COVER REVEAL | On the Rocks by Kandi Steiner

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You guys, I am IN LOVE with this stunning cover! Of course, all of Kandi’s book covers have been perfect, so this is just another beauty of a thing. Scroll down to see it in all its glory!

On the Rocks by Kandi Steiner

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publishing date: June 13, 2019

Cover Designer: Kandi Steiner

Photographer: Lauren Perry of Perrywinkle

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Noah Becker is nothing but trouble.

That’s what Mama told me when I was a kid, kicking his pew in church and giggling at the games we’d play. It’s what the town said when his father died and the Becker brothers went wild.

And it’s on repeat in my mind the day I walk into the whiskey distillery where he works to buy a wedding gift for my fiancé.

He’s trouble.

Dirty, sweaty, rude trouble.

No matter how many times I repeat it, I can’t escape Noah in our small Tennessee town. And the more I run into him, the more he infuriates me. Because he sees what no one else does.

He sees me—the real me.

The me I’m not sure I’m allowed to be.

I’m Ruby Grace Barnett, the mayor’s daughter. Soon to be a politician’s wife, just like Mama and Daddy always wanted. Soon to fulfill my family’s legacy, just like I always knew I would.

Until the boy everyone warned me about makes me question everything, like whether the wedding I’m planning is one I even want.

Everyone said Noah Becker was nothing but trouble.

If only I had listened.

A stand-alone, contemporary romance.

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Coming June 13, 2019 to Amazon and Kindle Unlimited!

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2Keav1w

About Kandi:

Kandi Steiner is a bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.

An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a diehard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.

When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer, and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.

Connect with Kandi:

Mailing List: bit.ly/NewsletterKS

Facebook: facebook.com/kandisteiner

Facebook Reader Group: (Kandiland): facebook.com/groups/kandischasers

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kandisteiner

Twitter: twitter.com/kandisteiner

Pinterest: pinterest.com/kandicoffman

Website: www.kandisteiner.com

Kandi Steiner may be coming to a city near you! Check out her “events” tab to see all the signings she’s attending in the near future:

www.kandisteiner.com/events

COVER REVEAL | Jennifer Strange by Cat Scully

I’ve got a beauty for you all today, Wayfarers! I’m so excited to get to help promote –

JENNIFER STRANGE, by Cat Scully,

releasing July 23, 2019 from Haverhill House Publishing.

Not only did she get to design her own cover, but also create the illustrated map for her book, as well. How cool, right? Has that ever happened before? So unique! This cover was officially unveiled on YABC, so go find that post for the giveaway and details – which IS international, yay!!!

When I first discovered this was coming out, I knew I needed to get as involved as I could! JENNIFER STRANGE is to be an illustrated YA horror/comic AND I COULD NOT BE MORE EXCITED!


So, scroll down a bit to see the beauty…

And the map –


About the Book

When her father disappears, Jennifer Strange moves in with her estranged sister Liz in Savannah, Georgia, one of the most haunted places in the United States. When the ghosts begin to tear Jennifer and Liz’s lives apart, the sisters must learn to trust each other again if they hope to uncover the truth about their family history. If they can’t sort out their differences, they’ll not only destroy the veil between the living and the dead, but fall into the hands of a rival family that wants them dead.

Cat Scully’s illustrations bring the ghosts and demons of her fictional world to eerie and beautiful life, harkening back to the style of SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK and Ransom Riggs’ MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN.


I was also lucky enough to have gotten to ask Cat Scully some questions about designing her cover, so read on, Wayfarers!


QUESTIONS:

1. What was your favorite part of illustrating your cover?

Concepting it! I loved seeing how many different covers I could come up with to represent the same thing. One of my favorite images wasn’t used as the final cover (because it wasn’t EXACTLY what I wanted) but I will probably do a giveaway of it in the future. That’s my favorite part about art is the process and finding the right image and typography to convey the right message. I am such a designer! All of my writing I think visually first. Honestly, I was so nervous to do the cover. I thought our staff cover artist, Dyer Wilk, was going to do it. His work is so brilliant. I’m in awe of his talent. I sheepishly sent him a sketch of what I was thinking. He told me I was good. I didn’t need him. And I totally didn’t believe it. I didn’t feel good enough to do my own cover! I gathered my courage and did it though. I’m so happy with the result, and it makes me want to do more covers!

2. Hardest part?

Having to be my own client as well as my own designer. There were moments I had a lot of “Oh I’d love to do this kind of map!” or “That cover style looks awesome, but which style? They’re all good! I can’t decide!” I had to be the designer and go “that isn’t possible in the time frame” or “that style doesn’t work for what you’re going for.” But it really wasn’t as bad as all that. Actually, I have sort of the opposite problem as a designer. I’m notoriously good at taking criticism and at being a gun-for-hire when it comes to design. Maybe too good. But Jennifer Strange was the first art project I’ve ever done where I had such a strong artistic vision and I had to speak up with my own voice. I was very nervous to illustrate my own project, believe it or not. When I had to stand up and say something for myself artistically, I realized I do have a voice, and I want Jennifer Strange to look like THIS.

3. What was it like to have the responsibility and freedom to design your own cover?

It’s a lot of responsibility to do a cover. Not that it isn’t to do the interiors. A lot of weight is placed on maps. But covers are a whole other beast. You have to think about first impressions. Everything has to be right in tone, including character pose, facial expression, style, elements, and typography. It’s really very much like a tightrope walk. One wrong element and the whole thing is off. I went through a lot of revisions getting the right idea to be the best it could be. I sent it to two trusted cover designers whose work I admire, Dyer Wilk and Todd Keisling, and asked for their feedback. I also sent it to comic book writer Christopher Golden. Their criticism and suggestions shaped the final cover into what it is now. It’s worth its weight in gold to get yourself some publishing friends who will be honest with you, but also have the skill and knowledge to thoughtfully back that criticism up. Dyer suggested the blue haze in the cover while using a pose from a recent drawing I posted to Instagram. Todd suggested I take the girl I designed and place her inside my first cover sketch, which was of two hands encircling the logo. Chris suggested I make her face more comic and less anime. It took a village, but it was so worth it get their suggestions while also pushing back with my own thoughts. My editor John was very funny and supportive through the whole process. I tend to hold myself to a certain standard. He reminds me my art and writing are in fact okay. Not just okay, but great.

4. Anything we should know about it or anything you’d like to share?

JENNIFER STRANGE part comic, part illustrated journal. It’s about a pair of sisters trying to solve the mystery of their families’ past before another rival family hunts them down. Jennifer has the gift of summoning, meaning she can give ghosts or demons corporeal forms. Imagine you’re a ghost and you could have a new body given to you so you can return to the land of the living, no string attached? That’s what Jennifer can do for you. Trouble is, if a ghost or demon is possessing a person… you can see how giving them a body while they’re inhabiting another one could get… messy. The Blackwell family wants to stop her from using her power before all the undead in Savannah try to use Jennifer to cross over back into the land of the living. And poor Liz, Jennifer’s older sister, knows nothing of all this when their dad dumps Jennifer on her doorstep and asks her to watch Jennifer for a few days. She’s an art student at SCAD. But when the ghosts and demons start to find Jennifer, they also start to find Liz, and the two of them half to team up against the undead and the Blackwell family to survive. Pre-order will be available soon!

Where to find her:


Author Bio:

Cat is a writer, designer, and illustrator. When she’s not writing and illustrating books of her own, she works in publishing as a freelance designer and illustrator, best known for her world maps in LABYRINTH LOST and WINTERSPELL. Her first book, Jennifer Strange, is out on July 23, 2019. She lives outside Boston with her husband and children and very fluffy cat.

You can follow Cat on Twitter or Instagram at @CatMScully or visit her website at www.catherinescully.com

COVER REVEAL | Heirs of Fate by Amara Luciano

Friends!

I have something wonderfully beautiful to share with you. First of all, I want to give a massive thank you to Amara Luciano and Wonder Heart Society! I was invited to participate by Amara herself and could not be more grateful 😍💚 Scroll to see the beauty they’ve created! Gabi’s artwork is STUNNING!


I cannot wait to have this in my hands! Totally going to have to get one…

For the first time in print, Wonder Heart Books is proud to present Heirs of Fate, a paperback novella bindup by Amara Luciano. Enter the dark fantasy world of Gods’ Fate.

THREE YOUNG WOMEN. THREE DARK DESTINIES. ONE CHANCE TO CHANGE EVERYTHING.

Three spellbinding novellas in the Gods’ Fate world available in print for the first time.

BRIDE OF DREAMSIn order to escape her mother’s war-torn legacy, Diya must marry. In her homeland, marriage can mend decades of hostility; long-awaited truces suddenly become possible. But when her short trip to the altar ends in a curse upon her betrothed, Diya must rescue his soul from the gods—or risk the destruction of their villages.

In order to escape her mother’s war-torn legacy, Diya must marry. In her homeland, marriage can mend decades of hostility; long-awaited truces suddenly become possible. But when her short trip to the altar ends in a curse upon her betrothed, Diya must rescue his soul from the gods—or risk the destruction of their villages.

HUNTRESS AND THE NIGHTINGALEOnce a huntress blessed by the gods, now Zahria is little more than an exalted murderer. As her royal lover continues to torment the desperate and dying people of the kingdom, her only solace exists within wineskins that never seem to run out—until she’s presented with a promising bargain: Destroy a cursed forest and sin against gods who have likely abandoned her… or remain forever imprisoned in a land not her own.

Once a huntress blessed by the gods, now Zahria is little more than an exalted murderer. As her royal lover continues to torment the desperate and dying people of the kingdom, her only solace exists within wineskins that never seem to run out—until she’s presented with a promising bargain: Destroy a cursed forest and sin against gods who have likely abandoned her… or remain forever imprisoned in a land not her own.

STORM MISTRESS Jade has no trouble remembering what her brave and foolish foray into the pirate quarter once cost her: blood and destruction. Now clever backdoor deals and swift thrusts of her hips bring her that much closer to stopping the monsters of her island home from abusing their power. But when a mysterious storm goddess kills one of her patrons—an essential member of a deadly captain’s crew—Jade’s plans threaten to crumble. To stay alive, she must defeat all her enemies, for her death will not win her the island’s game of shadows.

Jade has no trouble remembering what her brave and foolish foray into the pirate quarter once cost her: blood and destruction. Now clever backdoor deals and swift thrusts of her hips bring her that much closer to stopping the monsters of her island home from abusing their power. But when a mysterious storm goddess kills one of her patrons—an essential member of a deadly captain’s crew—Jade’s plans threaten to crumble. To stay alive, she must defeat all her enemies, for her death will not win her the island’s game of shadows.

PLUS

Bonus content including a BRAND NEW story! This short story will include crossover between characters from the previously published novellas and will serve as a bridge to the forthcoming full-length novel set in the same world.

What do you think of this cover? Let me know in the comments!

COVER REVEAL | We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

FRIENDS!!!! I am dead! I have been waiting for this so long now… it’s just stunning! This is one of my most anticipated 2019 releases, and it’s her DEBUT novel! So definitely get a copy.

Pre-order here!

A Bustle’s Most Anticipated 2019 YA Release

A Barnes & Noble Top 2019 YA Fantasy Release

Paste Magazine’s Top 10 Most Anticipated YA Novels of 2019

“Lyrical and spellbinding” —Marieke Njikamp, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

People lived because she killed. People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. Both Zafira and Nasir are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the sultan on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine. Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

It’s going to be so epic! The amount of utterly phenomenal YA Fantasies our this year is wonderful to see. I’m loving the diversity and inclusion. This is totally top of my list for the first half of 2019.

Roll on, May 14th!

COVER REVEAL! Dark Wood, Dark Water by Tina Callaghan

So yesterday, I was on Twitter and an upcoming cover reveal caught my eye. I follow Eason’s Dept 51 page, which is the ya department for their bookshop. They’re a great page and you should check them out. Anyway, I love finding new Irish YA authors to follow and support because I live here now. I connected with the author, Tina Callaghan, and I just think she’s so cool! So, cue upcoming supernatural thriller ya novel….I give you the cover for Dark Wood, Dark Water coming to shops near you 1 September 2018 from Poolbeg Books!!

Synopsis

Something is wrong with the town of Bailey. Something dark, something dangerous. Something evil. Josh’s brother has just drowned. He meets Kate and Gabe, who also have lost family to the river. When they seek the help of a local historian, Naylor, he tells them that there is a sinister longstanding pattern to such tragedies.

But some unknown force is trying to help Josh rid the town of its curse. Why is he dreaming of a ship’s captain, a hooded monk, a dark familiar with a knife? What is being demanded of him?

Soon greater horrors than ever before are set loose. They are fighting against time, as evil has turned its baleful eye upon them.

I’ll be grabbing a copy. Will you? Tell me in the comments!

COVER REVEAL: The Mer Queen’s Daughter by Melanie McFarlane

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The Mer Queen’s Daughter by Melanie McFarlane

Release Date: 9 October 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy

Welcome to my stop on the cover reveal tour for The Mer Queen’s Daughter (Book 2 of The Descendants). This is hosted by Snowy Wings Publishing, so a big thank you to them for allowing me to take part! I love this cover and after reading the chapter 1 sample, I will definitely be ordering this. I also looked up book 1, which is The Missing Guardian, and they do seem to be connected, so read that now while you wait for this book to release (it’s free in KU)!

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Synopsis: Seth Reid has an unexpected visitor who may not be from our world.

A mysterious, pale girl who shows up at the local pool, turns out to be a Viking named Osma from one of the Four Worlds of Life. She beckons Seth to return and help Madidus—a world covered in half-water and half-ice that is being invaded by dark shadows. The only ones who can stop the shadows are the Mer—an entire civilization that’s been frozen in stone for hundreds of years.

Before Seth can unlock the mystery of the Mer, Osma goes missing. He seeks her out in the Void—the one place he swore never to return. There, the dark figure shows Seth that the board members have been keeping a secret from the descendants—a deadly one. But can Seth trust his dark counterpart?

Seth begins to doubt the friendships he’s forged, questioning even the honesty of the Board Members who seem to give him only as much information as they feel he needs to know. If he doesn’t free the Mer, then Madidus will be lost. But if he frees Madidus, what will he have to sacrifice in return?

And if Seth believes the darkness, then who is the real traitor?

Preorder today!

https://amzn.to/2uXFvu2

Add to Goodreads here

Start the series today – Free in Kindle Unlimited!

Book 1: The Missing Guardian

https://amzn.to/2OpJiZ8

THE MER QUEEN’S DAUGHTER

Melanie McFarlane

CHAPTER ONE SAMPLER

Seth Reid held his breath as he watched his friend Matt disappear into the deep, dark water. They were only at the small town’s public pool, but just the thought of not being able to touch the bottom of the deep end made Seth queasy. Holding his breath, Seth counted—one…two…three… By the time he got to ten Seth’s brain flooded with panic. What if Matt never emerged? What if he needed help?

Seth scrambled to stand, searching the opposite edge of the pool for the lifeguard. But before he could get to his feet, Matt finally burst through the surface right in front of him.

“Gotcha!” Matt said, bursting into laughter as he splashed Seth. Seth quickly exhaled as he blocked himself from the onslaught. “Come on; get in the pool with me.”

Seth shook his head, grabbing at a triangular amulet that he wore around his neck. He never took off that necklace. Ever. It carried a special talisman he’d been given in the winter and it was more important than anything else he owned.

Matt began an explanation of why Seth should attempt a triple back dive into the town’s pool. Everyone who was close to him knew that Seth had a long time fear of the deep end of the pool. But Matt had only known Seth for a few weeks, shortly after Seth moved here from the city with his family. They’d moved here after the school year ended, to be closer to his Grandpa Reid. Though they still hadn’t found their own place, Grandpa Reid didn’t seem to mind having company at the farm.

But before Matt finished, he stopped talking as his attention focused on something behind Seth. Seth dropped his talisman the moment he saw what had grabbed Matt’s attention—a tall figure wearing a dark hoodie had appeared at patio chairs behind them. Seth watched as a pale hand appeared from within one of the long sleeves, as the owner reached up and removed the hood. Long white-blonde hair appeared, spilling over the dark hoodie and hiding its owner’s face. Seth straightened himself up at the edge of the pool, suddenly conscious of his hunched posture.

“Stare much?” Matt said, splashing water at Seth as he pushed himself backward in the water and floated away.

Seth rubbed his arm absentmindedly and forgot about the girl for a moment as his arm began to itch around its darkened scar. That scar reminded him of an adventure he’d had last December, one that seemed so far away he wondered if it had all been a dream.

An icy voice, with a hint of a northern accent, broke Seth’s train of thought. “Cool tatt.”

Seth looked up and saw the pale girl standing next to him. Her hoodie was gone, and she was wearing a deep blue swimsuit that contrasted her flawless pale skin. Her dark blue eyes, outline by dark and full lashes, bore into his. A smile broke apart her round lips, revealing perfectly-lined teeth.

Seth covered his scar with the palm of his hand and mumbled, “Thanks.” He looked away and saw Matt giving him a thumbs-up from across the pool. Seth’s cheeks began to burn.

The girl slid into the water next to Seth, dunking herself below the surface. Seth leaned forward, watching as her white hair drifted above her head like a halo. The locks of hair mesmerized Seth, making his heartbeat faster until that was all he could hear. There was something about the girl—something so familiar, yet so foreign. He was drawn to her, unable to tear away his gaze, his heartbeat getting louder and louder—

She broke the surface, her hair whisking away from her face as beads of water shone from her skin. Grabbing the edge of the pool next to him, she introduced herself. “My name is Osma.”

His mouth dropped open and he looked around, but no one was near. Why was she talking to him?

“Do you have a name?” she asked.

He nodded, snapping his mouth shut so he could form a word. “Seth. That’s my name.” Ohmygod, he thought. I sound like a dork.

“It’s nice to meet you, Seth.” Osma lifted her hand from the water and reached toward him. But before he could reach out to shake her hand, Seth felt two hands push him from behind.

“Sink or swim!” Matt called from behind him, as Seth fell into the water. He scrambled to stay above the surface, not caring that Osma would see he couldn’t swim. Gasping for air, Seth reached for the edge of the pool and pulled himself back to safety.

“You jerk,” he yelled at Matt, as he choked out the gulp of chlorinated water he’d swallowed.

“Wow,” Matt said, looking sheepish. “You really can’t swim. Sorry, dude. I thought you were just pulling my leg.”

“I don’t joke around,” Seth grumbled, pulling himself out of the pool. Once out, he looked over his shoulder for Osma, but she wasn’t in the water.

“Looks like she doesn’t joke around either,” Matt said, hitting Seth in the arm and pointing to the gate. Osma tossed a towel on a nearby chair, grabbed her hoodie, and slipped through the gate.

 

***

 

Seth and his siblings, Marin and Jared lounged in their Grandpa’s basement on old sturdy furniture upholstered with scenes of nature and wildlife. His siblings were two years older and twins, though they had little in common. Jared loved to submerse himself in books, while Marin loved to act like she was in charge. But one thing Seth had learned since last winter was that he needed them both.

“How was everyone’s day?” Marin asked.

“Still uneventful,” Jared said matter-of-factly from his perch on the old sofa where he was reading a thick book about dragons.

“Nothing will ever beat last year!” she said. “The Four Worlds of Life, the Crystals, and all the people we met!”

“You mean Emery,” Seth teased.

“I mean everyone,” Marin said, her face flushing bright red.

Back to the Crossroads–would that ever happen? Last year, during winter break, Seth had snuck outside onto the roof of the little shed they had out back. He liked to go there and watch for failing stars, something he used to do with his dad. While Seth was outside, hundreds of stars had fallen from the sky at once. He’d hurried back into his bedroom and found Belvedere, a quirky shapeshifter, who’d sought his help to save another world.

But now there was Osma, the new girl. Maybe he could get to know her and forget all about the Crossroads.

“Who’s ready for crokinole?” Grandpa Reid called from the top of the basement stairs. “I hope you’ve brought some competition with you this year.”

“I’m in!” Seth said, jumping over the back of the sofa and sliding into a seat at the games table. Grandpa Reid was a farmer who loved to carve wood on the side. The basement shelves were lined with not only his wooden creations, but also game boards and pieces. Seth had been playing crokinole every summer since as long as he could remember.

“Why don’t you ever play with this awesome checkers board?” Marin asked, running her hand along the board’s bi-colored surface. Seth had been present when his grandpa made that board—he’d even been allowed to pull the vice tight to hold each wooden piece together when it was assembled.

“Because crokinole is where it’s at,” Seth said. “It takes more than just brains.”

Grandpa Reid nodded. “That’s right. You have to have physical dexterity as well.”

“Well, I’m going to go get Mom and practice driving one last time before my exam tomorrow,” Marin said, climbing the basement stairs. “Wish me luck.”

Once the basement door had closed, Jared grunted. “She needs more than luck. The other day she swerved into the wrong lane!”

Grandpa Reid chuckled as he shot a crokinole disc onto the board. “Give her time. We’re all terrible drivers in the beginning.”

“Not like he’d know,” Seth said to his grandpa. “Jared has no interest in learning how to drive.” Seth shot a disc, knocking his grandpa’s piece off the board.

“It’s not that I won’t learn one day,” Jared said, rolling his eyes. “What’s the point of learning now when I can just get Marin to drive me around like my own personal chauffeur?”

“You can’t just let the women in your life do everything for you,” Grandpa Reid said.

“Marin is not a woman.” Jared gagged.

The mention of women made Seth think of Osma again. Was she the same age as him, or close to Marin and Jared’s age? She was taller than Seth, but he was overdue for a growth spurt, having ended grade eight as the shortest boy in his class.

“Boreas to Seth,” Jared joked.

“Boreas?” Grandpa Reid asked.

Jared ignored Grandpa Reid’s question. “Weren’t you listening to a word I said?”

“Oh, sorry,” Seth said, focusing back on his crokinole discs.

Jared set his book down on the back of the sofa. “What’s gotten you?”

“No one,” Seth said.

Jared’s mouth dropped open. “No one?” He shifted himself on the sofa, so that he was facing Seth and Grandpa Reid. “What do you mean no one? Who did you meet? Is it a girl?”

The crokinole discs suddenly felt warm in Seth’s sweaty palms. “There was just this new girl at the pool.”

“A girl?” Grandpa Reid asked.

“Yes.” Seth nodded. “A girl. But it’s not what you think. It’s not like I’ve met her before, but it’s as if I know her somehow. Does that make sense? There’s this—”

“Attraction?” Jared offered.

“No!” Seth narrowed his eyes at this brother. “It’s not that. I mean yeah she is pretty and all—”

“Ah-ha!” Grandpa Reid called out loud. His last shot had ricocheted off two of Seth’s pieces, knocking them out of the high score area and putting his own in the center. “I win!”

“That’s not fair!” Seth banged his fist on the table. “I wasn’t paying attention.” The table vibrated and Grandpa Reid raised a brow.

“Calm down, Seth,” Jared warned. “You know you have to watch your temper.”

“Well maybe if you weren’t being stupid and bugging me about girls,” Seth shot back.

“Hey now.” Grandpa Reid stood from the table. “We don’t call each other stupid in this house. Maybe that’s enough crokinole for tonight.”

“I’m sorry,” Seth grumbled.

Jared was right; he did need to calm down. He’d been losing his temper a lot since his dad died a year and a half ago. But now, whenever his temper got out of control things happened. It had started in the four worlds and had slowly gotten worse over the last year.

“Let’s go for a walk,” Grandpa Reid said. “That always helps me.”

Outside the farmhouse, the yard consisted of an old barn, Quonset, and some grain bins. Beyond the home quarter, the land inclined as it ran into the foothills. On the opposite side it stretched out flat and far, in the direction of town.

“Are those grain bins full?” Seth asked.

“No son. I took a break from farming when we lost your dad. Last year I rented out the land to a neighbor and did the same this year. I guess you could call it semi-retirement. Before you four came, it was just me and my cows.”

Grandpa Reid stopped in front of the barn, and rested against the wooden fence that acted as a corral for the cows. Seth did the same and focused on the cows. A few were lying down, while others stood there, staring back at him. At the opposite end of the corral, a brown cow rubbed its side against the fence.

Grandpa Reid cleared his throat. “I know it’s been hard for you without your dad.”

A knot formed in Seth’s throat as he tried to swallow. His palms began to sweat again, so he let go of the fence and fidgeted with his talisman.

“I should have been there for you more over the last year,” Grandpa continued. “Your mom told me you had some problems at school, and, well—what I’m trying to say is—I’m sorry.”

“That’s fine,” Seth mumbled.

Grandpa cleared his throat again. “So that temper of yours, well, I want you to know that I was just like you when I was a kid.”

Seth lifted his eyebrows. “You were?”

Grandpa Reid nodded. “Sure was. It took all my momma’s energy, to get me to calm down sometimes. Finally she just started kicking me out of the house, and told me not to come back until I had cooled.” A chuckle escaped his lips, that made his shoulders shake. “I found so much freedom and lots to do outside of that little farmhouse that I eventually made it a habit of exploring this land every day.”

“You grew up here?”

“Sure did. And I want you to know that you can explore around here any time you need to.”

Before Seth could reply, a loud whomp came from the other side of the corral. There, the cow who’d been scratching its back on the fence, had knocked a section loose.

“Betsy!” Grandpa yelled as he ducked through the boards of the fence. “Just wait here, Seth.”

Seth noticed Betsy was starting to slowly make her way out of the pen through the new opening. “I’ll go round the other side,” Seth called out, as he started to run around the other side of the barn.

“No, don’t worry,” Grandpa Reid called after him. “I’ve got it.”

Seth ignored his Grandpa and ran around the barn. The least he could do was help herd Betsy back into the pen. As he rounded the barn, he found a small graveyard of old farm machinery, where weeds and dust had climbed up over the wheels as if they were reclaiming each piece as part of the land.

But there, in the center, was a blackened tractor. The windshield was missing, having blown out a year and half ago. The frame sat like a broken skeleton of what it once was, charred by the fire that had taken Seth’s father’s life.

Grandpa Reid appeared on the other side of the barn. He looked from Seth, to the tractor, and back again. “I’m sorry, I didn’t want you to see this. I was going to have it hauled to a salvage yard before you all got here, but then I got busy with calving and forgot about it.”

Seth slowly walked towards the tractor. “Sometimes I forget about it,” Seth said, unable to tear his eyes away from the broken machinery. “Sometimes I think it was all a dream.”

“I know, son.” Grandpa Reid said coming up to him. He put his hand on Seth’s shoulder and nodded. “I do too.”

“But then I wake up,” Seth said. “There’s no pretending in real life.”

“Let’s call the scrap yard this weekend.” Grandpa Reid squeezed his shoulder. “We’ll get this hauled away and start fresh. Sound good?”

Seth nodded. He wasn’t thinking of the tractor any longer. He was thinking of the Four Worlds. He knew that’s where his father’s killer was, locked up in a dungeon in the Lake of Lost Souls. He only wished he could tell Grandpa Reid that his dad’s death wasn’t an accident.

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From her home in the land of living skies, Melanie McFarlane writes dark stories from the past, present, and future to show the human spirit can persevere even in the darkest of times. Connect with Melanie at www.melaniemcfarlane.com for free short stories and swag.
Melanie McFarlane
YA author of dark stories from the past, present, and future.
Urban Fantasy | Dystopian | Paranormal | Thriller

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COVER REVEAL – Piece of Work by Staci Hart

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SQUEEEEEE!!!!I’m so excited for this to release! Is it May 17th yet??

cover-wrap-380Piece of Work, an all-new sexy romance from Staci Hart, is coming May 17th!

Title: Piece of Work

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publishing Date: May 17th

Cover Designer: Staci Hart

Photographer: Periwinkle Photography

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Marble isn’t the only thing that’s hard at this museum.

His body is as chiseled as Adonis. His lips are as sculpted as David. And his ego is the size of the Guggenheim.

You know the type—wolfish smile and the gravity of a black hole. The kind of man who sucks all the air from the room the second he enters it. My cocky boss thinks this internship was wasted on me, and he doesn’t hesitate to let me know.

But he’s wrong, and I’m going to prove it to him. If I can stay away from his devil lips, that is. Lips that cut me down and kiss me in the same breath, leaving me certain he’s on a mission to ruin my life.

And maybe my heart.

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About the Staci

StaciHartStaci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.

From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

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