EXCERPT REVEAL: Mercy By M.N. Forgy

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EXCERPT

“We need to keep moving, I don’t have time to explain this over and over to you. I can’t penetrate your naive little brain any more than I have.” His Adam’s apple bobs, and he grips my cuffs, pulling me after him.

“Why do you have to be such an asshole!?” I yank back on the cuffs to get his attention.

Looking over his shoulder, he jabs, “I guess you just bring it out in me, Rookie.”

That stung.

We walk for what seems like forever, and not one car drives by. The moon is high in the sky, and the wind is beginning to blow with a chill that has me shrinking into myself to keep warm.

My emotions are a mess. I don’t know what to accept as truth, and what is a lie. I’m always so sure of everything, until Zeek walked in my life. Now, I know nothing about nothing.

A shiver trembles from my lips causing my teeth to clatter. Zeek looks over his shoulder and stops.

“You cold?”

“I’m fine.”

Ignoring me, he shimmies his leather cut off.

“Here, this will help.”

I shake my head and hold my cuffed hands up.

“No, really I’m fine.” The last thing I want is to wear the insignia of the club that just offed one of my family members.

His face hardens, his eyes narrowing in on me.

He grips my upper arm turning me forcefully, and places the warm leather on my back. The smell of cologne, worn leather, and a hint of mint cocoon me in a blanket of danger. I find it comforting, the lingering scent a warning of adventure and risk. It’s no surprise I crave an adrenaline rush, and Zeek is a non-stop high.

Peering up under my lashes I catch Zeek looking me over hungrily, the look in his eyes anything but earnest. They’re hooded and trailing up and down my body unforgivingly.

MERCY TEASER 4

He’s a biker. She’s a Sheriff.

She’s in his world now, even if she doesn’t want to be…

The conclusion of Zeek and Jillian’s epic biker romance releases April 4th!

PRE-ORDER NOW!

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mercy teaser

Blurb

I’m an outlaw. I don’t fall in love and I sure as fuck don’t run… Until Jillian McAdams.

I fell for a law abiding Sheriff, breaking my vows to my own club, and turning her against her family of blue.An outlaw and a sheriff, it can only end in one way… Mayhem.

Now we both have to pay the ultimate price for betraying our families.

I swore to kill my brother, his allegiance sworn to another club, if I ever saw him again.

Yet here I am running to him in hopes to save Jillian’s life…

We both will have to rewrite the rules we know to stay alive.

Even if it means we lose everything we had in doing so…

MERCY TEASER 4.png

Haven’t met Zeek & Jillian yet?

Reign (Book One)

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m.n. forgy bio

About the Author

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M.N. Forgy was raised in Missouri where she still lives with her family. She’s a soccer mom by day and a saucy writer by night. M.N. Forgy started writing at a young age but never took it seriously until years later, as a stay-at-home mom, she opened her laptop and started writing again. As a role model for her children, she felt she couldn’t live with the “what if” anymore and finally took a chance on her character’s story. So, with her glass of wine in hand and a stray Barbie sharing her seat, she continues to create and please her fans.

Stalk Her: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Release Blitz:Sophia Redeemed

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SOPHIA REDEEMED - B. BENFIELD - BISON PUBLISHING

RELEASE: MARCH 29TH

TITLE: Sophia Redeemed
AUTHOR: B. Benfield
IMPRINT: Evermore
GENRE: CONTEMP. CHRISTIAN ROMANCE

Goodreads

77003-synopsis

Bouncing around the foster care system, Sophia has a horrible life until at the age of eighteen; she flees her abusive “father.” Trying to survive on the streets, she is taken in by a pimp, Jax. While she makes enough money to rent a rundown apartment, Jax’s percentage leaves her struggling to pay her own way.

While treating herself to a cup of coffee, she meets Matt. The persistent young man asks her out, not realizing her circumstances. When Sophia reveals her past and shares with him her current life, Matt is undeterred.

A violent, life-changing encounter with Jax brings Matt to her rescue. He takes her to his parents’ guesthouse, where she is welcomed and given a job in his father’s church. The only stipulation is she must attend church with the family.

Blossoming in her new life, Sophia and Matt begin to explore their relationship.
However, someone is not pleased with the changes in her life. Threatening calls and messages are only the beginning of the danger to Sophia. Corruption, lies, and betrayal threaten the couple and when the truth is revealed, many lives are left in turmoil. Can faith and love overcome the devastation in Sophia’s life and lead to her redemption and the life she deserves?

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Benfield

B. Benfield is a Contemporary Christian Romance author. She got her start writing New Adult Romance. She went on to self-publish four novels before ultimately deciding to take those books off the shelves, follow her heart, and pursue Christian Romance.
She’s a banker by day and a writer by night, spending all time in between hanging out with her husband, son, friends, and family! She loves to hear from her readers, so don’t hesitate to shoot her a message!
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LOGAN KADE By Tijan

logan kade cover uselogan kade release blitzLogan Kade is FINALLY here! #sexmachine #fallencrest #logankade

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/21OriGG

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Blurb

You think you know me?
Manwhore. Partier. Fighter.
You know what? You’re right. I’m all those things. F*ck with what’s mine and I’ll f*ck you ten times harder. Suspensions. Arrests. You think I care?

So yeah, I may fit the bad boy image, but there’s so much more you don’t know.

I’m loyal to a damned fault. I’ll never leave your side. The real Logan Kade isn’t a manwhore. When I love, I love hard and completely.

Taylor saw that side of me. Inside of me. She saw my darkness and pain, and the second she did, she owned me.

You may think you know me…
…but she’s the only one who sees me.

logan kade teaser 3

 

EXCERPT ONE

Someone new had arrived at the party, and turning around, I assumed it was Logan Kade. I could only see the back of him. He was talking to a group of guys right outside the back door, and someone motioned in our direction.

Jason groaned.

Logan lifted his head, looking right at us.

From the back, he was the finest specimen I’d seen in a long time. Tall. Lean. Broad shoulders. Trim waist. His shirt clung to his form, outlining his lithe build. He was obviously an athlete. Guys couldn’t get that look unless they played sports on an almost-daily basis and for hours at a time. Others might try to mold and sculpt their bodies to look as good as this one, but their efforts never played out.

Even the back of his neck was delicious. His shirt hugged the muscles of his shoulder and the ridges where his neck and shoulders became one. His hair had a crew cut. When he finally glanced over his shoulder again, looking in the direction the other guy had pointed, his eyes found mine. They held firm.

I swallowed, feeling like I’d just gotten the wind knocked out of me. He was breathtaking.

Dark chocolate eyes. Long eyelashes I would’ve killed for when I was younger—hell, I still would. He had an angular face with high cheekbones, and the front of him matched his back. His biceps bulged, and his shirtsleeves tightened around them for a second before they relaxed. The outline of washboard abs was visible through his shirt. His jeans sealed the image, making my mouth water, and I finally pulled my eyes away.

I had to. I hadn’t reacted to a guy like this in a long time.

TEASERS

He stared back at me for a moment, a mask over his face, before he started laughing. “You are feisty.”

“Is that a problem?”

“Do you not know me? Feisty women are my specialty.”

“You’re arrogant.”

He was full-on laughing now. “Have you not met me?”

*****

Author Information

tijan

I didn’t begin writing until after undergraduate college. There’d been storylines and characters in my head all my life, but it came to a boiling point one day and I HAD to get them out of me. So the computer was booted up and I FINALLY felt it click. Writing is what I needed to do. After that, I had to teach myself how to write. I can’t blame my teachers for not teaching me all those years in school. It was my fault. I was one of the students that was wishing I was anywhere but at school! So after that day, it took me lots of work until I was able to put together something that resembled a novel. I’m hoping I got it right since someone must be reading this profile! And I hope you keep enjoying my future stories.

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The LIFELESS Series By J.M. Larocca

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Lifeless Ebook

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77003-synopsis

After graduating from the University of South Alabama, Scarlett Moore discovers her boyfriend of five months is actually married with a child on the way. Feeling used and heartbroken, she decides it’s time to take her best friend Jules’ advice to move to Atlanta and live with her. There, Jules helps her get a job at Entertainment Atlanta, where she works as an entertainment insurance agent. It’s not Scarlett’s dream job, but it’s better than not having a job at all, and who would mind working with famous people, right?

Then she gets assigned to EA’s newest client, Kade Evans, rock star turned actor. Not only is he a drug addict, he’s also known for never dating the same girl twice. He’s tall, dark, and handsome, has an amazing voice, and good acting skills, but he’s also arrogant and intense.

At their first meeting, the chemistry between them is undeniable.

The love that comes later is unexpected.

But Kade’s life is full of secrets. His past has now intruded on his present and when Scarlett finds out what his secrets are, the real deception begins.

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Lifeless

★*´♡.★*´♡★

My Beautiful Ebook

Goodreads

77003-synopsis

It has been eight months since Scarlett Moore last saw Kade Evans. After being left hurt and confused she tried to forget about him, but he wasn’t easy to forget. She found herself thinking about him often. Even her best friend Jules did her best to get him off her mind by pushing her toward Bryce, the one person Scarlett was not sure she wanted to be involved with. When a new job opportunity is offered to her and Jules, they jump on it. The idea of starting over again and forgetting the past is enticing to Scarlett even if it moves her to Los Angeles, the same place Kade lives.

Kade Evans’ life revolved around his band, alcohol, drugs, and women…until he met Scarlett. She is the light to his darkness, his beautiful; the one that makes him see what the future might hold. That is, until his past came barreling back into his life, ruining everything. Hurting her was the last thing he wanted to do, but he did what he had to do to protect her. His plan is to find a way out of his new life before he tries to win her heart back. But life has a plan of its own and unexpectedly, Scarlett walks back into his life.

When they meet again, the fire she thought burned out is reignited and the plans he made are rearranged.

Just when things start to fall into place, they all seem to fall apart and the one person they think they can trust turns out to be the one to hurt them the most.

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My Beautiful

f4cbe-about2bthe2bauthor

JM

I’ve had a passion for reading and writing for as long as I can remember. It has always been an escape for one reason or another. Now, I’m taking that passion and turning it into a book. My debut book Lifeless will be released late summer 2013. I can’t wait for you to read this story that has been brewing in my head for over a year. 🙂

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New Release: VISION IN LOVE

 Title: Vision in Love

Author: Liz Bower

Genre: Romantic Fantasy

Release Date: 31-Mar-16

Series: Book 1 in the Legends of the North series

Cover Designer: Premade Ebook Cover Shop

After Emma Williams’ life took an unexpected turn, she decides to start over, by moving back to her home in the north of England. But as soon as she arrives in the village of Altenchester, she starts to suffer from strange visions. Visions of people she doesn’t know and disturbing events she can’t explain.

 

They lead her to find an unlikely friend in Matt, a local history enthusiast. Emma is unaware he is also an Altenbury, the prominent family in the village. As they search for the meaning of her visions it brings them closer together. But their venture soon turns into a nightmare when Matt is the victim of a series of brutal yet mysterious attacks.

Can Emma find out what the visions mean before the attacks on Matt become fatal?

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Originally from Lancashire, England, Liz now lives just outside of London.

She started her writing career with an online course and is now studying for a creative writing degree, so it was probably inevitable that she would write a novel.

When not writing, Liz can be found curled up with a cup of coffee and a book or walking her dog.

Promo Post: Coming Home By Jourdyn Kelly

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Book Title: Coming Home (An LA Lovers Book)

Author: Jourdyn Kelly

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: March 1, 2016

Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

Goodreads

book blurb

Blaise Knight is content. She owns a trendy, in-demand flower boutique, has great friends, and an obsession with red velvet cake. After a string of disappointing dates, Blaise decides to give up dating, and focus on the things that are most important to her.

Greyson Steele is the “family stud”. After his stint in the Delta Force, he is coerced into the family business. And, his manipulative mother is planning a wedding for him to a woman he can’t stand. But Greyson has other plans. At thirty-nine, Greyson is ready to settle down, but only with a woman he chooses. After meeting the fiery owner of Knight in Bloom, Greyson finds his match.

Sparks fly when Blaise and Greyson meet. Can he convince her to take a chance on him? Or will Blaise’s past ruin their chances for a future? Their romance forces Greyson on a chase halfway around the world to solve a mystery, and find his love.

excerpt

If Greyson had ever been nervous standing in front of a woman’s door before, he didn’t remember. But here and now, in front of Blaise’s, he could swear his palms were sweaty. I should have brought flowers, he thought. Then immediately rejected the idea. Flowers for the flower shop owner. Stupid idea. Besides, he has seen Blaise’s talent. Flowers from anywhere else would just be inferior. And, it was probably in bad taste to buy from a competitor. Greyson certainly didn’t need more reasons for Blaise to reject him.

Grateful that he had taken the time to change into well-worn jeans and a black t-shirt—may as well be comfortable while begging—he knocked on the door.

The door slid open. “Honey, I told you I was fine and you didn’t have to…”

Greyson was struck dumb by the sight before him. Mere hours before, Blaise was the epitome of grace and class. The gown she wore accentuated everything about Blaise that Greyson found sexy. But now. Damn. Her hair was piled on the top of her head in a messy bun, her face was clean of any cosmetics and she wore a men’s white button up shirt and white fluffy socks. Whether she had on anything under that shirt, Greyson didn’t know, but he ached to find out. To him, Blaise was sexier right at this moment than he had ever seen her.

“Hi.”

“What?” She frowned, and waved a spoon in his direction. He hadn’t noticed the carton of ice cream until then. “What are you doing here? How did you know where I live?”

“I’m here because you wouldn’t listen to me before. I need to explain.”

“You need to go home to your fiancée, Mr. Steele.”

“Goddamn it, Blaise. She’s not my fucking fiancée. That’s what I’m trying to tell you.”

Blaise raised an eyebrow, and Greyson wondered if she was aware of just how beautiful she looked right now.

“The ring and the woman say something different,” she shot back. “And, you certainly didn’t deny it at that moment. If you just broke up with her and came here, that’s even lower, Mr. Steele.”

Greyson let out a frustrated growl, and scrubbed his hands over his face. “May I come in?” he asked through gritted teeth.

“No.”

“Blaise.” The tone of his voice was one he used when he wanted to intimidate those around him to do as he demanded. He shouldn’t have been surprised when it didn’t even faze her.

“Do not ‘Blaise’ me. And, don’t you dare use that tone with me. I am not one of your employees, or lackeys or whatever. You have something to say, say it right here.” She leaned against the door jamb, crossing her ankles, and waited. Digging the spoon into the carton, Blaise looked up at him. “And, don’t think I don’t realize you totally skipped over my question of how you found out where I live.”

He watched her wrap her lips around the spoon. Just as he had when he sat at dinner with her a few nights ago, he found watching her eat completely erotic. And, as much as her stubbornness irked him, he couldn’t help but feel an equal—or more—amount of respect for her.

“Fine,” he sighed. If he had to do this out in the hallway, so be it. “I am not engaged. That’s the most important thing I need you to know.” He held up a hand when she opened her mouth. “If you’re going to make me talk out here, the least you can do is hear me out.”

Her jaw tightened with annoyance, but she nodded before taking another bite of what he could now see was Ben & Jerry’s Coffee, Coffee flavor.

“I’m not engaged,” he repeated. “I’ve never been engaged, and I certainly would never even contemplate marrying Pricilla. She surprised the shit out of me with the ring, as well, which is why I didn’t say anything. It’s my mother’s ring, but I didn’t give it to her. Fuck, I wouldn’t give that hideous thing to anyone.” He took a deep breath. “I was there with Pricilla because my mother asked me to escort her. ‘Keeping up appearances’, she calls it. Padding her fucking portfolio by trying to merge the families is what it really is. I’ve already resigned myself to taking over the family business. I refuse to give her this. Tonight was a mistake. I should never have agreed to it.” He braved a step closer to her. “I never wanted to hurt you, or make you think I’m that kind of bastard.”

meet the author

I’ve been in Houston, Texas, writing novels and designing websites since 2009. Moving here was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, because I’ve been able to live wonderfully, and write my heart out. I’ve always enjoyed the arts in one form or another. Music sets the mood, reading stimulates my brain, and writing allows me to utilize my imagination in any way I want. I’ve been writing stories since I was a teen, and figured out writing was my passion when I finished my first novel, Something About Eve.

I love being captivated by books that lead me into different, exotic places, and through impossible scenarios. I love being able to become someone else for a time. Reading has always inspired me to bring my own characters out to play. My hope is that my writing will inspire others, or at the least, give them a way to escape from everyday life for a little while.

As web designer, etc. for singer/actress Deborah Gibson, I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in wonderful experiences, travel around the country and meet exciting people. Just recently, I was able to travel to Berlin, and meet some fantastic people. It’s experiences like this, I believe, that help me create unique, and (hopefully) lovable characters.

I will be continuing the LA Lovers series with Ellie’s book next. Each book will be a stand-alone, but look for Eve, Lainey, and Adam to show up here and there. I truly hope you enjoyed Blaise and Greyson. You’ll be able to see more of them in the next book!

I spend my time writing, designing websites and caring for what is really a zoo with 3 dogs, 2 cats, a bearded dragon, 2 frogs and 2 turtles. In the recent years, I’ve changed my lifestyle to include working out and eating right. I now compete in triathlons, have run two half-marathons, and love yoga.

I love bringing my characters out for everyone to meet. My goal is to keep writing in many different genres, as I feel there shouldn’t be anything limiting writers.

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Book Blitz: ASCENDERS By C. L. Gaber

Ascenders

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Ascenders Updated

Book Title: ASCENDERS: High School for the Recently Departed (Ascenders Saga)

Author: CL Gaber

Genre: YA/NA Romance/Paranormal

Release Date: April 12, 2016

Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

Goodreads

book blurb

Is this Hell or is this High School?

THE ASCENDERS Takes You To the In-between Where Teens Who Died Young Go On the Epic Adventure of an After-Lifetime

Walker Callaghan doesn’t know what happened to her. One minute she was living her teenage life in suburban Chicago…and the next minute, she was in a strange place and in a brand new school with absolutely no homework, no rules, and no consequences.

Walker Callaghan, 17, is dead.

She doesn’t go to heaven or hell. She lands at The Academy, a middle realm where teenagers have one thing in common: They were the morning announcement at their high schools because they died young.

These high school kids are now caught in a strange “in-between” zone where life hasn’t changed very much. In fact, this special teen limbo looks a lot like life in a quaint Michigan town complete with jocks, popular girls and cliques. “There are even cheerleaders in death,” Walker observes. It’s not a coincidence that the music teacher is a guy named Kurt who “used to have this band.” The drama teacher, Heath, is crush worthy because back in his life, he starred in some superhero movie.

Principal King explains the rules — there are none. Why? You can’t die twice.

There is no homework.

No tests.

No SATS.

You’re just there to learn because the human brain isn’t fully formed until you’re 24.

By the way, you can’t get hurt physically, so race your Harley off that hillside. But falling in love is the most dangerous thing you can do …because no one knows how long you’ll stay in this realm or what’s next.

“Losing someone you love would be like dying twice,” Walker says.

* * * * * *

Walker Callaghan has just arrived at the Academy after a tragic car accident. “Is this hell or is this high school?” she asks.

She finds out her new life is a bit of both as she falls in love with tat-covered, bad boy Daniel Reid who is about to break the only sacred rule of this place. He’s looking for a portal to return back to the living realm.

He needs just one hour to retrieve his younger brother who strangely never arrived at The Academy. Bobby is an Earth Bound Spirit, stuck at a plane crash site that took both of their lives as their rich father piloted his private jet nose-first into a cornfield on Christmas Eve.

Walker loves Daniel and risks it all to go with him.

Have they learned enough to outsmart dangerous forces while transporting a young child with them? Can their love survive the fragmented evil parts of themselves that are now hunting them down as they try to find a way back to the middle?

At the Academy, you learn the lessons of an after-lifetime.

praise

Resch Reads:

One word to describe this book is EPIC. Sheer writing brilliance.”

Amazon: “A new ‘Twilight Zone’ of a world. Speaking of Uncle Stevie, otherwise known as Stephen King, ‘Ascenders’ reads like something he might have written back in the Twilight Zone of his own youth. I love Koontz and King and haven’t been this excited about an author in a long time.”

Author Groupies: “If you’re a fan of dystopian epics, this bring a whole new element to the genre: the afterlife. I loved this book. What an original concept! Constantly changing, riveting and thought-provoking.”

Amazon: “The next big book series. Powerful and beautiful. I was so moved by this book that I actually cried, tears streaming down my face. Five minutes later, I was cheering. I felt like I had just seen a movie.”

Mugglenet, The #1 Harry Potter Site: “Ascenders is one of those books that stays on your mind for days after reading it. Though you continue your days, your mind keeps wandering back to the main characters, the overarching theme, and of course, the scenarios of what could possibly happen next. I finished this novel within the span of two days, and I wish that I could start over and read the whole thing again. “

Mugglenet: “Walker and Daniel are incredibly believable and realistic. Walker is a strong female character that isn’t afraid to fight for what she loves. Daniel, while having a hard, cold exterior, is actually soft underneath it all and incredibly loving. C.L. Gaber did an excellent job describing the setting and places. I felt like I was right there. The dead celebrity appearances kept me on my toes.”

Mugglenet: “I can’t wait to read the second book. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I was so excited about a book.”

Amazon: The story is so amazing, and completely unique, I have never read anything like this or that will compare to this. I would rank this up there in my top reads of 2015. The tail is enchanting and I fell in love with Daniel and his family and I wanted to be best friends with Walker, this was the book that kept giving. Perfect storytelling!

The Pen and the Muse: Ascenders by C.L. Gaber was an utterly refreshing, original, and an un-put-down-able read. This book was brimming with emotions, feels, and had a striking story line that kept you glued to your e-reader. I was completely mesmerized with the characters and their journey of the “in between.” With a concept so unique, Ms. Gaber had her readers totally invested with the story of Walker and Daniel. Be prepared to get spell-blinded and fall in love with this beautiful and enchanting story.

Booknerds: “I was completely absorbed in the Ascenders world. It’s an insanely creative world. AMAZING, AMAZING concept and characters. Daniel and Walker had great chemistry. Daniel is everything a male lead should be. Total crush material. He walks that line of bad boy and sweetheart. Walker was one hell of a strong female character. She was intelligent, quick witted, charming and a bad ass in the best possible way.”

excerpt

Now that it was absolutely dark, I felt like the world had faded to inky black. I didn’t have any idea where we were walking, but knew I had to get home before my mother became frantic and called the cops, which would be mortifying in a new town.

“So, how long have your parents been gone?” I asked, sliding along and breathing not-so-heavily, while thinking that maybe his mother and father had a time-share in Miami or Palm Springs during this time of the year and had just snuck away for the weekend or even dumped the kids on him for a week.

“How long have they been gone?” Daniel pondered out loud. His laugh was beyond sarcastic; it was vicious. “They’ve been gone years, months, and days. Who cares about them? I certainly don’t.”

Of course, he was kidding. Parents didn’t take vacations from their four children for years. It was called child abandonment and there were laws. Wait, maybe his parents were in jail for breaking the law. Embezzlers? Ponzi scheme? My journalistic mind was in overdrive. “So, it’s just the four of you kids in the house? For years. Home alone.” I said with a little laugh. “Obviously, that was a bad joke.”

“No joke. It’s just us four—we’re a family. Intact. For the most part,” said the David Beckham look-a-like with the short dark hair and steel gray eyes, quickly walking ahead again. He really didn’t want to get into it now.

Intact? I thought. Now this was really getting interesting. I knew he was the exacting type, and his choice of words was deliberate.

My next question would have to wait.

In what seemed like an instant, my back foot caught on a large fallen tree branch and I fell forward with all my body weight. Crashing hard onto my hands and knees, I cried out, but I wasn’t in any real pain. Before I could stand up, I slipped again until my stomach slammed against the surface of the thickly iced-over pond. The cracking sound was like thunder. Then, in what felt like a sickening surge of broken glass and rushing water, the ground suddenly ceased to exist. I didn’t have time to scream as I dropped into the dark, lifeless, icy chill of wintery water.

I braced for the first slap of bitter freeze, instantly calling up some stupid fact from science class at Kennedy High where we learned that Titanic survivors described hitting the freezing ocean water as thousands of tiny knives stabbing every inch of their bodies.

I expected excruciating pain, but there was none. There was just numbness as I entered the earliest stages of being converted to ice.

Resistance was only natural and I fought hard as my hands flailed through the water trying to keep my head above the murky freeze, but it was pointless. The water was hungry that night and my thrashing almost made a game out of its impending conquest. It only took a second or two of my desperate survival dance for the lake to swallow me whole.

Daniel must have heard the crack and he stopped in place. Slowly, he turned around as I struggled to pop up again, but by putting up a fight I only succeeded in making it worse. As my body was being carried under the heavy sheet of ice in an involuntary dance, I could see Daniel above, the soles of his black boots carefully

following my route as he calmly watched me drown.
In a way, it was fascinating to watch him ever so gradually shuffle along as my

hands desperately reached from under my new icy roof for the bottom of his boots. The only thing that separated us was about five solid inches of deadly winter soup. By the time he found me in an even darker spot where the lake mingled with several dead, embalmed trees, all he could see from under the thick coating was my face looking up at him, frozen in horror. He saw my pouty mouth almost kissing the ice and frantically trying to say one word to him.

“Help!” I mouthed.
I gulped down murky green water, ingesting long tentacles of lifeless leaves and

thick clumps of sludge-dirt, and it all slid easily into my lungs while he just stood there. He. Stood. There.

Frantically, I maneuvered away from the spot by the trees, which made it worse because now I was pinned under even thicker ice, my milky-white face pressed up against eight to ten inches of immovable crystals.

Casually, Daniel walked to where I was wildly waving my arms underneath the water. When I looked up now, he was a hazy dark blur that made me suddenly dizzy. That’s when I shut my eyes to wait for the inevitable.

But I didn’t black out. Long minutes passed, my eyes sprung open, and I continued to push upward again as the water became midnight black. For some reason I was still alive, but I still couldn’t free myself from this wintry prison.

My mind raced. How much time had passed? How much time could pass before I would be brain-dead? How much time before I died?

Daniel still stood above the ground and calmly watched me struggle. “To hell with this,” he finally said, loud enough for me to hear him under the ice. Was he telling me to stop struggling and just accept that I lost?

After another endless minute passed, he shook his head and, though apparently talking to himself, said even louder, “Okay, enough . . . but you need to know.”

Kicking through a thinner spot of ice, he made a small hole and then pummeled it into a bigger passage with those clomping boots. Reaching down into the crack, he offered me a strong hand and a tat-covered, muscular arm. Somehow through the dark water, I saw human fingers moving and grabbed them like they were my only lifelines, which is exactly what they were to me.

All it took was one big hoist and I was in his arms, pressed body-to-body up against him, soaking wet, freezing cold, and mad as hell.

With my right hand, that had absolutely no feeling in it, I slapped him squarely across the jaw as hard as possible. When he didn’t budge much, I slapped him again, which made my hand tired, but it didn’t hurt. When I attempted to punch his face, he grabbed my hand in a firm way that signaled we weren’t going another nine rounds.

“Easy there, tiger,” he said with a smirk that made those soft eyes twinkle. “I guess you’re a fan of the Rocky movies.”

“Why . . . you bastard . . . why . . . you didn’t even try to save me,” I sputtered, but I wasn’t really coughing and certainly my brain was perfectly fine. For a split second, I counted to five backward. Again, it was amazing that my mind was still functioning. Maybe the water was cold enough to save me. Is that how it worked?

“I saw you. You were just standing there! Watching! Watching me die!” I

screamed, shoving him again. This time, I took him by surprise and he landed butt-first in a pile of snow.

Calmly, he stood up, lurched forward, and grabbed both of my arms, holding me against his rock-hard chest until I stopped struggling and gave up the idea of trying to knock his block off. He held me tightly like he was protecting me from some danger worse than what just happened. Tears formed in my eyes and I began to touch my arms and then tested my breathing, which was perfectly normal. He still refused to let go. Big white puffs of my breath filled the dark sky and I watched them evaporate slowly like little clouds. Then I looked up.

“Why aren’t I dead?” I said in an anguished voice.
Daniel took a deep breath, carefully released me, and then answered slowly. “Because, baby, you can’t die twice,” he said.

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meet the author

CL GABER is the author of ASCENDERS and the sequel ASCENDERS: SKYPUNCH (Book Two).

She is also a journalist writing about film and television for the New York Times Syndicate.

CL lives in Nevada with her husband Ron, bonus daughter Sabrina and two unruly dogs. You can reach her at CLGaber@Yahoo.com

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