um, yeah. I’m not that exciting. Like many women, I wear many hats, and do normal things like laundry and grocery shopping. I thought, perhaps it might be a little more fun to let you know ten things most people don’t know about me instead. After all, that has to be more entertaining than the life and times of London folding towels and cleaning out the lent trap. *Smiles* At least I hope it is.

Drum roll….Throws confetti…. Okay. No confetti. I hate when it gets in my hair.

1. I sometimes dance when I vacuum/clean the house. Not well, mind you, but I dance.

2. I sing in the shower.

3. I want to investigate a haunted dwelling with the Ghost Hunters.

4. I jumped off an extremely high cliff into a deep spring of water once, and have the video to prove my stupidity.

5. I watched Jack Nicholson (the famous actor) cross the crosswalk in front of my car while I was stopped at a stop light. I thought I was nuts or losing my mind until later that night on the local news I found out I wasn’t seeing things. He’d been filming in the vicinity I’d been that day.

6. I can play four musical instruments. Flute. Piccolo. Piano. Saxophone.

7. I love strawberry licorice.

8. I cut off my waist long hair to a short, short cut once to be given to Locks of Love.

9. On a whim I got a tattoo on a part of my body that isn’t usually exposed.

10. When you take a tumble while on a nature hike in the desert and the cacti becomes a prickly seat for your shocked and violated bottom, it really does hurt like a bitch. I know this for a fact!

9_5 ParadiseCoverJust three days before her thirtieth birthday, Acquisition Editor for Starling Press, Sutton Callaway, has buried the last of her family in the cemetery on the plot of land she inherited.

After turning down the powerful and wealthy owner of Triple Bar-S Ranch to sell her inheritance and walk away from the obligations of running one of the biggest cattle ranches in West Texas, Sutton puts her Dallas condo on the market, resigns her position from SP, packs the contents of her life into boxes, and heads for the one place filled with bittersweet memories—Paradise Ranch.

Will Sutton be able to handle the pressures of being the newly appointed cattle baroness, the rough and tumble men under her employ, and the temptation of a sexy mystery man? Or will her grandmother’s matriarchal boots be too big for her to fill?

About the Author: London wrote her first short story in the second grade. Her teacher informed her parents she had a big imagination, and as far as he was concerned, having a big imagination wasn’t necessarily a good thing, so she placed her vivid characters, her childhood stories, along with her imagination on the shelf, where they would wither for a while. After all, she needed to grow up and do the “sensible thing.”

Life moved on, London grew up, and the sensible thing earned London a degree in Psychology. She took a serious job in the real world, doing serious things and being a responsible adult, although the need to be a little irresponsible crept in. As a result, she started scribbling again.

Happy to find her imagination was still alive and kicking, she decided to pursue writing, walked away from doing the sensible thing, took on the world of the written word, and has never looked back!

Website ~ Blog ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Facebook ~ Facebook Author Page ~ Pinterest ~ Kindlegraph

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A Day in the Life of Sheryl Winters – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher, Roane Publishing. The author is giving away an ecopy of Purr-fect Mating and a $10 Amazon GC. Enter via the Rafflecopter at the end of the post. You can see the other stops on the tour by clicking the tour banner.

A day in the life of Sheryl Winters
I live in a small town in Alaska.

I don’t have a typical summer day. Weekends might find my hubby and me at a Barbeque’s, or fishing at the Little Su. We might take off for Hatchers Pass, a beautiful scenic riverside with our four wheelers in tow. We bum around trying to find old trails and I take a few hundred pictures. Weekdays I might stay up well past midnight, enjoying the midnight sun, reading a book or chatting with the hubby while the sunlight streams through our windows.

Winter is different. Oh sure there are a few of Alaskans who spend their time outdoors, but that’s not me. I’m not afraid of saying that I don’t worship the cold. I’ve had my time snow machining, and taking walks in the snow. But years of shoveling the driveway has a way of taking the fun out of it. Now my schedule is more sedate. I work, come home, feed the dogs. And then I’m writing and if my husband is lucky I’m cooking dinner.

Most evenings I can be found editing. I rarely take nights off, not even in the summer. Actual writing can be sporadic as I’m the type of writer who needs complete quiet when I’m working. I hoard my quiet time, budgeting it out for certain stories like a miser hoards gold. Well aware that the words I write need to count. I’ve even been known to write at work, forgetting to eat because I’m so “into,” my story.

When I do have something I’m determined to write, I usually come up with it by doing the dishes or folding the laundry. I might forgo making dinner because that’s when “obsession,” mode hits. In this frenzy, I am useless. The house will be trashed, and I don’t care. I’ll write every night for months. And don’t try to get my attention, I have no attention span during this time. I have only “the story” flittering around in my head overtaking my thoughts.

So there you have it. I’m basically a quiet person, I live in the middle of Alaska, in a small town about an hour from Anchorage. I work at a lumber store and I like to write stories.

8_8 PurrfectMating_Cover2On their wedding night, at the stroke of midnight, Wulfar changes into his shifted wolf form and cannot shift back. Not even to communicate with the woman he loves.

Fhina, upon waking the day after their mating, no longer recognizes her mate. Pregnant and confused, she’s convinced herself her mate has run away and left her to live alone. With his dog.

Can the cursed pair find a counter charm before Fhina gives birth? Will Wulfar be able to curb his inclination to run?

Or will their mutual curses break up their love affair before it’s really even started.



About the Author:

I never set out to be an author. Only a story teller. Some days I succeed better than others.



Website / Blog   / Facebook/ Twitter





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A Day in the Life of Sonny Zae – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Roane Publishing. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to win an eCOPY of UNHOLY MATRIMONY, as well as a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

A day in the life of Sonny Zae…

I get up early and pull out pots and pans to make a meal. But all are dirty and foul, including one with a wren’s nest in it that must be several years old. It might be easier to find some scraps of leftovers than find a serviceable pan. Dishes clatter and clank as I push them from side to side on the counter, hoping to find something underneath the pile—or at least something that has not already been gnawed at by mice. But I tire quickly, not having been bred for physical exertion. Mayhap it would be easier to steal some food. I hope I am not too late to find a bowl of porridge set in a window to cool, as the sun is already overhead.

Chance favors me today and a jaybird steals a fresh loaf of bread from the baker’s tray after he pulls it out of his oven to cool. But the loaf is too heavy for the jaybird, and I run to snatch it up from where it lands and take a bite before the baker can reclaim it. After the first bite I slow down, taking the time to brush off the loaf.

After that, I wander through the village, my eyes on the ground and my quick mind already filled with new schemes I could try out—and considering how I would spend any coins I might find on the ground. That is not entirely true. I would hasten to Cappersham’s tavern.

I wander by the blacksmith’s barn to taunt anyone I find working. Big Ulf’s forge is roaring and Big Ulf is pounding out a new horseshoe. His face is splotched with soot carved into wild patterns by trickles of sweat. The trickles leave little dark trails down his neck. I call his name and tell him that his shed is catching fire from the heat of his forge, but Big Ulf ignores me and swings his hammer faster, drowning out my voice.

I wander by Cappersham’s tavern, but he is not open yet. Either that, or he spied me coming. I should not have worked up my hopes, but I cannot help myself at times.

Old Haney is already there, sitting against the side of the tavern, sagging sideways and snoring loudly in the midday sun, his mouth hanging open. I could chuck pebbles, to see how many I could toss into his gaping mouth. Eniess the empty girl appears beside me as I bend over to pick up a pebble, causing me to squawk in surprise. She stands there as she does, not looking at anything and not making any sound or acting alive, being more like the stump of a dead tree that magically appears in the middle of a pathway. I do not try to talk to her, and head for the pond behind the flour mill. She follows, and I do not look behind me to know she is there. We have done this often. Her mama says I am the only other person Eniess takes an interest in.

At the pond, I break off the heads of cattails and lay them in the mud, building a small pen. She helps, wordlessly and without ever meeting my gaze, positioning them as we have done many times. Then we collect the smallest frogs and fill our pen. Eniess grabs them as skillfully as I do, yet without any change in expression and without scanning with her eyes. It is uncanny. How can she can grab them without seeming to ever be aware of their existence? But she must feel some joy in the catching and always seems to read my mind.

Suddenly, she is gone. I do not see any of the reeds move, nor do I get a last glimpse of her moving away. It unnerves me how she can disappear.

Sundown is approaching, so I head back to the house Grandpap and I share. I say share, but Grandpap is tighter than a rusted outhouse door hinge. Grandpap has already eaten when I come in. “Ham from Boot’s young hog,” he says, gesturing toward a plate bearing what remains of a nice, plump ham hock. “Tis very good,” he remarks, using a sleeve of his robe to dab up hog grease from his beard. “What did you do today?”

“Nothing, really.”

“A normal day, eh?” He grimaces. “I do hope you make something of yourself one day.”

5_20 UnholyMatrimonyCoverSonny is so handsome, he doesn’t need magic to get what he wants, except when he gets into trouble. And, he’ll do anything for love or money, except work. So, the thought of marriage represents the worst of all possible worlds, a danger he avoids at all costs.

His plans for getting rich the easy way—by stealing—go awry when he meets Ariella. She is not only lovely to look at, but just may be as slippery and greedy as he. Better still, she becomes highly stimulated at the prospect of helping him hijack a treasure.

But, in addition to helping him steal “goald”, the cunning Ariella might just steal his scoundrel heart.

About the Author: Sonny Zae lives in a small town on the edge of reality. His only remarkable characteristic is imagination. He ignored his grade school teacher’s repeated admonitions to stop daydreaming and get to work.

Sonny’s book WIZARD SEEKING TROPHY BRIDE, is also available on Kindle. It is a story about the exceptional difficulties involved in finding love and happiness for an elderly and strange wizard, not to mention the difficulties of dealing with an elderly relative—an elderly relative who is also a wizard.

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