Tuesday, February 28, 2017

HEA Book Tours Presents: A Quarter to Twelve by Josephine Traynor

A Quarter to Twelve by Josephine Traynor
Series: Time Series #1 
(All books will be standalones with cross over characters.)
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy

Happy, single, divorcee. 
Successful business woman.
Content on perving on the cute guy at the gym. At least until my best friend sets me up on an online dating site. Now, all I’m doing is blocking dick pictures.

Burned by bad breakup.
Envied chef.
Going to kill my brother for not only setting up a profile on this online dating site but giving me this user name.

Humiliating online profiles bring them together, while the universe tries to keep them apart. Reluctant daters become determined lovers who will need to decide if they’re willing to fight for something they never wanted in the first place.



I’m a writer with a dream of sharing the characters I see in my head with others and have you fall in love with them too. I have been a writer since I was a little girl and finally got brave enough to show my work to a friend. My friend asked for more and that, in turn, resulted in me showing a couple more friends, who told me this book needs to be published.

On the other side of the pen name, I’m a mother of two and that’s a big part of why I’m using a pen name. This is MY career choice, not theirs. It’s not about being ashamed of my work, far from it, I am super proud but I have a responsibility. The other reason is due to wanting to keep the focus on my work. For the lack of a better pun, I’m an open book, ask me anything, but I think my books are far more interesting than I am.

I think about writing and characters all the time. I love nothing more than sitting down at my computer, or even with my pen and notebook, to get my imagination down on paper. I try to create characters that feel like friends, people that the reader would want to know. I aim to write stories that not only give you a laugh, but have you thinking about your own life.

About the actual name – I’d chosen another name and found out that there is another author out there with the same name. Back to the drawing board, I chose my favourite name – which was Josephine. As for the Traynor part, I’d just finished reading Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You and Will Traynor’s choices and suggestions about living to the fullest and without regret was another push for me to follow my dreams.

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you fall in love with a few laughs along the way.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Enchanted Book Promotions Presents: The Fairytale Chicago of Francesca Finnegan

About the Book

ftalechicago-cover-imageTitle: The Fairytale Chicago of Francesca Finnegan
Author: Steve Wiley
Genre: Fantasy
“Did you know most anything that matters in this city was built by magic before it was built by men? Of course you didn’t. This city is different from other cities. The true history of it is unpublished. Lucky for you, I know it all by heart.”
~ Francesca Finnegan
In Chicago, a secret L train runs through the mythical East Side of the city. On that train, you’ll find a house-cat conductor, an alcoholic elf, a queen of the last city farm, the most curious wind, and an exceptional girl by the name of Francesca Finnegan.
When we first encounter Richard K. Lyons, he is a man who has long forgotten the one night, when he was still a boy called Rich, when Francesca invited him aboard the secret L for an adventure though the East Side. The night was a mad epic, complete with gravity-defying first kisses, mermaid overdoses, and princess rescues. Unfortunately for Rich, the night ended like one of those elusive dreams forgotten the moment you wake. Now, Rich is all grown up and out of childish adventures, an adult whose life is on the verge of ruin. It will take the rediscovery of his exploits with Francesca, and a reacquaintance with the boy he once was, to save him.

Author Bio

Steve is a father, husband, uncle, brother, friend, and purveyor of fairy stories. He grew up in and around Chicagoland, where he still lives with his wife and two kids. He has been published in an array of strange and serious places, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., to Crannóg magazine in Galway, Ireland. This is his first book. He has an undergraduate degree in something he has forgotten from Illinois State University and a graduate degree in something equally forgotten from DePaul University. You can email Steve at Lavenderlinepress@gmail.com, or visit thewileymancan on Instagram.

Illustrator Bio

Chris is an artist who studied at Columbia College Chicago. He is a Chicago native and has lived here all his life. Chris’s paintings have been showcased in many local galleries and beyond. When he feels like it, he travels elsewhere to find inspiration. You can reach him at Chris.cihon@gmail.com, or visit _ccihon on Instagram.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Enchanted Book Promotions Presents: The Last Resort by Ember Leigh

About the Book

Title: The Last Resort
Author: Ember Leigh
Genre: Erotic Romance
Rose Delaney is a baby bounty hunter, rescuing children from fugitive ex-spouses. All she wants is to return a recovered child to its mother and get back to her regimented solitary life. But when a snow storm leaves her and baby Emmy stranded, Rose has no choice but to lean on the ruggedly handsome rescuer, who thinks the baby is hers. Holed up in their mountain resort-under-construction and unable to contact Emmy’s mother, Rose’s priority is hitting the road—even if Garrett’s erotic touch entices her to ride out the storm.
Construction boss Garrett Galo loves his job, but he never imagined a perk like being snowbound during a whiteout with the sassy brunette he just rear-ended. He’s learned to stay away from women who want a family, especially when they come with a kid in tow. When passionate nighttime encounters flare between them, Garrett begins to question what he’d risk to keep Rose.
This isn’t the time or the place for romance—but will five days on a mountain make these loners reconsider giving in to love?

Author Bio

Ember Leigh has been writing erotic romance novels since she was far too young. A native of northern Ohio, she currently resides near Lake Erie with her Argentinean husband, where they run an Argentinian-American food truck. In addition to romance novels, Ember also writes travel memoirs and occasionally updates a couple of blogs. In her free time, she practices Ashtanga yoga, hops around the world, and eats lots of vegetables.
Twitter: @EmberLeighAuth


Win a $5 Amazon gift card during the cover reveal. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Review: Enchanted Book Promotions Presents: Murder At Midnight by John Ukah

About the Book

murder-at-midnight_front-coverTitle: Murder at Midnight
Author: John Ukah
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Alex Simpson, an ex-police officer, decides after a bout of typhoid fever to take a break in a serene and therapeutic environment. The last thing he expects is to be called upon to solve a murder at the Kinging Guest Lodge. But that is what happens, when the delectable and vivacious Maria Marshall is found dead in her bedroom at midnight.
The gallery of characters living at the guesthouse and thrown into the mix, do not make his task of solving this chilling and brutal murder any easier …

Author Bio

murder-at-midnight_author-picJohn Ukah is a seasoned banker and Associate of the Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ACMR). He is a graduate of Business Administration from the University of Benin, where he was listed as University Scholar. He also holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA).


I really liked what the author tried to do and the concept ... but I just couldn't get into the book. It was really hard for me to finish it and it just wasn't my cup of tea. I read a lot of different kinds of styles of writing and themes and I thought this would be something I could enjoy. Maybe you will like it more than I did. The quality of writing wasn't the issue the author did well on that. The story just didn't capture me. I wish it had.

3 Stars on this review.


Purchase “Murder at Midnight” on Amazon: United StatesUnited KingdomGermany, FranceSpainItalyNetherlandsJapanBrazilCanadaMexicoAustralia, and India.
It is also available on SmashwordsKobo, Apple, Barnes & Noble (Nook)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

HEA Blog Tours Presents: The Hitchhiker by Charlie Lee

Author: Charlie Lee

"You can run, but can you hide?"

Life was perfect. 

I was on top of the world winning one case after the other leaving no survivors in the wake of my devastation. They may see a pair of long legs in Louboutin heels, but remember my name when I'm finished with them.

Caitlin Winslow, the best, cut-throat defense lawyer in California. 

I never play to lose. 
It's not in my DNA.
The actions of ethics don't exist in my domain.

Satan, my father, who shaped my life turns up dead. Kill shot to the back of the head in his sleep. The people who murdered him aren't stopping with his death. They're after me.

I ran in the dark of night. Karma that evil bitch meets me step by step and forced me to stick out my thumb on the side of the lonely highway. I'm now the HITCHHIKER begging for redemption.

Oh, how life has a funny way of smacking you in the face.

Katch Sterling storms into my life, and now I'm in his car.

My complete opposite.
Who would've thought my world would come full circle on that lonely highway with a hired killer...


A secret duo of USA Today Bestselling Authors have teamed up to bring you the sexy world of opposites crashing together.

Monday, February 13, 2017

HEA Blog Tours Presents: THE STORY OF US by d. Nichole King

THE STORY OF US by d. Nichole King
Release Date: Feb. 9, 2017
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance


Every life is made of thousands of them, each one strung together with the next. Some are yellow and happy, some are blue and sad, and some…

Some wipe out color altogether.

“I love you,” is what I should have told Maverick.

“I’m sorry.”

“I’m still fighting.”

Instead I just watched him leave.

Now my husband, my everything is battling for each breath, and all I can do is stare at the machines as the clock ticks off precious minutes.

The doctors said the first twenty-four hours are critical—but every moment is critical.

You never know which will be your last.

This is our story, and I’m not ready for it to end.

Available on Kindle Unlimited!

I’m cold sitting in one of the waiting rooms in the ICU. Maverick is still in surgery, the nurse tells me. They’ll come get me once he’s in his room. It shouldn’t be too much longer. No one else is close by. It’s just me and my thoughts.

It’s strange the things you think of to distract yourself from the real reason you’re sitting here. Me, I focus on the oil painting on the wall. Wonder how many people have stared at it and wanted to tear it down. How many liked it. Has anyone noticed that it leans a little to the left or that there’s an inconsistency in the corners of the wooden frame? Did anyone deliberate why this painting?

I’m sure it’s meant to calm the people who look at it. Doesn’t everyone find a lake dotted with sailboats calming? But the colors are all wrong. They don’t soothe me. They’re bright and bold and demanding. There’s too much crimson, too dark of navy.

I have to turn away from it. There’re magazines on the tables, but they scream at me too. Loud headlines of celebrities with large divorce settlements, jail time, and plastic surgery. The science ones boast of the newest medical advances and archeological finds. What they don’t realize is that in here, life beyond these walls no longer exists. In here, there’re only three things that matter: life, death, and the battle between them.

I shiver again. I should have brought warmer clothes.

Hugging my knees to my chest, I focus on the fake plant in the corner. There are no windows in this area, which is how I know it’s fake. It might be a fern of some sort, I don’t know. The leaves are long and skinny, but again, the color is wrong for this place.

I shift my attention to the hallway. In here, the lights are dim, but out there they’re on full and reflecting off of the cream floor. There’s a nurse at the nurses’ station, sitting behind a computer. She’s different from the one before. A moment later, another walks up to the desk. They keep hushed voices, and I hear nothing. The one at the computer lifts her eyes to me and when she meets my gaze, she offers a sympathetic smile. I don’t smile back.

I lower my head until my cheek rests on my arms, and I close my eyes. My skin is ice against my face. Cold is what it means to be alone, and right now, I’ve never felt more alone. Alone, but not lonely. No, because being lonely is different than being alone. Lonely is a fleeting state that ends. When Finley gets here, I’ll no longer be lonely, yet without Mav, I’ll still be alone.

I think about the happy moments Mav and I shared. Our time in Cancun. The dance under the stars. His smile. His silly pet name for me.

That was us. The whole, take-on-the-world, in-love us.

The us before we broke.

d. Nichole King was born with a book in her hand. During her school years, she’d hide books inside textbooks, read during recess, changing classes, and while walking home from school. She wrote her first book at the age of 11, and the re-worked version of that book is her debut novel, LOVE ALWAYS, KATE.

Her YA urban fantasy series, THE SPIRIT TRILOGY, along with her NA contemporary series, LOVE ALWAYS, was acquired by Limitless Publishing and includes a total of six books. BREAKING THROUGH, an NA science-fiction romance, is her first self-published novel.

d. Nichole King currently resides in a small town in Iowa with her supportive husband, four amazing kids, a dog, a cat, a fish, and a turtle.



1) Tell us about your book and why you chose to write it?
At its core, The Story of Us is about realizing what you have. It’s about lives interconnecting and becoming one, no matter what life throws at you. I had this idea of writing a story that takes place in 24 hours. But I also wanted the reader to live the moments before that, as if they were reliving it with Alieya. Then everything kind of came together, and Alieya and Maverick’s story was born.

2) If you could be one character inside of your book who would it be and why?
In this book, I’d say Alieya. I relate to her. I understand her. And I think this is the first of my books that I dug deep within myself and pulled out issues from my own experiences. There were many times in my own marriage that I felt the way Alieya did, and I think many people do, which is why the story is so easy to relate to.

3) Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite books?
Oh, geez. There are so many ways to answer this. The one book that solidified my reading obsession was Matlida by Roald Dahl when I was in grade school. Then I grew up reading The Baby-Sitter’s Club, Boxcar Children, Fear Street, and anything and everything by Lurlene McDaniel. Now, if your book makes me cry, it’s my favorite.

4) What made you start writing?
I started writing in 6th grade. I read so much, I just assumed writing would be the next step. So I tried it out. Nothing ever came of it and I moved on with my life until one day I decided I was going to try it again. And here we are.

5) Who is the one person that has inspired you the most in your writing?
I would say Lurlene McDaniel was my first inspiration. She’s the one who first inspired me to write, but also to go into pre-med. Later, my inspiration became Stephanie Meyer. Her story is well known and so encouraging to aspiring writers. I thought, “If she can do it, why can’t I?”

6) Is there some place in the world that you just HAVE to go to and write about?
I’m not sure I’d want to write about the place, but I’d love, love, love to have a small, one-bedroom cabin in the mountains to go and write for weeks at a time. No distractions, beautiful scenery, and high speed internet.

7) Who is your book boyfriend?
I have one, and no one in four years has taken his place. In Sunniva Dee’s debut novel, Shattering Halos, we’re introduced to a fallen angel, Cassiel. He gets his own book in Stargazer, and I have yet swoon for another fictional male character like I did with him.

8) If you could have one person read the book for audio purposes who would be your star celebrity?
Oh, I am soooo bad at stuff like this. I don’t do names and faces well. It’s a running joke in our house, actually. My husband will point to an actor/actress and I have to guess their name and what other movie/TV show they were in. I never win this “game.”

9) What do you have coming down the pipe in the future?
I am part of an anthology, Beer Goggles, releasing in April. It’s a collection of short stories about those moments after you’ve drunk waaaaay too much. The anthology benefits St. Jude’s Hospital. I’m also working on a companion novel to The Story of Us, titled The Evolution of Us, slated to release later this year.

10) What is your favorite movie?
Ah! I don’t know if I can answer this. I’m a huge movie fan. Every winter, I have to watch Little Women. Sweet Home Alabama is a go-to romance movie for me. I also love The Lord of The Rings, Star Stars, Star Trek, and all the Avengers movies. I think I’ll stop here, otherwise this list might go on for a few pages.
11) Do you have any rituals you partake in while writing?
I blast Spotify through my earbuds when I write. Each book has a playlist of about 25 songs. As I go, I’ll add songs and delete songs until I have the playlist that works perfectly for the book. You can follow me on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/user/12181662287

12) Who inspires you?
My husband. He not only inspires me in writing, he inspires me in life. He’s my best friend, my confidant, my safe place. He encourages me to be the best me I can be. The Story of Us is dedicated to him, because he’s my Maverick.

13) Any last words before the lightening round begins?
First, thank you so much for having me. It’s been a blast.
Secondly, I’d like to thank my readers. Without their support, I wouldn’t get to do what I’m doing. So, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!

Fast 10 – 
Hot or Cold: Cold
Black or White: Black
Mountain or Beach: Mountain
Romance or Mystery: Romance
Book or Movie: Book
New Release or Classic:
Coke or Pepsi: Pepsi
PJ’s or Birthday Suit: Pj’s
Dogs or Cats: Cats
Sunny Day or Rainy Day:

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Review: Targeted by Kendra Elliot

Title: Targeted
Author: Kendra Elliot
Source: Amazon

All Detective Mason Callahan wanted was a quiet fishing trip with the guys—a chance to get away and unwind before Halloween.
Until he finds the body of his boss, Denny Schefte, near their remote Oregon cabin. Now all he wants is to catch the sadist who slit Denny’s throat and covered his face with a mask. Mason was the last person to see him alive and will stop at nothing to find his friend’s murderer.
When the FBI learns of the mask left at the scene, they realize they have a serial killer on their hands—one who is targeting cops. They assign the case to Special Agent Ava McLane, despite her engagement to Mason. Barely recovered from her own nearly fatal injury and her sister’s attempted suicide, Ava hopes she is ready to chase another killer.

But as she delves into the increasingly disturbing case, the killer may be closer than expected—dangerously close.


I really love this series as a whole, it is very captivating. This fourth book however was just a bit slower than the other three. I wasn't quite sure why it felt that way because the story was solid and well written. And I really liked that this time Mason was the point of drama as opposed to a damsel in  distress.

I hope there is a fifth book because I can't wait to see what happens with these two characters.

A must read series! Four Stars

Monday, February 6, 2017

Enchanted Book Promotions Presents: Zoysana's Choice by Gordon A Long

Title: Zoysana’s Choice
Author: Gordon A. Long
Genre: Fantasy
Discovered as a child living alone in the forest and growing up an orphan of mixed parentage, but under the protection of the king’s youngest son, Zoe is appreciated for her own merit by everyone, from the royal family to the lowest kitchen wench. But her secure nest is shattered by conflict in the king’s family, and soon she will have to decide where her loyalties lie.
She flees to her former home in the mountains, where she finds many answers, but not to the questions she is asking. 
Then she is offered the chance to visit Kyabra, the home of her grandfather, to learn about that ancient culture. 
But all of these travels come to naught when she hears of war at home, and she returns to Petrella to be faced with a decision that could stop a war and change the lives of thousands, but only at the greatest personal cost. 
This is the first published work of a 7-book saga of standalone novels tied together by characters and setting. Books 4 to 7 are sequential, and Books 1 to 3 happen 400 years earlier.

About the Author

Brought up in a logging camp with no electricity, Gordon Long learned his storytelling in the traditional way: at his father’s knee. He now spends his time editing, publishing, travelling, blogging and writing fantasy and social commentary, although sometimes the boundaries blur.
Gordon lives in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, with his wife, Linda, and their Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Josh. When he is not writing and publishing, he works on projects with the Surrey Seniors’ Planning Table, and is a staff writer for <indiesunlimited.com>


Buy on Amazon

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Review: Spiraled Byendra Elliot

Title: Spiraled
Author: Kendra Elliot
Source: Amazon


Wall Street Journal Bestseller
FBI Special Agent Ava McLane solves crimes; she doesn’t witness them. When she’s trapped in a mall without her weapon as a shooter picks off victims, she hides with a wounded teen and prays for her survival.
But that’s only the beginning…
An epidemic of mass shootings has swept across Oregon. The young shooters terrify the public, committing random murders before taking their own lives. The task force assembled to solve the case—which includes Ava’s boyfriend, detective Mason Callahan—remains stumped. And on top of this chaos, Ava’s troubled twin sister reappears, throwing Ava’s already-tumultuous life into a tailspin.

An old-fashioned cop with a strong sense of duty, Mason struggles to find the cause of the shootings as workaholic Ava spins ever closer to breaking down. But can one detective save the lives of countless innocents—and prevent the woman he loves from going over the edge?


This is seriously one of my favorite series, book three was just as good as the first two books. What I really like about this series is it strictly follows one couple but it isn't the same ole same ole every time.

I love when authors keep characters in a series constantly because then you can really learn the characters and they become more alive to you.

This author has a talent of making the words on the page appear in your mind just like a movie. It was really was a great read.

Solid 5 star, I've already started book four and I can't wait to see what new adventures happen

Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Mom For 365 Days

One Year ... One Year Exactly ... that is how long it has been since the adoption of Aaron and Sierra, our two perfect children, have been legally binding and all officially ours!

Our babies!

SO MUCH has happened in the 365 days ... just too much to relive. A majority of it wonderful. But Wow. Parenthood ... Motherhood ... kids really do change everything.

And they should ... because they are our world.

I don't think there could be a single day in my life that will top that moment in the court room when the judge said they were now ours.

Well ... maybe MANY MANY years from now when I am holding my grandchild in my arms ... but until this, this moment will forever be the best of my life.

The second best day was in July when the kids birth certificates came in the mail. I have been waiting for a decade to see my name on a birth certificate stating that I am in deed a mom. These two kids have made all my hopes and dreams that were yet to be conquered a reality.

I remember at our wedding when the priest was talking about being open to children ... back then, in 2006, we were so young. So naive. But my heart knew that my life would always be open to children. Tony and I had talked about it and it was something we wanted.

When tragedy hit us with the topic of kids all hope felt lost.

And then these two angels entered our lives.

It hasn't been easy, it hasn't been exactly what we expected.

It's been hard, it's been tough, it's been messy and it has been hell.

BUT it has also been an adventure, an exciting journey, an extraordinary experience, and the best gift God has ever given us.

I know deep in my heart that Tony's father and my grandpa Pete and all our Angel babies were up in heaven that Feb 2015 directing us to our children. They were sent to us by the ones who know us best. Because these two kids fit in our lives like they have been there the whole time.

Not a day goes buy that I don't thank God for them.

I celebrate today, Feb 2nd, 2017 as the 1 year mark that I officially became a mother ... on paper. But these two kids owned my heart back in July 2015. Our first meal as a family July 3rd, 2015, would have been my Grandpa Pete's 86th birthday. Numbers mean something to me ... and that means something to me.

When asked, nature over nurture I am going to go with nurture ... because these kids ... they are Tony and Mine. Always and forever.

February 2nd, 2016 ... the day we became a family ... Always and Forever

Enchanted Book Promotions Presents: When Blood Reigns by Barbara Custer

About the Book
Title: When Blood Reigns
Author: Barbara Custer
Genre: Horror / Science Fiction
Marked for death, Alexis accompanies her lover, Yeron, and four survivors of a zombie invasion on a search for the renegades who created a chemical that induces a zombie-like state. On the way, ravenous flesh-eaters attack Alexis’s team; one survivor turns on her. She realizes too late that the renegades have been tracking her every move. When officials capture her, she becomes deathly ill. Can DNA splicing save her? Will Yeron’s attempts at rescue jeopardize all their lives?

Author Bio
Barbara lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she works full time as a respiratory therapist. When she’s not working with her patients, she’s enjoying a fright flick or working on horror and science fiction tales. She’s published Night to Dawn magazine since 2004.
Other books by Barbara include Twilight Healer, City of Brotherly Death, Infinite Sight, anSteel Rose; also novellasClose Liaisons and Life Raft: Earth. She enjoys bringing her medical background to the printed page, and then blending it with supernatural horror. She maintains a presence on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and The Writers Coffeehouse forum. Look for the photos with the Mylar balloons, and you’ll find her. 

To contact her, e-mail her at barbaracuster@hotmail.com.  
Visit her at: 



Book Excerpts
Excerpt One:
Under a sky dark as tar, Shively and his gang left through the rear exit of Jackson Hospital. The power blackout cloaked the surrounding streets in shadow. Shively and Tyrone led them through an alley parallel to Jonasville Street, where the hospital was. Alexis stayed close to Yeron, teeth gritted, with Johnny to her left, and behind Shively. Mark followed close behind her. Despite Johnny’s and the others’ assurances that they could control Mark, she found herself shivering. She felt his intent stare on her, the way she had ten years ago right before he threw her on the couch.
Brrrrrrr.” She rubbed her arms, moving closer to Yeron.
The warm May air carried a stench like that of rotting tomatoes. At the end of the block, the full moon splashed silver over the buildings and bushes. Yesterday they had slaughtered an army of emaciated, wasted people who smelled like they were many days dead, monsters that had trashed Jackson Hospital’s research floor. They knew more lay in wait; the offensive odor betrayed their secrecy.
Unease festered in Alexis’s stomach. A creepy feeling nagged at her, like someone had eyes on her, biding his time, planning a surprise attack.
She glanced toward Yeron. The soldier in him had replaced the lover: squared shoulders, head erect, jaw muscles tight, and mouth closed. His ruby eyes shifted right and left. With the invisible eyes on her came an overwhelming sadness. Don’t be ridiculous, shescolded herself. It’s not like he’s snubbing you at some party. He’s watching out for trouble and you should, too, so pay attention.
Still, the feeling of being watched lingered.
Alexis let out a yelp, and this time, she did latch onto Yeron’s elbow as if they were dancing at a party. The howling continued, loud and plaintive.
“Listen to that.” She nudged his shoulder. “Those woods are crawling with dead and their stink’s drawing the dogs.”
“The dogs smell Kryszka renegades.” Johnny’s voice faltered. His wide blue eyes remained fixed on their surroundings. “I don’t like this.”
“Whether you like it or not, deal,” Shively told them.
“That’s right.” Mark’s voice raked her with freezing contempt. “We’ve had enough of your whining.”
Alexis stiffened, then set her lips in a grim line. Damn, I’m not spending the next several weeks listening to Mark’s shit.
With her telekinesis at the ready, she whirled upon Mark and unleashed a surge of psychic energy. Mark stumbled, fell against a brick wall, and then landed in a heap. He doubled over, one hand rubbing his right arm.
“Cut the shit, asshole,” she warned him.
“Whoa!” Johnny brayed nervous laughter. “She socked it to you.”
“Bitch nearly broke my arm.” Mark scowled, struggling to his feet.
“Next time, she might hurt you bad.” Tyrone’s solemn face shone with sweat. “If I were you, I’d shut it.”
Mark’s mouth worked like a guppy’s, and in the moonlight, his face reddened. Tyrone held his finger to his lips. Mark kept quiet.
The howling continued, sending liquid fear racing through Alexis’s veins.
“Of course, the dogs will howl,” Yeron said. “This street smells gamey.”
“The animals sense danger, too.” Alexis hugged her tunic around her shoulders. She had Yeron to thank for looting the plasma guns and uniform after his compound exploded. “Weekly World Reporter had a big article on dogs and how they smell scent.”
Yeron did not comment. He continued staring ahead, his face impassive.
“I’d like to give those creatures a nice, long, dirt nap.” Johnny scowled. “Too bad Weekly World didn’t give us an easy way to make it happen.”
“Do not worry, honey.” Yeron smiled and stroked her hair. “I will not let you face those creatures alone.”
“Be quiet, all of you!” Shively darted a withering glance over his shoulder. “There’s something weird ahead.”
Shively reached into his backpack for his binoculars and flashlight. Alexis and the others stopped and kept quiet. All eyes were on Shively. There was no sound coming from the houses; most of them were cloaked in shadow. No streetlights, thanks to the power outage. The dogs continued howling, long, melancholy wails. No other sounds could be heard except for the crickets. The air thickened with its rancid odor. Alexis slid her fingers around her plasma gun. Knees bent, she braced herself for an exchange of gunfire.
“Where at?” she asked.
“The back alley.” Shively pointed and moved to his left.
Alexis and the others hustled after him. An acrid smell wafted from a garage near a doctor’s office. The buzzing came next. The garage appeared intact, but the low beam from Shively’s flashlight washed over a corpse. Swarms of flies buzzed around its skeletal legs and the two blood-spattered bushes that concealed the rest of the body.